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Kam looked between his fellow students with concern plain on his face.  Not knowledgeable enough in magic to know the severity of threat or if in fact such a thing even would be a threat he tensed and quietly inquired, "Could it be a researcher working on the artifacts?"  he glanced to the crowd, "Do you know where? We may need to investigate."  The Dakanan looked toward the entrance hurridley, "I have my equipment in my bag."  in the coat check which was not exactly helpful if the threat was eminent. 

 

He looked to Victoria as the expert and raised a brow, "Ought I excuse myself?"  he asked as he was unsure if he had either time or reason to don the Daka infused raiment of his alter ego.

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Veronica

 

A faraway look had come to Veronica's face, as she seemed to be looking down at the baseboards of one of the walls of the room.  But even as she was focusing her mystical senses through the building, she still heard Kam's questions and shook her head slightly.  "No, I do not believe there are any mystical practitioners on staff at the museum."  She replied.

 

After a moments pause, she spoke again, "I am having trouble pinpointing where it might have been, there must be some lead somewhere in the building between me and the lower floors.  But I am able to sense that there is more than one individual that seems to possess magical abilities somewhere on a lower floor."

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Elizabeth nervously fingered the charm on her bracelet, trying to examine their options. Their very few options. Their shot-in-the-dark options. "If we stay here, and they're coming here, it's a fight with a bunch of people around," she muttered, looking around to make sure they weren't being watched. "If we stay here and they aren't coming here, they get away with whatever they're doing, if they're baddies. If we go to them, we can maybe stop them before they get here, or stop them from doing whatever they're doing? Or, you know, they're great people we just didn't know about and we laugh it off later."

 

It was a weak smile, but a smile. "I like that last option. I kinda vote for heading down, though, if they're on lower floors. Worst case, maybe we have to follow them back up here anyway, and we can, you know. Get dressed, while we're at it. Do you know what's down there?"

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Nodding Kam began moving back toward the coat check as they spoke voicing his agreement with Elizabeth, "There is no harm to be done in investigating."  he agreed perhaps too readily, overzealous and almost hopeful there was a threat they could mitigate.  "Normally the basement levels of such an establishment hold collections not on display and the work spaces for curation and conservation."  he offered his thoughts on what might be below. 

 

Ducking into the coatroom when they arrived he emerged a few moments later a hint of his deep crimson armor visible at the collar of his outfit and the bulkier plates settled under his loose fitting shirt mostly hidden.  A small bag slung over his shoulder held his weapons and helmet as he tried ot keep as low a profile as possible.  The prince looked toward Victoria questioningly, "Can you get us access to the lower levels or will we require alternate methods of entry?" he asked carefully.  He did not relish breaking and entering into the lower levels but if that is what it took he was certainly far from balking at such an endeavor.

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Veronica

 

"They are not quite down in the basement, I think maybe on the main floor."  Veronica replied to Kam's comment.  With the other two wanting to investigate after stopping by the coat check to get Kam's equipment, Veronica started off with them as they made their way out of the exhibit halls and back down towards the main floor.  As they went, she tried to keep a tab on what might be going on, but that did not improve until they had reached the coat check and Kam went to get his equipment.

 

"They are on the move."  She said suddenly, just as Kam came back out.  "They are in the far stairwell, almost up to the floor where the exhibit is located!"

 

Pulling out a bracelet with several of her small silver trinkets, Veronica quickly picked out a handful, which she removed and attached to a small chain, Liz sensing them flare with magic as they connected together to form a spell.  Waving one hand in front of her once done, a mystical rift formed in the air, expanding out to a five-foot by five-foot portal.  "This will take us up into the main hallway, between the stairwell they are on and the exhibit."

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"Ooh! Nice placement," Elizabeth said, ducking toward the portal. "Depending on what they're up to, we can maybe block them, push them back, or lure them away - no sense causing trouble for anyone else."

 

She clapped her mask between her hands as she moved, pulling them apart to reveal her mask, full-size; by the time she spun around to look at the others it was already on her face, her dress billowing out into a coat and leaving white spandex in its wake. She'd miss the dress - she missed it already - but even she had to make allowances for secret identities...though she did tint the ends of her coat blue, in defiance to the costume change. Nobody would figure that out, surely.

 

"Showtime!" she said, grin audible, as she hopped backwards through the rift.

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Turning to Veronica Kam nodded slowly, "I will follow your lead."  he assured her and donned his helmet his face hidden behind hte stylized feline mask.  His voice dropped to a lower hushed tone as he added, "I will remain hidden until I am needed."  he explained before dashing through the portal and vanishing from sight as soon as cover was offered to maneuver himself to a flanking position to take them by surprise if Veronica needed his assistance.

