1964-08-21 - Justice Can Be Black and White
Summary: White Widow and Shift convene to stop some criminals busting evidence out of a police precinct. Turns out it's related to the assassination of George Stacy.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kwabena gwen-stacy 

GOD, she needed this!

She had spent days in that house. It had been always a comfort, but now it had become a kind of prison. Gwen had been unable to leave that place where so many memories had been crafted and were, until recently, holding her prisoner.
In the end, she had to accept that her father was dead. And that he would tell her not to live the rest of her life mourning for him, because then she might as well have climbed into the casket with him. He was dead, but she wasn't. And he would want her to live.
Putting the costume on had been…liberating. She hadn't worn it but once since the funeral. Now, it was the connection to her life, the strand that connected her to life, and it pulled her out and into the night.

For days now, Kwabena had been stalking a man named Carl. Somehow connected to the murder of George Stacy, Kwabena knew the man from his old life, and had been dropping carrots in the form of US dollars, marked with the man's name and spent in areas where the Italian thug had been known to frequent.

Finding no bites, he's gotten stir crazy.

It is late in Central Park when Kwabena can be found, walking the poorly lit pathways with a lit cigarette. The chilly air is warded off by a trench coat, but beneath that, he wears the costume he'd recently procured. He doesn't suspect that he will find his mark this night, but the hunt has him feeling stir crazy, unable to sleep. So, here he is, searching for troublemakers. There's no shortage of them in the park, after midnight.

Carl was tired. He had spent the last few days in lockup, and it had taken forever before he finally got bailed out.
Of course, that kind of bailout came with a price tag, and he had suspected it was such even before he stepped out of the cell.
"You didn't say anything about it being a hit."
The dark man smiled. "So thank me for not making you an accessory. Now, I want you to do a job for me. All the evidence on the bombing last month is in four boxes at the 12th Precinct. I want them. And you will get them for me."
Carl nearly exploded, "WHAT? You want me to heist a POLICE building? Unh-unh. Count me out, and when you start counting, count me FIRST."
"Relax. I'll take care of the cops, you get the boxes. Or you go back in, and I make sure you get put in with four bull queers to make your stay memorable."
Carl sighed heavily. "You really hate that Stacy kid, don't you?"
The dark man grins. "You have no clue, Carl."

So that was when, while most of the cops were absent, the back door was suddenly blown off its hinges.

Not far from the precinct in question, Kwabena hears the door being blown off it's hinges. He pauses in his wander, glancing toward the city proper, then takes off at a bolt pace run in the direction of the sound. As he goes, the trench coat is shredded, revealing a form fitted costume of dark, gunmetal gray. His footsteps begin leaving dents in the ground, as the sheer adrenaline of the moment prompts his body to solidify, which gives him strength outside his usual nature.

The police inside are still trying to get the ringing out of their ears when tear gas grenades are tossed in, and then it's just get out while the getting's good.
Carl and Frank stepped in through the door, guns at the ready. "Let's get these boxes and go."

Gwen hears the alarm, then looks in the direction of the city she has looked at a hundred times.
She fires a webline and heads towards the sound of alarms…

Running hard and fast, Kwabena has no clue what he's running into. He only knows that he wants to do something good for a change, and now, he has a costume. What good it may do him if he turns to smoke, or if it's ends up bullet ridden.

He leaps over a row of bushes, then reaches to stretch the black mask over his face. It's then when he comes to the avenue bordering Central Park, and skids to a halt.

"Police Precint?" he says to himself, perplexed for a moment. "What de hell?"

Regardless, he runs across the street, between passing cars, and begins looking for a way in that is not the front entrance.

Two men are standing at the entrance to the parking area behind the precinct. They watch as two other men hustle out of the rear door, each carrying two file boxes, stacked double. One of the guards opens the trunk of a police car as they arrive, and begin putting the boxes in the trunk.
Then Kwabena sees the ringleader.
Carl shoves the boxes in the trunk, then growls, "Come on. Load those things and shag ass! Time's running out."

Then there is the sound of a "THWIPP!" and the front of the car and the ground around it is coated in webbing.
A voice from above says, "Time's RUN OUT, jackholes."

