The Night Spidey Almost Lost His Butt

Summary:
July 27, 2014: When Doctor Octopus goes on a rampange, two unlikely metas are there to stop him. Well, it doesn't exactly turn out the way they'd have liked.

Midtown East - New York City

Sutton Place, Turtle Bay, Tudor City… all of these recognizable neighborhoods help define the eastern side of Midtown Manhattan. From 6th Avenue to the East River, from 40th St. to 59th St., the East Side contains such notable landmarks as Sotheby's headquarters, the UN building, and the unmistakable Chrysler Building. It is home to some of the city's brightest luminaries, since it's far enough away from the bustling city center to afford some privacy, but close enough to the action to make it one of the more in-demand areas outside of the Upper East Side.


Characters

NPCs

  • One homeless dude
  • Doc Ock's buttmunching octopods

Mood Music:


The HALO laboratories are separated by relatively expansive grounds, the company's west coast sensibilities still at play here in their research center on this side of the country. After hours, the place is usually rather quiet, a large, square building diagonal to the street so the point of the building faces the sidewalk, a large set of glass doors along once side marking the entrance, the sealed concrete of the other four sides marking lab space, kept private and temperature controlled, heavy security keeping their trade secrets under wraps.

Until tonight, of course.

The alarm only screamed for about thirty seconds before a tentacle hacked the system, shutting it down. Octavius answered the phone and re-assured the police that it was merely a glitch. He then began to work his way through the laboratories, looking for something specific but taking his time along the way. His eight limbs lash out, striking and smashing through tables, crushing machinery, jetting flame from the tip of one to just set the room on fire. That, of course, was what pushed it beyond, the fire alarm going off. He could hack it and shut it off, but he no longer cares. Let them come. Their broken bodies will only be further testament. Last week, you see, HALO announced brand new work in prosthetic devices, proclaiming them far beyond the creation of anyone, even the notable work of the Germans.

The German, they meant. They didn't even use his name. Too ashamed. Too afraid. But he heard. He always hears. And now he's going to remind them.

Do not fuck with Doctor Octopus.

*

Lets just say that Kwabena Odame gets around. He's useless when bored, and recent events have afforded him plenty of opportunity to stay busy. The bittersweet truth is that recent events have him getting his hands dirty in a world he tries very hard to forget. The world of narcotics trafficking is immense, and knows no boundaries. One might be led to think that, speaking with a wealthy pharmaceutical corporate manager who doubles as a heroin trafficker might be more comforting than, say, rustling up some dope boys in Bedsty.

Shift knows better.

The encounter with Richard Dackleman went less than profitable. Kwabena found it to be a dead end, with no leads on his investigation, and now, he's walking out of an expensive residential high rise with stiff hairs on the back of his neck, a terrible urge to drink, and a sizeable bag of boy in his pocket that he doesn't want, but was forced to keep.

The streets in this part of town are relatively quiet at this hour, and the African is quick to light up a smoke and carelessly produce a flask from his other jacket pocket. Even as he drinks, he considers the dope in his other pocket, and just how to dispose of it. As he walks down the street, he considers any number of options, but it's only when he comes to a trash receptacle across the street from HALO Labs that he realizes just how ridiculous he's being.

"Fucking Christ, Odame." He snatches the bag of dope and tossesit into the bin. There, done. So, why is it that he's staring at the trash can? Why is it that his hand is trembling?

Then, there's a fire alarm. Thankful for any kind of distraction, he looks toward the sound and perks a curious eye at the definitively out-of-place structure. HALO laboratories. Doesn't ring a bell. He stays where he is, smoking his cigarette, with a watchful eye on the building as the alarm rings through the night.

*

"Uh huh," Spider-Man says into his cell phone, elbow resting on his thigh and his head resting on the palm of his hand, "Yep. No. A dozen eggs. Side of bacon. Orange juice. What? No, it's not muffled. I've, uh, I've got a cold. Yeah. Achoo."

He quickly reaches up to pull his mask away from his mouth, leaving the bottom half of his face exposed, "There? Yeah, sorry. Anyway, the - "

The alarm at HALO Labs, not that far from where he's sitting on the parapet of a building, draws his attention. He's been there before on a field trip. Kept up with their innovations in the news. He even applied for an internship there that they're still 'considering.' Jerks. All the same, he can't let the place burn down.

