A Bad Weather Night

Summary:
February 25, 2015: Acting on intelligence from Agent Argyle/Keeper, the Winter Soldier attempts to break Fracture out of S.H.I.E.L.D. detention.

S.H.I.E.L.D. Satellite Detention Facility, Slaughter Swamp

Slaughter Swamp: Where discerning Gothamites go to hide the bodies.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


SOME TIME AGO

"She's being held in an off-site SHIELD detention facility." Agent Emmett Argyle née Sasha Aleyev gives the address, easily, evenly, without any ambiguity. "Security is…" he shifts in his bonds. "…manageable. I would strike between three and four AM on a bad weather night. That is when there is a shift changeover. This time of year, the next shift is often a few minutes late. With the poor weather, sometimes others leave early. A distraction at the main gate, followed by a loading dock infiltration would be your best strategy."

NOW

It's 3:29 AM and 10 degrees Fahrenheit with an oppressive wind chill factor around the detention facility where Veruca Anastasia Glass is being held. Even for a prison, it's isolated: located a ways outside of Gotham in the colorfully named Slaughter Swamp, the long road winding through the marshlands and connecting it to the main road out of the city is about the only piece of civilization for miles.

So the covered pick-up rumbling towards the prison at this time of morning? Kind of an anomaly. The driver is closing in on 50, at least, and looks as if he's been up for a while between his blood-shot eyes and half a dozen coffee cups littering the cab. He was supposed to bring the lone crate riding in the back to a place and then just sort of leave it there, no looking inside; no questions.

Your basic Gotham City odd job, in other words; this would be his first time doing this kind of thing in a marsh, though. Definitely his first time at a— complex of some kind; a military barracks? A school?

A prison?

The driver squints at the building looming ahead of him when he isn't rubbing his eyes; ultimately, the fact that the weird, monotone guy who offered him the gig also offered him a wad of cash on the spot for it outweighs the weirdness of the destination.

Meanwhile, the Winter Soldier is nestled in a tree a safe distance away from the facility, a thick coat and scarf wrapped around his uniform and binoculars at his eyes as shits his attention between the front of the facility, the stretch of road leading up to it, and the loading area.

-

Coincidentally, Steve happens to be staying at the barracks and for once since the day he was melted from the ice, he's sleeping well. Nuzzled underneath a large comforter, the cold doesn't bother him. He is set to wake up not long from now and to make the trip across the water to Metropolis to check in with the JL:A.

Earlier this evening, he'd been putting new recruits through the gauntlet, teaching them the tricks he had, talking shop and strategy, and working them out like Bear Bryant on a summer day in College Station, Texas. The small platoon is most likely sleeping heavily as well.

-

Trying to infiltrate someone like SHIELD, well..that just takes a lot of nerve. Among other things, most of which people tend to not possess. The Division may not have every scrap of information regarding the attempt on Veruca tonight but they do know enough. Argyle had been something of a chance but it seems that their attempted lure is doing the trick nicely.

"Ma'am, perimeter activity has been observed two kliks out."

Within the prison's control room are a few extra hands, including the Assistant Director. She's looking..detached this morning. Perhaps a little too confident about how things have been playing out.

"All teams in position?"

"Yes, Ma'am."

"Then we sit pretty until our boy comes knocking. No false positives, I want this done fast and clean."

The details which Argyle wouldn't have known about include boosted security. Sniper teams, extra guards, and a carefully organized route meant to funnel their mark right into their grasp. The first move is for their Russian friend to make, but once he moves against a SHIELD facility…

There were other reasons to have Captain America assigned out here tonight. Extra support, all without the need to share higher level intel. "Zimmer, kindly go get Rogers. It would appear that all is not well in the kingdom today."

-

It's a waiting game all around. While the truck closes in on the facility, the Winter Soldier occupies himself with studying what he can see of the place through the trees; a little more guard activity than expected for a supposed shift change, but given the presence of at least one high-risk prisoner, this is not entirely unreasonable. Certainly not enough to call the whole thing off, though he does consider some adjustments to his projected timetable as he waits.

The driver's job is actually pretty easy, meanwhile: all he has to do is drive until he can't drive any longer, be questioned by the guards, let them search his vehicle, and draw attention to the front of the facility when it turns out that that crate he's been hauling around is stuffed with Soviet guns and explosives.

