Helluland 1 - Journey

Summary:
June 29, 2014: The Croft Expedition arrives on Baffin Island, and heads out to the Barnes Ice Cap in search of what drove the Vikings off. They learn that there may be scarier things out there than polar bears and wolves.

Barnes Ice Cap - Baffin Island — Nunavut Territory — Canada

Cold. Very Cold.


Characters

NPCs

  • Winston Sinclair (m. Croft Family Butler - Cameo)
  • Unnamed Mercenary (f. Cameo)

The Crew

  • Ila (m. Inuit Guide)
  • Giles Everett (m. Mountaineer and Survivalist)
  • Mackenzie Denton (f. Field Medic, Former US Army)
  • Carter DuBois (m. French Canadian Inuit History expert)
  • Henrik Berger (m. Swedish Historian focused on the Icelandic Sagas)
  • Sigrid Hansen (f. Swedish Archeologist, specialist in Vikings)
  • Bobby McGee (m. Canadian Archaeologist, specialist in Artic Culture)

Mood Music:
None


Takhini Hot Springs, Yukon, Canada

A blonde woman in a mask, and a squadron of mercenaries shove through the crowd of tourists to head for the main pool, whose red brown waters remain a balmy 104 degrees, and are loaded with healthy minerals. The Croft expedition itinerary led them here and the woman in charge of intercepting them bursts free of the milling people to level her antique Webley revolver into the pool at… "Son of a bitch!"

The epithet from the woman gets a disapproving look from the object of her disgruntlement. Winston Sinclair, butler to the Croft Family for several generations, is lounging placidly in the pool with a cup of cold lemonade in one hand. He wears swim trunks, but the rest of his wrinkled, age-spotted flesh is on display. "Expecting someone, madame?" he asks the mercenary.

"They aren't here," the woman hisses. "Where are they old man? Or do I have to drown you in there?"

"Nonsense. Lady Croft values me much too highly to put me in danger. She said I can let you know that she's on Baffin Island on the other side of the country," Winston replies with a polite smile.

The female merc shrieks in frustration and waves her people back. No time to make the old man pay for the deception. It will take them time to get cleared for entry onto Baffin. "Let's move out, we've been duped." They melt back into the cold before security arrives.


Barnes Ice Cap - Baffin Island - Nunavut Territory - Canada

The clandestine flight to Baffin landed the Croft Expedition, the real one, at Clyde River, population 934, a day ago. They spent the night in the only accommodation there, the six-room Qammaq Hotel, and had breakfast at the only real restaurant, Aarruja's Snack Barand Coffee Shop. The town is tiny, cold, but has an airport and is the closest civilization to the Ice Cap to the west.

Heavy duty, military style transport trucks roll out to bring the group to the Barnes Ice Cap itself. They are packed up with all their equipment for the trip, and have heaters blasting in the back of the transport carrying the mercenary crew members and Lara. It's the first time, since they boarded the transport plane in Newfoundland, that it is warm enough for everyone to remove their hoods and balaklavas to see one another's faces. The scientific crew is in another truck.

Lara lowers her hood and scarf and tugs off her gloves. "It will be several hours. We're about 110 miles from the ice cap and the going is slow in this part of the world."

Okay, definitely 'McMurdo' sort of cold. If Barton was ever colder in his life, there simply isn't any recalling it, undoubtedly due to the slow firing of the braincells thanks to the temperature. Pulling the balaklava off, his short spiky hair does little to keep his head warm, and immediately he digs into his pocket to put on a wool cap. Yes, it's 'warm' in the truck, but at this point, 'warm' is relative. He would swear up and down that he can still see his breath.

Gloves, however, are staying on for the moment. Barton is pretty sure he's not going to need his bow inside the confines of the truck. "I swear. If I ever complain about the City's winter again, just shoot me. Really."

The tiny little town felt like the End of the Earths to Roy. The proximity to the Arctic Circle was enough to warn him to be dressed up in a bright red parka, the better to stand out against the snow, seeing as it might save things for a lot of trouble.

