Rocket Hates Boats

October 04, 2017:

When terrorists hire mercenaries to steal Rusalka Stojespal, it's the Guardians of the Galaxy, Phil Coulson, and one plucky inhuman to the rescue.


NPCs: Lots of badguys, emitted by Rusalka!



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The zip of motors, gunned to capacity. The spray of water across the East River. The smell of gasoline. The rat-tat-tat of gunfire.

Four terrorist boats weave and dive, leaving a choppy wake as they speed off into the distance towards some unknown destination. A rendesvous point? A drop off? Another harbor where cars are waiting? A helicopter? A bigger boat? It's not really certain what these men plan. In kevlar, black clothes and black masks, they are almost devoid of any personality beyond intense killing malice.

They have stolen someone. Specifically, Sally Stojespal. Their action has been successful enough to date to create a situation where she is handcuffed to a ring that's normally meant for boat stuff on the side of the boat that's leading the charge. They've shoved a black canvass bag over her head too, though somewhat haphazardly because they had to hurry. She represents a bit of a hazard, because nobody's really doing anything to make absolutely sure any flying bullets don't slam directly into her skull.

Of course. SHIELD has boats of its own…


'If I can drive a starship I can drive a boat!'

These words were uttered by none other than Peter Quill. WHY was Peter here with a Shield Agents when some Sally chick was kidnapped? Well…

What he wasn't doing is trying to find a present to slightly apologize or somewhat distract Kitty from the fact that he flung her out an airlock. Because thats not how Peter Quill rolls. So he would never do anything like that.

Right. Now thats been established.

He was out. With Rocket and Groot. Because Groot wanted ice cream.

Yup. Totally Groots fault on this one.

Finding ice cream around here wasn't that hard. Though because its near Gotham the flavors were all depressingly named. 'Sinister Strawberry' and 'Darkest Night Chocolate' and 'That Ol' Deadly Rocky Road'.

We get it Gotham. ITS A BAD PLACE.

But having aquired thier bounty the three were headed back in a general thataway direction when they heard the sound of gunfire.

Now. Being generally curious about violence done to other people the Guardians had naturally gravitated towards said gunfire. Which is how they found a group of SHIELD agents taking fire from a group of terrorists speeding off on a quartet of boats.

Peter Quill could help of course. In fact he should likely help. Since you know. Guest or Agent or whatever type thing.

But he has ice cream.

"Huh, is that Deadeye down there?" Peter had asked. Not five minuites prior to his words about piloting boats.

Content to sit and wait till given orders the trio likely would have just watched. If not for one horrible happenstance of fate.

A stray bullet. Pinwheeling crazily though the air the projectile came in at just the right angle to shatter Rocket's ice cream. Break the bottom off Peter's cone. Then splatter into Groot's. Like the worst kind of sprinkle. Smishing though the creamy goodness to sit staring up at the tall Guardian like the worst kind of sprinkle ever.

Peter's eyes narrow as he watches his treat slip out of the cone and onto the dirty streets of the city.

"…I'll drive."

Which brings us to RIGHT NOW in the action. As Peter guns the engine of a vehicle he's never even though about driving before as he speeds after the terrorist types.

"Don't you have guns on this thing?!"


When Phil Coulson aka "Deadeye" (that's his new codename he just never told anyone) had hired Rocket and Groot onto SHIELD as a trial sort of thing, he'd lured them with the promise of playing with explodey things and piloting a jet. He had never said anything about boats.

No one ever says boats are like spaceships. That's because they're nothing alike. Too much drag, too much limitations on where you can go, and too much water. The water part is the worst of it. Who ever thought it would be a great idea to build something that can only go ON water?? If you had some decent repulsors and engines and that sorta good stuff, then you could go anywhere.

And so such is how most of the ride has been thus far, once the Guardians have signed on for this impromptu lesson in nautical arts.


Rocket's clinging to the side, ducking behind Quill as he trusts the bigger Guardian to keep him from the worst of the spray. That water is nasty! "Can you make this thing not rock so I can get a clear shot??" He's got his rifle extended and ready to go, but everything just keeps swaying!

