|Enter the Hulk (or Pepper and the Hulk)|
|What: The Hulk makes his first appearance in Manhattan, besting heroes and gods alike. But the bravery of a mere mortal saves the day...|
It's right about early evening. Rush hour is a pain in the tuckus! It's made especially worse when some super powered baddie, thinking he's all that /and/ the bag of chips goes rar-face and starts attacking people willynilly. In New York, this is a bad thing for several reasons. One, it's a big city, people in Midtown Mahattan are GOING to notice. Two, the city has a pletheria of superheros itching to put a stop to it. Three, Thor can sense trouble from across the planet and flies just about as fast as Metropolis' very own fly boy when he wants to. Not that he needs to, what with his apartment in the SoHo district of Lower Manhattan and all.
The fight was not quite epic. Thor arrived on a funnel cloud, and the pair went a full three rounds before the baddie got a lucky flailing shot at the flying demigod. Lucky, in that it allowed Mr. Random Baddie number fourteen the time to escape by sending Thor hurling a few blocks away, through a bill-board, and into a building. Rumble falls to the sidewalk below from the impact.
A quiet day, to be certain, or at least that was what it was. It didn't take long for something bad to happen, for something to go horribly wrong. Bruce Banner knew this, but knew this would happen anywhere. Then again, New York was one of the few places getting so much action. But it was also the one place that held the answer.
However, that will have to wait. In such a huge battle, Bruce knew best to avoid much trouble, and how to run about. But not everyone could say the same. And as such, Bruce saw that as many were trying to get away, there were a few that couldn't: a young couple, where the girl's leg was injured, and the guy was struggling to get her away.
But not soon enough.
In the heat of the battle, debris was flying everywhere. And some heading straight at the two. Bruce didn't even think; he rushed over straight to them. No Superman around, but if he could help he will. And so Bruce pushed the two out quickly, and gave them a bit of a fright. But they were safe, away from the rubble. He, on the other hand, became the target, and huge pieces fell on him. Another blast put more rubble on them. The couple were in shock, but soon came to their senses, and rushed away while honoring the man who sacrificed them.
They got away, to not see the scene: the great coming. For from the rubble a huge fist came out. A green fist. Another came out, and then a huge body emerged. And there was the big guy himself, with only the pants left of the clothing. If no one saw it, they heard it when the Hulk gave his huge roar. Then it became real. Then, New York knew.
The Hulk is in Manhattan. And he's angry.
Pepper Potts is one of the people caught out in this mess. When did SHE become as trouble-prone as that reporter from Metropolis? Of course, it's too late to run screaming like most everyone else. Except screaming's not typically her style. So instead she stands in the alcove of a building's doorway, hoping none of the chaos gets any closer. Hell of a week to take time off of work.
Even if he was not blind, Daredevil could have felt the vibration of Thor's crash landing and Hulk's subsequent roar from blocks away. The horned head goes up as he zeroes in on the direction. Midtown. Not too far from here as it were. The scarlett swashbuckler leaps off the rooftop he was on, catches a flag pole, twirls once, and is away towards the disturbance before the feeling of shock has left his fingertips. While Red may not be too well known yet and especially out of Hell's Kitchen, the fighter that is Matt Murdock has never been one to just sit on the sidelines when people could be in danger.
Spider-Girl had been in Midtown for the most noble of goals: to grab some dinner at a local hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant with burritos that are seriously /amazing/. Alas, it was not to be, and she found herself web-slinging as quick as she could manage to keep tabs on Thor's Big Fight.
When the Asgardian goes through the building, she doesn't even have time to swear. She lands in a crouch on the side of a building across the street, too late to stop the inital debris from landing on someone... but she /is/ in time to see the Big Green Guy clawing his way out from beneath the rubble. She isn't sure why the roar chills her to the bone, but she's just gonna trust it.
There isn't even time to tweet out a warning to avoid the area. Spider-Girl leaps from the building and lands in a crouch near the rubble, hurriedly starting to usher people away from the mess. "Out of the area! But not towards the bridge!" she tells them with a wince. Last thing they need is the fight to go /there/.
Mere moments after the Hulk's roar, a beam of light heralds Laser's arrival as he appears hovering 50 feet over the new rubble. His eyes go wide as he sees the Hulk wading out of the crumbled building, and he drifts a little higher, nervous. He spots a couple of businessmen trapped down low, under a part of the building ready to come down. Laser flies down too fast to see, and begins using multiple low power laser beams to cut the men free, trying not to hurt them in the process.
