1963-12-13 - Them Finished
Summary: Heroes finally manage to take down Beatrice the terrorist!
Related: Them! plot finale
Theme Song: None
forge eddie drew domino 

In the news today, a statement released by the mutant terrorist, Beatrice Garretson. The newspaper reported that a lone senator has introduced a bill outlining minimal, basic rights for mutants in the New York state senate. Garretson, the paper says, has threatened the city of New York with unrelenting mayhem and destruction if the bill is not taken up in the senate immediately. How she expects to deliver on such a ridiculous threat is unknown, but there it is.

Oh the weather outside is frightful

New York City is in chaos. Gods are being killed. Hundred foot tall titans invading the city and encasing parts in ice. It's utter madness, and yet, much of the city is desperate for things to remain normal. For just a taste of the banal. It's a Tuesday night in December and it's truly, bitterly cold. Even some of the shops around the Empire State Building want to keep the Miracle of 34th Street alive. Window displays are all aglow with red, white and green decorations. One even has a faux fireplace set up, for the modern bachelor pad.

But the fire is so delightful

Children press their faces to the glass, watching model trains go round and round, and a tired-looking Santa is ringing a big brass bell over a Salvation Army donation bucket.

And since we've no place to go

A cheer goes up from a group of kids, four families walking together, who see the first flakes begin to fall. They're running around trying to catch them on their tongues, and it's all the parents can do to keep them from running into the street.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it sn-<HONK HONK> <SKREE-SMASH>

One enormous 1960's road yacht on white walls slams into the back of another enormous 1960's road yacht on white walls. A Lincoln Continental, into a Buick Skylark. The Lincoln never had a chance to stop, because the Skylark was brought up short by the enormous piece of masonry which must have fallen a long way. The piece was almost as big as the car it hit, and flattened the Skylark with a sound like a bomb going off inside a dumpster. The guy inside is… definitely not ok. The folks in the Lincoln look shook up, but not hurt too badly.

Cue: The running and the screaming.


It's cold. It's also dark. It's miserable as sin. But it's still gotta be better than slogging around in Siberia, right? (Right!)

Domino's made a point of camping out on a rooftop just because the windchill wasn't awful enough down on street level, though most people would never know she was up there. She's tucked away beneath a camouflage blanket which keeps her well out of sight and the wind well away from everything else.

It keeps her rifle pretty well hidden, too.

She can still make out the Empire State Building through the blurry green-hued glow of the nightvision scope she stole from the military, attached to a rifle she also stole from the military. (That had been a very productive day for her.)

"Hurry up and do the thing you're gonna do, Bea. My elbows are ready to freeze to the roof here."

When the chunk of masonry falls all she knows for certain is that -it wasn't her fault.- Honest! She's just chillin' up here!


Jessica Drew has not been having a great week. Five days ago, the residence of the Fantastic Four - you know, the place she's been staying since breaking free of OsCorp's lab? - blew up rather spectacularly, leaving her and the Four homeless. And then, then, some jerk had to go and make a bunch of abominable snowmen invade not just New York, but… everywhere, apparently?

This. Sucks.

With a jacket thrown on over her costume, Spider-Woman just so happens to be a-thwipping her way through this part of town when things down below go from bad to worse. She hits the ground running, the whites of her mask's eyelets wide as she rushes over to check on the people in the two cars, and move the masonry if necessary.

"Cripes! Everybody okay?"


For the moment, Eddie is just a guy, hanging out just outside of the Empire State Building. When cars start crashing, oh look how fortunate it is! He has a camera, and can begin taking pictures. He's not going to do anything like super useful like go help people or anything. Especially since he's only hiding out and pretending to be one of the neutral guys at the moment. Hey, he has to make a living to eat while Spider-Man is running away and avoiding being eaten. (The jerk)


Forge arrives from RP Nexus.


Forge has arrived.


Rather coincidentally, Forge was in the process of reading the newspaper on the latest events against Mutant rights. Free hand sipping at a discount coffee, his lips purse together. Such a shame, those Mutants. He pities them, really! He knows already what it's like to be a hated minority with a horrific cultural past. Good thing he's not ALSO a Mutant!