-wait, did anyone tell them not to hit a certain someone in one of those boats they're chasing?


"Its water Rocket, it kinda rocks by nature!" Peter shoots back as he gets a spray of singing water right in the face. "Oh god I don't know where thats been!"


"GROOT DON'T DRINK THAT!" comes a reassuring shout from the smallest Guardian as he smacks his woody friend upside the leg. Hey, it's all he can reach.


Not horribly long ago, there was an incident in the river that led to toxic waste, giant monsters, and Sloane throwing herself over the railing without a second thought in a desire to help people— and that has stuck with her. Why did she go for it? Why did she, someone who never wanted to actually be some kind of superhero before, someone that didn't want to live this kind of life, just go for it?

Sally would probably give her a hug and tell her that it's just her nature. Try as she might to deny it, the girl with the fiery orange hair has a bit of a calling— she just doesn't understand it all yet.

However, when Phil Coulson called for her, it wasn't to ask how she was doing. It wasn't to ask if she was feeling all right, or if she wanted to go for a ride, or what her life is like right now. Instead, it was 'Sally was kidnapped.' They were making for the river.

Standing oddly steady in the SHIELD boat through Quill's antics and Coulson's attempts to drive, Sloane is oddly enough probably the only one dressed for the occasion— a sleeveless, snug-fit wetsuit that she's been wearing while training, her arms left bare with fitted gloves worn on her hands, hair tied back and OH MY GOD QUILL THERE'S A SPACE WATER DRAGON GIRL FROM BOSTON IN THE BOAT WITH YOU.


She'd had no idea what was going on. One moment Rusalka had been walking through a parking garage, the next she was becoming briefly and intimately familiar with the weird, slightly sweet smell of chloroform. The arm around her neck as well helps keep her from screaming, and unsconsciouness comes pretty quick.

Not quick enough for the kidnapper, who still manages to take a power kicked heel to the groin before the nineteen year old had gone limp.

Rusalka came to aboard a speedboat bouncing over the waves, engine roaring and gunfire rattling. She can't get her hands over her ears, and just does her best to huddle into a corner - the suit she'd had on is still mostly there, but the jacket's long gone and along with it any of her typical tools to deal with such things. Swearing in her native Ukrainian, she tries to get the attention of any of the kidnappers.

Or, for that matter, to figure out who they are and what they want.

Meanwhile the group of boats starts weaving back and forth, jumping across each other's wakes in an attempt to confuse targets. When bullets come flying, two of the boat crews get out a smoke grenade and start laying down a thin cloud behind them before turning back. Their pursuers are shooting at them, so it's fair game - game on in this case.

One of the two boats turns back, circling slowly around to draw Phil and Sloane's attention off to one side, scattering gunfire all over the place. If Phil stays on the lead boat, this one will end up slipping around behind him and catching the agent's speed machine in a crossfire.

The other boat? The crew got a look at the weirdoes driving it and its name. A giant pastel speedboat named the Pink Porpoise, with some guy, his overgrown ficus, and his service dog aboard chasing these battle-hardened mercenaries and terrorists? They laugh as they charge their boat at Quill's. It's a game of waterborne chicken, and the bad guys are cheating by adding machine gun fire.

After all, there could be more ice cream aboard the Pink Porpoise.


Yeah, Phil can kind of fail on the whole 'keeping in casual touch' angle. He'd turned Sloane over to her handler and liasons and had generally received reports things were going well. And that was pretty much that. He just doesn't think casual as a rule. He lives, sleeps and breathes work.

Seconds ago, he'd driven that boat one handed. Had sighted down a SHIELD-issued pistol designed with range equivalent to a sniper rifle. And had gone about arranging the assassination of some ice cream.

Deadeye indeed.

With the grimly named flavor profiles duly dealt with, he goes whipping around in his boat.

Smoke is billowing, and someone's trying to outmaneuver them. Phil narrows his eyes and says, "Sloane."

