By Inferno's Light

Summary:
June 18 2014: Responding to the scene of a fire and an unusual disturbance, both Wonder Man and Witchblade are introduced to Jericho's personal Inferno

Jericho's Loft

This is certainly the bad part of town. Mostly the streets are fairly deserted, lending an ominous cast to the already decaying houses, apartment blocks and businesses. Jericho's loft as situated above a third rate Italian restaurant names Jovanni's which does little enough business as it stands. The entrance is fenced off with a chain link fence the interior of which is dominated by a pair of large dumpsters and assorted refuse of the automotive type laying around in large cluttered piles.


Characters

NPCs

  • The Lockdown Team - Professional slightly above average hitmen

Mood Music:
[*]


The building was on fire, and it wasn't his fault.

The night had started innocently enough. This loft was getting a little long in the tooth for his purposes though he'd only been here five weeks. He had a line on some better digs, an actual safe house, where he could take some time to set up something a bit more protected than this so he'd just been by to see the 'landlord', drop off payment and gather what few things he felt he needed. Clearly, that had been his first mistake.

Being paranoid doesn't come without some relatively good habits where building security is concerned. He'd cleared the yard, weapon out, and then his house before he set to gathering his things. That was when he noticed the faint smell of nitric acid coming from under his sink. Someone had been in and snuck an oxidizing agent into the place. The already fairly unsafe building had become a tinderbox waiting for a spark.

Seconds later that spark was provided. He wasn't sure where they were watching from. In fact he'd barely had time to dive for cover as the entire loft suddenly erupted into flames. Out the door was out of the question now, so he crashed through the window and dropped fifteen feet, landing hard on his back on another roll away dumpster. Damn his hand hurt. And his shoulder. he was fairly sure he had second degree burns on both. Right now all he knew was that he needed to move. Now.

"All units near grid One Five, we have a report of a disturbance. Some lady is calling to say she saw the ghost of a werewolf run away from a house fire, over."

*

Simon Williams is back in town, and in fact, was hoping to meet up with Detective Pezzini, because she seemed to have a pretty level head, and he wanted to talk out the ridiculous thing he's been feeling lately — the whole thrill of super-heroing. It's like a freaking DRUG and it's definitely NOT good for his career, at least not in the ways he wants it to be. So he left a message, and with luck, she'll answer, or meet him.

*

Detective Pezzini has had her own strange lately, and it's the sort of thing that's kept her more quiet than usual around her partner. But the phrase 'ghost of a werewolf' catches her attention on the radio, and rather than continue toward where she was going to meet Simon, she turns toward the source of the call. She does manage to key in a hands-free call while she drives, giving Simon a heads up that she's likely to be a little late.

*

The answer to Jeri's unvoiced but certainly not unasked question 'where the hell are they?' comes as he clears the alley and emerges onto the street. A gunshot leaves a divot in the brickwork inches from his head. He had, as a precaution, already put his armor up. This had all the earmarks of a contract hit before and now he's certain. Flying probably isn't an option now so he legs it. There's a junkyard about half a mile from here. Pretty short run… though he's usually not being shot at while he does this.

"All units, report of a strange disturbance headed north toward the Midtown Junky-"The dispatcher breaks off as he receives additional information. "Shots fired, repeat, shots fired. Respond Code 3."

*

Oh, bloody hell. Literally, because that was gunshots a block away… Simon jumps, kicking on his rockets, TOWARDS the sound of gunfire. Because, apparently, he's a complete and total freaking heroics addict.

*

"Dammit," Sara mutters, turning toward the new scene and arriving just in time to hear more gunshots of her own. "One of these days…" The tires squeal over the pavement as she takes a hard turn, barreling onto the scene with sirens wailing. Warning, hit men! Cops on the scene! Or at least one irritable detective.

*

Both car and rocket hero get treated to the same view, that off a bright blue humanoid wolf-thing made, apparently, of solid light bolting down the street because at this point screw subtlety. It's not immediately clear where the gunshots are coming from, though one pings off the wolf-thing. Wait… no. There they are. Four of them, three men, one woman, all in black tactical gear, all armed in some fashion, all taking shots at the zig-zagging 'ghost' and missing to a degree that is clearly starting to irritate them.

