With friends like this...

Summary:
June 16th, 2014: U.S. Marshal Thomas Nashoba and his trusty partner chase down a volatile transplant from the Russian underworld; unfortunately, they aren't the only ones interested in him.

New York City

A barely-descript nightclub.


Characters

NPCs

  • <Name of NPC or "None">

None


Mood Music:


Thomas doesn't usually deal with organized crime cases. That's more a thing for the FBI or the local police. This particular case, though, relates to one Ivan Karentovski, a wanted figative from federal justice and, also a metahuman of some note. He represents a more radical faction of the Russan Mafia that's been pushing aggressive expansion into the tri-city area. And he's made a lot of enemies, both in his own organization and elsewhere, for the hardline moves he makes and his general disrgard for civilian casualties. In short, he's a loose cannon and it's in everyone's interest to see him put away. On the plus side, collaring him probably means getting a lot of information on the Mob's operations in exchange for protection from his foes. That's why Thomas and Virgil, ever present, are approaching the… ahem, club, that they are at the hour that they are.

EARLIER

"Befriend him," a middle-aged man says in Russian as he leads the Winter Soldier down a lavishly appointed hallway, "set his mind at ease. He is dangerous, yes - a cancer, absolutely - but he is a man with friends, and people like— him— they run in packs, don't they? Huddling together with their ridiculous powers, growing soft, lazy— present company excluded of course, comrade." He pauses to shoot the Soldier a vaguely sincere grin before resuming his pace; the Cold War vet takes a moment to frown at the back of the man's head before catching up.

"My point: I would prefer that it seem… accidental. You understand, yes?"

NOW

"Yes— I am sure," the Winter Soldier mumbles, leaning away from a barely dressed woman and her offer of a dance. He hasn't been on the premises for long; an hour or so perhaps, with most of the time spent scoping the place out before heading in and inviting himself to a seat beside Ivan. Since then, he has mostly focused on trying to break the ice with the metahuman— and he's been doing it in full costume, metal arm and all.

"Not everyone disapproves of your management style," he says in Russian, turning towards Karentovski; the woman lingers for a little while before taking the hint and just walking away frustrated. "I would not be here, otherwise. But there are some who do, and it's only a matter of time before they decide to express their displeasure. You're safe now, but— how long can it last?"

He is, so far, unaware of Thomas and Virgil; unfortunately, the Soviets didn't give him fancy bionic ears while they were tinkering with him.

The club is loud. Loud enough that the moment Thomas steps inside all he can really hear or feel is penetrating bass. There are a lot of people dancing. And a boucer at the door who seemed sufficiently impressed by his US Marshal's badge that he let gave back immedately. Now to find Karentovski in all this mess. He's… that way. Slowly the indian man and the black dog wave through the dancing press. A few drunk or possibly otherwise imparied women offer to dance. Thomes does his best to ignore them. He's working and this needs to be quiet.

Even with free flowing liquor and thumping bass, a dog on the dance floor can't help but attract attention from at least some of the revelers— moreso when that dog is accompanied by someone who's trying to push through without joining them. The Soldier isn't in the best position to see Virgil himself, but eventually, the waves he's making in the crowd are noticed out of the corner of an eye, prompting him to squint in Thomas and Virgil's general direction.

Something certainly isn't right; the Soldier isn't quite sure yet to what extent it isn't right, but it doesn't take him long to settle on trying to use it to his advantage.

"For example," he says, lowering his voice as he turns back to Ivan, "what if I told you that there is someone sneaking across your dance floor this very moment with intentions on delivering a per--" A slight pause, and then after a soft grunt he just goes with, "— killing you. Torturing you, at the very least," since the music is so loud anyway."

As he leaves Ivan to ponder that bombshell, the Soldier stretches up from his stool to try and get a good look at Thomas and his partner. Did one of the other families decide to send someone tonight? Did his employer send backup without informing him…?

There's something shining on Thomas' neck. It's a badge of some kind, a five pointed star. There's most decidedly a 'US Marshal' written on it. He's got a handgun belted at his side and he's making a be line right for Ivan. "Ivan Karentovski…" He starts. He wants to say come with me but one of the dancers bumps him and he stumbles a bit, glancing over his shoulder to see if ti was intentional.

Ah— that kind of trouble. Definitely not ideal; at least if it'd been another gangster, he could have perhaps counted on them taking care of Karentovski for him, even if things went south. The last thing anyone wants or needs is an Ivan Karentovski who's facing jail time; there's no telling what kind of messes he'd make for the rest of the organization to get himself off the hook.

