Arc One. Chapter Thirty-Three. Hunted
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Spider-man wasn't the only one watching the black-suited Venom as he swung from building to building. The traffic cameras on the streets had been appropriated and as he moved they kept track of him, switching from one to another as he swung around the city.

"Target One confirmed and tracked Sir."

"Target Two confirmed and tracked Sir."

Both camera technicians reported and Norman stood watching. He looked over to George Stacy who nodded.

"Begin Operation Takedown, non-lethal approved." Norman stated and as he walked over to the captain he lent forwards, "This is the power of a glider drone captain, once you report it to the Mayor, your city will be rid of both menaces."

George wasn't 100% sold on this idea. As Police chief, he had the authority to make deals like this, to allow testing of approved hardware in civilian areas, however, if anything went wrong he was sure that Oscorp and Norman would dump all the blame on him. If it was any other time he would have said no but with Venom becoming more active in the area, with Spider-man getting more and more positive press he needed to do something to get public opinion back on his side, he kept a viewtube video loaded on his phone to remind him of that.

"Yeah, so? My little girl don't go out now more, some crack head robbed her and groped her, and you know what, Venom stuffed that guy in a trash can, so, no, you askin if I worry about him. Nah, my girl, she smiles when she sees that, he's a goddamn hero if you ask me"

Each time he watched the clip his fist clenched. When a masked thug could be made into a hero the times called for desperate measures.

"Drone Spider-Slayer One. Launch."

"Drone Spider-Slayer Two. Launch."

The camera feeds from the two drones were displayed to the pilots and the room as they flew around the New York skyline, it was riskier to send a single drone after each of them but Norman had insisted. He wanted to demonstrate that the drones could be used separately, neither costumed idiot warranted using both.

"Sir, we have a lock and are ready to commence engagement."

For once Norman looked over at George and he nodded.

"Commence Operation."

Venom was unhappy about Spider-mans interference but after reading about his exploits in the Bugle he knew it as the only time before he ran afoul of the

BOOM.

Venom was sent tumbling as a concussive charge detonated half a meter away from his head. While his headset took most of the force it now screeched in his ear before the high pitched whine died and everything went quiet. Instinctively, Venom sent out a new line, trying to snag onto a closer building to get a better look at whatever just attacked him. As the line hit the building it snapped and he knew something small and fast had cut it, another line and again, cut.

Letting himself fall he shot out a blanket of webs, filling the night sky with thin wispy webs and as the small drone whizzed into them it became entangled but didn't seem to slow. It didn't matter, the web wasn't to catch the drone but now it flew like a kite, the webs trailing behind it and Venom whipped out another line as the drone circled and came back he let go and whipped out a second to pull himself onto the building before it could circle back and cut the second one.

Crafty Venom thought to himself, at least there was only the one. Sleek and incredibly aerodynamic it made hardly any noise or vibration in the air as it shot past him. Hearing a whoosh and then a beeping he looked up and a small explosive device had been shot out, right above his head. He shot a web at it and the sticky pile bulged before deflating like a burst zit.

"Naughty naughty," he said, hissing at the drone as it continued to zip around him. Venom slowed his breathing, the earbuds were now a nuisance and he let the symbskin pull them out, hearing the sudden rush of noise made his head hurt, gave him a moment of pause but as he focused in on the beating of his own heart he heard the small but noticeable buzzing.

Venom turned to face the wall and closed his eyes, he could feel the drone in the air as it moved and pushing himself off the wall he leapt, shot out two webs, one at the wall and one at the drone, and as the drone sped past to avoid the web he twisted, grabbed the first web and shot out a third blanket of webbing, snagging the drone in a net.

The drone pilot stared at his screen "Uh Sir, Drone Two is captured."

Norman sighed "Initiate Self Destruct"

Venom stared at the drone he caught, its motor whined as it tried to fly away but with the intakes webbed up and Venom's iron grip on it, it couldn't move. He studied the sleek form and thought about taking it apart at the warehouse when he heard the sound. Throwing the drone as far as he could it exploded into a fireball, lighting up the night sky and shattering a few windows. He shrugged as it wasn't his fault then made his way back to the warehouse, making sure he kept an ear out for any more buzzing pests.

Across the city, Spider-man was having less luck with his tail. The drone had been buzzing and hazing him, keeping its distance suddenly and even after coating an area with webs, he found it difficult to catch the fast-moving nuisance. "I'm a good guy" he yelled at it but if anyone heard him they ignore him. Taking to the air would be bad, his webs had been severed as soon as he tried to escape so he decided to go for a different approach. Down.

