2019-10-30 - Spider-Hunt 5: SET TRAPS.


Spider-Man and his allies head into the trap to rescue Mary Jane.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Oct 30 00:00:00 2019
Location: Upper East Side, NYC

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OCTOBER 30th, 2019
Spider-Man arrives at the Arena. He is too late, of course. Morlun and MJ are gone, and Miles Morales is being attended to.
But he comes here, because there is nowhere else to go. He perches on a light pole, looking around, almost praying for that wonky Spider-Sense Feeling when Morlun is around. Nothing. His heart sinks before the Spider-Comm system comes up with an alert.

PHONE: MARY JANE WATSON. The alert is widecast, so everyone connected to the system can see it.

Morlun looks at MJ's phone. He is sitting on the sofa at the New York apartment, with Mary Jane sitting next to him. He seems to radiate menace. And more than a little frustration. But he is smiling strangely, like the cat that ate the spider.
"It is time, Watson. Get ready to play your part. It is, I can say without fear of repudiation, that it is the performance opportunity of your entire career." He pauses. "I know your connection to him. I have seen it on many worlds. You are not the first, or the last. But you will be very valuable in this hunt."
He presses the button, then smiles as he holds the phone to his ear, waiting for the call to be answered.

Should have, would have, could have. Mary Jane, when she looks back upon this moment she'd wish that she had something smart to say. That she had the gusto to give Morlun a good what for. A clobbering with her purse. But with a broken leg, she could do nothing. So on the couch with him, she kept a decent amount of distance, her head hung low, face swelled due to the constant crying and worrying. And quietly she chants a mantra; Please don't pick up.

Don't answer.

Please don't answer the phone…

Damian was leaping between rooftops, dressed in his full regalia as the vigilante Robin. He's not communicating at all on the Spider-Comms. He does eventually come to a stop, sitting atop one of the gargoyles that peak out at the corner of a rooftop. He narrows his eyes, but commits no action at the moment. The alert had been cast…

Now it was just time to either spring the trap, or allow Morlun to decide what to do with a useless bait if they decide to not have Petey boy answer the phone.

With a reasonable idea of where Spider-Man might be headed, Jessica Drew takes her own route to the arena. Spotting him atop a light pole, she steps out into the open, wearing a navy and crimson suit with gold webbing and arachnid on her chest. Her mask is dangling from one hand. "I sincerely hope you're not giving up," she says loudly enough for him to hear. "They need you. They all do. And me, too. And you have all the support you need to put this whole mess in the history books. I have faith in ya…"

It is at that moment that Jessica's own sense prickles at the nape of her neck. She isn't on the Spider-comms, but it plain enough to her that something is happening.

Sarah Black portaled in a discreet distance away, so as not to have the small light show of her arrival easily observed. As soon as she stepped through, she cast a glamour upon herself, making herself invisible to most natural forms of sight. As before, she's not counting on this working against Morlun, but she definitely wouldn't be upset if it does. Once her concealment is in place, she heads in, keeping quiet and making use of cover just in case.

The alert pulls Thea out of the book she was reading, curled up in a corner booth of the cafe inside her favorite indie book store. Her new book is slapped shut, carelessly shoved into her backpack she's keeping on her all the time, lately. She will chug down the rest of her quad espresso caramel macchiato.
She doesn't have web shooters or any neat gadgets (barring weapons) that will give her a speedy arrival or nifty entrance. She's just riding on her motorcycle, just another citizen who drives like a bat out of hell. She has sunglasses on, with the HUD, using it to get close to Spidey's location. She'll stash the bike out of sight, a quick twist of her hair into a braid that she stuffs down the back of her hooded black jacket. Hood up, black combat style boots, and jeans. She's aiming for completely unremarkable.

It was a late night, and it's been a busy morning since then, but Hisako has finally had the chance to … take a nap?

Safe houses have their uses, and they aren't just for protective housing for possible Institute enrollees. The Japanese mutant *did* take time to check in on others who are currently living there before picking out a spare bedroom and turning to catch some shut-eye.

Her nap is unceremoniously ended by the buzz from her comm earpiece; it's an audio-only unit, but an incoming alert still prompts an audible alarm which she quickly shuts off. "Armor here, where do I need to be on my way to?" she asks, even before she realizes it's not the X-Men frequency she's checking in on …

A few minutes later, she's on the building's roof, armoring up, and hoping she can get there in time - wherever 'there' turns out to be.

