2874/Agent Evals: Mission One

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Agent Evals: Mission One
Date of Scene: 11 August 2020
Location: Himalayas on the China-Pakistan border
Synopsis: Agent Morse leads a team of SHIELD agents on a rescue mission into the Himalayas to retrieve an American businesswoman, only to encounter a mercenary gunning for the same prize. A stand-off ensues.
Cast of Characters: Melinda May, Bobbi Morse, Achilles, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, Jessica Drew, Jack Nolan
Tinyplot: Nuclear Evaluations

Melinda May has posed:

K2. The 2nd tallest mountain in the world, nicknamed the Savage Mountain. With a summit at over 28,000 feet above sea level, it's an impressive sight.

It's also very cold -- about -20'C/-4'F with light winds from the west, which make it feel marginally colder. But the humidity is low, so additional windchill isn't so much of a factor.

No, of greater concern in this environment is high altitude sickness, with symptoms ranging from dry cough and shortness of breath to headache, dizziness, fatigue and confusion. While this isn't such a big challenge for most of the SHIELD operatives sent on this particular mission -- SHEILD has provided specialized cold weather gear to combat the symptoms, including specialized rebreathers that concentrate the low oxygen available into a more robust mix -- it's a bigger threat to the people they've been sent here to rescue.

Somewhere about three-quarters of the way up the slope of the mountain lies the wreckage of a small charter plane. In that plane is a woman named Jennifer Santos, CEO of a international consultancy firm with loose ties to persons of interest SHIELD has been tracking for some time. SHIELD wants Ms Santos rescued and evacuated to a secure facility where she can potentially be pursuaded to share what she knows of these rogue operators before they become too great a problem.

Of course, nothing is simple, and word from HQ indicates that there's a merc team already heading up the slopes to try to reach Santos, too. Whether this team is friendly to Santos or not is unknown. Its leader, a man known only as The Bengal, is known as an expert in harsh environment survival and to be one of those crusader types whose causes are usually extreme, and twisted versions of what would normally be considered good things. (He's particularly fond of evironmental causes, but always takes his 'corrective measures' too far.) The only good thing about the man?

He's *not* HYDRA. But other people Santos deals with just might be. So, no one's quite sure who these mercs are and what their endgame may be.

Thus, May sits in the cockpit of a quin jet specially equipped for this mission. She maneuvers toward a plateau that has been assessed as the best spot for a base camp, fairly near to the crash site. Not on top of the crash site, mind. But close enough that the hike shouldn't kill anyone.

Unless there's an avalanche or something. But the weather guys say that's not likely.

Still, you never know.

She glances over to Bobbi as she starts to descend over the deployment point. "Your show," she says, giving the Field Leader a serious look. "I'll be monitoring." In other words: She's The Cavalry, who'll bail their butts out if things go south.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
Bobbi Morse has changed out her uniform for this mission. The Mockingbird wings are still in play, but instead of her usual black, she is in snow camouflage. She's in white, with thicker lined clothing filled with fur because you don't mess around with mother nature.

A small pat to May's shoulder she turns around to face the team and pulls her goggles down. "K2 is deadly, more people die attempting it than Masherbrum which is higher altitude. You can survive without the rebreather, but you won't enjoy it. Avalanche caused by loud noises is very probably. Wilson can your wings operate in these temperatures? This isn't a man vs nature tv special, we will use everything at our disposal to win this race. Jennifer Santos is an extremely valuable asset and I'm betting she'll be mighty happy to see us. I've requisitioned the operation skyhook if things get serious, but that's a one-person trip. Keep that in mind."

She covers her face over with a mask and gives a thumbs up, "Okay everyone, let's move out."

She hops out of the quinjet, a rifle with suppressor strapped over her back, a cross bow dangling from her hip, staves on each thigh, a pistol with suppressor on her other hip, and long draping white cape of her alien tech wings.

Achilles has posed:
    K2... *snort* It's no Mount Olympus. And by Olympus, Angelo doesn't mean the physical mountain so much as the spiritual home of the gods. Well above any peak in the world. But Angelo grew up in Greece, where it was warmer. And yet, spent centuries with the Viking Northmen. What? He's been all over the place.
    Either way, Angelo -is- bundled up against the cold like any other agent because... damn it's cold. He keeps quiet, mentally preparing wordlessly and following the rest of the team without comment for now.
    But the weapons strapped to him are light for the most part, an ICER sidearm, and a needler rifle just in case more lethal force is needed. Plus those magical bracers of his under the outfit.
    But when others stand, he does as well and waits for orders. Time to move out.
    So he does so, dropping to the snow in his snow-white outfit designed for winter-camo. Of course, his coat is reversible, with the inside a darker color for blending into rocks should the need arise.
    "Tampambulos. Boots on the ground." he says tersely into his comm pickup as he absorbs the impact of the landing with his legs. Then he's moving forward with the Needle rifle in hand... okay, gloved hands. Following Bobbi into potential battle.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Natasha departs the Quinjet with a sniper rifle in her arms and a pistol holstered to her thigh; wearing a white camo variation of her uniform/costume that's more protective from the weather, albeit under a heavy camoflauged coat. It'd be an exaggeration to say she feels at home up here, but the weather, at least, makes her feel almost... nostalgic.
    She adjusts her breathing mask for the umpteenth time and begins to move towards her objective.

