15472/THE MARY JANES: The Astral Vinyl Club

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THE MARY JANES: The Astral Vinyl Club
Date of Scene: 13 August 2023
Location: The Astral Vinyl Club, New York City
Synopsis: A live performance of THE MARY JANES is interrupted when a group of masked assailants wearing unfamiliar symbols shuts down the venue they're playing in and try to execute a member of the New York City Council on stage. The attempt is foiled, but so many questions are left unanswered!
Cast of Characters: Ghost Spider, Superman, Catwoman, Wasp (Pym), Harley Quinn, Spider-Man

Ghost Spider has posed:

Astral Vinyl began in the 1970s as a small vinyl record store tucked into a dimly lit corner of downtown New York. Owned by a visionary named Donovan Lark, the store quickly gained a reputation for its eclectic range of rare vinyls and its intimate late-night listening sessions. As the decades rolled on and music transitioned from vinyl to digital, instead of resisting the change, Donovan, with the help of his tech-savvy granddaughter, evolved the store into the club it is today. Marrying the nostalgia of vinyl with futuristic digital enhancements, Astral Vinyl transformed into an iconic music venue, celebrating the intersection of the past, present, and future of music.

Inside Astral Vinyl, the fusion of past and future creates an electric atmosphere. The nostalgic echoes of the entrance's vinyl record store have given way to the pulsating beats and shimmering visuals of the main club area. The overhead digital screen bathes the dance floor in a cascade of galactic visuals, with swirling galaxies and shooting stars creating a cosmic dance of light and shadow.

Amidst this interstellar backdrop, the MARY JANES dominate the stage, set against the twinkling lights of a spaceship cockpit. The raw energy of their music, combined with the club's otherworldly visuals, immerses the audience in a sensory experience like no other. As the band's lead singer belts out a passionate chorus, holographic displays above the stage sync up, adding layers of ethereal visuals to the performance. Each note seems to resonate with the twinkling stars, each drumbeat echoing the mysteries of the universe.

On stage, Gwen Stacy on drums, Glory Grant on keyboard, Betty Brant on bass, and Tessa Rayne (a stand in vocalist). Notably absent is one Mary Jane Watson, who's missed quite a few shows. Rumors circulate that she's left the band entirely, but you know how rumors are.

Tables and booths of various sizes line the dance floor while a long, well-stocked bar dominates one wall, decked out with various famous albums in ornate displays, and the place is PACKED. There's even an upstairs section that's called the Stardust VIP area, offering an elevated view of the entire club. The silhouettes of celebrities and high-end clientele can be seen against the miniature replicas of planets, enjoying the MARY JANES' performance from their luxurious vantage point.

As the band transitions into a particularly popular track, the energy in the room surges. The crowd's voices join the Tessa Rayne's, creating a chorus that feels as infinite as the galaxies displayed above. The boundaries between past, present, and future blur, and for a few mesmerizing moments, Astral Vinyl becomes a testament to the unifying power of music.
Superman has posed:
Clark Kent is there complete with press pass on. Is this his first feature on a band? No. However, this assignment is given to him rather than the last one. Juxtaposed memories hit him, but he pushes past. The pen runs across the reporter pad. He -may- stand out like a sore thumb because who wears a suit to a concert that's anything, but soft rock? Also, the earplugs may not help his image to those watching him.

Standing amongst the people in his dark blue suit, red tie and a white button up shirt. Notes about Mary Jane's absence are already in the notepad, Clark does his homework. There's even a question that reads, "A New 'Mary Jane' or just a friend helping a band?" Although, any talk about Tessa will go into the notes.

Dull blue eyes watch the show behind thick rimmed glasses. Although, if people try to mosh with him, or worse, there may be a rude surprise waiting for them. Clark's been working out lately, apparently.
Catwoman has posed:
Dressed in a daringly short electric blue sequinned mini dress with fringes along the diagonal hem, Selina Kyle strides in, a slight smile on her face as she scopes the place out. She has been largely absent from these large social scenes as of late which is interesting..But who knows? She's a woman of mystery. Glancing around, she spies Clark and smiles and nods to him. "Strange, seeing a person like you in a place like this." she quips with a sly smile.
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
There are a lot of perks to being outside of the control of the Red Room. One of which is it broadens your social calendar drastically. Or at the very least you get to remove the words undercover from how you describe them to people..

Nadia Pym is, on the whole, here to provide support to her friend Gwen. But getting to visit a live music event is kind of a perk all by itself. Especially when she's arrived extra early to claim a place at the front of the crowd. Perhaps there will even be a 'mosh' pit of some kind.

Probably it's not really that sort of band.

