Dread(me)Naught

May 31, 2016:

Ravager is on a job and things (as usual) go sideways, with a mix of Fantomex!

Midtown Manhattan

Characters

NPCs: Nefaria's, HYDRA's, and a Dreadnaught

Mentions: Count Nefaria, Iron Man Amanda Waller

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Well over midnight midtown Manhattan, the streets are semi-empty but most normal people is not outsides. Drug-pushers, gangsters and a few late, late party goers is all is left. And thieves, of course. And killers.
And thieves stealing from killers. Which was the plan for the night. A plan that got ruined about ten minutes ago when the killers changed their plans and were already leaving the workshop with the ‘package’ Fantomex was hired to sabotage. Well, it only means he will screw up the Maggia and not Hydra, right? Right.
Fantomex follows the Hydra goons to the back alley. Wait, are they even real Hydra? They are in civvies, which makes sense given the setting, and they have the Nazi tattoos. Maybe too blatant. They do lack a certain fanatical martial-ness, though. Not brainwashed enough. Too much drinking.
Not real Hydra, except maybe one or two that may be deserters, decides Fantomex. The Maggia thugs are the real deal, though. Heavily armed born and breed killers, still bitter about the families losing territory to Kingpin. Nefarias, probably. When they arrive they scoop the alleyway, they fail to find Fantomex, but they mercilessly shoot in the head the bum in the cardboard box the ‘Hydra’ had missed. The silencers make sure it is quiet enough.
That starts a discussion, as one of the fake Hydra ‘agents’ gets nervous and complains about leaving a corpse. That corpse has to go, they need to vanish. The wisemen are not impressed, and even less when racial slurs start flying.
It is getting loud.

Not there for a prize, item, or funsies. Ravager took a hit on the defunct or 'wannabe' HYDRA agents. Someone flagged them in her Merc data base that she has become very active in this past few weeks. Taking the high price and high risk jobs for the money… No. The thrill and the risk.
Despite that, though, Ravager still takes precautions. Watching from above the shadows unlit by flickering alleyway lighting is where she moves, a single blue eye cast down upon those below while the other that once housed a bionic is patched over, the fragments of scarring peeking out from around the black covering. The mechanic eyepiece was left behind in one of her hideouts, just in case. She did not want tracked, so much so instead of amphetamines she was taking opiates – it lessened the feeling and receptors that kept her open to mental invasion. It also made feeling inflicted damage just as numb.
…But that did not stop that touch of hatred when the familiar sound of a silencer ends a homeless mans life. Casualties of a war they did not even know was going on. More fuel to the fire, a small flame from a lighter that brought the cigarette tip to an ember glow and gave away her spot to those paying attention just above. Though when the hand holding the cigarette lowered the familiar sound of triggered blades whispers a metallic echo and reflects the cigarette from the keen surface. Clad in all black, strapped reinforce body suit it was nothing like her 'uniformed attire', home made and doing the job… enough.
Sword laden hands rise and she counts, a finger point to each before she steps forward on heavily laden soles, and pushes from the ledge in a flash of platinum and metal among the darkness. An Avenging Angel that earns a paycheck for blood.

The ‘Hydra agents’ do not see the lighter, they are sloppy, but one of the Maggia thugs does, and nudges his partner. Then glancing back to his boss and making two signals with his hands. Fantomex notices, of course, and glances up just to see Rose doing a suicidal attack of some kind?
All hell break loose, as the Nefarias decide it is a setup and open (silenced fire) or the fake Hydras, half of which (including the screaming one) die in two seconds. A couple of the wisemen aim up, trying to nail Rose with their expensive, heavy handguns. Fantomex shoots at them. His guns are not silenced, but it doesn’t matter, as most of the surviving ‘Hydras’ reply fire with submachine guns.
One of them jumps inside the truck with the ‘merchandise’ though. This being one of the real Hydra deserters. Not that anyone but Fantomex suspects it.

