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Mad Scientist

Monopoly Misappropriations

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The Boardwalk
South Freedom City
Friday, June 26, 2015  
5:32pm

 

The afternoon was hot and sunny; with the summer solstice just a week past, the days were long and the skies clear and even very nearly blue on this particular day.  The height of the sun above the horizon made it feel like mid-afternoon instead of nearly evening, and the throngs of tourists and locals both enjoying the glitz and pageantry of the Boardwalk district were taking full advantage of it.  Only blocks away the streets were starting to snarl with rush-hour traffic, filled with hot, tired commuters just getting off a long day's work and looking forward to getting home, but here the atmosphere was much more relaxed, and the temperature was even mitigated somewhat by the presence of the river to the north, flowing along blue-green and silent.

There was much to do for all sorts on the Boardwalk, from drinking and gambling for those of legal age, to walks by the river, tourist-watching, or even a little illicit pick-pocketing for those unable to slip past casino security.

 

Edited by Mad Scientist

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A little yellow raft was moving towards one of the embarking points for canoeists and people using small boats. Looked surplus, but sturdy as the person rowing to shore become more and more visible, a blonde haired girl with her hair back in a pony-tail wearing a bulky backpack, a rather involved red and blue life preserver produced by Archetech's maritime safety division, and all of it over a basic swimsuit. She looked wet, the mask and snorkel on her head suggested it as well as the flippers set in the raft itself.

Naomi looked about finally finding a tie-down next to the small "dock" as it were, and she unloads her raft and other supplies. She pulls out a smartphone from a pocket on the inflatable vest. "Hey Miss A. I took a dive to the area in question. It's just a old metal box. Looked like it was from WWI. I looked inside and it had what looked like very old alcohol. There was also some remains of a motorboat near it. I think I found the "Ol' Miss" bootlegger from the Prohibition era."

She nodded. "Okay you'll have some salvagers clean that out? Great. I don't think it's a navigation hazard, but there were some artifacts of the time there that might fetch for collectors."

She smiled sitting on the dock as she pulled a valve on the raft letting it deflate quickly. "I'm going to relax for a bit. I got some time off don't I?"

"Yes I know I need a vacation... I'll take my two weeks now. Seeya." She said, hanging up her phone.

It was a few minutes before she folded up the small raft and slid it into the well-planned backpack before she started walking. The city planners knew that things would get busy close to the July 4th weekend so porta-potties were close by. Naomi ducked into one to use it like a changing room, eventually stepping back out in her typical flight gear, although she switched up the colors a bit to look like a yachter's raingear. There were some storms nearby out on the Atlantic last night, which just made the humidity worse. Of course her's were climate controlled.

She lugs the still heavy hiking backpack over her shoulders, although her ability to lift quite a load was coming in handy. "I wonder what Mom's doing... maybe I'll visit her tomorrow... Ooh! Cotton Candy!" She thought, walking over to the owner of the mobile eatery that had the Cotton Candy machine with it. She gave a quizzical look at the Elvish looking girl. "Hi there! Mind if I buy some Cotton Candy off ya?"

There was an awkward pause for a moment, then Naomi smiled. "I'm Naomi Baines, might have seen me on the news?"

It downed on her as she started making up a cone of Cotton Candy. "Oh... that immortal test-pilot. How's the business? You're pretty fortunate." She said with a obvious "Minnesotan" accent.

"It's so-so, you're not testing planes all the time." the Welsh test-pilot responded.

"You look like you've been boating... and in the water recently."

"Yeaaaaah. Me and a friend got into a little fight and I had to row back to shore in my dinghy. He's already back on shore I'm just giving him time to cool down. That and my little boat's not the most stable, ended up in the drink once." It was a fat lie, but she's gotten into the habit not to talk about Archetech business.

She grinned at the person running the Hot Dogs. "Oh! Chili-Cheese! I'll take one of those big ones."

There were transactions made, smiles exchanged, and soon she was sitting on a bench, enjoying her decadent lunch. Not as if bad diet habits would shorten her lifespan, if anything it might be used for it's regenerative materials.

That was when she noticed some individuals looking about. When they saw her and how observant she was, they changed tack and started acting "normal" which in a huge crowd looked normal.

"Oh please don't have me get into costume today..." She thought, finishing off her chili-cheese dog.

