Just Dropping In

((Reserved for Negaduck and Jade))

 

Sssssssssssssssk

The cable sliding through Jade’s gloved hands hissed softly as she made her controlled decent downward. With a soft tap, she landed delicately on an outside balcony that was nestled a mere twelve stories above the concrete below.

Fishing into her pouch, she approached the sliding glass door that lead into the condo she had targeted. Kneeling down she began to twist and rotate a set of lock picks around in the lock.

She was less than concerned about being caught. She knew that this particular resident would be gone until the wee hours. Jade had plenty of time.

A happy click signaled her success, and without a moment of hesitation she entered the building. No alarm sounded. Who would ever think that someone would rappel down just as many stories as would have to be ascended to hit this target?

Glancing around, the jewel thief sauntered lazily through each room, poking and snooping around until she came across her prize. A stash of gold rolexes, pocket watches, cuff links…

Even business men liked to wear their jewelry.

“Wonderful…” she purred, lifting one watch with inset silver and diamonds to inspect. Then, she tucked it away into her pouch, as she did with everything that would fit.

    • Negaduck
      Negaduck

      "Need a bigger sack?" said a gruff voice from behind her. 

      Negaduck, doing the typical ninja appearance bit as pure contrast to the entirely unstealthy manner he did everything else, dropping in for a little 'business' chat.

      From the way his gaze was raking over that catsuit, however, it wasn't entirely business.

      Here was hoping his innate requirement to play the bigger Master Thief would prevent him pressing any hot buttons. Or, say, knocking over the entire building. 

      • Piper/ Jade
        Piper/ Jade

        It was only natural that her reaction was to jump a bit. I mean... she'd basically just done an entire pass on the condo.

        Had she somehow missed a person?

        Shooting a glare... oh... you.

        But it passed quickly-- he'd one upped her and she recognized that.

        "I try not to take more than I can safely hold in one hand." You know, in case she had to discard something quickly. Going right back to picking through her bounty, she casually continued, "Did I beat you to a heist, or did you see me sneaking in and decide to scare the living daylights out of me?"

        • Negaduck
          Negaduck

          "Am I allowed to multi-task?" smiled, to her eyes this time. Like giving a single direct answer would ruin his mystique. 

          Helpfully, however, he would give her something a little more concrete. No, not actual concrete, although if she put him in a mood, that drop outside could always prove handy.

          "Actually, I came to hand over your reward for that last effort."

          Dropping the item in question onto a coffee table, complete with giftwrapping. Giftwrapping in the criminal world meaning a burlap sack, because the only thing he would ever tolerate touching a gorgeous little bow and decorative paper for would be a round bomb. 

          Or a puppy...

          "But if you have your hands full..."

          Shrug. Don't let me get in the way of your preposterous 'hands only' rule. As if you don't have unlimited storage space behind your back. Or elsewhere. 

          • Piper/ Jade
            Piper/ Jade

            She looked at the bag, pausing in her inspection of a set of cuff links. Jade slowly set them down and moved over to look at the bag.

            Curiously, she plucked at it to look inside. "No, no they are not too full..." She insisted quickly. "I am just not use to other criminals seeking me out in the middle of a heist. So, no army of flesh eating toasters?"

            • Negaduck
              Negaduck

              "No army." Enigmatic smile. "Just the one."

              Hey, if she thought he was joking, she should see the news. 

              Giving her time to pick over the offerings - some high tech gear courtesy of the SWAT team that had failed to shut down the Five's resulting badassery - Negaduck turned to casually case what remained of the place himself.

              Anything worth his level of talent? Not likely.

              "Yeah well my windows of opportunity for discussion are limited."

              GET IT BECAUSE THEY HAD COME IN VIA THE WINDOWS.

              "But-" And here was the real kicker. "I was wondering whether you would be interested in another slightly more demanding task."

              Back to watching Jade, careful not to show any outward signs of appreciation for her own level of talent. It had to have been enough of a compliment that he was giving her a renewed contract rather than say, terminating their agreement with the only way he ever terminated anything. 

              "How would you go.. stealing secrets rather than shinies?"

