Not another Boston Massacre

March 25, 2016:

Operatives from Ultimatum have their eyes set on a certain bald candidate for President.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

12:33 PM

Below, a large crowd has filled one of the open areas that looks out onto the harbor. They're at a fever pitch, chanting, singing, and waving placards of purple in white that read LUTHOR 2016. The CEO of LexCorp's campaign is in full swing and he's desperate to win a state that usually goes to the Progressive Party.

But who am I kidding? Lex Luthor is never desperate.

But Captain America is. He's standing on a rooftop, flanked by Agent Pezzini. He lowers his binoculars after doing a sweep. "I don't see anything."

Four hours earlier, SHIELD had come upon some intel chatter across some pretty secure and well regarded sources. ULTIMATUM, a rogue terrorist group, is looking to make a play, and by taking out such a popular candidate this close to the election, could make big gains in both notoriety and their mission to spread their anti-nationalism agenda.

Across the way, on a platform that flanks the far side of the crowd, is Agent 13. Sharon Carter is dressed undercover, in a Lex Luthor hoodie that is just large enough to hide the amount of weapons she has on beneath it. She's got her own little binoculars, but they aren't SHIELD issue, they look more like a surbuban housewife's opera goggles. She dresses the part perfectly, flicking her communicator off as she chants with the rest of the crowd, not wanting to deafen her team mates, but then she puts it back on as she finishes that round of chanting.

"There's a… small contingent of non-chanters at my 9 o'clock. They simply don't seem as excited. Maybe they're hispters." Or protestors. Or terrorists. That was the hard thing about these ops. It was a lot of profiling and hoping that one could be faster than the enemy.

Leave it to a witch to turn up unexpectedly. Wizards turn up where they want to when they want to, but that's a dick move, and this witch is a bit more profesional than that. Captain is on the back of Rain's broomstick and the two are surprisingly stealthy in the era of smart phones. They travel silently. Above. Finding a perch to watch from before a pigeon is unceremoniously booted from their perch. Freaking pigeons.

And out come binoculars. Rain is careful about using magic or relying on it.

Sara has her hands in her pockets, looking out over the crowd with a police officer's experience. "Hate these things," she murmurs, grimacing. "Doesn't take much to set off a crowd that's already up in arms like this. That group over there," she pauses, pointing out a different area from Sharon's. "Not the group. No one there's looking to make trouble, but to the right's hard-core supporters and to the left, they're screwing around, not taking it seriously. Someone in the first group takes offense…"

Watching from another rooftop across from Rogers and Pezzini, May marks Carter and Rain's locations. "I don't see anything yet either. Rain, would your familiar be able to detect the smell of gunpowder or explosives?" She doesn't call the cat by his name because she's trying to avoid causing confusion. Though she does secretly wish to have Captain meet the Captain. Just for sheer amusement value.

"Alright, we'll fan out. Points of stress would likely be an attack from up close or a shot from three point range. Agent 13, scope out the area you mentioned and then head towards the stage and see what you can find."

The Boston Harbor Hotel has several different sections that almost horseshoe the area. If there's a shooter, it's likely to come from up there. Cap decides that's their best bet. "We need eyes scanning all of the hotel rooms. Everyone take a look at the windows across from you. If you see anything, radio it in. We'll send in whoever is atop that particular building."

The campaign manager from the Lex campaign was adamant that the show must go on, despite a call from a high ranking SHIELD agent. Candidates are bullish and brazen, and cancelled campaign stops are always a negative thing. It's unclear if Luthor will win Massachusetts, but if he can it's likely to put him in poll position (do you see what I did there?) on election night. A calculated risk, essentially. And as the campaign's themesong kicks into high gear, it's clear that the candidate will be coming to the stage soon.

"Got it. I'm on them." Sharon murmurs over the subvocal comm unit, words purely professional and ready to work. She's then hugging the stage a bit more, using her cute blondeness to get past where other people cannot. She gives a bit of a stumbling laugh as she comes into contact with one of the men she'd spotted, half tripping in the crowd, her hand running down his chest as she catches herself, "Oh! I'm sorry… It's so crowded here! Oo… Muscles. Mm." She grins flirtatiously, as she finishes the all too smoothly hidden pat down on who looked like might be leading that group.

Rain does also look forward to Captain meeting Captain. But for now, they listen. The cat replies, in his baritone voice awash with a Gotham accent like dye falling into water, "Yeah. I know that smell." They WERE homeless in Gotham and somehow survived. Magic: Totally cheating.

Nevertheless, the two will wait, listening. When May responds, they'll prepare themselves.

