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Thunder King

Abductions in the Cold (IC)

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December 16th

9:00 PM

The Fens

 

The world was cold. Frost and ice decorated the rooftops and streets, and snow, mixed with light rain, came from above. All in all, the weather was miserable. Still, Shadowblade was not deterred.

 

She teleported to another roof, this one a convenience store. Just as she landed, she heard the distinct sound of a struggle. As she looked down, she saw five men in jet black suits grab a homeless man who was bundled up in a corner, and throw him roughly into a nearby van.

 

Tonight already brought trouble.

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Shadowblade grimaced.  Her immediate inclination was to rush to the man's aid, but there were five abductors, and the victim was already imprisoned in the tight, confined space of the van; an instant reaction might well do more harm than good.  She forced herself to be patient for the moment.

 

She moved closer to the van, keeping carefully to the shadows and using her power to hide completely in the dark.  As she moved, she pulled the mini-tracer from her harness.  If the opportunity presented itself, she fully intended to teleport to the homeless man and get him safely away - if he were left alone someplace she could see him with only a guard or two.  But she doubted these men, whoever they were, would be that careless, and so she readied the tracer.  She would not abandon him, and if the van started to move with him inside, she knew she would only have seconds to get the tracer planted.

 

As she moved, she watched and listened as closely as she could, hoping for some clue about these black-suited abductors or their motives.

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The men did not take long to get back in the van, but they did have to secure the man first. That gave Shadowblade ample time to place the tracer somewhere it wouldn't be seen by them. Under the left rear bumper, while all of the men were busy securing their captive or getting in to drive. After that, they sped off, careful not to drive too fast.

 

Before they left, she heard them mumble something about a 'facility'.

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"A facility, eh?" Shadowblade murmured as the van moved off into the night.  And clearly engaging in something less than legal, to be abducting people right off the street.  She quickly confirmed that she was receiving a good signal from her tracer, then shadow-jumped to another rooftop.  She moved quickly, trying to keep the van in view from her rooftop perches as much as she could in the miserable weather, but trusting her tracer to guide her during those nerve-wracking moments when she lost sight of her quarry.

 

It was cold and growing colder, and the wind made her shiver, but at least the exertion of the chase was helping to keep her warmer.  Still, she hoped that this "facility," whatever it was, was not too far away.

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It didn't take all that long for the van to reach the facility. Shadowblade found it fairly easy to keep track of the van, thanks to being able to teleport. The men in the van weren't apparently paying attention to the teleporting heroine, on account of being on the roofs of the buildings they drove past.

 

Less than an hour after capturing the homeless man, the men drove into a lengthy driveway that ended at an old-fashioned brownstone building. To her surprise, the van drove right through the wall as if it weren't even there.

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Shadowblade blinked in surprise.  Obviously, this was something more than a simple kidnapping, as if five black-suited men grabbing a homeless man hadn't already suggested that.  She surveyed the brownstone and the surrounding area carefully before approaching, using her abilities to keep to the shadows as much as she could.  As she approached the house, she carefully surveyed the seemingly innocuous brownstone.  Out of habit, she tried to locate any suitable entrance or access points, though she was uncertain how reliable her sight was, given the way the van had gone through that wall.  More importantly, she kept her senses alert for anything strange or odd, any clues that might help her understand a little more about what she was getting into.

 

The standard-looking brownstone had several non-standard men standard in watching from various windows.  One even appeared to be holding a rifle or a high-tech weapon of some sort.  She made even more effort to keep hidden, having no desire to experience the effects of that weapon.  Finally, she spotted a back entrance that seemed to be unguarded or possibly unnoticed.  This could not possibly so easy... Still, it was the best entrance she saw.  Slowly, stealthily, she moved toward the unguarded entrance, listening with all her might.

Edited by Corsecjedi

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The door opened to a stairwell that looked to be old, but in reasonably good shape. The stairwell was located right in front of the exit, with a hallway extending outward from there. From what Shadowblade could hear, there were people down the hallway as well as up the stairs.

 

The area she was currently in was poorly lit, with old lights flickering slightly. The 'facility' looked like it might be a re-purposed school building.

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Shadowblade slipped down the hallway first, hoping to find where the homeless man and the van had ended up.  She teleported from shadow to shadow, moving quietly toward the sounds of the people that she had heard in that direction.  She swept the hallway with her eyes; of all the places she had expected, an abandoned and re-purposed school building had been fairly low on the list.

