5343/Courier Is Not Just A Font

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Courier Is Not Just A Font
Date of Scene: 25 February 2021
Location: East Side
Synopsis: Grant Ward and Lara Croft quietly escort a courier, until he's waylaid and they have to jump into action. Viola Fiore sees the firefight and tries to lend the agents a hand without revealing herself as a mutant.
Cast of Characters: Viola Fiore, Grant Ward, Lara Croft

Viola Fiore has posed:
It might have seemed like a simple mission. Make sure a courier gets from point A to point B. But that is not the kind of task that SHIELD undertakes unless the item being conveyed is rather important.

In this case, the orders from above don't tell Grant War or Lara Croft exactly what is in the courier's metal briefcase. Or why the archeologist is being assigned to this kind of field duty. Only that the courier is traveling by foot, while a vehicle with armed escorts traveling another route will hopefully be a diversion, should anything untoward happen to the shipment.

The vehicles pull out from the research lab, heading out on their circuitous trip to the destination. Meanwhile the real courier departs at lunch time, walking out with a group of other employees. He's wearing a light grey jacket and has on a white hat which will help make him easier to see. He's going to be walking through town for a good ways, at least a thirty minute trip or more.

Grant Ward has posed:
Escort Duty. It sounded real easy, but it never was. Years with SHIELD had taught Agent Ward one thing, when it seemedl ike something easy, it almost never was. It was his and Agent Croft's job to make sure the man carrying the reifcase made it to his deisred destination. It bothered Grant a bit to not know exactly was being transported, but it was the assignment ofr the day. Sitting in a car with his fellow Agent, the specialist finished off the hotdog he had been craving and looked over to her. "There is our carrier piegeon. You ready?"

He reached for the door handle to exit and looked back to her. "Now remember we are tourists. Snap a few pictures, point at stuff we have already seen a hundred times. Let's not make it to obvious who we are." he reached for a baseball cap and put it on, exiting the car and fastening a flourescent green fanny pack to his waist (which actually had a gun in it). "We follow this guy for a bit, make sure the package is deliverd and /Bob's your Uncle/. We are done." Leave it to Ward to toss in some Brisith slang ofr his partner.

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara was used to being called up for these random assignments. Since she has such a wide variety of skills, SHIELD has been using them where needed. It'd been an interesting thing to have her life's career diverge from "simple" archaeologist to Agent of SHIELD also.

Seated in the passenger seat beside Grant, Lara is wearing a pair of dark aviator sunglasses, a black leather jacket over a blue Henley shirt unbuttoned down to her collar bone. She looks over at Grant and shows him a faint smile. "You make it sound so imple. Lets hope it turns out that way." The Briton says to the man as he gets out, she noting his fanny pack which gets a small smile.

Lara has a gun strapped to the small of her back under her jacket but in her right hand she holds her smart phone and already has the camera app open and is raising it up to take a shot of a neraby building, testing her camera out and then looking over to Grant, she moves to join him at his side.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola Fiore is sitting on the outdoor deck of a restaurant. A cup of coffee sits on her table, and it's cool enough she still has some leather gloves on, holding her phone. "Yes, the first event really well. The Club president said they wanted me to do one more event there before they decide whether to hire me full time or not. Or, not full time, but on an ongoing basis anyway. Yes, it's just a dream space to work with. So many interesting rooms. And their budget? Wow. I suppose when the least of your clientele are corporate CEOs you have to go big though," Viola says to the person on the other end of the line. She people gazes, watching the sidelines below, a set of stairs leading down from here to the street.

Several blocks away, the courier is making his way through the streets. He has a pretty bland appearance, not a lot to him to draw the eye. The white hat helps in keeping track of him though even when there are people in the way. Plus he's about six feet three inches, which helps in spotting him above the crowd.

There aren't any threats to start with. A person here or there who fall into steps some distance behind him on the sidewalk. But each eventually stops off, into a store, or crossing a street when the man doesn't. Or continuing straight when he makes sa turn. The courier isn't taking the straightest path, making a few gentle zig zags that would help with spotting anyone tailing him.

