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Log Title: Meeting of the Outcasts

Axegrinder

Axegrinder

Characters: Artemis, Axegrinder, Deadline, Krista, Over Kill, Raven, Lowdown (SG), Zartan

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Date: August 17, 2010

TP: Non-TP

Summary: Over Kill calls for a 'meeting of the outcasts' in a bar outside of Las Vegas.

As logged by Axegrinder


Las Vegas

Sin city, go figure.

Theres a small bar off of savannah road in Las Vegas. Its one of those roads that only leads to the desert and nothing else. The bar has been closed for years. However, tonight the door is unboarded and there's lights on. A couple of locals have been abduct..erm. Talked into working here tonight. A bartender, a few waitresses. Our evil cyborg sits at a table, waiting for anyone who will show. "My friends will arrive soon. You will show them hospitality." he rasps from behind his mask.


Artemis steps into the bar... And she looks rather out of place. Seems she broke into her closet, and pulled out something that would look like it belonged on a 19th century frontiersman...


Zartan doesn't look out of place...because he's in disguise! He looks like a perfectly normal hooded stranger! He's staying out of the light, though.


Raven finds this rather odd. But he's not about to question a cyborg who could probably kill him with no problem. In civilian attire, trademark goggles and dog tag hanging around his neck, he stops outside the bar just in time to see Artemis enter it before him. He tenses slightly, then also steps inside.


Eddie just made a fantastic deal with some dubious guy on The Strip handing out photo-cards of 'escorts'. Seems not only was the guy a pimp, but he had some fantastic Columbian coke as well. 4 hours of hardcore partying later, the degenerate medic arrives at this hole-in-the-wall desert bar, looking to put some drunk on top of his high.


A brown-haired woman shoves open the bar's door and stalks into the main room like she owns the place. Fists on hips, she casts a frowning glare around at the patrons.


Over Kill watches the people start to filter in. "Welcome, welcome. Have a seat. Missy." he motions his gun arm to a hispanic girl behind the counter who'se name is most definately not Missy. "Bring these people a drink. It's all on your tab." the girl grumbles, but goes about her duty.


Raven notices the brown-haired woman, and is actually rather intimidated by her, though it doesn't really show. He straightens himself and approaches Over Kill. "Why'd you choose a closed-up bar of all places?"


There's a loud rumbling outside of the bar. Definitely the exhaust system of a motorcycle. If anyone happens to be looking outside, they'd witness a new-model Harley Davidson Superlow pull up to the bar. The engine silences, and a metallic click announces the kickstand. SG-Lowdown palms the keys before slipping them into a pocket, making his way toward the front door.


SG-Lowdown

This man stands at 5'11", and is dressed rather casually. He wears a black T-shirt, typically advertising some heavy metal band, along with a pair of tight black jeans. A pair of mirrored Aviator sunglasses cover his eyes, but not the long scar that runs from just above his left eyebrow to the corner of his mouth.


Over Kill smiles. "Hello, Raven." he greets. "I chose this place because everyone who is gathering is here for the same reason. We're all outcasts in one way or another, looking for a direction that America cannot provide us. I want everyone, man, woman, accountant and criminal to feel at ease. Regardless of their...appearance." he rasps. "See?" he motions at the crowd around him. "You are no longer the homosexual outcast. You are.. amoung friends." he motions to missy, who brings him a beer. He takes a sip, the sound gurgling through his half -organic body as it filters out the toxins.


Artemis laughs, "Am I an outcast, Over Kill?" She calls loudly.


"Tequila, straight up," Eddie orders as he takes a seat at the bar. He glances around at the other patrons for a moment, then listens in as Over Kill addresses people at the nearby table. He's still high, so he isn't sure if this guy is for real, or if Eddie's just imagining the strange speech.


Over Kill smiles at Artemis. "You sure are. We all are, look at us. Everyone gathered here tonight is. No one's a traitor here, or a weirdo or just a machine." he motions to the seat next to him. "Get a drink and join us. I have...something to offer everyone ,once they are all here."


Raven slowly nods. "All right..." Feeling somewhat better, he takes a seat, wondering if it would be too weird if he had some wine rather than a hard liquor.



