1965-01-13 - Court of Nevers: Story III - Bucky 2
Summary: The trouble thickens for SHIELD as Captain America leads his operatives through a hidden city and faces off the Black Widow.
Related: Court of Nevers
Theme Song: None
clint fitz black-widow bucky rogue 

0116 hours. Zhelezdny. Closed city 81. USSR.
Six seconds from flat floor to vertical shaft.

One. Midnight swallows up the men. No light to speak of except what they brought. No gears overtly grind to explain how the ground became a wall.

The other SHIELD agent goes catapulting into the inky shadows.

Three. Violet lights implanted in the industrial grey facility winked out when the angle reached 45'. Clint's arrow strikes concrete and holds for the moment, leaving him swinging back and forth in the tunnel.

Five. Knives jammed into concrete spit curses and sparks, screaming, the strength of the man alone keeping Bucky Barnes — Captain America — alive.

Seven. Silence, stillness, no body impacting the ground. A faint whuff of dust skitters off the tube. Whatever lies below, they'll have to chance. Climbing up could be hopeful but no movement of air implies it's a choice. Try to sink or drop. Full of choices…

He's scrambling to try and find a foothold, mostly relying on the knives to hold him. Hammering them in flat to use as steps, to try and get enough height to set feet on them, rather than dangling by one hand. All the better to get the shield onto his arm. "Barton, if you're above me, drop on me. I'll take us both down." Assuming the shield does its usual work on absorbing kinetic energy.

Fitz dropped into the darkness scrambling with something in his glove to activate something in there that was built to secure to a smooth surface. the ground wasn't smooth, and the young doctor slid scrambling downward into the darkness when the world tilt. there was a gasp, and then nothing.

Clint clings to his bow when the line goes taut and doesn't immediately give out. Listening to the eerie groaning of the cord, he watches Fitz slide past and shoves his feet against the nearest surface to try to grab the slipping agent. It's a flail of an attempt where he gets the pleasure of watching Fitz shoot past.

Well. Damn.

Clint looks at his lifeline and sighs as he pulls a flare off his hip and drops it to try to shed some red, spitting light on the situation, judging the way down. Barnes was ahead of him, but his line yanked taut quicker than those knives found purchase, leaving him just above. "Just above you. Disengaging line. Now." Doing just that on an upswing into the floor-wall above Buck, Clint thuds bodily against it and tries to aim his slide down it to the soldier.

Red flare in the vertigo spins round and round into the sucking blackness. Cave-black eats the retreating cherry-red ember, briefly washing over Cap in his stealth suit. Then nothing, clattering away.

Soon enough, Clint Barton follows as the rope above him cuts off. His weight drops onto the slanted vibranium shield awaiting below. Knives give way under rutted soles. Kinetic energy is dampened, yes, but weight sends one weapon flying. Thus go the men into the dark. Vertigo rips over the senses, leaving the primal corners of the hindbrain screaming.

Vault 88. Transition two.

Bucky lands on grating that groans and vibrates with his weight unless somehow that shield acts as a surfboard. Below, fluorescent light buzzes away. The cavernous space holds no secrets here. Ten feet away lies Fitz, sprawled out. It smells of oil and steel, enveloped in recycled air diligently spun around by huge industrial fans in an industrial facility spanning many blocks under the closed city.

Don't overlook the large ships surrounded by cranes and metal superstructures, either. (REF: https://www.fxguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/TC_1234_ILO_130130_TRHELIBAY_carrierbay18_JR.jpg)

It's a vast, impressive underground facility, clearly the location of something very secret. Therefore, potentially, the location of the man or body of the man that our heroes are looking for. They've already encountered one example of the kind of traps they could expect, one would be prudent to expect there were more.

But not everything awaiting them is in the form of a mechanised trap, or a noxious concoction. There are living things as well, or more specifically, someone the new Captain America is ought to expect when he's entering the soil of the USSR.