Grant Ward has posed:
Grant looks over to Lara as she joins him at his side and moves to put his arm about her as they start to walk. "Nobody suspects a tourist couple. Do you know how many women would envy you right now?" His words are said with a slight dry sarcasm as they continue to follow along. "If anything happens, I do not want them to suprise target us first. Hence why we cannot let them know we are an escort." His eyes remain fixiated for the most part on the tall courier, making note of who comes and goes on his tail. "This guy is professional. See how he takes those uncessary street crossings...his stride is not hurried as if to draw attention. He carries the briefcase on the inside to the storefront to thwart any drive up snatching."

He too raises his phone to take a picture of a storefront, saying somewhat audibly in his best british accent. "Oh this pastry shop has the most scrummy scones." He looks over to Lara and manages a slight smile as they walk on. His eyes drift to the conversation and the young woman eho is having it, paying it no real mind and chalking it up to a young woman job seeking. "Do you see anything?" A softly spoken word directed to Lara.

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara joins Grant at his side and she looks over at him as he puts his arm around her waist and says that little line to her. She smiles at him and even momentarily puts her head on his shoulder before she responds. "Do you have any idea how many men AND women would envy YOU right now?" The British Noble says back to the man before lifting her head up again.

As they walk, Lara notes a building of a particular design and gives Grant a small story about its roots in history, because it's information she actually has and it helps play up their story here.

But as things settle in a bit, she snaps a photo with her camera and over hears some of Viola's words but doesn't pay much heed to them. She'd looked at the Courier, but not for but a second.

"And I was hoping for sloppy unprofessionalism." She says back to Grant with a sly smile as she steps around him to get another pic of a New York landmark. "Things seem to be going without a hitch, thus far at least." She answers him in a quiet tone, lowering her phone down to her waist for a moment now.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola is focused more on her conversation than the street. At least until she notices something unusual. Every single person across the street is walking one direction. Save one. Every single one of them has on some sort of dark color, a black jacket or a dark navy blue. And all of them have dark hair, black or a dark brown.

All except for one person, a man a little taller than the rest, wearing a light grey jacket and with a white hat. Seeing the sight of that one white hat moving against a flow of darker people makes Viola sit up.

She'd been at the park earlier today. Just relaxing on a bench while she worked on some things for the next party at the Hellfire Club. When she'd glanced down, and seen a small swarm of dark ants, all moving in one line, several across in unison. And then she noticed another bug, one she didn't recognize, with a white shell moving against them. The similarity to what she sees below on the street, weird coincidence, but enough it makes her notice.

The white bug had moved to the side of the flow of black ants, and then suddenly a small lizard had stuck its head out from a bush and nabbed the white bug, ducking back into its hiding spot.

As Viola watches, she sees that man in the white hat work his way to the edge of the sidewalk nearest to the buildings. And as he passes an alley, two men emerge from nowhere and grab him, pulling him out of sight deeper into the side alley.

Grant Ward has posed:
Grant is actually quite impressed at Lara's dedication to the role they are playing, a side;long glance given to her as the Brisish woman restes her head on his shoulder and makes her retort. "I can only imagine Agent Croft. I endanger my very well-being by being in such proximity to you at the risk of irate jealously.." As she explains the building hisotry, he seems genuinely intrigued, having not known that the building that she spoke of once served as a premiere back door brothel at the turn of the 1900's."

However, his eyes never drift for more than a moment from the courier and after another moment he starts to pick up his pace, taking Lara's hand and pulling her along with him. "No no. You idiot. Never hug the outside of the sidewalk when passing an alley. I thought you were smarter than that." It is a mere second afterwards that the courier is grabbed and tugged into the alley and his pace really starts to pick up. Even in the midst of the change in events, Granthas not dropped his persona. "This went All to Pot quickly." Another British reference.