Spider-Man picks it up, of course. But when he does, he seems to know who is on the other line. "Morlun, you sadistic bastard…"
"SHHHH, Spider-Man. You must always listen when in the wilderness."
"Put MJ on the phone."
"I will. But first, you have many capable allies. I feel that I must tell you this, before the end comes. THEY TRIED THEIR BEST."
"Peter felt an uncharacteristic fury in him. He remembered feeling this once before…when Uncle Ben had been put in the vehicle belonging to the coroner. How he was going to cheerfully kill Ben's killer.
A click, and Morlun grasped Mary Jane's upper arm as they were put on speakerphone.
"I am at my hunting camp right now. My guide will be waiting for you, as will Mary Jane…MJ." He looked to MJ. "But first, a riddle. What did the aspiring actress say after her right arm was broken?"

He squeezed.
The wet SNAP could be heard by everyone.

Peter doesn't talk. He can't seem to open his clenched jaw.
But the HUD for every linked person suddenly sees a new waypoint, 2.3 miles from their current location. A red pointers, with the one-word title of MORLUN. White Tower Apartments, Room 1012.

With the adrenaline, she could hear the ringtone through the phone, she usually keeps it loud either way due to speaking with the phone away from her ears. When she hears Spider-Man's voice, her heart drops. Her head seemingly gets lower as she begins to shake out the gesture 'no', her hand lifting to cup her mouth to keep the sniffles and whimpers quiet. There was even a slight scoot away from the man upon the couch, up until her arm was captured and seized.

"No.." Was the only word that would come out before the squeeze and snap, which has her nearly lurching off of the couch as she screams bloody murder. Her throat was already hoarse from crying and quite possibly annoying the killer, but why not?

Mary Jane considered herself dead either way.

"DON'T COME! DON'T COME!" She screams out through the pain and terror. The least she could do was let her impending demise -mean- something. Live to fight another day. She was just a tiny blip on the radar of the world. Few would miss her, but not like they would miss everyone on Spider-Man's side.

Damian sees the coordinates be punched in and that's really all he needs. Robin gets moving, using a mixture of gliding via his cape and using his grappling hook to get to where he needs to be. Upon landing on the rooftop adjacent to the building Morlun and MJ are inside, Robin crouches down extremely low and scouts out the place. He figures he can stick to the shadows and follow along with the group.

Maybe Morlun wouldn't suspect anything?

Doubtful, considering Morlun's previous interactions with Spider-Man have been interrupted via the group of vigilantes and superhumans' interference. If anything, Robin can at least ensure that MJ gets out of this alive.

Jessica pauses in her pleadings with Spider-Man as he seems to be having a conversation. At first she thinks it is likely someone on his comm, but a moment later, that is dashed when he calls whoever it is a sadistic bastard. Quickly ruling out her last ex, that can only mean one thing: Morlun. Her hearing is good enough to hear bits of the call. Enough to know that the playing field is moving, and rapidly. And so, tentatively and gently fastening her mask into place over the matted blood in her hair from the dumpster-induced skull fracture earlier in the evening, Jessica takes on her mantle, and prepares to follow Spider-Man anywhere. Even to her own doom.

As part of her studies, Sarah Black has read about many different varieties of hell dimensions, featuring varied forms of torments for those consigned there.

Right about now, she's not thinking any of them are horrific enough for Morlun to spend eternity in.

Rage. Rage at the murders he's done so far, and at the torture and abuse of an innocent Morlun has just added to his ever-growing list of sins. Sarah lets the emotion burn hot and deep now, so that she can focus that much better - and be motivated that much more - when the time comes to act.

It's entirely possible that she curse word that spills from her lips has never been spoken before on this side of the Atlantic.

The minute that new waypoint pops, Thea stops her progress. There's a heel turn that would make a drill sargeant proud, before she's running back to her bike. She's firing it up and there's that faint squeal of rubber as she corners it a little faster than maybe she should. There's a faint mutter, a memory of an old movie. "Sweet blessed mother of acceleration, don't fail me now."
She's speeding and giving little care or notice to things like stoplights, stop signs, or rules of the road. She knows where she's going, and a few near misses are not enough to make her slow down. She'll stash the bike in an alley half a block from the address on the HUD, jogging down the sidewalk like locals do every day. A building or two away, she'll slow, steady her breathing. She wants to appear casual, just another person in the day to day. She'll walk past the building, noting things like fire escapes, floors, and the like, before she will sidle on into the space between the building and the next.

Armor wastes no time at all in turning, enlarging her armor, and beginning to bound from rooftop to rooftop, making a beeline towards the White Tower Apartments. She doesn't even care if anyone spots the yellow shape leaping from one building to the next; she's too far from street level for most people to see, and she's avoiding any roofs that are actually occupied.

