Bad Business

July 28, 2018:

The Goblin Queen throws her weight around after defeating the mercenaries sent to take her down.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Continuation from;

The shadows around Taskmaster shift, ripple, preganted in a slow outward growth in his direction as his… "common sense"… Tingles.
His weapon hits the ground after the The Shot That Saves His World, resounds! Dropping the commander.

Maddy pivots on her heel in tandem with the echo of the fired round. Eyes casting a diabolic glowfall upon him, and just before the shadow's claws glisten their deadly sweep - Maddy's hand rises towards Taskmaster and that small wave that forms a fist - Mimiced by the Goblins' reach, withdrawing from that reach just at the nape of his neck and the curve of the back of his skull, but those reflective predator eyes remain on his hand that nears another of his weapons.

A flow of words, a language of gutteral clicks, low growls, clipped pronouns… Every syllable is every step Maddy takes towards Taskmaster to close the distance, ignoring Jane's choked-off scream in the backdrop. "Satan…a? Are your dreams that low, harbinger?" Maddy states as her lips spread into a grin, nearly black in the glistening lipstick, but in the fading lights there is a red in that abyss.

"Who are you one of, then?" Maddy inquires as she nears him, every step growing silent, but it is like the drop of coin down a dark well, somewhere in the backdrop there is a whisper, a cadence of the metallic decor upon attire. "You seem too much for a Hellstrom, and yet you come with snacks?" A tilt of her head and she is finally just before Taskmaster, just that easily dismissing his Hunting Party as fodder(fooder!) for her Goblins.

Taskmaster's hands are visible, though one is dangerously close to a sheathed blade it's paused at Madelyne's voice reahching his ears. A cant of his skull to the left and he is sizing up his options here. The woman, along with her… friends just took out an entire squad of eight in just under sixty seconds. Now he is quite capable himself, a top tier and top dollar but there are certain things one does not 'fuck' with and this, well, this very well maybe one of those.

"My dreams? Well, it depends on your definition of low." He manages, the mouth behind the mask feeling incredibly dry. "This is me waving the white flag fo truce though, you see. I'm not one to be entirely… violent when there are better options." Harbinger, thats not one hes been called. "Taskmaster." He corrects her. Though, nickname was not her intent.

"I am in no way shape or form one of these assembled pieces of junk parts. I'm a professional, lady. These were amateurs after their big score."

"Snacks, ah, " A hesitant chuckle, "Right, top shelf Pringles. You have at."

"Whats say we talk some sort of deal here?"

Madelyne cants her head, the long waves of visceral red cascade over shoulder, down along the contour of collar and lofted bosom to dangle over exposed abdomen. The light draw inward of breath has her low chuckle coming after the slow formin smile, he glowing eyes dwindle back a notch from hellblazen-to-smouldering, emerald. "Spare parts exchange, it is…" Her laughter in her tone as the shadows release his dropped rifle, skidding it back towards him in a spin of Twister, but the barrel only lands upon the toe of his boot, gnawed like a bone by indents of massive teeth.

"You are an opportunist, and I am not stupid." The small smile on her lips broadens. "I want to take back my own opportunity, and a deal is exactly what WE need right now it seems." A lofted brow, and the smile fades only slightly as she drops her gaze, and then slowly rises it over Taskmaster.

"How many more 'Pringles' do We need to remove before this…" A waffling flippant gesture akin to Jack Sparrow! "…Parlay can begin?"

A light bow of her head, a brief wink so fast it could be imagined by him. "Deal."

Taskmaster removes his fixed attention from the Goblin Queen long enough to spare a look down at his returned rifle, a broken instrument now. It looks like some discarded old favorite toy he might have had as a child that Rover found laying out.

"So we are clear. That was my fourth favorite rifle." He regards allowing his fingers to relax their hold, their stretch towards that blade and fall off to the sides, showing her his palms and the fact they are empty.

"I am a businessman. Opportunist puzzles in there. I also like to think I ain't stupid. I've never tasted paste in my life." He swallows, trying to hide it but he can feel the presence of her demonic servants still, the human mind, even one adapted to a super world like his is often suffering its own sort of dementias and waking nightmares about such things, maybe it's an evolutionary thing. Back before such creatures were chased under the heel of humanity, organized religion, technology and the light of day and fire.

"Well, none at the moment. Countless more if you want to linger out here and chit-chat like Zoo animals for all the kids to dangle crackers at."

"SO we host this talk somewhere out of sight and mind or we carry on here and have the Daily Bugly taking posting is up allover their Instagram."

Maddy straightens her posture, something regal, proud, and just at the small of her back, above the low dip of her tattered skirt, it could be very bent and broken.

