The Axe, part 10

Summary:
July 18, 2014: While Tombraider, Witchblade and Sentinel follow their leads to a mansion on the Upper West Side, Daredevil and Shift have both been tracking Charlie, the mutant prostitute.

Upper West Side and Mutant Town


Characters

NPCs

  • Foggy Nelson
  • Charlie Adams
  • Bullseye
  • Giles Gunroe
  • Various Gunroe thugs
  • Mystery woman

Mood Music:
*"Black Heart" - Calexico


MUTANT TOWN
10:37 PM

Foggy Nelson sits uncomfortably on the bed, yanking at the shirt he wears. Its not as if it is particularly uncomfortable, but the situation certainly is.

Pull back and were clearly in a scummy hotel room, deep within the germ infested parts of Mutant Town. Deep within Rexs territory where the exotic girls hold all sorts of secrets. Secrets that Daredevil needs the answers to.

I hate every single living thing about this, Foggy whispers to no one, clearly the room is bugged.

Stop whining, Daredevils voice replies, coming to him straight from a small piece in his ear. She wont be long.

And almost as quickly as he says it theres a knock at the door. Foggy pulls himself on the bed, looking rather dapper compared to usual, and opens it slowly.

Hi, the beautiful woman dressed in a tight shiny dress replies. Im Charlie.

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE
10:43 PM

After the notes were compared and the battle lines drawn up, Detective Sara Pezzini and Lara Croft decided to make an arrest of one Giles Gunroe, a shady art and relic dealer who had put the Axe of Perun up on the Balcerowski market with a hefty price and hefty offers. Thanks to Aspects help, the team was able to infiltrate the bizarre bazaar and monitor the goings on. Enough evidence was gathered to pay Gunroe a visit and perhaps, retrieve the Axe. More importantly, there was an opportunity to gather more information on the death of Rhys Bale.

The journey takes them to the large houses of the Upper West Side. In a large white house with large prominent columns, the lights are on and someone is home behind the wrought iron gate.

_ _ _ _

MUTANT TOWN
10:47 PM

While Charlie and Foggy are in deep negotiations, the investigation has led another interested party to the hotel room. Recently Shift had paid a little visit to Rex, Charlies Pimp, and had been very convincing that he needed to put Charlie out on town. He wanted a trap laid, though he didnt quite understand the totality of what was going on. Not yet.

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE
10:50 PM

Another hero was interested in the case. Sparked by a visit from a New York lawyer, Alan Scott had begun his own investigation into the Bale murder. A colleague and associate, Bales murder seemed to be anything other than cut and dry. Scott had followed up and found the Axe of Perun on the market and decided, coincidentally, to make his move at the same time. He too approaches the large white house.

*

Lara has listened to Matt's advice and dressed accordingly for this excursion. She's wearing charcoal grey BDUs with her black motorcycle jacket, with dark red panels. The jacket has Kevlar patches, intended to protect the wearer in a bad fall, but equally useful in a fight. A thin, black cotton shirt with a hood is under that. The hood is there to conceal her identity if needed. There is a bow and quiver on her back hidden in document tubes, and other weaponry hidden on her person as well. Sara, a longtime friend, likely knows she's packing heat, but Croft is at least doing the detective the favor of not flaunting it unless it becomes necessary.

She looks to Sara for instructions on proceeding. "If this man killed Rhys, he won't hesitate to kill us, Pez," she murmurs to the other woman. "Be careful."

[OOC] Lara Croft says, "outfit http://i698.photobucket.com/albums/vv345/AndrewR1979/021-1.jpg"

*

Silent as a plume of cigarette smoke against a still night, Shift has tracked Charlie to this seedy location. Across the street from the motel is an old building, owned by the city, which once served as a power substation for the MTA line running underground. It was abandoned in 1978, and has sit empty ever since. Kwabena knows it's used as a flophouse for junkies and crackheads… it's ironic he should find himself back here again.

