|Deep Thoughts, with Spider-Girl and the Phantom|
|What: Two heroes meet and chat|
One of those evenings that should be enjoyed on the porch, sipping one's choice of beverage, watching the sunset. If you don't go around in a flamboyant costume, that would be idea. For the Phantom, that's not an option. He's enjoying his evening a different way--teaching thugs that they should have picked a better career in an alley behind a restaurant.
He's surrounded by four young men who had attempted to rob said restaurant. One swings his left fist, only for the Phantom to guide it past his head with the back of his left hand, bringing his right fist up and planting it into the thug's chin--then he ducks, as a baseball bat swings right through where his head was. /That/ goon gets an elbow in his stomach and the Phantom's head smashing into his nose. The third pulls a gun--but is suddenly tackled by a large, grey wolf, of all things.
"Thanks, Devil," says the Phantom, grinning at the canine--just before stumbling forward and hitting the brick wall, grunting as pain shoots through his head from the not-so-gentle stop. The wolf growls at the man, who drops his own bat and starts running, as the Phantom whips around and in one fluid motion whips out a semi-automatic pistol and shoots the ground /right/ next to the man's feet.
"Now, that's enough of that," he says as the thug raises his hands. "Get back over here and wait with your friends." The goon slowly returns, joining the only other conscious member of this little quartet.
The police had been called, though they were still a fair ways off. It's a lot easier to respond to the police scanner when you don't need to use roads. ...of course, Spider-Girl isn't a local, and it's really awkward to go web-slinging through an unfamiliar city without dropping one's phone, but she still needs that GPS to get her to the right place. The sound of a gunshot tells her she's found it.
She alights on the rooftop next door and creeps forward to peek over the edge, looking down into the alley with a curious tilt of her head. The scanner didn't say anything about a wolf. 'course, they didn't say anything about a guy in a costume, either. Hopefully, he was on her side.
Only one way to find out.
"I missed all the fun?" Spider-Girl calls down towards the group. "Last time I take a cab in this town."
When the last goon sits down, the Phantom holsters his weapon and snaps the cover shut. He turns to the wolf and opens his mouth--then the young woman catches his attention. Human and canine heads both whip up, the brows of the former knitting together, the ears of the latter pricking upward. The two look to each other, then back up to the woman.
"Looks like it," calls the Phantom, reaching up to place two fingers on the mask, just over his temple. His view is magnified by two times, letting him get a little better look at the young woman. "I'm sure there'll be more. Mind if I join you? Need to keep an eye on these sad sacks." A thumb is jerked toward the four--who are, perhaps wisely, keeping quiet. It's never a good day when more people in bright costumes show up, after all.
Spider-Girl is oblivious to the magnifying lenses in his mask, but it doesn't stop her from smiling cheerfully down towards him. "If you're sure they won't try to run away on us -- though I guess your fuzzy buddy is a pretty good deterrent." To say nothing of the guns he's toting. They make her a little anxious, but they're holstered now and she doesn't see any bloody corpses in the alley, so, hey. He can't be all bad, right? Which reminds her. "The police should only be a couple minutes out."
A look to the wolf, who cants his head a little, tells the Phantom that she's right. Devil's ears can pick up the faint but growing sirens, so they won't have to wait around too long. "Wait here, Devil," the Phantom tells the wolf. "I'll be up there, but when the police get here, go find Hero." The wolf huffs softly, sitting down and turning his attention to the quad of would-be robbers. They aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
Returning his attention to the roof, the Phantom lifts his right arm, to aim his wrist at the edge of the roof, then flicks his hand back just so. A small panel on the outer edge of the gauntlet pops open, a mechanism emerging, and grappling hook shoots out. A soft whir as the line is played out, and the hook unfolds its claws, to grab onto the edge of the roof and dig its little tines in. Another flick of the wrist and the Phantom is propelled upward--to stop just below the roof. Well, crumbs. Looks like he'd tweaked the thing too far in the other direction.
As he hauls himself over the roof, he says, "That's Devil, and--yes, I'd say he was a very good deterrent." That's said with a grin as the claw releases and is retracted.
Spider-Girl can't help the way her grin widens when the grappling line comes whirling up towards the ledge. Ah, that brings back memories. By the time he realizes he came up slightly short, she's leant over to offer him a hand the rest of the way up. If taken, it's pretty apparent that she's much stronger than she looks. Like that's unusual in Metropolis.
