Marked Hit

Summary:
September 01, 2014: Simple hits aren't. (Language/violence)

The Peculiar Pub, Lower East Side Manhattan

There's drinks from all across the globe in this joint.


Characters

NPCs

  • Clyde Kelley
  • SRD
  • Hawkeye on emits

Mood Music:
None


It's another evening in the Lower East Side, this corner of the city enjoying a relatively quiet period. Down at the Peculiar Pub there's a steady flow of customers, and of various drinks from across the globe. Chances are that if it can be called by name, it can be found behind the counter.

The various flatscreens keep most of the patrons busy, if the rousing conversation turns out to not be their thing. Or if they happen to be drinking alone. It's the men whom drink alone that earns the albino woman's attention, though she's not seeking company tonight. Alcohol and mixed messages, always a good way to lead to another broken nose. Tonight she's got herself a target, one which sounded easy enough that she could have done it in her sleep. One target, public, hit and run style.

The poor fool's already got himself backed into a proverbial corner. Clyde Kelley. Even dressed down she can still see the suit on him. These business guys always think they're safe. If she isn't getting paid good money for this she wouldn't have bothered, too simple. Without any metal detectors at the door she simply walks right on in, most of the crowd failing to realize she had arrived. She's usually real good at slipping in beneath the public radar.

*

Paul is one of those guys drinking alone. Having gotten off duty and not wanting to hit one of his usual bars when he's not looking for conversation or to pick up a guy, this is a good place to just unwind and consider all the things on his plate. Sometimes, you just need to let things mull around.

*

… Poor Lunair. She's not really /old/ enough to go into the pub just yet. But she can peek into the door. And listen. What is going on that is *so interesting* in there? She was likely out and about shopping, and watches curiously. Hey, there's gotta be something *good* if it's forbidden, right? Hovering (metaphorically) is not illegal!

*

With the coming to the end of tourist season (for the most part. It never truly ends in the City!), Clyde Kelley relaxes in the corner. Season's been long, and deadlines, thanks to Fiscal Year End happening in September, means that summer was all but lost to him regardless.

A cellphone sits on the table in front of him, a little, out of date flip phone with no camera. With beer in front of him, he plays 'spin the phone' with baskets of various bar nibbles circled around.

*spin!*

Peanuts. A handful is taken and tossed into his mouth one by one as the news of the NFL picks come on the large screens. "Man, really. Just pay the guy and be done with it."

*

The Winter Soldier is not one of the solo guys: he's at a table with three other guys with a trucker cap pulled low over his pulled back hair and an almost pristine mechanic's jumpsuit serving as outfit, participating in the drunken conversation around him in the most perfunctory fashion he can get away with. It's his fourth disguise for the day; he cycled through 'janitor', 'waiter', and 'slightly different janitor' before zipping up his current one, all for the sake of keeping a close - but not too close - eye on Clyde Kelley.

Whether it's because Kelley has a friend in a high (or, perhaps more accurately, worryingly low) place, protecting a vested interest in him, or paying off a lingering favor, the Soldier's present handler in the local arm of the Russian mob dispatched him to keep the businessman safe — even if it means mopping a few floors or spending the evening listening to a few braying men.

"What— ?" he says, snapping his eyes away from Kelley when a question interrupts his vigil. "Oh — yes. Yes, it was extremely badass when that man drove through that thing," he mumbles after looking between three sets of eagerly waiting eyes. As soon as he's done, he returns his attention to Kelley with a wrinkled nose while two of the guys high five beside him.

*

And there he is. That Kelley had picked up some hired help along the way is something which Domino doesn't yet know, though it should help keep her evening from getting too boring in short order. She knows what to look for, one of these things is not like the other. The guy's spinning a phone around on the table, he doesn't seem like a huge threat. Still, for this many zeroes following the bill…

Black jeans and a a black overshirt cover most of the armor and weaponry lying beneath, though as she nonchalantly crosses the room to get a better eye on the target her dress happens to do a fantastic job of hiding the small framed .38 Special which she reaches for. Off to one side two guys are high-fiving.

