1963-11-20 - Along Came A Spider
Summary: Just another dimension-hopping jerk making trouble in Central Park.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kitty reilly johnny gwen 

What is it about the area around Central Park that it forms the nexus-point of so many strange and wild events so frequently? Is it the weight of human lives and progress surrounding the serenity of nature? Is it a conflux of leylines ripping across the globe? Is it blind stupid luck?

Or maybe it's just stupid to name something Central-anything and expect things to happen anywhere else. Who can say. Things have been relatively peaceful here of late, though. The hellmouth is sealed, the gangs got scared off by the demons (at least temporarily), and even the repair and work crews have finished most of their work and packed up for the day as the sun dips low.

In short, it's a pretty great evening to be cruising the park. You know, unless one happens to have a very sensitive space-time flux meter in the vicinity or can otherwise sense the higher-order dimensional space in the middle of an intersection start to go, as the technical term states, "all wibbly-wobbly".


Life in the Baxter Building has not been remotely chill of late. Not for months, honestly, though the craziness has at least had some good variety to it. Johnny Storm's still not sure what to make of the latest batch, and so he's doing what he always does when he needs to get his head in order.

He's out for some air.

With the sun beginning to set, a human being made of fire is not hard to make out as the Human Torch goes cruising along high above the city streets, though not so high that most of Midtown's buildings don't still rise above him. He cuts a tight turn to head for the park, more out of habit after the last few weeks than anything else.

Sadly, Johnny's space-time flux meter is on the fritz. This is all luck.


Right. Left. Right. Left.

The movement has given rhythm to a life otherwise without.

Right. Left. Right. Left.

Kitty's arms pump fiercely at her sides as she sprints from one side of the Park to the other. She should be running closer to home, but somehow Central Park has always provided her with welcome distraction. And as she moves, she loses herself to the thoughts that clang around her cluttered mind. The jogging suit — far too big for her — does its work, and gives her a semblance of anonymity. It's relieving to avoid the public, especially after the disaster that was the subway.

Right. Left. Right.


Kitty Pryde meets pavement, rolling across the strange intersection as she flickers in and out of corporeality, collapsing into a very small ball at the end of the walking path.


Benjamin Parker Reilly is actually riding a bicycle. He's either late for work or he's trying to get as far away from work as fast as possible. Not to mention that he's probably either got a date or something else important. Then again, with the way he pops the curb near the intersection of Space and Time, there's a big chance that Fate and Destiny played Rock, Paper, Scissors for this one and voila. Here he is.

With the shenanigans that happen, though, his eyes get wide and he whips his head around to look near where nothing is happening. However, /something/ has him spooked enough that he doesn't even realize that he's leaped off his bike until it crashes a few feet away from him. "… th' hell?"

Reilly's looking around at the exact moment that Kitty goes down. It only takes him a moment to realize that she's pretty cute and then that she may be hurt. One of those things is more important to him. He forgets the bike for the moment and takes a few quick steps before leaping to Kitty's rescue, immediately crouching and reaching out to help her up.


Nothing in the multiverse is quite like a rift tearing open from one part of it to another. Surely, there are similarlities to things that are familiar— the thunderclap of air violently displaced in the middle of the intersection, the way the outpouring of energy along the edges ionizes the air producing the acrid tang of ozone not unlike a high voltage discharge. The way the ground in the immediate area heaves like a very localized earthquake. Or the way the normal detrius of a New York City street swirls around in the wake of the disturbance like a windy day.

What isn't very understandable is the way reality distorts in the immediate vicinity, a few feet radius of city street warping and flowing like Salvador Dali on a bender weekend, someone loosing their dog's leash in the hubbub and the way the pooch, halfway through the intersection, twists impossibly, turns inside-out, and the snaps back to normal on the far side, mid-stride and none the worse for wear.

