1953-07-21 Spies Like Us: Part 4
Summary: The infiltration of the party proceeds as planned, and the two erstwhile allies find themselves with more trouble than they can handle…
Related: http://marvel1963mush.wikidot.com/log:1963-08-20-spies-like-us:part-iii
Theme Song: None
bucky carol 

Bullets smack into the heavy crates that Carol is sheltering behind, sending splinters flying through the air. The contents of the crates seem like rugged industrial supplies, so as long as she stays low, the worst of the gunfire is absorbed by the cover the crates provide.

Stuck in the low warehouse, with a half a dozen HYDRA goons firing at them, Winter Soldier turns a withering gaze on Carol Danvers, reloading one of the four guns he's carrying, and passes the grip of a 1911 to her. Carol's dress is shredded and torn, and Winter's white evening jacket is quite thoroughly ruined beyond all hope of repair. Both of them have a fair number of scratches and bruises that'll hurt in the morning. From the other side of the crates are the sounds of yells, footsteps, and orders as more agents arrive to deal with the two of them.

"Any more bright ideas, Agent?" Winter asks, as witheringly as he can pitch his voice.


"Stop touching earpiece," comes Winter Soldier's voice over Carol's comset, jangling in her right ear. It carries clearly over the sounds of the rather swanky ball that's in progress around her, though she's been rendered a bit deaf by the device she swears he inserted with the aid of a ballpeen hammer into her ear canal. Still— advanced Russian tech, a true 'wireless' headphone and short-range transciever that talks to the transmitter strapped to her thigh garter.

Winter adjusts his bowtie and makes the rounds with a platter of food held perfectly balanced on his left hand, another invisible waiter among a sea of them. Carol had pointed out quite rightly that he was probably physically incapable of smiling long enough to fake a disguise as anyone in high society.

Which put him on kitchen staff duty.

Winter makes a slow path to Carol's side and stands back to back with her for a moment. "I don't see him yet," he mutters subvocally into the transmitter under his bowtie. "Did he come down the secondary stairs, maybe?"


Modesty was still preserved in Carol's dress - mostly because she tended to wear fairly modest underthings, in spite of attending a fancy ball. For situations just like this, however. But her dress, well… she admittedly felt a pang of despair when it was first shredded - when she had to vault over these very same crates she ducked behind, actually. The dress was a brilliant blue that was a shade or two darker than her eyes - and it seemed to glitter subtlely in the light. It hung off of one shoulder, and for a moment, a single moment before - she loved the feeling it gave her.

But it was hard to deny that she was fine with the feeling now, actually.

Accepting the 1911 - it was probably her own personal piece that Winter was keeping for her, actually - she checks the clip briefly, and pulls the slide back, loading a round.

Winter's scathing voice causes her to snap a glare in his direction. "Yeah," she says. "Try to keep up. Give me a little cover fire, won't you?"

Whether or not Winter decides to try to give fire, Carol would move - she was moving towards another position just a few beats away, a length of heavy pipe to serve as cover there. The idea was to make it harder to flank their position. Whether or not she made it, was another matter entirely.


Carol's jaw tightens at what Winter says. Every time the thing buzzed, it irritated her, and she was trying to hide the touching of it behind motions like smoothing her hair down, or tucking it behind her ear. They didn't work, generally.

Carol laughs - her eyes on one of the high society sorts that decided to try to flirt with the agent, giving her head a shake as the man's escort of the evening sharply grabs his arm, and leads him away. She purses her lips, intoning without moving her lips a bit. "No - he's over there," she says, lifting her chin up as their target - slips away from the party proper towards a door - a burly man in a suit standing in front of it and allowing him entrance. "Think that's where the real party is?" she asks.


"Intel suggested private meeting," Winter mutters, turning around and passing the plate of hors d'ouvres in front of Carol, and conveniently blocking his face from view as he turns. He faces away from her, prison style, so no one can read their lips and get both sides of the conversation at once.

A subtle bit of spycraft, that.