And he's currently testing out his self-heating earmuffs. Fluffy brown things, with a small cord leading to a waist-mounted battery pack. It's doing the trick, but he can only really hear the hum of the heat coils. Not good. He'll have to…

He thinks he hears something, and pulls away a muff. That something turned out to be utter chaos. "…" For someone in the midst of pandemonium, he is completely unfazed. People run past him, brushing his body, but he assesses the scenario immediately. A crash of some kind? He heads towards someone who's hurt within, littering his newspaper in stark violation of local ordinance. One look at the Skylark, and he focuses on the Lincoln. "Is anyone badly hurt?" Voice nicely calm and reassuring.


"Up in the sky, look!" cries one of the onlookers.

"Birds?" asks one.

"It can't be a plane…" posits another.

"Oh god no," is a more general consensus.

Circling the observation deck of the Empire State Building, and beginning to range farther out, are hordes of giant wasps. Each one twice the size of a person, the hum they create is audible all the way down on the street. It's like a parade of fan boats up there.

Also arriving are the trio the city has come to know. Beatrice, wings out, glides to a landing on the observation deck. Ms. Green leaping from building to building, is headed for the same place. And with the sound of a fleet of B-52 bombers, an enormous, as in truly huge, bigger than before, Herc the cleverly named Hercules beetle, comes in for a landing on the upper limit of the Empire State Building. He's at least twenty feet tall and when he lands more of the building breaks and crumbles, including the big radio antenna up there.

Speaking of radios, Beatrice has added a peculiar device to her usual get-up, not to mention the big winter coat with holes cut for her wings. A big pendant around her neck sports a dull gray metal ring, with a web of blue light criss-crossing it. She also has some kind of radio transmitter clipped to her belt, and when she lifts the microphone to her lips, the pop and crackle can be heard from every radio receiver for half a mile in every direction.

"Attention New York! You saw what happened to Grover's Mill. My army of ants has burrowed under the Empire State Building and weakened its foundation. If the New York Senate does not take up the Mutant Rights bill submitted this morning, I will reduce your precious landmark to RUBBLE! You have two hours to comply."

And Herc continues to grow, be-tee-dubs. The man-shaped beetle-thing is climbing around the top of the building like… like… some kind of big hairy animal or something. Some sort of regal… ape… or something. He's about twenty-five feet tall now.

Down below, the passengers are definitely grateful for the help getting out of the car, but there's nothing to report worse than scrapes and bruises. And once the big picture sinks in, the family bolts for safety as well.


"About damn time," Domino mutters under her breath as she repositions the rifle against her shoulder. Beatrice, as nice as she has been to the albino, also kept her completely in the dark about what the plan is for tonight. Much like Bea, she went big. Not 'giant fugging wasps' big, but out here in the 'civilized' world there is very little that can stop a round out of a .55 Boys anti-tank rifle.

Then..! She facepalms. Firmly. "Oh, Bea…" she groans. -This- is her grand scheme?? THIS is what dragged the new mercenary out into the freezing cold with a gun that weighs half as much as she does?!

Then she looks back up and stares in disbelief. "-Herc?-" The bugboy's grown some since the last time she's seen him.

A long breath of chilled air is claimed, then she reaches out to disengage the rifle's safety with a quick smack of a hand. "Whatever. Go do your thing, Queen Bee."


Oh, hey, Spider-Woman's not the only one checking on the cars. Too bad her mask covers the entirety of her face, or Forge might be able to tell she's shooting him a thankful smile.

Aaaaaand then the radio crackles to life and, as the voice registers, the arachnid's shoulders slump. "Oh, come on!" she groans, immediately scanning the sky for some sign of where the broadcast is coming froOH GEEZ HERC GOT BIG.

Spider-Woman takes a quick look around, hoping to see someone else wearing something vaguely resembling a costume. Anybody? …no?

Her mask hides the pained expression she aims at Forge before, with a whimper, she fires off a pair of weblines and begins to long climb up towards the Big Bad(s).


