Wingblade glares at Innis as he leaves, her wings twitching. She glances over to Alexandra, fuming. "If he calls me a murderer again..."
Her fists clench tightly. "I'm done with him. I'm done with playing his stupid game. I'm going to be seeing Dane's face for the rest of my life, and he wants to turn this into some sort of advantage in his pissing contest with Whip? Screw him."
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
Not sure if Mercy's actions in that conversation constitute opening up to Bronwyn, but if so, they'll clear Guilty.
Alexis understood that Bronwyn was concerned for them. They didn't think that it was necessary. It was nice however to see that she was willing to listen to them and their current turmoil.
It was good to get out of the school. They were ready to head to their appointment when they noticed the same man that had been lurking around before still there. It was unusual, especially if they weren't a teacher here. But they weren't Triakosia - definitely not military, the way that they seemed to be handling themselves. He wasn't alone either, as others were milling next to him.
But what really got Mercy's attention was the sudden tick of their helm's comm. This wasn't remote, but a direct point-to-point connection from a laser relay transmitting a signal. That could only mean one thing. It didn't take Mercy long to find the source of the signal. Blonde close-cropped hair and a pencil thin chin-strap beard - Chastitas was deliberately getting Mercy's attention. Why? He wasn't transmitting an actual message...
...Unless it was a deliberate warning to stay out of the way. Fear gripped Mercy suddenly as they began to understand. They weren't a target right now by whatever reasons was happening above the Triakosia. But that didn't mean they'd stopped working altogether. Which meant that Chastitas, and by extension Luxuria, were here on assignment. But what could they be after?
Assess the Situation: 2d6 + 0 ⇒ (4, 3) + 0 = 7
What here is in the Greatest Danger?
The goons milling about strike a memory within Alexis's mind. Not the focused readiness of the Triakosia, but a predator's slink like the off-one's that they'd mostly avoided when they'd been staying with Brandt at the shelters, they're hunting.
And as Bronwyn jogs closer, and they take up knives, and tasers, and eyepatches, it becomes clearer who they see as their prey.
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
Knives? Tasers? But...eyepatches? Mercy was a bit confused by that last part, but not enough to prevent themself from jumping into action. They launched across the street, rolling up right in front of the mob, looking at them with their surprise apparent on their faces.
Normally, Mercy would have kicked all of their heads off, but at this point they didn't know how much strength would kill them. So they opted to draw a line in the sand instead. "Drop your weapons and be on your way. Resist at your own peril," They warned, taking up a combat stance that made it impossible for anyone of them to get past them without engaging.
Provoke the mob to back off and run away: 2d6 + 0 ⇒ (3, 1) + 0 = 4
Kaoru had done some thinking (and a little bit of research). If he waited for his wounds to heal naturally, he'd probably end up missing a lot of class. Definitely enough that it would be noticed, and then he'd have to explain to his mother how the hell he had gotten so badly hurt. Then she would just feel like she had a responsibility to hang around the house even more. Which was inconvenient for both of them. She worked best if she could travel with her team, and he worked best when left to his own devices.
As much as he hated to admit it, he probably needed outside help of the magical healing variety. After much debating about how exactly he would explain to her how he got so badly and why it was no big deal (or at least, not a big enough of a deal to mention it to anyone), he sent a somewhat vague text to Cassie asking if she could do some magic for him. As he waited for a response, he wondered if it would work just to ask her not to tell anyone. He didn't really know her though, which meant she had no reason to keep quiet about it. Not that it was a secret exactly. But he was pretty sure if other people on the team knew, that would lead to awkward questions he either couldn't or didn't want to answer.
Finally he got a response, though it wasn't quite what he had expected. She was redirecting him to someone else. Someone part of some kind group called The Coterie? He deflated slightly. There went all his planning. On the bright side, it probably meant he didn't need to come up with some way to talk the into keeping quiet since it was unlikely other members of the team would be talking to this "Mama Leonie" ever. After getting where he could find her as well as assurances that she was competent and would help, he thanked Cassie.
|Alexandra E. Walker|
I'll roll to resist, but are you sure it's not danger he's raising? I mean "You put yourselves above us, but you're not" says mundane, but a man is dead kinda feels danger-y. either way. Gods, so many ways to take a lecture in this game.
Reject+Influence: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (3, 6) + 1 = 10
No more influence for innis. and I'm gonna mark potential
Alexandra smiles H*+&+#%~+, you haven't read the report. and forgive me If I'm a little peeved by a lecture on how I'm "Not better than you" when you're bluffing us about being able to OPEN A F#!~ING WORD DOC. Alexandra fumed. And on the subject of "Why the SCA exists." It wasn't that "we" put ourselves above you. Also, you know, Non-powered girl over here, still doing better per month than you will in the next year. But more to the point, you weren't made because we're arrogant. You were made because a politician thought it made him look bad to not do nothing, after She. Alexandra points to wingblade Went above-and-f~~*ing-beyond the call, and appeared to pay with her life. And the whole city had a little think about how we were saved by a kid, and some d#!~##% on the city council thought "super-cops."
Alexandra is standing now, hands on his desk. and thus, your incompetent ass was handed the job, because the police couldn't spare anyone the actually NEEDED for a political show. and you know all this. it's why you spend 5 hours on PR for every hour on enforcement. Because you know that the second people notice the numbers, or hear about your draconian policies, the next mayoral campaign will be about who will shut the SCA down the hardest. and then you're back to your dead-end career in the basement of HCPD. And that's why you hate us. Because we have the audacity to be kids who do better than you, to hasten your fall from power, your return to Obscurity.
and it's funny. because Us... we'll be action figures, lunchboxes, trading cards, and statues in monument park. and you... you'll be a paragraph in a history book. maybe you'll get lucky and they'll mention your name.
Provoke to break down and shout, scream, cry... whatever: 2d6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (5, 3) + 1 + 1 = 10
It had been a bit of a rough journey, but Kaoru had eventually hauled himself to the small shop in a part of the city he hadn't visited yet that Cassie had directed him towards. He hesitantly pushed open the door, a small bell announcing his arrival at the same time a heavy smell of incense assaulted his senses.
"Welcome to Mama Leonie's House of Tarot. How can I help you?"
He blinked and looked around for the source of the...cajun accent? Was that the proper name for it, or did cajun only refer to the food? Whatever the name of the Southern/French hybrid speech was. He pushed his way through a bead curtain to look upon a very bright and very chaotic...shop? Presumably, the odd collection of tarot decks, crystals, candles as well as the various brightly colored pictures and occasional clothing item were for sale, but it certainly wasn't set up to make it easy to find things. You'd almost have to browse through everything to find any one specific item. But then, maybe that was the point?
"Yeah...I'm looking for Mama Leonie?" He glanced around the shop to make sure they were alone. "Of The Coterie?" He really hoped he was in the right place. The girl behind what seemed to be the register counter certainly didn't look old enough to be either a 'Mama' or the master of the mystic Cassie had described. She didn't look much older than he was. She had skin the color of coffee mixed with cream, dark, wavy hair that came down to mid-back, and pale, brown-gold eyes. She had big, dangling hoop earrings that he was pretty sure would be annoying and get in the way and long, painted, press-on nails that he knew would get in the way. She was wearing...well...he wasn't entirely sure what she was wearing except that it was very colorful, flow-y, and vaguely dress-like. Its lack of sleeves allowed her to show off the variety of bracelets adorning her wrists as well as a few metal armbands.
"Ah'm her daughter. My name is Marielle Leonie. She told me to expect you. Said someting about needing some magical aid." She moved towards Kaoru, jewelry letting off soft, melodic notes as she moved. She didn't look directly at him so much as she seemed to be scanning the area around him.
He grew suddenly nervous. What if Cassie was wrong, and she couldn't help? Or what if she just didn't want to help? What reason would she to help even if she could? Just ask. Worst case she says no, and you ask Cassie for a different person. "Yeah...do you know how to do...magical healing?"
Marielle immediately began nodding her head. "Mhmm, mhmm, I tot so. Deese colors, dey are all wrong." She waved vaguely at the area around his head.
He had to resist the urge to roll his eyes. Of course she had known what he had wanted. After he had said it. He was tempted to pull out his phone and text Cassie just to make sure that this was a legit magic user and not just one of those scam artists promising to tell your future on those late-night commercials.
"Don't look so skeptical, ma chérie." She smiled, meeting his gaze as she reached up to cup his chin. He jerked away in surprise at the sudden physical contact, immediately regretting the action as fire shot through his torso. Marielle's expression immediately grew concerned. "It is worse den I realized. Come along an' let Marielle take a look, eh?" She wrapped one arm gently around his waist as she began leading him to another bead curtain separating the main shop area from a back room for private readings.
Mild-Mannered: 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (2, 4) + 3 = 9
Alexis's tactical positioning was somewhat hampered by their armor. Protective, it certainly was, but inconspicuous... Forewarned, the cultists were already surging forward before Mercy landed.
And Bronwyn just shrieked and froze.
Ugh, this is so embarrassing, but Alexis'll have no problem taking out these chumps. This way if any of 'em start up with the magic stuff they won't expect me to spot it. One of them grabbed her by the bicep in a meaty grip and dragged her back a pace, knife held vaguely near her side. They **can't** know who I am, right?! There's no way they would have sent like, **five guys** if they knew.
She was worried but calm, at first. Then Alexis didn't do anything but stand ther; they'd been holding her for- okay, it hasn't been that long, it hasn't been that long, it hasn't been that- What is wrong with me?!
Since you were insecure, that'll only be an 8 to resist, go ahead and pick between your effects.
“Why you little b$~!$.
“You think that's what I want? Fame? I'm not the one who puts together preposterous galas as a monument to my own arrogance. I don't spend time on PR, I spend time cleaning up after you egomaniacs! I know exactly what you people bring to this city; I know exactly what messes you leave behind. Ask your father about the Red Barge sometime, see if he thinks you're old enough for that one.”
“But as you pointed out, I have about four and a half hours of cleaning up after you still to go. So you two,” he pointed to the recorder, “Get talking.”
