1963-12-07 - Dropping Like Flies
Summary: Beatrice drops by the NYU particle physics lab to pick up Dr. Vihaan Chhabra.
Related: Them! Plot
Theme Song: Free Falling
wanda moe domino daredevil anya 

It's after 7pm in mid-December, and the NYU campus is nearly deserted. Most students are home for the holidays already, and those left for work study or whatever else, are safely tucked in against the 40 degree weather.

The only people left working on campus right now are the PhD candidates scrambling for time in the research departments of their discipline. One of these researchers is actual PhD Dr. Vihaan Chhabra, using his seniority to score some extra time in the experimental particle physics lab.

But outdoors? There's just a cold park, with bare, branchy trees. A few bundled up passersby make their way from here to there, but overall it seems pretty quiet.

Could there be the slightest tremble under foot? It would take a seismometer, or superhuman senses to detect it, but yes, there is just the touch of something peculiar beneath the ground this evening to. What on Earth could it portend?


Wanda has partially disconnected.


Harry Blackwell was one of Columbia's law professors until about two years ago, when he accepted a stronger offer from NYU. Still, he and Matt Murdock have maintained a friendly acquaintanceship ever since Murdock passed the New York BARs, so they celebrate every year by hitting up one of the bars just off campus.

Murdock has just sat down with two sloshing, foamy pints of happy hour delight, and grins at Professor Blackwell from across the table. "Wait. No whiskey this year?" He seems disappointed.

"Yeah, well, the wife says I drink too much, so, I decided to cut out liquor instead of ale."

Matt shakes his head, sighing a bit. "This is why I never got married."

"Bullshit, Murdock, you never got married because you're way too much of a ladies man."

Matt shakes his head, though he can't help but smirk a bit. "Perpetual bachelor, right here." He raises the mug. "Cheers."


Blackwell takes a good, long drink, but Matt pauses before imbibing. He glances down to his feet curiously; there's a rumble in the floor, a rumble that is not like anything that should be here. His face pales a bit, and he sets the pint glass down, untouched.

"Everything alright, Matt?"

"No, I… you know, I really have to use the mens room. I'm… I'm sorry, Professor."


NYU, the place where normal students go to participate in normal activities that might include socializing, flirting or running from one end of campus to the other in full arm-flail because whoa, someone forgot their scarf and the pub crawl starts in 5 minutes, do not miss the bus. Normal students. Wanda Maximoff? Not normal, by definition.

A person who might already be ahead of the crawl stands in the doorway to said pub, rapidly chafing her hands together in hopes circulation might be restored to her curled fingers. Cold air numbs her pale golden flesh, and escapes in a billowing cloud of mist into the light-blurred sky. Black gloves poke out of her claret leather trench. Why not wear them if her hands are cold?

Out flow the early birds. In come the next deluge of drinkers. She squeezes up against the doorframe, some kind of neo-Victorian little match girl hiding from the cold. Or waiting for someone. Maybe some thing. Then, without a word, she slips inside as the door closes, available space shrunk down to just her size and then none as she hastens in and orients on the bar. Somewhere she can get artificial warmth, at least. "Whiskey, neat." A finger signals the gentleman at the bar, trusting he'll understand her accent.


Neighboring the NYU campus is a park. On the far side of this park lurks one of the more peculiar fighting teams of the year. Hiding atop of the Washington Square Arch is a lone woman wearing a heavy coat, gloves, and goggles. In her hands is a fully kitted out M16 rifle, complete with nightvision optics and a suppressor.

Then there's the red Bamf.

Then there's the team of four giant wasps.

"Somebody do me a favor," Domino mutters while scoping out the campus from some distance away. "Give Canada a call and tell them to come get their shitty weather away from here."

One of the wasps simply buzzes its wings in irritation, trying to keep itself warm.

"Waiting stinks, I know. Don't be trippin' out on me, buddy. It won't be long now."


