|What: A pleasant day of window shopping is ruined by covert operatives sent to apprehend Jackie 'The Darkness' Estacado.|
Jackie isn't always a bad guy. In fact, a good portion of the time he's just a guy, and today he's a guy shopping for new clothes, namely a thicker coat as his last trench was burned through with holes by that Thor jackwad, not to mention winter is approaching and it's New York. Winter's aren't generally gentle. A pair of jeans, street boots, and a simple black suit coat cover his torso, a pair of sunglasses resting on his face to help cut the glare of the sunny day. Sue him if you want, but bright sunlight has been a problem for awhile for him. Beneath is a bright pink t-shirt that snugly hugs his torso, black letters on the shirt say 'Don't laugh. It's your girlfriend's shirt.' to anyone caring to read. The coat isn't buttoned up and so when the wind blows right it's easy to see the shoulder rig he carries, the sort fit for a cop or what have you. He pauses and peers into the window of a clothing store and eyes it's contents. He sighs softly. Sunny days. Uncomfortable for his eyes, but it's just about the only time he can't hear the Voice, feel it's presence in his mind. It's like a mini vacation!
Sue Storm is also window shopping. She doesn't really NEED anything, but she's got a day off from volunteering and not much else to do. So she's enjoying the sunshiney day and contemplating buying Johnny a new coat for Christmas. He accidentally burned the last one. Superboy has been coming to New York a lot recently, mostly due to super secret reasons to do with a certain super secret team of super secret super heroes. Still, he doesn't really have a job so the idea of going shopping doesn't really occur to him. And when he's around, he generally doesn't try to keep a low profile. That explains why the Teen of Tomorrow descends from the sky, scratches the back of his head and begins searching for a hotdog cart. Jackie glances at the reflection in the window, helloooooooo there blondie. He gazes at the pretty lady and as she approaches and actually says it aloud, "Hello Pretty Lady." his tone is playful, flirty, but not creepy. He turns his head to eye her in person, keeping his gaze up and not doing the up/down look that is so popular amongst the fellas. "Anything I can help you find?" he obviously doesn't work in any of these stores, but he's volunteering to shop with her anyway. Pretty Lady is the only reason he doesn't notice the teen literally falling from the sky. Well, floating from the sky anyway. He's distracted. Sue Storm stops when the man addresses her, clearly amused but oddly not wary of a complete stranger the way most women in New York seem to be. Because she's considering his words she also misses the dark-haired teen arriving in a mostly unusual manner. Her eyes briefly focus on the t-shirt the man's wearing, and she can't help but grin. It's a very .. Johnny kind of thing to wear. "Well, I was considering getting a gift for my younger brother." Superboy could use a few less people noticing him. There are gasps and chatter amongst the people milling up and down the street but given that this is New York they're not /too/ shocked by him. Still on the look out for something to eat, he wanders past the guy hitting on the blonde lady and poses for a picture briefly with some tourists. Jackie raises a brow, "Well then, as a man of impeccable taste, I feel it only fair of me to offer you my assistance in helping you locate the perfect gift. It would only be polite of me." There's an odd out of place thump sound and something warm sprays up the side of Sue's face, as if she'd been sneezed on or perhaps spritzed with a bottle of water. Jackie's black suit coat twitches slightly and his cute flirty expression suddenly looks a little confused... then resigned. "Fuck." he states flatly before a second such spray hits Sue's check. A pair of neat holes now sit one the jacket, an inch or so below where his collar bone would be on his left side. The glass of the window behind him cracks, then tumbles down to the ground in slow motion, shattered. Jackie starts to slump towards the sidewalk.