"I'll go to kitchen. Get round of drinks and deliver them," he tells Carol. "Might be able to put bug in room. You keep eye on ballroom and do /not/ do anything until I tell you," he says, his tone perking a bit sharply as he orders Carol to sit in place.

He sweeps back to the kitchen with a lumberingly purposeful stride. Four more men slip into the adjacent wing— a glance at the door shows a hallway that must lead to a study or library where the meeting must be taking place. The hallway itself is being guarded, but there are likely avenues such as the exterior windows or even the roof overhead that are being unsupervised.

But of course, Carol's going to sit and wait for Winter Soldier to 'handle' things. Because he told her to.



Carol always had a grudging little respect for Bucky. He seemed to know his craft extraordinarily well - and she would do well to try to pick things up from him, once in a while. Not that she'd ever admit it. It took everything in her power to keep her jaw from clenching as he steps those hors d'ouvres in front of her, only earning a brief look from her before her eyes return to what she was 'actually' interested in - a garishly dressed woman, perhaps.

She lets her lips twist in mock envy.

Plucking up a piece of the offered food, she sticks it into her mouth. But no, Carol wasn't going to sit tight because he told her to. She was going to sit tight because he seemed to have a plan. Mostly. How much of the meeting were they missing by her inaction?

Now her jaw clenches - and she steps through the crowd of people as she moves in the direction of the women's washroom - casting smiles all the way. Perhaps the wireless piece transmitted too - she wasn't sure about the Russian tech in her ear. But she sidesteps into another room on her way to the washroom - glancing about it at the furniture and otherwise there, dust covers on everything. It would likely be the location of an illicit rendevous sooner or later, but for now…

Carol was interested in the window on the opposite side of the room. "Change of plan," she hisses, touching the earpiece. "The meeting is starting soon."


"Am making way towards meeting," comes a crackling voice in Carol's ear. "Stay in position, they—" he breaks off abruptly with a squeal of static. Cutting edge, but it only goes so far. Someone nearby must have turned on a high powered radio or the like, temporarily killing communications.

Carol's hidey-hole is dark, allowing her to see into the meeting room.

Kanstin Erog, one of the most prolific arms dealers in Transia and a growing player in Europe— and Helmut Zero's main supplier of arms and weaponry— settles into the heavy chair at the head of the table. Several other men file into the room, at least one of which is wearing a broach that Carol can identify at a glance once his lapel is folded away.

A many-headed monster on a sea of black.

There's motion at the door and Winter pushes a rattling trolly in. His expression is reserved, even a bit downcast and submissive. It's a strange look on the stocky soldier, who sets about putting drinks out for them. Carol's earpiece crackles as he sets a platter of food and a spray of flowers in the center of the table. Winter must have planted a bug in the flowers and tuned it to her earpiece's frequency.

"~-il have first shipment ready for you in two days," Erog tells the man with the Hydra medallion. "Five tons of refined ore and minerals, and you will have first shipment of plasma rifles ready for us?"

"Yes, yes, of course," the other man says. Urbane, lean, tall, he smacks of old-world wealth. "Ten to start, as promised, and ten more before the year is over."


Carol Danvers pauses. She was expecting to have to get out onto the window ledge and rappel over - but this room - one that stares directly into theirs? It was gold enough for her. And upon her dress she had a jeweled lapel - a camera hidden within the gentle curves of the same. Unattaching it from her dress, she holds it up to her eye - pinpoints on the item allowing for a viewfinder in the same.

Levelling it on the gathering, she takes a few mild shots. Kanstin Erog, and some of the others. Levelling in on that medallion, though, Carol pauses a moment more. Attaching the brooch back towards her dress, she huddles back - behind one of the sofas. Enough so that she can peer up occasionally and take a glance at the meeting - but for the most part, she was listening, and remembering. And she didn't want to be caught if someone came through the door.

Seems like things were going her way for a change, after all.