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GM

 

Once Elizabeth and Kam finished getting ready for action, Veronica moved through her portal, the other two following quickly behind.  Red Lynx immediately moved into some nearby shadows, disappearing from sight.

 

The wide hallway the trio of teens had arrived at was dimly lit and empty save for five figures that were approaching from the far wing of the museum.  Three of the figures were dressed in black robes, the shadows of their cowls concealing their faces.  To Veronica and Masque's senses, the three radiated mystical energy.

 

Following closely behind the figures in black robes were two other figures, dressed in black and grey uniforms, full black masks covering their faces and a red circle with a black lightning bolt shape adoring the center of their grey tunics.  All three teens also felt that there seemed to be something in the shadows to either side of the hallway around the five figures, but none of them could quite discern what might be there.

 

The robed figures came to a halt as the notice first Veronica’s gate, and then both her and Masque.  "Well Miss Danger," one of the figures spoke, taking half a step forward, speaking with an Eastern European accent, "it would seem there is more to you than one might expect.  And you seem to have brought along a mystically inclined companion as well."  The figure gave one small nod of his head toward Masque.  "I will give you both fair warning, do not interfere with us and we can avoid the need for anyone to come to harm." 

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Veronica

 

Veronica focused on the approaching figures ahead of them, leaving the portal behind her open for the moment to ensure that Red Lynx had managed to make his way through.  The teen noted the three figures radiating mystical energy, as well as the fact that there appeared to be some things hidden in the shadows near the five figures.

 

When one of the robed figures spoke up, warning the two teens he could see not to interfere, Veronica smirked.  "Not likely."  She replied.  "Your back up there are SHADOW, which makes the three of you Thule Society.  Neither particularly know for carrying about collateral damage or innocent lives."

 

"So, we would love it if you would just save everyone some trouble and surrender, but I think we would be willing to settle with you just forgetting about whatever it is you're doing here and leaving."

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"If you want people to believe that you don't want anyone coming to harm, you probably shouldn't dress like evil sorcerers," Masque pointed out, cocking her head at the group. "Nobody's going to believe you aren't here to, I don't know, carve out someone's heart and use it to summon a demon. Look at you. Do your moms know you dress like that?"

 

She waved a hand in front of her face, mask while unseen to a blank white surface scrawled in simple black ink to form an exaggerated, shocked expression. "Did your moms dress you like that?" The hand came back down, and now the mask was a cheeky grin. A little braver than she felt, but she wasn't alone - and if they were looking at her, and at Veronica, they weren't looking...wherever Kam had gone. That was a fair trade. "That's terrible, you should get better moms. Moms who don't encourage evil magic."

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On silent feet Kam quickly made his way to a better vantage over the Thule sorcerers and Shadow agents prepared to strike them down at his comrades signal.  He was careful to skirt the deeper shadows nearest the interlopers sensing danger there but nonetheless remained at the ready quietly scaling a pillar to go above what he'd not be able to go around in the confines of the hallway.  Once in place he hung still and silent as the night as he inwardly scoffed at the shadowy magicians posturing.

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Veronica

 

If the situation were not so serious, Veronica would probably be laughing at the taunts Elizabeth was making toward the Thule sorcerers.  While the teenage Danger did not expect them to make the sorcerers lose their composure, one thing was certain, they would be focused on both of them and less likely to notice Kam.

 

Estimating that she had given Kam enough time to make his way through the portal, Veronica disengaged the spell she had created to form that portal, reconfiguring some of her small trinkets into a mores offensive spell.  As she did, she looked back at the Thule sorcerer that had spoken.  "So, last chance.  Turn around and leave."

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GM

 

The Thule sorcerer gave a small chuckle at Elizabeth's taunts, but kept his focuses on Veronica as she gave him her ultimatum.  "Brothers," he stated, addressing his two fellow sorcerers, "let us see if we cannot ‘convince’ these two youths to help us obtain what we seek."

 

With that, the sorcerer raised his hands and cast a spell, directing mystical energy at Veronica as he tried to seize control over her mind.  The spell easily found its mark, but even as the magical energies tried to dominate the teenage Danger, she was able to resist the attempt, brushing the spell aside as she remained in control. 

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"Three by my count.  You need to practice your maths."  echoed the low rumbling whisper of Kams reply from where he'd secreted himself above the sorcerer and his companions.  The brief words from the shadows were the only warning the would be thieves had.  In a streak of deep crimson the Red Lynx leapt from his perch to land among the agents of shadow with feline grace.  Spinning as he rose from his crouched landing his arm snapped out the curved Marungu singing through the air toward the unaware sorcerer at his side with crushing force.  Finishing the rotation the twin clubs rose as he dropped into a ready and balanced combat stance his expressionless mask turned toward the group in challenge.

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GM

 

Despite partially giving away his presence, Red Lynx still caught the Thule sorcerer he dropped down next to by surprise and catching the sorcerer with his weapon.  The blow doubled the man over before he collapsed to the floor unconscious.

