Hitting The Fashion Warehouse

September 10, 2016:

With the team assembled, Clint and Mari hit the fashion warehouse to find out what The Hand is holding there.

New York

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Norman Chang's warehouse is just north of the meatpacking district not far from the Highline which gives Clint Barton a wonderful view of the slightly run down looking two story place as he perches on the aforementioned elevated train track turned park.

From the outside it doesn't look like much and it's most decidedly closed for business at ten thirty PM. Ronin's thermal goggles tell him otherwise though. There's security on the outside - bog standard rent-a-cops to keep up appearances - and very serious security on the inside in the section of the warehouse reserved for shipments related to the upcoming Tranoi fashion show. That section is, alas, on the first floor and the most convenient access for Clint is on the roof, at least, if he doesn't want to have to punch out a bunch of New York joes just doing their jobs. Double unfortunately, the security on the inside is - by their silhouettes - very well armed and possibly also ninjas.

He wishes that were snark on his part, but it's not.

On the bright side, Clint's got help. He just needs to wait for it to get here.


Upon hearing Barton's request for backup, May went to her list of WAND contractors to see who would be available to assist tonight. The positive replies were … far fewer than she'd expected. But, Grifter accepting the job is a definite plus. Choosing to spare the man the disorientation of ley line travel, they arrived via car a few blocks out and walked the rest of the way through the Highline to where the archer and former SHIELD agent waits.


Shakira makes her way towards Clint as a small black cat. Not an unusual sight in a park at night, if anyone can even spot her in the dark at all. Not likely when she's sneaking. Quietly, she sits next to him and eyes the warehouse, then blinks up at Ronin. What is he wearing on his head? She puzzles over the goggles for a moment then shifts into human form to ask. "What is this?" The curious feline woman touches the goggles and leans close to examine them. If he didn't see her approach, it might be a bit startling.


One of Clints backups is crouched beside him, dressed in brown leathers with a mustard insert on the front. "So our pajama loving friends are in there?" Mari sounds resigned as she looks up to her partner in … ahem … crime.

She's content to wait for the others to get here before going through the plan. "I hope that Mays been able to secure an Overwatch for us. This looks like it might be more difficult than anything we've encountered before." which is saying something. Giving the Archer a bemused look, the ex-fashion model actually smirks "You haven't got food with you today."

Funny how May and the others arrive just at that time. "And here they are …" she gives them all a little wave.


Grifter approaches behind May, warily scanning the landscape to either side visually — while at the same time probing the region with his mind. The SHIELD agent has one of his blasters unholstered and idly uses the barrel of the gun to itch his right temple.

"Awlright, awlright," says he softly as he comes to a halt. "This a party yet or what?"


"May signalled that she was on the way with some help." It's not crime if SHIELD is involved right? That throws some bare semblance of a veneer of a facade of a light dusting of legality over the whole operation, Clint hopes.

And then starts as Shakira's voice sounds beside him. "Gah! Geeze. Uh, they let me see things you can't normally see. Like heat through walls." By the time he's finished explaining Mari's spotted May's arrival. With a… replacement Hawkeye? He doesn't know who Grifter is but he has a marksman look about him. There can only be one.

Well okay, there can only be two though he hasn't heard from Kate in a bit.

May this is Ronin. We've got a pajama party on the lower level with high security goods and rent-a-cops patrolling the outside. The latter probably aren't talking to the former. I'll take Vixen and uh, Cat-Girl up top. If you can get in unseen along the bottom we'll give them a wake up call. Hopefully unseen. Security on the outside isn't that bad at any rate.

"Mari if you'd do the honors?" She may have to do them twice if she can't take Clint and Shakira in one go. Fortunately, the roof isn't that far.


Shakira smiles innocently. She startled him, mission accomplished. ..Okay mini-mission accomplished. She stops trying to pry the goggles loose for a closer look at the explanation and considers. See heat? She can't do that no, she can see in the dark however and if they were closer, read scent. It doesn't take her long to grasp the advantage though and the fur-bikini clad woman seems impressed as she turns to look at Grifter and May. "Hello." After listening to Clint further, Shakira shifts back into a small cat to make travel to the roof easier. Magic is a wonderous thing. She weighs very little in this form.


