Medical Intervention

Summary:
July 6, 2014: Dr. diLucci has to intervene to keep Anabeth O'Neal from being taken by Hydra

Queens - New York City

The borough to the east, Queens is made up of many different flavors and feels. It's the largest of all the sections of New York in terms of area, and the second most populous. In addition to business and industry, Queens also has many residential communities with those who work in the area and others who commute over one of the bridges and onto the island.

Because it has more space than Manhattan, Queens is home to several of New York's sports teams and houses cultural institutions such as the New York Hall of Science and the Kupferberg Center for the Arts.


Characters

NPCs

  • Deadzone emitting Anabeth O'Neal (and several Hydra goons)

Mood Music:
You've got to learn how to fall


It's another day in Queens and Dr. DiLucci is going to visit Anabeth, having been asked to by Jericho Trent. There just seems to be one small problem. As he approaches the apartment address that he was given, Anabeth is being taken out of the apartment in a gurney.

~

Gurney. Hello. Angelo is perhaps thirty feet away when the gurney appears, and his sense of 'wrong' goes off. He taps quickly into the Light to scan the general nature of the people taking her out - do they show signs of negative karma, of any kind of malice or knowledge that what they are doing is wrong. Also, is Anabeth alive and healthy? The answer will determine how he deals with this.

"HEY!" Angelo says. "What are you doing with my patient?" Because he is going to assert doctor-of-record on their asses.

~

Anabeth is alive and no less healthy then she has been. She is a little more manic then usual. She struggles in the bindings that are keeping her in place. The two men that are about to wheel the gurney into an ambulance turn to look at Angelo as he approaches. Neither of them have very nice auras, and both of them seem to be fully aware that what they are doing is not on the up and up.

"Sorry? We were called in by Social Services." One of them points to the apartment. "She's a danger to herself and others, so she is being hospitalized."

~

"On whose authority? She's under my direct care, and I have not signed off on this," Angelo barks. "She is no danger to anyone. In fact, I am suspicious that you're railroading her for profit. Which hospital are you taking her to?"

He puts one hand on the gurney, and says, "Relax, Ana, we're not letting them drag you away."

The two men look at each other, one shrugging to the other. The first looks back to Angelo. "Social Services has the right to send her to the hospital if her worker has deemed her a danger to herself." He gestures to the scratches at her temples. "And we're taking her to General."

On the gurney, Anabeth is writhing and screaming something about worms.

~

Angelo shakes his head, preparing to send a general purpose heal-pulse into the prematurely old woman.

"I'd like to examine her nails before you take her anywhere."

He puts a hand on her head and dumps barely-focused living-light into her, to kick-boost the healing and balance things out a bit. If she's not raving they can't very well claim she's a danger, can they?

~

The two men look at each other again, frowning. They back up, letting the man look her over. "Can we see your qualifications? Are you in her file?"

From inside the building comes out a lovely looking woman, with files and a cardboard box. She looks to the situation and frowns. "What is going on here? Why is she not being taken to the hospital?"

Anna quietens down, just sobbing softly. Her brain is all over the place. There are so many synapses firing, that she would surely be going mad.

~

The fast-firing pseudo-epilepsy is the first thing Ange will target if he calls the full light, but he's not ready to show himself to these guys — even if they weren't Hydra, they know they're doing something wrong. He pulls out his credentials - medical ID for the state, including endorsements as both physician's assistant and MD, as one would expect for a person who works as an EMT.

"You've got her records, let's see them. I'm her physician of record, and that trumps social workers."

He says that last like he were describing a form of peculiarly noisome what-you-stepped-in. Not that he normally acts this way to social workers; he just doesn't trust these ones.

~

The fast firing synapses seem to be a symptom of the change to her chemical make up; the N13 project has left its mark on Anabeth and it's not a pleasant one. With Angelo's light working on her, Anabeth falls into slumber. The synapses slow to normal, her 'worms' as she calls them having been dealt with.

The social worker frowns, opening her file. "And you are? No offense, but you don't look like an Andrew Ip." The pair of attentdants with the gurney sigh. It's a good thing they are paid by the hour.

~

"Andrew Ip? No, sorry, you're not up to date. Typical," Ange says. He REALLY wishes he'd gotten Anna to sign the paperwork. "I didn't expect that she'd be being dragged off for no particular reason, so I didn't bring a copy of her file. I can get one by bike messenger, but you do NOT get to take her anywhere in the meantime."

