1964-05-20 - Sinister Purpose, Part 4: Madripoor Misstep
Summary: The Avengers travel to Madripoor on a hunch, perform poorly, and stumble across one thing that will make the world safer and another they're not sure they can agree with.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
lucian jean-paul kai lamont tony carnelian carol-danvers steve-rogers 

6:35 PM

Some stuffy news anchor on a popular channel directs the viewers to the Washington correspondent.

"Thank's, Walter. We can confirm tonight that President Johnson was briefed tonight about the escalating crisis in Moscow. For those of you just joining us, the Americans have shot down what appears to be a secret Soviet spy plane over a North Dakota Minuteman site. Officials have been tightlipped, but one confirmed source inside the White House has acknowledged that all missile silos have been put on notice. Also, tonight, the President has ordered the 6th Fleet to the waters just outside of the Soviet borders in the Baltic Sea, while the 7th has been asked to move towards the Soviet city of Vladivostok on its easternmost border. The threat of war, the source told me, has never been closer between these two powers."

6:35 AM

This is the beginning of the second day the Avengers have been in town. The sun is just coming up over the eastern ocean and the team is spread out, flanking the Lisonoso Seaside Resort. The decadent travel hub is gorgeously maintained with over 100 singular huts cut back into dense jungle forest with large palm trees that cover the bungalows in shade on one of the few plots of land that still has some nature in it. A gigantic pool sits just off the beach; it's large fountains spit chlorinated water back into the reservoir and, in a few hours, this place will be packed. Vacationers have their choice (don't they all) because one of the top beaches in the world sits a stone throw away down a set of wooden steps.

It is the stuff of the rich, for certain, but for the most part it is the playhouse of not only the wealthy but the accused and to-be-accused. Last night, after getting rough with some locals, the team was able to garner some information about this place. According to their source, Roche is the name of the resort and he works as sort of a middle man for the criminal enterprise. Evildoers from all over the world use this place as a way to contact others in a network of scum and general villainy. They meet, they discuss, they plan, share resources. It is, essentially, a conduit for international terrorism with the benefit of turndown service.

The source also said that Roche always keeps pretty detailed records to use as leverage.

All is quiet on the front. Captain America figured that after a night of boozing and philandering, a sunrise attack would be best. The mission, based on a hunch and a needle in a haystack hope, took on all the more meeting once the United States shot down a Russian spy plane and the Soviet Union arrested the entire State Department entourage in Moscow. Johnson had phoned Steve when they got here and informed the team that he believes the State Department officials will be shot by the end of the day.

"You'd think they would just settle for the ocean," Steve mutters into the radio. "The pool is a bit much." His blue eyes are drawn to that giant dragon statue. It looks like a great oppressor over the pool with large red jewels for eyes. Big as a small building it's claws rest on the corners of the pool ghoulishly.

"The pool is temperature controlled." Jean-Paul points out. Despite the evening of boozing and (attempted) philandering, he looks none the worse for wear. He fit in quite well at the nightlife at the resort so selflessly volunteered to infiltrate and keep his eyes open. In fact, he insisted. "It's an attractive option during winter months." he points out. "I'll have to come back and vacation here sometime."

One of the many joys of being a Stark is having doors opened at all the 'in' places that charge more than $500 a night. It might be shady, but at the very base of it all, there is a prestige to it all. No one would dare close the door to the man, and Tony Stark knows that intimately. Even for a podunk island in the middle of a piss-warm sea, they're smarter than that. Besides, boozing and philandering are his middle names. Well, one was his christened name, and the other, given to him as a nickname by the nanny.

Tony is settled out on the other side of the pool, keeping an eye out for any who might be wandering. After all, he's a much better decoy than 'front' guy, unless, of course, he's got his suit with him.. (and it's rarely far.) Working, however, doesn't preclude the glass of scotch in hand. After all, it has to be a good cover, right? So are the pair of girls on his arm that seem to have some passing familiarity with the man. "Ladies, ladies.. I'll walk you back, but then I have work to do… and you're not wor. You're pleasure."

Carlos isn't the smartest guy on the team, and he knows it, and so he falls into follower mode without a problem. It's Captain America who he naturally finds himself following: that guy's got experience! He's got himself an Avengery uniform, and he looks completely uncomfortable with it. Leather and blue and red and ugh. Carlos is a jeans and a t-shirt sort of guy. But still. He stands there ready to Do Something, he just doesn't look like he has a clear idea of what Something is, yet.