The little red bamf settled on Domino's shoulder is staying close for warmth. His tail is wrapped about himself, and he's hunkered down. "Bamfbamfbamfbamf, bamf bamf. Bamf bamf bamf, bamf bamf.." is grumble-groused. Chubby, fuzzy red arms are crossed before him, and beady pupilless yellow eyes glare at any who may come close.. not that anyone does.


It doesn't take much longer for those tremors to become noticeable to the public at large. And when they become truly obvious, a huge mound of dirt humps up in the park outside the physics building and giant ants come pouring out. Sure, it's not a new trick for Beatrice, but you go with what works.

What /is/ a new trick is for Beatrice herself to be coming in from up high. The insect queen in shiny silver chitinous armor descends astride an eight-foot long dragonfly, rainbow sheen wings a blur in the cold evening sky. Flanking them are a dozen giant wasps, each the size of a person, and they seem to be working in groups of four.

This is always Bea's favorite part. When people look up to identify the bone-jarring hum from the sky, they pause for a moment, and then most bolt in panic. Cue: The Running and The Screaming.

Two wasp quads land clinging to the side of the physics building, one group on each side of the window they were coming for, and begin ripping at the facade of the building. Enormous chunks of stone come away without regard for whom they might be raining down upon. The wasps want only one thing, tear open the wall.

By the time the hole is big enough to pass through Beatrice is already standing on top of the dragonfly. Calmy, she steps off and her own wings bear her up and to the building. She's disappears through the opening while the wasps wait outside for her, and the ants swarm the ground below.


One questions how Daredevil got here so quickly? Well… he heard about the fun and games ahead of time.


The man in red comes whooshing in from a building just off campus, bending hard on his grappling line, ass skimming the cars below. He's not nearly as graceful as those spider-folk, but he's got it where it counts, and that's in power. He swings up and into the air, retracting the grappling club and whinging it toward the nearest building.

At next swing? A couple of ants almost bite him right in the ass. Fortunately, he's quick enough to sweep a leg, and ends up with some insect puss all over his red tights.

"Gross," he grumbles, while arching back upward. He ends up on a rooftop, and begins running for the edge, with that physics building in sight. Well, it would seem that's where he's looking, at least. Those creatures (he can't possibly guess what they are, considering the sound the wasps are making is unlike anything he's ever heard) sound the most ferocious of all, so that's where he's headed.


Wanda has her whiskey and she carries off the glass. Enough people pack a dim bar that missing another one who melts into the darkness by dint of her black pants and long jacket is par for the course. Nothing to be overly concerned by. Partiers continue their revels for the blissful few seconds their stupor allows. She takes a sip of the liquid and sets it down. A vibration runs through the alcohol where nothing else does, a resonating break in the pattern. She picks up the tumbler again, sliding towards the doorway as the first shrieks of alarm might be registered in the physics building. Vibrations might knock something down from the shelves.

She steps outside, and greets the ghastly look of nightfall with a curiously flat gaze. Eyes wide to trouble needn't wait for a sign for long. It might be the huge chunk of rock bouncing down onto the grass and flattening an admittedly ugly bike that gives her pause. The second? That's not the hailstorm to end all hailstorms because Thor lost a dare.

She stalks off at a healthy pace, and gestures towards anyone running her way with typical Eastern European dry humour, "Maybe time to go inside and drink, yeah?"


"Ah, there we go," Domino casually remarks as the ground burst open to the tune of an army of ants. "About flippin' time, my trigger finger's almost frozen stiff."

There's a police officer who's in the wrong place at the wrong time, she's just starting to put some pressure on the trigger when an ant rushes the lone guy and neatly snips him in half. Though the flash of movement across the lens which catches her interest isn't the spray of blood..it's the arrival of the Devil.

Now, Raven did say that he was off limits some time ago… Too bad for him, Dom isn't here on Brotherhood business. This here is a proper mercenary gig. Nothing personal.

The crosshairs sweep along after Daredevil's approach to the roof, silently keeping pace with his every motion as he runs toward the edge.

"Hello again, jackass."

