There Are Things Worse Than Death

July 30, 2016:

X-Red have permission to extract Hellstrike from Sokovia. Wanda, Bobby and Brin head that way and … do so.



NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Sokovian authorities had been kind enough to provide 'Hellstrike's' position. He's actually holed up in a ruined castle in the highlands. It's only approachable by one road and it's narrow enough that you can't really do it very quickly.

It'd be hard to get there without being noticed. Unless of course someone is willing to teleport you in. Good thing X-Red has Magik. Bobby's quite used to the Limbo Express, since he works regularly with the team's teleporter. The other two… well…

The stepping disk opens up on the battlements. Or rather the lone intact section og the battlements. With stairs down.

"Nice place." Iceman says wryly.

Brins used to Limbo, she's used the Stepping Disks often enough to get places fast and Magik has snatched her at least once through that mechanism.

As the stepping disk flares, the small brunette pauses for a moment, letting her senses reattune to the area around them, before looking around and sighing. "Going for understatement of the year, Iceman?"

Letting her senses roam out, the empath is already working, cataloguing the differing emotions trying to count how many people there may be. Distance and location is a little more difficult, but she can normally give the generally direction.

When Wanda steps off she has to grab hold of the battlements lest her disorientation cause her to plummet to her death. "I think you are being sarcastic" she notes to Bobby before looking around. "Why does he live in a ruin? He must not be that rich or powerful." She takes in a deep breath of the summer air. "He will know we are here?"

"That's a good-" Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvt. It's the sound of a hydraulic lift. Actually it's the sound of several hydraulic lifts. Those are standard issue on ruined castles. Also not standard issue on ruined castles, motion activated miniguns popping up from the battlements across the way and the one standing tower. There's three in all.

"-Question." Bobby throws his hands up and forms an ice wall in front of them. Bullets smack into it in a continuous stream. The ice, thick and dense as it is, won't last long.

Wanda or Brin may see someone dart from the keep toward a hole in the wall.

"People below. In that direction…" she points to the keep before glancing at Wanda "I would assume s—-" Brins words cut short as the miniguns start firing, darting closer to Bobby to take advantage of his ice wall.

"There, do you see them?" she calls to Wanda as the figure starts moving. A glowing green and gold bow appears in her hand and she starts to send arrows winging towards the guns … hoping to disable them. "Can you get them, Wanda?"

Wanda really hates gunfire. She frowns as chips of ice keep getting blown out of the wall by the fast firing weapons. Her magics form around her contorting fingers as she mutters ancient words under her breath. Then she casts, subverting the reality around one of the machine guns to…/improve/…it. Is she mad?

Its motion detector now so sensitive that it suddenly swivels around to start blasting away at the other bullets that zoom towards the ice wall. And then it swings even further, shooting at the barrels of the other guns. The air filled with the metallic clink and crunch of metal on metal. "I saw them" she nods to Brinley as her magics swell once more. Once that gun has taken care of its friends she will turn its barrels ino sludge that can't shoot a bullet more than a foot.

One, and then two miniguns are knocked out by arrows before Wanda improves them out of business. It's timely, though, because there's a figure - just one - already making a break for it. He's through the hole in the wall and if he makes it to the woodline finding him may become difficult indeed.

"Nice work you two. Spread out. Try to cut him off." And just like that he's off on an ice ramp. He knows the other two can fly, so he'll give directly give chase and try to herd the runner with ice walls, trusting the other two to actually catch him.

Glowing green and gold arrows arc through the air, aimed to land in front of the runner, trying to slow their flight or even turn them back.

As the last arrow flies, the bow disappears and glowing green and gold wings appear on Brins back, causing the mutant to rise in the air and give chase. Like this, she is unarmed and she's going to rely on the other two, but as she gets near, she'll try to restrain them.

Maybe she should talk to Nick about one of his sonic pistols.

Flying may not be technically true but soon Wanda is propelling herself into the air, scarlet energy trailing behind her hands. Though it also means she can't do an awful lot more until she hits the ground; Brin and Wanda really need to work on this. The witch rushes through the air in pursuit of the figure, veering off to their right to get to the woods first.

Wanda drops to the ground, her feet immediately running across the grass as soon as she touches down. She hurls a bolt of energy in front of the figure - a simple explosion of chaos to try and get the figure to stop if Brinley's arrows don't work. "Stop!" she yells out in Sokovian.

The trees are a tactical choice. The Sokovian mountains are littered with dense pine forests that make arial pursuit difficult and direct targeting problematic. Brinley's arrows thunk into trees and Wanda's blasts do likewise but with a bit more… explosiveness. He's headed for a steep escarpment when Bobby raises an ice wall and causes him to veer left toward a ridge line that will force him back in Wanda's direction.

NO! Is the reply to Wanda's demand to stop. His Sokovian isn't that good, but then Bobby had mentioned that this was an American hiding out here. A rather wealthy one at that.

Angling herself, Brin hits the ground running, behind Hellstrike - at least that's who she thinks this it - as he heads towards to Wanda. With a little concentration, a whip appears in her hand - the colour the same as her other constructs. A practiced flick of her wrist, sends the tail curling out, trying to wrap around the mans ankle and calf and trip him.

Wanda stops and braces herself as the figure runs at her. A wince at the terribly accented Sokovian as her fingers glow scarlet. "Do not make me do something you will regret" she states coldly at him, keeping in English this time…her terribly accented English. She can see Brinley behind him and hope that the whip will do the trick.

