Radioactive Pigs Probably Fly

March 18, 2016:

A small Authority team lead by Taskmaster makes a trek in to the unknown and very unhealthy beyond.

Pryp'yat', Kyivs'ka oblast, Ukraine

It is not a good place for vacation.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Baroness Deathstroke Peabody

Plot:

Mood Music: Little Swing by AronChupa


Fade In…

No warning. No prep just two bags were set down and awaiting Lunair and Melody. Inside those bags? Military grade radiation protection gear that consists of a suit, max with goggles and a radiation detection device as well as oxygen.

The Resolve upon them touching the bags fast transports them immediately to a whole new location. A bent and bowed sign reads Pryp'yat' next to it is 1970.

Beyond that a plaza opens up that is overgrown with grass, trees and wildlife risen up through splintered and eroded cement. What is beyond there? A fledgling forest overcoming a small city. Nature reclaiming what man has abandoned log ago.

It's then an electronic afflicted voice laughs, "Well you two are under dressed." The source an armor suited man with a shield over his back a backpack and a skullmask. Full gear of weaponry including an assault rifle draped in simple rest within his arms. Taskmaster. Both should know him well enough even though hes teamed with them very little in the Authority. He's kind of like that. There but not and showing up when you least want him to or expect him.

"Might want to get those on and quickly."


"Is this a pres-.."

*ZOOM!*

"..ent?" The bag was clutched within her hands as the scenery changes almost instantly, standing upright with a look around and a wrinkle of her nose, the sign read and the year noted. And then there was the voice. While, the last few times she's met up with Taskmaster she went an entire week with crying in fetal position, things may have changed and it's a chance that this would remain the same there after.

"Aw hell." No words. Only the zip of the bag and a kneel down upon the ground, the gear immediately taken out, hat put on first to protect her precious little face and suit tugged on there after. Wonder if they're going to find some of that radioactive fungus that is edible and possibly tastes like raspberries? Though, previous missions in mind, she was sure those things would talk as soon as they were picked.


"Hi Mister Skeltal!" Angry dooting does not ensue, but Taskmaster surely understands that calcium is rad, right? Right. Lunair has a bag. "I hope it's not going to kill me." Her standards are alarmingly low. She blinks. "Um." Right then. She beams, waving to Taskmaster. She doesn't seem to mind him doing what he do (there but not). Though, she does secretly one day want to zot him with the nudity ray JUST to see what happens.

Regardless, she furrows her brows and nods. Normally, she'd just use her power armor to do that, but she'll try doing as others do.


"So, this is some kinda funny ha ha on Deathstroke's part? Hook'n me up with you two." Another chuckle and he regards them both, "We're going in hot so weapons on the ready, you two ever heard of where we're at? Pryp'yat', Kyivs'ka oblast, Ukraine. To be exact. My Russian is sketchy but we're in a radiated zone. Heavily and no one human has lived here for a long time."

"How much has Old Patchface kept you two fine combat ready specimens up on?" Maybe Taskmaster is bluffing and doesn't know or is grilling them for details just to test. Who knows, hes a heckler and often a prick.

—-

It didn't take long for Melody to get geared up. She was quiet for the most part, weapons at the ready of course, ammo easily accessible and reachable so she was already on the up and up to rock and roll, and chew gum. Too bad though, she was all out.

"Probably. I mean, he paired you with a junkie who he doesn't trust to have his back." Deadpan. "So there's a slight chance he wants you dead." All logic was tossed out on the ground and stomped on as she gives a slight shake of her head. No humans have lived here, so it was a sure fire thing the edible fungus would be of the talking kind.

"Let's see." Rant thinks. "I'm an ace killing machine but even this I can't manage to kill and I'm secretly scared inside but I'm Deathstroke the best of the best, where people are one hundred percent at their game I'm five thousand percent even if that percentage doesn't exist.. rar.. rar.. rar.." Horrible impression, but the gist is there!