He pulls out a smartphone, and takes a quick picture of the social worker and the two "orderlies".

"I want to see a copy of the commitment papers, and while we're at it, the court order allowing this. And which 'General' do you think you're taking her to, because the only hospital by that name in New York City was North General and they closed in 2010."

He starts swiping a text message… if he isn't interrupted it'll go to the (presumed) burner phone number that Jericho left him.

~

The woman herself is also making a phone call, taking a picture of the presumed doctor. Seems there is a lot of distrust going on here. The attendants just look bored.

"When did you become her doctor?" She shakes her head and sighs herself. "She isn't being committed. She is being sent to the hospital to be examined by a doctor. She was tearing at her face, something about worms in her head. And any person is allowed to call an ambulance to have a person hospitalized if they are causing physical harm to themselves. I said nothing about having her committed. And if these men did, then they are making assumptions."

The woman sighs softly and her demeanor changes. She becomes nicer, kinder, offering out a hand to Angelo. "I am sorry. We both want the same thing, to take care of Anabeth. We just started off on the wrong foot. I'm Julie, her social worker."

~

Finishing the text: «Anna being taken by social worker to nonexistent hospital. Bring my signed medical proxy to her place. -Ange,» and Dr. diLucci says, "Well, I can certainly do the examination here without dragging her to an unknown hospital and incidentally accruing more medical expenses that she won't be able to handle. And since I'm working her case pro-bono, that'll make the borough happy, since it won't cost you anything."

Take that, social worker. The paperwork for him to work pro-bono on her case is legit, though the signed part? She hasn't done that yet. Jericho might want to forge that, if necessary.

~

Julie smiles, though does it look just a little forced?

"Well, how fortunate that you were here at just the right time." She looks down at her phone and frowns.

"Dr. DiLucci? It seems you are correct about my files being inaccurate. I am terribly sorry."

She gives one of the attendants with her a look and a nod.

"Well, since you are here, please, feel free."

As Angelo gets closer to the gurney, one of the attendants reaches out with a hand-held stun-gun, aiming for his side.

~

<Do not let them take her. Not that I think you need be told that. I'm on the way.» Is the response he gets. Fortunately, no place is that far when you can fly at about two hundred miles an hour. Screw subtlety, he'd been worried something like this might happen. He'll have to set down out of sight, even if it only takes him a minute or two to span the distance, it'll take him a bit longer to run up. Hopefully he's not too late when he gets there.

~

He's got the conduit active, which means Angelo has a danger sense, so he mutters, «"Shield of Seraphim"» just before the stun gun touches, and instead of being shocked, a disk of solid light interposes between him and the arcing contacts. His own hand reaches for the orderly to shoot a stun-bolt of his own, which might be seen as some sort of an accidental self-zap.

"Oh, are you all right?" Angelo asks.

~

The attendant jolts his hand back as he gets shocked, the stun gun flying behind him onto the street as his hand loses control. Julie looks at him, very unhappy with his performance.

"Just get her in the truck already. Shoot him, whatever you need to do. I don't have time for this."

And with that, she simply starts to storm off with the cardboard box in her hands.

The pair of attendants pull out guns at this, pointing them at Angelo.

"Just back away, Doc, and no one gets hurt. Not even your patient here. She's worth more alive then dead."

~

Oh… he saw that. Traffic cams. Well… screw even minor subtlety now. He lands with a thump atop the the ambulance itself, wings flared wide for effect… and for slapping things, and produces an automatic pistol from his jacket.

"Lose the weapons or I'll ventilate you. Only warning," Aspect calls out. He'd like some questions answered… but he's pissed and he really also wants to kill these idiots. Could go either way at this point.

~

And that's sufficient. The wings come out. Feather-blades are launched, one each at Julie and the two thugs. Dr. diLucci is glowing like a beacon even in the sunlight. The blades, this time, are of the 'hard roofie' variety - designed to mess up the brain of their target so that they become highly suggestible and compliant. Well, if they hit. It's possible to deflect them.

«'Blinded By Light'» Angelo says, ensuring that the casual onlookers won't remember his face or really what happened here.

