5219/Symbiotes Can Investigate Bombings Too

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Symbiotes Can Investigate Bombings Too
Date of Scene: 16 February 2021
Location: Bushwick <Mutant Town>
Synopsis: As Venom leaves the sight of the mutant high school bombing, he's spotted by Mania and a rooftop talk happens.
Cast of Characters: Eddie Brock, Andi Benton

Eddie Brock has posed:
Night has fallen in Bushwick. At the high school that has a high mutant population, the police have brought in lights to illuminate the crime scene. The crime was a van that crashed through a fence towards a spot where the Friends of Humanity were holding a rally over the anti-mutant businessman who had been assassinated recently in Washington DC. Which, being held at a place with so many mutants, drew a counter-protest of course.

The van, once it reached the crowds, exploded, causing huge numbers of injuries and a half dozen deaths. The area has been marked off with yellow tape, and forensics teams are going over the site. A van pulls away from the area, having been parked off to the side of the main police gathering.

More importantly, for certain people, those who see well in the dark might notice a very large, dark figure on the far side of the high school's roof from where the explosion happened. Two lines of black webbing shoot out to the top of a distant apartment building as the figure backs up and then slingshots himself into the air. Venom shoots out another web to pull himself up to that roof, where he stops and surveys the area he left, making sure none of the police noticed his departure from the area.

Andi Benton has posed:
An attack like this is not good. It appears violence around this sort of thing is on the rise again, and that's a negative for anyone different, whether truly mutant or otherwise. People looking to hurt others often don't care for the little details like that, such as whether someone was born with a mutant gene, whether they got their powers from some radiation, or were a normal person bonded to an alien symbiote.

Andi Benton is no Spider-Man when it comes to sleuthing, and he's about the only one she knows well enough to compare to. There's Batman, of course, but it's not like she's ever seen him directly. Regardless, she spent part of her senior year at a school that absolutely had some people there who weren't normal. Somehow, the administration made it work, and nothing like this happened. It could have, though, so this cuts a little too close.

Having Mania directly in the middle of all this would cause more of a scene than a young woman seemingly just on her way through, and the goth/punk style is enough to draw a minor amount of attention. There have been weirder people around. Much weirder. Her eyes pass over whatever looks suspicious or out of place, but the site of the attack is a primary location for any sort of attention right now. Hands are stuffed into the pockets of a black coat with various patches and stitching visible.

Eddie Brock has posed:
From his vantage on top of the apartment building, Venom watches the van departing, his large white eyes narrowing. "I do not want to tangle with SHIELD again. They keep coming and keep coming. And you will not let me eat them," he says aloud.

   <<Eddie>> "Yeah I know. It's like you found someone who delivers and I'm making you diet, right?"

Venom lashes out, slamming a massive clawed hand against the coping around the edge of the roof. "You are going soft. If we are attacked I am going to defend us," he says. Which Eddie doesn't answer. Though he's looking down towards something else.

   <<Eddie>> "Keep an eye out for anyone else in the area. Someone not a cop. Sometimes those responsible for things like this like to come back and view their handiwork."

Venom's long teeth draw back in a wicked grin. "Like going back to where we ate the muggers?"

   <<Eddie>> "Yeah we didn't do that. Remember. Because that's how you get caught. And I really didn't want to see ankle and feet stumps."

A hoarse laugh is given by Venom. "Your loss. So that person there in the coat. Is that a cop?" he asks as he spots Andi walking down below.

Andi Benton has posed:
A cop? No, that's about the last thing anyone could mistake Andi for, unless the force was really letting them in young, and with very..alternate ideas of standards. There's the purple hair, the multiple piercings, and of course if she actually was an officer of some kind, this would be quite the undercover look.

Speaking of looks, there are a couple distinct ones that follow. The first is of the vehicle leaving the area, but something else draws her attention in a quicker way.

<<What? I'm right here. You don't have to shout..in my head.>>
//Whatever. Up there, Andi.//

Mania's awareness of its surroundings, akin to that spidey-sense the webslinger possesses, works in a somewhat different fashion. The symbiote essentially has eyes everywhere. It can see everything, even when hidden. It has spotted something, or rather someone, eyeing them from above.

So it is that Andi locks eyes with Venom, and there's a twinge of something that passes down her spine. It's been about three months since the last time they even talked. In fact, it went so badly that she didn't even try to seek them out again.

"Yeah, I see," she says under her breath, those eyes now narrowing.

