A Bird in the Knights

Brief Title:
ABITK

Characters:
Mockingbird and Black Panther

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:
10/11/12 21:45

Location:
Dojo then Bronx

Summary:
The Panther and Mockingbird spar, then go bust up a Dragon Tong storage facility.

Social or Plot:

TS:
No

Log:
-----==[ Dojo Gardens - SoHo ]==----------------------------------------------

A susprisinging contrast to the interior of the Dojo, a small gravel path leads through this lush garden. It passes a variety of small bushes, flowers, and trees. Each plants seem to be in a place that offers it the most sunlight and shade it requires. Nothing seems to be out of order in this garden, even if you cannot see the pattern. Next to the path is a small creek, the water deep and splashing over a small rocks to drown the outside noise of the city. Goldfish swim lazily in the water creek, which eventually leads to a small island in the center of the garden. That stream encircles the island and continues to flow toward the opposite side of the garden.

All around the garden is the structure of the dojo. It frames the garden in a perfect square and allows a walkway of wood to walk upon and access the various entrances through wooden paned paper doors.

Upon the island is a lacquired wooden platform that is raised slightly above the ground. Upon the platform are a few mats that encircle a 5' tall statue of the Panther God. While the Dojo may be a place to strengthen the arts of war, this place offers sanctuary to those seeking solace from the outside world.

==============================================================================


The Black Panther has been in Manhattan for a few months now. He checked in with the Avengers upon his arrival but told them that he would be working independently on a new street level project. One that would help to organize the solo heroes into a more cooperative working organization. This organization does not have an official name, no base of operations, and no charter; Just a means of communication between the individuals. He also noted that he would be working out of a Dojo that he purchased in SoHo - if any of the Avengers wanted to come to visit, or train in the martial arts.

During the past few months, he's made a few appearances, assisting the Avengers against various threats (maniacs, demons, robots) but always returned to his street level ventures when those issues were handled.

It is presently 9:13pm, the Panther is found in the middle of his Dojo Garden meditating before the statue of the Panther God. He wears his ceremonial/royal attire (the Panther uniform) and is seated on his feet with knees bent.

When someone with Black Panther's abilities makes a splash in New York and has the courtesy to check in with the Avengers, it's only polite to follow up with a visit. In this case, the emissary comes in the form of one Bobbi Morse. Arriving at his dojo, she waits politely in the doorway for acknowledgement. Professional courtesy required, Bobbi is wearing the full Mockingbird costume.

The Panther becomes aware of her presence and pulls himself from the meditation. The only illumination within the garden is the night sky (which is filled with towering structures and subdued ambient light) that casts long shadows all around. Standing and turning to address, he says, "Welcome, Mockingbird. To what do I owe the pleasure of your presence?"

She smiles at the greeting, but still remains in the doorway for now. "Call it a courtesy visit, Panther." Mockingbird replies. "When someone with your credentials informs the Avengers that you're working a street-level issue in Manhattan, we'are naturally curious. You know how difficult it is for us to leave sleeping cats lie." Pausing, then, she asks. "May I come in?"

"Please." beckons the Panther at Mockingbird's request. An accompanying gesture with palms up also welcomes her into the garden. He then addresses her initial remarks, "The solo heroes of New York have historically been vastly unorganized, yet still effective in their pursuits of justice. I thought it would be wise to offer support and give them the means to support one another in their endeavors."

Bobbi enters into the garden, her footsteps measured and careful. "And I'm sure your support is welcome. Likewise, I've come to offer you support. I know you're quite capable, but I'm in a position that gives me access to pretty deep resources." Not to mention her own skills and knowledge.

"That would be greatly appreciated, Mockingbird and it would be an honor to once again work with you directly. Solo heroes have little in the form of team training and tactics." the Panther states as he stands peacefully watching her approach.

Mockingbird gives him a formal bow, well suited for the dojo, before she replies. "The honor is mine, Panther, I assure you. Before joining the Avengers I was recruited and trained by SHIELD. I also have a PhD in Biochemistry, which has come in handy on more occasions than I would like to admit."

Most excellent." States the Panther and then offers information on how to adjust her communicator to pick up the frequency that the team uses when in need. A few more details are added, before he asks, "Later this evening I will be investigating a warehouse reported to be occupied by the Dragon Tong. As I see that you are dressed for the ocassion; Would you care to spar before then?"

Bobbi makes the appropriate communicator adjustments. Blonde brows arch and she smiles knowingly at the offer. "Of course." she replies. Bobbi has seen the Panther in action, so she has a pretty good idea what he's capable of all the same. "So what's going on with the Dragon Tong, or is this -just- a recon?" Seeing as they're going to spar, she removes the long coat.

