To Serve and Protect

Brief Title:
Recruiting an Assassin

Ares, Elektra

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:

Hell's Kitchen

Ares approaches Elektra to hire her.

Social or Plot:


New York City, Hell's Kitchen - It's one of the quiet neighborhoods in this seedy district, and Elektra has chosen this particular tenement building as one of her safe houses. She tried convinced herself that the choice was purely practical, and had nothing to do with her past relationship with Matt. But then again, Elektra was never a very good liar. The top floor apartment has good fire escape access as well as being close to the roof. It also has the advantage of being a corner room, so she has a rather nice view of two streets.

She's sitting at a small table, now, with a gun case open before her. While Elektra meticulously cleans the expensive sniper rifle, she reviews the file she's been building on her target. Antonio Valachi. Age: 54. Born in Sicily. Etcetera. Of course the man has to die, and it must be by her hand. Truth be told, the rifle isn't for Antonio, however. The man is constantly surrounded by associates and bodyguards, all of which must be driven off. No, the rifle is just to flush the game.

Most of the intel that John Aaron received from Nick Fury was fairly neutral. There were dossiers on many possible operatives for Project Thunderbolts, and most of them were almost boilerplate intel that could be gained by anyone with a few dollars and an internet connection. But the intel on this woman, Elektra Natchios, this intel is steeped in blood. Whatever knowledge the world's intelligence community has gained on this assassin it's paid a bitter price for. She is infamous, notorious, and her brief had all sorts of warnings and cautionary advice for approaching her.

Naturally Ares was instantly intrigued.

There were no firm leads. Nothing initially that would lead someone to her. Just a few places where operations were run before, a few contacts, and a handful of possible safe houses that were traced to some of her handler's assets. So this one, this person was much more difficult to track down.

But perhaps this time he's found his prey. From street level the tall man in the dark grey clothes looks up towards the window of that apartment. A few moments later he's climbing those steps. A few moments after that there will be a knock at her door. All the warnings about her speak of never making direct contact, of avoiding her at all costs. Yet Ares perhaps decides that any working relationship should begin not with some gambit, not with some ploy.

The knock at the door surprises even Elektra. No one knocks in this neighborhood. Ever. Not even the Girl Scouts. The disassembled rifle is quickly covered with a tablecloth as she rises, quietly crossing to the door. A sai is drawn, then flipped up quietly to lie along her forearm... tucked half behind her back. Standing to one side of the closed door and still several feet away, she calls out. "Who is it?"

"My name is John," Perhaps the most non-committal possible response to any question as to one's identity. Unfortunately it's also the truth. Should she be able to get an angle on him through the peephole or perhaps some monitoring device she has installed for the hallway she'll see him there. He's a tall man, grizzled with a dark complexion. A few days’ worth of stubble passes for a beard upon him, and his eyes are dead. He's not unhandsome, but he's definitely a hard man and has clearly seen much in the time he's been alive.

Standing there in the hall, her assassin's glance will note a few things about him. First he's wearing no uniform that she'd recognize, not even the uniform of a thug, or a hitter. He's wearing fairly tight grey jeans, brown dock shoes, and a tight black t-shirt that hugs the contours of his rather powerful physique. Yet if he were an operative sent to get her those wouldn't be the best choices since really they leave little room to conceal any possible weapon, and little to the imagination.

He holds up his hands, empty. Then he lifts up his voice as well, "I would speak with you. I bring nothing untoward with me." His words don't carry down the hall, perhaps just meant for her and chosen specifically so that should someone repeat them they'll carry little information.

Elektra smirks. Aren't they ALL named John? Gliding silently to the peep hole, she trusts to precognition to warn her of any gunshots through the door. Yes, he's dressed all wrong for either a detective or an agent, regardless of the agency. And she decides to go with her instincts. The door opens wide and suddenly, the woman dressed in her flowing white costume. The right hand tucked behind her back bears unseen menace to his trained eye, and she doesn't look anywhere except his face. "Inside." she replies softly. "With a brief nod, she indicates further. "Sofa. Sit. Now." And she'll close the door behind him.

There's a subtle hint of a twitch at the corner of his mouth, not a smile, not a frown, just a small shift. He gives a nod and then walks into the room letting her secure the entrance behind him even as he moves into the position she indicates. He takes a seat on the couch leaning forward with his elbows upon his knees and his hands forward allowing them to stay away from his body just in case she might think he could reach easily for a weapon or another.

Yet there's something how he moves when he does so, something so utterly otherworldly to her spiritual senses, but moreso to that amazing level of 'chi' that she possesses. Now with him in the same room, them sharing the same air, and their senses reaching out to the other she might be utterly surprised at the feeling that greets her. His own chi is a roiling dragon the likes of which she might have only sensed when meeting an Iron Fist, or a Shang Chi, and it's then she might realize he doesn't need a weapon which might change the dynamics ever so subtly.

Yet he takes no offensive posture, nor even aggression. He simply sits, watches her, and waits.

