2020-02-15 - Flowers For Valentines Day


A tip about a delivery leads to a disturbing discovery

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Feb 15 05:21:06 2020
Location: Red Hook

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The tunnels under the Disaster Zone are proving a problem. Klaue is using them as a staging area - for what reason, no one really knows but it's worrying. The gangs that he's been arming and retaining are getting entrepreneurial and using the weapons and resources they have access to, to create mayhem.

Steve had managed to get some time on the satellites and found a series of tunnels that lead to Red Hook. The guy that the Black Panther had tagged has been using these and … through a little persuasion, Vixen had found out there was a delivery due tonight.

It's coming in through one of the waterside businesses down in Red Hook. Which is why there's a group of a SHIELD agents watching the tunnels at the DZ end and a group, including Christopher, Steve, Mari and Black Panther by the water front.

The NYPD were advised and a representative sent along to liaise.

"The drop is meant to be in the next ten minutes." Vixen murmurs. She's in her new costume - the reverbium weave, armoured one and indeed, there's a group of people emerging from a building not far from them.

"You get that, Agent Haskins?"

This is Steve speaking quietly into the comms to the agents at the far end of the tunnels back at the Disaster Zone. Hearing confirmation, he nods and looks around at the group. "Team Beta's locked and loaded. Anybody have any issues with catching these punks red-handed?" The Captain means in the middle of the exchange, distracted enough to potentially let their guard down and irrevocably in the act of something illegal. No excuses need apply. He's in his navy-blue stealth suit with silver star-and-bars across his chest, shield at his back, and helmet on his head — thank you, Barnes.

Wearing her full proper armor but concealing the reflective gold-colored metal with dark-colored fabric, Shayera Hol is watching for the delivery in a manner that likely very few would think to expect. She's flying overhead, the less-than-half-moon hopefully meaning it's dark enough that she's not casting obvious shadows as she banks and circles overhead. It's a calculated risk with her mostly white wings, and there's no way to conceal those. Even dusting them with dark powder would be seriously detrimental.

"I'm fine with red-handed. You gonna let NYPD handle the booking again? Or will I get a chance to actually play?" She's on the shared comms, which means an almost constant wind noise and the occasional wingflaps. Though how easily recognizable is that last sound?

Darkhawk crouches nearby, observing, metallic avian mask giving no indication of expression, but his silent nod seems to be an agreement with Steve's plan to catch them red-handed. His precise sight allows him a clear vision from where they have set up, and he occasionally flips over to infra red to note any temperature differences or unseen movements. The Darkhawk is a combination of black and brushed silver, the visor glowing an eerie purple around the eyes. The retractable wings are invisible at the moment as he remains on the ground with the others as Shayera flies overhead.

There is someone here that Steve knows, Mari as well, but that may be new to Darkhawk and definitely to Shayera. It's a man in an almost completely black literal catsuit. There's a face concealing feline hood and a silvery necklace seemingly embedded into the neckline. It looks like teeth though that is clearly just decorative.

Hopefully this will go better than Shayera's other Feline associations.

"Their hands will be red alright." He says in what sounds like an african accent of… indeterminate origin. "But you might have to make them that way. Odds of them doing this the easy way are likely to be low."

"I think the bird and the cat will get to play." Mari murmurs into her comms. T'Challa had done a wonderful job on the suit, it works so nicely. "And they're hands will be red, even if we make them so …" The Black Panther gets a grin from the woman, her white teeth flashing in the gloom.

"Copy that, Agent Rogers." Haskings replies. "We're here to play shepherd and not let the flock stray when they panic."

Ahead of them, there's a group of a dozen people, milling on the 'wharf'. Shayera will see the boat as it draws near. There's only a few minutes before it's moored and the group starts moving. Unpacking crates or boxes and starting to shift them inside that building.

"The entry to the tunnel must be in there." Vixen nods. That makes sense, right? "On your mark, Agent Rogers."

"Never said it would be easy," agrees the Captain quietly. "Let 'em move a few more boxes into place 'nd we'll hit 'em hard 'nd fast — shock 'nd awe. Haskins has 'em boxed up if any of 'em rabbit into the tunnels before we get hands on 'em. Somebody get between them 'nd the tunnel if they can, before they try 'nd duck into it. Somebody get to the boat, sabotage it — nobody's escaping via that way either. Anybody attempting to run into the night, drop 'em. We're going for total apprehension, lethal force only if necessary. Yes, NYPD's processing. We're not here to bust heads unless there's no other option."

