We don't need no water let the <expletive deleted> burn!

March 30, 2015:

Heatwave and Captain Cold are up to no good; no good at all

The Docks, Central City

They are docks. And they are on the Central City riverbanks

Characters

NPCs: heat_wave, joe_west

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The Docks — Central City

"Just about ready, Lenny," Mick utters over his shoulder as he is about to finish off the preparations. "This prick from New York City has been on my jock for six months." That's why he's moved back to Central City, to be honest. There's been a private eye who keeps getting close to him. And getting closer by the day. Too close.

Over the past month, Mick Rory has been careful to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to this warehouse on this night, in hopes of ensnaring his would be captor.

Joe West's House

"You don't think it's a little weird that she didn't talk to you for like a month?" Joe asks giving one of his raised eyebrows. Iris, meanwhile, stays pretty quiet on the edge of the couch while Barry is seated in one of the chairs, hoping Ronnie doesn't walk in on the conversation. It doesn't seem like his foster father shares his trepidation.

"No, I mean. It's fine. I'm sure everything is fine." Barry clasps his long fingers together as he rests his elbows at the edge of his knees, but try as he might he can't come up with a good explanation.

"Yeah," Joe says with a snerk so heavy it pulls him back a few inches. "Sounds like it. What does she say?"

"It hasn't really come up, to be honest."

It was supposed to be so easy, as the song says. Head back to Cali under pretense of helping her parents move, do a little SHIELD recertification while she's there, head home and it's all easy-peasy. Except then her father went and broke his leg when he slipped while carrying a box down the porch steps. And it's true that Ronnie could have been more communicative during that whole stretch but, well…

…well, she doesn't have an answer for that.

Mostly because it involves some classified thoughts.

So there Ronnie is in all her boho baggy hippie glory, in the Wests' kitchen, getting herself a glass of water. She at least has the good timing to re-enter the living room AFTER the previous bit of conversation.

John Jones is in excellent health for a man of his age. A detective, former law enforcement, he's considered an old hat in his field. Sometimes, though, he follows up on things the police just can't (or Won't) because of budget, time, or legal constraints. There is a lot more a private citizen can do in snooping around. A guy named Mick was one of those little things that needed a bit of information.

John seemed a man straight out of the past, dressed in clothing stylish in the fifties, a long coat. One might notice he doesn't carry a gun- just a high powered flashlight and a bit of pepper spray if someone gets violent. He might be old, but he can still hoof it when he has to- and something about the Central City docks this evening gave him the feeling he might need to do just that. John adjusts his hat, pulling up the collar of his coat as he begins to slowly explore the area of the docks. He's not in any hurry, it seems, just another old man taking a walk.

Really, the Rogues haven't been doing so well lately. There was that mess with Tarpit attacking the Knicks game, and then just last week that corporate hack hired the Rogues to attack Grand Central Station so he could have his own stupid corporate-sponsored heroes stop them — not that he told the Rogues that they'd be stopped by these idiots. If not for the timely intervention of ACTUAL heroes, the Rogues would have wiped the floor with Kid Coke and the Hostess. Idiots.

Yeah, Captain Cold is not real pleased with things at the moment.

"Mick, you got the lead on this one," he tells his long-time mostly friend and ally. "I'm followin' you. But after this, you and me, we gotta get the rest in line. I got a plan. Big plan. Bigger than anything we done before, get me?"

But this really isn't the right time for such conversation. He rubs the stock of the cold gun on his right hip anxiously. If this one goes balls-up like the last few gigs, his big plans are going to have to wait ten to twenty. If he's lucky.

"Soon as I take care of Jones, I'll have plenty of time on my hands," Mick says as he pulls the top part of his hood up over his bald head and lowers the glasses down over his eyes. "Now we wait. Come on over here."

As Heatwave makes his way back toward an office, we pan back to see that the rest of the entranceway to the warehouse is rigged with explosives. For good measure Mick adjusts his flamethrower and checks to make sure it is charged before he reaches for the light, pausing only to wait until Snart has arrived.

*

"Hey," Barry says with a smile as Ronnie comes back into the living room of the A-frame house. Joe gives her a nod and Iris looks like she tries to smile, but she really doesn't do a good job of not making it look forced.

"So," Joe says, breaking the ice. "How long are the two of you in town for? I can move some boxes out of Barry's old room."

+MEET: Jim Reha has arrived via +meet.

"Oh, there's no need to go to all that trouble, really," Ronnie says, brushing hair out of her face. It's actually freshly re-blonded — so only minimal dark roots, as opposed to super-obvious ones. "I mean, I don't mind boxes, boxes are fine." She seems to realize what a strange thing that is to say, and so silences herself with a drink of water.

