|EVENT: 4 Hours to Sunset|
|What: Jackie's enemies have been manipulated into concentrating their efforts to kill him, stopping him from reaching Jersey. Half a million dollars says that he'll make it there alive.|
The decent into the thick cloying smoke of the blown out rooftop of the adjacent building was not so inviting in the long term as it appeared in the short, at least not for the gentlemen. Domino's good fortune seemed to hold out as she fell firmly onto the only bed while Roy and Jackie's landing places were far less... plush. "Go go go!" Jackie chokes out through the dust and smoke as Roy works at untangling himself from the dresser his body just demolished. "The light!" a square of light marks the open doorway out of the room as the trio, limping, injured, stumble for it. That's the inauspicious start to the long continued run through the streets of Hell's Kitchen.
Two and a half hours later the trio have ducked through dry cleaners, restaurants, more then a dozen housing establishments of varying levels of decay, a couple of money lenders, a few bars, and what could only have been a brothel given the activities they witnessed while hurling themselves from one room to the next in a mad dash for an exit. It's a long two hours, but never once did the Brotherhood manage to regroup enough to make a fight of it. But two hours on the run, bleeding, hurt, takes it's tole. Jackie slumps against the inner curving wall of the walkway over pass, luxuriating in the semi shadows it casts on the otherwise gloriously clear and bright sunny afternoon. His hand presses to the hastily wrapped bandage around his arm where the through-and-through put a new hole in his body and it comes away tacky. He sighs. "Sound off." he says, his voice a bit raspy and hash in the none to dark shadows. Outside the small tunnel the soft lazy sounds of a beautiful day in Central Park can be heard, pigeons, bikes, children, cell phone conversations, New York life made famous by every movie and television show known to man. The very pulse of the city beating away joyously as it flows into the city's heart on this most oddly beautiful of winter days. Without his coat to help keep him warm, lost somewhere in the mad dash, Jackie shivers slightly. Sunny it might be, but cold is cold, and leaning agianst the concrete might have been a bad decision as it seems to leech more of his waning strength.
Somewhere within those last two hours Domino starts to wonder if maybe half a million isn't going to be enough for a job like this. Their extra fire support got lost (though the gun she had loaned to the unfamiliar man managed to land right beside her on that mattress, go figure.) Now being stuck in the park during daylight hours she's starting to feel more than tired, grumpy, and injured. She's feeling very, very exposed. Heroes love to patrol this part of the city, and here the three stand, battle-torn and with enough firepower to supply an entire block riot.
"Present," she automatically replies while popping the FAL's bulky magazine out and giving it a quick visual inspection. She managed to hang onto her coat, which is really for the best given what she's hiding beneath it. "If we're going to have any hope in Hell of making it through this we're going to need a ride. This on foot thing? Not working."
They're running out of time, supplies, bullets, and blood.
The trucker's cap adjusted firmly over his now far-more-bandaged head, Roy nods grimly. "Harper here," he says, checking the bandage on his left arm and left leg from where he'd landed poorly. Next time, he was making sure he was sticking -close- to Domino just to take advantage of -her- damned blasted luck.
Down to a pair of pistols, Roy glances back towards Domino. "Whatever you're being paid for this... quadruple it and give me half," he mutters. Not that really could take blood money, but the look on Roy's face was basically 'you owe me for this, I don't care -what-'.
"So, Jackie-boy, is it -really- such a good idea to be out in Central Park?" Roy continues, glancing back at the other man. "We're basically sitting ducks for snipers out there. Unless..." He motions downwards. Sewers?
Jackie chuckles at that, "We're in Manhatten and you think a car will get is there faster?" he asks, a bit incredulous. He checks his Tag Heuer and sighs, "At four o'clock in the afternoon, when people are starting to jetison one job for another." he rolls his eyes over to give Domino a blank stare. "So. Not really from around New York are ya?" he asks conversationally. "Carpet baggers." his tone is flat but his lips are quirked in a crooked and charming smile. He groans as he starts going through a small equipment check of his own. His gloves remain, so there's that at least. He takes a pair of half empty clips and turns them into a single full one with careful motions, keeping his wounded arm pressed against his side as he does. As he puts fresh mags in the pistols.
