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Cold War, part 2: Volcanic Trainwreck
Rplog-icon Who: Pete Wisdom, Roy Harper, Domino
Where: Somewhere in Siberia
When: Afternoon
Tone: Gritty Comedy (Heavy use of colorful language, innuendo, violence, explosions!)
What: Somewhere on the other side of the planet, AIM has taken over an old Soviet military installation. Three people have just done something about that.



When last we left our heroes:

Roy Harper as our little party sit in a train gone dark: "I hate tunnels."

Domino upon arrival at the AIM underground base: "We've made it to grandma's. Get the cookies ready."

Pete, accessing the situation: "Right. Getting out's going to be stupid, we're in the middle of a fucking mountain, so we may as well make a big bloody mess of it."

Roy and Domino responding to Pete: "I promise you'll get your bloody mess." "We're good at big bloody messes. The 'bloody' part's not a literal translation, by the way."

Domino upon discovering what the AIM base is situated over: "This bitch is geothermal. We're inside a dormant volcano."

Pete's assessment of the situation: "Oh hell with it, let's set it off."

Domino parkours her way -through- an exploding crane to roll across the roof of a box-car and dashing her way towards the waiting Pete and Roy.

Pete crowing and punching Roy's arm and grinning. "Holy fuck, that was brilliant!" he says just before a large gun butt comes flying at his head.

AIM workers and soldiers glaring at the little party.

And now...

BIFF! BAM! BAM!

Cold War Part Two: VOLCANIC TRAINWRECK

There's a mechanical countdown going on in the background as the train roars on down the tunnel, moving towards egress.

"Pete! Aw dammit," Roy mutters, as he tenses, staring cross-eyed at the rifle that was practically touching his nose. "Maybe we should've picked a different way of escaping. Ride a cow. Or surf one of the lava waves..."

One of the soldiers motions menacingly with his guns. "Go on, give us an excuse," he says, practically poking Domino with it.


And there's a healthy compliment of armed AIM goons all aiming weapons at them.

"Sorry, is this car full?"

The one guy in particular aiming that rifle square at Domino has her complete attention.

"That's a Sig five fifty-two commando, right?" Extremely reliable rifle, there. "Hell, go ahead. Try it."

Click.

Except when they aren't.

Dom rams a slender shoulder into Goon One's sternum, knocking him to the floor, stealing the pistol from his side. Goon Two takes a shot to the chest as she spins around, hooking the barrel of Goon Three's rifle with her boot to sweep it up and over her head, letting Goon Four take the bullet to his temple. Goon Three then takes a pistol shot to the left foot, filling the car with the sound of his scream.

Goon Five smacks the pistol out of her hand right as Goon Six takes a bullet from it in the stomach. Empty hands latch onto Goon Five's rifle and wrench it out of his hands, sweeping around and clocking Goon Seven in the temple with the stock. The follow-through leaves Goon Five with a knife getting rammed into the side of his neck then a swift kick to knock one leg out from under him. Goon One finally unjams his rifle and takes aim, right as Domino jerks backward and slams her head into Goon Three's nose. The bullet zips past her own face and fatally pegs Goon Six. Goon Three loses -his- sidearm, which gets leveled in Goon One long enough to hammer several slugs into the man's chest. He falls and tosses his now operational rifle into the air, right in line for her to swipe it out of the air and spin back around, covering the car with a borrowed weapon in either hand.

The odds are still in her favor.

"Thank you, adrenaline."


On the floor and staying there for now, Wisdom's got one hand on the back of his head, he's got the wince of a pounding headache going on, and yet-- and yet-- his blue eyes are full of nothing but fairly lustful admiration. "You know what," he says faintly, "if you don't mind I think I'm going to watch mostly. This is art."


"... holy hell," Roy mutters softly. "I think I'm in love."

Foot stepping on the barrel of a scattered rifle with practiced ease so that the stock swings up into his waiting hand, Roy shifts into cover mode. "C'mon, Wisdom, no time to lie down on the job. We better seize command of this train before they get the bright idea of...

The AIM communicators on one of the fallen AIM soldiers squawks. "Get over here! We're cutting the cars loose!"

"... that. C'mon, Wisdom, we can admire Domino's form after this is all over," Roy adds, kicking a rifle over to Wisdom.


