Heroes Passing in the Night

December 06, 2018:

Spider-Man and Moon Knight meet by chance when Spider-Man's fight with the Vulture crosses Moon Knight's surveillance of vampires in Manhattan.

Midtown Manhattan, NYC

A rooftop near Central Park

Characters

NPCs: Vulture

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Manhattan is alive this time of night with the streets lit by the bright red and whites of car headlights. Small spatters of green and blues are there as well with the season having kicked off and Midtown Manhattan rich with not only tourists, but the denizens of the city going to the grand shopping district. Everything is made up for the holidays, with the thirty foot tall Christmas Tree near Rockefeller Center with so many people enjoying the season, the ice skating, and the general atmosphere.

The people are so drawn into the holiday and the festivities, to the steady ebb and flow of the crowds far below that it's no wonder that they barely take any notice of the spectacle playing out high above them. And why should they? Perhaps there's a distant shout, the roaring whine of compact jet engines, but all easily lost in the crowd noise. And should one look up they might at the most see a pair of figures cutting across the night sky causing the stars to flicker slightly.

But above the city, for the Spectaculer Spider-Man, all is a mad rush of chaos as he tries to just _keep up_ with the winged and armored man flying away from him at speed.

"Hold up a minute, buddy!" He shouts, web-line firing with a /thwip!/ as he snares the corner of a building and holds tight, letting it swiiiing him around and into line with the flight of the green armored figure. He hits the side of the tall building, footfalls almost silent upon the slick glass windows as he runs along the side of it, one hand reaching out to steady him with just fingertips.

Then he leaps off, firing another web-line forwards to just /catch/ the extended leg of the winged man in the heavy helmet. Catching him just enough to twist him in the air as red eyes flash with a gleam and he flaps his wings sharply trying to compensate for the added weight.

The pair fly in a rough arch over Central Park for a moment, Spider-Man's voice lifting raggedly, "No fair, what am I supposed to do without any roofs!" But as he says that last he swings his other arm up and forwards and a second webline connects with the flier's helmet, yanking it down sharply and sending the two of them into a smoking whirling spiral straight towards a tall water tower atop an old apartment building.

***

Just minutes ago, the Moon Knight was floating above the city in a scouting pattern, his nearly silent glider calculating potential vectors of target activity.

"Frenchie, update me on site two-thir-" he began to say when the proximity alert sounded.

"Scratch that. Maneuver below roof level and mimic traffic movement," he stated. The glider descended, its speed accelerating and decelerating in the fashion of the cars below.

After the alert continued to sound in his ear, Moon Knight exhaled exasperatedly. "Manual control." His hands gripped the controls and he peeled off from the programmed route, trying to bob and weave between buildings and down side-streets to lose his pursuer.

Just then, two figures haphazardly plummet through the sky half a block ahead and land on a building with a water tower.

Moon Knight stares for a moment. "Log addendum: potential sighting near Central Park. Add to database and recalculate." Then, he steers his glider toward the point of landing. "Babysitter mode," he says before detaching his harness to drop down onto the roof, away from the other two.

His cape stretches around him in a bright white crescent, and he lands with a soft 'thud'.

"I can't help but feel like something out of the ordinary's happening here," Moon Knight calls out. "Or is this all some simple misunderstanding?"

***

The Water tower takes the impact of the winged man in armor with a resonant /twhomp!/ that's accompanied by a burble as the collision dislodges a large bubble inside, yet the heavy wooden and metal structure remains intact for the most part save for a crack along one of the supports. It's enough, however, to send him down heavily hitting the rooftop, sending gravel spattering all over as he rolls and rolls, wings flapping madly.

But it's Spider-Man's impact that seems all the wilder as he lets go of that web-line and drops towards the rooftop moments before the impact. He hits a clothes line, snaps it, trailing the clothing behind him and sending clothes pins scattering even as he crashes into a pile of cardboard boxes that had been kept under a small awning near the stairwell. It's a clatter of impact that could have been worse… but definitely could have been better.

"This… is not my finest hour," Spider-Man says as he pushes himself over onto his side then to his feet with a quick twist and a flip. His spider-sense tingles sharply as he turns abruptly and snaps the clothes line off of his waist, then rounds and sees… two winged silhouettes against the night sky standing upon the apartment rooftop just some twenty feet away.

At first the green armored individual glares towards Moon Knight, but then he affixes the wallcrawler with his gaze.

"Oh man, I've never been in a situation like this. Hey guys, which one of you is the one I've been chasing for the last ten minutes?"

And as if on cue Vulture points at Moon Knight.

