Look Ma, No Stitches!


ling_icon.gif melissa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Look Ma, No Stitches!
Synopsis Melissa and Ling go to retrieve a person of interest for Messiah. Ling is smokin', and Mel does not need stitches.
Date July 23, 2010

The Rookery

A kidnapping job. That's the next assignment for Melissa, and Ling's first assignment. To kidnap a Humanis First member. And not just any member either. No, Mel got details from the brief call from Messiah's leader. So first things first, Mel went upstairs to change. Back to all black, including a knit cap that helps hide the pretty colors of her hair. Second was arming up. What's the point in having pistols if you don't use them?

Back downstairs, she's called Ling down to talk in private. "We've got an assignment, Ling. Should be fairly simple. There's a Humanis First member we need to grab and take to this abandoned shop so he can be questioned." She smiles wryly. "Personally I'd love to nab each and every one of them so the rest of us don't have to worry, but that's something for another time. You up for it though? I could really use the help. And with your ability, you'll make an awesome scout."

And kidnapping people together is just another form of bonding, right?

It was probably for the best that Ling hadn't been involved in anything particularly engrossing when Melissa had requested her presence, privately. To say she was curious was an understatement, to say the least, and when Melissa delivers on why she has pulled Ling aside, Ling regards her with curiosity. "Humanis First?" Ling replies with a quirked eyebrow. "I've heard of them. Anti-Evolved bombings and… the like." She waves a hand dismissively. This was the first time she'd been given a formal assignment. Kidnapping, no less.

It was almost like she'd never left the Triads.

Requesting a few moments to prepare, Ling disappears back up the steps, and when she remerges into sight, she is dressed in something unlike anything Melissa has ever seen her in before - a sleek, tight catsuit, a package she had had Melissa retrieve for her days before. She wears a grimace, eyes narrowed as she approaches Melissa. "I don't want to hear one word," she intones somewhat darkly as she steps down from the stairs.

Melissa can't help but smile, but instead she continues with the information. "Yeah, that's them. I can personally vouch that they do bombings and random beatings of evolved. Including little kids. The guy we're going to grab tonight lives in an apartment nearby, in the Rookery. His name's Jacob Shields. He may have a roommate, we're not sure on that. Which is part of why I mentioned you as a scout."

As Melissa secures her own weapons, she glances over Ling's outfit. "You got everything you need? I've got a spare pistol if you want it. Though not sure if it'd go all smokey with you or anything," she says, sounding a touch uncertain.

Ling chuckles, looking down at herself self consciously. "No, a pistol is a bit too much for me to take with me, I'm afraid. A knife, however, I have been able to carry around before." She even sort of wished she still had the one that had been given to her over six months ago, the same one that had stabbed Liu Ye, i brought an odd sense of security while she had it. "I'm afraid I'm not very adept at using a gun anyway. The only reason I've ever carried a knife is because it's simple."

Ling's arms cross around her midsection, looking to the door with narrowed eyes. "So. You want me to make sure there are no surprises waiting for us when we get there?" Spying was nothing new to her at all. At least in that job, she felt rather comfortable.

"A knife is easy enough. Be right back." And back upstairs Melissa goes, returning a minute later and offering Ling a knife and sheath. "Here ya go. And here's the plan. We head over there, check the outside first. Number of cars, loud noises, whatever. Then you go in, see who's in there, and in what state, yeah. Once we know that, then we'll plan for the rest."

There's a pause, and a sheepish look on Mel's face. "Dont' suppose you can pick locks? Because otherwise, we're gonna be trying to kick in the door or shooting the lock." But she'll find a way!

Ling takes the knife carefully, affixing it and it's sheath to her arm with a band, just as she had before. She listens while she works at this, nodding in simple reply to Melissa. She is a planner, but not this sort of planner. She will leave such things to others, for now. "No, I do not," is Ling's reply to the question, the Chinese woman finally looking up at Melissa. "But I can get in through several ways. Depending on the layout of the building, I could simply open a door or window." It's funny how well the practice of stealing business secrets translates over to what most people would see as common crime.

Palm, meet forehead. Forehead, meet palm. And they do, as Mel smacks one against the other and groans. "Duh. Here I am planning on you going on to scout, but completely ignore the other benefits of your ability," she says, sounding disgusted with herself. "Anyway, let's go."

The drive is a short one, but it is a drive, because there is no other way to get a bound man from point A to point B without notice unless you have invisibility or illusion. Mel has Kendall at home, but can't bring him on this. They end up in front of a small hotel that rents by the week or month as well as the day, and it has clearly seen better days. There are a handful of cars in the parking lot, and most are kept in darkness as the security lights have largely burned out or been broken.