"And I'm here!" Beam. Then, like the puppy who just catches on that no, chewing up the toilet paper was not a good idea, it hits her. "Oh." Then a pause, and she nods. "Someone goofed. There was a criticality accident and suddenly, radiation EVERYWHERE." Well, it's a quirky way of putting it. "Because of some rods and someone getting kind of bored slash curious with the cooling." A shrug and a headtilt. Then she nods. "A lot."

After all, killing things and leveling the hell out of an area was why she was created to begin with. She's a child soldier, and it's just what she do. She ponders this. Then she peers at Rant. "He seems determined." She seems to have a lot more optimism.

She doesn't take long to get geared up, though she mostly keeps a back up weapon. She IS her own armory. "Are flamethrowers okay, you think?" She asks. And she has birthday cake flavored organic bubble gum. Strange kid. Then she realizes what poor Taskmaster is stuck with. "Oh. Sorry. So yes, there's um -" She's trying to use her terribly limited communication skills. "… there's - " GODDAMMIT BRAIN. Deep breath. "Area is very hot, look for important information, do not rile locals needlessly."

"AND I brought a camera." She totally has a go pro with her. Go Lunair.


"Whoah, we're just full of angst and vitriol here. I like it. Puts me in the mood for killing scrubs." Taskmaster retorts, "Hey, true story, no one trusts a junkee but you should do that impression more often. Squint your eye more though." Adjusting his LBV they can see a Geiger counter attached and a heavy medkit.
"Yep or so they say Loon. You're not in the kids league anymore don't believe anything you read or hear, if Deathstroke and I am involved it's bound to be something you don't want it to be. The radiation everywhere is very real and fortunately for us Peabody hooked us up with some of the new juice… thats a worst case scenario though. You really don't want to rely on an injection to derad you."
Taskmaster picks up in a slow equipment jingling and crunching jog, "No civilians to worry about here. No locals. Also why the camera? Whatever it may come in handy." He pauses behind the husk of an old rusted car thats been long dead and boldly enough stripped. "I'm point, Loon you stick mid, you're going to be our fire element and Rant you're bringing up the rear. Lets just try to remain file through this so we can get in and out. Never know if Big Redski might find us in here and get mad or what we're after could see us first, got me? Good."

After that little pause he picks up jogging again towards a line up of old apartments, vines and growth climbing them. The rusty sounds of a playground ahead of them indicates wind movement as the merry-go-round tries its damnedest to move yet fails instead just… creaking.


"Yeah yeah.. says you and about fifty other people."

From then on out Rant was pretty much silent. She did look around though, much of the radiation in the area was probably enough to screw with her nanites so she wasn't even going to bother enhancing her sight. In fact, she was just regular Melody, coupled with the meta-human speed and strength. Got to let the natural fly, right?

Once Taskmaster shoves off into a jog she was right behind, the equipment that was worn was stifling but adaption comes no matter how much she wanted to protest it. Rifle held with bolt hands, her own gear weighing her down but with all that training, dues were made.

The desolate city was something, the old groans of equipment does wonders to the psyche. To imagine that anyone once lived in this area was remarkable, now it looked like a graveyard of what was. Nevermind the foliage, this was true blue apocalypse while the rest of the world kept turning and burning. Creepy.


Lunair nods at Taskmaster. "Peabody is awesome." She thinks so, at least. "Whatever its origin, it's radiation." She seems curious. "I never assume. People live in the oddest places," A shrug. She has a camera, that go pro, in a safe case. "Okay," She nods at Taskmaster. "And I always document my work unless it's like, not allowed. I have these jerks who try to dart me and mess with my memory." Beat. "Baroness was really cute though."

She lets it go, falling silent and staying in the middle. Lunair is honestly still figuring out her nanites. It's a bit weird to have a piece of your friend in your brain. She will keep her weaponry light until she needs otherwise. She jogs along after, stuck with being Human Teenage Girl-strength. She doesn't seem to know what to think of it all. Desolate, but also reclaimed by nature. Funny how that all works. Eerie merry go round, though.


