Drive-by at Mutattoo

March 21, 2015: An attempted drive-by shooting at Mutattoo brings two spiderfolk, a Hawkeye, and an X-Man together. Turns out the smooth is back on the streets, and something is terribly wrong with the mercenary, Shift.

Mutant Town - NYC

<Location Description>



  • Catcalling hoodlums
  • Tattooed lady
  • Drive-by bikers
  • "Handlebars"
  • SRD officers
  • SRD Sergeant Jackson
  • Dr. Pablo Falzoni

Mood Music:

Saturday, Mutant Town.

Definitely not the Fourth of July.

District X has a vibe of its own; a living, breathing life energy that waxes and wanes. This is one of those afternoons where, while sunny and warm (ish) at 64 degrees, the neighborhood still seems on edge. People around here, the locals at least, just tend to have an idea when shit is about to go down. It could be those who were telepaths or precogs, but no, in this instance, it's the level of tomfoolery exhibited by the local hoodlums.

You see, on any given day, the same streets could be filled with families. Moms and dads with strollers, couples going for ice cream; when on another day, a day like today, for example, those same streets are plagued with taggers, dope boys, and delinquents.

"Hey! Hey baby!" The jeers come from a group of 19 year old thugs hollering across the street toward a pretty girl. "Heeeeyyy come over here with that black ass, girl! Ima show you how a man treats a woman!" The boys laugh, cackle, and high five each other.

Across the street, the woman has just left Mutatoo, a popular tattoo parlor and mutant biker-run joint. Her upper arm is covered in bandage and Saran Wrap; looks like she just got some work done. Turning toward the thugs, she raises the other arm jewelry dangling, and flips the teenagers her best bird.

"Oooooooooooooohhhhh!" they shout, before one steps out, hands all up in the air. "Any time, any where, bitch!!"

Magneto had asked Lunair to patrol around M-town sometimes, and look after its people. She is privileged enough to pass as human, right up until she pulls something out of nowhere, at least. To that end, sometimes her patrols consist of wandering around and other days they consist of helping someone who can't really get out and get groceries stuff. Today is a cargo carrying kind of day, and a purple vespa parks at an apartment complex near the tattoo place. Lunair pulls her helmet off, her hair standing up a little. An eyebrow quirks at what's going down down the way. Geez, guys. Siiiiiigh.

Gwen Stacy had just finished up practicing with her band in a near-by flat that one of her bandmates rented because it was cheap; not because she was a mutant. As usual, a fight had disrupted things and when heated tempers flared up further, the session was called off and the group of girls went their separate ways for the day.

There was literally a million other things she should have been doing but instead she was in her costume swinging between buildings inconspicuously.

She didn't have to interfere with the group of guys messing with the freshly tattooed girl, she could have left it alone.

That would have been no fun.

A half dozen shots of webbing shoot out from above the men, unclasping their belt-buckles and dropping their pants.

Spider-Woman pointed at the group of men from her hanging perch on a street light and laughed, "Doesn't look like there's a man among you." She makes a shooing motion towards the thugs, "Run along boys, you wouldn't want to get hurt."

By and large Spider-Man doesn't police Mutant Town, himself. It's not that he'd call it off his beat — it's just that there are an awful lot of mutants in the world, some of whom he considers friends, who are heroes in their own rights, and at least a few of them live around here. He figures, for the most part, this part of town can police its own.

And yet he's here anyway. See, he got a tip the other day that there's a gyro joint around the corner that serves up the best gyros in town, and their souvlaki and schwarma are to die for. Since he trusts the guy who give him the tip, he figured, since he wasn't too busy, he'd swing by (get it? Swing by?) and treat himself. So for the moment he's perched about two thirds of the way up the side of the building in which Mutatoo is located, looking down on the newly tattooed girl and the thugs. Doesn't matter which lower class neighborhood of New York you go too, even his own part of Queens, there will be thugs catcallingwomen. Obnoxious, but not illegal.

His mask is pulled up to reveal his lower jaw as he chomps into a huge bite of spiced lamb, lettuce, tomato, onions, tatziki sauce and pita. Yum.

He blinks, however, when webbing pulls down the pants of the dumbasses in question. Looks around at the woman now perched opposite him. Chews his gyro thoughtfully. Swallows. "Hey, lady, that's MY schtick."