~

Between the Aspect showing up on the roof of the ambulance and Angelo starting to glow like a 70's disco ball, the area soon becomes a dizzy flurry of activity. Guns are fired, feather blades launched. The pair of attendants are both hit with the feathers, but that Julie woman… she's a tricksy one. She gets the box into the front seat of her car and is just barely missed with the feather blade. She seems to be leaving the ambulance attendants to fend for themselves.

Anabeth's gurney is shaken about, causing her to wake and scream. Once again, she struggles at the bindings that keep her tied down.

~

Jericho takes off and after the car, calling back. "Help her! I'll be back in a moment one way or the other." He'd like to run her to ground and drag her back, but he also knows it's entirely possible that she has an escape route planned or backup on the way. Chasing her too far is just likely to end up in all kinds of trouble.

~

"Don't let her get away," Ange calls out. He looks at the two thugs. "Put the guns down. You hate guns, they make your skin blister and you're afraid you might shoot yourself."

And yes, that's a suggestion, he wants them to be useless as thugs. Anna needs his help though - so he puts a hand on her and sends a full HEAL pulse in, to correct whatever derangement is happening to her. It won't fix the genetic screwing-around — that'll take more concentrated effort — but it will completely fix the scratches and help re-balance her brain further.

"It's OK, Anabeth, I'm here to help you," he says. Of course, being all glowy-wingy-angel at the moment it may not be that calming — or maybe it will? Never know about these things.

~

Jericho has a task with chasing that car. Julie seems to be very well trained in evasive measures, which is surprising for someone that is supposed to just be a social worker. She is speeding, dodging, taking corners like a pro. There is definitely more then meets the eye here.

As for Angelo, the pair of attendants drop their weapons, being nice and compliant. It's Anabeth that is the problem. She tries to struggle, but luckily Angelo is here to help her. The damage she did to her own temples is healed and she looks at him with awed reverence.

"Is it my time?"

~

Jericho knows he can't keep this up for long without attracting attention he can't afford right now. So his sidearm comes out again and he takes aim at the tires, trying to shoot them out. If this doesn't work in a mile or two, he needs to get back and see what, if anything, those creeps did to Anabeth.

"I knew your record was a little too spotless." He mutters to himself as he snaps a burst off.

~

"No, hon, I'm just here to help you get better. Don't worry, I'll explain later," Ange says. "Just relax. Boys, help Anabeth back into her apartment now. And once you do that, you get to talk to some folks who will help you feel better. You two feel very guilty about wanting to hurt a sweet old lady, so you would love to tell everything you know."

Doc Savage with his brain surgery to cure criminals couldn't be sneakier.

~

The shots at the tires hits their mark. The Honda Civic twists and turns, managing to stay on all fours. When she finally pulls to a stop, she gets out of the car and starts to run down one of the side streets. When Aspect makes it to the side street she escaped down, she is nowhere to be found.

The two men nod and do just as they are told, helping Anabeth get back to her apartment. Mr. Guillespe has come out by now.

"Someone tell me what is going on here!" he demands, and much to his surprise, one of the attendants does just that. Telling him everything.

"Hydra? Is this some sort of fairy tale? Imma confused."

~

"Damn it to hell…" Jericho breathes, glaring down the empty side street. He throw open the car door angrily, as if it were somehow to blame. Well, kinda.

"Mmmmmm. What have we here?" He glances at the contents of the box and then picks up the whole thing, deciding to do this whole thing in safety, later.

Right now he needs to get back, so he doesn't waste any time, taking off and immediately flying back. When he arrives a minute or so later her sets down on the street about forty feet away and switches his wings off. Not the most subtle entrance it's true but at least Anabeth won't see him. Guillespe might… if he's not very distracted. Jericho hopes he is.

"She got away. Damn operative," he mutters low to Angelo as he moves up to get a better look at Anabeth.

~

Angelo has his phone in 'record a memo' mode as Thug2 is brain-dumping, because he's not sure the suggestion will persist until the right people get here, and he's relying on Jeri to have their contact info, because his own SHIELD contact isn't rated to know about any of this.

"Anabeth, we're going to need to take you to a safer place, because these guys don't have your best interests at heart. And we're going to need to do it NOW."