Sam Wilson has posed:
Sam's military training covered extreme altitudes extensively, for obvious reasons, so he takes the dangers they'll face in this environment gravely without the slightest encouragement. His usual Falcon tactical gear has been enhanced with a decent imitation of a Hoth explorer's kit, and he already has his mask hanging loose from one ear (no sense wasting O2 on the plane).

"The wings, barely, but the thrusters still work," he answers Bobbi's question. Then, more quietly, he adds: "Assuming they don't freeze over, that is." Metal wings can still be handy in a fight, as cover or as combat tools, at least.

Once the back gate of the quinjet is open, he straps his mask on fully, checks his weapons (machine pistols, rocket launchers, and ICER sidearms -- he isn't expecting to get any decent long-range shots out here), and then jumps down to the snowy slope below. "Gahd /damn/ SHIELD does take us to the nicest places," he comments over the comms.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Spider genes have made Jessica robust in most environments but not particularly impervious to the cold. If anything, she suspects that her genetic heritage makes the cold harder for her than others, nothing like Reynaud's Syndrome to make ice the bane of your existence. Science though, has done a lot for providing high tech answers to those sensitive to the cold. Boot warmers, hand warmers, lightweight fibers that trap body heat and insulate, and breath and wick moisture away from the skin are her answers. Like Bobbi, she is in snow camo, from the fur-lined hood and mask to her cleated boots - even spiders find it hard to cling in snow.

A double-check on her climbing gear assures her that all is in place. She is packing three guns, two ICER's with silencers, and a FNX-45 Tactical with a suppressor.

"Copy that Bobbi, I'm good to go."

Jack Nolan has posed:
This isn't Jack's first time to this country, though it is his first time going onto K2. He doesn't really need cold weather gear, his skin is already more than capable of taking the beating that the wind might offer.

But he does have a rebreather, because he still needs oxygen. He's not TOTALLY a golem, no matter how much he looks like one. One final check of his gear, and he gives a thumbs up to Bobbi, and then exits the Quinnjet. Once on the ground, he digs his claws in to make sure he has a good grip on the stone below the snow, and then makes his way towards the edge of the plateau, trying to get eyes on their objective site.

Melinda May has posed:
Once the team is deployed, May takes the jet up to a more secure altitude -- one that shouldn't trigger any avalanches and will let her get to the team wherever they end up pretty damn quick. She also uses the jet's sensors to maintain a live update of the mountain's conditions and remains hooked into the team's coms.

Adding the jet's feeds to SHIELD sat-feeds, she channels info down to a portable sensor suite the team has taken with it.

"Looks like the crash site is 2 miles northwest of your position," she tells them. "Transmitting coordinates, now."

A beat.

"Looks like bogeys are about 3 miles west of you and climbing fast."

Achilles has posed:
    "Suggest that when we make contact, you let me take point to draw any fire away from friendlies while you all use that to pinpoint their locations." offers Angelo over comms as he trudges along. He grins and shrugs, "Maybe you guys approach obliquely and I'll just move right at'em?" he asks.
    But he isn't -assuming- that is what folks will be doing. He is just making a suggestion as he moves forward. He pauses to lift white binoculars and peer in that direction before continuing to move.. but as fast as he really can realistically do so.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
The mountain is utterly gorgeous, cue shield leitmotif with camera pan as quinjet takes off. Well, that's what's in Bobbi's head anyway. She smiles and takes a moment for the glorious white mountain to settle in her head.. she looks at her tablet and replies to May, <Copy that]>. She makes a 'roll out' option in the air with her hand and begins trekking through the snow.

"Okay agents, here's the game plan. We're not here for a fight. There is a merc team on their way, we're not sure what their agenda is. //If// they get in our way, Agent Wilson I want you to push on to Santos. We will use as many non-lethal tactics to convince these mercs they're not being paid enough to mess with SHIELD."

