15491/The Shroud: Shroud's First Appearance

From United Heroes MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Shroud: Shroud's First Appearance
Date of Scene: 17 August 2023
Location: Midtown, Manhattan
Synopsis: Spider-Man and Ghost Spider arrive at a Midtown jewelry store robbery to discover a new villain named THE SHROUD trying to heist jewels, but a wanna-be hero named the FROST PHANTOM intercedes, freezing several innocent bystanders and giving The Shroud time to escape.
Cast of Characters: Ghost Spider, Jim Corrigan, Spider-Man
Tinyplot: The Shroud

Ghost Spider has posed:
Amidst the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan, the Luminara Jewelry Store stands as a beacon of opulence. Its facade of polished marble reflects the city's ceaseless hustle, and inside, shimmering chandeliers bathe the plush red carpets in a soft golden hue. Glass showcases glisten, displaying an array of diamonds, sapphires, and other precious gemstones that would make even the most discerning eye sparkle with desire.

Customers, adorned in their finest attire, murmur appreciatively as they browse, their laughter harmonizing with the soft tinkle of champagne glasses. Attentive staff move gracefully, answering questions and showcasing their finest pieces to potential buyers.

Suddenly, an eerie hush falls over the store. The lights flicker, casting erratic shadows on the walls. The hum of conversation is replaced by confused whispers and the subtle, uneasy shuffle of feet. The ambient glow from the outside dims momentarily, as if the very sun has taken a hesitant pause.

In this suspended silence, a faint, oscillating hum fills the air. It's barely noticeable at first, like the whisper of a secret, growing steadily clearer and more pronounced.

The security alarms, usually silent, scream into life, their wailing sirens jarring amidst the store's elegance. Red warning lights begin to pulse, casting an urgent hue across the marble floors and refracting through the crystal clear showcases. Bars fall over the windows and doors, sealing everyone in -- and out.

Yet, amidst this chaos, a dark silhouette emerges. The Shroud appears, seemingly from nowhere, standing between the disoriented patrons and the store's magnificent central showcase. His cloak ripples like liquid shadow, the disturbing glow of his eyes the only beacon in the dimmed store.

The Shroud is of average build, around six feet tall, but it's not his height that commands attention -- it's the dark suit he wears. The suit, constructed from cutting-edge materials, clings to him like a second skin, seeming to drink in the light, making him appear as a silhouette even under the brightest chandelier. A flowing cloak, as black as the night, cascades from his shoulders, fluttering and merging with the shadows around him, creating the illusion that he's both there and not.

His face remains concealed beneath his hood and mask. But his eyes, they pierce through the darkness -- two glowing orbs of a stark, haunting white. They seem to pulse and shimmer when his suit's technology activates, the only visible sign of the advanced tech he possesses.

Despite the store's opulence and the sparkling gemstones all around, The Shroud's presence is the most mesmerizing. He moves with a quiet grace, every step deliberate, and the darkness of his attire contrasts sharply with the golden hues of the store, making him appear as an eclipse, a void in a world of light.

Every movement he makes is shadowed by the oscillating hum, now deafening. Staff and patrons alike, paralyzed by a mix of fear and fascination, can only watch as the world of luxury they knew is invaded by a threat they can't understand. The once-celebratory clink of glasses is now replaced by the muffled cries of the trapped and the foreboding presence of a force they are ill-equipped to reckon with.
Ghost Spider has posed:
Ghost Spider gracefully arcs between the steel and glass titans of Manhattan, the wind tugging at her hood as the urban landscape blurs beneath her. The energetic beat from her earbuds, a perfectly crafted playlist, sets the rhythm for her swings, keeping her in a zone where she feels invincible. Every leap, every swing, feels like a dance, and she is the star of her own show.

Then, unexpectedly, her music cuts out, replaced by the familiar static of the Police Scanner app. She nearly misses a beat, adjusting her swing in surprise. The message plays loud and clear: "All units, all units, we've got a 10-31 in progress at Luminara Jewelry Store, corner of 5th and Madison. Witnesses report a suspect exhibiting unusual abilities-- possible meta-human activity. Approach with caution and await backup. Suspect is described as a male, approximately six feet, wearing a dark suit and cloak. Eyes glowing white. This is not a drill; I repeat, approach with caution."