Oh, right. And there's that part where a body comes tumbling out of the middle of the thing, rolling along the street several times in a fashion very much like someone is having a laugh at Kitty Pryde's misfortune before the figureroughly human and clad in a black-and-white bodysuit with neon blue footies comes to rest face-down on the asphalt. It takes a moment before there's a noise anyone who's ever done some costumed vigilantism will recognize immediately— the groan of someone who got roughed up pretty good and needs to peel their face off the pavement and get back to work. There's nothing quite like that, either.


A thunderclap? That's odd, the skies are looking pretty clear from where Johnny's cruising. That prompts him to quirk a fiery eyebrow and start looking down, his eyes attentively scanning for anything weird. Well. Weird for New York. (It's a high bar.)

Well, he's pretty sure the street's not supposed to ripple like that. That looks bad.

In mere moments, the Human Torch comes to an abrupt halt about twenty feet up, not far from where the white-clad figure comes a-tumbling out of nowhere. He's noticed Kitty — not recognized her, just noticed — but in his experience, it's the folks in masks you prioritize over the ones in jogging attire. Besides, someone's looking after her, so she's cool, right? Right.

"Heyyyyyy, buddy," he calls towards the prone figure, his tone uncertain. "You, uh. You okay? Should'a taken that left turn at Albuquerque?" Johnny hazards, slowly drifting closer to the ground.


As Ben comes to Kitty's side and offers her a hand to help her up, she reaches out to accept his only for hers to go through his. And just as Kitty is about to react to the circumstance, the portal is opening and spitting a figure out. Her eyebrows lift with alarm and her gaze turns to catch Johnny Storm helping the girl up.

She squints and then redirects her attention back to Ben, "It's okay. I just… do that sometimes, and we should probably uh… consider moving," the jogger straightens and then flickers more as she's pulled in and out of tangibility — to the point where she's unseeable to the rest of the world. Invisibility and intangibility sometimes go hand in hand.


Revise your 'buddy' choice, Johnny. The voice is groggy, but female. Sot's the figure as she pushes herself up— guys don't get spandex to hug then quite like that. "More like jigged when I should have jagged," she mumbles, reaching under the white hood to rub her head under a mask that is… probably the most familiar portion of the costume to Johnny. Spider-Man doesn't wear it white with magenta stippling, but the eye shape is very distinctive anyway.

Okay and there aren't very many reasons people attired so have web pattern accents, just saying.

Her body language changes as her vision becomes more clear and there's only one of him hovering above her. Oh thank gawd. "Jo— Torch! Boy am I glad you made it! I thought you were out of town—" she cuts off with an undignified squealp (it's a squealing yelp, you know) and goes from barely functional to a very clean backwards cartwheel just before some sort of blue energy splashes into the street where she'd been, ripping, twisting, and rending the pavement at the point of impact.

Unlike the girl in tights, the second person to come through fares rather better on the dismount, heavy boots hitting the ground with the ease of practice. He's apparently traveled this way before.

The man is not particularly large, fit and trim with a modest degree of muscle. He wears a black suit, with a silver harness around his chest coruscating with chaotic, blue-white swirls of energy traveling through tubing embedded in it. Similar gear is strapped all over various points of his body, and more glowing tubing appears to deliver whatever the energy is to various of these, including a large energy pistol of some sort in his right hand, which is already tracking the girl that preceeded him through the rift, white-haired head and blue-lensed goggles moving with it.

His voice filters out of a breath mask with a heavy, synthetic overtone as the rift collapses closed behind him. "THERE YOU ARE. YOU WILL REGRET YOUR INTERFERENCE, WOMAN OF THE WEB."


The Torch's head cocks to one side when the figure looks up at him and he blinks owlishly. That mask design is pretty reminiscent of Spidey's, but he's pretty sure the guy doesn't have a sister. Unless… he was holding out on him? Spidey. I thought we were friends!

But as he drifts closer, Johnny makes a rather curious noise. "I'm sorry, have we met?" he asks, nearly to the ground, now. "I'm pretty sure I'd remem— "

The rest of the word comes out in a very similar undignified yelp and he reflexively zips backwards several feet, his head whipping up to try and track down the source of the blue blast. At least he isn't hard to find.