The man reaches for something under his coat as the whip curls around his ankle and drags him off his feet. What comes out is some kind of weapon. A dartgun that he loads a single dart filled with a blueish liquid into. Brinley and Wanda may or may not remember news of a deadly mutant killing bio-weapon a couple of years ago. SHIELD, the X-Men and a group of unaligned heroes cleaned up the people making it and destoryed much of the existing stock, but caches still exist here and there. Seems Hellstrike found one.

The bioweapon functions much like viral hemmoragic feaver. It eats people from the inside out, causing massive tissue necrosis within hours of exposure. It's an incredibly painful way to die.

That was going to be aimed at Wanda, but with Brin yanking the man off his feet, he rolls onto his back and aims it at her instead.

Brin remembers the bio-weapon. Remembers the fear and terror it wrought in their community. Tugging hard on the whip, rolling her wrist as the man falls, she brings the end back, ready to send it snaking out again.

Seeing the dartgun, but not seeing the colour of the liquid inside, the brunette X-Red flicks the whip as she rolls to the side. The end may hit Hellstrike, or it may not, but she's not standing in one place to find out what the hell's in that dart.

No one shoots Wanda's friends! Seeing the pistol but not really understanding the full threat it entails, the witch treats it like any other. Her magic shoots from her hands to envelop the figure's. Muscles grow soft, turning fingers into flopping digits that don't have the strength to pull a trigger. It may not be painful but it is certainly going to be disconcerting. "Bobby! Freeze his gun!"

Bobby does just that. The whip hits Hellstrike again moments before his hand turns to metaphorical mush and his gun becomes a solid block of ice. Then manicles form on his ankles and wrists as Bobby runs up and kicks the ice cube away.

"Mister Calvera, I presume? There's some folks back home who want to talk to you." He grins.

Calvera just glares at him and then at Brinley and finally at Wanda.

"Got the locals to help you?"

"Wanda? Oh no, Wanda's Transian. And she's ours. She's quite good wouldn't you say?"

More glaring follows.

"Owwwww…" Brin lands heavily on her shoulder, even as she rolls, the whip disappearing as she looses concentration. Rising first to her knees, rolling her shoulder, then to her feet, she stands next Bobby, arms folded.

She probably doesn't look very threatening.

"I believe, Mr Calvera, your holiday in Sokovia is over. It's time to return to the good old United States." she smiles sweetly "But we do have some questions to ask you, about money you've been handling for The Purifiers and feeding through a very particular club. Would you like to tell us, or shall I ask Wanda to help remind you?"

Oh so sweet. That's Brinley.

"Did he call me Sokovian?" Wanda looks shocked…and upset…at such a mistake. She may even turn the rest of him into mush but she manages to turn away before getting too angry. Mostly. At least until it seems that somehow she's become X-Red's enforcer; and Wanda used to be such a nice person.

"You want me to turn the rest of him into jelly?" Wanda asks the others lightly, energy still sparking and glowing around her fingers. "He has been giving money to the Purifiers?" The witch slowly nods. "Da, perhaps it is best he does not leave here alive."

Bobby makes a show of thinking about it. "Nothing lethal if you please, Wanda. And it would be good if he had all his limbs, I suppose. The FBI is expecting him and we need him to talk. However if he were somehow, conveniently, unable to run away, that'd be nice." He knows Wanda can do things to people that don't leave marks. She doesn't even have to touch them.

As for calling her Sokovian, yeah he totally did. His bad.

"Let me help, Mister Calvera. Who or what is Black Bishop."

The phrase makes the man pale and in the whispers Wanda can hear one word quite clearly. "Pierce."

"Oh no, Wanda. There's things far worse than death." That Brin says that so sweetly is rather chilling. Bobby's got it and the brunette nods at him.

As Bobby asks the question, Brin moves closer, leaning in "I'm so sorry, Mister Calvera. I can't hear you. Wanda, if you will…"

Wanda sends the name she has learned to the others - via her mind of course. For the purpose of their performance she nods once to the others. "Okay. He will leave the country but his mind will never be the same." And then she speaks into his mind…<I am already here. Would you like to see how much damage I can do?>

That makes Calvera break out into a cold sweat. The notion of someone rooting around in his head is one he had considered intellectually but none of that prepares you for what it's actually like. As it turns out, it's terrifying. Especially when the people in question don't seem to want you alive all that much.

"What's Pierce?" Bobby says, acting as if he had just read Calvera's mind and not only Wanda.

"Ohgoddon'tlether. I'll tell you. I'll tell you what you want to know, just ask."

Bobby could start asking questions now, but instead he just grins and motions to Brinley as he turns his back on the man and walks over to Wanda.

"Take him back to the FBI. Keep him… company. Make sure he doesn't get lonely. I'll be along after all the paperwork's dealt with. He should be about ready to turn in his own mother by that point." That's all said in a sotto voice.

"Wasn't that easy, Mister Calvera?" Brins going to be sick when they're alone. The emotions washing out from the man nearly overcome her shields.

Following Bobby, she nods at the instruction "Wanda will make the perfect travelling companion." Of course Brin will go along to do the paperwork, that's what she does. "When you're ready, Wanda, we can leave."

Wanda watches the man for a long moment before tapping the side of her head and giving him a wink. "He has already sold his mother" she explains to Bobby with some sadness. Then a nod to Brinley. "We can leave. I shall make sure to keep him company…at least until he tells us everything. And then I will visit him some times. Especially if he has lied."

Bobby picks up his phone and gives the man a grin. "Magik? Four to beam up." It's hard to hear the words on Bobby's phone but the tone is unmistakably sarcastic. The ice nerd winces and smirks at the same time. Yeah he got her on that one. Left himself open for another one though. Ah well these things happen.

A door to Limbo yawns open above them and descends. When it has passed there's no sign that any of them were ever there.

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