The Panther will lead her into the dojo proper, that which is a public training area that is presently empty (being so late at night). He will make all the proper gestures and step onto the mat while answering, "The Dragon Tong, led by the diabolical Yi Yang, is working on expanding their operations. In doing this, they are violating underworld treaties. At present, they are encroaching upon the Maggia's territories and therefore having started an underworld war. Though not as conventional as before, they are striking key points and personnel within one another and not directing it as open massive bloodshead."

Mockingbird purses her lips, brows knitting at that. "Interesting approach. By keeping it low-key initially, the whole of New York's underworld will go up in smoke without any warning. And by the time someone reacts to it, everyone will be fully entrenched and the city will be a war zone." And in the back of her mind, she wonders how the Avengers haven't caught word of this yet.

The Panther allows her to take her position and will continue to address the issue at hand, "It is quite disturbing and with a great potential to be very destructive to not only the infrastructure of each organization, but you are correct in your assessment. If it escalates without full awareness, the collateral damage will be greater than if the streets were already aware of the threat."

Mockingbird settles into position, taking up a ready stance while he continues. "Then I'll be glad to accompany you on your recon tonight." she replies. Hey, if nothing else, then two sets of eyes are better than one. Any firearms are in her coat, and she's settled in without the help of her staves.

His gloved hands are open, as the Panther enjoys using the opponent's mass and inertia against them in throws and arm bars. He waits for her to make the first move as he falls into a fighting stance.

"Have you ever heard of a man called the 'Night Raven'?" the Panther asks.

Mockingbird has made her own assessment, and already knows the man is both bigger and stronger than she is. "Only by reputation." she replies. Attacking, now, she goes straight in with a kick to the face. It's a feint, which she follows with a drop into a crouch and a leg-sweep.

Larger, and more skilled, the Panther is pleased with her attack and prowess of skill. He avoids both, the Panther will have rolled to the side and her right flank where he will attempt to offer two touch attacks that would indicate strikes - instead of actually hitting (it's too early to land actual hits in such a combat).

Bobbi grunts as her sweep is a clean miss, circling around to come up into a crouch right into his touch attacks. Blocking the first with a forearm, she just isn't quick enough to avoid the clean touch below the arm to her ribs. Chuckling softly, perhaps at his sense of honor, she declares. "Nice touch. But don't go easy on me just because I'm a woman."

Continuing the melee in a very peaceful mind, the Panther states, "It is not because you are a woman; I choose not to inflict bruises for they would mar your beauty."

For her part, Mockingbird holds no such reservations. Avengers often spar full-out against each other, and especially now that she has a sense of the man's ability she sure as hell isn't holding back. With both of them on the mat, now, she chuckles softly and replies. "Well I -do- appreciate you not hitting me in the face, all the same..." And then she shoulder-rolls in close, coming in with an upward kick aimed at his chin.

The Panther backflips and that's when Mockingbird will notice that he's intentionally waiting for her to attack so that he can move before she does. His speed is also far greater (being 3:1) which allows him to move out of the way and then return a touch attack, deflecting blow, or push-strike (which is focused on knocking her off balance) before she can move again. Therefore, to strike him the way she wants, she needs to wait for him to make his attack, move into it (drawing close so he can't dodge) then strike.

The Panther offers a nod of acceptance, "Striking any woman in the face is an affront to all women and should only be done if absolutely necessary and with an open hand."

Bobbi mutters when the next touch attack lands, now settling back into her ready stance again after a brief balance recovery. "It's nice to fight an honorable warrior." she replies. If this were a 'real' fight she'd start chiding him about his honor, but the Mockingbird doesn't want to offend him either. At least not yet. A front handspring gets her in quickly close. When she attacks with an elbow-sweep/punch combo, she fully expects him to block and counter, and THAT is what she's really waiting for.

The elbow sweep draws his attention and he rolls with the punch. The roll keeps him close and opens his inner thigh for a nice trigger point attack, his left ribs for a nice jab, or an easy leg sweep to force him down which would result in a roll to evade any further strikes.

"Just as it is nice to come against someone of your remarkable skill." he returns the compliment in kind.

When given such a selection, Bobbi chooses the infighting option. After all, most people are least comfortable with fighting in close. Moving with his roll, she sweeps the leg and follows to stay -with- him as he goes down. Working behind him if she can, Mockingbird will go for an arm lock. "Thanks... *grunt*"

Down the Panther will go, followed by Mockingbird. The struggle will then involve more locks, reversals, throws, rolls, strikes, counter strikes, and finally the two will part, firm in the knowledge that they have learned something and improved their individual skill.