              Not that you couldn't do both. A good thief always has to multitask. 

               

              • Piper/ Jade
                Piper/ Jade

                She appeared to not be listening as she dug through his offers. Most of what was in there was too big to conceal.

                And most of it was guns. She did not care for guns.

                She made a soft "hm." Noise at his question, proving she had been in fact paying attention.

                Was that a collapsible baton taser?

                She pulled it out, snapped it open with the flick of her wrist, and hitting the discharge button caused a dazzling spark of electricity to arch up. The voltage was enough to electrify the air around her, causing her long hair to lift a bit.

                "Oh sweet summer child... Where have you been all my life?" Speaking to the baton, of course. She collapsed it and tucked it into a loop on her belt.

                Hands on her hips, her voice echoed exactly what his mind was thinking. "Can't I do both?"

                A girlish smirk.

                • Negaduck
                  Negaduck

                  Women. Typical. Go for the non-lethal gadgets. Fine, more guns for him.

                  Fortunately Negaduck knew plenty of other femme fatales that were willing to get their claws dirty.

                  But it was exactly what distinguished this particular cat-suited cat-duck-burgular from them which was the reason he had come to Jade for this job in the first place.

                  "The SHUSH mook that set us up - one Jacob Mallard." Flicking across a surveillance image of said mook - easy enough to get when one had the habit of hanging around dive bars. "We're going to make his life a little more complicated."

                  As if it wasn't already complicated enough.

                  "First though we need him to take you under his trust. Despite his loose interpretation of the rule book, he stinks of mouldering good-guy hypocrisy." Going by how snarky he got about being on the other end of loose interpretations. "I'm thinking, you go to him claiming to seek his protection, now that I'm trying to kill you since you're no longer useful and don't want you blabbing about my plans, yada yada."

                  Scarily plausible huh.

                  "Of course, you can't go into regular SHUSH protection, because of your unusual.. pastime."

                  An easy motion to the easy manner in which she was trawling through other people's things. Yeah, that was straightforward enough. 

                  • Piper/ Jade
                    Piper/ Jade

                    She lifted the picture to glance at, brow raised slightly in consideration.

                    "You want me to deceive an old man?" She asked, waving the picture as if fanning herself. "Just take away his walker and Metamucil."

                    Uh oh. She wasn't sounding too interested. "I like playing with the big boys and all, but SHUSH is more than I can chew... Especially when I know you would all too gladly leave me out to dry should I get caught." A pause.

                    "Without the right incentive." Sickeningly sweet smile. "What is in it for me?" Keep in mind, she was still elbow deep on that bag of arsenal goodies.

                    • Negaduck
                      Negaduck

                      With an exhale of exasperation, Negaduck flopped back into the expensive Italian lounge like he owned the place. Coy. Why did they have to play coy. The last thing he was interested in was what she was interested in.

                      From his surprisingly long history of villainous team-ups, however, he recognised it as part of the job. Still. Didn't mean he had to like it.

                      "What'd you want?"

                      Eyeing the so recently gifted baton on her waist.

                      "Another.. rod?"

                      Negaduck brand humour. Always delightful.

                      • Piper/ Jade
                        Piper/ Jade

                        She propped her hands on her hips. 

                        She had to think on that... what did she want? Hm... She lifted the picture to look at it once more, frowning a bit. Finally, "A favor." 

                        Really? that simple?

                        • Negaduck
                          Negaduck

                          The hanging response could've worn on his remarkably limited patience had it not offered a potential insight into his newest charge.

                          "Yeah?" 

                          So that's a yes to the rod then?

                          Alternatively, "I have a shipping container full of left size 22 designer heels if you're into that sort of thing."

                          You never knew. 

                          • Piper/ Jade
                            Piper/ Jade

                            Slow blink.

                            "What are you even talking about?" She asked, brow raised. Was he cracked out?

                            She shook her head, sending that ridiculous curtain of hair swaying. "Nevermind. I don't think I want to know." She looked at the picture again, tilting her head slightly. "I will have to think about what the favor is. But what is your plan here? I mean... You said we were framed before right? So he knows I was involved."

