2020-05-25 - That Tickles


Steve and Shay infiltrate a facility in Genosha

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon May 25 03:42:23 2020
Location: Genosha

Related Logs


Theme Song



The biggest trick is finding a place high enough to glide down from. After all Shayera is strong but carrying a human being for any length of time has to wear on her. Also flapping is noisy. Fortunately they'd found a vantage point - a high building overlooking the production facility - and made their approach.

The facility itself is a two story building but a good chunk of that is one large industrial area. Portions off to the side house two floors of office space and there is a separate smaller building for who knows what. Their target is likely to be in the main building, though.

There's an open space just in front of one of the bays that's perfect to drop Steve off in. There look to be probably twenty or so guards all armed and annoyingly half of them seem to have dogs patrolling with them. That's actually a fair bit of security for the middle of the night so one does have to wonder.

The insertion goes off without too much of a hitch but when Steve's boots hit the ground there's movement on the roof. Shay can see someone pointing in her direction. No alarm so she hasn't been made quite yet but someone might be wondering if they heard something or if they saw a shadow in the sky.

On the ground? Well. Steve doesn't have too long to move if he wants to avoid the dogs though… with that many dogs, someone is going to pick up his scent and raise the alarm at some point.

Having found dark-colored fabrics to hide the armor pieces she's wearing (and her mace), and her wings sufficiently darkened by that itchy gunk that Mari so graciously donated, Shayera makes sure Steve is safely on the ground, then tries to just move on back out of range of whoever that was on the roof pointing at her. She really hopes that they think she's either some local wildlife or possibly a local mutant out for a post-sunset flyabout.
As soon as she thinks she's out of that person's line of sight, she banks and looks for the most convenient place to land that requires as little backflapping as possible. Now she's ALMOST wishing she had owl feathers. But, no. She's NOT a stealth operative. This is NOT her usual scope of work. And she intends for it to stay that way.

Touching down, likely not nearly as quietly as she would have liked, she looks around quickly to see if anyone's approaching while she unwraps her mace. She could fight with it covered if she wanted to, but she doesn't. Well… maybe keep the head of the weapon obscured to avoid identification. It's going to mess with her aim and speed, though. She can already tell. Pfeh.

Nothing like approaching an enemy base without a parachute! Nobody tell Barnes. Steve does his absolute best to remain the perfect parcel on approach to the preordained landing space. How his 'hired help' hat has remained on his head in the wind bustle is probably a miracle. Beneath all of this costumed get-up, his navy-blue stealth suit, stars and bars and all, and slung on his bag in a battered khaki-colored bag, the starred shield.

His boots hit the ground and just as quickly, he's darting in the shadow of the nearest piece of equipment just inside the nearest open bay doors. It's a necessary moment to straighten his borrowed duds and pull the brim of his hat farther down over his face. He can walk the mercenary walk well enough.

"Entering the main site," he murmurs softly into what comms may exist even as he makes to walk further into the area, sticking close to the interior walls of the main building.

A man named Helmuth von Moltke once said in 1870 that no plan survives contact with the enemy. In the west, at least in American armies, this is summarized as Murphy's Law. To wit: If it can go wrong, it probably will. Akah Ma'at probably has its own version of this seeming law of the universe. As both Shayera and Steve well know sometimes when things go wrong it's not your fault. It's not anything that anyone did wrong. It's just bad luck.

And bad luck strikes tonight in the form of an explosion. It rocks the perimeter fence near where Shayera has landed. There's shouting as someone starts firing some kind of blue beamed energy weapon at the guards. And the guards begin swarming the area. The few on the roof run toward Shayera. Well not toward her but toward the part of roof she's on to give them a view of what's happening.

The rush of reinforcements is not coming toward Steve, though it is coming past him. No his problem is that a few seconds after the explosion happens, all the lights go on. And then he hears something.

"We've got a dissident problem on the perimeter." Someone is broadcasting on the same frequency as his coms. "I'm suiting up. Ghost. Get your ethereal ass in the air and go deal with it until I get there."

"Keep your shirt on …" comes the reply over the comms. "I'm moving but I'm sure it's just dissidents. Hit them with a few rounds of automatic weapons and they'll back off. They always do. And drag one of theirs out onto the wall and shoot them in the head."