Then again you never can say what'll happen at a live music event. She probably could have used her friendship with Gwen to get VIP tickets but that seems somehow sneaky. Besides the only way to get accurate data is to do field research!
Harley Quinn has posed:
Harley Quinn Is here too now. Blending in has never been her strong suit, given her outfit though she might blend a little bit with this crowd! Red and black knee-high socks .. sneakers.. a black and red jacket.. some Shorts, and that Star Wonder woman belt.. Her hair in a ponytail for once! Other than the white white skin it would be easy to miss her.. though she is a big splash of color!

    Perhaps is when everybody starts to sing and she can't help but be swept up into it.. she's very much a joiner! She backflips several times, surprising people and making them step away.. before she lands on the stage, grabs the mic, and starts to belt out the song! Funny bit, she's not bad!
Spider-Man has posed:
As a general rule, Peter Parker doesn't spend a great deal of time in clubs.

Oh, there are the odd assignments for the Bugle that take him to the latest hot spot to get some photographs. And the occasional outtings with friends, though those have been in somewhat short supply as of late. But just for fun? Not nearly so often.

In fairness, he doesn't do a whole lot 'just for fun' as of late. Between hustling for the Bugle and his other, much more complicated costumed life it isn't easy to fit a lot of free time in. There is also the fact that, while he might have changed a lot since high school, Peter is still very much a science geek, a little more at home laying sprawled in his apartment, reading the latest scientific journal then out on the town.

Or more likely patrolling the city as Spider-Man.

That last part of his life is a little bit complicated at the moment -- what with being wanted by the NYPD for questioning in the attempted assassination of the city's mayor. It makes going out and about in costume something of a risky bet, right at the moment. It definitely makes any effort to do a little good with police nearby *way* more complicated then it was just a few weeks ago.

So while he hasn't completely abandonned that part of his life, it does require a little more care. And for him being a little more selective about when and where he indulges in that particular habit. Which is particularly harsh, given just how much being Spider-Man is actually an outlet for him. Something he didn't even realize until it started to be curtailed.

Live and learn.

Still, Pete is present, circulating through the room at the moment, that camera draped around his neck, dangling there though occasionally raised to snap a picture or two. It never hurts to be prepared and getting a shot that he can actually sell is always a plus.

But mostly, he seems to be here for the music. Or at least one of the musicians. Again and again his gaze flickers back to that stage.

He might be a little starstruck. Just a little.
Ghost Spider has posed:
Gwen Stacy is /lost/ behind the drums, swept up in the song and absolutely living in that moment. She's dressed in a sleeveless black band tee, artfully torn at the edges, paired with distressed skinny jeans that highlight the lean strength of her legs. Her golden hair is tied up into a high ponytail, allowing occasional strands to whip around with the intensity of her movements, and on her feet, she sports a pair of worn-out, light blue high-top Chuck Taylors.

Bright, ice-blue eyes focus intently on the rhythm, her hands gripping the drumsticks with ease. As she beats down on the drum skins, every hit resonates with passion, making the crowd feel each pulse in their very core. Sweat glistens on her brow, reflecting the colorful stage lights, but it doesn't deter her; instead, it underscores the fervor with which she plays. Her face, animated by the fervency of the moment, reveals an artist wholly consumed by her craft. The drumming isn't just sound; it's an extension of Gwen herself, pouring her heart out in every beat, every crash of the cymbal, every rhythmic pattern, setting the stage alive with raw, untamed energy.

When Harley jumps up on stage and takes over vocals, though, Gwen does look up without faltering in the beat, smiling even as Tessa Rayne seems... flabbergasted at having her mic stand taken away from her. For the span of just a few seconds, it almost looked like Tessa might actively try to take it back, but then Gwen screams "WOOOOOOOOOOO!" into her own mic and the crowd goes WILD.

Probably, she shouldn't be encouraging fans to jump up on stage with them as a general rule, but Tessa seems to gets the hint. Instead of trying to wrestle for the mic, she joins in with Harley. Even the club's bouncers stand down, relaxing from their sudden surge forward.

The other thing? It's Harley Quinn! While most people might not know Harley as lead singer, at least Gwen seems to have the sense not to want a brawl with one of Gotham's most notorious over a stupid microphone. Let her sing! Besides, this is ROCK AND ROLL!

Up on the VIP level (visible from the floor, even if there are guards that block the stairs), there's a stir of activity at the largest, circular booth with the most occupants. One guy gets up, throws down a package, throws his hands up, and seems to walk off. When leather jacket opens, a pistol can be seen inside. And an NYPD badge. But whatever they're arguing about, it's not pleasant, and he's done with it, washing his hands of the whole matter.

At the table with him are a host of some of New York's notorious faces.

Lucia Devroe, a tall, raven-haired woman with an unmistakably aristocratic bearing. A hedge fund magnate, she's known as the "Queen of Wall Street." She's reputed to have an uncanny ability to predict market shifts, and many believe she uses this knowledge to pull strings behind the scenes, shaping global financial narratives.

