Painting The Cellar Red


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Also Featuring:

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Scene Title Painting the Cellar Red
Synopsis An unholy alliance between the Linderman Group and the Ghost Shadows send a strike team into the heart of Flying Dragon territory… and the walls are painted red in the aftermath.
Date Oct 26, 2009

The Red Cellar

Below the Golden luck Dragon Restaurant, past a steel security door and watchful armed guards lies the secret underworld of Chinatown. This enormous basement level to the Golden Luck Dragon serves as the central operations for the Flying Dragons, New York City's branch of the Chinese Mafia. Nicknamed the "Red Cellar", the location gets its monicker from the red velvet curtains serving as the threshhold between the narrow and winding staircase that descends to basement level, and the spacious gallery-like holdings that the Ye family has created here.

A single, central hall serves as a meeting chamber for the Flying Dragons, lit by a pair of chandeliers over worn concrete floors draped with exquisite persian rugs. Antique chairs line the floor in rows with a single central aisle, leading towards a raised speaking platform, behind which hangs a black banner with a red dragon embroidered in silk surrounded by a single ring.

Branching off from this room, are a series of narrow hallways and smaller side rooms that are private meeting chambers for the leadership of the Flying Dragons, and places where they may indulge in their unusual proclivities.

The Society of Heaven and Earth was born as a resistance force to the foreign occupation of the Machu Emperor, loyal to the Han.

There was a time, know those who walk in the same world as the Triads, that the near-legendary locale known only as the Red Cellar was a sacred place, the house of tradition and service to the Ye family. The demise of the venerable man and the hostile takeover of his liberal children, however, splattered its once-holy name with tarnished caresses, making of it a bacchanal of debauchery in the heart of Chinatown.

Known as the Three Harmonies Society, referring to the unity between Heaven, Earth, and Man, it later fell from grace, into greed and human corruption.

The Ghost Shadows' mole, Shu Chin, and his 'assistant' Satoru Lawrence have just emerged from behind curtains of scarlet silk from which women garbed in little save tattoos beckon, from the steady pound of techno music that sets a heart to pumping like a machine, from behind doors of iron guarded by men to whom the life of an outsider is cheap — they have emerged, and left the Golden Luck Dragon Restaurant that sits above the Cellar and rejoined their co-conspirators with the news that Liu Ye is not in attendance.

Like many such historically patriotic organizations, it split into numerous criminal enterprises that became known as the Triads.

As thin and tall as a parchment scarecrow, pale features matching the bald pate of his head, he offers unto John Logan a near-skeletal smile, leaning forward slightly. "Many of his people are here regardless, however, Mister Logan… including Jin Yeoh. I believe you are acquainted? They believe themselves safe within, the thought that they might be assailed at the heart of their power does not occur even to the guards. They have grown fat and lazy on Liu Ye's decadence." That thin smile curves into a vicious smirk, "Many of his people lay with blue poison in their veins, dreaming of previous wonders and chasing the dragon while the dragon prepares to devour them."

The Han Brotherhood has collapsed, and the knives of many drip with the blood of those they would in another age have called brother…

The hour is late on this section of the world, and this corner of Chinatown is as quiet as it gets. Nervous energy manifests as silence from Logan, as he and his personal recruits hang back in a corner of urban landscape of rundown building and concrete, away from the range of street lamps. Beyond the alleyway, a car idles with a driver, his own personal getaway.

The leather of his jacket isn't as shiny as it could be, jeans worn, boots industrial, a shirt stark white beneath the leather with an open collar. A holster rests at his hip, but more conspicuously, an AR-15 dangles from a three-point sling around his torso, and as Shu Chin speaks, an identical one of its kind is offered out towards Toru silently, pale green eyes focused on the telepathic informant.

"Xie xie," Logan attempts, when he's done, before scanning a look around at those gathered. A couple of Staten Island breed thugs watch him boredly. Any minute now, Leo and Teo (how cute) are meant to meet at this spot as well. For now, the Brit chin ups to Toru. "Got 'nything to add?"

This whole situation is weird, and the early hour isn't doing anything to assuage Toru's nervousness about the whole situation. Nevertheless, he managed to keep it cool while inside the restaurant, releasing tension once out of sight in the form of a long sigh and slouching of his shoulders. Posture is for chumps.

Given the fact that he was going to end up going inside at some point, Toru wasn't entirely sure about how to dress for this little mission; eventually he settled on a casual-but-classy Nehru jacket and loose pants. Handgun done without for the scouting, against his previous judgment, he accepts the gun from Logan and waits for Shu Chin to finish.

"Naw, boss, that's pretty much it," is Toru's reply to the question, after a dazed moment of silence. "My thoughts exactly and everything. Word for word." A pause, there. "It's all kinda creepy, red curtains everywhere; like Twin Peaks or somethin'."

The greeting that precedes Sicily is his customary nationalistic conceit: "Buona sera." Teo comes out of the dark seamlessly, the direction and quiet and salutation of him peculiarly choreographed the way that a professional is wont to be. The image does, as ever, fail to hold up as flawlessly under close scrutiny.

The closer he comes, the thinner the polish is: fatigue blotching its shadows in under the stark pallor of his eyes, scuffs on his work pants, a long scratch circling the crown of the motorcycle helmet he's carrying under arm, his own hodgepodged AR-15— 'his own' in terms of the fact he's actually carrying this one, rather than the Scroogy demarcations of ownership— slung diagonal across his back. No scope or assists, nothing overburdened— leaving room for what one might presume was other things to slay people with.

He checks the perimeter, the street's long stretch and bleak building facades, with his eyes before lifting a brief scout-through with his ability. "Are we cutting off fire exits and shit or giving them places to run?" Seizure or slaughtering vengeance? It's only the smallest of semantic differences. Teo doesn't doubt somebody's gonna die.