Twisting about, Eddie lifts his camera and gets his Pulitzer shots of Giant Herc, though he pauses and stares for a very long moment, "Whoa, Herc, man." But he blinks and shakes his head, and then slips his camera into his backpack, tightening it, and then ducking around a corner. A moment later, a black suit with a backpack is flinging up the building and then sticking there, watching. He's not quite doing anything specifically, yet.


Once Herc begins his onery grow-rampage, Forge curses and runs forward. The hapless Spider-Girl might see during her ascent that he's noticed a few large pieces of debris tumbling towards a shell-shocked woman with a stroller. But they are twice the size of his head, and coming at a dangerous clip! Oh sure, she can probably web them in time, but if his goal is to tackle them out of the way, he won't make it…

His right hand lifts up, fingers splaying. There's a flash of energy, before the sound of shattering concrete. A whirling shield has manifested above his head, protecting both himself and the woman. He dismisses it with a crackle, glove now gone and revealing a metal left hand. "Go!" he firmly states to the pedestrian, who quickly begins wheeling away her child.

Squinting up to the heavens, he lets out a small sigh. How did it come to terrorism? Legislation is only just beginning. This isn't going to make things any better for mutants. "HEY! …QUIT IT!" he shouts up in impotent frustration. Of course nobody outside the first few stories can hear him. …But it probably would have worked, otherwise. At least there's two hours. That's plenty of time for people to come and take care of this…

As long as things don't get escalated. …Nah, no chance of that.


In the fight above, Beatrice is mostly stalking around, rounding up her hostages, and herding them inside the observation deck where she can lock them in. She knows much of the building is being evacuated, but she has about two hundred people up there still.

Ms. Green has dispatched with the armed guard easily enough. But they're still alive when she sends them plummeting over the edge. They even have time to register the red and white Spider-Woman costume coming up toward them as they gain velocity.

Drawn to the movement, a half dozen wasps spot the bright red target as well, and zoom down to challenge her!

Out on the balcony again, Beatrice speaks into her mega-mega microphone: "Look at how the mutants you persecute spring to your rescue! They risk life and limb for you ungrateful maggots! How do you repay them? You run away."

As if on cue, the boys in blue, the ones who have to run toward danger, are already turning up, trying to block off this part of the street. Unfortunately for them, and anyone else still in the street, giant ants swarm up and out of the sewers, storm drains, or brand new sinkholes, spraying dirt and debris everywhere.

Two charge straight for Forge, mandibles clacking, dripping with sizzling, acidic saliva. They're each about six feet long. Smaller than what the news has previously reported. Many rush about, chasing and attacking people, or starting to crawl up the walls. In all the chaos though, the bugs steer clear of the black-suited web-slinger.


Heck, even -Domino- would like to pull Beatrice aside and have a few words with her. She's not a nice or gentle person and she knows this isn't the way to get the job done!

But..money speaks louder than words, and this job? Has a -pile- of money saying very lovely things to her.

There's one Spider, already. (That's not the one she knows, is it? Hard to tell costumes apart when they're all in shades of green!) The other spider, Venom, is missed at first. He's being a little more subtle and is decked out in the ever-fashionable black.

For the moment Dom keeps her crosshairs on Spider-Woman, though she isn't shooting yet. Finger's there on the trigger, but she isn't shooting. All Dom cares about is keeping Bea safe. Leave the Bug Queen alone, don't get shot at. Which is doubly good for her. Heroic sorts don't tend to enjoy being shot at. She's figured this one out for herself.

There's also wasps! They've got this covered.

"Damn, girl. If you survive this mess you should really get that chip on your shoulder examined," she grumbles.


Okay, new priority — falling security guard. Spider-Woman has to abandon her ascent of the building and spring off the side, one arm outstretched to snare the guard around his midsection. As soon as she has a grip, she fires off a webline with her other hand to send them both into an arc towards the nearest rooftop at something other than terminal velocity.

"This is a really bad week, isn't it?" she asks, keeping an eye on the inbound giant wasps. Okay. She's pretty sure she can get this guy set down before they catch up to her.


