6754/One Time, at Fight Club

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One Time, at Fight Club
Date of Scene: 30 June 2021
Location: Somewhere Beneath the Hudson River. Sorta.
Synopsis: Shit went sideways, is anyone surprised?
Cast of Characters: James Barnes, Tony Masters, Sharon Carter, Cael Becker, Laura Kinney, Sam Wilson, Achilles, Morrigan MacIntyre

James Barnes has posed:
    It's much later in the evening than when Bucky left the Playground behind. He stopped at his little shit hole in Manhattan, grab some stuff he thought he might need from a go-bag and then just wandered around the city until it was time.

    Time to show up, as promised, at the warehouse on the docks, time to bow down to be collared and controlled before taking the some twenty story elevator ride straight down followed by a half a mile hike through a tunnel that opens up into an oval shaped room about the size of a smaller league baseball stadium.

    Under the Hudson River, it's a little disconcerting to consider, all that water and weight over ones head. But down here, the world of the rich and dastardly is in full swing. Guests at this event are dressed to the nines in 'black tie' style. They dine on lobster and filet mignon while drinking six digit bottles of champagne. Tables are set up on open levels around the center stage; a cage match style fighting ring.

    Currently there's no sign of the 'contestants', just a bunch of rich fucks enjoying their meal while waiting for bloodshed and mayhem.

    ...just about anyone can get through the doors at the back of that warehouse and down into the depths, for the right price or with the right passwords.

Tony Masters has posed:
Tony Masters is among the so-called observers, wearing a pure black suit, silk, embroidered and with a London cut. Three piece, including a vest, all parts the same matte black that doesn't even shimmer in the light, his hands gloved. He wears a skull half-mask, leaving his mouth exposed, the rest of his features hidden behind a shield of bone, eyes peering out of the deep sockets relentlessly.

His meat is rare and bloody, just the way he likes his fights. He sits alone, although there's space for company. It's simply that no one's dared to try and strike up a conversation with the Taskmaster.

Sharon Carter has posed:
Sharon was long gone from the Playground before James had left. Having gone to the 'club' to arrive on time with most of the rich riff raff that were in attendance. Tonight? She was one of them. Some random name that was dug up from the depths of her past that most shouldn't talk about, stacks of cash paid at the door with a show of a slit in her black Vera Wang gown and Jimmy Choo's. The gem encrusted clutch was tucked beneath her arm as when she laughed with the doorman, touched upon the elaborate gems that she wore around her neck, and slid past security with a wiggled finger and a promise to share a drink.

The half gloves she wore upon her fingers, in Sharon's mind, stole the show. She constantly lifted her hand to fix at the bun she fixed herself with. And she mingled. Doing what she does best. Blending in with the crowd, laughing here and there, speaking politics and everything else, even getting a few shady bits for her to take on the road.

She was being a hunter.

A tumbler of burbon was filled to the middle, one that she carried around and occasionally 'sipped' at, it was her cover to spy out the crowd to look for places where she'd 'fit'.

Cael Becker has posed:
    It's been a busy and - yes - exhausting day for Cael Becker. After returning from a - shall we say - 'quaint' seaside village with a pair of missing FBI agents, after all the necessary filed reports and debriefs, after fudging some of the details to avoid identifying the mysterious people who helped her free said missing FBI agents, she had fallen into bed and into a well-deserved sleep. She'd planned on sleeping through the day, and well into the evening before her phone pinged for her attention.
    Great. Tonight? Great. In - shit. In an hour?
    It hadn't given her much time to wake herself up, clean herself up, slip into an outfit she hardly ever wears, and slap on a little make-up. She isn't wearing a designed dress - but she is wearing expensive and fight-fitting pants, with a tight-fitting blouse that doesn't leave much to the imagination, and a sparkling of jewelry at her wrist and neck. She arrives with the elites of one of the local gangs - a group that had been supporting her under the name of 'Bring Hadley' in some of the local illegal street races, and apparently wanted to show her off, and show her a good time. Turning them down was never a consideration. Besides - she wanted to see the place. So it was with curious and evaluating eyes that she enters the area, stepping towards one of the tables to sit.

Laura Kinney has posed:
This isn't exactly the typical place you'd find X-23. Social events aren't really her scene, never mind fitting in with the black tie crowd, but her training included blending into social situations. A little black dress and some make-up later she's slipped into the event with the observers.

Her slight build, young age and a touch of social awkwardness make it hard to pass for a trust fund brat. So instead she plays the role of an escort. If security is thorough they'll find no weapons on her. Just enough unmarked bills for drinks, gambling and perhaps a bribe or two.

Subtle hints and nods suggesting she's with someone but never quite confirming who it might be. Discretion is part of the service after all!

And to most people that's all she'll seem. But to those with a more discerning eye something is just a little bit off about her. She moves with a quiet confidence and her eyes glance around like she's appraising everything and everyone around her.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    The guards who conspicuously dot the area would read as Secret Service with their suits and sunglasses, if not for each of their individual ensembles cost upwards of maybe two or three thousand dollars each, to fit in with the blood money aesthetic of the place. They even have the earpiece and wired mic setup that they routinely speak into as they stare at the crowd.

    Big guys, mostly. A few well-built women. Straight out of military service or maybe off one of the more prolific mercenary groups; whoever's willing to compromise their morals for money... if they even had any in the first place.

    One of them stands to the side of the entrance as attendees are vetted and allowed inside, fresh faced and not quite managing to keep his expression totally neutral--like maybe he's a new recruit--as he gives each new arrival a lookover before exchanging an unsubtle nod or shake of his head with one of the other guards, some sort of unspoken communication happening there.

James Barnes has posed:
    When Piker, the host of this event, makes his appearance, it's about mid-way up on a balcony that extends out further than any of the other levels of seating. He's accompanied by two men, obviously identical twins, blonde and pretty unassuming looking over all and a girl that may be, at most, sixteen years old. They're all dressed appropriate to the occasion.

    Piker, for those that would know, is not a nice person. He has his hands in just about every illegal pie in the NYC area. But his biggest payoff is these fights. Full night heat, last round typically in the early morning hours, last man standing. That last morning fight is the one everyone wants to see because that's the one where two men enter, one man leaves... alive, kill or be killed. Some of the combatants are there willingly, looking to make a name for themselves, others are in some way indebted to Piker, forced to fight and all of them are 'powered' in one way or another.

    The crowd goes quiet when Piker appears and stands at the end of his little balcony to look over. He doesn't speak, but the cage lights up where it had previously been bathed in dark shadows. Along the edges, in a fenced area between the ring itself and the outside, are tonight's participants. They're all seated, all collared and it's likely not coincidence that the brightest spotlight is on the figure dead in the middle of the row of fighters.

    Shirtless, metal arm gleaming in the light, the Winter Soldier sits with his head slightly forward, hair falling in his face. When he looks up? The crowd goes WILD. His expression is blank, those pale blues empty. He may not be 'triggered' tonight, but Bucky Barnes has left the building.

    Up on his balcony, Piker looks positively GIDDY, finally, finally after ALL these years... the Winter Soldier! FINALLY! Who in their right mind would bet against the boogeyman? Piker, well, he's hoping no one... because he thinks he has a shoe-in to beat Barnes in the end.

Tony Masters has posed:
Tony Masters stands at his table, leaving his meal momentarily forgotten and going to stare at the entering attacker. The Winter Soldier is hardly an unknown entity in the world where Taskmaster thrives and, by his own measure, rules. Most combatants in these circus games were little more than powered amateurs, relying on metahuman potence without much in the way of real skill to back it up.

Not the case here. Taskmaster reaches into the pocket of his jacket and draws out a cigar, lighting it with a silver Zippo and giving a few puffs to give it started.

If he notes the presence of his old acquaintance Sharon Carter, well, he'd hardly show it to her, would he? But it's unlikely any of the guests have note have avoided his raptor's gaze, reading the secrets of their art in every motion of their muscles.

Sharon Carter has posed:
As Piker moves out onto the balcony; Sharon takes her position near the edge of it, not too far away but closer to the middle. Her arms rest upon the rim as she watches, taking note of his entourage with a purse of her lips. Finger taps idly upon the glass, now tearing her gaze away from the man and down below. There was Bucky. He was in his mode. At least it wasn't that mode that requires temples being smacked together.

Her jaw tenses as she takes a breath, her eyes lifting to survey the crowd. The plume of smoke is what catches her attention, not because of a habit, but because of the oddity in placement. Once the cigar lowers from his mouth, Sharon nearly flinches. Taskmaster. No, stop looking.

Her eyes advert below as she tries to keep her cool, her legs now crossing at the ankle as she tilts lower to see further upon the floor. All exits of the arena were searched for, and as one shady politician slides up aside of her, Sharon becomes the 'Woo' girl, bouncing, arm raised high to join in the jeer of the crowds.

She has to have fun, right?

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Security, for the most part, isn't particularly affected by the big reveal their boss has for the evening. Either they've been let in on that little secret, or (more likely) they're all just consummate professionals. That's why they get paid the big bucks.

    A few of them, though, maybe look a bit excited... or perhaps uncomfortable. Hard to tell with the stony expressions and expensive sunglasses, but the body language is there: some shifting around of weight, glances back and forth between them, that sort of thing. The greenest of all of them, the man by the door with an understated Creole patois, even goes so far to say "This gonna be good," with a tight grin.

Achilles has posed:
    Strange texts at odd hours seem to be the norm these days for Angelo. I mean he is dating a supernatural New York cop, he works for SHIELD.. shh!! ARMOR. Yeah ARMOR.. strange messages are the least strange thing in his life right now. Thus, when he got a text in the middle of eating dinner... he took one look at it and stood up, tucked his phone into the pocket of his jeans, grabbed the keys to his less... noticeable car.... a generic sedan, and proceeded to follow the GPS to the location provided him by his work friend turned sparring partner. Bucky isn't the sort to send a request for backup. So if he -does- ask for it, Angelo might figure it's a riot, or some pitched battle with a hundred HYDRA operatives. That's why the more subtle car has a minor arsenal in the trunk. But he's been driving as fast as he dared, without being pulled over...... and has just parked nearby as he tries to figure out what the *bleep* this place is.