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Ami was having a great time. The weather was fantastic, with just the right sort of cool breeze coming off the water to cut the heat of the day and keep it from being baking and stilted. The booths around her rang with lights and the promise of worthless trinkets. She was wearing a brand-new sundress and flats, too, and was greatly enjoying her day out with Perry. She just couldn’t say that she was.

Her jaw worked industriously and discretely, but the pink ball of taffy refused to yield between her molars. She couldn’t speak without mumbling around the mouthful of candy, and so her conversation with boyfriend was rather one-sided. Perry didn’t seem to mind, though; he was in the middle of some rambling story about going to Las Vegas to see his father and how things were backstage at the casinos. Ami was limited to short grunts -- interrogative “mmh?”s and exclamatory “mmmph!”s and ever so often complementary “mmm, hms,”s.

It was frustrating not to be able to talk, but Ami forced herself to focus on the positive. It was a beautiful day out, she was walking with a cute boy, and she would eventually vanquish the taffy.

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This Is pretty much my idea of hell.

Gretchen was not really the outdoorsy type; she liked cool, dry dimly-lit rooms with lots of technology in them. Outside she mostly felt overwhelmed and vulnerable, especially in large crowds on bright sunny days. So why the hell was she out on the Boardwalk of all places?

Because her boss was challenging her to test herself. You don't always choose where you fight your battles, Lynn had said; sometimes you have to fight in a sewer, or on top of a skyscraper or even the middle of a crowded shopping center. You don't have to like doing it, she said, but you need to be able to do it.

So here was Gretchen decked out like some annoying tourist, wearing a huge floppy hat, oversized sunglasses, a One Direction T-shirt (seriously?), short shorts and lime-green flip-flops. She was showing way more pale skin than she was usually comfortable with, and slathered in a thick coating of sunscreen that made her smell like a walking Pina Colada. And don't even get her started on the crocheted purse...

Concentrating on the silver ring on.her finger, Gretchen made mental contact with her soon-to-be-murdered employer. 

- Did I do something to make you hate me, boss? Did I perhaps accidentally kill one of your cats in my sleep? Because this is grossly unfair. Emphasis on gross. -

- Yes, I'll admit I had you dress like an idiot today, my young padawan, but there's a method to my madness! Sometimes it's good to not be taken seriously. -

- I can actually feel my IQ dropping every second I wear this stupid shirt. -

- Just keep your eyes open and try to take it all in; eat a disgusting chilli cheese dog, drink a giant Icee, sit for a awful caricature by one of those lame cartoonists. Y'know, blend! -

"'Blend', she says; yeah, I'll just blend..." Just then, she noticed a young woman sitting on a bench, wearing...what, some kind of space suit? Diving gear? Then she noticed the pointed ears.

- Boss, do you have a long lost sister with a serious Amelia Earhart fetish? Because I think I just found her. -

- Oh wow, I know her! But no, not my sister. Her name's Naomi...Baines, I think? I wonder what she's up to? She's a pilot and stuff; pretty cool, actually. Go say hi; tell her you work for me. -

Rolling her eyes, Gretchen clomped on over towards the blonde pilot, her flip-flops slapping on the Boardwalk; as she got closer, she self-consciously wrapped her arms around herself as she awkwardly addressed the ageless air ace.

"Uh, hi, excuse me, are you Naomi Baines? I think you met my boss, Lynn Epstein? I'm her...I'm her assistant. Personal assistant. Gretchen McDaniels." She smiled half-heartedly and thrust out her hand. "Nice to meet you."

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Naomi turned around to the newcomer... She quirked an eyebrow as she then she put one and one together. "Oh, right! Yep, I'm Naomi!" She said, looking at her now embarassingly obvious and not fitting in outfit, but then again Gretchen's out fit was achingly not the best idea either. "She's... sending you out on a errand? Because sweetie it's obvious you want to rip that shirt from your very existence."

She smirked. "Then again here I am in my bright yellow foul weather gear." She said, leaning over to whispering distance. "I was checking something for me employer... makin' sure that the river's safe. All sorted now. Got my suit masquerading as a rain suit and yachting kit now." She whispered. "The cover is I rowed back from my boyfriend's yacht after a fallin' out. Then again I do got a deflated raft and some collapsed oars in my backpack."

She returned to a normal stance, and back to a less accented form of talk. "So, just out and about instead? My vacation's just starting, how about we do a little shopping? Maybe a better shirt?" She said, stretching out with a grin. There was a slowly growing puddle of water at her feet. It was obvious she had been in for a swim for a while, although it looked like her outfit had dried off now. "What'cha think? A friend of my friend is a friend of mine."

