2019-10-29 - Spider-Hunt 1: LOCATE PREY


The hunt begins as Spider-Man meets Morlun, the Inheritor. NOTE: Scenes of extreme violence.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Oct 29 22:00:00 2019
Location: Waterfront, Brooklyn, NY

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Theme Song



In a cultivated voice marked by a slight accent that gave it added precision and deliberateness, he said, "It is a very great pleasure and honor to welcome Mr. Sanger Rainsford, the celebrated hunter, to my home."

Automatically Rainsford shook the man's hand.

"I've read your book about hunting snow leopards in Tibet, you see," explained the man. "I am General Zaroff."


OCTOBER 29TH, 2019
9:55 PM EST

The dark man looked at Dex, a questioning look on his face.

He had found Dex on his arrival to this universe, a small man working for a small-time drug kingpin. The man currently had thirty-five people working to get a shipment of heroin out to the streets, and Morlun had interrupted Dex on his way in. Dex was still alive for one reason only - a great hunter always used the services of a native guide. Dex had also been informed, in no uncertain terms, that failure meant that what will happen to the other thirty-five people here would happen to him.

Dex, who had a primitive survival instinct, had accepted his role; his boss was an asshole, and had threatened his sister last night. If he was right, the guy would be someone else's problem. He hoped he was right.

The man who was not really a man asked, "You are sure HE will come?"

"Positive, sir. He was seen out earlier in the area." He took out his phone, and then dialed 911, but did not press the Call icon. He handed the phone to the dark man, who took it and pressed CALL.

A few seconds of the dial tone, and then a pleasant but competent voice came on. "911, what is your emergency?"

"Come to the warehouse north of Dock 19 in Brooklyn. There is a drug shipment being sent out. There are thirty-five armed men."

The 911 dispatcher asked quickly, "Have there been shots fired?"


He gave the phone back to Dex, who hung up as he watched the dark man walk towards the metal door leading to the warehouse.

When he punched the door off its hinges, he suddenly realized that he was very, very wrong…

Halloween is Anya Corazon's absolute favorite time of year, when all of the freaks and geeks get a chance to really cut loose. As it is, she's started early this year; a shift tomorrow night at Luke's, but a party at NYU tonight. She's dressed up as Milla Jovovich from The Fifth Element, but she's not stupid; a skin-tone bodysuit covers the real costume beneath, and keeps her from freezing her ass off in what would otherwise be an incredibly skimpy outfit. Also, she's not really interested in experiencing a Janet moment tonight.

That being said, a small device hovers in her ear, feeding her data from Arana, who hovers high above campus monitoring police bands and internet traffic. She's halfway through taking yet another shot of tequila when Arana feeds a voice message into her ear, cutting through the pounding bass and fin of drunk college kids.

Turning away, she rushes off toward the bathroom, pretending that she's gonna puke or something. No one here knows just how severe her enhanced tolerance for booze is, after all. As she elbows her way through dancing goth kids and the post ravers mid-MDMA peak, she's murmuring to herself in Spanish.

"«Arana, send alert to Spider-Comm, I'm on my way.»"

Finding a very sick freshman hugging the toilet, she icks and grabs him by the shoulders, dragging him out. "Sorry, my dude. Lady's gotta pee. Go drink some water and find your friends."

There's something about Halloween that just brings out the worst in this city, it feels like.

On a rooftop some ways away, Catwoman stands with her whip held limply in one hand, with her free hand on her ear. She stands up very straight, takes a very deep breath, and grunt aggravated as she processes what she just heard on the police band.

Best case scenario, some hotshot idiot new vigilante's about to get himself killed.

Worst case scenario? A lot of people are about to die.

Either way, Selina Kyle starts running, springing from one rooftop to another with practiced ease and about as well-conditioned a body as a mortal can have. At her age, you might add, if you wanted to get scratched.

Eddie Brock had been at a hot dog stand about five blocks away. He had just finished his thirteenth chili dog. The owner was pleased but concerned. He didn't try to figure out why all the money Eddie handed him seemed damp or stained. It would still spend all the same.

Overeating seemed to be one of the best ways to keep Venom sated and at bay. Or, at the very least, not in a bitchy mood. The parasite had been particularly foul-tempered of late and Eddie had suffered for it. He'd probably lost his girlfriend. He hadn't been to his apartment in a couple of weeks or written a new article. Just every night, patrolling, hunting, looking for prey.

