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[IC] The Cretan Connection


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Mühlenplatz, Lucerne, Switzerland
Saturday, April 21st , 2018
2:23 PM




It was a beautiful day on Lucerne’s Mühlenplatz. People from both near and far enjoyed the sudden sunlight after a long winter by sitting in the restaurants outside and browsing through the various stores. There were travel groups, locals, and Swiss from other parts of the country.



And there was Auguste Zoss. He’d not been in Lucerne for a while, there honestly weren’t that many reasons to visit the city. But today he was, thanks to an invitation by an old friend earlier in the day. He didn’t have anything else to do for the rest of the day, so it felt only fair to spend some time in the sun, amongst all the others.



People were walking down the streets en masse, and Auguste was enjoying his coffee, occasionally peeking over at a man on a nearby table who was holding the most recent newspaper. But then, the occasional superhero noticed something. A glint, up on one of the roofs. A closer look revealed something quite disturbing.



A man, set up with what quite clearly was a sniper rifle.  

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There was a gasp of adrenaline inside, but he kept a poker face. He didn't look at the sniper - he didn't need to. He could feel and sense light everywhere, and even without moving his head, or eyes, he could focus in on him. 


He took another sip of coffee. Act normally. And a bit of caffeine would help. 


He started scanning around, quickly, for a target. It could, of course, be anyone...


But if there was an obvious target that would help guide his action. A wall of force placed to provide cover, for instance. 


Otherwise he would have to try something else. Something much more dramatic...


His eyes glinted with silver light. Something dramatic like a burst of hard light scorching through the air!

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Judging by his movement, the sniper had just spotted his target, as he began to move a bit quicker than before, adjusting his rifle. It pointed … somewhere towards the plaza, or perhaps further, to the other side of the Reuss, or perhaps on the bridge. Figuring out who exactly he was aiming for just from his angle would take some time. Time that Auguste probably didn’t have.


Perhaps it was somebody who stood out. He scanned the crowd, with his skillset that wasn’t too hard. But in a crowd of this size, a single person just disappeared. There wasn’t anybody that looked like an obvious target, not that Auguste really knew who would count as one. There was a group of businessmen sitting at a different càfe not too far away, there were two separate travel groups, there were many other people.


But nobody that made for an obvious target.

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"This is a bad hand" muttered Diamondlight, putting his coffee down. There was no target, no angle. And the gun could fire any minute. 


There really wasn't any other option he could see. He didn't like violence, but if it was needed, it was needed, and he wasn't shy of using it when you had been dealt a bad hand. 


His eyes glowed more brightly, blue-white-silver. There was even a faint hiss of energy. 


And then, through the air, his laser vision flew, raking the skies and pouncing towards the sniper...


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The reaction was immediate. Before the laser had even hit the sniper, there was already mass panic at the plaza. Seeing powers be used in real life was still an absolute rarity in Switzerland, which featured next to no metahuman activity. What this meant, mainly, was that as soon as people saw something happening, they ran.


Some pulled out their phones, but most ran for cover. Of course, in a crowd like that, in a comparably tight area full of chairs, that meant chaos. And people falling, stumbling over one another. There were a few people there, recording the scene with their phones. As far as Auguste could tell, none had managed to capture him directly, only the laser and the ensuing panic.


At the very least, the laser had done its job. The sniper attempted to dodge but couldn’t, and his current position suggested that it had probably been powerful enough to knock him out temporarily.

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August had no problem with being the centre of attention. But there was a time and place for everything. With regards to being the centre of attention, the time was not now, and neither was the place here. 


He vanished. 


The light bent around him causing tiny distortions, of course, but only the most astute and perceptive would notice anything was up. Well, anything other than he had vanished. 


There were disadvantages of course. He had to dodge and weave through the crowd as he made his way up to the sniper on foot. And every collision caused that strange distortion of light. But it served its purpose: he didn't want to cause panic or answer questions. At least, not yet. 


First things first. And that meant getting up to the sniper on foot and seeing what was happening up there. 

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Weaving through the crowd was not easy as many ran quite wrecklessly, probably too concerned for their lives to try and watch out for others. Of course, being invisible didn’t help, and multiple times somebody lightly bumped into Auguste. It didn’t slow him down, but it probably left some people quite confused.


Getting up on the roof would prove to be more of a challenge, however. There wasn’t any conveniently placed ladder or something similar, from what Auguste could tell from an on-the-fly assessment, there were two options. He could either attempt to climb the distance, which, with the various windows and other things to hold on would probably be doable if he was careful, or he could attempt to make his way up through the building.


Which did include getting into a locked building and some additional trespassing.

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"I don't like the look of that" mumbled Auguste. "I can't fly"


Whilst there was no conveniently placed ladder, it didn't mean there could not be one. Not for him, anyway. 


He pressed his palms together in a moment of concentration and gathered his inner focus. He didn't strictly need to, but it was good practice, he felt. He pictured a ladder of perfect proportions. 


And then, there was one. 


After a fashion. 


It was made of faintly glowing silver blue light, but it was a ladder all the same. 


"Perfect!" he said, congratulating himself, and proceeded to climb up it. 

