You Ain't My Mother

Summary:
July 6, 2014>: At the safe house, Aspect and Seraph call for help, but do they get it?

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
Emits by Deadzone for Anabeth O'Neal
One of Partisan's wolf-daughters


Mood Music:
Still Crazy After All These Years


Jericho has a number of ways to deal with what is functionally a reverse hostage situation. One of them involves sending for all the help he can get while he sorts out where Anabeth is going to go that she can be safer, because he gets shot at waaaaay too much for it to be safe around him right now. So, he's sent out a coded radio message to Partisan.

<Hydra attempted to kidnap Nan's mom to use as leverage. Currently have her. Could use help at my location while situation is sorted. Please do not hurt her. Paranoia and general jackassery not her fault. Will explain later. Out>

He sighs and looks out the window for the third time at the abandoned warehouse across from the townhouse that's part of the safehouse network he'd been setting up (but hadn't finished, damn it). Every once in a while he thinks he sees odd lights down there but… it's probably nothing. Hopefully no one noticed the freaking Angelic arrival of Angelo… or his own rather battered, but still glowy winged arrival. Certainly it seems to have gone unremarked. He has, by this point, picked most of the wood, glass and plastic out of his arm but it still hurts like hell, and it's still broken.

~

Bruce swears under his breath as he finally gives up on wiring together the MRI machine. Again.. Yes, he can get frustrated, he's learned enough control for that (and his THC levels don't hurt either). Which he can feel wearing off, so he'd probably better take a hit soon. Makes doing the work harder, but he'd rather have to think through a bit of fog than be edgy and nervous and…

What that glow outside? Hmmmmmmmmmm…he shrugs off his labcoat, leaving him in a vintage Pearl Jam t-shirt and some battered jeans. He hops up the stairs to peer out, cracking the door and sticking out a tousled head to see what's up…

~

Angelo has this way of hiding from the forces of darkness, and, well, the forces of dimness, i.e. ordinary people. He wraps himself in light and tells it to keep them from seeing. Strangely, it works, but only because someone really good at magic showed him how to do it. Anyone really skilled at magic would see through it. Or sometimes, people who aren't really ordinary.

On the other hand, he's got the two 'hostages' lying on the floor, both of them unconscious. They had injuries that needed to be fixed. And, now after an hour, he's got enough energy to deal with the damage to one Jericho "Aspect" Trent. Maybe. That damned cyborgery keeps trying to eat his Light, like someone woke it up and told it about magic.

~

Anabeth sits in the chair across from the tv. It was the first thing she did, set up the chair so it was in the exact position as it was in her apartment. The end table beside her has quickly becomed festooned with dirty plates and empty glasses. The Family Feud is on and Anabeth is yelling at the tv screen. She grumbles and gets up from her chair to pour herself another glass of of Jack.

Angelo's instructions were one shot once every twelve hours. She is drinking a little more then that, doing what she was without Nancy around to stop her. Not binging, but just staying at a steady buzz all day. She rifles through the fridge for something to eat, grabbing a leg of fried chicken and walks back to her chair.

Jericho in trouble? Zoinks, sportsfans that surely NEVER HAPPENS right? Right? So yes, Part is prepared for this sort've thing.

Sweeping her BMW into a parking garage before sending back a message with a sigh, <Message received and understood. En-route five minutes on foot, specify if you require transport.>

Quietly slipping out've that BMW and glancing around, before taking a minute or two to get her kit on and get on the way. Tugging her gas mask down with one hand, as she takes the hop to clear the wall from parking garage to alley.

Skate shoes pumping along to hurry her quickly along in quiet strides, AKSU held close to her body as she goes. Grunting softly as she hauls ass towards Jericho at downright record speed.

«Specify point of entry.>

~

There's light from the townhouse… which is usually quite empty. And did two people go in in there about fifteen minutes ago?

<Front door'll do nicely, but this is my place… well, I'll have to burn it now. Can't chance that they've tracked either me or her here. And I'm the only gun here… and my arm is broken. Long story> There's a pause. <You could hop the wall and come in the back door too if you'd like. Just knock. We'll hold of the hostage interrogation till you get here>

Jericho, or Jeremy as Anabeth apparently knows him, turns and gets the pot pie out of the oven with one hand and sets it on the rolling table near her.

"Dinner's ready Anabeth," he says gently before looking back up at Ange.

"So what were you saying about my traces and your healing again?" He'd really love it if his arm didn't feel shattered anymore.

~

Anabeth arches a brow at the mention of dinner. She turns around, following a mouthful of chicken with a sip of whiskey. She smells like a sleezy bar, where half the booze ends up on the floor. She peers at the pies and smiles, patting Jericho/Jeremy on the cheek.

"You're a good boy," she tells him and then she starts to shuffle back to her chair. Then to yell at the TV: "That was the dumbest answer I have ever heard. Are you even listening to the question?"

~

Angelo looks distracted for a moment, counting something in his head. Y'see, he wasn't about to trust Anabeth NOT to fall into her old pattern, and with her TV and her chair and her food in the same place and everything the same, the simple suppress on her alcoholic-reward neural net didn't have a chance. So, with that and the fact that she did still need the stuff… well, he put a magical 'tag' on the bottle to tell him whenever she touched it, and she's been SNEAKY.

