1963-12-01 - Mine and Ditch
Summary: Friends of the Fantastic Four come together to protect the Baxter Building from the terrorist Beatrice.
Related: Them
Theme Song: None
gwen mar-vell drew tchalla 

It's late afternoon at the Baxter Building in New York, and with it being December, it's already getting dark outside. The folks who only work in the building are packing up to head home, and the general air of 'it's almost Friday!' is permeating the environment.

Meanwhile, in a lab upstairs, one scientist is peering intently into a microscope hooked up to some kind of computer. With a sigh, but still looking into the lenses, he says, "Mary, will you stop jiggling the work table? I'm trying to confirm your findings here…"

But when no reply comes, John looks up to realize his research partner has left the room. With a furrowed brow, he glances over at the seismometer, and approaches it to get a closer look. "Activity… very close by… but I don't feel anything happening."

Mary comes back to join in John's musings, and smacks his shoulder with the back of her hand. "There's something right under the building, you dolt! Call security, it's probably those giant bugs!" John does just that while Mary frantically packs up their research notes.


Unbeknownst to most of the residents and staff of the Baxter Building, an extensive set of tunnels expand down from the normal basement levels. The rough-hewn, earthen passageways twist and turn all over the place, and several lead to the arcane workshop Anduvin has set up for himself. Mystical blacksmithing tools and supplies abound, neatly arranged and organized, a place for everything, and everything in its place.

Until, that is, a ten-foot diameter chunk of wall dissolves into loose sand on one side of the workshop and an army of red ants comes pouring out into the available space. Ants, and other things. Herc the giant beetle man, Ms. Green the humanoid mantis ninja, and even Beatrice herself step out of the fresh tunnel, surrounded by six-foot long red ants swarming in, up, and over everything. Hunting. Looking. Searching for something…

In the lobby, security is scrambling to find /someone/ of authority in charge so they can coordinate their efforts.


Jessica Drew is by no means a person of authority. Not within the Baxter Building, not anywhere. She's not even a person, technically. But she is on her way into the lobby alongside a blonde around her own age, chatting animatedly as she brushes in past the doorman (who she greets with a familiar beaming smile — 'ey, Eddie).

"…was the weirdest thing. Like hearing your own voice for the first time, only visually," Jessica says with a grimace, waving expansively with her hands. "It was. I mean. I didn't know my hair even looked like that from the… back…"

Okay, something is buzzing around the back of her head and it is really, super annoying. What the heck is that?


To costume or not to costume is a near-coonstant question on Gwen's mind of late. She's never been in a position where her unmasked face might actually be MORE trouble than her masked one. She has compromised today, though— she's wearing her costume, hood down and mask off, with a lightweight white jacket wrapped around the upper bit. The combined effect looks vaguely like a white hoodie and black leggings with light blue slip-ons, provided one isn't looking too closely.

"You've never known what to do with your hair," Gwen Stacy notes lightly in reply to Jessica. Saints preserve her, these conversations are actually starting to feel less-weird.

Her head comes up the same time Jess's does. For the same reason, of course. "…did you feel that?"


Having joined in a certain international effort, the young Wakandan queen T'Challa has good reason to visit the Baxter Building and some of those that live there. That's why a particular black-suited feline-motif vigilante is walking - nay, strolling - blithely through the front door of the Baxter Building at the moment that some folks are alerted to the problem. Her alert is that her herb-sharpened senses can feel the vibrations, and she knows something is wrong. Looking around, wondering if it might be the result of an experiment, Black Panther hasn't yet narrowed things down, but she's headed in the direction of the epicenter, and starting to realize it must be coming from below the building, even if she hasn't yet figured out how to go deeper. Being herself, however, T'Challa has said nothing to anyone in all of this, so she's just a strange black-clad figure prowling about the lobby. How weird.


Receiving his first official Act-F communication, Captain Marvel, secretly Mar-Vell of the Kree Star Empire, found his curiosity piqued by the confirmation of a Skrull body recovered and details about the method of demise. Sue Storm, apparent leader of the taskforce, had also dangled the possibility of 'further details' available regarding the deceased alien for those wishing access to them. Mar-Vell would be one of 'those', as well as one of 'Them' where alien lifeforms hiding among unsuspecting humans was concerned, but that was beside the point. His experience in the Star Empire campaigns might give him an edge in examining the body first-hand, and an insight into why the Skrull was on Earth to begin with. Even who might have been responsible for cutting his mission short. In contacting Miss Storm, he'd been invited to the Baxter Building to discuss the matter of the unspecified details in person.