He probably should've taken a peek inside the box before going through with this run, but that just isn't the way things are done— and what would Gotham or any other place be without its rules?

Whenever contact is made - wherever it's made, whether the driver makes it to the gates or is intercepted somewhere ahead of them - the Soldier holds his attention on the truck long enough to figure out whether or not he's got a window; if the bait is taken, he'll clamber down from his perch and commence darting through the trees towards the loading area, an assault rifle bouncing against his back.

-

"Cap?"

"Mmm?" Steve awakens just a tad groggily and shifts over in bed.

"The Deputy Director wants you up."

Steve nods and gives a slow, long exhale before he sits up in bed. "Of course she does. What's the word?"

"She'd rather talk to you herself."

"Got it. I'll be there in four."

*

It's about 3 minutes and 30 seconds later when he arrives in Hill's presence, his mouth smelling like the alcohol in mouthwash with a touch of mintiness. "Got something?"

-

A crate full of guns and explosives draws attention just about anywhere, particularly at a prison. As a distraction it works like a charm, the front gates are where the truck stops and where the commotion begins.

"Ma'am, there's a truck at the gate full of-"

"Diversion," Hill flatly replies around the top of her cup of coffee. "Let the normal security kids handle it as they would, I want a bigger fish cooking on the grill tonight."

"But the truck's loaded down with-"

"If it isn't carrying something that's set to detonate, release any NBC agents, or create a space-time rift, then I don't need to hear about it. -It's a diversion.- All additional teams are to stay sharp and -not- move in."

Now there's plenty of radio chatter going on around the facility. From the Winter Soldier's perspective it would seem pretty darned ideal.

When Rogers steps in Hill finally glances upward, her feet kicked up onto a desk as if it's the most boring morning in all of the world. "Morning, Rogers. It would appear that someone from the Motherland has sent us all some gifts. In all likelihood we're about to get a visit from someone who's not on the guest list. I'd like for them to stay for a while, there's much that we have to discuss."

-

"I-I-I didn't— " the driver stammers as a SHIELD agent helps him out the cab and against the side of the truck with his arms and legs splayed. "— it ain't mine, it's— some guy, he gave it— I mean— he left it in my truck…"

There is a visible bulge around the wad of bills in his jeans pocket; it's a little over a thousand dollars.

While the driver works on his story, the Soldier dashes towards the facility as quickly as he can manage while keeping a fairly low profile. The binoculars come up once or twice as he closes in on the loading dock, just to check for unexpected hostiles; inside information is hardly proof against the unwanted surprises, after all. An guard in a place where they aren't 'supposed' to be can easily ruin a plan— particularly one involving a global intelligence organization and a super-terrorist that was pieced together with intel from a double-agent.

Once he's out of the trees, he's faced with getting past the compound's walls; the wand-shaped grappling device he pulls from his belt should - he hopes, anyway - make getting from the ground to the top of the wall(or into an unoccupied tower; he isn't picky) relatively painless as long as there aren't any guards lurking back there.

Unless there's a current running through some part of it, or something, in which case he'll probably have to break out the EMP a little earlier than he'd have liked to.

-

"The target?"

Cap says as he calmly looks down and begins to pull on his brown gloves. "I'll go cut him off wherever you think he's headed." He pulls the flaps shut on the gloves and reaches for his helmet, which has been strapped to his belt. From there, he grabs his shield.

"Normal frequency? Give me whatever intel you have on the way."

-

As soon as details on the break-in/break-out attempt had begun to emerge Hill had made a point of not changing up the usual routines for those stationed at the prison. It's times like this where a little spy training comes in handy, and she's no slouch on that front. Winter Soldier's intel should prove to be holding up quite well so far. Any obstacles he might come across are ones which he probably already knows about. Nothing had been changed which might spook the guy into aborting his mission.

With Captain America's inquiry Hill thrns a datapad around to show him a less than ideal picture of Winter Soldier. Then with a nod, she confirms "Normal freq."

"We've got a thermal ping at the southern wall."

"Just the one?"

"Just the one, Ma'am."

As Cap heads out Maria switches over to comms. "Intel's sketchy, all we know is that he's making a move on our pal Veruca. Whether they're working together or he's being paid to bust her out we can determine later. Let him breach the interior, if he's going to be foolish enough to pull this stunt then we may as well let him do all of the work for us."

