It was a classic dive bar, the kind of place with the cheapest alcohol known to man. The floor was covered in sawdust, that didn’t appear to have been replaced, ever. There were a scattering of tables in the dimly lit room, no chairs. The bar itself had three stools that no one dared sit on, due to the sticky residue. The bar top looked better since it was wiped down by the bartender regularly, but the rag he used looked to be older than the sawdust. The bartender was an old man, or possibly not. He could have just appeared to be old as a result of his wizened blemished skin.

It was not the kind of place fights would break out in or any kind of crime really. The bar might operate only on a cash only basis but that didn’t mean there was any cash in the till. The few people in the conners of the room nursed the cheapest of the cheapest drinks, since they weren’t the kind of people that could afford more. On the weekends a group of college students or brave high schoolers might show up, since the place didn’t id. But on a wednesday night like tonight, only the brokest of the alcoholics would be present. Generally the atmosphere of the place discouraged anyone that wasn’t truly desperate, combine that with it’s remote location and one would be forced to question how it continued to operate.

The answer was simple enough to people with the kind of mind that would jump to this being a front operation. The bar never made a profit off of it’s patrons but it still did manage to file high profits with the IRS. Allowing for dirty money to be taxed and look all nice and clean to the IRS. A portion of that money would then go to fighting the drug trade, allowing the operators of this bar to continue to make high profits as long as their supply routes remained upon. It was a damn near perfect system that had stayed under the radar for a very long time.

Well it had remained under the radar until Mary tracked the bank accounts of a drug baron’s son. She traced the money through four shell corporations and enough bureaucracy to make her chew on the ends of her hair. It was a bad habit that she really should stop one of these days. But it wasn’t as unhealthy as being her team’s rogue, a bad habit she should also stop one of these days. She wouldn’t of course, it was just too much damn fun most of the time. Not so much right now of course. It was hard to have fun when wearing three moth eaten, well worn, heavily stained and rather smelly coats. Her jeans were only held together by some creative patchwork. Her big toe was sticking out of a hole in her left shoe as well.

What really topped off the whole ensemble was her face and hair. Most fighters kept their hair short unless they were the invulnerable types. Most rogues, male and female, simply shaved their heads and wore wigs. Mary didn’t she still had her long blond hair, that she put through abuse and indignation. At the moment it had the consistency of straw, it was tangled and matted and had more spit ends than not. Mary’s face had more lines than anyone her age deserved, her skin had that leathery tan of someone who was exposed to all of the elements. In other words she fit in very well.

After four days of nursing what was truly one of the worst beers on the face of the planet. It was almost impressive and seemed like it would be more expensive to get beer quite that bad. She saw the drop, it really was very slick. If she hadn’t seen it coming, Mary wouldn’t have caught it. She would never be a front line fighter, simply didn’t have the strength, durability or ability to bounce back from injuries like the rest of her team. Not that she couldn’t fight, she was actually quite good at it. But her team fought major threats, barely ever matching up agains normal humans.

Still Mary managed to be on such an elite team because of her skills. To be honest she wasn’t certain she even had powers. The drop for instance, she shouldn’t have noticed it go down. She did because of the man making the drop practically screamed it with his body language. It was incredible how much a person would say with their bodies and not even know it. Reading people seemed so simply to Mary and mundane enough that people had to convince her that it was a power. To this day she only believed them because of their sincere bodies.

The drop had gone down and it was time to finally give up on her drink a make a move. She did so by shuffling away from her table, and ambling towards the door. The timing and angles were everything with something like this. She had to come in from just the right direction that the bag boy wouldn’t notice her approach, and be just the right speed to collide with him at the door. The bag boy naturally got a little pissed, but he didn’t want to make a scene. All he did was shove her back into some of the tables. Mary went with it, mostly because this job was done. In their brief contact she had slipped three trackers onto his body.

She shuffled out after him muttering curses in yiddish, directed at the bag boy’s mother. Eventually she stopped when she was sure that no one connected with the bar could still see her. Reaching into one of her pockets she activated a non-distress beacon and waited for pickup. Depending on how busy the night was it might be immediate or it might take a long time. None of that mattered, Mary had a trail and she intend to follow it to the bitter end.


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