It's a Deal

October 29, 2018:

Moonstar finds herself in a bit of a mess with some demonically possessed office equipment. THANK GOD FOR OWEN MERCER.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's all going wrong.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

What should have been a simple evacuation from an overrun office building has now turned into something from a 1980s horror film.

All of the office equipment, shredders, printers, copiers, staplers, paper slicers, etc, have become infected by the demonic energies that lay over New York City, and currently their demonically possessed ire is focused on Danielle Moonstar; supposed savior for the people within this building.

Only she now needs saving.

So much saving, but in the most embarrassing of ways.

Danielle Moonstar is currently tied up and being harassed by the enslaved office equipment. Plugs and wires currently criss-cross tightly over hands and feet, while staplers sit directly in front of her face; clicking aggressively. With each clack a staple shoots from each of their 'mouths' to hit the woman in the face.

"When I get free -" She growls at the five staplers, "I will recycle you all."

Her threat, of course, causes a cacophony of responses from the staplers, along with the paper shredders, copiers and fax machines.

So much noise.

However, that doesn't stop her from continuing to try and free herself, until finally, dejectedly she curses under her breath again.

She's definitely stuck, but not without options.

Loudly, Dani says, "SIRI - CALL OWEN MERCER"

Her Stark phone, which is in her pocket, happily complies and somewhere, wherever Owen may be, his phone rings.


It's progress that it doesn't take anyone else to force Owen to seek out an NA meeting after his latest slip up. Granted the fact that Bart had to carry him home, while Owen was 'dressed' in a scarf and speed and taped on boomerangs certainly helped. Which explains why Owen is in the basement of a church, drinking some of the worst coffee imaginable listening to Lisa once again tell the story of how she managed to kick her 'jazz cabbage' addiction thirty years ago. It takes every fiber of the little self control that he has to not just leave, but he manages to stick it out until…

The unmistakable sound of Peter Gabriel's voice singing, "In your eyes, the light the heat, in yo-", poor Peter doesn't even to say he is complete before Owen has picked up the phone and is out in the hallway.

"Dani? … What the hell is going on?"

The noise coming through the line causes Owen to pull the phone from his ear and stare at it, double checking it's Dani even though she is the only one with that ring tone on his phone.

"Did you butt dial me?"


Ch-CHING. Ch-CHING. Ch-CHING.

More staples are flung at the Cheyenne's face, and in that moment the woman can only growl in supreme irritation and frustration at this WHOLE SITUATION.

Almost she asks herself 'how did she get here?', but then she remembers it's because she was trying to be a hero.

Some days IT really doesn't pay. Some days.

Her phone automatically pipes the ringing out through the speaker and while the sound is a bit when Owen picks up it's clearly heard by the Agent of SHIELD.

Relief causes her head to drop her head to the carpet for a minute, before she pulls herself together to respond to his question.

"DON'T hang up." She shouts, "Just get to -" And here she names the office building and reads the address off, "As quick as you can. An evacuation went south and I don't have back up, I'm on the fourth floor, Office 43B -" Her words become muffled again as the background noise escalates. Clearly the possessed machines realize she's talking to someone, someone who /could/ help, and the little monsters don't like that.

A paper slicer somehow manages to click-clack waddle towards the hog-tied woman and slam its slicer down in quite the threatening manner.

If she weren't trapped so and the situation looking somewhat dire this could really all be quite funny, but as it is -

IT REALLY ISN'T.

And that's how Owen Mercer will find Dani. Bound foot to wrist and surrounded by a multitude of angry angry (terribly) angry office supplies.


To Owen's credit he doesn't interrupt or even crack a joke at Dani's request. He just grabs a pen and scribbles down the address and the office before snagging a donut for the road and booking it out into the night.
A call for an extraction. Boy that seems familiar. At least this one comes from someone in New York and doesn't require getting back to Gotham. And this way he can rely on mostly his speed to get him there. But he's no Flash and it still requires time to get there. And he's no where near his gear so he's showing up in jeans, sneakers, a ratty quilted vest and a knit hat. He has exactly two boomerangs and a knife on him so he's not unarmed per say but it's also not fully loaded.

Entering the office Owen expects a demon army, or at the very lest hordes of goblins as far as the eye can see. It's not like Dani can't handle herself. But the last thing he expects is to find her tied up and held captive by … office equipment?

"Oh … yes."

The boomerang in his hand is flung at the chomping paper cutter to hopefully break off it's blade before returning to his hand, but in the meantime while the boomerang is in flight, Owen pulls out his phone.

*click* *click* *click*

"Say /Pleeeeease/"

Ah, the two edged sword of calling Owen Mercer for backup.


