1964-08-12 - Teasing Amongst Mercenaries
Summary: X-23 and Deathstroke are both big names in the underworld, so when X-23 spots Deathstroke in Sister Margaret's, she decides to see what he's like in person.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
slade-wilson laura 

While normally one wouldn't expect to see kids who appear as young as Laura around dive bars, after all they wouldn't be allowed in, she is actually old enough. That aside, she's also become quite known around Sister Margaret's as someone who has high efficency and a perfect record, and despite her looks, best let her be. She's currently sitting at the end of the bar, looking at the giant dead pool board, noting any updates from the last time she's been there.

It is late in the evening and Sister Margaret's is quieter than usual. At the booth furthest from the door sits a large armored man, his factions obscured by the shadows (and he actually smashed the nearest light bulb before removing his helmet). A few minutes ago he was talking with a nervous middle-age man that had all the signs of being an agent of the Company. There was a brief exchange of documents, and some hushed talk about communist agents operating from Hell's Kitchen.

Deathstroke is not a common sight at Sister Margaret's. In fact it had been a couple years since someone was dumb enough to ask him to meet here. Where everyone knows who is meeting whom. CIA agents are getting dumber, probably because SHIELD recruits all the talented ones. The other reason he is a rare sight is because he usually is far from New York fighting wars, not hunting for spies or targets in America.

Deathstroke is perhaps the world's best mercenary. He would be offended if someone calls him a hitman or an assassin, although he does occasionally kill specific people for large sums of money.

Deathstroke entering Sister's Margaret is one of the few people who actually get some kind of reaction out of Laura, she has heard of him by reputation, and knows about him from files. After all, in several biddings X-23's services were up against Deathstroke, it happens when you've got a certain kind of reputation. But she never had a chance to meet Deathstroke. Getting up, she decides to walk up to him, looking him over, before noting the very obvious, "you're Deathstroke," in the most monotone of tones.

To Laura's enhanced senses the shadows did little to hide the mercenary's factions, or the hushed conversation. Deathstroke has been around for twenty years, but despite the white hair and a missing eye, he seems at most in his mid-30s. When Laura slips of the seat, his gaze flickers to her briefly, but then he ignores her until she speaks.

That statement of hers earns the girl a slow, considering glance. Maybe mildly disapproving, but the man is hard to read. "And you are X-23, a fugitive from Weapon X. There is a large bounty for your return home, and there are two men in the room that are in Weapon X payroll." The implication being if she doesn't know who they are already then she shouldn't be here.

"Correct," is Laura's calm reply, and she goes as far as to designate the two Weapon X funded personnel with a simple knowing glance. "Sister Margaret has rules, they will not break them…Weapon X loves money. They love it more than they do weapons." She notes with full confidence in her words. Before levelling her gaze with Slade. Well, she needs to look quite a bit up for that, but it doesn't bother her. She assumes he's far too experienced to give height any real importance. "You're not suggesting they gave you a contract just for little ol' me, are you?" That's probably the most words Laura used in a sentence since Sarah Kinney helped her escape the Facility. But essentially, she's welcoming Deathstroke to challenge her, if he was going to ask her to step outside.

Slade grunts in approval at verifying she had the agents identified, but her statement about Sister Margaret's rules is received with obvious derision. "Places come and go, and there are many in the East Coast."

No response to her question, not a reaction at all. He lets her chew on the lack of noticeable response, which should be impossible to her enhanced senses. Then he speaks again. "Foolish question. And even more foolish that eagerness to confront me. It sounds as if they couldn't fully suppress the teenager in the killer."

He seems to relax now, as if he had decided Laura is not a threat. There is a large bounty for his head too, after all. Several large bounties. Dead, never alive. "Why are you here, kid?" He asks, not entirely unkindly.

"Sister Margaret's Home for Wayward Girls doesn't come and go," Laura states matter of factly, inclining her head towards the dead pool hanging over the bar on the giant black board. A who's who list of the best the underworld has to offer.

