1963-09-27 - A Death in the Concrete Jungle
Summary: Spider-Man comes across a scene of chaos involving an unknown black-clad costumed vigilante.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
tchalla peter 

The middle of the night on a Tuesday in New York City is perhaps one of the more subdued evenings for the great monolithic city. There are few tourists, no weekenders visiting, the plays are under attended and the streets are less packed. Yet there is still an electric air to the ebb and flow of traffic, a certain energy to all of those many lights flickering upon the many cars and windows of the big burg. And this time of night, things tend to be winding down for the most part. Sure there's still the noise of car horns now and then, or the yowl of a cat clattering over trash cans, but the city seems to be settling. It can be a curious thing to one not familiar with it.

But for a fella who's lived all his life in the area, it's only natural. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man, knows that rhythm of the city. He knows that around about now the last theater showing of The Great Escape is letting out. People are strolling out of the large double doors, out into Times Square. And right there is Mr. Garibladi's Hot Dog stand to serve up some frest brats to the patrons as they leave.

It's only after the last customer heads off that the hot dog vendor starts to depart from his place on the corner. And then it's that part of the night where Spider-Man calls out, "How was business, Mr. G?"

"Good, Spider-Man, great!" The older man waves, "You want a red-hot, buddy?"

"Would I!" Spidey hops down from his perch, landing light on his feet there out of the way from the crowd's departure. A hot dog in aluminum foil is tossed his way and he catches it nearly. "Thanks, Mr. G."

"No problem, Spider-Man… No problem."

He's starting to unwrap the meal when suddenly behind that red mask his brow furrows. He turns his head and tilts it to the side…

/BRRR-BLAM! BLAM!/ Several gunshots are heard and suddenly there's no time for a late dinner. The hot dog is tossed back to the vendor and with a /thwip!/ Spider-Man is suddenly on the move.

When the Spectacular Spider-Man comes upon the scene of that gunfire, what unfolds before him is perhaps not the sort of thing he has seen very often. Two towncars have rammed into each other at the side of the street, leaving a post office box far the worse for wear. Most impressive, however, would be the visible rents in the metal of the doors of both, and the roof one one has been peeled back like a sardine can's lid without the twisting key. Inside the rear car, its roof peeled open, one man struggles to see to the wounds of another, slumped over in a pool of blood in the back seat, unresponsive.

Meanwhile, just shy of half a dozen men have apparently poured out of these vehicles, and two of them seem to be armed with tommy guns. The others are wielding standard semi-automatic pistols, and all of them are taking aim at a figure currently leaping from a lamp post up to a rooftop, then scampering along to stay clear of the shots. The figure is a bit indistinct, as its form tends to blur into the darkness in curious ways, as if shrugging off the light. But there is a curious sense of something immensely strong and agile, with an aura of an angry feline.

And those rents in the sides of those cars look like claw marks. Very large, dangerous claw marks torn through solid Detroit steel.

It had taken relatively little time for Spider-Man to break into movement, to cover the distance towards the sound of that gunfire. It was only three steps to break away from the hot dog car, to leap into the air and fire that web-line that caught the flag pole hanging off the side of a building, then the webbing snapping taut and yanking him into the air with a snap of motion. He rebounded off the brick wall, flipping across the valley between buildings and firing another line to let him arc in a smooth swing and build up some speed.

It was then that he had heard a squeal of something powerful raking across that metal, a foreign sound he hadn't heard perhaps ever, almost like a yowl of some wounded beast. It caused a faint moment of trepidation, even as Spider-Man landed upon the edge of a rooftop, barely catching the flicker of that large dark silhouette. The mirrored lenses in his visor reflect the night sky back upon itself in a gleam of the infinite even as his attention is snapped back down… towards those men with the firearms.

They seem antsy, on edge, filled with adrenaline and wild even as exploratory shots are fired into the shadows after whatever that thing was. Their eyes are wide, their features drawn and haggard. Whatever it was… it spooked them.

And then, as if out of nowhere comes a light voice, "Hey. You guys realize people are trying to sleep, you know?"

The gunmen whirl around and bring their weapons up, only for two to suddenly have them /yoinked/ out of their hands with a double thwip of sound. And then they'll see him, the red and blue fellow perched on the third story who just webbed two of their tommy guns to the wall.

With the tommy guns out of commission and another target on the scene, the men spook even more than they were, backing towards each other in hopes of covering for one another, roughly half of them taking aim at Spider-Man, while the other half are still trying to get a useful bead on the ebon-hued form on the other rooftop. They're not having a lot of luck, it seems.

Gunfire like this, out in public, will definitely be called in by some concerned citizen, so the police will, shortly, be on their way. Meanwhile, that black-shrouded form leaps from the rooftop, breaking the four-limbed scramble to drop swiftly, landing on the roof of the lead car, hammering it hard enough that its axle bows under the force. In that position, its shape finally resolves into something Spider-Man can make out: that figure may not move like it, but it's built as a human. Tall, broad-shouldered, strong and clearly preternaturally agile. But there's still a very feline manner to its movements, hints of it in the shape of the fully-shrouded head, a muzzle-like extension of the face, and ears.

The other creature leaps towards one of the gunmen aimed in its directly, a swipe of those claws slicing through the gun, causing the gunman to yowl in combined terror and pain and scamper backward, falling, clutching his bleeding hand.

