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Thevshi

In the Shadow of Sin (Jade) (IC)

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

8:50 PM local time (5:50 AM, April 18, 2013 in Freedom City)

Somewhere over the South Pacific

 

GM

 

The still night sky over the South Pacific was briefly disrupted by the sleek form of an advanced hypersonic transport as it streaked through the thin air at high altitude.  Designed with stealth in mind, the transport was nearly impossible to detect by conventional mean, which allowed it to follow a rather direct route to its destination.

 

Inside the aircraft’s main cabin, three rather unusual teenagers (two male, one female) had been bound to a set of jump seats set up in the middle of the cargo area.  Each of the three had their arms bound together behind their backs by primary restraints affixed around their wrists and forearms.  Additional restraints, crossing over their chests and arms, held them to their jump seats and helped to keep them upright, as all three were currently unconscious.  Additional restraints bound their ankles together.  All three of the teens were wearing costumes, which varied from rather subdued to quite colorful (at least in one case).

 

Standing watch over the unconscious superteens were a group of men dressed in black and grey, gi like uniforms made of reinforced Kevlar material.  Each wore a black tactical belt around their waists with a sidearm and a number of small pouches attached.  All of the men were armed with what appeared to be some form of energy weapon, either immediately in hand, or very close by.  All of the men were clearly of some Asian descent, thought to a more knowledgeable observe, it was apparent they hailed from a number of different countries. 

 

Six of the men were seated around the three teens, three to either side, their weapons cradled in their hands, ready to use should any of the teens awaken and show any sign of escaping their restraints.  Another half dozen were seated towards the front of the aircraft, somewhat more relaxed, but with their weapons within easy reach.

 

One of the men seated closest to the three teens was starting to feel himself wanting to drift to sleep, a feeling he fought, as he tried to focus on the teens, looking for any sign of movement beyond steadying breathing or a slight shift caused by turbulence or the like.  But event that was beginning to feel monotonous, when he suddenly realized the three were appearing to stir.  The realization brought him fully awake, as he focused on the movements, confirming his eyes had not been playing tricks on him.  <"They are starting to wake!">  He stated in slightly accented Mandarin.

 

The other five guards closest to the teens all sat up a bit straighter, many tightening their grips on their weapons as well.  Over towards the front of the aircraft, the other six men also became more alert, focusing on the teens once more, a few picking up their weapons.  One of the six glanced at a watch on his wrist, then looked back up towards the teens.  <"It does not matter, we should be landing very soon.">

Edited by Thevshi

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A bright sudden light seemed to pierce the darkness in Giang Trang's mind, thought the sudden flood of light only served to make her head spin as she tried to see through the blinding glare.  There were a few fuzzy shapes in her field of vision, and she was rather certain she could hear someone speaking, but had trouble making out any of the words.

 

Through the disorientation and grogginess, the Asian teen suddenly became aware of how sore her body felt.  As she tried to shift some, she became aware that her arms were bound behind her back and she seemed to have other restraints on as well that made it difficult to move too much.

 

That realization helped push aside some of the haze in her mind, as the teen took deep breaths to keep herself calm as she tried to focus on what was around her.  As she waited for her eyes to adjust to the light and her vision to focus, Giang tried to focus on sensing any water around her, both to try and find a focus and a potential resource for trying to escape.  But try as she might, the teen was unable to sense any water at all.

 

A slight sense of panic began to rear up, but Giang continued to take slow steady breaths as she closed her eyes for a few moments and focused on bringing her emotions back under control.  After a few moments, she had managed to calm herself at least somewhat and slowly reopened her eyes. 

 

This time, the light was not quite nearly as blinding, though her head still hurt and the feeling of grogginess was still there.  The fuzzy shapes were much clearer now, as the Asian teen realized she was in some sort of aircraft, and there were a number of armed men sitting across from her.  The realization brought another surge of panic, along with a rush of her last memories before waking up here. 

 

Those memories brought a cold feeling to her stomach, as she glanced to either side, confirming that Subito and Serge were both seated next to her, also restrained as she was.  Focusing back on the men across from her, she noted their garb, and their Asian heritage, and the feelings of dread that had been present seemed to double.  Not only had her past appeared to have caught up with her again, but her friends had been entangled in it as well.  

