Training Day

February 27, 2016:

It's training day for the Avengers.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

FORT KIRBY
10:00 AM

Hawkes wasn't pleased to have to get up at 8:30 this morning to prep with Cap, mostly on account of his soiree last night at a saloon down the road. Early to bed, early to rise. Late to bed? Well, Hawkes' eyes are bloodshot.

Nevertheless, he joins the team on the tarmac; all of the boxes are now checked and their ready for the operation.

"We're good, Cap."

"Thanks, Hawkes."

The weather is cool and there's a decent cloud covering and a field of about 400 yards before the forest line hits. The land on this place seems to go forever.

"Thanks for coming, everyone."

Mockingbird is a brand new recruit. Like recruited yesterday while helping Cap move to his trailer. She's been gone for 3/4 of a year, learning to deal with her new super soldier powers, and coming to terms with the specter of longevity hanging over her head. She's looking a little bit cranky tonight. That may be because she found out the Clint Barton whom she had made some amends with, who handled the medical decisions that got her said powers, was an LMD. The powers that sent Hunter running once more, when things between them had rekindled. Wrap your brain around all that.

Rather than flee back to whatever beach she's been haunting for 9 months, however, she's joined the Avengers. She's in her field costume, idly twirling her batons to warm up. The tall blonde has her hair pulled up in a high tail, with a pair of goggle-like glasses over her eyes. She gives Cap a nod at his words.

Joe Fixit lets loose a loud belch from the back of the room, followed by clatter as the big grey brute crushes his third can of beer. There's been no explanation, exactly, for how the big, dumb green monster they'd recruited had become this snarkish, foul-mouthed behemoth, but here he was, clad in camo cargos big enough for a truck, along with a ripped-up Pantera t-shirt. He doesn't have a cigar lit at the moment, but it's only a matter of time.

"We ain't here for our health, soldier boy. Get on wit' it already 'fore I get bored and start slappin' people around fer jollies."

Caitlin wrinkles her nose at Joe. Having strategically positioned herself on the other side of the room, she's holding a kindle in her oversized hands with a careful sense of delicacy for the fragile device. She's on one of the oversized steel chairs— between her and Joe, there's a need for durable furniture in the room. She's slouched lazily, one leg crossed over the other and holding her screen up level with her face, green eyes intent on whatever book she's nose-deep in.

The difference between Hawkes and Kwabena is; this is something the merc is used to. Besides, an early morning ride on his recently retrofitted Harley Davidson? Never a bad thing.

Still, as soon as he arrived at Fort Kirby, he immediately parked the bike and went for the coffee. "Ahhhh, dammit. Hawkes?" He called out into the hangar. "Last to drink, first to perc!" With a general grumble, he goes about fixing another pot. Maybe if he drops a few more f-bombs, Steve could afford to pick up a Keurig.

When he joins the others, he's in the only uniform he's ever known. Gunmetal gray, hugging every muscle, and knit of unstable molecules rather than the spandex it might suggest. The hood lies flopping against the space between his shoulders; there's no need to hide his identity here.

Silver eyes gauge the new recruit with speculation. Without looking away, he remarks, "Joe, you got… something on yah shirt. Looks like sausage."

Peter Stanchek flew in just for this training sessions but he didn't expect so many people. Seriously, does no one sleep late? He had to set an alarm to get up in time for this. Glancing around, he steps behind Shift to take the pill bottle out and take one. Too. many. thoughts. At least at the Institute, people get trained to think more quietly.

It was interesting to watch Kwabena make the shift from what she knows him as, to what he is displaying now as a persona. Julia discussed the potential of having her… introduced to some of his other friends. Friends who aren't in a government agency and such. SHIELD is all well and good, but she got burned recently… one burned as they say.
But one thing that agency taught her to do well… was shadowing people. Let's be honest here folks, that Harley isn't hard to follow through New York. Over the bridge into Jersey was a bit tricky but… in her Spandex.. Spider-Woman simply traveled under the bridge. The sound of that engine was unmistakeable. Plus.. she has mostly intangible psi-webbing locked onto his position. Yes.. Spider-Woman cheats shamelessly when she follows someone. But when the Harley stopped at this old abandoned base, she crept in slowly… using every stealth trick she knew.
So it is that she's atop the hangar… slowly creeping down one of the side walls with her head pointed at the ground and her hair tied back to keep it out of the window she's trying to peek in through. Sneak sneak sneak… nobody here but us chickens. These aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along.

Cap gives Mockingbird a wink as she nods to him and almost snorts at Joe-Hulk's comment. "Well, we're going to have to ask you to keep your smashing to a minimum. Today we're lucky enough to have some National Guardsmen from southern New Jersey up with us today and out in the forest. These boys have families, loved ones, and assorted leveled characters on their favorite MMOs to worry about, so let's take it easy on 'em and keep 'em safe. Training only."

"So, here's the play: Today's training session is dual fold. First, we're going to take an old Flak Tower that is pretty deep back in the forest. The Army built it when we thought we were going to need to take out the Nazis before things were a little bit more clear. Somewhere in the tower you will find some important documents that must be saved and protected. I think Hawkes put a picture of a centerfold in a manila envelope. You'll know it's it because it'll say something ridiculous on the cover."

"There are over 100 men out there in the forest. Your goal is to get there and infiltrate the tower before they're able to destroy the document. Just for fun, they have not received their orders yet. Mostly because today I'll be serving as their commanding officer. The second part of this is to practice and train when I'm not around. I'd like to see which of you step up to the plate."

Grunt pulls up on a golf cart, "Ready to go, Cap?"

Steve nods. "Mission starts in 20 minutes guys. Good luck." He boards the little golf cart and he and Grunt begin to roll down the small incline towards a break in the forest. Hawkes is hanging out on the rear seat.

Bobbi arches a brow. "Cap knows what an MMO is? I have been gone a long time," she teases. She watches their fearless leader depart and turns to the others. "I'm Mockingbird, by the way. Former SHIELD agent. Does anyone have any ideas how to win this little scenario?" She affixes her batons to the magnetic bracers on her forearms and folds her arms over her chest.

