2020-04-12 - Getting Zemo


A trip to Canada is resumed

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 12 20:10:04 2020
Location: Canada

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Theme Song



May had found a location for the source of the cyber-bear attack, which is a statement that would seem strange in any work environment other than SHIELD. T'Challa had then literally politely asked his patron goddess to teleport them back to Canada and lo and behold, she did just that. May went off to get that injury on her head looked at and secure a proper SHIELD vehicle while T'Challa had gone to contact the local Wakandan embassy to check on something rather important and promised to 'send help'.

It is nearly an hour later and Steve and Mari are near one of the several lakes in this area. There is supposedly a subterranean facility UNDER the lake and the entrance to it is near a rocky outcropping up head. There's sure to be some security though what kind is not clear. There's also GOT to be some ventilation for a facility like that and if they can find it they may be able to bypass the security.

Sitting on a high up pine branch up ahead is… a black suited figure with a rather feline head.

Steve will never get used to the teleporting. The Bifrost, he can handle: it's like a rainbow acid trip, but so was activating the serum in his body that century back. Still, sanguine, he works to get his own ducks in order while T'Challa disappears to bring in his own power to bear.

Now, walking with shocking silence despite his build, dressed in his stealth suit with spangled shield slotted over his shoulders and helmet clicked beneath his chisled jaw, the Captain spots the silhouette of the familiar form against the wane spring sky beyond the pine boughs.

He gives T'Challa a noiseless salute of two fingers off his brow and comes to a slow halt at a distance that his neck won't strain to look up at the Panther. "Any sign of patrols?" Steve speaks sotto-voce, trusting sharp hearing to catch his words if not any form of coms present.

Mari had breathed a sigh of relief when T'Challa had opted to let her and Steve go on their own. She's a little protective of the Wakandan Prince - she had promised Bast that she would look after him, after all.

"It's supposed to be around here somewhere." She says to Steve. "We'll need to be careful, of course. They may not be expecting us but you never know."

Her head comes up when she sees that figure. "Help. I should have known. I wonder if he teleported him too."

"Not physically no. However I am positive they are using some kind of electronic monitoring on the base entrance. I am equally positive that it is booby trapped. We may be better off finding the vent system and getting in that way."

T'Challa drops down from his perch without so much as a flexing of the knees to cushion the impact. "Hello Vixen. Got yourself into a proper international problem this time, I see." He gestures toward the lake shore off to their left.

"I think that the vents are that way, but they're well hidden. Something like a pit viper's senses might be handy." Beat. "Captain I think that someone important is here. Not quite sure who but I DID see an aircraft disappear into the lake about twenty minutes ago."

Steve smirks faintly to himself at the banter aimed towards Vixen. He follows the Panther's gesture towards the gleaming surface beyond the stand of thickly-needled pine trees and then glances back towards the man. To hear that someone in particular has potentially arrived makes the Captain's attention grow more keen.

"Any identifying markings on the aircraft?" He does, however, glance over at the young woman. Pit viper, eh? Steve has seen variants on her powers, but not yet anything serpentine.

"Canada is hardly International, Black Panther." Vixen answers. She'd taken the time to change into her own costume when they … transferred. "Besides, you could say that about any trouble I get into in America. I am Mohanndan, after all."

She sniffs as she looks out over of the lake. "Into the lake? The vent system seems to be the ways to go, then." Pit Viper it is - she doesn't need to be told again, the glowing silhouette of the snake, curling on her shoulder. "Shall we then?"

She'll take the lead given she's the one with the senses … It's uncanny how unerringly she leads them.

"No, but the aircraft was a military-style VTOL. Didn't recognize the model though." Custom aircraft? That means money. Which does sound like HYDRA to be sure. "I figure they don't break out the hidden-under-a-lake aircraft hangar for just anyone though."

The Black Panther falls into line behind Mari who guides them about a quarter of a mile along the shore to some thick grass and tall reeds. There, as promised, are some well camouflaged ventilation grates. It just takes a swipe of vibranium claws to get them open.

"After you."

The drop is fairly steep but the vent shaft is small enough that they should be able to control their descent through pressure and friction alone. When they get to the bottom it's a fair crawl before they start seeing anything. But when they do, it's vehicle hangars, fabrication spaces and laboratories. Yeah. Something's going on here. Up ahead they can hear talking from one of the rooms they're about to pass over. "… got a sample of the Winter powered weapons from the Kraken's people. I'm working on integration with our present projects and results look promising. Zemo will be wanting an update soon though so you should probably start writing that. He's not known for patience."