***

Turning his head to the side just enough to glance back at Vulture, Moon Knight clears his throat as he tenses into a defensive stance. "I suppose I'll have to step in regardless," he replies to Spider-Man. "I protect travelers of the night, after all … and from what I saw, you were clinging to this one. There's probably a good reason. I'll be honest, though. It's been a boring night so far - so I hope there's not one."

He glances again at the Vulture. "Of course, for all I know you're the one to blame. Birds eat spiders, right?" Moon Knight shrugs and begins reaching for something on his belt.

***

The way their silhouettes play in the night, it's almost as if they could be twins. But then there's that moment when Moon Knight speaks up and Spider-Man replies, "I think you're probably not him, since he hasn't said anything this whole time."

But then the eyelets in Vulture's mask /gleam/ bright red as his voice lifts shouting with a mechanical reverberation, // That is because you never _shut up_! // And suddenly those large wings unfurl with a snap to grow larger, rushing forwards with a quick beat to try and push the two of them off their feet and away with the rapid blast of wind.

It's enough to cause Spider-Man to leap to the side, catching the edge of that water tower where he hangs sideways and he offers, "Oh and the red eyes. I forgot he had red eyes. Stop him!" Spidey brings up his web-shooter to fire but the blasts of wind from the wings fouls the shot severely.

***

"Well, I don't know about you, but -" Moon Knight begins.

However, without any spider-sense, he's caught unawares. His cloak catching the gust of wind caused by the Vulture, Moon Knight s blown backwards and over the edge of the roof. As he goes, though, the white-clad vigilante grabs a short rod and points it at the winged criminal.

With a *PAFF* sound, the end of the rod explodes out toward the Vulture's leg, a line attached to it. Moon Knight clings to the other end while he continues falling toward the street.

All the while, three different voices share their displeasure with the Knight's state of affairs. "Shut up," he growls, seemingly to no one in particular.

***

Three sweeping flaps of those great wings even as the engine on the Vulture's back keens louder into life, lifting him upwards with each outward rush that torments the two heroes even as they each have the same idea to try and catch them, their grapple lines and webbing firing almost in the same instant and each one catching the lash from the wings and turning back… only to loop around each other.

"Oh man, sorry! Sorry about that!" Spider-Man's voice is youthful and filled with mortification as he lets go of the webline, ducking behind his arm to try and keep the sand and dirt from the flapping wings out of his eyes. "Just give it a shake maybe it'll… ok yah it's stuck. Don't worry it dissipates in an hour."

// You fools! // The Vulture shouts and then launches himself straight upwards with one final flap of those wings, lifting him aloft and into the heavens as he starts to fade with the distance.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man leaps off the tower and lands on the gravelled rooftop, bringing both hands up and twisting his wrists back, globs of compact webbing are hurtled upwards after the Vulture… but it's too far.

"Wow… I… am not tweeting this."

***

There's the fading sound of cursing, or perhaps praying, from the side of the building where Moon Knight was sent falling.

In fact, the caped man lets go of the baton and spreads out his limbs, his cape expanding again to catch air behind him and slow his descent somewhat.

Even so, Moon Knight lands on the roof of a parked car with a *CRUNCH*, his breath escaping him from the impact. The car's alarm system shrieks, setting off other cars' alarms. Someone in an apartment nearby screams obscenities out their window in response.

For a moment, he lies there. Then, he opens his eyes and spots several objects tossed down towards him, whistling as they pick up speed. Moon Knight rolls off the car and leaps toward a nearby alleyway, flipping himself over and behind the far side of a dumpster.

***

"Oh man, can't you like…" Spider-Man's voice is frazzled and hurried as he leaps to the side, planting one hand on the small wall that encompasses the rooftop and launching himself off into the air even as the grenades streak downward while the Vulture disappears in the distance. It's just a few splinters of a moment as those small spherical objects hurtle downwards.

There's a double /thwip!/ as twin weblines fire, snaring the pair of explosive devices and as he twists cleanly he sends them flying upwards back into the air where a few seconds later they explode harmlessly high above, bright enough of a flash and crackle of flame that the civilians far below might think fireworks were going off. But thankfully they're clear.

The next moment, Spider-Man lands upon the lamp post next to the alleyway where Moon Knight was able to dodge to, only now he's just pursued by the youth's voice. "Oh man, I am _so_ sorry, usually I'm faster than that. I for some reason thought you'd be able to like… I dunno, fly, or something. My bad."

***

Groaning as he emerges from behind the dumpster, Moon Knight arches his back. "Do you normally think that just because someone lands on a roof, they can fly?" He shakes his head. "No, never mind. I guess that's a fair reason to assume so. But … no, not exactly."

