2012-04-17: Six vs Thirteen


Echo_icon.jpg Kai_icon.jpg

Summary: A bank robbery in progress is interrupted, but not entirely halted, by the appearance of an icy hero. Still, Kai is trying to do the right thing, morally speaking.

Date: April 17, 2012

Log Title: Six vs Thirteen

Rating: R

NYC - Brooklyn

Brooklyn is located on the western most tip of Long Island. Brooklyn has a lot of cultural diversity, an independent art scene, distinct neighborhoods and a unique architectural heritage. Along the shore are a bunch of abandoned warehouses that people rent out to hold concerts, parties, and other various events. Row houses can be found through out the most the borough built in the 19th century architectural style.

Gunfire erupts in northern Brooklyn. The sudden violence and ferocity of it causes pedestrians outside the Greenpoint Telenational Bank to drop to their knees, cover their heads, flee, or try to manage all three options at once. Broken glass cascades like a glittering waterfall from the location's broad front window as a bullet punches through it from the inside, fired from the small lobby. Five armed gunmen occupy the space, waving weapons threateningly at the cowering customers and employees sprawled on the faux-marble tiled floor. Black ski masks and heavy coats mark them out easily. One of the assailants has even climbed up onto the teller's counter, brandishing a pump action shotgun in front of himself at crotch level, laughing and daring a whimpering clerk to 'suck it'. The rest of the robbers seem more composed and actually intent on getting the money, but the wild one is drawing most of the attention.

"Christ," mutters one of the bank robbers, keeping a revolver pointed at the middle distance between the front door and a group of hostages lying face down in the center of the lobby. "Where does the boss keep finding these assholes?"

The other criminal he was apparently addressing does not respond, rummaging through a sack of bound cash before tossing two of them back at the teller dismissively. "Dye packs," she responds blandly to his suspicious grunt.

"How can you tell?"

"I just can," the woman replies and says no more about it.

Kai was heading though Brooklyn on his way back to Barnes when he heard the gunfire going off, heading in the direction of the disturbance he stops on the other side of the road. Barnes has strict rules when it comes to drawing attention to yourself and getting involved in dangerous situation, though he's not technically a student anymore, guess it's time to try out his new trick. Kai focuses on lowering his body temperature until a layer of ice covers his entire body, should hopefully hide his identity a little, he heads towards the bank making a slight cracking sound as he moves, standing near the main doors he peers into the bank trying to see inside without being spotted.

The robbery is progressing apace, three full sports bags lined up neatly in front of the criminal watching over the hostage customers and employees, a fourth bag well on its way to being filled with paper wrapped bundles of bills. The bank's two lone security guards are down, one on his stomach with the rest of the hostages, the other on his back and bleeding slowly from a head wound, eyes closed. Glass is shattered everywhere and furniture upset, but the overall toll of human casualties seems low. Even the security cameras are destroyed, precise single shots to the wall mounted units and the smoked glass domes overhead. Professionals, perhaps, excluding the excessively energetic one. He serves to keep the hostages intimidated, though.

"Six minutes," announces one of the robbers without even a glance at a wristwatch. It's a female voice, dry and icy without a hint of tension in it. "Go faster." On some pre-arranged signal, the group begins to fan out, three of the five picking up loaded bags, while the female urges a teller on to greater speed and the wild one grows more impatient. "We can't leave! I don't have mine yet!"

Kai hmms, a straight on confrontation seems bad, but a stealthier approach might work, placing a hand on the ground Kai focuses on forming ice around the feet of the wild one, if he manages it it'll start encasing him up to the knee holding him in place. He slams his other hand on the ground to break the ice incasing it before reaching into his poc… crap, looks like the new trick has a downside. Now how to get the non-criminal types out…