"Not just anybody," echoes the blond super-soldier solemnly of the private aircraft. His brows knit out of sight beneath his fitted helmet. There are a limited number of guesses and none of them bode well. To Vixen, he nods and gestures for her to use those supernatural senses.

"Lead on, miss." He falls into place behind Black Panther once the young woman gets to searching out the grates. Steve does make a moue down at the width of the vent shaft — broad sholders are sometimes a task — but he too follows down the narrow passageway with as much stealthy skill as he can manage. Thank god the shield's edges don't impact the sides of the shaft. When he hears the sound of voices speaking about the burgeoning icy tech he heard about not so many briefings ago, Steve speaks up as quietly as he can with diction; the coms should catch his words clearly enough.

"Hold up, linger. Let's see if they give up more info."

Mari has confidence to spare and she trusts in the spirits she summons. Not commenting on the information that Black Panther is delivering, she's processing it, she leads them to the grate and the vent.

Where Steve wonders about his shoulders, Mari wonders about her hips - fortunately their not *that* wide. The pair with her see the snake disappear and the glowing silhouette of a cat perch on her shoulder.

She's listening. Not just for the words but for whatever else is audible - machinery, computers anything …

From the beeping and hissing, they're above a medical space of some kind or at least a space with some portable medical equipment in it. Black Panther, at the rear, waits silently as they listen in on the conversation.

"How's the patient?" One man says.

"Better than the last set. We're still missing something from the serum. It's not bonding the way the original does and it's making them quite sick."

"The original does that too from what I hear. Klaue wants another shipment."

"Honestly I think we have better things to do with this extract than give it to someone who is just going to use it to make drugs or power pills for his thugs."

"Be that as it may he gave us what we needed to synthesize it and Zemo insists that his 'experiments' with the drugs have value."

There's some grumbling at that but the second person assents. "Fine, we'll put one together and send it out with the supply flyer when it goes out next."

"Good. Carry on then." Retreating footfalls and a closing door indicate that the first speaker has left. The second one is still in the room but… he might be alone now.

Perfect teeth grit to hear of the medical experiments going on. Serum? It has him glancing back over his shoulder towards T'Challa, to Vixen as well, his expression of concern clear enough despite his helmet's fitting over his eyes and nose. He turns his attention back to listening and once the footsteps begin leaving the room below, he speaks up quietly again:

"If this goes rainbows 'nd sunshine, we drop into the room, subdue the medical attendant before they call for back-up, do a headcount of patients present, 'nd then see if we can't get a server dump onto a thumbdrive for SHIELD." A beat and, a bit more ruefully, "…somebody's gotta get the drop on the attendant who's not me, the shield's gonna make some sound as I go in."

"Medical equipment." Mari says lowly into the coms. "That's a medical facility below." Then 'serum' is mentioned along with 'Klaue', her head turns towards Black Panther to see his reaction. She can put two and two together.

With Steves suggestion, Vixen waits a fraction of a moment to see if Black Panther is going to do his imitation of Tigger. Then she drops into the room, aiming for the attendent to subdue them.

That's right, isn't it?

The Panther does drop down but after her. As she goes for the attendant - there is only one - he goes for the door to jam it shut. It wouldn't do for anyone to walk in on them, would it? By the time that Steve drops down Mari will have dealt with the poor man and rendered him whatever the opposite of feisty.

There are six beds in here but only one is at the moment occupied. The patient in it is comatose and he's got an IV drip of some kind from a bag labelled 'Reverbium-Botannical Extract Version 15.' He doesn't look very well. All around the room are computers and medical equipment, some lab space and several paper charts. On a table not too far away there is a silvery pistol with something blue glowing where the magazine would normally be. And it's got condensation all over it, like it's cold.

Last to drop him, Steve's quickly looking around the room for any form of visual surveillance. If any are found, he's quick to dart and pinch-rip them from the wall like rotten apples.

Only then, once he's certain no one's going to be suddenly stepping in on them and Mari has her target dropped and under control, does the man stop and really take a look at what's going on. He gives the gun with the blue glow a markedly leery look and mutters something under his breath about HYDRA even before he's striding over to the patient on the bed.

A quick look at the monitor has him grimacing. "Blood pressure's dangerously low," he reports, stopping himself from just ripping the IV out of the patient's arm with massive amounts of self-control. Painful flashbacks to recovering Barnes in the depths of Zola's sector of Red Skull's factory haunt him before a twitch of his head shakes reality back into place. "Dunno about moving them safely."

A point at the weapon. "Somebody secure that, we're gonna want to either bring it back to SHIELD or use it, probably both."