An examination of the building reveals that the back entrance is likely the best place with which to enter. Now masked up, Kwabena bolts onto the ramp that leads from the street below, and rounds the bend just in time to witness two things.

One… is Carl. The other is a burst of webbing that comes down from above, drawing the Ghanaian to pause for a moment. This is all too familiar.

Suddenly going quiet, Kwabena wills his body to steadily revert to its normal state. It's a quiet transformation, paired with a soft popping and hissing that could easily get lost in the din of racket these criminals are creating. He creeps up the ramp, and spies from behind a cement wall; the darkness of his costume does well to keep him hidden in the darkness of night.

Carl looks up. Great. Another costumed girl. Just what he needed.
"What's in the boxes, buddy? Doing your back-to-school shopping?"
"Frank, Mack, Wilson, KILL THIS BITCH for me?"
The other three duly complied, and Gwen ducked behind another cop car as the air above her head seemed to be filled with hornets.

With a gasp, Kwabena bursts forth from his hiding place. There are men between himself and Carl, but that's… not much to worry about. His footsteps are quiet at first, but they quickly become ominous thuds, paired with the crackling sound of his mutant body becoming supersolid. Mack is the closest target, and the African lowers his body in a full charge, bent on slamming the fellow in his legs. It won't be pretty if he connects, but at the very least, the thug will live.

Mack is laughing as he peppers the car with bullets. He loves this gun! He's going to blow her aw-
And then the world spins as he hears a loud CRUNCH as his arms break simultaneously. He is propelled into another car, wrapped over the hood, the German Sten he was using warped and useless.

Carl spotted the freight train masquerading as a person and blinked. It was a moving statue that looked like…
The only image that came to mind was some kind of tank, painted black.
He slammed the door and jumped in the cop car, gunning the engine.
The tires squealed, which would sound like a car squealing away in some movie. Only…the cop car wasn't moving. As gossamer as it looked, it was pinning the car in place.
Then the car door was yanked open and a white hand grabbed him, yanking him out of the car and throwing him against the wall. He barely had to to fall before he was webbed to the wall.
That was when the other men turn to see Carl and White Widow.
"What the…?" one of them whispered.

The figure in black doesn't stop after he's barreled through Mack. He keeps on moving right toward the one named Wilson, only this time his game is changed up a bit. Rather than going for the brutal, football-style tackle, he ducks low and lifts up, aiming to peel Wilson right off the ground. From behind the mask, there comes a growl, and he reaches up in an attempt to grapple Wilson and throw him toward the wall of the building.

"Carl!" snarls the masked figure, laying claim to the man he's been hunting of late.

Carl groans. All circuits seem to be busy at the moment.
Frank looks around and can SEE the hideously ugly jail call he was going to inhabit tonight if he stuck around. He dropped the gun and ran like Hell. No way was he going back to prison!
Unfortunately, as a specialist in chaos theory would say, life…heh, heh…finds a way.
He is caught by something that snags his coat and YANKS him back. He lands hard on the ground, the wind knocked out of him, and he moans dazedly as he finds himself being reeled in over the rough concrete. Sayonara, cool jacket, it was nice knowin' ya…

The figure in black skids to a halt when the criminals seem to be either tied up, or otherwise smashed and in dire need of a visit to the hospital. He's crouched down, one hand on the ground as his masked head looks around from side to side, until eventually, his face seems to center upon the vehicle in which Carl must be hidden.

He wasn't alone, however. Looking up into the shadows, he lifts his voice with a much less ferocious demeanor. "Who's out dere?"

There is another THWIPP! and then the female form rose from a crouch, the large lidless eyes of the mask regarding him with some speculation.
"I sincerely hope you are one of the good guys…because I don't want to find out how strong I am fighting a big guy like you."

For a long moment, the masked figure simply stares at the figure in white. He's hesitant, at first, but then again… they're both wearing masks. Eventually he begins to stand, and a series of crackles and hisses comes with the reverting of his body to its normal density. It's hard to tell what's going on, considering the black costume that covers him. "Guess you'll just have to take mah word fah it," the accented man speaks. He then gestures toward the police car. "You aftah dat piece of shit over dere?" he asks.