And so, in his guise as New York superhero Captain Marvel, the Kree spy uses his belt jets to travel across the cold December sky above Manhattan en route to the headquarters of the famed Fantastic Four.

Mar-Vell lands outside the lobby doors and narrowly dodges a bustling little postman on his way out, ears wiggling madly as he makes his rounds. Striding into the building behind two humans conducting an animated conversation, Captain Marvel looks for security, or a receptionist, or anyone he can gain clearnace from to proceed. It's his first visit.


"They said something's downstairs!" blurts out the security guard at the front desk, the instant he sees someone in a uniform. Who? Who said that? But it's getting hard to have conversations just now in the lobby.

The elevators are all busy and the last few employees are streaming for the front doors as the evacuation alarm starts to run. It looks like the only down will be the fire escape, and the secret entrance at the back of the parking garage that some clever hero or heroine is bound to discover.

Speaking of down below:

Beatrice strides from tool, to ingot, to various other supplies, picking things up and turning them over in her hands, before putting them down again. She seems in a hurry, but each item is inspected with care. Ants keep bringing her things too, but she shakes her head at each one so far. Herc and Green are helping in the search, but apparently they know what their mistress is looking for, because they don't check in with every little piece.


Jessica gives Gwen an odd look, sounding relieved. "If you mean a million little fingertips clawing at the back of my head — yes. Yes, I did feel that. Is that normal?" she asks, making a face.

She's not going to wait around to hear an answer, though. 'Something's downstairs' is all she needs to know right now. Without even a look around to see T'Challa or Captain Marvel, the brunette grabs Gwen by the hand and immediately books it for the rear of the lobby, bypassing the elevators in order to take the stairs. She may not be a real person, but she does live here… sort of… and knows her way around.

Maybe Jessica will think to pull her mask up on their way down. But probably not.


"Sorta! If it feels like you're head's gonna explode, get out of the way!" Gwen advises Jess, a practiced motion pulling her mask out of her jacket and onto her head, hood up, and jacket off and into her backpack in a flurry of motion while she starts chasing Jessica. She floows her to the stairs, and vaults the rail to shortcut further. "Jess, mask!" She tosses the helpful reminder as she crosses paths with the clone. The voice of experience is a new one on her, to be honest, but someone's got to do that job.


With the sensors in her cowl and her own herb-sharpened perception, it could be that T'CHalla could find the secret passage leading down. But instead, she finds the stairs sooner, and starts running down, bounding whole half-flights of stairs in a single small leap, moving as if she should be crying 'parkour!' with each vaulting stride and bounce. SHe's not, though, just bounding away like a feline-motif mighty Wakandan ninja.


As the alarms sound and people begin to find other downtown places to be, any other downtown places, Captain Marvel catches enough conversation to grasp that something is wrong 'down below'. A businessman in a ghastly green sports coat and plaid trousers pauses long enough to grab Mar-Vell by the shoulder, pointing frantically to the stairwell. "You! You're that General Marvel guy, yeah? Well…what're you waitin' for! Save us or somethin'!" Then he bolts for the nearest door. It -does- seem that a contingent of figures are running for the stairs, and so Mar-Vell goes along.


Down the stairs our heroes go! The stairs come out in a normal-looking garage for the most part. But over in that far corner? Some wayward ten-foot ants are crawling out the walls looking for something that can only be down the tunnel behind them. The bulletproof insects hiss and raise their acid-dripping mandibles at the intruders.

In the dwarven workshop, both Ms. Green and Herc each come to Beatrice with a single ingot of silvery metal, which glows with a dim blue light. Each ingot is only a few inches long and looks like a tiny, toy gold bar from a tiny, toy Fort Knox.

Beatrice nods and smiles her gratitude at her friends. "Yes, both of, /thank/ you. This is almost enough. It shouldn't take much longer. The Craptastic Four might be away, but who knows what security will send down." Bea pockets the metal, and they redouble their search, tossing things every which way in the process.


