Stopping Traffic

May 07, 2016:

X-Red is in Germany following an invitation from GSG-9 when their vehicle is hit by a bomb. Along with a car that Fords travelling in.

Hamburg - Germany

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It had been night when the X-Red team had finally arrived at the Berlin International Airport. It's odd 'losing' a day like that but that's how these things go. In keeping with the desire of their hosts to keep things as low profile as possible they'd arrived out of uniform and had taken only a single car on their way out rather than the stereotypical government motorcade of black SUV's.

"Thank you all for coming. There's a full briefing waiting for you in Hamburg proper. Sorry to keep the mystery up a little longer but we want" Their single liason had said simply once they were on the road. Before they can head to out to the scene of the crime, as it were, they need to get out of Berlin and there is traffic. Actually, that seems to annoy their driver who mutters in German.

"Let me see about a side road." Nope. Road work here too. "Ugh. Sorry. We'll get around this." They're approaching a big cement mixing truck now. And they're not the only ones. There's quite a few cars trying to file around the one open lane on this road.


One thing about not sleeping much because of nightmares, is that you get used to living on less of it. Brin had managed to doze a little in the plane and is sitting quietly in the back seat of the SUV, watching the traffic as they move.

Dressed down in jeans, burnt orange t-shirt, hikers and a jacket, she looks … nothing special. Which is good, right?

"It's quite alright. I know this is important, but better to get there in one piece." the words spoken in her usual quiet fashion. "Is there anything you can tell us while we drive? Like, have there been any developments?" Yes, they're heading to a briefing, but it's a good use of time.


Surprisingly (for X-Red, most likely), Ford Benett is in this traffic as well, heading into Germany in hopes of seeing about the cancelled protest march for mutants rights that was being organized prior. If he could, he wanted to get it back up and running… preferably with his name stuck to it. Nothing like good publicity to improve your image in a country. Especially among the folks in the government… and word had it, the young lady organizing the event prior was quite the looker.

But Ford' private vehicle escort had been caught among the traffic pile up, and Ford's driver had the same idea as the driver for X-Red. Ford's German wasn't quite as good as his Spanish or French… but he knew enough to know that his driver was uttering cusses under his breath and mentioning something about having to escort a 'rich spoiled brat' through this mess of a jam. "If you want to insult someone to their face, try speaking a language they can't understand, my good man." Ford quipped back, his German a little clunky, but certainly understandable, before switching over immediately to Spanish and speaking far more fluently. "Like Spanish. I find it's much more colorful to insult someone in such a smooth and fluent language. Makes the cusses roll right off the tongue." Ford simply returned to his work on his phone and the papers from his briefcase, patiently letting the traffic file through.


Wanda sometimes wonders why she has a uniform with the amount of clandestine work X-Red do; though it is good to get out of a country where people were starting to throw things at her in the street. From behind of cours - they wouldn't dare do it to her face. Dressed in jeans and a hoodie - she at least has scarlet socks - she peers out the window at the world outside and frowns. If they had just asked her she could have avoided this bad luck completely. Even as she stares out the window she pays attention to the conversation in the SUV.


Bobby does, indeed, have no idea.

But he's about to find out.

As their car just edges up even with the roadwork one of the pickup trucks in the work crew starts to pull out, blocking the last lane. Their driver mutters something and forces himself to be patient as the truck stops for so apparent reason.

"something wrong?" The ice nerd cants his head slightly.

Brinley and Wanda will both have an instant's warning. A focused wave of hate directed at their car and the one right behind it.

And then the cement truck explodes, sending the X-Red car tumbling sideways before slamming into the building immediately to their right.


And Nick had asked Brin to be safe. At least she'd said she'd be as safe as she can and this time she hadn't rushed headlong into danger, it had come to her.

"What th—-" an instants warning is not enough to do anything more than than hold on. At least she's wearing her seatbelt.

As the car tumbles, the inertia reel catchs on the belt, holding her in place and mimimising any whiplash type injury - but bruising ribs (at the least) as it locks.

Crash

Stunned, the brunette looks through the fall of hair over her face "Bobby, Wanda …" is all she can get out for the moment.