Leo appears not long after. Got a worn AK-variant over his shoulder, his usual plain dark clothes. Another Staten Island thug indeed. The city breeds them like rats.

What the Ghost Shadows provide in sheer numbers — and they wait in packs, standing apart and dotting the neighbourhood in the same way that they idle with Logan and his assorted crew — it seems as though these ones make up for in the heat they pack. Sending a brisk glance the towards the two newcomers, lingering a look on Teo, Logan shrugs, a hand up to fidget with the strap attached to the rifle he carries. That hand would normally have a cigarette by now, more than likely, pinched between fingers, but there's no such distraction.

"We'll head in together, through the restaurant. Got a group of Zhao's waiting in the wings to see where they start spilling from, if anywhere, and then they'll come in that direction. We're up first."

Either out of a vanity for being first on stage or perhaps some agreement between the rival Triad soldiers and Logan, who knows, but it's stated without real room for argument. Drumming his fingers against the metal and plastic of his rifle, he gives a small, energetic shrug. "And if you see a bloke who happens to look like a Jin Yeoh to you, you can leave 'im to me." And now, quick and sharp as blades can be, Logan casts a grin at the group in the half-light, a hand coming to rest on Toru's shoulder as he adds, "Let's get on with it."

There is a surrealness to stamping across pavement with a rifle come to grip in steady hands, in the middle of New York City. Logan is brisk in leading the way, towards the dark restaurant that looks as innocent as the distant thump of techno music is not. It is not a plan with much finesse, Logan reflects, as out the corner of his eye, a pack of Triad— the ones on their side, don't shoot them, okay, guys— come to walk with them. But it has a certain style all the same.

"Maybe next time," Toru reflects, "We should all wear costumes so we know who not to shoot at. Rhinestone cowboy hats or something." It's half suggestion, half attempt to keep himself together. It's going to be close quarters down there and there's always the possibility of someone forgetting not to aim indiscriminately at the Asians; a constant fear when dealing with white people in general.

He fiddles with the gun a bit while Logan makes his explanation, holding it in a few different ways before deciding exactly how best to hold the thing comfortably, and falls in step with the group a biit on the slow side, hanging towards the back. No need to get in first anyway, that's kind of a silly idea given the circumstances.

Nodding once, Teo proceeds to pick up the queue not far from its end. Not that he's scared or anything, but it seems the prudent thing when so much of one's agenda has gone so dramatically far off the rails in the past several days. Foreseeing much running and ducking over the course of their initial entry, he decides to hold off employing the rifle until that segues into holding a line behind cover somewhere. For now, he tugs out a Browning 9mm, keeps it discreet, pointed down parallel the swivel of his leg— or, at least, as discreet as a semi-automatic that size could possibly be.

It's a harrying thought that Teo succeeds, for the most part, in keeping at the back of his mind: which one of them and who the fuck 'Leo' is.

That's fine. First is for Leos. No, really. He mumbles something about doves and fire and plateglass and pistols, as if trying out a joke on himself. Not all that funny - his smile is only a flicker. He comes up to flank Logan, settling the AK comfortably at his hip like things are about to get a little Scarface. Teo once tried to assure him that killing never became enjoyable. Apparently Leo can't make the same assertion in return.
The two newcomers to the ground - Teodoro and Leonard - are given a suspicious sort of eye by the Ghost Shadows, and particularly Shu Chin, the man's dark eyes in that pale face regarding them as if he were peering not at them but something under the surface. No weapons in his hand as he takes up a place in the midst of the group, surrounded by others.

There's suddenly a lot of movement in the street, and after the shit-storm with FRONTLINE not even a week ago, the Flying Dragons are on high alert. Someone calls someone else, and a woman in her fifties, hair done up in a bun with sticks slid through to hold them steps out from the door of the Golden Luck Dragon, brows lifting high above large eyes as she states, "Mistuh Logan, I am afraid that we are closed for this evening— "

The rifle— a sudden, vicious addition to the Briton's silhouette, sharp angles in hand as he lifts it from its dangle— cracks off a couple of rounds in thunderous announcement, and perhaps in stark contrast to last time, when blood had spilled so quickly upon taking The Dutiful, it's only concrete that spits debris upon connection of bullets, a foot away from the woman's feet. The weapon tilts back up to angle at her, similarly free of scope and other useless things when it comes to close quarters battle, as Logan hisses out a simple demand; "Get the fuck out of my way."

It's really her choice, as to whether she desires to heed him, the Brit moving in brisk, loping strides now that the inevitable alert has gone off. Another squeeze of the trigger towards the entrance of the restaurant, biting flesh if she's neglected to move, hitting glass, wood and shadows if she has.

"Oh Jesus Christ," Toru grumbles under his breath; he figured they'd at least get inside before shit started going down. He focuses on that thought for a smidge too long, before pulling his gun up to his side, shooty end pointed forward, and checks that all appropriate safety measures are turned off. Shooting people isn't really meant to be terribly safe business.

Now that things are actually happening, though, he's quite a bit more relaxed about the situation. Good, confident, somewhat cocky posture going on, he sweeps around looking for anyone who looks like they need to get shot and makes with shooting in their general directions, even making sure not to shoot at the backs of his own people. He's considerate like that.

There are no real drawbacks to being closer to the back of a small army when you have reasonably free access to the perceptions of those up front. Teo watches the woman with a small knot in his brow, eyes focused on some point well past the distrustful scowls of the Chinese cohorts on either side of him, his mouth a line and his shoulders mapped around sharp angles, livewire tension running up his arms, impatient with the length of this prologue, though not for any reason that would actually contradict the letter he'd written before.

