15664/A Simple Retrieval Mission

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A Simple Retrieval Mission
Date of Scene: 02 October 2023
Location: Small Town in Germany
Synopsis: Captain America and Spider-Woman go on a mission to extract a Hydra scentist. They discover some alarming research that seems to involve them in some way.
Cast of Characters: Spider-Woman (Drew), Captain America

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
The mission is tasked through SHIELD command, which is not unusual for SHIELD missions. What probably /is/ unusual -- at the moment -- is that while Steve is asked to lead and pick his team, there's a liner note to say that one Jessica Drew needs to be on this specific mission. Given the woman's been pretty much a walking advertisement for PTSD since her return from her long term undercover mission, this is probably a surprise.

And maybe a worry.

Their target: a suspected HYDRA base near a small town in Germany. Such bases are a dime-a-dozen, and so well known to the Avengers in general and Steve in specific that he can probably guess the layout just with a single glance at the overhead satellite shots he's provided with.

This mission though has a specific primary objective: find, and retrieve -- unharmed -- one German scientist, Dr. Janik Nemetz, along with any records of his research. The secondary objective is probably more satisfying: destroy the base and its contents.

Jessica Drew shows up to the quinjet, dressed in her Spider-Woman costume. The half-mask covers her eyes though not her mouth, and she taps with a repetitiveness against the chair's arm as their pilot carries them to the destination.
Captain America has posed:
It is certainly no unusual thing for either Steve Rogers or the Avengers to get a mission directly from SHIELD.

While it's not like Steve has been back from his last mission for a particularly extended period of time, it is pretty rare when Captain America isn't ready, willing and able to stand up and do what's needed. This time is no different of course, though the fact that so many other Avengers are busy means that the bulk of the team is made up of SHIELD agents.

Capable and professional no doubt, but they don't pack quite the punch that any of the other Avengers might.

The note that said to include Jessica Drew on the team was a little more of a surprise and while he isn't above questioning orders when he believes it is necessary, it would seem that he doesn't feel that it is necessary this time. Perhaps he simply believes it is important to keep her engaged with the world and this -- while not necessarily as good a way as any -- is a lot harder to avoid.

And Steve certainly knows a thing or two about staying engaged with the world.

Settled in the rear compartment of the QUinjet, the Super Solider idly goes through his pack, shooting the occasional glance towards Spider-Woman. "You ready?" he asks quietly, a hint of concern clearly present in his voice.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Jessica Drew, if nothing else, is fully used to blustering her way through any given event. Pretending like she's totally fine is right on that list. "Sure," she answers Steve, cheerfully. "I always love punching Hydra agents. It's my second favorite past time, immediately behind eating cheeseburgers."

All very true, though of course that concern isn't unfounded. There's a tenseness in her manner. Could just be nerves.

"You nervous at all after a break? Thinking you forgot how to do all this?" she asks Steve, oh-so-casually. "No, of course you're not," she answers herself, with a grimace. "Never mind."

She's got the standard-issue load out -- a backpack with a change of clothes, some food and water and a sat phone. No spare weapons or ammo in her things: she tends not to use them, even if she's fully capable.

"Coming up on the drop point, Cap!" calls the co-pilot, as he opens the ramp. Almost everyone else wears parachutes. Not Jessica. She doesn't need it with the ability to glide in her suit.
Captain America has posed:
Certainly it doesn't seem like Captain America ever lets himself get phased by nerves.

the fact that she would have to ask a question like that doesn't seem to phase Steve. If anything it seems to reassure him a little and he offers a brief smile, finishing going through his gear, making sure it's stowed properly before rather casually slinging that heavy pack over his shoulders. "Almost before every single msision," he says quietly.

Humoring her? Unlikely. He's pretty big on the whole truth thing afterall. It's pretty reasonable for anyone who knows him though. He never goes looking for a fight/ He's just always willing to take one up when the cause is just.

Clapping a hand on her shoulder, the Super Soldier tuirns towards the rear of the plane, walking towards where the landing ramp will open in mere moments and when that confirmation comes from the cockpit he flashes a signal, giving the co-pilot the thumbs-up.