John finds the spot in question- a warehouse on the docks. "Typical." he says to himself as he begins to circle the place slowly- quietly. He pulls out a cellphone, a nokia from the 90's that's likely been through hell and still works just fine. He dials up an old friend, Joe West. "Hey, Joe. Its John, John Jones from Gotham." he begins, "Real good to hear your voice again, my friend, I'm in town on business and was hoping to get some coffee with a friend while I'm here." John begin, "Though, I am curious if you know anything about an old warehouse down here on the docks. Warehouse Twelve, by the looks of it." he states, "Just doin' a bit of snooping after some young-gun who was causing a little trouble over in New York. Trailed him out this way and all the signs point to this warehouse. Figured, better to let someone know where I'm at, since he seems to be getting sorta jumpy."

Snart is not entirely sanguine with the explosives. They have a habit of blowing up in your face.

Ba-dum-bump.

Here's a clue, heroes: you don't chase us all over the country, we don't get so jumpy. It's tough to comprehend, maybe, but it is kind of logical when you think about it.

Not that Cold expects anything less than the chase. He's been at this for quite awhile, after all, and he's well aware that if he pulls something and people aren't coming after him, there's something very wrong. He's here with Mick, has his cold ray in hand — but Mick's in charge. "Let's do this," he mutters.

There are dangers inherent in 'grounding' an ancient avianoid intelligence in one's mind. Aside from obvious logistical issues, there's also the risk that connections that one makes or ideas that one has may have blended into some incoherent mess with the other passenger in the brainspace.

Jim Reha is supposed to be laying low, avoiding being too public, and for some reason, he got this crazy idea that heading to Central City for a day or three would be the *ideal* way to get out of the eyes of those who are probably hunting him for whatever reason that was never made clear to him. It took some finagling, and some careful work, but now he's doing one of his 'random' walks into the Dock district, blending in with a weathered winter jacket, a hoodie pulled up over his head, and a few days of facial scruff to somewhat disguise the normally clean-shaven sort that he is at Stark Industries.

That ancient AI in his brain? Well, it's the one that pointed him subconsciously at this area seeing bizarre patterns that only a conspiracy theorist could love…

No, he isn't aware of the things that are about to go down…

"Pardon me," Joe says as his phone rings. It's John Jones and so there's a good bet that it's importnat. "Y-ello," he says into the receiver as he takes Ronnie's place in the kitchen. "Yeah, good to hear yours too, John." Joe listens intently to the question and raises his eyebrow. "Warehouse 12? Yeah, I just had a case down there not too long ago. That warehouse is actually owned by the city. It was taken from a guy named Infantino for back taxes. What's going on?"

Back in the living room, it's sort of awkward.

Barry just sort of sits there with hands clasped, not sure what to say. Iris finally breaks the ice, "Well, I need to go into work." Her smile towards Ronnie is a little bit more real this time around as she excuses herself. "It was really nice to meet you," she tells the Californian, "We'll have to hang out while you're in town."

*

When John finally reaches the outside of the warehouse, it's surprising how quiet things are. Even though it is midafternoon, no one seems to be down here, or anywhere close for that matter. The river is still, and out across, even Keystone seems empty. Almost like the world has held still.

Ronnie smiles to Iris. "Oh, sure! I'd like that. Definitely." It sounds more spacy than sarcastic, but that's text versus speech for you. No doubt Ronnie will want to know about all of the finest granola-related eateries and bead shops in town…

The Californian does step over to Barry and rest a hand on his shoulder, though, giving him a gentle squeeze — though with her strength, 'gentle' is relative. She gives Barry a sidelong glance, too, one eyebrow a bit quirked, like she assumes there's more to this phone call to be told…

"Well, I'm not sure. I'm hoping that in the middle of the day, this guy is out on the town." John Jones replies to Joe, "Figured I'd do a little poking around, you know how it is in my line of business." That old injury that took John off the police force so many years ago happened in a place not unlike this. And still that stubborn old detective was looking out for people wherever he went. Still, it wasn't his town, so best to at least acknowledge he was visiting another man's turf, as it were. "He's a thief, mostly. Took a couple of hostages and managed to get away after a ransom was paid. Not the kind of gentleman you want in your backyard, so I figured I'd give you a heads up that he- and I- are both in town." John replies, as he finds a door. "Ah. Here we go- looks like the lock's busted, too, Joe. I do believe I've found Mister Mick Rory." With that, John gives the door a try- just a quiet, easy turn of the handle.