It would appear Jackie and Sue were not the only ones to distracted not to notice Superboy's arrival, the highly trained squad of men didn't see him either, not until the triggers were pulled twice and their target was drilled with back to back rounds. The suppressors kept the sound completely unheard over the press of a New York City crowd, and they swallowed the muzzle flashes completely. It's likely no one even has a clue what happened yet, though the shattered window gets a few curious stares. **Target down, sever wounds. Ready counter measures and advance. Over** a voice says directly into the ears of the soldiers, double clicks from throat mics respond in the positive. **Complication. Cape inbound, designation Superboy. Prepare secondary counter measures.** more double clicks. Fame, it's a bitch. Sue Storm starts to nod at the man's words, then startles as something sprays her face. The second one doesn't get her, though. Instead the splatter hits a faint blue shimmer an inch or two out from her skin and slides off as if it had hit oil-slicked glass. A split second after that Sue realizes what's just happened and the blue shimmer abruptly expands outwards to encompass the man as well as she rushes forward to keep him from landing on the sidewalk. "Oh god. Someone call an ambulance!" She's not concerned with the sniper(s), because ... well, she has no reason to worry about bullets. Superboy has the benefit of enhanced senses and while suppressors do wonders for most, the sound of bullets cuts through the din like a knife. He turns suddenly, startled as he looks for the source of the shooting only to see the guy in the funny t-shirt begin to fall over. He springs into action, x-ray vision doing its thing as he looks this way and that for the guys with the guns. Bullets? Sure. Or at least ordinary ones. The depleted uranium armor piercing rounds smack into the force field with enough force for Sue to feel it, like the punch of a super strength opponent. Enough to breach, no, but enough to feel. Jackie's lips pull back from his teeth and his right hand darts into his jacket and comes out holding a pistol, his fingers slicked with blood as they went into the coat. He grabs up at Sue and tries to pull her behind him, unaware of her rather more then special nature. "Get down!" he says, his weapon tracking side to side as his eyes scan the area fruitlessly.
Eight men are working in perfect synchronization, their movements like that of a Spec Ops unit. Two men cover from on high, two three man teams are approaching from opposite directions on the street, caging their target in. They move in quick walking formation, assault rifles shouldered, weight on the balls of their feet, tac gear covering their bodies. **Complication. Unknown telekinetic force protecting the target. Options? Over.** **Overload. Heavy weapons authorization given. Over** **Roger.** One of the men slings his rifle down and pulls something up from over his shoulder... Jackie and Sue can see none of this from their vantage, people running hither and yon, cars in the way, but Superboy's X-Ray vision surely can. Well, not more then skeletons and metal parts moving really, but still. It's enough. The heavy armor piercing rounds stop being a gentle pitter pat, and suddenly become a deluge, like rain, as the two snipers pour uninterrupted automatic fire into the shield. Their suppressors are quickly destroyed, and in moments the rat-tat-tat-tat of assault rifles is plain in the air. Sue Storm winces as the first armor piercing bullets strike her force field and she fumbles in her sweater's pockets for something to help the man stop the bleeding. But she's surprised by his pulling on her to try and protect her so is moved readily enough. "What on earth is going on?" Then the attackers go full automatic at her force field and she gasps in visible pain, her hands going to her temples as the force field turns an almost-opaque pale blue, shrinking to just barely enough to protect both her and Jackie from the bullets. It's her turn to start slowly collapsing to the sidewalk. Superboy is in something of a panic. In the past, he's faced villains in Metropolis who tend to not use guns and he can generally get them away from populated areas. Bullets don't hurt him, but with so many people running hither and yon he's concerned for them. These gunmen don't seem to have any qualms about unloading into a crowd. So he acts and, given his lack of finesse with his powers, he acts rashly.