The figure shook her head. "I'm just here to stop bad guys." She looks at the building. So many good memories…and now she can add the acrid smell of tear gas to those memories. She looked back to the man in black, then said, "You can call me the White Widow."

It takes a moment for the man to consider how to answer. He'd thought enough to procure the costume, but hadn't considered what to call himself. However, given his past… there was only one thing that came to mind. "I am Shift," he answers, before moving over toward the police vehicle. "Dis man," he says. "He knows someone who killed someone. If he goes into custody, I may nevah find de pahson who was de killah." He turns and looks back toward the White Widow, masked face expressionless. "We have to let him go. Track him."

Widow stepped closer. "Who got killed?" she asked, peering at Carl as he lay pinned against the precinct wall. She tried to mark as many details about him as possible.

"Geahge Stacy," Shift answers. "Captain. One of de good ones." The last part is spoken with a sort of bitterness, as if he'd seen both sides of law enforcement. "Carl dere… he didn't pull de triggah. But I think he knows who did."

She seems to freeze in place. No. No, it couldn't be.
She takes a deep breath. She is afraid to ask. But God hates a coward.

"…Wa his name Ray?"

The black-clad person's chest heaves with a couple of deep breathes. His mask remains transfixed on Carl, but at the woman's question, he cants his head in her direction. "Dat… is de name I heard him say, yes. Ray."

He then turns to consider the woman, costumed much in the same manner as he, and cants his head slightly.

The sudden change is almost physical. It is as if the woman's entire body tenses and hardens, and it is as if he can see every single muscle in her body.
Half a heartbeat after Shift says the word, Widow LEAPS at the pinned Carl, feet landing on the wall to each side of Carl's body. One hand rises, and it is enough to see she is standing on the wall before she slaps him. HARD.
Carl's head rocks to the side, his eyes wide open. He stares uncomprehendingly at Widow. "Wha…?"

The words seem to drip acid. In a world where a comedian could face obscenity charges for noting you can prick your finger but not finger your prick, the expletive is almost shocking. Shift can hear a deep-seated fury in her voice, primal and guttural, and for a moment is is easy to imagine a spider's face under that mask, preparing to chew Carl's face off.

For a long moment, Shift continues to stare at the White Widow. Something about this feels entirely off… he had a vendetta here, to be sure, but it wasn't nearly so personal. He considers, for a moment, if this is merely some parlor trick, an interrogation strategy designed to throw Carl off base. But it just doesn't feel like that sort of a strategy,

"He won't tell you," the masked Ghanaian observes. "He's Italian. Mafia. He'd take a bullet befah selling out one of his own." The figure in black takes a few steps toward White Widow, one hand lifted in a halting gesture. "Ah you prepared to cut off his fingahs? Beat him to a pulp? Because dat might work. Or, it might not."

Still, his attention remains transfixed upon the Widow, not upon their prey. This is not at all what he might have expected.

Carl looked up at her. "I…don't know…"
"LIAR!" Another slap, Carl crying out at the pain. It is easy to get the sense she is glaring at him. "TALK!"
Carl looked up at her. His nose was bleeding, and Shift can smell it in the air. "He wouldn't tell me. HE finds ME, not the other way around. He shows up like the goddamned boogeyman when you least expect. It's like he's not human!"

The man in black is not phased by the slap, nor is he phased by the horrible anger in the White Widow's voice. However, he takes a few long steps, closing the distance between them. He comes up alongside of the woman in white, turning his masked face from Carl to the woman, then back to Carl again. That's when he does the unexpected.

Reaching up, Shift slips a gloved hand under his chin. The mask his peeled up, slowly, revealing dark skin and, eventually, a pair of silver eyes that might be recognizable to both Gwen and Carl alike.

"You know dis face," the man says to Carl.

Carl, turning towards Shift, gasps. "What the… what the fuck? Kwab-"

"You know dis face," repeats Shift. "And you know you can't kill me. So… I want you to listen to me, very cahfully." He steps forward, placing one hand upon the wall next to Carl's face, then comes in closer, setting the other hand to the other side of the man's head. "You." The words come out with a nasty snarl. "Will lead us. To him."