Joe Fixit considers and shoves up from his seat, "So, basically, we're gonna play pretend war an' try not to accidentally murder-squish a bunch o' mook soldiers out there while we do it? Good thing Kwabena hasn't found that gun sized fer me yet. I promise, I'll only hit 'em wit' my pinkie fingers, all civilized an' shit." he says. He draws a thick, cheap stogie from the pocket of his pants and bites off the tip, chewing it and swallowing it before striking a match on his knuckle.

"I don't make any promises, though - some doughboy decides to get trigger happy, I might just shove his machine gun up his ass. Anything makes me feel pain, I make feel the same ten times worse. Just a personal rule an' such."

Caitlin puts her Kindle away to pick up the gist of Cap's instructions, here eyebrows going up. "Huh. Take a flak tower…" She quirks her lips into a thoughtful frown, brow furrowing in thought as she contemplates the way to go about getting access to the tower, and she gets up and wanders around the room in pensive, pacing thought.

"I don't quite understand the point of this." Peter admits. "I mean, there's a cabin with a folder in it and we win by getting it? I can just put a shield around me and fly there. Most of us could get there without any problem from normal soldiers. Do these have special equipment or something?"

Listening carefully to Steve's briefing, Kwabena reaches into a pouch on his uniform and retrieves a pack of menthols, along with a beat up old zippo. Once the cigarette is burning, he frowns.

"Well," he says, lowering the cigarette and turning back to Mockingbird. "Could just have Joe here throw me ovah de forest." He jerks a thumb toward the big grey guy. "I'll find a perch, locate de towah, tear down a tree so you all know where to go."

He takes another drag of the cigarette. "Or, I can just distract all de Guardsmen."

He shrugs, then glances toward Joe with a smirk. "Bit worried you'd ovah do it and send me into de Atlantic, boss."

"Name's Shift," he adds as an after thought, directed toward Bobbi.

"A flak tower pretty much has only one way in and out. Windows are too small for a human to fit through. But I doubt it would hold up to Joe here if he knocked a wall down. I think the point is to take the folder before they can destroy it, so if we don't take them by surprise, they'll be able to do that before we can secure it," Bobbi explains. She nods to Shift at his introduction.

Without super hearing, Spider-Woman has a difficult time picking up on things being said. But she spots Captain freakin' America inside and… yeah, that tears it. When Kwabena said he knew some people, he wasn't kiddin' around.
Taking a moment to time things just right, she drops down to ground level outside the building, slowing her fall with a web at the last moment so she makes almost no sound upon landing.
Yeah… getting found out here while all those heavy hitters are inside, that would be what could be considered a 'Bad Thing'. So, rather than getting spotted, she's of a mindset to simply go knock. This.. tends to project her intentions to those capable of hearing thoughts through walls. So here she is, approaching the Hangar Door from one side, out of sight… her psi-self lit up like a beacon for telepaths. Of course, the fact that she has psionic energies of her own likely add more illumination to that beacon. As if it was needed.

Out over the tarmac there is a hush over the forest.

And then, something odd. Thick, grey smoke, seems to be emanating from it. Slowly at first, then billowing out afterwards.

Joe Fixit puffs on his stogie, looking sideways at Shift, "Gettin' knocked in the ocean is the least o' your worries you don't get me what I asked for, kid. I'll smack ya so hard yer future kids will fart out smoke in twenty years," he says.

"If the new girl's right, seems like it's a job for you smartypants stealth types. Me? I'll just make a big noise and see how many o' yer boys wanna come play. Some people call it distraction. I call it a way to work up an appetite. Go ahead an' order the Domino's, hawkboy. I'll be back in thirty minutes or less…"

Caitlin trots over to Bobbi, and pauses before gripping her arm. She offers a short, awkward wave, and smiles apologetically. "Sorry. It's… Bobbi, right? I've got an idea, but um… I think I need some help." She glances around, then like a giant teenager cups her hand to Bobbi's ear. Whisper whisper whisper.

She straightens, and one shoulder moves up and down in a boneless shrug. "Well? Whatcha think?" she asks, almost shyly.

Peter Stanchek sighs and reaches up to rub his temples. Having Joe in his head is like having a pro wrestler shouting in his ear. He moves away from the loudmouthed braggart then turns to look over at the hangar entrance. "Someone's about to knock." he tells the others. "Don't think it's a soldier."

"Fortunately," Shift tells Bobbi, "I can fit anywhere." Bit of an overstatement, but in this context it's certainly true.

Then, there's a knock at the door. Kwabena lowers the cigarette and moves toward it; his hand briefly transforms into a ball of black smoke that suffocates the cancer stick, and after it reforms, he tosses the butt into a tin can along the way. The tin can holds other cigarette butts and some really gross, chewed up cigar leftovers. Yes, he's been cleaning up after Joe Fixit. We promise, there are no spliffs hidden in there.

"Joe," he mentions, "you'll get yah rocket launchah. And dats de most ridic-"

He opens the door, and just stands there for a moment, staring.

"…. you followed me?"

Mockingbird' blinks at Caitlin. "Um, I think they've been briefed on who to expect. In another situation that might work." Her head turns to regard the smoke. "Is that supposed to happen?" she asks casually, jerking a thumb at the phenomenon, checking to see if 20 minutes has gone by or if this is a situation. "Because that might work in our favor." She looks back at the crew. "If Shift is able to get into that tower without raising any alarms we need someone to cover them. The rest of us need to pull attention away from it and figure out where the smoke is coming from. Volunteers?"

Peter's warning of an arrival has her frowning and looking towards the entrance. "Is all of this from Cap's side of things? If he's trying to stall us out, it's working great."

And… there stands Spider-Woman in costume. Black bodysuit, white gloves and boots with the white spider insignia on her chest. She jerks a thumb over her shoulder towards the woods, "Is that smoke normal?" she asks as she blithely ignores Shift's question. "Just thought y'all might want to know that Smokey the Bear seems to have walked off the job." she adds as she looks past Shift.
Then she looks back at his face and shrugs her shoulders. "No.. I didn't follow you. I just happened to wander in the exact same direction to the exact same destination by accident." She looks past Shift and shakes her head as she says to the room, "Kinda ironic how people ask a question they -know- the answer to, huh?"

