(2016-06-22) Along Came a Spider
Along Came a Spider
Summary: 'Spider-Man' accosts a thief on a church rooftop, when the thief's benefactor makes an appearance (or doesn't, rather…sort of).
Date: 2016-06-22
Related: None
Scene Runner: N/A
Social/Plot: Social

Fade in…

(( https://goo.gl/maps/yfbhGTPKt2z ))

Mid-evening, though the temperature is still sweltering. At least the occasional cloud drifting across the sky provides some small measure of relief. Not that Rebecca really feels much relief right then — at least, not that sort. Her relief is in running along the rooftops west along East Seventh Street, away from Avenue A. On the rooftop of the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, there's an unconscious man who thought he'd get to the prize before her — but a foot upside his head taught him different. He was left in a heap by the roof access door as she made off with the small package, tucking it into her satchel.

She drops down the three stories to a small tenement building, rolling over her left shoulder and coming up without losing momentum, then leaps across to St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr's Church and begins to clamber up the slant of roof near the street. Though the sweat runs down her freely, there's a smile on her face as she pushes herself, as she makes her way across the rooftops.

Slumped beneath a canopy of webbing, Michael leaned back against the steeple of the church, mask clutched in his hand as the weak wind blew against him, attempting to rustle sweat matted hair. He had wanted to pull a job, maybe he was even on the books for it… but this godless heat! His head lolled back against the needle that thrust towards heaven, all but panting from a open mouth. Summer… summer was a terrible time to work outside in new york. It was ridiculous, he aughta move, north maybe… How did Alpha Flight handle street-level hoods, were they the only supers up there?!

Up ending a sweating water bottle over his head, Mike sighed as the slight relief washed over him, drizzling down his face and the back of his neck, curling in behind his ears.

Maybe he aughta find a new partner… What was Blizzard doing these days?!

It is then that a tumbling body alerts him to the distant presence of another! He pulls his mask on and yanks it tight over his features before lurching out from under his sanctuary. He's at the prick of the needle in an instant, holding on without getting a grip, the fingers of his hand and balls of his feet anchoring him firmly as he catches sight of Rebecca. He glanced back along her trail and saw… a still body?!

His jaw tightens beneath the mask and he lapses into consideration, she's being chased… why? For the satchel? What's in it?

Fingers work intently at his palm, slight but purposeful movements of his finger against micro-switches before he extends his free arm and-

-THWIP!- a web-bolt pops free of the nozzle, rushing to cut her off, splattering against the incline in her path, carpeting it in a five foot by five foot expanse of webbing that would be all to happy to hold her fast should she clamber upon it!

If she wasn't facing forward, she'd have walked right into it—though it's not like Rebecca gets completely away from it, either. She was almost to the top of the incline and was about to launch upward when the economy-sized web-ball splattered against the roof. She launches herself anyway — but the back-splash of the webbing catches the backs of her legs, and ripping skin right off is not something that appeals to her.

"What the hell?!" she calls out, hanging by her fingertips on the edge of the upper level of the roof. She's in an awkward position; she can't pull herself up, but if she lets go she's going to slide face-first along the brick wall, and without any way to really get her feet and legs away from the webbing. "What kind of sick joke is this?!" is added a heartbeat later, and she's as yet resisting the temptation to dip into her cultural profanities, though the temptation is there.

The culprit strides into view along the apex of the roof, heel to toe steps that are far too casual to not be assisted by something! Hands on hips, he strolls out before turning to look at her, arches of his feet resting along the ridge as he looks down upon her. His self-pleased smirk is more heard than seen, "That is called webbing, Pretty lady!" he announces, "You know, that stuff that turns everybody into a ninja when it gets in their face?" he continued, stepping down along the incline and walking towards her, posture somehow straight despite the sharp angle. "Only mine is a bit thicker than the normal stuff. Nice to meetchya, I'm your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man!"