                            She tapped the picture to her chin in thought. "Why would he suddenly believe that you were out to silence me? A S.H.U.S.H. agent would probably be a lot more suspicious of me than sympathetic."

                            Smart. Don't agree to the deal until you know the plan.

                            • Negaduck
                              Negaduck

                              The smarter move would've to have not gotten involved with him at all, but people have got to get their thrills and spills somewhere.

                              Speaking of spills...

                              With a cursory glance at his watch, as if illegal espionage wasn't entertaining enough, Negaduck stood. Catching Jade by the waist to guide her, in not an overly familiar way, away from the stash. A friendly walk and talk, that was all, by the stunning glimmer of city lights.

                              "You'll have plenty of time to think about that-"

                              Had they reached the window already?

                              "-on the way down."

                              The push was lighting fast and unforgiving avoiding, as best he could away, any sustained blow to her body. She would be fine.

                              If she survived the 40 storey drop, that was.  

                              • Piper/ Jade
                                Piper/ Jade

                                In the shock of her sudden weightlessness, Jade's mind went blank. Not even a scream managed to escape... at first.

                                It took a few stories of free fall before survival mode kicked in, and she twisted around in mid air to try and pull out her cable. Her hand groped uselessly, pointlessly-- her cable was still hanging down from the roof from when she entered the building. 

                                Well, now panic set in. She twisted again looking for something, anything to grab onto and slow her fall. Nothing... nothing but open air and a mess of wild brown hair.

                                Now that scream broke out.

                                • DarkwingPsycho
                                  DarkwingPsycho

                                  Coincidentally, the SHUSH agent in question was strolling leisurely back from the Chinatown district, thinking on what he was doing getting himself enmeshed so quickly in a partnership he wasn't even sure was going to pay out in the end.  This was the old Jacob - a mallard distracted by beauty and wit who rushed in too fast and too confidently.  The mallard he had been was creeping back up too much for his liking.  He had a mission here that he needed to accomplish, and to jump in head first without being careful - to trust too swiftly and too whole-heartedly - was to betray everything he had set out to do.

                                  Then there was a scream.

                                  Startled out of his brooding, Jacob looked up to see a woman falling from a skyscraper, and instantly his training and adrenaline kicked in.  He scanned the street for anything to help.  Inexplicably, there was a garbage truck sitting on the curb just outside of the building, and he raced toward it as best he could with his bad leg.  He jumped in and drove it up onto the sidewalk, hoping he had it positioned just under the would-be pancake.

                                  • Piper/ Jade
                                    Piper/ Jade

                                    She had stopped looking down, and had resolved to clench her eyes, waiting for the impact to come.

                                    It did… but it was not what she expected. Instead of the crunch of bone against pavement, there was the explosion of plastic bags as air was suddenly forced out of them. Jade, for a sickening moment, lay still. Around her were crinkles and groans from those same bags as her weight settled heavily among them.

                                    There was a tinkle of glass from somewhere, and after a long moment, she cracked open one eye.

                                    A startled jerk, and the young duckette came to sit up slightly, her breath coming quickly.

                                    Then the laughing started.

                                    Gales of laughter, her hand coming up to her forehead and Jade dropped back into the garbage. She was alive… saved by trash. Relief washed over her, followed by the sudden loss of adrenalin… she felt weak, but she was alive. Somewhere in the panic of the fall she must have overlooked the truck… that had to be it.

                                    • DarkwingPsycho
                                      DarkwingPsycho

                                      Jacob felt the truck jolt with the weight of Jade's impact, and he got out curiously to see the victim for himself.  Her laughter caught his ears, and he raised a brow.  Either she was a lunatic or she was deliriously giddy from the 40-story drop and impact.  Life flashing before one's eyes had that effect - he knew that all too well.

                                      He moved around the back to the opening and looked into the heaps of bags.  "Hello?  Are you all right?"

                                      • Negaduck
                                        Negaduck

                                        Alright? That worked out brilliantly! Handy. 

                                        There was still a picture to finish painting, however, and Negaduck would not let a little matter like height stop him (did he ever).

                                        ... which was why the air was suddenly riddled with red and orange flashes of tracer as insanely high caliber bullets exploded around them. 

