Pan!-ic at the disco (part 1)

March 28, 2018:

The Suicide Squad is called out to investigate after a situation involving the decimation of a small town, instead they find a party … kind of. Scene is 'To be continued…'

Decimated Town

A vague town in a vague European country covered in vague sauce … and dead people.

Characters

NPCs: Amanda Waller, El Diablo

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Three men in all black tactical gear appear seemingly from thin air outside an apartment door. Everything about them screams federal agents, with the latest and greatest tech. The door is opened, guns already drawn slice through the darkness with thin laser sights. They move silently through the rooms at last coming upon the bedroom. The heavily tattooed man pretends to be asleep, well aware that he is no longer alone. Likewise three agents light up his forehead with interlaced laser sights, aware that he is no long asleep. Before the man known as Diablo can do anything about it though one of the men produces something much more sinister than a gun, a small handheld device, one linked to the bomb installed in the base of Diablo's neck.

"So Satan wants her El Diablo to run an errand I take it?"

In like manner the rest of the motley crew that makes up the taskforce for this mission is rounded up. For some it's as simple as opening a jail cell and escorting them to the briefing room in Belle Reve. For others like Diablo who are on a longer leash for one reason or another, it involves physically transporting them to a secure facility to link up via video chat with Amanda Waller. Perhaps not surprisingly there is such a facility very near Gotham, just a 5 minute chopper ride from the downtown area. For those coming from Gotham, they are escorted there by heavily armed paramilitary soldiers, with at least two people manning a kill switch at all times.

Once the crew is assembled into their seats, with weapons trained and kill switches manned, the huge screen flickers to life. On it is the stern face of Satan herself, Amanda Waller. With her signature ferocity she begins to brief the team. Before she can get a single word out Owen Mercer, Captain Boomerang to some and Shut up Mercer! to others is winking and blowing kisses at Amanda. She stops to threaten him, "Mercer, I swear if you keep that up I will cut off both your hands and shove one in each end you dumb piece of shit." That out of the way, the briefing begins.

"Two weeks ago we received word that some idiot, a Dr. Timothee Horvat in the Balkans had unearthed an ancient formula for what he called the elixir of life. No one paid much attention to this piece of garbage as he appeared to be nothing more than an antiquities professor with a drug and hooker problem looking to make a buck. Two hours ago we received word that nearly everyone in the entire town this yokel was operating out of is dead."

Here the screen changes to show aerial footage of the town with bodies strewn about. The deaths look to be violent, there is a fair amount of blood and most people's clothes are torn or damaged. This doesn't look like a mass poisoning or mass execution, this looks like the remains of a battle.

"We do not know what caused these deaths. We do not know what the hell his idiot mixed up. But we know it has to be contained and if possible bring both the moron responsible and his concoction back here. Now go, before whatever this is spreads."

And with that the team are hustled into planes, to meet up somewhere in Croatia for their assault.

*

Taskmaster like a few others such as Deathstroke don't require those killswitch options, there is other just as potent leverage to be had. The armored up skullmasked mercenary is these days less gun-toting, a quiver over a shoulder, sword nestled in next to it and a shield on his arm, that signature T emblem on the front always visible.

Under his hood he grins at whoever is across from him, always grinning its just how that goes. There is no cape for this, nor are his colors bright theyre dark greys, deep navy blue and blacks. More tactical. At least this time he didn't have to do a bunch of talking on Waller's behalf but then, hes been on her shit list recently. He wouldn't be surprised if he doens't let his gaurd down one of these nights and end up with a bombtastic piece of jewerly like these other jokers.

"Oh goody, I love unpaid gigs that require sharing elbow space with assholes."

*

Even before he gets checked by Waller, Quinn—who'd been torn away from a very compelling night in watching old Marx Brothers movies and eating ungodly amounts of ice cream while Ivy was God only knows where—gives a sidelong glance in Mercer's direction as she loudly chews her gum and raises both eyebrows. Her expression smacks more of boredom and 'really?' than anything else.

She watches, back and forth, the interaction between the pair. Listens to the whole of the presentation. And then politely raises her hand to ask a question. A question which goes unanswered as Amanda Waller manages to wilt the clown with a withering glare.

