4758/Iron Fortitude: Working Interview

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Iron Fortitude: Working Interview
Date of Scene: 17 January 2021
Location: Tesseney, Sudan
Synopsis: Fitz and Hunter ingratiate themselves in to Iron Fortitude. The pay is big, the work is messy. They inject a bit of morality in to the mix. The mission doesn't entirely go off without a hitch.
Cast of Characters: Bobbi Morse, Lance Hunter, Leopold Fitz

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The recruitment package contained a black shirt with the IF logo on the left breast, a fridge magnet, and a first class ticket to Asmara, Eritrea. The plane is comfy, but the airport they land at leaves a lot to be desired. "Dust bowl" is one kind way to put it. There are patches of green - they seem to be forced to grow in this desert country. Eritrea is famously known as one of the prime sources of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

    A limousine is waiting out front and the driver is holding up a sign that says "Hunter & Pitch" on it. Hunter not needing to use an alias as his reputation earned him this working interview, though Pitch is a newcomer on the scene. Fitz' latest identity - this one as a mercenary for hire. Wearing dark sunglasses and a black business suit the driver looks ready to drive to funeral rather than ferry customers around in the extra long car. The airport itself is rather quiet for an international airport. That's not surprising, this country is not a tourist destination.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter comes down from the plane with his kit bag slung over his shoulder wearing the clothes they sent him plus a pair of wraparound shades, coming over to the driver he sticks out his hand. "Hey mate, I'm Hunter, this is Pitch, looks like you're here to give us a lift," he says in his usual genial fashion.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Over time Fitz has gained a desire to prove that he is more then capable of serving as an agent in the field. But it certainly was not part of his initial passion for joining SHIELD. It was something Jemma definitely had to work on him for awhile. Those first excursions were a little grudging, a sort of 'why are you dragging me from my important work in the lab to do this' attitude definitely being the prevelent one. But he has started to complain a little less, started to look a little less like he would prefer to be anywhere else.

Heck, he's even stopped flinching quite so much when there are explosions going off around him and people are shooting in his general vicinity. Who knows, he might make a good field agent yet.

He did not, however, expect to be going under cover. Well, maybe as a scientist to some conference or something. Definitely not as a mercenary though.

The advice he was given was simple enough. Just follow Hunter's lead. And try not to look terrified. Or stunned like a deer in the headlights. It helps that when they arrive it is sunny out. The dark sunglasses hide any blinding terror that might show up in his eyes. And the queasy look on his face? That could easily be mistaken for British stoicism.

Either way, Fitz does his best to blend into the role and follow another piece of the advice he was given -- Let Hunter do as much of the talking as possible.

He's just here to look tough. It's possible someone at SHIELD is trying to punk Lance.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The driver gives Lance a handshake and says, "Welcome to Eritrea. I'm Mohammed your driver today, please this way." He motions and heads to the limo and opens the passenger doors, as well as the boot and stows any luggage they're willing to let go of. Inside it's climate controlled which is a good thing because the blast of heat when you exited the airport was intense.

    There's champaign on ice in the large seating area inside the limo and a note that says 'Welcome to Eritrea. You're driving west, the driver knows where to take you. Don't get too wasted, operation begins when you get here. Flunk this test and you're out of the Fort. - Commander Wassail.'

    The drive is a few hours out to a much smaller town named Tesseney. The limo pulls up in a secured compound. Those are the only safe places this far west out in the country if you're not a local. Inside there are three men and a woman dressed in desert cameo gear with modified AR15s hung over their shoulders and body armor not just on their chest, but arms sand legs too.

    They are standing relaxed in a semi-circle waiting for the occupants of the car to get out. Wassail approaches and offers his hand, "Hey welcome to Tesseney. It's hot and the water is lousy, the drink lousier. But the pay is good. I'm Wassail, that's Dizzy, Blackjack, and Primrose." The other three give a friendly wave to their newest potential recruits. On a table there's similar gear laid out for Fitz and Hunter.

    "Gear up," Wassail says, "Mission briefing in ten."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter definitely notes the queasy expression on Fitz and before heading down to the car he claps the engineer on the shoulder saying, "You'll do fine mate, I've got your back."

Then it's off to the car, where Hunter definitely helps himself to some champagne before pouring Fitz a glass. "Some liquid courage," he says before settling back to enjoy the ride, his eyes mostly looking out the window to take note of landmarks in case they need to find their way back on their own.

Arriving at the Tesseney compound Hunter gets out of the car and visibly sizes up the semi-circle of heavily armed mercs, before giving them a slight nod and shaking Wassail's hand. "Good to meet you boss," he says, before moving over to the table with his own kit bag, opening it and pulling out a couple of bottles of good whiskey. "Think me and Pitch can do something about the drink situation," he remarks with a grin, before he gets down to the business of getting armed up. As he does he whispers to Fitz. "Remember do to it like I showed you." Surely if Fitz can build things to mess with the TIME HOLE putting on basic tactical gear can't be too much of a challenge...he hopes.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Apparently the mercenary life style comes with a few perks that being a SHIELD agent just does not have. The black SUVs that they favor are nice enough all things considered. But they're not quite as roomy as the back of the limo. Nor do they come with complimentary champagne. Not that Fitz is going to touch the stuff himself, mind. It's a whole lot hotter here then New York is right now and he definitely does not want to mix that with alcohol of any sort. Not to mention he really doesn't feel like relaxing right at the moment. Tense. He's good with tense. "No, no, I'm good. Like you said, you've got my back. What could go wrong?" he offers back with a tight smile. Fortunately there are bottles of water too, which is right about his speed.