"Okay, wait," Domino says around heavy breaths, choosing not to read too much into Roy's commentary regarding personal feelings. "If one of -you- didn't get this train rolling, then who--"

"Sonuvabitch." The borrowed pistol simply drops onto the metal floor in favor of bracing the borrowed rifle, she's still well supplied in the arms department. And ordnance!

"Next car full of baddies is on one of you guys," she announces while smacking the door controls then crouching and taking cover behind, rifle shouldered in case there's any trouble lingering on the other side.

Less people this time. More explosives. Hardware of many shapes and formats. Powerful stuff. Dangerous stuff. Stuff that would make for a very big explosion, here or in some other corner of the globe.

"Alright, I didn't see that one coming."

If they disconnect the cars now, this stuff will be sitting out in the open to be retrieved later. If it stays connected to the train...

"Don't let them disconnect these cars." What are they going to do? Dom doesn't know. Something'll come up at the right moment, it always does. Since they got to this place she's kept pushing on her power, ever ramping it up to higher levels of activity. She's not been riding a good fortune wave like this in some time. -Something- will happen in their favor.


"Not yet anyway," Wisdom mutters, pushing himself up to his feet against the wall. "As soon as we get to the engine--" he leaves the rifle on the floor and staggers over a body on the car floor, then reaches forward to just melt his hand through the lock on the door leading to the coupling and the next car up. "--*then* we disconnect cars. We can leave them like easter egg grenades. It'll be fun. I mean unless--"

Really he's just talking to keep his focus. Because sure, the next car is full of HIGH EXPLOSIVES and less people, and he can't really be wobbly on his feet with his aim for it. Precision firing-off of stupidly bright heat, neatly cauterized holes through heads for instant death with no chance of prematurely blowing anything up. "--unless you want to save it up. Because this shit, this is either getting dismantled or blown up, I don't want it leaving the country."

Faster now, on to the next car. "Harper, Domino-- if you get yourselves up over the top of the train you can get to the engine faster, one of you take it and the other work your way backward, shoot anyone trying to uncouple the cars. I'll work my way forward and clear them. I *tried to be nice*. I CAN STILL BE NICE," he yells into the next car, "you don't HAVE to die, jizz-for-brains--"

And then there's shooting through the door and Wisdom ducks behind the side of it, turtling slightly and grimacing. And then he kneels on the coupling, peeking around the corner at the bottom and then firing off another volley of hotknives. "WELL FUCK YOU TOO."


Oh fine, fine. Aiming to wound/disarm/incapacitate, Roy takes precision shots with his ammo early on, at least until he's closer to the other soldiers as he approaches them. From then on, it is INDISCRIMINATE AND WANTON ABUSE OF AMMO (even if they're still precise shots, because holy god, not even Arsenal was insane enough to blow HIMSELF up except as a last ditch option...) as he starts tossing aside spent weapons and picking up extra weapons.

"Fine, Wisdom! Domino, c'mere," he says, as he ducks to the side of the outside of the next car. Because given the speed she was going, it might actually be faster if she used him as a step up towards the roof of the next car than the ladder. Just please... not the face.


"Oh goodie, -I- get to go out and play in the temperature where snot freezes," Dom grumbles as Roy offers to give her a boost. One--two--Up! The temperature drops further still as soon as she's over the roofline, eyes squinting against the sting of tunnel-generated wind as she crawls up onto the leading car. It's cold, dark, and she's only got a few inches of head clearance before the rocky ceiling grinds down the top of her skull.

"You guys are just upset because I had all the fun of pushing the shiny red button," she gripes through the earbud comm.

She can see the dot of daylight at the far end of the tunnel. Few minutes out, give or take. With the rifle cradled in her arms, she crawls over the cars en route to the engine. "Just remember, Domino," she mutters through deep breaths that fog out from her mouth, "killing crime lords and politicians gets boring after a time. Good to mix things up once in a while. And..you know. The money's awesome."


"Not to mention you're getting to fucking blow up a volcano, Domino, quit bitching. I'd've gone up, me, but I'd bloody fall off the train, wouldn't I," Pete grouses right back over those comms. At least, from the perspective of the top of the train, there *are* bursts of pretty spectacular heat coming from the cars ahead. And as ill-insulated as those cars are, it's probably at least melting Domino's snot. "Harper, don't you dare bitch at -all-, your view's amazing."


"It -was- amazing," Roy retorts, tapping his earbud communicator in return. "I wouldn't mind seeing it again." Peeking around the corner to the next car as Pete approaches, Roy grunts. "But I think you're gonna need me more down here, and I doubt Domino'll appreciate me getting in her way up there. Business before pleasure, right, Dom?"

