Collateral Cleanup

December 13, 2015:

Oracle helps May, Falcon and Ronin in a post Sentinel cleanup

Avenue of Tomorrow - Metropolis


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Even though the attack on the Halls Of Justice was averted and the Sentinels taken down, there's still a lot of 'mop up' to be done - some of the Reavers and Purifiers managed to escape. Oracles been liaising with May, who's still on the ground. Currently the SHIELD agent is faced by a group of six Purifiers and two Reavers … all raining laser fire down on her. The sounds of other such encounters can be heard… not a block away.

"Sending in reinforcements, May." Oracles voice filters through the comms system. Ronin (who happens to be in Oracles contacts, poor man) and Falcon both get the notification and the location ….

Metropolis isn't Sam's home turf. Too shiny, too deco, too well-kept. Give him an urban mess with some real personality any day.

Of course, you should be careful what you wish for. A bunch of cyborgs running amok is certainly a mess, and of all the justified insults one can level at these groups, a lack of personality is pretty far down the list. Falcon swoops low over the city street they're fleeing down, drops a talon grapple on the slowest, and starts dragging him up into the air. Up, and toward the river. Let's see how all those fancy electronics handle a well-deserved bath.

Clint comes in from the opposite direction in full 'Ronin' outfit. He ditched the ninja costume a bit ago (well still has it actually but doesn't wear it) and has taken to wearing something a bit more… splinter cell. It keeps his identity concealed jus as well.

The biggest Reaver takes two arrows. No simple bodkins these, both explode into a supercharged version of quick set epoxy. He'll be gumming up in the joints shortly enough and even if that doesn't stop him for long it should slow him down enough to keep casualties from the SHIELD teams low. Ronin here. Rats are jumping ship I see. Is that Falcon? Hey there Birdguy.

Melinda May still has that rather vicious-looking cobbled together laser rifle. And with each shot, she has more praise to heap on Fitz when she gets back to the Triskelion, even if the thing is now showing a 'low charge' warning. Thank you, Oracle. Falcon, Ronin. I don't need to spoon feed you ops parameters, do I? She ducks around a corner and fires off another shot at the now-expoxied Reaver.

Falcons waterdumped Reaver, lands with a splash, electronics arcing and sparking as it flails for a moment before seizing up and sinking beneath the surface. As Sam banks, he comes under fire from three of the Purifiers… they just saw what he did and keeping under cover as best they can.

Ronins epoxy works quickly and the biggest Reaver does indeed slow, the laser cannon attached to its arm failing as sensitive optic circuits become fouled. That doesn't stop the second it turning the other arm (slowly) in Ronin's direction and spraying normal bullets in his direction - well the direction the Reaver thinks the arrows came from.

"Someones going to have to recover that." Oracles tone is dry, not that that translates through the digital disguise she uses. Noting the position of the 'splash', the redhead turns her attention to screens. "Communications conferenced, May." No need to worry about multiple comms devices, Oracle has that covered.

The Purifiers, seeing the Reavers dealt with … become more frantic, trying to mow May down and beat a hasty retreat.

"Nah," Sam answers as he ditches his cargo in… whatever ludicrously optimistic name the Metropolitans have given their river. "I get the idea. Limit casualties, put down the enemy fast, and if I'm feeling lucky, turn one into a POW so we can get more intel." He fires the Exo pack's afterburners, jetting back toward the fight. "If that one can swim, he'll be great for interrogation. Just saying."

He pauses for a second before adding, "Nice to meet you, Ronin. I thought I saw arrows, though. They must really be running out of archery names if you're picking ones from the general stabby guys of history."

Laser blasts are a bit of a problem, but honestly? If he stays high and moves quickly between skyscrapers, they're going to have a hell of a problem hitting him, lasers or no. He zips between two buildings, cutting off their line of sight entirely, and the hits the reverse thrusters. He stops in midair, then plummets like a rock, swiveling as he goes so that he can jet away in the opposite direction at top speed and several hundred feet lower. If he can surprise them with this maneuver, his drawn machine pistols should be able to drop a hail of lead without drawing significant return fire.

