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When immediate action had clearly not been happening, Micah moved back to his room area, went to take a shower, and changed back into his "work" outfit. At that point, he'd spent a couple hours lightly napping while Eira did prep-work, before just kind of staying in the background at the house. He absolutely picked up on Lulu's "I'm here to talk!" vibes, but declined to take advantage yet. He needed to keep himself calm and disciplined; he was in unfamiliar territory, and had unfamiliar weather patterns. All of his lessons on non-disruption taught him this was not something to be idly toyed with. 

 

When they arrived at the apartment of the apparent perpetrator, Pan started charging in immediately. Micah sighed and raised a hand as the other spoke.

 

"Here, I'll put him more off-balance."

As Pan moved into the bathroom, the temperature would drop rapidly, particularly the shower water itself. Though it wasn't so cold as to freeze, it was unlikely the occupant would find it comfortable. 

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Lulu had found Eira's parents to be in some ways the opposite of their daughter in temperment; though sharing a certain amount of reserve. But what Eira kept quiet through scowling and curt remarks, her mother and father had the sort of Old World charm that would have fit right into an American television show about old money. Their nerves were a little frayed, though, and she distinctly heard Eira's father mention calling Magnus if they didn't hear back from the teens soon. 

 

 

The various teens found themselves confronting a naked man in the shower (well, clothed if you counted his mustache anyway) who seemed distinctly startled by this turn of events. "I don't-this is illegal!" he declared loudly as the shower began to freeze around him, cowering backwards from Pan's blade. "You American tourists! This is not the United States where you can abuse innocent businessmen in the shower!" 

 

"IS THAT SO!?" A metal fist went through the drywall, followed shortly by Eira as she entered the shower stall not by the door but by the wall, plaster falling around her and breaking around her body. She shot Pan a grateful smile before picking up her target by the neck and lifting him in the air. "Perhaps you should dial 112, yes!?" She dropped him on his rear, leaving him seemingly helpless before the various super-teens. 

 

"Fine, fine," he coughed disgustedly, raising his hands. "I'll tell you what you must want to know, just let me...turn off the verdamnt shower, yes?" he said. "And let me put on some clothes..." Eira did not look inclined to let the man do that, but she didn't interfere as he gestured to a terrycloth robe on the wall. "I planned for the hammer, not for the circus..." 

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"Not all of us are American," Pan argued with some humor in his voice. 

 

He continued to hold the gold rapier pointed at the man, slowly shaking his head. "How about you tell us something first, then we decide if you get to wear clothes, yes?" Just to make a point, he poked the blade just half an inch closer, while raising an eyebrow.

 

"So, be a good man and tell us where it is, and why you took it? Then maybe we can all be be spared this sight, yes?"

 

Did Pan fail to mention what it was? Yes. Yes, maybe he did. But it was quite alright, was it not? He looked at the man, his eyes not leaving him for a even a second. It was almost as if he was looking straight into the man's soul.

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With an air of injured dignity, the man said, "I took it because I was paid - not enough to cover this, I might add." He rubbed his throat and looked up at Eira, who had water gleaming on her quicksilver hide now that the shower was turned off. "I would have thought a young transhumanist like yourself wouldn't be so attached to the flesh..." 

 

Eira drove one fist into her hand and hissed, "They are the nice ones. Talk to them!" 

 

Pan heard the thought as clearly  - she is exactly like her grandfather - before the man said, "I delivered the ashes and their container to my contact just a few hours ago. He may still be there now, assuming he's not on the plane to Bornholm..." 

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Thunderbird walked in behind the others. A frown formed on his face as the man made a comment about "attachment" to the flesh.

 

"I reckon that's none of the business of a damn thief whether someone wants somethin' like that or not."

 

He flexed his hands a couple of times in an idle gesture; green sparks flared and died as he did so. 

 

"Your 'contact' have a name? Description?"