Cael Becker has posed:
    Cael is seated with a rare steak and salad by the time Piker arrives to set the scene for the evening's entertainment. Like the others at her table, she turns to study the collared people waiting below them - and for a moment, her gaze locks onto Bucky, her form tensing, and going still. Perhaps anyone who saw it might think it simple surprise at recognizing the man. Hopefully no one reads more into it than that.
    "Well. That's an exciting surprise," she remarks, though it looks like a few people at her table - involved more with drug crimes and street racing than high stakes espionage and murder - don't seem understand what she means.
    "Look, if you don't keep up with these things... Fucking google it, alright?"

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan hadn't known about things. What she did manage to catch was a rather pissed off James Barnes that was out. And the redhead was brave enough to follow him. She had been expecting to get an angry 'why are you following me?!' at some point but, that never happened. He must have been in the zone. Morrigan had went invisible just to get the lay of the land and well, she wasn't sure if she could pass for someone that was entering into the warehouse as such, but she was going to try.

Sorceror quick changing ensues, draping herself in one of her favorite royal purple dressed and heels. Her hair is put up. It's a nice package. But she's not entirely caring about picking up a date here. The redhead with the violet eyes had carefully made her way down into the establishment after handing cash over to the people expecting it. She'd never been to a fight club, but it was a bad idea. All Morrigan could focus on was the blood in the ring below. And it drew her to where she was standing and overlooking the ring from one of the lower levels.

There is a little startle from her when they announce that the Winter Soldier is fighting and her gaze quickly goes back to see James in the ring. There's a frown that makes her seem a bit more severe than she normally is as she waits for the match to start.

Laura Kinney has posed:
The nice thing about being undercover as an escort is people look at you but they don't /see/ you. Not really. Few will notice the way X-23 takes measured steps to establish the size of the room. Her eyes lingering on the security system to figure out camera angles. Or how she sniffs the air to locate weapons, drugs and other unusual things with her enhanced senses.

The rumours from her contacts had suggested some sort of unsavory mutant fighting arena. Although the specifics weren't exactly clear to her just yet. That's what tonights recon was supposed to achieve. She certainly didn't count on the line up for the fights being quite so infamous..

After her circuit of the room is done she finds an out of the way spot from which to snoop with inhumanly good hearing. Listening to the idle talk and making mental notes of anything of interest. You never know when someone will casually let slip a lead after a few too many drinks!

James Barnes has posed:
    The first match-up of the night, of course, includes The Whenter Soldier. The crowd is so loud when he enters the ring that the announcer is drowned out completely. It's probably fitting that no one hears the name of his first opponent because this one is over before it begins. Seriously, it takes all of a few seconds before Bucky has the guy down, pinned to the mat. "Stay down," he snarls in the guy's ear. Why does his collar blink red a few times when and then glow steady when he does that? For the love of God, stay the fuck *down*. When the other man, bald, bigger than Bucky by about twice, and obviously one of those 'skill-less clowns Tony thought about earlier doesn't seem willing to comply, it only takes one swift, but cautious punch from that metal fist to convince him to lay still. His collar blinks off again.

    When Bucky stands, victorious, the crowd BOOOOOOS! That one was too quick. That was boring, but... the night is young.

    Piker whispers something to one of the twins standing next to him and for just the briefest of moments, Bucky glances up that way and snarls.

Tony Masters has posed:
Tony Masters wasn't surprised. He could easily read the skills of each participant and, in fact, had been barred from wagering on bouts because of his preternatural ability to discern the potential of each individual. He'd been offered the chance to fight himself, but, frankly, Piker couldn't afford his rates.

When he catches Sharon looking his way, he takes a long draw on his cigar and, with his mouth uncovered, blows her a smoky kiss, a perfect ring projected from his lips.

Laura, too, gets some attention, the 'escort' showing signs of training far exceeding those required of a professional slattern. If she had bruises on her knees, they were from breaking faces, not buffing floors.

Tony moves closer, wanting to get a better look at the Soldier. It was like seeing a Liger out in the wild, a rare sighting of something that should not be.

Achilles has posed:
    Approaching the warehouse, Angelo pauses to size the place up visually. It really isn't much to look at. So after a few long moments, he decides to circle the place on foot, and it's then that he spots someone heading inside the back door.

    He is about to approach when he sees the security guard there pause the person trying to enter. A whispered exchange occurs, and Angelo smirks.

    He whips out his phone, glances at the text he got from Bucky... the strange phrase that made zero sense at all... and now it clicks. So, he confidently approaches and when the guard stops him he says simply, "Sorry. I seem to have worn normal shoes. I forgot my bunny slippers."

    The guard just nods sagely, and steps aside to allow Angelo access inside... where things are not the same as they appear to be outside.

Sharon Carter has posed:
-Dun.. dun-dun-dun... dun-dun-dun.. dun-dun-duuuuuuuuunnn..
'Rising up, back on the street, Did my time, took my chances..'
'Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet'
Just a man and his will to surviveee'

Sharon could hear this in her head; see Jensen Ackles slip out of the window of the impala, air-guitaring.. having fun. Sharon keeps thinking of this over and over, with a mix of slight panic and a bit of ire, and focused internal shout to cheer for the Winter Soldier. Screw playing it safe.

She downs the -entire- glass of scotch, now moving into the crowd to become a ghost. She is a hunter, let her hunt. All to the tune of Eye of the Tiger.

She had to find a certain someone, and get him clear of this place fast.

Cael Becker has posed:
    Cael watches the first fight - doing her best to feign mere excited interest. And when the large man is taken down so quickly, she adds her own voice to the chorus calling down, "Oh com'on - is that all you've got?!" She laughs at a moment before adding, "Damn, though. When the Winter Soldier puts you down - staying down is probably the smarter mood. I'd had to see that guy coming for me. Not unless I'm in my car."
    She picks up her glass to take a swig from it. "I hope the next fight's better, at least." With the fight over, she lets her gaze sweep around the place. Com'on - does Bucky have backup hidden in here? If she doesn't see any familiar faces - does she need to make that phone call?
    There's a palpable feeling of relief as her gaze rakes over Sharon - but keeps on going. Good. //Someone// knows.

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan's gaze is solely on the two men down there in the ring for the moment. Did they expect someone to stand up against him? Really? She shakes her head at the situation and she figures that someone else is here as well. Though when the Winter Soldier snarls upwards there's a furrowing of her brows as she looks up to where the runners of this catastrophe to be are.

Then she looks back down towards the ring and there's another frown that graces her features, they were going to let him out...right?


Laura Kinney has posed:
Laura Kinney picks up a drink, alcohol on your breath can help to sell a cover story and the act of drinking helps blending in with a crowd, then moves closer to the area the 'contestants' are waiting for their turn to fight.

She studies the collars for a bit and sniffs. Her keen sense of smell trying to pick out traces of drugs or explosives. After all to keep that many people in line there would need to be /something/ about them. A bomb. Poison. Maybe even a device that applies an extreme electric shock, although that's much harder to detect by scent alone.

Her expression remains blankly indifferent even as she checks for possible mutants. They are after all the reason she's here. And it's a pretty safe bet that not one of the mutants she picks out actually wants to be here.

A cold, calculating part of her mind begins plotting a one woman jailbreak.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    That's disappointing for a lot of folks, even a few on security detail who may or may not have some money of their own on these fights. Was that sanctioned by the big boss upstairs? Maybe not. One scoffs, and another--that same guy near the door--actually cups a hand around his mouth and adds his own shouted BOOOOO to the chorus of discontent.

    "What the hell, March," a tall, Slavic-looking guard near him hisses. March? Marsh? Something like that. And March-or-Marsh shrugs, having the good sense to look cowed, before he's sent off to do a full sweep of the crowd, all the way around the room. Past the bar and the tables, to the other side of the ring.

    A few moments later, just as Sharon is abandoning her now-empty glass on the table to stand up, a nervous looking member of wait staff approaches with a new drink on his tray. "Uhm, here's your order, ma'am," he says as he carefully picks it up and sets it down on the table, making big, concerned eyes at the SHIELD agent before he scuttles away.

    Did Sharon order this drink? Probably not, given that it isn't the same as her previous one. It's some sort of clear liquid that one sniff will identify as vodka. Really high-class vodka, because it's not like this place even stocks swill, but vodka nonetheless. She probably also didn't order the small square of folded paper that the waiter made sure to set down underneath it.

    It reads: "service tunnel thru kitchen, keys for deliv. truck under seat, driver subdued".

James Barnes has posed:
    For those that truly know Bucky Barnes, whatever debt he feels he owes the man whose place he took in this? It must be huge for him to stand there like that, wearing a damned collar and shirtless for all the world to see that arm and the scars where it was attached. Being used for the entertainment of others. His face remains that blank mask, those pale blues stare vacantly over the crowd, not really seeing any of them. That is... until they fall on Sharon.

    Is that just the tiniest curl of his lip up at one corner. Fuck yeah.

    The next opponent that comes out looks like, well, really? Tiny fella, maybe 5'5" tall? It could be Steve's pre-Serum twin, scrawny. But... confident, he looks confident. It's only a moment before the source of that confidence is revealed. There's one of your mutant's Laura, probably. The man's hands raise and the air between him and Bucky shimmers and wobbles, like... the heat rising from asphalt in the dessert sun. When that wave of wobbly air strikes Bucky, he's caught off guard by it and is even staggered to one knee. Might be due to the way the skin on his chest bubbles and reddens like he's been caught under a 200 degree heat lamp. Isn't that cheating? That has to be cheating.