"Central Park is neutral territory." he says flatly, "Kingpin runs the Kitchen, Chelsea, the Garment District, most of Midtown West, definatly everything south of that that's not Queens, we have everything from the Upper West Side through Harlem, Upper East is the Magia's territory split up amongst it's varied whiney way to villainy sounding named capo's. We can't go south," cause they've blown up a good bit of it and it's currently crawling with soldiers, "can't go East," because the rival gangs would hunt them there, "we could go West cause that's my turf, but it's where they'd expect us to go and on a day like to day with a pay off like todays I'm not willing to risk some asshole eyeing me like a ticket to retirement or a promotion." In his line of work you trust very few, and with the price on his head he's not sure he can trust even his own people. "Sewers would be an idea, a good one actually..." Jackie looks thoughtful. Sewers... It's Dark down there. He could use that. Wait. "No." he says after a moments thought. "No that's where they'd try to funnel us." because whoever's going after them would know that's where Jackie would try to retreat to, to the Darkness, where he'd be stronger. It's where they'd set the trap, baited with all that delicious shadow. He glances at his allies, "Just trust me on this one, we go into the sewers we'll hit a trap. A bad one. The Park is neutral territory, less soldiers, more cops, very public, and yes snipers are an issue, but not much of one." he eyes Roy, "Dude, it's Central Park, there aren't many places with more cover to be found or obstructions to be had even in a flat sprint."
Jackie sighs, "None of this is perfect, there are no right answers just the ones that I think have the smallest number of risks. Any other ideas? I'm all ears. We could steal a horse cops ride? Maybe that would be faster..." he considers this plan though to be fair, horses freak him right the hell out. "God I wish we could take the train."
Domino rolls her eyes at Arsenal, "Are you forgetting already that I didn't -want- you here from the start? This is its own payback for sticking your nose into my business, now quit your bitching." She reloads the MP7 then passes it over to Roy, however. Buddies in arms are only useful so long as they're kept armed. Yes, Arsenal has his own bag of tricks, but he can kill people with icicles and paperclips -after- the ammo's run out.
She's selfish, not barbaric.
Jackie's stare toward her is met in turn. "You've never been along when I'm doing the driving." Yes, it's Manhattan. Yes, the streets are a congested -mess.- And yet, she always manages to find a way through! "So..what, we're calling 'base' so long as we're standing here?" she asks, surprised.
Then he goes and mentions the train. "Yeah, about that? Trains and us two don't..really get along so well."
What other option is there, though? "We could try for the sewers, or chance it on the subway. These guys willing to massacre civilians by the dozen just to try and land one on you, Jackie?" Okay, what else. Oh yeah! -Cheat.- "I could get us a chopper."
"Hey, you -dragged- me along there. If I didn't know better, I'd think you -wanted- me along to keep your luck going," Roy jibes back as he eyes his pistols, before tossing them to Domino. "You know what, you take them, if they'll make you feel better. Now lemme see..."
Eyebrows go up nearly into the trucker cap. "Ahhh, I wouldn't worry, Dommie, there's no volcanoes in New York City." He ponders this briefly, before tilting his head at the mercenary. "How we getting a chopper from here? What we need is something crazier than that, something like... I dunno, what are the odds of bumming bikes from Hell's Angels here?"
Jackie nods his head, "They'd blow up a building with a plane to get to me." he says, meeting Domino's eyes evenly. "In case you didn't understand before, I don't know how plain I can make it save by pointing out I've lived my entire life in this city and I used /that/ as an analogy." Unconsciously his eyes flicker in the direction of Ground Zero as if he had GPS on it's location at all times. As fast as they go there, they go somewhere else though, back to the guns that he now tucks into his shoulder rigs. "It's temporary. Some are willing to mow down civvies, but those would be the soldier sorts. This isn't safe, it's just safer." he looks at both entrances of the tunnel, "But we can't stay here forever... and how are you going to get us a chopper? It's illegal to land or take off in Manhatten since 9/11, not even police choppers come close to the ground anymore." The small 'night time' lights inside the tunnel flare to life and Jackie eyes them suspiciously, as if power fluctuations were dangerous. "You guys ever get that feeling?" he asks, the small hairs on the back of his neck standing up.
