White Russian
Roleplaying Log: White Russian
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

The Winter Soldier and Domino hit the same place at the same time. Many Russians get injured.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: July 20, 2019
IC Location: Brooklyn, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 21 Jul 2019 00:45
Rating & Warnings: R for violence, language, and mischief
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Since the Triskelion fell, finding leads on Hydra has been a major priority of SHIELD. But the trouble with finding Hydra lies in its tagline itself; it's more an ideology than anything organized, and it keeps growing new heads whenever a few are cut off.

These heads often don't know about each other — barely have anything to do with one another — and 'members' of Hydra are often embedded within other organizations as part of their bid for shadow-control over the world in general. It makes it hard to find out anything meaningful about the wider activities of Hydra from simply capturing one or two people, or busting one cell in particular. Still, it's one of the best leads to follow when it comes to trying to find information.

For certain people, it's also just productive, at baseline, to take out Hydra members at all, even if no further leads can be prised from them. For given values of 'take out.'

Now, to speak of them being embedded in other organizations… Hydra favors burrowing into governmental bodies and scientific research organizations, and it also likes to infest criminal organizations. There's already, after all, a similar alignment of morality involved. That particular fact leads to tonight, at a rather isolated cluster of low-slung warehouses not far from Brighton Beach, which serve a dock that currently stands empty — presumably awaiting an imminent cargo ship.

There is some information out there about what's going on and who's present, discoverable by those who care to look.

Vasily Sergeyevich Ivankov is an older man, one of the ranks of hardened criminals who made their way out of the collapsing Soviet Union in the late 1980s. He's made plenty of enemies over the years, because he thinks he deserves to be the Boss and he isn't; on top of the fact he's a wanted man by the legitimate authorities, there's a neat little bounty on his head to put him out of commission from various rivals who've been screwed over by him in the past.

The operation tonight, which looks to be a rather bog standard drug run, is getting a visit from Vadim Mikhailovich Savalovsky, a mafia bookkeeper. There is nothing remarkable about him at all.

The night so far is quiet. At most, there's ten people around, the trusted core of the brigade Ivankov runs.

***

The job isn't always fun. It has its moments, sure, but sometimes it's something worse than boring or mundane. Sometimes it leaves a feeling in the pit of the stomach. A hint of dread that nothing good can come from taking on such a job, or that you're further encouraging an existing problem.

One thing that Domino had learned back in her Madripoor days: When the job smells like shit, cash the checks and buy some mints.

Tonight she's tracking down the sort of vermin who she would much rather put a bullet or twelve into, herself. Why they want this guy alive she doesn't know, nor does she -want- to know. The job itself is simple, straightforward. Bring the mark in alive and get paid with enough fat zeroes to make anyone happy. And..sure, maybe she didn't NEED the cash after signing on with some of the Tri-City area's richest individuals but it's important to keep up her image that she hasn't gone 'clean' or 'legit.' Neena can still play in the mud with the rest of the crew.

Even if this requires taking a long hot shower afterward.

All that's left is to wait for the goddamn ship. This run is expected to be hard and fast, there's no telling what might happen once her mark sets foot back onto American soil.

Binoculars lower from behind the windshield of a rusted out old truck. Perfectly expendable, capable of taking (and dealing) some punishment. Lots of room for any necessary throw-and-go's. Tonight is going to get ugly, she'd bet her last grenade on it.

***

Ship's scheduled to arrive in about five minutes. The rest of the crew's supposed to be on board it already, to help with the loading once it's docked and ready.

The five minutes crawls past as Domino watches, with no incident. The vessel — a small, nondescript cargo ship — eases into port, docks, and a handful of people start moving about visibly on deck. It's all uneventful enough that she might start to question her bad feeling.

Most of the men standing around don't appear to be armed with any more than sidearms, but there's a few standing on the deck of the ship who have some more heavy-duty weaponry. Assault rifles are in evidence, some of them with grenade launchers attached to the barrels.

There's two such men standing in plain view on the deck of the ship, overseeing matters as loading begins.

A moment later, one of them drops in concert with the distinctive thin crack of a suppressed rifle. His companion has time to turn, look down, look around, and start trying to go for cover — the time it takes a bolt to be cycled, in fact — before a second crack puts him down too.

Clearly someone else is present. And shooting 7.62mm, from the sound of it. It is likely they're not too far away.

***

Even if nothing else were to happen the feeling of impending chaos stems from the bold move which Domino had been planning to get her guy and go. The other side would be armed (with -grenade launchers?!-) and would hear the truck coming before she could make any sort of offensive move.