Jessica ducks her head long enough to yank her mask up through the collar of her shirt, and the timing is good — it lets T'Challa sail over her with a little extra room to spare. "Whoa. Busy fire escape," she muses, her words not muffled despite the mask entirely covering her face, right up to her hairline. Thanks, Reed.

Keeping her jacket on — it's cold this time of year, okay? — Jessica vaults the railing to follow the others down, and yes, she does stick a three-point superhero landing. What kind of self-respecting spider-person wouldn't? And the sight that greets her is… "Aw, man. Not her again," she groans.

First things first: keep those ants from going anywhere so somebody else can deal with 'em. Jessica points towards them, and with a pair of >THWIP<s, sends webbing from her fingertips to glue the giant bugs in place. Stay.


Gwen is a self-respecting spider-person, but in her defense a) she is from and alternate-earth and b) she replaces the three-point with a slick little tuck and roll, coming up onto a foot and knee with web-shooters in firing position. A little thwipthwipthwip and some measley giant ants won't be anything to worry about. "Giant bugs? Isn't this a little on-the-nose for us?" she asks of noone in particular, continuing to her feet to run past the webbed-down pair. There's never just *two* giant ants.


Leaping, bounding, bouncing Black Panther makes her way down the stairs in an all-fired hurry and dives through the door into a roll, picking up the ants in only a moment and no more. The masked Wakandan vigilante does not hesitate, coming out of her roll in an incredible sprint - she could win the Olympics handily - right past the be-webbed acid-dripping ants coming out of the passage, towards the next along the way. "You again. I wonder if your mistress has come to call once more!" she shouts in an altered voice and an accent many would consider odd, as she leads with vibranium-forged claws, slicing off mandibles and then carving off legs before severing a head from a thorax in a rather gory display of martial prowess. If there were more, this could be a challenge. But she doesn't give the ant a chance. Panthers are predators.


Captain Marvel catches sight of the acid-dripping overgrown picnic pack and groans. "More of these mutated beasts?" At least none are larval zombies, though, so there's that. He brings down the face-shield part of his helmet, having been on the receiving end of the corrosive spittle before. .oO If I lose another battlesuit, the Quartermaster Corps is going to have a collective stroke. Black Panther strikes, as true as she did the last time Mar-Vell faced these giant insects. To the one remaining, he aims his unibeam wrist blaster and waits for the maw to open. There. He fires a concentrated energy globe into the open mouth before the stream of acid can be released, and takes a step back. "Incoming," he calls as the tiny sphere explodes in the thing's mouth with the force of a hand grenade. SPLOOSH!


Giant ants are strong, but spider-webbing is even stronger! For a bit at least. Their acid mandibles slice and sizzle through bit by bit, but it's too slow to avoid the vibranium claws. the one ant is a sitting duck when the Panther comes calling. The other is indeed splooshed all over the place, but the gore is more just slippery and gross, there isn't enough saliva here to make it acidic.

Hearing the commotion above, Beatrice approaches the tunnel that leads up and out, the one her two wayward ants wandered up. Drawing a big handgun from the holster at her hip, Beatrice cocks it and calls out, "Herc! To me. Ms. Green will be able to search more quickly anyway. We have company coming after all."

Doing just that, Herc joins Bea by the tunnel entrance, balling up his fists. Around them, dozens of ants move in to place as well. And Ms. Green redoubles her efforts, sprinting like a bright green blur from place to place, frantic for more of those ingots.


At least Jessica is paying enough attention to stop short and hop backwards when the good Captain calls out his warning, one arm coming up to shield her face as the ant's head is kersplattered all over the hallway. Hm. Gross! She shoots him a look over her shoulder. "…I need one of those. You've seen this lady before too, huh?"

She's up and running again before long, towards the mouth of the tunnel the ants came up through. "The big green one is a pain," Jessica calls over her shoulder. "But there are enough of us this time that maybe this will go — "

Is that a gun? Jessica's pretty sure that lady has a gun. With a strangled noise, she doesn't give herself time to think and just springs forward, one hand cocked back to deliver a punch… to Herc's jaw.

What? He looks safer.


That's okay, Gwen is on it. In her experience, you always get a good look at the situation before you make decisions. So she lets her momentum carry her into the room, then leaps to carry herself up and over the assembled baddies. Big guy, big ants, large fast mantis girl, man this is a lot of bug things— oh, a gun. Those are a priority. She twists into an acrobatic twirl as she passes, another salvo of webbing splatting itself all over the weapon. This… often? works. Whatever. Can't go thinking about it too much.


