Rooftop Gargoyle

August 26, 2015:

Clint finds himself in trouble again and receives assistance from the strangest quarters



NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Twang. An arrow looses from Clint Barton's bow as he moves along the skyline of Metropolis. Damn it. When did he become a rooftop dwelling vigilante.

Well it had all made sense twenty minutes ago. There had been a gathering of people he suspected of being connected to the information trafficking ring he'd started tracing in Gotham. That trail had led to some import/export businesses and that had led him to the suspicious activities of a few of the employees. The plan had been simple. Drop in from above. Listen. Observe. Of course there had been guards up in the catwalk area of the warehouse. Not just guards but ninja guards.

And now he's having a bow duel with… mmm, hard to say how many there are actually. But a bow duel across the rooftops of Metropolis as he tries to evade capture. He just got uncaptured damn it. The black and gold glad archer is not going back to that any time soon.


Esme Nikita is currently fleeing. Or she's attempting to do so. The gargoyle had recently been "aquired" by a rich aspiring magi from a black market arts dealer. The magi had managed to break the spell holding the gargoyle in slumber but little else as she'd burst into life in an utter panic and crashed through the window of his penthouse. Clint might see a large winged woman go tumbling down from the heights of a building up ahead. Large wings unfurl and flap slughishly in an attempt to slow her fall. For a long moment the strange woman manages to glide towards the roof Clint is currently on but then she seems to lose strength and starts plummeting again, landing with a loud crash admist the buildings centrail air unit.

There's an overly large raven, perched on the rooftop near both these two people, watching with unusual interest. It's avian head turning slowly between the retreating archer, the falling gargoyle and the pursuers, before seemingly making a decision.

Pushing off of the ledge, the large bird takes wing, gaining some height before transforming into a tall, lean, winged woman - the grey/black wings so large they tower over her head and reach to her ankles. Reaching to her throat, her hand comes away with a stranded silver torc which instantly changes to a sphere and she angles her descent at one pursuer in particular …. that ones minutes are likely numbered.

One does take an arrow to the knee which sends him tumbling. From this height that's bound to be messy. They are dressed, it should be noted, in classic ninja fashion. Concealing cowls. Blades. They're using shortbows with simple bodkin arrows. Clint, or Ronin as perhaps he might identify right now. Stands out in his gold edged garb. Not too much though. Another arrow strikes a pursuer in the shoulder, spoiling the counter shot which thunks into the metal of a vent near his head. The lone archer takes a leap which will land him…

Near a bat winged woman? He turns as he hears a noise to see a… feather winged woman?

Okay. Who staged the morality play?

The gargoyle, looking a bit more like a woman than a statue now kicks and pushes bits of metal aside as if it were paper and shakily gets to her feet. She's wearing a ripped and ragged looking linen shift and nothing else, aside from some strange bits and pieces of metal that seem to be affixed to her back, her ears and her shoulder. The woman's skin turns a pale, pale grey to match the concrete surface of the roof as she stands there and looks around with an expression of complete confusion and fear. An arrow strikes the woman's shoulder with a dull thud and falls to the ground broken. This only serves to frighten more and the strange lady scrambles back and jumps onto the buildings ledge, crouching low with her wings unfurled.

Astryd's descent is straight towards to the attacker she's singled out. The same attacker that looses an arrow straight at her - and misses as she moves with deceptive speed to dodge it.

Holding her spear in her hand, the attacker drops to the ground as the Valkyrie lights on the roof, wings flaring behind her. Bending to the downed man, Astryd puts a hand on his forehead and murmurs words in a strange language.

Straightening, she glances again at the grey skinned woman, the man edged in gold and the other pursuers… this isn't her fight, the one she just ministered too had been chosen and it was her duty to assist him to passover to his hall of glory.

It might be about to become her fight. Both winged women feel the prickle of magic from… somewhere nearby. It's not powerful but it is rather expertly woven, a distinctly asian flavor of magic that involves a great deal of invoking the right names and authority derived from Celestial sources. And it's aimed at them. If there is magic running around, they seem to want to turn it on the archer in black and gold.

Who is not going to be arrowing for much longer. He's quickly running out of arrows and the rooftops offer too many places to hide. One of the ninja appears about five feet away in a poof of smoke, causing Clint to drop his bow and draw a katana from his back. Clang.

Steel on steel rings out over Metro. The first attack drops with a slash across his gut but there are more behind him coming up quickly.

Esme was born of magic. Magic and stone, and so she senses it coming. She's still terrified and has no idea where she is. Or when or how..but magic is a thing that can hurt her. She understands she's watching a fight even if she doesn't know what a ninja is. Neither does she know what the Valkerie is.

She's never seen someone else with wings. She would love to look at the strange woman longer but hiding seems like a better idea. Since the man who just drew a sword isn't one who shot at her, the stone woman decides to choose his side. When another ninja appears, Esme shoves the man aside roughly, nearly tumbling him from the building and leaving him clutching the edge of the roof with both hands before looking back at the guy in gold and black.