For most of the trip Fitz spends the ride staring out the window, taking in not so scenic Eritrea. Hopefully he is also scouting the terrain, getting to know the lay of the land. You know, just in case this all goes south. It's hard to say.

Hopefully the fact that he is a fresh face in the merc world will help to explain away some of the tension. Sooner or later someone will probably notice. Maybe he should have gone in for some of that champagne after all.

Slipping out of the car after Hunter when they reach the compound, he pushes the sunglasses up a little along the bridge of his nose, offering Wassail a nod and shaking his hand as well when offered, a murmured greeting offered but little more. He's just getting into character, that's it. He's the strong, silent type.

When the whiskey bottles are produced, he shoots another tight grin towards the mercs they will be working with. Nothing wrong with buying a little goodwill. And then he too is turning for their gear. "No problem. I practiced," he assures Hunter lowly as he checks over the tactical gear and the offered weapons. Indeed, he does manage to look like a professional.

He's pretty good with weapons. Hopefully no one wants to spar with him though.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Dizzy walks over and looks at the whisky Hunter brought with him and then smirks, "Nice." He sets it down and wanders off to talk to his colleagues quietly about Hunter and Fitz. Wassail is dragging in a whiteboard from out the back. It's currently blank. The limo driver has deposited any luggage from the boot and has driven off.

    It's hot. It's especially hot wearing armor. There's no time to acclimatise though, the mission - whatever it is - is about to begin.

    "Alright. Today we've been hired by a local warlord of the name Davarius Taylor. He and this other warlord on the other side of the border in Sudan called D'Ante Evans. These two have been shooting at each other on and off for a decade. It's their version of theatre sports," Wassail explains.

    "Our client has identified a compound in the town of Maazabdallah guarded by Evans's men. Inside, he suspects, is something precious and shiny he wants kept secure. Our job is to breach that compound, steal whatever it is he's got hidden in there, and deliver it back to Tesseney for the client," Wassail explains and then starts sketching out a diagram of the compound on the white board.

    "There's no guise of night in this part of the world, we won't be waiting until then to hit them. We will enter the compound from here at position A, and here at position B. Flashbangs and knockout gas. Live rounds if they shoot back. We make our way to the inner section of the main building and secure whatever it is that looks the most important, evac through to position C and return across the border to Eritrea. Questions?," Wassail asks as his eyes look over the two new recruits. The other three have little to say at the moment, merely nodding at the plan. They've worked together a while.

Lance Hunter has posed:
If Fitz isn't drinking Hunter downs that second glass of champagne before they get there and then gets about the business of meeting the team. Dizzy's word about the scotch is met with a nod, "Like to make a good first impression," then it's gear on, Hunter being quietly pleased at how Fitz pulls off making himself look like a pro, standing beside his fellow agent as they take in the briefing. He raises his hand at the end. "This test, if we pass we're in? I am going to guess we also get paid for this job as well as whatever the going rate is? I am all for showing you what we can do but I don't work for free."

Leopold Fitz has posed:
It does not take all that long to get into the tactical gear. Fitz might not have got a ton of advanced warning that he would be going on this mission, but he wasn't lying about practicing. And while he definitely favors a pistol with ICER rounds when it comes to weaponry, he checks out the heavier assault rifle, giving it the once over to make sure that it is in working order as well as anyone else in his position might. At the very least 'Pitch' isn't making his partner look foolish -- or worse, a plant. Indeed, the few extra minutes that they have to gather themselves and prepare seem to do one of SHIELD's resident genius' good.

If this was a typical SHIELD mission, one could almost count on Fitz complaining about the heat. He has made it quite clear that nature is much too random for his tastes. Give him the nice, climate controlled comfort of an indoor lab. Mmmmmm, smell that antiseptic and recycled air. Yum. But he's not Fitz today and aside from Hunter, these are not SHIELD colleagues. He's Pitch, and while he might be new to the job, he's a hardened mercenary through and through. Grrrrrr. Not complaints here, all business.

He plays close attention in the briefing -- it's all basic enough, especially compared to what they might sit through back at the Triskelion -- and while the notion of firing live rounds at anyone doesn't thrill him, he knew what he was signing on to. "All clear," he says simply, lowly, though he does fall in line with his partner at the mention of getting paid, only adding a nod and a stony-faced stare.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Wassail folds his arms across his armored chest and peers at Hunter for a while. "Been on your own a while now haven't you," he says and takes a few steps forward. "Iron Fortitude is a family, son. Tell me, when was the last time you got paid $170k tax free for helping warlords spit at each other. Don't worry Hunter, you're getting paid." He pats his shoulder almost in a fatherly like manner and cups the back of his neck somewhat possessively. The alpha.

    "We're wheels up in 15." He presses a remote control button and a garage door opens revealing two military humvees, painted for the desert and decked out with armor and a top mounted machine gun. "Pitch, Hunter, you're riding with me," Wassail says and points to the first humvee.

