From the Gate to the Kitchen (part 1)

October 09, 2015:

A suspicious convoy is investigated by Matt Murdock and Roy Harper (emits by Taskmaster)

Hell's Kitchen, New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

A cold day verging on night in Hell's Kitchen, fortunately there is no snow. It's just chilly and overcast. The loud crank of a gear being missed disrupts the relative silence of the streets. The hiss that follows says someone just stopped a rig and the shouting that follows unmistakable for what it is.
"Damnit, who let Micky drive? That idiot can't even walk."
"Calm down, someone swap out. We're on a timer here."
The voices fire back and forth between a small convoy of vehicles, two plain moving trucks lined up behind a deuce in a half followed by what appears to be a pilot car. The men visible all wearing hardhats and neon orange vests. Road workers it would appear. But then why would road workers have concealed firearms and shoes not work boots? Small things most crime fighters and even your general police officers tend to notice.

Roadwork isn't uncommon, even in NYC and the best time to do it is at night. The city never sleeps, but there tends to be far less traffic later at night. Rush hour, however, seems to be the worst possible time, and that is, most often, when the work is done. Maximum inconvenience, of course. The chill in the air means that people are either walking more quickly, stopping at the corner Starbucks or Bodega for some thing warm to hold in their hands, or they've started to bundle up.

One lawyer in particular has sort of adopted the latter method — he has a light jacket and scarf on, but that's about it. It seems necessary as his commute involves walking from his office to his apartment. With his white cane tapping in front of him, guiding him around any obstacles in his path, he makes his way along a familiar route until something unfamiliar catches his attention — namely the conversation and sounds of the work going on. He then slows his pace so that he can better listen.
You paged Roy Harper with 'Not been revealed. It may or may not be Bones as we are a mixed verse'

What -was- going on up there? Road work, certainly, but not something that seemed -right- somehow… and while Roy Harper didn't usually sweat the details, something was -off- about the construction work. Perhaps the loaded firearms hidden… if there was something Roy knew, it was the hidden weapon bulges.

A quick radio call. "Harper, Ch—-… DEO," Roy corrects himself, checking in. "Just need you to check something - is there -any- operations involving construction work at my location?"

While waiting for a response, he approaches the construction workers, flashing a grin. "Hi, guys. Doing good work, I see. What're you working on?" Just dressed up in civvies, a red flannel shirt and blue jeans. Nothing outrageous, mind you. At least he was hiding -his- weapon bulges better than these guys…
"Careful, we damage the goods we don't get our cuts."
"What is our cut?"
"Ask the boss. He usually hooks us up good."
"As long as it isn't a voucher for free kung fu lessons again. That was bullshit."
"Nah, I seen the cash. We're good."
"What do you think those things do anyways?"
"Blow stuff up? Make more aliens? I dunno. What did they do on TV?"
"I didn't watch it. I don't like the news its too depressing anymore."
"You're a hired gun and you think the news is depressing?"
"Yeah, what about it?"
"Nothin', just nothin'."

The direct conversation Matt can pick up as it comes across from the front moving truck behind the deuce. There is also a light radio chatter between earpieces and mics but nothing of note unless he wants a good recipe for some fritatas or to learn about a colleagues sexual exploits in Gotham's Chinatown district.
Roy's approach gets a double take from the man who was swapping vehicles, there is no road cones up or signs just the convoy in it's passage though they had stopped due to the one truck stalling. "None of your business. We're just passing through." The tall dark skinned man outside of the nearest truck waves Roy off dismissively.
A delayed response to the radio request from Roy and a handler (who knows who it is as DEO is cycling around at the moment) "Harper… Harper… ah okay there you are. THAT Harper… no, we have nothing active in your general vicinity. Nothing current at least. Please report what details?"
That doesn't sound like normal construction chatter. 'Cuts of the goods'? 'Hired guns'? Yeah. It's clever though, hiding in 'plain sight'. Matt will give them that.

The good thing about such a city is most people are wrapped up in themselves. Most, if any, aren't going to notice that the man with the cane quickly folds it up and sticks it into the pocket of his jacket. He then saunters over to the construction workers and clears his throat, "Excuse me, but I'm from the Office of Public Works and you're obstructing access here. Can I see your permit, please? We see this all the time…folks just a few feet off from where they're permitted to be. Shouldn't take long to sort it out."