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
Noncompliance. Mercy expected as much. More importantly, one of them was holding a knife to Bronwyn now. No need for words now. Mercy exploded into a barrage of deadly kicks and punches, giving no quarter and expecting no less.
Directly Engage, Punch Everyone (Shifting Danger up, Superior Down): 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (5, 2) + 3 = 10
Mercy's going take their weapons from them, and give Bronwyn an opportunity.
It didn't take much force for their blows to break enough phalanges that they were dropping their knives and tasers. Neither did it take much effort for the side kick to send the one holding Bronwyn slamming back into the ground and probably cracking a rib or two. "Run," They told Bronwyn, turning around to ready themself for the counter assault.
Wingblade scowls, viewing Innis with deep contempt. She opens her mouth, ready to lay into him with every verbal insult she had ever heard in her years fighting villains. She wanted to rip into him for his hypocrisy for claiming that she was a glory hog when it was him who had forced her and Whip to attend the gala.
But she stopped herself. He was waiting for just that sort of verbal abuse, so he could replay it for whoever would listen in his stupid game.
She steps forward, leaning over the desk. "You know what? No."
She picks up the recorder and holds it like a microphone. "A few minutes ago, you used the 'M' word when describing what's going in your report. That's a crime, and pretty much the worst one there is. So, no. I'm not going to make a statement to you now or ever again, with this one exception:
"I would like a lawyer, please." She lets the recorder clatter to Innis' desk and steps back.
|Alexandra E. Walker|
No more influence.
Alexandra rolls her eyes as Innis loses his cool, again. and smirks as Wing demands a lawyer. Her eyes flit around, back and forth, preparing for the worst. Innis, 2 countermeasures in this room, but you could handle the gas, and the gun isn't faster than wing. Three guards outside, should be four, but just heard the door open, and one had a pack of cigarettes in his pocket. beyond that, a leap from a second story window is eminently survivable, and that's essentially the drop to the nearest rooftop. next, need to head off possibility of public unmasking, take an asset ho-
Alexandra's phone buzzes. 4sgt<Current course has a 73% chance of negative outcome. 30ish% chance it leads to total outlaw of superheroes. Indirect. Sufficient rope.
As she acknowledges it, she also opens Kaoru's contact. I agree with Wing. Gonna update the leader. he said.
As she does this, she starts to look for angles, remembering Foresight's words.
Peirce Innis' Mask: 2d6 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (3, 1) + 3 + 1 = 8 How could I make Innis show off his blatant hatred for parahumans.
In order to make Innis show off blatant hatred for parahumans, the first step would be to fan the flames of his resentment and wariness of superheroes into something fiercer and more focused.
Speaking of fanning the flames though...
A vein visibly throbs in Innis's forehead. "A lawyer. You think is... Are you so colossally terrible at following any kind of procedure that you actually think you're under arrest?!"
"Fine. You can have a lawyer if you want one. I was trying to let you do this in a way where the SCA could help with whatever you did wrong, but it's your choice. You want to clam up, show us you have no interest in cooperating, you can do this, but then we're making this official."
He opens the door and leans his head out, speaking to the guards outside. "These two are being detained for questioning. Find somewhere secure to stick them while we get a hold of counsel. Take their phones, their earbuds, and leave someone in the room so they don't burn any more bridges than they already have. No questions, if they want to help themselves out by cooperating "
Then with a sneer, he adds, "Oh, and I don't like the looks of whatever the Silver Shadow's trying to hide with her new haircut. We might have to stick them in quarantine."
The cultist holding Bronwyn went flying with a startled scream, and she took off like a shot, long practiced strides devouring the distance. Okay, okay, what can I do to help him, what can I do to make sure they're not getting swarmed without totally blowing my cover?! Ok, I'll break line of sight before I call the rest of the team. If Balor's buddies don't know I'm connected to the team, I don't need to give them extra clues, so- **THUD**
Take a Powerful Blow: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (6, 1) + 1 = 8 Giving Ground
Luxuria's boot hit her hard in the temple, and Bronwyn tumbled to the ground, taking the worst of the fall on her arms, but still ending up sprawled out on the sidewalk. She started to stand but was halted by a I don't think we've seen Luxuria described on-screen, so I'll leave that to you Mercy - this scuffle is a few blocks away, but Bronwyn hadn't broken line of sight yet
The remaining cultists continue to mob Alexis, knife blades snapping off against their armor, sparks flaring as they strain to bring the living weapon down! Mark a condition, your choice, but keep in mind that Luxuria and Chastitas are trying to keep Alexis from intervening
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
Mercy weathers the blows of the cultists, feeling sorry for them. Their weapons weren't much use against their armor after all. They started to strike back and rap their knuckles against temples to knock them loopy, when Bronwyn suddenly getting knocked back surprised them.
A bronze skinned woman with straight black hair tied tightly back in a tail strides into view, wearing armor that seemed to fit the same style as Mercy's, only in muted grey and black. Her eyes glow with a strange pink hue as she stares at Bronwyn, a silenced pistol held at her hip.
Luxuria, Mercy thinks as they attempt to finish off the cultists in time to help.
Directly Engage: 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (1, 3) + 3 = 7
Mercy will avoid blows - hopefully their super strength assault is enough to flatten them all down!
Wingblade glares at Innis, incredulous that he actually made the claim that he was helping.
"No! Don't you get it? We did nothing wrong! But a man is DEAD because of some ancient demon and all you want to do is blame us!"
As the guards come in to take her away, she doesn't resist though she calls out over her shoulder, "And how am I supposed to call a lawyer if you take all my comm gear? I'm fifteen, you know! I don't think you can detain--" She's cut off when the SCA agents take her out of the room and close the door.
"How's it going?" Wingblade says to the guards as they spin her around and start to place high-tech cuffs around her wrists. They pause in their action as they confer among themselves about whether it's better to have her cuffs in her front or behind her where her wings are. They ultimately decide to keep them bound in front.
Then they start inspecting her wings. "Where's the access port?" one of them demands.
"Huh? Access port? What are you talking about?"
"We need to pull the power source. It's standard protocol; all cybernetics have to be depowered before taken into detainment."
Wingblade laughs in their faces. "You think I run on batteries? No, there isn't a port. My wings are a part of me."
The SCA agent sighs audibly. "All right. Let's do it the hard way." They move her into a station where they clamp a device on her wings. "There. EMP field should do the trick."
Wingblade's wings twitch and the device falls off, dropping to the floor with a thud. "What made you think that would work?" she asks, curious.
The agent's scowl was evident behind his face mask. "Magnets?" he says as he tries another device. It, too, falls off her wings.
"Yeah, those won't work," Wingblade says.
"All right. Try the 'W' protocol," one says to the other.
"'W' protocol? Are you worried about Whip?" Wingblade says, eyes narrowed in suspicion.
She's ignored as the agents pull out a heavy-duty set of straps and begin binding her wings tight. "Hold still, please," they tell her, though she could smell their nervousness working so closely with wings that could sever fingers if she sneezed.
"Really? Those are like rubber bands for a lobster in a tank," Wingblade says disdainfully as they cinch tight the restraints. Like a straitjacket for her wings, she couldn't move them much which caused her to want to open them even more.
"Don't..." one of the agents cautions as her wings start to test the bindings. "Or we'll have to report your noncompliance."
Wingblade groans audibly. "I'm cooperating!" she shouts testily. "I could have stopped you at any point in this, but -- ugh! -- I don't like my wings being bound!" She twists and writhes, trying to keep control. "Ow. Can you loosen them some?"
"They're metal. Just switch them off."
"I feel them!" Wingblade shouts. "Can you switch off your arms?" She can't stop herself from testing her wings against the bindings, and it looks like the wings will win.
"All right. Compliance juice time," one agent says and jabs Wingblade with a hypo.
She just glares at him. "Gonna need a few more before I feel that."
They hit her again and again. "Dave, are you sure? The policies--"
"Screw the policy, I don't want to get gutted. Hit her again."
The back room was thankfully free both of the cloying incense and the jumble of bright colors that was the main room, giving Kaoru's senses a bit of a reprieve. Marielle had gently pulled his backpack away before sitting him down in a surprisingly comfortable, ornate chair. She quickly placed the bag down next to him before moving off to one side. She picked up a small teapot and poured some already hot water into a mug that she then placed on the velvety tablecloth on the table in front of him. She then moved to take a seat opposite him, quiet but watching him uncomfortably closely.
Avoiding eye-contact, he tentatively pulled the mug towards himself, sniffing experimentally at it. It seemed to be camomile tea. Not exactly his favorite, but he liked it well enough. It would need to steep for a while though, so for now he just held it in his hands, enjoying the warmth.
Marielle broke the silence. "You should answer dat."
Kaoru's eyes flicked upwards as his brow knit in confusion. What was she--
His phone buzzed.
He blinked and looked at who it was, lips instinctively curling upwards as he read the name. Glancing up at his companion, who continued to sit there with a calm smile on her face, he moved to read it. His frown quickly returned. It took him a moment to piece together that 'Abbers' was probably a reference to that dumb name Wingblade had given her computer. Why he was supposed to go through that, he wasn't sure. The system was pretty fried. Though a few quick taps to let himself in quickly revealed that repairs were going surprisingly well. I guess that's what happens when you wave a wad of cash under someone's nose. Predictably the system didn't seem to have any lawyers in its contact list (after all, why would Wing need a lawyer?). So instead he instructed the system to contact her mentor with the simple message. Silver Shadow says Wingblade needs a lawyer. He figured Whippoorwhil could probably handle things from there. With...whatever it was they needed a lawyer for. That done, he looked back up at Marielle, ready to continue.
She responded by placing a deck of tarot cards in front of him. "While we wait for your tea, will you indulge me with a reading?"
He frowned. "Is that really necessary? I mean...that stuff isn't really magic, right? You can find guides online about how to do it."
She gave a throaty laugh followed by a wink. "Depends on who is doing deh reding, eh ma chère. I will admit, healing magicks are not my forté, but dey work bettah the more you know about deh other person. Dis will help me get to know you a bit more."
