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Executive Splashdown (IC): [GM]

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The large, rust covered cargo ship had been docked for nearly a day, now. It had arrived the previous night. The captain and crew having yet to fill out any of the docking paperwork had not been allowed to leave the ship. That was fine with them, they had no intention of leaving.

A large van screeched to a halt near the ship. The van was the type with no windows and a solid color paint job. After a few seconds of idling on the dock, the ship finally showed some reaction to it's presence. A long, wide, ramp extended from the deck of the ship and set down in front of where the van was stopped. Without any hesitation, the van quickly drove up to the deck of the ship. Where it stopped once more.

The side door of the van opened, and a man in camouflage para-military gear stepped out. His face was obscured by a ski mask, but the tone of his voice gave no doubts as to the expression it would have held. "Get out of the van!" He yelled, pointing his assault rifle at those inside. A line of passengers stepped out. They were of varying ages, and genders. They sported different dress codes from business casual, to the occasional office formal. All of them looked terrified.

Another para-military squaddie stepped out of the van's passenger door and used his rifle to direct the movement of the hostages as well. Within moments, the well trained soldiers had the hostages down in the depths of the ship. The ramp to the docks was retracted, and no one in the shipping yard was any the wiser.

---

"Thomas, I need another favor from you." The voice spoke through Thomas' cell phone.

"What is it this time, Jack?"

"One of the pack has gone missing. Mae works at a bank downtown. I got a short call from her earlier. All she could tell me was that some men were holding up the bank and taking hostages. I saw on the news that the perpetrators managed to get away before the police were even on the scene. They must have wrecked her phone or something, because she's not picking up anymore. I need you to find her."

It was Thomas' job to do this kind of work now that he was Jack's General. It was the responsibility of pack members to keep others safe, especially the ones on a lower rung. "I'm on it." Thomas said, before he hung up the phone.

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Earth was a mysterious place for outsiders, especially when Earth is a technologically superior to the planet they were originally from. It takes time for one such to integrate and be accepted by the populace of the city, and maybe a bit of luck so they don't reject you. The consequences can be brutal if the latter is true. While it is taking time for Jyad, he finds himself slowly getting used to a life on the planet he found so alien. He managed (with a little help from the other superheroes) to get a job with the building company nearby Greenbank, using his powers to assist in lifting and hauling equipment to hasten the process. Sometimes he works alone at night while everyone else is asleep cause to Jyad, he never get tired by simply working.

Jyad woke one day to find a surprising number of the other workers missing, the other workers were just as baffled as the green-skinned alien was. A little later, he was called to the boss's office. Eugene was normally a man who didn't call his workers unless it was very important, and this was Jyad's first time being called. Jyad bent down a little as he made his way into the office, clean and almost symmetric in structure. Jayd looked down at his boss, who was sitting at his desk with a serious look on his face. "Jyad..." Eugene began, holding a moment to take a deep breath, "we have an emergency." His voice was quiet as he handed a letter to the thin alien.

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Jyad's face showed concern as he read the letter. "Jyad, if you haven't noticed, some of our workers have gone missing. It would be a coincidence had they not be all from the same nearby area, Greenbank. Thus, I am calling foul play here. I've seen some of your abilities in action, and while I don't necessarily agree with your decision to moonlight as a superhero, this time I must put responsibility to you. Tank, find out what happened to the workers and recover them, if possible. Commissioner Aldern. Jayd looked back at Eugene Aldern, seeing him adjust his glasses while holding a hand out. Jayd gives the letter back and says "Yes Sir." as he walks to the storage room to get his costume without looking back to see his boss throw the letter into the nearby fireplace.

Jyad enters the storage room to find his brown cloth outfit on a hook, ready to be worn. He takes it off carefully as not to rip the new suit, but ends up accidentally making two holes on the head so that his horns could show. Sighing, Tank walked out into the back alley, cracking his knuckles while shouting, "Tread On!" On shout of the cry, Tank's muscles started growing in size, bulking him up to the musclebound warrior that took to the streets to protect people. Satisfied that is costume didn't tear when he changed, Tank charged off to find the people that had gone missing. If only he knew where to look...