Criminal enterprise, you say? There are philanderers and boozers. And then there's Lucian. He spent the better part of the night schmoozing at the bar and in back rooms. Rubbing shoulders with certain people who respond very well to a man in a crisply tailored suit and a certain lack of… reputation is his forte. He probably spent as much time out as Jean-Paul or Tony did. Right now the lack of sleep is in no way evident on the tall fellow standing by the offensively spooky dragon. Let's see who is scarier, huge dragon or him. A cigarette between his lips, he stares out at the water. Smoke curls around his wheat-blond hair in a hazy circle. Cool trick, really.

If there was boozing…..Lamont wasn't in on it, and he seems to be contenting himself with a glass of soda water at the bar. His current 'uniform', such as it is, is one of those tailored suits in a pale, pale gray linen suit and a Panama hat….the former beautifully cut to hide the pair of automatics that are his default armament. Like the old ads about American Express, don't leave home without 'em. He looks lazy, almost feline….but then, he almost always does, when not actually fighting.

Kai takes up the slack for Lamont's boozing. The fellow can drink a lot and still be standing on his feet without batting an eyelash. He's at the bar beside Lamont, drink in hand, and he's dressed like a tourist. Not too touristy, but casually so, like someone used to traveling, who just happens to not be from here. His proximity to Lamont is casual, two people who happen to be at the same bar, not necessarily together. He cases the crowd with the vague interest of a habitual people-watcher.

"Alright. Here's the play. Northstar will do the running, find out where Roche is, and get him to talk. The rest of us will handle anyone who wants to be a hero and save his criminal friend. Look alive, guys. We're not sure what sort of powered people they have here right now. But we need to know what Roche knows, and we need to do it quick before World War III starts."

As he waits for Northstar to do his thing, Steve walks out onto a long, winding walkway that connects some of the bungalows with the pool. It's so peaceful here as the sunrises. And then he spies Tony. With civilians. He swallows hard and hopes this doesn't go foul. He picked the morning specifically because there wouldn't be many people outside of their rooms. Damnit, Tony.

Cap is worried, but not about the right people and he's not looking in the right area. Down the way a maid notices that something seems very wrong and dips into one of the bungalows to use the phone.

None the wiser, Cap radios in, "Let us know when you have him, Northstar."

Dammit, Tony.

Really, though, if Tony left his room alone, that would be all the stranger, right? Either way, he sends them on their ways, both of them, with a light pat on their respective butts. A soft *eee* rises from one, giggles from both, and they're departing. Tony takes the moment to straighten a decidedly askew tie, take that final swallow from his drink, and look around briefly.

Who notices maids? Tony does, sometimes. Just sometimes.

Talking into his scotch glass before he's got that final swallow, Tony offers up his own opinion about his vantage point, "This is starting to get old really quick. C'mon, you're killin' me. I might actually fall asleep before anything happens."

Carol Danvers arrives from Out <O>.

Carol Danvers has arrived.

Carlos nods quickly when the plan is laid out, following along, but being quiet for the moment. Once action happens he'll jump into Carnelian mode, but for the moment he's just trying to not draw attention to himself.

Running. Jean-Paul doesn't need to do anything so crude. But he gets the gist of the instructions. "Oui, mon Capitaine. We will learn what we need to know before breakfast is ready. Eggs Benedict does not stay well." And then he's gone. Having spent the evening keeping an eye on Roche, he followed the man to his room the evening before so knows exactly where to go. The door slams open, the balcony door flies open, and the man is gone from his bed, hanging upside down by his ankles over a mile in the air before the sheet has time to settle on the bed. "So, monsieur." Jean-Paul tells Roche. "Being exceptionally strong is not, shall we say, one of my strengths. I fear I will shortly drop you if you do not tell me what I wish to know. You should fear that more than I. You will tell me everything you know about the explosives set off in New York. Begin with the flower."

The microphone wired wherever under that suit conveys thoughts and deeds. Lucian arches a golden brow and plucks the cigarette from his mouth, dashing the burning embers in a cascade into an ashtray. Blowing out a cloud of billowing smoke, he breathes out, "Showtime. And not with the girls, Stark." Just in case that needed to be said. He trails long fingers over the stony scales of the dragon to mark his slow departure, positioning himself nowhere for long. A man out for a stroll, him, though he makes for a wonderfully conspicuous mark if anyone decides to take umbrage to the Quebecois roughing up the crime-lord.

"If you need any help getting him to talk, bring him to me, I have my methods," Lamont murmurs, with that utter assurance. Somehow it comes out creepy, honestly. …where did Steve even find this guy? And why is he along? If they've got the Stark coffers open to them, surely the money he has is redundant. He's remaining quite where he is, for the moment, eyes darting to see who reacts to the boss's sudden absence.