Upon that rooftop, a cloud of tendril-laden, black smoke gently creeps toward the edge. A quiet sound resembling the scratches of a cat's paws upon cement is lost in the sounds of the city below, as the mutant slowly reforms into his normal state of flesh and blood. Street clothes have long been discarded; now he's wearing the gunmetal gray uniform of unstable molecules. fully masked to reveal nothing of himself save the dark skin of his mouth and chin.

Perched in a feline manner upon the rooftop, he retrieves a small, long range microphone from one of his handy pouches. He's only able to fit small items in the specially designed pouches, but small items are all he believes he'll need. The thin wand is aimed at the hotel room into which Charlie went, and a tiny earpiece is fit into his ear. He moves the wand to and fro, in tiny increments, until he picks up the conversation coming from that room across the street.

*

"You know, it's funny, I was just about to call you about something else," Sara muses to Lara as they come closer to the house. "We'll have to talk after this. I think it's right up your alley." She's gone for something similar in black ballistic material, though it looks more like it was meant for motorcycles than anything else. At least no one asks any questions. And besides, that's not what's going to be stopping bullets anyhow. She eyes the gates for a long moment, considering. "Nobody wants a mess in a nice place like that. He'll hesitate long enough to want it done out of the house. Thoughts on knocking?"

*

While there are many reason to murder someone, there's fewer reason to steal an artifact. Three, in fact. Either the thief wanted it for himself, he wanted it for a specific buyer, or it's being auctioned. And while Alan can't easily look into the first two, he has lots of reporters working for him who can find out if word on the street has it up for sale. And his people managed to find out who. While he fully intends to notify the police about it, that'll be tomorrow. Tonight, he wants to make sure the Axe is secured. Bypassing cameras and security systems - hopefully - Sentinel flies in from above and comes to a light landing on the roof of the house. Crouching low and waiting to see if his arrival was spouted, he then looks around for the least noisy way in. The quickest would surely attract attention.

*

MUTANT TOWN
11:01 PM

"Uh…D?" Foggy mutters as things move towards the bed. "D?" Charlie says with a smile and a quirked eyebrow. "My name is Charlie, silly."

Shift doesn't hear any more than the normal games of such an interlude often have. Nothing about the other night when Charlie visited Bale before his murder.

"Do you have the money?" she whispers into Foggy's ear, as-improbably-her neck spouts an adam's apple. "No money," her voice says, no changed a handful of octaves lower. "No fun.

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE
11:02 PM

As Croft and Pezzini wait, something flickers ever so slightly atop the building in a hue of green as it seems to land atop with little fanfare. There's no movement inside the house at all-so it was either expected or unseen. Whatever the case, this wasn't part of the gameplan that Daredevil put together.

Daredevil sits on his perch, off a different angle from Shift, and tries not to laugh out loud as his radar senses and hearing pick up what's going on inside. Should he move now or make Foggy feel just a tad bit more uncomfortable?

He waits.

*

"My concern is that he'll be able to get rid of the Axe if we alert him," Lara explains. "This was important to Rhys, very important. I'd like to be able to recover it if possible. It belongs in a museum." The athletic woman glances at the gate, the trees, the house itself. "Up for some climbing?" she asks her friend. That's when she spots the green glow landing on the roof. "Oh damn. Something is up, Pez. We need to move." With that, Croft begins scaling the gate with the nimbleness of a gymnast.

*

"Did you see-" But Lara did see that, and Sara grimaces. "Time's up," she agrees with the other woman, moving back a few steps to get some momentum before running at the wall. She's picked up a few new tricks, apparently, running a few steps up the wall in a parkour move before letting the Witchblade help out, gauntlet-clad fingers digging into the stone as matching spikes at her toes do the same. It's not as graceful, but it gets the job done.

*

Right about now, Shift would certainly appreciate a shot of whiskey. Listening in on Charlie and her client is icky, to say the least. He doesn't fully understand the extent of what is going on here. What he does know is that Rex was nearly killed for taking Charlie off beat, and the fellow who did is tied in with someone Shift doesn't like. For the African mutant who haphazardly calls himself a mercenary, that's all he needs to know. He'll follow the hooker until he finds what he's looking for, and he'll be damned sure to keep the woman/man safe.

