1963-08-31 - Bloody Satisfaction
Summary: A guest pays a visit to the Armory's detention facility.
Related: Missing Pieces plot
Theme Song: None
laura maverick natasha akihiro jean stryker 

The lights hum irritably overhead for the prisoners in Stryker's holding cell. The white on white motif begs for a new interior decorator. The four cells comprised of adamantium bars are half occupied today. The red head had been taken out some hours ago for reasons that no one knew. One cell remains empty.

The other two, however, each have an occupant.

It's to this room that the door that blends with the wall opens. There's a vague shuffle of footsteps — some silent footfalls complete with bare feet — as a small troop shuffle into the space.

Stryker clears his throat, "Assess at your leisure, doctor," he states blandly as his booted steps noisily move along the surface of the tiles. "You'll see we're doing our jobs according to plan," he smiles a sinister smile like his teeth were never intended to smile.

The small blonde duo behind him, clutching hands peek at Maverick a stitch longer than they ought before turning back to Stryker and maintaining silence.


In his cell, his beard growing thicker by the day, David is doing what has become routine — sitting in the corner and quietly, repeatedly driving his fist into the wall. At least, until the first sign of activity. As soon as the door opens to admit people, he immediately rises to his feet with a curious, attentive lofting of his eyebrows.

When David catches the gaze of the two blondes, the corner of his mouth twitches downwards… but his eyes keep going back to Stryker, one of his eyes squinting slightly in suspicion.

He keeps his mouth shut.


In the white cell with streaks of blood in it is Akihiro, who keeps getting shaggier by the day. He would look unhappy about it if he weren't propped up in bed with a rolled cigarette between his lips. "You wouldn't happen to have a lighter stashed away, would ya?" he asks this of Maverick, ignoring anything else that's going on right now. "I know I can't get high, but it'd be nice to smoke before things go downhill again."


ROLL: Natasha +rolls 1d3 for a result of: 1


Beside Stryker, a green-eyed woman with a red bun and a long, white coat cradles a clipboard against her chest while scanning over each of the cells and listening. "Appreciated," she says with a fleeting glance for the soldier's smile. "I, of course, have no intentions on interfering with the work you're doing, here— it's just that that work is so important that, well." She takes a beat to adjust medium-thick, black glasses while lowering her gaze. "Certain people just need certain assurances," she quietly, demurely concludes.

With that, she swallows hard, heads towards David's cell, and leans a little closer for a better look at the man. This, in turn, gives him a clear look at Gretchen Steingate's badge.

"Alright, then," she begins while flipping the clipboard forward and scanning over whatever materials she may have been given prior to stepping in. "Let's see…" Flip, flip, flip. Even if she was given zero materials, she flips.

"Mr. North. Mr. Akihiro; how are you feeling today?"


The blondes stare back at Maverick a few beats longer. Their blue eyes speak to something never spoken, blinking back some kind of secret emotion. In unison, their chins drop into a near nod. The pair take a single step away from Stryker as their eyes remain on the floor. In doing so, they back up into Laura, but her body doesn't stop them from moving, almost trying to push her back a stitch as well.

Stryker lifts his eyebrows as he inspects Maverick and then Akihiro in turn. "There are plenty of assurances to be had. They were all arrested in a legal manner." Of course, due process wasn't considered. "They were seen to be — " he strokes his chin expectantly " — disturbing the peace. Their non-ability'd counterparts, of course, you will also have access to." He strokes his chin again. "I believe the effects will hold up well with the people you work with, Doctor."


David remains tucked back in the corner of his cell - just standing, now, rather than sitting. Not that the cell is so large that even at this distance, he can't read what's typed on the redhead's badge. Accomodations are not precisely spacious. He tries to see if there's any kind of agency listed on the badge, but otherwise, he seems fairly… resigned.

"Due process," David murmurs under his breath, and the manner with which he rolls his eyes is quite expansive. He loosely clasps his hands behind his back and lets his eyes settle on Gretchen, his brow furrowed slightly in thought. "Snug as a bug in a rug," he replies flatly. "Rents are reasonable."


