1965-01-02 - Old Debts and New Enemies
Summary: Able and Rogue visit his clinic to pick up supplies, only to be surprised by a former comrade and a new threat.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
yuliya rogue able 

Periodically, Able has been making trips to his old clinic in Brooklyn to retrieve odd bits of gear, equipment, and medical supplies. This time he's filling the cupboards of the X-Mansion's medbay with some of his own stock that's been gathering dust. Bandages, sutures, and various medicines have been stuffed into a bulky duffle. He also has a large, cylindrical document case slung over his other shoulder.

As always, the dapper doctor is wearing a sharp suit and tie. His one concession to the winter season is a long jacket, but it's unbuttoned. "Thanks for coming along," he says to Rogue, who he'd asked to keep him company on the trip. "Now that I don't live here anymore, the place seems a bit eerie."

'The place' is a converted machine shop nestled between a laundromat and a restaurant that's a known hangout for a variety of gangsters, agents, and other undesirables. Though he could technically still take patients at the clinic, it's been shut down to the public for weeks, as have most of his other services.

Yuliya might have heard rumours from friends of contacts of people who knew things about stuff about Able. Or maybe kind of liked the restaurant and its undesirable crowd, and the garlic bread. Honestly, it's the garlic bread that drew her to the restaurant more than anything else. She makes her way out of the restaurant with a steaming hot loaf of garlic bread in a bag. She tears a piece off as she starts to make her way down the street and pops it into her mouth as she starts to make her way towards the laundromat. While she might be thinking about finding out the recipie for the common good, it doesn't stop her from peeking inside of the converted machine shop.

A girl in a green mini-dress and leggings scarcely quantifies as odd for this particular neighbourhood. That she has a long white scarf and elbow length gloves goes with the fact it's winter and not exactly warm, though the chill hardly affects Scarlett. She hums a quiet tune under her breath, spot on, the folksy rise and fall almost laid back in meter. However ugly 'the place' is, she makes the most of an opportunity to see another part of the city. "Not a problem. I have another week before classes resume, so I best make the most of my freedom, no?" Her fingertips stray along her hairline, brushing away a few fiery tendrils straying from one of her endlessly complicated braids. "Do you expect anyone intends to show up seeing you have put your shingle out, even temporarily?" A query worth making, given the nature of the place. Opportunists abound.

Her nature reflects a certain ease, all things considered.

There's a new face in town. A small, stocky man with flat and reptilian features. His appearance and his ability to move and strike with alarming speed have earned him the nickname, 'Snake.' He also has a propensity for bringing along a great deal of hired muscle without much care for their well-being. Most people would be offended, but he has embraced the name.

Today is no different. After a failed attempt to collect a bounty last night, he's replenished his forces and is being paid handsomely to make sure the restaurant next to the clinic shuts down. On the surface, eliminating a den of iniquity seems like a noble goal, but the look in his eyes and the telltale bulges in his mens' coats tell a different story as they push their way inside. Shots are fired almost immediately, but it doesn't sound like a pitched battle. Yet.

"No, not expecting guests," Able replies. "But you never know." He and Rogue exit just in time to see the mercenaries enter and then hear the shots. He glances over at Rogue and shrugs. Quickly, he drops his bag and unslings the document case. Popping the top reveals a WWI-era shotgun that may be antiquated, but seems more than serviceable. "Back to the salt mines," he quips. "I might not live here anymore, but this is still my neighborhood. You coming, fraulein?"

That's when he sees Yuliya. It's impossible not to with her right next to the doors. There's a glint of recognition in the doctor's eyes, and for a moment it seems like he's about to raise his gun, but instead he shakes his head. "We could use your help. Up for it? You and I can shoot each other later if you want."

Yuliya's been doing volunteer work in Mutant Town to cement her cover, so seeing someone with reptilian features doesn't seem to startle her at first. She also seems somewhat calm when there's the sound of gunshots, but she does glance back over her shoulder towards it, and she stops mid-chew as she tries to figure out what exactly is happening. However when Able walks out, she seems to straighten up and mutters "blyat" under her breath when it seems like the shotgun might be moved in her direction.

The Russian woman takes a deep breath and then sighs in relief when she's not filled with shot. "Why is it when I am eating?" she complains in English. "Always when I find something new, you have to ruin it." However it seems that she is going to lend her assistance. The bag of garlic bread is abandoned and she's quick to pull a bandanna out from her blazer of her business attire pocket and secures it around her lower face. Next comes the silence pistol that she checks quickly. "I am only helping for old times sake."

