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Opinionated nerd for hire.

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So, as it probably comes as no surprise to anyone, given that I've been inactive for about a month, I'm gonna go ahead and free up Clark and the rest of the S-cast to anyone who wants a crack at it.

Funny thing is, watching the pilot of Superman and Lois did get me energized to write Supes again....just not in this setting. I have a bunch of ideas bubbling, and I need to let them percolate before I hammer out a new concept, either in this game or another one.





THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN LIVING COLOR, ON NBC.




"This is Laurence Spivak, inviting you to Meet the Press. My fellow panelists this evening are the esteemed anchor from WGBS, Mr. G. Gordon Godfrey...."

"Good evening, Laurence, and good evening, America."

"....and Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for the Daily Planet, Lois Lane-Kent."

"A pleasure, Laurence."

"Our guest this evening is one of the most controversial figures in American history. A former criminal and self-avowed "super-villain," and an outspoken critic of both Superman in particular and the growing superhuman community at large, best-selling author and Chief Executive Officer of LexCo Industries, Mr. Lex Luthor."

"Thank you, it's good to see you again, Laurence, Gordon. And it's always a pleasure to see you, Miss Lane."

"Missus. Lane. Kent."

"If you insist."

"Now now, I know you two have some personal history, but let's maintain some decorum."

"Indeed. Now, Mister Luthor, you've written several books that have been the cause of a great deal of controversy over the years. Fire to the People, The World in a Bottle, and Truth to Power have all been met with both praise and scorn. Some would call your works powerful condemnations of the status quo--"

"And some would call them the narcissistic sermonizing of a bloodthirsty megalomaniac."

"Missus Kent, please--"

"Oh, it's quite all right, Laurence. Miss Lane and I have gone back and forth plenty of times, and--"

"I told you, it's--"

"annnnd I've learned to take her jabs and snipes as all part of due course. Frankly, if she wasn't insulting me, I'd have to wonder what was wrong. Now then, Mr. Godfrey, I believe you had a question?"

"Indeed I do. In your latest book, The Problem of Evil, you point out several 'inspirational figures,' which include Atilla the Hun, Genghis Khan, Francisco Pizarro, even Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. How can you justify telling the average American that these people are who they should emulate?"

"Well, Gordon, you have to understand that the very nature of these men is what set them apart from the average John and Mary Q. Public. Most would consider their deeds....disasteful, to say the least--"

"Hmph. Only Lex Luthor could describe mass-murdering butchers as 'distasteful.'"

"Missus Kent, please--"

"Actually, Miss Lane's reaction is precisely what I mean. The average person responds to the actions of conquerors and dictators with revulsion and outrage. Because what they do is 'evil,' according to the tenets of modern society. We are told from birth that there is a certain way we must behave, in order to function as part of the world in which we live. We cannot indulge in certain vices, we cannot strive for our heart's desires, we must not say what we truly feel. After all, what the neighbors think?"

"And you admire conquerors and dictators for disregarding moral standards?"

"Not exactly. If I were to look up to those who simply followed whatever whim or urge tugged at them, then my greatest hero would be a drunk lying in a gutter, or the long-haired degenerates along the West Coast. No, it is not merely a matter of not caring what the neighbors think. It is about having a vision, and having the power and more importantly, the will to make that vision reality. These conquerors, these dictators, these 'monsters,' turned the world upside-down, because they believed whole-heartedly that they could do it, and then they made it happen. Honestly, can you think of a better role model for your own life?"

"One certainly comes to mind...."






The Circum-Pacific Belt, better known as the "Ring of Fire," is a path along the Pacific Ocean containing most of the world's active volcanoes. Plate tectonics create an unusually high concentration of earthquakes and volcanic activity in this area, jeopardizing millions of lives in coastal cities and island nations. Naturally, I spend a lot of time here.

This one is a fairly powerful eruption, on one of the smaller islands that make up Indonesia. Only a few thousand people live here, in a small fishing village by the looks of it, but it doesn't matter if it's a small village or a big city-- lives are in danger, which means I'm on the job.

It looks like there are already rescue boats not too far from the shore, and most of the villagers are crowded onto the beach, waiting to be ferried to safety. Still, not everyone is so lucky.