"Guy said you were a much more cheerful individual. I think he lied to me and I may have to stab him later." The apartments are tall 7 story blocky structures without windows and one can only see darkness within. Currently the small Authority team is at the very base of them but Taskmaster is showing them no mind. "Baroness… oh, you mean my ex-girlfriend? Yeah, she put the fun in sadistic."
"Sec, uhm, lets see… trying to remember what Peabody said… urgh, what was that song… " The Skeleton faced mercenary begins to snap his finger and thumb together singing quietly to himself, "Ain't no big thing just show her a little… bump bwoop dun dun… okay got it."
Pushing off the wall the humming Taskmaster makes a fast dash across the grounds towards the treeline to their immediate east. "Come on." As he is running he abruptly stops and holds a hand up behind him palm out towards them. Thats a big halt. He then doesn't speak and goes completely silent that sub-machine gun in his hands risen up and the butt held against one shoulder. Just quietly waiting and listening, breathing down the weapon through filters while studying the dark forest beyond.


"Me? Or her? She's always cheerful." Melody asks, though she shuts right up again. She was too busy to officially hold a conversation, her head was swiveling left and right, studying the surroundings, keeping mental pictures at bay so that she could recount what she's seen if asked by Deathstroke. And hell, this was too good of a tale to pass up. Possibly when she retires it'll be something she puts in her memoirs. Or something.

The fast dash was met with her own, keeping the appropriate distance, there was no time for her to really survey the scenery but once the hard stop was gained she does and turns to keep a watch upon their backs. It was quiet. Probably the only thing she could hear was the heavy thudding of her heart in adrenaline and anticipation.


"… sorry." Lunair seems apologetic at the cheerful comment. But she doesn't have to worry about being summarily tortured, killed, blinded or having her vocal cords cut so really, everything is totally coming up Luna! … her standards are a touch low.

"Ex-girlfriend? Wow." Lunair is a bit in awe. She is looking around, even glancing up and beneath her feet. She is quietly concerned. And her camera seems to be mounted easily on her shoulder, so it follows her gaze.

She doesn't even think Taskmaster's memory trick odd in the slightest. It's just how he rolls. She dashes when Taskmaster does, doing the complicated balance of keeping ahead of one, behind the other. There might even be the sounds of wildlife, straining to hear them. She skids to a halt as he holds the hand up. There's an alarmingly long, slender laser rifle in hand in just a heartbeat.


A couple more silent counts and Taskmaster finally speaks, whispering, "No, Guy doesn't know Loon. Only me because she hangs out with stupid shits and needs brained occasionally. Which, this Authority thing, it means nothing. I'll still kill either of you if you get in my way or I get paid. Just getting that out there so it's not awkward later." Re-adjusting Taskmaster crouches still aiming at the forest, "Wow doesn't even sum it up. Like, just damn but relationships in our lifestyle never quite workout."

It's a sound that Melody's superhearing catches just beyond Taskmaster's hushed talking, barely audible a groan of a branch being leaned against before there is a pulse of light. The ZZZVWIT sound of a weapon discharge also lightly audible immediately after hearing that first noise no one without enhanced reflexes, hearing or awareness will be able to respond to it.


"Oh, that Guy. I thought you were just saying 'guy' to describe someone else, not actual 'Guy'. He's.. kinda cool I guess.." And then she's silent again, the crouch that she had taken up slowly let up with a slight stand and a turn to put eyes upon the line of the forest. The soft crick of the branch has her eyes darting in that direction, a squint..

No sense in words in this case. Tight lipped. No one mentions in whatever 'fight club' they have going on that you have to shout out words like.. 'be careful or look out'. It's all action and shut the hell up while you're battling. No one likes a monologuer.

With a blurring step forward and a snatch out of her hand, the bullet that would have possibly snagged Lunair in not so quite nice places was caught within the middle of her palm with a jerk backwards. Granted, she possibly damaged her suit but who in the hell could say lately that they caught a bullet out of thin air?