Black Panther is past the two be-webbed ants and into the tunnel when the explosion goes off, and she leaves behind the third ant she carved to pieces as she sprints ahead … and discovers Beatrice and her friends. She bounds up to plant her feet on a side wall of the tunnel and vaults forward to confront Beatrice, as she is the one of these threats she has not faced before, and there is no sign of a reconstituted Ant Queen here. T'Challa goes for a tackle, intending to occupy the shooter so she won't be attempting to shoot anyone but the Panther, whom - she believes - is bulletproof. Ish.


The unibeam, versatile workhorse of the Kree war machine, is impressive in most circumstances. But against non-living materials, the model Mar-Vell has modified into his lensed wrist-blaster is unique. He aims for the gun Beatrice brandishes and fires a slender beam of energy at the weapon just as it's webbed up by the arachnid girl. The firearm beneath glows brightly for a moment, and then disassembles itself, blowing apart the gun and the ensnaring web into a shower of parts. It doesn't set off the rounds themselves, but the force of the disassembly probably doesn't do Beatrice's hand any favors. "Surrender!" Captain Marvel broadcasts, voice amplified by his helm, and apparently it's meant for the assembled beings in total. It's nicely punctuated by a flying Black Panther dotting the exclamation point.


Herc's big dumb face scrunches up in his best version of a frown or furrowed brow, it's honestly hard to tell on him, and then the tiny person flies up and hits him in the face. His head jerks sideways, partially from the force, and partially from surprise. Then he grabs the attacker, his hands reaching almost all the way around her waist, and throws her at the other (?) spider lady as hard as he can.

Beatrice grunts when her gun is coated in sticky white stuff and actually gives Gwen a /look/. "Ew! That is /gross/! Did that come out of you?"

But then a Panther is upon her. In a fair fight, Beatrice would not be able to keep up with the Panther's attack but with the constant onslaught of six-foot long ants that Tchalla must avoid as well, Beatrice's great strength and almost predictive reflexes keep her afloat for now.

She shakes her hand and yelps when the gun falls apart, but it looks like having that hand free means more to her than the bit of pain. She flips off Mar-vell with the newly free hand and shouts, "Thanks! "

But the ants must have caught on to their mistress' ire. Two of the enormous beasts, three or four hundred pounds each, drop from the ceiling of the workshop, grabbing and grappling for Mar-vell, hissing and sizzling all the while. Ants are closing in around Gwen as well, scuttling as fast as they can. There's just so damn /many/ of them!


"Whuh— HANDS!" Jessica barks at Herc when he catches her, sounding entirely put out by this development. "Oh my god, does this happen to paaAaAAAAaAAauUGH!!" Whoever 'paugh' is, Jessica probably bungled her pronunciation of their name as she gets hurled towards Gwen at high velocity.

Luckily, Jessica's reflexes are fast — she's barely even finished 'augh'ing before a >THWIP< accompanies a webline that smacks right into Herc's face and she grabs on with both hands, yanking hard as the line goes taut.

Herc does not move. Which means that Jessica does. She comes ROCKETING back towards the big man, twisting in the air to come at his face feet-first. "Rude!"


One of these days Gwen is going to remember that badguys can only see half the gesture when she pulls down on her eyelid with a finger and sticks out her tongue while masked. Today is not this day. Whatever. If Bea thinks getting her gun webbed is gross, she's not going to like getting it thrown at her face at all. Gwen knows for fact face-webbing is just about the worst. Especially if your open, gabby mouth gets webbed shut. It takes forever to get the taste out. The. Worst.

It's the good ol' spider sense going off that reminds her to watch out for giant ants, and she lets out a surprised, undignified noise as she leaps stright into the air, far higher than any non-arachnid human could manage. Whatever is she to do? How about what a spider can. Which in this case is to twist her wrists a couple of times to lock the 'shooters into wide-pattern dispersion and blow half her webbing reservoirs. It's not a >thwip< this time so much as a *SCHHHHHHRRIP* as Gwen, the Inimitable Spider-Woman of Earth-65, spins a web. A big one, really quickly. It's like… speed-decorating for Halloween. Except sticky and tangly.

Naturally, she lands suspended roughly in the center. "Oh man. You have no idea how much practice this took, you guys. I hope you apreciate the effort."


