4849/All That Glitters

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All That Glitters
Date of Scene: 24 January 2021
Location: Federal Reserve Bank, N.Y.C.
Synopsis: Agents May, Hunter, and Glass try to prevent a Hydra heist at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. They're mostly successful... and they walk away with some dangerous (and intriguing) new Hydra tech.
Cast of Characters: Melinda May, Lance Hunter, Jethro Glass

Melinda May has posed:
The Federal Reserve Bank in New York is stunning example of Neo-Rennaisance architecture. It rises about 12 storeys and takes up a full city block in the prestigious financial district. It's vault rests on Manhattan bedrock, some 80 ft below street level and a good 50 ft below sea level. It's rumoured to hold nearly 6500 tons of gold, most of it in gold bars weighing nearly 30 lbs a piece. Much of this gold was stockpiled during WW2, and most of it is owned by foreign powers.

HYDRA doesn't much care who owns it. Various intel sources SHIELD has picked up on suggests they intend to send operatives to clear out that vault. Just how they intend to do that, given how much of it there is, is still a mystery. But that doesn't mean SHIELD doesn't intend to stop them.

Complicating matters, in addition to the scant information on how they intend to accomplish the heist itself, is the fact that the bank is open to tour groups four times a day -- ranging from school kids to public groups. That could create a situation leading to a terrible number of hostages, depending on just when the hit goes down. Certainly, getting into the vault is easiest during a tour.

It's getting out again that could prove problematic.

Agent Melinda May is dressed in a business suit, rather than an obvious tac suit. She has a security com in her ear and an ICER in a shoulder holster under her black blazer. She looks for all the world like just a member of the bank staff -- probably some level of management, since the security guards are all dressed in black and white with the usual ID patches, caps, and armanents. She looks relaxed, compared to some of the other staff. Probably because a threat level like this is comfortable for her, but terrifying for them.

Still the security guards have been told, their job is to evacuate the civilians. There are SHIELD agents scattered throughout the facility who will be responsible for stopping HYDRA... providing the squidheads even show.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter is dressed like one of the security guards he could pull off management but with freshly broken nose it seemed the better fit. His ICER is under his jacket in addition to the conventional gun on his hip like the other guards wear. As he walks around the facility he rambles into comms ""I mean other than the fact he goes by Lacelot, and she goes by Babs, they seemed alright until they tried to kill my favourite barman," Lance says of his encounter with his and Bobs' doppelgangers last night. He rubs his bandaged nose, "An' broke my nose. Anyhow we know when the party's supposed to start?"

Jethro Glass has posed:
     Jethro was born to play this role. He's been given the most important task of them all in the bank. He walks with confidence taking the day in stride as he moves from one side to the other. He holds his head high dressed appropriately for the job. Tucked out of sight and out of mind are his weapons in a place no one could suspect.

     It's no wonder they picked him for this role. He blends in like the greatest spies in history as he mops the floor with all the disinterest of a man who had worked in the building for 40+ years. His push cart rolls forward slightly further allowing him to set down the wet floor sign before he pushes the mop forward and back again.

     No coffee stain may escape his sight as he works scrubbing out every trace leaving behind only spotless ground where once was filth. Why just a few hours prior he had been cleaning the bathrooms where someone had managed to accidentally flush their cellphone in such a way as to clog the entire bathroom and backup into quite the mess.

     No one pays him any attention. Not the staff. Not the tellers. Not the visitors. Not the guests on tour. Not even the other janitors pay him any mind as he takes to cleaning up the spilled coffee with diligence and dedication of a man who was being paid far more than what a Janitor actually would be paid for this gig.

Melinda May has posed:
"Keep your eyes on the tourists," May suggests, as Lance rambles on about his doppleganger. She tunes that part of his conversation out -- partly because he's always rambling about something and partly because it only pisses her off. Mainly because it makes her think of her own doppleganger out there, doing who knows what. "It's the easiest way for them to get in. Not to mention the potential leverage it gives them." Hostages. Lots of hostages. "I doubt it'll be long, now. There's only one more tour scheduled for the day."

If they don't show up then, it's likely they won't show up until after closing. Or so she's guessing. And that will be a very different operation.

Of course, to move 6500 tons of metal... that could be a very viable choice.

As it is, they don't really have long to wait. Among the 20-or-so tourists that move through the security checkpoints to have their IDs and persons scanned for threats, are a trio of tourists who are notable only because they start protesting when the guards ask to search their camera bags. One of them, an Asian man with large sunglasses and a floppy cap, starts complaining loudly in Chinese about the invasion of his privacy. An Asian woman, his wife, tries her best to calm him down. It seems to work, until a security guard asks her to step back, which then sets her to protesting as well.

