Data Recovery

November 11, 2014:

Jericho, Carol and Partisan get to know one another, and then are immediately thrown into action

Russian-Chechnyan Border

An FSO data storage facility on the Chechen Border

Characters

NPCs: Caliphate Insurgents

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Russian Air Space.
Jericho is reclining to the extent polite and possible in his seat. He's used to long uncomfortable flights in military transport jets and this is far from the most uncomfortable he's ever been. In fact he's listening to music. No headphones, of course, he doesn't need them. So nice to be able to stream things directly into your head. He's also keeping an eye on a developing situation on the ground near Chechneya, just in case.


Nobody has ever, in the history of flight accused the AN-74 of being comfortable, flashy or fast. It's sort've a flying work van, but well it's a flying work van the Mexican Peruvian air force does not seem to have missed quite yet. It's big, it carries a bunch of shit and it'll carry it far though so there you go. Part is, well a surprisingly good pilot perhaps. She's old fashioned as far as pilots go, but thats not a bad thing really. She's spent the last few hours running flight plans, the old fashioned way no less. Pen, paper and a few charts. "Man, I got a craving for those orange hostess cupcakes. You know the ones you get at the gas station, the really terrible ones? I'd fucking kill for those things, or a pickled sausage. Orange cupcakes, or a pickled sausage for sure."


Carol is a terrible co-pilot. Mostly because she's used to being the pilot, and has to resist the urge to adjust something, or correct something, or just get her hands on the controls. On the other hand, it helps that this isn't exactly a high-performance vehicle, and Carol can be a bit of a snob about her aircraft. At the moment, she's kicked back in her own seat in the interest of not sticking her nose in too much, arms crossed behind her head as she looks up at the ceiling. "Not a superpower I possess, sadly," she sighs to Partisan's craving. "Should've packed some peanuts."


Jericho grins. "Here. POGie bait." He says, tossing Partisan a package of… it's kind of like he knows her cravings. Is that bad? Certainly a sign that they've been working together for a while. Jericho's old assault bag is sitting on the floor between he and the other passenger. "So Carol, I read up on your file a bit, just the cliffs notes. You were a pilot, right? What'd you fly?"


Partisan is immediately very interested in Jericho, before deftly snagging the treat in question. "Carol, you have control of the aircraft. I'm betting unless it has a propeller or a Rotor blade, you're probably the better pilot anyway right?" Biting that package open with a smile. "Jerry, I forgive you for your lack of cooking talents right the fuck now."


"Everything," Carol answers, then looks back to Jericho with a grin. "Fighters, mostly. Got to try a sweet number fresh off the Stark lines once," she says as she hops out of her chair and slides into the pilot's seat, immediately making a slew of tiny adjustments to suit herself. "That ended poorly, though. Got shot down, spent some lovely time with some terrorists who didn't much care of us."
"I've never met a terrorist who did." The hacker replies, flashing Part a grin and a wink by way of response. "Thank you Parti."


He hasn't yet volunteered that he was Special Operations Arial Regiment (SOAR) himself, nor that he has an extensive black operations background and he has not done this mostly because Carol doesn't seem like a woman who needs to be impressed and does seem like a woman who might not be with people who try too hard. "I saw that in your file yes. Nasty stuff. Glad you made it out okay." He's curious himself what her unique qualifications for this are. Sam didn't share, if indeed he knows, but given that Partisan and Sam both seem glad to have her on he's sure he'll find out soon enough.
"That was over Russia, as I recall, wasn't it? Or one of the former republics?"


Partisan tucks into those cupcakes quite eagerly, offering a pleasant little rumble of delight. "Carol, he's trying to figure out what it is you do or whatever else. We're working together, so we should probably just cut the bullshit. I'm a former CIA terrorist, and I'm a hundred twenty year old werewolf all rolled into one. Jerry can explain his, increasingly random collection of powers. Feel free to ask me whatever you want, this is professional not personal at this point."


