Location: Chelsea; NYC, an un-named gym.
Rating: PG-13 (Language and Mild Violence)
Early morning Chelsea area of New York: A small private membership gym not far from where Taskmaster had set up a small get away. One intended for business use. The building this early was relatively un-inhabited, he had sent out word to an associate Inez Temple and of course the mercenary Domino through email. Right now Taskmaster was standing by a punching bag hanging from the ceiling - the heavy object swung and spun as he repeatedly hit it. He bought out this section of the gym for the morning, trainers would keep folks away while they met. His tall, muscular form had a shaven head right now, steel gray eyes and a scar running up the side of his jaw. Not his normal appearance, not in the least but the holograpic projection kept him from prying eyes. "Anytime now..." He said before a rapid flurry of punches and kicks had the bag sinking inward. He was dressed in sports pants, tennis shoes and a tight t-shirt with no sleeves.
The email was received with narrowed eyes and a sigh. A casual meeting? Domino was not about to underestimate anything though and leave unprepared. The motorcycle was getting use before the cold weather kicked in, the loud engine of the pan head kicked off in front of the building, climbing off and grabbing the duffel off the back where it had been strapped. Despite the early daytime heat she was in her trenchcoat that concealed everything but the fact that she was wearing tennis shoes that did not match the whole leather cloaked appearance. Pulling the door open she stepped within, pale fingers curled around the handles of the duffle bag that dangled angular fashion across her back. Slate blue eyes swept over the room she stepped into, narrowing slightly in search of anything that might seem off as well as cameras. "Visitor!" She would call out so Taskmaster or whomever was near would hear.
Inez Temple's gym-bag was slung over her left shoulder as she made her way to the gym, stopping only for a moment to check the address before she continued in. She pauses just inside the door, taking stock of the place. Nodding softly to the few people present as she passed, before sauntering towards the corner of the gym looking for Tasky. Her brown hair was pulled back in a simple ponytail. her sneakers barely making a sound on the padded floor.
The thin yet muscled form of a man stood there by the door looking at Domino and Outlaw, both made way in and the man motioned, "Your friend is in the back and to the left, just go through the door." As he looks around after they're inside he mumbles something about Underworld and Cheerleader movies.
The punching bag could be heard swinging around, thumps and pounds being delivered to it as breathing was released in hisses with each hit, sweat beaded down Taskmaster's brow and shoulders while he dodged around it, striking in intervals. His eyes looking over it towards the two women as they came in, "Domino... Outlaw. You two know each other?"
Domino heard that, glancing to Outlaw she tipped her head lightly. Not anyone she knew and the speculative glance was evident from the woman that bore one distinctive black tattoo around her left eye. It was short lived however as she spoke her own reply to the door man. "Nice to meet you too Dunstin." Swinging the duffel down to carry at her side she came close to taskmaster and her brows furrowed, inspecting the other new look. "How many looks do you have?" The duffel was then discarded with a rather loud thud, it was apparent she was carrying heavy, one never to underestimate circumstances, she did not know Taskmaster very well after-all.
Looking at the other woman, Inez nodded slightly, just the barest of dips with her chin. She murmured to the male at the door, "Howdy sugar. " before turning sharply on one sneaker-ed heel, her hips swaying as she slipped through the door, her hand tightening around the handles of her bag as she spies Taskmaster, calling out, "Hello Darlin'. Boy you sure have changed your look."
"Hi honey!" Exclaimed the doorman/trainer to Outlaw (caught up in her lingo) but then waved a hand in the air rather... effeminately towards Domino as she passed by once both ladies were inside the small off room the door was shut. "Bitch." His comment towards the black eyed mutant could be heard from outside.
Taskmaster chuckles, "You have a way with people." His wrapped up hands halting in their punishment of the bag as he slung a towel over his shoulders wiping himself off. "Enough to get me by and then some." He says, glancing from Outlaw to Domino and back, "It's ever changing, glad to see you both followed directions and were prompt. You look good as I remember Inez... and you eh, Domino. Whats to say. You look same as the other night. Introductions needed or can I get to the point?"
Laughter rang forth in a chuckle that shook Domino's shoulders even as she undid the trench coat and revealed that she was ready for a workout, her chest covered by the lycra banding of a black sports bra, bare from beneath that hem to her hips where black lycra shorts picked up. Pale, nearly albino in hue was her skin, but she was well toned and defined as well as scarred in areas that showed she had been at this for quite a while. Her hands worked to bind the long black hair from her face to a loose bun at the nape of her neck. "He started it." Her hands slapped over her hips in an idle swing as if dusting off. "And you look better as prince charming in his chariot." Glancing to Inez Dom grinned half cocked. "Domino." And then gestured towards Taskmaster. "By all means."
