War Never Changes

November 15, 2015:

Peggy and Snake-Eyes respond to the all-too-familiar calling card left for SHIELD


Outskirts of Naja Imports in Madripoor


NPCs: Cobra Agents SHIELD Agents Zayin



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Madripoor is the same it has ever been and even hen Baroness went absent Zayin kept things going, as there were backups in place. The woman is always prepared to have to disappear, even if unwillingly.

A section of Madripoor that had begun to slow in production, imports, and exports teems back to life, and here, no dismay is met from the denizens - at least not those who know better. Ships fill the ports of Naja Trading Corps docks, the crates stockpiled and warehouses returning to a network of patrols that are manned by security reminiscent of a high tech prison.

From above a pack of black SUV's roll downward, the gates unmoving to their approach as they fan out before them and a door opens where a man with slicked back hair and neatly manicured mustache exits, coming from one side to the next to wait as a guard approaches and opens the door. One metallic heeled foot descends, the armor plating of boot strapping from around feet to ascend heavenward, encasing in jointed movement to mid thigh. From the gauntleted hold to beneath the body suit paints its way over a svelte figure, but almost unseen beneath the straps of holsters and encased weaponry, once more to be interrupted by a breastplate of metal that bears the red emblem of the Cobra front and center.

A gloved hand rises, fingertips having been removed to *tic* razored mechanical tips along the rim of glasses, adjusted to settle around frigid blue gaze, the skin still yellowed from the bruising done, but leaving nothing else visible to show the wear.

"Baroness. The files, up to date inventory, regimen, and class promotions as well as further intel." The tablet is handed to her and in that handed aside to Zayin before they enter the bar that rests just outside of the docks, not yet entering the warehouse stretch proper, as she was expecting company.

Let's not leave them waiting.

As soon as the grisly package was delivered to the Triskelion, Snake-Eyes was already on the move, heading directly to the Intelligence head. It's not the first time he's made the trip to Madripoor, and with the sheer number of missions he's run solo against Cobra because of the involvement of his former brother-in-arms, learning that there was a fresh lead to it's resurgence caused the usually quiet ninja to move into action.

Grabbing a whiteboard, he barely gave Peggy a chance to prepare, holding up a simple sign.

'Going to Madripoor. Staying or coming?'

Because he was going either way. Once on board the SHIELD transport taking them across the world, Snake-Eyes does his best to bring Peggy up on this certain arm of HYDRA. They've always been the scientific division - advancing tech, developing new tactics and ideals. And all geared towards the same thing - the art of war. With the sudden pronouncement that has been made, he can sense the shifting position that Cobra seems to be taking. A picture of a box with a questionmark reads: Cobra Commander. However, there is a small file for the Baroness - but it has been inactive for months. Once they arrived in Madripoor, there was another briefing, this time amongst the few agents that have had the misfortune of being given assignments in the city. Maps were marked with possible stakeout points, and finally a plan of action was decided to watch the building that had seen the most activity recently.

Which is why on a building a few hundred meters to the southwest of Naja Trading, there is a certain man clad all in black that is watching through his visor's display as the woman and her entourage are exiting their vehicles. The fact that it seems that Baroness is active again causes Snake-Eyes to actually register a moment of surprise.

"That's not how that works, you realize," Peggy tells Snake-Eyes after her eyes scan over the whiteboard with the question. Glancing upward, she studies the man in black in front of her. "If you want SHIELD resources you have to go through SHIELD protocols." She's no stranger to running her own investigations, but those were under her own abilities and resources. Flying to Madripoor almost certainly requires the help of SHIELD.

It takes some backstory - as Peggy dislikes it when she's given few options and told what to do - but, eventually she helps arrange and boards the SHIELD transport to Madripoor. She quickly goes through the information, the briefings and the maps with trademarked efficiency. As the senior agent, she places the proper people at their stakeout points.

Her own is with Snake-Eyes not he same building across the street from Naja Trading. She has no visor, but binoculars were invented for this very reason, so she watches the Baroness intently. "They're not going inside," she frowns, following their target's progress. "Stay on alert."