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Subito dreamed he was sitting in the cafeteria of Claremont with his friends, the Blue Dame somehow wearing a school uniform over her armor. The towering spirit was busy trying to figure out how you were supposed to drink from plastic lidded-cups without breaking them, while he told in great detail how he had dealt with the mysterious attacker at the burning building. The cafeteria's new engines were annoying, but the flying campus was pretty cool!

"...and then it came at us with robots! There had t'be twenty of 'em, shooting lasers from their eyes and jolts of electricity that would have killed any lesser hero, but not El Heraldo de la Dama Azul del Puerto Rico! Tearing one in half I used it to cut through the others like two swords, and after that I tracked the ultra-sonic wavelengths to their nefarious master who was, get this, Time Lord himself!" Swinging his legs up onto the table he smirked at the memory of the mighty conqueror pleading for mercy, and waving away the excited questions from the others went on "I packed him up for the Freedom League to send back to the 208th century, put out the fires and got everyone tacos!"

"Fascinating" said Elias while stroking his chin "My psychic mastery tells me you're telling the truth and very handsome"

"Oh my gallant marchog" sighed Cerys with a beautiful smile "That's why I love you and don't think you're stupid and dumb"

"Aw man, I wish I had been there bro! You've got to take me with you next time you're out patroling!" said Serge as he looked up from a giant speaker he was fiddling with.

<"They are starting to wake!"> said Mali in a man's voice.

Subito jerked awake, realizing in the confused muddle that his arms were bound, he was tied to a chair, and men with guns surrounded them. And he didn't have his powers. Through nearly-shut eyes, he glanced around uneasily, even the brash teen not daring to try anything that might get his friends hurt here.

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GM

 

The men seated around the three teens were now all alert, but otherwise did not react to their regaining consciousness.  The cabin was silent, save for the steady hum of electronics and the rumble of the aircraft's engines.

 

Up in the aircraft's cockpit, the two pilots were monitoring their instruments as they began the descent towards their destination, a small, isolated island.  When the small island, only a little over ten miles long, came into view, the pilots began to decelerate considerably, dropping the aircraft back down below supersonic speeds as it descended ever lower towards the ocean. 

 

The aircraft was approaching the island from the south, heading towards a small section of the island that jutted out along the southeastern side.  There, located at the top of some cliffs, a number of buildings, nestled among the jungle that covered much of the rest of the island, were visible thanks to the nightvision built into the cockpits window.  Towering above the buildings, in the center of the island, was the ominous shape of an inactive volcano. 

 

The aircraft continued to streak some fifty feet above the waves, heading not towards the buildings located at the top of the cliffs, but towards the side of the cliff itself.  The aircraft continued to decelerate, as it drew closer to the cliff, an opening appearing in the side of the cliff face.

 

Moments later, the aircraft disappeared into the side of the cliff, rapidly decelerating until it was hovering inside a hollowed out hanger area.  The opening along the cliff began to close once again as the pilots brought the aircraft down onto the hanger deck and then began powering it down.  

 

Back in the cargo area of the aircraft, the men gathered around the three teens all stood, along with the other six men who had been seated towards the front of the aircraft.  Working in pairs, one of the men released Net Fly from the restraint that had been holding him to the jump seat, while the other had his weapon up and trained on the teen.  The two then each grabbed one of the teen’s arms, leading him down a rear ramp that had lowered, two other guards following along as well.  The process was repeated with Tsunami, and then El Heraldo, until all three teens had been led out of the aircraft.

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Giang had remained quiet during the short remainder of the flight, trying to taken in more about their environment and the men that were watching over her and the others.  For the moment, they seemed at a distinct disadvantage, particularly without powers, but if they could bind their time, perhaps an opportunity to escape might present itself.  While she had little doubt about why she had been captured, she was a lot less sure why Subito and Serge had been taken prisoner as well. 

 

Once the aircraft they were in landed and the guards began removing them, Giang did not try to struggle against them.  While the guards removed one of the restraints, her hands were still bound tightly behind her back, and her feet were still bound together, though with enough slack that she could manage a shuffling walk.

 

Following down the rope behind Serge, the Asian teen saw that they were in what appeared to be an underground hanger of some sorts.  Bright artificial lights were set up along the rocky ceiling, providing the hanger with ample lighting.