Outlaw turns her slowly to look at the woman, a small smile slipping over lips as she proclaims, "Howdy Domino, sugar, I'm Inez." She nearly cracked up at her own little joke before turning back to him, "The reason? Please sweetness?" , playing up her accent with all the honey she could muster, even playing the country ditz abit.
As Taskmaster unravels the hand-wraps he speaks, "I'm going to push Agency X again... Inez, I imagine you could use some money in your pocket. Domino, you got some talents and you're pretty unaffiliated, working as a group we can take down bigger targets and outsource more, handle some better gigs... I want you both in on it. Am thinking of some other folks too... maybe that Boomerang idiot, I don't want Alex's fat ass involved, put simply I'm being ambitious, I say we start up a good mercenary firm see where it gets us, you cover my back I cover yers. Both of yers... I ain't taking down Moon Knight, that's up to you Dom, you may need help that's where rest of us come in, and Batman... I can't picture going him alone either, thinking about these is what inspired me... pretty simple right? Both of you catching me here? Cards are out there."
The smirk in return to Inez was small but it lingered until lips parted and her tongue traced her teeth. An idle gesture as she skimmed the gym for the possibilities until Taskmaster started talking and he got her attention undivided. "I'm used to solo, but I can do teams." From toe to head task was assessed and her eyes after, snapped back to Inez. Looks were not everything, she would have to either test the girl herself eventually or trust Taskmaster's judgment. He was a stranger just as well. "I got Moon Knight unless one of the others get him before me. Batman already has a mark on me, and I have to do more looking on Arsenal. I am picking up what you are putting down, but this is rather abrupt don't you think? How do you figure you can trust me?" It wasn't a threat it was as true an inquiry as she could put out. "And I know that works both ways."
Slipping over to a support post, Inez leans, crossing her arms, one foot propping up on it as she absorbs his words, her eyes moved back to Domino, sticking. "Team works. I could use the money but not desperately so."
Taskmaster grins in that disguised face that wasn't really attractive he looked like some brawny nose busted scar faced boxer. For all they know this could be his real face. Inez may have known better though, he'd worn another shape quite often in his past that seemed consistent and more detailed. "No, but I trust in your desire for cash like my own. Inez... don't lie about your money issues, I know you ain't worked real hardcore since your daddies funeral and I bet that took a big chunk out of your wallet. Besides, with me and Domino here, you'd be getting an easy nudge into the big leagues, better cash then you're used to. I promise you.... Team works though... how about we even make it official, I'll work up some documents, get some paperwork and turn this into a legit business, make sure we're even and square. We ain't talking LEGAL legit but, mercenary word and business style'n, a security deposit for everyone. "
"Make sure my contract has me able to leave if it doesn't work out within 90 days. Probationary period. I sign nothing until after, but money.. You know what get's a girl and that's money." Straight and to the point. "If we all play well together, I have no qualms with covering backs and having mine covered, I just dont want to have to worry about who is at my back while looking forward in all this." Another glance went to Inez and then to Task, but she still bore a small smile at the edges of dark lips. "What's the security deposit?" One brow rose on pale forehead with that question, her shoulders rolling though and her stance shifting, warming up bit by bit. "Hey Taskmaster, hand me some of that hand tape? What are your best skills Inez, where are you comfortable on a team?"
Shaking her head lightly, Inez pushes off the post and bends down, scooping up her bag as she smiles lightly to Task, "Honey of course I am in. You know how to reach me." Looking to Domino, she murmurs,"Nice to meetcha, Sugar." as she struts past, giving a jaunty little wave to the male on the door as she slips past him
From his gym-bag Taskmaster picked up two things, a water bottle and the wrap tossing it to Domino. "The deposit... how much you willing to take out on yourself? "Taskmasters smile re-appeared, what better an idea. One of them betrays the others they're paying for their own hit. "Minimum of 500k." He rose up a hand and waves as Inez departs. "That's one of us, she's hooked. Can tell already... "
The man at the door whom Domino called Dunstin gave a friendly smile towards Inez waving after her. Leaving Domino and Taskmaster behind.