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Becoming a hero was less fun than Ian had first imagined. Of course, this may have been partially due to the fact that it was a government-agency run show, with all the stereotypical inefficiencies that came with it. Case-in-point: his new mission. His superiors passed down on his plate the responsibility for the search and rescue of a colonel's family member, someone who apparently worked at the docks in Port Regal. It was his job to go in and find him, and come back in time for someone else to claim credit for his work (he'd suffered that far too often as a regular pilot). No support, no additional information; just go in gun blazing or just find the target on the first pass.

And his superiors probably wondered why Ian was less than thrilled with those conditions. "Going in blind, jetpack still finicky, and no support. Hoo-frakking-yay," he grumbled. To be fair to his superiors, normally they were better about these sorts of things, but as this was a last minute mission that had the urgency of needing to be finished by yesterday, they had to mobilize the one asset they had that could be out and doing something at a moment's notice; him. Not that he was any happier about it.

He was flying high enough above South Freedom that he could see quite a bit of the city, the port facilities included. For the moment, however, he simply kept his helmet keeping tabs on any possible disturbance or leads he could fish out to even get started on his job.

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Lukos was crouched atop a building across the street from the First Freedom National bank. This was where Mae worked, no doubt about it. Even at this height, the scent of lycanthropy wafted up to him. You couldn't miss it. It was like a mix of skin and fur, perfume and musk. If the fact that she was missing wasn't enough to get his blood pumping, the lingering scent of another wolf from his pack was.

Then another scent came his way, lifted by the winds above the city. It was a raw, harsh smell. Almost putrid, definitely acrid. It smelled like someone was burning something, a few more seconds and a few more sniffs told Lukos that that something was high octane fuel. But at this height? He hadn't heard any jets fly by, and was puzzled. Lukos glanced around the sky, and finally spotted the glowing embers of what looked like a pair of small jets high in the air above freedom. Another new invention, Viktor? Thomas thought to himself, No, not you. It doesn't smell like you. Then who?

Lukos' thoughts were once again interrupted but the introduction of another new scent. It was a musky scent, but not that of a human, or even a lycanthrope. This was something different. It was also mixed with a dusty metallic odor reminiscent of a building site. The streets were not entirely deserted, but Lukos found it impossible to miss the large green man walking amongst the crowds. Now curious, Lukos had to make up his mind. One thing at a time.

With a glance back up into the sky, Lukos decided that he couldn't really do anything about the man with the jet-pack. He lept off the side of the building he was crouched on and dived into the alleyway between two buildings. The concrete shattered when he landed, but he stood up unharmed, and prowled towards the street.

As the large green man passed his alleyway, Lukos called out to him. "Who are you, and what are you doing here?" The only part of Lukos that was visible was from the light of a nearby street lamp glinting off the lenses of his gas mask. The rest of him was completely shrouded in darkness.

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Tank made his way across the street, trying to track down any sources of unnatural acts made. Sadly for him, everything seemed new to him, he couldn't describe what was normal on Earth and what wasn't. The people who saw him amonst the streets took a look at the larger alien figure, though by now they knew Tank from the Grue Invasion, who helped save the city along with the other heroes. The ones who remembers him saving their lives gave a wave and a "thank you" shout as they passed by.

Tank just waved back with a smile. "This is the kind of world I had hoped," he thought happily, "To be a guardian with the other heroes and fit in with their society. It's just like out of a happy dream." He started to make his way down alleyways instead, deciding that it would be more likely to find clues there.

As he passed by an alleyway, a figure came down from above, dropping in front of Tank. He couldn't see much from the new person aside from a gleam from the eyes. Upon demand, the Elderri responded, "I'm Tank." He put an indominable superheroic pose as he smiled and continued confidently, "I'm on important buisness that I cannot speak of."

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"Sorry, Tank. I've never heard of you." Lukos drew his axe from his back. Tank could hear a subtle sound of steel scraping against leather. When the axe was drawn and held at Lukos' side, it too reflected some of the light from a street lamp. Lukos continued, his tone low and threatening. "I don't like people who don't give me straight answers. I also seem to remember a big green alien a while back that gave me some trouble along with a group of gun-runners." Lukos raised the axe head and pointed it at Tank. "You had better start giving me some answers, and I hope of your sake you're not involved in what I think you are."

