1964-01-20 - Collaboration
Summary: Domino meets with Bea's underlings to start planning a prison break
Related: None
Theme Song: None
beatrice domino 

Within the once bustling hive of a former warehouse things have become much more quiet. Gone are the swarms of wasps and the marching of ants. Formerly thriving colonies have been downsized to the point of nonexistence.

Except for one.

A gentle scraping sound follows the progress of a lone blue feigning death beetle as it scuttles across the empty cement floor, antennae rhythmically bobbing up and down not unlike a blind man tapping a cane as he walks. The beetle pauses once and seems to look upward, mandibles shifting as if tasting the air before ducking back down and setting off in a different direction.

Some distance away another creature shifts, slinking out from the shadows as a ghostly white face surrounded by clothing as black as night. Domino makes even less noise than the beetle does as she visually scans the room, a stubby CAR-4 assault rifle held low but ready within her hands. It's been some time since she's been here, there's no telling what she might encounter. After getting their queen incarcerated it's entirely possible that anything left within the area wouldn't be terribly friendly towards her, either.


Back in the corner of the formerly bustling manufacturing facility, or really just big warehouse at this point, a large plot of concrete floor about ten feet by twenty feet has been ripped up and replaced with planting soil. The scent of fresh, wet earth, along with the thick, cloying aroma of manure fills the cold morning air.

Kneeling at the side of the plot is one enormous beetle-man. Herc's back carapace is lined with scars from cracks in the keratin that have healed, and others which are still healing. He moves like doing so pains him, but he's determined to do it anyway. It looks like he's tending a huge bed of mushrooms. Hercules, the mushroom farmer.

From a nearby shadow to Domino's right, a whispered sigh of relief. "Oh, thank the mistress. It's you!" Ms. Green steps out of the shadows and gives Domino a friendly smile. Or, as friendly as the apex predator mantis woman can manage anyway. For a moment it's hard to place what's off about the creature, but then it becomes clear that she's wearing clothes. The loose pants and wrapped tunic reinforce the monk-martial artist image she portrays, and also leave room for the big wings folded at her back.

"Have you heard any word from our Lady?" Green asks Domino, unable to hide the desperate sadness in her voice.


Following the scent of fertilizer is easy enough, leading to a much more sane-sized Hercules. To Domino it seems more like he's in mourning than prepping for a warpath. Once Miss Green announces herself as well there's a visible release of tension within the albino, slowly letting the carbine hang by a sling from her shoulder. Beatrice's Lieutenants are still alive and mobile..this is a good sign.

A quick glance is passed back to the death beetle as she explores the grounds, similarly drawn closer to Herc with the scent of mushrooms. The beetle's health has been fine, though she's shrunk an alarming amount.

"Not yet," Dom admits while turning to look at Green. "But I have a real good idea on where they're holding her."

The thought which she doesn't come out and say is 'why haven't you two found her already?' Or, why hasn't Bea gotten herself out by now?

"I put the word out for the rest of the crew, we'll see if there's any takers. She's been in there long enough. It looks like you two need something productive to do, too."

Saying this she turns to look at the mushroom farmer, calling out "Yo, Herc! You hanging in there?"


"Oh good," Green says with an eager step forward. "If there's anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask." Green turns to walk toward Herc, gesturing for Domino to go with her. She says quietly, "He's had trouble hearing lately. But he was deaf for a week after… well, you know. And clumsy as hell." She gestures at a toppled and crushed pile of crates in the corner. "But he can hear a bit now, and seems to be getting better."

At the sound of Domino's shout, Herc seems a little startled and turns to see the two walking in his direction. His face isn't quite as human-like as Green's, but he can manage an animal's grin. He's slow too, like an old man with a bad back, but eventually he rises to his feet, fortunately just a boring old eight-foot tall beetle monster now, instead of what he became at the Empire State building. "Hi Dom," he nearly shouts. He is obviously having trouble hearing how loud he is. "You hear from Bea?"


"We'll get to that," Domino promises while walking alongside Green. While she never really knew what to make of these two it's way obvious that Herc is in a bad way. There's almost a tinge of sympathy which creeps into her expression, one which is easily missed within otherwise hard-set features.