The boomerang flies true and slams into the menacing paper cutter and with a crack, the blade breaks off of the creature.

For this Dani is truly grateful, but for everything else not so much!

The fact that he's taking pictures can't be mistaken for anything else. The first few pictures will show a surprised Dani, but then like a flip book, her expression moves right on in to thunderous. He's seen that look before from elsewhere and it's not a good look. It's the 'I'm going to kick your ass' look, albeit once she's free.

"/Owen/." Hisses the trussed up woman, "*Please* stop dicking around -", and now she's swearing which is never good, "- otherwise when I get free there's going to be such Hell to pay."

Perhaps she's overreacting a touch, but one, her pride has definitely taken a hit, and two, Owen is here to see it along with photographic proof too.

By now the possessed monster machines realize Dani Moonstar is no longer alone. Continuing that theme of 1980s cheesy monster movie, the machines turn as one upon wheels and legs to 'face' Captain Boomerang.

A tall four-drawer filing cabinet is the first to react and it flings open its top drawer. From that drawer four pairs of scissors fly outward, much like throwing stars, as their pointy ends are aimed straight for Owen's face and eyes.


Turning around for a selfie with Dani in the background is probably not the best idea. Especially considering this room full of demonic accessories has obviously overtaken her. But that is in fact what Owen does, and that explains both the scissors lodged in his back and the picture of him realizing that he's about to be impaled by them at the 'hands' of a filing cabinet.'

Owen's own phone becomes the next projectile, thankfully he's encased it in enough of a protective case to handle far worse. He launches it at whatever equipment is nearest before pulling a knife and speeding to Dani's side to start trying to cut away cables and cords.

"Okay, whatever. I don't mention the photos and you don't mention me getting shanked by a filing cabinet. Deal?"


Owen isn't the only one who realizes a second too late what's going to happen with those scissors, and it's enough to bring a sharp, "OWEN!", from behind him, as Dani adds to the warning his phone likewise gives him.

And while the warning does come too late that doesn't stop Owen from retaliating against the Machines. His phone launches at the nearest target and a fax machine finds itself being hit. Its screen cracks and the most horrifying screech and beeps begin to emit from it, as it figuratively 'bleeds' wires from its wound.

That just enrages the equipment more and the filing cabinet flings open its next drawer, and from it staple removers fling wildly outward. Thankfully, those munching staple removers hit nothing but air, as Owen speeds away to Moonstar's side.

The cords and wires are annoying, but with his knife he easily cuts through. They snap in ones and twos until Danielle finds herself free and once she can move, she immediately pushes herself up off the well-worn carpet.

Her dark-eyed gaze turns to Owen and while she could say many of things in that particular moment, her sharp words stop at the sight of the shearers sticking out from his back. "Fine, it's a deal, but after we get out of here I'm deleting the photos from your phone myself."

Because trust and all that.

Now it's back to the room at large and Dani, for her part, pulls her SHIELD issued sidearm and aims it at the nearest 'demon'. A copier that's spitting reams of paper just about everywhere. There's the bark of her gun and then a squeal as the bullet pierces the 'head' of the beast.

"My psionics are no-go with these creatures. Our best bet is to destroy them and run."

And while she says that more cords and plugs begin to move, their wriggles and squirms giving an impression of snakes as they slither towards the duo.


Easily catching his phone off the rebound of the fax machine, Owen slips it back into his pocket. Once the cords are loose, Owen moves back and is about to offer Dani the knife when she draws her sidearm. He mumbles, "Nevermin.." and then turns to make a slashing movement at chair that has grown teeth and is trying to bite him in the seat with it's seat … mouth.

"Yea, I was thinking about trying to overwhelm them with the power of friendship but now that you mention it, destroying them sounds better."

Owen kicks the chair sending it spinning back across the room and then he jumps up on a desk to get away from the cords slithering on the ground towards him. The monitor that tries to lasso him with it's own cord is kicked, field goal style across the room as well.

"Unfortunately I'm fresh out of bombs and pretty sure holy water would burn me too… you got any bright ideas Dani?"


The staplers circle around Dani's feet and try to nip at her toes and with relish, the woman punts each one away from her.

The sound of Owen's own antics brings the woman around, "Why would it burn you?" She asks, taking his words quite literally, before she adds, "And I can't tell you the disappointment I'm currently feeling that you're actually out of bombs tonight. Intense disappointment."

And while she ponders plans she too moves away from those wriggling wires, though instead of going up, she simply stays a few steps ahead of them. "Up then." She states, as her eyes unfocused for a heartbeat, "We need to get to the stairwell and go up the last two floors and to the roof. Brightwind will be waiting there for us to give us a lift out of this crazy town. I don't sense anyone else within the building, so we should be able to just dash and go."