It's quickly followed by a single -BAM!- as the hammer falls on the high pressured round, snapping a jacketed hollowpoint right for the side of Kelley's head.

Quick. Loud. Very, very public.

*

Paul gently swirls his drink around the inside of his glass as he watches the motion and thinks. Demons, Elder Gods, Norse gods, Buzzard gods, Hollow Ones. Life was so much simpler as a homicide detective. Or even as a marine. You just do what you're told. And then there's a shot. he slides off his stool, getting low and pulling his gun. It's like stop, drop and roll except without the flames.

*

Hovering and peeking? TOTALLY WORTH IT. Lunair pauses. Is that miss Domino? She wracks her brains for a moment, looking at all the people. There's a moment when someone passes her and she does her best to look innocent. Waiting for a friend, yup. But on hearing a gunshot, she ducks in quietly and stays near the door to see what's going on. And see she does. Her eyes widen a bit. That's a bold choice. … it probably does look a little weird that Lunair does not seem panicked in the slightest.

*

*spin*

Peanuts, again! The basket is getting a little lower with each spin, and the popcorn is growing a little (more) stale. The pretzels have a little missing, however. (Pretzels always go with beer!)

The news on the board changes after a couple of moments, now bringing up slow motion replays of last year's season, snippets of post game interviews and the commentators crowing about how 'they predicted it'. Kelley scowls, grabs a couple more peanuts, and the lift of the glass happens just as Domino approaches him. It's not fully to his lips before the .38 is lifted, and the trigger pulled. It's as if everything moves in slow motion- the bullet, the impact, and the fact that the other side of his head blows out, blood, brain and skull mixing with the drop of deep, dark amber liquid that is dropped from his hand.

Pushed sideways with the blow, Kelley doesn't even have time to look surprised before he falls off his chair, leaving the phone on the table, now still. When he hits the floor, a small data 'dongle' falls from a shirt pocket, lying in a pool of ever expanding blood. Only a heartbeat (someone else's, NOT Kelley's!), the cell on the table chirps a message that a text has come in: 'Pick up a gallon of milk on the way home.'

*

The Soldier was scanning the rest of the bar periodically to search for threats and focus on absolutely anything but the droning around him. By the time his eyes skimmed over Domino, she was already mid draw; too late to stop her, too late to take the hit for Kelley, too late to do much of anything but leap to his feet and shout, "Down!" as lead bores through his charge's skull.

Not too late for one thing, though. Protecting Kelley was priority number one today, and his revolving closet of disguises was mostly intended to let him do that without scaring potential assassins away entirely; making an example of said assassin was priority number two, and his handler didn't express any particular preference for doing so quietly. So as Kelley's still warm body tumbles to the ground, the Soldier grabs a handful of baggy jumpsuit and rips the upper half of it away, revealing kevlar and weapons holsters. Rather than going for a firearm, though, he uses his left hand to pluck out a knife tucked near the small of his back and flick it towards Domino at terrifically high speeds; as soon as his hand is empty, he pushes through his tablemates - who are stuck somewhere between fear and gaping at each other in drunken awe - to find a little cover to dive behind.

*

Easy peasey-Waitasec what just dro-

"Shit!"

This isn't a major part of the city. The hero concentration shouldn't be all that high. Then again, what hero -throws knives at people?- Domino's armor tends to deflect projectile weapons, whether it be handgun bullets or blades, but she knows the feeling of getting stabbed. The meaty thunk, the physical push, the sudden shock to the nerves, it's all here. In her bicep.

But, that's not all that's here…

Like a monochromed whirlwind the albino leaps and spins about, snapping the revolver's remaining four rounds toward the general direction that blade had come from before roughly landing onto her side. On the floor. In some of Kelley's blood. Next to the small USB drive.

The revolver gets flicked aside as she makes a grab for the device, which in turn is only a heartbeat away from her scrambling across the floor trying to get the hell out of here. No one is supposed to be fighting back! A simple hit, they had -assured- her there wouldn't be any resistance!

*

"Down!" Paul shouts. "Get DOWN!" Grabbing the legs of anyone nearby still standing or sitting, he yanks them down to the floor. "Police! Drop your weapons and put your hands behind your head!" Wait? Is that the albino? Sonofabitch! He should have gone after her instead of the other one.