While the man is distracted with the 'woman of the web,' Johnny takes advantage, a ball of fire coalescing into being over one of his palms before he hucks it, fastball-style, towards the hand holding the strange gun. "Rude!"


While Kitty really has no idea what is happening, scary technology that fires blue pulses across the area is not to be trusted, which is why, in a nearly nonchalant way, she casts Reilly a nearly apologetic look and then… walks through the man and his weapon. Disrupting technology is generally an inconvenience. Once in awhile, it has its uses, especially when it's so difficult to know what exactly is going on…


"… uh-huh. listengladyoureokaygottarunlateforwork!"

Ben Reilly, for all intents and purposes, vanishes with ease, right after/before or simultaneously with Kitty's apologetic look. He only has to do a couple of hop, skips and jumps before he's nowhere to be seen. At least, as far as his Spider-Sense knows. Which is all he has to go by. Soon enough, he's no longer wearing his civilian clothing but he's just as stylish as he's up and onto a rooftop long enough to stand there with a dramatic flair as…


The red and black clad arachnobadass is only on the edge of the rooftop long enough to pose for any potential pictures that people may want to take. His stylish outfit may be vaguely similar to arachnids of other sorts. Who knows. Either way, his sexy spider self has arrived to help. Or something.

"Yeah. Bad form, Sparky!" Scarlet Spider quips as he drops from above. Twin lines of webbing are shot out at the nearest stable piece of city and Scarlet yanks hard, pulling his body in a more diagonal direction. Mostly to dodge the Flaming Fastball from the Torch, going right underneath it and maybe even through IntangiKitty. As one of the weblines is let go, he takes aim with one free hand and fires off a quick glob of his co-workers' patented Impact Webbing right at that mask.

"Haven't you heard? Women of the Web are almost as lovable as Lucy!" Oh god, he's not going— yes. Yes, he is.

Cue Ricky Ricardo Laugh.


If there was any doubt as to her general pedigre, the way she avoids three follow-up shots by cartwheeling onto a nearby wall and staying there would probably remove them. Everyone who's anyone knows that's a spider-move.

"Hey, I've been called a LOT of things I didn't sign up for, but that might be in the running for the dumbest!" she declares, hands coming up quickly and a staccatto of familiar >thwip< noises signalling a return salvo of webbing balls to foul up his ability to fire. Apparently web-shooters are pretty similar across the multiverse, really.

Johnny's opinion of the man's manners gets his attention, briefly, and a dissatisfied grunt. "THE INCANDESCENT. OF COURSE. AND HERE IS THE LOCAL INFESTATIONnnnnnnnnnn~"

His voice takes on a fuzzy quality, as does his body, as a device on his left glove blinks red. Ther's a brief sort of double-image and a sliding, smearing effect, and the webbing and fire streak through empty space.

Litty, hapless and with the worst luck in the world (AS USUAL), intersects the agressor at exactly the wrong moment in this. The feild feels VERY similar to when she crossed the street earier, but far, far more intense. And then there's the sensation of having moved some 30 feet when reality snaps back into its correct shape around her and the shift-feild releases her. That… was several forms of phasing at once.

Not entirely for nothing, as it happens, since the man's glove continues to blink red and beeps angrily even while he lines up a shot from his gun on Ben from his new, totally different angle. "~nnnnnnnnn thEY ALWAYS FIND EACH OTHER." Two shots of blue crackling energy fly at Ben, as he recognizes the beeping. "…AND A TWEEN-WALKER. WHAT RIDICULOUS PLACE HAVE WE COME TO."


Johnny just kind of pauses where he is. "'The Incandescent'?" he echoes, and then, his shoulders slump. "…aw, man. That's a way cooler name than 'The Human Torch,'" he groans, one hand coming up to slap his fiery forehead. "Typical! How come you don't work for Time Magazine?!"

How come he doesn't stay in one place, either. The Human Torch twists in place when the baddie seems to vanish, seeking him out. Thank goodness for the loud mouth he's got, right? He takes a quick look to see where the guy is firing — okay, that one isn't the Spidey he knows either — before another ball of fire is sent streaking towards the man's glove.

