Subject: [FFML] [Draft 2][SM/SM] The Amazing Spiderwoman Chapter 14
From: StudioPC
Date: 11/22/2006, 6:02 AM
To: FFML

Disclaimer: Sailor Moon is the creation of Naoko Takeuchi, Spiderman  
and related concepts by Stan Lee. No Money is being made from this  
and no such intent should be inferred.

Chapter 14: Grand Plans . . . or at least a reasonable facsimile  
thereof.

--------------

Carol Danvers clicked off her comlink and smiled coldly. Finally,  
some action. She was a tall, athletic woman, with blond hair and the  
fine features of a model and soft curves under the midnight blue of  
her uniform. However, she only looked soft. In fact, she was a ten  
year veteran of the Air Force, and five years with S.H.I.E.L.D. She  
was also a fully trained and blooded combat pilot and served as  
Fury's right hand man.

Not bad for a girl from the middle of nowhere America.

But now she stood up and began removing her uniform, revealing a  
midnight-blue, sleeveless, legless bodysuit with a yellow lighting  
bolt across the chest and a red sash for a belt. She also wore boots  
and gloves of midnight blue.

"Your pardon, war-leader," said a youma nearby. "But what is this  
Jungleball that your war-master speaks of? And what is the  
significance of this garb that you wear under your . . . armor?"

"Keitian, right?" Danvers asked. The youma nodded. "Well, Jungleball  
is a simple game. We go find the rest of you clan and then head for  
the hanger. Anything in our way gets killed or destroyed." She  
reconfigured her S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform into a pack and slipped her  
arms through the straps. "As for the costume?" Her smile, if  
possible, was even colder. "Warbird wants to come out and play." She  
slipped on a domino mask and waved to one of the Lieutenants.

"The Colonel's going to be busy for a while," she said. "He thinks we  
might want to head out for a game of Jungleball and take Nerium with  
us."

The officer's answering smile was hungry.

------------------

With Usagi dealt with, Beryl returned to the birthing chamber and  
gazed upon her weapon. Twenty-five feet tall, red and black armor and  
next to it, constrained by a force field, a seething, writhing sphere  
of raw energy. This was her greatest creation, her child, really,  
since it was her DNA that had formed the baseline for it's matrix.

"Your highness."

Beryl gazed at the man who had spoken. A tall, broadshouldered man  
with a short beard and a red diamond in his forehead. He was clad in  
black and his eyes, like his skin, were pure white.

"Sinister," she said shortly, giving him a brief nod. "Update me."

"Of course. The matrix is nearly complete, but the armor, as you can  
see, is finished."

"What do you mean, the matrix is nearly complete?"

"There have been problems retrieving the final sample. The host is  
too well protected. Any overt attempts will draw the attention of his  
parents and their two associates."

"As if I care about that." Beryl snorted. "There are only four of  
them. I have an army. It's simple numbers."

"Then you're an idiot," Sinister retorted. "Do not take them lightly."

Beryl frowned at him. "Are you scared of them, Sinister? This  
Fantastic Four?"

"Hardly. But nor am I a fool. If they are on to us, they will keep  
coming, and coming and coming until we are destroyed. Their DNA is  
unremarkable, but they have a curious ability to achieve the  
seemingly impossible. I may take samples some day for my files."

Beryl considered this. Sinister was no fool and he was as ruthless as  
they came. If he advised caution, she would doubtless do well to heed  
his advice. But on the other hand, time was running out. Onslaught  
had to be ready in time for the Conjunction.

Sinister regarded his employer thoughtfully through his peripheral  
vision. He was under no illusions about her. She was attractive,  
admirably ruthless and most troubling, dealt in dark magic.

Sinister hated magic. There were no rules, no laws to govern its  
operation, just spells and having to watch ones back for entities who  
could wipe you out of existance with a thought because you somehow  
offended them, or torture you for centuries, just because they could.

No thank you. Science was a much saner and safer realm and Sinister  
would take it any day. But when Beryl had approached him with this  
project, the idea had intrigued him, despite his misgivings about  
mixing in magic.

Sinister suspected his curiousity would be the death of him. Someday.

Neither of them noticed the cartoon rabbit that appeared on a monitor  
screen, sniggered silently, and then vanished.

------------------

Moubou was the only surviving Wakandan and he was missing his right  
arm and left leg. He lay on the ground, thankfully unconscious as  
Fury and Jupiter tightened the tourniquets around the remains of his  
missing limbs.

"Where's Magnetite?" Fury asked Banner as the scientist came back  
into the room.