    The crowd loves it. Some of them even stand and cheer. Even more stand when the Winter Soldier recovers immediately and springs up from his crouched position. He's running right at the little microwave dude until the last possible second. He veers off and uses the cage to vault himself over and behind. Choke hold, it's over... too fast again, the crowd BOOOS! ...the collar flashes red.

    In the shadows of the balcony, behind Piker and his entourage, sits Andrei Thomas, the reason Bucky is here in the first place. He pushes himself to his feet and murmurs, "Stop, that..." Isn't fair? Is supposed to be me? He doesn't finish sentiment when he's ordered to sit down and shut up by the host of the evening.

Tony Masters has posed:
Tony Masters sees the dispute around Piker, but, frankly, he doesn't give a damn about whatever favors or politics are at play here. He's here to see brutality, not flashy sparring sessions and high spots meant to pop the crowd. He's only impressed by dominance and destruction and Bucky is giving him plenty of both.

Taskmaster climbs on his table and applauds loudly, "Bravo, Winter Soldier. No mercy from the Wolf of the Motherland," he cries. One of the security men starts to approach to get him down from the table, but then pauses when the skull-masked man looks down at him.

"If you value your spine, reconsider."

Achilles has posed:
    Having spent a minute or so watching the room.. I mean sure, he's not the man with the most stares ever.. That honor is for the man he came here to help. But either way, his green eyes make out a face here, a face there. But one stands out. Oh look.. it's Andrei.

    Casually, he begins moving through the crowds, angling across the crowded area where he's seen some people coming and going from.

    A door leading to the /behind the scenes/ area of the building. He's not worried about Bucky fighting. If Bucky is fighting, then he's doing well, right? Either way, he's working his way towards the back areas.

Sharon Carter has posed:
Sharon couldn't watch Bucky, not right now. If he sees her? All was right within the world, if he doesn't, he would definitely know that she wouldn't miss out on a thing like this. As the young service man approaches Sharon, she puts on a smile, her eyes falling upon the drink with the best, and most fakest smile she could muster. "Thank you Sir.." She says, tilting her head, gloved fingers reaching out for the glass and the napkin it rests upon.

Sniffing it was a good option, but looking into it as she lovingly cradles it gives her the wavy message that she could see.. magnified and distorted.

Damn birds..

Sharon purses her lips hard, immediately tossing back the drink with as much force that she could give, the glass dropped upon the table but the napkin used to blot away at her lips. It was then tucked into her top, but she sharply turns as she hears the scream of Taskmaster.. and..


Her hand lifts to pull her left eye down, tongue stuck out towards Tony, and now -she- was also moving towards the back entrance. It was almost like a dance, purposely weaving through bodies, whatever expression that was upon her face after she mocked the Taskmaster fell into a blank nothingness.

And yet in her mind, she begin to create something wholly uncalled for, and completely attractively -vile-.

Cael Becker has posed:
    This evening is not going to be good for Cael's blood pressure. "Oh, come //on//! Don't you have anyone who can put up a decent fight?!" 'Brin' cries, jumping to her feet in protest - and then dropping back down into her seat with a dissatisfied frown.
    "Are they going to let us see anyone else fight, you think? I mean, what's the point of bringing in the Winter Soldier if there's no one to can match up? Are all the fights one-on-one?"
    Please let them stay one-on-one...
    The guy at her left laughs, and nudges her with a shoulder. "You want to go down there and show him what you've got?"
    "Hell, do I look suicidal to you?" she counters back - taking another bite from her steak, her gaze going momentarily to the man glaring from atop his table.

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan's done very well and not hit anyone with magic. She wasn't sure if there were plans, but she's guessing that there are and she doesn't want to mess it up. She gives a look over when someone climbs on top of their table and cheers for Bucky.

There's a bit of a feral grin given to Taskmaster, a hint of her fangs being shown. "I'd probably not take a chance with a guy in a skull mask." she points out to the security guard before she looks back down to the ring.

Laura Kinney has posed:
As the fights progress Laura silently works on her own plan. She had no way of knowing a SHIELD operation was underway. Not at first anyway. But in her time with the Outsiders she's met a certain Agent before. And when she picks up the scent of Angelo Tampambulos... Well the Winter Soldier in a cage with at least one Agent in the crowd? It doesn't take a genius to figure out an OP might be in the works.

How she can achieve her goal of helping the mutants without ruining it is harder to work out.

But when in doubt just go with your instincts right? And her instinct says the guy in charge controls the collars, so deal with him first. She begins to ever so casually reposition herself below where Piker's VIP booth is. It might be raised up but that's not the obsticle people might assume it'd be...

Sam Wilson has posed:
    There's more guard movement because of the growing displeasure amongst the crowd at the Winter Soldier's lack of cooperation. Also because someone's climbing on a table, and this is not the type of joint where that is acceptable! March-or-Marsh, the newbie, is directed over by one of the other members of the security detail to go assist in diffusing the situation, but he shakes his head.

    "Nah man, you know who that is? Hell nah! My spine's good where it's at!"

    His lack of cooperation gets him grabbed by another guard and dragged into the back, away from the crowd. Guess he's not going to make it out of the probationary period.

James Barnes has posed:
    Angelo's trek to the back areas doesn't happen without resistance, neither does Sharon's. Those back hallways are teeming with personal, if not always guards it's someone... a waiter, a janitor, a techie that keeps things running smooth. Everyone back there has one clear reaction to any strange face they see. 'You're not supposed to be here.' Most doors beyond the first few are locked up tight.

    But it's only the guards raise any real stink. ...and weapons... if encountered.

    If either of them should make their way to the door leading to Piker's private balcony, that's where the real resistance will occur. No one will get through that door without a fight.

    One after another, they fall to the Winter Soldier, up to six now, but each one is a little more difficult than the one before. The little acid spitting shit almost took out his eyes, that would have been bad, so bad. He's in the middle of that number six now and this one might be giving him a run for his money. Speedsters are always a pain in the ass and Bucky just cannot seem to get his hands on the guy. He's bleeding from a split lip, maybe has a cracked rib or two... He's starting to work up an actual sweat and the crowd is *loving* it. They even love it when Bucky finally figures out the asshole's fight patterns and clotheslines him with that metal arm. Speedy goes from blur to flat on his back and out like a light in a blink. That one might even be dead? Maybe? It's hard to say when he's carried out of the cage, limp, like the others before him.

    The raised balcony might not be an issue for Laura, but the telepath scanning the immediate area around said balcony for untoward surface thoughts will be. ...and so will the sudden pressure Laura feels tightening around her chest and throat from unseen hands - the other twin, the telekinetic. She'll probably *feel* the surface scan just moments before.

    <<I would ->> The telepathic intrusion into Laura's mind stutters. Something else has the telepath's attention split. <<...not...>> ... where is that beautiful mind with those vile thoughts...?

Tony Masters has posed:
Tony Masters watches Sharon disappearing into the back and decides to follow. He doens't know why she's here or what mischief the SHIELD agent is up to. But he's been amusing himself tormenting her on and off for a few years now and, frankly, he has no intention of stopping him now.

She can think she's the hunter all she likes. He's a hunter of hunters, a killer of killers. An apex predator.

He walks by the guard and casually bumps shoulders with him, asserting his dominance again. The man can respond if he likes, but there's little doubt that Taskmaster will kill him with ease should he decide to stand up for his pride. He sees Morrigan's flash of fangs and gives her a grin of his own.

Achilles has posed:
    The best solution to certain resistance levels is subterfuge. But tonight.. Angelo is not feeling very subtle. He understands that a diversion can be a sneaky way to get someone -else- past the guards. So he finds himself brushing past staff members behind the scenes, acting like he belongs there. But he is heading in a direction that -definitely- perks up the attention of the guards.

    Two of those guards draw weapons and approach him. An asp is in one hand, and a pistol is in the other guard's hand. Angelo just looks at them like they're chewing gum on the bottom of his shoe. He traps the wrist of the gunman who was stupid enough to get too close. He twists that wrist, and the other guard's asp comes down on the first one's gun-hand. This frees up the gun.. which is tossed aside, and a couple more moves, and those two guards are down for the count. They did have the chance to call for backup though. Which was part of the plan. So he moves forward towards reinforcements, drawing attention onto himself.

Sharon Carter has posed:
The mind was a dangerous place, especially when you can think of nothing but bad things. Thankfully, the run down on those who ran this place was given to her some years prior, Bucky knew what to expect. And now did Sharon.

So as she continues towards that back hallway, she could -see- that she wasn't alone. But her eyes looked past him as she puts herself into that mindset. One that broadcasts very bad things that she quite possibly would not tell a soul. Angelo .. oh.. he was taking the lead. Taking down the guards, calling attention to himself, Sharon carefully manuvering her way around the falling bodies, still trying her best to keep the thoughts flowing like a fine wine. Her eyes nearly roll as she stands in place, but she continues to move, this time drawing the napkin from her top to.. move out of the way once more to slip the note into Angelo's pocket.

Just in case she's held up.

As the distraction wanes on, Sharon makes her way to the private balcony, her hands pressing against the door to hold it shut for a time, thinking -harder- and harder at the incredibly vile, projecting it. Romanticizing it. She slips her hand downward to slowly pull open the double doors. Hopefully, the noise from the crowd out there hides the creaking sound a slow pull makes.

Cael Becker has posed:
    As the fights continue - Cael and the men with her on their feet, cheering them on, their meals finished or forgotten. Money is changing hands, either for official bets placed with the bookie, or a few friendly wagers amongst themselves. "Nah, he takes the next guy down in 15 seconds," Cael declares at one point, handing over a small stack of cash. She turns away to retrieve her glass from the table, which allows her to scan the room. Sharon is nowhere in sight, and she catches a glimpse of Taskmaster disappearing into the door leading back.
    ...she has a feeling things are going to get interesting soon. How does she back their play, without revealing herself, is her only question. Damnit, once again she's stuck without a comm...