"Yeah, only because you were already there and I had no choice," Dom protests. Then he's giving her his guns..? Hell, okay then. More for the collection.
Her look to Jackie quickly returns, and lingers. She is not amused. "You asked for my fucking opinion so I fucking well gave it to you. It's not my fault that I have more options available than you do."
Then he mentions the chopper being illegal, and she just -snorts- with exaggerated amusement. "Yeah, because everything we've done up to this point has been perfectly legal. No one'll ever suspect a thing. -Look,- we're running on empty and we need a solution -yesterday,- what else do we have to work with here? I can see about calling in a favor, get us a bird delivered. It's too slow for a fighter jet to intercept and we could be well out of the city before they can scramble anything to catch up to us with."
Or so that's what she's banking on.
When the lights around them change her head snaps up, looking down the way they had come from. "Time's up. Looks like we get to argue on the run. Either make a damned decision or I'll make one for us. Three guesses how much either of you are going to like my solution."
"Sure you did... you could just have left me behind," Roy grins, as he picks up a penny he'd found on the ground. Flipping it in the air and grabbing it, Roy looks at Jackie. "Sorry, man... having worked with her before, I like my odds beter with -her- about. Although... isn't Bethany Cabe near here? Give her a call, and see if she can get us a..."
Roy's voice trails off as he considers just what -else- is near here, and then he slaps his head. "DAMMIT, how idiotic I can be???" There's a quick leap for Domino, because -she-'s the lucky one who still has an intact phone. Friskfrisk...where the hell did she keep that ph... there it is!
"Hello, SHIELD? Harper here. I need a ride, and I need a ride -fast- near that tunnel off the north side of the lake... yeah, those dinky rinky little tunnels... no, I'm not shagging someone on my lunch break, and no, I didn't lose my cycle, it's a long story, just get me a skycycle or two, and I needed it -yesterday!-" Cuz, you know, the SHIELD Helicarrier is secretly hidden over Central Park. For whatever reason.
The lights flash, and Roy curses. "Nevermind, just send one on auto-pilot to home into this GPS, and do it -fast-!"
The lights flicker agian, this time across the area around them, and Jackie reaches up to rest his hand on one of the guns in the shoulder rig. "Guys." he says slowly as Roy talks into the phone, the phone that sparks twice then billows a small puff of smoke directly into his face as he's speaking his last sentence. "I was serious, either of you ever get that fe-" he never finishes the word as a bolt of lightning hits Jackie in the middle of his chest, picks him up off his feet, and hurls him a solid thirty feet out into the open air out of the tunnel and into the park. The lights next to Roy and Dommino flare to bright light and a figure appears at the other end of the tunnel a mere 20 feet away.
He's wearing, of all things, a green body stocking with stylized yellow lightning bolt patterns on it, yellow gloves and boots, and the most ridiculous mask, the sort of garish thing that could only be thought scary by a New York villain. Green skull cap with five star points made of lightning bolts faning our about his face like the fingers of a wide open hand. The man's lazy lean against the side of the building is arrogant in a manner that's down right insulting, the nonchalance as he raises an extended index finger to his lips and lightly blows a wiff of smoke rising from the digit away is frankly, a bit much. He rolls his eyes towards Roy and Domino, "Run along little kiddies," the man known as Electro says, "Daddy needs to pick up his big fat guido pay check. Shoo." he makes a small flicking motion with his gloved hand, a hand that showers small sparks with the motion.
Domino hadn't considered phoning in CMS. Would they be willing to help out with something as shady as this?
Then Roy's suddenly -right here.- And getting his hands all over her. "Dude, what the hell!" It starts with an open-handed slap to the back of Roy's head, and ends with her leveling a pistol at arm's length square at his face. As he makes a call. -On her phone.- There's a look in her eyes that bridges the gap between 'monstrously pissed' and 'utterly horrified.'
"You did -not- just use my phone to call SHIELD... I keep it locked! How the fuck did you even--" she starts in, making a mad swipe to take her phone back right as Roy finishes his call, just in time to dart her hand back as it gets fried. "Aw, -come on!- Seriously, not cool!"
When she gets to see the guy responsible her expression only further hardens. The arrogance? Not helping his case. Without a phone to retrieve she instead comes around with a frag grenade, popping the pin and hucking it at Electro in the same motion. "Collect this, asshole!"