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Sometime later, the Panther will take Mockingbird across town, over the East River, and into the Bronx via the Panther-Cycle (a flying craft much like the Avengers Skycycles) - only this one is black, sleeker, stealthier, and has the head of a Panther where the headlight would be.

In route, he will state, "From what information I have gathered, the Dragon Tong uses a particular warehouse for storage of contraband which is subsequently distributed throughout the city. I choose not to notify the authorities until I confirm said information and am assured that it is complete."

It's probably just as well that the Panther believes in honorable sparring, because otherwise his 'touches' would have left more than just bruises all over Mockingbird. To put it nicely, Bobbi was way out of her league. She's added a couple of close-work firearms to her costume for this little reconnoiter, and sits up close behind him on the flier. "Gotcha." she replies, grinning at his 'decision' not to notify the authorities about the warehouse. In this case, Bobbi might be considered to be one -of- the authorities, but she doesn't challenge his reasoning either. "Good think I brought a camera."

Over the Bronx, the Panther will circle and then quietly descend atop a warehouse. Adjacent to the touchdown is the warehouse in question and he will disembark the Panther-cycle as he comments quietly, "I wouldn't want to see the city's resources wasted when they could be utilized on services that are far more beneficial to its peoples."

Mockingbird clings casually to him, blonde hair fluttering as the wind of their passage shifts direction. "It's just being thorough, no matter what you call it." she replies. "And I agree with the approach."

Soon, they will find themselves crouched upon the ledge of the warehouse rooftop looking through Panther-Binoculars at the adjacent warehouse. They will be able to quickly discern that the windows of the warehouse are painted black to obscure visuals and that the area is patrolled by what could be construed as Dragon Tong thugs.

The Panther states, "It is required that we penetrate the structure."

Mockingbird scans with NATO-issue optics herself, switching from normal to night vision to infrared. Shaking her head, she replies. "I've got nothing on infrared, either. I'm not sure they're smart enough to do that intentionally, but the end result is the same." she agrees. "We need to go in." Looking about the neighborhood, she considers for a moment and then asks. "How -quietly- can you set that down on the roof? It's either that or we'll need to swing over."

"I do not trust that it would be quiet enough." the Panther states and goes to retrieve something from the Panther-cycle. "However, this will do the trick nicely."

The something is a line that will be shot across the gap and used to walk across after it's anchored to the proximal side. He sets up, launches and it silently anchors itself to one of the angles of the adjacent warehouse.

She watches as he shoots the line over and secures it at the free end. Mockingbird gives a nod of satisfaction, producing staves from her sleeves with a flip of each wrist. Twisting the two together into a single staff, she elongates it fully. "After you, unless you don't think you can wait. In which case I'll go first."

The Panther indicates with a handwave, "Feel free, Mockingbird." and will step aside to allow her to cross the line first. It will be an easy cross for her skill level.

Mockingbird steps readily onto the line, using the staff for a balance pole as she crosses. She's careful, but efficient in her walk and soon reaches the other side. Turning to give him a nod, she twists the staves apart and slip them away again. And after a quick visual sweep of the roof, she'll watch to cover him as he crosses next.

Once she is across, the Panther crouches and bounds onto the line. Using both hands and feet, he moves across the line staying balanced atop it. Silently, stealthfully, he reaches the other side and joins Mockingbird.

Having given the once-over of the rooftop, they will have noticed a rooftop access point that is in the form of paned windows. They will be able to approach and after putting some Panther-lubricant on the hinges, partially open adn peer within.

Down below in the warehouse (which is dimly lit), the two crime fighters will be able to see a standard brick medium sized warehouse filled with crates and barrels. Then there are a few Dragon Tong looking thungs walking around, some playing dominos at a crate - all totaling 12 in number.

Mockingbird crouches down to peer in through the window opening, squinting through her goggles. She switches to the goggles, scanning through the visual, night, and infrared spectrum. Turning towards Panther after a few moments, she holds up fingers... 1, then 2... as a thug count. Gesturing down into the warehouse again, she makes a wry face and shrugs.

The Panther agrees with a nod and points to himself indicating that he will take the north side and indicates to her that she will take the south to meet in the middle after taking out the thugs as quitely as possible.

Bobbi nods at that, slipping the staves into her sleeves again. Stealth is required now, not brute force. Drawing a deep breath and exhaling slowly, she looks for a way down into the rafters and then slips in through the rooftop window.

After her, the Panther will also move in his respective direction.

Four minutes later, they will have secured the structure, subduing all of the bad guys and meeting in the middle. There's only the 3 goons outside which could pose a threat if they were to come inside. With minimal time, the Panther states quietly, "We need to search what crates we can and gather intel on the contents." and will break away to search.