*

And that's a familiar-looking wolf-thing, and Simon shifts his vision very slightly to adapt to the darkness. The black tactical gear probably isn't chilled, so they're going to be glowing a bit. Of course it would be easy if they were bunched, but probably not. He heads for the closest one. A bit of a purple haze may betray his arrival though.

*

Sara slams the car into park when she's close enough to reach the conflict, throwing the door open and taking a glance at the group of attackers. "NYPD, people," she calls toward them, drawing her weapon. "You get one warning." One warning, because the Witchblade is already starting to creep up her right arm. She and it both know that this isn't a crowd that's going to hesitate to fire on her.

*

This is not a crowd that will hesitate at all, but they also don't get paid to tangle with the cops or… uh, whatever that purple blur is. The one that Wonder Man tries to body block parkours up the wall next to him and backflips, landing next to him. Out comes a wickedly sharp blade made of some kind of iridescent wave-patterned metal. This close the Man of Ions can see quite clearly that his opponent's eyes are glowing faintly yellow. And he's reflexes are way outside human norms. Yep. Meta-hitman. Lovely.

A blue blur bounds over the car in one leap, twisting midair and digging long, sharp claws into the asphalt to slow himself. He still leaves a good foot long furrow in it though. "This doesn't involve you officer!" One of the hitmen calls out. Intimidation. Maybe they can finish this quickly before they have to bug out to avoid capture.

*

Meta hitman. OK. Simon gives him a dirty look. Full of blasting. Aimed at the chest, because that's where a sledgehammer blow is likely to do the most good… and Simon's not particularly slow himself. He doesn't ONLY rely on the eyeblast. He also drops down to pavement level and aims a sweeping up-kick at the yellow-eyed ninja-monster.

*

"You've got weapons in my city, you just blew up a building, and you're chasing my friend," Sara informs the hit man, dry. "I'm going to suggest you put down the weapons and run before I have to bring you in. It's been a while since my last excessive force charge, and IA's always up my ass about that sort of thing." The words are one thing. The armor that's now made its way over her right arm and shoulder, sharp barbs framing her face, and the slight amber glow behind her eyes are a more obvious threat.

*

Several things happen at once. The hitman Simon is taking on is just… not on his level. The eye blast staggers him and the sweep puts him on the floor. The blade goes clattering into the street and the thug lets out an "ungh!" as all of the air is rapidly pushed from his lungs by the twin impacts.

One of the hitmen across the street turns to Simon and just unloads on him. The intent is not to kill him, which is probably a pretty dicey proposition in any case, but rather just send him to ground long enough for his compatriot to bug out.

Directly opposite Sara the lone woman in the team lets out a blast from her hand which arcs over Sara's shoulder and strikes Jericho, who had drawn himself up to full height, square in the chest. The moment it hits his power field winks out and he hurled down and back. A heart beat later a pair of grenades are hurling through the air in Sara/Aspect's general direction.

*

Simon does not LIKE being shot. For various reasons - just because he's effectively invulnerable doesn't mean it doesn't STING like crazy, and besides, there goes his cellphone. AGAIN. And the ricochets are endangering not just random people, but also the man's own comrade. So the Man of Ions moves at something disturbingly like the speed of those bullets, and reaches for the barrel(s) of the gun(s) with intent to squeeze them. Not a kind thing to do to a weapon.

Of course, if his compatriot can bug out, he might have time to do so.

*

Sara curses under her breath, but those are grenades, and there isn't a whole lot she can do before they go off. Protect comes first, before any attempts at apprehension. She dives toward Aspect and the grenades, and as she does, the Witchblade builds a wide shield from her forearm, angled to deflect the force that's bound to come from those going off. Sara rolls into place, then ducks behind it once she and Aspect are in the lee.

