|Looking for Trouble|
|What: Deadpool tries to recruit some mercs for a secret job he's planning. We should probably be afraid now.|
The Hellhouse. Formerly a catholic charity orphanage, it's long since decayed and turned into a shuddering, decrepit shadow of itself. Mercenaries for hire and thugs love it- wooden floors make it hard to sneak up on people, concrete walls absorb the sound of gunfire, and the steeple of the former Church/sanctuary looks kind of pretty, in the right light.
My kind of place. Love it here. The smells, the sounds, the idea of little children gettin' beat around for yappin' back at a penguin in a habit. And there's a weird sort of chumminess, you know? Like only sometimes, we all shoot each other, but ain't /no one/ messes with the Pool.
Deadpool seems to have found a Comfy Chair to sit in. Literally, he's purloined some grandmother's flowery old recliner and currently has it set up on a few phone books next to a longish table that might have once been a conference table, except for the bloodstains and knife holes in it. He sits at the head of the table with a cell phone at his elbow, smoking a cigar and looking every inch the master mercenary. A few of the rent-a-thugs and low-level metahumans are clamoring for his attention, trying to get details on the op he's absolutely NOT telling everyone he is SO TOTALLY in charge of.
Things are still crazy as all getout in Domino's world. Low on sleep, high on injury, okay on ammo, it still beats the alternative of being bored. Deadpool's gone off and done his own thing rounding up all of these half-bit misfits. She's taken it upon herself to show up fashionably late, and packing one of the world's shortest pump-action shotguns beneath her trench with the other bells and whistles she's never without. If one ever has to get their point across, little else does the trick like staring down the pipe of a twelve gauge. It's a proper negotiation tool. With the floorboards in their state of disrepair she can't exactly appear out of nowhere, but she doesn't go out of her way to announce her arrival, either. Everything about this smells like a huge mess waiting to happen, but..in part, that's why she's here.
Zen actually parked his little flying sphere up in the pretty bell tower. Seemed convenient, and no one else was parking their flying vehicles there, so why not? He scales down the side of the building and slips in through a window on the floor Deadpool is reigning over. Zen's voice broadcasts to every mind present, |"Oh, the ads were from you? Huh."| Zen shrugs and finds a bit of wall to lean against, taking in the rest of the folks gathered.
"And that's what I like to do with marbles!" In a structure that has several shadowy corners, the casual observer would perhaps not notice that one of those corners was sligtly shadowier than its fellows. One might, on the other hand, notice that of all the various criminals who have gathered, only one has a demon on his shoulder. The man himself is a typical hoodie and jeans type of thug, but the demon perched on his shoulder is a small inky thing of vaguely sinister, but overall cartoonish proportions. The short, completely black, winged demonoid engages the unremarkable man in effusive chatter. The man, for his part, looks absolutely terrified. He does not, however, attempt to remove the creature from his shoulder.
The little creature continues to chat, while the darkest corner of the room continues to remain unsettlingly quiet.
"Your resume is a half-page long and written on the back of a Red Robin comments card," Deadpool grumbles. He looks it over again anyway, and flicks it back at the rent-a-thug, whose superpower might be his incredible lack of personal hygiene. "And you smell. Next!" Deadpool flicks the card away, then 'hears' Zen. He looks around, then throws his arms into the air. "Zen, you magnificent bastard, how the hell are ya?" He beckons the faceless alien over, gesturing for all the thugs to clear a path. "Don't tell me you're here for work, you do-gooding do-gooder," Deadpool says cheerily. "I'm out to do some murderin', and you're all soft with your non-lethal methods. Have you had a change of heart?"
It doesn't matter how often it happens, having unexpected voices inside of Domino's head always creeps her out. At least Deadpool knows who did the mental greeting, she shouldn't be surprised that he already knows the person responsible but somehow it still seems peculiar. Not as much as that weird voice coming from a darkened corner though, which prompts a subtle glance over to that particular corner. There isn't a lot to see, but she knows that something's lurking back there. Something, or maybe more than one somethings. Times like this, she's on high guard. When you get a room full of thugs, thieves and murderers like this, things can get bad. Add to that a very low number of those representing the female gender and things become a bit more tense. Frankly, if this meet and greet carries through without someone getting shot, stabbed, or punched, she'd be impressed. For now, she's going to stand a bit closer to Wade. Heck, she already made it into this arrangement. No more standing in line for her. "Subtle, as always," she observes on the side.