"That time was over the middle east. Russia was another one. Not that I get shot down a lot, I should say, now that you've given me the controls," Carol chuckles. "More…I just have a tendency to land in interesting things." As Partisan cuts right to the point, she smiles faintly, leaning back in her chair and looking back to the pair. "Mine doesn't boil down quite so well. I guess you could say I've had some work done? Genetically speaking. At least I'm pretty sure that's the source, though I haven't looked into it too closely. If you read my file, I'm sure you caught the bit at NASA, with the explosion. When that happened, I got a bit of an upgrade on the cellular level. And later, I ran into some things that sort of…supercharged it." She turns the chair to face them both, smile crooked. "All of which is probably better summed up with…" There's a sort of shimmer, and suddenly, Ms. Marvel is sitting there, legs stretched out in front of herself.


Jericho quirks an eyebrow. Yes, he is officially impressed. "I… see…" It doesn't really answer the question of exactly what she can do, but at this point he doesn't really need the specifics. "So you're sort of a… what's the term they use? Mutate. A human being who has been altered on a genetic level." And usually benefited from it in some way. Mutations that hurt or kill you, such as cancer, don't usually get the moniker.


Partisan raises a brow and nods "Neat, I'm pretty quick to heal but anything like a heart shot or a headshot just brings the wolf out. She's err, intelligent and aware but rather aggressive. She's my other half so, knows what I know, same level of intelligence yadda yadda."Polishing off cupcake number two quite comfortably. "Its pretty gory, and pretty grisly and its the way it works."


"Very effective though. Every time she does it, she has to hop bodies though. One time deal, in that manner." Jericho notes. "So if you work with us long you'll have to get used to having Partisan's diction come out of someone you don't recognize." She's gone through… four 'models' since Jericho's known her. He gathers that's somewhat less than ideal but action does tend to be rough on the 'equipment'.
"Same old Part, though."


Carol shimmers again, and is back in dark gear, turning back to the controls with a glance toward Partisan. "Protect the heart and the head," she drawls. "Got it." She pushes a hand through her hair, as if the outfit change somehow mussed it, before she continues. "I'm pretty much everything-proof. I can fly, up to around Mach 3 or so. Get an extra sense for danger, not that I always listen to it the way I'm probably supposed to. And I can absorb energy, weaponize it, and shoot it back. I don't generally get tired, if I do get hurt I heal fast, and I can do the outfit change trick. Technically it's some sort of minor molecular control. Which is outside of my air force and CIA training in firearms, vehicles, espionage, close combat, and languages."


Partisan glances after Jericho "Yeah, I'm a very old curse. So I lost my original shape, christ when I was twelve. I'm faster, stronger, way more endurance than normal but exactly where I'm at changes with each body. Like now, I'm flexible and I'm lighter on my feet but I'm entirely too short for proper assualting."lifting a hand to rub calmly after her brow. "So, your a good and proper heavy hitter then. It'll be a lovely change not being the only one shot full of holes."


Jericho chuckles a bit grimly. He has also been shot full of holes with somewhat alarming regularity albiet not as many holes as Partisan and it takes him a lot longer to recover. "My expertise is mostly in information warfare and network compromise. I'm a very, very good hacker. And I can get up in your face, if I have to. Experimental military cybernetics." It's a fairly sparese description but there's not room in the plane for a proper demonstration and he's fairly sure that Sam would not appreciate him wolfing out next to him. It'd get tight, at the very least.
"Really though, it seems more and more that my best assets are my friends." Cause that's saved his bacon so many times…
"Experimental cybernetics sounds interesting," Carol quirks a brow back at Jericho, though she doesn't press the issue. "As far as getting shot full of holes goes, I definitely recommend letting me take point," she adds to Partisan, grin flashing. "They generally bounce off these days. I'm not as quick as Superman, but I can take out some gunmen without too much trouble. Aliens…" She trails off, lifting a hand to wiggle it from side to side. "I've had some do a number on me before. Depends on what we're dealing with, honestly."


"I was actually planning on letting you just, make an enormous ruckus. Give me plent of space to move amongst them, and start filling graves."Partisan pauses to thumb after the cargo bay. "I've got a bunch of remote fired single use mortars I dont know if we'll be able to set them up in range or what, but if we can they do lovely work at distractions. Well, and doing nasty shit like thermobaric or dispersing chemical agents. I didn't exactly bring any nerve agents with me, but I should be able to figure something out."


Jericho suddenly looks distracted and sits up. "Hey Part, we've got a problem. Remember that FSO server farm I told you about on the Chechen border?" He's already looking right, away to the south, straining to see.


