Waiting on the Snake pt.1

Summary:
April 24th, 2014: A display of Cobra results in the attack on a very populated city in the Latin American country of Sierra Gordo.

Sierra Gordo, outskirts of Rio Lindo


Characters

NPCs

  • Geist
  • Amazon
  • President Pilar
  • General del Toro
  • Zayin the Night Creeper
  • Scar-Face (Cobra Henchman)
  • Dr.Sidney Biggles-Jones (Cobra Scientist)

Mood Music:
Die Krupps - The Dawning of Doom


The Latin American country of Sierra Gordo, just outside the city of Rio Lindo a small army amasses. Grassy fields and farmland lie trampled under treads and wheels as the large array of vehicles lines up and situates itself, a definite show of force. A display of power and technological advancement.

A helicopter circles above sweeping around once before descending and coming to a halt upon a cleared off grassy mound.

Three men and a woman depart the helicopter upon touchdown and as instructed begin to walk down the mound towards the awaiting tanks.

Taskmaster sits reclined back in one of those oddly designed vehicles looking rather cozy in the gunners hatch. Vehicles like none the likes of any country had yet seen, the HISS Tank, Cobra's very own High Speed Sentry, an iconic vehicle for the organization, a weapon unmatched by anything in it's class. "Guests of honor have arrived." He quips over the comms.

Zayin stands beside the Baroness location, in one hand a tablet that is acting as a clipboard. "Prompt as expected. This show of force though UN-necessary is having expected results… so far."

Sierra Gordo over the past few years has been organizing itself and attempting to develop a form of government. A form of government that is being shaped by none other than HYDRA and it's affiliations, unfortunately this was done right underneath Cobra's very own nose. President Pilar is nothing more than a puppet and he knows it. His uncomfortable stiff-legged walk down the slope to come to a halt where his brow sits furrowed and the reflective lenses of his glasses hide the wide-eyed look as he gazes from one end of the firing line to the next. The man beside him looks far more calm, bald with a wicked grin and a cybernetic headpiece wearing a suit. His hands both covered in black gloves. Behind them General Del Toro stands trying to look prideful despite his own fear, his rounded form no longer filling out the decorated uniform like he used to. He's been living to well lately.

The woman is another story all together, she stands roughly 7' feet tall with striking red hair and brillaint blue eyes with a muscular yet shapely physique and a costume of dull reds and yellows. A HYDRA strong arm, Katerina Luisa Van Horn aka Amazon, probably the bald cyborg Geists bodyguard.

When a woman gets a new piece of jewelry she likes to show it off to all her friends, or even those not, just so the bitch can do the 'one uppery' that society requires of them - as well as see their awestruck features follow with the dropping like they had been slapped. Yep, you do this to friends, or frien-emies.

So what does one do to rivals or allies-by-design-and-ambition? You give them a show that quaintly explains your new piece of bling will drop you off the map with a hand wave of bedazzled and bejeweled fingers.

Baroness has no diamonds to speak of, but her gauntlet-ed hand holds a tight grip on a leather band that is only coated in that hide to cushion the pinching pull of chains that grind, resistance lead down the 6 foot of leads length to the low whisper of a mechanical whir that hinges the joints of the steadily moving mech-beast before her. Not a hint of strain on her coated and armored limb despite the immensity and the way Ravage slunk low to the ground and snapped back and forth, hinge-jointed jaws snapping and clicking while blade-tipped tail snapped in a perpetual motion of an annoyed feline - the mechanical king of the urban jungle held a bay by one gloved and gauntleted hand of a woman just as beastly that strode down a path between two of her HISS tanks, her other hand stroking over the finish lovingly.

Pausing at the front of her militaristic gathering she snaps the lead back and Ravage comes to a halt, but the chain that was tethered to its neck falls to the ground beside it, leaving it loose; though it waits and she seems to take no notice while that blue gaze trapped behind the glass frames inspects her fingers as if a Baroness is seeking a sign of dust upon a mantle or trophy.

Precisely what all of this is, a trophy, and on display. "I think sometimes people forget their places and roles. See, I respect mine and make of it what I have to. Others…." As she shifts forward Ravage casts its head to the side, one eye whirring to a lightly glowing life as her hand strokes along the massive expanse of metallic head. "…Sadly need reminded to stay within their allotted limits. You see, they are there for a reason."

