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March 09, 2017:

An "OP" art vandal gets an opportunity tossed his direction.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Amanda Waller, Deathstroke


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

A red and black gloved hand, right hand naturally, as left handed people are weird, reached up to stroke the red masked chin. Flowing down the glove, it was strapped together with a red and black forearm, and met the left hand, on the bottom, where left hands belonged. The thumb and forefinger stroked the mask as the white eyes, emotive eyes. How was that possible? Was there a special head sanative polymer underneath, measuring reaction and facial composition? Whatever the underlying technology was, it showed off the man's emotions as he stood there, in all his costumed glory.

His black shoes, which seemed to be held by red Velcro straps, pressed against the brown tile floor, which was laid in a waving pattern. The room was rectangular, but the ceiling was curved on two sides, with crown moulding down the sides that curved. The lightning was natural, as there was a skylight with about a hundred separate windows, which matched the curvature of the ceiling and looked smooth.

An elderly patron attempted to walk into the gallery, but at the sight of the masked man, his face turned white, his jaw hung loose, and he wisely decided to back away, heading for another part of the museum. Well, security had to find out eventually. He had already looped the video so that he could his 'me time', but the old man would probably alert someone.

He sighed outwardly, the noise echoing in the large open room as he looked out at a painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze in 1851. There was one subtle difference to the painting. Oh, it was intact, and undamaged, but Deadpool had teleported in with a perfectly sized clear piece of no-abrasive plastic. He had arranged for it to be permanent, if he were lucky. To the lay person, it would appear to be just a protective covering. But this piece of plastic contained a painting of its own. Hidden among the men was an image of the Merc with the Mouth himself, among Washington's men. It was small, hard to pick out, but it was there, and it looked as if it had always been there. He sighed again.

And then, his eyes squinted as he looked at the painting. He had heard someone, and this was no patron. "You know," he began, "when most people look at this picture, they think of it as America at one of its finest hours. A group of brave, poorly fed, cold, but heroic men, venturing off into the unknown, fighting for their country, blah blah blah blah blah… I could go on, but I'm sure that Michael Bay's going to make a movie about it once he's finished turning the robot Jesus into a killer. Do you want to know what I see when I look at it? Okay, I know you don't want to know, but I'm going to tell you anyway. It's a painting of a bunch of guys freezing their butts off on Christmas Morning, heading off to murder some other guys as they slept in their beds."

Wade Wilson if properly oriented is supposedly very effective. Taskmaster himself has never seen it, or at least he doesn't want to admit to it. The man is a wildcard. The oddman out and dangerous in the fact he is unpredictable. Fortunately one thing is predictable about him, his use of high-tech, Taskmaster isn't exactly sure how Waller's organization manages to track these things but they've pointed him in the direction of a familiar colleague and he's on point. It's a job. A name he doesn't care for attached to it but his ego is keeping him on the upswing.
Clearing his throat the skullfaced mercenary is somehow just standing in the museum looking at Deadpool and his artwork, if it can be called that. The electronic distortion of his skullmask making the throat clearing sound bizarre, imagine Optimus Prime hocking a loogie. "It's ironically also one of the greatest black ops missions of all times. Ironic I say because… well, I'll fill you in when we see what kind of mood you're in." Who knows with the Merc with a Mouth. Taskmaster is dressed in tactical stylized swat gear, it still looks like Taskmaster but it looks a touch more modern than his 'villainy' costume.
"How about we have a chat, Deadpool."

Taskmaster fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous being to never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is to never encourage Deadpool to talk. Still examining the image, Deadpool dropped his hands to his side, folding them neatly behind his back, where they were out of sight. "His," still referring to Michael Bay, "movies glorify misogyny, objectification, and the kind of racial stereotypes you'd see in a saloon in reconstruction Mississippi. Every movie he has ever produced is a love letter to brainless testosterone. One third of the run time is devoted to partially clothed people coated in a fine mist of vegetable oil, running and or driving, to or from, explosions, in a world of perpetual mid-afternoon glare. The other two thirds are made of casual racism and the word bitch. I'd love to see what he could do with America's founding fathers."