"Sorry, I've gotta go. I just remembered I've got a chemistry paper due! Love you! Mwah mwah mwah!"

Hanging up the phone, he tucks it a small satchel webbed to the underside of the building's ledge. Pulling his mask back down, he sets his sights on the distant building and swings off to see what's up.

*

Doctor Octopus finally finds the lab he was looking for: Cybernetics, 2nd floor, East wing. He look casually over all of the equipment. He had once commanded a lab like this (still did, but underground, hidden and not nearly as well ventilated). He sees the banks of computers, the various limbs in process. Even some refrigerated units off to the size, probably filled with cadavers donated to science.

His tentacles are active, simply shattering computers to silicon bits, tearing into the ceiling and pulling down pipes to spray water into the spritzing electonics, his rubber boots protecting him from any shock. Finally, he comes upon a full suit, four robotic limbs and even a torso, as if they'd planned to simply attach a human head. Perhaps they did. Walt Disney's frozen skull might sitting in that freezer, waiting to be attached to this very unit and delight children anywhere in his grotesque, mechanized, hideous and beautiful unlife.

"Fools, you think you steal from Otto Octavius?! My genius! My creations! You think you can steal them just because some petty minded corporate fool calls me a disgrace and a criminal. YOu think me committing a few meaningless murders gives you carte blanche to raid my work, like some petty pirate! NAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" he cries and his tentacles seize the robot body and hurl it through the wall, smashing open the side of the building and sending a spray of metal and concrete to shower on the grass below.

His tentacles form lingers in the opening, silhouetted from behind by the sparking electricity, flicking and staring out, his eyes glowing red in his goggles.

*

What the hell. A distraction is a distraction, and he'll be damned if he's going to relapse under the influence of a Big Pharma Douche like Richard Dackleman. A year clean ain't something to downplay. Tossing the cigarette to the ground, Kwabena goes down the nearest alley. To the homeless man hiding behind a dumpster he tosses his flask, a pack of smokes, and a couple of $100 bills. "Keep an eye on my shit, and save a smoke fah me." There's a poofing sound, and Kwabena's clothing falls to the floor while a plume of black smoke vaults up the side of the building.

The homeless man looks upward, watching as the smoke soars higher. Mouth ajar, he fumbles for the flask and tilts it back, disbelieving of what he's just witnessed.

Shift reforms upon the rooftop, a few stray tendrils of black smoke swirling about him while the re-solidification to human form finishes. The gunmetal gray uniform of unstable molecules, fortunately, keeps him from ending up naked. He walks up toward the street-facing edge of the rooftop, just in time to see the mechanical ruin thrown from the building, and the silhouette of something… something that momentarily frightens even him.

"… well. Damn."

Shift pulls the mask of his uniform up, covering all but his mouth and chin. A few steps backward to give him a running start, and he leaps over the edge of the building, planting his hands against the verge to give him an extra push. At the crest of his leap, he transforms to smoke again, and goes soaring through the night sky toward the opening made by the unknown, tentacled creature beyond.

*

A moment after the suit of tentacle armor is flung out of the building, it comes hurtling back at Doc Ock. A few loose tendrils of web dangle from it here and there, with Spider-Man hurtling not far behind it. The joys of launching things with a web slingshot.

"Hey, hey, hey," Spidey calls, perching to land atop one of the broken consoles, "If you keep throwing your toys around then I'm going to donate them all to charity and then you'll be sorry, young man."

*

Doctor Octopus had been turning back into the building when he hears Spider-Man's voice and landing, turning his head slightly to the side. His features are hidden by a black gas-mask, his eyes behind goggles of glowing red. He hasn't yet detected Shift's arrival, the covert operative's methods more subtle than that of the mutated hero.

There's a sharp metallic sound, a CHINK CHINK CHINK CHINK in sequence as four of his tentacles sprout sharp, three-proned pincers at their tips, the tips curved in. It can make them surprisingly delicate when he controls his grip - and more than capable of tearing flesh from bone when he pleases.

The mask distorts his voice, making it hollow and alien. The German accent doesn't help him sound any more re-assuring. "My mother, cold bitch that she was, never gave me much in the way of toys. And those she did, well…I broke," he says, and two of those tentacles lash out, striking at the Spider-Man with deadly velocity.