Shifting her momentum, she recalibrates her trajectory and pushes off a building with more force, increasing her speed. The rhythmic swinging becomes more desperate, each leap a little longer, each swing a little faster.

As she approaches the Luminara, the bright flashing of police lights flash red and blue. Cruisers form barricades, and officers move hurriedly, trying to establish a perimeter and evacuate bystanders. She lands gracefully on a nearby rooftop beside Spider-Man, crouching to survey the scene with him. From her vantage point, she can see the faces of the police officers -- faces etched with tension and uncertainty.

"So if I need you somewhere on time, all I need to do is rob a jewelry store, huh?"

There's no bitterness in the question, just a playful wrinkle of her eyes as she glances at him briefly and returns her attention to the store.

"What's up with the middle of the day stuff? These guys are getting brave... or stupid. See? This," she gestures vaguely to the store, "is what happens when everybody thinks Spider-Man is on the run."


"Did they tint their windows? That's new. Seems like that would be bad for business."

The store used to have big, bright, clear windows frosted with their name so people walking by on the street could see everyone shopping inside. They even had some pieces on display in those windows. Now that The Shroud is inside, though, those windows are as black as night.
Jim Corrigan has posed:
Jim Corrigan was just down the street, running down a tip of intelligence on the "capes" when things change for the better. Well, in someone's opinion. Taking his cigarrette out of his mouth, he takes a moment to make sure it was out, stepping on it with his very worn leather shoes.

The Shroud. So, the long, dark overcoat clad man, with a crimson tie, worn suit, and well worn pants takes a moment racking his brain for a moment, trying to remember this hero. Or villain. Hrm.

His hand would normally drift to his sidearm, but in this case, perhaps it was better to stand back in the shadows to see what happened next. he was just a cop. Or at least, he was usually just a cop.
Spider-Man has posed:
It is a pretty fine day out.

The sort of day that is very nearly perfect for webbing one's way around the city, taking to the streets and just swinging past the extensive sights offered up by the Big Apple. To enjoy that mix of still warm weather and a pleasant breeze that just keeps everything pleasant. To feel that air rush by -- and to make one hell of a better time then he would if he was stuck down below in traffic.

Of course, there are at least a few inconveniences out there that diminish the joy of web-slinging his way through the city. A reason that he has been a little more scarce in daylight hours then he might prefer, doing his best to stick to the shadows of nightfall. To stick to rooftops and alleyways, away from the prying eyes below. Particularly the authorities.

That's right, Spider-Man remains very much a wanted man and while he has grown a little more philosophical about the entire ordeal, it is still something that he would like to find a solution for. It's not that he's not trying of course. It's just that things keep coming up.

That, and it's not real easy to find a would-be assassin that can look like anyone he likes.

Still, even with all of the negative attention, with all the risk associated with donning that mask, sometimes nothing else makes sense.

Like today, for instance. After helping prevent a car from careening off a bridge across town, Spidey has been swinging back through the heart of the city, looking for any leads that might give him something to photograph, some way to get the always cheap J. Jonah Jameson to part with a little of that cash. The beginning of the month is coming up soon, and Peter Parker still has rent to pay.

Which makes the risk of being spotted by the police not only worth it, but kinda necessary too.

And besides, he is simply incapable of standing back and watching a situation go bad when there is something -- anything -- he can do to help.

Spotting a trail of police cars motoring -- or at least crawling -- through Midtown with their lights blazing, the wall-crawler soon falls in with them, though much higher above those congested city streets. UNtil they all arrive at Luminara Jewelry Store. Defintely the sort of place that would surely have the employees and clientel sniff derisively if he were to ever pop his head in for any reason.

That doesn't mean they deserve to be robbed, be terrorized, and Spider-Man takes up that place, crouched on the rooftop of the building across the street, staring down at those windows as they darken, as any hint of just what might be going on inside is blacked out.

At least until Ghost Spider lights beside him.

Beneath the mask, Pete's grin is almost a palpable thing, even out of sight. "I mean, it couldn't hurt. My on-time rate to reaching major crimes is waaaaaay better then anything else in my life," he agrees wryly, that masked gaze swinging back to the scene below.