Soon enough, Venom reaches the apex, and crouches at the edge of the building where… he shares with a super giant bug. "Hey, Herc. Where's Bea? We are here to provide assisstance, if it is of need, though we do not know if you will accomplish anything with this. Don't break the building without warning me!" Hmph. Venom crouches, perched there on the edge, staring at the wasps with a certain dangerous, hungry eye. Mmm. Dinner.


Forge is just watching for the time being. "No… what're you doing?! You're just going to antagonize her!" he hisses at the only costumed person he can see. But she intercepts someone thrown off the edge… yeah, that's not kosher. Good on you, random… boy? Pretty sure it's a boy from behind. Eddie's not draw his attention as he ascends to perch, when there's plenty of debris and chaos all around the street level. The police are horrifyingly quick, and just like he feared it seems things are going downhill. When the ants sprout up, he holds up his hands. "I wasn't even doing anything!!" he exclaims, not that it really changes what he does.

Which is clench his fist, which begins to glow with energy once more. Snapping it out, a condensed beam of raw power flares towards it's head. The explosion is considerable, and it would likely total a standard car. Sweeping, another is fired at the second ant, although it's coming at him fast; he misses, and it instead blasts off a piece of the building's edge a few stories up.

His ankle thumps into the sidewalk, and down he goes, right on his back. Ohgodohgodohgod… Maybe the ant's like a gorilla, and this charge is just fake…!! Of course, with all these ice giants and chaos running around, he's exercised his governmental right for /additional/ weaponry, but pulling it out ahead of time would have been too smart.


Forge has partially disconnected.


Beatrice continues her radio-amplified tirade. And Domino is right, this woman really needs to see a therapist. "Mutants make your food. Clean your homes. Guard your streets! We've been here for centuries, and if we wanted humans gone, you'd be gone." She's really getting in to this monologuing bit. "The only thing holding back the onslaught of Ice Giants? MUTANTS!" She's literally daring the heroes of New York to stop her.

The wasps coming for Drew reach her just as she's able to get the guard to safety. They tackle her, and the only thing preventing Drew from being skewered immediately is the fact that they're /both/ trying to stab her with their giant stingers. This lapse in unit cohesion may stand out to Domino, or anyone else who's seen these bugs in action before. Normally operating like a well-oiled machine, even the ants seem more erratic.

And apparently Bea and Ms. Green are fine on their own, because Herc points them out to the tiny Venom, and leaps off the pinnacle with a maniacal gleam in his black eyes. He's fifty feet tall now, and it looks like he might be holding there. The wind howls at his plummeting passage, even the aether rushing to get out of his way. He lands in a classic three-point position, smashing into the ground, crushing cars, people and ants alike. There's a huge explosion of dust and debris billowing out around him, even as he starts picking up cars and hurling them like tiny toys.

With the first ant demolished, it might seem dire that Forge trips instead of getting his second blast, except, when he drops, debris from the blast whips past where his head just was, and spears the ant, sending it flying.

Up top, Beatrice clicks off the microphone and nods at Eddie. "Over here, Venom," she calls. She is standing at the edge of the observation deck, while Ms. Green patrols the perimeter of it. Inside, the two hundred or so people are being watched by a dozen dog-sized ants. "And don't worry," she adds, conspiratorially. "The building isn't coming down. So have fun! Enjoy yourself!" She sounds like a deranged party hostess.

Up close, the mania in Bea's eyes is obvious. They're even /glowing/ with the same electric blue light in her pendant. It looks like a neon dreamcatcher.


Explosions, screaming, giant insect invasion, is it bad that this has all become rather familiar for Domino? For the most part she tunes all of it out, at her distance the noise is just that, another distraction. What she's hunting isn't the sort of thing one would hear coming…

Like the police sniper moving into position with one of his buddies.

"Bad choice, guys."


The massive bullet nearly tears the sniper in half then flicks the spotter beside him clean off of his feet, both of them mortally wounded and tossed into the air before the shockwave of the shot ever reaches their ears.

Now she's officially part of the mayhem. Now the fun begins. At the sound of an incoming chopper she quickly chambers the next round and adjusts her sights. Another -*THWAM!*- echoes across the cityscape, the chopper's tail rotor disappearing in a momentary flash of sparks. Before they've managed to fly into the scene their bird begins an uncontrolled spin, their only choice is to try for an emergency landing somewhere very close by.