*

The laws of physics dictate that the elastic force of a web slingshot is far stronger than the pseudo-parkour moves of Shift. He's still soaring across the street when Spider-Man makes his grand entrance, which is just as well. The web slinger's banter is far more entertaining than whatever foul insults Shift might spit.

When he does finally make his entrance, it is far more subtle. The cloud of smoke might have been visible if there were daylight, or perhaps some interior lights, but most of them have been smashed. The smoke strikes the floor, living tendrils swirling about each other as momentum carries it further into the room, splitting past wreckage, water on the floor, and right past the rubber boots of Doc Ock.

Suddenly, from behind, there is another voice, this one bearing the accent of Ghana. "Must have been some few cheap toys." The masked Shift stands right where he is, doing nothing for the moment. Only a few crackles and pops come from his direction, easily confused with the sounds of busted technology. The only suggestion that his body is doing the opposite of transforming to smoke — hardening into a supersolid material — is in the way the exposed skin of his lower face becomes more rock-like in nature.

Lets give this tentacled freak another target to strike at.

*

"Yikes," Spidey answers, voice dripping with sarcasm, "Talk about today on Doctor Phil. I'll tell you what, buddy, you stop vandalizing private property and then we can talk about your crappy home life."

His Spider Sense serves him well as the tentacles strike at him, the Webhead twisting and contorting in almost-impossible ways to let them pass by without hurting.

"Tsk tsk," Spidey stretches a hand forward suddenly, a burst of webbing aimed directly at the villain's goggles, "I swear, if you're trying to steal my spider schtick I'm taking you to court. I know lawyers, pal."

"Hey, new guy," he calls over to Shift, "Neat trick! Now punch him!"

*

Doctor Octopus turns at Shift's words, the motion making that blast of webbing aimed for his goggles to strike instead at the back of his head and neck, coating them in strings of web-fluid and perhaps making him even more weirdly grotesque in their own way. He attempts to smash a pair of tentacles together into Kwabena, one from either side, the equivalent of clapping, only with carbonadium/vibranium alloy capable of tearing apart a bank vault in each lovely limb. "Spider, are you? I am no mere pest!" he snarls, two other tentacles writhing beneath him to push him into the air, so his body is suspended at the center of his eight writhing cyberlimbs, "Petty heroes, you have no conception of what you face! Tremble before the might of Doctor Octopus!" he howls, two other tentacles slamming into the floor behind him and trying to scoop up debris to fling at Spidey blindly.

*

The tentacles smash into Shift, but they do not break. The snarling anticipation on his face turns into one of surprise; pained surprise. Whatever the hell these things are made out of, they are stronger than anything he's ever encountered.

That… trick has never failed before.

"Yeah," he grimaces as he reels under the strike, momentarily disoriented. "Dat… would've been a good idea!" He staggers to a halt, clears his head with a violent shake, and releases the manipulation of his hardened state with more hissing than crackling.

Recognizing that Doctor Octopus has a penchant for diatribe, he charges at the monstrosity before he's finished with his threatening words. If his supersolid phase didn't do the trick, maybe it's time to rely on some good, old-fashioned flavor instead. He's sure to encounter resistance, but he does nothing to dodge the deranged Doctor's arm machines. This time, they'll pass right through when he's struck, for Shift's natural genetic mutation, unaltered, is to smoke-ify when encountering deadly objects!

*

"Spiders are scarier than octopuses, dude," Spidey answers, even as he ducks and weaves out of the way of the oncoming debris. He plants a hand on the desk, contorting out of the way of a piece of debris, "I mean, you're basically Squidwar-OOF!"

The sheer volume of debris flung at him is more than even the super-dextrous Spider-Man can evade. A large chunk strikes him square in the chest, knocking him through what remains of the window with a hail of glass.

*

Doctor Octopus is quickly distracted by the sudden arrival of Shift-smoke, writhing all around him as Spidey is hurled through the opening. Having decided he's done enough damage for the moment, Octopus moves forward, gripping the edges of the precipice and leaping towards the ground, tentacles slamming into the ground in a…well-spider-like fashion, the momentarily stunned Spider behind him, the wraithlike Shift surely following. But now at least there's open ground.