"Silk" Calabrese, a man of average height but with an aura that demands attention. Silk is rumored to be a high-ranking member of one of New York's most powerful crime families. Though his public persona is that of a legitimate businessman with ventures in real estate and entertainment, whispers about his illicit activities are common in the city's underbelly.

Detective Tony Rizzo, a grizzled detective who's been with the NYPD for over two decades. On the surface, Rizzo is the quintessential New York cop -- tough, no-nonsense, and with a track record of closed cases that has won him respect among his peers. However, beneath this facade, Rizzo is deep in the pocket of the Calabrese crime family.

Alderman Victor Caldwell, a charismatic and influential member of New York City's Common Council, known to the public for his passionate speeches about urban renewal and economic growth. With a sharp wardrobe and a penchant for televised interviews, Caldwell is considered by many as a rising star in city politics. However, behind closed doors, Alderman Caldwell is a master of backroom deals.

Dane Mitchell, with his sleek black hair, sha
Ghost Spider has posed:
Dane Mitchell, with his sleek black hair, sharp designer glasses, and tailored suits, often stands out in a crowd. He's an aide to New York Senator Lyle Harmon, known for his fiery speeches about state rights, fiscal responsibility, and upholding "traditional values."

...And then the lights go out. The whole club is plunged into darkness.

ALL of the power goes out. No speakers. The beat from the drums slowly subsides, and the only light that remains are from the very faintest glow of the emergency exit signs and the various cell phones that people begin pulling out of their pockets, a murmur of confusion spreading through the crowd.
Superman has posed:
"Like social outings, and events, news happens everywhere, Miss Kyle," Clark replies. He gives a nod in greeting since they cross paths. Usually, it's in Gotham with a mutual friend present. Said friend doesn't attend outings like this one.

Seeing Peter Parker meander through the room catches Clark's attention. Every press photographer stands out somehow. All the time around Jimmy, photographers just stand out. He'll give a greeting to Peter. Does he know who Peter Parker is? No. Just a mutual respect given to those in similar trenches. Clark doesn't know how true that sentiment really is.

Seeing Harley Jump on the stage causes Clark to instantly react. "Uh oh," it's not that Harley isn't trusted. Harley -seems- to be rehabilitating. However, it's a work in progress. And this work in progress has a lot of strings attached to it. He'll keep writing, but now he is trying to keep his ears low, the eyes everywhere. Sometimes Harley is like the eye of the storm. A calm, but followed by chaos. This chaos could be an on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again boyfriend, jilted partners or people she has just rubbed the wrong way. "Not good," Clark says thinking this might go real bad, real quick.
Catwoman has posed:
Selina Kyle laughs as she recognizes Harley singing on stage, giving out a whoop and clap. "Awesome, Harley!" she yells at her with a smile..How long has it been now..? She is only paying half attention to some sort of altercation upstairs but pays it no mind, more focused on her bestie who. she hasn't seen in quite a while.

Clark is given a slight smirk, about to make a snarky comment..When all the power goes out. She frowns, pulling out her cellphone, peering around as best she can. "The hell?" of course she's already getting ready for trouble, eyes darting around for danger, glancing back at the vip lounge.
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
It's not just cell phones lighting up the place! There's glowsticks too. Well, Nadia has glowsticks anyway! Not the fun gig kind though these are the practical lighting up places sort. Probably Russian military surplus from the cold war but when you have access to super shrink ray tech you need to save on your budget elsewhere. And glowsticks? Not high on the list of things to spend money on.

Besides thanks to aforementioned shrink ray tech she can carry tons of them around. But then again she's never really been to a gig before. Probably this is a normal part of the show? Perhaps MJ will descend from above in a special harness rig or some cool robots will do a dance.

It might even be linked to notorious felon Harley Quin leaping up on stage? Maybe she's joining the band!

It'd certainly be a sign of reform. Probably rock stars are all paragons of virtue and very wholesome. Right? Okay maybe not. But if all Harley is doing is trashing hotel rooms and throwing TV's out of windows Gotham will probably breath a sigh of relief. Except for the hotel industry. They'd probably still be pretty upset about the whole situation.
Harley Quinn has posed:
Harley Quinn Did fight back a little and then joined in and shared the Mic.. but then the lights go out and a very loud.. she's very, very good at loud " HEY, I WAS SINGING ! " sounding rather angry.. as for going dark fast.. she's kinda used to that it's batman's fav move after all . She also has these things that help her see in the dark.. gotta love contacts.. But right now she's got hands on hips, wondering what the hell and who dares interrupt her jamming time!
Spider-Man has posed:
It is quite the crowd assembled here at the club and while the place might not be 'new' per se, it has certainly made a name for itself. Built up a reputation. The Mary Janes certainly wouldn't be the first up and coming bad to play here afterall. And there are more then a few familiar faces in the crowd.

