3029/Hunting the Myasnikovs (1 of 3)

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Hunting the Myasnikovs (1 of 3)
Date of Scene: 22 August 2020
Location: Boston, MA
Synopsis: Fitz and Tampambulos attempt to track down one of the Myasnikov brothers' potential targetts... and risk blowing themselves to Kingdom Come in the process.
Cast of Characters: Melinda May, Leopold Fitz, Achilles
Tinyplot: Nuclear Evaluations

Melinda May has posed:
Streetview: https://tinyurl.com/bostonbrown

Boston, MA. Mid-morning. A block of low-rise brownstone walk-ups.

On the second floor of the middle building is the apartment of one Fred Jessop, avid gamer and conspiracy nut. On the way down from New York, the agents were briefed on what could be gleaned about the young man using online datamining and SHIELD's own unique profiling methods.

He's 23 and runs several websites which, together, scrape up just enough money to pay his rent, his utilities, and his internet bills. He delivers pizza part time to get enough money (and leftovers) to eat. He's active on Twitch, Steam, and several other gaming platforms under the handle CaptXer. He's also found on the darknet in conspiracy forums... not to mention more than a few dating sites, usually under assumed names.

A real up-and-comer, this guy is not.

He is, however, a witness to the Myasnikovs' murder of Ethan Katzman and, as such, is in dire need of protection. Protection, it's hoped, SHIELD will provide in time.

Two agents have been sent to this location: Specialist Leopold Fitz and Probationary Agent Angelo Tampambulous. That doesn't mean they're without recourse. Agent May is monitoring their progress, albeit from a distance. But you can be be sure, given she earned her codename honestly, that she'll be on hand to bail them out if evertything goes south.

Entering the building is easy. So is getting the landlord to open the apartment door. After that? Well, the apartment is a studio with a small bathroom off to the right. A computer is in the far right-hand corner. The computer desk is submerged in a pile of dirty dishes, game books, and empty soda cans. On the monitor, a screen saver scrolls in red text across a black background. It?s written in a foreign language. A fire extinguisher is on the right-hand side near the kitchenette. The room is so messy, it's difficult to tell if there were signs of a struggle. Piles of possibly clothes or maybe bodies are littered throughout the room, silhouetted by the sole light of the monitor.

And as the agents step across the threshold, a resounding crack of gunfire echoes across the room.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Truth be told, Leopold Fitz never really expected to find himself in this particular situation. Sure, abstractly he always knew it was a possibility. But it never seemed all that likely. And it certainly didn't seem like it would creep up on him quite so fast. And yet here he is, Senior Agent on site. Not for some mission to gather data -- or at least not exactly -- nor some Post-Op sweep for evidence. Not even for a scientific event where his expertise was critically needed. Nope, he is Senior Agent on an actual field mission. One where live fire might not only be a possibility, but a near certainty. And that's if things go well. What. The. Fugsicles.

It helps. A little. Knowing that the Calvary is monitoring them. That if things go sideways they have the best waiting to intervene. So instead of sweating buckets, there are only a few droplets marking his forehead as they approach the apartment, as they slip in with the help of the landlord. "Take the lead, I'll cover," he says to his fellow agent. He's not so insecure that he is unaware that he has way less combat experience then his partner on this mission. And at least judging by the way he holds his gun he is a capable shot. He's qualified for field work at the very least.

He glances around the room, giving a slight shake of his head at the mess and resists the impulse to immediately make for the computer. "Lovely," he mutters, that Scottish brogue rolling of the tongue, distaste clear in his voice. But this guy is their mission.

Before he can comment any further that shot rings out though and he flings himself up against the closest wall, pushing his back to it and trying to minimize his profile. "Eyes on shooter?" he calls out, gaze flickering towards the source of the blast.

Achilles has posed:
    Comfortable in tense potential combat situations, Angelo is only ever truly nervous in situations where social graces are concerned. But he approaches the door with his ICER in hand. Though, he did make sure to have an armor defeating needler on hand... just in case. He's a big fan of those things.
    He nods to indicate that he has received his instructions, and he reaches the door. As he reaches that point, he reaches over and uses the key the landlord provided.
    The door opens, and he sweeps in to let Fitz do his job. Angelo's job is to maintain potential combat awareness of any incoming trouble. His green eyes are sharp and clear.. and even as gunfire begins to erupt, he is moving to place the bulk of his body between any shooters and Fitz. His back facing the shooter(s?) (Hopefully!)