    He heads over and grabs his duffelbag and starts loading extra gear in to it. "Thing about these missions is, there's spotters everywhere. Day in and day out. They'll know where there within a minute of us turning the engines off. We have to be fast, we have to be professional and most of all, we have to watch each others backs," Wassail says to Hunter and Fitz more quietly as the other three start moving their gear in to the second humvee. "I expect you two to show me what you're made of today. That you're team players. That you can be trusted. It's us verses the world out here. You got that?," he says and looks Fitz directly in the eyes, then pats his shoulder too. "Good."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter keeps his eyes on Wassail, playing his part in the whole alpha bullshit going on, before giving the man a bit of leeway. "A while yeah, and 170k?" he says. "Well then, let's get to work," he says with his usual good humour before following Wassail to the Humvees taking a moment to help one of the others load some gear. "Yes sir," he says of the whole Iron Fortitude philosophy. "We won't let any of you down, isn't that right Pitch?"

Leopold Fitz has posed:
This is... not exactly what Fitz was expecting. This particular crew seems accepting enough of them and certainly their 'boss' seems a little less cut-throat then he might have imagined. Not that it necessarily means anything of course. It could all be a line of bullshit, served up for any new recruits before they burn them. But it offers a shread of reassurance. That maybe they won't casually be shot in the back within 5 minutes of them reaching their destination. It doesn't really take a genius to realize that getting shot in the back kinda sucks. Either way, that's not really his problem. Whether they are decent enough sorts or died in the wool killers, that's not the mission.

"Works for me," 'Pitch' says lowly, giving a small shrug of his shoulders and a nod to Wassail. He's here to do his job and get paid, like a good newbie merc looking to build up his reputation. With a glance to the indicated Humvee, he nods once more. Instructions received and understood. He'd try a grunt of acknowledgement but he's not quite there yet. He's a little concerned it might come out as a squeak, or perhaps a yelp. Something to work on for next time.

"Understood. I'm all about the team play," he assures the man, echoing Hunter before also heading back over to the assembled gear to begin putting his own back together and giving it another once over. So, this is it then.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    "Good. Good to hear it. From both of you. Also," Wassail says at his two job interviewees, "We want to make it fast because we're not being paid by the hour here. Time is money." He tosses is bag in to the humvee and then climbs up in to the drivers seat. "Mount up, let's roll out. It's game time," he says confirming every cliche Fitz might have imagined about a 'private security contractor' army.

    The drive is a similar length as the one from the airport and they cross over the border. Unmanned, because in the constant fighting going on no one in their right mind would dare try and control the border. They knew they crossed the border because there was a sign saying so.

    The road follows near by the river and the river brings life to this region, so there are small communities dotted here and there along it, as well as horse drawn parts of cars used as carts, and old beat up cars from the 90s on the roads. The road itself is more dirt than road in places. Luckily the humvees have excellent suspension.

    As they enter the town their driving slows down and they start to take some backroads toward the compound in question. Once they've made it to position A, the other humvee keeps going to position B. "Game faces boys," he says and pulls up a mask over the lower half of his face, then goggles down over his eyes. He does one last check of his gear and then gets out of the van. "You two do the breach, I want to see you in action."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter is quiet for the ride to the site of their mission happy for the face mask and goggles to hide his concerned expression. Once they reach the site though he's ready for action, "You got it sir," Hunter says jumping out of the back and turning to Fitz, "You blow the door and I cover?" he asks like they've done this a hundred times before.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Sometimes cliches are cliches for a reason. Because they just work. It's not necessarily the sort of leadership that Fitz might be used to back in SHIELD, but he can't expect a private contractor force to operate on the same level as SHIELD. Besides, if they were dealing with a group as competent as their own they might just be a little screwed. One suspects that he wouldn't have past muster just because he had Hunter to vouch for him.

Again, Fitz spends much of the ride peering out the windows, probably a whole lot more assessing about the terrain and possible avenues of retreat then he was on the way in. He's in body armor in a humvee now instead of a limo with free champagne. That tends to change one's view of a situation. When they arrive it is possible, probably even probable that his heart rate is thumping, but fortunately the excuse to tug up that mask and slip on a pair of goggles hides any signs of that away awfully fast.

"You got it," he agrees at once, no hesitation in his voice at least as he gives his pack -- where the shaped charge no doubt rests -- a quick pat. And then the humvee door is opened and 'Pitch' is out, crouched low with that rifle clutched to his chest as he scampers towards their assigned breach point, eyes fixed on their target while trusting Hunter to be keeping eyes peeled for any threats.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    A small child is watching from the end of the street. The moment anyone looks at him, he's gone though. Off at a run. Easy money to alert the local gangs that there are foreigners in town with guns. The compound's walls look to be made of brick mortar, nothing terribly special.

    The wall is a good entry point as it opens out on to a bathroom building for the pool area. This compound has all the modern perks a warlord desires: spa, mini golf course, a bunker, barracks for security, a two story seven bedroom mansionette, and security cameras everywhere. There are men patrolling the property with AK74s.

    Wassail does a finger countdown to 'go' 3.. 2.. 1..