It's hard to tell unless you know where to look, and it's hard to know in a place you've just encountered for the very first time. For now it's nothing more than a foreboding sense of presence, those who are alert might sense, those rafters high along the ceiling sure would make a lovely sniper's nest.

Fitz hit the grating with a crunch and a *POK* of one hand landing on a polished surface. Splendid, now the cling-gloves found purchase. Brilliant.
Note to self: rethink design.
Addendum: Ow~!*

It took a moment to put the wind back in his lungs and disengage his gloves before- FLare! There were sparks from flares! Oh great. He murmured to himself, "It's like being on the receiving end of the 4th of July. Lovely." He looked up and couldn't call up to them and give away position. Best be could do now was secure landing if he could. Once… Once he was moving. owowowow

Clint grunts succinctly as they start to fall and reality swims with shadows before he's abruptly on his back. Not a chance to adjust or roll with it when reality suddenly -becomes- again, Hawkeye does his best to not make a sound while he wills air back into his lungs and peers at the environment from that upside down angle.

Too. Much. Cover.

Or not enough.

Rolling onto his front, Clint shoves himself into a crouch and looks at the other two men, then solely on Barnes.

Bucky holds out a hand to tell Fitz to be still. He was Cap's sniper, the eye on the scope, long before he was himself the man in the spangly outfit. And old instincts are whispering to him to case this place before they go merrily tripping along into another trap. Silent, as he signals them to take a more careful look around.

A place this large would normally be dormant at this hour, whether Archangelsk or Brooklyn Shipyards. Floodlights wash over the three hulls under construction. So many feet underground andt he Soviets are making the newerst force of jet fighters that exceeds anything known even to seasoned military eyes.

Each bay contains its own protective fortifications. A few engineers, welders, and other tradespeople must be working in the furthest one, for the blue halo intimates at human activity. Many routes out, catwalks above, and doors to negotiate. Stop and investigate? Or find the body of a fallen man?

The final compromise to make with a leader: no matter what he picks, he's fucked.

It couldn't be a coincidence that the trap dropped our hapless heroes where it did, could it? After all, if your enemy wants you to be somewhere, it's usually because something else is waiting for your arrival. Turns out that Bucky's instincts from all his years serving as a sniper prove true.

There are three man that the Black Widow can spot, a Fitz, a Clint and once beloved Winter Soldier, corrupted in the worst way into the very symbol of the enemy, a Captain America. No, she will not eliminate him with a painless sniper shot. That would be mercy.

That leaves two, Fitz and Clint. Of the two, she can at least recognize a good agent. So while the saying states: "better the devil you know than the one you don't," she readily assumes if she takes out Barton, Fitz would be no obstacle to having her fun exacting revenge on Bucky.

A shot is fired, likely from a dragunov, and a trained ear might pick the trajectory as distinctly from high up. It has to have come from the rafters, but where in the rafters? There's so many of them.

A good sniper isn't likely to give up a nest until compromised. So the move is theirs, stay and be sniped, or act and hope for the best.

Fitz heard shots and that was a great reason on roll away and go be useful somewhere. Fantastic. Just, well let's hopw taht shot found body armour. Next step: finding a fortification. Taking respite behind a steel girder he pulled out that lovely device of his scanning and finding nearest list of available exits.

That signal is precisely what Hawkeye was looking for. They needed to find the high ground. Get the lay of the land. But he was more devoted to the pecking order here and actually waited for signal before being loosed on the world.

It's waiting for that signal that gets him pegged.


Shot fired and Barton pitches forward violently as he takes it squarely in the back. The archer's head snaps backward with the impact, knees taking a crushing blow as he hits the unsympathetic floor and rolls with it like a ragdoll.

Barton's down. For the moment.

Barton down. Ships diligently coddled by their makers. A body, somewhere, beyond. Blood on the grates and the concrete steps marks a successful hit. No one immediately reacts, no gathering of soldiers in steady order. This isn't a Bond movie with folks to spare.

James is happy to use words that would scorch Steven's ears, were he here to hear them. There's the sound of boots on a metal grating as Bucky's lunging for the fallen Barton, shield held up to in theory deflect the sniper's rounds. Good luck on that one. But he's not leaving Clint out there to be finished off at the shooter's leisure.