"Anabeth, I did not say one shot every two hours," he mutters. He considers finding a supply of those little airline whiskey bottles, and seeing if he can make them "not noticeable" until it's time for her next drink. But whatever. This is less important than helping 'Jeremy' … and he's been meditating on how to fix this.

"You have to turn off your system, Jer, at least for a moment. Or quiet it. I can't get past it to fix your bones with it sucking down the energy, and I don't even know what it's doing with it."

~

«Backdoor, thirty seconds.»

She doesn't jump the wall, she's not quite built for enormous leaps. What she does do, is slam a foot into the wall as she launches skyward. A gloved hand snagging the top of that fence, before neatly hauling herself over with a little grunt. Bringing her AK back to shoulder, as the Partisan takes a moment to gather her senses. Then foreward she goes, eyes scanning with no small amount of paranoia before knock-knock-knock she goes.

«Backdoor.»

~

Bruce Banner leans back against his door, lighting a cigarette and peering in to the dimness as he tries to make sense of what's going on. He gets out a cigarette and lights it, walking out into the street and taking a look around. He's pretty sure he hasn't been tracked here, but he can never be sure. SHIELD is always changing frequencies, nevermind the FBI or whatever cabal is hunting him at the moment. He approaches the building, seeing lights, his scent likely enough in the wind to be caught by those with the ability.

~

Jericho's about to answer when he hears the knock.

"I can't turn it off, per se, Ange." He says as he walks toward the back door.

"I can shut down its connections and put it to sleep, but it's cybernetics. The only way it turns off is if I/ turn off, you know?"

He has his pistol out as he approaches the door, but his right arm is bloody and hanging uselessly at his side so he's got to holster it to unlock and open the door.

"Come on in," He murmurs, looking about carefully. "We've got some company both welcome and unwelcome. The short, built man is Doctor Angelo DiLucci. The woman in the chair is Anabeth, Nan's mom and the two asshats on the floor in the zip ties are respectively an EMT and an Assassin."

~

Ange frowns, looking up at the woman. He's not just the short built guy - his eyes are glowing yellow-white, his hair the same, and there's a gleam as if light was shining from parts of his skin, and a hint of something behind him. He stares, for a moment, at the new woman's utterly inhuman aura.

"Interesting friends you have, Jer."

Yet, the scary wolf isn't an immediate threat, which is odd considering how much weaponry it's carrying. Normally he might freak out, but he's running so much Light today that he's way too Zen to react. Besides, he's figured out what he has to do.

"OK, Jer. Stand still, and just relax. There's going to be a bit of a PINCH."

He puts one hand on Jeri's head and the other on the back of the broken hand, and then wings made out of pure blinding glare move from behind him and run up and down the arm. It's taking twice as much power as he usually spends to get past this, but while he's letting the prefabricated magic from the ankh tattoos heal Jericho's body he's also talking in blinding yellow letters to the cybernetics, and their discussion is about integration and what they're doing with his body and why.

Jeri's heads-up is probably showing weird letters again, probably not the ones he had with Illyana's interfacing earlier; the light is bright enough that everyone is probably being blinded, except maybe Anabeth, who could be mundane enough at the moment not to notice it. Certainly, it would show to anyone who can see the unusual, even through the windows.

~

Anabeth grumbles at the voice from the other room.

"You ain't my mother!" she jeers at him. She slumps in the chair, scowling at the TV.

"Because it's old! People are making fun of you because your car is a piece of junk!"

The laser Light show behind her is ignored for preference of her show.

~

"Oh charming, full freakshow in effect and an injury I don't have to field dress."

Gasmask and all, the Partisan creeps into the place. Peering between Angelo and Jerry for a moment, before she just eases on past. Resting her gloved hands atop her AKSU as she peers first after Anabeth, and then after the hostages.

"Remind me again why we have hostages, this isn't my style."

The dull grey skull painted on her mask all but glowing even in the dim hallway light.

"You invited me to a proper fucking mess."

~

Bruce Banner does, indeed, make his way up to peer in the windows, arching an eyebrow at the rune-marked man with the glow, not to mention his bloodied companion and…oh, the Partisan. Well, that explains the place being bloody, at least. He wonders what kind of trouble's been dragged to his doorstep and whether it was going to catch him up in its wake. He had his own wars to wage, although part of him wants to try to help. He does have some degree of medical training, even if it wasn't his focus.

~

Jericho blinks.

"Ack! The… God! Not again." Partisan can see he's not in pain but he does look annoyed.

"What is with you people, scrambling my HUD like that in langagues that don't exist," he mutters.

His arm knits together with audible cracks and pops and as Angelo channels light into him, his traces start to glow with bright yellow light.

"To answer your question, Parti, they're Hydra agents. One tried to kidnap Anabeth to use as an 'incentive' for Nan to turn herself in."

He half growls that, seeming more angry about that than what follows.

"And the other is a hitter who tried to kill me. And everyone else in the room. Which was mostly me."