"I need a life, too," he muttered to himself only to hear the metallic sound of the doors being smashed in. He felt the symbiote surge within him and threw the last of the cash at the vendor, managing a few steps as the blackness enveloped him, shadow eating his body as his face became little more than a set of needle-toothed jaws, tendrils of darkness flickering off of him as he took to the rooftops and raced towards the action.

Somehow, one way or another, Gwen is in Brooklyn and not all that far from the docks. The white and black clad Spider-Woman is perched on the top of a building, where she'd decided to take a minute after webbing up a mugger and returning a seventy year-old lady's handbag (for shame). The mugger got a solid talking to; the old lady whapped him across the chops with her handbag for good measure, and the police were notified.

Now, things seem quiet, at least for the moment. Tuesday night was a good night for superheroing; Gwen didn't have any classes in the early morning, and it wasn't mid-terms week yet. No labs due on a Wednesday either, and with a bunch of pillows strategically placed under her bedding, odds are good Dad won't figure anything out either.

Still, she can't shake a feeling that it's like the calm before a storm. And then, there it is; the alert on the Spider-Comm. Quite nearby, too.

"I'm on my way," she states into the comms, before she leaps off the side of the building and starts swinging towards the docks.

Spidey was, indeed, in Brooklyn. He was heading east along Brighton Beach after leaving Coney Island.
He had been pondering asking Helena about going to this Halloween party Harry was setting up. Could he risk asking her about a couple's costume? It was tempting…

<911. Connor Warehouse, corner of Girard and Shore Blvd, Brooklyn. Shots fired. Automatic weapons. All units exercise extreme caution!>

There was a ragged edge in the voice of the young woman, that added to Spidey's unease. These people were trained to handle the worst. What had she heard that pierced her calm demeanor?

He got the Spider-Comm messages moments later, and that confirmed it. Halloween would have to wait.

He headed north towards Shore Blvd.

The nice thing about being a Valkyrie? Every day can be Halloween if you want it to be. Dani soars through the New York City sky with Brightwind, looking a bit bored…

Which quickly fades away when the Young Avengers monitor relays her the 911 message. Since Dani's the closest one there, she urges Brightwind forward, picking up speed as this definitely has a weird vibe to it…

Jessica Drew is not particularly worried about her secret identity. She hasn't been in quite some time. She had just stopped off for a few groceries, and was headed home when the call went out from dispatch.

"Shhhhit." She thinks for a moment and reaches over into the paper bag in the passenger seat, rifling through the bag with frantic urgency. "Where…is….AHA!" SHE draws out her hand with a jar of peanut butter and liberates a spork from her glove compartment, before opening the jar and beginning to eat with reckless abandon. She is wearing a crimson gradient suit beneath her black leather blazer. The suit is adorned with gold webbing and a crouching arachnid on the chest. Shedding layers is all she'll have to do. She turns the car around and touches the Nitro button on the dash, headed for the location reported as she shovels in another spoonful of peanut butter. "Ghad….I shudda got melk thoo."

Dex winced from his place in the shadows. He was close enough to hear the shots fired…and close enough to hear it when the screaming started. He had no idea grown men could scream like that.
He was beginning to hope that Spider-Man WOULDN'T show up. He was debating running, but the Boss had told him it was no good to run.
Then he saw a figure in black coming in over the rooftops…and then a woman in glittering armor, riding a winged horse.

Well, maybe it was time to smoke more weed…

Then one red-and-blue figure landed on the roof above him and he thought, *Ohhhhh CRAP."
He didn't see any of the others. Dex was never a brave person, and this was going to get bad. He needed to make it to the car, a big red Hummer-3. He had the keys because he drove the drug kingpin…

A high, womanish scream seemed to echo in the air.

…the FORMER drug kingpin, who sounded like he wasn't going to need the vehicle anymore…or oxygen, even.

Inside the warehouse, it was bedlam. The soldiers were finding out how well their guns were working on this guy who was moving through the building like Ebola, with the same survival rate. The smell of blood, like freshly-sheared copper, seemed to fill the space.
There was a buzzing sound, and he looked crossly at the device Dex had given him, while he held the throat of the bodyguard.

