1963-11-26 - Says the Spider to the Fly
Summary: Eddie is kidnapped by Beatrice, but… they come to an agreement.
Related: None
Theme Song: None

It's after midnight in Queens and someone has been waiting for Eddie Brock to finally be asleep. Two someones, in fact. But in the service of their mistress, they find patience an easy enough task. Herc and Ms. Green have invaded the apartment next door to Eddie Brock, having learned that the occupants are away for Thanksgiving week.

The enormous bulk of a beetle man rests on a couch which has collapsed under his weight, but he doesn't seem to mind. The lanky form of his humanoid-mantis partner, the eminently graceful Ms. Green, is folded in a lotus sitting position on the hardwood floor, strangely human eyes closed, breathing slow.

At some inaudible cue however, Green's eyes open and she lifts her chin, nodding at her hulking companion. "His breathing has been steady for an hour," she rasps quietly in the dark room. "The time is now."

Together, the bug-people take their feet. Ms. Green is one fluid motion like a bead of mercury. Herc is like a boulder, considering whether it should tumble off the mountain or not. Once they're up, Green steps back from the wall between this apartment and Brock's, and Herc turns to face it.

He only takes one step back, and then is in sudden, inexorable motion, crashing through the wall and into Brock's bedroom. Herc had meant to seize the errant reporter at once, but the mess of crashing through the wall like the koolaid man means his quarry isn't immediately visible to him. Herc reaches down and flails through the wreckage trying to find the man in the mess, while Ms. Green looks on from the neighboring apartment watching for a rabbit. Or perhaps hoping for one.


Ah, blissful sleep. It's been what, two, three days since Eddie got the suit? He still hasn't figured it all out, but he knows one thing: except for showers he never takes it off, and even doing that bugs him. Heh, bugs him. At the moment it doesn't *look* so much like a living alien or black Spider-Man suit, though. It looks like a plaid set of pajamas. Still, the loud crashing sound has Eddie jumping up in alarm, looking around with confusion and wildness in his eyes: he has no idea what the hell is going on. That part of him that is Venom wants to emerge and attack, but he's still Eddie enough to hold it at bay— barely— "What the fuck is—" then he sees the GIANT BUG and he frowns, "Herc?! Did you just attack my WALL?"


To the degree to which it's possible, Herc frowns at Eddie once he becomes visible. His chitinous, armored face isn't very expressive, but it does seem capable of frowns. Then his arm hauls back and unwinds, hitting Eddie with a crushing backhand, the kind of blow that would knock down the pillars of the parthenon. If it connects, Eddie will be somewhere in the next room, nevermind the wall between here and there.

But that level of violence should kill a normal man and Ms. Green rushes forward after Herc strikes. "No Herc!" she demands. "She wants him /alive/. I hate him as much as you do but…" Ms. Green doesn't finish as she rushes through the mess, trying to find where Brock as ended up.


Eddie goes cartwheeling through the hair and hits the wall— and through it— and lands slumped against the far away wall there, groaning and rubbing his head, "Ooooow." Even with the suit that hurt kind of a lot. Scrambling up and unsteady, Eddie looks between the giant bugs with a bleary eye, "Hey, now, guys, I thought we were friends. Didn't I sit down for a nice chat with Bea? Bea wouldn't want you to be coming in here trying to kill me, right?"


Herc stomps forward toward the new holey wall, "You sack of sh-"

"Shut up, Herc," Ms. Green hisses at her friend, rushing past him. She contorts inhumanly to leap through the hole left by Brock's passage, but pauses when he's immediate on his feet, asking questions.

"How…" and then she just shakes her head. "We know what you wrote about her, you two-faced monster," Ms. Green hisses. And without further ado, she launches a flurry of blows designed to render the man unconscious, but which may need to be upgraded depending on how it goes. Her mantis arms are difficult to deal with though, with their extra elbow joints, and razor sharp forearm blades.


Eddie prooves… perhaps surprisingly resilient. And perhaps most interestingly, he has all his fingers on his left hand, though they may or may not remember his loss. But he's not at the top of his game, he's new to his strength and most importantly— the 'suit' isn't protecting his *head* at present. "Hey, I just wrote what its my job to write—-" but soon enough he takes enough blows to the head to drop him like a sack of potatoes.


Eddie says, "6'"


With a sigh, Ms. Green picks up Eddie's unconscious form, which doesn't seem like too much trouble for her, but she passes him off to Herc right away. The three disappear into the night before the police arrive to inspect the violent scene.

Back under the city, in a familiar confluence of storm drain, Beatrice is curiously understocked. It's almost certainly the same place they met last time, but gone are the marks of her living arrangements - the cot, the locker, even the cruddy old card table.

When Eddie is finally coming awake again, Beatrice can be seen consulting quietly with an ant queen who is clearly somewhat more humanoid than she should be, but not as much as Green or Herc. Her crude form nods at Beatrice's whispered instructions, and buzzes off down one tunnel.