    There's an explosion from the other wall, position B where the other team is entering. Then a flash and the sound of gun butts to faces. The other three are being very efficient. It does not take long though for the sound of machine gun fire to ring out through the neighborhood - both inside the compound and outside. Somewhere nearby another fire fight has started.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter crouches into a shooter's stance at the rear of the Humvee to cover Fitz's run to the door, his weapon shifting from this point to that, looking for anyone on watch who might take a shot. He spots the child but the gun doesn't so much twitch in that direction, though he moves when he hears the gun fire keeping his eyes on the men with AKs for any sign they've spotted the team. Coming up beside the door, he puts his back against the wall, "Ready?" he asks Fitz. "Cuz it sounds like things are getting interesting all over."

Leopold Fitz has posed:
See, normally when Fitz is out in the field he is there in his capacity as a specialist. He is gathering information, he is controlling that small fleet of DWARF drones he has at his disposal. Providing logistical support or consulting on scientific or forensic issues that need a rapidfire response instead of a delayed evaluation back at HQ. He is not leading the charge into a firefight in order to open up a breach point so they can overrun the position of some warlord's hired guards. He's breaking new ground. As a scientist he should appreciate this opportunity. He... will have to work on that.

At other times that laser focus is something that is a clear benefit for Fitz. On the battlefield though? Keeping a little more awareness of what's going on all around is generally a better idea. But he has Hunter watching his back. That helps. A lot. So he doesn't notice the child, doesn't notice any other threat and instead moves directly to the breach point, skidding to a stop. The pack is slides from his shoulder as he droops that arm, the flap on the backpack casually flipped back and the shaped charge retrieved from it's carefully planned resting place. In seconds it is in place, firmly fixed to their breach point and Fitz is all but hurling himself aside, pressing himself up against the wall on the other side of the breach point as his hand dips back into his pack, drawing out a pair of flashbangs.

"Three, Two..." he begins the countdown, speaking aloud. The 'One' is only mouthed in Hunter's direction before he turns his head away and closes his eyes.


Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The sound of bullets whizzing past indicates that their position is tenuous at best. The guards inside the compound are fighting for the livelihood and perhaps even their lives. What is notable is the sound of gun fire from position B, the other half of their team.. but also from another position.

    A much louder explosion rocks the city, shaking the ground, as the heavily armored front metal gates are blown off their hinges and two vehicles enter the front of the compound filled with local militia sick of their home, Tesseney, from being controlled by a warlord. It is now a pitched battled.

    The ground is dusty and the air is kicking up with dirt lowering visibility. The inside of the compound has a large modern house, lots of bullet proof glass windows, cameras, finger print scanners and keypads for entering the facility. The upper balconies are where the guards are mostly firing from, but they are locking down the building and pulling out the RPGs because this is an all out assault they're enduring.

    Wassail waits for the bullets to calm down through the hole they've made then motions with his hand to advance their position. Whatever is inside that compound is worth a small army to defend it. Not that the person who hired them is any better than the man they're stealing from today.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Definitely getting interesting," Hunter shouts to Fitz as the vehicles join the party. Then, as Wassail gives the go ahead and enough of the guards on the top of the compound are reloading Hunter calls out, "Cover me," to Fitz as he goes through the new made hole to the first piece of cover he can find. Skidding to a stop on his knees in the sand he peeks over his cover and lays down some suppressing fire so Fitz can come forward and join him.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
This would be a whole lot easier with all of SHIELD's resources at their disposal. Of course if this assault was a SHIELD Op there is a good chance that it would be nowhere near this messy. Probably a whole lot more stealth and infiltration and a whole lot less bombs and bullets.

For his part, Fitz is quickly gaining a whole lot more appreciation for that sneaking around thing. It would seem to result in being shot at a whole lot less. Not to mention it appears that they are about to get caught in the middle of a threeway firefight. That's a little concerning. Though hey, more distractions. Maybe that will work to their advantage. Maybe.

"Yes, interesting. That's the word I was going to use," Fitz says with a tight nod for his partner on this mission.

In fact that is not at all the word Fitz would chose to use. But it is what it is and there's no worrying about it now. So he just brings that assault rifle up and as Lance darts through the hole they've blown in the defenses SHIELD's science nerd edges out and brings that weapon to bear, putting down a smattering of suppressing fire himself, aimmed primarily up at the balconies. Once Hunter is in place Fitz darts forward too, making a beeline to the closest source of cover.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Wassail moves in behind Fitz and the three bunker down behind a bricked grading wall for an infinity pool. An infinity pool amidst all the squalor of this desert town. It's easy to see where the money funnels in a corrupt regime like this one. One of the balcony guards seems to have their position and is firing sporadically in their direction.

    Between the shouting and gunfire the sound of a sniper hitting their target is met with a thud as the guard on the balcony is dispatched by team B. Wassail motions to a secured door ahead and says, "Move up. Get us through that door." He pokes his head up and gets ready to provide cover fire for the other two but their corner of the compound is slightly quieter than the front now.

    The biometric scanner is state of the art, but set in to brick instead of reinforced concrete. The doors look pretty solid, though explosives would get through too if the loud option was needed.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter darts forward once Fitz has joined his position following after Wassail, when they reach the door he looks back over his shoulder to call out, "Pitch, got another one for you mate!" as he leans up against the ready to cover Fitz's approach.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
As new as all of this is to Fitz, he is a pretty quick study and faced with another dash across an open expanse, he is just a little more prepared this time. He manages not to wince any more as the sound of bullets hitting the stonewaork around the infinity pool pings nearby and as the leader of this little mercenary company starts to lay down cover fire, he moves.

