Taking a Potshot at HYDRA

July 16, 2015:

Spider-Woman calls in a kunoichi for help disrupting a HYDRA arms shipment.

NYC - Warehouse on the Docks

See log.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's late in New York City, a bit after one in the morning. It's been sprinkling rain off and on for the past couple hours, and for the past twenty minutes or so, Jessica Drew and Elizabeth Braddock have been perched atop the roof of a massive warehouse out on the docks. Nearby, across an alley that's just big enough for a truck to drive through, is another, similar building. Both about three stories high, the heroine's perch lets them look down into the other building through some of the second story windows.

Jess possibly could have handled this on her own, or just handed it over to SHIELD to deal with, but instead she decided to invite Betsy to help knock a branch of HYDRA down a peg. Handy excuse to spend a bit of time with the purple-haired kunoichi. Through the window, they've managed to spy almost two dozen men, armed to various degrees. HYDRA soldiers offloading dark cases from one truck and opening them to inspect the high-tech weaponry inside before moving them to another vehicle.

"All that just came into the city, SHIELD caught wind of one of the recent dock arrivals having an extra, unexplained cargo container," Spider-Woman explains while they assess the situation, with a look to the leggy telepath, the red and black clad woman crouched on the edge of their rooftop, elbows across her bent knees, "After we finish cleaning up, we call in SHIELD, they take away the toys and the city's a safer place." Green eyes flick across Psylocke from behind yellow lenses, a playful grin offered, "Thought you'd enjoy a small bit of excitement after your bout of being bed-ridden."

The target warehouse has a door leading inside on the rooftop, the windows of course, and the massive warehouse doors are opened wide enough for vehicles to go in and out, a machine-gun toting guard standing at each side of the opening.

Betsy flashes a grin at Jessica, though she's balancing with a bit less of the thoughtless ease than she usually displays. Still, she's nowhere near falling, and after a few moments of quiet examination, she nods at Jess.

"I think there's… maybe fifty total inside," Betsy says, reaching up and whipping her hair back into a quick and efficient ponytail, then lashing it into a tight bun at the nape of her neck. "Possibly more than we want to deal with at once. It's an older building, though, and I think I can short power out at the rooftop. That'll give us the advantage of cover." She ties a short half-mask over her lower face and leans to look into a window, then touches Jess' tricep and points. "There. I see a breaker box. You head over first- I'll cable over in a moment," she says, producing a thin length of rope tied to a portable grapnel.

She looks at Jess, eyes crinkling in a smile hidden by her mask. "This is /exactly/ what I need," she assures the woman, before rotating her wrist in a slow windup to cast the grapnel off.

"A lot of guns," Jessica muses after Betsy's assessment of the number of people inside, her eyes cutting back to the other woman to watch her bind her hair back. Glancing to the other rooftop, Spider-Woman's head dips in a nod, drizzle dampened hair clinging to her face. "Alright, sounds good. Definitely too many to just go in swinging. Well, too many to do it safely, anyways."

"And glad to hear it," the agent answers with a fond curve of her lips. As Betsy starts to twirl her rope, Jessica shifts her feet slightly and then launches herself out of her crouch like a spring. Not bothering with her 'wings', Spider-Woman covers the distance easily enough, landing in a quiet, brief roll. She looks towards the breaker box, then door before looking over her shoulder to make sure Elizabeth gets over alright.

Once the kunoichi makes it over, Jess suggests quietly, "Some of them might make a run for it with the vehicles. If we don't make it to them, you think you can wammy them?" That last bit gets a vague gesture. You know, telepath stuff! And then Spider-Woman is on her way towards the door, giving her partner time to handle the breaker box.

Betsy sets the grapnel on the first cast, then ties off the end on the roof with a friction knot. She takes a breath and then casts into the abyss between the buildings, the knot slowing down her descent until she lands with a neat *thump* between two windows. She clambers up the wall and moves almost silently onto their landing area, checking her katana with one hand while she moves. It doesn't just make her look cool- ninja run like that to keep the hilt from smacking them in the head.

She glides to a crouching halt near Jess, looking around quickly, then glances at Jess when the question is posed. There's a moment of hesitation, her amethyst eyes quite unreadable, then she shakes her head.

"No. Not… not reliably," she says, tripping over the words just a bit.

She gives Jess the lead to distract whomever is in the room and goes to the breaker box. The lock is child's play, a twist of a slender rod and using a hairpin for a rake, and she's into the panel. It takes her only a few more seconds to get at the guts behind the panel and start examining wires. A pager gets hooked into it- alligator clips touching the exposed circuits at key positions- and then she closes it all up and jogs down the hall to follow Jess, the entire operation taking less than a minute

The answer to her question just gets a nod. No judgement from Jess, not only does she not have a clue how telepathy really works, she's been to the 'my powers aren't working right' rodeo before. She doesn't need to know why the answer is no and she's not worried about it.