Melinda May looks to Grifter, then responds to Barton. Acknowledged. She looks toward the target warehouse and the regular security guards patrolling outside. "Any ideas, Grifter?" She'd love to pull a Jedi mind trick and just walk past them all, but she has no idea if that kind of thing would actually be doable or not. And the nearest ley line is at least a few blocks away.


"Sure …" Mari answers as Clint gives out the assignments, the pendant around her neck glowing. Almost instantly, she's outlined in the form of a hawk and dropping a shoulder for the now small black cat to perch on. "Hold on tight…"

Taking hold of Clint, they're soon airward bound, it's a strain but she manages it, and then they're landing on the roof.


The man behind the red mask tilts his head to the side, and focuses in on the rent-a-cops around the warehouse. "Yeah. Some…" says he to May, and he points ahead of him with one of his blasters.

"There's a path through there, alongside the place. Fewest number o' goons playin' blaster-fodder." He looks around at their little team — lifts an eyebrow at the cat, mock-blows a kiss to Vixen (by kissing the barrel of his VAD-pulse pistol, rather than his hand) — and lets out a breath.

"If y'all want 'quiet', I can put those guards there on 'snooze' fer a bit. Jus' gotta get in closer."


Night-night or fight-fight for May and Grifter will be up to them. They can slip in ahead of the next foot patrol. They might want to though since those guards are coming up and there is always a risk that one of them will be conscietious and decide to investigate at an inopportune moment.

In any case they'll be through in a moment. The front part of the warehouse is… pretty average. For a warehouse. The back part of it is through a rolling door that's chained and locked. There's also a side door. And according to Ronin (Grifter will be able to sense them as well) there's people behind that one. Armed people. Vigilant people. About a dozen that he could see and maybe more that he couldn't.

Once Shakira, Vixen and Ronin are all on the roof the ex-spy pops a service door for them and slides down a ladder. It's all storage up here and office space. but over the main area there's a series of catwalks used to supervise the loading and construction of oversized stacks pallets or what have you. It's to those that Ronin heads.

And that's where things start going wrong. He's about ten feet on to the catwalks when a pajama clad ninja drops from above almost literally out of nowhere behind him and gives him a sharp shove. Clint doesn't fall but he is now hanging precariously. The noise also alerts everyone There's shouts echoing throughout the place. Get your game faces on boys. The Ninja are coming.


Shakira is secretly amused by how Clint's eagerness for the rest of them to arrive seems to falter for a moment as he takes in the masked man's choice of weapons. She would have reacted much the same way to the arrival of another cat. She wonders about the mask too but there is no time ask at the moment and she hops onto Mari's shoulder and clutches carefully with her claws.
She follows along after the other two without bothering to shift again just yet. This turns out to be a wise decision when as she studying her surroundings with interest, someone drops down from above where Shakira hadn't thought to look yet and tries to knock Clint to the ground. They might have seen her, but if so probably weren't expecting her to be a threat. Shakira shifts into a large, very angry looking black panther and swipes at the Ninja with a massive paw in one second to the next. She wonders briefly if ninjas always land on their feet. It's a long drop, she isn't sure it will help them much. Ducking low to the narrow pathway to make less of a target, she transforms to human and grabs for Clint to pull him back up.


With Grifter putting temporary whammies on anyone near them and May leading them through the quickest path into the building, they're inside with minimal muss and fuss. Of course, that means they enter just in time for the shouts to start echoing.

"They're starting the party without us." Pulling her pair of whiter-than-steel butterfly swords from where they're concealed at her back, she tilts her head for Grifter to follow toward the epicenter of the ruckus. Hopefully they'll catch the pajama party by surprise. And they are NOT a stripper-gram.


Grifters blown kisses get a flat look from the spirit channeler, although she does give him a small finger wave. "I wonder where May finds them…" she remarks to noone in particular as she follows Clint into the building "Another marksman won't go astray though." she adds before falling silent.

As the first Ninja drops on Clint and Shakira looks after that one, Mari spins at another that drops behind her. Her fingernails lengthen to talons and she swipes, tearing a chunk out of her assailant.


Upon sensing the 'pajama parade' waiting for them behind one of the warehouse doors, Grifter projects an image of what he 'sees' to May, and unholsters his second VAD pistol. "Like hell they are!" he retorts to her, breaking into a run. "We are the party!"