Melinda May has posed:
There is no sign of a shooter. It was a fast, overlap shot. A doubletap, by the sound of it. But, this is a small, studio apartment. It's not hard to see the entire space. The only other doors in the place, aside from the entry, are the door to the bathroom and a small door leading to a linen closet. Looking around... the apartment is empty and the windows are closed, glass unbroken.

Silence reigns, now. No further sound of attack is heard.

But the apartment, even in the morning light, is dim thanks to both the direction of the windows -- the sun is coming from the opposite side of the building, so the windows are in shade -- and the fac there are slat blinds closed over the glass. Seeing details will require either more light or more technology.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Well shoot. He was supposed to use those hand gestures right instead of speaking right? To avoid giving the shooter any clues of where they might be. A quick glance around would suggest that wherever those shots were coming from, they weren't meant for them. Or the shooter is not so great. That's... pretty reassuring really. Either way, a quick scan of the apartment shows no shattered windows nor any holes in the wall. That's good enough for him.

This time Fitz remembers proper protocol, glancing towards Angelo and motioning towards the bathroom door, the only other likely place someone might be. Or the closet. But that seems less likely. Either way, with those non-verbal instructions conveyed Fitz reaches down and retrieves a device from his belt, holding it up for his partner before beginning to sweep the apartment with it, watching the little screen fixedly as it begins to sweep the spectrums -- infrared, ultraviolet, and the like for a better sense of who or what might be present, ready to point out anything that might pop up.

Achilles has posed:
    Angelo's eyes narrow when bullets don't strike him. He turns his head and looks over his shoulder. His thoughts race . . o o O O (Was it a video game?)
    His eyes sweep the room, and he reaches one hand to flick on the flashlight attached to the underside of his ICER. A barrel mount is useful for such things.
    He just does the cover thing, scanning the room with plain normal Mark 1 Eyeballs and a flashlight. It's low tech, but it works fine.

Melinda May has posed:
Leopold's scanner may pick up that there is an incomplete circuit running around the room. It will also pick up at that at least one of those body-sized piles of clothes is warmer than the surrounding ambient temperature -- though not as warm as a living human.

If Angelo approaches that bathroom, he might pick up the strong scent of gasoline... A particularly sharp eye might also note that the blinds on the windows are askew at the bottom.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
For a moment he frowns at the scanner in hand, noting the incomplete circuit, glancing towards it. But he does not immediately cease his scan, continuing to have it roam about the studio apartment until noting the too warm heat signature on the floor with a faint grimace. That's not a real hopeful sign now is it?

The problem with hand gestures as communication is that they only work if the other person is looking your way. With no further gunfire sounding Fitz starts to approach the mound of clothing that is a little too warm -- or a little too cool depending on one's perspective. "Target might be down. I'll verify. Keep your eyes open," he adds, unnecessarily, voice pitched low over the comm as he kneels down to check out and see if they are too late.

Achilles has posed:
    "Fitz. Get out." mutters Angelo. Breaking the silence thing. "It's a trap." And that said, Angelo looks Fitz's direction before turning towards the bathroom. He is calm about it, but insistent.
    He steps that way, but does not open the door or kick it in. "I'll check the trapped bathroom. Don't make me tell May that I let you burn to death." he suggests, "Please sir." he adds, showing rank based deference ... or so he hopes.

Melinda May has posed:
As Leopold kneels by the warm pile of clothes, two things happen at once. The first is the sound of another doubletap shot. It's an identical rhythm to the first one. And, now properly in the space, the agents might realize that the sound, in fact, comes from the computer speakers. The second is the sensation of soggy squishiness underfoot and within the clothes surrounding that warm lump. Beneath the clothes? Yes. It is the cooling body of the unfortunate Fred Jessop.

But Angelo's warning is not unfounded. While the door to the bathroom can be opened easily, it will be more obvious there that the bathroom window has been nailed shut, there being no curtain or blind to obscure the sill and frame. The scent of gasoline comes from a partially filed bathtub and sink.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
All in all, Fitz likes his science clean. It's why he is tech and physics and he generally leaves the chemistry and biology to Jemma. That doesn't mean he doesn't know how to do any of that and he pauses for a moment, just long enough to verify that the downed figure is indeed Fred Jessop and that he is truly dead. So long, the late, unlamented Fred. It is doubtful he shall be missed. Well, except possibly by SHIELD. One less person who might be able to give them anything that might let them put an end to the murderous Russian.

