Are We There Yet?

November 05, 2017:

(PG13: Language - Backdated Scene) Rose discusses some of her issues and mental state with Taskmaster. They go for a ride before Rose heads off to Genosha.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Taskmaster stands on the street corner outside of the Gotham Arms Apartments, the skull mask worn as easily on his face as someone wears their own skin. The breath function of it making steam with the cold Gotham air form plumes of mist out in front of him, its just that chilly of course. Nothing special. The jacket he is wearing a grey open military looking thing with popped collar, his gloves fingerless, black shirt under, cargo pants and combat boots. Weapons are concealed under there, hidden from view of the outside world.
It is late, later feeling than it should be but swinging around on 0200.
"You know how many times I said I hated this city?" the death faced mercenary questions the night. "So many times I was trying to train myself to that. Turns out I am actually starting to enjoy it. I almost fit in here. Maybe I just seriously need my ass handed to me here so I realize I don't belong." A chuckle, modulated and electronic. A car flies by, faster than it should but no one around these parts care. No kids are out playing and if anyone did care, would they say a thing? Gotham is one of America's "most likely to get shot" cities after all. The GCPD Zeppelin circling in the sky cuts an amusing backdrop, it's lights thrown off in to the fog of the harbor a ways off.
"You told me earlier you had something you wanted to talk about, what is it?" Straight for the throat.

"Where do people… /like us/," The final two words said carefully, not lumping them, nor defining them, but cautiously making a point? "Fit in?" Rose asks, after a moment of fumbling in the multi-zipper pockets of the leather jacket lined in mailed and linked jacket (a Metal patchwork design from Cradles of Hell). The patch is finally found, the tiny elastic strap snapping against fingers as she yanks it out and places it over her eye, finally pushing the longer strands of white away to tuck behind loop-laden ear.

Mask or no, uniformed on the outside, the inside is what it is. Salty. "You show me a city worth liking, and I will show you…." A moment of thought. "… I don't know, it will be spur of the moment." A lift of shoulder and she is fishing out the pack of cigarettes, half crushed.

"What are you feelings on the Squad (SKWAD!), namely Hocus Pocus." A light of flame, features illuminated while fingers do the 'oogey-boogey' jitters.

"Fit? Anywhere we please." Taskmaster assures Rose. "It just takes some convincing and as far as… environment? It's all the same come down to it.

"Any city you can make a buck and enjoy it is worth liking. Enjoying it I suppose all depends on your bag. I'm a simple man myself." A shrug, the Volvo SC90 Sports Sedan. A sleek car. Expensive. Too expensive and nice to be sitting here in this side of Gotham. Taskmaster would love for someone to steal it.

"Same as they always been I suppose, undisciplined with too much raw power and potential for danger but we get shit done. You want specifics?" The dark eyes behind the skull mask level on Rose. "Something spinning around in that noggin of yours?"

So, Sedan makes it sound like it deserves a Baby Seat in the back, but this Four Wheeled Shark is appreciated, even if Rose does not show it, ever.

"Yeah. Fit. Square Peg. Round Hole. Sledgehammer." A Devil Sign made from fist before it is shove back into pocket from the cold of Gotham air. She also does not like the Coast, but it is a Triangle lacking Bermuda properties. "I need paid more then, put in a word to the Wall for me if I am to stay…" A draw in of breath and the lit Spice-arillo glows bright, just a few puffs of harsh before she puts it out. She is very aware of how he hates smoking in his little German Shark.

"June… I like her in a manner I would like someone I have to keep safe from the shit we've seen," /we've/ - Regan, Ivy, Harley, Task, Herself…. "Drug her, relocate her with new memories, and walk away. That Other Side? I need the shriveled husk of a pruned heart she speaks of… I want to burn it like a spider."

The half smoked stub is tucked away, but the tension drawing beneath leather in her shoulders is a tell-all. "She'll kill us." You. Regan. Me. Ivy? Unspoken end, but Rose stands by the passenger door.

"Shotgun." No call.