The room that they want is on the second floor, and Melissa points it out to Ling. "That's his. So one of those cars," and again she makes a subtle motion to three cars sitting in front of that general area, "has to be his, or maybe his friends. I'll park as close as I can while you go check things out."

Ling sighs as she leans over, looking to where Melissa was pointing. She had spent the entire drive over entirely silent, mulling over the situation in her mind. In theory, this was no worse than any of the other numerous illegal activities she had committed in her life. And yet something still felt a little off about this.

Brushing the thought aside, Ling looks over to Melissa with a nod. "Alright," she states, looking out across the parking lot. That lack of lighting was certainly going to work to everyone's advantage, but in that particular instance she was particularly grateful for it. Ling holds up a hand, flexing her fingers once before they, along with the rest of her, begin to convert into smoke, filtering out the window and under the car, out of sight even in this darkness. A thing stream of smoke snakes across to the building and upwards, a breeze helping carry Ling along as she makes her way to her destination.

It's easy enough for Ling to gain entrance into the room. It's no better than can be expected from the view on the outside, and that means that there are plenty of cracks for her to sneak through. Inside is the room of a confirmed bachelor, a crook, or someone who's just a slob. It's messy. Pizza boxes, beer cans, ashtrays overflowing with cigarette butts. The room itself smells of sweat, smoke and sex. Though what woman would willingly come in here for sex is a mystery. The only thing that saves the room from smelling unbearable is the blast of cold air from the AC, keeping the room chilly.

There are two men in the room, watching a game on TV and indulging themselves in the vices that are so obviously displayed. One man lounges on the bed with a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other. He's in his late twenties, it looks like, wearing jeans and a white wife-beater, and he has dark blonde hair, a five o'clock shadow and a small scar on his jaw. Despite all that, and the state of the room, he's in good shape for a lazy American. Meaning that he only has a slight beer belly. The other man is slightly older, with dark hair that's starting to thin, and some aura about him that just screams trouble. Serial killers probably have that same aura. Or members of the mob. He's wearing dark pants, a dark shirt, and has a jacket on, though the line isn't quite nice and neat on the left side. A gun? But which one is Jacob?

If Ling could scoff right now, she would. In fact, she'd probably be laughing at these lowlifes. But she manages to keep her voice from ringing out across the winds. Sliding through the room, Ling's smokey form thins and stretches, snaking along the walls and through dark corners. She's careful to avoid bring in sight, as well as careful about stretching herself too thin. Finding a dark, particularly dirty corner, she lets her smokey form sift in amongst the crap, and she waits - listens. Anything of an identifying nature could come up, if these morons say much more than grunts and groans. She stays attentive, and as out of sight as she can manage.

"Oh hell yeah! Did you see that play?" The man on the bed says excitedly to something that happened on the TV. "You're gonna owe me fifty when this game's over, Mark," he says with a smirk to the other man. Mark shrugs and takes another swig of beer, not seeming to care about the potential loss of fifty dollars to what must be Jacob. "You win some you lose some."

Meanwhile, outside, Melissa has parked the car and is making last minute checks. Pistol, check. Duct tape, check. Ability to make a son of a bitch hurt? Double check. She's as ready as she's going to get.

Bingo. Ling doesn't bother to linger once that little piece of information is dropped. Patience was a virtue of her, but she isn't a fool. She knows not to stick around, and risk her unusual form being spotted. Her smokey form wavers, slinking along the wall as it finds another crack or hole for it to slip through, and like the way in it's not so hard to get back out and into the hot air outside. Sliding down the side of the building and to the gound, against the dark wall Ling reforms herself into a standing position, thankfully able to do so while reforming her catsuit.

Arms fall to her side, a confident posture taken as she strides out towards the parking lot, looking for the car. Spotting it, once more she slips into smoke form, reversing the course she had made before, slipping up into the window of the car, reforming a second time in the passanger's seat.

"Two men," Ling states succinctly. "The place is a pigsty. One man was sitting on a bed, a slobbish looking oaf. I believe he is Jacob." She grins, waving a hand. "I don't know about the other man, but he looked like he could be a problem. They are simply sitting there, watching TV." She falls silent afterwards, gaze looking over to Melissa, saying how do you want to go about this.

Pigsty? That has Melissa looking pained. More so than the thought that one of the men inside could be a problem. But Ling has seen her house, so shouldn't be surprised. "Where is the other one? In relation to the door? Facing it or away?" More facing than anything. "Though what I'm thinking…You go back in, wait for my signal, then you reform and open the door for me. I'll be putting the whammy on them, that'll be the signal. Unfortunately, just because they're hurting doesn't mean that they won't fight back," she warns.