Being part of the Justice League is exciting. It's a big deal. And sometimes, like when you get really, really tired of playing peacemaker, it's a pain in the ass. Which is why Kate is actually out patrolling at the moment, somewhere she was relatively sure she wouldn't run into any other members of the league. Except maybe Cal, but he's agreeable enough not to be difficult.

She's found herself a perch on a fire escape not too far from the catcallers, legs swinging over the edge and bow loosely in hand. Whether or not she would have interfered, though, becomes a moot point as Spider-folk appear. "Nice," she chuckles when the pants come down, putting two fingers between her lips to add her own wolf-whistle to the mockery.

Elsewhere, 32 hours ago…

Duct tape was ripped from the mouth of one Pablo Falzoni. The renowned chemist has been missing for the better half of a year, but a few hours ago, he was taken from his 'comfortable residence' in a back room at the Tin Roof Club in Gotham. The man staring at Dr. Falzoni was masked, somewhat familiar to him. He narrowed his eyes and spoke with a harsh voice, "What do you want from me now?"

Reaching up, Shift removed the mask from his face, revealing silver eyes that steadily blackened until they were little more than pools of inky darkness. "De only thing you're useful fah, Doctah."

Reaching out, Shift grabbed Falzoni by his shoulder and drug him, kicking and fussing, across the room. A doorway was kicked open, revealing a large warehouse, stocked with containers. Most of it heroin, freshly imported from Afghanistan; some of it a collection of other chemicals and materials. Shift threw the Doctor into the room, snarling with the effort.

"Get to work!!"

Mutant Town

The thugs all begin cursing when Spider-Gwen takes them to town. There's all manner of angst involved, but as soon as the vigilante makes herself known, the whole lot of them begin to scatter. That's the way of things, right? All in a days work. Things ought to be going back to normal any day now.

With their hands on their pants and their boxers flailing about, the thugs go ducking down an alleyway while a trio of vans roll down the street. Inside each van there are anywhere from four to six thugs, bikers by the look of them, though their piercings and facial hair are all smashed up by the pantyhose they've got stretched over their faces. Idiots chose taupe instead of black, but there it is. Out of view, each of the bikers have an array of deadly weapons in their hands, mostly semiautomatics, a couple with shotguns or wallop-packing Magnums.

Spider-Senses, where appropriate, immediately begin to tingle, as weapons get cocked and aimed out of windows. These vans are mere seconds away from driving past Mutatoo!

Lunair's eyes go wide as saucers when Spider-Woman pantses en masse. She giggles. "Oh dear." There's a sympathetic look for the tattooed girls. And then there's a spider dude. "… wow, I'm glad I don't have arachnaphobia." Really, she's glad she doesn't. And then there's a wolf whistle and Lunair looks up. An archer, too! Huh.

And anyone who's dealt with street life, mercenary stuff or generally shooty mcbadness in general might be aware that vans either mean supplies or bad news. Lunair tenses reflexively. She doesn't have Spider-Senses (nor is she gonna put a spider in a microwave to irradiate it then try to get bitten), but - something seems off. She armors up, armor in black and blue that looks ripped out of some sci fi video game appearing over her and decides to - amble over. She's so not gonna get her vespa shot. But she is worried.

When Spider-Man is suddenly addressing her, Gwen is lost in thoughts of her teenage years for a moment, which are quickly shaken off by the tingling of her Spidey Sense the moment the vans full of thugs begin rolling down the street.

"Since this is your shtick, I'll let you save the girl." Gwen couldn't help but smile to herself, that was totally Spider-Man's thing.

"Wooohoooo!" She screams with exhilaration as she leaps from her hanging perch into the air, somersaulting as she sends thick streams of webbing towards the passenger side windows of the vans to keep anyone from shooting out of them.

Her movement ends in a crouched landing on the hood of the first van and she knocks on the window, "Knock knock."

It was entirely possible Spider-Man may have found her voice familiar, especially since she made no effort to disguise it the reverse could also be true; you never know.

In the words of the great David Mao, 'shoobie-doobie-doobie-doo-wah, my spider-sense is tinglin'!' Not that Spidey knows who David Mao is, but that's not at issue here. His spider sense IS tingling. Loudly. Fiercely. And the danger, he notes, seems to be coming from the approaching vans. He quickly webs his gyro to the wall and pulls down his mask, then leaps down to snatch up the woman who just came out of thetattoo parlor and swing her away to safety. "Spider-Man's Rescue Service! Everybody gets one!" he announces cheerfully. "Even in the middle of lunch." He tries not to bump her bandaged arm, but the process of rescue tends to jostle people around a bit. "And, on the assumption that's a Spider-Man tattoo under there, you get this one for free! It's your lucky day!" He deposits her safely out of harm's way — for all that he doesn't know just what harm is coming yet — and then swings back toward his lunch and the events about to unfold.