As Ford continues his work, his driver honked the horn at the traffic just stopping, once again shouting in German. Ford simply disregarded the hateful shouting… but the sudden explosion was something he could not ignore! Thankfully, his vehicle doesn't get quite the blast that the X-Red car gets… but it stills sends it reeling! The front tipped up into the air and went sailing back, before landing on it's belly again with a heavy *SMASH!*

His ears still ringing from the blast, Ford recovered quickly and leaned up to check on his driver. His eyes were closed! Holding for a second, Ford placed a finger on the driver's neck… good, a pulse. He was still alive… but certainly not awake. "Hang on, big mouth. I'll get ya out…" Ford looked over and raised a leg, kicking the door just enough to get it loose and open, clambering out and cautiously checking his surroundings. "Huh… talk about an explosive welcome. I knew Germany partied hard, but man…"


Thankfully Brinley made Wanda wear her seatbelt because the witch is only mortal after all. As the SUV tumbles across the road she hangs on for dear life while her subconscious kicks into gear and a sphere of scarlet magic suddenly appears around the vehicle. It helps protect the car but also helps with the luck of the situation - not that there has been much so far. The fuel tank doesn't explode. The SUV rolls over the hood of another car rather than crushing the cabin where children are screaming in terror. It slams wheels first into the building and stops suddenly.

Wanda is breathing heavy as she tries to focus once more. Her magic disappearing as quickly as it arrived as she tries to take control again. "Brin? Bobby?" are her feeble questions in return. A wince at the pain of her ribs and she reaches up to find a trickle of blood from her forehead to her cheek. She must have used her own luck for the others. "I am okay" she adds without much conviction.


"I'm here." Bobby freezes his door brittle and gives it a kick. The lock shatters and he clambers out just in time to see the work crew producing guns. "Crap!"

A wall of ice goes up and bullets impact in onto it. "Brin, Wanda, we've got to get out of here now. See about the driver!" The driver is slumped over and bleeding from several places. It's not immediately clear if he's alive.

Unfortunately Bobby hasn't yet picked up that they're not the only target and he deglected to give Ford any kind of cover. He'll feel a bit bad about that later no doubt. As it stands Ford can see several assault rifles leveled his way as the people using them open up without regard for the safety of bystanders. Anything to get rid of him, apparently.


The seat belt is stuck tight, holding Brin immobile. It takes a few moments for her to move enough to get it to unlock… just as the bullets impact on Bobby's shield. "Here Wanda…" she sounds woozy and a little faint.

Finally wriggling out of the car, keeping its bulk between her and the gunmen, she makes her way to the driver, yanking hard on the door to open it and starts checking his vitals….

"He's got a pulse… it's faint. Wanda, help me.."


"…oh shooOOOOOOOOOT!" Ford blinked as the bullets started to fly around him, quickly diving for cover behind some nearby debris. His mind quickly raced as he started formulating plans in his head. He had his mask… and that was it. He never really went anywhere armed. He preferred to let his mind be his arsenal. And right now, it was calculating plans as he thought through his options. His powers were a go to… but couldn't really use them at the moment. Not with those goons watching him… so, he'd have to distract them so he could make a break! If he could get clear…

Pulling out his mask and slipping it on, Ford spun around on his rear and aimed his legs at the debris, before letting out a mighty double kick to send the debris flying at the folks shooting at him. Not to injure, but to distract! Hopefully, if they were more focused on the flying metal heading for them, they wouldn't notice him bounce up and race away at 200 mph, circling around behind them a good distance away.


Wanda nods to Brinley's request as she undoes her own seatbelt and slumps to the side of the SUV with a thud. "Ow" she mumbles before she is aware of the 'clink' of bullets hitting ice. "This is not better than America" she sighs before clambering over to the driver's seat. A quick wriggle of her fingers and his seat belt 'unluckily' snaps open to free him into Brinley's arms. A quick glance around before a nod to the building they hit. "We can try and get him in there…unless this car is bullet proof? It might be safer to leave him in here. Once we can stop the bleeding…" Brinley's the nurse, Wanda is just here to change reality. Like speed up the coagulation of the wounds.


The sudden shower of scrap metal has some of the gunmen scattering for cover behind their vehicles and traffic barriers. Bobby gets right up and cozy with his wall, spins out and freezes a couple of guns. "Looks like there's a dozen of them or so." He calls back to the two women… "And a… Vigilante?" Iceman assumes he's a local, or at least he does until he sees the second car and driver. Yeah, okay, maybe there are two targets here.

"Looks like we've got an ally!" Good thing too because bullets aren't the only thing in their attackers' arsenal. As Wanda heals the driver and he starts to wake a little cylender sails through the air and clinks to the ground near them. Grenade!