While he might never have met him, especially considering that they generally work in different cities, there aren't many in the news game who don't know about Clark Kent of course. Lowering his camera he gives a quick nod to the man -- and makes a point to circle back and at least say hello.

To put it mildly, the Bugle doesn't exactly spawn a ton of award winning journalists -- not given Jameson's view on running a paper at least -- and while there are a few that Peter definitely respects, it's always nice to get the chance to meet another.

Of course his eyes flicker back to the stage fairly quickly though, but for a change it is not to the band's drummer. Instead Pete's eyes widen as a certain blonde jumps up on stage and joins the show. A rather familiar blonde at that, given that he's fairly certain she's the same woman who came to the rescue of Spider-Woman against the Rhino the other day. Huh. What are the chances of that?

As he continues his slow circuit through the room, that little tingle in the back of his head begins to pound there and Peter's brow furrows ever so slightly, his process coming to a stop and instead craning his head as he looks about. It is impossible to miss that table up on the second floor -- especially given how tuned in the local New York beat he is. He might be best known for his Spider-Man pictures, but one doesn't work with any New York paper without learning the names of some of the big -- and infamous -- players in the city and Peter raises his camera to snap a shot of those at the table, clicking off a few in rapid succession.

Right before the power goes out.

It isn't hard to hear the buzz of confusion that races across the room, but the tingling in the back of Pete's skull only grows more noticable. It would be nice to think that it's all a coincidence. That the summer heat just overwhelmed the power grid.

It would be nice. But maybe not very realistic.
Ghost Spider has posed:
Amidst the thick blanket of blackness, the soft, rhythmic thuds of boots echo through the club. Fifteen figures move swiftly into the club from various points, their silhouettes breaking across the glows from the various phones (and yes, even the glow-stick) -- four through front entrance, six from behind the the stage, and five more from a door that opens directly into the VIP area -- their silhouettes barely visible. Each is clad in matching tactical gear, streamlined and designed for mobility and efficiency. Dark, face-concealing masks shield their identities, and their gloved hands carry compact assault rifles. Bandoliers across their chests sport grenades of various types, and the only splash of color amidst their dark attire is a faint red insignia on their left shoulders, its design cryptic.

Without a word, two of them take positions at the entrance, blocking any attempt at escape. Another pair make their way to the bar, pushing patrons aside as they go.

"EVERYBODY ON THE GROUND!!" one of the shouts, firing an automatic rifle burst into the ceiling to make his point, the *BRRRRRRRRRT* of the gunfire nearly deafening to most of the club-goers. Even compared to the live music, the rounds from the rifle leave tinny, ringing noises in their ears, bringing their hands up to the sides of their heads and sending them cowering down to the floor.

One of the dark-clad figures strides purposefully towards the stage, pointing his weapon directly at Harley and the other members of the band, ensuring they don't make any sudden moves. Even Gwen is stuck behind her drum set, raising her hands. Her eyes shift through the club even as her toe nudges the backpack she keeps at her feet. Maybe she should have taken those few seconds to disappear into the back, but then she would have just run into those goons face-to-face.

The club, once alive with joyous celebration, is now a cage of tension and fear. Whispers and low cries punctuate the dark, but the majority of the crowd, paralyzed by the sudden turn of events, remains silent and cowering, some putting their hands behind their heads out of pure move-inspired instinct, others lying on the ground, all of them trying to make sense of the situation.

Hidden among the shadows, a quiet voice on a comm device murmurs, "Positions secured." Another voice, distinctly more assertive, responds, "Keep it tight. No mistakes."

Suddenly, the soft hum of a generator kicks in, casting the venue in a dim, eerie red light. It doesn't illuminate much, but it's just enough to see the panic in the eyes of the hostages and the coldness of the faceless masks of the intruders.

And then the largest of the figures steps out of the back, from behind the stage -- yet another reason Gwen was glad she hadn't gone back there to change. He's obviously the level boss because of his height, width, and the fact that instead of having an assault rifle like the others, he has two giant swords crisscrossing his back. Other than that, his uniform is identical -- right down to that red symbol that no one seems to recognize.

"MOVE THE CLOWN," the big man calls, walking up into the middle of the stage and making a vague, dismissive gesture towards Harley. At once, one of the other men start climbing up the stairs to the stage, rifle aimed at her, obviously intent on following orders. "AND BRING ME CALDWELL."

Facing the audience, the man spreads his arms. "WE ARE GOING TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE HERE TONIGHT. I'M TOLD WE HAVE TWO ESTEEMED MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA HERE TONIGHT. CLARK KENT, DAILY PLANET REPORTER." His mask shifts directly to Clark, as if he knew where he'd been the entire time. "AND PETER PARKER, DAILY BUGLE PHOTOGRAPHER." And like Clark, his mask turns on Peter. "I EXPECT YOU WILL BOTH WANT FRONT ROW SEATS."

