COTC #2: Long Forgotten Sons (and Daughters)

April 05, 2015:

2011: A group of heroes in their younger days gather at a black market auction for various reasons and end up involved in more than they bargained for. (Part 2 in the Cry of the Canary story line.)

Ghana, Africa

A palatial mansion owned by notorious information broker and black market dealer Azar Al-Sareef and the current site of an auction.


NPCs: Azar Al-Sareef, Freelancer, Quickshot, Lotus, Testament, & Wildfire.


Mood Music: Rise Against - Long Forgotten Sons

Fade In…

4 years ago in Ghana, Africa

You were presently in the mansion of a renowned black market dealer and information broker known as Azar Al-Sareef; a man known to many around the world for being a man of his word even if he had less than scrupulous business practices.

The mansion itself was extremely large, almost a palace and was a testament to the corruption of the rich; while people suffered in the country others lived lifestyles of opulence and comfort.

A cool breeze blowing through the halls of the palatial mansion did nothing to cool you down from the weighty humidity, making everything seem slow and ponderous.

Throughout the mansion guests from various part of the world were mingling and looking at the goods that Al-Sareef was planning to offer for auction today (Feel free to make up a particular item or reason you are here). Among the guests were terrorists, US Army Generals, wealthy CEOs, celebrities and even potential heroes and villains still in their earlier days.

Al-Sareef, a fairly pudgy middle-eastern man with a jovial look was standing at the top of a set of stairs with his arms outstretched as he announced to his guests, "Thank you all for coming here today my friends. I apologize for the heat, there is nothing I can do about that. Perhaps though, you can if you buy the prototype STAR Labs weather machine I have for sale today."

A stunning blonde woman in a black dress wearing fishnet stockings and a black choker stands behind Al-Sareef, likely his bodyguard.

Daimon Hellstrom leans against the wall towards the back of the gathering, not particularly making a show of himself. His dark hair is grown a bit longer, back in those days, spilling down his back to his shoulder blades and tied in braids to tuck it behind his ears. His goattee has the requisite wicked effect, combining with his heavy brow to make him seem as sinister as he, quite frankly, is. Even if he fights evil, oft times, no one would mistake Daimon Hellstrom for a good guy.

Most of the others assembled won't have much interest in the item Daimon is here for - a Babylonian medallion from the 5th century BC, made of bronze and with worn markings from millenia buried in the remnants of some lost city. The medallion, however, is dedicated to Marduk, an ancient Babylonian god and, known to only the most rigorous of demonologists (and, of course, family members), an arch-demon currently one of many who claim the throne of Satan the Adversary. He also happens to be Daimon's absentee father.

Daimon watches the various seedy and dangerous men wandering around, knowing the item he wants is safely tucked away and reserved for his purchase. He and Al-Sareef have had dealings before, and the merchant knew that Daimon paid well for items of certain provenance. And Daimon knew that Al-Sareef wasn't to be trusted. But, then, neither was the Son of Satan.

Truth be told, Kwabena never intended to return home. He'd lost respect for the diplomacy and overtly Christian culture of his native country, Ghana. There wasn't a great deal of respect for mutants there; his family had considered his strange powers something demonic.

Regardless, his time in the states had changed the young man. He'd gotten involved with a rough crowd in Cincinnati, and been a part of the 2001 race riots. Half a dozen Cincinnati cops had been murdered by his own hands; the first time he realized that he had the power to super-solidify his body. Their deaths hadn't been pretty, but the racist white bastards had deserved it.

Still, the thug had come along way, graduating from petty theft to dealing coke to the higher ups in Indian Hill, before the heat drove him elsewhere. Now, the native Ghanaian considered himself a mercenary — a self-driven title that was more or less a joke, for his tactics and strategies were beyond childish. However, he was learning. He was growing. He was earning a more respectable reputation in the criminal underworld, which is how a job offer in San Diego landed him back home in Accra and within the home of Al-Sareef.

Dressed in a pair of tan slacks and nice, white tee, Kwabena tucks the phone number away into his pocket, before brushing his fingers across the cheek of a beautiful, wealthy woman who promised him a drink later. Turning away from her, he lifts the glass of whiskey in hand and takes a long drink, before turning silver eyes upon the gunmetal gray uniform held within one of Al-Sareef's display cases. It wasn't the item he was sent here to get, but something the woman had told him about it had captured his attention.

Still, when Al-Sareef speaks up, he turns back to watch, paying close attention. His silver eyes stray toward the woman who gave him her number, now standing behind Al-Sareef himself, and an eyebrow shoots upward.

"Well," he murmurs under his breath in the native Dangme, "That's an interesting development…"

Ozymandias rolls his eyes slightly behind his mask after Al-Sareef's introduction and lets out a soft chuckle from his lips. He really believes that Al-Sareef puts off a Signor Ferrari vibe every time he speaks with him, but the money is always good, and he always introduces him to new clients since meeting.

It has been five years that Ozymandias has been decided to do this costume mercenary thing, and he has slowly made a good name for himself. He told Al-Sareef that he wanted to find some new clients, and check in with some old ones in the comfort of Al-Sareef's mansion, but he also wanted to track down some rumors of some Egyptian relics that had appeared on the black market.

Ozymandias does indeed find not only rumors of the Egyptian relics but proof of their existence right before his eyes; they were relics related to the Kush dynasty from Egypt, not identical to the ones he had found before but perhaps connected.

An older man with a monocle over his eye looks to Ozy and frowns, "My boy, I don't think you can afford these. I shall be purchasing them for my personal collection, happy bidding. Cheerio cheerio!" He walks off.