*

There's one thing Sentinel is absolutely sure of: houses this expensive have equally expensive security systems. He can count on the doors and windows being wired. But who wires the roof? Slowly, to make as little noise as possible, he starts pushing his fingers down through the roof. He avoids the beams for now, just wanting to get through the entire thing so that once there's a hole, he can use his ring to quickly, easily and mostly noiselessly snip through the wood till there's a human sized opening.

*

MUTANT TOWN
11:03 PM

"Yeah," Foggy stammers in fear. Damn Matthew Murdock. Whenever you'd like to spring your trap, that'd be swell. How about right now?

"Well alright then," Charlie says seemingly satisfied as she reaches for the back zipper of her dress, her voice now changed back to the original. She stands up and begins to begin to undress. Foggy's eyes go wide and he's sure he wants no part of this.

*CRASH*

A streak of red barrels through the window of the hotel room and Daredevil rises to his feet nonchalantly after a roll. "Charlie Adams," he says as she lets out a scream. "It's time to talk." He moves in off the right, away from the window and stalks towards her. Foggy, as he moves off the bed, looks relieved.

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE
11:03 PM

As the lovely ladies lumber along the front yard, they spot a body guard wearing a fat golden medallion, a crisp pink shirt opened to the chest, and a black suit. He appears to be the only one out there at the time, but appearances can be misleading. Their approach hasn't appeared to set off any bells, but from this distance it might be hard to be sure.

From the top, Alan succeeds in peeling his way through the roof with little fanfare. As his ring may inform him, the exits have all been hardwired with security measures, as have the windows. The walls, however? Well, he seems to be clear.

*

"Oh dear Lord," Lara murmurs to Sara. "That one needs a knock on the noggin just for wearing that." Whatever has happened to criminals at least having a little fashion sense these days? Sigh. She moves amid whatever landscaping there is, crouched down, to try and get behind him for a silent take down with a sleeper hold.

*

Shift doesn't move a muscle. He's got a great vantage point for watching the blur streak across the street from another rooftop, and has to fight back the vulgarity that wants to come loose. The microphone remains steady, and beneath the mask, the African's eyes narrow. Looks like we're not alone on this little hunt. Now it's time to exercise patience… he can hear everything happening in that room. Just to be sure, however, he raises the gain a couple of notches, in case they take to whispering.

*

"No kidding," Sara murmurs in agreement, coming over the wall a second after the other woman. She's definitely improved her landings, rolling neatly and trusting to Lara to take care of the guard in sight. Keeping low, she moves toward the side of the house, searching for a relatively quiet area to start checking on the security around a nice-sized window.

*

Once inside, Sentinel pauses again to see if his arrival has been noticed but as he hears no alarms, no running and no voices, he'll just assume not. Now where would he store a priceless artifact? The basement. There might be a secure room on a higher floor but a bad enough fire would make it collapse throught he foundation. The other option is the master bedroom if the owner were the type to want to have it near him all the time. But as it's up for auction, that degree of possessiveness doesn't seem likely. Opening the door, he looks for anyone in the hallway then starts for the stairs down if it's clear.

*

MUTANT TOWN
11:05 PM

"You were with Rhys Bale when he died," Daredevil says, almost spitting, as Charlie huddles in the corner, hands shaking and held on either side of her head as she goes nearly into the fetal position. Damn you, Rex, for making her come out here again. It's going to get her killed.

"What do you know about his murder?" Daredevil says as he comes closer, standing high above her, his face shrouded as he blocks out the overhead light with his head. "Answer me!"

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE
11:05 PM

As Lara wraps her arms around the large man, he begins to gurgle and fight. He's enormous and extremely strong and she'll feel him wrestle against her bond with everything he has. But Lara's technique is sound and she chokes him out in just a few moments

Meanwhile, Sara comes upon a window that looks good for breaking in. But as she inspects closer, she can tell that it's prepped for security. Whether she'll want to go in anyways is up to her, but it is clear that people will know about it.