 

Waiting down near the base of the ramp were another half dozen of the black and grey clad guards, though these were only armed with sidearms.  Serge and the four guards that had led him out were already down near this new group of guards.  Being pulled along be the two men holding either arm, Giang had little choice at the moment but to shuffle down the ramp to the others.

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Surprisingly enough, Subito managed to stay still and quiet for the rest of the flight, hardly daring to so much as whisper or turn his head to look around. Out of the corner of his eyes he had seen that his classmates were okay which considering the men with guns clustered about them was a comfort. The rest of the trip was a mass of dull pain, guilt at having let the others be captured and a deep fear of what was about to happen to them three Claremont Academy students. He had heard that they had many enemies, but this was the first time he had met them and was in their power.

 

Out the windows he had seen the passage over the dark water and into a tunnel, his gut clenching as he felt the tell-tale sensation of the craft decelerating to land. Putting up absolutely no fuss he let himself be stood up and led from the plane, risking a moment to glance up and around at the cold and echoing cavern they'd ended up in. The sight was enough to coax a soft whistle as he stared around. When the guards removed his restraints he nodded politely and smiled at the impassive face of his captors, rubbing his ankles and wrists together to check how much freedom of movement the muscular teen had.

 

As he was led down to the waiting party, Subito frowned at the jarring shock of his tethered legs as they awkwardly stumbled down the ramp. Nodding abruptly to himself, he very serenely began bunny-hopping on the way, not enough to get himself out of the soldier's arms but enough to keep pace with his unimpaired foes. His feet echoed and clanged as he bounced gently down the incline, and it was all he could do to not burst out into gales of terrified laughter. For the second time that year, El Heraldo was very afraid.

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GM

 

As Tsunami and El Herealdo reached the bottom of the ramp, they noticed that Net Fly appeared to still be somewhat out of sorts.  He swayed slightly where he stood, the two men on either side of him keeping the teen on his feet. 

 

Once all three teens were lined up at the base of the ramp, one of the guards that had been waiting in the hanger glanced over to some of those who had been on the transport.   <"Any problems during the flight?">  He asked in slightly accented Mandarin.

 

<"None, they were sedated for most of the flight.">  Replied one of the others.

 

The original speaker gave a small nod as he looked at the three teens.  <"These should help ensure their continued behavior.">  He stated, as the other guards who had been waiting with him stepped forward to place some sort of electronic collar around their necks.  The guards who had been holding the arms of the teens all tightened their grips to help keep the three as still as possible.

 

Once the collars were in place, the entire group started off across the hanger towards the entrance to a hallway.

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Giang had cast a concerned glance towards Serge before focusing back on their captors as several of them began speaking in Mandarin.  She did not like the sound of the collars, but there was little she could do at the moment to prevent having one placed around her neck.  The Asian teen felt a slight jolt as the collar was fixed around her neck, but the feeling quickly passed. 

 

As the guards roughly started her forward once more across the hanger, Giang spoke up in Mandarin.  <"Where are you taking us?">

 

One of the guards glanced over at her, a small scowl on his face.  <"Lady Shen will give you what answers she chooses, until then, keep your mouth shut!">

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Electric shocks are rarely fun, and the crackle from the teens' new restraint wasn't one of them. Subito had to clench his teeth to keep from wincing out loud as the humming thing clicked into place around his throat. Swallowing experimentally, he let himself be led onwards by the guards, glancing anxiously at Serge when the vibration-controller showed no sign of getting lucid. The chance that his capture might have somehow reacted to the teen's powers struck him as uncomfortably possible, but he didn't dare speak and try to reach him.

 

The muscular boy's decision was bolstered by Giang's own attempts at communication with the guard, and how quickly they were shot down. With the collar over his neck he couldn't understand the words like he would normally, but he saw the glower and heard the sharp tone, and that was enough.

 

Keeping his head high, he followed along with the grim soldiers on either side, marching to whatever doom awaited them with long, even strides. The unfamiliar chill of the vast hanger bit through his clothes and made him shiver. 'At least we won't just vanish' he told himself with desperate hope 'The others will realize something's gone wrong, maybe even the Freedom League will come and get us!' Subito wasn't too sure what was going on or who might be the prime mover, but the danger was enough to make his schoolmates an unlikely band of rescuers indeed. He wondered uncomfortably how he could explain this satisfactorily to Cerys.