He glares upwards at the snipers on the rooftops, eyes glowing a furious red for a moment before he unleashes a blast of heat vision. It isn't the refined laser-like beam that people expect from Superman. No, he doesn't have that kind of control. Instead it is a blast of heat aimed at the parapet the snipers are lurking on. Jackie gathers Sue up, growling a pained sound as he unconsciously uses his wounded arm at first and then adopts his good one. He helps her to her feet and starts to move her towards the doorway of the shop, "It's a hit!" he says firmly, "Movemove! Get behind the wa-" he stops talking as Superboy's eyeballs seems to spew forth red light and the top part of a building across the way simply... vanishes, the hail of bullets disappears with it. He eyes Superboy and nods his head, "Thank heaven for heroes." he mutters under his breath as he keeps guiding Sue behind him, putting himself in front of her any other bullets. Wait. The bullets. He looks down at the store front where a hundred or more smashed bullets lay, bullets that never hit him, and he then eyes Sue, her hands on her head, then the 4 on her chest. "Pretty Lady," he says with that same crooked smile, "I'm really hoping you're single, because there's a good chance I'm in love." His eyes then go back to the street and he spots the first of the soldiers over the top of a Hybrid. "You have got to be kidding me." he states flatly as he stares at the short snub nosed rocket launcher on the soldier's shoulder.
.**Beta Post is down! Repeat, Beta Post is down! Superboy has engaged! Deploying countermeasures!** the radios bark in the soldiers ears, and then hypersonic sound waves hurtle down the street like a bullet train. Luckily, or sadly depending on who you are, only one person has the senses required to hear them. As the sound waves strike Superboy, the soldier fires the shoulder mounted weapon straight at Jackie. "DOWN!" the gangster cries, trying to drag Sue down to the floor bodily. Idly a thought crosses his mind... he had to go shopping at noon, didn't he? No, couldn't wait until sundown cause that would have been smart... Sue Storm doesn't offer any resistance to being hauled into the shop, the force field following them. When the assault of bullets abruptly stop she relaxes and the force field returns to the faintest hint of blue shimmer. She shakes her head as if recovering from something, then looks at Jackie confusedly. She completely missed Superboy helping them by stopping the snipers, but if she knew (or if she's told) she'll quite happily give him a hug. "What?" Then he's trying to pull her to the floor, and she sees why. This time, she has time to react, and the projectile launched at them is abruptly caught in a smaller version of the force field still protecting the pair. Superboy is about a foot off the ground when the sound waves 'strike'. On his way to the rooftop to make sure he didn't kill anybody. He doesn't want to do that and now he's legitimately concerned that he has. Nevertheless, he doesn't get very far as the horrible sound begins to dig into his brain like needles. He falls out of the air, clutching his ears and curling up into a ball, "Arggh! Shut it off!" Jackie is on the ground, his good arm over his head, the gun still clutched in his fingers when the rocket detonates... and he doesn't feel a thing. He looks around, then over at Sue. "Marry me." he says in a tone that's reverent and oddly sincere. Then he's pushing himself up to his feet... just in time to see Superboy fall out of the sky as if he was swatted down by the hand of god. "We need to leave!" he cries at Sue as bullets start to ping off of the edge of the wall, more then a few chewing their way through the wall and hitting her field again. "We need to go out the ba-" <Be a better man Jackie. That's what you can do for me, if you mean it... Be a better man...> Estacado stops still, mid word as if punched in the gut, a stricken expression on his face. "We need to get to the hero kid." he says, altering his plans from one of retreat to one of advance. Be a better man. Jackie shrugs out of the suit coat with a hiss and eyes his shoulder with the two holes in it, blood soaking the pink shirt into crimson. "Okay. New plan. Can you make this thing into a wedge shape and open a hole in the front of it about this big?" he holds up his hand with the fingers spread so she can see he means a hole about 7 inches wide.