"<Mama! Papa!>"

"<Someone help us!>"

I focus my vision close in to the island, and see two kids, stranded on the roof of a burning house. Lava is already flowing down the dirt road in front of them, swallowing up the buildings around them. I don't see anyone else in the surrounding area-- either their parents ran to the beach without them, or they didn't make it.

There's a crunch, the sound of splintering wood as the house begins to collapse.

The roof caves in.

Embers fly, and the flames roar.

The house is swallowed by the torrent of molten rock....



....and I deliver the kids safely on the beach.

"<...th--thank you,>" one of them stammers.

"<Not a problem,>" I say with a reassuring smile.

"<Our M-mama.....our Papa....>"

"<....I'm sorry....>" is all I can say.

Twenty years ago-- hell, even ten years ago-- I would have been able to cross the distance between Metropolis and Indonesia before you could blink, and still have enough left in me to tidy everything up before anyone even realized I was there. Now, though, I'm struggling. It took me almost ten minutes, and I had to catch my breath before I could start working.

There's another rumble from the volcano, and people begin to scream.

No time to feel sorry for myself. There's still a job to do.




"Obviously, he means well, or at the very least he's convinced himself that he does. But he's spent thirty years putting out fires, pulling cats out of trees--"

"--stopping world-threatening disasters, saving millions of lives--"

"--and what has it gotten him? Is he any better off than he was in '38? Everyone likes to believe that Superman lives in some grand castle, some mythical fortress when he's not punching out robots or bench-pressing skyscrapers, but for all we know, he could live alone in some flea-bitten apartment in Suicide Slum. He hasn't earned a penny for years of impossibly hard work, and everyone considers him a 'hero' for it. But the novelty has worn off, hasn't it? His influence, his social profile, hasn't grown in years. If anything, it's on a downward trend. He'll spend the rest of his life spinning his proverbial wheels, chasing one emergency after another, carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders--sometimes literally-- and at the end of it all he'll have nothing to show for it."






"Everyone stay back!" I shout to the crowd of panicked islanders as I plunge the enormous boulder into the channel of molten lava. "I'm going to dig a channel, see if I can redirect the lava flow into the ocean! Get to the--"

KA-BOOOOOOMMM!!!!!!

The volcano's top blows again, spewing up gouts of molten rock, raining fiery debris down across the island, and belching toxic smoke into the air. If I don't do something quick, the whole island and everyone on it will go up in flames.

"Okay," I say to myself as I grit my teeth. "Playing defense isn't working here. Let's try going on the offensive."

I speed towards the volcano with my fists clenched hard, and spear into the hard rock.



Drill holes through the crust and into the main shaft, that's the plan. Create vents for the gas and magma to seep out, prevent more pressure from building up.

As solid rock shatters and gives way for me, I feel something else beyond the stone scraping against my skin. A thin film of moisture, beading up across my forehead and stinging my eyes. Sweat. I'm actually sweating.

I've handled volcanoes before. And hurricanes, and earthquakes, tornadoes, plane crashes, runaway trains, nuclear meltdowns, you name it. And it's always just been a matter of course, all in a day's work. The only time I've found myself sweating or struggling for breath is either when I've been poisoned by Kryptonite, or when I'm being pushed to my very limits.

But there isn't a hint of that awful green rock anywhere around. And General Zod, Bizarro, Brainiac, those are the threats that push my to my limits. Not something as routine as a volcano, right?

Focus, Clark, these people need your help. You've still got it in you. All you have to do is--



I strike a pocket of magma, and a wave of liquid-hot earth washes over me.

Some people think Kryptonite is the only thing that can hurt me. That's not entirely true-- Kryptonite may be the only thing that can kill me. But there are plenty of things that hurt. And being submerged in two-thousand-degree heat hurts an awful lot.

I tumble head-over-heels inside the inferno.

I can't tell which way is up.

I can't breathe.

I can't see anything but burning orange light.

Come on, Clark. You've still got this.

You've still got this.

You've still--




"I'm not saying he's foolish for doing what he does. I'm saying he can do anything he wishes, have anything he desires, and yet he doesn't. Because he isn't honest with himself about what he wants. Men like Khan, like Alexander and Atilla, like Hitler and Stalin and Mao, they are honest about what they want. And so am I."

"And what, exactly, is it that you want?"

"The same thing everyone wants, if we're all being truthful. I want to rule the world."

