World on Fire: Rum Row

February 24th, 2015: On a cold Tuesday night, a few people go out for a drink and instead run into two monsters that lead to a whole lot more questions.

New York - Rum Row

In the past few years, specialty cocktails have become something of a big deal in New York City, leading to a rise in so-called speakeasies. Rum Row is one of the newest of these. A two story bar in what looks from the outside to be a posh townhouse. The entrance is at the bottom of a short flight of stairs and true to form there is no sign to clue in patrons where the establishment resides. A man in a heavy coat and polished shoes waits at the entrance with a list, giving the illusion of exclusivity.

Once past the door, patrons pass through a heavy velvet curtain and then into the dimly lit main interior. The entire space is not overly large, comfortably fitting only about 40 people. The floors are polished wood, as are the walls, the main room open to the second floor. The decorations are vintage nautical themed, old portraits hung on the walls, there are schooners in bottles and all the light comes from ship lanterns that hang from the ceiling on chains, or are attached to the walls by hooks.

Instead of tables and booths, there are plush couches and coffee tables to put their drinks. Beautifully painted decorative screens separate each section in order to give parties more privacy. The second story is mostly just a balcony that stretches above the main floor bar, three couches and a few arm chairs with tables are scattered haphazardly for larger parties to mingle. Creaky wooden stairs lead up to the second landing, accessible at the back behind the bar, also where the restrooms and the back room are clustered.



Mood Music:

Tuesday nights aren't the busiest for bars or speakeasies. However, in a city as large as New York, there are always those who are looking for a bit of fun no matter if it's a week night. Add to that the recent cold snap in the weather, wind chills bringing the streets and avenues down to the negatives, some flee work to a close by watering hole in order to fortify themselves for the long, cold ride to their apartments.

One of the busier places on the upper east side, the newer Rum Row is not exactly full, but there are enough people to keep the singular bartender and waitress moving between tables without much time to be idle. While the speakeasy sometimes has live piano music, the upright is pushed against the wall by the stairs, fallboard covering the keys. Instead, a playlist of 1930s and 40s music plays over the cleverly hidden speakers at a medium volume.

The door opens, moving the heavy velvet curtains and bringing in a gust of cold wind before it closes again.

At one of the many tables sits a young polish man, with a small glass in front of him of the expensive stuff. He's dressed rather plainly and has a somewhat fresh face, but obviously by his presence has found himself able to get right past the guards at the front. He's relaxing away enjoying a nice drink confident in the knowledge that there's no one alive who would recognize him as Arnim Zola, in a much much younger body, just at the age of 21.

Steve Rogers is huddled in the corner, sitting alone at a booth and enjoying a beer. No, it doesn't have any real tangible effect on him. Just like this place is not, in fact, tangibly in the 1940s. But sometimes, somethings are just done for purposes of nostalgia. Maybe on night, maybe twenty. If he talked to Sam about it, the latter would probably tell him these sorts of things were good for him. If he asked a shrink, they might say he needed to move on with his life.

But regardless, he's enjoying his drink, listening to the music, and trying to put together his day tomorrow in his mind. From here on out there will be a heavy stretch of craziness. Just like usual.

Identifying cool places to be in, and then being in those cool places, is important. At least, it is the kind of thing that is important to Booster Gold, although he tends to go by Michael Jon Carter when he is not in costume. This is the case, at the moment. He is explaining to the guy at the door, "I assure you, I just turned twenty-one." The issue is that his birthdate has not happened yet and this can make it difficult when someone is examining his identification card. Eventually, he gets waved through and gives Kara a thumbs up.

Among the patrons seated in the speakeasy is Connor Hawke, a blonde-haired teenager who looks so far out of place that it's almost comical. No one quite knows when he arrived.. or, why. He sits in a corner with nothing to drink, carefully scanning the crowd as if waiting for someone. In truth, he was here to meet with someone who had information about his father's contact information. Since every attempt to get in contact with him before now had failed, Connor was starting to get desperate. Shifting his weight, the bastard son of Oliver Queen lets out a brief sigh, convinced that he was duped yet again.

