A Steaming Pile of... Lenny

Summary:
August 1st, 2014: A business transaction is interrupted by the Red Hood.

Robinson Park, Gotham

Through the dense underbrush and poorly maintained greenery, lies what was
once one of the great parks in the world. Robinson Park stretches for miles
upon miles, but is now a gothic and ruined facsimile of what it used to
represent. The zoo in the center of the park has long since been forgotten,
it's haunting wrought iron gates green with oxidation and black with
weathering.


Characters

NPCs

  • Lenny
  • Robot dog

Mood Music:
- Down in the Park by Marilyn Manson


Once upon a time, Robinson Park was a national landmark, enjoyed by the inhabitants of Gotham, and the millions of visitors it received each year. But since those days of summer, the park has fallen on hard times. The decline was slow. First, the ranger service had their budget slashed. The trees began to expand, taking over playgrounds, water fountains. Animals moved in, reclaiming what was once theirs.

The Zoo, one of the main attractions, fell into disuse and disrepair. Eventually, it closed shop all together. Now, the Park serves as a reminder of how quickly nature can reclaim the land. It has become a stain on the city, rarely visited except by teenagers who hope to make out in private. But even they have stopped coming, not since the bears moved in.

But it still serves one purpose. It's one of the few places in the city that one can reasonably meet up with no witnesses, making it an ideal place for illicit exchanges. The Red Hood learned that Cobra was interested in the Sonic X formula, designed to give someone super speed. It was still in the experimental stages, loaded with negative side effects, but that wouldn't deter them, or their observer, who stealthily moved through the overgrown trees, keeping to the shadows…

Serenity in the shadows, in the setting of urban decay where nature has taken over and the vines encircle wood slatted benches, metal bars, branches thrusting through to shatter, bend, and warp. A show of how nature can push man and what it creates aside to reform it it it's own eerie display of strength.

There's no need for silence, not once she got in the park and did what anyone would do in a park. Walk her dog - or something like that. Whirring and clicking, every step cracks twigs and stick beneath massive metal paws, every snap of wagging tail is like a metal and wire lash, knocking the overgrowing brush aside for it's owner to follow suit in a clear path.

Baroness held The Ravage on a very light silver and diamond chain, a large mechanical beast she would shove in a purse and treat just as pampered if that was her 'thing'.

A day out with the family!? Not quite. Taskmaster still finds it amusing he's walking a killer robot dog with a criminal overlord. Though, to the world Cobra is a reputable security firm and Baroness' favorite cash pig, the Naja Trading Corp has a set up right here in Gotham. There is PLENTY of paying employers and opportunities in this skim riddled city.
The broad shouldered warrior covered in armor strolling along beside the Baroness let his Image Inducer drop once they are deeper in to Robinson Park and past the Zoo gates. The Baroness as far as the man has witnessed never traveled light, the two SUVs they got out of had men inside of them but right now, she's being adventurous but then again he's here and so is her cybernetic face eater. A quick overlook of the mercenaries inventory says he's armed exceptionally.
The man has been paranoid lately with some of the stirring going on around HYDRA, attacks on them beyond just SHIELD and indirectly Cobra is connected. He himself isn't exactly sure how but the woman's a viper's nest of secrets. "This ain't gonna be something retarded Kung Fu is it? I'm still a bit sleepy and we coulda at least brought some Creepers to soften things up." It's known to Baroness the Taskmaster doesn't get along with her ninja allies, especially their leader, Zayin.

That thing could be a problem. It looked pretty high tech. Humans are easy to handle. Animals and animal-bots were a whole other manner. Different fighting style, different capabilities, and that one was a machine. Depending on how well it was designed, it could be easy, or it could be a life and death struggle. And it looked like it was well designed.

He didn't know the woman. As he observed from his branch, he tried to see if he could remember her from the files in the Batcomputer, or what he had learned since he had joined the League of Shadows, but as far as he knew, she wasn't player. But that thing with her raised the stakes. Whoever she was, she could afford muscle and tech.