Time passes, perhaps even boredom sets in. Yes, boredom sets in, and Baroness resurfaces from the bar. A glass of wine is cupped in her hand, those metallic tips of nails poised around the delicate glass like a dragon would hold a jewel.

Looking out and then up into the sky her eyes sweep across the buildings and there is the mock look to opposing wrist where no watch lay. She knows they are here, just not exactly where and who. That is when a flock of soldiers move in. Down the street a cluster of children played with a stick and a ball, a makeshift hoop the target for it, but they were drawn, quartered and herded towards the bar where The Baroness waits.

Lowering to a crouch the children are spoken to, handed small devices wrapped in candy wrappers and sent out to flood down the roads like a mischief of rats. And that is exactly what they are.

Rising the woman rotates wrist and sends the blood red contents of her glass to coat the sides and fall back into place before she brings it to lips…

Let it begin..

"Come out, come out, wherever you are."

The amplified voice croons, they can see those ruby lips move after the sweep of tongue to savor every last drop…

That is when the children return in a sweep and a large bag is produced handing it to them so they may return to play while the buildings lain out before Naja begin to smell of ignition and set to flame.

With Baroness rounding up the children, Snake-Eyes watches. Peggy placed an order to wait, but as the woman hands out the 'treats' as they were, the ninja watches and then turns to the senior agent. Gesturing to one of the children, he watches, that is - until they return from their tasks and the sparks of ignition start to flare to life, and the buildings of Naja start to ignite like so much dry chordwood put to the torch. Baroness is cutting the ties. The known areas.

He watches the soldiers and then glances back to the agent. He gestures towards the troops with two fingers pointed, then towards the rifle at their side before he points to her and then himself. He's using hand signals and combat motions to explain his idea. He goes in, and she stays up and provides sniper support.

He can still get the drop on them at this point, even with the Baroness scanning around looking for who may have come. It's not the usual heroes, that's for sure. There's no flashy arrivals, no declarations of justice. The flames crackling will have to provide the soundtrack with the washing of the waves and the angry squawking of displaced seagulls that retreat from the growing fires.

With Baroness rounding up the children, Snake-Eyes watches. Peggy placed an order to wait, but as the woman hands out the 'treats' as they were, the ninja watches and then turns to the senior agent. Gesturing to one of the children, he watches, that is - until they return from their tasks and the sparks of ignition start to flare to life, and the buildings of near Naja alight. As he sees one of the children come near their building, the ninja moves back from Peggy.

He watches the soldiers and then glances back to the agent. He gestures towards the troops with two fingers pointed, then towards the rifle at their side before he points to her and then himself. He's using hand signals and combat motions to explain his idea. He goes in, and she stays up and provides sniper support.

He can still get the drop on them at this point, even with the Baroness scanning around looking for who may have come. It's not the usual heroes, that's for sure. There's no flashy arrivals, no declarations of justice. The flames crackling will have to provide the soundtrack with the washing of the waves and the angry squawking of displaced seagulls that retreat from the growing fires.

Descending rapidly into the building, he comes across the child. Surprising the urchin with a sudden drop in, Snake-Eyes wastes no time in trying to explain things and with a sharp poke at a pressure point near the base of the neck, renders him unconscious. Taking the incendiary candy bar, he finds a solid metal barrel to place it inside. It activates, but burns uselessly, illuminating the silhouette of the dark form for a moment before he's on the move again, possibly towards their position.

Alongside Snake-Eyes, Peggy does her own surveillance. As the children are brought out with incendiary devices, the woman quickly puts down the binoculars. Already, she's giving orders through the com links: calling for fire departments, moving outer perimeter agents closer in to set up a perimeter and evacuate buildings already on fire.

As Snake-Eyes gestures, the senior agent frowns as it takes her a moment to understand what he's trying to convey. Then, she nods just once to show that she agrees with him. While he makes his way through the building, she sets herself up on the roof. A woman of preparation, she broth both ICER rounds as well as regular bullets for her guns.

Grabbing the rifle, she sets herself up on the edge of the roof, using it as a steadying surface as well as a way to line up her shots. The ICER rounds are loaded and she aims and takes a shot at those incoming.

