Mercenaires Sans Frontières, Part 1

July 30, 2015:

Three of the Kingpin's secret operatives travel to a Doctors Without Borders mission in Bahrain to collect a very important package.

Bahrain

Looking a lot better now that the terrorists and robots are all gone.

Characters

NPCs: Merlyn, Vertigo, Dr. Destiny, Bonita Horatio

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

SOME TIME AGO
LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK

Domino and Dreamraker's phones chirp. Multiplex's, too; he rushes back into the basement, still pulling the bottoms of his inky, form-fitting suit up over his ass with one hand. Once he's finished, he looks down at his screen; it's an SMS.

'Operatives,' Domino and Dreamraker's screens say, 'your employer would like for you to travel to the capital of Bahrain and collect Bonita Horatio from her Doctors Without Borders mission. Once she is in your custody, you are to hold her and await further instructions. Leave no trace of yourselves.'

"Well, ladies," Multiplex says with an unseen grin, "looks like we're headed south of the border, eh? First tequila shot's on me!"

NOW
MANAMA, BAHRAIN

However the group arrived - their Employer didn't provide transportation, but is allowing withdrawals from the bounty pool to cover expenses; surely, one of them knows someone who can get a couple of people to Bahrain for a price - reaching Bonita's lodgings is a matter of following the rubble.

During the early stages of the invasion, several of the terrorists cut a swath of destruction towards the administrative building that eventually became their headquarters, narrowly sparing a hospital along the way. Bonita's MSF mission has set up in tents and abandoned, but not condemned apartments surrounding the hospital. Bonita has an apartment, albeit on the ground level to cut down on her emergency response time.

Because the Sentinel attack was a fairly precise deployment of gigantic metal death machines, it did not notably increase the mission's workload, at least where Bonita is concerned; there may have been an uptick in those seeking psychological care, but they would have tapered off once it was clear that neither the terrorists nor the Sentinels were returning.

All things considered, Bonita has had a relatively easy time of it, these last few weeks: she's settled into a routine that's gradually lightened as her patients have shown improvement in a post-Qurac world. About a dozen of the people who initially came over with the mission have pulled out over the last few weeks as the load has lessened, leaving others - presumably, those who didn't quite make the cut the first time around - to fill in for them. In lieu of more pressing concerns, Bonita has spent most of today at the auxillary quick care center(read: a really nice, sealed tent with some medical equipment in it) helping one of those replacements.

"So, anyway, Dr. Dee," Bonita says while guiding him through a procedure for checking and re-dressing super-speed propelled shrapnel wounds along an older woman's arm, "I think you made a good choice, coming out here. I know it's lost a little of the… well, glamour" she makes a face as she says the word, but that face is turned towards her patient "since 'Independence Day', but there's still a lot of important work to be done."

Dr. Dee is tall, slender, and looks to be in his forties, with thinning brown hair. They are both in light, comfortable clothes with a few light professional touches - ties, white coats, the like. He watches and listens, but doesn't seem entirely engrossed in the work, nor the importance of it; busy daydreaming, perhaps. Still, he nods absently and replies, "Plenty indeed. I was honored to have been asked. I'm not in it for the glamour; as you say, there's work to be done." He glances her way, flashes the ghost of a smile, then adds, "It's a dream come true."

He absently fondles the beat up old medical bag hanging by his right side as he says the last part. At no point since his arrival has the bag been out of his sight— or even away from his side.

-

The globetrotting mercenary thing is old hat to Domino, she's been doing it since she was a teenager, for over a decade. Securing passage off the record for her and Dreamraker isn't difficult, and the funds to pay for it get drawn from the collective 'bounty' pool. There's a stop in Europe, for fuel, and then the plane is touching down at an airstrip outside Manama.

Now that they're on the job, as it were, the mutant mercenary is suited up, and her luggage consists of a large duffel stuffed with various weaponry and a couple spare outfits. If the need for something else arises while in Bahrain, she can probably get her hands on it one way or another.

An old, run-down warehouse on Manama's docks is rented for a base of operations, since the group is going to need somewhere to keep the doctor after securing her, and a couple days are spent gathering information about where the MSF mission is located. A bit of digging and watching leads to the fact that the doctors live around the hospital, so that's where they're going to have to grab her from, whether while she's working or not.