Closing the door is quick, and Elektra watches his every move on the way to the sofa. She sizes up his stance, his gait, and even his build. And once he's settled she meets his eyes evenly. And that's when the first sense of just -what- this man might represent rolls over her. Nostrils twitch, the only outward sign of recognition other than her gaze hardening. The sai is no longer hidden, now, and as she moves more towards the center of the room she shifts into something about one step away from a ready stance.

Elektra doesn't speak with her voice, for she simply -knows- this man... or whatever he is... can understand her on other levels. *Who are you, and what do you want? You don't smell like you're with the Hand or the Chaste.*

That's when he smiles, just a small touch of one as he feels her mind touching his own. When his own thoughts meet hers it's a mind unlike any she's ever experienced. His thoughts are steeped in the feeling of heat, fire, flames, wrath, burning, steel, conflict, crashing. War. When his mind forms words meant for her they are things that echo and have such a weight of impact that it might be a surprising thing. Not malicious, no attack, simply the echoes of a powerful creature.

*I want. To hire you.* That thought hangs there, lingering. Even as his eyes hold her own and there's a subtle glimmer of flame deep in his eyes. He stands up slowly, and she can /feel/ that challenge that swirls around him, the silent cries of souls and otherworldly creatures almost present in every thought. But what is more... there is curiosity to him. She is a unique thing, a unique creature. A deadly strong woman most likely beyond any he has known even than his sister in her own way.

A dark brow raises at the mental offer. Elektra can feel the violence surging within him. The rage. The conflict. The burning intensity. The assassin sizes him up again, perhaps adding this new knowledge to fill in previous gaps in her assessment. Her voice is cool and calm when she replies. "Who's the target?" Simple. Direct. She neither accepts nor declines his offer.

When she switches back to spoken words he replies in kind, his gaze meeting hers steadily. Still he hasn't moved from that calm posture with his hands empty before him. It's so deceptive, yet very appropriate somehow. "It would be more a retainer. The option to avail of your services in times of need." His words are precise, carefully chosen. It's almost as if he's trying not to offend her, or spook her. He knows someone as good as her could not have gotten that way by being careless.

A moment passes, then he adds quietly. "I am not a man incapable of subterfuge, Ms. Natchios." He tells her this in that direct manner of his. "But I feel it is best for us to get off on the right foot. I had heard of your work in the past from a distance. It was only recently that I have had this chance to meet you. If I emerge from this unscathed I will at the least trust that the meeting was successful."

Elektra doesn't put away the sai, leaving his last statement subject to conjecture. "If you've studied my work, then you know I don't work cheap. But I don't think that's going to be a problem for you." She pauses again, not moving as her assessment searches him over again. Perhaps she's seeking something more... elusive. "You're not an agent, at least not of any one that I've ever met. That's in your favor. But you should also know that I don't take jobs just for the money. I want to know who you are, what you represent, and why you need my services." A pause, then, and she adds. "I don't do well when kept on a leash."

There's a nod given to her and at her comment he gives a small offering of a smile. It's not a nice thing, not a malicious thing either, but it's more a recognition that indeed she does not belong to any one cause, man, or thing. That she is in her own way a force of nature.

One rough calloused hand turns up towards her and he answers her questions calmly and clearly. "My name is John Aaron, though I have gone by other names in the past. I was approached by Nick Fury and asked to put together a group of individuals to handle planetary level threats. A charter you may have heard before, however we are to be the ones to handle matters when what must be done is not what will fit comfortably on the side of lunchboxes. We will have to make the hard decisions, and we will have to make them without qualm."

There's a pause, then he says levelly. "You can see, now, why I feel you would fit well."

She wrinkles her nose at the mention of Nick Fury, blue eyes hardening. Elektra gives a small shake of her head, then. "You're not an agent of SHIELD." It's not a question. "Is Fury looking for someone to clean up his messes, or to do the jobs that would get his hands too dirty? I don't mind the latter, but I will not do the former." It's a simple declaration of terms, but one with broad implications. Then she actually smiles, showing a very human sense of humor. "And I'm not a very likely candidate to have my face on a lunchbox."

She gives a little, and in turn he grants a little as well when he replies. "I don't know, I think I could do well on a Wheatie's box perhaps." But his eyes remain level on her as he goes on to address her concerns. "Fury is a front I believe. He was chosen to speak to me because he was one of the two individuals I would not dismiss out of hand. The backers are governmental, for this country and I believe possibly for several others. We would be dealing with threats that the Avengers or Fantastic Four would deal with, but our approach is to be very firm. We are also not to balk, our concern is to be the well-being of this planet. The other teams have functioned well, but there may be a time down the line when their efforts fail. We are to insure it never reaches that point."

Since her death and purification, Elektra has been -very- selective of the work she's accepted. No longer does the assassin just work for the highest bidder, regardless of the target. No, she's become an assassin with a conscience, if there ever was such a thing. It's a fine line to walk. But security of the planet? Do causes get any better than this? "I'm in. But I don't work for Fury and I don't work for SHIELD. I'll work for you, 'John Aaron'. No one else in this." And she almost pronounces the air quotes. "If you could find me, then you can work out the retainer fee with my handler."

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