One…Two… Three…

A hand is out and as the children pass a count is being had. That single finger rises and falls upon the air in a curled and hooked measure of time like a metronome to a different tune. One by one buildings go up and as each glows from the inside soldiers now take their points, large tanks gathered from the back of an arriving truck that drop more armored men and women into the street outside and where children had been they take place, radios going live to report.

Her voice is announced now across the buildings and streets, the small amplification coming when a mouthpiece drops from the newly suited ear buds. "I give you a gift, and it will only keep on giving, but do not insult my hospitality nor come into a snakes nest and think you will get anything more then a /cold/ welcome."

As she speaks she moves towards the covered truck bed, her hand setting aside the wine glass on the large tread of the tire while the other pulls out a long crate with the trademarked stamp of Naja upon it. Flipping the lid off with a grip that splinters the wood she carefully takes out the rocket launcher and drops to knee while hefting the modified AT4 upon shoulder. A single digit locks onto the safety, pressing it off and holding while the guided GPS is set into play.

One hand slams the side of the truck and it moves, fully revealing her position, squared off in the center of an open space and looking through the scope to find the assigned buildings and their heat signatures. "Which one, which one?" A child did not return and if they do not move fast it never will, nor will they.

Cobra Soldiers with the point taken of Vipers have moved into alleys and blended into the background, some already set to quench flames and set the guide for containment, though several on task come to the line up of buildings and just dead stop to fold as if they had fallen asleep mid-pace by Peggy's fired rounds.

"And to think, I figured you would want to -talk- first, about that early present." Talking over, one of those buildings remains untouched by flame. Tsk.




Snake-Eyes recognizes the familiar *POP FWEEEE!* of a screaming AT-4 for what it is and he puts on a burst of speed as he rushes towards the window, crashing through it in a combat roll before he bounces out of it.

A flash of silent steel as the Mikimoto blade is drawn, coming across the first soldier, he slashes into the Viper, before running past, cutting a zig-zagging path towards the Baroness.

SHIELD has learned to answer in their own way - without words. But with a brand new asset that the Baroness will find is quite familiar to her as the ninja strikes, dropping into a group of soldiers, a flurry of kicks and strikes as Peggy continues to clear his way with non-lethal rounds - he doesn't buy into such a subtle and merciful approach. The blade dance continues as rifles fire, the ninja disappearing into the darkness again among screams and moans.

Closer and closer he comes before he leaps high into the air, sword drawn back in preparation to strike down Baroness.

Hello, gorgeous.

From her vantage point high above the fray, Peggy can see most of what is unfolding. However, a lot of her attention is narrowed to very specific targets. The cracks from the rifle are a steady rhythm added into the crackling of the fire and the amplified voice of the Baroness.

At this latest taunt where the Baroness reveals herself and the missile, the SHIELD Agent readjusts. Swinging the barrel of the rifle to the side and upward, she sets the sights on the leader of this little event. Before she can squeeze the trigger, however, Snake-Eyes jumps in the way with his sword. With a hiss of frustration, she swings the rifle the other way, aiming for one of the helpers. About then, the missile rocks into the building, spoiling her shot.

Pulling back the gun, she runs toward the edge of the building. Attaching a climbing rope, she securely tosses the rifle across her back and quickly rappels down the side. Better to be on the ground than a roof of a structurally unsound building.

Once on the ground, she pulls out her pistol, moving stealthily between cars and Cobra agents, shooting where necessary.

The radio responding in random motes of silence tells her quite a bit, she is finally getting a physical response at the cost of Soldiers, Zayin chiming in over the comm. "Baroness, coming from the northwest, vital signs… vary, some appear in.. sleep… Others are flatlined. One is moving your way."

"Respond." Though how is not spoken, it is gestured as a clenched fist rises to the sky and two fingers rise, circling. The rocket launcher is set aside like a beloved plaything and while Baroness is rising to reach behind her the silence around her is something that draws her chin upward. Nevermind the sounds of fire, yelling, gunshots, and general melee among the structures… She /knows/, and with her head up-tilt it is as if she is scenting the wind, eyes closed when the shadow of Snake-Eyes sweeps in to try and lay the final blow.