The scene elicits an annoyed snirk from Agent May, who sees the whole thing as a stereotypical 'oriental tourist' gambit. It's offensive, there's no question. But it also makes for a great distraction -- despite the clear lack of sensitivity training involved.

"Showtime," she says softly into coms. "Watch the tourists who are getting through more quickly. I'm moving in."

Lance Hunter has posed:
"Roger that," Hunter says leaving off his ramble as showtime begins, checking through another tourist to get them out of the line of fire. "Thank you ma'am, please enjoy your visit," he says distractedly as he hands back the lady's purse. "Holding position to your left," he tells May as soon as the lady goes past the metal detectors and May moves in on the Chinese couple.

Jethro Glass has posed:
     Jethro remains silent as he works adding a bit too much water to the floor leading down just in case the tourists try to make a run for the way down. He's getting into the role sure, but he's also got those eyes like a hawk on the room taking advantage of more than that as he turns his attention to more than just what his eyes see. The smells, the sounds, those little things that a hunter may pick up that others might miss. He's listening for things that aren't quite right even if he's not entirely sure what they are even as he rests one hand down on the cleaning products near that pistol of his.

Melinda May has posed:
It's not actually the couple, themselves, that May's watching for. She has little doubt they're involved *somehow*, but it may just be as a distraction. Rather, she's ghosting along with the tour guide who is hurrying the other tourists away from the disturbance. It's not good, after all, for corporate image for them to witness the bank's security manhandle the pair away from the vault. And certainly, that's what's happening.

Instead, May's looking for those within the tour group who are quicker to turn their attention away from the spectacle, to turn their attention to the vault and its contents itself. There are red stanchions strung up to guide tourists through. And most of the group is content to follow that path. But there are always those who overreach themselves, just out of curiousity.

The one that catches her eye is a young man who drops a coin he was playing with from between his fingers. The coin bounces and rolls beyond the ropes into the midsts of the displays. A tink catches her attention on the other side and she notices a young woman scuffing her feet along the tiles, knocking something similar back into the opposite side of the displays.

"Heads up!" May says, just as both those coin-sized disks crackle to life and start throwing up arcs of energy. The outline of bodies appear amidst the lightshow and figures in heavy body armour appear out of nowhere. For each figure that appears heavily armed, a second appears with a string of small devices attached to bandoliers on their chests. They spread out and begin fastening those devices to the stacked piles of gold bars.

May pulls out her ICER and takes aim. "Clear out the civilians," she says over coms to the SHIELD security support team. "They're here. And they've got some sort of teleport ability."

Or maybe they stole a bunch of pym particles. She really doesn't know.

Lance Hunter has posed:
The sound of the crackling energy has Lance turning at once hand going into his jacket for an ICER and pulling it out. "Everyone down!" he shouts for the second time in as many days, he wanted them out of the line of fire until the backup team can pull them out. All the same he takes a shot at one of the Squiddies with the cartridge bandoleers then ducks down behind a heavy granite planter for a bit of cover.

Jethro Glass has posed:
     Jethro quick draws his ICER and levels it at one of the goons. He's going through the usual motions he's all too used to and ready to fire. It's a trick shot he's done ten thousand times prior. He levels his hand and depresses the trigger sending a single ICER round careening harmlessly into a pillar.

     "Something's wrong" Jethro says over comms. He takes several rapid fire shots managing to wiff every single one save the last which lands a grazing shot. "I've never missed a shot in my life." He sounds flabbergasted as he speaks looking down towards the ICER to check if something's wrong with it.

Melinda May has posed:
May fires shots at the appearing Hydra agents, felling two of them before they've done anything more than materialize. The agent Lance shoots collapses with the others. But there are more moving among the piles of bars, clearly target painting them with whatever the devices they carry may be.

"Two hands," May tells Jethro over coms. "Sight, breathe out, and squeeze. Stay out of the way of return fire."

Because there's definitely return fire -- and its aimed at the SHIELD agents.

May rolls behind a heavy stack of gold bars, popping up to take aim again. She fires another shot, but then turns as a crackle of energy behind her signifies another incoming agent. He appears, she pistol whips him across the jaw and drops her ICER in favour of hand-to-hand attacks.

It's where she excells, anyway.

Meanwhile, the security team is trying to cover the civilians while evacuating them as quickly as they can.

The first piles of bars, those tagged earliest, shimmer and disappear in a crackle of energy. "Guess we know how they're getting them out, now," May says, sweeping the legs from her opponent and slamming his head into the floor.

Lance Hunter has posed:
The return fire chips granite from Lance's cover out in the lobby, he slides along the smooth tile of the floor to the far side and leanin around the planter to return fire. Two gunmen join the rest on the ground. "Breathe deep, newbie," he tells Jethro. "Take your time plenty of these bastards for everyone."