"We *are* leaving." The tone is insistent but not angry. However this only serves to infuriate the shotgun-wielding maniac more. Racking the shotgun needlessly, an unspent shell clatters away as he lifts it toward the female robber. "And I say we're not! Take your ice queen bullshit and shove it up your-" He stops in his approach, heel sticking to the tile floor. Rimes of frost, wispy fog spreading from it, encircles his foot up to the ankle with a dull, quiet crackling sound. "What the f-" He never gets to finish his complaint. The female robber lifts a black semi-automatic pistol and methodically, almost casually, shoots him twice. Once in the chest, once in the forehead, her left hand snaking out to catch the ejected brass casings before they can hit the ground. The shotgun falls to the floor with a clatter amidst the panicked screams of the hostages. The body can't even fall properly, pinned in place as it is by one foot. "A four way split is better than five," the woman says calmly. "Any more objections or should we deal with the interference now?"

Kai can't help but admire the woman's efficiency, bloody but straight to the point both stopping the weak and unreliable link, he hits himself in the head to remind himself that’s not how he should be thinking anymore, "Go away XIII". He makes a note of the positions on the majority of the hostages before placing his other hand on the wall and focusing on trying to seal the robbers into one part of the building even if it means trapping a couple of hostages, however he tries to avoid trapping the woman, her willingness to kill is interesting and he doubts she'd hesitate when it comes to taking out the hostages if she became trapped, he can take her, one on one.

"Fine by me," one of the others acquiesces, raising his hands as if he's going to surrender to his own partner. The crackling of forming ice accompanies a noticeable drop in the air temperature, the woman's breath fogging in the air as she takes charge. "Something's wrong. Take the bags and go." Stooping to pick up the fallen man's shotgun and its expelled but not expended shell, she pauses, head swiveling slowly as the bank's lobby begins to turn white with tiny flakes of ice. The shotgun is held high, braced to her shoulder and tracking where her grey eyes wander. Larger sheets of ice begin to form over doorways and windows to turn the interior of the bank's lobby into a labyrinth, or a cage. Pounding is heard further inside, muffled as the walls of ice grow thicker. "Fuck, it's frozen shut!"

Kai can't help but allow himself a grin as the majority of the robbers are trapped other than the woman, he doesn't move from his position just yet, he needs to make sure his little trap will hold until the police arrive, assuming one of the members of the public have bothered to call. He tries not to dwell on the death of the wild robber, not his fault, likely would've happened anyway. From his position he shifts slightly to get a better look inside, what will the woman do now?

A thin film of ice crystals covers the front entrance, making the shapes inside blurry and indistinct. There is some movement toward the doors, a dark blur against the background of other light and dark blurs. As Kai's head leans out to peer inside, a fist bursts through the glass paneled door, seizing Kai by the collar of his shirt and hauling him face first into and subsequently completely through the door, flakes of ice and shards of glass raining all around him. The shirt collar rips away to let him slide a few feet on the ice-slicked tile floor. "Hello there," says the female burglar, what little of her mouth is visible behind the mask twisted into a smile. Cradling the shotgun in both hands again, she lowers its barrel toward the would-be hero's midsection. "We meet again."

As Kai is pulled though the ice and flung across the floor he allows what's left of the ice covering his body to shatter to allow him maximum mobility, used to moving on ice he uses the momentum from the slide to get some distance and get to his feet in a fighting stance. There's a fairly deep gash along Kai's forehead showing where the impact of being pulled though the door smashed his makeshift ice-helmet, "Ow, well I wasn't expecting that, you're strong", hopefully he's stronger and he better be faster as the shotgun is now pointing at him. He frowns confused for a moment, "We do?"

"Not for long," quips the woman. Her smile turns to a frown of annoyance at further noise of pounding and raised voices from further inside the bank, eyes briefly leaving Kai and flicking toward the commotion. "I'll tell you what," she begins, softening her tone. "If this is your doing, end it and I'll let you go. And it had better be your doing, because if it isn't, I have no use for you."