In the warehouse, Dom is wearing her black and blue, armored catsuit, with weapons and various things strapped all over it. She's got a long coat on over it, obscuring that arsenal, but she'd still stand out in public what with it being over ninety degrees. Less so than if the guns were visible though. She's already sweating a bit just standing around.

"How do you want to do this? I don't expect it to be hard to grab her. This isn't exactly Fort Knox or an important diplomat we're talking about. The problem will probably be more not leaving any clues behind. Can you put a group of people out with your trick?" Domino muses while chatting with her companion for this job. A black SUV is outside the warehouse, procured for their stay and the mission.
-

Now, when Dreamraker had mentioned her wardrobe, she wasn't exactly joking around. Upstairs, in one of the bedrooms, two massive suitcases had been hauled out of a rental car in the garage. Within those suitcases there are outfits of every kind, ranging from pristine business suits to fetish wear. Knowing that they are headed to the Middle East certainly has helped to secure a few ideas.

Inside of the warehouse, Lynette is perched upon a chair, hunched over a portable makeup station. She's been dusting her face and eyes for the lesser part of an hour, with an earbud sticking in her left ear that is blasting dubstep. Her attire, given the heat, is a step shy of scandalous. A single band of black spandex across the upper half of her chest, and a similar band around her waist, with leather combat boots that stop just short of her knees.

"Wait 'til nightfall," she suggests, without looking over at her partners in crime. ""Til the patients are all sleeping. Makes my job a hell of a lot easier. Get me close, give me a few minutes, and I'll have the bitch walk right out the door for you."

She finally leaps off the chair and crosses the way to a hook in the wall, where she's draped a full burka. She goes through the motions, pulling it over herself, until the religious attire covers her scandalous outfit save for the eyes, turned brown by way of contact lenses. The makeup job is professional level, both darkening the naturally pasty tone of the skin around her eyes, while adding a smokey yet subtle eyeliner to that which was already striking.

Looks like she'll fit right in 'round these parts.

-

And so, they wait 'til nightfall.

For what it's worth, those phones come with 'Snake'.

Night is hardly a respite from the heat, but at least the sun isn't aggressively beating down on the city. With so many steel and glass structures stretching hopefully towards the sky, any time without sunshine reflecting off of them is a good time.

The Doctors Without Borders 'compound' is light on security. Initially, there were some UN peacekeeping forces, but once the terrorists were routed… there was no longer much point; the locals were certainly happy enough to have them. Bonita's apartment is about a block away from the hospital, and similarly managed to narrowly avoid destruction. There's a stretch where the walls along the first couple floors were stripped away, exposing the apartments to the elements; Bonita's spot lies opposite the wound, facing the hospital. There are a few tents in the parking lot and outdoor facilities of the apartment building too, but they're sparse compared to the larger concentration amidst the wreckage.

Oddly, despite the lifted spirits around Bahrain in the wake of the Sentinel onslaught, nights have been growing increasingly— tense around the mission. Patients have reported an increase in terrible dreams - of nightmares spawned from the public executions and wanton slaughter of months ago - to medical and psychiatric doctors alike, while others report slightly more mundane, but no less harrowing night terrors. A number of normally dependable staffers have called in sick after sleepless nights.

Bonita Horatio's never slept better. That may yet change.

-

"Sounds like a plan. If she's not on some emergency nightshift at the hospital, this should be a cakewalk," Dom muses in reply to the redhead's suggestion about waiting until night. The mutant's eyes idly follow the other woman as she goes about perfecting her disguise while sporting strips of spandex for clothing until she pulls on the burka. "If she's asleep, will you be able to sense her? What sort of range do you have, Freddy Krueger?" Neena's not at all above abusing somebody else's abilities to make a job easier. Might as well use what you have access to, but her experience with telepathic-y things is limited at best.

Once the middle of the night rolls around, the two women are in the SUV and on their way to the MSF compound. Neena pulls the vehicle over to a stop on the side of the street once they're near the outskirts of the hospital's grounds and the surrounding facilities, close enough to see the area and relevant buildings, but hopefully beyond the care of the organization's light security.