"Remind me again why we're protecting him?" Sara asks as she moves to a corner of the rooftop, crouching there to scan the area for any signs of an impending attack. "Aside from the truth and justice and election is the American process thing. Because I don't trust this guy even a little bit." Such a ray of sunshine, she is.

"Because it's our job, Pezzini. We dont' have to like it." May moves a bit on her rooftop, now scanning the windows of the buildings across from her for any sign of a sniper's nest. She kind of wishes there were a sniper sort on their side here today. While she knows what to look for and where the likely spots might be, the best people to pick out and stop snipers are other snipers. "Use your nose then, and see if you can make sure there's nothing on the edges of or underneath that stage." Something human agents on the ground CAN'T do.

Cindy Moon drumbs her fingers against the side of her leg, taking deep breaths to steady herself as she glances this way and that. The new girl, the 'rookie' out on her probationary 'ride-along' to watch how it was done. Leave it to SHIELD to consider an assasination attempt a ride along, and then to decide they should give the girl at least the smallest of roles when she had described her abilities a little more in depth. Sadly, for her, the mania of the rally was far from a good place to work her spid- Silk! Silk senses. Everyone was riled up, and she only got the weakest inkling of ill intent running through the crowd, nothing more than that sinking pit of nerves as she suppressed a frown. Yeah Cindy, it's fine, it's all good, Captain America is just running this show. You know, you heard him talking over the radio… Hahaha… Save her. Cindy looked a little bit on the younger… more progressive side in comparison to your average Lex supporter. Even her make 'Make America great again' hat didn't exactly help her blend in all that well as she moved through the crowd and kept her eyes open. She looked perfectly average for a 20 something girl, but then, there weren't many 20 something girls making their way through this crowd! Just act casual Cindy… Act casual…

"Hey fox," says the muscle bound hunk that Sharon checks for weaponry. There aren't a lot of babes in this place, and especially not enough for a Harvard fratboy who is supporting Lex full force so that daddy's gravy train continues coming. He grins wide at Sharon and tries to put his solo-cup equipped arm around her. "Lex!!!! WOOOOO! Bald is beautiful!… and so are you!"

Steve opens his mouth to counter Sara, but May takes it. All the better. The last thing he needs is to start up some argument with her. Usually it's over Jesus or about breaking up. Really, he's learned the lesson every man learns eventually. Say nothing.

Steve's eyes are peeled on the far wall of windows that face the stage, the building whose facade is towards the west. Still, he sees nothing.

As Sara watches the same building, she'll notice something strange. A glint of metal catches her eye in a room that has the shades drawn and is dark inside. Odd, most of the other windows are all open. It's one of the things the secret service requires at these sorts of things.

The building in question is the one whose roof May stands upon. She's not able to see it, but she's the closest should it turn out to be anything.

"Eyes peeled, Moon," Steve says into his communicator as he continues to look, but sees nothing. Moon and Carter will be well placed if the attack is to come close to the stage.

Oh god, what did Sharon get herself into? He smells like Axe and daddy's money. A half smile is given to the man and she echoes, still keeping the cover, "Wooo, Luuu-THOR!" It seems her initial read of that little group was off. But she's staying near the front of the crowd and on them or anyone else looking for short range advantage. (Or planting something near the stage.) Otherwise, she'll remain fairly silent on the op. If things go wrong elsehwere, she'll be there for crowd control and back up.

"May, I've got something on your building," Sara reports, tendrils of Witchblade climbing up her arm as she leans out over the edge of the roof. "Two banks of windows over, five down. Shades are down, and it looked like something was moving in there. Could just be a night shift worker, but we're not usually that lucky."

"You got it," Captain replies. Rain will take her feline down. She looks awfully nerdy to be here. And Captain is going to be sniffing around the edges of the stage for gunpowder or oddities. Plus, he might get some pettings. Rain herself is going to hang back near her cat, looking more like some IT nerd broken loose. Still, magical senses reach out juuuust in case of Libertarian Wizards or something. Maybe Redditors… you never know.

"Acknowledged, Pezzini. Moving to check." She leaves checking the windows of the buildings across the way to another SHIELD agent already there with her and moves quickly and quietly to enter the building and go down the stairs to the floor indicated. She's moving as fast as possible, knowing she needs to get there and clear it before Luthor steps onto that stage. "Keep me updated, Pezzini."

Cindy Moon felt her heart skip a beat as /THE/ Steve Rogers calls out her name over the radio, a-ahahaha. Now is a horrible time to be fangirling over Captain Hunk, or to be totally blown away by the fact she's actually working with him. You know, she's only known he's really existed for less than a year now, yet she can't help but feel the butterflies take flight in her stomach. Assasins be damned, she has self-conciousness to tackle!