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A glowing ladder suddenly appearing out of nowhere certainly didn’t calm the crowd down. While the panic was more lingering than imminent now, people still backed off hastily when they saw the ladder appear, while Auguste could hear some unspecific yelling behind him.


Either way he climbed up the ladder at a rapid pace, soon standing next to the sniper who was now slumped onto the ground fully, knocked out and probably staying that way for at least some time longer. He was wearing what appeared to be quite specialized gear. Not military issue, but some sort of High-tech that Auguste hadn’t really seen before.


He could only get a glace at the rifle when something else required his attention. He could see a flash off in the distance, and by the time he’d turned around, it was already quite close to him. A suit of metal armour at about his height, holding a spear and a shield with the swiss flag painted onto it, with a red cape to top it off. Then, a female voice addressed Auguste in German.


“[What is your purpose here?]

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Sometimes, reasoned August, panic served its purpose. Like scattering crowds. 


As a reflex, one which he wished he had inhibited, he formed a sword of blue light from each hand to the tune of an energy hum. His stance was defensive, rather than aggressive. But, even so, he was still wielding to sabres of light in each hand. 


"My purpose?" he replied in his pan-European accented German. "I was having a very nice coffee. And a Danish pastry" he replied, voice smooth and calm. "Then I saw a sniper take aim up here"


He paused a moment. 


"When somebodies about to get shot, I didn't have time to ask questions. I stopped him" he explained. "What's your purpose here? More than ornamental, I would think?"


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Auguste summoning his weapons got an immediate response, as the suit (was it a robot or was it being piloted by a person?), raised its weapons too, holding up its shield towards him. It too was a defensive posture, but one that could strike forward at any point.


“A sniper?” The woman was clearly surprised to hear, it was quite an outrageous to claim there was a sniper operating in the middle of a city in broad daylight, after all. But a quick glance to the side, towards the unconscious body, showed that Auguste was not lying.


“This is bad. This is really, really bad.” At this point, her panic was quite obvious. “We need to get out of here immediately. Can’t waste any time, I’ll explain on the way. “


“Let’s go.”

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Auguste dimmed and shut off the sabres of light in each hand. No need for violence, it seemed. 


"Snipers tend to be bad. Especially for the man in the crosshairs" he commented. On the face of it, the Swiss woman had made a redundant statement. Of course snipers were bad. But given the unusual circumstances (And that included the appearance of the woman) - there was something bad, or worse, under the immediate story. 


And he, for one, would like to know what that was. 


"Lead on. I am all ears..."

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She sounded quite stressed, eager to get to the point. “This isn’t over yet. There wouldn’t just be one, and any second we spend out here we’re in serious danger. I’ll explain once we’re not. Do you have some way to fly? “


All the while, she was turning her head, probably scanning the nearby rooftops. Below her, the crowd had calmed down somewhat, panic at this point turning into surprise at seeing what quite clearly was two metahumans in one place. Something that Auguste was pretty sure hadn’t happened in public for quite a while.


Some were holding up their phones to take pictures. From what Auguste could tell, from this height and while being obscured by the somewhat bulky armour, his face probably wouldn’t make it onto the videos, for better or worse.

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"Sure, I can buy a plane ticket" answered Diamondlight. He relaxed. As much as was reasonable to relax


"But I guess you meant can I fly? Not something I ever learned, I am afraid. I can fire laser beams and forecfields. But not fly" he explained. "And I can do this..."


He distorted the light around him once more, fading from view. He didn't hide his identity; in his view he had enough secrets for a life time and secrets could be used against you. But this was not the time nor the place for unwanted attention. 


"Can you?" he asked the woman. 

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Judging by the armor’s slight head tilt, the woman was not amused.


“This really isn’t the time. I’ll carry you, then.”


Without hesitation she grabbed Auguste with her shield arm, the shield apparently didn’t need to be gripped to stay connected. She was careful about how she did it, but judging by her grip, she could exert quite a force if she wanted.


“You’ll want to grab on properly, makes this next part a lot more comfortable.”


And with that, she lifted off, flying pretty much straight upwards for a bit.

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"Can't go wrong flying Swiss Air" commented Diamondlight, clinging on as hard as he could. He had the feeling the woman could break his arms pretty easily. 


The air was already cool, but getting cooler as they arose. He wasn't bothered though - the Daka energy that had bonded with his cells kept him warm whatever the temperature. 


"I'll have a tomato juice with a dash of Worcestershire sauce. Maybe some salted peanuts? Perhaps a Bond Movie for inflight entertainment" he asked, feeling the wind on his face. 


"Where are we flying to, anyway?" he finished, a host of questions burning inside - although he judged that the destination was the most pertinent one...

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She flew upwards for what Auguste presumed was about 20 seconds, reaching quite a height in the meantime. They’d reached the height where people were only visible in groups, high enough that Auguste really didn’t want to slip at this point.


Which was easy enough, the armour seemed to have been designed around somebody holding on. The woman controlling the armour didn’t respond to any of Auguste’s jokes, but she did humour him enough to respond to his question.