Alan makes it down the stairs, but as he approaches the main floor, he'll see a group of about 20 mobsters, all sitting at a table. Some are eating, some are drinking, but most are playing poker with wads of cash out on the table. They seem to notice nothing thus far. Not the guy being choked out on the front step, just yards away from them, or the gal approaching the window.

Poker night is a big night around Gunroe's place.

*

"Night night, please get yourself a tailor," Lara murmurs to the guard. She catches up to Sara, pulling her hood up and opening the document tubes to retrieve bow and quiver from them. She strings the bow as she eyes her friend. "Any ideas on bypassing the security?" she asks. The bow is the quietest weapon, and she's damned good with it. She glances into the window to mark doorways, people, anything that might be useful information to have when they go in.

*

Rhys Bale? Just who the hell is… Beneath the mask, Shift scowls just a bit. He reaches into his pouch and retrieves a tiny smartphone, working carefully to key the name into his search engine. Every motion is deliberate, so that he doesn't knock the microphone off its vector and miss anything coming from the motel room below.

*

"Not much," Sara grimaces, shaking her head to Lara. "Usually on the other side of these things. Motion sensor," she nods toward the unit. "Theoretically, maybe I could change the way this thing reflects heat, but we don't really have time to experiment. Going through the wall's just going to set off alarms anyhow." She eyes the window, tilting her head slightly, then reaches one claw-tipped finger up to the glass. "Could just cut through the window and hope it stays quiet enough."

*

Sentinel stops on the stairs as he sees the mobsters and then smiles. How nice of them to bunch together like that. "Don't mind me." he says as he uses his ring to form a geodesic dome over them and the table. It has air holes on top so they don't suffocate. "Just passing through. I'd strongly suggest not firing in there. The bullets will richochet around and you might get hurt." Giving the thugs a nod, he continues on his travels toward the basement.

*

MUTANT TOWN

The soft light illuminates Shift's face as he scrolls through the options. From what he can tell, Rhys Bale was a world renowned archaeologist. He was also murdered recently in New York. Originally from Wales, Bale was known as a flamboyant eccentric, but also a good hearted man who did a lot of things for people in need, in addition to rediscovering some great items for important museums around the world.

"I will not ask again," Daredevil says, looking like hell incarnate as he approaches her a final time. He gets no chance for a follow up as the door bursts open.

Foggy, now sitting directly in front of the door peers in confusion at the man as he enters, too surprised to do anything else. The man, bald headed, and with eyes of insanity stops and looks at Foggy with confusion as well. On his forehead is a deep scar, presumably put there by a knife, etched into a makeshift bullseye.

Foggy is frozen in fear as the man reaches into his jacket to pull out a paper clip. As he moves to through it, a red blur moves swiftly in front of Foggy's field of view, knocking into him and pushing him out of the way.

Matt, who was quick enough to get out of the way, is not able to get out of the way of the now straightened clip. It passes through his cheek and out the front of his mouth where it rests itself in the wall. As the battle begins to play out, both Foggy and Charlie are trapped in the cramped room with no way to get out.

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE

Lara lets the hulking man's body go and he slumps unceremoniously upon the porch. As she regards Sara, she too, in another window, will be able to tell that there's a motion sensor. It seems as though getting through here without being heard will be rather difficult.

From inside, Sara sees something-well, rather strange. A green dome encircles all of the henchmen in one fell swoop. A man standing on the end of it appears to have something to do with the green streak that landed earlier.

*

"Go for it," Lara tells Sara, nocking an arrow to the bow without drawing it, covering the detective while she works on the glass. "I wonder how many important artifacts this idiot has sold to private collectors, rather than to a museum where the world could learn more about the culture they came from?" she muses idly with a frown.

