1965-02-19 - Project Virgo: Wrong Side of the Door
Summary: Deeper into the Soviet institute, Bucky learns violence is always the answer.
Related: Project Virgo
Theme Song: None
bucky rogue 

He doesn't wait. Buck's wading in, in Evy's defense. Relying on blunt trauma - let the others kill, if they must. He's just making use of metal fist and the pommel of his knife, that sharp lump of steel. Buck's teeth are bared in that grimace of anger, eyes narrowed.

What surely feels a lifetime ago, Bucky crossed the lonely floor in company of the spitting image of a much younger, feminine Steve Rogers. A miracle brings him back to Russia in the best of company, five of his kin and his girl at his back, while the whole gathered company slowly falls apart.

Madness claimed Adam, the first coherent man he spoke to back at Site I, all those months ago, in Quebec. In his bloody wake, Kyr vanished into the woods.

The earth devoured Captain America, taking him to the bloody breast of Rus'.

Some distance behind the Winter Soldier, Orel barely clings to sanity, trudging that bloody path, every step on broken glass. Unease crackles through the bond to those splintered, diffuse personalities, chasms cleaving stability away from the source. None have seen Lazar, the ghost not there to impart his weary knowledge. Volya carries the mantle of killer, Nikita rattled by a missed shot, and even Matvei — calm, gentle soul that he is — harbouring a slinking, slow-burning ember of wrath.

And then there is Evgeniy, tattooed and far from stable, stricken forever by the ordeals in the USSR and subsequent months in captivity. His dance among the youths circling him holds all the explosive force of a boxer combined with someone trained in spetsnaz combat techniques, sharp and quick and efficient. Whatever admonishments against harming others have been lost upon him, the aggressive temperament of a natural alpha clawing its way to the surface. He swivels to take a chop on the thigh, his leg braced against the battering force, and he swings to hurl that child in a macabre likeness of the blond hero of America at the bars. Metal bars might bend, might break, but it hardly matters. Volya wades behind Bucky. In close range, there's little use for a gun but he can apply the stock for brutal, efficient bone-cracking blows as necesary.

Winter's icy framework is a scaffold against the rising tide of their anger and panic. Steve not on hand to issue orders, he's free to make the decisions he deems best. He doesn't give them directions - the goal is clear. Subdue Genya's attackers. The fact that one of them looks like Steve….it's a fissure in hi heart, but one that'll be disregarded until later. Where is his Steve?

Coordinated violence in close quarters may be what they do best. Genya is strong, horrifically compared to children. The kids cannot get the upper hand on him, and he still takes the blows. They dodge out of the way, only to be hit with a force that should fell a nutritionally-deprived child of eleven. Bucky cracks bones the way rich folks break open crab legs at Atlantic City, but when they hit the ground, doggedly they rise to storm into synchronized punches at the vital areas they can reach. When the best weapon is broken fingers or the heel of the hand, moral ambiguity fades. Volya the Hunter lingers back until the child with misshapen limbs and Steve's thin face draws too near, and one backhanded slam of the rifle into said face finally puts it down.

«Tainted,» Nikita mutters, his taut frame shaking at the revelation. None of them are willing to go near when a child falls, showing blackened feet and calves, stained hands up to the elbows on one gnarled arm. «We have to go.»

That's one training room opened, its southern counterpart sealed. Witness to the silent mayhem, the redhead bohemienne's features are ashen, resolved behind closed doors to say not a word.

«What is this taint? What happens?» Bucky demands. No one's ever been clear. «Which way? Do we need to get up into the ventilation system?» He hasn't seen a way out.

Matvei shakes his head, gaze swiveling away from Bucky back to the dim realm where the water level is slowly encroaching upon the stairs and the foaming blue disk of the pool contributes to a slow, inevitable flood. Water permeates the atmosphere, an oddly muddled smell of washed stones and drowned soil, not exactly clean but absent of astringent chemicals. Odd hisses and crackles accompany the inevitable advance.