As they approach, the doors roll upward, and a hail of shuriken greets the two SHIELD agents. Crossbow quarrels follow suit, ripping into the ground and other obstacles with formidable power. "It's beginnin' ta look a lot like Christmas…" the gun-toting agent starts to sing.

He drops into a bum-slide underneath the doors (and oncoming fire) as they ascend, and fires both blasters to either side of him. One pulse hits a ninja in the back of his knee, snapping it sideways and dropping the opponent to the ground in agony. The second hits another in the groin.

"I saw Mommy shootin' Saaanta Claus…" Grifter hums, as more shots are fired.


Shakira is able to pull Clint up, letting the archer to slump to the floor for a moment. She's going to have think quick though, as a Pajama clad warrior drops in front of her bringing their sword whistling round - right at her neck.

Mari's assailant grunts as they're clawed, but they're not out and the throw a series blows and kicks at the woman. One landing across her cheek, snapping her head round with a crack. Mari's a scrapper and she's outclassed - until the outline of a puma appears. And then she's moving … quickly.

As May and Grifter plough their way through, the SHIELD agent is rushed from the side by a Ninja that appears in a puff of smoke. Grifters singing doesn't seem to be appreciated - fancy that - and he's rushed by a trio as they move.


Shakira has a cat's reflexes. she doesn't hve to think really, just react. The barbarian goes tiny cat and darts forward between the ninja's legs. Not wanting to give him a chance to hit Clint next she shifts again just before reaching the other side. This ninja finds himself unexpectedly straddling the back end of a large angry cat who promptly bucks wildly. It's not as devasating as a shot from a gun to the groin but its painful and distracting and buys her the seconds she needs to turn around and savagely paw him over the edge of the walkway.
She notices the metal railing of the walkway and wastes no time in putting it to good use after shifting yet again. She's lost track but fortunately it doesn't really tire her. Tearing a length of metal railing loose, Shakira hefts it to gauge the weight and then stabs backwards suddenly with great force. She listens to the gurgling sound at her back with a mildly interested expresion. Her intention had been to throw it at the one sneaking up on May but she'd scented another behind her. "Oops. Sorry. I meant that for your friend." She turns and shrugs, kicks the ninja free of the makeshift spear and then whirls around to hurl it at her original target.


May promptly ducks to one side to let the stars and bolts fly past, putting both swords in one hand and drawing her 1911. As they become more annoyed with Grifter, she leans back around and fires off a couple of shots. She's aiming for headshots again, as per usual, and she's NOT using her ICER today.


As the three ninjas converge upon him, Grifter finds himself still on one knee. There is only time enough to shoot one of them before they enter melee range, and suddenly the 'gun-fu' becomes less about the 'gun' and more about the 'fu'.

The two ninjas block or deflect shot after shot, sending one energy blast from the VADs after another into the floor, the walls, the ceiling, as well as furniture and storage crates. At the same time, neither of them manage to land a killing blow on Grifter himself.

"On the *blam!* day of *Boom!*-mas, my true *blam!* gave to meee…" he hums as he fights. "A ninja pajama-party…!" On two knees now, the gunslinger finds himself with swords and sai mere millimeters from striking him (held back only by his guns), when he suddenly latches onto both ninja's arms with his telekinetic powers, holding them in place.

The man grins behind his mask.

"Yahtzee!" he exclaims, and sends a telepathic image of his opponents to both Vixen and May: "They're all yours!"


Clint has recovered by this point and even gotten his bow into play. He looses one arrow toward the Ninjas deflecting shots before he's assaulted again on the catwalk. This time he's ready, bringing his bowstaff up to take the blade and lashing out with a booted foot. He's not bad up close, not by a long shot. He just prefers farther away.

It's so much more civilized.


Shakira isn't going to find these Ninjas quite so easy to shake. The one she just tried to paw over the edge, smokes away, appearing behind her. Yes, he might be a little sore, ahem, but that doesn't stop him closing on the cat-woman again.

May drops two Ninja's but she's beset by another that appears in a puff of smoke. These guys really like that trick. Grifter has certainly gained some attention and he's mobbed by three more who appear in front and on either side.

Clints arrow takes another down and Mari knocks the one attacking her back towards the archer - hopefully giving him room to take a shot.


