Mishap on 42nd Street

September 29, 2014: A bus largely filled with seniors turns over in New York City. Unexpected help does and does not arrive.

42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas

Just off of Times Square in Midtown Manhattan



  • <Name of NPC or "None">

Crash Victims
NY Residents

Mood Music:

Cameron Tenoaks, also known publicly as the hero 'Columbia', usually tries to take a day off in the Big Apple. Not because she doesn't love her hometown of the Big Apricot, and not because she hates Gotham — What about Gotham? — but the Big Apple tends to have more issues with it in terms of safety and concern that folks actually appreciate her helping out with. Perhaps not on the same scale as Metropolis, where she is constantly hounded by paparazzi, and perhaps not as uncaring as Gotham, where the last time she was actually *shot at* for trying to help people out.

Today at the intersection of 42nd Street and the Avenue of the Americas, there has been a terrible accident. A bus carrying a bunch of senior citizens and their families on a tour from Valparaiso, Indiana has turned on its side a few blocks away from where the off-duty paramedic was enjoying a hot chocolate at a local corner cafe.

No, not one of those expensive ones, one of the ma and pa kinds!

She takes her paper cup with her as she starts running towards the scene, chugging it down and tossing it into a trash can before launching herself into the air to see what she can do to assist. Her bright orange hair is a beacon, and even jaded New Yorkers point up at her as she zips over to the site…


A terrible accident attracts superheroes alongside the wannabe superheroes, and Spoiler reaches the scene just after Columbia. Her purple… Eggplant cape, newly sewn, matches her outfit, but now there is more black in the purple, more leather, and a new mask that covers only the lower half of her face, revealing the blue eyes and blonde hair. She lands on a rooftop, crouching there, studying the scene before she tosses a zip line, a new one, to slide down. The cape flares behind her and her grin widens as the damn thing actually works, landing her on the roof closer.

An accident the perfect place to get photographs, and cement a job that no one will suspect. Sure the whole moon base project hasn't exactly been working the best for Zod, but this current plan has no way of failing. Zod is dressed in a dull brown suit with large sideburns on either side of his head, and a pair of rather darkly tinted aviators. While he doesn't exactly fit in, it's still less out of place then his casual wear, and his cult- er loyal followers said it was a good look for him.

In his hands Zod carries an older looking camera most likely snagged on the cheap from a goodwill or some other thrift store. In fact his whole outfit most likely came from a second hand store, though it seems to be working for the moment. He makes his way through the streets walking at a fairly decent pace, for an average out of shape man. When he actually makes it to the scene of the incident he's immediately ready to snap a few pictures.


"What was that?" Asks the brown haired college student as he emerged from Mario's Music Matchbox. Squinting his eyes, he reached up with his right hand rub at his temple, still having a splitting headache from the noise inside. They were playing something from a Scandinavian hair band, and he could still hear it from the street.

His Spider-Sense was ringing in there, and it's still going off, but he gets a second sensation and ducks just in time to miss the orange haired woman launching herself into the air. The other pedestrians seem to gawk up at her, pointing, and is that awe? He doesn't get awe. How come she gets such special treatment? Must be the hair. Maybe he should start wearing a wig, but… nah, it'd clash with his costume.

With his camera and his costume in his bag, he has to make a choice. And for once, he chooses the camera. It's a strange choice for him, but his spider-sense isn't going off that badly, and in fact, it seems to have diminished quite a bit. That woman, the one with the hair, can probably handle things, but if need be, he does have the costume ready and he's pretty fast at changing.

So instead of changing, he chases after her, rushing through the pedestrians, trying to snap a few shots along the way, passing another photographer with some pretty cheap equipment. He's careful not to knock the old guy down, saying "excuse me" as he reaches the bus and the passengers. This looks like a job for Peter Parker.


Cameron's attention almost immediately goes to the bus. While she is strong enough to lift the thing on her own, the passengers inside have undoubtedly been flung everywhere, and trying to right it now would probably cause more injury. A lot more injury if everyone has fallen to the lowest point of the side of the bus. A few folks standing by point and gape at her, and some folks take out their phones to take photos of the flame-haired woman.

She hasn't seen Spoiler yet, or she'd probably tell the young heroine to help with perimeter duty or the like. She points to one of the people using their phone to take a picture of her.

"Hey! Call Emergency Services."

Might as well put the thing to use the way it is intended to be used.

She lands in front of the bus and carefully places her hands on the glass, prying her fingers into the rubber seal to remove the shattered front piece in one section. That gets set aside as she peers into the bus.