Joe Fixit rolls his neck, not paying a particularly large amount of attention to the others as they start to strategize. He already said what he was going to do. If they have other plans that involve him, they'll have to speak loud enough to get his attention. When Shift vapors out and heads to the door, though, Joe looks that way and then sees Spider-Woman standing in the door.

The big grey beast wolf-whistles, "I tell ya, I figured this team was gonna be a sausage party with ol' Cap'n Grandpa in charge, but the hotties just keep showin' up. Speakin' o' sausage," he says, grabbing a napkin and wiping the grease stain from his shirt, "Hmmmmmmmmmm…nah, I think this is syrup actually - good lookin' out, though, Africa."

Caitlin frowns in disappointment. "Aww. Okay, I thought it was a good idea."

She hears Joe's voice and closes her eyes, taking a deep, steadying breath, and holds a jerky finger up. She turns on her heels, shoulders rising up with tension, and curls her hands into fists.

"Joe, I know you're supposed to be the strongman guy," she tells Big Grey. "An' maybe everyone else is too scared of you to say somethin', because you're the biggest and you've got a temper. I don't even know if I can do anything to hurt you," she admits, "but if you wolf-whistle at one more teammate here, you and me are gonna go out back and find out. Got it?"

"Fire?" Ignoring the team tension, Peter walks outside then flies straight up a half mile or so. « It's not smoke. Just a heavy fog. » he broadcasts to everyone below him. Telepathy means never having to shout. « I can see the tower. It's about a half mile in. I'm headed for it, going in high. » Suiting action to words, he shields himself in case anyone actually tries to shoot him down then flies up to a mile or so before heading for the tower.

Bobbi facepalms as things degenerate without Cap's steadying influence. "Shift, you and…Sting was it? You two head to the tower flying and shields and all that jazz, quietly as you can. "Spidey with boobs can come with me to find the source of the smoke," the better to keep an eye on her, "and Caitlyn and Joe, you go raise whatever ruckuses you can. Let's move out." She beckons for Julia to follow her, and unsheathes her batons.

Looking past Spider-Woman, Shift forms a scowl at the phenomenon outside. "No, it's not normah," he answers Bobbi, then looks back to their visitor. "Well, if you're here, might as well pahticipate." He steps away from the door, letting the woman in.

In that motion, his eyes close and annoyance hits his face. He's known Bruce Banner for some time, and has yet to find out just what… changed. He opens his mouth, about to defend Julia, but blinks when Caitlin jumps ahead of him. Open mouth, close mouth. Then, a knowing glance to Bobbi. Speaking of stalling.

With quick steps, the Ghanaian crosses the room and grabs a pair of radios. "Everyone? Meet Spidah-Woman." He tosses one radio to Bobbi, and then walks over toward Joe. "Here," he says, pointedly. "In case someone needs to tell you to stop breaking shit." He tunes the radio to the right frequency, then hands it over.

With Bobbi taking charge and Peter taking to the skies, he moves toward the open door. Once outside, he glances toward Joe. "Half a mile? Don't ovah shoot." He crouched a bit, ready to let Joe throw him.

And… lifting her brows, Spider-Woman just shrugs her shoulders, "Half mile? What are we.. huh?" And she has a voice in her head. She's -not- used to that. "Holy shit, is that.. he.. I.. what?" she asks. But then Bobbi speaks to her and that helps calm her down.
"Okay then." she adds, "So… I'm joining what? Huh? Am I covering you or something?" she asks as she steps inside and moves to follow Bobbi. "Yeah, Spider-Woman's the chosen moniker. I know.. not very original but…" she shrugs once more, "It fits."

Joe Fixit looks at Caitlin and takes a long puff on his cigar before reaching over and slapping her on the shoulder playfully, "Feisty! Don't worry, sugar, I don't mean nothin' by it. Don't go feelin' objectified or nothin'. If you really want, we can go out back, you can show me yer Tumblr an' we can get all up in each other's feels. Or we can take it out on the suckers out there who at least get paid to put up with my shit," he says.

He moves to walk by her, heading outdoors, "But, if you really just gotta throw down t'get it outta yer system, I can respect that. Just send Cap the bill if I put ya in the hospital - I'm sure he'll Obamacare the shit out of it," he says, before bending his legs and leaping, springing up in the air and projecting himself into the forest where he lands with a loud THOOM.

"COME AND GET IT YA BUNCH O TOMATO CANS!" he bellows.

"Butthead," Catilin mutters, watching Joe spring off into the air. She removes a disc from behind her belt buckle and puts it against her stomach, and unstable molecules crawl across her skin to form her costume. With a reflexive modesty she turns away and peels out of her shirt and jeans, setting them aside in a neat pile. The catsuit covers from collarbone to toes, leaving her arms exposed to the shoulder. "I'll take it to him, Shift," she tells the Ghanian politely, intercepting the radio. She quirks her mouth at Joe's trajectory, then backs up two paces and gets a running start out the door. By the time she hits tarma she's going fast enough to put dents in the asphalt and with an explosive motion she leaps into the air, traversing the same distance Joe does with a 'wheee!'

Cait lands, tucks and rolls and comes up running, moving through the forest at breakneck speeds on foot. She leaps twice, bounding over the treetops, until she sees some vehicles rattling on a nearby road, and diverts her course towards them.

Only a half mile in, it's a very short flight and Peter hovers a mile up looking down at the stone tower. He's sure there's soldiers down there. Friendly soldiers. Ones he really doesn't want to kill. Which makes this a lot more difficult than it needs to be. Well, theoretically they don't want to kill him either, assuming they could, so all that will happen is he'll fail. He starts descending to the top of the tower, broadcasting his 'I'm not here' field to whatever minds might be nearby.

"Mockingbird," Bobbi notes to Spider-Woman as she clips the radio to her belt. "Welcome to Avengers training camp. You and I are going to figure out where that fog is coming from and see if we can turn it to our advantage. The others have their orders. You good with that?" Bobbi asks Julia as she steps backwards towards the fog twirling her batons expertly, then turns on her heel and jogs into it at a, well, Captain America pace. Knock off serum seems to have stabilized for the time being.

