2011 03 04 A Dark Return

Log Title:
A Dark Return

Venom and The Vision

IC Date:

Midtown NYC

Brief log summary::
The Vision witnesses Spider-Man stop a mugging, but it soon becomes clear that this isn't Spider-Man.


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The weekend bustle of mid-town New York is in full effect today. Herds of people move in all directions down the busy streets — high-strung businessmen to whom Saturday is just another workday, women going to spend their money in over-priced department stores, hipsters hanging out with friends while sipping soy lattes and debating the local music scene, and shadier characters who could be up to any number of illicit activities.

Then of course there's the other inhabitants of the city. Victor Shade looks like he is strait out of the '60s. He's wearing a three-piece pin-stripe suit and fedora. Victor is walking down the street, going against the grain of foot traffic on the sidewalk. His hands are stuffed into the pockets of his coat. He moves through the throng of humanity effortlessly… as if when people are about to bump into him, seem to pass right through the portion of him that they were about to strike. After a couple of city blocks, Victor takes a turn to cut through an alleyway next to a couple of store fronts. Traffic down this way is much lighter… but it is definately not vacant of humanity. A couple of young men lean against the wall of one of the buildings flanking the alleyway. They watch Victor as he walks down the alley.

Motioning at Victor, one of the men mutters, "Get a load o' this guy," drawing a snicker from the other. Their attention is soon drawn to another, however — a pretty young woman, talking on a mobile phone, several bags from various shops hanging from her arm as she walks briskly down the street. Just as she makes it to the two men, one of them steps out in front of her, blocking her path. "Hey, babe… What's a pretty girl like you doing all alone in a big city like this?"

Victor continues walking through the alleyway and his eyes land on and focus on the woman and the two individuals addressing her. He raises a hand up to push away the brim of his hat to better clear his line of sight. Victor picks up the speed at which he is walking and moves towards the two men and woman… just in case that cliched line evolves into a cliched chain of events that normally follow said line.

The young lady inadvertently drops her phone out of shock and stares with a deer-in-headlights look at her accosters. "I'm, um, just headed home, I was talking to, um, my husband… He's a… a cop," she stammers. She begins to stoop and grab her phone, keeping her eye on the two men, but one of them steps on the device. "Funny, I don't see a ring… But what I do see is a lot of expensive crap that you just blew a lot of money on… and that means there's probably even more money in that pretty little over-priced Gucci bag you're clutching under your pit. So I think today you should make a charitable donation to those less fortunate than yourself… Whether it be monetary, or," the man smirks and looks the girl up and down, "Otherwise."

The man closest to Victor turns to give him an incredulous look. "Butt out, freak. This nice lady was just about to contribute to our fund for the downtrodden and hungry. Besides, aren't you supposed to be meeting Sammy Davis Jr. at a nightclub or something?" The man turns his attention back to the lady, "Now as I was saying… Hand over a reasonable sum of cash and you can be on your merry way, back at your apartment enjoying your fruits of capitalism in no time. Or, alternatively, we'll take it all and put this Rat Pack-wannabe white knight bozo in a coma. You don't want that on your conscience, do you?" Before Victor can respond further, however, one of the men is sent flying backwards and through the front plate-glass window of Giuseppe's Pastaria by a well-placed dropkick to the chest from… Spider-Man? It certainly appears so as he releases his webbing and lands gracefully on the sidewalk, though he is once again wearing the alternate black costume and seems somehow bigger. "Sorry to drop in unannounced," he quips as he grabs the other, now wide-eyed punk by the collar of his shirt. "But is that any way to treat a lady? I think you owe somebody an apology."

The sudden appearance by the black-clad Spider-Man is surprising. Victor is caught off guard by the sudden assault on the two would-be muggers. Victor steps closer to the woman and offers some advice to her, "Perhaps now is the best time to get out of here, ma'am." Victor tries to usher the woman towards the other end of the alleyway to make her escape.

Spider-Man turns his head to watch the curious stranger usher the girl to safety, then turns back to the assailant and lifts him several inches off the ground. "Looks like you missed your opportunity to make amends, buddy. Now it all comes down to karma, and you know what they say about karma…" Spidey suddenly grabs the man under his arms and flings him backwards, smashing him into the hood of a parked taxi cab. "It's a b—" but before he can finish the word, his Spidey-Sense alerts him to something behind him. He turns just in time to be cracked over the head with a wooden chair from the restaurant, wielded by the other thug.

Once Victor is reasonably certain the woman is on her way to making a safe exodus from this alley and from this situation, he turns back towards Dark Spidey and the thugs. The man who appears out of time, grimaces a bit. Victor sprints back towards the fracus and calls out, "Alright. How about we end this, huh? Spider-Man; Help me escort these gentlemen to the local police precinct. I would hate for this to get more out of hand than it already is!"

The dark Spider-Man stumbles back slightly, stunned, but quickly recovers and dodges a second shot from the now mangled chair. He shoots a quick burst of webbing that somehow encircles the attacker's ankle, as if the material itself were sentient. He then fastens the other end of the webbing around the top of a lightpost, effectively hanging the man upside down. He picks up the splintered chair, then turns for a moment as he is approached by the strangely dressed man and tilts his head. "The police, eh? You think the police of New York City have time to deal with two thugs who accosted a woman but never actually finished committing the crime? They'll be back on the streets within an hour, pulling the same stunt on some other defenseless broad. No, for them to really learn a lesson, I'm gonna have to teach it to them myself." He steps closer to the helpless hanging man and rears back with the chair. "Gather round for the pinata, kids, but I don't think it'll be candy comin' out of this one!"

