1964-08-14 - Spider-Training goes off the rails
Summary: A casual get-together turns into a shocking twist in Gwen's new life.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
jessica-drew gwen-stacy 

She really had hoped for more.
She had met her idol, the Amazing Spider-Man…only he had turned out to be slightly shy of amazing. He might be a decent guy, maybe she just caught him on a bad night, but still…what he had said stung her. Like doing this sort of thing was some kind of…girlish lark.
She needed a good experience to cancel out the bad.
The call to Jessica's number took only about 30 seconds, but Gwen had been practicing and planning what she had planned to say for 15 minutes beforehand.
She took a breath, then dialed Drew's number.


"Go for Jessica," says a lilting, husky European voice. Jessica's just out of the shower; a fuzzy pink bathrobe and matching slippers cover her from chin to shin, and her hair's pulled up and swaddled in a coiling white towel to help it dry. She picks up the receiver in her left hand and the phone in the other; the brunette moves to her sofa and sprawls across the cushions with a careless ease, flopping into the comfort of the soft, well-worn old furnishings.

Wow, still nervous. The voice came over the line, clearly Gwen, but her voice was a little rushed, a little quiet, conspiratorial.
"Hi, it's Gwen. Listen…if you're not doing anything, would you like to join me for a little girl's night out? We can paint the town web."
The last word was a little quieter. The colloquialism was "painting the town red."
But to Jessica's ears, she had clearly was "web."

But to Jessica's ears, she had clearly heard "web."

"Hey Gwenster," Jessica says, her voice cheerily upbeat. "A girl's night out? I could be tempted," she agrees, glancing at the clock. Screw it, it's not like she had a hot date lined up. "Lemme get dressed and dry my hair; I'll meet you at …" she considers. "Y'know the building with the red roof?" she asks. Only a Spider or an aviator would easily place it, only a few blocks from Jessica's apartment. "I'll be there in twenty," she promises Gwen. "Toodles!"

Fifteen minutes later, a red and yellow clad form launches off the balcony of Jessica's apartment as Spider-Woman soars across the evening cityscape towards her rendezvous with the new Spider-Girl.

Gwen is already there, pacing nervously.
The new costume was good. She liked it. Were the blue feet out of place? It's too late, they're part of the costume. The slippers work. Geez, should she have made the hood? The hood was fine. It rained a lot, okay? A hood was necessary.
Jess wasn't going to like it. No, it's a good costume. It's better than the five-dollar job she had before.
"Ahhhh! Just…RELAX! JEEZ!" she admonished herself as she paced.

A few blocks from where Gwen and Jessica are making their rendezvous, a man stands outside in the chilly night air, wrapped in a trench coat. He's large for a human, though not large enough to necessarily be lopped into the category of 'gifted' (read: mutant, freak, or alien) by default. That pendulum could swing either way, to be fully honest, but he's hailed a cab, and that cab is rolling up the street right now.

Behind the wheel, one Kwabena Odame is driving. He's got the radio tuned to something low key, an AM station playing some old jazz music. His left arm is draped out the window, cigarette burning in the wind as the cab pulls up to pick up that fare. However, no sooner than the large fellow has entered the cab and sat down, does he pull out a 9 mm. The cold steel is placed right up against Kwabena's neck, and a gutteral voice speaks quietly from the back seat of that cab.

"Shift. You think that head of yours can go nuclear at point blank range?"

Behind his sunglasses, Kwabena scowls. "You want to find out, asshole?"


"Seriously," Jessica agrees, from overhead. She'd landed against the wall two dozen feet overhead, and scuttled invertedly down towards Gwen's position on a lower landing; her hair's pulled into an efficient, short ponytail and pinned in place at the nape of her neck with a pretty red and yellow broach.

She rolls back in a comfortable squat, nevermind the fact she's facing almost directly downwards at the street, and grins at Gwen from behind her yellow lenses. The goggles are slid up to her forehead.