He stoops, butt resting on the balls of his heels four feet from the ledge where she hangs.

As best as she can, given the circumstances, Rebecca peers up at the spider-themed person. All things considered, he really could be Spider-Man for all she knows. The Spider-Hero did have quite a few — well — identity crises over the years, with numerous changes in costume. "Okay — so you're Spider-Man. What do you want with me?" she asks, the strain of her position in her voice. She's also trying to figure out how to get out of her predicament — and not coming up with a single thing so far. Just great.

Her salvation will present itself soon enough, it's source being something unexpected. The sun has left the church's roof quite warm. Scorching hot in fact, backed throughout the day and now radiating heat. The webs of the REAL Spider-Man might not suffer so but the slap-dash job that are Blood Spider's webs… does not hold up quite as well. Even now she might find herself with a little more slack, a few seconds longer and the adhesive will fail entirely!

"Straight to the point, cute!" he pipes, hands braced upon his knees as he looks down at her from the short space between. "Think of this as a introduction. I crawl on roofs just about as often as I crawl on walls, y'know." he prattled on, "Saw you passing by, thought I'd pop over, say hello." he prattled.

"That and see why it was you have sleeping beauty back there laid out on the roof." he added, hooking a thumb over his shoulder. "You know, investigating, hero-stuff." he continued.

Reaching out, he knelt and leaned forward, nimble finger seeking out the strap across her shoulder, "Could be this bag here has some interesting stuff, right? Gotta check it out…"

This is going to be a very bad idea, but she can't let him just have the satchel. Her company has a reputation for speed, dedication, and most of all — discretion. She can't just let him have the package. So, releasing her left hand, she uses it to bat at his hand. Sure, he was a "super hero" (as far as she knows), and can thus probably bend her in half with his pinkie—but damn it, she has a reputation to think of!

"That's not for you, Spider-Man," she says evenly, hanging by only her right hand. "That's for — friends. Who would be very upset if it got taken, and they wouldn't be upset with me. And this is not a good look for you. Maybe switch back to the red-and-metal?" Maybe she can distract him with nonsense — that's what he does, after all, and it works on others. Maybe turn-about really can be fair play.

His hand is batted away. Hand meets hand with a sharp smack, but he is super-naturally quick, his arm snakes back in, trying to latch onto her wrist before she could catch hold of the roof again. If he's lucky, he'll hoist her up, taking a bit of weight from the leg that even now is just caked with the webbing, it's hold on the roof faltering entirely.

"See, now that's a real pity, I really like my suit. 'Think it's snazzy…" He stoops forward, hand free hand planted to the roof as he tries to lean outwards and threaten her with the (forgive me) gravity of her situation.

"But that aside, how about we all just swallow our pride, let bygones go by and you give me whatever's in your little bag here, right?" he muses, "I mean, what's a reputation next to a whole lot of unbroken bones, right?"

Being just-a-human, as far as Rebecca's concerned "Spider-Man"'s arm just went through a wormhole. "…maricon," she mutters, more or less under her breath, though not from trying to hide the comment. More from — resignation, really. Though — since he takes her hand away, that leaves her other hand free. And yes, that's to smack his hand away if he tries to go for the satchel strap again.

"It's not just my reputation you have to worry about, Spider-Man," she says as she looks directly into his eye-lenses. As testament to how very much terrified she is of falling, her voice has lost a little of the defiant tone, and there's something of a pleading undertone to it that she really could have done without. Still, she doesn't stop trying to keep her satchel, because of course she doesn't.

"It's also the reputation of — of a man you may be familiar with," she continues as she can't help but wriggle in his grasp, as useless as it is. "A man who's tall, dark, likes shadows, tends to dress in something like — a Shroud…" And yes, she stresses the last word, trying to turn it into a noun, and trying to see if "Spider-Man" is familiar with the name. Pleeeeeease be familiar with the name.