"You know, I haven't tried myself against nerve agents," Carol muses, leaning back in her seat. "That I remember. Someone probably did." She pauses, scrubbing a hand over her face, though she lowers it when Jericho speaks up. "Time for some fancy flying?"


"Jerry, we dont have countermeasures of any kind on board. If somone's locking us up, let us know because we ain't got no ejection seats."Reaching up to snug her straps down, before lifting a hand to hover over the cargo panel. "I have the aircraft, see what you can do about potentially just turning that IFF off. Yaknow, with a punch maybe."


Jericho shakes his head. "No, not that. Look." The hacker hold his left forearm up and projects an image of a squat but sprawling looking building complex. Explosions go off around it, people can be seen moving in towards it. The building is hit several times by ordinance and catches fire.
"Caliphate insurgents are overrunning it. The FSO is pulling out. If we don't get down there either the insurgents are going to wreck the data or the FSO is going to blow it. Either way…"
"So we need to get in there faster," Carol summarizes, checking the instruments. "I can bail. I don't know about taking on all of both groups, but I can try to keep them busy until you guys can bring the bird in."


Partisan sighs, reaching upwards to set the autopilot. Putting the Antonov into a lazy orbit "Carol, I hope you dont mind playing taxi because we're both going to need a lift back up to the bird. Well, or you can zoom up here and land it but either way."Climbing out of the seat already and jogging towards the back of the plane where she starts changing with the practiced ease of a career soldier. "Jerry, check my chute if you'd be so kind? I'm running a little tight on time. Carol, hit the cargo doors for me please? I'm going for a walk it seems."


Jericho hands Partisan her chute. He's not going to use one for reasons that are obvious to Partisan and will become clear to Carol in time. He also secures a rifle and his leather case that he always has these days. "You two hold them, if you can. I'll rescue what data I can but we're going to be running on a tight schedule. We only have a little bit before the FSO writes the place off and calls in an airstrike on it.


"Or sure, we can all jump out of the plane," Carol agrees, reaching for the cargo release. "I don't mind tossing you back up, or you guys can wait down here while I pick things back up. Either way. I can do up and down just as easily."


On goes the BDUs, and the boots, chest rig, gunbelt, assault pack, helmet and finally that decorated gasmask of hers. "Get on down there, hurt their feelings. Far as I'm concerned folks, kill'em all."Part lifts a gloved hand to her throat as she steps towards the back of the open cargo deck. "1-1, online." With that, she just steps off into the black. Sighing softly as she eyes the firefight below, now lets just try and get down there without somone turning on the fucking searchlights or someshit."1-1, on target. Touch down in one."


Jericho tosses Carol a salute and falls backward out of the plane, rather on purpose. He twists midair to the correct orientation and, about a hundred feet from the ground amber bat wings unfurl from him and flare, gliding him over the firefight and atop the server farm complex. "1-2, on site, headed into the complex. Keep 'em off me."
The Caliphate insurgents have brought quite a bit. Aside from well equipped Chechens wielding AK 74's and RPG-7's, there's a couple of old ZSU's in evidence and four or five BMP Armored personnel carries. The kind with, you know, cannon. And missiles.


Carol shakes her head slightly as the others jump out of the plane, walking out herself before shooting away from the plane at high speeds. "Got your back!" she calls back to Jericho, making a sharp turn midair and firing off an energy blast at the nearest cannon in sight. In fact, she draws energy toward herself, enough that she almost glows in the air, creating a fine distraction. Follow the birdy!


Fwoosh goes that chute, pulled dangerously last minute but of course. After the initial jerk, she jerks the quick release and hits the ground running. "1-1, Contact. I'm enguaging armor." Those well worn jungle boots hurling a neat spray of soil as she explodes foreward, ploughing into a lone Chechen and hitting the ground in a roll. Theres a neat -schlick- of a sharpened blade, and as she deftly rolls back onto her boots with the man's RPG-7. Pausing only long enough to get a halfway decent sight picture.
Theres a faint almost whistling -fwoosh-, followed by a terrific flash followed immediately by an enormous shower of sparks. That RPG-7 slips through the opened troop hatch the BMP crew was loading anti-tank missiles from, and the resulting explosion is followed imediately by resounding secondaries. Not that the Partisan pauses to admire her work, no she casually tosses the RPG away as she leaps into another sprint towards the next nearest BMP. RKG-3s coming free from their place beneath her assault pack.


