Surveillance State
Roleplaying Log: Surveillance State
IC Details

Domino and Moonstar try to trace down more leads on who attacked Warren.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: March 01, 2019
IC Location:
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 02 Mar 2019 05:26
Rating & Warnings: LANGUAGE
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits: GM: Angel
Associated Plots

While it can't be said that Domino and Moonstar are now best friends forever, they did leave the Cafe with something of an agreement. Or an understanding.

One that's mutually favorable to both; Moonstar won't dig (too hard) into why Domino is twitchy, and Domino will help with the investigation into who attacked Warren, which also means lending her gun hand when it's needed.

And while there's no current firefight needing her expertise with weapons, that didn't stop Moonstar from requesting her help for this next part.


The two can currently be found in a nondescript van that says 'Captain Plumber - We Come to YOU'. There's even a cheesy picture of a plumber wearing a cape and holding an overly large wrench.

The van sits parked curbside with a good view of Mr. Adler's apartment complex and while it seems quite average, within the van is anything but.

Surveillance equipment can be found within the van and so too can Domino and Danielle Moonstar.

They've already been there a few hours, watching, listening, waiting.

Moonstar, being the professional she is, brought coffee in large insulated metal cups and maybe a few snacks as well. And while the Cheyenne has been largely quiet she finally stirs and gives a quick side-eye to her companion. "Doing ok?"

"There's not enough room for Solitaire."

The answer comes in a flat and oh-so-very-bored voice from where the albino sits with fingers laced behind her head in a mock reclined pose while staring at so many different monitors. The thought is important enough to her that it bears repeating: "There's not enough room… For -Solitaire.-" As if this is the single very worst situation which could possibly befall her.

Coffee might be useful for the caffeine, though Domino hasn't indulged much at all. The problem with drinking, particularly anything with caffeine, means an increased need for a bathroom. She went and got her fix hours before joining Dani in this doofily designed van, because surveillance ops? Those mean a whooooole lot of sitting.

And sitting is boring as hell. But at least she isn't clawing at the walls for a restroom break!

"Is this really what normal people do?" gets asked point-blank with something of an incredulous stare passed Moonstar's way. "Hours, -hours- of my life, wasting away staring at nothing upon nothing waiting for one magical moment which may never occur. How do you people stay sane?"

The thing about Neena's power, something she doesn't like to give away to others? It doesn't do a single goddamned thing if she isn't doing anything to initiate -something- happening. While she's sitting idle, so too is her luck.

Right now, Neena's had enough. She leans forward and reaches out to somewhat roughly clasp Dani by both shoulders in a desperate attempt to climb around her and get out of the van. "You know what? -Have fun.- I'm getting some air."

Thomas Adler is not a remarkable man. His hours at Rikers tend to be erratic, but one thing they reliably are is long. Once he leaves, he doesn't return to his apartment for at least nine hours, and usually more. A survey of his movements over the past week or few have revealed very little deviation or hint of a social life. No visits to a girlfriend, or family, or friends really to speak of. He goes to work, he comes home. The place he goes to most often which is not work is church, which is just down the street from his apartment.

He hasn't quite emerged yet today, though really it's still eight in the morning, so that doesn't mean much.

As it so happens, though, once Domino gets moving, the front door of the complex does open, and their person of interest comes out and starts his usual routine of heading to the bus station. Bus is the easiest way to get to Rikers, especially when you're already this close to it geographically.

Solitaire. That brings a faint noise of amusement from Moonstar.

It's only at the question about what normal people do that brings her gaze completely around to Neena. "Yes." The SHIELD agent says, "This is what normal people do." Her tone sounds quite dry, "We wait and watch, and hopefully our *patience* pays off." There's only a little bit of true emphasis upon patience, because really Moonstar is having a hard time not fidgeting either. It's been a minute since she's had to sit in a van with a partner that she can't, or doesn't, necessarily chat with. Even banter.

The shoulder clasp causes the Cheyenne woman to tense slightly, but then when Moonstar realizes just what Domino is doing, she frowns. "Hey, let's not break —" Cover. Let's not break cover. That's what she was going to say, but then a brief flash of movement on the many monitors grabs her attention.

"Oh shit." Mutters the black-haired woman as she spies Thomas Adler.

Now Moonstar rises up and makes a grab for Domino. It doesn't matter whether she's made it outside or not, Domino will suddenly find herself being bodily dragged back inside the van. "No time for air now. Our perp is leaving."


For an oh so brief moment of time Domino could taste the sweet freedom from this accursed van. It was -right there- at her fingertips! Suddenly it's all pulled out of reach as she's sent stumbling right back into her former seat, still plenty warm from hours spent practicing her butt-flattening exercises.