"Where?" Ivan bellows, rapidly scanning the dance floor as he plants a foot on the ground. Lacking the Soldier's wealth of experience as a scout and spotter, he isn't quite able to pick Thomas out of the mass of bodies, so after a few seconds of fruitless searching - which the Soldier spends sneaking more peeks at Thomas - Ivan finally fixes his eyes - which have begun leaking motes of dark red energy - on his guest and growls, "You piece of— did you set me up?! Are you in—"

"Of course not." Winter Soldier meets Ivan's gaze as he interjects, climbs down from his stool, and offers a hand out to Ivan. "He is distracted; you have moments, if that. Do you want to take your chances alone, or…?"

Ivan scowls at the Soldier's hand, then his face, then the hand again before pushing it aside, huffing, "Fine; there's a rear exit. A second one; I'll show you," then standing and pushing his way through the crowd; the Soldier slides a book of matches into his palm before heading after him.

As they walk, he surrepitously sets the whole book aflame so that when he conveniently happens by a table with unattended drinks, he's able to chuck the flaming parcel into one of them. And then kick the table over in the hopes of stirring up another distraction to keep the Marshal off of he and Ivan's scent just long enough for them to leave.

Ivan immediately wheels around to level a protest when he hears - and sees - the gambit in action, but the Soldier manages to shush and push him along before he can actually voice it.

Fugitive is leaving the building Thomas says into his radio as he closes in on Ivan. Then he's up and moving, possibly with a bodyguard. The table really catches on just as he walks by it and there's a moment's instinctive flinch away from the flames before the marshal realizes exactly what has happened. Crap.

The next thing anyone may hear behind him is the sound of a man and a dog running. They'll make for the back alley, most likely. Lost sight of the fugative, all units close in, repeat, close in. Damn it. They're not set yet. It'll be five minutes at least. Thomas pounds for the rear exit and the alley, hoping this doesn't turn ugly.

Ivan leads the way through an unmarked door which opens into a number of branching hallways lined with doors— all of which he ignores. An alley is indeed the destination, but they'll end up emerging behind the seemingly vacant storefront next door. Thankfully for Thomas, the way to the back is open just a crack— just enough to be plainly visible to anyone who might be looking for a back exit of some kind. Little pieces of broken matchstick mark the way to the door outside; finding it otherwise probably wouldn't take much trial/error, but it would stil be a waste of precious time.

"There we are, comrade," the Soldier says, flicking the head of a match through the back door as it shuts. He pauses outside to get his bearings. He figured, as they walked the halls, that they might not emerge behind the club itself, but he's still not quite sure where they are yet. The sirens in the distance are troublesome, but not as troublesome as they could be, as they're still a ways away. "I have transportation, but it is— not here. Close, though; a block or so from the club. He may have reinforcements, but I'm sure that between the two of us, we can handle them; do you care to continue our walk?"

Ivan looks the assassin up and down with a glare, then exhales gruffly and vaguely gestures towards the street; assuming that they aren't interrupted, the Soldier will then lead the way out of the alley.

Damn it, damn it, damn it. Thomas is behind them and he doesn't quite know how far but he has to assume that Ivan and… whomever that is, have some way to get away from the scene. If they manage that… well, the Marshals might not get another crack at him. The matchsticks draw his eye. Sort of out of place, those. Rather than waste too much time figuring it out what the hell, he focuses on his connection to Justice. Where would they… that way. Must be. Well, he hopes anyway. If he sprints perhaps he can catch up. Moments later he slams through the door and into the alley, looking about wildly.

The Winter Soldier breaks into a jog before long; Ivan doesn't have too much trouble keeping up, but it isn't long before the sounds of his labored breathing begin echoing in the alley. At the pace they're going, it shouldn't take long - a handful of minutes - to get to the sports car his employer loaned him for the night— or, rather, it wouldn't, if he were actually running towards it. Ivan being captured is the worst case scenario, but realistically, the Soldier doesn't see Ivan going down all that easily— especially now. It would be the opposite of quiet, but at this point, an encounter with the police might actually be the best thing for him: It shouldn't be hard to find a suitable accident for Ivan once they're surrounded by badges and guns.

There. Footfalls. It's the only thing that Thomas has to go on right now so he runs toward them. Fugitive headed north from the club. In pursuit. "Virgil, come on!" The large belgian shepherd lopes at his side as Thomas moves to quickly clear the alleyway and onto the street. That… might well be them.

"Ivan Keratoviski!" He calls out, now moving after them quick as he can. Virgil stays at his side, not having been released… yet. "Ivan Keratovski you are under arrest!" Usually he does this from a lot closer.