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"Yes," said Urmakare, earning him a glare from the metallic Angelic. Looking highly annoyed at this set of circumstances, he told them a tale of how a business partner of his had contacted him to secure an item for a particular wealthy investor. He'd pushed for names and gotten a location; the Ecogrid on Bornholm, an experimental EU-run research station testing novel sources of power generation. Eira interrogated him further, getting a name (Hans Holheim, an unpowered go-between) for Urmakare's contact, and the flight he'd be taking to Bornholm. "They're probably in the air now; you might catch them or be waiting for them on the island - I don't really care. I already got paid and if you turn _me_ in for theft, I might have to turn the rest of you in for burglary," he said with a sneer. 


Eira called him something truly vile and said, "You had better be where we can find you when we come back." Turning to Soliton, she said unsmilingly "Soliton can you take us to the island? I can give you the GPS coordinates of the Ecogrid

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Pan moved in close to Urmakare, placing a hand on his shoulder, leaving just a tiny bit of Pixie Dust, but enough that the villain would notice. "You should do as she says. I will find you if you try to run." His tone was sharper than what his friends were used to hearing. "I tend to take it personally when tries to hurt my friends."

 

With the threat hanging in the air, the rapier disappeared from Pan's hand as he turned back to his friends, a wide smile once more on his lips. "Well then, shall we go to this Bornholm place? Time is wasting, yes?"

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Thunderbird regarded Urmakare with a look of open disgust.

 

"Yeah. Let's get goin'. Ain't got much use hangin' around someone lower than a cattle rustler."

 

Lulu especially could detect he was playing up his accent and mannerisms a bit, but it was clearly in an attempt to unsettle or distract the thief. 

 

"Maybe whoever we're meetin' will give more of a fight this time."

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Bornholm is a small Danish island located deep in the Baltic, as far as one can be from Denmark in this part of Europe and still actually be in Denmark. It's cold and dreary here in winter but it's a beautiful summer day when the teen heroes arrive amid an impressive landscape of towering granite stones, rockier and hillier than almost anywhere else in the nation. The Ecogrid Project is here, a sprawling complex of low-lying buildings and impressive power cables spread among the rocks, with a network of raised footpaths showing where the scientists must get around on a day-to-day basis. 

 

At least, that's everybody's first impression now that they've arrived where the courier is supposed to hand off the stolen ashes. The complex is obviously in a tizzy when they arrive, helicopters circling in the sky and armed troops moving around -  a shocking sight in a country like Denmark but then this is a high-security installation full of super-tech. One of the helicopters overhead swivels to face them and it's a big Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk, a multimission craft the US sells to Denmark.

 

And then comes an amplified voice in accented English: PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEADS AND GET DOWN ON THE GROUND! THIS IS YOUR ONLY WARNING! 

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Everything about the encounter with the thief left a bad taste in Lulu's mouth, so she was happy to teleport out of his apartment. Upon first arriving on the island, she took in a sweet lungful of air and smiled. Well I'll be; the bad guy's hideouts in f###in' Arendelle!" But then she saw the big-ass helicopter staring them down and her face went slack as she held her hands up.

 

"Uh...they can't actually shoot you, can they, Eira? Isn't that like regicide?"

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They were in one place, then another, once more gone and there and not quite yet back again. Urmakare would see the glitter of the pixie dust on his shoulder for a short time after they left, but that didn't really matter to Pan now that they stood in the middle of whatever the Ecogrid Project was supposed to be and had soldiers and helicopter staring them down.

 

Pan raised his empty hands, to let the pilot see them, and spoke with the sweetest voice one might imagine. His words were Danish, his movements non-threatening, and there was just something about the way he talked that just made it so difficult to do anything but just love him!

 

"Come, now. There is no need for that, is there? We are all friends here! We are, after all, here to help, yes?"

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For a moment it seemed to be working. The soldiers on the helicopter were mostly anonymous in their body armor and behind faceshields, but they didn't seem to be hostile towards Pan. If anything, they looked friendly - and then he felt a tug at his side and looked down to see blood and bruising where a fired round had nearly hit him center-mass! The report of the rifle reached him a moment later as the amplified voice yelled over the speakers again. THEY'RE USING MIND CONTROL! PSION PROTOCOL! And then they had a fight on their hands... 

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Pan looked down. He had been hit

 

"Ow."

 

He had worse, but still... they had shot him. Why would they shoot him, just for talking? No, no, this was not alright. Not alright at all! 