It's a lovely hike in the windy blistering cold, with the nice clothing on anyway. Her mind is on the mission. She's aware May is evaluating agents on this, but even relatively simple operations can get real messy real fast. She looks back to Drew and says, "Agent Morse if you wouldn't mind, thanks," she says with a small nod at the correction she offers.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Natasha eyes her sensor unit, and then peers distantly to the west after May updates them, asthough imagining the opforce in question. Focus returns to her eyes and she simply sets her gaze back up towards their destination, saying, "I can stay behind when we're close. Give you all a head's up when I spot them." She offers, indicating her scoped rifle. Unless, of course, the others get there first.
    Natasha has... questions about the non-lethal route under these circumstances, but it's not currently her place to voice them. "Roger." Is all she says on the matter.

Sam Wilson has posed:
Still rubbing his arms to try beat the cold into submission with the power of friction, Sam grumbles into his communicator, "May, remind me how I ended up the boots on the ground evaluator, and you ended up the eye in the sky evaluator?"

He has plenty of time to wait around for a response, though, as being in that particular role means it's not really his place to offer suggestions to the rest of the group. Instead, he's there to make note of field discipline, the productiveness of tactical conversations... a million little points he's going to have to jot down tomorrow on a sheet of paper currently half a world away.

That doesn't mean he won't contribute, of course: at Bobbi's orders, he gives a sharp nod and a businesslike, "Got it." He didn't especially want to get shot at, today, anyway. He just got healed up from the /last/ one.

Jessica Drew has posed:
They touch down and move out. Jessica readjusts the rebreather, the intense cold tickling a thread of exposed skin with the threat of frostbite. Once, she stops long enough to turn in place, the cerulean blue of the sky sharp against the mountain's profile. She smiles to herself, then sobers as she hurries to catch up. "I'll hang back with Agent Romanoff, in case things get too close."

Jack Nolan has posed:
Being the biggest target, Jack takes a position towards the front. If the mercs shoot at them, better that they're shooting at the guy that's nearly bullet proof, "So what are the odds these guys actually do the math and run away?" He asks, more of a rhetorical question than anything else.

He read the brief on this merc leader on their way here. He doesn't seem like the 'discretion is the better part of valor' type. So Jack is ready for a fight, no matter what comes their way.

Melinda May has posed:
"Perks of seniority," May deadpans to Sam, though she's not encouraging any old lady jokes. They probably wouldn't go over well with the *evaluator*.

Getting to the crash site isn't exceptionally difficult. However, there does appear to be a problem once the first of the agents get close enough to survey the scene.

The trail of wreckage disappears beneath a mound of snow deposited in a mini avalanche. The main body of the plane is wedged deeply into a crevas, broken wings and tail left on the surface to roughly indicate where the search area should be.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
"That, Agent Nolan, will entirely depend on how much they're being paid and whether or not any of them are secretly fanatical with a different agent to 'mercenary work'," she gives a shrug, "Given our luck, we'll be going lethal the moment they spot us, which will hopefully be too late for them."

Bobbi checks the readout on her rebreather and notes its well below threshold, "Okay agents, we'll be one and a quarter timing it, pick up the pace." She does just that. With Nolan moving in front, Drew and Romanoff trailing behind. It's a good spread and she loves working with agents who know their strengths. If May wants to evaluate them she might as well put them back through bootcamp hell, at least until the danger becomes too real.

"Agent Tampambulos, if it comes to that, you should pair up with Agent Nolan. The two of you might easily convince them of the error of their ways." If, since when has the 'if' not come true. Well, there was that one time in Paris..

As they round over to the crash site Bobbi hmms thoughtfully. "Alright, let's see if we can't find whose home," she says and takes off her backpack. Out of it she brings a toy Fitz gave her, a 'melty gun' as he put it. She holds up the device and says, "Time to make a snow tunnel," and points it at the mass of snow as it starts to melt it away carving out a tunnel 1.5m in diameter. "Spread out, we might have company any moment now. Only warning shots unless they turn violent on us."

Achilles has posed:
    Shrugging his shoulder, Angelo acknowledges with a simple, "Copy." and he's moving forward at doubletime himself right now. He knows his limits, and he's nowhere near them. He's moving towards the crash site and trying to get himself into an interposing position where he can make himself visible. Likely by firing that Needler. Sure, it's silent, but the needles are fast and he has a two hundred round magazine for it. His entire plan is to open fire and force them to deal with -him-, hopefully not realizing the only power he has is the inability to die.
    "Nolan. If they are approaching from Twelve O'Clock, I'm placing myself at One. Suggest you go for Eleven so we can try to get a crossfire." he says.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Natasha DOES know her role in these circumstances; even if she's more accustomed to solo work. Still, damned if she's going to be too picky about how her skillset is used when it's needed.
    "Got it." She says quickly and moves to the western perimeter of the crash site; keeping an eye out for anything useful to the search as she moves, but primarily looking for something like, say... the hunk of debrie she ends up setting up her rifle on, pointed westward in the general direction the mercenaries were indicated to be in; kneeling on one knee in the snow with her eye put to her rifle's scope.