Engaged in a bit of a wrestling match with Beatrice, Black Panther cannot quite accurately assess all of the other threats around the cavern. But when thrown off, she bounds away, the gunwoman no longer armed, and then leaps to engage some of the other ants, slicing her way through them with vicious abandon and vibranium claws. She knows to avoid the acid spittle and blood, and her agility and that foreknowledge comes in handy.

Clean-up, Aisles three, four, eight and seventeen, please!


Captain Marvel berates himself for not using a full energy strike on the gun, igniting the ammunition and perhaps giving Beatrice a stump to try flicking him the avian with. At least Mar-Vell -thinks- that's what he's heard humans call the gesture. Still, a full-on unibeam blast with so many combatants in the fray might have ended up an incident of friendly fire. He'll have to get closer so that a blast will only strike his target.

And he would get closer, except for the pair of giant ants that drop on him from above. Kree reflexes save him from being pinned beneath their weight, and he manages to wriggle about enough to grab one by the thorax, squeezing it from behind until it's firmly pinchered with its maw pointed toward the other ant. Four hundred pounds is impressive for an insect, but it's not a weight that Mar-Vell can't manipulate handily. So he begins using the held ant to bludgeon the other one with all his might. An oversized ant pillow fight isn't what Mar-Vell expected when he woke up today, but when has life on Earth been anything like he anticipated? OHe sees one of the girls with arachnid powers spray an area web of very impressive dimensions, and he tries to bash the free ant before him into its entangling confines.


With a four-foot long horn on the top of his head, Herc is decidedly unused to receiving head shots. He sure looks bug and dumb too, but when he gets thwipped in the face, just to also get spider feet, he lowers his head just enough to be pointing his horn at the incoming Drew.

Disregarding its own safety completely, one ant leaps up to protect Beatrice from the incoming splat, and she ducks down as well. The big web goes everywhere, and ants are struggling to slice at it with their giant slicer things.

The ant by Beatrice is left like a dog with some peanut butter, waving it's head around, snapping and trying to get the webbing off. Too bad that makes it the first target for Tchalla's ant-icide. Many chomp and slice at Black Panther, and it becomes clear that they're actually using some rudimentary unit-tactics to herd Tchalla into disadvantageous positions.

And the Captain's pillow battle wages on! The unreasonably strong creature struggles every step of the way, making it an awkward melee weapon, but the effect is the same. More ants are herded into the mass of webbing.

All around, the ants making a churning mess of the webbing everywhere, but for now the plan has worked most of them are stuck in place and aren't focused on anything except getting free.

Turning to let Herc fight Drew, Beatrice also takes advantage of the fact that Herc seems entirely unimpeded by the presence of webs. They just <PWANG> and <SNAP> as he moves about to fight Drew, and he's slowly clearing an easier spot for Bea to stand in.

Which is convenient when a green blur streaks across the open space, near the ceiling. Ms. Green lands with barely a sound, holding out three more ingots which Beatrice immediately pockets. Bea looks like she could kiss the mantis lady, but instead she just shouts, "Retreat! Let's go!"

Green escorts Beatrice for now, but they're also trying to make sure Herc can keep up.


Ho-ho-ho, not this time, you… you… bugs. Jessica had nearly this very thing happen to her the last time she ran into these jerks, and she is NOT about to cut her foot open the same way on a different bug! That would just be embarrassing.

It's also an easy enough fix. In one fluid motion, Jessica releases her webline and points down at the ground in front of Herc's feet, firing off a new one and giving another sharp yank to change trajectory. She still comes in fast and feet-first, but she skirts just under the presented horn and lands between the big guy's feet. Look! She's totally learning this whole her thing.

The webs Gwen laid down don't seem to be stopping him. That's fine — because Jessica drops down to go scurrying right between his legs to try and chase after Bea and Green, pointing an accusatory finger. "HEY! Who said you could leave?!"


Gwen has a pretty good idea of what happens next— Herc turns around to follow and Jess ends up between badguys. Never a good place to be. So she springs from the web, leaving the ants to flounder. They are literally the least important thing in this scenario. She lands behind Herc as he finishes his turn to escape, takes two steps to plant her feet, and drives her elbow into the middle of his back with all that handy spider strength.