Under normal circumstances, Sif would be ... put out at having to rush out during one of the few quiet evenings she gets at home. This evening though, she didn't seem at all bothered when Thor said it was time to go. She simply sheathed her sowrd and hitched a ride.
The Goddess stayed right at Thor's side until she was told to get the mortals to safety. There was no hesitation in her to do as requested. It was as she was teleporting mortals out of harms way that she watched the Hulk rise from the rubble created by the Thunder God.
Such a scene had her teleporting several others out of the way as quickly as possible. She blinks back in next to Pepper and, recognizing the woman, winces. "You need to get to safety..." She remembers, quite well, this woman rushing the carrier on top of Stark Tower and while she's sure her words are pointless, the Sword Maiden must at least try.
As green fists make their way out of the rumble on the sidewalk, a much smaller figure hauls himself out of the building. Thor did not expect that particular guy to hit him so hard. It happens to the Thunder God sometimes; underestimating his mortals opponents on Midgard. About to look for his foe, Hulk's roar just below him, rattles him to the core. Thor's eyes widen and he looks /down/.
"Sweet Yggdrasil," breathes the prince as he spies the great green beast on the sidewalk. "An ogre!" No time to waste! Thor leaps from the building and drops his weight toward Hulk, Mjolnir drawn to Thor Smash Hulk on the top of the head.
"Foul beast! Thou will not bring harm to my faire Midgard," declares the Asgardian, voice booming loudly to carry through the area.
It was sheer terror and panic. There wasn't a person in the world who didn't know what the Hulk was, and what he brought. His rampages have become legendary, such that some natural disasters were blamed on him. He is capable of that. And many knew that armies went up against him, with little to no effect.
And now he was among the populous. The first record of being in Manhattan, let alone any major city.
None of this concerned the Hulk. What he knew was he was disturbed, that something hurt him. Much like a bear awoken abruptly, the Hulk looked to find what threatened him, what hurt him. And he took a few mighty steps, watching small figures running around, away from him. No threat from them. But noise came from above, and Hulk saw, a huge metal man in the air. (Some generic villain in power armor). The metal man looked at the green guy, and a blast came from its hands. The blast was strong, but it only served to anger the Hulk. And now the Hulk knew his target.
He screamed at the metal man, and decided to shoot something in turn. He reached for something to throw, and ended up with an abandoned Camero. He threw it at the metal man, who blasted again. Hulk was hit, but merely shrugged it off and threw the car.
The Camero went at such a speed, such that it hit the metal man with such impact, and sent it... flying. And now the metal man was far. But Hulk would get close to stop the threat. He moved to leap into the air, and yet another metal man came. This one was different, with different armor, and things flowing. Hulk wasn't sure of this threat, until he was hit in the head, hard.
This was enough to stagger the Hulk. This was also enough to direct his attention to the new threat, and it made Hulk angry. Really angry. And he responded with a huge punch into the god, sending him flying.
Pepper Potts startles at Sif's abrupt arrival but recovers quickly enough. "Someone's got to stop this before the collateral damage gets worse. And..." She looks where she can just see a bit of a green-skinned individual past the corner of a building. "...oh that's really bad."
This is going to be murder on the eardrums. Daredevil lands atop the huge Coca Cola sign as Thor cries out his challenge. Not only are the combatants loud, but just the strength of the heartbeats from the two gladiators can nearly bowl him over. Beneath the din, however, he hears a car alarm going off and the soft thumps of fists against glass. Leaping from the sign to run across power lines, he drops down to the top of the car that has been pined on both sides by rubble. "Get away from the windows," he calls out as his billy club comes down on the sun roof. The weighted club shatters the opening, and Daredevil is pulling a young mother and son out of the car.
Spider-Girl is just glad that she a) did not land on the Camaro, b) was not the thug Thor had been fighting before, or c) big enough for him to notice. She hears Thor coming before she sees him and, although she's never seen him in full-on action before, trusts her gut when it tells her to /move away from the impact zone/. So she throws an arm around a slow-moving civilian, fires off a webline, and yanks the pair of them out of the way before Mjolnir can meet Monster and produce a shockwave.
"If you have a phone," Spider-Girl tells the rather frazzled-looking man as she sets him down halfway up the block, "You might wanna call the cops. So they can call somebody else." Like Superman. Superman would be excellent right about now.