Wind rustles the long strands of noir that cascade down her back, but not one wrought from nature. Where Snake-Eyes sought to pounce Ravage responded, the sudden crash and groan of metal in landing as he attempts to cut off the path of the ninja's attack with his own. Silent until this very moment where that mechanical maw snaps serrated teeth and that tail moves like a liquid whip, heralding an animalistic challenge.

Beside him stands the Baroness with the AK-12 drawn from its place upon her back in one hand, in the other a large blade has been drawn from the thigh strap just beneath armor. Perhaps somewhere in those placid features is surprise, but it is only met with a sniff and a quirk of one corner of lips.

Peggy's path is just as "fortunate", her scale down the side of the building is what will give her a glimpse of a heads up as the F.A.N.G rises from the streets below to the level of buildings the helicopters smaller size can maneuver between. Within the seat the Air Devil locks down the machine gun and opens fire upon her heels!

This is not the only one as the same cacophony rings further back, flushing out other Agents and keeping on their heels if not mowing them over if they so much as stagger.

"Thank you for the return gift." Afterall Baroness knows war before social convention.

Ravage intercepts Snake-Eyes in mid-air. He's not able to adjust to move out of the way, so he has to take the blow full on, claws slicing through his armor to the flesh beneath as the two of them tumble and the ninja rolls away from the snapping jaws and whipping tail. Landing on his feet a few feet away, the SHIELD ninja's own blade shifts around in his hand as he draws a serrated combat blade with the other hand, both the weapons held in a tight grip as his visor reflects the woman in it's slotted view.

Human ninja faces off against the programmed feline and its mistress as Snake-Eyes tilts his head to the woman in a direct challenge of the combat shotgun. He's no gift, at least not for her. He starts to circle, watching the pair of them warily as he considers the plan of action. That is until he hears the whump-whump of blades slicing into the air and his head turns to where Peggy is under attack.

He's not supposed to abandon his handler - even if they are momentarily separated at the moment.

And then he runs from the Baroness. Or so it seems. As he scrambles, he launches into a qi assisted leap, bouncing from wall to wall as he starts upwards, on a direct intercept course with the F.A.N.G.

The combat knife is put away as he clicks a quick Morse Code message to Peggy.


He'll take the helicopter, she can take pot shots at the Baroness - and perhaps get the mecha-jaguar off of his back should it choose to try to pursue the ninja as he leaps to grab a hold of the sled of the helicopter.

One he has a solid grip on the riser, he swings a couple of times, looking to flip upwards and kick the Air Devil out of his chair and Grand Theft Auto his ride, so that he and Peggy have a means of escape and support of the other SHIELD agents.

From her viewpoint, Peggy is able to see the F.A.N.G. Relaying the arrival of the helicopter, she books it, running full tilt forward. The pavement sends up chips and debris as the machine gun follows her movements. No stranger to machine gun fire or being in the thick of action. Throwing herself behind another building, she turns and takes aim for the larger target. While she knows she cannot do much damage to the actual machinery, the operators are certainly able to be hit with bullets.

As the Morse Code is understood, she runs out from behind cover, switching places with Snake-Eyes as he moves for the helicopter. Still on the look out for both machine gun and other Cobra Agents, she springs forward to take up the slack in the fight. She comes out shooting, squeezing the trigger on her pistol in quick succession as she approaches the AK-47 wielding Baroness.

The look that projects in Snake-Eyes' visor is one of a disdain and that of a deeper loathing, and then… She smiles. It starts small and grows to reach her eyes. The blade in her hand spins like she would attack with that, but when he backs away and then heads for a F.A.N.G that is when the AK-12 opens fire. Running into and having bullets spray up shrapnel of the road at your heels? Both of these 'Agents' know that feeling now, but Snake-Eyes does not just have that, Ravage is upon him and where he qi leaps, just at his heels the claws of Ravage burrow in and assist in the heel-toe pursuit.

Into the F.A.N.G? No. Ravage paces the rooftop of the building and when the discarded pilot plummets the large beast catches him by his arm in a mid-leap retreat. Caught in the maw of a large mechanical weapon the man screams, but he is not impactually deceased and you have to choose those battles. The tail whips and the large creature disappears into the streets, melding with the burning buildings that release billows of smoke as Forces surround and unload tanks to put out the incendiary flames.