"The hell! If this is how it's gonna be with us then I'm gonnaoooooh…" Neena trails off upon seeing the activity in one of the monitors.

The albino turns to look at Dani. Grins a goofy little grin. "Well how about that. My impatience paid off."

The anticipation is in full effect now. They only have to sit still for a -little bit longer- for the maggot to leave the cheesewheel before they can make their move and get their hands properly dirty.

With these fleeting moments left for them to wait, Domino is suddenly quite animated and looking way too damn amused. "What do you suppose we'll find in there? C'mon, a single guy working at a prison who regularly kneels on the bench for his religion, you just -know- there's gonna be something crazy twisted hiding in there. Maybe he has a Popsicle fetish!"

As soon as Domino's rear is back in her seat, Moonstar's attention is right back on those monitors.

Her shrewd gaze watches the man walk to the bus stop and when it's abundantly clear that he's taking his usual route, Moonstar takes her attention off of the screens. She turns and reaches for a few things that can be found within the van itself - a small bag and then several technological items. Mostly bugs and tracking devices. The super small and discreet kind.

The remark about her impatience paying of causes the Cheyenne woman to snort in both disbelief (that she's saying that) and also faint amusement. The question of what they'll find causes Moonstar to pause in her packing, as she considers that. "Not sure, but hopefully something that points us in the right -" Direction. Only she doesn't finish that sentence as Domino brings out the talk about the popsicle fetish. That just earns a stare from the black-haired woman, then a headshake.

"I'm not touching that one." Comes her murmured comment, then she looks at the screens one last time. When it's obvious the two are in the clear, Dani says, "Come on, let's get going. Best to get in and out as fast as we can, before too many nosey neighbors wake up."

And just like that now Dani exits the van stage-left.

'I'm not touching that one.'

"He might," Domino easily counters while pulling one of her sidearms and giving it a quick check for a round in the chamber.

It's habit, okay? No, she's not expecting that they'll have to fend off a rabid kitchen appliance as soon as they break through the door.

Right behind Moonstar comes the mercenary, flicking the sidearm around an index finger then returning it to its holster.

"This isn't my first rodeo, Moonie, but I'll let you take point." ..For now. Honestly Dom wants to see how Dani works. There may very well be a time where they're working against one another and Neena wants to make sure that she's the one with the advantage.

If there is any sense of urgency or need to keep a low profile, the albino isn't showing it. She walks right on up to the place as if she owns it, as if she's made this walk hundreds of times before. It all comes down to having some trust in her ability that everything will work out for her in the end. So far it hasn't let her down for long. Along the way she's in full-on assessment mode, reading the details right down to how clean his windows look and whether he keeps the snow shoveled off of the front porch or not. The air may be cold but she's glad to finally be -doing- something!

The walk up is very uneventful. Either Queens is just this boring at eight in the morning, or Domino's gift is passively keeping the coast clear. Hard to say.

His apartment is on the first floor, which is convenient, and the front door opens into a sparsely-furnished main room that is quite well-kept for how plain it is. Like most apartments in this part of Queens, its age is apparent, though things have been well-maintained. Everything about it speaks of a person who lives rather simply and with an eye towards 'everything in its place.' There's even a physical calendar hanging on the wall which is actually being used, which is unusual in this day and age. A number of entries are noted down, including one that looks like it is on today's date.

There is no twisted shrine in the apartment. There isn't any kind of hidden room with captive women in it. There isn't even anything all that embarrassing, honestly. It looks perfectly normal, though perhaps lacking in anything that might lend the warmth of an actual home.

Whatever Adler might be hiding, there is probably not physical evidence in his actual home.

When Domino's gun appears in her hand Dani just gives it a quick look.

She doesn't say anything, but there's a hint of wariness in her gaze.

That wariness turns to something like exasperation upon hearing her nickname. Moonie.

One supposes it could be worse. Still for some reason Moonstar can't quite stop a vague thought about Owen from popping in her head.

There are similarities here. There are.

"I didn't think it was your first rodeo." Murmurs Danielle Moonstar, but she does take point. Much like Domino she likewise walks with confidence toward the apartment complex. Always act with confidence and as if you belong there. Anything less and people will notice you and potentially become suspicious.

Like Domino, Moonstar's gaze searches for all the same little details as well; an assessment of what they might be walking into. Popsicle fetishes aside.

When the two approach the door Dani quickly handles the lock, before she pushes the door open and steps inside.

She quickly takes a few more steps inside to allow Domino room to come in as well.