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Gretchen frowned; evidently this Naomi was also some sort of super-person, and also super-friendly and outgoing like her boss. Was this a hero thing? Because if so, Lynn must be soooo disappointed with her.

She shrugged. "Uh, sure." Looking down at herself, she shook her head and sighed. "I think this is supposed to be some sort of secret test of character or valuable life lesson, but screw it; if I die of embarrassment, I'm really not much use to her." 

Looking the pilot up and down, she assessed her with her usual dispassionate scrutiny. "Fashion doesn't really seem to be your strong suit, either, but maybe if we wander into the right outlet store, the staff will take pity on us." She waved towards one of the casino's attached malls. "Shall we? Top name brands at affordable prices await us."

Edited by Heritage

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Naomi grinned. "Meh. To be honest I had to make due with what I was wearing." She said before whispering again. "Can't be casual dressed up in Seahawk's colors. Would draw too much attention. At least I'm embarassed in this in rainsuit colors but not completely naked. Happens when you try to enjoy yourself right after work." She said, looking about. She returned to a normal tone. "You know, it seems rather packed here today... lots of roving eyes, no?" She said in a low tone, loud enough for Gretchen to hear, but under the crowd noise. "When I was enjoying my little indulgence behind me, there was the typical batch of pickpockets... Luckily my important pockets are zip-up and in front."

She remembered the pickpocket from the little cultural gathering earlier and how clever he was... then again he used some muscle. "Maybe some shorts and a basic shirt will do... might want some deck shoes too... I know there's a couple small little places with some fitting shoes. Something for walking along the beach."

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Jake watched the people in the crowd, he was used to watching people and monitoring how they act. From what he could tell it was mostly just normal people here. But still just as well, there were some super humans here. Statically there was bound to be some here. He overheard the young women talking it sounded like nothing of importance. He tried not to look like he was listening. From what he could tell it was mostly about clothes and fashion. Typical things young people were concerned about.

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The nearest of the casinos was the tastefully decorated Atlantis; large statue of King Neptune with naiads frolicking about the base out front, the building itself decked out in shades of blues and greens common to the ocean.  The pair of young women, apparent fashion disasters both, headed for the main entrance and the scattering of expensive shops that would be found within.  Tourists thronged the sidewalk and the courtyard before the casino both, pointing, talking, and taking pictures of everything.  Typical for tourists pretty much the world over, in most people's experience.

The entrance to the Atlantis was two pair of double doors, an 'airlock' setup that allowed the casino to more easily retain heat in the winter and cool, comfortable AC in the summer.  This also had the side effect of muting both the roiling mass of noise of the crowds outside and the machines, music, and other lively noises of the casino within.

And thus it was, during the short period between one set of doors closing and the other opening, that Naomi heard what sounded like...a faint scraping, almost scrabbling sound, coming from the ceiling some eight feet above their heads.  A glance upward showed nothing amiss, but she had heard something.

...hadn't she?

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Naomi's ears twitched. As Naomi's body adjusted to it's new form she noticed her ears had started to become longer and thinner... yet somehow it didn't lessen her ability to hear. "Well... that's a odd noise." Naomi said, looking up at the ceiling near the "airlock" they were in. "Sounds like rats in the works. You hear it too, Gretchen?"

Naomi crossed her arms, her ears still twitching at the sound as the inner doors opened again. "That totally wasn't the sound of the hermetic seals."

Her mind began to wonder about the sound. Then again a woman dressed up in rain gear that would fit in on a crabbing trawler would not be taken seriously if she brought it up to the customer service people here... although a casino would be interested in potential issues... "Could be loose wires too... who knows."

Something just didn't sound right. Something well engineered like that shouldn't be sounding like that.

Edited by Endeavor

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Gretchen shook her head and stopped as she peered up at the ceiling. "No, I don't- wait, do you have that thing?" She tried to shape her ideas with her hands. "You know, that thing when you just sense something's not right, like Ben Kenobi sensing a disturbance in the Force?" She went back to staring up, tilting her ridiculous hat back with her hand. "Boss Lady has that. Sometimes she just goes all stiff like a momma gazelle; her eyes get big and she steps up on her tiptoes and her head jerks around. Kind of adorable, really..."

