(2014-09-20) Checkmate Buster
Checkmate Buster
Summary: Blackout and Domino cross paths when they go after the same mark.
Date: IC Date (2014-09-14)
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: Blackout
Social/Plot: Plot

-==[ Back Alley — Diamond District ]==-------

A typical alleyway. Moderately high walls on either side, trash, refuse, the occasional dumpster, long shadows, sewer access, random vehicles, entrances into neighboring buildings, many times an exit into another alleyway or onto another street. Often times alleys are used for deliveries, sleeping areas for the homeless, nefarious encounters or unlawful exchanges. Also found in alleys are fire escape ladders to rooftops or upper floors of the surrounding structures.


Thirty six hours ago Domino received a contract and payment for a very simple sounding job; steal a lanyard from around the neck of a corporate mogul who is also a mafia lieutenant. Simple enough that a rookie merc could do it. However, there is a catch. The mafia he is aligned with is the Maggia and he often travels with powered individuals who are hired to protect him. The man's name is Victor Aflonzo Rubaria, a 36 years old and quite powerful within his Maggia territory which is Gotham City.


Rubaria often frequents a local back alley establishment that is called the Black Derby. It's found in the Diamond District and he is there all hours of the night. The 'club' isn't completely legal and caters to the rich, powerful, and nefarious. Tonight, Rubaria is at the club at 2:45am when he's seen departing with his 3 henchmen and two lovely ladies who are likely 'women of ill repute'. The alleyway is dark, deep, and a very good place for an ambush. It is here that Rubaria is most vulnerable. His car waits for him at the mouth of the alleyway, some 50-60 meters away. The alleyway is littered with various dumpsters, derelict vehicles, and sundries such as crates and excellent places to hide behind.

Finding the guy is simple. Finding the lanyard isn't any more difficult. Trying for a grab and run..that's going to be a little more interesting. Despite the time of day and the alley setting there's enough people involved that Domino can't just step in and make her move. Taking it by force would only lead to all manner of unpleasantness, not to mention it would be tacky as hell. Some women in her situation might throw themselves at the problem, in a literal sense, but again that seems tacky as hell and she's got a bit too much self respect for the idea to gain any traction.

Distraction is key. Knowing one's environment certainly helps. The best case scenario puts all eyes but her own in the same direction at the same instant so she can snip the cord and go back to hiding, Rubaria should walk right over his own lanyard without realizing that it's missing. The way to get them all looking in the same direction at the same time?

Pigeons. The rats of the sky. They're everywhere, and they're always hungry. Put two and two together and she's got a distraction which costs all of a few kernels of popcorn.

Rubaria says something off color, he laughs, the girls laugh, and the henchmen follow suit. He walks in front, the two women on either arm pulling his jacket open some to expose a .45 in an under the shoulder harness. The lanyard is beneath his shirt. The three henchmen are positioned; one directly behind by 8 feet; another to Rubaria's right flank by 5 feet; and the third drifts behind the first by an additional 12 feet. Rubaria doesn't walk with any intention or haste, he's enjoying the buzz he's on and savoring the moment. The henchmen are also armed and wearing jackets which cover the weapons. All three appear to be stronger than the average thug and one has a gritty reddish skin (taking up the rear).

Domino may notice movement at the top of the alleyway on a roof, perhaps a shadow that shifts when it shouldn't. But the moment that she <may/does> is the moment that the lights go out completely. The entire alleyway is suddenly engulfed in pitch blackness (darkforce). No light source will work to combat it shy of Dazzler's laser beams. However, the darkness can be penetrated by thermal vision, x-ray/n-ray, or unique detections.

When the lights go out, the criminals start to exchange words. One of the girls begins screaming, the other yelps and is pulled close to Rubaria as a shield., "Commere baby, you ain't gonna let big daddy get hurt.". The henchmen begin looking about trying to see outside or through the darkness with no avail. They do pull their weapons and exclaim, "We gotcha boss, ain't nobody gonna mess wit us." One starts shooting upward randomly hoping to hit something. Blam Blam Blam!

Then there is movement in the darkness, a silent figure attacks the shooter first, hand to hand, and the henchman is dropped.

