|The Roof is on Flour|
|What: Two specialists are called in to handle a drug and weapons operation, with explosive results.|
Leaning against his cycle, Roy Harper silently cursed the skies. Spirits, why did it have to rain -now-? They really needed to make some sort of... well, wipers for shades if he was going to insist on wearing those. A night raid was going to be even more problematic.
Still, he was stuck here. As SHIELD liaison for this particular enterprise of Bethany Cabe's (he'd caught something about Columbian drug runners, and immediately volunteered without getting the full details till later), Roy eyed the flour mill warehouse. Somehow, it seemed entirely -too- convenient to be smuggling drugs within flour, but Bethany had assured him and her crew that there were weapon caches squared away all over the complex. Just take the main warehouse group, and the rest would take care of itself. And why do it at night? To bust them in the act, apparently.
Speaking of Bethany's crew, Roy glanced at the woman next to him. "So what's your story?" he murmurs, keeping an eye out for the convoy that would herald the arrival of the Columbian drug runners.
Domino brought a car along for the job, at least. Mostly because it's all that she has to work with, she's a bike gal too. But, she also pays attention to the weather. The all black Jaguar she's leaning against might seem like a big car for a small lady, but the colors match! "Freelance troubleshooter that happened to get lucky enough to make the right connections," she replies with her head bowed forward against the rain. Her trench collar is turned up and her hands occupy spacious pockets, everything about her colored as black as the night save for the flash of white that makes up most of her face. "Harper, is it? Can't say I'm fond of the buddy system but looks like we get to have a little fun together."
A wicked grin remains upon her face for a moment longer as she strolls around to the trunk, popping it open with a key remote then rooting around inside. "Hope you've got everything that you need on that bike of yours," she calls out while extracting a short-barreled G3 battle rifle. "Not too fond of sharing, either."
Cracking a saucy grin, Roy nods. Although he'd had to wear his SHIELD uniform, it was subdued, and more blended in for night work, as was his dark red cycle. "Odd thing, I'm used to working in pairs, so it's not like it's an entirely new thing to me. It -is- a lot of fun, though." There's a renewed studious glance at Domino, before Roy smirks. "That's all right. There's a reason my codename's Arsenal. If you're not going to share, I'll just have to improvise."
In the distance, lights appear, blurred, before sharpening into dark cars that proceed to drive into the flour warehouse.
"Showtime, eh?" Roy notes dryly, as he glances about for the rest of Bethany's troops. Climbing on his bike, and wiping his face clear of rain before putting on his shades, Roy grins at Domino. "Time to topple the dominoes. Ladies first."
"I'll take your word for it." It's chilly, but Dom's trench is staying in the trunk. Subtlety isn't on the menu tonight and she wants easy access to all of her gear. The trunk gets closed and the rifle's bolt gets cycled, the high contrast merc breathing in a quick sigh. Then she looks your way again, her expression puzzled. "You planning on trashing your only ride out of here, Cowboy? You want to be a distraction, be my guest." She's going to leave her car right where it is, hurrying into the darkness on approach to the warehouse.
With the activity happening out in front of the warehouse it's easy to sneak up along the side. Dom leaves the rifle stock collapsed, though the bulky suppressor kind of mitigates any advantage earned from having a more compact weapon. Thirty caliber, with a suppressor! Maybe she's planning on stealth-killing Jeeps or something. The first window she comes across gets a quick glance through, getting a rough idea of the layout inside and any people milling about. Most of them don't seem armed, point in the visiting team's favor. "Stealth's an option, but if we hit 'em fast and hard there'll be a lot of confusion on their side. I'd rather throw the first punch before they get a chance to arm up."
She brought a flashbang grenade, didn't she..? Yep. Off the combat webbing it goes, lightly bouncing it into her palm once. "Find your entrance, kiddo."
It'd been an automatic response. Cars going in, pursue by cycle. There's a slightly sheepish grin, as Roy acknowledges Domino by getting off the cycle. Falling in step next to the mercenary soon enough, Roy has his guns out as he moves along stealthily.
That this was essentially Domino's mission, with her in charge, and that he was the -liaison- doesn't quite sink as Roy grunts a bit at being ordered. At least he didn't argue things right -there-, right now...
Four cars were sitting there, in the warehouse, when Domino and Roy sneak in, waiting to call in the troops. The problem was... the drug runners were -gone-. Even with all the weapons on hand, Roy reaches out to grab her hand. "Hold on... where did they go?"
