Just Business

October 30, 2017:

Elektra, working a job in Madripoor, crosses paths with Deathstroke, who is there on business. The business of showing people why you don't try to pull a fast one on a contract killer.

House of the Red Pole, Madripoor


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

The Chinese Triad has seen rough times as of late. After the swap of Hong Kong from British hands to Chinese in 2000, the People's Republic has been slowly crushing it out as it did it's predesessors on the mainland. Without the roots and home base that once made the Triad strong, it's begun to rot from the inside, splintering into factions that war amongst each other as much as they do with other organized criminal elements. HYDRA's resurgence and the continueing presence of AIM, HIVE, and Kobra, not to mention the other mundane criminal syndicates, things have not been going the Triad's way. So they thought they would return to their traditional methods of making money. They should have chosen a different target to ply their wares upon.

Slade had every intention of relying on his stealth when he first arrived at the House of the Red Pole, but upon seeing the security, the standard of clientel, and frankly, suffering the annoyance of having to make this run /at all/, he changed his mind and decided on the direct approach.

The body of one of the Red Poles, Triade's name for their enforcement branch, hits the pair of inner doors to the spa hard enough that they rip from their hinges and spin off into the main hall proper. The body rolls across the floor more like a ball then a ragdoll corpse, it's limbs flopping about in limp mockery of life until it comes to a rest with a heavy thump against the sign in desk. The woman manning the desk stops, phone half way to her open gaping mouth as four hundred pounds of muscle, armor, and armorment steps through the hole the doors recently occupied, "Summon the Dragon." he says to the woman as he moves towards the center of the room in an almost lazy walk.

Back from Wakanda, Elektra Natchios is quick to get back to work. The incident in that country didn't count much against her reputationally; Hydra was too busy putting out fires there to go after a mercenary assassin who made good her escape while the getting was good.

She's staying away from that sector for the time being, still. No need to ruffle feathers any more than they need to be. She takes other work in the meantime, more low-key work, on easier targets than 'people running around one of the most isolationist countries on the planet.' You can't get much more low key, right now, than killing some Chinese Triad. They're real down on their luck lately. Hitting them is like hitting a baby in the face.

It's not glamorous, but it'll pay a couple bills until the dust settles enough for her to get back to the usual. Shouldn't be that complicated, she thinks —

Except, upon her arrival, she notices there appears to be a hole where the front doors used to be.

"Huh," says Elektra Natchios, tapping a finger thoughtfully against her lips, and then she selects another route in, eeling her slinky way in one of the windows.

A few minutes pass. Slade, at the front desk, may shortly realize he's not quite alone in the House of the Red Pole when a scream starts up and then cuts abruptly off, somewhere deeper in the House.

Deathstroke is waiting patiently. A good entrance is only good if things go according to plan, the scream from deeper in the building informs him clearly that the plan is… well. There are unacounted variables. He hates those. "Fine." he says, pulling a .45 from his thigh and moving to walk deeper into the building, "We do this the hard way." as an almost forgotten gesture, he pulls a grenade from his tac harness and tosses it side hand through the window of a side office.

The woman behind the desk jumps, watching it happen, and then yells something at him in Mandarin before pulling a SKS from under her desk. A single shot rings out and her head snaps back, body falling lifeless back into her chair. Deathstroke never even slowed his walk, "Good help-" he says walking through the doors to the hallway beyond the front desk just as an explosion showers the entire entrance way in fire and shrapnel, "so hard to get these days." His coms squak, <You know I can hear you, right?> Peabody offers. Slade ignores him.

Thus begins what Slade would call, if he were feeling generous, 'practice'. Seriously. It's like his practice hall back home, rooms, hallways, slow moving ordinary criminals, him with a pistol in each hand, sparing no more then a single round for each Red Pole unlucky enough to cross his path. He offers no answers to questions shouted or bellows of challenge, he merely moves and shoots, never stopping, never slowing, never speeding up. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Almost rythmic.

Slade's path is inexorable, and it leads him through a maze of opposition that is… frankly, not really worth his time. He might as well be in a shooting gallery firing at paper targets. It's not long at all before he reaches his destination, at the heart of the House of the Red Pole.

A room, lit in red and shrouded in red silk, with a trio of people within it. Two men, and a woman.

His targets here were in fact two men and a woman… but the woman before him does not match the description. This woman is dressed in shrouding black and dark red, a mask wrapped about the lower half of her face, and she's perched in a leisurely seat on one of the men, who lays flat facedown on the floor under her weight. A sai rests its point on the back of his neck, and the woman's left hand rests on the pommel of the sai.

"I love your work," Elektra says, the smiling audible in her voice. Her right hand spins a Beretta M9, and its presence is likely what has kept the other man from bolting. "Do you get paid for all the extra you popped off on the way here?"

Despite her light words, she's a livewire of tension: ready to leap for it if he makes a move.

Her head tilts, eyes bright. "Want to split these two?"

Deathstroke has dropped the pair of long since emptied pistols, and enters the room with an extremely customized G36 assault rifle shouldered. Entering the room involves him checking the corners and blind spots with shocking speed and effeciency. Elegance. That's what it is. He's elegant. No wasted movement, nothing an accident, all of it quiet despite the amount of gear he carries. "This isn't a job." he says, as he finished the sweep of the room, finally coming to a stop in one edge of the room that gives him a commanding view of the rest of it's interior. The rifle stays up. "It's business." he draws a fine line it seems.