The implication is she can deal with the fact that someone is trying to catch them in the crossfire however she sees fit, as long as she doesn't let it happen.

Meanwhile, there's the lead boat. The kidnappers on board aren't precisely up to talking; they are not paying a great good deal of attention to Sally Stojespal at the moment. Which could be to the good or to the bad, depending on how she makes use of that. They are using the fact that their cover boats are engaging pursuit to punch it for all it's worth, turning their attention away from firing in favor of throwing more smoke grenades and increasing their speed. The boat all but BOUNCES across the portion of the waves as it goes pulling farther ahead.


Groot can't help it. Sometimes ya gotta eat ice cream. And although all of the flavors were delicious, he became rather fond of Crook-ies n' Clean.

Of course, the Guardians are all too involved in this pursuit on boats, so ice cream loss is inevitable. He spent a good ten seconds mourning over the melting scoops sliding down the way, making a streaky, sticky mess on the SHIELD boat's flooring. Then again, it isn't a complete loss — they're on a boat. There's still water. But not so shortly after that, the tree gets smacked by Rocket because the river water isn't fit for drinking.

"I am Groot!" he cries, sounding like a kid who isn't allowed to do anything fun as he rubs his leg. Thankfully, it all lasts about two seconds before he gets his head back in the game. "I am Groot??"


Hot dragon girl is on the other boat, and Quill would totally say something about that if there weren't mercenaries laughing at them. "Hey Rocket! They totally think you're a trained raccoon! I can hear em from here!" He shouts over the din of gunfire and engines as the other boat comes flailing at them.

In a classic game of chicken.

There is a smirk on Peter's face as he slaps his armor up, the faceplate slipping into active mode.

"Chicken huh. Oh yeah. They are so on. GROOT! Need some cover!" He calls out. "Rocket gonna give ya an opening. Then I'm gonna do something totally awesome." He warns his compantions as he guns the engine of his boat.

"No one laughs at the Dolphin." He grumbles as he speeds towards the other boat. Trusting Groot to catch most of the bullets. True to his word he'll cut to his right at the last second, giving Rocket an opening before flinging something onto the hull of the other boat.

One of his boot-jets.

Lets see how they like going very fast in circles while an angry pair of Guardains makes them regreat life.


Unfortunately for them, they're on the water— this is, in essence, her domain. Super speed in water— or on water— would be great right about now, or at least to be able to run fast like that kid that yanked her from the river while the thunderchild Atli was bringing the pain down on them. Instead, ducking low at first, eyes narrowing as she keeps track of the boat that circled back to attack them, Phil gives her a quick indication.

Deep down, she's saying 'jump.'

Her brain overrides. Instead, the Inhuman pulls back her hands, recalling her training. Before, she had a swimming pool cleared for her to practice her hydrokinesis, and now she has an entire river. Her fingers stretch, then curl, arms punching forward as though she's getting "a grip" of the choppy waves.

While the rocket boot goes flying, getting ready to confuse a whole lot of people, she brings her arms up with a grunt, attempting to suddenly cause a hard vertical swell of water to billow upward in a pillar— and this boat will find itself with a rocket boot and a sudden vertical ramp to send it flying as well as spinning.



Yep. Rocket seems in a Mood. He braces himself as Quill guns it. Of course they're going to to charge. Shouldering his rifle with that disturbing ease at which absolutely shouldn't be possible for something nearly as tall as him, he levels it to fire as their boat swings around.

"-it said 'porpoise' ya idiot," he mutters offhandedly as he takes his shot. Pretty sure these boats aren't equipped to handle alien-tech. …highly modified alien tech. ……..dangerously highly modified alien tech. You get the picture.

Maybe that boat'll have a hole on top of being spun and flung.


In Groot's case, there's a simple answer - marketing. And riding on the coattails - capetails? - of fame. Seriously, how else do you explain an ice cream chain named Bat's Kin, Robin? It's like the vigilante outlaw is going to sue or anything.