He chewed on his lip as he thought. He was definitely pretty sure these things were nonsense. Except wasn't he here in the hopes of getting magical healing? So if he had to believe in that, who's to say there wasn't something to this as well? At the very least, it can't *hurt* anything, right? He had to admit, he was a little curious. He nodded slowly. "Ok, what do I do?"
|Alexandra E. Walker|
Alexandra is more than a little stunned. what the hell makes you think you can- she shouts over wing. But it hardly matters. She is taken into a different room, and 3 agents begin trying to pay her down.
She puts one in a wristlock purely by reflex, and goes to follow it with a steel toe to the nethers, before she stops herself. She releases the agent. I'll disarm myself, thanks. she says. What follows is best described as the armaments equivalent of the emptying of a clown car. The crossbow first. that liquid is very volatile. Don't dick around with it unless you wanna spend a few hours in fairyland. Then three knives from her boots. A number of digital devices,tricks Kay had helped her with. A powerful epoxy, and the solvent.a strange concoction of neon chemicals. that is a countermeasure for large synthetics. Be like twice as careful as you're being right now then come the grenades. Those 3 are all concussive, then two flashbangs. Fragmentary, fragmentary, incendiary, those two release aerosolized chloral hydrate, this one causes rapid oxidyzation of iron and steel, these two are concussive as well...
She finishes by handing over her coat, hat, and body armour. I'm keeping the mask. Halcyon Vs. Psi-ren set a precedent that an underaged parahuman can keep a mask on in detention and in court. she says, pushing toward the cell they were likely to keep Wing and her in. Hoping they were too busy with her equipment to notice that she hadn't given over her cell phone.
are you watching closely: 2d6 + 2 ⇒ (3, 5) + 2 = 10
Explose a weakness or vulnerability, confuse the for some time, avoid future entanglement
Okay, okay, Bronwyn glanced back for a moment to where Alexis had left the cultists in a groaning heap. Don't need to keep the gun on me, and I'm not in armor anyways, can't even change to Bran if I get hurt... She swallowed. No, she wouldn't have started with a kick if that's what she wanted. Okay, let Alexis call the shot here, you don't know the power sets involved and they do... She tried to rise, eyes wide, but her leg buckled, seemingly unable to hold her weight.
Mild-Mannered: 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (3, 4) + 3 = 10
"What do you even want from me?"
The cell was mostly empty. There weren't windows down in the basement. A bay of light-weight plasticky chairs, bolted to the floor despite their flimsy construction, a payphone with an out of order sign taped to it, some odd stains - that was really all that was there. A guard sat outside to make sure they didn't try anything, his hair steel grey, but arms still heavy with muscle.
You haven't heard anything from your lawyer yet, but they've gotta be coming soon, right?
The agents carry the limp form of Wingblade into the cell and set her in one of the flimsy chairs. One of them lets go of her to retrieve the key to the manacles on his belt while the other one gives Shadow a look to keep her back. Suddenly without anyone holding her steady, Wingblade's body leans to the side and falls off the chair, her head striking the concrete floor with a loud >thunk!<
The agents swear and pull her back up in the chair. "I thought you had a hold of her!" "I thought you did!" They shout at each other which checking her out, pulling open her eyes to check her pupils.
Their panic subsides when the large and angry knot on her forehead begins to shrink and fade. "Whew. That's right; she's a healer." "Yeah. She'll be fine. Dodged that bullet." "You mean, dodged that whip." "Right." They quickly unlock the manacles and make sure she's steady on the seat before leaving the cell, but not before giving Silver Shadow a look of warning.
* * *
Shayera slowly comes to after another ten minutes. Groggy at first, her head lolls around and her wings twitch agitatedly in their bindings. "Whaa? Hooz therr? Oh, Zzandrrr. 'mean, Ssilvrr Shsssadoww."
She shakes her head, and she looks up, blinking. "Uuggh. Head hurts. They hit me a lot. Oh, wait. It was their knockout drug." She takes in the cell and looks over to Alexandra. "Hey, surprised to see you here. Didn't figure you for the compliance type."
She stands up, woozy, and steadies herself on the chair she'd been sitting in. After another moment, her stance becomes more steady. She folds her arms and scowls. "Well, this just sucks."
This... sucks, Whippoorwill thinks as she circles the main SCA building in downtown Halcyon. Squat, bunker-like in appearance, the whole thing was an eyesore in the glittering spires of the Tower District. Though, it would be an eyesore just about anywhere in Halcyon City since it exuded all the charm of a parking garage.
She absolutely hated not being present for the briefing, but the SIDEKICK laws had an annoying provision that allowed the Overseer to brief the junior heroes outside the presence of their mentor -- something Innis gleefully employs. The last time Shayera had to face him alone, he'd kicked her out as field leader and installed Kaoru Miyamoto. She braced herself for another upheaval.
As much as she wanted to listen in, Whippoorwill had to extend a measure of trust in her protege and the latest in the line of Silver Shadows. So she kept silent, hanging around nearby until Wingblade's signal cut off entirely.
Then she got the message through Abacus. Silver Shadow says Wingblade needs a lawyer. Whippoorwill seethed. Innis wouldn't actually have gone there, would he?
Ordering her thoughts, she considered the most likely scenarios. Innis didn't have the proof -- and more importantly the authority -- to actually obtain an arrest warrant for Wingblade. Meaning he likely goaded her into either lawyering up or actually making some sort of violent action against the SCA.
And even though Shayera had been toeing close to the edge for a long time, Whippoorwill couldn't let herself believe she'd cross it.
So, assuming that Innis had pushed Shayera into asking for a lawyer, he'd probably detain her, doing the classic, 'if you haven't done anything wrong, why would you be asking for a lawyer?' gestapo crap, Whippoorwill considers. Which then would mean she really needed a lawyer.
Whippoorwill lands on a nearby roof, keeping the SCA building in full view. She taps her mask and scrolls through phone numbers until she finds the one she needed.
"Siobhan? Yes. I've got a situation. Yes, with Innis. Tell me you're ready to pull the trigger on those injunctions? Great. But before you do that, I need to get Wingblade a lawyer. Yes, I know. She's being detained at SCA HQ, and has lawyered up. No, I'm not sure, but I can guess. There was a death in an incident Saturday. Yeah, that bad. You will? Fantastic. Then I'll leave it in your capable hands."
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
Luxuria smiles at Bronwyn, exuding elegance despite her military armor. "Child, those aren't the only ones around looking for you," She tells her, her accent like soft silk across the younger girl's ears. Her eyes glow brighter as she continues to speak to her. "You should lock yourself somewhere safe and hide. Like that van," She suggests to her, pointing to a camper van parked in front of the alley. A confusing swell of emotions surges inside of Bronwyn, fear and desire at the front pushing her to action. Luxuria is Provoking Bronwyn to hide in the van, she can comply or take a Condition.
Mercy finishes with the last cultist, taking too much time making sure they didn't hurt them too badly. But it looked like Luxuria was already acting, using her powers against Bronwyn. They started towards them, when the thud of a firing weapon make them turn in time to see an orb flying at them. Mercy's drew their sword, moving to cut through it - only for it to erupt into a suddenly expanding foam, hardening in seconds and trapping them inside!
"Sorry," Chastitas says as he walks out, reloading the grenade launcher he carried. "Not here for you today, Mercy. Business comes first. We must work for our bread, ja?" He says. Mercy struggles, but it will take them precious time to get free!
Take A Powerful Blow: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (3, 5) + 1 = 9
Mercy gives ground here, giving the enemy an opportunity.
Bronwyn's head trembles in a nod, and she half turns towards the van, before reaching out towards Luxuria, her savior, to lay a hand on her, to make certain that this armored savior was real.
There was a soft jingle from the charms on Bronwyn's bracelet, and then she was in motion, her tremulous grip strengthening as she grabbed Luxuria and spun like she was about to toss a hammer, launching the operative up and over a nearby bodega!
Unleash: 2d6 ⇒ (1, 6) = 7 This reprieve is only temporary
"Pick up the pace Mercy!" She waved her bracelet at them and Chastitas "This'll last a minute, maybe two!"
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
"...Huh." Chastitas brushed his thumb against his chinstrap. "That was unexpected. Lux, are you dead?" He asked to his earpiece. The flow of curses coming from the other end indicated that she was still alive for the moment. "Excuse me. I must complete the contract," He said, moving and aiming at Bronwyn with his grenade launcher, several foam grenades flying at her! I think that's a TaPB move for Bronwyn there.
Unleash Powers: 2d6 + 2 ⇒ (1, 5) + 2 = 8
Mercy struggled, and pushed, and let out a growl as they cracked the foam trapping them, pulling themself out and onto the street. They couldn't let the Triakosia get back into their head. But what if more of them were around?
Marking Afraid for Alexis as part of the move - can't really make breaking through something temporary or unstable.
Luxuria manages to come around the corner of the bodega, but judging from the string cheese wrapper still stuck to her hair, she must have fallen into a dumpster on the other side. "Chase, behind you!" She warns him of Mercy's release. "I'll get the package!"
"First you shuffle deh deck. As much or as little as you want."
Kaoru took the deck and began carefully shuffling it. It was awkward; the cards were much larger than a normal playing card deck, and he was pretty sure there were more of them. More than once he dropped a few and had to herd them back into place. Marielle didn't seem to mind though. She just continued to watch with a peaceful smile on her lips. With a final cut, he placed the deck back in front of her, looking expectantly at the woman across from.
"Now, draw tree cards an' put dem in face down in front of you."
He reached towards the top of the deck but hesitated. Instead he drew the bottommost card and placed it in front of himself, glancing at Marielle to see if she would chastise him for the action. When she didn't, he took another card from somewhere in the middle and then the third from a different place in the middle of the deck. He felt a little like he was cheating, but she hadn't stopped him or instructed him to do otherwise. If the reading was messed up, it was her fault, not his.
