1963-07-25 - NYU Protest
Summary: An NYU protest goes sideways, triggering an emergence of a menacing, green monster.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
bruce daredevil jess rogue eddie 

The July sun has begun to set on the corner of the East Village that seems to intersect many different worlds. Heat reflects from the concrete in nearly visible waves. No question, it's been, and continues to be, a hot day. The temperature is enough to cook food along the roadside, yet the bodies that seem to be congregating only make it feel warmer in this particular section of NYC.

In particular students from New York University seem to have flooded the pavement. To a normal passerby this would be little more than an everyday happenstance — a portion of the campus is only down the block — but the sheer number of young people beginning to shuffle into a two block radius has the attention of shopkeepers and apartment dwellers that hail the world around.

The bodies get closer still, some marching directly from the University. Those with particularly adept hearing can detect the beat of chanting. The first sign that rises has little on it aside from a flower, and a single word: PEACE.

But in calling for peace, waves of disturbers begin to fill the street. The would-be pedestrians enter the streets and stop before bearing other signs: RIGHTS FOR ALL!


One loud rally full of students a few days ago convulsed Midtown in an ugly way. Stories might havecirculated about a redheaded young woman handing out irises, daisies, and white carnations to the participants chosen at random. Ruined blossoms tumbled down to the ground when the crowd exploded in violence, striking one another, but some were carried off. A collection of dahlias crowns that young woman's head now, a white tulip between her fingertips, turned around and around in delicate orbits. She belongs to the other great student body of the city — Columbia — but word spreads between sister schools, even if they might constitute rivals. Broad sunglasses shelter her gaze from the sun's burning eyes, on this to be the second hottest day in July. Enter the dog days of summer, enter the halcyon days when tempers simmer and rage bubbles on and on and on.

A poised young woman, foxfire hair gathered in a silken wash, hardly stands out in her own right. Perhaps she does. But the swell of voices crying for fairness, a stamp of feet in succession, gives Scarlett room for pause. She plucks her camera out from her bag, plucking the plastic cap off the lens. A few moments are needed to frame the shot, but the diminutive adjustments bring what she seeks into focus. Snap. Another. Snap. Click. The succession follows.


"Foggy, I…"

"Listen, Matt, I'm telling you! We need to start doing some work in Mutant Town! I know you're loyal to Hell's Kitchen, but it's not the only neighborhood in the Big Apple!"

"Foggy, I know. I'm sorry, I have to go." Murdock left a fiver on the bar to pay for their beers and food. "We'll talk later, okay? Promise."

One subway ride later, the blind lawyer is emerging into the busy streets of the East Village. He taps his cane before him, only to find the crowd so thick that he's forced to pull it close to his frame. "Um… I'm sorry. Excuse me. S… sorry," he tells people that he accidentally bumps into. "So, what's going on here?" he asks a passerby.


Jess is young enough that she could blend in with the students, though the practical skirt-suit she wears suggests she might be a little bit past that stage of life. Not that she seems all that happy to be wearing it, shrugging out of the jacket as she walks along the sidewalk and the crowds get closer.

"No clue," she says, overhearing the question from Matt. "But, ah. I might go around the block if I were you," she suggests as she catches sight of the cane. "Looks like things are getting a little close up there."


Eddie sits on the stoop of a rather dilapidated apartment building. He has a brown bag with some cheap liquor in it and a pile of cigarette butts at his feet. He seems to be wearing a pair of slacks, wife-beater and old, worn out boots.

Seems to be.

He glances up at the protestors but can hardly be bothered to give a damn. The rag he worked for wouldn't give a damn unless one of them sprouted a second head or started bursting into flame. And if he didn't get paid, right now, Eddie Brock didn't give much of a damn either. Another voice within him might think a little differently. It might enjoy the smell of conflict in the air, the hint of rebellion. It can hope for things to grow sour and fecund. But Eddie's dead-eyed stare betrays none of that.


The slim woman continues to take photographs of the moving crowds, the snap of the camera matched by delicate adjustments to the lens of the Canon. Scarlett moves for a better route, stepping up to the curb and staring out over the hot pavement. It places her out of the way who might wish to pass, though makes her an easy target to knock out of the way. Such are the consequences when one hangs close to the edge.


With a distinct motion of his head, almost a jerk, Matt looks Jess's way. That voice… he knows that voice.

It causes a chill to run down his spine. If it is her… how could she have followed him? He would have at least heard her breathing.