Aboard the lead, noone's bothering to pay much attention - or listen to her. Then again, with a heavy and quickly-wettening black cloth over her head, Rusalka is a little on the stuck side when it comes to getting herself free. The boat's jostling and the bullets whipping past make it really damn hard to do much about the hood at the moment. What is something she can handle is the handcuffs and ring that have her pinned down; the boat's slamming and jerking is slowly working it loose. Feeling the mounting shift a little as they continue, she realizes something.

Dumbass didn't use proper marine screws; they're rusting and might give way. All Sally has to do is keep letting her weight (which has not gone up two pounds lately, thank you) slam her around and jerk the ring back and forth. She'll deal with the handcuffs later.

Attacking the Pink Porpoise and its 1970s-loner-van-fantasy-mural paint job, the speedboat charges while the kidnapper muscle aboard lays down a murderous fire at Quill's boat. Bullets chew up some of the fiberglass hull and shatter a windshield pane, but his rocket boot comes as a complete surprise. The thrust sends the thing into a wicked spin as the pilot loses control; machine gun fire (and the machine gunner) goes wild across the deck as it heels over unexpectedly. The pilot tries to turn into the spin, which instead of clearing whatever's stuck makes it worse and gives Rocket the easiest target in the world.

Which, of course, Quill's service dog totally hits amidships with his alien space death ray. What doesn't explode manages to completely capsize at fairly incredible speed sending smoking gunmen into the water.

Meanwhile Sloane's target is accelerating, starting the hook in to sweep around behind it and go for the kill. Bullets crackle past her and Phil, the supersonic crack sounding like giant psychotic wasps bouncing off a tin roof. The puff of air of a very near miss is all too palpable, but then the ocean refuses to cooperate with pretty much everything but Sloane Albright.

The kidnapper's powerboat is at full throttle coming in for the kill, nearly sixty miles per hour. A sudden ramp launching it into the air, spiralling and shedding gunmen, guns, grenades, gasoline, and god knows what else as it flies like a perfect touchdown pass. Fortunately for Phil and Sloane, they're not there to catch it when it comes down; the pointed nose of the boat digs into the water and it disintegrates in a cloud of fiberglass shrapnel and engine parts.

Aboard the third boat, still escorting the leader with Sally aboard, there's a moment of quietness before they break out new things. They'd expected a SHIELD response, potentially even with enhanced. Clearly they got that, and then some. Time to apply some countermeasures. It slows a little, giving the lead boat some separation while staying between it and both their pursuers…and sliding into best optimum range.

Maybe these guys have no super-technology of their own, but there's something to be said for determination and quantity on its own when three men pop up at the back of the boat. All three carrying heavy RPGs, one of which gets aimed just in front of each boat and fired in a sudden blast of smoke and flame. The third is aimed right for the odder Not-a-otter riding on Quill's boat with the cannon bigger than it is, because clearly right now Rocket's the most visible threat.


"I am Groot!" Moving from where he's been staring at everything, each step is taken with great care. 'Care,' in this sense, means he's stumbling like a drunken sailor as the boat pitches forward and bumps against the waves in its path, meandering to where Quill wants him to be.

…Wait, where did he want him— oh, never mind. He'll figure that out as Rocket blows his lid at the other boat.

With a grunt, the tree alien's arms join together, smaller branches edging out and away, weaving in and out in a makeshift shield just as the bullets come flying at him. Lots of woodchips and twigs are blown away with the force of the attack as holes break through the barrier, leaving Groot to deal with the inconvience.

He is, however, appalled at the opposition's tactics. "I am Groot," he mutters, snorting as he hears and then catches sight of one of the incoming missiles heading toward the Pink Porpoise. Knowing how things like that explode and seeing how badly that can end their little adventure brings him to snap his branchy barrier in pieces, quickly traisping to /intercept/.

No way he's gonna have his buddies blown to smithereens. That's Rocket's job!

Despite initially thinking that he couldn't have caught that, Groot surprises himself. It's heavy. The shock wears off, leaving the tree to shift, bend, and throw the missile back at the other boat like it's shotput or something. "I AM GROOT!!"