"Yeah, but Shift here needs a boost." offers Julia. She gestures his way and says, "Grab hold." to Shift as a Psi-Web attaches itself to his chest. "And get ready for some acceleration." That said, she takes five steps at high speed… and the web stretches before she yanks with all her might and launches Shift upwards and forwards on a ballistic arc. She's not sure really how far he'll go but it might help.. right?
Then she takes the radio and looks for some place to clip it on her totally skintight bodysuit. So she strings the thing about her neck and sighs as she moves to follow Bobbi towards the smoke. "I can move pretty quick.. if you need me to." she adds to Bobbi. "Strong, quick. Pretty tough.. with webs." Quickie rundown so the team leader knows what she has as an asset.

Shift just looks on when Joe bounds away. He rises from his crouch, letting loose a sigh. "He used to be fah more polite," he tells Caitlin, quickly wondering just why in the fuck he's defending Joe.

Pulling the mask over his face, he stretches it into place. Then, he looks down as the web appears out of thin air, and half smirks, half grimaces. "And just think," he remarks, "I still don't have her numbah." He grabs hold, dips his head, and hangs on.

The vault sends him high and fast, streaking over the forest in a high arc. «Alright, Sting. I have some experience with telepaths. Show me where to go.» That works, right? Think and they hear you? Either way, he can feel his upward acceleration slowing, and is working to guesstimate his distance to the best of his ability. While flying over the forest, he searches for the flak tower, just in case Sting doesn't get his message.

"What was that?"

One of the grunts from the National Guard gets a worried look on his face when the Grey Hulk lands not too terribly far from his outpost. He and his ally begin to run back to base, the Flak Tower, and go for their radio.

Just as they do, shots begin to ring out into the sky towards Sting. The shielding works, of course, and bits of purple and green paint begin to block his shielding. It appears they are some new-fangled version of paintball guns. In any event, they are lighting up Sting's shielding in each of the hues. But then, just as soon as they started, they begin to stop. Moreover, Sting will find something very wrong, or at least very weird feeling. Some sort of device blocker is being used in an attempt to scramble the brain waves emanating from the people. Cap said there were 100 people here, but when Sting reaches out, it feels as though there are a thousand.

When Mockingbird makes her way into the forest, she comes under fire, almost immediately from ambush positions within the forest. There's some yelling above the gunfire, which sounds almost like real guns despite being heavily modified paintball firearms.

"That him?" Hawkes asks toward Cap, who sits in a tree stand not far from the pilot. "That's him," he says, pointing towards the black cloud. "Alright. I'm calling it in: Echo base, this is Fat Eddie. Head to the office on the third floor and go to the safe. Radio me when you get there. Over."

Caitlin, as she bounds in, gets some fire at her much in the same way that Mockingbird does. The men seem to be hidden in the foliage, and are using hit and fade tactics.

Joe Fixit doesn't have to be able to reach a guy to mess him up. True, it makes it easier and, often, more fun. He wouldn't get to play pretzel with any of the soldiers running away from him. But he was supposed to play nice anyway. So he slams his hands together hard, sending forth a sonic shockwave that clears the trees in his path and knocks a few of them off their feet.

"Come on, you pussies. Don't make me write all your mamas back home an' ask 'em why their sons are yellow! Come and take your beating!"

Caitlin bounds into the front of the convoy and with her bare hands, toes digging furrows in the road, stops the lead car as gently as she can without breaking anything or anyone. She winces at the shocked surprise of the troops inside, holding her hands up. "Sorry! Everyone okay? I won't break your nice car. You just stay in and promise you'll play dead, okay?"

She picks the front of the truck up and turns it sideways, blocking the road, then with another big *hup!* leaps to the back of the convoy.

"Hi, sorry guys, just…" she says, repeating herself and hiding behind the 'broken' cars for cover while people in the middle are trying to sort out what happened.

She coils her legs underneath herself and with another "Wheee!" flies skywards, covering a goodly portion of the distance towards the tower in one big leap, leaving the reinforcements effectively trapped on the road.

Peter shakes his head, trying to clear it but it doesn't help at all. He stays where he is, brow furrowing in pain at the noise of all those thoughts even if most of them are fake. Fine. He puts up a shield and sighs in relief as it shuts them all out. The problem is, he has to concentrate on maintaining it but he should be able to manage till this is over. Ignoring the paintballs, he just drops down to land on the top of the tower.

"Well Spidey with boobs, I'm pretty much Cap with boobs," Bobbi replies. "We're up against some friendly military boys who are helping us train, so try not to bang them up too much. We just need to make sure we keep them busy while Shift and Sting accomplish the main mission goals." She ducks, dives and flips through the trees, locking her batons into their bo staff form and activating the taser end. She pole vaults up over a position and attempts to slap the zappy part of the device across any soldiers in it. "Find where the fog is originating!" she barks to Spider Woman as she turns her longstanding martial arts expertise on.

Two of the soldiers firing on Mockingbird find themselves webbed to trees as Spider-Woman runs along behind Mockingbird. "What -is- the main mission goal?" she asks as she leaps into the tree branches. A web fires out and she is propelled forward over the heads of four of the soldiers. "Fog, on it." she remarks as she bounds from tree to tree, not even touching the ground.
The purpose of that is to make her a more difficult target … never quite vertical on the ground and such. Where she passes, she's webbing folks up. Totally nonlethal right? But her agility is something to behold. Maybe not for Mockingbird, who is also super agile, but for most folks… she is twisting, flipping, twirling and all kinds of stuff to evade incoming fire. "I hope we're not being graded on stealth." she adds. "Because this is totally not stealthy."

"Well, shit," Shift murmurs, and rapidly transforms into black smoke. His momentum slows significantly, and begins circling the forest for a moment, until the tower is spotted. The masked mutant reappears, this time on a dead drop toward the tower.

He comes in fast, only to transform again before impact. Black tendrils begin covering the flak tower, infiltrating every crack and hole, no matter how small. It doesn't take long to get inside, at which point the tendrils begin pulling together into a man-shape, preparing himself to resolidify and examine the interior.

"Yeah right, man, I'm just a weekend warrior!" exclaims one of the guardsmen as he tries to get away from the Hulk. He and his buddy, however, are taken clear off their feet by the thundering clap of the grey giant.

"So, uh, do we play dead?" says one of the drivers to the gunner behind him after Caitlin leaves their vehicle inoperable. "I don't want to go out there and mess with her, do you?"

