This Hour has 22 Minutes

July 21, 2015:

A SHIELD Asset in the Indian Ocean goes dark. A team is called in on a purely need to know basis in regards to the mission to deal with the situation. A global crisis is averted and the world doesn't even know they've been saved.

Indian Ocean

Former HYDRA Missile Frigate 'Lazarus' captured by SHIELD and repurposed as a research laboratory.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: Treble Charger - Red

Fade In…

4 Hours Ago

A priority distress signal was sent from a SHIELD Asset in the Indian Ocean, they had come under attack by an unknown force and had went dark mid-way through the distress call.

Information had been kept on a strictly need to know basis.

3 Hours Ago

Two Quinjets with tactical teams and a handful of particularly talented agents had been prepared for deployment from the Trisklelion on a strictly need to know basis.

Among the tactical teams were a handful of scientists, that had been deemed essential for the success of the mission; all of whom had been assigned agents personally for their protection.

As of take-off, no information was given about the nature of the mission.


The pair of Quinjets was flying at high altitude above the Indian Ocean, moving in to the target location. Up until this point, not a scrap of information about the mission had been given except that it was incredibly dangerous.

On the Quinjet everyone is on, Agent Romanoff begins to give a quick briefing on the situation, /finally/, "Four hours ago a SHIELD Research vessel known as the Lazarus was attacked by an unknown force and seized in moments."

She shows no emotion as she explains the situation, "Enemy resistance is expected to be heavy, the Lazarus is a former missile destroyer so it's a fairly large vessel. Our mission is to relocate important biological specimens from the lower level." Which is why the scientists were here, "If the Lazarus cannot be secured, we destroy it. Questions?"

For his part the summons had come through during that small bit of downtime Agent Venom had allowed himself being in and out of the Deadzone. It was perhaps a matter of right place right time, being on hand, fitting the mission parameters. But whatever it is, while they're flying in the Quinjet he's been fairly quiet and keeping to himself until Agent Romanoff started briefing them.
Once she asks for questions the young man in the black balaclava and combat harness lifts his hand and asks, "What are the rules of engagement, ma'am?" There's a beat, then he clarifies. "Want us to go in soft first or are we taking it as a full fail case scenario?"

Agent Branch is interested and ramped up, and unalike some of the other Agents present—- he isn't masking it behind a wall of cold efficiency. He's watchful and expressive with evident adrenaline, but has steady hands as he gives a final check over his own gear. He's always in the back or peripheral of a group with his long range weaponry, and this day is no different. Branch passes a confident sideways smile to the scientist near his left with a well-timed click of ammunition chamber. Perhaps some of his confidence will boost their morale. He doesn't ask questions, but is interested in the answer to Agent Venom's, paying full attention.

While it was not unheard of to see Logan involved in a S.H.I.E.L.D. operation, he rarely ever had time to put on a uniform, so it was a bit weird. It wasn't sitting quite the way he wanted. He tugged at the shoulder, which bunched up a little. He wasn't complaining, he'd never do that, but he might have needed a larger size.

Listening to Romanoff's explanation, he took a moment to regard the rest of the team. The one who's uniform said 'Branch' smelled funny to him, but he wasn't sure why. The guy looked normal enough, but he didn't smell it.

Finally getting his uniform to sit a bit better, probably the best it was going to, he checked to see how the holes on the gloves lined up. He didn't pop the claws, didn't have to, but the gloves were perfect. Looking towards Simmons, he offered her a smile of approval. She did good work on the gloves. Too bad his tailor can't say the same thing.

Simmons had been pulled from SHIELD medical and herded onto the Quinjet. Sitting quietly between Branch and Logan, her field kit at her feet, the biochem isn't nervous or worried, she's wondering why she's been called along… Ah research vessel, that might explain it.

Logan and Derek get a small smile from Jemma before she focusses on Natasha "Do we know what the Lazarus was researching and why it was targetted, Agent Romanoff?"

"Soft at first. You, Branch and Logan are going to be responsible for getting the deck guns taken care of. When you do, we'll move in." Natasha removes some parachutes from the storage racks and tosses one towards each of the mentioned men and walked towards the back hatch of the Quinjet, hand on the release.

She probably meant once those chutes were on, a jump would be happening. Timing was everything, especially since the Quinjet was about to come over the Lazarus any second.

Her hand pulls the release for the hatch and it opens up, the sound of howling air being heard. She waved the jumpers out, time for the powered folks to do their thing.

When the three agents are out, Natasha moves closer to Simmons and explains, "Researching a cure for a nasty bioweapon Hydra cooked up before their fall. We don't know who attacked yet or how they located the Lazarus. It could get messy in there." Natasha knew a little more than she was letting on, "Can you handle a weapon Simmons?"