Cold remains quiet, however quickly the thoughts are rushing through his head. He's backing Mick's play, but it's not sitting just right with him. Rogues don't kill unless it's really necessary. Is this necessary? Should he be putting a stop to this?

Dammit, being a super-villain with a moral compass sucks.

Though the portly fellow doesn't look like he gets much in the way of exercise, his walking pace is reasonably brisk as he wanders through the Docks, minding shadows, clumps of… wait — that's sort of weird — no people. Huh. He continues along the way, watching for pretty much anyone that's out and about right now, because it's quiet and not busy. That sense that something is going on kind of tickles at the back of Jim's brain as he looks up at the numbers to the warehouses, counting them down as he strolls allong thoughtfully.

Well, it doesn't LOOK like an ambush? Maybe everyone's on lunch?

Out of all the rogues, the man known by the moniker of Heatwave is always the hot headed one. And, perhaps, this time he has gone too far.

They don't have time to discuss the matter in committee however as Mick's next words are cutoff by violent explosion and fire.

It looks like it is an ambush, despite what Reha might have thought a second ago.

By the grace of God, John is not engulfed in the flame proper. Because of Mick's hasty rig job, the Martian Manhunter has survived the initial blast. On the bad side, however, the boardwalk out towards the water, all around John, is now engulfed in flames.

*

"Bar," Joe says. "I'm going to head down to the docks. Friend of m—" He stops as he hears something violent happen. "Bar? We gotta go, now."

Barry is already moving, grabbing Ronnie by the hand and motoring out towards the western part of the city.

By the time they arrive, well ahead of Joe, Eventide and the Flash are in full costume and looking at a ton of flames.

Eventide even has her hair kind of tied back in a little mini-pony as if that'll somehow distract from how her hair is blatantly the same as Ronnie's hair. This kind of secret identity stuff is always weird.

Eventide has to shield her eyes from the brightness of the flames, even though she has goggles on. "Damn," is all she can say when faced with the sight. "You can't… run and make a gale force wind or something to put this out, can you—?"

"Its always the warehou.." BAFOOM! John is flung back from door as his world becomes fire, the security door torn from its hinges and landing heavily on the old man's body. With a groan, John pushes the door off himself to find he's surrounded in fire. Only years of training allow him to keep his human form, at this point- but he is otherwise paralyzed by 'The Fear' of this burning, consuming thing around him. He can hardly think. He can't move. All he can do is cower under the security door and hope its rated for fires. His eyes seem almost to bug out from his face as he cowers from that one thing. That single thing that is the bane of all Martians. Sharp eyes might see him, cuts and bruises on his face, his ability to almost instantly heal from such injuries retarded as the flames burn ever higher.

Ah, dammit. Cold spies the Flash arriving through the flames, with some other super type in tow. He doesn't know the other one. But that doesn't matter. She's here with the Flash, and that's really not a good thing for him. Why Central, Mick? Why here? Better to take him somewhere that doesn't associate with any big name heroes — like Baltimore, or Knoxville — than to bring him back here.

"Deal with your private dick," he tells Heat Wave. "I'll see what I can do to distract the rest." He leaves via the back door, and then he's freezing the so-recently-thawed surface of the river. He pops the blades in his boots and he's speed skating along the docks. A bright white light flashes out, catching the dock opposite the blaze and freezing it solid — which, not so coincidentally, should have the effect of preventing Mick's fire from spreading down that way. And of course, by now the Flash should know the look of Cold's freeze rays. Yes, they taunt. Yes, Flash, it's me. Come get me, Flasher.

Jim Reha is pointedly not a hero. He's just your average forty-something guy that ground out the best years of his life on a retail gig before running into something that defines Enlightenment with obsidian moving goalposts. He'd run for the hills in a heartbeat from that explosion, but… what if there was someone there? Could he live with that on his conscience?

Answer: No.

So he starts to trundle over towards where the fire has erupted, looking for anyone that might be on fire, as well as any extinguishers, fire hoses, or conventional means of putting out the fire. He'd call it in to the authorities… but that would immediately point fingers at him and being from out of town the discussion wouldn't go very far past that, based on his life experiences. He's not THAT much of a good-intentioned idiot.

As he gets closer and sees the silhouette of a person amidst the flames cowering behind a door he pulls up the zipper on his hoodie and attempts to dive into the center of the flames to save the person. Burning alive is just a really horrible way to go. Hopefully Jim can get to the guy before the flames ignite his own clothing?

Pepper's gonna have his ass for this, more than likely, though…

The Flash nods to Eventide, and even as he does his hands begin to make small little circles which create a pair of intense cyclones shooting off from his body. The flames die down enough that Flash's blue eyes go wide, "There's somebody in there!"