Sam Wilson has posed:
With a quick burst of jet thrust, Sam takes a position on the aircraft fuselage, near the tail. From here, he'll have a great vantage point to watch for approaching mercenaries, and also a bit of cover from them, if they start shooting early. He keys in magnification on his goggles, and scans in the direction May indicated their company might be coming from.

"Remind me to recommend myself for promotion, then," he answers May over the comms, his tone wry even in their extreme conditions. Still, the cool under pressure doesn't mean he isn't being attentive to the slope behind them. Recon is, after all, one of his specialties.

Jessica Drew has posed:
"Copy that, Agent Morse." Careful in the fresh snow that covers rock and ice, Jessica moves towards the right, conscious of the sound of her breath shushing through the rebreather. Cold may not suit her but she has the stamina to double her pace at this elevation which she does, keeping a low profile to the party following them.

After a glance upslope at the tunneling operation, she hunkers down, watchful for incoming. She raises a hand to Natasha, then focuses her energies on surveillance.

Jack Nolan has posed:
Jack frowns a bit when Bobbi notes that things will probably turn violent. Of course it will. Still, he keeps his hands out of his pockets for now, in case he needs to get ^his gear quickly. A quick glance over towards Angelo, and he responds with a nod, motioning the direction he's going to head, though he has a brief pause as he looks across the crash site.

"We should make sure they haven't set up a sniper or anything. Because that's what I would do.." He muses, as he looks across at the mountains, "Somewhere over there. It'd have a good line of sight over the crash site, and even in this weather it wouldn't be an impossible shot if they were good enough."

Melinda May has posed:
As the agents begin their tunnel, there's the *poot-poot-poot* of small projectiles impacting the ice and snow around them. Apparently, they aren't the only ones to have silencers on their weapons in concession to the danger of the snow above them. On a ridge some distance away, the Bengal's own sniper has set up a blind and is taking full advantage of it.

The rest of the mercenaries are coming up the slope, only five minutes behind the SHIELD team.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
Bobbi takes cover behind a bit of tail. She places the melty gun down on the ground with it still on and pointed at the hole it's making. It'll run out of range eventually.. right? she has no idea how this thing even works. Fitz is not easy to contact right now, so she'll just leave it there and see what happens.

She unslings her rifle from her back says, "Agent Nolan, well spotted. Anyone with a visual, take the shot. Lethal response authorised." Well that settles that, these mercs aren't messing around. The crash site seems somewhat stable, though that crevice could be the death of the plane occupants if there's too much noise created.

She hooks her backpack with a foot and pulls it in to cover and takes out the skyhook module, just in case. "Romanoff, Drew, setup an ambush for the upcoming mercs."

Achilles has posed:
    Suppressed weapon fire is smart in the avalanche-prone snowfields. Angelo pops up like he was some amateur and begins firing into the distance. High Velocity needles strike ice packs and snow banks all along the perimeter. Mostly, he draws fire. His whole plan is... in a few words 'Shoot me! Not them!'. If he can draw enough fire to pinpoint the locations of enemy shooters, then so much the better.
    And in fact, he starts to trudge forward like he was some new trainee out to prove himself. This... -does- indeed draw fire. Three high caliber bullets strike him in the chest, and he is knocked off of his feet... feeling the paion of the bruises in his chest. But hey, he's drawing fire, right?

Jessica Drew has posed:
Already at an outlying position to the others, the unsuspecting will not see her flanking climbers in tandem with Natasha.

The world becomes Jessica's web. She closes her eyes and listens to the creak of fresh snow under the boots of her teammates and the dusting of powder filtering into a crevice. *There* The snow at these temperatures vibrates under the weight of cleated climbing boots. It gives her the vectors for the incoming bullets that kick spurts of snow up in the air.

"Natasha, at your four, five and six o'clock we have incoming. They are belly crawling."

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    Well! Seems like someone got a head of them on the warning fire.
    "Drew, give me a target." Natasha says, speaking quickly but with composure, before moving her body to aim her rifle in the direction Jessica indicates.
    There's a moment of silent focus before Natasha unblinkly pulls the trigger, making the high powered rifle jerk back into her shoulder with recoil. No one gets to see it - or even hear it - but the bullet enters the mercenary sniper's rifle scope, and exits the back of his head. The rifle swivels about to the other positions indicated, looking for movement, and firing quickly.
    "What about now?" She asks blandly, even as she rises up enough to begin firing small metal rods from her gauntlets into various trees and surfaces with taut wires connecting them with a live current; a series of traps for any attackers to possibly pass through on their way to them.

Jack Nolan has posed:
No sooner does Nolan mention a sniper position does a round slam into his head. It's a good shot, really. Too bad the person being shot can take hits like that and keep going. Jack still falls over, because it's not a light impact. "Ow. That was at least a 7.62. Don't think it was a .50."