"I've got a roll of duct tape that we can use to secure Jacob. Wrists, ankles and mouth. Now, do you want to take Jacob or the problem child? I don't care which one I take, but either way, we'll probably have to secure him as well so he can't follow us. And if he's too dangerous, then we'll want him to be secured anyway. I don't think he'd just let us waltz out of there with his buddy or brother or whatever the hell Jacob is to him."

Ling looks stoic as Melissa asks and explains, sitting forward after a moment and using her fingers and teh dashboard to give an idea of the placement of the room, it's occupants, and the door. It's crude, but it's better than straight verbalisation from the Chinese woman. Glancing over at her knife, she smirks. "I think I can handle the other man. A smokey Chinese woman standing over him should be… quite a sight." She sounds amused at this prospect, and it even sounds like it wouldn't be the first time such a thing has occurred. "Can you… pain them through the wall?"

Melissa smirks even as she shrugs. "I haven't found anything but distance and negation gas that can stop me from hurting someone. I don't even have to see them. Same for doing the opposite. I'm going to use it for a distraction, so we can both get in and get the drop on them. It'll let them know we're evolved, but so be it." She studies the other woman's face for a moment then smiles. "You ready?"

"As ready as I will be," Ling replies dryly. "And what if one of them turns out evolved? Irony knows no bounds, Humanis First or now." Ling speaks very matter of factly, smoke beginning to drift off from her fingertips. "That seems like a good thing to know. I will keep it in mind should we end up in another situation like this in the future." Which they will, she's sure.

"Well…unless they're a negator, then the plan doesn't change. And I am bringing a pistol just in case," Melissa says with a wry smile. She climbs out of the car then, moving up the stairs to the room door, waiting for Ling to catch up and move inside. While she does, the cap is tugged down, the edge uncurling so it covers her face. Voila! Ski mask! No way for the man left behind to identify her! Which is probably why she's wearing gloves too.

Ling follows suit with Melissa - though once again, she's able to slip out of the car much more quietly, smoke sliding its way back to the hotel building. In truth, Ling was somewhat wishing that they had invested in some sort of easier communication, as to avoid these repeated trips back and forth.

They were wasting precious time, after all.

Slithering her way back into the room is as easy as it had been the first time, her soundless smoky form again slithering along walls, under beds, behind night stands, and through dark corners as Ling makes her way behind the men and over towards the door. Waiting, swirling around in place on the dark floor, for Melissa's signal. This place was terrible, and she couldn't wait to be out.

Once seeing Ling disappear into the room, Melissa gives her a few seconds to get in place. Then her eyes close and she focuses that painful ability into the room, deliberately excluding her roomate from it. Inside the men make sounds of pain. Mark a soft intake of breath, Jacob more of a whimper as a hand goes to his head. "What the hell? What the hell?" he asks. Mark, however, is less questioning and more suspicious. He goes for his gun while he fights through the intense migraine he's suddenly feeling.

That's cue enough for Ling, her body solidifying as quickly as she can manage in the dark corner by the wall. Quickly, she reaches up and pulls the handle on the door, pulling it just enough to crack it open, as soundlessly as she can imagine.

Concentrate, she tells her self. Such was the secret to keep herself alive in this situation. Almost instantly, her form dissolves down into smoke, slithering back into the room, attempting to slide under a bed unnoticed, but staying close to "Mark" - ready to resolidify with her knife brandished at a moment's notice.

When the door cracks open Melissa puts her shoulder against it to push it open as she comes inside, ducking down and sweeping the room. She even draws her pistol, but she doesn't draw it quite quick enough. Mark gets a shot off, though it doesn't do more than graze her arm. "Dammit!" she hisses.

Jacob, by this point, is realizing that something's going on. He may not have a gun on him, but he's got youth and strength on his size, and he rolls off the bed with less than his usual grace. Go go pain! Luckily for Ling, Melissa makes an excellent distraction, so neither one has noticed her yet.

Shots fired, good enough reason for her. Ling's smoke spills out from under the bed and cascades upwards into her normal humanoid form behind Mark, back turned to Jacob. The knife is already free of its sheathe and in hand, the cool metal of the blade finding itself resting against the man's neck. "I think you would regret doing that again," she whispers, smoke still pouring from several points of her body, but most notably her hands and hair - a defence mechanism, her one real form of protection that would allow her to scatter into smoke if this went bad. A look up to Melissa, and a tilt of her head towards Jacob.

Mark freezes as he finds himself with a knife pressed against his throat. His hands raise slowly in a gesture of surrender, though the look he gives Melissa is one of pure hatred. Oh no, he doesn't like evolveds. Jacob, however, has nothing keeping him from rushing Melissa. She turns slightly to one side, bringing a knee up to connect with his gut, making him double over. The roll of duct tape is tossed over to Ling. "You got him?" she asks, keeping both her eyes and her gun trained on Jacob. "You get up, Jacob, and I will shoot you," she threatens.