Even if he manages to hear the *Pak!* from the suppressed rifle she's got the advantage of distance, and quite a lot of it. After all of the trouble the Devil of Hell's Kitchen has put her through she's looking forward to some payback!

"Moe, if that red bastard out there becomes a nuisance would you be a dear and take his toys away? Show him what a proper Hellspawn can do."


Moe stares at Domino for a long moment, his head quirking, "Bamf bamf bamf?" He rocks his head forward and presses a three-fingered palm to his face before he looks up again. An exhaled sigh escapes the little bamf before he stiffens up and offers a 'salute' of sorts. As only he can do, and in the next second?



Moe arrives in a cloud of sulfur and brimstone before he tucks into a shadow of a bit of something on the roof, watching Daredevil's progress across.


An ant goes splat as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen swings by, and the others can't react fast enough. The wasps on the other hand are more than a little interested in his arrival. Four of them zoom up to the roof and face off with him, working together like a well-honed team. If Daredevil avoids getting shot, they'll team up to pressure him until one of them can manage to bring her stinger to bear. Hopefully Matt remembered his epipen.

Down below, the ants weren't able to grab the man in red, but they /do/ have a red witch to contend with. They rush at the one person coming toward the building instead of away, snapping their mandibles dripping with sizzling saliva. Drops of acid burn divots in the frozen sidewalk.

Inside the building can be heard a proper scuffle, and a goodly amount of yelling, mainly from the male students in the lab. Beatrice keeps her voice low, but makes a thorough mess of the place, waiting for someone to point out who Dr. Chhabra is. Apparently she doesn't know him by sight, and he isn't fessing up.

The wasp escort with Domino buzz and hiss (wasps hiss?), eager to be in the fight, but sticking to their assigned duty nonetheless. Could this really mean Domino the mercenary is in league with the terrorist Beatrice Garretson?!


It isn't just the sound of a gun being fired; it's the whizzing of a bullet that follows, gaining volume and whipping air pressure away in a spiraling wake. Daredevil is midway through pumping his legs to leap from the edge of the rooftop when it registers, and at the last possible moment, he spins on his foot to the right.

"Sh-" The bullet whizzes past his cheek. "-it!"

He tries to catch himself, but its too late. He's missed the window of opportunity, and rather than making for the physics building, he's headed in a plummet toward the ant-strewn lawn below.

With a bitter scowl, Daredevil throws the grappling club toward one of those wasps that had come at him up above. He's not going for a killing blow; he's looking to hitch a ride.

Oh, and to stop his fall.


An acid spray from the ants is sufficient to make a girl, even one armed in leather, reconsider exactly how wise she is to pursue this course. She looks down into her mostly full glass of whiskey and no doubt sighs at the apparent need to sacrifice perfectly acceptable alcohol to something greater than herself.

She decides simply enough to pour a bit of it on the ground, a generous half-moon of it in front of her. Do ants appreciate Jameson? A question for the ages to be found out as she reaches into a pocket of her coat and comes up with a lighter, the very sort of thing to make a night go from bad to worse. She clearly intends to smoke a cigarette. Except there's no cigarette, especially as she flicks on the lighter and lets the tall, leaping tongue of flame brush up against volatile alcoholic vapor.

A whispered word or two simply encourages the seeds of fire to explode alive, consuming all they can find, and grow. Grow. Devour the ants. Go have fun!



There's a follow-up shot waiting to happen. Heck, there's nineteen follow-up shots waiting to happen! Though for the moment Domino is content to watch the Devil flail about as he falls off of the rooftop. It's enough to bring a thin smirk to her pale lips.

Plus, she has a Moe on the scene! It seems like she made the right call putting him out into the field. This..should be good for them. And very bad for the Devil.

Though she is slightly distracted by the wasp quattro figuratively hovering around her waiting for a piece of the action. "Wally, June…" she says through a distant sigh. "You guys aren't the pawns in this battle. When we make our move it has to count."