At the answer, Flash Thompson gives her a nod and accepts the chute. For a moment he considers putting it on, but then casually sets it back down in the storage rack beside the large open gantry. He steps back, getting into position for the drop…
Once there's the signal he steps out onto the ramp and then straight into the air. No hesitation and almost instantly he's gone to the naked eye, black suit against black night sky.

One of the SHIELD Tactical Team members looked to another as Agent Venom jumped out of the back of the Quinjet, asking his team leader, "Was he wearing a parachute?" The other man smiled back and replied, "No he wasn't."

Parachutes aren't as light as they're often portrayed in films, but Logan catches it and puts it on. Sure, he might survive a fall, but why endure the pain if you don't have to. And it's a good thing, since this operation was happening now.

Logan takes a few quick steps, and then jumps out of the Quinjet. He didn't even wave goodbye. He is fearless. The wind blows against his face, and might be a good explanation for how his hair is going to look when he lands, but it's always that way.

He's in free fall, waiting for himself to reach closer to the Earth. There's a threshold that makes it harder to track parajumpers, and he wants to make sure he's under it. Once he reaches the appropriate zone, he'll give it a few more seconds for good measure, and then pull the cord.

His parachute opens up, and there's a little Wolverine symbol in place of the usual Eagle. Damn, if he ever sees it, he'll have to thank his tailor, or the Black Widow, whoever was behind it.

Silence from Branch, simply a nod, and efficiency, now. He's into his parachute (SOME Agents do need them) very quickly - lean and fast, and approaches the hatch, though he won't lead the charge: not with some other big frontal assault Agents around. He's ready and his body language suggests that he's very impatient to get going, but he'll go when it's his turn - which will likely be third. If someone is paying attention, they'll see his dismay at the empty blackness: possibly some dislike of heights, but it won't stop him from his leap, which is a little funny to watch: a leap and immediate tuck of limbs and head, compacting, vanishing downwards.

"What data do we have on the research, Agent Romanoff" Simmons won't be deterred from asking, she needs to know so she can put proper precautions in place when approaching the research labs on the vessel.

Can she handle a weapon? That's a matter of opinion… she can carry one and fire it - but well and hit the target? - "I have my weapons proficiency pass, Agent Romanoff." And indeed she does "I carry an ICER Pistol as standard, and can use other weapons… but I uh, would prefer not." The last time, it had been a sawed off shotgun and her shoulder had hurt for days….

As the duo of agents parachutes while one free-falls, they catch sight of the Lazarus below them; they had perfect entry vectors and enough control to guide their landing in where they wanted it to be.

There was a large gun on the fore and aft section of the deck that would need to be neutralized, each of them manned by two men armed to the teeth.

Throughout the deck of the ship there are at least a dozen more men spread out and a dozen more men in the bridge. It was also convenient that you were coming in from above, someone could definitely land on top of that bridge and get in there.

On the Quinjet, Natasha raises her eyebrows at Simmons response, she wasn't sure an ICER would cut it here, "The Bioweapon isn't airborne and can only be contracted by transfer of bodily fluids or direct injection, the samples are being held in research labs on the lower decks along with the research. That's where you and I are going to be headed."

Dropping quickly, the wind rushing past him at a staggering rate, Agent Venom keeps his gaze on the target ship. He pulls down the visors that cast the world into a green light, picking out the ship against the spare backdrop of the ocean around it. He checks his vector, then adjusts by willing the suit to adjust. Several ribbons of 'fabric' billow out from the back of his suit, slowing his descent and angling him to the starboard of the bow right near where the anchor might be deployed.
Another handful of moments, steady… steady. Then the suit ripples as the tendrils knit together and grow outwards, becoming more of a glider shape almost like a wingsuit for an instant, then growing heavy in the back as it brakes his fall. He settles into the water beside the ship almost silently with barely a rustle and splash.
The next moment there's a whisper on the shared comms, «< Ay-Vee in position, taking the starboard side, sweeping clear. »> That said he climbs up the side of the ship silently, swinging himself over the side and catching sight of the targets. He gets to work.

Trusting Agent Venom and Agent Branch to deal with the deck guns for now, Logan guides his descent towards the bridge. There's something foul about the ship, but for now, he can't quite place it.

His landing will probably alert the occupants of the bridge to his presence, unless of course it's reinforced. Plus they have other issues to deal with. But they will notice the claws appearing in the ceiling. Two sets of three. They begin to carve it up.

Those claws dig deeply, and the pattern is crossed, letting some of it to fall onto the deck. More slashes come, and he finally figures out what's going on with that scent. Speaking on the radio, he says, "somethin' foul's coming from below decks."

And then he finishes with his slashing and makes a hole big enough for a Canuck to slip through.