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GM

 

The hallway the three teenagers were led to turned out to be rather sleek and futuristic, the walls curving outward before curving back in to the ceiling.  It seemed so brightly lit that it was unnerving and disorienting, though it was possible that was a side effect of the drug induced sleep the teens had experienced since their capture in Freedom City.

 

There were a number of doors spaced along the walls of the corridor, which went on for a good hundred feet before intersecting with another hallway and then continuing on at least another hundred feet.  But the teens and their guards stopped just short of the intersection at what was clearly an elevator.  They did not have long to wait when the elevator was summoned before the doors slide quietly open, reveling a circular elevator car.

 

It was immediately clear that the elevator would not fit all the guards that had accompanied the teens.  Instead, only about half the number of guards entered with the superteens, the ones still holding either arm of each of the teens, and the four guards that had been waiting for the arrival of the transport in the hanger. 

 

The apparent leader of the guards glanced at the three teens once they were all inside and the doors began to close.  "Do not think to try anything."  He began in rather heavily accented English.  "Those collars can deliver a considerable shock."

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"Don't worry crazy man, this is your house after all. We'll play nice." Subito cracked a nervous smile at the speaker as the tense group got ready. The sense of impending doom was not lessened by the abrupt shift from makeshift hanger to ultra-slick secret villain base, the electric lights hammering against his sensitive eyes and making the place resemble something seen in a dream, like a half-remembered hospital which only remained as stabbing pain and white halls.

 

Holding himself with commendable posture despite the slight queasiness from the flight, the drugs still being battled by his system, the pressure of being held by people just a little shorter than him, and just plain sleepiness, the young Puerto Rican herald glanced around at the trio's surroundings curiously. 'I wonder who made all this? And how?' was uppermost in his mind, followed directly on its heels by 'Is it this secret so they can kill us and not be caught?' followed in turn by 'Who would want to kill us THAT badly? Is this what Giang was so scared of all this time? What's going to happen...'

Edited by Arichamus

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GM

 

The guard regarded Subito coolly for a moment or two before shifting his gaze to the other two teens as well.  Apparently satisfying himself that none of the three planed to try and cause any trouble, he then turned back towards the elevators doors as the car began to rise smoothly. 

 

The ride proved to be quite short, the elevator stopping once again after only a couple of floors.  When the doors opened, the three teens were lead outside by the guards.

 

The hallway the three teenagers found themselves in was far different than the one that had led from the hanger, and almost made one feel as if they had been taken back in time.

 

The floor was a polished grey marble.  The walls were white, with grey marble baseboards about three feet high along them.  Evenly spaced throughout the hallway were red columns that abutted the walls, rising up a good fifteen feet to the ceiling.  The entire ceiling was decorated with recessed squares that were painted with a bluish purple base with golden boards and various central designs also of gold.  The spaces between the recessed areas were painted green, also with gold decoration.

 

Along the length of the hallway were a number of decorations, also of a distinctly Asian style.  Long, elaborate tapestries hung on some of the walls, while elaborate stands topped with intricately decorated urns stood between columns in other places. 

 

The guards lead the three teens a short ways down the hallway to the left, where it came to an end at large double doors of dark wood.  The leader of the guards pushed the doors open, and the teens were taken into a large room beyond.

 

While similarly decorated as the hallway, tough the room was even more ornate.  For one, the walls were a solid read, with windows spaced along the ones to the right or the left hand sides.  Most of the dark wood shutters on the windows were open, allowing the night air into the room.  Along the top of the walls were long rectangular sections decorated with golden paint, and filled with images of dragons, phoenix and other unusual creatures.

 

Unlike the hallway below, the lighting was much more subdued, and indeed, it was difficult to pinpoint the source of the lighting, as it appeared to be carefully concealed. 

 

The six red columns in the room, three on either side, were set well away from the walls, creating a narrower isle down the center of the room between them.  Each had elaborate golden molding along the base and the top, while images of golden dragons coiled up the center of the column.

 

At the far end of the room, was a small raised dais, on which knelt the rooms only occupant.  It was a woman of Asian descent, though it was difficult to tell her exact nationality.  She appeared to easily be in her seventies or eighties, and was wearing a long black dress of a formal, antiquated Chinese style.  Along the hem of the skirt and the cuffs of the sleeves was intricate red and green embroidery in geometric patterns.  The woman’s arms where held in front of her against her stomach, her hands slipped inside the wide sleeve on the opposite arm.