Inside the building, the only sounds at first seem to be distant, those of the people down on the ground floor. The stairs down from the roof lead to a small, enclosed maintenance room which is home to the breaker box and devoid of any guard. The warehouse is tall, roughly three stories, but it largely has an 'open' design with tiered walkways along the walls and across the middle in a couple spots. For at least half of the building, you can see from the top to the bottom, or jump from the top to the bottom for that matter, if you wanted. Most of the other half is obscured by industrial-sized metal 'shelving' and crates separating the open spaces.

Spider-Woman has little to do at first, with the lack of a guard to be found while Betsy does her thing. Your average HYDRA goon isn't the most savvy fellow, and you can't ''always'' be expecting costumes to noiselessly start raiding you from the rooftop. The guards outside would've noticed helicopters or anything of that sort.

The power, and lights, suddenly going out is met by curses of varying volume from all over the building and shouts to turn the lights back on. Turns out there are in fact a few guards on the third floor, though seemingly patrolling around the floating walkway.

Nearest, and most importantly, there are two pairs moving towards the maintenance room the heroines have just exited. Coming from opposite directions, and originally likely to meet outside the room. With the abrupt power failure, they've stopped, and are yelling down at the ground floor, their shadowy-figured dimly outlined by moonlight from some of the windows.

Down on the main floor, one of the drivers has the bright idea to turn on his truck's lights, casting one section of the cement floor in yellow-tinted light. By the time that happens, Spider-Woman's flashed a grin at the leggy kunoichi and dashed off towards one of the pair of guards near them, leaving the other to Betsy. One gets swept off his feet with a quick snap of Jess' leg, and then kicked in the head, after the other is knocked stone cold with a superhumanly strong uppercut. The sounds of them dropping is a bit lost in the shouting below. The racket of one of their guns falling, bouncing, and then plummeting down below, is a bit more noticeable and draws more concerned yells.

After a look in Elizabeth's direction, Spider-Woman is already on her way down to the second floor, by means of shortcut. Jessica jumps off their level, to the large, shadowy shape of one of the stacks of crates, and then off that to the second-floor's walkway railing.

Betsy moves a bit more precisely through the shadows than usual. What was once second nature has become a function of endless training in nightfighting. She turns her ears out, listening for the tell-tale sign of ragged breathing, the hiss of breath, the crunch of popping joints. Boots shifting on the ground.

The katana, an elegant whisper of shadow as much extension of herself as her hands, slips into her grasp. Careful application of blackening agents keeps the blade as dark as night itself. She steps forward, avoiding the least patch of light that might betray her, and then ghost-steps forward. She snaps past the first man, lashing her katana across his friend's throat, then turns and with two perfect slashes, drops the first to the ground before he can even register a shout of surprise. She holds for a moment, katana held up over her head in a classic ready posture, then breaks into a near-silent run down the hallway.

She hears bootsteps coming her way and without hesitation, lunges sideways out an open window. Strong fingers curl around a balustrade to support her weight, and she flicks blood from the katana and sheathes it to free her hands up.

A careful, nimble spider-crawl gets her over to a pipe and she slithers down, then eases into another window, after kicking the storm cover in. She looks left and right, palming a pair of throwing knives, and starts hustling down the hallway. A guard comes around the corner well outside the range of her sword, but her hand snaps out and she buries a tassled dagger in his left eye with a throat that speaks to decades of practice. He drops with a gurgling cry and Betsy rushes up, dispatches him with a quick slash of her other knife, and is moving again, all in a blur, circling around any guards threatening to flank Jess' position while she's front and center.

Two down. Four down. Five down. And still a whole lot to go. Thankfully, the stealthy heroines have gotten off with a headstart, and managed to mostly keep awareness of what's going on fairly limited to the growing sense of 'ah, fuck' that's steadily increasing amongst some of the soldiers and thugs down below as the lights continue to remain out and vague sounds filter down to them.

Jess is pretty confident in Psylocke's ability to not only take care of herself, but to also back her up. Which might account for why she leaves her back open while charging straight for a lone thug who turns a corner ahead of her. Or maybe she's just reckless. The goon starts to bring up his assault rifle as he notices the feminine shapes dashing around in the shadows and other shapes falling over. She runs right by one of the 'bridging' walkways that span the middle of the building, and as she's toppling her target with a bone-crunching fist to the temple before he can squeeze his gun's trigger, a pair of men come jogging across that bridge, the sound of their footsteps hard to miss before they pause to try and aim at the shadowy figure of Spider-Woman.

On the ground, that sense of agitation continues to grow, the sound of hurried loading of the crates, a truck being started, and angry shouts doing a lot to obscure the noises from above.