*

"Okay, moot point," Sara informs Lara in a low tone when she sees the dome go up. "New player, possible friendly. He's gone in non-lethal, but the locals are out of the picture." Of course, she doesn't actually know what sort of security company these guys have contracted with. So rather than take chances that real professionals will be showing up, she continues with the plan, the tip of that finger glowing ever so slightly as she slices a hole through the glass for her and Lara to pass through. "Really need to talk to you about the artifact in my closet, on that note. When we're done."

*

Interesting. It may be nothing, or it could be that this Rhys Bale fellow was murdered by the same person who tried to choke off Rex. Might make sense, considering Bale clearly had purchased Charlie's services. He's distracted for a moment, looking back at the phone in an effort to narrow his search. Keyed entry: Rhys Bale murder weap

The crashing of the door is so loud in Shift's ear that he hisses, dropping the phone so that he can snatch the earpiece free. The phone clatters on the rooftop, but as it comes to a rest, the masked African is already gone. He vaults over the edge of the rooftop, giving a good shove against the lip with his boots for a surge of momentum.

He only falls a short distance before transforming into a cloud of smoke. Momentum carries him across the distance, changing from a stretched out collection of living tendrils into a ball of roiling black fury. Moments before impact, he reverts to his human form, curled up in a ball that hits the floor just beyond the entrance to that very hotel room. He tumbles end over end, without much time to harden his body enough to cause significant damage.

He does, however, make every effort to barrel himself right into the bald headed man. Incoming!!

*

Sentinel passes through the living room area then pauses in the doorway. The vault could conceivably be on the main floor. The question is where? This is really not his thing. He's about to start searching when he hears the screeching/scratching of something sharp cutting through glass. Glances over his shoulder, he considers the two figures on the other side of the window breaking in.

*

MUTANT TOWN

Daredevil and Bullseye trade punches and swipes. Bullseye is fast, but Daredevil is faster when it comes to hand to hand. Each time the hand goes for one of his firearms or other weapons, Daredevil deftly blocks Bullseye as their hands move with increasing pace.

Shift comes barreling through, and with Daredevil's back to him, he has to hit the man in red to hit the man in black. All three tumble in an awkward pile of manflesh at the base of the door, and there's that momentary confusion as to what to do next.

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE

When Sara slices and dices through the window, the warning klaxons begin to fire within the mansion, angrily announcing that someone has made their way into the house.

Well no duh.

Because all the henchmen are in a big tube of green matter. One peers at it and presses against it oddly. He makes a face to the others. The rest of the men are yelling and cursing and getting all feisty. Whatever they're supposed to be protecting is clearly of great concern to them now that all of them are caught.

Off to the right of the room where Sentinel is at the foyer level is a dark room where a fire is lit. There's commotion in there, but it's hard to see from here. It would make sense for the Axe to be hidden, wouldn't it? It wouldn't be just out in the open would it?

*

"You're squirreling away artifacts in your closet, Pez? Really? Haven't you learned by now that they can be terribly dangerous?" Lara chides jokingly. She watches the glass being burnt through with a continuing fascination. That thing that has bonded with her friend is rather handy, while being altogether terrifying. Her head snaps up at the warning from Sara and she nods her head, prepared to dive through the opening when the glass is removed. She leaps through, rolls, protecting her bow, and comes back to her feet. When the sirens begin, she pulls up her hood and dons safety glasses for good measure. "Let's do this."

*

Fortunately, Shift is pretty well versed in reacting to confusing situations. He's gotten used to it, given that his ability to transform into smoke isn't always voluntary. Soon as the three come to a rest, there's a poofing sound, and the African is once again in his smoke form. This time, he simply spreads his gaseous state all over the place, trying to blind the target. He'll inadvertently blind Daredevil as well, but…

Yeah.

*

"That's why they're in the broom closet," Sara shrugs to Lara, wincing when the alarm goes off. "Where no one ever dares venture. So much for stealth." Since there's no point in hiding out now, Sara steps in through the window, letting the Witchblade spread over her limbs, woven metal obscuring her features in whirls and barbs. Breaking into a jog, she starts in the direction she saw the green fellow move, trying to catch up.