«Sure death. The tainted are dead men walking.» Nikita has said that before and he repeats it again, a helpless admonishment. The other two stamped in his near likeness are no help, Genya slouching forth to kick the fallen body blocking his path. One empty room stripped down to its claustrophobic confines has witnessed another victory, another loss. Nothing new.

In the lull, Matvei helplessly shakes his head. «We did not stay here. It was verboten. Only younger ones?» The choice to abandon ship entirely or climb to the highest levels of the dacha are theirs to make, but half the floor remains separated by a growing sea, and those tantalizing points of escape through the ventilation a quick way out. If one can climb.

Terrible words….but enough to absolve him from at least a little. Something. The guilt will come anyhow, and even Lucian's glowing example won't be enough to stop it. «Vents it is,» he says, quickly. «We've got to find Steve, and he's clearly not around here anywhere.» His pulse is a drumbeat in his throat. «C'mon. Let's go.»

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d100 for: 24

Water pours out, centimeter by centimeter. The floor sinks beneath the shining turquoise serenity, drowning the broken glass, and lapping serenely below the concrete planters. Another ten minutes, maybe fifteen, they will be awash.

Luckily the tasks of finding the ventilation system is easy. On memory Bucky is well aware where one is, right over the computer bank adjacent to the flooded-out pool leading who knows where. Another circle behind grating lies in the far corner, past the observation deck. Safe to presume the earth is a warren of tunnels and clustered routes, provided they can find an access point.

It's the one he didn't take before that he goes for now. No hesitation in clambering up atop the blanks of computers. Some impulse has him grabbing that book from before. Champion of the Motherland, indeed. A twist of the metal arm should be enough to wrench the grating off, right?

Pool Room. Subterranean Floor. The Dacha.

Bucky may want to reach that far ventilation grate positioned in the corner across from the shattered observation glass and the classrooms. Water spilling out from the pool stands between him and his destination, and there aren't many ways across without getting boots wet. The metal railings enfolding the pool are still visible, half-submerged, and another landing above a few shallow steps are clear of flooding directly in front of the training rooms where he encountered the children minutes ago. How confident is he about leaping by wire, or punching handholds into the wall for himself? The computer bank offers its own hazard, the smooth glass that blinks and fires cyan motes of light at the first contact.

«You do not have access privileges, Winter Soldier.» Where does that masculine voice come from? It is without question familiar, the clipped and vaguely German overtones of Arnim Zola in the near flesh. No sound system was ever so clear, save maybe one tucked away in Lux.

The wolves follow where he goes, and Scarlett has the ultimate in cheats: anti-gravity by right of flying, fully prepared to play taxi.

There's no snarling reply for whatever digital avatar of Zola is watching, even if it raises the hair at the back of his neck. Buck will have to do what he can to scamper across the top of the computer banks. There's a temptation to put a bullet or two into them, but the water will likely do his work for him. A grateful look to Scarlett, but he doesn't ask her to fl him. Let's see if leaping and gymnastics will do.

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 6

Volya will not be flown, no matter how graceful the option. He practically raises his hackles when Scarlett offered her gloved hand, hunching his shoulders and twisting away. The echoing voice of Zola brings out a shaking tremor straight through core muscles taut beneath his clothes, and he dashes almost up to the water, giving a broad leap to clear the water. Glass may not quite crunch when he lands, but he slides. The rest of the wolves, from shaking Genya to Orel in his magmatic rage, accept the lift. Though the ferrying service is prompt, they can literally watch water spill out from the glowing pool. An oblique look proves her earlier statement: no bottom to speak of. It's a tunnel of sorts, straight down.

Metal and vibranium-scaled fingers snatch the grate loudly enough, and from there, a straight crawl into the vertical shaft invariably follows. When he descended into hell the last time around, Bucky would have noticed the long drop, further than two storeys. A few wobbly pieces of metal probably mark the cross point for another horizontal shaft about a third of the way up. Start climbing.