"On it, but the crowd is a little large- and Luthory- for me to pick up anything for certain. I've got a bad feeling though." She replies, noting something about /always/ having a bad feeling. And she can't help but curse under her breath, she sounded like a total kid compared to all the cool gruff full blooded agents around.

She'll move closer for the stage, pulling her hat down to conceal her eyes as she fixes the collar on her pea coat. She's chosen pretty muted colors, khaki pants and black cat with a shock of red for a scarf, and that dumb purple hat. That dumb, dumb hat. At least she's done her hair into a totally cute ponytail, because even Luthor voters should understand basics of fashion. And then she's glancing upwards at the sky as things begin to kick into motion. Yep, real secret agent here.

Once Sara points out the window in question, Steve's eyes go right to it. And then, as if to get a better shot, something pushes the edge of the drape away to give more space. It's clearly the end of a rifle.

Steve doesn't wait. Able to run faster than any normal human, he kicks it into high gear immediately. Rather than slow down for that ledge, he uses the lip as a spring board as he leaps off the edge of the top of his building, towards the one that sits kitty-corner!

The room in question is only two floors beneath May, and located just under the circular-rotunda. She has a host of different avenues to get there.

It would have been hard for Rain to see the gunman from her vantage point, but as it's pointed out, she too is able to see what the others do.

Meanwhile, down below, Agent-in-training Moon will notice a man with a rather large and bulky jacket, much better for winter than the nearly 60 degree weather we're having today. He's just finishing a phone conversation as he puts the phone in his front pocket.

Silk-Sense TINGLING!

Captain is sniffing. And being cute. Bombsquad cat ON THE JOB. Rain frowns. She's got to do something about this, so she pulls out a tablet and does her best to pretend to look busy. While it would be tough to intervene directly, she has FREAKING MAGIC. And everyone knows magic is cheat code for life. So she's blessing the speaker, the target. He gets one get out of bad luck free card. So likely, his luck will make sure the first shot misses. Maybe because Captain is now coming up to sniff his feet and the man should absorb good PR to pet kitty, yes? Yes? He has to bend over to pick up the cat now weaving around his feet.

"Steve, you're going to owe me a drink for this." For what? Well, when the glint of a gun shows, she stops leaning over the edge of the building. Instead, she pushes off, apparently diving off the edge of the roof. Generally speaking, this would be bad. But apparently she's worked on a few new tricks with the Witchblade. She plummets, the armor spreads over her body, wings like stained glass dragon wings bursting from between her shoulder blades as she dives toward Luthor to get between him and the shooter.

Melinda May makes quick work of going down the two flights, then finds the door that corresponds with the window indicated by Pezzini. She debates different ways to get into the room quickly and quietly, and after about half a second opts for the direct route. She steps back to kick in the door. And really hopes it's not reinforced. She's not a super soldier, after all.

Cindy Moon freezes, that familiar tickle running down her spine as her eyes drag across the man. She's already moving as her mind clicks into place, left hand going to her scarf, pulling the crimson material up over her nose and half concealing her face as she moves towards the man nimbly. She hardly has the time to think as she drops her shoulder, kicking hard off the ground and barreling towards the man.

Mr. President (Maybe), Noooooooooooo!

In her best homer simpson impersonation, Agent Moon (oh, that sounds snazzy) throws herself into the man! Maybe he was just a victim of fashion and loved fluffy coats, but she wasn't about to leave too much to chance as she slams against him, right hand outreached to bond to him as she deftly begins to weave silk around her left. She's committed! "Moon engaged!" She shouts, was… that how you say that? Radio protocol- not her game.


Steve smashes through the window about 5 doors to the north of where the potential shooter is hiding. Unfortunately, he barrels into a room where a Fortune 500 Vice President is meeting with his mistress. There's a shriek and a desperate attempt to get themselves covered. Steve's barrel roll turns into a sprint as he doesn't bother stopping, instead the apology comes with a wave and a 'sorry' as he sprints by and bursts through the door. He looks to his left, just in time to see May knocking down the door.

Meanwhile, Captain and Sara do a good job in blocking the candidate. To their credit, the secret service (not just for elected Presidents!) and Luthor's handlers get him off stage right quick, leaving the small cat and Sara Pezzini alone on the stage, ready for mayhem. Which they see occur down below them.

Cindy's spidey sense will start going haywire. Sure, she knocked the foe off his feet, but there's still something wrong! She can feel something under the jacket. It's a vest of somesort. Hard and packed in small 8 inch squares!

As May gets into the room, the would be assassin drops his weapon and reaches into his cloak. He's dressed in black, with a white underbelly, which is noticeable just before a spiky ball of metal comes flying right towards the SHIELD agent!