Using his nationality as a slur phased him not at all. He was a villain and could typically let these little jabs go. It didn't pay to be thin-skinned.

She's left with a free hand to do as she pleased for the moment. He payed it no mind, he had no reason to just yet. She talked a good show, despite the fact that she was a sharp jolt away from crying for her abuela (by his own estimate). Still, she's putting on a good show. This isn't her first rodeo… So he does her the service of listening. It helps. His heart lurches in his chest, if she was a about to drop a name, this could get bad! Fisk, Vulture, Octopus, The Gargoyle, Hammerhead, The Owl, any number of underlords that Mike had good reason to keep clear of. Who, who who- 'Shroud'…


The anticlimax left him with a sigh… still. "Hang tight." he bade, free hand fishing at his belt, flipping open a pouch and plucking a smartphone free of its confines.

"Hang, hah. I'm a riot…" he uttered to himself as his thumb worked away at the screen.

Well. Nowhere near what she was expecting, that reaction. On the other hand, Rebecca has to suppose that indifference is better than being a sworn enemy of the Shroud or something and killing her for her association. On the third hand, she's probably going to die either way, so that's really coming close to being little more than semantics. Still, it would have been nice if she'd thought of a way to get in touch with The Shroud in situations like this.

"Sure, take your time. I'm not going anywhere," she says with an attempt at wryness in her tone, though the attempt falls relatively flat. All it'll take is "Spider-Man" sneezing, then whatever's left of her that isn't torn away by the webbing will end up splattered on the road below. And of course they're nearly out of view of the street, which only makes it worse. No last-minute sirens or gasps or whatever. "That's S-H-R — want me to just input his number for you?" Trying to be as helpful as possible, she reaches out with her right hand, though she doesn't snatch at the phone or anything, just leaves her hand there, palm-up, and tries for a casual smile as well. That doesn't exactly work out, either.

"Hah,-" he quietly breyed in answer to her remark. "We aughta do stand-up." he remarked distractedly. His thumb worked a entry into a search engine S-H-R- SHREWD?! No, stop it Google, I've got this.

Who the hell would name themselves The Shrewd anyway…

He had a idea but it sounded anti semitic.

No, S, H, R-, "Up bububub!" he chides her with a bit of meaningless prattle, pulling his hand well away from her reach, "Nothing personal, but this is the only phone I've got." Taskmaster had always told them to pack burner phones but Taskmaster could AFFORD good burner phones. Not so for one of his erst-while proteges!

"Huh…" he managed once he could finally complete the search.

"Did you know someone supposedly debunked the Shroud of Turin?" he offered a aside before he continued to scroll. "Shroud… shroud, shroud.." he uttered with one thumb stroke and then another.

Maybe he found something.. maybe he didn't, either way, the phone is soon enough tucked away, his attention slipping back to her.

"So… that's your boss?"

"As much as I'd like to stand here and compare notes about why religion is mistaken, I'm not actually standing, at all, so…" Rebecca says as she lets her right hand drop again—to her satchel, to pull it in front of her again. "And — yeah, kind of. Well — a mutually-agreeable — uh — yeah, he's my boss." She really can't lie about it right then, especially to herself. Kind of hard when one's life is steadily flashing before one's eyes, after all. On the other hand, the replay lets her remember where she put her keys a few months back, so there's that.

"And he's kind of a big deal in a lot of circles — big enough where he would really not like one of his underlings to have her reputation for discretion and prompt delivery ended by having her ended." She's sort of scrabbling, there, but then she knows she's running out of options, and quickly.


A bullet fired from a high-powered sniper rifle — originating from a rooftop to the West — strikes the church rooftop right between Blood Spider and the fly caught in his web (pun intended).