Maximus arrives from Out <O>.

Maximus has arrived.

Maximus heads to Out <O>.

Maximus has left.

Kai gives Lamont some side-eye. Yeah, that did sound creepy. It's a brief glance, and then he's going back to skimming the crowd. Maybe he's some lonely guy looking for a little company? Except he doesn't maintain anyone's eye-contact for long. He just places people in the space and, like Lamont, looks to see who reacts and how. "I'll just punch things when the time comes," he murmurs.

Carol's voice speaks up on the radio, "Well, if he wasn't he wouldn't be Tony Stark. Keep sharp, this isn't going to be easy." Her voice is professional, as she envisions in her head where everyone is, hopefully according to the plan…

And where is Carol? Well, actually, considering that she's probably recognizable by quite a few people as a SHIELD agent, she's incognito at the moment, away from the scene. Of course, she's also able to get /to/ the scene pretty fast if things go south. Advantage of being half-Kree and all that.

Maximus arrives from Out <O>.

Maximus has arrived.

A loud siren erupts from all over the campus causing sleepy villains to rise and move quickly to figure out what the hell is going on. Before he even realizes they are under attack, Captain America is shot at with a sniper rifle. Luckily he's able to get his shield up in time and the shot ricochets off into the distance. Where the hell did that shot come from, anyways?

Justin Hammer emerges from one of the bungalows in a red velvet smoking jacket and a glass of water that is rapidly carbonating from the two tablets of alka seltzer he plopped in. He sees Captain America outside and promptly turns right around and heads back into the bungalow. No thanks.

A long, strong iron arm, almost like some sort of tentacle approaches Carnelian from out of the window of one of the bungalows an impossible distance away. The heavy metal is meant as a knock out blow to the kid. Meanwhile, emerging with a trio of other octopi arms is a man with a bad bowl cut and dumb looking glasses. And he comes for Carlos.

Fit in as well as he does, Tony Stark is among them but not one of them. Green clad men move quickly through the jungle and seem to be encircling the area around the pool and one Tony Stark. Their leader, the Mandarin, is not a fan. Not a fan at all. And if they're able to get rid of this one right here and now, all the better.

One person seems to take umbrage to all of these things, and his name is Batroc the leaper and as he approaches Lucian it's clear to see why. He somersaults through the air and attacks the blond demon with oustretched legs, looking to catch him by surprise and in the chest.

Everyone has their methods. The man who emerges from behind the wall and stares at Lamont seems to have his own. Words like meaty and pounding seem to fit here as the Blob begins pounding his fist. "You don't belong round here!" It's not clear if he would like to eat Lamont or just beat him to a pulp!

Another shot from that sniper, this time is sent towards Kai. It's accuracy is unerring and the bullet strikes Kai in the throat. And bounces off harmlessly. A seething, blue and white clad assassin mutters under his breath and picks a new spot to shoot from.

Roche chuckles to hard for someone who is in such a precarious position. He tilts his head and nods to Northstar, "No one comes to Madripoor without being willing to deal, my friend. Tell me of which flower you speak and we can begin the negotiations. I guarantee that if you drop me, you will not get whatever it is you want."

Tony turns around to leave the area once more, having 'seen' the ladies off, and here comes the green goons. Slowing, he keeps his expression as neutral and a little aloof as he slows to a stop once more. Brows rise and a casual hand drops into his pocket. "I'm sorry… was that your sister?" He looks to the comparative closest in the little circle of the area. "My regards to your mother. She raised a find daughter." He's casting a glance around, not sweating per se, but more than happy to get a little closer to his briefcase that currently is not on his person. (Dammit, Tony.)

Looking up at that conversation going on, Tony exhales in a theatrically exhasperated sigh. "Never mind. Quiet is good."

See, Carlos doesn't know shit from infiltration. He doesn't know about getting a guy to talk. He doesn't know about the finer things in life. He knows cars, and boats, and motorcycles.

And beating shit up.

The moment he sees the metal rushing at him, he becomes Carnelian: light of that color appears all around him, faceted, geometric shapes as the fields take form and even as the beam slams into his armored form. Physics takes over at that point and he goes flying back, but then halts in mid air as he wills the fields to stabalize. The next moment a sword of light is in his hands and he falls into fighting stance automatically. He spins as he swings the blade at the iron arm tentacle thingy.

"What the Capitaine wants, actually." Jean-Paul informs Roche. "He is particularly protective about his country. But I am pleased to hear you are willing to be reasonable. It was used as an accelerant in the New York bombs. It is native to Madripoor."

