1964-11-28 - Radio City Crunch
Summary: The entire tinsel-bedecked extravaganza has been sold out since tickets went live. Sorry, SHIELD, you don't have any. Everyone wants their chance to attend the kick-off, literally, with the world-famous Rockettes. It's not enough to have a smile and outstanding performances in jazz dance and high kicks. They need something special to go with those spangles and feathers, something compelling that attracts the bright and powerful to the front row. One of America's most important informants on the Warsaw Pact happens to be in the front row of a show. Yes, yes, bad move. The wealthy shipping magnate just couldn't help himself, and he's going to pay for his indiscretions. SHIELD better make sure he survives to give a standing ovation.
Related: Starfall
Theme Song: From Russia With Love
pete-wisdom black-widow thea teddy wanda 

Radio City Christmas Spectacular!

The neon marquee scrolling down the side of the building and the scrolling light board around the front of one of New York's landmarks beckons one and all to experience in the Christmas event of the season. Sure, there's the Macy's Christmas windows — static — and figure skating by Rockefeller Plaza — busy and cold — but what else combines Americana like beautiful women kicking up their heels in sparkling outfits?

They're in full swing in the third set of the day, a holiday wonder currently being conducted in technicolour glory for an audience enthralled by the lights, the sound, and the pageantry. Countless crystalline stars hang from chains over the grand central chandelier, and several snow-covered wreaths and trees decorate the wide stage area. Girls dressed in candy-cane striped dresses ahve an oddly uniform effect as they dance in formation, triangular rows staggered across the stage in indulating lines that may be hard to believe. They're currently into the midst of their 'Twelve Days of Christmas Routine,' spread out into a line that would make any drill sergeant pleased, shoes shined within an inch of their life. Transitions between phases are breathtakingly quick, props rolled on and off.

Showgirls in short skirts, holiday glamor, people in fancy accents walking around in tuxedos? Pete Wisdom may not have a ticket but he never needed one. He's a gosh darn superspy. If he can't con his way past a doorman in a dickie, the Kremlin doesn't have anything to worry about.

Passing himself off as an English film actor who just can't remember where he put his ticket, he slips a quick bribe to the kid and gets himself inside. The tux is a rental - well, it was a rental in London when he rented it, but since he never returned it, he supposes it's a finders keepers sort of situation.

Oh yes, and there's a high value target he's supposed to keep an eye on. Kind of difficult with the Eight Maids A-Milkin' up there distracting him, but that's what he's got two eyes for. He takes a long drag on his cig and does his best impression of somebody who's supposed to be there.

In the front rows sits an entourage of people in pressed tuxedos and glittery dresses, perhaps showing a little too much skin or paunch. The good life suits a rather short, forgettable man with ash-brown hair and more money than is healthy, rightfully, for any single person. SHIELD's mark: Nikola Grigoryev, captain of industry, ethnic Russian displaced from the squidgy parts of Finland back some time before the borders solidified. He sits next to two businessmen, his wife Tatiana displaced on their other side along with a short New York heiress covered in canary diamonds. They are probably real. They're busy watching the affair, toes tapping in time to the seven swans-a-swimming, siiiix geese a-laying, click-clack-toe-shoes.

On the other hand, Thea /is/ supposed to be there. It's always nice when she can seem to be the dutiful daughter and keep up with other responsibilities at the same time. She'd assured her vacationing parents that she would put in an appearance at several events while they're gone, do nice in their name. Blonde hair is down in perfected curls, the eyes smokey, the lips glossed with a sweet rose shade to not compete. The dress is deep sapphire blue, silk and chiffon, with a couple silver sparkles and spangles here and there, with silver peep toe heels just peeking out as she walks. The gloves are a soft silver sheen, and earrings are blue and clear baubles.

She's not in the front row, but she's close enough to keep an eye and be completely inconspicuous. She seems to be watching the dancers more than she is, and one hand is fisted in the silky glove, while her other lays atop it in a seemingly lady like pose. There's some tension in her shoulders, but nothing that would put her too out of place…but she's got something to prove.