"Opened some kind of portal," Banner replied. "How's Moubu?"

"Out cold and drugged up to keep him that way," Fury replied and  
patted Ubiu's pack. "Wakanda outfits its medics right."

"You have medic training, Fury?" Banner asked he took the Wakandan's  
pulse. It beat against his fingers, slower than he'd have liked, but  
steady.

Fury let out a snort. "Banner, I was a soldier since before Gavrilo  
Princip got involved in politics. You name it, I've done it." He  
stood up and stripped off the latex gloves. "He's stable, but only as  
long as Ubiu's little pack of wonders holds out."

Jupiter blinked at him. "Who?"

"Princip was the Serbian assassin who killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand  
in nineteen fourteen," Banner replied. "The Austrians retaliated  
against Serbia, resulting in World War One."

Jupiter stared at Fury, mouth agape. She would have pegged Fury at  
fifty-five, maybe sixty. But if he'd been a soldier since before the  
war . . . "How old are you?" she asked him.

Fury grunted. "I quit counting years ago."

Jupiter decided not to think about that too much and instead pulled a  
blanket over Moubu. "So now what?"

"We should not linger," Troya said. The Youma's battle spear had been  
broken and the broad blade was red with blood. "War-Leader Danvers is  
doubtless waiting for us and we still must find the Clan-Chief."

"Good idea," Fury said. "Where's Spiderwoman?"

Jupiter jerked a thumb over her shoulder. "Over there by the reactor."

Banner and Fury went over to the computer terminal. Mask off,  
Spiderwoman's fingers were dancing over the controls. On the screens,  
windows opened and closed as she manipulated data like a pianist  
giving a concert.

"We're rolling," Fury told her. "Unless you got something."

"I do," Spiderwoman replied. "Doctor Franklin spent a great deal of  
time here. He has a folder filled not only with notes, but plans for  
the reactor, both original, and how he modified it for better  
efficiency."

"What?" Banner leaned over her shoulder. "Lemme see."

"We don't have time for this," Fury growled.

"We do," Spiderwoman corrected. "Beryl's portal network is hooked  
into the reactor as well as Onslaught, but the files on Onslaught are  
encrypted, which is troubling."

"No kidding," Fury said. "Last thing we need is this Onslaught thing  
turning around and biting us all in the ass. We don't even know what  
it is."

"Not that," Spiderwoman said. She sat back in the chair, her the  
knuckle of her forefinger pressed to her lips. "The encryption  
algorithm on the files is by Tsukino Heavy Industries and it's not  
the commercial release. I suspect that it's their internal security  
version, which implies a connection."

"And a high level one at that," Fury said. "Can you get the hard  
drive out? We'll take it with us. It's enough for me to start poking  
at them."

"What about just copying the files to a flash drive?" Banner asked  
and removed one from his pocket.

"I have one of those," Spiderwoman said, taking hers out.

"Nice," Banner said. "Mine is two gigs. Yours?"

"One," Spiderwoman said, looking slightly embarassed.

"You have to be kidding me," Fury complained, crossing his arms. "You  
take a flash drive with you on a life or death mission?"

"Yeah?" Banner said. "And what do you take when you go grocery  
shopping?"

Fury glared at him. "Fine. Just make it snappy, will ya?" He stormed  
off, muttering to himself.

Spiderwoman compressed the files, enabling her to fill both Banner's  
flash drive, and her own.

"We're done," Banner called out, slipping both drives into his pocket.

"'Bout time," Fury called back.

However, Spiderwoman was still typing. Banner peered at the screens,  
she was  . . . oh hell.

"Has to be done," she said. "With any luck, the explosion will take  
Onslaught with it and seal the youma in this dimension. Without the  
reactor to power the portals, they'll be stuck here. More to the  
point, the vibranium and the adamantium can't be allowed to stay in  
Beryl's hands."

"You do realize that even if they are the enemy, this amounts to  
genocide," Banner said.

"Yes," was the reply. "But it has to be done."

Banner pushed her aside and completed the sequence. "Better this  
way," he said, as she stared at him. "I've got plenty of guilt," he  
said. "What's genocide on top of that?" He pressed the enter key.

"I . . ."

"You thought about it," Banner said, looking her in the eye.  
"Thinking about it is one thing, doing it is another. Remember that.  
You didn't do it." He held up a hand. "Don't thank me. It's not  
something I want to be thanked for or even remember. Let's just find  
Sailor Moon and get out of here. In fifteen minutes, the meltdown  
starts. Fifteen minutes after that, we all go boom."