The door to the lounge swings open, spilling light into the room. Two big figures skulk in and one of them hits the switches, flooding the room with light. "No, just said bring in second set of—" the lead figure comes up short, gawking a bit at the leggy blonde half-crouched in vanished shadows behind the sofa.

"Hey! What are you doing here?" he demands of her, in thick Transian. "Party is in other room. Why were you sitting in the dark—" his eyes flicker to the window view of the courtyard and meeting room across, then give Carol a narrow, speculative, and ugly look, and his ham hand starts creeping towards the inside of his jacket where he's presumably got a pistol holstered. His associate, a lean and ugly fellow with cadaverous cheekbones and heavy brow, seems equally baffled at the discovery of the woman surveilling the scene across the way.


A pause, and Carol kinda rises to a stand - no doubt the light coming on might interrupt the meeting across the way, but Carol puts her best smile on her face. Bringing up a hand to touch the side of her head, she gives a goofy little grin towards the two men. "Sorry," she says.

"I wandered in here to catch my breath after all of that excitement," she says, in passingly slurred Russian.

"And I saw all the uniforms across the way - and I was intrigued - it isn't often you get to see such spectacle, no?" she says. A pause then, and she glances from the first man to the second, letting a little smile creep across her lips. "Which way did you say was back to the party?" she asks, kinda stepping towards the two men - perhaps adding a little waver to her step.


ROLL: Carol +rolls 1d10 for a result of: 4


He almost looks like he's buying it for a moment— Carol lurches and gets close enough that she's on him before the big bruiser can decide to draw his firearm. She doesn't look like a threat, and she /is/ rather attractive.

"You're coming with me," he decides, growling as ominously as he can. "I don't know what you're up to here but I want to see your invitation and you're gonna sit tight until the boss questions you." Decidedly Sino-Tibetan ethnically, he must weigh close to two hundred and fifty pounds and with a neck so fat his tie almost seems to squeeze it like a sausage. He closes one ham-handed grip on Carol's wrist and starts trying to drag her towards the door.


Try might be the operative term there. One of the first of the many wounds that would happen to her dress tonight comes right now - right now when she twists her wrist and forearm in such a way as to try to free it from the man's grasp. She was hoping the surprise, and the suddenness of her motion would catch him off guard enough for her to pull her hand away.

And hopefully, he was turned away from her. She would use the next moment to try to drive her foot into the side of the man's knee.

And in spite of her appearance - she was still rather strong. Relative to the average woman, at least.


It's a quick and dirty fight. The big guy goes down, and Carol makes pretty short work of his accomplice, too, before either fellow can get off more than a yelp of pain. Sporting a few burst seams and a bruise from a lucky haymaker on her shoulder, Carol's left with at least one unconscious body that she's probably going to need help hiding—

"—the hell is going on?" crackles her earpiece. Looking to the meeting location, Carol sees six men on their feet, gawking at the blonde agent who'd just neatly dispatched two of their professional thugs in mere seconds, and in full view of the occupants of the meeting room.

They stare at her. She stares at them.

"GUARDS!" bellows Erog, as his ally flees for another room. "Get over to the wes—" Whatever he was about to say is cut off by a fierce explosion, the feedback of which rings painfully in Carol's ear as an improvised explosive blows out the windows in the study across the courtyard. Thick smoke pours in all directions.

Moments later, Winter Soldier dashes into the study, and gives both guards a shocked look then spreads his hands at Carol in mute appeal.

"What happened to 'wait here?'" he demands, looking more than a little irate.


Color flushes to her cheeks. Why she didn't wait until the hallway was anyone's guess.

Because it would have been just as bad out there, she was telling herself. Except possibly worse, with more guards, and a very real possibility of being caught right at the beginning. And she had what they needed, anyways. Snapping off the light, Carol steps into the hallway proper.

Her looks could be an advantage in many situations, but this time, they would be a detriment. There weren't that many fashionably blonde sorts wearing this color of dress, after all.