Like his rifle muzzle.

"Her one hand drops and fingers splay, a coating of glistening saliva left in the wake of two forked tendrils of a tongues appreciation just before the massive chitinous head of Bamfy emerges to shove into it like Puppers seeking affection from a venomous lioness.

"Oh I never once considered you stupid, Taskmaster." His name drawn out, echoed on her melody that only ends with them in a 'sidereel'!

There is no color here, not right now, just monochrome shadows paralell to where they had once stood, but the air is thicker, different. "A Freak like me, maybe."

A turn from him and she spares a glance back, her eyes that incandescent green of a predator in the shadows, narrowed by her small smile. "Watch your step."

Where she went, it only got darker.

The noble and proud stance gets Taskmaster remaining vigilante again, usually thats some sort of defiance or challenge to come next instead that earlier demon he shot comes in to view, a part of him tenses and he looks at it, directly. Not saying it out loud as if that will make it remember but thinking it audibly, loudly enough that a telepath would pick it up, No hard feelings, ugly.. Not that Taskmaster is aware hes dealing with a telepath, not even the mercenaries who just got turned in to Infernal Kibble knew this.

"A freak like you." No, not a mutant, he doesn't thiink. "I wouldn't say freak but if it makes you wanna be my pal, sure, freak of the fall, freak king, freakmaster general for all I care."

"Just uh… whatever, this why I don't work with others." A quick glance back at one of the spots of blood on the pavement where his 'teammates' had been. Then he steps with and after the Goblin Queen… parley indeed.

The bearers f thoise beady eyes emerge paralell to them, and any body….

Drug into the Black!

Any blood…

The forked tonguwe that was upon Maddy's fingers drags the pavement clean of evidence, the octet of eyes on the elongated mandible watch - piercing the shadows they are residing within.

"Bamfy." A pause. "He is beautiful." Maddy is cast in darkness but her voice becons Taskmaster onward as he speaks and she responds.


"Parlay is a Paralell desire for literal accord where you are guaranteed…" The shadows she had lead Taskmaster into finally envelop his vision of the "Goblins" and the chaos upon the paralell vision. "A victory."

A snap of her fingers and the space around them zig-zags in a red lighting, flickering neon before solidifying into a Reality, elsewhere.

The room is a laboratory, monitors beep, massive casks bubble with the thick viscuous liquid inside them, hoses hiss

A SNAP! of fingers again…

Is this his 'Home' to him? It looks plush, the centerfold couch, the decor, the faux plants - either way… "Which is better for you to Fall into?" A light lilt to a tone slowly hardening, drawing thin on any form of emotion.

"You do not have to work with me. Beside me is far better." Maddy states as she walks before him and her silhouette of svelte shadow cuts through the image and the into it, plucking up an overstuffed cushion to toss it aside and drop ito the overstuffed couch.

One leg slings over the other in a cross, arms rest across the back rest of cushioning, lazily, but the way she resides there is like it IS HOME, to her.

You wanted Parley. What do you want, Taskmaster?" (That they could not offer…!)

"Ergh." Taskmaster murmurs through distortion of his mask, "Teleporter. I have perfectly fine ride several blocks away." His eyes adjust as does his stomach fighting off the desire to wretch up his insides all over the floor.

Looking around to take in the immediate surroundings before responding to her, a mental rundown of his weapons, one by one making sure inventory is to snuff and hes got all of his fingers and toes still is another concern.
"That is a million dollar question, toots, literally often enough but then, if you can do this and what you did back there. Maybe we just owe one another a favor, a woman as powerful as you and your scary Narnia monster army could work wonders as a back up plan and I, well, I can send you at the guys who hired us… how is that for a bargaining chip?"

"You're going to have your hands full. A little birdy told me the mutant headhunting business is about to be boomin' and you, well, you got pinged as one of them gene… uh, wonderful types already. You're in the list."

"Your ride will be there when you get back." Maddy states casually as she casts her jade eyes towards stiletto pointed nails tipped in a silver wire decor of filigris. A light flicker and with every sweep of slender digits sparks form that reflect off her eyes that attentively pass back to Taskmaster, curious….

The light rock to the side her head takes also draws her body to pivot upon the cushion where legs switch-change in their crossing to adjust her pointed attention. "Narnia?" The tilt is almost birdlike, even her eyes as pupils dialate and nearly turn those iris' black. "Is that what you think of this?" The ignorance ploy is just that… And briefer in lasting power than the surroundings that slowly melt around them and become more familiar to him perhaps.