At least the people inside have been given a fighting chance!


The lack of coordination between the two wasps helps almost as much as the ol' Spider Sense does, allowing Spider-Woman to twist in midair to avoid the two giant stingers. A pair of quick >THWIP<s joins the two wasps together in a tight web, hopefully holding them too close together to effectively fly and menace the area any longer.

She's got way bigger fish to fry. Her eyes track Herc on his way down and she makes an exasperated noise, immediately leaping off the rooftop to intercept. It involves a lot of leapfrogging across giant ants, one of which she makes sure she comes down on hard to drive it into the pavement before it can reach Forge.

Then it's all about the webs. On the move, she fires line after line at Herc's massive bulk, anchoring them to the pavement as she goes. She needs him immobile so she can handle everything else. Like the sniper. Apparently.



"We see a spider." Venom says, his head tilting to the side, and then— with a smile beneath the mask, the predator leaps off of the building and soars down the length of the great building. He falls through the sky diving, and at the last moment flings webbing out and it catches, and he spins through the air and lands upside down against the building across, on fingers and toes. He eyes Drew, but no. He's not going to attack the spider. Just stalk her all creepy like.


Forge knows that sound. The horrible report of a sniper rifle. In a split second, he knows where Domino is. But with her focus on everything else, it's very possible that the favor is not returned. Here, he has to decide what the best route of action is. He's no match for both Beatrice and the mantid up top on his own; no, maybe without the husband-eater, but she doubtlessly outclasses him. He has one good trick, but doesn't want to waste it just yet… it could be better served somewhere else. Can Drew dodge subsonic bullets? He doubts it. Of course, only then does he notice Venom. A two-on-one situation here is going to be disastrous. First thing's first. He blends into the crowd, wincing at each death, each scream, each noise. He can feel it in his soul, one side-effect of his shamanism that has never fully gone away, like a knife slowly twisting.

Then, he's inside the Empire State Building. "Good luck." he mumbles to nobody in particular, pulling out a small set of tools. The elevators have shut off due to the emergency, but he easily pries the door open and slips inside. One wire is poking from his metal arm now, and after punching in the override, he rips open the number panels for floor selection.

Five seconds later, and a tactical application of electricity, and the elevator is SURGING up, far, far faster than it was ever intended to. The motors scream and hiss, cable stretched taut and almost snapping, but he should reach the top floor in record time… or it'll fail and he falls to his death. No, no, not a good time to be a pessimist about it.


The rifle shots get Beatrice's attention, and she gives the distant building a salute when she sees the damage, and hears the helicopter going down.

The swarm is seemingly helpless in the face of Drew's fast-paced acrobatics. And while at first it seems like Herc just pulls up every webline she manages to attach, he was slow before he was fifty feet tall, and he's even slower now. Soon enough, there are more weblines on him than aren't, and he's suddenly, totally confused. The rage in him makes it hard to think through the problem, and he flails. Sure, his giant horn takes gouges out of the neighboring buildings, but he's stuck firmly place.

"NOOO!" comes the cry, but not from Herc. The voice is Beatrice herself in a nose dive, screaming like a banshee at Herc's capture. Her wings flick out in a giant 'X' behind her when it comes time to pull up, and she swoops to land on Herc's big head. "No no no, /BIGGER/ Herc, we can go /BIGGER/!" And god help us, he /does/ start to grow again. As he does, nearly all of the other insects present begin to shrink. In moments they are inconsequential insects once again, sputtering out in the cold weather.

Weblines snap, and it looks like he could start to move again soon. But heroes and villains alike could be worried. This is above and beyond what anyone could have reasonably signed up for. Herc is no longer a combatant. He's a one beetle natural disaster. If he stumbles, he could single-handedly collapse a building. Another step, another building. This is beyond the pale. What did you do, Ray?!

Back up on the roof, Forge will find things quiet. The hostages are no longer being held in place with the threat of ants, but they don't seem to know what to do. Through the windows, one can see Ms. Green peering over the ledge watching the mayhem below. Apparently she doesn't realize the ant-guards are gone. She's sure not watching this room.