Violence simplifies things, which is a little like clarifying things, and out here— waiting between Chinese criminals and behind unrecognizable friends— there's a lot of things that could use it. If someone could get the fucking door—?

That would be Leo's cue, of course. The doors burst open on a wave of force - no need for little gestures, though Leonard winces. Something is still…not right, after the effort required for the vault. He's up right at Logan's elbow now, AK in his arms, ready to fire - going first to clear the room. Or walk into a wall of bullets, knowing his luck. His power goes before him like a thunderclap, though - paper of all kinds goes flying like it's suddenly confetti.

The echo of Logan's gunfire comes back not only as the usual distant thunder, but with the clack-clack-clack of a dozen windows being sharply shuttered in the wake of renewed violence. This is Chinatown. The people who live here simply do not involve themselves in such matters, or speak of them.

As fragments of concrete are showered over the woman's carefully bound, sandal-covered feet, she jerks back— directing a wide-eyed, offended look in Logan's direction, as if he were no more than one of her grandchildren causing some ruckus in her home. She steps sharply to one side, hands lifting to adjust the bun of her hair as she replies to the demand with a sharp sniff.

The wood and paper of the front door shatter beneath the punishing hail of ammunition, slivers flying everywhere, and then that telekinetic shockwave slams the doors off their hinges, bits of wood with fluttering trails scattering everywhere and leaving a semicircle of debris before the entrance. The dimly-lit interior of the two floor restaurant is… empty. Not a soul to be seen, the place as deserted as a ghost town. Tables draped with cloths, hanging lanterns flickering with soft illumination, the balcony to the upper floor darkened and uninhabited.

Shu stops in his tracks to regard the older woman with a tight frown of thin lips. "They're all downstairs," he says in a distracted tone of voice, "Someone figured out that something was wrong. We need to move quickly. Xiang, stay here, watch her." One of the Ghost Shadows, a man whose face is covered in black-light tattoos, unseen save for a faint impression in this light, lingers behind the group with a hand-held uzi in hand, holding it on the older woman with a gap-toothed smirk down at her.

The sudden flare of telekinesis has Logan ducking his head a little, but he's certainly moving all the same, stepping through the ruined door and into the quiet restaurant. Looking back at Shu, Logan nods his comprehension and is quick to address his recruits, near vibrating with energy, enough that his grip on his rifle might be good to steer clear from. "Toru, take Leonard, " speaking of his rifle, he gestures to Leo with it, "to the basement door and see that he does— the ripping upping thing again." A glance to Leo to see that he's up for this, before he glances to Teo. "We'll be right behind. Move."

A sharp nod is given in reply to Logan, and Toru looks to Leonard, nodding sharply again, though this time in the direction of that door. "This way, homes." How convenient that he'd been here earlier and knows where that door is, and all. Toru takes the lead, though he doesn't stray too far ahead of Leo, keeping the rifle in hand and keeping a sharp eye about just in case anyone does show up. Maybe Leo won't have to do the rippy trick again after all.

For the third time since class started, the exchange student in the back has to corrall his eyes back into focus. There's a grunt for the Englishman that he's suddenly trampling alongside, muffled by the confines of his helmet, belated 'verbal' acknowledgment of the order, before he calls out to the halfbreed and the anonymous black-haired thug: "Three or four guys behind an iron door somewhere around here.

"Armed." A beat's pause, filled in by the grind and tinkle of heavy footwear across artificial litter, masonry and shredded fiber, Teo's shadow hanging long-limbed over folded tables. The Browning shifts in the whitening grip of his hand. The left corner of his mouth twists downward, abruptly, some oil-slick residue of humor filtering gamey into the air. "And some hooker getting busy." Business can't be that unusual, then. Surely?

"Better to stay behind or beside me," Leo advises Toru. He's pulled the hood of his hoodie down, exposes that stubbled scalp, the dark eyes. There's the heavy trot of his boots on the glossy floor, eyes narrowed. Whomever's down there is in for a nasty surprise. Basement door, ripping up. He's so very good at it. And enthused about his work. Really - sets to work battering it down the minute he gets to it.

«Flesh Begets Flesh»

Thus speaks the legend writ above the iron door at the bottom of the stairs that Toru leads Leo and most of the Ghost Shadow thugs down to; heavy-capped rivets holding the door in place, an ornate dragon pattern hammered out upon its face. A dragon that dents— cracks— as the telekinetic begins to batter at the secure door, hollow THOOMS of impact echoing throughout the entire restaurant, and no doubt the basement levels beyond.

"Are we going to go, gentlemen," asks Shu, ever-polite, as he pauses behind with Teo and Logan, looking between the pair with shaven brows furrowed slightly, "Or do you plan on letting the Ghost Shadows do all th— "

A liquid gllrk from behind has him whirling just in time to see Xiang hit the ground with his throat slit, grasping desperately at the widening pool of blood spreading from the deft slice that cut straight through to the esophagus. The old woman is nowhere to be seen.


The door explodes inwards finally as the hinges give way, slamming into the once-sacred halls with a roar of impact as it hits the carpet beyond and slides a few meters, leaving a red trail where it caught one of the guards beneath it. There's a breath of silence mingled with the pound of techno— and then gunfire rattles through the doorway in wild sprays from either side of where the unfortunate Triad was.

"Jesus," Logan hisses, staring down at the downed Triad gang member before slicing a glance back up at Shu. The sound of the door giving in explosive kinetic energy spurs him to action, "s'pose we can't, can we," before the Englishman stays true to his word of dogging the telekine and— Toru's heels, despite the sound of spitting bullets coming up from the basement door. It has him veering off to the left, bouncing his shoulder off a corner of wall and happy to have the telekinetic in front of him.

One, two seconds worth of rapid fire shooting rattles his rifle when he's sure there's a fighting chance of maybe not hitting Leo and Toru when he does it. There's the heavy thud of foot steps from one of his Staten Island thugs bringing up the rear, a shotgun in hand.

