Gator Trap

March 14, 2018:

A cadre of Hell's Kitchen heroes spring a trap for an alien gator.
GMed by Valkyrie

Characters

NPCs: Ravager gator alien

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It took a little bit of boots-on-the-ground detective work to figure out what crocogator woman might have been after in the various electronic shop hits. After that, it took a bit more legwork to figure out where in a reasonable vicinity she might strike next for either similar components or bits that seem like they'd be adding up to something that could send a strong signal. Then it took a little creative hacking to either break into traffic cameras and surveillance cameras or set up spycams of their own.

That yielded several dozens of hours of extremely boring footage of New Yorkers being New Yorkers - with a few slice of life gems and a few moments of surprising kindness to break up the monotony. And, eventually, a brief view of a scaly Ravager in Earth clothes creeping around a hobby shop that specializes in radio controlled vehicles.

She makes no attempt to rob the joint, but she's clearly casing it. She leaves without incident after about ten minutes browsing with a hood up and a winter coat hiding the strangeness of her limbs. She spends a few seconds eyeing a deluxe drone hanging from the ceiling and its accompanying controller under glass at the front of the shop.

Some hours after closing, the hacked cameras pick up a shape moving stealthily towards the shop. There's the smell of ionized atmosphere that still lingers, indicating a teleport has just completed.

*

For the past few weeks the crocodile-woman who has been stealing — and in some places slaying — around and about New York City neighborhoods has been an elusive and brutally effective predator. Tonight, a small group of vigilantes plan to make her the prey. And so, when that whiff of ozone makes itself known, it's the finely tuned olfactory senses of the red-clad Devil of Hell's Kitchen that picks it up. Daredevil has been gargoyling for hours, slunk into the lengthening shadows of the fire escape some twenty feet above the alley through which the alien now slinks.

He may be on stakeout duty right now, but this is a team effort. The hours of electronic surveillance were tasked to another — looking at images on computer screens for hours on end has never really been in the Devil of Hell's Kitchen's wheelhouse — for varying and very sensible reasons. But ID'ing her when she returned was on him, as was signaling the rest of this makeshift team:

At your six o'clock, spider-lady, he says in tones softer than a whisper. Time to spring the trap.

*

The Devil of Hell's Kitchen is particularly talented when it comes to the skulking and gargoyle pose atop ledges and edges throughout the city, but when it comes to spiders, they seem a little more … active. Such is the case when the black and white-clad Silk spends most of her time on stakeout clinging to walls or affixed to the underside of ledges, changing positions and remaining at odd, unusual angles to keep watch.

"The name," she says, letting her confidence swell, "is Silk."

To her namesake, she leaps back from the ledge and extends her arm, a web-line anchoring to the wall nearby as it jets from the tips of her fingers.

With a taut line and physics on her side, she comes swinging down from on high with her free arm extended. Like the last time they met, her fingers fan out, the organic webbing blasting out of her fingers in a sticky, funnel-shaped mass at the gator-lady.

"Did you grow up in a sewer? Asking for an urban legend!"

*

For the last several years, Six has been honing her- craft? Capabilities, at any rate. Once unable to broadcast slices of her consciousness into anything remotely without utterly abandoning control over her body, she's now increasingly able to multitask without being reduced to absolute vulnerability. Even so, it's safer if she doesn't have to, and thus: she's perched on a rooftop at proximity to the target location, situated within the loose cover of a line of HVAC ducts atop, helmeted head resting gently back against the silvery siding while she monitors…

Well. Everything, really. The modern world is just not equipped to readily defend itself against someone of her unusual talents. From the arrays of sensors embedded in that smart helmet to the nervous system of electrical currents shot through every piece of the infrastructure, she's almost anywhere at any given time, her physical stillness completely misleading.

Everywhere, including a tiny device affixed — with permission, of course — to Daredevil's suit. The piece of her lingering there is the means through which she hears him trigger their accomplice-

"…Who? She's a…what? …There's more than one?" Kinsey had asked, pre-op, and gently pinched the bridge of her nose-

-and stirs.

For now she remains on overwatch, but she gets to her feet, at least. "Let me know if I need to reroute traffic," she suggests, a whisper in the earbuds in play.

