"Whooo!" I yelled in half-terrified, half-exultant joy as I swung from building to building via my webline. Being locked in the locker had been one of the worst experiences of my life, yet it had given me these super awesome powers.
Sophia would be so pissed that she had, in a very roundabout way, done me a favour by torturing me for fifteen months. Ditto for Emma and Madison.
Extending my other arm, I used my two middle fingers and tapped twice on the pressure sensor on my palm, triggering my web-shooter. It fired a line of web fluid that attached to the building I was aiming at. Letting go of the one I had swung on until this moment, I started to swing on my new one.
From what I had discovered since my powers woke up, I have Brute, Tinker, Mover and Thinker powers, quite the collection. I invented my web-shooters, web-fluid and even a fancy polymer cloth. I'd kinda had to invent that last one because I could stick to walls using any part of my body. The downside was that any regular cloth –synthetic or organic- got stuck to my skin as well and wouldn't let go for at least ten minutes, which was a bummer.
Still, I got in contact with Parian, a Rogue Cape and worked out a deal for her making my costume, so it wasn't too bad. As repayment for her making my cloth and making it into a costume for me, I became her in-city courier.
Glancing down at my costume, I had to grin underneath my full face mask. It was mostly blue, with my feet, hands, central chest, shoulders and head coloured red with black web-like lines on it.
Landing on the roof of a building, I cocked my head as my slightly-enhanced hearing picked up a guttural voice shouting at someone. Creeping along the roof, I peeked over the side of the roof and silently cursed. Standing amidst a group of the Azn Bad Boyz was a figure that no one in Brockton Bay could mistake; Lung, the Dragon of Kyushu.
"-don't care if they're kids, just shoot them!" he was saying, "If you see that little bitch down, shoot her again just to be certain!"
Whoa! He was going to kill kids?! So not happening, not on my watch!
Hurriedly, I pulled the torso-section of my costume up to reveal my utility belt. I refilled my web-shooters with fresh cartridges before smoothing my costume out again. I knew I had to be careful when up against the likes of Lung. He had fought Leviathan the Endbringer to a standstill and had beaten down the entire Protectorate when he arrived. Underestimating him would be stupid.
Sticking to the wall, I crawled around until I was above two goons. I zipped down, wrapped them in webbing and leapt back into the shadows before any of the other gangbangers realised what had happened.
"What the fuck happened here?!" Lung roared, his metal mask not dampening his bellow in the slightest.
There is…one aspect of my powers that I don't like. It isn't a serious problem, but it is…aggravating.
"Well now, isn't this quite the gathering?" I said obnoxiously, "I hate to barge in on a private party, but you guys are setting off the ugly-meter, so I decided to gatecrash you."
This…is what I was talking about. For whatever reason, when I am in my costume and only when I am in my costume, my personality shifts and I talk smack and act irrelevant. It does act as a good cover for me, but it's really embarrassing.
"Find whoever it is and kill 'em!" Lung ordered his men.
I took the time to examine them. All of the twenty or so remaining goons had some kind of melee weapon; crowbar, knife, metal pipe, a cosh. None of them from what I could see had a gun. One thing I didn't have to worry about.
Leaping from the building, I kicked one man in the jaw, holding my strength back otherwise I'd kill him, before moving on to lay out another with a single punch. Suddenly, my senses went haywire and I ducked down, the steel pipe narrowly missing my head.
This was what led me to believe I had Thinker abilities. I had some kind of danger-sensing precognition when I was under attack. It was very useful, but made me feel as if I had pins and needles all over my head every time. As my webbing that I had developed was like a spider's web, I had dubbed it my 'spider-sense,' although it does sound a little corny.
I lashed out with a spinning low kick than sent the thug smashing to the ground, then bounced over to slam two other guys' heads together. I even webbed them together.
My 'spider sense' shrieked at me and I leapt acrobatically into the air, dodging the streetlight that Lung had ripped out of the ground to attack me with. Seriously, who just rips huge metal posts out of the ground?!
