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Thunder King

Robot Dinosaur Rampage (IC)

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GM
Monday, August 13
2:00 PM

The Hunter Natural History Museum was a bustling place, buzzing with talk about the new animatronic dinosaur exhibit that was on loan for a few weeks. Over the next few weeks, virtually every elementary school in Freedom City would send their children to the museum to see the wonderful exhibit. They were supposedly the most lifelike dinosaurs ever constructed, and were on a tour. They'd already been in New York, and were now in Freedom City.

A group of school children on a field trip were taking the tour, guided by chaperones. Some of them were interested, others were bored out of their minds.

The dinosaurs themselves were in a specially outfitted area, with models of ancient plants from the dinosaur era scattered about.

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Silvia enters the museum, to a cheerful greeting on the part of the curator. She'd called ahead, and all the major backers receive this sort of treatment. After admiring her name on the placard with the rest of the museum's 'noblest' of patrons, she exchanges platitudes with the curator and turns in her sword at the desk and heads in. Normally, that exchange would be frowned upon, but when one vanquishes city-destroying horrors on a regular basis, and then tosses a couple million dollars in the museum's direction every now and again? Well, they're willing to make a few exceptions.

And today, she hands over her mail, as well, having come in rather more modern garb, to avoid catching too much attention. She wears a simple white blouse, almost a man's dress shirt really, along with black slacks, and hangs a jacket over her left shoulder to hide her missing arm.

So attired, she makes her way through the museum on her own. She doesn't come here often, but much of the museum is as she remembers it. Some new exhibits, of course, plus the current touring exhibition, which is where she ends up spending most of her time. The prehistoric beasts aren't the largest reptiles she's ever seen, but they are impressive in their own right, but in all honesty, she finds the touring children rather more interesting. She always does, having never been a child herself, nor had one on her ship for long.

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Agnes loved dinosaurs. Well that wasn't completely true she'd gone through that phase when she was a kid, along with wanting to have and/or be a pony, but really they paled compared with her first love that of music. But one of the Spirit of Justice previous hosts had been a paleontologist, before the term had even been invented, and looking at the exhibits bought back pleasant memories. And why couldn't she show her past selves an entertaining afternoon now and again?

So dressed down in a very expensive designer t-shirt and jeans she wandered around the displays in bother boots slurping at a large cola and generally enjoying her, self-imposed, afternoon off.

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A museum exhibit of audioanimatronic dinosaurs: Jay Xavier learned about this rather earlier than most members of the general public, because he was on the Hunter Museum's short list of candidates to play on-call troubleshooter, just in case their robot animals went haywire. They ultimately chose someone else—even his lowest rates just couldn't fit into the budget for this exhibit—and Xavier didn't give the exhibit another thought until now, when it was finally opening.

Xavier made a point of being nowhere near the Hunter Museum for this particular opening. Dinosaurs? He liked them as much as any other red-blooded male. The crowds of screaming children that were sure to fill the Hunter for the exhibit's first several days? Not his cup of tea. Xavier had the acute senses of the cheetah he resembled, and the noise and stench of N hundred happily shrieking grade-school kiddies crammed into overly-close proximity to one another…

That, he could do without.

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Well, here he was again; the familiar tiled floors and dioramas as flawless and well-kept as the last time he'd visited the Hunter Museum of Natural History. The class trip was one that Baxter had been dreading since he'd been informed at the beginning of the semester, the historical aspects of the facility all but lost on the young boy in his wanton disinterest. But it wasn't just the faux dinosaurs or the additive scholastic addendum that would likely be tacked on at the end of the expedition from the classroom that struck a nerve with him, but rather, the slew of criminal activity and death-defying antics that took place that fateful day. Even now as he explored the familiar yet foreign sights of the museum, there were no signs of conflict; no scuffs or scrapes upon the floors, no notably missing pieces of history, not even a crack in the walls. It was almost as though the entire thing had never happened at all; like a distant dream that had been forgotten.

But the Bee-Keeper knew - and the struggle that went on was still as fresh as if it had happened just yesterday. But maybe this time would be different, his classmates sauntering about as they chattered like geese amongst themselves amidst the unveiling of the newest animatronic exhibit. Perhaps this time Baxter could actually peruse something he had an interest in - in this case, a small insect encased in amber behind a thick pane of glass - thanks to his autonomous freedom to examine the museum at his own leisure, his teacher's acceptance of this somewhat liberating by comparison. There weren't any creepy patrons bouncing off the walls, or shadowy tendrils caressing the various dioramas that made up the exhibits, nor even any spidery-looking or faceless women. It was... nice, he guessed. Or at least as nice as the museum was going to get, given how much history often bored him to tears.

And so there he stood, earbuds in his head as the audio tour poured information into his brain about the fossilization process that had taken place for the poor bug behind the glass, Baxter's scratching notes into his binder, face awash with a vacant stare. Even in his semi-dazed seclusion from the bustling populace about him, the familiar weight of the Bee-Keeper armor kept him tethered to reality; the obvious tug against his shoulders as it remained hidden within his backpack, gravity pulling its bulky metallic form towards the ground.

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GM

The crowd of school children were lead towards the exhibit, those that hadn't been excited before were certainly getting there now. These weren't real dinosaurs, obviously, but they still looked, and sounded, the part.

THUD

THUD

The sound was loud, loud enough to get the attention of everyone in the area.

THUD

Within less than a minute, the sound of screaming could be heard. Soon after, the crowd of children and their chaperones, still screaming, ran out of the exhibit area. It was the kind of running you only did out of stark terror.

