Bug Out, Bugette

March 02, 2017:

Takes place before A Whole New World on Earth-65. Spider-Woman and the Avenger known as Jewel team up to rescue Columbia kids from curiously well-armed hostage takers.

Columbia University, Earth-65

Students get 5% off all Starkbucks coffee orders.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Hellcat

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

There is a hostage crisis in New York City today, and so far the authorities haven't been able to resolve it at all. The armed men who swarmed the auditorium at Columbia, barring the doors and sealing the perimeter, are all armed with some sort of very weird souped up technology. The authorities have the place surrounded, but this technology included a weird forcefield which has basically meant they can't do much more than sip their Starkbucks, try to negotiate, and hope for the best.

They need heroes.

Most of the heroes are not anywhere near New York right now. The bulk of the Avengers are halfway around the world; various assorted other teams are busy…

Maybe the hostage-takers were counting on that when they decided to make their move. They're demanding 9 million dollars, but don't seem to be too worried about securing an escape route if and when they get what they want. None of the hostages have been shot yet, but there are 35 really scared students in there.

—-

Not a part of any Avengers or any team, really, Spider-Woman swings to Columbia University. She's not a student here, but the news has blared that this is going down. It's a bit of a precarious position for police enemy number…maybe not one, but high up there. As she waits on an opposite roof, she can see a ton of police cars gathered outside, sirens blaring, a perimeter established.

"Police, why'd it have to be police?" Glancing at the cars, she doesn't see the familiar sight of her father, but that's really a blessing in disguise. Having already staked this side out, she swings uptown, crosses the street and then moves back to campus. On the proper side of the street, she starts tossing pebbles at the forcefield out of sight of the authorities to try and find a weakness.

There's a frustrated sigh. "This is some Class A technological jerkery."

A shadow passes above her, vaguely woman shaped.

Then someone lands lightly beside her.

"Isn't it though? I'm not sure throwing rocks at the forcefield is the most efficient method ever, but…A for effort," comes a wry voice. Though the speaker's tone is tinged with worry, it's said rather lightly, as if the woman speaking is habitually cheerful.

—-

At least one Avenger isn't out of pocket it seems. The woman now standing next to Gwen takes an earbud out of her ear and tucks her phone away inside the bright pink gem in her belt, which proves to be a rather cleverly hidden phone case. It would have to be, since there aren't any pockets on her uniform.

She does this after shutting off the police scanner that had guided her here. She pushes a bright pink lock of hair behind her ear and considers. "Not that I've got better ideas yet. It's really hard to punch through energy. But…" She kneels down and eyes the ground. "Looks like it stops right at ground level."

Then she gives a rueful, sheepish smile. "Sorry, I should introduce myself. I'm Jewel. I spotted you from above and thought maybe we should team up on this one? I don't think you'd be trying to help if you were the 'menace' the papers keep saying you are."

Her bright white clothes somehow remain spotless, even after her knee dips to the ground.

—-

Gwen notices the shadow. Already on the alert for cops, that startles her into standing, glancing around until Jewel lands right next to her. Spidey senses, why do you fail! Jumping backward, the similarly white-clad hoodied woman leaps backward, attaching herself sideways to the wall behind her.

"Woah! Woah there flying woman, give a girl a little warning before you startle the mask off of her!" Crouching on the brick wall behind her and not seeming to have any issues grabbing there, it might be obvious who she is. "And it's also rude to insult someone's intelligence gathering techniques!" She watches Jewel through the mask.

The mention of maybe not being quite the menace the papers believe her to be is met with crossed arms. Then, she steps off the building and stands normally again. "Okay, so you got me, it wasn't so much intelligence gathering as, uh, frustration." Sighing, she looks at the forcefield. "Jewel, huh? Yeah, sure. Team up. My favorite video games are the ones where all the heroes get together and fight each other. So, got any ideas?"

—-

Jewel just stands there, watching with bemusement while Spider-Woman leaps around all over the place. Soon, the look of bemusement turns chagrined. "I'm really sorry I startled you!"

She opens her mouth to apologize for the rudeness too but…then Gwen admits it was frustration. "One, but…it'll make a lot of noise," she admits. "I could punch the sidewalk down, make us a hole to go under. But…if they hear me doing it they might start hurting people. If you can fix that for us somehow…I think I can totally get us in. Or maybe we could figure out how to short it out somehow…but…science isn't really my strong suit."

She paces around a bit, frowning. "My strong suit is definitely the punching things."

—-

There's a frown as she takes in the situation. Sighing, Gwen looks about. "Any distraction I come up might also startle them and put the hostages in danger." This is a pickle, for sure. Gwen looks around and frowns. "Hmmm. Okay, wait right here. I think I have a really bad idea."

Swinging upward on her web shooters, she is gone for about five to ten minutes, leaving Jewel to stand and muse as to what might be any better ideas than trusting a woman who calls herself Spider-Woman and also seems to startle easily.

Eventually, though, she swings back holding a city dumpster. There is no longer any trash in it, but it still definitely looks like it did until very recently. "Okay duck!" she tells Jewel before tossing it over both of them and then lowering it without too loud of a crash. It could be any number of sounds in NYC. "Okay, this should damper the sound of us crashing through the concrete. Does that work?"