Angelo is concerned now about Guillespe, as the Hydra information is likely to make him a target for elimination. He's still got his glow on, but the wings are pulled tight, and it's probably making Mr. G. wonder about him as well. Unless he just figures it's some meta-crap, being a long-time New Yorker.

~

The cardboard box turns out to be a lot of personal items of Anabeth's. This must be the infamous box under the bed that Nancy mentioned, with all her personal notes that she has on the N13 project. Mr. Guillespe is indeed too distracted by the attendant that is giving him the details of his job, his life, his past, his hopes for the future. Yep, he asked to be told what was going on and he's getting a full disclosure.

The Landlord is trying to get away from the chatty man, escaping to his apartment and closing the door on the man's face. Chatty Cathy is still talking up a storm though. Not all of the information is relevant, much like the babble of a person given Sodium Pentothal. The movies lie. It's not really truth serum so much as just making a person lose all inhibition and wanting to talk. Lots.

The other attendant is getting Anabeth re-situated in her favorite chair in front of her TV.

"Damn, I need a drink. You! Pour me a damn whiskey! Make yourself useful! I haven't had a drink in days!" And in his malleable state, he does just as he is asked. Anabeth looks to Angelo and frowns.

"We have to move again? I hate moving. And I haven't packed anything!"

~

Jericho kneels down next to Anabeth, hoping she's A) Relatively lucid and B) in a decent mood. He's about to catch her off guard. It's not visiting night after all.

"Anabeth? It's Jeremy," he says as he kneels down next to her. He's not quite in his usual 'ex-banger' get up, but he's been here often enough that she might remember his face. Maybe. Some days she does. Most days she pretends like she does. Some days he actually has to explain that he's been visiting every other day for weeks.

"Are you hurt?" He can tell she's not but he wants to draw her attention to the fact that something bad just happened.

~

"Well, that social worker was actually working for Polyglobal … only one whiskey, Anabeth, you do need it but only a shot glass every ten or twelve hours, ok? Too many other drugs in your system, but for now it keeps the 'worms' away. We'll figure out a way to do that where you don't have to get plastered, so you can feel better," Angelo says, realizing that it's going to take at least three Restoration passes and maybe more to get the old woman out of her addiction. She may never be someone who wants to stay sober all the time, but the paranoia and schizophrenia, those, he can fix, if he has enough time. And if she allows it.

"Jeri, get your people here fast, they may come back. They didn't expect me and Julie No-Last-Name has my info, and I had to pull out the wings."

~

Anabeth looks to Jericho as he greets her. It takes her less time then normal to remember him, perhaps because of the healing that Angelo has done on her.

"You… you visit me. You're a neighbor. My landlord says your my Nancy's boyfriend, but you're not. Not really. You… you are a friend of hers though."

It seems she's remembering bits and pieces of *all* the conversations she's had in the last month.

The attendant hands her the glass of whiskey and she sighs with relief, downing almost all of it in the first gulp. She hands it back to him.

"Again," she tells him, which he blindly obeys. His partner is still downstairs, talking to the Landlord's door about everything. She frowns as Angelo tells her no more.

"I said again." She doesn't remember the doctor. He doesn't get to tell her no.

"Polyglobal?" she asks, frowning. "I don't trust them. They got money, but their methods don't adhere to medical standards."

~

Jericho folds his arms and sighs.

"Don't have 'people' Doctor. Just contacts. Which I will, rest assured, use. But for now we have to get Anabeth off the street and out of sight, which means I need to do something I'd hoped to avoid, at least for the time being."

"Yes, Anabeth, I'm a friend of Nancy's. Look, there are some people after you and we need to get you out of here. I've got some friends that I hope will agree to help you out, but in the meantime, I think I'm gonna have to get you to a safe house."

~

"No more," Angelo says, touching Anabeth on the hand. A single flash of light sends a stop-signal to the overgrown reward-seeking neural net that wants her to drink more alcohol. It's a mild form of restoration, and it won't last more than a week without reinforcement, but it should reduce the craving and let her relax.

"You don't need it. You're stronger than that. And you're right, they aren't safe. That's why we need to get you out of here, you've proof that they were doing illegal things."

Angelo looks around. Only one Hydra guy is here. He addresses the thug.

"Sit down, and don't do anything unless this guy," and he indicates Jericho, "or I, tell you to. You can ask if you need something."