Betsy doesn't particularly /like/ guns, but she's absolutely proficient in using them. A ninja doesn't let preference or ego get in the way of using whatever tool is at hand. Spotting the two men trying to flank Jessica, Betsy kicks a gun up into her hand from the man she'd just dispatched and shoulders it, holding it like a professional. A quick burst of automatic fire chatters from the Soviet-bloc import, dropping the two men to the ground, and she immediately vacates her firing position before the other HYDRA agents can return fire.

She pauses only long enough to strip some reloads from her fallen adversary, then slings the rifle back to where she can get at it fast if need be and draws her katana in the other hand. She collides with three more HYDRA agents, and though they're all equally surprised, her reflexes has her sword dancing in harsh and precise slashing strikes, feet never still as she dances to avoid any gunfire.

In bare moments she's moving past them, still navigating the darkness more easily than any of the HYDRA elements, and pops off a few rounds at a pair of jiggling headlamps down the hall, sending two more agents to the ground.

A familiar but murky tendril of thought pushes against Jess' mind- Betsy inquiring as to her position or status, it seems. But far from as eloquent as she usually is.

A few heartbeats after Psylocke shoots down the pair about to rid the world of one of its Spider-Heroes, the general area she'd been in is shot to bits in a burst of fire from multiple directions. The sound of the gunfire, and the bullets striking solid surfaces echoes through the building, obscuring most other sound for a handful of seconds until those who'd been firing stop to reload and wonder if they'd hit anything or not.

Jessica, for her part, takes advantage of that chaos to drop to the ground level unseen, landing in a crouch roughly twenty feet below where she'd been. Sticking largely to the shadows, Spider-Woman sprints in the direction of the trucklights. Her trek diverges twice, each time to plow into a small cluster of thugs, limbs snapping out forcefully to put them down hard while knocking their weapons wide so they loose bursts of fire in harmless directions or at each other.

One of the last men gets grabbed, Jessica using both hands to hurl the man at another pair, sending the three of them tumbling in a tangle of limbs. That telepathic probing is met by the rush of adrenaline flooding the agent's thoughts while working her reflexes to narrowly duck and dodge away from repeated bursts of automatic fire, and then the answer to her inquiry, «Going to make sure that running truck doesn't get anywhere. Probably about to have most of their attention for a few seconds. You okay?»

Her mental answer is almost echoed by the sudden low-pitched and loud crackle of the green bio-electricity that flares around her hands and forearms audible even amidst the gunfire as she leaps into the area lit by the truck's headlights. One fist snaps out, a bolt of the bright energy blasting through the vehicle's windshield to knock the driver senseless with a loud crash. Suddenly right in the light, and with that crackle drawing attention, Jess dives forward into a roll as bullets start to rain down in that lit-up area from a few angles.

With over half the goons down, whether temporarily or permanently, Spider-Woman rolls under the truck and out of sight of the gunfire for a few breaths.

~Yes.~

Betsy's a bit terse, but understandable. She focuses on the brawling fight below, moving systematically around the perimeter of the second floor landing and eliminating would-be snipers and reinforcements while they're focused on the brutal fray Jessica is bringing to the party below. She leaves a trail of bodies behind her, scoring a four-in-one when a group of them rush right past her concealed location for better firing positions.

When Jessica dives for cover, Betsy grabs the battered old Kalashnikov slung on her back and starts spraying with a controlled but wild aim down at the ground, peppering the HYDRA agents with bullets and forcing them into cover before they can start coordinating a counterattack on Jessica's position. This also draws a lot of attention Betsy's way, and she starts sprinting down the walkway, firing sporadically with more intent to keep the agents distracted.

Abruptly she grunts and goes down, managing to slide into the cover provided by a a concrete support wall, and touches her fingertips to her side, wincing at the feel of something damp spreading on her upper hip. She steels her face and with a set jaw, skin a bit pale, loads the AK with mechanical gestures and goes back to laying down suppressive fire for Jessica.

Some of those below get dropped in bloody, moaning piles when Betsy unloads her covering fire, many of the HYDRA soldiers too busy focusing on the clearly super-powered Spider-Woman after that blast to worry about people above them with guns. Betsy's presence is quickly noted by those below after that, though, some of the less than twenty now left turning to unload the rest of their clips in the direction of the running, shooting figure above.

Jessica takes advantage of Psylocke's distraction, rolling so she's beneath the back of the truck, and then twisting slightly. The truck is one of the heavy-duty transport sorts, akin to a military vehicle, and likely weighing over three times what one would expect of a normal pick-up. Planting both hands against the frame, Jess pushes up, lifting the back end a few feet off the ground. Enough for the flexible heroine to contort herself so she can plant her feet against the frame, her figure bent nearly in half.