Climb he does, though not perhaps at his greatest speed. But there has to be a way into some other chamber, some other place. The idea of Steve smothered and dead in a markless grave in cold Russian soil is enough to make him shiver, even as the sweat of effort runnels down his spine. He'lll make handholds as he goes, if need be, letting others follow more easily - vibranium alloy letting him jab fingers into softer metal.

The lateral tunnel requires a bit of a punch to displace, and when the panel falls, Nikita is the one to catch it. As the best climber among them, other than the guy with the augmented vibranium arm, he passes down the slot and they follow as ducklings might — Nikita, Orel, Volya, Genya, Matvei, Scarlett receiving burning looks from the Hunter. They cannot go more than one by one.

Either way, following that lateral lasts a reasonable distance, though with a line of super-soldiers in various stages of mental decay, it might feel like forever. Uncomfortable belly-crawling ends when Bucky, in the lead, comes to a sharp right angle. Another ventilation shaft hooks around in a U, and there's a grate illuminated vaguely by dim light. Below is some kind of hallway, mortared walls leading to sandstone floors.

The Library
Approaching the library is a novelty. The opaque door confronting the hall is gorgeously laser-etched glass depicting a man in archaic Russian dress hoisting his gauntleted arm, while around him a storm of crows and hawks take flight. He might seem to be floating there in a frenzy of feathers. It sweeps back into the wall, retracting with a mechanical whisper, to permit clear view. Bookshelves stacked with every kind of volumes are present to the eye, narrow cases distinguished by wood carvings, each one a different symbol. Brass rails enclose the upper portion for honest to goodness rolling ladders. The central portion has several low tables facing one another, surrounded by chairs suitable for someone much shorter than Bucky himself. Beyond the books, stacks of slate personal chalkboards are lined up in a rack along with white and yellow chalk (how daring). Heat bubbles through the corner nearest the door, almost uncomfortably so. That might have something to do with a large set of monitors against the northeast wall, and another steel-grey metal cabinet below. He might recognize similarities to the databanks used by SHIELD, except SHIELD is primitive next to this technology.

Amidst his own fear and theirs, the link a roil of chaos and sheer feeling, there is an absurd pang of envy. What a *library*, the kind of thing he and Steve would've killed for in a childhood in the days before radio or film. The image makes him pull a face. He knows that story - the sorcerers who became Ivan Tsarevich's brother in law. But there is no time to explore at their leisure; if there's no apparent threat, there's nothing to do but look for any further clues….and another way out.

Bucky is conscious enough to see the shadow moving before the source comes upon him, originating from the south side of the room where another archway retreats into a hall. Bare feet slapping on the ground present little disturbance, but the short cadence and light weight imply it's no gun-toting maniac but something smaller.

The men dropping into the hall fan out behind him, keeping a short wedge profile. As soon as the opportunity arises, though, Volya has that semi-automatic gun he carries unslung and pointed at the doorway. The western exit, made of wood and stone, is shut.

No splitting the party, no dividing the pack. Buck whirls on the south, rifle still at his back. It's the first sign of presence here, and he advances cautiously, knife in hand. Reluctant to send anyone ahead as a scout, since he's the one armored, relatively speaking.

It's a boy, not much past ten. The child holds an oversize book and a few loose sheets of paper. A pencil clatters to the stone floor, the book clutched to his chest like it's the most precious thing in the world. Brown hair in a dull mop covers his forehead, not even pushed back. «Uh.» His mouth opens and shuts. The accent is definitely garbled Russian, something Kaliningrad rather than Moscow. More concerning, the slant of those cheekbones.

«Shoot it.» Nikita doesn't even miss a beat, and Volya fingers the trigger. One squeeze, an easy target at thirty feet. Not much chance of missing.

Scarlett tips her head, a faraway sheen in her azure-green eyes and detachment settled around her like a dream. "Rebecca…?" Come to think… yes, there /is/ a resemblance…

«NO!» He's already got a hand out, as if to deflect a projectile. «No, wait, don't.» It's another one of his, just….younger. A cub, rather than a full-grown wolf. Instincts insist this will be part of a pack. Still motioning them back, he pads forward. «Don't be afraid.» Not a fucking chance, James Buchanan Barnes. «What's your name?»