The other spider-person's voice DOES sound familiar, but he's not paying that much attention at the moment. There's danger incoming. But hey, she never figured out that he was Peter Parker before.

"See, that's what I need," Kate says to herself as the spiders start webbing the place up. "That would really cut down on the stairs." Getting up high sucks when you're a human working with paleolithic level weapons. It really does. As the others get in close, she hops back up to the fire escape, climbing another level higher until she has a better view of things. The first arrow is a tracker-tip, aimed toward the center van.

The next arrow is a little less nice. Explosive tip, aimed underneath the van in the front. It's not a large charge - the goal isn't to blow up the whole street - but it's large enough to damage tiresand axles when it goes off.

It may not be a Spider-Man tattoo, but you can bet the next one will be! The woman gasps when she's deposited, pulling her bandaged arm close and positively staring at the hero.

Spider-Woman's web blasts do the trick, and for a few moments, there's a lot of shouting, cussing, and general calamity inside of those vans. After a moment, however, the thugs get their shit together and start shooting at the windows. There's a whole lot of noise, shattering windows, the sound that bullets make when suddenly stopped by super-strong spider webbing, not to mention all of that loud gunfire.

Kate's tracker finds it's mark, and no one else is aware of it. The van in the front gets thrown up into the air a bit, throwing Spider-Woman around. The underbelly is shredded; some of the thugs find themselves falling to the street.

The second and third van's drivers realize, it may be a good time to get the hell out of dodge! Tires squealing, the peel off and head toward the nearest cross street.

Meanwhile, amongst all of the noise, one of the inkers at Mutatoo goes scrambling out the front door. He's a big, burly looking dude with a handlebar mustache and horn-like nubs beneath the skin of his forehead, but he can run fast, and it looks as if he's making to run away from it all.

Aw, spiderfan! Lunair blinks. Thought so. She frowns, as the other two vans start trying to get away. Well, she can take care of that. She's got a portal gun. If nothing else, she can slow them down for the other heroes. She's not double tapping rocket launchers this time. She blinks as the horned guy runs by. Huh. "Oh yeah." She's going to try her hand at weapon slinging a little faster then. Portal gun and - and - is that a pony figurine of C4? It should be just enough to flip the second van if the spikes don't do it.

She's just trolling now.

Basically, she opened a portal beneath the van, and one beside herself. Drop the explodo-pony in and suddenly, it's a party.

Spider-Gwen turns the mishap of the van's accident into a leap into the air with acrobatic finesse as the van and its occupants roll around, "That was rude."

Noticing that the strange video game girl has one of the vans firmly dealt with, she tries to comprehend the oddity of the portal gun later.

When the horned mutant goes running, she can't help but find that a little odd. If he was the target of the hit, they would need to question him or get him into police custody for protection!

A stream of webbing is shot out to incapacitate the man and she calls out, "Not so fast hotshot!"

Spider-Man pauses on the verge of sending out his own webbing to trap the running mutant. Though, to be fair, if people started setting off bombs under vans outside his place of business, he might also do a runner. But things with these vans are getting resolved quickly.

"Stealing. My. Thunder," the red-and-blue clad Spider-person mutters to himself, and then swings over the vans to set up a web barricade blocking off the cross street.

Kate has another arrow drawn to hit the van in the back, trapping the center van, when both peel out and get webbed and bigger-bombed in general. "Seriously, guys, I am not old enough to be pushed into retirement, here," she murmurs as she swaps arrows, drawing back to her cheek and sighting to the window of one of the vans. Tear gas this time. Should interfere with the whole running away plan.

The second van, the one Hawkeye II had bugged, gets snagged up in Spider-Man's webbicade. Airbags go off, the goons are thrown around a bit, but they're safe. The third van gets promptly portal-bombed by Lunair's C4 pony, which blows it to hell and burns the occupants a fair bit.

The escaping tattoo artist-slash-biker is tripped up by Spider-Woman's web stream. He goes down, arms and legs bound up in the stuff, and flails about madly. "No!" he cries out. "No, don't! Lemme go, lemme go!" He sounds… terrified. Moreso than he probably should be.