She really hoped something was wrong; Gretchen hated shopping.

Edited by Heritage

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Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be anything to see, no matter how intently Gretchen peered into the rather boring beige depths of the ceiling with bare-faced enthusiasm.  The inner doors opened again, passing through a quartet of largely overweight casino guests, who went on talking animatedly amongst themselves as they passed the girls and exited into the hot, sunny day outside.

Surely it was nothing, though.  Casinos were large buildings, they probably made odd noises all the time.  Standing around in the doorway wasn't getting any shopping done, after all, and if there was nothing wrong, well, there was no reason not to get to it, right?

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"I wouldn't call it a sixth sense, more like a test pilot's wariness for odd sounds." She said, scratching her head. Naomi didn't look uncomfortable at all. "Come on... I'm on vacation, I gotta stop being so skittish around something that some technician here'll fix overnight. It's not a air intake for a high performance jet engine or something."

Sighing she patted Gretchen on her shoulder. "Well, I do know a place in here that does sell one-piece Swimsuits... they're basic, but they're cute. They also got some average shirts and what-not... I've been shopping around for a nicer swimsuit lately. And at least a good pair of swimming shorts and a comfy T-shirt. They spoil their guests but good. If your size isn't getting close to the current dewpoint.."

She shot an eyebrow. "You look a bit off about this..."

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Gretchen's study of the ceiling was finally interrupted by Naomi's hand on her shoulder; she didn't quite jump, but she did noticeably stiffen at the contact, and pull away a bit as she nervously ran her fingers through her hair and snorted. "What, no, I'm a...diehard shopaholic; if I'm not shopping, my life is a howling, shapeless void!" She formed a tiny fist and thrust it skyward, or really just raised it up a few inches. "Let's charge some stuff to our credit cards and not pay if off right away! Woo!"

- Thanks a lot, boss; the Pointy-Eared One Who's Not You wants to go shopping. -

- So go shopping; some girly stuff is actually fun. You don't have to go crazy and get mani pedis; y'know, maybe see if they have a sporting good store, you'd probably both enjoy that. -

- But I hate sports, too; you're not helping. -

- Fine, go to the electronics store or something, jeez! -

- That...might not suck. Uh, thanks. -

After going quiet for a few seconds, Gretchen turned back to her companion and managed an actual wry smile. "You know what, I actually hate shopping for clothes; how about we look at some electronics, or maybe even...camping stuff."

Edited by Heritage

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Camping stuff was, perhaps, a little too tall of an order for a swanky casino, but shiny, disposable-income-grabbing electronics weren't all that difficult to find if one was so inclined.  As well as shops selling hats, t-shirts, jewellery, all sorts of ocean and beach-themed souvenirs in line with the casino's decorating scheme....

There were even, believe it or not, spray tan booths and water-massage capsules, for those who wanted to cover up the pasty pallor or massage out the stiff ache of spending way too much time inside at the tables or the machines.  There was certainly enough to do -- there was even a showing of Thunder From Down Under starting in about forty minutes, according to a posted schedule.  Who had time to pay attention to every little oddity in a place full of odd and exciting things?

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Unfortunately, it only took a couple of shop's worth of perusal to come to the realization that pretty much everything that was to be had was, in its essence, designed to be an impulse souvenir and not any sort of actually useful purchase.  There were countless designs of t-shirts revolving around Freedom City in general and the Atlantis casino in general, along with ash trays, oversized monogrammed pencils in hundreds of different names, and collectible figurines of all manner of cute little stylized sea creatures.  Nothing that anyone actually needed, which was hardly a surprise, all things considered.

And, given the quality apparent in much of the offerings, it seemed fairly clear that the machines and tables of the casino were far from the only place that the casino turned a profit.  It was little wonder that they had a substantial security force on the premises, both overt and otherwise.

...actually, speaking of security forces, there seemed at several within sight of where the girls where, all moving rapidly in the same direction with grim expressions upon their faces.  Not running, but certainly going somewhere with purpose.

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Gretchen sighed as she put another tchotchke back on the shelf. "I don't know what's more depressing; the fact that I've yet to find a novelty shot glass with my name on it, or that I actually am blending in while wearing this ghastly outfit." She indicated a group of out-of-towners to her left with a hand gesture worthy of Vanna White; one of the teenage girls was wearing nearly the exact same outfit.

