3128/Olena Kovamurderface

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Olena Kovamurderface
Date of Scene: 28 August 2020
Location: Tenderloin District
Synopsis: Olena and Gambit team up despite very different viewpoints
Cast of Characters: Olena Kovalenko, Remy LeBeau

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
The Tenderloin District. Notorious for its crime -- from corrupt cops to fatcat kingpins, street ally grifters to mob bruisers. It's the little guy that gets squeezed. Every time.

And yet, there are still those willing to fight for the 'little guy', albeit for diverse reasons. Some of them altruistic. Some of them... not so much.

On this night, in an underground cistern that's been dry for decades, a group of men are gathered. There are women on their arms. Generators down long concrete tunnels light lamps and provide power for music that echoes oddly in the cavernous space. Tables with red cloths on them are setup in carefully arranged areas, cards and chips on their surface. A long tressle table with green cloth and portable cabinets and a bartender behind it serves drinks to the rich clientel. Most of the tables are abandoned, but there are some games in progress. The bar sees decent traffic.

The centerpiece of underground 'casino', however, isn't the gaming. It's the large platform in the center of the biggest part of the cistern. Armed guards surround it. Defeated looking people in chains with neural inhibitor collars on their necks are clustered across the back of it. A large man in a tuxedo stands to the front of the stage, a gavel in his hand, in front of a podium.

"Next up... A new acquisition out of Europe. Possesses the unique ability to transform his skin into stone. Doesn't require oxygen or food in his changeform and can work for days before dropping. Ideal for anyone looking for extra muscle on a high-risk construction project. Shall we start the bid at, say, $20,000? $20,000 for a Golem of your very own. No Kabalistic magic required."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Down a long alleyway, a lanky man strides slowly with boots tapping softly upon the pavement. It's wet here, but it isn't quite clear how long it has been since it has rained. There's a small glow from the cherry at the end of his cigarette and the distinct smell of smoke.

But just as soon as he is there, he's gone, slipping into the shadows with nothing left to announce his presence beyond trailing smoke and the cigarette as he flicks it into a puddle, extinguishing it immediately.

The next we see him he's in an entryway far down from where the auction takes place with a handful of armed gunmen between here and there that present a significant issue. He moves behind a column and begins to formulate a plan as best he can.

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
A soft 'whoosh-thk!' breezes through the air, unheard by any save those closest to it. Which means almost no one. One of the gunmen at the outer edge, away from his fellows, stiffens and drops with an aborted 'urk!'. The black fletched shaft of an arrow sticks out of his left eye. A second man drops a moment later. Same wound.

On the stage, the auctioneer continues his patter. Well heeled members of the audience signal their willingness to buy. Their odds of surviving the archer decrease with each increase in bid. They just don't know it, yet.

But the archer's focus is still on the gunmen. And after them, the auctioneer and his cronies. She's not fond of the buyers, but they're the lowest priority targets.

Freeing the shackled mutants? That's the highest priority of all.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Just as Remy peeks out from the edge of obfuscation, something amazing and, potentially fortuitous happens. One of the guards simply disappears. Whether or not the reason is because of a friend or foe, it makes it just that much easier to sneak up to the next column.

Not far, now, Remy removes his bo staff and extends it slowly, quietly. Then, in a quick, serpentine move, he strides out from cover and delivers a thwap right to the man's throat, knocking him to the floor in one swoop. By the time he hits the ground, he gets another thwack to the head and puts the man to sleep, out cold.

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
Another pair of guards fall, more fletching decorating their throats and faces. There's a ghost of movement somewhere past Remy, a shadowed figure moving swiftly and efficiently through the darkness just beyond the ring of lamps that provide the theatrical ambiance for this twisted reboot of Guys and Dolls. Between the archer's deadly aim and the cajun's smart staff, the gunmen will find their guns a sorry afterthought. Those the cajun takes out are likely much luckier than their pincushioned brethren.

After all, they might live.

However, as the pair separately make their way closer and closer to the stage, the guardsmen begin to realize something is going terribly wrong among their squadmates. And their defensive movements alerts the auctioneer to the fact there's a problem.

"Sold!" he cries, rapping his gavel unexpectedly on the podium. "To the well-dressed man in white." He gestures sharply to a pair of minions, who are assigned to collect the bids. One grabs the imprisoned Golem and starts to drag him off stage to pens further away down a side tunnel where the exchange will be made. The second goes to the man in white to escort him to where he might pay for his purchase.