Hah! Ronin's laughter is sharp but genuine as he selects another arrow - this one a multispectrum flashbang, good for burning out thermals, IR, UV and of course, eyes. It also makes a hell of a noise. You know the ancient samurai were archers before they were spear or swordsmen. They could fire a snap shot from a longbow at full gallop and hit a bullseye at sixty yards or so. He's trained like that, minus the horse. Horses aren't cheap.

Nice to see you too May. I think I remember the drill. Oracle, shield your peepers. Wherever the hell they are. He shoots for the middle of the crowd. The results are… blinding…

Melinda May ducks behind cover again as weapons fire gets really concentrated in her direction. The ICER is already out of ammo, and she's got about a clip and a half left for her 1911, and this rifle thing has maybe two shots left. And it's too unwieldy for this kind of rapid exchange firefight anyway. Sigh. 1911 it is. The rifle gets set aside once again.

She tries to snap off a shot or two and duck clear again, but she's been doing this for WAY too long today and is just slow enough that one of the Purifiers' shots skims her arm and she can't hold back her hiss at the stripe of fire on her arm. DAMNIT. At least she's already closing her eyes from the injury, so that flashbang isn't going to be too bad on her. The bang part, though. That SUCKS.

The Purifiers loose sight of Sam, but they're well trained and put their backs together, waiting for him to reappear. The machine pistol fire is effective, and drops one Purifier and causes the other two turn, lasers firing in his direction … but he's likely gone.

Ronin's flashbang is effective, blinding and staggering the three Purifiers targetting May. Undortunately, they start firing blindly … one being taken down by Mays shot.

Oracle isn't used to working with such 'chatty' operatives, she truly isn't and she blinks a little at the banter between the two. She just manages to turn the cameras' off in that area, though one takes damage to the lens … she's going to blind there for a moment, as the software resets and recalibrates that.

"For an international superspy and assassin, Ronin, you sure are a huge nerd," Sam says with an amiable, teasing tone of voice. "May, you need some cover? I can" — he rolls to face upward as the flashbang arrow detonates in the middle of the thickest concentration of enemies — "I can keep them pretty busy… if I need to."

Of course, it's by no means clear that she needs any assistance, and in the meantime, he continues to dart between the buildings in a bewildering pattern. The key is to change direction and altitude while out of sight, he finds. Another useful trick? He dives, straight down to traffic level, and flies directly between lanes. His wingtips barely miss taxi signs and SUV roofs as he returns to the fugitives' position, low enough to stay out of sight.

Once he can acquire a clear line of fire, he applies a bit of thrust to pop up above the cars and strafes the enemy position with bullets and a wide spread of stunning pulsor fire from his wings. "I can also just pull you up to rooftop level, if the fire you're taking is too much," he adds for May's benefit. Oracle might be surprised by his level of banter, but she'll have plenty of opportunities to adjust as he continues his stream of consciousness through the fight.

Waiting for the detonation to clear has a few advantages. It gives Clint time to select a spiker arrow. These ones are fun and he usually uses them against targets that aren't mobile. But he has to figure there's some computer circuitry in those cyborgs even if there's only one left now. There's still several purifiers of course but… Oracle, Head's up. I'm gonna give you a present.

Thwip goes the arrow. It embeds itself at the base of the target's neck, right in the spine. If there's circuitry anywhere that runs to the control center it'll be there. And the spiker arrow? Normally it contains a preprogrammed hack and retrieval algorythem made be someone smarter than he. This one just broadcasts a network connection to Oracle on Clint's cellphone frequency.

Those are not mutally exclusive, you know, Birdguy. I bet you could go on for hours on the proper care and feeding of pidgeons, am I right?

"No. I'm fine. Stay on target." May's voice is a bit strained sounding, which Ronin might recognize, and Oracle's systems might have a way to calculate. She takes a second longer then ducks back out from cover again and fires off two more shots. SHe's normally frugal with her ammo, but this is miserly even for her, and Ronin probably knows this.

Falcons techniques keep the two Purifiers who were targetting him, occupied. They've been distracted trying to find him. Whoever's been doing their training, is likely going to have words … with someone at least. Not these two, they're down for the count … totally confused they were looking the wrong direction as Falcon popped up.