 

"Let us not do that again."

 

Pan threw his hands up into the air, golden mists swirling out from a point between him and the helicopters, whirling around until it covered a rather large area, surrounding him and all of his friends to keep them safe from any other shots.

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Micah was not an avid hunter or marksman, but he knew the sound of a gunshot. And that had been a powerful shot. He looked around, trying to spot where it had come from. 

 

"Is everyone ok-"

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Pan looked down. He had been hit

 

"Ow."

 

He turned and looked at Pan for a moment, even as his fantastical friend summoned up a cloud of shining mist between their group and the military. 

 

"They shot you."

 

Slowly his gaze shifted toward the helicopter and beyond. The sky above darkened, and clouds swirled in a way that was not natural.

 

"You shot my friend.

 

Thunder cracked, and his back spawned to wings of crackling green lightning, sheathed in feathers of emerald St. Elmo's Fire. 

 

"You shot my friend!"

 

The wind above began to howl, and Thunderbird rose into the air, the scent of ozone suddenly everywhere. His left hand, held in front of him, clenched into a fist so tight the material of his glove creaked. His right arm, he drew back while he held his hand open and vertical; snowflakes and wind swirled around him for a moment. 

"Everyone, get Pan out of here! I'll distract them!"

 

Then he shoved his open hand forward, extending his right arm as if punching at the helicopter. Immediately the wind surged, howling and roaring like a barely-tamed beast. The soldiers in the helicopter and beyond would find themselves facing driving winds, biting sleet, absurdly thick snowfall, and other hallmarks of a terrible winter storm. No one's life would be in danger from the effects, but combined with the shining cloud Pan had summoned, it ought to keep them thoroughly distracted and occupied doing anything but shooting at the group of teenagers. 

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"NEJ!" shouted Angelic when she saw the bullet graze Pan - but then she peered close with eyes that saw faster than any human's, and just as the dust rose she saw him alive and in the air. "Get to the Ecogrid!" she called as she dived through the rising clouds around them, her wings folded around her body as she zipped along towards the only major source of electromagnetic energy within a hundred miles. A few stray shots rang out but as far as the teen heroes could tell; the plan had worked and nobody could actually see them. For her part, once she was in the superstructure of the complex Angelic was out of the growing duststorm overhead - so she landed at the base of the complex's small radar dish to discourage any shots from coming her way. 

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Lulu cried out in shock when a sniper's bullet actually hit Pan in the side; clearly these men had no issue shooting children! The telepath quickly made herself vanish, knowing full well that no cameras or targeting systems would be fooled, merely the naked eye, Then as quickly as possible she flew straight at the helicopter, hoping these troops would be a little more reluctant to cause a friendly fire situation. Hovering as close to the cockpit as she dared, she began to rapidly scan the base to locate this 'Ecogrid' before flying over to it.

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"I am fine. There is no need to worry, my friends." Pan's voice was sure of himself, as ever. His side stung where the bullet had graced him, while he saw the bright red blood, but he was fine. He was sure of that.

 

Eira flew, calling for them to reach the Ecogrid. Micah brought the wind, Lulu disappared... and Pan? Pan flew!

 

To his friends that could see through the swirling golden mists, he was a streak of green and gold, flying towards the Geogrid at incredible speeds, gold falling all around him in his wake... and then, once he was about halfway there, he, and they, all seemed to disappear. Above, they would see themselves flying up, up and away, towards the stars, huddled together and trying to escape. Obvious targets to pursue.

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Perched together on the rooftop over the Ecogrid, the heroes plotted their next move - with a little help from Lulu's second sight while Eira checked Pan's wound. Looking closer he hadn't been shot by a bullet, but grazed by some sort of dart - which had broken the skin but (as he'd been trying to tell everyone) not done any serious damage.

 

Looking into the building below, she could see rooms full of armed security personnel, most of whom looked to be Danish military. It was a big glass-sided building, the sort that under normal circumstances was probably quite pleasant to look at. The building seemed to be mostly in lockdown,  troops in the corridors and scientists in protective shelters. There was much talk about the "super-mercs" who were attacking the facility; where were the heroes, for God's sakes, how would this endanger the work, etc? 