Jerking his thumb towards the car, Roy comments, "So you decide what view you prefer, a thousand bullets, or my ass."


"Still waiting for the 'business' part to start with you, Harper," Domino comms back. "Whatever it is, I'm sure it doesn't involve staring up my coat."

Crossing cars while belly crawling is something of a challenge, especially with a carbine in hand. But, it's a Sig! Dom's not going to throw it away. She could use one of these little guys. Nice weight, great balance, not too bulky, folding stock, it'll be perfect for running around in Gotham's alleyways.

How much time did they have before the whole mountain goes kersplode? Good question. As the lumbering train gathers momentum the tunnel exit gets progressively closer. The air up top becomes more cold, the wind more troublesome. The corners of her eyes start to water against the sting, but she's making good time. She's -trying- to make good time. If she can get to the engine before they escape the tunnel, she'll be one happy merc.

Turns out she can be happy. Dom drops in and rushes through a cramped walkway surrounded in heavy slabs of rust-stained armor plating to reach the cabin, quick to introduce the man behind the controls to the blunt end of yet another rifle stock. "Engine secured. Daylight in thirty seconds."


"This is why I said you should take the high road-- /ass/," Wisdom says scathingly to Roy, ditching his parka with an irritated jerk of one hand-- which proceeds to melt through the lock on the next door. The hand, that is, not the parka. "Just fucking run for it. This is taking too long. I'm going overhead and blowing up the last car when we hit daylight. GO."

That's right. Bloodied Oxford shirt, black tie, and hauling himself up an ancient metal ladder between speeding train cars in a tunnel in Siberia in weather cold enough to shrink even brass balls. "Harper's on his way if he knows what's good for him, Dom. Last car should keep the volcano from shooting up the tracks for a couple minutes. I'll be up presently."


"Psh, if you -really- want to see pleasure, talk to me after this is all over," Roy retorts to Domino, before flashing a wide grin at Pete. "Hey, she's better at squeezing into tight spaces than me. Fine, keep up with my dust, Wisdom," Roy says, as he takes a deep breath, cocks his guns, and then goes into the car, guns ablazing.

It's not long before Domino's affirmation of her securing the engine causes Roy to flash a grin. "Right. What's the countdown?"

As if in answer, the mechanical voice tracking the countdown intones:

"TEN..."


"Because it would give me an excuse to punch you in the face, which would give me pleasure," Domino automatically comms back in a level tone of voice. "Roger that, Wisdom. It's starting to feel lonely up here." Does she know how to operate a decades old military train engine from the USSR? Nope! She can read Cyrillic and hazard a few guesses, but they tend not to teach a whole lot about locomotives in human weapon training sessions.

So she looks out the window, instead.

"Good lord, who -built- this line?" she gapes as the tunnel opens up to a teeny, tiny rock ledge that's barely large enough for the engine and all of its cars before giving way to a sheer drop no further away than the end of the decaying wooden ties. "The Rockies don't compare to this."

Then there's a countdown. "You just -had- to say something," she sighs while checking the throttle, that much is easy to figure out, then tries to push a little more out of the aged engine. "Might wanna bring the marshmallows, it's about to get real hot around here."

Hold up. She just saw something in the mirror... Stepping out onto a narrow walkway on the front of the engine, wind whipping her stubby ebony locks of hair around, she looks back to the mountain and spots the culprit.

Choppers. Two. Three. Four..? "Unbelievable, they're breaking out the old gunships," she says entirely for her own benefit. "I'd start to think that they held a grudge over what I did to them." Radioing to the others, she offers "Heads up guys, we've got birds inbound." This trip's about to become a lot more interesting.


"Then I'm in an awfully good place," Pete says through his teeth, crawling back over the tops of the cars to decouple the last /two/ with an expertly applied hotknife, and as soon as they're detached, he leans over the back of the car to point his fingers at the tracks and... weld the decelerating (and now abruptly stopping!) wheels to them. There's sort of physics involved, right?

So those two cars, stuck in the mouth of the tunnel, they get themselves exploded pretty neatly with another application of fiery ranged death plasma hands-- and as the train's rumbling around the steep corner and the tracks ahead look more miserable, yeah, that countdown's undoubtedly finishing. So this is where Pete hauls himself up to run in a crouch, against the wind, going for the engine as well. "Think they'll be even more miserable than we are once the top of the mountain blows. But we could use a smokescreen, we're an easy target up here--"


"Man, Dom, you -really- are into the rough stuff," replies Roy as he bobbles, leaps, dives, and maneuver his way through the car. "Everybody meet at Domino's. We're gonna have a party, it sounds like."