"Of course, my success rate at actually stopping these sorts of things has taken a little bit of a hit recently. Shall we try to change that?"
Ghost Spider has posed:
"What do you think? Direct approach? Jump down, rip off the bars, hope they don't shoot us before we make it in?... More subtle? I am /not/ crawling through the air vents, this time. That's all you."

Unlike Spider-Man, Ghost Spider was not 'wanted by the police.' She was, instead, a 'figure of interest' and a 'menace.' There's a distinct difference, you see. Where Spider-Man might get jumped and pummeled for trying to assassinate a public official by any number of law enforcement officers or agencies, Ghost Spider's rep granted her a /little/ more flexibility.

Like.. a little. As in, they didn't /usually/ shoot real-live bullets at her. They usually just yelled stop a lot. Of course, there was that ONE time one said thank you. That was pretty cool.

Of course, it would be cooler if the man currently coordinating the scene on the ground below, CAPTAIN GEORGE STACY, wasn't an avid Spider-Hunter. He was one of the driving forces behind NYPD's hunt not just for Spider-Man, but for Ghost Spider and Kid Arachnid, too.

"Oh, look. Dad's here. This'll be fun," Gwen groans sarcastically. Very sarcastically.

And then...

Enter.. the FROST PHANTOM.

An exuberant hero, his tall frame is wrapped in a shimmering suit that reflects hues of silver and pale blue, evoking the feel of a winter's day. Icicle motifs run down his arms, culminating in gloves that constantly emanate a frosty mist. A mask, as clear and intricate as a snowflake, obscures his face, but his eyes, a piercing icy blue, radiate both determination and youthful naivety.

Flying in on jets of snow-filled air from some sort of turbine-looking gloves, the icy gusts preceding Frost Phantom's arrival instantly fog the store's windows as he settles on the sidewalk out front.

"Never fear! The Frost Phantom is here!" he declares with unmatched enthusiasm, raising a jet-clad arm in an unbothered salute to the police presence before turning to the barred door and starting to cover the metal in a stream of frost, instantly icing it. Sharp snaps and cracks can be heard as it starts to break under its own weight.

"GET AWAY FROM THE STORE!" comes a police bullhorn.

Back on the roof, Gwen looks from Spider-Man back to the scene below, her big white eyes blinking in disbelief.

"Uhhh... who?"
Jim Corrigan has posed:
So the action was starting. Jim Corrigan looks around the corner, and takes in everything going on. Then tucks back behind it, his right hand resting on his firearm. Then, he relaxes, and realises, maybe it was a good time to watch as the "capes" deal with what was going on?

That was when Spider-Man arrives. "Now this should be interesting." Jim says, watching as the action commences. He was just a suit, an agent, a cop. It was tough to be involved with super powered folks.

Jim hears the Police try and take charge with the bullhorn command. "Yeah. That never works." He was tempted to take command, but not today. His attention was on the heroes...and villain.
Spider-Man has posed:
It is definitely a little inconvenient, arriving after the police are already on the scene.

More often then not, Spider-Man is able to beat the authorities to the scene of the crime. Again, it is one of the many, many advantages of being able to swing around the city. While it is not unknown for traffic to occasionally be good in certain parks of the city, at certain hours, Spidey can still generally make better time then most of the authorities with his weblines and his willingness to occasionally slingshot himself through the air.

It's a lot of fun too. Though he probably can't recommend it without the enhanced spider-reflexes.

So the arrayed force down below poses a problem, even beyond the fact that it is Gwen's father in charge of the scene. Any police presence would be hard for him to navigate at the moment. Let alone one by someone who has always believed he should be locked up.

Captain Stacy is no fair weather hater. He's never been a fan.

"I think I might just make it worse," he admits, suspecting that he might abruptly become the focus of the police action if he was to suddenly appears. "So maybe I should take the air vents this time," he agrees, hesitating for only a moment, those big, mirrored eyes suddenly on the woman at his side.

"Assuming you'll be okay?"