<He's here>

The man smiled, effortlessly crushed the man's throat, then left him on the floor trying to breathe through a crushed larynx as he headed for the door.

He savored the anticipation.

Catwoman's getting closer, gritting her teeth as the reports get worse and worse, breathlessly speaking into the comlink for the collective Bat-family as she runs, "If anyone's near my location?" She pants, "It sounds like the warehouse district's exploding."

Almost there.

Venom lands on the roof of the warehouse. Despite his massive size, he's hard to detect, with darkness having fallen and most of the rooftop in shadow except for the overflow from nearby streetlights. And this wasn't an area precisely renowned for its well-lit streets.

He doesn't have a comm, of course, so he doesn't know he's not going to be going it alone. Not that he would mind if he did. He tries to make his way to a skylight, wanting to get a glimpse of some of the chaos inside, his serpentine tongue drooling a thick puddle onto the glass as he takes it all in.

Spider-Girl is still riding atop the B-Train as it speeds along to Brighton Beach; she miiiight have hacked the MTA networks along the way to guarantee that the operator wouldn't stop at any stations. Sorry, commuters, you're just gonna have to wait for the next one. She's stuffing her face with protein bars as the docks come into view, and is still gripping the last one between her teeth when she leaps from the train and starts swinging her way toward the indicated corner. Arana leaps from her shoulders to take flight again, and begins scanning the area with her cameras, IR, and EM sensors.

Arana's feed on her mask's HUD causes her to blanch a bit. "Mierda," she curses, and starts swinging harder and harder, trying to close the distance before there's no one left to save.

Gunfire erupts while Spider-Woman is still partway there. The newest addition to the Spider Family is swinging as fast as she can, but it's not a skill you completely master overnight and she's still not used to the fastest way to do it. Then again, having a head start works wonders.

"Coming up behind you," she sends to Spider-Girl, as she swings through the intervening distance to land on the warehouse roof. Her senses are practically on fire; that's… a lot of gunfire, after all. She runs up to the edge of the building, crawling down over the side in search of a window to peek in through before just dashing in.

"What's the plan?" she asks over the comms again, this time to everyone. "That's a lot of bullets in there. Like seriously, all of the bullets."

Wow…a lot of people showed up. That made him feel good. They could see what was going on, deal with it, and maybe he can get back to thinking about couple's costumes. Wow, Gwen was here, too - he could see her icon in the area. So was Anya.
This shouldn't be so bad.

<Okay, Spiders, it sounds like a team is in there, and…oh, man, only one survivor. It looks like we missed the party. Let's see if we can talk to the survivor.>

Spidey swings down to land on the pavement fifty feet from the entrance. His Spider-Sense was…wonky. Something was with it tonight, sending him garbled signals of danger, coming from the warehouse, above him, behind him…

Brightwind lands on the roof of the warehouse, the winged stallion ruffling his wings as Dani dismounts. She doesn't notice Venom right away, though her metal armor gleams easily enough to be spotted as she moves towards the skylight. Spotting the carnage down below, she blinks, "What the Hel happened in there?" Instinctively, she puts her hand on the hilt of her sword, glancing back and forth.

Parking blocks away, Jessica lifts her fob and clicks a button. The car beeps once, and all lights go black as the car locks. A second click, and the car beeps five times in succession: it is now armed. She has already shed extra layers, and she takes a leap up in a wall, climbing quickly and leaping from one rooftop to the next until she sees a group forming up.

Like a jumping spider, she hop, hop, hops up to the point where she can leap down to the ground with a light bounce, raking her fingers through her hair. She is watching the accumulating vigilantes, but she is also getting the lay of the land. Everyone here assembled, she only knows from having seen pictures in papers, and online.

The door (a different one than the one he used to enter) was pushed open…and the dark man stepped out.

He paused, seeing Spider-Man in front of him. That was good. It was proper for it to begin like this.

The dark man stepped forward.

He was impeccably dressed. Dark suit, white vest, purple ascot with something that looked like a brooch at the center of the neck. Black shoes that were covered in blood - no surprise there, really, since the drug warehouse now looked like a slaughterhouse Jason Voorhees and the Shape visited on a double date. Bare hands, manicured nails. Barrel-chested, powerfully-built. Long black hair, falling straight back behind his head, with a widow's peak and flanked by two smaller peaks as well. Dracula on steroids.