Inside of a warded glass case Daimon sees the medallion of Marduk; the sigils surrounding it are real but The Son of Satan himself would know something was off about this item in particular. Was it a fake?

The woman that Kwabena had been flirting with prior and was now serving as Al-Sareef's bodyguard was Dinah Drake. She flashed a smile in the direction of the dark-skinned mercenary she had offered to share a drink with later and continued to scan the room for potential threats to her employer.

The gunmetal gray uniform Shift has drawn his eyes to is definitely quite a piece of work, maybe it would be his after this day. There doesn't even seem to be any interested buyers around it.

On the rooftop of the mansion a team of commandos begins to deploy, "We're in. Multiple high priority targets inside, primary asset has been identified for extraction. Permission to engage?"

Daimon Hellstrom examines the medallion more closely, dismissing the rest of the gathering as superficial as he focuses his occult senses on the item. The wards in the glass interfere with his scanning, however, but he's certainly not going to pay for the thing unless he has the opportunity to examine it properly.

He flicks his eyes at last back up to Al-Sareef, his blonde bodyguard drawing a raised eyebrow. The woman was either distracting eye candy to keep the real security disguised or she was bold enough to dress that way in a place where provocatively dressed women often don't receive the best of welcomes. He tended to favor the latter, just from the muscular legs, although perhaps it was simply that he admired the legs themselves.

Some of the people around Daimon instinctively back away when he walks toward them, the mere presence of the half-devil raising goosebumps and hackles, like someone walking over their grave.

Silver eyes flash from Dinah to the uniform, then finally, toward a rather sizable diamond held within a container. This item was his job; by way of a third party, Al-Sareef had hired Kwabena to outbid anyone who made a move for the diamond, and should that fail, he was to steal it. A double blind, designed to paint Al-Sareef as a victim. For whatever reason, Kwabena doesn't know, nor does he care. The paycheck involved was significant.

And yet, something Dinah had told him about that uniform had the effect of distracting him. He was younger then, no where near as seasoned as he would one day become.

The whiskey goes down with a heavy gulp, the empty glass discarded upon a passing tray. Then, the top button of his white shirt comes undone, and he crosses the room to get a closer look at that uniform.

"A most interesting piece," explains a British marketeer, who eyeballs the piece behind a cloud of white cigar smoke. "They say it's knit of an unstable molecule weave. Molds to the wearer's frame, mimics the body's natural…" He glances toward Kwabena with a twinkle in his eye. "… or unnatural changes."

"Grows hottah when yah body is hottah?" asks Kwabena.

"Mmm," nods the British marketeer. "Colder when it's colder. Or, say, if you burst into fire, it will do the same."

Kwabena narrows his eyes, and looks back to the uniform of gunmetal gray, trying to conceal the hunger from his expression. There is a brief flicker of his eyelashes when Daimon passes behind him, a chill crawling down his spine. He only caught a glimpse of the man through the reflection of glass, but it was enough to shake him from his greed, if only for now, and put his mind back upon the target.

Ozymandias watches the older man with the monocle walk off before turning back to kneel down to observe the relics closer. Ozymandias begins to look around for the nearest exits in the room, before making his way through the crowd to look at the other merchandise. His eyes also fall on the Babylon piece that Daimon recently noticed, and wonders how such a piece found its way into Al's collection. He might have to take a closer look at that one too.

Finally Ozymandias makes his way close to the host to give his a kind nod of his head in appreciation of being invited. He offers a quick glance at Dinah and Kwabena, before making his way back to the Kush relics.

Oliver Queen is usually easy to recognise. His face is a known quantity. And yet, for some reason, a little green mask, a hood, and keeping to the shadows is enough to disguise him from the general masses. Even cameras haven't been able to pick him up with that nifty facial recognition software. But that's why you hire some of the world's best computer programmers to design an incredibly complex virus. Still, that works for the after party, but what about the here and now?

Well, the answer is simple. Good old makeup, a bit of hair dye, contact lenses, and some movie prop like prosthesis. Queen Consolidated lost something, and Oliver wanted it back, but he didn't think he could come in costume, so he came in another disguise. Instead of Oliver Queen, he has come as another of Gotham's elite, of the blue-eyed, black-haired variety.

Bogatago had been a sore point for Roy Harper, ever since the failed fiasco that had put his handler into the hospital. The specific drug lord responsible for that incident had gone undercover, but his friends at the DEA had pointed him towards Azar Al-Sareef as a person of interest.

The problem was, he'd been made already from Bogatago, and so Roy Harper had to be a little -less- circumspect.

So a pair of red shades, and a -suit- that totally went against the whole 'Chuckles' Hawaiian suit he'd run around with in South America. Maneuvering closer to Azar Al-Sareef was proving to be trickier, especially with the bodyguard in the way.

There had to be an easier way to get closer…

At twenty-one, Nyssa al Ghul still feels a fierce need to prove herself. Even if sometimes that means takes on missions that are not her favored type. There is nothing being sold here that interests her, but there is among the gathered artifacts a Tibetan talisman of stealth that interests her father, something to feed his hobby of playing with mystical items. It's much too warm here for her usual concealing robes, but there's still an oriental cut to the knee-length silk tunic she wears, and the close-fitting leggings are cotton rather than leather.

She frowns to herself as she considers the case containing the charm, a medallion with a string of beads hanging from one end. Arms crossed over her chest, she looks…thoroughly unimpressed.

Azar Al-Sareef began to walk down the stairs upon noticing what appeared to be billionaire playboy Donal McKenzie from Gotham. He had never dealt with the man, but he hoped to make some contacts with McKenzie Industries as well as some money.