He heads outside the apartment to find the other one. Too much guilt, apparently, if he's still confessing to the world.

~

Anabeth frowns but sighs with resignation. Moving is something she has done too often over the years, usually to a place that is less nice then the last time. She nods her head, not happy, but realizing that these two men at least have her best interests at heart. She has given up.

The attendant down the stairs is mostly babbling to himself now.

~

Jericho smiles a bit, the first time he has tonight, and kneels down.

"Good. If it's okay with you, Anabeth, I'll keep Doctor diLucci in the loop about your location. The place we're going is just going to be temporary, partly because it's not especially safe. Just… safer than here at the moment. The good doctor would like to help you and he's better than most you're apt to meet."

His expression turns gentle. "What do you need to pack? I'll get it for you."

~

"Come with me, you don't need to talk right now. You can tell people later," Angelo says to the guy. Once he gets the attendants in the room, he tells them, "Wait here, and don't do anything unless this guy," indicating Jericho, "or I tell you to. You can ask us if you need something though."

And the wings come out again briefly as he touches them each with a glowing wingtip, reinforcing the anesthesia effect so it won't wear off for a while longer.

"Where are we going? It may be easier for me to fly her there. Safer than taking a cab."

~

Anabeth frowns. "There is a box under my bed. That's the most important. It's everything I ever wrote down about Polyglobal. I know they were no good, but they offered so much money. I… Clothes. I need clothes. And my whiskey. I …I shouldn't drink too much, but can't I have it anyway?"

The pair of attendants do exactly as the are told. Nice and complacent. Hydra would love them right now. Anabeth looks at the wings and then at the man that is with them. "You don't look like any angel I've ever read about."

~

Jericho nods, standing. "I'll gather it all. Ange, here's the address. It's a little condo. Key's under the doormatt. Part of something I was setting up. I'll come once I've gathered your things, Anabeth. And the files." If that isn't the box i already have, he thinks to himself.

"Anabeth he's a doctor. Of course he's not gonna want you to have booze. I, am the other hand, am not…" He winks at Angelo and leaves it there. "Though I know you told me before you drank to numb the feeling of the worms in your head… something that hurt. Maybe Angelo can help you out with that. We have enough time to get some thing, but we'd better move pretty quick if we don't want more to show up. I have no idea where that Julia bolted to."

He doesn't mention that he's certain the fact that she got away means he can expect to be on the hit list of a second Hydra cell.

~

"Of course she can have whiskey. One shot twice a day to keep the worms quiet for now. If she doesn't, her brain chemistry goes unbalanced. Bastards did that to try to make her more controllable," Angelo says, somewhat disgusted.

He takes the bottle of whiskey and the collection of meds that's arrayed on the little stand by her chair, and puts them into a small bag, along with her housecoat. Looking at the information on the condo, he mutters, «'Lux obscurant'» and loads the map. Jericho might find it interesting that the packets for the phone are suddenly anonymous. Apparently magic light can apply to radio?

Angelo has Annabelle stand, and then picks her up in a 'carried off her feet' fashion.

"Hold onto your bag and housecoat," he says, and the wings come out again.

"I'm not really an angel, but I work for one," Angelo confides to Anabeth.

The left wing pushes open a window far enough for him to carry them out onto the fire escape, which somehow is easier than it looks like it should be. And then they're airborne, a glow around them making it hard to focus or remember that they're passing, unless you know to look.

~

Anabeth stands up and goes to follow Angelo. She pats Jericho and smiles.

"You're still a good boy, Jeremy," as he implies that he'll bring her her whiskey in spite of the doctor's wishes. As she is scooped up into Angelo's arms, she giggles like a much younger woman.

"Where were you twenty years ago." she teases.

After the pair have left the apartment, the two attendants both have their phones ring at the same time. They look up for permission to answer, almost in unison, but the phones seem to override and answer immediately. The same voice speaks on both phones.

"Hello, Jericho Trent. I do hope you are within hearing."

Jericho sighs. No real hiding from this one. He makes a 'gimme that' motion to one of the EMT's and is wearing a rather put upon look.

"Jeri's house of chicken and waffles! How may I take your order?"

Maaaaaaybe talking with Nancy every night but the last few - she's been on a field trip - is rubbing off on him.