                                        If they did not get moving very far very quickly, both of them would end up rotting like the trash beneath them. Geez, it was like he was trying to kill her or something!

                                        "You're going to drop dead one way or another!" His cackle booming down through the streets, the homocidal icing on the cake. 

                                        • Piper/ Jade
                                          Piper/ Jade

                                          Jeeze, laying it on a little thick there?

                                          Jade had just pulled herself up from the trash bags when the hellfire of arseonal rang out around her. Now, she was not big on innocent bystanders getting hurt— especially ones that were simply being good, and asking if she was okay after her fall.

                                          Without a thought, or a second glance, she grabbed onto Jacob and began running. “Come on, he’s after me but that psycho is too blood thirsty, and stupid, to differentiate between us!”

                                          • DarkwingPsycho
                                            DarkwingPsycho

                                            Jacob found himself suddenly under gunfire, and before he could find cover, he was already being pulled along by the very same person he'd just prevented from splattering on the pavement.  Adrenaline lent a hand to his bad leg as they moved.

                                            "Believe me, I know!" he called back.

                                            They ducked into a nearby alleyway, and Jacob immediately drew his firearm and started to aim, then thought the better of it.  Not only was it a forty-story distance, but he could hit a civilian if he missed - and he cared more about that than hitting Negaduck.

                                            He cursed under his breath, then turned to finally look at Jade.  Then blinked in recognition.  "You?!"

                                            • Piper/ Jade
                                              Piper/ Jade

                                              Jade was leaning against the wall, and holding her side. The fall hadn’t left her completely unscathed, something felt massively bruised on her side and back. Her fingers were prodding around to seek out anything broken, and thankfully, nothing was found. Ice would be  necessity… and some pain killers.

                                              Her attention was pulled back to Jacob at his exclamation. Luckily her eyes focused on the gun before his face— so any shocked expression could easily be excused for panic over the brandished firearm. Really, her surprise was how, in all of St. Canard she would run into the one person that she had just agreed to work on. Had Negaduck planned that too?

                                              No. He was good, but she doubted he was that good.

                                              She backed away quickly, hands up. “Unarmed.” she said hastily, diving straight into her role. “I escaped one psychopath, I’ll admit I don’t think I have the strength to run from another… So please don’t shoot me?” Yes, yes that worked in perfectly with utterance of ‘You?!’

                                              A few more steps backwards, brows bowed and eyes wide with a relatively natural innocence that she carried. “You don’t look like anyone I have wronged…” Oh, was she using truth? She was using truth. Jade hadn’t wronged Jacob, so there was no wobble of lie in her voice.

                                              • DarkwingPsycho
                                                DarkwingPsycho

                                                He glanced at his weapon, and lowered it slightly but didn't put it away.  "I may be many things, young lady, but I am not a psychopath."  There was a hint of amusement in his tone.  "You're the one who stole the Cassowary Virus.  Very effectively, I might add."

                                                • Piper/ Jade
                                                  Piper/ Jade

                                                  Her hands lowered a bit.

                                                  "I... Didn't know what it was." Again, using truth on her side. "But when the big guy tells you what to do, and you're a small fry like me..." A shrug. "You do what you're told, and you don't ask questions. Doesn't seem to have mattered... Stole the stupid thing for him and he hunts me down to push me out a window."

                                                  She folded her arms and huffed. Then after a pause, "... So you saw me? I didn't see you..."

                                                  • DarkwingPsycho
                                                    DarkwingPsycho

                                                    "Ah - well, there's a reason for that," he said dismissively.  "Suffice it to say, your skills are impressive.  What, exactly, did you do to get on that rogue's bad side?  Not that he has any other..."

                                                    • Piper/ Jade
                                                      Piper/ Jade

                                                      Her eyelashes lowered a bit. "Same reason as you pointed out... I'm good at what I do." That was enough of a reason really.

                                                      Then, mirroring his thoughts, "but it isn't like that guy needs a _reason_ you know." Small shrug, then she let out a breath and leaned against the wall. "Thank God for that garbage truck..." Evidenced by the smattering of paper shreds clinging to her long hair.