3846/Bad Luck/Good Luck

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Bad Luck/Good Luck
Date of Scene: 18 October 2020
Location: Tribeca
Synopsis: Spider-Man spots the Black Cat, talks about the Kingpin, and introduces her to Mania.
Cast of Characters: Peter Parker, Felicia Hardy, Andi Benton

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man is actually feeling kinda good. All his assignments are on time, Mr. Kord (he always feels a little weird calling him "Ted") likes his work, crime rate is down, AND...he's rocking the new KordCo-designed Spider-Man suit. It's a little sleeker, a lot tougher and more insulated...and there is even a slight gloss to the ResistWeave fabric.

So...it's kinda shiny. Maybe even spiffy. He probably shouldn't call it spiffy in public.

He is currently webslinging through Tribeca, and sends out a little blanket call to all the Spiders to see if anyone wants to join him for a little blue-collar crimefighting.

<Calling all Spiders, calling all Spiders. Who's up for a little justice?>

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy is sitting on top of a building in a black pleather catsuit, white faux-fur fringed around her neck. Platinum blonde hair spills down, framing her domino-masked face, pouty red lips on display. She has a pair of little cat-ears set in her hair, if anyone hadn't guessed.

She's peering through a small pair of binoculars through the window of the diamond exchange, watching the night watchmen punch in the numbers into the security pad, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5...that's the kind of combination an idiot would have on their luggage."

Andi Benton has posed:
'We are maybe not up for a little justice, but we are maybe up for a lot of food.'

The response comes minutes later from none other than Mania, for that is how Andi is identified through the whole Spider-Comm setup. She's got some things set to pop up on her own phone now, one meant only for this whole heroing thing or whatever it is.

The response indicates, if nothing else, that Spider-Man might not end up by himself for a time. Sure enough, a figure swings toward the area before long, using webs to do it.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man smiled as he saw Mania approach. She was getting pretty good at the whole webslinging thing. He wondered if she enjoyed it like he did, as a method of exercise, a way to avoid mass transit, or even the calm mental state when he was just cruising between the buildings, almost a meditative...

A red ping appeared on his HUD. The building to his right had someone on the roof, which was interesting because the only roof access around these parts was locked at night.

<Got suspicious activity on the roof of DynTech Solutions near Canal Street. Going in for a closer look...>

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Suspicious? A voluptuous woman in skintight black looking in the windows of a major importer of valuable stones? What could possibly be suspicious about that? And what wretched snitch pinged the spiders about it?

Not that Felicia knows any of that. The Black Cat flicks out her phone for a moment, making a few quick notes about the layout. She's debating over breaking in tomorrow or going ahead and pushing it through tonight. Getting it done fast is smart, but she DOES have that new ghost show to binge and a new bubble bath to try. Guh. Decisions are HARD.

Andi Benton has posed:
Practice has certainly made things easier, and while Mania's way of doing it was similar to Spidey's, there were certain differences in the composition of the webs that made them distinctly unique. But, there was a thrill to it, yes.

Keeping one hand wrapped around the webline, she handled inspecting her phone with casting out a new line to maintain momentum, using a voice-to-text app to respond. 'We will come in from another direction and see.'

The phone is tucked away...somewhere...and it's back to two hands as she looks out to see which way the Wallcrawler is coming in from, choosing a different route to go with it.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man doesn't exactly recognize the Black Cat until he has already landed on the roof.

Then he gets a good look and...hoo, boy. He could never forget those eyes...or that special tingle of the Spider-Sense he could probably name after her. And if she's here, he better start looking for potential targets. Because nobody just strolls around in a costume like that.
Wait, he does (although he displays less chest).

"Hello again, Cat. Staying out of trouble?"

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy flicks her head, her hair whipping a bit to spill over one shoulder, a coy look if ever there was one, those big eyes widening at the sight of him, "Why, Spider-Man, you've taken me off guard. If I'd known you were spying, I'd have put on a better show," she says, straightening up and showing uncanny balance along the edge of the rooftop.