Being suicidal is what keeps most alive and kicking. This theory has stood true for Ravager for most of her breathing life so reckless it is.
The landing between the groups comes after all but one of those HYDRA Agents is felled. A click of tongue is all she gets out with a smirk before they turn their guns upon her and open fire forcing her to move with a quickness. The crouched landing has swords snapping out in precise movements aiming low in a roll that takes her to the side, but when she comes back to a crouch a grappling wire shoots out of one hand, a sword retracting back as she is suddenly jerked from their proximity and upon a fire escape.
There is where she realizes there is an unknown player added into the mix, as well as the one escapee. All or nothing is the deal for payment, and with that a flare gun is pulled from behind her left hip, a putty substance bearing C$ slapped to the muzzle just before she fires it at the vehicle. She can sharp-shoot, but blowing him up is a much more sure bet, especially with limited time and the Maggia firing on her.
Quickly enough that line is drawn back in and fired to an opposing building, but low… Pulling her with a zip-lined momentum through the Maggia with both swords outspread.

The Maggia killers take cover efficiently. Some bullets hit them, but they are all wearing armor under their expensive Italian suites. Only one of the thugs is down, because Fantomex aimed to his head. Good training and cold blood beats neo-nazi fake Hydras with submachine guns but poor aim. But Rose and Fantomex add a new factor to the battle. Commands are barked quickly, and a pair of assassins switch targets, shooting at the white-clad thief (who jumps behind a pile of trash cans) and another couple try to nail the fast-moving Rose.
Meanwhile, inside the truck, the man that probably is the last surviving ‘Hydra agent’ happens to be a real ex-Hydra technician, and quickly types commands in a tricked-up laptop. At his side a machine stirs, powering up. “Quickly, get out and kill…” And then the truck explodes, preventing the dying technicians from giving any clearer, more selective command.
So the Dreadnought robot, all eight feet of blue metal death, steps out of the burning truck and kills.
Twin .30 caliber machine guns pop up from his forearms, they thunder they bring is almost deafening. It shoots ahead, towards the Nefarias (and Rose!) and the Maggia thugs are hit and turned to hamburgers inside their bulletproof suits by a combination of armor piercing and explosive bullets. The sedan at the end of the alley takes hundreds of bullets in a second, and although it was armored, it is turned into a ruined wreck, blood stained the shattering windows as the men inside are also massacred.
The Dreadnought is no Sentinel, it is an old robot. But still very, very deadly for those that relay only in guns and swords.

Well, all good plans go… No, nevermind, it was not a good plan it was chaotic and aimed for the end goal when variables entered into the mix. A dead hobo, the white clad blur from the corner of periphery Ravager picks up here and there, adding bullets to the swordplay that is meant to hamstring and then finish in a return strike…
Interrupted though as the mechanical sound comes to life from the explosive wreckage of the car behind it she had aimed the putty grenade for. Well… Shit. The look says it all as those guns lock into place on the Dreadnaught, simultaneously her own swords roll back into holstering and that zip line returns, one hand going up with no location but to get the fuck out of dodge as the bullets start flying and she is pulled from the massacre and landing upon a boarded over window sill.
Out of flares sh gets one more adhering bundle of C4 into her hand, clutches it and renegotiates her direction to that of the Dreadnaught.

The robot guns click and whirl as all targets are dead but for Rose. She managed to jump out of the burst by an inch, but the Dreadnought turns to aim at her with his left arm, there is little cover, but the machine aim goes wild when Fantomex shots at him from behind, several high-caliber ceramic rounds exploding against its head. Not enough to cause serious damage, but enough to disrupt his relatively primitive sensor suit.
Then the C4 hits the arm and latches. BOOOOOOM.
The Dreadnought flies back against the alley wall, shattering brick and almost going through, but quickly straightens, steps forward and takes aim.
Nothing happens, because his left arm is severed to at the elbow. “Sacre bleu,” comes from the other end of the alley, “I do hope you some have more of those,” Fantomex is reloading his guns as fast as he can. Just as the Dreadnought shoots with its other arm, he shots the machine in the head again.
This time the robot replies firing two ‘spikes’ from its shoulder. Small missiles that fly at Fantomex, exploding like hand grenades.