Then again… The sudden burst of fire gets Dom's interest, alright. Granted the other gal's only attacking the ants but she's a bigger threat than the police. It's a calculated risk that would use up half of her airborne forces, but in this instance she's a firm believer in the buddy system.

"I take that back. Wally, June, that gal down there's starting fires. Go show her that's a bad idea."


Moe is a happy bamf. His job is to cause as much mayhem as possible. He doesn't fight, per se. He's a skirmisher. And right now?



Moe heads out to land on top of that hook that is flying through the air in order to catch the 'Devil's fall. He has to work fast, and once he believes he's got a a good hold of it, sticks his tongue out at the blind Matt and-


teleports away, ideally taking it with him, leaving poor Daredevil with nothing to catch his fall.

Moe comes to roost once again on the roof of the physics building, hopefully 1 club 'richer'.



Fire ants they may be, but literal fire is not their thing. Their widely misunderstood saliva is formic acid, not anything flammable. Therefor when faced with actual flames, the army finds itself in trouble. Nearby ants heat up right away and their insides cook within the hardened carapace, popping them like disgusting, oozy movie theatre snacks.

The squawk of indignation from the wasp on the other end of Matt's grapple line is much too close to human for almost anyone's comfort. Her buzzing tone goes up an octave as she adjusts for the extra passenger, and then she starts to gain altitude. And her three sisters are interested in the chasing the pendulum. They dive off the roof and zoom at Daredevil, each one hoping to claim the dope on the rope, just as that rope vanishes in a FOOF of sulfur.

Back at the arch, Wally and June look none too impressed with the idea of rushing a firestarter, but they do their duty. Buzzing off together, the two swoop up and around the fire at present, hoping to flank in and get the witch from two angles at once. The two remaining wasps… hunker down on either side of Domino… huddling, for warmth?

And by some incredible stroke of luck, it starts to rain. Sure, it was cloudy, and dark, and cold already, but actual rain was a longshot at best. The fires hiss and sputter under the onslaught of freezing drops. At the arch? The drops patter off of outstretched wings, crisscrossed over Domino's prone form.

Inside the lab, an undergrad finally loses it and shouts, "Dr. Chhabra, COME /ON/!" The dark-skinned Dr. Chhabra hangs his head when the student yells at him and then nods, getting to his feet. But before he can rise Beatrice stalks to him and lays him out with one punch. She throws him over her shoulder like he weighs nothing and casually makes for the opening in the fourth story wall.


What the… is Kurt here??

And why the hell is he stealing his shit!??

Daredevil grimaces at the sudden sensation of dropping. This is not good, not good at all. He tucks his body into a twist, spins about a little, until something passes near.

A big, flying, waspy, ugly something.

Oh, well, it's better than going splat on the ground beneath.

With a grunt, Matt pushes out and tries to catch the wasp as it passes by, still apparently hell bent on riding one of those suckers, today.


Wanda has left.


Bullseye, the Bamf got the baton! Domino reaches under her coat to a pistol magazine harness, though instead of carrying extra ammo she has an assortment of candy bars nested inside. One is retrieved at random then flicked up into the air, vanishing at its apex with another *Bamf!*

"-That- demon's getting a chocolate cake this Christmas."

As for Wally and June, they're the ones that had wanted to get into the fight. She only gave them what they wanted! Though the remaining two (Ward and Beav) are getting ..unnervingly close. Even if they've been 'created' to follow her command and not stab her in the back and all it's still really -really- unsettling to be cuddling with them!

Before she can voice her discomfort the cold rain starts to fall, prompting a "Huh..thanks, guys."

Alright, where is the Dev—eww. She -might- be able to shoot him from here but the wasp he managed to catch isn't going to make it easy and she'd rather not kill a friendly one. What if the other four suddenly turned on her..? Is friendly fire a thing with hive-minded bugs? It's probably not worth pushing her luck.

Thus, time for some low-hanging fruit. Spying a squad car sliding up to the scene she puts rounds #2 and #3 through the windshield, neatly taking care of the two officers inside.


