Citibank on W 34th Street
December 24, 2011
Citibank on W 34th Street
New York City, New York
At the time, taking advantage of her more covering winter wardrobe and wearing her costume under it had seemed like a good idea. Now? Felicia was the only one on the scene because the others were still suiting and gearing up, and she had no idea what to do next. Because loathe as she was to admit it, the Shocker was a bit out of her weight class. She could handle common crooks easily and with her newfound stealth abilities, she could probably even take some of the group's weaker villains solo now. But going up against a villain who specialized in ranged attacks when her sole non-melee weapon had a maximum range of twenty-five feet? Nope. Not happening.
The question was… if not attack, then what? Because she couldn't just let the Shocker keep making a mess out of the nearby Citibank and the surrounding portion of 34th Street. Felicia shook her head as the purple-clad man let out another inarticulate howl before blasting a mailbox into pieces. Ignoring the wanton destruction and risk he posed to civilians, the whole affair was kinda funny. Villain shows up at bank, villain tries to rob bank, villain is stymied… by the fact that it's both a Saturday and a holiday and said bank is closed. Unfortunately, Felicia couldn't in good conscience ignore the wanton destruction, and she certainly couldn't ignore the risk the Shocker posed to civilians. Sighing, she reached up and toggled her radio. "Black Cat to Theraphosa. Any sign of reinforcements?"
There was a brief stretch of silence that was eventually broken by a sigh, and then Gwen's voice came back to her. "Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that everyone is out and heading for you. The bad news… is you know where our base is compared to where you are."
"Well shit." Felicia did indeed know how far apart the two locations were: too far. All right, maybe if she was lucky and retreated toward stationary objects in between strikes, the camouflage system in her new costume would allow her to keep the Shocker occupied until the others arrived? Assuming he didn't just start blowing up everything within a certain radius to deprive his attacker of cover, because he obviously wasn't an idiot if he was building tech like his. A horrible criminal, sure, but not an idiot.
Before she could put her plan into action, Felicia spotted the strangest thing she'd seen in a while… and that was coming from someone who liked to dress up in a cat-themed costume and hang out with a bunch of spider-themed superheroes. Even as the last few people stampeded down the street away from the Shocker, a brunette in all white was managing to swim upstream by running along the tops of parked cars as she headed up the street toward them. Oh no. Had they managed to accidentally inspire another young vigilan- "It's beginning to look a lot like Fistmas!"
Launching herself off of the hood of the last available car, the brunette managed a long jump that would put an Olympic athlete to shame, plowing her right fist into the criminal's face. Landing on the pavement, she followed up with a quick left hook and then gave the stumbling man a moment to collect himself. Much to Felicia's surprise, the Shocker decided to respond with his actual fists rather than the weapons attached to them, throwing two punches that the brunette easily avoided before smashing her boot into the side of the Shocker's face courtesy of a roundhouse kick. The blow shattered his oversized red visor, making him scream in what Felicia assumed was pain. After all, getting bits of plastic sent flying into one's face couldn't feel all that good. It turned out, though, that she assumed wrong. "You bitch! Do you know how much those things cost me?"
"Might wanna dial nine-wahh-wahh and have 'em send the wahhmbulance over." The girl didn't let up, delivering a series of quick punches to the Shocker's stomach that doubled him over before bringing his knee up into his face, sending him sprawling back onto the ground. Even from her vantage point many stories above the street, Felicia could see the blood flowing from what was likely a broken nose. "Oh, and you're probably going to need a real ambulance too. That looks like it hurt."
Groaning as he pushed himself up onto his hands, the Shocker scuttled backward to put some distance between himself and his mysterious attacker, the brunette content to stand there and watch him retreat. "Who… you're not one of the Spider-Girls. Who are you?"
That was a very good question indeed. Switching on her suit's stealth systems, Felicia tipped forward over the edge of the roof she was perched on, spinning in midair and firing her grappling hook into the side of the building to help slow her descent. She touched down lightly just as the girl lunged forward a step, cackling as the Shocker scrambled away faster. "The name's Faith. And your new name is Under Arrest. For your own good, I suggest you stay down until the cops here, because I've got no problem with putting you back down if I need to."
