|Scene Of The Crime|
|What: An investigation turns into more than anyone planned for.|
A day after One went missing, this stopped being a safe street. His building's tenants have almost completely vacated. Occasionally, a woman walks a dog or a man carrying flowers strolls down the street. A dented yellow sedan can be seen making loops through the neighborhood. That's the extent of the activity. Though it's in the same location, this is no longer the same place.
Things are no better inside One's building. On the doctor's floor, blood still stains the carpet in a trail all the way down the hall and into his apartment. There's no longer a door or even a frame. Both have been smashed inward, leaving a ragged hole in the wall. There's another hole in the wall opposite the doorway, one obviously made by a person being tossed through it. On the other side, there's the outline of a tall human form in the dust on the floor of the vacant unit, along with more blood spatter.
Things are even worse inside One's apartment. The place has been thoroughly tossed, and anything resembling advanced technology has been removed. The cupboards, drawers, and refrigerator gape open. The couch and hospital bed in the living room have been overturned and their padding cut apart. The wooden furniture has been smashed. Again, more blood, along with cracked drywall, broken glass, and other signs of a serious struggle. There's an untidy pile of cash and bearer bonds in one corner of the kitchen, as if someone found them and hastily threw them aside. One's entire monomolecular scalpel set is stuck into wood, plaster, and even metal as if he were using them to play a reckless game of darts.
Clearly, this was more than a simple robbery.
The blood is missed by Selina who doesn't use the stairs to reach the floor One's apartment, her method of entry is the window that is gotten to by the fire escape instead. She's in costume and her goggles are slipped onto place over her face, concealing her identity of the millionaire-socialite even as it reveals her as Catwoman.
The state of the apartment, once she's able to make sure she can step inside without being shot up or blown to hell by claymores and actually see its interior, is quite shocking, it being chilling. One is a man of habit and his home-slash-office kept in pristine condition at all times, after all, and things are anything but for how much trash and destruction there is.
"God, One." The leather clad woman starts to pick her way through the mess, the scapels not yet noticed.
A few days can quickly turn into a lengthy wait when the well-being of a friend is on the line. The fact that Domino also went and got the tar beat out of her and hasn't been allowed to do much more than lie around and heal hasn't made waiting easier in the slightest. The thing that really concerned her, though? One wasn't answering her calls.
This has never happened before.
It took little effort to duck out of the medlab and jump into her car, driving back into Brooklyn by herself. When someone up and falls off of the grid like this, especially when they're already living well beneath it, it always points to trouble. Something's happened. Whatever happened she missed, it's way too late by now. All she can hope for is to get some idea of what happened and find some manner of lead on where to go from there.
There's a familiar feeling in the air around this building. Tension, uneasy silence. Like a ghost on the wind she slips inside, tightening her jaw against the irritation movement places upon so many wounds as she draws her sidearms and makes her way to One's apartment. Or what's left of it.
Blood on the floor. Old. Door off of its hinges. Plenty of time for anyone to have ransacked the place well after the initial attack ended. Cripes, what a mess... Though, she only gets a foot past the front door when something feels amiss. Like there's someone else--
"I'm assuming you didn't have a hand in this," Dom tells the darkened room. She doesn't have the benefit of low-light image enhancement, but she knows when she's not alone.
"You'd be wrong about that," A cold, familiar voice replies. By remaining completely motionless and silent, one of the clones has managed to remain virtually invisible for many hours. Watching. Waiting.
Now he steps out from behind the remains of the desk, which have furnished him with his shadowy hiding place. His cybernetic hand WHIRRs and CHIRRs as he flexes it and focuses on the two women. Other than the prosthetic, he's identical to One in every way. "We knew he called for help. We just didn't know who he called. Seven, at your service. Now put your hands on your heads and kneel. Slowly."
He's awfully confident for a man wearing a light jacket, jeans, and apparently carrying no weapons.
The intention to answer Domino is there but her response has no time to be given as they're not alone, the chilling sound followed by the familiar voice causing Catwoman to frown, her fingers curled in so those 'claws' that cap each finger upon her gloves can slip free, now unsheathed. "I see. Seven, you say? You'll have to forgive me but I don't kneel."
A quick glance is given towards where Domino is, the lenses that have been installed in her goggles allowing her to see in all but complete darkness not unlike a cat. "I do hope you don't mind a fight," she announces although to whom that's said to is to and just why she's saying it. Is it said to the clone to announce her attentions or is it an apology to Dom for what she's about to do.
Five seconds pass before she leaps forward, claws aimed for face level. If he's like the other clones she has seen he will be well programmed in combat methods, a literal killing machine. But that doesn't matter. She's just hoping she can prove to be enough of a distraction to the foul creation to buy them both time so Domino can figure out the next step..