And with that, he beckons them forward. It didn't seem to be a question.
Superman has posed:
Clark raises his hands and starts to move toward the stage. One of the gun men nudges Clark forward with his gun. Turning his head toward the man, "I'm moving, sir. I'm sorry I can-whoa," Clark ends up tripping over his feet going backward and -into- his assailant. Everyone that has combat training can tell this is accidental. There are stories about Clark Kent being a klutz.

The pair go down together with a "THUD!" Second later Clark sits up with both hands raised, "SORRYSORRYSOORYSORRYSORRY!" he -slowly- gets up. And this may draw more attention to him. Also, the guy he fell with must have hit his head -hard. He's clearly out cold. Apparently, Parker Luck is transferrable.
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
This probably is not part of the show. Right? You do sometimes hear about interactive theme events where people pretend to do bad things to scare people. But probably Gwen would have told her if it was that sort of event. To make sure she didn't try thwart any of the fake crimes.

Which would make these real goons with real weapons... Well Nadia did say she wanted to have more adventures... Be careful what you wish for.

Of course by the time the goons are demanding everyone get down she's seemingly vanished. Blinking out of the regular universe, getting her Wasp costume on, and returning at insect size. Probably this makes her impossible to see for anyone but say a Kryptonian. But there aren't likely to be any of those around!

Thanks to the wonders of her suit she can speak at normal volume without actually returning to normal size. "Technically she's a Harlequin not a clown!" she corrects. Voice coming out of seemingly thin air. "The word has links with an old French term for devils but was later linked to Italian comedic plays in the sixteenth centaury."

Did someone read up on Harlequins while in the microverse? Yes, yes she did.

"I'm really sorry but I don't think I can let you make any examples today. That would ruin everyone's evening! Perhaps if you just apologise and leave now we can just forget the whole thing?"
Harley Quinn has posed:
Harley Quinn She blinks lifts her arms. She's not stupid. She can't block bullets well. She can dodge them, but best not to push right away.. Then the guy says Move the Clown, and her eyes narrow down " Ohhhhh you... " She growls, But she turns and does something diffrent!

     Seh turns and walks up to the big boss, masses the huge one, and pokes him right in the chest " HEY WHATS THE BIG IDEA.. I was singing ya big dope.. You do not interrupt my signing got it.. Or do I gotta bop ya " She's so pissed she doesn't even look at the comedy gold act going on with the hunky reporter types!

     But she's in the face of this huge guy and doesn't seem scared or unnerved at all, Just yelling at him " And who are you calling clown! I'm yeah what she said! I dump that joker turd a while ago ". She stops " Who said that? "
Spider-Man has posed:
That Spider-Sense of his can be wonderfully useful at keeping him alive.

But it isn't always as specific as might be nice in letting Peter know exactly where the danger is coming from, what sort of danger might be involved. Peter's not complaining! A built in, early warning detector telling him that he needs to move is no bad thing. But a little more info would occasionally be helpful, that's all.

It is also not a fool-proof means of moving around like this, in a suddenly pitch black club that is full of an awful lot of people. Peter can't suddenly see in the dark, or avoid all the other people present if he starts to move around, though he does try to edge a little close to the back stage area.

While it is ever something of a risk, Pete is wearing a certain red and blue costume beneath his clothes. While that means it could be discovered -- and that it is uncomfortably warm in the club -- it just seems safer to have it with him then not. Especially given how often things seem to go wrong in his close proximity. A safety blanket if you will. It's just a matter of getting out of his clothes and slipping on that mask. But given that emergency lights should definitely kick in any second now if this place is up to code...

Sure enough, while Peter is still edging towards a quiet corner those low, reddish emergency lights spring to life. More troublesome however is all the armed men that start to pile into the room, weapons drawn -- and as that burst of gunfire indicates -- willing to use them.

Still, all is not lost and Pete continues trying to edge towards an empty booth nearby. Changing under a table isn't the most dignified thing he's ever had to do, but hey, sometimes you play with the cards you're dealt.

Naturally that's when he is signalled out as one of the guests of honor. Though it doesn't seem like a priviledge. His creeping through the room comes to an abrupt end and instead a pair of the gunmen push their way through the crowd, motioning him forward.

Parker luck indeed.

As he starts to slowly walk towards the front of the stage, he does discretely start spraying that webbing on the ground and after a few steps the pair of armed men behind him suddenly find themselves stuck in place. "Hey... there's something on the ground here..."
Catwoman has posed:
Oh great. A hold up. Not that Selina is ever caught unawares. It ps certainly not the first hold up she's been caught in the middle of, and she always brings a few toys in her purse, just incase. As there's more yelling and shadowy figures moving around, she slowly edges closer to the outer fringes of the crowds, nearing a table and a column, which would make good shields should it come to that.