The sound of that arm being broken, and of the scream which followed it, echo in her thoughts. And that was done just to lure out Spider-Man …

She's not about to let Morlun get away this time.

Spider-Man was already moving. But even in the depths of his fury, his mind is working.

<Everyone…listen close. This is a trap. I know it is. But maybe we can still spring the trap and get the bait. Angel…I need you to save MJ. Everyone else, I need you to help me with Morlun. I need to test something, and for that I need to get closer. Everyone else, help me confront Morlun. Angel…save MJ. PLEASE."

Spider-Man doesn't make any pretense at hiding his arrival. The apartment building has a large courtyard and parking lot. It's midday, so the parking lot is almost empty. Spider-Man lands in the center of the parking lot.
"Come on, Morlun. Daylight's wasting!" he calls up to the window.

Morlun smiles. "He is here." He looked to Dex. "She is no longer useful."
Dex nodded. He pulled out the small .380 he carried and looked over to the living room. "Count to 30, then do it. I remember."

Mary Jane was on the ground, immoble, unable to deal with the pain as most heroes would. She's currently rolling, attempting to get herself right back up but falls to her knees again, clutching her arm. "Don't GO!" She screams out towards Morlun's back, whether he was in the room or not. She didn't have the words nor heart to bait and distract, but that doesn't mean she wasn't going to try.

"You're a bastard! You're -useless-! Picking on a girl! I hope.. I hope he beats you! I hope he .. he.. pummels you to the ground.." Which she falls over on again, then tries to rise. "..like a worm you are!"

Robin listens in when Spider-Man broadcasts to the team. «Hope you know what your doing, Spider-Man.» Time for Robin to make a dramatic entrance. He runs straight to the edge of the roof and takes Three Birdarangs into one hand. He hasn't reached the edge of the roof yet, since he needed a running start for this particular stunt…

But when Morlun inevitably gives chase to Spider-Man? Damian will try to throw those birdarangs straight at the life-leeching vampire, before Gliding to the location to take a more direct part of this fight.

One spider is a potential target. Two is a parade. Jessica swings in on a web from another direction, having followed Spider-Man to the destination. Instead, she chooses to land lightly on the roof, and she appears silently over the edge, climbing down head-first downward, toward the window Peter is watching, but she waits noiselessly, patiently, as she heard Spidey's request of his team.

She knows what Morlun is capable of. And she may be the only one there who can take it without dying, if he unleashes completely. Or if not…at least she might be able to take it for long enough to buy the others some time.

"Harman, Black," comes Sarah's voice over the local-ops SHIELD channel. "You want backup going in? Or exfil for the hostage? Over." After the change of venue, she's placed herself on a nearby rooftop, where she has a vantage point on the apartment in question.

"Duh. What do you think I broke all those traffic laws for?" 'Angel' will sass Spidey like it's just another day and he's taking her with him on a swing about town. She'd heard the snap, the scream. It hadn't touched her like it would others, she's heard such sounds many times before. The Thea that Peter and some of the spiders know, the healer, the almost big sister, is not present. There is nothing of warmth or personality in her face, as she moves along the side of the building. The doors might be set with alarms, or worse explosives or other traps.

And so it is Thea finds her way up a fire escape, wasting no time and taking the stairs in leaping steps to save time. She will count her way up to the tenth floor, before she will find her way in through a window. Here's hoping no one is home to call the cops for her unauthorized entry. « Black, when I handle the situation I will call you up for extraction. If you need to help the rest, that comes first. I can take care of the hostage.» She will relay as quietly as she slides inside. Thankfully, all is quiet, and Thea will make her way to the door, listening, cracking the door for the quickest of moments before she's out in the hall, rushing for 1012 at full speed.

'Everyone else, help me confront Morlun.'

"On it, Spider-Man," Armor replies - and the anger in her voice is unmistakable. She's not the ball of fury that some of her teammates might be, but she's more than ready to pit her powers against Morlun's physical resilience. And this time, she does *not* want to simply send him elsewhere, not even to find out if he can or can't cross running water - she'd rather reduce him to something that the water, or even the wind, will merely disperse harmlessly to the four corners of the world, or at least the city.

"Do we have a strategy, other than 'hit him until nothing's left?" Armor inquires as she lands in the courtyard, her armor shrinking back down to absorb some of the impact of landing … and also to take up less space.