Sally's sally is a good one, and the ring does indeed pop free. She is now no longer bolted into place. Meanwhile, that lead boat is doing its best to go slamming between a pair of massive barges, a slowly closing channel which seems like to crush the boat if it doesn't move fast enough. The driver of said boat is feeling awfully confident that he'll make it to the other side before any of the pursuers do.

Phil actually does take a hit, but like all members of SHIELD he's wearing body armor clothes. Like some sort of aged James Bond he takes a bullet to the suit and it doesn't even wrinkle. Granted, there are whole portions of his body that aren't protected, and it hurts, but it produces little more than a squint and a grimace before he looks for his next opportunity. He's not loving anything he sees here; the third boat is engaging the guardians, the lead boat is shooting ahead…

"Sloane! Can you help me close the distance?"

He hears a howl of I AM GROOT behind him. He does glance behind him long enough to make sure that doesn't mean, I AM DYING! Nope. Seems to mean — THE OTHER GUYS ARE DYING!

That's what Phil likes to hear. He does whip an…an umbrella? From beneath the console, switching that out for his gun for no reason that seems to have any reasonable explanation whatsoever. But he does it all very seriously.


Peter smirks as his boat goes shooting by the flaming wreck of the other one. "Dolphin, Porpose. Whats the difference." He shoots back as he slews the ship around and his eyes widen as he notes missiles.

They fire before he can even shout a warning…and he sees his life flash before his eyes.

Its pretty awesome really. He's one cool dude.

Then Groot catches the missile and just flings it right back. "THATS WHAT YA GET FOR MESSING WITH OUR ICE CREAM!" Shouts Peter.

Because this is about vengence.

Holding up his hand he catches his boot rocket as it shoots back towards him. Peering towards the pair of slowly closing barges before he gets a wicked grin again.

"HEY HOT DRAGON GIRL! DO THE RAMP THING FOR ME! I'M GONNA DO SOMETHING TOTALLY AWESOME!" He calls out before tossing both rockets to…well…Rocket. "See if you can boost the output, then put them on the back of the boat. Then hold on."

…look. He did say if it could fly. He could pilot it…

Then a pause again as he realises something.



"You're the one from Terra, not me- all these fish look the same!"

Rocket would have made sure that other boat was incinerated if he'd only known what those people saw him as. He ain't no two-timing astromutt!

"Oh look, rocket launchers," he laughs, pointing. It's not exactly an unfamiliar sight, being at the receiving end of those things. He only ducks just slightly as the projectiles come their way, then grins up at Groot as he intercepts and then flings the offending thing back. "Nice catch, Groot!"

And then he gets a couple of mini rockets in the face. Flailing a bit, Rocket snatches them from Quill's hand. "I have to do everything around here," he mutters, but he slings his gun behind him as he plunks down and starts adjusting the thrust on the boot-rockets.

"Groot, I'm gonna need you to tack these things down good. They were made for boots, not boats," he says as he sets the rockets in place. Quill didn't exactly tell him when so um. Hope they're ready. Eh, but being a Guardian is all about improvising, right?


Can she do something? CAN SHE D— Yes. Moving toward the front of the SHIELD boat, she stops long enough to look back— the shot that hits Coulson catches her attention, briefly worried before she brings up her own forearms to shield her face. Were the distances different, were the cartridges different, it wouldn't give her much help, but a shot finds her arm with a blue spark, the scales managing to deflect the brunt of the bullet though it sends her arm snapping backwards and nearly throws the girl off her balance.

On the surface, she looks a little exasperated, but solid. Internally she's screaming 'OH MY GOD IT WORKED WHAT THE HELL I AM SORT OF BULLETPROOF I GUESS HOLY SHIT DON'T GET SHOT IN THE FACE wait is that a rocket launcher OH NO PLEASE NOT IN THE FACE.'