And who would say ow. Melody would. It was quiet though! But that was a good enough sign for everyone else to know that the jig was up.


"Should I meet this guy?" She asks. Lunair is ever curious. "I do? Oh." Then she tilts her head at Taskmaster. "I really don't know what to think about that. Okay. I would pet you on the head and go with that." She just rolls with it, perhaps. "And I see. That's rough." She does seem somewhat sympathetic for Skeletor.
And then suddenly, Lunair totally gets saved by the Rant. She looks to the other girl, and pauses, "Let me check your suit after —" And she does catch the sign that the jig is up. But she can repair suits. Even if it's only repaired as long as she's awake. What she lacks in raw social skills, she - makes up for in flexibility? Because she is never going to be a lot more than normal human, bodywise. Nevertheless, she's fought long enough and in urban conditions to figure out roughly where things came from. The nice perk about laser weapons is they are generally /silent/. Say hello to Mr. Lasers, shooty guy. Unless someone stops her, because it is likely she doesn't have the awesome reflexes of Mr. Skeltal or the Rantinator.


A solid slug like projectile fired from an energy projection rifle? No, almost, as Lunair's lasers light up the forest they see a flicker of movement and then a full on visual sighting of a tall woman, probably around six feet with a full strong body long legs and pony-tail style hair that reaches just down to the ass. One one forearm is a small wrist mounted weapon the other hand holds a long thin sword. The attacker pivots, dodges and twists through Armory's weapon fire directly towards the Authority team. That sword is uplifted in to the air and a war cry is released.
Taskmaster tumbles and fires back with a BRRAP BRRAP of his own before his shield meets the woman's in a clashing display of brief sparks and two entangled bodies.
"No natives Peabody said." A grunt sound escapes Taskmaster and the woman roundhouses him out of her path.
"Prikhodite, chtoby zakonchit' nas ? Davayte potantsuyem!" the female hisses.
A backwards handspring and the skull faced mercenary is on his feet but hes not in close proximity anymore. Rant and Armory are.
"Take the bitch down!"


Tape. No matter what you do, her dad always says, carry duct tape. You cut yourself trying to fix something? Duct it up! Something broke? Duct it up. Is it odd for Rant to have a dispenser of it on her hip? NOPE! She ducts it right up. Though if it'll hold, who knows. Lunair will just have to fix it when the fight was over.

Her rifle was already raised and as soon as Lunair begins to fire so does she, though her aim wasn't as great since her hand was completely numb, which shook as she tried to take control and actually gets rid of the rifle with a hang upon her arm.

As the woman dashes from the trees, Melody strafes to the left, blades.. as they're usually affited according to how she was trained, drawn from her back as she charges forth with both blades lowered as she ducks into a low roll, attempting to hamstring the bigger chick because.. well. Orders are orders.

And Hamstringing is a great way to take someone down!


Oh geez. Rant is going into melee. "Excuse me, please stop, ma'am." Lunair tried. She really did. She's duly impressed. "Um. War cry usually means reinforcements. Or friends." She notes. Lunair will take care of Rant later. For now, she's got to help Rant and deal with this woman. There's one perk to knowing that one is outmatched in terms of speed. You learn to aim where they are *going* or aim *behind them* to lodge shrapnel into their back. And Lunair is experienced enough to do just that.

She's not using explosives, due to the proximity of a Rant (it's always the jackass with the rocket launcher. ALWAYS). So she has to move, kneel and shoot where the woman's torso will be as she moves to deal with Rant. Hopefully.


The combat roll by Melody likely to her dismay is met with a weapon on weapon clang and an overstep. That towering majestic Amazonian she-devil actually takes the time to smirk down at Rant before delivering a powerful forward kick to her face a kick so strong it actually induces sploches and visual blurs. "Bystro, no ne umeniye."