Oh, well isn't this just stellar. Domino's recovering from a lot, already. Nasty bruises from where her armor stopped bullets, stitches from where another one, and a couple of blades, managed to get through, a limp in her left leg, it's a literal party for personal injury. Now there's someone else wanting to go?
"About bloody time," she mutters while thumbing the hammers back. "What she said. I don't care what they say, Seven is definitely not your lucky number."
Now, if she had the time to prepare she could have packed some lowlight goggles of her own. Her solution is a bit more low-tech, and unfortunately for the cat, it's likely going to become a problem for her. There's a high-powered flashlight bolted to the frame of each pistol, the pair suddenly painting cones of blinding white light right where they happen to be aiming. Gotta go with what you've got, right?
Dom's heard about there being others like One. She's never seen any of them and has only on occasion seen what One can do in a fight. This skirmish is going to be a learning experience. Quite possibly a painful one, too. Seven's got plenty of weak spots to exploit, she's not on top of her game. Her aim's still spot-on, at least. All she has to do is wait for Catwoman to clear out so she can add her piece to the argument! Her next step is simple: Start shooting and don't stop until she has to reload.
Seven laughs. That's right, he laughs. With bare shrugs of movement, he shifts away from the claw strikes. He doesn't hit back, either. Not right away. Instead, he advances, forcing Catwoman to take a step backward for every one of his. Without attacking her, he's herding her.
His overconfidence costs him. When the hail of bullets start, he's caught unaware. The first one PINGs off of his titanium skull, tearing a bloody furrow across his scalp and exposing a great deal of metal. His eyes narrow and settle on Domino. "Ow."
Good God, these things are fast. Now Seven dodges, not by avoiding the bullets, but by simply not being where Domino's aiming when she squeezes the trigger. One round comes very close to his face before he swats it away with a blurred-quick swipe from his metal hand. That contact costs as well. There's a hiss and sputter of sparks, then Seven's eyes narrow to slits. "You'll find that was very ill-advised," he hisses.
Then he picks up Catwoman and charges toward Domino, using the leather-clad criminal as both human shield and battering ram.
Catwoman's fast, damnit, but she is no match for Seven and he's soon able to maneuver her backward. The defensive back-peddling is good for keeping her out of his arm's reach but then his focus changes, lulling her into a false sense of security, her footfall slowing and then halting entirely.
"Where is O..."
Damnit, now she's grabbed and easily caught, that bad in and of itself, but now she's the one in the way of the gunfire and she's not happy. "Bastard..." She's squirming, trying to get out of Seven's grasp, all while praying like mad that Domino's aim is good since her favorite doctor isn't around to patch her up at the moment.
"Goddamn, you guys really -are- Terminators!" Domino calls out while watching her shots spark and bounce right off of Seven's toughened endoskeleton. Her kingdom for a plasma rifle... This guy's -fast,- she might have trouble keeping up on her best of days! Sudden movements now are going to feel downright awful, but hey. Them's the breaks.
Also, Catwoman's being used as a shield.
Dom, naturally, stops shooting. She also leaps out of the way, not wanting to get caught up in the middle of it! A few quick shots slam out from the side, trying to get at Seven from around Catwoman (maybe he's less protected from that angle..?) until her own side connects with the floor. In a flash a fresh jolt of pain lashes through her, momentarily killing her ability to breathe. Definitely not at her best tonight.
"I'll show you ill-advised, Sparky McClonerson..."
Get off the floor, keep moving! Look for a weak spot, aim for the joints. Neck, above the hips, behind the knees--Stop moving so fast, damnit!
Though he's built to shrug off hits, nobody likes being shot in the head. And for Seven, having his cybernetic weapons systems disabled is a particularly hard blow. He grunts, drops Catwoman, and is just turning to glare at Domino when a pistol slug takes him through the upper arm. There, apparently, he's nothing but flesh and blood. The same happens when another hits him in the thigh.
Neither seem to slow him down. Seven clears the room in a single leap and lands next to Domino. Then, very purposefully, he grabs her around the throat and hoists her off the ground with a single hand. "Shh," he hushes her unnecessarily. "Shh-shh-shh."
Experience is a wonderful teacher and Selina is going to do what she can to make sure that it can be used to not just her advantage but also Domino's. Her whip is pulled free and drawn into both hands, the right curled about the handle while the left holds the braided part from a couple feet down, an improvised garrote. Her footsteps quietly carry her behind him, her eyes lingering at the back of his neck, Domino not watched as this will take all her concentration.
The last few feet are bridged with a leap, Selina's hands moving to loop the weapon about his throat, hoping to choke him but not daring to believe they'll be that lucky. "If you get another shot," Selina yells in the middle of trying to choke a clone, "Don't shoot for his head." Pause. "We will need whatever information there might be in that damn brain of his." It's just a matter of whether Seven knows where One's being kept and if they'll be able to pull the location from the computer-like 'organ'.