"I love the new look. Very trendy," she approves. "Why're you so wound up, blondie?" she inquires, furrowing her brow a little.

No danger, no Spider-Sense. How easily she forgets.
"EEEP!" she blurts out, jumping back. She looks up at Spider-Woman, taking a few deep breaths. Jessica enjoyed it. You can't not sneak up on a person like that unless you're going for that look of dawning comprehension. "Jeez, Spidey-Spy…" She shakes her head as if to clear it, then looks up at Spider-Woman as the comment sinks in. "Wait…you like it?"

Kwabena stares at the large man holding him hostage from the backseat for a few long moments. Then, he puts the taxi into drive, and slowly moves it out into the street. "Where?" he asks, with no shortage of threat lingering just beneath an otherwise silken, heavily accented baritone.

"You're going the right way, Shift," the man answers. "Just keep driving. Nice, slow and easy."

"Definitely, it's so hip," Spider-Woman confirms, resting her forearms on her knees. "I love the tie-dye, it's so trippy," she adds, gesturing at the subtle bleed of color around the slippers and knees of the outfit. How Gwen did it is anyone's guess, but it does look pretty awesome.

"So you interrupted my evening of I Love Lucy and mint chocolate chip ice cream," Jess tells Gwen, her tone lilting and lacking any real rebuke. "What're you about? Somethin' on your mind, or just want to smell some fresh air?"

Gwen sighed. "Actually, I called you for more than that." She points down the street. "There have been a rash of bank heists in the last few weeks. People getting killed during the heists. I took a look at the files they have on the heists, and the National Bank on 12th is what I think is the next candidate. The vectors fit, the strands connect."
The strands connect? Where had that come from?
"I'd like to watch it tonight…I could use some help."

With a smirk, Kwabena reaches out and engages the fare meter. "Nice tah see you, too, Carl," the Ghanaian quips. "You remembah? I chahge doubah for bullshit."

"Slick, Shift," Carl answers. "Real slick. You know the National Bank on 12th?"

"Do not think dey are cashing checks at dis hoah," Kwabena retorts.

The hammer of that 9 mm is cocked back, and Carl sneers. "Just… drive."

"You mean company," Jessica says— but she laughs easily and drops off the side of the building, landing on her feet easily with the barest flexion of her knees. She pulls her ponytail back into place and grins at Gwen.

"Stakeouts suck. And I guess I'm dressed enough to get snacks if we get hungry. That's a free tip there, keep civilian clothes handy in case you get the hankering for lo mein," she tells Gwen, squeezing the other girl's tricep with playful affection.

"C'mon! We're not far from the bank; where d'you wanna watch it from?" she asks, moving to the roof and resting the sole of a thin boot on the low roof parapet.

White Widow fires a webline. "We can go to the parking garage across the street. Good sight line, and we can jump in. I'll give you the short version of things on the way." She jumps, and then she is off down the street, swinging a little wide and high.
It's pretty straight forward. Four guys, all with pistols and shotguns. Shoot someone on the inside if any night security causes trouble. One blows the vault, two handle overwatch. No witnesses.

Four guys… and a getaway car. It would seem that's what Carl is up to. As for why he went so far out of his way to drag Kwabena into it, well. The two have history, and that history extends into a dark world that Kwabena has tried very hard to get away from. Shadows follow people, though. Even at night.

The taxi slowly approaches its destination. "Carl, do you want to know why I am driving you to de bank?"

"Sure, Shift," answers Carl. "Ain't nothin' like a good story."

"Pretty simple, really," answers the African cabbie. "You see, I already fucked up two taxi. I don't want you to blow out dis windshield." He looks into the rear view mirror, and pulls off his sunglasses to reveal the clearly inhuman, silver eyes. "But de minute we get out of dis car? I'm gonna mess you up."