The voice on the phone is male. Cocky accent, possibly from the south, but his accent is mostly gone. It's more of a flavor than an accent.

"Mr. Trent, so good to finally hear your voice," is heard on the speaker phone, though it is still echoing on the other phone in an odd stereophonic affect.

"You have been quite a problem for us, and not just our branch. It seems quite a few of the heads have your name on their lists. But I'm sure you already knew that. How is our tech doing? Keeping it safe? No side effects from the use of it for longer then it was ever intended to be in a human body?"

"If there were, you don't think I'd tell you, do you?" Jeremy asks with a humorless laugh.

His brain is already processing. Their tech? Could be a reference to the fact that they want it badly enough to kill to get it. Or… is it possible that the DAPWS was a Hydra project? If so that's capital B bad.

"I'm touched that go to all this trouble to get a phone to me, though. It's almost sweet." Beat. "What do you want?"

~

Flying to the safe house, Angelo answers that earlier question.

"Twenty years ago? I was starting high school, but I'm sure I would've been happy to skip it if I'd met you then," he says, truthfully enough. He looks ahead in the direction of the safe-house, letting his danger sense sniff ahead to see whether there is a risk to taking her there.

~

The voice on the phone laughs.

"Oh no, Mr. Trent, this wasn't about getting to you. Don't get me wrong. We would love to get our hands on you, but what my division really wants is Nancy. We were hoping to induct her mother into the incentive program. But you and that friend of yours put that plan in the trash. So now, we're just going to have to make things look a little more… tragic. Good bye, Mr. Trent."

Jericho's connections to all the cameras in the areas sees the flare of a muzzle flash. No. Bigger. Oh No! He's been here too long! It was all just a stalling tactic!

Angelo flies Anabeth to the safe house. She gives him a poke.

"I'm ten years older than you. I doubt I would have been interested in a boy just entering high school. Flatterer."

She is much calmer and kinder then she was before, the mellowing of the first treatment to her head likely responsible.

"Is my daughter safe?"

~

Go. To. Ground. That's the soldier's first instinct and that's exactly what he does, hitting the deck and calling his wings out to wrap around and shield him as he hits the deck, finding the closest load bearing wall to shelter under.

Step one of surviving an ambush: Survive the damn ambush.

Step two? We'll deal with that if we get that far.

Nancy is still out of contact but he can't bank on being able to send this message later. Double encrypted, scrambled and bounced around the planet before it gets delivered to her phone.

<Nancy, it's Brother Wolf. Do not, repeat, do not believe any news you hear about your mother's death. She is safe and with friends. Will fill you in later if able. Stay safe. Out.>

~

"I dunno, I was pretty precocious," Angelo grins, landing at the apartment. "You know us Italian boys, right? And yeah, Nancy is safe. I can't tell you where she is because I don't know. Security reasons. They wanted to use you to get her to come out of hiding."

Angelo gets a very bad feeling all of a sudden, but he can't act on it until he gets Anabeth into hiding. He can make sure that she's safe, that there's food and her meds are all the right ones — and he tosses one that isn't — and then he tries to reach Jericho again.

~

The rocket flies through the window that Angelo had only recently left, hitting the wall and blowing. Fire! Shrapnel! The screams as the two ambulance attendants are on fire. It's like hell just broke out in Anabeth's apartment.

Anabeth settles into the safe-house apartment. She finds herself a chair to sit in that is in view of the TV and goes to watching her game shows as if nothing unusual is happening. One thing to be said about her condition: she is nice and compliant herself when she's in a good, lucid mood.

"And you know how terrible college girls are, so… who knows. My life could have been so different. I was going to be a nurse. Help people. Heal people. And then… it all went wrong."

~

Wings are not wolf armor. In some ways that's better. Today it saved his live by preventing the pressure wave of the blast from pulping his bones. Unfortunately the incomplete coverage means that flying shrapnel is a very dangerous thing. His right, arm and shoulder in particular, have taken a bit of a beating. And he's pretty sure he's got feedback burns on his back and the side of his face.

He's… so very upset right now, but the first thing to do is get out of the building. He turns and flaps his wings, hurling himself backward through a window and dousing both attendants with a sudden, powerful gust of wind. Maybe enough to put them out.