"Good name. It's... evocative," she says brightly, taking the opportunity to give him a curious once-over now that he's easier to see. "Speaking of which, what's yours? I'm --" There's a very brief hitch as she reminds herself, no, not the old one. "-- Spider-Girl." Why does it always sound so dumb out loud? Feh.
Not that unusual pretty much anywhere around here, the Phantom realizes as he settles on the roof. His own grip was firm, controlled--enough to get the job done without trying to crush her hand or "prove" anything. And to answer her question, he says, "Call me Phantom." That's said with a two-fingered salute, then he sets one foot on the edge of the roof and peers over the edge, looking at the goons below.
"Spider-Girl, eh?" he asks as he arches a brow, glancing to her before looking down once again. "Any relation to those Spider-Men I've read about in the papers?" He can't help but recall the numerous times the editor of the Bugle has printed what really amounts to a tirade against the one Spider-Man.
"Also evocative," Spider-Girl replies approvingly, claiming herself a perch on the ledge so she could help him (and Devil) keep an eye on the would-be crooks down below. "Nice to meet you two."
At the question, Spider-Girl makes a bit of a face and waggles a hand, glancing over at him. "Sort of? I mean, Spider-Man and I have worked together before, once or twice," she explains. "But we don't have a cool secret clubhouse full of Spider-Mobiles or anything."
That makes the Phantom chuckle, as he crosses his forearms and sets them on his uplifted knee. "There's something to be said for secret clubhouses, though," he says, arching that eyebrow higher in humor as a grin forms on his face. "Though, I've got to say that having a--a Spider-Mobile may be a tad unnecessary. Still, having a place you can retreat and be--yourself, all of yourself, that's worth it in the end." This is why he really needs the new Skull Cave, he thinks as he looks up to watch the approaching police. The flashing lights on walls and sirens growing in pitch herald their arrival.
As the sirens grow closer, Spider-Girl keeps a closer eye on the thugs. She expects that Devil will need to beat feet (...paws) before the police arrive to make sure they don't freak out on him, so she keeps her hands free and clear just in case anybody needs to get their shoes stuck to the pavement.
"I never even got a tree house," she admits with a mournful sigh, shaking her head. "City girl. Horrible. But it isn't so hard to be yourself in a big city. You just sort of disappear into the crowd." She smiles faintly. "It can be nice."
"Really?" asks the Phantom, curiosity coloring his tone and features alike. "I'd have thought it would be much more difficult to feel alone in the city." He exhales a soft breath in a "hmm" sound, looking back toward the approaching police cars. Two were called, apparently, which is only mildly surprising. "Was never one for cities, myself--the Phantom is at home more in the jungle than the city, but that's the way it goes sometimes, eh?" Another grin, there, as he shrugs his shoulders. Yes, a guy in a purple costume feeling more at home in a green jungle. It works.
"The jungle?" Spider-Girl really doesn't mean to sound so incredulous, but -- the jungle? For real? Do wolves even live in the jungle? She shakes her head with a bit of a laugh. "Sorry, I just... I don't have much contact with actual jungles. Just the fakey concrete kind," she says, waving a hand out towards the street. Behold. Concrete jungle.
"Cities have more people in them, but that doesn't necessarily make it any harder to feel alone," Spider-Girl explains, absently lifting a hand to cover one ear as the sirens get closer. Ow. Piercing. "You don't know everybody there, and everybody's got their own stuff to do, they can't be paying attention to you. Unless you're wearing a costume, I guess, but even then."
A brief nod, then the Phantom says, "That makes sense, I suppose. I just find these American cities so--different. Not bad, of course, just--different. I come from the savanna, the plains, the jungles--the parts of Africa where you can go weeks without seeing another human being. Being here, where you can't go a few /steps/--" a soft chuckle, there, "--it's different."
He's about to say more when the police cars screech to a stop at one end of the alley. Devil is up in an instant, bolting to the other end as an officer--watches in disbelief, hand on her holstered weapon, though without drawing it. That'll be a pain to write up in the reports. Devil stops at the corner to look back, then gives a soft yip before turning away again and running off.