Sloane grips the rails of the speedboat, pulling herself ahead as she presses her hands out flat and forward, thrusting ahead in a way that starts to smooth out all the choppy water— then with a slight surge across the hull, aiding it with her water-mastery to push further and harder ahead, letting all of that fancy SHIELD training start to pay off.


Sloane shoots a glance back to Phil. To ramp, or not to ramp?


It's a little like the Spanish Inquisition. Noone expects a guy to bring his favorite potted tree along when rescuing someone, and less than noone expects said potted tree to make a gigantic bulletproof shield. Somewhere in the infinite universes, maybe, there's a universe where someone was waiting for Groot's move and released bark beetles at him. But this is not that universe, and Groot's catch and hurl are quite damned impressive.

And on target. The rocket strikes home, hitting the first large heavy object it comes across. Specifically, one of the big steel ammo boxes for the machine guns; the combined detonation is spectacular, spectacularly loud, and sends a cloud of bits of boat, badguy, and bullet bouncing breezily atop the water. It's not too much of a threat to the pursuers, as long as they weren't within feet of the thing.

It is, however, pretty damn impressive, and gets the barge crew's attention. The harbor foreman, an old white-haired man in a hardhat and sunglasses, stares in awe as the boat chase proceeds right through his tightening formation, the kidnapper's boat in the lead and bouncing from side to side. "What? Go between them?! Are you crazy!?" Of course, his yelling is very likely ignored as the barge crew ducks down behind things for cover. Noone ever listens to him.

Phil and Sloane especially don't seem to - as the Inhuman does her thing, their boat manages to surge forward at speeds far faster than it should be capable of. It's the boat equivalent of flying along with the jetstream, and it's going to be just a few moments before they're alongside - or ramming the kidnapper's last boat from behind.

Quill? You won't need much of a ramp. There's one now, as the wake from Phil's boat crosses right as the rocketboots fire. The jostling, and Peter's flailing at the controls, manages to activate the speed machine's sound system. The wake-ramp, and the boot thrust, sends the Pink Porpoise airboarne at speeds even more impossible than the SHIELD boat, trailing a glittering spray of sparkling saltwater seadrops as a twenty thousand dollar sound system comes alive.

Allllways, I wanna beeee with you, and make beliiiieeve with you, and live in harmony harmony always!

Sally finally manages to wrench herself free, and the first thing that comes off is her hood. Oh, this is bad - fortunately she doesn't immediately have anyone watching over her or anything; they're all shooting back at her rescuers. And attacking the pilot's out of the question; with her hands still cuffed she'd be at a hell of a disadvantage in a fight. The only option she has at the moment, she takes, aiming a hard kick at the back of one of the gunmen. It connects, putting him on his knees, but before she can bring the steel handcuffs down against him she's spotted…

…and takes a buttstock in the kidney, collapsing instantly to the floor of the boat.


Yeah, he's definitely feeling better after his accomplishment. Grinning at both Quill and Rocket, Groot nods at the latter's orders, only pausing partway through to look in the direction of wherever Sloane is since Quill yells something about her being a 'hot dragon girl' who's going to make a 'ramp' for 'something totally awesome.'

Oooh he wants to watch, but first things first! Crouching down to take a closer look at the rockets, Groot hums, doing a short, thoughtful chinstroke. "I am Groot," he repeats, the words sounding nothing like boots or boats. So off he works on tacking the mini-rockets down, just as instructed.

Tack? Tie? Well, one of those. It doesn't take too long.

A thumb's up is given. "I am Groot!" Groot calls, ready whenever the other two Guardians are. And boy, does he lie about being ready. At least he's enjoying it!


"YES!" Phil shouts back at Quill in exasperation.

These guys are going to be the death of him. "HOSTAGE ON BOAT."

He half shakes his head, only to find Sloane shooting him that glance. "Yes," he says grimly, gripping the steering wheel tight in a mountain of adrenaline. "I need to board that boat. You do what it takes to make that happen. You're doing fine. Just fine."

That bit of encouragement given, he sets his hard, hazel-eyed gaze on the prize; the boat ahead, and the people in it, and what he's going to do to any of them who are not Sally when he gets on board. He just hopes Quill heard him or this is going to be a real bad scene real fast.