She makes no sudden moves yet, although her eyes. widen as a gun is aimed at Harley. She's about to shout something out to her but holds her tongue, deciding now is a good time to determine her odds and figure out the best course of action.

Alright, so big guy at the stage with the swords, a bunch of thugs with guns. She does a silent head count and studies their positions as well as any potential emergency exits they may have missed. First things first, figure out an escape route, and since Harley's there, she's not leaving alone.
Ghost Spider has posed:

Sadly, this was the last sound that James Winkehamenjoy (the poor guy that Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter just CRUSHED into the ground when he fell) was to make that evening. It was not profound, but at least he was still breathing.

One of the other nearby assailants (down to 14, now, for those keeping count.. and there were surely those in the club keeping count) came over with his rifle raised threateningly at Clark's chest.

"THIS ASSHOLE KNOCKED HIM OUT COLD!" screams the trigger-happy figure, voice up an octave.

Heads turned all over the club, including some of the guards, to face Clark. The presumption from everyone after that accusation (especially from those that heard, but did not see) was of course that someone had decided to suddenly fight back.

That speculation, however, is quickly put to rest when the boss raises a hand. "AN ACCIDENT. BRING HIM HERE... CAREFULLY." And that boss points right down in front of the stage.

And to the sharpest eyed in the crowd? Once movement resumes, the band's drummer is just... gone. When the guard that had been standing in front of the stage looks back just two seconds later, Gwen's chair is empty and there's nothing but a rustle from the curtain at the side of the stage.

Another one of the black-clad goons is already ushering Alderman Victor Caldwell down the stairs towards the stage, shoving the muzzle of his rifle into the back of his expensive haircut along the way. "MOVE."

"HEY BOSS." This time from the guards following -- scratch that -- TRYING to follow Peter back to the stage. But their feet suddenly won't come up off the floor. At all. They even sling their rifles to grab their legs and try to pry them off with no success.

Of course... then there's monologue lecture about /clowns/. From nowhere. The problem of not having a corporeal form in the age of technology is that (to almost anyone, and certainly to an over-confident thug that believes he has the place secured) if you can't be seen, you're not actually /there/. Everyone had a speaker phone in their pocket. Perhaps not the masses, but at least some people had various forms of holographic communication. There were even AIs out there.

The big boss looks around those gathered closest and reaches over his shoulder, pulling one of his swords out menacingly. "WHO'S PHONE IS THAT?"

Then Harley is in his (masked) face, and it almost looks like if he could be blinking in surprise, he would be. As soon as she says the word 'Joker,' though, whatever connection he needed to make is made. "HARLEY QUINN. I ASSURE YOU, YOU'LL HAVE MUCH MORE FUN WATCHING THE SHOW WITHOUT A SWORD IN YOUR STOMACH. WHY DON'T YOU JOIN THE PRESS BOX?" And then he's reaching out for her, to try to grab her arm and physically throw he towards the ground in front of the stage.

"BOSS." That guard nods towards the empty drum set. "WE'VE GOT A RUNNER."

And 'The Boss' growls in rage, as piece by piece, things start not at all going his way. "BRING ME CALDWELL. NOW."
Superman has posed:
Clark cautiously goes to the spot designated. He stands there with both hands up. Looking over everything and then one guard gets stuck. That's Clark's opening. "WHAT'S THAT?!" he calls oout and loosk toward the guard stuck. Hoping to get the attention of everyone else, Clark will stand still, but look around -quickly- to see that everyone' attention is elsewhere. The plan is simple, if everyone's looking toward where Clark pointed, he would scan for the fusebox to the place. If possible, try to send somethiing that way. If all he can do is distract then he'll just try to find a way to get there. Just a slow plan too get himself from here, to there.
Catwoman has posed:
Selina Kyle glances around amid the chaos, and while the majority of attention seems focused on the stage she slips closer towards one of the emergency side exits. Of course it's as guarded as the rest but she has a lucky break as a couple guards are momentarily distracted by the clumsiness of Clark bumping into them.

Quickly she slips a hand in her clutch, pulling out a small grenade and hurling it towards the fire exit..Of course it'll probably send the guards flying if they don't move out of the way in time but with any luck it'll blow a hole big enough to allow the hostages - or at least some of them - to escape.
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
The nice thing about having wrist mounted energy weapons? There is all sorts of mischief you can get up to while at tiny size. Flying down the barrels of guns, cutting firing pins, and generally all kinds of sabotage that goons will be unlikely to notice until they actually want to hurt someone. When they'll be subject to embarrassing and possibly dangerous (to themselves that is) misfiring as their weapons fall apart in their hands.