The door slides open with a quiet hiss, two men garbed in their usual janitorial wear enter in with a mop bucket and a few cleaning towels. One cannot say that Stryker does not uphold prison-like standards, though for a moment a few glances were cast in between the other and soon directed towards Akihiro's cell. A big no. They would not enter into that area without hazmat suits to protect them from the biohazardous infection of the mutant genome.

Their pay was not high enough.

So instead, they enter into the cell that was once occupied by Jean Grey. Immediately grumping and groaning as the mattress stained with.. what looks to be ketchup or mustard was immediately pulled down and hoisted against the wall.

"New one?" Number one says.
"Yep." So says number two.


"Their manicures are the /best/." Akihiro says this with almost enough venom to melt through the vibranium bars. "It's real nostalgic though, it's been a long time since I had to sleep in a room that was covered in my own blood." He tugs out his broken lighter, before looking to the janitors "Which you ASSHOLES could come in here and clean."


"These aren't the best accomodations," Gretchen allows with a small, flickering smile. "How long would you say you've been here? What, if anything, would you change about them, if you could?" She slips a pen out from under the clip and readies it. Her eyes are fixed on David, but that's mostly a matter of proximity; she's definitely speaking to both of them in a calm, not quite friendly, but pleasant enough tone. "In fact, maybe we should take a step back: why would you say you're here? Obviously, you were deemed threats to the peace and segregated from the rest of society for its own good; we all know that, and that's not what I'm asking. Why are you here? Instead of occupying an even less accomodating hole somewhere."


X-23 has been an utter angel for this entire visit, of course. Absolutely the best X-23 she knows how to be. An ideal, model weapon. Not a stitch of defect to her, you could eat dinner off her squeaky clean brain. Quiet, unobtrusive, compliant in her knee-length white smock and bare feet. Disinterested and obedient. Everything one could ask for.

Yet, as the twins step back into her, Laura takes her own silent step back almost immediately, hands resting lightly on the blondes' backs at about waist-height.


"Someone is talking to us." Number One says.
"So? I ain't going in there.. fuck that guy." Number two says.

Number two had a little issue with the mattress, pushing it back against the wall as it bounds right forward, and back again with the shove of his hand. He sticks a foot out, edging against it as he steadies it with his hands, then gives up the ghost with a grunt. "I'll just take this out," he mutters. "I'll be back."

Number one grabs the handle of the mop, drawing it out and slopping the hot, wet water against the floor. It smelled strongly of bleach and a touch of pine, almost giving thoughts to the way a morgue smells after a body had been upon the table. Or something close to that.


There's a very tiny curl of the girls' lips as Laura puts her hands on their backs. Their chins remain down and their eyes downcast. They don't say anything. Laura can, however, feel them push against her hands as the pair take another small step backwards, expectant that Laura will follow suit.

Stryker remains where he is. Arms folded over his chest as his jaw juts out slightly to assess Akihito's insubordination. "I promised myself I wouldn't create another weapon with a mouth." His eyes lid. His head snaps to watch Akirhiro with military precision, but he doesn't remark further on the younger man's thoughts about sleeping in blood. Maybe he's rattled. Or he doesn't care.

He probably doesn't care.


"I've been here since August nineteenth, Miss Steingate," David informs Gretchen with his own ghost of a smile, his eyebrows briefly rising further up his forehead. "You tell me."

Behind his back, David's fingers twitch, his eyes flicking back towards the trio of Weapons and the man who forged them. At least, he thinks Stryker is really there this time. Being greeted by a view of Stryker's back has one of David's fists clenching, but he stays otherwise still.

"As to why I think I'm here in the first place? Because I wanted to be," David says with a shrug, bringing his eyes back to the redhead. "I was investigating kidnappings and wanted to learn more. Suppose I succeeded, from a certain point of view." He doesn't dignify the rest of the question with a response. Obviously, if he's here, he doesn't belong with his non-powered counterparts. Process of elimination, and she looks like a bright lady.


Akihiro pushes to his feet at the question, heading over and letting his arms drape through the bars. His lips part enough to show off his unnaturally sharp canines and the claws hidden in his arms extend.

"I can hear you." the teen gently reminds the janitors. "You act like I've got something you can catch. Don't get sick, comes with healing as quick as I do." Then he turns back towards the woman asking all those questions.