Ford gets that treatment too. Twice, actualy, both one sliding under the car the other uncomfortably close to his left. Of course… he's pretty damn fast when he wants to be…


The sudden shower of scrap metal has some of the gunmen scattering for cover behind their vehicles and traffic barriers. Bobby gets right up and cozy with his wall, spins out and freezes a couple of guns. "Looks like there's a dozen of them or so." He calls back to the two women… "And a… Vigilante?" Iceman assumes he's a local, or at least he does until he sees the second car and driver. Yeah, okay, maybe there are two targets here.

"Looks like we've got an ally!" Good thing too because bullets aren't the only thing in their attackers' arsenal. As Wanda heals the driver and he starts to wake a little cylender sails through the air and clinks to the ground near them. Grenade!

Ford gets that treatment too. Twice, actualy, both one sliding under the car the other uncomfortably close to his left. Or what was his left. The men who tossed the explosives look confused. Wasn't there a guy there a second ago?


Ford WAS where the grenades were going off… but not anymore! As they detonate, he is already gone a fair distance, his driver hoisted over his shoulder. Taking a back street, Ford set the guy down safely, before taking off again to loop around them. He wasn't the flash… but he was fast enough! And he could keep his pace up for quite a while! Looping through streets, Ford doubled-back to come from behind the attacking work crew, getting them in his sights.

After a brief wait, Ford blazed in, arms outstretched, hoping to clothesline the two gunmen in the back of the group, before racing off to another hiding spot. "I really need to invest in some sort of firearm… something non-lethal. Perhaps a stun gun… like a Tesla Gun. Yeah, that'd be cool."


Thankfully the fog is starting to clear from Brins head and Wanda healing the driver, gives the brunette a little room to think. "Help is good…" she calls back to Bobby, smearing blood across her forehead as she pushes her hair back.

If she'd been concentrating on the emotions in the area, she might have recognised Fords, but … familiar as she is with these situations, her mind shields are up and tight.

"Wanda, he's stable, help Bobby with the gunmen … " she says just as the cylinder clinks near them. She doesn't really think … a glowing green and gold shield forms around it. If it explodes before someone else can move it, she'll take the psychic backlash … and that's about it.


Wanda seems quite happy with her healing job - it's not often she gets to do something constructive - before she is reminded of the danger by the clunking of a grenade over the ground next to them. As Brinley's shield appears Wanda mumbles to herself before a sphere of scarlet wraps around the grenade just before it detonates. The explosive energy trapped within until it dissipates quickly. Wanda slumps back into the car. "That was harder than I thought it would be" she sighs to Brinley. "I think next time I just make it unable to detonate at all." A deep breath before she pushes herself out of the SUV to join Bobby against the gunmen. Arms forward as her fingers curl and writhe to create her chaotic energy around them.


Bobby has taken a few rifles out of the fight by this point. Shockingly the gunmen also have sidearms so while the storm of lead smacking into his ice wall has slackened, it's not gone. The driver of the X-Red car gasps in shock as the grenade is quickly sent 'elsewhere' and then slumps, muttering in German something that sounds like a prayer.

The work crew has utterly lost track of Ford and their backs are to him when he zips back up. He easily has the advantage. And now that Wanda's in the fight… well, this should be over quickly.


With a grateful look to Wanda for saving her the backlash, Brins shield disappears and her glowing bow and arrows manifest. "That's probably a good idea, Wanda." the brunette murmurs as she deftly nocks an arrow, peers around the edge of the car, takes aim and lets an arrow fly… aiming for hands and arms … seeking to disable and get the gunmen to drop their guns.

"Eyes on the assistance, anyone?" Now, she drops her mental shields and starts sifting through the emotions.


No doubt, Brin will be able to pick a very powerful wave of confidence… at least, when it passes through her range of detection. It feels as if it's blitzing in and out of the area when she can feel it. And that's because it is!

Ford continues to whittle away at the work crew, looking to knock them flat on their backs as he barrels into them before running around to do it again. He continues this pattern as long as folks with guns remain standing, though he does leave a few behind and hopefully conscious so he can interrogate them. After all, they were targetting him… and he wanted to know why.


No turning people into bunnies today…or dachsunds. Wanda's scarlet magic flows from her fingers to consume their weapons. Bullies rarely hang around when unarmed and their weapons are soon decomposing as if they've existed for eons. Crumbling at the touch of finger on trigger. Bullets refusing to ignite when the hammer slams into them. It does not take long for decayed metal to rust and rot in their hands…and if they don't move their hands away then it may start to spread. Wanda has been rather annoyed lately after all and if a couple of hands whither to bones then it won't be her fault.