"Let's move." And as long as Owen is good with the plan upon her 'let's move', she does just that, aiming for the door that leads out into the hallway proper.

Then it's just a short dash to the doorway that leads to the stairwell, only the hallway looks almost like a gauntlet to be run, as several things upon the walls react to the new presences.

Two fire extinguishers and an AED machine begin to tremble against the brackets that hold them in place.


"I don't know! I don't even know how holy water works, I'm just guessing." Owen grabs a binder flying at him out of the air, tears it into two pieces and flings it back at the filing cabinet from whence it came.

Once in the stairwell, Owen looks at the crawling walls and shaking fire extinguishers and just nods, like yes, of course this is what the stairwell looks like.

"And wait. Don't you have SHIELD backup? How was I your fallback plan?"

Really? Now he's going to ask that question? In the middle of all this chaos? Well, yes he is, because it's Owen and now he's all curious about it.


He doesn't know how holy water works … that just earns a look from Dani and while she could explain how it works (she does know) for this moment she doesn't.

There's other things to focus on, like the extinguishers and automated defibrillator trying to reach out and zap them both.

Calculation can be seen in her eyes as she tries to figure out the best way to run through this particular gauntlet safely, and while she was just about to offer a course of action that last question of Owen's gives the Cheyenne woman pause.

"Owen." Begins the woman, "This really isn't the time." She continues, intending that to be her complete answer, her final answer, but then something niggles at the back of her mind and with a grimace, she adds, "But if you must /really/ know, SHIELD is spread thin. Most of us are out on our own trying to help -" Which is TRUE, it's really TRUE, but in this case also not.

"And -" She mutters, her voice pitched low, "- I didn't want them to see me tied up by goddamn office machines."

Which is the real truth and when she reveals her reasoning behind calling him, her expression shifts to something belligerent, as if daring him to say /anything/. Anything at all.

And when they do move past the extinguishers they'll find themselves potentially covered in fire retardant foam, whereas when they pass the defibrillator the duo will find the small paddles lashing out threateningly at them, small sparks of electrically arcing from one paddle to the other.


Owen gives a shrug of 'wat?' when Dani looks at him in disbelief about the holy water. He punches one of the fire extinguishers but it doesn't seem to stop it from spraying foam over the two of them.

Her chastisement for asking the question now seems to go unnoticed as Owen moves to the stairs. However her initial explanation is met with some serious side-eye of disbelief. Her final admission though causes Owen's face to tighten in a suppressed smile.

"So you had an off night and got beat up and taken captive by office equipment. Listen, we've all been there." Well, maybe not that exact situation but something like that.

The pads reaching out for Owen get a knife severing the wires for their effort as Owen slashes them.

"Now is Brightwind gonna let me ride or am I gonna end up carried in his mouth or somethin.."

It's not that Owen and the winged horse don't get along so much that Owen and animals isn't always a great mix. And Brightwind is a very good judge of character.


Owen may try and suppress that smile of his, but there's something there that tells Danielle Moonstar that he's amused by her admission.

It brings a rather antagonistic look from her and while he offers some salve with his empathy about off nights, Moonstar still can't quite shake the irritation that lines her features.

And while the two are sprayed with the foam and briefly threatened by the AED paddles, they do make it to the doorway that leads to the stairwell. Once through Dani can't stop herself from looking upward, casing the stairs for any apparent danger, "Oh good, looks like we're getting a -" Break. That's what she was going to say, but before she can finish that thought the sprinkles within the stairwell turn on with a click.

Water now falls on them, but at least it's not acid or some form of demonic poison.

"Spirits." She mutters, exasperated.

But thankfully, again, it's only water and Dani takes point with going up the stairs. His question about Brightwind brings her gaze over to him a moment, "I'm with you so you should be fine, just try not to antagonize him, he /can/ totally understand you. Just saying."

And while she could leave it at that, as the two scurry up the flights of stairs, she doesn't. After a moment she adds, "I do appreciate you coming to help Owen. Thanks." Especially with him having been shanked by a pair of scissors.


Owen's not exactly hiding his amusement that well, but trying to stifle it because he realizes how annoyed Dani must be at having to call him.

The sprinklers just cause Owen to breathe out in exasperation, blowing water off his lips in the process. "Super." He is probably annoyed about the water, thought it does also serve to answer her about not antagonizing the horse. Well flying horse.

Hurrying after Dani before anything else decides to attack them he brushes off her thanks with a "Yea, yea. Not the time. Buy me a drink later…" Though he probably should cut back. Ugh. Don't think about that, just keep going.