"Hah! Good luck with that, Lex. Nobody's going to fall for someone as transparently evil as you."

"Oh? Let me ask you, Miss Lane--"

"For the last time, it's Missus--"

"Yes, yes, so you keep claiming. But let me ask you: do you think the Nazis put some sort of magic spell over the German people? They knew Hitler and his ilk would start a war that would kill countless people, and they welcomed them into power with open arms. The communists in Russia, China, Korea, and all over the world rule over their people with iron fists, their primary levers of state power are the gulag and the firing squad, and yet there are people in the so-called 'Free World' who want that very same system implemented here. Even now, we uphold a status quo that victimizes whole swaths of people based on their skin color or their sex, and we celebrate sending thousands of young men overseas to slaughter a weaker nation that poses no threat to our global hegemony, because we benefit from it. My own company makes millions, not just from lucrative military contracts, but from home appliances and electronics that you can buy at your corner store, and the general public knows that I'm, as your caped old-flame has so eloquently put it, a 'diseased maniac.' I think you'll find that the average person has far more of a stomach for evil than you would care to admit."

"And this is why you think people will allow you to 'rule the world,' as you say? Because you think people will benefit from it?"

"To be frank, whether people allow me to rule them isn't really a factor. And I make no claim that anyone but myself will benefit. And that's the point, the true problem of evil in the world. It isn't honest with itself. The Nazis, the Marxists, the Klan, the flag-waving imperialists, all hold onto the illusion that their evil deeds are for the greater good. I hold no such illusions anymore. I don't claim I want to rule the world because you'll be better with me in charge. I want to rule the world because I want to rule the world. Simple as that. I have a goal, and I have the will to make it happen."

"You just effectively declared you intend to overthrow the United States government, on live television. What's to stop them from putting you behind bars right now?"

"While I'm sure the image of me rotting away in a prison cell brings you no end of joy, I've never said I would overthrow anything. There are plenty of ways to rule the world without ousting anyone from their positions of imagined power. Politics are only one route among many to achieve power, you see. And the more people realize that, the more they can benefit from it. With enough ambition and enough willpower, anyone can rule the world."

"And what makes you think anyone will buy into this gospel of egotism you've concocted? You might dismiss what Superman stands for, but he's not the only one out there fighting the good fight."

"Oh, I don't dismiss Superman, even if I oppose him. But just look into the halls of power-- the Capitol, the Kremlin, Downing Street, Wall Street, Beijing, anywhere you like. How many Boy Scouts and selfless do-gooders do you see there? After three decades of 'fighting the good fight,' as you say, it seems to me that when it comes to making an actual difference in the world, there are still far more people like me than there are people like him."






I tumble endlessly through fire and pain.

There's no surface to push off of, no ceiling to break through.

Even with my eyes closed, I can see searing orange light.

How long has it been? A few seconds? Minutes? Hours? I can't tell. It feels like it just happened, but at the same time feels like I've been in this pit forever.

All those people. They were counting on me. They're burning now. Because I failed them.

Because I couldn't--

Suddenly, I feel something grab me by the scruff of my neck and pull me hard.

A second later, a rush of cool night air-- well, 'cool' by comparison-- washes over me.

I fall to my knees, and I begin coughing up the liquid agony that had filled my lungs.



"BLEEEEAAAAAAGGGHHHH!" I retch, emptying first my lungs, then my stomach, spewing hot lava onto the sands of the beach. "....oh God....."

I take a few moments to catch my breath. I don't dare open my eyes-- I don't want to see what the volcano has done to the poor villagers.

"Oh God," I say again between ragged gasps. "All those people. I tried.....I tried to save them.....they're--"

"They're fine, Kal."

At hearing a familiar voice, I open my eyes.



"I was able to get them all onto the rescue boats. They're safe now."

"...Kara?" I say as I struggle to my feet, and rub bits of cooling gravel out of my eyes. "And the volcano, did you--"

"I dug trenches around the village to save what was left of it," she says confidently. "And I drilled some vents into the mountain itself. Or rather, I picked up where you left off on doing those-- I don't know if I would have thought of that myself."

My cousin Kara's been on the job for three years now, and while she's done some exemplary work as 'Supergirl,' she's still learning. I have to admit, though, she's got spirit, and potential. I couldn't do half of what she can do when I was her age.