*

Lunair gasps as Domino gets a knife to the bicep. And huh? Is there a USB drive? Lunair looks curious, then decides to wisely not pull out a silly weapon or grab the USB drive. Fights change in a heartbeat and she's not even supposed to be in here (forbidden stuff==interesting, it's true). She also doesn't want to upset the cop guy (never ends well). So there is something modestly heroic that doesn't involve a portal gun (yet). Lunair pauses, looks intently at Domino a moment. Let's see, gonna need a bit more than Kevlar… now…

And no pervy thoughts! It has to fit! Moments later, Domino will find herself covered in an odd, high tech armor with a visor and remarkable display inside so she can see! Because seriously, seeing is good. The armor is sleek and looks almost yanked out of a century to come our a video game.

*

The rest of the bar seems as if it's been released from its time warp. The slow motion begins to speed up in real time, and the patrons of the bar are diving for the floor; some are trying desperately for the door while others are frantically either calling 9-1-1 or their homes to tell their wives either 1. how much they love them or 2. how much they hate them and don't want to be saddled any longer. (Seeing life flash before one's eyes can be enlightening!)

As for Kelley, well… he's not calling anyone.

*

One of Domino's bullets hits the Winter Soldier right in the back as he slides behind the bar on his knees; this causes him to double over and end up on all fours for a moment of breathless, wide-eyed recovery. Trying to fill his lungs again is agony even after he hauls himself upright; he isn't quite sure whether it's bruising or a cracked rib that he has to look forward to later, but either way, he can't dwell on it now, not when there's an assassin on the loose.

Seconds after hitting the ground, he pops up with a semi-automatic pistol clutched in both hands, head swiveling until he spots Domino — there! Making a run for the exit —

— in a suit of armor that wasn't there a few seconds ago. The Soldier cants his head slightly at this unexpected development, and while he does level the barrel on her for a split-second, he's preeeeetty sure he'd be wasting his time and bullets to even try it; thus, after haphazardly tucking the gun into a holster, he tears more of the coveralls away until he's able to snatch the black cylinder secured to his hip.

His eyes are glued firmly to Domino as he brings the flashbang up, yanks the dangling metal pin free with his teeth, then chucks the object after her; he takes care to drop back behind cover and clamp his hands over his ears once it's out, rather than watching for the results, though.

*

What - The damn -cops- are already here, too?! This is going downhill fast, but on the upside..Domino's now wearing armor. Beyond the smaller, lighter armor she had already been wearing. Okay, what the hell just happened here!

Whatever, it's not restricting movement and it seems to be an attempt at being helpful. She's going to stop thinking questions and run with it. It also, curiously enough, doesn't prevent her from going for other weapons still on her person. At the same time it -does- cover her face and the distinct patch around her left eye, for those that didn't already happen to see it. Bonus!

Then something else hits her from behind. This time it doesn't go through. She could just laugh.

"It's called -armor,- you dumba-"

-BANG!-

The grenade pops off nearly right at her feet. The odd new armor does manage to protect her hearing, somehow. She's not going to ask. She's also not going to see anything for a while, as the flash still cuts through the visor and makes the world around her impossible to see for a handful of critical seconds.

On the upside she doesn't have to worry about banging her arms or head into the counters as she dives for the kitchen area in back! Yeah, she's so not listening to the officer in the room. That trick never works.

*

"Fire in the hole!" Paul shouts; old habits die hard. He goes flat and covers his head with his arms. Who the hell is lobbing grenades? Where the hell did that armor come from? If the albino… what was the name in her file? Domino. If Domino could do that, she'd have worn it before getting a knife in her arm. So an accomplice. And the trajectory on the grenade is set to take her out not cover her retreat. So three hostiles. And then it goes off and shit! Flashbang is better than the alternative though. He's useless for a few, not that he was managing anything useful to begin with.