"Oh…I wouldn't." Maximus says loudly from behind the Mandarin and his goons. Maximus the Mad…professional creepy stalker. And in this case, its Mr. Stark he is trying to impress…or annoy, or all of the above. He pulls off his sunglasses and lifts a metal tube. It has /several/ large buttons on it. One of them is even RED. There are scores on the surface that indicate possible moving parts. One end of it is smooth. His mind attempts to latch onto a couple of goons and force their attention to him as a subtle way of getting everyone's attention. "Firstly…and do stop me if I start to go on a tangent, /FIRSTLY/…that outfit? Are you completely serious? Its not working. Not for your skin tone, not for your threatening vibe…let me tell you, its only threatening if they think you might want to do terrible things to them in a dungeon. Otherwise, all you look like is a guy who can't run, or leap, and will probably trip on himself coming down the stairs. Food for thought. And secondly…I have invented a device that when activated, is so terrible." Max, wearing a black and white trench coat, reticulated silver pants, and a black shirt, with black boots, widens his eyes. "Let me TELL YOU…oh…I was in some mood when I invented this…" he twirls it around in a seemingly careless manner. "I think I might have put illegal substances in it as well." He taps a finger on the shell. Stall, stall, distract, distract. Or maybe he's telling the truth. Its really hard to tell.

The guy in loose pants should find a blond socialite in a tailored suit a pushover. Batroc's boots connect with the centre of Lucian's chest. The momentum pushes him back down the hallway, and he breaks his fall with a reversed somersault. Not everyone has a nice shield to parlay defense with. The next kick flying up falls into a smooth invasion, his outer left arm blocking the blow from contacting with his hip. Lucian's other hand crosses over the top of the savate master's leg, planted in an open blow to his shoulder, and he hooks his foot around his opponent's supporting ankle in a wicked fast adjustment. Unless Batroc can float or defend himself, he's thrown to the ground with his right leg still trapped in an ankle lock.

"Your technique could use some work," he says. Calmness is fading away, replaced by the first feelers of interest. Excitement may creep over the horizon. "Working for Roche?"

|ROLL| Lamont +rolls 1d100 for: 59

And….to the Blob's eyes, at least, Lamont just vanishes. One moment there's a supercilious American in a good suit as a convenient target…..and then he's not there. As if he'd been blown out like a candle. Which makes the following pistol report all the more startling. It's like watching a film of a fight where bits've been cut right out and the rest spliced back together. The gray-eyed man's not a speedster, but then…..he doesn't have to be.

Kai's head snaps back as he's shot, and his hand flies to his throat to rub at his reddened skin. That stings! It's a millisecond's distraction before he tugs a crescent moon pendant from where it lies nestled under his shirt. He touches both index fingers to it, and it drops from its necklace and splits in two. The two pieces unfold into daggers. Slipping off his barstool, he looks first to the Blob. Who's being shot, so Kai skims the area and bolts toward the direction of the sniper. He's not a speedster either, but he's a fleet-footed fellow. Who apparently runs toward the people shooting at him.

As the gunshots echo out and everything goes south /fast/ with the alarms, Carol frowns darkly, saying into the radio, "Alright, that does it, I'm on my way." She's still in her civilian clothing, but not for very long as she glows for a moment, instantly changing into her superheroing outfit. And with that, she flies towards the resort, homing in on the various radio signals as she speaks into the radio, "Who needs the assist?"

The men in green seem to know what that briefcase is all about and they know they want to get to Tony Stark before he gets to it. A six pack of ninja stars are thrown violently in his direction, whipping through the wind as they arc through the air!

DOCTOR OCTOPUS has no idea about Carnelian or anything about his powers. He's one of those super arrogant scientist types who only cares about you if it pays or will benefit him. And maybe he should know who Carnelian is, because he swings his tentacles in a mighty arc around his head, then towards the harbinger of light and the sword in question!

"Ah yes," Roche says with a nod. "The Captain has good reason to be worried. My organization was not part of the attack and we did not facilitate the deal, but we did facilitate the purchase of the gum that comes from the flower in question. Perhaps, you'd be willing to negotiate. This doesn't need to get messy." His eyebrow raises at the battle going on below and he looks almost sad. "Well, not that messy." He looks back towards Northstar, "I can give you a great deal, but it will cost a great deal. And if the Captain loves his country I suggest you act quickly. The Soviets are not as patient as your President is. But you must act in a way you think is just, of course."

The Mandarin's long face pulls backwards into an uneasy smile as he is approached by Maximus the Mad. There's a long intake of air, and if the Inhuman will let him, he places a hand upon the shoulder and leans in, whispering two words into his ear.

