Metropolis Disruption, Part 2

February 06, 2015:

February 06, 2015: Some very important people in Metropolis have just died. (Violence, language; emits by Taskmaster)


The big Apricot


NPCs: Shimmer Mammoth Hazard



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

New Troy the hub of the central business district Metropolis. The nexus point for city life in the Big Apricot. The city itself is alive with sirens, helicopters, first responders, black SUVs and the 'Science Police' the Metropolis variant on the Special Response Division. The reason for all the noise and chaos? A sniper has just killed half a dozen people at a summit meeting gathered in response to the Atlantean threat of war, those counted amongst the casualties are Mayor Vida Flemming, Secret Service Agent Lewis Rutger and Daily Planet Reporter Molly Swain. There is an unconfirmed number of additional victims of the shooting who may or may not have suffered serious injury including political anti-mutant lobbyist Graydon Creed and United States States Secretary of State Ryan Stafford.
Multiple sightings of the sniper have placed the individual heading east through the Avenue of Tomorrow cutting across 23rd and in to 8th towards Centennial Park.

Enroute… "Hawk, this is Hazard, authorization to test out prototype K13, over?" Silence and the men in the groundside transport await orders, "Hawk, this is Hazard, over?"
Looking to the man beside him Perseus Hazard flips down his helmet's visor, "Hell with it. We have too much radio interference right now. We'll use K13." The man beside him nods and motions with a fist, "Bring it forward."
Static clicks through the radio transmitter but nothing anyone can understand. The back of the vehicle a mechanized suit is loaded up, like an exo-skeleton of armor, gyros, metal and gears. Hazard stands up and begins to unlatch, "Keep pursuit on the target. I'll be ready in 3."

Mammoth and Shimmer in their own hovering car rip through the air in the direction of Domino's escape.
Mammoth shouts, "This is great!" As they're coasting Shimmer reaches out of the side of the vehicle and sticks her fingers in to the wall of a building they're passing by, in the wake of her touch a greenish color overcomes the structure's grey and the top portion of the building begins to slide inwards, behind them to descend and plummet. It would appear they're blocking their escape trail and causing general chaos. It is what these sorts enjoy. "Just gettin' the bang out of our buck." She yells to Baran.

The two mercenary siblings just left behind the wreckage strewn building Taskmaster is picking himself up inside of, that floor vanishing act only to fall through poison gas was a neat trick. Good thing Taskmaster picked up the Law Hong Gong technique from a pair of Seven Star Praying Mantis Kung Fu monks, his breathing suspended long enough for him to crawl free of the gas and his masks filtration system to adapt. He lays there on his back gulping in clean air. "If I was a vengeful man… "
The skull-faced HYDRA agent curls in on himself and wretches. "Who I am I kidding, I'm going to kill those Kangaroo loving inbreds…"


Catching a sniper in any environment can be a difficult task. In a city as crowded and complex as Metropolis, trying to track down a damn lucky rooftop antenna shooter geared up in surveillance-defeating armor from a mile away is going to make finding a needle in a haystack simple by comparison. Even the dark and stormy looking sky aids Domino's retreat, the dark coloring of her parachute blending in overhead as she builds up speed flying between the skyscrapers. Windows pass by as rapid blurs as she moves ever faster away from the roost, away from the scene of the assassinations.

And toward an inner-city monorail.

One of the fastest and safest ways out of town is to link up with the mass transport. Trains don't like to make unscheduled stops and they deal with an awful lot of people at every destination. All she has to do is piggyback the monorail then transfer to the high speed maglev train linking this city to Gotham and New York City alike. Within minutes she'll be nothing more than another ghost of Metropolis.


The moment word went out that Metropolis' mayor had been shot, SHIELD diverted resources that were close by to assist with apprehending the culprit. There are multiple quinjets en route no doubt, but one was already close enough to the city to arrive ahead of the others.

Probably going against several rules, the quinjet pulls in between buildings and settles just outside of the area cordoned off for the summit, disgorging a group of combat-kitted agents who promptly move as a group to coordinate with the local authorities. Then, after the quinjet has fully powered down, one last SHIELD agent disembarks. May makes sure the vehicle is locked down before turning and looking at the surrounding area.