Ronin's arrow hits the 'spinal cord', the sophisticated circuitry that transmits signals throughout the Reavers body … one of Oracles screens starts to fill with data as the algorythm runs.

The Purifiers targetting May are still dazed and confused, her two shots hits one, dropping them to the ground.

Finally, the cameras' reboot and Oracle can see what's happening again. "Nice, Ronin. Data being received, decoding…." She's looking for the command to disable the creature, a backdoor to control it. There's normally something … now where. Line after line flies up the screen. Finally a result flickers on her screen and her hands fly over her console and the Reaver … just stops. "Aim on those targetting, May."

"Pigeons? Man, you can feed those guys whatever crap you want. They don't know the difference," Falcon answers dismissively as he screams around a street corner, burning fuel for more altitude and checking his ammunition. "As for 'care,' just don't trust them with anything more complicated than a fortune from a Chinese takeout cookie." There's a brief pause on the comms, punctuated by the dual click of fresh magazines being slotted into place. "Okay, I might be proving your point, here. Fair enough." He arcs over the top of a grand metropolitan building, then dives straight down, pulsors screaming as they pin down May's opponents.

Ronin snickers over the comms and stays down as some fire comes his way. A blast of a rocket causes a chunk of masonry to cut his cheek. Ow! Sonofoa… he'd do something about that but from the sounds of things… Oracle just did…

The archer comes back up as Falcon comes back around and fires a pair of 'arc arrows', more powerful versions of his taser arrows, toward two of the purifiers. It looks like this'll be wrapping up in juuuuuust a moment.

Melinda May is quiet for a few moments as the Purifiers are not firing back at her. Just enough time to hastily wrap something around her arm so she's not dripping blood all over her 1911 and making the grip overly slippery. Once that's done she ducks around her cover again and takes another two shots. If Ronin's eyes are as good as everyone says, he likely sees the shots miss, though not by much. May leans back behind her cover with a grimace. They just HAD to hit her pistol arm, didn't they?

The remaining Purifiers gone down under Falcons and Ronin's assaults … now they have to detain them for the authorities to pick up.

It's probably a good thing that May doesn't have biometrics on her, like the Bats do, Oracle would be calling Paramedics immediately. "May, situation report." beat "Nice work Ronin and Falcon. Secure them for pick up. And Falcon, I've arranged for the one you dropped in the drink to be retrieved."

Some of the pedestrians who have been wisely taking cover as this encounter dive to the pavement as Falcon comes screaming in just above their heads. He pitches back, braking in midair before coming to a jogging landing, wings folding away behind him.

"You two should learn to fly," he says, each footfall a stomp as he slows. "It's a lot harder to get shot when you're flying." He kneels next to May, the nearer of his compatriots, inspecting her wounded arm before applying a battlefield dressing with a speed that speaks of long practice. "You next, Roanoke," he adds. "I've got zipties if you need 'em, but you'll definitely need some disinfectant, too."

It seems he wasn't ignorant of their injuries; he just considered putting down the hostiles a higher priority. It's possible that the others will consider this callous, but they also might see it as it was intended: a vote of confidence in their ability to keep it together long enough to get the city's noncombatants out of harm's way.

'Ronin' comes out in all his splinter cell, full spectrum goggles, oversided handguns and bow glory. He makes his way down a fire escape to the street somewhat acrobatically. Hey, he grew up in the circus. He's got a couple of ticks. Once down he starts applying the holy ziptie of Antioch to the various perps who are not cyborgs. That done he makes his way over toward May. "I've got the Zipties Birdbeak. Don't let May fool you. She's hurt. She doens't miss like that normally." Beat. "Oracle, any other miscreants in the area?"

Melinda May resists the urge to shake Falcon off, knowing he's a trained medic and even if the gouge in her arm isn't as bad as it could have been, it still hurts like hell and she does NOT respond well to pain. "All clear, Oracle." Yeah, she's going with the ignore and move on tactic. That'll work. Right?

It takes a few moments before Oracle responds. "Of course, but there are less than there were." Coordinates appear on their communicators. She'll leave Falcon to deal with May. "Falcon, report please." She wants to know from a third party.