He moves out of cover and advances towards the gold, kicking May's ICER back in her direction. "Don't envy him his headache," he says of the Hydra agent whose face she introduced to the floor as he shoots the man in the back with an ICER round. "What's the plan?" he asks May eyes back up on the Hydra agents ready to shoot any who come into view.

Jethro Glass has posed:
     Jethro takes in a deep breath. Even if he's carried himself through most of his combat life riding heavy on gut instinct and unaware of it as he may have been innate powers he's still learned a lot along the road.

     He shakes it off and tries the straight forward approach that he's done a good few times before. Center of mass, two hands, right down the sights. It's not fancy. It's not as quick as he's used to or as efficient, but it puts lead down range.

     For a newbie he's entirely calm and centered in the midst of combat. The fire wizzing and whipping in all directions doesn't phase him one bit the man already having accepted that he would meet his maker a long time prior.

     Under his breath in that thick accent he mutters. "Like Sam Hill these new guns're more accurate." He shakes his head. "Ain't missed a shot in 40 years."

Melinda May has posed:
Every new weapon takes time to adust to... and six shooters are different than the ICERs, to be sure. But, no. It probably shouldn't be *that* great a difference. Nevertheless, there's little either May or Lance can do to help the time-displaced man in the middle of a straight up firefight. At least he's used to hot situations. That will work in his favour.

"Get the devices off the stacks," May says, calling out in response to Lance. "Hunter, take down the shooters. Glass, get over here and start stripping devices from the stacks. I'll handle the ones setting the devices." For the moment, that's her plan.

She scoops up her fallen ICER and turns to shoot out the rest of the mag, one shot after another into the unprotected skin of agents with bandoliers. When her mag is out, she drops the weapon again, vaults over a stack, and moves to engage more of the device planters with her usual flash of quick reflexes and merciless flurry of blows. She's a good markswoman. But she's a master martial artist -- emphasis on 'artist'.

Lance Hunter has posed:
"On it boss," Hunter replies to May all business now that the fighting's started. He pops up behind the bricks to take down a shooter, then ducks again as their partner sprays rounds wildly, bullets gouging the gold bars as they strike them. When the man stops, Hunter scoops a bar off the ground and lobs it at the man. "Catch," he says shooting him as the Hydra agent reaches for the bar. The agent and the bar hit the ground almost at once.

A glance is spared backwards at May for a moment to check on her fight before he presses on after the rest of the shooters.

Jethro Glass has posed:
     Jethro jumps up onto cover making himself a bigger target but only long enough for him to tuck into a diving roll off of his rolling cart using it to propel his momentum forward like something out of an action film. He dives down deep into a tucking roll gliding across the ground in a tumble as shots plink off the ground around him kicking up dust and debris in every direction.

     All that's missing is a plucky western soundtrack as he slides up against the gold beginning to rip off what he can spot of the teleporters. He's working as fast as he can for someone who only understands to rip off what looks like it doesn't belong there. Some of what he's tearing off is teleporter, other is silent alarm unfortunately. However that's just how the cookies crumble.

Melinda May has posed:
Those gold bars weigh about 28 lbs each. So, it's quite the heave Lance makes toward the Hydra agent -- but no wonder the guy goes down so quickly. And the teleporter devices are glowing blue and silver metal boxes smacked down on top of the stacks, making them easier to identify than the silent alarm wires. Agents move to stop Jethro, guns turning in his direction -- though several hesitate to fire as closer operatives move in to confront him using hand-to-hand.

May moves through the operatives she faces like a whirlwind, feet and hands in consstant motion. She spins around the shoulders of one man, her legs wrapped around his throat. She clocks two others with her fists as her momentum propells her like a pendulum past them, her fists solid as rocks as they hit. Then, she rides the agent down to the ground and slams his head into the floor before springing up to take on more, intending to keep the heat off Jethro enough to let him divest the remaining stacks of teleporters.

Lance Hunter has posed:
It was a mighty heave and Hunters arm is going to hurt like hell for it later but right now adrenaline is seeing him through. He keeps his gun up close to his chest as he weaves through the gold taking out the gunmen while May and Jethro throw down with the rest hand to hand. A few fall the rest turn their guns his way keeping them off the other two agents.

Jethro Glass has posed:
     At first Jethro grabs for the silent alarm wires before something dawns upon him. Glowing. Blue. Boxes. He looks from one side to the other paused in his motions with a hand full of wires. It's all over in a second but for him it feels like an eternity of embarrassment as he swaps to smacking the teleportation devices off the stacks.

     For the security there's a strange sight to behold as the Janitor proceeds to barenuckle box his way through hydra agents. There's a reason he's known as One Hit Wonder, and it's not for his musical career.

     As an agent of HYDRA comes running he moves to a stand his fist rising with him. The force of the impact sends teeth and spit flying in each direction as the man spins round and round before slamming into the ground from the brunt of the impact.