But maybe the explosion would help. It stumbles her anyways, Carol falling over into the wall. Her heels that she was wearing - Carol reaches down and lifts the heel up to the back of her foot. It slid readily, like it was designed to do so, flattening the sole of the shoe as it goes. It would add a little punch to her backkicks, and she wouldn't be stumbling around all night on heels.

"As I said before - change of plans. And we got a lot of what we needed, Winter Soldier. This is bigger than just the Nazis. It's…" she pauses a moment. "Something worse. We have to destroy that shipment before it can leave here. Of rifles, maybe, but the ore… definitely. Do you have any idea where they could be keeping it?"


Winter's hand goes to the small of his back and comes up with a compact Walter in .32. Not a big gun— but concealable, at least. He hands it to Carol and nods. "Da. Would be in main warehouse supply shed on northeast corner of property." He takes a few seconds to look around, as if placing himself on a mental map, then stoops and relieves the skinny, mean thug of a revolver. Carol's trick with the shoes gets a lift of his brow and then, of all things, he nods approvingly at her, clearly respecting the foresight that came up with that idea.

He checks the chamber of the weapon and gestures at the door they'd just used. "Through the study, out the back— there's a service access that will take us that way. Go, quickly," he says, prodding Carol to lead the way as they dive into the heart of the mansion.

It's a short and frenetic run to the warehouse, with a short detour to the kitchen to get Winter's duffel bag, which he'd hidden in the trash out back and was loaded with spare tactical gear. He keeps the pace up well and they get to the warehouse, which is visibly unoccupied at the moment.

"We should reconnoiter first," he mutters at Carol, digging out guns and checking them for readiness. "Bad idea to rush in there blind."

The warehouse lights are off and no one's visibly approaching it— it seems for the moment, Winter Soldier is being overly cautious to the point of hindering the mission.


And Carol conceals it. The man had more weapons on him than…

Someone with a lot of weapons. Now wasn't the time for weird analogies, anyways. Carol tended not to prefer big guns - she didn't have the strength to carry a lot of the really big ones, and most of the time, intelligence and quiet worked for her. And in the end, no matter the size of the round - getting shot was serious. Now was… just not one of those quiet times. Possibly intelligent, too.

But of all the things to gain the approval of the man in… her shoes? Carol's return gaze to that not was a little uncertain. But she was off.

Through the study, out the back - she jogs to the service access mentioned. "They must be expecting we are coming," she whispers, quietly. This was not one thing she was going to fight Winter on. So many times, a trap was just waiting for her. She inclines her head towards one corner. "So I agree, we should reconnoiter - do you have any way of detecting an alarm system at play? Perhaps traps?" she asks.


Winter looks around, then shakes his head. "No," he admits, after a beat. "Smart plan would be swinger switch attached to door hinge. Impossible to disable from outside. Could try and go in through window, but will take time," he says, gesturing at the upper levels.

Shouts call from across the estate and he hunkers down behind cover, gripping a shotgun in his hands. He mutters a curse under his breath, something Russian.

"We must risk it. Come. Move fast, stay low," he mutters, as they break into a low jog.

They make it into the storage area— more of a large, repurposed barn or even a hanger once upon a time— and quickly find the 'goods' that are being shipped. Minerals being shipped into the area from all over the world— Africa, eastern Europe, America— and various weapons from several nationalities being imported, too. "There," Winter says, pointing at a stand of crates separate from the others, and bearing Transian markings. Half of them are loaded into a two ton truck, obviously being readied for shipment. "Those must be the Hydra weapons being shipped out of country. Helmut must be financing all of this by selling his new designs again," he whispers.

They break into a jog again— but the moment they reach the truck, the doors on the other end of the barn blow open and they're caught in headlights. There is some frenetic shouting and the two of them dive for cover just in time for bullets to whip through the air past them like screaming hornets.

"Down!" Winter shouts, tackling Carol and falling atop her. They crawl quickly to the cover the heavy crates nearby offer, and he passes her her service pistol and readies his shotgun again.

"Any more bright ideas, Agent?" he asks, witheringly.