Thinking to himself, the Red Hood considers . o O ( If they're the buyers, where's the seller? ). And then, the image inducer drops. That's got to be the Taskmaster with her. He's changed his look a bit, but he's pretty sure it's him, or a wannabe. In truth, Jason was always a little bit jealous of him. He could instantly master any skill, learn any trick. It took the rest of us years to learn what he could do in a day, or even an instant.

For now, he keeps right where he is. He can see another man approaching from the west, black trench coat, fedora, scarf, and half a dozen guards with him. He recognized him as Lenny the Luck, a formerly small time crook who had recently gone pro. He had backing, but until now, the Red Hood didn't know where it was coming from. Could it be these two?

Lenny stops in the middle of the park, hands still in his pockets, and calls out, "You got the cash?" Yeah, quite the talker, this one. He's straight to business.

Baroness does not bother with inducers, most people tend to ignore what is in their face and worn as natural, or just avoid eye contact with it. From heel to mid thigh armored boots encase her, hinged in plating to allow for eased movement, and from beneath the opening of boots that second skin reinforced body suit of black keeps its coveting path. Armor does not cease there, it is gauntlet-ed around her wrist, the one that bears that leash for reinforcement of its own, a back and breastplate combined, where over the chest the spread red hood of a cobra is etched in its own effigy.

When Lenny approaches Baroness pauses, Ravage walking to the end of it's lead and standing at what only could be displayed as - attention - statue still. Lowering her head the glasses slide down Baroness' nose, revealing those blue eyes to peer just over the rims incredulously. She may want the formula to expand upon in her own labs, but this guy… "I can give you about 10 reasons to sit down. Shut up. And let this transpire smoothly." Baroness did not approve… Well maybe of the hat.

A laugh escapes the Taskmaster and his gauntlet covered fist pounds his chest as if to stop himself before he gets carried away. "Okay, my bad. Carry on…" He manages before composing himself. His words and laughter sounds almost cyborg itself with the electronic distortion his mask offers.
A casual tip of his head to the side and he looks Lenny over again, this time without laughing then takes a step back and a fingertip rises up to press to the underside of his skull mask, depressing a button there. One spectrum of lighting filtered to through the next as he looks around them, doing his job and scanning the area to make sure Lenny is alone. A *crrrk* sound is also audible to his ears alone, "This is Co-sec One. We're on overwatch."
"Good. Keep our status monitored." Comms back and forth from the merc to the Cobra security forces outside of Robinson Park. The Baroness is a /hot/ commodity after all. And as before mentioned, Taskmaster is on the side of paranoid right now. He has been for well over two weeks now.
Lenny doesn't seem too concerned about the Baroness's sophisticated toy, but his boys do. Taller than him, and as thick as tree trucks, some of them eye the mechanical beast nervously. Lenny lights up a cigarette, which illuminates his face in the darkness.

Lenny the Luck may be a sarcastic moniker, if the scars on his face are anything to go by. Looks like he's been slashed, shot, and burnt at one point or another. But then, that might be it. He survived all that, and is alive to offend the Baroness. Looking her up and down, even through the body armour, he offers up, "Whatever you say sweet cheeks. I'm a new age guy. I can take orders from a dame, especially one who looks like that." But then the joking tone turns serious, "as long as I get my money." Hardened from a rough life, he's all about getting what's coming to him.

From his position in the trees, the Red Hood observes the trade off. So far, so good. But Taskmaster, that mask, it's got some tech in it, and… is he doing a scan? With a shrug, the Red Hood fires off four shots, two with each gun, killing Lenny the Luck's men, all four shots hitting them in the heart. It wasn't for Lenny's benefit, but for Taskmaster and the Baroness'.

He leaps down as Lenny panics, stammering, "What, oh, no, this ain't happening, not to me? Do you have any idea who I am?" He's scared, and he's seething. "I'm Lenny the goddamn Luck!"

"Of course you are. You're still alive, aren't you?" Smoke still rises from his guns, which are still out, but in a fairly non-threatening manner. "Had you sided with me instead of Death Moon, they would be too. But, I'm currently doing a recruitment drive. So today only, you get to join the Syndicate. And all you have to do is hand over the formula."