She's still figuring out the odds when the first guy goes down. Then her mind is counting numbers to a different beat. She can almost mimick the path of the dominant hand from the trigger to the bolt then back to the trigger for a second shot. It's like her very pulse and breathing pattern shifts into a trance-like rhythm as if she were taking those shots, herself.

It's all just muscle memory. A physical and psychological chain of events.

Instead of working the bolt on a precision rifle she's working the column shifter of the beater truck.

Instead of the trigger her foot is stomping down upon the accelerator. No need to carefully squeeze this go-switch.

The pickup lurches forward while attempting to dig ruts into the loose ground beneath its knobby tires, driving by moonlight to make it a little more difficult for the enemy to spot. It wouldn't surprise Domino if it happened to be shedding pieces of itself while bounding across the rough terrain, devouring curbs and speedbumps and debris with reckless abandon.

The mission remains the priority. She can tell what direction the sniper's firing from. Find the mark, use the truck for cover, pass through with guns blazing.

Thank fuck she wore the heavier armor today. No luck needed there, she just knew enough to plan accordingly.

***

Two men down. They appear to be the only two men who were left on the ship at the time shots started being fired, judging by the fact there's no further movement on the vessel in question. The fact it's not pulling right back out into the bay is evidence enough there's nobody left on it to make that happen.

There's thirteen people left in sight, and now a wildcard who she can't be sure WHAT side they're on. These people suspected trouble, to be sure, but clearly did not anticipate first a sniper, and then the sudden appearance of a ratty pickup truck from apparently nowhere. They're making a beeline straight for the closest warehouse, in obvious search of cover from the sniper. Perhaps thinking it'll be easier to bunker down against whatever's going on in an enclosed space. Or perhaps, there's someone important in there to guard…?

This leaves Domino a rather clear path to drive, at the least, without those men trying to shoot at her (yet). It shouldn't be too hard for her to ditch the pickup in a position where it can physically cover her against that sniper, while she bails and heads into the warehouse —

crack

The shot rings out from an audibly-closer location. Her right front tire goes out, sending the vehicle into a skid short of her intended destination.

Whoever's out there has officially taken notice of her, though it's interesting the shot seems meant to delay rather than aimed to kill.

***

(This is going to work. This is going to -work.- This is -going to work.-)

There goes one of the front tires.

(-This isn't going to work.-)

Nothing good comes from a missing tire. Best case scenario, the vehicle keeps soldiering on more or less in a straight line until it's safely out of harm's way. Worst case scenario, it's dead in the water and you're up shit creek with an explosive paddle. But in Domino's scenario…

The truck suddenly veers sharply off to one side, transferring all of the pickup's weight onto the -bad- tire. Another guy down at the docks gets clobbered by the back end swinging out like a snap kick. The real mayhem comes from when the sliding truck strikes a curb and gets sent tumbling through the air in a beautiful pirouette of rusting pieces and broken glass.

And one ejected driver.

The armored albino gets launched out of the driver's window and sent soaring across so much open space that she has time to draw a pair of machine pistols and riddle one of the warehouse's windows full of holes shortly before she goes crashing through it.

On the inside she slams into a stacked pile of crates, transferring all of that momentum to create a cargo avalanche which proceeds to completely flatten some unfortunate dude standing too close to it.

One of the guns falls away from her hand in time for another guy to slip upon it while sprinting past. He falls back and snaps his neck on a metal railing while his gun snaps upward with a spray of automatic fire which causes a canister along the far wall to pop, immediately covering that side of the building with a -very- convenient smokescreen against any aspiring snipers.

It takes Neena a second to realize she landed on a catwalk not far away from what looks like some office space. Office space with people inside. She twists her neck with a couple of pops and growls a "Still got it" before taking off in a dead sprint toward the party.

***

Domino's luck kicks in, and the misfortune of the popped tire suddenly translates into a perfect ejection of her body through one of the warehouse's top windows. She's airborne long enough that whoever's out there might have been able to take a shot — might have — but none comes.

Once the world stops spinning, she finds herself on a catwalk, having bypassed the majority of the men still milling about on the ground floor below. There's a few men between her and the offices at the back of the mezzanine — four, it looks like, after her entrance took out two — and while one of them keeps going into the offices, three of them turn to face her, firing even as they scatter to try to gain cover. They're only armed with sidearms, but at this close range it's still dangerous enough.

It might also be distracting that there's the sudden sound of gunfire from below, on the ground floor. The men down there are firing at something else which isn't her. It's dark down there, and whatever's happening is hidden between the bodies of large containers, but one by one the sounds of men firing guns comes to a stop in bloody-sounding screams. It's all in Russian, not all of it intelligible, but there's a distinct shout of "Soldat — !" before the word cuts off.