"Uh…" he projects an air of discomfort that isn't at all similar to the actual discomfort that tickles his mind. "Close?" Matt makes an effort to slip closer, bumping into a street sign in the process. "Oof. Wait. What do you mean, close? It sounds like protesting."


"Sorry, idioms." It's the sort of statement that might come from a non-native speaker, though Jess doesn't seem to have an accent. "It's getting crowded up there," she tips her chin toward the protesting students, as if Matt's going to see the gesture, before realizing he's probably not. "I mean, at your two o'clock. Crowds. Looks like students working up a protest."

She doesn't seem all that concerned - breathing and heartbeat steady - but then again, she didn't seem concerned after she'd been through a shooting and a pursuit through the city, either. "Do you need a hand around?" she offers, folding her jacket over her arm.


The first wave of police dressed in white shielded helmets and baring billy clubs, presses against the people that line the sidewalk, aiming to reach the road. Those that represent the furthest edges of the protestors attempt to remain standing. But while they try to root in place, the police cull the crowd. Three students are dragged away in handcuffs, prompting others to actually push the police.

More officers press in, these ones bearing pepper spray used ad nauseum to clear whoever they can. As he's arrested, one of the more overzealous students actually tries to barrel into the policeman arresting him, getting pinned against a building in the process. Of course, as he's pinned, other more thrill-seeking zealots rip against the group.

"Stand your ground!" a voice calls from the centre of the protest. But it's useless. The police are engaging the protestors, and some of the protestors, the police. A group of students runs towards the police, knocking towards the onslaught, and pushing anyone caught in their wake towards the mayhem, including a very well meaning scientist.

Ominously the device at Bruce's wrist beeps ever faster as he's prodded into the folds of the crowd. He continues to breathe, even as he fights amongst those pushing against him. Beads of sweat drip from his brow, and collect in a mess of moisture along his collar. As the beeping increases in frequency, he elbows his way to the edge, back to the curb, bumping into a young woman as he does so.

He lifts a hand in apology, turning backwards to face whoever he may have set off — a moment he most certainly regrets in the blink of an eye as he receives an eyeful of burning pepper spray.

The beep on the watch turns to one long pulse, and Bruce clamps his eyes shut before curling into himself in the fetal position on the ground.

His body transforms. Thanks to the surrounding bodies that fall about him, it's almost impossible to see as his skin turns green. His shirt tears as his muscles press against its seams and stitches.

Most won't have seen the transformation.

But almost all will hear the large, bellowing snarl of a vey angry green monster who now occupies the protest.



The unforgiving eye of the camera captures the moment for perpetuity, awaiting a bath of silver nitrate to reveal itself from the Fuji film buried deep behind the wall. Caution compels Scarlett from making too much a spectacle of herself, but she is not the only one observing the altercations between authority and the flower of a generation crying out for improvements of the working conditions, leadership which brings America together, and makes stronger their bonds rather than weakened by divisions. Such thoughts must be cried upon the air, raised on signs now sinking like a falling pennant. The observer concludes danger churns on the breeze instants before the changing tide seethes towards her. She rapidly withdraws two or three steps to back away from them with precious vigil tucked betwixt her hands, sheltered against the curve of her chest.

Too late. The scientist nudges her and she sways, a willow bending to the breeze. An apologetic look blooms in those grave emerald eyes ablaze with terrible knowledge, alighting upon him. "Quickly, this way," she calls out to the man, her words cut off by a squeal on his watch. By then she is already turning, concealing her face at a foreboding presence. In retrospect it's too fast, but the bystanders won't be looking at the redhead. They no doubt look to the huge green figure torn into being as she goes to her knees, one of the Hesperides clutching a golden apple of a camera while Atlas roarsin rage among the protesters.


A little smirk forms on Matt's face, in spite of the way his head quirks toward 2:00. "NYU. Figures. This stuff never happened at Columbia." He works his jaw for a moment, before turning his head in Jess's general direction. "Well, that's… yes, thank you." He reaches out with his hand. "Your elbow, if you don't mind?"

The blind lawyer seems willing to follow Jess wherever she may see fit to lead him, even though the mounting ruckus has his jawline tensing further still.

Foggy may have had a point.

"This isn't good," he tells Jess. "These people have a right to peaceful protest. Even if they have left the sidewalk, it doesn't necessarily require such a show of force from…"

What on earth is that beeping sound?

Matt stops in his tracks. His hand clenches on Jess's elbow, in a manner that just might seem familiar to her. He seems focused on something, and as Bruce is knocked to the ground some distance away, his mouth grows slackened.