"Roight, 'cause sitting in a… bloody lab and dissecting cats is a more fruitful use of your time than having a drink. With us." Fitz is on his cell phone, arguing with Simmons. "No, of course it's not far! It's… right off the line. Okay, two blocks." A pause, and Leo's eyes widen. "I've got a cheek? Piss off, then, yeah?"

With a snap of the wrist, Fitz disconnects the call and stows his StarkPhone in a pocket. "Guinn… no. What the hell. Make it scotch. The, uh, Glenlivet 18." After paying for his drink, he pivots about to look for his buddies from SHIELD R&D. They've all missed it, somehow, but not Fitz. His eyes fall upon Rogers, and he goes a little slack jawed. "Well, what are the bleedin' odds," he murmurs to himself. The cold air brings a slight shudder, but the cardigan did its job and kept him relatively toasty.

It takes a little while for Simmons to finish dissecting the cats she has in the lab. OK, not really cats but she did have to finish the tests she was running. Doffing her lab coat and, this time, leaving her safety goggles in the lab, the young biochem catches a cab to the Speakeasy.

Approaching Fitz "You do have a cheek you know" she quips "some things just can't wait." Glancing around, her eyes light on Steve "Oh look Fitz, there's Steve Rogers."

Kara had heard about this vintage place and decided to use going there to hang out with Jon as an excuse to do some shopping. She is presently wearing a stunning little red dress styled straight from the 40s and she doesn't look at all out of place. Unlike her companion, she doesn't seem to get any questions about ID, which was good because she didn't have any that would let her get in here easy.

Touching Jon's arm gently when she catches up to him, she points over to a man sitting by himself, "Isn't that Steve?" She smiles over in the direction of Steve, seeing if he notices or just wants to be alone.

Fenris remembers this place when it was new. Which was, from his perspective, not that long ago. A tall man with a vaguely predatory air to him and a long coat steps in. Some might know him by many names. Loupi was the name he went by back when this place was new. And he was French. Well… as French as he is American now anyway.

Just as the cold starts to dissipate, the speakers emit a loud, oppressive burst of static that sounds like a pulse. It continues for a few seconds, the lights brightening offbeat to the noise. Then, it's gone. The lights dim again, the lanterns on their chains sway with the clanking of metal, the music returns to the middle of the song it was crooning before the strange occurrence:

"…set the world on fire, I just want to start a flame…"

And that's when the shriek rips through the speakeasy, reverberating from the top floor balcony. The waitress, in surprise, drops her tray of drinks, the tray clattering to the wood with a loud clang, a highball and a coup glass shatters, spraying bits of glass and brightly colored liquor. Down the steps comes the distinct clattering of heels on wood, then a yelp as a woman tumbles down the stairs, landing in a tumble by the piano.

Zola slowly comes back to a stand, sitting down his almost untouched glass of dark liquid. A look of displeasure crossing his face as he comes to the realization that something's gone wrong on his day off, something he hadn't personally planned. "I can not stand unaccounted variables" uttered in German, with a bit of disgust, as he adjusts his cufflinks.

Dear heavens, is this an intervention?

Steve notices Fitz and Simmons from SHIELD, giving a smile and a wave. Then he sees Jon and Kara from the JL:A. Then he sees Fenris from the war. All these people from his past converging—he'd seen a television program about this where they bring all your friends in to tell you you have a problem.

He looks at his beer and he peers at his friends. Really? He has like a beer a week, and it literally cannot affect him, nor can he be addicted. They never called them drinking 'problems' back in his day, but he's pretty sure he does not have one.

Steve does not notice Zola.

But he does notice as the woman comes falling down the stairs. All his personal concerns go out the window as someone's in trouble. He leaps up and makes it over towards her in just a few paces, leaning down to see if she's alright.

Michael Jon Carter is looking around, judging the decor and ambience. Kara's question has him looking over in Steve's direction, and he says, "Oh, yeah. That is, isn't it? We should say—" At that point, the speakeasy loses several ambience points when things get heinously loud. "What the heck?" He takes several steps forward, but Steve is looking to the woman who fell, so Michael's gaze turns upwards towards the balcony area, where the woman came from.

With little interest in drinking, the blonde haired teenager begins to stir from his feet.. that is.. until Kara enters. Connor can't help but notice either. It was the only woman in here who appeared remotely close in age. His emerald gaze narrows while his jaw slacks. If he had any kind of tact around women, he may have noticed how obvious he was being by now. Instead, he's as oblivious as as a child. You try learning how to spit game after being raised by old Buddhists! With another sigh, Connor stands. She definitely was not his contact, nor were any of the other people here.