"Just wait till you have to hit Antarctica, Barton. That one's a lot colder. At least down south you have penguins for company. Here, we've got polar bears," Roy rejoins, as he rubs his hands through his thick, heavyset gloves. Adjusting the goggles that were supposed to protect his eyes against the snowglare onto the top of his woolen cap, as it was still too damned cold immediately to pull off everything, Roy glances back towards Lara. "Just how many miles do we have to go, so I can avoid the 'are we there yet?' questions?"

Widow's been colder than what Baffin Island and the Barnes Ice Cap promises. Not much, mind. But it has happened. This would be why, beneath the layers of winter wear, she also wears her usual Widow jumpsuit. Because it's insulated against extremes of temperature just like this.

Which doesn't mean she has any intention of doffing her parka anytime soon.

All things considered, however, the Russian is trying to keep a 'low profile' on this op. No official badge, no mention of SHIELD, none of the usual 'authority' she occasionally flashes. Just her, a lot of snow gear, and the weapons that can stand up to the abuse. She leans back, pushes her hood off and pulls off the face mask that seems to be de riguer outerwear anywhere north of 50.

"So, exactly what are we after, and what sort of resistance are you expecting?"

Groan of truck engines, pistons firing, smell of exhaust makes him want to cough. He can "see" the breath of each of the occupants as simple as if they were still outside, could pick them out by it if such a need would ever arise, which it wouldn't. He can hear the clanging of the boxes together at every bump and the disjointed cacophony of sounds alternate between soothing and maddening.

Noisy, small spaces tend to bother Matt Murdock.

On the exterior he's expressionless. Over his red costume he's got a worm parka fastened with a belt over his midsection, high enough to get to his billyclub if need be. His horned hood looks odd here in the light, clearly it was made for something else, and the red eyes look even more dead than normal.

Croft planned-perhaps over planned-enough to bring them all along. Surely if something went on here, they'd be able to handle it between the expertise within the truck. Some of whom he knows, some of whom he doesn't.

Cold, miserable, and very boring. Actually not all -that- cold for Domino, beneath the cold weather gear she has armor which happens to have some level of thermal regulation to it. So, in that respect things aren't horrible. Thank goodness for the little things.

Any compactness of her person is easily made up for in spades with all of the gear that she's lugging around, the obvious one being a modern looking 5.56 bullpup carbine. From Singapore, of all places, if someone were to recognize the design.

Though speaking of recognizing things, and of Barton asking someone to shoot him… The voice is recognized almost before she has a chance to pull the goggles and mask clear of her face, the pasty white skin looking almost blue compared to the white camo she wears. Despite having limited room to move about with she's very nearly out of her seat in another heartbeat, goggles striking the floor as the SAR-21 MMS is suddenly leveled at Barton's head.

There's also a 9mm HK sidearm now pointing at Natasha's head, too. Just like that she's looking angry, jumpy, and ..worried? Low profile or not, Dom knows who these people are.

"Didn't I tell you flunkies to leave me the hell alone? Get -out- of my -life!-"

Looks like there's some turbulence ahead.

"The cold isn't terrible," Lara notes to Clint. "Better than sweltering heat and enough humidity to have to chew your air. At least in the cold, there aren't bugs." The young explorer has been many places in a short life. She gives Roy a look. "If you insist on doing that, we can always strap you to the roof to save ourselves the trouble." The grin that accompanies that statement takes all the threat out of it though. Or it could be that the British accent even makes threats sound pleasant.

The Widow's questions have Lara turning her way. "I think there may be evidence of a civilization beneath the ice cap, one that pre-dated the landing of Erik Thorvaldsson's Viking party on Baffin. One that convinced him that they shouldn't stay there, despite it being sparsely populated by natives and having a similar climate to his native Greenland. I want to find that evidence. As for resistance, I expect that even now my rivals are discovering they've been tricked into showing up elsewhere, trying to beat me to this discovery. They will no doubt course correct and arrive a few days behind us. Other than that, there are plenty of natural dangers ahead of us. We may," that is as far as she gets before trouble erupts. As Domino shows her violent side, Lara rises and raises both hands. "Whoa, whoa stand down!"

"Hopefully, I'm not going to piss someone off to the point of being sent due south," comes the response from the still-cold archer. "See, now bugs and sweat.. them, I could deal with." Each to his own, and right now, a jungle clime is sounding rather good to Barton. "And don't even start or we'll have to turn this truck around to drop you off. Make you wait for the next one."