Kate's tear gas,however, won't mean much of anything in short order. Spider-sense screams, when all of a sudden, all three vans go up in a flash of fire that couldn't be anything less than military grade. A shockwave of heat blasts the area, blowing out windows and knocking people to their feet. Inside the vans? Blackened corpses.

Sirens are upon the horizon, but they are not the sirens of the NYPD; rather, they are the haunting wail of SRD response vehicles.

"…." The captured tattoo artist flails again. "Oh, Jesus, let me go!! I've gotta get outta here!"

Phew. Fortunately, Lunair's explosive wasn't intended to be lethal. More like the world's biggest poking stick. But explosive. Really. And then, all three of the vans go up. Lunair is surprised by how scared the tattoo artist guy is, but she also recalls that not everyone gets kinda used to people wanting to off you periodically. Maybe he's in deeper than he admits? She's not certain. Lunair isn't gonna mess with him, he's webbed.

Then, the sirens and she freezes. Not a fan of SRD, this one. Time to do her grocery drop - which means ducking into cover and dropping her armor. Juuuuust a normal girl here.

The explosions give Gwen a moment's pause, this was all very new to her. She had seen crazy things in New York but she had been relatively safe from them, perhaps for the best.

She is torn about what to do, should she just let the guy go without questioning him? That seemed like only doing half of the job, "Sorry pal, I may be new but I want answers."

Spider-Gwen scoops up the man over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes despite his size and begins crawling up to the roof of a tall building with the man; hopefully the others would follow her.

SRD. Damned SRD. Spidey avoids them like the plague. NYPD is bad enough these days. He spies the female spidey-type in the hoodie heading for a rooftop with the runner and follows. Primarily to find out what was going on and get her to let the guy go if necessarily, partially to show that he is a good Spider, even if she's beaten him to the punch like six times already.

Halfway up he stops, drops back to ground level near the archer. "Hawkeye, right? Need a ride?" He points in the direction Gwen's gone.

Kate grimaces at the sound of the sirens. "No guys, it's cool. I'll stay and talk to the-" And then as she's reaching the ground, Spider-Man's dropping down next to her too. She blinks, then grins, wry. "Thanks, but as I was just saying to myself, I'll stay and deal with the SRD," she says with a tip of her chin toward the wreckage and the downed tattoo artist. "Another time, though?" She starts walking backwards toward the scene, pointing a thumb at the fire attack. "Stairs are a bitch."

"No kidding," Spidey calls after Kate. "Get yourself a grappler arrow! And good luck with the supercops!" She's probably going to need it," he observes inwardly as he heads toward the roof once more.

Elsewhere, 18 hours ago…

Shift walks over toward Dr. Falzoni; the chemist is shackled, a chain attached to his belt that is fixed to something far above in the he warehouse's innards. The masked Ghanaian puts a hand on Falzoni's shoulder, his eyes black as night. Before them, there are crates upon crates upon crates, filled with a dark, blue flecked powder. Enough to flood the tri-state and then some. Lips curl, and he pats Falzoni on the shoulder. "Good work."

Falzoni grimaces, a tear trickling down his face.


Mutant Town. Now.

"No! No, let me go!!"

The biker-inker keeps protesting until Spider-Woman has deposited him upon that rooftop. At which point he looks between her and anyone else who shows up, eyes darting about frantically. "Look, look, I- I didn't do nothin wrong, okay? I got… I got friends in low places, man, but I ain't been a part of that scene in… in years!"

The sirens grow closer. SRD vehicles move in, a helicopter coming dangerously close to spotting the spider folk where they have their captive. However, it's just flying a bit too low, the pilot and officers inside looking the other way. On the ground, the vehicles converge and begin sorting out onlookers, sometimes using a touch of excessive violence to do so. It's their way.

"Swear to Jesus," the mutant tattoo artist whimpers. "I ain't involved in this man! Not me, not this time!"

Portal gun to the roof, time to listen in. Fortunately, Lunair seems - not arachnaphobic. "Good luck!" She calls to Kate. "Maybe a portal arrow, too." She'll have to give her on one of these days. For now then, Lunair will get to the roof and listen in. "You seem like, super shifty, dude. At beast." Lunair: Mad interrogation skills. "It'll help all of us more if you let us know what's going on nowish."