"Hello, Spider-Man. I have come a long way to find you. My name is Morlun."

Catwoman arrives just in time to see the man step out of the warehouse, her eyes going wide behind her goggles as she mutters, "Jesus Christ." under her breath, rapidly processing the bloody state of him one splatter at a time.

Morlun. She makes a mental note of that.

This looks like a job for…! Someone else. There's like twenty super powered people here, so he's probably going to be picked apart. And if he's not? Well, the element of surprise is more useful to a mortal like her. She begins to sneak around to the side, keeping low.

Venom probably adds a bit of distraction as the symbiote crashes through the glass skylight and lands in the warehouse itself, now behind Morlun's back as he steps out to confront the Spider-man. The gore and savagery doesn't horrify Venom. Eddie might have been, once, but his mind is too infected now, too melded and bonded to the carnage-hungry monstrosity that shares his body.

"We aren't sure if we should congratulate this one or chew him into jerky. Maybe we should do both," they say aloud, watching with a certain degree of curiosity. They met Spider-Man once before. He seemed nice enough.

<I'm taking to the shadows,> Spider-Girl reports over the Spider-Comm. Her most recent discovery, the ability to virtually disappear in darkness, an extension to the arcane nature of her superhuman abilities. She doesn't approach, finding a perch against an unlit wall opposite the warehouse, while the others approach. <Sending Arana in for recon.>

Invisible to everyone with natural eyes and ears, Spider-Girl's left hand dances about, entering commands to direct her Spider-Drone, while the other holds herself to the wall. The drone flies toward Spider-Man, taking up a hovering position above his left shoulder.

The glimmering armor draws a smile to the young woman's face, as does seeing Gwen on the approach. Still, something about this feels… weird. She reaches into her backpack to produce a piece of beef jerky, and shoves it into her mouth, nervously.

Arana turns to face Morlun, feeding the data to her HUD. This brings a frown to her face, so she quickly commands Arana to do a facial recognition scan, and hit the internet, looking for the face and any mention of the name 'Morlun'.

"Whaaaat the hell?" she says aloud, the message going over the comm as her feed sends her the visage of Venom, in all its horrific glory.

Dani blinks in surprise as Venom leaps past her, crashing through the skylight. Shaking her head, she seems more fazed that he snuck up on her like that, even as she has Brightwind come back over, using him to descend towards the street. Just in time to see Morlun emerge from the warehouse to confront Spidey.

However, instead of drawing her sword, she manifests her psychic bow, nocking an 'arrow' as she draws a bead on the… whatever this is.

Some people apparently take Halloween way too seriously.

Spider-Man looks at Morlun, and that same sense of unreality affecting his Spider-Sense seems to clear. There are multiple threats…

…but the biggest threat is the Dracula wannabe in front of him.

"Hello, Morlun. I'm your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. So, now that the pleasantries are over, why don't you just lay down on your belly, your hands behind your head, and we can skip the step where you end up getting the stuffing kicked out of you?"

Jessica moves in closer to the others. She isn't on the spider-comms, and that's fine. But she wants to keep in the loop as much as possible without her pheromones getting in the way. Thank goodness for excellent hearing. Just within earshot, she utters," You've got more backup." Her expression isn't quite masked by her eyemask, as her jaw is set, and her lips drawn into a bit of a scowl.

She leaps up to the roof of the warehouse from one side. She is observing, for now. But she is already drawing energy and electric charge from the roof beneath her feet.

Morlun can smell him. He can also smell the others, but HIS scent is the one to remember.
"I have no desire to see you dead, Spider-Man. It is, however, quite necessary."
He takes one step forward.
"Here is how it will happen. You will run. I will pursue. I do not tire. I do not grow weary. I do not give up."
He begins to step forward, a slow, calculated walk. "You may get ahead, but eventually I will catch up. Now that I have found you, I will ALWAYS be able to find you…wherever you may hide." He smiles faintly, as if reminiscing. "This may take hours or days. The longest was a week. But in time…you will tire."
Now, he is only 30 feet away.
"And then you will die. But I give you my solemn word."
His face firms again.

"…It's nothing personal."