Following one of the other Agents on point is Branch's best mode, and he attempts it now: he watches for the movement of one of the others, but can't pick them out in the rush of dark and falling. So, he improvises, and prepares his own entrance, towards the aft deck turret, preparing, rolling up and adjusting for impact and then finally dropping with a heavy rolling clank. From Branch's com: «Branch Aft, …incoming.»
The men there see it, of course: a parachuting object, round and dark, that is making a very loud - -ticking- - noise when it clanks down and rolls along the side of the railing, veering as the parachute whips and spins it and tangles in the gun. Looks like a very big black bomb, and the appropriate response is to react in confusion… and fear. Big round ticking thing fell on them! One has an automatic response to the 'grenade' and ends up overboard when he stumbles backwards to evade it, while two others rush at it to see if they can get it off the side. The grenade unrolls partially to shoot both men, though, who had to not have their weapons in their hands to try to lift the 'bomb'— quick kills. Aft gun is in good shape so far. Branch less so, he's a bit dizzy and tangled in the railing.

Whether the ICER Pistol will cut it or not, that's all that Jemma carries. If Natasha thinks she needs more, then she's going to have to equip the biochem.

Nodding slowly as Natasha explains about the bio-weapon, Simmons looks up at the Agent In Charge "Please issue a warning to those securing the deck about the transfer by bodily fluids."

It's a good thing that Jemma is wearing her SHIELD issue body armour.

Melinda May looks back at the remaining people on the jet she's been piloting. "Simmons." She's summoning the biochem over, then quickly handing her the custom-made M1911 pistol she carries along with her ICER, holster included. "You'd better give that back when this is all done." Then she switches back to the team comms. "Team. Status." She wants those who just jumped to call back in and let her know they've made landfall more or less safely.

Agent Branch has found himself in a terrible predicament, but he has secured the aft deck where the landing pad happens to be (and is also EMPTY); that was the good news. The bad news is that four men were rushing in his direction, booted steps could be heard by him moments before his position was filled with automatic weapons fire.

On the Starboard deck Agent Venom sees the two men manning the gun are smoking cigarettes and drinking Vodka. There are three more men with weapons at the ready pointing in the direction that Branch had just arrived in.

As Wolverine begins to slash through the bridge he can see a eight men dispersed around the bridge, two of them in HYDRA Power Armor. This was going to be tough even for him.

The moment he finished slashing the holes in the bridge he found himself being charged by both powered armored men in close combat. That might even be a mistake for them given who they were facing.

Natasha offers a quick nod to May. No words needed to be said, Agent May knew the importance of the situation. She would leave it up to May to issue a warning, replying to Simmons, "They should be fine."

At first when Venom arrived, it was a quick execution of a double takedown. One of the men smoking is looking off in the direction of the others as those booted feet start to head in a particular direction, the other guy on the gun laughs and shakes his head as he starts to dig in his shirt pocket for another smoke. Neither of them get to finish their cigarette.
Abruptly a pair of long black sinuous limbs reach up and over the side of the blastguard, almost like a set of poisonous snakes about to strike, but when they do they lash out like whips and suddenly encompass the entirety of their heads.
Yanking down sharply, those two gunmen are pulled down into the bed of the heavy weapon and held there, murfling and struggling faintly as Venom then leaps up over the side of the weapon and slowly retracts those limbs, bringing his own suppressed carbine up and taking bead.
On the comm he answers May, «< Venom. Two tangos down, fifteen seconds to clear. Ay-bee you got four incoming. »>
There's no time, however to delay. A quick decision has to be made and the preservation of the team is more important to him at the moment. He pops over the side, carbine tracking and he fires in quick controlled bursts. A short spatter sees one of the three go down… another… the second hits the floor unmoving… the third is behind cover. The suppressed weapons fire is enough to alarm those closest, but then as if trying to gain the attention of those men charging towards Branch, he lifts his voice.
"Helicopter incoming!" Ok so there's no helicopter, and heck these guys might not even speak English, but it'll hopefully give Derek the time to get in position and somewhere safe.

"Just another day at the office," Logan says over the intercom to May, and he goes to work on the Power Armoured Hydra Agents, glad that they've charged him, and are thus preventing some of the other six from helping out. "Bad move," he says, still on the open commlink, and slashes at the visor of one of them, hoping to blind him, and then tries to direct one of its weapons at the other one.

But then he sees it. There's a timer on one of the bridge's screens, ticking down from 22 minutes. Most of the bridge is busted. Presumably whatever they've done, they wired it into the system, and didn't want anyone to reset it. "New plan, this hour has twenty-two minutes, folks."