"Go to sleep…." Vixen tells the attendent as she chokes him out and sends him unconscious. All he would have seen is a blur of black and yellow. "Do we leave him here?" She asks as she turns to check the room. Steve has the surveillence handled, Black Panther the door.

"They are experimenting with it…" The flower she means. "We need to tell T'Challa." The Panther must be laughing behind that mask.

Accessing the computer, if T'Challa was here she'd let him do that , Mari tries find the records. "We should pull the drives out and take them with us. I'm not anywhere near a hacker but we know people who can do it - if they have the data." Vibranium coated claws are probably able to liberate them.

"We can't leave him here, he'll die anyway." Mari tells Steve. "See if we can jury rig the IV to go with us. You have the strength to carry him. I can summon it." Either of them could do it.

If Black Panther doesn't take the pistol, Mari will - after looking it over carefully. It looks like it might burn.

"That sort of depends on how we exit. Taking him out the way we came in seems out of the question. And if we leave any other way we're going to be either sneaking around a lot or fighting our way out. Both will be much more difficult with a very ill man or a comatose attendant with us."

The Panther says. Because there are three of them here. Of course they came here to do more than just recon. They came here to find a way to deal with this place and deal with it they shall but first they need to figure out what's going on now.

But if they want to carry the guy out, well. They can certainly try.

The cat suited man experimentally picks up the pistol and fires it at a wall. It immediately coats it with ice. "Freeze ray?" Odd. He hands it off to Mari who looks interested in it. It IS indeed cold but not harmfully so. Well. Not in the grip anyway. There's a set of what looks like norse runes on either side of the grip. Strange, that.

Tap tap tap. Uh oh, that's the door. "Uh, hey! Why's the door locked?" Says a muffled voice outside. "Look, Zemo and his folks are coming to pay a visit. Might wanna open up?"

Uh oh.

The Panther tears open a computer and starts slicing brackets to liberate the drives. "This is about to get interesting. Maybe someone should tell him we had weapons malfunction or a coolant leak."

"Could swap out the attendant for the patient?" Steve offers as an option. He's still as concerned as Mari is about the poor patient, though he eyes the result of the ray gun with dubious awe. SHIELD has something similar, but NOT anywhere near to the extent of this gun's intensity or radius of impact of fire.

But then comes the knocking to ruin the fun. He shoots a quick look at both Mari and the Black Panther before clearing his throat.

"Yeeeeeeeeah, give me a second, the, uh, cartridge on the gun's loose, I don't want it to fall out of place when we demonstrate it!" he calls out in a…passable imitation of the attendant. Granted, Steve has to go up half an octave to do it…and somewhere, Barnes is laughing his damn ass off. "Stall 'em!"

Then quickly and sotto-voce to be heard in the coms, "If Zemo shows up, we take him with us as collateral. Nobody's gonna stop us from leaving if we have him."

Mari takes the gun, it's cold in her grip. Not that she holds it for long - but stows in one of the pouches on her hip. "Have either of you two thought, that we might be able to overload the systems from here? Bring the power down and send this base off line? At least you didn't ask him how he is…"

The last is to Steve as she turns to inspect the room. There's the power board, over there. "I can certainly put a bolt of electricity through that."

"That… seems likely." The Panther takes a look around and then nods to Steve and Mari. "There's a power junction right over there. Shoot it and I think this whole area will go black. But the doors are probably rigged to open when that happens as a fire safety precaution. Which means, Steve, the moment it opens we're going to have a small window to bash our way out and you should probably lead the way."

Fun times.

"I will carry the patient. You two will have to watch my back."

"Uh. Hey. Who is that? Where's Jim?" That's probably the guy they knocked out. Jig's up.

The moment Mari shoots the panel alarms start sounding, the lights go out and the door slams open.

Go time.

A quick reach over his shoulder plucks the spangled shield into readiness on Steve's forearm. "Not a problem," he confirms to Panther. A nod to Mari is agreement in destruction of the power board and he waits by the door, ready and wincing to hear the attendant beyond note that his imitation of…Jim…wasn't precise enough to pass muster.

Oh well, there was no helium gas around, can't blame a guy for trying.

Then, with a downfall of ambient electricity and the heavy whump of breakers elsewhere setting, the show is live. Steve feels the whift of the door mechanically swinging open and lurid red light from pill-shaped emergency bulbs tucked to the ceiling pours into the room.

Attendant B gets a quick pop in the face, the punch gauged to knock him cold but not dead, and then Steve quickly turns to the left. He's got the shield up, fully expecting to be shot at any minute now. "Vixen, you got our tail?" Given Panther with his unconscious patient and IV bag for evidence is likely sandwiched in the middle.

Mari shoots the panel, which brings the facility to its knees. Or this part of it at least.