"He's awake," grunts Herc, shoving Eddie in the gut when he mentions the man. Eddie is dangling from the ropes strung up and over the exposed pipes above. He's tied at the wrists with the same rope that suspends him about half a foot above the floor, putting him at eye level with Beatrice.

"I'm at a loss, Eddie," Beatrice says, when it looks like his eyes are opening. "I thought we had made a connection. I thought we could be friends one day. But friends don't write things like that in the paper, do they?"


Waking, Eddie shakes his head slowly toclear it, and squints at Beatrice, "My job is to write what sells the most papers: nothing I said was untrue, was it?" Despite being tied up, he does not exactly seem afraid. He wiggles his hands a bit, and stretches his fingers out to grip the rope past where he's tied, and tug a little. Just a little, though. "You murdered a bunch of people because they weren't nice to you, Beatrice. You're insane if you think I was going to write that you were nice and had some just cause." He pulls on the ropes a bit, and there's a light creeking sound, but only that. Surely there's no way he's getting free. Right? Right.


Beatrice's eyes widen, and her nostrils flare for a brief moment in which it's not entirely clear how she'll react. She makes a fist, but stops herself from striking the bound man. She manages to take a deep breath and recover herself before speaking.

"I know what I am, Eddie Brock. I /know/ I'm a monster." Bea's voice is steady. Even. Controlled. Her fists clench and unclench while she speaks, before fishing a newspaper clipping from the back pocket of her military style cargo pants.

"But being… /this/," she says, one hand gesturing up and down her face and body. "This didn't make me a monster. People like you did. I was born a mutant, not a freak. Should I have been born differently, Eddie Brock? Should I have stopped being a mutant?!" Bea's voice steadily rises until she's almost shouting in the echoing, concrete hallways.

Another deep breath and she's under control again. "I didn't /choose/ this. I didn't choose to get pelted with glass bottles and trash walking home from school. I didn't choose to get beaten bloody. I didn't choose to get banned from going /back/ to school. I didn't choose to get kicked out of my home at twelve years old. On the street, I was attacked once a week for a year until I finally had enough room to move underground with my ants."

She's quiet for a heartbeat and shouts suddenly, eyes wides, her composure broken, "With fucking /ants/, Eddie!"

It takes longer for her to get herself under control this time, pacing around Eddie's dangling form while she calms down enough to speak again. The newspaper clipping is crumpled in her fist now.


Eddie hears her out, listening, his head tilting over to the side a bit. "Will you walk into my parlour?" He begins the quote, then glances around, "So what's your intention here? You want vengeance because I said a bad thing about you? Well, we are not going to oblidge you. This is your parlour, we know, so it doesn't quite work, but still. You think you're the only one who was bullied? You think no one ever beat me up? Oh, they did."

Then there's a change: his clothes, they all change. One second its pajamas, then they are black, skin tight, looking almost like they're made of webbing. And over his chest a black spider. Tendrils of black… emerge around his wrists and neck, and seem to climb up like threads of darkness, one laying over another and more, until his hands and head are entirely covered in the black webbing. He tugs with both hands, and the ropes snap and he falls down into a graceful crouch, "Will you walk into my parlour? said the spider to the fly." He speaks through the mask, but the mouth of hellish teeth does not appear.


"It's simple cause and effect, Eddie, I won't let you-" Bea begins, even as odd as his side of the conversation is getting, but she stops when the transformation begins. She takes several steps back across the concrete, dropping into a ready stance, and then throws up a flat hand to Herc on her right, and Ms. Green on her left, who both rush forward. They both stop instantly, Herc panting in his fury, and Ms. Green hissing.

"What is this, Eddie? I noticed your hand was better, but you're no mutant. What have you done? Don't make me hurt you, Eddie. You're outnumbered here." Beatrice is many things, all at once, and as always, her face is very expressive. She is worried for her companions, of course, but she also seems genuinely concerned about hurting the man in black.

"Or maybe it's that you finally… truly, understand what my people are going through?" Beatrice is thoroughly confused, but also seems committed to talking it out, if that's still possible. "We should be working together."


"We are Venom." The black-clad creature tilts its head, and from ear to ear a mouth opens, nearly splitting its head in half as it opens and there are SO MANY TEETH, and a hideous red tongue which lashes out and tastes the air. Considering the mechanics of the human head under that mask, this is all completely impossible, but the hellish mouth closes up and when he speaks, its through the mask. "We fear nothing anymore: but you are mistaken, Beatrice. Do not make us hurt you. We are the Spider."

It lifts a hand, and black webbing shoots out to the ceiling, and suddenly he's sailing up and then… standing on said ceiling, crouched as if gravity in no way applied to them. It. He. Eddie hasn't worked out pronouns, yet: the bond with the symbiote is still young, still weak. Still, in theory, something he can turn away from.