That's why May kept her butterfly swords in hand. The moment that puff of smoke starts up next to her, she's swinging the hand holding both blades, drawing on her pendulum to make her attack just that tiny bit faster. And, she's aiming to decapitate. No pussyfooting around tonight, these pajama jerks are on her last nerve.

If she can, she'll also fire off a shot at the ninja that Grifter mentally projected to her without really looking.


The babarian woman fights on nightly basis most weeks but she's not used to her opponents being so skilled or having magic of their own. She's caught by surprise when the ninja she thought she'd handled ends up behind her again. This one manages to stab her with a sword and Shakira tumbles over the side of the walkway she tore the railing from with a soft grunt of surprise. It might've been a fatal wound for an ordinary person, but she heals incredibly fast and the wound is alreadly closing as she shifts to little cat.
It does slow her reaction though and she's not quite fast enough to land on all fours. Instead Shakira sort of just… flop-lands on her left side with an undignified splating sound and lies gasping and stunned for a moment before peering around to check if anyone saw that. Because she's definitely going to pretend and deny that it ever happened. Cats always land on their feet. Always! They do not slap down and flop around like a fish out of water. Shaking herself off, the little cat leaps for the nearest stack of boxes, intent on finding a way back up.


Grifter waits for his teammates to take out the two ninja he had just 'gift-wrapped' for them. After May silences one, he uses the second as a human shield to intercept another barrage of shuriken thrown at him.

"How do they DO that?!" he calls out to anyone listening — referring to the 'appearing/disappearing' act with the smoke. The man side-steps a thrown knife, then charges the three additional foes. Instead of bulldozing his way straight through them, he leaps sideways, running up the side of a large cargo container and flipping over to land on his feet.

Behind his opponents.

As the Hand assassins turn to face him, Cash raises his arms in a gesture of surrender… empty handed. Both of his VADs hang in mid-air back where he had been standing before, and fire at all three ninjas just as the ninja throw more weapons at him.

The con works — for the most part. One ninja successfully dodges the surprise attack, causing the energy pulse to sail straight past him… at Grifter.

"Aw, shit."


After a tense moment's grapple Clint finally sends him opponent over the catwalk, down a story and a half and onto the concrete floor. He's probably not getting up from that.

"Magic? I dunno. It's annoying as hell though." Now unmolested in his perch, the archer begins to sling arrows first toward Shakira's problems and toward Grifters. One two three four. Those are broadheads too. Big, nasty bladed arrows meant to rip up chunks of meat.


Ninja's are falling everywhere. May takes a head off, Grifter drops three, Clint and Mari take a few more. Shakira might not want to find a way up … there are no Ninja's remaining.

Mari shakes herself, wiping blood from the corner of her mouth. That first hit had been a good one and knocked the ex-fashion model around. "Well, that was different … is everyone alright?" She does a quick check on the others as she makes her way towards though crates. "Let's see what they were protecting, shall we?"


Embarrased over being caught by surprise and landing wrong, Shakira waits atop her stack of crates, taking the time to look around and be very sure there aren't going to be any more of the dirty little cheaters popping up again. When she's satisfied Shakira leaps down and lands pefectly crouched on her human feet, rising the woman silently moves towards the others. "I am curious, yes." Very. What could be in there? Is it food? She's hungry..


May steps past the one ninja at her feet and toward the others. "Barton, status." She's asking him because she can see that Grifter and Shakira are here and still intact, and … well, she believes that Mari is capable of keeping herself out of harm's way.


Thank heaven for telekinetic shields.

At least, this is the thought — sans a few choice expletives — going through Grifter's mind after just barely saving his own life by deflecting his own shot…

Turning the teke-shield into a blast takes care of the last Hand ninja before him, and he calls his VADs back to his hands a moment later. With a twirl, he raises each blaster to his lips to plant a kiss upon them, and holsters them safely away.

Then he looks up.

"So, yeah," says he. "Right. No one saw that? Anyone? Uhh, okay. What's behind Door No. 1?"


"I'm still here, May. Bit battered, but still here. You're all clear. Check those crates. The big milspec ones. Ten to one says it's not someone's super secret fall line. If it's just dresses and ugly coats I owe Mari dinner."


"Please don't let it be clothing …" Mari mutters as she opens the cabinet "Knowing Ronin, dinner would be hotdogs on the street corner." Although if it is clothing, it's likely the latest line for one of Mari's competitors - and that could be interesting.