Eddie Brock has posed:
The large form of Venom does stand out a bit even with the dark sky behind him. Certainly to those with something more than human senses. "Do police have purple hair?" he asks.

   <<Eddie>> "No, not normally."

"Then it is not a police," Venom replies. "So a candidate for dinner." His claws work against the edge of the roof, leaving deep scratches in it. Eddie doesn't comment on it, knowing it's being done to get him on edge after their recent talk about collateral damage to the buildings.

The symbiote's eye moves in a way that if he were human, would be like a look of curiosity. "She seems like she might be looking up this way. So do you think she might be one of the people responsible with the bomb?"

   <<Eddie>> "Hmm. I don't know. I'm guessing not but hard to say. Could be someone who had a friend hurt or killed there. Mutants sometimes get unusual hair coloring."

Andi Benton has posed:
Andi Benton frowns at what she sees. It was only a matter of time before they'd cross paths again, as long as Venom didn't leave the city. Maybe he did for a time. Things seemed quieter. Then there was a thing in the news. She saw the photo. So did Mania. Ghost Spider was another one they hadn't spoken to in a little while, but for no particular reason.

Not like Venom, who she had a good excuse to avoid. That was changing, now.

//What now, Andi?//
<<He's here. They're here. We go find out why. I'm not just running away and letting them follow us.>>
//Be careful, Andi. They do not have the same..agreement..we do.//
<<Yeah, I know.>>

Whatever the relationship between Andi and Mania, the symbiote has not gone so far as to overrule and override her...yet. The girl slips into the crowd, and whether Venom keeps closer tabs on her or not, she is making her way toward a nearby alley.

Eddie Brock has posed:
Venom doesn't track the woman once she drifts away. "So, what now, Eddie? Did you learn anything there that made this trip worth our time?" the large Klyntar asks his host.

   <<Eddie>> "Can't say yet. But maybe. That bit of debris you picked up for us without anyone noticing, looks like it was part of the explosive device itself. So there are ways to test the explosive and may be figure out where it was made. Or we could possibly track down bits of it and find out where the parts came from."

Venom slams a massive fist into his other hand. "Excellent. And you know how to do these things and we will find those responsible and I will eat their skin and then their livers and their lungs. And baste the heart of one in anoth-"

   <<Eddie>> "Woah. Hang on there buddy. Well I know some of it. The tracking down part. But we will have to find someone good at chemistry to do the explosive's signature. And even then it might take an actual expert."

Venom's arms falls to his side in a gesture of defeat. "I like it better when the radio leads us right to someone."

Andi Benton has posed:
In the alley, the change is made. The symbiote ripples around Andi and coats her from head to toe, replacing clothes with the living suit that goes by the name of Mania. There are similarities to Venom, but also clear differences. The main one is in size and shape. While Venom is larger and bulkier, absolutely masculine, Mania is the opposite. Smaller, leaner, appearing more nimble, and certainly feminine if still more modestly so. Normally, the mouth is not present, nor the tongue, not that it can't be at any given time. There are spikes that adorn the forearms and shins, to go with a couple bracelets and a belt that feature more, and the 'hair' is a sort of exaggeration of Andi's, a few larger 'spikes' of it atop her head with a thinner one draping down past the normal placement of an ear.

Mania scales the side of the building Venom surveys the scene from - she can hear him speaking - and after she climbs over the edge she rises to her full, if not very imposing, height, hands at her hips, white eyes narrowing. "And what are you doing here? Looking for a meal?" they ask, and the voice is like two blended together as one.

Eddie Brock has posed:
Venom turns towards Mania as she climbs over the edge of the roof and addresses him. "Of course, Venom answers, though it is just the symbiote's voice replying. "Though whoever is responsible is going to play hard to get, it seems," he tells them.

Half of the Venom's face pulls away, revealing the face of Eddie Brock inside the symbiote. "Going to see if we can't track them down though. They casually hurt an awful lot of people," the former journalist says.

Eddie is the one who continues talking, his eye glancing over Mania up and down. "Been awhile," he says. "Ah. So. How are you?" he asks, and from the half of his face that is showing, perhaps not quite sure what kind of reaction they will get from Mania and Andi.