It's not too long after Tash's question that it finds an answer, rather ironically. Rising to his feet, Barton is cursing the fact that he's got gloves on and that even his sidearm is buried for the moment under layers. "Domino? What the hell—" manages to escape the man before he's ready to swing his hat around and make an attempt to entangle the weapon enough so as he's not quite so much of a target. Hawkeye isn't too fond of staring down the -wrong- end of a barrel. "Who the hell invited you?"

Smirking back, Roy gives Lara a little bit of a salute, the grin reflected back.

And then Domino reacts, two guns up, and Roy's own trigger is up, the crossbow strapped to his leg unsnapped and quickly snapped into 'shoot' and pointed at the albino woman. "Put the guns down, now!"

As Domino explodes out of her seat, Romanova's response is automatic, ingrained by lifetimes of training and threat response. She's bringing a gauntletted wrist up to bear, galvanometric sensors already priming the charge even as her fist closes to begin the firing sequence. It's only as she registers the ablino's patch-eyed face — and hears Lara's sharp command — that she relaxes her fist enough to prevent a full 30k volt charge from blasting out at the mercenary.

"You heard the lady," the Russian growls out. She makes a show of leaning back in a completely relaxed position, though the most astute would probably recognize that she's fully prepared to turn that slouch into a duck and roll, if needs be. "Put the gun away, sister. You're not worth my time. If you were, you wouldn't be standing here, now. You'd be in a holding cell at thirty-thousand feet."

It seems as though Nat has made a friend, thinks Daredevil as the situation turns dicey.

From his spot in the truck, Daredevil thinks he may be able to hit the gun-toter-he assumes they're guns by their outlines-in the back of the head before she's able to fire. He may be able to, he's not a hundred percent sure, and that's not worth risking having Natasha's brains splattered against the front window. Regardless of their split way back when, he's not willing to risk any harm coming to her. Clint? Well, he's probably a decent guy too.

It appears all that vetting failed to uncover some sort of rivalry between the two and-What did she go by? Domino?

"Quite the group you've assembled, Miss Croft," Daredevil says coolly.

Stand down, really? Domino would shoot a harsh stare at Lara if she had the extra eyes for it. As it is she's got two targets she's already trying to keep track of. Closed up inside of a vehicle as they are, if she loses even an inch of ground then it's all over for the merc. With a pair of SHIELD agents like this she only has one shot to work with.

"Did you plan this, Croft? Because I am -so- not in the mood for games." Then to Barton, "Who invited me? Who invited -you!- I can't sit down for a pi-"

(Well, that didn't take long.) Now someone else is yelling at her to stand down, with Natasha having very nearly retaliated to top it off. The fact that Nat sat back down and virtually turned her back on the situation tells her quite a bit, and Barton was sure taken by surprise.

Could this really all be marked up to stupid luck..?

"Just checking for a pulse," she offers as though that in itself is some sort of apology, slowly dropping her guard with the addition of a cold smirk before dropping back into her seat proper. Now there's also a high degree of suspicion which marks her gaze.

(Well, isn't this a cheery little pickle.)

"Professionalism, people! I hired each of you individually for your talents, and I'm paying you more than enough to get along for the length of this expedition," Lara declares, firmly. "I don't care what you do to one another after we're all home safely, but until then, I expect you to rub one another's frozen toes on my say so if need be!" No Roy, that wasn't an invitation.

Ila, the native Inuit guide, has sat quietly in a corner of the truck all this time. His face is dark from the burn of the northern winds, and his eyes are equally dark as they bore into the party members. He looks around at the outsiders in judgment, shaking his head a little. "If they fight amongst themselves in here, Lara, they won't be any good fighting what is out there." He gestures out the back of the truck.

"I have a feeling you mean something other than polar bears and thin ice, Ila," Lara prods, her expression tightening slightly. "Care to share?" she asks. Hoping more information will defuse the situation, she makes a mental note to add a section to her contracts to list people her hires don't want to work with, or would prefer to riddle with bullets than get along with.

The hat entangles around the front sight of Domino's weapon, and with a yank, fully retrieves it before setting it back onto his head to keep warm. "I know exactly why you hired me now," Barton declares now, sitting back and shoving his hands under his upper arms, pointedly ignoring the albino merc's question.