"Paid?" Taskmaster chuckles. "Thats a riot."
"Satan isn't really cool with me right now. She is blaming me for a few off duty hiccups we have experienced so you're better off trying to fight a starving bear for honey."

"The Squad is only optional if you sign the contract. Which I don't think you did but really, I ain't sure either."

"June herself? Shes harmless. Enchantress is a nightmare that is too loose and uncontrolled to even be worth much more than a bullet to the head or an exorcism. Whatever works to keep her down. Burn the heart though? Good option. Waller likes to keep her as a weapon though. She won't be down for that."

"Ivy is just amused by us, I think shes trying to come up with her own game plan but shes too preoccupied with her 'babies' to exercise those wants. Regan, shes fun, rather enjoy her and I think shes got some real mettle in there, be useful outside of the Squad if she wanted to be but shes a gamer. She went in my head and once was enough. I'd kill her without a second thought."

"Harley we won't be seeing. Not for a few while shes dealing with that /thing/. She gonna come back all shocked up and goofy. Lots volts going through that brain soon. Wouldn't worry about her." Taskmaster has a hitch in his voice with that, a tone break that the modulator cannot hide.

"She will kill us. Were are you wanting to go?"

In place of the Spiced Cig, a flask is withdrawn from a dip of hand between leather coat and the painting of studded bustier. Knocking it back, that Ro(din)-Gaze is focused as Taskmaster speaks. Every detail and syllable is under a scrutiny by an eye that has taken on a dead-light, only moments can interrupt that…

… I am doing it for a thrill..

When locks pop, the sedan door is flung open and her hip cocks enough to keep it open as one finger is placed to right-side of nose. Sniff! "Well, I am fucked." A mutter as hands grip the lip to the roof of the Volvo and she /swings/ into the seat, the position taken a lazed prop belonging to a recliner hooked to a 'High Adrenaline' Game in play!

Flask is /chugged/ then placed back within, some of his words making a corner of eye twinge before she grips the door and slams it shut beside her.

"What if I tell Waller that she is manipulating Regan? The Enchantress wants the World, and in a world like that… /We/ die." A dead-ahead stare is focused on a see-through reflection of herself in the windshield of the Volvo-Shark.



"I want her dead," Rose states in more of a whisper, the dead-light expression becoming more frozen as the eye glasses over in a recollection of the look from Regan, the words. "I will settle for wrapping it in barbed wire and taking a Holiday to a Hawaiian volcano for a game of Basketball."

Rose looks at Taskmaster then, direct. She heard the 'volts', and she knows he *saw* hers, or sees them, now. "I am out of choices. I lose everything, everyone, or myself." A twist of hip that groans leather against seat while she rights to face forward and wait for the ride. "Being broken makes this choice easy. So I face Enchantress, or Satan."

A draw of breath in and she slowly slumps to prop a foot on the hump of the dash before her, no seatbelt. "Every/thing/, deserves a shot at some volts to the bawls." A moment of thought and Rose grins. "Anywhere /else/, right now. Get us off this Coast, I am freezing my ass off, and I need that for later." Beat. "You tell me to put on my seatbelt and I am choking you with the strap." Deadpan stare.

"You got a serious problem, you know that right? Adrenaline junkee and a deathwish are not good combos." Taskmaster climbs in to his car and the ignition fires up. He'll just drive for now as shes eager to be anywhere else and his destination was his safe house currently being stocked up here. That can wait he supposes.

"Enchantress dead is probably very unlikely. Bitch is scary powerful, she could have killed any of us at any time." Taskmaster states, he realized this months ago.

"Manipulating Regan? How do you know this? Waller probably assumes the Witch is conspiring but I dunno, maybe has details maybe not. Shes cunning… the world? I like the world honestly and refuse to 'die' or be anyone's slave." An exhale from the mercenary as he turns a corner, rolling on down towards Coventry.

"You got proof? I mean, you could probably have a conference with Satan but… I dunno."

"N' yeah, put your damn seatbelt on." He 'grins' but the skull is always grinning.