He has no idea who Squidward is.

Turning back towards the building, a nozzle opens in the tip of a tentacle and starts spraying a stream of fire at the bushes laid along the wall for decorate purposes, just a gratuitous act of mutilation, "If anyone is fool enough not to fear me…they will pay the price for their hubris in blood and bone and ruination! I have only just begun to make them pay! Let the reign of terror begin!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!"

*

It's confusing, watching Shift turn so rapidly from human to smoke form and back again. It's confusing for Shift as well. It's a lot to keep track of, and it slows his advance! He's almost in range to try and throw a punch when Doctor Octopus takes to a retreat. "Grrruh!" he vocalizes, before running up toward the busted out window. He comes close to just leaping through, when the sound of fire has him skidding to a halt and grasping the side of the window to keep from going over. Perched at the edge, he just looks on and stares at what's happening below, and at the furious screams coming from the goggled villain. Spider-Man is nowhere to be seen… so Shift curls his fingers upon the edge of that window and looks as if he's about to leap through it.

*

"Oh man," Spidey leaps in through the window from a standing start in the street below, landing in a crouch and shaking his head at Ock, "Can you hear yourself? Lemme guess, under that moustache you've got a big twirly moustache. Do you laugh like 'Nyah Ha Ha' sometimes? Could you be anymore Dick Dastardly?"

*

Doctor Octopus snarls at Spider-man, facing him directly now, "Play the clown all you like, arachnid. Laugh all the way to your grave. Soon, the entire city will tremble at the mere mention of my name. And then, they will have no choice but to recognize me for the genius that I am!" he says. As he finishes his words, he reaches into his pockets and throws out four silver balls, each starting out at around baseball size but then expanding into soccer-ball size with metallic clicks…before they sprout tentacles of their own and begin leaping towards Spider-man, one of them firing a cutting laser from an opening in the end.

*

Two polar opposites, Shift and Spider-Man. The uniforms alone ought to tell that story. Refardless, Shift actually lifts a gloved hand to his face and performs the classic facepalm. "Got to be kidding me—" The thought is cut short when Ock unleashes his four little beasties, and when a laser is produced, shit gets real for Odame. "Oh, hell no!"

Shift curls his hands even tighter about the window's edge, waiting just for a few more seconds, before one of those mini Ock's get close. Then he leaps through the window and right onto one of them, holding on with all of his strength! "C'mere, you littah piece of eight legged—-" Grinding his teeth, he wraps arm and leg around the creature' supper joints, body crackling as it undergoes it's solidifying changes. If he can just wedge his legs and arms in the right place, create a solid fulcrum, maybe he'll be able to rip the thing apart at the head.

*

"Oh hey, Aibos! Remember Aibos? Who's a cute little fella? You! Yes you!"

As the eight-legged ball of laser death flies towards him, Spider-Man jukes to one side and brings up a fist. It's not the kind of punch he reserves for non-powered thugs. It's the kind of excess force that he can use to toss cars around like they were cardboard boxes.

*

Spidey's punch puts a nice dent in the octopod, sending it flying off to one side to land on its tentaclesa, rolling thorugh the grass and seeming a little unsteady afterwards. THe other two free ones leap, one at each hero, the pod attacking Spidey extending its tentacles each to six foot length and trying to snare-trap him.

The pod Shift is wrstling with is pushing back at him, momentarily strugging in grip as a panel opens in the front of it, revealing a hole lined with razored teeth, running in a spiral from the top into the depths of the thing…teeth that begin to spin as it tries to push forward and latch itself onto Shift's face, the two struggling with each other.

*

The thing is, Shift is operating at about 30% right now. He doesn't know it, but his body is capable of attaining a level of hardness not too dissimilar from adamantium. The only problem is, he's never pushed himself that far. He has to dig deep, very deep, into a depth of his inner self he's not sure he could control. It could kill him.

Sight of that twisted, spiral tooth trap has him digging deeper. He cranes his head back in an effort to avoid it, and begins to cry out in a scream of rage. You see, its anger that influences the X-Gene to supersolidify his body, bringing him more durability and physical strength. And he's digging pretty deep, into ugly places. Scarred places. Places that bring out a ferocious howl that borders on blind rage.