"Remain calm. Help is here. We'll get you out." Even if she's off-duty, she's still a paramedic. And these folks are clearly in need. Cameron does grit her teeth a bit at the picture-taking. Can't folks see there's an emergency here?

First person she checks on is the driver, who took a wicked whack to the head. Head injuries are tricky, but his position belted into the seat can't be doing any wonders for him. She carefully holds him in place as she undoes the seat strap and brings him out, taking off her windbreaker to lay him on it.

"Folks, need stuff for them to lie on until more help gets here. Anyone has jackets or that, please?"

She heads back into the bus.

Meanwhile, on the undercarriage, an abused set of fuel lines creak ominously, and the bus shifts a bit for it was not designed to rest on its side…


Undirected to stay on the sidelines, Spoiler swings down onto the side of the bus, landing with all the skill of an acrobat, her hands spread. She watches Columbia remove the driver, before cautiously slipping into the bus, "Stay calm." The words are quiet, and she offers a hand to a young mother in the front seat, helping her balance, holding the baby to pass out to her as she clambers out that front window. New to this, she is obvious to fuel lines, to that type of risk, and she works quietly within the bus, getting the walking wounded out. Her customary snark is subsumed by the urgency of the need.


With a bit of intuition Zod manages to snap a few fairly decent photographs before coming up with a small idea. He starts running off at that same speed limiting his own rapid speed at least until he gets inside of one of the nearby buildings. If this works he'll get a near perfect areal shot of the scene, and if he works it right he might get that job at the Bugle. He almost knocks over Parker as he moves past, aviator glasses already making it slightly difficult to see.


Peter is genuinely concerned for the well-being of the people inside, and in his role as Peter Parker, he gets a quick few snapshots of the strange woman. He deftly sidesteps Zod's path, knowing to move out the way even though he didn't see or hear the man. While off to the side, he checks to see the photos he's already taken. One of her flying, one of her landing, one of her with the window, and one of her looking at the guy with the smart phone. That's probably enough for his editor.

With the smart phone guy making the phone call to emergency services, Peter puts his camera back into his backpack and heads towards the scene, asking, "How can I help?" He's stronger and more agile than he looks, but this doesn't seem too dangerous, so there's no reason he can't help out as Peter Parker on this one.

But of course, his Spider-Sense goes off again. Nifty little thing that. It tells him that the warning is coming from the air and even as he sees Spoiler swinging down, he's got his camera back out and takes a shot of her. Damn paparazzi. There ought to be a law against it.

But then, he gets a bad feeling in the back of his head, and he's pretty sure that it's coming from the undercarriage. Doing the only thing he can think of in time, he moves into the bus and tries to help the passengers who can be moved and hopes that the 'heroes' can deal with the ones who aren't so lucky.


The out-pouring of sudden help leaves Columbia a bit shocked. She definitely wasn't expecting Spoiler to be in New York City. She shrugs slightly and then gives the colorfully-clad woman a wave and a motion to the area where patients are already being lined up.

"Spoiler, back up the crowds, we need more space."

Folks in the office that Zod runs into start staring at him a bit warily as he runs through the building. Someone wearing aviator glasses and running with a camera? That's a bit suspicious, and there is some muttering as he runs past various floors.

When Peter comes over she blinks. It's not a blink of recognition, but rather the rather incredulous yet thankful blink of 'Oh, wow, locals coming to help.'

"Hey, guy? Be careful!"

She points at some random person in the crowd. "Hey, come on over here and keep an eye on the driver, make sure he doesn't start getting clammy. Shout if he does." It's a risk she has to take until Emergency Services get here, even as she moves in to get the great-aunt of the mother and daughter out of the mangled wreck of a wheel chair and to the next bedding spot.

"If anyone has medical skills, please, lend a hand!"

The orange-haired woman isn't a glory-hound and she can't do this by herself.

The bus groans a bit as more people are moving back and forth in it, but the lines are holding… for the moment.


Spoiler's first paparazzi shot, and she is oblivious to the moment, helping an elderly man to shift to the front of the bus, one of a slow queue heading for that window. At least she has the sense to keep her mask on. Peter's help earns him a look that hints at a smile behind the mask, a thumbs up, and she reaches for one of the less able people, helping them edge along the bus, her arm around them.

The shout, and acknowledgement from Columbia gets a returned wave, and she slides from the front of the bus, nudging people back, her cape used to almost sweep the curious back, enlisting the help of a few burly men. The groan from the bus gets a look, Spoiler turning back with a frown, and she leaves her burly guys handling the crowd control, heading towards the bus.