Right about the time Connor reached for the door handle, the oppressive static emits over the speakers, causing the boy to reflexively duck his head from the abrupt noise. Just like the dimming of the lanterns, Connor loses all interest in leaving.

Quickly, Connor throws the red hood of his jacket up over his head and produces a tanto blade, which is then tucked up under his forearm to avoid attention, "What was that..?"

Simmons waves back to Steve and winces when the static sounds, hunching her shoulders at the same time. "That's enough to put you teeth on edge." she murmurs as she glares at the speakers.

The shriek, and subsequent tray dropping, draws her attention and she hurries to join Steve in checking on the downed woman.

Kara noticed Connor staring at her, a smirk forming at the corners of her lips. Then the weirdness happens and interrupts the music; she had learned a few things in her time on Earth and one of those things was if something seemed messed up? You checked it out.

"I'll go take a peek."

Her heels clicking on the ground as she walks towards the stairs, she begins to focus her vision searching to see who or what is up at the top of those stairs while also taking a scan of the room and building for any oddities or people who seem out of place including the woman who just fell.

Fenris is about to greet Steve and Fitz (whom he has magi-tazed once before) when the speakers emit a truly godawful noise and someone comes tumbling down the stairs. He glances up them, eyes narrowed. Predators don't believe in such coincidences.

As for Steve's drinking… well, if his old friend Loupi were to intervene, it'd probably not be about that. By both French and Norse standards, the man doesn't drink nearly enough, really.

Something feels off. Is it the song being out of key? The shards of glass on the floor? It's hard to tell, just something strange felt in the pit of the stomach, or on the hairs on back of the neck. Other patrons quickly stand at the piercing shriek and the tumbling woman, but Steve is on it and the look around at each other, bewildered, hushed in the wake of such an occurrence. The waitress who just dropped her tray is right beside Steve, leaving the mess right where she left it on the floor. "Jesus Christ, she nearly gave me a heart attack, is she okay?" The woman in question is out cold, though still breathing.

On the balcony, in the dim light, it's possible to see a tall figure. It walks toward the stairwell, though it's movements don't seem like a normal gait - as it turns, it looks far too skinny to be human.

As Booster looks up, though, something more worrying may take up his attention. The chains continue to sway, now more violently as a monstrous creature clutches onto the chains, but soon the ceiling hook cannot bear its weight. Both the light and the creature comes crashing down right in front of Fenris and Connor - practically on top of Zola. Up close, it is a terrifying sight to behold; a bright red beast at least six feet tall, it is built widely like a solid wall, large arms that almost touch the floor, its skin scaly and hard. With a high pitched roar it barrels at the small German doctor.

At the top of the stairs, backlit by the lanterns, the shadowy figure starts to run downward, taking steps three at a time, coming toward those at the bottom with a bellow to match the other creature's call. Panic sets in as the patrons scream and scramble, pushing and shoving to make it out of the speakeasy.

While Zola isn't exactly as fearful or cowering as one would expect from the relatively young looking man, he does know that he doesn't want to lose a second body in as many days especially not with shield around, and not with that little added bonus Widget had shoved into this particular model. He places a single hand down towards the belt of this particular unit, and instead of turning invisible and teleporting about twenty feet the belt just sparks and fizzles leaving him right in the middle of the creatures path. "Gott im Himmel." A sort of frustrated voice echoing the words.

"Listen to me," Steve says calmly to the waitress as he helps the fallen woman to her feet. "Take her in the back. Call 911. Tell them you need an ambulance and, this is important, tell them to notify the SRD. Can you do that for me?" Assuming she agrees, Steve hands the fallen woman off to the waitress and springs upwards to meet the tallish foe, fists ablazing, looking to leap up and strike that dude right in the kisser.

"Um." Michael is pointing upwards, but before he can remark on the creature lurking up there, it is crashing to the floor. First things first; the fleeing patrons have to be protected, so he steps forward and raises his hand. A faintly visible golden forcefield springs up to keep the creature and incoming figure away from the exit, to allow people to flee without getting crushed or eviscerated or anything else that would be gross and messy. Although he is clearly wearing part of his power suit under his street clothes, Michael does not have his weapons on so he starts scrabbling in the messenger bag he has slung by his side, getting his gauntlets out of its depths.