The problems Gwen and her dad are not new, of course. But Peter knows better then ever just how much they're bothering her. After their recent visit, things seem to be on the mend -- at least a little. But another confrontation between the good Captain and the Spider he doesn't know is actually his daughter might set all of that back.

Of course, before he gets an answer, before he can spring into action, there is the very sparkly Frost Phantom, making his own sudden appearance.

"He's new to me. We do spring up awfully quickly these days. Here's hoping he doesn't make things worse..."

Surely not. What are the odds on that?
Ghost Spider has posed:
Of course, just as Jim predicts, the bullhorn does.. nothing. The FROST PHANTOM continues blasting a jet of cold at those bars guarding the doors until they CRACK and fall completely out.

"SUCCESS!" he yells triumphantly, joisting that ice-thrower up in the air in celebration...

...which promptly freezes the awning above him solid and coats it in a thick, heavy layer if ice, making it fall down and shatter just inches behind him, starling him into jumping sideways.

Just then, the jewelry store door opens and an elegantly dressed woman runs out screaming...

...until she's frozen solid by FROST PHANTOM's freeze-ray.

"OH GOD!" he yells, the area around him staring to be filled with an icy mist. "I'M SO SORRY!" Of course, the woman couldn't hear him.

The police bullhorn sounded again, "GET DOWN ON THE GROUND!"

And in a panic, Frost Phantom ran into the store himself.

Meanwhile, UP ON THE ROOFTOP...

"You just /had/ to say that out loud, didn't you?" Ghost Spider sighs, looking over at Spider-Man with more slowly blinking eyes.

"I'm not usually one for this part in the middle of the day, but I'm not sure we have a choice. You take the right three, I'll take the left three, and we go in the front door?"

There were six cars with officers down there in front of the store. More flanking with crowd control, but those six were the primary threat. If they could get past them with an attack from behind that they weren't expecting.

"I've got my dad..." Gwen grumbles.

And then she's leaping from the building.
Jim Corrigan has posed:
Jim Corrigan takes a minute to take a cigarette out of his metal container. Light it with his lighter. Puff a few puffs. Put his lighter away. And then looks up at the two "spiders". Spider-Man. And Ghost Spider. Jim's eyes squint, trying to pick up as much info as possible, but it was tough.

Ok. He took a few pictures. For his file. It was obvious who was the "bad guy" but were the "heroes" truly heroes? Shouldn't the Police be the heroes? Vigilantes. It always stuck in his craw.

As it was, he was going to watch, record, and consider his next steps in the Government's battle against masked vigilantes.
Spider-Man has posed:
Eeeesh. This is already shaping up to be a mess.

Though on the bright side, at least it is a mess that he is in way responsible for. Unless one really does believe in the power of the jinx in which case he might bear some small amount of responsibility for. Just a tiny amount.

The misadventures of Frost Phantom are pretty painful to watch, but Pete can't look away. It's like watching a traffic accident play out in slow motion and there's absolutely nothing that you can do about it.

"Wow. I mean, wow. I was never that young," he says, a hint of disbelief in his voice. "Or that bad at this. I mean, how..." he says, letting his words trail off once more, slowly shaking his head in disbelief. What more's to say?

It does sort of settle things though, settles how they're going to have to approach this. It seems like the wanna-be do-gooder really has no idea of what he's doing. And now he's inside, doing who knows what. It's hard to imagine that it's helping though.

"Got it, got it," Spidey agrees, shooting a look towards his partner in this misadventure that, even with features masked, still manages to look rather resigned.

"Once more unto the breach," he says with a big sigh.

Then he throws himself off the rooftop.
Ghost Spider has posed:

Once Gwen has swung gracefully down from the rooftop, she wastes absolutely no time webbing the officers to the cars they were using for cover. Each one splats in a satisfying way as they're pinned there against the closed door or the hood, unable to move.

Captain Stacy gets a little /extra/ attention, the web-line wrapping around him a couple of times before he's plastered to his own unmarked car and then a quick scream is met with a blast of webbing to the mouth.

"Sorry, Captain, can't stay and chat," Ghost Spider... says? Growls?... Moans? Whatever it is, she's deepened her voice and made it breathier. It was basically unrecognizable as her.