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan's looking back down to the ring and tries to deduce what the heck the angle is here. But it makes sense for Bucky to fight for someone else. Because this guy doesn't catch a break. She starts looking around for signs of other ways out. Just in case shit hits the fan...because she has a growing suspicion that it will. Unless some divine intervention happens from somewhere on high.

Laura Kinney has posed:
Although X-23 is just an associate of Xavier's she's still had a little bit of telepathic resistance training. Her mind is trained, disciplined and strong willed. She can't force out the intrusion but she can make it unpleasant to remain. A flexing of muscles doesn't quite pop out her claws but the movement of the blades inside her limbs surges adrenaline and pain throughout her. While her thoughts linger on memories too traumatic for most to endure. Lessons on how to resist enhanced interrogation. Extreme environment training in freezing cold and burning heat.

Tests to see just how well she can heal. That are too horrible to consider. Not memories she'd like to dwell on. But they are secrets she doesn't mind sharing. And probably enough to stop the telepath picking up that she suspects a SHIELD team is about to spring into action.

Her mental reply is cold <You don't want to stay in my mind..> It's probably true too. It's really not a fun place to hang out.

She doesn't push against the telekinetic force just yet. Better to wait for a more suitable moment.

James Barnes has posed:
    Piker is, by all intents and purposes, a very connected man. His dealings on the black market are almost as well known in the right circles as these fights. Is it happenstance or is it fate when one of the guards actually recognizes Laura Kinney? Is it one or the other when Piker gets the news that X-23 is in the crowd, possibly looking to cause trouble, over his private comm? I certainly has to be some sort of cosmic practical joke of the cruelest kind when, not ten minutes after the conversation, someone returns from Piker's private quarters int he Dome and tosses a small, amber colored, glass vial with expert precision, through the bars of the cage. It lands at Bucky's feet and shatters.

    All of it happens so quick, but the lines of communication within the organization Piker runs are open and efficient. Seconds after the glass shatters, the announcer bellows, "Are you ready to see a *real* fight? Well, we're sure you won't be disappointed by our last minute, special guest."

    For his part? Well, Bucky just looks *confused* and what the hell is that stinky shit on his boots? He has no idea that a rabid X-23 is very likely to be trying, at any moment, to rip her way through that steel cage and through *him*.

    Angelo's tactics work to keep attention focused on him while the ... seemingly much more harmless Sharon slips through the cracks. Books, covers, there's a lesson to be learned about that here.

    ...double doors that are locked tight from the other side. So far, however, Sharon has managed to escape notice.

Tony Masters has posed:
Sharon, however, has a shadow coming in the wake of her. She has been noticed, for certain, by one man in particular and Taskmaster isn't particularly keen on anyone getting between him and his prey.

Another guard does try to cut him off and he casually breaks the man's elbow, inverting it entirely and then flicking his own wrist to judo toss him to the floor. Another steps up and receives a thrust kick that caves in his sternum and collapses a lung.

Once 'backstage', Taskmaster breaks into a light jog, reaching into his vest and drawing out a pistol, "Ooooooooooooooooooh SHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOON..." he calls loudly.

Achilles has posed:
    Okay, two guards down, and four more approaching. Angelo must be wearing concealed armor. Because three handguns fire. They hit center mass and he staggers back before charging forward into their midst. This surprised the guards, giving him the chance to put that asp he took away from the first pair to work.

    Two broken wrists, and a broken nose later, and he is walking forward towards the next group. A group that may or may not be starting to panic. Yes, the LOOK AT ME! sign is firmly in place.

Sharon Carter has posed:
The door does jiggle, but it's completely locked. No locked door would make a creaking sound, would it? Nope! The firing of the guns towards Angelo has her gasping, glancing towards his direction to see.. that he's totally fine. And in control, great. Now to work on this door.

Her hands lift to pry the bobbi-pins out of her hair, her blonde locks falling upon her shoulders haphazardly, only to take a kneel to peer into the hole before she gets to work. And she has to do this -fast-!

Through the sounds of the crowd, the fighting from the guards and Angelo, Sharon takes a look down the hall and stops completely.

"No.. fucking way.." She says quietly to herself, her head twisting back and forth with a need to run but.. better ideas come forward!

Sharon now bangs upon the surface of the door, both hands as fists, pounding away as if her life depended on it. (It really did!)


Certainly that wasn't true, but it'll take care of -a lot- of issues going on with this night. Sadly, she couldn't see what was happening with Bucky, but he was clear. Get the boy -out-, no matter what.

Cael Becker has posed:
    As the vial splashes onto the ground, concern flashes momentarily across Cael's features. Were they poisoning him? Weakening him to make the fights better? Without a gun, though, what chance did she stand?
    She had to assume that '13' and whatever other agents might be here have things well in hand - and keep her mind on her own op. She already has a job here today.
    "Oh, come on, what the hell was that?!" she calls - and who is this 'special guest'?
    She flashes a grin at the guy beside her, as he throws an arm around her shoulders, and hopes it doesn't look as forced as it feels.
    Is there some way of helping - without blowing her own cover? And without really knowing what game they're playing at tonight?

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan's entirely too curious about what's been tossed into the ring. One, it's gross looking and two...stuff doesn't generally get tossed into fight rings and everything goes well. Her hands grip the railing a bit tighter, the whites of her knuckles showing as she tries to lean over a bit more to see what all is going on.

Laura Kinney has posed:
Piker is clearly rich and powerful. He's also well connected and extremely well informed. Maybe after picking up the trigger scent he leaked the rumour about captive mutants to lure X-23 here! But he's made a very terrible mistake. One that will likely prove fatal for a lot of his patrons.

The trigger scent was never meant to be thrown in a vial like that. The intended use was for an agent to apply a very small dose days in advance. So that when X-23 was unleashed only the intended target was killed. A vial smashed like that... Well it's not just Buckey who has been tagged... It's spreading throughout the room.

Laura's nose twitches and the telepath will feel a surge of alarm. She has time to think a single word <RUN> and then her mind is gone. Leaving nothing but pure killing fury.

There is an unusual snikt sound. Barely audible over the festivities. And with an inhuman surge of adrenaline she whirls to face the cage. Claws sprouting from her hands and feet, sweeping through anyone nearby.

The adamantium blades passing through flesh and bone so easily she doesn't slow as she covers the distance to the cage. Leaping and spinning like a rhythmic gymnast with a ribbon made of metal and blood. It all happens so fast that the audience are probably as confused as Bucky. At least until the blood splatters them and people start to fall apart.

Perhaps the most disconcerting part of all is the utterly blank expression on Laura's face. No hint of a conscience. No morals. No restraint.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Almost as soon as Sharon's fists start trying to beat the door down, it swings open. That'd be March-or-Marsh suddenly at her side with the relevant credentials to unlock it, and then he reaches a hand out to try and grab her, haul her inside. Looking over his shoulder, he spits out a "Holy shit," that's entirely lost the vague Jamaican or maybe Haitian Creole twang that he was speaking in before.

    Past the door, there's no Piker or his posse, just an empty balcony with a circular rip in the fabric of space near where they were sitting. In-between the space of one blink and the next it collapses, leaving them alone with nothing more than potentially a locked door between them and Taskmaster. If that.

    But hey, they forgot to take Andrei with them! Sharon is left to her own devices, though Marsh-or-March makes a gesture towards the door that suggests something about trying to barricade it as he drags Andrei over towards the edge of the balcony.

    What he sees when he looks out is absolute chaos, but he just brings a hand to his mouth and lets out an ear-piercing whistle. "BUCKY!" he shouts, then lifts Andrei up onto his feet so he's definitely visible as being... safe(?)

James Barnes has posed:
    Down there, in the cage, Bucky's collar flashes red, frantic quick blinking once its control unit is out of range. When it goes from blinking red to solid red and then to blinking green, he falls to one knee, then both. A 'normal' person would be unconscious already, but not him. His left hand strays up to try and squeeze metal fingers between the collar and his own own skin. The stench of burning flesh is dampened by the fact that he can't *breathe*.

    He's in a fight for his life with that collar, Bucky has no idea that death is descending upon him in the form of a tiny triggered girl with murder claws and super strength. Metal fingers dig into the flesh of his throat as they do manage to slip between skin and collar. He has to gouge those fingers into himself to make it happen, but he *finally* gets enough wiggle room to wrap that hand around that collar and start to squeeze.

    Electrical sparks shoot out of that hand, but he keeps on squeezing until, eventually, it snaps in two. ... and lands at his side, still blinking green despite the missing piece.


    With Piker gone, the place devolves into chaos, some of it organized and some of it not. No one moves to get in Laura's way. The guards hired by Piker to keep his guests safe, are doing that to the best of their abilities. ...insomuch as they're helping those not bleeding and falling from Laura's claws flee post haste.

    Andrei's eyes widen. "Uh..." He has a really good view of down there. "Does that murdermomma look like she's... " Closing in to rip Buck to bits?

Tony Masters has posed:
Without any supervision or direction, the guards make the mistake of taking Sharon at her word and treating the Taskmaster as a threat.

Most of them will not live long enough to regret it.

The backstage area becomes a cacophany of screaming, broken bones, sudden impacts, gunfire as Taskmaster wades into them with his trademark efficiency. He tears out throats with his bare hands, headshots a half dozen men in a row, disarms another man of his nightstick and begins to crack skulls left and right, leaving a litter of teeth in his wake.

He's getting closer and closer to the door, it and Sam Wilson the only things between him and Sharon. Well, once he's splattered a few more hired mooks, as Taskmaster removes his tie and uses it as a makeshift noose, looping it around one guard's head and dragging the kicking man in his wake as he strides forward.

"SHARON FUCKING CARTER!" he shouts again.

