Needing A Cat To Stalk the Docks

September 04, 2016:

Ozymandias enlists the aid of his Justice League teammate Tigra to helped tracked down some Russian mob that have been smuggling and selling people.

New York Harbor


NPCs: Russian mob



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

In some ways, the changes having to do with the Justice League have given Tigra a chance to shift her focus back to certain things she's more capable of specializing in. Coming from a past that dealt with detective work of one kind or another, she's already begun touching on that with a drug-related matter that's beginning to impact parts of the city. Today, that's on hold. A request of a similar but different type made it her way. "I'll be there," came the simple reply.

The tigress turns up in a way few others would consider. When she gets there, her head pops up past the edge of the overpass, only a few feet away from Ozymandias' location. Hands grip the sidewall, her grin appropriately fangy. "Boo."

Ozymandias spins in the direction of the voice, his hand going to sickle sword until he realizes the source of the voice. A small grin appears behind his mask as he dips his head to Tigress, "Thank you for helping me, Tigress. I wasn't sure if you would be busy or not."

Ozymandias lets out a frustrated sigh, then pulls out a small data pad. "I am having trouble tracking a human trafficking ring that is located in the docks. They are part of a much larger trafficking ring that is operating overseas in a lot of war torn countries. In the beginning, they were at least smuggling some people to better areas, but now they are using genetic scanners to weed out mutants and mutates to sell on the black market, and robbing and killing everyone else. I got a list of ships and some names, but I am not seeing a pattern.

Ozymandias furrows his brows, "I always can figure a pattern, but I was thinking maybe I needed a more sterile approach to the data. Five of the ships are coming in tonight, I don't want to hit the wrong warehouse and ship, and have the people go underground again.

Ozymandias says, "Any insight would be helpful?"
From the part of the overpass she's clinging to, Tigra lifts an index finger and waves it back and forth as if to say 'Not so fast,' then she hauls herself up before flipping forward to land in a nimble crouch just within normal safe space as far as comfort zones go. "Gotcha," she brags, going far enough to buff a few knuckles against one of her shoulders.

From this perspective, she looks up at the costumed man. "I'm trying to help bust a drug problem involving a sort of mind control, myself. Bad stuff." The grin is gone, replaced by a more serious look especially as the gravity of the situation is explained to her. "Very bad stuff," she determines with a slow shake of the head. "Not just the trafficking, but all the rest on top of it. Nothing's standing out at all? No common places, even as a front? There's got to be something to spot somewhere. Nobody's that perfect."
Ozymandias nods his head slowly, "Interesting, it seems problems dealing with mind control are sprouting up everywhere. I met some underwater dwellers that were not Atlantean who were dealing with beings from another dimension that were using mind control. I was going to relay that message to the other Justice Leaguers, but the DEO shifted my focus a bit

Ozymandias turns his attention back to the task at hand, You can look through the data. I am not finding any location that could be a front or even just plain stash house to trace back to them." Ozymandias grinds his teeth, "I think the crackdowns on their operation would cause them to switch methods, but I thought I would be able to detect them.

There is a small fleet of trucks that is slowly approaching the underpass. Ozymandias turns to Tigra. "Do you want to go for a closer look?"
"It sounds like we may know a few people in the same circles," Tigra answers somewhat cryptically, the tip of her tail flicking back and forth off and on in spite of her mood being less playful than it often is. She's focused. "There were some things going on up the coast, then out in Hawaii that I helped put a stop to. These beings were infiltrating the military."

She moves to reach for the datapad, flicking screens this way and that as she frowns at a piece of information on occasion. "Obviously the goal here is to get everyone out safely and keep these guys from changing it up and starting over." Another thought is left unsaid as the trucks begin to roll up. She motions for them to crouch just enough that their presence isn't obvious, then she squints in that direction. "Of course I do. It wouldn't be too much wishful thinking to wonder if you had something that could detect mutants, would it?"
Almost loses his train of thought as Tigra flickers back and forth, but quickly shakes his head to regain focus. "Ummh, yes, it is wishful thinking. I haven't been able to figure out how to equip a genetic sequencer that doesn't require a large power supply, or a solar power sequencer that has a range loner than a few inches, but I digress. Ozymandias digs into one of his pouches, "I do have this." He hands over a small pouch with several white flowers that have three pistils. It is Actaea Simplix. It is flower native to Russia, and I have recovered it from several of the locations. I am not sure if it is the ship's origin or its' destination, but I was hoping that we can use it to get some information.