"Nah, I'm good here. We'll just wait."

Peter will be able to easily find the door at the top that leads down into a group of rooms. Shift comes in from the other direction, through the window, and will find himself in the same situation. There are five doors in here, and things are remarkably quiet given the circumstances.

BZZZZZZZT!

"Yeouch!" one soldier screams as he gets the business end of Bobbi's buzz baton.

Three large trucks seem to be what's creating the fog, and now that the heroes are getting close, they're moving out along the road, not wanting to get too far into the melee.

Joe Fixit follows along and takes another running leap, honing in on the tower along with his teammates. Big Grey lands with another echoing thud, slamming his fists down into the ground to send a powerful tremor that, frankly, probably threatens the foundation of the tower a little bit. Hey, he leaves a big footprint.

He positions himself in the road, making a blockade of himself, preparing to keep anyone front interfering with Peter and Shift's intentions. "Be careful up there, ya bums. If you get your asses blown up, I will be seriously pissed off!" he calls up to them.

Caitlin crushes through the underbrush, running so fast she's churning frostbitten loam that's barely thawed into a spray of soil behind him. "Shift, I'm about a hundred yards from the tower'ssssss… ssssssouth side," Caitlin calls into her radio. "Joe's— yah, you know where Joe is. I don't see the other girls, but I'm right here, and I can punch a hole in the wall if you need to make a getaway."

"Uh, over," she adds, belatedly.

Now where the hell is the envelope? Shielded, Peter can't reach out to probe the nearest soldier that might know. Nor is he clairvoyant to see at a distance. Which leaves the old fashioned way: exploring on foot. Or in this case, flight. Going from room to room, he destroys any piece of furniture that might hold an envelope then moves on to the next one.

"Stealth kind of goes out the window when you have Joe on your team," Bobbi admits with a grunt at Julia's comment. "I think we were all prepared for Cap to be calling the shots today and he sort of is, just on the other team." Wham! Bap! Zot! Mockingbird moves with an effortless, fluid grace. Her enhancements take care of the physical, but her long years of spycraft have her eyes moving constantly, assessing and calculating her next moves. "I'm hoping by having all us noisy heroes out here rampaging around, the quieter folks can get the job done. The mission is sort of capture the flag."

She grunts as she makes another flurry of taser jabs at the soldiers while dodging paintballs. "And here I thought my serious decision-making was done when I put on pants today," she mutters crankily. When the trucks are ID'd, she clicks the radio for Julia. "Use those webs of yours to clog the fog machines, please," she requests with a grin.

"You know.. I'm quite stealthy." mutters Spider-Woman as she follows in Mockingbird's wake. She is keeping up without much in the way of difficulty. "Good Copy." she remarks as she gestures and webbing forms over the fog machines' nozzles. No point in damaging them if they can just be clogged up.
But then she shakes her head once more, "Since you asked so nicely at least." she adds to Mockingbird. She has a decent attitude at least, and takes orders well. But she snaps another shot out to web up one sneaky soldier who thought he was about to get the drop on the two ladies. "You know, all we need is a third and we can be like.. Cap's Angels." she adds. And she made sure to -not- say that over the radio.

"Listen," Shift says, while going to work on opening doors to look through rooms. "Dose pills? Shoot straight with me." He pauses at the rumbling of the tower, scowling a bit, and reaches to press the side of his hood, where the nano-radio is woven. "Copy dat," he answers.

Back to Sting, "And don't fuck around, four years ago I was putting a needah into my arm." He's not great on teams. The chatter helps to calm himself. A gloved hand reaches for another door to yank open, as the search continues.

Peter busts through the door and, low and behold, Grunt is sitting there with an odd contraption on his head that seems as though Doc Emmett Brown from Back to the Future created it. He's sitting on a ratty old recliner with a lighter in one hand and a picture in the other. "Hey, it's Shift's mom, if you wanna take a look." There's a bit of an eyebrow waggle before Grunt tries to light the 'super important file' on fire. Shift will undoubtedly find the room too once Peter breaks the door down.

But just as he's about to light it on fire, the shaking from Joe smashing into the ground knocks the lighter away from his hand. Reflexively, Grunt tries to put the piece of paper, after crumbling it quickly, in his mouth to eat it!

Cap's Angels, meanwhile, make easy work of all in fromt of them and can see Fairchild in the distance right at the foot of the building. Maybe it's a sign.

Joe Fixit cracks his knuckles, a sound that echoes and rattles and makes goosebumps run up and down spines. "C'mon, somebody's gotta wanna take a shot at me. A gun, a bazooka, somethin'. Sheesh, ya buncha palookas. That pizza better be hot when we get back to base. I got a cravin' fer all the meats right now."

"Said your mom!" Caitlin shouts at Joe from the other side of the tower, picking up on his bored grumblings. She immediately dodges behind a tree, grinning sheepishly and trying to snort back a giggle.

Then she realizes she's bored, too, and peers around the tree. "…how much pizza did you order, anyway? Don't tell me you're one of those jerks who cheaps out when it comes to fooding," she calls to Joe, suspiciously.

Peter stops what he's doing to hover in places and looks over at Shift. "What?" Was there an actual question in that somewhere? Since he's there, he blasts one door open and happens to hit paydirt. Distracted by Shift, he's a bit slow to react when he sees the lighter. Fortunately, it ends up not being a problem. Except… "Like fuck you will!" he says and Grunt lifts up and slams back into the wall, his arm upraised and also held firmly against the wall. "Be glad I don't need to pull it out of your stomach and back up your throat." he tells the man. "That wouldn't be fun for you." Not that he's sure he could do that but who needs to know.

Bobbi jerks her chin towards the tower to signal Julia to follow as she puts her legs in gear to sweep towards the mission goal. "Hope the boys got it all right," she murmurs through clenched teeth, skidding to a halt in front of Caitlin. "Did they make it?" she asks the girl.

Not running so much as bounding from place to place, Spider-Woman follows Mockingbird, "They're boys. Of course they're going to screw it up. You want something done right, send boobs." she mutters to Mockingbird. She says this as she drops down to land beside her and in front of Caitlin… in her trademark Spider pose. You know.. spread legged, one hand on the ground.
Then she stands up straight again and offers Caitlin a hand, "Spider-Woman." she states, "You're tall." she adds as if Caitlin had no idea she was.

