|What: On their way back to NYC after Doom and Gloom Part Two, Domino and "Shift" discuss what happened in Gotham City, and what their next steps should be. (Vulgar Language)|
Gotham City lies behind them, casting a hazy glow by a myriad of city lights against the Audi's rear view mirrors and into the long dark ahead. At this hour, the stretch of highway between Gotham and New York is speckled mostly with semi-trucks and the occasional midnight traveler. Not a word has been shared between Domino and 'Shift' for some time; the Ghanaian has spent the time cleaning his semi-automatic pistol before stowing it in his satchel.
Finally, he frowns, and the silence gets the best of him. "Where does that mad-man get off, anyway?" he suddenly asks. "Killing people should at least have a point. Beyond trying to make a god damned show."
"Bad luck to do that in the car," Domino distractedly replies while pushing the accelerator that much closer to the floorboard. The interior of the Audi barely registers a hint of quickened RPM's as she slingshots the car around an eighteen-wheeler. Who's going to stop them way out here, anyway? Even the cops are asleep. "You lose a spring in here, you'll never find it again."
Okay, so maybe she's trying to distract herself from the real matter hanging over both of their heads. "I don't know, but it can't be anything good for us. The man's prepping for a war, and I don't even know what it's over. He must want something, if he's going through this much trouble for it. What concerns me more is the matter of who the hell's going to stop him if he wants to make a mess of things."
"I'll try to remember that," quips the African in a flippant way, though for a moment he glances around the floorboard of the car, as if looking for a missing spring.
With a sigh, he leans back, seemingly untroubled by Domino's driving. "War? What war?" asks Kwabena. Then, something seems to strike him. "He's either one of those self-made super powers, like that Iron Man figure, or he's one of us. I mean to say someone with unnatural abilities." He pauses for a moment, only to consider whether or not he really should be considering their mutations as unnatural. It was science, after all.
"You know, you're right. He -does- want something. It's either something as simple as insanity-driven power hunger, or it's something more. Something idealogic." He glances across the way, frowning. "-That- would be more dangerous."
"What else would he be building up for?" Dom counters regarding Doom and all-out war. "He made off with a ton of money, he's learning about what the opposition is like, he's filtered into the underground network which is a million resources right there, and then he drops in on us -again- with some long-winded speech about how he's going to win and we're going to lose. Do you want to know what the odds are of him trying to invade this place? Because I can tell you."
Shifting his eyes toward Domino, Kwabena cocks an eyebrow at her. "Dropping in on us?" he asks. "No." He looks back toward the dark road ahead, lit by the twin lamps of Domino's stolen Audi. "He -lured- us there. All of us. Perhaps not that Fire-headed man, but the rest of us, yes."
Out from inside Kwabena's trench coat comes a flask, which he unscrews and is about to nip from. Remembering his manners, he offers it over to Domino with a perked eyebrow. "There must be something, though. Some reason he chose us. I don't care if your over-sized bullet was disintegrated by his shield, or if nuke-man wasn't able to stop him. There's a reason. Either he fears us, or he thinks we can be made into his pawns."
He glances Domino's way again, and a smirk forms. "I prefer not to know the odds."
A drink..? While she's driving at very nearly triple-digit figures? Naturally. The albino accepts the flask and claims a swig from it before handing it back, her hand rejoining its partner with a firm grip upon the wheel. "You know what I mean. He -did- gather us together, but how could he have known that it would have brought the three of us? One or two, maybe. We weren't working together the first time around, and you -did- kind of evaporate at the bank."
"You're right about one thing," Dom offers while agitatedly ducking around another lumbering vehicle. "If he's as strong as he makes himself out to be, as he -seems- to be, he could have wiped us all out then and there. He probably wants us for something." Those are odds that she doesn't want to think about. "This guy's always making the first move, I don't like being blindsided like this."
"Mmm," murmurs Shift in a tone of agreement as he takes the flask and tilts it back himself, before pocketing it. "He's either damned close to benevolent, or he's very good at playing along. I don't like it either." He casts a glance toward the semi-truck as they pass, smirking slightly at the 'Stark Industries' logo so boldly painted upon it.
What were the odds that he'd have casually mentioned 'Iron Man' mere moments before?
