March 31, 2015: A twisted conspiracy ends up pitting a NYC gang against a mob of mutants in a bloody, racist confrontation over an incoming shipment of Smooth. The altercation brings different vigilantes together, but the end result is a tragedy of its own right, and a victory for HYDRA. (Vulgarity, racism, gruesome violence, drugs)

The Bronx - New York City

The only borough located primarily on the mainland of New York, the Bronx is
the most city-like of all the boroughs. Highrises and heavily travelled
streets mark this area of the city. The sounds of the streets hold a music
influenced by island nations to the south - Puerto Rico, some Cuba, and even
further to the islands of Jamaica.



  • Irish biker gang
  • Johnny McCurbstomp
  • Irish pack leader
  • Black gang members
  • Random assortment of mutants

Mood Music:
"Growin' Up in the Gutter" by Yelawolf feat. Rittz

Chicago, IL
South Side

The growl of motorcycle engines fills the air, assaulting the eardrums with as much ferocity as the stink of burning gasoline fills the nostrils. The bikers are of Irish descent; easy to determine given the prevalence of red hair, strong jawlines and rampant vulgarity. The bikers all wear leather jackets emblazoned with Skull and Crossbones motif, the crossbones however replaced by a pair of green, scaly serpents. In Gothic font, the words 'Ardcheannas Daonna' above and below the insignia, respectively.

The bikers encircle one of their own, a newer recruit to the gang. A 357 Magnum is pressed up against the back of his skull; he's kneeling in the middle of a parking lot, face pressed up close to the cement base of a tall lamp post.

"Oy, ya lil' fuck!" The leader of the pack digs the barrel of his metal beast into the base of the victim's skull, snarling over the imposing din of growling hogs. "Bite the fucking brick, y' lil' betraying arse-fuck!!"

Tears stream down the young man's face, but he begrudgingly bites the proverbial curb. His body begins to tremble. The bikers rev their engines. An angry cheer goes up.

Then, the leader of the pack lifts his leg and brings it down in a ferocious stomp, right into the young man's skull.

- - - - -

The Bronx, New York City

Word gets out pretty quick. It seems the Human Supremacists, an Irish biker gang out of Chicago, put down one of their own. Word is, the fellow spat news to a rival drug lord; the date, time, and route of an incoming shipment of smooth. New York was a hot market for the stuff, ever since it's wildfire of a resurgence into the five boroughs and beyond. A shipment this large is sure to flood the market, but there are others out there who'd like to have it for their own. Supply and demand, after all; smooth junkies have been chomping at the bit to get their fix, for the other stuff that's been out there simply doesn't do the trick.

Word is, something big is going to go down on a particular corner in the Bronx. For those in the know, it's pretty obvious — over the past 45 minutes, a crew of ghetto-ass black dudes have been gathering together on one side of the street, whereas on the other side, a rag-tag group of men and women who, based on their strangely colored eyes, odd dress, and weird body 'modifications', must be mutants.

For passers by? It doesn't take a genius to know that this street corner is a pin prick away from becoming an urban hot zone.

After screwing off to California for a month, Ronnie Hautzig is enjoying some time in Central City with her boyfriend Barry. Or, well, in theory she is. With Barry called away by a work matter, she tagged along for the super-speed trip back to NYC and decided to use it to remind the streets that Eventide is still out there.

Still out there, but wearing a thing over her nose because ~last~ time she went out to fight crime, she got it busted. OOPS. That's really just got her angrier, and she's stalking foreign turf tonight — the Bronx, instead of Manhattan.

As the mob masses and take sides at this particular corner, from a nearby rooftop, Eventide is squatted in the shadows, staring down. This is about to get ugly, she knows it. But she's not going to dive in first and be the one to MAKE it ugly — trying to part these two forces pre-emptively would just set them off.

Nyssa al Ghul is newly arrived on these shores, which means she has a need to take the measure of current events and the balance of power. This drug, in particular, has caught her attention. So when she heard something was building, she made her way to this corner of the Bronx, staking out a rooftop with a view of the building confrontation.

Fancy finding it already occupied.

With her hood up and a veil across her features, she's little more than a shadow herself, watching both the scene below…and Eventide above.

Spearhead is in an alleyway whose coprner conceals most of him from view from those gathered on the street as he leans his head out to watch, an AR ready with one clip of rubber bullets, and a clip of live rounds in a ammo sleve on his vest, in case rubber bullets just don't work.