Leaping from the building he stretched his arms and the thin gossamer webs under his arms stretched out, letting him glide down to the street, now, into the crowd and he bolted out into the shopping district he had chosen

"Sir, target one has moved into a no-fire zone, orders?"

"Warnings, give the drone space."

WOOOP WOOOP the drone let out a piercing alarm.

"The NYPD is conducting an exercise in this area. Please Vacate the Area."

The siren sounded again and the crowd split apart. More people ran from the noise of the drone than the appearance of Spider-man but soon a huge crowd had formed around him, people taking selfies or asking for his autograph. He was safe in the crowd, he thought but the drone circled overhead, its siren blaring again with the same message.

"Please Disperse. Non-violent methods will be deployed to capture the criminal known as Spider-man."

Oh suck it, thought Spider-man as a young Asian girl hugged close to him and snapped a picture. Overhead through the drone opened a hatch

"Please clear the area, This is the first of three warnings. Countermeasures will be deployed."

WOOOP WOOOP went the siren.

"Please clear the area, this is the second of three warnings, Countermeasures will be deployed."

WOOOP WOOOP.

"Please clear the area. This is the third and final warning, countermeasures will be deployed."

WOOOP WOOOP.

Of course, the crowd ignored them, fire into the crowd? The NYPD must be crazy or it was a publicity stunt but the drone continued to circle.

"Countermeasures deployed" and it let out a spray of white gas into the air. The crown immediately felt the burning as the tear gas permeated the area, Spider-man cursed. His mask had a filter for such an event but as the people around him, including children, scrambled to get away from the fine mist he had no choice but to act.

On every street corner was a fire hydrant and he whipped out several web lines to the two closest, pulling the hydrants out of the ground. A plume of water shot into the air soaking everyone but pulling the gas down and neutralising it.

As the drone skittered and flew to avoid the water gushing out Spider-man whipped out two lines, the first missing but he caught the wing of the drone with the second and smashed it down into the ground. Surveying the wreckage, he stared at it "get the emergency services here," he said, hoping the thing had a camera

"Sir, Done One is down"

"Active the" Norman began but Captain Stacy interrupted him,

"Wait a goddamn minute Osborn, there are people there." George shouted, "get the EMTs en route and a couple of squads out to help with the cleanup."

George advanced on Norman, poking him in the chest with a finger,

"Your little drone test failed, all you did was spray a civilian crowd with tear gas, the Mayor'll be pissing in my coffee for months over this. Clean your shit up and get the hell out of my precinct." George stormed off, getting ready to do damage control over the mess.

Norman watched through the drone camera as Spider-man helped those worse off from the gas, his fists clenched in anger at the failure.

Spider-man stayed with the people giving as much aid as he could, helping make web bowls so people could wash out their eyes and faces. Of course, the next day at the Daily Bugle Eddie Brock had some really great pictures to sell to Jameson.

Back at the warehouse, Peter was having a different kind of battle,

"So, let me get this straight. You didn't stop a mugging, instead you fought a drone that exploded and you still think that counts?" Gwen sat cross-armed at the meeting table, while MJ made coffee for Peter.

"Uh, maybe?" Peter said "I mean, who knows what damage a drone could do? it did explode, which wasn't my fault by the way."

MJ ran her fingers through his hair "Sorry Gwen but I agree, those things are dangerous, but um, are you okay? I mean, it did explode right?"

Peter sighed "Yeah I'm fine, but it just proves my point, you two need to learn self-defence. If it was after me, well Venom and not just some moron with a toy then I don't like the idea of you two being in danger."

"Fine, Fine." Gwen threw up her hands "But no training those nights Pete, I've got enough crap to do without adding more."

Peter shrugged and nodded but it was MJ who spoke "oh, then I guess I can give Peter his reward then huh?" and with a grin swiped the paper from off the table "you know, if you're too busy."

"Them's fightin words sistah" and Gwen sprang up and put up her fists but as MJ flinched back from Gwen's fake fighting stance she rushed over "shit MJ sorry, sorry." and pulled her into a hug.

"it's fine, honest," MJ said, muffled as he held Gwen close "just a bit, on edge."

"How about we just call this one as hugs" and Peter came over and wrapped his arms around the pair and the three enjoyed the quiet closeness of each other's warmth.

"Yeah, but, I really wanted to have sex," MJ admitted as Gwen laughed and Peter just shook his head.

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