Lowering to a crouch beside her beastly machine of a /Pet/ she looked small now, though they way she carries herself demands more of an enlargement that simply sent one reminder forth that she is very much human like the rest of them, but amassed quite the following by influence or force that has created the wall of trophies beside her, behind her, and in her ear.

A strap that hugged across armor plated chest is gripped and turned, her other hand reaching over her shoulder now to catch the large head of the newly borne Rail Gun, created by her own new personal scientist. Resting it across the crouched [posture of bent knees and held in one hand for now to keep it on display she births a smile from those vitae hued lips. One that peels away from lips and shockingly still did not reveal the drop down of curved fangs, but the look that smile made may as well have borne more venom then the Asp.

"HYDRA and I, we have an accord, and you overstepped. I will send a postcard for them not to take this /too/ personal."

Why a postcard? Because, the bitch stood in front of, with, and beside her new 'shinnies' and with one gesture Ravage set in a motion unlike a mechanical beast and more like a lion to bear his threat down upon one of those that accompanied Geist and Amazon. If they did not run they were yet to be made into a dis-articulated display in the maw of a cold steel beast. In the meantime she rose slowly to a stand, both hands now holding the rail gun and pointing the elongated muzzle in a direction the HISS tanks began to follow with their own barrels. Towards the nearby city.

A postcard because a picture of this ending is Worth 1000…

"Fraulein… there is no need for violence between us." Geist speaks up as RAVAGE lunges and Amazon steps in front of him. The metallic beast sidesteps the giant woman and barrels over General del Toro who has barely enough time to let out a strangled cry followed by loud ripping sounds as fabric, skin and meat is torn away from bone.

Stammering the President waves his hands wildly, "Please, no stop! Please, we came out here to try for a peaceful intervention… Baroness, lady I beg of you, consider the innocent people in Rio Lindo."

Taskmaster himself hops out of the gunner's hatch and lands upon the ground walking over to stand beside the Lady of Cobra, Zayin and the Cobra trooper closest to them, a man appropriately named just Scar-Face. A promising student if not a bit ruthless and full of himself.

Amazon looks confused yet releases a snarl, she knows they are outnumbered, "Call off your monster or I'll break it." She warns Baroness.

"Man-Killer, what brings you this far south? Decide ya wanted to take me up on that margarita?" One mercenary taunts the other.

"Stuff it Taskmaster." The superhuman snaps off.

Geist's left hand pats the President of Sierra Gordo on the shoulder and he steps past him moving before Baroness's war party. "May we speak like civilized terrorists here and not savages?"

Above a small probe that is nothing more than audio and video relay zooms around, swirling from one end of the line to the next before it focuses on the hand held Rail Gun the Baroness hosts. Elsewhere a woman with long honey blonde to brunette hair stands in a lab coat before a gathering of men and women's faces on individual monitors, "It consists of a single loop of superconducting material at first I was wanting to use Vibranium but it was too hard to acquire on short notice so I made due with another substance, the rails form to each side in which from one end the slug will be fired between the two bridges… the charged particle passes through a magnetic field with the obvious force applied. The velocity is quite impressive and has a lot to do with negatively charged particles and opposing directions… I apologize I am bouncing around. What was it you wanted to hear about?"

"I myself am more interested in the tank, tell me of that I have little need for a Rail Gun." The screen to her left speaks, a hooded man with a distorted voice carrying on, "Please Dr. Jones, tell me the specifications of the sentry tanks and are they able to be mass produced quickly and efficiently?"

"I see, well as you can see from the basic specs in front of you it is barely weighs ten tons and can reach a maximum overland speed of around 75 mph, which is highly impressive where armored vehicles are concerned - it has a dorsal-mounted twin -diablo- 30mm area fire automatic canon…" The conversation continues elsewhere (Dr. Sidney Biggles-Jones is actually transmitting from New Jersey) as the meet in Sierra Gordo continues.

Oh no she /di'in't/.. Just threaten to break one of those show-and-tell jewels. Especially Ravage who is doing right now, what his namesake permits. Baroness takes a long moment to look over Amazon as the sickeningly sweet sounds of meat rending from bone only herald the beginning and set a light backdrop to the business being handled with the pleas.. And Taskmaster -still- trying for a date with the woman who looks like she could use him as a shillelagh. Promising.