A moment later, the cellphone in Rebecca Valdes' possession buzzes to indicate an incoming phone-call…

"Aight, aight, aight, aight!" he chattered, they were barely words, more just vocal cues for her to stall her vague threats and warnings delivered at a machinegun pace. "Easy, I get it. He's spooky! Leather-bound books, all that." his hand had lifted, palm out in a gesture of, 'halt' before he continued, he continued on, hand rolling vaguely as he spoke. He was about to continue on when —


There was no tingle, no scream of a extra sensory warning, no bells, no whistles. No Spider-sense… He didn't have that. What he did have was a keen knowledge that he was skylined in fading light and that shot couldn't have come from too far away…

"Riiight…" it was a dry humor, a cold one. He could feel his sweat go cold against his skin within the suit.

He stood, long legs uncoiling from beneath him as he hoisted her nearer, letting her find some footing on the slope.

"How much do you want to bet it's a telemarketer?"

Truth to tell, there was a very similar trickle of cold sweat running down the back of Rebecca's neck at that shot. Could have been anyone, after all; someone she'd managed to piss off, someone "Spider-Man" managed to piss off, some random moron who happened to belong to the N.R.A… Then her phone rings. Not that she really gets to think on that while she's being yanked free of "Spider-Man"'s webbing.

Teeth gritting, eyes welling with tears, she manages to not let out the pained yelp that threatened to erupt from her. One of these days, super-people really need to be on the receiving end of their own super-things, from a regular human's perspective. Until then, she focuses on "Spider-Man" again. "You, umm — I'm gon'a get that, okay?" she asks, voice a bit hoarse, and she points to her satchel before — slowly! — reaching into an outer pocket and pulling out a smart phone.

Keeping her eyes on "Spider-Man", she swipes to accept the call, then taps the speaker button. "I think it's for you," she says as she faces her phone toward him.

<~ Good evening, 'Spider-Man'… ~> says a male voice in a sibilant whisper from the phone. There is a slight pause before the voice continues. <~ You appear to have caught a fly in your web… This particular 'fly' is mine. ~>

Wherever the caller, presumably the Shroud, himself (Rebecca would recognise the voice, anyway), is calling from it is likely to be near enough to make that sniper-shot.

Unless the shot was made by another of his minions. The answer comes relatively quickly as billows of impenetrable blackness roll up and around the church, enveloping it (and the persons on the roof) in perfect 'un-light' in seconds.

<~ Little fly: ~> the voice adds in the darkness. <~ The shadows wish to know… what number the fly intended to give the spider? ~>

Shroud, was the Shroud a snake person?! The hiss of the S made him think of a hooded cobra, a shrouded cobra? Was this the g'damned serpent society, he was not going to-

His internal monologue derailed when the word play rolled out thick and cozy like a warm bathrobe.

"(You can't tell right now-)" he whispered to Rebecca, free hand pointing to the black expanse of mask just below the eye panels, "(but I am smirking so hard right now.)" he concluded his hushed aside, attention returning back to the forefront of it all…

And the world went dark.

His attention snapped around, left and right. His hand tightens at her wrist, a squeeze but not one to powder the bones there. This was getting heavier than he expected when he started to bully a roof-top courier…

"Ooooh-" he crooned as the voice echoed out at them from the back of a crypt.. or so his imagination told him, "You in troublllle!"

And Rebecca's response, though laden with uncertainty, is also immediate. "Eight-Six-Seven-Five-Three-Oh-Nine," she says, eyes half-closing, and not focusing on the thickening, inky shadows, voice straining in response to the way her wrist is about to break like a twig. "It's — it's an old song. Was going to, uh, try and hit him with the phone, breath a lens with the glass, something…" And there's that cold trickle again. She remembers — clearly, of course — being warned against giving the real phone number to anyone. She wasn't going to give the real one, though she couldn't think of anything else she had to offer. On the other handshe is suddenly terrified that The Shroud wouldn't believe hereven if, on the third hand, he likely has magicks that can tell she is, in fact, telling the truth.