"Now, what was that about Black Ops? You need a distraction? I'm not exactly the subtle type, except in my humour. Stop me if you've heard this one." As if the Merc with a Mouth could be stopped. "An Irishman named Murphy went to see his doctor after he'd been sick for a while. The doctor performed a lengthy examination, and I do mean lengthy. He explored every nook and cranny. But, eventually the fun time was over. Sighinging, he said 'I've got bad news for you. You've got cancer and it can't be cured. I'm afraid I have to give you two weeks to a month.' Murphy, shocked and saddened by the news, but of solid character, managed to compose himself and walk out into the waiting room, where his son had been waiting for him."

"He said, 'Son, we Irish celebrate when things are good, and we celebrate when things aren't going so well. In this case, things aren't so well. I've got cancer and I've been given a short time to live. Let's head on over to the pub and a few.' After three or four pints, the pair were feeling a bit less sombre. There were some laughs, and a lot more beers. Eventually, they were approached by some of Murphy's old friends who asked what they were celebrating. Murphy explained that the Irish celebrate and the good and the bad."

"He went on to tell them that they were drinking to his impending demise. When everyone had a glad, he lifted his and said, "gentleman, I've only got a few more weeks to live as I've been diagnosed with AIDS. But let's make this a night to remember" The friends gave a mighty cheer amid their condolences. Afterwards, his son whispered, "Dad, I thought you said you were dying from cancer, but you just told everyone that you were dying from AIDS?' And the Dad replied, "yeah, but I don't want any of them sleeping with your mother after I'm gone." Wait, weren't they supposed to be talking about a Black Ops job?

"Funny story but I only said the topic is ironic considering." Taskmaster replies, though, Wade pieced it together already it's pretty clear. He's not an idiot, likely far from it. Just very insane. "But yes, covert operations are also part of the subject matter right now. We'll overlook this unpatriotic artwork meanwhile." The skull-merc doesn't comment on Michael Bay, he likes explosions, loud noises and partial nudity when done right. Done right is key there.
"Your story, can be an easy analog to what I'm about to say too. I… I… got a call, hold on." Taskmaster abruptly stops and his hand reaches up, pressing to his jawbone and he stalks a short distance away.
can't do this. Not this guy. He's a fucking fruitcake and a liability, hes right, he is only good as a distraction." Silence from Taskmaster now as his physical mannerisms say hes likely talking to someone over a communication device. One built in to his mask. "C'mon, you're busting my balls here lady. This is Deadpool, anyone in their right and professional mind avoids him beyond a thousand yards, we're talking artillery fire ranges of avoidance here. Your team will sink with h… " Interrupted the man pauses again. Listening to an earful of threats no doubt.

Like Michael Bay, Deadpool may secretly be one of the finest satirists of our age. He raises an eyebrow, as evidenced by the way the white eyes of his mask move, as Taskmaster steps away for a conversation. In this room, every sound echoes, so it's not hard to listen in. But fortunately, much of it is lost as Deadpool himself receives a call. At first, one of the pouches on his belt begins to vibrate, and as he undoes the button to pull out his phone, it's playing some shitty techno music song in German.

The song, at least the part used as a ringtone, translates to "My boyfriend is in trouble once again: got in a fight, got drunk on something nasty. I've had enough and I chased him away. And now I want a man like von Doom. One like von Doom, full of strength. One like von Doom, who won't be a drunk. One like von Doom, who wouldn't hurt me. One like von Doom, who won't run away!"

"Thank you for calling the Psychic Voicemail Hotline, a pre-recorded future just for you. You can press Option One if this is the first time you've called me, but that's not the case, so please press Option Two. I'm glad you called me back, for I was worried. I warned you that the bridge was out that day. It's a good thing those jet-skiers happened underneath just then; Six weeks later, you've healed — but I digress; anyway. Let's get to why you called me…"

"Yes! She really loves you! Yes! She wants your child! Yes! Each time that you make love will be passionate and wild… No, she doesn't like pro wrestling, she can't cook a meal. Yes, she's got a jealous ex, a psycho Navy Seal. I really think that you should take the ring back, and say your goodbyes. But I understand you're helpless when you look into her eyes. I'll have the number of Matt Murdock waiting, when she's finally gone. But for now, I think it best that you press Seven and move on…."