                                    

As the Dakanan prince turned to face the remaining enemies, two figures leapt out of the shadows to one side of the villains.  The two new figures were dressed similarly to the other Shadow clones and closed with Red Lynx.  Both the figures hands glowed with dark energy as they tried to strike the Dakanan prince, but Red Lynx was able to dodge each attack in turn.

 

With the two new shadow clones engaging Red Lynx, the two that had been walking alongside the Thule sorcerers both raised their hands toward one of the two teenage girls in front of them.  Each sent a blast of orange telekinetic force at the teens, but both Veroncia and Masque were able to dodge aside.

 

"Forget them!"  Cried out the Thule sorcerer that had tried to seize control of Veronica's mind.  "Get to the exhibit to secure the artifact!"

 

At the sorcerer’s command, the two telekinetic shadow clones lowered their hands as their bodies were surrounded by a similarly orange telekinetic aura and lifted up into the air.  They then flew down the hallway, passing over Veronica and Masque and further down the hallway.

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"Nope!" Masque turned her head to watch the clones fly by, and then disappeared in a flash of light.

 

She reappeared in their path, further down the corridor, where a heavy metal ball on a chain dropped down out of her sleeve and was swung in a whistling arc straight into an oncoming villain's chin. "You really ought to be nicer when nice offers are made," she said from behind mask of a demon, wide-eyed and grinning with sharp teeth jutting out past its lips. The ball thudded back into the ground, loose chain winding around her hand as she readied it for another swing. "Nobody's getting any artifacts today. Go home to mom."

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GM

 

The force of Masque's attack knocked the Shadow clone's chin straight up, tilting its head back as it was knocked backward off its feet to land hard on the marbled floor.  The clone's limbs went slack and it was apparent that it had been knocked unconscious by the attack.

 

Back where the fight had begun, the other Thule sorcerer still on his feet peered down the hallway to where Masque had engaged the clones that had been sent ahead to secure the artifact they were after.  Casting the same spell as the first sorcerer, this one aimed the mystical energy generated at Masque’s mind.

 

The teenager felt a dark presence enter her mind, seeking to seize control over it as she felt a numbness in her fingers and toes which began to spread up her limbs.  For a brief moment, it seemed that the dark presence of the Thule sorcerer would take control of her, but then she fought back against the magic, pushing it out of her mind as feeling returned to her hands and feet once more.

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Veronica

 

As Veronica had finished preparing her spell, she tried to keep up with the chaos of the fight as more of the Shadow clones emerged from the shadows to attack Kam and the other clones flew down the hall toward the exhibit after trying to attack her and Elizabeth.  Veronica had to assume that the other presences she sensed in the shadows on the other side of the hall where the same as those that had attacked Kam, but she was not sure why they were waiting to take any action just yet.

 

The spells used by the two remaining Thule sorcerers where a bit concerning.  The last thing they needed where any of them being taken over by one of the sorcerers and turned against the others.

 

When one of the sorcerers tried to take control of Elizabeth, the teenage Danger focused her attention on him, bringing up one hand as she released a bolt of eldritch energy.  The mystical blast struck the sorcerer square in the chest, causing him to stager back a step as he grunted in pain, but failing to knock him unconscious.

 

"I've always been told that fighting Nazis was something of a family tradition.  Was beginning to fear that it might be one that I would never see."  She stated with a small smirk.  "Guess I was wrong."

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GM

 

The sorcerer that had spoken with Veronica and Masque was not particularly happy with how quickly these teenagers had taken down two of their number and injured another.  While the Shadow agents still having the advantage in numbers, the teens were thus far avoiding or resisting every attack directed at them.

 

Casting another spell, the sorcerer sent a mystical bolt of energy of his own flying at Veronica.  But the teenage Danger saw it coming and ducked to one side, a faint mystical barrier appearing around her to help deflect the attack away.

 

"Delay them!"  He ordered the two Shadow agents engaged with Red Lynx.  "Everyone else, move to secure the exhibit."  With that, the sorcerer cast another spell, disappearing in a puff of dark smoke, only to similarly reappear over near Masque and the remaining Shadow agent she was facing.

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They had to end this quickly and make sure none of the shadow agents made it to the central gallery while their brethren were treated to a well deserved beatdown.  He dropped his hands to his side as if they were not even worth his time as he advanced every movement tuned to exude confidence and control of the situation.  Behind his mask his eye darted readily from one agent to the next but unseen hidden behind the implacable feline helm.