Flash tries to redouble his efforts, but even as he does, the Ice Man cometh. From behind, Snart does his freeze thing and it distracts the daylights out of him. What's a better play? Eventide vs. Snart or Eventide getting this victim?

Barry hesitates, not wanting to put his girlfriend in harm's way. Finally he knows he must make a decision, "Go after Cold, I'll try and get the victim out." The move means he's a sitting duck, and he's not sure that Ronnie can take Cold on her own, but this is the sort of thing they both signed up for.

Out in front of Reha, he can see the battle unfolding. Off to his side he can see a guy with a flamethrower giving him a dirty look. "Who the hell are you?"

Eventide just gives Flash a nod of acknowledgment — she goes from spacy to downright curt in situations like this, like flipping a switch. How odd!

Getting to Captain Cold is one thing, though, when the dock is frozen solid with ice. One wrong step and boom, broken neck. Or leg. Or whatever. That doesn't seem to deter Eventide. She takes off toward Captain Cold, getting a running — well, actually more of a sliding start, picking up momentum and launching her grapple line just as she gains speed, to try and launch herself over toward his position like a human cannonball.

John, though, is clearly experiencing nothing but sheer terror at the fire that surrounds him. Even as it begins to lessen, this fire is of a serious danger- and he can't do more than try to keep it away from himself. "S..shit." he whispers, sweat pouring down the old man's features as he looks around frantically for any means of escape. There isn't one. He's trapped.

Eventide has one advantage against Cold anyway — he doesn't like hurting women and kids. So whatever he has to do, he's going to do it gently, and cursing under his breath because the Flash is going after the victim, and not coming after him. Mick is in trouble, and Cold knows it — but he's got to focus on the problem at hand before he can lend a hand over there.

But Cold has an advantage too — he hopes. The Flash knows his tricks, knows all the things he can do. Or at least all those bits and pieces that he's dealt with before. He knows how to counter them. This woman, he assumes, does not. And so, switching his position to skate backwards over the ripples on the river, he builds up an ice barrier between himself and the incoming human cannonball — she shouldn't hurt herself TOO badly when she hits it. But maybe enough to wind her for a few minutes. He can hope.

The flames are a bit much for Jim, so seeing the guy with the flamethrower on the side… that's actually a bit of a relief. The flamethrower isn't the source of the relief, but the fact that the person talked to him rather than just opening up with gouts of flame is a positive sign, right?

"Jim. Don't shoot. Just an accident, right? These things happen?" There's a nervous smile and laugh. "So, ah, just ah, please ah, stop aiming the… at me and ah… we're all good, right?"

Okay, so he's not going to be a hostage negotiator any time soon, sue him. If he lives through this, that is.

In the depths of his brain, though, a primordial entity stirs and prepares to make its presence known. This would be one of the things that it IS allowed to come out of 'grounding' for. Though arguably, after this, the Corvinus will definitely have leverage to NOT be grounded given how foolish the partner is being.

Once he's made the decision, the Flash puts all of his energy into putting the flames out. His eyes crackle with lightning as he digs down deep and pushes the edges of his abilities with the Speed Force. Slowly, but surely, the flames begin to dissipate, and eventually a red gloved hand reaches in to grab at John Jones in an attempt to pull him to safety.

Meanwhile, the epic battle between Ronnie and Cold will be dealt with down below. So we go to Mick and Reha. "Listen, chummer," Mick says as he tilts his head towards Reha. "Imma give you the chance to get the hell out of here. Now. I won't ask no questions and you didn't see nuffin. But like I said, Imma give you the chance. And if you don't take it, you'll be sorry."

Eventide collides with the ice wall, which she doesn't expect, but Snart himself probably doesn't expect the damage she does to it — she really does hit it like a cannonball, making the thing spiderweb-crack and rattle like a car just drove into it doing at least 80.

And then! Eventide's arm swings over the top of the wall, climbing up. She looks a little worse for wear — she's busted her nose — but all that does is make her look even more pissed off. "Mistake," she rasps, before throwing herself over the ice wall to follow Captain Cold on his slippery trail.

John is easily grabbed by that Red Gloved hand, the old man grabbing Barry's wrist when he's dragged out of the fire. He squeezes hard, not so hard as to break a bone, but Mr. Allen may have a bruise for a couple of minutes while he heals from the death-grip the terrified man has. Luckily, John Jones isn't all that heavy, and momentum is on Barry's side. "Thank goodness you're here!" he calls out in thanks to his savior.