"Are you some kinda communist?" Eddie asks Over Kill, looking confused. "Is this a commie club?"


There's a thump of heavy boots on the wooden doorjam. The man dressed in black looks around the bar from behind his mirrored aviator shades, "Huh... I expected a turnout of junkies, lowlifes, and degenerates..." His eyes fall on Eddie, an amiable grin distorting his scar, "Well, looks like you got that covered."


Zartan just listens, in his disguise nobody knows who he is. This is not a bar Where Everybody Knows YOur Name. Not quite responding to the whole 'outcasts' thing. Zartan is after all in denial.


Artemis smirks, "More like anarchists...." She stands up, and glares at Over Kill, before shaking her head, and moving to the bar, "Give me a Vodka, straight up. With a Chaser of Jack." She leans against the bar, facing the room, and it seems, glaring is a constant in her life, as she glares about the room, looking for familiar, and not so familiar faces.


The brown-haired woman smirks at the cyborg. "Over Kill, eh?" she says, her Australian accent twisting the words like a knife in a belly wound. "You got a new look since last time I saw yeh."


Raven winces at Eddie's horrible attempt at Spanish, but doesn't comment on it. He finally orders a bottle of Aste Spumante, and gets an odd look for his trouble. What can he say? He's half French. He likes wine.


Over Kill pauses. "I don't think we've met." he says to the brown haired woman. "I am Over Kill version 5.3" he syas. "You probably met one of my predeacessors." he says. "So.. I asusme this is the crowd." he digs through his backpack. "If anyone is interested in change. I have a solution." he motions to tables around him. "Gather around." he brings out what looks like..are those brochures?


SG-Lowdown grins, walking up to the bar beside Eddie, assuming he's at the bar... Either way, he flags the bartender over, "Tres tequilas, por favor. And a round for the bar." He claps Eddie on the shoulder, "Whatcha doin' in this dive?" He reaches into a rear pocket, pulling out a large case. With a click, he procures a cigar, biting off the tip and spitting it onto the floor.


Artemis gets her drinks, downs the vodka in one swallow, and than sips at her whiskey. She cocks an eyebrow at Over Kill, a slight frown on her face. She shakes her head, and glances over at Lowdown and Deadline, nodding slightly at them... Wait.. Deadline.. He looks familiar.... "Hey...." she says to him. "Don't I know you?"



"I am here to get my drunk on, my man. And when I'm done, I'm headed back to Chi-Town. Did a little Columbian snow this afternoon, and I'm sparklin'." Eddie looks cheerful -- and remarkably well these days. His scabby, bandaged arms are fully healed, and he's even put on a few pounds. Whatever he's been doing to himself, it seems to be somewhat beneficial. "An' this dude over here, at this table, is havin' an anarchist meeting. Ain't that an oxymoron?"


SG-Lowdown might look familiar, too. It's hard to make out scars through a scope at 500 yards, after all...



Deadline definitely looks familiar, if you're willing to give him a good look.


Over Kill starts to preach to anyone gathered. He brings out a case that looks like it contains.. oh yes. Those are vials of heroin. The rest of the party. He puts it on the table. "Ladies and gentlemen." he says. "There is an alternative to an america that will not accept you. Have any of you considered.." he brings out a smiling happy welcome to springfield brocure. "The Coil?"


Axegrinder stares at the cyborg as he takes out the briefcase. When it turns out not to have anything she considers dangerous in it, she relaxes, but only slightly. "What's this, some kinda recruitment meetin'?" she asks, chuckling. "Izzat why you called all these nincompoops 'ere?"


SG-Lowdown raises an eyebrow as the woman calls from the other end of the bar. The bartender is just starting to bring him his three tequilas, one of which he slides to Eddie before lighting his cigar. From behind the shades, his occular implants zoom in on Artemis' face. He leans toward Eddie, "I think I saw her on TV once..."


Over Kill pauses. "I am here to offer them an alternative. And who might you be?" he looks at Axegrinder. "Have you considered the coil?"