"Must be in a hurry, guess she didn't wanna play with you. I will, we'll see what sort of licks you can give. Er... " Blinking Taskmaster realizes what he said. "Not like that, I meant... kinda punches you can toss n' take. "
Taskmaster's smile was met with one of Domino's own. "I want life insurance." The tape was caught and her free hand waved to Inez as she left. "She has one up on me in trusting you." This being said as she began to wrap the tape around one hand and then the next, curing and uncurling her fingers once done before tossing it back to him. "Yeah, sure ya did." Smirking Domino took a few steps back off the floor to get on the mat, ducking around the already well abused punching bag.
"Ain't about trusting me. It's about how much you can trust yourself in the long run and how confident you feel should you wanna betray the rest of us. Think about it... 500k for starters thats a hefty price tag. I'll figure a reason for it to get up there, an annual deposit so we all stay on good terms, somethin' still working out the details." Taskmaster says, his foot rose up and the heel would slam hard into the bag, sending it towards her - that was a Captain America kick rudimentary, effective and all power.
"I trust me not to be stupid. I want the deposits put into an account that is regulated by an unbiased attorney. So if one of us does forfeit, fine, the attorney will know the rules and see the papers, but...This way no one can run with it either." The slam was heard when his foot impacted the bag, dodging that completely was out of the question but she turned to face the swiftly swinging bag, taking the impact but wrapping her arms around the bag, letting the momentum take her up and when it swung back her feet were coming around in an arch to slam into Taskmaster's side.
Domino had something Taskmaster didn't this was obvious when she began to move. Enhanced agility... reflexes, she was faster than people should be. How very Irritating, his forearm came up catching one of the kicks but the other struck him in the ribs he grips the top of the bag and lifts himself up high into the air and slams one foot down, "This ones a Spider-Man move, hope you like!" He said with a snarl. His breath ragged, "And... of course, we'll get a medium, Landau Luckman and Lake or something, there is firms out there just for this kind of crap..."
Domino was watching Taskmaster move. She did not have the photographic ability he had but she knew hurt when she saw it coming and was reacting to release the bag and fall back, just not fast enough. The kick hit, sending her into the mat with a resounding thud, but her own retaliation came just as quickly with her back bowing up and her leg shooting up to kick the bottom of the bag he had a hold of and send it into another broad swing, giving her time to get to her feet, keep breathing and prepare.
Rather gracefully Taskmaster back-flips off the bag both arms out wide to land in a crouch, another Spider-Man token action then he did something one the side of crazed and rushes forward high to end up dipping low in a sliding kick, ballsy and nuts. It left openings but could really hurt if it touches down. "Moon Knight." He told her a she did so, "I'm going to teach you something right now, going to do what I do best... educate. "He was moving different at this point his mannerisms and stance having changed. "You wanna take that psycho down? Guess what, here is a teaser of what he's like, pay close attention."
Domino was already rolled to her feet when he came at her, she was waiting though, and watching. Apparently she was already trying to learn him when he came at her, but she was learning other people, and he was now officially announcing that as he struck at her low with a kick that had her jumping upward and bringing one leg around to try and snap kick him right at his shoulder and send him sprawling. "You've had my attention, your trial is keeping it." The smile was there between panted breaths and words, she was always willing to learn.
Taskmaster took the kick in the shoulder and his knee went down, but he didn't stop his forward momentum, instead he hit down onto the ground like a pit-fighter then hurled himself up at her still. "I'm always up for a challenge, just hope you are." A bizarre headlong style, he took the impace and thrust one nicely swung uppercut at her chin, obviously in mimicking Moon Knight he was tossing out some pro level boxing skills.
The watch she had on him was studious, like predator to predator, ever gauging the slightest recoil and tense of muscle to try to find out where the next move would come from. The headlong push was doing one thing for him and it was making her take steps back, in realizing this one heel bit into the floor, making her hold her ground even as the swing came up towards her chin, her back bent and head rolled back to try and dodge that blow while her own hand pressed up and out with a harsh and swift snapping motion that mainly focused on the heel of her palm impacting his sternum if she caught.
Close quarters, hand motions and blocking - an area Moon Knight excelled in. Taskmaster's limb came up blocking the palm strike on his forearm. she was bruising the shit out of him but it was worth it maybe she had what it takes to end the vigilante. He had time to kill anyways, he wanted to watch Batman and Arsenal while Boomerang and Javelin ate dust trying for them, at least hopefully. His left fist came out a straight finger thrust for Domino's throat, meant to catch her windpipe in a glancing blow, intentionally angling to corner her against the wall. "He's fast, strong, used to be more mobile than he is now somethin' happened though he drags his legs just a tad, close quarters is a bad idea with him... you wanna stay at a distance, constantly moving. Keep him at leg reach, go for his knees. Use that freak dexterity you got."Did he sound preachy? Of course he did, this was his element. He was the Taskmaster.