"To you." The dead ahead stare seems to go frozen-in-place, not a muscle moves, and for the moment she doesn't breathe. "What if I would prefer to see you keep driving this Vulva, Regan vacationing in exuberance, Harley getting a chance, Ivy with her Green and…. All left the fuck alone?" No mention of her Father, but Deathstroke… He always is coming out ahead. Nate, the X-Men?

Lips part and when she is asked for proof her breath hitches and her throat hollows between the V of tendons that align her jaw, fingers pressing to the patch, tapping lightly. "I crushed it…."

Seatbet???!! Fucking seriously?!?

// Heartbeat… My Heartbeat…//

"Fine. We run away. Tally-Ho Tampon!" A flippant cock of wrist and Rose is scowling at Taskmaster, but there is a glean of /something/ at the corner of her eye. // … It's fuckin' awesome… //

"Not here, not now…" A glance through the windshield, through her reflection to the Zeppelin, slowly following its bored circle with useless spotlights that 'skim over' all the bad-seeds until a BatSignal lights the omnipresent clouds.

Heroes… A drop of eyes for a moment and she is gripping the seatbely lifting the harness part to simulate "choking" him.

No choking, just a pause and she stares.

"I will prove it alone if I have to." A cock of brow, a *whiir-wssh-whhrr* of drawing in and out that strap of belt and then *SNAP!* of release to reclaim her seat. "Last thing I want is to be gutted by cheap woven nylon cording in a tampon… That goes over 180." HINTHINT!


"Run away?" Taskmaster laughs; "Why? What point would there be in running away? You want to go to another country and start over? One with a beach? I prefer to at least own something in this life. My name; Taskmaster. I got a rep. I don't just run away." Not true, hes rather skilled in retreating. He also has forgotten his place or who is or what hes doing quite a bit and that, looked a lot like running away.
"Running from Waller is pointless. She'd probably let you go until she needed you again and then your vacation to paradise will be ruined. No, if you owe up still you have to pay your dues then she'll cut loose."

"Sounds to me like you're in your head again, what we do ain't supposed to be pretty but you also ain't supposed to let it snap you. This also may be some of the most heroic shit us crooks will ever do or at least the most patriotic. I like patriotism, its profitable. You though, you look like a Wilson, fight like a Wilson, talk like one… but I don't think you're quite the Red and Blue in the blood your papi is, I can give you an easy out, Rose. First though…

Taskmaster suddenly swerves the vehicle towards the edge of the road, off towards the harbor bay and slams the vehicles e-break, the tail end skipping the sleek car to a stop.

It's quiet a moment, his eyes behind that mask level on her face, "You got to tell me what you want though. Deep on down. You can't always be a malcontent if you're just wasting away, you got to have a little bit of thrill in being rotten. I don't think you do, not like me, not like Regan or the Witch or even Ivy. You got something that makes you smell a little different. Something close to Doc Moone there than the rest of us."

Rose may be 'In Her Head' again… But it is the only blanket she has had to curl with since birth. Nothing real, nothing she can grab because anything real slips through fingers and is far more fictional. Maybe that's the Spice-a-rillo, or the alcohol "talking", but when he slams the E-Break and sends the Shark-o into a swerve that has her knee bouncing along the seat where it was propped in a screech of leather on upholstery, her other, the boot was pressed into the floorboard just along the center council where the stick to the E-Break is suddenly /jerked/ upward to have her resituating the braced placement of awkward appendage, the Oh Shit Handle!(c) grabbed for and what keeps her hovering just over hm despite the fact that the gravitational throttle makes skin moan and rub raw against the 'pleather' handle her knuckles whiten around.

"Run…. You… Thought I was serious? Satan has plucked me out of the sky before and brought me in, fought opposition for me, left me alone, and fucked me over with a smile while eating her filet mignon with this. I owed her, but there's so much of myself I am willing to lose to someone I do not believe is Real." A pause and she leans closer, a twist of spine in awkward prose, her other hand gripping over his head to hang upon his (unnecessary) handle. Hang a tux off it?