"Dis first card represents your past." She flipped it over to reveal the Temperance card. "Temperance is deh card of moderation."
He resisted the urge to roll his eyes. Well no duh, that's what the word means.
Either not noticing or ignoring his reaction, Marielle continued. "Many will tell you it is deh card of abstinence, but dis is not deh case. You do not give up deh wine; you cut it with water. It is possible it saying dat in deh past, it was important for you to temper yourself. But it is also important to remembah dat Temperance is ruled by Sagittarius, a creature dat merges a horse with a man and wields a weapon dat combines deh stationary bow with deh moving arrow. It is a card dat also says tings dat seem like irreconcilable opposites may not in fact be irreconcilable. Perhaps you have recently attempted to do dis. If so, it is important to remembah dat it make take some time to get deh mixture just right. After all, dere are a million ways to mix deh wine and dey water, yes?"
He tried to ignore the snarky voice in head attempting to mock everything she had to say. Did she really need so many words when she could have just said 'centaur'? He tried to think about what her words might apply to. He had always been rather...demure back in Sioux Falls. And he wasn't really acting that way now, except maybe to his mother, which couldn't be helped. Was she talking about that? It was certainly a change, but he wasn't sure he was really blending anything there. Demure-ness and...not demure-ness? Was it still blending if he was trading off behavior instead of trying to do both at once? Not that you could really do both at the same time. Unless she was talking about the whole heroing thing he had been dragged into? Yeah, that probably more likely. She was talking about how he needed to find a balance between that and his actual life. If he wasn't careful, he'd just get dragged fully into crime fighting and end up regretting it. A good warning, even if it was kind of obvious given how he had gotten in contact with her.
"Dis second card is your present or perhaps near future." She flipped over the next card to reveal the Hanged Man. "Deh Hanged Man is a card about sacrifice but also insight and wisdom. His position allows him to see deh world in a way others cannot, but to accomplish dis, he must first allow himself to be hung by his leg as dey once did traitors. To gain dis insight, you must make yourself vulnerable. You must try someting new. To gain, you must give. Dat may mean a sacrifice to get into dis position or it may be to get out of it. Either way, once you have gained dis insight, you can never go back to seeing tings deh way you once did. If you relate dis back to Temperance, perhaps you have either gained or will soon gain some idea of a better mixture for you wine-water."
A new insight? Was this related to Alexandra suggesting he make the best of this whole situation and maybe use Alexis to come up with some kind of medical breakthrough? Did it count as his insight if someone else handed it to him? Or...maybe she was just talking about Alexandra in general? Annoyingly, he felt his face warming (hopefully it wasn't too obvious in the somewhat dimly-lit room). Realizing he liked her, or even girls in general (was it girls in general if she was the only one?), had certainly been a revelation. But there hadn't really been any sacrifice related to it, as far as he could tell. Which made him kind of nervous. Or, it would if he believed any of this mumbo-jumbo.
"Deh final card is, of course, your future." She flipped the Four of Cups. "Deh Cups are deh suit of water. Or movement and flow. But deh fours are all about stability, which does not work well with dis element. As such, dis is deh card of discontent. See how deh man stares unhappily at his three cups as he is offered a fourth? What you once thought you wanted will turn out not to be all dat you had hoped. Perhaps deh insight of deh Hanged Man will lead you to a mixture that at first seems wonderful, but you will eventually tire of it. Or perhaps you will learn deh sacrifice made was not worth what you learned."
So...she was saying he would regret dating Alexandra? That was so clearly b%%#~@+$. It's not like he had ever really felt this way about anyone else. And when you liked someone, you dated them. And maybe you got into a few fights, but then you resolved them. Or if you're Wingblade apparently you realize you like Bran instead and break up. Which...just meant he had to make sure Alexandra knew he was a million times better than Bran. Easy! He was ten times the man Bran was. Just...y'know, metaphorically. ...maybe he should start working out? Not that any of this mattered. It was all inkblots, nothing more. Nothing she said would actually tell the future. He and Alexandra would be totally fine.
He glanced up, suddenly realizing that Marielle hadn't said anything. He grimaced as he realized she had just been watching him. Clearing his throat, he spoke up, "Is, uhhh, is that it then? Are we done? Did you get...whatever it was you needed?" He waved his hand vaguely in the air. "Can we go on to the healing now?"
She was quiet a while before slowly starting to nod. "Yes, I believe I did. Drink your tea as I get ready for deh spell."
He nodded, quickly taking the tea bag from his cup as he started to sip at the warm beverage. He enjoyed the way the heat traveled down his throat and through his stomach and chest. It was comforting. He tried to focus on that instead of the feeling of unease settling in the pit of his stomach. None of it *means* anything. It's all newspaper astrology, vague enough to apply to anybody and anything.
Take a Powerful Blow (Not my Body): 2d6 ⇒ (3, 3) = 6
You can freak out about this later, but for now, these jags aren't gonna get you! Okay, what do I do about grenades...
She didn't have Gae-Dearg, but a quick yank gave her a stop sign; the balance wasn't the same, but the skills and the speed were, and they were enough for her to spin the sign in a fast tight loop, slapping the grenades aside where they could foam up the pavement.
The burst of projectiles stopped for a beat and she dove forward, sign raised edge-on to crack through Chastitas's heavy armor. Her technique wasn't great, but she was fast, and she could see that he was... not scared, but much more alarmed than she'd seen from Mercy when they faced danger like this.
He can't heal. She flinched.
Directly Engage: 2d6 - 1 - 2 ⇒ (2, 3) - 1 - 2 = 2
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
Chastitas grew tense as Bronwyn ran up with the street sign. Then he suddenly relaxed and flowed like water around her, using her momentum against her and throwing her back towards Mercy, both of them colliding with each other and knocking the former soldier down. He was skilled at fighting people who were physically stronger than himself, knew how to counter her burst of super strength. Take Insecure, Bronwyn.
Luxuria used this time to return back to the fight, flicking the last scraps of trash from her hair. "Okay, that's enough. Mercy, give us the girl. We don't want to fight you if we can help it."
Mercy stumbled to their feet, pulling Bronwyn up with them. "I won't let you hurt her."
"You have it wrong," Chastitas spoke. Bronwyn can detect a bit of a European, possibly Germanic accent to his words. "We aren't trying to harm her."
Mercy looked confused, trying to figure out the motivations behind their former comrades' behavior. It was too abnormal. "Leave us alone! I will stop you...however I have to." Mercy's hand came up to grasp the hilt of the sword sheathed across their back.
Provoke Them To Leave: 2d6 - 1 ⇒ (3, 5) - 1 = 7
Both Triakosia freeze in place as Mercy threatens them. It's Luxuria who reacts first. "You're going to kill us to save some random child? We're a team, Mercy! You'll throw away all the years we had for her?"
"This is business, don't make it personal," Chastitas warns. "We cannot leave without securing her. No matter who stands in our way."
The pair have all of their attention focused in on Mercy, the biggest threat that they can see here. What does Bronwyn do?
They erred, giving a critical opportunity to Bronwyn here to act.
The woman strides up to the reinforced and heavily guarded front door of the SCA building with extreme confidence. The male SCA agents couldn't help but eye her up and down, from her power heels to her knee-length skirt and her perfectly tailored suit, she appeared a force to be reckoned with.
She held up an ID attached to a lanyard. "Siobhan McKenzie. I'm Wingblade's lawyer. I'll need to see her right away, unless you'd like to send me to Overseer Innis first."
One of the SCA agents glances at a computer screen. "Word has it she hasn't made a phone call yet. You couldn't--"
"Oh, I most certainly can. Your clock is ticking, detaining a juvenile by my estimation two hours without once notifying her guardian about said detention? So what's it going to be? My client, or the Overseer?"
The agent gives her a sneer. "Oh, I think you'll have to get the Overseer's permission first."
Siobhan McKenzie, attorney at law, strides into Overseer Fleming Innis's office. Without preamble, she pulls out a manila folder and slaps it down on his desk.
Innis's lip twitches. "Ms. McKenzie. A pleasure as always. What can I help you with?"
"For starters, you can release the juvenile hero Wingblade from SCA custody, and any other underage superhero you happen to have locked up here in this eyesore."
Innis leans back in his seat, folding his arms. His eyes flick to the folder and then back up to the intruder in his office. "And that would be...?"
"An injunction. Suspending the SIDEKICK laws, specifically the ones where it criminalizes juveniles just for having special gifts."
With a snort, Innis flips open the folder. "You're aware of status offenses, aren't you? You're a smart woman. Truancy. Incorrigibility. The kind of offenses that are not crimes for adults but are for juveniles."
Siobhan narrows her eyes. "Oh, I'm not stopping there. I'm going to dismantle the entire SIDEKICK law. It's contrary to five provisions of the Americans with Extraordinary Abilities Act, eight state statutes, and, oh yeah, this little thing you might have heard of -- the Constitution?"
Before Innis can retort, she continues. "Now, before things get unpleasant between us, I believe my client has requested to speak to a lawyer before she answers any more of your questions? I would hate to add violations of the Sixth Amendment to this little cluster of due process rights you're violating right now. If you'd be so kind as to bring me to the office where I'm sure she's waiting comfortably for me." She leans toward him. "Because you do not want to deal with the ramifications if I find out she's been locked in a cell."
Realizing he's floundering, Innis bites back, "A man is dead!"
Siobhan spins on her heels back to him. "And a child is being detained without lawful authority. I can't do anything for him. But for her, you can be damned sure I'm going to do something about it."
A pair of guards enter the cell and try not to look impressed that Wingblade was standing. She turns from Alexandra and looks at them with narrowed eyes. "What now?"
"Your lawyer's here. We're taking you to her. Now turn around." They roughly grab her arms and bind her wrists together beneath her wings.
"You know, last time you put my cuffs on in front. 'Cause of the wings. You sure you're doing it right?"
The bigger SCA agent rolls his eyes. "Your wings are bound, so now we do things the usual way."
Wingblade barks out a short laugh as she's pushed out the door. "Yeah, like one sneeze won't make me bust out of these bindings. But I'll be good."