*

The Ravager woman clearly thought she was flying under the radar of the Terran population, because she doesn't see the trap coming. Her reflexes are, unfortunately, fast enough to dodge the first splat of web. Razor sharp metal claws snap out to slice through the bulk of the second, though a little ends up gumming up the metallic works.

"Why would you name yourself after a material underwear of rich idiots is made from?" She sounds…genuinely perplexed. But also, hey, now they know that silk and silk worms exist on other planets, too.
The more you know.
"And why are you asking for biographical data?!" she sort of half-roars that question as she leaps towards silk and slashes downwards with devastating power.
As for the Devil? Well, he's so far escaped her perception.

*

"I don't know, sending a tractor-trailer in her general direction might actually slow her down a little," Daredevil quips to a distant Six of changing traffic, and even at that low decibel the gallows humor sounds in his voice. The alien is tough, and shows it by the way she makes short work of Silk's webbing, not to mention the blows she'd sent his way before vanishing in a puff of ozone as soon as the tide of the battle had started to turn.

Silk is quipping, the croc-ravager is ranting indignantly, and the Devil of Hell's Kitchen sighs. "Alright, hold on, I'm going in." And then, quick and quiet as can be, without a yell or battle-cry to herald his arrival, he's leaping downward into the alleyway and the fray, attempting to leap himself onto Silk's vaulting assailant, while bringing all the force of gravity and twenty feet of momentum down with him as he aims his boot squarely at the Ravager's head.

*

"It could be arranged," Six answers Daredevil, blase and in no way serious, though she's almost certainly telling the truth. She quiets after that. Not only so that the savior of Hell's Kitchen can hurl himself into the fray, but so she can focus on what she's doing: flipping through multiple modes within that helmet of hers, attempting scans of various kinds on the area and specifically on their target. It's a swift dig for information — her processing speeds are hyper-elevated — but still slower than it would usually be, because her copilot, Five, is still not talking to her. And not talking to her means not helping her, and not helping her means that she's spread more thinly than usual.

She does eventually turn something up, but not in time to deliver that information prior to Daredevil's leap.

"Basically no heat signature to speak of," she informs the other two, and while Silk hears only the smooth, synthetic voice that Six uses in costume, Matt has the benefit of hearing her actual voice, and she sounds fascinated. "The way her surface area fails to change suggests she has an exoskeleton or a very thick epidermis. Puncture wounds may be out of the question. Blunt trauma may be significantly reduced. Interestingly, she has an electric signature wildly different from base organic bioelectricmagnetics. The deceased security guard did attempt to use a taser."

*

Oh yes, Six, there's more than one.

Cutting through the webbing so easily is something that she readily anticipated; it's tough to get someone to fall for the same tricks more than once, but this time she's not alone… and they're more prepared. Though who would have thought an ozone crocodile lady would've gotten under her skin so easily? Cindy touches down, thrusting out a finger defiantly. "SPIDERS make SILK because SILK is SPIDER WEBS. Don't they have BOOKS in the sewer—"

Their support— the synthetic-voiced lady— feeds some additional information. No puncutre, blunt force may be out of the question…

Crocolady makes her lunge. Cindy releases the web-line, letting her weight drop from on high as she extends her arms to block the forceful blow— and hopefully keeping the Ravager's attention, while she does her best to keep a solid defense.

"Asking for a friend!!"

The friend in question: The Man Without Fear, dropping in from above with that powerhouse of a kick!

*

What, you mean the Devil of Hell's Kitchen doesn't leap into battle with a cry of 'BLINDMAN'S BLUFF!' or 'DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING!'?

Disappointing.

For the second time this evening, the croc-Ravager is caught by surprise. Cindy's distractions pay off and she's fully focused on the spider-pride hero. That blow is…very heavy and is accompanied by an upward slashing movement. Blocking her is gonna sting, and those metal claws - while not Wolverine, are at least Freddie Krueger. Not to mention blocking her is a bit like trying to block a ramming truck. But the croc alien IS distracted, neatly. The ravager is hit with the full force of Daredevil's twenty foot kick. She goes sprawling backwards, but is only stunned for a moment. She executes a kip-up that is sliiightly creepy because her joints aren't bending the way an earth creature's joints bend. "Ssss. Why do you exert yourself to protect toys and batteries? These are not your shops!"