Gwen peers at the shifty biker from beneath her hood and smirks, her mask hiding it, "Friends in low places? I could tell just by looking at you. Be more specific, why exactly did three vans full of people come to kill you."

She points now, but she isn't at all intimidating, "We can help you if you be honest, if you lie I'm handing you over to the SRD and they can sort it out. I'm not going to let innocent people be endangered by your past again."

Spider-Gwen looks towards Spidey and Lunair for their backup.

"C'mon, Spider-Lady," says Spider-Man. Pause. "Wasn't there a movie about a spider lady? Anyway, just 'cause the guy's got horns doesn't mean he's from Hell. That's just racist." It's said in his usual teasing tone, though. Serious is not Spider-Man's demeanor, by and large. "But, tell us what's going down, Handlebars, and we'll be sure to speak up in your defense if it comes to that." He pauses. "Actually, probably best if I don't. The cops around here don't like me so much, you may have noticed. 'Threat or Menace' splashed across newspapers, quotes from cops about how my vigilance is making them look bad. So if you tell us what's going on, I promise never to tell the cops I know you."

Kate slips her bow over her shoulders, raising a hand as she approaches the SRD team. "Hey," she calls over. Time to put this whole JL:A thing to the test, right? "Take it easy on the bystanders. I caught the whole thing." Dear lord, let this go over well. JL:A is new. She's a girl. A pretty unimpressive looking one. On the other hand, she's gone public, and publicly entirely human. As normal as any costumed crimefighter can be.

Handlebars turns to look at Lunair. She's the only one not wearing spider-spandex or shooting webs at him, so, she gets it. "Those, those guys? In the vans? They're part of the Kitchen Karvers. Biker gang outta Hell's Kitchen. Bad dudes, people you don't wanna fuck around with! I ran with 'em, long time ago, til I got clean and found me an honest job, you know?"

He looks from one to the other, jaw tensing, before his head snaps back to Spider-Gwen. "Those guys, they came at me with a job offer. Told me there was lots of money in it! I wanna stay clean, you know, but I figured I'd at least hear 'em out."

From an alleyway out of sight, tendrils of black smoke begin crawling up the building, headed toward the rooftop where the Spiderfam and Lunair have Handlebars for their questioning.

"Said they had access to about ten pounds of smooth. You know, that shit that dried up a few months back, turns mutants like me into rabid, powerless junkies? Yeah, they had it, and they wanted my help distributing it. Well, I told 'em I was in, but I'm not, okay? I lied! I went to the police with it, they was sending a car over to pick me up from the shop, but the Karvers got there first!"

Out on the streets below, the SRD officer in charge strides over toward Kate with a menacing look. "Identification." His hand whips out a taser and aims it toward her neck. "NOW!!"

Handlebars jerks his head toward Spider-Man. "Go ahead and tell the cops! Tell the SRD! I swear, I'm not—" The last words, however, are choked off when the tendrils of black smoke sneak up behind and wrap themselves around the biker's face. Lunair will probably recognize it, but it's moving much faster, more viciously than usual. The smoke seems to be forcing its way into the biker's nose and mouth, choking him off.

Kate arches a brow at the SRD officer with the taser. "You're gonna want to put that down, officer," she drawls. "Believe me when I say I'm the nice one. It's in my back pocket. Try not to freak out." There is, in fact, a badge. Or at least a temporary sort of one. Clint got it from SHIELD and everything! She reaches back with two fingers to pull it out, though she keeps her eyes on the officer as she does it. Getting tased is not on the agenda for the day.

Lunair looks to handlebrs, nodding. "I see. Good for you," Lunair murmurs, "On going clean." Really. She seems sympathetic enough, as he hears his story. Her face twists as he mentions Smooth. There's an uneasiness. She furrows her eyebrows. "I -" Oh shit. And SRD is below. Those black, smokey tendrils are familiar. But why would Shift…? He hated Smooth, as far as she knows. Something is wrong here, very wrong.

Whatever he's doing, it has to be stopped. "Someone web the guy!" Time for a wind cannon, to blow the smoke tendrils back. She'll wait for a bit of web or hold onto his feet. But she's got to keep him from getting choked out.

Smoke forcing itself down the guy's throat. Choking him. Preventing him from talking. Preventing him from BREATHING.

Spider-Man does the first thing he can think of. He throws the biker off the roof.