Batroc's leg is pinned, but he's not out of the fight yet. He pivots quickly, using the lock on his leg as an anchor to bring his other leg up in a roundhouse attempt at the side of Lucian's head.

"Hey," the Blob says oafishly as he begins to look around for the man who has disappeared into, well, Shadow. "Where'd he go?" There's a gunfire that sends the entire resort into a tizzy. Blob's head rocks back and there's a lot of smoke, but no damage. He reaches out into thin air, in an attempt to grab his would be shooter by the throat! Or arm! Or ankle! Or anything he can find, dammit!

Bullseye sighs. Dammit, Tony. Okay, Tony has nothing to do with it but I just thought it would be funny to say. He's sighing at Kai. This time he pulls up an ever bigger gun, and from his new vantage point, shoots at Kai again. This time with a bullet pretty much twice the size of the original. He's running out of options..

Captain America is worried about that sniper that he can't see, but he gets another surprise. There, at the end of the sidewalk, comes a man from his past. Clad in a purple mask, golden crown, and wielding a long sword, stands a man every bit as impressive as the Captain.


From high above Carol can see the carnage below. There's fighting near the large pool and a lot of movement in the jungle. Also, JP has some old guy by the pajamas high in the sky.

Carnelian's fields carry him towards the Octopus man, his sword of light with its impossibly sharp edge standing ready, "You." the mechanic turn Avenger says from beyond his armor of light, "Give up now and I won't chop your arm-things into small pieces. You're… um." Do they have arresting powers? He doesn't remember. He isn't sure it was even discussed, exactly. They aren't part of the government but what you do with the villains? "… you're detained by, uh, order of, let's go with me." He doesn't move right in to attack, instead ready to cut through any arms that come at him or worse, go at anyone else.

Jean-Paul casts a glance down at the ground as well. "Shall we call them off and discuss matters over breakfast? You and the Capitaine can speak directly; it is not my country at risk so not my negotiation to make." Letting go of Roche, the man is right side up a moment later and being carried by Jean-Paul. "Still, a war between them will not be good for anyone, not even those selling weapons. Not in the long run. You should consider a discount."

Aw, see… while Tony may not have his entire suit with him, he does truly enjoy prototypes of most things imaginable, and that includes things as of yet unimagined. Unfortunately, the glove is also back in the hotel room; talk about coming to a party without protection? Dammit, Tony. (Because it is fun to say.)

He's not without his own devices (see what I did there?), however, and the moment those stars come flying towards him, Tony ducks and grabs one of the pool lounge chairs and throws it into the air, looking to give those stars something else to embed into other than his own flesh. "Okay, making a note for later: small battery for independent functioning and positional interfaces." In the next few steps, then, Tony is looking to take a little cover as he works out his exit strategy in order to get back to his room for his suit.

The Goons attacking Tony, stop attacking Tony. One of them pees himself. You can totally see it on the front of his green suit. Maximus listens to the sweet nothings of the Mandarin, even if he is a bit short winded. "Oh…don't mind me. I just wanted to distract you long enough for him to get away." He flashes an overbroad smile. "Its no fun if you beat him up while he has nothing. /I/ am going to first…make him feel stupid, and then beat his suit to little teenie shards," He pinches his fingers together and squints his eyes. "with my own creation. I already have it in my mind…what a vision it is. Fox ears and a giant sword. Bullets are so inelegant. Ta-ta-TA! Oh…by the way, I am /Maximus/." He definitely doesn't have a file on the 'good guys wanted list'. "Its all a matter of pride. I appreciate you understanding." He pauses. "And…for you…truly…I am thinking something with chains. Mmmmm. And an opera cape."

Some people simply disrespect the notion of being pinned. The second foot flying at his pretty face leaves no room for hesitation. They turn in a demented dance together. Lucian twists the bruiser's captive leg sharply to the left to block the effectiveness of the kick and jams the bent knee at Batroc's face hard. He ducks as he does, going low to one knee and exerting most of his preternatural strength and speed to advantage. Swiveling on his expensive wingtip, he flings his arms out to release his opponent. He sends Batroc flying over the sidewalk on a rather high, far arc. Preferably to land somewhere around North Viet Nam. Ho Chi Minh, eat your heart out. Really, not picky here. Shoulders are shrugged, left to right. A look skyward checks Carol's distant figure and the densest pockets of trouble on the ground.

"Fine here," Lucian reports over the radio. "Who else needs help? I'm in a peachy mood." He's not going to decipher the need for opera capes.

|ROLL| Lamont +rolls 1d100 for: 83

He's not going to waste more ammo on this enormous mess. Guns've always been ancillary to his real weapon, fear, anyway. So he pauses, poised as a duellist, visible to the others….if not the Blob himself. It's cruel to dredge up the worst possible memories, even if he does no further physical harm. Anticclimactic to watch, certainly…..until the Blob breaks, reacting to some vision only he can see.