Branch is not really a melee combatant, nor particularly great when under direct pressure, and so his immediate response, particularly when Agent Venom assists, is to get safe, and get to a useful position. He slips from the parachute, forced to leave some tangled body armor with it — slipping down to the floor. He's visually a mess, half still in his 'bomb' shapeshift, but there's nobody directly around to really witness it anyway as he rolls forward, very low, and slips up against the gun turret, using the given opportunity to hide partially onto the floor under it and below the controls of the turret, dragging his rifle, and adjusting to have full cover… assuming nobody opens fire on the 'floor'. It'll take him some time, but Venom's giving that to him, to safely occupy the gun, ready to lay down assistance for Venom from his creative cover. Unfortunately, Branch is also silent for now, he'll have to trust that Agent May will not freak out.

Approaching May as she's summonsed, Jemma takes the holster and weapons, gingerly and straps it around her waist. She really, really hopes she doesn't have to use the 1911 pistol at all. "Give it back, yes, Agent May" she might look a little like a nodding dog toy the way she bobs her head up and down.

Natasha's comment gets a considered look - the biochem is sure they are all /very/ well trained, but bioweapons … in a combat situation … set her teeth on edge just a little.

Melinda May acknowledges Logan's and Thompson's call-ins briefly, then after waiting another moment for Branch to call in, figures he's likely decided that breathing isn't important at this moment so can't speak aloud. Though, he COULD respond by tapping at his comm. That'll come up with the next lesson. "Time table's shortened, Widow. If you're going to go, you need to go now." She can bring the quinjet in close enough for the other two women to hop off lightly enough, but she doens't know if the coast is sufficiently clear yet.

As Branch slips away into the concealed cover of the gun turret as an Ooze of some kind, the men who were after him find themselves gunned down by Agent Venom. Between the pair they had accounted for the pair of men manning each gun as well as two more soldiers Venom had taken out.

The third man opens fire on Venom from behind cover before tossing a grenade in his direction.

From various concealed positions, using the decks and railways as cover Agent Venom finds himself under attack from all sides as a spotlight is pointed at him from one of the men on the bridge.

On the bridge of the Lazarus, one of the powered armored men is blinded but his comrade manages to grab Wolverine by the throat, intending to crush the life out of him.

At a few bridge stations, there are men and women working the controls that have not been broken including the spotlight on Agent Venom.

The timer on the screen ticks down to 20 minutes until the missiles are launched.

"So much for securing the ship." Natasha replied curtly to May before grabbing Jemma, yes she wasn't giving her a chance to protest and leaping out the back of the Quinjet's hatch with the other woman, "Keep to cover and stick close. I need you to watch my back Simmons." She wasn't asking much of the biochemist at all, but the less people knew about this the better.

After Simmons and Natasha are out of the Quinjet, the over six members of the Tactical Team leap out and head for cover. Unless ordered otherwise, they were going to plant explosive charges; they were SHIELD Agents and they had good training. A timetable meant they weren't taking the ship.

Natasha gestures for Simmons to follow and heads towards a hatch leading inside of the ship, when she opens it up; Simmons notices the lighting is dimming and there is blood smearing the walls.

Log Edit: Other Six Members

Heaving an inward sigh, Agent Venom ducks back under cover as he comes under fire. «< Taking fire. »> Comes in across the comms, surprise surprise. But at least it gives Branch a chance to get secure.
The carbine is checked, and just as Venom's about to pop back up and over cover… that grenade comes hurtling over. No time for hesitation, instantly the man who is being tracked by the spotlight takes one quick stride to his feet and seems to somehow /leap/ further than one could imagine possible…
Right over the side of the ship. He neatly twists into a smooth dive and hits the water with a faint splash even as the water kicks up with rounds being fired into the ocean around him, high velocity rounds digging momentary tunnels in the water then floating downwards as he dives.

The neck is a good place to attack Wolverine. It's one of the few places on his body without significant muscle mass, and with limited bone structure. But he isn't about to take it lying down. With the hydraulically powered grip beginning to squeeze, Logan sheathes his claws, and brings them back towards the neck of the suit, then lets them out. They're stronger than any substance he's ever come across, but are they sharp enough to pierce that tin can. Logan aims to find out.

Oh look, a spotlight. Let's shoot that. Branch, now finally in a position to be really useful, begins to pick off targets methodically, when they present. The turret is in position to do that and cover a lot of area, of course. The sniper's got his element, now. He is not using the turret gun itself yet, but his own silenced rifle, to efficiently wreck the enemy's numbers. The turret itself looks entirely unmanned; there's some armor and a parachute still tangled on the railing with two corpses that looks a bit like maybe three bodies. Anyone that thinks about going over to aim at Venom where he splashed down, or trying to figure out how to regain Branch's turret, is going to get pressured to hide again, if not a bullet or two. And Branch will chime in, finally, « Covering deck…— Move move! » as a warning, forced to turn to put a bullet in an enemy that was taking a bead on the arriving women.