 

As she moved, she listened to the people she was moving towards, still uncertain what exactly was going on here.

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As she paused in one of the shadows, she heard the telltale sound of footsteps. A man, approximately six feet tall and carrying some sort of futuristic rifle, approached her. He was fairly alert, but made no sign if he noticed her. In fact, he was probably completely oblivious to her presence.

 

She happened to stop about ten feet away from a supply closet, which he was approaching at a leisurely pace.

 

She heard some chatter elsewhere, speaking too quietly to identify the subject of their discussion. They did, however, mention 'subjects', probably the homeless man and others.

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Shadowblade leapt into action.  Hopefully, the guard or the supply cabinet would give her a clue before moving toward the sound of the voices.  She shadow-jumped behind the guard, appearing for just a second as she struck with the flat of her blade and hoping for the quick knockout.  She vanished back into the shadows, alert for any sound of alert from the voices muttering indistinctly ahead of her.

Edited by Corsecjedi

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The blade managed to ting off the side of a protective plate under his suit and he turned and gasped. Seeing a woman step out from the shadows was apparently such a unique experience that he just stared. He made another gasping noise, and then tried to ready his weapon to fire, obviously shaken at nearly getting impaled by a sword.

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Shadowblade bit back a curse at her sloppy strike.  She spun back toward the guard and took up a proper stance.  She feinted low and outside, and the guard's eyes followed the distracting thrust of her blade.  He tried to step out of the way, straight into the pommel strike she'd set up with her feint.  The guard staggered and dropped to the floor.  Shadowblade grabbed hold of his unconscious form and teleported back into the shadows.  With the guard out of the way, she paused to listen again for any change in the quiet muttering of the other inhabitants of the facility.

 

The buzzing murmur of conversation carried on unabated.  Shadowblade let out a quiet sigh of relief that her misstep hadn't cost her.  She quickly patted down the guard but found nothing which indicated what was going on here beyond the weapon he carried.  She moved to the supply closet and searched through that as swiftly as she could.  Again, nothing which explained what was going on here, but she did find a map of the building from its day as a school.  She studied the map for a few seconds, trying to get a feel for the general layout; then she tucked the map into a pouch and got ready to move on.  She had already wasted enough time with the guard.

 

At least the supply closet gave her a convenient place to hide his unconscious form.  She teleported him inside and locked the door as securely as she could with her multitool.  Then, she headed deeper in the re-purposed school towards the sounds of the voices.

Edited by Corsecjedi

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The hallway poured out into a large room, what looked to be the gym. It had an upper balcony that covered the right side, and the middle contained a strange looking device with an empty metal box in the middle. It looked like it contained a makeshift coffin, and was connected with wires and tubes to the machine beside it.

 

Four scientists stood around the box, discussing subjects.

 

"So, subject A showed no signs of change, subject B is awaiting the machine." One of the scientist said. "The machine is cooling from the last test, and we can't afford a power surge on the network. That and I don't think this building could handle too much power at once."

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Shadowblade shadow-jumped up to the balcony as unobtrusively as she could.  From the vantage point, she quickly swept her eyes around the room, looking for any guards watching over the scientists.  Then she studied the device in the middle of the chamber more closely, looking especially for these Subjects A and B.  Any tests that threatened the very building with their power requirements were likely to be harmful to the subjects, and she had no intention of letting that come to pass.  She also eavesdropped shamelessly on the scientists, hoping that they might speak more about this strange machine and their experiments.

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The scientists continued observing the instrumentation on the machine while discussing the experiment. "T-Minus 6 minutes until we can go again." One of them said.

 

Suddenly, two guards walked into the room and gave the place a cursory examination. "Okay." One of them said. "Six minutes and we'll bring the old guy we picked up today in." He said. "I'll remember that. You said bring him out of sedation first, right?"

 

"Correct, we don't want him sedated for this, could interfere with the process."

 

"Gotcha, see you in six."

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Shadowblade crept silently over to the bank of light switches she had observed on the balcony.  She had the beginnings of a plan, but she wanted to even the odds against her with every advantage she could manufacture.  Hopefully, the light switches controlled the lights for the room as well as the balcony.  Casting the entire room into darkness might be able to provide the opening she needed.