Really, there's few places Teddy can't get into if he wants to. He's not a super spy but being a shapechanger makes up for a lot and security, such as it is, is a lot looser above ground level. Which is to say, nonexistent. Once inside, he wanders around, just another nondescript guy in a nice suit who's here to see the pageantry and spectacle. He doesn't even have to feign excitement since it's the Rockettes!

The Black Widow is generally known as something of a myth, a rumor, a long tale, some kind of phantom would be super agent for the Russians. Fewer still even know of such places as the Red Room, the KGB being what people mostly think about when they imagine a Russian boogey man. Well, Peggy Carter might know something of this whole tidbit, but it's unclear if she's about, or whether she briefed any of the agents who the Black Widow has no doubt are hidden whether amongst the crowd or the backstage staff.

Even so, those with little idea of the Black Widow, will certainly have no inkling of one Natalia Romanova, a once famous Prima Ballerina for the famous Bolshoi. Giving her skills that come in handy when she needs to say, perform as one of the world famous Rockettes, and judging by the perfection of the performance thus far, one would have little reason to ever think anything was amiss.

While her fellow dancers are wholly invested in going all the way through to a perfect, flawless performance, as is par for the course, the Black Widow is taking note of the real stage. Most in the audience are likely unaware, but the true tour de force performance is about to involve a particular guest from the first row, one Nikola Grigoryev. She has instructions to end that man, and thus far the Widow has a perfect record, as SHIELD themselves might attest from a certain experience in East Berlin.

Grigoryev occasionally speaks to his companions on left or right, but the whole pageantry on the bright stage is far too exciting to turn away from for long. The crimson velvet curtains frame a spectacle worth the price of admission, a high one at that. He claps when the music calls for it, instinctively finding the breaks when the Rockettes are reaching the end of one act at the start of another. The lights flash around the rows in white and red as the spotlights swivel up to reveal a mesh bag mounted high overhead. And another. And another!

All it takes is a moment for those to snap free thanks to some engineer wheeling cranks, and 'snow' tumbles down in great lacy flakes. Not glitter, exactly, but the soft fluff causes a cry of awe to overtake the audience. Of course, it does make it pretty hard to see very far.

Pete Wisdom mutters under his breath, brushing a bit of the stuff off of his shoulders and trying, at least in theory, to keep his eyes on the prize, although there is that one girl near the end of the line who is particularly…

Well, there's no need to get into the things going on in Wisdom's mind.

Regardless, highly trained spy or not, he may be the tiniest bit distracted at the moment and the snow's the least of it.

Thea rises at the fall of the false snow, aware that it may be the distraction intended for a dozen reasons, …or it could be just a part of the show. Still, the blonde's eyes are locked onto the man in the front row, and more than just her eyes. She glances towards the stage, and tries to glance around without making it obvious she's doing so.

Teddy is one of those who 'ooos' in wonder, which might be a little strange for one of the ushers. But while a paying guest standing around might attract attention once the show starts, someone who works there doesn't. Still, it's hard to split his attention between the Rockettes and the guy he's here to protect and he's still new enough to not be focused entirely on the mission.

In changing between sets, it appears one of the Rockettes has a beautiful corsage on her wrist, making her stand out a bit compared to the other dancers. It's a striking piece, roses intermixed with pearls and glittery ribbons. Perhaps she's one of the star dancers to be given such an intricate decoration, she is right about center stage. The show of course continues with remarkable flow, always something to steal the attention, movements, shapely legs kicked high in perfect unison, lights, and suddenly fake snow sprinkled down on the stage. So many things to steal the attention, except the attention of those with very specific roles, because suddenly, under the bleary cover of the snow and glistening lights, a silent shot is fired. Not that a silencer would be needed with the loud music from the extravaganza on stage.

Should any with a trained ear have some technological or a special ability means to pick the sound of the fired shot amidst the flurry of audial and visual input, they at the very least will be able to recognize it is not a bullet that was fired.