Zen smirks, or at least, sort of seems to with his mouthless face scrunching around. |"I've taken on wet work before. But there are limits to how I operate."| He crosses the room, using the parted sea-of-people-path. Zen has to steel himself against interfacing too closely with Deadpool's thought patterns though. He remembers how precarious that left him last time. Other than that though, the blue alien seems more than comfortable in a room full of criminals and oddballs, including the little black demon. |"But when I take a job, there won't be any surprises. Tell me the job, and I'll tell you if I can do it."|
"I have no such compunction." The little creature calls out from his perch on the clearly-uncomfortable man's shoulder. His red eyes glow ominously, as he wraps his tail around the man's neck. "In fact, I was just regaling my new friend here with tails of my muderous exploits. I am, however, rapidly growing disinterested in this meeting. Where are the crack mercenaries with international reputations? Where are the explosives? And most importantly... where are the snacks?" He looks at his unwilling furniture with an expression that can only be called 'hungry'.
"I am a master of subtle," Deadpool agrees. "I bleed subtle. I have degrees in Subtle and Discreet, with a minor in American Lit." Deadpool crosses and recrosses his ankles on top of the conference table. The chair leans back dangerously, but holds. He makes a grand sort of gesture with the stogie, leaving vaporous trails of white smoke and a little trail of ash to follow the motion of his hand. "It's pretty cut-and-dried. We get on a plane. We fly a few hours. We land. We have a list of individuals who need killin'. We have cake, we go home." No! The cake is a lie! "The cake is /not/ a lie. But there's no work for pulling punches. If you're along, you're in, all the way. A quarter of the payout up front, the rest on return." He looks at Domino, then jerks his head to his right side. "Come stand over here and look intimidating, or something," he mutters at her, sotto voce. "We'll get more guns if there's a hot chick along for the ride. Didn't you bring like a bikini or something?"
At Shade's interjection, Deadpool narrows his eye-hole thingies. The rent-a-thugs who are yet to be interviewed make a path between Deadpool and Shade. "You mean you are growing /uninterested/, you illiterate hack. If you were /disinterested/, you'd be Bill over there, who's just trying to make a living selling churros!" He gestures over at Bill, who is a six foot four metahuman and is clearly not selling churros, has no interest whatsoever in the assemblage, and probably isn't named Bill. "And another thing- No one does the funny bit around here," Deadpool says, thumping his cigar-finger into the table and looking a bit like J. Jonah Jameson. "That's /my/ shtick. She does the sexy-crazy murderess thing, that guy's-" he gestures at Zen- "an alien, and I'M THE FUNNY GUY. You, um..." he checks his notepad. "Let's see.. I'm lead singer, Dom's lead guitar, Zen's the keyboardist... you don't look big enough to be the drummer Note to self: is Juggernaut still in prison? So....you can be on tambourines." He sets his notepad back down and looks at Shade. "Are you willing to be my tambourine...er?"
Stand around and look imposing. Eh, sure, Domino can do that. Though as she takes up a spot beside Deadpool she oh so subtly reaches around as if to put a hand on the back of his shoulders and instead digs a pale thumb into a pressure point. The smirk she wears shows idle amusement, but the look in her eyes is something completely different. "Just get through your presentation, Wade." A bikini, really now! He would, of course. If the thought came to his mind he'd probably have several scantily clad babes with machine guns posing around his 'throne.' She's kind of glad that he didn't this time. Let's see, now. Strange, creepy voice coming from ..somewhere, strange, creepy voice being injected directly into her brain (that guy might have some use in all of this,) a bunch of cookie-cutter 'look at me, I'm tough' simpletons sitting about the table... Dom gently sighs while looking from one face to another. "This is really the best Gotham has to offer these days? No wonder I've been a busy girl." There's been enough work going around that she barely has time to sleep. Too bad it's mostly cheap stuff.
Zen nods, watching the interplay, and is even amused when Domino plays her little pressure point 'joke' on Deadpool. But he doesn't shy away from Deadpool's offer either. |"That's fine. Once I start a job, I finish it. But I need to know the targets ahead of time. I won't be sent in blind to wipe out an orphanage."| He peers up at Deadpool, irony rich his baritone, mental voice. |"I have standards."|
"I'm sure that my master will also require a list before he lets me gallavant away on an assassination spree. He has a certain image to protect. I hardly see what the fuss is about though, you humans all have basically the same texture. It's rather monotonous." The little demon releases his hold on the man's neck and stretches out his bat-like wings. A few flaps later, he lands on one end of the table. His clawed feet dig into the table's surface, making a few small audible crunches. "He will also, of course, require eighty percent of the gross profits from this little venture in order to lend out his most valuable agent."