He lifts up a hand in silent readiness. Wait…

Wait for it…

Let that guy grab a box so his hands are full…and let that guy turn and pace away a few steps…


Out blurs the shield, aimed at the nearest set of gun-wielding mercenaries.

"Got it." Shay banks one more time, angling to be ready to dive in. She has her mace in hand when Rogers lifts his hand to signal, and the instant he says go, she dives like the bird of prey her wings resemble.

While the Captain aimed for the mercenaries, Shay knows a much more efficient to throw them into chaos and prove that they're up to no good. She targets the box in that one guy's arms, slamming it with her mace to shatter the container and send its contents spilling to the tarmac of the wharf.

Flapping her wings forcefully to dump the extra momentum of the dive, she lands lightly enough and promptly turns to lay into whomever is closest, aiming to knock them away from both the boat and the entrance to the tunnels.

Nothing like a little chaos to disrupt escape routes.

Darkhawk nods over toward Cap. He seems to have followed all of that, at least he appears to have. The wings slide out with a little *shink* and it is only once the "Go" is called that he launches himself up into the air, making a wide arc toward the boat unless someone else goes for it first, clearly attempting to sabotage that first, since it's easy to land on it from the air. He comes down on the deck and then heads in to the boat to disable it and make sure that it isn't going anywhere any time soon, cutting the power and making a mess of the controls.

The Black Panther charges out with the rest. With the winged woman disrupting the escape routes… make that a winged MAN and a winged woman, he charges in with Captain to go right for the mercenaries. Claws emerge from the fingertips of his suit with a little 'snikt' and he does a rather impressive wall run to get into the action from a different angle to Cap.

And then he lays into them. He is kind of like a cat yes. A terrible, two hundred pound cat with the most violent of zoomies, bouncing from target to target and trusting on his allies to cover his back - which he IS leaving rather exposed.

As Steve gives the order, Vixen calls the spirit of the Rhinocerous, it's enormous glowing spirit silhouetting behind her. Where Steve and Black Panther take oblique routes, she does not. The Rhino charges around the back, or rather Mari does, and just hits the first the guy who gets in her way.

"Oh fuck. Who lift the whiska's tin open?" One man says as the Panther sends him flying. Another cries out in surprise as the SHIELD comes frisbeeing in, knocking the crate from his hand and dropping him to the ground.

They've surprised them.

There's an almighty 'boom' right at Steves feet and the Super Soldier is caught by a sonic wave. It will hurt - but more than that, he finds himself thrown back forcefully into the wall of the building behind him.

For the moment, Black Panther isn't targetted, as people try to make space around him.

Shayera and Chris make the boat without incident. Who would have expected a hit from above? Shayera is engaged by three burly men. Two wielding iron bars and the other a gun. The third doesn't hesitate to pull the trigger.

Chris nearly makes all the way to the engine. He's nearly in fact when he's tackled from behind. "No you don't …"

Steve had time to catch the shield after it ricochets off the unfortunate soul counted as target and one of the telephone poles tucked near to the building. The sonic boom catches him dead off-guard and back he goes into the nearest hard surface. Brick gives to an extent before the Super-Soldier's body falls to the cement. There's a rough Steve-shaped print left behind!

Ears ringing, the Captain works his way to his feet with a noticeable wobble and a few coughs, but still doesn't hesitate to wade in again. With shield on his arm this time, he goes in after the mercenary who shot at him with a star-spangled vengeance. His aim is to destroy this weapon, one way or another, and the vibranium bulk of the shield comes down at the weapon with dreadful force.

Shayera grins at the three men who all aim at her. Sweeping her mace around to knock the crowbars aside, the crack of the gun isn't entirely expected (it SHOULD have been) and she turns to deal with it just a split second too late.

Her initial shout of pain as her left wing abruptly droops and drags on the ground becomes a truly feral snarl, and she throws her mace right at the gun-wielding man's head. She throws to make a major league baseball pitcher cry.

The crowbar men aren't forgotten, though, as she then turns to TAKE one of their crowbars away from them. These men chose … poorly.