At Leonard's suggestion, Toru quickly ducks behind the man with a nod, replying, "Just makin' sure you knew the way." He stands off to one side when Leo starts banging the door down, watching with a certain level of impressed-ness at the whole business. But once it's just about done with, he realizes now might be a good time to not be standing in the doorway and shifts off to one side, rather in time to find a crowd of allies bringing up the rear. Oh, hey guys.

Rather coincidentally he decides to veer to the left side with Logan, crouching to the ground — finding someplace to do so that won't involve tangling — and leans forward to let off a few rounds downstairs, before pulling back again.

Life being problematic. Teo ducks down, finds his right leg stiffening in the effort not to lose purchase on the hard floor where Shu's arterial spray ends up streaking crazy patterns where his boot sole was coming down. He pitches his weight over to his left to compensate, ends up grinding a shoulder into the wall, pulling a face in the half-light of the room against the increasing echoes wallowing in one ear and the fraying clip of bullets against the corner of the wall nearest to him. Fucking A. "Hey. Hey.

"Can you pick— up— the door and push them back?" He's yelling at the telekinetic, though it's hard to tell in the sporadic darkness between muzzle flashes. There's no name accompanying the request, nor obvious recognition. Cramped down against the base of the wall, Teo keeps his guard as complete as he can make it, searching the darkness for any sign of their Asian comrade's murderer. It doesn't escape his attention that the old woman's gone, but it's a double-take, a brow furrowed in perplexity that joins this revelation.

Later, there will be regret, the terrible depression that follows battle. Right now, Leo and his power are riding high on adrenaline. The aim with the gun remains precise. The telekinesis, however, is still blunt….less of those shockwaves, in favor of flinging things at random, dragging the occasional Triad goon unfortunate enough to get in his way and slamming them into the wall.

It takes a second for Teo's request to penetrate, but it does get through. The door lifts, wobbles, and begins to glide, stately at first and then faster, trying to force them back. Like a slow battering ram.

A rough kiai shout comes from one of the Ghost Shadows, who makes a lunge for the door only to take a bullet through the cheek; jaw shattering, his head snapped around as he collapses with a gurgle of teeth and blood to the floor. The trade of bullets and telekinesis slowly end up pushing the door's guards back, however, the battle pouring past the curtains of red velvet and out into the central hall.

The banner of the Flying Dragons hangs silken from the ceiling behind the dias, unruffled by the gun battle by some miracle so far - but the antique chairs lined in rows have been bowled over, and as the assailants storm out into the room one of the chandeliers is hit, fragments of crystal raining down atop persian rugs stained with blood in a glittering rainbow.

The pulse-pounding beat can only cover so much in the way of gunfire, and all chaos breaks loose; the scream of women venturing out from the side halls to see bodies on the floor, the grunt and stumble of men rousing themselves from the side rooms, grabbing for pants and weapons. They have mere moments to secure the hall before the next wave of the battle begins.

Cartridges shower down in golden coin-clinks against the ground, bouncing not so far from where Toru's is crouched but skittering away all the same, but Logan abruptly ceases fire as Leo forces back the battle with the door as their shield. Angling his weapon to check his clip, Logan probably shouldn't have to say let's go as he he pushes himself off his lean against the wall, headed for the wrecked doorway, the stairs, the decadent hall at a long legged run.

No need for single-file silliness at this point, once they're clear of the corridor, and it only takes about a few seconds for Logan to waste his clip, tearing through fine antique furniture, tearing through paintings on the walls, as often as he hits flesh. Rapid fire bursts in the direction of movement, in peripheral flashes of weapon, but it's gone just like that.

A shotgun's blam echoes through the hallway as the Staten Island resident fires off a single round towards a shadowy door.

The emptied magazine hits and bounces off the floor as Logan loosens it, hand going to his pocket for the next as he moves to duck out of possible line of fire; he spares a glance back to his recruit, green eyes flashing, either predatory or just shining with adrenaline.

Once Leo starts shoving the Triads back with the door, Toru takes that opportunity to do the same clip-checking as Logan. And he brushes at his hair a bit; a few empty cartridges plinked off his hair before hitting the ground, and while none of them stayed for long, the compulsion to brush away phantoms is nonetheless present. Moving on~

He lets Logan take the lead again, staying huddled towards the ground on the way down the stairs, though once they actually hit the bottom he's upright again, and goes for a slightly haphazard spray of bullets. Firing at signs of movement, be they people or just curtains moving in the breeze caused by hitting by other bullets, and firing at anyplace that looks like there could at some point be people emerging. Just to be on the safe side.

Out of the corridor, Teo feels like he can breathe again. The Cellar room's vast proportions and opulent colors are anything but claustraphobic, even when the air is compacted by the aerial trails and reverberations of telekinesis, rifle rounds, their smaller and slightly lower-velocity cousins, shredding curtain, and a not inconsiderable amount of full-bellied shouting.

yWincing away from the razor-clawed scratch of erupting chandalier crystal, Teo hurdles abruptly to the left, slamming his arm into another hapless chair at enough velocity to tilt it alarmingly on its axis, but the furniture doesn't quite fall. The Browning— barely spent— is shuffled away safetied underneath the fabric of his jacket, and the AR-15 pulled down off his back with a snakey rub of its sling strap and dull black gunmetal swiveling in the chug of callused fingers and palm before he sets its butt against his shoulder. Sights down the rifle's long barrel, with a quick request that whatever entity would find the balance of moral compromise and more existential darkness palatable make sure the other chandalier stays bright enough to see by, before he pulls the trigger.