She's escorted through one security checkpoint after another and taken up a heavily reinforced elevator to the uppermost level. There, she is brought to an interview room with a simple metal table and a pair of metal chairs bolted to the floor. A wall-length mirror on one end is proof that observers could be in the next room, watching.
A striking red-headed woman in a perfectly tailored suit is sitting at the far end of the table. She has a notepad out next to an open briefcase on the table. She looks pissed. "Take those cuffs off her now!" she demands.
"Protocol, ma'am," the big agent says. "She's in custody, so that means she has to be secured."
"Wingblade is one of the city's heroes, have you forgotten that? And a juvenile!"
"Word is, she killed someone."
The woman calmly reaches into her briefcase, pulls out her phone, holds it up and begins recording. "Dear, could you turn around for me? I'd like to see what they've done to you."
Wingblade tries to look sullen as she turns around to show off her restraints. "Hey, Agent Mabry, is it?" she asks, noticing his name tag, "You want to hit me a few more times with your 'compliance juice'?"
Mabry scowls and barks at the woman, "Quit recording. All right; but her wings stay bound." He produces a key and unbinds Wingblade's arms. Then with a huff he and the other agent leave.
Rubbing her wrists, Wingblade sits down in the other chair. "Hi. That was fast. I didn't even get to make my phone call."
"Hello, Wingblade. I'm Siobhan McKenzie. Yes, Whippoorwill has retained me to be your lawyer. She had certain... contingencies in place, and I'm one of them. It's our understanding that you requested a lawyer while being questioned by Overseer Innis. And by your treatment I've witnessed so far, I'm glad you did."
Wingblade shrugs. "I didn't really know what else to do. I mean, it's not like I killed the guy. But Innis was throwing around the word 'murder' and I just... I didn't know what he was going to do."
She looks to her lawyer, uncertain. "And then he said that he was actually trying to help, and now I just screwed all that up."
Siobhan gives her a reassuring smile. "That's just part of his game. And unless he backs down, we're going to dismantle--"
She cuts herself off as Wingblade's head whips around to look at the mirror on the side of the wall. Siobhan follows her gaze, but can't see anything other than her own reflection. In a disappointed sigh, she shouts, "I was assured we'd have attorney-client confidentiality!"
They wait quietly until Wingblade nods. "Yeah, the room's clear."
Siobhan gives Wingblade an impressed smile. "Neat trick. Okay, as I was saying, you did the right thing by asking for a lawyer. He's trying to scare you by throwing you into a cell, hoping you'll panic and do something worse, like trying to escape."
Wingblade rolls her eyes. "Pfff. I can leave whenever I want to. I'm not going to panic."
The lawyer quirks an eyebrow, then shrugs. "All right, well, be patient while I work to secure your release. Can you tell me what really happened? I assure you I'll keep it confidential -- even from Whippoorwill, if you need. So go ahead and tell me the ugly truth. It'll help you in the long run, so we won't be surprised by anything."
Wingblade thinks for a bit. "I'm pretty sure I've told Whip everything, so you can share if you need to. She also doesn't like surprises." She then begins to recount the events, starting with the subway attack by Balor and the possessed Ten of Hearts, then to the gala and Dane's accosting of Bran the Blessed. She then describes her investigation to track down Dane and the other Balorinas at the greenhouse. She talks openly about her decision to take Dane back to her apartment so her team could learn about Balor's plan, and then his eventual 'meltdown.'
"So, if anyone 'murdered' Dane, it was Balor! He had scarred his face, tore up his eye, and allowed some ancient evil infect him! I met people in his life! People who cared for him! I wasn't going to kill him!" Her eyes tear up and she looks away quickly.
Siobhan gives her a sympathetic look, but then finishes taking her notes. "All right. How about you wait here, I'll go see if Innis is insistent on keeping you here. Hopefully, he'll see reason."
Siobhan rises to her feet, walks around the table and gives Wingblade's shoulder a squeeze. Then she steps to the door and gives it a hard knock.
"Wait," the teenaged superhero says, turning her head slightly toward her. "I heard something. One of the tech guys, he told Innis that they managed to get some of the security feeds working from my apartment. So unless Balor also has some power of doctoring video, he really should know what happened in my apartment."
Siobhan gives her an approving smile, but it fades before the door is opened and she is let out. "Keep her here for a moment. I'm going to talk with the Overseer and I expect I'll need to come back to talk with her."
The SCA guards take her back to Overseer Innis' office. She takes a position directly in front of his desk, where he is flipping through the papers she had left with him.
"This injunction hasn't been filed," he sneers.
"True. It's in District Judge Ramirez's inbox right now. What happens to it depends on your actions within the next fifteen minutes. Are you going to let my client, and her other teammate, go? Or are you going to bring murder charges against them? And consider your evidence against them carefully. You know her apartment had lots of cameras. If any of the footage can be recovered and support Wingblade's account, it will go bad for you. I just want to make sure this is the hill you want to die on."
"Quit your grandstanding. You know this injunction will go nowhere. The public likes the SIDEKICK laws. They're important, and other cities are considering adopting them as well."
Siobhan leans forward, gesturing to the papers in Innis' hands. "Then consider what a scandal like this would do to your precious law. Charging an innocent, popular hero with murder? If you go forward with this, I promise you that I will make every effort to let the public know it was your decision to go forward with this charge."
Innis' sneer returns. "Juvenile proceedings are sealed."
Siobhan remains serious. "Murder's a capital offense. It can be moved to adult court."
Innis scoffs at such an idea.
"If you have such ironclad proof, let me see it. You show me hard evidence Wingblade killed that man, then I'll advise her to do whatever you tell us. Quit being a hero, cut off her wings, whatever you demand. Give you Whippoorwill."
Innis can only glower at her. He almost quivers in restrained anger. "I-- The SCA will not be bringing charges against them at this time. But, but, we cannot release them. Balor is known as Balor the Virulent. They've been exposed. We have to keep them in quarantine for twenty-four hours to make sure they're not exhibiting signs of possession or contagion."
Siobhan almost stumbles in surprise. "Wait, what? Contagion? You can't--"
"Oh, I absolutely can. Balor is a supernatural threat, and the SCA is authorized to take preventative steps to protect the city. Do I need to show you the ordinance?"
She fumes. "Wingblade is a healer. She poses no threat--"
"Protocol, protocol. Relax, Siobhan, you've won this round. Your client will be released in about sixteen hours, unless she is showing signs of corruption or sickness. You've also had contact with her, so your quarantine will begin immediately. You probably shouldn't have pushed so hard for a meeting with her."
"What?? Why you--!"
"Please, Ms. McKenzie. Before you continue, make sure this is the hill you want to die on."
I've been talking through Innis's moves with Stal; I'll get a Bron post up tomorrow/today depending on how you're counting. ::exhausted face::
Ideally from there we should be able to arc towards reconvening as a group (though I have thoughts about an eminently escapable sideline for Silver Shadow if necessary)
Okay Bron, you can't worry about what they're gonna think. You can't worry about they might already know. Alexis can't take them on two-to-one. They need you. Be the hero. Mask to swap Freak and Mundane
They were better than her, a lot better actually. If she'd been fighting them, then there was no chance she'd have been able to land a hit that cleanly while they were still at top form. But they had forgotten her as anything more than 'the target,' 'the child,' 'the damsel in distres, they were so focused on Mercy as the only factor still in play, that they weren't ready for just how fast she was.
Even caught off guard, Chastitas was moving, but there was still a moment when Bronwyn got to him that his weight was all on one leg, and she tagged his knee with the short, brutal kick that she'd practiced ever since she started running alone. But she was a lot stronger now.
His armor cracked, the joint burst with the sickening sound of tearing ligaments, his leg bent in on itself with the sounds of armor plates scraping against each other mercifully drowning out any other noises.
Unleash: 2d6 + 3 ⇒ (2, 3) + 3 = 8 Marking Guilty
"Even if you win," she said to Luxuria, "You're not going to carry both of us out of here. But if you get him to a doctor right now, he might walk again.
"What's it gonna be?"
Reply's up to you Mercy, but see PM
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
Chastitas looked surprised, then pained, then becoming stony-faced as he snapped the knee back. The armor seemed to stiffen to create a brace for his knee now, but he was still hobbled and laying on the ground where he had fallen.
Then Bronwyn felt that guilt, felt it cut deeper than ever. She had done an awful thing. She deserved to punish herself for it. Even as Luxuria was helping Chastitas up with her glowing eyes piercing into the athlete, Bronwyn knew she had to atone for her sin. A stew of powerful emotions threatened to overwhelm her entirely centered on self-loathing. Bronwyn, Take a Powerful Blow
"Lux, it's not worth it," Chastitas grunted, holding onto her. "We have other options." He looked at Mercy, still with one hand holding their sword, frozen in place and not sure what to do right now.
"I'll make her kill herself for this," Lux hissed, glaring at Bronwyn but taking Chastitas with her. "You better come back, Mercy! You don't want Wrath to come find you!"
Mercy trembled. They kept vigil until the Triakosia had slipped out of sight, probably to a vehicle close by. Chastitas would be fine after some quick surgery. Bronwyn, on the other hand...
TaPB: 2d6 + 1 ⇒ (6, 4) + 1 = 11 Losing control of herself
She held it together for the few seconds needed for Luxuria to drag Chastitas off, but then Bronwyn dropped to her knees hard enough to crack the pavement, stomach heaving as she spewed donated hamburger all over the sidewalk.
"What was I thinking? All this power and what do I do with it? I hurt someone, maybe crippled him. I don't deserve this, I've never deserved this!"
Kaoru continued to sip on his tea as Marielle pulled out some paper and pen. "Now, normally I do not do deh Grecian magicks, but I will admit, dey do well on short notice. My typical spells can require days to set up correctly and any number of rare ingredients. But personally, I tink deh Greeks try to rush tings dat should not be rushed, eh chérie?"
Perking up in interested, he asked, "What do you mean?"