Of course, the one time Connor didn't have his bow and arrows with him would be the time he would need to hit someone from afar. Smirking at the irony of it all despite the chaos of the scene, Connor leaps backwards when the creatures lands near him, his tanto blade being whipped around from it's hidden location along his arm to a forward position. The sight does not horrify the young man, though he didn't expect it. It does however catch him off-guard, and he shouts in a perfect japanese dialect, "Oni!"
Exhaling a deep breath, Connor notices the Nazi in the direct path of this unworldly demon! With incredible agility, the boy attempts to tackle Zola out of the way with his off arm, while his tanto slashes violently in rapid succession at the demon's face!

Of course, the one time Connor didn't have his bow and arrows with him would be the time he would need to hit someone from afar. Smirking at the irony of it all despite the chaos of the scene, Connor leaps backwards when the creatures lands near him, his tanto blade being whipped around from it's hidden location along his arm to a forward position. The sight does not horrify the young man, though he didn't expect it. It does however catch him off-guard, and he shouts in a perfect japanese dialect, "Oni!"

Exhaling a deep breath, Connor notices the Nazi in the direct path of this unworldly demon! With incredible agility, the boy attempts to tackle Zola out of the way with his off arm, while his tanto slashes violently in rapid succession at the demon's face!

"Oh, come off it, Simmons." Fitz may sound annoyed, but he's happy to find his research partner here.

When both of their eyes are drawn toward Solitude Steve, Fitz's eyebrows shoot upward. "Aye, doesn't look 's if he wants any —"

Interrupted by the terrible noise, Fitz winces, then looks about with a slightly haunted look. The moment that lady comes tumbling down, he's producing his StarkPhone and getting on the proverbial, encrypted wire to SHIELD. "I'm calling it in."

Mere moments after finishing the call, the proverbial shit hits the not so proverbial fan. Leo dives beneath the table, StarkPhone in hand, and begins looking about with wide eyes. "…Shit!"

Some few blocks away, a handful of SHIELD agents pile into an unmarked van. As the van goes tearing down the street toward the speakeasy, a group of glowing, yellow spheres go floating past and ahead of it, zipping along the streets. It would appear that Fitz's remote control software is working just fine.

Kara isn't exactly sure what the heck is going on, "«Rao help me.»" She finds herself instinctively muttering an old Kryptonian phrase to herself when she spots the weird demon thing as well something that looks oddly like something scary she saw on the internet.

Running towards the balcony area, she passes by Steve utilizing a bit of speed and calls out, "Have fun with Slenderman." The next moment the young girl is leaping up towards the human shaped figure she had seen.

Fenris plucks his moonsilver necklace off his neck. An instant later he's holding an arming sword in his right hand while he goes for his gale rod with his left. Inside a speakeasy… does not tend to be a place that letting his wolf out works well. Also he prefers to not do it in front of people where at all possible. Well, normal people anway.

Steve and Connor are already going for the demon near the dimunitive young man up front. No need to add a third plade to that just yet.

Instead the Old Wolf snaps his gale rod up in the direction of the bar, lifting several large bottles up and smashing them repeatedly against the ground. The resultant cloud of glass shards is caught up in a vortex and sent flying upwards, over the combatants and then to the nearest demon thing in a swirling, flashing cloud of razor sharp, colorful and ever so slightly booze scented death.

The waitress, wide eye staring at the creature coming right down the stairs toward them is very slow to respond to Steve. Perhaps it's his calm tone or how direct he is in what he needs that gets through to her. With an audible gulp, she nods and warps the unconscious woman's arm around her neck and slowly starts to drag her outside where she can call 911. And whatever SRD is.

The tall creature does not make any sort of swerving motion as it comes tearing toward Steve and Simmons, making it an easy target for the Captain. The punch lands true, socking the grey creature right in the kisser. It stumbles backwards, but in the process, Steve learns that the cracked skin of the being is incredibly hot - so hot that the contact in the punch burns his hand. Glass, however, does not burn and as Fenris' cloud of sharp broken bottles swirls around the intruder. As it cuts the creature, it lets out a howl, its blood spilling onto the floor, where the wood starts to smoke and burn.