 

The wall behind her had three evenly spaced double doors, all of which were open to what appeared to be some sort of terrace, though it was difficult to tell in the dark night air beyond.  The air in the room was warm and rather muggy, and filled with the smell of incense, which was burning in several bronze braziers spaced around the raised dais. 

 

The woman on the dais was silent as the teens were brought into the room, the double doors closed behind them, though her dark eyes regarded each of them carefully.

 

Subito and Serge were led forward to a spot even with the first pair of columns, and then forced to their knees along the left side of the room.

 

The guards guiding Giang lead her forward, until she stood in the middle of the room between the columns.  After halting her, they stepped backward a few paces, bowed deeply, and then retreated back further until they were in line with Subtio, Serge and the guards near them.

 

The elderly woman on the dais regarded Giang for a few more moments, before finally speaking in fluent Mandrin, her voice firm and commanding.  <"So, you are Xian Lou Kahn.">

Edited by Thevshi

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Giang had remained silent as Subito had responded to the stern warning from the guard.  Though the Asian teen had briefly considered their options when the number of guards around them was reduced, she had quickly decided they were limited in number, particularly given how each of them was currently restrained.

 

When the elevator opened and they were lead into the hallway beyond, her fears were all but confirmed.  She now had little doubt they were being held by someone connected with her father, or opposed to him. 

 

As they were led down the hallway, the Asian teen again regretted that she had allowed her friends to be caught up in her problems.  At least Warp appeared to have been able to get away, or at least, that is what Giang hoped the other girl had been able to do.

 

Once the group was in the room at the end of the hallway, Giang barely took in the decorations of the room, focusing instead on the woman kneeling on the dais before them.  Though the woman appeared to be quite old, Giang was not about to trust only on that appearance.  There was something about the woman that made the Asian teen feel uncomfortable.

 

When the woman spoke, Giang flinched ever so slightly at the sound of the name her true father had given her.  <"That is not my name.">  She replied in Mandarin.  <"You are the Lady Shen?">

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Far behind the Asian teen and their mysterious hostess, Subito listened to the indecipherable syllables of Mandarin in frustration. Kneeling on the stone floor wasn't as tough as it might have been a couple of years ago, but it was still a pain. With his head bowed he could see the milky veins of quartz that ran under his left knee and felt like it was trying to bore into his leg. Why he'd worn short-shorts was a question he found very pertinent as he tried to get comfortable. The tingling collar around his neck made the brief squirms that much more awkward, a constant reminder of both the dire situation and the guards standing vigilant on either side.

 

The thick incense at least made it easier to focus on other things, and out of curiosity he looked up to get a better idea of the room. He was instantly struck by the archaic and old-school feel of the place, an effect that he hadn't managed to pick up on when the three teens first entered but now had ample time to experience. 'It's like those old Raven comics, when he first fought Dr. Sin in the Jade Head Caper...wait, what if that's who's behind thi-nah, no way Giang's related to that old crazy dude, this is pro'lly just one of his old hangouts Ms. Crazy here has taken over' Frowning at nothing, the muscular teen wrinkled his nose at the oppressive reek of incense wafting from the dais. The open windows and doors didn't seem to serve much purpose except to show how much it was night-time heck yeah. That and it was too bright to see outside anyhow.

 

Suddenly the whole creepy atmosphere, grim silence and the fact they had no idea what was going on or who they had pissed off or how, Subito spoke up, calling over to the old woman "Hey! Senora! You..." he faltered a little as his voice broke in like a crow's, but the words spilled out regardless "I dunno who you are or where this is or why you've taken us, so could you save us all some time and explain? I'm bettin' you want Giang for some creepy villainous thing" he jerked his head in his classmate's direction, eyes fixed on the icy face of the matron "an' you can't have her no matter what your beef is, just so we're clear, but what exactly do you want with me or Surge? If you'd wanted to kill us you could have just shot us while we were on your plane and chucked out bodies in the sea. You mind tellin' what the game is?" he paused briefly, then added with a sudden flash of exasperation "Please?"