Dropping the phone quickly, Roy curses. Was the GPS even gonna -work- if the phone was fried like that?... wait wait, first things first. "Aw crap..." He'd have some apologizing to do later to Domino -after- this. Oh, -especially- after this stunt...
Because the first thing he does is spin towards Domino, around her back, ducking to grab the pistol that'd only moments ago been aimed at his face, and shooting at the grenade -while- trying to pull Domino down to avoid the aftermath- because if this was Electro, he'd try and melt it into slag -before- it went off, so it was -going off whether he liked it or not-.
Electro makes the same motion most people make when flicking a bit of lint from their suit sleeve, a little flick, and the frag, with a crackle in the air, sails straight back at Domino. "Really?" he asks with an incredulous expression. "What are you? Retarded? I'm /Elec-" he, like Jackie before him, doesn't get to finish that word. The bullet's impact ignites the frag... In the inclosed space of the small short tunnel, magnifying not only the effect of the shrapnel, but the kinetic force as well. Luck, no matter how good, can't protect you from a wall of force great enough to crack stone, not when you loaded into the tunnel like the bullet in a gun and ignite your own powder. Electro, getting the other half of the force way, is blasted out the back side of the tunnel like a green and yellow cannon ball, trailing smoke and dust in his path. He rolls with the impact and groans as he comes to a stop, his cheek pressed against the concrete of the path. His hearing, like Domino and Roy's, is completely shot. Between the noise and the preassure wave, it'll be at least an hour before he regains any semblance of that particular sence... So he can't hear the frightened screams of the civvies around him as he slowly pushes hismelf up to his feet. "Fine." he mumbles, wiping a bit of blood from the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand, "It'll be like that." his eyes suddenly light up with their own inner power and every single electrical device within one hundred feet simply ceases to work and starts smoldering.
Luck works in mysterious ways. Domino's eyes just start to widen as Electro manages to fling the grenade right back at her, but..! Never to worry! Arsenal's got it. She's got just enough time to close her eyes and open her mouth, anything to try and equalize the pressure wave that's an instant away from--
It's like getting punched all over at the same instant. It rattles the ribs. Aggravates every last one of her wounds, drawing fresh blood to the surface. But, you know what else it manages to do?
It puts Domino and Arsenal that much closer to Jackie's side and throws their new enemy away from them with the same casual arrogance that he used when batting at her grenade.
Good fortune doesn't mean everything is sunny and full of roses. Lady Luck is a harsh mistress, there's no telling just what she might do. Maybe these two can't hear anything after that blast, but they're saved from the hailstorm of shrapnel. They're still in one piece. They have some extra time.
Domino grabs at Jackie's collar with one hand, the other whipping around to fire shots back at Electro to help cover their escape. All she can hear is the distant, muffled explosions not unlike someone slamming a door closed while underwater. There's the chilly wind upon her face, the trickle of blood seeping out of her ears, the sharp recoil of the pistol snapping back against her wrist...
It's all unnervingly familiar territory. That bleak moment where desperation works, but only just barely. Her luck may be running out.
Ears ringing, Roy follows suit in dragging Jackie with Domino. Popping his jaw frantically to try and get equilibrium and equalizing the pressure, as his ears bleed, the SHIELD agent keeps his pistol hand up, letting Domino lay the cover fire.
And that every electrical device within 100 feet keeps smouldering is a problem... but that reminds Roy of something. Nudging Domino, he makes a gesture towards her chest. Give that over. No, NOT your chest. The grenade!
Electro's jaw bulges with anger, "GUNS!?!" he shouts, unaware of the volume of his own voice. "You come at me with GUNS!?" He waves a hand before him as he marches towards Domino, walking directly into the on coming fire swatting bullets from the air as if they were flies, each one flashing into non-exsistence like moths in a bug zapper when they near him. They even give off the same sound, not that Domino or Roy would notice. He makes a fist Domino's way as she and Roy snag Jackie's collar, "No touchie the paycheck." he snarls as bolts of lightning gather beneath his feet and lift him into the air, sending him speeding the direction of the duo and their unconscious cargo. Blasts of electricity leap from a nearby lamp post and hammer at Roy in rapid succession. Electro can't really run out of ammo in a city this big, and someone had to go and piss him off with their grenades...
