A Cold Evening at the Swamp

November 30, 2018:

Grifter is just trying to capture a criminal and get some cash. But of course in Gotham nothing is simple. Because Huntress just wants to beat up some bad people.

Gotham

Characters

NPCs: Ivgene Clan thugs

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

A few days ago there was a small shootout at the East End. Which is perfectly normal, if you ask. But this shootout was different because it involved federal agents. Now, the feds rarely come to Gotham, not even the DEO. But this was a pair of FBI agents from Chicago investigating some industrial espionage ring. Instead the stumbled into an Ivgene Clan smuggling operation. Maybe unrelated, who cares? One of the agents died and the other went to the hospital.

The feds don't like to lose agents like that, Gotham or not, and the survivor gave some accurate descriptions that matched the database. Then pushed the local cops to do something. Of course they did something: they warned the Ivgene family and arrested a couple usual suspects to lay the blame on them.

But then Grifter got a phone call for a job. Which is nice since he had almost run out of the money he made gunsmithing during the demon invasion. Also, for some reason Patch wanted him to pay for some Genoshan explosives Domino borrowed. (It was his idea, but hey, they saved his little mercenary club!).

In any case the Russians that got identified have holed up in a small cottage/hideout near Slaughter Swamp to wait for the heat to pass. It took Grifter a couple days of inviting people to drinks and bugging cellphones to find out where. It is well past midnight when he sneaks through the sparse woods towards said building. It is maybe three rooms large. Too small for half a dozen thugs. But it is freezing outside, so he doesn't expect any of them outside. And yes, outside there are only four large, expensive cars. The bad news is the lights are on. So maybe it was too early to catch them sleeping.


Huntress is up a tree, having been told to go climb one, and peers at the Russian cottage. She studies the Russian cottage architecture and frowns in thought as she camps out there in the old oak, maybe waiting for a move, or for someone to go back outside, or maybe something else. She is wearing all leather, like a badass, and her reinforced gloves and boots seem extra reinforced. She has on a bat-parka around her shoulders, but she has to puff some stupid wisps of fur out of her nose, lest she sneeze and give away her position. At least it's warm.

A woman peers through the window of the cottage and smirks, saying something in Russian. She watches as an ugly Jeep Wrangler rumbles slowly up to the Russian Cottage and it parks itself right in front. Two men exit. They apparently see the black-haired woman in the window as they exit the vehicle, because they flip her off and make motions like they're pissed off. The two men climb three rickety stairs and check their cellphones on the porch, then exchange a few more words in Russian like they're annoyed by something. They turn on the lights on their cellphone and scan the grounds like they are looking around.


Cole mutters a few curses when the Jeep shows up. Last he wanted tonight was even more Russian mafia. It is too cold outside to wait for hours. He ducks to avoid the car lights and then he spots the woman in leather.

Just a glance by the headlight, so Cole didn't recognize Huntress, whom he met last summer an interesting night. But the thugs in the vehicle haven’t seen her. They are just making a lot of noise. Time to move.

Pulling out a knife, Grifter slides around the house and forward, quietly, to try to surprise the thugs while they look at the dark-haired woman by the window.


The woman opens the door and yells at the two men on the porch, so they curse at her in Russian and all of them start yelling. Huntress raises a pair of bat-goggles over her eyes and watches the sly Grifter sneak around the house. She shifts in her stance and deftly tosses two magnetic impulse gadget things down onto the cars. The group at the house is too loud to notice, but soon the woman goes back inside and the men start muttering more quietly again. One of the men asks a question and the other shrugs.


The door of the cottage opens, spreading light all over the front and Cole ducks behind a tree, forced to hide. A bear-like man appears by the door, grunting some harsh-sounding words to the thugs outside.

This is Maksim, one of the Ivgene Family hitmen, former Spetsnaz, or so he says. Cole listens him berate his men. Something about not making deals with Mexicans when they are supposed to be hiding. Some comments about their mothers and sisters, too. Cole's Russian is a bit rusty. Maksim is the one the FBI wants alive.

Grifter leans against the tree. There is a woman inside the cottage, which was supposedly just six guys, and another outside, lurking like a goddamned bat. He shifts his mask's visor to night-vision and glances to Huntress. Oh. It is HER.


Huntress looks down at the spying and peeping Grifter, then lowers her red bat-goggles and sticks her tongue out at him.

Maksim looks pissed off, "Will you two stop being idiots," she tells the two men who have been hanging out on the porch. The two men don't seem to move until Huntress waves something in the air to alert Grifter and smirk at him. BOOOM!!!! Huntress sets off the charges without warning Grifter and the two cars explode into flames. She actually stumbles in the tree and has to grab the tree trunk to keep from falling. The cars start on fire as the men YELL loudly. They go inside for their automatic weapons.