He doesn't see Banner peering in, his back being to the door, though… that'd probably alarm him.

~

"Enochian exists, it's just old," Ange replies, slightly distracted now that the healing is happening. He looks over at the Partisan, noticing her as a person while before she was just a presence, "Privet, Bialyvolk," (Hello, White Wolf) and returns his attention to talking to the cyberware. The fellow peering in…

"Come on in, we don't bite much," Ange says, then his attention is sucked back into the discussion of precisely what the cyberware really IS and why it's still attached. Not that this makes sense in any kind of human terms, because it's from the point of view of the system, not necessarily its creators.

~

Anabeth grumbles, waving a hand at the display behind her.

"You're talking over my show!" she complains.

"And where is my pot pie? Jeremy!"

She looks up enough to see the face peering in the window, frowning, but doesn't say anything about the peeping Tom, one way or the other.

~

"Da, Vy russkiy chelovek bozhiy?" (Yes, are you russian holy man?)

Part tightens up her sling and flips that carbine on around her back before kneeling before the bound men, and jerking the gag from one of them.

"Now this is how it works, gentlemen. I'm going to kill both of you, and I'm sorry but theres simply no escaping that. I also have some things I need to know, so I'm going to torture you until I learn them. Now I've done this many times, and there is only one of three outcomes. You tell me what I want to know, and you have my word it'll be painless. I torture you, and then you tell me at which point you'll have suffered for awhile. Last but not least, I torture you for a very long time and eventually your heart gives out and you die tortured to fuck and drowning in your own lactic acid. Theres no reason to be a fucking dumbass here, we're all professionals so lets not make this personal eh?" Quietly producing that ring hilted chisel knife and letting the pair view it.

"Anabeth is it? Shut the fuck up before I stitch your god damned mouth shut just to pass the time."

Part only half turns, before pointing a finger.

"You will shut the fuck up, sit quietly and do as your told or I'm gonna start cutting pieces off until you're as gentle as a kitten understand me? You wanna test me, just go ahead and see how absolutely little problem I have with carving your fingers off and how very fucking little there is that you can do to stop me."

Yeah, ok. Theres a little emotion from the whole Nancy thing in there.

~

Bruce Banner opens the door and comes inside, both because he's been invited and because he's heard part of Partisan's tirade. He closes the door behind him gently, looking nothing like the angels and soldiers in a room. Just a man.

"If you need any extra hands with the bandaging, let me know. I'm Bruce. Welcome to the neighborhood."

He turns his attention to the well-armed werewoman, "And you're not going to torture them, not while I'm here, Partisan. You need your answers, I'm sure there are other ways to find them, and certainly ways that should be tried before anyone starts getting 'carved'," he says.

He's ill at ease, a bit on edge. He doesn't trust these people for an inch, but there's something going on here and he can't just ignore it.

~

Jericho eyes Bruce, wondering why the hell (or maybe why the heaven? Bah, angels…) Ange just invited a stranger inside.

"If you have to, Parti, don't make it loud. Last thing we need is the police involved. At least, on terms other than our own. And Parti, it's not her fault. Long story but she's a Hydra experiment the purpose of which was Nancy. It's had side effects."

He sighs and walks over to Anabeth, pushing the pot pie right at her left hand a little closer.

"It's right here Anabeth. Go on, dig in."

He stands and turns to the assembled group.

"Look, Bruce, you said? Thanks for the offer of help. These men have info we need. If anyone has a good idea of how to extract it quickly I'd appreciate it because it's not going to be long before we have to move again. The people involved here want to kidnap her to turn her daughter into a lab rat, or a weapon or both. And they want me very, very dead. I don't care what we do to them so long as we get what we need."

Beat.

"I'm listening…"

~

Angelo looks over at the Partisan again, "neuklyuzhiy volk , net neobkhodimosti v krovi. oni budut govorit' pravdu, kogda oni prosypayutsya" (clumsy wolf, no need for blood. They will speak truth when they wake.)

The light-wings, bizarrely, remain "impaled" through Jeri's body, but they have dimmed a bit as the conversation concludes — just a few more seconds, and he'll save Trent a world of hurt later. And then he'll get to tell him that he's a component, and the system was concerned that he wasn't up to spec. That'll be hilarious.

"Uh, just let them wake up normally. They're still light-roofied, they'll talk," Angelo finally manages to say out loud in English.

~

Anabeth rises to her feet as Partisan starts yelling at her. While she is not blind stinking drunk, she is also not sober. However, as Jericho knows, this is when she is her most reasonable.

"I don't know you for shit, lady. Don't think that talkin' shit and waving around a knife is gonna scare me. I live in Queens. See that shit every day."

Jericho's talk of food gets her attention though and she looks over at the pot pie, totally forgetting Partisan as if they didn't just exchange threats. She takes a sip out of her glass of whiskey and takes the plate to her chair, eating it while she watches Wheel of Fortune begin.

~

Partisan frowns, that seems almost unsporting really. "Etot Chelovek Yavlyayetsya khalik, on glup I slab Voley Da?" (This man is the Hulk, he is stupid and weak willed.)

Ignoring Bruce for just a moment, before rising to her boots.