*

Sentinel glances up as the alarms begin and then shakes his head. Well, that was a wasted effort on his part. On the other hand, it did let him neutralize the hired help easily. "Kicking in the door would have been quicker with the same end result." he points out dryly and holds an arm out. "Careful, something in there." he slowly moves forward into the room with the fireplace.

*

MUTANT TOWN

Daredevil and Bullseye are punching and hitting each other even as they get up. As Shift goes to gas form, Daredevil is momentarily perplexed as to what happens and that gives Bullseye an upper hand on him, which the latter uses to punch the Man in Red right in the face. Daredevil staggers as Shift's form clouds things in a haze.

Bullseye, sensing that things are no longer looking in his favor, bolts out the open door. He can't see Shift, any longer, but he has read enough data from Kingpin that he knows how to beat this Daredevil chump.

The fire extinguisher in the hallway jettisons its foamy discharge all over the front of the room, caking Daredevil (and the gassy Shift in the process) as he looks to make his getaway.

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE

All of the sudden, the lights in the room with the fireplace come on as Alan, Sara, and Lara enter. The alarms are useless at this point. Everyone coming to save Gunroe would be hired help. He doesn't want the cops too close to this place. Ever.

But as the lights come on, Gunroe is holding a woman in a fancy white dress. Her carmel skin and silky, straight black hair look very formal in lieu of her tear stricken face with running mascara.

Gunroe stands there with the axe to her neck. "Not a step further. I don't know who you are or why you're here, but she's a deadwoman if you take another step."

*

Lara follows Sara, covering them from behind with her bow. The archaeologist hisses a little at the blaring of the alarm. "Hope Kermit is on our side," she mutters. When Sentinel speaks, and confirms her hopes, she nods to him and moves to put her back to the wall beside the opening to the room. When Gunroe makes his play, she backs up a few feet into the shadows, and levels her bow at his hand holding the axe. She draws in a breath as she draws back on the string, and waits. If he moves towards hurting her, she will fire at his hand.

*

Shift instinctively reforms, but what comes out isn't exactly pretty. The foam is something of a unique compound, and pieces of it are, for lack of a better word, trapped in him. There are clumps of it sticking out of his uniform, the edges of which are seemingly stuck in a state somewhere between solid and liquid, resembling a gunmetal goo.

It hurts like hell, and it can't be safe.

"… FUCK!"

The African tears his mask free, ripping a couple pieces of skin with it, but it's enough to clear his vision. He should just transform to smoke again, but he's not entirely sure it's a good idea. "Sonofabitch!" he curses through the pain, and takes up the chase, bursting out of the room. He looks from side to side, trying to spot the fellow, and spares a brief moment to look back and find out if Daredevil (whoever this guy is) is following.

*

"Six to one the mooks tell the security company everything's good here," Sara replies to Sentinel. "They don't want anyone showing up here with an excuse to look around. Do you?" She looks to Gunroe when he makes his threat, gaze steady. "So that means it's you, us, and your poker buddies. How about you put down the axe, submit a nice, fat, insurance claim, and everyone walks away happy?" Her gaze flicks to the axe, narrowing slightly. "I'm sure it's a very nice axe, but trust me, there's no way it's worth the trouble."

*

"Insurance claim? For an artifact stolen from a murder victim? Let's not pretend anyone here doesn't know what's going on." Sentinel states. "He either murdered Bale himself or, more likely, knows who did. In which case, if he surrenders now and agrees to cooperate and tell the police everything he knows, he might just get a minimum sentence instead of a life sentence for murder in a maximum secutiry prison. And that's assuming I don't put you in the hospital first if you hurt the woman. So put the axe down and you get to be pain free when you talk to the DA."

*

MUTANT TOWN

"He's gone," Daredevil says as he points towards the window. "He had someone waiting for him. I could hear his heartbeat as they tore away in their getaway vehicle. This was a hit. They wanted to shut that chick in there up."