True to form, true to reputation, Black Widow's shot appears perfect and she seems to take out her target. So with Clint Barton apparently taken care of for the immediate future, there's two left. She wants to go face to face with the new Captain America, so he's not going to be a target, which leaves her trying to find a line of sight to get Fitz. The clever guy got himself behind an iron girder, making it much tougher, but she was trained by the Winter Soldier and had since earned her reputation for one of the finest snipers in the USSR, if not in the world. When push comes to shove, she's audacious enough to try the unlikely.

The famous Captain America shield is brought up to protect both Bucky and Clint, warding off a finishing shot, but the positioning is perfect to provide deflection to take care of Fitz behind his cover. Only problem is the shot would need to be perfect, taking an extra minute shifting in angle, a breath, silence, and then the shot.

If she can make it, Black Widow is trying to bounce a shot off Captain America's mighty shield, directly at Fitz. If she can clear the field, it would be just in time for her dance with a traitor.

Fitz was scanning for an exit. Found, but hullo there was still the issue of that sniper out there. Shit shit shit. Okay BUcky had the shield out covering Clint. THey were protected.


Funny thing about the word they. Sometimes they means all of us, and sometimes they means them and not at all you. Shots fired. They knew they were here which meant they needed cover. Bollocks in a handbasket. He pulled out the smoke grenade and was about to throw it when *PANG-NG-NG* the shot fired off the shield and right into him. His arm dropped the smoke grenade at his feet rather than having opportunity to throw it. That was a meatysplorch*. He coughed and barked to Bucky, "Run!"

Run, As if. Not with two men down. He's not leaving SHIELD's agents to be vivisected by the Russians. Now Fitz is down, and Buck's left to keep trying to haul Barton's body into cover, all the better to treat that wound. "I heard you get hit,"he tells Fitz, brusquely. "Put pressure on the wound. I've got to get Barton and then go after that sniper."

At this point, if it wasn't clear to him before, Bucky would surely recognize the threat he is facing. Few among the forces in the USSR would make that shot on Fitz via his shield, it is more likely than not that he is facing his former student, the Black Widow. Normally, Fitz's advice would be the correct one, run. When you're fired on by snipers, you either take cover or run. From the experience just now, cover isn't working so well.

Then again, Black Widow is so far executing her plan to perfection. Get rid of Clint? Check. Get rid of Fitz? Check. Only thing left on the card is her very own private dance with the man she once admired. The man who stabbed her in the back when he defected and became a traitor against the USSR. The man who dares call himself Captain America.

There's no such thing as a mercy kill for him.

Unfortunately, he behaves like he knows she wants him to run into the open. She has no time for him to look after Clint, so he gets two shots fired at him in succession, these, however, are meant to draw attention.

Should he turn to face the shoots, he will get a glimpse of the Black Widow swinging down a Widow Line, directly at him, red goggles glowing red over her eyes. Turns out the smoke wouldn't have helped.

If Bucky doesn't turn, well, she'll have a pretty good headstart with a take down attempt straight out of her swinging move.

Draw attention it does - Buck's whirling on her, witrh those hosts. He doesn't hurl the shield, or attempt to knock her out of the air with it. But dodge….that he'll do. All the better to try and come at her with the shield's edge when she's in range.

Fitz was hissign through teeth and knew how to apply pressure but damn that was a good hit. You know, there was somehting to be said for this. Teeth clenched he stayed quiet and off to the side. Hand pushing on his side as directed he wasn't done being useful. Not… not yet. He was banging at being a less of a threat, and he was. He was nothing if not resourceful. In there was one opportunity to help Bucky out it might not be running, but he might be able to buy him time. Fitz unholstered teh Nite-Nite Gun and took aim, and attempted best he could to take that shot at her.