The block had a dissatisfied grunt come from her lips as well as them pulling back into an evident sneer and a flash of ivories. She was moving now, stepping away when his other hand came up to aim for her throat, bending to the side to lead her body away from him in a trained and eased movement that had the glancing blow still scathing her flesh, reminding her just how close he came despite it not being as fatal as it could have been. But his angle was working and she noticed it when she came towards the wall and kicked off of it with one foot, springing her into the air and trying to get away from him, her body twisting to come back down at his side and try to aim with a swift kick to the back of his knee. Practicing while he preached, though the impact if even made would be enough to take him down lightly, not as hard as it could have been.
A grunt came from Taskmaster, Moon Knight's flawed leg work had been evident their last go around and Domino just used it. Playing to it his knee struck down on the ground but he didn't do what the other man would do and sacrifice limb, ligament or muscle to pursue her instead he pushed forward then planted against the wall only to shove off of it in a spin in a weak open attack with his right hand that came with a faster vicious grab at her forearm, trying to coil around meant to bend and fling her away from him. "Not bad." Envious of her inhuman speed, he hated metas who could do that crap, so unfair.
Domino had a success, and this at least had some semblance of a half cocked grin coming back to her lips, but she was not going to count her blessing too early. This man was no amateur, she knew it, she looked in the day she had after that meeting, and in all reality if he pressed hard she knew it would end in a ot of damage, likely for both of them. Confident she was but not stupid. When he came at her with the weak hit she was actually too busy nearly wtf'ing it to catch the follow up of the firm grip that shoved her back and nearly took her off her feet. Regaining her footing she stood at that distance now, breathing in deep breaths, measured, and waiting. "Thank you, same goes for you. Why won't you face him though? You know him, what's the deal?"
"The man's out of his fucking gourd, he carved off Bushman's face. I like my face..." Taskmaster exclaimed, even though he rarely seemed to 'wear' his normal appearance if ever. "I went easy on you, I could beat you if I used my normal styles, I think you might know this too... somewhere in there. I didn't push his style on you either, the Moon Knight is a rabid dog, he'll break his bones to get to you when you're fighting him, ya kicked my leg he would of torn his own muscles and snapped his ankle off to flip around and be on you, plus you'll be dealing with weapons... we only scratched surface. " He was walking away towards his bag gripping up that water bottle again he drank heavily, sweating profusely.
"We are simply sparring, I get that. I held back as much as you did save for blows that I know you can take. Your not a baby, I don't have to pamper you, nor you me. But we know this." She watched him as he walked to his duffel and was contemplating, it showed in the back of those sharp blue eyes that she was considering and weighing everything he said...And accepting it. "neither of us had weapons, but perhaps we can work up to that one. Teach me something new, you have my attention." Saying that she moved to her own duffel, unzipping it and revealing the bag that held the apparent sheen of a body suit neatly tucked to the side where her weapons took up center line, and in a pocket at the end was some water, still partially frozen.
"That'll come later. I got my own shit to do. Have a trip into Gotham today, still trying to find this Arsenal punk, Nimrod was talking about. Guys elusive or doesn't exist." Taskmaster reaches up rubbing the side of his jaw. "Sides I got some aches to nurse now... we'll play later on. Maybe catch you for a late night dinner. "His ego was nudged aside and he grinned at her, "What do you say? My treat and I'll even bring the rubber bullets for the after party." His work out gear being tossed into the bag he slung it over his shoulder and began to stride past her towards the door, lingering only to hear her response then leaving.
"I will keep eyes and ears out for him. You just let me know what I need to about this....Knight and we can get this 'team' thing started in its own slow way." Zipping back up her duffel she tugged her coat up, but this time left it draped over her arm, hanging with a weight that was added to the leather, showing there was more definitely tucked within. "I have some heating and icing to do as well, this way I don't show up stiff to that dinner." It was her own way of accepting as she headed towards the door herself, pausing by the one she affectionately named 'Dunstin'. "Bitch please, I am hotter then Kate Beckinsdale." A wink to the door boy and she was out, going to her motorcycle.