It is not a mad dash this time, nor does he entirely rely on Hunter to take care of any threats. Instead he holds that rifle ready, eyes darting about the inner compound, though always straying back to the balcony overlooking their approach. Only when they near the entrance way does he sling that rifle over one shoulder, instead tugging that pack forward over the other and beginning to root around inside it.

The biometric scanner might be the best money can by, but Fitz works with the best tech that money really can't buy. This is something he knows. This is something he's good at. So he simply tunes out the sound of the fight around them, giving the device a quick once over, immediately recognizing the design. He smiles tightly, for just a moment then he is unscrewing the panel right beside the scanner, playing with the electronic innards hidden away within. He jacks in and pulls out a tablet, tapping away at it furiously for fifteen seconds or so. Then all the gear is tucked away once more and 'Pitch' stands up and presses his hand to the biometric scanner, leaning in close to the optical scanner as well to let it get a reading from his eyes.

And the door slides open without complaint.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Contrary to the chaos and gunfire outside, the inside is cool and air-conditioned. The carpet is clean and the furniture looks new. There's no one in here but a big screen TV is still on playing a football match from Ethiopia. There are cups of coffee still warm where guards had to abandon them. There are a few corridors and doors, many of which are locked.

    Wassail brings up the rear of the three and team B joins them. Wassail taps a finger to his lips for quiet, then motions team B to head down the corridor, then motions for Hunter and Pitch to head to a set of double locked doors. He kneels down and takes out a satellite phone and starts making a call.

    "We're in, searching for the asset now," he says softly to who ever he called.

    The locked double doors are easy enough to pick through which leads in to a large bedroom fit for a princess. It too is clean and well kept. On a wall mounted TV is a cooking show from the Britain and a shocked looking young woman. She is in a dressing gown and her wide brown eyes stare at the Fitz and Hunter as she considers whether she should stick to her trope and scream or not. Instead she rushes over to a bedside drawer to take out something.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Good work," Hunter says as Fitz makes quick work of the biometric sensor as he leads the way inside. "Guess I should have been a warlord," he says taking in the digs and falling silent at Wassail's command. He moves forward to the double doors and since this one only has a regular lock, he nods to Fitz to get ready to go in then sets about picking it, having it open in just under ten seconds and pushing the doors open for Fitz to enter first, before lifting the rifle and following his partner inside.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
"It certainly does seem to pay a little better," Fitz agrees as his eyes sweep over the currently deserted halls and chambers of the warlord's inner compound. Of course the generally life expectancy of a warlord in this part of the world isn't all that impressive, so the lifestyle does come with a few drawbacks as well.

Well Lance deals with the lock, Fitz keeps him covered, fancing back down the hall in the other direction, only turning when the door starts to open, once more moving with his fellow agent to secure the room.

And that, he would presume, is their objective. All indications are that they are here to extract 'the asset', not kill it so that's something. Still, between her moving for one of the drawers and the situation in general Fitz has a sinking feeling in his stomach. "I wouldn't."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    She pauses as Fitz warns her in his scottish accent. Her eyes glance between the two of them, holding guns, "My father is a very powerful man." It is said as a warning and in received English. Whoever she is, she has spent plenty of time in Britain. She probably went to school there.

    Wassail enters the room and lowers his gun, "You've got to be kidding me." He frowns and looks decidedly pissed off, "Don't let her go anywhere." He storms out of the room and starts to dial on his sat phone once more. Not too long later he is yelling, "You didn't tell me the asset was a bloody girl!" ...

    She folds her arms across her chest and glares defiantly though she knows she has no chips to bargain with right now. If she can't take on her fathers bodyguards, how is she to take on some mercenaries who have stormed her prison/home.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter steps through the door weapon raised at first but lowers it when he sees the woman. "Easy," he warns her, glancing back as Wassail leaves to call their employer. "Let's all relax and nobody needs to get shot," he says smiling despite the growing sick feeling in his stomach.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
It is mildly reassuring that that Wassail did not know what their target was either, and by the sounds of it he is not really happy either. Whether because he has moral objections or because dealing with a living asset is a whole lot more difficult then an object is almost irrelevant right at the moment. For now Fitz is just really, really hoping that this does not all go sideways.

When their apparent target stops moving for the drawer, when Lance suggests everyone relax, the SHIELD scientist doesn't hesitate to letting his rifle fall to a more relaxed position, still held competently, but distinctly pointing away from the trapped young woman. While he edges a little deeper into the room and keeps his gaze fixed on her, he does carefully listen in on what he can hear of the conversation taking place in the doorway.

Only briefly does he shoot a concerned look Hunter's way.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The toilet flushes.

    A guard walks out of the bathroom, sees the two men there, then ducks back behind. It happens very quickly. When he pokes back out he is shooting and the woman is diving for the dresser drawer again. The guard isn't being too particular about who he shoots, just randomly toward the doorway where Fitz and Hunter are.

    There's gunfire from out in the living room too as team B falls back inside and shuts the doors. "They're pushing in. I'm not sure if it's the local militia or if it's the guards," comes the voice of Dizzy.