Laser nods as a big enough chunk of concrete finally falls away to let the men in suits escape. Oh glorious new hero, well done! You probably just saved the two greasiest lawyers in Manhattan. But they're still human, Laser reminds himself, and they'll be safe now.
Laser turns rises slowly into the air to take in the madness from a better vantage point. It was true too, that everyone does indeed know who the Hulk is, and Laser had no illusions about his chances taking him. Besides - it looks like the guy with the hammer is taking the front line here, so that's fine. But there are still a /lot/ of people running for cover. And suddenly Laser sees his next job. Half a dozen people are bolting for it, trying to put as much distance between them at the Serious Business going on back there, but with all the smashing of buildings, a serious chunk of rubble has dislodged itself to be on a collision course with the running crowd. In a flurry of bolts and blasts that leaves Laser panting, he carves the biggest pieces into chunks no bigger than someone's hand. Sure, they'll bruise someone real bad, but they'll be able to keep running.
The moment Thor's booming voice reaches her ears, Sif's head snaps in his direction. Upon seeing him aimed for the Hulk, ice-blue eyes widen. Not good! "Damn." A look is cast to Pepper for a moment and then back to Thor. "Working on it... Try to stay safe. I get the feeling someone would try to kill me if any harm came to you..."
She gives herself a moment to survey the scene around her. Three others working to free and move civilians. Good. The building Thor has partially demolished is still structurally sound. Also good.
Thor flying through the air. Wait... what? Not good! The Goddess, instead of getting angry, goes perfectly calm and her sword is drawn. In the blink of an eye, she's standing in front of the Hulk and just smirking. Her blade is given a quick twirl, showing her skill and making it very clear that she's his next opponent.
Twice is as many minutes is the Lord of Storms sent flying backwards. He lands atop an abandoned car, flattening it with his over seven hundred pounds (and Hulk's added force). The Thunderer doesn't want to let that slow him, but for a moment, a mere moment, Thor must get his bearings. That /hurt/. A grin spreads across his face, before his features smooth over in the mask of battle. The Protector of Midgard will prevail this day.
Drifting up out of the wreckage that was the car, floating above the people running, Thor settles his now electric blue eyes upon the Hulk. He points Mjolnir at the green monster.
"Beast," shouts he, the Prince of Asgard, as his Sword Maiden steps between him and his foe. Good. Sif will be helpful.
"Foul creature! Strong thou may be, but there is little that can long withstand the might of Asgard," Thor states, drifting up so as to prevent hurting any mortals with the sudden tornado he summons behind him in order to return the favor of the flying punch. Of course, his is going to have a little lightning to go with it, for as he flings himself, lightning crackles from the runes of the weapon on his right hand.
Thor is coming in from above, at an angle that should he connect, will hopefuly drop Hulk to the ground, flat on his back, vitals exposed to the Sword Maiden's blade, while landing him on the street some four yards past. Big if.
Many think to approach the Hulk like some huge child having a tantrum, or a vicious monster without reason. But in truth, the Hulk is a creature of instinct, doing what he can to survive. And any threat that came his way needed to be dealt with, completely.
The new armored woman was not a threat, for she did no harm. No, the Hulk was focused on the one who hit him, who hurt him. It was a bit weird, for none have hurt the Hulk like he has. But that did not concern him, nor the words from the blue god; the fact that he attacked the Hulk was all that mattered. And his roar signalled that.
As the god flew up, Hulk went forward and jumped, disregarding the sword maiden. And he let his right fly as Thor let his hammer fall. And a huge boom emminated fron the connecting of two hits, sending both forces flying. Thor was hit real good, as was the Hulk.
Wherever Thor went, the Hulk went in the opposite direction, sent down on the ground and skipping through several abandoned cars and finally stopped when he hit the trailer of a semi. For most, that would be the end of it.
For the Hulk, it was merely the beginning, as he ripped open the trailer to get free. His loud war told anyone and everyone around that he was far from finished.
And that he was even more angry than before.
Pepper Potts hears Thor's bellowing, and remembers the last news report he heard about big, green, and grouchy. Ohhh, this is bad. She hurries out toward the epicenter of the chaos, knowing that this is a HUGE gamble. But if it works, she can stop the impendingbattle before it starts. "No, wait!" What the HELL is she thinking?