Since Ozymandias had to move his company's shipping schedule arrived to the mission the cover needed, he doesn't want to waste their opportunity. Ozymandias realize they are about to miss their opportunity to sneak into the Harbor area unnoticed decides to move towards one of the trucks before Tigra answers.

Ozymandias shoots his grappling hook at the last truck, and flips his way to the top of the truck. He lays flat on the truck and pats the area beside him as he waits for Tigra to make her to the truck.
"I figured as much," Tigra remarks as far as the detection idea goes, but it doesn't sound like it troubles her any. Rather, it was to be expected given the short timeframe they're dealing with. As soon as some of the flowers are revealed, she snatches a couple and inhales the scent of the narrow, lengthy plants. "Aha. So there is something to follow, unless someone's really going to great lengths to throw anyone off the actual trail. Russians, then." This, to her, is a logical progression from the evidence of the flowers at multiple scenes. "If I can pick out any of these around, that'd be a help."

Then, the talking ends and the flipping begins. First Ozymandias, moving to land atop the final vehicle. Then Tigra, taking a running leap off the wall of the overpass, flipping a couple times in midair (no doubt showing off), and landing soft as can be beside him in another crouch. "Don't think this means I'll come every time you pat something," she quips.

A wicked smirk appears behind his mask as he quips back "Well, I make sure that I only pat where you liked to be petted, but we can discus that after this mission. As the line of trucks parked in front of of Umoja International warehouses waiting to be unloaded, there is a scent of Actaea Simplix that only those with a superhuman ability can detect that is coming from another warehouse that is 100 yards down on the docks. There are receiving cargo from a ship.

Tigra gives him an impromptu shove that, while it's careful enough not to put him in danger of falling off, is punctuated with enough of a 'Hmph!' that it might just be hard to tell if she's actually annoyed or not. From there she holds herself lower to the truck's roof, her eyes sweeping their surroundings as they close in on the dock's warehouses. It isn't long before she shows a flash of heightened alertness, motioning both with eyes and a finger toward the source of the flower scent. "Smells good over that way, and I don't mean they're bringing in fresh fish."

Ozymandias arches his eyebrows slightly, "I mean no offense, daughter of Bastet. One rarely has the chance to banter with one as beautiful divine as you." Ozymandias sniffs the air, "Impressive, I don't smell anything different at all. You must tell me how you learned how to performed that trick, and to be able to distinguished a particular smell among the hundreds or thousands that are located here." Ozymandias flips off the truck and lands on the ground. He quickly runs for covered alongside another warehouse. "Lead the way."

Is that a chuff out of the tigress? Her tail flicks as if to signal amusement, but she definitely sniffs once toward him while wearing one of those expressions that can be difficult to read one way or the other. "My senses are better than yours and most other people out there. That's the way it is. Let's just make sure this is what it's beginning to look like." After hopping down from the truck, she takes point and it's a perfect opportunity for him to see Tigra's tail flick a few more times. Yep. Amusement in light of the reason they're here.

As he watches her take lead, a part of him soon regrets it as his attention is drawn to the flickering of her tail and other assets that come into view from this position. There is also a part of him that normally remains dormant is enjoying the view. Lucky for him, there is a third part that always brings him to focus on anything that is conflict related and that again allows him to focus on the task on him. Ozymandias switches to his infrared lenses to help his see in the darker area of the harbor.

The darkness and distance would not limit Tigra from noticing the seven guards by the warehouse and the two guards watching over the people loading crates from the ship. The sweat coming from the crates carry the scent of anxiety and fear. There are more smells of the actaea simplex coming from inside the ship too, signifying more guards inside the ship.
It's likely Tigra knows the effect she can have on others, whether she's playing it up or not. This time, it's some of this and a bit of that. Soon, they're close enough that even one with average senses ought to be able to tell they're in the right place, but she ensures this is so by glancing back and silently motioning toward the locations of the guards she can see. Waiting for him to get closer, she does say, "How do you want to handle it? Subtle, or like a Michael Bay movie?"
"Subtle, I don't see any super powered people on their side, so I think we can make quick work of them. It is the best way to make sure that the people that they are smuggling are kept alive. Ozymandias clenches and unclenches his fists, "I see people at the warehouse, and people at the ship.

