|Quick and Painless|
|Summary||Flashback! Ciel and Kade on the job back in the X-Force days of yore. Things go less painlessly than they'd maybe have preferred.|
| A very hot surveillance can.|
It has been a long, hot several hours. The van Ciel and Kade are occupying is black, which means that the Texas heat has turned it into an oven that the cracked windows and their tiny, hand-held fans do little to combat. Ciel has taken to opening a portal between the van's interior and a nearby shop, closed for the evening, every half hour or so, which offers up some relief as air conditioning seeps through the hole even as the effort of holding stealth portals open eats at her blood sugar. It's not the smartest move just before presumed action, and they both know it. The temperature finally begins to drop as the sun goes down, and still they wait, watching the side alley where a delivery of interest is supposed to be made.
Ciel celebrates this by whining. "How is it possible for it to /still/ be this hot?"
The heat doesn't bother Kade so much. One of the perks of his personal brand of mutant-hood. It's clearly not comfortable for her, though, so he doesn't complain about the occasional burst of portal AC. Very occasional. "Summer in the seventh circle of hell, Ci. Or whichever one it is Texas is in." His eyes are mostly trained out the window at that alley, a pair of binoculars in his lap in case he wants a better look at something farther away, though he does occasionally roll his head back to give her a look-over. And roll some of the stiffness out of his neck. "Almost sundown, at least. Pass me another bottle of water?" Surely they brought a cooler along. "I could use some hydration."
"I'd say it's a wonder neither of us has had to piss, except I'm pretty sure I'm sweating out every damn thing I drink," Ciel answers, twisting back to retrieve a bottle and toss it to him in a lazy, well-aimed underhand. "The armor's not helping." Despite her complaining, Ciel's a fairly patient watcher, trading off with Kade at regular intervals to keep fresh eyes on the target. Or where the target ought to be, anyway. For now, the alley remains empty, save for the lengthening shadows as the sun sinks lower. "Any movement?
"That's what you use the empty bottles for," Kade replies with a grin. Not that he's had to resort to this. Yet. The night is still sorta young. He catches the bottle of water, uncaps it, and takes a couple quick drinks. He picks up the binoculars again, after the giving the alley an unassisted once-over, but shakes his head even after a closer look. "Still nothing but the rats." Even if he's not over-heating, the long wait is starting to wear on him. "Maybe they were waiting until dark..."
"That's what /you/ use the empty bottles for, Caruthers. I have more exacting standards." A beat passes, and then Ciel admits, "And problematic aim." She settles back into her seat next to him, scrubbing a hand over her forehead. Her hair, currently bearing a bright red streak, is pulled tight into a braid that she's coiled at the nape of her neck. Her gaze slants toward the alleyway. "It'd make sense," she admits. "I'm just hoping they haven't made us-- whoa hey." She straightens as a white van turns into the alley from the opposite end, its headlights slanting through the twilight in their direction. "Can you get an ID?" Binocular aided, he totally can.
Kade gives Ciel a side-eye at her 'exacting methods' comment. He almost asks. Almost. After some thought, he decides he maybe doesn't want to know and chuckles. He gets his eyes back on the job after he's done pondering that. "We've been as careful as we could be. If..." But he doesn't bother finishing, binoculars going up as soon as he sees movement from the end of the alley. "Hey now. What have we here?" He answers his own question after a beat. "Driver looks like our boy, Kane. One of 'em, at least. How do you want to play this?"
"Quick and painless," Ciel retorts, a familiar request from her. She quickly follows it with a more serious question, though, digging swiftly for her own binoculars to tuck them to her eyes. "How many do they have?" It's clear that there's someone in the passenger's seat, but the rest of the van is windowless, impossible to see. "
Kade cracks his knuckles. "Quick and painless. Sounds like a plan. There's at least two, driver and one up front with him. From the briefing we got, I'd bet on at least one more in the back, but that is pure-ass speculation." He checks the gun at his hip, ticking the safety off. "I don't think they've made us. We get the jump on them before they can all unload, this shouldn't be too bad. There anything in the alley we can use for cover, once we get out of this box?"
"Ah, well, you know how much I love your pure-ass," Ciel answers with a wicked grin slanted toward him as she twists her neck in a stretching roll. "Let's pop the driver first," she suggests. "Get him out, pull him into the back, you can take his seat and take care of his buddy. I we're fast enough, no one in back has to know we're here." It's a famili
"Ah, well, you know how much I love your pure-ass," Ciel answers with a wicked grin slanted toward him as she twists her neck in a stretching roll. "Let's pop the driver first," she suggests. "Get him out, pull him into the back, you can take his seat and take care of his buddy. If we're fast enough, no one in back has to know we're here." It's a familiar maneuver: a portal just big enough for the gun, a clean, easy shot while they still have the element of surprise.
Kade returns her grin. "You know how I do, Ci." There's a seriousness behind his eyes, though. It's almost go-time, and his focus is all on the job. "Let's get 'er done."