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Tank watches the strange man draws his weapon, a sort of stick with an outward blade at the end. He could see the gleam from it, showing it's sharpness. Tank was impressed by the man's inititive to fight, but he kept his superheroic pose as if to show he is friendly. "Maybe I need a cape." he thought as he looked the man to tell that he had good intentions, though he didn't seem convinced by Tank's pose. It would be a misunderstanding if a fight broke out now.

Tank quickly thought for a moment, then responded, "It is... uh... confedetsial. So I can't really say." flubbing the long word in the process. Before he could give the other man a chance to talk back, Tank added, "Well, I'm looking for people who have gone missing. That's all I can tell." hoping that it was enough to avoid a fight breaking out. He didn't want to state any more than what he had.

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Lukos hesitated for a moment, then lowered the axe. "Hmm, then it seems I owe you an apology. We're looking for the same thing, it seems." Lukos quickly put the axe back on his back. "A friend of mine when missing, along with some of her coworkers. They worked at that bank." Lukos pointed a gloved hand across the street.

Lukos then reached out with his right hand, a gesture of friendship. "I'm Lukos." He turned his masked face up to the sky after the handshake was completed. "Think he's got anything to do with this?" he noted the barely visible jet pack keeping tabs on the area. "He's been floating around for some time now."

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Relieved that combat was avoided, Tank accepts the handshake. He looks behind him at the street, then to the sky to the jetpack man. "Maybe... I always thought that was one of those birds." He took a step forward and then waved to the thing in the sky. "Lemme chat with him," Tank said to Lukos, "I can get along with most of the humans without need of threats."

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Lukos sensed that that last comment might have been a personal shot. He decided to let it pass and ignore it, however. He too gazed up at the man in the air. "No I don't think so. It doesn't seem to be burning the right kind of fuel to be a jet. It also is too low flying, and doesn't have enough metal on it." He turned to look at Tank. If he had no mask on his face, Tank would have seen his peculiar expression. As it was, the Gas Mask remained blank. "How do you know he can even see us? At this distance we must look like ants."

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Tank ignored the first comment by Lukos, thinking that the human was just talking to himself. When questioned about distance, Tank just waved on while responding, "I don't know. I just think that it would be a good idea to try."

All this while he wasn't looking at Lukos to see if he may attack him from behind for whatever reason. (Tank is convinced that he won't) The idea that the guy with the jetpack may be an enemy did not occur to Tank. He just waved on, eventually shouting, "Hello!!!" to see if Tank's voice could hear him.

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"Whoah. I actually heard that one," Ian muttered in surprise. His HUD immediately sprang to work figuring out where the heck the voice came from. It didn't take long, and the helmet provided him the coordinates to zero-in on. "...well, not like I've got any better leads or anything." He eased the jetpack into an almost gliding descent and made his way towards the source of the voice (and vaguely wondered if he'd find broken windows along the way).

It didn't take him too long to arrive, and as he approached the source he looked up in surprise at what was possibly a hero, and...a green alien? After a moment, he shrugged. Not that much stranger than what you ran into a few nights ago, he thought to himself. He landed a few feet away from the two after cutting his engines early (something he learned was a necessity with the temperamental thing) and slid along the ground for a moment before coming to a full stop. Getting up to his feet, he looked at the two and asked, "Okay, which one of you's the loudspeaker here?" His voice has a somewhat mechanical tone to it, as if speaking through a modulator.

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Seeing the jetpack man descend, Tank slowly made his way over to the person, his feet shaking the ground with each step due to his weight at the moment. Tank put his hand forward as to greet the person. "The loudspeaker would be me." He spoke, trying to be open to the new person who didn't quite sound human.

Afterwards, Tank asked, "Your voice doesn't seem human. Are you an alien too?" And later, he asked "Oh yeah, we noticed you were watching us earlier. Did you have a reason?"