On the balcony, Kara finds it a wreck. The couches are smoking, the armchair near the back goes from smoking to being actively in fire just as the Kryptonian reaches it. The human shaped figure is just that - a crispy figure that most likely used to be human, but is now crackling and burning.

Connor yanks Zola out of the way of the angry red beast, managing to catch it in the face with his tanto blade. With a shriek of anger, black blood sprays as it shakes its head and rushes at the pair. It's long arms swing in a heavy, whirlwind, attempting to physically pummel Connor, Booster and Zola while grasping at Connor and the sharp thing that made it bleed.

Booster's shield is able to give the panicking patrons an exit around the rampaging beast and the waitress is the last person out, sirens faintly sounding in the background as the door opens and closes, bringing in gushes of cold air and giving Fitz's glowing spheres a way into the speakeasy.

"Steve! Catch!" Fenris calls out, tossing his arming sword toward the (formerly) Star Spangled man with a plan. It's not a shield, but it's better than a burnt hand.

Zola is yanked out of the way much to his own surprise. The younger looking man trying to play his part to get out of this situation without losing another rather expensive robotic body. The claws slamming right across his face sending him down to the ground again, though there's no blood splatter or anything other then the sound of claws scratching on metal a sound not too dissimilar to nails on a chalkboard.

With his hand still smoldering, and with the skin on the top of his knuckles burned away, Steve grimaces. With his enhanced healing he should be fine long term, provided there's no additional damage other than a superficial burn. But the immediacy of those thoughts is pushed away as he reaches up to catch the sword coming from Fenris.

In one motion, he swings the sword in an upward arch, trying to lop off one of the burning man's arms!

As Booster is pulling on his gauntlets, the wrist bracers clicking into place, he gets sideswiped by the angry creature's swinging fists. He rolls and comes upright, floating a few feet above the floor, looking annoyed but unhurt. As he pulls on his cowl and goggles, Booster lands in front of Zola. He has no idea who this man is, but he is getting clobbered, thus the Man of Gold is going to err on the side of protecting him. Lifting his shining gloved fists at the big, demonic entity, Booster says to it, "Hey, dude." And crackling blasts of golden energy fire from his hands towards the beast.

Once Zola has been removed from harms direct path, Connor is assaulted by the demon-creature! He moves in rapid patterns, dodging, weaving.. blocking and slicing back. He manages to mostly keep the attacks at bay, counter attacking when appropriate, but one good hit gets through, and it sends the boy hurtling around the room into the wall, which splinters under the impact. Connor doesn't instantly get up, feeling the damage that had been done. Taking a heavy deep breath, Connor begins to pull himself up out of the wreckage of the wall.

Those glowing, yellow spheres happen to be FitzSimmons' seeker drones. All eight of them zoom into the speakeasy and begin dispersing themselves into every nook and cranny, scanning the area and its occupants for anything out-of-the-scientific-norm. Data collected by them will be fed right back into Fitz's StarkPhone.

"Simmons!" Fitz scrambles out from beneath his table, headed toward his partner with a hand raised to shield his face. Simmons is all but grabbed by her collar and drug into a nearby booth, where the table will provide cover for them both.

"A quick-response team is on the way," he informs her, before lifting the StarkPhone to observe the findings.

The engineer conveniently omits the part about his QRT coming with a collection of special tools. Based on what his eyes are telling him, they are, once again, dealing with the fantastic. Good thing Fitz has been dabbling in such things, lately.

"I've got it, Fitz…" Simmons propels herself towards said booth with Fitz "This is the last time, I let you convince me to come out anywhere." Slouching down in the booth to take maximum benefit from the table.

Peering over Fitz's shoulder, she reads the findings as well "This is becoming a just another day at the office moment…"

Kara arrives on the upper balcony to find a smoldering corpse and the beginnings of what might be a serious fire. Putting out fires was a tough job, today it looked like she would be filling in for the brave firefighters of New York City.

Frowning at the burned up crispy corpse she sighs, "Of course. Some poor person was up here.."