Sleeping dogs may lie. Shift is on Peter's tail when they burst into the room, and the Ghanaian narrows his eyes behind the mask.

Grunt slams into the wall, and like that, Shift is upon him. His body crackles, going supersolid and virtually unbreakable. He grabs each of Grunt's hands, his modified molecular structure granting him much more strength than the soldier could muster, and pins them together and against the wall. Then, he forces his other hand into Grunt's mouth and goes after the paper.

"Go ahead," he grins. "Bite." He's betting Grunt's not interested in cracking a canine. Should he need to, he'll shrink the size of his hand down and go in deeper.

Grunt spits out the paper and gives a look to Sting and Shift. "Took you guys long enough. Sheesh." Then a tilt of the head towards Peter, "Little rough, buddy."

"Boys, this is Captain Rogers. Go ahead and stand down, the mission is over. Rendezvous at the hangar for chow." Those soldiers who weren't bowled over or otherwise accosted cheer inwardly and things begin to break up.

"Well that was fun," Steve says as he emerges from the shadows and nods towards Caitlin, Joe, Bobbi, and Spider-Woman. "Took a while to get started, but once you did, it went pretty quick."

"Wait."

Cap points to Spider-Woman.

"Who's that?"

Joe Fixit raises an eyebrow to Cap, "I ain't allowed to comment. Legs made me promise," he says, cocking a thumb at Fairchild. "Where's my damn pizza?"

Reaching a hand up to rub the back of her neck, Spider-Woman shrugs her shoulders. "Yeah. About that. It's his fault." she states, pointing to Shift, "I followed him here to see what was going on and kinda got Voluntold that I was helpin' here." She smirks a bit, "She's fast." she adds, gesturing to Mockingbird, "So, what was the objective of the exercise? Tell me it wasn't something to do with speed or stealth."

"Incoming!"

Caitlin lands with a THUMP and a hopstep. "Naanaa," she chimes, holding her hands over her head.

"I told Bobbi I thought we'd try the ol' co-eds on a road trip thing and see if we could just drive up to the flak tower, but she said they probably have photo IDs of us or something," Caitlin supplies helpfully.

"You aren't on the other side of the wall." Peter points out. He's much more used to breaking things and being careful not to is new to him. Still, he carefully lowers Grunt back to the ground and releases him. Leaving it at that, he turns and starts heading back for the exit.

Offering Grunt a hand, Shift makes for the exit. As he goes, he uncrumples the paper and eyeballs it. "Ugh. Grunt, dis is your moddah, you sick fuck."

Once outside, he peels the mask back from his face, smirking a bit as Cap and SpiderBoobs make their introductions. He'll explain it later, should Rogers really need an explanation. By now, he should know better. "Well. I'm hungry." He glances at Julia with a grin. "You hungry?"

A jerk of the thumb to Joe. "Guarantee he's hungry."

"I'm always hungry," Cait assures Shift, seriously. She turns to Julia and flashes a big, dimpled smile. "Hi! I'm sorry, I don't think we met. I'm Caitlin," she says, offering a handshake to the Spider-Man With Boobs.

"I could eat." suggests Julia. She shrugs a bit and looks to Caitlin. She shakes Cait's hand and shrugs. She looks to Shift and remarks, "I got a few more hours of babysitting left so…" she grins, "Let's go grab a bite somewhere." She jerks a thumb to Caitlin and asks, "Okay to lose the mask here?" she adds.

"Hey," Shift answers. "Dere's chow back at de hangah. Can't vouch for its tastiness, dough." Catching Julia's look, he nods. "We're a new team, but we have each oddah's backs. In every way." He turns and begins leading the way through the forest, and back to Fort Kirby.

Caitlin falls into step with a hopstep, following Shift and Julia to the old hangar. "So you're new? Friend of Shift's?" she asks Julia, trying to strike up a conversation. "I don't think I've heard of you though, which is weird, 'cause I thought I knew almost all the active heroes in the area. You're… Spider… Gal?" she inquires, tentatively.

"I'm not from this area." offers Julia as she reaches up and peels her mask up off of her face and smiles when she steps into the hangar. "Spider-Woman was the codename I used in LA. Moved to NYC recently. Found out the outfit that I was working with were basically a group of hacks and asshats." She offers her hand again and asks, "So, you ever babysit?" And she pulls a slender cellphone out of a pouch and brings up a picture of Rachel, her adorable white blonde three year old daughter. "Her name's Rachel. I'm Julia."

While walking, Kwabena keeps his head forward, leading the way. "Also known as domestic terrorists," Kwabena adds. "In Ahmy uniforms." Caitlin may have an idea what they're talking about, if she read the bulletin he'd posted inside.

"She's very nice," he remarks, regarding Rachel. On that note, once they're inside the hangar, he reclaims his bag of goodies, and withdraws a cellular phone. "Pahdon me, one moment," he tells them, before placing a phone call.

Caitlin accepts the phone and peers at the image. "Aaaaaw!" she croons. "Absolutely! I mean… I've never -done- it before," she admits. She stops and blinks, and passes the phone back to Julia. "I'm … not totally sure why I just lied to you, just now," she admits, looking puzzled at her reaction to the adorable kidlet.

"Hey, I'll have two extra-larges, with whatever," Caitlin calls to Kwabena as he steps off to make his call. "How old is she?" she asks Julia, finding her comfortable metal chair and sitting in itt.

"Three." says Julia as she bounds over and lands on a chair… balancing precariously like it was oh so easy. She slips her phone away and shrugs, "Three and a half if you wanna be official about it." She chuckles and adds, "I'll just have a single slice of whatever." she adds as she reaches a hand out and picks one up.

Though Kwabena is holding a brief conversation, he does smirk a bit at Caitlin's request. He's not ordering pizza, especially considering how quietly he's talking. When he eventually joins them, he sets the phone down on the table, having the same problem as Julia where carrying objects is concerned.

"Agent Gorman says she's doing just fine," he tells Julia. "No sign of troubah." A pause. "A team tried to hit Agent Simmons yestahday. Dey were unsuccessful."