Kai frowns as he feels something trickle down his face and registers the pain on his head, "Great, I’m bleeding again, it deep?". He rolls his eyes at the 'let you go' comment, "I’ve isolated your entire crew in a few minutes, do you really think you have the upper hand here?", Kai is completely aware that she does but if she thinks he's underestimating him she won't expect him to react as quickly when she makes her move, past experience has taught him that women are often the most underestimated and deadly opponents there are.

"Yes," the woman responds blandly. The shotgun raises a few degrees from Kai's midsection to his face, giving him a clear view down into the deadly depths of its long black barrel. "I do."

Kai holds up his hands, "Now I can see why you'd think that, with you having the gun and all but, you could shoot me. Yeah, you could do that. Of course you could! But why? when I’m so much more interesting when I’m not a corpse", why are you babbling like an idiot, if this is the alternative to killing the opponent he may have made the dumb move.

"Three," says the shotgun-wielder. Then she says, "Two." It should seem fairly obvious, but after only a brief pause, she continues, "One." Her hand tenses slightly on the foregrip and the stock presses a little harder into her shoulder, bracing in preparation for the weapon's recoil.

As Echo begins counting down Kai throws all his focus into his enhanced speed, he forms a blunt spear and fires it towards the barrel of the gun, it's a long shot and probably wont get it's target but it might be a good distraction. Not even looking to see if he connected he flings himself forward onto the ice hoping to get some momentum.

The ice-covered walls reflect the sound of the shotgun's report, echoing like a cannon blast. Fire and smoke and nine .33" steel pellets belch forth from the muzzle, peppering the decorative ceiling tiles and the wall directly behind and above Kai with tiny holes spraying white plaster dust and delicate snowflake ice crystals. The spear hit the shotgun, it seems, knocking the barrel upward just enough to miss. A little too close, though, as a pellet zings through Kai's hair, clipping strands and giving him a nice new part but never actually meeting flesh. The expended plastic shell hits the floor with a hollow sound at the same time the woman pumps the shotgun to load another, firing quickly. More pellets dig gouges and kick up ice shards from the floor as the second shell unloads at the fleeing boy.

Kai's slide ends with him slamming his back into the wall and that’s where the real trouble starts. The cut on his head he's been ignoring has been bleeding a fair amount throughout the confrontation and it just so happens that it's this moment that the blood obscures his vision just enough that he doesn't react quite quick enough and he is caught twice in his left shoulder, "Argh!"

The masked woman racks the shotgun again, covering the hollow almost comical sound of the empty plastic shell bouncing off the tiled floor. "You've made a terrible mistake," she says flatly, heavy boots crunching ice shards beneath her. She is about to say something else, but the rising whine of sirens, definitely more than one vehicle, rise from the background din of the city and penetrate the frost-covered lobby of the bank. Flashing red and blue lights waver through the cracked and frosted windows, the sounds of opening car doors filtering vaguely through. Baring her teeth, something like anger flares on her face for a moment but is quickly gone. The shotgun raises again, her finger on the trigger. It fires, but out the partially open front door, the hollow metallic sound of buckshot hitting car panels and alarmed, raised voices the result. The woman turns to run, twisting hard and ramming an elbow against one of the ice barriers again and again until it cracks, disappearing back toward where the other robbers were trapped.

Bonus of some of HYDRA's harsher training? Kai is freakin' awesome at dealing with pain, not to mention he is pissed! The cyrokinetic's eyes begin to glow ice blue with his hair changing colour and the mark on his back following suit. A layer of ice spreads from the injured shoulder down his left arm before he forced himself to his feet and starts off after Echo, the ice should slow the blood flow and set the arm until he can have it looked at, but he bad news for Echo? he's still got one good arm.

There's an enormous thundering sound from the hallway the masked woman disappeared down. Several of the ice barriers along the way are shattered, daylight filtering in from somewhere ahead. An open fire door waits there, roughly torn from its hinges, just as another grinding metal sound carries, a manhole cover slipping into place as the robbers disappear down into it in the alley behind the bank. Out front, the police are yelling orders through a megaphone to a bank no longer hostage to simple robbers, but apparently to some ice-themed supervillain. Vague threats that SWAT teams are on their way, as are the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and anybody else they can think of are yelled furiously to the empty bank front.