Raven gets his wine bottle and pours himself a glass. He takes a big drink, downing half of it. Sure, that's not how one is "supposed" to drink wine, but he doesn't really care right now. He peers at Over Kill questioningly. "I'm perfectly accepted by my comrades, even if the rest of America hates me. That's really all that matters."


Eddie peers with some suspicion toward Artemis. "...TV? Seriously? How the eff does she know us??" he asks Lowdown, taking a burning drink of tequila. He squints at Over Kill. "...The what? Ohhh, wait a minute. Are you tryin' to sell Amway? Cause I'm not down with that."


The cocky woman leans on the table with one hand, the other splayed across her hip, where the set of brass knuckles she wears glitter in the low lighting of the bar. "/You/ c'n call me Axegrinder. One time I had lotsa mates. 'Til Megatron nuked 'em, after yer ... predacessor helped 'im." She pushes off the table, causing it to rock on its uneven legs. "So yeh'll fergive me if I ain't buyin' what yer sellin'."


"Corpus Christi, Air Force Base. You helped me and that guy escape from the Joes...." Artemis mentions to Deadline.


Over Kill pauses. "Are you sure they accept you? Do you have to hide anything from them? Like your sexuality?" he motions to raven. "Your addictions?" He mentions to Eddie. "Your...hatred of .. Megatron?" He motions at Axegrinder." "Your cyborg arm?" He motions to Lowdown. "Your.. um. Im not sure what you 've got . You havent left yet so.." he motions. "Someone who will not care what you are like as long as you believe in your country?" He pauses. "The Coil. Cobra is made for people like you. Like all of you."


Suddenly, through his coked-out haze, Eddie remembers Artemis. "That's right! Heh. Yeah, I was there to sell some skills to the highest bidder. You all were really tearin' it up out there!" He eyes Over Kill with some suspicion -- until he recognizes him, too. "Good times, good times."


Raven goes quiet for a moment as he contemplates this. "Well...for the longest time I *was* trying to hide it from the other Joes, but the ones that do know have accepted me..." He pauses. "I think... I mean, they haven't treated me any differently..." He frowns. "Cobra?"


SG-Lowdown chuckles at Eddie as Artemis approaches. He nudges the dugged-up medic as he takes a puff of his cigar, "Don't'cha recognize a celebrity? She was on CTV." He removes the cigar, taking one of his own tequila shots. He uses the glowing end to ignite the alcohol fumes of the other, leaving it for a moment, "This gal was nailin' playing cards at five-hundred meters." He places a hand over the glass, extinguishing the second tequila shot before downing it and taking another puff of his cigar.


"Damon never judged me," Axegrinder mutters.


Over Kill looks to Axegrinder. "And where is Damon now?" He puts his hand to his chest. "Oh my did he abandon you? Cobra..never abandons their own. Even in death you're still..." he motions to his gray skinned face. "You still belong."


Artemis hears Over Kill speak, but honestly, she is only hear in case the crowd gets unruley, and violent. She stops near the two Visitors from the Alternate Universe, and arches an eyebrow at Lowdown, "You watch that stuff C-TV Produces? Most of it is mindless drivel, if you ask me...." She glances at Eddie, "Still, the offer of work is open, ya know. Cobra could use more medical types, and the pay... well, the pay is negotiable, but there is always access to more drugs like Over Kill paid you...."



Axegrinder lunges across the table, placing a hand on the cyborg's chest. "He /died/, you monstrosity!" she shouts up into Over Kill's face. "Megatron killed him!"


Eddie chuckles at Arty's offer. "I'll be happy to do contract work for some blow, or...whatever you got, really...but I get kinda hinkey about joinin' up with some group. Y'see...ever heard the song 'Freebird'? ...That's me. I'm as free as a bird. I gotta do my own thing. An'...I got this setup in Chicago, that I'm kinda...not wantin' to leave."


Raven downs the rest of the glass of wine. "Look, Over Kill," he says soberly, "my brother joined Cobra, and I'm not about to follow in his footsteps. I'm sorry."


Over Kill acks as Axegrinder lunges. "I.. forgive my intrusion. Perhaps..." he says, his fetid breath smells of antifreeze up close. "Perhaps the Coil can help you get your revenge." he looks to Raven. "Wouldn't you love to serve side by side with your brother?"