Metropolis was never really inside of Zola's territory, he had his space in new york, and they had theirs. Though it would have never been mentioned at any of the head meetings or even to anyone outside of his most trusted officers he had plans for the mayor, plans that had been in the works for decades only to be completely ruined in one shot. He hated surprises deep down, and more then that he hated when people deviated from his own plans. So it's perhaps not too surprising that at the moment he has a small strike team going in to retrieve the woman of the hour, or at least try. An unmarked helicopter flying it's way over the city, with the team in toe.


Domino is a hell of a distance away from the point of interest (that being the victims location) her flight is delivering her through the forest of Skyscrapers towards the uplifted monorail tracks. Zola's HYDRA agents are the closest to her at this point in time.

Mammoth and Shimmer are visible to Agent May's SHIELD team as they descend but only in their retreat as well, the top portion of a building caving inwards towards the city below. This a gift from Shimmer and those who would be pursuing them. They are too close to be the actual snipers, trained eyes would tell such things almost immediately, angles, ranges, impact, all wrong. Still, they're the most obvious.

Taskmaster staggers free of the destroyed lobby as fire alarms go of and people flood the halls on their way out, the sprinkler system engaged. "Outta the way, outta the way." The man snarls and elbows his way through. Cramped hallways are the worst. Fortunately most people try to avoid armed and masked strangers.

Colonel Hazard is geared up and firing the K12 exo-skeleton up. It's a prototype but it's impressive, the beast steps forward with a loud *choom* then another. ~~WEAPON SYSTEMS ONLINE~~ Multiple targets immediately acquired in the distance. He is then rocketing off with a jet assisted leap. One, then another, and higher, and now the man is bounding.

This chase has inspired news channels to air almost every vessel they can, accidents are also occurring on the streets. This is definitely the sight to behold. The gawkers testament to that.


It's all in the timing. Mere minutes have passed since the first shot landed. The sky's going to become crowded, cameras are going to be combing the city for anything which appears to not belong. Eyewitnesses and cellphones are going to make it virtually impossible to stay incognito. As quick as transport through the air can be, it's also far from subtle. Domino needs to make her landing.

There's one more harsh pull on the cords as she dives in low across the monorail, slapping the disconnect and freeing herself from the parachute, harness and all. Without the weight of a passenger to stabilize its flight the wind soon kicks it off target and sweeps it elsewhere as she tumbles across the roof of a passenger car, finally halting her momentum as the magnetic pads in her palms connect with the outer steel shell and stick her to the surface. It's not the most silent of entries to anyone currently in the car beneath her, but they also can't look straight up.

Seconds later and the black sheen of her armor redefines itself as a close copy of the top of the rail cars, a carefully rebuilt pattern she had worked on days before based off of images pulled from the city's mass transportation website.

With the wind tugging at her hair she then brings the rifle around, working to break it down into smaller pieces which are much easier to carry, or to hide.

So far, so good.


Melinda May looks up at the crumbling building, locks eyes with the leader of the SHIELD squad she brought in, and nods to him. The team immediately move to get any and all people clear of where that debris is most likely to hit the ground, and they'll be pushy about moving people if they have to. For her own part, May looks toward the evacuating lobby. One of these things is not like the others. Pulling what seems like an innocuous bundle of folded fabric from a pocket, she starts toward Taskmaster quickly with the intent to intercept him. She doubts he was the sniper based on the intel they've been given, but he's suspicious-looking, and he might know who the sniper was and why the Mayor was targeted.


The unmarked helicopter swoops down as it tries to track onto the supposed gunman, trying to find itself a positive identification as one of the operatives taps the bottom of the craft a large Vulcan cannon popping out of the floor. The craft hasn't received anything close to a proper ID yet, but at the moment Zola doesn't much care, he can still feel anger, and right now it's at full force, as he tries to get some sort of a match.