While he has been known to just jump out of planes without a parachute, that's normally above water. So today he does indeed have one in place. But he still doesn't hesitate as that ramp begins to lower, walking down that increasingly steep incline before hurling himself out into midair.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"You're just trying to make me feel better," Jessica accuses Steve, with a faux-narrowing of eyes. "All right, fine. It kind of works." She puffs out a breath when he claps her shoulder, giving him a smile.

Surely she doesn't forget that he has super-solider hearing, and her, "This is fine," being muttered to herself will clearly be heard by him. A moment after Steve flings himself out, she leaps out, too. Behind them, in the night sky, other SHIELD agents leap out.

It's not hard to see where they're heading. While the satellite images they saw were during the day, at light the entrance at the end of a long road is lit up. The base itself is surrounded by a hefty wall, which is absolutely no problem when you're parachuting right into the middle. Steve's experience tells him the likely entrance to the almost-definitely underground base is probably in the center, in the building that looks like a large hangar from the top.

There are guards walking here and there, readily identifiable from the flashlights they're carrying.
Captain America has posed:
It does seem unlikely that Steve is unaware of some of those anxieties coming from Jess. But clearly he has decided that it is either something that is best ignored to try and boost her confidence. Or perhaps he just isn't concerned, counting on the fact that when the chips truly are down, she will be there and as functional as always.

Then it is too late for any second thoughts regardless as he plummets through the air, staring dow at the the layout of the base through the haze of night. The drop was a good one and they are right where they're supposed to be to insure they land where they need to.

Still, the Super Soldier doesn't pull his parachute until the very last minute possible to minimize the chances that any radar emplacements pick them up and since he was the first one out of the plane no one but Spider-Woman has a chance to reach the ground before he does.

He does mark the sentry posts on descent and while the SHIELD agents with them might be willing to try and take them out in midair with silenced weapons, Steve waits until he hits the ground, unfastening that parachute in a flash and almost immediately sprinting towards the nearest guard would walks through the center of the courtyard, not yet away of the world of trouble descending upon his head.

That oh so familiar shield is unfastened from his back even at a run and with one practiced motion Captain America hurls it towards the sentry, striking him in the side of the head and putting him down even as that shield rebounds right back to him.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
The shield, in Steve Roger's hand, is an effective and deadly weapon. He takes down the sentry with barely any effort, and the other one behind him completely unaware to his companion's now unconscious state.

One benefit of the sleek design of Jessica's suit -- she can land pretty much where she intends to -- and after years of practice she has it down to a fine art. While the Hydra soldiers are alert, it's clear they don't expect to be dropped down onto from above, which is weird because that's Jessica's favorite method of attack.

The first she literally clobbers with her feet, using him to break her landing. His companion barely gets a chance to fumble for his rifle before she zaps him with her bio-electricity: he jerks, makes a surprised sound, and slumps to the ground. She's got the power tuning for that to a fine art, too, as tempted as she is to end him permanently, she's with Steve, so she's on her best behavior. Sort of.

Around them, other SHIELD agents land and spread out to their assigned targets to find and neutralize the sentries before they can raise any alert. Almost all, anyway: One of the agents that lands near Steve has his parachute unexpectedly tugged by the wind, dragging him over the ground before he can hit the release. It means his pair of sentries is alerted, one of them raising a radio to his mouth as the other lifts his rifle towards the downed agent.
Captain America has posed:
While everyone might have their designated targets and assigned missions, they are still a team.

Being a team means that you work together. That you trust your teammates to do what they need to do to get the job done. BUt that doesn't mean you need to hang them out to dry either. You have their backs when they need it.

While it might be ideal if everything went picture perfect and totally smooth, there has never been a mission that Captain Ameria has been on where he could say that was actually the case. Sometimes it is a small misstep, sometimes it is something entirely out of your control. Sometimes it is both, like say a stray and powerful gust of wind and a little slowness in getting that parachute off.