That he's willing to ditch a pile of guns and explosives simply as a diversion, however… There's some serious money at stake here. What links this guy to Fracture?

-

As soon as he makes it to the top, the Winter Soldier uses the grapple wand to help him rappel down the other side, then tucks it into his belt and begins working his way towards the loading area, moving through shadows and between cover points whenever and wherever there isn't a patrol coming to screw everything up. Whenever he arrives at the door, his next move will be to slip inside— whether that means shorting a keypad, melting through a lock with a focused burst of current, or tearing the thing off its hinges if he can't find a subtler way inside.

If he does get in, he'll start heading in the general direction of the cell block, but his first actual stop will be an armory— one of the ones that a guard responding to an incident in the cell block might be likely to pass.

-

Captain America frowns.

"I know that man," he says ominously.

Cap bolts from the room and takes the back way towards the cell block. If the Winter Soldier is coming to get Fracture, that's all well and good. He's going to have to go through Captain America before he does so. And he's going to have to listen to Steve talk as well.
-

The armory would seem like the best way for a person to arm themselves from inside of a prison. Guns can be had and it's so much easier to sneak inside without lugging so much extra equipment around. Though, such a matter also tends to not merit much thought. When a gun is desired and a gun is found, a gun is taken.

In this instance it also happens to be unloaded. The exterior details remained true to form, but once the focus happens to be indoors it's a whole different game. One which Hill had a hand in organizing. It's entirely possible that some of the guards themselves had been patrolling this morning without any bullets in their rifles without ever realizing it. A risk, but one she had been willing to make.

She had also taken the time to put Veruca into a different cell, located elsewhere within the prison. Just in case someone uninvited happened to make it that far inside. Chances are that few, if any, of the other agents here are aware of this fact as well.

'Need to know basis.' Words she likes to live by.

"Is this going to be a problem, Rogers?" she inquires. "If there's any reason why you won't be able to do what needs to be done then I'd appreciate it if you told me now. Otherwise, go introduce his face to your shield so we can all go back to sleep."

-

Getting armed isn't such a concern for the Winter Soldier, who was willing to deal with lugging some equipment along; nestling a grapefruit-sized, remote-controlled explosive drawn from under his coat in with a rack of guns is.

Once that detour is handled, he resumes running towards what he's certain is the cell block; all he really has to go on for the layout of the place at this point is what he can remember of Argyle's hand-drawn map, but so far, it's been good to him. As he nears his target, the rifle is pulled around to bounce against his chest, ready to be brought to bear against any patrols encountered along the way. The driver must have been dealt with by now; the quiet portion of the morning is rapidly drawing to a close.

After a series of twisting corridors and a trip down a stairwell, he finally steps into a dimly lit hall lined with heavy metal doors… and there's someone at the end of the hall. The gun barrel is leveled towards the lone guard in an instant as tightly calibrated reflexes kick in, his finger curls against the trigger…

… and then, he notices the white star on the other man's chest; cold brown eyes briefly widen in shock before narrowing as he swallows hard.

He'd prepared for every eventuality he could think of, but him? He is not even a little bit ready.

That lack of preparation is probably why it takes him a couple of seconds to finally squeeze the trigger— or perhaps why most of the bullets bounce off of the walls and ceiling as he sweeps the gun in a broad, faintly desperate arc meant to clear the hall.

-

The bullets ricochet all over the hallway, but as they do Steve is sitting safely behind the shield. This is all about defense; he's not even armed with a weapon other than the large piece of vibranium. As the gunfire dies down, Steve's voice is loud enough to be heard at the end of the hallway.

"I can't let you take her, Buck," Steve says in a voice that Barnes has heard hundreds of times in the past.

"This isn't you."

-

So far so good, or so it seems up in control. "Bravo and Delta, stay sharp for any sign of reinforcements," Hill radios in before thinking to herself "Is this guy really doing this all on his own?"

She had even been content to let things play out their natural course up until the sound of gunfire can be heard in the distance, muffled through the heavy concrete walls. This gets her feet off of the desk and back down to the floor. "Dammit. Alpha, move in! Shut him down now!"

Part of the dilemma with keeping things nice and discrete is that her fire support isn't right around the corner. They have to come out of hiding, close the distance, -then- close in on their mark. Captain America's going to have a few moments alone with the Winter Soldier, though reinforcements are on the move.