The auctioneer, however, is already descending the steps, heading for a side corridor, himself.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Its decision time and Remy makes for the hallway that has the imprisoned golem as well as the minion. He's hopeful that he can get to as many of the mutants on sale as possible to see if he can make some quick allies and get the sides more in his favor.

He moves quickly, which takes some of his stealth away, but he knows that he needs to shorten the distance between them more quickly as things begin to look like they're headed to a crescendo. The staff is held high as he moves, and he brings it downward, hoping to deliver a devastating blow from behind.

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
As Remy makes his way down the side corridor after Golem, the archer -- known as Strilka in Eastern European communities up and down the US east coast -- moves decisively to circumvent the guards nearest the cluster of mutants still on the stage. Many of those guards start sprouting arrow shafts. Those that manage to get shots off (spooking the buyers, who start stampeding for the main entrance), often hit each other or ricochet bullets off the wall.

Sliding between pairs, she knocks their elbows and crosses their aim, rolling under their shots and redirecting them with well-placed jabs and kicks that change trajectories in amazing ways. She does not stop moving, moving much like a ricochet herself.

When enough of the guards are distracted or disposed of, she slides up onto the stage and works methodically to start freeing the mutants there from their collars. "Fight back," she tells them, her voice heavily accented. "Or run. But do not stay here."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
The bo staff comes down hard across the head of the well dressed minion who carries the stone golem away towards the mutant pens. He slams against letting out a small whine. For good measure, Remy leans down and punches him twice in the back of the head to make sure he's down for the count.

"Any chance y'got a coupla friends back dere to help us get out of here alive?" Remy asks as he reaches up to unclick the collar.

Regardless of the answer, the Cajun is running towards the pens, seeing who else might be available for him to unleash, or at least free.

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
Golem is more than willing to help out. The moment the collar is off, he swells in size, his skin hardening to granite. He's like a stone Colossus. (Eat your heart out, Ben Grimm!) "Without the collars? Hell, yah, they'll fight." Apparently, he's an angry stone giant.

Go figure.

Down at the pens are other mutants who have already been sold and are in process of being paid for. More guards are there, though only a few of them have guns. Most of them are armed with shock sticks instead.

Out on the stage, several of the freed mutants start to vent their frustrations on the guards who haven't finished falling. Others flee down into the tunnels (some may even find their way to join the Morlocks, depending on their luck). Regardless, once the last of them is freed, the archer takes off down the tunnel the auctioneer went through. A couple of the freed captives follow her. Because, hey, why not? She's been good luck for them so far.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
One of the guards spins on a heel just in time to take a boot to the face when Remy glides in. He slips backward and cracks his skull against a far well. The Cajun doesn't take any time to watch his work, though as the staff comes upward, just as another guard is preparing to use his shock stick.

One by one, Remy begins to undo the bands of the mutants he comes across, but soon he must take some of his attention to the guards who begin to swarm him. One brings his shock stick down towards Remy, who deftly dodges out of the way. As he brings it up, Remy grabs he handle and they both struggle for control. The stick flashes with purple light, almost as if by magic.

A boot comes up as Gambit kicks the man away. A split second later a small explosion lets out and the guards hand is replaced by a bloody stump!

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
Strilka's footsteps echo in the concrete corridor. She doesn't spare a lot of attention for the people following her. She slides into the fray at the pens, beneath the pitching body of a guard thrown backward by Gambit's kick. As the man's hand explodes, she fires her bow at the auctioneer, who is climbing a ladder to an egress point in the ceiling.

The arrows *don't* kill him. They simply pierce his forearms. The only reason they don't actually pin them to the ladder or the wall is that those are made of concrete and iron. The arrows are strong carbon fiber with sturdy steel heads. They won't pierce those materials. But they'll completely disable the man's ability to climb.

He screams and falls back, landing in a heap on the ground at the base of the ladder some 15-feet down.

Remy LeBeau has posed:

Before the next guard hits the ground, Remy is on to the final one. As he aims his assault rifle at the Cajun, he gets the staff right in the arm pit, which forces him to drop his gun. Remy lift him up and over, dropping him unceremoniously on his head. The fallen gun is almost immediately unload. With the clip in his hands, Remy scatters the bullets upon the floor as he saunters over towards the auctioneer.