Domino's self-extraction seems to be going smoothly. That is of course if she doesn't pay mind to the unmarked helicopter that is near her, the one sporting the Vulcan and the next incoming oddity, Colonel Hazard of SRD's Squad K. From a distance one would almost think it's the Hulk but it's not, it is a man in a powered exo-skeleton. The threat lock on his HUD system tracking the sniper but now honing in on the helicopter. A message is sent to them as his lock on acquires, "Who the fuck are you? Identify yourself!"

Taskmaster's hand toggles something on his wrist just as May steps infront of him. Standing there was the mercenary but she just watched as his body is overcome by a sheet of glimmering ripples and now a middle aged balding man is present, "Ahem… excuse me." Shit did she see the image inducer activate? He wasn't paying attention. He was too busy looking down and figuring the crowd around him was providing cover.

"Lets swing around sis, I think she went that way." Mammoth yells as the hovercraft they're in evades between an MPD chopper, the 'land' shouts by loudspeaker being ignored. Shimmer is ducked down and gripping as her brother pilots them. "Just hurry, it's getting thick up here." They're not really in range of the HYDRA chopper, Domino or Hazard just yet but they will be.


It's when Domino is tucking away the various pieces of the rifle away when she happens to notice that there's something big and nasty in pursuit. No..wait, make that -two- big nasty things. The chopper is easy enough to identify. She can probably identify the Vulcan on it, too. The thing that's romping along closer to street level is something altogether new to her. A freaking -exo-suit, really?

It seems to have a positive lock on her, too. She may need to see about getting her armor updated, it's not working so well against the newest tech.

Still, she's got a big problem. The exo will find her. The chopper will probably find her -because- the exo found her. Disappearing will be in her favor. With the rifle tucked away she crawls on her stomach to the side of the rail car then crawls down to the side, relying on those magnetic pads to keep her stuck to the side of the monorail. It should help keep her out of the line of sight, though the only way for her to get inside of the train would require some brute force.

Best to keep as small of a profile as she can for now.

How long to the central station..? -Too- damn long.


Melinda May narrows her eyes as Taskmaster tries to conceal his appeareance with some sort of technology. Oh, yeah, she TOTALLY saw that. She doesn't make any threatening moves yet, as all of the other evacuees likely wouldn't understand, but there is NO way he is going to just saunter past her. So, she tries to keep things calm-ish. "Sir. If you'll come with me."


Zola doesn't have time for this, his anger clouding his judgment as he gives the order to open fire. Right now the only thing he wants is Domino's head on a platter. Of course as rounds begin to fly from the chopper he doesn't realize that what he's doing could provide exactly the chance she needs to escape, but that's the problem with blind anger.


Melinda May? Bells rung for the Taskmaster but it's all amidst fog. He has the memory of a goldfish. It's literally ruined his life.
"Oh uh, sure, why? You taking me to safety?" Separates from the crowd enough he can stand before Melinda - his wrists out. He looks so complacent and docile.
Over May's headpiece, "Cavalry, do not attempt to apprehend the Taskmaster by yourself. Wait for backup." Fury? No. Whoever that is he doesn't outrank her. She could probably pick out the individuals name if they talk agin, Sanders? Wolsey? Hard to tell with all the cross-chatter over the comms. Still, not a person that outanks her.

"Shit!" Hazard snarls in to his suit and makes an evasive lunge as rounds chew through the ground where he just stood and one hits a a back chunk of his exo-suit. Metal flies and he retaliates with open fire of his own, a bark of 12.7 mm rounds return on the whirly bird. Normally a crew based machinegun the K12 manages to use this with one arm. It's housed in it's left limb.
"Squad K, Alpha Rook is underfire. I have found the suspect and she has reinforcements."
Sort of?

Mammoth piloting the hovercraft is closing in on that location as well, the vehicle lighting up the skies, "Uh, sis, we got a robot fighting a helicopter up here. I don't see our friend."
"Fuck 'em. Let 'em fight, pass them. Get her, the bosses want her, we get her or we don't get paid in full." Shimmer responds to her larger sibling. They'll sweep past the monorail and Domino only to skip back around trying to spot her.