"Dr.Banner, leave and go be a fucking tourist somewhere the fuck else. I don't drop in on your lab and fuck with your work, now do I? So why don't you get back under whatever fucking rock you crawled out from under, before you see something that unsettles you and you level half the fucking city? I ain't got the time nor the patience to coddle your precious fucking concience nor your high fucking horse."

Thumbing after Bruce for a moment, before rolling one of the bound men over and slapping his face.

"Wakey wakey cuntnugget, the Partisan has questions and you have answers.

~

Bruce Banner rolls his eyes, "I see you remain as charming as ever, Partisan. Yes, that terrible burden of a conscience is a pesky thing, isn't it? And I can assure you, I'm perfectly even tempered at the moment," he says, drawing on his cigarette.

"And this time, you managed to bring your mess right next door to my rock, so I'm afraid this is my business, especially if you're bringing heat down on me. If you object to my presence, you're welcome to throw me out, but I think we both know that's a bad idea for all involved."

~

Jericho just rolls his eyes.

"You two have met I take it?" He says as he walks on over to where Partisan is so he can listen.

"I'm sorry about the trouble Bruce, I really am, but I needed to get Anabeth off the street and out of the line of fire. I don't have the resources to openly defy people like Hydra and sadly, one of their people got away from the scene."

"I need to know where they were going to take her, Parti. I'm going to give these guys a little visit. If you can find out what they know about Project N13 and whatever they know about the hit? That'd be great too."

Outside, a dark haired woman adjusts the scope on her rifle.

~

"Banner? Huh. Honor to meet you, Doctor," Angelo says, wings closing back to his body. The light in the eyes stays on, and he's still got that 'glowy hair' thing, but his hand is offered to Banner. And he glances over at the man Partisan is trying to wake, and a feather from the wing slices through the air and into the man's body, causing him to gasp awake, "Huh? Mom, do I have to get up?"

"Sorry to bring this mess to your neighborhood. We had no idea. There's… way too much to explain quickly," Ange says.

~

"I remain as practical, as ever Bruce," Partisan says, lancing back towards Jericho with a frown.

"Wait, so one of them who got away knows where we are right here right now? You kept her locked down, and you didn't tell me you were blown?" It's more confusion than anger really, but then again Jericho does seem to get a pretty big pass for most everything with her.

~

Anabeth tries to eat her pie, turning up the game show as people keep insisting on talking over it. She grumbles something about how rude people can be these days, taking another sip of whiskey.

The man wakes up with a start and looks up at the gas mask blinking. "Yer not my mom," he manages to tell her.

~

Bruce Banner doesn't take the hand, "No offense, when I've already seen someone use a power I don't quite understand, I'm a little slow to trust. Nothing personal," he says.

The contention that the angry woman is Partisan's daughter gets an amused grunt, "Based on your charming disposition, seems like a possibility," he says.

"Anybody care to give me a Reader's Digest version?"

~

Jericho glances from Partisan to Anabeth to Ange to Bruce and then shrugs.

"Cliff's Notes? Sure. Anabeth here is the subject of an experiment to breed weaponized mutants. She had a daughter who does in fact have a power. That daughter is my friend, so when I learned that they were planning to bring her in, I objected. She went to ground and got to safety and I promised I'd look after Anabeth for her. Hydra planted an agent in the form of her social worker and was going to have Anabeth abducted on the premise of being sent to the hospital so that she could be used as leverage against her daughter. Fortunately for all of us, Angelo was there to help and I wasn't far, so that failed."

He glances down to Partisan now.

"The social worker, Julie, got away, but I don't think she has any way of knowing where either of us are. I'm more concerned that the Hydra cell that wants me dead…" — a glance up to Banner — "well, several cells apparently. I'm a bad boy, it seems…" — back down to Partisan — "have methods I'm not aware of so I'm keen to get Anabeth into protective custody as soon as possible. So not blown, per se, just paranoid. It's a survivial skill, really, but my luck seems to bear it out more often than not."

The hacker sighs and runs his hands through his hair. Outside, the black haired woman sets the crosshairs on the back of Bruce's head.

~

"No problem. It's magic, which … frankly if I wasn't inside it, I wouldn't believe it," Angelo says. "And I basically … "

and at that point, the Seraph's two-seconds danger sense SCREAMS, because an angry Hulk? definitely a danger.

Angelo shouts, «"Shield of Seraphim"» and a dome of light, barely large enough to fill the room, springs into being. Reflex. Such a useful thing.

~

Partisan blinks at the shouting, and the shielding and for a split second even the Partisan has no fucking clue what the hell is going on. Then, cooly she reaches back to tug her AKSU around and get that stock unfolded.

"A heads up would be just charming gentlemen, we need to cut down the chaos here."

~

Anabeth grumbles as the noise and lights get too much for her.

"I'm goin' to the can!" she announces, walking past the bottle of Jack and nabbing it on her way. Bad Anabeth, ignoring doctor's orders. Shouldn't be too surprising, really.

The EMT that was jolted awake looks confused more then anything else, looking around the room.

"Where am I? Who are you people? Why am I tied up?"