Which group do you want?" Ozymandias looks at the distance between the warehouse and the truck, He points to the rooftop, "If we get overwhelmed for some reason, we fall back to here." Ozymandias continues, "We should be able to regroup quickly, and have the advantage against any numbers from the roof.

Tigra merely nods to the preferred strategy. No point in guns blazing before any of them can be taken down first. "I'd say you go for the largest group and I'll make a move for the warehouse and the people they're bringing in. They're the most important part of this and if that's where anyone's being killed and all that…" She trails off, letting the end of the sentence hang there. A brief glance toward the roof follows, then she starts in that direction.
Tigra merely nods to the preferred strategy. No point in guns blazing before any of them can be taken down first. "I'd say you go for the largest group and I'll make a move for the warehouse and the people they're bringing in. They're the most important part of this and if that's where anyone's being killed and all that…" She trails off, letting the end of the sentence hang there. A brief glance toward the roof follows, then she starts for the warehouse.

Ozymandias moves towards the ship and looks at the water. He quickly dismisses the thought that he really needs a new costume as he fires his grappling hook to the nearest mast near the trucks. He peforms a 720 flip and lands on top of the truck. As he lands on the truck, he throwing knockout gas bombs at the guards around the truck. As the guards begin to cough and succumb to the knockout gas, Ozymandias lands on the ground and quickly fires at the driver exiting the truck. The arrow pins the driver to the truck, and before he can respond to his predicament cause by the arrow, Ozymandias lands an elbow against his temple, knocking him unconscious. Ozymandias presses a finger against the driver's lips and whispers, "Sshh."
While Ozymandias is dealing with his targets, Tigra's en route to the warehouse itself. Coming up alongside it, she picks up a bottle, long since discarded, and after peeking around the corner she lobs it over the heads of the guards. When it shatters on the ground and their attention is diverted, she advances swiftly until she cracks their heads together and ensures both go down without a peep or struggle.

From there, the cat-woman scales the outer wall up to the warehouse ceiling, though it's not the one they've agreed to meet up on if needed. She's found a skylight, giving her the lay of things below, and after quietly cutting small hole by one of the latches - thanks, claws! - she's got it open. Crawling her way in, she finds herself on a catwalk (or just a walk in her case), a few guards stationed above for surveillance. One's passing by just a few feet away, and a strike to the back of his neck results in him slumping down. While Ozymandias is advancing elsewhere outside, she's on her way to deal with the rest of the upper guards, just a couple more, a step that will help by the time she moves to ground level.
The Justice League movements are not detected by the still conscious guards in both locations. Ozymandias quickly makes his way up the loading dock as he rolls some more knockout gas bombs in front of him. It is a good thing that he did, because two guards with automatic rifles were guarding the top of the loading dock. Ozymandias brings down his Zulu style shield across the front of one of the guard's face, while side kicking the other one to help quicken the process of them succumbing to the knockout gas. Ozymandias does a quick scan of the ship with his infrared lenses to see how many more guards are on the ship.
Whether it's luck or good placement, Tigra's always in the right place to drop a guard before they turn around. The guards stationed on the floor itself aren't much more to deal with. By now she's seen a number of crates, more of that flowery scent, and her suspicions are soon to be realized.