Breathing a bit faster, Mockingbird casually twirls one staff once they meet in the middle. Slipping both back up her sleeves again, she nods and moves to the nearest crates to do just that. As with any warehouse, there are plenty of tools for prying open the crates and Bobbi wastes no time in levering the tops off of a couple to examine the contents. She'll check bills of lading as well, not that she actually believes them.

The first crate she discovers has approximately 10 million in counterfeit bills. The next crate contains weapons. The crate after that drugs. Some crates hold faux priceless antiques and others hold clothing 'made in china'. All of the shipping paperwork indicates that it's from Hong Kong.

When this is handled, they meet up again and the Panther shares what he found (much like what she found). "I will contact the police, they need to secure this location quickly. I discovered a shipping log that indicates these crates are to be shipped out of here within 3 hours. Meaning that others will be arriving soon."

Mockingbird snaps digital photos before resealing the crates, working quickly and quietly. Brows raise when he mentions the shipping log, and she purses her lips. "I'm not sure the police are the right entity to get involved, here. This is pretty high-level stuff. FBI might be more appropriate."

"Good call." notes the Panther and will make the arrangements. Soon they will have taken out the exterior guards (so law enforcement won't have issues) and then they will wait on the FBI to arrive. A secondary sting operation is quickly setup to entrap the people who will arrive to ship all the materials from this warehouse and bla bla bla.

Once information is exchanged and the situation handled, Mockingbird and Panther will be able to depart.

It's late, nearly 2 am and after a short flight across the river back to Manhattan, the Panther will descend back to the Dojo where he will finally remove his mask - no surprise who he is and he will state, "You handled yourself exceptionally, Mockingbird."

Bobbi is tired, but it's been a good night overall. She smiles softly at the praise, giving him a nod of her own. "You did okay yourself, Panther." When he removes his mask, she pushes up the glasses to perch them atop her blonde hair. Checking her watch, she offers "So I know a little coffee shop that's still open, if you're game."

"Might I offer an alternative?" he states as they walk through the Dojo from the 'hangar' area where he stores his Panther-cycle. Having entered a room, he notes a tea-pot seated on a hot plate.

Bobbi follows him, nodding as the tired blonde makes her way through the Dojo. Spotting the indicated hot plate and teapot, she replies with a small smile. "Even better. Dare I ask what sort of tea you have in Waucaunda?"

"Black tea." he says with a smile and makes a subtle joke while moving to the pot and filling it with water.

Bobbi considers for only a moment, then she laughs and settles cross-legged to wait for the preparations. "Now if -I- suggested something like that, you'd call me racist." Regarding him more closely, she shakes her head and adds. "Actually, I don't think you would."

He smiles, "That is for the southern rednecks and South Africans. In Wakanda we care nothing for race, creed, nor religious choices. It is about the person, their ability and contribution, regardless of how great or small." Then the Panther puts the pot back on the plate.

She nods slowly, watching him prepare the tea. "Wakanda sounds like a much better place than most, then." Canting her head to the side, she asks. "And did you just compare southern rednecks to South Africans? Really? I'm not sure either group would find the comparison to be very flattering."

"The Dutch - South Africans, to be precise. The ones responsible for impression and selling of slaves to the Americas then Apartheid in South Africa which oppressed an entire race within their own country of origin." he clarifies the comparission.

Bobbi makes an 'oh' with her mouth, nodding in understanding now. "So the people who sold slaves to the Americas, and the people who came from the plantations who bought them. I suppose that makes sense."

Moments later: Pouring the hot water into cups, the Panther places the kettle to the side and walks over with the steeping tea. He will set both cups down in front of her and say, "Correct me if I am wrong, but I noticed you favored your left shoulder after the encounter at the warehouse."

He moves around behind her and settles upon his knees and feet. His large and strong hands are then felt upon her shoulders.

Being the guest, Bobbi picks the cup closest to her right hand and picks it up. "You don't miss much, do you T'Challa?" She gives the left shoulder a slow roll and winces a little, relaxing once she feels his hands. "Caught a lucky swing from a crowbar, I guess." A slow sip of the tea, and Bobbi begins to relax.

His hands work the muscles as he comments, "In Wakanda, missing anything could be a mark against your life." reflecting upon the dangers of the jungle environment.

"Mm hmmm." Bobbi replies, tension seeping out of her muscles thanks to the slow massage. Another sip of tea, and then the blonde Avenger begins to show her own mortality. Eyelids grow heavy, and Bobbi slowly nods off. At least she manages to set the tea down first.

The Panther will allow her to settle against his chest as she starts to fade then when she has gone into dreamland, he will carefully scoop her up and carry her into the dojo's private sanctum where he has a single bed to which to lay her upon.

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