 

"You're running out of friends."  Red Lynx growled as he menacingly advanced on injured sorcerer, "Lay down now and maybe these two discount henchmen can drag you back to your superiors to report your numerous failings."  the armored Dakanan threatened in a low rumble before unleashing a flurry of rapid attacks on the magus the glimmering daka forged clubs spinning in a rolling hypnotic pattern as he flowed seamlessly from one attack to the next seeking an opening in the mans defenses.  When the opportunity presented itself he seized it jabbing at the midsection to swing the second club in a fierce uppercut when the servant of Thule tried to evade.

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GM

 

The injured Thule sorcerer took a few steps back as Red Lynx advanced on him, apparently not intimidated by the Dakanan royal's threats, but still wanting to keep some distance from those whirling clubs.  He tried to bring up warding spells to block the attacks, but only managed to deflect several of the feints, so when Red Lynx directed the actual attack, the sorcerer was already off balance, and unable to move in time to stop the attack.

 

The uppercut caught him under the chin and sent him spilling over backward to land on the ground near one of the walls.  The sorcerer was clearly dazed, but was not quite out of the fight just yet.

 

Then, both Red Lynx and Veronica could sense the two presences still in the shadows move slightly and then suddenly disappear, seemingly swallowed up by the shadows they were hidden in.  But the pair had little time to consider the development, as the two shadow clones still there continued to press the attack.

 

The first continued to move after Red Lynx, its hands still glowing with the dark energy that surrounded them.  But its attempts to strike the Dakanan royal proved completely ineffective, as he flipped away with easy from a clumsy attack that was never anywhere close to hitting.

 

The other took a step back, raising up both hands as they glowed with dark energy.  Suddenly, the section of the hallway where Veronica and Red Lynx were fighting the downed sorcerer and the two clones was plunged into a chilling darkness. 

 

Further down the hall, the remaining clone near Masque drifted away from her slightly and sent another telekinetic blast towards the teen.  But she was able to easily dodge to one side, the attack striking the floor a short distance away, cracking a section and sending a few chips flying into the air.

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"What? No! Rude," Masque challeneged, turning her demon-grinning mask on the last clone nearby. "You get to take a nap."

 

She stepped forward, the metal ball-and-chain whipping out faster than something its weight should have wielded by someone with her frame, catching the clone squarely on the side of the head. It was a good noise, a satisfying noise, and best of all not a lethal noise, which meant she wasn't entirely awful at this whole fighting-evil thing. Plus it gave her a chance to take stock of the others, which was...

 

She frowned, the mask returning to its default shape as she turned to look around her. "Well! I think these two guys have learned a lot of important lessons today," she said. She grabbed the edge of her cloak with one hand, pulling it up and around herself; where the cloak passed, nothing was left behind until it, too, vanished into thin air. "I think my lesson is going to be that you cannot hit what you cannot see."

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Veronica Danger

 

As the darkness fell over Veronica and Red Lynx, the teenage Danger felt the levels of adrenaline already present shoot upward,.  She had no idea whether or not these Shadow clones could see through this darkness, which reminder her slightly of some caves she had explored in a few parts of the world. 

 

But Veronica felt a bit more at ease when she realized she was still able to see her amulet and the small trinkets she carried and used to craft spells, their magic shining brightly in her eyes even in this impenetrable darkness.  Not wanting to possibly hurt Red Lynx by randomly trying to attack anyway, the teenager instead began selecting a few of her small silver trinkets, an idea for a new spell coming to her. 

 

A few moments later she had them gathered on a chain as she felt the spell wash over her, and suddenly the darkness around her instead became shades of grey, and she could once again see her surroundings, which included the two Shadow clones and Red Lynx.  Reaching out one hand towards Kam, Veronica shared the magic spell she had just created with him.

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GM

 

Further down the hall outside of the darkness, the lead Thule sorcerer watched in frustration as another of the Shadow clones was defeated by one of these teenagers.  That frustration only grew as the teenager disappeared from sight. 

 

Not able to spot any sign of where the teen might be hiding, the sorcerer instead cast another spell, once again disappearing in a puff of dark smoke, vanishing completely from Masque’' sight.  This left no visible enemies in Masque's area, while in the darkness around Veronica and Red Lynx there were two Shadow clones on their feet and the remaining Thule sorcerer, who was starting to get back to his feet…

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Red Lynx froze for a fraction of a second as it went dark before dropping into a low weaving defensive stance as he listened for any telltale movement to fortel an impending blow or reveal a potential target.  His weapon swung toward Veronica for a fraction of a second as she laid a hand on his shoulder before his sight cleared and he let out a low rumble of laughter, "You forget cats can see in the dark."  he taunted the shadow agents, "It's where we hunt."  he pointed out and continuing his movement whirled out of their line of sight and vanished tumbling to his feet behind them carefully avoiding the shadows lines of sight before he revealed himself with a brutal blow to the back of the staggered sorcerer's head the bulbous tip of his curved club whistling as it cut the air to impact with a satisfying crack.  

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