Of course, he leaps after the guy an instant later, catching him with a web (in such a way that it's not going to break his neck — unlike some Spider-Men, this one is able to web a falling person without breaking her neck, cough cough), and hauls the man up to his shoulders as he swings away, keeping his… prisoner? Is that the right word? Guy whose life he's trying to save? Is there a word for that? Keeping him away from the smoke, whatever the case.

"Like I was telling your last customer earlier, everybody gets one," he informs Handlebars.

When the black smoke suddenly appears like something out of a horror movie, Gwen lets out a girlie shriek. Her shock is only momentary though and she thinks to herself, 'Come on Gwen, get it together it's just a mutant.'. At least she hoped it was.

Leaping backward to the ledge of the roof she begins to spray webbing like a mad-woman around the smoke if she can before dropping off the edge of the building and heading in the direction that Spider-Man is.

She would never admit it, but she was pretty terrified.

As soon as Kate presents the badge, the SRD officer reaches over and snatches it out of her hand. A close inspection and his eyebrows rise, taser dropping. "Jesus Christ. Why don't you guys start wearing something a little less godddamn inconspicuous?" The taser is holstered. "Alright, Bishop. Name's Jackson, Sergeant. You sayyou caught the whole thing? Out with it." He pauses for a moment, looking over toward where his officers are roughing up some bystanders. "Alright boys, take it easy will you?" Back to Kate he smirks. "Ambitious, aren't they?"

The smoke is scattered the moment Spider-Man makes his move. Handlebars may have cried out in terror, and that would have expelled the smoke from his lungs, but this was no normal smoke. It's not enough to choke him, and when he comes to a swinging rest, he turns to look at Spider-Man with wide eyes.


A centipede, and a rather vicious one at that, crawls out of Handlebars' left nostril. He coughs, and a nasty, gnashing beetle gets expelled from his mouth, only to latch onto his lip and bite.

Suddenly, the tattoo artist is screaming, clutching at his chest. Blood starts to pour from his mouth and nose, enough to cause him to choke anyway. Meanwhile, the webbing Gwen had fired finds itself covered in tiny little insects. The smoke that wasn't captured? It undergoes the same transformation, forming beetles, flies, spiders and everything else, all of them mutated and nasty, with chomping fangs and beady little silver eyes.

Poor Handlebars… he's being eaten alive, from the inside out. Thrashing about, the biker keeps yelling and coughing and spurting out blood.

Way to steal Lunair's thunder. Or wind, at thispoint. But then, things get all horror movie and she's armoring back up. She can only watch because she's not keen on portaling in front of the SRD. But the guy is being eaten from the inside out. She has to DO SOMETHING. But what? Think, Lunair, think. What kills bugs but not people? Besides frogs. Although one might argue that frogs are- no. That was Shift, but - he'd never - He HATED Smooth. Her head reels a moment. If she fills the guy with oil, then, then. Wait… Couldn't she- Anything she does might harm the guy.

Oh wait. The armored woman shouts, "I can heal him but someone - the bugs!" Enter the medi-gun from TF2. A beam of blue light should hit the biker guy, then - "Maybe electricity…?" Would a tazer even bother bugs? She doesn't know, but she can't let the dude die. Her head spins, stomach sinking. Everything that isn't training tells Lunair she should just GTFO.

"What, the purple leather and the archery set wasn't a clue?" Kate arches a brow at Jackson as she takes her badge back, tucking it into her pocket again. "I'll work on adding some flashing lights, but I'm a little too squishy to pull off the underwear and boots look." She nods toward the tattoo shop. "Three vans pulled up to here, looking to start some trouble. High-powered weapons, and it looked like an organized hit on the shop. I took out one van. A few others jumped in to help restrain them. When it looked like the attackers weren't getting away, something went off in all three vans, crisping them."

Let's be very clear about this. Spider-Man, under the spandex, is a grade-A certified American male geek. And thus he recognizes Lunair's medi-gun pretty quickly. In an instant he has Handlebars back over to her. "Centipede," he says. "The gun from Centipede. Kills bugs and plants, never used on humans." It's the best he can come up with at the moment. "Man, you must be way excited for that new Adam Sandler movie coming out."

Gwen stared at Spider-Man beneath her mask for a moment after that bout of unabashed geekery; there was only a few people on the planet she knew of on the planet that could match that.

Horrifying bugs and black smoke was more pressing than opening old wounds and while she didn't have the benefit of conjured weapons, spiders were a natural foe of most insects.