But Sloane gets him where he needs to be, and he wastes no time. He leaps aboard the boat and begins to trying disarm the kidnappers with his umbrella. Which proves to be both a hooked weapon and a bulletproof shield that sees rapid deployment when necessary. He's not just singin' in the rain over here. The mild-mannered man is issuing a series of beatdown moves that looks worthy of a choreographer, all while somehow keeping himself alive and well. He sees Sally's brave maneuver, and the resulting punishment, and has only three deadly calm words for her.

"Stay down, kiddo."


Oh hey. A giant wake. That'll work.

"HOLD ON!" Peter calls with no small amount of glee. "Rocket, Groot. You think you can take out anyone not Deadeye and whoever looks like a hostage when we go over em?"

Wait. Over?

Yes. Over.

Well regardless of what Rocket and Groot shout back Peter guns the engine. Ignites the boosters and takes this boat into the air.

Because thats how the Guardians roll.


But mid leap that music comes on and in slo-mo Peter turns to frown at the radio. Then the pilot punches it.

There is a record scratch before the sounds of a guituar replace the strains of Erasure as the opening of 'Fox on the Run' starts to play.

There is a slow nod from Peter before he realises he is actually fighting gravity in a falling boat that is somehow flying. With so many sparkles behind it. And even the porpose on the side of the boat looks suprised by this.

With a whiplash indusing crash the boat slams back into the water, infront of the mercenaries as Peter slews infront of them to block their escape.


This is territory better known to Rocket once they're launched into the air. Except for the water. And the sparkling effects. And the eyesore of a boat they're stuck in. He's laughing because he's pretty sure that this thing isn't supposed to go anywhere above sea level while still activated. And then he's not laughing because gravity decides to remind them exactly why boats are boats and spaceships are…spaceships.

"TO WHAT?!" Rocket growls back at Quill. "THERE ARE NO FRIKKIN' SEATBELTS IN THIS THING!!" There aren't even chairs! What kind of lame-o vehicle is this!! Rocket can list a hundred things wrong with it and they all have to do with the fact that it's a boat.

That said, he completely neglects to reply to Quill's question. It's a silly question anyway.

When the boat hits the water again, Rocket tumbles against the side, and it takes some clawing onto Quill's jacket to get himself upright. He's got his rifle around again, clicking things into place and bracing a foot against the side of the boat as they careen back around. "I HATE BOATS!" he shouts again, just before laying fire at the merc boat they're trying to cut off.


"WHEN HAVE YOU EVER WORRIED ABOUT SEATBELTS!?" Peter has to fling back as they….land. Because its not crashing if you land.


Encouragement helps, with the way her stomach is churning right now. Keeping herself set to the task, it takes little more than concentration on her part, her arms forward and hands set up like some kind of wedge to help break the water ahead of the boat.

Drive Phil closer, he wants to hit them with his umbrella.

The boats engage; Coulson is from the boat one instant to the other boat the next, moving through them wielding an umbrella of all things— an umbrella— that blocks bullets— while suddenly there's a speedboat flying overhead in a ridiculous arc with someone in a raccoon cosplay, a giant tree(?!) and that weirdo in the facemask helmet thing, and what the hell is this day.


The Inhuman wastes no time getting in on things— she steps up to the bow of the SHIELD boat and makes the leap with little effort. Rather than continue the fight alongside Phil, she hooks her arms around the Sokovian and gives her a steady, even look. "Hold on."

She bails right over the side, pushing off hard enough to jostle the boat and go heels-first into the water, swimming at an aggressively high speed back to the SHIELD boat. When they get close enough to the side, a good hydrokinetic shove under her own feet pushes them back up out of the water with enough force that the ginger-haired Inhuman can set the girl down on the boat.

Sorry, Sally— you're going to have to wash the East River funk out of your hair tonight.