The single visible eye is a pale cold blue, like a winter's sky, and seems to take in more then a single eye should when part of it's view is blocked by the rifle's sights. "They paid me in counterfiet bills." his attention turns to the man, the muzzle of the gun swinging that way, "You thought you could pay me in funny money?" he asks, his tone incredulous. "Me?!"

Elektra's head tilts slowly as the contours of the situation become rather clear. There are jobs, and then there is business. The line might be fine, but it is one she recognizes instantly.

She lifts the sai off the back of the man's neck, taps its point thoughtfully against her chin, and then steps off the man. She gives him a goodbye kick, propelling him straight in Deathstroke's direction. All yours.

"Now that," she muses, "is just rude."

The woman stands aside, fluid as a cat, yawningly indifferent to what is probably about to happen. "Rude and eminently stupid." And there's no use suffering fools or skinflints to live.

Deathstroke lowers the rifle and offers Elektra a business like nod of approval as she releases her prize and allows him his win. The man stumbles forward and then stops, turning to plant his foot on the floor and turn his body inward. Red Poles are enforces for the Triad, and the Dragon is, well, he calls himself the Dragon, so supposedly he must be something special. "She caught me by surprise, no honor." he says, shooting Elektra a look as he takes up a well balanced stance, his fingers curling into calous knuckled fists, "It is said you are a man of honor." Slade eyes the man in his fancy clothes and his martial arts stance, and tilts his head to the side, contemplating. Then he raises a gauntleted hand and motions him forward with the fingers of his palm. Matrix homage anyone?

The man surges forward and his fists move with impressive speed, a series of chain punches hammering home into Deathstroke's body. Well. Not his /body/. The man falls back, crying out and clutching his bloodied hands. One should not punch Nth metal armor with all ones strength. Seriously. Deathstroke didn't even move, "You paid me in fake currency." the large assassin's voice says as he takes a step forward, "You broke one of the rules. Now I have to make an example of you and yours." his hand snaps up and he grips the Dragon's entire face with his palm, his fingers digging into the man's skin firmly, "Frankly, it's going to take /all/ weekend. I was going to the South of France this weekend. Drinks," he holds up his opposite hand and holds the fingers a few inches apart in visual aid, "with little umbrellas in them. Now I have this to attend to." and in a blur, moving faster then any man that size has any right to, he takes three steps and implants the Dragon's head into the wall. It takes three rapid smashes to make it stick there, with the man's feet dangling off the floor like that, but stick he does.

He sighs and turns back to Elektra, "Agreed." he says, finishing their quickly started and interupted conversation. "Little umbrellas." he holds his hand up again, showing the approximate size of one, "In the South of France. Inconsiderate."

No honor, the man spits. Elektra rolls her eyes straight up to the fancy red ceiling of the room. She even lolls her head to one side, for effect. "Talk of honor from counterfeiters! That's quite rich. You shouldn't have been so careless as to LET me catch you." She turns a nearby chair backwards and plops down onto it, folding her arms over the back and resting her chin down upon it. The sai dangles from one hand, the pistol from the other.

"This ought to be good," she observes, as the men square off.

Predictably, the conflict is quite short. Elektra purses her lips, hidden behind their mask, at the delightfully brutal mess Deathstroke makes of the unfortunate man who crossed him. Who has quite rudely disrupted his plans for little umbrellas in the South of France. "I love little umbrellas and the South of France," Elektra sighs, a wicked spark in her dark blue eyes. Her playfulness is quite undimmed by the blood smearing slowly down the wall. "A man of taste! Where at? Provence? Montpellier? I had a lovely time in Avignon, years ago."

She hasn't put up her weapons, despite her chatter, though she sure isn't pointing them either. No self-respecting killer will insult another by acting too relaxed. One's guard must always be up. "Ah, but that's getting personal. Je vous demande pardon! You won't mind if I take back his metaphorical scalp as my job done? He was clearly quite unpopular. Can't kill a man twice — more's the pity."

Deathstroke tilts his head to the side and eyes her for a long moment, "Avignon." he says after the pause, "There's a vineyard there I rather enjoy." he steps to the side and waves his arm invitingly, offering her a clear unobstructed path to the guy who's body still dangles from the hole in the wall his face made moments ago. "Now, sadly, my weekend is ruined. I'm going to have to burn down at least a third of the Triad establishments here in Madripoor to make the proper statement. I'm not saying it's not enjoyable, but it's not what I was hoping to spend my time doing."

He watches her move carefully, it's unclear if it's in admiration or caution. The mask and it's featureless black half and skull like orange half make him nearly impossible to get any sort of read on.

Avignon, the mysterious masked man says. Though — of course — perhaps not so mysterious. In their profession, after all, there are certain luminaries. Little wonder Elektra is stepping light, a young talented assassin smart enough to be circumspect in walking the lines of her new-spun web.

"Excellent taste," Elektra echoes, "Ah, well, there will always be other weekends at the vineyard — one's reputation is always paramount. You can't just let an insult like that stand. At least it's fun in the doing." She rises from her chair with a liquid grace, arcing one leg over its back to start her delicate way over to the dangling corpse. She is aware of his careful scrutiny and makes no sudden moves, her progress fluid as a strolling cat. Not once does she ever quite turn her back to him. Such things are insults.

"I shall be working the weekend myself," she mentions. "Though not in Madripoor. For the best!" The meaning is clear: two killers do not work in the same space very well at all.

She is quick to take what proof she needs, and swivels back to Deathstroke afterwards with a sardonic curtsey. "Happy hunting," she says, her dark blue eyes half-hooded with an unreadable look, before she scales into the nearest window with intent to slip out as silently as she arrived.

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