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Chimera glared up at the empty space where Freestyle had just disappeared back out of sight from. Grabbing the window frame she swung herself out on to the window ledge. Taking only a moment to judge it, she used the enhanced strength and dexterity afforded to her by the symbiote to jump up on to the roof's ledge.

Landing in a crouch she quickly located the woman. "That wasn't exactly fair." She smirked and stood up with confidence. "I'll warn you, I like to run." With that, Chimera leap lightly down from the ledge, braking into a run as soon as her feet touched the rooftop.

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GM

 

"Fair's boring, hon! Also..." 

 

Freestyle grinned and pointing down. The moment Chimera's feet touched the roof, a rapidly ticking disk sounded like it was counting down, and then... it exploded!

 

For her part, Freestyle was laughing as she wheeled away along the roof, quickly reaching the opposite side.

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At the Freestyle’s gesture, Chimera eyes flickered down as she landed. She had enough time to ponder.

’Ah, so this is how Wile E Coyote feels’

The small discs ticked their final ticks and started to explode. Luckily, this time, she was faster. Bits of the explosives bounced off of her protective armor in.

If she had spared a look back, Chimera would have felt even more like a cartoon, leaving a cloud in her wake as she bolted after the retreating Freestyle. She had to think of something quickly, they would hit the other end of the roof in no time.

Pushing herself to catch up with the thief, Chimera attempted to drive an elbow into the other girl’s side like in one of those roller derby videos she’d seen online.

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GM

 

Reaching the end of the roof, Freestyle spun around, whirling around to move out of the way of the elbow. She was still grinning behind her helmet, obviously enjoying herself.

 

"Meep, meep."

 

Then, she leapt off the roof.

 

She fell towards the ground below at great speed. Then, about ten feet before hitting the ground, she stretched out her legs, the wheels on her boots connecting with the building and she was off, gliding away at full speed.

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Chimera stumbled as Freestyle dodged her elbow. Catching her self at the edge, she watched with surprise as the woman dropped off the side. When she saw the thief catch herself Chimera caught herself feeling relieved, then her anger returned.

”Guess I don’t have much of a choice.” She sighed. Taking a couple steps back, Chimera ran and jumped clear of the roof.

She had never tried to see just how far she could fall without hurting herself, but it looked like she was about to find out. Her eyes were squeezed tight as she fell, waiting for the impact. 
She felt a sudden jerk and thought she has landed for a moment, but realized something wasn’t right. Opening her eyes she looked down, then back over her shoulder. Giant leathery wings now stretched out from her back, spread wide and slowing her fall.

”What the hell?”

Chimera still hit the ground with a slight jolt, but recovered quickly. Looking back over her shoulder again she was shocked to see the wings already shriveling up, curling up on themselves and beginning to be reabsorbed.

”Okay, I really wish I could talk to you.” She muttered to herself since the symbiote had never responded to her before, then remembered what she was doing and returned her attention back to Freestyle.

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GM

 

"Figures..." Freestyle mumbled to herself, turning around and moving backwards just in time to catch Chimera's wings.

 

"Still too slow! Let me know if you want a rematch some other time, cus I'm outta here!"

 

She turned back and rushed across the campus, laughing all the while.

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Freestyle turned and started to skate off, but she had made a slight miscalculation. The roof didn’t give room to open up, but this was an open ground and Chimera was going to take advantage of it.

Her legs tensed and she could feel the symbiote respond in kind. The tendrils around her readied and she could feel it’s reach through her muscles all the way to her bones. It was a feeling she was getting use to, but it still sent a chill down her spine.

”Don’t underestimate me.”

A fraction of a second later, her body exploded with energy as she launched forward. She closed the distance with Freestyle in the span of a few heart beats and lashed out. She aimed an open palm at her back with the intention of knocking the wind out of the woman.

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GM

 

Freestyle's eyes went wide when the blow connected, stumbled forward and then... whirled around on her skates, throwing a disk towards Chimera. It went wide, flying past Chimera's head and exploded behind her, close enough that she could feel the heat behind her.

 

"But you make it so easy, hon!" 

 

Continuing the movement, never really stopping, Freestyle turned to run again, running up another building on campus.

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Chimera was excited when her hand actually connected with her opponent, but was quickly disappointed when it became clear it wasn't a solid hit. As Freestyle spun on her she felt the rush of something passing her head, only to explode behind her. Chimera quickly glanced back, relieved when her didn't see and innocent victims. She had to put a stop to this quickly.

By the time her looked back Freestyle was already over half way up another building. Chimera growled in anger.

"I was trying to take it easy on you, but now it's 'no more miss nice gal'."

Knowing she wasn't gonna catch up climbing she thought quickly, glancing around. She found what she was looking for and a couple steps brought it within reach. Grabbing the trash can she quickly judged it's weight and eyeballed her target. Chimera pulled back and with a easy heave, she chucked the can at Freestyle.

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GM

 

The trash hit the wall where Freestyle had been the moment before. She reached the top of the roof, grabbing on to it and pulling herself up.