What else would Domino come at this guy with, a pitchfork? Explosives didn't work. Guns aren't work--correction: Bullets aren't working, -when he can see them coming.- A direct attack isn't the way to approach this guy, what she needs..is something else.
Roy's insistence on using yet more explosives earns himself a cold look from her. Fine! He's got a good throwing arm, but we all saw what happened -last- time, did we not? She's just about to give Roy what he's motioning wildly toward when he gets himself attacked.
And then there was one.
She's got one obvious play left. The entrance to the tunnel is behind them. It's a nice flat surface, should take a ricochet well. She only has to make sure that Electro doesn't see it coming.
Twin pistols snap up toward Electro. Shot after shot thunders out into the air, aimed squarely at his frame. She's expecting him to vaporize those shots. She's -counting- on it. Keep him focused, arrogant. Oblivious to the one shot that just happens to come out a few degrees low, skipping off of the sidewalk, ricocheting off the side of the tunnel, coming right back at the guy from behind...
Unable to handle the grenade as he gets -zapped- and smoked good, Roy slumps onto Jackie, twitching. It's a shame, really, the grenade tumbling about just out of his reach, going -exactly- where he would have wanted it anyway, as it tumbles towards a water fountain... but in no position to do -anything- about it...
Electro is beyond mad, does no one understand how hard it is to find a guy willing to sew costumes for a super villain? I mean seriously, this suit isn't cheap and he has a brand to live up to you know, it's not like he's The Spot or some stupid B rate backwater! He's Electro! Everyone in New York knows his name! Everyone fears him! He fights /Spider-Man/ like twice a month! He hammers Roy with bolt after bolt as the man's muscles seize up with full body charlie horses, causing what Electro refers to as the 'Electro-Slide'. He's not very clever, just powerful. "No talent, second rate, bumpkin, make up wearin, no name havi-" again his tirade is cut short, this time as a bullet clips the back of Dillon's knee and he's knocked from his perch of lightning, a fine mist of blood blooming from his thigh, "Agh!" this is of course followed by an explosion that makes it rain. Fine droplets of water sizzling out before they can touch his skin as they spray about. Electro whines as he looks down at his leg incredulously. "You shot me." he says, disbelieving, "You fuckin' shot me!" He presses a hand to his leg in something akin to fear. "No one shoots me!!" he doesn't see the creeping spreading puddle that's growing nearer. His eyes suddenly glow again as they turn onto the trio of brawlers, "No one. Shoots. Me." he growls around clenched teeth. He reaches up and clenches a fist, from overhead something in the sky whines dishearteningly and there's a soft WHOOF! sound as smoke billows from a shape that begins to plummet from the sky. Electro points right at Domino and again clenches his fist, "NO ONE SHOOTS ELECTRO!!" he says as lightning leaps from the lamp posts to the skycycle, helping guide the newly formed missile straight at Jackie and his protectors.
Nothing is ever impossible. Only highly improbable. 'When you think your side is losing, kick over the game board and start again with new rules.'
Three things to contend with. One: Spreading water. Without warning Domino sweeps her arms toward the fountain and unloads into the central spire, splintering cement and cracking the base. The top of the fountain collapses in an almost graceful fashion, slamming against the frozen ground and the ruined basin. Forming a barrier to redirect the escaping water away from them.
Two: Damaged shuttle, coming in fast. Their ride's shot, as is its ability to control itself in flight, apparently. A cold sweat starts to settle upon her armored skin, though before she can think of what to do about this she's already in motion again. Up come those pistols, shots hammering away at one of the skycycle's stabilizers. If she can somehow disrupt its path...
The pieces are set. Now to move the pawn. He's already shot, ballistic encouragement not wise. Explosives? No good. Lamp post, too thick to bring down with pistol fire. How does one bring the enemy -closer- into harm's way?
Play to his arrogance.
"Hey, Sparky! Your mother was a floor lamp, you fused out sonuvabitch!"
Reorganize. Set. Cross fingers.