So now! A plane. To Croatia. As she's bustled along, all she can think to loudly ask of her colleagues is: "Do you think they crochet in Croatia? I mean, seriously. And I think I could think of a very catchy tongue twister if I worked on it. 'The crotchety crow who crochets in Croatia…' Jeepers, I hope this flight's long. I wanna see how long I can keep this goin'. 'The crotchety crows who crochet in Croatia came to concordance on…'" A pause. "'…on…'" Another pause. "QUICK, TEE. What's another good 'c' word to use?!"

*

Upon the plane, Ballistic is on her first mission with Suicide Squad - as the angry Ho-Ho lovin' suited woman explained to her over SpaceTime.

"Wherever you're at it is too humid for your curls." Ballistic states and flicks fingers through her own razored blonde ends.

"Just be there at 15:00 and do your job or you get nothing promised." *Blackscreen*

Ballistic is not on a killswitch, she is on a payday (of what though, is her little secret), and she is seated in a corner, her back propped to it with one leg slung over the other.

The body suit paints over her form from beneath the straps and plates of thigh high boots, cinching up along torso and abdomen to be left open over her chest in a deep V'd formation. The silver reflection is from the straps that holster her weaponry, that so far, one by one has been checked, loaded, and placed back carefully with safeties off.

She doesn't know these people and Teamwork is not her *Best* work.

Ballistic's face is shadowed, but darker where a harmess rests beneath the tousel of blonde, the pointed ends contouring her cheeks and poiting to the mismatched eyes, one of a cold blue, the other a reflective red. "Craggy Cl—-i-ffs."

More silver, a flask, uncapped and knocked back.

For the love of… what did she sign up f…

T?, the voice. Squint.

*

Owen for his part only offers Harley the slightest of shrugs. 'Why not?' in answer to her own silent question. He is likewise suited in dark tactical gear, looking closer to the paramilitary officers that picked them up than his usual Captain Boomerang duds. There is no scarf or bright blue to be seen, but he does have plenty of boomerangs lined up his chest. As Harley starts into her riff on Croatia, he gives her an amused look, knowing that is going to get very old, very fast. But if it annoys Taskmaster even a fraction of the amount that it annoys him, it will be well worth it.

"Yes, T! What should we rhyme next?" Carefully walking the line between mocking Taskmaster and making light of Harley, or at least trying.

Diablo for his part is silent, and ultra serious throughout the whole trip. His skull face tattoo not really inviting conversation, perhaps even a little more effectively than Taskmaster's skull mask. He does his best to get some sleep, amongst the inane chattering of the more squirrely members of the squad like Owen and Harley.

The flight passes quickly, being flown about in top secret military planes that shouldn't exist has it's advantages.

The town is mostly dark. With night vision it is possible to see the bodies, still lying in the streets, in their own blood and gore. The town is quiet but there is a low thrumming noise that can be heard as the squad approaches. Though a few houses and buildings have lights on, there seems to be no living soul inhabiting them. The streets are devoid of life, not so much as a stray cat or bird is to be seen.

*

"Carved up, crackheaded, club tosser. Add those in." Taskmaster encourages Harley at Boomerang's question and her own, Ballistic gets a long stare but theres nothing there, all blank. Memory problems abound and without proper triggers he is likely to forget even the most memorable of people, cybernetic gun-bunnies included.

"Better yet, just sing something instead." Challenge accepted.

At the night time reveal of this low lit town a filter of lenses is cycled through on Taskmaster's mask until he finds the right illumination, ambient light being augmented to give good visual, despite it's discoloration. Once thats done he begins unloading a few arrows, sliding two in to his forearm bracer and the other one is notched, held prepped between strings of that folding composite bow, his shield stretched over his shoulders.

*

Ballistic knows none of them aside from what she has dug up on the Unternet, but 'T' was left out of it, the wild card mixed in, while her 'humidity affected' PayDay nicknamed Satan apparently is playing her own games. So be it.

So Ballistic attempted to be the odd-woman out in their word game while looking over Boomerang, Harley, and Diablo - who has this shit nailed. Sleep it is.

Flask sagged in her lap, a doze is something she took until the elevation popped her ears!

A poke to lobe, the flask drank from fully, then tucked away, Ballistic is re-checking her arsenal strapped to her body before she moves off the plane. "Nice ink." A pass to Diablo as she shrugs her trench coat of similar deep purple on, lined in a white fur collar, within the lining is what matters, not the temparature nor the logic of it - None of this is Logical, afterall!