"Lock this place down, Frederick. Leave room for Alpha to get into position, nothing else in or out." Rogers can handle himself for a few more seconds.

-

He isn't yelling and throwing punches like the last time the Winter Soldier saw him; this actually makes his presence harder to deal with, because there's no violence to respond to in kind. Nothing to resist, nothing to keep him from focusing on the voice that stirs something dead and buried within him. The gun doesn't move an inch after that first fusillade, but neither does his trigger-finger; it just grazes along the metal as the former special forces soldier lets out a slow, shuddering breath and tries to remember why he's here.

He needs to find Fracture.

Fracture, who offered to help him exorcise the red, white, and blue ghost before him.

Fracture, who is somewhere behind one of these doors; he might be able to tear one free, but which one?

"You don't know me," he growls before breaking into a sprint towards Steve, yanking the weapon up over his head as he moves. The weapon is chucked behind him, and the coat follows after a few more steps, ripped free in one quick motion from his left arm; a couple steps later, he's close enough to lunge at the Sentinel of Liberty, cybernetic arm cocked back and ready to be dropped on his helmeted head like a sledgehammer.

"Fracture!" he exclaims mid-leap, trying to figure out which cell is hers.

-

Steve gets low and braces himself for Bucky's attack towards the top of his head. He brings the shield up over himself, relying on the vibranium to dissipate the massive strike from his best friend. He struggles, but tries to deflect the shot and put Bucky into the wall as he tries to talk to him more.

"Your name is James Buchanan Barnes. You're from Indiana, at least originally. And you're my best friend."

-

Fracture is within the complex, though not where the Winter Soldier is expecting her to be. The building itself might take some damage but that much can be repaired. Letting what amounts to a dangerous wild animal into the home brings with it certain risks, after all.

Right now all Hill can do is switch over to the nearest camera feeds and watch the action unfold from her vantage point, blessedly safe but also limited in her reach.

"There'll be time to talk later, Rogers. -Put him down- before someone gets hurt!"

-

The Winter Soldier hits the wall high and half slides down, half bounces off of it on his way down to a three-point stance. His breathing's coming in rapid bursts, thanks to both the strike and the circumstances; his eyes are hidden behind goggles, but Steve can probably tell that they're focused on him with laser intensity.

"James… Buchanan… Barnes…" he repeats, each word pushed from his lips between breaths and sending waves of sickness and anger radiating through his body.

"… is… DEAD!"

As his tone abruptly shifts, he draws a knife from his hip and hurls it at Steve's leg so quickly that his arm becomes a silver blur; afterwards, he pushes himself to his feet, fleshy arm loosely wrapped around his torso as he rises… until he's actually upright, at which point it lowers and he charges at Steve again.

-

The knife buries itself into Cap's leg, burrowing deep into his thigh. He grits his teeth in anger—his strong muscles usually prevent him from giving knife wounds much thought, but this one is far different with the velocity.

But Cap knows he doesn't have time to bleed, so to speak. As Bucky leaps towards him, Steve tries to use his momentum against the young man from Indiana and deliver a forceful stamp with his shield towards Bucky's head. His hope is to knock his friend unconscious. "Bucky is not dead," Steve says from behind his shield.

-

Now's when the hallway gets blocked off by armed and armored agents, taking up defensive positions in order to keep from accidentally firing upon their own. That kind of stuff leads to an awful lot of paperwork, usually followed by some loss of ranks.

With the knife thrown and finding its mark within Captain America they forgo any warnings about dropping to the floor and surrendering. As Winter Soldier comes flying for Cap one of the other agents snaps his weapon up and takes a shot, immediately filling the hall with a brilliant electric blue flash as an arc from an amped-up taser is sent after Bucky.

Quality stuff, useful for dropping powered individuals in a hurry. Sometimes. When it works.

-

The shield, taser, and Steve's insistence all hit at about the same time.

Suffice it to say, the seconds that follow are profoundly painful; for the Soldier, they feel like hours full of burning and convulsing in a semi-conscious haze before finally collapsing on the cell block floor.

The last thing he sees before his head drops and he slips into dreamless sleep is the star— or, rather, a constellation of stars, all swirling drunkenly in and out of one another in their ocean of blue.

-

As the Winter Soldier goes down the other agents cautiously approach, weapons held at the ready.

One of the others further back calls out "Nice shot, Kane."

"Alpha team, target is down."


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