    The woman pulls the whole drawer out and arms herself with a pistol, awkwardly hiding behind her bed as she tries to load it. Some shells sprinkle out across the floor. "Go away!," she says in her elegant accent, "or you're all dead men."

Lance Hunter has posed:
"We got this," Hunter says in response to Fitz's concerned look trying to keep his own feelings off of his face. Though before too long the guard is coming out of the bathroom and all hell is breaking loose. Hunter hits the deck as the guard fires randomly into the room then coming up to his knees he fires a burst towards the bathroom to drop the guard. "Pitch, wanna take that gun off her highness before she shoots herself or worse, one of us."

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Ah geez, this doesn't look good.

The little hitch in the plan seems to have thrown everything off as any hopes of a quick extraction go up in, well a dressing gown it would seem. And as concerning as it might be to wonder why their 'employers' want this young woman, the threat of being shot or being caught in a crossfire is a little bit more of a pressing item right at the moment.

Like Lance, Fitz too hits the deck when that first scattered blast of fire comes from the bathroom and from the ground the young agents squeezes off a couple of answering rounds that impact against the door frame, sending up a spray of splinters. Hopefully just enough to keep him back and out of sight.

"On it," he agrees at once, following the cardinal rule of this mission; do what Hunter says. Crawling across the floor and around the far side of the bed, he raises to a crouch as their target digs into the drawer and retrieves her pistol. "Stop being stupid. Drop the gun and get on the ground before you get shot," he barks, not quite aimming the rifle her way. Rising to a crouch, Fitz prepares to rush her if needed.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The young woman looks horrified when Fitz makes his way over to her and gets to the pistol before she does. From behind her she pulls out a can of pepper spray and shoots it at his eyes, then moves to kick him in the crotch. The guard peeks around the corner, then goes low and shoots at Hunter again.

    Wassail turns around as the room behind him erupts in to gun fire and their target is potentially put in jeopardy. Truth be told, she'll probably be tortured to force a ransom or surrender in this ongoing warlord spat. Is that his problem? kind of.. he's not sure anymore. The world is weird. He draws his weapon and approaches the doorway and starts to shoot at the bathroom, "Covering, take him out Hunter."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter grimaces as Fitz gets sprayed in the face but there's no time for anything more than that. Wassail's there, and there's work to be done, he keeps low, moving under Wassail's fire until he can roll into the bathroom, weapon coming up ahead of him to take out the man inside.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
All Fitz wanted to do was keep the potential kidnap victim from shooting them and being shot in turn. And this is the reward that he gets. Hmmph!

Intent on keeping that pistol from coming into play, he just does not react fast enough when she abandons it and instead resorts to the pepper spray. He's really in no position to defend himself and he takes that burst right in the eyes which immediately begin to swell and water as he lets out a choked cry of pain. "What the bloody hell..." he starts to gasp out, a mix of anger and pain. Which of course is when she kicks him square in the crotch.

Words fade in a choked gasp and Fitz would have simply dropped the rifle if it wasn't slung over one shoulder. A pained whimper escapes him -- forsaking any effort to sound like a hardened mercenary for the moment -- but he does manage to keep his feet as he awkwardly pitches forward -- still mostly blind -- simply groping his way to try and tackle his tormentor. It's possible that he's swearing at her, but if so they are some pretty unintelligble Scottish curses.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The guard in the bathroom is about to turn the corner again and shoot when suddenly there's a Lance Hunter there who puts two expertly in his chest. He pauses and looks down as the red starts to seep in to his clothing. Stumbling back, he leans against the marbled bathroom counter and drops his gun. His armor is slung over the side of the bath, it's clear he had taken it off to enjoy time with the daughter of his boss.

    And now, his t-shirt is soaked. He looks back to Lance with a look of terror that his life is ending and he doesn't know what comes next. One hand reaches up to grasp the cross hanging around his neck just as his legs give out and he drops to the ground. His lifeless eyes stare up at the ceiling.

    The kick to the groin, as far as Aadila Evans is concerned, should have been enough to stop the man. She isn't at all sure why it is he's tackling her now. Then she hears the two shots and looks over to the bathroom and cries out, reaching out an arm as Fitz pins her to the floor, "Zaamil.. ZAamil!" Her wails of despair take the remaining fight out of her.

    Wassail moves in behind Hunter and checks the room before lowering his weapon and turning back to look at Fitz. He tosses rope and a hood to him, "Bag her, we need to get out of here."

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Sorry mate," Hunter offers Zaamil's corpse as he gets up off the floor. He stares at the man's lifeless form a moment before he gives his head a shake and begins to collect the man's weapon and ammo. Once that's done he steps back into the room, looking over at Fitz and the woman. "Need a hand mate?" he asks, "We need to get going." His voice is flat and tense in the aftermath of the shooting.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
"I need ice," 'Pitch' grunts and mutters something that sounds suspiciously like 'and my lab' under his breath before he staggers back to his feet. Wincing and not bothering to try and hide it he glares briefly at Wassail as he is tossed the means to truss up their prisoner. "Yeah. Sure. No problem," he grunts. This mission sucks.