New York isn't the Fox's usual haunt. He's much more concerned with Gotham which is also where all his contacts are. However occasionally the wider world does impinge on that wretched hive of scum and villany. This is one such case. The Ton-Ton Macoute has been dealing in something that has led the fox-masked man to the Bronx to see if the issue is part of something larger that he and his allies need to be worried about. Like most of the native gothamites, he prefers a birds eye view but the rooftops of New York are unfamiliar.

So he's opted for an actual bird. A glowing, ghostly hawk the size of a horse to be specific, circling high in the air as he peers down.

While gangs gather below, the Winter Soldier dutifully assembles a sniper rifle in an apartment on the human side of the conflict. Its actual occupant is bound and gagged on the living room floor a few feet away with part of a Domino's uniform crumpled on top of him; the pizza is sitting near the Soldier's vantage point, just in case he finds himself in need of a little post-mission nourishment.

He's had something of a trying last few weeks, but none of those mutants seem to be wearing wings on their foreheads or stars on their chests; today should be a breeze, relatively speaking. Just a little bit of routine murder to ease the wheels of progress.

It's probably a good thing that the 'junkie muties' and 'dope-boy niggers' — that's a general understanding of the racially-charged jeers volleyed from both ends of the intersection — are so preoccupied with each other that they aren't looking up. Eventide, Nyssa and Winter Soldier are doubtful to be spotted, but a glowing hawk in the sky would certainly have drawn the eye, if said eyes weren't shooting daggers at each other under the glow of street lamps and traffic lights. Spearhead is also missed; he's chosen his alley wisely.

Verbally, the situation is ugly. It's mounting. However, the two sides seem to have a tense respect for each other. The African American gang is sparing no hesitation in displaying their assortment of black-market arms; the mutants have powers and aren't afraid of showcasing them for the sake of threat. It's a pissing contest at this point, but little more; in spite of the racial slurs that cut deep on each side, neither side is quite ready to unleash the hellstorm.

Not yet.

Not before a pair of large, delivery trucks comes into view, four blocks down the avenue.

At this, the 'dope boys' move into the street, bringing out their firearms for all to see. In the span of two short seconds, this particular block could have turned New York into an open-carry State. Also, the mutants really ought to get their lingo down better; these are 'smooth boys'. They aren't selling dope, even though the comparison is applicable, but c'est la vie. 'Dope Boys' it is.

The 'Junkie Muties' aren't about to back down. They don't advance, either. Some of them turn their eyes upon the approaching trucks, the others are keeping tabs on the Dope Boys.

Guns point toward the mutants. The yelling intensifies. Then, one mutant leans forward and yelps toward the street between the opposing mobs; a shockwave shatters the asphalt, the force of his metahuman voice creating a sizable divot in the street. The first truck veers to avoid getting caught in it, the second slamming on its brakes. Then, in the blink of an eye, the street corner is engulfed in gunfire, plasma darts, oversized fists, impervious chests; the list goes on.

Well, there it goes. Eventide draws in a breath, eyes scanning over the chaos — SHIELD training is useful, identify the most immediately dangerous threats. The guy playing human bowling with his armored bulk probably isn't the most lethal. But the guy with the AK-47…

Eventide drops down from the roof as casually as if she was hopping down from a stoop. She lands in a crouch and rises, seemingly unfazed by the chaos around her. She puts her fingers in her mouth to whistle loudly — just one sound in the chaos. But it gets AK guy to look over.

And that's when Eventide fires her wrist-mounted grappling line directly at his chest. It's no tazer. It'll break more ribs than that. But hopefully it'll get attention.

Ah, excellent. Now Nyssa has an unobstructed view of the chaos below. As Eventide leaps from the rooftop, Nyssa moves to occupy her spot, shrugging a bow from over her shoulder and sighting down into the fight. Though she has no dog in this fight, it's the mutants she seems to be targeting. Or at least, it's a pair of mutants who are the first to sprout red and black feathered shafts from their chests, silent strikes from above.

Addiction is weakness, after all.