Once Devil has made good their fuzzy escape, Spider-Girl steps back off of the ledge, looking up at her new purple-clad friend and dropping her voice to a murmur. "I can see the headlines now. 'Robbery thwarted by stray dog.'" She doesn't know anything about jungles or savannas or Africa. Time to fall back on lame humor!
"Hmph," retorts the Phantom, standing back to get out of sight. "I think Devil would take offense to the 'dog' part." That's said with a smile, though, as he stands with feet apart, crossing his arms loosely over his chest in a relaxed pose. "Give them something to talk about, though." The smile becomes a grin, as he listens to the police round up the thugs, who are trying to convince them it was a guy in purple. All things considered, someone walking around in a purple costume isn't the oddest thing around, though whether that's good or bad is up for debate.
"Like the media would get it right? These are the same guys who say Spider-Man's a menace," Spider-Girl notes with an impish smile, and she is obviously not at all biased when it comes to her fellow web-head. No sir. Completely objective. She laces her fingers together and stretches her arms out in front of herself, keeping half an ear on the proceedings below. "Thank goodness I was here. You were really struggling before I caught up, I could tell."
That makes the Phantom chuckle as he shakes his head. "I'm actually not above getting some help," he says, canting his head a little. "Old jungle saying--it's not wise to fight a tiger by yourself. Sometimes things are too big for even the Ghost who Walks to tackle." The Chronicles are filled with times the Phantom needed help, and only a fool would turn it down when offered. The Phantom prides himself on /not/ being a fool.
Also evocative. The man in purple is on a roll. "I don't know how those guys compare to tigers," Spider-Girl says thoughtfully, chancing another peek over the ledge to be sure they're all being loaded into the squad cars without fuss. "But I've heard worse sayings." She turns back to him and grins, inclining her head. "I'll just make sure I'm faster next time." Story of her life, right? "Can't let you and Devil do it all by yourselves."
"True--that wouldn't be any fun. Next time, you can take down the hoods and I'll watch." Another grin as the Phantom arches that brow again, then he adds, "Besides, I'm sure you'd make an excellent partner. If your abilities are on par with those of the other Spider-Men, yes, I'm quite sure. It never hurts to have someone who can zip around the thugs before they know what's what."
"That could be fun. These things are always that extra little bit less awful when you've got somebody watching your back," Spider-Girl muses, lightly tapping her chin with a pair of fingers. Besides, for a gun-toting vigilante from the jungle, he was pretty good company.
She perks up when she hears car doors start closing, craning her neck for a look. "Welp. Looks like that's that. Do you need a lift to wherever Devil's waiting for you? Air Spidey's not the smoothest ride in town," she admits, "But it's a fair bit quicker than hoofing it."
"No, thank you--Devil and Hero will be nearby," says the Phantom, adding, "though I do thank you for the offer." That last said with a small bow, sincerity in his voice. He isn't so old-fashioned as to think she couldn't help in any fashion, or the like. He's gotten his purple-clad behind handed to him by too many of the female persuasion to ever be dumb enough to think that. "I'll be on the look-out for you, though, and please, do the same for me. I'm always up for joining forces." And it would let them get to know a bit more about each other--words can be used for anything, but actions peak much clearer.
Spider-Girl entertains the idea of mirroring the bow in kind before dismissing it. Better to stick to what she knows -- which is extending her hand for a simple, old-fashioned handshake. "I'll keep my eyes open," she promises, offering him a warm smile. "Help is always welcome. I should really invest in a Spider Signal or something so you can find me easier..." Maybe Devil could help the Phantom find her. Was that thought racist against lupines? This is all very strange.
Unfortunately, the Phantom doesn't have any such thing, either; not really. "Well, it's a small world," he says as he extends his own hand for a warm and firm handshake. "I'm sure it won't be that difficult..." And with that, he gives another two-finger salute, flicking his fingers from his temple. Too many things to do, too many people to see.
"Not if we're both looking." Now, the jaunty salute, *that* Spider-Girl can do. With a toothy smile, she plants one hand on a jauntily-cocked hip and salutes with the other -- and as she flicks her wrist, a line of webbing launches from the back of her hand, spiraling off to gain purchase on another building down the street. "Be seeing ya, Phantom," she says, her tone suggesting a waggling of eyebrows hidden by her mask before she turns to take a running leap from the rooftop. Just keep swinging, just keep swinging...