"It sounds like you'd rather get a one up on him," he remarks. "Make the first move." He peers over at Domino with a quizzical look. "But how could we possibly know if even -that- wasn't a part of his plan?" He looks back forward, scowling. "Like a good chess player, setting up his opponent to make the move -he- wants them to make."
"We don't," Domino admits in a tone that makes it clear she doesn't enjoy admitting to it any more than she enjoys the reality of the situation. "Until we know what his game is, we can't be sure of anything. But, you're damned right I want to get one up on him. Trying and failing is better than doing nothing and waiting for him to swing on back and smite us all of us 'lesser beings.' All I can do is pick my direction and hope for the best."
That usually works out alright for her in the end.
"What do we currently know about this guy? He's super-technological, quite possibly m-mm..magical," she says with a visible cringe, "and he's the damned leader of Latveria. On the upside, we know where he operates. Maybe he can hide himself, I doubt he can hide his happy little kingdom."
"If Betsy doesn't think I'm insane for trying to blast that idiot when we had the chance, she probably will once I clue her in on all of this."
"Magical?" Kwabena turns and looks again at Domino with doubt and disbelief in his eyes. "Come on. I can believe mutations, hell, I can believe aliens, but -magic-?" He shakes his head and adds, "Please tell me you have not run into any magical creatures." He sharply looks away, lifting a hand to stall her response. "No, on second thought, just don't tell me anything."
Then, Betsy comes up. Kwabena frowns and gazes out the passenger side window while the darkly lit countryside whips past. "Yeah, sorry about that, by the way," he remarks. "I just... couldn't stand around and not do /something/. Too bad fire-brain there didn't nuke-i-fy my shells like I thought he would."
Then something strikes him, and he turns back toward Domino with a dubious expression. "Betsy seems to know something about him that we don't. She spoke as if she'd met him before. Did you notice that?"
Domino is, for once, about to tell Kwabena some more things. Right up until he tells her not to. Okay, that's cool. Matter dropped, ignored, and forgotten about. She wishes the entire -subject- of magic could do likewise. Mleh. Things are confusing enough without adding that mess into the works.
"We'll talk about what you did wrong later, kiddo. Just be glad that it didn't trigger the wrong kind of response." She was the one that nearly took that honor, after all. "Before you get involved with this guy again, we need to cover some basic ground. Since time doesn't feel like it's on our side, we'll start in the morning."
It's immediately followed by a pause, the recent events replaying through Dom's mind. One pale finger tap-taps the steering wheel before she offers "Nice catch, Shift." One more entry gets added to her mental weekly planner. Seems like Psylocke is going to find herself getting backed into yet -another- corner by this trigger-happy albino.
"Basic ground," murmurs Kwabena. "Right." He sighs, revealing a bit of his frustration. "The two of you are trained. I am not. I can't keep..." He waves his hands about for a moment, as if trying to find the right words. "...getting involved in this -shit- without having a better idea of how things work. This Doctor Doom, he's not a tiger. Not like Michael Slean. He's a god damned..."
When she gives him credit for the catch, he removes his flask and takes another draw, before passing it across the car. Finally, a grin winds its way onto his face. "Shift. You know, that might stick. It's a hell of a lot better than..." Another pause, for dramatic effect. "The -Shifter-!"
Dom chuckles softly, "You're right. He -is- a god damned something else. At the very least, he's going to learn not to underestimate us sooner or later."
The flask is accepted without so much as a glance in his direction, taking another hit from its contents. The alcohol almost goes up through the wrong passage before it can go down in the appropriate direction, stifling her laugh in the crook of an arm as she hands it back. "The Shifter. You've been watching too many kids cartoons, haven't you?" She sniffs once to keep the burning sensation out of her nose, holding both index fingers away from the wheel before she properly makes her point. "Nicknames, codenames--proper- ones--are always given to you by someone else. You never pick them out for yourself. Believe me, you can do worse than 'Shift.' There was this one guy I used to run with? Got himself the name -Blank,- sorry bastard. Word of the wise?" she offers while glancing back your way for a handful of seconds. "When you're done training and you're about to do a job? Make sure you know which type of ammo you're grabbing on your way out the door."
"I suppose having Jubilation as a roommate for a day or two didn't help," quips Kwabena as he snatches the flask back out of her hands and tucks it back into his coat. Domino's tale, however, takes him a moment to piece together. But when he does, he bursts out into laughter, which stifles his response for a few seconds. "Blanks?! You're joking!" He points at himself and admits, "Even -I- wouldn't make that mistake!"