He lays on the ground for a second, before he rolls over and gets behind a rock bigger than he is. He rubs the chipped part of his forehead, "Damnit." Swapping to his rifle, he leans over the rock he's behind, peering through the optic to try to get a sight on the sniper, but this guy is in a blind and using a supressor, so it's next to impossible to get a bearing on him from this far.

Seeing Angelo go down, Jack moves from behind cover to grab him by the vest and pull him behind the rock, "I know you're pretty invulnerable, but better to avoid testing it too much, no? Though between you and me I bet we can draw enough of his fire for Morse to nail him."

Sam Wilson has posed:
Sam ducks down behind the tail, putting it between himself and the origin of that sniper fire. Staying at arm's length from the tactical discussion for evaluations is one thing, but being shot at is another, so he chimes in over the comms with, "Have we got a fast response for that, or should I try to close the distance?"

His maneuverability up here is severely hampered, with the thin air giving his wings too little to work with, so if not putting himself in the line of fire is an option, he's happy to leave this one to the rest of the team.

This is a long way of saying: Angelo's approach is not one he, personally, would be cut out for. "Somebody get Agent Tam... Tampa... Tamp Ambulance back on his feet!" he says over the channel. "This is no time for making snow angels!"

Melinda May has posed:
Before too long, the mercenaries are on top of the agents -- albeit several men shy of what they started with, thanks to the skills the agents display. Romanoff's wires will no doubt see some initial actions, though the mercs are smart enough not to repeat the same mistake twice. They spread out in small groups, seeking to keep the pairs of agents engaging them separated from one another.

In the midsts of them is a tall, broad shouldered man in white, artic-quality combat armour. He carries a kirpan in the form of an impressive sword, in addition to more conventional arms -- each silenced in deference to the environment. Goggles cover his eyes and a mask covers the lower half of his face, including a built-in rebreather.

He raises his voice enough above the fray to be heard without making such a shout as to encourage avalanche-inducing echoes. "Americans! Stand down and I will allow you to depart in piece. I seek only one passenger on that plane. The rest will be yours, but you must retreat."

So... who's up for believing the fanatic?

Meanwhile, May's voice comes softly over the coms. "Morse. Situation update. Reports out of Pakistan indicate Santos' company may be involved in an illegal arms deal involving Russian nukes."

Translation: The mercs may have more than one motivation for wanting her.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
Bobbi listens to her comms and mutters under her breath, "Of course they are." She sighs and with the sniper down, she picks up the 'melty gun' and embeds its handle in to the snow a bit closer so it can keep cutting toward the CEO they're here to rescue. But when the merc calls out to them, she pauses and calls back to him, "Duc No Tranh, is that you? Sorry big guy, no deal. You're not being paid enough for this fight, turn around and head home."

She blends in well with the snow, her rifle trained down the left flank. The stun wires set up by Natasha will give them a nice shock. "Nolan, Tampambulos, you're up. Bear down the front. Agents, consider all the mercenaries as hostile. Engage at will."

Bobbi is determined that //this// time Sam won't get hurt. "Agent Wilson, get down here and use Fitz's melty gun, get to our target." She places the operation: skyhook device on the snow next to it, "And strap this to her, get her in the open and I will activate the skyhook."

Achilles has posed:
    Starting his own roll over to get back on his feet, Angelo's vest gets yoinked and he makes an odd noise that sounds much like, "HURK!" I mean, he wasn't expecting to have someone try to med-evac him. "Hey, hold up." he remarks before looking down. Oh hey look, there's a bit of red on the snow and ice.
    "Armor piercing rounds." he says into his comm as he gets dragged through the snow. After all, he's only athletic, not super strong.
    A smear of blood is left behind, but he doesn't seem much disabled. "Icepick rounds.. pun intended." he mutters as he lifts his rifle and parks it onto the rock to stabilize it before he begins to peer through his own scope.
    I mean, the wounds are already healed. The ambrosia in his bloodstream remaining there even as some of the blood leaves his body. And then his own weapon coughs. I mean suppressed weapons aren't really silent. They are just less crazy-loud. But his doesn't use chemical propellant. It's basically a railgun firing super-armor-piercing hypervelocity needles. So it's a -lot- quieter than normal suppressed weapons. He fires at a position where he spotted a shooter before he got shot.
    "I think you need a bit of spackle on your head." he says to Nolan as he punches that needle through the face of an attacker. War. This is war on a smaller scale. And as Austin Powers once said, 'This -is- my bag baby...'
    And then... he lowers his rifle as the battle grows closer, and then he grins. Yes, he grins. Why the grin you might ask?
    Someone is out there with a freakin' sword. That's why. He leaps from his cover with his ICER drawn and his rifle left behind. That, and he has a Xiphos made of Celestial Bronze in his right hand. Charging right for the man with the sword.