Angelo's phone picks up to the sound of shattering glass and flapping wings, and a grunt of pain as he forces his injured arm to rack his pistol as he scans for a target, assuming that wasn't a remote strike.

~

"Anabeth, please stay here. I'll be back, or Jericho will, but I think there may be a problem and I have to go help."

Angelo steps out the door, and closes it, locking it, and takes off at a speed that seems to ignore physics. He'll arrive possibly before Jericho can hit the ground - he's moving at almost the speed of sound. But he's not aiming for Jericho. He's there to grab those two agents, and he throws up the Shield of Seraphim around the three of them as he arrives.

~

It seems Hydra didn't want to just give Jericho and his friends two of their agents. One of them is dead from a chunk of Anabeth's favorite chair that got lodged in his thigh. The fire was bad to begin with, but the blood loss from the femoral artery made the pain end quickly. The other wasn't as lucky. Burns all over his body, along with cuts from bits of wood and plastic and glass.

Jericho, with the help of having seen the rocket flare on the feeds, is able to find the assailant, who is just packing up after his days work. Get a call, kill a person with extreme prejudice, get paid. It's a living.

~

Jericho himself is only alive because of his wings and he still has shards of wood ranging from finger sized to butter knife sized rather firmly lodged in his arm. He's fairly sure it's broken in two places. It hurts. A lot. Rather than simply shooting he simply narrows his eyes and flies forward, intent on body blocking the man. He's got a question or two to ask before he decides if this ass hat lives or dies.

~

Burns? Dying from shock? NOT ON MY WATCH.

Angelo realizes that the one with the exsanguinating leg-wound has no life-force left, the 'golden bowl shattered' as his spirit is gone from the brain trauma of the explosion, but the other is still alive and his head was somehow protected.

And he's going to STAY alive — this is a six-second fix, using a lot of the Seraph's pool of healing light, and Angelo's not going to be able to fix all the burn scars, but the Living Light pours out through the Ankh of Restoration and the Ankh of Purification to anchor that life and to restore and repair the damaged flesh. He may have scars for a while and he was never 'pretty' to start with, but he won't be crippled, and he WILL be able to testify, if the Seraph can do anything about it.

~

The hired assassin doesn't even see it coming. One does not usually get attacked on the roof of a building by a flying man. Unless you are in Metropolis. And what assassin is crazy enough to take a job there? Jericho and the assailant tumble on the roof, adding gravel to the things that are now embedded in Aspect's skin.

The Hydra goon, let's call the ambulance attendant what he really is shall we, coughs and twitches as the light pours into him, saving his life. The burns heal, the shrapnel pushed out of his body as it is healed. If not for the fact that he was sitting in such a way that the other guy got the brunt of the explosion, this man would have been dead too. Now, he just wishes he was.

As Seraph lets the Light help him to heal the man, he realizes that there is a tooth there that isn't natural, hollow, but filled with liquid.

~

"No bad teeth either," Angelo mutters, and a pulse of magic turns the toxin in the tooth into pure water.

Because it can, when magic insists that it will. Transmutation of Elements, but not into gold.

He opens the Eye of Ra to examine the man for any other surprises, and throws another non-focused pulse into the guy to make him feel better, and maybe a bit more cooperative, and then, if there's nothing else that has to be fixed, he looks around. Jericho was packing, so the box with the evidence is still here somewhere, if it hasn't been burned completely.

~

Jericho is down one arm. And the one he's not down is holding a gun. Buuuuuuut. He has wings. Wings that he uses to propel himself at two hundred plus miles an hour. And which he is now going to use to vent some frustration on his would be assassin. There's no question at all that Angelo can hear the 'beating' and see the flashes of amber light as he uses his wings like bludgeons.

~

As Seraph looks for the box that was the start of all this mess, Angelo sees it by the door. The box itself is smoldering, the contents inside not on fire. Yet. There is a sound of sirens in the distance. Someone called the fire station, which is a good thing. There is panic in the streets below. People have come out to watch as the flames lick out of the windows. The Hydra thug coughs again as he starts to come to.

The would be assassin pulls out a knife to defend himself, expertly trying to deflect the wings. But how does one cut light? For that matter, how is it possible for light to be solid enough to be hitting him? He throws his knife at Aspect, using the distraction to pull out a pistol.