Venom gives a ragged snarl and starts to stalk forward, dropping down like a bestial creature, tongue lolling out over its savage jaws, "We don't like to be ignored, no, no, no, we are very special and we want to be noticed, yes, we are just as good as the Spider-Man, yes, we are,' Venom babbles, mostly to itself. It grabs a ruined body of one of those killed within the warehouse and casually tosses it at Morlun, flinging it with inhuman strength as if to strike the dignified villain in the back.

Now fully on edge, Anya is tempted to leap from the building and join Spider-Man. However, he's not alone. She's frozen there, adrenaline telling her to leap in and give this asshole what for, but the smarter part of her tells her that, in a game of chess, one always leaves a potent warrior in shadow, waiting for the right moment to strike.

She doesn't further flood the comms, but instead, calls upon Arana to get a bead on heat signatures. This is how she becomes aware of Catwoman, who she can't see but can at least track.

Dani blinks as Morlun makes the announcement that he's going to kill Spidey, and she says, "I don't think so." With that, she fires the psychic arrow, aiming to incapacitate the Charles-Atlas-Dracula wannabe, not bothering with a warning shot since ushering Peter to Valhalla is not something she particularly wants to do anytime soon!

Peeking through the window showed Spider-Woman a circus house of horrors made flesh — or rather, made from flesh. She eerulps audibly, to anyone nearby, and suppresses throwing up into her mask. That would be gross in the extreme… but not anything compared to what's in the warehouse. Good God.

And then there's an impeccably dressed man approaching her best friend, detailing how he's going to kill him. How he's going to run, and it won't matter. How he'll always be able to find him.

Her heart turns to ice, and before she really considers what she's doing, she's leaping into the air, and swinging on a webstrand until she gets altitude. At the apex she lets go, twists, and lands in a half-crouch right in front of Spidey, facing Morlun.

"Like hell your going to hurt him," she growls, putting her fists up in front of her. "You might've murdered a bunch of ordinary guys, but we're super-heroes, and we've got you well outnumbered, buddy."

Spidey stares openly at Morlun as he makes this announcement. He is about to speak when Morlun suddenly MOVES to the right, the body flying past him to tumble along the pavement, stopping at Spidey's feet.
The man's face was gone.
He heard a slight grunt and looked up to see Morlun's lips twitch as the psychic arrow strikes him in the shoulder…and seems to do absolutely nothing.
The look of disdain Morlun gives Dani affects him more than he expects.

"All right, Twilight. I was having a good night until your bloodbath ruined it. So…if ya got it…BRING IT."

Then someone new enters the field from behind Morlun, and Spider-Man is momentarily caught off-guard. Who the Sam Hill is THIS person?

Jessica doesn't even hesitate long enough to jump down. She thwips out a web toward Morlun, trying to make contact with the base if his neck, and gives a sharp tug, attempting to pull him backwards, toward her. Only then does she leap down behind him. "I think you heard the young Lady."

Catwoman grimaces faintly, keeping her whip coiled and on hand while staying out of sight. They've got this. Statistically speaking, they've totally got this. It's a pile of weirdos against one freak.

So why does this feel really wrong?

Morlun nods, and then he moves.
And he moves like a roadrunner on meth.
Before his eyes can process what is happening, Morlun has rushed Spider-Woman and Spider-Man. As he reaches Gwen, one hand sweeps from right to left as he backhands…well, her entire body. Spider-Woman flies a good thirty feet before she hits the ground with muscle damage, a bad shot to the left kidney, and one cracked rib.
Then the right hand moves to strike Spider-Man in the belly, and it is like a bomb went off in his guts. He flies back, a rag doll thrown against the wall across the street and dropping to the pavement on his hands and knees.
Then Morlun turns to give Venom his undivided attention.

"Come, beast. Or are you contact to fling human waste like a monkey in the jungle?"

Venom walks into the doorway behind Morlun, tendrils of symbiote flicking out. His head cocks at an inhuman degree, a snicker-snack of teeth clashing against one another as the symbiotic creature tenses haunches, watching as Spider-Man and the others are flung away.

"You'll be waste soon enough once we've eaten your guts, stranger," they say, leaping forward with claws outstretched, planning to slash and grapple with Morlun as they close the gap with a single leap.

*thwip* *thwip*

Twin weblines are fired at the warehouse from shadow. The webbing is black as night, matte, difficult to see. As the others move in, Anya is going to make her play; and she's gonna go for the neck.