Sharon Carter has posed:
Thank fucks! March-or-Marsh was the saviour of the moment to open the door. As he hauls her inside, Sharon stumbles forward, one arm flailing to catch herself against the chair with a glance back towards the open door as she hears the screams. But she doesn't know what direction they're coming from..

Thankfully, Andrei is there! And as the man hoists him up to show Bucky, Sharon immediately rushes to the balcony.

What the fuck..

The scene was getting heavy, Sharon wanted to go down and help but what in the world could she do against -THAT-!

That meaning X-23. And then there's this. -THIS- meaning Taskmaster. H-okay.

"Hey! HEY!" Sharon yells, waving to get the guards attention. "Take him and get the fuck out of here. Take the back way. There's a service van with keys under the seat. You get him in that fucking van, and you do NOT stop until dawn. You hear me?!" There was that look of urgency, the want to shove the man and the boy out of the door, but if he knew what was good for him, he would go without another word.

Back to the balcony again, Sharon grits her teeth, fist raising to smack against the railing as she hears her name screamed again. "FUck fuck fuck fuck.." Head twisting left and right, then up.. and back down again.. she shakes her head and calls out..

"JAMES MUTHERFUCKING BARNES YOU SON OF A BITCH!" A breath. "YOU SMACK THAT CHICKS TEMPLES TOGETHER AND RUN!" And now.. it was her turn.. which she does, placing her back against the railing, her all too expensive shoes now kicked off and left to the side. It was going to hurt. But.. since the hunter was now the hunted, she does what any smart prey would do.

Fucking book it. Hopefully the opposite way that Andrei and the ya-may-kan fay-kan man were going.

Cael Becker has posed:
    Laura goes abruptly into action - and whether it's the faint but unusual sound of those claws, or the way the young woman moves with preternatural speed - Cael has just enough time to take all of this into account, and pivot out of the way. The guy who'd been standing beside her, arm over her shoulder takes the hit instead. She doesn't grieve for the asshole though - she has a vague idea of how many notches he has on this gun, and how he treats women not strong enough to stand up for themselves. Fuck that guy.
    She turns abruptly to the table they'd been eating at, flinging it to make some sort of barricade between her and the dangerous woman caged in with her and the others. She doesn't stay there, though. She pushes through the fleeing and panicked crowd towards one of the doors - not the door out, which is not a packed crush of bodies that would no doubt lead to further injuries, and leave their backs full exposed to Laura's assault. No - the door into the back where she expects some of this chaos is going down. Even over the sound of the screaming guests, she can hear one voice calling out 'Sharon fucking Carter.'
    Who the hell is Sharon Carter?
    In short order she finds a benefit to her chosen path. There's a couple fallen guards - who were armed. Cael helps herself to a weapon or two. The night's... looking up?
    No it fucking isn't. Who's she kidding?

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan is thankfully not in Laura's wake, but she's seen those claws on someone else before and figures that she might be related to her. Then the thunk of bodies are heard and the woman releases the rail and takes a step back. She turns to look as a scream is let out from someone whose lost an arm. There's a wave of dread that washes over her as the blood starts pooling, her lips part before she lets out a strangled breath and she turns back to try to stamp down the urge to drink.

That lets her gaze on what's about to happen down in the ring, "JAMES MOVE!" she finally manages to shout down. But so are others and Morrigan is ecstatic that there are more allies there. The redhead turns, looking over the carnage of what was left in the wake of X-23, "I can't let you all die here, I took an oath." she sighs as she hurries over to the first poor schmuck that got an appendage snikt'd off.

Laura Kinney has posed:
Bucky and the other 'contestants' will feel the pitter-patter of... rain? No it's too warm for that. Not to mention indoors. No it's blood. Sticky, fresh and arterial.

It's enough of a warning to make any of the contestants with combat training look up. Just in time to see a hundred and ten pounds of violence leaping through the air. Two razor sharp claws extended from each hand and one from each foot. But wait! Surely the cage will protect everyone?

The claws sweep in an arc and pass through metal like it's made of butter and the teenager lands lightly. A low snarl issues from Laura's mouth and she springs forward. Blades whirling right at the main concentration of the trigger scent.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Oh, was Sharon talking to him? Marsh-or-March has a brief moment--no more than a second or two--where he just stares at her, his head shaking back and forth in tiny motions. The absolute picture of confusion. He gets out a "Wait--" but then someone (he knows who) is yelling Sharon's name, and then Sharon is yelling Bucky's name, and everybody is just *yelling*.

    Rather than run like he's been told to, he pushes Andrei towards the back door and reaches for the pistol tucked into the waistband of his ridiculously expensive suit trousers to pull out a gun, rather than the much more obvious one tucked into a shoulder holster, under his jacket. The guard then pops up over the railing and lays down a full clip of suppressive fire, aimed at the tiny streak of adamantium violence down on the ground floor. 5 storeys, so 75 feet. That's nothing.

    Alright, alright, *now* he's on the move, catching up with Andrei as they bust through the door. He's reloading his gun when they stumble onto Cael doing some opportunistic weapon-thieving, and he shakes his head at her. "You've really got terrible luck, don't you," he jokes as he waves at her. "Come on, we have an evac route through the kitchen."

    Who the hell is this dude, again?

James Barnes has posed:
    He's barely, hell he's not even recovered from that collar trying to explode his head off.... slowly. It's stopped flashing beside him, now it's solid green. Bucky vaguely hears someone screaming 'move'. His brain registers it a moment after it's said, his body takes a little longer to respond to the command. He's just starting to push himself off his knees when...

    He finds his guts invaded by a good six inches of claw. Even as a few of those ICER rounds hit target. Pale blue eyes widen in shock. Not pain, that hasn't registered yet, just the shock of looking down and seeing what's happening. Acting on instinct, he snags Laura's wrist with his left hand. His efforts stop her from eviscerating him completely, but for how long?

    ...well, long enough for one of the collared mutants on the sidelines to work up enough balls to act. It's a woman, tall, like Amazon tall, one would think she was all about the physical, but no... Her expression is one of determination, dogged... she waves a hand, forceful and quick and Laura goes flying back. That hand gestures up and, well, like a little murder clawed rag doll, Laura goes flying UP and back. She's slammed into the steel cage with enough force to split a polar bear and held there, at least for now.

    Bucky is left trying to stagger to his feet while... holding an arm across his stomach to keep his insides... from being outsides.

Sharon Carter has posed:
It was like a horror movie. Bodies were flying every where. There was a ton of blood; the proprieters have left people hanging and a ton of rich people, named people, were dying. Or on their way to dying. As Sharon runs through the winding halls, she looks back, cutting through a throng of guards to head down the stairs to the ground level.

It was reckless where she was going; but she came to the event unarmed, -sure- that she could get the kid out smoothly and safely. But it all went south. As things do! Still running and looking back, Sharon slams right into an inconspicuous cage, one that brings her straight to the arena. Wanting to either piss herself or backpeddle, she just keeps -going-.

There was Bucky, doubled over, little murder demon flying. Thank god for Godzilla woman for 'trying' to help?

Sharon didn't know!

She doesn't scoop up Bucky right away, but she does push his arm right into his guts, one upon his shoulder. "We need to go.. we gotta go.. we're going to die if we stay here!" Panic, possibly something that wouldn't register to Bucky, but he'd possibly would have never seen it from Sharon, even on the tensest of nights.

If that's even a word.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "Don't even get me started," Cael mutters - eyeing the man who acts like he knows her. This will be a conversation - eventually. She moves at a jog - keeping the unfamiliar fellow in her line of sight, along with the figure he was apparently guarding. Practiced movements pop the cartridges out of the weapons she's carrying, taking stock of how much ammo she has to play with, all without breaking stride.
    "So. Can you do me a favor and say something that confirms who the fuck you're with?" Just how many people has Barnes been telling about her, anyways?
    They come face to face with a straggling guard who seemed to be struggling with his fly. What a time to be caught in the john.
    "What the hell are you doing back here?" he barks out.
    "Oh god, oh god, there's a crazed woman with claws cutting everyone up you've got to stop her!" Cael shrieks in her best immitation of panicked-rich girl. Maybe he won't notice that she's packing heat - what with the screams and the panic to back her up sounding behind them.
    ...it seems to work, as they barrel past him without breaking stride.

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan's not having the best of luck actually finding living people. Adamantium severs cleanly...and lethally. There's a guilt that settles in, but is quickly stomped down once she hears all hell breaking loose near down in the cage. She tries to wipe the blood away from her hands, but she's got it all over her dress at this point. "Fuck it." the Irishwoman states with a growl.

One moment she's standing in a pile of dead bodies and then she's on the outside of the ring. Ah, the powers of magic. She heads over to the mutants, "We have to get those off of you and you need to get out of here." she states. Before everyone became fucking sushi. The violet eyed woman gives a look to Bucky and her eyes widen as he's injured so badly already.

Laura Kinney has posed:
There's a horrible cracking sound as the force flings Laura upwards. The impact into the metal snapping something in her back. Any hope of the ICER rounds putting her down will likely fade when, a second later, there's another series of popping sounds as her healing factor knits broken bones back together.

Even if the SHIELD Agents haven't read the file on X-23 they might well have seen one on another (in)famous clawed mutant. And if they have they'll know that nothing they brought along for a stealth mission like this will put down a mutant with a healing factor for long. And waiting for her to tire is probably also off the cards too...

Every muscle strains against the telekinetic force with far more power than a girl with her build should be capable of as the trigger scent pushes her to exceed her physical limits. Her eyes remain locked on Bucky. As if she was trying to kill him by sheer force of will.

At least until Sharon rushes into the arena and unknowingly coats herself in trigger scent. And then that death stare flicks between them both.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    "Not here," is the only answer Cael gets, and then March-or-Marsh (someone should really clarify what his actual name is!) asks, "Can you drive a stick?"

