2020-03-18 - Another Crisis


While hound-hunting Hank and Neena have a chance to sort some things out.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Mar 18 18:43:42 2020
Location: DZ Underground

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Theme Song



Okay, sure. Domino prooobably shouldn't be out of the hospital bed just yet. She also prooobably shouldn't be outside of the RESCUE campus. And she absolutely shouldn't be running around in the abandoned subway tunnels beneath the Disaster Zone.

Naturally, this is exactly what she's doing.

Having nothing to do but lie in bed for a while had given her an opportunity to look at some city maps thanks to that there internet thing. Why start in the tunnels though when all three of the hounds had been first discovered on the surface? Because they had been around long enough to reproduce. In her mind it stands to reason that they had some other means of getting around undetected for at least a period of months, if not longer. For all they know the hounds had been around a lot longer and only recently ventured to the surface because of the DZ's isolation from the rest of the city.

Also, it gives her a chance to drag poor McCoy along. There's some things which they should probably discuss before it eats up the poor genius.

This time around the merc isn't playing. She's got a compact bullpup rifle with a large magazine and a larger suppressor, something undoubtedly powerful as hell, and an extra pistol stamped '.50' on the side of the barrel for when shit gets properly real.

The journey began in the service tunnels of subway lines still in use. From there it's a claustrophobic walk through a dimly lit subterranean maze to where the original tracks can be reached. Fortunately nothing had been walled up along the way.

Oh, and she's got a digital mapper device so they're much less likely to get lost.

"Once more into the breach" she says with a smirk.


Hank only agreed to go along because he KNOWS that the silly girl would have gone it alone, and that would have left her vulnerable. She no doubt played on that protective nature of his to ensure he tagged along. Still, her arguments are also sound, so…right, tromping about in the underground of the Disaster Zone.

Hank is dressed in his costume, fully shaped and protective, he doesn't do that as much as before, it is really icky after a while with his fur inside, but…better some discomfort than to get gobbets of his flesh torn out.

He is not otherwise armed - though - yeah, THREE INCH claws able to rend steel might just qualify. Close enough for government work.

"I hope Posse is gotten up to speed soon, it must be driving her nuts to be operating at such a diminished capacity."

Fortunately they both see well in the dark, though the oppressive weight of all the stone above them is hard to miss.

A moment to tap into the mapper with his visor, and then he nods and intones in rich, rolling, powerful tones:

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect…"


As Hank starts reciting full verses Neena stops and -stares- at the larger mutant until he pauses. "Way to sour the mood, Commander Buzzkill."

Maybe they can both see well in the dark but that isn't stopping her from using some gunlights. They both still see better with some proper illumination and down here if they get separated light is a great communicator.

Old gravel and boards make up the heavily stained surface they walk along and Dom makes a point to check it often for any sign of recent tracks. Unfortunately the wooden sections won't show much more than potential claw divots.

"First steps in, no dice. We get to go deeper. Good times."

A glowstick is pulled from her harness then snapped and shaken, greeting the two with a dull orange glow. She gives it a casual flick over the back of a shoulder and presses onward.

"I can feel your apprehension from here" she observes in a softer voice. Sound carries REALLY well in the tunnels. "Come on, big guy. Tell me your woes. Let's get everything on the table here."


"That will be my callsign on comms henceforth, Spot." Hey! She said Hisako could use that, so, he's taking a liberty, Hank is.

The light definitely does help them see much much better. With his visor on, he is presently running thermal scans as well, imaging as they move along and monitoring things on his HUD display.

"There's some old tracks and spoor over there, we'll try that eastern tunnel." Hank says hunkered down scent and check the signs he found. "One good thing…no weather in tunnels, the trails should be pretty well preserved."

Of course Hank knows how to track, and all that Boyscout crap. Hell, she'd probably figure (correctly) he was one!

"I didn't think you cared, Neena." Hank gruffs a bit, and then sighs. "That was uncalled for, apologies. I know you care, you clearly have strong feelings for Ava, and you delivered the truth to the RESCUE folks. That took courage, and shows you have at least a little character. I'm…concerned…about what happened." In the dark. In their feral state. "I have a girl friend, a fiance maybe…you have a powerful weapon to use now." He looks to her. "Will you?" He continues then. "And you…/ate/ the Matron Hound's…soul? I dunno…life force? You drank the light out of her eyes into your own and she /died/."


"There, see? That's being positive" Neena jokes. "Look on the bright side, you're the one that healed most of your scrapes in a matter of -hours.- I feel stiff enough to moonlight as a structural foundation. … Don't test that idea."

"Huh. Did you know that's the route which leads to the big dead momma? Because it is." Hank's not likely going to notice the nod which follows his take on hunting for tracks. "Not a lot of anything down here. Just a couple of semi-lost souls."