"Because I like to cause trouble. Fights in China Town. Killed a couple of kids in Central Park, but to be fair they shot me in the face. I'm right where I belong, stuck behind bars waiting on an order." With that he shifts his gaze to Stryker. "I'll do pretty much whatever it takes to atone."


Gretchen's head actually turns to follow David's gaze as his fist clenches and she studies the trio of young women for a beat before returning her attention to the cell. Mr. North's reasons for being here draw a murmured, "That's interesting," a quirked brow, and some scribbling. She actually does keep her eyes trained on him for a tick or two after he falls silent, just to see if he'll follow up on his thoughts any and finish answering her; when he doesn't, she draws a couple steps back and turns so that she can look into Akihiro's cell.

Now that she doesn't have to, she absolutely does not turn her back to the quiet girl in the white smock or the blonde twins.

"So," she murmurs after listening to the bestial mutant and scribbling, "you're both here because you want to be, then? That's very interesting, I have to say. You, especially— "

Cautiously, she approaches Akihiro's cage while trying to meet his eyes.

"— seem to not only accept your lot, here, but welcome it. Despite any hardships." Her eyes flick visibly towards a concentration of streaks before returning to Akihiro. "What is it that you feel you need to atone for? Is it your violent impulses, or something more specific?"

Scribble, scribble, scribble; for a moment, she seems to simply be waiting for a response, until—

"Do you feel that these 'orders' you're carrying out are helping you atone?"


Swish.. swish.. swish..

Number one was quietly listening as Number two.. who had gone moments before, remained absent whilst trying to acquisition a new mattress for the messed up, sad sack of a redhead..

"..atone my ass.." The janitor murmurs, stopping at a spot of ketchup that congealed and begins to bear down and scrub, scrub, scrub!

"..atone for being a sorry sack of mutie scum.."

Swish, swish, swish!

"…shits like gelatin.."

He gets down on one knee, then uses his thumb to scratch instead, making a red, clotted mess upon the ground. Satisfied, he raises with an ack'ing grunt then continues to mop.


X-23 continues to slide back silently, until the second the visiting doctor looks their way, at which point she goes still as ice, giving the twins a warning nudge. And the instant her gaze is back on Akihiro… she slowly scoots back again, until satisfied with the distances involved.


The blondes look at one another when Natasha asks them if they want to be here. This is a terribly confusing question for them, and they don't know how to answer it. The hand at their backs is heeded. But only for a moment. Seconds later, their programming fails, "We want," they start in complete unison, "to be with our sisters. The man on the island took them and we cannot find them. We need them we need them back we need — "

"Silence, XIV-1, XIV-2," Stryker counters back.

"XIV-3," one corrects.

Stryker stares daggers at the pair. "Report upstairs. Now." His jaw works around the words with ferocity. "You are defective." His chin upnods towards the door.

The girls don't move.


ROLL: Maverick +rolls 3d100 for a result of: 116 [25 39 52]


David remains stationary even after Gretchen's attention drifts over to Akihiro. All that changes is now, he stares openly towards Stryker's back, a tightness slowly coming to his jaw.

Until he says the word. Defective.

There is a certain gracefulness to the speed with which both of David's arms silently snap up and between the bars, extending towards the uniformed man's back as blue eyes narrow into infuriated slits. Nostrils flaring, there is a sudden surge of pink-violet energy that comes rippling forth from his shoulders, down his arms, and finally ERUPTS from his palms.

All of the energy he has been building up since arriving in this cell, converted into a single kinetic blast. All of it. Aimed directly between Stryker's shoulders.


"My father is the Wolverine." Akihiro replies, casually name dropping an infamous figure known from Japan to the KGB, "The only reason I'm anywhere is because I want to be." His claws retract, and he doesn't seem aggressive in the slightest.

"I have the good fortune that my limbs grow back and most wounds heal without a scar." The teen's attention turn to the janitors once more, "Well all except the emotional ones." He flashes a grin, finding humor in a rough situation. Now his attention shifts slightly, "Spent the last four years in the middle of fuck off Canada being trained to resist torture, kill, and not be seen. There aren't many people that do what we do that don't want atonement of some sort." And then Maverick is doing his thing, and rather than help out he simply backs up. "Guess you don't like your fingernails."