"Where did you all even come from?"


Normal phasing causes the world to come apart. Kitty has been doing this for years. The mental and physical toll had once been so large that she'd developed migraines before the Professor's help. Fortunately, Kitty had a handle on using her ability.

This, however, magnifies, refocuses, and utterly destroys physics. The field, in all of its glory, picks her up, and twists her in an array of colours, shapes, and feelings. Cold air zaps through her cells much like she's in a wind blown tunnel being forced apart by the licks of cool winter air. The crisp feeling, however, isn't refreshing, it unsettles, forcing every single cell in Kitty's body to call out with complaint as she lands with a loud groan along the Central Park grass.

She rolls onto her stomach as her hands make purchase with the ground, grasping for anything she can get ahold of, but the pain that sears through her brain is far worse than anything she's experienced in her life.

The migraines had been bad when she started phasing, but this feels like her head is imploding. Every cell in her body screams for some reprieve — a feeling only remembered once under great duress as unnamed scientists saw fit to rip her apart and force her together.

The memory has her wrenching, and losing any remnants of lunch to the grass before the brunette passes out.


The Awesome Arachnid is already on the move to make sure that he's nowhere near those bolts of energy that end up heading in his direction. He's up and somersaulting over one, only to duck under and spin past the second. He's web-skimming up towards a street light where he pauses long enough to crouch with a stylish intensity that makes it look like he's just some casual wall-crawler trying to have a swing through the park.

"Ridiculous? Man, this is /New York/." Scarlet Spider feels as though his response is enough to explain /everything.

"And it just so happens that I'll be your tour guide, this evening. I'm the Scarlet Spider. Please, no autographs until /after/ you're in jail." Scarlet has dropped back down to the ground, since he's got his bearings and eyes on the TechnoTrouble. "Now, keep your eyes on me. I move pretty fast through this stuff." He's walking towards the villain with his hands up. "If there are any questions…" Scarlet Spidey catches sight of the incoming fireball. "Raise Your Hand!" With a flick of the wrist, he's launching webbing at that weapon-wielding arm to attempt to yank it right in the path of that Goodness, Gracious, Great Ball of Fire.


The aforementioned-but-unnamed lady spider comes to a halt briefly as the others take their turns, to catch her breath, perched against the wall. She reaches behind her to her backpack, pulling something into her palm that she fusses with for several seconds before making an annoyed noise.

"Look, guys, I know we love our banter, but with this guy, less talking, more—" She leaps from the wall with a yelp as she gets one of the shots from the energy gun in her direction.

Ben manages to score his hit, and hold the man steady long enough for Johnny's fire to splash over the weapon. It, sadly protects the device on his other hand, which has had long enough to recover from Kitty's phase. A much more cheerful beep, and he vanishes from view again, leaving the web behind.

"I CAN KEEP UP FINE," accompanies a sharp sting of spider-sense from immediately behind the Intrepid Scarlet Spider! Oh no! Our hero!


"What was that about 'less talking'?" Johnny calls back towards the lady-spider, clearly unable to help himself in any dimension. Besides, what he and the Scarlet Spider just pulled off was pretty cool, admit it.

Even if they totally did it to the wrong arm. Dang it.

The Human Torch is halfway through charging bodily towards the baddie when he abruptly >beep<s out of sight again and he makes a frustrated noise, whipping around to seek him out. Again. As he does, his eyes fall upon the unconscious brunette, and he seems momentarily startled.

Too startled to warn the Scarlet Spider. But that should be okay, right? Right?


The Scarlet Spider's Spider-Sense is TINGLING LIKE HERBAL ESSENCES. Somehow, this sense is even capable of working around villains that seem to be teleporting or something. He has to fight to keep his body from just leaping away from the sudden arrival behind him and he does so by moving right back into Banter Space. He may have heard what the new heroine arrival said but Scarlet Spider's never really been one to follow too any rules.