Trying to close in on the alley as fast as he can, it is quite clear tho that the tourist thing has dropped. "The breifcase is the priorty. The courier is expendable." The manner in which he states it makes it evidently clear that he is dead serious.

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara has no 'super powers' she's just a 'normal person' but if she could be qualified to having some kind of enhanced sense, it'd be her perception. She's very aware of her surroundings and can spy changes and oddities that strike her as important or out of the ordinary. She notices a ruestling in the bushes, and gets that 'sense' in her stomach a moment before things go cock-eyed.

Grant tugs her along by her left hand and she moves after him, at least up until he speaks of the Courier being expandable. The Briefcase, right. It's no mythical lost artifact... but she's chased people down alleys for things before...

Her phone is put away into her black leather jacket side pocket and she moves along with Grant, one hand going back unde rher jacket to the small of her back where her gun grip is felt, a 1911 handgun with a custom skeletal trigger that she rests her index finger on the outer ring of, ready to draw the weapon if needs be about to present themselves.

"Something feels off about this, Ward." Lara mutters to her partner, due to the things she saw out on the street.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Inside the alley, two men in dark jackets and pants have ahold of the courier, lettering dragging him by their grip on his shoulders. He isn't doing a lot to fight back other than holding onto the metal briefcase.

Beyond the two men, four more wait at the back of a van. The van's back doors are open. The van is pointed in a direction it can drive off down the alley towards the opposite end as Grant and Lara entered.

The four waiting men move to help, one grabbing at the metal briefcase, while another starts prying the courier's hand off. This is taking place a good thirty feet down the alley from the corner where Lara and Grant are.

Meanwhile, Viola sees the man getting mugged. Or that's what she assumes anyway. She only partially notices that the stream of people, all dark-haired in dark clothing, has begun to give way to a normal mix on the street.

She leaves her coffee, hanging up on her friend and stuffing her phone in her pocket as she hurries down the steps to the street. She is on the other side of the street from Lara and Grant, so they will make it to the alley mouth while she is still having to cross the street without getting run over by traffic.

Grant Ward has posed:
Something was certainly off and as the pair manage to make their way to the end of the alley, Grant literally slide stops at what he sees. It is as almost as if he is literally thinking on the spot of what he should do next. "Oh this is so not good." There is a mere moment of time to pass before the courier and the briefcase is pulled into the back of the van and drives off, unable to be caught by two people on foot. "Tires. Focus on the tires. I'll take the left, you the right...do not worry about the men yet."

The fanny pack (which he is totally rocking by the way) is zipped open and a pistol drawn, raising it and narrowing his eye on the back left tire of the van. "We cannot let that van get away." He then begins to open fire on the left back tire of the van in an attempt to punture them.

"If you hit the tire then go for the men standing in the back of the van first."

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara's phone is put away, but her smart watch is raised up to her chin level as she starts to speak in to it. She's giving a quick rundown of the situation to SHIELD Dispatch, just incase the Van does get away. She tries to get the LP Number if possible, and the general make and model of the van itself.

Her eyes glance over to Grant and she nods once as her hand comes down and her gun is drawn out from behind her back with the other. Grant shoots first, Lara raises her gun and aims down sights toward the Courier-nappers.

"Agents of SHIELD, stop where you are!" It's protocol, right? If they don't stop though, Lara is going to start to rush toward them with her gun aimed at them and ready to fire if they give her any reason to do so!

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola reaches into a pocket and pulls out a tiny vial, thumb popping the lid off as she quickly swallows the fluid within. In her stomach she burns some of the ground pewter she just swallowed in the liquid suspension, strengthening her body and improving her agility as she hurries across the street, dodging cars going thirty miles an hour.

The men hear the shout from Lara and the gunfire from Grant. He hits a tire as three of them pull out guns and begin firing back. Bullets ricochet off the brick wall right by Lara's head, sending little chips of the building material at her.

The other three men redouble their efforts with the courier, picking him up off the ground to carry him to the back of the waiting van. They toss him inside, one of the men drawing a gun to help fire on the SHIELD agents, bullets hitting the ground near Grant's feet.