Andi Benton has posed:
Mania's arms shift to cross rather than rest akimbo. The figure moves no closer after Venom's response, or the peeling back of the face to reveal Eddie's behind it. "We saw a van leaving," that dual voice of human and alien states. "Then we saw you. We do not think you are the sort to do..that," An arm unfolds so a hand can sweep out toward the carnage below, "but we are not surprised you are here. We saw the photo from the other day. With the spider." This is presented in an even tone, as if symbiote and host are attempting to convey an attitude that doesn't feature any discomfort in it. It only goes so far.

"The bigger question is how you are." This is said /very/ defensively, as the arms cross again, the eyes holding a suspicious angle to them given the way they narrow.

Eddie Brock has posed:
The symbiote and Eddie turn to glance down at the site of the explosion below. Eddie says, "The van had SHIELD agents in it. Apparently they are looking into it as well." He doesn't go further into how he knows that, as Venom speaks next.

"We are hungry," Venom says, his voice no less deep and creepifying for the fact only half of his mouth is there.

Eddie lets out a small sigh, his attention back on Mania. "Sort of going through some things," he says slowly. Venom gives a little unhappy sounding grunt at hearing that.

The grunt doesn't get a response, at least that they can hear. "Yeah. That Ghost Spider, saved a pretty bad dude. The city would have been better served letting Venom have him," Eddie says.

Andi Benton has posed:
There is a visible bristling in Mania at the mention of SHIELD, seen through the way some of those spikes flex, but there is no other response to it beyond that. Perhaps they don't care for SHIELD?

"So are we, but we don't go around eating people. And spare us the lecture about how some people deserve it or whatever you do to justify it. It's gross." That sounds more like Andi speaking than Mania, who is a little more clear afterward in adding, "We can find other things, like lots of chocolate." The eyes turn pleased at that thought, but only for a moment before they're back to a more cautious, suspicious appearance.

They ask, "Going through some things?" There is a note of care to avoid further antagonizing, a slight shift coming in saying, "We offered to try to help before, but you didn't want it." Venom was much more in control at the time than Eddie was, and Mania adds, "She did the right thing if she kept you from eating the guy. We..almost did that once."

Eddie Brock has posed:
Venom gives an ominous rumble, though Eddie answers as if to cut off the symbiote before he says anything. "Well, we're not eating as many people now," Eddie says. To even Eddie's surprise, Venom adds in his deep, ominous voice, "Baby steps."

This causes Eddie's one exposed eyebrow go to up slightly. "That's right-" he gets out before Venom finishes his thought. "Every part of the baby is succulent. Their feet, their hands..."

One of the hands, still Venom-sized, comes up to do a face-palm gesture. Eddie looks to Mania. "Sorry. We haven't been seeing eye to eye and he's trying extra hard tonight to upset me. We don't eat babies."

Venom's side starts to say something it seems, but that hand that Eddie is controlling lifts up and cuts him off with a single upraised finger gesture. "NO BABIES."

Venom gives an angry grunt and then the symbiote disappears entirely into Eddie's body, leaving the human standing there. "Yeah. I was kind of a dick before," Eddie says towards Mania. It has a ring of an apology even if it lacks a few of the normal words for one.

Andi Benton has posed:
What can be made of Mania's expression remains disapproving at Venom's efforts to poke and prod, perhaps at more than just Eddie. There is a very lengthy pause in any actual response, and one doesn't even come until Venom has been tucked away to leave just Eddie behind, visibly.

"If you ever eat babies, we don't really want to fight you but we would..have a hard time not fighting you in that case." Now it's her turn to will the symbiote away, to the point it crawls back entirely from her head and blends in with the material that now ends at her neck.

Andi explains, "I know all about the pushing and pulling it does. Mania is not as..feral as Venom, I don't think. But it tries to tempt me with a lot of things. It tests me. It wants to experience everything, feel everything, and sometimes I..I get how hard it is to say no." Eyes dart away as she frowns, adding, "But there are some things I don't ever want to do." Whatever Eddie let Venom try to taunt them with the last time, maybe enough days have gone by that it's not as freshly painful, some of the struggle not as immediate.

"We need to find who did this and make sure they don't do it again," she adds, stepping closer to the edge, and Eddie, and Venom within. "Without eating them."

Eddie Brock has posed:
Eddie considers what to say, how much to share. The wind up on the roof of the building is cold, and without Venom covering him Eddie is starting to feel it. He's wearing a blue jacket. Andi might think for a moment that it's one of the jackets worn by the police she saw working the crime scene. Though those had big yellow lettering on the back identifying them. Though otherwise, the color is an exact match.