"Oh! Very cute. You've pressed the Zero instead. Your faith in me was not enough, so now you want some proof. Well, okay, bucko, in seven hours you'll be dead. May I give you the details…?"

"First, you'll end the phone call, laughing nervously, then you'll turn too fast and trip on the cord to your TV. You'll smash face-first through the window, you'll dangle by one leg, and when passing kids start throwing rocks is when you'll start to beg. At last, your ankle will slip free, and like the Skylab, you will drop, but don't worry — when you hit the roof of the bus, you'll probably stop. The emergency room will lose your papers, you'll die in pain and alone… and the only way to avoid this fate is stay here on the phone!"

"Do we understand each other?"

"Thank you for calling the Psychic Voicemail Hotline, ten ninety-nine a minute, just for you. Oh, by the way, your checking account is overdrawn again, but that charge card you applied for just came through. Would you like the number?"

A couple more minutes of silence from Taskmaster and hes facing Deadpool again. He knows his fellow merc heard the conversation, Task is anything but bashful. "It appears oddly enough my employer is a fan of your work. I don't know what work and hopefuly it's not your art because then I may just have to question her taste along with her sanity." An exhale and the swordsman places his hands on his hips, thumbs hooking in to the tac gear at his waist.
"I'll cut to the skinny. A team is being assembled, not the A-Team but a a teamhat will be playing clean up in a world stricken with it's own form of cancer, a cancer we're calling superhumans, metahumans, extranormals, mutants, nuhumans, hell even aliens. I don't know. But my employer is willing to offer you a big fat check on a job per job basis. It's work right up our alley. There are rules though, rules I don't think you can follow, the first of them being the big Fight Club rule. Can you take a guess what that is?"
Taskmaster skeptically studies Deadpool. Behind the mask he isn't smiling or grinning, truth to it is, Wade Wilson taxes his tolerance like no other. Not even Harley Quinn rubs his sanity in the same way being near Wade Wilson does and his sanity, with his lack of memory recall is a hard thing to cling to some days.
"That I'll get to spend three days recording orgasm sounds just like Brad and Helena?" Deadpool offers in a deadpan voice immediately after the question about the fight club rule. He doesn't miss an opportunity, this one. Just what does that mysterious woman want with the regenerating degenerate?

To his credit, Wade isn't smiling or grinning either. He's mimicking Taskmaster, adopting an official, stern, army man like posture, his eyes narrowed, even his voice adopts a similar timbre, but his vernacular, his choices of words, phrases, they're all Wade. And that's probably the most annoying part, to have someone reflect the worst possible part of you.

Then, recalling a memory from somewhere, someplace, was it here, or another dimension, he can never tell, he he asks, "Hey, Taskie, how did things work out with you and Sandi anyway? Nice girl to settle down with, buy a home with a white picket fence, and raise a family of 2.5 skull faced children. I feel sorry for the point five child. Must be tough only having half a body. Do you think it'd better to have the top half, bottom half, left half, or right half? Or hey, is that how midgets are formed? I mean little people. Gotta be PC. I am Canadian and all. At least, I think I am."

"/That/ isn't any of your business, Wade." Taskmaster drops the moniker and his annoyance rises, yet he keeps it together. "No. The talking one. That is a struggle for me I can imagine what it will be like for you. I'll be frank here, they want expendables, competent ones they can wash their hands of, you, some other clowns, me, a scary luchadore. We fit that bill. This is a chance for us to make a lot of money, redemption, glory, whatever, I mean, personal glory. We can't talk about it at least outside of our circle of killers." A shift from one foot to the other, "This isn't Agency X, this is legit. This is government affiliated shit, Wade. We can use this to get back something plus, hell, we get to toss our lot in against the jackasses like the Justice League, only without all that tape and nonsense. This could be good for you." The sell, it's what Taskmaster has been told he needed to do. Pitch, reel them in and if necessary if it comes to it, kill them. "Maybe you'll even get to make some new friends."