Murphy's Law comes into play before Scarlett can even get the words out of her mouth. A rueful shake of her head and the rosemarie smile practically alloy the possibility something will go wrong. "Ninety-six percent chance of this going pear-shaped," she adds, shrugging her shoulder. The resonance of bullets into cement and wood punctuate whatever else she might say, and the uneasy flexion of her fingers is about the only signal of her willingness to advance into troubled waters. "No likelihood of resolving this peacefully, is there? Sometimes I wish I had developed the skill set to make people reasonable and listen." And so would she be a dark queen set over all the world, terrible and brilliant, a bit different than Tolkien envisioned. Wrong hair colour, for one. Able hardly need ask twice. A pivot puts her to the doorway, out into the street, opening a gap for Yuliya to squeeze past as need be. "Might I suggest you get inside? Cover is advantageous." Garlic bread also smells magnificent.

No bandanna for her, no pistol. Of all those here, she's by far the least armoured and the most idealistic, no? But she quite literally seems unfazed by the prospective hint of being shot. Well, that comes with being a member of two teams, one of which rhymes with Stonehenge. "What I would give for the days when random vandalization wasn't necessary. I'm bait. You try to avoid ruining the dress, would you?"

More gunfire. Whoever's inside the restaurant, they don't seem to be going down or giving up without a fight.

Inside, Snake is zipping around with inhuman speed. He snatches pistols and throws punches until anyone willing to stand up has been knocked out, or worse. What he doesn't handle gets mopped up by his men. Once they've made their point, the unsavory crew heads out the front door, leaving behind two of their number who've been taken down.

That's when Rogue gets spotted. "No witnesses," is all Snake has to say to get a half-dozen firearms pointed in her direction.

Able lets out a low chuckle. "I'll owe you one," he acknowledges Yuliya's statement. "Or this would make it two, I suppose. Sorry about your lunch. Scarlett, wait, you—damnit."

Then the party is in full swing. Able ducks back into his clinic in search of cover. Just in time, because bullets start pinging off of walls shortly after. The hail is thick enough that he has no choice but to keep his head down. The mercenaries are eager, but their aim leaves something to be desired. So far, Scarlett hasn't been hit.

"I hate it when she does this." The doctor grumbles, then breaks a window so he can push the barrel of his scattergun through and fire off a round.

If Yuliya had known she was going into combat, she would most have likely brought something more powerful than her silenced pistol. Most likely smokebombs and flashbangs, but alas, she didn't know, so she's stuck with her pistol. However she does have training on her side as well as surprise, though she does retreat back when the Doctor does. It might be possible that they could have been in situations like this before. She grunts in reply to Able, not answering him just yet.

She also doesn't know where Scarlet is, so when she leans out to return fire, she fires high on purpose to avoid hitting the other woman in the hope that her silenced weapon might cause them to flinch. <You have alcohol and a rag, yes?> she calls back to the Doctor in Russian. <If they are driving.>

Scarlett isn't exactly acting upon impulse. Her tactical savvy does not lack for experience, and a girl running to hide behind a car is an excellent way to not only draw fire but also reveal to everyone else capable of finding a trajectory where, exactly, those hidden individuals are. Might as well take advantage of that, skidding around a trunk and keeping low until the scattered shots give her an idea of the next place to run. Aim something to be desired, next to an alley. She zigzags rather than takes a straight path, using the cover afforded by everything from an abandoned mailbox to newspaper boxes for that sprint. Unfair, really, when the backtracking is going to give her a different angle on the battlefield. Notably one that means going up.

Able's shotgun blast is too distant to do much damage; all it does is sting a pair of thugs and make them angrier. Yuliya wings one of them, but doesn't take him out of the fight. Like Scarlett, they tuck themselves behind garbage cans, streetlights, anything that may get the job done. Gunfire will have that effect.

Snake, on the other hand, doesn't seem phased. He streaks forward toward the redhead and lashes out at her with a blurred, fist, but she takes off too quickly for him to make contact.

<I have that, and more,> Able confirms. His Russian is heavily accented, but it gets the job done. He tosses his shotgun to Yuliya. <Save that in case they get closer. I'll be right back.>

This wasn't just Able's clinic, it was his base of operations. There's an armory, though most of the contents have been moved to the mansion for safekeeping. He does come up with some improvised grenades made from TNT stuffed into soup cans. He's also cradling an old lever-action rifle. Again, not the most modern of weapons, but it should get the job done. Humming under his breath, he starts stuffing rounds into the magazine. <Don't worry about the girl,> he advises. He passes over the grenades and a lighter for the fuses, then takes up his firing position. <She can look after herself.>

No answer, it doesn't seem to worry Yuliya at all. There are targets in play and that have gone to ground. While her blind fire might have hit one, she does take a moment to change magazines. After all, running empty doesn't work for her. When the shotgun is tossed in her direction, she does manage to catch it in her off hand and places it down beside herself. She continues to fire blindly in the direction of the shots, no doubt trying to keep their heads down.