Well, Captain looks miffed. At least Rain's blessing worked. The cat goes back to sniffing for gunpowder and bombs near the witch and WitchBlade, whom Rain cannot actually wield. Grabbing Sara by the ankles would end terribly for Rain, who has all of the strength of 1 (one) nerd. And yes, they are minding the audience now. She's watching Sara, too.

Sara comes to a landing on the podium, where…she immediately looks extremely uncomfortable in her armor in front of a crowd. So many drinks are going to be owed. "Rogers, May, what's the situation up there?" she asks, the wings starting to dissolve back into the armor now that she's not plummeting.

Melinda May promptly throws herself to one side to avoid the spiky ball of metal — in medieval weaponry terms she'd think of it as a particularly unfriendly meteor hammer. If she manages to not get hit and Cap isn't already barrelling toward the man by that point, she'll throw something right back at him — one of Agent Morse's taser batons with the business end already sparking electricity. "Busy," is all she says in response to Pezzini's query.

Cindy Moon straddles the man, which should be an awkward thing- but she has her priorities elsewhere as electric shocks run down her spine. Now, she has about /zero/ experience with explosive bomb vests, you know, because suicide bombers weren't a huge thing in her bunker. But even she knows what this means. Crap! Crap Crap Crap Crap "CRAP!" She shouts the last one, immediately flicking her fingers, webbing shooting out from the tips as she tries to secure the man's hands to the ground. "I've got a bomb!" She shouts, her mind racing. Alright, alright Cindy! You got it! He can't use his hands he can't trigger a detonator!

Wait- Wait, Hurt Locker… Cellphones- /Crap/. She hardly misses a beat as she begins to web his torso, covering his chest in spider silk and desperately hoping that it would be enough if this guy decided to go hurtlocker. "Try not to blow your load buddy!"

NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR ONE LINERS. Especially bad ones! And… She's just now realizing she still had the mic keyed.

Ok… Maybe she would be alright with the bomb going off…

Steve takes his shield from his back and presses it upwards, barely preventing the ball and chain from taking off his head. The taser baton hits Karl Morgenthau in the head, but his mask prevents much of the electricity from gaining hold. It does, however, get through a bit through the opening for his eye, which brings a cry from the terrorist and brings him down to one knee. From there, Cap finishes him off after a GONG as his shield hits Morgenthau in the noggin.

Cindy's move to get the man's hands webbed away from that cell phone is a smart move as he's unable to trigger his, uh, load. At this point, Cindy's senses go calm, letting her know that she's no longer in danger. Meanwhile, Captain, Sara, and Rain seem to find no other evidence of treachery. By now, much of the crowd has begun to run away. If there are more of them, they've likely escaped, but as for now it seems that they were planning on getting Luthor either by explosion or by shot. Neither worked out.

As Steve approaches the gunman, he yanks the mask off the unconscious foe. "Karl Morgenthau. Lux and I were after this guy a few months ago. Looks like our intel was correct. You mind calling for an evac squad?" Cap asks May.

Rain is relieved. "Everyone okay? Looks like they got our potential head honcho out," She remarks as Luthor has been evacuated. "Captain didn't smell anything odd down here. We'll help evacuate the remaining folks and skedaddle ourselves."

"And no riots down here," Sara adds to the report, armor slowly fading away as the threats are neutralized. "You still owe me a drink, Steve. Or three."

Melinda May nods to Rogers and offers him some police-grade zip ties with one hand while reaching to her comm with the other to call in the support teams. And then, of course, she checks on the others. "Sniper secured. Rain, Pezzini. Acknowledged. And Captain, thank you. Moon, Sitrep." Oh, damn. She hopes that Rogers understands she was referring to the cat and not him. 'Cause DUH.

Cindy Moon groans as her senses die down, the young woman slackening some as she continues to straddle her poor opponent… Alright… SHIELD work was a little more intense than first anticipated. "Moon… Here… He had some performance issues. I've got him secured." She mumbles over the com, sounding immensely relieved as the adrenaline hits her like a wave in that moment. Poor girl looks absolutely silly on top of the webbed up man, she'll take one more moment to catch her breath before she slides off of him and dusts herself off. Yeah, alright, she feels like a bad ass! "Can… I get in on that?" Cindy squeaks over the com in response to drinks. Or maybe like an autograph…

And clean underwear.

"Sounds like the first round at Frank's is on me when we get back to New York," Steve says absently while looking down at Morgenthau. Was this part of a bigger scheme, or is this it? Was ULTIMATUM a bigger threat than he'd feared? Or could this somehow be connected towards what Zemo is working on. The thought lingers, until another strikes him.

"Sitrep? I'm right here," he says, nonplussed in his look towards May. Apparently he did not realize the cat's name was Captain.


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