"Those tights look new. A bit...snug," she says a bit breathily. "So, what, is getting a little fresh air illegal now?"

Andi Benton has posed:
Mania bears witness to this exchange as she lands softly atop the building somewhere behind the two, the darkness creating an excellent chance for her to blend in with it although there is a certain gleam to her own costume or whatever it truly is.

She remains quiet at first, the only indication of anything different being the enlarging of one of those all-white eyes, the shape still angled but now bigger than the other. Internally, there is immediate curiosity on the part of the symbiote, but nothing is verbalized quite yet.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man smiled a little sardonically as he looked over the buildings behind the ledge Cat was "sight-seeing" over.
Furniture store, art gallery, hipster cafe...
...and Antwerp Diamond Exchange. Big shock.

"Getting a little fresh air on a rooftop isn't illegal, Cat, but if you are sightseeing AND scoping out the Antwerp, your position looks a little more...precarious, doesn't it?"

Try not to think about that smile. You have a girlfriend, but jeez Louise...

"And you should probably know I'm not exactly alone. Black Cat...meet MANIA."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy puts her hands behind her back, "I am only scoping in the technical term, as it is a telescope, but, again, not illegal. What do you care, anyway, they're all rich as Croesus anyway and most of those diamonds are disgusting blood diamonds, ew, icky, gross, ptooey. I'm helping, if you really think about it hard."

The sudden presentation of Mania causes Felicia to drop from her perch, lest she get jumped, "Mania? Oooh, are they a wrestler?"

Andi Benton has posed:
Mania's body language shows her wonder about this mostly black-clad woman she'd been yet to meet before now, and she advances closer. There is that spider insignia across her front and back, which makes it easy enough to assume she's on Spider-Man's side.

"We have never wrestled before. PhysEd was boring," she states, past a mostly faceless visage. Arms cross, showing off the more..pointy aspects of her appearance. The voice holds a strange duality to it as she adds, "Ooh, kitty."

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man looks to Mania. Well, she doesn't have the teeth out, so that's something.
"Mania, this is the Black Cat. A...well, she's a burglar. A very proficient one, if Interpol is correct. She's as playful as her namesake, but she is also not TAME by any stretch of the imagination."

He looks back to Felicia. "Mania is my...colleague. She helps out a lot, believe me."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy stares for a moment at Mania and might take a couple of very careful step backwards. She isn't sure exactly what's going on with this one, but, uh, she's definitely not cut from the same cloth as old Spider-Man. "Taking an other woman out on the town? Spidey, darling, you cut me to the quick," she says, clutching her hands to her rather formidable bosom.

"And how dare you call me a mere burglar! I burgle, I safecrack, I infiltrate, I extract. I even do my own fencing. I'm an all-purpose thief, thank you very much, and a world class one at that," she says with a hint of a purr. "I suppose it's a pleasure to meet you, Mania, except the part about you guys being such snooty booties about a little light larceny."

Andi Benton has posed:
Mania's arms lower and she moves forward. You know how sometimes cats are drawn to the people who like them the least? Right now Spider-Man is playing second fiddle to Black Cat herself in Mania's eyes. "It's complicated," she says before visibly squinting at the Cat's appearance. "But you have a nice costume, if that is a costume."

In some small way, a part of her bristles after the last thing she hears. "Did we say anything like that? We don't think we did." It could be she has a slightly different moral compass compared to Spider-Man's. Right now she's close enough to circle Black Cat, seemingly to size her up.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spidey sighs. "I'm afraid that it's a character concept you will have to accept. And pardon me for not introducing all of the facets of your abilities, seeing as I was unaware of some of them."

But not anymore.

"And I did say 'proficient.' Considering the fact that I don't even know the name of the person behind that mask, that should be a sign in itself how accomplished you are."