Remy pauses a moment in an attempt to get a better view of Strilka, trying to figure out who this woman is--but he has never seen her.

The Cajun steps down on the wrist of the auctioneer, right next to the arrow, which probably doesn't feel too good.

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
As the last guard goes down and the auctioneer is felled, Strilka finally stops moving. Or, at least, she stops moving so relentlessly. The auctioneer cries out in agony as Remy steps on his wrist.

"Don't kill him, yet," Strilka tells the cajun as she approaches them. She glances back to the mutants who followed her down the hall. "Help them out," she tells them, referring to those mutants too defeated themselves to know what to do now. "Get them out of here. Get yourselves out of here."

She glances up at Gambit, curious about who this other interloper is. She is dressed head to toe in modified motorcycle leathers, reinforced with body armor picked up from guards over her various raids up and down the coast. She wears a hood -- a hoodie beneath her jacket providing the soft fabric that shadows her face. She wears no mask.

She crouches down beside the auctioneer and uses the end of her bow to lift his face so she can see it. "Where is Oleksander Orlyk?" she demands simply, accented voice blunt.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
"Or, peut-etre, p'haps you could tell us /who/ Oleksander Orlyk is," Remy adds as a bit of an afterthought. Looking at Olena, there's just a shrug of his shoulders.

His boot twists slightly, closer still to the arrow, as he tries to inflict the most pain possible. "Wasn't plannin' on killin' de man, chere."

But then he looks down at the fallen auctioneer. "But y'bettah talk fast. Not sure ah can keep dis one from doin' it instead."

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
"I was," Strilka replies as the auctioneer howls in pain once more. "It is just question of fast..." she eyes the felled man, "or slow." And perhaps a question of 'when'. Now... or later. Either way, she doesn't count him long for this world.

"I don't know!" the man cries. Blood seeps from his wounds. His fingers flex like claws, pain contracting them as muscles are traumatized.

"I don't believe you," Strilka says, reaching out for the arrow in his other arm and giving it a cruel twist. "He takes half your profit. And half your stock. Where is he?"

"I don't know!" the man repeats, adding quickly when her hand reaches for the arrow again, "I don't deal with him! I deal with his people!"

"Where?" Strilka demands. "Make easy on you, yes? You tell me everything..."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Remy seems as though he's trying to play the good cop her, and leans over him. "Lissen, bud. Y'betta come out wit it quick. Seemin' t'be in a world of hurt right now, an' I dun tink it gun be any easier on you if you dun start sayin' tings right now."

He makes a show of the wincing look he gives to the auctioneer. "Can talk to de lady here about you gettin' out wit your life, but y'gotta give her sometin."

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
Strilka is rather of the opinion that any cop -- good or bad -- is fairly useless. But she doesn't begrudge the aid the cajun provides. As she reaches out to wrench the arrow again, the autioneer begins to babble. But, in the end, the best he really can tell either of them is how, where, and when he meets with Orlyk's lieutenant, a man known only as Voffik or Vovik or something like that. They meet in a small deli in Hell's Kitchen and any exchages are done through middlemen.

Strilka's nostrils flare slightly as she listens. Her eyes flick over his face, noting the imperceptable shifting of the blood beneath his skin, the microexpressions that betray truth and lie alike... imperceptable, at least, so someone without her mutant hyper-perception.

Satisfied he is telling the truth, she rises and yanks her arrows out of his arms, leaving brutal tears in his flesh. He screams. She looks at Remy. "You are mutant," she guesses. "Tell me why I should let him live. You see what he does."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
"Because you own him. He works for you now," Remy says, mustering up the first thing that comes to his mind. "Has de added benefit of you not stoopin' down to his level."

"Us mutants, if dis world ever gonna change, gotta do de right tings. Hold ourselves to a higha standard."

"You work for her now, right?" he says looking down at the auctioneer, "What did y'say yer name was?"

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
Strilka isn't honestly sure she wants this piece of crap 'working' for her. But Remy's words do cause her eyes to narrow with at least some sort of thought.

"Winston Levin," the man eventually manages to say. "Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I'll work for you." He looks up at Strilka, begging. "Just don't kill me! Please!"