The shot of course is actually the notorious Widow's Bite, fired from Black Widow's bracelet hidden within the corsage, what makes it harder to spot her is the fact she continues the routine as if nothing happened. Meanwhile, should nobody be unfortunate enough to choose this moment to step infront of Grigoryev, he's about to be hit with enough voltage to be worthy of an electric chair style execution. Hopefully none of the pretty girls to his sides are going to try and touch him, it could prove fatal.

The girls on the stage most definitely hold the captivated audience. Sparkling lights radiate off the crystal-strung chandelier overhead, the showpiece of the set that stays throughout most of the celebratory rhythms. Beaded strands glitter with icicles, those hand-strung 'snowflakes' leaded crystal and cut glass. It shines as a spotlight sweeps over it, the lighting engineer pleased at the effect in the distant way of a scientist performing the same experiment twenty times over. Especially with the falling lace-like snow, the effect of a winter wonderland is rather striking.

Grigoryev and his wife, Tatiana, are fully taken. She rarely strays from admiring the artistry with one of those flinty little smiles, a public mask, expecting a photographer to jump up from the stage lights. He's much happier, his broad face shaped into a smile. Or it was. Nothing like being nailed with a lightning bolt along a wire to form a rictus smile and send him shaking.

Pete Wisdom doesn't even realize anything bad is happening and is just watching the dancing.

Thea catches her breath, brown eyes going wide. She moves around the end of the aisle, trying to get down to the front without looking like she's hurried or in a rush. She doesn't know if there is anything she can do to keep him from dying at the moment, she's not sure WHAT exactly is shocking his body that way.

The Black Widow is very pleased with herself, she has no doubt there's SHIELD presence in this venue, Peggy Carter would have seen to it. But judging by the lack of motion, it seems her execution today was immaculate. She doesn't lose a beat, and much like the rest of the Rockettes, it seems she's oblivious to the troubles of the man jolting in the first row. After all, they go their choreography to keep to, and with all the lights, it's tough to see the audience, well, if one isn't a superspy on a mission that is.

The audience most certainly will react. The man shaking in his seat will eventually fall away from the precipice of death. Beside him, the two gents in a tuxedo shout: their voices melt into the Christmas carols and spectacular light show. If some of the girls falter — and they will, seeing the stage edge cascading into doom — the rest don't, smile on, kicks high, arms interlinked. Time passes to give the chance for others to notice: a stagehand, the manager alerted, the music pulled into a second reel only used when things have gone greatly wrong.

Thea still keeps moving, a sighing sound as she approaches the man who she likely can not save. She will explain she's a nurse, looking him over to try and find what exactly happened if only to protect herself before she might attempt CPR.

Hit with 30,000 volts, the maximum capability of the Widow's Bite, Black Widow has no doubt that she has successfully eliminated her target, which is why she doesn't bother taking another glance at the audience. Though once unrest starts to get to some of the Rockettes, the faintest of whispered concern, with some of the girls more visibly shaken, she keeps in line with the rest. Projecting fear and uncertainty, at this point, more and more of the girls just want to go off stage, fearful they might come in harm's way next.

The frantic actions of the front rows bubble into general confusion and turmoil. This isn't part of the show. Obviously not. Not with the gentlemen pushing the wives, sisters, dates away to the aisles, and them standing about. A fellow strips off his coat and dashes up to meet an usher, but the stage is large and the audience pit even larger. Tears and stares add to the whispers, the mutters.

Thea claiming herself as a nurse causes them to part uneasily, one of the men fussing with the Russian's collar. No great luck there, other than loosening a bowtie.

Thea will attempt briefly to help the man, before she's feeling too conspicuous, and will desert any attempts to help the man who is too far gone for her powers to reach. Then, understandably, she will quietly move to fade into the crowd, and make her exit.

Black Widow has no doubt that the leggy Rockettes will be among the last to be on anyone's mind as potential suspect, in all likelihood, the boxes will be checked first for potential snipers of any sort. The man was a vaunted target after all, she figures with the panic, and the production team's concern for potential harm coming to their assets, erm, dancers, she will likely be on her way out of there without ever needing to try a daring escape.

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