"Well, if you've ever see it done, you know it involves asking a bunch of questions. Deese are aimed at getting to know a person. At trying to understand dere essence as it were. Normally dis can take weeks, months, maybe even years. But deh Greeks like dere math, so of course dey tried to turn it into some formula. Don't get me wrong, it works for what it does. I just prefer to take my time normally. To savor the experience. Deh journey is just as important as deh destination. All dat being said, I'm going to have to ask you some questions. Just keep in mind, it's bettah not to answer den to lie."
Kaoru nodded his head to indicate his understanding. He had seen this done a couple of times before, so he had a good idea about what to expect. He was even pretty sure he knew some of the questions she would ask.
Marielle began. "First, when's your birthday? Date, year and time if you know it. And where were you born?"
Without hesitating, he responded. "1,088,759,569 37.2275 -80.0130556." Before she had a chance to protest he added, "What? It's far more accurate that the response many other people gave."
Marielle's gaze flicked to just off the side of his head. Then, to his surprise, she simply started writing it down with a slight smile on her lips as she asked him to repeat it again more slowly before moving on to the next question. "Second, what's your favorite holiday?"
"The square root of x times x multiplied by the quotient of force divided by acceleration."
"You're not going to make dis easy on me, are you?" She laughed as once more her gaze drifted slightly off from his face.
"You just said I should be truthful. You said nothing about you needing to understand my answers."
"Yes, I suppose dis is one way to get to know you. Your answers say much about who you are. Third, would you rather teach a bird to swim or a fish to fly?"
Kaoru scoffed, his tone indicating that there was only one correct answer. "Penguins."
"Fourth, what are your heigh and weight?"
Another question he had prepared for. "3.2 cubits and 1 talent, 48 minus, 6 shekels. And what are you looking at?" He finally asked as her gaze wandered yet again.
Marielle smiled. "Your aura, chère. If you want to give weird answers, I have to consult it to get deh information I need."
His mouth open and then closed. He wasn't really sure how to respond to that. Was she pulling his leg or were auras a thing now too? If they were, how was he supposed to manipulate it if he couldn't see it and had no idea how it worked? He pursed his lips, nodding for her to continue as he pulled out his phone, pressing a button.
"Fifth, quick as you can, what's 5 cubed?"
In a robotic voice, Siri responded, "5 raised to the 3rd power is 125."
At Marielle's amused look, he just shrugged, suppressing a smirk as he turned off voice command. "Hey, it's not my fault many of these questions are repetitive and predictable." He was also pretty sure his phone didn't have an aura. Probably.
"Fair enough. Sixth, if I gave you a serum dat granted random superpowers, would you drink it?"
"Well, why are you giving it to me? What's your angle?" It wasn't lying if he stonewalled her, right?
"Just to see if you take it. No other angle."
"What are the side effects? Depression? Increased risk of suicide? Liver failure? Death?" Not that he could really answer such a vague question. Some that life changing needed clarification and more data to weigh all possibilities before deciding.
"No side effects, just deh powers."
"What kind of powers? Might I wind up some hideous fish creature unable to breathe air? Invisibility but only when no one's looking at you? Can see in the dark but now have light sensitivity?" All very important information. Electrokinesis or something like that would be kind of cool. But there were plenty of more-than-useless ways this could go.
"All deese tings are possible, yes."
"Which kind of trials has it gone through? Is it FDA approved? Is it widely available on the consumer market? Do I need a prescription? Should I be worried about drug interactions?" Ok, so then probabilities of awesomeness vs total suckage. But how low did the percentage need to be to rule it out?
"You know what, I tink I have gotten all deh information I needed from dis question. Let us move on. Seventh, what, physically, do you notice first about girls or guys, whichever you're into? And what hair color do you like or don't you care?"
"Why does it matter if I'm 'into' them? And how are you supposed to answer without context? I mean, if you first see them from far away, you're not going to notice a fine detail like their eye color. And aren't you just going to notice any outliers about their appearance? Like, if they're unusually tall or-?"
Attempting to shortcut another round of 20 questions, Marielle interrupted. "It is trying to get at what physical attribute you find attractive in a potential partner. Do not tink too hard about it, but give your gut instinct."
Kaoru paused frowning. Finally he said, "I...don't think I have enough data for this question. But I'm not sure hair color matters?"
Marielle nodded, writing down more notes. "Eighth, what's deh scariest movie you've ever seen?"
"Well, I think it's pretty terrifying that people thought turning Twilight fanfiction into its own movie was a good idea." He still couldn't really believe Chloe had talked him into sneaking into a showing of that movie of all things. She couldn't have picked, y'know, an actually good R-rated film?
"Last one, if you could talk to anyone for five more minutes, who would it be and what would you say first?"
"That's dumb. Why would I need just 5 more minutes? If they're worth talking to, I would already have their phone number, so we could talk whenever." He paused and then. His face suddenly lit up. "No wait! I have a friend I've been having trouble getting in touch with. So I'd talk to them. And what I'd say first is 'How can I get back in regular contact with you?' We probably wouldn't even need the full 10 minutes."
Marielle nodded. "Ok, give me a few moments to do deh calculations. Dis might take a moment."
He nodded, moving to take another sip of his tea while he waited.
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
"Stop that," Mercy spoke to Bronwyn, kneeling by her. Thankfully the armor kept the worst of the scent of acrid bile from their nose. "Lux and Chase are empaths. You hurt Chase, so Lux is hurting you back. Chase will be fine. He's suffered worse in the field and in training."
Comfort Bronwyn (Angry): 2d6 - 1 ⇒ (4, 4) - 1 = 7 That's marking potential there.
Mercy didn't know what else to do - so they tried to contact Wingblade. Except that the call didn't seem to be going through. That was strange. They decided then that they needed to let Kaoru know as team leader. Hopefully this was a team exercise.
"This is Mercy. Can you hear me? Bronwyn was attacked by men trying to kidnap her...the Triakosia were assisting. We have fended them off for now, but Bronwyn needs help," They spoke over the comms, hoping someone would respond. Someone had to tell them what to do here.
"Alexis, why in God's name would I feel better knowing that I'd done the same thing as those torturing monsters?"
She wanted to believe Mercy, but in her heart of hearts, she was pretty sure that they were assuming everyone had been tortured as bad as Alexis had. Even if they were, even if he's been hurt more, that doesn't mean they crippled him. Doing that for training is a good way to ruin your powered people if they don't have a healing factor. Even if you have the best surgeons in the world, there's always a chance a joint just doesn't heal right and- she heaved again, though it was thankfully dry this time. "If they can't fix his leg, what's gonna happen to him?" I can envision Bronwyn opening up by the end of the scene, but I don't think she has yet.
"This is Mercy. Can you hear me? Bronwyn was attacked by men trying to kidnap her...the Triakosia were assisting. We have fended them off for now, but Bronwyn needs help," They spoke over the comms, hoping someone would respond. Someone had to tell them what to do here.
She couldn't bring herself to key her comm, so she spoke just to Alexis, "They're Balor's cultists, Mercy. This wasn't random, we have to-You should see if they have anything on them that might tell us something, or if one of them's still awake?" [i]I shouldn't be doing any of this.
I've never gone so long without moving my wings, Wingblade thinks as she paces around the interview room. She was quickly growing stir-crazy; it wasn't so bad when she had other things to think about -- like her meeting with her lawyer -- but being alone with her thoughts made her want to flex and twitch and flap her wings fiercely. And it would be so easy too. When they'd bound her wings, she kept the blunt edges out, but all it would take is the smallest shift...
Uuugghhh! She did a few stretching exercises of her limbs. It helped, a little. But she paused as soon as she sensed more people in the observation room. She glowered mid-stretch at the mirror. She lowered her leg down where it had been raised above her head, making a disapproving face at the mirror. After a few minutes of her staring, the people left the room.
The door unlocks and swings open abruptly, letting Ms. McKenzie in. She looked pissed. Her jacket was off and slung over her arm, the sleeve of her light-colored blouse rolled up. The smell of antiseptics hits Wingblade right away.
"What's going on? Why'd you get a shot?"
Still fuming, her lawyer throws her jacket over the back of the chair and sets her briefcase on the table. "I'm in quarantine. So are you, and your other hero friend, Ms. Shadow?"
Wingblade scoffs. "Yeah, right. Me? What the heck is up with that?"
"Innis's last little 'Eff you' to me. And you. He's not pursuing charges against any of you, which is the good part. Apparently, there was footage found in your apartment surveillance that supported your story." She takes a deep breath and manages to smile. "But that demon thing you fought? Balor? He's a plague-bringer. So, he's put us all in quarantine. The good news is, we wait twenty-four hours and we'll all be released."
Wingblade stares at Ms. McKenzie. "Oh. Wow. Okay, well, thanks. So, what about dismantling the SCA?"
She gives her an ominous look. "All in good time."
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
"Alexis, why in God's name would I feel better knowing that I'd done the same thing as those torturing monsters?"
"If they can't fix his leg, what's gonna happen to him?"
"If they can't fix his leg, they will give him a new one," Mercy bluntly informs Bronwyn. "They put a lot of time and training into the Triakosia. We are unique and not easy to replace. It is better to fix us than to retire us."
Mercy looked down at her. "...You should feel better because in your place, I would have done the same thing." Or worse.
"They're Balor's cultists, Mercy. This wasn't random, we have to-
You should see if they have anything on them that might tell us something, or if one of them's still awake?"
Balor. Cultists. Like the man that had expired and caused such chaos in Shayera's penthouse. Alexis didn't know what they wanted with Bronwyn, but it was alarming just the same.
"They must be paying for security services to ensure safe delivery," Mercy mentions. It made sense that this had nothing to do with Mercy's connection to Bronwyn at least. They approached one of the cultists they had left sprawled on the floor, who had regained enough consciousness to start crawling away.
Mercy picked them by their hair and pulled them upright, until they were face to helmet with them. "Who else are you trying to kidnap?" They demanded. "Where are you taking them?"