SG-Lowdown raises an eyebrow, watching over Artemis as Axegrinder lunges at Over Kill. His demeanor doesn't change, and he makes no movement to interfere (apart from a miniscule twitch of his hand toward the small of his back.) "It was on TV one night. Some nice shootin' ya were doin' that night."


"Excuse me a moment...." Artemis says to Eddie and Lowdown, as something catches her eyes, she breings her right hand straight up, over her head, and all of the sudden, there is a loud, 'BOOOM' as a .50 caliber hole is made in the ceiling, "The next person to try to touch the cyborg, gets that through their head! Calm down."


Raven hesitates. "I...I would, but...it...he..."


Eddie giggles, as chunks of plaster fall from the ceiling. "Way to make a point! Didja SEE that shot? Lookit that exit hole! You could launch a missile through there!" he exclaims to Lowdown.


Of all the times to enterpose! Krista was just about to pass through those doors when... boom. This certainly gives her pause.



Axegrinder pushes away from Over Kill, stalking a stride or two away. She's about to speak when Artemis fires into the ceiling. In a moment her .45 is in her right hand, her left fist, brass knuckles twinkling, clenched. She glares at Artemis for a long moment, taking in the other woman's obvious metallic and mechanical accoutrements. "Cyborg fer cyborg, is it?"


Over Kill looks at Raven. "Think about it. Take a brochure. We can get you out." he then moves back from Axegrinder. "Its getting dangerous here." he looks at the ceiling, and then at his arm. "And I'm low on pain killers. Do you think.." he looks to Raven. "May I have a name? A real name so I can contact you? This is about to get out of hand and I'd rather be out of sight."


SG-Lowdown looks around as the tension grows. He flags the bartender, "How 'bout that round of tequila, huh?" The staff snaps out of their trance, going about to get the drinks (cautiously.) He takes a puff of his cigar, slowly blowing out the smoke, "A'right, how 'bout we all just have a drink an' losen our sphincters, huh? I don't think anyone came here lookin' for a fight."


Raven hesitates again, fearing that he alias he gave Over Kill previously didn't work. "But...I did give you a name..."


Over Kill pauses. "An alias, Im sure. Do you have a name?" he asks.


Artemis shrugs, ever so slightly, at Axegrinder, "Only if you plan on attacking Over Kill again." She doesn't back down, but as of yet, she hasn't pointed any weapon at Axegrinder, unless... well, her left hand is pointing at the woman.


Raven sighs. Just as he suspected. "I'm sorry, but I can't give you my real name."


Over Kill nods "I see. Who is your brother then? Maybe I can send him your regards."


Axegrinder laughs aloud. "You call that an attack?" The nose of her .45 rises slightly. "You ain't seen nothin'. Not nothin'."


Once upon a time, discretion was a better part of valor. However, since the broken starlet has nothing else to lose? She pushes her way inside the scene, and takes a seat somewhere in the thick of people.


Eddie drinks down another tequila, eyeing Raven with some rather prurient interest. Whether he notices or not, as he's in the thick of conversation, is another thing altogether. To Lowdown, Eddie asks, "...You seen Ebs lately?"


Raven frowns. "My brother...goes by Angelus."


Over Kill grabs his head tightly. "Thats.. I'll keep a look out. I have to go. I hope to see you again soon. Sometimes, large crowds and stimulation makes my head buzz." he motions. "Feel free to take a brochure." when he takes his hand away, the right side of his head is purplish. Another rupture. The joys of being more machine then man. "It will change your life."


Artemis shrugs, "You touched him, whomever you are..."


Axegrinder snorts, flicking the safety on her pistol and slipping it back into her waistband, behind her back. "Is that how fragile 'e is?" she asks, walking up to Artemis. "Oh my, the mean lady /touched/ the big nasty cyborg!" She stares down at the shorter Artemis. "Izzat how tough yer Coil is? I wouldn't wanna lower meself t'work fer such pooftas."


Raven pours himself another glass...