“Two. But I have more then that.” Ravager responds from the perch, one she knows very well she cannot keep for long, the uneven ends of razored platinum fall over that patched eye, the side that was once a close shave now just as outgrown and shaggy, but the close call has ends of them stained in red splatter that also painted the side of her face in a spatter of a Maggia's blood.
Opiates had served her enough, keeping her wits still against the other supers or humans she has taken hits on, but a machine is another story. An inhaler is drawn from her tac belt and drawn from with three heavy pumps and a deep breath. No, not fighting with an asthmatic, less lasting then the injections she takes in the adrenaline in a plume of mist, the instant hit shrinking her pupil down in time for her hand to rise and the zipline fires, holding just behind the Dreadnaught into burning wreckage, a jerk of it and in her other hand more C4 is taken, fisted, while heavily soled and metal laden boots expose daggers from beneath. Striking? No…
In a flurry she bursts forward with added speed and leverage from the line towards the Naught as it fires on Fantomex, intentionally seeking to knock him aside from the missile fire, all the while if impact is made it spirals her in another direction, the line burning and snapping in time to drop her in from the of the mechanized monstrosity. A single leap and the one c4 is slapped between robotic legs, the second withdrawn as she attempts to run -up- the machine using those sole'd daggers as anchors and hooks, so the last one can get slapped on its face.
Now to run away…

Fantomex is bolting the instant the missiles are up, and he even uses the fireballs to jump forward further, shrapnel hitting his back along the way. Instead of shooting more useless bullets, he grabs the remaining arm of the robot and jams a knife into the machine gun’s ammo feed, jamming it. The Dreadnought reacts quickly, backhanding him away. Which is fine, since Rose is planting explosives on the mechanical monster.
It turns quickly, trying to elbow the woman away with its maimed arm while grabbing the charge on his face.
“Look, Iron Man is coming!” Shouts Fantomex, currently sprawled on the ground and his back against a brick wall and pointing up. Amazingly, the robot looks up, forgets Ravager and the explosives and fires four missiles upwards at the empty air.
And then its head and torso explode.

The explosives are planted and just as Ravager is about to brace for being blown back and free'd of her anchored hold with a fiery blast, the Dreadnaught does it in a (less)painful manner. Unexpected impact sends her sailing, at first she pinwheels and then realization dawns mid-flight, limbs tucking in and body twisting in a near feline motion, twisting her body to land and roll, impact absorbed and instead taken in a momentum that has her hitting the side of a dumpster, th groan resonating showing impact as well as the fact that it is rolled aside.

Did she hear 'Iron Man'? Ugh. While Ravager counts her stars and pushes up, that makeshift suit is torn in several places, abrasions beneath openings as well as cuts. Okay, so better concern, tetanus. But then again the Dreadnaught is firing missiles towards their non-existant arrival, and just as she leans against the skewed dumpster it blows up, her head turning to the side from the heat as it passes, avoiding it but at the same time taking a moment to study Fantomex.

Weirdly enough for a second it looked like an armored figure in red and gold was diving into the alleyway. But no, there was nothing. The Dreadnought wasted a couple seconds firing at nothing and the explosives have decapitated it and blown a large hole on it lower chest. It is sprawled on the shattered alley pavement.

Fantomex is struggling to stand, verifying a broken collarbone and a cracked skull. Good thing he has spare brains. He waves at Rose cheerfully. "C-4, never leave home without a pound of it, oui? We meet again, chere. I heard you left Waller's murder gang, I didn't even know it was possible. Felicitations."

Ravager had vaguely recalled Fantomex, and his word verified the inkling she had, placing him precisely. It had been a long time ago, and things she preferred forget. The words made her rub the exposed back of her neck where at least there, the scarring was minimal despite the damage and what the X-Men had removed.

"Took some precision." That's understatement of the year. "And a lot of risk. Nothing is impossible with the right…people." A quick skim from him as she steps away, limping towards the bodies of the gang members, one still breathing through lungs of blood. One moment empty hands, the next a sword snaps out and impales him, finishing it. "I work best for me." A small flip phone drawn out, text sent with confirmation of deaths and job done before it is closed and dropped among the spread of bodies, walking away the device explodes as well, leaving nothing but a black pock mark in the ground to add to the rest.

"What brings you here?"

"Someone in out there wanted the robot destroyed, not sold," replies Fantomex. "No one likes gangster robots," he adds, standing and moving to examine the remains of the machine. "Admittedly, my plan was to trigger the self-destruction mechanism with a computer virus. But I can see the appeal of jumping in from the third floor, guns blazing, in the middle of the exchange. Not very practical, but more fun."