"If I catch one of those, do I get to keep it?" Ballistic asks Boomerang and his gear.

"Crass Clown." A pass by Harls and Ballistic is wary in her regard.

"Cu&*!" To 'T', a spit of word before she puts a cigarette between her lips to keep it 'R" rated.

Once off the plane and moving into town she lights her cigarette.

*

"The crotchety crows who crochet in Croatia love craggy cliffs and wines from Alatia. They came to concordance while carving campers in cold clammy— AAAAH. I NEED ANOTHER C WORD! YES! Crass Clow— Waaaaaaaaaaaaitaminute."

Fortunately for everyone, eventually there's turbulence on the flight which distracts Harley from her literary exploits, rendering her instead to just squealing 'wheeee' with every bump and descent.

But the blonde in her red and black and domino mask is content enough to disembark, once it's time, skipping alongside the group with a messenger bag bumping against her back. She sidles alongside Diablo. "This is gonna be soooooOoOOOooo much fun."

*

Shooting boomerangs out of his eyes at Taskmaster, because daggers wouldn't be on brand, Owen snarls his lip just slightly at the comment about singing. He keeps his grumbling to himself though he does it quietly though. When they disembark and Ballistic makes a crack at him about the boomerangs, he shrugs and says "Unless it takes your hand off. Sure." Watching her light up a cigarette is nearly torture after the long plane ride. In fact he looks extra pale and a little sweaty as if the plane ride itself didn't agree with him. He feels his stomach roil and decides risking a smoke and drawing unwanted attention is slightly better than throwing up and drawing unwanted attention. He has a cigarette in his lips and lit without breaking stride as they move into town.

There is movement suddenly towards the center of town. A brief glimpse of a figure here, a glimpse of one there around a corner. The are moving fast and even if viewed with enhanced optics it's very difficult to get a good look at them. Maybe it's because they are moving so fast, but it's almost as if they don't register as fully solid, in heat spectrum though some are higher than average, others much much lower. Hmmm. Maybe those are humans? Most of the squad might not notice this. Owen certainly doesn't.

Diablo slowly turns his head towards Ballistic and looks her up and down as if seeing her there for the first time. He grunts a scant "Gracias." and moves on to get this mission over with. He does crack a small smile when Harley sidles up to him, but only because he and the clown princess have been in a few of these things and he's gotten as used to her as Owen or Task. "I would disagree, but I just think we have different ideas of what constitutes fun chica."

The center of the town though is awash in light, sound, life and movement. Apparently in the center of this town of death there is a party going on. With lights, loud music underpinned by the throbbing beat that they could hear all the way from the outskirts of town. And there are people. Most are dressed in normal clothes, some wear what look like sheets wrapped around in makeshift togas. There in the center of the crow is the apparent master of ceremonies, easily identifiable from Waller's intel as Dr. Horvat. The shadowy figures from the way in can still be seen, but only flitting about the edges. The heat signatures and vitals of the people inside are all normal for people who seem to be attending the best party of their life.

*

"Who wants to roll up and pretend the rest of us are not here?" Taskmaster asks casually, his voice distorted but quiet, almost a whisper.

"My vote is Harley but then, I kinda like Harley so what about you, Boomerang?" A turn of his head, that pale white mask visible in the dark but the rest of him is hard to see. Ballistic he is aware of, Diablo to him is really a nobody, just some tatt'd up punk that is likely to die on these missions.

That arrow still between his fingers he rolls it, turns it over slowly, its not like he has a full on plan here, which is not usual for him, but then maybe hes just not sharing beyond this. His desire on these missions after all is to live even if no one else does.

*

"My catching hand is pretty sturdy," Ballistic states as the hold of the cigarette shifts from one to the next and a glove is 'nipped' off at the middle fingers tip by teeth, freeing a cybernetic flex of fingers after tucking the 'cover' away into a trench pocket. "Game on. Ready Players…?" One… Two… Three..Cuatro?(It's a /q/, but eff it, Harls' game is more fun!)

Diasblo can correct Ballistic later!

"I'll go, keep your cherry." A dismissive wave to Taskmaster as he refuses to risk Harl and offers up Owen and Diablo.