As the young woman sobs, Fitz shoots a brief look towards the bathroom, the aftermath clear and unfortunate. But he just hardens the line of his jaw for the moment and turns back to their wailing captive, slipping the hood over her head and starting to bind her hands behind her back. He resists the urge to apologize to her though, drawing her up to her feet and guiding her towards the door. "Lets go."

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Wassail looks at the captive and nods his head, "Right. Keep her alive." The objective is clear. "Beta team, clear the way," is his next order. The other three nod their heads and one tosses a smoke grenade out the door. There's a pause and then they hear coughing outside. The enemy really was at the gates.

    The three open the door and exit the building quickly and shots are fired. "Clear!," they call. Wassail draws his gun again and nods Fitz and Hunter to the exit, "I'll take rear. Get her to the SUV." The sounds of gun fire seem to be clacking in the air outside still, but it's farther away near the entrance of the compound and there's fewer shots. Whoever is still alive out there has bunkered down on both sides. This attempt to kick out the warlord has come to a stand still.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Still grim, Hunter nods to Wassail and then looks to Fitz, "You take the girl, mate, I'll take point," he says pulling a bit of a sympathetic look for Fitz's state. Though that's as much sympathy as their situation allows, reloading his assault rifle, he steps into the corridor keeping low and trying to pin down the source of the coughing as he moves towards the exit.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
It's tempting to warn her not to do anything else stupid, but under the circumstances it seems unnecessary. And maybe a little cruel. So Fitz just gives Hunter a quick nod and falls in, guiding their captive along, trying to keep her from stumbling too much as she moves blindly through the compound. Each time they enter a room or pass another hallway the young man's eyes dart that way to check it out, but otherwise he focuses most of his attention on directing the hooded captive through. "Watch your step," he cautions as they enter that large chamber near to the entrance, the sound of the gunfire growing a little sharper, a little louder. Almost there.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The beta team spreads out across the pathway toward the SUV. Around the infinity pool. Only one of them briefly fires as a guard comes running their way. Each one gives a thumbs up indicator and Wassail says, "Move out." The group get back to the SUV safely with their captive. Two SUVs hit the road and they are on their way out of town.

    The drive back to base on the other side of the border is quiet in the first vehicle. Wassail is behind the wheel and he keeps checking the rear vision mirror to look at Fitz and Hunter as well as the captive on their custody. "Alright," he says, "Hunter, you know your stuff. Pitch, you've got your rough edges but I saw the way you handled that electronic lock. I can see how you ended up on my short list."

    As they pull in to the Iron Fortitude compound back on the Eritrea side of the border there's another SUV waiting. Armed men in cameo clothing and berets are waiting. "And we're about to have one happy customer. Remember boys, we're paid not to think about what comes next." Under the gag Aadila says, "What the fuck!" at that and starts thrashing and kicking about. Wassail nods toward the gunmen, "Hand her over. She's their problem now."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter is glad to get into the SUV, leaning back against the seat and closing his eyes for a moment, he made it. He opens them again when Wassail speaks. "Thanks boss, and Pitch is a wiz when it comes to the tech, ain't ya, Pitch," he says, settling back to enjoy the ride. At least until they stop on the other side of the border and see where things are going. "Who are these wankers? Thought we were doing the ransoming personally?" he asks Wassail.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
The drive gives Fitz a chance to recover some and in truth he is not quite as attentive to their surroundings, the country side that they pass as he was on the way in. Instead there is a lot of playing back of everything that happened in his head. He might be doing that for awhile to come, no matter how often he was coached to let it go and not dwell. Sometimes there is no escaping human nature.

The young agent accepts the observation with a simple nod and a self-depricating shrug of his shoulders, otherwise reverting to that stoic persona that he decided to adopt to limit his interactions at moments like this. It doesn't sound like he's compromised their cover. That's the main thing.

At least until they arrive back at base. Look, Fitz knew that they would be operating in some morally grey areas on this mission. But that the ends would justify the means. The greater good, and all that. But the orders to just turn over this young woman to what is almost certainly a bad end is a hard one. As he slips out of the car, as he draws their captive after them he bites the side of his cheek hard to keep from blurting anything out, from saying anything stupid. He just keeps a tight hold on her arm and watches Hunter.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Wassail looks at the men. They look mean. They look like thugs. They look like they're going to do whatever their warlord tells them to do. That's the truth of it. Wassail winces a touch, it looks like he's not too pleased with this either. Or perhaps he's not too pleased that Hunter brought it up. "These wankers are the customer," he says with hands still on the steering wheel, "They work for Davarius Taylor."

    Slowly a hand lowers down toward his holster.. and he draws out the satphone. He taps in the phone number while keeping his eyes on the waiting men. One is chewing a tooth pick. "It's me. We have the asset.. yeah.. yeah but.. right but...," Wassail seems at a loss for words as he hangs up the phone. You can practically hear him grinding his teeth as he stares out the windshield at the men.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"I can't believe I'm bloody saying this, but how about we forgo the payment this time, maybe see what we can do to sell her back to her old man," he says, with a glance out the windows at the thugs. "Might make a better deal for us in the long run, her old man's going to want her a lot more than Taylor." He glances over at Fitz for support.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
The situation just seems ugly. So many ways that it could end up going wrong and far too few in which it goes right. And getting any sort of line of sight on what they can do to shift things in their favor is still awfully hazy for Fitz. This is the first time he's been undercover and it seems like they've stepped into a minefield here. One that they are trying to navigate blindfolded. In a murky haze. With a bunch of violent thugs occasionally taking potshots at them. Why did he agree to do this again?