Domino reaches for the 'work' phone they'd all been giving, sending a text message to the third member of their party to tell Parker where they are, and to check on his location. Glancing aside to Lynette, the mutant wonders, "Any experience with this guy prior to this job?"
-

"Depends," 'Raker answers Domino. "Something acute like this? Gotta be able to see the building, awright?"

As they draw closer to the compound, whatever banter may have been exchanged finds itself absent input from Dreamraker, who has gone mysteriously quiet. As they draw closer in proximity, the oneiropath begins to sense the acuteness of those sleeping, their dreams and nightmares played out vividly in her mind. Eventually, she finds herself chewing on a fingernail; the nightmares, especially, were delicious.

Still, they had to be subtle. She would need to hold those nightmares at bay, for a while.

Reaching for her satchel, she retrieves a small tobacco snifter, commonly referred to on the street as a 'bullet', only this one isn't carrying snuff. A twist and a puff for each nostril, and some of the finest cocaine north of Columbia goes up her nose.

"Nope," she says, voice a bit tight as the powder stings her sinuses. "Never heard of him, better hope he ain't some cockknockin' bawbag or we'll have ta burst 'im. Give… give me a moment."

The woman's eyes lid, and she begins to sort through all of the dreams and nightmares in the area. Every mind dreams when it's asleep, even if the waking person holds no recollection of them. All it takes is a little tug, and those dreams come to the surface.

At first, there's little to show that anything is happening, aside from the words that she begins to sing under her breath. Eventually, however, there is an ever so subtle distortion to the air around her face and between her fingers, which dance around in the air in time with the music that sprinkles forth from her lips.

Finally, she smiles, her eyes opening a touch wider. "There you are," she whispers. "I found her. My, aren't your dreams somber." She tilts her head Domino's way. "For anyone awake, I'll need to see them before I can put them under, luv."

She seems distracted, but entertained, as if the dreams and nightmares flooding through her head have a euphoric effect on her.

Or, maybe it's the blow.

http://open.spotify.com/track/5jlRFJpxfsUKHlKFowSjH6

-

Before today Hood had been outside the US just once, and it was to go to Canada. He feels like a fish out of water, and jetlagged too. Still, he got a fake ID that says he is with the Oxfam NGO, and he travelled first class because, hey, he could. Unfortunately, he had to leave behind his guns and other illegalities. But Kingpin should provide, right?

Now, kidnapping a rival gangster, like he did last time, is perfectly fine. That guy knew where he was getting into crossing the Kingpin's path. But kidnapping a doctor because her brother is an asshole is not something he would usually do. The large number of 0s in the pay and the knowledge the Kingpin would easily find someone else if he refused helped to silence his conscience, but he is not very enthusiastic, and he arrives late to the meeting with the women.
-

Bonita's dreams are an island in a turbulent sea of strange, looming shadows. Tonight, she's setting the world on fire as La Hija del Mysterio, queen of Arena México. It's an old dream; she hasn't had it since childhood, and it's never been so vivid. The smell of sweat, the blinding lights, the pounding of her boots against the mat as she dazzles onlookers with her acrobatic repertoire.

Oddly, the crowd doesn't roar. Oh, they cheer, and they holler her name, and wave sounds around. But there's no sound.

The MSF mission has, by this point, established a good enough relationship with the local authorities that patrol cars are not an uncommon sight in the area. However thankful the locals may be on the whole, the doctors are mostly living in tents, and there's still the occasional thief or worse out there. The two women and one Hood might spot one such car on a circuit through the driveable parts of the area when they arrive, but as long as they play it cool, it shouldn't pose much of a problem; it'll be gone eventually, its officers no doubt off to patrol another part of the city. Or stop off for donuts, or perhaps a locally-flavored donut-alternative.

The sparse tents near Bonita's apartment building make a frontal entrance tricky, as several are planted in a courtyard area towards the front. The wound offers a more readily accessible entry point, albeit one cordoned off by police tape. There are no tents there, though.

Parker should be in luck on the munitions front: the group's Employer might not have provided, but Domino certainly can.

If she lingers around Bonita's dreams long enough, Dreamraker might eventually notice a tall, spindly figure shrouded in black cloaks sitting near the guard rail, watching peacefully while the rest of the crowd silently cheers La Hija del Mysterio's spinning headscissors.