Something isn't right here… Aside from the obvious, of course! Domino has spent time with Beatrice before. She's never acted quite like this before. When she goes to make Herc even -bigger,- which causes all of the other expand-o-bugs to shrink, the albino changes her focus.

The police are ignored.

The heroic sorts are ignored.

Her crosshairs slowly drift around..to land..upon Beatrice. Now there's another dilemma. Just how does one 'gently' knock someone out with an anti-tank rifle?

"Goddamnit, Bea," she hisses while looking at her options. Bea's personality has changed. Herc got bigger. What else is different? The bugs are acting erratically. And there's that goofy glowing thing hanging from Bea's neck—


Just wait for the right moment, while Bea's flying and the pendant is hanging away from her body…

(One in eighty-three thousand—)



Spider-Woman can't spare any attention for the helicopter — she's going to have to trust the pilot to be skilled enough to safely bring the damaged bird down. At least there are no longer any giant wasps or ants to complicate it.

Just… you know… Herczilla over here.

She's halfway through her leap to try and scale the Big Beetle's back when her spider sense starts going absolutely bonkers and she looks up just in time, her eyes going wide when she sees Beatrice coming straight for her screaming bloody murder. Without thinking, she just points right up at her face, and…



Well, Venom has been stalking quite enough already, thank you very much. Flinging himself off of the building, he swings, then swings again to pick up speed, and he approaches Drew. Does she sense him? Spider-Man did not. But, still. Why is everyone so worried about bugs when the spider is free? Granted, Herc is getting kind of absurdly big, but still. Venom is here to help Bea, and the spider-prey is hindering her. Flinging his hand out, he attempts to shoot a burst of black webbing at the white spider.


Once the rapidly flying elevator buttons signal that it's near the top, Forge disengages so it slows down to the normal speed, if sensible. He's not sure what to expect at the top, only that he's being stupid. But luck is on his side — sorry, Domino. When the door quietly dings open, hopefully far enough away that Ms. Green's crotch-ear can't hear it (Does she have one there? It's where real mantids have'm!), his hand is already charged and prepared. He sweeps it over the people amidst their confusion, before noticing a startling lack of giant ants or other threats. Except the green girl. "Get down!!" The moment there's a clear shot, he fires — although outside of a total ambush, it's probably not going to be the one shot instant-win he's hoping for!


Bea zooms in a sloppy evasive maneuver, her long graceful wings give a deep hum as she hovers, twisting and turning to avoid various threats, but the thwip catches her off guard. It splats in her face and she recoils, flying backwards and up as she claws at the webbing stuck to her. In her movement, the goofy glowing pendant around her neck flings out and away from her neck /just/ enough.

And this is where we benefit from a little bit of zoomed in bullet time movie magic! The bullet grazes the dull metal ring and we see it chip and bend (!). How is that even possible? Then the delicate geometries needed for the focus break down and the device collapses in on itself with a neon blue <ka-FOOM>. The light is blinding for anyone looking in her direction.

Her scream is cut short barely into it. Those looking on who aren't blinded get to see the enormous Herc risking everything to catch Beatrice in her sudden drop from the sky. He catches her even as he's already shrinking. In seconds he's just a measly eight-foot tall entomological nightmare again. But the sudden transformation has shocked his system. He's awake long enough to get Bea on the ground, and then vomits yellow-green goo before collapsing face first onto the debris strewn pavement.

Near him, Beatrice is splayed out on her back, wings askew, most of the webbing burned off of her face. Her upper chest and face look pretty badly burned, but her labored breath still comes for now.

Up on the observation deck, Ms. Green turns, startled by the ding, even though she only has her mutant anthropomorphic ears. She's ready to fight, dodges the worst of the initial blast, but then sees all the ants are gone. And if Forge can see closely enough, he might even spy the tears streaming down Green's inhumanly human face. She screams her frustration and makes a lightning fast sprint to the edge the building to…


With an unusually noisy thud for the ninja insect woman, she lands next to Domino. But she doesn't use the movement to make an attack. It's clear that Green is holding back real sobs, but she can't deny the streams of tears. "Thank you. We have to go," she rasps to Domino. "Now." She holds out her arms to offer Leap travel services. It's like Uber, for jumpy people.