Deadpool manages to supress a squeak as Domino jabs him. He straightens and listens to Zen and the demonoid, then spreads his hands and looks around. "Have I died, and gone to a hell where I sit in the Hellhouse all day and freakin' D-listers show up and start dictating their terms to me?" Deadpool flicks his stogie off into a shadowy corner. "We are /not/ going to an orphanage," he tells Zen, firmly. "And even if we were, you won't have to kill any of the kids." He turns back to the demon. "As for you... Mr. Lamar, terms of employment ain't neogitable. Twelve thousand up front, and the rest of the fifty gees when we get back. Hell, I wouldn't pay /Domino/ eighty, and she's got /waaay/ better boobs than you do."
Take it in stride, Domino... This isn't the first time such comments have been made. "It's also not a good business practice to make deals with infernals," she states while eyeing the little guy on the table. Whether it's true or not doesn't matter to her right now, he looks like one so that's what she's going to roll with. Already in the last week she's met an alien and some weirdo from the future, so why not hellspawn as well? "What you're after is way more than what the job's worth. We aren't that desperate." Maybe she's stepping on Wade's toes here some, this is his operation after all. But, tough. She's got standards, too. There aren't many people in this room that she would trust. Ever. Not even Wade, whom has yet to explain his grand scheme to her in any significant detail!
Shh! You aren't supposed to telegraph that via non-verbal description!
|"They do it all the time in comics..."|
"Yeah, you tell 'em, boss!"
Zen shrugs and says, |"I'm fine with Deadpool's offer. Alternatives I see include this little winged creature doing the job by himself, or taking an equal share, or foregoing his share and bowing out, thus increasing our shares. I'm comfortable with any of the above. But I'd prefer to work."|
The little creature starts chuckling. At first, it's just a slight gravelly rumble which could easily be confused with a hiccup. But within a few seconds the laugh is loud enough to be heard anywhere within the building. It might be an optical illusion, but it almost looks as if inky tears are streaming down his inky face. "Fifty thousand! Who are you killing... Noam Chomsky?!" Continuing to chuckle, the little demon relaxes his hold on the table, and takes a seat upon it. "Ah... laughter. Such a pleasant indulgence. One which has been all too scarce these last few decades. I'll follow the blue gentleman's suggestion, and accompany you on this mission completely gratis." He folds his arms over his chest, and folds his wings behind his back. "Provided, of course, that you invest the money wisely. We find ourselves in uncertain economic times, after all."
Deadpool looks a little taken aback, and for a moment, looks around for his cigar specifically so he can sort of let it ash out for a bit and drop it. The moment's gone, though- he used it for another shtick. "Uh, ok, then. ...Welcome to the team," he says, cautiously. He clears his throat and arranges his papers. "Oh, duh, right." He reaches into his pocket and produces a pair of brown-rimmed 'geek chic' glasses that don't look like they have any lenses, and dons them. "What skills do you have that make you think you'd be a valuable asset to Team Deadpool(tm)?" Deadpool asks. He doesn't 'say' (tm), but it seems implied in the statement. He interlaces his fingers neatly on the table and rests his elbows on the edge in front of him.
There exists a moment in most all things in Domino's life where whatever she's doing, or about to be doing, suddenly feels like a -very bad idea.- When that little creature on the table starts laughing then offers to join up regardless, -that's- the moment when the feeling drops. The edge of her confidence is shaved off, pale eyes staring at the small, inhuman shadow, and a cold chill runs through her spine. Seriously, Wade's considering letting this guy tag along? Maybe she doesn't want to be part of this, after all. As with most things, Deadpool just doesn't seem to be thinking it through all the way. Not that he probably cares, -he- can't die. "Lucky us," is all she has to say. Softly. Quietly.
Zen shakes his head, considering. His voice still sounds amused, yet firm, |"Sorry, I don't do ride-alongs with people who have no stake in a job. I don't understand why you would work for free,"| Zen says, speaking directly to the little creature. |"But I also don't underestimate you, just so you know. Which is why I don't trust you. There's a reason things are done a certain way. Everyone's in. Everyone's on the line. Everyone gets paid equals shares. The option is solo work. That's 'how I roll',"| Zen adds, clearly not cool enough to use that vernacular, but he heard it on MTV, so why not?
"You wish to know my qualifications? I'm afraid you'll have to take quite a bit on faith, as I'm reluctant to brag about myself." The little creature stands up, uncrossing his arms in order to chew on one of the clawed nails of his tiny hand. "If it will assuage the concerns of all involved, I suppose I will accept a share of the profits. In addition, I can promise that I will not eat any of you, nor will I eat your livestock." He turns and looks around the room. "The same courtesy does not extend to henchmen, lackeys, goons, or anyone wearing hoodies." The little creature stands on his tiptoes, possibly in order to appear more menacing. As this still leaves him less than a foot tall, the effect is minimal.