Over two inches long, the bottlenecked round Swisses a hole far larger than the case's diameter otherwise would have been right through the chair on the aisle's other side before burying itself amid a cone-shaped eruption of blood and surprised flesh in the gut of a man halfway out of his pleasure chamber. Teo turns the small rifle a little bit to the right, sights again.

It's been a long time since the real berserker fury was on him. But here it is, and Leo is hagridden, almost literally. "We gotta get moving," he says, from between gritted teeth. His rifle's forgotten entirely, his eyes are wide and bloodshoot, and his face is glazed with sweat. "Lead the way." It's not clear to whom he's speaking.

It seems to last forever, even if it's only a few moments. The crack of gunfire through the air, the cries of the injured as blood stains the priceless rugs, the terrified screams of the innocent hiding behind pillars and curtains, the steady, thready beat of one's own heart loud in one's ears as blood flowing with adrenaline makes each second seem like minutes. Split-second decisions between life and death, as bullets fly and bodies fall…

…but then a stray bullet hits just the right speaker, and with a sqwalk of feedback the music cuts out. As it so happens, there's a pause in the gunfire just then as targets become sparse, the Cellar falling into a dead silence that reverberates with the cacophany of mere moments before. Most of the Ghost Shadows' soldiers are on the ground along with the Flying Dragons. Feet crunch on crystal, the merely injured groan softly on the floor, and in the silence a young woman draped in black hair to her ankles - and not much else save porcelain skin covered in tattoos - breaks from cover and throws herself atop one of the bodies, sobbing against a dead man's chest.

"John Logan." The accented, snide voice of Jin Yeoh comes from nowhere, echoes bent through audiokinesis from somewhere in the underground rooms, "I knew that I hadn't broken you yet. I should never have trusted Monroe or his friend to stay."

RATATATATatgsersfhdsf. Is approximately the reaction Jin Yeoh's surround sound gets as Logan wildly points the reloaded assault rifle in what seems to be the logical direction at first, but bullets only tear through wall plaster and disappear into an empty door until he has enough thought to cease fire. Leo's words get a snarl from Logan, "Just 'ang on," impatiently hissed, pale eyes switching towards the door they just came out of. He knows a telepath that can be thought at, and, in the hopes that Shu is anything alike—

Where is Jin Yeoh? is a thought that scrabbles tiny claws at the edges of consciousness, a voice in the dark.

Not completely willing to leave that to fate, however, Logan once more checks his clip as he asks over it, in Teo's direction, "Can you find out where they came from?" His injured hand, thus far used to stabilise his gun as his left operates the trigger, drifts to check that his sidearm is still in place.

Teo pages: ‘_` can i find out where they came from
It takes Toru a moment to stop with the madcap shooting, but the voice saying Logan’s name does snap him out of it a bit. He fires a spray at the far wall, not really sure where the voice is coming from (or who it's attached to), but stops again once he works out that it's funky mind powers. Well then.

The clip, not quite empty but empty enough that reloading is the better option, is discarded and replaced, almost casually; like adjusting a wristwatch. "Keep your temper, Logan," is murmured just audibly, then after a moment he looks down at the sobbing hooker with a sneer, glances around. "Is someone gonna shut that bitch up or do I gotta be the asshole?"

Can he? Teo doesn't know. He hunkers down low behind the cracked pieces of chair he's taken shelter behind, his finger motionless in the trigger-guard of his weapon and his features creased with concentration. It isn't the easiest scene to weed any single target out of, even one presumably as distinctive as the audiokinetic in question. Too many bodies. He finds dozens of them bent and broken on the floor, the pain indistinct in the limited interface of his projection. Others huddled, wheezing breath and dripping snot, screening the fight through the liquid distortion of tears. Long, long, too-long hair slicked like oil crude down below the one mourning woman's arms.

One tattooed hand on the wall. Big fella. But next over, then— there. "Man in white," he says, sidelong, at Leonard or Logan or maybe both. He doesn't even have to shout now, it's so quiet outside the one damsel's grunts and snivelling of grief. Teo jerks his head, sending a small shudder of glass fragments and plaster loosing off his bristly off-blond hair. "Left, end of the hall— one of those rooms. Not sure: the sound's all fucked up."

"Leave 'er alone," Leo says,and it's a growl. What an odd litle demonstration of chivalry, isn't it? He's backed himself up to a presumably safe wall, reloading his gun with absentminded grace. Looks to Logan - it's still his show.

If Shu can hear the thoughts being broadcast at him, he shows no sign of it, lingering behind with two remaining members of the Ghost Shadows to keep the door secure. If truth be told, he can hear them just fine— he just disapproves of these… westerners being brought into this business in the first place. He's loyal, but that doesn't mean he has to push it.

At the question about the 'bitch' there's a hitch of breath from the floor, head lifting to stare through a curtain of dark hair at Toru for a moment before there's a growl of chivalrous protection from one man. The tattooed woman, slight and draped in a loose robe that covers nothing at all, scrambles to her feet and lunges over to try and burrow in against Leo's side in a sweep of ankle-length hair over his arm and body, apparently hoping she won't be struck or killed for it. "«No, no, please don't let them hurt me…»" Of course, she's nattering on in Mandarin, so most of them probably don't understand her.

Then? Then all hell really breaks loose.

A sonic shriek echoes suddenly through the Red Cellar, causing bits of glass and crystal to shatter— including the chandeliers above the intruders, which explode, bits of jagged crystal and glass raining down about them. None large or fast enough to kill, but the rain of sharp crystal's dangerous enough regardless.

A half-moment later, a wall between two doors crashes down into the room, concrete chunks smashed outwards by a massive, tattooed fist. The cloud of dust barely obscures Lao-Yan's massive, tattooed and bare-chested form as he bursts out with a roar, massive arms catching around the nearest figure - which turns out to be Toru - and he squeezes, those massive python-like muscles crushing inwards. The sound of bone cracking joins with the other sounds in the air. The half-breed, it seems, isn't as resilient as a concrete wall.