*

The landing from that kick sees him rolling forward a few more feet and then springing back upward into fighting stance. These are not your shops! the intractable, nigh-on indestructible alien rages at them. Why do they risk everything to defend them?

"This is my neighborhood," Daredevil rasps in heated reply as he holds those two metal batons aloft. For all that he's a vigilante, his words have a gangster's logic. They would amount to little more than a simple and brutal assertion of territorial control if he didn't add, with equal vehemence: "And you murdered a man who works here."

He brings up his two Foster-fashioned batons, ready less to bludgeon her — especially since he now knows how thick her skin is — than to defend against her savage claws. When he speaks this time, it's soft enough just to carry into the mic. "Wanna bring us a spark, then? We can hold her off until you do."

*

"Well, the question is," Six answers, silent shocks in prosthetic lower legs dampening whatever sound she might otherwise have made as she slips away from the HVAC ducts toward the building's edge, "Did she kill him because he actually injured her with a taser, or did he kill himself by trying to tase her and getting more than he bargained for, electrically-speaking?"

The sleek line of her folds into a half-crouch behind the low wall atop the roof's edge, head tilting as she takes stock of the systems in the area that would be impacted, analyzing risks. "Alternative — we could try EMP. I don't know that I should get close enough to attempt contact-EMP, so it would have to be an area pulse. Potential downside: it will affect my equipment, as well, and we have no guarantee it will impact her."

*

Stronger than the average spoder— kind of— Cindy is more prepared for the sting and bite of the croco-Ravager's claws this time around; her posture, her stance, all staying ready for it. It doesn't hurt as much this time around, and the bite of those claws are a little less intense than before, no matter how easily the woman's strength can shred her silk— and by extension, her suit along the arms and wrists.

"Because it's what we do!"
'This is my neighborhood,'

He moves with more purpose, more … rage. Silk's extrasensory abilities … pick up on it, somewhat; the attitude and direction and savagery. Mouth hidden behind the half-mask, it pulls into a taut line. Subtle to some, the 'fwik' that comes from Cindy's snapping wrist is loud enough for someone like Matt, as the unusual webbing that oozes from Silk's fingertips quite literally forms hardened, sharpened claws of her own.

'And you murdered a man who works here.'

"Won't bother me any," she whispers over the comms. "I mean — my gear's not— it'll be okay."

Silk's voice raises. "Why do you even /need/ this junk?"

*

"That man attacked me and you people are fragile!" roars the croc-ravager. "I have only a need of a few trivial things that I take when the people have left. And yet you hunt me! You are as bad as the Asgardian!" Her temper is getting up now. If Daredevil wanted to keep her attention, well, he has it.

She charges forward and slashes upwards at the batons, looking to break the block with pure brute force. The she follows it with a powerful blow aiming at the only part of him that is unprotected - the lower half of his face. She remembers how her claws glanced off his suit the last time they met.

He's enraged her enough that she's gone a bit berzerker. While that's good in that Silk and/or Six have an opening, it's bad in that she's pretty focused on tossing the Devil's eggs. She's also not focused enough that she's ready to give an answer to Silk's question. Can't talk. Raging.

*

"Wasn't electrocuted," Daredevil whispers fiercely of the security guard, "He had his throat ripped out by those —"

Claws. The same claws that are at this very instant coming for him, there at the baton wielded in his left hand, and again towards the jut of his stubbled chin and the curl of exposed lip. The claws that rent through spider's silk — some of the toughest stuff on earth — may have struggled with the carbon nanotube of his sleek new suit, but none of that protects the soft unprotected skin of Daredevil's lower face. If it caught him square, there's no question that it would punch right through him, making a grisly mess of Matt Murdock's strong-boned profile.

He grimaces, feeling both the bone-jarring force of the claw and hearing the whistle of claws speeding for him. He has presence of mind enough to throw his head backwards as if doing the limbo, and feels the metal of one claw nick his lower lip, send a rivulet of blood streaking down his chin. Too close.