He continues to pull with his arms and push with his legs, the body beneath his uniform now gleaming as if solid titanium.

*

"Uh oh," Spidey calls out as he grabs the legs of the oncoming octopod to try and tear them apart, only to leave room for the other to partially ensnare him, "Uh oh. Uh oh. Hey, uh, other guy fighting Octozoid. Little help?!"

*

The Octopod in Shift's hands finally tears apart in his straining hands as he pushes himself to his limits, tearing two of the tentacles free, sputting electricity sparking in the air as the whirling blades slow and the whole thing begins to collapse a bit, the other two tentacles flailing weakly.

Spidey has managed to gain control of an octopod by its arms, his unbreakable grip letting him do what he will with it. The other, however, has wrapped around his belly and begins to open a similar maw to the one that just tried to eat Shift's face, only this one seems positioned over the Webbed Wonder's rear end.

*

The African's howl of fury is cut off by a gasp of air. It's hard to breath when you're supersolid! The rage nearly blinds him, and he's halfway through ripping one of those flailing limbs free in a meaningless gesture of destruction, when Spidey's call for help registers.

Shift ducks down low, letting the other Octazoid bounce off him, and within moments he's beating his now-heavy feet toward Spider-Man. Like a crazed linebacker, he spins and bashes his back into one of the flailing tentacles, catching it as he goes spinning around by the force of impact. His feet swing around until they find the inner joint of the tentacle that's got Spidey, and he latches on. Another growl comes out as he pushes both his arms and legs, trying to force the two tentacles apart.

*

"Hey, tin can," Spidey calls, attempting to pull the one octopod he has in his hands apart at the seams, "Not on the first date!"

The other one that has him tangled up is harder to get at, but he nevertheless kicks a foot back to try and throw it off. His legs are stronger than his arms after all.

*

Between Spidey and Shift, they manage to dislodage the buttmunching Octopod, the weapon releasing its tentacles as Spidey wrestles with the other. Suddenly, there's a high pitched whine, a sharp, piercing noise being emitted by the pod that Shift dodged. That one has taken the time to gather the parts of its brother that Shift broke, as the other release their grip and begin attempting to scurry and hop away in different directions, scattering so as to leave no trail.

After all, in all the commotion, Doctor Octopus does seem to have made his departure, as the villain is nowhere to be seen…

*

Shift falls to the ground in an inglorious heap, both hands slapping against his masked ears. "Aauugh!" he grimaces, momentarily stunned by the ear-piercing sound. Silver lining is, it looks as if the octopods are making a hasty exit. As soon as the mechanical creatures are gone, he releases his hands and comes to all fours for a moment, panting. Hissing and popping comes from his body as it softens up to a normal state again. "What… who de hell was… Doctah Octahpus?" He cranes his neck up to find the web slinger. "Really?"

*

"Your guess is as good as mine," Spidey offers with a shrug, planting his hands on his hips and looking around with exasperation at the departed super-villain, "Goofy looking guy, huh?"

He clicks his tongue, looking up at the building that is at least partially on fire, "I don't know about you, but I kind of want to get out of here before the boys in blue show up and think I started this mess."

*

Meanwhile, miles away, in the sewers, Octavius sneers to himself as he awaits the return of his octopods, his tentacles keeping his boots from the muck as they carry him down the wide tunnel. His gas-mask seals out any motors, but he's been monitoring their battles with the Octopods, "Heroes. Shapeshifters. Spiders. Give up now while you still can," he mutters to himself, "Lest I crush you and leave you for sharkbait…"

*

"Yeah, and very dangerous." Shift doesn't want to be here when the fuzz show up either, and there's a telltale smirk on his face to support it. "Name's Shift," he offers. "Watch out for dat guy, I bet he's de type who loves a good vendetta." He crouches down. "See ya round, Spidey." He leaps into the air, transforms into smoke, and is gone.

*

Spidey nods his head, waving as Shift turns into smoke and disappears. He pauses a moment, looking around at all the destruction which he is now the only one present for. A small crowd has gathered by the fences, a few camera phones out. Figures.

"Ah, cripes."

That said, Spidey launches a web line and swings away into the night. He's got grocery shopping to do.


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