Kwabena waits for a moment. Then, with a baring of teeth, his face and head transforms. Skin becomes super-solid, adopting a rocky transfiguration more like raw steel than flesh, and with a single forward motion, he bashes his forehead into Carl's temple.

Carl's head rocks back, which is no help, because hey, wall. The back of his head hits the wall, and his head falls forward again. He moans thickly. "He…calls me. I don't…"

"The evidence boxes. What did he tell you to do with the evidence boxes?" Widow's voice is hard. "Destroy them?"
Carl shakes his head, his voice dull. "He…wants them. Something in them…blood samples from the animals they tested. Files they recovered. I…am supposed to call him. He'd…tell me where to leave them."
In a flash, Widow is off the wall and at the back of the cop car. The trunk is closed and locked, but Widow seems to be in a hurry. There is a shearing of metal and then she RIPS the trunk door off, tossing it aside.

Kwabena sneers at the man, before stepping back and lowering the mask back over his head. He fixes it at the neck, completing the costume once more, then turns and strides over toward where the Widow is working at the trunk door. "What will you do with dem, once you have dem?" he asks, his voice oddly calm, in spite of the adrenaline that courses through his veins.

Where was it, where was…


She grabbed the plastic evidence bags, the vials clinking inside. She then found the paper bag marked MEDICAL FILES and grabbed them, too.
She walked back to Carl, her voice low and murderous. "Here's what you can tell him, Carl. Tell them these are going to GWEN STACY, and that they are HER inheritance."

Remaining back, Kwabena adapts himself into a firm stance. However, he does not interfere with the White Widow. Instead, he folds his arms over each other, and allows the woman to make the next move.

Carl looks at her. "The cop's girl…? Jesus…"
Widow nodded. "And if he asks if you know anything else…tell him, 'IT'S A TOUGH OLD WORLD, RAY.' He'll get the message."
Widow reached up to rip the webbing loose, and Carl dropped to his hands and knees, gasping. "Then she's dead, whoever or whatever you are. He'll kill her."
Widow leaned over him. "Yeah…forgive me if I doubt his ability to kill Gwen Stacy…"

Behind the mask, Kwabena's eyes widen. He finds himself struggling to believe that the grieving, young woman, not more than a year or two behind him in age, could be the same person masked up and costumed, displaying such fantastic abilities. And yet, the dots become connected. The same costume, glimpsed a few times on the night with Captain Stacy was murdered.

It's a wild guess, but it makes sense. Shift's chest rises and falls with a sort of defeated nature, and he turns away, peering toward the city's skyline as it appears, so close to them in the throes of Manhattan.

It is then that he makes a decision. Kwabena turns and walks back toward Carl. He has every intent of interjecting himself between the two, and unless he's stopped, well… he'll seek to bash the criminal's head into the wall until he loses consciousness, and no doubt suffers brain injury as well.

Widow turns, as if sensing the hard intent and she steps in front of him. She places those slim hands on his shoulders…
And he is suddenly, forcefully, held in place. She is not squeezing his shoulders, and there is no pain of any kind, but he is getting no closer. "NO." She pauses. "One, he did not kill Captain Stacy. Two, we NEED him to get away so he can report to Ray what happened. Three, you hurt him any worse than I have and he's no good to anyone."
She doesn't want to say these things. But she realizes two things. She wants Ray, not this trash. And she is getting the feeling she is approaching some crossroads—is she becoming a detective, or just a vigilante?

When stopped, Shift offers no fight. Instead, he levels his masked face upon the masked face before him, his exposed mouth twisting into a thin line. "You want him to suspect who you ah?" he asks quietly. "He'll go aftah dose you love. Dose you hold… close to you. Is dat what you want?"

Widow looks back. "Then maybe I should make myself clear." She turned back to Carl. "Carl…?" she says in a singsong voice.
Carl freezes in the act of limping away. So close. "…What?"

"Tell him if he goes after anyone else but me or Stacy, the first thing I'll do is destroy the samples, then come after him. He even LOOKS at anyone else funny, the files and the samples go in the furnace. Tell him THAT."
Carl blinks, then nods. He hears sirens and begins to limp faster.

Widow points to a rooftop, then says, "Meet me there." She reaches upward with her right arm and a thin line shoots from her inner wrist, spiraling upward before hitting something overhead. "…unless you want me to give you a lift?"