The door opens to reveal an array of laser weaponry and high tech drones. Whatever The Hand is planning to do at the show, they clearly mean to do it with it force.


Shakira did not infact see Grifter nearly shoot himself and eyes the masked man curiously. She'd been too occupied with her own misstep. She definitely doesn't want to call attention to it either, so doesn't ask. In human form her eyes are blue and currently scanning her surroundings to find Clint. She relaxes visibly on hearing his voice. The bikini clad woman does scowl suddenly. If she just got stabbed over clothing… someone is gonna die awfully. It's going to take hours to get the blood out of her furs and she won't be able to take the bus home now.
"It is not clothing…is it?" Seriously. She'll kill someone. Slowly. With one claw at a time. Surely ther are more of these ninja men somewhere. She has taken great care thus far not to kill anyone but… it's more of an effort to blend in and a desire to not annoy the Overlord rather than any kind of personal objection. What she has a personal objection to is walking all night without being allowed inside anywhere to buy food. Shakira growls, quiets and looks at Mari hopefully. "Hotdogs?" She turns her attention back to the inside of the room as the door opens and blinks. She may not be so technilogicaly savy but does recognize weapons. "Oooh. I think it is a good thing they will no longer have these, yes?"


"You owe me dinner regardless." May approaches as Mari opens the first of the containers. While Barton is proven to have been correct in his gut feeling, this is still NOT a good thing to find. "Barton, do you want me to call in SHIELD to confiscate these weapons?" It's his op, so ultimately it's his call.


Grifter appears behind the rest of the team, peering over vixen's and Shakira's shoulders to get a look at the 'booty' (referring, of course, to the weapons stored here in the warehouse), and raises a hand to his face, itching at the stubble on his chin underneath the mask.

"What, clothing? Food? Y'all are…" and he trails off. Glancing at May, he remarks: "That's… a lot o' hardware. What's a secret society like the Hand doin' with a friggin' sledge-hammer like this? I thought they went for subtlety or somethin' less… noisy."


"It's not like any of my contacts are going to dispose of them." So yes, having SHIELD take custody of them would be a good thing. What Barton has to figure out now is why the Hand wanted to smuggle weapons into Tranoi and what they planned to do with them. Which may require going undercover.

The problem with that is it may require going undercover in the fashion world and while Mari may be good for that, they'll need some other-

Wait…

"Hey, May, Shakira, Grifter… how do you feel about modeling careers?"

Mari should see instantly where he's going with that.


Grifter's head comes up in surprise at Ronin's suggestion, but he quickly recovers by pointing to his face and humming, "I'm too sexy for this mask, too sexy for this mask…"


"More importantly…" Mari mutters "Why are they trying to get them into the premier fashion event for New York?" It's not bad enough that her own business has been targetted for a reputation smear with the #vixenfashionfail tag, there's now this. She was banking on making a hit at the show.

Clints comment gets a smirk from the dark skinned woman as she sizes Grifter up. "I don't have a wide range of male fashion, but I know exactly what would suit you … Guess I've just recruited three new models."

She might have been hanging out with Ronin too long.


That thought does pique Shakira's interest more. This was her first encounter with the Hand but Grifter's assessment describes how they'd fought very well. She frowns. "That is a good question." The blue eyed woman eyes the drones curiously, not sure what they are but hesitant to ask, she does not like to appear stupid. She also doesn't like explaning that she's not from this world. People usually think her insane when that comes up.
Shakira blinks at Clint, then makes a pleased, purrlike sound. She dances at the Inn on the nights she isn't guarding or hunting. It is her obligation to watch over the city, offering her the chance to be admired while doing so, and giving her the attention she feels is her due? Of course she's okay with that. "I will do so." When Grifter hums, she eyes him and smirks, much more curious about the masked man.


"No." Not just no but HELL no. But May leaves it at that one simple word. Even if she were willing to put up with that kind of merde, she'd not be able to fake being a model for three very simple reasons: She's more than twice the age of the average model, she's too short, and she's got waaaay too many scars hidden under her clothing. "I'll work backstage, but you will NOT put me on the runway." If you want a SHIELD agent who can walk a runway, talk to Morse.


"Well two out of three isn't bad." Clint figured May would decline but at least she can be on hand for back up. "We'll have our people call your people. Ciao. Mari, let's get out of here."

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