Victor arches an eyebrow at the peculiar statement made by the Dark Spider-Man. He shakes his head and raises a hand to try and stay Spidey's action, "No. That is not right, and you know it." Victor's eyes light up with an inhuman color. His eyes glow a bright red and the holographic image that is the Vision's Victor Shade identity drops. The Ghostly White Vision stands there with his eyes glowing, "Drop it, Spider-Man. You will not persue this course of action." The Vision's voice is now more monotone, as his previous tone of voice is dropped as his disguise is dropped.

Spider-Man tilts his head. "Cute parlor trick, Powder." He drops the broken chair and takes a step towards The Vision. "You hero types are all the same: The Avengers, the X-Men, it doesn't matter. You take a look around this city — or around the whole country, for that matter — and you tell me where you've made a difference. Crime is at an all-time high. Rapists and murderers and all kinds of other scumbags get away with slaps on the wrist every day. The prisons are over-crowded, so real life criminals get to walk away because there's no place else to put them. Meanwhile, innocent people, just trying to live their lives and do their jobs get the shaft… Careers ended, marriages shattered, lives ruined… All in the name of justice?" He takes another step towards Vizh. "You tell me why I should operate within the system when the whole damn thing itself is corrupt."

"No." The Vision states in his flat, monotone. As Dark Spider-Man takes his steps towards him, Vizh simply stood his ground and kept his glowing eyes on him. The Avenger elaborates, "I am not here to have a philosophical debate, Spider-Man. You may have a personal crisis on your own time, but such excessive action as you were about to take will not be allowed during said crisis." He finally looks past Spider-Man and lets loose with a short burst of solar power from his eyes. The beam of energy cuts through the webbing holding the thug upside down… and he drops to the ground with a thud.

Spidey watches The Vision free the assailant, his breathing getting heavier as he becomes more agitated. "Very well, Vision, you continue being a part of the problem, just like all the other so-called heroes… just like Spider-Man." He turns back to stare at the Avenger as his body seems to gradually begin swelling. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you looked confused, Mr. Roboto, but let me spell it out for you. I'm what Spider-Man _should_ be. He's not a hero, he's a glory-hound, just like most of you hypocrites. He does everything to stroke his own ego and doesn't care who he steps on or whose life he ruins. He's ruined mine twice already. He's had the power to make a difference in this city, but for a decade he's been nothing more than a wise-cracking fraud. But the mood in this city is about to change, my synthetic friend…" Spidey's mask suddenly splits underneath his nose, slowly opening into a wide, leering mouth filled with dozens of spiny fangs. "WE are about to change it."

The Vision's expression is as unchanged as stone as Venom rearranges his appearance to that of his standard, default appearance. The Synthezoid eventually raises an eyebrow and responds, "By ensnaring bad people and clubbing them while they hang defenslessly? I certainly hope not." The Vision steps towards the webbed up thug that Venom was going to beat into a pulp. Vizh continues, "That kind of change is unacceptable, you will need to be stopped."

Venom takes a step backwards as he argues with himself — or, more likely, the two parts of himself argue with each other — over whether or not to attack the android hero. Those pedestrians who didn't run away screaming when the faux Spidey revealed himself to be Venom now themselves back away slowly as the mentally disturbed creature glances around at them, then back to The Vision, his long, disgusting tongue flickering around like a snake's. "We are going to change it by truly punishing the _real_ bad guys… Everyone who steps on the helpless and preys on the hopeless for their own betterment or enjoyment." He takes another step backward, eyeing The Vision closely, well aware of how susceptible he would be to a thermal blast.

The Vision reaches down and hefts the webbed thug up. He drapes the man over his shoulder like a sack of potatos. He turns and looks at Venom, "That is all well and good, it truly is. However, you are the real bad guy if you cross a particular line. If you do not know the line, than you will find out as soon as you cross it. Tread lightly."

Venom's gaping grin seems to grow somehow even bigger. "Tread lightly, huh? Have you actually looked at us, Robo-Cop?" He casts a glance to the other fallen thug, still lying on the smashed hood of the taxi. "You better be getting these two punks to the cops, if you want them to be home for dinner and a good night's sleep tonight. You might have been their lucky break today, but just remember that even though your name is The Vision, you can't see everything all of the time." Venom shoots a strand of webbing at the roof of an adjacent building. As he propels himself towards it, he yells behind him, "If you see Spider-Man, send him our regards and tell him we'll see him soon!"

The Synthezoid walks over to where the other downed thug is. He hefts him up with his free arm and turns his head to regard Venom ascending. The Avenger states, "Fortunately for me, I do not need to be omnipresent and all knowing. I am not alone." Vizh turns with the thugs. He syncs up with the Avengers' computer network back at the mansion to determine the location of the closest police precinct.

From the roof of the adjacent building, Venom watches for a few moments. "Well, our cover is blown… Time for Plan B. Oh where, oh where could the little spider be?" He turns and begins leaping and swinging across the rooftops. Within seconds, he's lost in the shadowy distance.

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