"You got lucky, kid. Caught me off-guard." Reaching one of the few intact vehicles left on the street, the Shocker slowly slid his back up one of the tires until he was in a sitting position. "Just out of curiosity, did you know I have to be more than three feet away form something to blast it without fucking myself up in the process?" There was a low whine that built in intensity as the Shocker raised his hands, pointing them both at Faith. "Three feet." Triggering his blasters, he sent twin streams of compressed air screaming toward Faith…
…who dove to her right, easily evading them. Rising to her feet, the brunette reached behind her back and pulled out a half-foot long white cylinder; Felicia's first thought was that it was a collapsible baton, but then she realized it was a bit too short and thick. Holding it up in front of herself, Faith chuckled as she pointed it at the Shocker. "My turn." Pushing down on the top of the cylinder, she fired a thick stream of orangish-red fluid into the Shocker's face, making him scream and claw at his eyes. Whistling, Faith stared down at her weapon in surprise. "Woah. Rich girls have some wicked awesome toys."
Pepper gel. Eugh. While Felicia had never had the displeasure of meeting the stuff can-to-face before, Gwen claimed it was a far worse experience than conventional pepper spray and… well, the blonde generally knew what she was talking about when it came to that kind of stuff. Captain Stacy's daughter, after all. Disengaging stealth mode, Felicia raised her hands in surrender as Faith spun to point the pepper gel in her direction. "Was just wondering if you needed some cuffs to slap on him. I thought it might be a better idea than giving Herman here the chance to do something else stupid before the cops get here. Then you'll have to mace him again, he'll scream more… it'll just be a mess."
"Okay, two things. One: …dude, your name is Herman? Holy shit. How much did your parents hate you? No wonder you turned out the way you did. Jesus Christ." Faith shook her head slowly before returning her full attention to Felicia. "And two: holy tig ol' bitties, Catwoman!"
Sigh. Felicia had abandoned her original look in favor of a new - and far more expensive - costume, redesigned mask, and mechanical tail… and she still couldn't shake that particular comparison. That actually bothered her more than the blatant attention to her chest, Felicia realized; between the less mature boys at ESU and Astrid, she'd become wholly desensitized to inappropriate comments about her body. Maybe Scott was on to something with his 'Persian' idea. For now, though? "It's Black Cat, thank you very much. And if you don't want my help, I can lea-"
"Fine by me. I mean, I don't exactly need help to stand here watching a guy sob and try to claw his eyes out." Faith actually had a point there, Felicia was forced to admit. Because contrary to her introduction, the Shocker seemed to be in no condition to do much of anything, much less anything stupid. As the albino debated what to actually do next, Faith bent down and disarmed her opponent, examining the blasters curiously as she straightened back up. "You mind if I keep these? They might come in handy at work."
Felicia raised an eyebrow at that. She couldn't exactly make a fuss about the other girl's looting, what with being a vigilante herself and all, but the supposed reason for said looting made her a bit curious. "What the hell do you do for work?"
Twisting, Faith pointed both blasters at a nearby vehicle and fired a quick blast from each hand, tearing the white Ford Bronco apart. Felicia's jaw dropped and she went for her taser, only to find one of the blasters pointing her way. "Down girl. Unless you really want to throw down with me over blowing up his getaway car..?"
"You blew up my mom's Bronco? You bitch!"
"…why do I get the feeling you live in her basement or something when you're not running around looking like a moron? And Cat, I'm technical staff up at the British Consulate in Cambridge, Mass. Government work. Can't tell you more or I'd have to kill you. Which would be a fucking shame, what with you being wicked hot and all." As Felicia pondered that, Faith put an extra blast into the side of the Bronco for good measure, further mangling what was left. Suddenly, a glowing pink bubble popped into existence around the brunette, making Felicia wonder if Julia had discovered a new way to use one of her powers… and then a black blur collided with the bubble hard before sliding off onto the ground with a groan. Peering down at the prone figure Felicia realized was her teammate Astrid, Faith calmly waited for the bubble to pop before stretching one foot out and poking the blonde's ass with the toe of her boot. "I'm used to girls throwing themselves at me, babe, but that was kinda ridiculous."
Felicia sighed, wondering if her day could get any worse. She could see several news vans from where she was standing, which meant they were being taped and that Mary Jane was going to have a fit about all the bad PR: Felicia being shown up by a new, unknown vigilante, Felicia being caught on tape talking to someone who stole from villains and blew stuff up with their weapons, Astrid splattering herself across whatever Faith used for self-defense…
And then God answered Felicia's unasked question as the Rhino came charging westward up 34th Street with an ATM tucked under his arm.
No, Faith doesn't have the mutant - or magical - power to project a shield around herself all of a sudden. But she does travel with a friend who's quite handy with magic, especially when she's fed recently and/or can feed again soon to replenish the energy she's burning through. Up next? Well, let's just say that Faith's going to get a chance to make a joke or two at the expense of "Rule 63 Iron Man"…