The kid's eyes widen, and widen even more. He lifts the book to shield himself, gaping like a fish, mouth red and opening, shut, open again. A pitched noise swiftly devolves into chattering fragments of sound, stumbling away from the adults clustered in the hallowed place of learning. All of them but two, visibly armed.

«N-not b-b-b-b-bad! No! Don't wanna die!»

At least he's not wetting himself, a near thing, as he turns tail and flees into the corridor.

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 1

Bucky looks down at himself, ruefully. Blood on him, metal arm, leading a pack of wolves. He never didhave Steve's natural charisma and ability to reassure, even when he was just plain old Bucky from Brooklyn. No attempt to run after the kid, but he does stride that way at a firm pace. Might run them right into an ambush, but it's thefirst sign of possibly healthy kids he's seen.

«He doesn't like us.» Matvei's puzzlement over the fact earns a suppressed growl from Orel and Genya offering him brutal side-eye. The least stable of the quintet are furthest from the front, at least, and Nikita might be forgiven for peering at the books before they are forced to move on. Sweeping through the doorway presents a view of a hallway largely without ornamentation, one punctuated by vents in the ceiling, hard to see but evidence of a possible higher escape route. Lights interspersed at odd intervals throw weird shadows against the brick walls and stone floor.

The boy runs ahead and swerves around the the corner, and he flees in a straight jog. Clearly he has no trouble with this, sprinting and not exactly winded, but fear forces him on. He's not abandoning his book, telling.

Buck isn't trying to run him down….but he does want to try and keep him in sight. Please gods, fear won't spur that little heart into failure. The Soldier's coming on at that easy wolf's lope, the one he can sustain for damn near days, at his peak.

The boy dashes around the corner, forced to a fork. Which way? He tries to hide back, pushed down, skulking as low as he can in waiting for Bucky to dash right past him or fail to notice which bend he took. Holding his breath rather than panting gives some pretext of hiding, and he slides along the wall, feeling. Lights are fewer in this section, either by luck or chance. The stonework feels intensely warm, the air slightly damp.

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 13

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 13

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 13

He doesn't reorient on the kid. Doesn't let his gaze dart that way, or slow that dogtrot until abruptly putting on the brakes right at the fork, shooting out the metal hand to snag him and drag him in. Poor cub.

A choking sound hooks the boy up, and for a moment it's a near thing. Release the book on geophysics to slide to the ground and wrench himself away, tearing his white shirt? The split-second decision gives Bucky the purchase he needs to capture his quarry, though the creature spins around like a hellcat possessed. He drops the book anyways and stretches open his mouth, shrieking like martial artists from Shanghai or the high plateau. Sparks might just fly from where his nails scrape over the enduring plates, looking for a weak point he can jam up.

The string of wolves behind him wear expressions ranging from detached to perturbed, not much different. They aren't salivating, and certainly none of them bubble with well wishes.

«Murderers,» hisses Orel, sharp and short. «All 'em. Kill.»

«Did they make these children into killers?» Buck's tone is dispassionate. «Didn't they make us all? Feed us on the flesh of the dead and turn us into their beasts?» There's an attempt at grapple and pin - it's damn near impossible to cause pain through the metal arm, after all. One of those times it's an advantage. To the child he says, «I don't want to hurt you, and I won't let them hurt you. Be calm, you can't fight me, don't hurt yourself trying. I'm James.»

The kid kicks and squirms, seeking to use the prosthetic arm for something like a platform or a kick. But in the end, a man's armspan exceeds his ability to inflict any real damage. It shows in the frustration in his face, like the little budding scientists ready to throw radioactive sand in his eyes, and the ones left broken and discarded by Genya. Time is running out, through an hourglass, tumbling down.