Accepting the 1911 - it was her own personal piece that Winter was keeping for her, actually - she checks the magazine briefly, and pulls the slide back, loading a round.

Winter's scathing voice causes her to snap a glare in his direction. "Yeah," she says. "Try to keep up. Give me a little cover fire, won't you?"

Winter nods once and start slamming 12 gauge buckshot downrange. At that firing distance, it has so much spread the pellets are barely hanging together— but it's still dangerous enough that men dive for cover. He empties the magazine, then picks up a German-made MP40 and starts firing short, suppressive fire bursts at Carol as she maneuvers towards a nearby pipe to offer more covering fire.

"These are coming up from the main access road!" Winter tells Carol, between bursts of fire. "We can still escape along the secondary access!" he says, nodding at the truck nearby.


Carol could keep up. But still - it had to be frustrating for the Russian. One doubted anyone - man or woman, could keep up with Winter with his full augmentations. But she tries. Still, she was sucking wind by the time they reach the truck, bringing up a hand to push the hair out of her eyes - the sweat and heat of these moments was ruining her perm.

And then…

Carol makes it to the pipe more or less safely, a few rounds nonetheless tracking at her. One of the men, so to speak - was trying to get around that same pipe, and was surprised by Carol's presence. But he was only surprised for a moment, before two shots hit his belly, the last one striking his skull before he hits the ground. Carol stands up - firing in the direction of men setting up - hoping to keep their heads down.

"Escape with the plasma rifles?" she calls.

"Let's do it!" she says, standing up at that point to trust in her own strength. The Colt was in her hands now. And that's what she was using to fire at any heads that poke up. She was hoping to give Winter enough time to dash to the truck and get it started up.


"Frag out!"

Winter starts flinging hand grenades. He throws them with remarkable ease and accuracy, too, a solid fifty yard lob that skitters across the dirt floor of the warehouse and lands right in the middle of the pack. Smoke grenades go, too, and he shoves his gear into Carol's hands as he lunges for the truck's cab. It takes him only a few seconds to hotwire the engine— he rips the ignition plate off and jams his fingers into the electronics, causing it to turn over immediately, and he throws the truck into gear, whipping it around so the passenger door is facing Carol.

"Get in!" he shouts— and the moment she's got a hand and foot on the cab, he floors it, and the two-ton truck surges off into the woods, rattling and coughing and leaving behind utter bedlam as the villains try to sort out what happened.


After a solid forty-five minutes of driving, Winter pulls the truck over near an abandoned military bunker, marked on their briefing as a possible safehouse. It's a small outpost, just big enough for a few vehicles and the two of them to hide out. He parks the truck, leaving it idling, and sets about unloading the plasma rifles while Carol sweeps the interior of the concrete fortification.

"I'm going to take truck and double back, then drop off near highway five miles away," Winter advises Carol, standing on the truck's riser with one hand on the wheel. "I'll set up a false trail and run back here on foot. I shouldn't be more than an hour," he tells her. "Kremlin agent stocked us with some small supplies, enough for day or two. I'll be back as soon as possible."


The man had more weapons on his person then…

Carol purses her lips. Now was not the time to consider such things. Dashing with his gear around the truck, Carol had enough in her to shoot the man who stumbles against the truck using one hand, the Colt kicking in her hand tremendously. She almost dropped it. But she pulls open the truck, and steps in.

Soon enough, explosions and otherwise would be behind them.

Carol draws still, and she kinda glances across towards the man again. Jaw tightens.


Carol nods her head towards Winter, before she starts stepping towards the bunker proper. Things are safe, rifles are unloaded… and Carol moves to bunker down, so to speak. There was the temptation - only the temptation - of destroying the plasma rifles. But for the moment, Carol moves to try to become familiar with one. If they roll up onto the bunker… a pistol wouldn't do it.

Plasma weaponry might.


Fourty five minutes later, there's a low two-tone whistle from outside the bunker. The heavy door swings in a few inches.