Jessica leaps into the air and soars behind Gwen. She can't swing, but she's a pretty fair glider; she uses walls and outcroppings to gain thirty feet of vertical leap at a time, then soar to the next landing point. Graceful, if slower and less artistic than Gwen's spider-style webslinging.

She follows along obligingly and lands next to Gwen in a low, four-point squat that seems to suggest she has no spine at all, given how effortlessly she cranes her neck around.

Three other men are waiting in the alley as the cab pulls up. They wait for Carl to get out so the work can begin. All are armed—one carries a pump-action shotgun, another a classic Thompson "tommy-gun" with a drum magazine. The third carries a pistol and a suitcase.

Carl smiles, holding up five one-hundred-dollar bills for Kwabena to see. "If you play your card right, forty-five more of his brothers. A day's pay for a day's work."
One of the bills has a tiny spot of red on Ben Franklin's face. It looks like a mole.

Gwen points down at the taxicab sitting at the front of the bank, at the curb. "That's suspicious…" Her head suddenly pivots to the left, closer to the bank. "Three others. If it's not going down, it's about to." She looks to the bank. "And…we have to wait until they go inside. Otherwise, the cops will have squat to hold them."

Eyeing those bills, Kwabena forms a rueful grin. "I told you, Carl. I'm retiahed."

Regardless, the cab pulls up to a stop, and parks legally. Kwabena reaches for the door handle, resting his palm there for a moment. "Ladies first," he quips, as if daring Carl to lose his cool and discharge his weapon prematurely.

"So?" Jessica sounds a little puzzled. "I'm pretty sure the guns alone are illegal. But they're obviously here to rob the bank. Let's go break a few arms. Put one or two of them in traction for six months," she says, with a breezy nonchalance for such casual violence. "I bet that'll teach them not to rob banks. The cops in this city don't exactly drive around armed to the teeth, and I mean— best case, they /might/ not kill someone. The laws in this country are kinda dumb," she tells Gwen, shifting her weight to leap off the building. "Let's just go get it done, huh?" she says, flashing a fearless grin at the White Widow.

Widow stops. "Okay…wait for the one in the cab to get clear. The last thing I was to do is get some porr cabbie caught in the damn crossfire…"

Carl smiles. "Polite to a fault." He paused. "Ray told me about you. So stay there like a good boy. Believe me, the real fireworks start AFTER we leave."
Carl opens the door and steps out, eyeing Kwabena warily before moving up the stairs. "Make it loud, Corny. We want to make it good. We have to make sure Stacy shows up…"

The cab driver waits patiently, staring at Carl with silver eyes until the large fellow turns away. He quietly opens the door, leaving it propped open rather than shutting it and alerting the others that he isn't quite obeying orders.

Blue jeans, a black tank top, and a leather jacket complete the ensemble. It is a chilly night, after all. The first couple of steps are a simple walk, but then, he breaks off into a full run, charging straight toward Carl and his band of merry assholes.

Jessica's already airborne and soaring across the gap between buildings; four stories up she's barely more noticeable than the owls in New York's collective eaves, hunting insects at night.

She hits the side of the bank and adheres to the wall, one hand and her soft-soled boot giving her enough traction for an inverted dangle.

She scowls heavily at the cab driver who's … running right into a dangerous situation.

Jessica mutters a Romani curse and drops soundlessly twenty feet, grabbing onto a window ledge and curling her fingers around raw green bioplasma in her palm. The guy with the submachine gun; he's the biggest threat to the area, and she focuses intently on him, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

Carl has enough time to turn and yell, "NOW!" before drawing his weapon and turning on Kwabena.
As Widow swears aloud and jumps over the ledge, the front of the back blows outward, glass showering out into the street. The other three stay in the alley, taking up positions before they begin opening fire on Kwabena.
For Gwen, it's the Clarisin bombing all over again and she takes cover behind the Checker cab, her hands over her ears trying to beat down the sudden, unreasoning fear. She can smell cordite and roasting pork, and it takes long seconds as her brain tries to beat the fear into submission.