"You all are real to me…" But that moment where she is nearly Spider within the Shark is brought to a sudden halt like a time old SLAP to the senses, unexpected and world-rocking.

"I want to save the world, and I will kill to do it." A sudden release of the handle above him along his window and it aids momentum in her landing in the passenger seat, though her handle is stil gripped while feet are now tucked beneath her on his pristine (likely Stingray-hide) seats! "But my world is small, I cannot speak for those in my world." Passing the blame! Even her tone takes on "dismissive", while she gazes over her shoulder, out her window.

"It's the Vicor's Dirty Secret perfume. Was on sale." A low murmur and she peers back at him then.

"I want what everyone else wants. I want to live. I will die to do it, and prove it. Some people are worth it, even if they /aren't/."

"Wasting anything is not an option. You're a mask, so is this," A gesture over her curled-in 'self' and there… The slow smile forms. "At least just enough to ask you to stop smelling the Roses. WhatWouldTaskDo? Hm?"

The smile is widening, but the groan of her grip on that handle knows what to expect.
"Yeah, she can always reel folks in good if she wants them. Learned this the hard way like you." Taskmaster confirms as the car sits there, idling with the engine on. "What would I do though, I'd probably suck it up and get my get out of jail free card nice and notched up. Then get the hell out of dodge for a bit if I had an issue. Which, that may be the best way to handle something like Enchantress. Maybe her and Satan will sort one another out… depends on how much you care about those in the crossfire though and it means you may have to evade for a bit so you don't get called to battle."

A finger lifts off the wheel and he reaches over to flip stations on, "You wanna kill to save. Doesn't sound very heroic to me by the usual standards, not sure if it means you're still Squad snuff though, black ops and government, you know how that goes. Collateral damage happens and it usually means the innocent people suffer. At least our accountability is zero in those scenarios." The mask tips back, Bei Mir Bist du Schon pops to life. Yeah, some old timey swing. It's Taskmasters odd kill music some nights. She learned this in Africa.

"I got a job. Its going to involve some good and bad people getting diced up, you can hop out or go with me. You hop out… well, this is a red pill blue pill scenario, toots. I'll be the guy that helps you right now because thats what I do. I help. Pick." He leans over her and slaps open the car door. "C'mon. Its cold out and I got blood to shed an' assholes to bury."

"How much is mine?" Rose asks, his lean and opening of the car door gawked at like a DoDo Bird just crossed her path, the eye following his movement in a slow path across and back to his drivers seat. "There's no time for Satan to gnaw the bones in indecision." Rose's hand does not leave the handle, the other crossing over to catch the handle and swing the door back close with an exhale that leaves breath a mist before her lips. The cloud shuddering in her tug of jacket tighter…

"Exactly. I fit nowhere. With no one. But at least you got heat. Bills don't pay themselves." A salute that leads to a point down the road.

Fork it!

"I'll take them both and chase them with 100 proof. Keeps the blood pumping while we dig graves then go home to heat and some mind-numbing crappy…." Holidays are drawing near.. "I bet you watch Hallmark in private."

"I'm not joking here. I won't work with a waffle who might turn on me in the heat of the moment because I put an arrow through some chump kids mommy or daddy. You go with me, you're picking your course. I'll hold you to it."

Taskmaster reclines back in to his seat, a gear shifting and the car starts to move again, "Also thems fightin' words."

Rose listens, is watching him as he speaks and slowly looks forward when the car starts moving.


"I might knock you out, but I'd leave you alive in a safe place, if the opportunity arises." Awe, look! Dimples! Rose gives a crap, it's adorable! Mark it down in history and prepare to be hunted and killed for the proof.

"Scout's honor." Nope… Never a Scout…. FAR faaarrr from it, in a Brothel… In the remote mountains of… Just no.

"I picked it when I told you my choices and put my cards out now, with Salem. I just hope June isn't flammable, she bakes good cookies." Excuses.

"What? You ask like I have a choice anymore. You got the heat, I want to see this little bullet fly." Brows lift and Rose offers a small, yet waning, smile.

"Are we there yet?"

Pick. Your. Battles.

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