She's still not a fan of talking about personal matters. It's part of why she makes Hank go first! Though with how often they've been working together -and- Hank making moves to sign on full time with the crew it doesn't take his level of IQ to know that unfinished business affects them all.

"Look. I'm not gonna try to tell you that your reaction wasn't justified. You did what you felt you had to do. If our positions were reversed I would have done the same. Just..without the whole super-strength bit" is suggested with an errant hand-flick.

"Okay" she quickly cuts back in while stopping to stand her ground and look back to Hank. "How petty of a bitch do you think I am, McCoy? That isn't a 'weapon' to use against you. That isn't even blackmail material to hold over your head. Things got a little …feral… and then they stopped. Ah —"

She did kinda eat the matron hound's soul, didn't she.

"She was about dead anyway," Neena grunts while looking away and returning to a forward march. "Another couple seconds and it would've gone to waste."

Because THAT makes everything better.


"I'm a team player, Neena, Captain Buzzkill, signing off." Hank quips lightly. "I know…" He says in a more serious tone. "All but this neck wound, that's going to take a couple days…and might well scar." Hank doesn't scar very often.

"Is it? Interesting, well, lets scout further then, see if we can find more spoor."

Hank looks at Neena. "I'm sorry, I try not to be so…brutal. My super strength…have you ever considered the implications of being able to lift a /bulldozer/ and toss it a good distance? I could have, VERY easily *killed* you, Neena. Very easily. Had I lost any more control it was a very real possibility and yet *you kept pushing my buttons*. I don't get it." He turns anguished eyes to the Hellbino. "Did you not realize how close it was?"

He really has no idea. He -can't- grasp that mindset.

"Neena, I barely know you. Before you get angry at me consider our interactions to date - if it was you wouldn't YOU be worried?"

A sigh. "I have never seen anything like that. Have you…do you -need- to do it? If so…maybe I should talk to some of my colleagues at WAND, see if we can't get rid of the hellcat infesting you."


This is all feeling way too tense. In any other situation Neena would be breaking out the stiff drinks to loosen things up. Maybe later once they've emerged, seen daylight and had a chance to clean up.

"Pretty sure" she confirms while repositioning the rifle's sling across one shoulder.

"Hank…" she starts in with a slight sigh but holds back while he runs through all of his concerns. "Believe me, I know. I also know how close the hammer is from breaking contact with the sear every time a loaded gun is aimed at my face. It happens to me more often than with your average bear."

"This is life with Miss Thurman" she exclaims while holding her arms out to the sides. "Not only am I the happiest when on a razor's edge but that's also where I'm at my best. I have to follow my instinct and be able to trust myself. It's like that line from Peter Pan, the moment you start to question if you can fly is the moment you cease to be able to, or whatever."

"And..sure, maybe I am a -little- sado-maso," she hesitantly admits with another dismissive motion. "We all have our vices."

Another sigh follows when Hank asks if she wouldn't have been worried. "Point" she bluntly concedes.

As the discussion shifts toward the hellcat her attention shifts down to the aged and rusted rails, though only for a moment before jumping back to McCoy. "No. This is not WAND's problem. It is not WAND's business. I'm gonna ask something of you here and you're not going to like it." Frankly she doesn't care if he likes it or not. "You saw something which very few have, and I want you to keep it between us."


Hank…listens. He really does, brow furrowed as he concentrates on and hears Neena's words. "So…you are addicted to adrenaline." He assays. And…really…he's not wrong, is he? "You are most alive when your life is most at risk, you rise then, to the occasion. Pushed past prior limits to pull off just /one more/ impossible get away?"

Sounds like Hank might have met or known or KNOW others like that.

Remembering the pheremone spike when he was choking her. "Maybe a lot." He corrects gently, and chuffs amusement. Hey, at least he's not judging!

A nod at her concession, and then the turns to face her, arms thicker than her thighs crossed over four feet wide chest. "Neena…if you're /killing/ people, or animals, that's a serious problem." He doesn't know that she's been feeding on Metas, of course, but specifying the animals bit might just catch her attention. "How can I in clear conscience just hide that?"


Neena slightly wavers a hand at Hank's hypothesis. "Sort of. I mean you aren't wrong, but it's almost more of a side-effect. Stress and adrenaline help trigger my power, ergo the more I'm in danger the more tricks I can pull. Generally speaking. It all gets a little dicey when bending probabilities."

With Hank's 'suggestion' of maybe a lot Dom grins sheepishly. "Didn't hear you complain much."

Bigger concerns are rapidly growing, putting a swift end to her moment of amusement. "The same way that your conscience wouldn't allow breaking patient/doctor confidentiality" is her immediate counter to his question. "And because I am going to be -very- cross if you start telling others about my personal business."

Of course, someone like Neena is -always- killing -someone- but Hank doesn't need to be reminded!