Strilka looks down at him and snirks derisively. "Winston Levin," she echoes. "Dobre. Then you listen good. You find out where Orlyk is. You tell me. Maybe you live long enough to retire."

Remy LeBeau has posed:
"Retirement is a good option, mon ami. Find someone t'settle down wit. Get a place close to de beach. Keep, uh, breathin." Remy shrugs his shoulders. "Tons of advantages."

The Cajun's eyes dart back and forth between Strilka and Winston. Here's hoping this works.

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
"Okay," Levin agrees quickly, tears running down his face and blood running down his arms. "Okay! You got it. I'll find out."

Strilka wipes the heads of the arrows she pulled from the man on his soiled tux. "Dobre. I will find you. Work fast... miy druh."

She steps back. He awkwardly scrambles to his feet, tucking his arms against his body as he fumbles his way towards an alternate exit down another corridor. For a moment, Strilka watches him go, idly wondering if the other mutants that escaped from here will be as generous as the tall stranger beside her wishes her to be.

If they are, then maybe Levin will have something of use to tell her later. If they're not?

Sucks to be him. She'll find Orlyk eventually, regardless.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
"Tanks," Remy says, although the words are an odd thing if he stopped and thought about it for a second. "Y'do dis sorta ting often?" He nods to the space behind her as a handful of moaning and maimed guards writhe on the ground behind them.

"Make a pretty good team, you and ole Gambit. Mebbe you wanna join forces. Mebbe we could help more of our brothers and sisters."

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
"There is network of men like him," Strilka tells Remy, giving him a considered look at his query and suggestion. "From here to Kiev and Moscow and back. I am tracking it. I mean to break it." As if that wasn't clear enough already?

"You wish to help with this?" That in and of itself isn't surprising, given what she's seen. She just doesn't particularly think he'll appreciate her methodology. At least, not once she's reached her quarry.

"I intend to kill Orlyk," she says bluntly. "He killed my family." Her best friend, actually. But close enough.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
"Oh really," Remy says as he tilts his head at her in consideration. "Killin' him will get you de revenge you lookin' for, but what about aftah dat?"

Remy presses a button upon his staff and it constricts enough where he can place it inside his trenchcoat. Out comes the pack of cigarettes.

"How many of dese tings you busted up recently?"

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
Strilka wrinkles her nose. "Not enough," she decides, with regard to the answer to 'how many'. Mainly because the real answer to that question, though not particularly numerous, is more than most people might think.

As for the question of vengeance. "When Orlyk is dead, Tetyana will be at peace." She doesn't speak as to whether or not she, herself, will be at peace. It's a question she simply won't answer to a stranger.

It's a question she has no answer for, in any case.

Still, she actually concedes something as she adds, "Not all slave rings are mutants," she says. "They are now free, too." Which may suggest that her hate-on isn't against humans in general. It's against the slavers.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
Remy nods, "Well, tell ya what. You feel like workin' togetha you just give dis numba a call." He pulls a scrap of paper out of the many pockets he has in his coat. He begins scrawling the number to his burner phone. "Mebbe you use it, mebbe you don't. Mebbe we run into each other. Mebbe we don't. Tink two is bettah den one, but dat all up to you, chere." He offers the scrap of paper over.

Olena Kovalenko has posed:
Strilka's brows rise some. She accepts the paper and looks at it a moment. Then she secrets it into a pocket. "Tak." There's another moment. "Dyakuyu -- thank you. Perhaps I will see you." Perhaps she won't.

At this moment? She's unsure which she would prfer.

She slides the arrows she has reclaimed back into her quiver and slings the bow across her chest, the curved arms over her shoulders and across her back. "Be careful... Gambit. Orlyk has eyes everywhere. He will be hunting us now." Because Levin will have to explain his injuries somehow. And she doubts he'll keep his mouth shut as to the truth. Ironically, snakes are prone to speaking the truth at the most inconvenient time and in the most incovenient way. It's just the nature of the beast.

Remy LeBeau has posed:
"Be tinkin' ahd say de same t'you." Remy lights up the cigarette from the pack he had to get once again after writing on the slip of paper. He inhales deeply before exhaling just as deeply. "Less chance of gettin' dead wit two, n'est-ce pas?" And with that he begins to walk casually down the corridor of the cistern, heading towards the exit he came in.