Jessica Drew has posed:
"One down, one groaning, one is quiet, but..." Jessica holds her breath, distracted by its sound in the rebreather, and listens. At their six o'clock, directly downslope someone rises, barely discernible in snow camo. It nearly makes her miss a climber trying to flank them both, one at Natasha's three o'clock and another at Jessica's eight. The movement continues during the call to lay down arms, the man's attempt meant to keep their attention while they move into a better position.

Jessica lays down fire using her lethal bullets as Angelo makes his crazy charge down the hill. She shakes her head as his sword catches the light.

Natasha Romanoff has posed:
    The only times Natasha's been given that offer in a context where it made sense to take the easy way out, she was always in a group with people who were too dense and heroic to take it.
    After what Natasha's been through, a mercenary's offer barely even registers. For now she simply sticks to her position; taking shots when she has them, and drawing her pistol to unload on anyone who manages to get close enough. She may have made a reputation for some pretty outstanding acrobatics, but when her job is just to kill... she'll get it done in the most prudent manner available, unblinkingly putting bullets through skulls and knees. That said, when one rushes her from her flank, Natasha barely moves from her position, simply dropping onto her hips and scissoring her legs in separate directions to drag the mercenary's legs out from under him and lock them in place as he hits the ground, only to put a pistol round straight into the side of his head as they both lay there.

Sam Wilson has posed:
Sam jogs forward and executes a controlled skid down the side of the fuselage, spraying suppressed rounds at a merc who's getting too close for comfort, rushing toward Bobbi's impromptu tunnel. By the time Falcon lands on the ground with a spray of snow, the merc is no longer anyone's concern, and he runs over to Bobbi's position to take over heat-gun duty.

"As ordered," he says, skidding into a crouch in position. He doesn't devote most of his attention to the melting snow, though; he's accustomed to fighting with guns akimbo, and it's significantly easier to do that when you just have to hold one steady. With the other, he's taking aim and bringing down any mercs who get too close to their location.

Jack Nolan has posed:
"Yeah. That'll patch itself up." Jack replies to Angelo, "In due time. I'm not worried about it." Now if the crack gets too deep, he'll worry. Once the sniper is down, however, Jack emerges from his position behind cover, and rushes towards the remaining mercenaries.

He lowers his shoulder and barrels over a pair of them, sending them sprawling through the snow. With those two down, he swings his rifle around and opens fire on a few others, "Come on you assholes, you wanna shoot at somebody, why don't you shoot at me!" He's trying to draw as much fire as he can in order to give Sam and Bobbi enough time to get to the target and get them out.

Melinda May has posed:
The man with the sword laughs jovially at Morse's words. "Daughter of Darkness! It is not!" he declares. Indeed, he sounds like he's in fine spirits, despite the firefight raging around him. And the crazed Greek heading his way. He does bring up a pistol to aim at the incoming agent, however. "I am the *other* Bengal." A beat. A bit of posturing. "The more handsome one, I'm sure you will recall."

He holds up his fist. "Stand down, you men! Cease fire, so we may talk! Stand down, Americans, and we will talk!"

Who knew that was possible?

Bobbi Morse has posed:
Well! "Agents, cease fire, hold your positions. I'm coming out Bengal." She didn't see this one coming. To Sam she whispers, "Don't stop. Use skyhook no matter what." <May, the leader of the mercs wants to talk, I'm giving him the opportunity.>, she says over private comms back to May. Then, she lifts up her rifle and emerges from the snow where she was practically invisible. She places the rifle down and walks out in to the open and down the path toward the Bengal.

"Okay Bengal, let's talk. I'm not leaving here without Santos." She takes the hard line right away, best to set expectations right off of the bat. "Why are you so interested in her hm?"

This guy is quite the mixed bag. Sometimes the terrorists, sometimes the vigilante. No one is quite sure whose side he is on lately. It's been a while since she's encountered his handy work. Her mind is straining - something about hunting down airline hijackers, something about bombing a Bangladesh ministry of development building. Mixed bag. "Lay your cards on the table, then I'll do mine and we'll see where we draw our lines."

Jessica Drew has posed:
All movement ceases at Bengal's voice. Jessica is hyperaware of the distance between her and her erstwhile attacker but focuses on giving Agent Morse cover. Her opinion is that the man is not trustworthy, she is in awe of Morse's optimism. It does not take her heightened senses to know that they face someone who sounds maniacal, borderline insane in his absolute knowledge of having the upper hand.

Over coms, "This is Drew, covering Morse."