The flinch which follows his greeting..that's easier to notice from her. "That's a big negative. Where she wound up they don't exactly offer visitation opportunities. With all that's been going on I'm starting to fear the worst," she remarks while passing a chilled stare back to Spaz the Slghtly Less Impressively Sized Blue Beetle. "Whatever the situation is I don't think she's firing on all cylinders."

Herc is given another critical looking over as she considers the guy. With a quick motion of her head, and an increase of volume in her voice, she asks "How are you at carrying things these days?"

Spaz seems to join in, crawling on top of one of Herc's feet then chilling out there for the moment.

Back to Green, she says "We're looking at a shadow op. If..I can keep the rest of the team on board with the idea. Pass through without a trace, dispose of resistance one at a time. We're still going to need a way to get Bea out of there. I'm not counting on her being up for a lot of hiking once we find her."


"We would know-" Herc starts, still sort of shouting, but then it seems like he gets the look from Green and he nods. His volume lowers a notch and he continues. "We know if she dies. Can feel her, sort of." He squats down and hunkers there with a surprising amount of joint flexibility. He reaches out to pet the beetle and says, "Can still carry some. But…" He seems embarrassed but forges on. For Beatrice. "But maybe only one car?" He shrugs, and winces, regretting the movement.

Green moves to rest a supporting hand on Herc's shoulder. The two are close as siblings, and this rare glimpse of their closeness is not something they would share with anyone else. "We can do shadow ops," she assures Domino. "We just can't smash down any walls right now."


The two are regarded in silence, the critical nature never fully leaving Domino's face. She's not entirely the same person that she had been more than a month ago. Something about her had changed, perhaps not for the better.

With Herc looking legitimately embarrassed by the admission she points out "I'm more concerned with you being able to carry Beatrice out of the facility without needing to stop for a breather. Tempo will be important. Now that those bastards are stepping up their efforts to tackle anything more than human they're pulling all the stops for security and response time. If we get caught with our pants down in there it's going to get very ugly very quickly. So, we move fast."

Another glance is passed to Miss Green. "And we have a strong Plan B under our thumb."

"Look," she starts in again then immediately cuts herself short, glancing off to the side with one hand rubbing at her nose and the other hand ending up on a hip. Her attention stays away from the two for a while, shifting downward after she's unable to find a proper distraction along the wall. "I know a few things about how these scenarios are handled."

Neena's voice softens further when she says "She's probably drugged out of her mind. We can't count on her assistance. Anticipate that she will be nothing more than dead weight."

A quick breath is claimed then she looks back to the pair. "I don't have a floorplan. Can either of you communicate with bugs? I don't know, if we could get some roaches in the place to do some recon for us or something…"


Herc clenches his jaw and straightens up at the question of carrying Beatrice. "Can carry Bea. Can carry her any distance." His throat clicks when he swallows, and he adds, "But I'm not fast. And… not fly yet."

Ms. Green says, "Neither of us can control the tiny ones. They have to be big enough to follow directions. I mean, if we even had just one little…" she trails off, glancing down at the blue bomber still clinging to Herc's foot, and then looks back to Domino. She looks guilty about suggesting it, but clearly Bea's safety trumps all other concerns. "We do have one option for reconnaissance. Your little friend can follow directions, I think."


Domino nods once to Herc, back to looking down and to one side as she works out the variables in her mind. That..and she also can't help but think more about these two and their sibling-like connection. They're nowhere near being from the same species of insect! That they would share such a familial connection is kind of odd, in a word.

Odd, but helpful.

When Green chimes in with her suggestion that down-cast focus of hers sloooowly draws over to the beetle in question, still happily perched upon Herc. One of her hands comes back up to her face, suddenly looking very thoughtful.

They -do- have a scout. One which conveniently plays dead when threatened. This defense mechanism greatly improves Spaz's odds of surviving such a mission. Who's going to attack the already dead thing?

"Whatcha think, Spaz? Want to practice some infiltration maneuvers?"

Spaz just stares back at her with antennae bobbing up and down, looking less interested in the job and more interested on when she's getting another slice of apple.

Looking to Green and Herc once again, she says "I think we have ourselves a team."


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