The warehouse was absolutely -huge-, with large billets of flours, cranes, stacked up machinery. And yet something was off about the whole thing. As though there were -something- hidden in this huge complex, which might explain where the people had gotten off to.
Is it Domino's operation..? She thought that the big SHIELD kids needed an extra gun on hand! Really, she's just used to running things her own way. -Someone- has to take charge, and if they're going to pair her up with someone else then the one in charge may as well be her. Unless given sufficient reason to let the other take control.
Like now, for instance. The grenade in hand is stilled as she peers back to you, one brow hooked a bit higher than the other. "Telling stories around a campfire for all I know. Look, do you trust Cabe? I've dealt with a lot of sources, she doesn't strike me as the type to follow false leads. If something's going down here, I'm willing to take her word for it." Besides, with what she's getting paid? Hell yeah she'll shoot up the place!
With a slight frown she puts the grenade back onto the webbing, you did have a point... How many cars showed up? There should be someone left around! She glances through the window once more then looks around for a side entrance to the building, leading the way once more.
Normally side doors would be locked. Normal doesn't often fit into Domino's life. One try of the handle and it pops open, in a literal sense. Something had rusted through and simply gives way when pressure is applied. All she does is smirk while slipping inside of the warehouse, out of the rain and with their cover intact. Time to do a little recon, apparently.
It was technically Beth's operation, but hey, Roy was perfectly fine being a wrench in the gears... well, once they figure out what's going on.
Moving ahead of Domino, Roy slips into the warehouse, following the trail. That there were slight wet pools fading away from the cars into the warehouse was at least a starting point, though the drug runners hadn't been out in the rain long enough to be clear. Still, Roy's youth as a Navajo stood him in good steed as he tracks along, just enough to lead to a wall. "Hnnh..." Roy ponders, as he taps lightly on the wall. "Is it me, or does this place seem smaller inside than it does from the outside?"
And now Domino's covering their backsides. Fluid transitions of individual responsibilities, maybe she doesn't like to work with others but at least she's able to. Another point to you, as well. Good initiative. Her eyes scan one area while her rifle sweeps across another, everything always in motion as she trails behind you. "Feel like we missed the party," she quietly remarks with suspicion, and a touch of disappointment. "Maybe next time we should RSVP."
Then we're standing at a wall. Dom glances at it then gives you a look. "What is this, some cheesy nineties action flick? Next you're going to tell me that we're standing on a massive stockpile of experimental weapons beyond a couple pounds of crack and a dozen Kalashnikov's."
"I really really hope that's not what's happening here," Roy remarks quietly, as he places an ear towards the wall, before feeling around. "Dammit..." he says slowly. "I think there's some sort of electronic gate here, but I can't find the trigger."
There's a brief glance at Domino's grenade. "And that's probably just a bit -too- loud-."
Twirling his gun barrel open, Roy fishes out a bullet. "Got a bit of C4 on you?" Tapping briefly on the wall, listening, Roy nods in satisfication. "Here. Stick it here."
"Would sure liven up the party if it was," Domino quietly replies while keeping an eye on things. An old and annoying saying comes to mind... It's quiet. Too quiet.
And you're talking about a block of C4 when a flashbang was too noisy. Yet again she gives you a strange look. "Hold up, MacGuyver." She turns back to the wall, gives it a quick looking over, then lets instinct do the rest. The butt end of her rifle stock thunks against part of the wall, followed by the sound of a catch disengaging somewhere inside. "Lady Luck's in the house."
Pause. Stare. "And that's a goddamn vault." This time when she glances your way there's a lot more suspicion than sarcasm, keeping her stance low and her gun forward as she edges forward along the wall.
"One thing that concerns me? They usually leave someone outside for guard duty. Something this big, they wouldn't get this careless."
And as if to illustrate the point, the sound of gunfire opens up from down the corridor, and Roy is already pressing against the wall. "I hate it when people bring up things like that, because then we get answers, and never in -good- ways..." he utters, as he readies his guns. Not that he was a killer, but he had no compunctions about shooting to incapacitate, and that's what he's doing now, using the location of the gunfire to hit his targets. "Next you'll tell me they hired someone who could shoot the eyeballs out of an ant at one hundred paces..."