"Good.....good work," I manage, before falling back onto my backside. Kara sits down beside me, and her smile softens.

"Rough day?"

".....you could say that," I say with a weak chuckle.

"Well, I'm glad I was able to follow your lead," she says with a pat on the shoulder. "I know Lois's interview with Luthor is almost over, so I'll bet she's had a rough time too. I can handle the clean-up from here if you want to take the rest of the night off."

I sit up, a bit of indignation on my face.

"Superman doesn't take nights off," I tell her, trying to straighten up as best as I can.

"Call it a training exercise, then," she says, "I haven't had a chance to patrol solo yet; let me take care of things for a while so you and Lois can unwind. And if things get hairy, you can always show up and bail me out."

I mull it over for a moment. I can't let people down, sit around while lives are in danger. It's not what Ma and Pa would have wanted. It's not what Jor-El would have wanted. And it's not what I want.

Then I feel my muscles aching, my back and neck going stiff, and my skin still smarting from exposure to the lava.

".....a training exercise," I say with a sigh. "Sure. Let's....let's see how you handle things. You know where the key to the Fortress is. If you need anything, I'll....I'll be there."

She smiles, and with that, we both take to the skies and go our separate ways. Kara starts flying west towards Japan and Eastern Asia. I start heading East, back towards the States, towards Metropolis and home.

It's been a rough day. And I hate to say it, but I've been having these rough days more often.

Maybe a night off is just what I need.
@Simple Unicycle


I'm still trying to figure out how to incorporate a very large ladder into one of my plots.


"What a thrill...."
Heh. Like clockwork.

Less than a minute apart - Superman/Batman


I'm a simple man. I see a red cape, I take it.





”Okay,” I mutter to myself as I crawl through the vents of the Guggenheim Museum, ”forty-five minutes til the dry cleaner closes, then another hour and fifteen til dinner. I can still catch Felicia on time…...sure. And maybe after that miracle, I’ll part the Hudson and drown my sorrows by turning some water into wine….”

Felicia Hardy may be the greatest thief in the world, at least the most audacious. Your average burglar settles for breaking into houses, ransacking the place to find jewelry and electronics and guns and anything else they can make a quick buck off of at a shady pawn shop. Not the Black Cat, though. No, she only ever goes for the most expensive things under the tightest security, and makes sure everyone knows she did it. She’s meticulous in her planning, practically a ghost when it comes to stealth and infiltration, a brilliant manipulator, an expert martial artist, a master gymnast, and a gigantic pain in my butt.

Right now, I’m supposed to be getting ready for the most important dinner of my life. Instead, I’m crawling through air ducts hitting dead end after dead end, because this stupid art museum decided to display a 57-million-dollar cat statue in downtown New York. It’s like whenever the circus comes through Gotham City, it’s just begging for trouble. I am so bringing this up at the next city council meeting.

”Any progress?” Captain DeWolff asks through the earpiece in my mask.

”Not yet,” I say, reaching a sealed-off hatch in the duct. ”Just more dead ends. I know she came in through the vents, but I’m not seeing any signs of her exit. I’ve made three rounds through this system, and I just don’t see a way out.”

When the security measures around the Guennol Lioness tripped, it not only set off the alarms, it activated security doors all over the museum. Every entrance, every hallway, every window (except the skylight, apparently), even every air duct is locked down tight with heavy steel doors and hatches.

”I hate to do it, but it looks like I’m gonna have to force my way in,” I admit, careful to state it as a fact rather than as a question so DeWolff doesn’t say no, then quickly change the subject. ”Any luck on getting the cameras back online?”

”Negative,” she answers. "Whatever program Black Cat used to knock out the surveillance systems, it was thorough. So far, the tech guys aren’t anywhere near restoring the feed, let alone retrieving any lost footage.”

”Well, once I get Cat webbed up for you, I’m sure she’ll be happy to provide some tech support,” I say, as I reach into the utility belt I keep under my suit and activate a remote-control Spider-Drone with a cutting torch on it. ”It’s gonna be a bit loud in here for a couple of minutes, Captain. I’ll let you know once I’m in.”

”Wait, what are you--”

*KSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!*

The small plasma welder on the underside of the Spider-Drone begins cutting into the security door, filling the air duct with a loud hiss and a shower of sparks. I crawl back to get away from the smoke, and then pull out my phone and open up an ebook to read while the drone does its work.