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Approximately five minutes later, a man was brought in on a stretcher, he was obviously groggy, but waking up and nearly fully alert. There were two guards on hand, both obviously there to prevent the man on the stretcher from attacking the two scientists. They waited for another minute or so, then one of the scientists looked at the instrumentation.

 

"Alright, it's ready, let's put him in there."

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Shadowblade flipped the light switches, plunging the room into darkness.  She could hear the startled exclamations from the guards and scientists below and smiled.  She shadow-jumped down to the main floor near the homeless man and took a deep breath, focusing on the positions of the men in the room.  Then she vanished in a puff of smoke.  She flickered in and out as she jumped about the room, appearing for not even a second behind each of the guards and two of the scientists.  She appeared for just long enough to strike each of them with the flat of the blade.  She reappeared where she had started, near the homeless man with another puff of smoke and exhaled.  Around her, she could hear the sounds of men hitting the floor unconscious, and she smiled a tight, triumphant smile.  But one of the guards had managed to stay on his feet, though he looked dazed, disoriented by what was happening.

 

She turned toward the standing guard and murmured, "Let us dance, then, thee and I."  And then she leapt to the attack.

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The man on the stretcher gasped in shock as he began to struggle against his bindings. He whispered hoarsely 'Is someone there to help me? Please, let that be someone here to help me.' he shook again, and the stretcher fell over. He continued to struggle against his bonds, heedless of what was clearly a fight breaking out. Either that, or he heard someone attack and was taking advantage.

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Shadowblade lunged forward, taking advantage of the guard's disorientation and leaving herself open to attack as she lunged.  Her blow rapped the groggy man smartly on the head, and he collapsed to the ground in an unconscious heap.  With that danger neutralized, she shadow-jumped next to the homeless man and said in a low, soothing voice.  "Sooth, friend, I have come to render thee aid.  Be still for but a moment."  She pulled her dagger from its belt sheath and carefully sliced the man's restraints.  She gripped the man's arm tightly and decided to abandon her affected speech, at least for the moment.  The poor man was likely terrified and might not follow what she said.  "Keep hold of my arm, and I will see you to safety."

 

She jumped again, taking the rescued man with her up to the balcony.  She deposited him as gently as she could on the ground.  "Please, stay here for just a moment and catch your breath.  I swear, I shall return in but a moment.  Call if you need me."  She turned back to the main part of the room and found the remaining two scientists huddled near their equipment.  She leapt down again and quickly incapacitated one.  She turned to the last man and said in a cold voice.  "Speak, villain, unless thy wish is to follow thy compatriots.  What is thy aim and purposes?  I give thee fair warning: thou dost not wish to arouse my anger further."  She had no intention of harming the man, but hopefully he would be frightened enough to fill in her vague threat with his own panicked imagination.

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"O-okay, Ma'am." The man said, backing away. "It's...it's something someone wanted tested. Supposed to give powers or something." He sighed. "We're engineers, all we know is how to keep it from blowing the circuits of the whole school or from overheating. The people who actually know how it does what it does are the bosses of the operation."

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Shadowblade nodded, though he couldn't see her.  She stepped closer as he retreated.  "Much do I desire to give my greeting to these 'bosses' of thine," she said, her tone marginally warmer because of his cooperation.  "Where might I find these gentlemen?"

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"They're in the old office area, which is across the hall from the old cafeteria." he said. "Look, um, they'll be really mad if they found out I talked, so, could you maybe just knock me out?" He said, hands shaking. "You know, so nobody knows I said anything. 'Cause if they get you, they'll kill me, and I have a family, and I...I'm done with this business. I needed money, and...god I'm rambling aren't I."

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"T'would be my pleasure, friend.  Yet I fear I must press thee for some little more information.  Dost thou know if thy masters have any more 'subjects' imprisoned within?  And the disposition and strength of their guards?"  She made her voice reasonable as she added.  "Answer in sooth, and I shall knock thee bout thy ears."

Edited by Corsecjedi

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He nodded.  "Okay, um, there are two more. One hasn't been used yet, just came in about five minutes ago. The first one was put through the chamber, to no effect. Both are in the old cafeteria. Other than the guys you just knocked out, there are five more guards in the area. Gotta warn you though, the boss knows his way around a fight. Just warning you." He said, taking a breath.

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