On a good day Domino would ensnare Seven's arm with her legs and shove back against him. If he wasn't part machine she'd avoid that altogether and break the elbow or snap the wrist. These options are slightly outside of her reach this time. Before she can react her feet are plucked off of the floor, her arms wrapping around Seven's extended limb to try and relieve some of the pressure now collapsing her throat and threatening to remove her head from her shoulders altogether.
There is no grace in strangulation. It's an ugly thing, complete with ugly sounds and ugly consequences.
Seven's going to learn about one of these consequences, as one thing Domino's good at is -not giving up.- Of course, then Catwoman has to go and say something like -don't shoot him in the head.- Where the hell else is she supposed to shoot him?!
When in doubt, cheat.
With feet dangling in the air she drops one of her arms away, attempting to plant the muzzle end of a compensated pistol as close to Seven's groin as she can manage. It's a blind shot, she can't see well enough to be spot-on, but that general region isn't the easiest thing in the world to miss. Besides, she's still got several shots left to work with! Double-tapping is only useful if the first shot manages to get through to something important.
The clones are anatomically correct. This includes genitals and femoral arteries, both of which are perforated. Seven is in pain. Excruciating pain. Bleeding out. His vision is an angry sheet of red. Wincing, cringing, he drops to the floor.
There's so much blood. He tries to catch it in his hands, but that doesn't work. And he doesn't know how to put it back in, anyway. "That's supposed to be inside me," he objects. Then his too-blue eyes close for the last time.
"Nice shot," comes a compliment given as easily as one might compliment someone on the choice of attire, it coupled with a shrug from Selina. "At least we know they're not built like Ken dolls." The corpse is considered and then the room itself is, her expression thoughtful. "We need to get the brain out of his skull. I have no clue what of One's medical equipment is left but maybe if we both look we can find something."
Selina looks at the body and gives it one good kick, right in the ribs, her head angled as she tries to catch the sound of ribs breaking, the first kick paired with a couple more before she stops. "That first kick was because you tried to use me as a shield, you worthless piece of crap," is explained to the dead 'man', "and the other two were for One."
No one ever said that combat was pretty. The brass barely has a chance to settle before Domino collapses onto hands and knees and has a nasty coughing fit, much to the protests of the rest of her body. When she manages to speak again there's a rough, gravelly tone to her voice. "I'm fine..by the way."
It takes her a while longer to get back to her feet, cringing as she tucks her weapons away and gently rubs around her neck. "Don't ever declare a thumb war with one of these guys--you want to take his -brain- out? And people think -I'm- extreme. You know, if you want to get back into grand theft there's much easier marks out there." Of course she's heard about Catwoman's reputation. Old ghosts are difficult to get rid of.
Too bad she didn't think to pack her machete today.
Oh... right. Domino was being choked. Selina was so into the fact that the clone needed to be put down that it didn't even really sink into Selina's head that she might be hurt. "I am sorry. I am glad you're alright." The kicks' cathartic effect has her head clear and she takes to searching the room, talking to her fellow femme fatel while she does.
The brains are like hard drives, not organic like a human's is. One got in touch with me brieftly the other day. He said that our best bet in finding him will be breaking into one of their networks."
The grouping of scapels embedded in the wall has her sighing in relief as well as sadness. One is pulled free and brought with her. A garbage bag is found as well and both items are held in hand as she turns to look at Dom, her expression faintly bothered. "One said they're being held in a facility that's either in South Africa or Thailand. If you know of someone who can extract the information in that thing's head we might be able to find out where he is."
Huh, wow. Domino actually got an apology from that? It's given a dismissive wave, regardless if it's noticed or not. Sometimes she just likes to be a brat. "Glad -he- doesn't need to be alive for this, guy was starting to get on my nerves."
Oh, right... Hard drive for a head, she remembered hearing some of this months back. It all makes sense, except in finding out that One had been in contact with this mysterious other woman. "You've spoken to him lately? Look, I don't have any idea what's going on here. One's been giving me a hand with something then I stopped hearing from him. A few days later, this is what I find."
Before she can press for info, info is freely given. South Africa or Thailand. "I should be able to scare someone up. If you're leaving his noggin in my custody we should probably trade some contact info, huh."
The work is not as messy as it could be thanks to Seven having bled out already but it's still gruesome and Selina's hands (she had the foresight enough to remove her gloves, thankfully) are a damn bloody mess. The head is put into the bag and handed over to Domino PDQ so she can wash up. She gives the number to a burn phone but she's not done yet. The last thing she does is gather the last of the scapels up, those about to be taken with her so they can be saved for One for when he is back.
"It was nice seeing you again," she smirks, remembering Domino from the time One patched her up after her ordeal as a cat. That's the last she says, however, as she is quick to gracefully climb out the window and down the fire escape.