Small blots of webbing are shot out towards the clouds of insect by Spider-Gwen, "It could be worse, we could be dealing with Killer Bees." From The Swarm of course.

SRD officer Jackson sneers at Kate. "Watch the attitude, Bishop. We're on your side here." Riiiight. Jackson turns to order some men to contain the burning vans; fire trucks can be heard approaching. "Soon as we get those fires out, I'll get a forensics team on the vans. You got any idea what they were after? Drive by? Far as I know, that shop has a clean record. Couple of guys working there have raps in the past, but they're clean enough."

Meanwhile, Lunair's medi-gun is working wonders. It's not a pleasant experience for Handlebars, considering his flesh is re-growing faster than the little monsters can eat it, but they're still eating it. Blood gurgles, a spider falls from his nose, and he spits out, "Oh God, what's happening??"

Pause. Oh yeah. Centipede! There's almost a little ! over her head as she remembers. Fortunately, she has a black visor'd helmet. Lunair nods. She seems to be picking up geekitude to enhance her powers. Also, she is glad it's not BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES! (Does she even have a Nicholas Cage gun?). "Okay, can you hold one or the other?" If one of the spider peeps wants to hold the medi-gun or that gun from Centipede to start zapping the poor biker with (disappear, bugs! Vwamp!), she will pass one and wield the other. It's a team effort. So at least he'll be healed and bugs will be zapped.

"Thanks, you two." Lunair's - okay with spiders. Yes siree.

Kate shakes her head. "I put a tracker on one of the vans, planned on seeing where it went, but obviously that plan didn't exactly work out. Same with gassing the guys in the van when it looked like they weren't going to get out. Whoever planned it had to be serious. Professional, if they were prepared to blow all the vans. I put a charge under the first," she points out, nodding toward one of the hunks of wreckage. "It blew and didn't set off the secondary charge. That's professional work."

Spider-Man has little to do at this point but set Handlebars down and get out of the way. He'd stay right there to offer the man moral support but he's part spider himself, and that might be too much for the Centipede gun to ignore him.

Gwen is infinitely more comfortable holding the medi-gun, just because being possibly part arachnid and all; it gave her a bit of a fear the other gun might backfire on her.

A stand of webbing shoots out to grab the medi-gun and it whips back into her hand before she pushes down on the trigger and begins to shoot the handlebar man being eaten alive.

Spider-Gwen glances over at Spidey, "Is this a regular day for you?"

The Centipede gun does it's work, but not exactly as what may have been expected. The insects that were inside of Handlebars come bursting out of his mouth, and they're mad! Scrambling about, flipping about all over the place. When the last of them comes free, Handlebars scampers back, staring at the swarm with terror-stricken eyes.

Suddenly, the insects curl up and begin to die. When they do, each of them transforms into smoke, and it all comes whipping together into the shape of a man. When Shift reforms, the gunmetal gray uniform is intact, sans hood. His eyes are solid black, his face contorted into a wicked, almost otherworldly grimace. Spider-Man would recognize him, from a night when the two of them helped to stop a drug raid in Queens. By all signs, that night, Shift could have easily been pegged as a hero.

On the streets below, Jackson nods grimly toward Kate. "Alright. You stay here. I'm officially requisitioning your aide in this investigation. This is a crime scene, so try not to step on anything worthwhile."

Up on the rooftop, the blackness retreats from Shift's eyes, revealing that his normal, human-shaped, silver-irised eyes have rolled back up into his head. He grows woozy, and the eyes gradually come back down and find their focus, at which point he seems very confused. A hand reaches out to catch an exhaust shaft to keep himself from falling, and he looks from one masked face to the other, lost. When his eyes fall upon Lunair, he blinks. "Luna? What… where am I?"

Yea. Armory was right. Something is very wrong, here.

"SHIFT?!" Lunair's eyes go wide. "I thought-" And she's relieved as Handlebarsis okay. "Thanks, you guys," She nods at the spider peoples. "What's going on? You HATE smooth…" She pauses. Okay, best to answer his question.

"Okay, so. Some dudes down below totally rolled up and there were explosions. We stopped them before they could get to our friend here, who helped deal with getting rid of Smooth." Pause. "And then when we got him up here, smoke tendrils and bugspalooza. It's not offensive because spiders are arachnids and not insects," Lunair explains.

"Anyway, I - what happened to you? Want me to take you to um, like, somewhere safe to rest? And how are you feeling?" This to both Handlebars and Shift.