Ballistic's pace steps up, and the town that bares unexpected 'Life' is approached with a quicker pace, the flask uncapped and tipped once she reaches a certain pace-count and then lifts it to lips for a final chucg before casting it in a 'cross-motion' like a priest to 'Bless The Poor Town in Croatia'.

Waitaminute… that doesn't smell like rum…

Everclear?

Gasoline?

Same difference.

"Hope the Queen Clown really knows how to dance." A smirk Harls' way… Besties?? Right???

Thougb at first, the only thing she lights with the fading butt of cigarette, is a pack of July 4th M-80's and some bottle rockets.

Leftovers have purpose!

Hoping to draw the party-goers out as the tiny fire-wrok *snap-crackle-pops* light up… no… spark lamely in the sky.

Siiippp.

Local drunk guise ftw?

*

"I got party favors!" Harley crows, only to look disappointed a moment later as Taskmaster offers up Boomerang the opportunity. "Wait. Why does he get to go, Tee?" She drops her head, low, between her shoulders and narrows her eyes. "Is this about the darts game? This is about the darts game, ain't it."

The clown pouts, and then two fingers come up as she bounces at the knee. "C'mon. Jes' a little bit of partyin'?"

Then to Owen she goes next, eyes wide and looking for backup as she looks to him. "C'moooooon, lemme go." To Diablo. "C'mon, tell him!" To Ballistic next, her voice dropping comedically low. "C'moooon."

But then Ballistic starts to walk off and Quinn's whole body sags dejectedly.

Until.

The clown's tiny fists pump up into the air, triumphant. "OH, YAY!" Totally Besties.

A look to Taskmaster, blue eyes wide with anticipation. "So we can exist now, right?"

*

Even as Taskmaster formulates a plan and starts to run through the options Owen is moving towards the party. He strips off most of his tactical gear and offers his jacket to Harley, "Want to hold that for me? It's full of fun surprises!" Okay, it doesn't really count as surprises, it's boomerangs. But regardless, Owen then pulls off his shirt, to better match the party goers. The eagle-eyed among the group might catch the scars and marks on the inside of his elbow, they're subtle but visible. Still smoking his cigarette Owen now replies to Taskmaster over his shoulder.

"You never have to ask me twice to fuckin' party!"

He makes a bee line for what looks like the only 'bar' area. There is a series of plain silver pitchers, all pouring what looks like the same drink. A small sniff of the stuff and being Owen, downs a cup in one go before reaching for another. This one he takes out to mingle on the dance floor. Here he finally starts to remember that he isn't actually here to drink and dance. Looking around he says into his comm, "I make at least 6 shadows on the outside of the party. They are… possible metas. Some too tall, some weird and short. All creepy as shit."

Noticing that suddenly he can see them more clearly, he calls back "Uhm. Either they are getting easier to spot or I drank something dumb…" Owen already knows the answer to which of those two things is happening but strangely he still feels great, like amazingly great about the choice to drink whatever this is. What was it Waller said that this idiot was working on? Owen can't remember but it doesn't feel important. He downs his second cup of the drink and joins in the dancing just long enough to make his way back to towards the table with the drinks. The dancers are all quite amorous and free it should be noted, getting well beyond a PG-13 rating out there on the dance floor.

At the lit fireworks, the crowd just roars louder, thinking it's a part of the celebration. Granted if you asked them they would lack the words for why they are celebrating. And while the crowd might not take much motice of Ballistic, something else does. A dark shadow seems to separate from the wall, forming into the figure of a tall woman, a tall woman that looks like a nyad with flowing vines coming off her body. She is extraordinarily pretty, and astonishingly creepy at the same time. Without a word, the woman raises a hand and water gurgles up from the ground to extinquish the flames and to form a sphere of water around Ballistic, encasing her and if she has her way, drowning her.

Back with Harley and Taskmaster, Diablo rolls his eyes at Owen and Ballistic running off. "Great Boomerang's getting trashed and …" here he notices that Ballistic is in trouble, but makes no move to help. What? It's a mystical water lady, he's not going near that. "Looks like new girl's gonna get drowned." Rightfully, considering the squad they are on, Diablo is more concerned with what the shadows are doing and this weird freaky party.

*

"That's code for you're going to catch something." Taskmaster informs Harley, "You got some cajones on you, Gibson." He fires after the Boomerang on his way, "That music is fucking horrible."

"I'll pull support for the rest of you."