The zip in and out is… close enough to a Flash type hero that for a moment Bobby thinks that's who they've got. Der Flash, perhaps? It doesn't matter though. Several of the wind up on their backs and a few with arrows to the shoulder before their weapons just rot away. The ones still armed drop them with a cry but they don't get anywhere to go. An ice wall pens them in rather abruptly (hopefully Bobby's zippy ally won't run into it).

Then they're surrounded. Iceman steps out from behind his cover and blocks one of the few remaining exits personally. Sirens can be heard in the distance.

"Everyone okay?" And who is that masked man?


Brin does recognise that flash of confidence and her eyes widen for a moment as she straightens and moves painful towards Bobby, gathering Wanda with a look, leaving the driver where he is for the moment until more help can arrive. "A bit sore, Bobby." That might be an understatement. "But ok. Guess that's our welcoming party though."

Now… where is he … the one whose emotions she recognises…


As the ice wall forms up, the hit and run ceases. Actually, it ceased when the guns were dropped, but the two are close enough together that one could be forgiven for thinking the ice was the cause. But it stops all the same, and the hero seems to vanish. Perhaps on his way to help another group of folks? Who knows!

But after the shooting stops and quiet pervades through the area, another voice pipes up through the air, approaching the group. "Well, that was harrowing. Glad to see heroes exist in surplus in other parts of the world!" Ford Benett emerges from behind some nearby wreckage, dusty, suits slightly ripped up and fixing his hair back to his liking. "Now then… if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to— well, well, well, if it isn't the folks from X-Red! Brin, looking lovely as always! What brings you all to Germany on such an eventful night?" Brin may notice that as soon as Ford notices her, she starts to feel an overwhelming abudance of confidence and pride from him. Almost as if he's trying to clog up her powers… must just be a coincidence. After all, he's full of that all the time.

"Actually, we'll have to delay the conversation. I appreciate you guys getting me out of that. Now… if you don't mind, I'd like to have a chat with our friends here and see why exactly my arrival in Germany was greeted with exploding trucks!"


Wanda watches the gunmen warily just in case they start pulling out large sticks. And then she is watching the approaching Ford even more warily. "Do you know this person?" she asks Brinley, Wanda certainly hasn't met him. "And what is he going to do with the…" She nods towards the gunmen since she doesn't know to call them prisoners or something worse. Leaving them to their conversations, Wanda starts picking her way through all the other cars caught in the explosion and checking on all the innocents that may have been hurt…or worse.


Bobby doesn't know that person but he apparently knows them or at least of them, and seems to know Brinley. Which doesn't surprise him, everyone knows Brinley.

However he is about to ask some cogent questions of the surviving gunmen (which is all of them, good thing they were facing this group and not more violent heroic types) so the ice nerd steps back to let him. He would, after all, like to know what's up with the bombs though his questions are more along the lines of 'how did you know who to target.'

Wanda's efforts yields several people injured by debris, explosions or bullets. They seem worried at first but, shock of shocks, her healing efforts quickly earn her grateful looks and… phrases in german.

Odd really how you can say anything in German and it still sounds like you hate that person.


"Mr Benett… uh Ford." Brin nods to the man, before looking at both her team mates. Bobby will know the name, Brin's mentioned him before. "Yes, Wanda, I do. Ford is from New York."

Squinting a little at the words being sent in Wanda's direction, Brin relaxes - they don't seem to be being rude, rather they're grateful, even if it doesn't sound like that.

Turning her attention back to Ford "We're here at the invitation of the Government…" falling silent as she waits to hear the response to his question. Was it him they were targetting?


"Metropolis, actually. I just happen to have been in New York when we meet. I'm a first-class gentleman like that~" Ford corrected, raising a finger and wagging it playfully at Brin, before popping his knuckles. "By the by, you may want to search the area. I doubt we'll find them, but these fellows seemed to know which cars to hit. I wager they have some folks nearby, assuming they're stupid enough to still be around. Now then, I have some questions for you fellows. Speak English? German? Spanish or French? Which of you is the head honcho here?" Ford waited to see if any of them ratted out their superior of the group. If they did, he addressed him (or her, could be a lady!) directly. If not, he just spoke to the whole group.