With his sentry down, Steve spares a quick look, eyes darting towards Jessica first to make sure she is handling things well. Which certainly seems to be the case given how quickly her targets go down. But it fortunately leaves the Super Solider in a good place to deal with the issue that results when things suddenly go sideways.

He can hear the muffled alarm in the voices of those sentries as they spot that wayward SHIELD agent and Steve doesn't heistate. That arm draws back and hurls his shield once more, his only concession is in choosing to go after the gunman before the one lifting the radio. The rules of engagement make it clear what the priority is, but Steve isn't about to let an agent die. Not on his watch. Not for the rules of engagement.

Fortuantely the shield flies true once more, taking the gunman down before careening over towards teh HYDRA soldier with the radio, the rounded shield plowing right through the device, sending up sparks, before it hits the man, knocking him over and then rebounding right back to the Captain.

It really doesn't seem to obey the laws of physics sometimes.

That done, Steve silently motions towards the entrance, starting that way himself.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
The shield might not obey physics but it certainly goes exactly where Steve intends it. It slams into the one hoisting the gun first, then the radio-alerter, a one-two punch that is exceptionally effective.

"Thanks, Cap," the relief and gratitude in the SHIELD agent's murmured thanks is obvious as he gets to his feet. He thought he was done for, staring down that rifle. Would have been for sure. He's going to share this tale of how Captain America saved his life for at least a decade.

It's hard to know whether the Hydra sentry managed to fully depress the transmit radio, whether those inside might have a hint of their coming, or not. Either way, it's too late to worry about it. At Steve's signal, the agents move to take up their places -- some to clean up the mess of the sentries, and to dress up in their place in case other Hydra soldiers arrive in the meantime.

Jessica, usually unable to //stop// talking, is exceptionally silent as she converges on the entrance a few steps behind Steve. The thumbs up and grin she gives him is pure Jess though. As is the way she takes a cold shot of her fist right into the nearest guard's faces. She looks pretty satisfied with this. There's three more guards sitting around inside, and Steve will be able to readily dispatch them -- with shield or fist, as is his preference.

The thing they're guarding is a metal box, effectively -- actually an elevator. Jessica borrows one of the guard's keycards, and calls it up. It's small, so with Steve's bulk, only three of the agents will be able to squeeze in with them. The doors will open up to a silent base, powered down mostly for nighttime, with sparse overhead lighting. It's a typical base layout -- a single corridor, and doors leading off it left and right. Research labs, first, a barracks and mess hall towards the back.
Captain America has posed:
Perhaps he is some sort of geometric savant, calculating all the necessary angles without ever thinking about it. Then those Super Soldier reflexes take over, insuring that his throw is unerring, hitting just as it needs to to insure that the shield rebounds back to him.

Or maybe he cheats. Maybe theres a device that insures that it flies back to him. It is the modern day afterall. Surely it's possible.

"It's why we work as a team," Steve replies quietly, flashing a quick smile. But then he is all business again, pacing his way towards the entrance near Jess' side. A quick glance her way suggests that she has overcome that bout of nerves at least. It's remarkable, really, the healing power of punching someone in the face has on her. And while he might not really advocate for it as a general cureall, for her it seems to work.

That first guard is down by the time Captain America reaches the door and he is through it a moment later, moving to take out the other two Hydra personnel there. Still attached to his arm, Steve swings that shield in a wide arc, slamming it up against the sentry's face and sending him sprawling before following through with a kick to the ribs of the other man, slamming him to the ground an instant later.

He might not take any sort of pleasure in violence, but he can be awfully good at it. And taking out Hydra agents makes it a little easier to not feel so bad about it.

Stepping into the crowded elevator, he nods to those who won't fit. "Guard and hold our exit. We'll be back up shortly. Stay in radio contact and let us know if anyone converges on your position," he instructs.

Then the doors close and they descend deeper into that base.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
If asked, Jessica would absolutely aver, swear and affirm that punching people in the face works wonders. In fact, her therapist has a whole session coming about the power of punching people in the face, which will probably stretch his ability to be professional and calm. Good thing SHIELD pays him well.

