1963-12-01 - The Grinch
Summary: Domino and Gamora compete for the same bounty.
Related: None
Theme Song: You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch
domino gamora 

The gray light of an overcast dawn begins to slowly seep into the colorful awnings and shops of Chinatown as the neighborhood begins to wake up. It took some doing to find a shop that wasn't concerned about her green skin, but like every neighborhood, there were people who would mind, and people who wouldn't. So we find the green-skinned mercenary woman sitting outside her favorite tea shop on the cold metal cafe furniture out in front of the shop.

Gamora is in her black leathers, and the only weapon people might notice is the Bowie knife-sized blade sheathed at the small of her back. It's visible when her jacket lifts sometimes. On the little round table beside her is a steaming pot of tea, and Gamora herself is leaning back in one rickety chair, with her boots up on a chair across from her. She's putting on a fairly decent show of being nearly asleep, but in truth she's on high alert, waiting for any sign of her quarry, who's supposed to be in the flop house half a block down.


By comparison, as the weather continues to become more chilly Domino's moved away from the biker leathers and switched out for a mid-length smoke grey wool coat. It's by far warmer and more comfortable but it won't take a hit nearly as well. Someone needs to hurry up and invent thin, flexible, thermally regulated armored material already!

Her collar's turned up and her gloved hands hide deep within pockets as she walks down the sidewalk, her own head tipped forward a few degrees and her eyes kept forward. Oddly enough, she's also on the job. Peripheral vision allows her to keep an eye on the others, which means that she's both able to see her mark when they first show up and that she almost completely misses said mark because there's someone with -green fricking skin- sitting at a tea shop.

Could that be one of the 'aliens' everyone's going on about lately? And if it is..why does no one seem to care around here? The albino is still some distance away from Greenie when she slows to a standstill, just..looking onward as other pedestrians mindlessly alter their course to walk around her.

A noise from the side brings her back around. Her mark isn't alone, three other Asian looking sorts in dark business attire accompany him as they start piling into a nearby van. Her first window of opportunity is already gone. Swearing under her breath she promptly changes direction, crossing the street to claim a better point of attack.


Spying the albino woman checking her out, Gamora nods and gives her a wink. But when Domino is paying attention to /Gamora's/ mark, the green woman frowns slightly. But then she shrugs and pulls a device from her jacket pocket that looks a little like garage door opener. Pulling its antenna out, fully extended, she depresses the thumb button.

And nothing happens.

Gamora frowns more, shakes the little box, and mashes the button seven or eight times before fina-


For someone who barely understands Earth vehicle technology, it /might/, conceivably, sound like a piston being thrown. But for anyone with basic exposure to cars, or ordinance and explosives, it is most obviously a shaped charge designed to disable the engine, smoke up the inside of the van, but not do too much harm otherwise.

Gamora tosses the remote in a trash can nearby and stands, pausing to finish her cup of tea, and starts walking casually toward the smoking van.


ROLL: Domino +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 72


Dom never notices the detonator, while it's being readied she's getting herself into position.

The four Asian men are all in the van and closing the doors.

The albino is drawing a suppressed 1911 handgun from beneath her coat, leveling it at the driver.

There's a muted *Tak!* an instant prior to the van's engine going out with a bang and no shortage of smoke.

Dom frowns and looks down at her own weapon with a 'the fuck?' expression. She didn't shoot the engine and it's not -that- powerful of a bullet…

Inside of the van the remaining three are getting rather frantic. The fourth, the driver, is slumped against the door with the keys falling from lifeless fingers. There's a neat dime-sized hole in the windshield where the .45 slug passed through, and a somewhat less neat hole in the driver's forehead.

Two of the remaining three jump back out onto the street, each holding a modified Reising submachine gun. The only problem is that they aren't sure who to attack or where the threat is. Something took out their entire engine. With the smoke and the excitement they haven't yet realized that their driver is toast, or that there's an armed gal standing a ways in front of them.

Everyone else in the area, they sure noticed something's not right. There's people standing around with GUNS, it's time to go!

Through the smoke one of the SMG'ers suddenly spots the albino, quickly yelling out in Chinese to warn his buddy as he brings his weapon up.