"Break him?" Tsk. "Don't you see.." And like a predatory beast herself, Baroness starts towards the Amazon, slithering down the small space between them and closing it off, though all the while that Rail Gun is remained in poise and aim, and Ravage is enjoying playing with his… Toy. "If I can have all this," Her posture shifts as she stops now leaving only barrels-length between herself and Amazon, one hand leaving the weapon to prop it across her form with the aid of a cocked hip pose. "What makes you think you couldn't? Just stand on the right side." Casting a sidelong glance at Taskmaster a small sneering smirk comes to those blood-stained lips. "Just don't break him either." But she didn't say the Amazon couldn't -try-.

A snap of gloved fingers from free hand and Ravage stops, lifting bloodied mechanical maw with half a hand and a few fingers dangling from a tendon swing lifeless, slapping to the ground as its head snaps around and it slinks back to Baroness' side. Now her cross-hair like gaze snaps to the President, the Rail Gun now pointed to her 2 o'clock while the audible sound comes from the HISS tanks as they settle into their aim towards that very city.

"Your care for those people seemed to be overlooked when you overstepped, Pilar, your Presidency has a run and on certain terms… Terms you gambled with down to those very lives."

Right with Dr. Sidney's words, as if for a demonstration, one of those HISS tanks fires towards Rio Lindo…

Sierra Gordo. Domino sourly thinks to herself while edging into her spot of cover. She's late to this party but it had been kind of last minute planning, short of teleporting Sierra Gordo can be a real pain to get to when you're already on the other side of the globe.

At the moment she's quite a long ways out, beyond visual range (but certainly not outside of aerial drone range.) Keeping her company is a very powerful .338 Lapua sniper rifle, fitted with a fairly ridiculous scope for those rare moments in time where one wishes to take called shots at the moon. Getting too close is not a good idea but she still has to follow what leads she manages to find. From what she heard there might be a showing of fancy new tech here, which has her interest.

A telescope would have served such a purpose just fine, though they don't offer offensive capabilities quite so well when required.

Someone's been upgrading the SRD's arsenal lately. Their concussion carbines are something new. Someone's helping back them, financially and in other resources. She aims to find out who is behind it.

That's why she's here, zeroing those massive digitally enhanced optics downrange toward the first thing to catch her eye.

That would be RAVAGE.

"Don't know who the hell you are lady, but you're on my radar now," she mutters through shallow breaths, tapping a button on the rifle's receiver to catch a somewhat less than optimally clean image of the Baroness. One thing that she can make out at this range, however, is a familiar looking skull-designed face mask. "-Taskie..?- What's your deal in all of this?"

When RAVAGE stops ..ravaging, the albino suppresses a shudder. "Knew I shoulda brought the twenty-mil."

Then one of the tanks fires onto the city. In that moment Dom slowly looks up and away from the scope, barely able to make any of the detail out for herself but still hearing the delayed concussive blast from its cannons. "Somehow, I don't think this plays into the Sardines."

"NO PLEASE! This will be war…" The President yells watching as the first salvo pounds off towards Rio Lindo.

Zayin lets out an UN-approving sound as the blast fires off the twin canon atop the HISS Tank hammering away as a freeway section is obliterated several cars on it scattering around as rounds thunder down. "That will be hard to keep silent." The Night Creeper says in his usual dull tone.

"Ain't that the point?" Taskmaster says through the grinning teeth of his mask. "Plus it gives the buyers somethin' to look at. Scar-Face, fire up the probes EMPs. Knock out all external transmissions but our own."

That blue clad trooper nods and begins to tap a few buttons on a field mounted laptop. The electrical discharge fires off immediately blacking out all transmissions, audio, visual and otherwise. "Done." The Cobra probes continue to run their feeds, however.

"Most impressive, Baroness. You can see we came here with peaceful negotiations intended, our army is still in the city."

"What do you mean right side and I have no interest in that sack of shit." Amazon snaps off. "But for the right money…"

Geist only looks over and releases a sigh, "Go ahead, but consider yourself an enemy if you change sides Man-Killer."

"It's Amazon now and just for that, I'll cut 10% off my going rate." She informs Baroness before her hands drop to her sides no longer in a fighting stance.

"Bah." Geist snorts before looking back towards the Baroness, President Pilar moving forward with both of his hands in front of him in an almost prayer like fashion, "Please, let us discuss this. I do not want war." His eyes rolling back to look at the corpse of del Toro and her pet RAVAGE. "Name your terms and we will negotiate… "

Geist's hand reaches out and slaps the man to the side, "Silence! Sohn von einem Weibchen. I will talk you will stand and do as you are told."

