The Fourth Hit

February 26, 2016:

At a training session, Simmons and Audrey confront some Section goons

Characters

NPCs: Agent Jefferies, Agent Matthews

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Not too long ago, Jericho had decided that Jemma needed a little more experience in 'self defence' skills. To be fair, he was likely right - the biochem does manage to get herself into all sorts of interesting binds and she won't always have a security detail tailing her.

At that time, Audrey had also offered to help out … which is why the two women are in a small, private gym … practicing.

Practicing - in that Jemma's on her backside again after failing another manoeuvre and her security detail, Matthews and Jefferies, are covering smiles with their hands. Some money might have just changed hands over that move.


Audrey is a surprisingly effective teacher, when it comes down to it. Whether it's because she's been studying so long for herself, or if she's just picked up a few things from everyone she's trained with, she has the most important element: patience. "That was a better landing," she smiles faintly to Jemma, leaning down to offer a hand back up.

"Let's do it again."

Maybe Deathstroke has been rubbing off on her.

In the usual black BDU pants she always wears with a plain tank top and her hair pulled back in a braid, she's less shrouded in layers than she usually is. There's a certain confidence here. No skulking. And she's in surprisingly good shape without all the usual concealing layers, lithe muscle crisply defined.


Simmons' cell phone buzzes or chirps, whichever is more appropriate. It's an incoming SMS from a contact named Shift.

'Hit coming. Send me a GPS ping'


Taking Audrey's hand and rolling painfully to her feet, Jemma returns the faint smile. Yes, she saw the money exchange hands between Jefferies and Matthews.

Squaring up to Audrey, she readies herself "Alright then…" but then her phone chirps and Matthews looks at it. "Doctor Simmons" he barks "We're removing you now. You too Audrey." He sends back the required GPS ping.

Jefferies is already moving to the door "I'll bring the SUV round…" they'll limit Jemmas exposure, if they can.


"What's up?" Audrey doesn't waste time waiting for an answer, stepping over to the bench to reclaim her armory of weapons and start clipping them back into place. Gun, gun, gun, knife, knife, extra clip, t-shirt, jacket…Each loaded and checked with professional efficiency.


The private gym where Audrey and Agent Simmons train is located in Greenwich Village, four blocks of Christopher Street. Thus, the arrival of two helicopters would certainly be noticed. More noticeable, perhaps, is that these helicopters don't fly like police choppers do. Generally speaking, NYPD choppers are well lit and make themselves visible. These two do not.

That is, until floodlights come to life, shining down toward the gym in question. The choppers are painted a dark grey; heavily armed figures can be seen silhouetted within, each carrying military grade assault rifles and wearing military grade body armor. Either their spec ops, or, well paid mercs.

Precious moments begin to tick away. Jefferies is given enough time to locate the bullet proof SHIELD SUV, but as he pulls the vehicle up to the gym, one of the floodlights shines right on him.


"We received notice that Doctor Simmons was targetted by yet another group, thanks to work" Matthews level a look on the biochem that speaks volumes "she did recently with one of her investigations. We thin—-" he cuts off as the helicopter floodlights illuminate the gym, grabbing Jemma and pulling her behind him. "This looks like it, Audrey. I really hope you know how to use that arsenal you're carrying."


"Agent Matthews, I was trained by the US Army from the time I was thirteen," Audrey says evenly, stepping over to the pair. "I did bodyguard work when I was with X-Red." Stepping over to him and Jemma, she pulls one of the guns. "You might want to follow my lead here." Eyeing the door, she takes a deep breath, and the air around the trio starts to shimmer to Jemma and Matthews as she weaves reflective camouflage from the light around them, veiling them from outside view.

"You're cloaked now," she says quietly. "I can make you invisible, but you won't be able to see, so that's a last resort. Try to stay quiet." As she speaks, she weaves another illusion in the opposite corner of the gym - the image of the three of them standing there.


From both choppers, gunmen lean out and open fire, peppering the SUV and the gym with high caliber munitions. It's fortunate the SUV is bullet proof; it gives Agent Jefferies the cover he needs to stay alive. The gym, however, is not bulletproof. Windows shatter, spraying broken glass all over the place. Bullets pepper the outer wall, and some slip through the broken windows to pelt into punching bags, nick the floor, and mar two of the treadmills.

Two thousand feet above the helicopters, however, a massive airplane zooms in from the west. It's the Avengers' C-130.

"Hawkes!" calls shift from the rear cabin, calling toward the jumbo plane's cockpit. "Blow de hatch!"

A hatch in the side of the plane blows open, and Shift goes careening out into the night air, sans parachute. He never uses a chute. Tucking up into a proper dive, he bends through the air, dark skin and gunmetal gray bodysuit providing excellent cover as he veers down in a free fall toward one of those helicopters.

Meanwhile, the soldiers cease firing, and begin latching themselves to rappel lines, that drop down and dangle inches from the street below. Passersby run about, trying to get away from the carnage. Even blocks away on Christopher Street, people heard the gunfire and are beginning to mass together. Bunch of curious assholes.