Still doesn't change the act that, for the moment anyway, she didn't exactly get out of a bad situation as much as, potentially, into a different one. She's trying very hard to resist the urge to yank her hand away, too; she'd only end up needing surgery to reattach it to her forearm, and she wasn't sure the Night Shift's health plan covered such major surgery.


For about… 6.35 seconds.

The shadows… thicken. Swells and currents of Darkforce turn from the consistency of mere smoke… to molasses. Cold molasses. Stifling. Oddly enough, it does not impair one's ability to breathe. Yet.

<~ Little Fly: ~> the voice returns — only this time it sounds like it is coming from right over Valdes' shoulder. <~ We shall have a conversation, in time. About… what fruit this evening's endeavours have borne. ~>

A moment later, the voice comes from over Blood Spider's shoulder.

<~ You have my attention, Spider-Man. As much as the shadows would like to claim you for themselves… ~> and the currents of Darkforce swirl around the man in the unitard (is it a unitard?), like a thousand tiny eels shifting as one, underwater. <~ This little fly is mine with whom to… deal. Besides — there is a sniper rifle aimed at your head. ~>

He loosed her hand, he'd need them both if this went so far south that he had to start swinging… in either use of the word he could apply. His boot squeaked on the roof as he twisted his footing, eye-panes turning this way or that as he steadied himself, readied himself.

He could feel it on his chest, the oppressive weight of it as it leaned against his sternum, breath became mist past his mask.

He's there-!
Then there-! He about gives himself whiplash.

"Riight…" another long draw of the word as he chews on the information.

"That sounds about like my queue then doesn't it. Exit, stage left!" he notes as he pads along the incline and makes his way to the far edge at the front of the church.

"You kids…" play nice? Was he going to hear a story in the news about her floating in the east river? Who knew!

"You kids just play, I guess." He steps out into the void between space and ground, leg kicking him away in that final step before his arm snakes out, firing of a swing line with a sharp -THWIP!- that has the line going taut , his body sweeping away at the end of it towards a expedient departure!

"…puta…" mutters Rebecca, though without any real venom in it, as she rubs her left wrist. It's more reflex, really, and besides — she has other things on her mind right then. And nearly wrapped around her like a straightjacket, but that's not the point. Well. It really is, actually.

As "Spider-Man" makes his escape, she looks to Shroud — then realizes there's really no one place he really is. That is a neat trick, really. "So — uh — yeah…" she murmurs, flexing her left-hand fingers and wincing at the pain in her wrist. Feels sprained, but if that's the worst thing she gets away with, she'll be thankful. "Thank you. I mean it. I realize you weren't looking out for me as much as watching me, but — thank you." It makes sense to her that she'd be watched; a new recruit, given a measure of trust. She'd been to show she deserved that level of trust — and she has to hope that whatever shadow-magicks Shroud has access to, he knows through them that she does deserve it. At least, she still thinks so.

The darkness recedes into a bubble of sorts around Rebecca — revealing her cowled and cloaked benefactor and employer standing some feet away…a rifle in his gloved hands.

He is silent for a moment.

<~ Greater care will be required of you in future, ~> he tells her in a matter-of-fact tone of voice — but not as reproachful as one might have expected. <~ For now, come with me to the Tower. Mouse has a car waiting in the street below. It is time to remind these heroes who truly rules the dark. ~>

Were it anyone else, Rebecca would hide the relief she feels when it seems like The Shroud believes her. But she really is trying to make this "working relationship" actually work, so she lets herself relax visibly, slumping just a touch. "Sounds good," she says with a bit of that relief in her voice. "Um — need to make a stop, though. This package needs to be delivered." She pats her satchel with her right hand, then starts to climb down off the edge of the roof. She isn't going to ask for help down, mostly because it doesn't really occur to her. She's used to relying on her own body, to pushing it to the limits, and when it fails — to keep pushing. Less being "independent", though there's some level of that. More wanting to keep her body her only "weapon", and her only "tool".

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