Viola makes it to their side of the sidewalk, behind the agents but able to see into the alley. The sound of gunfire makes her jump and she flares her pewter, burning it so fast it won't last more than one or two dozen seconds, but maybe saving her if a bullet hits her. A bullet whizzes past her, hitting the back of a passing panel truck.

Grant Ward has posed:
Oh she is a little British Firecracker aint she? As Lara rushes forward, gun drawn and intent on charging the kidnappers Ward's eyes go wide. There is something about hearing her yell Agents of SHIELD! in a British accent that makes it sound all that more official however, yet he realizes quite quickly they are not going to stop as requested when the bullets start flying in the alley and the brick starts chipping. "Bloody hell."

As much as he would not admit it, Agent Ward has actually grown a bit fond of British Agent and seeing her blood splattered on his watch within a drug needle infested alley is not how he wishes to see her go. He lets go a barrage of bullets towards the men at the end of the alley with no real aim, seemingly intent on making them pause their shooting for a brief moment and charges after her.

He does his best to try and tackle her behind a rusted green dumpster to provide them cover. actually landing atop her and peering down at her with a nod and the slightest hint of a smile. "You are no good to me dead Princess." As the bullets bounce off the dumpster he offers her a hand while he kneels behind the dumpster. "Ready?" He gives her a wink and fires from behind the dumpster at one of the men.

Lara Croft has posed:
One can always hope that a call out will do the job of getting people to stop. But it's not in the stars in this skirmish, much to the chagrin of Lara Croft. Her perception picks up the body movement of the men and she knows the guns are coming up, she's already preparing to move toward that dumpster when Grant heroically flies from the side to grab her and pull her back and down beneath the blistering gunfire that splatters the bricks above their heads as the two tumble down behind the metal box.

Lara gasps. Breath is shoved out of her lungs and she opens her eyes to look up at Grant. She'd landed in a puddle of dumpster water, so that was gross... but at least it wasn't blood!

"Right." Lara breathes the words out in her normally calming voice. As he helps her up and starts to shoot, Lara reaches out and starts to turn the dumpster out in to the alley so they both have more room to work with for cover.

A moment later and she's aiming out the opposite side and her 1911 starts to BOOMK off shots toward their enemies! She's not aware of the woman from the street on her way to maybe help... not yet anyway.

Viola Fiore has posed:
The covering fire from Grant manages to make the men down the alley realize they are standing out in the open. They retreat towards the van, when one of his wild shots hits a man in the leg. His buddy grabs him, helping him back towards the van while the others resume firing, shots whining off the ground and walls, and hitting the dumpster. Thankfully the handguns aren't able to punch through the metal sides!

Viola looks at what is going on and starts burning the iron shavings from the vial she swallowed. She becomes aware of all the metal in the area, identifying the van and then stepping to the side so she's no longer visible to the men in the alley, so their bullets can't reach her without going through a brick building.

The men pile into the van and the engine revs. Viola reaches out to a pair of parking meters on the far side of the street, pulling on them with a force equal to that she pulls on the van with. The van's tires spin as surely as if it were chained to something. The flat tire soon shreds its rubber, the rim sending a spray of sparks across the ground, but the van not moving anywhere.

Those two traffic meters across the street are starting to bend under the strain. Viola keeps her pewter flared, having to as her body feels a good thousand pounds of force trying to pull her towards the van, and towards the parking meters as she uses the latter to anchor herself so she doesn't go flying at the van.

The men inside are yelling at the driver, and one of the men opens the back door again, looking for the SHIELD agents.

Grant Ward has posed:
Agent Ward is no propped up on his feet with his back against the dumpster. One of his hands holds onto the side while the other fires blindly from over the top. His legs flex and with all the effort he can muster he starts to push the wheeled dumpster down the alley way, using it as a moving form of cover to close thr distance between them and the kidnappers. From his crouched position he cannot see what has happened to the van, but the sounds of lessening gunfire and squealing tires that do not seem to get further away alerts him that something is happening that he cannot explain.