And this..is exactly the sort of diversion which the albino can use. When the lights go out she also glances upward, mouthing a 'the hell..?' It could just as easily be someone trying to go after -her- and not these guys. But, a freebie's still a freebie! She doesn't have long to act, her window is now. A thin pair of thermal imagers are pulled from her forehead to fall upon pale eyes, allowing her to see her mark under a whole different light. Dom's never against having an unfair advantage.

With some guy shooting now (Amateur…) they aren't likely to see her, either. Come in low, blade in one hand and other kept open, if anyone spots her before she's got the lanyard then a quick swipe across the throat will take care of the problem and-friggin' Hell she's not alone! She can hear the sounds of someone getting taken out. She can see one of the human-shaped heat signatures dropping to the ground. But..where's the one responsible? That shadowy blue blob? Problem.

This is starting to look kinda sketchy.

Her window isn't found but it should be easy to make, silent as she drives an elbow toward one of their faces so she can try to clear her path for snagging the lanyard. Mission first, everything else can wait its damn turn.

The gritty red-skinned henchman grrrs and as he flexes he bulks up even more ripping his shirt and jacket like the Hulk. He now stands 7' tall. Tossing those things aside, his eyes glow red and they seem to be able to penetrate the darkness because he spots the assailant (Blackout) and he will lunge. Blackout will have moved to the other henchman to subdue him but before he does, the gritty red-skinned henchman grabs Blackout by the throat and says, "GOTCHA!" then comments, "I got 'em boss, whatcha want me to do wif him?"

Rubaria replies, "Hold onto 'em till we get outta this dark. Cause I'm gonna personally muss him up."

Blackout struggles, even blasts the gritty red-skinned thug in the chest with a silent darkforce emission. No effect, perhaps just a tickle to the big guy.

Domino's elbow slams into the face of the thug that was about to be taken out by the blue silhouette. Instead the henchman drops because of Domino <extra XP for the takedown>. Darting to the immediate right, she will be on the boss. However, the girl he holds has her back to his chest, the lanyard is a bit trickier to get hold of considering how much he and she are both moving. He also has a gun in his right hand and her restrained with his left.

The gritty red-skinned henchman takes immediate note of Domino and says, "There's 'nother one boss, fall back to me!"

The boss follows suit and falls back, dragging his helpless victim with him, she yelps again. The movement takes him out of the direct grab range of Domino, so she will have to pursue straight into the reach of the big guy in the next round if she wants the lanyard.

(Ah, hell. Figures he'd have a meta with enhanced vision.)

On the other hand Domino now has her targets prioritized. Take out the eyes first! Rather than rush after the lanyard she instead rushes straight for the guy that clocked her in the dark, with any luck his enhanced vision means that he doesn't have enhanced speed. Grab for the gun with her free hand, swipe the back of his hand with the blade to sever the tendons, take the gun for herself, grab him by the arm then throw him to the ground. She's made more complex disarm attempts in her sleep.

Oh, and there's that whole shadowforce guy. Creature. ..Thing. He hasn't attacked her yet despite having the jump on them all so she's going to play her odds and see if she can't help keep him in the game. Free distraction, etc. If he goes down she's willing to bet that the lights are going to return. That's how this stuff works, right?

The challenges of her attack would be; the gritty red-skinned guy is the guy with the vision and is holding the shadowy guy.

Domino lunges. She's correct, he does not have enhanced speed. But he doesn't need it when he's got an entire body that he can hit her with. He swings the shadowy guy like a ragdoll toward Domino as she leaps into the air for her attack. If he strikes, the impact will send her (and the shadowy guy) into the alley wall together with significant impact as the gritty red-skinned guy is quite strong, 50 tons strong.

If she manages to dodge, her attacks will bounce - his skin is very tough and his eyes averted so that she would hit his head instead.

In addition to all of this chaos, the boss is also moving toward the larger guy, dragging the girl with him. So that will also be another conundrum to work around.

Meanwhile, the shadowy guy is flung around while trying to struggle to break free <all depends on whether or not Domino is hit is if he is cast aside>.