"Oh no…"


"Sure. Just right here." Jess holds out an arm for Matt, starting to work her way around the crowds as things get louder and rougher, grimacing at the bite of pepper spray in the air. "Uh huh. Right to protest, sure. That's what the constitution says, right? Doesn't sound like the cops are real interested in hearing about-"

Matt's not the only one to hear that growl. The arm under his hand stiffens as she turns toward it, cautious. "Okay. We're gonna get you inside, okay? I don't know what that is, but I'm pretty sure it's not good." Then she's moving quickly, breaking into a jog and pulling him with her with a much firmer grip than she ought to have.


When the beast's snarl reaches his ear, Eddie perks up. He's inquisitive, for certain, smelling the possibility of a story. But even more, the thing within him awakens. It wants more than a story. It wants some fun. It didn't get to taste that fat one at the bar. It never got to rip into the girl that fell through their window.

Venom wanted more than just a story.

Eddie succumbs, slinking into the shadows of the alley as the oily, inhuman creature wraps itself around him from head to toe. He feels the jaw unhinge, fangs protruding in every direction as it reaches out and grasps the wall, starting to scramble upwards towards the rooftops to get the best look at the thing causing so much ruckus. "Weeeeee want to playyyyyyyy…" Venom murmurs.


The rhyme or reason of the protest falls away as screams anew form a bubble, growing from retreating bodies attempting to evacuate from the beast's presence. Where people had rooted before, choosing to stand up for rights, equality, and, ultimately, freedom, the young students now run hard and fast from the Hulk that stands amongst them.

He bellows, "Rhaaaaaaaaaaar!" angry and loud as he rubs his eyes. A single heavy jump, enough to crack the pavement beneath, has the Hulk turning to face his presumed police foe — the one who had so carelessly caught Banner's eyes with his proffered weapon. Promptly, the green creature claps his hands together, emitting a loud resounding shockwave that knocks the officer, as well as several of his cohorts, and a couple of bystanders, off their feet.

He growls again.

Angrily, he turns away from the police, only to look for the woman Banner had so carelessly nudged. For the moment, something has abetted the Hulk. Based on prior evidence, it's not apt to last.


Shoving the camera into her bookbag takes a few moments, a subtle shift beneath the protective arc of her supine body. Scarlett tries not to draw attention from panicking cops or bolting protesters, though staying low for long will undoubtedly threaten her with being crushed. For the moment no one else seems inclined to tangle with an enormous verdant man erupting from an unholy nightmare in the shreds of his own clothing, possibly assuming he could be a tad dangerous and bitter about the whole affair. A mixed blessing; he could easily step on her. The ground bounces and rumbles under her at the shockwave from the giant, and she grits her teeth at the rattling.

No time for equivocation now. She pushes herself back up. Her jade dress blooms around her in a shallow puddle, an easy parallel to draw the eye. She looks up, way up, towards the Hulk's corrugated, snarling face. Gently her hands rise with nothing in them, naught to suggest a danger. Whatever manic flutter dances in her pulse, it's not quite in her voice. "I'm all right."


Halfway through dragging the blind lawyer toward a doorway, the crush of the panicking crowd pulls him out of Jess's grip. While she turns to try to catch sight of the man, there's a very large, very green threat right now. And…

Searchingfor a place to get a better vantage, she sees an even more disturbing sight in the black thing with the teeth. "What in the…" Given the choice between the angry green guy and the creepy inky one, she's torn. But the green one's at a tentative stand-off and the toothy one's not yet in the fight, so it's toward Venom that she moves, calling up. "Hey!" she shouts. "Ugly!"


"Yeah," Matt calls over the din of the crowd, "sure!" He quickly picks up his pace in pursuit of Jess, but something else has caught his ear.

A second sound, something he has a difficult time wrestling with. He knows what it sounds like, but such a thing wouldn't be comfortable, much less possible.

Without warning, Matt's hand releases Jess's arm, and he ducks into the crowd. Suddenly, he's moving as if he's not a blind man at all, weaving and ducking through the scrambling passersby. He's following cooler air currents, which lead him to the nearest alleyway.

Once there, the cane is whipped around and, with a twist, detaches itself into a pair of clubs. One of them is aimed at the highest fire escape platform one of the framing buildings has to offer. A click of a switch sends forth a grappling line from the end of one club, a line that soars upward until its claws connect with the fire escape.


The calm the redhead conveys seems to register for the ridiculously large green man. His breathing seems to slow, his shoulders relax, and his hands settle along the surface of the pavement, much like a gorilla would stand with its knuckles on the ground.