~

Bruce Banner frowns as the dome of light pops up around him.

"I'm going to assume there's a good reason for that," he says, not too startled, the THC in his system at least regulating simple surprise enough to keep it from being too agitating. Still, he turns now and faces outwards, placing himself more side to side, shoulder to shoulder with the people in the room, rather than facing toward them. He licks his lips for a moment.

"Soooooooooooooooooooo…I'm guessing the big shield of light is bad, right?"

~

The glass of the window by the front door shatters as a sniper round enters the room and 'pings' off the shield inches from where Bruce's head was. The target of the shot is… a bit obvious, yes.

Jericho flinches as Ange's shield causes his HUD to light up like an Enchoian slot machine.

"Ack! I'm really starting to hate that," he growls as he draws his gun, his traces once again glowing the same color as the shield, having, absorbed small amounts of the magic as it was springing into existence.

"What's going on?!"

~

"Sniper," Ange says, a bit obvious to those who noticed the bullet.

"Don't know where. They had a bead on you, Dr. Banner — which means they know who you are, and wanted to bring out your other side in a bad mood."

He looks through the window, but the angle isn't quite right for him to spot the person. He has to stay still, because the shield is centered on him. Moving would uncover other people. Though, Partisan and Jericho could get through it without issue. Banner too, if he wanted to. Ana and the hydras, not so much.

~

Anabeth is trying to head to the bathroom, but she finds herself stuck at the edge of a glowy dome. She runs her fingers over it, frowning. Finding the dome rather solid and turns around, sliding down it to sit on the floor and sit and drink, watching as everyone seems to get guns out. This is better then her shows, that's for sure.

The EMT is left to lie there on the floor of the other room. "Hello? Is everything okay out there? Are we going to die?" Ah, Light manipulation to the brain, making imminent death just something one wants to be informed about.

~

"Sniper! Kill the lights, Fortify in place I'm going after them!" Partisan barks out, before bailing out a side window with a crash of glass, and getting to it immediately. No she doesn't have a perfect bead on where it came from, but she knows enough to start zeroing in. Racing around the back where she's got cover, before bursting down the alley in a full fucking sprint towards where she heard the shot from.

~

Bruce Banner crouches down and low, keeping himself away from the windows. He's been shot at enough himself to know when he's been targetted. Hell, he was sniper shot a couple of months ago by a spot-faced woman while doing little more than sitting on a park bench. He — the Hulk, that is, not him — wrecked quite a bit of subway track that way, but at least mostly avoided people.

"Any idea if these are your enemies or mine?"

~

"Are your enemies also fond of taking long range potshots at you? Maybe they should all join a club. Who'd you piss off so much?" Jericho says as he crouches by the window with his sidearm drawn. He'd never catch Parti-Girl at this rate without his wings and just… no. He'll know if she needs help.

In the lot, which is empty but for the one car, the dark haired sniper doesn't even know what's coming it her. She does know that something lit up in the room and Banner isn't dead though…

~

Kill the lights. Yeah. That's gonna happen, Angelo thinks. «"Blinded, blinded by light, the darkness cannot see,"» he says in that weird language, making the apartment almost impossible for their enemies to see, much less see into. Unless, of course, they have superior magic. Angelo looks over to Banner.

"Don't know," Ange says. "Hey, Bob, we're gonna be fine, I won't let 'em kill you," he calls out to the EMT.

#

When you can sprint upwards of forty miles an hour, eight hundred yards doesn't seem all that far really. AK swinging to her shoulder as Partisan sliiiides to a stop, and gets to it without a moment's hesitation, pouring a trio of tight little bursts worth of 7.62 after the woman, with every intent to just plain kill the bitch.

"Git sum!"

~

Anabeth just watches the goings on, her head swaying back and forth to watch the action.

"I love this episode of A-Team," she mutters to herself, sipping out of the bottle now.

Bob, the ex-Hydra thug, calls out from the other room.

"That's great. Thanks."

~

Bruce Banner looks over at Jericho.

"Not the smart ones. Shooting me in the head will just make me angry," he says.

"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

He keeps a low crab walk, unable to suppress a snort of amusement as Partisan runs out, guns blazing.

"Geez a-pete," he mutters, "worst case scenario, if there are too many of them, just let them shoot me…then run in the other direction…"

~

The bursts hit home. Turns out the dark hair was a wig. The woman underneath, and it is a woman, has short, greying hair. Her rifle is brand new, bolt action .308, modified slightly but more than adequate to wake up a Hulk. The only other thing of interest on her is a picture of Jericho, a picture of Doctor Banner, both grainy and heavily enlarged, and a wolf's skull tattoo on her arm. Partisan, of all people, may well know what that means.

Jericho is watching with amber glowing eyes.

"Parti got her," he says to Bruce, Ange and… oh There's Anabeth. Standing up he goes over to help her back into her seat, well, if she'd like.

The EMT he eyes with mild but undisguised loathing.

~

Anabeth looks to Jericho as he approaches her, looking confused.

"Is it a commercial break? What happened to BA? He's a lot paler then I remember him."

She lets Jericho escort her to her seat and he even manages to get the bottle away from her as he distracts her with Pat Sajak and Vanna White.

