2019-05-13 - The Vultures Circle


The Spider Team is called in to help retrieve Nightfall artifacts in the city

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon May 13 04:00:31 2019
Location: Botanical Gardens Queens

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Theme Song



With the information in hand from Captain Steve Rogers, the Spiders and allies have been despatched to a location at the back of the Botanical Gardens in Queens. When they get there, there's two sheds that presumably were used for storage by the establishment but look perfect if someone, or someones were trying to lie low.

It's here that the Nightfall are supposed to have sacred texts or artifacts that need to be retrieved, so they can be stopped in their abduction of children.

Other teams have been deployed around the city to hit other locations simultaneously.

The team has been sent in with instructions to try and avoid Nightfall if they can. Get the objects and get out is the objective.

There's a door in the end, smallish windows line the sides and a skylight at the top. The sun had set an hour or so ago and the lights in the area illuminate parts but cast lots of shadows.

Currently, the building seems uninhabited. Could this be that easy, really? Well, the question really is, how do know where to look? Perhaps that pair of glasses Captain Rogers sent over will help.

Having worked long hours now with Agent Fitz of SHIELD, Spider-Girl (Black)'s drone has already undergone some upgrades. As the group approach the target at the Botanical Gardens, the little drone (which has been painted black) hovers over Anya's shoulder. "Arana, escanear."

At her command, the drone zooms up into the air, making very little sound. Once she's high enough, Arana begins panning the area with her combination HD camera, IR and EM sensors, feeding whatever data she can find back to the HUD in Anya's mask. She remains close to Silk, while waiting for their ringleader to call the shots.

Spider-Man settles the glasses over the mask. He has a brief flashback to the Coke-bottle glasses he used to wear, then shakes his head and looks at the building from his perch on the light pole. He is not sure what he is going to see yet.

The pendant rests close to his chest, under the suit. He feels…tarnished, using the glasses and the pendant. Magic gives him the jibblies. But he reminds himself this is for Ricardo and Brian and all the others.

He sends a message to the others using Spider-Comm. "In position. Scanning from hiding,"

Venom is technically attached to the Thunderbolts, in the loosest sort of sense, but, in the process of organizing and sorting people into teams, they seemed to think that he belonged with Spider-folk. Venom rather liked spiders anyway, so they were fine of that. Creepies and crawlies belonged together in a bunch, after all.

He hasn't been formally introduced and, for the moment, he's just plain Eddie Brock, taking a few notes for a potential story he could write about allt his provided it gets unclassified. A journalist has to work even if he isn't exactly there in his writing capacity. He doesn't have a comm but his instructions were fairly straightforward. Hang back and, if things got nasty, he could get nasty and clean things up once the kid gloves were off.

Parks aren't quite the best environment for a Spider. It's a lot harder to swing off trees than tall buildings, so Spider-Girl (Red) has been slingshotting herself from tree to tree, the containment box stuck to the small of her back. She comes to rest in a taller tree, about twenty yards from the shed itself. "In position. I'll tell you guys if I feel anything off in my sense."

Someone 'new' appears. At least, at first glance. The young-woman web-lining in is not, for once, wrapped in a costume made of her own webs. Instead, she's in a sleek new costume of damage resistant fabric, the main body black, the chest white with red webbing patterned mildly off Spider-Man's own, and a lightning bolt where Spidey's Spider emblem would be.

She is the only one not wearing a mask over her eyes. But instead of the webbing again, now she has a bright red scarf that is loose, free, and yet does an excellent job of hiding her identity without fail. The fabric is also fairly stiff, so by that hanging upside down it won't fall with gravity and go over her eyes.

She perches, neatly, near Spider-Girl (Black), Anya.

"In position," Silk answers over the Spider-Comm.

Arana gets a good read on the location. For all the building looks empty there's a heat signature detected. Someone is in there. An adult sized someone.

Spidey's own assessment doesn't confirm that. The glasses are designed to detect magic, after all, not mundane people. What he does find is the tell tale glow of something located in the building. Strong enough that it he can see its presence clearly.

For the others, the night is relatively quiet, broken only by the traffic that passes by not too far away.

Spider-Man sub-vocalized silently, "Glasses come up with something inside, but nothing around." He checked the right webshooter, the one with the stun-splat balls. Still working okay. "Someone inside. Whoever can pick locks, sing out."

Venom is, of course, not on the comm and so can't volunteer to pick the lock that he would be perfectly capable of picking. So, for the moment, he remains in the shadows, watching these various heroes begin to gather in their perch. They work well together. Cute.

Casually, Eddie shoves most of a Snickers bar into his mouth, chewing thoroughly and feeling the tell-tale itch of the symbiote at the back of his head.