And the combination of that backwards-arcing avoidance and the strength of her blow against his baton sets him off balance, has him stumbling backwards to regain his equilibrium. He stumbles backwards, trying to create some distance between them, playing defense. Offense is a waste of energy against someone you can't hurt. The only real game is to ward her off and distract her until someone finds something that does penetrate that scaly exterior.

"Which may mean," he whispers urgently, using that scant bit of time to finish his thought, "that what he did REALLY pissed her off." Much as one hero of Hell's Kitchen is doing right now.

*

"Understood. If this doesn't work, I may need some assistance in retreating to a safe distance quickly." That last is piped to Silk alone: her webs would make all of the difference, and anyway — why worry Matthew if she doesn't absolutely have to?

Her shadow mantles the low wall of the rooftop, prosthetic feet unfolding in complex machine origami into claws that pierce porous brick like soft plywood, giving her several strides of arrested downward momentum before she freefalls, and those shock absorbers take the brunt of the impact, compressed energy expanding outward again to fling her forward. Two long, gazelle-like strides are enough to close the distance between she and the woman with the strangely thick skin and alien physiology, and she employs the only means of delivering a shock available to her, shy of clipping a power line: she reaches up to grasp the side of the creature's head with matte, metallic fingers and dumps all of the electrical energy in her helmet through her artificial right hand, in addition to the low-voltage taser it already contains (along with those tranquilizers and god knows what else). All of it, at once. On the plus side, this amplifies the taser's shock capabilities; on the downside, it kills the helmet completely dead, and that includes every display, momentarily blacking the visor completely, and leaving her blind.

*

To be fair, she /does/ kind of answer a /few/ things: He attacked, 'we're fragile,' and what's an Asgardian?

She's looking for an opening, at first; Daredevil is holding his own and getting in his way might make things worse before they're better; claws, a tough hide… and Six may need her help, she hears.

Her reply is said with a hidden little smirk, "Then I hope you don't get airsick, lady."

While Six drops from the sky and moves in, Cindy is already changing position, moving with swift strides across the ground as she spins a fresh web— this time around her own arm, sealing the tear in her suit as well as adding an extra layer of padding and protection to the limb. Silk waits for her opening; Six reaches up to discharge that massive blast of electricity— then, and only then, is when she moves, extending her freshly-guarded arm to try to get it around their tech support's waist to pull her back from a counter-swing range just as quickly as the head-tase!

*

Berzerker rage can be brutally effective. It can channel terrifying energy and unleash it on a single target while ignoring injury and sometimes the limits to the body. But it also tends to create tunnel vision. The ravager does not see the cyborg's approach, nor is she ready for the grasp to the side of her skull and the sudden dump of electricity.

The move was risky, but it pays off. The gator woman's eyes roll back, her body convulses. She manages a wild swipe at the air, but Cindy's quick moves take Six out of the danger zone. Then the ravager drops to the ground, knocked out but still alive.

Now the question is, dear heroes: what DO you do with an unconscious alien croc-woman you barely managed to knock out who might wake up at any moment?

*

Daredevil was regaining his footing, readying himself for another flurry of attacks from their opponent when lightning struck in the form of Six. Yes,he could hear her approach a half-mile away, but this raging creature moves so fast and unpredictably that it was an open question as to which would arrive first, claw or cyborg. Fortunately, Six saves the say with a shock to the alien's system, and Silk springs into action, pulling her back from the convulsing crocodile-woman.

In the aftermath, Daredevil brushes the crimson tip of his boot against the unconscious alien and nudges. He thinks her heartbeat has slowed enough to signal unconsciousness, but with a whole different species who can really say? Once he's satisfied he turns his attention towards the momentarily blacked-out Six. "Glad we brought you along this time," he says dryly. Then he's dropping to a kneel, feeling along the hands, the claws, that almost ran through his face. "These come off," he says with certainty. "So we should take them off. But… the NYPD isn't equipped to deal with her. And neither are we." A mulling beat. "I've got a contact at SHIELD I could call."

*

Hope you don't get airsick, Silk says, and what she gets in response is a sigh.

Just that, because that's all there's time for. It's not until after she's yanked out of harm's way that she can furnish further replies. "Believe it or not, this is not my first spider-rodeo."