    They pass by the guard and though he doesn't say much, Marsh-or-March backs Cael's story up with a bit of vigorous nodding. They keep moving after, a few steps taken, and then he's turning to put two bullets in the back of the guard who has started running down the hallway to join the fray.

    He goes down, but there's no blood.

    Passing through the kitchen is almost as chaotic as the main area, though without all the dead people and sliced up body parts. At least of the human variety! But people back here are just as panicked, obviously knowing the shit has hit the fan, so Cael and Andrei and whoever this guy is have to duck and dodge around people to make it to the door that leads to the service tunnel.

James Barnes has posed:
    "Yeah... we gotta go," Bucky agrees, words a little slurred and a little rough. His insides are wanting to be outsides, his chest is still blistered and burned, he might have a few broken ribs, his neck is bruised and burned and missing a chunk of flesh dug out by his own metal fingers. But... damned if he doesn't stand up on his own, still holding his right arm tight over his stomach and maybe bent a little at the middle, but he stands up on his fucking own.

    He has no idea that Cael's here, or Morrigan or... does he even remember Sam up there with... "Andrei?" he asks Sharon. Apparently not.

    As bad as he looks? As dead as he would be if not for the serum? He's been WAY worse off than this.

    "I can't hold her long!" cries the Amazon Telekinetic. "Go, go!"

    The rest of the mutants look a little shell shocked, but they're starting to come around as it seems they might stand a shot at freedom. One of them just outright rips a section of the *steel* fence away. He might have given Bucky a run had he been given his chance.

Sharon Carter has posed:
Oh thank god, she's seen Bucky shot before, but not like this. Sharon didn't realize that she walked into a literal dead-zone, having missed the vial being thrown, only seeing the murder-woman slice through Bucky and the carnage she left behind. "Andrei is with your buddy, he's taking him out back." Did Sharon see Cael? No. But she saw horror.

Sharon moves to the back of Bucky, one hand touching upon his back so that he knows that she's always there, the other grabbing his shoulder to angle him towards the broken fence. "MOVE, BIG BITCH." She shoves him forward, gently of course, not wanting to disrupt his.. well.. innards. They're going to need a -serious- staple gun.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "Oh, for the love of- Yes, I can drive stick. But give me the name of a mutual fucking friend - or //something//," Cael growls out, her gaze going from the guard he just shot in the back - to the man with the weapon - she can just feel her trigger finger itching none of this made her comfortable. Especially the fact that Barnes was back there - and she left him. Trusting his super-soldier ass to handle the crazy claw lady. Was that the right call? Was this guy even with him?
    This. This is why comms are important.
    For the moment, though, she sticks with the two unfamiliar men, guns kept down but ready. She wasn't even sure who she'd have to use them on.
    "There's a woman here - identifies as a number. What's the number?"

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan's magic can break the collars that are still around throats. No reason to leave these people here to die when they've done nothing wrong. And she couldn't bring herself to leave them. She does it with a quickness. "GO!" she shouts. Then she's moving quickly to cover the retreat. Because it is definitely retreating! "I don't think I would be able to put her to sleep to stop her." she mutters. Most triggered brains didn't listen to commands.

Laura Kinney has posed:
Laura Kinney inhales deeply. Not only can she feel the telekinetic force starting to weaken but she can smell the fear cutting through the trigger scent.

Blood, mostly from her recent victims, runs down her face. Dripping onto the arena floor below.

She doesn't taunt or threaten like a normal captive villain might. No signs she is even capable of higher reasoning right now. Hanging like a murderous marionette content to wait for it's strings to be untangled before getting back to work.

All the while her cold dead eyes track those covered in the trigger scent.What's perhaps even more disturbing is that close up she doesn't even look old enough to drink. Never mind be on a killing spree quite like this.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    They're about to come around a corner, so March-or-Marsh holds up a hand. Andrei ducks down, leaving him to carefully inch along the wall and duck his head partially around. It's clear. "I'm here for Sergeant Barnes," is the answer Cael is given. Then they're on the move again, and aside for two people who look like kitchen folks making a mad dash along the service tunnel ahead of them, they're free to move.

    There's a delivery truck in the underground parking area for receiving shipments, and Marsh-or-March opens the passenger door to shove Andrei up into it. "Keys are under the driver's seat," he tells Cael. "Follow the signs that lead up to receiving bay A above ground." and then he's going around back to open the rolling door.

James Barnes has posed:
    Right hand over his gut, at some point he actually stoops down and snags a firearm off a dead guard. He falls silent. Normally he'd be ribbing Sharon up one side and down the other or at *least* growling and grumping at her. Not now. It's all he can do to focus on keeping one foot in front of the other, one more step, one more... another.

    His vision is tunneled, big old black spots on both sides, but he keeps going. One foot, then the other, one more step. His left hand falls to his side, still holding his stolen firearm, but could really use it if he had to?

    Fuck yes he could and he proves it when they round a corner and there's a stray, living gunman there. .... well, now he has a hole between his eyes. One shot, one kill. ... one foot in front of the other.

    In a last ditch effort to by them all some more time, that poor Amazon looking woman pushes everything she has into tearing the steel cage Laura is pinned to apart and ... well, wrapping the little murder girl up like an expertly folded burrito, arms pinned so very tightly to her sides, legs squished together, from neck to toes, wrapped up snugly enough to leave marks and even draw blood in some places.

    "Run!" she bellows after her wrap job is finished.

    Bucky's not dumb, not by a long shot and he's live a whole lot of years and seen a whole lot of things. "It's that shit..." Barely breathed out because talking is HARD. "... crap they threw at me, it's on my clothes..." And his skin and... but, maybe they can confuse Laura by taking some of those clothes of and tossing them ... fuck, anywhere, down a random hallway? Or should they just keep moving forward?

    One of the freed mutants stubbornly refuses to leave until Morrigan moves her ass as well. It's a tall guy, skinny, rail thin... and maybe twenty years old? Maybe. "After you Ma'am...."

Sharon Carter has posed:
They weren't exactly running at a good pace, but what could you do? One of the fallen guards was relieved of his weaponry; thankfully all of the remaining ones were in front of Bucky and not behind Sharon. She still keeps watch at his back, one hand gripping his shoulder, not to keep him up but for knowledges sake. "We can't worry about that now, James." It was rare for her to say that, especially in the tone she has. Scared, fucking shitless. "I'm just hoping your guy doesn't leave us behind."

Here was to hoping.

Sharon gives Bucky a nudge foward, removing her hand from his shoulder. The pistol she carries was now grasped with both hands as she waves him off. "Get going." And since she knew -damn- well Bucky couldn't catch her, Sharon heads -right- back towards the arena, taking one hand off her weapon to rub all over the fabric of her clothing. Spread the scent, and scatter it. If she was the closest and still in the building, maybe she could stall the murder-girl..


And there was a hooded bastard that was somewhere around here..

Cael Becker has posed:
    'Barnes' was the magic word - and some of the tension eases from Cael's form. She didn't want to be forced to shoot anyone, after all. "Got it," she replies - hands reaching under the seat, and coming back with the keys. She deposits both of her weapons in her lap, turning on the car and having it swiftly in gear and rolling. "Receiving Bay A," she repeats - to confirm the order was heard and understood.
    "Buckle up, this could get rough"she shoots towards Andrei. "This is a bit larger than my usual ride." But - she's driven the FBI vans on many occassions, and they're pretty sizeable in their own rights.
    "The others are backing up Barnes?" she asks. "That woman with the claws was serious levels of bad." The urge to go back there and check was still strong - but once you pick a path, it's better to see it through.

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan gives a look to the young mutant that's waiting for her to go, "Child, there is no time for chivalry, come on." she tells him as she takes him by the elbow and quickens her pace until she's running. She was stressed, covered in blood and wanted to sink her teeth into something. It was going to be a fun weekend. And she could smell Bucky's blood over every other scent.

She tries to get everyone at the back to move quicker and there's a bit of a panic setting in, "Please don't die...please don't die..." she whispers to herself as she tries to catch up to Sharon and Bucky.

Laura Kinney has posed:
Wrapping Laura up in steel might well be the best way to slow her down. Short of collapsing the whole building on her and hoping that nothing important up above collapses as a result. But it's not a neat enough job to hold her forever.

Twisting, turning and pushing with remarkable force until her claws can meet steel and start to dig in. Bit by bit she cuts herself out of the steel.

And once she's free..

Well not everyone who was close to the arena has had the good fortune to have fled. Some are lost, trying to find friends, wounded or stumbling round in shock. And if any of those people has the trigger scent on them... They won't live to see the morning.

When the killing haze finally clears Piker better hope he's a long long way away. Because it's his voice Laura will remember first. And with so much blood on her hands because of Pikers actions there isn't enough money in the world to keep him safe...

Sam Wilson has posed:
    "I sure hope so!" gets called around the side of the truck for Cael to hear. And then there's a thud, a muffled oof, and she'll be able to see in the driver side mirror that Marsh-or-March is suddenly on the ground. Except he's stripped down to his boxers and hog-tied, somehow? A second later another two gunshots ring out, hitting him smack dab in the chest.

    Still, no blood, but he's out like a light after that.

    The same voice that has been communicating with Cael this entire time shouts "Come on, we need to get the hell outta here!" and then someone's slamming their fist against the wall of the truck behind the cab to signal her to start driving.

James Barnes has posed:
    "Sharon!" It comes out barely audible to the retreating woman for sure. "Try not to kill her! She... didn't mean it!" Does Bucky really think that Sharon might be able to *kill* the murder badger? Actually, he thinks she stands a chance.