~

"You better come with me," Angelo says. "You're not gonna survive if your bosses have any say in it. And Hydra's not really your friend. They don't give a damn about you or anyone else."

He doesn't bother yet to re-dart the man - he's used about half his charge with so much exertion, and letting it recoup is better if he can. He moves, and the sphere of the Shield crosses the box, extinguishing the flames. Angelo picks it up, ignoring the faint burning because he's healing faster than that. He offers a hand to the man, letting the whole 'angel' thing show just in case it might give the Hydra thug the idea that maybe there's a different side he could be on.

~

Jericho hates this guy so much. Right now he's the living representation of them. The people who turned his life upside down and now, the people who are hurting the few friends he has. His wing sweeps up to deflect the knife, enough to prevent it from slicing his neck open, not enough to prevent it from giving him a good cut on the cheek. A steel-toed army boot follows as the gun is swept out, his own momentarily forgotten. There's a kick. And another kick. And another. It may be difficult to hold onto that gun. On the other hand, if the assassin can hold onto it…

"Hydra's not my friend?" says the thug, confused. He rises to his feet and looks uncertain, but that angel-dart from before is still working. Follow him, he said, so that is exactly what he does.

The gun in the assassin's hand goes flying off the rooftop. This assassin is about guns, not hand to hand, but that doesn't mean he's untrained in that arena. Having no weapons on him now, he starts to show his training, blocking the oncoming kicks as he lets some of his own attacks fly.

~

"They tried to kill you, so no, they're not. We need to get out of here, OK?"

Angelo pulls his wings in tight again, even if the whole 'hair and eyes glowing' still makes him look entirely too not-human. He leads the man to the window with the fire escape, and says "Hold on."

The wings come out and he lifts the guy, and the box of evidence, up to the nearby roof — the one where all the noise is coming from. This is getting VERY interesting. Aspect is fighting an assassin. Fascinating.

~

Jericho notes the arrival… in some part of his brain. Most of it is too consumed by flat out rage to care. A strike to his ankle and knee drops him down onto one leg, so he lifts his pistol and slams the butt of it down into the man repeatedly. If he had another arm he might be a little more elegant about this… but it appears that the only thing he wants to make this man do is suffer and die… which he should probably not do. Questions. He had meant to ask questions before this part.

The Hydra thug with Angelo is having a little trouble coping.

"Cut off one head, two more will take it's place," is his answer as he dislodges the tooth and bites into it. And. Nothing. No foaming at the mouth. No pain. Just nothing. Well, that's not right. He's not even entirely sure why he did that, his mind fogged by the dart from Seraph. And so, his last attempt at being a good little Hydra thug having failed, he just reaches out a hand and lets himself be carried away.

People on the street point as an angel flies out from the burning building. Cellphones follow his progress even as the firetrucks pull up and start getting to work on saving what they can.

Aspect has the fuel of rage on his side as well as more training in hand to hand combat. It isn't long before the assassin is laying on the roof, bleeding and unconscious.

~

"You done?" Angelo asks his friend. He puts a hand on Aspect's shoulder to let him know he's there, and opens the Eye of Ra so he can see how much repair work he's going to have to do to the man… and probably, how much he has to do to the attempted assassin, who will ALSO be getting some patching done, because that way he can be questioned. Oh, and the touch is also to put a little free-floating, unfocused Light from the Conduit into the injured man so he doesn't go into shock and die suddenly. Full magical heal later.

~

Jericho hits the assassin a couple more times after his unconsciousness becomes evident. He points his pistol at the assassin's head and pulls the hammer back, breathing hard. He just holds it there for the span of a long minute. Then Angelo touches his shoulder and he seems to jerk back to reality.

"Y-yeah…" His voice is shaking with emotion. "I'm done. Sorry… I got… carried away."

He stands up and slowly eases the hammer back as the rage and adrenalin fades and the pain in his arm comes back with a vengeance. Yes… yes it's broken, twice above the elbow and once below. And still stuck full of a lumberyard's worth of splinters and furniture shards. Not to mention the contact burns from the fire and the feedback burns from the stress on his own implants absorbing the attack.

~

Bringing the prisoners, the pair return to Anabeth who is still sitting in front of the tv at the safe house. She doesn't even look up to see that Jericho is injured.

"Pot pie for dinner, Jeremy?" Well, at least she's still 'normal'.


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