Deadpool facepalms when Zen 'insists' on the demonoid taking the money. Watching fifty thousand dollars worth of happy thoughts drift away, it takes The Merc with a Mouth a few minutes to gain his composure. "No dice, Lamar. I don't know who you are, what you can do, or if you're a Raiders fan. I mean, I'm not going on a secret mission with a demonic little facehugger who is going to pack along a bunch of Glee DVDs and not at least share them with me." He spreads his hands and looks around at Zen, Domino, and the collected goons. "I mean, come on, is this that hard, really? 'Hurr, lookit me, I'ma show up on a mid-level op and make demands of the most Awesome Guy in the freaking continuity'. " His tone is scathingly derisive and his assorted gestures add impact to his absolutely withering defenestration of the demon.
Say what? Domino gives Deadpool a peculiar look when he starts ranting again, really it's about all that she can do with it. Instead, it's Zed that she has something to say to this time. "You would trust him more if we threw money at him?" She wouldn't go so far as to -trust- him more, but she would feel slightly better about it. That way it can't come back to haunt anyone later, favors done for free and all. Then this little guy in question is talking about faith. Haaaah. "This is starting to get a bit too religious sounding for me." Who the hell talks about livestock in the middle of a Gotham City Mercs Anonymous meeting?! To Wade, she sides "You see why I prefer working alone." Cripes, when is one of the simpletons going to make a snide remark about her appearance? She needs an excuse to shoot something.
Zen shakes his head at Domino's question. |"No, that wouldn't make me /trust/ him, but I definitely wouldn't trust someone doing a job for free. I would hate for something to come back to haunt me later, owing favors and such."| There's no indication in his tone that Zen has reflected some of Domino's concerns back to the group, but maybe he didn't even realize he was doing it himself.
Despite basically being told to urinate up a rope, the little demon doesn't even seem remotely offended. Instead, his face contorts into a grin that exposes rows upon rows of razor-sharp teeth. "You all raise some interesting points. How unfortunate, I suppose I shall simply have to find some other means of entertainment this week." He leaps up into the air, spreads his wings, and begins fluttering above the table. "Best of luck with your venture, perhaps I'll check in later if you're all still alive." And with that, he begins flapping his wings, and flies directly into the Darkest Corner of the Room. The darkness around that area begins to dissipate into a thin plume of smoke, leaving no evidence that the creature was ever in the room at all.
"Man, now we don't have a tambourine player," Deadpool sulks. "Crazy little..." He slaps his palms on the table and glares at Zen. "And damnit, if someone says he'll work for free, you TAKE THE MONEY. Auugh!" He throws his hands into the air and folds his arms across his chest. After a few minutes of sulking, he toys with his notepad. He's still wearing his brown-rimmed geek glasses over his mask. "We still need a technician and some muscle," Deadpool says. "I'ma put some calls through. Wish we could get Spider-Girl." He sighs, staring off into space wistfully. "Smokin' hot bod on her."
The little guy's out..? Oh thank goodness. When he physically steps out Domino breathes a subtle sigh of relief, her confidence starting to return in small amounts. Bloodlusting killers is all fine and good when they're from the same plane of existence, or however one quantifies such a thing. The vote's still out regarding aliens. And whatever that telepathic guy is, passing another glance his way. "Yeah, I'll drink to that." Though something begs to be asked, here. "Just what are you planning on doing that requires so many new, unfamiliar faces, Wade?" she quietly asks. Either it's something really big or he just wanted to be wacky again.
Zen shrugs, and flips his staff around to lay nonchalantly across his shoulders, and drapes his arms over the ends, like a water carrier. He's grinning with his eyes, also pleased that the demon isn't on the job. |"No, I don't. I don't trust anyone who'd do this kind of work for free. But don't worry. I'll pull my weight."| And then he nods at Domino's question, adding his own curiosity to it.
"If I /tell/ you, it's not a /surprise/," Wade explains for the TENTH TIME, or something. "Also, I'm not gonna start giving mission briefs until we are /on mission/. It's complicated, there's a lot of targets, and we need a lot of firepower. Security's really important- I literally do not trust anyone in this room anyway, and I especially trust them less with the payout for this op." Fifty thousand is chump change for Domino and Deadpool's line of work- some hits can score a million or more- but for open casting calls, fifty large brings in every rent-a-thug for miles. "I'm gonna go make some calls. You two-" he waggles fingers at Zen and Domino- "find more help. I need a technician and a bruiser. I think five's a good number for this op." He gets to his feet and, whistling, walks towards the back of the Hellhouse.