Multiple helicopters, not the kind of thing you always hear around here. Especially not flying low. Death starts to run a ripple starting behind him as he breaks the sound barrier. He uses his momentum and seemingly glides to the top, coming to a stop at the top right as the gunfire starts. "Well firing like that it is almost certainly not the police." Death pauses for a moment as he flicks the safeties off on his dual .50 calibre pistols, holstering them and making sure they are secure before he starts to run again scythe in hand. The sound barrier breaks around him again as he runs, shattering windows in a close proximity. His eyes glow red, his scythe shines silver as he closes in on the rappel lines the soldiers will soon be using. It is going to be a bloody landing.


As the bullets pepper the SUV out front, Jemma lets out a frightened 'yip' "Jeff—-" Matthews hand closes over her mouth … effectively silencing the terrified biochem.

Taking a deep breath and nodding slowly, she gets Matthews to release his grip as she looks at the shimmering light around them and the three people in corner.

Matthews taps Audrey on shoulder and makes a gesture, indicating whether they should move or not. He clearly doesn't want to be caught in here … when they come through those windows.

Jefferies, for now, has found cover and is waiting for the time to help his comrades.


Audrey shakes her head to Matthews, using a series of hand gestures to indicate a door on the other side of the gym, away from the chaos. The illusory version of the trio cowers in a corner behind some bags, but Audrey starts to move toward the escape route, keeping one hand on Simmons' shoulder and the other on her gun. She steps quickly and quietly, eyes on the windows in preparation for whatever's coming in.

In theory, she could shoot them as they enter, unseen. In practice? There's information to be had from these people.


From one chopper, men begin dropping down the lines and toward the street, where Death awaits them. From the other, however, something different happens.

The first merc is yanked back into the helicopter with a yelp. It's unclear what's going on up there, though a trio of flashes and loud pops can be heard. Seconds later, one merc is thrown right out of the chopper, only to catch where the zip line has been tied to his ankles. Another follows shortly, and then a third, leaving three men to dangle about forty feet above the sidewalk.

Three soldiers from the other chopper hit the ground and begin advancing upon the gym. Whether they'll get there in time is unclear. Both choppers begin to rise, moving away from the gym, though the one below which those mercs dangle seems to be flying erratically.


Death can hardly be seen as he moves, only flashes of red and silver giving him away. He hits the soldiers like a hurricane his Scythe falling in a bloody blitzkrieg claiming life and limb alike. Finally one of the soldiers stumbles back a Scythe embedded in his chest, and Death finally becomes fully visible as he skids to a halt his modified silver pistols in his hands. Each of them fire their heavy payload, a single round of .50 entering two soldiers heads. He stands to his full height slowly his eyes glowing devilishly from within his black skull mask. he doesn't say a word.


Jemma is terrified, totally and utterly. Not even the SCIENCE!! of Audreys power can distract from that. The other womans hand on her shoulder serves to calm her a little, but still, she looks a little like a rabbit caught in headlights!

Let's hope she doesn't trip!

Letting Audrey lead the way, Matthews follows behind Jemma, his own gun - not an ICER trained on the windows. He's happy to let the young woman take the lead, it lets him focus on the biochem.

Jefferies, from his position of cover, starts to fire on the men dangling from the helicopter…


Audrey keeps moving toward the back of the gym, pausing only once they reach the door. This may take a little more effort. Or rather, holding three relatively large illusions may take more effort. Drawing a deep breath, she builds an illusion in front of the door to disguise it while they open it. Which probably looks extremely weird for Simmons and Matthews, since it looks like there's a closed door that she's ushering them right through.


The men dangling are easily picked off by Agent Jefferies. It begins to seem that things are winding down; that this particular squad of hitmen were unprepared.

They were, in a way. But they've got backup, and backup's been called in.

Half a dozen vans roll in from the surrounding streets. Some of them bash right through stubbornly parked cars, and screech to a halt on all corners of the building where the gym is housed. Two of them come in from the rear ally. More armed men pour out, and begin advancing upon the gym with swift movements and military tactical formations. Death and Jefferies are spotted quickly, and engaged at range with semiautomatic fire. While they're occupied, the others make for the gym itself.

Meanwhile, in the sky, one helicopter breaks off from its partner, the one flying erratically and carrying three dead soldiers on its dangling ziplines. It seems to be headed for landing on the street to the right side of the gym.


Death watches as the vans slide come roaring up, the scene playing to him as though it is in slow motion. The bullets whip through the air, slowing to Deaths perception as he starts to move. His pistols are holstered and his scythe retieved from a body that has barely hit the ground. One of the vans is slightly slower than the rest and that is deaths first target. The doors open to disgorge troops, but before the first set of boots can hit the ground he is amongst them. His silver scythe swings out and claims a leg as he ducks under a gun barrel, his fist slamming one of the soldiers helmeted heads into the armoured wall of the van. And then he is truly amongst them with his blade. The only sign of the violence inside the van from the street is the stream of blood pouring from the open rear doors.