"Whew! That was close!" I said theatrically as I landed on the wall, "Sadly for you, close is not good enough, chief."
"'m gonna 'ill 'ou!" the man growled, his flesh shifting as he started to transform. Man, he must be really pissed if he was transforming without me landing a single punch yet!
"Uh-huh, sure you will." I shot back as his mask fell off, his face distorted by his transformation, "Let me know when you're actually going to do more than shake your walking stick at me, old-timer."
With a roar, the villain opened his mouth and breathed fire at me! I ran around behind him across the walls and webbed his feet to the ground before leaping on top of his shoulders and striking him once, twice, thrice! All three punches landed right on his nose; the second one breaking it and the third turning it into pulp.
My spider sense going off again allowed me to leap back just in time to avoid the streetlamp again. On the humorous side, watching Lung brain himself with it was very satisfying.
"You know, if you hate yourself to the point of attacking yourself, you should really go to counselling." I called mockingly as he swayed in place, slightly stunned from the impact of his own blow. I used the time he was woozy to wrap up a couple more of his ten-a-penny punks in webbing and toss them to the side.
When he shook himself out of his daze, he tried to spin around to face me, only to trip and faceplant from the webbing around his feet, which was worth a chuckle. I webbed him down, just to give me a bit more time, and proceeded to wipe the floor with the rest of the gangbangers.
Absolutely furious beyond everything, Lung ripped himself free from the webs (Note to self: increase web strength for Brute-type Capes) and burned the rest from his body (second note to self: create web fluid that is resistant to or immune to fire) before charging at me like a bull in a china shop. His newly-grown tail lashed and writhed behind him and I thought I could see scales decorating his body.
"Olé!" I mocked him as I leaped over him and kicked the back of his head with everything I had, sending him flying into the wall with a meaty crunch. As he went through the wall, I spun in mid-air and landed facing the hole, which was in the side of a warehouse, I belatedly noticed.
Oh well. If it was abandoned or derelict, there was no problem. If it wasn't…well, the owner had better have Cape insurance.
My spider sense went mad and I ducked down to the ground just in time to avoid what looked like a long piece of scaffolding being used as an ersatz javelin. Several more sailed through the air and I realised he had anticipated me being acrobatic as I had been all the other times I had evaded him.
Luckily for me, I make patterns and break them all the time.
Lung stomped out of the hole he had made, another length of scaffolding in one of his beefy hands. He glared at me…either that or transforming always made his face look like a glare.
"Just so you know, your aim sucks." I informed him casually as I hopped to my feet again, "Care to try again?"
He bellowed something unintelligible as he hefted the piece of metal. I quickly webbed his hand to it so that he couldn't let it go just as he was about to release it and it took him off-guard long enough to attach two web lines to him and tug them very hard so I flew through the air and slammed into his chest feet first, sending the gang boss flying without wings yet again.
It did hurt like a sonofabitch though. Thankfully, I have greater than normal strength and a slight healing factor, so I'd be as right as rain in a moment.
As the man nicknamed the Rage Dragon slammed through the hole he had made before, his increased size widened the hole somewhat. This, I knew, wasn't good. The longer this fight went on, the worse of a disadvantage I'd be at. I had to knock the bastard out and fast.
I pulled several lumps of debris over to near where I stood and waited for Lung to emerge again. There was no way I would be lucky enough to have the bastard KO'd by that last trick.
I ducked under the flames that erupted from the hole in the wall just in time and I still felt the searing heat from the fire. OW!
"Try again, old man!" I mocked as I stood up again, "Though your aim seems to be way off. Failing eyesight? Or are you just going senile?"
Another roar came from the rage dragon as he charged out of the warehouse. I had to admire his persistence, if not his methods. This was why anger sucks to e used as a power source. It might increase how strong you are, but it also makes you easy to manipulate.