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He looked at Tank for a moment before shaking hands with him. "Name's Slipstream, and no, I'm not an alien. Would be cool, though." He dusted himself off before adding, "I'm looking for leads on a possible kidnapping case, but I've come up with about nil. Then I run into you guys. Literally the only out of place people I've found tonight."

Looking around, he asked, "And you guys? What're you around here for?"

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"It seems fortune has smiled on us, then." Lukos extended his hand for the man with the jetpack to shake. The acrid smell of the engines made his nose wrinkle, but it was nothing he couldn't handle.

"The two of us are also attempting to get to the bottom of this kidnapping case. The problem is that there have been no leads for us either." After the greetings were exchanged, Lukos turned to look back out at the street. "Would either of you happen to have anything belonging to one of the people that was kidnapped? I can easily find my friend. I know what she smells like, but I have no way of knowing if my case is connected to yours at the moment. If I can track down their scent as well, I may be able to discern if the cases are linked or not."

Lukos sniffed at the air. East. Definitely east.

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Slipstream's remark about checking out a possible kidnapping had surprised Tank to a point. "Ah, were on the same job then... I think." he said, not quite sure whether or not their objectives were all linked or just some freak coincidence.

At the question of Lukos, Tank responds, "Um... I don't really know what a 'scent' exactly is, the people I'm looking for..." He paused to rethink about what he should say, "How much more should I tell him?" Then he decided to spill a little more. "The people I'm looking for work at a building place, where they make buildings from materials." Tank didn't really know that he was stating what was quite obvious to the other heroes. Afterwards, he started walking out of the alleyway, waving for the other two to come. "We don't have all day. We should be moving before night comes."

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"You can track by smell, huh?" Ian shook his head. "And no, I don't have anything belonging to the victim. I also don't know if my case is really related to yours either. But if we find anything that we can use when we find your friend, I can cross reference with the AEGIS databanks and narrow things down from there."

He shrugged as he adjusted the weight of his jetpack, which was still idling, as he followed Tank out of the alleyway. "And while I could be wrong, I haven't really heard of any other kidnapping case outside of mine. Well, yours included now," he corrected himself quickly. "Unless command gets back to me with some data (which I'm not expecting), I'm working on a clean slate."

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"You can track by smell, huh?"

Lukos nodded, "Better than a bloodhound." Lukos looked from Tank to Slipstream. Tank was anxious to get moving, but they were still in the dark. Tank seemed rather unwilling to cooperate, but Slipstream seemed willing to help. Not one to hesitate, Lukos quickly made up his mind.

"Tank, I know you want to help, but we won't get anywhere if you are not willing to contribute information. I can not help you if I do not know what the problem is. We do however have one lead so far. I can find my friend, and when I do, Slipstream can get us more information. If you are willing to go along for the ride for now, I am willing to help you locate your targets once we get more information." Lukos folded his arms. Along with the expressionless mask he was wearing, this gesture advertised that Lukos would brook no arguments on this matter. Wolf would have stared Tank down, with his lips slightly curled. "The way I see it, the only alternative you have is to start playing ball."

Lukos pushed past Tank and walked on to the street. Without turning around he delivered his ultimatum. "Either follow me, or start talking." Lukos began crossing the street to the Bank where Mae worked. If he was going to pick up here trail anywhere, that would be the place.

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Ian nodded and began to follow Lukos, then looked at Tank as he passed by. "The sooner we can finish this, the sooner we can find and save those people. Besides, if we put our heads together on this, it'll go that more smoothly." He then continued to follow Lukos; he had a mission to complete, and Lukos looked like his only real lead.

As he didn't want to go back to base empty handed, there really wasn't much of an option to begin with.

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Tank now found himself in a dilemma. The tasks given to him by Commissioner Aldern are specificly noted to allow as little information as possible. Without the help of Lukos, the Elderri would have no clue of where to go. So he needed to decide if it was worth risking more information out of himself to someone who looked more of a thug than a hero.

As they made their way to the bank, Tank found his decision. He gestured Lukos to come to a quiet place were the Elderri whispered to the gas-masked person, "Sorry for giving such little info. I work for a goverment that doesn't want their tasks known." He paused a minute to see Lukos's reaction before continuing, "Promise me you won't tell anyone else, not even Slipsteam." Tank flubbed another name. "The men I'm looking for are all work with the same company, all of them are from Greenbank. They went missing at the same time." Tank decided that was all that needed to be said.

