Jump to content
Raveled

Party Time (IC)

Recommended Posts

September 13th, 2012

11:28 AM

The Lab, Hanover

The Lab was a rather more relaxed working environment than one might expect for one of the leading research laboratories in the world. Different department heads had different styles of course, but by and large when everyone was the top five or ten percent in their field, titles and seniority counted less than who had an interesting way to tackle the problem at hand.

Therefore, it was an odd sight at the Lab for one of the heads of the organization to be dressed formally. Jessica Parker was clad in a cream, tailored skirt suit that came down to her knees, and pale pumps. As usual, the only jewelry she wore was the silver-looking bracelet around one wrist, but she at least made an attempt at make-up today. She walked around the perimeter of the large, seventh floor meeting rooms one last time. Meats and cheeses were laid out along one of the sideboards, along with soft drinks, water, coffee, and punch. Just a few days ago she and the rest of the Lab's executive council had met here and discussed adding another member to their numbers. The superhero Voltage had impressed several of the members already, and the remaining ones didn't take much persuasion. Jessica had volunteered to contact him and set up the meeting. Now all that was left was for him to come by and meet them all officially, and either accept or reject the proposal. Everything was ready for people to start showing up.

Jessica stood by the door and forced herself to be still for a minute; then she began walking the perimeter of the room again, checking things one last time...

Share this post


Link to post

"No tea?"

Supercape strolled in to the reception room, sans cape. Instead, he was dressed in a brilliant white lab coat, with a blue suit underneath. It was still part of his lattice on unstable molecules that responded to his every whim, but he found his more dramatic blue and white traditional costume, and specifically, his enormous cape, was hazardous in a building full of delicate experiments.

He sniffed with slight irritation at the lack of tea on the table, but he had come prepared. He produced a couple of tea bags from his costume, and put them in a cup, before sitting down and preparing his favourite drink.

"This Voltage chap seems awfully bright. Perfect fellow for the Lab..." he said to Jessica and to the room in general.

"Oooh, Stilton!" he said excitedly, whipping up a knob of pungent cheese onto a cracker and nibbling at it.

Share this post


Link to post

[bg=#555555]"Could have just asked caterers to provide good tea,"[/bg] Dragonfly pointed out. This being a Lab function, she'd had to come in her suit - though she'd apparently taken the time to spruce it up a bit. Not that it shone, of course, but it had a suspicious lack of recent damage or scuffing.

She felt simultaneously out-of-place in her not-very-party-ish 'outfit'...and somewhat more comfortable than when she had to attend social functions for her own company without the benefit of a metal shell between her and other people. She was trying not to dwell on the implications of that. [bg=#555555]"Unless you just like the feeling of bringing your own tea. Understandable. Still. Might free up a pocket."[/bg]

Share this post


Link to post

Miss Americana walked into the room a few moments after Dragonfly, her very presence enough to draw all eyes for a second. Though she didn't spend as much time at the Lab since taking over at ArcheTech, she'd still dressed for the occasion in a smart navy pantsuit with a red tank and narrow red belt. A three-strand pearl necklace and drop earrings completed her ensemble and her signature color scheme. She smiled pleasantly at her colleagues. "Good afternoon, everyone. I take it the guest of honor hasn't arrived yet?" She poured herself a cup of coffee but didn't partake as she carried it over to an empty seat at the table.

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica ground her teeth together, mentally berating herself for forgetting the tea. She was just glad Supercape had remembered to bring some of his own, she didn't want anyone to feel left out today. She did have a smile for her friend. "You're one to talk of pockets. You could've carried the entire sideboard down in a smorgasbord dimension," she reminded the other young genius. Miss Americana, as always, made the young woman feel as if she had a piece of broccoli stuck in her teeth. Jessica smoothed down the front of her skirt, tugging at her coat to straighten it. "Alright. The invitation I sent Voltage said eleven-thirty, so he should be arriving any moment." She looked around at the rest of the executive board of the Lab. "Are there any last minute topics to bring up? We're here to officially extend him an invitation to join the Lab."

Share this post


Link to post

"Are there any last minute topics to bring up? We're here to officially extend him an invitation to join the Lab."

"You can ask him if he can spare some time looking at my..err...our...Particle Collider down below. Another glitch today. I blame the computer on level 13 myself" he answered, slightly irritated.

"With a name like that, I wonder if he could be a power source?" he said with a wink. "I could do with some extra juice. I mean, sometimes a state-of-the-art experimental fusion reactor just isn't quite enough, you know?"

He finished his tea and took a drink.

