No Second Guesses, No Regrets
Taryn and Steve continued talking about old movies until a shadow fell across the sun and suddenly, Sam was there, swooping down with his flight pack on. Steve shot to his feet.
"What is it?"
"There was a rally down in Central Park for those who are supportive of all supes, mutants and such. It just became violent with what we think are some of Thornfeld's supporters. We need to suit up and get down there."
Steve nodded and extended a hand to Taryn and hauled her to her feet. "Let's go." They got into the car and sped back to the compound.
Taryn ran after Steve and they headed down to the 'locker room' where everyone's costumes were stored. Rogers suited up and Taryn investigated her own locker. She found a dark green cat suit of tactical material trimmed with black leather. It zipped up the front to a high collar and the arms ended in fingerless gloves, padded with leather in the palms. She was provided several gear pouches which she strapped onto her thigh and hip, and found a holster for the right side. The one thing she worried about was her face and her necessity to remain anonymous. At the top of the locker she found a cowl that would cover the bottom half of her face just below her eyes to her chin. "That'll work," she thought and finished dressing and putting her tactical boots on. She looked at herself in the mirror.
"Wow… this hides nothing," she partially joked. Every single curve was called out in this jumpsuit. But it felt like second skin. It was flexible, tough and breathable. Nice…
She turned around to see Rogers slipping the shield onto his back and she drew her breath sharply. This was the first time seeing him in the full Captain America gear in person. It was a magnificent sight to behold. He stood strong and proud and it really was an inspiring sight to see.
Rogers placed a hand to his ear, then turned to Taryn. "They're ready for us in the jet." His brow raised as he stared at her in her new Avengers uniform. Her body was visibly in shape. And the uniform clearly fit… very well.
Taryn grabbed her pistol, made sure the safety was on and nodded. She hoped it wouldn't come to having to use it. She followed him down the hall, and as they ran past SHIELD employees and their smiles, she felt a surge of pride that she was now a part of this team. She caught sight of the Avengers patch on her shoulder and couldn't stop smiling.
Natasha briefed them in the jet on the way to Central Park. She stated that people had gotten together to support any and all that had any special abilities. Unfortunately a group of protesters had come along and things quickly escalated. The police had been called, but they became overwhelmed.
Romanoff landed the jet and they exited and made their way to the demonstration. Steve led the way, followed by Natasha and Wanda. Taryn brought up the rear with Sam. The Vision flew in and descended near the crowd and tried to disperse them. Someone took out a gun and Taryn jumped into action grabbing the gun out of his hand with her mind and placed it in the hands of a nearby policeman.
The cop unloaded the weapon and nodded his thanks. Taryn continued through the crowd, working to separate those that were fighting. She and Wanda were using their abilities to gently push people off each other. In about a half an hour the Avengers managed to separate people enough so they could in there and try to reason with them.
Captain America hopped up onto a short wall. "People listen! This demonstration is over. Please go quietly back to your homes and…"
Wanda and Taryn flanked the back of the crowd, using their powers to keep the crowd back and keep things from flying at Steve. They heard shouts like 'What the hell is Cap doing with freaks like that?' or 'Even he proves that we can all live in peace.'
Out of the corner of her eye, Taryn saw a man in a black trench moving suspiciously in the crowd. "Natasha," she called into link. "Black trench, moving toward my left."
"Got him," she replied and Taryn saw her move through the throng. Natasha crept close the man and noticed he had an earpiece and possibly a concealed weapon. She relayed that to the team and continued to follow the man.
Taryn nodded and looked to Wanda who was showing some sign of fatigue. "You ok?"
She nodded but stated, "Something doesn't feel right." As she did, Taryn saw someone move in quickly behind Wanda and rush her with a cinderblock in his hands. "Wanda!" she yelled and grasped onto the cinderblock with her mind and pushed the man backwards.
Unfortunately it was a distraction and two more rushed the women knocking them down. Wanda hit her head on a large rock lining the pathway and was knocked out cold. Taryn's attacker had her about the waist and she struggled with him. She feinted back and blocked his swing. This guy wasn't just some punk, he was a trained fighter. Military most likely, and she felt like she was using her powers as a shield, trying to push him away. As she fought the man, she felt two more approach her from behind. Same mind set. Hired … most likely by Thornfeld to rile these people up. She ducked and rolled as the two men jumped at her. Taryn stayed in front of Wanda, not wanting her to get injured further. She reached out slightly with her mind and noted that she was just knocked out, and not critically injured.
At the same time they were attacked, the man Tasha was tailing turned on her, and she sprung back to dodge his weapon. He held what looked like a large club with electricity springing from the end. He swung at her and jabbed, trying to stun her, but she was quicker. She kicked at his hand and the stun stick fell out of his grip. She took the opportunity to kick him in the head and he went down hard to the ground. He didn't get up. She dashed off through the crowd to try separating other fighting parties and was only partially successful. A gun was drawn on her, and suddenly the Captain's shield knocked it out of the man's hand.
She nodded her thanks in Roger's direction and took the man out quickly and skillfully.
Rogers had tried to talk to the crowd. Get them to disperse. He could see the other Avengers fan out within the mob trying to get ahold of the situation. He heard Taryn tell Natasha about a possible threat circling around, and then all of a sudden, someone rushed Wanda. She didn't have a chance to fight him off, but Taryn pushed him out of the way with her powers. Another came out of nowhere and tackled Wanda and she hit her head on a rock and was knocked out. Natasha had a weapon drawn on her, and he lashed out with the shield, knocking it away. Taryn was now fighting two men, trying to keep Wanda safe. She pushed out with her mind, but Rogers noticed that her powers seemed diminished. He called to the crowd again to get them to stop, but as he did, Taryn took a hit to the head with a night stick. Steve jumped down and parted the crowed and when people saw his true concern for those who were not 'normal', it took the wind out of their sails.
The police started to move in again at that point, and were able to take control of the crowd. A medic was kneeling over Wanda, applying pressure to the back of her head. The bleeding had slowed, but she needed further medical attention. Vision approached them and picked up Wanda and got her to the jet. Another medic was checking Taryn's head and eyes. One had a blood pressure cuff on her and the other was cleaning a cut over her eye. Steve stood by Taryn as the medical team checked her out, and helped her up as they finished.
"Damn it, that hurt!"
He sighed in relief, "You ok?"
She nodded, "Yeah, but my head is killing me."
"Tasha, take Taryn to the jet. Vision is there with Wanda. Prep for takeoff. I'll be there shortly. Rogers went to speak with the police and make sure their assistance was no longer needed.
"Thanks, Cap, but I think we got it from here. Appreciate your help. Sorry to see a few members down. Hope they're OK."
Rogers smiled. "They will be. Thanks for your support, Officer."