"Be advised, 1-1, 1-3 (That's Carol) that I'm seeing couple companies worth of infantry here with armored support. This is a big damn push for the Caliphate. Someone must have given the game away at this facility." Gunfire echoes out over the comn link. "I'm moving to recover the data as quickly as may be. Will update when I have time. Aw hell. Carol you've got Triple A locking on you." And she does. Those old ZSU's look like tanks, but they're really mobile anti aircraft platforms with quad linked rapid fire cannon. And they're tracking Ms. Marvel now… and then they open up. Shells begin to burst all around her.
Partisan has been spotted. A fair number of the enemy is still assaulting the complex. A lot more of it is on fire now, but automatic fire is flowing in at Part from RPKs and AKs.


"That was the idea," Carol calls back over the comm at Jericho's warning, zipping between shells and soaking in the energy of the blasts as she does. Once they're tracking her, she changes course, leading one right into the next and cutting through a line of enemy combatants. "Watch where you're aiming, boys!"


"Come on you fucking cowards, you gonna let a woman rob you of your paradise? Come and get me!"No not broadcast over the coms, but Partisan despite her tiny size is quite capable of shouting all manner of multilingual insults over the din of a battlefield. That would include Russian of course, the uniform she's using now. Not that she misses a beat mind you, fuck no. The bitch is like god damned combat ballet over here, look at her go. Sprinting between lanes of fire without much apparent need for cover as she closes on the next BMP, before giving that magnetically faced anti-tank grenade a gentle heave which lands with a resounding -CLUNK-. Neatly vaulting the aft deck, and landing amidst a group of understandably startled infantry.
KA-CHOOOM goes the shape charge, blowing a pencil sized hole in the hull of that BMP and promptly rending the crew into so much hamburger. It doesn't explode really, no the top hatch pops open and the thing just burns like a bonfire. It's actually sort've pretty, but ain't nobody got time for that. Partisan is putting in work over here god damnit!
Out from her waist in a flash of steel comes that familar Kerambit, driving the claw shaped steel along a poor grunt's inner forearm before skipping over his chest and taking out a good three quarter of his throat. His buddy is quick to act, lifting his RPK upwards as she deftly ducks under the barrel. Landing an uppercut hard enough to shatter the poor man's jaw utterly, he's rocked entirely off his feat before landing in a wet heap of broken teeth and blood. "C'mon you Suchkas!"Yes, the Partisan just accused these poor guys of fighting like child prostitutes. Totes sick burn, amirite?


That the Chechens understand Partisan is immediately obvious by the sharp rise in the volume of fire she's attracting, despite the way she's eliminating her opposition. Also by the mortars that start dropping in around her which she may not appreciate but Jericho does since it means they're not dropping in on the building he's in. One of the BMP's stops and takes aim at her with that cannon.
Speaking of cannon Carol's classic 'now you shoot your own guys' maneuver works more effectively than it really has any right to. Shells burst amid the advancing Caliphate fighters and then one of the ZSU's goes up in flames as it's companion lights it up in their eagarness to down Miss Marvel.
"Okay, I'm in the data center. Downloading and pulling hardware now. Give me five minutes. Carol, I'm reading a flight of Fencers coming in." The Su-24 is an old Russian attack craft, but a very serviceable one. "No IFF, best guess is they're an FSO cleanup crew. Can't have the agency getting embarrassed by this. I'd really appreciate not getting napalmed in here."


"Passing through, 1-1, take some cover," Carol warns before she shoots through the soldiers attacking the Partisan, firing blasts of energy from both hands out to either side of herself. "1-2, did you seriously just request I take on a squadron of planes on top of the rest of this?"


Partisan drops a knee as those bright green tracers skip and slither entirely too close for comfort, dropping immediately behind a conviently located berm to shield herself from that remaining BMP. That SR-3M finally coming out as she contorts onto her side, and begins sending that gnarly 9x39mm downrange with a pop and flash. Tiny carbine or not, the thing hits like a ton of bricks downrange apparently. "1-1, behind cover. 1-2 hurry the fuck up."