THUD, THUD, THUD

Faster and faster the thudding came and then it arrived, walking into the main chamber of the museum.

They were supposed to be animatronic, rooted firmly to the displays. They should have fallen apart as soon as they came off their mounts. They clearly weren't.

The most obvious one was over forty feet long and stood about twenty feet tall. It didn't take a paleontologist to know that it was the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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Agnes gave a little sigh and dumped her half-finished soda in a convenient bin.

Why couldn’t she just have a quiet afternoon without something weird happening to her? This city seemed to thrive on this kind of thing.

First thing first distract the monster so that everyone could escape safely. Lighting up her aura, mostly to disguise her features, she flew up until she was in the T-Rex’s eye line. Waving her arms to make absolutely sure she had its attention.

“Oi! Fang face how about picking on someone with a bit of bite of their own?â€

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As the tumultuous onslaught of screams and clanking of metallic bits resounded throughout the museum, Baxter turned towards the origin of the noise, jumping only slightly out of his skin as the first thud reverberated through his supple physique. It was like a small earthquake, sans the vicious tremor; though the weighty sound alone was enough to both draw the boy's attention from the amber-encased insect towards the bone-chilling horror emanating from the Hunter Museum of Natural History's main exhibit chamber. After a moment of pause, the dark-skinned youth rushed towards the scene, rounding the corner and nearly knocking over a small stand with a velvet rope attached to one side as he skirted and hopped his way at a breakneck pace to see what all the commotion was about.

Like the victim of a cliche' vampire B-movie, Baxter's face went pallid as his eyes feasted on the animatronic monstrosities now roaming through the corridors; schoolmates and tourists alike in a panic to escape the encroaching doom of the tyrannical Robo-Rex, its faux teeth just as horrific as the real deal - if not more so! - as it stood defiantly in the wake of its transcendence from machine to dangerous adversary. The other diode-laiden demon-robots were insignificant by comparison, the massive Tyrannosaurus towering above everyone and everything as though it were the unquestionable alpha of the pack. Even now, amidst the awkwardly terrifying scene and confusedly dour expression etched on his face, Baxter was at a loss for words. Even more so, given the sudden taunts by a young woman besmirching the creatures' good names. But this wasn't the time to be awe-struck by the girls' bravery; now was the time for action! And first on that list was getting everyone in the museum out of the warpath of these Jurassic junkheaps.

It was almost like the Hunter Museum was cursed! This was twice Baxter had been besieged by the most unlikely of circumstances in what arguably might be the most un-criminally appealing place in Freedom City!

Panning the scene in desperation, the yet-to-be incognito Bee-Keeper needed something to get people moving - well, more people moving - and a means to signal for help. A twofer, if you will. That's when he laid his eyes on it: the small red pull-switch, starkly contrasting with its hazardous color scheme against the otherwise subtle wall. The fire alarm! Of course; simple and effective, and sure to get some more heroic-type peoples' attention to help deal with these unruly menaces! Seizing the moment amidst the unruly chaos battering the museum, Baxter rushed towards the familiar alarm mechanism and, with one solid tug, pulled the lever that would set off all its bells and whistles throughout the museum.

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Alarms blaring but thankfully no sprinklers, she really could do without ruining this outfit and she hadn’t had time to change into her costume. Well with someone dealing with the public she had time to deal with Robo-Rex here.

“How about you shut you’re big dinosaurs mouth and go back to entertaining kids?â€

She didn’t expect the massive robot to comply with her request so began to gather up her energies.

“Final chance or this is going to hurt a lot. For you that is I’m going to be fine.â€

With that she released a bolt of energy toward the robot

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Jay Xavier was eartips-deep in a particularly nitpicky editing job when he heard an arpeggiated chord—the signal he'd decided on for when his newswatching software entity, Jeeves, had learned of a current event that might warrant some personal attention from the fastest cat alive.

"Jeeves: What's up?"

"Anomaly at Hunter Museum of Natural History," was the obviously mechanical reply. "On-site fire alarm triggered absent any externally-evident indicators of fire. Presence of audioanimatronic dinosaur exhibit implies heightened probability of exotic troubles."

"Jeeves: Thank you. Jeeves: Get some rest." A perhaps-false fire alarm at the site of a museum exhibit centered around life-sized robot dinosaurs? Sure, it could be a simple mistake of some kind—but it could also be the only way someone had thought of to alert the outside world of Something Nasty Going Down. May as well check it out, Xavier thought as he confirmed that his Vest Of Many Things was fully stocked, then went through all the rest of his standard pre-heroing checklist. If it's happy and calm, file it as a clock-minute's break from that damn contract; if there is any trouble, Jubatus will probably be useful. Either way, it's all good.

And Jubatus blurred down the streets of Freedom City to the Hunter Museum…

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Robo-rex gone berserk. Of course, Jubatus thought when he blurred into the museum. Upshifted as he was, the feline was looking at an isolated snapshot, one 'frame' of the 'movie' that was playing around him, but even that one snapshot had much to tell Jube about the current situation. And… Young Brittania's on it, so no immediate worries there. Let's see what the rest of the mecha-saurs are up to. And Jube sped through the halls, looking for signs of robotic rampage—which he found plenty of. Apparently, the 'Rex was far from the only audioanimatron that had been affected by… whatever it was. Visitors getting the hell away from the glitchy 'bots, good. Looks like that guy could use a little help, though; that velociraptor is too damn close for comfort. And he's not the only one…

For Jubatus, the choice was clear: Move the civilians out of harm's way. For the small number of clock-seconds it would take him to empty the museum, he strongly doubted that the teleport-capable Young Britannia would have any serious trouble.

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