Lucky (?) for Matt, the wasps were trying to grab for him too. Their nasty little spiky feet dig into the leather of his suit as they bear him up ward, higher and higher. Good thing he's not afraid of heights!

Down below, the insect army makes its best effort to waylay the Red Witch, but it's only their sheer numbers numbers keeping her from the main fight. They throw themselves at her even as the fire fizzles out and she wields the wind and rain against them instead.

Gaining the assistance of the wasps still on stand-by, Beatrice pokes her head out from the hole in the wall. Two of the wasps take hold of Chhabra and drape him over the waiting dragonfly. Bea frowns at the rain, but then tips an imaginary hat in the direction of the Washington Square Arch. More cops arrive of course, but half of them are worried about hitting her hostage, and the bullets actually fired seem to just bounce off the insect queen and her hive.

Beatrice rises into the air on her own wings this time, the dragonfly close behind, with a cadre of wasps too. At some unseen signal, the swarm begins to retreat and Beatrice disappears into the night sky.

At the arch, Ward and the Beav react as well, getting to their feet, pawing at Domino to let them carry her aloft yet again.


It's game time. Daredevil holds on for dear life, even going so far as to snatch a knife from his belt and bury it into the wasp's side, giving him something extra (and extra gross) to hold tight to. He can hear everything that's going on out there; it isn't difficult to determine that there's a retreat in progress.

He could let go. He should let go. But he doesn't… instead, he holds on for dear life, hoping that he might just get taken along with the wasp he's riding to wherever they are retreating to.


Hey look, more cops! Domino's juuust lining up another shot when the two remaining winged bugs start prodding at her. "Just give me a second, I've got this cheeseball in my sights..cut it out..would you just—!"

Bea's already in the air. It is, quite literally, bug out time.

Frowning slightly she lifts her head away from the scope, staring back at the squad car quite a distance away with a 'you win THIS time…' sort of expression.

"Alright," she confirms while reaching out to lightly slap a hand against a striped wasp abdomen. "We're outta here."


With the retreat in full force, for those on the street, Beatrice and Domino are essentially out of sight in the rainy night. The wasps with Domino rush to catch up and soon Bea and Domino are flying off together into the, uh, rainset.

Up in the sky so high? One red devil, in a real pickle. Shrieking from the stab, but not mortally wounded, the wasp twists and flinches. The others with her know they're not allowed to bring home strays to play with. Hive Mom doesn't allow that sort of thing. So one of them makes a last attempt to bite off Matt's head, but of course he is too fast for them. His twisting avoidance breaks him free, and the wasps are no longer his problem.


He's freeeeeeeefaaaaalling!

Wind rushes past, as the man in red races rain drops to the ground. It's hard to get one's bearings in this mess. Might this be the end for Matt Murdock, injurer of injustice, batterer of the bad?

Out of nowhere, a familiar sound. The hum of thin, steel strong threads singing through the air, grasping onto Matt's back with a distinctive


Hardly a heartbeat later, a calm voice Matt knows well says, "Hey there stranger, mind if I drop in?" Spider-Girl has Matt in a not-very-dignified back-of-the-belt, one-handed carry until they swoop up and onto the rooftop of the science building.


Two years in hell. Literally, two years in hell with a person he'd come to love as much as hate, and after all of that torment, this moment is more fearsome than anything else. Falling, without his grappling club, without any way of preventing it. Worse yet, enhanced senses can tell him just how much further he has to go. With the ground rushing toward him, he can feel the seconds of his life slipping away with each mounting burst of increased air pressure.

Then, another sound pierces the darkness, and Daredevil catches his breath in a choke, and a yank against the downward plunge.

Upon the rooftop, he scrambles upon landing, and plants both hands down to steady himself. His chest rises and falls with the heavy panting that should have carried him to an inglorious splat, and he turns to look Spider-Girl's way for a long moment. Finally, he collapses on his back, retired. "Arana. That was…"

A really bad pun.

"… impeccable timing."


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