The other man, the assassin, is still doped up while Bob lies there patiently, being very compliant and docile.

~

"Hey Jeri," Ange says, "Your cyber is starting to Awaken, just thought you'd like to know. It's about the same level of sophistication as cells and organs at the moment. It's been trying to fix you. I gave it some better specs so it probably won't burn you out. Also, it said something about not wanting to have the flesh-component uninstalled. Not sure what that meant. It can't explain. It's not quite sentient yet."

That's Ange paying him back for his hate for the Hydra guy. He looks over to Anabeth.

"You can go to the bathroom now, but let Jer check it first."

~

Partisan Lowers her weapon as she approaches, before taking a quiet knee next to the woman. Gloved hands gently taking her wrists and folding her arms across her stomach, before delicately brushing her hair out of her eyes.

"Buen tiro pequeno cachorro, Dormir ahora que esta bien." She collects the photos, the cellphone, the rifle and all the sort've stuff that might be deemed useful before offering a quiet "Suzhalyavam" to the dead woman.

«One of mine, she's down. On my way back, have stuff.» sounding every bit as deflated as she actually is. Still, it's a long enough walk for her to get her head back in the game.

~

Bruce Banner sighs, running a hand through his hair, thankful he didn't have to give into his raging other self today. Every day he goes between frenzies is a day worthwhile. He hears the discussion of cyber and peers momentarily at Jericho, trying to contain scientific curiosity and not entirely succeeding as he takes another look at the fellow. Mostly, he just takes a seat and lights a fresh cigarette.

His adrenaline is under controlled levels. Not bad.

~

Apparently Jericho heard something, because as Banner takes a seat, he can see the light in his eyes flick off as if someone hit a switch and he says, to no one in particular.

"Roger that. Kaibilie, mmm? Damn. I knew they were being a bit too quiet."

The hacker is in short sleeves, so the traces on his arms are quite visible - quarter inch circuit like silvery markings just under the skin that could be mistaken for tattoos… though given what Angelo says, probably not.

"I… they… my… what? They're 'Awakening'? The hell does that even mean?"

He might notice Bruce looking him over… buuuuut he just got distracted.

~

Ange just grins, and says, "you ever heard of a game called Shadowrun?"

The sense of danger is gone now, so he lets the Shield fall. The room will stay hard-to-see for quite a while, as far as Hydra goes. He gets Bob and the Assassin and says, "Look. You two will tell us what we need to know, and we'll do what we can to keep you alive. You may want to reconsider working for Hydra."

He already de-poisoned their suicide teeth. He considers explaining to Jeri the traces of drugs and the feel of brainwashing he had to purge, but the methods they used are unfortunately too close to actual military training… except for the 'chemical assists'.

~

Anabeth looks over to Bruce as he lights up.

"You. Yeah you. Gimme one. Jeremy didn't get my smokes before bringing me here. Good boy, but sloppy sometimes." She holds out her hand, fully expecting Bruce to give her a cigarette.

~

Partisan slips in through the side window, before delicately setting the ancient M24 on the table and a few photos. Slumping down on the floor beside the front door, to quietly examine that grisly claw shaped blade in her hand.

"Ask those cuntnuggets where the kaibilies are hanging out, if you would be so kind?"

A gloved thumb plays over the flat steel, before sheathing the thing and quietly shoving it into her backpack.

"God I miss the old days sometimes, everything's getting too fucking watered down. Can't a girl just have a war these days, without getting wrapped up in all this moral bullshit?"

~~

The assassin shakes his head. After all, he was just doing a job. He isn't part of Hydra's master plan at all. Bob, on the other hand, drank the kool-aid. He nods to Angelo, trusting him completely, because that is what the angel guy wants him to do. Yep yep. He's all on board with the plan.

~

Bruce Banner does, in fact, just hand Anabeth a smoke. He's not starting her habit, from what he's heard, and he's not her father. Giving an old woman a cancer stick isn't the same thing as watching idly while someone's tortured, at least not on Bruce's moral scale. He doesn't interject into the conversation either, sitting back and listening until Partisan's comments.

"Morals and war were always intertwined. Just because you didn't pay attention didn't make it so."

~

Anabeth sighs happily as she takes a deep drag of the cigarette. She lets the smoke jet out through her nose and starts to finish her pot pie.

"It's gone cold. Jeremy! My pie is cold!"

She pushes the plate away in disgust.

~

Jeri chuckles. A bit sloppy? Well, perhaps he is. Gets the job done though. Most of the times. And keeps his promises. Always. Don't have to be a marine to be semper fidelis.

He catches it as he walks by toward the microwave and pops it in. Possible he's done this for a little while?

"One sec, Anabeth. We'll get that fixed."

He walks back to the EMT and nudges him with his foot lightly enough to not be kicking him. But only just.

"Hey, you. Bob." His name is now Bob. "Bob, where were you going to take Anabeth? And what do you know about Project N-13?"