It's not long after that, Shay and Steve will see a silver flicker in the air … it's weird though - it's like it's there but not there.

"Moving in …"

Dissidents are attacking the place? Well, that's convenient. But then their comms picking up errant signals from some other people… Who the hell is Ghost? That does NOT bode well. Switching to the pre-arranged secondary channel, Shay considers just letting the dissidents be the distraction that'll help them get in, pull whatever data they can, and hopefully melt this place to slag. Or… whatever it was they were supposed to do here besides break stuff. She's really okay with just breaking stuff.

Catching a glimpse of that odd silver flicker, she decides that the roof is no longer a good place to be, and while all the locals are focused on the perimeter she hops down toward the ground. Flaring her wings just enough to lighten her landing, she immediately turns to find a way inside the building proper. Y'know, where the breakables are.

The explosion is fainter to Steve inside the main building. As if he were just a lowly portion of the guardianship of this building, not in the least equipped to deal with the sudden explosion (and having honestly reacted to the sudden explosion because THAT wasn't planned to his knowledge), Steve moves to one side to allow the grouping of security to pass by him. He lifts his chin after they've passed and yet, as he makes to enter one of the hallway doors leading to the main hydraulics piping of the main buildings, the voice comes over the comms.

It brings him to a surprised halt and his face whips back to face the open bay door, with the distant glimmering of blue shots being fired off only visible by reflection on the buildings.

Hearing of additional feedback by another voice, this one unknown to him, he too switches over to the secondary comm channel.

"Plan just accelerated," he mutters to Shayera as he then takes up a faster walk down the spartan side hall lit every some number of feet by humming recessed lights.

"Yeah, figured that out," Shayera quips back sotto voce. "Meet you inside."

The sound of automatic weapons fire comes from the perimeter. More 'ray gun' fire which sounds very familiar to Steve goes off but it dies away very quickly. Both Shay and Steve can hear more voices on the comms. "Yeah yeah, don't say I told you so. They always run."

"Sir one of the dogs is picking up a trail that goes into the compound."

"WHAT?! Damn it to hell! Full sweep! Ghost did you see any of them get past you? Do you see anything at all?"

Now both Shay and Steve can hear shouting. And for Steve it's getting close to him. He may have some time to do some smashing but if a dog has picked him up it's going to lead the security right to him.

And as for Shay… well. Did Ghost see her gliding down?

"Still think you should kill one of those we're holding. Fucking idiots think we're not serious otherwise." Ghost responds. "Hold on a moment…"

That last comes as the question about something getting past comes in.

"Yeah, I saw something. Thought it might be a large bird of prey but … out here? I don't think so." Shay can see the ghostly flicker, bank and descend her to location. "Oh yeah. Something got past me and the big boys are like going to experimenting with this one." An azure bolt of light, laces the ground at Shayera's feet. "Do you think you can run, little bird?" That's said directly to the bird-woman. "Think again …"

"Uh oh," is all that Shay says to warn Steve that she's been spotted, mostly so that this Ghost person doesn't realize she's communicating with someone else. She turns to look at the ghostly flicker when the blue zap laces past her feet, and smiles in that way that has made many of LAPD's toughest cops hesitate. "Oh, I wasn't running. I was looking for you."

She swings her mace once seemingly-idly to test how it feels still wrapped in dark fabric. "Let's play."

"Yep, definitely accelerated," Steve says to himself as he takes up an easy lope down the hallway. Guess the borrowed boots weren't going to cut it! He takes the next left and the following right at a much faster pace now, only just slow enough to avoid potentially bouncing off the walls, and finds the door leading to the hydraulics room.

A pick at memory and he inputs the code: "Three two nine six one five zero seven seven one," comes the murmur under his breath and then he slips into the room after the heavy lock clicks open. A quick shove of the thick door shut again and he bolts it from the inside, leaving the light off. Now it's just finding the heat exchanger and breaking it into impossible pieces. A puncture in the coolant reservoir tank probably won't go remiss as well. Out comes the shield and after a sigh, Steve moves into the collection of machinery. Ah-hah: there's the coolant reservoir.