A sharp tug backward, drawing tension, and then she kicks herself off the wall. Like a bullet, Spider-Girl goes zooming toward Morlun, Her aim is true, and as soon as she's out of the shadow, her form becomes visible, headed on a beeline toward Morlun's upper body. With him distracted by Venom, it's the perfect opportunity to strike.

As she soars through the air, a chitinous shell begins forming around her body, transforming the woman into an arachnid monstrosity. However, as she draws near, it has yet to cover her face entirely.

Dani blinks as Morlun just shrugs off her psychic attack. And then she sees Spider-Man and Spider-Woman get flung out like they were children fighting a frost giant. Urging Brightwind forward, she gets the horse between Spider-Man and Morlun, using Venom and Spider-Girl as a distraction as she looks down at Spider-Man. "Spidey! I don't know why this demon wants you, but regrouping seems like a good idea right now!" She draws her sword, eyes narrowing as she keeps a careful eye on Morlun.

Spider-Woman suddenly finds herself flying through the air, after getting hit by what felt like a freight train. She doesn't even have the presence of mind to scream; it's such a surprise that the blow came at all, and that it was that bad, given that she's been punching railway steel at her full strength for a couple of weeks now without getting so much as a bruise.

So she finds herself wheezing on the ground, learning about the fresh hell that is a broken rib, along with everything else. "Oh god," she gasps into the Spider-Comms. "What… what the hell…?"

It takes a moment, but she rolls onto her belly, wincing as she pushes herself back up to her feet. She holds her side with one hand, giving her other arm a quick test, feeling out the pain done to it. "Oh screw you!" she shouts, before casting a webline with each hand; gritting her teeth hard she pulls and slingshots herself, aiming right back at Morlun with a foot extended in front of her, aiming right for his head, and holding nothing back.

That…had been the hardest he had ever been hit…in his entire life. And that including Carl's weekly beatings.
He craned his neck to look in the direction of Morlun. He had multiple webs connected to his body, but was moving in spite of Spider-Woman (OG)'s hold on him, and he didn't seem bothered at all.
Then the scary one with the Oh-my-God-so-many-TEETH came at him and he had just enough time to think, *No…* before Morlun swung around to hit him in the head with one curled fist. He thought he could SEE the impossible jaw being knocked loose as Venom was sent back.
He looked to Dani. He couldn't run. Running was the cowardly thing to do.
Then ALICE spoke up. <Spider-Man, if he is what he says he is, then fleeing the scene is tactically the best option. You are hurt badly, and need to heal.>
Oh, how it hurt to say this. "Dani, get me out of here…if I stay, he might kill them…"

Morlun hit Venom with the same amount of force he had used on the other Venoms, and this reacted the same way, being rocked back as he got 15 rounds of Mike Tyson in one lone punch.
Then Spider-Girl comes at him at breakneck speed, aiming to break his nack by the look of it. Only he turns and sidesteps, catching her by the throat in the process.
"A little Spider," he says, "…but a snack, nonetheless."
Then it seemed as everything good and right in her life was sucked out of her, some weird red energy flowing from Anya and into Morlun, who seems to grow slightly as it happened. He held Spider-Girl up like a trophy, but his other hand rose to swing at Spider-Woman (New-Wave) and bat her to the ground, almost carelessly…

Catwoman's breath catches in her throat. What the hell? What the *hell?* Is he some kind of Mutant? What-

Catwoman gets on the intercoms, "New order, *everyone stay clear* of the warehouses." she hisses into her comlink, then rises up onto one knee, and before she knows it she leaps into view, heart racing, struck by that god-forsaken heroic streak that somehow became natural to her over the years as she lashes out with her whip, the heavy cord striking Morlun's arm with a heavy CRACK and wrapping around the arm Morlun's holding Anya with several times. Catwoman pulls on the whip as hard as she can, gritting her teeth and barking *drop her*!"

Venom rolls like a bowling ball, end over end, the rough battering of Morlun's fist shifting their momentum and throwing them along the ground. Tentacles of darkness erupt from the creature, latching into the asphalt and skidding their momentum to a halt as they flip back up onto all fours.

Venom spits out a teeth and laughs wickedly, "This one seems to have a bit more stout to it. He can't be human. We'd have ripped his head off if he was," he laughs, watching the others do their best against the dapper deviant, "This is going to be fun," they say, loping into motion like a freight train crossed with a bear, charging with open jaws.