Here's the funny thing. Running right into this kind of danger happens to be Kwabena's specialty.

The cabbie doesn't do a damn thing to avoid those guns. His body is literally peppered with bullets, but it only seems to slow him down. Holes are ripped through his clothing, but the shells pelt into the street behind him; some rip into a bus stop. Were it not for the darkness of the late evening street, the small tufts of black smoke would be visible, sucking back into his body from the holes in his clothing.

He staggers a few times, but keeps on moving, headed in a beeline toward Carl.

"Time to run, Carl!" he snarls, and begins taking those steps in leaps of three.

Just as the Thompson is levelled, a sizzling fistful of bioplasma slaps into the shooter's shoulders. It burns like fire and acid all at once; the man screams as Jessica's Spider-Bite sears his flesh, but his agony lasts only until Spider-Woman drops out of the air and kicks him in the back of the head. She barely touches the ground; she leaps and twirls, grabbing another fellow by the back of his collar and flinging him head over heels into a wall, twelve feet up. He hits with *smack* and drops on his head— nightnight.

Jessica looks at Kwabena, and her eyes widen behind her goggles. "You, again?!" she demands of the Ghanian cabbie.

The one called Corny fires his gun empty, then slings the suitcase towards Carl as Carl continues to fire at Kwabena, as if hoping one more bullet will do the job. Corny then reaches into his pocket and pulls out a slim tube with a red button on the end, his face showing amazement. His arm holds the detonator out towards Spider-Woman. "Don't…don't you touch me! There's enough plastique in that case to level the whole damn block! Either you let me walk…or I'll send us all to…"


The detonator suddenly flies out of Corny's hand and flies towards the cab, and a white-gloved hand plucks it out of the air almost delicately. "..whew…it worked," Widow said, sounding exhausted.

From the corner of his eye, Kwabena spies the woman in yellow and red, flipping about and making short work of those gunmen. Well, that's a relief; he thought he was out here alone, and frankly? Being shot so many times is annoying.

"What, me?" he snaps in Spider-Woman's direction. "You! I had dis handled!"

When the detonator comes out, however, he skids to a halt. There are a precious few moments where he wonders what might happen next, when suddenly, that detonator goes flying right past his face and back toward his cab.

Kwabena turns to Carl, and his eyes glimmer. "Put it down, Carl," he growls, and begins stalking toward the man holding a gun toward him. "Ah you really dat dense?" A crackling sound comes from the cabbie's body, and the exposed skin of his hands begins transforming into its supersolid state.

A grin spreads open. "Go ahead. Shoot."

Jessica vaults sideways; she sticks to the side of a building and starts spider-crawling towards Carl, eyes intent on him and bioplasma curling up from her fingertips each time a hand lifts from the side of the building. It's unnerving as hell, plus her neck seems to have no bones in it; she clambers along with unnatural flexibility, more spider than human at the moment and adding to Kwabena's effective intimidation of the fellow.

Few like to tangle with capes, let alone three capes of indeterminate moral code.

Carl looks at Kwabena for a long moment, and then there is the sound of sirens in the distance. Carl sighs. "I'm not getting paid enough for this," he grumbles, then tosses the pistol to the side. The slide is racked back, showing it is empty anway. He holds up his hands, but is smiling. "Shame, man. You were a helluva driver."

Widow walks over to the suitcase, putting her fingers on the latches. No buzz in the back of her head. She flips the latches open and opens the lid.

There are indeed four thick bricks of homemade plastique, but the blasting caps, det cord, and transmitters are in separate plastic bags with twist ties.
"It's okay…he's got explosives, but it's not wired up. We're okay."

"Tell Ray I'm done!" Kwabena calls after Carl, before his body begins armoring down. He looks on after the large fellow trundles off, then diverts to study the holes all over his clothing. "I really liked dis one," he remarks of his leather jacket, frowning.