As Al-Sareef begins to approach 'Donal' (Oliver Queen) the blonde bodyguard follows. Ollie might notice she has green eyes and she smiles in his direction as she gives him a once-over as a potential threat to her employer.

Al-Sareef proclaims in a friendly tone, "Mr. McKenzie! I have been so excited for the chance to meet you, I know we will become good friends. I have a bottle of Chateau Lafite from 1854, would you like me to have it brought out?" Despite his friendly jovial appearance, the man was an obvious snake.

The lights flicker inside of the room and a pair of armed security guards who were standing by one of the doors head outside to check. A young man who is near Shift, Daimon and Nyssa explains loudly to the guests, "It's probably just a surge. Nothing to worry about."

Those with especially keen senses or high levels of perception will notice the tell-tale sign of red dot laser sights on the foreheads of several armed guards. Something was about to go down.

The Gotham playboy touches his stomach as if he's feeling a bit sick, "oh, no, thank you, you're too kind, but I think I've caught a bit of something." Oliver Queen's pretending to be Donal McKenzie after all, so he pretends to have a weak stomach. True or not, it fits the role. "Though if you have anything with electrolytes, that would be great." He pretends to check his pulse, and eyes some of the other guests. "And it is a pleasure to finally meet you, Azar Al-Sareef." He extends a hand to shake, and after that, he'll excuse himself to get a better look at the goings on.

Daimon Hellstrom raises eyebrows at the presence of Donal McKenzie. So much for respectability, it seems, although it's hardly surprising that a rich guy might be involved in nefarious dealings. Still, he was known as more of a flake than a scumbag.

Daimon looks around as the lights flicker and, regardless of the assurances of the young man, slowly begins to access his hellish source, letting his fingers tingle with the promise of hellfire. Anyone looking at him might notice his teeth growing slightly more sharp, his brow slightly more pronounced and the crimson of blood starting to spill into his eyes, wet and lambent. He hasn't fully assumed the mantle of his Darksoul, but he holds it close, clutching it to him like a corrupt security blanket.

A doubtful look is given to that young man. Kwabena grew up here; the Accra grid is prone to power outages, not surges, and certainly not in the mansion districts. Still, he's a bit too green to real-deal mercenary work to go looking for laser pointers. There's also… is that… are the teeth in that man's mouth growing sharper?

He should have never experimented with LSD.

Steeling himself, the native Ghanaian goes stalking toward that case bearing the diamond Al-Sareef had so dubiously hired him to steal. This wasn't part of the plan, and he's of half a mind to go up to the bastard and tell him. Fortunately, he keeps his head cool, for now.

Trying to worm his way closer, adjusting his tie, Roy lowers his shades, mostly to get a better look at the young miss inspecting the Tibetian talisman, and then something catches his attention - the red dots on the foreheads of the armed guards.

Aw crap. Whatever was going down, he couldn't afford for Al-Sareef to be taken down. Which is why a voice rings out.

"Everybody get down!"

Hearing the name 'Donal McKenzie,' Nyssa turns toward the greeting, curious. When she sees the man he's supposed to be… She tilts her head slightly, frown deepening. It's been a long time since a very young man lived with her family. But the man using the name lacks the familiar markers. Interesting.

Nyssa's boredom falters when the lights flicker, posture shifting to something more liquid as she arches a brow and looks up. "Do you think so?" she asks the man asserting a power surge, a slow smile curving at one corner of her lips as she steps back from where she stands, clearing the way between herself and any likely targets. Being a target would be one thing, but being taken down for being in the way of someone's target would just be embarrassing.

She doesn't see the laser targets, but she grew up surrounded by the best assassins in the world. She knows what she would do if it were her mission, and she's already scanning places that provide a good shot.

As Roy yells for everyone to get down glass shatters across the mansion as precise sniper shots fill the area with a hail of bullets, multiple armed guards going down all at once with headshots having taken them down.

An explosion sends debris showering in from the ceiling and a group of black-clad commandos rappel down into the room opening fire with automatic weaponry as some of the patrons begin to flee the area and others begin to fight.

An Italian Gangster known as 'Really Big Tony' has taken up the guns of a fallen guard, firing AK-47s in each hand at the commandos until a lethal woman known as 'Lotus' drops down behind him and lops his head clean off with a Katana.

As the commandos are dispersing throughout the room, another trio of individuals enter behind them and begin to systematically target anyone of even remote importance in the room.

A man with burning hands known as 'Wildfire' leaps down in front of Daimon and laughs wickedly. It becomes apparent his hands are not actually burning, but he is wearing some kind of armored gloves wreathed in flame, "You don't look so good mate. Dingo eat your baby?" He slams his fists together and sends a fireball towards Daimon.

Another individual known as 'Testament' wearing the collar and clothing of a preacher lands near Nyssa, he seems to be holding a bible in his hand and a wicked scythe in the other. He swings the scythe at her calling out, "Child of the devil! I see your true nature!" Whether he had metahuman abilities or was just psychotic was up for debate.

A hail of bullets slam into Shift as a large Ghanian man lands on the ground near Shift. Shift would know him as Garacka Nuben, a vicious Ghanian terrorist who was believed to have been dead. He went by the codename 'Quickshot' and was living up to it, filling the area with more lead than seemed possible in such a short period of time.

Before Donal McKenzie can rush off Dinah grabs him and Al-Sareef by the collars and starts to pull them away from the violence, "Come on! We need to move."