Natasha didn't have to grab Jemma, she was here and she was … sort of ready. Goggling, just a little at the instruction to cover Natasha's back, Simmons 'sneaks' along until the hatch is opened and then sighs.

Retrieving a headlamp from her field kit, she fits it and then proceeds inwards… looking intently at the blood - a little morbid but maybe there's a clue there. "Do I have time to take samples, Agent Romanoff?" If not, she'll keep moving and following the agent.

Melinda May watches the last of the agents on the quinjet disembark and keys the hatch closed, then swings the bird about and keys the firing mechanism. It's really last resort in a situation this fast-moving, but if she has to risk hitting a friendly to keep others from doing far worse, she'll do it. « Acknowledged, Branch. Teams moving in. » The quinjet maintains its hovering distance, well unless someone aims a big enough weapon in May's direction. Then all bets are off.

When Agent Venom goes overboard with a dive, he spots a menacing sight lurking beneath the surface of the water. It was a black hulled submarine and it had missile hatches opened up.

He also saw the man Branch had 'helped' end up overboard doggypaddling and crying out, "I can't swim." It was luck that the shark that was swimming past didn't care, cause sharks were not the vicious maneaters they were made out to be. Mr. Shark went along his business.

On the bridge, the remaining men and women are scrambling to get the hell out of there when Logan impales the power armored soldier in the neck.

As the soldier is killed, his grip maintains on Logan and a rapid beeping sound can be heard from within the power armor as about half the ex-hydra inside the bridge manage to escape through a door leading outside; right into Branch's killzone.

Moments later a fiery explosion consumes the bridge along with Wolverine.

Agent May's co-pilot looks alarmed and tells her, "Detecting subsurface contact. Incoming contacts."

The other Quinjet can be seen taking evasive maneuvers as an alarming number of anti-air seeker missiles erupt from the water towards both aircraft. Agent May was in for a challenge.

Natasha closes the hatch behind Simmons and doesn't stop after that, "That depends how fast you can take a sample and how fast you can move." She was leaving it up to Simmons, trusting her to be able to manage it.

She takes the more direct route below decks, no bodies to be found but blood everywhere as they traversed the ship before she pauses before a ladder leading to the lowest deck, "I hear something down there. I'll go in first, follow me in and keep that colt ready. Shoot first, ask questions later."

15 Minutes until launch is what the now exploded console would read.

The man in black and white had been planning on diving further, going to the other side of the ship and climbing back onboard… but the sight of that submarine derails those plans nicely. Suddenly he's shooting back up for the surface, kicking sharply with legs that suddenly have sprouted flippers. He breaches with a burst of water right beside that guy doggy paddling.
First thing is first, over the comms there comes a sputter and then Venom's voice, «< Submarine below target. Shall I engage? » He reaches for the collar of that man treading water and with an almost negligible gesture /throws/ the man into the air towards the boat… and just as that man's about to slam into the side a large wad of webbing /thwips!/ into him and pins him to the starboard side of the ship just below the view line.

Now that was not what Wolverine expected. The explosions consumes the operator of the Power Armour, Wolverine, and the bridge. It's the kind of thing that would get everyone's attention. And there should be no survivors. But there is one.

Wolverine's clothes get singed, they're blackened, but they didn't burn up. Maybe that tailor wasn't too bad after all. It even fits a little better than it did before the explosion. But Logan, his visible skin is burned. They'd be third degree burns, if not for his healing factor. Even his hair seems to have gone. He's not a pretty sight, probably as ugly as Deadpool, but that old healing factor is already at work repairing him.

Staggering to his feet, he notes how the rubber of his shoes have melted. So off they come and he walks barefoot over the debris. He staggers, finding the door. The ship was built to last and though it's severely damaged, the bridge is mostly intact. Windows blew out. The doors are open, but the structure held. With a gruff voice from smoke inhalation, Logan asks, "all right, who's next?" His claws glisten in the dim lights of the ship, about the only part of him that doesn't look like it's been in an accident.

Branch covered the door, and… okay, Logan coming out the door in that way is a bit distracting. But he'll have to ask questions later. For now…. «Two holed up at your nine» to Logan. Branch goes back to keeping the deck locked down, until the missiles draw his attention. He moves position, to use the turret, physically adjusting back towards his more humanoid shape, to put some suppression across the missiles, careful to avoid the friendlies.

Safety goggles and gloves are retrieved from Jemma's field kit, along with a phial to retrieve the sample - just one, done quickly and expertly. Glancing at Natasha as they hurry through the underbelly of the vessel, Simmons bites down the urge to tell the other woman not to touch.