At White Widow's appearance and remarks, he turns to study her next, then looks skyward toward wherever the other one went. Silver eyes squint just so, before he looks back to the one handling explosives. "Best let de fuzz handah it," he advises. "Not much good to us if you blow yahself up."

"Sissy," Jessica taunts Kwabena; she's danging upside down from a nearby light pole now, one ankle hooked around it so she can lay flat with her fingers interlaced behind her head; her voice comes surprisingly close to his head.

"It's just some Comp A. Low grade European explosives," she says, wrinkling her nose. She looks over at Gwen.

"You doing ok over there?" she inquires of her ally, a little concern in her tone at Gwen's earlier fearful response to violence.

Widow looks to Spider-Woman. It had been bad. Really bad. It had been close to being as bad as…
She saw the first car pull up. Her father, of course, because God hates her.

She stopped.
Everything stopped.
Ray? Had the cabbie said RAY?
"It's a tough old world, Gwen."
She looked down the street. One long corridor. ending at Greenwish Avenue at the other end.
Her mouth opened, but nothing came out.

Ray put down the donut and looked through the scope.
There he was.
He flipped the safety off.

Widow looked to Spider-Woman, her mouth forming words, soundless words.
Ray had set it up. Ray had paid them to do this. She couldn't be so paranoid to think a rash of bank robberies had been…

Jessica's instincts aren't full Spider-ish. But she's been trained as a spy. A saboteur. A deep state agent. She's smart, too, despite her pretty, glamorous features, and her laidback manner conceals a surprisingly strategic mind.

So it starts coming together rather quickly all of a sudden; the strange timing, the 'armed/disarmed' bomb; the perfect sightlines.

Just out of reflex she looks down the street to spot the glint of a scope and the tell-tale shadow of a rifle muzzle emerging from the window.

Jessica curls her legs and launches herself at Gwen, a shocking burst of red and yellow motion going right for the White Widow.

Not to hurt her— but to push her from the sniper's line of fire.

Widow turns to look at her father, her eyes widening. Right…this was in his precinct. Of course he was…
Her heart froze.
Of course he was going to be there.
Her Spider-Sense rises and then she is knocked sprawling on the pavement by Spider-Woman.
"Get off! What are you…?" She turned her head to see her father looking oddly at the two heroines tangled up on the ground.
"What the blue Hell…?"

"Hello, Captain Stacy."
The shot came high, hitting Captain Stacy just under the base of the neck. Hydrostatic shock sent a lethal pulse to his brain, faster than the pain-induction transfer.
For Captain Stacy, it was completely painless.

"Goodbye, Captain Stacy."

Ray got up and headed for the far wall, leaving the rifle where it was.

Jessica's head whips around just in time to watch the senior Stacy drop like a bag of hammers. She's seen headshots before; the crack of the supersonic bullet catches up, almost like punctuation of his collapse.

She springs off of Gwen and hooks off a lightpost, then grabs onto a building; with a loping, weird grip-hop, she scrambles along the sides of the buildings almost faster than she can run, hands and feet clambering along as she gives chase to the fleeing sniper.

Maybe to no avail.

Gwen jumps up after hearing the shot. She looked at herself, but saw no blood.
Then she looked at the car. Captain George Stacy was laying against the unmarked car he had driven for years. His eyes were open, seeing nothing.

Her father was dead.
*…no. Nononononononono…*
Then Spider-Woman was gone and the cops were crowding around the body of her father and she broke. She didn't even using a webline to leave, she just ran.

The sniper was gone when Jessica found the window to the room. The rifle was laying on the bed, a letter on hotel stationary held down by the barrel of the rifle.

You have to realize this is all your fault. If you had just let me go, you would have been a rich woman. But you burned everything. You ruined things for me, so I have to ruin things for you.

This is only the beginning.

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