Sinister Six (12): Doctor Octopus, Kraven, Vulture, Mysterio, Sandman, Electro

Nextwave (13): Monica Rambeau, Machine Man, Tabitha Smith, Elsa Bloodstone, The Captain

This situation is deteriorating rapidly, thought Dr. Otto Octavius as he surveyed the arena. First, that idiot calling himself the Captain had shot into the sky and chased down the Vulture, grounding him within 30 seconds and ripping his wing-suit apart, all while Tooms pleaded for mercy. Mysterio had succeeded in distracting the trench-coated imbecile for a time with his illusions, until the Rambeau woman from the old Avengers had used her electromagnetic powers to disperse his lightshow and free her dim-witted heavy-hitter, who had quickly shattered Beck’s ridiculous helmet and subdued him.

Why must I be saddled with these fools every time, especially now? This team, they don’t pull their punches like Parker…

Now he found himself facing off against the Machine Man, another holdover from a bygone era of the damned Avengers, who seemed to think his extendable arms could be the equal of Octavius’ prosthetics. The nerve of this… this soulless tinkertoy!

“Hey lookit! I can stretch my metal arm thingies longer than you can stretch your metal back thingies!” exclaimed the aggravating robot. Abel Stack was a gifted fool, Octavius thought as he swiped at the robot’s head with his tentacles and was continuously parried and deflected by its willowy, responsive appendages. Almost as graceful as Richards’ rubbery form, blast them both! But my arms are stronger…

Octavius felt the robot’s own arms snaking around his neck and waist, but he concentrated on his neural link with his adamantium arms and slowly, surely, the robot came apart at the midsection with a satisfying wrenching sound, even as his soulless red eyes betrayed not a trace of pain and emotion.

“Hey, no fair! I wasn’t gonna do that to you probably!” it squawked, and Octavius’ fleeting feelings of victory evaporated as he realized the robot was still grasping him! Machine Man’s legs had only laid still long enough for him to turn around, and now while his arms were busy entangled in Otto’s tentacles, the robot’s detached feet shot up, kicked him in the face, and then snaked around his neck, again and again, until consciousness faded.

“Little help?” Aaron shouted to no one in particular as he tried to gather up all his robo-insides and hand-walked over to his lower half. As he reconnected himself, he watched the rest of his team take on the remaining bad guys. On the other end of the arena, the Captain and Boom Boom were having a tough time with the Sandman, since it’s hard to punch or blow up a guy who can’t be hurt when you scatter all his particles. Closer to Aaron and the fallen Doc Ock, Monica was facing off against Electro.

I don’t want any of that, thought Aaron. Guy could shut me down in a second.

It was at that moment that Monica noticed he was still moving around and shouted “Aaron, you ☠☠☠☠! Help me out with this guy!”

Dammit!

Electro turned, recognized Aaron from his red eyes and metal parts, and grinned.

Aw, ☠☠☠☠. A familiar wave of bright blue-white light flooded his optical sensors as Aaron resigned himself to a hard reset.

Now that he’s distracted with that ☠☠☠☠ robot I can redirect all that electricity as microwaves and cook this turkey! Monica thought as Electro turned away from her.

“Ha ha! Thought you’d get help from your little metal friend? Not likely!” Electro turned back to her. “That’s what you get when you mess with the Sinister Six! Now you’ll– aaaaaargh!” he screamed as Monica’s microwaves set his costume on fire. A swift kick to the jaw and he was down, smoldering and unconscious.

“Two,” she said, mostly to herself, but she couldn’t resist the joke. “Sinister Two.”

Across the Arena, Elsa Bloodstone and Kraven the Hunter circled each other warily. Kraven uttered a pitch-perfect replica of a lion’s roar, perfected over the decades. Elsa rummaged in her belt pouch for her ammunition.

“Do you have ample shot to bring down a whole pride of lions, Bloodstone? Is that absurd rifle sufficient to bring down a bull elephant? You may stalk the night and slay feckless vampires and mindless werewolves, but do you have the strength to defeat he who stands at the top of the natural order? The ultimate hunter?” He growled again as Elsa loaded her rifle and took aim.

“Let’s find out together,” she said, and took aim. Immediately Kraven rushed towards her, crouched so far down he was practically running on all fours, and seized the barrel of the rifle in both hands. In that same instant, with his heightened senses, Kraven noticed that Elsa’s finger wasn’t even on the trigger. They locked eyes in that moment, and she smiled as she used the rifle to redirect Kraven’s momentum, lifting the rifle over her head while he was still holding it and delivering a stunning piledriver to the Ultimate Hunter. Dazed, Kraven leapt up off his back and pounced at Elsa again, who spun the rifle around to wield it butt-first and met Kraven’s pounce with a satisfying thwack to the face, knocking him out.

“I hunt monsters, darling,” she said, not unsympathetically. “Lions aren’t much of a stretch. And fur’s become rather gauche, by the way.”

“Monica, help!” yelled the Captain, engulfed in… Sandman? It didn’t seem right to refer to it as just sand when it was part of… a dude. “Punching the sand isn’t working!”

Tabitha a.k.a. Boom-Boom was having similar problems. “He’s too granular! I can’t rig each individual grain of him to explode, it’d take all day!” She kept dutifully sticking her hands into his sand (ick) and detonating it, but the explosions were too small and didn’t seem to be having any effect on Flint Marko, who seemed content to whirl around them in a semi-human sandstorm, encircling the two heroes (?) and raking them with searing sand/bits of himself.

Monica Rambeau rolled her eyes and plunged into the eye of the storm. “I have to do everything,” she muttered, again mostly to herself. She set about the biggest patches of sand that whipped towards each of her teammates, heating him up until he consisted of several sheets of black glass. “Nice!” Boom-Boom exclaimed. “Now I can– Captain! Stop punching the glass! The less pieces there are, the less time it takes to blow up!” The glass began to twitch as Marko, parts of him still protruding from the non-living sand of the Arena, tried to re-assert control. But it was too late– Tabitha rigged every slab of glass she could find on a 5-second timer, and as she and Monica and Elsa ran away from the blasts and the Captain carried away Aaron’s still-rebooting body, the explosions were followed by the voice of the Beyonder saying “WELL DONE!”

WINNER: Nextwave

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