"I hope people are going around in teams," Caitlin tells Shift with concern in her tone. "Like, buddy partners and stuff. It sounds scary thinking that someone could just blitz out of nowhere and hit a SHIELD team. They're supposed to be good, right? How do these guys know where they are?"

Wincing, Spider-Woman rubs the back of her neck once more, "Well, they had lots of agents. I was just one of'em. I had a knack of finding information for'em. And I was just one of a variety of agents they had on hand." she offers, "So, I may have done some of the legwork for them." She mutters darkly… with quite a large amount of regret.

"Well, I'm trying to figah dat out," Shift tells Caitlin. "If dey aren't military demselves, den dey're ex mil. Special forces types, I imagine." He looks between the two. "I've got dere comm frequencies, but much of dere communication is happening silent. You know, in pahson only. Fortunately, we've had a heads up when dey go for a hit, 'cept where free agents are involved." A look to Julia. "Like dat Gotham clown."

He snatches up a piece of pizza. "It could be worse, Julia." He pauses, recognizing that he didn't know her real name until now. "I did some of HYDRA's leg work for dem, unwillingly. It's… a long story." It sounds like an ugly one, but he soon grins. "But, I got 'em back. Steve helped."

Caitlin makes a face, and pulls a box of pizza over to her. She picks up four slices and sandwiches them into a Dagwood, and with one huge bite, demolishes half of the food in her hand.

"'tho," she says, before swallowing convulsively. "if they're working with HYDRA, is that where they're getting their money? It's gotta be really expensive to fund that many people and operations— keep planes off the flight lists, hire pilots, even rent hotel rooms in town."

"Yeah, right now Rachel and I are kinda in hiding. Got a SHIELD issue babysitter with'er right now. Plus two plainclothes folks on the block. Having a friend I trust, who happens to be able to smacktalk the Hulk… would make -me- feel much better about her safety if I wasn't able to be there." Julia shrugs and leans back in her seat as she finishes her single slice, feeling full already. "But I refuse to just.. sit and hide and wait for them to find me."

"No," Shift answers, after swallowing a bite of pepperoni and cheese goodness. "De money's coming from de United States." He fixes Caitlin with a serious look. "Agent Simmons has de proof. All of it, right from de horses mouth." He shakes his head. "Ugly business."

Seeing the friendship forming between Julia and Caitlin is a good thing. He chows through the rest of his slice, and wipes clean with a paper napkin before going for another slice. "It won't be like dat," he assures her. "I still plan to investigate dere merc training camp in Greece. Whole things an ugly mess, dough. Americans funding HYDRA " He shakes his head. "Definition of a shit sho.w"

He goes silent then, looking away from both while working on his second slice.

Caitlin's chair was probably a bench for at least two people at one point— it's the only furntiure she and Joe can use. She wiggles her butt and folds her ankles under her knees. Realizing she's slouching lazily, she grimaces and sits upright, eating another quad-bite of pizza.

Sensing the distress in Shift's voice, she looks over at Julia. "I … I've never really babysat, but I've read all the Babysitter Club books," she offers. "And I know CPR. And I'm bulletproof! That's useful. So if you need a sitter, I can try to help out," she tells the newcomer. "If you find you're shorthanded, anyway."

Smirking a bit, Julia shakes her head. "Books huh?" she asks. "Not a terrible book series though. So yeah… maybe we could go visit her soon." She smirks and looks to Shift, "She's been asking about you Kwabena. I think she's adopted you as an Uncle of a sort."

Kwabena silently notes to himself, he will make sure the SHIELD agents that are helping to protect Rachel and Julia's safe house are notified of Fairchild as a 'friendly'.

A rueful grin finds its way through his troubled expression. "Dat so?" he asks. "I must come and visit again, den. Pahhaps I'll bring ice cream." He looks to Fairchild. "Dats what uncles bring. Ice cream? Or do I have it backwards and it is de aunts who bring ice cream." He looks back to Julia. "I will come and visit her before leaving de country."

"Well… yeah, only child," Caitlin admits. "And I had allergies when I was younger so I stayed at home a lot," she says, looking a bit uneasy at that recollection. "But, she's unbelievable adorable, and it's short circuiting my brain, so-" she smiles at Julia. "Yeah, I'd love to at least see if I can help out a bit."

"Because.. when it comes down to it. She's part of the reason we do what we do. If the next generation doesn't inspire us to make a difference.. then why -are- we here?" asks Julia. She takes a breath and shakes her head, "To this day, I don't know what I saw in my ex, but.. at least I have something to show for the time we spent married. She's the one good thing he ever gave me really."

"Good riddance, den," Kwabena proposes. "I have whiskey in de duffah bag if you wish to toast to dat." He seems as if he would ask something else, but decides against it. Too personal.

"Now, tell me. How does it work?" Kwabena gestures toward Julia. "I saw dat, um… guess you would call it 'web', I watched it appeah out of thin air."

"Ooh, powers talk," Caitlin says, wriggling back and forth happily. She reaches for her cell phone and flicks the screen to life. "Feel free to share the deets," she tells Julia, tapping on the screen. "I'll add you to the superwiki. Every vigilante on the Eastern seaboard is in there. My friend Bill runs the one over on the west coast," she says, tilting her orange head sideways. "You get tagged in Instagram pics, and it really boosts your popularity if people are like 'Oh yeah, I saw Spider-Woman saving a kid across town last week'."

Pausing as if a deer in the headlights.. Julia lifts both brows, "Ummmm…." she remarks, "You know that I am being hunted by this government group, right? The more you post about me… the less work they have to do to find me… and my little girl." She sighs and shakes her head, "I don't mind telling you all about it but… can we leave it offline for the moment?"
That said, she starts softly and slowly, "I got injected with some combination of serums and spider venoms and… well super strong, fast, tough. You know… Spider." A pause and she adds, "And my webs are … how did they describe'em?… Telekinetic in origin. A sort of solidified psychokinetic energy."

Well, Caitlin can't be faulted for her enthusiasm. He grins for a moment, then shakes his head. "Can't help but agree. Dere ah fah too many reasons why I should not be listed."

He's not gonna get into the grueling details. Only when whiskeys involved.