Then comes Shayera over the comms. The Captain pauses in mid-pull-back of his shield on his forearm, looking off to one side in concentration. "Hol, do you copy?" he asks over the comms.

The coolant starts spraying out under pressure. Yeah that and the heat exchanger going down means that the machinery is just about to seize up. Seconds later it does with an almighty screeching of abused metal.

And then the wall opposite Steve just blasts inward, shattered by something. Something that turns out to be the blow of a powered fist.

A man in heavy armor and a load bearing light exoskeleton with two large gauntlets walks in through the hole in the wall. "Found our problem." Says the man known as Brock Rumlow. The fists, normally painted black, are gleaming.

"Well well. Lookit what we have here. You don't look much like a dissident."

The etheral being solidifies as his feet touches the ground. Covered head to toe in armour, the man raises a pistol and just shoots Shay - he's good too, clearly well practiced with the weapon.

"Let's play, little bird." As he moves as the mace swings, he fades from view and goes invisible. Leaving Shay to wonder where he went.

But not for long, that pistol fires again - hitting the ground just in front of her feet again.

Okay, this guy is complete asshat. Shay almost literally snarls as the third electrical snap at her feet comes with the smell of scorched feathers and whatever this stuff all over her wings is. It doesn't smell good. "You fight like a coward. Why am I not surprised?" He won't fight PROPERLY, he keeps bouncing around outside of her reach. Fine, then. He wants to play that way, she can change the rules too while she's started in on the taunting.

With a growl of annoyance, she swings her mace full strength at the nearest breakable object, aiming to scatter pieces of whatever it is around herself. And if some of them just happen to hit this Ghost person, well, oops? NOT.

Steve again tries the comms. "Dust 'em 'nd get out, got the hydraulics set to seize up any ti — "

It was going to be 'any time now' and the machinery absolutely does, but the sudden implosion of the nearby wall is enough to have Steve stagger-stepping away from it, shield upheld against the spray of layered concrete. A few pieces melodically ricochet off his shield and he appears from behind it, slowly straightening as he reaches back to pull his cowl up over his face. It's decidedly stealth-suit blue — his hat's a loss somewhere in the room.

"Funny, I was all set to protest you showing up too," he replies to the exoskeleton-suited man, then shifting into a readied stance. "Don't wanna linger in here, Rumlow. Back pressure's a thing of wonder."

Steve then makes to slice quickly at a nearby pipe with his shield, the better to break it and fill the room with a quickly rising haze of steam.

The machinery is not sounding well. It's giving the kind of knocking sounds that an engine gives out before it throws a rod and it's entirely possible that the parts of it that haven't seized are still grinding. Steam fills the room as coolant vaporizes. But if Crossbones is bothered by that he doesn't let it show. He lunges and swings into the mist. No he can't get a good fix on Cap but he'll be happy to send shards of metal and concrete flying everywhere if he misses.

"Is that right old man? Well maybe I can relieve some of that back pressure. I've been taking Chiropracty classes don't you know. Be happy to show you how it all WORKS!" Works is accompanied by a fierce haymaker that MIGHT be a bit more spot on than the previous blow.

Steve can't hear it over the machinery but Shayera as she fights with Ghost might hear baying. And then something loud and… mechanical.

Cyberhounds are online Ghost.

The wall that Shay hits shatters. Detritus and debris showers everywhere. Ghost appears to the side of the woman, laughing at her - going slightly opaque as the shards of concrete and reo fly through him. "You're going to have to do better than that…"

There's a familiar sheen to the armour he's wearing. Much like the armour Shay has seen before.

"Oh goodie. Now we hunt, little bird…. " He say as a mechanical growl sounds from behind Shay. She can hear the click, click of metallic claws on the floor.

A quick duck as Crossbones lunges in and Steve attempts to make his way around a collection of pipes on the opposite fringe of the steam cloud erupting to continue to fill the space. He grimaces as he hears the metal fist collide with infrastructure; bringing up the shield means another round of shrapnel ringing off its surface. It's probably the particular tone that brought Crossbones in his direction despite the thick coolant mist.