 

Strangely enough the director's office seemed to be empty, but there was an unusually large crowd inside the building's infirmary. The project director (at least, that was what the badge stenciled above his breast pocket), a balding man with horn-rimmed glasses and a tense expression, was standing by the bedside of a pale blonde girl hooked up to IVs, telling a soldier with a triangle and flower on his sleeve to "double the security, they need to evacuate the civilians - including my family!" he added, gripping the little girl's hand. 

 

Meanwhile, a voice whispered right in Micah's ear! It was a soft, feminine, high-pitched voice - the sound a little girl might make if she was talking from the bottom of a well. When he looked, there was absolutely no one there. 

 

"Ha-ha! Saint Medardus, is that you?" 

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"These people are thinkin' we're the bad guys, hired to take out this site, Lulu said as she wiped her face. "And we got at least one kid down there, if not more; it's probably why they're so damn self-righteous and trigger-happy." 

 

She looked to her fellow students. "Can we blind 'em without takin' out their power? They got a sick kid on life support ah'd rather not see die."

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Once the others were moving, Thunderbird followed, his summoned weather apparently able to continue on its own, at least for a few moments. He landed in a crouch next to the others, wings of lightning glowing bright green still. He looked around, seeming to scan for threats...

 

Then his head snapped toward the building. Alarm spread across his features.

 

"There's a telepath in there. Or someone, something, like one. I just heard a voice in my head ask if I'm Saint Medardus. But...they sound like a little kid."

 

He looked over to the team's resident psychic.

 

"Lulu, are you getting any weird vibes right now?"

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Eira frowned. "The patron saint of...storms?

 

A voice whispered in Lulu's ear and she felt a distinct, unfamiliar invisible presence nearby that seemed to echo away as if the invisible speaker was descending. "They are the good thief, or the bad thief, yes? If you want to stop me, I will see you inside." There was a faint sound, and then the lights from the building where they stood flickered but did not go out...

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"We are not taking their power if it puts a child in danger." Pan's voice was focused, hard. There was no questioning him. "I can take their eyes, if we need it."

 

"Storms?" He looked puzzled, but amused. "That is quite a good fit... Maybe you should consider a name change, my friend?" As always, his voice changed from serious to jovial at the drop of a hat.

 

He looked to Lulu, waiting for her response to Micah's question.

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"That is an a-firmative on the 'weird vibes'," Lulu said with a grim nod as she pointed at her temple. "Ah think ah got the same kid in mah head, talkin' about 'good thieves' and 'bad thieves', which may be us? She also said somethin' 'bout 'if you want to stop me, ah'll see you inside'."

 

The telepath gnawed on her lower lip for a second. "Ah think maybe she's the girl on life support, but ah can't say for sure."

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Angelic paced the floor, her face set in a hard, staring frown. "It is a...Biblical reference, I think. To the story of the good thief and the bad thief." Eira had never talked much about religion with her friends, but as usual could never quite pass up the urge to supply a helpful fact. 

 

"We will go in and see them directly," she said. "Show them what we are." And with that, she spread her wings, bringing about a great thrum of barely suppressed magnetic energy - and flew through the floor with an enormous crunch of drywall and masonry. The hallway she'd picked was empty, briefly, even as the storm above cast waves of water down on her quicksilver body. 

 

"Listen to me!" she called. "I am Angelik of Sweden! I am not an imposter. Something has been taken from me!" A group of armed soldiers burst through the door and seemed about to train their weapons on Eira when suddenly there was the sound of a child's laughter - and they tripped, falling like cartoon characters stepping on an oil slick. 

And the others heard "Not here!

 

 

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"And how do you know that?" Pan called out, a hint of righteous fury to his voice. He had quickly followed Eira into the hallway, his feet never touching the ground. "Do you even know what we seek?" He disliked having another voice in his head. One was quite enough. 

 

He looked at the soldiers with some amusement, looking towards them. "Do you need some help? We are really not here to fight or do anything bad." He gestured towards Eira, and her full wings. "Do you recognize her? Angelik of Sweden, I am told. I believe she is somewhat known in these parts of the world? Something was taken from her, and we were told it was here. Do you perhaps know anything about it?"

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