Deadpool is a man of simple pleasures. Long walks on the beach, chimichangas, and enough money that you can swim in it, and he's content. Sometimes, he'll even do things for the hell of it. "Oh, I'm afraid I won't be able to live up to the talking one. You see, we've had talkies, or talking pictures, for a while now. Someone once tried to sew my mouth shut. It didn't end well. For anyone." He shudders, as if it were a nightmare, but it could just as easily have been an excuse to wiggle his butt in that tight costume of his.

"Besides, it's not my government. I'm a good seventy, no, eighty percent sure I'm Canadian." He leans in to whisper, "I like mayonnaise on my burgers, Nanaimo Bars, and I spell cheque with a 'Q', as in, you'll have to add a few more zeroes to the cheque, because I've got to convert it into Canadian dollars, and the taxman takes most of it anyway."

"You haven't even see the check yet." Taskmaster shoots back. Rajneesh the Buddhist would be tested by the Crimson Comedian. "This isn't about whose government either, man. It's just the cash or whatever you want, I'm sure she can get you all the damned mayonaise in the world. You think I would be doing this for pennies?" It isn't all about pay for Taskmaster. No one needs to know that though, it would kill his rep.
"You're wastiing your time if you think you can just keep slumming it, the world is on the verge of a brand new war. A metahuman war and it's best we start picking our fights. Trust me, you want to be on this team." A twitch? Yeah, Taskmaster twitches. His left hand just convulsed. "I mentioned irony? Yeah? I didn't even want you on this damned team. You're no an A-lister to me but here I am, trying to get your ass on board. That is damned irony. You couldn't cut it because you're a fuck up worse than the rest of these fuck ups on my list. You piss me off because you're a lot of wasted potential, you could be top dog, you could be a Deathstroke but instead you're a colorful, loud and cheap imitation. Bottom of the list, Wade, bottom of the list."
Taskmaster spins on his heel, a perfect about face that makes the polished floors of the museum squeak in protest from his combat boots. "You know how to reach me if you change your mind, if not, no skin off my back."

"Tasky, Tasky, Tasky, baby, don't play me that way." Deadpool begins following Taskmaster, more out of curiosity than any feelings of hurt or inadequacy. He'll move quickly enough to get in front of Taskmaster, and stop to press his fist to his chest, "but I have chosen a side. I'm on the side of the noble mutant. I live in a world that hates and fears me because of an accident of genetics," he is not a mutant. This has been established many times before, by the Weapon Plus program, by the X-Men, and by several other government agencies, on both sides of the border. He just wants to be a mutant and pretends he is one.

"But that doesn't mean we can't be friends. I don't care about metahumans, Atlanteans, the Brood, Coluans, Daemonites, Inhumans, Kree, Krylans, Kryptonians, Martians, both the green and white variety, Oans, the Reach, Thanagarians, Skrullians, Technarchy, Watchers, or the Xandarians. Although I do have to say that I am pretty fond of the Appellaxians. Very nice people. Though their coffee tastes like motor oil. Still, nobody's perfect."

He reaches out to put an arm around Taskmaster's shoulder, "say, have you ever thought of becoming a mutant? We could be best buds, Deadpool and Taskmaster, Sons of the Serpent? Or, I could give you top billing, Taskmaster and Deadpool, Together Forever? We could get a show on Netflix, you know, something tasteful, a small initial run of about ten episodes? What do you say?"

"Aw shit." Taskmaster mumbles under his breath as Deadpool puts himself in front of him. Not even sure if this is Wade's way of joining or just being annoying or in his mind being a pal. Maybe all of the above or not. Taskmaster doesn't care for unpredictable. He likes some bit of structure to his chaos. "I'm not sure thats how that works and are you even a fuckin' mutant, man?"
When there is a pause he will text his contact letting them know he is bringing in Deadpool. They'll see how that works out later. The man is Daffy Duck in the flesh if Daffy Duck was a trained superhuman assassin who was nigh unkillable.

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