That being said, powers talk is always interesting. "Telekinetic," he says, with a nod. "Manipulating a thing without a direct connection to your nahvous system." He angles his head slightly, for a moment studying the woman with an expression that shows just a touch of fascination.

"I am a mutant X-gene carrier," he explains. "My biomoleculah structure can change into de four states of mattah. Gas, liquid, and dis form of supah-hardened flesh. Used to be strictly reactive, but, I have trained myself to control and manipulate it."

Now, he turns to Caitlin, curiously. Batter up!

Caitlin looks crestfallen and slightly chastised. "I… oh, right," she says, coloring a bit. "Sorry. I… the whole identity thing, I'm bad at it. Sorry," she murmurs again, pinking on her high cheekbones.

She's processing Julia's explanation, phone powering down and setting it aside. "It's cool, though," she assures Julia with a murmur. Her attention shifts to Shift when he offers his story, such as it is, and then she blinks and sits a bit more upright when she gets that expectant look. "Oh. Oh! No idea," she says with a floppy shrug. "I was on campus and some weirdo mugged me in an empty lab room. He conked me on the head and started dragging me off." She flicks her phone on again and shows Julia a picture of a skinny, knock-kneeded redhead with large glasses and a giant frizzy mane. She looks vaguely like Caitlin… but only vaguely.

"Then, boom, I stood up and kept standing up. And I threw him through a wall." The next picture is of Caitlin as she seems now, but with very little body fat to speak of. It's a snap from someone's phone, and Caitlin's barely decent in the shredded remains of what must have been clothing. "I suddenly gained a ton of weight, shot up almost a foot, put on muscle mass… everything changed. Took me a few weeks to eat enough food to, uh, get my body fat index where it should be," she admits, coloring again. "I was at like two percent for almost a month."

Nodding slowly, Julia looks at the pictures studiously. "That must've been a drastic change to -everything-. Do you have any family?" she asks, and then she winces as she hears her voice say those words. Her own body is not fat free for sure. She's a mom. She also doesn't have the classic super slender model figure. She is a woman… with curves. Nobody would call her weak. "As for getting used to increased strength. I bet you are even stronger than I am. When things started changing for me, I topped out at about ten tons lifting which.. is amazing. But something tells me you're at a level of at least five times that." she says to Caitlin. "And you are bulletproof. Lucky." She smirks, "I can shrug off impacts, but blades and bullets… yeah, no."

Kwabena looks from one to the other, clearly invested in the conversation. He shakes his head and says, "All natural," before thumping his uniformed chest. "I only have 'increased strength' when hardened, and it's more like… like de exoskeleton of an ant, comparatively. I can use de resistance to brace things, or move things dat would normally break me, but my actual muscle mass remains constant. More or less."

He looks from Caitlin to Julia. "Blades, bullets… nothing. Instinctive transformation into smoke. Growing up invincible? Don't know if I can say I enjoyed it or not."

It certainly drove him into a life of crime, when he was younger.

"It… took some getting used to," Caitlin admits, with a lot of reticence. "I went from being … y'know, this tiny little nerd in the back of the engineer department that no one paid attention to, to… well. That picture's also on Youtube," she says, wryly. "It's embarassing when there's two million hits on a video of you doubling size and blowing all your clothing to shreds. I… honestly don't know how strong I am," she admits. "I work out with Supergirl and we keep having to ratchet up the weights. A few months ago, I couldn't really find any way to lift more than twenty tons or so, but the League's weight room goes up to like.. ininity. I can put like a hundred tons on the squat rack."

She looks at Shift and her eyes open a bit. "Wow, that's … cool," she decides. "Bet that's handy if you get punched. Woosh!"

"So, you can't be hurt… seriously?" asks Julia towards Shift, "I mean… I bet Caitlin here is super tough, and I'm semi tough but… impossible to injure?" Julia just whistles slowly as she looks to Caitlin then and lifts both brows. "Well, any time you want someone to spar with who is more durable than a normal person… I'm game. I'm pretty good at evasion though, so I might be a bit frustrating."

Shift waggles his hand. "Depends on who's punching?" he hazards. "It only seems to happen with truly lethal attacks. I've had my fair share of beatings, but if someone like Joe really let me have it? I imagine I'd poof out. Hahd to say."

The Ghanain then leans forward, grinning wickedly. "I will tell you." His voice drops low. "Dere is nothing bettah den when some jerk has a gun to your head. You can really get him riled up, and de look on dere face aftah dey pull de triggah?" His hands splay out in a 'poof' gesture, and he leans back. "Priceless."

His expression darkens a bit. "Trust me. I can be injured."

"…I bet you're really scared of dustbusters," Caitlin chimes in after a beat. She rolls her lips in and bites them, hard, but it's impossible to hide the sparkle in her green eyes at her joke.

And then she snorts and loses it, laughing with undisguised merriment.

And that's when Julia gigglesnorts. Yes, it's an unladylike snort as she lifts a hand to her face to try to help her to restrain her laughter… unsuccessfully of course. Either way, she shakes her head, "Or one of those air purifier thingees." she adds through her giggles.

Having heard this joke before, Shift gives Caitlin a blank, silver-eyed stare. He can't hold the look for too long. Laughter is just too damned infectious, so, he eventually finds himself shaking his head and reaching for another slice of pizza.

"Worst nightmares. Sweah to God, it's like wetting de bed, only to find out you've accidentally changed into liquid Kwabena."

Caitlin beams at the reaction to her joke, wiggling happily back and forth on the chair until it creaks threateningly. She immediately stills herself, but she's clearly visibly pleased at having brightened the mood in the room. She folds up the rest of the pizza and throws the box (it was an entire large pizza!) to the side, and eats her last Dagwood pizza sandwich. "It's nice hanging out with you guys," she tells them. "I used to think there was such a thing as too many friends, but I'm starting to reconsider that."

Shaking her head as her giggles subside, Julia shrugs, "I just relocated.. after a divorce, and now got seperated from an evil government domestic terrorist craptacular group. You two have got to be the first two friends I've made in 3 years."

The idea of friends was fairly foreign to Kwabena, not terribly long ago. He looks between the two, his expression slightly guarded, but there is at least an honest smile. "Cheers, den," he offers, before gobbling up that last slice of pizza.

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