Mental note - check out Antwerp Diamond Exchange for any rumors on dealing in conflict diamonds.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy tosses her hair, "I suppose I thought you might look up something about me after our first meeting. But maybe it was only special for one of us," she says, although there's a playful tone to her voice to make it clear that her heartbreak is at least mostly for show.

"I'm sure it is complicated. You look complicated, honey," she says, grinning at Mania. "Oh, don't get your jet-black knickers in a bunch. You have your role to play and I have mine, but we can at least have a little fun with it, can't we?" she grins, leaning forward in a seductive fashion and adding on a wink.

Andi Benton has posed:
//Is she trying to get him to mate with her, Andi?//

It's a sudden question asked by the symbiote, only to the host, but the reaction is audible to all.

"What..?!" in that moment, the voice is less two, more just one, her own, as the eyes both widen together as she splits her attention between Spider-Man and Black Cat.

It's a few more seconds before any hint of composure is returning, a hand - tipped with claws - reaching up toward the strange, spiky 'hair' she's got. "It's a long story," she adds hastily with a shake of the head.

<<What kind of question was that??>>

Andi finally answers Mania, internally, but Black Cat's act leads to her leaning forward in return, almost as if trying to mimic.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man shook his head slightly. "Cat, I did have you checked out. IDENTITY UNKNOWN, all across the board. I will say one thing about you, you are VERY good at covering your tracks. Some of the forums suggest you wear a wig and contacts, some think the costume is hiding actual fur and that you're a feline hybrid. I've met a few animal hybrids recently, so a case might be made without sounding like a 9/11 truther."

He regards Mania for a moment, but realizes there is some kind of conversation going on right now, and it might be a little too revealing to call attention to it in Cat's presence. Keep Mania's business to herself.

"Since you seem to have one sharp finger on the pulse of things, maybe you might do me a little favor, Cat?"

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy crosses her arms over her ample chest, "Me? Disguise myself? Nonsense, I'm all natural. You can check that out anytime you like, of course, although your fingers will have to dance over something other than a keyboard," she teases.

Mania's mimicry makes her try a few things, kicking out her hip, doing a little arch, just to see if her new acquaintance keeps copying, "I might be persuaded to help out in a pinch. What did you have in mind?"

Andi Benton has posed:
The trouble with copying what Black Cat is doing is simple: Mania does not have the body for it. Not naturally. It would look...odd. It would also look amusing, maybe.

That doesn't stop Mania from doing a little arch of her own before something appears to snap her out of it and those eyes narrow briefly. "You are very forward," that dual voice observes in such a way that is really nothing more than just that: an observation. No judging, no disapproval or even the other way around. One can only wonder what Spider-Man is making of this.

Now she's looking his way, as if sizing him up as well. Back to her, then eyeing him again. "She does not look like an animal, any more than you do."

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man nods to Mania. "Yeah...ditto on the no wig or contacts."

He looks back to the Cat. She can tell by his body language that he's not playing around this time.

"It's a guy only known as the KINGPIN. Don't know his real name, but he's a major player. The guy has crooks AND cops in his pocket, and the fact he's coming on like a dark horse puts him firmly in the criminal-mastermind category. He's smart, and utterly ruthless. I just wish I knew who the Hell this guy WAS." He paused. "If you hear anything - who he is, who is associated with him - it would be good to hear about it."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy purses her lips and pretends to think about it, "Well, it would be contradicting with the thief code - section 12, paragraph 3.2 to be exact - buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, I suppose, for you, Spidey-cutie, I could make an itty bitty exception," she says.

"Why do people always have to be masterminding? Everybody always wantin' to run everybody," she says, waving fingers a little dismissively. "Humans are a kind of animal, sugar. Especially men. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

Andi Benton has posed:
Talk of the Kingpin...it's a little beyond what Mania's dealt with so far, and it results in her adding nothing to Spider-Man's concerns about him, along with the request he makes. The symbiote has different ways of doing things, abnormal ways of looking at them. It can lead to awkward situations, even amusing ones at times. The mimicry of Black Cat's flirtatious teasing could be one of those times.