"I'm…pretty sure that's not how this works…" Kate doesn't say it entirely out loud. The guy is letting her stick around and help. On the other hand, if he thinks she's taking orders from him, he's going to have another thing coming. She flicks a glance toward the way the others left, trying to see if they're clear yet. Crossing her arms over her chest, she shifts her weight to one hip and looks back to the vans.

Spider-Man would give Gwen a wry smile — but he's kind of got a mask on that prevents that sort of thing. "Pretty much. Including the part where the swarm of killer bugs turns into some guy. Wait'll you meet Swarm." Swarm's an asshole. Spider-Man does not use such terminology out loud, but he thinks it frequently. He hesitates, though, as Lunair seems to know this guy who was smoke and bugs, and looks over the pair of them and Handlebars thoughtfully. "Mr… Bars. You want me to take you to the cops or something? Have them keep you in protective custody, maybe?"

Spider-Gwen is just shaking her head when the swarm of bugs become a man, she was going to need some aspirin after all of this just so she could stop her pounding head from exploding.

"He's named 'Swarm'? Seriously?" A sigh escapes Gwen's lips as she tries to avoid thinking about what a man named the Swarm is like.

She kneels down beside the handlebar mustache man and begins to check his vitals; she was trained to do that sort of thing after-all.

They say the SRD is corrupt… well. It's quite true. Jackson shakes his head at Kate, saying, "Don't force my hand, Bishop, obstruction of justice is an ugly thing." If only he knew. Truth is, Jackson is a low spoke an a tall totem pole. If his superiors knew how he was talking to a SHIELD agent, it would be his ass on the wall.

The fire trucks move in, taking position as they begin spraying down the burning vans.

Jackson looks back to Kate, jerking a thumb toward the tattoo shop. "Feel like hustling the muties in that shop with me?" he asks. "One of them ought to know what the hell is going on here."

Shift just stares at Lunair, as if none of this makes any sense. "What are you talking about," he asks, "de smooth was wiped out. I saw to it. Dere's… no trace of it. Dackleman is dead, his cohorts are out of reach." The Ghanaian has no recollection of certain things that have happened. Things he conducted of his own accord. Must have something to do with the black eyes. He looks to Spider-Man, then to Spider-Woman, their words serving to freak him out a bit.

Handlebars seems to be just fine. The medi-gun set him right, though there's bound to be some psychological trouble for a while. He looks to Spider-Man and nods his head, "Yeah, protective custody, but… not SRD, please, anyone but them!"

Shift looks away from the Spider-pair and settles his eyes upon Luna. "What's happening," he whispers, before absolutely getting spooked. He spins around, runs for the edge, and leaps from the roof.

"It's really not when you've got a rich family," Kate snorts softly at Jackson, though she sounds more disgusted by the fact than like she's counting on it to get her out of anything. The talk of hustling the locals gets a grimace - she'd prefer not to hustle anyone - but she nods and follows along. Better to be there in case something goes sideways than to storm off indignantly and not be there if she's needed.

"Well, I don't know why they'd be going after him, then," She remarks. "That's all I know, that's what happened," Lunair explains. "Everyone except the van guys seems to be fine no—" And then Shfit runs for the edge and jumps. "Shift!?" Lunair runs to the - better not, SRD is down there. "- Something is really wrong with my friend. I have to go after him. Thank you both for your help."

It'll be tricky, but she's got a portal gun.

"Welcome," Spider-Man tells Lunair. He's more than a little worried about Shift himself — though more in the sense that the guy just totally tried to kill Handlebars. "C'mon, Mr. Bars. Let's get you across town to the cops." He peers over the edge of the roof sadly for a moment. Goodbye, fair gyro. We hardly knew you.

To Gwen he notes, "He's a sentient swarm of bees that can mind-control people and make them his drones. Don't ask me how he's a he when the bees that actually do stuff are female. I can't explain it." He hoists Handlebars. "We're off to fly the Friendly Neighborhood Skies!" he pronounces, and then they're off and swinging to drop off the man with the police.

Lunair and Shift seem to know each other.

Handlebars is fine and now Spider-Man is rushing off to take him to the police. It looked like Gwen would have a chance to slip off and do her own thing.

Webs shoot out from her wrists and within moments she's disappearing between the buildings as she heads back across town to get some schoolwork done. She did have a life after all!

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