The Scarlet Spider just turns right around with a masked smile in the direction of the interloper. "Made you look!" And Spider Reflexes kick in to bring up a closed fist and those bracelet web-shooters which have a secondary launcher aimed to fire a paralytic infused dart at the weirdo villain's face. Spider Stinger, yo! Of course, there's a reason why Scarlet's got two hands and can move fast enough to do too many things at once. And his other hand is firing a web-yank at the vile villain's knife!


Exactly what happens with the dart is.. unclear. It appears to hit him, in the cheek just above his mask, yet goes flipping away leaving a small, lightly bleeding gash in the skin.

Whatever else, Reilly seems to have the bull by the horns, as his opponent is a lot stronger than he seemed at first, and the pair are now locked in a grappling contest.

This is enough to get the white-clad spider girl moving again, and she arrives in a flying leap, landing on the baddie's back. her legs wrap around him to get a grip as the trio struggle, her hand clamps on his wrist, and she goes for the device strapped to his glove.

Cries of "Hold him!" and "ACCURSED WITCH" ring out down the street.

So, you know. Dinner time, Central Park. Shrug.


You know what? This looks like a spidery problem to Johnny. Besides, three on one would just be unfair, if he could even get a blast past two allies anyway.

So the Human Torch drops to the ground instead, the flames abruptly dispersing as he hurries over to check on the unconscious brunette. His nose wrinkles a bit at the smell — what is it with this week, seriously? — and he very nearly rolls his eyes when he sees who it is.



Scarlet pours on the web-strength by loosing more webbing from the spinnerete and into the grip that he already has. He uses his free hand to fire off web shots at the enemy's feet to see if he can't keep him from going too far… or anywhere at all. Basically, it would seem as though the Scarlet Spider is having the time of his life blasting web shot after web shot after web shot… and whistling It's A Small World the entire time.


There's a number of rather unladylike noises made and more than a little yelling as the three of them wrestle for supremacy. Eventually, the female spider manages to get a good grip and pull, much to the villian's dismay.


Well… so whatever that means, it's a bit late, as the device comes free and a forceful explosion of energy throws her off the guy in one direction and Ben off in the other.

As for their overdramatic opponent? Ah…. there's a large scorch mark on the pavement and a curling wisp of blue-tinted smoke. That is it. The girl, for her part, approximately recreates her arrival on the scene in the first place, skidding on her butt and then rolling to a stop with a number of noises of complaint. "Awwwww, not agaiiinnnnn~"


NOOOO? Oh, good, that means things are wrappin' up!

Keeping an eye on the struggle some distance away, Johnny calmly moves so that he's crouching down between Kitty's unconscious form and the fight itself. Whatever differences they've had in the past aren't about to stop him from making sure she doesn't get hurt any worse is things go even more pear-shaped than they already ha—

Even at this distance, the explosion sends Johnny backwards onto his own butt, both arms coming up to shield his face from any small bits of debris that might come his way. Warily, he peeks out from over his crossed forearms, one eye squinted shut. "…thaat sounded, uh. Permanent."


"Damn, I'm good." Scarlet punctuates his landing with a popping back up to his feet and dusting off of his shoulders. He glances in the direction of all that is left over to do and since he's not the responsible type he offers a 'salute' and then turns to shoot a webline overhead. "Scarlet Spider… AWAY!" Thwip & Swing!


The spidery femme regains her feet— a little more stiffly this time. Ow. She eyes the device she pulled off the badguy, turning it over this way and that in her hand until she just shrugs and shoves it in her backpack. Whatever. Souvenir, score! Her hood, which feel back onto her shoulders when she got tossed clear, gets pulled back up over her mask properly while she works her arm. Now what was— OH YEAH. God, it's late, what time is it, it wasn't that late when she started.

Her dad's going to kill her.

She doesn't so much as give Johnny a parting look while yelling "Later, Jayess, gotta get home, I'm laaaaaaate!" A running start, a leap, thwip, and an expert, practiced spin of her body, using the elastic stretch of the webline and her hands coiling the webbing to gain height for the swing back home.

She is gonna be sooooooooooo late.

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