Though now the Inuit chimes in, and most is forgotten. Most. The words gain his attention; it'd be stupid -not- to listen to someone who pretty much lives out in this God-forsaken land. "Yeah.. a little more elaboration would be nice. And considering you're with us, it might be helpful for our overall survival."

Keeping his eyes and crossbow fixed on Domino until she stands down, Roy takes a deep breath. "Well, if there wasn't one before, you sure pulled out a hell of a defibrillator," the Checkmate agent replies, not quite sure whether to smile or not at the jumpy merc.

Daredevil's reply only gets him a smirk. "I dunno, this group's a lot more cohesive than -some- of the groups I've seen. It's not like… ooo, hey, I'd be happy to rub your frozen to——"

The glare from Lara only gets a half-smirk from Roy. "Right. Right. Later then." His face goes serious as he looks back from Lara to Ila. "Don't tell me, you ran into Nazi Viking commandoes riding polar bears."

Natasha leans back, half an eye still on Domino as the bewildered merc backs down. She says nothing, now, merely watching and listening. Responding to any of the jibes or comments really isn't in her nature — at least, not the nature she's decided to adopt for this little soiree. Maybe that'll change later. For now… information is more important than plugging the mutant with a tranq dart and dragging her back to the Old Man.

As Roy speaks to him, a fain smile comes to his lips and chuckle escapes from his mouth. "This is why I tend to work alone," he says towards the red haired man.

Matt listens to Ila, waiting for his response to Lara's prodding and hoping he sheds more light on what they might find.

Another quick glare is passed back to Barton as she -yanks- the front of her carbine away from his hat, effectively reclaiming her weapon in its entirety. (Jerk.) Though while her ire is seriously on the rise and there's a very uncomfortable feeling about being completely hemmed in around all of these other people, both familiar and not, now there's something else for her to potentially worry about.

"Oh kiss off, Barton," she snipes under her breath before turning to their guide. "Yeah, why -don't- you fill in some blanks for us, Ila?"

Already it had been something of a pain in figuring out what all to pack as far as weaponry goes. If she chose poorly for this op then she'd rather find out now rather than later. Aside from the potential mistake of having signed up in the first place.

Motining toward Arsenal with a quick sigh, she adds "Twinkle-toes has a point. If this is the worst of our group conflict then consider yourself lucky, Croft." So far she doesn't have a contract on any of these people, to start.

To Daredevil's comment about working alone she snorts and agrees, "No kidding."

The Inuit man gives Roy a withering glance and shakes his head. "There are stories," Ila begins, settling back against the bench seat of the truck. "They tell of hunters, Inuit hunters, who went too far North on Baffin, in the chase of game. There they became trapped between the world of the dead and the world of the living. They are the Ijirait, the shadow people, the shape shifters. They may come to you as bear, or wolf, raven or man. You cannot see them if you look straight at them., but appear in the corner of your eye. You can see their shadows move if you've light enough. They are dangerous, and deceivers, and we are going where they tread." He looks back at Lara. "If you weren't paying to upgrade our water filtration systems, I wouldn't be here. I do this for the greater good."

"That explains why I had such difficulty finding a guide willing to take us out here," Lara says with a tight expression. "So, invisible shapeshifters who walk in two worlds, I imagine that would be sufficient to convince a party of Viking raiders not to call Baffin, home."

"Yeah.. I'm not all that keen on partners either. But, we're here. And we've got a job to do."

As the Inuit begins his explanation, Barton nods in the direction of the knowledgable one. "So, now we know what we have to protect against, and what others are up against. A little more information than we had before." Oddly enough, the archer is actually taking the native's word at face value. (Stranger things have happened to him, so why not shapechangers?)

"… great, they're probably Nazi shapeshifters. There are -always- Nazis on these expeditions, I tell you," Roy grumbles under his voice, rather than take -another- withering glare from the Inuit or Lara.

Still, as Roy takes a moment to mull the implications, he frowns. "So… what did the Inuits use? Potions or spells to slow them down? That's what the Navajo used on skinwalkers. Or do you have to, well… watch for shadows?"