Al-Sareef cries out, "Get me to safety! Quickly!" He seems scared.

Roy notices a commando coming up behind 'Donal McKenzie', Al-Sareef and Dinah with a pair of automatic pistols about to open fire.

When the bullets strike Kwabena, they tear through his clothing but seem to do him no harm. Beyond that, the rounds pelt into the floor beyond, shattering the hardwood with each strike. He spins around, briefly recognizing the man next to him. "Quickshot!" The codename is called out in Dangme, and a fist is sent flying toward the terrorist's face.

He's not armed; Quickshot is. Thing is, not that anyone probably noticed given the sudden mayhem gripping the mansion, but… those bullets did just go right through Kwabena. Quickshot's gonna need to rely on something other than a firearm for this fight. Regardless, Quickshot's next burst of fire rips Kwabena's clothing further still, to the point where his white shirt is hanging open and his trousers are torn to shreds, but the mutant again remains unharmed.

"I like that shirt, you asshole!" is snarled in his native Dangme. Kwabena throws himself at Quickshot with intend to tackle.

Unexpectedly jostled by Dinah Lance, Oliver Queen or "Donal McKenzie" as the makeup would imply, has no choice but to go where she directs him. His security guard is nearby, holding a briefcase in one hand. It's chained to his wrist via some handcuffs. But he's already got a gun out, firing a few rounds at Quickshot, as he seemed the most dangerous. The bodyguard is a good shot, but being able to hit a target isn't everything. It's also looking for the right part of the target. Moving closer to his charge, he says "Mr. McKenzie, we have to get you to safety." He says that more for Dinah and Al-Shareef's benefit than anything else.

The 'McKenzie' shows impressive resolve given the circumstances, firing a gun in Lotus's direction. Evidentially, that stomach bug he was complaining about wasn't as worrisome as he first thought. But that's the benefit of being in disguise as somebody else. He doesn't have to worry about giving himself away. And the real Mr. McKenzie is probably in Mexico with plenty of witnesses at this very moment.

He'd only quit being Speedy a couple of years ago, in the process of getting himself cleaned up and joining the DEA, but old instincts die hard, as he reaches for something, anything, before reminding himself that he'd spent a while studying up on Moo Gi Gong. Time to get his ass in gear, then.

And at the -least-, he still was a markman… just with other weapons now.

At the least, the mansion had -things- he could use. "Excuse me," Roy says to a cowering waiter, trying to crawl away. "Can I have that tray…?" Kicking it up, Roy nabs it and fings it at the commando, like a discus.

Daimon Hellstrom feels the impact of Wildfire's attack - or, at least, the ultimate effect of it. Of all the attacks that might harm him, fire is the least of these, his infernal heritage making him quite immune to such particularities.

His shirt, however, does burn, but it's from within, as the brand on his chest bursts into flame, scorching fabric to reveal itself, a gleaming pentagram of crimson fire. He flicks out his hand as his hellfire trident manifests, horns sprouting from his forehead as another pentagram forms around him, a hellfire flare of protection as he encircles himself with wards against harm.

"IF there's any baby eating to be done, boy, I'll be the one doing it," he says, lashing out with his trident in a long, hard sweep of the netheraneum weapon.

As Testament approaches her, Nyssa laughs, smile flashing wolfishly back at the man. "Come and meet your god, then," she invites him, stepping to the side of his strike and reaching out with a swift, sharp movement meant to snap his elbow with one hand and catch the scythe he'll have to drop with the other.

This is much more fun than a simple shopping trip for her father's weird habits.

Quickshot takes a few hits from 'Donal McKenzie's' bodyguard but they are stopped by body armor; the man turns and fires a gun at the bodyguard only to be tackled by Kwabena. He laughs loudly even as his nose is bloodied by the blow, he grins at the other Ghanian man with golden teeth and says in their native tongue of Dangme, "You have more fire now boy. I see the darkness in your eyes!" He slams his head into Kwabena in a brutal headbutt from his steel plated forehead.

Lotus back-flips and avoids the gunfire directed her way and throws a series of throwing stars towards a group of Al-Sareef's guards who had emerged to cover the escape. A smoke bomb is dropped and she disappears for the moment, but a series of headless corpses through the crowd mark her passage.

The Commando that had been about to fire on the trio of Dinah, Oliver and Al-Sareef finds his guns knocked out of his hands by Roy Harper, the young man proving he had an arsenal at his disposal wherever he goes. He points at Roy and calls out, "Big mistake kid." He's reached into his jacket for another weapon when he falls to the floor with a smoking hole in his chest, fired by Dinah.

Wildfire blocks the trident barely with one of his armored fists, a crackle of explosive energy jutting out from it. When he realizes the Son of Satan is immune to his fire attacks he grunts, "You're no fun at all mate. Get the feck out of here, I don't have time fer ya."

Testament seems less than pleased as Nyssa almost snaps his elbow and takes his Scythe out of his hands momentarily. The Bible in his hand is tossed at her and a large explosion erupts where it lands, "Feel the wrath of the holy grenade as it smites you!"

When Testament notices the trouble Wildfire is having with Daimon he nods to his comrade, "The sinner is mine, you shall have this woman." He manages to retrieve his scythe almost magically and Daimon and Nyssa find themselves facing different opponents.

A group of commandos are now blocking the path of Oliver, Al-Sareef and Dinah only to be taken down by Dinah throwing off a trio of throwing knives, catching each of the men in the neck.

Under her breath the blonde haired woman could be heard muttering, "Suicide Squad."

Oliver could see Lotus leaping towards him with her Katana ready to be brought down on him in a fatal blow.