Okay, so maybe luck doesn't always favor her. It does when it counts the most, isn't that good enough? All it takes is that first gunshot to destroy the silent approach, Dom pushing herself flat against the wall and returning fire in the same instant. "Can't say I'm that good, guess that leaves it to one of them!" Darnit, going further into the vault seems like a horrible, horrible idea. They could get stuck in there with even a small amount of crossfire! Still, there's a job to do and it sounds like most of the people are on the inside. Time to push!
The commotion gathers a lot of interest, which results in a sudden surge of baddies arming themselves and going for cover. There's another inherent flaw with combat inside of a vault, however. There's nowhere to run when someone chucks a flashbang into the room. The concussion is only going to get amplified, and they have no choice but to sit there and take it. Sucks to be them! You may not be much for killing, but apparently that isn't an issue with the merc.
"Hell, _I_ could do it," Roy replies, as he demonstrates that sort of shooting touch, aiming too well to incapacitate. And as things goes BOOM, Roy doesn't even have time to shout back further as he charges down the corridor down towards the vault.
The drug runners were dazed, confused, and somehow still mostly alive, probably due to being sheltered just enough. Damn lucky. Or maybe Domino's luck holding, just so they had -people- to interrogate. "Hell... is that all of them?" Roy muses, as he keeps his guns aimed and ready. "Where's their weapon cache, though...?" Because if it had been here, things would have gone -sky-high- badly.
Reaching to pull up one of the drug runners, Roy demands, "Where are the weapons?" Not that it might do him any good if the dazed weaponeer was still deaf from the flashbang...
Ah hell, interrogation isn't supposed to be on the menu tonight! One of the guys tries to bring an SMG around, only to find himself rammed back against the wall with a bulky black pistol held to him, lower than expected. "Answer the man. The genitals you save may be your own." Domino isn't liking this. The factory was empty, the -vault- has no guns in it. Frankly, it's all starting to feel like one big set-up. It's happened before, it will happen again.
The answer they're given leaves a lot to be desired, "They're not here!"
"Yeah, no shit they're not here, so where are they!" Dom smacks the side of his head with her pistol and turns to let her aim follow him all the way to the floor, seeing drug equipment, a bunch of dazed, sorry looking workers, and security monitors. Showing people. "We're about to have serious company, Cowboy."
If there aren't weapons here then time is being wasted, allowing the new arrivals to close them in. Yet, turning their backs on all of these guys isn't a much better solution. Dom swears under her breath. "Watch these guys, I'm gonna make sure we have an exit!" She's also going to get the heck out of the vault!
"They've -got- to be here somewhere," Roy grimaces. "They're probably sitting out there in plain sight and we're just not seeing it..."
Nodding to Domino, Roy motions for all the people to be gathered up where he can keep an eye on them, urging those who could move to get their comrades and line up against the far end of the vault. "Just be careful out there," Roy notes as he counts them. "I think there's less people here than there should be. If they're inspecting another part of the complex..."
Being trapped is not something that Domino enjoys. There's barely any time left to dive back out into the warehouse before absolute chaos erupts. There's people, there's guns, and there's a heck of a lot of shooting when someone they don't recognize comes flying out of their secret area. She doesn't need to say it, they've got trouble!
The merc scurries behind cover as dozens of rounds smack into the piles of flour bags stacked upon so many shelves, sending light clouds of dust into the air around her. "Oh good! Was starting to get bored." She turns and rises up over the edge enough to return fire, rifle casings chiming against the concrete as every shot that doesn't find a body (and some that simply pass right through) results in an explosion of white powder. An instant later and she's back into hiding, scrambling across the floor for a different vantage point as the floor gets spotted with a mass of white specks. Flour sticks to everything, including her rain-soaked armor and gear.
"Could use a hand out here, kid! These boys are lively!"
The sound of gunfire has Arsenal doing a quick glance. "Dammit!" And then there's the quick unslinging of his bow as he drops his guns, and the SHIELD agent rapidly fires glue arrows at the gun runners present, keeping them secure, before kicking his guns back up and into his hands.
Charging out of the corridor, ducking as the bullet tears into the billets, Roy is coughing. "Damned flour...!" he utters, as flour is sent scattered into the air, pouring out of the bags. Where the hell -were- the shooters coming from now? Behind the bags, clearly, but...
Was that a glint of -metal- hidden in the bags? He couldn't quite tell now, thanks to all the flour dust now floating in the air.