Well played. Shift's back straightens, and he looks from Carl to Widow with a very subtle curve to his mouth; a smirk. "Haven't figured out how to fly yet," he quips drily, before stepping over toward the woman. He eyeballs that thin line, then looks toward Gwen dubiously. What exactly could she mean by 'a lift'?

He's got a few guesses.

Nodding his head, Shift reaches out and offers an arm.

Widow slides an arm under Shift's shoulders, then pulls…

…and up they go.
She moves up like a cat on uppers, scaling the wall at a speed that is practically a run. Carrying a full-grown man.
Ten seconds later, they are up on the roof and Widow loosens her grip on Shift, as cop cars from the 12th and other precincts show up. The samples and the files are in the backpack on Widow's back.

And only when she is sure no one can see them does she flip back the hood and pull off the mask, revealing the golden hair and startled blue eyes of the cop's daughter.

Now that isn't what Kwabena expected. He gasps, and actually finds himself holding his breath when the building is scaled so effortlessly, and he's hauled right along, like a feather.

When they reach the rooftop, he scrambles to a landing, and not as graceful of a landing as he might like. He darts his masked head from Widow to the lip of that roof, and creeps over to peer down at the encroaching police cars.

The man's mouth forms an 'O', and he breathes out a sigh of relief before turning back around to rejoin White Widow. "What was…" he starts to ask, but then finds himself going silent when she pulls back the mask to reveal the woman beneath.

Silence lingers for a few moments, before he reaches up to undo his own mask, pulling it free until it's bunched up atop his head, clinging there.

The expression of surprise only lasts for a few moments. Kwabena's face eventually forms a thin line, and he breathes out a long sigh of relief. "You were dere, too," he says quietly. "I'm… I'm sorry."

Gwen nods, sighing deeply. "I am too…more than you know. So…I should probably tell you." She looks out to the city, her voice quiet.

"I'm the reason my father is dead. Why my friend Johnny is dead, too." She pauses. "All because I wouldn't die like Ray wanted me, too."

Kwabena turns, looking out at the city as well. It's quite peaceful from this height, even though there are sirens below and the echoing sounds of cops scuffling about. "Why?" he asks. Then, his expression darkens a bit. "Because of what you are? What you can do?"

Gwen looks to Kwabena. "You know about the Clarisin bombing, right? I got a peek at the file. You were there, along with some other people. Well…I was there, too. With Ray, and Johnny, and a few other people.
We were inside the building."

A simple nod acknowledges that Kwabena was, in fact, there. However, at her revelation, his eyebrows shoot upward, and he turns back away to look out at the evening sky. He reaches a gloved hand up to his head, rubbing his temple a bit; the mask falls off his head, flopping back against his back. Then, with a sigh, he leans back and plops down on the rooftop, spreading his legs out before him.

"Yeah. I was dere. Thought it was suspicious, how de police showed up so quickly. Turns out… dey were tipped off. It was all some kind of set up."

LOG NOTE: stretching, not spreading

Gwen sits down on the tarpaper roof. "Johnny called and asked for my help. I now think Ray wanted me there so I could die in there. Me and Johnny had dated for awhile. I think Johnny told Ray about it." She rubbed her face, then continued.
"There were…things in there. Strange animals, creatures changed in ways I can't pretend to understand. Ray waid it was to be a protest, but he was actually planning to steal as much as he could and hide the theft with a bomb."

"Creatures," Kwabena echoes. "Dere were… animals on de loose. Sort of like, normal animals who mutated, grew into horrible beasts. Maybe dey were connected?" He glances over toward Gwen, before diverting his attention back to the city. "So why tip of de police?" he asks, frowning. "If he wanted to kill you…"

His eyebrows shoot upward again, and he draws his gloved hands together to wring them, uncomfortably. "Ray wanted yah fathah to find your body. And when he couldn't kill you… he went aftah him instead." Here, Kwabena proves his general lack of tact; he squints his eyes and shakes his head. "What a mind fuck."

Gwen sighs. "It's worse. I caught him off-guard and took a lighter to all the papers and data tapes. Torched it all. Then he knocked me out, and left me while he ran with the others. But Johnny didn't get out."