"Stand by," Roy notes, before nodding at the workers.

"Tt looks like you're having trouble with a truck, here." Taking a look around, to note any places of interest, Roy observes, "it's holding up traffic, so I thought I'd offer any assistance. Mechanic on the way? I could call for assistance."

Matt's question has Roy nodding, moving out of the way, bringing his phone back up and starting to code in again. This time, just a simple code, where all he had to do was push a button and he'd signal 'officer in trouble'. Assuming he remembered the new DEO codes properly…

The man grunts at the approach and words of Murdock but doesn't immediately respond instead putting his fingers up to his earpiece and whispering, "These two are spooks I think. What should I do?"
Static and a new voice patches through, "Spooks? You idiots were supposed to be good at this. That is why I hired you… do whatever just don't come back here hot."
"Understood." The whispering stops and the big man's lips curl back, "Hold on, I'll go get my permit." His back to Roy and Matt he stomps off towards that second moving truck and leans inside.
"Hey, Rocko, these guys want permits. We got those made up?"
"No. We got nothing like that."
"Screw it. I'll just kill 'em and we can dump them in the truck. No ones around right?"
"We're clear."
Grabbing up his coat he shoves a handgun in to it and starts to walk back towards the two men, "Too many damn pockets, its in here somewhere… "

The conversation at the truck is heard easily and Matt frowns…he was afraid of something like this. When the man comes back, Matt does his best to look impatient and when the 'permits' are still being searched for, he takes a step or two closer as if to offer something conspiratorially, "Look. It's late…we're all tired. If you just move your vehicles a few yards away from these access points, I'll let it go."

"Mmmm, okay, I guess you just haven't set out any construction signs yet, so you guys might want to get going on that," Roy replies, eyes going the man returning with -another- bulge. Either he'd grown another lump, or…

Reaching into his pockets, Roy looks back at Matt. "You -work- here too? I think I've seen you somewhere before, I just can't place where. Building inspector?"

The man doesn't seem to care that Matt has moved closer. At best he remains as irritated as he has been but at the words from Roy and Matt he grins and pauses in his grip upon the firearm. Not drawn though, "Oh so you don't need to see my permits? Well thats great because we were just gonna move on through. NO need to stop here… truck you know… always needs fixed." As if he wants to hurry along or having misheard he takes a step back, "Well, if thats all it is we'll just be going." No unnecessary blood means they can get the trucks unloaded without a fuss. Pissing off the costumed sorts is always bad for business. Those guys are nuts.
Maybe it's the voice or the heartbeat but Roy is recognized after a moment. Not that he'll say anything about the when and where, but as he's sort of recognized, he offers, "Engineering," because that seems to make sense as to why he'd know about permits. Or something like that. "If your truck keeps on breaking down, you need to mention it to your supervisor. We can't have our city's vehicles breaking down all the time. I'm surprised they let you take this one out if it's in such bad shape."

No, Matt doesn't need to see the permits, but he's not really letting them continue, either. "You need help with it so you can get it moved?" He turns back to Roy, "You know anything about trucks?"

"Well, if we can help you get that moving along, no problem," Roy comments, before nodding at Matt, tipping the trucker cap at him. Not that Matt could see either gesture, but the movement might be more than enough.

"How about I get a look at the truck…?" he says, moving towards the vehicle, finger on cell phone, keeping an eye on the workers.
"Nah, truck is fine. We got it and those permits and paperwork, my supervisor probably has all that on him. Call your people have 'em call mine or whatever and he'll sort it out. Thanks for your time." A quick wave off over his shoulder and the man is hurrying along to climb back in to truck #2.

Harper's cellphone vibrates and the text message reading across is, "Trucks spotted leaving Metropolis Hell's Gate quarantine zone. Not ours. Investigate."

The speed at which the crew is ready to abandon the site is suspicious unto itself. That said, Matt doesn't really quibble with them as they get into the trucks to leave. He does, however, turn to Roy…"Is it me or is this really fishy-smelling? New York crews don't just take off like that nor do they go around without their permits…" not that he would have been able to tell a permit from a grocery list.

Taking a look at his phone, Roy frowns. Not that they were in Hell Gate, but trucks in Hell's Kitchen leaving too…? "Hey, out of curiosity…" Roy asks, as he turns, in an almost Columbo-esque manner. "Your friends in Hell Gate just took off in a hurry too, did they?"

To be continued…

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