Then she ran right past the line, flipping gracefully over the cars and headed into the building without any more fanfare....

With the scene set and all eyes on him, The Shroud hesitates for a split second, seemingly unsure of his next move. He then confidently strides towards the nearest display. But as he reaches out to grab a diamond necklace, the advanced tech of his suit seems to malfunction. The necklace slips through a suddenly incorporeal hand, clattering onto the floor and skidding away.

"Einstein's eyebrows!" he mutters, a mix of frustration and embarrassment evident even through his mask. He tries to bend down and pick up the gem, but the fluidity of his suit causes him to overbalance, and he almost crashes into another display. Catching himself at the last second, he looks around, checking to see if anyone noticed his blunder. They did, of course. All of the people cowering around the room in fear did.

Clearing his throat, The Shroud attempts to regain his composure, saying aloud, "Ah, a mere demonstration of the phase-shifting capabilities of my suit." But even his voice lacks conviction.

As he moves to another display, he tries to grab a set of emerald earrings, but a burst of static energy from his suit sends them flying, ping-ponging around the store. "Quantum quirks!" he swears, chasing after them with increasing clumsiness.

The Frost Phantom is a sharp contrast to The Shroud. Where The Shroud is a silhouette, Frost Phantom glistens, his suit reflecting icy blues and shimmering whites.


He takes a deep breath, readying himself, then sends a powerful gust of frost towards The Shroud. But just as the icy blast reaches him, The Shroud's suit malfunctions again, turning him incorporeal. The freezing gust goes right through him, freezing two patrons solid and encasing several display cases in thick ice. Diamonds and gemstones sparkle even more brilliantly behind their icy shield, but the destruction is clear.

"Oops! My bad!"
Spider-Man has posed:
As a general rule he tries to avoid crossing certain lines with the local police, and that includes webbing them up.

But right now they don't really know what's going on inside that store, don't know how dangerous it might be. They have no way of knowing if the police can handle the matter. And if they do get involved, it will almost certainly turn into a three-way stand off instead of just having two dueling factions within. So this seems like the lesser of two evils.

He's still pretty sure it's not going to help him with his image when it comes to the police department.

So like Ghost Spider, he swings on down towards the trio, already launching that barrage of webbing before the officers even know he's there, each line splatting up against one of the men, pinning them to their patrol cars as indignant shouts start to go up.

It's only a matter of time before more reinforcements arrive, other officers that can help free them. But it is just enough to open up a direct line to that door and into the shop and Spidey turns and sprints towards it.

He can't help but glance towards Captain Stacy as he hurrys on by though. "Really, really sorry about this. I'm not the bad guy," he insists.

It's probably not a persuassive argument under the circumstances, and he is well past long before the man could hope to have much of a reply.

Springing into the building, Spidey arrives just in time to watch Frost Phantom direct that gust of frost towards the unknown thief, watching as it simply goes right through him and instead strikes the innocent bystanders. "What do you think you're doing? Are you trying to get someone killed?" Peter says indignantly.

Look, he's sure that he means well. That he's just trying to help. But it's hard to ignore his decidedly mixed results. Not that everyone of his encounters goes well either, but he doesn't usually leave anyone frozen and in need of medical attention.
Ghost Spider has posed:
"Oh, Newton's knickers! SPIDER-MAN!" calls the Shroud from the darkness of his suit, giving up on his attempts at ill-gotten booty as he starts to beat a hasty retreat. He phases right through one display but bumps hard into the next one, causing it to rattle loudly as he groans.

"SPIDER-MAN!" the Frost Phantom yells in surprise, wheeling for a moment on the two costumed crusaders who had suddenly burst in the door admit the darkness that surrounded The Shroud like some kind of blanket and the cloud of ice particles. "Gwe-- Ghost Spider! I have to stop him! He's going to get away!"

Without waiting, The Frost Phantom turns, aiming a blast at The Shroud... and if past was prologue, also the little group of people behind him.

"FREEZE!" Gwen shouts.. because of course she does. With a *thwip* her web line went out, grabbing the Frost Phantom's arm and yanking it upwards.