The moment she's caught, Spider-Girl's body goes limp; behind the mask, Anya's eyes are rolling back into her head, and the veins visible on the lower half of her face glow with an agonizing red light as the life force is sucked right out of her. Arms and legs dangle lamely, and her vision blurs. Everything becomes black, the noise deafening in her ears.

Visions flash before her, with eyes dilated widely. Her parents, both dead; grandma, her uncle, two cousins, countless others. Punching a bully in the mouth in middle school, shooting dice in a Spanish Harlem alley, hiding under the Davenport as gangs shoot each other up outside, washing dishes at Luke's, spinning her own costume from organic silk.

Is this the end? What is that bright light…?

Dani picks up Spider-Man at that, pulling him in front of her onto Brightwind and keeping him steady as she gets a glimpse of Morlun… sucking the literal life out of Anya. Which is enough of a travesty and sacrilege to Dani that she screams in anger, immediately channeling her mutant powers to their full effect to manifest the thing that Morlun is most afraid of. Because if there's one thing bullies like this have in abundance… it's fear.

However, she doesn't exactly stick around to see the results, as Brightwind realizes discretion in this case is definitely the better part of valor. Taking off into the sky with Dani and Spider-Man, the winged stallion is just hoping that Morlun can't fly

Gwen once again finds herself on the ground once again, this time right at Morlun's feet. She coughs, and a little red spot appears on the front of her mask, right in front of her mouth. That can't be good; but fortunately, it turns out she just bit her lip when she got smashed into the ground. What's happening to Spider-Girl is not nearly so positive.

"No," she gasps, as she rises to a knee, and then back to her fight. "Let her go. Let her go!" She jumps again, but this time it's to wrap one arm around Anya; with the other she casts a webline back across the street, and then she just pulls, ignoring the screaming pain in her kidney and rib, ignoring the feel of damaged muscles tearing — it'll heal later, if there is a later — and she just pulls, for all the strength she can muster.

If she's extremely lucky it might even be enough.

Spider-Man feels like the biggest coward in New York. He can't help it. He hisses, "…I have to try to stop…"
ALICE replies, "You can't help them if he kills you."
That may be true. But it doesn't change how he feels. The guilt is almost as bad as the bodily damage he is suffering. But only barely.
He looks up to Dani. "Other…side of town. Farther…the better. Need…time to recover."

Still the biggest coward in NYC.

Jessica was mustering every ounce if electricity in her body and within a twenty foot radius, but Morlun holding up Anya, and still connected to Catwoman via the whip, well those things stop her in her tracks.

"Hold him," she says, regarding Catwoman seriously, as she thwips out a Web and gives a pull with all her might as it connects with the Spider-Girl's side. She is determined to pull her free, if it is the last thing she does.

Morlun, for a moment, hesitates. For a moment, a sensation so alien to him runs through him. For a few moments, he is surrounded by all the other Spiders that came before, and the communal whisper is that his hunting days will end…
And then he shakes it off. His hunts have always been successful, for centuries. If he wishes it, it will be.
Then he sees Venom coming after him again.
No matter. He took what he needed.
He swings the arm that holds Anya. Anya (and Gwen) are thrown towards a dumpster fifty feet away. Both of them land inside, which is fairly accurate. And unless Jessica lets go of the webline, she is along for a vary painful ride, but she will not land in the dumpster. Her destination is the sidewalk 15 feet in front of the dumpster.

That arm also had a whip attached to it, and a Selina attached to the whip, It's almost like he is a human trebuchet. Selina is flung over and pat him, for a very painful fling with the sidewalk to the left of the dumpster. And it proves to be a short and abusive relationship for her as she tumbles over the street like a carelessly-tossed beer can.

Having dislodged the detritus, Morlun turns to meet Venom head on, one arm coming down to do serious damage to Venom's spine even as he is tackled by the big black behemoth.