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GM

 

The elderly woman glanced over towards Subito for a moment, her dark eyes regarding him intently.  Then those eyes glanced up from him to one of the guards just behind him.  Subito felt a blow to the side of his head that knocked him sideways and onto the floor.

 

"The insolence of youth these days."  The woman stated in somewhat heavily accented English.  "As if you have any control over what will happen here."

 

But then she paused for a moment as she focused back on Giang, who had looked worriedly over towards Subito.  "But it is rather rude to be speaking when your friends cannot understand."  The elderly woman continued in accented English.

 

"Yes, I am the Lady Shen.  Giang Trang may be the name you have known most of your life, but it was never more than an alias, a means of concealing you from the rest of the world."  She then continued, picking back up on Giang's response.  "Most curious that your father found it necessary to raise you in secret, away from the rest of your half-siblings."  She then added, her voice taking an almost absentminded tone.

 

That quickly disappeared as she feet, far more smoothly and gracefully than one would expect from someone her age.  "But however much you might try to deny it, you are Xian Lou Khan, the youngest in a stagnant bloodline of Temujin."

 

The woman seemed to glide over to Giang.  Once in front of the teen, the woman reached up with a wrinkled hand with delicate, thin fingers that ended in long fingernails, and gently removed the small mask Giang had been wearing.  "I wonder what Kong Zi has in mind for you my dear.  What is so important that he has expended so much effort trying to find you."
 

Taking Giang's chin in one hand, the elderly woman tilted the teen's face up so they were gazing into each other's eyes for a few moments.  "You do not wish to say?"  The woman replied after a few moments.  "Very well.  We will see how long you continue to be defiant."

 

Releasing Giang's chin, the woman swept away from the teen in a smooth motion, coming to a halt at the foot of the dais before turning back towards the others in the room.  "Guards, take them to cells.  Provide them some food, I am sure they are hungry after their long flight, and then see they get to sleep.  Tomorrow will be a busy day."

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As Serge came to his senses, he coughed suddenly, as he shot upwards, black soot escaping his mouth. "Wha-cough cough, What happen-Haurgh-cough-cough!" He tried vocalizing, as more smoke escaped his lungs. He desperately tried punching his chest with his arms, only to realise that he was wearing handcuffs, which prevented him from doing so. He looked uncertainly around him, once he managed to calm his perspiratory system down. "Where am I? Last thing I remember there was that fire in the building, and..." as the memories came back to him, he slowly started putting the pieces of the puzzle together, one by one. Ah, now I remember... It was a trap... but a trap to capture who? Me? Or any hero unfortunate enough to be passing by...? So... where am I? What is this place?

Edited by Vahnyu

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Giang remained motionless as she listened to Lady Shen, a sense of dread creeping over her as the elderly woman reveled that she did indeed know who the Asian teen was, even if she did not appear to work directly for the girl’s father.  Of course, that seemed to suggest that Lady Shen instead worked directly for the same master Giang's own father was at least somewhat subservient to. 

 

Despite the these feelings, and ones of deep concern for her friends who had been caught up in her troubles, Giang had remained poised and firm while Lady Shen had spoken with her and removed the small mask the Asian teen had chosen to wear during her patrol with her classmates.  As they were dismissed, she allowed the guards who moved forward to guide her back to the others and then out of the room once more.

 

She was relieved as Serge seemed to come back fully to his senses, coughing some as he tried to take in his surroundings and speaking up in his confusion.  Giang was about to provide a quite answer, but was quickly cut off by one of the guards…

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GM

 

"Quite youth!"  One of the guards stated in heavily accented English as he cuffed Serge on the side of the head with the back of his hand.  "You are prisoners of the Lady Shen and alive only at her mercy."  The guard holding Serge by the upper part of his right arm gave him a little push to keep him moving as the group continued on back down the ornately decorated hallway to the elevator they had taken up from the underground hanger below.

 

The group took the elevator back down underground a couple of levels, exiting to another sleek and futuristic hallway with the curved walls and unnervingly bright lighting.  After traveling some ways down the hall, they came to a heavy steel door at which a pair of guards dressed in the same black and grey gi like uniforms as those escorting the teens, armed with some sort of energy rifles stood at either side.  The leader of the group stepped up and used some sort of key card on a control panel to the right of the door to open it.

 

Beyond the door was a midsized room with a central control station on a raised platform at which a number of the guards were standing, overlooking the various control panels in front of them.  A number of other guards were standing along the perimeter of the room, each armed with energy rifles like those wielded by the two in the hallway.