"I was not aware of the robot. It was an added gambit to the job I took." Ravager's words did not seem to be all too surprised or caring. A small pill is pulled from her tac belt and popped to bring her off the adrenaline rush and back to sedate. The sword slings back to line the back of her arm in its bracing where just below the elbows guns were also in the pivoting mechanism to deliver weapons to hands and back upon a trigger located in the brace that encircles her wrist.

"I was only here for the HYDRA. The others killed an innocent hobo. I added them for my soul's sake." Pausing she looks at Fantomex and rolls a shoulder, cringing lightly at the sensation and the light grinding sound it makes with the action. "It's always appealing when you do not know the outcome."

"They were Nefarias," notes Fantomex. Which means they might have pissed off the Count or his daughter. So much for subtlety. "Aha, good for the soul. Charmant. Righteousness is uncommon among hired guns." But he seems to approve, despite all the injuries. "Regardless, we should leave. I can hear the police coming. Do you have an exit route? If not, follow me, please."

Ravager shrugs. It either means nothing to her or she does not care. Both in different facets in regards to the Nefaria's. "I take the jobs I want. I can be as much of a bitch or savior as I want to be. It's better for the paycheck."

The sirens wailing in the near distance gets her moving, but when Fantomex offers her a different route and company… Something she's been lacking for well over a month now… She follows him.

"I beg to disagree," comments Fantomex. Service door at a side alley, down to the heat room of the old city block. "Try not to bleed too much, s'il vous plait," mostly to avoid being trailed. "The paycheck demands professionalism and cold blood. Conscience and whimsy is such a burden," he sighs. There is a door to an access tunnel, maybe for electrical maintenance. It is weird Fantomex is able to produce a valid card to open it, the system seems from the 90s. "And it is not your only burden, oui?"

So far her body suit is absorbing the blood or her boots are catching it nicely, and they're waterproofed! No leaking out or in. "I think we're good. If they really want to track us they'll just use dogs. But I don't think any of them will be missed and it'll kinda look like that bot did most of it unless they really put in effort. Again, doubtful."

Though as Fantomex keeps speaking like he is schooling her on her mannerisms in her line of business her eye narrows and begins to burn a hole at the back of his white clad head, his final query making her stop dead. "We all have burdens. How I carry them or myself is my own business."

Fantomex nods. Dogs won't do well down here. The police would want to know who destroyed the robot, but there is a large number of vigilantes in New York that never wait to talk to the police. So yes, he was babbling. He does that, and with a French accent. Also, talking about nothing opens people minds to his 'misdirections'. It is a good habit for him.

When Rose stops walking, he glances back. "We do. My apologies, mademoiselle. Still, I'd hate to see you dead because of… burdens. As I said having a conscience is uncommon in our line of work." He steps forward and pushes against another metal door, which opens with a loud groan. "You were very reckless," and they are in a subway tunnel now.

Rose is watching him and the ease in which he moves through these tunnels, as well as his knowledge of them and their paths. It is not so odd in her mind. In their line of work access to these kinds of things is highly useful. She will get such access, mind made up as it is better then trying to walk off nonchalant or the rooftops and alleys… Or high speed chases…

When he speaks up again it snaps her from the lazily wandering mind to focus on his words. "You've met me less then a handful of times. My life or death should not matter to you." Her words were dry and flat, but her gaze upon him showed some curiosity into the why he cared, or at least let it be perceived he did. Stepping forward she walks through the door but pauses just before him. "Let me guess. Conscience?" A perk of brow over patch laden eye socket and she moves past him and into the subway tunnel.

"Hard to take something from someone with nothing to lose, even their own life. So really, it was reckless…. And effective."

"Oui, conscience," Fantomex chuckles. "And an inbreed ability to read body language that makes easy to learn too much, too quickly, about most anyone. And… let's not forget that you are an attractive woman. Do not die for nothing, mademoiselle."

A rumbling can be heard, coming closer, a reminder New York subway never stops. "That is my train," states Fantomex. "Bonjour, Ravager," he adds with a light bow. The train passes by, and he just… fades out in the blur of the lights.

The roaring of the train passing was an interruption to the words she had in response to Fantomex just before he made his exit. So they went unsaid and instead remained in her head where they quickly were pushed aside and left to be forgotten.

Looking up and then down the walk she begins her own slow pace in a direction with no true course… That is until she pulls out another disposable phone and begins yet another search for another job. "Yeah, I'll remember to take my daily vitamins."

Sarcasm and Rose are besties.

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