Daimon Hellstrom snarls as Testament blocks him off, the so-called holy man clearly reacting to the presence of the devil in their midst. Hellfire flows from Daimon's trident, swirling around him like a cobra, circling and writhing as if constantly prepared to strike. The scion of Hell cocks his head and that snarl slowly turns into a smile of amusement and then a slow, dark laugh.

"Ah, a man of faith. How quaint. Here I thought you'd all died off, replaced with serpents selling salvation for Cadillacs and capped teeth. And yet here I find a crusader, but a murderous one. Very Old Testament. I'm going to give you a chance, priest,' he says, and his eyes glow with that ruddy light, inhuman and eerie, and anyone within a near distance, anyone properly sensitive, would swear they heard voices, a multitude, a chorus, crying out and wailing in counterpoint.

"My father gave your Christ an opportunity, to rule at his side or fall. Christ, of course, being his Father's son, said no and rightfully so. He was a power and powers in and of themselves need serve none. You, however, are just a servant. Just a man. So I will offer you an opportunity to run - and, if you don't take it, you will end as he did. Bloodied and in pain and crying out to your God for relief. Only no angel shall come to open up your tomb come Easter morn…"

The blow sends Kwabena reeling. He staggers back a few steps, stars flashing at the corner of his vision, but the insult got right under his inexperienced skin. Beneath all of the rips, tears, and bullet holes in his clothing, the Ghanaian's skin begins hardening, a transformation matched by the growing rage in his eyes. There are cracks and popping sounds, the skin taking on a look of matte obsidian rather than epidermis.

Beneath Kwabena's boots, the floorboards bend and crack a bit, but larger dents are made when he charges, super-solid body causing his strength to augment as well. A vicious growl is produced as he swings both arms, knocking the gun right out of Quickshot's grasp with enough force to shatter bone, should Quickshot not be fast enough to let go his grip. "Come and get some, Nuben!" he growls, taunting his now-weaponless opponent with a curling finger and prowling footsteps.

The bodyguard was fortunate. It's hard to fire for accuracy across a large room when you're being tackled. If it weren't for Kwabena, the imposter would be looking for a new bodyguard, and bodyguards of that quality don't just grow on trees. There's a whole hiring process, time spent trying to ditch them, it's a lot of work on Oliver Queen, or whomever he's pretending to be.

Unfortunately, he's currently pretending to be a high priority target and there's a mercenary leaping straight towards him. Normally, he might make a joke about Batroc being better, but he's not in costume, not the usual costume, so he keeps a little in character by just firing at the woman. He's an even better shot than his bodyguard, but she's pretty good too. What he wouldn't give for a bow and arrow right now? Or even a flechette.

Roy's response was lost in the gunfire from Dinah, and already, he was on the move, trying to close in on whoever was the closest and most in need of assistance. Knowing what he knew about Donal McKenzie, even if it wasn't actually -him-, and that the blonde was actually doing quite well as a bodyguard, Roy abandons that direction in favor of the woman he''d been eyeing earlier. Of course, though, the swapped opponents meant that while Roy was already grabbing an unopened bottle of champagne, shaking it vigorously, he finds himself confronted with a different person. "Hey Preac—- huh…? Oh nevermind…!"

POp goes the cork, aimed at the eye… and then it's followed by an approaching Roy trying to squirt champagne over the fists… and hey, if there's enough room, Roy can even offer the bottle to Nyssa. "Want to christen him?"

Damn, and Nyssa was hoping to use that scythe. Oh well, she's not entirely without her own weaponry. Ducking under the exploding Bible - not a normal weapon, that - as Testament and Wildfire trade places, she reaches back to draw the hair sticks out of her hair, revealing them to be a pair of slender knives. Clearly, security here is not what it should have been.

She doesn't wait for Wildfire to strike first, either, staying low as she sweeps a kick at his ankles to take him to the floor. Roy's offer of the bottle doesn't even get a true response. Instead, she shifts her weight to one hand, then kicks the bottle from Roy's hand directly at Wildfire's burning hands.

Testament stares towards The Son of Satan grimly, his eyes flashing white with holy fire or some equivalent as he points his Scythe at Daimon, "Your words mean nothing to me abomination, I am filled with faith and conviction. This holy blade has felled many sinners, but today it shall feast upon your soul SON OF SATAN!!!!"

The preacher had clearly chosen to fight over running swinging his Scythe wildly towards Daimon in an attempt to cleave him in two, he calls out, "GABRIEL! MICHAEL! Grant me your strength!"

Quickshot is thrown off by the powers of Kwabena, unsure exactly what the man has done. He sneers at him, cursing in Dangme, "You son of a goblin! Your mother should have killed you when you were an infant!"

His hand is then broken and he screams out in pain when the gun is knocked away, not releasing his grip in time. With his good hand he draws a curved machete from his belt and swings it at Kwabena.

Wildfire seemed confident enough to face Nyssa until champagne from Roy is extinguishing his damaged gauntlets. He looks terrified as Nyssa manages to take him down with a quick sweep to the ankles and he's entirely at her mercy.

For some reason, he looks like he's in intense pain and he's unable to speak, his eyes wide open.

Lotus manages to block the shot from Oliver with her sword and is about to land on him when Dinah shoves Al-Sareef to the ground and snap-kicks the other woman directly in the neck as she's about to come down on Queen.

Most of the guests who had not fled were presently dead along with the black-clad commandos who had stormed the place. A sniper shot hits the ground near Roy and another one whizzes past Nyssa's head and slams into one of the only remaining guards of Al-Sareef.