*

Phew. It's non-lethal- … she did waste a dude, but then Lunair wonders, maybe he was a jerk? Did he have it coming? … this should probably bother her. Hmm. There's a flaw in the design, it seems. This kind of hits her, seeing the cylindrical object. A part of her is grateful it's not one of those gods-awful 9-bangers or worse. Lunair will have to make a note… visual… protection. Hey. In her defense, Lunair is young and powers take time to work out. And fortunately, no one sees her wiggling her fingers, waving a lobster at Domino or whatever.

Unfortunately, she is not happy as the damn thing goes off, and puts her hands over her ears, curling up a bit. She's useless for now. "Owwie owwie owwie…" Wait. She should probably check on fire in the hole guy. Crawl… towards… BONK. Right into the leg of a table. Furniture… DETECTED. Must. Help. Cop? is he a cop? A marine? Who knows? Domino went that way, too and it's a convenient way to look after one or both and maybe glower at flashbang guy (Not to be confused with flashdance). Why is it the more she looks after people, the worse she is at heroing?

*

It's a damned -good- thing that 9-1-1 was called -before- the flashbang went off because now? The civilians still in the bar are now in fetal positions, some with blood oozing out of their ears because, hey… who normally knows the open-mouth trick? Not people who are hanging out in a bar, grabbing a brew!

For those who can still hear, there are sirens in the distance. Though now, through the door come armoured agents with SRD emblazoned across their chests and across their backs. Remarkably, they made it here rather quickly, huh? As the burst in, yells of 'Get down! Get down!' sound off, their weapons serving as pretty convincing megaphones at the moment. Luckily for the patrons? They're already down.

*

The Winter Soldier pushes himself to his feet and starts after Domino shortly after the explosion; as one of the few people not crawling around deaf and/or blind, he makes for a pretty serviceable suspect in the case of 'Who's The Asshole That Set Off A Grenade In A Public Place?', and the kevlar and visible weapons probably aren't doing him many favors either when it comes to deflecting suspicion. Unfortunately for him, the construction of the bartop means that he has to run out from behind it, then back around to reach the kitchen; moreover, those fetal people mean that the Soldier has to watch his step as he gives chase — not because he's worried about hurting any of them, of course, but because tripping and falling over one of their prone bodies would definitely tank his chances of catching Domino.

By the time the SRD officers burst in, she's well into the kitchen and he's only just rounded the counter of the bar top on the way to the swinging doors. His eyes dart between the officers and the kitchen as he weighs his options, and his left hand starts to drift towards the gun sticking up from his back; ultimately, though, he thinks better of pulling it, and instead opts to turn and run towards the nearest window, intent on diving out of it in the hopes of cutting his losses and giving himself the chance to track Domino down later.

*

Luckily for Dom she can hear the others storming the gates behind her. They didn't announce themselves as the SRD yet but she knows the bellow of law enforcement. Now, how -did- they arrive on scene so quickly, all ready to go? Something isn't right here, not at all…

The cowering chef that gets plowed over by a blinded woman in the futuristic suit is left thinking the same thing. He goes one way, she goes the other, and the USB drive-

(Shit. -Shit!- Where'd the drive go?!)

One thing at a time. With a sharp grunt she yanks the blade out of her shoulder, spattering nearby tile and a stainless table with tiny specks of crimson before the edged weapon is discarded with a clatter. She can worry about the wound later, there is -no- safe place to be around here anymore. But, she can't leave without that drive…

A snap decision is made. Hang around long enough to get her sight back, find the drive, bail. This means buying herself some time. With spots still clouding her vision she draws a pair of nine millimeter pistols, taking cover behind a row of heavy metal tables and sink. She has no more choice. A stand-off with the cops it is.

*

By the time Paul can see and hear again, the SRD are here. Which begs the question: What the hell is the SRD doing here? Since when do they respond to simple gunfire? And so quickly? Did they have someone under surveillance? These things never have easy answers and looking into them always gets him into trouble. "I'm a cop!" he calls, staying down and leaving his weapon where it is. Shoot first, ask questions later is SOP for some of these guys. "There's three of them! The shooter, an accomplice and a third who used a flashbang!" Going for the window.