Then add the color as if reality folds into her darkness slowly like Oz has a Nexus.

"Gene…type/s/?" The /s/, drawn out serpentine, like Madelyne's motion to rise from the couch in an acrobatic arch of posture, a push of palms, and the cushions gaining a light gray tone look untouched, even where she was seated moments ago. "Oh, did I come Back To The FuturePast?"

Every step seems to become more and more predatorial, dangerous - although Taskmaster is met with a pointed drop of nailtip to his chin and a curl of finger like she was drawing him closer to that malefic smile. "I already have my hands full. Keep me in the list, and get me the rest of it…" A bat of lashes as Madelyne leans in and brushes her lips along the mandible ridge of skull mask towards where an ear should have been. "Then we talk backup." Whispered before she slowly draws away.

"The more you reveal, the bigger the Parlay."

"That is nice and fine but where is here?" Taskmaster has to ask, a tap on his skull as if to activate something hidden and he gets a null signal, not within range of the coms relay anymore.

"That too offensive?" The mercenary adds quickly, "I remember more frollicking and woodland animals in that, your pets probably ate all those."

Watching Madelyne warily yet intrigued his thoughts go to a snake, hypnotizing it's prey with a wicked dance and devil eyes. He shakes his head, snapping out of it, remembering, hes the damned Taskmaster. It's even more of a snap out realization as her lips touch the skullmask, "Thats asking a lot. You're telling me to trust you here, make like a snitch, anger some very rich and influential with nothing in exchange for me to show off or call my own other than, we will see what you got."

"Not how I play. Thats bad business." He says firmly, his chin rising up and his shoulders squaring off, the hard bargain gets results more often than not.

"Maybe try again, I need more if I am getting you more than my first offer."

"We hunger for every…" A pause in the withdrawal. "One."


"But allow me to narrow it down." Maddy's lips are brushing over the Taskmaster's skeletal grin, pressing just enough to leave a visceral impression of her cupid's bow paint upon his Maxilla bone.

"I do not kiss and tell," A TSK, hisses from her lips and she takes a long-legged step from Taskmaster, as if insulted but when she does so, hat world that was bleeding into Technicolor fully reels him into a place he is very familiar with, the Squad HQ in one flicker, and then his own personal abode where the couch flicker-flacks into one and than the other!

No more paralell, sideways, Alternate. It is very real as he feels the back of his thighs on his very own couch, her body aligning with his in a sudden reveal that she is still there and dangerously close in that temptation, as well as that damnation. Such a fine line, this sin…

Her eyes, a golden glowing lining around the jade hue, setting it on fire despite the (fore)shadowing of the moment and this proferred 'Parley'…

"Call me… the Goblin Queen." A *snap!* of teeth before that placement where a lower lip should have been. The smile is all ivory, canines glistening, and eyes reflecting, that multiply behind her in his own abode. "But be careful on the Call. Names hold…" A smirk then, lips of painted darkness and blood remain full in the sly vixen appearance as she leans back and dips her hand into the 'occu'-pied corner of his apartment!

"Bad business." Plays on words, hard bargains, faux truths. Two played at this game.

One hand rises, thumb and piny extended in the shape of a 'classic' telephone, risen to her ear as she winks and mouths…

/Call me…/

"Call me… " Taskmaster echoes. A night of being thrown from one end of New York to Gotham after having his mind peeled through, those fragmented half memories that resemble a shattered kaledieoscope in his head and hes not just reeling, hes angry and feeling to the point of helpless or even humbled.

"I'm the goddamn Taskmaster." He repeats, as if to steel himself, muster up his courage and make it known hes still himself. "You don't just… you don't do whatever it is you just did to me, lady." This is a coupling of his worst fears in the past, Lady Mastermind digging through his thoughts, Enchantress enscrolling his world in witchcraft, all to show him, no matter how strong or fast or who he copied in physical talents, hes still a very small fish in a very huge pond.

"Bad business." He does repeat, but as she makes her flashy though admittedly foxy departure the man huffs behind his mask, trying to still compose himself, wiping lipstick off bone-white composites. Who to fear more, the OGA extends that hired him or the witch with the legion of gargoyles at her heel, a woman that could apparently peel back the layers of his mind with the ease of a toddler being bested by a construction worker in an arm wrestling contest.

"Right, yeah, Goblin Queen, I'll… call you… Call you a few choice words, crazy Gozer the Gozerian freaky eyed sociopathic skag of a… " " Wheels churn as Taskmaster mutters under his breath like Yosemite Samon a tangent. Gears not grinding on the opportunities alone but on an exit strategy or at the very least a way to even the odds… who needs enemies…

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