The machete clangs off Kwabena's super-solid body, tearing half his shirt with it, leaving what has become of his 'skin' unscathed. It would seem that Quickshot's insult really, really pissed him off; un-dealt with childhood wounds or some shit that would give a shrink a ferocious hard-on.

The Ghanaian mutant answers by coming upon Quickshot, one hand grasping the shoulder, the other curling around Quickshot's neck. The sheer force of impact sends both of them to the ground; Kwabena's knees dent the floorboards upon impact, but Quickshot had the strength of will to keep his head from cracking upon the floor.

Unfortunately for Quickshot, Kwabena's grasp is just too strong for him. Silver eyes glower at his long-time nemesis, growing closer and closer until the two are staring at each other, nose to nose.

"Guess you'll regret she didn't."

Quickshot's eyes go wide when his head is hauled upward by the neck. Then, with a ferocious *SLAM!*, Kwabena bashes the Ghanaian's head into the floor, snapping his neck and cracking his skull in one motion.

With the dirty deed done, Kwabena rises to his feet and takes a moment to observe his surroundings. The adrenaline has his chest heaving, little cracks appearing and disappearing in his modified skin with every breath for all to see, thanks to Quickshot having 'Jim Kirked' his shirt.

"Not bad," Roy responds, flashing a grin and a wink at Nyssa, before spinning to dive foward and nab a gun from a fallen commando.

Yeah, this… this he could handle. Trained for it. Killing wasn't his thing, but making it really difficult to shoot? Piece of cake.

Using various pedestals as protection, Roy settles into stealth sniper mode. While he wasn't going for an eye for an eye, he -was- almost certainly going for the trigger hands… so what if they're missing thumbs or fingers for the rest of their lives?

Nyssa flashes a brief, sharp smile toward Roy before he's gone. Which is just as well, because she's not inclined to be merciful. One of the hair-stick knives spins between her fingers, and then she's thrust it upward between his ribs, a clean slice to the aorta that will bleed out mostly internally.

Without a second thought for the death, she throws herself onto her back as bullets fly by, whipping the second dagger into the throat of the shooter.

The Kush Dynasty artifacts that had been here had been stolen as well by an intrepid thief in the chaos, although they would turn out to be simply replicas; since the real items were far too valuable to display.

Al-Sareef can be seen making an escape out a backdoor surrounded by a trio of dark-suited men who have arrived to take him off Dinah's hands and not long after a helicopter could be heard taking off from the position.

The man known as Wildfire was about to beg for mercy but he had no chance as the dagger jabbed into his ribs and he began to cough up blood.

Between Roy and Nyssa, the snipers are taken care of, no more gunfire filling the area.

Lotus and Dinah are engaged in a deadly fight and it seems like Lotus might have the upper-hand on Dinah until the blonde woman grabs the ninja's topknot of hair and uses it to jerk her head to the side violently.

The Katana in Lotus' hand is knocked away.

Dinah seems ready to spare Lotus when the other woman reaches towards her belt to draw a throwing knife only to be filled with gunshots from her opponent. A shake of her head was given and Dinah tossed away the empty pistol, offering a hand to 'Donal McKenzie' to help him up, "Come on, we should get going. This place isn't going to be safe for much longer."

Roy received a transmission from his partner informing him that the Ghanian military was moving in.

Shift can't help but notice in the chaos of the attack, the uniform he had been looking at had been abandoned in the glass case.

A sparing glance is given to Dinah as she helps some rich dude from Gotham. Kwabena reaches into a pocket, only to find that the note with her telephone number has been torn to pieces by bullets. "Well, ain't dat a 'b'," he murmurs in English, before his eyes catch sight of the discarded uniform. He's halfway through trundling toward it, when some schmuck who'd been lying low the entire time comes to and, seeing a moment of opportunity, makes off with the thing and disappears.

There will come a time to make amends with Al-Sareef later. After all, he can't be blamed for not doing his job, when the whole place went to shit before he had the chance to do it. No, that uniform is something he wants…

Time to let the hunt begin.

Daimon Hellstrom swats aside the scythe with his trident, sending it spinning and skittering across the floor. His other hand lashes out and grasps the holier-than-thou mercenary by the throat, lifting him overhead and flinging him down at his feet, the sick echo of several vertebrae splintering at the impact echoing from the blow. The faux-priest cries out, spasming, spinal fluid leaking into his guts as shards of bone sever the base of his spine, separating mind from legs, crippling him.

The Son of Satan gazes down, the accursed mark on his chest glowing and illuminating his face, casting uneasy shadows along the planes of his features. "Pathetic. You claim to be a warrior for your God? You are not worthy to lick the sweat from a dog's balls," he snarls. He twirls his trident, flames spinning almost hypnotically as he stands over the man. "Before I send your soul to damnation, remember that I showed you the mercy of finishing you. If your God saves you, his standards are slipping. But I think it far more likely that you'll be meeting my father soon. Tell him Daimon says hello," he says and then he drives the trident down through Testament's chest, piercing his heart and driving out a loud, wailing cry as the rest of him bursts into flame, incinerating him until only ragged, ash-charred bone is left behind, the hellfire eating him up in a matter of seconds.

The offered hand is readily accepted. 'Donal McKenzie' aka Oliver Queen is helped up by Dinah, and his bodyguard, who had to reload after emptying his clip at the terrorists, is not far behind. He'll offer some covering fire for the pair, but not to the point of sacrificing himself. He might be fighting the Suicide Squad, or whatever they call themselves, but he wasn't about to join them.