Zod doesn't really mind too much, more focused on getting that perfect shot then what's going on around him. It could be that he's getting too much into character, or it could just be that he's having too much fun just being able to relax for once. No one shouting at him, no running and screaming or men with guns, just relaxing photography with this alien device known as a camera. He moves right over to the edge, positioning himself for a bit to try and get the perfect shot of this accident. "I bet Kal-el doesn't even know how to use one of these contraptions" he mutters quietly to himself zooming in and out for the various shots.


A snappy response comes to mind, but Peter Parker is the type to bite his tongue. He only lets it loose when he hides it behind a mask. He's funny that way, but he does try to adhere to Columbia's wishes.

As Spoiler gives him the thumbs up, he wished he had his camera out. That's the trouble with being a hero. Even when his head says he should be an observer, photographing this for the Bugle, his heart gets in the way. He can't not be a good Samaritan. It's in his blood.

He'll try and help a young girl who doesn't want to leave her mother, but he can't help them both in this confined area, and he knows that the mother would want her daughter to be free. Picking her up into his arms, he whispers how everything's going to be okay, and that he'll get her mother just as soon as he gets her out.


At about this point the nearest NYPD start to arrive, and they also help with trying to get some control over the crowd, even as off in the distance sirens can be heard of approaching emergency apparatus. Which may be a bit of a problem, given the growing crowd and traffic jam that is forming around the disabled vehicle.

With the additional help and some of the victims recovering enough to move, the bus gets about half-unloaded when the side of the bus groans a bit and begins to collapse. The orange-haired woman throws herself into the bus, stopping about half-way and propping herself to hold the former 'side' now 'roof' up.

"If you can move, get out."

Then her eyes alight on the woman trapped under a contorted seat — whose daughter Peter already rescued — and winces. Shifting one hand down she peels the seat back, even as the side comes down on her some.

"Miss. If you can move… go. Hurry."

A couple of security guards open the roof-top access door and clear their throats behind Zod. "Hey, buddy, you got your badge, there? You know there's no rooftop access without a badge, right?"

Spoiler's return causes Cameron to raise an eyebrow.

"Spoiler, get clear. This thing is not stable."


Reaching into his pocket, Zod flashes a small police press pass for a moment while already moving to walk away. He's got his shots from this angle, and if the police try to arrest him, he'll only need to take a jump for the fire escape. He looks rather calm and collected still holding onto his camera in one hand. Not a word is uttered from him as he moves, just trying to look calm.


Spoiler returns the look, shaking her head, her stubbornness firmly in place, a week of having Robin telling her to get out, and then Batman leading to absolute stubbornness. She reaches up, helping one of the walking wounded down, her blue eyes offering reassurance, and she peers past Peter and Columbia, into the bus. "The bus is creaking, groaning." The warning is given quietly, avoiding panic if she can, warning the others.


Peter got the girl to safety, and gave her to a nice police officer. He had fully intended to go back into the bus to retrieve her mother, but another police officer prevents him. "But, her mother is still in there," he protests, but the officer will have none of it, insisting that the proper authorities are here.

He tries to rationalize with the officer, but there doesn't seem to be anything he can do. Even when he shows off his press pass, it gets him nothing. But then, his spider-sense goes into overdrive. He's pretty sure it's the undercarriage, but how to warn them?

Moving back into the crowd, he sneaks his way towards the fire truck, and surreptitiously grabs a hat and jacket to hide his appearance. He quickly turns on the fire hose and aims it at the undercarriage, hoping to cool it off before it explodes and use the water pressure to dislodge the full line.


"Hey, buddy, that's not the right badge."

Even from where they stand, Zod's police press pass does NOT look like the corporate ID that the building uses. One of the guards — and it should be noted that these are security guards, not the police, yet — picks up his radio and starts talking into it even as the other one pulls out a small black handle with two metal prongs on it.

"Buddy, put down the camera and put your hands up."

They really can't be blamed for it. The '70's/'80's 'retro' look that Zod is sporting is bad enough, but with the aviator shades and the sideburns… he looks kinda like a terrorist from a bad movie.


Meanwhile, back at the bus…

A couple of the firefighters gape at the guy grabbing the hose and managing it *by himself*. The disguised photographer doesn't look like he could be that strong, yet he's managing to stay in place and not get flung willy-nilly and keeping the stream on-track. Usually a hose team requires a minimum of three people… one to hold the nozzle, one to support, and one to anchor.

Despite their shock, they start putting a couple more lines on the same spot. And applied science for the win, even as the underbelly cools a bit under the pressure of the various hoses.