Moon Knight looks up toward the night sky. "Guess you were a bit out of your league there, huh?" he asks in a calm tone, still looking up, adding, "Weird question for you. You don't know if he's a vampire, do you?"

***

Still perched there, it's clear that Spider-Man is still agitated, the mirrored lenses on his mask narrow with a faint mechanical whir as he leans forwards. "I um, well lately sorta. Yeah." Moon Knight might not be able to tell but the mask hitches up just a touch near the mouth that he might be able to discern a half-smile. Probably not though.

"Sorry again, but out of my league." He looks up again, trying to spot the Vulture and his smile shifts to a frown as he rubs at the back of his neck. "I don't think so. Just gotta come up with a way to ground the guy." His voice trails off as his thoughts do as well. Just a moment then he snaps his attention back towards Moon Knight, "But are you okay?" He flips forwards and upside down, then drops to the ground and… he's pretty short comparatively. "No shrapnel or anything?"

***

Shaking his head, Moon Knight clears his throat. "If there's anything, I'm still in shock. That's good, since I'll need to lay low for the rest of tonight anyway." He pats his torso and back to check. "The people I'm trying to track will likely be interested in finding out what's been exploding in their neighborhood."

"That reminds me," he adds, touching his left hand to his ear. "Frenchie, drop line to my position."

Not long after, a cable with several hand- and foot-holds descends toward the two heroes from the glider hovering far above.

"Okay," Moon Knight says. "I have this. But it's still technically not flying, and it wasn't close enough by to matter. You fared okay through all this, I take it?"

***

"Oh, yeah. I sorta have this ability that…" But Spider-Man's words fade off a bit when he perhaps gets the vibe that Moon Knight isn't really /into/ hearing about that ability so he just settles on saying, "I mean, yeah. I'm good." He tries to straighten up a little but still is no where near as tall as the grim fist of Khonshu.

"The guy we were chasing," He jerks a thumb backwards over his shoulder, "He broke into this Electronics Division for CasCo. I was probably going to, you know, swing back over that way. See what I can see."

He takes a step to the side and then is able to leap right back up onto that lamp post, then rebounds off of it onto the wall of the apartment building they had been atop just moments ago. "You're welcome to come. If you want. I usually work alone though." He stop, crouched entirely sideways on that brick wall above, "That was just a statement of fact. I wasn't trying to sound all dark and brooding or anything."

"Still," He gestures, "That's Umm. What I'm going to doooo." He lets that hang there, the vowel trailing off.

***

Moon Knight nods slowly as Spider-Man explains the situation with the Vulture.

"It … sounds like you've got this under control. More or less, at least," he says. "Working alone has a lot of benefits, and I've got enough …" He pauses for a long moment. "I've got enough /allies/ to keep me company right now. No offense."

Moon Knight reaches out to grasp the cable hanging from the glider. "But if I see that guy, I'll do what I can to help take him out for you." The cable begins retracting upward. "Also, I wasn't joking about the vampires," Moon Knight calls out as he ascends. "Try not to get bitten."

***

"For serious?" The youthful enthusiasm is there, but also coupled with some trepidation. He turns his head sideways to eye Moon Knight sidelong but then just gives a nod. "Oh-kay. I'll keep an eye out."

Then, as if realizing, he says quickly. "I'm Spider-Man." He touches a hand to the symbol on his red and blue uniform, "It was…" He affects what he undoubtedly considers a stronger more grown up tone of voice as he says, "It was good working with you." Then a little quieter. "Sorry about the…" He gestures upwards, then shrugs.

***

"Call me Moon Knight," Moon Knight says, tapping the crescent shape on his chest as he nears his crescent-shaped glider. "If you're trying to help others in the night - we'll work together again."

He straps himself back into his glider harness and offers a wave. "Good luck. Clip that bird's wings," he calls out, and then with a twitch of his wrist on a control stick, the glider veers off in a direction opposite that taken by the Vulture.

***

It's a bit of time after Moon Knight has departed that Peter stops looking up at the sky, eyes distanced as the lenses whir open further. He rubs the back of his neck thoughtfully and then says to himself, "That guy was so cool." Then he chuffs a small exhalation of a laugh and murmurs, "And you tried to blow him up. Good job, Parker."

But even as that last is said he twists into a leap and flips away from the building, spinning and snapping an arm out he fires a webline that snares the edge of a rooftop, draws taut, and pulls him forwards quickly. Quick enough to let him leap off into the night and swing back towards the tech company to see what can be seen.

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