The blast misses the bystanders, but not the store's main chandelier. Suddenly covered in a thick layer of eyes, it creaks ominously and then snaps free.
Spider-Man has posed:
It's hard to tell these days if he's famous or infamous.

Either way, it seems that both the Shroud and Frost Phantom recognize him and while he might be happy to try and take advantage of that fact at another time, things don't look like they're really going to lend themselves to having a lot of that available right at the moment.

Just watching the Shroud's reaction sort of suggests that that he might not have full control over his abilities either, which raises a few interesting questions about just where he might have picked up those abilities and how long he's had them.

And while Peter's curiousity is certainly piqued, the simple fact of the matter is that there there are a lot of innocent bystanders around. People who are in danger and don't deserve to be.

So when Frost Phantom's arm is jerked upward, away from potentially freezing over another batch of innocents, hitting that chandelier instead, it leaves Spidey only moments to act. In this case it is a matter of draping the area beneath the falling chandelier with webbing, lines streaking back and forth between the display cases to create an improvised net, keeping the elaborate lighting display from smashing into a million dangerous shards.

With that done, Pete springs after the shroud, leaping over the net.

"See if you can talk any sense into our Frosty friend there before he ices any of innocent civilians," he calls back towards Gwen.
Ghost Spider has posed:
It's just a tinkle of crystal -- a LOUD tinkle of crystal -- but just that. Not a crash and an explosion like it could have been. With just a little bounce in the springiness of the webbing, the chandelier's fall is arrested before it can crush anyone or the shrapnel can do even more damage.

"On it!" Ghost Spider calls when Spider-Man goes rushing off, hitting the Frost Phantom with another web and using them to bind his arms in front of himself.

And with the Phantom successfully disarmed, she looks around the room. "Everybody out! Go!"

They waste no time. Everyone that isn't frozen gets up and bolts for the door, rushing outside and leaving Gwen alone with the silver-suited Mr. Freeze knock-off.

"Let me go!" he yells.

"Stop struggling!" Gwen insists. "How do you know my name?"

"Because you know mine..."

And Gwen's big, white mask-eyes go suddenly wide.


The Shroud looks desperately around for an exit. Every time he tries to activate his suit for a grand escape, the technology glitches. "Come on!" he exclaims, tapping frantically at a wrist device, "Neutrinos, don't fail me now!" Instead of a seamless transition into the shadows, The Shroud comically pops in and out of view, leaving him standing in increasingly ridiculous poses.

Seeing Spider-Man closing, The Shroud panics. "Entropy above!" he yells in frustration. Racing clumsily towards a window, he tries to phase through, only to collide face-first against the solid pane, his cloak enveloping him in a mess of dark fabric.
Spider-Man has posed:
While that tinkle of crystals jostling one another sounds behind him, Spider-Man doesn't even look back.

There is no huge crash, no sound of shattering which is enough proof to him that his efforts were enough. Though they might have cost him precious seconds that could be needed in catching up to the strange thief.

There is also, of course, the matter of Frost Phantom as well. It sounded that he very nearly referred to Gwen by name which might be a little troubling. But he knows her, knows what she's capable of and is confident that she has it under control enough to keep him from hurting anyone else. And getting everyone to safety.

That has to be the first priority. Now and always. He's learned that lesson well over the years.

And if this new would-be hero does know her, well, maybe she has a chance to get through to him, to help him understand just how close he came to really hurting someone. It's definitely worth a try.

Fortunately for Peter as he rounds that corner and pushes through the rear of the shop it doesn't take him very long to catch up with The Shroud. Like, surprisingly easy. It appears that he is having some problems with whatever technology is powering that odd tech. At least he presumes it's tech. He won't really know until he gets a closer look.

Speaking of which. "It's all over for you buddy! Give up now and spare us both the hassle!" Peter suggests, hands coming up as he lets a pair of web-lines fly towards the, well, shrouded man.
Ghost Spider has posed:
"What... what are you..." Ghost Spider doesn't even seem to know what to say, just fumbling through the words until something sounded right, those white eyes still huge.

"Remember how I told you that tech was disappearing?"

"/You/ were the one /stealing/ it?!"

"No! I... I found this..."