"Huh." Murmurs Dani, "Kind of gives you the just moved in feel, doesn't it."

"It really kinda does," Domino mutters in response while visually searching the apartment from the inside. "Like that 'I swear I'm not a safe house' kinda vibe."

There's plenty of ground for them to cover so she's quick to branch off on her own. Whether or not it's actually the case Dom feels like her power works better when in the company of just the one. Then again, maybe it's another convenient excuse to herself on not trusting people and wanting to be alone.

Realization is slow to dawn upon the albino but it gets there eventually. "Looks like that's one bet I woulda lost. Come oooon, -no- one is -this- boring!"

Maybe there's nothing major hidden away in his apartment but Dom's not leaving empty-handed, darnitall! After all, she did pretty darn well for herself with nothing more than a couple of phone numbers, a spent shell casing, and a crucifix.

Adler's using a calendar? Cool. She's taking pictures of it, with a quick page through to the next two months. Back a month or two as well, if it is easily done. And oh hey, something is marked down for today? That'll get some closer inspection, too.

"I don't believe this," gets muttered while Neena pinches the bridge of her nose. "Nearly -nine million people- in this damned city and we get stuck breaking into Normie McAverageton's place. Talk about a shit draw." Then speaking directly to Dani, "Is your life usually more interesting? Tell me your life is usually more interesting. I can't handle much more of this buzzkill."

While Moonstar has some reservations about splitting up, it's not like the apartment is that *large*, and really splitting up means they can cover more ground quickly and effectively.

So, while Domino goes one way, Moonstar goes the other.

Drawers are carefully rustled through, the desk too, even any books and shelving that can be found. As she circles the room a second time Moonstar begins to plant the bugs. One is placed within a lamp, another on the underside of a table, and a few others here and there.

Each room gets at least two of the little listening devices placed in discreet locations.

Once that's completed Moonstar finds her way back to Domino. "It does give off the safe house kind of vibe." The agent of SHIELD agrees, "Safe house, or a 'cover' house."

The question of whether her life is more interesting prompts a quick reply, "Yes, my life is more interesting than this." Then, "You remind me of a friend of mine. I should really introduce you two."

Then idly the woman moves over to look at the calendar, saying as she goes, "I'm going to also visit his Church. See if I can get a feel for him from his fellow church-goers. Maybe try to cozy up with some of the church wives. They always have the goods on the members of the congregation." Then Dani taps today's date on the calendar, "Did you see this?"

Most of the appointments on the calendar are not remarkable, primarily church events or health appointments. Some, however, seem to relate to work. The entry for today is slated for 10 AM, less than two hours from now, and indicates 'W. STRYKER — HEARING — PAROLE DIVISION, HAZEN ST.'

The Parole Division office specified is no more than fifteen minutes away, halfway between here and Rikers.

"I did," Domino confirms while holding the phone up in one hand. "And documented. Yes, we should absolutely go check it out. But…"

Something still isn't sitting right with her. Something that suggests there's more here despite there being -less- here. The 'safe house vibe,' the lack of any sort of personality whatsoever, that the apartment itself is in Queens without any effort made to hide it, something just feels..

She's found a cross. She's found a well-read Bible. That connection has been made, at the very least. Dom could easily spend a while trying to process all of this but time is not on their side and she's probably lacking some important variables.

"I don't like this," she admits with a light sigh as hands fall upon her hips. Shaking her head, it's followed up with "Whatever. We've got somewhere else to be."

(Back to The Van. Excitement.)

"Good." Dani says at the mention of being documented, then she too pulls out her cellphone and takes pictures.

And when Domino voices her concerns about the apartment, Moonstar pauses to listen seriously to the other woman. Only after she's expressed those concerns does Dani glance around Thomas Adler's domicile. "I agree, but I've placed the bugs, so if anything shady is going on we'll hear it."

Or at least Dani will.

When Domino leaves Moonstar follows. Her gaze lingers on the apartment a second or two before she finally closes the door, making certain it's locked as well.

"Can't say I like it either, but it's all we got so far."

Then it's back to the van (with far less excitement than Domino) and once inside, Moonstar slides into the driver's seat. "We're going to get there a bit earlier, but better that than late."

And off they go, to the parole offices on Hazen Street.

Now they get to sit in the front of the van rather than the back. Silver linings, right? It's moments like this where Domino almost misses smoking, it would have given her something to do. Something to keep her hands busy. This op is making her feel somewhat edgy, but that isn't the most irritating part. What really gets her is not knowing -why- she's feeling so edgy.