In another instant the city street is filled with the concussive echo of a pair of .45 SMG's unloading into a row of parked vehicles, trying to cut down the lady that just ducked down behind them!


Likewise, Gamora missed the 'tak' sound while she was fiddling with the detonator. So she's surprised when they open up on a target across the street. As if in slow motion, she glances in the direction of their target, doesn't see anyone, and then shrugs. And then she springs into action.

Like a Jaguar leaping from the shadows, Gamora sprints down the sidewalk and blindsides one of the shooters. In a flurry she has the man's head in her hands, and she snaps his neck. She takes the gun from his lifeless fingers before he even hits the ground.


It's all the distraction Domino needs (that and the two only pack twenty rounds apiece in their SMG's, it goes fast!) She ducks back out of cover with her shoulders pressed flat against the curb, bringing her pistol around with one hand to neatly peg the third guy square between the eyes with another brief *Tak!* from her weapon.

He never has a chance to be shocked like hell that some green lady just broke his pal's neck like it were a brittle twig. They're down and out of the picture well before reality can catch up to them.

The van only had four people in it before. There's just one left, the mark for both Gamora and Domino alike. When he steps out of the vehicle he sure doesn't look like he had in the picture… Gone is the plain looking Chinese businessman and the fancy suit. Taking his place is a creature hewn of rough-edged obsidian, all brightly polished black with some wicked sharp looking edges seemingly thrown in completely at random.

This guy only sees Gamora, and is quick to respond by ripping a door off of the van then throwing it at her with considerable force!


Gamora blinks when the tiny bullet hole appears in the forehead of the last man, watches him drop, and starts to look for the other shooter, but then the obsidian guy is getting out, and she just sighs. Without much hope in her eyes, she empties the last of the clip from her acquired SMG into the man's gut, apparently unsurprised when they just ricochet every which way.

More surprising is the flung door, but she just manages to duck away from it, spinning fast and coming up with her bowie knife. With a few quick twists and flicks, like a butterfly knife on crack, the knife expands into a full-sized sword, but that takes time, still leaving her on the defensive for now.


Mister Obsidian doesn't seem terribly impressed by the knife-turned-sword trick. His response is to rip the entire front bumper off of the ruined van, not an immediate action itself, though he's still feeling confident enough to swing one end of it at Gamora's head!

Popular target this morning, the head…

Domino is happy to stay behind cover as a severed van door crashes onto the hood of the car she's hiding behind, coming up a moment later to take a shot at the brute. It misses its intended mark but catches him in the crook of the neck, bouncing far and away.

With a little something extra. Maybe her eyes are playing tricks on her but from where she's crouching it sure looks like there's more lines in the obsidian-like armor around the point of impact than a moment ago. The same result didn't happen when Greenie shot him a couple of times, with the same bullet, so either she got super lucky, or there's something more at play…

She's still working this one out in her head when the powered guy yells out and tries to beat Gamora into a holiday color-themed paste.


There may come a day when an enormous brute finds himself able to strike Gamora with an improvised bumper-smash-stick, but today is not that day. Almost as if to amused herself, Gamora lazily turns one way, and then the next, her sword whistling through the air, slicing through the chrome, leaving the bumper to fall in 4 separate pieces.

She comes to a rest with her sword outstretched, the threat clear and intentional, saying, "You're worth more to me alive, but I'll get paid either way. This is your only chance to surrender."


His bumper weapon may now lie in pieces but as the threat is made Mister Obsidian slowly grins, then begins to chuckle.

Then he approaches Gamora, without any weapon at all. She can hit him with her sword all she likes, as with most of the bullets it's not going to hurt him any.

Sooner or later he's going to grab Gamora. Then he's going to pick her right off of her feet and boldly throw her into the same car that now has a van door lying on the hood. And an albino hiding behind it.

"Worth more to YOU alive?!" Domino snaps out. "This bastard is -mine!-"

Up and over the car, and the van door, and Gamora, the albino leaps, her suppressed pistol sounding out a few more times before it's interrupted with a "HRAK!" and a moment of silence before she, too, smashes down onto the well abused car right beside Gamora.

"I don't think..he's a fan..of the possessive types…" she painfully groans while slowly reaching for the back of her head.

There's another hint of splintering upon the man. Subtle and limited in size, but there's enough for her to do the math.