"Roger that, Cap," one of the SHIELD agents salutes. Steve's sharp hearing allows him to hear, even when the doors are closing, the ribbing this gets from the others, "Why not just ask for his signature?" "Shut up, Brown!" They're in good spirits, though. Everything's going to plan -- so far!

Standard procedure would have them clear all the rooms as they pass them: logical, to prevent them being ambushed from behind. But it also will delay things. One of the agents volunteers to hold the elevator, as Jess passes some doors and stops at others. She, like Steve, has sharp hearing -- which means they can avoid having to clear. She disappears into one room, there's a faint grunted noise, and she comes out looking happier.

Steve will be the one to find the still-occupied research lab -- the pale overhead lights making it hard to see beyond the circle of light where the aging form of Dr. Janik Nemetz can be seen, carefully pulling vials out of a cold storage unit. Nothing unusual at all about that, in a Hydra base, really. Except one has a familiar name: ROGERS, S.
Captain America has posed:
All things considered, Steve would rather see the team a little loose and playful then full of tension. If only because if tension is winning out it probably means things aren't going so well.

Still, Steve maintains a fairly professional demeanor himself, not smiling as the elevator comes to a stop at the research level. He knows all too well just how quickly everything can change and they can be overwhelmed by a sudden counterattack.

Again, not something that he wants to see on his watch. They have a long, awkward evacuation route as it stands at the moment, and Captain America nods to the agent who volunteers to hold the elevator. "Same rules. Keep in radio contact and let us know if your position gets attacked so we can reinforce. You're our way out of here," he says quietly, giving the woman a brief nod. Chances are there are stairwells somewhere. Relying on elevators alone would be foolish. But that would mean hunting them down and they're a little pressed for time here.

Following on Spider-Woman's lead, Steve avoids checking every singleroom, relying on those superious senses and natural instincts to judge just when it is necessary to guard their flank, focusing on quickly and swiftly making his way down the hall towards the lab. At each cross section one of the two remaining SHIELD agents is deplyed to hold the intersection, fortunately stumbling across the lab just beyond the second of those intersecting hallways as they're all out of agents to deploy.

The costumed figure steps into the lab, looking around cautiously for a moment before starting towards the doctor, only pausing when he sees that one of the vials seems to refer to him. There are many S. Rogers out there no doubt, but it seems unlikely that Hydra would have an interest in any more then hismelf.

"Dr. Nemetz. If you would come with us. We are here to extract you," he says quietly, somehow resisting interrogating the man about that vial.

Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
While Steve goes into the lab, Jessica walks up to the end of the corridor to keep an eye (well, ears) out for anyone else. So far, the radios are all silent, which is a good thing, right?

When Steve states his intentions, the doctor blinks and jerks, nearly fumbling the vial. "You almost made me- do you know how many years of research that is?" he grumbles, as he sets it carefully down, before looking up -- and seeing THE Captain America. "Oh," Nemetz says, eyes widening in alarm. "I don't think that's a good idea, no."

Jessica reappears, and she seems to have decided to change out of her costume, into a white blouse, navy skirt and one of the scientist's lab coats. Maybe she's trying to play chameleon, in case they run into any of the other sentries. A good theory, except she seems momentarily surprised to see Steve there. A second later her hand snaps up to shoot a venom blast directly at Steve. It's a pretty telegraphed gesture -- without Jess' usual practiced ease.

Which is precisely when Jessica -- /another/ Jessica, dressed as expected in the Spider-Woman outfit -- walks in and gapes.

"That's /not/ me," Spider-Jessica says, perhaps unnecessarily. Or maybe /necessarily/, because if it weren't for Jess being dressed in her Spider-Woman uniform, there would be absolutely no telling the difference between them.

"She's lying," Scientist-Jessica says.

"EXCUSE you!" comes the retort. Steve has seen Jess mad. This is Jessica, mad /and/ a little freaked out and it's way worse. She immediately assaults the other Jessica with blasts, intentionally or not giving Steve cover to secure the scientist.
Captain America has posed:
It was too much to hope for that the doctor would be looking forward to getting extracted of course. That would make all of this far too easy and they certainly can't have that.