Another quick sweep takes out all but one of the guards, who she decides to play with by walking up behind him and tapping him on the shoulder. When he turns around, there's a shocked expression and an "Oh, shit!" He quickly fumbles for a walkie-talkie but Tigra chides him even as she delivers a roundhouse kick to the hand, dislodging his way to alert anyone else. Then another one ensures he won't be using his gun. "Your pals are all either down for the count or about to be, so it's just you and me now. Why don't you tell me what this is really all about before I have a look in those crates for myself? Just how big is this operation?" She's circling him now, playing up the predator/prey dynamic, and she stops to grab him by the shoulders and whisper close to an ear, "Don't lie to me, either. I can tell if you're lying, and you won't like what I do to liars."
Beads of sweat flow the balding man's face and collects on his chin as he speaks, but curiously not in a Russian accent. "Th..ttthh..they are pppp.. powered individuals. This shipment is from Africa and the Middle East. Nobody wants them where they live, so we are selling them to people that want powered individuals. Look..look, this is international operation…across several continents. The is a small sense of nervous bravado when the man laughs, "You couldn't stop it. Too much money involved. It is the law of supply and demand, or don't they teach you that in superhero school.

Ozymandias finishes cleaning out the ship of the guards and workers. A guard with a submachine gun does get in a few shots on him that quickly heal, and really makes Ozymandias thinks he is getting sloppy in his old age.
Tigra listens attentively to this, knowing she's got him nervous. If the sweating didn't already make it obvious, she's privy to other signs when it comes to body language, scent, things like that. If forced to admit it, she'd have to say he tells some truths when it comes to the negativity many of these victims face, but it doesn't make profiting on them and sending them into servitude is right.

She pats the guy on a shoulder, then her grip turns firm and he can feel the tips of her claws at the side of his neck. "I'll bet you think we can't stop it, but you're going to help point me to where I can find out more about just how widespread this really is, aren't you?" A flexing of the fingers follows.

"By the way, I know all about supply and demand. In fact, I demand you get me that information in the next few seconds or I'll supply you with a few new piercings. Or maybe I'll just put you in one of these crates. You think the people inside would like to get to know you better?" Tigra threatens, her tail flicking again. Whether it's in playful aggression or just plain anger…well, it could be either.
The man looks at Tigra's claws, then at the crates. Not liking those options, he points towards one of the unconscious guards nearby. He is the boss. He has several flash drives on them that he uses to verify the shipment. I don't know what is on the drive. I just know, when the shipments comes in, he gets two flash drives and he plugs them into his datapad.

Ozymandias makes his way to the warehouse. "We got to get going. I notified ICE and the police, and they should be here shortly. Sirens can be heard getting louder as they get closer to the harbor.
"Thanks, pal." Tigra wastes little time in applying more pressure in just the right spot, causing the guard to pass out. Seems she learned a good nerve pinch in superhero school, if nothing else. A quick examining of the crates follows, and as much as she'd love to let them all out herself, this is a predicament she and the Justice League may not be equipped to handle now. Stupid government.

Just as Ozymandias is arriving, Tigra gives him a thumbs up followed by the flash drives and datapad she'd scrounged off the one in charge. "Good timing. Here. You'll want to go through these. I got one of the guards to spill a few things. Not much, but I'll tell you on the way."
Ozymandias takes the flash drives and datapad from Tigra. "Great, I would love the information. Ozymandias fires offs his grappling hook and smirks, "You can either tell me at the Justice League, or you can use your nose to track me down. I will leave a window open for you and a bottle of wine ready. Ozymandias bows to Tigra, "Thanks for your help, Daughter of Bastet."
Ozymandias flings himself into the night by his grappling line.

Tigra offers him a roll of the eyes, but she takes the joking for what she sees it to be. "Not milk? I feel so hurt," she quips, then a wave is made before she's left alone. It gives her the opportunity to make one more quick pass of the warehouse just in case she's missed anything that might be worth sneaking off with, then she peeks in on a few of the captives and murmurs, "I really hope they do right by all of you." After that, it's back up to the roof, the way she'd entered, and she falls back to a safe place to observe how the authorities handle the aftermath. She isn't taking any chances in case anything looks like it's being handled out of boun

The police followed by ICE and other custom officials secure the scene. They free the people for the crates and round up all the smugglers. The smugglers invoke the right to remain silent, or pretend not to understand the multiple languages that are spoken to them. The next morning, Morien turns on the tv to see that Homeland security and the leaders of the police department issue a joint statement claiming that they fold a human trafficking plot. Morien smirks and switches the screen to live stream with his kitchen staff, "Can you a cold of bottle of milk to each of my meals, and a very big saucer? I am thinking about entert..I mean getting a c

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