Vixen turns and nods to Black Panther as he scoops up the patient - "I've got your tails. I'm not sure how I get all the good assignments." She quips. If either of the men look at her, she winks a little saucily.

"I'll take out any junctions that we see - the more damage we can do as we leave, the better."

As she's talking she summons the glowing silhouettes of a panther and rhinocerous. The armour will do a lot to protect her, but the extra help won't go astray. The speed of the panther, combined with its strength will likely help in a moment or two.

As they move down the hallway, Mari coats the next junction box she sees in ice.

The only light down here is the blinking of emergency lights but from the signage briefly visible (in both English and French, HYDRA apparently conforms to Quebec law) they're headed toward the vehicle bay. There's the sound of clattering footsteps. People in armor moving. Panther stays in-between the two less encumbered heroes. Then they round a corner and there are seriously a dozen men in riot gear in their faces. The Black suited man takes a step to the side to allow Mari egress because, well, there's no reason that Cap should have all the fun is there?

Fortunately they seem to be a surprised to run into the heroes as the heroes are to run into them. So there's a split second before they actually attack that can be taken advantage of.

Steve takes a moment to count heads — lovely, a round dozen, villains just like dozens — and then he moves into action. A quick duck and fling of his shield sends the vibranium disc ricochetting off the walls in two key places oppositionally, both fracturing pipes in the walls that suddenly release a dragon's flare of hissing, spitting steam to block the view of the gunmen.

Still down low, he catches the shield upon its return and holds it ready to deflect any shots attempted.

"Are you sure you don't want to do this?" Mari asks Black Panther as she moves past him to join Steve in the frey.

The woman uses the speed of the panther to leap onto two guys, swatting them *hard* on the back on the neck to bring them low. Tumbling, she dives over the flight of Steves shield and takes a third one out at the knees. "You know. I normally insist on dinner before I tumble someone …" she says with a grunt. Her fist slams into his face, knocking him out cold.

Henchmen are cheaper to buy in bulk. That must be it. The riot squad is thrown into chaos as Mari and Steve bowl into them. In the low light coordination is nearly impossible and the two heroes don't really have to worry about hitting a friend unlike the dozen enforcers. It doesn't take long for a dozen to become half a dozen but by that point they've managed to pull together and form a line with riot shields - reverbium ones - locked.

And then someone fires a blast of icy weapon down the hall from the other end. Panther - who of course wasn't going to fight will carrying a very sick man - glances back at what looks like a tripod being set up.

"We need to get out of this hallway." He says urgently. "Now."

Mari glances up as she tumbles again. "Follow me then …" Black Panther has called her reckless on more than one occassion.

The dark skinned woman in yellow and black takes off at a sprint, aiming for those locked shields. Is she going to go bowling? It looks like it … until right at the last moment, she grabs the lip of one and flips her up and over, dancing on the heads of the guards as she does. Dropping down behind them, she calls on the Rhinocerous and Panther, to send them stumbling back towards Black Panther and Steve.

The white-blue blur of the ice-weapon from the far end of the hall has Steve glancing back over his shoulder even as he pulls back towards Panther and the unconscious test subject and IV bag. He recognizes the weird gleam of the riot shields now and it makes his jaw grit all the harder.

"Up is an option, but we've got the patient still," he notes. And then there goes Mari in action. The scattered line of shields is a weakness he exploits, darting in and making the quickest work of the riot-group he can manage in order for all to get clear of the tripod.

The vehicle hanger is up ahead as they clear the hallway and there is what looks like a modified Land Rover that will do just fine. Keys are conveniently in a box near what is probably a check out desk. "Good work, both of you." He says as he lays the patient down in the back of it. But before they can fire it up and head AWAY from this place…


That voice. That accent. Cap knows it. At the entrance where they came in, there's Zemo. His face is… disfigured, of course. It has been for some time now. He's standing near a squad of MUCH more heavily armed soldiers.

"You weren't just thinking of leaving were you? After all. Wouldn't you like to know things? Things like where I got this serum? And what I've been doing with it?" Smirk. "And who I have been doing it to?"

Panther looks up. "Vixen be ready for anything…"

"You may be familiar with the Skull's handiwork. I assure you, it has nothing on mine."

Steve makes a darting snatch for one of the sets of keys and arrives at the vehicle in time to see the patient carefully settled into the back seat. He thins his lips to see the person unconscious still, but still moves to get into the driver's seat.