Spearhead realizes immediately that he didn't bring a big enough gun. Mutants, He should really have something better if he doesn't want to get stopmed like a bug one of these days…. But he fires the rubber bullets in Semi-auto fire marksmanship at one after another of the 'Dope Boys' aiming at their chests, hich, being ghetto, are most likely bare, empting the 30 rounds, and switching to the FMJ bullets and shoots the stronger of the members of the mutant group, hopeing that this hurts enough to subdue, and not kill, but also not simply piis them off and draw attention to himself…. he didn't dring a silencer for this gun, and now he wishes he had…

The hawk swoops low, depositing its rider on a rooftop across the street before pulling up and vanishing entirely. Out comes crossbow from behind his back, the arms snapping out fromwhere they'd been folded in. And out comes one of the Fox's concussive bolts. Thunderbolts, he likes to call them, charged with elemental force (so he thinks) they burst with a boom and a blast wave like to deafen a man and put him on his tail. Three of them zip out of the night toward the gunmen in short order. A trio of cracks rips through the staccato sound of gunfire, interrupting it momentarily as the blasts scatter and disorient, if not outright fling unfortunates too close to them a short distance.

Of all the loudmouthed mutants occupying the corner, one in particular took it upon himself to kick things off; this immediately marks him as a target, if only because the Winter Soldier would rather not deal with the possibility of having his building brought down around him if that guy turns the wrong way.

He waits until the street begins to erupt to actually make a move, though; the mutants are, he figures, less likely to question someone dropping dead from a bullet through the eye when everyone's already shooting at everyone else.

Sure, the screamer's facing away from his window by the time he slides the barrel out and squeezes off a round, but he's going for an eye all the same. A second of surveying the battle later, he shifts ever so slightly to the right and tries to put a round through another mutant's arm to keep him from melting a gangster's face off, then draws his gun back and sinks out of view.

He caught flashes of light lancing down to disrupt the gangsters, and he thought he saw a marine, or perhaps an overly cautious police officer shooting some of them; it'll be a little while before he's ready to take another peek outside to confirm additional hostiles, though.

The AK-47-wielding 'Dope Boy' gets the pain, but a life of growing up in the ghetto toughened him up. A lot. He cries out, while crumpling, and unloads a barrage of rounds Eventide's way.

Nyssa's arrows find their mark. Though she remains stealthful in her perch, it certainly drew some attention. There's some chaos from the mutants around the two; one looks in the general direction of Nyssa's building and hisses. Little flecks of fire fly from her mouth, seemingly harmless; but then, an intense heat washes over Nyssa's location, melting the brick on the wall beneath her and rising.

Spearhead goes to town. A number of the 'Dope Boys' go down, while some of the 'Junkie Muties' are caught by the well-placed rounds, incapacitated.

Kane's Thunderbolts have an impressive effect, flatting a number of the 'Dope Boys' to the street, scattering the others.

Winter Soldier couldn't have held a more precise aim. Melting mutie's arm gets shredded, and Loud Mouth's eye becomes a lethal skull wound. All in all, the effect only serves to throw the warring mobs into pandemonium; blood begins filling the streets all the faster.

- - - - -

South Side - Chicago, IL

"So, it's done?"

"Yeah. Johnny spilled the beans. Ain't got no teeth no more, 'cept the ones shattered up in his skull."

"Send some flowahs to his moddah. At Genarah Hospital. It's de decent thing to do."

"Right." The leader of the pack peered toward the shadowy figure with the strange accent. "You gonna handle shit with the Big Apple?"

White teeth appear in the shadow, grinning. "Big Appah's handled."

- - - - -

The Bronx, New York City

The two trucks come within inches of hitting each other. Their drivers take cover, brandishing semi-automatics in case their precious cargo becomes a target. Before they can act, however, one after the other, their faces are surrounded by black smoke, choking the life right out of them.

During all of the pandemonium, no one thought to seek out the leader of the 'Dope Boys'. There is one, in point of fact, and he's seated in a BMW two blocks down the road, windows tinted beyond legal limits, engine silent. Behind the tinted glass, he scowls and withdraws a cell phone, eyeing an incoming SMS message. Then, his engine roars to life, and the BMW begins tearing toward the battle, lights off.

"Shit!" That's Eventide's battle cry as she's hit with a stray bullet or two — they tear her costume but don't rend her mostly-invulnerable flesh. It's while she's knocked by the gunfire that she sees the flash of Winter Soldier's rifle shot in the corner of her eye — again, SHIELD training, it's the best. "Dammit," she curses, severing her grappling line and looking over — at arrows sticking into mutants next to her. "What the…" She's trying to figure out who's setting up who, exacty.