Laura remains deadpan when Slade criticizes her, before explaining, "your reputation precedes you, if you took a contract, I may as well face you now rather than give you an edge at a later time." She doesn't talk cocky, nor give away abilities with needless bravado. She leaves it to Deathstroke's own research to figure out what she can or can't do, there's been more than enough potential clients to doubt the escapades of X-23 after all. Better to be doubted. "There is no need to suppress a weapon."

When asked why she's there, she does smirk a little, looking back from the board at Slade, turning the question around, "if I asked you, would you tell me?"

The bar wasn't here when Slade began his career, and he doubts it will be in a few more years. "Nothing lasts forever," he offers, monotone. As for the rest. "If I took the contract it would be stupid of me to admit it. But I never lie, so it would have been stupid of me to even show up here. You wouldn't have seen me until it was too late."

Unless he is underestimating her enhanced senses. But that would be a first time. "Professionals do not take hits on each other. It is an unspoken rule. Although… I doubt you are acknowledged as a professional by most of us, because most of us do not think you should be here. Do you know why?"

"True. So kill me. If you can." Laura purposes a challenge for Deathstroke. It seems either she's nuts, or has an actual death wish. Or she's playing some kind of weird game, either way, to know Deathstroke and invitie to kill oneself, at the very least shows no fear. "Seen? Maybe not…" Laura agrees at least with that much. "Sister Margaret's rules," Laura repeats as Deathstroke mentions them as well in a different capacity.

It's the challenge to her eligibility to being there that makes Laura glower at Deathstroke, "educate me," she states, before sweeping the room with her gaze, no doubt a notice to any who never mentioned it to her face but spoke behind her back.

"Because you don't know anything else," and most of the thugs, killers and idiots that frequent Sister Margaret's are completely normal people when compared with Laura. Even Deathstroke. "You were a slave and you keep doing the only thing you know to do," Slade offers the girl a smile, but it is a cold one, it never reaches his single eye. "What they did to you is not new. Cults and secretive clans of martial arts practitioners have been training children to be fanatic warriors or assassins for centuries. But they rarely go freelance, because they do not have the will. They are completely broken as men and women. You escaped. Almost escaped." He points to the door, "you shouldn't be here. Go to college, or join the hippie commune, like normal teenagers do nowadays. Learn your options. Come back in five years if you still want to be an assassin or a merc."

"I. Was. No. Slave. I. Am. No. Slave." Laura states quietly, but each syllable is stressed, it is easy to tell that some of that berserker in her genes is starting to get agitated. Clenching her hands into tight fists, she says, "you don't know me, Deathstroke. You know Weapon X." The professing he presents her with draws a leer out of her, "and do what? I am not a normal teenager. I am a weapon, ask them," she points at the Weapon X agents, baring her teeth at them as if she were a tiger.

"Weapons do not get angry, kid," replies the old man. Now he sounds entertained. Because poking fun at the young and the foolish is always amusing. "You think you know who you are, what you are? No one does at your age. You believe you are a 'weapon' because that is what they told you when you were a slave."

A pause and he looks away. "I have not taken the contract to send you back and I won't. What made you think I would in the first place? They couldn't pay me enough."

Laura hisses at Slade as he keeps pushing buttons, but stops short of attacking him, it would be foolish to deny herself the immunity that Sister Margaret offers. It's been one of the reasons the Facility couldn't get her back, after all. "I am not angry. I am irate." She finally snorts, and starts for the door, "if you didn't take it, then you wouldn't fight me, or end me, so no point to posturing." If anything, he's elicited a reaction out of her.

Who was posturing? Slade very rarely gets approached by other mercs like this, except for the foolish and the young. Most of them walk away upset and humiliated. Some of them do not walk away. Even in places like Sister Margaret's. In truth Laura did better than most.

But Deathstroke is a jerk. Pushing buttons is a well-honed skill. He does it even when he is trying to be helpful. Semi-helpful. Laura might be a serious competitor in five, ten years, after all. It would be better for him if she finds something else to do than being a killer.

He waits in his place ten minutes, then dons his helmet and walks out. There is an armored limousine with blackened windows waiting for him.

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