When they get to the ladder, Simmons pauses if Natasha indicates she should go first, she'll start climbing - but that's probably not such a good idea.

Melinda May mutters a curse in Cantonese and peels away from the ship, preparing evasive maneuvers before the firing starts their way. « Venom, do it. Quinjets taking fire. » And in May's book, that is NOT acceptable. And really, there is nothign either jet can do against a submarine. Hopefully Branch and Venom can deal with it. « Logan, sitrep. » Yes, she saw that explosion. She knows the Canuck would have survived it, but how angry he'd be currently is really what she's trying to determine.

Between the Countermeasure Systems and the expert cover provided by Derek Branch a great many of the missiles are taken care of, Melinda May's quinjet escapes unscathed but the other one takes a hit and looks like it might lose control.

The pilot of the second jet reports to May, "Number two engine is out. Regaining altitude to put the fire out, you're on your own Ma'am."

Beneath the water Agent Venom can see the submarine getting ready to fire another salvo of missiles, if random military facts had taught him anything there was 154 more seconds until a second salvo was ready since all of them had been fired at once.

True to Branch's word, two Hydra soldiers are indeed behind Wolverine and they open fire without discretion, attempting to take him down with submachine gun fire.

«Agent May. Charges are set and primed for detonation on your order. Ready for extraction. » The report from the tactical team came in and they began to group up near Agent Branch's position offering him support against the few remaining enemies.

Below decks, Natasha slid down the ladder and removed the bullpup submachine gun from the strap around her shoulder bringing it to bear. She raised a hand and signalled Simmons to come down the ladder before advancing into the corridor.

The pair of women could hear banging and clanking from what sounded like within the walls, but no signs of life. Maybe it was typical ship stuff? Hull groaning.

Leading the way into the lab she headed towards a computer terminal and pointed Simmons towards one on the opposite side of the room, "We're going to need to hack this at the same time. Only the lead scientists had the codes. I should mention, there's a failsafe and if we don't manage to hack it in time it's going to activate a decontamination procedure." She sounded amused as she looked over her shoulder, waiting to follow Jemma's lead to hack into the system.

10 Minutes until the missiles launched.

«< Roger that, »> Comes over the comms from Agent Venom as he looks up then takes a deep breath. The next instant and he thrusts up out of the water to bend forward and dive into the waves. Straight down he goes then angles towards that submarine and its open firing ports. His legs flow sinuously in form from combat boots into flippers, more and more pronounced as he builds up speed towards the submerged warship.
He reaches one of the open hatches, a suddenly large and taloned hand reaches out and wrenches the metal sharply to the side before using that leverage to pull himself inside. The next instant he's gone from view.

The assistance of the tactical team is welcome; Branch finishes extracting himself from the turret cover and the floor, fully reformed. He gives up the turret to one of the tactical team members, with a quick instruction about Logan's position- But now those men are attacking Logan, agh! Branch dashes forwards quickly across the deck, forced fully out of cover and across to a new spot to get an angle to shoot them: well, at least one of them, the other ducks back, leaving Branch to yelp at Logan, "You're hit?!" in a tone that suggests he thinks it's a bad thing for Logan to be shot, and he expects to need to help him. He can't really study Logan's injuries (?), he's busy trading fire with the ducking opponent.

Natasha wants Jemma to hack a computer? She's bought the wrong half of the FitzSimmons team for that … Jemma hesitates before she takes a position at the terminal starting at the banging and clanking in the walls - that can't be normal, can it?.

"You're kidding right?" the words blurted out before she can catch herself. Hands shaking, Jemma will follow Natasha's instructions to hack into the system - she'll use whatever they have of Fitz's onhand to help them. Good thing Simmons and Fitz have worked so closely, she's picked up some credible skills.

May acknowledges the other quinjet pilot's report, then uses that brief lag time while the submarine is reloading its weaponry to make a dive for the ship. Not many pilots would dare that, but she manages it, thanks to the cover fire from Branch, the distraction from Logan, and… well, whatever Venom is doing to that submarine under the waterline. She suspects something violent considering what she's seen of the symbiote's 'face' but she's not about to knock it. It's working in their favor currently.

As one quinjet with a smoking engine peels away and up, the other swoops abruptly toward the deck of the ship, in what an untrained eye would think was a collision course. However, it pulls up at the last possible moment, now hovering directly over the ship where the submarine can't fire on it without hitting the Lazarus.

Agent Venom's daring entry of the submarine through the missile bays saved Agent May from further missile barrages and causes endless complications for the submarine, which was not intended to be entered in such a manner.