Chris gets the controls well and duly messed up and decides to go for the engine next, because why not make sure it's not going anywhere even if someone could put those controls back together? He's descending that way, and seems to be making great progress. Tackled from behind, Chris stumbles forward. Boats aren't very large, so he doesn't go sprawling, easily able to find something to grab hold of as the regains his balance, having acquired a new person-shaped backpack, which he promptly slams into the wall behind him, with force enough to hopefully knock the wind out and drop him to the deck, letting out a vague sort of snarling sound that comes out oddly from the blended dual-voice of the avian suit and Chris.

The cat suited man gets knocked well and truly by that shockwave despite not being targeted. He strikes the ground not too far from Darkhawk, noticing what the man is doing…. and that he has some trouble. He picks up a dropped rifle near him and hucks it at the head of the man that Chris just wall slammed. If he timed it right, it'll help. If not… oops.

And then he's bounding back again. He's not in position to assist either Captain America or the woman who calls herself Shayera, so instead he finds the largest group he can, bounces in among them and smirks.

They can't see the smirk, but they can hear it when he mockingly calls out 'Meow.' And then triggers his suit's kinetic batteries.

All that force he took? He pushes it back out at them. Well. His suit does. Turnabout is fair play.

And hilarious.

There was a reason that the men weren't engaging with the Black Panther - as the cat suited man bounces around them, he can hear them swear. "Watch out …" It's too late though - that suit is glowing purple now.

"Did I ever tell you how much I like the colour purple?" Vixen calls as she knocks another towards the Panther and then heads in the opposite direction.


The suit goes off and bodies go sprawling. Some hit walls so hard, there's cement dust. They are going anywhere. Unfortunately, Mari wasn't quick enough and she goes tumbling as well, but not before she grabs one of the guys and takes him with her.

Most of the group are down now and Panther finds himself with more wary thugs around him.

Steve's shield hums as it flies out again, this time hitting the muzzle of the rifle, just as the shooter pulls the trigger. The force of the 'boom', knocks him to the ground and he's definitely seeing spangled stars dancing around his head.

As for Shayera, there's a small tussle as the man tries to hold his crowbar. She gets it though and scores a home run - those men, definitely chose poorly and then some.

When Chris throws himself backwards, his backpack grunts and the wall shakes. Then he's ably assisted by the Black Panther. That leaves him free to finish the engines off … No one else is contesting the boat. They weren't … expecting this.

Catching his shield yet again, Steve stomps over to his particular troublemaker and swipes up the sonic weapon before it ends up in any other enterprising mercenary's hands. He clips it to his belt before turning around. A handful more of mercs all wearing expressions ranging from "oh dear god, please no" to "I'm glad I wore my brown pants" all end up decked.

He's quick to offer assistance to any other member of the unit who needs it and just as quick to shoot along the comms, "Agent Haskins, report."

"If anybody needs a zip-tie, I've got 'em." Thanks, Star-Spangled Dad. "'nd somebody do a crate count." He's already trussing up mercenaries with a quick, well-practiced flourish of zip-ties.

If the two crowbar men don't have broken bones, it would be a miracle. Turning to the gunman she threw her mace at, Shayera makes damned sure he's down for the count then adds an extra (small) kick to one of the guy's shoulder blades. Because.

Dropping the crowbar and scooping up her mace, She takes a few steps away from the mess before stumbling and ending up sitting on the ground cussing in her native language. She wincingly reaches to pull her injured left wing around and leaves a small trail of blood and broken feathers.

There's a grunt, and then a thunk behind him and Darkhawk glances over in time to see the rifle hit the ground, but not where it came from. Doesn't matter, he lifts a hand in a thumbs-up for whoever provided the assist, and then he's off to disable that engine. Once he gets that under control, he comes back up to the deck to survey the state of his backpack. The man seems out cold for the time being, and so he hefts him up off the deck and flies him over to Steve. "Brought you a present to put a bow on," he says as he lowers the guy down to where Steve is quickly showing off his mad zip-tie skills.

The Panther smiles, drops into a stance and does the 'come and get me' motion from the Matrix. The fighting is very impressive to look at… but because it's a real fight and the cat suited hero is perfectly willing to break bones, it's over in about forty seconds. "Right. Good talk." He says as he finds some restraints.