The man, himself a bit thickly bodied and muscular, if not sculpted like a weight-lifter, says, "We have some new ground rules we agreed to. Only those who deserve it," Eddie says. "So yeah, that's not a fight that needs to happen," he tells the woman.

He glances down at the schoolground below. "They went after kids. They don't deserve jail. That /is/ something we'll have to disagree on," he says, shrugging. "And working on it. I got a little bit of the device. I don't suppose you're a master chemist with access to explosive chemical signatures, are you?" he says.

Andi Benton has posed:
Come to think of it, Andi did spot a few people in very similar coats, but perhaps she didn't see him there. In contrast, she looks more tomboyish, though still 'girly' enough. Hard to even say she looks like an athlete, though she has more of a natural form for it if she was interested in sports of any kind.

A slow breath is exhaled, the wind catching her hair. The rest of her? No real effects of the weather conditions shows up. "We've never killed anyone. That's kind of hard to take back after the first time," she points out. "And I don't know if I'm okay with whatever that'd make me." This may be the very reason she's pushed to maintain the control she has, maybe even why Mania hasn't forced her into doing something she doesn't really want to. Except for almost...no.

"Look, I'm..there's still a lot of this I'm trying to figure out. I actually feel like I have someone who understands me, and I'm not alone now, and..stuff." She waves it off with a hand, fingers still tipped with claws that are more a feature of Mania rather than Andi.

At that moment, a portion of the suit takes shape, forming into a small, disembodied head that is like a caricature of Mania's own. It rises up from the shoulder and looks toward her, stating, "We are friends, Andi." Then it peers toward Eddie, adding, "Maybe we can also be friends, if we can trust you." Back into the rest of the suit it goes, fading away again.

Shaking her head, she tells Eddie, "It likes to do that sometimes. And I just work part-time at a music store. I don't know anything past basic high school shit."

Eddie Brock has posed:
Eddie focuses his reply on the question related to the bombing first. "I might know someone or another, but figured I'd check," he tells her. He reaches up, fingers combing through his own hair which is long enough the wind is doing a number on it.

"Yeah, I don't have all the answers either," he tells her in his voice that has a distinctive rough quality to it, even when his tone is gentle. "You're probably right about how it changes you. But then again, if you haven't had someone who truly needed killing, why would you," he says.

   <<Venom>> "Like Spider-Man. And Jameson. We will kill them both."

Eddie doesn't offer any reply to the voice only he hears, doesn't offer an argument. Instead he just tells Andi. "Look I'd like to be someone you could be friends with. I'm actually trying," he says. "And you probably can't trust me," he says.

He walks forward, towards the edge of the roof. "But maybe someday, hey?" he says, looking back over his shoulder towards her. "Supposed to be a full moon coming up. Meet me up on top of the Brooklyn Bridge, first night of it. We can talk more then about what we've found, if anything. And hey, it's a great view," he says, and then steps off the building.

A few seconds later, Venom can be seen swinging off into the night.

Andi Benton has posed:
Andi Benton grows quiet along the way, giving Eddie a brief nod. "Yeah. Good luck with..figuring that out," she says of the chemical signature stuff. "I don't like these 'Friends of Humanity' guys. I heard about some stuff with them a while back, too. Always doing things like this, trying to blame others for their own hate."

It'd be hard to tell Mania some of them didn't deserve to die, especially if they were behind attacking a school. It could have been Happy Harbor, where she went.

"You decide who you think needs to die, though," is all she says about that part, and she rolls a blackened shoulder in a shrug after Eddie offers his thoughts on friendship vs. trust. Time will tell.

"Yeah, sure," she tells him as he suggests a meeting time and place. She doesn't even flinch when the guy disappears from sight, both knowing and expecting him to be capable of exiting in that fashion, as Venom once again. "Hnnnh," she grimaces and makes a sound under her breath, before Mania covers her completely again. Weblines are slung out to take her in the opposite direction, as Mania asks questions of her.

//What should we do now, Andi?//
<<I don't know. Right now I just want to go home and think.>>
//About what? Venom?//
<<Yeah, that's one thing. He seems a little better, not that he could have been much worse than last time.>>
//They are dangerous, but so are we. We have not seen many others here like us. Do you think we can trust him?//
<<I don't know right now. A lot of it depends on him, on them.>>
//They are not wrong about killing. Sometimes it is the right thing.//
<<Not now.>>