     Jethro falls into that unorthodox stance of a boxer mixed with his first nation training in his footwork. A second comes in from behind wrapping wire around his neck. He grabs at himself as one comes from the front delivering a left and a right.

     He does what comes natural in a bar fight when you're outmatched. He lets go of his neck and sends a blow backwards to the vitals, and a kick forward to the vitals sending both figures who'd been expecting an easier fight down to the ground in a pile.

Melinda May has posed:
Bullets fly, ICER rounds slam into unprotected flesh, and feet and fists do the rest. Security has evacuated the civilians, and on the floor the teleport boxes crackle with energy, disappearing without their prizes. Nevertheless, two or three of the stacks disappeared at the beginning. In the grand scheme of things? It's not much of the overall reserve, which works out to nearly $400 Billion USD. But the stolen amount is still worht $20 million, nonetheless. That's not chump change, even to an organization like HYDRA.

Unless, of course, it's not the monetary value that's the important thing. Half a ton of gold can go a long way to facilitating the construction of certain projects *physically*, never mind financially, depending on the project.

As the dust settles, May looks around, scowling. "Let's get this trash cleaned up," she says. "Check them for cyanide. Then, we'll haul them back to base for a nice, long, interrogation session." Not that she expects them to know very much.

Lance Hunter has posed:
Hunter nods at the orders slipping a fresh magazine into his ICER. "Right," he says of getting folks squared away, making sure they're all down. "So, what with everyone teleporting and whatnot guess it'd be hard to say where any of this stuff went, yeah?" he asks about the billions in gold surrounding them. Is he serious? It's Hunter it's hard to tell if even he knows the answer to that question.

Jethro Glass has posed:
     "Just Gold" Jethro comments obviously unaware of just HOW much gold has gone up in value since he's been out of things. He walks over to the downed foot clan and starts checking their mouths. Of course his method of pulling cyanide capsules is just to reach right in and rip out teeth wholesale like a good old western gentleman.

     There's not even a second in his mind where he's even tempted. "Y'wan some go west stake a claim." He waves his hand as he reaches into another mouth without washing his hand and ripping out yet another tooth to add to the collection.

Melinda May has posed:
May walks over and picks up her discarded ICER, reloading it and shoving it down into her holster. "Yeah," she says to Hunter. "They're insured--" good thing, too-- "but that doesn't make the loss any better." She looks down at one of the agents at her feet, extending a hand towards a support team agent whose moved in with zipties and scanners. She takes a handful of zipties from him and stoops to bind the Hydra agent at her feet.

"These guys may not know much," she tells her team, "but they'll know where they came from. If we can get that, that'll likely be enough." It's possible the teleport boxes go somewhere else, but she's still willing to lay odds they can gleaning something useful from wherever the heist team originated.

In any case, it'll likely be a job for the analysts to figure out.

She watches Jethro for a moment. "Yeah. Okay, Cowboy. How about you ziptie 'em, instead. You don't know where those teeth have been, and I don't need you ending up in medical with rabies or something." She gives a wry smile and points to a single bar of gold. "This one brick? It's worth nearly $840,000.00, today. And they got nearly three dozen of them."

Lance Hunter has posed:
Lance gets about the business of zip tying the HYDRA agents while the support team scans them. "840 thousand?!" he says before giving the bricks a long and mournful look. He shakes it off though leaving his fantasy of walking off with one or two of the things behind. Extending a hand to Jethro he says "Lance Hunter by the way. Good working with you mate."

Jethro Glass has posed:
     Jethro takes in the number for a moment before wiping off his hand on his pants and dropping the teeth into the little bin of his wheely cart. It's not even labled properly for hazmat for Pete's sake he just drops them in like they were nothing before starting with the zip ties.

     Zip ties that he uses to hogtie each and every one of the HYDRA agents he comes across so there's no way of them getting away. By about the third he raises back to a stand.

     A firm handshake given. "Captain Jethro Glass."

Melinda May has posed:
May adds to her mental checklist: Teach the Cowboy about modern restraints. "Yeah," she says to Hunter, a hint of a smirk on her lips. "$1800 and change per ounce." So, Hydra made off like... well, yes... bandits.

She watches the men introduce themselves and then moves to join them. "I'm going to go check in with HQ. Why don't you guys go check on the civilians and make sure the clean up crew's moving in. We'll figure the rest of this out after debrief."

It was a tight op, given what they knew coming in. But it'll be tighter next time. She stoops to pick up one of the intial disks that allowed the personnel teleports and grabs an inert box off of the bandolier of one of the felled squids. Fitz is going to love this, when she gets it back to him.

So will Fury. Which means she has a helluva lot more work to do... Again.

Welcome back, Agent May.