With a strained grunt, the red and black clad woman flexes her legs, shoving and sending the rear end of the truck up and causing it to flip over. When it crashes over on its top, suffice to say, it's loud. And pretty damn distracting to the HYDRA goons. Particularly the one poor bastard who happened to be standing in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Sucking in a deep breath, Jess rolls to her feet, ducking out of sight briefly while the dozen or so remaining thugs start showing signs of panic, a few moving towards one of the other vehicles.

~They're… running…~ Betsy emits, struggling. Waves of empathic pain ride like a distant whimper on the edge of that thought, but she's very clearly keeping it shoved firmly into the back of her mind. No time to be in pain right now! She hisses between her teeth and emits a few bursts of controlled automatic fire at the more resolute goons, bullets *thunking* through their sparse cover and nipping at the ground around them. Deciding discretion is the better part of valor, they collectively beat feet, going into full retreat after the near-death experience of a ten-ton vehicle being thrown bodily at their positions and then the accurate gunfire making a mockery of their attempts to return fire.

~I think we're … clear,~ Betsy says, struggling to make the 'words' sound clear. She rises from her position of cover and waves at Jess, one foot still in safety, and holding the rifle negligently in one hand, looking around for any aspiring future HYDRA Soldiers Of The Month.

Out of sight behind a stack of crates, Spider-Woman arches her spine, a hand reaching behind her to rub at the small of her back. Sailor-worthy curses about the truck being heavier than she realized echo through her thoughts until she notes that pain whispering off Betsy's thoughts. Jessica frowns, but resists the urge to actually ask if the other woman's okay, even if the question is in her thoughts. It's different, right?

Poking her head around her cover, a crackling blast of energy slamming into the door of one of the other trucks adds to the incentive for the remaining crowd to abandon the metaphorical ship. Stepping out into the open, the dark-clad heroine peers around warily, «I think you're right. Are you okay?» The black-haired woman finally outright asks, again. She lifts a hand to return the wave as Elizabeth rises, and after another look around, is on her way up to the other heroine, deftly climbing up a support beam to get to the second level.

"Ricochet," Betsy explains calmly, her face strained and jaw set. She smiles at Jessica despite herself, though the expression is a wan one, and steps up to her until they're relatively close. She presses her palm firmly to her hip, stopping a small but steady trickle of blood. It obviously hurts and she's marshalling herself to ignore the pain and maintain pressure.

Still, her eyes light up when Jessica comes near, and she leans forward on her toes and kisses the dark-haired webcrawler, touching her cheek with her fingertips minutely but with warm affection.

She breaks after a too-quick moment, as if reminding herself of the propriety of the situation, but her eyes remain on Jessica's. "You were wonderful. Quite stylish," she says, in a tone that's mostly complimentory and a little playful.

Jess' eyes sweep up and down the kunoichi, lingering on that wound after not seeing any others. As she gets closer, her eyes return to the woman's face, a fond smile offered before she gently meets that kiss, one of her hands lightly settling upon Elizabeth's not-bleeding-hip. As Betsy draws back, Jessica's hand curls, fingers dragging against the material covering that lean curve.

"I'm glad you agreed to come help, thank you. And you are a much better shot than I realized. Impressive," the black-haired woman compliments in turn with a bright smile before adding playfully, "Is there anything you can't do, Ms. Psylocke?" Hand brushing back and forth across the telepath's hip, green eyes dip to the wound again, "Will you let the SHIELD people look at that when they get here?" Her free hand slips into a pocket of her jacket, drawing out her phone.

"If there is, I haven't found it yet," Betsy says with prim British assertion. She actually might even mean it. But with the adrenaline of the fight slowly ebbing from her system, she turns and leans her rear against the wall behind her, hunched over just a bit. "And yes, do let's give them a look," she agrees. "I don't think it's serious, but it hurts like the bloody blue blazes," she says.

"If it's all well and good, though, when we're done here, shall we get some dinner? My place, after?" she offers, with a haggard but mischevious smile.

A quiet laugh escapes the black-haired woman at that blatant display self-confidence, a grin curving Jessica's lips. She draws her hand back as Elizabeth shifts to lean against the wall, "Alright. Shouldn't take them long to get here. And…" The agent's grin turns playful at the telepath's invitation, "Yes, that sounds delightful. I'll help you forget all about that scratch."

Tapping briefly at her phone, Spider-Woman lifts the device to her ear, tucking loose hair behind an ear beforehand. She twists to lean against the wall alongside the other woman, looking down towards the ground floor as she begins the process of entering the ID numbers and other assorted things needed to let her call in a SHIELD team to help clean up and handle the remaining weapons. A team of medics goes without saying, what with the HYDRA goons in various states of injury lying around, on top of Betsy's wound.

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