She's still trying to work out the details. In her head, that is. It's entirely possible that Dani doesn't know everything that Dom knows and she doesn't feel like being the security breach today. She can still be vague about the details and get her point across, though.

"How did this guy get roped into this mess? There's the matter of his beliefs, sure, but there's a pretty wide gap between 'mutants are the spawn of Satan' and 'let's publically attempt to mutilate a high profile mutant.' They were packing military-spec smallarms that night, that's some pretty hardcore hate criming right there. But Adler? Guy keeps to himself. Head down, soft voice, real no-wake sorta dude. Where do these two come together?" she wonders aloud with a gesturing of her hands. "Am I missing something obvious here?"

For Moonstar she would have been content to drive in silence.

She has enough of her own thoughts running through her head. Some similar to Domino, but others not so much.

W. Stryker.

It's a name she knows. Most at the Mansion do.

And it's enough to cause her mouth to turn to a thin sharp line, for her thoughts to turn dark with worry.

Almost she drops the conversation, but hearing Domino speak pulls the woman out of her thoughts.

She gives the other woman the side-eye as she's careful to watch the road, "You know what they say about the quiet ones."

"Just because nothing jumped out at as that says 'Hate-Mutants-R-Us' doesn't mean he isn't radicalized. You can hate someone and never actually resort to violence, after all. Just help those that will do it. He could be something as simple as an information broker, or a go-between. Something innocuous like that."

And while she says those words her tone is just off by the slightest of pitch.

And while her next words might reveal some of what has her attention now, she still poses the question of, "The name on the calendar did you recognize it at all?"

Neena gets a sour look when thinking about the 'quiet ones.' Fair point. Though the following question and the change in Dani's voice has her looking sideways at the other woman. "Can't say that I did. Should I?"

Dom's been out of the loop where this side of the planet is concerned for some time now.

Moonstar falls silent again as she considers how much to say and in what way.

"It's a name I've come across before. I didn't realize he was coming upon his parole hearings already."

"He wasn't a fan of mutants." She continues as she turns down Hazen street, then quickly the Agent of SHIELD slides into a nearby parking spot. She puts the van in park and turns her eyes toward the building where the parole offices can be found in.

"While the justly part of me wants to say being in jail he shouldn't be able to continue his war against mutants, the realistic part of me knows it's terribly easy to continue to do illegal things even when locked up."

The parole office is a fairly nondescript building, on a direct line from the bridge which is the only route to Rikers Island. It's not hard to find a place to park the van that gives a good view of incoming traffic from the direction of the prison.

About 9:45 AM, a secured car comes down the street, easily identifiable as a transport vehicle. Unexpectedly, it detours to turn down a side street several blocks before it gets to the parole office that should be its destination, parking beside a small green area that, in New York, passes for a park. Extremely nonstandard procedure for a corrections officer escorting a prisoner anywhere. One man gets out of the driver's seat — Thomas Adler himself — and goes around to open one of the rear passenger doors to help his charge out. He has to do this because the man's wrists are cuffed.

William Stryker, a strongly-built man of average height with graying brown hair and beard, does not look any the worse for wear for his eight years in prison. He is, to all accounts, a model inmate, which is perhaps why he is only escorted by one officer and why he as an individual receives little attention compared to more unruly or violent offenders. Some of the more cynical might say that he receives more lenient treatment because, well — all he did was try to kill a mutie, and what harm is that?

Whatever the case, the body language of the two men is odd — Adler far more deferential than a correctional officer should be towards his assigned charge; Stryker gracious, with a touch of gratitude and an avuncular patron's air. The cuffs stay on, naturally… but the two men are talking — about something.

Domino listens to all of this as explained by Moonstar, nods once, then immediately makes up her mind on what to do next:

"Then let's end him."

To her it isn't a choice. There is no decision to be made. The obvious is stated, all they have to do is act upon it. Neena already has the tools with her. It's stupidly simple. A little wetwork is no big deal.

Except..that Dani is not going to approve. It'll show in her expression, and Dom will have some explaining to do.

"What? The guy was in prison and he was -still waging war- on mutants, and now he's going to be getting out and falling right into the hands of an extremist group that tried to hack Warren's wings off. Tell me there's a single reason why we -should not- put a bullet in his head right now," she demands with an expectant stare.

They'll probably still be arguing back and forth over the idea when the secured car takes a detour up ahead, prompting the albino to motion toward it with an outstretched hand. "There. See? Because -that- shit you can trust."