"1-3, I said no such thing." Jericho's voice breaks through with a rough laugh. There's the sound of arcing electricity, groaning metal and several calibers of gunfire in the background. "I asked you to engage a flight of planes. Only four. Not twelve." Yes he's splitting hairs. And teasing. He's getting shot at. It's how he copes.
The 'strafing run' Carol does scatters Partisan's attackers and that overzealous ZSU lights up the BMP leaving it in flames. Partisan herself mops up rather admirably and when it's cleared she's bought herself some space. Probably only thirty seconds or so worth but space is space.
"Two minutes." Jericho says, more gunfire going off, then an odd metalic noise that sounds like a very large switchblade followed by a distinct slice and screaming.


"What was your plan without the flying arsenal of doom?" Carol asks, even as she's shooting back up toward the incoming air traffic. "Really, I'd love to hear what plan a was." Not that she's unable to handle things, coming up alongside the FSO planes and matching their speed as she waves in the window of the nearest one. Look! Something stranger and more immediately interesting than the base below!


"1-3, 1-2 would have me trying to shoot them down with my pistol. This is why 1-2 doesnt do the planning, I do."Part's not just noodling around mind you, she's up onto her boots and hauling ass good and proper. Vanishing back into the shadows as she throws a thermite grenade over her shoulder, fuck your night vision assholes!


"1-3 Isn't that your code name? Flying Arsenal of Doom? FAD's not a bad acronym. Could be worse. If you want some suggestions though and they get uppity, tear one of the missiles off the hardpoint and see what they do with that. If that doesn't work, knock holes in the wings or rip the engine housing out. I saw what you did to those troops." Jericho's watching on sat feed and is very impressed.
The FSO pilots are well trained but, well it's not every day a rather attractive blonde woman just flies up next to your cockpit. With no airplane. A certain amount of staring is involved… and then the formation breaks up, two planes breaking left and down and the other two right and down.
The flashes of the thermite grenades absolutely blind Part's opponents for a moment there's just blind fire coming at her. Between Carol and Partisan there's about fourty men down which is not much out of two companies but more than enough to have the Caliphate forces pulling up short as they try to figure out what the hell is going on. No one expects two people to do that much damage.
"On my way out. I've got the good, well what looks salvageable at any rate. Just need another minute or so." There's another wet, tearing slice and a sound like a hundred tennis balls being dumped onto a court. A wet court.


"Cheeseburger, actually," Carol answers Jericho ruefully. "Don't ask, it's not pretty." She doesn't seem to want to particularly damage the aircraft, firing off explosions of light in front of the sensors rather than actually at them. Just enough to keep them from doing any damage to anyone else.


"Roger, 1-1 I'm free and clear. They've lost sight of me entirely, 1-3 can you snatch us or do we need to get out of dodge first?"Quietly pulling a grenadier off his feet and slitting his throat, before pressing a hand grenade to his chest and gently rolling him face down. A little surprise for his buddies of course.


There's a flare of amber light as Jericho launches from a hole in the roof. The remaining ZSU opens up on him the moment he does. "Holy crap!" Jericho shouts out, juking and rolling to get out of the way of the stream of fire. His sword unfolds in his hand and - Partisan has a particularly good look at his - He swings by low and cuts the side of the vehicle open like it's a tin can, ruining the turret ring as he does. "There. That thing's out of commission." Now he's got a lot more attention but he's already pulling away.
Carol's efforts have not gone unrewarded and the constant juking and dodging the Fencers have been doing has slowed their approach enough for Jericho to leave. "1-2, I'm clear. You can let them blow the place now 1-3. 1-1 I have visual on you. No hostiles in your immediate area. Do you have her 1-3 or shall I circle back?"


"These guys are busy enough," Carol replies, coming to enough of a stop to let the planes move on while she dives back toward the ground. "Faster you're moving when I snag you, 1-1, the less it's going to hurt. Send me up a flare!"


Partisan pops a cute little penflare and, well waits. "I'm a tough bitch no worries, hardly a delicate flower 1-3."Which, is pretty honest right? Anywho she -does- take off running, to ease the snag somewhat.


Jericho is already climbing back toward the Anatov and is at this point out of range of anything but an actual SAM which thankfully the Insurgents don't have. "Now I'm going to have to rig up something to do some data recovery." He sighs to no one in particular, keeping an eye on Carol and Part via sat.


True to her word, Carol sweeps in, slowing down enough not to do too much damage before scooping Partisan up mid-run. "And we're off," she announces, climbing back up toward their own craft at a reasonable speed.

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