The next two words come as a whisper, one dawning of realization: "Pressure points."

Bullets and swords won't go through the armor plating, yet bullets are great for what amounts to a sharp jab within a very limited area. Striking at pressure points causes tiny fractures to form, just the sort of injury that a sword could pierce through.

Dom's already reaching for another magazine when she glances at Gamora, with a wince. "Keep him busy for a few" is all she has to say before peeling herself away from the car. Pinpoint accuracy on a moving target? That she can do.


The perfidious jinn with the obsidian grin suddenly earns more of Gamora's respect. When her sword clangs off of his hardened stone-glass defenses, she tries to take a moment to reassess her tactics. She's good at analyzing and taking advantage of her opponents' weaknesses. But spotting the hairline fractures in the man's surface surprises her, leaving her open to the brute's strike.

And then she's


across the street to crash onto the car, face up, while her sword plunges down into the car's engine right next to her head. That was lucky!

"Ruh…?" is most of Gamora's response as she blinks, sitting up, just in time to get jostled by Domino's return. She rubs at her face with both hands and finally hops to her feet on top of the crunched car. This would require a little more care on her part.

Drawing her sword from where it landed, she hops down, yanks open the car door, and slices it off at the hinges. Jamming her hand inside the inner door panel she hoists the thing up as a makeshift tower shield, shakes the tinkling glass out of it, and approaches the mark more carefully.

Circling, she makes a series of exploratory strikes, trying to jab the point of the Godslayer into any of the spiderwebbed sections of glass she can reach, while also taking more care to protect herself this time. "You've voided my offer, ogre. Now you die," she says, quietly confident in her abilities.


That sword is scary! At least to Domino it is. Too close for comfort all around! Though there is definite purpose in Gamora distracting the Obsidian guy. It's like being attacked by a grizzly bear and a mosquito at the same time. Without the bear the mosquito's time is quite limited. Without the mosquito ..the bear would probably still kick the guy's ass three ways to Sunday, but Dom's not giving up her hit! She can still make money on this!

While duking it out with Gamora it's a simple matter for him to miss the occasional 'tap' upon his armored form. Sure enough, she's aiming for pressure points. Whenever she lands another shot there's more of those tiny fractures taking shape while the existing ones loosen up a little further.

Gamora's not likely going to have such a great time. Obsidian can get knocked over, picked up, thrown around, slammed to the street, and he just keeps on at it. Between the two there's likely going to be a lot of property damage and several more ruined vehicles, but throughout the entire exchange..?

He still doesn't understand a word either of them are saying. Bilingual he is not!

Things are going okay until one of those quieted pistol shots causes the entire plate across his chest to splinter from end to end, thin vertical cracks within the surface which are impossible for Gamora to miss. THAT gets his attention. In the next moment he's ripping a streetlight out of the ground and flinging it the albino's way, the heavy object whooshing across the road like a demented helicopter.

She almost manages to dodge it. The hook-shaped fixture for the light catches her leg and throws her aside, crashing through the window of a nearby store.

Then his attention returns to Gamora, suddenly presenting the world's most ideal pose for something in need of getting stabbed in the chest by a giant freaking sword.


Gamora means to take full advantage of the golem's distraction. When he throws the lamppost, she waits just long enough for him to turn back, and then chucks her car-door-shield at his face.

Of course he bats it away harmlessly, but the assassin has the measure of this creature now, and in the blink it took to deflect her shield, her sword has been buried to the hilt in the man's chest, jammed into the crack made by Domino's bullet. She takes a step back to admire her work, and idly wonder if this will actually kill him or not.

Keeping her eye on the mark, Gamora calls over her shoulder to Domino, "You ok back there?"


Does a sword through the chest kill the guy?

Yes. Yes it does.

He's too slow in reacting, not that his arms alone would have made the difference for him. The piercing wound is almost impossibly clean because of the obsidian layering though as he drops to his knees there's the familiar flow of all too red blood oozing out around the blade from both sides.

Then he's lying on his side, looking more like a fallen statue than a man with a warped couple of genes.

From the busted store window one hand reveals itself, turning to weakly jab a finger in Gamora's direction. "You aren't taking credit for that hit."

Yeah, Dom will be just fine.