The Gotham Playboy is out of ammo too, though during his movement with Dinah, he was able to grab a sword. It's not a bow and arrow, but he knows how to use a blade. And it's a good thing too, as he has to defend himself from one of the attackers with some fancy footwork, the product of years of fencing practice, and what he learned on the island as well. His jacket has also been pierced by a bullet, though there doesn't seem to be any blood. "Whew, that was close."

Well, that wasn't quite what Nyssa expected. She retrieves her knife from Wildfire's chest, wiping it clean on his body, before stepping over to the case holding the amulet her father sent her to acquire, the glass shattered by gunfire. Into a pocket it goes, and she climbs up one of the rappelling lines to retrieve the second of her daggers. From there, she watches the others who remained, speculative.

"Too close for comfort." Dinah replies to Oliver looks around for additional threats and looks around; the only thing she finds that is cause for immediate concern is the growing fire that is starting to consume part of the mansion.

Smiling in Shift's direction she motions for him to follow and calls out, "Al-Sareef has a military humvee in the garage, we can use it to get out of here unless you've got your own ride?"

Clearly Donal McKenzie and his bodyguard were involved in that invitation, when she notices Daimon and Nyssa still behind she hesitates but says to them, "You're welcome to join us to. I'm not hanging around though to see what comes next."

Turning away from his lost prize, Kwabena finds himself seeking out the only familiar face here. There she is, still standing and intact. A quiet, crackling sound fills the space around Kwabena as he strides back toward Dinah and the others; gradually, the impossibly hard obsidian softens into normal skin, the anger in silver eyes draining away to an unfamiliar sort of blankness that will become quite familiar to the Ghanaian in coming years.

"Any idea who responsahbah for all dis?" Back to English, which is spotty at best; a quick gesture of his head to the side, indicating the carnage. There's a beat, before he looks away from Dinah, the touch of a rueful smirk appears. "Gonna need dat numbah again."

A cursory glance is given to those who make to follow, but no, Kwabena doesn't have a ride, and he's keen to get the hell out of Ghana as quickly as possible.

The garage is locked, but 'Donal McKenzie' just uses some garden furniture to smash the window, and he takes off his jacket, using it to wrap his arms so he can clear any of the bits of glass from the rim. Then he'll climb through, opening the garage from the inside. While he's inside, the bodyguard follows.

Inside, there are several cars, a black and gold HUMVEE, a red Lamborghini, a silver Porsche, a dark green Bentley, a white Landrover, and a couple of other vehicles that you might expect of someone like Azar Al-Shareef.

The bodyguard gets into the HUMVEE, starting it up, and 'Donal' or Oliver opens up one of the back doors, "you know, this'll be my first time riding in a HUMVEE."

Daimon Hellstrom looks down at the ruined skeleton beneath him and flicks his eyes up as he's addressed, "I have my own methods of travel," he says. He walks over and casually strikes the case that contained the amulet he came for originally, muttering in an arcane tongue as he wraps it in infernal wards, lest it draw the attention of his father or unleash some damned thing into the room.

"You never know, perhaps we might cross paths again, as allies…or enemies. Just remember, the Son of Satan doesn't play favorites," he says and a doorway made of hellfire erupts before him as he walks over and steps through it, consumed as if burned up and then suddenly vanishing, fire and all.

Dinah's offer gets a slight smirk from the figure in the rafters. But Nyssa isn't going to take help getting away from here. That, she can manage on her own. She pats the talisman in her pocket, and fades away into the shadows. In broad daylight. Either that thing really does work as advertised, or the rumors about the League of Assassins are more than just rumors.

Dinah is about to reply to Son of Satan but then he is gone. She just shakes her head. She had encountered magic before but it was unsettling to think Satan was real. Was she going to hell? Probably, "Well, he seemed like someone we're all going to meet in the afterlife."

As if they were never there, the Son of Satan and the Daughter of the Demon are gone from the chaos. A handful of idiotic looters are still in the house trying to find items of value, but Al-Sareef had kept most of the precious and rare items far away from prying hands.

The house shakes as the trio enters the garage and some drywall can be seen falling from the ceiling. The Ghanian army had arrived.

Dinah motions for Oliver to get inside, "Come on pretty boy, get inside." When he's inside she will get in as well and wait for Shift, replying to him, "I think they might have been associated with my old employers, they're called the suicide squad."

Reaching into a fridge in the back of the Humvee she finds a bottle of champagne and pops the cork since Oliver's bodyguard was going to be driving, "I'm Sara by the way."

Those displays of departure… Daimon's especially… there's no comment, but for a moment, Kwabena merely stares.

Once they're inside the HUMVEE, Kwabena settles in, pops his neck a few times, then glances down toward his shredded clothes with an expression of annoyance. "Nice name," he quips, regarding the Suicide Squad. "Dey live up to it." The champagne is eyed next, a passing glance sent from Dinah to Oliver. "Shift," he offers in response. "Don't sahpose eidah of you has some change of clothes?" A pause, then a look to Dinah. "Nevahmind. Not yah size." A glance toward Oliver. Well, that was doable, but he's not about to take the clothes off someone's back. Not since Cincinnati.

"Well Mr. Shift, it is a pleasure to meet you." The Not-Donal McKenzie sounds very sociable, well adjusted even, considering the circumstance, but inside a highly protected vehicle, with champagne being offered, it sets him right at home… or something. "And under the circumstances, feel free to call me Donal."

To Sara, he accepts the champagne, drinking from the bottle since they don't seem to have any glassware. "And I believe I owe you my life, Sara. How can I ever repay you?" For his part, the driver says, "You can call me Freelancer." He's not wearing a mask or anything, yet he insists on going by a code name. How quaint.