If Daredevil could read minds, the lawyer in him might be offended by Laser's assessment of the solicitor's profession, but his mind is certainly on other things at the moment. As he gets the one pair out of the trapped car, he fires off the grappling hook that is part of his billy club and swinging upward towards one of the windows above the main street level. People are sticking their heads out as the excitement erupts and builds below. Hearing a hand slip and a startled cry as a young kid begins to fall out of one of the said windows, Daredevil is there to catch the kid and hoist him back into the window. "Everyone, proceed to your exits at the back of the building. Do not go to the street." Most are not aware of who Daredevil is, unlike the Jolly Green Giant below them, so only a few actually begin to take Daredevil's words to heart.
The impact of Thunderer and Goliath knocks Daredevil from the ledge he is perched on along with shattering glass all about him. He has to use his arms to protect his face from the cascade of falling glass that seems twice as many to his radar due to the intense ringing in his ears. He crashes hard into the roof of a car below him, thankfully not a taxi, just a few hundred yards from the Hulk now leaving the semi truck trailer.
A few of the hand-sized stones are caught by webbing before they can strike the people fleeing ahead of them. Spider-Girl feels useful for precisely two seconds before the Hulk goes /sailing/ past and into a semi, which... does not seem to be slowing him down at all, awesome. This is /way/ above her pay grade.
"Hey! Lady!" Spider-Girl darts towards Pepper with an expression that, even with her mask, is clearly /very puzzled/. "What are you /doing/? You run /away/ from certain death, not into it!"
Laser blurs out of Thor's way, getting his flying self well and far away from the sudden tornado from nowhere. Watching Thor attempt the strategy of tripping up and exposing the Hulk starts to give Laser an idea though. One of those good old fashioned Bad Ideas. Most of the people that can be saved in a hurry are on their way, and Laser just doesn't have the brawn to go digging for more survivors. But he does have his Bad Idea.
He looks and sees Spider-Girl rushing to intervene with the mad woman, and nods to himself. She'd get her to safety. So Laser zips around in the sky to try and put the Hulk between him and Nordic gods. With the Hulk focused on them, and the gods pressing the attack, Laser presses his wrists together, palms facing out and down, unleashing a blinding beam of searing light to paint the concrete beneath and behind the Hulk's feet.
In moments, the ground goes soft, and then gooey. The Hulk probably doesn't even notice the heat, but if the Asguardians can knock him down again, he'll be flat out in a pool of molten concrete, tar, metal from cars too close to the beam.
It takes Laser a moment to realize the roaring noise in his ears is a combination of his heart racing, and his own voice shouting into the sounds of Thor's ongoing storm with the effort of maintaining his beam.
Underestimating Sif is a bad bad idea. Harming Thor in her presence? A worse one. Destroying the city of a world she's promised to help protect? Worse still. A despite all of that, the Sword Maiden simply smiles. One might think she's enjoying this or something.
The Goddess of War watches as both Thor and Hulk go flying. Instincts ignored, Sif waits until she sees where Hulk lands before teleporting herself to stand in front of him. She still has yet to speak, unlike the God she accompanied here.
A smirk is given before that swordsmanship of hers comes into play again. A quick run so she has enough momentum to use Hulk as a springboard, she vaults over him as the blades whistles through the air. She never seems to land on the other side, however since she teleported midjump. Instead, she lands several feet away in a crouch, head snapping up so her eyes can make sure her blade found it's mark.
Once more is Thor sent flying backward, ending up in a tumbling heap in the street. End over end does Thor roll, and his helm dislodges from his head to roll to a stop at Pepper's feet. Thor rumbles backward and lands in a splat against an occupied car. The vehicle skids several feet backward and rocks dangerouls onto two wheels at the impact.
Hair in his face, cape in disarray, Thor flips himself backward, and into a crouch facing the car. It drops itself back onto four wheels. The Thunderer lifts back to the skies, turning as he does to to glare at the beast. Frontal assaults won't work, so Thor will go for ranged attacks. That, and while he's tough, those strikes are hurting more than he'd care to admit. He can already feel one rib complaining with a slight fracture. Not that pain ever slowed him, not when Midgard or her children were in danger, but /still/. Thor's going to take a bit to try to drop the Hulk from afar before moving in to engage again.
('He has the disposition of a bilgesnipe,') is the flickering thought across Thor's mind. ('Hits like one too...')