"That does it!" One of the men amongst the gunmen roars, clearly having some role of authority with them as he snarls, "Fill em fulla lead!" And now that they have several clear targets the handful of thugs bring their weapons up and start firing, their weapons barking and the flashes filling the night with a crazed strobe effect that catches just frozen framed moments of motion as the vigilantes burst into action.

The brick wall that Spider-Man had been perched upon explodes with little spouts of shattered concrete as bullets kick up a trail following after the leap of the hero. The wallcrawler lands down upon the ground in a three point stance, fingertips splayed as he flips up onto his hand and /pushes/ himself back into a twisting ascent that end with him landing upon the front of one of the cars in a crouch.

The shocks of the car bounce and then one of the headlamps shatters, its light sputtering out as the bullets follow after Spider-Man, only for the gunfire from two of them to be cut abruptly short by two globs of webbing splatting into their gunhands and rendering the weapons useless.

That feline-esque figure somehow seems to avoid the shots aimed at it, even at this close range. (In point of fact, the Black Panther is struck twice, but both shots find most of their kinetic potential absorbed and wasted against the vibranium fabric of her costume, which is rather the point of the outfit in the first place.) The figure leaps ahead, slashing through one gun, and then the other in short order, until at last there isn't an armed gunman in the group.

With both cars seriously compromised, and now disarmed, the gunmen might try to flee, but they soon find themselves caught in the midst of an up-close melee with the Black Panther, fists and feet taking over instead of claws. It looks like a very swift, brutal and punishing fight, the sort that makes observers wince and flinch in sympathy.

When it's over, the black-shrouded form is on the ground in the middle of the street, beside the last gunman to be knocked out, crouched in a three-point, almost four-point stance, lensed eyes turned now to regard the blue and red costumed figure resting on the other vehicle hood. That enigmatic figure has not said a word, nor made a sound other than those other objects have made when struck or carved by it.

During that whirling melee, Spider-Man had covered the movements of the… woman? The woman in black. She was still an unknown quantity so he didn't leap into the brawl, though he maintained his place near that car. When a man had been thrown brutally across the way, he had stepped up just in time to catch the man and slam him down to the asphalt, webbing him to the ground to make sure he stays out of the fight…

Through it all she is exceedingly precise and graceful, yet his own movements have a certain ease of motion that would surprise most, perhaps even one such as her. The way he seems to shift to the side, no movement wasted, to grasp a man by the collar and draw him back, to subtly duck under the out-thrust arm that seeks to knock his block off. It's as if he knew exactly where he had to be and was able to get there almost effortlessly.

It's only when all of the resistance is finished, when each of the gunmen lies unconscious, or bound, or bleeding, or all three… that's when Spider-Man seems content to step forward to stand near the Black Panther. He turns to the side, making sure the situation is under control, then glances sidelong at her as he murmurs, "Let me guess, they tried to take you to the vet and you were having none of it?"

The Black Panther — it is a sobriquet which would seem quite well suited to this figure, though it - she? - has not given even a grunt, let alone a word that would imply introduction or identity — twists around in that almost four-pointed stance to eye the Spider-Man, then glances around at the men who have been webbed down, rather than disabled in other, more burtal fashions. Then the figure half-rises, moving around to glance through the window into the back seat of the car upon which the Spider-Man had been standing. The struggles of the man inside to treat the injuries of his comrade have, finally, ceased. He looks with almost stark terror at the cat-like figure outside the window … but she does not attack.

"I am not one to find amusement in such humor." The voice of the figure, when it speaks, is noticeably altered, which is not at all a common thing in this timeframe's technology. There is a precision of language which implies someone who is not a native English speaker, but one with incredible facility with the language nonetheless. "That one was my target." Which would be why he was viciously wounded right off. The rest are just collateral damage. "He is guilty of murder, and of violating the sanctity and safety of my homeland. He has finally been brought to justice for his crimes."

At the comment about his humor he replies quietly, "Yeah, I get that a lot." Spider-Man lifts a bewebbed hand to rub at the back of his neck pensively, even as he walks along, following in her wake when she moves towards the man who no longer struggles or strains with life in the back seat of that car. She probably can hear his breath catch when he realizes the man is dead, and can hear in the timbre of his voice the shift in his focus.

"Oh no." Oh he listens to her explanation, but then he asks her quietly, "Are you with… Interpol, or something?" She might be able to sense the tell-tale shift in his stance, the slight way he seems to be on edge. His attention is fully on her now, and he is wary. For perhaps this scene he stumbled upon was not what he thought.

But then his head tilts to the side, the distant wail of sirens approaching drawing his attention away for a moment. He looks back to her and says, "Look…"

The figure in black watches seemingly impassively as the Spider-Man finally comes to realize the death that has come to this battle. She does not interrupt, or argue. "Interpol? No. Nothing so germane." She clearly intends him no harm, as she makes no move towards him, and his Spider-Sense picks up no threat from her. It is also worth noting that though she injured several of the other men, none of their injuries is particularly serious or life-threatening. Only her initial target has suffered such deadly consequences.

"The Black Panther belongs to no European law enforcement agency." the dark figure comments. As Spider-Man is distracted by the approaching sirens, she then leaps away, scrambling up the wall of one of the nearby buildings, taking off into the night before the police can arrive. It seems there is unlikely to be additional clarification offered tonight.

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