One of those swirling probes pausing as it goes through various sensor settings to hovering closer across the field towards Domino's location, not yet having seen her it seems to be filtering through various frequencies and scan settings.

"Do you think I only meant the show? Not every woman has my tastes…" Baroness says and as her gaze turns to watch the HISS tanks fire off their heralding rounds that leave destruction and the rise of dust, debris and fire on impact her final word is said lowly. "…Sadly." But the offer is there, which in turn has her looking towards Geist and his antics towards the President.

"How far is your hand shoved up Pilar's ass, Geist? I suggest you withdraw it slowly, unless you wish it…" Reaching down to stroke over Ravage's jaw she tugs a finger from between the mech-beasts teeth and inspects it in front of Geist before dropping it at their feet. "Well, you know. That could have caused my Pet future dental problems, and I -love- my pet."

Impassive to Amazon's alignment decision the distance left between them is enough for her to swivel the aim of the rail gun to level right at center mass of Geist. "Is this even really worth negotiating?" Baroness seems to lack the dismissive wave her tone carries while her hands are full, but the inquiry is cast towards Taskmaster and Zayin, unknowing of Domino's inspection at the distance she is… So far.

That drone isn't the only thing currently cycling through scan settings. The EMP attack may not have been focused on Domino, or even all that close to her hidey hole, though carefully tuned high precision optics with digital enhancements tend to be a little finicky when it comes to atmospheric distortions. The delicate electronic overlay which helped magnify her sight picture that much further is suddenly on the fritz, quickly earning itself a pale frown as she slaps the side of her rifle with the heel of a palm.

"Oh, you guys did -not- just fry a ten thousand dollar scope on me…"

Intel from this op is going to be spotty, at best. The bit on an open declaration of war will probably end up on CNN, at least. For the moment she's got one less than ideal picture of a very mean looking woman holding a very mean looking rifle and knowledge of Taskmaster's involvement. Two leads to follow up on. If the woman's got an army backing her it might be difficult to zero in on her.

The question she's left to consider is if going after Taskmaster would somehow be any easier.

"Goddammit. Looks like Patch and I are going to have some serious catching up to do," she sighs while trying to get her sight picture back. "If you had anything to do with this…"

It's kind of a shame that drones are so silent in operation. That is the purpose of them though, isn't it?

"It is. I feel my time has been spent here in Sierra Gordo rather productively… after the assassination of their first ever elected president I helped put Mr.Pilar here on the seat. I am the kingmaker you could say, despite all the rabble and revolutionists and your faction. It's cost me a pretty penny and I don't see this show of force as enough reason for me to back down and just hand it over to you. We both know you've recently been given a seat on the High Council." That is not knowledge anyone is privy to. The HYDRA High Council admits very few in to it's numbers and that few speaks to no one of such things.

Zayin is the first to hiss and lunge forward his hand in a knife-chop like motion for the side of Geist's neck poised there a blade showing between the fingers.

Geist simply lifts his chin up to expose more of his throat and continues to stare at the Baroness. "Go ahead, kill me but all knowledge I have acquired about you gets fed to my contacts and then will be strategically delivered to very powerful individuals whom you may have wronged in your very colorful career."

The President stands there watching in abject horror and dismay as the punishing assault of the tanks continues to rain down on Rio Lindo. Their government is small, a fledgling thing that not even the UN was able to assist, the people supposedly rejecting their intervention. It's army so preoccupied with fighting rebels and insurgents it's barely capable of mobilizing to defend against this attack, given time and opportunity it could have but this was all seen to, beforehand.

Scar-Face looks up from the laptop, "The presidential security forces are all secured. We have the capital building."

"This can't be true?!" Pilar asks.

"I see you are more entrenched than I had assumed, Baroness. I underestimated you and your Cobra lackeys."

It's not anyone directly Cobra that first sees Domino but one of the men in the monitor screens, "What is that? You see it there. Make your probe go back, Miss Jones." So whether on city streets or dense jungle the HISS can outrun, outmaneuver and out perform anything in it's class. It's modular design allows for easily replacement and quick repair while mainatining effieci..

"Doctor Jones." The man continues.