”So I tell Professor Nuñez ‘sure, that’s how you interpret Ionesco’s work, but I thought the entire school of absurdist theatre asked the audience to reach their own conclusions.’ You should’ve seen the look on his face.”

”....heh, that’s crazy.”

”So now the whole class has to read The Bald Soprano and write 500 words comparing and contrasting its themes to Beckett’s Waiting for Godot by Monday.”

”Oh man, that’s…..not cool.”

”......and then after that, I have to strip down to my underwear and fight off a pack of rabid wolves with nothing but a toothbrush and a pogo stick.”

”....wow, that’s nuts.”

Mary Jane Watson glared at Harry with annoyance. He hadn’t looked up from his phone in the past ten minutes. The single slice of pizza on his plate was already stone cold, and the ice in his soda had melted.

”Y’know, if you didn’t want to go out tonight, you could’ve just told me. Glory and Betty wanted to check out the band that’s playing at the House of Yes, and I can just--”

”Nonono, I’m sorry, I’m just…….really distracted,” Harry said, finally breaking his attention away from his brand-new OzPhone 12, one he’d gotten six weeks before it was available to the public. ”Dad was breaking in all the new interns at work today, which meant I had to go to the shareholders meeting for him, and I’m still sending emails back and forth with investors. All part of ‘inheriting the kingdom,’ Dad says. And Doctor Smythe keeps going on and on about needing to talk to the old man about something or other called ‘Project V’ but won’t tell me what it is, and I’m still trying to organize the fundraiser for Mom’s foundation next month, and I haven’t even started on my term papers yet, so--”

”I get it,” MJ said, putting a hand up to cut him off. ”You’ve got a lot on your plate. And that’s a lot of stress. But that’s why we’re hanging out tonight, to burn that stress off and enjoy ourselves for a bit. Your dad’s corporate empire will still be standing after you have some pizza and dance with your girlfriend. I promise.”

”....you’re right, MJ,” said Harry, putting the phone in his pocket.

”I know.”

While Mary Jane and Harry had only been dating for the past two months, they’d been friends for years before that, going back to high school when they met through their mutual friends. MJ was new to the city, and her aunt Anna had set her up on a blind date with her friend’s nephew, a scrawny geek named Peter. Despite appearances, Pete was a really great guy, and not only did they hit it off, but Mary Jane also became fast friends with his longtime gal-pal Gwen Stacy and her at-the-time boyfriend Harry.

Of course, a lot can happen in a few years among a group of emotionally-charged teenagers turned twentysomethings. The four of them (six, when including Liz Allan and Eddie Brock) changed partners more often than a square-dance for a bit, but now that they were all in college and on the verge of becoming actual honest-to-God adults, the relationships were starting to solidify in place.

Pete and Gwen had eventually realized that they were made for each other, and MJ was genuinely happy for them. And Harry really was a good guy once she got him to pry his attention away from all the business his dad kept forcing on him. Still, though neither of them said it out loud, both of them knew what this was: settling for second place.

”So…...this band that’s playing tonight,” he said, picking up the cold slab of pizza on his plate to take a bite. ”They got a name?”




”The Mercy Killers, man,” Cletus Kassidy said as he hungrily shoveled creamed corn into his mouth. ”Sickest death-metal band on the East Coast. You start blasting that shit into your earbuds, and man, you just feel like the baddest motherfucker on the planet. It’s pure adrenaline, man, listening to that, you just….you just wanna swerve your car onto the sidewalk and start just mowing folks down, y’know?”

”.....uh-huh…..” said Eddie Brock, cutting into the brownish mass that was allegedly ‘country-fried steak’ with the side of his plastic fork. ”I’ll, uh, I’ll check them out once I’m outta here.”

”Can’t believe they’re lettin’ you back out into the world, man,” Cletus said between mouthfuls of food. ”It’s gonna be so boring here without you.”

”Well, I’m sure you’ll manage.”

Eddie had grown up in a broken home, with an absentee mother and a drunken brute for a father. As a kid, he spent as much time as he could away from the house, usually with his old friend Pete and his aunt and uncle-- there were plenty of times he found himself wishing the Parkers were his family instead of the Brocks. Over time, though, he and his little group of childhood friends drifted apart, and he found himself spending more and more time with friends of a different kind.