«Liar!» Garbled Russian, slur of Polish influences or Prussian, that old hinterland lost in the Red Army years. «Champion… You'll kill us. No, no.»

«I am not here to kill you,» he says, lifting the child like a struggling puppy. «Look at me. Look at my face, my eyes. We are kin. What have they told you the Champion does?» And a glance at the fork in the hall. «Where do these paths lead?»

Scarlett's fingers tremble as she keeps watch from behind, the odd silence perturbed only by the radiant heat building up around the corner. It's enough to make a man sweat by standing there too long. The child is easily enough pinned, not giving off much in the way of a fight or a stench, though his plain clothes will cling to his skin after overlong. He stares, wild-eyed, blank-faced, terror and violence wedded into a sick combination. Yay for bladder control.

«I don't kn-know you,» he spits out, chattering teeth, foaming resolve brought to play. «Not me. M-my family isn't you. You're n-not real.» Well, obviously, he is, but Bucky nonetheless receives a glimpse of whites showing as he stares down the hall. Where do they lead? «Office.»

«I'm very real,» he says, without a hint of humor. «Both ways? And why is it so hot, do you know?» What is that? He glances back at at the wolves, then to Scarlett. "Great," he says to her, in English. "Apparently I'm the boogeyman."

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 12

Cue a melody of shaken heads among the men mirror in image to Bucky himself, the redhead among them the lone one who doesn't. A failure to speak Russian when deep in Soviet territory is going to be harmful, sooner or later.

The heat flows through the walls, leaving even the stone a bit toasty to the touch, radiant through the floor.

"Your best friend is a hero, I don't exist, and your fully grown children could be your stunt doubles," she murmurs, looking back over the slope of her shoulder. "You can be whatever you want to be. Say 'boo' and see where he rabbits."

The child, perplexed, doesn't speak English. He puzzles at the question, still squirming to get away. His poor, precious book. «I dunno, I only go to read in the library.»

Buck settles him down on the floor, but he keeps the alloy hand around one wrist. «Show me to the office,» he says, firmly. «What grownups are in charge here?»

The kid backpedals to the wall, as much as he can. He shakes his head sharply, brown hair flying in every direction. «No. Not supposed to go that way. I'm not allowed.» Cue the huffy imperiousness of a child aware of the laws, even if those laws and rules are currently besieged by a very frightening man who needs a bit of black greasepaint to put the love and terror of godless infidels into these savages.

Volya simply points the gun, and nudges the barrel up the way.

There's a hint of a smile around his eyes at that. «But I am,» he tells the little boy. «Let's go.» IF the kid won't come, he will be dragged. To Scarlette, he notes, "He says there's offices up this way. Time to pay avisit to the schoolmaster." Please, God, let him be able to punch Zola in the face.

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 5

Creeping dread goes into a full boil. Oh dear. Oh dear indeed. Conservative reaction becomes desperate, uncoordinated efforts to slide out of his shirt, hit the ground, and… what, go through five grown men past the Champion of the Motherland? The boy with Becky's features molded to a slightly different cant moans in despair, dragged along.

Ahead likes the second bend in the hall through the sultry heat, shadows fallen across the floor where a burnt-out light isn't much functioning.

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 16

He'll hoist him up in a fireman's carry, if need be. The arm's got more than enough strength. The floor….that makes him hesitate, look back, shake his head. «Something's burning this out from underneath, I think.» He sniffs the air, looking for traces of smoke. Then he reiterates it to Scarlett, turns back. «We'll take the other path.» Surely the kid will be relieved. In that determinedly conversational voice, he asks again, «What do they call you, boy? And do you know Fanya?»

Not much relief, but the full-on enhanced tantrum, given unnatural strength, is something the Winter Soldier and his comrades avoid. It may so happen he still has to deal with kicking and a knee that wants to meet his jaw, but the disconsolate glare shown on the boy's face leaves off when they back up. His mouth screws up, enough that Evgeniy irritably swings to cuff him lightly, or lightly by Genya standards.