Coming out onto the roof, Owen makes sure to pull the door closed behind them just in case. He breathes out heavily again, this time a little winded from getting there, the fight and then a couple more flights of stairs. But then he straightens up and looks at Dani as if having remembered something terrible. With horror in his eyes he confesses, "Dani. The twins.. the Maximoffs. I … I think there might be more of them."

He had meant to warn her earlier but between going out for post-demon food with Frank and then the whole Harley dabocle and then … well after that, it's slipped his mind.


The two make it up the stairs and out onto the roof with minimal effort.

Yes, they'll need some dry clothes, but the attacks from the demonically possessed office equipment is left back on the fourth floor. Thank god.

Once on the rooftop it's easy to locate Brightwind, as he stands a few feet away from the duo. He looks expectantly toward the door that leads to the roof access and when he spies Dani he offers a faint whinny of greeting.

Owen just gets a blue-eyed stare, because yes, the steed of the Valkyrie can totally see into a person's soul and it sees Owen Mercer.

It sees.

For Dani any byplay between Owen and Brightwind are forgotten as the horror registers within Owen's eyes. Her eyebrows raise upward in question to his horrified expression and when he reveals what has him so alarmed, Dani can't quite stop her own look of surprise. It actually causes her forward momentum to stop, as she says, "What?"

'What do you mean more of them? They're twins not quadruplets."


Brightwind gets Owen's normal greeting for all things 'animal' of an upnod of his head that he's acknowledging their presence. He's really not good with animals. Particularly not intelligent winged horses that can look into people's souls. Granted Owen might have more sympathy for Brightwind, goodness knows he doesn't want to look into his own soul.

"Yea." Owen nods and then shakes his head "What? No. Like.. I met a speedster. White hair. Total dick. And I swear… do you remember the palace? The royal portraits?" Obviously Owen is now referencing another time, another world. "But this speedster? He was working with some crazy magic user. And get this. They were Avengers. I swear if Tony lives, I'm beating him to death if he recruited the minipoffs."


Owen speaks and Dani listens. Her expression is quite the serious thing as Owen explains just what he saw. Or what he thinks he saw.

His question about royal portraits brings a vaguely pinched look to her expression, but eventually she nods. "I do."

It's only as he talks of the Avengers (and Tony) that Moonstar's expression lightens for a moment, "SHIELD has some contacts in the Avengers. When this is all over I'll reach out to them to see if I can get a straight answer on who these two might be."

And while she could have said something more that last part, minipoffs, causes her expression to freeze and her tone to shift to something from another time and another place, "/Owen/. You can't -" Say that sort of thing, but here he can. He really can.

And it's a struggle for Dani to shake off the almost hypnotic sense from that other reality to not naysay Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.

"Let me check into it." She says, "Once I have some news I'll let you know, but try not to antagonize the situation, Owen. Even here they wouldn't take kindly to it."

And by this time Brightwind, who acknowledged that chin-tilt from Owen, side-trots over to the pair. An obvious nudge to get the two up in the saddle, which Dani does easily in a well-practiced move.

For Owen, she leans half down, her hand extended to help him up and behind her.


A slight twitch of his lips curling upward is all the Owen lets slip as Dani mentions remembering the other world. It's not the first he's heard her say it but it's still a relief after all that time of being the seemingly only one.

Owen. You can't Dani tries to protest but can't even finish her sentence. And the look from Owen of mocking disbelief probably means it wouldn't have helped even if she had. He does at least allow that it's better for her to look into it, "Sure. That's a good idea." But then she insinuates that he might make things worse! Owen, shocked or at least doing a decent job of acting shocked replies "Me? Antagonize? Never."

He gratefully accepts the hand and hauls himself up, without any grace or skill, bumping and awkward the whole way.

"I probably shouldn't say Hi-Ho Silver … right? What about Hi-Ho Brightwind? Or is hi-ho frowned upon in general in modern horse talk?"


Him. Antagonize. Never.

That brings a world-weary sigh from Danielle Moonstar, but she doesn't say anything further on the subject. Best to let sleeping dogs lie for now.

His awkward hike into the saddle earns an amused look from Moonstar and only once he's comfortable does she say, "First time on a horse, city-boy?"

"And /no/ you really shouldn't say hi-ho anything." She says with both amusement and wryness in her tone, "Hang on tight, we're getting ready to lift off."

And then just like that, Brightwind spreads his immense wings and flaps them into a hard downbeat, which lifts them upward and away from the rooftop.

For Owen he'll find the ride quite bumpy and jostling, though surely it's only from the winds buffeting the three, right?

Sure is!

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