I grab two web lines and leap into the air, swinging the large concrete, mortar and brick lumps at the other ends right on top of a very surprised Lung's head. They smashed into pieces afterwards, but I just grabbed more that I had prepared in advance.
"Why-" smash "-won't-" smash "-you-" smash "-just-" smash "-get knocked out already?!" I snarled as I pummelled him with masonry.
He just roared again. Man, this guy just did not get the whole 'witty exchange of repartee' section of hero/villain combat.
By this point, Lung was almost ten feet tall, wings extended, tail lashing and draconic features fully displayed. Just how powerful was this dragon's regeneration factor? He's been pummelled by rocks, sent flying through solid concrete and brick and he even hit himself with a goddamn streetlight. What does it take to put him down?
"You know, girls don't like persistent men, old man." I warned him as I grabbed my last pair of ersatz weapons, "How about you just shuffle off and sit in a rocking chair, geezer?"
Yet another roar. Jeez, would something other than that kill him? I sighed as he yet again did a bum rush towards me, arms swinging. What a one trick pony. Without his regeneration, he'd be…well, he'd still be a bitch to fight, but not nearly as much of a pain as he was right now.
Once again I leapt into the air, neatly dodging Lung's flailing arms and rather accurately webbing up his eyes while I was at it. As he screeched to a halt to try and rip the webbing off, I dodged his wings and tail, grabbing the latter appendage as I landed and heaved with all of my strength.
Lung was jerked into the air and then met the ground with a bang as I swung him. It actually reminded me of that kid from the Flintstones...Bam-Bam…smashing things onto the ground then onto the ground on his other side.
I repeated this a couple of times before throwing him away. As he sailed through the air, I heard a whistle and a gruff female voice order, "Maim!"
From out of the night three enormous…creatures…bounded out of the twilight and leapt on Lung, ripping at him with fangs and claws. Each of them was huge, the size of a small rhino, with bony protrusions jutting out of their bodies.
"Either those are mutated pygmy rhinos or they're mutated giant dogs." I said in amusement.
"The latter." An equally amused voice said from behind me. I leapt in surprise and whirled around to see…
"…a power ranger?" I blurted out.
The girl who had spoken was literally dressed up like a power ranger. A black and purple bodysuit with a golden Egyptian hieroglyph in the centre of her chest and wearing a domino mask on her face. Behind her was a tall man wearing biker leathers, a motorcycle helmet and a mask underneath it and another guy dressed up like he was going to a renaissance fair in a weird shirt and a tragedy mask.
Over by Lung-the-dragon-chew toy, I saw a heavyset girl in rough clothes and a cheap plastic dog mask on her face.
"I get that all the time." Power-ranger girl smirked, "The name's Tattletale."
"Ok…thanks for jumping in then, Tattletale." I said with a sigh as I collapsed to the ground, adrenaline wearing off.
"Considering Lung's original target was us, it's nothing to be concerned about." Tattletale replied with a fox-like grin, "We drove off Oni-Lee and some ABB thugs, but we had no clue what to do with Lung. You really kicked his ass, you know?"
I chuckled hollowly. "I barely put a dent in him. The bastard just wouldn't stay down!"
"You did better than most Capes have done against the Dragon of Kyushu." The motorbike helmeted guy pointed out, "I'm Grue, the beanpole here is Regent-"
"Fuck you, Grue." Regent put in lazily.
"-and the girl with the dogs is Bitch." Grue finished.
I shakily stood up and fingered the spider symbol on my chest. "Just call me…Arachne."
So yeah...Just an idea that was bombarding my mind.
Tinker: 4 - (Chemical, minor mechanisms) (Web Shooters, Web Fluid, Utility Belt, Spider Tracers)
Brute: 4 – (Proportionate strength of a spider, tough enough to withstand powerful blows with only minor damage, small healing factor)
Thinker: 3 – (Spider Sense, Advanced Kinaesthesia)
Mover: 4 – (Wall Crawling, Superhuman Agility and Acrobatics, Web Slinging)