Darned metas… Always so unpredictable. One guy who is way stronger than he has any right to be throws -another- guy which she can barely -see- and what should have been a simple disarm becomes something which should be an intermediate dodge before it results in an advanced collision sending her further down the alley. The one saving grace is the initial angle of impact. Instead of the unforgiving wall it's the hulk of a wrecked car which soaks up most of her momentum, the back of Domino's head striking already broken lamenated glass until it's almost soft, comparatively speaking. Dozens of tiny crystalline pebbles scatter about the mangled auto like buckshot from a sawn off, the force strong enough to shove the car's frame off of its cinderblock support with a resounding -Crash!-

For a few critical seconds Domino's unable to see, not because of the shadows but because of the fog shrouding her own senses.

"Okay… Now I'm pissed."

The contract didn't specify that the target guy had to be alive, did it? She's pretty sure that it didn't. Tonight's Plan B involves a pair of .40 caliber 226 Elites.

..Just as soon as she can peel herself out of that merc-sized depression in the side of the car.

With her, the shadowy guy was cast against the car. He impacted just as she did and even with some of his body against her own. She knows he's wearing padded armor that has hard points like any SWAT or military gear. And now that they are in the same space, she can see his features - if that's what you want to call them. Ultimately he's a man wearing a full face mask and battle armor. No weapons.

Like her, he's initially stunned by the impact and groans. His voice is clearly human. His left hand reaches to rub the back of his head and then he suddenly realizes he sitting beside and against Domino. He pushes away and moves to his feet as quickly as his pain will allow.

Two of the three henchmen are down. One of the two ladies of the evening are down (she was shot in the random shooting by the first henchman). The gritty red-skinned henchman steps in front of the boss as he says, "Get behind me. I'm gonna get us outta here."

The boss still has the girl to his chest held by his left hand and his .45 in his right. He has no clue where anything is other than his gritty red-skinned henchman whom he's placed his gun bearing hand against his back for guidance.

The darkness remains dark.

Hard points in armor can reeeally hurt when they make contact with anyone else. Dom knows from previous experience, it can be a great home-field advantage. Having them used against her sucks as badly as ever. She's still not a fan.

A few more chips of safety glass patter downward as she brings herself upright, biting back the inevitable wince as she glances sidelong to the shadowy figure. "Seriously kid, no guns? Ballsy, I'll give you that."

New plan. These guys are about to be gone. The odds of them shooting back and/or gunning down the girl are not exactly in her favor. There's once chance left, and it's a hell of a roll of the dice. Muscles ache in protest as the albino quick-draws a pistol from under her shoulder, flicking arm and sidearm out together as she squeezes off just one shot.

Odds of first ricochet: 1 in 4.

Odds of second ricochet: 1 in 296.

Odds of jacket separation from bonded core: 2 in 31.

Odds of a jacketed fragment snipping the lanyard cord from Rubaria's neck: 1 in a million plus.

A puff of dust from the brick wall. A spark of metal from the rung of an old fire escape. A metallic buzz of a deformed chunk of metal zipping through the air. One way or another, it'll all be over in a flash.

The slug flies through the air. It zips underneath the left arm of the gritty red-skinned henchman, through the hair of the lady of ill repute, not only clips the lanyard, but cuts it in such a way that it is pulled by the slug from Rubaria's neck and cast onto the ground 20 meters behind the man. It clinks across the concrete and comes to a stop beneath a dumpster.

A split second later, the gritty red-skinned henchman turns, grabs the boss and the woman then suddenly leaps into the air <superleap>. All three are suddenly out of the alleyway.

The shadowy figure grumbles and exclaims, "Dammit!" and will begin to reach toward Domino. From his hand, an inky blackness (completely invisible in the present darkness as it is the same temperature as the environment) will extend from his hand and lash out toward her. The material is like a very viscous and sticky oil that, if striking the target, will serve to entangle her in such a way that she will be bound from shoulders to knees as it splatters all about her body.

(AND he can clear buildings in a single leap?! Not fair!)

Not that Dom's one to talk. Her bullet struck something, and she's willing to bet that she knows exactly what it is. (I get kicked out of more casinos that w-AGH!)

It's not easy to dodge what cannot be seen. It doesn't help that she's not even looking in the right direction when it happens. It's like being sucker-punched, except..sticky. Really, really sticky. Where normally she could take a partial step to keep her balance she instead falls onto her back in a cocoon of immobilizing -gunk.-

At least it doesn't hurt as much as a rusted out sedan does.