When he was fifteen, he started selling drugs for one of the local dealers, making a small fortune from his classmates at Midtown High. This lasted for about six months, until he was caught and expelled. Still, he’d made the right connections, and by his sixteenth birthday, he was initiated into Tombstone’s syndicate.

Everything was going well until he was called in for a raid on a rival gang. Eddie had never pulled the trigger on anyone before, but Tombstone needed every soldier he had to take on Hammerhead, and everyone going in knew that once the shooting started, it was kill-or-be-killed. Eddie was still trying to make himself ready to cross that line, when everything fell apart.

Nobody even realized Spider-Man was there before half of them had already been webbed up. Eddie had heard about him before, knew that he was a metahuman and had a reputation for putting small-timers in the hospital, but he couldn’t believe just how fast he was as the webslinger tossed Tombstone and Hammerhead’s men around like ragdolls. In a panic, Eddie had raised his gun and fired at the masked vigilante, at almost point-blank range…

…and Spider-Man ducked under it like it was nothing. He turned to face Eddie, and then just...stopped, like he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Like Spider-Man recognized him. For a few seconds, Eddie and Spider-Man just stared at each other, before Eddie raised the gun again. Before Eddie could fire off a second shot, the wall-crawler sprayed his webs at him and left him stuck to the wall for the NYPD to pick up.

He was supposed to get five years, but he was being let out in three partially for good behavior, but mostly because what with the world going as crazy as it was, there just wasn’t enough room in jail for small-timers like him. In less than twenty-four hours, he was going to be a free man.

”So….what are you gonna do once you’re back out in the big bad world?”

Eddie shrugged.

”Find a job, get my GED, get things back on track, I guess,” he said. ”I know somebody who works at some shelter called FEAST, said they can get me a place to stay for a little while and maybe some work.”

”Boooo-ring,” Cletus rolled his eyes. ”Know what I’d do if they let me out? I’d go on a goddamn rampage, man. Find everybody responsible for putting me away, and make ‘em pay. And I mean everybody. Every sheep who buys into this bullshit system, every pig who enforces it, every politician and company-man who makes money off it, I’d waste every last one of them.”

”Uh-huh.”

Cletus Kassidy had a big mouth and anger issues. Eddie imagined that in school he was one of those kids who wore edgy shirts like “you laugh at me because I’m different, I laugh at you because you’re all the same.” It made Eddie roll his eyes a lot, at least at first. He’d heard that Cletus was doing time for animal cruelty, that he’d been caught planning to shoot up his school, that he stalked and stabbed a girl who’d rejected him, and a dozen other rumors that were probably all fake. Whatever he was really in for, Cletus never said. Maybe he really was dangerous if you put a gun or a knife in his hand, but here on the inside, he was all talk.

Eddie couldn’t stand him. Which made the fact that they were cellmates that much worse.

”Well, here’s to your last day in the funhouse,” Cletus said, raising his cup of orange juice. ”And to your shiny new future among the drones.”

”Yeah,” Eddie grunted, raising his own cup. ”Here’s to the future.”

He gulped down the drink, but he knew his little toast was meaningless. Nobody was going to want to hire an ex-con who worked for one of the city’s most notorious crime bosses. All the GEDs and night classes and odd-jobs in the world weren’t going to change the fact that he’d been caught by a superhero, marking him forever as a low-life henchman and nothing more.

If Eddie Brock ever had any chance at a future, Spider-Man had ruined it.




”Okay, I’m finally in,” I say, crawling through the hole my trusty Spider-Drone had cut through the last security door. ”I’m at the display for the Lioness. Now I can figure out where Black Cat went.”

Making my way through the museum’s security was more of an ordeal than I’d expected. The heavy steel doors were one bad enough, then I had to deactivate the laser grid, short out the electrified floors, and web up the automated tear-gas dispensers. I have to admit, I wasn’t giving them enough credit when I got here-- they really don’t want people stealing this stuff.

”You do realize ‘circumventing’ all of that security counts as damaging public property, right?” Captain DeWolff says.

”True,” I admit, ”but it’s worth less than the Lioness, right? Which means if I save it, it’s basically a net gain for the city.”

”You clearly didn’t study economics,” she says. ”What do you see in there?”