Catwoman grits her teeth with effort, casting a glance at Jessica and spitting, "'Hold him' she says; I don't have super strrrrssshhhhiiiiiiiitttt!!!" She half growls half screams as she's swung away like a garbage back, skidding and tumbling across the pavement until coming to a stop on her side, holding her arm and groaning with pain, the lenses of her goggles visibly cracked

Venom absorbs the damage, the brutal attack from Morlun in fact making a nasty sound as it hits his body, surely breaking some bones, if perhaps not outright snapping his back. The symbiote can take a great deal of damage, however, at least blunt force trauma, and the body beneath? Well, Eddie heals fast now.

Venom nonetheless will try to bite down, attempting to chomp vicious jaws through the meat of Morlun's shoulder, a savage snap of its all-consuming maw, tendrils attempting to entangle and bring down the strange being.

If Venom is concerned about the others being hurt, they certainly don't show it.

Gwen knew she didn't have a hope of overpowering Morlun. Not right now; not when he was that fast, that strong, that he'd chased Spider-Man off to lick his wounds. Not when she was already broken. Flying through the air again didn't come as a surprise; this time, she was just barely ready for it. She twists mid air, wrapping her arms around Anya and cradling her as best she can, so that it's Gwen's back that hits the dumpster first. She screams as her rib finally breaks from the impact; it's short-lived, as she just wheezes with the wind knocked out of her.

That's it. Right for this moment, that's all she's got to give. She coughs softly; a wheezing, broken sound. Come on, says a little voice in the back of her mind. Get up, Gwen. don't stop now. You have to save someone and nobody's going to do it for you. Sure, Gwen; who's going to save you?

The last thing Anya can see before the darkness takes her are bodies flailing, and a dumpster approaching. Then shadow crosses her mind, leaving her to land ingloriously amongst the garbage; what little is left clings to her brain step with slow pulls of air, and a very weak pulse. The arachnid hide surrounding her falls away, joining the garbage like shattered pottery.

A normal human would be slipping away, but her life force grips along to the shreds that are left… barely.

Dani looks back, seeing the faint image of the fears before Morlun dismisses them. Then she looks down at Spidey, "I don't think you're the first Spider-Man this guy has hunted down. Definitely going to need a plan, and fast." As it is, she supports Peter as Brightwind flies towards the other end of town.

Jessica sees Morlun turn, twist…she sees a trajectory, and she allows herself to be whipped over toward the dumpster. She lands with a sickening crack of flesh-muffled bone, and she tumbles, but she rights herself and bounces back up to her feet. She winces, but stays upright as finally she lifts her hands to fire a venom blast toward Morlun. It lacks in her intended intensity, though. And she knows the moment the green blast leaves her hands that it is too little, too late. The best that she can hope for is that it might deter him from pursuing those he has already injured. She stares him down, trying to gather energy again, and swaying on her feet as her head swims in pain. She stumbles forward, positioning herself between him and the two women beside the dumpster.

"I think it's time you left. There is nothing for you here." Her bravado is betrayed by a trickle of blood from beneath her mask. The spider-webbed cracks in her skull are pulsing with heat, and lights swim in her vision. It's all she can do to stay on her feet.

Morlun doesn't seem to mind the jaws closing on his shoulder, or the venom blast that hits his side, then dissipates. He seems more annoyed than anything else. His fist raises and falls on Venom's back, giving the healing factor a full plate as he batters the monster down with crushing force.
Then he grasps Venom, pivots, and tosses Venom towards the docks, past them, and out into the water. It will give Venom time to work on his dog-paddle.

He walks towards the dumpster, regarding Jessica with an almost placid disinterest. He bats Jessica away as he opens the dumpster, regarding Gwen and Anya for only a moment.

When Dex drives up in the Hummer, Morlun opens the rear door and tosses Gwen into the vehicle, closing the door behind him.
Morlun gets in the shotgun seat and says, "Drive, hyena."

The Hummer drives out of the scene as sirens can be heard in the distance…

"It will be light enough in Rio," promised Whitney. "We should make it in a few days. I hope the jaguar guns
have come from Purdey's. We should have some good hunting up the Amazon. Great sport, hunting."

"The best sport in the world," agreed Rainsford.

"For the hunter," amended Whitney. "Not for the jaguar."

"Don't talk rot, Whitney," said Rainsford. "You're a big-game hunter, not a philosopher. Who cares how a
jaguar feels?"

"Perhaps the jaguar does," observed Whitney.

"Bah! They've no understanding."

"Even so, I rather think they understand one thing—fear. The fear of pain and the fear of death."


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