*

Groan. Ears. Hurt. Eyes. Burn. This is bad. "Hey… hey fire in the hole-y guy. Are you okay?" And if she's fairly sure Domino made it out okay, she doesn't say anything. But it does let her watch as Winter goes after Domino. If he has to defenestrate himself, she's probably outside.

And something in Lunair's stomach *sinks* as she hears SRD. Sure, she COULD potentially try to mow them all down, but that would not be nice at all. And it would definitely out her capabilities. So, if she can't get a response, she just kinda flops down where she was. Pause. "Oh, fire in hole guy is a cop." Pause. Time to just … flop. Right here. By the table she donked into. Though, she seems kind of surprised that SRD came and that fast. The last thing they responded to that fast… She wracks her brains. Oh well. This floor… will do.

*

"SRD!" Okay, now the introductions are in place as one moves forward, doing a sweep of the place.

The shout of 'I'm a cop' brings attention around, and a nod. Presumably, Paul will most certainly be asked for ID, but things must be done first.

Like… going after the guy that is taking a running leap out the window. Two of the SRDines beat feet across the room, making their way around the prone civilians like a spare-tire obstacle course. "Hold it! SRD!"

And, like… that guy with part of his head blown out. One of the SRDines that moved forward to sweep comes across the body. First thing, the phone is confiscated. Probably not SOP by any means, but that'll be a fight with internal affairs. Later. Next… the searching of pockets, but that'll be at the ME's office.

There are only a few; who knew it would be this difficult, and the one left standing at the door begins to make his way through the place, following his weapon. Each move that is registered, the agent swings the muzzle around just in case. Now, coming across Lunair first, she wasn't specifically identified… and she's down. Just another civilian?

*

The Winter Soldier comes with firearms, a kung-fu grip, and grenades for every occasion (Wintermobile sold separately); as SRD officers yell at him to stop, he juggles running with tearing at his disguise until it's nothing more than a big scrap of fabric for him to toss away, then reaches for the desert camo-patterned cylinder bouncing against his other hip. This one is unpinned with a sharp twist of his left index finger before being chucked over his shoulder, and plumes of thick white smoke hiss from it as it bounces and spins across the ground.

His hope is that filling the pub with smoke will give him the cover he needs to make his escape without having to open fire on the SRDnes; stealth might not be a priority, but not bringing the law down on he and his handler certainly is, and cops seem to have a habit of getting vengeful when their fellow officers are gunned down and/or blown up and/or electrocuted.

*

(Oh, fudge.) "Who invited the damn Sardines?" Domino hisses between her teeth. She's not prepared for this kind of engagement, or anything as high profile as this is becoming. The visor might keep her from rubbing her eyes but the desire to do so remains, fighting back the fading spots as she tries to search the kitchen. One, they haven't opened fire. Two, they haven't clocked her yet. Maybe, if she's really, really careful…

Best to start moving now rather than later. The only problem is that it has her chasing after things which aren't there. Lunair's addition to her personal protection doesn't always help, either. There's some loss of peripheral vision and tactile feedback, which means she doesn't realize she's bumping into some things before it's too late.

A single metal serving spoon falls from one of the counters, ringing loudly against the tile floor.

The albino freezes, eyes slowly closing. "Shhhhh-it.-"

Then there's another clatter, and a different sort of hissing sound. Fog in a can..! Mister Flashbang just hucked a smoke canister! This..could buy her some much needed time. (Move your ass, girl!)

*

Right. SRD with weapons drawn at the scene of an assassination with someone tossing grenades, this one smoke. Paul's staying exactly where he is: on the ground. He's as likely to be shot by the good guys as the bad.

*

Poor Lunair. She really needs to work on the whole 'helping' thing. Blowing things up, killing them… easy! Not so much being genuinely thoughtful about helping. Oh well. She meant well. It'll be another design flaw noted. Later. Much later. She doesn't get a response from Paul on if he was okay (If he was the fire in the hole guy), so she doesn't try again. Then again, would responding constitute movement for the purposes of shooting? She's just gonna stay here on the ground.

She doesn't do anything unusual. No weapons on her, no armor. Lunair just stays riiiiight where she is, even if having the muzzle even slightly aimed at her is unnerving.