Blind anger and large caliber chainguns tend to make lasting impressions in short order. Domino's out of sight but far from out of harm's way as Zola gives the order to fire. No amount of monorail and wind noise is going to cover up the sound of two large caliber chainguns suddenly dueling one another. She swears she can even hear someone from inside of the train screaming at the sight not too far away, prompting the mercenary to poke her head up over the side to stare at the chaos.

(You see that, girl? -Both- of those were destined for you.)

She's a sitting duck on the train, both the chopper and the exo have weapons capable of shredding the monorail cars into ribbons. She has zero physical cover up here.

There's something else, too. A flying vehicle, closed in on Dom's position. There's always room for a Plan Q, right? Right!

One of her arms snaps away from the monorail and extends out toward the vehicle Mammoth and Shimmer occupy, almost immediately followed by a zipline being fired out of an arm-mounted setup. All she has to do is spear their vehicle, leap free of a speeding monorail, then reel herself in like a fish. Easy!

In theory.


Melinda May makes a point of NOT letting the camoflauged Taskmaster get within arm's reach of her, though she's good enough to not make it obvious. And, as he's playing the innocent and befuddled citizen card, she'll let him for now. "Yes. Please come with me." She's ignoring the voice over her comm for the moment, mostly because Taskmaster seems to be investing in this charade. Just in case, though, she slips a small object out of one pocket and into her non-sash hand. Yeah, she's been sneaking trick arrowheads again. What? They're small and easy to carry.


Rounds pepper the aircraft, knocking it back a few of the shots managing to cut through the thick armor of the craft but most astoundingly bouncing right off, or just imbedding into it instead. The helicopter tries to back off a bit the Vulcan cannon on the other side trying to fire in the veuge direction of where they last caught sight of the shooter. Whatever is going on it seems that the chopper has adopted a bit of a scorched earth policy, trying to open full barrages without care for civilian casualties.


"No cuffs? I was hoping this would be one of my kinkier fantasies coming true." The disguised Taskmaster remarks before taking stride behind Agent May. Why is he trailing along with this? Familiarity that is why. A taste of nostalgia that doesn't exactly exist as something his memory can latch on to, he'll see where it goes. At least for the moment. One SHIELD Agent isn't enough to bring him low, well, not usually.

"Look out, bro!" Shimmer yells as a zipline snares itself in a wrap around Mammoth's forearm. Too late.
Mammoth lets out a surprised noise. It is almost animalistic. The hovercraft lurches side ways before he straightens up and lets Domino reel herself in. "Look, I caught something!" The laughter is loud, obnoxious and it appears the giant brute is rather pleased with his joke.
"Moron." The redhead chides before ushering Domino to the seat near her, remarkably this hovercraft's interior looks like that of a speedboat. It's built for comfort and efficiency. Why not. "Welcome about the HMSS Badass, I'm your captain Shimmer and this is my first mate, Mammoth." The chopper has gone batshit in it's assault on the Sci-Fi armored guy and Shimmer is watching wide-eyed, a grin plastered across her features. "We best go! GOGOGO!"

"You maniacs!" The Squad K commander yells as the fire returns, back and forth it rips. Shoulder mounted weapons pop up and a rocket zips off at the helicopter. It is a lot like the one fired at the tank in Iron Man.
Vehicles, spectators, buildings, they all get hammered by the helicopter's unleashed payload. It's as destructive as can be expected and the mortality rate ascends.


Score! Domino's line got hook-YERK!

She's peeled away from the side of the railcar so quickly that the magnetic pads shear off some of the exterior paint, leaving her wildly spinning about while pulling something akin to a Spider-Man through Metropolis. Between the electric winch and Mammoth the next part of her wild ride doesn't last for long, soon being helped inside of the levitating vehicle.

"It's turning into a -mess- down there. Did you know someone just assassinated the mayor?" Grin.

She drops herself into a seat and straps in just as quickly as she can, sharing Shimmer's call of leaving the area. "Floor this sunovabitch! I don't want to stick around for the Whirly versus Megatron finale!"