From the office up ahead, there's some more muffled shouting in Russian. «You ran back in HERE?» is about the gist of it. «Get that ship back out of the dock and out of here!»

Presumably, someone answers the guy.

«There's NO ONE out there?! You all led them in HERE?!»

***

If the situation were just a -little- bit different and Neena hadn't worn her heavier armor she'd like to think that those few guys now firing upon her would experience weapon malfunctions or some other manner of interruption. The thing is..she's covered in armor which will stop those pistol caliber bullets. It'll still hurt like hell and leave plenty of marks but she can survive it on her own. No luck needed.

It's the equivalent of her power telling her to suck it up and deal with it.

Head ducks low and arms come up high as the shots start to slam into the polycarbonate plates only to rapidly deform and bounce uselessly off to the sides. For a few unnerving seconds Domino is effectively pinned down, making like a turtle is her single best move.

The upside is that she can hear more of what's being yelled in Russian (and boy is it helpful that she's fluent in Russian.)

'Soldat?' They're..not referring to her here, are they…

The gunfire down below solidifies the knowledge that there's another opponent on site, and they're -wrecking it- down there from the sound of it. Could be a good distraction so long as she moves her ass!

When those pistol-shooters up top start their reloads she makes her move. Even their empty magazines can be turned into makeshift weapons as a foot helps send one into a guy's face. His empty pistol flicks end over end over his shoulder and clonks another guy a good one, stunned long enough that a sweep of an armored limb can send him off of the ledge. He hits the ground with a heavy crunch and trips up some -other- guy who reflexively sends a shot up through the grate to take out baddie #3, struck in the chest right as his forehead gets brought down onto the albino's knee.

A quick roll across the walkway brings a stolen pistol in one hand and a stolen magazine in the other and wouldn't you know if they're a perfect match for one another! Mag in, slide returned to battery, office door kicked in, potentially a few more bodies added to the growing collection.

«Vasily Ivankov! Your ride is here!»

Marks tend to respond better when they think they're being saved rather than taken.

***

Whoever's down there seems to have transformed from potential obstacle to unexpected aid. The destruction happening down on the ground floor gives Domino a good opportunity to deal with the three men trying to hold her off.

Unfortunately, they just don't have the caliber to do it. They're perhaps realizing that, because they start to abort their reloads and just try to get the hell out of dodge when Domino descends on them. All three dispatched quickly through a combination of skill and her trademark luck, there's only her mark left to be dealt with… her mark, and the two extra men in the room with him when she busts in.

There's a hesitation on Ivankov's part when Domino yells that out in her fluent Russian. He looks at her, almost seems inclined to believe her for a second — and then looks past her at the bodies on the catwalk. «You — !» he starts, his features twisting in a mixture of rage and 'well shit I'm in trouble now.'

And that's about when the far wall explodes inward. It's not a regular old wall, either, but solid poured concrete, which perhaps makes it a bit of a surprise when the only thing which leaps through the clearing debris afterwards is a man.

He's fully masked, but perhaps his face would have been a less reliable identifier than the gleaming steel left arm on full display, still dusty from punching down the wall. The metal arm isn't the weapon being brought to bear right now, however; it swings down with a whir and click of articulating steel, and the man's right arm comes up instead, bringing a SIG P220ST to bear. The gun's stainless steel slide catches the low light with a gleam as the first shot takes out the third extraneous guy in the room.

Ivankov loses his shit. The other man — Savalovsky, presumably — looks pretty calm in comparison, somehow, pushing his glasses up as he considers Domino and the new arrival… who is quite obviously the Winter Soldier.

The Soldier's masked face turns to Domino, his weapon not lowering. "Privyet," he says. "Now what do YOU want here? You been causing me all kinds of trouble."

***

'You!' is what Domino hears and 'Me!' is what she wants to yell back before having an immediate desire to twist the barrel of her sidearm under Vasily's jaw and wrench an arm behind his back to enforce some compliance out of the man. Instead what comes out is a sudden yelp, and kudos to the new guy with the shiny arm on site..Neena doesn't yelp very often. Once again she's ducking and shielding herself as chunks of concrete bounce off of the hardened black paneling that surrounds her, though the dust is going to linger for a good long while and mess up all of their eyes in short order.