Widow considers the Inuit's story. She's been around too long to discount it, as others might. Her lips purse slightly. She would echo Harper's questions, but there's little point. Instead, she continues to listen and watch, noting behavioural ticks in each of her companions and simply observing. Never know when what she sees might come in handy. Besides… her job was to protect the group from dangers within, as well as without. And while she's willing to give Thurman more than enough rope to hang herself three times over (that slack will come in handy later), she's not going to discount the nervous woman's tendency to shoot first, ask questions later. It'd be a real shame if she had to take a slug for someone just to keep the abino in check. It'd be even more of a shame if she had to take a slug for the albino herself. But, gods willing — whomever they may be — that'll never happen.

Famous last words, right?

"These shapeshifters," she says presently, a few moments passing as she considers all they're being told. "Do they inherit solely the abilities of the form in which they presently exist, or are they constantly or consistently enhanced?"

Watching for shadows isn't Daredevil's strength, though looking at them directly certainly wouldn't be a problem. About them in general he's of two minds. Initially, he immediately rejects it but on second thought the Bible is rife with notes about spirits and the like. Matt's mind drifts to memorized portions of the scriptures. Surely if there's any accuracy to any of this, it cannot be good. In the pocket of his parka, Daredevil removes his red glove and takes his rosary into his hand. To the others he gives no comment.

These guys walk in two worlds, huh. "Wouldn't be the first time I've killed something with dual citizenship," Domino offhandedly remarks. Not that Ila's stories are discredited, with some of the people she's ended up working with over the years she's not about to chalk it up to superstition then ignore it all. Intel is intel, as bizarre as it may happen to be.

That they're supposed to be invisible has her turning back to her carbine, bringing her left hand onto the foregrip long enough to tag the floor of the vehicle with the crimson dot of a laser sight. It might help. She won't know until they get close enough to take shots at the things.

After that it's another glance to Barton, while he's saying his piece. It's purely -stupid- odds, the two are constantly at each other's throats yet they have worked together before. They've been pretty darned good at it, too. She can trust his aim just as well as she can trust him to throw gravel into her face. As for his pal, the redheaded gal, she's already proven herself to be a royal pain in the ass when she wants to be. That's two more people Dom knows are capable out in the field, already.

"Nazi shapeshifters sound like a better option. Wouldn't mind claiming a little piece of history, myself." Preferably somewhere between fifty and three hundred meters.

When the Rosary beads come out she inclines her head in Matt's direction, asking "You cool back there?"

"We lived through avoidance, so I cannot tell you what they may be like physically," Ila replies to Roy and Natasha. "We don't go this far North if it can be helped. We don't follow game this far North lest we become one of them. We keep our distance from those who live in Pond Inlet and Arctic Bay as we do not believe we can trust our eyes. They may be human or Ijirait deceiving us. I can only hope that they do not reside where Lara is leading us. But looking for shadows cast where no shadow should be would be wise."

The trucks finally slow, and then stop. The transport driver comes around to the back. "We're here, Miss Croft. We'll help unload your gear." They go about doing there, getting the smaller transports down from the vehicles and running through checks on them. They lower down the sledges, designed for being pulled over ice, loaded up with other equipment and attached to the backs of several of the Snow Tracs, driven by Giles Everett, a cold weather and mountaineering expert, and Carter DuBois, a French Canadian expert on the Inuit. The other non-mercenary personnel ride inside the two bright red vehicles with their tank tread-like wheels. The female crew members, Mackenzie Denton (field medic) and Sigrid Hansen (archaeologist), ride with Giles. The others, Henrik Berger (historian) and Bobby McGee (archaeologist) ride with Carter.

For Lara, Ila, and those hired on to the expedition as security, there are four Arctic Cats, the best of the best snowmobiles. Their green front ends make them easy to spot against the snow and ice. Each of them holds two people and Ila rides one solo.

"Everyone pick a partner on a Cat. Let whomever is most familiar with snowmobiles drive please," Lara requests

Leaning forward to rest elbows on his legs, Barton digs his fingers into his eyes, rubbing them as if it'll somehow help him to see more clearly later on. He's not the quickest study for the world of mythology; particularly not the kind found in far-flung provinces that sound like 'None of it'. His feet are more firmly ground in that floor that is lit with the laser designator Domino just lit the floor with.