Well, well, well.
Number two walked in, then promptly walked back out.
Number one was busy scrubbing, until he heard Akihiro's words which cause him to look right up, the movement from David has him looking over wide eyed and in shock. His mouth opens. Closes. Opens again and closes.

Whatever commotion that seemingly would happen in that moment, Number One remained calm. He bends to carefully ring out the mop of it's water and food, laying it against the wall, the bucket soon shifted against that same wall with a little nudge, his hands soon wiped along his coveralls as he takes the very, very, very quiet exit out.

Whatever was about to happen? Well above his paygrade. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FjWe31S_0g)


The second Maverick moves, so does X-23. But she does not interfere. Instead she smoothly ducks the twin's hands, slides in front of them, and rises onto her tiptoes, throwing her arms wide. A girl her size makes a laughable sheild to hide behind against the inevitable flying tile shrapnel, but she'll heal. They won't. And so.


The energy beam knocks Stryker off his feet into the tile wall where the door rests. His body is creamed against the tile, and chunks of ceramic fly in an array of white dust around the expanse of the room. He mutters loudly and barks an order to, "Enact Code 313!"

Whoever is on the other side of the camera floods a faint gas into the cells. While the gas won't knock anyone out, it should enact a sense of compliance into those in the cells by giving them a nice, even high. For now.

It's not likely to last.

The Cuckoos gratefully step back further when Laura slides in front of them. The tile that ricochets beats heavily against Laura's body, causing bruising, cuts, discomfort, and damage in its wake.

Those in the cells are also not protected from the blast — close quarters mean collateral damage is vast.


Since there are several feet of adamantium between herself and Akihiro, Dr. Steingate readily puts her back to the mutant so that she can watch Weapon XIV and Stryker's exchange. The question had been intended for the men in the cells, but the twins are only confirming whatever suspicions she may have initially had upon being escorted down here by a military officer and a trio of teenagers. Sometimes, rarely, things just have a way of working themselves out.

Surrepitously, she scribbles.

"How often do they demonstrate signs of rebellion?" she evenly wonders while glancing up.

"What methods do you norma"

While her attention is largely fixed on the Colonel and the Weapon(s), the rosy flare from David's cell lights the edge of her vision and sends her straight to the ground, flat as she can manage with the clipboard held in vain over her head.

"— aaaauw!" That clipped cry of surprise is quickly followed by a louder one of actual pain when pulverized tile leaves bright red slashes and rent fabric across her back and legs. Briskly, instinctually, she tries to logroll away from Stryker and co. for some semblance of safety, but there isn't much she can do beyond staying down and waiting for it to end.

When it does - when the dust and shrapnel have seemingly settled, and the hiss of gas has overtaken the preceding racket - she plants her hands, hops to her feet, and dusts herself off with a grimace.

It's pretty futile seeing as how she just finished rolling around pulverized tile, so in rather short order, she just gives up in favor of nudging a few disturbed strands of hair behind her ear and returning to David's cell.

"You know, Mr. North," she says, remarkably even-toned for someone who was just subjected to an explosive mutant happening, "that display of yours only lends my earlier question more weight: why do you think you're here, instead of on a slab somewhere with your guts on a scale?"

Towards the end, she turns her eyes towards Stryker as if addressing him as well, only to bring her eyes back to David afterwards.

"Is today the first time you've tried something like that? Do you know what it is you were trying to accomplish by doing it?"


The blast sends shrapnel flying directly back into David himself, scoring deep gashes and glancing cuts all over his outstretched arms and his face. It does very little to change the expression of pure satisfaction that came to the man's face upon hearing Stryker impact the wall, the corner of his mouth twitching upwards into a mildly unhinged smile.

The fact that the bloody wounds are already beginning to vanish from his body by the time the dust clears and that purple-pink energy begins wafting from his fists like so much smoke caught in the breeze probably has a lot to do with that.

His eyes flick towards the corners when the gas begins pouring into the cells, the smile vanishing as quickly as it had appeared. David's only response is a quiet cluck of his tongue and he steps backwards into his cell, dropping his arms back to his sides. He turns his head towards the redhead and takes in the state of her, trying to figure out whether or not he feels any guilt for catching her in the blast. Given he's in a cell and she's out there, with Stryker..? He thinks he can live with it.

At her question, David smiles. "Just lucky, I guess."