Grey eyes narrow as Astryd feels the magic build, she's been stuck on Midgard long enough to know the feel of different cultures mysticism. A split second to make a decision and the Valkyrie whirls, employing that spear with precision… sweeping the feet out from the one nearest her and bringing the point down to his throat… and then changes her mind, spinning the spear end up and knocking him out instead.

Clint definitely appreciates the help from Esme, and also from Astryd, though he'll probably have questions later. At the moment though he's fighting for his life. Three Ninja have caught up with him and that's a little more than he can handle. He's taken a hit on this armored forearm and a slice across the back, long but shallow. He can just about keep them off him but he's having trouble doing anything else as the four of them spin in a dance of flashing steel. Esme finds herself the target of more arrows (ineffective so far) and a couple more warriors close in on Astryd as well.

Esme is quick to anger. Quick to anything really, and the arrows aren't hurting her but she notices the flash of red on the black and gold clad man and suddenly remembers something. Other people are fragile. They bleed and die easily and so many are fighting him now. The Stoneborn looks around for another moment, hesitating. There is no handler here, no one to guide her tell her what to do and she isn't sure at all of the right thing but four against the one who hasn't tried to harm her…

Decided Esme moves forward, seven feet of sturdy looking grey skinned woman, black wings and metal pieces that seem to be growing out of parts of her skin. A rather formidable figure all in all, especially since the arrows just bounce off of her. Long arms ending with clawed hands snap outwards to grap two of the strange men by the neck as she takes advantage of their focus on their target.

Astryd watches the two warriors that close on her, ignoring the others on the roof for the timebeing, measuring them and waiting for just the right opening. As she waits a small, round, lightweight shield springs from the bracer on her left wrist… which she then shoves at the warrior nearest her, clipping him under the ear and dropping him to the ground.

The second warrior slices at her with their sword, connecting and drawing a small flesh wound - Valkyries are tough - and she jabs at them with her spear, neatly skewering them and then bring the shield to bear again. Two down for the count.

Finally turning her attention to the grey skinned woman and the archer, she takes her time to assess the situation. Esme grabbing the two with claws gets a nod of approval.

The black and gold garbed swordsman takes the respite, even if it is offered by an angel and a grey skinned demoness, to go on the offensive. He downs one of his remaining attackers with a rising cut. The remainder decide that discretion is the better part of valor and withdraw only to vanish in puffs of smoke. Clint breathes heavily for a few moments, looking at the two women. "Okay… so…" He pants. "Which one of you is going to tempt me with power and stuff and which one of you is going to tell me to give up my wicked ways and retire to a monastery?"

Esme, after smacking their heads together and then shaking them lightly to test conciousness, drops her two ninjas to the roof and then gazes back up with a puzzled expression. She's still frightened, but she's also distracted. The two strangers aren't attacking her though so maybe helping was right? The strange looking woman hasn't spoken yet, or even made a sound. A car alarm goes off in the distance and startles her and Esme's wings flap as she stubles forward and trips over her fallen captives. That guy is gonna have some very sore ribs later..

"W..wh…" Visibly swallowing the gargoyle tries again. "Who? Where?" "Where is…" Her name..she remembers that and brightens a bit at the knowledge. "Where is Esme? Who…"

As Esme startles and stumbles, Astryds wings flare behind her slightly and then settle again… slowly furling and completely disappearing from view. "I'm Astryd." Her grey eyes watch the grey skinned woman with interest, perhaps she knows what the woman is.

Clints question has that gaze settling on him and a slow smile curling her lips "I'll probably be the one that does the tempting… but that would depend on your definition of stuff." She's clearly amused for a moment but it passes and her expression turns stern "Tell me why they were chasing you…"

"Because I'm better dressed?" Clint's default reaction to being out of his depth is generalyl sass. That he sasses a lot should tell people something about him. "Because I was party to information they didn't want me to have. Or rather I tried to be. They were sort of more on guard than I expe-" The sudden startling of the more inhuman looking of the two women has Clint a little jumpy himself. "Easy… you're, uh, in Metropolis." He pauses and looks to Astryd. "Isn't it usually the demon's job to do the tempting?"

"Demons?!? Where?!" Esme whirls around, searching for the foul beasts. She hunts them. It is her purpose. She remembers that. The gargoyle stops rather suddenly and stares at a large billboard on the side of a building across the street. Some advertisement for perfume with a scantily clad woman. Esme's mouth drops open and her pale skin flushes with pink as she hasitly averts her gaze. There's a lot of noise she can hear though she's puzzled by the direction. If she were to look down, it'd probably just startle her more. One sound seems to be coming from the sky and when she looks up, Esme sees a helicopter. Clearly this is something else she's never seen because she screams and jumps into the air in front of Clint. "DEMON!!!" She must protect him from this menance. Even if its stranger than any she has seen before…what else could it be?