She was about to suggest that they blow the place, preferably with high-powered explosives, when she noticed the pack of security guards marching by with firm resolve; she cocked her head to one side and frowned. "That did not look good." She looked in the general direction they were heading, then back to her fellow shopper. "How paranoid are we feeling today? I feel like being paranoid." She sighed and put her hands on her hips. "Boss Lady says to trust your gut. That if something feels wrong, it probably is wrong. And to always finish your gefilte fish." She pointed at the half-alien pilot. "Plus your ears did that thing. Let's have a look."

And with that, Gretchen did her best to follow after the guards without being too obvious.

Edited by Heritage

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Naomi grinned. "You've got the instinct for the job." She said, putting on the silly rain hat she kept with her "outfit" in it's rainsuit mode. "Thing is if we're too obvious, they might think we're part of the trouble, and this is a public establishment with a whole metric clustercuss of innocent bystanders here. Best thing to do is let the trouble find the security guards, then we assist. Doesn't hurt being within answering distance, aye?"

She nudged Gretchen as she followed along. "Lighten up. You're walking with a elf seasalt after all." She said, sticking out her tongue a little to lighten the mood.

"5 bucks says it's a bloomin' heist Oceans 11 style." She whispers... Her Seahawk accent starting to kick in. "They might be cool operators then who aren't looking for too much of a fireworks display. Hence my idea to play it cool. Don't be wantin' nothin' and don't get nothin' as they say."

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As the security guards didn't seem to be too concerned about whether or not someone might be tailing them through the casino, it wasn't particularly difficult to tag along in their wake as they headed deeper into the building.  The pair of girls found themselves headed into the north-west corner, and since they were alert for trouble they spotted the signs of subtle but increased activity in other parts of the casino as well.  They began to see guards posted by emergency exits, and it was apparent that the rest of the casino staff was aware that something was up as well, given the nervous looks on dealers and whispers being exchanged between waitresses.

As they and their vanguard of security reached the northwest corner, it became apparent that they were leaving tourist country, for the most part.  Clearly labelled signs indicated the presence of the cashiers, lined up in a bank of reinforced windows along one wall, and several sets of doors were labelled 'STAFF ONLY'.  This was the part of the casino that contained maintenance rooms, break rooms, locker rooms, count rooms, surveillance monitors, first aid station...and yes, the vault.

Something was clearly going on, given by the buzz of activity here.  Guards were apparently being split into teams of three by members of management, and three separate men were urgently talking into cell phones with grim expressions on their faces.  It...didn't have the flavour of an emergency, but something was undoubtedly wrong given the tension levels.

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As the two young women followed the guards, it became increasingly evident something was going down. Gretchen nodded in response to Naomi's theory. "Could be. But you need to have major...spheroids to pull something like this in broad daylight. Either that or you're crazy, desperate or you have a terrifying edge of some kind." She looked around for a few seconds, lowering her big sunglasses to peer about. "I need a place...a special kind of place. Far from the maddening crowd, as it were." Then she stopped and nodded. "Well, then." There was a short, somewhat shadowy passage that led to a fire door, where Gretchen quickly dashed. She gave her companion a quick crooked smile as she tucked her glasses into her ludicrous purse, then raised her left hand up to show the odd silver ring that bore a single large ruby. "I have a thing that does a weird thing." Taking the ring between the fingers of her right hand, she sighed and shook her head. "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

Closing her eyes, the young barista slowly let out her breath as she began to float in the air! Then she twisted the ring sharply, and an eerie pale light flickered over her form, like an old movie projector jumping off its sprockets; silver and black swirled and flowed, until a bizarre figure was revealed! Clothed from head to toe in black with silver buckles and bracers, with a bird-like silver half mask with an ever larger ruby placed in the forehead. A third ruby was visible in the clasp of her floor length hooded cloak. The heels of her rather intense boots made her a whole three inches taller.

Looking down at herself, Gretchen sighed as she floated back down to the ground. "So yeah. This is my thing now." She shrugged. "I can float, go invisible, see all kinds of weird things I'd rather not. Not too bad."

Edited by Heritage

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"Heh... not a bad idea either." Naomi said, taking off her rain hat and grabbing her right wrist. "It's morphin' time." She said with a joking tone as her suit becomes body-tight, trapped air escaping from valves hidden on the suit, and turns navy blue. She pulls out her flight pack from her backpack and puts on her helmet. It's systems coming online. "Okay... so we wait. Let the enemy play it's hand, then we show them we got 4 aces."