«Baba, he looks like an old woman.» No, Matvei, you are not helping however much he tries to lighten the mood. At least one of them knows how to tell a bad joke. If that is a joke.

Back down around leads to another corridor, the north spike coming to a decided dead end after about fifty feet or so. The sharp turn brings them to a stubby aisle, a tall metal shelving unit containing nothing more exciting than folded wool blankets and starched white sheets. It's thrilling.

And to think there's a part of him that once longed for the joys of parenthood, of a little face looking up at him. Bucky sighs, and gestures for them to see if there's anything behind it. A hidden door, a magic bookshelf, some old outfit of Schmidt's. Still holding the kid.

No magic bookshelf, just lots of clean blankets to be messed up. The boy is practically beside himelf when they end up tossed to the ground, messed up, and his staring eyes bug out harder. «Stop! You make a mess. I folded that! Fanya will never believe this.»


Bucky pats him on the back, reassuringly. «Uncle Yasha will tell her it's all his fault,» he sighs. «Back to the library.» Translation for his darling girl. Well, at least nothing has exploded, yet.

Translation is given a once-over, raised eyebrows questioning things one does not say in front of that worst age for boys. They haven't got a name out of him — Yuriy, as it happens — and Yuriy is bound not to give up that one even if he has made fatal errors already. Back into the sacred place, at last he finds some place made sacred and squirms all over.

Matvei goes to sit on a table, followed by Evgeniy. Nikita crouches by the doorway to the south, Volya placed square where they came from originally on the west. Orel sits on the floor, arms around his legs, shuddering and glaring daggers at the towheaded kid. This is his world, Bucky Barnes and the Lonely Hearts Club Band.

One curious door on the other side. A route back up the original corridor. His call.

The other door it is. Buck sighs. "Sweetheart, can you scout that? I don't dare let go of Little Nemo here." Managing people is tiring, and everyone here is weird, including himself. Slogging his way to Tunis was easier.

Scarlett holds out her hand. "Love, I deal with recalcitrant teenagers and adolescents more than I wish to confess. If I cannot hold him, you know where your bad headmaster is hiding." Might as well free up the one with the real firepower so that the resident floating ghost can be of some use. Whether Yuriy ends up passed over like a wool blanket or not, the choice remains.

Someone may wonder where Matvei found a bag of dried apricots. Regardless, he chews on one.

He hands off the kid, turns for the door. Whistles for a moment, whimsically, Lili Marlene. As if that might summon the resident German scientific problem to him like a hunter whistling a lost spaniel out of the brush. Then he's opening the door to the west.

Wood and stone part to a good twist, swinging back onto another hallway. However well-acquainted Bucky may be with the comforts of the library, the mortared brick and fashioned walls along here bear a certain emptiness, an expressive loneliness, entirely devoid of charms. The functionality together with no decoration whatsoever feels very much like he's taking the servants hall to whatever hidden places are managed by students in an empty facility guarded by all manner of creepy haunts. The only oddity, the bricks sweat water, a few beads here and there.

Down that long corridor, nothing otherwise sticks out. He will find a solid wooden door, and that resists his efforts to lightly push it open. Stuck in the jamb.

Subtlety? He may be a ghost and a terror, but he's also tired of obstacles. So Buck solves the problem of the door by the expedient of punching it right open with his metal fist.

A hole smashes through the wood, and the trim on the doorjamb gives way around that metal fist. Russian architecture meets Russian engineering, and the result is an overengineered stalemate ended in about three tenths of a second. The portal knocks over, slamming into the ground, dust on the air.

Yuriy twists and squalls in protest. «He is breaking the library! You are monstrous.» Whatever attempt he has to get on the ground is met by being held out, a naughty cub, to three irritated wolves, whereas Nikita signals Genya to creep up the way. Matvei eats his apricot, Volya slinks into the shadows in his silent fashion, and Orel bites at his fingers through the gloves, pain a welcome frisson to clear the mind of smoky embers.