Taking a deep breath, the young woman inhales a large quantity of air before blowing out a freezing blast of wind over all of the fire and smoke making sure it won't spring back up.

That finished she rushed back towards the stairs so she can help Steve with Slenderman, calling out, "Steve, I forgot to mention! That thing is made of fire beneath the surface or something."

Keening at the multiple cuts across its body, the slender grey creature stumbles forward. It's long arms reach for Steve, making it all to easy for him to use Fenris' sword to cut right through one of them. There is no spray of blood. Instead, it dribbles and then it tumbles down the stairs, smoldering and charring the wood of the floor where it lands. The stairs start to catch on fire, long tongues of flame quickly spreading with the alcohol accelerant. The tall creature looks at its missing arm and then starts to tumble forward, arm reaching to grab at Steve as it falls. The blast from Kara's cold air extinguishes the alcohol fueled fire, leaving the stairs smoking.

Neither pleased nor abated by the hits that the creature are getting on Booster, Zola or Connor, it seems to have worked itself into a frenzy. Not meant for dodging, Connor's blade bites continually into the creature. Before long, it is bleeding from multiple deep cuts. With a wide sweep, it tosses Connor against the wall and then raises both its hands to crash down on Zola in anger, but Booster's blast catches it straight in the chest. In a blur of red, the creature goes flying, crashing into one of the decorative dividers and then into the wall right beside Fitz and Simmons before lying still.

Fitz's seeker drones zoom around the fight, whirring and circling as the music continues to play through warped speakers, hissing and warbling in what sounds like a chant from another world. As they continue their search, Fitz's StarkPhone pings with its initial findings.

Having just come to a stand Zola is smashed to the ground again, however it doesn't seem to damage the robot body very much as it's strength enhancers kick in Zola forcing himself back into a stand, his face slashed open to reveal the admittedly quite horrifying robotics underneath the all too human looking face and other features the eye flickering and flashing as it spins around in the skull. "I am not so easily defeated." screamed out in anger as Zola loses his cool. Catching the hand that had been meant to crush him and trying to rip it out of the creature, eyes begining to glow bright red.

"Why thanks," Steve says looking up towards Kara with a bit of a smirk. "I found out the hard way." Now that the long fiery assailant has fallen down the steps, Steve leaps over the side of them and towards the ground. After landing with a loud smash, he rights himself, looking for a piece of that other goon.

"Oh wow," Booster says, floating in the air again, just a couple of feet above the floor. He still has his arm extended, one fist pointed towards the big creature that is slumped against the wall. "Gosh, I hope I didn't kill it." He sounds genuinely concerned, although he is clearly ready to fire again if he needs to do so. "What is going on?"

Connor finally gets to his feet after fumbling around on the ground trying to find the blade he received as a gift from his great-grandfather. Unknown to him, his hood was knocked down, and he charges back onto the battlefield without a concealed identity! Surprised, Connor lowers his blade, "Are they.. dead?" He asks curiously, his surprisingly innocent looking features shining through. It's no doubt that the hooded figure who had sliced up the demon was hardly out of high-school.

"Right," retorts Fitz, "another day at the bloody office." He turns the StarkPhone toward Jemma when the findings steam in. "What do you make of these bio readings?"

The engineer is cut off when that creature comes crashing into the wall nearby. "OY!" he blurts out, and flinches. "Mother of Christ!!"

Jemmas brow furrows as she looks at the readings "Human, Fitz. They're Human." Checking again, Simmons tries to push past Fitz to get out of the booth, ducking as the creature comes flying "It's human and it's fading. We might be able to save it."

"Not a problem" Kara replies to Steve with a bit of a grin, she totally should have mentioned that earlier; total blonde moment. Staring at the carnage around her she gets ready to do what she did before.

Taking another deep breath she starts exhaling icy breath all over the stairs along with the Slenderman and his missing appendages. She's not entirely sure what's going to happen to the Slenderman, but maybe he'll be frozen on ice for SHIELD.

Speaking of SHIELD she waves to the little bots flying around, giving them a smile since they likely knew who she was anyways. Looking over at Jon she replies, "I think we just got attacked by Slenderman's cousin from Hell and his B-F-F."