The bigger bullet knocks Kai flat on his backside. That is going to bruise. He pulls himself into a crouch, and he looks for where the shot came from. The pool is right there, and as he looks, he holds out a endaggered hand to it. As he raises the hand, some of the water separates, rising into the air. As he gets to his feet, he pulls the water toward him, then sends it whipping around him. A ton of agitated water may not be the best substitute for kevlar, but it'll do more to divert a bullet than, say, thin air which has failed him twice. "Still trying to find that sniper," he says. "I don't want to see what happens when he pulls out the big guns."

And suddenly in the pool area there's something akin to a sonic boom as Captain Marvel, the artist formerly known as Warbird, comes in for a landing. Landing on one knee, she then rises effortlessly to a hover, glaring at the Mandarin and his mooks, and she raises her voice to echo rather loudly in the immediate area, "We're not here for any of you people. So, you have two choices. You can walk away and this can end easy…" Energy crackles around her, eyes glowing as her hair floats a bit in defiance of gravity while she looks around.

"Or this can end /real/ easy."

"Alright, kid, I give," Doctor Octopus says as two of his arms come up in surrender. But, in a classic badguy trick out of central casting, a third arm comes from underneath in an attempt to sweep Carnelian's leg!

Roche gives a weary sigh, "I'm afraid I'll have to negotiate with you." He gives a nod down towards the Captain America who is in an epic battle with Zemo and his sword. The two thrust and parry like warriors of old. Steve delivers a vicious kick towards Zemo who falls to the ground. But just as Captain America goes for the knock out blow, he's kicked in the chest. "Perhaps you could send in the message to retreat. We could make my friends think they got the win, and your friends could get what they really came here for. Unless I am wrong, and I very well may be, you're on foreign soil without a warrant. You're not Interpol, and you're not SHIELD. But you can still win here today." Another weary sigh. "I also can't do this in front of my associates. If I turn, I would much rather worry about one knife to the back, rather than a dozen. I have a hotel back towards the city. We could regroup there and I could bring you what you need."

"All that being said, breakfast does sound lovely. Shall I have them prepare you something special?"

"Well it seems as though we are at an impasse," the Mandarin says to Maximus. "Do with my man what you will. I care not. I have a plane to catch. Apparently this is not the place to vacation anymore." He sighs, clearly annoyed. But then he looks up as Captain Marvel makes her entrance. "I was just leaving, miss. Because you're a long way from home. And on foreign soil. If I am under arrest, show me a warrant. And if not, please move."

Captain America sees Batroc flung with great might and he knows, immediately, that when Batroc lands he will surely die. "Captain Marvel!" he exclaims into the radio, hopeful that Carol can save the thief. Sure, he's a bad dude, but out of all of these guys he's probably the least hardened criminal. And when he's thinking about all of this, Zemo kicks him right in the chest and sends him into the dirt off of the sidewalk.

In the mind of the Blob, grainy images of yesteryear. There are lockers, and a checkered floor. A clock strikes three o'clock and a nervous and young Dukes shuffles into the hallway, bumping people with his large body as he does so. Outside in the brilliant sunshine now, a half circle of kids stand there, mocking him. Just like they do every day. He cries. Just like he does every day. In the real world, our world, Dukes is on his knees crying into his hands at the mental images Lamont plagues him with.

Bullseye sighs, disappointed. He unslings a bazooka from behind his back. This has /got/ to work, right? He points his eye through the aiming sights and pulls the trigger. He announces his presence, but damnit, he really wants to take this guy off his damn feet. He just won't go down!

|ROLL| Carol Danvers +rolls 1d100 for: 51

Carnelian was not expecting that, and his feet are swept out from under him— but with his armor on, he can effectively fly, and so the glowing dude goes spinning in an impossible round about, and slashes down with the sword of light. It slices through the metal like butter, and when he rights himself he's floating a foot off the ground. "I warned you, mi amigo." And with that he's surging forward, blade lifted to go for another arm: he's pretty sure killing people is against good guy rules, but disabling their super metal arm things? Absolutely allowed. He's pretty sure.

Jean-Paul and Roche are suddenly several blocks away, standing on the roof of a rather upscale hotel. "Retreat." he tells the others over their comm. "Roche is willing to negotiate. Let them chase you off and we shall meet elsewhere to discuss matters and have an excellent breakfast." Looking over at Roche, he asks "Where is this place of yours? I've grown fond of Eggs Benedict and steak. Rare."