Storage Room

Through the mambo line of the twisting hallway, the floor descends slightly and curves away from the door, reaching a small drain in the middle. This isn't a large chamber, by any means, marked by one standing door and another weird glass panel etched with another image of long walls studded by bowmen and maidens in archaic clothes similar to the one in the library. Banners stream in the air, and the moon lies high overhead. The smoky glass prevents Bucky from seeing through, other than having some kind of faint backlighting to show off the effects.

The chamber is stocked with those shelves as seen with blankets, except every freestanding unit goes floor to ceiling. Cleaning supplies mingle with components that maybe Tony Stark might identify easily, metal plates and nested aluminum tubing segments, hoses in boxes, things given no obvious labels except their obscure origins from across Siberia.

Volga has collected what he likes. Gods only know what Tony would make of this. But there's that pressing impatience, like a spur. Let Rogue guard and watch over the cubs. He passes on through, heading around the walls as much as he can. Finding all the exits, before picking the one to the north.

Shadowing him, Genya and Nika ghost through the doorway to find themselves overlooked by far too many shelves in rows for their own good. Clear lines of sight are limited, as evidenced by a certain straightening by the damaged pair. Things they can hide behind do inspire a certain confidence.

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 11

When all you have is a hammer….Buck's losing patience. Another series of thuds, and he's working on the door again. Thank god it's damn near impossible to bust those knuckles.

The clatter of his fist hits wood. Wooden boards damp and slick, bowing underneath the force. As soon as he busts the door free, something unleashed with a shrill whine comes roaring down, fourteen points of hardened steel and pig iron. A fucking portcullis, brought careening out of the narrow housing, rattles free to slam into the ground, potentially pinning Bucky by the wrist if he isn't fast enough to retreat or wants to argue about Tsarist sensibilities in a communist era.

The ungodly noise sets Genya off, whirling around, a pile of papers yanked out of a green folder flung into the air. They flutter madly around. Though one can definitely see a hallway stretching into another dead end through the gate, an intersection beyond arm's reach.

This was a trap. Of fucking course. Buck whips his hand back. Now it's between him and what might be his goal…can he lift it? OR even wrench it out of shape enough to slip through? He can rip the doors off SUV with the ease of a falcon plucking a pigeon, after all.

Of fucking course it was. Nikita is already in motion, hauling Bucky back by the arm, while papers noted in so many scrawling, spidery ink lines drift down onto them. They land on the floor, forsaken, while the trap bites into place, deprived perhaps of flesh but not trouble.

"What's going on?" makes for a terrible shout, therefore the scout sent on his way is Volya, naturally. He glances through the shattered doorway at the portcullis, a thing hard to even conjure. Jail bars, one angry Champion of the Motherland ripping at the reinforced steel to make room for himself. The challenge of tearing it free of its housing are the layers of bedrock and brick mortared in walls around the storage room, but persistence will pay off, one way or the other. It's really whichever end Bucky tries to achieve.

He could try and find a way around it. But something in Bucky has snapped, and he's working on it. Muscle and cable and reinforcement stand out - if he can yank an arc reactor right out of one of Tony's suits, he can do this. «What do those papers say?» he grits, even as he works on bending bars out of shape.

Screeching bars twist asunder, parted and torn from their bases, reshaped without aid of a hammer, tongs, or proper blowtorch. Bucky's insistence rips open a hole while Nika stares, Volya awaits his chance to walk through, and no one needs to tell the one of the wolves with ungodly strength — and no metal arm — to help. The things they don't know won't hopefully kill them.

Nikita bends, taking up a page stained by a bit of water and a bootprint. «Numbers. Quantity, oil. Coal? Delivery of six from Box 27. Returned one student to Kras. Just says six, not six what.» He frowns, thumbing over the contents.

Volya shakes his head. «No Krasnoyarsk-27.»

Nikita shakes the paper, picking up another. «Shipment of nine from Box 41. Peryak.»

«Permyak.» Correction comes, and then a pause. «Permyak-41 doesn't exist,» the Hunter repeats flatly.

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