Peggy's tag in moment is met even as fire is laid down, the other F.A.N.G is set to course of strict mission orders, and that is to eradicate any enemy Agent, now set to circling to seek out more quarry and coming down upon her, but Baroness rises a hand and four fingers tip off to gesture it back.

"The other is compromised, if you do not shoot him down… Zayin…" Silence, he knows and also watches Snake-Eyes with a leer from behind the scenes, his hands and fingers aching to teach him the combat of the Night Creepers, the Arishkage not unknown. That composure not lost to him as he waits for her orders…

The AK-12 paints pock marks into the dirt between her and Peggy, kicking up a curtained wall of dust and mortar between them while she seeks the sheltered wall of a SUV. From there she unwraps a piece of candy and peels a small metal strip from the side of the gum, popping part in her mouth she chews and then sticks it to the strip or alloy, then stretches it over the front of her weapon before she comes back around and opens fire. But not at Peggy, one is at the F.A.N.G while she tosses the sling of the weapon back and spits the gum to the ground in front of her. Within the pink small chewed confection a red light blinks to time….

Snake-Eyes hears the 'chirp, chirp' behind him. Recognizing the detonator for what it is, the ninja turns the helicopter and flies it directly at the other FANG, machine cannons spitting out rounds of ammo as he attempts to suicide drive the helicopters together. Except he has no plans to commit suicide. As he comes in fast and hot, Snake-Eyes leaps from his own FANG to land on a rooftop, rolling and tumbling with the collision as he slides to a halt and pushes himself to his feet as he waits to see if the two helicopters slam into each other.

He's got deep gashes across his abdomen, numerous shrapnel marks and scrapes that his armor and uniform have taken, but he's still raring to go, as he looks down to figure out exactly where it is Peggy is to see if she may need assistance with the Baroness.

It's hard to stop such a dedicated approach as Peggy has in her pursuit of the Baroness. The dust and debris shower over her, giving little nicks and cuts that she ignores. However, as the chewed confection - blinking - confection is seen, the Agent of SHIELD starts backpedaling. She continues her continued assault on both the SUV and the woman intent on blowing things up, attempting to keep the way clear from a complete line of gunfire at least.

Quickly, however, she tosses herself sideways behind another car as explosions and crashes rock the air about her. There's a distinct ringing in her ears from the blasts and she's slightly disoriented, but she's otherwise unharmed.

Above Madripoor the 'welcome home' fireworks consist of the two F.A.N.G.s impacting, both losing their drivers in dives for survival but the explosion of red lined in black plumes and gray clouds has parts of metal showering outward in an impactual herald that has denizens fleeing parts of the streets as helicopter blades fall and cut swathes through and making new openings.

Peggy, on the other hand is lucky in one facet, and from ground level the flames rise to meet the sky - literally. Baroness pulls the rest of the gum from her mouth with a look of disdain as her own steps carry her back in Peggy's approach and then wisdom of battle to have her seek cover.

The view of baroness though goes up in a wall of flames. Incinerators in their full suits, gas masks and visors to decipher one heat signature from another swarm in and produce a wall of flame that basks that car Peggy is behind in a wave of red and extreme heat, it blows around it and wavers the air before her eyes.

Behind them Baroness' hands rise and from open palm to fists she flicks them side to side and them back on one while the other gestures back Northwest. "Recover any wounded." Stated as a hand rises and somewhere in the melee the arm bears a hole, solid through and through to expose small sparks and wires though movement still is full range.

Eyes to the streets she narrows her gaze, but with that cold daggers edge her lips thinly draw into a grin that bears a flash of fang and the promise of venom.

"If they are not ours, bring them to -me-."
"And what of the past, Baroness?" Zayin inquires, his own ire lingering on tones that bear just as much candor as her own if not more normally.
"It is now the present, again. Let it begin with the introduction of change."

With Baroness retreating, Snake-Eyes descends to street level. He wants to chase her. In the past, he would have. She's one of the few links he has to finding … something. That's no one's business but his as the ninja pulls back, instead coming back to Peggy to offer his hand to help her up.

Welcome back to the war, Peggy. The names and faces have changed..

..but war. War never changes.

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