Seeing as she can this time, Ling readily scoffs as she somewhat awkwardly catches the duct tape. Slipped down her arm, the free hand reaches over and wrests the gun from Mark's raised hand - though not without a little fighting. He is both unwilling, and Ling is not a terribly strong person. She manages however, and with that takes to binding him as necessary - starting with a strip of duct tape squarely over the man's eyes. "I would listen to her," Ling intones dryly, shooting the man a glance, knife pointed at him. "Imagine what's worse." She had never been bad at intimidation, but spending a summer with Triads never hurts.

There's a faint smile on Melissa's lips at Ling's words. "You really should. I hate assholes like you, and I'd love to hurt you a little. Get down on the floor on your stomach. Hands on the back of your head," she tells him, and Jacob slowly complies. When he does, she puts a knee on the back of his neck to keep him down, and lets go of her ability. Much easier to concentrate now! Mark continues to glare, glancing back towards Ling, no doubt planning how to reclaim the gun."

Ling makes no remark to Melissa's statement, trying her best to keep a stoic face instead of one that showed a mix of worry and excitement. Duct tape finds its way over Mark's eyes, and once it does Ling's form solidifies fully, putting an end to the flowing smoke for the moment. His gun is tossed across the bed, hands pull together - still held above him, because Ling felt he deserved it after shooting at Melissa - and bound at the wrist, several rolls thick, wrapped up around his hands like she had seen in a movie only a few days previous. Next would be his feet, which would require pushing him back on the bed. She glances over to Melissa every few moments, making sure everything on her end is going well, her knife held close just in case.

Melissa's found a good position to hold Jacob in, especially with the threat of a gun and pain on her side. She seems to be steady, like she could stay there all night if need be. Though the look she gives Ling clearly says Hurry. Gunshots may not be unheard of in this part of the city, but they don't want to be here when others arrive.

Mark pushed back and his legs bound with tape, Ling stands again, shaking her head. "Do clean up, if you live through the night," she intones before turning to where Melissa and Jacob are. "Do you need a hand?" Her nose wrinkles, the Chinese woman leaning in with a whisper, as to not allow mark to hear. "Or shall I get the car?"

"It'll take both of us to get him down there," Melissa whispers back. "If you can tape him up, I'll keep him still. But hurry." Though it's not been that long since they entered the room. Already Mark is starting to struggle against the tape, but duct tape is a wonderful thing and he's making no progress yet.

Ling nods to Melissa, and takes to her task quickly, approaching wrapping the duct tape around their victim with an almost businesslike manner, very deliberate in how she goes about it. It's strong, and thick, but not as thick as the binding on Mark in the event it needs to be cut for any reason. Hands and feet are quickly bound, Ling taking a grip around his feet. "I would prefer not to be here any longer. If you are ready, so am I."

Melissa nods and puts the gun away, then bends down to pick up Jacob's upper body. "Same. Let's go." And she starts walking, as quickly as she dares while moving backwards while carrying a person. Still, it takes longer than she'd like to get down to the car. She fumbles to get her keys out without dropping Jacob, and has to prop him slightly on the car so she can push the button to open the trunk. And…in he goes!

Ling moves carefully but quickly as she walks with Melissa - she's not strong, but she is nimble and able to navigate awkward turns despite what they carry. As he hits the bed of the trunk with a thud, Ling stares down at him for several moments. Her knife, which had still been in hand even as she carried Jacob as a precaution, is finally snapped into place back on her arm. "I trust we are done here?" she asks, leaving Melissa to close the trunk on their new "friend" as she walks back over to the passenger side.

The trunk is closed and Melissa moves around to slip back in the car. As soon as Ling is in, the car is started up and they're off. She nods, "Yeah, we're down here. Just have to drop him off and we can go home." She glances over and grins at Ling. "Not too bad for a couple of chicks, huh? Though I'm gonna hope that you'll help me bandage this graze up when we get home. It doesn't feel too deep."

Ling chuckles, leaning back in her seat and exhaling sharply. "As long as I'm around, Melissa, things will not go less than perfect if I can say anything about it." Ling's hands rise, finger pressed together and raised in a steeple. "And I would be a terrible houseguest if I didn't. I regret not being able to act faster and prevent it."

"Hey, if the worst I got was a graze, then I'm happy," Melissa says, shaking her head. "You did good by the way. Thanks," she says, smiling. She drives to an abandoned shop. As in mechanic shop, not little store. It allows her to drive right into one of the bays, so they can unload Jacob in privacy. He's locked in a supply closet after Melissa doubles up on his duct tape bindings, just to make sure he's not going anywhere. Then, it's off to home, where she does get Ling to bandage what's little more than a scrape. A painful scrape, but still, it's minor.

Look ma, no stitches!

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