Spiderwoman nodded and pulled on her mask.

--------------------

Oddly, Beryl was unsurprised to enter her private chambers and find  
Sailor Moon seated in one of her chairs, a leg thrown casually over  
one of the arms. She was eating strawberries and a glass of wine was  
balanced on one knee.

"Usagi," Beryl said crossing her arms. "Somehow I'm not surprised to  
see you here. Dare I ask how you escaped?"

"You need to watch more science fiction, Berry," Sailor Moon replied,  
drinking from the glass and popping the last strawberry into her mouth.

"Do tell," Beryl replied, raising one eyebrow.

It's simple, really. Don't you know that when you plug someone into  
full scale VR, they can seize control of the computer?"

"As I recall, only Neo could control the Matrix," Beryl replied. "And  
then only imperfectly."

"Neo?" Sailor Moon chortled, "Neo sucks baby donkey ass. Lawnmower  
Man, VR Five, the season four finale of Babylon Five. You know, the  
good stuff."

"I can't say that I do, but I believe I understand now. You took  
control of the computer and made it release the locks on your capsule  
from the inside."

"Not bad for a brainless bimbo, Berry," Sailor Moon said. "Now here's  
another one. Pay attention, it's tricky. What am I going to do to  
you? A hint; it involves hurting you. Badly."

Beryl summoned her scepter and transformed it into a sword. "I don't  
know who you were in the Silver Millennium, Usagi, but as Senator  
Beryl, I was a Grand Master with a sword, and as Beryl Masuto, I am a  
regional fencing champion. I doubt your skills are any similar."

Sailor Moon downed the last of the wine, tossed the glass aside, and  
picked up her own sword and the hammer-axe. "Maybe not, Berry, but  
I'm a pretty fast learner. You'd be surprised."

"All right then, Usagi," Beryl, taking her stance, "go on then.  
Surprise me."

Sailor Moon snickered and then her sword flashed out.

--------------------

It was Spiderwoman who heard it first. A distant rumbling and the  
clash of metal on metal. Then, as they reached a cross section, they  
had to pull up short as Sailor Moon and Beryl shot through the  
middle, swords clanging and sparking. They stopped and watched,  
dumbfounded, as Sailor Moon and Beryl passed by, their blows sending  
each other flying, only to land on their feet and charge back in,  
leaping off the walls and sliding across the floor.

Sailor Moon had her sword and the hammer-axe, Beryl was using a pair  
of sabers. As they watched, Sailor Moon launched a series of thrusts  
and then  spun, slashing with her sword and then bringing down the  
axe in an overhand blow, which Beryl dodged.

"It's like Rurouni Kenshin on crack," Jupiter observed.

"When did Sailor Moon get so good?" Spiderwoman asked.

"That's what I'd like to know!" Beryl exclaimed as they moved out of  
sight down the hallway.

"Odd," was all Troya had to say.

"Odd doesn't even begin to describe her," Fury noted.

"No, not that, though it is apt. Khandir was an idiot, but he was  
very good with the hammer-axe. In fact, he often used it one handed."

"So?" Banner asked.

"She is using it exactly as he would have had he wielded a sword in  
his other hand."

"Cripes," Fury muttered, "Two of 'em." Banner shot him a look, but  
Fury's answering look said that he had no intention of explaining.

"Well," Jupiter said with a shrug, at least we found her, right?"

Fury's com crackled to life. "Sir, we've won our game of Jungleball  
and are holding at the hanger. Nerium had some outs, but we're  
otherwise intact. Your status?"

"We've lost all the Wakandans with the exception of Moubu," Fury  
replied, "And he's critical."

"Yes, sir. We've obtained the remainder of Nerium, mostly their  
females and children. The rest chose to cover the escape."

"Understood," Fury replied. "Be advised that that there will be a  
gamma reactor meltdown commencing in fifteen minutes. If we're not at  
your location in ten, take off. Advising S.H.I.E.L.D. Command is top  
priority. Copy?"

"Sir, I . . . yes, sir. I copy."

"Fury, out." The com clicked off and Fury looked at the others as  
Banner cleared his throat.

"Nick, you and Troya make the roundevouz with Danvers." He unslung  
Moubou from where he'd had been slung across his back in a makeshift  
sling. "The girls and I will go after Tsukino." He held the  
unconscious man out to Troya, who took him carefully.