In an ironic twist, where the three guards realized their guns were no match for Dom's armor she's now dealing with the -exact same feeling- upon seeing this guy, this -soldier- with his metal appendage. After bursting through solid concrete without taking a scratch she's starting to have her doubts about the combat effectiveness of a nine millimeter with a four inch barrel. Not that this doubt is sufficient to shift her aim away from the man, but it's..an uncomfortable stand-off.

Suddenly that idea of 'betting her last grenade' seems to have some proper merit. That might be her only way out of this mess.

Wait. She's been causing HIM trouble?! A brow hooks upward, silently asking 'yeah, really?' Who sniped out who's tire and flipped their shit across half of the parking lot?

"Vasily is mine," Neena declares with a carefully evened out voice. "Everyone else is free game." As if she's in any position to lay down the law! Any snark about 'nice entrance, comrade' or 'who the fuck are you' can wait until she's feeling a little more confident that he won't put a round through Vasily's head just to spite her.

***

Domino probably has good reason to be concerned. That .45 the Soldier's got is pointed directly between Ivankov's eyes. The man really doesn't look happy about the fact either, judging by the way his eyes keep flicking back and forth between the two now arguing about who gets to take him home.

The Soldier's finger… eventually eases off the trigger, resting along the weapon's frame instead. His features are hidden, but there's something about the way his head tilts at her hooked brow which suggests amusement. Yes, SHE caused him trouble.

"What? You want the kill?" he finally asks, as if he were asking if she wanted to cut ahead of him in line at the deli. "I got some questions to ask first, but after that he's yours."

His face turns towards Savalovsky, who wears a puzzling expression as he looks at the Soldier. It's caught between fear and disgust, like a man watching a rabid dog run around loose. "This one is mine."

***

Could she stop that .45 from blasting a hole through the cranium of her contract? Well..maybe. It's times like this where Domino really wished that she understood her power better. It might work, it might not! What's best for her in the long run may be bad for her mark, and her finances, in the short run.

The one thing she CAN be certain of is that this Soldier guy isn't playing around. That's a look of operational confidence she's intimately familiar with. It'd be no skin off of his back to gun down every last person in this room, torch the complex, then move on. This is the demeanor of an actual militarized asset and it sends a chill through the albino's spine because if she hadn't gotten out of the Project -that would have been her.-

When he 'stands down' she keeps the sights trained exactly as they have been upon the Soldier's head. So far there is -zero- trust being shared here. Dom keeps it quick, direct, and ..maybe not as professional as it could have been. "Deal. Vasily, get your ass over here."

Waaay too many zeroes on the end of her paycheck to risk him getting taken out in what's about to follow in this here office…

"We'll be downstairs. Don't keep me waiting."

Maybe by the time they make it downstairs she'll A) have found them working transportation and B) made up her mind if she's actually going to let this guy interrogate her mark or just leave him in the fucking dust. It'd serve his ass right.

***

There's an eerie sense of staring in the mirror, looking at the silent, almost mechanical man across from her. The Winter Soldier's story is common knowledge by now, and it's the story of a man turned into a killing machine for a corrupt state — against his will.

Neena Thurman's fate… if she'd not escaped from the Project.

The Soldier's been through a lot of mental rehab ever since his days as a brainwashed murder machine, however, which probably contributes to the fact his cold demeanor eventually relents when he realizes he's not up against an enemy (necessarily), but someone with potentially parallel interests. He's the first to stand down, and he doesn't seem bothered that Domino doesn't quite do so herself. Whether that's supposed to be a conciliatory action on his part, or simply the action of a man who is so supremely confident in his own abilities he doesn't mind a gun to his head, is up for debate.

His head cants, however, when Dom proposes to take her mark downstairs and wait there.

"Let's all go downstairs," he says, superficially amiable — and clearly not so trusting as his earlier lowered weapon might connote. It lifts again, training on Savalovsky. «Out,» he says to the man, in perfect Russian. «And while we're going — I want the line in to Germany, and I want the window before it changes again.»

Savalovsky mutters, but he starts moving. Ivankov just looks blank, which the Soldier seems to register, by the way his head turns.

***

Minor setback..all of them going downstairs at once. But, what else is Domino to do here? Tell him no? Maybe she could. Maybe she could take her shot or twelve and hope for the best. And yet, there's something here which stays her temper and trigger finger alike.

Russian. Metal arm. Soldier. She's had enough intel for a while now but it's taken a little while for the mental dust to settle.

WINTER. Soldier.

To view this man as anything less than an equal in battle would be a mistake. Not to mention his connections! No..Neena still knows when to fold. Besides, with this talk about a line to Germany and a window the albino's curiosity is starting to get the better of her. What -did- she stumble in on tonight?