Eventide grabs one of the arrows — dead mutant won't need it — and hooks it in her belt. She'll check it for identifiable qualities later. That's when the BMW starts heading toward the fight — and Eventide doesn't want his battle getting even messier with people being crushed under tires, in addition to being shot by snipers and stuck with arrows. So she runs AT the BMW, head on — and when she gets close enough her plan is to jump at it, elbows out, seeking to put herself through its windshield to put a stop to the driver before he can run too many folks over.

As the brick melts beneath her, Nyssa darts across the rooftop, leaping to a gutter, to a windowsill, to a fire escape. As soon as she has something resembling steady footing, she fires more arrows into the fray. Targets are irrelevant, but that simply means she has the luxury of taking the shots that amuse her - including one for the mouth of the fire breather, and another when one of the mutants looks her way.

Once her feet hit the pavement, she's moving toward the most sheltered of the trucks, intent on acquiring a sample of whatever it is that's motivated a full block to turn to war.

Spearheads HUD lights up, 'Surrpressed fire detected' and an arrow points into the general direction it picked it up. Spearhead scans the building, and he spots a brass casing from a shell on the window sill, Spearhead puts one and one together, and he rushes the building, kicking down the door and rushing nup the stairs to the floor and room he saw the shell from the sill in. he closes in on the doorway, if it's opened, he pies the corner, if it's closed, he preps a flash bang, and kicks in the door, throwing the flashbang inside before rushing in….

Spearhead's HUD might light up once or twice more after the Winter Soldier gives himself a second or two to rescan the field.

Gangsters are dying. Mutants are dying. Some woman is trying to elbow drop a car. The cop, or soldier, or soldier-cop is running towards him.

The Soldier frowns; he's a few floors up, so he gives himself a few seconds of relatively free time in which to support HYDRA's allies in the community by squeezing off a couple of suppressed rounds towards the leaping Eventide. She's moving, and he's a bit pressed for time; it's not his best work, but if she's crazy enough to throw herself at a moving vehicle, even slowing her down would likely be appreciated by the man in the BMW.

After that, he darts into the bedroom, which is around the corner and a couple steps down a short hall from the entrance. When Spearhead eventually breaches and his introductory flash cleares, he'll find a rifle propped up in the window and the apartment's occupant, writhing on the ground with blood streaming from his ear. His head is kind of, sort of twitching towards that hall, but he's doing so much flopping around right now; it's not the clearest message.

Whether or not Spearhead catches the warning, the Soldier marches out of the bedroom as Spearhead rushes in and lunges at the detective in an effort to cinch an arm and wrap cold steel around his neck. His ears are ringing, but he doesn't need to hear Mikial to choke him out.

The driver of the BMW winces when Eventide comes right at him. He yanks the wheel, hoping to miss the costumed vigilante, but in the process manages to fire his high-beams. They're after-market, the kind that burn a bright glowing blue, annoying to other drivers. They're also a beacon for the 'Dope Boys'. A message.

En masse, the 'Dope Boys' turn tail and head for the proverbial hills. This is their turf, and they know the alleys well. As they go, there's an occasional 'pop!' as they take out their own who can't run but haven't yet been killed. Leave none alive for those NYPD pigs to interrogate.

Nyssa's going to get her fill and then some. Once the black smoke is finished with the drivers, it seeps out between the cracks in the doors. The smoke briefly solidifies into the shape of a man clad entirely in gunmetal gray; the back door of the first truck is popped, and bags of smooth begin to fall out upon the pavement. Dark powder flecked with scaly, luminescent blue spots; it's smooth, alright, and the price tag is hefty. When the bags hit the road, some of them burst open, filling the air with a fine powder that really ought not be inhaled unless one wants a vicious addiction, mutant or not.

The figure transforms to smoke again, soaring toward the second of the trucks, where he seems intent upon doing the same.

As soon as the smooth hits the street (literally), the mutants no longer care about what's happening. Some of them want an armful for themselves; others want to destroy what they can get their hands on. One thing's for sure; the narcotic's very existence seems to have bolstered the mutants to exert their need or ire upon such an inanimate object, rather than the retreating 'Dope Boy' gang.

The car swerves, and Eventide swerves, and as she swerves a bullet whizzes by her ear. If things weren't so fluid on the ground, Winter Soldier would have taken her head off handily. But that's just the luck of the draw for you.