Seeing Sif charge, Thor knows what's needed. The two have fight together for far too long. Where she slides, Thor calls lightning from the swirling vortex of clouds above him, and levels a fat white-blue bolt of electricity from Mjolnir, aimed directly at Hulk's midsection. The bolt zaps through the air the moment Sif disappears.
"I am the might of the Storm," Thor is bellowing. Because he's Thor, and he's as subtle as a hammer and anvil.
If the Hulk could, he would say something along the lines of, "Oh, it's ON now!" For that was the impression he gave, or something similar. His muscles were buldging, his body was growing, his roar was deafening. And his anger was growing, along with his strength.
He stepped on the ground to prepare for his next assault, only to feel the pain on his foot, burning him. The shock of the pain sent him back into the trailer, which brought his foot off of the molten concrete. There were very visable burns, but they were shrinking, healing. Soon all Hulk will remember is the pain. Which led him to rip up the rest of the trailer as he raged. However, this left the shelter open, and left him open.
It was then that the Sword Maiden decided to strike, cutting the Hulk deep. He was stunned for a bit, but then merely turned to see what hurt him. He saw the goddess, far away turning to see her handiwork. And she saw the Hulk light up, hit by a huge thunderbolt. The blast was so big that it destroyed the trailer, the semi, and the molten ground below, as well as any wrekage between. A large crater was all that was left.
But it didn't destroy the Hulk. It hurt, a lot. And that made the Hulk angrier. He didn't know what hit him, but he knew who. Covered with burns and molten concrete, he was not happy. As if to get off the stuff, he brought his hands together incredibly hard, ending in a huge sonic boom.
Whatever glass was intact in the area was broken. Any onlookers within range was immediately affected, and went momentarily deaf if close enough. And the skin was cleaned off, and began to heal. And the Hulk climbed out of the crater, larger than before, madder than before. And his sights were on the Sword Maiden.
Pepper Potts looks at Spider-Girl briefly, then appears ready to keep chasing after the Hulk. "Don't you watch the news? The last time this green person was on a rampage, the only way to get him to stop was to NOT fight with him. Go tell Thor to stop, that he's only makign things worse." And then she gets as close as she can to where the Hulk is now, and the boom of his hands clapping together makes her cry out in distress and cover her ears with her hands. She's likely the only helpless looking person left within eyeshot of the 'sparring' pair.
Ears ringing. Every nerve feeling like it is light up like a Christmas tree along his body, the blind hero crawls off of the car only to be caught in the thunderclap of Hulk's hands. Not the clap itself, but just the sound. He crumples to the ground, hands clasped to his head, his world spinning around him and out of control. He lurches forward, on his knees, and vomits into a storm drain. The man without fear is suffering major vertigo just being on the ground for this one. He shakes his head, trying to find one sound to concentrate on, find his way out of this massive cacophony that has become Midtown Manhatten.
"Not all superheroes know each other, you know!" Spider-Girl shouts after Pepper, sounding a bit insulted by the suggestion. ...of course, she and Thor /do/ kind of know each other, but. Uhhh. ... Shut up.
Once her head has stopped ringing, Spider-Girl evaluates the situation. Okay. Not getting /any closer/, but she needs people to stop and /listen/. Right. She can do that. She takes a running leap up onto the side of a building and sprints her way closer to the brawling trio, before she reaches out... and launches some webbing towards Thor's mouth. It's Spidey-Speak for SHUT UP.
Good gravy! Ok, well no one said it /wasn't/ a Bad Idea. The Hulk is even worse in person than Laser ever imagined. It had taken all of Laser's effort to maintain his full beam, so he barely reacted when the sword maiden blinked through her amazing aerial acrobatic attack, and then again when Thor's bolt hit. The barely functioning rational part of Laser's brain had been expecting those kinds of attacks. But when the Hulk brings his hands together, it catches Laser completely off guard. Fortunately, the small man was just high enough up to avoid the very worst of it, but even so, he's blown high into the air, unhurt, but out of control. As new to flying as he is, and horrifically frightening, and titanically powerful a monster the Hulk is, it takes all of Laser's concentration just to counteract his own spinning momentum, and horror, and eventually bring himself around in an arc to approach and assess what to do next.
Sif smiles as the lightning strikes the green beast. She and Thor have been through so many battles together it's no wonder they play off each others moves so well. That boom leaves her ears ringing for a moment and any glass that finds it's mark on her, the cuts go unheeded for now.
