Change of Direction

Summary:
December 30, 2014: A recently reformed(into an agent of HYDRA) Winter Soldier tracks down a woman he tried to kill several months ago… in order to sell out the man who wanted her dead; Domino has another thumb drive full of trouble dropped in her lap.

New York City, A Park

A non-Central park somewhere in New York City.


Characters

NPCs
None


Mood Music:
None


Killing Domino wasn't the only thing on the Winter Soldier's agenda. After his second attempt at doing so went awry, he was swept up in other matters that pushed her further and further down his list. His handler was displeased, but there wasn't much that he could do; he was, after all, just one of many men with access to the Soldier's services. The matter has since been allowed to simmer on the backburner until the time comes for it to be properly addressed; some months after the bridge, it's still bubbling away.

Thanks to a change in circumstances, however, the Soldier has seen fit to pull their issue forward— this time by using HYDRA's contacts with the underworld to surrepitously seek her out for a meeting. Bribes are given, favors are traded, promises are made; eventually, he is able to score a number. With it, he reaches out in the hopes that the promise of 'valuable information' pertaining to her is enough to earn a meeting/negotiation— in a public place, no less, just in case she's squirrely about meeting an unidentified stranger.

He also offered her a day, a time, and a choice of whether or not to show up; either way, when the appointed day comes, he'll have been in the medium-sized park he chose for some time before the meeting is scheduled to occur. He'd indicated a particular bench beneath a pair trees with tangled limbs; rather than wait there, though, he's manning a hot chocolate cart near a walking path a few yards away in a warm, hoodie-based uniform that includes a lock of Beiber-esque hair sticking out of the hood.

Outstanding business can only be avoided for so long. Since their last encounter Domino had picked up and relocated elsewhere within the country, pushing ever further to the west in the hopes of out-running certain troubles. It may have given her a chance to catch her breath but such troubles refuse to be ignored, forcing her back east to the three cities. She's already quite well on edge. SHIELD is interested in her. The entire state of New York is wanting to arrest her. Various other organizations want to either land a catch or a kill on her.

Now some unknown element is reaching out to arrange a meeting. -Grand.- Public or not, she's still got her reservations about the whole ordeal. Public may help in some areas but it also puts her that much closer to the NYPD's radar, or worse. Still, she's learned a long time ago that the only way to get ahead is to knowingly take stupid risks and throw herself right at ground zero.

It's worked out pretty well for her, anyway.

She's employing some of her own tricks before the appointed time rolls around, likewise arriving early. In her case it's to set up on a nearby rooftop, taking a good twenty minutes to tag every person she can spot with the crosshairs of a high powered rifle. No one familiar. No one particularly out of the norm. No one aside from that kid with the green tail he couldn't quite hide beneath a long coat, anyway. The Big Apple takes all kinds.

Still, the meeting had been agreed upon and she makes a point of being a punctual sort. It just figures that she's the first one to approach the bench in question, hands tucked deep within trench pockets. A trained eye would see the armor and combat webbing beneath, as well as the tell-tale brush of material over concealed weaponry. A girl's always gotta be prepared.

The first time the cocoa vendor spots Domino heading for the bench, he decides to disappoint an approaching family of chilly chocolate-cravers by taking a break to meet her. He's wearing sweats to go with his hoodie, and while it's all kind of loose for comfort, there are a few odd bulges that, similar to Domino's preparations, would probably be readily identifiable as weapons and armor. There is absolutely a pistol in his pocket; he doesn't seem any happier to see Domino than he would be anyone else, though, if his empty-eyed expression is anything to go by.

"How is your shoulder?" he wonders, recalling the wound he left her with after their last meeting in a voice that's devoid of concern, mirth, or any other emotion. At about the same time, he pulls his hands out of his hoodie's front pockets to make sure she sees how empty they are. "Any problems, since the bridge?"

It doesn't take long for Domino to discover that her contact of the day is good at being undercover. It has to be the assassin from the bridge, there was only one other person there and she would know Detective Manning when she saw him. As soon as the question is voiced she's turning to look his way, the dark blue sunglasses failing to properly conceal the black spot around her left eye.

"Doing alright. How's your ..everything?" He did get pretty banged up that day, didn't he?

The show of hands is noted but not reciprocated, she keeps both of her own hands hidden within deep (but empty appearing) pockets. With the next question she grunts in a humorless tone, "When -don't- I have problems. Look, can we skip past the fluff? It's a rare thing for a killer to do an about-face and want to talk to their mark and it sounds like you went to some effort to find me. What's this all about?"

Nope, she's still not a trusting sort.

"The man who wanted you dead back then still does," the Winter Soldier crisply replies as his hands slide back into his hoodie. "He never stopped wanting, even when you disappeared; he doesn't take failure well."