"What spider fears the insect? You are our prey, if you choose to fight us. But we are not like you. We are not a mutant. We are not born. We are becoming. Soon it will be complete and we will be one. But… we do know what vengeance is. There is one we hate and will see crushed and destroyed for what he has done to us. Oh, we know hate."


Above all, Beatrice is a survivor. An opportunist. She chokes down the snarky 'why, because he was mean to you?' before it can leap from her lips. This is potentially a powerful ally, not the type of chance to be thrown away out of spite.

On the ground, all three bug-people flick out their wings, buzzing in three separate harmonics in a kind of didgeridoo choir, but at a gesture, only Bea rises into the air. She covers about half the distance to the ceiling, just hovering there.

"But you're not really human, are you?" Bea asks gently, her curiosity proving more powerful than her indignation. "If you know hate… If you value vengeance… then we /do/ understand each other, Brock. Or, Venom, was it?"

Slowly so as not to startle the black spider, Bea reaches out to grab the pipes that run along the ceiling, and steps her feet onto the other pipes that run lower down, crouching there, eye to eye with Venom, him upside down, her right-side up.


"I am human. It is… klyntar. That is… its… world and its… people. It seeks out the strong and becomes one with them." Venom's voice is a little different through the voice, a little harsher. The suit peels away from its face, but only partially, so that threads of the black substance seem to cling to its face. Eddie's face is revealed, and his mouth is full of sharp teeth, though not the impossible mouth shown before. "We are Venom." they repeat.

"But we know hate and we know vengeance." The admission is easy, even though there is a certain near-madness in their eyes. As others approach, there is a clear tension in the muscular body shape of the creature— in fact, far more muscular then Eddie normally is alone.

"We will teach those who have wronged us what it means to fear. Our fury will be answered. Do you have fury, Beatrice? Are you STRONG? Are you predator or prey?"


Bea's gaze is sharp, flicking from detail to detail, soaking up every piece of information she can. The news about aliens. Something from another world. Another people. Beatrice licks her lips when she finds her mouth has suddenly gone dry. The striver in her, the ambition, the furnace burning her need for vengeance, all make her heart beat faster at Venom's words.

Inching forward on the pipes, Beatrice nods and finally says, "I exist for vengeance. I am /made/ of fury. I am the definition of strength." She steps off the pipes to hover in middair again. Her voice remains even, cold, and hard. "I am the apex predator."

Her voice becomes a whisper, "I. Am. Legion." With a gesture, the pipe beside her bursts and a tumble of cockroaches spill out, each one growing as it falls to the ground below them. In seconds an army of roaches the size of ponies is lining up on the floor, orderly and still.

"That man is only one," Bea says quietly. "I am an army. We should work together."


As Beatrice edges closer, there is a tension in Venom, not of fear, but of precaution. A few strands of black crawl closer over his face as the mask prepares to seal his face again, and his eyes narrow, but … He doesn't attack. He doesn't move more then that tightning, that tension.

Venom watches the fall of the cockroaches, their growth in size, and again the Mouth of Doom opens: ear to ear, splitting its head open and ooooh so many so many so many teeth as the creature hisses a dangerous warning. But the mouth closes and seals and Venom speaks through the mask instead, "He is Spider-Man. He will not fear insects, either, but all know that spiders are as willing to eat other spiders at will. And perhaps he will learn that insects can be not prey, but predator. Perhaps. If you will fight the spider, then perhaps Venom will fight by you."


"Spiderman is the worst of our traitors," Beatrice says, almost spitting at the sound of his name. "He protects the humans like they wouldn't throw him under a bus the second they knew who he was under that mask. He's a coward and a betrayer of mutants everywhere."

Bea floats in a loose semi-circle around Venom, out of arm's reach (as far as she knows) and with a gesture the roach army below shrivels and scatters back into the dark places. "If you can help me destabilize the human establishment, I can coral Spiderman right into your claws."


Always, always, Venom keeps an eye upon Beatrice. They may be speaking of alliance, but as she floats, he twists his body slowly, never having any fear of falling from the ceiling even as he holds himself bound with only a touch. Its not that he fears her, its that at nature a predator, and nothing is allowed behind. But… Venom despite the watchfulness does not seem to be interpreting this as a threat.

"He wore it, and he rejected its power and glory: he is weak. Small. He attacked me and tried to kill me. And now I have it, and now we want vengeance. What do you want? Destablize the human establishment? We can do this. If you will help lead the spider to our web then we can do a great many things." To demonstrate, Venom reaches out and grips another pipe nearby, and with such ease squeezes and the metal gives instantly as it is crushed and broken in two.

"We know his name." is added with a dark hiss, "For he wore it, and now it is us, and we know what it knows."


Predator to predator, Beatrice is watching every little detail, tabulating and calculating what she sees, her hive mind figuring how every piece can be put to work. "Oh yes, my new friend," she says, grinning at the crushed pipe. "We're going to get along just fine…"

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