The longer they spend chatting, making demands, and generally trying to show off how tough they are the more weapons she can disable. So them demanding those two media types get down to the front? It's perfect cover to help save the day. And if some of those goons get knocked out or otherwise glued to things so much the better.

Swords however are somewhat harder to sabotage discreetly but honestly if they can actually stab Harley without her dodging out the way they deserve the win.

"Cellphones? Oh no I'm not a recording. I'm over here," she calls out as she flits around the room. "Or maybe I'm over /there/." Finally, having done as much sabotage as is practical, she lands on the leaders nose. Where he literally can't fail to spot her. "Or maybe I'm right here!" She gives a friendly little wave. "Sadly you're pretty much ruined the show. So I'm going to have to arrest you now."

She holds up two tiny hands, takes aim, and fires point blank into his eyes.

There's a flash of light. Her weapons calibrated to the lowest level of energy possible to avoid causing any permanent harm. It's a lot like a camera flash going off way too close. But it sure is infuriating. The sort of attack which might provoke someone into swinging at the tiny figure perching on their nose. And if it does? Well it's not her fault if the leader punches himself in the face now is it?

(Well okay maybe just a little.)
Spider-Man has posed:
It's not quite as good as just taking them out, but at least by immobilizing the pair, Peter has made it a little tricky for them to contribute nearly as much.

The bonus in all of this? The low, red glare of the lighting makes it awfully difficult to make out some of the finer points and it might take the two gunmen that little extra time to realize just what it is has bound their boots to the floor.

These clubs. They do get so sticky.

No longer having an escort, Peter stops in the middle of the crowd, glancing back and forth between the two men that had been escorting him and the man up on the stage barking out all the orders, doing his best to look unsure about just what is it he should do. Se? Nothing to worry about here. Just a mild-mannered photographer, not looking to cause any trouble.

Clark's shout draws eyes past him, back towards his original escorts and that -- coupled with the extra little cover of being in the midst of a crowd -- gives Pete a little more room to manuever as well.

In his case his chosen move is to tuck an arm up under the other one, angling himself so that he can point towards the entrance to the VIP lounge above. There is a flicker in that dim light and a line of webbing bursts out, draped across that stairwell, strong, sticky strands exploding outward to make it impossible to move through there with ease, the little web-bomb doing it's job.

They won't be bringing Alderman Caldwell down that way, not so easily now.

He does take just a moment to sneak a quick peek towards the stage, that gaze seeking out the drum set -- and more likely the drummer behind it -- and when he spots no one sitting there any longer a tight smile slides across his face before being wiped away.

That look of seeming compliance back in place.

Of course, increasingly chaos seems to be sown all around the guards as it is, seemingly centered on the leader's position as that flash of light briefly illuminates the man. Or more specifically his eyes. That coupled with the sudden burst of a grenade by the emergency door means that these guys seem to have picked the wrong night to go clubbing.
Ghost Spider has posed:
"UHHHH... BOSS?!" This time it's the guard from the VIP area. They were just getting to the bottom of the stairs when Alderman Caldwell and the guard /both/ got wrapped up in... what IS THAT? The place was so dark, with only the ambient glow of emergency lights, that even they didn't see the web lines suddenly blocking their path. But the more they moved and tried to fight out of it, the more STUCK they got in place, wrapped up in it cocoon-like. "GET IT OFF!"

"STOP ACTING LIKE A CHILD AND BRING HIM TO ME..... WHAT /IS/ THAT?!" the 'Big Boss' screams in frustration, trying to follow Nadia's voice around the room until, at last, he finds her on the nose of his black mask. "ARREST ME?! YOU ARE ADORABLE!"

There's a flash from Nadia's weapon, the big boss suddenly screams, trying to swat at his own face and smaking his mask directly back into his nose, and then lots of things begin to happen /fast/.

Have you ever SEEN Superman? Not like the TV shows. Or the comics. Or the grainy YouTube videos. But like /seen/ the real dude in action? He's fast. Peter and the other Spiders that protect New York are fast, but Superman is like... I'll race you to the Moon fast.

Not a single one of the guards notices when Clark plucks the metal chopsticks out of the back of a girl's hair and sends them, dart-style, towards the fuse box. Instantly, the lights go out.

And then there's a loud *BOOM* that seems to shake even the foundation of the building. The two guards in front of the door go sprawling, and even in the darkness, once the literal dust begins to settle, the lights of the street outside can be seen... and there is a mass exodus towards that new opening, using Selina's calls for people to evacuate and waving silhouette as a guide.

"STOP THEM!" one of the assailants yells, but as soon as they start to open fire on the crowd (the ones that aren't unconscious or tied up in webbing).. all of their guns just start falling to pieces. Suddenly, the frustrated and confused screams of the masked men join the crowd. Gun pieces are thrown angrily to the ground.