It's a hull breach to be sure and Agent Venom finds himself face to face with a crew of grizzled ex-hydra sailors, by the looks and smells of them they've been at sea for a long time.

He had a real fight ahead of him.

Branch trades fire back and forth for a bit before a pair of the Tac team members flank in and take down the other target and snag the apparently shell shocked wolverine and begin to drag him along with them to the extraction point where May had daringly brought the Quinjet to a hover and begin to get onboard insuring Wolverine is strapped in.

Simmons and Natasha manage to hack through the security system and a storage vault opens up near Simmons. The floor of the vault is littered with biological samples in glass jars, thank god none of them seemed to be broken.

She would recognize many of the samples names, but she needed to find the sample names she didn't recognize; that would be the challenge and on a limited timeline.

The clanging sounds get louder and entering the research lab from the direction Simmons and Natasha had entered from was a group of blood splattered men and women, about 30 in total wearing the uniforms of the ship's crew.

Some of them held knives in their hands and they didn't seem to be moving slowly, just /cautiously/ before rushing forward.

Natasha continued doing what she was doing on the computer before turning around and bringing the submachine gun to bear, firing off a series of shots at the approaching infected focussing on the ones going for Simmons and keeping the other woman out of harm's way for now, "Simmons! We've got company and my dance card is full."

«Agent May, extract the team and blow the ship. I'll get Simmons off the ship, you have my word.» Natasha had a plan, possibly, but first they were going to need to survive. Retrieving a USB drive from the computer she started to back up towards the opposite end of the room, firing until her gun's clip was empty.

5 Minutes until missile launch.

Derek Branch makes sure Logan is safe, and helps get the tactical team back, covering them, while moving himself to the door that Jemma and Natasha vanished through, peering down and listening to the gunfire and creaking and… whatever else, but he isn't going to disobey orders. «I'm by the stair. Assist the dancers or extract fully?» Branch questions. He suspects this could go either way. This is still cutting it damn close.

As the storage vault opens Simmons whirls and starts searching, checking each sample carefully. The containers may appear to be undamaged but you can never be too careful in situations like these. Her concentration is so intense, it doesn't register that the clanking is getting louder - there's one sample she doesn't recognise, into the field kit it goes.

It's not until Natasha calls to her that she glances over her shoulder… eyes widening. "Just a moment… a few more to check…" a second unknown sample is placed with the first before she turns and looks at the mob descending upon them. There's one about to leap for Natasha - whose back is to it.

Fumbling for the 1911 in the holster at her hip, Simmons manages to pull it free - aims for the largest section of the man whose about the lunge and squeeeeeeeeeezes the trigger….

« I'm going to hold you to that, Widow. » May watches as Branch and the tac team get Logan aboard then replies to the sniper, «Widow has a separate exraction route, Branch. Get in here. We're going. Venom, Get to your extraction point now. » She knows that that might not be possible, but she has to give him the heads up anyway.

The quinjet lifts away from the Lazarus again, moving to the minimum safe distance, ready to swoop back in and pull others clear if needed. Come on, Nat. Come on, Thompson. Don't leave May wondering out here.

Whatever was going on in that sub for the ex-hydra crew was very bad, so bad that the self-destruct sequence had been triggered. They were hoping to take Agent Venom down with them. The mystery of his heroic actions were a story of their own. Whether he chose to tell it, was up to him.

There was less than a minute till launch and no sign of Widow, Simmons or Agent Venom. It was time to blow the charges.

The Quinjet was at a safe distance and as red alarms could be seen on deck signalling that the hatches were going to open for missile launch; the charges blew.

Explosive fury shook the Lazarus and the missiles soon after fired into the wreckage of their own ship and detonated. Within a matter of moments, the entire top half of the vessel had been destroyed and was rapidly starting to sink even as secondary explosions tore the vessel apart.

Within the bowels of the ship, Natasha had finished emptying her second clip into the infected crew before she ditched the submachine gun and switched to her pistols.

It might have been hard for Simmons to tell, but every action she took, put her at risk so that the other woman could be kept as much out of harm's way as possible. That didn't mean she didn't need her help, there was just too many of them and too little time.

As they continue to retreat through the ship, they are almost knocked to the ground as momentum shifts and the ship splits in two.

Water could be heard rushing down the hall and they were running out of time.

Above, the ship was already lost below the waves.

Natasha took a deep breath before smiling at Simmons asking her casually, "Did you wear your bikini? I heard the water is really nice this time of year."

On board the jet, Branch is occupied with the tactical team and getting Logan situated— although it's evident that he probably doesn't need much after all. Otherwise, though, he'll be on hand to pull survivors from the water, or whatever else is needed… for now, though, he gets to worriedly sit in a seat on the jet.