"What is it, Mr.Creed?"The woman was on another of her long drawn out dialogues and just looks annoyed now. First they didn't want to hear about her Rail Gun and now they're interrupting her as she tries to talk about the HISS Tanks as they requested. So many bad manners. "

"There, you see it. Your employer's little demonstration has eyes and ears that I doubt are authorized."

The probe ascends then whirs forward sailing directly towards Domino now. "Let us see… why it sure does."

The coms spark up and a static voice breaks through to the front line, "Baroness, you have company on the eastern hill, do you see it? Also I am sorry to interrupt I don't know the protocol for these things." Plus Sidney Biggles-Jones is damned annoyed right now. Bad enough she has to work with Archibald Monev under Cobra conditions (which are actually quite luxurious) but shes dealing with this pompous line up of asshats and sales pitching is not her forte.

As Geist speaks on, and the noise of talking becomes somewhat like a white noise Baroness begins to look utterly… Placid. There's a calm in the waters that does not belong, especially during a moment such as this, and really it nearly begins to touch on boredom until a moment of mirth shows… Borne right on the pointed edge of Zayin's dagger. "What have we all learned from this little tete-a-tete, Geist?" Baroness inquires rather calmly as she looks at Zayin, a single brow lifting. No words needed, he could do as he pleased and Baroness would make do or simply back him, but most of the time they thought along the same lines. This one of letting him live, his knowledge is deeper then even she had surmised. Wait to find out where to cut his cord. They managed to underestimate one another, it wont happen again on her end if she can help it.

"You likely wouldn't stay dead, that's the purpose of your namesake is it not?" Disappointed? Just a bit, though not as much as her poor Dr. Sidney who now gave Baroness a new reason to smile.

"Queue the clients visual in that direction Doctor.." Baroness states as once more a directive is given and a HISS tank swivels, now not slow as for show as much as this is for efficiency.

One loud boom, bass to lead to percussion follow up as Domino's general vicinity is now made a target.

"Don't worry Sidney, it's a matter of time before your best invention is the top of the trade. I promise." No rush! Baroness is reveling in being the sole holder for now…

Perhaps it's quite fortunate that Domino's seen enough to believe this has no connection to what she's trying to root out back in the Tri-City area. Wars are started all the damn time, she really isn't interested in this. It's not her problem. So long as Cable doesn't decide to make it their business, anyway. She manages to catch one more blurred image of the Baroness, now leveling the rail gun at another individual, before she falls back to an early abort. Cut and run, there's nothing here for her but trouble in the form of Robo-Mutt.

For the moment the drone still goes unnoticed, providing the other team a chance of their own to catch a stealthy picture of the lone operative. That she's now getting up to leave ends up saving her life, the sound of the artillery shell sailing through the air rapidly getting closer…

There's little more time for the albino to widen her eyes and glance over her shoulder when the ground erupts from an explosive tank shell, the blast throwing her like a toy a dozen feet further away before handfuls of earth rain down all around her.

Her ears are ringing, coupled with a thin trickle of blood. She's battered and disoriented. She's alive..!

Her ten thousand dollar scope is ruined.

"Diablo canons you say? I like the sound of those." One of the females on the screens comments. A cackle is heard from another projection. Sidney releases a frustrated sigh as she watches what transpires next.

"Girls and their toys, eh?" Taskmaster teases Amazon who only stares down at him and growls.

Geist's chin remains up even as Zayin steps back and slides the blade away. "So, we now understand one another, no? Can it be safe to say you stay in the mountains and rain forests, I keep my place in office here at Rio Lindo and I would like a more peaceful meet… away from all this… "His hands wave out towards the tanks. "I think your message has been heard."

President Pilar nods. "Yes, we are still under the yoke of terrorists."

"Tch, man, stop acting like such a victim. You're position is built on a heap of dead bodies and cocaine." Taskmaster spits out at the President.

Zayin tips his head up motioning towards the helicopter. "Go. We will get with you on further meetings."

Geist looks immensely pleased with himself despite the outcome of all of this, he has a leg up on the Baroness. Not an easy feat. He also remains fully intact, this is a surprise. "We shall talk business soon, fraulein."

Scar-Face closes up the laptop and begins to put it away as the HISS Tanks all begin to turn in procession away from the city. "Think whatever that was out there is dead?" The giant woman asks as she walks alongside Taskmaster.

"Probes will find it. What say you and me discuss… our own business, huh?"

"Dream on little man."


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