Virgil Masters was born in 1899, and as he grew up he know he desired only one thing, to be an artist. It called to his soul, to craft a thing with his hands, to set from nature and chaos a thing or order and beauty, to see something ordinary that a normal person would ignore and through it's surface see perfection and coax it out with loving care. Virgil became a sculpture of surpassing skill, while never gaining glory or fame on a global level, he was locally quiet loved and he was never short of work. In 1945, when arthritis wracked his hands and he knew he would be forced to lay his chisel aside before long, he was commissioned by the city of New York for one more final piece. Virgil loved his city, and so, with some prodding from his loving wife and the mayor, he relented. The War was over and America, for the first time in history, had risen to prominence on a global scale. There was hope and a light at the end of a vast deep dark tunnel, this feeling of almost weightlessness... It was this feeling that Virgil decided to capture, that nation wide sense of elation, of freedom, of limitlessness. And so he crafted a sculpture of gorgeous beauty, a man, well muscled, young, but haunted, bursting free from the surging waters around him, arm out extended to the sky in wonder and hope as he filled his lungs with much needed air. The crafting took eight years to finish, and in the end it was a master piece. All those years of training, blood, sweat, tears, created for New York a fountain of beauty, that captured the feeling of a nation in a single still moment...
Fifty years later Domino's bullets chew through the sculpted marble, shattering it's lovingly formed base, wrenching apart it's carefully designed lines, shattering it's hopeful out stretched arm in a moment of panic and fear and yes, of hope. The statue falls, landing oddly at the edge of the fountain and manages to roll just right, the stone arm, outstretched, redirects the water around Domino and the two helpless men with her, protecting them valiantly. While a series of wildly fired shots sent skyward utterly riddle the skycycle's left hand stabilizer, sending the craft into a sudden roll in that direction, wrenching it out of it's tenuously controlled dive.
Electro blinks. His eyes gaze upwards as the skycycle arches and begins to head straight for him, his gaze widening. Then he turns to stare at Domino, a cross between rage and wonder on his features, "Oh you bitch." he states flatly before he hurls his hands upward and a surge of electrical power great enough to black out most of midtown hurtles skyward, striking the bike on the nose in a blinding flash. The skycycle arches to the side, just a bit, and plows into the ground with an explosion that sends Electro ass over tea kettle through the air like a ragdoll tossed by a child, once more smoke and dust trailing in his wake. "BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTCCCCCCCC-" he says as he cartwheels away from the trio, glowing eyes staring at Domino as he lands with a sliding crunch sound.
Right in a giant puddle of water.
KZAPT!! The sound fills the air, though neither Roy nor Domino can hear it, and there's a flash of light as the hairs on Domino's head stand out in full on afro mood. Smoke rises from the now still form of Max Dillon, drool sliding from the side of his mouth, his eyes rolled back into his head as his fingers twitch feebly and fitful sparks dance around the puddle's edge. Another word he never got to finish.
Somewhere the spectre of Virgil Masters stares down at the twitching villain, young and strong and handsome once more, a beautiful young woman holding his hand in a lovely sun dress in a style that's been dead and gone nearly seventy years. He spits on the ground next to Dillon and then smiles over to his wife, <<You were right,>> the ghost says as it starts to fade, <<that damned thing really was worth it. But I shouldn't be surprised, you're always right.>> The young woman smiles humbly but with a sense of satisfaction, <<Of course I am dear.>>
Can one possibly reset the pieces in her favor without truly knowing what it is that she's doing? Turns out that there's at least one woman on this planet who can. The skycycle goes down. Electro goes flying. Then everyone nearby gets a ground display as he shorts himself out in a most spectacular fashion.
Just on the sidelines stands one skinny albino woman with a smoking pistol in either hand, slides locked open on empty chambers as they hover to the sides of her hips. A smirk slowly crawls across her blackened lips, electro-fro be damned.
"Still the best."
Nevermind that she can barely hear herself talking. There's one threat removed from the roster good and proper. Now she's got two more empty guns, and two downed people to try and get out of the city. No communication. No transportation. Countless numbers in their opposition.
That smirk fades, just as slowly. The odds keep getting worse. Yet, here she stands.
Empty guns are put away. One hand grabs Jackie. The other hand grabs Arsenal. She'll damn well -drag them all the way to Jersey- if she has to.