"I said you'd made a terrible mistake," the woman's voice says from above the broken fire exit. "I was wrong." She drops down from over the sill, landing heavily in a crouch and straightening up slowly. The shotgun is gone and she's barehanded now. "Now you've made two." And just like that, she closes in, throwing her weight forward with one knee raised to barrel into Kai.

Kai doesn't say anything during Echo's comments about 'terrible mistakes' and doesn't even move until she's charging at him, using his enhanced speed he puts his full strength into slamming his hand palm forward into the oncoming knee.

The meeting of forces is, surprisingly, just about equal. The woman is both far stronger and far heavier than she looks, but the blow to her knee only arrests her forward momentum. She drops back down with catlike grace, palms to the ground and sweeps her other leg out to clip Kai's ankles from the side. She's fast, too.

While Kai is shocked by the weight and strength of the woman he's finding pain and anger to be a powerful motivator to stay focused on the fight. Jumping to avoid the sweep at his ankles he aims a roundhouse (not perfect due to his imbalanced due to his iced over injury) at the crouched woman.

Lowering in the crouch further, the woman leans away from the kick. It glances from her shoulder and skids up the side of her head, the ski mask catching and tearing away with the force of it. Dark brown hair flutters free, grey eyes wide and fixed on Kai. Echo's face shows no strain, no flush of exertion or sweat of tension. It's stony and cold, even as she balls a fist to drive upward, hard and fast into Kai's side just below the ribcage.

Kai's eyes widen as the mask comes off, "You?!", that’s enough to distract him from blocking the fist aimed at his ribcage. He coughs as he's suddenly winded but as the punch came on his right side rather than his left, his good arm is close enough to try and grab the arm the hit him and trying to start freezing.

Echo says nothing, straightening from the crouch regardless if Kai is holding onto her or not. She's strong enough to lift him off the ground without really trying, even as ice begins to envelop it. She doesn't cry out, show surprise, or even flinch at the cold. "You brought this on yourself, you know." While Kai's right arm is holding her left, his other arm is, apparently, incapacitated. Echo has no such handicap. Balling her free hand into a fist, she rams it toward his gut, again and again, without mercy.

Kai coughs and blood trickles out of the side of his mouth as he's hit repeatedly, coughing he smiles, "I know". Kai's powerful and he can keep going longer than most people but unlike Echo, he's not a machine.

The fist thankfully stops pounding Kai's midsection for a moment, long enough to grab him by the throat. Echo looks into his eyes, the smile on her lips playful, heedless of the inch-thick ice surrounding her left arm up to the elbow and steadily creeping higher. "Good," she whispers to him as her fingers begin to tighten, not on his windpipe but on the thick and much more vital arteries either side of it.

A shot rings out from the mouth of the alley, Echo's jacket puffing out as a hole appears just below her right armpit. "Police!" a man yells, a moment too late for proper police protocol. "Freeze!" he adds, unaware of the irony.

"Time's up," Echo says, clearly disappointed. Her grip slackens and lets Kai drop.

Broken and bleeding but with an oddly satisfied smile on his face Kai is slumped against the wall trying not to move too much, he doesn't want a broken rib piercing a lung.

"I said freeze, God damn it!" the police officer yells, hustling down the alley as fast as his considerable bulk will allow. Echo does not wait for him, only stopping long enough to bash her left forearm hard against the brick wall of another building, shattering the ice. She vaults, boots clanging loudly off the rim of a dumpster, up and over an eight foot fence topped in barbed wire like she'd practiced it all day.

"Fuck me," the officer grunts, doubling over with his hands on his knees. "Suspect on foot," he wheezes into his radio. "Don't move, son. EMTs are on the way. You hurt bad?"

Kai chuckles coughing, "Nah, just resting, I’ll get her in a minute", now his adrenalin is running low, that along with his blood loss has Kai closing his eyes.

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