Once in mid-swing, there's very little Natasha can do to shift direction, so when Bucky evades where she'll eventually wind up being, she is left with little choice but to abandon her initial plan of attack. Detaching from the widow's line, Natasha instead draws twin pistols from thigh holsters and fires non stop at Bucky while plummeting down. She doesn't expect to hit him, he has his shield after all, but she does mean to disrupt any interception on his part. She wants the fight to start with both her feet planted, rather than be taken down as soon as she makes the landing.

«Welcome home, comrade traitor,» she sneers at him Russian, glaring at him through her glowing red goggles, preparing for his charge which she has no doubt will come.

Except that this is a Captain America who's learned his lessons in a far darker and more bitter school than Steven the Pure-hearted…..and does not scorn lethal weaponry in the least. The rounds from Natasha's pistols clang off the shield….and then there's the answering bark of a single Colt .45. If he can take her down at range, so much the better.

Barton was out, briefly, though not brief enough to be any kinds of helpful when it mattered, the impact making him lose consciousness when he hit the floor. Coughing awake again, he groans and finds…smoke. Lots of smoke. Fuck! Were they on fire now, too!? Clint choked and groaned. Fuck, that hurt. His ribs weren't right. Ugh. He heard the shield somewhere…fighting somewhere very near. Buuuut it hardly matters when the NNG finds /a/ mark. And Barton's out again.

Fitz had that shot go wide and hit…Clint. Brilliant. Well that was jsut bloody awful. He rehoulstered the NNG and did something actually useful which was crawl over there with her distracted and try to pull Clint back out of the way vowin, should they life, teo tell him that the Widow shot him twice. Right. He made himself a promise never then to mention it again. Ever.

Black Widow was no fool, she knew Captain America, the former one, but the new one? Him she knows even better, he spent a good portion of her life as her mentor. He taught her well, and she expects he will not be the kind to afford her free approach. But he's very good at bringing the shot seemingly out of nowhere, leaving Natasha to throw herself down to avoid being hit. If it wasn't for the super soldier serum, her instincts and reaction would never be fast enough. However, on the other hand, to avoid getting shot she had to go down. A distinctly inferior position. He's got a fairly good chance to strike true if he follows up with more shots rather than take her hand to hand. What will he do?

Keep firing. Chivalry's a burning wreck, and flagsuit and shield aside, Winter's an assassin. A new paintjob does nothing to obscure killer instincts. No calling out to her, no banter, no apology. Just that grim silence she knows so well. If she's foolish enough to not just snipe him from a distance like the others, he's hardly going to discard the opportunity.

Right about now Natasha is cursing the fact she left her sniper's nest, so eager to take the traitor down and teach him a lesson, because he just caught her by surprise. Sure she evaded the first shot, but he -WASN'T- being -chivlarous-, damn you Comrade Traitor! Natasha rolls frantically, as shots keep coming, she evades once, but you can only get so lucky against someone who taught her to become one of the premier assassins in the world. The next few shots strike true, one pierces her side, another strikes a left shoulder, she grits her teeth and hisses in pain. «Fuck you, traitor! Fuck you!!» She screams in voice oozing with hate, and then she reaches for her belt with her one fully functional arm, reaching for a hand grenade, apparently she aims to take out the safety. May as well take him out with her.

It's the same silence she's used to. The same lack of expression - no stress or fear or anger, only that reserve so deep it borders on boredom. The dark hair may be under the helmet and the metal arm hidden by the black sleeve, but she knows that strange grace, as he hastily reverses the shield and traps the thrown grenade under the arc of metal. There's a flare of light and a stifled explosion, then he's flipping it up back to his arm, before firing at her again.

Was Natasha trying to sacrifice herself in a suicide grenade to take both herself and Comrade Traitor out? Maybe. Could also be she's every bit as good as she was trained by Winter Soldier, because while Bucky is covering the thrown grenade with his shield, she's already on her feet and rushing him. Remove pressure from the shield, and maybe things go awry, keep it to trap the grenade, and take a flying kick to the face from the on-rushing Widow.

Is she in pain? Yes. But she knows the cost of not fighting, and she's not willing to die today.

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