Maximus releases the GOONS to their senses, which occurs immediately. "Oh…I don't want them. Take them with you. Actually everything was fine until…everyone started attacking. I was going to go to that session later in the day…the cooking session? Hosted by the Croc? No? Ahhh…well, I wish you had given me reason to show you what the smooth end of this is for." His eyes widen too much, again, and he flashes a grin at the Mandarin before walking towards Carol. When he's closer to her, he says, softly, "Care to give me a lift?"

He's dealt with the Blob, for now. So Lamont's turning his attention to the sniper harassing Kai. He's left off pressuring one specific mind in favor of trying to find and blind the shooter. Well, someone's not making himself particularly stealthy - it's enough to prompt a mental sneer. No sniper worth his salt stands out there in the open and just tries to hammer on his target like a cartoon character.

Water explodes, then comes raining down as Kai is blown back, hitting the ground on his stomach, hard enough to dent the poolside decking. He lies there for a moment, face down. He just needs a moment to catch his breath. Then he groans, winces at cracked bones and bruised innards, and he pulls himself to hands and knees so he can crawl to the daggers he's dropped. "I need a minute," he tells the team once he's got his blades back. The bazooka, that's not so easy to walk off. But, hey, he's not a blood spatter, so he's got that going for him.

Captain Marvel looks sternly at the Mandarin, then shrugs, speaking in fluent Mandarin, » Sorry, let me repeat that. We aren't here for any of you. Right now. « She looks a bit annoyed at Mandarin's tone, but hovers to the side as he goes to move by her, not interested in a fight unless she's provoked into one. Then she looks at Maximus and gives him a wry look, hearing Steve's request as she switches back to English, "Yeah, sure, but we're going to make a pickup." Then, she suddenly grabs Maximus and takes off, flying rapidly in the air to intercept Batroc before he turns into 200 pounds of French Roadkill, catching him just as he's about to make his downward descent where the velocity is at its lowest. She then smiles as she holds onto Batroc with her other arm, "Catch you at a bad time, Batroc?"

A shower of sparks is followed by a small explosion of circuitry as DocOck's arms are sliced through! "You bastard! My arms! What have you done?! What HAVE YOU DONE?!" Octavius is whining as he lands upon the ground amid his precious creations, defeated.

"It's not far. From here we can actually see it." The agreeable Roche points over the rooftops. "Do you see that building right across from the park? That's the Sovereign. Though I own it, I keep that separate for my more," he pauses as he tries to think, "More legal pursuits?"

"Eggs benedict and steak. I will put my chefs on it right away."

Bullseye hits home! In truth, he's more of a braggart than an assassin, so Lamont makes a good call on him. But he's finally at least gotten a good one in on Kai. He raises his hands, victorious, making Lamont see him all the better. And then Lester Poindexter can't see anything at all. Blinded by something out of nowhere he stops for a moment. "What the fuck?" he says as he tries to get his bearings. "What the hell did you do to my eyes? This magic shit isn't fair. Y'all need to fight fair!"

"Mademoiselle, je pense que you grabbed me at de perfect time, non?" Batroc says as he is still looking to the ground worriedly.

Meanwhile, Steve takes his momentary disadvantage and puts it to an advantage as he kicks upwards at Zemo's throat. The European staggers back as Captain America does a kip up back onto his feet, just as the he gets the message from Northstar. It's loud enough for Zemo to hear it and the man in purple seems to be chuckling behind his mask.

"You heard him, guys. Fall back. We'll regroup at the rendezvous point."

8 AM

Roche is still off discussing things with his chefs, gathering the materials, and the Avengers are sitting in an elegant dining room. Kai is covered in explosion residue. Captain America has a bruise on his chin, and Carnelian, with some motor grease from those arms has a stained uniform. The others seem pretty much unscathed, but you'd never know it by looking at Captain America's face. They were a bunch of individuals and fought like it. They haven't had time to gel and haven't had time to train as a team. And, worse, the fate of the world rests on some criminal warlord puke who just so happens being willing to bargain. Captain America doesn't seem to like it.

"How do we all feel about negotiating with this guy?" Cap doesn't seem to think they have much choice in the matter, even though it makes him sick.

Lucian heads to Out <O>.

Lucian has left.