Domino knows the instant that her shot lands because the nightvision scope flares -GREEN- as the amulet gives off its blinding light. It's grounds for a select four-letter word being hissed as she pinches her eyes shut and looks away from the optics, her one eye absolutely blinded in that flash!

She can still hear the scream, though. In that moment all she can do is wonder if she made the right decision…

Before the unspoken question can really sink into the pit of her stomach she's suddenly not alone. This one she never sees coming, actually squeaking in shock as Green just -appears- right there and starts talking to her! "Is she—" Dom starts to ask then thinks better of it. The blanket is left behind (but not the rifle!) as she reaches out, with some hesitation, to take Green's offer.

Because there's -absolutely nothing creepy at all- about catching a Leap Travel Service from a giant feminine mantid.


Spider-Woman isn't sure what sucks more: the flash of light right in the eyelets, the black webbing coming seemingly out of nowhere and hitting her square in the back, or the fact that there isn't even a giant beetle for the weird black goop to glue her to anymore.

Her momentum carries her right over Herc's head with both hands clamped down over her eyes, because everybody knows that helps when you've been blinded, and she hits the pavement in an awkward heap.

Spider-Woman tries to quickly roll to at least take a knee while her vision clears, but she can't. Something's got her pinned down. "…the heck..?"


Swinging down, Venom lands with more grace then poor Spider-Woman did, the black spider tilting its head to the side and regarding her for a long moment. Its eyes are strange: they are like a splotch of white that moves organically. "You are not Spider-Man." it notes with a deep voice, "But you smell like him. You will explain and perhaps we will not kill you." And with that, its mouth opens in a hiss: the mouth itself is ear to ear, impossible, wide and with more teeth then god intended anything to have, complete with a creepy red tongue that flicks out and tastes the air.


Another sniper shot…? That can't be good. Although as Forge pushes forward, he pauses at the tears in the mantid's eye. What…? Well, he's not entirely sure of the cause, but he still rushes to the edge of the balcony to look down below. In a moment he's got a single eye scope up, intended for looking at things much closer than this… but it works well enough as a makeshift telescope. He gets a good look at Domino, taking her into memory before letting them go without further complaint. "Is anyone hurt?" he asks of those who were taken hostage. Things de-escalated a lot faster than he expected… but he can't really complain. He wasn't sure what he expected rushing into the fray, but getting out unscathed wasn't likely in his mind.


Being somewhat near where Herc and Beatrice have crash landed, Venom and Spider-Woman will find themselves also the attention of a swarming police maneuver. As soon as there's a break in the action, they come running in shooting. Dozens of cops are on the scene now, and all of them are a little amped up at the prospect of catching the Grover's Mill terrorist.

A spider and a venom certainly have room to escape, but probably not much time for chit-chat. Beatrice is starting to groan, but cops pile onto her. Herc still lies motionless beside her.

Upstairs, once the people see Forge is there to help, they thank him profusely for chasing away the terrifying mantid, and start making for the stairs and the long climb down.

Whistling through freezing winter wind, the mantid and the albino disappear into the night.


Somehow, Spider-Woman's vision clears just in time for her to get a real good look at Venom as he comes to loom over her, and this does not make her feel very good. The eyelets of her mask get huge and her exclamation is probably very familiar to the black spider's ears, in tone and delivery: "What the heck are you?!"

She asks, but she's struggling hard against the webbing and manages to jar an arm free just in time for the police to start rushing in. Answers will have to come another day. The Spider-Woman's mad scramble AWAY from Venom and the police is not very dignified, but as long as it's effective, ask her if she cares.


"We are Venom." That is all it can manage to say, for police come, and he turns, and snarls the nightmare mouth at them, but before anyone can react much— he's leaping into the air with all of his considerable strength, flinging webbing out to catch the building, and then swinging away. He's totally going to give the Spider-People a bad name.


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