Gwen's hands come up in what is basically a strangling motion in the air. "You can't /be/ here. You can't do this. Do you have /any/ idea how much damage you've caused?!" Her hand shoots up from her side towards a couple of the frozen people. "Are these people even going to be okay?!"

"Of course they are!... I'm almost sure of it!"


Peter probably heard Gwen from all the way in the back, that time.

"You're not going to let them arrest me, are you??"

Gwen stares. "Why shouldn't I?!"

"Because I was just trying to help! It's Dr. Kane! He's gone crazy! I'm trying to stop him!"

"You /have/ to stop. Let us handle Dr. Kane, okay?"

The Frost Phantom nods reluctantly. "Okay.. fine. I will. Can you /please/ let me go?!"

Ghost Spider groans, stepping up to the Frost Phantom and ripping the webbing off. As soon as she does, he's angling for the front door, running and then floating, propelled on a rocket of ice. "...You're the best!"

Meanwhile, in the back...

The Shroud's technology finally syncs, and a vortex of shadows whirs around him. But, instead of the imposing spectacle it's meant to be, The Shroud's exit more closely resembles an old-timey magician's smoke-and-mirrors act.

Just as Spider-Man's web is about to latch on, The Shroud vanishes, leaving behind a mist of darkness and a few floating scientific instruments. A note scribbled on a scrap of paper flutters to the ground amidst the chaos, reading: "Remember to fix phasing oscillator. And buy milk."
Spider-Man has posed:
Oh, Gwen's voice is definitely still very much discernable in the back of the shop.

Unfortunately Spider-Man is having something of his own issues right at the moment. Those we-lines fly true enough, lashing across the room. But just as they are about to latch on to that cloak and jerk it away, the mysterious Shroud abruptly vanishes. Leaving that webbing to splat against the wall with no real effect.

"Oh, you've got to be kidding me," Peter grumbles. Again, the bad guy slipped away again. He hates teleporters. Or Phasers. Or Time-Shifters. Whatever that guy just did, he hates it.

Still, he sees that note start to waft to the ground slowly and he walks over, glancing down at it. "Milk huh? I hope that whatever he picks up is already past it's best before. That it's all chunky and gross."

That'll show him.

He does linger, for just a few moments. In case the mysterious figure just reappears with no real explanation. It doesn't seem impossible, not given the technology problems that he seems to be having. But his patience doesn't pay off and finally he turns and starts back into the main part of the shop.
5rWhere he finds that the Shroud isn't the only one missing now. "My guy got away," he admits. "Teleported, I think, that his tech or powers or whatever seemed a little unstable," he says, glancing around. "Looks like your guy got away too," he says quietly. "Do we know if they're going to be okay?" he asks, jerking a thumb towards the frozen bystanders.

But then his eyes quickly dart towards that big window overlooking the street, no long shrouded in shadow and a half dozen plus angry police officers still struggling against their bindings. "Or maybe we should talk about all this somewhere else. I don't think we've made a lot of new friends on the NYPD today."

So what else is new, right?
Ghost Spider has posed:
/My guy got away./

Oh, God. Peter. Gwen turns suddenly as if she'd forgotten he was there, looking as guilty as she can possibly look in that mask. And apologetic. And confused. And... well, those big white eyes of hers are just /so/ damn adorable...


It is /so/ tempting to agree. SO TEMPTING. It would make everything so much easier, right? Just to cover it all up and deal with Kevin on her own?

Um, no. Because Peter might be the best things that's ever happened to her, and lying to your boyfriend is the worst possible decision in this situation.

Or basically any situation.

"Sooooo... remember pizza night? He... might not have.. gotten away... so much as... I let him go."

Somehow, that mask even seems to look more apologetic.

"I... don't know if they're going to be okay. But, I know who /does/ know. And, I think we... maybe I... or we... should go get some answers to give to whatever hospital they get transported to. They need to know what they're dealing with."

One more glance around, though, and Gwen lets out a sigh.

"Regardless, yeah. Let's web and... talk."

She actually sounded a little afraid of what Peter's reaction might be, but she wasn't sticking around to find out, here. Without waiting a moment more, she's running out the front door, *thwipping* out a line, and swinging away.