Yeah. It is HER. That damn Italian ninja woman.

Subtle like a ton of bricks too. Cole winces at the vehicles explode a few yards from him, shielding himself from the shockwave with the tree trunk. Then he turns, draws a heavy handgun, and shoots the slowest of the Russian thugs as he rushes into the house. The bullet hits him on the back of the knee, and goes through the whole leg, making a nasty mess. The thug falls down screaming. If he survives he will walk with a limp the rest of his life.


Huntress uses a bat-line to zip down to the ground and lifts a hand as the flames rise up in front of her and surprise her with how much heat there is. Maksim comes out of nowhere like a ghost and takes a swing at Huntress, having no discrimination at the moment, cursing her out in Russian verbage. She ducks under the ogre's punch and backpeddles but he keeps pursuing her and swinging at her like an ox.

The thugs are surprised by Grifter and one of them rolls around on the ground, patting the ground looking for his fallen handgun. The other returns with a semi-automatic, which he'll use to fire wildly if Grifter's not careful like a fox.


Grifter is no longer behind the tree. He shot and moved away, deeper into the woods and away from the light of the burning vehicles. Not like the thugs, so nicely framed by the flames. He is moving quickly, and still manages to hit the thug with the semi straight on the chest.
That is two, so four more… but Maksim is outside already picking a fight with the Italian woman. So maybe three inside, plus the Russian woman.


Maksim pulls a knife but Huntess kicks it out of his hand and it flies up into the air out of sight, possibly landing in the fire. He grumbles and pulls another knife but Huntress kicks that away too smirkily, making Maksim even more upset. Maksim rushes Huntress but she lowers herself and he tumbles over her like a sack of potatoes, falling onto the dirt on the other side of the deft Huntress. She winces a little bit because maybe she judged the angle wrong for that particular sack of potatoes. The next thug goes down in a heap as Grifter puts him down. The remaining thugs are helping the black-haired Russian woman out the back like a pack of rats.


Now Grifter has the impression that Russian lady is probably important. Maybe more important than Maksim. But he is not getting paid to investigate or to capture her. So he follows the retreat of the remaining thugs as they venture deeper into Slaughter Swamp. Never a good place to get lost, much less in the darkness of a cold winter night.

Whatever. He will ask around later.

Besides Maksim is standing up and judging by how red is his face he is pretty angry. He charges Huntress like a berserk bull.


Maksim bowls Huntress over but she rolls through like a pro but he's ready to SLAP her like a cheap harlet. Ouch. She tumbles over and then Maksim leans down threateningly to follow up but she's ready to STAB his big toe with a knife that conveniently pops from her bat-wrist guard. Maksim tumbles over in pain.

Huntress gets up and goes after Grifter! The thugs are heading through the woods around the soggy ground and take a few pot shots as they head through but they can't seat Grifter. One of them makes a cellphone call.


And Grifter was going after Maksim, in part to help Huntress, since the guy is like 3 times her weight. So the dark-haired woman doesn't have to look far. "Wait… I am your side," he states. Which is mostly true. All he wants is drag Maksim to the cops, mostly alive.

The Russian is standing up again, bleeding from a foot but more than willing to fight with the limp.


Huntress peers at Grifter confusedly, "Where'd you come from? I thought you were fighting the other ones?" she tells him. As Maksim starts to stand up, Huntress spins around and puts a bolt into him, flattening him again. She frowns, wondering if that was what Grifter wanted.


Grifter's mask covers his face, so Huntress can't see his expression of confusion. "The other Russians fled," beat, she puts a bolt though Maksim chest. "I came here to capture the guy you just shot. The FBI had questions for him."

He has to bit his tongue not to add 'you crazy bitch'. Or 'may I have you phone number'. Instead he goes for "What are YOU doing here?"


Huntress frowns a bit, looking down at Maksim, "Not sure why you didn't say so," she explains, putting a hand on her hip frustratedly. She fixes up her bolt launcher for a moment and then adds, "It's none of your business but got a hot tip. I guess I'll be going now since you let the others go."


"A tip, of course," Grifter can imagine Batman laughing somewhere. No, wait, Batman never laughs. Maybe snickering in a dark cave. "Okay. Fine. I better drag the Russian sorry carcass to the hospital. Maybe they can still save him. See you around, Hotpants," because no, he has not forgotten what Huntress was wearing last summer.

Dragging a 300 lbs. Russian into one of the surviving vehicles is not fun. She definitely owes him a drink this time.

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