And then each of the frustrated guards to get webbed up, one at a time, as a slender white-and-black clad figure sneaks out from the back and crawls along the ceiling.


"This is /literally/ the easiest job I've had all week..." says Ghost Spider, mid wrapping people up.

The big boss goes to swing his sword around some more once his eyes are clearing, but he gets his arms lashed suddenly to his sides.

"Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play with knives?" comes more of the Spider's commentary.
Wasp (Pym) has posed:
"I /am/ adorable," Nadia agrees. Not a trace of modesty there. "So I guess you can't be /all/ bad.  Even so we'll still be arresting you." The explosion and all those people getting stuck, you could even say webbed, to things tipping her off to there being other heroes in the area. "But it's not the end of the world. You didn't hurt anyone so if you're lucky you'll get a relatively short sentence." Except possibly multiple counts of attempted murder with deadly weapons counts against them. Which it probably will.

She seems to revert to normal size in the blink of an eye, dressed in her red & black costume, insectile wings fluttering as she hovers in the middle of the space.

"And hey in prison you'll have plenty of time to read up on the history of the Harlequins and why they're very different to clowns." Probably reading about clowns in prison is a bad idea. Unless you're trying to join Jokers gang that is....
Spider-Man has posed:
The sudden killing of the lights is very helpful indeed and the *boom* from the door, the sudden surge of people heading for the exit makes it all the easier for Peter to drop low, to crouch by the edge of the stage as he strips off that outer lair of clothes and tucks them away in his backpack and pull on that mask.

The dark has another fringe benefit. It is unlikely that anyone will ever really know that he was here. At least not for sure. Technically there will be al ot of webs laying around by the time the authorities show up, but there's more then a few Spiders out there and will they all are pretty much being looked at with suspicion, at least they're not out and out wanted. Not the way that Spider-Man is wanted.

As that webbing lashes the arms of the gunmen's leader to his side, Spidey springs up from the edge of the stage, trusting in his Spider senses to carry him through the dark.

Another small burst of webbing hits the man square in the mouth to muffle that great, booming voice and then his upper-cut catches him right in the jaw. "Oh, shut up," he adds to the commentary. "Geez, some people. Learn to use your indoor voice," Pete grouses. Then another soft *thwip* sounds and he too is crawling about the roof, each flickering glimpse of light from the alley outside that sneaks in through the now open emergency door seems to reveal another of the confused gunmen who swiftly find themselves bound up in those sticky weblines.
Ghost Spider has posed:
"Oh, hey!" comes the voice of Ghost Spider when she spots Spider-Man silencing the big boss guy, her pink-lined hood mostly hanging back from her white-masked head as she crawls around on the ceiling. "I was going to turn on the Spidey-signal, but all the hard work was already done by the time I got here." Beat. "That, and the last time I projected a giant spider in the sky, I got calls from the city complaining. Apparently a giant BAT in the sky over Gotham is fine, but if you project an arachnid the size of a football stadium over New York, people freak out."

She drops one hand from the ceiling briefly so she can shrug. Whatever. But those big, white eyes do squint a little in amusement.

"And they say still /he's/ the scary one. Sheesh. Aaaaaaaaaaanyway..."

The place has mostly thinned out except for the writhing bodies of the webbed-up assailants, so Ghost Spider drops gracefully from the ceiling and walks over to the Alderman, who's also caught up in the webbing (and apparently had been the target of their public execution attempt).

"You must be Alderman Caldwell!"

Her voice is so warm that it seems almost out of place. She grabs the webbing and rips it open, freeing the man from the cocoon he'd wrapped himself up in.

"Sorry for all of this.. just keeping everyone safe, you know?"

The man seems too paralyzed with fear to even speak, but seems more than happy to go along with her as she puts her arm around him and guides him towards that exit.

"Speaking of safe, my name is Ghost Spider." Supremely casual conversation, just as if they were walking along on a sunny day. "That's Spider-Man." She points up at the ceiling, giving Peter a chance to wave. "We would /love/ it if you would put in a good word for us with your boss. And your boss's boss. And however high you have to go to get to the Mayor's office. We're the good guys, you know?"

Still no verbal response, just a slow blink.

"I'm just going to take your stunned silence as appreciation. Now, I can already hear the sirens. They're only a couple of blocks away. If you just wait right over there..." She points through the blown-out hole to a spot on the sidewalk. "Yep. Just there. Just have a seat and someone will be along with a juice box and a string cheese in a few minutes. You'll be fine."

Sending him on his way, Ghost Spider looks back towards Peter, then.

"Speaking of sirens, they're playing our tune. Wanna grab a coffee?"

Just another Sunday in the Spider-verse.