~

Angelo waits for that answer to come, and when it's done, asks Bob where the kaibilies are, and where the incentive plan is and if it's connected to where they were going to take Anabeth (if that's not clear). Clearly, they need to relocate yet again, and to hide their passage; Ange really wants to find out how to do something rather stronger than the simple beginner magic he's been using if it's this easily bypassed — but that may depend on the largesse of his boss, who still hasn't actually introduced itself to its agent in the world.

~

"Young man, I fought in the first world war, the winter war of 1939, the second world war, in every single country in Africa, South America and most of the countries in Asia. Remind me exactly, where your great experience with war comes from? Do I presume to tell you jack shit about partical physics, no I don't think I do. So next time you think that you're in anyway gifted to drop some neuvo-post-liberalism morality on me in reguards to something you are utterly ignorant of, just keep it to yourself alright?"

Partisan's voice is poison-harsh, her attitude deadly cold, leaning back quietly against the doorframe as she rests a hand on her own sickly looking metal claw.

~

Having been asked a direct question within his knowledge, Bob starts to prattle. Ah, Light Darts are a wonderful thing.

"We were taking Anabeth to the hospital that used to be New York General. It's been closed down, but we still use the facilities, for the incentives program and for the N project. N-13 is one of the subjects we're still missing. Her nega-psychic powers are of great intrest to Madame Hydra. I don't know what Kaibilies are. The incentive plan is what we call our prisoners. They are an incentive to our actives to behave themselves."

~

Bruce Banner shrugs.

"I can say anything I want. Beauty of a free mind. But arguing with zealots, you're correct, is a pointless affair, and I'll try to refrain from poking you in future…unless someone's life is on the line," he says.

He's just found he cannot just stand and watch someone be abjectly murdered, regardless of their crimes. He gets distracted by Bob, though, listening, even if he can't make sense of half of it.

~

Jericho kicks the man in the ribs. Hard. Hard enough to break a few, probably.

"Where's Mark?" He follows up. This is exactly the kind of thing that pisses him off, particularly as it applies to Nancy. It'd piss him off just as much if it were applied to Partisan (and the Kaibilies kind of count - sadistic emotional manipulation) but the situation is what it is.

"Where are you storing all of your data on the project?" Because he intends to destroy it. The part about all the other subjects breaks through his enraged haze… "And how many other subects do you have? And where are they?" Crap. This just got bigger.

~

Ange pushes Jericho aside - light-flashing if he has to. "No. Torture isn't necessary, he's completely open. Behave."

He touches the EMT's side, fixing the broken rib.

"To a hammer, everything is a nail. To a wolf, everything is prey, pack, or problem. To a healer, everything is health or disease," Angelo says. "The world is big enough to hold more than one view of reality."

He waits for Jericho to calm down, and for Bob to start answering the questions, then begins gathering Anna's meds and her whiskey into her bag. Staying here tonight isn't in the plan, apparently. He hopes this fierce woman knows of a real safe house, though.

~

"You can say anything you want, because there is a giant green monster I'm not eager to unleash. The thing you hate, which you can't control, which kept your suicidal tendencies from ending you? Thats all that's saving me from cutting out your tongue and handing you over to the Feds just to shut your holier than thou bullshit. You kill because you lose control, I kill because it accomplishes a goal. Who's the real evil here doc? How many tyrannical third world shitholes have you unleashed that big green anarchy machine into eh? No, you're hiding here in New York because on some level you understand you are nothing but a ticking fucking timebomb."

Part turns there, to roll up her gasmask and fish out a fresh cigarette with a grunt.

"So how long before somone nabs your ass and exploits you into weapons technology Bruce, another few years before you're Boeing's next big weapons program?"

~

Bob grunts in pain as his ribs get broken. He coughs, wincing, a bit of blood in his spittle. Still tied up with the zipties, he continues to answer as if the kick had never happened, ignoring Angelo's healing touch.

"I don't know of any Mark. He isn't in my division. All divisions keep files of their own work, hard copy only to prevent tampering from hackers. Of the twenty one subects of the N project that survived, we have all but 5 of them. They are being held at New York General."

~

Bruce Banner smiles.

"Some of what you say is true. The difference is, I actually feel bad about the things the Hulk's done. You've just let it swallow you. You can talk ideals all you want, you kill because you like to kill and idealogy just gives you a good reason so you don't get hunted down like a dog," he says, and now he is getting angry, stepping forward.

"The only goal I've ever seen you accomplish is murder. And you know that I've spent every waking hour fighting the gamma program, trying to exterminate it worldwide," he says, and he crouches, panting and running a hand through his hair.

A few veins bulge in his arms.

"Somebody get me a god damn drink before this bitch drives me insane."

~

Anabeth hands Bruce her half full glass.

"Amen to that." She peers at Bruce for a moment, looking confused. "Do you know my Nancy?"

~

Ange does have to push Jericho back because he's quite simply too angry at these people to be reasonable about things like treating them well. They've completely ruined his life and are doing the same to the few people he can call friends. But the moment he hears there are twenty Hydra victims in New York General he stops, stiffens and turns to the group of people he has assembled.

"Okay… soon as we get Anabeth to safety I'm going after those kids. Anyone care to come help me?"

He turns sharply back to Bob.

"Are the files being kept there, or somewhere else?"