Morlun certainly does not believe in elevators. Boom, out the window he goes, ten stories up, dropping like a bomb.
Speaking of which, when three bird-a-rangs arc towards him, he is able to catch all three of them. He is preparing to throw them back when the pressure sensors kick in and they explode. They do no harm to him, but they knock him off-center, sending him into a tumble that ends when he hits the pavement. Head first.
Spidey said, "OUCH. So much for showmanshi-"
And he is up like quicksilver and heading straight for Spidey.

Spidey gets hit early. A glancing blow, but it is enough to shear muscle along his right side and crack a rib. However, Spidey gets over Morlun and hits him with four web grenades at once. He springs away as Morlun finds himself covered in webbing, momentarily unable to move.

Ten floors up Dex pulls back the slide of the little semi-automatic, letting it slide forward again, the hammer pushed back in the process.
Live and direct.
He walks towards MJ's room. "You have to realize it's for the best. Be a servant in heaven or a king in Hell. And some days, Hell looks a lot like the Big Apple. So just…don't whine, okay? I could never tolerate a whiner."

Her protests were no use. This was it. This was the end. Mary Jane may have not liked her father, but he always said that he preferred to die on his feet. She would too.

She slowly stands, still shaken, adrenaline slowly winding down, keeping her arm in her hand as she tries to hold her head high. He couldn't tolerate a whiner?


She rushes towards Dex, aiming to at least put her good shoulder towards his middle to knock him down.

Well, Morlun just won't stay down will he? Damian glides down to the point of contact, with Morlun being unable to move, Damian draws his katana and tries to slice him across the face. He's a vampire, right? These guys can survive wounds that could kill a person. Still not breaking the code…plus supernatural creatures can sometimes be an exception…like Grundy.


Robin's in this fight…though he's not near as durable as Spidey, he can take a hit.

From her vantage point above, Jessica spins and throws two web nets down on Morlun, and follows them, leaping the rest of the way to land beside him on the pavement, throwing filament upon filament down upon him. Giving it all she has, trying to keep him immobilized. As she does, she is drawing energy from the pavement, just like she did on the building. Powering up. Powering up. Until she unleashes a venom blast of electricity directly into the pile of webbing, fusing much of it together.

There's no time to waste, and Thea's heart is actually starting to speed in her chest. She will burst through the door, letting the way her powers view overlay her regular vision. She doesn't even break stride, a blade much like the one Spidey had told her about hurting Morlun before in her hand. She's not going for the big guy, but charging into a hostage scene with a gun is generally not a good idea.

The moment she's in, she's rushing for Dex, hoping to distract him from MJ. She will use her powers in a hard rush to blind Dex by blocking off his optic nerves, while she will pull blood away from his lungs to start to suffocate him. There is barely time to glance at MJ, before she will move to avoid her, while sinking that blade in between his shoulder and arm, to deaden the joint. There's motion unbroken, before she will wrap an arm around the back of his neck, to throw him to the ground. A quick kick to his temple should render him unconscious so she can turn to MJ.
"Hey there, movie star. I was sent to come save you." MJ will start to feel a heated tingle along her recently broken arm, a hand out from Thea to touch her to accelerate the healing. « Black. Time for Extract. » "My friend is going to come get you out of here, okay?"

Sarah doesn't waste the time it would take to reply, instead immediately opening a portal to take her from her vantage point to where Morlun made his exit from the apartment. A moment later, she comes running into the room where Thea and MJ are. "I'm here," she says, looking to Thea, then glancing aside at the crumpled Dex on the floor. "Nice work. If it was me, I'm not sure he'd bloody well still be breathing. And not on fire." She looks at MJ, and says, "It's all right. You're safe, now. Just going to go for a little ride." Over SHIELD comms, she says, "Agent Sarah Black, codeword Equinox, inbound to Medical with one injured. Over." And then she opens a portal, and a pre-arranged pair of combat medics step through to retrieve the patient.

Once MJ is safely off to the Triskelion's Medical section and Sarah's closed the portal, she turns to Thea, with a grim and dangerous grin and asks, "Shall we go kick some bloody arse, luv?"

It was no real secret to Armor that Morlun cared not for showmanship, elevators, or stairs; his exit from Spider-Girl's apartment illustrated that clearly enough. But he's also durable enough to be crushed through pavement and pipe, surviving a jaunt down the sewer with his dignity and his clothes the only casualties.

All of which also adds up to one very useful fact: she doesn't have to worry about accidentally beating him to a pulp. He *might* be able to take whatever Armor can dish out when she's mad. And she fully intends to test that.