And regardless of what it does to him… staggers back with a yelp, trying to shake the feeling back into her right arm. It takes a while for her to form speech through strangled noises. "…Mama!"


What the 'regular' giant ants soon discover is that as bright as their small unit tactics are, T'Challa knows them all. And she/s good at it. Viciously good, which is why as she keeps fighting, she keeps dismembering and practically slaughtering elements of those small units, tearing apart their tactics with clean, swift efficiency. And then giving chase after those who are trying to escape. Of course, she's giving chase by fighting through the formations of ants, so while she will be making lots of progress, it won't be the fastest she's ever made.


Once the second of Mar-Vell's pets is tangled up nicely in the web, he hurls the one he has hold of into an open section so it can enjoy the spidery accomodations and writhe about with the rest. He takes quick stock of everyone's position, spots Beatrice making herself a small target between two held ants. He adjusts the lenses in his unibeam blaster and takes careful aim. "If this strikes anyone but the Beehive from Hell, at least it won't kill them. But an area effect of concentrated stun energy, the sort that causes vibrations to pulse against the inner ear and brain of a humanoid to induce dizziness and unconsciosness, likely won't do those antenna on Beatrice's head any good. It might even cut off some of her communication with her minions. And likely it'll feel like one of those bongoing beatniks from the coffehouses is doing a solo in her mind.

Of course, it's all conjecture on Captain Marvel's part. But, beneath his military bearing, there's always been a bit of a scientist longing to experiment. He releases the wave of stun energy, keeping his aim steady in Beatrice's direction as she rises to retreat.



Beatrice sighs at Drew, and kicks at her, but apparently she didn't mean to connect. It as a calculated move to send Drew to Ms. Green for ninja school. It's not her foot this time, but Drew's upper arm has a slice in it almost before it's clear what Ms. Green is doing. She has two elbows on each arm and razor sharp blades on her forearms, and she moves like a cuisinart, which will be invented in about ten years.

Herc looks like he wants to join in, but Gwen has him stalled. He gasps and stands up straight at Gwen's strike, and spins around. He's not that fast, and the thirty-ton kidney shot seems to have phased him, so he only manages to backhand Gwen with about half his strength while she's dancing with a sore hand.

And luckily for everyone, the ants in the room that are not stuck in Gwen's web are largely diminished by Tchalla's efforts. Their strength is in numbers and that is a quickly dwindling advantage. And of course, the fewer there are, their tactics get even weaker. Most are out of the fight for good.

When the unibeam passes through the space around Beatrice, it even nicks Herc and Green a bit, Herc and Green seem not to notice, but Beatrice stumbles and her antennae curl up in what looks like a universal expression of pain. She grunts and then ducks down, trying to put as much of the fight between her and the beam as possible.

Overall, the retreating group is moving slowly, but they are moving. They've covered most of the distance to their tunnel exit so far, and Ms. Green takes the opportunity to unceremoniously /toss/ her mistress to the opening. Beatrice release a stream of surprised cussing on her way, but also comes the desperate scream of a friend. "No! I'm not leaving without you two! Just hurry up!"

At this point ant reinforcements are streaming in through the opening behind Beatrice, to resupply their brothers in arms (and arms (and arms)).


All the satisfaction that Jessica feels at dodging the kick goes bye-bye when her arch nemesis lands a gash across her bicep. "Yeeeeowch!"

Yes. Heroic.

A smarter hero might recoil to regroup, but Jessica is very new at this. She gives herself just enough space to avoid the humanoid cuisinart — which, sadly, does give Greenie time to fling Beatrice towards the exit — before she sends a line of webbing all the way down after Beatrice. She's the one in charge, clearly. So maybe, just maybe, if she can land a line on her


"Someone get ahead of them!" T'Challa shouts. She'd do it herself, but with the renewed wave of reinforcements, she's now panther-deep in giant ant combat. She's not going to make it, but she's going to make one heck of an acidic goopy mess trying to get there anyway!


Gwen UMPF!s at the backhand and sails away— fortunately into a remainder of her own springy webbing, which absorbs most of the landing. Still, her arm's a bit numb and her head is all spinny-go-round, so she's just going to catch a breath right here. At least smart spiders like her coat their costumes with no-stick spray, or she'd totally hoist on her own petard right now. As it is her slick duds (ha!) keep her from getting tangled like the ants.