Behind them, the countdown hits zero, and there's a slow rumbling, followed by a slow rolling of what looks like an explosion cloud of plasma and smoke emerging through the tunnel, and shockwaves rocking the train. "Awwww hell!" Roy says as he steadies himself against a seat. Because if that bellowing cloud caught up with the car full of explosives...


"Everyone's gettin' all up in my grill," Dom sighs while rubbing at the bridge of her nose. "Roy, you don't even know where my place -is.- That's privileged info." The sudden impact of cars full of ordnance coming to an abrupt stop behind them gets another look from outside of the engine, grabbing the railing and leaning way out over the abyss in time to witness then getting slagged by a blast of plasma. "Hey, nice shot! You left some of the big toys for us, right..?"

Hell. Countdown's almost over, and what is with these tracks..? They were on an incline in getting to the base, and they're on an incline -leaving- the base. Is this the same route? With detonation mere seconds away she gets back into the cabin, bracing for impact. "Hang on, guys!"

Volcanic eruptions tend to like having somewhere to go. Mount Saint Helen's is a great example of what can happen when the proverbial cork is stuffed into the neck of the bottle. There's a sudden lurch through the ground as the charges do their work, then that rumbling... And the cloud. There's just enough time to reflect upon the gravity of what they just triggered before a shockwave smacks the back of her head against the cabin wall, momentarily seeing stars as that rumbling gets louder.

Cliff face. Mountains.

"Hell," Dom mutters under her breath. "Watch for debris!" If a boulder lands onto the rails, they're done for!

The good news is that only three of the choppers make it out of the initial cloud, the fourth going down with clogged intakes.


"I know where Domino's place is," Pete lies smugly over the comm, "because I'm right fucking privileged, ain't I." Lies as he's huffing and puffing into the wind, dropping to his hands and knees when the cars-- and tracks-- start to shake. Good news is, he's almost there. "Harper. You got zipline arrows, right? Because I think I trust us stealing a helicopter better than I trust these tracks, and I *can* pilot it." Finally, the windblown and wild-haired Briton drops between the foremost car and the engine, panting. "We can shoot down the other ones."


"Right privileged... and you're probably gonna tell us your power's preventing your wee nuts from shrivelling up into right hard blue marbles too. So happy for you... now -think- of a way to get us off this bloody deathtrap!" Roy utters, as he steadies himself.

The blast of cold winter air tells him he's back outdoors, and Roy curses. "Dammit, after this is all over, we're finding a hot tub and just -never leaving-." A quick tap of his quiver to make sure everything's in place, and Roy nods. "Yeah, I got the ziplines. What're you gonna do, have Domino shimmy up one of these lines?" Pause. "That'd be a real sight to see."


Zipline arrows..? Soviet Gunships. HINDs. Domino gives Pete a look when he drops into the cabin beside her, expression impossible to read.

"Those choppers are two seaters, Wisdom."

Nevermind the odds of actually hitting one with an arrow, from a moving train, while a volcano is erupting. Maybe she should cover Roy's eyes to make it a little more challenging?

"This is going to be either amazing or fatal," Dom says over the comms. "Also, Pete, you're full of shit--Harper, you up to making that shot? I can set some charges, make sure there's nothing left down here." Darnit, if she had a good anti-materiel rifle handy... The other birds are going to be a problem. Less so if they don't hurry, the sky's getting tons of debris thrown up into it. Through the rumbling around them, the view is downright apocalyptic.

Which is exactly why she pulls out her phone and takes a picture, decades old choppers and all. "The guys are never gonna believe this one," she says with a sly grin. "And would you stop obsessing over my ass and just make the call? The weather's taking a serious turn for the worse, here!"


"Domino, have I introduced you to my friend Roy Harper? He can shoot a bullseye from half a mile in a hurricane," Wisdom says, then half-doubles with a racking cough. Oh smokers without healing factors. "Also, I can probably pilot that shit with you in my lap. Or Roy can sit in yours. I mean fuck we can probably-- here, get free of the railing before you grab the line-- we can probably steal two if we have to, but I'm sure we can all jam in one somehow." Now *he* grabs the railing and starts climbing up on top of it, tie flapping in the wind, blood starting to soak his shirt. "And cut it out, you can get a better shot from up there, Dom. Roy, we *all* gotta go up those lines."