Any remaining irritation is then taken out on Vasily as she moves quickly to do just as she had intended before with a gun under his chin and one of his arms twisted behind his back. «-Get- your ass moving.»

Eugh, some days it doesn't pay to nurse the hangover and go back to work. This is not the kind of stress she wanted to deal with tonight! She may end up taking point with Vasily but this doesn't mean she's ignoring what the Winter Soldier is going back there, oooh no. She'd sooner force herself to develop a secondary mutation on extra-sensory perception in order to watch his every move.

***

The Soldier is amiable enough — right now — but there's something about him which kind of suggests that 'no' wouldn't really be what he wants to hear right now. There's also something… a bit artificial about him, masklike, as if he were wearing a persona more than expressing anything natural. Curious.

At the least, he seems content to leave her well enough alone as she manhandles her guy down the stairs. He does start the questions before they're fully down to the ground floor, however, seeming to think that they're vague enough that it doesn't matter if Ivankov and Domino overhear. «The line in,» he repeats, when Savalovsky doesn't answer. «It will go easier for you if you simply answer.»

«The dog barks loudly now he's off leash,» sneers Savalovsky.

The Soldier's weapon drops and fires. Savalovsky's kneecap explodes, sending him rolling all the way to the bottom of the stairs with a shriek.

«How about you?» the Soldier asks Ivankov, who promptly gabbles, «I don't know! I don't know what you mean!!»

"What do you think, merc?" the Soldier asks Domino. Perhaps her spot's recognizable too, now he's gotten a closer look at her. "Take his word for it?"

***

Just because you're accustomed to gunfire within enclosed spaces doesn't mean that sometimes it doesn't cause you to jump halfway out of your skin. The writing's on the wall, Domino knows that Savalovsky just played a losing hand, but the ear-pounding detonation of a .45 at such close range -startles the shit- out of the pale lady.

Not to mention the man's knee, or what little is left of it. That's a BAD injury. He'll never be able to walk again without a heavy limp, if..he's able to walk at all.

Again the thought passes through her mind: (This could have been you.) Though this time it goes both ways. Either as the shooter OR the one now missing a knee. And hey, the night's still young.

Dom spins Vasily around and shifts the nine millimeter to his temple, forcing the Russkie to get a -real good look- at that awful injury.

Then the Soldier calls her out as a Merc. Granted it isn't any stretch, but still! He's starting to get a bit personal here!

Her icy blue stare comes over Vasily's shoulder back to Bucky. "I think anyone'd be a damn fool to hold out after seeing that kind of mess, but who knows? I've been wrong before. Maybe he wants to hold out for a matching pair."

With this the gun leaves Vasily's head and points down to the side of his leg, right in the sweet spot as if Neena is attempting to 'call Bucky's bluff' when they ALL know it isn't a bluff.

Honestly she's expecting Vasily to piss himself before anything else, but on that slim chance that he DOES know something…

«I hear that extensive joint surgery provides a great opportunity for reflection.»

***

The Soldier's head turns when Domino spins her own mark, and lets him have a good look at what just happened to his friend. There's a brief hesitation… and then something almost like a chuckle escapes the man, from behind that mask. It sounds like he's appreciative of her very effective tactics — and her help — here.

"I've seen a lot of damn fools over the course of my life," he says, as Neena lowers her weapon to menace the man's knee. His face turns to Ivankov as the unfortunate man gets a double intimidation roll from the two flanking him. "Are you one?"

«I swear!!» Vasily insists. He probably is pissing himself.

The Soldier considers this for a moment, before he seems to accept it. "He doesn't have anything I want," he says, his tone of voice changing just slightly. "You get your goods intact, ma'am."

Dipping her a nod, he pulls back the slide on his weapon, chambering the next round, and walks down towards where Savalovsky is bleeding on the warehouse floor. "Have a nice day."

It doesn't look like Savalovsky's going to have one of those, himself.

***

The smile which the albino gives Vasily is eerily friendly. Almost like that of a teacher who had finally gotten through to a problem student who has figured out the correct answer to a perplexing equation. "That wasn't so bad, was it."

Such amusement isn't entirely genuine. Not with Bucky still standing around. Who knows, maybe someday these two will be best buds! In the meantime she'd be happy to never see his dark soldiery butt ever again. But..at least he's given her a glimmer of an actual person hiding behind the bloodied mask.

When he states she gets her goods intact Dom picks up a fake Southern drawl long enough for a "Well thank ye kindly, stranger" before roughly muscling Vasily back into motion. «Time to move, comrade.»

Neena knows what's coming next for Savalovsky.

This time she doesn't jump.

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