Daredevil, looking ridiculous, covered in foam, turns to Shift. He's a bit miffed at being hit from behind. Usually such things never happen to him, and had he been ready for it, he'd likely have leaped out of the way at the last second and allowed that thug to have it.

"Who in the hell are you and why are you here?" he says as some foam drips from his horn.

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE

Gunroe swallows with some difficulty. He looks at Sentinel, Witchblade, and seems to have lost track of the Tombraider, as beads of sweat line his forehead. "You don't want any piece of this," he says. "You don't know how high this goes. I didn't kill Bale, and I'm not sure who it did. But I know who is interested in this, and your lives are shit if you don't turn around right now and get the fuck out of here."

*

Lara lowers her voice as she aims. She doesn't need him to know that's what she is aiming at, however. "Whomever you work for had a good man murdered. Give me an excuse to kill you in kind," she hisses threateningly. "Who set up the hit on Bale? Tell us, let the woman go, give over the axe. Do anything other than those things and you're a dead man."

*

A nice scowl seems permanently plastered to Shift's face. He comes back into the hotel room, eyes first looking for Foggy and, more importantly, Charlie. "I'm nobody," he answers, briefly passing a look Daredevil's way. "Just trying to find de bastahd who's stalking her and killing peopah with small objects." Shift's accented voice is filled with vitriol as he walks over toward Charlie. "He's running with someone. Someone dangahrous. Someone I don't like." He offers a hand to Charlie, and his voice changes, adopting more care and concern. "You alright?"

*

"Seriously? You wanna give him a number for a good lawyer, too?" Sara asks the Sentinel, armor spreading further over her body as Gunroe makes his threats. When Lara speaks, she lowers her voice, looking quickly to Sentinel. "Cap the edge with that green stuff if you can," she murmurs swiftly before she turns back to the man with the axe, summoning a similar model to her hand. It's an unsettling process, metal forming seemingly out of nowhere, growing almost organically into what she needs. "Do I look like someone who's worried about people looking for antique weapons? Let the woman go. Start talking."

*

"As you can see, we are not going anywhere." Sentinel tells the man. "If you didn't kill Bale, then you're only guilty of knowingly receiving stolen property. And maybe assult." he adds, nodding toward the woman. "So far. But I'm sure you know a lot of things the police would be interested in. Probably enough to get you into witness protection. So those are your choices. You can surrender now and work things out with the police or this lady will teach you how to use an axe." He's not going to try to do anything with the man so twitchy and the blade at her throat.

*

MUTANT TOWN

"I will be," Charlie says as she reaches to Shift's hand and pulls herself up. Rex told her about him. He matches the description and seems to trust him.

Foggy shakes his head as he looks towards Daredevil, "What. In. The. Hell."

Daredevil ignores him for the moment, "We need to know what she knows about Bale." It's not a question, and his hand hovers by a white club at his hip.

_ _ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE

Finally Gunroe drops the axe, or more realistically, pulls it away from the woman's throat. She immediately runs toward Sentinel (the least scary between the Witchblade bladin' and the mystery woman in the shadows).

"I want to see a lawyer. I won't talk until I speak with Matt Murdock."

*

Lara stifles the urge to laugh. "I have Murdock on speed dial," she notes from the shadows. She shoulders the bow and moves in, pulling out a cloth from her pocket to pick up the Axe with care, and preserve any prints on it. She doesn't mention that Murdock is her lawyer, came up with this plan, and is actually Daredevil. "Evidence bags?" she asks Sara.

*

Bale. There's that name again, Bale. Kwabena looks away from Charlie after giving her an encouraging smile, but the look reserved for Foggy and Daredevil is a bit different. Not threatening, but not nice in the slightest. His eyes pass toward Daredevil's white club, then back to his masked face, and he shakes his head 'no' with no shortage of warning in his unmasked, silver eyes.

"Mutants like us got to stick togedah," he says, turning back to Charlie. "I think you know I've got your back now?" he asks her. "Come with us, tell us what you know. I promise, you won't get hurt." He squeezes her hand in an encouraging way, unrelenting on providing eye contact until she agrees.