And the jacket that Oliver had used to clear the glass to the garage is offered, "call it a gift." He doesn't have any other extra clothes or else he'd offer them.

The driver Freelancer will have no problems getting the HUMVEE out of there before the Ghanian army catches up, but it's a very close call.

Whether or not 'Sara' believes that this is really Donal McKenzie doesn't matter, she smiles at the man and winks, "I'm sure we can find some way to arrange proper compensation. I don't come cheap or easy and I did save your life."

Passing the bottle of champagne off to Shift she reaches over to hit the stereo in the opulent HUMVEE and the American Top 40 hosted by Ryan Seacrest comes on for August 2011, 'Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5' is currently in the middle of playing when the radio is turned on.

"They definitely live up to their name." The blonde haired woman leaned back in the seat and relaxed placing an arm over each mans shoulder, "So Shift, you know any good spots in Ghana to party? We're here with a billionaire after all."

In the distance an explosion could be seen consuming the mansion. The work of a drone strike.

It's too bad Shift doesn't trust easily. These guys might make good friends. "Just Shift," he answers, though when the jacket is offered, the fellow actually seems to lighten up a bit. "Thanks," he answers, reaching out to put it on sleeve at a time. "Being bullet-proof can be a real pain in de ahhs." So, that explains why his clothing is so shredded.

The bottle is taken. It's not his usual poison - not even close - but it'll do. A hearty swig is taken, swallowed with an awkward look. "Not whiskey," he quips, by way of explanation. "But, thanks." The bottle is offered to the next in line, handing it over toward 'Donal'.

Now, when Dinah asks if he knows of good places to party, he smirks. "Well, dat, ah, depend. Really, on how hahd you want to pahty." He shrugs. "Dere ah touristy places. Ovahpriced drinks, crap music, like dis junk playing on de radio; places where 'hookahs and blow' is sort of de norm, and…" He lifts his hands, indicating 'the space' between. "Somewhere in de middah."

As Maroon 5 keeps playing, and Christina Agueleria (SP) comes on, he actually, visibly winces. Turning about, he glowers at the driver and asks, "Hey, find something locah, huh? Been a while since I had some Daddy Lumba in my life."

The faux Donal McKenzie nods in agreement with Dinah, "Just name it, and we'll make it happen." Donal takes the bottle when it's handed to him, and tries to make sense of Shift's accent. It's not one he's too familiar with. But then he's more familiar with European and Asian languages. By the sound of it, Shift's mother tongue is one of the indigenous languages of Ghana.

Freelancer is a good driver. He's hauling ass, but he's not driving too fast for the road. He's not endangering anyone, and ends up driving right through a locked gate, knowing that the HUMVEE has the muscle to do it. Before he pushes through, he warns everyone, "better buckle up for this."

After taking a swig of the champagne, Oliver will hand it off to Dinah, "personally, I'm thinking a nice intercontinental flight might be in order." But then Ghana isn't the safest of countries when the military is after you.

Dinah actually liked the song but she obliged Shift and started kicking the stereo deftly with her foot and changing the stations until a very chill sounding local station came on, "Happy?" She takes the bottle of champagne back and almost drains it, "Hookahs and blow? That doesn't sound like a bad idea." Up until this point, she had lived a fairly reckless lifestyle. She had no idea Shift meant HOOKERS.

Passing the bottle back around, she pinches 'Donals' shoulder and laughs, "You're not flying out on us yet richboy. Life is too short to spend all your time running."

Her cheeks glowing a little from the alcohol, she asks the pair of men, "So, obviously I was working for Al-Sareef, but what were you two doing here?"

Oliver earns a pair of raised eyebrows, and an expression of partial agreement. However, the change of music seems to have set him at ease. The relaxing music almost has a tropical vibe to it; it was the kind of stuff he'd listen to after a tough job, after smoking a fat blunt and putting some imports on the record player.

That… doesn't change in the future.

"Ah. My accent, Sara." He tries to force it through properly. "Hookerrrs and blow. Joking." Then, Dinah is killing the bottle, and his eyebrows rise again. "Mostly."

He checks his seatbelt before Freelancer busts that gate, only now sparing a look toward the black column that was moments ago a massive explosion. "Good thing we hauled ass," he remarks, before looking back to Dinah. "I don't think our employah would be much, ah, appreciating, if I told you what my job was." At least he admitted that he, also, had been hired by Al-Sareef. In a roundabout way, of course.

Looking to Oliver, he shrugs. "Ahkay. So, look, I know some place where you get what you want, wheddah dat's something tame, or something wild. Same spot. Can make sure de management keeps de ahmy off us." A grin forms on his face. "Live a littah? We'll catch de hangovah red-eye."

There is not exactly a lot of excess fat for Dinah to pinch when she tries to squeeze the skin around his shoulder. In fact, there's a hell of a lot of muscle there, far more than one would expect of a rich boy. He doesn't just work out, he works out on Team 7 levels, maybe even beyond them. He knows that Dinah saved his life, but he doesn't know who she is, or this Shift either. For all he knows, they could be criminals.

But he was asked why he was there, and he answers truthfully, of a sorts. "Something from my company was stolen. It's not bullet ridden and was set on fire, so… we'll just have to build another one." He doesn't seem too worried about it.

Donal McKenzie might not be as much of a partygoer as Oliver Queen used to be, but why not live a little. It's not like it's going to kill him, and they seemed all right. He opens his mouth to speak, but the driver interjects, "you got an address, or directions to this place?"

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