When Hulk emerges and turns his gaze on her, she grins. Good. She has his attention now. Standing from her crouch, the Goddess of War, twirls that sword again, letting the light glint off of it. She's good at playing decoy!
Her eyes flicker to those around her to see where the others she saw earlier are. It's then that she noticesSpider-Girl aiming her webbing at Thor and the Goddess' eyes narrow. Those pale pools flash back and forth between Hulk and the woman who appears to be attack the Thunder God in some manner.
Hmm... two birds with one stone maybe? Another glance is cast at Hulk to make sure she still has his attention before she begins running, full speed, towards Spider-Girl.
The sonic boom buffeted Thor, forcing him to turn his face aside, and toward Sipder-Girl. Thor opened his mouth to speak again, only to get a maw-full of sticky white webbing. Thor would sputter, but he can't. Thor would curse, but he can't. Thor would do any number of things, except his mouth and lower part of his face is coated in webbing. Muffled sounds come from the Thunderer, and he drops from the sky to land with a crack of asphalt on the street. His left hand comes up to pull and tear at the webbing.
Hulk was filled with rage. He didn't ask for this. He didn't want this. He just appeared, and was just angry at the beginning. The metal man. The hammer man. The sword woman. Everyone attacked him. Everyone was against him.
Everyone must pay.
And first it is the sword woman. The light from the sword stunned him, bugged him, angered him. He let out a roar of annoyance, using his hands to cover the light. When he could see, he glared at the woman. Her attention was towards something else. And this insulted the Hulk. She ran towards something else.
And ran smacked into Hulk's arms. It's never a good idea to keep your eyes off of your prey. And now he caught her. She was strong; he was stronger. His hand was big enough to hold her frame by now, but he decided to use both of them. She cut him. He will crush her.
And so he did. He pressed hard. She would be harder to crush than anything else, but he would not stop until the threat was gone. His strength had increased tremendously, and so by now the goddess would not be able to free herself, her sword dropping when she was caught.
This was not good.
Pepper Potts is disoriented by the ringing in her ears, though not nearly as badly as Daredevil. She looks around just in time to see the Hulk snag the swordwoman and start to squish her. "Oh god." She runs straight up to the green angry man and holds up her empty hands. "Please! Stop! You're hurting people!" She can't tell if she's shouting or not, but she hopes she's making herself heard.
The one thing Daredevil was able to concentrate on was Pepper's call for calming influence. It was enough to get him back onto his knees. His radar focuses enough to be able to pinpoint Hulk as if he was a glowing green neon sign. He couldn't miss him for all the tea in China, and now he is squeezing the other like a rag doll. Yes, he heard the call for calm, but at the same time, maybe just being an annoying fly might get him to drop the other. One hand drops to his left side and with one fluid motion, the billy club is flying towards Hulk. Towards the heavy sound of the giant's breathing.
"Sorry! Red said --" Spider-Girl cuts her apology and explanation short when she sees Sif coming. She barely has time to point over her shoulder, her eyes wide behind the mask before it's too late. Ohhhh, dear. Thor isn't gonna like that. She doesn't know why she says what she does; it just made sense at the time.
"Please, Hammer! Don't hurt 'im!" Spider-Girl bellows, diving off the building and rushing closer to try and put herself between Hulk and Thor. Fortunately, she's aware enough to notice something moving towards Hulk out of the corner of her eye. Without thinking, she whirls around and tries to knock the billy club out of the air with another line of webbing. "Whoa! Bad idea!"
Laser flies back to land on the edge of a nearby building, and looks around at the scene below, totally bewildered as to what to do. The heroes are all engaged in scattered activities, all except the woman pleading for the Hulk to stop, and the poor goddess in his grasp. Laser grips the edge of the building until his knuckles bleed, filled with frustration at not being able to help, at not being able to do anything but watch this poor woman be crushed to death. What was going /on/ down there?
There isn't even time for Sif to take a breath as she's caught before she can feel her ribs starting to crack. To her credit, however, she doesn't once scream. The first rib breaks and her jaw clenches. She isn't at all easy to squish. She would teleport if her mind wasn't focused on the searing pain shooting through her and the need to make sure that Thor is alright. Two more ribs break and it takes all the Sword Maiden has not to cry out. If she only had her sword... Damn.