SG-Lowdown remains calms, nonchallant, cigar gripped in his mouth as he toward the two women, actually reaching between them to take two shots of tequila from one of the waitresses, "Let's not get violent folks, huh?" He offers one shot toward Axegrinder, the other toward Artemis, still standing between them. "Nobody really wants to clean up that kinda mess." He punctuates the statement with a grin.



Artemis laughs, "No, the stupid Cyborg has to be watched, because he is worth millions of dollars. Besides, if anyone gets to have a fight, it is me. He's just a glorified tin can. You want to know what *Cobra* can do, you mess with me, instead."


"...Poofta?" Eddie stares with glassy eyes at his drink. "Poofta. Poofta..." He grins. "I'm kind of a poofta." This gets him giggling.


Meanwhile, Krista remains the casual observer - and out of the way.


Axegrinder doesn't move as Lowdown steps in. She looks him up and down, takes the tequila from his hand and knocks it back, handing him the empty shot glass. She tosses him a slight grin before turning her attention back to Artemis. "Sounds like y'two don't get along so well," she says.


Raven is quite aware that he's in the presence of Joes from the 'other side', but he's not letting that bother him. He stays silent, simply listening to the conversations around him as he drinks his wine.


Artemis shrugs, "I don't much care for this version of Over Kill, no. But he is a brother in arms..." She, however, makes no move for the glass of tequila... she hates the stuff, makes her get fighting drunk,. much easier.



SG-Lowdown looks at Artemis, then at the glass of tequila. He shrugs, downing the shot himself, "Well, if you kids'll excuse me, I got an apointment to keep..." He takes another puff of his cigar, nudging Artemis as he walks past, "Next time, you pick the round. I'll buy." He's not sure if the 'staff' was paid by Over Kill, but he leaves a small wad of twenties on the table. (And knowing some of this crowd, the staff may have to rush to get the tip.) He stops at the doorway, lowering the shades to reveal his eyes. There's a brief glimpse of metallic irises as he winks, "You folks play nice, now..." He slips the shades back up his nose and steps out.


"Take it easy, man," Eddie waves to Lowdown, as the other man heads out.


"Ta," Axegrinder mumbles, watching the man with the metallic eyes leave.


Artemis nods slightly at Lowdown, her eyes never leave Axegrinder though. "So, you going to backdown, or do I have to cut you down to size? It really doesn't matter to me." Her voice is calm, almost as if she is talking about the weather, instead of the possibility of ensuing death and mayhem.


Eddie grins at Raven. "You look way too clean-cut to visit a place like this," he mentions.


Raven peers at Eddie over the top of his wine glass as he downs more of the bubbly alcohol. He then sets the glass down as he replies calmly, "You'd be surprised."


"Do I look like I'm threatening anybody?" Axegrinder leans one elbow on the bar, smiling down at Artemis. "Now you've quit shootin' up th' joint an' Mr Recruitment's gone, no reason t'be cranky."


Uncertain of whether Artemis is going to go after Axegrinder or not, Eddie picks up his tequila, and suddenly joins Raven at his table. "How'd you like that sales pitch, huh? I thought it was kinda like...Amway. Little bit weird." He smirks. "Best thing you can do, see, is to be self-employed. You be your own boss."


Artemis smirks, and than shrugs. She turns to the bar, picks her glass back up, and finishes the whiskey, and mutters, "Mr. Recruitment... right.... What a moron."



"It was...how do I put this...bad." Raven pours himself a third glass. He's starting to get a good buzz by now, but he's far from wasted. "Imagine me, joining Cobra... And, by the way, I have a lot of bosses, but I'm not one of them."


Axegrinder laughs. "You work with this guy, yeah?" she asks. She pauses to point a finger at the nearest of the bar staff. "You." She taps the bartop with her finger. "Whiskey." She looks to Artemis again. "Moron's payin' fer this, right?"



Artemis shrugs, "I don't know how he is. It is not like he is getting paid...." She shrugs, "Likely, he'll just kill the waitstaff, and blow the place up when he is done."