He peers out from the side of the dumpster and seeing the van wearing out its tires and not going anywhere he quickly flashes a glance to Lara and then to the end of the alley. it is then that he spits the bent over parking meters across the street and blinks twice. "I think we are getting some assistance here.." Judging the rate of fire having slowed he reaches over to Lara and pats her once on the leg. "Remember when I told you about the oppurtunity window not being open for long?" He does not finish his words and scrambles out from behind the dumpster running towards the van with his gun drawn before him. "You coming Bird?" And yet another British term.

Lara Croft has posed:
Off in the distance the sound of the NYPD sirens can be heard bouncing through the city canyon walls of Manhattan, and Lara's comm on her wrist comes alive with the sound of the Dispatcher informing the Agent duo that there is backup incoming from the Police and SHIELD both.

Lar doesn't reply, her comms are open, and SHIELD can likely see some video footage from her wrist right now as well. The gunfire from their enemies was peppering the dumpster that she and Grant were moving behind as the Agents push it in to better position. Lara is pushed back behind the cover after gunfire comes her way again, but when the Van starts to squeal and yet doesn't move anywhere, the gunfire goes silent from their foes.

Lara peaks out to look again, and raises her gun up to fire and hit one of the men right in the shoulder!

It's then that she feels the pat to her leg and she looks back to Grant, ducking back behind their cover. "Grant, wait, we don't know---" He's gone. Fanny pack and all.

"What's causing this..." Lara finishes her sentence before she hears him call after her and she shoves her back off of the dumpster and stands up to spin around, gun UP!

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola hasn't really practiced extensively with this amount of weight. She's glad that the pewter is keeping her body from being pulled apart in a manner she expects would be most painful.

Her sense of how much of her fuel metals she has left tells her how fast they are depleting though. And she didn't bring any partial strength vials. She'll have to start carrying a better assortment.

She peeks down the alley even as she feels the strain, seeing the two SHIELD agents race for the van. Gunfire is exchanged, two of the men in the van going down. At that point the driver gives up, just opening the door and running for it. One other man hops out and runs as well, the two of them running away from Lara and Grant, towards the far end of the alley.

The moment his foot leaves the gas, the van suddenly lurches backwards. With the wheels not equaling out Viola's pull, she actually pulls the van back about 10 feet before she realizes and lets go with her mutant power.

The courier climbs out of the van, running the short distance towards Lara and Grant. Three men in the van are shot total, including the one hit earlier. The fourth man drops his gun and holds up his hands.

Grant Ward has posed:
Bullets flying, people dropping. What else can a tourist couple ask for in an afternoon of sightseeing in the city. As the van starts to pull itself back towards them as the gunfire ceases, Grant turns around in the alley, peering towards the end and his eyes fall upon the young girl standing there. Hed seems quite intent on letting the two run away as the flashing lights anbd sirens pull up on the oppositie end of the alley and the men are quickly stopped in their tracks by drawn weapons. A few more officers move to the back of the van, and begin to secure those who lay prone within.

He words are directed to Lara, but his eyes focus on Viola. "Agent Croft. Secure our courier." He says nothing more before raising his weapon over his head as he starts to walk towards the young girl at the end of the alley. "Don't run. I wish to speak with you." His words call out down the alley. "I'm Agent Grant Ward with SHIELD. If you would oblige me with a word." He continues to cautiously walk towards her. "I promise you will be gone by your own choosing before other agents arrive if you speak quickly."

Lara Croft has posed:
With the sounds of the sirens getting louder, there's an underlying sense of relief. Lara is an adrenaline junkie, but she doesn't really want to be shot to death in a Manhattan alleyway of all places she's been shot at in...

As Grant tells her to secure the Courier, she's already i nthe process of it. She let him run up to her and she feigned being casually friendly accepting him, until he was close enough. It's then that Lara sweeps her body around him and catches him off guard, kicking his feet forward out from beneath him she drops him hard down to the ground on his back.