 

There was a hallway off the left side of the room, it was in that direction that the teens were led by the guards guiding them, a number of the rifle armed guards following along.  Off the hallway were a number of small rooms that were clearly holding cells of some sort.  Each cell had thick stone walls with simple metal furniture, a simple pad laid out on the bed fixed to the wall.  Instead of doors, each was enclosed by what appeared to be some sort of forcefield. 

 

The teens were each halted in front of a cell, the forcefields deactivating at each.  The guard who had been leading the procession since the hanger stepped forward to where he could be seen by each teen and spoke up in his heavily accented English. 

 

"We will be removing the dampeners, but do not think to try anything.  Those collars around your neck are capable of causing intense pain and even death.  Try to escape, and you will pay the price.  Or one of your friends might."  He stated.  Then, a wicked smile came to his face as he added.  "And tampering with them would be inadvisable as well.  They are bobby trapped."

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Serge had taken the time to examine the collars on Giang and Subito's necks, as they were lead towards their cells. It didn't take too long for him to verify their captor's claims. "Hate to say it, but he's right; These things are the real deal, make no mistake about it. I don't know who our captors are, or what's their score, but they have some serious clout to get their hands on these babies."

 

He examined the cell, in order to get a clear picture of his surroundings, and while it was true that he'd probably be completely unable to do anything worthwile with them at the moment, it always paid to be prepared for any occasion. After he finished, he finally spoke to his comrades. "Sooo... anyone care to explain to me what's going on? I get the feeling I missed a few episodes, here. Just how deep in trouble are we?" he asked, with a slight hint of worry in his tone.

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GM

 

With the three teens appearing to be cowed by the threat of harm from the collars, confirmed by one of their own, some of the guards proceed to remove the restraints on each of them, as well as the means by which their powers had been suppressed.  Once freed of those, each of the teens felt their powers surge back into place, though their situation was still rather dire given the collars around their necks and those on their friends.

 

The three were then directed into a cell of their own and then the forcefields were reactivated.  In addition to the simple metal furniture that was attached in place, the teens found a bowl of warm rice and vegetables on the small desks.

 

Once each teen was secure in their cells, the guards withdrew from the hallway.  Serge and Tsunami were not certain whether they simply moved back to the control room or had left the cellblock altogether.  Subtio was able to hear the door to the block open and what sounded like most of the guards that had accompanied them leave. 

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Giang had not really needed Serge's conformation regarding the collars, but it was still good to have it just the same.  She had simply remained calm and still as the restraints and power suppressors were removed, making her way into her cell when directed by one of the guards.

 

Once the forcefield was back in place and the guards began to withdraw, the Asian teen lowered her head slightly and let out a deep sigh.  Hearing Serge's questions, she looked back up as she responded.  "My friends, I am very sorry, for you have both been drawn into something which concerns me."

 

She then began a more direct answer to Serge's questions.  "The fire we responded to was a trap, one designed to capture me.  Why both of you were taken as well I am not sure of, perhaps Lady Shen felt that if she also had some of my friends under her power she might better be able to ensure my good behavior."

 

"Whatever the case, all of this involves, at least indirectly, my family and its connections.  Unless I am mistaken, Lady Shen reports to the same master my father does, the criminal mastermind known as Dr. Sin."

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Unresisting, though mainly because his vision was still shaky and blurry from the blow to the head, Subito had stood dumbly as the harsh voice of their jailer rang out, catching one word in four. Feeling the restraints on his arms suddenly fall away the stocky teen gasped in surprise as a familiar rush of noise swept in and around him like the waves of the sea battering a cliffside far below them. '...-erald...My Herald! Speak to me! What happened? Blah, whuh...oh...s'you Dama...I'm fine, got hit in the head, where you been? Good! You are alive and awake, now let us clear your mind How you gon'do th-ah! Ow, ow ow my head, ow that hurts. Whoa, what is this place? Are those force-fields? Wait, a prison! I remember now, we're being held by that underhanded, pompous Chinese b- Ahem Sorry. Let's get cracking, now I can channel your might again La Dama, Lady Shen is going down! Indeed! Focus, my Herald, let us find a way to free ourselves and your comrades'

 

Coming to himself he surveyed their prison critically, noting with a gleam in his eye the tell-tale sound of footsteps receding into the distance. His attention soon shifted however, drawn to Giang as his schoolmate explained her part in sealing their plight. The last words had him all but slack-jawed. "Dr...Sin?" One good thing about Claremont Academy's curriculum was that it gave its students a good overview on the major players in the world, including the evils of the past.