Here comes the haymaker with the spoken emphasis and it slams into the shield with concussive force. The impact is loud, resonant, and it sends the Captain backwards off his boot-soles to collide into a stand of tubes. Needless to say, they dent a little. He rises quickly to his feet, coughing once, and then sprints back into the cloud of steam with a purely bullish intent and purely spiteful gleam in his true-blues. The shield is the main front of his battering-ram approach at high speeds, intending to send the exoskeleton back through the hole in the wall.

"You're gonna need to retake a class, Rumlow, that's not how you realign a SPINE!"


Shay instantly lashes out with a fist when she hears Ghost's voice to one side, and her eyes narrow at the odd shimmer to the armor he's wearing. Before she can place it, though, she hears the tick of claws on concrete and the growl, and immediately launches herself into the air.

The stuff on her wings and the scorching makes that far less graceful than usual, but so long as she has to deal with only the zappy asshat and not the dog-things as well, she could care less. As soon as she's close enough, she bashes the overhead lighting fixtures to send them crashing to the floor. Hopefully, they're the kind running on 277 volts AC and will kick up some very pretty sparks where the power wires have just been snapped.

Steve's shield slam hits Rumlow's crossed fists and then something unexpected happens. There's an explosion.

Well, not an explosion. There's a concussive blast from the point where Steve's shield hits the fists. It blasts Rumlow back out the hole he came in and Steve onto the corner of a wall in a twisting motion that eventually sees him ejected out onto the shop floor. It ALSO basically collapses the room they were fighting in and ruins the machinery which moments later ALSO explodes from the back pressure.

There is only ONE reason for that to have happened. Rumlow had vibranium (or more likely, reverbium) fists. Uh oh.

Shayera can feel the blast on the roof where she is. And Ghost…

Ghost gets an earful of really SALTY military grade profanity. That must have hurt. That's the only time Crossbones gets like that. Actually because of the frequency mix up, Steve and Shayera get that too.

The mechanical dog leaps as Shay does - she'll feel the weight of it as it hits her back. The claws on its feet dig deep - those are strong! - as the light fitting shatters and electricity sparks across the ground.

"Ohhhh baby, that tickles." Ghost says, shimmering to view as his armour glows. "Do it again …" That armour is absorbing the energy from the electricity and the dog - uses Shay back as a board and lands beside Ghost, growling low.

Uh oh indeed.

It's probably after the momentous sound of collision of shield to gauntlet and resulting near-detonation — and after Steve exiting the hydraulics room through the corner — and after going through one more wall to boot — that Steve realizes what just happened. He didn't really hear the blistering invective being thrown over the comms, not until the very end as he's carefully working himself up to his hands and knees from his stomach, using the shield as a crutch.

"Language!!!" flies the stubborn shout in the direction of Crossbones as the Captain gets to his feet with a grimace. One high cheekbone is definitely roughly scraped up and that's a bloody lip; by the way he winces, something in his back isn't happy either, though more likely a rib in the end. So much for a disguise as well. His mercenary get-up is torn all over in places, flap of fabric revealing the dark-blue stealth-suit beneath.

"Hydraulics room compromised, Hol, thing's set to cascade now," he reports grittily into the second comm channel.

Shayera shouts as the dog-thing claws her back quite decisively, and can really only spare a split second of relief that it didn't seem to be aiming for her wings. But what it did do was more than bad enough. Finding a perch in the ceiling joists, she's muttering things far more vile than Crossbones did. Her only advantage is she's using her native language, that so far as she knows no Grounder understands.

"Okay, you've pissed me off. I'm not playing anymore." Ignoring the damage to her own back, she finally unwraps her mace, then after stretching her wings to make sure she's got enough room she leaps from her perch to dive at the Ghost and his dog. It's far too short a distance for a proper hawk-dive, but she's not trying to be sneaky anymore, so she's going for as much acceleration as she can get in the limited space available.

Her plan is to polo-sweep the guy's head with her mace. Maybe kick him while she's at it just for good measure.

"Language?" Crossbones seems to have finally realized that Steve is on the channel. "I've got plenty more where that came from old man." There's a grunting sound as he picks himself up from somewhere. "And I'm gonna give it all to you when I find you."

The moment after Shayera makes her strike the roof buckles. They've done a LOT of damage here and it is PROBABLY time to make their escape and hope that there's no proof that they were involved here.