For a moment 'Pitch' doesn't say anything, just looking at the men they're facing. "Seems to me that the client didn't play it very straight with you. Didn't tell you the truth about the target. Didn't tell you about how the drop off would be handled," he says flatly, keeping his voice as unemotional as possible. "Makes you wonder what else they ain't telling the truth about."

Sow a few doubts. Maybe they'll take root.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Wassail is quiet for a moment as Hunter and Fitz say their piece. He looks out at the men waiting for the prisoner. Aadila says hurriedly, "Please don't hand me over to Taylor he's a monster. My father will pay whatever you ask! I promise." Wassail scowls and says, "Shut up. I told you we get paid not to think about what comes next. Now you've got me thinking about what comes next."

    He thumps the sat phone against the dash board and then puts it away. "Get ready to drop the two on our left flank." he says darkly and presses the comms, "We're cancelling the contract. Gevits can chew me out state side." A pause and then, "Roger, ready when you are."

    Wassail takes his pistol out of its hostler and he cocks the hammer, "On the count of three." He sets his jaw and undoes his seat belt, "One". His hand on the door release, "Two." He pushes open the door and moves behind it smoothly like a shield, "Three." He aims his weapon at the nearest of Taylor's men and shoots. The second SUV, the occupants smoothly do the same thing.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Good man," Hunter says at Wassail's announcement. He quickly sets about getting ready as their boss counts down and when it comes down to one, Hunter tells Fitz, "Keep an eye on our prize, eh?" and then he's out of the SUV assault rifle coming up and pumping three round bursts, one a piece of each of the men on the left flank. When they drop, he takes cover by the side of the SUV ready to take down anyone still standing while the rest of the mercs do their thing.

Leopold Fitz has posed:
That's Fitz. Just a wild rulebreaker. Tell him not to do something and there he is a few hours later, making their employer question himself. He's totally a rebel.

While their captive might not be his favorite person right now -- look, he feels it's acceptable to hold a grudge against someone who booted him where the sun don't shine -- that doesn't mean she deserves to die and in truth the best way he can probably protect her right at the moment is to insure she stays as safe as possible. "Will do," he agrees, readying his own rifle but not leaving his spot, keeping the hooded captive on the other side of him and out of the direct line of fire. "Good luck," he adds quietly., steeling himself.

If all goes well, he won't have to use his weapon. If it doesn't... well, no need to dwell on the negative.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    The group opens fire on the 'client', or ex-client as the case may be. It's efficient and professional. Except for Fitz, who does not take out a target. Instead, he leaves that to Hunter who takes out two targets. But not before one on the left flank gets a shot off. The bullet whizzes past Fitz's head and their captives head too and embeds in the leather cushioning of the SUV.

    Wassail turns his head around sharply and sees Fitz and their prisoner are not dead. His first concern, his second is the SUV. Taylor's men drop to the ground. "Right," he says as he stares at Fitz. "Taylor is going to be on us like a fly on shit the moment he realises what just happened. Dizzy, Primrose. I'm with you, we will sell her back to her dad and call this job a wash."

    He looks at Hunter and Fitz, "You two, you're done for now. We will be in touch. Blackjack will take you to the airport in his car." Blackjack gives a little gun barrel salute to the undercover agents of SHIELD. "Get your stuff, see you state side," Wassail says, looking very pissed off as he holsters his weapon.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter's head whips around at the shot, and like Wassail is relieved when he sees that neither Fitz or the woman took that round to their heads (or anywhere else). He turns back to Wassail, as the man dismisses them, "Feel bad getting you lot in trouble with Taylor and then just running off state side, you sure you don't want me and Pitch to stick around incase Taylor's men come calling? No extra charge."

Leopold Fitz has posed:
Eeeesh, he's going to have nightmares once they are safely ensconed back in the Triskilion. As the bullet whizzes past far too close to his precious brain for comfort, FItz's gaze snaps to the side, looking towards where it embeds itself in the frame of the SUV before quickly glancing towards their captive once more. For just a moment his hand trembles and he quickly grips his assault weapon almost painfully tight to keep it from being noticeable. "Keep your head down and don't pull any other bloody stunts like you did before. You just might make it out of this," he whispers quietly to the young woman.

Then he's sliding from the vehicle, walking over to stand with Hunter, seemingly unphased by Wassail's annoyance. While there's nothing he wants more then to get out of here right at this instance, he nods his agreement with the other man's ofer. "Least we can do," he agrees.

Bobbi Morse has posed:
    Wassail rubs the bridge of his nose and looks at the pair, "You two are going to be a pain in my ass I can tell already." He lets out an exasperated sigh and says to Fitz, "Next time you decide to keep your weapon by your hip instead of shooting a guy, you might not get so lucky. You're lucky your friend here is such a good shot." He looks at Lance and then looks at the whole team, accepting Fitz and Hunter's offer. "Lock down the compound, prepare to defend against Taylor's siege. I'll make the call to Evans," he says and with that he strides toward the inside of their building.