Cold regards the woman for a moment from where he's skating. "Trust me, girlie," he replies. "I've made way bigger." But he does note the impact — way harder than a woman that size should manage. Discretion being the better part of both valor AND cowardice (not that Captain Cold is a coward, but he can be pretty darn discrete), he concludes that he does not want to get hit if he can possibly avoid it. He continues skating away from Eventide, and twists the dial on his gun as he does. The next blast from his gun is broad, hitting the unfrozen part of the river and sending up frigid fog to mask his motion.

Folks might expect that Jim would continue to press the discussion or try to delay the incendiary fellow, but he's going to exercise valor and caution today. Slowly he backs up, keeping an eye on Mick as he does so.

"See, I'm getting out of here… no funny business… nothing crazy… we're all good here."

Okay, so he might be laying it on a bit thick but what is a body supposed to do caught out in the open and unprepared like this? Play it smart. No, that wasn't Snart. Smart. With an 'm'. Jim takes note that a blur has apparently pulled the person in the flames out, as he lets out a little sigh of relief.

Who says it has to be fighting all the time? We're all going to make it out of this in one piece, no deaths, everyone's happy, right?

Flash picks John up and sets him up straight, "Glad you're alright." He smooths out his clothes and the hair upon his head, even going so far as to place John's fedora atop his head. Unhappy with how it looks, the Flash reaches up again, giving it a slight swag tilt. "Just a second."

SMACK!

A vicious punch lays Heat Wave out in one fell swoop. The pyro hits the deck out cold before he even hits the ground. "Thanks for running interference," the Flash says to Reha, not even trying to be punny.

Eventide is keen to pursue Cold — but unfortunately her enhanced physique doesn't make for enhanced tracking ability. So she's stuck in the chilly fog (spandex was a bad choice), trying to avoid accidentally stepping off an ice floe and into the drink. It's only a minute she's caught up in that, but Snart's a pro, he could easily ditch her in half that.

John Jones coughs, the smoke and fire still fresh in his mind- but now, at least, its *over there* and not all around him. Safe, for the moment, John tries to collect himself. It takes a few moments before he's standing up, readjusting his hat. Its clear the older man is shaken. Realizing that it be weird if an 80-something year old man, even one in great health, to be uninjured by such a day J'onn plays the injured old man. Blood seems to seem from a wound over his eyes, his clothes are a bit tattered and singed, one arm hangs down at an odd angle.

Could and does. Snart skates some distance up the river, then leaves it behind, popping the skate blades back into his boots and making his way on foot back to the rendesvous point he set up with Mick. Of course, Mick's not going to show — Cold already knows this — but he hangs out there, out of sight and wearing street clothes, until he's positive.

With this done, he contacts the other Rogues. Mirror Master opens a doorway for him in the window of an abandoned Long John Silver's, and Len and Sam, along with Jesse and Marc, start planning to free Mick.

The moron.

Jim didn't see THAT coming. That wasn't what he was trying to do, even. It wasn't even expected and it did feel kind of cold coming out of left field like that! At the same time though, it beats being burnt alive!

"Um, thank you, Mister Flash, ah, sir." My, wasn't today just FULL of surprises?

"Everyone okay? Maybe you should ah, call an ambulance or something?"

He's not going on the record as doing that, he's not a dummy. Besides, if that showed up on something official he'd be explaining so much to his bosses. No, let the real heroes here take care of it, don't mind him, he's just a guy, right?

He'll stay to make a statement if absolutely necessary but if it looks under control he'll make his way back to his cheap motel room and start to pack up for a trip back to the Big Apple. It's safer there!

In a, well, flash, the Scarlet Speedster is back at John's side. "You don't look so swell, Ace. Let me get you to a hospital."

"I got it," Joe says as he runs up to the scene, eyeing Barry but saying nothing. "Jones, you gotta stop coming out here on your own like this. I'd have come with," Detective West says as he begins to call for a paramedic.

"He does it to me all the time," Flash says as he appears suddenly behind Ronnie. "Come on, I'll get us some malts. Goodrich has the best ones in town." No idea if they have any of those hippie granola flavors that Ronnie seems to like so well.

Eventide turns to face the Flash, revealing her freshly broken nose. "Yeah… yeah, that'll feel good against my face right now," she wheezes.

"Yeah.." John replies to The Flash, before grinning to Joe. "Well, you know old men like me, Joe." he says to the other man as he limps towards Detective West and gives a nod towards the Flash as he runs off. "To stubborn to die at least, right? Lucky for me that hero came along." With that, he waits for the paramedics with Joe. Just chatting about the 'old days'.

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