Almost getting her face blasted into a sloppy joe takes Eventide's mind off of the BMW, and in that moment it gets away — she goes to grab hold and just ends up ripping part of the bumper off. Not even a license plate to go with it. And then the junkie free-for-all and Eventide is left confused and very, very angry. "FUCK!" she screams, throwing the bumper to the ground in a super-strong ragefit.

And so it is that a truly pissed-off Eventide starts to stalk towards the junkie dogpile.

Nyssa's veil has more than one purpose, and right now, as she dives through the clouds of Smooth, she's grateful for the extra protection across her nose and mouth. Ducking low, she scoops up a small bag of the stuff before making her escape toward another dark alley. A few mutants who try to interfere, thinking the smooth she already holds an easier target than that in the piranha pit of the main stash, are tossed out of the way with casual ease…despite the sound of bones breaking and joints popping with each expert blow.

It takes Spearhead a brief moment to catch the warning, and turns just in time to see the metal fingers wrap around his neck, and half emits a gurgleing sound of surprise, and bit of a, "Ghhhhg" gurgling sound. He drops the AR and pulls out a .45 semi-auto handgun, firing it into the metal shoulder thats grasping him, weather or not it works, to be seen, and hopefuly he'll have enough air to figure out and change aim if it has no effect…

The begoggled Winter Soldier's fingers tighten as he watches Spearhead pull a gun… and immediately point it towards his shoulder and fire.

Lead *ptang!*s off of forged steel; the Winter Soldier's eyes flick to the dark marks left behind.

All things considered, that was pretty much a freebie; best not to waste the opportunity Mikial's given him.

Cybernetics softly whirr as his torso twists and he hurls Spearhead across the apartment like a ragdoll. He's aiming, generally, for the window, but it's kind of obstructed. All he really wants is some breathing room as he darts out of the apartment, though; whether Mikial is inside or out is kind of irrelevant next to that. He can vaguely tell that the situation outside has simmered down to something mildly less apocalyptic, so between that and his discovery, his supporting role in the conflict is, as best as he can tell, over.

Before he's completely out of the apartment's line of sight, a smoke grenade sails over his shoulder and clatters across the floor, just in case Mikial is still in there.

The mutants are now yelling at each other. Its a frenzy; though, as fate would have it, bags of Smooth are being torn open left and right. The preferred delivery method may be intravenous, but insufflation works just as well, and one by one, the mutants who intended to destroy it are getting nosefull after nosefull. Making fresh addicts out of would be heroes. The blue-flecked powder fills the air; getting close without a mask will be dangerous.

Fortunatelly, Nyssa is able to escape with her little bag of goodies. While Spearhead and Winter Soldier duke it out, the figure of smoke reforms one more time, at a safe distance. Masked up and almost completely encased in gunmetal gray, Shift looks around at the bodies of African American men and boys turned thugs, his own African lips curled into a distasteful frown. A snarl forms next, and the man begins to disassemble his body into hundreds of vicious insects, their mutated mandibles gnashing at everything in sight. Leave no traces behind seems to be the name of the game, and the little beasties seem to have a vicious appetite for those of the fallen 'Dope Boys', whether they be dead or alive.

The BMW races out of sight, just as the last of the living 'Dope Boys' disappear into their nooks and crannies. Their job here was done.

The glittering clouds are enough to make Eventide get her rebreather out of her utility belt — it'll keep her from getting too messed up but she's already a little fuzzy in the corners of her eyes. One of the mutants is cast aside in the frenzy, and the now-fully-masked Eventide is there to grab him by the lapels and lift him off of the ground. Her goggles offer no view of her eyes — it's like Girl Bucky up in here. "What the fuck was all that?" she rasps through the air filter — even masked, her tone is clearly not a lighthearted, jerk-me-around one.

Nyssa is gone into the shadows, a ghost in the wind. Later, she'll send the sample to people who are more familiar with such things. For now, though, she simply retreats, not stopping until she's found a spot dark and hidden enough to allow her to watch how it all unfolds without being at risk herself.

Spearhead is thrown, to his surprise, and he quickly takes in a breath. He, however, finds it knocked back out of him as hits the sill of the open window. He lands on his stomach, legs out of the window, and his head hits the wall under the window hard, with a loud *THUD*. His gun has been flung, too, and it hits the wall next to him, and is set off by the impact, fireing a shot just in front of Spearhead's face, making a hole in the floor. Spearhead manages to pull himself back into the room just as he is engulfed with smoke. he quickly switches his helmets HUD to IR, but the metal armed man is nowhere to be seen. Spearhead grunts frustratedly, and angrily spits some blood out of his mouth that managed one way or another to find itself in his mouth.