Seahawk looked like a woman transformed indeed in her suit... more something welcome on the streets of Tokyo than Freedom City. Or perhaps in some far-flung space colony. The backpack started to glow blue, like her fists. "Okay, game plan? And whatcha go by? Callsign's Seahawk."

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The ladies' transformations went off without a hitch, but it was perhaps inevitable that they were discovered almost immediately.

"Hey!" came a shout from the doorway that opened up into the main room, drawing attention to a pair of security guards that most likely had just been assigned to watch this particular fire exit.  Between the two of them they effectively blocked passage out of the short hall, leaving the options of dealing with the pair, or crashing out the fire doors in headlong flight.

Unsurprisingly, given the tone of the casino's staff at the moment, they both were in the process of drawing sidearms.

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Gretchen smiled and nodded as she actually offered a firm handshake. "Nice to meet you, Seahawk; I call me 'The Shrike' when I'm like this...or maybe just 'Shrike'." She shrugged and wiggled her hand. "I'm still trying to figure out exactly where I stand on the whole 'the' issue."

And then the nice ossifers showed up looking all pissed off, but honestly, could you blame them? Shrike held up her hands and smiled the biggest smile she could, and for the first time in maybe a decade she said a little prayer inside her head. "Hi!" She indicated the pointy-eared Welsh girl with a slight tip of her head. "My friend Seahawk and I are crimefighters, who happened to be in the area and noticed a certain amount of security activity. We just ducked in here for a quick costume change." She did her best to look sheepish and shrugged. "We were literally about to offer our services before you got here. So, how can we help?" She put a gloved hand on her chest. "Oh, and my name's Shrike; I work with Grimalkin?"

Dear God, please let them believe me. I'm actually telling the truth!

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"Oh for crying..."

Seahawk Sighed. "This isn't like some MMO where players can identify who is friendly or not."

"These guards are tense over something and all of a sudden us saying "Hi we're Superheroes" only screams "Hey we're supervillians, shoot us!" ya know? These two are tense as all get-out."

There was a look on Seahawk's face as the faceplate of her helmet was still mostly transparent that suggested: Play along, Shrike.

"Thing is, yea, we saw something was up. We thought we'd better suit up in case you know... there's a hostage situation or a low-key caper gone south. Simply put I heard some scratching at the entrance that sounded waaaaaay off, and you guys probably figured out you got rats in your walls."

"Now the most logical thing as we are out of the way and the fact that you've not been wanting to panic your guests is to clue us in on what's up."

"Of course if you're keeping it in the house I wager things are gonna go south pretty quick... seeming that you guys are just now aware. Now you got two superhumans who are pretty talented in either bein' stealthy or bein' one heckuva bullet sponge. Thing is... with us two here it's a pretty win-win scenario. You guys get to prevent a clustercuss before it gets outta hand and we get to shoulder the liability."

"Then again smart capes like us know how to handle things to reduce civilian casualties, aye?"

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The two guards exchanged a look as they held the pair of rapidly talking heroines at gunpoint, but they didn't lower their guard or their weapons.  The shorter of the two nodded, then reached up to the radio microphone clipped to his shoulder.

"We have a Code 99 for two, fire exit 19," he reported, then returned to a two-handed shooting stance.  It didn't take more than twenty seconds for half a dozen additional guards to show up, hands dropping to weapons but not drawing, accompanied by a petite woman with short, sandy hair wearing a pencil skirt suit and heels.

"What's going on here...Donald?" she asked brusquely, glancing at the shorter man's name tag.

"We came across these two lurking in the exit hall," he replied, lowering his gun halfway now that backup had arrived and addressing the suit.  "They claim to be heroes, say they want to help with our...situation."  He didn't seem to like even admitting there was one, but considering the response, it was hard to try and pass everything off as normal.

The woman looked them over, eyes narrowing slightly.

"Yes, I believe I've heard of this one before," she said, quirking one sculpted eyebrow.  "Seahawk, she goes by.  I don't know the other, but I imagine they're just what they claim to be, all things considered.  It's hardly unusual for heroes to just pop up unexpectedly in this town, after all."  At a gesture from her, all weapons were holstered and the guards made some space at the end of the hall.

"Cynthia Allen," she introduced herself as one of the guards called in an end to the Code 99, whatever that might happen to be.  "How good are the two of you at tracking something down?" she asked seriously.

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