The thought turmoil underneath the Hulk's countenance reflects as his breathing seems to slow. Green eyes act as mini storms, fighting against the emotions that whorl around the situation. And for an instant it seems as though its found some release with the simple clap.

One of the officers not so far away, however, sees this moment as an opportunity.


Each of the bullets, ricochets off the Hulk's impenetrable skin, and calls his attention back towards the onslaught of police. Straightening, and standing to the full potential of his current height (well over eight feet), the monster seems to grow as his temper increases. He growls loudly, calling forth a series of weapons fired at him, each in quick succession.

BANG He begins to run forward. BANG BANG BANG The distance between himself and the officers is closed.

One of the weapons is promptly snatched from the officer-assailant, and thrown hard against one of the nearby buildings, raining glass down on the street below from the sheer momentum and force of the throw.


Luck has a mischievous sense of humour. Throw her a violent creature, she calms them for a few moments. Then someone just goes to spoil to fun. It's starting to become nearly repetitive, and the young woman standing at the eye of the chaos throws her shoulders back. A frown graces her lips, and wipes away the tenuous serenity that she clings to tooth and nail. Flowers didn't work for Scarlett entirely last time, at least in anticipated ways. She starts walking with her bare hands folded to her breast, capturing a dahlia sliding from the coronet of them around her head. Real useful, the Madonna in the midst of madness.

"Stop firing!" she cries out between the cacophony, pelting noises and ricocheting bullets thrown in fine detail. "Please stop! There are civilians in this crowd." Collateral damage might be an ugly thing for someone so very vulnerable. What they don't know surely works in her favour, the pretty girl with the dulcet voice seeking their attention.

Or maybe she's opening up a spot to unleash terror. It could go either way. As yet her focus lies on the police, the scientist gone green. Others are too far.


The black thing is gone. That…counts for something? But now the green one's angry. Jess turns back toward the sound of gunfire, indignant. "Son of a…" And her stuck in a skirt suit. This is the worst way to have to do these things. Sighing, she tucks her heels and her jacket on someone's stoop before she starts to fight her way back through the crowds.

A faint yellow-green glow builds around Jess's hand, kept close to her chest, but she doesn't open fire. Instead, she pushes against the crowd toward the big guy. "Hey, big guy!" she calls, firing off the smallest zap at the Hulk. Just enough to get his attention as she looks to the young woman with the flowers. "Friend of yours?"


The call to stop firing has several of the officers standing down while keeping their weapons poised. Others stop out of the sheer shock of what the Hulk's size and incredible strength. He growls loudly back at them, giving them another warning of sorts — a loud warning to back off.

The zap from Jess, however, has the green monster turning towards the woman, and he growls lowly once as he becomes increasingly angry. The zap operates as more annoying that truly angering, earning Jess a bellow in reply.

Aside from many still-retreating bodies, things seem almost still for the moment. Between Scarlett calling out to the police and Jess gaining the Hulk's attention, albeit somewhat mildly, the green monster has become calmer— much like he had when facing the redhead alone.

His chin lifts and he stares at the buildings towering high above. For a moment, he casts a look back towards the police, nearly threatening in his demeanour before merely grumbling to himself, shaking his head, and taking a running jump towards one of the shorter buildings, using it as a springboard to retreat.

The green mass disappears all too quickly thanks to a combination of speed, will, and sheer strength.


"I don't want him to get hurt!" Scarlett calls back, tilting into a higher volume simply to be hurt. Overcome beneath the blazing sun, the flowers crowning her brow and captured between her slim fingers shine a pure gold on a sea of red. "Or any of them. This wasn't supposed to be violent. What kind of people are we if we let them be shot?"

The star in hand is her dahlia, a golden torch raised above the crowd on a green stem. It helps to be tall in this, and somehow frightening surrounded by a void where the huge beast in green was. "Unity," the bohemian sings out, and starts to walk away from that massacre in the making. With her lies the proof of the wreckage, tucked in her bookbag, a dark caress of truth.


"Easy, big guy…" Jess holds her hands out toward the Hulk, looking around at the burgeoning chaos. Sometimes…sometimes it would be useful if she could control certain powers. She'd really rather not break out the pheromones right now in a crowd, but thankfully the beast makes his escape before she has to make that decision.

Letting out a breath, she looks after the young woman with the flowers for a moment before she shakes her head. What a weird day. Now, if she can just get her shoes and her jacket back before it gets any weirder.

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