    So, now what? Bucky's about ten steps from the bay where Sharon led him when he ... faceplants. He's walking one minute, one foot in front of the other and then he's kissing concrete. When he hits the sound of that heavy metal arm smacking pavement is *loud* and it echoes.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "What. The. Fuck," is Cael's response to what she sees in her mirror. She turns fully around - sliding open a door that leads to the back of the van - and sees the man she was talking to. Who is now //also// practically naked on the floor behind them. "...the fuck." She repeats.
    Alright. Deal with that later. She turns forward again and she drives - moving with as much speed as she can manage around corners in such a hulking vehicle.
    "I have questions," she states simply as she drives. And yes - it's a rough ride, but she seems to have full control over the vehicle.

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan's going to start training to run in heels. She needs to do it often enough. The loud clank of metal on concrete that greets the group that was trailing behind Sharon and Bucky. Panic hits Morrigan fully when she sees him lying on the ground. She lets go of the arm of the young man that she was practically dragging now. "You guys stay with us. We'll get help for you. But I...have to go do something." she states before she rushes over to where Bucky is on the ground. "James...god damn it." she whispers as she kneels beside him. She tears a long lenght of her skirt off and then lays it across her lap. Her pale hands seek out the mans side and she rolls him over. And she's expecting blood. "I've got you." she murmurs as she braces her hands over his stomach.

Bucky would feel that familiar warmth that comes from Morrigan. He might also feel her panic though since she's not hiding it.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    The nature of service tunnels tends to mean that any loud noises bounce off the walls pretty much ad nauseam, so it's hard to tell exactly where that oddly familiar metal thud came from. It's a good thing, then, that their escape route is purposefully pathed to drive by the other various exits on the way up and out of the underground complex.

    Cael probably doesn't need any notice from Marsh-or-March in the back of the truck to stop when they come across Bucky on the fucking ground, but he still hisses out a "Dammit," before he's gone, the truck still in motion as the back doors slam open and he's on the ground.

    "Nope, Mo, no time, we gotta go," whoever the hell this guy is says as he bends down to haul Bucky up. And there are Bucky's innards, peeking out. "Fuck." Okay, okay, it's fine! "Can you get the rest of them out?" he asks, of the unwilling cage fighters behind her.

James Barnes has posed:
    Bucky's really not feeling much of anything right now, not yet anyway. He's ghostly pale, his lips are even a little on the blue side. Is he breathing? Barely. See, there's a problem, when he fell his right hand also fell away from where it had been keeping things pretty much together.

    Now they're falling apart, literally. Is his entire intestinal tract hanging out? No, but there's enough of it poking out through the lacerations in his stomach wall to... well, it's disturbing. It's all glistening and shiny and there's really not as much blood as one might expect there to be. He lost most of that on the way here.

    The mutants seem a little hesitant at first but when one finally nods and says, "Yeah, we got it..." The rest fall in line in a chorus of ... yeah, sure... we can do that.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "...shit," Cael murmurs. It's the silver arm that tells her who it is - more than anything else - as the truck comes to a very abrupt stop. Is he alright? Is he still breathing? Did she make the right call back there?
    It's no good dealing with what-ifs, Becker, she tells herself silently - especially not in the middle of the op. "All aboard who's coming aboard!" she calls. "Let's get clear of us before that psychopath with the claws finds us!" Yeah. That tiny woman had spooked her. Who can blame her? "Where's 13? Do we wait?" she calls - waiting on March-or-Marsh's response before she'll put the van back into gear.

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan's not going to let Bucky die and she pours magical energy into the ghostly pale super soldier as she can. And the sound of the vehicle approaching puts her on edge, she doesn't look up from what she's doing. That is until she hears who it is. "Sam..." she starts to speak, but her voice cracks. There's blood all over her hands and the dress. "He'll be stable. But he's bad...really bad. Please worry about getting him out of here. I'll handle things with these guys. We'll be at Mount Sinai." she tells him quickly as she helps him get Bucky into the back of the van.

Then she steps back and takes a deep breath to calm herself. It does fuck all to help anything. Then she turns to the group of mutants, "I'm going to open a portal up to my office at a hospital I would never harm any of you. So please trust me for the next few moments while we get the hell out of here and then get you guys all checked out and then on your way home." she tells them quietly.

With that said, she turns to whisper words and the magic swirls into a vortex that opens up into the dark lab at Mount Sinai, "Alright. Everybody through." she states.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Normally, hauling Bucky around wouldn't be asking too much, but those eviscerating stab wounds makes it a hell of a lot trickier. It's really only with Morrigan's help that they manage to get Bucky into the truck without jostling his injuries too terribly. "I know. I know, I got him. Get the hell out of here--don't worry!"

    The guy who still looks like March-or-Marsh reaches out of the back of the truck to put his hand on Morrigan's shoulder, one quick squeeze of reassurance before he withdraws. The doors slam shut again. "I was really hoping to keep this suit, you know," he says as he starts stripping, jacket first, then quickly undoing the tie so he can unbutton his shirt. It's as a good a makeshift bandage as he's got to work with back here unless the bougie-ass ornamental cabbage in the container behind the driver's seat has some secret antiseptic properties he doesn't know about.

    "Just keep driving," he says as he pushes the now-ruined probably $1000 shirt against Bucky's midsection. "If she's coming out this way, we'll see here. Otherwise she can handle herself."

James Barnes has posed:
    Everyone knows that Bucky isn't the most stable person on the planet. He still has flashbacks, sometimes they even happen when he's wide awake. So, when what Morrigan started combines with the serum in his bloodstream to have him waking up - sort of - way before any normal human ever would? Is it really any wonder that he doesn't wake up entirely 'Bucky'? After being collared and fighting in a cage, after having his insides almost on his outsides - that's actually happened a few times... with intent, while he was awake... and tied down -fucking HYDRA. After all of that, really, is it any wonder.

    Pale blues snap open, and it's... not even a familiar face hovering over him. Panic sets in immediately where is he? What's happening? WHO is he? Are they coming for him? Do they already have him again? So much fear and confusion in those eyes. Flight or fight, it kicks in hard. His left hand snaps up aiming to snag the stranger leaning over him by the throat. "Who the fuck are you?!" he demands, snarling. Or maybe it *is* Buck? That's just... not Sam.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "I hope you're right," Cael agrees - putting the van into drive. The portal behind her - she just ignores. Not the weirdest thing she's seen tonight, she decides. At least she can make sense of it. The van roars through the underground tunnels - headed for the gate leading out onto the city streets. And if it's closed? She'll try to drive right through it. "You just let me know where we need to-" she starts but her words cut out abruptly as she hears that snarling voice behind her. ...does Barnes not know this guy? Shit. Shit shit shit.
    "Barnes - it's Cael," she offers - one hand going from the wheel - to the guns still in her lap, ready to aim it behind her into the rear of the van if it comes to that. "This guy said he was with you." And if he's lying...

Morrigan MacIntyre has posed:
Morrigan's not in the van. The torn piece of her dress got tossed in with them though. In case bandages were needed. It's easy to tell it's hers by the color. The mutants and the sorceror are gone though. Morrigan steps through the portal into the lab last and it closes behind her. She turns on the lights and heads for her phone, "Hey, It's Doctor MacIntyre...we've got a situation. I need any free hands on deck in emergency stat. I'll bring down everyone." she tells the on calls.

With that done, the blood covered doctor in the torn evening dress makes her way down to the ER with the group of mutants. This was going to be fun!

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Oh shit, this again. How bad is it that this isn't even the first time this week that Bucky's had a hand around his throat?

    Please don't read into that. Suffice it to say, though, decidely not something he's into.

    "Bu--oh, fuck," and then rather than try to fight Bucky off, his hand--the one that isn't still holding pressure on Bucky's wounds despite the whole choking thing going on right now--reaches up to touch the side of his face, near his temple.

    Light shifts over his features, glitching, and a second voice overlays the one trying to call out Bucky's name until he manages to rip the photostatic veil off, and then it's just Sam. Sam, who is grimacing as he finally lays a hand on Bucky's bicep.

    "Sorry," he says, or maybe he can only just mouth it, depending on how much pressure is being applied to his throat right now. "Forgot I had it on."

James Barnes has posed:
    That wild eyed confusion settles into something akin to horror. Oh... oh... Sam knows that look. That's the 'I'm gonna shove you away and run now, even if it's just across the room... or uh, the van'. That's not good, it's not.

    His adrenaline is still fueling him, but he's *still* fucked the fuck UP. Laying still, that's good. "I'm sorry..." Bucky whispers, "I'm sorry, Sam." At least his attempts to scurry away aren't as strong as they normally are? He's not as strong as he normally is? But he's definitely trying to push himself up and away from his friend. He's still all shaky and confused, not really sure how the fuck he ended up here. It's likely that he doesn't even fully remember being *in* that cage yet.

Cael Becker has posed:
    What the- A glance over her shoulder confirms what Barnes just said. It's... Sam Wilson back there, all of the sudden. "How the fuck did you do that? You're a mutant or something?" she asks. "Shapeshifter?" Fuck. Why does her life just keep getting weirder? "And this is why you wanted me in New York!" she exclaims. Driving through the gate, and veering out onto a street only punctuates her comment.
    Alright. She can deal with this.
    "I can't exactly drive you guys to one of the safe houses I know. So where am I taking this thing?" she calls towards the back.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    "Man, you sure as hell better be apologizing to me," Sam says, grousing, once he's no longer being strangled. And Bucky can try to wriggle away all he wants, but Sam's just going to follow, because he is still keeping pressure on those wounds! Now he can use both hands, at least, one first flat on Bucky's chest to push at him, try to convince (not make, because Sam knows that won't work) Bucky to lay back down. "I was halfway to Louisiana when Ruby called to tell me about you going off on your lone wolf bullshit again."

    He pauses to address the front of the van, nodding once at Andrei before he gives Cael an address in Harlem and some general directions to follow, assuming that she can navigate the city's streets well enough on her own. He doesn't spill SHIELD secrets, just winks at her in the rearview mirror. Then, back to Bucky: "And I'm still pissed off at you for the way you talked to me. You have issues with my leadership, we sit down and have a conversation about it, you don't yell at me through the bathroom door. Fucking *boundaries*, Buck, they exist."