His title in THAT accent brings Steve to straighten and turn in place, one hand still on the frame of the open driver's side door. The look he levels is very, very cold. A subtle flick of his hand sends the keys to landing in the driver's seat for either Panther or Vixen to grab as he then plays deliberately into Zemo's ploy. Confidently, deliberately, he walks around to the back of the car, shield at his side and readied, never looking away from the man he thought long-dead.

"It's all the same, Baron: delusional. You wanna tell me? Go on, tell me, 'm all ears," the Captain deadpans back at Zemo and his squadron.

"Anything, Black Panther." Vixen answers, not even winded after that little scuffle. "I'll drive. I think the kitty needs to play." She says to him, not scooping the keys up but leaning in to start the engine. Keyless starts - are wonderful.

"Seriously." She says just loud enough for everyone to hear. "Do you have a complex? Like, really. Are you compensating for something, Zemo?" She resists the urge to wiggle her little finger in his direction.

The Kitty steps out from behind the car. "Ah, the Panther. You have some interestink friends, Captain…" Zemo says. He moves a few steps forward. His troops keep weapons trained but don't fire yet.

"I'd be happy to explain it to you, but I do not know if you have the necessary training to understand. Perhaps I need someone with first hand experience in these kinds of procedures." Zemo smiles, his face unpleasant. "Ah yes. How is Barnes these days?"

Mari sees something in the rearview. It's too dark to make out details but one, maybe two people are sneaking up behind the car, and Cap and Panther are facing the other way.

It's a well-aimed dig at Steve. Black Panther will be close enough to see the super-soldier take a half-step and then check himself, flexing beneath his navy-blue stealth-suit in a manner of greatly-tested composure.

"Probably has his boots up on the desk at work 'nd eating a sandwich, maybe even spitefully flipping you all off even though he can't see you. Metal finger, of course." He's still got a large amount of attention on the more heavily-armed squadron behind Zemo, but the Baron still has the spangled shield shifting on his forearm, as if he were tempted to throw it.

Mari mutters something very unladylike underneath her breath as the Baron and the Captain go to a riff off. "Gentlemen…" she says into the comms, not loud enough for anyone else to hear. "Need I remind you that we have someone who needs dire medical attention?" Stop jawing she means.

"Hold that thought. I'll be right back." She's seen the figures sneaking up behind. Sliding into the drivers seat, the dark skinned woman slams the car into the reverse and floors it. They'll scatter or get squashed. Right now, she doesn't really care which.

The person she finds… well. Looks a lot like their patient. Not in the features but in the general condition. When she hits them - and she DOES hit them - they go flying. And perhaps distressingly, after they do that, one of them gets right back up and make a run for the car. They've got a shotgun so they're probably not trying to escape.

The car screeching cuts Zemo's retort off abruptly and the squad begins to open fire, stupidly on Steve and Panther and NOT at the car. Zemo can be heard yelling orders as he DUCKS out of the way of his own men but they can't be heard above the energy weapons fire. They probably need to go now but Steve COULD try to grab the Baron, though it's a risk.

Steve admittedly ignores the chatter in the coms in light of wanting to see just how Zemo will respond to such a flippant denial of any Barnes-related woe. He can see the Baron gear up to more than likely spill more information, but then the sound of the car suddenly breaking into motion has him flinching and dancing off to on side. He sees the flash-vision of the vehicle dealing with two sudden other visitors before he looks back towards the squadron lifting up the empty maw of guns at him and the Black Panther.

Steve, at least, knows that T'Challa in his suit will be able to handle himself just fine — he leaves the athletic man to his druthers as he crouches down, shield upheld to deflect the energy shots back at the shooters.

And the Baron, with a long-practiced angling of the shield's repelling properties. He sees one of the shots appear to take Zemo in the knee and makes a sprinting run for the man, fully intending to sit on him all the way home if he has to.

Are they clones? Mari's not sure but she doesn't have time to think about it, she's got to get them out of here. Ramming the car into drive, Vixen doesn't gun it. At least not that way. The ice pistol comes up as the electric window comes down, she aims and sends a shot towards the man with the shotgun.

"We need to go, gentlemen. These guys are enhanced…" She says, hitting the accelerating and sending the car lurching at those shooting.

Zemo is actually surprised by the grab at him and his squad is… equally so. The Panther lands among them, having leapt when Steve moved. Behind them there is a crunch as Mari hits the guy with the shotgun again. This time he doesn't get up. Thankfully.

By the time that Steve has dragged Zemo back to the car, the Black Panther has broken up the gunline. He makes it back with a sprint and a leap and slides into the back. "GO GO!"

As soon as everyone is even remotely situated off they go.

Steve probably IS going to have to sit on Zemo all the way back. But hey, this means that Barnes really WILL get to flip him off. Win-win.

Except for Zemo.


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