And with that, Tank made off to the bank to see what had happened there.

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As they made their way to the bank, Tank found his decision. He gestured Lukos to come to a quiet place were the Elderri whispered to the gas-masked person,

The two spoke beside the main steps of the bank, out of earshot of Slipstream and any passersby.

"Sorry for giving such little info. I work for a goverment that doesn't want their tasks known." He paused a minute to see Lukos's reaction before continuing, "Promise me you won't tell anyone else, not even Slipsteam." Tank flubbed another name. "The men I'm looking for are all work with the same company, all of them are from Greenbank. They went missing at the same time." Tank decided that was all that needed to be said.

During Tank's explanation, Lukos was impassive. One of the reasons he like the gas mask was it completely obscured his face. It allowed him the liberty of not having to mask his expressions. No matter what face he was making, Tank would not see it, unless the alien had the ability to look through rubber and glass.

And with that, Tank made off to the bank to see what had happened there.

Before Tank managed to get away, Lukos caught him by the arm. "I appreciate you being forward with me. Remember, it can only help those that were kidnapped by letting us find them faster. Though it may be futile, I will ask once more. Do you have any way to obtain one of the victim's posessions? If I had that, I could make sure we were on the right track, rather than floundering through what may be three unrelated kidnappings and wasting time."

Lukos turned his gaze to Slipstream who was waiting patiently by the steps. He help up an index finger, the universal symbol that would show the rocketeer that he was on his way, but would need another moment.

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Hearing Lukos's question one last time, Tank responds, "They all work at a construction site just outside Greenbank. Their uniforms are kept there, along with a couple tools they personally use. Would those be of any use?" Tank felt pretty awful. He knew that the Commissioner would not be pleased if he found out Tank gave information to a strange person. Worse if that person was in fact, a criminal.

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Beneath his mask, Lukos smiled. He was getting somewhere. The smile quickly faded, however. "It would help, yes. A uniform or some other piece of clothing would definitely hold the person's scent."

It was then that Lukos remembered Tank's earlier digression.

At the question of Lukos, Tank responds, "Um... I don't really know what a 'scent' exactly is,"

"A scent by the way," Lukos paused, trying to think of a way to best describe something that was so instinctual to him. Lukos made a gesture with his left hand, rolling his wrist forward like he was turning some sort if imaginary wheel. He stopped when he realized that the alien would probably not recognize the gesture that was a staple in Charades. "Is like a smell. It is the same smell that a person gives off, but it lingers on another object, person, or in a place. A work uniform, especially one that a person has sweated in, will definitely hold their scent."

Lukos looked from side to side quickly. This gesture was common enough for Tank to recognize. It betrayed a sudden unsureness on Lukos' part. "I don't suppose you would have any way of getting one of these uniforms? Neither Slipstream or I would know where to look, and walking back across the city may waste more time than it gains us. Mae's trail leads in that direction." Lukos turned and pointed east, the exact opposite direction of Greenbank.

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"Ah, okay. I know what to get then." Tank, still a bit skeptical of his decision, tried to hide his doubt with a look of relief. When Lukos turned side to side, Tank followed suit, doing it as if someone was watching them, through Tank's eyes, he saw no one. Then Lukos asked of a way to get back, Tank's relief faded.

"Uh... Well..." He tried to think of a good answer. Tank did not have a good idea to get back aside from one that he is not a fan of. "The fastest way I know is to make a straight path to the destination. But that will cause me to wreck everything in the way, including buildings and strutres." He flubbed yet another word. "Lemme try something." he said as he started to walk into an open space.

Tank remembered Atlas was able to make incredible leaps to get towards his destination, it was worth a try. He loosened himself a bit as he started running in the direction he needed to go, then, praying it would work, he took a leap of faith as he realized it did work. Seeing himself high above the city came as a shock, suddenly he found himself falling face first into the cement of the ground, right next to the construction site where he started the day.

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