"No it wasn't…" One of the thugs groans.

It's a short time later when he is also dropping off the thugs, roughly where Darkhawk put them.

"You did well. Both of you." That's to Chris and Shayera. "I wish I had known we were going for a winged theme. Not that I have anything that fits. I cannot believe I had not heard of you before. It was Darkhawk right?" That's to Chris again. And then Shayera gets a look. "You should have a hawk name too. For symmetry's sake."

Just a thought.

The panther glances over to look and see if Mari is alright and then… yes. Steve's fine too.

"Well. Shall we see what was worth all this fuss?" The crates are after all right over there. This is a lot of firepower to guard those. Drugs perhaps? He's betting heroin.

Vixen has to drag her thugs back to the pile. When she does, there's a glowing silhouette of a rhinocerous beetle on her shoulder and the woman doesn't seem to have broken a sweat. "I thought it was. A good talk that is." She gives the Panther a look "If you want wings, I'm sure your friend could design some. I'm thinking pretty multicoloured things …"

There's a bruise on her cheek and a gash on her forehead, that tumble took its toll.

"Let's …" Taking one of the crowbars that Shayera dropped, the dark skinned woman pries the crate open and stares ….

"This … isn't what I expected. Does anyone recognise what this is?" There are rows of blooms - well they look like blooms - purple in colour with the top of the flower shaped like a heart. They'll look familiar to the Black Panther but there's something wrong with them …

Each person depositing their mercenaries to the collection pile gets a curt nod and 'Thanks' from Steve. Look at that mad trussing skill go. It's clear that the man's done this more than a few times before. Once he's certain that every thug is detained, he steps away, but not after leveling a Very Disappointed Look at all of them.

Surely it will haunt them in their dreams.

Upon arriving at the opened crate, he frowns down at it and then very specifically over at the Black Panther. "Can't say I've seen these before," the Captain murmurs before coughing again and then clearing his throat.

Shayera's reply to T'Challa is far less polite than the equivalent 'shove off', and she doesn't bother trying to stand or look at the crate's contents. She's in enough pain that she could not care less, and her attempts to pull her wing around to check the injury only makes it worse. She GROWLS in frustration and forces herself to her feet.

"What did these lollpea think was so kuradi important?" She makes it to the crate and leans on one side to look at the contents. "The hell?"

Darkhawk's head turns in Black Panther's direction and kind of stares at him. There's probably an expression on Chris' face but the avian mask of the armor betrays none of it. He nods his head then, confirming his name. "I've heard of you," he says, however, glancing toward Mari for a moment and then back. "Black Panther." When Mari opens the crate, however, he moves in that direction to peer into it. "Flowers? They're smuggling… flowers?" There's a note of incredulity in his voice, because he has no idea what those flowers are all about. "Are they like.. super rare orchids or something? I heard those can get pricey but.. why all this for flowers?" He seems utterly baffled, head cocking to the side in an expression of confusion.

The Panther nods to Darkhawk. "Yes that is me." Shayera can't see him smile amusedly at her 'shove off' response but that is probably evident in his body language.

All that changes when the crate opens. Without a word to anyone, even Mari or Steve, he bends down to pick up one of the blooms and hold it to his nose. He inhales though how he can smell through that suit is unclear.

"You should secure these at SHIELD and call for the Prince of Wakanda. If I am correct, and I often am, he will identify these as a version of a plant native to that nation."

The Panther turns to look at everyone. "They can be used to make a serum with unusual bioreactive properties. It can be quite dangerous. I suggest SHIELD work with the NYPD to see if there are any unusual overdose cases. Because if Klaue is bringing this in, in these numbers he may plan to… go commercial."

There's another short, meaningful pause. "And if he does that, there will be a LOT of bodies in very short order."

"This is the young man I was telling you about earlier." Mari murmurs to the Black Panther, staring at the flowers in confusion.

"What do you mean a version? And I'll call T'Challa. Agent Rogers are you able to organise their transport? If this is Klaue bringing them in, then he'll not stop at trying to get them." Bioreactive? Mari's not a chemist but even she knows that's not good.

"And Leuitenant Hol, I suggest we get you some medical care."

Vixen takes out her phone and dials T'Challa. Unsurprisingly, it goes to his message bank. Maybe they can do this tonight.

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