“If my assumption is right, somewhere off the grid. I’ve got a place but getting there will take a bit of time. If you’ve got a suggestion, go ahead.”

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"I hope you have a parachute" muttered DIaomndlight. He couldn't fly. Falling would hurt. Or possibly only hurt for an instant and then not hurt at all. 


"Well its a nice view. And I am apparently in no rush" he answered more breezily. "I can't see any bullets or rifles, anyway"


They were far up, it was true, but he could see very far indeed. 


"So lets go. Short of hitching onto a rocket, I cant see a way of going faster. Although flying lower would be my preference...."



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“Alright. My base it is, then. “ With only a moment’s notice, the thrusters keeping the armour midair stopped, making it (and thus Diamondlight) drop down, picking up again to propel them northwards.


She seemed to meet Auguste’s request as the altitude dropped ever so slightly throughout the flight, until the two once more reached an urban area. Probably Basel, although Auguste wasn’t entirely sure.


First she rose up higher, once more creating a fair bit of distance between her and the ground. Then, shortly afterwards, she once more shut off her thrusters, dropping from the sky quite quickly and only burning to avoid a crash shortly before hitting the ground, not the most comfortable of experiences.


They landed in front of what appeared to be one of the many warehouses in the city, probably holding some goods that would be delivered to the cargo harbour.


“Go inside and immediately take the first door to your right, then go down into the cellar. From there follow the lights. “


“I need to take a different entrance, I should be there shortly though.”

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"How illuminating" commented Auguste, grateful to be on terra firma once more. He was hardly a coward, but it wasn't an easy thing on the nerves, that trip. 


He creaked his neck back into shape and shrugged his jacket back into place. "FIrst door on the right, down to the cellar, follow the lights. Get strapped to a long lost medieval iron maiden, scream in agony as interrogated on the location of hidden Nazi gold. Got it. Simple" he said. 


Witticism, asides, he could hardly turn from the course set in front of him. Not now. He had to find out what was going which, by his judgement, meant a clever melding of caution and boldness. 


And it started with entering the warehouse and following the directions...

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The woman didn’t even bother to respond, instead slowly piloting the armour in a different direction, turning a corner after a few moments and disappearing behind a few crates, somewhere even Auguste’s vision didn’t quite reach.


Meanwhile, he made his way down the stairs. It was simple enough, the doors weren’t locked. He could actually hear how one bomb shelter door opened behind a wall, suggesting he probably wasn’t alone. He stepped through it shortly after, and it led down some stairs, closing behind him. He could note that there were cameras placed in quite a few locations. Hidden away, but he’d managed to stop them either way.


After a short descent, he entered a well-lit white room. Immediately he could see what appeared to be quite an advanced workbench by one of the walls, and a sophisticated PC network in one of the corners, with screens spanning most of the wall.


However, as soon as he entered the room, the door behind him closed, quite rapidly. Two turrets, quite obviously, appeared from the ceiling, pointing towards Auguste. The woman’s voice could be heard over the intercom.


“Gotta say, this has to be the most advanced tactic so far. Need to burn this base anyways, sorry buddy. You’re not getting me this time. So, how about you spill who’s behind all of this and I let you escape without giving you an emmentaler makeover?”

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August had the most intense feeling he was being played. 


He took a deep breath in and calmly exhaled. If he got angry, then they probably wanted him to get angry and lose his judgement. He focussed his mind on the chess board in front of him. These were the beginning moves. Nothing to get violent or agressive about. Not yet, anyway. 


"What if I told you I don't know what you are talking about?" he ventured, politely. "Tactics? Base? Burn? You lost me" he explained, quite honestly. 


The truth was the best deception. 


"I was flown here by some woman in a Swiss uniform. Told me to go down here. I was hardly in a position to argue, given she could fly and was stronger than a tank" he explained. "And I really don't know what here is..."

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  • 3 weeks later...

“Come on, the jig’s up. I know your bosses won’t exactly like this, but if you spill the beans right now I’ll let you off the hook and you can take the first train out of the city and disappear off the grid. Or you can go on and try to complete your mission, but … in your situation, I wouldn’t try.”


Whatever the woman was speaking about, she was doing so with determination. Clearly she believed in every word she was saying. It sounded like she’d finally accomplished something she’d been attempting for a while, although there was a hint of stress in her voice, something that told Auguste that perhaps, things weren’t going as she’d expected.

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Feigning ignorance was one thing. Feigning insight quite another. 


He put on his best poker face. 


"What would you like to know?" he asked, cool lips and velvet tones. He kept his face passive and his silver-blue eyes still. 


"I can't answer your questions if you don't ask them? What do you know? I can try and fill in the blanks..."

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“Would be quite nice to know who sent you. And don’t come at me with that “independent” BS, I saw through the pattern a looooong time ago. The failed sniper was a nice touch, gotta give you that. Get my trust up, figure out the details and then strike me here. “


Then, there was complete silence. The room seemed to be perfectly isolated, even though the outside was quite loud thanks to everything happening in the area, none of the sound made it through. And whatever powered all the tech (it probably wasn’t connected to the main power grid), was quiet too.

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