When she stands amidst the tune of tinkling shards of glass her physical presentation may say otherwise. She's heavily favoring one leg and there's lots of tiny cuts in her coat, mimicked to a lesser degree upon the side of her neck and face.

Gamora could probably knock her over with her little finger as she stumbles out of the front door. The 'open' sign falls with a clatter behind her while the owner yells out in a thick accented voice "You break you buy!" The albino doesn't look back, responding by giving the shop owner a middle finger over her shoulder.

"This is still my hit, Springtime."


Turning at the sound of the voice from the wreckage, Gamora peers until Domino actually pops up. She chuffs a short laugh, turns halfway back, side-on to Domino /and/ her kill. "What hit? That hit? The one with my sword in his chest?" She crosses her arms and watches the pale woman thoughtfully, with no attention spared for the irate shop owner.

Gamora doesn't look hardly winded, but she gives her neck a weary stretch, left, then right, and sighs. "Look, where I'm from… Let's just say this isn't the first time I've been double-booked. So as long as you don't want more than /half/," she says, pausing, and meaning to give the clear impression that she considers this more than fair on Domino's side. "Then I don't see why we can't turn this in together." She hasn't even moved to retrieve her sword yet. It's just sticking up in the middle of the guy, like the Excalibur.


"Yeah," Domino confirms while limping toward Gamora with one hand, complete with pistol, held low at her side. "-That- hit. Blackie McRockface had a price on him and I took the contract."

Nevermind the fact that Gamora doesn't seem to be injured -at all- and just used a CAR DOOR as a shield.

"-Half" she starts to object then pauses in her step to look at the giant sword jutting out of their mark, front and back. Just like that the edge is taken out of her tone, "sounds kinda reasonable."


"While we're going for our payday maybe you can tell me who you are and why you look like the damn Grinch." She pauses again before asking "You -are- green, right..? I'm not just tripping out again because of something I ate around here? Though if you keep dressing like that you're gonna be more purple by the end of the week."


Gamora watches Domino carefully, evaluating everything about her posture, tone and body language until the other woman agrees to their terms. She doesn't completely relax, but a business arrangement makes this feel like more familiar terms. Crossing to the body, she steps on his glassy gut and yanks her sword free with a horrible metal-on-glass scraping sound. She cleans it on the quarry's pant leg, and then sheathes it across her back instead of breaking it back down to knife-size.

With that done she turns back to make introductions. "I'm Gamora. I don't know what a Grinch is, but I'm green because I'm a mutated human. Other humans experimented on me after I mutated. I am most displeased with them for my mistreatment." Yep. Good story, that.

Gamora pics out a white Lincoln Continental that looks mostly undamaged and pries the trunk open. Then she hoists the body over one shoulder and dumps him into the trunk, before shutting it again. The complaint of the car's shocks makes it seem like the guy must weigh half a ton.

"Can you operate this vehicle?" Gamora asks, gesturing at the open driver's side door.


Domino winces slightly when Gamora reclaims the sword. "That is -not- a happy sound…" she mutters through her teeth. Though this also reminds her, there's two dropped submachine guns which no one currently has claims to.

Well, that's not entirely correct. Someone -has- laid claims to them. So, the albino goes to retrieve them both. A person can never go wrong with having some extra disposable automatic ordnance lying around.

The greeting is nothing unusual. The admission of being a mutant is a little more unusual. Openly admitting that she had been experimented on surprises the -hell- out of Neena. "Uh..-huh-… she absently replies while gingerly settling the subgun slings across her better shoulder. "And I'm Domi..no," she hesitantly replies while the trunk of another car is opened as if it's nothing more pesky than a bottlecap. She's rather surprised that it still closes after that kind of treatment, though the odds of it being jammed closed are better than not.

"Oh goodie. Another Continental. This isn't ominous at all," she mutters to herself before responding properly. "If there's enough left of it to operate..yeah."

She's all set to bash in the driver's side window when something makes her pause. Instead she reaches down and tries the handle.


A faint "Huh" escapes her as she settles in behind the wheel, likewise finding the keys hiding on top of the sun visor. A soft *Tsk* from Whitey, then she turns the engine over. "Sure beats waiting for the story to show up on the news." There's no way she would have been able to wrestle the Obsidian one into the trunk! "Time to roll, Gams."


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