    That seems to be the end of Sam's ranting, insofar as his tone loses the hard edge to it. He shifts his hands around so he can get one free and leans over to touch Bucky's right wrist, feeling for his pulse. "What just happened, though, that one's on me. I haven't done any stealth ops in a while; forgot how light that thing is when you have it on. Nothing for you to be sorry about."

James Barnes has posed:
    "It wasn't lone wolf *bullshit*," Bucky snaps back. "I had Sharon, I had Angelo. I wasn't fucking alone." He does end up laying back down, but it's more likely do to the fact that he'd rather do it willingly than fall back down again.

    He jerks his wrist away from Sam like a Goddamned petulant child, but not before his friend'll feel that thready, too rapid, pulse. Super Soldier or not, he's still not completely out of the woods. Sure, once he's sewn back together, he'll be up in a day or two as if nothing ever happened. But he needs to be put back together first.

    "...and I'm still fucking pissed at you for not *trusting* me," he grouses right on back. "Fuck boundaries and fuck you." Little harsh that, but damn he's *hurting*. Seems pain to anger is another go to for him. Anger is *always* easier than feeling just about anything else.

Cael Becker has posed:
    Cael exchanges a 'yeah, I got not idea' look with Andrei as she drives - seeming to have no questions about the directions she was given. I mean - she has questions. Namely, about the thing that was so light Sam forgot he had it on. She just doubts she'll get answers.
    There does seem to be one pertinent question worth bringing up, though. "You had Sharon and Angelo back there?" she repeats back. "...and 13?" Unless '13' was this 'Sharon.' Or would Bucky purposefully leave her off to hide her identity? Who really knows. "Do we need to do anything to make sure they're okay back there? You guys got comms? Other people you can call in to extract them?"
    Because the bickering can happen //after// the op is truly over. Right?

Sam Wilson has posed:
    There is a moment where Sam visibly has to reign himself in. Rendering effective patient care does not involve any yelling. Nope. Nope it sure does not. "They'll be okay," he tells Cael, instead of saying whatever it is he actually wants to say. "They're both capable agents, and we have protocols in place to make contact once everything's clear." He shoots a glare down at the super soldier not bleeding out by sheer force of annoying stubborness laid out in front of him. "Bucky, give me your hand, I need more than two seconds to take your damn pulse."

    If he has to lean over and try to grab it himself, Sam absolutely will. Yelling is out but he knows plenty about how to handle an uncooperative patient.

    "Your insides are practically your outsides right now so I'm not going to let you draw me back into this, because you almost fucking died, Bucky, do you not get that? You didn't have Sharon or Angelo or any of us because *none* of us could get close enough before you almost got stabbed to death," he grits out, and then the rest of his breath comes rushing out of him, equal parts frustrated and concerned.

    The comment about trust only makes Sam's expression shutter and then he looks away, shaking his head.

James Barnes has posed:
    Almost as if on cue, Sam's cellphone buzzes. Not Bucky's because Bucky's isn't on his person. One text: <<Tell Big Bitch, Lil Bitch is clear with the Angel.>>

    "Yeah, same way no one would be able to get to *you* if you were shot out of the sky, right?" Oh no, he's not ready to let it go. He won't jerk away again though if Sam tries to doctor him again. His pulse is way too high, thready and high. Blood loss and stress. "Things went sideways in ways none of us could predict. It fucking happens, it doesn't mean you don't still do your fucking job and let everyone else do theirs. And you know what? Sharon *got me out*. And if you hadn't been here? She'd have gotten me all the way out with Angelo's help."

    He's so sweaty and pale and... fucking stubborn, Sam's not wrong. The only thing keeping Bucky conscious is sheer bull-headed-ness. "There's a difference between my lone wolf bullshit and trusting my team to be out of my sight." Everything he's saying rings 100 percent true to him, every word. Even though it might not all be exactly right regarding *this* situation. There's a wrong sitting in the front seat that he'd have done just about anything to right.

    "... I'll be able to pass on your left in two days tops. I'll live. And that's what you don't seem to get. I'll *live*. 9.9 times out of 10... I'll *live*." Even if, sometimes, he thinks 107 damned years is just too long already.

Cael Becker has posed:
    Stay out of it, Cael, it's not your business. Stay out of it, Cael, it's not your business. Stay out of it, Cael, and just driving the fucking car, it's not your busi- "You really gonna blame your friend for worrying about that .1 times outta ten? That puts you dead in a hundred ops," she points out.
    "I don't see any pursuit - I think we got away clean," she adds. "Unless they're tracking us from satellites, drones, or CCTV." Any of which are possible with this SHIELD shit.
    "ETA five minutes, by the by." Yes. She's learned the city pretty well in her time here.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Sam's done engaging. His fingers dig into Bucky's pulse point as he cranes his head to stare down at the expensive watch on his wrist, silent as he counts in his head. Even when Cael chimes in to support him--thanks, Cael--Sam only gives a tight shake of his head. Whatever. So Bucky wants him to not give a shit? It's fine, Sam will happily pretend he doesn't care while he shoves Bucky's intestines back into place and stitches him up.

    "It'll be the brownstone with the big maple tree outside it, when we get there," he says to Cael. Once he's got Bucky's pulse--not good, that is way too high--he reaches into his back pocket for his phone and thumbs the screen on. Once he's read the notification on the screen, he sighs and tucks it back away. "They're clear. And we're always being tracked one way or another, but we'll be fine. Pretty sure the guy in charge is going to stay the hell out of New York for a while. Thanks for the assist, Becker."

    He's quiet, staring down at where his hands remain over the makeshift bandage. Finally he pulls his phone back out and sends out a few texts one-handed.

James Barnes has posed:
    "Stay the fuck out of shit you don't have a clue about, Cael," Bucky snaps, sort of. He's starting to fade a little. "We all worry, about everyone, every fucking time we go out there. Worrying is not the same damned thing as ... "

    A beat and he says, "You know what, never mind. Next time it's *my* OP to run? I'll just make sure to order you to stay on the ground, Sam. Where we can all properly 'have your back' and be within ten feet in case it goes south. That's fair, right? And you, Cael? I'll just tell you to stay on board the Quinjet where you're safe, out of harms way, that's cool, yeah?" Because, in his mind, that is effectively what Sam's been doing to him. Grounding him.

    When Sam is done with his flesh and bone wrist, Bucky drapes his arm over his face. The street lights flashing by through the windows are starting to make him queasy. "Fuck, I miss working with Steve," he mutterwhispers.

    "Piker won't follow, he's licking his wounds. But we'll need to move fast and hard and within the week if we wanna get him before he regroups. I'll have Ruby put her ear to the ground, see if she can figure out where he's holed."

Cael Becker has posed:
    "Yeah, yeah. Shutting up," Cael answers - not sounding bothered by the way Barnes snaps at them. The man sounds like he's on seriously shakey ground.
    "Just glad I happened to be there." There's a momentary pause before she adds under her breath, "Fuck. I left my ride there." She hopes getting it back won't be too much of a pain.
    "Alright. Looking for a brownstone with a maple," she chatters back - both because it's good practice to do so, and because the two idiots back there probably need the normal, everyday op chatter to help them regroup.

Sam Wilson has posed:
    Still. Not. Engaging! Sam won't say a word unless Cael needs assistance in locating wherever it is they're headed, which is apparently a brownstone in Harlem next to a maple tree.

    It's either that or say things he knows he'll regret in the morning.

James Barnes has posed:
    "If it was fast and sleek, check with Sh..." Wait... uh... "...13, she probably stole it." Honestly, that is a *distinct* possibility if Cael's ride happened to be anywhere near where Sharon came out of that place. Then he's quiet too.

    Stubborn fucking bastard, once they get there, will get himself out of the van, holding his own insides where the fuck they belong with his own hand and walk on his own two fucking feet. Because well, that's just how James Buchanan Barnes rolls. ... although he's kinda wishing he at least had a shirt on.

Cael Becker has posed:
    Oh, //that// has Cael's attention. She turns around and glares into the back of the van. "//What?//" Was that anger on her features for a moment?
    No. Chill, Cael. Chill. This saves you a trip. "For fuck's- can she bring it to the brownstone?" she asks in an aggrieved tone. "Ask her if it's a C6 Corvette - red. Heavily modified. Fuck."
    //Someone// doesn't like other people behind the wheel of her car, apparently.
    She pulls up in front of the brownstone - a frown still on her features - unsure if she can even go in. If she should wait out front for her ride to arrive - or if she needs to hoof it to the subway.
    What a night.

James Barnes has posed:
    "I said *might*, maybe... it's possible," Bucky points out along the way. It's a possibility! Sharon likes shiny things, she steals stuff, she may have needed a set of wheels.

    He doesn't seem to care one way or another if Cael crashes with them for the night. This wasn't a SHIELD OP, this isn't a SHIELD safehouse. It's whatever, not his place.

Cael Becker has posed:
    "C6 Corvette. Red. Ask her," Cael repeats - before she'll shelve her annoyance. Her car is not the important thing here.
    She'll offload the boys at the safe house - then drive the truck a ways off to ditch it. She sends out some messages to her 'people' (ie: the scum-sucking criminals she'd going to this disaster with) - far enough away that her cellphone should ping a different tower than the one by the safe house, then hoofs it back, more than ready to crash for the night.
    Besides. She's not going anywhere until someone confirms for her whether or not 'Thirteen' happened to steal her car again.
    She even shows up back at the safehouse with a bag full of sandwiches, chips, a bag of pumpkin seeds, and beers - and a bottle of whiskey, while ignoring a house filled with a truly painful amount of tension. Whether or not they deserve her, she's clearly the get away driver they needed.