Log Title: Free Me



Characters: Angel, Jenkins, Lowdown, Raven

Location: White House Situation Room

Date: May 2017

TP: America Burning TP

Summary: Angel tries to escape Cobra.

As logged by Double0snake

White House Situation Room - White House

The White House Situation Room, officially known as the John F. Kennedy Conference Room, is a 5,525-square-foot (513.3 m^2) conference room and intelligence management center in the basement of the West Wing of the White House. It is run by the National Security Council staff for the use of the President of the United States and their advisors (including the National Security Advisor, the Homeland Security Advisor and the White House Chief of Staff) to monitor and deal with crises at home and abroad and to conduct secure communications with outside (often overseas) persons. The Situation Room is equipped with secure, advanced communications equipment for the President to maintain command and control of U.S. forces around the world.

It was a quiet, nervous ride into DC. And the greenshirt driver could only get them so far, before it was impossible to proceed on the roads. "You have an hour to get in and out. I'll be at the retrieval zone." The greenshirt said to Raven and Lowdown. The Joes had received a handwritten message. The message had stated that the Cobra who sent it wished to defect, and had valuable intel to barter with, but didn't go into any detail. The name signed was 'Angel'.

Lowdown is in the back of the Hammer (because that's a Joe tactical vehicle, dammit!), checking his magazines. Again. Two magazines of 9mm ammunition, 4 magazines of .408 for his CheyTac, and one magazine for his Steyr IWS... because you never know when you need to kill a tank. Without looking up at Raven, he quietly asks, "You're sure that letter came from your brother?" Remarkably, this is the first time he's voiced that question.

Raven is, surprisingly, rather calm. Like Lowdown, he's currently checking his magazines and making sure his gun is at the ready. He honestly hopes he won't have to use it, but he's learned to prepare for the unexpected. "Absolutely," he answers, and, like Lowdown, he doesn't look up as he speaks. "I know his handwriting."

The greenshirt stops the Hammer. "Okay, this is as far as I can take you - from here on in the patrols are too thick for a vehicle to pass by unnoticed. Good luck you two."

Lowdown checks the rest of his equipment, particularly the map. He didn't bother to bring any MRE's since this was supposed to be a relatively short operation. However, he grabbed a few protein bars, because when has a GI Joe operation ever (EVER) gone according to plan? He looks up as the Hammer comes to a halt and pats the Greenshirt on the shoulder, "Thanks, Jenkins." Sidearm holsters, Steyr slung tightly across his back, and CheyTac cradled in his arms as he slides out of the tactical vehicle. Again without meeting Raven's eyes, he voices the obvious, "You know they can forge things like that..."

Raven gives a quiet snort. "I know," he says, tone even. "But trust me on this. It's him." He settles his weapon in its holster, slides his goggles down over his eyes, and follows Lowdown. "And in the tiny chance I'm wrong...well, someone's gonna get his ass kicked." Yeah, he's not in the mood for games.

The greenshirt salutes and drives off, intending to come back and retrieve the pair... and maybe an extra. The whole city is blacked out, meaning using any sort of visible-light torch is a bad idea. The note had read that Angel would be on a sniping post across the river from the Congressional Buildings, near the Jefferson Memorial.

Lowdown nods slowly as he sets off along a darkened alley. He doesn't mind the dark at all. In fact, it's the only time he lets his eyes see things naturally. The visor is fully lifted, and shutters over his ears are mostly opened to let in as much sound as possible. He speaks quietly, "I trust you... If I didn't, I wouldn't be out here."

Despite himself, Raven smiles a bit, even though Lowdown probably can't see it. "I know," he says, just as quietly. "Thanks, man." He follows after his companion, ears and eyes alert for anything out of the ordinary. Out of habit, he slips his hand over the grip of his gun, ready to draw it in an instant if necessary.

Well, a lot of things are out of the ordinary. COBRA's taken over the Capitol, and all that. But outside of the patrols - which seem to be set up to stop a large group, not just two infiltrators - it's a quiet if breezy night. The moon's not out. That, combined with the blackout, makes it eerily dark.

Lowdown is incredibly (maybe unsettlingly) at home in the dark. Ninja aren't the only ones who can creep about and kill you without being seen. He just does it from outside of arm's reach. Nevertheless, he sticks to the alleys and side-streets. No point in undue risk, even if he is confident in his abilities. It's the difference between 'mortally wounded' and 'fatally wounded.'

Growing up as a street fighter, and still being pretty damned good at it, Raven's put himself at risk more than once. Not so much since becoming a Joe, but every so often his reckless streak re-emerges, particularly when under emotional stress. For now, though, he's trying not to be that hotshot punk, and instead focus on locating and protecting his brother. Though, he can't help but feel at home at the moment, like he was skulking about in the alleys of New York City again, getting into fights with other youths. Such nostalgia. 'Give me a sign, bro,' he thinks, willing Angel to make himself known. 'Like the good old days...'