He expects her to agree. He hopes she'll agree. There's not much time either… he can't hear them yet, but he expects the sirens to come into earshot within moments.

*

"I hate that guy," Sara mutters when Gunroe insists on talking to Murdock, but at least there's no axe to anyone's throat at the moment. So that's an improvement. "I swear, he exists to make life difficult." As Lara retrieves the axe, she leans down to open a zip pocket at her thigh, shaking out a plastic baggy and holding it out as the axe in her hand retracts back into nothing. "Take a seat, Mister Gunroe," she nods toward the man. "Cops'll be in soon enough, and I'm sure one of them will be happy to let you call Murdock."

*

Sentinel puts the woman behind him as he 'covers' Gunroe. Once Lara has the axe, he relaxes enough to look her over and make sure she's alright. "Wise choice. I'll wait till the police get here so they can cart away the thugs in the living room." he tells the ladies. "You have it from here?"

*

MUTANT TOWN

Daredevil's head turns towards Charlie as she speaks and looks as if he's gritting his teeth. The lawyer in him knows there's a deal to be made.

"I just want to talk. You get to pick the place. I'll come alone." He'll say whatever he needs to get her to agree. Matt can tell by listening to the fluctuations in her voice, or believes he can tell, that she herself did not kill Bale.

_ _ _

UPPER WEST SIDE

As the sirens blare in the background, Gunroe reaches for his cell phone slowly and dials the number. He too has Matt Murdock on speed dial.

"Hello, you've reached the voicemail of Matt Murdock from the Nelson and Murdock Law Firm. I apologize that I am otherwise predisposed and have been unable to take your call," comes the voice on the cell. "Please leave me a message and I will get back to you at your earliest convenience."

A few moments later, after the others have scrammed (those who need to), Detective Mark Roosevelt walks in with wide eyes. "Sara?"

*

At Sara's vehemence towards Murdock, Lara clears her throat. "Ahem, we may need to talk about something, Pez," she murmurs to her friend. Aw no, that always means the worst thing. Croft must be in a relationship with the guy Sara hates. She deposits the axe in the bag, cloth and all, and seals it carefully. She knows how important chain of evidence is. She hands it over to the police detective when he enters. "I think you'll find this is the item stolen from Rhys Bale, the one he was murdered over."

*

Shift gives Charlie a look, precisely when Daredevil claims he'll come alone. The African looks to her, offers a somewhat disbelieving smile, and winks his eye. He finally releases her hand and turns away so that she won't see him wince in pain. A piece of foam 'drips' from his torso, the uniform sealing up over the wound as if it were alive. He's got no idea how much of it is inside of him, nor how long he'll need to remain in gaseous form to get it all out. Damn it all.

"Cops will be here any minute. Bettah think fast, Charlie. Dis won't end until someone takes de fall, and it sure as hell bettah not be you." He's already moving toward the door, looking about to see if there's anything suspicious going on outside. A little boy has stuck his head out from a hotel room a few doors down, but a nasty glare is all it takes to send the boy rushing back inside.

Soon as Charlie makes her call, he'll be gone.

*

Sara Pezzini has enough sense to retract the Witchblade before the PD shows up, flashing a brief smile toward Roosevelt when he recognizes her. "Roosevelt. Fancy meeting you here," she greets the man. "Private gig," she offers in explanation. "Have to keep paying the bills somehow." Lara gets a brief look, arching a brow, but she's not going to ask just yet. "Hey, make sure this goes in secure lock-up, yeah?" she says as she intercepts the axe hand-off to make sure it goes to a junior, more-impressionable detective. "Guy was talking about someone big being after that thing."

*

Once the police arrive and have the thugs covered, Sentinel lets the dome disappear. "If you need me, put an ad in the Gotham Gazette's personals using my name: Sentinel." Just putting that into the computers will alert Alan to it. "Include the word 'axe' and I'll know it's from one of you." he tells them once Gunroe has been led away. Heading outside, he flies off.


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