Achilles has posed:
    And... ordered to stop mid-charge? How anti-climactic. Angelo got to within fifteen feet of that Bengal maniac before he hears the order. True to form, the man -wants- to keep going, but he follows orders. "Bengal, really? I thought Bengal tigers stayed where it was warm and left the cold parts of the world to the Siberian Tigers." he mutters.
    Then he lowers his own weapons, but does not drop them. Just.. not aimed at anyone in particular. The red smears on the front -and- back of his coat do make their own dramatic statement, but he waits.

Jack Nolan has posed:
The call to stand down makes Jack stop firing, keeping his rifle out but lowering it down to the low ready. He ejects the magazine and loads a new one in, just to be on the safe side. A few of the guys he's hit will probably survive, because he just knocked them for a loop. Maybe a concussion or a few broken bones.

Sam Wilson has posed:
Honestly, Bobbi probably didn't have to tell Sam to continue the evac. He's been in this exact kind of situation before: using an obvious standoff to cover for a more subtle effort to continue evacuation. He lowers his machine pistol readily enough; he just hopes that it's not incredibly obvious that with his other hand, he's still trying to melt his way into the plane. He keeps his own focus on the confrontation, hoping that at least that much misdirection will help draw focus away from the heat gun.

Melinda May has posed:
"Jennifer Santos is a blight on humanity," Bengal says, derision in his voice. He'd spit, but he's got that mask on. It gets in the way. "Everything she touches turns to dust -- save for the gold that lines her pockets. She does not deserve SHIELD rescue. She deserves to be held accountable for all the lives she destroyed in Assam."

Assam, of course, is a province in India where, recently, the government auctioned off water rights to the private sector. The scandal that has resulted from that has everything to do with a 2000% jack in local water prices, which has completely wiped out several already impoverished villages. People died of dehydration. Aid organizations had to be dispatched to provide outside water to the survivors.

However, Santos' name never came up in any of the news reports surrounding those details. Nor even the name of her company. Though, to be fair, it is essentially a brokerage firm that gets paid for facilitating deals between disparate partners. Like the Indian government and other private interests... or less reputable actors. So, it's not out of the realm of possibility that she's somehow involved in this.

The question is, of course, do a handful of artficially drought-stricken villages trump a couple of stray nukes?

Or, more accurately, will The Bengal concede they do?

At the very least, he doesn't object to Wison's continued efforts to get to the plane. Then again, Wilson is likely saving him a lot of potential work, too.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
Bobbi listens with interest. Auctioning off water rights. Well, that's not something she read in the dossier. It might be true. It's certainly something they'll be asking her about now. Bobbi folds her arms as she stares him down through her tinted goggles. "So it's true what they've been saying about you then," she says back showing she is at least considering what he's saying rather than dismissing it outright.

"But, Jasjit, Santos is currently trying to sell Russian nukes and has been doing business with a lot of unsavoury people. We have many //many// questions for her. This is not a rescue." Well, that's one way for the rest of the team to find out about what's really going on here. It is SHIELD after all. Need to know and all that.

"You've only added more questions to that list. So what do you say Jasjit Amar-Samra? are you willing to turn around and go home now. This isn't the fight you need to win and she will be questioned //thoroughly// I assure you of that."

Melinda May has posed:
Jasjit considers Morse's words. "You're arresting her?" He ponders that for several moments, narrowed eyes invisible behind his tinted ski goggles. He looks around at his people, who are figetting restlessly. Finally, he says, "If I give Santos to you, now, then you will owe me later. It pleases me Santos will be prevented from causing further harm, but she still has much to answer for among my people. And America is *not* known for dealing with their own nearly so harshly as they may deal with others."

Behind him, one of the sharper soldiers he has brought with him moves with lightning speed. "Unacceptable!" he cries, and his weapon discharges.

The Bengal is thrown forward, landing heavily in the snow due to the impact of the weapon's projectile on his body armour.

The other mercenaries respond with alarm, which is to say they bring their own weapons back up, uncertain whether they should be shooting at the guy that shot their boss or at the agents that they were fighting moments before.

Achilles has posed:
    Having charged in initially, Angelo -is- right up there as the merc fires at Bengal. By the time the shot happens, he's already in motion, running towards the shooter and at the last moment, he goes into a baseball slide that impacts the guy's ankles only to drop him forward right onto Angelo's upraised sword blade. He didn't say a word as he performed that maneuver. One he has obviously practiced before. And seriously, who practices these moves?!
    But when he rolls the guy off of him, limply onto the ground, he sits up. "The guy did have a point. No debt will be incurred here." he says in a deep voice. "We will do what is right. You will cease your efforts to stop us. Unless you wish to lose more than your pride." he says, still sitting down as he turns his head to look to Bengal. "Sorry for speaking like I am in charge." he says over comms. "Some people only understand diplomacy at the tip of a blade."