Struggling with the webbing on his face, Thor catches sight of Hulk grabbing Sif up and beginning to squeeze. Blue-gray eyes widen in fury, and seeing the pain lance through Sif's face, Thor reacts. Perhaps badly. He charges again, flying with the speed of a hurricane at his back. He seeks to cling to the Hulk's hand, drop Mjolnir upon a large green foot (it won't hurt, really. The hammer is not all that heavy. It just refuses to move until Thor is holding it. Stubborn hammer.), so that both hands are free to try to pry loose the fingers crushing /HIS/ Sword Maiden. He can't speak, but surely that need to free Sif reads clearly enough on her face.
Very few people know what exactly can stop the Hulk's rampage. Even less care to try. But it was done, at least once. But the first time, it was done in a way that it is being done this time.
The words were familiar. The voice wasn't but the words were. That's what the Hulk was thinking, when he turned to see who spoke them. Still holding the goddess in his hands, albeit with a loosened grip, he turned to find their origin. It was this turn that caused him to completely avoid the flying club, helped by the misdirection of the webbing. And it was there he saw her.
There was something... familiar. The hair was different. The face was different. The body was different. Everything was different. And yet...
'Hulk, please! Stop! You're hurting people!'
These words, their meaning, their feeling, they touched the green beast. They came from a woman, another woman, so close to him, so dear. It wasn't this woman, but it was. He never met her, but he did. A name came, a name that hasn't been uttered by him, or his alter-ego for a long time.
After this utterance, Hulk completely let go of his prey, the maiden slumping to the ground. He stared at this woman, and in his mind it wasn't the red-head, but a brunette woman. A woman with soft features. A woman he loved. A woman he... hurt.
And hurt he was. As he let go of the goddess, the thunder god was so close to hitting his target; but now seeing her free his direction changes. But he didn't matter anymore. She didn't matter anymore. None of this mattered anymore.
Only Betty. Only the pain he caused her.
Hulk grasped his head, and let out another roar. But this was different; it wasn't out of anger, but of regret, of saddness. He shook himself, holding his head with his hands. He was confused, and he didn't like it. He wronged her, and he was guilt-ridden. He couldn't stand it. He had to leave.
And so, as if a mircale came, the Hulk turned away from the woman, turned away from the heroes, and ran. He ran and ran. The cars were nothing. The police, with their sirens as they approached, were nothing. The news copters, finally coming in close, were nothing. The screams, the cries, all nothing.
Hulk just wanted out. And his way out was towards the Atlantic.
Pepper Potts keeps her hands up and looks ready to keep trying to talk the Hulk down, but then he abruptly made one of the most forlorn sounds she's ever barely been able to hear past the ringing in her ears and bolted. She stands there almost dumbstruck for a good second or three before blinking and taking a breath. Then her attention turns to the fallen swordswoman, kneeling close and putting one hand on the lady's shoulder gently. "Don't move, it's going to be okay." She really hopes so, she can't hear if there are rescue vehicles approaching.
Daredevil just sits on his knees catching his breath and refocusing the world as the Hulk leaves and quiet begins to descend on the scene once more. Slowly he puts one foot down and, like a boxer pulling himself off the ring floor, he gets to his feet. He looks a little unsteady, but he is upright now. He's lost his billy club for the time being among the wreckage of the area so he just makes his way towards an alley, and jumps from one wall to another until he can catch hold of a fire escape. With that, he is rapidly moving up and away from the scene. He goes back towards Hell's Kitchen where the ground doesn't shake.
Well. At least Thor went /over/ Spider-Girl. She's pretty sure catching him in the face would have hurt, like, a lot. She whirls around to peer after him and make sure he doesn't make things worse, and clamps her hands down over her earns when the Hulk lets out another roar.
But he dropped the sword lady. So that's progress, right?
Spider-Girl trusts Thor and the redhead to take care of them. She is /not/ sure she trusts the Hulk to stay out of trouble, or other people to stay out of his way. "Sorry about the web!" she calls towards Thor before she's off and running again, getting a pair of lines attached to buildings on opposite sides of the street so she can slingshot herself up into the air and chase after Hulk. She has no intention of stopping him -- she just wants to be sure nobody gets any bright ideas before he gets where he's going.
Laser stares as the Hulk retreats, and is surprised at the tear rolling down his face as the sound of the big guy's pained roar. He takes a deep breath, and turns his gaze a little wider now, and sees the emergency vehicles trying to shove their way through debris and crushed cars to try and get in and rescue the rest of the survivors trapped in close to the fighting. Laser moves fast and begins cutting open paths with flashing beams of light for the EMTs to follow in. When the paths are open, he begins marking buildings where he knows people are trapped with scorch-mark arrows pointing down. "There are still people in there!" he calls out to the emergency responders.