When Beatrice gets hurled out of range of the unibeam, Captain Marvel mutters several standard Kree military curses under his breath. Beneath his sealed helmet. Where no one but he can hear. They're nothing flowery, but properly vitriolic and infer a possible mating between Bea's mother and a Styggarian Slime Weevil. Seeing the spider-girl strike Herc, and then witnessing his return blow, Mar-Vell activates his jet belt, rising above the oncoming ant stampede and angling himself to catch the girl before she can strike the much more unyielding side of the cavern.

When he sees Gwen heading for a soft landing in her own webbing, he adjusts the jets and maneuvers as close as he can to Herc while still being outside his strike radius. The unibeam on his wrist whines a steady power up. He's used some of the energy, but he has more than enough for one very potent energy blast to the minion. He lets it build to boulder-busting intensity and then fires at the one-creature brute squad.


Again, that green blur. Before Drew can even fire, her hand is bumped and off target. Only Ms. Green's urgency to make Drew miss makes her also not bring her blades to bear. That could have cost Drew a hand! Green also slices the though, so Drew can't just pull herself in that direction.

A flurry of impossibly fast blows rains down on the less experienced combatant, while Green hisses, "I remember you too. I don't know why we're not allowed to kill you people…" And indeed, her strategy seems to beat, batter, and throw off Drew and Black Panther as much as possible, until she can get a clear line of escape as well. She uses her liquid speed to baffle the combat as much as possible, even trying to get the ants, Tchalla, and Drew swinging at each other.

Satisfied with his work on Gwen, Herc turns to see Beatrice sailing through the air. He turns to chase after her and bowls over ants and heroes left and right, sprinting to place himself bodily as her shield. Just when he gets to her though is when Mar-vell's wide-beam blasts him in the back.

Herc grunts and sounds like a wounded bear. He stumbles forward and the hairline fractures appear in several places on his carapce. The carapace sags open some and the beetle's wings hang out a little bit, looking ragged.

With Herc gasping, Bea puts her shoulder under his armpit and rushes him to the exit. When they're all the way inside, Ms. Green leaps after them, the mantis body made perfectly for this. She even prances across the backs of several ants to cover the distance, sprinting through behind them. Seconds later,


The entrance to the tunnel comes smashing down in an earthy pile.


So, good news. Jessica still has two hands.

Beneath her mask, Jessica makes quite a face as she awkwardly bobs and weaves, flips and ducks the flurry of blows from Ms. Green, her good hand clamping down over the gash on her bicep to try and slow the bleeding as she does. Ow ow ow ow ow. She, at least, is more concerned with defense at this point, but she is also so focused on Green that she doesn't even realize she'd being herded into T'Challa's path.

There's that annoying tingling again! Remembering Gwen's advice, Jessica doesn't think — she just hurls herself bodily to the side to avoid the Black Panther as she does her Black Panther thang.


Ms. Green is exceedingly fast, and T'Challa, with all her training and enhanced physiology, can't quite keep up with that. But the blades and punches have little real impact on the woman in the black vibranium weave suit, and her training and heightened senses and reaction speed mean Ms. Green does not get away unscathed, no matter how impressive she may be. Sadly, that's all T'Challa manages, because soon enough she's having to completely readjust her fighting to keep from crushing or killing other heroes. She avoids that fate, thanks to spider-awareness assistance. But still, how frustrating! And damnit, the enemy got away!!!! "Are you hurt?" she asks, in that odd accent and altered voice, towards Jessica and Gwen. They look so squishy, she has to ask to make sure.


The hovering Captain Marvel watches as the Herc creature takes the full brunt of the unibeam hit and lives to tell the tale, escaping with the help of his allies. "Impressive," he admits, grudgingly, before turning his attention to the giant ant swarm below, to make certain that the creatures withdraw along with their Queen. He keeps the unibeam, now in the red on energy reserves, prepped in case any of them decide on a last minute Kree snack, or to continue fighting the other heroes here.


After the tunnel collapses, the left over ants really aren't any kind of match for our heroes here. Bashed, cracked and broken apart, ant pieces lay everywhere, as does someone's idea of tools. The former workshop is a mess!

At least the heroes were able to prevent Beatrice from collapsing the Baxter Building! That's probably what she meant to do, right? That's her thing. But everyone's safe now. Case closed. What could go wrong?


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License