"Oh, I can make that shot. What, you don't think I can make it?" Now there's a tone of challenge in Roy's voice towards Domino. "Hold on there, I'm joining you lot... Pete, if there's any more opposition on the train, shoot'em."

In a short time, Roy is next to Domino. "Here, hold on to the end of this rope," the archer asides to Domino, before bringing his bow up and taking aim.

TWAAAANG!


"I'll note that you didn't bother suggesting -you- getting all cozy with Roy," Dom teases back. "Oh, because we won't draw enough attention to ourselves by flying just one? We never did half-ass things, did we."

Mention of getting a better shot from up top gets a small sound of admission from the back of her throat, climbing outside to join Pete for a better view, and a better picture. Then, hair flapping about her face, she grins toothily at Wisdom. "Let's see that smile, buddy. One, two, AIM sucks!"

Click!

Then Roy's offering her the end of a zipline. "You know, I think I saw this one once with Wile E. Coyote." Pause. "You're about as good a shot as he was, t-Yaugh!"

The only thing that's missing is a tiny cloud of dust as the arrow hits and the line starts to retract, with a certain albino desperately clinging to the far end of the line. "This plan seemed a whole lot better in theory!!"


That is a wildly toothy grin on Wisdom's face, too; he's even straightening his tie with his middle finger as Domino takes his picture. "I'm not getting cozy with Harper, he said my balls were tiny!" he yells up at her, as she YOINKS off the train into the air. "This mean we each get our own chopper?" he calls over to Roy, clambering back down and into the train, squinting back into the depths of the cars behind them. "Don't see anyone. No one's shooting me. CAN WE GO YET? If we don't go now I KNOW I'm going to fucking get shot, I ALWAYS fucking get shot--"


"I didn't say that, I said this bloody weather shrivels up your damn balls!" Roy shouts into the wind, as the other helicopters pull back away upon seeing -that- damned shot hit and carry off Domino with it. Whatever effing maniac was using arrows to try and board their ships, they wanted -no- part of it.

And now the other helicopters open fire upon the train, causing Roy to dive for cover. "YOU HAD TO FUCKING SAY THAT, DID YOU, WISDOM?!"


Somewhere, way over a treacherous mountain pass in Siberia:

"ShiiiiiIIIIiiiii--!"

It's plain solid engineering that allows the rappel to slow down before Domino splats against the bottom of the first chopper like a suction cup Garfield hanging from the window of a car. That she ends up staring -right- at the business end of a rocket pod doesn't seem to improve her mood any. Not cool. "Your aim sucks, Harper!"

Oh crap, they're shooting now. How does one manage grand theft helicoptor while it's already in the air, anyway?

Is it still considered theft if they forgot to lock the door?

Perched upon one of the stubby, weapon-strewn wings, Domino throws open the cockpit door and snaps the Sig 552 up at the pilot. "Someone call for roadside assistance?"

-Crack!-

One slightly perforated pilot gets thrown out of the controls, instantly replaced by an albino with way more guns than any one person has any right to be running around with. That same rifle, thanks to its short overall length, comes up to the back of the gunner's head. "You know what to do, comrade."

Yeah. He jumps. Parachute and all.

"Can be a real idiot sometimes," she grumbles while sweeping the chopper around. "Waste charges on the train when there's a damned -gunship- within easy reach." The 552 gets leveled right outside of the cockpit, full-auto fire raking through the sky at the other choppers. She can't reach the main guns with these controls! "Way to keep your head in the game, girl."

Right then, time for a strafing run with the train. "Coming in for a pickup, boys!"


There's not even really any point in trying to run down a list of all the obscenities that come pouring out of Wisdom's mouth as they start getting shot at by the helicopter; he ducks between the engine and the first car and half-climbs up the ladder as Domino's taking over her chopper, then starts firing off hotknives. At the guns, first. Then when the assholes in the choppers start leaning out of them to shoot with more guns, he aims for the blades. The first of the two starts spiralling out of control, and ejects a couple of asshats with parachutes. "Harper! I can't be that much heavier than Lian-- get us out of here!" he yells, scrambling back down and grabbing at the redhead's back. "Time to GO!!"