"Ghost. Call in the big guns."

Yeah. Definitely time to exfiltrate.

Ghosts armour continues to glow and he laughs as Shay launches herself at him. Two things happen … As the hit connects with the armour, a pulse of kinetic goes out. AND … her mace - if she manages to continue the swing with that concussive force - goes right through Ghost. Oh, he doesn't play nice at all.

"I *am* the big guns. But if you need help …" Ghost quips to Crossbones. "Unleash the HOUNDS!!!!" Oh yeah. Four more dogs join Ghost and start to close on Shay. And another six try to corner Steve.

The creaking of the roof above has Steve looking up, wide-eyed, before he begins to run towards one of the distant bay doors still cracked open. He has zero interest in being buried beneath collapsing infrastructure.

"Bet your mother's proud of you, Rumlow, you learned to share!" he says over the comms to Crossbones, his now-accelerated breathing sounding a bit haggard. Ribs, oy.

"About time to catch a red-eye, can't be late. Hol!" Over the secondary comms and aloud, his voice carrying as the Captain runs as fast as he can manage across the extensive length of shop floor. He can see the fight going on between Shayera and something not-quite-there along with the sudden appearance of techno-dogs — and then a clickity, mechanical pack of his own, joy!

Those hounds are going to have to pick up some speed, he's pushing himself to the edge of his abilities, faster than a horse at full gallop. "HOL, IT'S GONNA IMPLODE!!!"

"I hear you, stop fucking yelling in my ear!" Shay gives up on trying to do anything about this Ghost-douche and goes after Steve, her wings having to work far harder than usual to gain altitude and speed and then she's diving just enough to scoop Steve up in the manner they'd practiced for this exact purpose, and then out the bay door.

She cusses some more in her native language as one of her wings clips the edge of the bay door, but she does let that sacrifice more than the smallest bit of speed and altitude. They HAVE to get clear.

As she does… it implodes. The roof just caves in and takes the dogs trying to get her with it. Then she's on the way out. Crossbones isn't going to make it in time. They're going to get away. Provided Ghost doesn't chase.

Though all that said they had better keep running until they get clear of the smoke and sirens. They do NOT want to be explaining this to the Magistrates. And Shayera does NOT want to be mistaken for a mutant.

"Run little bird …." Ghosts laughter follows Shayera. "Hey Crossbones? I'm goin' have to rebuild the dogs. Those things are so finicky …"

No, he's not going to chase but Shayera's been marked by him. It's likely not the last time she'll see him.

And alley-OOP! Airbourne again, and something Steve still isn't used to — the reverse direction this time rather than simply falling back to earth. He blows a relieved sigh lost to the swiftly-passing night air.

After about a minute or two, the Captain speaks up.

"Could've gone worse," he muses in the comms, tired and sore enough to just hang there, shield still on his arm.

Fastest way to get clear of everything? Fly straight out over water. Problem with this, Shay's starting to feel those claw marks more and more, and she's NOT going to be able to keep up this pace for much longer at all. With that in mind, she works to gain as much altitude as possible so that they can glide back in toward their pre-arranged pick up point. Though there is NO guarantee at this point that she'll get them to the pick up point. In fact, she's pretty sure they won't.

"It's going to," she quips back at Steve, her voice obviously strained. "We might have to swim to the pick up point."

She HATES swimming.

Steve nods to himself, expression droll as he glances down at the ocean below.

"If we gotta, then we gotta," he mutters, knowing already how it's going to strain his sore shoulder. "It'll be refreshing. Brisk. Get the blood off."

Optimistic pragmatism, ahoy!

Sirens wail behind them, but they've made it. When they get back to the Wakandan Embassy there will doubtless be questions. For now though they can relax (a bit) in the notion of a job well done.

But then someone really needs to start asking: Why did Crossbones and Ghost have Reverbium kit? And what does that mean going forward?

That's it, she can't climb any more. Shayera starts gliding, trying to catch thermals as she banks slowly back toward land to keep them aloft as long as possible. Steve might be able to feel the difference, she's struggling. But she doesn't mention it because grousing about having to swim is far more important at the moment.

"Have you ever seen a soggy owl? Or watched a pigeon try to swim? It's not a pretty thing."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License