Jessica Drew has posed:
The operation is in suspension or seemingly. Behind Jessica, she can hear snow being melted as the tunnel down to Santos continues through the magic of SHIELD. The whole operation could go tilt in a moment's notice. Vigilant, she follows the proceedings doubting that the Bengal will release his target easily. But, he does.

It wasn't what she imagined, she fires at the shooter, making her decision without consultation. Her shot takes him square in the head as he is plowed down under Angelo's weight.

Sam Wilson has posed:
Sam sits tight and focuses on getting into the aircraft, crawling down into the snow tunnel with the skyhook pack. As he hears another shot and shouting, he also releases the Exo suit's Redwing drone with a subvocal command. It's not going to be much better at this altitude than his wings are, but he doesn't need it to do any fancy flying, he just wants a bird's-eye view of the SHIELD agents and mercenaries surrounding his position. It seems a sensible precaution if he might have to shove their target out into a potentially hostile-rich environment. A skyhook is far from an instantaneous exit.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
Bobbi holds her hands up high so as to show the mercenaries that she's not currently holding a weapon. Well, that's not true, all the agents around her are her weapons right now. The guy with the itchy trigger finger proved that. She walks over to Jesjit and offers a hand when she sees him moving.

She frowns a touch at Angelos declaration and then says to Jesjit, "You've got a deal." Because that's how things get done in the world of spies. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. In a low voice she says to Jesjit, "You best get your men under control or this is going to turn in to a real bloody mess and I can guarantee you it won't go well for your guys. Then what good will that favour be?"

Melinda May has posed:
The Bengal is stunned, bruised, and seriously winded. But not in danger of bleeding out. Apparently, the man invests in top notch gear. As Morse helps him to his feet, however, he spares a glance for Angelo. The derision on his features is entirely hidden by his goggles and mask, but he's not particularly fond of the Greek's bombastic style.

Nonetheless, he nods simply to Morse, saying equally softly. "Deal." Then, he's turning toward his people and speaking loudly. "Stand down and pull back! *I* am in charge here. Leave that traitorous trash where he lies and pull back. Santos will go with the Americans." He lifts a gun and points it at one of his people who looks too uncertain. "Do not make me prove it."

Reluctantly, perhaps, but the mercs eye each other and, ultimately, do as ordered. At the end of the day, no. They're not paid enough for the bloodbath this is sure to turn into if they don't.

The Bengal bows low to the Daughter of Darkness. "Until we meet again, madame."

Then, he rallies his men and... yes... they retreat.

"Well," May's voice is dry over coms as the mercs pull out. "That could have gone worse."

Achilles has posed:
    Another shrug, and Angelo gets to his feet. He doesn't like to always be fighting wars, but when he -does- fight, he fights to win. Not to negotiate. Not to walk away. He fights to end the fight not only now, but always. To win so soundly that the enemy will not fight him again.
    IT's just how the man does war.
    But he gets to his feet and his sword vanishes. He holsters his ICER and rolls his neck, "So be it." he states with a shrug as he turns to return to the SHIELD lines. This isn't really war. He just mistook it for such. Oops.

Jessica Drew has posed:
Personally, Jessica will believe it when their objective is off this beautiful mountain and the team is safe drinking the hot drink of their choice as they debrief. She scans the terrain below her for any movement, waiting for the word to pull back. Even after Angelo rises, she doesn't stand down till she hears May's dry comment over coms.

Sam Wilson has posed:
Sam finally gets through to the plane's emergency exit and pops it open, just in time for the entire project to be no help at all. Typical. But as he bursts in to get their quarry free of the crash, he reflects that at least he's got some decent footage of that final confrontation via the Redwing drone. "Objective secured and skyhooked," he announces over comms. "But I figure we're all just going to take the ramp this time. Anyone who got dinged, let me know, I'll get you patched up once we're far away from this damned mountain."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
Bobbi takes a moment to exhale slowly. She didn't have any physical tension in her body, just emotional tension. The guy is unpredictable, but today he saw sense. "Falcon how is it going on the plane?" She turns back around and then motions to the group, "Gather up their dead. That sniper, the ones we took out, ...that guy who Tampambulos may be tripped to death?" She can see he got shot, but it's more amusing to blame it on Angelo. She wants to know who these people were. Also, best not to leave more bodies on the mountain, it houses its fair share of dead already. She nods to Sam as she wanders back over to his report and catches a look at Santos, "Ma'am you are being taken in to the custody of SHIELD." That is all Santos gets for now. Nuclear sales? that goes up to Director Coulson.

Melinda May has posed:
A short while later, May is maneuvering the jet to pick the agents and their prize -- not to mention a couple of other hapless survivors that were crew on the small play. Passengers are secured, the bodies are stowed, and the long flight home is begun.

Mission accomplished... so it seems.