Eddie smiles charmingly. "Well...you need somethin', look me up. I'm a freelancer." He reaches into his satchel, and pulls out...a business card. Eddie doesn't honestly believe that Raven will have any work for him; he's just being a flirt, because he's full of coke and booze, and feeling invincibly crunk.


Raven gazes at Eddie momentarily, then takes the card. "I'll...keep that in mind." Axegrinder echos Artemis' shrug. "No skin off my nose, then," she says, snatching up the whiskey as the meek staff girl brings it to her.


And that's when Krista decides to angle up to the bar counter. She's not particularly frisky about it, she does not advertise who she is, but she simply leans over to speak to the bartender proper in hushed tones.


"Thank you kindly. Welp...I gotta hit the highway, an' boogie on back to my little corner of the world." Eddie grins around his lit cigarette. "Have a wonderful evening." With that pleasantry, the drugged-out medic bows, and heads out into the desert evening.


Artemis remians quiet, for the moment, looking over the bar and the patrons. She glances over at Krista, nodding slightly, but not really paying any attention to anyone.


Krista

A woman of average height and waifish build, with not-so-average features: Sleek lines sculpt dollish features into a countenance of austere fragile beauty. Mismatched eyes - one of light blue, the other of hazel - gaze from beneath a veil of sooty lashes, with only the faintest hint of any makeup used to accent these magnificent orbs. A fine, regal nose with the smallest of buttons sets perfectly above small, neatly bowed lips. A veritable mane of ebony crowns her head, ever long, lustrous, and stick-straight, traveling clear down to her waist: It is only held in check by a single white scrunchie, into a loose but manageable pony tail. This could only be the former Actress, Krista Devereaux.

Recent afflictions have taken their toll, reducing the once very proud, forward young woman into a shadow of her former splendor. Her once sturdy frame has become dangerously lean, and her Hollywood tan complexion has faded to deathly pale. Not only this, but her left arm appears to have slightly atrophied - it hangs weakly from the socket.

She's dressed simply and comfortably this evening, in a light blue poet's blouse of some common variety, which drapes over her gentle curves and allows freedom of motion. A dark denim A-line skirt fails carefully over her legs, its pleated hem ending just at her knees. White stockings fit to toned legs, which end in black comfortable buckle pumps on her dainty feet.

Axegrinder nudges Artemis with her elbow, gazing across the bar at Krista. "Izzat who I think it is?" she murmurs.


GAME: Artemis FAILS an INTELLIGENCE roll of Above Average difficulty.


Artemis shrugs, "Might be." She met Krista, even spent a day with her, but it was a while ago, and she has had more to drink tonight, than she is used to... A Night off from her little girl, and combat... yeah, she isn't positive herself that it is who it might be, "Could be a look-a-like."


The conversation between the former starlet and the bartender continues; the latter looking skeptical at the former until due ID and a second card - possibly a credit card - is presented. The dubious tender raises both brows, but runs an authorization. Both cards are returned with at least a nod toward discretion. A soda follows the transaction. In the interim, Artemis too gets a veiled acknowledgement from Kris.


"If it is," Axegrinder continues quietly, pausing to take a healthy swig of whiskey, "she's seen better days."


Artemis nods, ever so slightly. "She sure looked better in Washington, when I last saw her, if it is her..." She looks back at Krista, and watches her carefully, looking for something...


If she is, then one of the perfect reasons to join Cobra just walked in the door: Scarlett allegedly maimed the Starlet! Kris, meantime, keeps her chin up but her head down, while pretty much just peoplewatching. Yay, angst.


Axegrinder tosses back the last of the whiskey and slams the glass down on the bartop. "Right, happy hour's over," she drawls, "fer me, anyway." She gets up and heads for the door. "Keep Moron away from th' Decepticons," she says with a sneer, "or I might haveta come lookin' fer 'im."


Artemis shrugs, "Too bad for you, if you do. They pay me to attempt to keep him in one piece..."


"Mebbe we'll meet again, then," Axegrinder says, smiling as she walks out.


Whatever Artemis was looking for, it's probably there. That, and when Di takes a long look, Krista feels the gaze and returns it - this time with a far more familiar and friendly flutter of deft fingers on her right hand.

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