His left hand emerges from the sweatshirt and stretches towards her after he makes this point, a flash drive sticking out from betwen his fingers. He keeps it just out of her reach as he speaks, even going so far as to pull it back if she grabs for it. "This is his name. Intelligence on his organization. Known safehouses. Business interests; it might not be enough to protect you on its own, but it could give you an advantage in your future dealings with him— maybe even let you get the drop on him, if you used it well. He and I— have parted ways between the bridge and now; I would like to tie up loose ends. Is this something that you would be interested in…?"

The drive remains offered but not yet given after he finishes his pitch. He doesn't offer any updates on how he fared after being shot off of the bridge that day; they are meant to be skipping past the fluff.

"Good to know," Dom flatly replies. It is! It's useful information. It also justifies her keeping her guard up through all of this. She's familiar with the 'ask questions then pull the trigger' method.

It's when the flash drive is revealed that she very nearly flinches, not from the motion but from the item being offered. She's not had the best of luck with those drives lately… It's because of the one she had taken from Clyde Kelley that she's back here in the first place. This becomes one of the reasons why she doesn't immediately reach for the drive when it's presented, though a part of her still wants to.

The sales pitch has her interest just as much, one brow drifting upward before getting joined by a thin smirk. "I see where this is going. You part with the information and leave the problem with me. If I get taken out, you're off the hook. If I take him out, you get to walk. It's a good play." (Because it's gonna work.)

Readily available intel on someone that wants her dead? She'd be a damn fool not to get the jump on it!

"I'm interested," she flatly admits with a quick incline of her chin. "Question is, does this one pay for itself or are you going to hold it for ransom?"

"I need to know that he'll be taken care of sooner rather than later," the Soldier replies as he repockets his hand. "Like I said: loose ends." He then lowers his voice and leans a little closer as he adds, "And I'm going to need to get in touch with a reliable gear connect— preferably the one who designed the armor you used in that pub."

The other drive is something of an 'X' factor to him; if his former handler was at all concerned about it, he didn't express that worry when he assigned the Soldier to protect(and then avenge) Kelley, though it's always possible that recovering it from his assassin's body had been in the cards all along.

"He's Bratva. Came over after serving in Chechnya. Lots of guns; he's a dangerous man, but he does not have another one of me, luckily for you."

"In a neat little bow," Domino replies before the next comment can surprise her. The armor… This guy. It would be something more than a simple sharing of resources, it'd be like ..like they'd become merc pals, or something..! No one passes out their trade secrets to potential competition, though she doesn't exactly have exclusive rights to the design.

"Yeeeah..I'll think about it."

Time for one more bombshell. -Bratva.- Lots of guns. Her last job out of Gotham… Could they somehow be connected? Now it's no longer a choice for her to make, she -has- to know what's on that drive! This hitman just backed her into a corner, possibly without even realizing it.

"How very fortunate," she deadpans in response while reaching up to pull the shades away from her eyes. "I can't make any promises on a timeframe here, Killer, but if you've dug deep enough to get my number then you should know my track record." Which..isn't exactly spotless… She's abandoned/run from her share of contracts before, it's impossible to keep all of the failed gigs a secret. But, she's also known for taking on some stupid crazy jobs. She's also still standing here.

"One drive, one kill. No questions asked. If the intel is good."

"The intel is excellent," the Winter Soldier assures her as he flicks his hand from his hoodie to toss the drive her way. At least, it should be, seeing as how he gathered it himself from his time as the mark's - David Volodin's - bodyguard, enforcer, et cetera. It's definitely imperfect, since he could only see so much from his perspective - lots of missing connections, locales, important personages, and so on - and it lacks any kind of audio/visual component; for a dossier of intel on a highly placed figure in the Russian mob, though, it's quite functional.

"Your terms are acceptable. You have a reputation for doing good work with difficult jobs; I'm glad that I didn't kill you."

As soon as the drive is tossed over Dom swipes it out of the air, gone and pocketed without another thought about it. "Gonna hold you to it."

There'll be plenty of time to pour over the details soon. Somewhere safe. Outside of New York state. Over a bottle of Jack Daniel's, or something. There's always more work to do, at this rate she might have to consider cloning herself just to keep up with it all.

"I'm kinda pleased about that, myself," she agrees. "Hey, you know who you're dealing with now. What the heck do I call you?"

The disguised man's eyes narrow at the entirely natural question, and his posture briefly tenses into something wary— even aggressive as he stares at her and deliberates.

Eventually, though, he opts to lean even closer to the merc until there's just a handful of inches separating them as he murmurs, "'Winter Soldier'. Or 'a source'; I would prefer the second, if anyone happens to ask."

After drawing back so that he isn't inside of her personal bubble, he lingers for a little while in case there are further questions. If there aren't, he'll turn to leave— in the opposite direction from his hot chocolate cart, no less. One of the kids from the family that's been shivering beside it all this time spots him and throws shouts of protest at his back before being gathered up and reprimanded by her mother, who ends up having to shoot the father a Look to keep him from joining in on the protests shortly afterwards.

"I'll be in touch about the connect," he tosses out in parting.


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