She looks to Kwabena. "Neither did I."

At these confessions, Kwabena nods his head slowly. He's no stranger to difficult situations, but at the last revelation, he turns silver eyes toward Gwen. Interestingly, he doesn't seem surprised.

"Is okay," he says, and reaches out to seek her hand. "I cannot be killed, eidah. And…" He looks away, studying the skyline with a distant frown. "Have lost peopah, too."

Gwen touched her face. "I don't know why I didn't die. I woke up about 15 minutes after the explosion, laying on a fire escape a few blocks away. I…try to remember what had happened to me, but all I get is…the smell of roast pork. I think I was horribly burned, but…my mind won't let me remember, exactly. The only thing I remember feeling was trying to get back to the house…so that I could die at home. Gwen Stacy, the Charbroiled Cannonball…and yet somehow, I made it."

Kwabena squeezes her hand for a moment before letting go. It's an ugly story, and he can't help but wonder if the ordeal didn't leave her terribly scarred underneath the costume. Still, it's all gotten so heavy. He could ask if this was when she developed her abilities. Instead…

"If it is consolation, I usually end up naked when I die." He smirks a bit. "I turn into smoke, and… clothes just fall off. Because I am smoke."

Gwen raises an eyebrow. "Uhm, okay…except when I woke up the next morning, well…let me show you." She pulls off the gloves of her left hand, revealing the sleeve of the costume stops at just after her elbow.
The skin of her forearm is clean and unmarked.
"I woke up found I had…sloughed off the burned skin. I don't know how or why. It looked like a roast-pork cocoon…or one of those open pods from INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS."

Kwabena turns and looks to see what she reveals, and he can't help but grin. "So, you're one of us," he says. "Some kind of… mutant, or something." He nods his head, as if to say he has an understanding about not understanding it all.

"Eidah way… shouldn't hold yahself responsibah for what happened," he tells her. "You did yah best; it wasn't enough. So? Try again."

Gwen Stacy nods. "Maybe…but I think Ray…or whoever hired him…was not happy I turned up alive and the data was destroyed. And it's not completely destroyed. Those samples the cops took of the mutated animals…you could learn stuff from it? Work backwards or figure out what worked and what didn't?"

"But we have to find Ray first," Kwabena agrees. "Make she he answers for what he did."

Gwen nods. "And the only way to flush him out is to give him a target. So…I volunteered myself as bait. It makes the most sense. He doesn't know why or how I survived. And giving him the best possible chance to get something out of this…it may be too much to resist."

And yet, offering herself up as bait backfired in a big way; her father paid the price.

What a mind fuck.

Kwabena doesn't speak of that, but his brow can be found knit into a crease. "You ah playing on his greed, his, ah, how to say it? His confidence." He looks back over to Gwen with a steady look. The dim glow of city lights reflects within his silver irises in a feline manner. "Ah you bulletproof?"

Gwen looks to him. "No…but I can dodge bullets. So that's a kind of bulletproof." She sighs. "Look, if you've got any other suggestions better than painting a target on JUST me instead of everyone around me…which, hey, is THERE ANYWAY…please don't keep it to yourself."

This time, Kwabena doesn't look away. Gwen's salt receives a smirk; likely one of the rudest things s person could answer with, but it's short lived. The smirk quickly turns into a stern expression, and his brow dips forward. "Yes. It is dere anyway. It was when you put yahself up as bait. Not saying it was a mistake, Gwen. Might have been bad call, but I doubt you made de decision haphazardly. We all fuck up. We all have to live with our own consequences."

Its a harsh thing to say, but, he's going somewhere with it.

First though. "Who else is at risk? Yah friends? Need to decide if you're gonna tell dem. You got a job? Going to univahsaty? Gonna tell dem too?"

Gwen frowns. "That's not an easy question. Right now, Ray just thinks I lived. He doesn't know I was…changed. All he knows is that I should be dead, but I'm not. Not knowing…" She pauses. "Two others know. I don't know if Ray can get to them. He's going after the people in my normal life. If he knew about these powers, I don't think he'll kill me. I think he'll want what's in me. I don't think he can just walk away…and I think that if there was any chance he could get what he thinks he lost, he'll take it."