There's a building not too far from the Jefferson Memorial. It's been vacated, but otherwise in good condition. From the top of that building is a very odd glint. It's repeated a couple of times.

Lowdown spots the glint, mostly because any light at this point causes his eyes some discomfort. He stops in his tracks, holding his arm at a right angle while making a fist: the military sign for stop. He's already sticking close to the buildings, or he'd move directly toward them. He slides down behind a mailbox and readies his CheyTac, raising it up to sight through the scope at the source of the glinting...

Raven notices the glinting as well, and stops in his tracks at Lowdown's signal. He holds his breath in anticipation, hoping, waiting...and idly wondering if, perhaps, he is now telepathic. 'Or,' he tells himself, 'if it is him, it's that awesome Twin Wavelength.' Then he mentally berates himself for thinking such things during a mission. 'Focus, you dork!'

Through his scope, Lowdown can see there's some sort of tent at the top of the building. It's a very small shelter. And outside that shelter is a Cobra sniper, peering through their own scope. When they notice Lowdown, the gun is deliberately lowered, and the sniper brings his left hand to the back of the scope, which lights up. It seems he's shining a light through the scope to signal his location.

Lowdown deliberately, and maybe just a bit more slowly, lowers his own weapon. He points to the building in question, making a few more befuddling gestures to Raven, indicating that he should hit it toward the outfield. Wait, no... He's indicating that the building is their destination.

Raven gives a quick nod and, for a brief moment, scrutinizes his surroundings to make sure the coast is clear. His grip on his gun tightens slightly as he starts moving in the direction of the indicated building.

The building is silent - unsettlingly so, as the two Joes head towards it. There's a convenient fire escape to the top. Once the two arrive on top, the sniper is waiting. He's on his knees, ankles crossed. His hands are on top of his helmet, with the fingers interlaced. His sniper rifle is right at top of the escape, where he is in the center of the roof.

Lowdown signals Raven to move in and secure the target. Meanwhile, he keeps his CheyTac pointed at Angel. He trusts that Raven believes in his brother, but that doesn't mean he trusts the rest of Cobra. They could still be using Angel as bait, even if Angel doesn't know it. Or, worse, Mindbender has fiddled with his head even more and Angel is a programmed assassin. Seriously, with these guys, the possibilities are endless.

Needless to say, Raven has been considering those same possibilities. But he still believes in his own instincts, like he always has. Noiselessly, he hurries over to his brother, at last drawing his gun, but more in case any other Cobras are close by. Gripping the pistol, he kneels beside Angel.

Angel is breathing heavily under his helmet and behind his mask. Trying to stay calm, perhaps...? His fingers tighten on his head. "Don't... want to fight... They made me forget. They took my memory. Took everything. I hate them." he murmurs. "Mindbender..." He sounds sick as he mentions that name, before falling silent.

Lowdown signals Raven to move in and secure the target. Meanwhile, he keeps his CheyTac pointed at Angel. He trusts that Raven believes in his brother, but that doesn't mean he trusts the rest of Cobra. They could still be using Angel as bait, even if Angel doesn't know it. Or, worse, Mindbender has fiddled with his head even more and Angel is a programmed assassin. Seriously, with these guys, the possibilities are endless.

Needless to say, Raven has been considering those same possibilities. But he still believes in his own instincts, like he always has. Noiselessly, he hurries over to his brother, at last drawing his gun, but more in case any other Cobras are close by. Gripping the pistol, he kneels beside Angel.

Angel is breathing heavily under his helmet and behind his mask. Trying to stay calm, perhaps...? His fingers tighten on his head. "Don't... want to fight... They made me forget. They took my memory. Took everything. I hate them." he murmurs. "Mindbender..." He sounds sick as he mentions that name, before falling silent.

Lowdown keeps his rifle trained on Angel, but shifts his gaze, briefly sweeping the area to make sure nothing new has come onto the scene. So far, so good... so what's the catch?

"It's okay." Raven keeps his voice down, tone even. "You'll be okay. Just trust us. Trust me." He falls silent for the moment, shifting his gaze over to Lowdown, watching him closely, just in case they need to bolt at any second.

Angel nods, shakily. "They,,, lie. They said... you would kill me." He too looks over at Lowdown - and even with his face concealed by his mask, it's clear the Cobra doesn't quite recognize Lowdown, yet has a feeling of deja vu. "Who is he...? Did I know him once?"

Three blocks down, a patrol is getting ready to do their rounds.

Lowdown glances down at Angel, "We met in Los Angeles. When the Quintessons took over." While waiting for Raven to put cuffs on his brother's arms (because that should be standard protocol with any captive), he starts moving toward the edge of the building to take a more thorough look at the area.