As the 1911 goes off, it recoils… but not as much as Jemma expected - still it jars that shoulder tht was already hurt from firing the sawed off a week ago. Wincing as she follows Natasha back through the ship, stumbling and falling against the bulkhead as the ship moves, Jemma reholsters the pistol and … blinks … as the Black Widow mentions a bikini. "Uh no…" is all the stunned biochem can say.

Melinda May is mentally cursing Romanoff as the ship explodes. Oh, and Thompson, too. She fights the controls briefly to keep the quinjet steady as the explosion goes off, still refusing to just leave. Damnit, Widow. She's giving them another minute, and then calling for a response.

Logan definitely owed Branch a beer at the very least after all of this. As the Quinjet circles, May still sees nothing except the bubbling of water as explosions rock the sinking wreckage and oxygen rises to the surface.

«Agent May. Permission to reroute to a local HQ for repairs? I don't know if I can keep this bird in the air much longer.» The other Quinjet pilot was asking for permission, because of course, he didn't want to abandon any search either but he didn't want to possibly have to be rescued.

Natasha is very grateful for Simmons aid as they take down the infected pursuing them. Simmons response was good, the bikini would keep her distracted from the threat of impending death for the moment.

As long as you didn't think about it, it didn't seem so bad.

The pair arrive in a torpedo launch station and Natasha doesn't close the door behind them as water threatens to consume them in mere seconds.

Opening the hatch of one of the launch tubes she gestures Simmons to get in and says, "Hold on to me tightly and take a deep breath." Before slipping in herself and tossing an explosive charge at the end of the launch tube.

She prayed the force of the water would shoot them out, just like torpedoes. If it didn't work, at least the mission specifics would be retrievable from their corpses.

Below the surface there's no sign of the struggle that's going on. The ocean is already turbulent from the explosions above, the ship's damaged throes causing the surface to bubble and thrash. Yet from above in a quinjet the observers might see a large series of tremendous bubbles break through out of the water, lashing waves back and forth and sending a mass of debris and detritus from far below upwards. Spilt oil spreads in steady circles from whatever happened so far under the water…
And then, a handful of moments later, the man in black surfaces, his arrival heralded by a gasp and a raspy voice on the comm freqs, «< Target down… »> Yet no further words come from him for the moment as he bends over, body wracked with pain as he tries to remain afloat.

« Permission granted, Freeman. Go. » May is still circling her quinjet around the area until Thompson surfaces. « Venom sighted. Hang in there, Flash, we'll pull you up. » She nods over her shoulder and the jet's back ramp opens as two of the tac team prepare to jump out and retrieve the man and his symbiote. She's still staying very much alert for any signs of Natasha and Jemma.

Well Jemma wasn't thinking about the impending doom… until Natasha slips into the tube, tells her to hang on and throws an explosive. Was the woman mad???? Jemma is definitely going to be looking at some medical records when she gets back to the Triskelian…

That helps, doesn't it? Thinking that you will get back?

Still, Simmons slips into the tube, holds on for dear life, taking that deep breath she was told too… oh and she'll remember to compensate so her eardrums don't burst!

« That's Venom! Do you have a visual? » Springing to action again, of course. Rescue time. Branch directs several of the tactical men to unstrap themselves and give him a hand with the water rescue they'll have to do momentarily. He trusts May will see their fallen Agent, and Branch is ready to get him to medical treatment… and prep for the other two Agents they'll definitely find. DEFINITELY. Positive thinking.

Natasha's medical records would be interesting if Jemma ever got the clearance to view them, her psych evaluations were downright scary to the point that the people who gave her evaluations /needed/ their own psych evaluations after every session.

Jemma was lucky that barrel of monkeys wasn't going to be opened. It would be fun to try though, maybe Fitz could help her do some hacking.

The explosive charge detonates as the water rushes in and the pair of women are miraculously sent shooting out of the doomed ship as a last final dying explosion obliterates the final set of wreckage and everything onboard.

Roughly ten minutes after the recovery of Venom, Agent May picks up on a SHIELD recovery tracer almost a mile away. Clinging to a piece of wreckage, she will find a dazed but alive Natasha and Simmons waiting for pickup.

Natasha grinned at Simmons, "Nice work, that wasn't so bad was it?" She splashed the other woman with some water.

Several Hours Later

"Darling, what is that? Is it a man?"

"What are you blathering on about woman?"

"There's a man floating in the water."

"She's right Victor. That is a man."

"Well don't stand there god damnit, help him!"

A few minutes later the badly burned man was dragged onboard and the group of rich yachters tried to figure out what to do about him.

Suddenly the burned man reached up and grabbed the man who had brought him onboard by the throat and tore it out, blood spraying everywhere.

The people on the boat screamed as the decks ran red with blood.

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