The grey cracked creature on the floor stops smoking after the icy breeze coming from Kara. After it's fall, it does not get back up again, remaining on the ground. The red one, slumps, against the wall bleeding. Booster's blast did not kill it, but it certainly is the worse for wear. The already brittle floor warps and splinters as Steve jumps down and moves toward the last remaining creature. Though one of its hands is crushed from Zola's self defensive gesture, as Steve and Simmons come closer, it lifts up the other toward the scientist. Slow, but determined, its hands open and then clench and it leans forward, malice clear in its eyes as it swipes at her, attempting to catch the woman in its crushing grip.

Zola reaches a hand up to his own face realizing the damage, and suddenly goes from a full stop to a sudden run at almost 40 MPH smashing right through the front door of the speakeasy as if it were cardboard, not wishing to have a fight with SHIELD, and the heroes here, but managing to almost smash face first into the shield armored transport.

Steve misses Zola's exit on account of him seeing that the other beast is not quite finished. As it reaches out for the woman, Steve attacks it, taking a wide slashing arc and aiming from shoulder across the body cavity.

Inside his mind is focused, but it's difficult to push away the important questions filing through his head. Who are these strange creatures? He overheard Simmons say they were human, but that's hardly how he would describe them.

"I don't… is that a thing in this era?" Booster wonders, at Kara's summation. He sees Zola bolt away, but this does not concern him—after all, he can hardly blame the guy for wanting to get away after the big creature kept targeting him. Too far away to intercept the creature's arm, he points at Simmons and his glossy golden forcefield appears around her at the speed of thought.

Connor looks about everyone as the do official looking stuff. He puts his blade away after wiping the blood off on a table-cloth. Since no one seemed to be questioning him, he begins to slip out the door all stealthy like.

"Do what you can?" asks Fitz; SHIELD would certainly benefit from a greater understanding of just what, exactly, these creatures are, not to mention where they came from.

Fitz is about to make way for the armored transport outside, when he sees the creature reaching for Simmons. "Jemma!"

But then, Steve and Booster jump to his best friend's rescue and he heaves a sigh of relief. Back to his original plan, he heads outside to rendezvous with the SHIELD Quick-Response Team, so that he might bring in a crash cart and resuscitation kit for Simmons.

Meanwhile, FitzSimmons' seekers continue their rounds. Only this time, the little yellow probes begin searching for signs of trans-dimensional interference.

As the creature reaches for Jemma, she takes a step. Steve attacks and then she's in a protective bubble. "It's quite alright, Fitz." the young biochem calls and she takes another step towards the downed 'thing'. If it doesn't attack again, Simmons' will try to stabilise it long enough to get it back to SHIELD for observation.

Kara was firmly distracted by everything going on to notice the cyber-Zola fleeing, in fact she had noticed the 18 year old with the sword attempting to make his escape. She wouldn't have noticed it, but he was checking her out and it made her suspicious; people had tried to kill her before and it always started THAT way. Zod started off as a creeper to, look where that lead.

"Hey, so um, I'm still new to the Avengers thing but shouldn't we call in like a Code Red, Avengers Assemble or something and find out who that guy with the sword was?" She seems mostly serious..

"I mean seriously, he was staring at me and then he had weapons out of nowhere and now he's running away. VERY suspicious." She crosses her arms over her chest.

Most of those inside Rum Row don't notice Zola's exit, but something certainly happened, as the door is now completely off its hinges. The cold moves the heavy velvet curtain continually now. As the SHIELD transport pulls up to the building, the doctor runs right through it, leaving the twisted and burst metal in the shape of the Hydra symbol.

Inside the establishment, Steve easily cuts through the creature. The arm grasping for Jemma with malcontent, banging against Booster's golden shield slowly slips down the surface until it rests on the floor and twitches before falling still.

Soon, the SHIELD Quick-Response team is swarming into the small space, though, taking stock, carefully packing up the strange creatures that Simmons identified as human and anything else that might serve as evidence. An autopsy and whatever residue it finds in the burnt and broken speakeasy will have to do in hopefully identifying why the seekers thought these creatures were human. Steve is quite correct - that look nothing like a person.

The fight, though brutal, was over in a matter of moments. The Inkspots whisper in a slow and low pitched voice, the speakers warped by fire, smoke and cold, finish the song they started before this all began: "I just want to set a flame in your heart."

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