There's a black-tinted sneer from behind the wheel of that Audi, Dom chuckling once more at the memory of it all. "Should have seen the guy, rattling shots everywhere, couldn't understand why he wasn't hitting anything! In the end we dragged him out in front of the group to play as a distraction while the rest of us did the job. I think he still hates us for that one!" Expression leveling out slightly, she adds "Idiot deserved all of it."
Moving right along... "Jubilation? Interesting name. How's she holding up, anyway? That was a bit much for one her age to tackle at once." Poor thing didn't seem jaded before, hopefully they didn't all change that for her. "That girl's earned herself one hell of a gold star for getting through that night."
"I don't doubt it," agrees Kwabena, before shifting along to the topic of their young friend, Jubilee. "Well, she seems to be handling herself alright. A bit winded though. When I got back from Union Pool, she'd cached herself out on my couch and was snoring loud enough to wake the neighbors." He quietly asides to himself, "Thank you, tequila."
Glancing back in Domino's direction, he adds, "There was that yellow-clad fellow there. The one who disappeared. They seemed to be more than acquainted. At any rate. the girl's gone her way... said she had a train to catch somewhere." He shakes his head slowly. "Can't look out for everyone, I suppose."
Dom makes a sound in the back of her throat, both contemplative and dismissive at once. "Friend in yellow? Must have missed that one." To be fair, her hands were rather full at that point. "Yeah, I knew which apartment to look for by the sounds." Because someone else here ended up crashing on the floor of your apartment before that night had completely run its course. She's -still- got a lump in her neck from that one.
"For the best, she needs to be in familiar territory for a while. Our line of work isn't the best place for her to be caught in the middle of."
"Jesus, you stayed there -too-?" asks Kwabena, jerking his head in Domino's direction with a smirk. "You could have knocked. I'm -used- to sleeping in uncomfortable places." He looks back out the passenger window, watching as Domino's car races a train and clearly wins. "Well, she doesn't strike me as the kind of kid who doesn't have a nice, warm place to stay. I doubt she was on the midnight train going nowhere."
Kwabena kicks back a bit, reclining the chair just so, and crossing his legs comfortably. "You know, there is one thing I really need to, ah, handle," he says. "This mutation of mine, while I don't completely understand it, it, uh, lends itself to certain..."
He scoffs at himself before even saying it out loud.
"Wardrobe malfunctions." Now that that's out of the way...
"While I don't particularly mind losing my clothes in the -right predicament-, I'd hate to end up in my jungle gear every time a bomb goes off and I turn into smoke." He glances Domino's way, perking an eyebrow. "You've been doing this a while. Any suggestions?" A slightly humored grin curls across his lips, for he cannot -wait- to hear her response.
"Of course I stayed there," Domino laughs softly. "Veev and I got into an all-on tequila war, I wasn't about to drive anywhere after that. Don't worry about it, was glad to have somewhere close enough to stumble back to."
The next matter that's brought to her attention only renews her grin, glancing your way, hearing you out, then waiting. Oh so patiently waiting.
"At least we didn't call you 'Sway.'"
In all seriousness, "There's people that can turn invisible. Light themselves on fire, turn to ice, any manner of things. Somehow, -they- all end up with duds that can keep up with the pace. You're not going to find anything for that at Wal-Mart, so I'd suggest finding someone smart and with a lot of resources at their disposal and asking them about commissioning something." New York City's skyline is a beautiful thing at night, for all of the faults the city might happen to have.
"Someone that's used to dealing with oddball requests, and might be further bartered down with a few drinks. Someone that's got nothing but time to burn for a new challenge."
Icy blue eyes fall upon a giant, illuminated sign perched high atop one of the buildings within that skyline. Once more, ebony lips hook upward to one side of the albino's maw.
"I've got a crazy idea for you, Shift."
"Eh, I wouldn't have woken up anyway," murmurs Kwabena. "I took that tequila war on up front, and paid for it the next morning."
Listening to her response, Kwabena also sets his eyes upon the growing skyline of New York. One cannot help but recognize a few things... the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the re-built World Trade Tower...
And Stark Tower.
Kwabena peers over at Domino for a moment, wondering if he is now thinking what /she/ is thinking.
Then, a coy little smirk forms on his features.