Even with the synthetic voice forming the words, she somehow manages to sound dry.

Once she's set down, she stands in unusual amounts of stillness, waiting for the rest of the systems in the helmet to reboot, returning her sight, along with countless other senses granted her by the hardware it contains. Back to the drawing board, is the thought. Time for Yet Another Iteration of the helmet.

She extends a gloved hand, palm-upward, "SHIELD," she agrees. "But I want to take one of those claws to the lab."

It's a good bet she'd like to take much more than a claw to the lab, but one makes do.

*

They're safe— at least, for now?

Silk holds onto Six — perhaps anticipating some kind of more serious reaction, until she seems to be okay, not wanting to step away and then suddenly their tech support goes sprawling onto the ground like a turtle on it's back. Once she seems steady, the young woman nods firmly, then offers a friendly shrug. "Hey, just had to be sure, right?"

Returning to the fallen croco-Ravager, Cindy's hands fall to rest on her hips, looking down at the unconscious alien(?) woman. "I can pull them off her hands, then… just uh — sorry if I break them," she says, bending down to set to work on disarming the thief with some good ol' fashioned tug-work. "SHIELD, and you, then."

Silk glances at Six. "I know I'm gonna get out-ranked on taking claws for myself, but is it possible you could send anything you find out to the Titans?" she asks, rubbing at her forearms— warming up, so to speak, getting the silk glands in her arms ready to go.

"I can keep her tied down until SHIELD gets here. I can go extra-tacky on the mix. Should do the trick."

*

There's a quirk at one corner of Daredevil's lips when Six mentions a previous run in with another spider — he's heard enough of that story to know the contours, if not all the cringe-worthy details. The sudden flare of pain that half-smirk engenders reminds him that his lip is still bleeding, and may require stitching to avoid a scar.

"Seems to me like there's one for each of you, right?" Daredevil murmurs as he deftly detaches one of the claws in question. Much may change across worlds and species, but his bizarrely heightened sense of touch — barely hampered by the thin layer of his skin-tight gloves — can still detect with exactitude the cracks, crevices, and spaces between substances of whatever type, no matter how alien. He rises from his crouch with the claw in hand, leaving the other for the spider-woman to take. "Thanks for the help," he says to Silk with a lift of his blood-streaked chin. "And taking Guard duty until Coulson and company show up. I should — ah, get that message out."

*

It's for Kinsey's curiosity more than anything that she sinks down into a slow crouch beside the crumpled body on the ground, leaning to gently shift the hood away with one hand. To look down, examine the exterior of her skin — just visually. Just because she wants to know, and for no other reason.

She rises smoothly after only a few seconds, turning her head to look at Silk when the spider-vigilante poses that request, but as Daredevil elects to offer the second claw it becomes an unnecessary arrangement to make. Save this: "If you need assistance with the analysis, he knows how to reach me. I should make myself scarce before SHIELD arrives." In the hesitation that follows her turning her back on the other two in preparation to leave, Matt gets a message of his own. But it's a message delivered as she makes good on her word, and makes herself very scarce, indeed.

*

Cindy presses her fingers together, then pulls hands spread a little more than shoulder width apart. Webbing is formed between them, and she starts moving them back and forth, twitching her fingers here and there— quite literally, on the fly, weaving herself a messenger bag of a sort that looks quite in-keeping with the look of her costume.

"I know my way around Hell's Kitchen, so … I'll find you as soon as I hear anything," Silk says, looking from Six and nodding to Daredevil.

Tucking her own sample of claw inside, she throws the strap of the bag over one shoulder and then cracks her knuckles. Her fingers fan out again, and with a slightly more off-put, stern look on her face, she's tying the croco-Ravager down— literally— with extra-tacky webbing. "I'll see you later, then, ma'am! Just uh— oh wow, she's gone."

She looks back as Matt says 'guard duty,' and by god if he's gone while she's still sticking this alien to the ground /so help her/—

*

Of course the Devil of Hell's Kitchen is already gone. Gone as if he had all the teleportation powers of the croc at Silk's feet, and without even a whiff of ozone left behind him — just a distant scattering sound from some nearby rooftop.

But hey. At least she got to keep the claw.

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