<When can we play, Eddie?>

"Building's occupied," Anya reports over the Spider-Comm. "Arana's detecting a heat signature." She casts a look toward Silk, and a quiet grin of approval shows on her face. However, at Spidey's word, she reluctantly nods. "I'm on it." Leave it to the young Latina from a bad part of town to be familiar with picking locks.

Moving from her perch upon a brick wall and leaving Cindy's side, she swings quietly into the dark. Interestingly, when the shadows take her, she all but disappears from the others' view. Even the sound that she makes seems to go away.

Landing quietly, she studies the lock for a moment, before extending a hand. Chitinous armor begins forming around her hand and forearm, the tips of her fingers adopting tiny, razor sharp claws. Pressing her face to the door, she inserts the claw into the lock and begins feeling about for the right catch.

"Not me. Hereos don't pick locks, last time I checked?" Silk sounds only the slightest bit uncertain. "But, at this point are we really worried about picking locks? How about a knock on the door? Pizza guy! Everybody likes pizza," she offers.

"Spider-Sense is clear. Nobody's watching us that I can pick out. Moving to back up Black." May swings over herself, landing on the roof with barely a thud, and crawling over to the wall above the door Anya's trying to open. "Quiet's almost always safer, Silk." She concentrates again, a little harder in case the door is trapped. Need time to yank Anya out of the way before anything goes wrong.

Anya has to work a little to unlock the door, it's not a high quality lock or anything. One might wonder what could be hidden here of value. It seems the most unlikely of places. But she does get the door open.

Mayday feels it first, then Cindy, then Peter and Anya. Their spider senses start screaming at them. Somethings coming.

There's a sound of something in the sky and its diving straight for Anya. At the same time, the door swing opens and she's … rushed. By a huge guy with grey skin and a rhino's tusk protuding from his head.

"We've got incoming! Inside and above!" Mayday reaches down and snags the back of Anya's suit, yanking her fellow Spider-Girl up onto the safety of the roof, just in time for Rhino to smash through the door. "Oh hey, I know this one! Still rushing headlong into things, huh Rhino?" Oh, she finally gets to fight some of the old members of her dad's Rogue's gallery. This is /amazing/. Well, the kids being kidnapped isn't amazing. But getting to fight Rhino will be. "Think fast!" She leaps into a nearby tree, before sending a few more weblines to catapult a trash can at the hulking villain. "Okay, He's strong and fast, but he's not nimble. Keep him off balance, watch for charges!"

Oh, no. Oh, no, no, noooo…

INCOMING! RHINO! AIRBORNE ENEMY UNKNOWN! He is trying to keep from moving unless he has to. He should have time to get in and grab whatever is inside. Right?

He adds, "Moving to acquire object. Keep them busy!"

Venom may not have a signal or a com, but the arrival of a giant rhino dude definitely qualifies as 'time to call in the back-up'. He breaks into a sprint and just starts to charge straight at the big guy. As he does, demi-liquid darkness lashes up his legs, writhes over his chest, increasing him in size, hunching him forward, until his head is consumed and transmogrified into the gaping, fang-lined maw of the lethal protector known only as Venom.

"We do like a safari!" Venom calls out, leaping up into the air with the intent on landing on Rhino's back.

Immediately Silk is jumping as soon as her sense is going off, before Spider-Man's even pings. She's studied up on some of the villians sho've plagued New York since she'd gotten free.

"On the airborne target." Why? Because Silk knows she is the fastest Spider here. At least, she's faster than either Spider-Man or the Spider-Girl in Black (Anya). That, and she has multiple web-shooters. She jumps up to her full distance height, and then casts a webline towards that incoming airborne figure to begin to weigh them down, and give her a position for with which to begin some dangerous combat.

But this is wht the Old Man trained her for. What she spent a year and a half in the bunker training for. The day she'd get to use her powers. Her mind whirls, drumming her to keep calm, trust her instincts as she dives straight into the heat of battle.

The moment the alarm is raised, Anya gasps. The chitinous armor explodes around her, covering her fully as Mayday yanks her up and out of the way. "Thanks!" she breathes, then takes a moment to look on as Venom transforms and charges at Rhino. "What the…"

Looking up, she spots Arana overlaid upon her HUD and fires a webline… at the drone. With a hard yank, the drone drops a it, but then she vaults into the air and goes soaring over the drone, releasing the webline as she goes. Following this, the armored Spider-Girl (Black) is sent on a beeline toward Rhino, like an armored battering ram.

Spider-Man has to get into that building. Which means getting past Rhino and now … Venom. The grey skinned rhino-man skids to a stop in the doorway and looks confused as Anya aways. "Huh, that no good." he grunts.