Brows rise at the comment regarding the Inuit believing that should they run into these creatures, they'll be -turned- into one themselves. That doesn't bode well. If there's one thing Barton does know, "Well… ladies and gentlemen. The fun thing with legends is that they have some basis of truth. It's the explanation of what the hell happened that gets a little fuzzy along the way."

As the truck rolls to a stop, Barton shoves the balaklava back onto his head and pulls up his hood as proof against the bitter cold. "Okay… mount up, I guess.." and he starts to head in the direction of one of the Cats. "Anyone who wants a ride," he's driving one.

Given that he knew Lara and Clint in this group, and not the others, the choice was pretty easy…

Sidling up to Lara, and waiting for her attention, Roy flashes a smile when she looks. "If it helps, I can rub your frozen toes while I drive."

Romanova slides out the transport, pulling up her hood and fixing her mask into place. "C'mon, Red Man," she says, laying a hand on Daredevil's shoulder. "There's room on the back of my Cat for you." She'll trust him at her back a damn sight before she'll trust Domino. Domino's as likely to shove her off into a crevass and take off on the machine, citing 'horribly unlucky accident' as the cause of death.

With Natasha being the lone person in the party who realizes that Matthew driving would be a very bad idea, Daredevil moves over towards her hoping that she'll pick up on the idea that it might be a good idea that he rides with her. He's come to the conclusion that the Barton person must be an ally or something more. He's not sure he wants to impose, but he might have to given the scenario.

"I'm fine," Daredevil says to Domino. He gives her a smirk, given the juxtaposition. When threatened he leans on his faith. When threatened she pulls out steel. At least everyone's clear with how everyone operates here.

He pops up elegantly and saunters to the entrance where his face is bitten by the cold as soon as he gets out into it. The hat and face protection come over, but the cut away for his eyes are just for show. The wind that blows across the ice and snow helps him map the area somewhat; in his mind he can see the soft trails of snowflakes as they slide across the surface of the hard packed stuff.

Daredevil nods towards Widow, "Works for me."

Once out of one vehicle (with goggles retrieved) and facing the next step of their journey Domino starts to grin, eyeing the familiar sight of the Cats. "Snow kitties. This gig just got sweeter." Except..that there's not enough of them to go arou-

Aw, crud.

Well, she had to go and pack a bigger gun. As much as she'd -like- to be driving she would likely serve better as a turret in the back. Then with the one guy going on about foot rubbing again she rolls her eyes and passes a glance back to Lara. "-I'll- cover your six, just to spare us the commentary."

That, and if she wound up with Hawkeye they'd probably end up killing one another before reaching their destination.

Lara smirks at Roy as she bundles up and lowers her goggles. "Mister Harper, you are incorrigible. You can ride with Mister Barton." She starts the Cat without any issue and once Domino is on and buckled in, she nods to Ila, who begins leading the caravan of vehicles out onto the ice.

The Barnes Ice Cap.

It is a breathtakingly beautiful work of nature, and the enormity of it is something that leaves the senses momentarily stunned. As the mid-day sun pours down over the sea of powder-covered ice, it reflects back like a holy light. Polarized goggles are definitely a necessity out here. As the group gets headed in, it is quiet, serene, and peaceful. The landscape goes from endless flat, to hills and valleys, to deeper valleys with visible mountain peaks towering over them to either side. They have become uncovered due to global warming reducing the density of the ice cap. The lonely howl of wolves can be heard now and then, but it is otherwise silent and pristinely white.

Comm units attached to ear pieces were distributed to the group, so they could speak while riding. Lara's crisp accent comes through clearly as they head into the shadows of the deeper valley. "We'll need to find a base camp before the sun goes down. I doubt I need to express how much colder it will be after dark. If we can find a stone ledge, or better yet a cave, it would be best. We don't want the ice beneath us if at all possible. So keep your eyes sharp." Ila tries to keep them in the sunlight as much as possible, rather than the cast shadows of the peaks, where there is a noticeable temperature difference.

Snow. Ice. Caps. Glaciers. More snow. Hawkeye's got the driver's spot, and he glances back at Harper. "Smooth. Should have quit while you were ahead," is called out as the Cat roars to life.