<I am not worried. I am just trying to avoid unwanted injuries,> Yuliya admits to Able still in Russian. <Well, to those helping. Anyone else, they should have stayed home.> With home-made grenades being shoved in her direction, she grins and her eyes seem to light up. It seems that Tick Tock, KGB explosives expert is about to ply her trade. <Awww… For me? You shouldn't have!"

Scarlett isn't running scared. Not when she has taken to the air and the currents buoy her up, allowing a quick scamper up the wall to give the impression she is merely an unnervingly talented climber instead of defiant of gravity. Up to a rooftop, then, a quick skim around gives her the lay of the land. She drops into a roll and zips along the uneven ground, diverting around the air conditioning units and any other debris for an advantage. Other buildings make for a better target, anyways, and the shooters on the ground are left to contest with her lobbing a few stones in their direction to pull their attention elsewhere. Cover for springing off the building into a tucked roll that hits the adjacent deck, giving her plenty of opportunity to kick someone's roof in.

And all the while, that Italian restaurant smells really good in this particularly cold day. Why is it the mouthwatering fusion of butter and toasted bread and herbs is so damn appealing? She'll never question it.

Snake seems furious that Scarlett eluded his grasp. He's accustomed to being the fastest and most dangerous thing in any given fight, now he's been proven wrong two days in a row. He lets out a wordless roar.

Meanwhile, the hail of bullets and stones has the mercenaries holding tight to their cover for the most part. They're still firing, but volleys are starting to get shorter and less frequent.

<I know, I know,> Able chuckles to Yuliya. <For old time's sake, like you said. Don't be shy with them.>

He pops up to his window and fires off a shot. One of the thugs tried to run for another piece of cover and got a bullet in the shoulder for his trouble. A second round takes him through the knee, keeping him down.

There's a loud, metallic CHK-CHK as the doctor operates the rifle's lever to load it. <Try not to kill them if you can avoid it. My redheads don't like it.>

<You give me explosives and ask me not to kill anyone,> Yuliya replies, as she lights the fuze to the first home-made grenade with the end of the pistol. <They fired first. Also, if they are missing body parts and still alive, then not my fault if they die later.> She takes a moment to peek out, and then towards the fuze before she tosses out the first improvized explosive. <Also, lucky if I do not take one of them and get all the information I can out of them. When did you get soft?>

The Russian counts a few more seconds before she tosses the home-made grenade down the street. She's throwing high to get above cover and render it useless. After the first is thrown, she's quick to lit the fuze of the next grenade. <But I try not to kill the Capitalist Dogs.> It even comes complete with a sigh as she starts to time her next throw.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a different moral compass, one that didn't point so hard north. Alas, staying around a man with a plan and his associated friends will sometimes change one's perspective. Scarlett comes up hard against a carpet and she sprawls flat for a moment, looking about to avoid any angry mamas throwing pots at her. Instead, she gets a glazed eyed teenager staring at the television, barely aware of things. Without a moment's notice, she calls, "Sorry! Enjoy your program!" Then she takes off at a run through the front door, mindful not to kick it off its hinges when she can just shut the door nicely in her wake. Diving down the staircase is easy enough, anyways, giving her a chance to assess the nearest window to fly out or hopefully take care of the shooter on ground level, lurking near the entrance. He might not expect someone using a modified boxing punch and then a taekwondo kick to boot him out into the street. If she can't draw fire, then she gives Yuliya and Able targets. Because why not, it's fun.

The grenades are primarily concussive and the soup cans provide very little shrapnel. At anything but point blank ranges they're dangerous, but not deadly. The first one shatters a few eardrums and knocks a large knot of the attackers out of the fight, but they seem intact. Ish. Scarlett floors another while the rest focus their fire on her.

Aware that he may be outmatched, Snake is starting to reconsider this fight, but he's not out of it yet. He puts on an extra burst of superhuman speed and runs directly at Scarlett. When he reaches her, he grins and runs the tip of his tongue along his upper lip. His second attempt to attack is a flurry of blows, each of which is too fast for the average eye to see, much less follow.