"This..is why I hate working in Gotham," she mutters to herself with a drawn-out sigh. "-Everything- is sticky. Even the sticky is sticky." Then, more than loud enough to be heard, she calls out "What the hell did you hit me with?!"

"Darkforce." Is answered as the surrounding darkness fades revealing the alleyway and everything in it. The man is standing over her wearing his completely black armored body suit. Not even his eyes are showing through the black mask. No mouth hole, no nose hole, nothing but black. He looks down upon her and says, "You wrecked my op. Now tell me, who are you and what agency do you work for?"

Just hearing the name has Domino smirking, then chuckling. "-Darkforce,- are you for real? Sounds like a nineties TV show." A moment later and she gets to see the man in question, more or less, through digitally altered images. "And you look like you're planning to rob a bank-YOUR op?" Pause. -Laugh.- "Oh, this is just priceless," she says while letting the back of her head fall to the grimy alley floor. Then to herself, "He thinks I work for an agency, that's cute. This gunk had so better come off of my guns…"

Annoyed, and growing moreso by the second with her sense of humor and laughter. "No, your encased in Darkforce. My callsign is Blackout. Now you're telling me you don't work for an agency… dammit. So you're another damn merc? What was your mission?"

He has no clue that the lanyard was shot off the man's neck.

Domino can't help but laugh more. 'Blackout.' "Well I guess you can call me 'Whiteout,' kiddo. I correct all of life's little problems."

Maybe her brain got a little scrambled back there, it was a pretty substantial hit. No blood on the auto glass, at least.

Trailing off her laughter with a lingering note of amusement, her expression quickly turns serious. Dark, though it'll always be destined to fall short of someone like the guy hovering above her. "-Yes,- 'another damn merc.' We're quite popular this time of year. Someone wanted our boy to have something to worry about tonight," she flat-out lies. "So, y'know. Nice job on the impromptu team-up."

There's a sigh that comes from behind the mask. Blackout looks to his left (her right) at the ground while pondering what to do next. The op went sideways and has been scrubbed.

After a moment's thought has passed, he looks back to her and then reaches down, his hands pass into the goop and he grabs the various harnesses of her suit. Lifting, he peels her off the ground and as he stands her up the goop starts to flow from her body to his own.

He begins to comment, "I'm not a kid. I'm over 30 and a SHIELD agent. I'm gonna let you go because other than wrecking the mission, no harm was done and I really don't want to deal with the paperwork."

Wait..waitwaitwa-what? Dom's not expecting the shadowy gunk to simply let go like that, let alone disappear right back into the host body. (That's kinda creepy.) But, she's free. And upright. And still armed! So, improvements across the board.

"I call everyone that," comes her nonchalant response. Right before she happens to fall very, very quiet while turning to look back at the guy.


Yet she still can't help herself. Reaching up to rub the back of her head with pistol still in hand, she asks "The hell does the Division want with -that- guy?" Since she's apparently going to get out of this without any trouble and all, why not push her luck a little more?

"Intel on the Maggia.", Blackout answers, "I was tasked to quietly capture and take him back to base without raising any flags in his organization. But somehow that all went sideways." - a raise of his cheeks through the mask reflects that he smiles about the suggestive comment. "Anyway, I've said more than I should and I need to evac. Can I drop you somewhere?"

There's pushing one's luck and there's blatantly throwing one's self under the proverbial bus. The offer for a ride is noted but Domino would be a very silly meta to accept.

"Quietly taking down all of those guys?" she inquires while stretching her back out with another wince. "You might want to rethink your strategy, all you did was turn out the lights and the one idiot starts blindly firing in the middle of a damn city. And people say -I'm- not subtle."

Looking his way once more, leaving the imagers in place on the chance that they happen to cover that spot around her left eye, she says "I'm fine, thanks."

Someone here still has a prize to cash in on…

"Suit yourself. First responders will be here in 45 seconds." The sirens can be heard on the approach.

He turns and a 8' diameter black disk forms behind him. He comments as he steps into the portal, "See you in the funny papers."

Well, that's not very long. Plenty long enough, though. That he can teleport out of there means Dom has that much more time to act. The instant he's gone and the portal closes she's got the Sig back in its holster, hurrying over to drop into a low crouch next to the dumpster she last saw the lanyard disappear under.

In the next moment it's in her hand. Then in a pocket.

"Checkmate, buster."

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