"What he said," Raven murmurs. He hesitates, torn; he really doesn't want to do this, but protocol is protocol. And he'd really prefer not to get chewed out for breaching it. "Mon frère," he says at last, hoping to soothe his twin with their mother's native language. "Désolé." And there go the cuffs. Click.

The French words have an immediate and apparent affect on Angel; the man relaxes even as the cuffs are snapped on. "Tout va bien." he replies softly. "...If we're going, we should hurry. A patrol comes this way in about seven minutes." he states. "They don't come up the building, though."

Lowdown frowns slightly, "Seven minutes... can't take the chance of getting trapped here." With Angel secured, he moves back toward the doorway, "We need to move.”

Raven exhales gently and stands, lifting Angel up to his feet in the process. "Just leave this to us," he whispers to his brothers. "We'll get you out of here, and get you the help you need." He nods at Lowdown to lead the way.

Angel gets to his feet. "Grab my rifle?" he asks quietly. "I need to put it in the river." Well, that's an odd thing to say, especially since he's always been superprotective of his AWSM.

Lowdown is already carrying two, or he would have been on top of it. He gestures Raven toward it while covering the prisoner, asking simply, "Decoy?"

"I don't want them looking for me." Angel replies quite bluntly. "I..." He shakes his head. "I don't want to wake up a CObra tomorrow." There's several ways that could be taken.

Raven quickly snatches up the rifle, easily holding it while keeping a hand on his twin. "You're not going to," he tells Angel firmly. "They come for you, it'll be over my dead body." Hopefully it won't come to that, but you never know with Cobra.

Lowdown raises an eyebrow slightly. Well, the cat's out of the bag now, he might as well say it, "What could possibly go wrong?" He moves over toward the fire escape and starts heading down as quietly as he can.

Angel mutters something under his breath, something that could be, "Why did you say that?" The Cobra lets the Joes guide him down the escape, although it's clear that he's at several points fighting some subconscious compulsion. His entire body is twitchy. "..Wait, something's wrong." he murmurs when they're halfway down the escape. "I hear something that's not supposed to be." There's a motorcycle engine rumbling a few blocks away. It's hard to tell if it's coming or going.

Raven gives Lowdown a bit of a look, apparently echoing what Angel may or may not have said. "I guess I deserved that," he mutters. "Let's hope we both didn't just jinx it." At Angel's next statement, however, he stops dead in his tracks, listening closely to the rumbling engine. "Who is that?" he asks, close to his brother's ear. "Do you know?"

Lowdown mutters back, "Go big or go home..." He heard the motorcycle coming before Angel mentioned it, but hoped it wasn't coming this way. He looks up at the other two. It's going to take longer to get back up than it will to get down, and they can find fresh cover once on the ground. He keeps his expression even, "Gotta keep moving."

Angel tilts his head, angling his ear towards the sound. "I don't know...It's not muffled, so not a scout. Maybe a messenger." is his estimate. "He's right, thought, keep moving." He takes a breath. "...The BATs are being controlled via a central controlled that's located in the White House's Situation Room." he says quickly. "...Just in case you need to dump me in the river to get away, it wasn't a waste for you guys."

Raven freezes for a brief moment, eyebrow twitching. "I didn't come all this way to get you," he says, unintentionally tightening his grip on Angel, "just to toss you into a goddamn river. Let's just move."

Lowdown makes a mental note of it, nonetheless. He'll bend over backward for the Joes, but this /is/ someone who voluntarily chose to be a Cobra even before Mindbender got a hold of him. However, as far as the rest of this group goes, he steps back from the bottom of the fire escape to give them room to dismount. He then gets Raven's attention and points toward a narrow space between two buildings. Even with the unmuffled motorcycle, best to keep noise to a minimum.

Angel winces just slightly at the tightened grip, and even if his expression is hidden, his voice carries his utter confusion. "What? I don't- Nevermind." He shuts up and lets Raven lead him again. They still have a few minutes before that patrol arrives. Every once in a while, Angel will mutter a recommendation on which way to go to avoid any problems. It makes sense that he'd know where everyone would be. It was his job as lookout to know what should and should not be nearby. Even so, it's clear that he's having to force out the words through some ingrained commands in his head.

At the moment, Raven really doesn't care what Angel meant. He's got a job to do. Or brotherly duty. Whichever comes first. He follows Lowdown's lead, heading into the indicated space between buildings. His grip relaxes, apparently as he's now realized how tight he was holding onto Angel.

Lowdown ducks between buildings, actually heeding Angel's advice against his own better judgement. He's not careless by any means, checking around corners before moving to the next spot of cover. He's also certain to check upward, looking for other so-called snipers.