To forestall protest and suggestions of official involvement he holds his hand up.

"NYPD is too compromised, and SHIELD… I'm not sure about but not confident enough to go to them. I have contacts in both we might be able to alert, but the moment they know we're coming they'll move the victims and their files and we may never find them again. We crack this open, we may be able to finally get some movement on helping Nan and maybe a bunch of other people too. Apparently this goes a lot further than I thought it did."

~

Bob shakes his head.

"I don't know where Tiger keeps their files. I am not high enough clearance in the division to know that."

~

"I've never been hunted, who the fuck do you think you're talking to you ignorant pampered lily white ivy league son of a bitch? Fuck you, and fuck that high horse you rode in here on you jackass. I guess mind reading is high on the list of shit powers I didn't know you had, don't feel fucking bad. Fuck you Bruce, fuck you."

Part rises to her boots, dropping that cigarette to snuff it out under boot.

"I'm gonna go steal a car, I've had all I can take of the civilian morality police.

"Out the door she goes, well at least she doesn't slam it after her.

~

Bruce Banner is panting, shaking as he takes the drink from Ana and throws it back hard.

"FUCK!" he shouts and he slams a fist into the ground, the floor cracking as he quivers, the skin on that hand starting to change hues, "I'm…I'm starting to lose control…" he shakes, "trying…if you have a sedative…" he grunts, falling over on his side, "now, before…it won't break…my skin…" he says, his voice going vibrato as he's getting close to seizure, every muscle in his body starting to strain agonizingly…

~

Angelo has a sedative, but Bruce asked him not to. Well, too bad. He puts a hand on the man's shoulder and opens his Conduit wider, pours the zen of Living Light in… the Hulk might still wake up, but the rage, maybe that might not be there… it's the best he can do at the moment, because the pool that feeds his healing magic is nearly depleted and it would take more than he has to block the gamma-powered change.

"It's OK, I have some valium if you want it. She's mad about something else and she's taking it out on everyone else. I think she's feeling guilty about something," Ange says, shaking his head.

~

Anabeth looks at Bruce, and that look of confusion on her face turns into concern. She reaches out to Bruce, actually getting out of her chair. The nurse that she once was is still buried in there somewhere.

"You want some of my sleeping pills?"

~

Jericho turns, looking alarmed. Because Bruce Banner is a fugative and the details are kind of hush-hush, he actually doesn't know that this is the Hulk.

"Should I be worried? He's not a Bodark like Partisan, right?" He sighs. "Partisan just basically had to kill one of her kids. She's not real happy about it, even if it did had to be done. Hydra hired a bunch of them and sent them after her. They're using her own playbook against her. It's… rough."

Speaking of rough he's backing away from the Hulk.

"Where do you send your reports to?" He asks Bob, just in case Bob doesn't make it through the next few seconds.

~

Angelo looks at Jericho.

"Get Ana and the others - all of them - ready to go and out of the way. I'll help Bruce."

He's concentrating on what he CAN do at the moment, because if Hulk makes an appearance in his most aggressive form, Ange can probably recover. Maybe. They can't. For sure.

~

Bruce Banner feels the light pouring into him and, shuddering, starts to relax, having not quite reached the point of no return, although only hanging at the edge of it by his fingertips. His nose bleeds as he sits up, breath coming in ragged gasps.

"Drugs…would be…good," he says to Ange. All the blood vessels in his eyes have broken, and there are threads of green in his hair, but it's receding, slowly as he sits up, "Sorry, she just…gets under my…skin."

~

Bob looks up at Jericho. "I take my orders from Dr. Peters. He's at the hospital. He's in charge of the N series initiative. Bill and I were being sent out to gather either the subjects or someone to act as an incentive for the subjects. N-13 is in Europe, but we lost track of her."

~

Anabeth pats Bruce's shoulder and hands him one of her many bottles of pills. "These will help, Jeremy. My poor boy."

Jericho hauls Bob and Hitman number 165 to their feet and moves them over to a corner near the door. He gently tugs Anabeth out of the way after she's done handing her pills over but by then the crisis seems to be over.

"You okay Bruce? Ange?" He's standing between the three 'civilians' and the not-quite-Hulk. Whew…

"Okay, I think we have everything we need here. I'm sorry you two got dragged into this. Ange, thanks a lot for your help. I'll keep you in the loop, if you'd like, but I am going after those kids. Very, very soon."

He glances back at the hitman and Bob.

"If you'd like these men alive I'm listening to suggestion as to what to do with them. I'm not releasing them, and I may kill them if there's no alternative between that and carting them around. And I don't particularly want to tip our hand off by turning them over to the authorities, if it can be avoided."

~

Ange intercepts the bottle. Ana's meds might not be quite right for this.

"I've got it, thanks, Ana," he says. "You should get ready."

The valium packet has four tablets; he gives the packet to Bruce in case he decides he needs to use them again.

"Remember, alcohol makes it about three to four times stronger, which may not be what you want even if it seems like a good idea."

A glance at the two Hydra men, and Angelo's expression becomes grim.

"No killing. I'll take them. I'll call you when I have them safe."


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