Ciel's grin widens, and there's bright anticipation in her eyes as she pulls her pistol free. She clambers backwards, crawling between the seats to the open space in the back. A second later there's a portal between Kade's gun and the back of the driver's head, and she lets it linger small and dark until he's pulled the trigger. Only then does she let the portal blink out in favor of another, larger, in front of the driver and in front of Ciel, and she hooks her grip under the driver's arms and /hauls/.
<COMBAT> Kade attacks Driver with Pistol - Critical wound to Head. <COMBAT> Driver has been **KO'd**!
Kade takes the shot without hesitation. And, with Ciel's portal, it's at close range and not requiring a high degree of marksmanship. He only waits a beat, to make sure he didn't flub it, before he's up and following Ciel through the larger portal. He tries to slot himself straight into the driver's seat. Which is probably fairly gross, in the aftermath of its former occupant being shot, but he can agonize over the mess when this is over.
Ciel leaves room for Kade to slip through the portal before slapping it closed. The van is still moving, and it swerves a bit wildly to the left, toward one alley wall. The passenger seat guard is still recognizing that /something/ is happening when Kade replaces his former comrade, and so when he raises his own gun at close range, it's a little wild. He squeezes off a series of rounds.
Ciel, in the meantime, blinks another portal open and reappears on the van's roof, sunk low as she moves back toward the rear.
Kade, first and foremost, endeavors to keep the van from crashing. Because not making //sure// you have firm wheel control when doing this is the kind of mistake you, ideally, only make once. "Goddamn!" he bites off when the fellow in the passenger seat starts shooting at him, ducking and weaving as well as he can. Which isn't much, in the confined space. He slams on the breaks and shoots one hand over, toward the man shooting at him. His fingers pulsating red as they heat up. He prefers powers to firearms, when at all possible. If all goes well the guy's gun arm will be set afire shortly.
<COMBAT> Guard1 attacks Kade with Rifle - Moderate wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor). <COMBAT> Kade attacks Guard1 with Kade's Flamethrowing - ARMOR on Chest stops the attack! <COMBAT> Kade attacks Guard1 with Kade's Flamethrowing - Critical wound to Head. <COMBAT> Guard1 has been **KO'd**!
Atop the van, Ciel staggers as the swerving plays havoc with her balance. She has to take to the air to keep from flying off into one of the alley walls, and she shouts, "Keep it together, Caruthers!" over the sound of gunfire. A portal takes a quick peek into the front seat, confirming that he's burniating rather than bleeding, and then she drops down to the ground, step light as the van jerks to a halt. She considers the back doors for a beat, but whatever she was deciding is quickly rendered moot as they swing open amid a spray of gunfire. Ciel drops flat to the ground, disappearing through a portal and reappearing atop the van again with a *thud* before any bullets can find their mark.
Kade takes a slug in the chest, failing to take Ciel's 'keep is together' advice. The vest catches the worst of it, but quarters are tight enough that it still penetrates. THAT hurt. He's throw back against the door of the van. After it's stopped, fortunately, so they aren't in any danger of crashing. It all makes it a lot touchier to get any kind of non-lethal aim on the guard in the passenger seat, and a shot of super-heated air ends up firing into his assailant's face. It's not pretty, and there's some screaming from the poor sap. Kade grimaces, but that's another thing he's going to have to wait until later to think about. It settles the fight for the front seat, at least.
The guards in back - two of them - twist around in surprise as Ciel disappears. She stays prone atop the van, unmoving and barely breathing. One of them shouts, taking off for the front of the van with decisive steps and a rifle held up in aim. The other finally spots Ciel and they both lift their guns in unison, aiming and firing almost at the same instant.
"Heads up!" Kade yells in the general direction of Ciel, when the guard takes those shots at her. Probably unnecessarily. She can likely tell she's being shot at. He twists around in the driver's seat at the man coming at him through the back, palm super-heating the air in front of him. It glows a pretty cherry red before it FOOOWPS!! forth into action.
<COMBAT> Kade attacks Guard2 with Kade's Flamethrowing - Critical wound to Left Foot. <COMBAT> Ciel attacks Guard4 with Pistol - Light wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor). <COMBAT> Guard4 attacks Ciel with Pistol - Serious wound to Head. <COMBAT> Guard2 attacks Kade with Rifle and MISSES! <COMBAT> Guard2 has been **KO'd**!
Kade's guard goes down in a rush of flames and screams, which almost drowns out the sound of Ciel's pained cry as a bullet scrapes past her temple to open a wound on her temple that sends a gush of blood into her eyes. She collapses back down to the roof of the van, with a thud, unmoving. The guard, in the meantime, closes in on her. It's probably fortunate that the angle of his aim is poor thanks to her position.
Kade hears the thud on the roof, even if he can't see the full extent of the damage of that shot. "Kane! Hey! Ci! Sound off, girl!" He doesn't wait around to see if he'll get an answer, springing up and going for the remaining guard. The one who shot his partner. He doesn't bothering trying to divert his aim to a non-vital area this time, just trying to finish this one off as quickly as possible. This is turning out to be //way// less painless than either of them had hoped.
"Ug," Ciel answers, a low-voiced groan that says 'I'm alive' but also 'please kill this guy before he kills me.' She rolls just in time to avoid a spray of bullets, but her vision is still obscured and there's no such thing as aiming. Portals, too, remain out of reach without a visual. The guard is occupied with Ciel, which means that he only turns at the sound of Kade's voice, rifle swinging around to fix on him a bit wildly.