”Well, there’s the display,” I say, scanning the room for any irregularities, ”and a discarded glass-cutter. Three unconscious security guards on the floor, two male, one female, all face-down but definitely breathing. There’s a length of cable that I’d bet Cat used to descend into the room, but it was cut when the security doors came down. And I see what looks like a duffel bag, going to check it out.”

It’s not like Felicia to just leave things lying around. Did she leave something here? A bomb, maybe? A booby-trap? A crazed little-person with a knife? None of that really strikes me as her style.

Carefully approaching the bag, I first adjust my lenses to scan for any traces of explosives, dangerous chemicals, or anything else I don’t want getting on me, and I come up with nothing. So far, so good. Tentatively, I pick it up, and start searching through it.

”Nothing,” I say. ”The bag’s empty. And I’m still not seeing any way she could have gotten out of here.”

”Hang on,” DeWolff says, ”how many guards did you say were in there?”

”Three. Two male, one female.”

”I’m looking at the employee schedule. There’s only supposed to be two guards stationed there.”

”So what’s…..”

The two male guards are still lying there on the floor.

The third ‘unconscious’ guard, the female, is nowhere to be found.

”Oh my God, I am so stupid!” I say, cursing myself.

She knew I’d be the first on the scene. She knew I could disable the security measures that would have kept her trapped inside. She knew that I get distracted easily by things that are seemingly innocuous but out of place.

That’s why I couldn’t find any trace of her escape: because she didn’t. She let the doors close, changed into a guard uniform that she had brought in that duffel bag, then waited for me to come along and make the way out for her.

”Jameson’s going to have a field day with this,” I mutter to myself as I start sprinting out the way I came in.

”Spider, are you implying what I think you’re implying?”

”I’m already on it, Captain,” I say, gritting my teeth. ”In the meantime, can you do me a favor? Call Johansen’s Dry Cleaning in Chelsea and tell them ticket number 195 is going to be late for his pick-up.”
I am working on Eve currently. I’m also working on a Suicide Squad app, which I just want to run past @GreenGrenade if I can take Captain Boomerang (George Harkness) and @AndyC if I can take Typhoid Mary (we don’t have a Daredevil player but Mary crosses over with Spider-Man occasionally). Also with no Aquaman player I’m also looking to take King Shark, if anyone wanted to use him let me know though.

Despite the thoughts I’ve voiced previously I’m not intending to drop or quit. I find it harder to motivate myself, but I still love storytelling and what we do here. I just might have to look to taking up side projects to hit that classic interactivity itch.

Edit: Also @AndyC again, do you have any plans for Mysterio (Quentin Beck)? If not can I use him on the Squad? I’ve flipped him on and off my roster a couple times as he’s a big name but I think he’d be good for the dynamic.


To answer your questions: I have zero plans for Typhoid Mary. I have included Mysterio in Spidey's backstory, and while I haven't gone into much detail, his origin is similar to is role in Far From Home. He was apprehended once, escaped as part of the Doc Ock's Sinister Six, and is currently in SHIELD custody. In terms of actual story, I don't have any grand plans for Mysterio, so if you wanna use him in the Squad, you're welcome to him.

New posts are currently in the works; not my best work by any means, but they'll at least get the ball rolling again.
Sorry for the lack of activity- real life has been, well, insane. I lost a job, got a new one, started having panic attacks, and only just recently started to normal out, only for it to start back up again thanks to all the fun stuff on the news. And on top of that, I'm so far behind in posting that I feel guilty about even checking in on it, let alone trying to pick up where I left off a month ago. Excuses aside, I could use a little escapism, so if I still have access to Spidey and the Titans girls, I will try to get posts up soon.
Once upon a time, I would write out the exact plots I had in mind well ahead of time, sometimes even several seasons ahead, but then I'd burn out before I could get going (the first time I got to play Spider-Man, I had him plotted out from Year One all the way to Year Ten, then stopped midway through Year Two). I usually find that when I try and scheme things way in advance, my writing suffers because I get so hung up on the conclusion that everything leading up to it isn't given much thought.

Nowadays, I just try to think of a scenario, throw the characters into it, and see what happens. This requires a lot more understanding of the characters' personalities and how they would react to a given situation, but it also requires less prep work. It's messy and a lot of the time the continuity gets all screwy, but I think it has a better "feel" than whenever I would spend months and months setting up a payoff that everyone saw coming a mile away.
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