"Den you need to decide what to do with de peopah in yah normal life. De one without dis." He reaches over to flip the edge of her mask once. "Dis shit is like a very ugly game of chess. Can't change de fact dat someone has to be de pawn."

Now, for this part, he looks away. Kwabena draws his feet back up and wraps his costumed arms around his knees. "I don't keep many friends in my normah life, for dis reason. My parents, dey are both around, but… dey might as well be dead. Fathah is in Ghana. Much political strife dere right now, too dangahrous to have his 'American' boy come to visit." There is some loathing there, as if his father's diplomatic work was made more important than his relationship with Kwabena.

"As for moddah? She lives in flophouse uptown, giving blowjobs for crack cocaine. I think she wants to die, but is too afraid to bite de bullet. Dose ah de peopah I grew up with, Gwen. Bad peopah, with de devil in dere souls." He rarely even speaks of this, and it's likely apparent given the edge in his voice.

"You wanted my opinion. I say, is too risky waiting for dis clown to pop up. You want to dig up Ray? I can probably do it." He then turns back to her. "I still have connections to de old life. Would not be easy. Would dance with de devil to get to him. But it might be fastah, and leave fewah innocent people in de path of harm."

Gwen Stacy rubs her temples. "Ahhhh…okay. But unless he figures out what I can do, we need to get him on something and hand him over to the cops. Stick in some concrete box. I think there are enough cops loyal to my father who can make that happen." She groans. "We can't…kill him. I'm a crimefighter, not an assassin."

"Look, I am offahring to get back into de criminal undahworld in ordah to siphon dis man out," Kwabena offers. "De last thing I want is a murdah charge." As is, it's gonna take some maneuvering to get Ray on something the cops can use, without also getting himself a warrant.

"Besides." His tone flattens. "I don't want to kill anyone. Unless I'm forced to." Sounds as if he's familiar with that road.

Gwen nods. "Okay…good. So, what's the next step on your end?"

Gwen nods. "Okay…good. So, what's the next step on your end?" She looks around, then pulls her mask back on, pulling up the hood. "Because I just threw the rock into the pool, and all I can do right now is watch for the ripples."

"Guess I'll go and visit mom," Kwabena quips. "Bound to run into some of de old boys dat way. Meanwhile… find a cop you can trust. Someone who gets it, and let 'em know what's going on. Just… do me a favah, and leave 'Kwabena' out of it." He reaches for his mask as well, smirking. "De old boys always called me, 'Shift', anyway. Guess it stuck."

Widow tilts her head. "Shift. Sounds interesting. At least you didn't have to go looking for alternate handles when the first, second, and third choices were taken." She walks to the ledge, then looks around. "Uhhh…there's not roof access. Want me to lower you down before I head home."

The mask is stretched back over his face, finishing the transformation into 'Shift', and he stands up. "Tough life, isn't it?" he quips, before approaching the ledge nearby. He casts a look her way, grinning a bit. "Dig de getup, by de way. Groovy." It sounds so funny when he tries to use American slang.

At the offer, though, he shakes his head. "No no, is ahkay. Getting down from rooftops? Dat is my specialty."

He prowls to the right for a moment, until he finds a shadowy spot in an alley away from all of the cruisers and flashing lights. "Listen, if you need to find me? Leave message at de Eight Ball." Then, he tips the girl a salute, before swan diving right off the edge of the building.

"…Crispy crap!"
Widow literally leaps to the edge of the building, peering down and wondering what she was going to see. He didn't LOOK suicidal, but looks can be deceiving…!

Shift forms himself into a swan dive, going down and down and down. However, there is no crash or thud, no meaty sound of bones cracking on brick. Instead, there's the soft sound of a costume hitting the earth, and for a moment, that costume goes slack. It's difficult for normal eyes to see, but a plume of black smoke shoots out from the hole in that mask, only to be sucked back in a few seconds later. Then, the slackened costume forms into the shape of a man again, and Shift is running down the alley, beating feet to get outta dodge.

Widow blinked twice behind the mask. "My life is…VERY WEIRD." She fired a webline at the next building over and headed in the direction of Queens. Life goes on, even when you have a psychopath stalking you.

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