"Come to that, what can this chap do? Apart from power half the city? I confess I haven't seen him in action, although I read the files"

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica flashed a brief smile at the quantum manipulator. She knew that he was joking about connecting Voltage to the power main; she just hoped Voltage would recognize it as a joke. She worried sometimes that people would associate the Lab with Victor Archeville and his recent madness. The only thing they could do to stop that, though, was keep on their course. "He's an electricity manipulator, I know that," she said. "I've seen him fly, and loose blasts of lightning. I suspect his suit is more than just cloth, but I haven't been able to get an example." She considered what she knew of not just the superhero, but his alter ego Thomas Morgan as well. "I suspect he's done some interesting work with computers," she said, trying not to reveal too much. It wasn't Jessica's place to reveal who Voltage was under the mask, but the skills he developed and honed in his civilian life would be useful at the Lab.

Share this post


Link to post

Voltage was nervous. Very nervous. Extremely nervous, in fact. He looked at the mirror mirror again, for what was probably the twentieth time. He'd gotten a haircut that day, something neat, something uncharacteristically short. He'd had long-ish hair for years, but in a setting like this, he wanted to look professional.

He fidgeted again as he glanced at his prematurely gray hair, this was annoying. Smart as he was, and he was still extremely nervous about something like this.

Costume was in order, everything else was in order. So, he suddenly vanished, reappearing outside the Lab, and walked into the building.

He waited, his patience completely shot as he stared forward.

He stepped forward and walked where he knew the gathering was. He knew he wasn't late, but was still concerned about impressions.

"Uh, hi." He said, obviously nervous.

Share this post


Link to post

The secretary at the Lab's front desk knew to expect the grey-haired superhero and sent him in the proper direction. The security guards knew he was authorized to be here, so he only got a passing nod from them. And the door was unlocked, letting him walk right into the gathering of super-geniuses.

Jessica turned when the door opened and felt a thrill of nerves. This was really it, the whole thing came down to this. She supposed she shouldn't be feeling this on edge, she was already part of this amazing group, but Voltage be such a great help at the Lab! Who wouldn't be excited? She forced her anxiety down and smiled at the young man. "Voltage. Hi, thanks for coming." She took a deep breath and launched into the prepared speech. "In this city, among its superheroes and citizens, there is a small group dedicated to the advancement of science and human knowledge. Those of us with superlative intelligences have banded together, to pool our resources and make the city and the world better than we could separately. In acknowledgement of your skills and your natural intellect, we of the Lab would like to extend an official offer of fellowship and membership to you, Voltage."

She let out a small sigh as she finished and relaxed slightly, her ramrod straight posture sagging a bit. At least with her photographic memory she hadn't needed to resort to reading off cards!

Share this post


Link to post

Voltage was floored. Some of the greatest geniuses in all of Freedom City could not hope to so much as see the inside of this lab, and here he was, getting invited in. He shook his head for a moment, his mind running a million miles an hour.

"Wow, um. Sure! This is a tremendous honor, and I accept!" He said, before he let his mind get away from him, he couldn't let this opportunity get away, not in a million years. He probably looked nervous, but, that couldn't be helped. Super genius intellect didn't come with incredible acting ability, or great courage. But, he was ready for whatever they threw at him. Whatever came next, he was ready...if not a bit nervous.

Share this post


Link to post

[bg=#555555]"Good. Know too much now - would have to kill you otherwise."[/bg] It was a little hard to tell, from her deadpan and expressionless helmet, whether or not Dragonfly was joking. [bg=#555555]"Besides,"[/bg] she added, gesturing at the assembled heroes, [bg=#555555]"needed more members who aren't blonde. Makes people suspicious."[/bg] That was definitely a joke - her deadpan breaking could be heard in her words, even through the voice filter in her helmet.

The young woman had taken the opportunity to gather a plate of food, the bottom half of her faceplate splitting apart on previously-invisible seams and retracting back so she could eat. "Also, you know. Science. Suppose as long as we have you to even out the blondes we'll have you do that too."

Share this post


Link to post

Supercape's eyebrows danced at the top of his brow as he heard Dragonfly's welcome. The woman was a genius whose mind worked faster than he could follow, but - or perhaps - because of it, she seemed to speak in such a clumsy way.

Although perhaps Voltage's brain worked just as fast. The man was positively brimming with power.

"Ahm...yes. Don't take that too seriously, of course. Hair colour isn't really a requirement, and we don't kill anybody. Ahahaha! No, we zap them into another dimension! ahahahaha....never mind...."

He hoped the humorous asides were not making Voltage even more nervous.