Logan is opening his mouth to respond to Leo, to gesture towards the varied doors— when the crack of glass above them is almost drowned out by the sonic squeal itself, but Logan has instinct enough to at release his rifle, let it puppet jerk off its sling, in favour of diving for some semblance of cover, arms up and glassy shards bouncing off leather-clad limbs up to cage over a ducked blonde head. "Fucking wanker," is muttered, the strip club manager quick to skitter away around a corner at the sound of the wall crashing open.

It would be fortunate, if Logan had been around long enough to see, and green eyes could flare brightly, and strength can be muffled like a flame being doused.

Instead, his foot falls echo down the corridor indicated by Teo in hunt of the audiokinetic, heart pounding with some combination of anger and pleasure for the chase itself. One of those rooms— doors are both kicked or shouldered open, the nose of the rifle pointed inside, before he moves on.

Walls bursting out are generally enough to get Toru jumping back, though initially he figures it's all part of the audiokinetic's game — which isn't FUN, but isn't all that bad. Nonetheless, he's crouched a bit anyway, empty hand up to cover his head, which just means one of his arms is crushed against his body while the free one is able to flail about a moment until Toru catches up with what's happening.

Which is something shitty in itself. There's a cry of pain when Lao-Yan starts squeezing, breathing gets significantly more difficult, and it takes a minute for him to think to use his own ability. Too long, really; while he can get a grip on the larger man's arm, taking the opportunity to start turning the skin he grips into a sheet of bone, which should hopefully be a rather painful experience for the huge Chinee guy, but when his own bones start cracking he cries out again, squinching eyes shut and resorting to just punching with that hand and firing his rifle aimlessly with the other.

Teo's understanding of Mandarin is better than fair. 'No, no, please don't let them hurt me' seems like an appropriate response, except— you know— in that she obviously understands English well enough to parse the threat that the halfbreed was issuing. The halfbreed is no longer issuing threats, it should be noted. Jesus fuck: Teodoro shouldn't be surprised at the size of the man attached to the ink-riddled hand he'd snapshot seconds ago, but he's — really — fuckin' — big, and stronger than strong.

Str— ong— as—

It only takes about seven, eight seconds for realization to cycle through, and for Teo to turn his rifle on Lao-Yan and the kid, but seven seconds is a long time to be in Lao-Yan's arms: that isn't the strength of a well-built man. His angle's off, though.

Irony of ironies, Satoru's in the way, the rifle kicks, the math doesn't add up and it's only degrees and margins of probability that don't match up, fractions, but enough that it springs Teo up to his feet in a moment, swearing, flipping his rifle out of his way, bolting toward the two men with a knife up in his hand. Though he isn't small in the estimation of most, he's like a squirrel next to a locomotive pitted against the Triad enforcer, banking hard on the ruined carpet before lunging hard at the man's shoulder. Naked steel snakes toward the joint, aimed to insinuate itself in the tendoned meet between bones.

Bits of crystal and glass….which part over Leo like water. He's begun to tired, but not truly to flag. Miles to go before I sleep, etc, etc. And then Toru's getting bear-hugged….by…what IS that? The huge Mongolian guy from Raiders of the Lost Ark? The telekinetic is promptly slinging bits of glass right at the newcomer's eyes, before he reaches out to try and simply close the giant's throat. So he learned his techniques from watching Vader chide Imperials for failure. "God DAMN it," he rages at Logan, who is suddenly nowhere to be seen.

The corded muscles of the Triad's enforcer are driven by his ability, not mere physics—even as they snap through the bone of his own ossified flesh, blood gushing forth between the shattered plates as he squeezes tighter still about the smaller man, his mouth opening in a roar of pain and drug-fueled defiance, tattooed face a mask of fury, one eye bursting in a splash of blood as telekinetically-hurled glass carves into his face. More bone breaks, splinters, shards driven into softer, jiggling bits inside that are probably very important. Blood on Toru's lips; breath becoming more and more difficult to draw into abused lungs. The knife plunges into Lao-Yan's shoulder, sawing into tough, resilient tendon that almost seems to be getting harder the longer it's worked at, one arm beginning to weaken in its crushing grasp. Will it be fast enough, though?

Just before the 'I find your lack of faith disturbing' manuever can shut down the big man's throat, however, the tattooed woman's hair spills upwards as if gravity was reversing— subtle threads twisting up to wind around Leo's throat and constrict, others twisting about his arms as she pulls a knife from somewhere with a hissed word or three in her own tongue. A telekinetic blast sends her flying into one of the side rooms— only to drag him with her by that strangely resilient hair, a mighty crash suggesting their struggle continues within.

Meanwhile, Logan's hunt brings a door slammed open under his boot, empty room beyond, and he turns— before Jin lunges out of the room behind him from hiding, stripped from the waist up, bandaging wrapped about one shoulder and gauze padding a gunshot wound to the side of his chest, near the shoulder. A gold-plated nine-mil's in hand, a sharp crack in the air as he takes a shot, rather than utilizing his power. Maybe he's a little strained still from the past week…

Logan gives a cry of surprise, instincts working faster than his head as he fairly leaps to the side at the glint of a gun, bullet burying into plaster where he'd been standing. Not smart enough, perhaps, to duck into the darkness of the empty room, but that does afford him one bonus. His eyes flare green in the dim corridor, Jin's power stolen away as if perhaps it was never there, or wrapped in so much cotton wool as to be deafened.