"I'm afraid that I'm really going to have to insist doctor," Steve replies quietly, his tone firming to indicate that he isn't really planning on giving the other man much of a choice in all of this. Not hostile per se. Just... intractable.

Naturally he is a little surprised when he abruptly ses that Jessica has joined him -- and without her costume. His brow furrows slightly, giving the not so good doctor a temporarily repreieve. "What are you doing out of uniform..." he starts when she abruptly fires that venom blast at him.

It is instinct really. And that sense that something is just off. His shield comes up immediately, taking the impact of that blast and dispersing it. He doesn't even bother asking what seh's doing. It's pretty clear this isn't the Jessica he knows.

Instead he moves to shield Dr. Nemetz, just in case he becomes a target. And then Jessica -- the real Jessica -- is there, flinging herself at the Hydra Scientist version of herself.

This isn't even in the top five strangest things he's come across really. But it is still very disturbing. But right now they have a mission to finish, and Steve is determined to do just that. The charges are drawn out of his backpack, slapped into place around the center ofthe lab before he rather calmly turns back to Nemetz. "Sorry about this," he says calmly. And then he just picks up the man and drapes him over his shoudler. Without another word, he starts trotting for the door.

"Wrap it up Spider-Woman!" he calls back over his shoulder. Giving her at least a few more moments to work out that anger.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Many a foe have faced that implacable certainty in Captain America and quavered before it. Doctor Nemetz is no exception, shivering at whatever he sees in Steve's face. "They will kill my family if you take me," he says, and there's just enough fear in his voice to make it credible. "Please."

Scientist-Jessica's blast hits Steve's shield, and her eyes narrow. The pleading of the doctor makes her change her focus -- Steve's instincts are on point -- and another blast hits his shield, deflected from the doctor, before Spider-Jessica blasts the scientist-Jessica back into the wall. Steve knows those venom blasts can kill, if she's of a mind to. She hasn't, since she joined the Avengers, at least as far as he knows of. Whether she does so now is debatable. She doesn't seem to be holding back.

It's absolutely no problem picking up the doctor. He barely ways a fraction to Steve. The man's freaking out, but he has little choice in the matter. Steve makes it to the second cross-corridor and the agent there before more bad news comes in. "Outdoor team. We have incoming," the report comes over the radio. "We'll keep them distracted as long as we can. Hopefully my German passes." Which might suggest they don't have that long.

/Wrap it up!/ There's a frustrated noise back in the lab before something -- someone -- goes crashing into something, and then silence for a few seconds. Only then does Spider-Jessica come bolting out of the lab. She's got a little bruising around the eye but a gleam of satisfaction in them, too. "I uh, threw down a few bricks of C4, give or take. Default timer." Which means they have a little less than five minutes to vacate the area.
Captain America has posed:
The stakes are clearly too high to leave Dr. Nemetz behind, but Steve does hesitate for just a moment at the mention of the threat to the man's family. There are times when what's right doesn't fit into such a black and white system of right and wrong.

They are most definitely not Steve's favorite times.

"I'm sorry, I'll do what I can for your family," he promises the man, but that doesn't stop him from carrying the man from the room. They need to know what he is working on, clearly. But Steve is also a man of his word. It if it means going to Fury and insisting that he go after the doctor's family, it is pretty much a given that Captain America will be doing that.

There might not be many willing to engage in a staredown with Nick Fury, but surely Steve Rogers is one of those.

Trotting down the hall he tries to resist looking back, but after that loud thump he does so, a brief flicker of relief filtering over his expression as Jess ememrges only a little scathed from the battle with her evil scientist opposite. "Copy that. We're on our way. Hold as long as you can and set what charges you can," he adds, rather casually slapping another one against the wall when he reaches the intersection.