As the Joes get closer and closer to the extraction point, it's clear that something is making Angel's steps falter. Maybe he's tired. Or, more likely, he's starting to lose control of himself, fighting a silent inner battle against the programming in his mind.

Lowdown pauses as he senses the other two falling behind. He turns back, looking between Angel and Raven. His comment is directed toward his fellow Joe, "Everything alright?" He really doesn't want to have to knock Angel out...

Angel shakes his head again, almost as if trying to flick an imaginary fly out of his face. Of course, it's impossible to see his face right now. "Shut up up mad doctor..." he hisses under his breath, his muscles tight.

Raven sucks in a sharp breath before answering Lowdown. "It's that...that mind fuckery again. Whatever that *bastard* did..."

Lowdown looks to Raven, taking a step back toward the pair, "Can he get it under control?"

Angel stops moving. "I'm... trying..." he whispers, and there's fear in his voice. Losing control of your own mind must be terrifying. "Surprised I've been... coherent so far... But everything is telling me to kill you... NO!" He hisses. "I'd rather die!"

Raven doesn't answer Lowdown's question. "Dammit," he hisses. "Dammit! Fight it!" He grips Angel tightly, the previously grabbed rifle momentarily forgotten. His instincts tell him exactly what he needs to do. "Combattre. S'il vous plaît..."

Angel almost pulls away from Raven's sudden grip, torn between conflict in his head. Orders to kill the Joes, and a desire to protect his beloved twin. But again Raven speaks French, and it seems to have an extreme effect. The Cobra leans against Raven, shaking. "Aidez-moi." he pleads quietly.

Lowdown suppresses an exasperated sigh, letting the frustration slide to the back of his mind. He nods to Raven, going to retrieve the dropped rifle, "Let's move. We're almost to the extraction, and we still need to dump this..." He holds Angel's rifle up for emphasis.

Raven nods firmly to Lowdown, for both affirmation and to let him know he's got things under control. "Let's go. Quickly." To Angel, he says simply, "Bien sûr."

Angel moves forward at his twin's urging, remaining silent. He's clearly still struggling in his own head. But for now the only fighting is in his mind. As the trio get closer to the extraction, a snag appears. There are more patrols than Intel suggested there would be.

Lowdown stops at the end of a narrow alley between a bar and a laundromat. He moves back a few paces toward, "Two patrols about to converge right ahead."

Angel tightens his grip on his brother's arm slightly at Lowdown's words. "Don't let them take me..." he practically whimpers, clearly scared of returning to Mindbender's 'care'.

The two patrols meet up, and talk amongst themselves for a bit, gesturing on occasion. From Lowdown's perspective, them seem to be comparing sightings of oddities in the area.

Lowdown reaches up and adjusts one of the baffle controls on his visor to take in more of the conversation around the corner. With his other hand, he gestures Raven and Angel further back.

With the sound amplified somewhat,Lowdown picks up that one of the patrols noticed that a sniper wasn't where he should be. But, they don't seem worried. "He's one of Mindbender's projects." one comments. "Probably got summoned for something. But that leaves a blank spot in our defense."

Angel leans in closer to Raven. "Don't wanna fight don't wanna fight..."

At Lowdown's signal, Raven backs up a few paces. He can hear the patrol, and can barely make out what they're saying. He quickly sucks in a breath, trying to calm himself. After a short moment, he gestures for Lowdown's attention and then motions toward a fire escape. Escape across the rooftops, like thieves in the night!

Lowdown looks back to Raven, then upward at the fire escape. He takes a moment to scrutinize the metalwork, and then nods. He moves closer, speaking softly, "You two head up first. Take it slow and quiet. I'll cover you." That being said, he kneels down beside the ladder with his CheyTac up.

Angel can hear the patrol as well - it's a good bet he's interacted with these soldiers before. He goes shock still for a moment, before shaking himself. "Up." he says, as if reminding himself of what he has to do. It's near impossible to read him with his mask and helmet still on. He starts up the escape, careful not to make any sound.

Raven gives Lowdown a firm nod and ushers his brother to the fire escape, soundlessly ascending behind him.

Lowdown waits until the other two have reached the top before silently heading up himself. Once there, he makes a sweep of the rooftop with his rifle, and identifies the direction of the extraction point. Luckily, they wound up on the right side of the rooftops to head toward it.

As the three move across the roofs, the Joes are nice and silent. Not true for the shackled Angel, whose faltering steps make just enough noise to attract some attention - although not every soldier is baring down on them and no one's firing yet

Lowdown notices Angel making an inordinate amount of noise, and examines their two options. They can slow down and make less noise, or speed up and risk drawing more attention. At the moment, the best plan is to slow down if only to determine what kind of attention they've drawn.

The Joes (and their ‘captive’) slow down until the patrols pass, and then make their way safely out of DC.

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