Sif /almost/ passed out for a moment there. At least three ribs are broken. Her eyes focus on Pepper for only a moment and she offers a reasurring smile before her full attention turns to Thor. With a wince, she reaches up to try to remove the webbing before her eyes widen. "Where's... the woman... that did this...?" And even if she doesn't say it, the Goddess intent when she gets a hold of Spider-Girl is clear. It'll just have to wait until she doesn't feel as if her sides are on fire. For now... All she wants is the soft pillows and blankets of their home. And an apple.
Mjolnir falls to the floor where the Hulk was. Thor, so focused on prying free those fingers, misses his catch on Sif. He flits to the ground by her side, opposite Pepper. His hands go to her in an instant, eyes troubled, worried, and concerned. The danger is passed, the beast has fled. Thor summons hte hammer to clip to his belt. He would speak, but his mouth remains filled with webbing. There's a flick of a glance at the Spider-Girl, a faint narrowing of blue-gray eyes before he turns back to Sif and Pepper.
Thor points to Sif, points to Pepper, then shakes his head and shrugs in what looks like confusion. Damn these webs! Thor brings his right hand up and rip at more webbings. He just can't get free of the stuff! It's /in/ his mouth.
When Sif frees him a bit more, but not enough, Thor just shakes his head again and wordlessly moves to gingerly scoop up the ravenhaired woman. The Asgardian looks about the area, the broken glass and cars, the ruined sidewalks and a few cracked buildings. All in all, the damage COULD have been worse. A few days of clean up, it and will be fixed. Thor turned to look at Pepper, then glances at Sif. His brows pull together, and he surveys the scene again. He'll have to come back to clean this, but not now. Now, he must care for the woman in his arms. One last glance to Pepper, and Thor gives her a bowing sort of nod. It's a simple statement of 'My hall shall know of thy valor.' Truly, had Pepper /not/ spoken to the beast, this fight would have ended much differently.
Two steps are taken, and Thor lifts from the ground to fly himself and Sif home to SoHo, just as gently as he can.
"Hulk, please stop this!"
"You're hurting your friends!"
"Please, I know you don't want to do this!"
Her voice kept coming. It wouldn't stop. The pain wouldn't stop. He couldn't take it. There was no way to fight this, no way to smash it. All the cars, all the roads, all the traffic were nothing compared to his rush. He need it to stop, he needed to stop hurting. And he was too fast for any car to catch up to him now, especially in Manhattan.
There was one way to stop this, he remembered. He once jumped real high, and when he landed, there was nothing but blue. And then nothing but black. He wanted it, he longed for it. This would calm him down, this will give him peace. And peace was all he wanted now.
He was close now, he could feel it. The air was cooler and salty. He remembers. And he sees. The big blue, awaiting him.
And so he jumps. He jumps high. And it takes a while, but soon it comes. SPLASH! All became blue, and then black. And then the voices stopped, and the Hulk was calm.
Pepper Potts watches Thor carry the swordswoman away, then looks around as if a bit lost. Her eyes stop on something incongruently shiny, and she steps over to retrieve Sif's sword from the debris scattered about. She keeps a hold of it even after the emergency vehicles arrive and the EMTs move to check on her. God. On a scale of one to ten, how angry is Tony going to be when he hears about this?
The search for the green giant has been going on, albeit carefully. Of course, the search for Bruce Banner is happening as well, in case the thing changed back. It has become so big that the entire city has shut down as well. And so there were many search parties in the sea, and around the city.
But none would have guessed that he would end up in Monmouth Beach. At least, not immediately. But Bruce definitely wouldn't have guessed that, waking up ever so slightly on the beach, which happened to be empty that day. Except for him, and...
Bruce looked up, and saw a woman. A beautiful woman, with long brown hair and lovely blue eyes. She gave him a kind smile, and he returned with a weak one. He missed her. But somehow, the form was changing, the image was no longer the woman he loved... But a different woman. A blond woman, noticibly younger, but still beautiful. And there were two more, just like her. Exactly like her. Bruce didn't know what was happening at the time, except that he was very tired.
A soft hand was placed on his head. Followed by another. And another. the hands were so warm, giving him peace. And in this peace, he closed his eyes again, giving into exhaustion.