"Sweet? If that's what you think." The smile that peels over the Baroness' vitae hued lips reflects a sheen amongst the foreshadowing that is venomous, deadly, and seeping in her eyes it makes that blue subarctic encircled in those black frames.

Fingertips slide over the chain links, her thumb smoothing over a diamond, pausing on the entry of Red Hood and the dropping of the 'Lucks' goons. While he is in a panic, the fear draining color from his skin as the newcomer drops in Baroness maintains her placid demeanor, those heeled footfalls silent as she encircles the man, the chain in her grip still held to wrap once around him, placing herself tritely between Hood and Lenny, turning to face the hood as her fist knots aound the leash, tugging Lenny in /close/ to her.

"I was here first." Baroness' tone does not imply hurt, anger, emotion at all. A simple statement that depresses the leashes diamond and lets it suddenly go slack as Ravage spins from facing out to facing in.

"Eat up." In one fluid motion that large mechanical beast is going for Lenny.

"I didn't come wanting a fight. I'm tired.."

Gun shots and sudden movement that leads to the new arrival presents Red Hood. Taskmaster is already between the gunman and the Baroness with a shield coiling up around his forearm about the size of a buckler, the opposing hand clutching a sleek customized FMG9 which is of course aimed towards Jason as well.
With the Cobra matriarch's very casual pace around Lenny he's lost direct cover of her but she surely knows what shes doing. No doubt Lenny has no clue why he's suddenly encircled by a chain. He'll find out. Taskmaster wouldn't want to be the guy on the other end of Ravager and a leash or well, anywhere, it's an unnatural robo-beast he doesn't much care for. Come to think of it he doesn't care for much in the lady snakes arsenal.
"This is Co-sec Two we have activity, en-route."
"Hold your positions for now. I didn't giv you any orders." Taskmaster growls in to the coms.

Lenny the Luck can't decide if he's as angry as he's ever been, or scared. He's probably both. He doesn't move as the Baroness encircles him, which incidentally wraps the chain around him, keeping his arms tight against his sides. The cigarette falls to the ground, bouncing off of his shoe, and rolling to a stop near some wet grass. It expires without incident. Which is more than Lenny can say for himself.

Unleashing the mechanical beast on him, Lenny struggles, but he can't move his arms. He is bitten, clawed, slashed, and if he doesn't die from the wounds inflicted upon him, then he most certainly would from the stress of what's just happened. Falling to the ground, his lifeless body ceases to be of interest to Ravage.

At Taskmaster's defensive response, coming to the Baroness's rescue, Red Hood smirks, "Back off, Tasky. I don't mean the lady any harm."

The Red Hood witnesses the end of Lenny the Luck, but he isn't going to shed any tears. He was scum. He got what was coming to him. "Yeah, excuse me, that was mine" he says in response, "I just hope your mechanical mutt doesn't break the cylinder. He wouldn't be dumb enough to carry it in his jacket, would he?" And as if on cue, there is the sound of broken glass as Ravage finishes him off.

Moving over to the corpse, he kicks the jacket open with his boot, seeing the broken glass, a vial of some chemical. "Perfect, just perfect." It actually did go according to plan. He didn't want Cobra to get that formula. But he's not about to admit that. "Well, seeing as the fun's over, let's talk. I'm the Red Hood. Gotham's my territory." Not yet it isn't. He only controls a small part of it. But he's got ambition. "If you want to operate here, you serve at my pleasure. But," looking back at the corpses, "I did say I was hiring."

"Unlike others, he does his job well." Baroness states in regards to 'Tasky', reaching down to grab the handkerchief from Lenny's jacket pocket.

Spattered across her armored boots, up along the thigh, red Rorschach its webbing up, the man opened in areas that could only resemble meat. Wiping off her boot she remains in that lowered bend at the waist as Ravage approaches, nose to nose with the woman as she raises that handkerchief and wipes off it's muzzle, returning the stained metal to its lustrous sheen.