Jemma hesitates, just a fraction, as Audrey urges her through the 'closed' door, but steps through, just in time to meet the two armed gunmen who appear in the alley. Being the first one through, still surrounded by Audreys illusion, Jemma jumps and let's out a startled "squawk" and she fumbles for the sidearm she's wearing … which of course, gets caught in the holster!

Matthews levels his weapon at the front of the gym, watching as the infiltrators come through the windows… and start firing on the illusionary trio in the corner.


Audrey wastes no time when Jemma makes a sound, pushing her hard away from where she was standing. Hopefully the gunfire has made it hard for the guards to figure out just where that sound came from in the aftermath. The problem is, keeping herself, Jemma, and Matthews behind the veil while holding up the door and the illusion of the trio in the corner gets even more difficult when she has to keep moving the veil so that the guards don't accidentally wander into it.

Which is probably why she gives up and starts shooting. Luckily for Jemma's sensibilities, the gunfire from her end is nearly silent - the sharp whoosh of tranquilizer darts. Pew pew!


Death's bloodbath earns a horrified scream from a couple of onlookers, one of whom turns away to vomit on the sidewalk. He'll make easy work of them, to be sure.

The illusionary distraction does its job, but not for long. The soldiers quickly call the bluff, and begin dispersing deeper into the gymnasium, searching for their true targets.

Two, then three of them are taken out by Audrey's darts. Gunfire erupts in their direction, and a few coordinating shouts are thrown back and forth from those still standing.

Outside, the helicopter thinks to the street in an inglorious manner, and her rotors begin to decelerate. The pilot stumbles out seconds later, his face a bloody mess. Behind him is Shift, almost entirely concealed in a gunmetal gray bodysuit. Shift has a Glock in his left hand, the barrel of which is buried into the hair upon the back of the pilot's head.


The van is left a mess, bodies lying scattered around inside many of them missing limbs. Death doesn't give them a chance to pin him in the can though as he reaches down to his belt and pulls out two flashbangs, he releases the lever of the grenades and waits a couple of seconds before throwing them out. It takes to him what seems like four minutes for the grenades to go off while in reality it is two more seconds. Simultaneous with the blast he comes tearing out of the can, his scythe left behind and his large pistols booming as he claims more lives


As their cover is removed, Matthews opens fire, aiming for the largest parts on the body. Not shoot to kill, but if he does, he won't be sorry … they came after them and they have to keep Jemma safe.

The 'whoosh' of air past Jemma's ear has jumping just as her own ICER pistol comes loose from the holster, raising it at the one coming at them, she shoots too … and doesn't close her eyes this time!

Jefferies is already clearing his position, making for that alley way to join his team.


As gunfire erupts around them, Audrey tightens her grip on Jemma's shoulder to pull her back against the shelter of the wall with her, holstering the tranq gun and pulling out one loaded with live rounds in the same motion. Jemma may not be happy, as she drops the more complicated illusions in favor of rendering both her and Jemma entirely invisible. Which means Jemma might as well be in the darkest hole there is in the center of the earth.

Audrey, on the other hand, can see just fine. Each shot is precise. She's already got potential prisoners from the tranq gun. The rest get bullets at center mass.


Its a virtual mop up. A bloody one at that; Shift isn't jealous or Simmons and the report she'll need to write later.

Death will have some more work to do, but given his speed, he'll be done in no time.

"Don't shoot me!" Shift and his hostage are now inside of the gym and closing on what he must assume is Lux and Simmons location. He's seen that sort of illusion blanking before. "Dis fuckface says he'll cooperate." He leans out a but, smirking. "Ain't dat right, Cap'n Ovah?" he asks, before kissing the hostage on his blood stained cheek, an action that elicits a fearful grimace from the pilot.


Suddenly encased in darkness, Jemma manages not to squeal and not shoot at Audrey. Still holding onto her pistol, she holds her breath, until she hears Shifts voice speaking to them.

Still she doesn't move … she'll wait for Audrey. Audrey is there somewhere, right?

Matthews and Jefferies, on the other side of the illusion, look at Shift and his captive.


When the shooting is over and Shift arrives, Audrey lets the invisibility drop, casting a brief, apologetic smile to Jemma. "You okay?" she asks the scientist, looking her over for the answer already. "There are three more over here," she nods to Shift, indicating the guards she hit with the tranquilizer darts. "Glad you showed up, though. They brought the big guns to this one."


"I'm fine, thanks Audrey, your … illusion? was wonderful. A little scary but I didn't get shot at." Jemma replies. Matthews and Jefferies look a little relieved to see Jemma unscathed but they move to call in SHIELD support to clean the area up.

"We'll take him into custody, Shift." Jefferies says as he cuffs the pilot and sits him against a wall (none to gently).

It's going to take time to tidy all this up and Shift was right - Jemma's got one hell of a report to write.

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