Once on and he's got his goggles in place, the cold is tolerable in that he's got something else to occupy his attention, that is, the scenery. It really is awe inspiring, and holds his notice for a good portion of the trip out. As they begin to enter the more hilly of areas, he revs the engine, pushing ahead before doing a partial bootlegger, bringing the Cat to a 90' halt. Pointing towards a cave off in the distance; it's not easy to discern, but the nester of high places has a reasonably keen eye. Well, more like a dark opening under an overhang of icicles. "Before the sun goes down.. that looks like a reasonable spot."

"Awww, you just wanted to drive, did you?" Roy replies, though he grins back, and goes over to perch onto the snowmobile behind Clint. "Never been much of a quitter," he responds, as he slides his goggles on. "Hi-ho, Silver! Onwards!"

And mercifully for Clint, he's quiet the rest of the way, aside from a "Looks perfect," in agreement, as he sees the same thing Clint is.

Once the Devil is safely behind her, Romanova starts up the Cat and follows the rest out into the snow. Her own face protected by goggles and a mask, not to mention an extra scarf, she is careful to keep her snowmobile in line with the others. More, she trusts Clint out front. There aren't many with sharper eyes than his, even in the glare. Did she not have an open comm in her ear, she'd say something more personal to Matt. But, since she does, that'll wait until later. Still, out of everyone on this expedition, his presence is the one that surprises him most.

Daredevil prides himself on being a professional, but at moments like this there's always a momentary hesitation. He takes a seat behind Black Widow and asks himself the unenviable question in hopes of making the situation any more awkward. Where does one put their hands?

After making a quick decision, he leans forward enough so that only Natasha can hear him. "In all the polar ice caps in all the world, she had to come onto mine. What the hell are you doin here, Nat?"

Oops. Matt apparently didn't know she had an open mic.

Pretty views, no traffic or pedestrians, and any crosshairs that are currently painted across her back happen to come from recognized sources nearby. Oh, and there's an assault rifle in her hand. It's about as close to being able to relax as Domino's likely to get. The wind may now be directly competing with their individual comfort levels compared to riding in the back of the other vehicle but it rather seems like a fair trade-off just for the sense of -adventure.-

Contract work usually doesn't get her out to such beautiful corners of the globe. Patch has made comment on a couple of occasions about not being a travel agent.

Soon enough she learns that 'Toes' seems to have some decent eyesight of his own. Either that, or he just wants to agree with Barton's call. Heck, if the guy's a good shot that's all that matters to her.

When the call is made on where they can hold up for the night the albino starts mentally mapping out a secure perimeter for the cave's entrance. Gear is limited but survival training had come with the package deal, she'll help figure something out with anyone else wanting to tackle that obstacle. However, until they've come to a full stop she leans forward and asks Lara "Are -all- of these other guys whitehats? Way to make a girl feel misplaced."

As the day wears on, it becomes an endless vista of blank cliff walls and ever-deepening shadows. The wind picks up, whipping the snow about, and making visibility increasingly worse. There are several false leads, where the group steers towards what appears to be a cave opening, and finds it's just black ice, black stone, or deep shadows. Impassable. By the time Hawkeye spots another promising blotch of dark against all the white, Lara doesn't seem hopeful. But Eagle Eyes proves his worth, as it is indeed a cave opening, large enough for the group and much of their gear to pass into.

"I am less interested in the colors of hats, than the colors of one's dependability, Domino," Lara replies as she powers down her Cat and moves to poke her head into the cave. "This will do, well done Hawkeye. Let's get camp set up!"

The cave tunnel opens into a small cavern that is more than roomy enough for their pop up tents, and has a hole in the roof large enough to be a vent for them to light a fire safely. Stew is cooked over a propane camping stove, and a couple of dual-head propane heaters (affectionately dubbed "Godseyes" for their Sauron-esque appearance when fired up) are employed to keep the stone shelter comfortable for the night. The meal is satisfying after a long day of travel, and Lara bids everyone get some sleep soon after, as they will want to set out just after dawn. She heads into her small pop up tent, no larger than anyone else's.

Ila seems increasingly uncomfortable as it gets dark. The Inuit guide moves about the cavern with a flashlight, and scans the walls. He stops for a long time, staring at one wall, before returning to the center of camp and heading into his tent for the night.


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