—-

'Wait here, I have a really bad idea.'

Jessica— Jewel— gives an exaggerated thumbs-up. "Waaaaay to sell it!" she says, but…she waits to see what Spider-Woman will come up with all the same. She shields her eyes with her hands as she watches her swing up and…somewhere. Well…if it all goes to heck she can just go straight to the punching again, that's a viable plan B.

Then…city dumpster. She ducks. Her face breaks out into a grin. "Ha! Brilliant. Why'd you call it a bad idea?" And then she checks her positioning with one blue-clad fist. "I'll have this done in three," she promises. Her fist slams down into the concrete, splintering it. Once. Twice. Three times. The third time she's punching just straight down into the earth, and what's left is a nice hole they can use to slip under the forcefield.

"Dear Diary," Jewel says. "Today I got to know exactly what a dog feels like every time he escapes the yard. Ready?"

—-

"Excellent!" Gwen pinches her fingers over her nose. "I'll just be back here trying to not get an concrete on my mask." Though it's hard to tell when Gwen is smiling through her mask, it's easier to know by the tone of her voice. This is amused. "It's a terrible idea 'cause it smells like rotten bananas and cat pee in here."

Stepping back, she doesn't exactly lean against the edge of the dumpster, but she's further away from what will be the impact site. "Ready whenever you are, Punchy Mcgee. I'll keep an ear out."

—-

"Ew. Yeah, it kind of does." Still, the concrete does fly, despite Jewel's best efforts to keep it contained. Once the hole is made, she scoots through, either because she's really ready to be out of the dumpster, or because she wants to take any incoming fire before Spider-Woman has to, or out of some sense of responsibility, or just cause she's in front. Whatever the reason.

Still, when they get through they'll at least have a clear shot to the big round building that forms the auditorium. There are four doors, one at each cardinal point. There is a big domed metal roof with a spire on top. No windows, cause people tend to want to keep auditoriums dark. "The scanner said they thought there were maybe five or six gunmen from early reports," Jewel muses. Nobody seems to have realized the forcefield has been breached yet, cause bullets aren't flying.

"Taking them isn't the hard part; keeping them from shooting anyone while we take them sure is. Wish I knew where all this tech was coming from. You don't usually find this stuff in the hands of run-of-the-mill criminals like this, even those with delusions of grandeur."

—-

Once the sidewalk is torn open, Gwen is quick to follow Jewel through the hole that Jewel makes for them. She's deft and able to bend herself easily through the opening, supernaturally quick behind the other woman.

Once through the forcefield, her immediate instinct is to take to the roofs or the alleyways. Though she knows Jewel can fly, it's way more conspicuous to take to the skies right now. Soon they're by the building and she looks about it. "Okay, I think the best way is to go in through the roof. They won't be expecting someone already inside. And they probably don't think anyone can get through that barrier without them knowing."

Glancing at the pink haired, white suited woman, she shoots a bit of webbing up toward the spire to pull hersef upward. "Only way to find out how they got this tech is to take it from them. Race you to the top?" This is a serious situation, of course, but it doesn't seem like Spider-Woman has any qualms about at least being a little competitive about it. There's a hard to mistake grin in her voice.

—-

Jewel laughs. Her eyes are brown, flecked lightly with green, and they sparkle. Despite the uniform and the hair there's no mask at all for her; one can actually look up her real name on the Internet. Jewel is more of a symbol, an on the job thing, then her attempt to hide. She only has one close family member, and the Hellcat is a superhero too.

As for racing, well…there's no harm in a little friendly competition, even on the job, so she crouches down. "On your mark, get set, go!" is her response.

She leaps, she gains momentum, she zooms and lands silently in a three point crouch on the top of the dome, but whether or not this will be a match for the Spider-Woman's incredible agility is anyone's guess.

Either way, once they're up there she turns serious again; all business as those eyes turn sober. "We're only going to have one shot at this," she says. She waves a bit to the cops, who can see them now, and then sort of gestures to Spider-Woman, then to herself—she's totally with me, guys! "I don't have a subtle way in from the roof…I'm afraid it's Punchy McGee all over again. Though I guess that might definitely get them aiming at us pretty fast." She furrows her brows and looks at Gwen. "I could go in loud, play distraction, draw their fire, and you could web them right up just as fast as you can?" She sounds open to other suggestions, but isn't going to shirk on floating some of her own.

—-

Despite her agility and speed, it's just no match for unrestricted flying. Jewel touches down on the roof a few moments before her. "Cheater," she grins, despite the fact that she knew exactly how Jewel was going to try and get up to the roof.

"Oh crap on a stick, I forgot the cops could see us from up here," Gwen adds with a groan. Just because she's with Jewel doesn't mean they think she's going to be on their side. She can already hear the lecture she's going to get from her father when she's done here. "Okay, we got to get in fast or those cops are going to try and shoot me from the roof."