Meanwhile the soldiers advance, their guns chattering, the advance quick but not hurried, the rate of fire from the armor piercing rounds almost nonstop. One of the men, off to the side, tosses the disposable tube launched away and instead pulls out a satchel charge loaded with enough C4 to flip a tank like a child's Tonka truck. Sue Storm flinches visibly when the rocket detonates, and once the contained explosion has spent itself the smaller field disappears. When Jackie says they need to move (the proposal going ignored), she snags a handful of his t-shirt so he can lead the way. Once they're clear of the shop, she gasps as NOW she sees Superboy, and he looks like something really bad is happening to him. So another force field appears in a dome around the teen, going from normal completely transparent toward fully opaque as Sue tries to find what's affecting him so that it gets blocked out. This level of multitasking is starting to take its toll, though, and her hand not clutching at Jackie's shirt is now fisted in her hair at her right temple while she squints to force herself to maintain the necessary level of concentration. She seems unaware of the beginnings of a nosebleed. Superboy opens his eyes long enough to see the air acting strange around him, and though his brain isn't exactly firing on all cylinders he manages to reason that somebody might be trying to help him. So, he does his best to shout 'noise!' so he can be heard over it – never mind that he's the only one who can actually hear it. He tries to drag himself slowly to his feet, trying to adjust to the noise but the pain seems to be too intense. In fact, given that he was created in a lab this is a level of pain that he's never experienced before. So, bravo for that, evil goons. Jackie nods his head, taking that as a yes, and then he turns... and walks out into the hell that the street has become. He feels naked, and for a moment, he freezes, the bullets hammering away and dropping down to the ground just in front of him... Then he grins. "We're going to be happy together." he quips as he starts to walk forward, letting Sue's grip in his shirt guide her to follow. He raises his pistol with one hand and has to be careful to aim right. One handed isn't like they show it in the TV shows. It's hard to make accurate shots. Pop. Pop pop. One of the soldiers goes down, his head snapping back. Pop pop. Another goes down, a hand snapping up to his neck. "Come on Princess," he says over his shoulder as Sue, "double time." and then he starts to jog, ignoring really trying to hit the soldiers as they take cover behind cars, instead he lays down covering fire, forcing them to stop their shooting and rethink their approach. He jogs him and Sue, car to car, towards where Superboy fell. "Hey kid! Kid!" he calls out, "Freindlies incoming!" not that they're easy to miss.
.**Target is advancing!** **Impossible! The Darkness cannot function in the Light!** **Negative, use of telekinetic shield from third party, allowing him protection. Orders?** **Overload the damned shield and bring me the Host! I WANT THE DARKNESS NOW!!** more then a couple of the radios squawk at the volume in the commanders voice. **Sir yes sir!** The man asking the questions stands and hurls what looks like a backpack over towards Superboy, the small canvas satchel sliding across the asphalt and coming to rest beneath a Honda a scant fifteen feet away. Sue Storm keeps up with Jackie, and once they reach Superboy the two force fields merge into a single one and making things far easier on her. She sinks to the street next to the teen as abruptly every sound from outside the force field stops. "Hey," she offers softly, reaching a shaking hand out. "Are you okay?" She doesn't notice the backpack that was thrown or she'd use a force field to throw it BACK. These people are really ruining what was previously a very pleasant day. Superboy is struggling, true, but what kind of super hero would he be if loud noises put him out of commission forever? He's squinting through eyes squeezed shut in pain, looking at the shapes of the two people approaching him. He shakes his head, trying to wave them back. Clearly he isn't aware of the force field and doesn't want someone getting shot trying to help him. Then the sound stops and he blinks, a thumping headache but no angry noise bouncing around in his braincase.
Then he spots the satchel, recognizes the smell and immediately looks panicked once again, "Open!" There's no time to explain why, he's already flying towards the satchel as though the shield has been opened for him. He's already bracing himself for the sudden noise. He's already angling himself so that he can fly up, up and away with the bomb. Jackie ejects the clip from his gun and tucks it away in a pocket before pulling out a fresh one and putting it home, the slide slams back into place with Ka Click sound. He blinks as Superboy is just... not there anymore. "Huh." he says, eyes Sue, "That's gratitude for ya." he says as Superboy heads out into the hypersound once more, only to climb straight skyward, make it over the tops of the building, then vanish inside of an explosion heavy enough to knock out windows on the top floor of every building within two hundred feet. Jackie blinks. Real explosions aren't like Hollywood explosions, there's really very little fire, but there is a goodly amount of dust and a wave of pressure that this far away feels like a strong sudden breeze before it's past. Jackie winces at the Honda the satchel was under falls back down onto all four wheels, and a suddenly silence settles over the street. "Careful Princess," he says, looking up in the sky again, "you suddenly have competition for my affections." he grins at her. His glasses got lost somewhere along the way, and his eyes can be seen now. "Hey, any chance you can do something about them? Flip a car over, smack them around with a giant invisible fist, give them super wedgies? I dunno, something?"