So with the telekinetic field of her powers surrounding her like an eight-foot-tall warrior in sleekly curved carapaces of transparent red light, Hisako Ichiki yells a wordless kiai as she charges Morlun in between her allies' own attacks, punching at a downwards angle - not steep enough to punch him into the ground, but not so shallow as to blast him through the wall if he goes flying.

Dex never knew what hit him. He was raising the pistol when he was hit by MJ, and then by Thea. He will wake up later, but he will never know he got double-teamed by an actress and an assassin.
But by that time, he will be past caring.

Spider-Man jumps back to see Morlun practically carpet-bombed by webbing, and then slugged by the mysterious girl in the shifting armor suit. Physical or not, the girl had hit the inhuman Morlun, now doing a pretty good stint as a heavy bag, and Armor was going to town on the guy.
For a moment, he wanted to wade in, to get his hands dirty. But in his gut, he knew it was a holding action, anyway.
What he was going to suggest was going to make him look like a coward. He knew it in his heart. But he had to follow through on what was already a multi-step plan, and he had to be at his best strength for it.

<Everyone, RUN! He only wants ME!>

And with that, he fires a webline and flees the scene, an act which will not look favorable for him on social media, OR the Bugle. But even as Armor whales away on Morlun, the webbing is already beginning to fray…

Good, MJ is likely secure. As Robin's about to engage with Morlun after ultimately failing in his assault against him, Spider-Man tells them to get the hell out of dodge. «Understood.» So Robin stays the hell out of Morlun's way when the leeching vampire will no-doubt break free of his bonds.

Of course, Robin will also interpret this selectively and follow in the event that Spider-Man's plan goes immediately to shit.

Jessica doesn't know Spider-Man well enough to know exactly what his plan is. But she knows well enough to know that he isn't just fleeing. If he is leaving, he has a plan. She doesn't like it, but she backs away. With a leap, she lands on the side of the building and clings there to watch and wait. Wait, and then pursue.

Thea will take a moment to reach into her backpack, before Dex will have his wrists zip-tied together. That should keep him out of trouble for a bit, at any rate. She will jerk her knife free, a wipe off on Dex's shirt.
She will look at Sarah, a remote chill in her eyes. " I am.. " She's cut off by Peter's command to run, her head turning. « Spidey, no! MJ is safe, we can all fight with you..» She looks back to Sarah, jaw clenching. "I don't want to just let him go to be chased down."

"Then we'll follow," Sarah answers. "As long as we know where he is, we can get to him quickly. I've made a point of picking spots all over the city. There's pretty much nowhere that's more than a block from somewhere I can portal us to, and I can do a 'local' hop or two to get us the rest of the way, if I need to. Not like Morlun's likely to give us any bloody choice anyway — He's not going to stay here and fight us when his real target's in the wind."

The command to run catches Armor by surprise; she hasn't had her fill of walloping Morlun yet. She settles for taking one last swipe at him before turning and running, sprinting a block at street level before leaping to a nearby rooftop.

Spidey explicitly wanted MJ rescued *first*, and then called for a retreat after Angel had time to go about doing that. He must have a reason - a plan. And Morlun has shown his own tenacity by now; it's not like he *won't* follow Spider-Man given a chance to do so.

So Armor keeps her pace measured; she doesn't want to get ahead of Spider-Man, but she doesn't intend to let him get too far ahead of her. And with the red-and-blue hero's own form of travel keeping him generally visible from street level, Armor can stay on the roofs, letting the architecture cloak her own location.

… although if Morlun really *can* follow *her*, she has to hope that spiders are still his preferred prey. And if other animal-themed heroes are also 'prey' for this monster in human shape, then she has a few specific reasons to make sure his threat is *eliminated* before she goes back to the Institute …

Morlun takes a good five seconds to pull himself free. He GLARES at the departing Spider-Man, teeth gritted. He looked to the building, then moved towards it.
Spider-Man was going to pay, and he was going to take GREAT pleasure out of showing him what he was going to do to Miss Watson.

Except that Miss Watson was gone. She was…MILES AWAY. Deep in some building. He could go after her, but…

He turned and saw the zip-tied Dex, who was still unconscious.
His lip curled, and he advanced on Dex…
…fully intending to wake him up.

The NYPD CSU unit sent in one hour later was composed of four men and one woman. Three men were actually able to enter the room without vomiting after the fourth attempt. The woman was largely unaffected, only to suffer an anxiety attack after opening the refrigerator.
Probably because she had never seen a flayed and half-eaten lung before.

New York City…what a town.

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