Which is when Steve's treated to the very unpleasant sensation of mind to mind contact with Lamont. It's not intrusive, he's not trying to brain-scrape Cap (God forbid he ever try), but there's always something unnerving to it. Like having someone suddenly whisper close in your ear when you didn't know they were there. «Captain Rogers, if you like….I can try to lean on him during the negotiations. Make him more malleable to our will. I can't guarantee success….but it might be worth the attempt. Or…if there's particular info you wish to obtain, listen in on him.» To all outward appearances, Monty's just a man in a faintly rumpled pale suit, listening to the proceedings with a deadpan skepticism.

"I don't know anything about negotiating." Carlos says, wiping at his uniform a bit, with his armor having vanished. He crosses his arms over his chest and looks around, his expression calm, "If you don't think we should, Cap, then… maybe we shouldn't." offers the mechanic.

"Do you intend to torture him until he talks, mon Capitaine?" Jean-Paul asks. "And hope that he is telling the truth?" The Quebecois is sitting at ease at a table, chair angled so he can cross one knee over the other as he sips some cafe au lait. "He has information you need. You have money he wants. And we depart on amicable terms where we may be able to do business with him again in the future. Do not underestimate the advantage of knowing an honest criminal."

After having dropped Batroc back at the resort (and he didn't even get grabby once, which probably kept him from getting dropped), Captain Marvel flew Maximus and herself back to the Sovereign. Once there, she changed into something a bit more appropriate. In this case, a shimmering red dress that fits her very well indeed.

And while she shares Steve's reservations, and maybe the assessment of their performance, she also is a little more in tune with the realpolitik of dealing with shady individuals from her experience working with SHIELD. "Well, Steve, I'm not a fan of it, but if this solves things for us, then it solves things. I won't be happy, but I'll be satisfied, and considering we're dealing with Madripoor, I'll count this as a win." She nods in agreement with Jean-Paul at his comments.

Maximus crosses his arms and lurks in the back, His trench coat has weight to it on one side, no doubt the device that he put away. He doesn't presume to jump in on the negotiations. He's not exactly the most consistent fellow in that sort of situation. If anything, he actually seems to be keeping a bit of a low profile.

Kai admits, "This isn't exactly my area of expertise." He picks another sliver of pooldeck out of his clothing. His daggers are a pendant again. "What matters most is preventing the war. If that means we have to play nice with these bastards just once…" He shrugs a shoulder, then winces. Ow.

« Not unless we need to, Monty. » Cap sends back to Lamont despite the oddness of the encounter. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so he is able to push the weird feeling, tingling at the back of his spine to the side.

Carlos. Steve likes him already. "You're probably right, kid. And under normal circumstances that's what I'd prefer to do. But the Americans think the Soviets bombed their biggest city. If whatever this guy has proves otherwise, maybe we can avert both countries becoming a pile of ash." Cap looks away worriedly. How much did his willingness to deal with a criminal hinge on the fact that this could exonerate his best friend posthumously?

Cap's blue eyes trail towards Jean-Paul. "I think you're right. But I don't really feel good about it." His eyebrow pops up and he shrugs his shoulder. "And I'm not so sure there's such thing as an honest criminal." And as if thinking back to it, Steve shakes his head. "Never liked torture. It's against the Geneva conventions and for those who use it you get the truth maybe one third of the time. People who get tortured will tell you whatever they think you want to hear."

Steve gives Carol a thankful look. She seems to be of a same mind on this one.

It's just then that Roche bursts through the double doors in front of a handful of chefs who bring out food. Captain America and some of the others did not make an order, tellingly, but the benefactor does not seem to displeased.

It seems like the wait was worth it however. A second wave, this time it is young men in suits drop off folders for the Avengers. Steve opens his and the information is collated, complete with a Table of Contents. Steve looks to Kai. At least they won't have to do as much homework this time.

"Let me skip to the good parts," Roche says with a panache reserved for those on the stage. He revels in this sort of thing. "Barnes was not the terrorist that day in New York. And the Russians weren't behind it either. Our intelligence says they were just as confused as the Pentagon."

He plops down ceremoniously in a large chair and rests his arms upon the large arm cushions. "It was Latveria. And there is the proof. I assume you would be willing to give this to your President. It should cool his jets a bit. And his boats. And his missiles."

"It also has the added benefit of giving the Soviets cover. They can say this was all just a big misunderstanding. No one has to die." Roche smiles, "Plus it will put some strain on the Soviet relationship with Latveria which is an added bonus. And this can all be yours with your assurance that investigations into my enterprise will come to a close. Madripoor has always been off limits and it always will. When my friends visit me, it's hands off. This is the place they have their holiday."

"But that's not the real intriguing part."

"The best part is what Doom is actually up to. And that will cost you. 2 million dollars. No negotiation."

Steve's eyes dart towards Lamont and then back to Roche as the blonde man rubs at his chin thoughtfully.


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