The visual is too cool for school: Hair matted down, scales shiny, a bit of blood on one arm from that ricochet. Making sure Sally's got her footing before going anywhere, she looks her best friend in the eye…

"I have no idea how to drive this thing and we should catch up."


"I AM GRrrrOOOOoooot!!!"

Yup. Not very prepared. At all.

Amid Groot's adrenaline rush and mixed feelings of enjoyment and surprise, he does process Star Lord's loosely-knit plan in mid-air, letting it all click together just as he refocuses on where he is.

And that is exactly when Rocket's angry shouting at Quill and gravity's requisition of the boat's weight and destination in full force hit.

Being a tree, Groot is lucky he doesn't have to worry about bruising. As consolation, he splinters where it matters, face on the floor while posed like a sidewalk tracing. Groaning, he shakes it off as best as he can, getting back into the swing of things the moment they connect with the other boat.

"I am GROOT," he rumbles, letting a very extended arm and bark-covered fist fly out at the next closest victim that isn't Sally or Phil. Another fist goes flying out to the side, matching the bellowing that resounds from the very core of his tree body.

So much flailing. He's not known for clean hits, but everyone should know that by now.


Phil's sudden boarding attempt, out of nowhere as far as the crew of kidnappers can tell, comes as a complete surprise. There's a hard crash aboard the kidnapper's boat, kicking it almost sideways and sending it caroming off one of the barges with a terrible scraping sound. But the SHIELD agent is aboard before it even hits. The first man's rifle is hooked and flung overboard in a moment; its former owner pulls a knife, turning in surprise at his attacker, only to face a complete beatdown from Phil. His comrade turns an Uzi at the agent, only to see the bullets spatter helplessly against the special fabric shield. As soon as his magazine runs dry, he'll try to switch, but the one-time historian is on him faster than that.

It seems the musical choices of the Pink Porpoise's original owner are pretty eclectic. Said sound system, almost as good as Rocket's Racing Jam beacon-speaker, blasts out a proper classic as the flying rocketboat manages to clear the entire barge both horizontally and vertically - in no small part due to Groot's help with said rockets. With Quill's exceptional flying skills having precisely nothing to do with it (purely luck, instead) he manages to crash-land the powerboat directly in front of the kidnappers, bringing the entire chase to a loud and rockin' end.

Now comes the shootout, as the few men left not dealing with Phil open fire on Quill, Groot, and Rocket. For the former, it's a little visually outmatched; well-equipped mercenaries against a giant tree and someone even scruffier looking than a young Harrison Ford. Their third member, though? That monster cannon easily dwarfs the submachinegun in the terrorist's hands, who instantly hits the deck before he gets vaporized, simply sticking the gun up and over to try to get Rocket by pure luck and bullet spray.

There's a moment of flailed resistance, almost a punch, as a hurt Rusalka feels Sloane's arms around her. The first thought she has is that she's being dragged off somewhere, and to resist at all costs - but then she sees those glorious - and lead-scuffed - blue scales and hears her best friend's voice. "Sloanetchka?!" Questions start to come, but she barely gets a word out before they're in the East River, and Sally has many more reasons than just water to keep her mouth shut.

At least it isn't explosive pigeon droppings this time.

Groot manages to distract the last gunman, who opens up with an assault rifle sending a stream of armor-piercing lead at the giant. It's enough to do some damage, crack and splinter some of that wood structure, but in the end it's no more effective than spitballs. And the terrorist pays for it, opening a savings account at every flailing branch of Groot's pain bank.

Once aboard their own boat, Sally can't help but cringe in pain while hugging Sloane tight - before realizing what's said. "Yes. Hold on, is easy - wheel, throttle, and CHEST' NEVBLAHANNA!" The family creed, honor unyielding - as the boat surges forward and crashes into the pileup ahead. It's the perfect opportunity for Sloane to rescue Phil now.


Aboard the barges, even as the last of the gunfire erupts from the fracas, the barge handlers are running towards it to help out. At least, most of them - the old foreman just stares, shaking his head before rubbing at his moustache. "I gotta get me a different job."

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