Picking out a piece of Lenny from between Ravages teeth her upper lip curls in disgust, now turning her gaze towards Hood with a slow shake of her head.

Raising to a stand she clips the leash back on Ravage and tosses the piece of Lenny at Hoods feet. "I don't serve, I don't ask permission, and I don't share." Baroness now starts walking, moving past Hood with little regard, though gesturing to Lenny's corpse as to seal her point. "Now, on to other things. Oh yes, and a nap." Carrying on as if her walk with her pet beast was never interrupted.

"Back off? Your pleasure? Cute. All of that. Last I knew Gotham is a chaotic mess of sycophants, psychos and lunatics who all want to carve out a chunk of this nasty pie." The sub-machine gun in Taskmaster's hand tips sideways and he looks down the length of it at Red Hood, "And only friends or dead men call me Tasky, I don't know you." A flick of the safety and the weapon folds to clasp back in to his LBV where it was earlier secured before the required quick draw. Though, it doesn't seem necessary this beef wasn't with them it only interrupted the Baroness' deal. Which, she doesn't seem to care one way or the other. Which means it isn't his business.
Unmindful of the pile of Lenny the Skull-Masked mercenary steps over it to stare down Red Hood, from boot heel to the top of his head. A grunt escapes him. "Never heard of or seen you before." Brief glimpse of moves says hes talented, however, which means he has a background somewhere.

With the Baroness moving away and Taskmaster still standing there with the newcomer the men over the coms request commands, commands the Baroness will cut in on and finish. No doubt for them to just follow her and proceed with their job of security. The Taskmaster does as he pleases in regards to Cobra unless otherwise necessary.
"So, whats your deal?"

To the Red Hood, that sounds like a positive recommendation. Whoever the woman with the mechanical pet is, she's a player. He'll have to do some sleuthing, find out who she is. There's not much to go on, but he's achieved more with less.

He'll also have to watch out for her efforts in the coming months. If she's going to be in Gotham, he's going to have to try and cause her problems. Maybe he'll try and engineer a war between her group and Death Moon's people. He may have shot the bodyguards, but it was her pet that killed Lenny the Luck.

"And you'd be right. It was a mess. It's still got the sycophants, psychosm, and the lunatics, but I'm working on that. What's my deal? My deal is that anyone who gets in line can be part of the Syndicate. Anyone who can't or won't, ends up like Lenny over there," and he gestures towards the body with a crook of his neck.

He doesn't seem to react when the submachine gun is pointed at him, but he's relieved when it's secured to its earlier location. "Tasky," he says again, "I can already tell that I'm going to be both." Cryptic, but it's a private joke. He died. He's better now.

"The problem with Gotham are heroes like Batman. But not how you might think. They captures the Joker, Harley, or whoever, and what happens? They end up in Arkham or one of America's other fine correctional instructions. Inevitably, they escape, and somebody's got to catch them again. They're bad for business."

"I don't work with psychos, I kill them."

"Drug dealers, extortionists, traffickers, and mercenaries like yourself, I can work with. As long as we're clear, this is a job, there's a paycheck, it's business, I'm sure I could use a man with your talents. But, you don't have decide now. I'm new in town. Check out my work. And when you make up your mind, let me know."

He's awfully civil about it, but then, with a brief flick of his wrist, he releases a pallet which explodes in a flash, harmless, more of a spark. It releases gases that fog vision, a special mixture that even screws up infrared and a few other parts of the spectrum. The Red Hood uses it to fire a grappling hook to one of the trees, and by the time the smoke clears, he's already on his way out of the park.

"The Syndicate? Ambitious, cute. I think you're just another of the psychopaths re-coloring this shit up with his own crazy hues." Taskmaster's shield unravels from existence and he steps back. "May be one sooner than the other." A remark towards being short-formed in a cutesie way again.

"I like you, you're cocky, probably young to boot so we'll see." The smoke vanishing act gets another of those grunts and the man turns to walk off the opposite direction as Baroness. He has a Clown to hunt down.


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