"But it would be a pleasure to have you onboard sir! I here great things about your special talents, both cerebral and electrical. We have a couple of high end quantum computers , levels 12 and 13, that may be of interest to you. Level 13 always seemed a bit glitchy to me. Don't know if you could take a look at it? And of course if we ever have a power cut, and the fusion reactor fails, I think you are just the kind of man for the job. The living generator!"

He went to the computer terminal in the room.

"I'll just see if I can't get you an I.D pass!" he finished, tapping away.

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica rolled her eyes at the comment. "Yes, we've pretty well thoroughly debunked the idea of blondes being idiots. Though it'll be nice to get some extra color around here." She tucked a strand of red-blonde hair behind her ear and walked over to the food tray. She began building a cold sandwich as she spoke. "We should get you an office. You'll get a dorm room gratis with everything, but if you don't want to use it that's understandable. Still, it's nice to have when experiments run late!"


Down at the lobby, the doors parted for a trio of men preceding a cart with a plastic box on it. A woman was pushing the cart, and another pair of men followed her. The group gathered some looks for their uniform jumpsuits, upright bearing, and quick, lockstep pace. The group walked -- marched, actually -- up to the front desk, where a receptionist turned away from the phones to speak to them. "Yes? Do you have a delivery to make to the Lab?"

The man in the lead smiled slightly and nodded. "You could say that." He unzipped his jumpsuit, reached in, and pulled out a pistol that wouldn't have looked out of place on a Flash Gordon set. The bolt of energy it spat was very real, though, as was the reaction from the receptionist; she flew back and slammed against the wall, slithering the ground bonelessly. Every man pulled out a similar weapon while the lady extracted a long knife and went to work on the box. Five quick shots and the security personnel in sight were down, and the top of the box was open to reveal distinctly futuristic-looking rifles wrapped in packing paper. Before long all seven were armed and the leader was glancing at his watch. "Team Zenith should be hitting the top about now," he said. "That leaves Team Root for the basement and the generator, and we've got the labs." He nodded at the rest of the team. "Alright, Cleaners: move out!"


Jessica had rejoined the group and was talking animatedly, gesturing with the sandwich as she did so. "Of course I had no idea what we were going to do with all that sand, but it turned out not to be all that fine at all and we could store it pretty easily. It's very useful for molds and the like; that's why there's so many glass weights around, really." The story was interrupted when the lights in the meeting room flashed red twice and a muted klaxon sounded through the halls. "That... sounds like a security alarm." She put the plate down on the conference table and brought out her smartphone; in moments she was accessing the Lab's internal security. "Oh. Oh god, it is. Intruders on the ground floor, moving up, and a second team in the hanger moving down." She glanced at her follow scientists, her fellow superheroes. "Sorry to cut this short, Voltage, but it seems like this will be a working lunch."

Share this post


Link to post

"You'd think attacking a building full of genius superhero scientists wouldn't be a good idea." He said, glancing around. His body dissolved into cascading silvery current as he vanished into thin air, reappearing on the ground floor. He sought the stairs, trying to intercept them. He also looked around, trying to find any security to see if any of them had encountered the intruders. He didn't know who they were, but if they were organized, they just might be good enough to be a legitimate threat to the lab. He didn't anticipate fighting them alone, but he was fast enough, and smart enough, to keep them distracted until help arrived.

Share this post


Link to post

"You'd think attacking a building full of genius superhero scientists wouldn't be a good idea."

"It most assuredly is not a good idea" replied Supercape, standing up and letting his cape fall around him.

"The intruder is either very stupid, or very smart. Or possesses immense power. I hope it is the former..." he explained, as his cloth sparkled gently, a field of quantum-wave-form forming around him.

"The Lab holds some...dangerous...equipment. Like a fusion reactor down below. Even if they get close, I would not like to explain such a security risk to the mayor of the city..."

Share this post


Link to post

[bg=#555555]"Technically have a permit for that,"[/bg] Dragonfly noted, her faceplate snapping shut only a few seconds after the klaxon sounded. No smartphone for her, though - little dancing lights were barely visible behind the lenses over her eyes as a nearby monitor rapidly cycled through the details of the alert.

[bg=#555555]"Going up,"[/bg] she announced, four long, blade-like energy wings twisting into being behind her to put action to words - she was gone in a flash, her voice lingering on the room's speakers. [bg=#555555]"Will try to intercept upper team before they endanger anybody."[/bg]

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica stepped away from the wall panel, leaving her smartphone on the table. "Sounds good, Dragonfly." She touched the bracelet on her wrist and in a flash of light and energy, was encased in her Ironclad armor. Jets flared and she rocketed down the hallway, closing the distance with her friend and joining her in a quick ascent. She was still able to converse with her Labmates over the speakers, though. "Supercape, Miss A, you might want to head down and see if you can't catch these guys between yourselves and Voltage. I don't want to think what would happen if they got to the servers."