Bullets tear into plaster as the trigger is pulled, haphazard and wild, enough to hit the ceiling, under thunderous, repetitive lightning cracks of bullets getting loosed from the rifle and the steady tinkle of spent cartridges all mute down to an impotent click-click-click-click-click-click-


The rifle is swung around onto his back, sidearm reached for as Logan ducks into the frame of another doorway. "Still with me, Yeoh?" is sneered out, listening closely, eyes still illuminated in their poison-warning of ability negating.

And still Toru struggles, though it's getting increasingly weaker. Can't breathe well, and it just hurts to move at all eventually. To his credit, though, he does stop shooting his gun when he sees Teo moving in, at the fringes of his vision. He drops the gun, though with his arm pinned he can't really use his hand anyway, but does once again grip Lao's arm to get some more boning in. Let go, dammit!

Once Teo is up there and, like, stabbing into the dude, Toru looks over at him with a pained expression, and oh god he's crying and this is embarassing, and gasps, hoarsly, "Where's John?"

The object of his dying affections would probably slap him if he heard that, but that's life.

Minea Dahl's case notwithstanding, Teo's a reliable guy once he's agreeably defined himself as on your side. That doesn't always mean he's particularly honest. "He's coming," the Sicilian rasps out between gritted teeth. John isn't coming. Leo's gone now. Neither comrade ranks more important than the other in the mental schematic of Teo's priorities: Toru ranks above both, as he gutters and crumples in the vise of Lao-Yan's arms.

The enforcer's pain tolerance is admirable and problematic, both; you'd think, by now, the giant would've dropped the weedy bone-manipulating kid and refocused his attention on fascist Italy. Fuck. It's a clumsy, hop-skipping, struggling absurdity of a struggle— Teo hoops his arm around the man's neck, temporarily taking up where the telekinesis left off, kicks off the ground, thrice, before he manages to find enough purchase to koala-cling uglily onto the man's back. Heave himself up high enough to hew the knife, this time, into the meaty side of Lao-Yan's neck.

The bullets kick up concrete and plaster as Jin continues past, scampering across the central hall into the room opposite; his back slamming up against the wall for cover as he takes a breath, slender jaw tensing as he feels his power muffled, like swollen glands in his throat. "I liked you better crying, gwailo," he taunts across the hall, "I'll hear them again before we're— "

Not being a complete idiot, Jin doesn't finish his gloating before pushing himself back out from cover again, hoping to catch Logan off-guard as he charges the other doorway at a stalk, gold-plated gun held up sideways gangsta-style as he opens fire again, the pistol's hammer coming down in a sharp bang-bang-bang.

The flesh of Lao-Yan's arms grows pale, hard, serrated bone forming out of muscle as the young man being crushed lashes out desperately with his power— adrenaline pumped by fear fueling it to greater heights than ever, ossification spreading rapidly through the enforcer's body. The drug-crazyed, single-minded thug's face twists into a rictus—and then the blade cleaves into his neck, cutting between vertebrae a moment before bone seals the wound and captures Teo's knife.

Lao-Yan's bloodied, maddened face is an unmoving mask of bone staring down at Toru as he crumples, falling down to his knees, then forward as he finally surrenders to the damage done. Those ossified arms still locked about the weedy kid in a deadly embrace of bone, no longer able to release their captive, holding shattered ribs buried in vital organs, blood pooling within him in places they probably shouldn't be. He's dying, the edges of the world growing fuzzy even as the pain begins to recede, and Teo's the only one to know it.

There's no scream of pain as Jin starts firing into room, but the thunderclaps of his own weapon do muffle something even as much as Logan flinches back away from the door. With the Chinaman taking those first charging steps, it's the erstwhile pimp that gets the awesome position of being cornered within the room that smells of wine and incense, gun in his hand or not, and so—

At the flash of gold as Jin's own Browning leads him into the little drug den, it's with a most fierce, arcing swing that the rifle Logan's been carrying comes down like a club onto the audiokinetic's hand, eyes bright green in the dimness before he's swinging the weapon around again in a trajectory aimed towards Jin's face.

Logan's leather jacket shifts with his movements to reveal flashes of the white shirt beneath it, and wine-blossoms of blood in the fabric can be seen in darting glimpses.

Hindsight is 20/20, and Toru is now regretting the idea to use his ability. He was panicking, of course, but this is what he has to show for it. Being crushed under a bone statue with giant bone arms wrapped around his ribs and various other ailments. He scrabbles at the ground with his free hand, not really even struggling anymore, just flailing desperately.

'John's coming' is a small comfort, though if he was just a bit more aware of his surroundings he'd realize it's a lie. Shallow exhales are accompanied by blood escaping his lips and, unable to find Teo to actually face him, a weak, "Help" is pleaded from underneath Lao-Yan. Followed shortly by his breaths sounding a bit less forced as the boy slips out of consciousness.

Before long, they stop altogether; Teo can cross a name off the list of goons he needs to concern himself with.

When Teo's feet connect with floor again, it doesn't bring him any real sense of reassurance.

The tattooed Leviathan he was piggybacking hits the ground with a heavier weight, but Toru's despite being lighter, quieter by far, carries different finality with it. 'John's coming' is the only token of comfort the Sicilian can think to offer. While he could lever Lao-Yan's body off, Satoru's dying, squashed like a pitiful insect and punctured in the lungs, going to suffocate and bleed to death in the same oozing motion, it's only a matter of how long it t—

This would be bad time for a post-traumatic stress flashback. Teo swallows something tastes like bile. Waits until the kid's eyes on the sliver he can see of his face slack shut, before he reaches down, steels the heels of his hands up against the rigidly contorted wall of flesh to rock the ossified wreckage of the enforcer's corpse off him. He yanks the assault rifle off Toru's ruined body in an expedient motion, takes a quick astral check that the telekinetic American is faring all right against barber shop before he steps over one bleeding Ghost Shadow 49er. Looking for Logan, because that means looking away.