"Now wait just a cotton pickin minute, Banner," Fury demanded, poking  
Banner in the chest with a finger. "What in the Sam Hill makes you  
think --"

"Mobou needs a hospital and you said it yourself that advising  
S.H.I.E.L.D. command is top priority," Banner said, cutting Fury off.  
"The rest of us are expendable." He handed Fury the two flash drives.  
"Tony and Reed should be able to make sense out of these."

Fury made a noise in his throat and took the drives. "Move it,  
Banner. I got enough funerals to go to as it is." He and Troya took  
off in one direction and Banner, Jupiter, and Spiderwoman ran after  
Beryl and Sailor Moon.

Fourteen minutes and counting.

-------------------

Panic.

Beryl was feeling panic. She shouldn't be. After all, there was no  
way Sailor Moon could beat her, champion of the Moon Kingdom or no.

But she was. Beryl had found herself unexpectedly on the defensive  
and Usagi was improving with every parry, thrust, and stroke.

"You're a mutant, aren't you?" Beryl accused as she tried to get out  
of the reach of Sailor Moon's blades.

"I don't know," Sailor Moon replied tilting her head, blue eyes  
glittering mockingly. "Am I?" She grinned. "I suppose that means I'm  
cheating. But then you know all about that, don't you?"

"Don't you dare make this about that, Usagi!" Beryl shouted. "I did  
nothing wrong!"

"I was twelve, Beryl. Twelve years old!"

"You're still mad about that?"

Sailor Moon only cackled and then leapt at Beryl, the impact driving  
her back and Sailor Moon riding the momentum as they both tumbled  
through a glass window, plunging downwards, swords ringing and  
clashing before they both landed in a large room, filled with columns  
arranged in around a center space.

Sailor Moon disengaged and then ran for the clearing, Beryl close  
behind.

Then the lights went out.

A moment later, a single cone of light came down over Beryl and  
Sailor Moon's voice came out of the darkness.

"Do you know what the primary problem of Japan is? Besides the shitty  
economy and gajin fanboys, I mean."

'Now what?' Beryl wondered as she looked around, waiting for a sneak  
attack. What was she up to?

"Don't know? The answer is everything. Everything is wrong with it.  
 From the government to the air qaulity. It's all wrong, every last  
stinking bit of it."

"And you have a solution?"

"Of course I do. I'm going to blow it up. There's no problem that  
can't be solved if you got a big enough bomb, you know. But first,  
since you've outlived your usefulness, you gotta die. Shall I tell  
you my grand scheme? Just so you can finally see that I'm the smarter  
one before you die?"

For a moment, Beryl froze and then she laughed. "Sorry, Usagi," she  
sneered, "but I know you had a nervous breakdown when Naru betrayed  
you. The sociopath routine won't work on me."

The lights came back on and Sailor Moon was standing not five feet  
away. "Oh well," the blonde said with a sigh. "It was worth a shot."  
She shrugged philosophically. "I am going to kill you though."

"I already told you, Usagi, the sociopath routine doesn't work."

"Who's being a sociopath?" Sailor Moon replied, "I'm crazy,  
remember?" She gave Beryl a thoughtful look. "Aliens."

"What?"

"Hm? Oh, you've been possessed by aliens, so I had to kill you. Good  
of the Human Race and all that." She pursed her lips in thought. "The  
Melanons, they're called. Oversized cockroaches. Burrow into your  
brain and take it over."

She might as well have been choosing wallpaper. Her tone was so  
matter of fact that Beryl lowered her swords in astonishment and  
Sailor Moon struck, leaping in and knocking both blades out of  
Beryl's hands.

Beryl sank to her knees in defeat and stared up at Sailor Moon. "Who  
are you?" she asked in a whisper.

Sailor Moon smiled down at her. "There can be only one."

The blade whistled as it came in and struck Beryl's head from her  
shoulders, sending it flying.

"I've always wanted to say that," Sailor Moon said and walked out of  
the room whistling cheerfully.

Beryl watched her go and waited for the light to fade. She was dead,  
after all.

Wasn't she?

"I warned you," Metallia's voice echoed in her mind. "I warned you of  
the price of defeat."

As Beryl watched, her body began to extrude tentacles from the hole  
where her neck had been as her neck began to do the same.

And then Beryl realized. She realized that Mettalia had been  
manipulating her mind, shielding it from the horrors she'd committed.  
But now, the shield was gone and Beryl was confronted by the full  
scope of her crimes.

She screamed, she screamed as she understood everything, including  
what she had given herself too. What she had become.

She screamed until Mettalia obliterated her mind and arose in her body.

She threw back her head and roared a challenge to her foe.

It came back from down the hallway.

"Aw, shaddup!"

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