"I'd have much rather -you- didn't know about it but that damage's been done, so tell me. What's it gonna take to buy your silence this time? Let's see if we can figure something out which doesn't revisit that whole blackmail idea from a moment ago, those just get ugly."

It may seem weird that she isn't making it sound like a threat. It's more like she's negotiating the price of a used car.


"Huh, that's new, adrenaline triggered and amplified luck manipulation." The scientist inside him is a bit gleeful. "I would really like to study your genetics sometime." Hank sighs then. "But…maybe we'll discuss that at a later time." Especially considering her obvious aversion to medical care in general.

He does not respond to that sheepish comment, though he is clearly a little flustered by it.

Meeting her gaze, his eyes are backlit in green as he responds. "I'd rather I didn't know too, but I do." His eyes narrow to dangerous slits at the implication of blackmail, and he unfolds his arms, tension writ large.

"Neena Thurman, that's low." Even for her? "The only way I could is if we found a way to limit your predation to non-sentient targets, I suspect you need apex predators, or at least strong ones. I will need to do bloodwork, and we'll need to run tests, study what gets the best results, maybe I can find a way to help you suppress the need, or maybe an alternative food source."

Voice a low growl. "OR a way to get rid of that /thing/ infecting you."


Yep, everything else gets set aside for now as the two come to something of an impasse.

"I don't play fair, Hank" Neena says in an easy voice. She's not looking to fire up a challenge or get Hank upset so much as she tries to say it like it is. She's not real big on following the rules. Still, her non-rifled hand comes up in a peaceful motion. "I'm not suggesting that's what I'm going to do."

But she will if she feels that she has to.

Despite the situation there's a light grin edging its way across the albino's face. It's the same sort of 'defense' she had fallen back to during their confrontation in her kitchen. "I knew we had some things to work through." Almost like she's proud to have been on target!

"You aren't going to let this go, are you. -I'm- not going to budge on it leaving this tunnel."

So..what. Another battle of will? Dom can't handle being pushed through another wall in her current state and these tunnels are far less forgiving.

The hellbino rolls her eyes. "And we were just starting to get to an understanding…" Shaking her head with a grunt, she gives in. "-Fine.- You really want to make my problem YOUR problem? Then we keep this between -us-" she demands while taking a half step closer to the blue mutant. "We both know how shaky my footing is with that crew already. If you can help me not royally fuck myself over because of this then I'll let you, and -only- you, look into it. Deal?"


"No, you don't." Hank growls in response. "No. I won't." Let it go. "Then it seems we need to either find middle ground, or things ARE going to get ugly." He doesn't demonstrate, but he is fully armored at the moment, and ready. There's not a lot of space separating them either, it could go very VERY pear shaped, really fast.

Softly. "Neena, something you really need to get through that thick skull of yours…your problems /are/ mine, and Ava's, and Hisako's, and Roni's and Toni's…even Io's and Angela and Nadia's." A snort. "Even your new best buddy Karl. TEAMS are strong not because the individuals are, though that's a factor. Teams are STRONG because they work together to deal with problems. Teams like RESCUE are more akin to family, everyone protecting everyone else's back. Don't you see, seeking my help…even seeking /theirs/, eventually I hope you'll have the trust inside you to reveal it to them too…/that/ is how you beat this, how you get ahead of it. *Nobody* is able to handle -every- situation."

He reaches out then, and taps her brow. "THINK."


The ghost of a woman has gone very still through Hank's lecture, left to look straight at the man through his every word. It's only when he reaches to tap her forehead that she moves to counter, not skipping a beat as she catches that lone finger and looks ready to tell him off…

But no words follow.

Instead she slowly pushes his hand away while breaking eye contact, looking further into the darkened tunnel still ahead of them.

Can she REALLY afford to have another secret kept from RESCUE? Particularly one so dangerous? Her conscience can help keep the selfish mercenary in check but who's going to keep the demon from getting out of hand?

The compact rifle in her one hand droops slightly. She only now realizes that it had been edging upward during their talk. Though rather than say something she turns and resumes walking. Solemn. Not angry.

Hank will catch up. It's not like she's moving very quickly.

At length she quietly says "The team doesn't need another crisis on their hands so soon."


Hank allows the capture of his finger, doesn't fight her stopping it. He meets her gaze levelly as she looks about ready to tear him a new one…and then doesn't.

Hank steps back when she pushes his gigantic hand back, and nods to himsel. "Maybe enough." He murmurs.

He notes. "If you're going to shoot me, aim for the head, this armour can stop fifty cal sniper round." Jesus, it looks lighter than a second chance standard. Guess he noticed the gun.

Hank lets her have a little space, and then moves to take point again. "No. They don't."

After a moment. "But if there is one, we'll deal."

They continue to search and find several exit points, mapping things out, and then Hank uploads to the servers back at base. The only alarming thing they find…fresh scat. "Male, big like the Matron, I'd say this is about two days old." Sadly, the trail goes cold.


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