Having already seen Roy hit -one- copter dead on target (despite Domino's grousing), there's really -nothing- Roy can do about the copters, except trying to taunt them to get closer. Which would be easier if he wasn't getting pinned down by their guns. But as soon as he stands up, Pete's on his back already, and Roy has to literally -slam- the Brit in the stomach with an elbow.

"Gimme room, she's coming in -fast-...!"

Another towline arrow is rigged, trajectory accounting for speed... oh god, was she actually -accelerating-? Why was she accelerating...?

There's just a sinking feeling that causes Roy to look back over his shoulder at where the crashing chopper is headed towards...

"MOTHERF---!" SHOOT, HARPER, SHOOT! SHOOT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT... BECAUSE IT DOES!


Magma's spewing out of the mountain behind them. All manner of debris is raining from the sky. One of those escaping choppers gets clocked by a lava bomb, slamming it out of the sky like a brick to a New York pigeon.

"Christ! Just hang tight, you two--"

Sailing overhead of Domino's gunship is -another,- throwing dark smoke out from a flaming engine as it rapidly loses all control. Pete must have hit that one. She risks a glance off to the side, watching as it almost majestically sweeps down toward a downright ancient looking bridge over a ravine.

"Hey, uh. Guys? You ever see Back to the Future three? Because you're seriously not moving fast enough down there."

The sky's getting worse by the second. If they don't pull out -soon- then they risk stalling the engines just like the first one to have fallen from flight. The best thing she can hope to do is keep an eye on the volcano, her power doesn't do a thing if she can't see it coming. That means she gets to pilot the chopper in reverse, unable to see the turns and mountain outcroppings behind her.

She can work with these odds.

"The time to rappel is now, kids!" Roy's a good shot. She'll give that much to him. With the incoming arrow, she doesn't even need to adjust the heli's position. It just plain lands true.


ELBOWED. Pete full-body flinches, grimly hanging on to Roy anyway, more to one side now. "Yes. Eastwood Ravine. For fuck's sake don't cast me as the schoolteacher. I hate children." And then the arrow hits, and the rappelling starts--

Immediate slippage, and Wisdom abruptly has both his arms wrapped around Arsenal's waist, eyes shut tight because fucking god he doesn't want to see what's above or below them right now, especially since now they're swinging free of the train--

--the falling chopper's majestically crashing into the train's high explosives cars--

--lava and ash and rocks and bits of helicopter fall all around and on them--

--the tracks start disintegrating beneath the train /even as/ the cars are exploding--

--and they're *dangling from the helicopter*. "Jesus jesus jesus jesus fuck fuck fuck fuck go go go go!" he practically squeaks into the back of Roy's parka.


"Hold your fucking horses!"

And while the line is pulling Roy and Pete up, Roy is holding on for dear life to the towline, praying like hell that the rope was secured, and the explosions all about them wasn't going to shake them off.

As it was, the wind pressure was picking up as Domino quickens her pace.

Kicking out as they approach the copter so that he can hook a leg onto the chopper's landing gear, Roy takes a moment to watch all the explosions.

"... hey, mom, can we ride again?" he quips up to Domino.


Tag! The guys are on their way, which means Domino is free to twist the flightstick -away- from the cliffs and pull them out into the middle of nowhere. Yeah. So not the time to look down.

The next HIND goes down in a massive fireball of ignited airplane fuel, causing rickety old hunks of metal and lumber to spray outward. The train, already going way too fast with way too much weight for this unused stretch of railway, is more than a lost cause. It's a lost cause with a -very big explosion- following its maiden flight several hundred feet into a tree-filled ravine. The instrument cluster lights up like the Fourth of July, warnings going off around the albino as she fights the controls with (naturally) white knuckles.

Time and distance allow the HIND to settle back into a more level rhythm, Dom only taking as long as necessary to let the others climb up inside before putting a lot more distance between them and the eruption.

"One more word out of you and I'll turn this bird right around, Harper."

Damn kids.


ROUGHLY TWELVE HOURS later, in a penthouse suite at the top of a four-star hotel nestled in the hills of southern Portugal...

Wisdom's out on the balcony, smoking a Havana, pouring himself another tumbler of whiskey. He's in a brand new suit and is drunk enough that he's not feeling any of the various sorts of battering he took, his trouser legs are rolled up to just above the depth of the hot tub's top step, and his jacket and tie are both draped over one of the lounge chairs. "You're not putting that shit on Facebook or anything, Dom, are you? Or like. Merc Facebook or whatever. Mercbook."