Just as Domino shifts position another bag explodes beside her head, instantly stealing her eyesight and giving her a reason to start coughing in turn. The best way to deal with it is to get outside of the cloud, though there's plenty more of them appearing throughout the building. "It's snowing!" she calls back, sounding amused of all things! Even the automatic chatter of her rifle causes the fine dust to cloud up around the weapon, the passing bullets tossing up more wisps as they swirl into the vortex left by airborne metal breaking the sound barrier.
There's a haze in the air, growing thicker at an alarming rate. Visibility is rapidly becoming an issue for both sides of the skirmish. One guy thinks using a laser sight will help him find a target, though it also makes him an easier one. Amidst the blanket of white there's also some streaks of crimson.
"Damnit, this place is turning into a powder keg. I'll cover, get out of here!"
"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" is Arsenal's light-hearted response, even in the middle of this. Something nagged at him, though. What the hell was it he'd been warned about? Too much fine powder in the air, and...
Abruptly, Roy realizes, with a curse, and stops firing his guns. "Stop firing, stop..." he begins shouting, before Domino's warning indicates she's come to the same realization.
"No!" he exclaims, as he switches to non-explosive weaponry, pulling out and throwing ninja stars, trying to hit them and force them to drop their weapons. "I think the weapons are -in- the flour! If things explode, we won't even get out of range without riding on a wall of fire!"
The weapons are in the ...
Domino slings her rifle and flicks out a throwing knife, just driving it into the bag nearest to her when a shadow passes through the thick haze. In a flash that blade departs from her palm and catches some guy in the neck, dropping him mid-run as she fetches -another- blade and goes back to cutting. "Well! That's unexpected." The stuff in the air is also causing her eyes to burn. "Do you really think they're going to stop shooting at -us?-" she calls back in challenge. Either the baddies need to all die, promptly, or they need to find cover. Promptly. The vault's no good, it should survive the blast but anything inside is going to get pulverized by shockwaves. Make a run for it? And go where?
Once again the air's too thick to breathe, Dom abandoning the bag she had cut open in search of somewhere a bit more clear. She's having trouble finding one! A cloud floats off of her hair and shoulders as she moves, her armor almost completely matte white to match what little skin can be seen.
Wait a second. It's raining outside. Vent the air and soak everything, all in one go. The only problem now is how to bring the ceiling down? Shoot it full of holes? Yeah, sure. See what happens in between. There has to be some vent controls somewhere around the place, they're designed to prevent this from happening! "Got any bright ideas over there?"
"... unless you've got a way to blow the roof off -without- killing us in the process and get the rain here, NO!" is Arsenal's reply, as he hurls more stars. Finding himself running out of non-explosive objects, Roy shakes bullets out of his guns and starts flinging -those- instead, leaving little puff of flour in his wake as he burst through the flour cloud like... well, like Bad Mr. Frosty.
The air was thick enough with flour, which left Roy with a desperate move as he tries to track down the idiot with the laser pointer before -he- fires in the middle of that dust cloud. Just got to get that red dot to follow him without actually staying long enough that the idiot would fire. "Just throw a sack up there or something and explode it!"
Unfortunately, removing the roof off of a warehouse without the use of explosives or two weeks and a construction crew is not a challenge one is often faced with. Domino has no idea. No--she has a perfect idea, with one exception.
Is it any wonder why she prefers to work alone? "Just -get out of here,- kid. I've got this, get to cover and make it count!" The answer to the roof question is closer to home than she would like to think about, pulling an incendiary grenade off of the combat webbing then shaking the powder off of it to make sure that she grabbed the right one. "This is probably going to suck," she mutters to herself while yanking out the pin. All this place needs is a spark. She's got that covered. Now if she can pull this off without losing an ally in the process...
"Get Out Now!"
Whether or not Roy was going to argue with the woman, the tone in her voice was pretty damned clear - she -had- it covered," and so with one final fling of a bullet, Roy dashes, heeding the warning to get the hell out of the building. And keeps on going.
Domino counts the seconds off in her mind, trying to give you enough of a head start. How is she going to know that it's been enough time? Nothing more than instinct and her best guess. "Insert witty remark here," she offhandedly says while letting the spoon fly away from the grenade, kicking up a small cloud of alabaster dust where it lands.