"Please. Spoiler. Get people back. I'll be okay. You won't be if you stay." It is not an order, more of a plea for rational sane thought.

The bus makes some creaks and groans as the hot spots are cooled, and metal contracts. A few more people trickle out…


Spoiler helps the one she is looking after down, shooting Columbia a look, a brief flash of stubbornness, as she steps away, adding her shoulder to that of the burly guys, the police, and all the others keeping people back.


For a man that looks as out of touch, and out of his prime, retro man sure can move when he wants to. It's just a sudden leap, over the edge of the building and onto the fire escape. He's not planning on spending a night in jail any time soon. Holding his camera tight as he hits the ground Zod can hear the sounds above. He doesn't have much time at all to act, just clinging onto his camera, and thudding his way down the fire escape as the buildings guards look over the side almost more in shock then anything else.


Having grabbed a helmet with a tinted face shield, Peter hopes that no one saw him grab the hose. Fortunately, he has a spider-sense to warn him of such things. For now, he focuses the hose on the undercarriage, using science to solve a real world problem. To anyone looking at him, he'd look out of place. He's wearing jeans and he seems to be able to control a fire hose, but other than that, he's pretty normal looking. He's doing a job and who's going to complain about it?

When it seems to have cooled enough, and the other firefighters have gotten involved, Peter turns off the hose, and makes a quick retreat, not wanting someone to figure out who he is. The situation seems to be in hand, so he turns off the hose, drops it to the ground, rolls under the fire truck, emerging on the other side without the mask or jacket, and deftly sneaks back into the crowd, hoping that no one will be the wiser. In fact, from his position in the crowd, he begins to take more photographs for the Bugle.


Cameron would empathize with Spoiler if she knew the back-story. Far too many times when she was growing up she wanted to go help her folks with their 'hero stuff', only to be told that it was not safe for her, it was 'too dangerous'. It's part of why she became a paramedic, to help out. She 'gets' the stubborn look. There were so many times before the bank that she and her partner Eric would be in almost over their heads because *that was what needed to be done*.

The police normally would raise some questions about masked folks helping with crowd control, but in this circumstance they're very glad for it, and don't say a word.

Yes, the two guards stare down at the fleeing man, even as they call the trespasser in to the local authorities. Hopefully they can catch the guy so a no-trespassing order can be sworn against him.

They continue to stare down, though. Look at that guy *go*. Impressive, kinda.

Peter's egress from amateur firefighter status goes off without a hitch, and will probably leave some of the firefighters telling tall-tales about this for weeks if not months to come. And no, they did not see WHO it was, only that someone was doing it.

Now more paramedics and firefighters are arriving, and the remaining patients are evacuated from the bus, Columbia still acting as an internal brace.

If there's one plus side to such an activity, it's that she's shielded from photography at least for the moment.


Spoiler looks upwards, using her grappler, the crowd control under…well, control. A rooftop is a better place to be, rather than down in the crowd. Photography isn't something she truly has thought about, not a problem for a minor, new crime-fighter. She crouches there, watching the scene below thoughtfully.


Zod quietly ducks into the crowd himself, trying to blend himself in despite looking rather out of place. To be honest he couldn't have picked a better costume for blending in, during the 80's.

Were this the 80's Zod might have even been a cool dude in the know with the trends, easily able to just blend off into the crowd. As it stands this isn't the 80's so he's getting a few of those looks. There's the definite need for another costume change in his future, something he can use to blend in for once. Even if he can't get an agency to take these photos he might still find someone to buy them as art, might not be a good reporter, but an artist that could work


A couple of the police officers mutter to their radios as they get reports of a mysterious man in the area with a rough description of Zod. The sideburns are a bit of a give-away, as well as the clothing.

Once everyone is clear, Cameron makes her way out of the dangerously unstable bus and places one hand on either side, making sure that everyone is well and cleared away before squatting a bit and slowly rotating it along its axis so it no longer has those stresses. And then… she suddenly realizes that she's been left 'holding the bag', as it were. No helpful Samaritan guy. No helpful Spoiler. Oh. No.

Peter is quite able to do his day-job without any sort of major comment, and even catches a couple of shots of Cameron looking a bit 'lost' under the glare of the cameras as she tries to find someone to deflect the attention onto.


Spoiler's exit from the ground level of the scene was flashy, dramatic… and folks were starting to point at her curiously, some more photos being taken of the masked vigilante.

This is probably not a good thing in the long run for her, but at least for the moment the people of New York are thankful for her assistance.

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