Soaking in a swimsuit, and just letting the steaming liquid wash away all the tension and bruises away, Roy lifts a tumbler of whiskey at Pete, and winks at Domino. "Be sure to put my best side up there if you do."

Taking a bracing drink, Roy places the tumbler off to the side. "Got to admit, by the way, Dom... that was a hell of a run you had just getting on board."

Grabbing ahold of the whiskey bottle, Roy intones in his best sports reporter voice, "So how did you stick the dismount?" and then passing on the bottle to Domino.


After all of that, a soak in a hot tub is -just- the ticket. Thanks to a brief house visit to Gregori, a Russian arms dealer that Domino has worked with before, she got to exchange exactly one Soviet gunship for an older sport UAV four by four and a pile of untraceable currency, which has covered travel, expenses, and comped their hotel stay. It also covered her swimsuit and sunglasses.

Black, naturally.

"I don't touch that shit," she snorts back to Pete. "I am seriously debating getting in touch with Michael Bay for movie rights, however." She's reclined back in the tub, arms stretched out over the edge. Two pistols neatly set aside within easy reach. A glass devoted to strong drinks is set within even closer reach. With a toothy grin, she teases Roy "The best side of you is the one that's walking away."

The offered bottle is accepted, refilling her glass. "Like a damned pro. Next time, wait until -after- we're all onboard before setting off those charges."


"Like," corrects Pete quite carefully, every syllable enunciated, "a /boss/, Dom. Like a boss." And then he walks just as carefully back over to the hot tub, and puts his drink down on the ledge and his cigar in the corner of his mouth, and /extremely/ carefully puts his feet in and sits on the edge.

There's a long pause, and then the man says with slow, smug satisfaction. "A fucking /volcano/."


"Now that's one side I'd rather -not- give you, Dom," laughs Roy. Glancing back towards Pete, the redheaded agent grins. "... A mother fucking volcano. Wish I'd been there to it go off. Did Dom, like, do the silent walk away without looking back?"

Licking a finger, Roy makes a mark in the air. "Anyway, that's another one you owe me, Wisdom. Though I probably owe Dom a couple now."


Dom raises her glass in mock-salute to Pete. "Correction accepted, 'like a boss.'" Roy's next comment just has her laughing, "If I did the Slow Merc Strut out of there you two would have left me in the dust, I ran my butt off! Any points lost for execution were more than made up in follow-through." Sigh! "I suppose the real world is going to be clawing at our hides soon enough. You kids are fun, if Uncle Fury allows it we should play more. Should probably avoid the mountains for a while, though."

"This whiskey is amazing, good pick Harper."


"Put it on SHIELD's tab, Harper," Wisdom says lazily, slouching comfortably and holding his whiskey on one knee while he reaches over and back to ash his cigar. "Same as the rest of your job. ...ass." He glances sidelong at Bikini Lass, eyebrows up. "Fuck the real world. I'm taking the rest of the goddamn week off, I have a stack of unread texts from Regina Spektor. But before that I'm going to sleep. And not in the mountains. Don't worry about that. I love dangerous sports, but I'm not suicidal. Generally speaking." He swirls his glass around, looking into the amber depths-- and then grins up at Dom without lifting his face. "Oh he should. You're so damn good. And listen, if you need help with other shit, you've got to remember you can call me. Even if I work for SHIELD. I know you know that, but remember it."

Shit. Pete's getting maudlin. He's NEVER a maudlin drunk in public. Or in front of people. Until now, maybe? Because from that, which was bad enough, he goes to waving his tumbler at Roy. "And mate, you know I got your back regardless of paycheck. And we three, shit, we make such a fucking good team. That was brilliant. That was so fucking-- spectacular."

Seeming to realize that he's starting to go dangerous places, Pete carefully puts his shit down again, then wobbles off the edge of the hot tub, splashing a little bit as he gets his feet out. "I'm... bed. Because fuuuuck. So great. So... great." Pad pad pad barefoot, thump like a bird into the sliding glass doors, carefully open, and exit stage bed.

There is a moderately long silence while this goes on, Domino and Arsenal both just staring after Wisdom as he leaves, and for a moment afterwards. Then they look at each other.

And bump fists together.

THE CAMERA FADES ON GALES OF LAUGHTER FROM THE HOT TUB, PANNING UPWARD, AND LAUGHTER FADES INTO ENDING THEME.

ROLL CREDITS.

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