Astryd sighs as Esme begins to take in her surroundings and see's the helicopter. "Be still child, there are no demons here. The archer is but jesting." Pitching her voice to be low and calming, the Valkyrie fixes Esme with a stern gaze.

Eyeing Clint and the costume he's wearing, Astryd snorts "Better dressed, mmmm?" His sass amusing her further. "Maybe, but I've seen better still. Now, you have our names, archer, what is yours?" The news that he might have tried to gain information from them has her considering him, carefully "More on guard than you… were they waiting or did you not plan sufficiently?" ouch, that's direct.

"Uh, bit of both maybe?" They must know Kate. They seem to know him too well. Though he likes to think that Kate would have warned him about knowing a devil and an angel. Or… a not devil? "Er, Esme, that's a helicopter." Beat. "You have know idea where you are do you?" He looks over to Astryd. Please let her have a better idea.

Esme stops and lowers herself back to the roof with a soft thud then straightens before going still. She's obviously used to being commanded and following those commands. She responds to Astryd's tone immediately and without complaint. The young woman also looks relieved at someone telling her what to do. Dark Ameythyst eyes focus on Clint for a moment before she shly gazes down at the roof and toes at stone surface with her claws. "Helicopter? Its from Hell but not demon?" Her voice is soft and confused but not so frightened now. "Esme was born in London. This…this is not London." Though given the way things have changed since she was awake, she likely wouldn't believe thats where she was if she was there now anyway. Purple eyes peer back up at the passing chopper. It doesn't seem to be hurting anything. Or attacking anyone. The discussion about the ninjas just sort of goes right over her head. When she pushes a lock of black hair back they can see another spot of metal in the the center of Esme's forehead. This one is diamond shaped and a closer look will reveal that it and the other pieces have strange symbols and lines adorning the surface.

And Astryds used to commanding… "It is not from Hell, or any variant of Hell, Esme." Although some Veterans might argue that point. "This is not London, it is Metropolis, in the United States of America." she's watching the grey skinned woman carefully. "Tell us your story." the words encouragingly given.

More amusement is directed at Clint "I see. You seem competent with the bow and the katana but lacking in strategic thinking. You are soldier, yes?" It's obvious Astryd knows where and when she is, despite her strange appearance.

"I'm a… er… I was kind of a soldier." Different kind of army, different kind of war but he's sure as hell not going to try to explain SHIELD to these two right now. "I should get out of here too. Do you two have a place to stay?" His apartment is too cramped for company right now but he can recommend a couple folks who owe him favors…

Esme blinks a little and looks around the building and what she can see of the other buildings. How long has she slept this time? She's starting to understand that its been a rather long time. She doesn't know where the "United States of America" are. They'd not yet existed a decade in the year she'd been born. "Esme…I fight demons. Go with my human, do what I'm told. Sleep when not needed." She frowns and hugs herself. "Maybe…I slept for very long." It's a short story but the best she can do at the moment. Her mind is still fuzzy and slow. "Stay?" She eyes the building across the way that she escaped from. Her handler isn't here. She doesn't have a place to go but.. "I will find a roof. Away from here." One of the ninjas at here feet stirs and she lightly kicks his chin with her heel. "Away from here." She nods. So much strangeness.

Astryd sighs as Esme obviously seems lost and then mentions a roof somewhere. "I have somewhere to stay, warrior." he still hasn't given a name. "What will you do with these?" the Valkyrie gestures to the ninjas littering the roof.

Reaching over, Astryd touches Esme shoulder gently and a small amount of magic stirs the air. "I shall be able to find you anywhere, child." she's marked the Gargoyle with her magic.

"Leave them here. Not like I have any place to put them." Clint mutters darkly. "But this was messy and the police or capes will show up eventually… so… uh, I'll see you two later? Thanks for the help honestly." He pauses. "Were you two investigating this?" Well, Esme probably not so much. "I can keep you informed if you give me a place to contact you."

Esme tilts her head as the magic settles over her. She can feel it but doesn't seem worried about the other winged woman being able to find her anywhere. Astryd hasn't threatened or tried to harm her so why would she worry? If anything the thought is a little comforting. Here is someone who knows what and where things are, someone with wings! She nods shyly at Astrid before glancing down at Clint. "I was..waking up. Or being waked up." A slight frown. "Wakened. Awoken?" "Then I was running. Strange man, with bad magic." Looking into the distance for a few moments Esme nods and points at one of the shorter buildings several blocks away. It seems to be built of good solid stone. "Will be there. On the roof."

"I wasn't, warrior" Astryd seems quite happy to leave the ninjas on the roof, they've been dismissed and forgotten by her already. "I was called here to shepherd a soul, and I did. But should you wish to contact me…" she takes a card from a pocket in her jeans and hands it over "and you're welcome."

Esme words get a pursed lip look, and Astryds grey eyes narrow momentarily and then without further comment, the woman disappears and a large raven wings it way away from the roof.

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