The fact that Jessica has added to the explosive fun only draws a tight smile from the Super Soldier. "I always work better under a deadline anyways. Lets doubletime it though," he says, practically flying down the corridor, despite the burden of the scientist over his shoulder.
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
Few people in the world would be willing to stand against to Captain America when he sets himself to a task. It would probably provide comfort to the doctor if he knew that, but such honesty and certainty as he gives isn't something conveyed in the Hydra information packets. Sounds like the doctor's weeping a little.

"Roger that," comes the response from overhead. Jessica's making a face at Steve. He's way too cheery. "I hate deadlines," she counters. "But hard to argue with you in this case, Cap."

With Steve leading the way and Jessica bringing up the rear, they reach the elevator less than a minute later. Of course, the tight squeeze of before is /much/ tighter with the doctor still squirming. Especially when he looks at Jessica a little too long. She has her mask, of course, but the eyes look the same. "Don't look at me," she grumbles at him. "I'm in a punching mood." She definitely is.

The elevator doors open, and they can hear the distant sound of rattling gunfire. Seems the facade didn't hold that long. There's no panic from the agents though, holding steady. The Quinjet pilot radios in: "We're holding, ready for pick up."

Jess sighs, and looks at Steve. "You want to go clean that up?" the last of the Hydra soldiers. She's seen how good he is with that shield, and there's no question he outclasses her in dealing with multiple opponents bearing small arms fire. "I'll get Numnutz to the jet." Or whatever his name is.
Captain America has posed:
Immpending fire and destruction is a pretty good motivator to pick up the pace afteralll. At the very least it seems to be more then enough motivation in the case of Captain America.

The crowded elevator might not be comfortable, but they do all manage to squeeze in. It's hardly the closest quarters he's ever had to operate, though he is glad that the doctor has been suitably cowed on one level. He even understands that simmering anger that still seems to be present in Jess -- especially under the circumstances. "I hope you're going to be able to help us understand exactly what was going on back there Dr. Nemetz," he says quietly.

There's not enough room to do much more and he's not about to call Jess out. Not here, in front of the rest of the team. And not when she is so justifiably angry. No, they can talk about all of this.


Then the doors are sliding open once more and escape is a mere dozen feet away. The sound of the Quinjet swooping in low can be heard, the agents left behind are holding the door and Steve glances towards his partner on this Op. "Okay," he says simply. "I've got this. You get the doctor to the Quinjet," he adds before turning to sprint on out into hte courtyard.

He's pretty good at creating cover and as the team starts to evacuate to the waiting plane, Steve sprints towards the approaching Hydra troops. They open fire? He raises his shield. With every step he closes the distance and then, all at once, he is among them, slamming into some of them with his shield, hurling it with others, a whirlwind of activity.

As the rest of the team boards and the jet comes in sweeping low, Cap batters one last enemy soldier before leaping to land on that still lowered ramp, stepping up into the plane proper.

"Alright," he calls out to the pilots up front. "Those charges should be going off any second. Mission complete. Lets get out of here."
Spider-Woman (Drew) has posed:
"If you save my family, keep them safe -- I'll tell you everything I know," Dr. Nemetz promises, with apparent sincerity. He looks /very/ unhappy about being left in Jessica's care -- any wonder, given she just bit his head off? Jessica, apparently, just takes a leaf out of Steve's playbook and hauls the doctor across her shoulder, then leaps up into the ramp of the descending Quinjet, where she cuffs the Doctor at the very back.

The years of experience and strength Captain America displays is really unparelleled. He rips through the enemy combatants like it was just some Sunday outing, his timely intervention allowing the SHIELD agents holding the line to safely retreat towards the Quinjet.

Jessica, meanwhile, stays at the ramp, ready to provide cover to the agents boarding. When Steve leaps upwards, she offers a hand to pull him forward even as the jet pitches back, slapping the button to close the ramp as they're lifting away.

The air shudders as the underground explosions go off, timed so closely together that only Steve's sharp hearing can detect the individual explosions. The pressure of it rushes up the elevator shaft, and slams into the bottom of the elevator, shooting it up and through the roof of the hangar sitting above it. The twisted metal lands several yards away as the Quinjet lifts away to take them back to base.