"Eh, you too and you? Fine, don't get fucked up. I am not carrying anyone." Added responses to Harley and Cassandra. They get lingeirng look, a hard stare for both blondes only taking his eyes off of them enough that Diablo is pointing him back, towards Ballistic and the water bubble,

"Thats different. " Flicking to his coms if they're not radio silence, "Metahuman attacking one of ours or she's just really in to wet t-shirt contests, north by 135." The look from Diablo at the shadows has Task doing the same, counting them or trying and switching from low-light vision to green, then thermal and back, toggling to see if he cannot pick them up with aid first.

"Tighten your belts, we're about to get weird and freaky here."

*

Ballistic works best alone. Even if she tried otherwise it had failed her, but this "gig" offered her something… Unexpected. The payment, at least, a double edged sword.

Bravo, Satan.
Bravo…

Cass is only lighting off 'low grade' fireworks that amuse toddlers, as teens would find it droll, and yet the people… Cheer at the Snap-Crackle-Pop! of Rice Krispies in the air. Cass is frowning and just while her comm to the Squad is about to transmit, the cigarette laden hand dropping for the paths in the ground she painted with her alcoholic flask..

The liquid eruption catches her from the moment, making her grip the butt as it is drenched out and nothing but black ash. Lips part to speak and swallow water, inhaling it and coughing fruitlessly!

Waterboarded to Hell and Back, Ballistic drops the soppy butt to the ground and is claoring for… Air?… No, two Rhino's are drawn and aimed… Towards the sky!

Each trigger pulled as a warning. She cannot see (completely), or breathe, and feels as if in a stasis recovery SHOC POD without a mouthpiece.
BOOM!
BANG!!

But through the torrential downpour a red cybernetic eye flares and there is some attempt at an aim for the Nyad wile veins pulse and her throat constricts with the flooding.

*

With a hand full of Mercer's gear, Quinn is back to pouting. And she collapses to the ground with a 'frump' and criss-crosses her legs as she waits for her turn.

Idly, she goes through his pockets, because…. why not?

And then they're singing her song. Throwing Owen's coat on over her own clothes, the clown turns into a different creature once there's something there. "All more fun when it's weird, right?"

Rifling through her messenger bag, the jester is on her feet and moving for the new girl in a hurry. She finally stops rifling when she finds for herself a smoke canister. And that is promptly loaded into the oversized pop gun. And THAT is leveled in the direction of Ballistic and promptly fired in all of its thick and noxious, cloying glory in a shade of grey-green. Because every party needs a fog machine, right? Actually, she's really just hoping it's gonna add in a glorious bit of confusion to come in on.

*

At the dance one of the shadows slips out from the walls and seemingly enters a middle aged woman who appears to be having the time of her life. When the shadow enters, her eyes glow yellow and suddenly she's dragging her dance partner off for looks to be a very private affair. Only a few minutes later she's returning solo, blood splattered on her white toga. But strangely as the dark shadow removes from her body, the blood is wiped away and she returns to the dance as if nothing has happened.

Owen meanwhile can remember that he is supposed to do something with the frumpy looking guy in the center. Dance with him? What? No… shots? Waller is weird. This doesn't make any sense. He tries to clear his head, and is at least clear headed enough to know to use his speed to do that. He blurs for just a second and asks, "Task. Sit rep? I can't remember my objective? I mean besides pissing you off for the fun of it…" His clear mind only last so long though and then he's back on the comms. "Harley! You should have a drink! And we should.." his comm falls dead, ripped out of his ear by a fellow reveler intent on getting very friendly.

Meanwhile Ballistic's little friend curses in some dead tongue when fired at, releasing Ballistic from the sphere of water that pops and floods the area. The shadowy nyad is hit and the bullet bursts out of her back in a mess of 'blood' In order to heal her wounds and recover, the creature melts into the ground but only for a moment. Then she is reformed behind Ballistic. The smoke canister pops off courtesy of Harley though and makes it hard to see what happens next. The nyad is trying to grab for Ballistics neck to choke her but ends up flailing in the smoke, trying to get it's claws around her neck.

Diablo having seen about enough of the shadows to know they are a threat moves away with "I'm burning down a couple of those shadows before they decide to pull that shit on me." And he is off to try and torch anything moving in the shadows.

* End Part 1 - To be continued *

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