Provoke Cultist to Spill his Guts: 2d6 - 1 ⇒ (6, 3) - 1 = 8
"There are scores of you mortals who could serve as a vessel for your 'dancing partner's' brother, where he will better suit my pleasure... Blood will tell, little bird. Even in this benighted age there are still those worthy to hold the power of a god. Why not ask your Beloved how he found his host."
The cultist looked up at Mercy groggily, patch askew enough to reveal a perfectly normal, if increasingly frantic, eye behind it. "We will never tell you what Our Lord wills, not even if-" "It's a host. You're looking for a host. We know. Just tell them where-" The cultist blanches, and quickly reaches for his phone, trying to smash it to the ground, but Mercy is able to easily catch it.
"Thumb print," Bronwyn suggests.
The phone unlocks, showing a tilted, badly centered picture of part of a list of names. Zooming in it shows:
The corner of what looks like a profile picture, just showing stickered emojis and a broad, pale hand - 62 S. Proctor St.
6) Cassiphone Helius - No Picture - No address
7) Bronwyn Pascal - A picture of her posing triumphantly in full Hornets regalia from the Herald - 9659 E. Riverview Dr.
8) Lucas Hernandez - A yearbook-looking picture of a boy just into his teen years. He's in a nice polo, his hair is brushed, his glasses are straight, and his eyes are nervous - 811 Court St.
9) Camila Hernandez - A yearbook-looking picture of a girl just into her teen years. Her blouse and blazer look uniform, her hair is tied back, her glasses are faintly smudged and her eyes are delighted- 811 Court St.
10) Gavin Wat... the edge of the photo cuts off before the rest of his dossier is shown.
Bronwyn goes pale as a ghost when she sees the picture, reaching up to her comm bead, voice shaking, "Shayera? Sweetie, I need you to answer I need you to- Anybody? We need-" She drops her finger and reaches for her phone. "Keep trying the comms Alexis. They're gonna take- Hello?! S#@$! s$*%shitshitting voicemail! Okay, Abacus?! Are you listening to these messages? You need to get me through to Shayera, okay? I need her to-" She hung up in frustration, her fingers flew, sending out texts devoid of her usual caution to everyone on the team.
Bronwyn: You need to get on comms
Bronwyn: Balor just tried to kidnap me to be Manawydan's host & my niece and nephew are next
Kaoru's backdoor into Abacus's goings on would probably let him see Abacus attempting to priority contact Shayera, despite her not having her comms or phone even before the text.
Alexandra's phone however...
Wingblade was brought back to her cell that she shared with Silver Shadow after a while. Ms. McKenzie was escorted someplace else to ride out her period of quarantine, cell phone to her ear explaining to her paralegals that she was going to need continuances for tomorrow's hearings.
Alexandra was there, standing cautiously still on the far side of the cell. Shayera waited for her cuffs to be removed, begged to no avail to have her wings unbound, then watched with arms folded as the SCA agents shut and locked the doors behind them.
"And?" Silver Shadow says, not moving any closer.
Shayera rolls her shoulders, wincing at her poor wings. "Slight complication. We're cleared of Dane's death, as far as I can tell. But they're locking us in quarantine because of Balor's 'virulence.' Which is ridiculous, since..." She trails off, remembering that the blast did make her feel a bit under the weather. And Alexandra was pretty close to Dane when he went nova.
She crosses the cell and puts her hand on Alexandra's forehead. "You've got a fever. Damn. You should, you know, let them know."
"I can't. We're going to have to get out of here, right now," she says under her breath, mindful of any surveillance that might still be active.
Wingblade shakes her head vehemently. "No, didn't you hear? We're in the clear. Abacus' footage backed us up. It's all on Balor. You gotta focus on getting better."
Silver Shadow shifts her stance slightly, showing Wingblade what's hidden in one hand: her cellphone that she'd managed to hide while divesting herself of her weapons. The screen was on, and it showed a message.
Bronwyn: You need to get on commsBalor just tried to kidnap me to be Manawydan's host and my niece and nephew are next
Shayera suddenly goes rigid as well, understanding Alexandra's tension. It was a miracle she didn't make a move to escape when Shayera was brought back to the cell. Ice flows through her veins, her wings slowly shifting to place the bladed edges against the bindings.
Alexandra meets Shayera's eyes and she gives her a nod despite the fever clearly taking a lot out of her. She could tell that Alexandra was going to help her fight their way out of there. Shayera shakes her head again. "No, you're in no shape to even be a distraction. I'm going to get you help. Don't do anything. I've got my own way out."
Something in the way she said that, or something in Silver Shadow's powers of deduction convinced her. She nods.
Shayera moves to the door and starts banging on it and shouting for help. The guards come, wary at first, but are quickly convinced and take Alexandra out. "Go, I'll be fine," Wingblade says as she takes one last concerned look before the door slams shut.
Shayera was sitting on the small cot cross-legged, eyes closed, when the black-clad figure steps out of the shadows. She opens her eyes and offers a half-smile at the masked girl as she accepts the mask offered to her. <Thank you, sister>
<Hurry. We are working on rewriting the security video>
<Perfect> she says and then dons her mask, joining together with the Daughters of the Tiger.
It was strange, having her wings out while linked with her sisters, and they suddenly longed for the pendant because of the strange discordance of one of them having additional appendages that the others did not. They pushed past the discomfort, with the two in the cell stepping through the shadows until they were outside the complex.
Once clear, Shayera rips off her mask. <Oh. Sorry. Pendant next time, for sure> She hands the mask back to her sister and reaches out to squeeze her arm. "And thank you. I mean it. Oh! can I borrow your phone?" With a shrug, she passes her device to Shayera, then steps back into the shadows.
Wingblade doesn't waste any more time, shredding the bindings with a snap and her long-pent up wings joyously go to work. She rises into the air and punches in Bronwyn's number while angling toward Northside.
"C'mon, c'mon, pick up!"
Bronwyn gets a call from 玉虎
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
"This is Mercy. I have evidence of a kidnapping attempt happening at...811 Court Street," Mercy speaks into the comm. They've turned on the LEO band, knowing that this was worth getting their attention. "Be advised, I have suspects detained at my current location who attempted their own abduction."
This was why it was good to have the armor at times like this when they needed the utility pockets. The zip ties were helpful enough for cuffing the cultists to light posts and prevent them from escaping into the wind for now. Keeping busy was a good thing, because it prevented Mercy from dwelling too much on if the Triakosia would be elsewhere too.
They keyed to the team channel again, trying to raise anyone. "This is Mercy. Balor cultists have attempted to kidnap Acolyte. They were thwarted, but they have evidence of further victims. Requesting back up." Calm and logical, professional. Just like Chase had taught them, push any panic aside and focus on what you could do.
Which also meant trying to help keep Bronwyn calm, because the next people on the list were her family. "Cassie's name was on the list too," They whispered to her. "I don't think they can get her when she's home. So let's go and get to your family now."
They held a hand to Bronwyn, gesturing to their back. "Faster to hang on. I can cover more ground than you."
Kaoru nervously sipped at his tea. Or at least, he pretended to. He had finished it a while ago and, lacking something else to do with his hands, kept automatically raising it to his lips while he waited for Marielle to finish up her calculations. And instead of awkwardly putting it back down again when he realized his mistake, he just kept acting like it wasn't empty. Finally, he was put out of his misery.
"Dere, I tink dat should do it. Give me your hands, chérie."
Glad simply to have something to do other than trying to ignore his over-awareness of every time he took a breath, he unquestioningly held out his hands to the woman. She slid her hands along his palms and up until she was lightly grasping his forearms near the elbows. He suppressed a slight shiver as the feeling of her warm skin moving over his was replaced with the cool metal of her bracelets in a too-quick temperature change. Not sure what else to do, he watched her face as she half-closed her eyes and began murmuring in a language he didn't recognize. Was he supposed to feel something? Like, power rushing into him? He couldn't tell if this was actually doing anything, and he didn't want to break her concentration to ask in case she had to start all over or whatever.
His concentration, however, was broken by an annoying and familiar voice in his ear. His jaw clenched. Really, he couldn't be left alone for one day? The only thing worse than having to deal with an idiot was a needy idiot. A kidnapping attempt? Really? What the fk did Alexis think he could do about it? Or was he just looking for empty praise? Good job, you fought off some people. One of the *few* things you're remotely competent at. How many buildings and random bystanders did you level in the process?
His mental rant was cut off by a sharp gasp from Marielle as her grip intensified to painful levels. Her eyes were wide and unfocused. Was this part of the-
Fire exploded through his chest as he bit his lip to stop himself screaming. As quickly as it came though, the agony faded away again to be replaced by a less painful throbbing. It was on the whole better than it had been before, but he certainly wasn't completely healed. Panting slightly he asked, "You couldn't have given me, y'know, a warning first?"
Marielle was pale and breathing shakily. "It...dat wasn't supposed to happen. Tings went red and den..." She vaguely gestured around herself as she tried to regain her composure. "If you give me a moment to recover, I can try it again."
He hesitated. He was tempted to take her up on her offer, but she looked completely wiped out. He wasn't sure if she had the strength for another attempt. Or if he had the time to let her try. "Errr, thanks, but I think I need to leave now. Maybe some other time? How much do I owe you for...this?" His voice trailed off as he noticed the weird way she was watching him.
After studying him for an uncomfortable moment, Marielle slowly shook her head. "No charge, chérie."
"No, no, no. I insist."
She only shook her head more firmly. "If you want to repay me, come back and let me do another reading on you." Before he could protest further, she was shoo-ing him out of the back room and towards the door. "You have tings to do. You do not have time to argue."
His jaw clenched. He hated being in someone's debt like this. But she was right; he didn't have time. He would have time to insist when he came back and let her 'read' him again. Since letting her do that was pretty much the least he could do. Even though the thought made him vaguely uneasy for some reason. He nodded curtly before turning on his heel to exit and head to his car.