"Target is dead. Confirmed Target is dead," the scientist says over the comm, giving a little flinch when that doubletap sounds once again. But this time he is almost positive that it is indeed coming from the computer so while he stays low, he hustles towards the door. "I'm on my way out. Don't linger. Do we need to clear the building?" he asks, straightening only when he is out the door and into the hall, turning towards the nearest apartment door and glancing around for a fire alarm or something else that might get the maximum number of people moving in the shortest amount of time.

Achilles has posed:
    "We need fire suppression. Set off a fire alarm or call it in." says Angelo into his comm now. "This place is rigged with incendiaries. I am going to retrieve the hard drive. If I can get the body too, I will." he says as he steps over to the computer and really does the computer tech equivalent of using a 2x4 as a club. He crouches and rips the plugs out of the back of the CPU before simply lifting the whole damned thing. Fire won't kill him. It'll hurt, but won't kill him.
    His mind flashes back to the last time he was burned at the stake. Stupid superstitious people. *sigh* And he gets the computer before glancing at the body to discern if he has time to grab an ankle and drag. An autopsy might show -something- after all.

Melinda May has posed:
There are fire alarm pulls in the hallway, which will work to get people out in fairly short order -- though never as fast as the authorities would like. Even if the alarms are pulled, because she is monitoring Fitz and Tampambulos' comms, May will be sending in a support team to take over the scene ASAP. Unless, of course, the place erupts in flame. In that case, Boston's own fire department will take point until the fire is out.

For the moment, though? No fire... Yet.

"Support team enroute," May's voice breaks into the men's comm frequency. "ETA 7 minutes. Evacuate, gentlemen, doubletime."

Unplugging the computer cables before grabbing the CPU was actually the smartest thing Angelo could have done with the box. Touching a key on the keyboard or jostling the mouse before the power was killed would have set off the fire trap. At least... part of that trap, anyway. But dragging the body out of the unit? Probably not the best idea. Aside from destroying evidence that might be saved if the support team is able to diffuse whatever incidiaries are there, there's just too much junk on the floor to make dragging the body out an effective means of egress. Not to mention the fact there's no telling what other triggers have been embedded in the environment. The body, then, is best left where it is.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
If they are lucky their quarry set his trap, counting on them to disturb it, and fled the scene. While that means that he might be in the wind it also means he isn't still on scene and with luck there is no remote detonator or timer that will set off the incendiaries before they can get the proper resources on scene. Heck, there's probably a lot he can do about it himself -- but the first priority is getting the civilians out. Then they can worry about securing the scene and any evidence that they might still be able to salvage.

"Copy that. We are on the way out. Evacuating the building now," Fitz says, his tone tight and clipped as he tugs down on that fire alarm, the hall abruptly filled with that loud, piercing siren. "Everybody out of your apartments now," the SHIELD agent shouts, trying to raise his voice above that din as he starts to trot down the hallway, smashing the hilt of his ICER pistol against each door as he passes. "Move it people!"

Achilles has posed:
    Glancing at the body, Angelo shakes his head, nope.. not a good idea. So He just evacuates with the CPU. As the fire alarms get tripped, he moves to catch up. "Hope you can get something off of this computer." he says before aiming for the stairs. But his feet are slamming on doors as he races past. "Everyone out!" he yells as he goes. "Come on!" he announces, hoping that there won't be any remote triggers there himself.

Melinda May has posed:
In short order, in the grand scheme of things, the small apartment building is emptied out. It's no more than 3 floors high and there's only four apartments per floor. Of course, the surrounding buildings need to be evacuated, too, but that will happen as the BFD arrives on site. The SHIELD support team includes explosive experts who are sent in to diffuse the situation, while the local first responders evacuate the surrounding neighbourhood.

May arrives a few minutes after the support team, having been a little further out than they. As she walks up to the two agents, she gives a brief nod. "Well spotted, gentlemen," she offers. Something akin to praise. Be impressed. "The tac team will take it from here. You two, take that thing back to headquarters and lets see what secrets it holds." She's referring to the computer, of course.

In due time, the tac team will discover that the whole apartment was firetrapped by using the light switches and computer interfaces. Even the fire extinguisher was rigged to trigger a blast. They got lucky. Very, very lucky.

Luckier by far than poor Fred Jessop.

And if the Myasnikovs were watching? They did not get so lucky. Because SHIELD is still on their trail.