"Arrest?! Now there are police after me?!"

"Yes— busy night, it seems!" Winter Soldier exclaims in reply. "Come on; I know a shortcut…"

Most people would probably not define a 'shortcut' as something that involves leapingto grab hold of a fire escape so that it can be pulled down and scaled to the roof; the Winter Soldier is not most people. This feat mostly serves to prove to Keratoviski that he's fully capable of protecting him while also buying Thomas a little more time to catch up; he isn't even sure that Ivan can handle running the roofs.

Not that he'd complain very much if the man just happened to slip, of course.

"Faster!" he exclaims, smacking the railing with his metal arm as Ivan climbs. "Like your life depends on it, comrade!" When he gets close enough, he'll yank the man the rest of the way up, then resume retreating.

Thomas is, indeed closing. And the sight of them headed toward the fire escape, while confusing, is enough for him to let Virgil off the chain.

"Get 'im." He shouts to the dog. Virgil bolts forward, barking. Dogs are faster than people anyway, though even so he probably won't make it. Thomas isn't even close to out of wind. Foot chases are sort of a thing you have to get good at when it's your job. Though he hopes all the same that he doesn't have to resort to more… nonstandard methods to do this.

"US MARSHALS!" He yells as he sprints forard "Stop and get on the ground!

Ivan's power is a tricky one: a dimensional pocket that allows him to store large amounts of inorganic matter and withdraw it at will. It isn't a flashy power by any stretch, but when Virgil charges down the alley—

*BRRR-ATATATATATA…*

— he draws a semi-automatic example of how handy it can be in tense situations like this one. He isn't a great shot - the bullets ricochet off of the concrete - but the Uzi he's toting means that he just has to get lucky. "You and that no good traitor piece of trash with you," he shouts in English, "none of you are taking me, you hear! I'm a business-man— you know what means, you piece of—"

Whatever he says next is A.) terribly foul and B.) drowned out by another burst of gunfire that isn't any more accurate than the first. Rather than make his stand there, he'll turn and try to resume moving after that.

The Winter Soldier isn't in any more of a hurry to stop and drop than Ivan is, but unlike his companion, he dealt with it by continuing to run; he's a couple flights up from his fellow criminal by the time Ivan is moving again.

Hell. Now there's guns in play. Shots fire! Shots fired! He yells into the radio as he sweeps out the .45 at his side and makes the cover of the nearest corner. He's only there a moment though because he peeks around and looses several shots at Ivan, the larger handgun barking in contrast to the lighter, rapid noises of the Uzi.

"Drop the weapon!" More gunfire as Thomas rushes for the next bit of cover, still making for the fire esscape.

"And God help you if you shoot my dog!"

Ivan flinches now and again as bullets bounce off of the metal around him, but he doesn't really lose much speed. He does, however, stick his arm behind himself and sweep his arm in a broad arc while squeezing off another dozen rounds; given that he's even looking, they're more wishful thinking than anything. "God will have better things to do," he exclaims after the salvo, "than avenge some pig and his pig mutt while they roast in Hell! You can't take me— I have more weapons than you can name! I have my new friend to pro—"

Before he can finish his thought, there's a hole through his head; a few flights above, the Winter Soldier gingerly blows smoke from the barrel of a silenced handgun, then slides it - somewhat awkwardly, thanks to the hot barrel - into the back of his pants and resumes climbing. The job might be done, but he still isn't quite out of the woods yet; a bullet to the head is unfortunately not as efficient a solution to the other problems facing him.

Thomas stares. The bodyguard… just shot… the fugative. Man down, man down He calls. Ballistics is going to have a hell of a time with this one what with all the lead in the air. "Now I have to arrest you you know." Thomas calls out as he reloads and bolts for the last bit of cover between he and the rooftop. He's not counting on this other guy not shooting at him.

The Winter Soldier just runs; shooting a Marshal is way more drama than he's willing to take on tonight. He does toss a matter of fact, "I do, but you won't," down to Thomas before hopping from the walkway of the last flight up to the railing, then making one more jump to the edge of the roof to pull himself up.

Once he's up there, he'll going until he hits another edge, at which point he'll jump to the next roof. He could probably travel quite a ways in this part of the city if he put his mind to it, but since he's been spotted, running around on the rooftops isn't exactly the safest thing for him longterm. Thus, just aiming to put some distance between himself and the Law before dropping into another alley - any alley - and trying to disappear from there

If he can find somewhere or someone to steal some clothes from, even better; if not, he'll just have to keep running - and possibly hiding - until he's shaken them.


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