"Jin!" he hollers, the man's name first before the false promise is delivered in Cantonese: "Zici lei loh!" They aren't, of course. No reinforcements. A minor distraction, as long as Teo feels like we have lost enough people to them tonight.

Apparently, Jin didn't think that Logan would lower himself to mere physical combat, from the briefly shocked expression upon his face as the rifle cracks into his hand, the ill-gripped pistol sent to the floor with a clatter— and then he's distracted by a shout from across the Cellar, his nose broken in a spatter of blood from the upswing. He's sent staggering back several steps, clutching at his face and swearing profusely in his native tongue.

Seemingly contented at the work done here, Shu turns to walk back up the steps, his two remaining Red Poles stepping after him as he heads up to the restaurant, already dialing his phone to report success.

Never make a mistake about what Logan, hissing spitting Brixton native that he is, won't lower himself to. The rifle falls with a clatter, Logan's face set into grim angles as he kicks Jin's own fallen weapon some several feet out of convenience, with his own sidearm being taken back into hand. His left hand, of course, because while the two-handed nature of the rifle compensated for the fact he has two broken fingers on his strong hand, a pistol is less forgiving.

All the same. Bang-bang-bang goes the matte black gun, kicking light in his hands as he shoots and shoots. Don't tell Logan, but girls shoot like this too, say statistics, spending every bullet there is until the thing is either gone or dead. Of course, no one says it isn't effective.

Hollered Chinese is not understood, but Teo's voice is faintly registered. It's more than time to go.

By the time Leonard crawls out of his catfight, there's loose threads of black hair hanging off his arms and his eyes look like they were transplanted from a skull bigger than the one his skin is clinging gaunt to. Berzerker's fury is a look that, by definition, suits no one, least of all the ones it comes easy to.

Teo marks the telekinetic's return with a glance as cursory as the one that the halfbreed child gets at his feet. "Logan!" he shouts out. His voice carries through the auditorium with some awful resonance, jarring discordant in the stillness. "We're pulling out."

The audiokinetic opens his mouth to scream—

— but there's no sound that Logan hears save the bang-bang-bang of the gun in his hand, the bandages across Jin Yeoh's chest splattered with red as bone and flesh are torn asunder again and again. He falls; bucks, twitches with every impact, and then is still, his pretty face tilting to one side and a thin line of red trickling from the corner of his mouth.

Logan is breathing in reedy, quick inhales and exhales, gun still poised even as Jin crumples to the ground in a mess of flesh and blood. Teo's bark down the corridor gets the Brit moving— not immediately out the door, stopping to collect up the shining gold pistol, turning it over in his hands before slipping it into the pocket with which he'd stored the spent magazine. The rifle is picked up, the sling hooked back around him, and almost delicately, Logan picks his way past the fallen audiokinetic.

"Time to go," is agreed upon, looking between Teo and Leonard. The shotgun wielder is a pile on the ground— one less set of wages to distribute, hoorah— and then around the wreck of the room. It doesn't take overly long, really, for Logan to set his eyes on where the gigundous superstrength Flying Dragon is fallen, the characteristic cracking of bone plates recognisable to Logan's eyes.

Which only logically leads to where Toru is in a heap just beside him. Logan stops, and then is quick to throw an accusatory, ice-pale glare Teo's way. Accusing of what is impossible to discern, but rather than make his way for the exit, Logan is quick to brush by both men and head towards the two supremely different bodies. Ossified dead flesh is shoved away, before Logan is tugging, angling at Toru's form, studying his face until—

"Help me get 'im up," is snapped over his shoulder.

Sicilian and American move to the assist in almost the same motion, only Leonard's is without hands. Telekinesis creaks through the ragged litter of torn plaster, rent carpet fibers, glass fragments, scissors its way up through the air until the dead weight of Satoru's body against Logan's shoulder is alleviated near to nothing. Teo's grasp on the corpse's other arm is almost an afterthought, a little help steering, a token contribution to whatever John Logan has that passes for need of peace of mind.

Neither Leonard nor Teo point out that Satoru isn't a 'him' so much as an 'it,' now. Perhaps wiser still, they don't ask questions. They merely concede to earn their pay, dragging the empty husk inside of which the halfbreed used to reside out of the strewn mess, toward the dark rectangle of the door.

The telekinesis is fucking weird, by the way, and Leonard gets a distrustful glance despite the usefulness, but Logan doesn't bitch. Actually, he's not saying anything, a hand gripping onto Toru's jacket and moving with cautious as he bleeds some more. Perhaps, with an arm secure around the dead body being carried along the ground, Logan leans on it some instead of strictly guide.

Pragmatism— because for everything that is Logan, he does have this, somewhere sidled close to self-preservation like silver lining— closes down like a steel trap on almost everything as Logan thinks enough to send out a psychic line, silver thread tugging at an employee's consciousness, not Shu. A Tongan man, who twists a key into a car and brings it to life, and starts to veer it around to the front of the building.

A couple of awkward minutes later, the sleek car is screaming out of Chinatown, and Logan has a half-Jap sprawled in his lap, and isn't telling Eloni where he wants to go. Still, they drive away.

There will be reinforcements coming, no doubt, but by the time more 49ers and Red Poles arrive the others are gone… and other events occuring this night have sent the Flying Dragons into a tailspin. Two dozen bodies or more scatter across the floor of the heart of Liu Ye's power, with the survivors desperately hoping their brothers and sisters will reach them before their enemies. No sirens rise in the night, no police or ambulances to come to their aid.

From the Thirty-Six Traditional Oaths of the Triad:

I must not trespass upon the territory occupied by my sworn brothers. I shall be killed by five thunderbolts if I pretend to have no knowledge of my brothers' rights in such matters…

Tonight, the Red Cellar truly runs red.

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