Before being tackled by a that mawed creature. He's not easy to take down though and Venom finds himself hit solidly several times.

Spider-Man can see the inside the of the building. It's a room and at the end is a cupboard. What he wants is in there.

For the others, they're fallen upon. A man in a winged exo-suit dives at Anya, then Silk and then Mayday. Silks weblines hit him though and pull him off course but sitll, they've got their work cut out for them - he's fast and manouevrable. When he hits them, he's going to hurt.

Spider-Man has NO idea what the big toothy muscled monster is doing, but he IS keeping Rhino busy. Which means he might have a way in.
"Red! Toss me the box! I'm going in!" he sends over S-Comm.

May's blood runs cold as Venom charges onto the scene. "Symbiote! Don't let it get too close to you!" She flips one of her webshooters to Impact mode, firing out a glob to hopefully ensnare Rhino's foot. "Copy!" Box goes out, and DODGE LEFT! She dives out of the tree, thwipping out a series of bursts, trying to aim for the flyer's engines. She manages to get off about two shots from each side before she has to tuck and roll, coming up in a pose facing off with the Rhino, about thirty feet away. "Think we've got a Vulture too!"

Venom takes a few of those meaty hits with grunts, the symbiote shielding him from the worst of it, but still: that smarts. Throwing Venom off is no easy task, though. He might not technically be a spider, but he can cling with the best of them, black tendrils adhering and spreading out from Venom's hands and feet.

He hears the call of "symbiote" from above and cocks his head for a moment. "We are known," the monster hisses, legs flinging up in the air as it takes another blow from the Rhino before shifting a hand up to try to cover the thug's mouth, semi-solid symbiote trying to pour into the rhino's mouth and nose with a hideous and suffocating grip.

Anya is on a bee-line down toward Rhino, when the winged creature smashes into her and knocks her off course. "Aaaauhh!" she cries, and a pain shoots through her midsection as two of her ribs crack. She tumbles through the air, pieces of her exoskeleton dropping off before she strikes the ground, skidding to a halt through two lovely exotic bushes.

Snarling as she comes to her feet, the viciousness deep within is coming out. She tracks the flying creature, crying out, "Arana, !marcalo!"

The drone marks Vulture on her sensors, feeding the data back to Anya's HUD. Running after him, she starts flinging wide-cast weblines after him, hoping to at the very least catch and slow him down.

Of Silk's many problems, how to use her abiltities really isn't one of them. Experience, on the other hand …

… as the Vulture's sweep comes low, her webline draws taut and she begins to 'go for a ride'. Maybe it's a Spider intiation thing.

Unlike Spider-Man, howevr, Cindy isn't much on the smack-talk nd quips. She's too focused. As Vulture pulls her from behind she casts several more weblines from her other set of fingers, all five fingers seeking purchase on his back. As she does this, she turns, using her other hand to cast out five weblines to the nearest building.

Silk waits for the tenstion, her arms straining, and she pulls, hard, to yank Vulture off course and towards her - but it does put her in a precarious position for a few moments.

Spider-Man is in the building while Venom and Rhino fight in the doorway, now the room, now the doorway and now the entry… He's going to have to get the door to the cupboard open. It's a simple combination lock - can he guess what the code might be? 4 numbers need to be aligned.

Rhino isn't easy to take down. He's not smart but he is solid and he knows how to fight. The grey skinned man finds himself slowly encased in black tendrils, his grunts becoming muffled as Venom does … Venom things. With a force of will, Rhino tries to flip - tries to put Venom on his back.

Vulture is caught in a mass of weblines. From Black, Red and Silk. Silks anchoring lines have the flying villains motion curtailed. Now … he changes tactics, trying to slip the tendrils and get away.

Rhino's seemingly immobilized, Spider-Man is busy inside… Vulture's the priority target. "Hose him down! Aim for the engines!" Keeping one eye on Rhino, Spider-Girl (Red) flips her other shooter over to Impact webbing as well, and engages in a barrage that would make an AA gun jealous, even stopping to switch cartridges in the middle. She's not going to stop until Vulture's cocooned and landed. "You're grounded, mister!"

Rhino's strength is sufficient to take Venom a little off-guard, actually managing to heft the sinister symbiote up and over his head. He might have even dislodged the tentacle curling down his throat, except for that damn strong adhesion. While Venom's hand comes off of Rhino's face, a tendril of symbiote remains attached, wrapped around the meaty base of Rhino's tongue and straining at it.