 

Suddenly a look of total disbelief and anger swept over Subito's handsome face, this was too unfair "But, but he's dead! He died years ago fightin' the first Raven, his airship fleet blew up and he went with it! Everyone knows that! He can't have survived, this must be some other guy who took his name...and..." the outburst trickled away, disbelief replaced by horror "Oh my God, he is immortal. How do you fight someone like that?". Sitting down on the hard bed with a dull thud, the young paragon was silent for a while, staring at the shimmering door through a dull throb of pain. More quietly he said "So this is what you didn't want us to know." Looking back at Giang he smiled awkwardly if kindly "Sorry your family's so messed up, Giang, don't blame yourself for any of this. We'll get out of here, stop whatever they're plannin' cold."

 

Getting to his feet with more of his usual energy he started in on the rice and veggies, scooping it up with the chopsticks and swallowing with relish. The long flight, long walk and tension had combined with him being a teenaged boy to ensure a powerful hunger that overcame any fears that it was drugged or full of foul-tasting poisons. Already the ache at the back of his head wasn't as bad as it had been, his mind buzzed with plans and he was ready for action.

 

As he chewed he called over to Serge "So, Surge, glad you're lookin' better man! You had me worried. Got any ideas what we can do to put these"he gestured at the force-fields "on the fritz so they'll stop harshin' our collective mellows? And to sum up: we got nabbed, flown to some island, and the old woman Giang named Lady Shen is in charge here, holding us for some crazy evil scheme. Eat up, let's get some energy." Frowning thoughtfully he added "What exactly do they want you for?"

Edited by Arichamus

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Giang glanced at the bowl of food that had been left on the table for her with a pair of chopsticks, but at the moment did not have much in the way of an appetite given the danger in which her friends now found themselves because of her.  "The world may believe Dr. Sin is deceased, but my father certainly did not seem to believe so.  And neither did Raven."  She replied quietly as she moved back towards the forcefield.

 

"I do not blame myself for the crimes of my family."  She replied to Subito's comments.  "But I knew that my father was looking for me, as well as other of Dr. Sin's lieutenants.  That incident involving John and I back in February during the Chinese New Year was agents of my father seeking to return me to Hong Kong."

 

She fell silent once more as Subito provided Serge with more explanation as to what was going on.  When the Puerto Rican teen put another question to her, the Asian teen glanced up, considering for a moment.  "I believe Lady Shen is interested in what my father is up to and is hoping I will tell her what that is."

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"Damn... they really got us good, eh?" Serge remarked, as his two friends explained the situation. "At any rate, whether Dr. Sin was really dead or not in the first place, whether he can resurrect himself or not, whether he's immune to dying, or even if it's just a successor of sorts, it matters little to us, at the moment." He said, as he further pondered the situation. "As for your question, Heraldo, I can't seem to get any good ideas that wouldn't result in us suffering an untimely death via explosive decapitation, so I think it best for us to keep our heads about it and not lose them, because, well, yeah..." Though the picture he painted wasn't too graphically pleasing, Serge hoped that it'd deliver the message all the same.

 

"So, yeah. Here's my suggestion; we conserve our energy, as Heraldo's suggesting. Lay low, for now, and play along, until we see where they're going with this, all the while keeping an eye open for any opening or opportunity that we could seize and escape."

Edited by Vahnyu

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GM

 

Having decided to bide their time for the moment, the teenager heroes settled down in their respective cells, eating some of the food provided by their captors.  Though they had been sedated during the trip to their current location, the teens still found themselves rather drowsy, perhaps because of the sedative used to keep them under during the flight, so they soon drifted off to sleep once the lights were dimmed in the cell block.

 

The three were awakened the following morning when the lights were brightened once more and the guards arrived in front of the forcefields to their bowls containing their breakfasts.  The same guard who spoke passable English was there to oversee things and called out.  "You have half an hour to eat and prepare yourselves before another audience with the Lady Shen."

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