 

"A trash can? Really?" she shouted down to Chimera. "That's just gross! Sorry hun, but you lose! Catch ya some other time!"

 

With that, Freestyle turned away and raced down the rooftop, away from Chimera, leaping across buildings and quickly disappearing into the city.

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“Aargh.” Chimera growled behind her mask. She was furious, more at herself then anyone else. “Some heroine you are.” She chided herself. Taking a deep breath, she let it out and her shoulders sagged. She hadn’t even noticed if anyone was looking.

Chimera realized what she had done and sighed, walking over to the building Freestyle had escaped over. Picking up the can she examined it and tried to knock out the dents as best she could. She picked up the spilled trash she could find and set the can back where she grabbed it from.

 

The entire time she was replaying the chase in her head, seeing what she did wrong. “So many things.” She thought as she headed back towards the science building. “Maybe I can at least figure out what she took.”

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GM

 

Getting back to the building was easy enough. Freestyle might have escaped with the data, but she had left the computer she had stolen it from and the mechanical arm behind.

 

By the time Chimera returned, the smoke had cleared out, and the main entrance to the building had been blocked. It would be easy to get back inside the small room and put her forensic knowledge to the test.

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Chimera slipped back into the science building. She knew she wouldn’t have much time before campus security would respond to the explosions and supers running around. Most likely by securing the building and calling for a response team from the local precinct, other heroes might even show up. Maybe it was the thought of having to face other heroes, forced to clean up her mess that drove her determination. She couldn’t be sure as she re-entered the office, careful to avoid the tripwire again.

”Have to remember to warn them about that before they trigger it.” She thought as she plugged the computer back in and told the booting computer to skip the self check as it started. She was pressed for time and couldn’t wait.

She little concerned with how quickly she found herself staring at the messy desktop and tsk’d at both the weak security and the clutter screen. A few quick taps and she found the last folder accessed.

”ENH. OP?”

Opening it, she scrolls through the files and realizes they’re primary plans and design notations for a robotic arm. She glanced at the arm set up in the lab, then back at the screen. She hadn’t gotten a look at what Freestyle had been doing so she needed to dig a little deeper. Chimera opens a new window and runs a  quick search for backups of the folder.

”If they’re smart they have’ll have more then one backup. Let’s see if they keep one on site.”

As she let that run in the background, she returns to the folder trying to determine if the woman had been attempting to steal the data or if she had been trying to plant false data.

For all she knew it could be both. Chimera wasn’t exactly a criminologist but she knew there were only 2 reasons to break in somewhere to take something or leave something. Stolen data could be sold or traded, while falsified data could seriously set back research or worse.

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GM

 

The security was not exactly weak. More like it had been absolutely shredded and still left in that state after Freestyle's visit. 

 

The desktop was a mess. Icons, folders, shortcuts, everywhere. Random files, pictures, all in one big mess.

 

At a quick glance the ENH. OP folder held plans for upgrades to the robotic arms. Everything from stability, durability and strength enhancements to secret compartments, magnetic grip, laser fingers and much more. The designer that were creating this arm was dreaming big, at least.

 

Speaking purely from a data standpoint, nothing seemed to be added or falsified, but Chimera knew too little about the project to be able to identify any changes made to the data in the individual files.

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Chimera glanced nervously back through the office door. She couldn’t have much time left.

Looking back at the screen she bit her lip behind her mask as her brow furrowed. She just didn’t know enough about the project to determine if something had been changed. As she dug further she noticed she had misjudged the security, it wasn’t as bad as she thought it had just been seriously weakened. She credited Freestyle with that.

If she wanted to know more she’d have to talk to whoever’s office this was. A quick look around the office should give her the name of it’s occupant. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn up something useful.

Decided on her course, Chimera got up from the computer. With a deep breath she steadied her thoughts and flipped an internal switch she normally kept off. Her mind raced and her body responded. Moving twice as fast as normal she quickly moved around the office in search of anything useful.

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GM

 

There wasn't much in the room but what Chimera had first seen. Not even tracks from the wheels on Freestyle's skates were left behind.

 

The outside of the room, right by the door, had a name plaque with a few names: Ellen Harris, Thomas Kent and Hillary Strong. 

 

Maybe one of the three could help figure out why Freestyle had been there, and what she had done.

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Chimera frowned when she could even find traces of Freestyle’s skates.

”Must have something to do with how she was able to move up and down the buildings.” She thought to herself with some curiosity.

With a sigh she thought to look outside the door and spotted the nameplate. Moving to the desk she found 2 sheets of blank paper. Jotting down the names she pocketed the first piece. Taking pen to the second piece, she quickly marked it and moved to find some tape.

A final glance around revealed no other secrets and she shook her head. Carefully stepping out of the room she used the tape to hang a sign at eye level reading: BEWARE TRIPWIRE This was accompanied by a large, hand drawn arrow pointing down.

Nodding to herself she headed towards the elevators then hesitated and moved towards the stairs. Peeking over the railing to see if the coast was clear she tried to slip downs floor or two and find a vacant restroom or classroom. Somewhere she could change back.

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