"Two options, beast," Venom hisses, its own thick, viscous tongue flicking across its fangs, "Either you go to sleep like a good little thug. Or we rip your tongue out and eat it while you watch. Either way is fine with usssss."

"Jesus Christ, what is that thing," Anya remarks amidst flinging hands and flying weblines, spying Venom in its plight with Rhino from the corner of her eye. With a scowl, she clenches her fingers in a different way, and fires a pair of strong weblines toward Vulture's engines. Once they catch, she yanks hard, creating tension that she uses like a rubber band, leaping skyward. With Vulture's motions slowed, she's aiming to land upon the engines, just above the exhaust ports. She's got a plan, if she can just get there and land…

Spider-Man wasn't going to screw around on this. They didn't have the time.

He found the lock, then looked at it. Combo lock. 4-digit code, all of them set to zero. He could try going for the most likely, run a random chance, listen for any…
Then he stopped, realized he was being a dope, and just reached out for the padlock and SQUEEZED. The metal warped and then snapped, the lock coming apart, and he tossed it to the side before opening it.

Within was a small rectangular panel. It looked like a replacement screen for a smartphone, but the sudden, dim glow reveals that it is nothing made by Samsung or Motorola.
MAYBE iPhone, but he wasn't going to put any money down on that.
He slid it quickly into the box, closed it, then gave the place a once-over as he stuffed the container in the Spider-Backpack.

"Target Acquired. Let's make like the Good Shepherd and get the righteous flock outta here!" was the next message sent over Spider-Comm as Spidey made for the door at a dead run.

As Mayday wraps Vulture up in a barrage of webbing, along with Anya's after she's held him in check. The tension that his engines are making with her are sure to go slack as his position changes. She lets go of the weblines attached to the buildings and calls over the comms, "No idea who is helping us, but Rhino is down. Vulture is about to be."

She drops to the ground to prepare just in case something doesn't go as planned - if either Rhino or Vulture change tactics? She's ready.

The box that Spider-Man uses hums when the glass piece is placed inside it and closes with a snap. To his enhanced vision with those glasses he can see sigils light up on the outside. Whatever he's got in there, it's activated the provisions.

Rhino grunts and kicks as Venom subdues him. It's the tendril around his tongue that does it. He stops moving looking up at the black clad, mawed, creature in horror. Not terror. Horror. Venom … has got his man.

Will that man tell them anything?

Vulture strains against the weblines, unable to move, until a gout of fire from a handheld device manages to incinerate the organic webs. Which gives the flyer enough power to escape the others … and they see the tail end of him as he goes.

Spider-Girl (Red) curses as the Vulture escapes, but… At least Rhino's down. For now. She does /not/ trust Venom. "Okay. Vulture's driven off at least, now we just have to deal with Rhino. And whoever the fuck the Symbiote's riding around in now. She remains in her ready stance, slightly crouched and ready to respond if the black goo monster attacks or does anything suspicious. "…Do we call SHIELD to transport him, or…"

Spidey steps outside and sees Rhino down for the count. He sees the others…and Venom. And he has no idea who THAT guy is.
"Better notify Cap to send someone…" He glances at Venom, and the disturbing amount of teeth. "…QUICK."

Venom cocks its head at the heroes as they regard him with what he probably considers a due amount of horror. He knows he's fearful. That's part of the fun.

"Use some of your webbies to tie up the man-beast, so we can release his tongue. We probably don't taste very good," Venom chuckles for a moment. "What a collection of spiders you are. Don't worry, we have been sent to watch your backs. Consider us your guardian angel," Venom says with a low, throaty chuckle.

"We are Venom. Nice to meet you all."

Silk's exposed brown eyes narrow in suspicion of Venom. You can't really blame her. But, she nods once. "On it." And, she begins to cast a massive amount of webbing from her fingertips to cocoon Rhino up. As she does, she responds to Venom, "I'm Silk." She at least is willing to give the disturbing creature the benefit of the doubt, even if he does look like something from a horror movie - he - or they - have helped the Spiders out. So he - it? they? can't be all bad.

"Thanks for the assist."

Anya's line is incinerated, and she ends up tumbling to the ground, landing with a sprawl of legs and feet on the ground. She comes up with a painful sound, and watches with narrowed eyes behind her mask as Vulture escapes.


Now her attention turns to Venom. She grimaces, but makes a snap decision. "Girls? Web him up." Then she's advancing upon Rhino, spraying weblines in a constant stream from her wrists, aiming to form a cocoon around the downed villain.

It's a good haul for the Spiders. The artifact and a prisoner. One that hasn't suicided and just might … talk.

In short order SHIELD arrives to collect their captive. Arrangements will be made to question him. The Spiders and errrr, Venom, are invited to attend.

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