Melinda May flatly ignores the comment about the handcuffs. She's got LOTS of practice at ignoring annoying comments, and Taskmaster can thank Barton for that. She leads him back toward the quinjet, though not all the way there, and stops in a clear area within easy eyeshot of the rest of the SHIELD team but without anything that could be used as either cover or as a makeshift weapon. "Why are you here?" she asks Taskmaster, though with the flatness of her voice, it sounds almost like a command and not a question.


The missile strikes true right into the side of the chopper, and while one would expect a decent sized explosion, the one that comes from this chopper is nothing short of over the top. The stores of napalm on-board completely detonating and spewing all across the wooded area bellow along with the missile compliment. It's big, it's bad, and let's be honest exactly the kind of thing HYDRA would do in order to keep something from falling into enemy hands.


So, in activating the nanites in Domino he not only just double-crossed Baroness and HYDRA he then avoided assassination by means of Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb meaning Taskmaster has pissed off another clandestine super powerful criminal organization. Where is he safest? SHIELD. Maybe. At least for the time being. Maybe they will just chalk it up to gross incompetence.
"Would you believe I am an accountant? I like numbers, you + me equals serious sexual tension right now. See. I am a natural."
A tip of his head and Taskmaster counts the numbers against him ahead, he could take 'em, he is good with this sort of thing but really, is it worth it? Besides he still has poison in his lungs. Might not be a good idea to test just how deep that it's seeped. He could be in danger more than just the surface is presenting. The image inducer falls away and leaves the skullfaced mercenary in open sight, his hands splay out and the weapon harness strapped about his body falls off, despositing an arsenal on the ground, "I'm surrendering myself. That is why I am here."

Hazard's eyes are rounded and he stares in absolute shock and rage as the HYDRA chopper goes down and ignites the world in a blaze of hellfire. "Oh my god." The armored man whispers, "Get the fire department over here ASAP. We lost the perp and let them know K12 is a failure."

Mammoth, Shimmer and Domino are but a blot upon the horizon now. Metropolis is still a savage mess of alarms, screams and smoke. What a damn sight.


Domino very nearly ducks within her seat as the gunship simply -explodes- right out of the sky. "-Damn!- What was that bird carrying, a full compliment of incendiaries?! Someone sure wanted to start a fight!"

There were more forces here today than city officials. More people had a stake in what just happened today. There's a lot of variables involved, a lot of important details left unknown. Ultimately, it just leaves one important question left unanswered in the albino's mind.

(What the hell just happened here..?)


Melinda May watches Taskmaster actually voluntarily surrender, and if she weren't very well practiced in keeping a straight face, she might look rather surprised right this moment. "If that's the case," May begins to say as she steps forward, presumably to collect Taskmaster's dropped weaponry, "you'll accompany me without protest." And, then, rather abruptly, she's throwing that small object straight at Taskmaster's torso. Call it insurance.


Something thrown at him? Taskmaster is a show off. He knows what he is capable of and always makes sure others do as well, "Not bad. Your aim could use some work. You're no Bard or Spot bu-" *ZZZttt* The merc's words cut off as he catches the electroshock infused object in the palm of his hand. As it zaps to life the smell of ozone and baked mercenary assaults the senses. The Taskmaster collapses in a pile of his own hubris.

Shimmer looks over her shoulder at the HYDRA firework show, "Wasn't one of ours, no shits given. " The redhead offers over an black chip about the size of a quarter. "Take this."
Mammoth grins that wide inhuman grin back at the two villains, "Welcome to the big show."

Only one individual hears this next message, "You were correct in your suspicions Herr Zola… it has been confirmed the Society was behind this and the Taskmaster has been apprehended by SHIELD. He is our traitor."


Melinda May collects Taskmaster's dropped items and the taser arrowhead she threw at him while notifying SHIELD HQ that she's going to be bringing in someone to question in conjunction with the assassination. She also sends a side message to the tame that came with her to get a lift back on one of the other quinjets just now arriving. She thinks she can handle this guy, but she doesn't want to risk anyone on the field team by putting them all in the same flying tin can.

With that done, it takes her a moment to figure out the logistics of hefting a man who likely weighs something approaching twice what she does and getting him loaded into the quinjet. This is going to be an interesting trip back.

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