He took a deep breath to steady himself before tapping on his communicator. "Bronwyn, stop panicking. If we are to help your relatives, you must think with a clear head. Panicking will only cause mistakes. Do not fear for we will not allow them to become hosts. You know this. Take a deep breath and remind yourself of your allies, of their strengths and abilities, of their determination. Until you get control of yourself, you will be of no use to your family." He concentrated on making his voice firm and confident as he slid into his car.
Tech Support, Influence, Angry: 2d6 + 0 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (5, 6) + 0 + 1 - 2 = 10 I will clear a condition if Bronwyn opens up.
Marielle watched until the sleek, silver vehicle pulled out of sight. As she turned away, she winced at the bruises blossoming like flowers across her ribcage. That certainly hadn't gone the way she had meant. She had been trying to make transference spell one-way. To speed up the natural healing process by sending some of her own body's ability to repair itself. She would have needed to be careful for a few days after to avoid injuring herself more than she could handle, but that typically wasn't much of a problem.
Her calculations must have been off. She was rusty with that style of magic and the math had been unusually complicated. Clearly she had messed up somewhere. Forgotten to carry a one or misread a reaction. It had shifted the spell from one way to two-way, resulting in her receiving some of the injuries she was trying to help heal. Still, it had been an interesting experience. Certainly more so than what typically happened when she needed to mind the shop for her mother. She was so rarely allowed to use her magic outside of her daily lessons. It would be nice to have another opportunity to do so. And to see if she could figure out what that sudden shift in the mademoiselle's aura had been. "I hope it is not long before she decides to come back. Though next time, I tink I will have to remember to ask her name."
Bronwyn shook her head. "They didn't come for me at home, Alexis. We don't know that's where they'll strike. We need to know where they are; I'll call my sis-"
She breathed out heavily through her nose. "I am in control, Kao- Machina. I'm just not going to let mi sobrinos get hurt because of me. They'd never be involved if I hadn't- Puñeta! Why is everyone calling back at once?!"
"Shayera, I really hope this is you, 'cause I don't have time to waste.
We need to find Camila and Lucas; we need to get them somewhere safe; and I need to get back home if I'm gonna get Bran to do it."
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
"Then call them. Or their parents," Mercy suggested. They wondered why Shayera was calling and not using her comm at the moment. Maybe it was broken after a fight?
"Should we try and check their school?" They asked Bronwyn. "Do they get out later than the high school?" If so, then it was possible that they could get there before they were taken.
"No, you're not." Kaoru responded calmly. "If you were, you would have already sent me their phone numbers to ping their cells or their pictures to do facial recognition scans or any information about their vehicles or their family vehicles. Or you would give me that kind of information about those who attacked you to look for connections between them and others to try to track the cultists. If you were calm, you would stop trying to do this all yourself and send me all the information you can. I can do all this much faster and have access to more resources than you do. If you were thinking clearly, you'd be trying to speed up what I can do by not making me jump through hoops to find out their full names or cross-reference images of you to try to find the correct relatives or ping each and every of the couple dozen phones in your vicinity looking for one that one of your assailants might have on them."
In addition to the things we could track mentioned above, with the cultist's cells you could look at who it's called/messaged/contacts are and we could track those. There are a number of approaches all depending on what info we already have access to/that people bother to send to K.
Eh, I guess even if she doesn't send info to K, that just means he has to hack into her stuff first, so it'll just take longer.
Bronwyn glared burning death at Alexis and the rest of the world as she tried to juggle the three conversations she was in the middle of while attempting to also pull up information from the phone she was talking into. "Can everyone just get on comms?!"
She didn't have a moment, but she took it anyways. "Kaoru, you're right. Alexis, send him the picture from that phone. They're... they're only 13; they don't have cars. Lucas is 14 in a couple months. I don't know what cars Anna and Danilo drive! I mean... okay one's a sedan and the other's a minivan, but I don't know the years. Lucas does theatre, I think rehearsal would be on campus? Camila's got robotics club... I don't think she'd be at that though? I don't have their numbers, but I'll send you their snapchat IDs if that helps...
"Okay, here's Anna's number. Someone else call her; don't bring me up; be someone official. I'll have to message Camila and Lucas while I run."
"Shayera, I really hope this is you, 'cause I don't have time to waste.We need to find Camila and Lucas; we need to get them somewhere safe; and I need to get back home if I'm gonna get Bran to do it."
"Yes it's me!" Wingblade shouts over the wind as she's flying. She slows up some so it's easier for her to be understood. "I'm borrowing Yu's phone; long story; had to break out of quarantine.
"Anyway, I'll go them, where do they live?"
"They might not be home Shay- Look the wind is killing me Wingblade, can you just get on comms?
"Wait - were you in like, a jail-quarantine? Is that why you're on Yu's phone?!"
Infuriated by the urgency and the need to stop for a moment, Wingblade angles to make a hard stop on a roof beneath her, but then spies a skyrail zooming toward Northside. She pushes herself to catch up and manages to catch the tail end of the rapid transit. She slips into the rear compartment, relieved she can talk and move at the same time.
"This better? Yeah, quarantine. First it was detention since Innis was throwing around the word 'murder' and now it's just... Br-- Ac-- um, look, Silver's sick. The Balor blast caught up to her."
She winces, immediately regretting giving Bronwyn something else to worry about. "But nevermind. She's in good hands. Where do you need me to-- >snif<"
Wingblade freezes. She caught the distinct, clear-as-daylight scent of mulch and rot from the greenhouse coming from farther up in the cabin. "Dammit! Dammit, dammit dammit! I smell Balorites on the train car. I gotta go. Text me where you want me to go next."
She slides the phone into her pocket and moves into the cabin as inconspicuously as possible. Which wasn't all that much. I should have kept the mask. Going shadow or controlling the train would be so helpful right now.
She adjusts her domino mask, pissed that Innis demanded its connection to comms and Abacus be cut off. She didn't have a third of its capabilities, especially the facial recognition software. So she was forced to use her own abilities.
No sense in finding them and engaging them now. Need to wait until the train comes to the next stop. She sits down in an empty seat, putting a finger to her lips as the other nearby passengers react to her being there. She then points to the screen showing the next stop in five minutes. They glance up, nod, and settle down somewhat.
She grins inwardly. Good old Halcyon. The citizens know enough that a fight while the rail is in motion is bad news. As the time progresses and the next stop nears, Wingblade starts moving up seat to seat. She breathes in deep, separating the scents, trying to pick out the Balorinas. She had it narrowed down to a couple rows as the Skyrail begins slowing down.
Then she encounters a tourist. "Omigosh! It's Wingblade!" shouts the portly man she just sat next to. The people in front of her spin around. She picks out the two cultists in their reactions and eyepatches? Wow, real subtle, and she's on the move.
"Yes, thank you!" she shouts as she stands and moves forward just as the train's deceleration begins ramping up. The cultists stand and pull out serrated knives and tasers as she approaches.
Wingblade's wings arch over her shoulders into a defensive posture. One gets the bright idea to try to conduct the taser into her metallic wings and jabs forward. She leaves that wing exposed as she strikes at the other, catching his knife in her palm and shredding the taser in his other hand. She feels the mild tingle as the electricity courses through her wing. A couple kicks aided by the momentum of the slowing train sends the guy sprawling over the seat in front of him.
She finally turns to the guy still pumping volts into Wingblade's wing. With a flick of her metallic appendage, she knocks it out of his grasp. "Did you really want me to lose control of these things?" she asks as she yanks the knife from her palm.
The man starts to say something, but she cuts him off by putting a pinfeather against his throat. "Now, I've had it with you Balorinas. Drop the knife or you lose the hand." The knife falls to the floor.
When the train finally stops and the doors open, Wingblade drags out the two cultists to the sound of applause. She drops them off in front of one of the security guards. "Call the SCA, we need mystical containment for these two."
She steps away and anxiously checks Yu Hiu's phone for messages.
|Alexis AKA Mercy|
Alexis did as Bronwyn asked, sending the picture from the cultist's phone over to Kaoru to examine. They waffled a little longer while everyone seemed to be processing the information. "We should group up - where's a good place we can convene?" They asked over comms.
Off comm, Mercy spoke to Bronwyn again. "We probably won't see Chase and Lux again so soon, but they may have hired other teams. I don't know how much Balor would have spent on the Triakosia, but I think he may have gotten Acedia and Industria. Unless he compiled all this information within his own cult, they would have been able to figure out where all these people were - except Cassie, maybe."
Bronwyn's fingers flew. "He's at rehearsal! PS 122 - Northside! I'll tell him to- Nononononono! Don't turn your phone off!! I don't care how much your director-"
"Okay, Alexis, keep unlocking phones, we need to give Kaoru as much data as possible - Can you clone them or something? Do you have somewhere we can send stuff so you can comb through it?"
"Okay, okay, okay. If Shayera was at the SCA, she's in Midtown, so she's closer to Sacred Heart down in Southside; she'll get Camila. I'll go get Bran, you go..." Scare the hell out of Lucas while dressed the same as the worst case of who might be after him. "...Kaoru, can you go with Mercy while I'm getting Bran. I'm worried that in the armor he'll be a bit conspicuous - they'll! And umm maybe they won't be the most reassuring figure, since Lucas doesn't already know who they are?"
She leaned her head back towards the phone, "You get that Shayera? Shayera? Puñeta! The call dropped! What, is she on a train?!"
"Whatever, I'm running. We've gotta move!"
Kaoru: Unfortunately there isn't a single complete list of targets and plans, but from cross referencing contact lists and keywords from what they were stupid enough to e-mail and text about you pick up the following information:
There are 20 or so targets
They're trying to hit all of them today
There are teams of 'spooky mercs' who are backstopping their efforts.
Each team is on call for a few different abductions, but are staying closest to whichever ones were Seen to be most likely to go wrong.
More info will take more effort and/or sources.
Yu Hiu's phone ignites with messages as it gets back into service.
929-555-5345: Call me
929-555-5345: as a backup
929-555-5345: people are bring attacked we have to be able to talk
929-555-5345: do you have comms stashsed somewhere
929-555-5345: camilas not answering
929-555-5345: your closet to her school
929-555-5345: Sacred Heart in south side