He looks around, and spotting the warm outline of the barrel of his pistol and AR, picks them up and slings the larger of the two acroos his back, then quickly leaves the room, his gut defiant of him straightening up, he finds his wauy back down, stopping on the second floor, and takes a look out side to get an Idea of what happened out there…

The Winter Soldier heads for the roof. There's a grappling device in his pocket, but he mostly means to use it for making the trip to the ground quicker; SRD drones make a rooftop escape risky at best.

As soon as he makes it outside, he draws the metal wand and heads for an edge overlooking an alley. He jumps, the line is sent towards a fire escape on the opposite building, and then it sharply retracts and draws him in to cling to the metal structure.

A breath later, he lowers himself to the ground, pockets the wand, then slides the goggles off while briskly walking away from the race for smooth.

"You don't know?" The mutant in Eventide's clutches rages at her with his words alone. "Those bastards want to get us all hooked! It's a man against mutant war, and they're using this shit to do it!" The man tries to struggle against her, but the effects of the Smooth hit hard and fast. He slackens in her clutches, eyes going loopy, and with a relieved sigh he slumps against her, smiling. "Ohhhh… man. They're… dirty sons of bitches but… whoooaaahh… holy… shit…!"

There seems to be a common trend amongst the mutants, who by and large are all getting high as fuck, whether they wanted to or not. Talk of a race war between humans and mutants is rampant. There's a lot of hatred, a lot of bitterness, even talk of a conspiracy. If such a thing is true, then for whomever is behind all of this, it may be one part of a greater plan.

One of the retreating 'Dope Boys' happens to be lurking along in the same alley as Nyssa. He's got a pre-paid phone up to his ear, and is jabbering quietly into it. "Yeah man, whole thing went off, lotta niggaz dined on some shit tho'. Tough in these streets, dog, but that's the Bronx, ma-fucka'. We put it to them muties, bitch! Got the whole thing on the clutch. Yeeeah man, we gon' be dinin' on mad chedda for the next decade, bitch!"

Back on the square, the mutated insects continue to devour the fallen gang bangers until there's little left, especially in the way of teeth and identifying cards. Its fairly gruesome, though a keen eye may make note that the insects seem to have an appetite far greater than their bodies should be able to take.

Sirens are on the proverbial horizon, both the distinct cry of NYPD and the menacing whine of SRD. A bit slow to respond though, even in this neighborhood…

Eventide wants to interrogate the mutant she grabbed further, but he collapses into his narco-coma, and she's a little woozy on her feet herself — but she feels good, actually, everything really feels good and mostly just great. Oh. Oh, wow.

Eventide follows a cockroach-man mutant skittering into an alley with bags of smooth in his gross cockroachy arms. As Eventide quietly follows, drawing on years of training, she unfolds a baton. One crack to the cockroach skull later and she's got her own bag of smooth and she's clambering up a fire escape. She needs to call this in, or something, actually thinking is a little foggy, that whole, you know, thing.

Getting paid for dumping the goods on the street. Now that's worthwhile information. As the sirens come closer, Nyssa melts back into the shadows and down the alley herself. New York. What an interesting place.

Spearhead looks at the spektical below, and turns on the Oxygen system in his helmet, and makes it down the rest of the way, hand on his guts, and makes tracks, he doesn't need to be anywhere near here when authorities start showing up. he makes off as fast as he can, hunched over slightly and shaking his head at the sight of the whole scene. he dissappears into the night.

When the authorities arrive, it's a meat grinder. A bunch of mutilated bodies, and a slew of mutants high on smooth. There are many who have claimed that decriminalization would win the War on Drugs, but as far as the authorities are concerned? Smooth in your system equals Miranda Rights, and the mutants are too high and too powerless to do a damned thing about it. It's a shame, really.

The insects, having skittered off into the gutters, reform into Shift again, somewhere deep in the bowels of New York's sewers. Removing the mask reveals black orbs where silver eyes used to be. A man speaks to the Ghanaian from the shadows. "Well done, Shift, well done."

Shift opens his mouth, speaking with a guttural voice that isn't entirely his. "Hail… HYDRA."

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