-

As Lynette pulls out a snifter full of cocaine and takes a couple hits, Domino rolls her eyes. Fantastic, a coked out partner. The mercenary drums her fingers against the vehicle's steering wheel while Dreamraker does her thing. She nods when the redhead seemingly finishes up, and then is stepping out of the vehicle when the Hood arrives.

"Right, so you're supposed to help us get out without a fuss, right?" Is the mutant's greeting for the third member of the trio. Blue eyes sweeping across the man, she wonders, "Are you armed?" It's hard to be much of a globe roaming gun for hire if you can't get around the globe with your guns and travel off the radar. The mercenary unbuttons the longcoat she has over her catsuit, drawing one of the silenced handguns that's strapped to a thigh, and offering it to the man.

Looking from him to the redhead and then back again, the chalk-white woman suggests, "Can go in on foot from here? Our buddy can get us back to the truck with the package, quick-like, yeah?"
-

"And good morning to you too," wait, it is morning? "Or whatever time it is now." Hood doesn't look like a professional mercenary or killer, he comes in jeans, sunglasses and a tan button up shirt. "No weapons, do we need weapons to kidnap an unarmed doctor? Then give me a handgun." He glances at the redheaded woman doing drugs and sighs. "You must be Domino, uh? I have heard a bit about you. Do you have a plan? I can just go invisible and grab the woman, but we need a way to bring her to New York."
-

The bullet is kept on her person, just in case she needs more mind fuel. Spoiler: it's cocaine, she will. Regardless of the narcotic, she acts differently when she's at work; more imperious, less like a mean, Glasgwegian punk.

"Where do I get one of those," she remarks upon stepping out of the van, slowly and gracefully. She's referencing Domino's armored catsuit, of course, not her weaponry. "We can go in on foot, luv," she answers. "I'll make us blend right in."

Still garbed in her burka, now with the face mask down, she adopts a place at Domino's side. Her brown eyes will keep a watchful eye on moving targets, so to speak, ready to blast them into waking dreams upon sight with her oneiropathic mastery.

Hood only receives a cursory glance, a brief inspection, before she asides to Domino, "To be determined."

Must be an inside joke.

Bonita's dream is most fascinating. However, as she delves deeper into it, she eventually catches sight of the cloaked figure. Her whimsical smile becomes a frown. "Who are you," she whispers to herself, and tries to delve a bit deeper into Bonita's mindscape in an effort to determine whether the figure is a fragment of Bonita's subconscious, or something far more sinister.

-

THE DREAM ARENA

The cloaked figure is not a part of Bonita's subconscious. Bonita herself is largely unaware of it, save for some fleeting memories that never seem to last beyond her morning shower.

It turns its upper body from the ring and its hood slips, revealing the hard edges of a skeletal jaw and an empty eye socked that one could lose themselves in forever. It's staring at nothing, while the crowd silently cheers their heroine.

It's staring into Dreamraker as she plunders the depths of Bonita's subconscious.

THE REAL WORLD

"Someone's here," Dr. Dee whispers to himself. Dee has his own tent; he and everyone who's met him so far prefers it that way. It isn't that he's rude, or sloppy, exactly, but— he isn't great company. He keeps to himself. Talks to himself. Keeps fondling that bag he carries everywhere; it's weird. Nobody's ever seen him go out at night, either, and while this is a place full of people eager to do good work, even they are sometimes willing to partake of the capitol's night life.

Not Dr. Dee, though. Dr. Dee retires to his tent every night when his shift is up.

"Someone's here," he whispers as he lovingly caresses the facets of the rectangular ruby cradled in his lap. Its soft and sinister glow lends the tent enough light to read by and leaves dim red spotlight on a corner of his tent. "Oh, how wonderful…" Without a pause in his fondling, he leans towards the edge of his bunk and reaches for a tiny flip phone that's nothing like the ones most of his fellow Doctors are carrying. He opens it up and taps out a message.

The only two people in the compound besides Dee and Bonita who aren't plagued with nightmares receive messages on their own phones. One smiles after checking his phone; rubbing sleep from his eyes, he heads for a corner of his tent and begins assembling his bow and quiver. The other just resumes brushing her lime green hair after a bored glance at the screen.

TO BE CONTINUED

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