"That wasn't as bad as expected, May." The two men may wonder what the heck she's referring to. "May, SHIELD taking possession of the Reavers? That ones disabled, but still fully functional. The one in the water … might be retrievable."

If there's one thing Sam learned as a pararescueman, it's how to handle people who think they're too tough for a little medical attention. He works fast and unobtrusively, but functionally ignores any reflexive resistance. If May weren't cooperating, he'd probably have given her a jab of one of those painkillers that also relaxes your muscles and slows reaction times.

On the plus side… "She's good," he reassures Oracle. "I'll get her patched up fast and she'll be ready for the next round." He cuts his headset feed for a second, adding in an undertone, "If she guns with her off hand or sticks to something without much kick. And gets some damned bed rest when this is over." To hell with Hippocrates: he's a medic, not a doctor. It's a totally different set of priorities. Keeping his people in action is the whole point. Plus, making medical advice conspiratorial rather than mandatory tends to get a more positive reaction from military types anyway.

The Archer finally comes to a stop near May and Falcon. "Glad I was in the area. Not often I come out here to Metro. Too shiny for my tastes. And expensive. And Gotham has better falafle." All reasons to stay away to be sure. Couldn't have anything to do with the fact that the police force is efficient and well equipped and a certain disapproving Superman can sometimes be seen up in the sky like a bird or a plane. Clint much prefers the bird standing in front of him.

"Do we need to go after the others or do you think the cops and tac teams can handle them?" That's really to… everyone.

Melinda May continues ignoring Falcon in favor of checking in with the various SHIELD teams scattered all over this part of Metropolis. "Gorman. May. All clear here. Any other pockets to clean up?" That tightness in her voice is still there, and she — completely against what Falcon JUST said — pops the now empty clip from her pistol, pockets it, gets out her last full one and slaps into place. Then she's reaching to shoulder that Improvised Laser Rifle of Viciousness +4 while waiting for Gorman's reply.

"Looks like another team got that last cell." Oracle responds at the same time May gets the answer from Gorman. "I'll keep an eye on the area, but it looks clear for the moment."

"Thank you Falcon." Oracle knows May likely won't listen to that. But with the area cleared, maybe she will. There's always paperwork to complete - right May?

"This falafel — are you getting it before you get attacked by the circus gangs, or in between circus gang attacks?" Sam asks Clint conversationally. "Afterward, obviously, the falafel place has been smashed to bits by whatever Bat-knockoff was handiest." He holds out his hands, palms upward. "I'm just saying, we better be talking about some damn fine middle eastern cuisine."

May gets a look. "Bed rest," he repeats with extra vehemence, not bothering to cut Oracle's connection this time. After a second, he moves on to check Ronin's shrapnel wound. "Not too deep," he assesses, slapping on some stinging disinfectant. "No smiling, laughing, or even talking." He leans back for a second, giving the archer an evaluating look. "Make that especially no talking."

Ronin's eyes light up… or would if they weren't concealed by an optics band. "It's really good. It has been busted up a couple times but they've kept coming back so far. Tenth and Whiting. Little hole in the wall place. Only moderate risk of murderous circus performers." He pauses and grins. "And schwarma. Just sayin'. You've got wings. Check it out, JL:A Hero."

"Awww, no talking Doc? But how will I inflict, I mean, brighten the world with my charms? May and Oracle will go depressive on me if I don't lighten up their hum drum lives." Oh he's getting punched. Or hacked. "I'll be good Doc. Promise. Sounds like you've got things under control here. Not bad for SHIELD and the biggest, baddest hero group in the country."

Melinda May just looks at Clint flatly. "I watched a young man and a small blonde woman take down a Sentinel without superior weaponry." Okay, so Bobby and Illyana did have help, but not that much comparatively. "Where were YOU two hours ago?" Tired May is grumpy. Her arm is doing that stabbing pain in time with her heartbeat thing. She REALLY just wants a drink of water right now.

Oh, and repeated order for bed rest? Shyeah. May starts past the two men to head back to the Hall of Justice, which has become SHIELD Central for this op. There are already field agents converging on the downed Purifiers and Reavers here so she's okay to head back. And spend the next two days writing up all of the reports.

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