.**Sir, we're running low on heavy ordinance. Request evac asap.** **You've failed me Franklin, I do not take kindly to failure.** **Understood sir, target is protected by Superboy and a telekinetic, to many variables and local authorities will soon be on sight. To much to explain and get away with cleanly.** **Understood. Evac in five, third LZ. You should hurry, it won't be there in six.** **Roger.** The entire conversation takes place in the short lived silence that comes after the bomb's detonation and at the same time Jackie suggests Sue give the soldiers all super powered wedgies. One second later, the gunfire once more picks up, the hardened bullets tearing through cars like they were tissue paper meaning the machines are almost no cover at all, even as the soldiers begin to fall back in controlled careful waves of two. Sue Storm stays sitting in the middle of the street, watching Superboy in momentary confusion as he flees the protection of the force field only to realize that he was removing yet another explosive device. Then she looks at Jackie as if trying to make sense of his comment about affections. "You want me to ...? Oh, um, I can try." She focuses on closest of their attackers in her line of sight (which takes a full second longer than it really should have), and then abruptly there's a pale blue sphere about the size of a golf ball zipping at the operative. It hits the man smack in the middle of his torso with about half of the force that The Thing could exert. She doesn't want to KILL them, just make them go away. The blue sphere promptly zips toward another of the operatives. Superboy can take an incredible amount of damage. In fact, name almost any conventional weapon and it is likely that his invulnerability could stand up to it. However, he's in a weakened state from the hypersound and the fact that he just hugged a tremendous explosion to his chest means that he won't be shrugging it off. After the ka-boom, the Metropolis Kid plummets from the sky after the Honda and lands heavily on it's roof - collapsing it underneath him. He's unconscious by the look of him, but he already seems to be coming around. The same cannot be said for his S-shield t-shirt, however, which is tatters. Jackie watches as one of the men is hit as if by a sledge hammer and knocked ass over appetite, his arms and legs flaily pinwheel style. A second goes down in a similar manner before the soldiers begin to understand what is taking place. "Collateral retreat!" one of them shouts, and four of the remaining men pull small black spheres from their belts and toss them in different directions, through store windows and towards cars, leaving their two wounded comrades behind. The black balls spin as they pass through store windows and roll across the street in random zig-zagging manners. Grenades. Jackie eyes the men, the grenades, the crushed in Honda, and he swears under his breath with a sailors tongue, "I got the kid!" he shouts before shoving himself up from behind cover and making a dash for Superboy. Using his good arm he grabs the teen's wrist and yanks, physically hauling him up out of his 'him' shaped divot and then down onto the ground behind the car. Jackie flops down over Superboy and raises his arm over his head again, "Don't get any ideas, you're not my type." Jackie says into Superboy's face as he tries to protect the invulnerable kid from any stray shrapnel or blast waves that may come off of the grenades. The four men who just used the grenades as 'cover' turn to make a headlong rush down the street in full retreat. Sue Storm chases after the men with the little blue sphere, until she realizes they threw things. And everything they've thrown thus far has exploded. Too many of them. Way too many. All she can do is scramble after Jackie toward Superboy to once again have them included in the protection of her force field when the grenades go off. Superboy wakes up in time for Jackie to talk in his face, moving to push him off but figuring it might be for the best to wait for the guy to get up of his own accord. If shrapnel is going to start flying, it seems more likely that it will hit a standing target than one lying down. The sound, thankfully, seems to be disappearing which is a small relief.