There's a sick crunching sound as a piece of tile finds itself buried into Akihiro's right eye socket, causing him to howl in pain. "It's /always/ my fucking eye!" He slams a fist into the bars before roughly tugging the material out. It's interesting to watch, the skin starts to knit itself back together, and in a matter of moments he has a new eye. The various gashes across his body don't even draw his attention and close up almost instantly.


Tink. Plink. Tink… the sounds of small chunks of tile impacting the tile floor sound repeatedly as X-23 extracts pieces of tile from various parts of her body and drops them to the floor. Her smock is a mess of tears and blood, and a rivulet of red runs down the inside of her leg, but she seems to find all of this irrelevant. There's a faint scrape of tile on bone as she requires some fair effort to pull a significant portion of a full tile from her forehead. Like Akihiro, the wound is gone almost as soon as the tile hits the ground.

Laura's eyes blink slowly, and she's looking at Gretchen dispassionately when they open. "XIV-2 and XIV-3 are simply out of sorts. They are an incomplete Weapon. It is an incomfortable and troublesome state to operate below specification. A poor basis for evaluation."


Stryker peels himself from the wall. His bloodied and dusty face will likely be sporting bruising tomorrow.

At that second, he turns on his heel to point a finger in Laura's face, "They require no such thing. The pair are fine. They are operating fine. They will continue to operate fine. And the rebellion is a glitch because of their recent fieldwork. Evidently a quartet of mutants outside this base saw fit to expose it. The twins' sisters were taken by…" his jaw tightens. "A group of mutants has seen fit to liberate some of our subjects. A subject that had been streamlined into the program… escaped. We are in the process of reacquiring it. Soon enough it will be back amongst our best weapons."

He snaps at the blondes, and points towards Maverick. The pair feel their eyebrows drawing together sharply before allowing their eyes to lid, and entering into Maverick's mind. In seconds, Maverick is asleep again, paired with two other minds in his consciousness.


David's eyes move towards the trio of Weapons, his brow furrowing slightly. The gas is keeping him on a remarkably even keel, but it mostly means that the concern he's feeling is a little more visibly present on his face than he might otherwise prefer.

Staring evenly towards Stryker and the Weapons, David murmurs slowly, "You talk too mu"

Like a marionette whose strings have been cut, David crumples to the floor of his cell in an awkward heap.



Still grimacing, Gretchen quietly scribbles while Stryker rants. Now and again, blood drips from the frayed, reddened tips of her coat. Her breaths get incrementally deeper, more deliberate. There are small, sticky puddles at her heels fed by however much of the little rivers trickling down her legs manages to flow past her shoes.

"What's your name," she wonders after the snap, looking up from her writing to peer towards the girl speaking for the Weapons. The motion just about dislodges a chunk of tile lodged in her bun "and how familiar would you say you are with the Weapon XIV li"


Gretchen peers into David's cell, squints down at him. Peers over at Stryker. Into the cell. At the girls. The cell. Stryker. She frowns; she bleeds.

"I'm just going to come back to assess him another time," she quietly points out. After quietly clearing her throat and diverting her eyes from the man to the clipboard, she continues, "I could really use a medic, too, if you could find one for me." She glances up to check on Akihiro, since he was just yelling about his fucking eye— which is apparently fine, now. This causes her to cant her head a little, even if it isn't exactly a surprise.


"I'm fine doll." Akihiro shoots Gretchen a wink. "Come back and assess me sometime when you aren't quite so roughed up." He moves back to put his arms through the bars once more, casually leaning into the metal as he watches the scene unfold.


There are probably not many people that could withstand Stryker screaming into the face like that. X-23 not only does so, she does so without expression. Though her head tilts slowly to one side as he speaks. Once Stryker is done, Laura blinks slowly at him.

"They are fine," she repeats in a tone of disinterest. She does not look at Gretchen when she replies to the woman. "I was instructed to answer your questions," she notes evenly. "That has been rescinded."


Muttering something indiscernible, Stryker snaps his head back towards the door, a silent indication that his people (minus the wonder twins) should follow him. Crisp, staccato'd steps drive him back to the door with his entourage in tow, all the while considering a punishment fit for an incredibly defective weapon.


AKA: Maverick, the defective.

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