*

The first of the two grenades turns out to be a flash-bang which, unsurprisingly, creates both of those things. In spades. Gods that thing is loud. The second is a more conventional fragmentation grenade. The blast wave and impact of fragments on the Witchblade's shield can be felt quite easily. If Sara has time to look, Jericho is just picking himself up when it goes off. His right arm and shoulder are pretty well charred and he looks bruised up beyond that.

Did we mention that Wonder Man plays in a league above these guys? Well he does. The gun's barrel contorts and just crumples in his grip. To the shooter's credit (and contrary to popular belief one does not get to be a professional hit man be being dumb) he just drops the gun and books it. In fact all four do, the one Wonder Man roughed up moving notably slower than the others. All four in different directions. Scatter and meet up later, likely. Cool and professional.

Oh, and Sara's radio is going nuts with demands to know what the hell is going on. The local 911 switchboards are lighting up by Christmas trees.

*

"I am NOT doing this stuff right," Simon says to himself. "Two of those bastards should not have gotten away."

Nevermind that he isn't chasing them, like he should. He's more concerned with making sure that the guys who had grenades thrown at them are OK. So he makes his way there, and remembers about gravity, dropping to the ground.

"Are you guys all right?"

*

Sara winces as the grenades go off, the Witchblade's protection not quite designed for that. It's enough to leave her ears ringing. But the attackers are gone, and she quickly retracts the shield and armor alike, looking back to Aspect. "YOU OKAY?!" she calls back to him. She might not be hearing so great just now.

*

They are indeed gone, with no pursuit they'll be long gone in minutes. The fire department is pulling up now a block away at the fully involved arson case that used to be Jericho's loft.

Speaking of whom, he is just getting back on his feet. The light is just starting to fade from the circuit traceries under his skin, visible - disturbingly - even under the ruined, burned flesh of his right arm, shoulder and neck. "Yeah… well… better now that you two showed up." He pants. "Thanks." He adds after he's had a chance to catch his breath.

*

Simon's jaw drops open in horror at the sight of that burn.

"Holy … we need to get you to a hospital, or something. Can you feel anything?"

He looks at Sara, to see if she's also been burned or blasted.

*

"I'm good," Sara shakes her head to Simon. Though how she's good when those grenades went off and Aspect is in the state he's in is a question for another time. "Didn't expect to see you here, though. Guess it worked out well. You make some shitty friends," she adds to Aspect, just so he's aware of her opinions on his hit men.

*

"Yeah well, you know how it is." Even as much as this hurts, mild snark is the first thing out of his mouth. "You're at a wild party, someone introduces you to the metahuman hit team and the next thing you know you've woken up in New York with your loft on fire." He sighs. "Good thing I was moving out anyway."

There's a short pause while he tests his burnt arm. It moves. "It hurts." He answers Simon and the pain is quite evident in his voice. Given his background, the fact that it's even there means it probably hurts a lot.

"Which at least means it's not third degree. I'll recover… but no… no hospitals. I pop up there and it's just trouble for everyone soon as their employer figures out where I am."

*

"Those were freaking cyber-ninjas. OK, I clearly need training or something. No way that I can take two of them out of action but they get away clean by throwing bombs. Is there somewhere we can take you to get this fixed?" Simon looks over at Sara with an 'I suck at being a superhero, I don't even know the street-docs' expression.

*

The real relevant question: "Does your bag of tricks include something to accelerate healing, or are you going to need medical attention from someone?" Sara asks the question of Aspect, but she also looks to Simon. "You shouldn't get caught around crime scenes, you know," she points out. "What with the parole and all."

*

Jericho nods to both. "Yeah, it does. I'll be okay. Just hurt like hell for a while. I'll still probably have to snag some antibiotics and diueretics to combat infection and keep the swelling down." Not that it would matter to him. He's not a hero even on Simon's level in terms of general selflessness, but he won't let an ER full of innocent people get shot up because he's in it.

"I think they're called Lockdown. Not quite cyber ninjas, just tough, experienced and slightly more than human. Nothing on the level of say, Steve Rogers. I'll bet that guy you zotted will have to go to some kind of doc for cracked ribs, at the least."