*

The SRD isn't shooting anyone. Honest. They're looking through, picking through a 'battle zone' as it were, maybe, but shooting? Nope.

The canister that gets lobbed through the window certainly does get a response, however, and the two that had paused at the window begin to jump through in order to give chase.

As the room begins to fill with the sickly grey smoke, the *clangclang* from the kitchen sounds, and the last SRDine that isn't otherwise engaged stumbles to finish crossing the room and pushes open the door to the kitchen, weapon raise and finger just to the side of the guard; but most certainly at the ready.

"SRD! Get down!"

*

Winter Soldier is headed for the first alley he can find once he's clear of the bar, and from there, it's straight to the sewers. He can't quite hear them yet, but dealing with the SRD means drones, which means that trying to lose these guys on the rooftops is pointless. Going underground might also give him a little more leeway to deal with his pursuers, depending on how persistent they actually are; down there, at least, it's a little easier to make a body disappear than it might be if he was running around above the city.

He lingers for a little while after finding a manhole to climb into, though; if the SRDnes really are inclined to follow them, he wants to give them a little bit of incentive to rethink, which means freeing the dark pineapple attached to his person while he clings to the ladder and waits. As soon as they're close enough, he'll lob the grenade up so that it's bouncing towards them while he slides the manhole cover back into place. And then he'll run; there's enough time for the officers to get clear, depending on how quickly their training kicks in, but if the detonation can just buy him a bigger lead over them, the Soldier will be satisfied.

*

Good for the Sardine in the back, Domino's already crouching pretty low to the floor. Bad for him, she's also got two barrels trained right on center body mass. "You first!"

Six more pistol shots slam out from the middle of the kitchen, the lighter rounds smacking into the man's armored torso. He'll live. He'll be bruised pretty badly, but he'll live.

Unfortunately for Dom, she shot first.

-WHUMP!-

Cookingware and bits of food in various stages of being prepped go flying backward, as does one of the big heavy tables which she had been taking cover behind. The two go flying back across the room and strike the far wall, causing an absolute mess as they go. Yet again, Lunair's armor spares the albino from much worse injury.

The concussive impact also happens to drop her right next to the fallen USB drive.

One hand snaps it off of the floor as the other darts out and starts emptying the mag, blindly covering her retreat as she hauls ass for the back door.

*

Two SRD out the window and one in the back as smoke billows up. And then there's more gunfire. "Shit." Paul stands, retrieving his weapon and moving toward the kitchen. "Everyone out the front door!" he calls. "Hurry! Detective Manning, I'm coming back to provide backup!"

*

Ugh. Smoke. "Be careful!" Lunair offers to Paul. Should she cover him in armor? But then she gets outed. And either Domino or that In Soviet Russia, Bullet shoots Y— wait… guy. Better to choose wisdom today. But she will at least help some poor sap to the door. better not to get caught, y'know, being underaged in a bar.

*

The one SRDine that pocketed the cellphone is heading back now to check on the pair from the kitchen, making his way the best he can with the residual smoke from the cannister. (Many tables are being bumped!) There's two out the window, and with Paul's pronouncement of providing back-up, the one feels a touch more secure as the kitchen is gained, whump-gun at the ready. The gunfire as Domino makes her exit causes the agent to leap to the side and down, away from the snap-fire, and there.. there can attend his colleagues that are groaning on the floor, holes torn in their uniforms and plates in their chests bent. (Those bruises are gonna hurt.)

*

Maybe injuring the one officer had been the right move, by the time Domino risks a glance behind herself she's not seeing anyone giving pursuit. That's one problem down… Now there's the mystery USB drive, and the weird armor (does that come off in the shower..?)

Oh yeah, and she needs to see if she can still get paid before she interrogates the hell out of the source of this contract, because -something ain't right.-

*

The armor will probably disappear after half an hour or so if not taken off by hand. It's very odd. But there's only one person Domino might know who makes objects appear and disappear, right? Would they be the same? Who knows. Lunair is just gonna go home and grump for awhile. That was distinctly unpleasant.


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