Able sucks in a breath and lets it out as a long, slow sigh. <Nice throw. Trust me, a few weeks ago we'd be putting them down like rabid animals,> he admits. <But I met a woman a while back. She convinced me to join a team that has rules.>

As he explains, he lines up another target who's crouched behind a garbage can. Only a hand holding a pistol is exposed, but the doctor's shot smashes the weapon and the fingers clutching it in one fell swoop. He clears the rest of his magazine in an attempt to keep the shooters off balance. When his weapon is empty, he sets it aside and draws the British military revolver he always seems to have tucked away. <My methods have changed, but I havent.>

Tick Tock might actually look disappointed with the concussive grenades. But that doesn't stop her from lobbing out a second on, this time towards the feet of a target that Scarlett has moved out into the open. She does pause her attack for a moment, and glances back towards Able with a raised brow. <We have rules, though I broke some to help you out,> she admits, before swallowing nervously. <My father will skin me alive if he knew what I was doing right now.>

It seems that she's swapping explosives for her pistol again, as she moves out into the street. She stays low, with her pistol trained towards where she knows fire was coming from. <You have got soft since meeting this girl and joining these people with soft ideas?>

Scarlett isn't so crass to laugh when the concussion grenade goes off. Oh, the shockwave might knock her back and she can fly straight back up the central corridor of the stairs. At least that's the idea, though her tumbling smacks her into the wall and rattles the railings, which hastens that need to toss herself up, up, up.

Hey, it's all good when one has to take down other enemies, especially when she has little taste for physically hurting people. Call it a case of needing to get with the program and throw a few bone-splintering punches. Soon enough, though she finds one of those miserable, ugly windows meant to be decorative or improve circulation in a stuffy foyer. It's easy for her to pull it down, though she peeks through before wriggling out like an eel from a reef. This will be inconvenient and no doubt cause for a few shots her way, presumably if people distrust facades and building dryads.

By now the dozen or so mercenaries have been whittled to a handful, and these seem less than happy to be pinned down. There's a great deal of peeking over mailboxes, but not many shots fired.

Snake, on the other hand, is getting angrier by the second. His futile attack on Scarlett is the last straw. He speeds away, leaving a road runner-esque cloud of dust in his wake.

<You're helping me because I'm charming,> Able jokes, his voice dry and mirthful at the same time. <Or more likely because I gave up a lucrative contract in Cuba to get you out of a jam.>

He's close behind his one-time partner, his revolver cocked and ready to fire. In fact, he snaps off two rounds to encourage their foes to stay down. <'Those people' are stronger than you think, Yuliya. But yes. It's because of the girl. If you think I've gone soft, you're welcome to test that assumption at your convenience.>

<Because you turned down your contract in Cuba,> Yuliya replies to Able, as she takes a knee with her weapon still drawn. At the warning, she gives a soft grunt again and eyes one of the gunmen left behind. She starts to withdraw, still keeping her weapon up as she carefully moves around able. <Maybe I will, Able. Maybe I'll make a nice garden for you to frolic in, too.> She could be serious, or she could be joking about. <But I think you and you friend can handle the rest of these people. I am allergic to United States Authorities and plan to be long gone by the time anyone turns up.>

Would that she knew the common language, that any of it made sense. For now it doesn't, and Scarlett tumbles over the street on a parabola jump uthat she shouldn't be able to make. Running at a burst over a rooftop and she springs down to the Italian restaurant, back around to where the pair of shooters have laid waste to any savage opposition. No helping the speedster out there, but she is quick to alight in their midst. "May I suggest we get spaghetti for lunch?" She sounds a bit winded, though her cheeks are rounded slightly by a smile.

The last few thugs are throwing out their weapons and emerging with hands raised high in the air. They seemed to have agreed that this fight is lost and any alternative is better that continuing it.

Meanwhile, Able nods to Yuliya. <We still have debts owed and scores to settle, you and I. But I won't forget this. Still, if you ever want to settle up…> There's a smile on his face as he uses his thumb to gently lower the revolver's hammer. <I'm not hard to find.>

He touches two fingers to his forelock, then turns toward Scarlett as she arrives. "Our friend was just leaving," he says. "But I'd love some pasta. Yuli, as always, it's been interesting."

Yuliya takes a few more steps back, and seems surprised by Scarlett's appearance. <So the game keeps on going,> she replies to Able as she takes another step back. She glances towards Scarlett again, and she offers a polite incline of her head. "Da, leaving and interesting," she replies in the mix of Russian English she usually delivers. "Much work to do at office. Maybe another time." She doesn't remove the bandanna around her face as she starts to move towards the nearest alleyway.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License