Lockdown. They're small time as far as hitmen go, but known to be professional and efficient. They don't usually resort to guns. The fire is more their MO. Likely they were disappointed when it didn't kill their mark. Sara may have heard their name before if it's crossed her desk.

*

"I'm clear, though," Simon says to Pezzini. "I'm pardoned and everything, remember? Besides, I'm here with you. And I was going to ask you about something, but that can come later after we get Brother Wolf here some help. And buddy, how many other people did they kill coming after you anyway? A few broken ribs might be a good thing for 'em, just sayin'."

Simon doesn't think of himself as selfless, of course. He's far too aware of his many failings for that, which is why he has a therapist, but that's also why he's having trouble with this whole 'profit off your heroics' kick that his agent's started on.

*

"Cute," Sara grimaces at the description of the hit team, shaking her head. "I'm guessing you've got your own hidey hole set up, too, and don't need us to find one for you."

This is admittedly odd behavior for Sara. By rights, she should be bringing him in, even if just for witness statements. But she doesn't seem likely to do that at the moment. "Sorry, I was on my way when things sort of exploded," she adds to Simon, smile flickering.

*

"Even if I didn't, I don't think you want me hanging around." Jericho chuckles and then grimaces. "Oooh. Less laughing until that's all healed."

Grey, amber flecked eyes cut over to Simon now. "I hope no one… though I guess someone should check on whether old man Jovanni made it out of his kitchen. He stays late sometimes in his cups. I didn't exactly have time to look myself." He seems to remember something then and gingerly reaches into one of his pockets coming up with a flash drive.

"That does remind me, though, detective. This is from a mutual friend. It's on a counterfeiting operation that just got to the City about a month ago. She thought you might appreciate it. Though…" He looks at Wonder Man pensively. "If you decide to do anything with it you may want this guy with you. He seems pretty handy in a tight spot."

*

"I'd be glad to help, but I'm not a cop, though. I don't even have whatever kind of license they give to meta-powered agents. I suppose I should look into that. I'm not sure who to ask. Maybe the guy with the bow, Purple Arrow or whatever - but I really don't want to work for SHIELD. They're too, I dunno, possessive, of their "assets" if you know what I mean."

Simon even does the finger quotes around "assets" — he seems to have met a few SHIELD people, apparently.

*

"NYPD isn't really handing out licenses," Sara grimaces to Jericho's suggestion. "Anyone operating on our side of things is doing it without official knowledge or sanction. IA's looking to crack down on it, too. Causes a lot of lawsuits when people find out about it, damages investigations and evidence. You want something more like…" And then Simon brings up SHIELD, and she nods toward him. "I hear a lot of questionable things, but I like to think if Captain America can stomach them, there's something there."

*

"I'd like to think that too." Jericho says. He doesn't mention his serious reservations about the security of the organization, nor the fact that there's only one SHIELD agent he trusts right now and Steve Rogers isn't it.

"Okay, I need to get out of sight. Thanks for showing up. You two probably saved my bacon. You ever need a hand from me, get in touch with our mutual friend." He nods to Sara and then looks at Simon. "She knows who I'm talking about. And you seem to know the good Detective, so that offer goes for you too."

"Would you mind giving me a lift to the subway station, Detective? I don't fancy walking all of a sudden… if, y'know, it's not too much trouble."

*

"Uh, sure, any time," Simon says. He looks at Sara. "I'll email you. I get the feeling I need to go see if those guys need help," and Simon is off to the fire. Because, without a working cellphone again, he might as well see if he can help the firemen out, because it won't break it worse. And Wonder Man doesn't burn.

*

"Subway it is," Sara nods, heading back toward the car. Once she starts moving, it's clear that she's more than a little stiff. That dive might have been more than she's used to. But at least they're both alive. "I'll get in touch, Simon," she adds with a nod to Wonder Man, holstering her weapon belatedly. "Let's get this show on the road before too many more people show up."


Back to: RP Logs

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License