"Where's the bomb?" KROOM!KROOM!KROOM!KROOM! The slightly growing quiet on the street is once more torn asunder as the four grenades go off almost as one. An old Pontiac goes up in a fireball of gasoline, two store fronts turn into fountains of shrapnel, and one manhole cover reimagines its life as a sky diver as it flies up a good fifteen feet in the air before falling back to earth hard enough to kick up a chunk of asphalt with its landing. Apparently one of the grenades went into a storm drain. Jackie waits as Sue's shield protects him and Superboy from a rain of mostly miscellaneous dirt and debris before eyeing the teen, "Um. There?" he says before rolling off of the hero and onto his back in the street. "They used the grenades as a distraction, buy themselves enough time to escape." he groans a little and turns his head to look at Sue. "So." he says, as a flaming bit of paper wafts down to come to a gentle rest atop the domed force field, "What do you say to diner at Picolo Angolo in the West Village around eight on Saturday?" he looks a little pale for a guy with such a good tan, and now the entire left half of his pink shirt is stained bright crimson. Sue Storm simply sits and looks dazed, the force field finally seeming to disappear like a popped soap bubble when the explosions are all done. "Sorry, what?" Superboy climbs to his feet, a little unsteady but still doing remarkably well for someone who was just blown up. He scans about for sight of the bad guys but, alas, they've retreated. He looks down at his shirt and sighs, hanging his head, "Darn." Then he turns his attention to Sue and Jackie, opening his mouth to ask if they're okay but Sue seems fine and Jackie is macking on her so he goes ahead and assumes that they are. Jackie groans and lets his head flop back onto the concrete, "I bet Tony Stark doesn't have this hard a time getting a date." he says to the sky, "A date Princess, you, me, an evening in this great little Italian place I know? Good wine, great food..." he blinks as sweat runs into his eyes, sweat that's beading up all over his face now. There's only so much that adrenaline will do for you, it'll hide pain, grant you a temporary clarity of thought, increase your reaction time and awareness... But it's very short lived. Soon enough it goes away, and when it does, it takes its toll. And Jackie has two holes in his chest demanding quite the payment. "Um. B-before we talk any more about you and me and manicotti to die for, any chance either of you could get me to a bathroom to clean up?" the good news is that armor piercing rounds go clean through and leave almost no expansion on the exit wound. Still... owie. Wait, bathroom? Shouldn't he go to a hospital? Sue Storm absently wipes at her face, smearing the blood from her earlier nosebleed until she seems to finally snap out of whatever dazed state she's been in. "Oh, god. We've got to get you to a hospital." She looks around at the mess the attack made of the area. Can't wait for an ambulance. She glances up at Superboy as if in a silent plea for help. "She's right," Superboy answers, shaking his head a bit to clear away the cobwebs of the noise and the large explosion. He turns his attention to Jackie, nodding his head and reaching out to grab him with one hand. Then it is time to fly. Next stop, the hospital! Not the bathroom. Jackie waves his good hand absently, but the gesture is weak and sorta flimsy, "Naw naw, I'll be fine. 'S flesh wound." said the Black Knight. Then Superboy picks him up and Jackie frowns, "Dude. Uncool. I'm trying to get a daaaaaaaaaaaate..." the last word trails off as he's plucked up into the air and slung off towards the nearest ER. He sighs. His Uncle is going to be SO PISSED about this... Hit men delivered to the ER by a teen boy in tights. Undignified is what it is. He eyes Superboy, well, not tights... but shirtless now! Which is worse. He turns to look behind him at the rapidly disappearing Sue and sighs again... Good news is, with a 4 on her chest she'll be easy to find. Maybe he'll brave the Baxter Building sometime, try and get that date...