Another countdown begins as she leaps from cover, sliding across the slippery, powder-caked floor in a billow of particles to take shelter beneath a sturdy looking row of shelves. There's a flash high up in the air, triggering a reaction as effortlessly as someone snapping their fingers. The air ignites, windows explode, shelves collapse, the roof disintegrates into rubble and debris, and hundreds of tons of packed flour gets hurled -everywhere- as the downpour rushes inside to greet it. This building will never be the same again!
Yes, dust explosions were a marvelous things. Get the explosion pentagon - 1) a combustile dust or hybrid mixture, 2) an oxidant (usually air), 3) an ignition sorce, 4) Dispersion/Suspension at a high concentration, and 5) confinement of the dust cloud - going, and you'd have yourself a gigantic explosion.
And with enough flour dust on top of a weapon pile like this, well... it was just -explosive-, and the shock wave could be seeing propelling Roy -out- the warehouse and sending him flying.
However, Domino's bringing the roof down LITERALLY did a great deal to soften the explosion. With her impeccable timing (or great luck), she was able to manage to hit the timing so that much of the explosion was dampened, and while enough explosion had occured to set off -some- of the weaponry, she was fortunate enough to have the rain quickly turn the flour into a wet lump of dough that -cooked- to a hard blackened crust over enough of it to protect the rest of the pile.
Sometimes it was better to be lucky than good.
It takes a while to let the debris settle. During that time, a lot more rain and flour settles, leaving milky white rivers falling off of shelves and flowing across any flat surface left available. Somewhere back there the rafters had collapsed into a tangled mess of welded piping, all of which, somehow, managed to miss impaling a certain black-spotted woman whom had survived ground zero of her own pyrotechnic display. Her head's pounding, her ears are ringing, she feels like an eighteen-wheeler just drove into and over her, but she's still alive!
A dry, racking cough sounds out from within a pile of rubble. "Never..doing..that..again..."
Any baddies that had been left in the area are in very sad shape. The warehouse is a horrific mess. And all of that flour? The explosion and resulting downpour of scrap metal and glass has hacked open enough of those bags to reveal a lot more than a baking ingredient. There be guns inside of those bags! One in particular holds Dom's interest, once she finally rolls out of hiding. It isn't something that she's seen before, and she knows her guns well. "Looks like I called it before..." Going to the mic hooked to her ear, she radios "You alive out there, Cowboy?"
Squish, squish, squish.
Tapping his ear-mic, Roy replies almost lightheartedly, "Alive. I think my pants were on fire, but either I pissed myself, or the rain got it taken care of. Your buns toasted too, or do you need some frosting?"
Yeah, he's okay.
"Gimme a minute and I'm coming in there. Anyone alive?"
A disgusted face is made as a half-gloved hand slowly wipes a gob of soaked flour off of her hair, landing on the floor with a heavy *Spluck!* "Plenty of frosting inside," Domino replies with a weary sigh. "Don't know about anyone else, now's not the time to leave your guard at the door." Speaking of calling it... "You were right. They kept everything on the shelves. There's enough stuff here to fill a couple of rigs. Hey--you folks don't mind if I help myself to some of this, do you?"
The plastic-wrapped longarm that she wrenches free of that gloppy, floury mess is something that the civilian market isn't likely to see for another thirty years, if ever. "I don't know what the hell this thing is, but I want it." Experimental weapons? Check that one off the list.
Trudging into the warehouse after a quick check to make sure there were no other surprises, Arsenal whistles at the flour drippings inside. "Haven't seen anything like this since Lian decided to try baking bread," Roy observes ruefully, as he positions himself to keep an eye on both the outdoors and inside the warehouse, hair matted with slowly crumbling flour gluten.
"... so," Roy observes with amusement as he calls Bethany and begins making arrangements. "That's your new best friend?"
There's a slight grin to your question. "Could be. I haven't figured out what it is, yet." It can stay wrapped in plastic for now, another disgusted sound coming from the depths of Dom's throat as she wipes another doughy clump off of her armor. "Gonna take a week to get this gunk cleaned out of everything..."
On a lighter note, "Hey. You did good. Disregarding my earlier comments about working alone, it's been fun," she admits with a light smile.
"Absolutely. Call me if you ever need a SHIELD liaison again. It's been fun," Roy says with a half-crooked grin, followed by a more wicked grin. "And if you promise not to tell Bethany, you can call for anything else."