"No melee! Withdraw and open fire, you're outclassed, Rant." Taskmaster exclaims as he intercedes between the Russian speaking swordswoman and Rant, his shield deflecting a strike that would have scalped Melody Kenway. "Just don't fucking shoot me… "

It's then that a shot rips past him and peels a hole through the swordswoman's torso. A cry escapes her and she launches a frenzied assault on to Taskmaster despite the wound Lunair just punched through her. She is slowing though and Taskmaster is matching her rapid strikes with parries and blocks of shield and his own sword, baiting her in a slow circle so her back and side is exposed to them, "Finish her already!" He seems almost frantic, in a hurry, why? Melody can hear the Geiger counter clicking loudly. They're near or in a very heavy rad zone.


Triple ow. Her head snaps back as she's flown a few feet away from combat, her hands reaching up to grab ahold of her head in a roll much like a kid does, even kicking her little feet to fight off the pain. Sure, she kind of figured she was outclassed. Was expecting it. But that big kick to the face was an 'I-told-you-so-from-Hell' that she'll never hear the end of it.

She really didn't get much pain training from the torture of training that she went through. Especially being inflicted from someone else.

But the rifle was swung forward as she remained upon her back, aimed from in between her knees, but she was seeing quadruple, meta-human or not, a blow like that rung her head like a bell and she couldn't even line up the shot. "I can't fucking see!"


"Stay behind me, it's okay. Thank you," Lunair is aware of what Rant at least /tried/ and Lunair respects that. And wow, this lady is totally majestic. "I wouldn't shoot you! You're cool, even if I still get a headache when I see the shield," And hey, Lunair's thing IS shooting.

And again, she has to be mindful of Taskmaster. Friendly fire is still FIRE. She is going to take aim the moment Taskmaster grants her an opening. The woman will move this way, Taskmaster that way. It's a skill born of years of fighting in a land without rules, where human cruelty ran deeper than the darkest rivers in Africa and so one had to learn to read or die painfully. Another bolt of light. Please end this. It's less showy and flashy than a melee combat, and she's certainly not going to risk being showy. No time for it.


A mercy shot if anything and the strange swordswoman goes down. Dead on impact with the Ukrainian earth. Taskmaster breathing heavy through his mask sheathes his sword, "Nice shooting, Loon. You're fast becoming one of my favorite boids and shake it off Rant, you did all right. Beats mewling for your life in Gotham streets trapped in a BMW with a madman." Wink wink.
Kneeling down Taskmaster studies the woman's body, lacerations, cuts, wounds that are older than this little fight. Also her weaponry though scant and it looks like she came out of some feudal war state is high-tech, the metals, the fabrics all close woven. Plus that wrist mounted slug launcher. That thing is just neat.
The Geiger counters loud clicking makes it hard to think straight, "She wanted to die. You smell it don't you?" Taskmaster asks, what smell? Acrid scents, recent excrement, burnt ozone, death, a battlefield.
"C'mon." He walks them deeper in to the forested outskirts of the radiated city and they find exactly that, bodies, blasted and destroyed remains of people or well, what could have been people. Their gear is wreckage, very little of it salvageable but it matches that woman - high tech weaponry, special carbon material blades… it is, however, a deadzone.


Yeah, Melody totally didn't get the connection. Probably will one day, though Guy and Taskmaster did talk so he was probably laughing at her way back when, when it happened. "Yeah.. I guess.." Ow. She couldn't even laugh about that. But she manages up to her feet, finally staggering over to the crowd that gathers over the many dead women who look the same, her eyes blinking back as she looks and examines her, her nose wrinkling her nose with a shake of her head.

She follows along, and once she sees the others, there was a quick look away, her back turning for the moment to stare at a spot that wasn't death. That at least looked a little bit normal compared to their surroundings. "Are we taking their weapons?"