"I'm back," growls Winter's voice— and he prowls into the bunker, closing the door behind him and latching it firmly.

His black trousers are splattered in mud, and at some point he lost his dress shoes during the run. "I dragged a log behind the truck and elimianted the tracks leading here," he tells Carol. "Then took diversion road and left by highway. They should think we rendezvoused with allies and either went north or east from here. Lay here, one or two days— will never find us," he assures her.

He gives the plasma weaponry a baleful once-over, leaning over Carol's shoulder to examine her makeshift workbench. "Plasma weaponry. This is what Hydra used during the war, da?"


"Yes," says Carol. What she didn't tell Winter Soldier was that she had taken as many pictures of the dissembled weapon as possible, on her little brooch-camera. She fully expected the man to betray her and take all the weaponry for Russia. "I think it's a gimmick, more than anything. Far too expensive to mass produce - look at the power supply the rifle needs, here…" she says, tapping on it. "And this induction coil? I could be wrong, but it's some kind of composite of gold and… iridium?" A beat. "Meteor metal," she adds. "But there's something… odd about it," she says.

"You've seen these used in combat, yes?" she adds, glancing back towards Winter.

"It seems that it would misfire every so often, and essentially burn the user's hands, and in the case I saw… it burned them entirely off," she says. "So their design is imperfect, but I can't… see where they are getting that leakage from," she says, pursing her lips.

"Perhaps it's a property of the plasma itself," she says. "Either way, if we're discovered, this might give us the edge against armor - but I wouldn't use it against soldiers."


Winter is silent regarding her question, examining them a little more. He shakes his head, finally. "Be careful," he admonishes her. "The plasma is potentially very unstable. Explosion could kill us both." He moves to a storage crate and tears it open with his left hand, reaching inside. Two bedrolls, lamps, firestarting equipment, and several rations. He uses a folding can opener to crack one open, then grimaces a little.

"Always, peaches," he mutters, slurping some of the syrup from the K-ration can. "Americans put too much sugar in their peaches. Taste like candy." He lights one of the hurricane lanterns and sets it in a corner, then goes around the bunker to close the blackout panels and ensure that no light spills outside to betray their presence.

"Food. Some uniform items," he tells Carol, laying out the survival crate's contents. "Ammunition, good. Fire equipment, cash… medical supplies." He glances at her— she's at least as scratched and dinged up as he is. "Any serious wounds?" he inquires of the leggy blonde.


"I'm not wounded," says Carol. "I haven't been shot at least. Have you?" she says, snapping her eyes back over her shoulder towards him. Getting a bit of food - Carol's first order of business had been to dress into something more normal. That wasn't torn up. And so she had already raided one of the caches for that, ending up with a button up blouse and a pair of jeans. She was keeping her switchheels, though.

"I won't mess with it anymore," she says.

A handful of moments, and she turns - picking up a 'fresh' plasma rifle and setting it near the door, her pistol drawn as she leans into the bunker wall, by the door. "I'll take first watch? I don't think I can sleep so soon after," she says.


"Shrapnel. Not deep." Winter seems weirdly calm over it, and pulls aside his ruined shirt to reveal a series of low, streaking wounds on his ribs. The portal trauma kit has all the tools needed for field-expedient medical care, and he uses a pair of forceps to start extracting a few tiny, glittering chunks of steel, none of which are bigger than a pea.

"I don't need much sleep," he tells Carol. "Rest if you can," he suggests to her, though his tone of bored professionalism is more pragmatic than filled with concern for her well-being, his left arm resting stonily on his thigh. "It'll be at least a day until we can leave here. Maybe longer."


"Then get what sleep you can, and I'll be here when you wake up," says Carol, with a bit of a snap. Glancing towards him - her glance wasn't anything more than checking the level of his wounds. She clenches her jaw. "Because if you're tired when we need you to not be, then… well, we're both in trouble. Likewise for me," she says. Either way, she turns her attention forward - keeping her hand on the weapon. It was going to be a long wait, either way.


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