Share this post


Link to post

"I'll be of more use taking a direct hand with the security, I believe," Miss A put in, folding her hands on the desk. "Getting to the servers would be bad, letting them crack the computer system would be worse. Just secure the door as you go, if you please." With that, she leaned her head forward and closed her eyes as though meditating, her golden hair falling down in a curtain to hide her face. At the same instant, her consciousness began expanding through the extensive computer network of the Lab, turning off lights and shutting doors, anything that would slow the process of the intruders and keep the civilian staff out of the line of danger.

Share this post


Link to post

Supercape looked at Voltage for a moment.

Coincidence? or....? he decided not to voice his concerns right now, but felt it would be a good idea to have the younger hero at his side.

"Voltage, you best stick with me. I hope you don't mind giving these intruders a little shock...ha ha ha..."

He muttered to himself something about tumbleweed as he called up a lift to take them down to the lower levels...

The remote possibility that Voltage was in fact part of the intrusion did enter his mind, but he dared not fully entertain the thought right now. Voltage had done nothing to indicate anything other than utter trustworthiness, and if he was a double agent, things would be a lot more serious and dangerous than they appeared...

Share this post


Link to post

Voltage nodded. "They're probably some combination of stupid and really good at their jobs. Stupid for attacking this place, but might be good enough to think they can pull it off. Too dangerous to take them on solo." He said. He was no good at assessing foes, and figured it wouldn't be a terrible idea to bring along an ally. Especially one who had as many unusual tricks as Supercape.

He'd read up on the files of every known genius or tech expert in the superhero community, at least what he could deduce and glean from public records. That way if he ever met up with any of them, he'd be able to deduce how to use his powers best in conjunction with theirs.

Of course, as he was less famous or well known than most of them, he didn't anticipate that they would do the same with him. Not that it mattered, for all of his intellect, Voltage's approach was as direct and simple as it was effective.

Share this post


Link to post

GM

The team of commandos from the lobby hurried up the Lab's access stairs, making for the thirteenth and fourteenth floors. Miss Americana did her best to divert them, making switch from staircase to staircase. The Lab was generally more worried about keeping dangerous experiments from escaping, though, not stopping invading troops. Finally they reached floor thirteen -- and a steel plate four inches thick slammed over the door.

The lead commando stepped forward and touched the plate, only to receive a strong electric shock for his troubles. He swore in a language that the Lab's computers failed to translate and gestured one of the women forward. "Go for it, Elanee," he said, settling down to watch the stairs above them.

The woman stepped forward, removing her gloves and letting her weapon hand. She closed her eyes, and in a moment was engulfed in flames! She put one hand on the steel plate began to burn through it, slowly but surely.

Share this post


Link to post

GM

The Lab's hanger was in fact three entire floors, with the center and walls cut away, creating a huge empty space occupied by any number of fantastical flying vehicles. Right now it was filled with humans in stiff, metal-gray uniforms, at least two dozen of them checking over the flying vehicles with different instruments. A smaller number, maybe seven in total, stood in a loose circle around the center shaft, bearing weapons similar to the group that had attacked the lobby.

And then there was the two lounging on the lip of the building. He was dressed in a tight black uniform, open at the chest to show an expanse of powder-blue skin. Lounging in the sun, he looked like a model that had made a go at looking like a smurf. She was in white-and-gold armor that came up to her chin, which let her golden-blonde hair blow in the breeze.

Blue was speaking. "I'm just saying, this whole plan is overcomplicated. Give me a legion and twenty days, and this city would be burning.

"A legion transport would be detected at the edge of the system," Gold-Blonde replied, "and destroyed by the Lor. Then you could have your twenty days in the Correction Pit, Azariah, explaining why you lost our master's precious soldiers." She smiled at him, sickeningly sweetly. "And if you managed to land any troops, the champions of those planet would destroy you and them."

Azariah sniffed dismissively. "You overestimate the Lor, Ronahn. And this world's defenders." He laughed and spread his arms wide. "Why, they only know we're here because we chose to announce it!"

"As part of our mistress's plan. Stick to the plan, Azariah, and we shall be richly rewarded in court. Deviate from it and..."

Ronahn left the threat hanging, but the blue man waved it off. "I can follow a plan, tinkerer. Don't worry: by this time tomorrow, this city will be a wreckage."

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...