"Let me see your hurt hand," Lunair offers. She frowns, at the loud clicking. "Yeah, this feels like Africa in a way. The despair is different, but I want to drop to all fours, patrol and then kill anything that gets in my way." From the tone of her voice, she will not put up with obstacles. She tries not to breathe too deeply. When Melody shows her the damaged patch, Lunair will temporarily create enough material to mend it - good as new! A bit eerie, really.

"I've been working on armor and fabrics," She admits. Less outright deadly, more flexible. Can't blow someone up if you're straight dead or nude. She blinks owlishly. "Thank you," She will accept the words from Taskmaster. Kindness is relative, and she knows that all too well.

"I wonder if there's reality anomalies or just straight deadzones out here." But the go pro will survive her, encased in its leaden protection as it is. A record, images of those people, the fallen woman, everything. And so she distracts herself falling into the middle of the group.


"Thank me in an hour when I'm jamming a giant ass needle in to you. It's got to be the bone. Always the bone." There is a long quiet moment for Taskmaster as he stands there taking in the scene, "This shouldn't be. Peabody didn't cover this… "

"No, leave the weapons. Not worth deconning." He starts to quietly sing-hum again, "There's a place for you my friend, there's a way for you my friend. Just show her som… yeah, we're missing something here. Am I repeating myself? Eh, fan out and look around. Find anything you can that just doesn't seem to fit… aside from these guys." He swings his reacquired MP submachine gun towards the recently dead bodies.


"I bet it's thick too." Rant mutters, still shaking off the effects of the kick, her vision slowly beginning to normalize as she begins to search the area. She was careful around the dead bodies, a few that were turned over she nudged a little with her foot onto their sides, then moving on to a next part of the area, even sweeping the dirt with her foot. She wasn't sure what didn't fit here. Nor what actually did, this place was just as strange as any other place that they've been to on those little missions.


Uh oh. That's like the word of the day, except it's setting off Lunair's phobia. There's an obvious moment of horror, fear and perhaps her doing her level best to keep the first two on a firm leash. "Well, who is jamming a needle in to you? And at least buy me dinner before you jam things in like that." Smart ass.

Nevertheless, Lunair and her camera gaze here, panning slowly, there, above, below. She sort of hunches, perhaps to give herself a better look.

"Maybe Peabody didn't know, or it wasn't here when he got his intel," She notes quietly. "People are a terrible variable." Squint. Then she sort of comes to a halt. "One second. This fabric - it's a - hang on," She kneels to brush it off and gently try to preserve and read it. Her laser rifle disappears to free her hands. "Searcher… In…" Then she frowns. "Is English. This doesn't fit. Did Russian and English teams work together…? But none of the pieces-" She's trying to compare it to what's on the dead people, and seems to be failing.


"I'm a cheap date. No dinner required." Taskmaster says while nudging over a corpse, "Deado, deado, deado… more deadoes." Crunch, sift, crunch, "Peabody's intel is off and that transpo set us almost a mile of where it was supposed to. Deathstroke has some glitches to work out with his people obviously… he likes a tight ship, I'm seeing some discrepancies. Also how hot was that chick you blew away, Loon? Jinkies. They sure do-… " He pauses to look at Rant and Armory, "Not saying you two don't got your colorful feathers or nothing. Just, I me—- what?"
Taskmaster springs over to Lunair and snatches out the Searcher's In- "Gimme." Yoink, holding it up to his mask he hrms, "Va.. fuck you memory. I feel like I just whatever, lets take this to Peabody or Slade or someone who can figure this out. This was a bust."
The Geiger counter was chattering like a giant bug right now and it was making him edgy, "Lets call for a quick evac far away from here and then we all get to poke each other with giant ass needles because I'm not taking any precautions." A rustle sound and Taskmaster is jogging away from here.
That strip Lunair found having been thrust back in to her hand for safekeeping. Clearly holds importance but Taskmaster likes not having tentacles plus he is pretty sure he spotted a GIANT ass boar earlier and it might be coming around for seconds. "Last one there gets hit in the teeth with a shield!"

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