Mind back on the mission, she thinks for a moment, looking first at the cops and then back at Jewel. "That sounds like a plan. Go in big and I'll be right behind you. IF they try and go for hostages, all bets are off, just keep everyone safe, okay?" Despite the fact that she's not on any team herself, she doesn't seem to have any issues with telling Jewel what to do.

—-

There's a soft, amused laugh as Gwen accuses her of cheating. As Gwen expresses her concern over the cops her brow furrows. "I'll talk to them when we're done here, you're too awesome to let them keep trying to kill you!"

But as they move to the plan, Jewel…honestly doesn't seem to mind being told what to do. She is far more about the exchange of ideas than fighting over who does what, and once she's sure they're both good with the plan and know what it is, she's good to execute. It's not the most subtle of plans, but she's not exactly wielding a skill-set that lends itself to subtle.

Jewel leaps up to gain some height, then flips around in the air and goes snarling through the metal roof, punching through it like it's nothing at all, leaving a nice big hole in her wake.

"How are you gentlemen?" she asks in a loud robotic sounding voice. "All your base are belong to us!"

There's a lot of energy-weapon firing as she zooms around the room, staying mostly well ahead of the fire while making threat-dives like some sort of big pink, white, and blue eagle, all to leap away again before anything serious hits her. She keeps all the fire up in the air, yelling, "Stay down everybody!" to hostages who were, fortunately, already laying flat on the floor thanks to various hostage demands.

—-

"They're not trying to kill me so much as arrest me. But, they're also not entirely discerning about that." Spider-Woman shrugs. "But, thanks. I'd appreciate that." Any little bit helps in her quest to clear her name.

Then, Jewel is moving in action. While she draws all their attention, the spider-person crawls into the building. There are energy-weapons firing. That's also not exactly the sort of thing that she was expecting these guys to have. However, this is not the time to think about this.

Instead, she quickly starts to move her way around the area. She's quick to scope the scene and finding the person who is most out of the way. From the corner, she shoots webbing at him. Then, she moves around, attempting to get everyone she can either through stealthily webbing or dropping on them. "Come closer, said the spider to the flies!" she cackles softly.

—-

The first three don't know what hit them. The fourth turns to shoot at Spider-Woman before Jessica can draw his fire; but Jewel takes care of that through the simple expediency of picking up the fifth one and hurling him into the fourth one. His shot just rings up and out through the big hole in the ceiling. The sixth one keeps right on shooting at her; she has to move fast to avoid getting shot…

But all the same, Gwen can web the others up too, and fairly quickly. They may have been equipped in serious fashion, but today was a day that was apparently blessed to have a happy ending.

"There!" Jewel says, zooming back over near Spider-Woman again, hovering in the air beside her with a satisfied look on her face.

All around the hostages are slowly getting up, as if in a daze. The weird device that's generating the force-field is totally visible from here, easy to take down with a bit of smashing. Of course, then the cops will flow in.

Jewel grins brightly and offers an arm, moving for her phone. "Bring it in! Spider-Woman. I think victory selfies are in order." She's not known for taking victory selfies or anything, so maybe this is just another way she's trying to help Gwen improve her image. Then again, the woman has bubble-gum pink hair.

—-

As the perpetrators attempt to first shoot her and then Jewel, Spider-Woman is quick to try and come to the woman's aid. As the sixth aims and Gwen flings herself forward. With the others tied up with webbing, she flings some right at the last perp and yank to pull his aim.

With the last of them taken care of put to rest. Spider-Woman takes a deep breath and stands straighter. She gives a thumbs up to Jewel. "Good job, Gem Lady," he tells Jewel. "Thanks for the assist. I'd never have gotten in, let alone been able to take them all down without you."

Her eyes fall on the force-field generator and also on the guns. She leans over to study one, trying to figure out where it might have come from. Shrugging, she tucks it under her arm to study later, too. "Okay, let's grab a selfie real quick, then we'll smash the generator while I swing my way out of here." Otherwise she's afraid she won't have enough time to get away before being arrested. Pulling out her phone, she reaches it forward. "Okay! Since you're the only one of us whose face we can see, smiiiiiiile!"

Click!

Selfie taken. "There we go. Do you want one on yours?"

—-

"Yep!" Jewel says, clicking it with her own phone before putting it away. Both times there are bright, happy smiles from the woman in pink, white, and blue. What's not to be happy about? They've heroically saved the day, after all!

Then, she drifts down to smash the generator. "Bug out, Bugette!" she says cheerfully. "It'll take 'em a minute!"

She'll take care of the clean-up and the hostages alike, already giving one particularly distraught girl a warm hug and some comfort, face gentling with compassion as she notes the distress and trauma they're all going through. Even so…it was a good day's work.

—-

A good day's work, indeed. Spider-Woman gives Jewel a peace sign. "Thanks! See you around, Jewel!" And then she webs her way out of the building. She waits a good minute until the forcefield is down and then she swings her way far from Columbia.

Sighing, she rests against a water tower and studies the gun again some more. It's only once she starts to take a few things apart that she finds a label inside. "S.I.L.K." Huh. What is that? Why do some people taking hostages at Columbia have them?

Looks like it's time to investigate that.

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