"Alright, first off: who are you with? Was this a deliberate attempt on me, or was it just a 'happy' coincidence? And how did you know it was me? Or were you after X-Red? And who is going to replace this new suit I bought for this trip, hm? …matter of fact, spill it all. And I highly advise not lying to me." Ford pointed to Brinley. "Because she can tell if you're lying." Pointing at Bobby. "He can encase your brain in ice. And she…" He thumbed to Wanda. "…well, you saw what she did to your weapons. Imagine what she can do to you… or lie. I'm actually curious to see it myself… so… think long and hard before you answer."

Granted, some of that was him making things up… but they didn't know that. Besides, the crucial thing wasn't that he could convince Wanda to inflict their worst nightmares on them, only that they think that he could.


Wanda's heard German before so she doesn't mind the harshness. She'll quietly potter around doing her best to make people more comfortable and healing what she can. Anything too bad she may make worse - you don't want to heal over untouched internal bleeding - so hopefully the ambulances are on their way. When done she will make her way back to the others, hands in her jeans back pockets, and looking as threatening as a feather monster. "I can turn them into their component atoms" she offers to Ford's question; her tone complete enthusiastic innocence rather than anything malicious. Looking over at Bobby and Brinley she frowns. "This is no different than America then? People hate us the world over."


"Mmmm. Carbon." Bobby says with a smirk. It's a threat that they probably won't execute but these idiots don't really know that.

The response is actually in Italian and fairly unintelligable at first. Then it comes in English. Fortunately people in Continental Europe often speak more than one language. "Our people told us you were coming. We have people everywhere. You'll never find what you're looking for."

"How do you know what we're looking for." Bobby offers.

The man being questioned snorts. He looks young, really. Maybe mid twenties? About Bobby's age, really. Or Brin's.

"We watched you arrive." The man goes back to answering Ford. "It was easy to pen you in in the traffic." Interesting though, since he's clearly saying that both Ford and X-Red had been on their radar.

"Why would they be targetting you?" Bobby murmurs to Bennett. Is he a target for kidnapping or is it something else? Had they made his identity? No that's unlikely, Ford's very careful. Perhaps they heard about his travel plans and put two and two together?


Brin takes a deep breath and bites her tongue. They wouldn't hurt anyone … but these guys might not know that. With blood covering her T-Shirt and smudged over her face, she folds her arms and listens. Thankfully, the words are finally delivered in English.

"The only people who knew we were coming, were the Government officials and some of the mutants." she points out to Bobby. She hadn't made their plans public and they weren't travelling in uniform. So if they were being watched for - how did they know?


Ford folded his arms as they explained, both Italian and English. He knew about as much Italian as he did German… enough to get by in a conversation. "They didn't want me coming back to start the mutant rights protest march… isn't that right?" Ford asked the younger fellow. "That's what I'm here for in the first place. I had planned to set out and get it back up and running. Which would mean you guys are anti-mutant affiliates, am I right?" Surprisingly effective deduction for a rich playboy. Interesting…

Ford eyed the brash young man speaking, before stepping forward and grabbing his shirt, dragging him towards one of the ice walls and planting him firmly against it. He gripped his collar with both hands, leaning in close. "Let me give you one good piece of advice…" Whatever Ford says next is unintelligble… but Brin will notice that whatever he said, it likely instills a great deal of fear in the young man. His job finished, Ford yanked him back towards Bobby, handing him over. "Now, you're going to tell the nice man everything he wants to know. Understand? As for me… I've got find a ride and a new suit. This is ridiculous."


Whatever he says the man blanches. Bobby looks rather mildly at Ford. Interesting for a rich playboy indeed. "Right, well then. Who are your contacts in the government?"

"We have our people… I don't know who. They send us messages by radio."

"Radio?" Bobby presses.

"Numbers station…" He doesn't have to get further than that. Bobby grimaces and turns to the others.

"They're set up here. Numbers stations are hard to trace and virtually anonymous." Back to the man. "Last question. Where's the girl?" Might as well try, right?

"Even if I knew that, by the time you found out it'd be too late."

The ice nerd sighs. "Right. Thank you Mister.." He hadn't gotten the man's name. "Did you want us to include you in our report to the government or did you want to be left out of it?" He could certainly understand either way. And if he was here to help mutants it's probably worth getting his number at the least.


"Benett. Ford Benett. And it was no trouble. Thanks for getting me out of that scrap." Ford reached into his pocket and pulled out something, quickly smoothing out his hair with the motion before holding it out to Bobby… then quickly snapping it to Brin. "Here. Did give you my number last time~ In case you ever need to talk, I'll be happy~ Same goes for you to, Ms. Maximoff~ And no, you can leave me out of that report. Sounds like you have a mole in your midst, and the less my name is passed around, the better."

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