<COMBAT> Guard4 attacks Kade with Pistol - Moderate wound to Left Leg. <COMBAT> Kade attacks Guard4 with Kade's Flamethrowing - NEAR MISS!!
Kade grimaces. That 'Ug' did not sound good. "Hang on!" he shouts, trying to sound encouraging. He's worried, though. Which, between that and the pain from the bullet he already took in the chest, throws off his aim. He singes the window behind the remaining guard, which isn't hugely helpful just now. His palm still pulsating hot, he swings it and a rush of boiling-heated air at the man's head again.
The guard jerks sideways as a rush of hot air threatens to boil him alive. "What the fuck!" he shouts. His rifle swings toward Kade again, and bullets fly wildly in his very general direction.
Ciel remains pressed flat against the roof, but she's moving now, wiping her vision clear as she crawls toward the edge. She opens a portal just as Kade sends a spout of flame in the guard's direction, setting the barrel of her pistol against the side of the guard's head. Between the pair of them, his outlook is not good.
<COMBAT> Kade attacks Guard4 with Kade's Flamethrowing - Light wound to Head.
<COMBAT> Kade attacks Guard4 with Kade's Flamethrowing - Serious wound to Head. <COMBAT> Guard4 attacks Kade with Pistol and MISSES! <COMBAT> Ciel attacks Guard4 with Pistol - Serious wound to Chest (Reduced by Armor). <COMBAT> Guard4 has been **KO'd**!
The end of the fight is brutal and chaotic, but between the two of them it doesn't take long to end it. Once it's ended, messily, for the remaining guard, Kade looks back at Ciel. "You alive, Ci?" he asks, panting. It's a half-serious question. That got tight.
"Uh huh," Ciel answers, rolling onto her back in a sprawl with her hand pressed against the bleeding wound at her temple. "You?
Kade grunts, in some small amount of pain, as he gets up to go and slump beside her. "Yeah, I'm all right. Took one in the chest, but the vest caught most of it. I think another one clipped my calf." He's just fine, though. Now that it's over, he gets on his radio and calls HQ. It goes something like, 'Job done, with casualties, extraction with medics would just swell, over.'
"You need patched up, or should we just sit here and bleed til the calvary comes?" Ciel wonders. After a moment she shifts, groaning, and turns her head to look toward him.
"Stopping the immediate bleeding seems like a good notion," Kade says, as wryly as he can, waht with the pain. "I'll do you, then you do me. That head wound looks kind of problematic." He scrounges around for first aid supplies. The options probably aren't great, but he'll do what he can.
"Looks worse than it is," Ciel assures him with a flick of her fingers. "You know headwounds. Bleed like a bitch." After a beat she turns her head to give him a brilliant, bloody smile. "At least we got the goods, yeah?
"Damn right we did," Kade says, as if there was never any doubt, returning her smile only a touch falteringly. Though there might've been, at certain points, during all that. He can at least manage some make-shift bandages, even if some of them come from torn pieces of clothing, and he gets to wrapping Ciel's head. "Maybe the medics can revive one or two of our friends here. Get them back to the barn for interrogation." Or maybe they're all dead, but part of him hopes not.
"Felt you turn up the heat," Ciel murmurs, letting her eyes sink closed as Kade works. "I should've stayed close til we had them both down."
"Nah..." Kade murmurs. "If we made a mistake, it was under-estimating how many of them were in the back of this damn thing. He ties off his attempt at a bandage. It won't make things worse, at least. Then he sinks back against the side of the van, slumping to the floor. Slumping feels good. "I will be damn curious to hear what our bosses make of this cargo. This better've been worth it."
"Always is," Ciel answers with twist of a smile. She blinks her eyes open again as he sinks back, turning to study him. "Okay, hot stuff. Tell me where it hurts."
"Hurts? Please. I am a wall of manly toughness and feel no pain," Kade jokes. And it is a joke, because...ow. "Help me get the vest off. Damage is going to be under it." She's going to need to do the bulk of the work getting him out of it, though he can at least shrug out of it when it's mostly off.
"Of course you are, sweetie," Ciel answers, blithe and warm as she fixes a smile on him. She shifts, moving next to him so she can brace his weight forward to work at his vest. "If you wanted snuggles, all you had to do was ask," she tells him as she works.
"I'm shy that way," Kade quips, while taking off his shirt once he's free of the vest. Which prompts some pained grunting. He has a chest wound, but it's not gaping and doesn't look like the bullet got deep enough to endanger anything vital.
Ciel winces a little as she spots it. "Ouch," she says. A quick series of pops back to their own van turns up a first aid kit, and she works to clean the wound and bandage it with swift hands. Her own armor is untouched, if blood-smeared. "Sit still," she advises. "I don't think it got deep enough to tear anything you don't want torn, but I wouldn't risk it til they can dig it out.Kade twitches as little as he can manage as Ciel sees to him. He'll still need to log some hospital time, once the medics have come to take them away, but they'll survive.