"We will remember that," she nods once, a way of confirming it. "And you are pleasing to look at," she adds, this sounding more like that /other/ voice is saying it than Andi herself.

//What, Andi? It is true. Look how large her..//
<<That's enough!>>

Notably, Mania turns away from Black Cat at this.

//Your body temperature is warmer. Are you embarrassed?//
<<Just be quiet.>>

"There is a thief code?" she asks abruptly, probably to change the subject in more ways than one.

Peter Parker has posed:
Well, the Cat hasn't changed a bit. That's comforting in some ways, unsettling in others.
"If you are able to provide any info, it would be appreciated. And maybe a little...understanding can be worked out." He paused, realized how that sounded, and added quickly, "As in, if I catch you taking something that isn't yours, I'd be willing to just return the stolen items without gift-wrapping you for the NYPD to deal with."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy puts a finger against a dimpled cheek, "D'aw, Spidey, you really do care. We're making progress. I feel all warm. Verging on hot," she says with a purr.

To Mania, she grins, "Thank you! I appreciatie attention from all interested parties," she winks. "Well, unless you want to search me for stolen goods, I should probably let you two get on with your...whatever it is you do."

Andi Benton has posed:
"You do not seem any warmer right now," Mania points out helpfully, gesturing toward Black Cat. "Not that we can tell."

Again, there's enough of the symbiote only speaking that Andi forces a hand up to rub over her 'face' slowly, as much a facepalm as can be. This is so embarrassing. The symbiote had it right, and the thief has /both/ symbiote and host going through a strange range of thoughts and emotions. "No, no. No need for any..searching. We are content with looking for now." Sort of a dual voice again.

Spider-Man must be wondering what's going on, because if she was in his position she sure would be questioning this. "It sounds like you want us to leave."

Peter Parker has posed:
Mania may be right about that. But he can't help leaving the Cat with a warning.

"I think we'll hold off on the unlawful search-and-seizure for now. But I will be keeping a close eye on that place, Cat. If you intend to do a little...APPROPRIATING, be aware that someone will be watching."

He steps back, taking a deep breath. It seems easiier to think the farther away she is.

Spider-Man looks to Mania. "C'mon, Mania. We still have to check out the Financial District before we call it a night." He looks back to the Cat. "And you...stay out of trouble, Cat. I would turn you in if I had to, but don't expect me to be underhanded about it."

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy smiles, "I do have a few things I have to do. Nothing personal, sweetie," she smiles to Mania.

"By the way, Spider-Man, how exactly am I to get in touch with you if I find out about this Kingpin? Do you have a phone number? Do I put a tarantula on a spotlight and shine it on a cloud?"

Andi Benton has posed:
Mania's body language continues to suggest someone who isn't quite sure what to make of all this, who doesn't know what to do. Spider-Man said Black Cat is a thief, and she did not hide it, yet he's appealed to her for help. She's certainly got Mania (and Andi, of course), wondering about a few things right now.

It's enough that she begins to separate herself from the two of them, giving Spider-Man a feigned excuse. "We just remembered something we have to do back home." Looks like this means he'll have to visit the Financial District by himself. Already, she's taking steps back toward the way she came in.

Peter Parker has posed:
Spider-Man chuckles. "No, I find it is a bad idea to infringe on another vigilante's schtick. ESPECIALLY when it's BATMAN. The man has zero chill."

He pauses, then takes out a small card with a phone number. "Call that or text using that, and I'll get it."

He glances to Mania, but doesn't question it, only nods. "All right. We'll catch up later."

He gives the Cat a good-natured wave. "Be good, Cat."

Yeah, yeah, yeah, hope springs eternal, etc.

Then he falls off the edge of the roof, a THWIPP is heard and he is off and swinging towards the Financial District, glad the worry and concern on his face is hidden by the mask.