Then there's Adler. The man beside him must be Stryker. That's TWO easy targets now! Hell, Neena could take them -both- out with the same bullet! Regardless of any attempt Moonstar might have made to sway Dom's mind on the matter it's all for naught, she's making to step out of the van while muttering "Time to get lucky, fuckers."

'End him'.

That brings Moonstar's head sharply around. It doesn't matter that she's driving. There's several heartbeats where Dani just stares at Domino.

And then only after that few second pause does the expected response come.

"We can't." The Cheyenne says, "If we resort to their level we're no better than them. We need to do things the right way. The /legal/ way." She'd have said more, but when the van makes an unexpected turn down that side street, Moonstar frowns.

For their own vehicle, Moonstar once again finds a parking spot as discreetly as she can. She shifts the van to park and turns to say something more to Domino, only to find the woman getting ready to leave. Immediately Moonstar touches the lock button, which locks all the doors of the van. Handy that. SHIELD really does think of everything.

Then the woman leans back and rustles at the clumps of equipment in the back.

"You need to think big picture." The Cheyenne says, "If we kill either of them they'll be made in martyrs. We need to figure out what's going on versus going off half-cocked." A few more seconds of rustling and then Moonstar straightens back in her seat with two sets of headphones and what looks to be a small parabolic-type dish in her hands; though this one seems a touch more hightech than what's seen on the streets.


That dish is now turned toward the two men speaking.

"Let's see what they're saying."

One thing becomes quite clear: Domino is NOT amused. The doors lock an instant before her fingers can touch the handle, and damn straight she tries to find a way to open it regardless of that ominous *click*.

The merc's jaw sets, taking on an expression of someone who is suddenly trying -very- hard not to haul off and swing a fist at the nearest person's face.

"And how many more of us need to be threatened, mutilated, strung up and killed before you realize that we had the -perfect- opportunity to save all of those people but you insisted that we let it go, huh? You're SHIELD, fine, turn around and drive away. You don't have to be any part in this. I'll take care of it myself. Now let me the fu—"

Headphones. Hand-held dish. Icy blue eyes narrow, staring back at Dani for a count of three before Neena takes one of the headsets and drops it onto her head.

"-Fine.- We spy on them some more and -then- you let me put them down."

This isn't over, Moonstar…

"…sight of a little green is a relief, son. I appreciate the indulgence." The speaker is Stryker. He has that particular amiable tone one would associate with a favorite uncle. "And how is the flock, Tom?"

"Well, membership is up," is the earnest response, from Adler. "With the new law about to pass, people are feeling heartened. Like they're being heard, and they can take a stand. It's more important to than ever, with more of these metas flaunting in public, doing what they please — "

"I know, Tom," Stryker says, twisting that particular sentence to a close. "And Tennant?"

Adler hesitates. "He's nervous," he admits. "It's getting harder to run into New York with things tightening up for March. M-Tec's getting nervous about supplying in this climate — "

Again, Stryker aborts the sentence. "Remind him," he interrupts laconically. "Remind him what he owes me. That'll firm up his backbone."

There is a brief silence, and then the sound of car doors opening and shutting as the conversation seems to draw to a close.

The fury that is Domino is listened too, looked at it, but Danielle Moonstar doesn't budge on opening those doors.

The mention of SHIELD and not having to be any part of this causes Moonstar to stare hard at Domino. There's a twitch to her mouth as she bites back words that try to boil over.

"They'll be put down when the time comes." Moonstar finally grates out, a warning in those words of hers, as well as agreement, "Not before then."

She pulls on the earphones and listens to what can be heard. It causes her eyebrows to knit tightly together, a look of disgust flickering over her features. The mention of Tennant and then M-Tec gets a look sent over to Domino, but she doesn't say anything. Not until the conversation between the two men finishes.

With the sound of the two men getting back into their van, Moonstar rips the headphones off her ears and tosses them aside. The mic is set much more gently down as the woman considers what they both heard.

"Shelve the instinct to kill first and ask questions later." States the Agent, "There's more important things to figure out now. Like who the Hell is Tennant. Also M-Tec, that company keeps popping up too. We need to figure these things out first before you start dropping people with bullets."

And while she speaks Moonstar starts the van, obviously intending to drive out.

Okay, okay… One point in Dani's favor. As soon as Domino can hear what they're talking about she's quickly reaching for her phone so she can start typing out notes. Key words.


Suddenly the window is closed. The conversation ends. Neena's 'perfect shot?' Gone. Quite possibly forever.

The mercenary likewise pulls the phones off of her head then immediately rests a hand against her face long enough to release a long breath. This done, she turns to look at Dani again. "Let's hope you made the right play, Moonstar. You'll be living with it for a while."

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