This leaves the man stunned, and since he's heavier than she is, it makes it easier fo rher to put one knee on him and then draw out a set of zip ties. She has him tied up in a few seconds with trained agility in zipping the ties off around the man's limbs.

Lara bounces back to her booted feet and starts to move to the van to watch the NYPD arrive, then glances back toward Grant and the woman... Lara's gun is still out, though she has it aimed down to the pavement. She walks toward Grant's side to join him, saying nothing yet.

Her SHIELD smart watch is talking about their backup almost being on site, coming via chopper.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Between the NYPD and the approaching SHIELD unit, the package is safe. The SHIELD unit will end up playing escort the rest of the way, though it will turn out the one attempt at intercepting it is all that had been lined up. Or at least, all that are sprung.

Viola lets out a sigh of relief as she sees the gunfire is at an end. A sense of pride fills her chest as the 23 year old realizes she just helped SHIELD - SHIELD, the real thing! - stop... well she doesn't know what it was. Terrorists? Maybe something to do with nuclear codes? Or a virus that could destroy the whole-

Agent Ward's voice calls down the alley to her and Viola looks up from where she's right at the corner of the alley, peeking around the edge into it. Crap, he sees her! And he's asking her not to run. Which is exactly what she does.

Viola pulls back, if not hurriedly, but then moves off at quick jog. She still is burning her iron, and senses metal beneath the sidewalk. She passes over a grate and sees a steam pipe beneath. New York has steam generation at a number of places which feed the hot air into buildings for heating in the winter. One of the first true central heating units. Viola singles out a couple of rivets in the pipe, stepping off the grate and then ripping them out. A plume of hot steam jets out, more making a cloud by the time it comes out of the grate, than a stream that would burn someone. She uses it to disappear down the sidewalk, walking quickly until she can duck into a building, and then out the back door.

Grant Ward has posed:
As Viola starts to back away and break into a jog, Agent Ward does pursue for a bit, a slow jog taking him at least out of the alley. However, by the time he gets there, the steam has begun to erupt from beneath the sidewalk, scattering the people about and creating the perfect screen for the young girl's escape. The Agent shakes his head with the slightest hint of a smirk. "For what it is worth, thank you." Words spoken to himself and only under the assumption it was the young woman who had assisted them."

His steps take him back to the alley where it has begun to become quite crowded between other agents and the NYPD securing the van and its occupants; stopping beside Lara and standing beside her watching the wrap up proceedings as he speaks to her. His words are spoken deadpan, but there could be the slightest hint of dry sarcasm in them. "Good work out there Agent Croft. I was impressed." He then turns his head to her and pattingh her once on the shoulder adds. "You smell like shit." It is then that a smile finally comes to his lips and he actually places his arm around her dumpster water soaked shoulder. "Let me know when you want to work on the report. I would suggest a shower first."

zHe places hispistol back into his fanny pack and runs his hand over the back of his neck. "Do you like Thai food? I could go for some Thai food."

Lara Croft has posed:
Lara is 10 or so feet behind Grant when the steam pipe blows and the resulting gust of hot watery wind up out of the grate makes her skid to a stop to watch it. She stares at the steam as Grant turns to join her again, and only looks over at him when he tells her what she smells like.

She shows a grin at him, then releases a laugh as the tension of the previous moments has started to wear off. "It's your fault, I promise you." Lara replies in her proper British accented voice, shaking her head softly. "I would not have laid down in the filty water were it not for you."

As she turns around now to look back toward all the others joining them in the alley, Lara slides her gun back in to the holster on her back then adjusts her jacket and sniffs at her left shoulders. With a sigh she glances back at him. "Yes, I could meet you at a place. My loft isn't far from here, and Thai sounds wonderful."

Lara starts to walk toward the lead SHIELD Responder whose coming to speak to them both. With one more glance back to Grant. "That was an interesting girl... this city never seems to run out of the mysterious powered people." She says with a faint smile before looking to the new Agent come to talk.