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Posted Today, 12:09 AM
March 15, 2014
Blackstone Prison
8 PM
"Congratulations, Number 01337, you're going out 24 hours early!" The thump of the Blackguard's truncheon against his glassed cell door caught Breaker's attention. A trio of guards, flanking a convict Flynt hadn't seen before, were standing outside his cell with keys and transfer equipment in hand. "Number 03314 here managed to get herself out of the psych ward overnight, so we're putting here in here and moving you upstairs a day early. You'll like it up there, Number 1, just make sure you don't go outside till your parole clears. It's colder than Hell out there."

The new prisoner, a woman with a close-cropped prison haircut, met Flynt's eyes with a truly murderous glare (the kind he'd gotten a lot in and out of prison); the swollen-up bruises on one side of her face a testament to whatever brawl had gotten her back in gen-pop overnight. She couldn't talk, not with the bite guard in place, but she did not look happy to be taking his spot - their power nullification gloves about all they had in common.

"Fascinating, simply fascinating." Down in the reactor room, Richard Pasaphan, architect of Thailand's planned Royal Prison for Extraordinary Crime, was taking furious notes as Warden Drummer spoke. He'd been friendly enough upon his introduction to Crimson Tiger, the legacy heroine who was the most prominent Thai hero active in Freedom City, but for the most part had spent all his time soaking in the tour of the most famous super-prison in the world.

"All right, I think we're ready to go upstairs," said Drummer as he led them out towards the elevator, he and Pasaphan talking a mile a minute about the logistics of super-prisoner containment. Crimson Tiger had gotten the full tour as well, but it was obvious she was just part of the local color here.
Precognition was a funny thing, as were psychic powers in general - what else could have led both Foreshadow and Mindsteel to the same windswept island on the same cold, gloomy evening? Of course, for heroes like Arrowhawk, it wasn't psychic powers that steered you along but pure instinct...

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Markus blinked from his position near the ceiling - a chin-up bar having been installed (and triple-bolted, and reinforced, and distinctly anti-super-strength'd) only a few days prior. It was a temporary thing, and he'd had to ask for months before they'd let him have it; but still...totally worth it. Upper body strength, ho! And, to boot, it made for a great timekiller. If he wasn't jogging or doing push ups/sit ups, he was going up and down on the bar. Usually whistling rebellious rap music while he was doing it.


Stereotype, thy name is Markus Flynt.


His mohawk, slightly squished from being pushed against the ceiling glass, sprang back into place as he dropped heavily; shaking the floor a bit. A wave before the guard started talking - with a grin in his direction. "Aaaah, mornin', Joe! How's th' missus? That bellyache gone yet?" He'd done his best to be a model inmate (at least when he wasn't winning at prisoner poker nights), and building a rapport with the guards was a good idea.


The hulking bulk of the ex-gang boss moseyed on over to the door, hearing that he was to be let out 24 hours early - and the only thing that kept him from skipping was the new inmate's death glare. Matter of fact, he wasn't really overly chuffed to see that sorta glare on a day when his parole was finally going through; so he matched it with a real cool stare of his own. Heck - he even quipped.


"...huh. Looks like somebody woke up on th' wrong side of th' bed this morning." Beat. "Or fell off."

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Mali was a bit put off by the request, but she was amiable to it. After all, she might need to know what the layout of the prison was like some day, in case one of those super villains got their hands on the wrong device and either tried to break someone out, or break out themselves. In Freedom City, prison layouts were just practical knowledge.


Even though she was no expert on technology, she kept her eyes peeled and her ears perked for any telltale information that might help in the future. Filing bits of information away for, well, nothing. Preparation, possible difficulties. She'd obviously never need to actually worry about a break out.

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Pulling the Donorcycle to the side of the long and winding road down Lonely Point, Gideon tugged off his helmet and reached for his thermos. Most people wouldn't be taking a coffee break at 8PM, but most people went to sleep at a reasonable hour. Gideon was not like most people for a variety of reasons, he reflected, thinking of the costume he carried in his backpack and the strange feeling, like a hook anchored in the middle of his forehead, that led him onward.


Heaving a heavy sigh, he chugged the lukewarm remainder and hit the road again, his eyes a little wider for the moment. In a little over two weeks of being Mindsteel he'd already managed to get involved in a hostage situation and a drug war, and that kind of thing tended to cut into relaxation time when one also had bills to pay. Factor in keeping up the illusion that his secret identity was his only one and you get a recipe for perpetual tiredness; thank God for caffeine.


In all that time he'd either had to go looking for leads or had them drop right into his lap; he could see the past, not the future. So this feeling was an especially strange one, pregnant with purpose he couldn't fathom. Was it the budding of some new psychic power, the manifestation of one of the many energies he'd ripped himself up inside with over the years, or the beginnings of insanity? Whatever the case, it was quite impossible to ignore, so he followed it.


Speeding down the road toward Blackstone Penitentiary, he wondered what the hell he was getting himself into...

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Money may not be able to buy happiness.  But it can buy jet skis.  And any person claiming to not be happy on a jet ski had to be a liar as the hooded acrobat known as Foreshadow was having the time of his life.  His gift of Foresight more or less providing the urgency that his face lacked as he headed for the isolated prison island.  Getting onto the island would be easy enough.  Even if he was spotted along the way Erick's willingness to actually stop and pose for cameras meant the current incarnation of Foreshadow was actually recognizable.  That usually came with a little bit of trust.


Hopefully that went a long way.  If the haze of confusing images were any indication he still had a long night in store for him.  As the cool night air whipped against his face cape fluttering behind him Foreshadow could take solace in one very simple fact.  Jet skis were awesome.  Even speeding towards the gloom that was Blackstone Penitentiary.  No one ever said you couldn't have fun on the job.

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The prisoner made a muffled noise that could have been anything - but it wasn't hard for Markus to guess that it wasn't anything friendly. "C'mon, 03314, it's this or the hole. We know you don't like it down there - it's cold, and it's wet..." Joe took over with Markus while the stiff with rage 03314 was escorted into the cell, helping the convict pack the cardboard box that held his worldly possessions not already in the hands of the state. Joe was a friendly guard, the kind who got to work with the trusty prisoners, and for a moment looked unhappy before he smiled at his escort. "Let's get you upstairs, big fella. You know," he said with a wink as he scanned his keycard and stopped the elevator coming up from down below, "I may not even have a missus. A guard would have to be pretty crazy to talk about his family where the cons can hear, right?" As the doors slid open, he added, "Thanks, though She's fine." 


Inside the elevator, the Blackguard escorted the hulking prisoner into a surprisingly crowded space - there was a slim, elderly Asian man with a white goatee, hornrim glasses, and tweed jacket that made him look like he'd stepped right out of Central Casting for a college professor, Warden Drummer himself who nodded a courteous hello to Markus. "Mr. Flynt." Standing next to him, in full costume, was the girl who'd put Breaker behind bars in the first place. 





Fate, as it sometimes does, brought motorcyclist and jetskier within sight of each other - the darkness of the night suddenly interrupted by a flash of light and sound from overhead - something was flying towards the prison so fast that it was lighting the very air on fire! The projectile zipped past Mindsteel and Foreshadow and slammed into the walls of the old concrete fort that was the only external structure visible on Blackstone Island, erupting with a great splash of liquid color as it splattered across the walls like a giant ball of colorful paint. As they approached, lights and sirens came from the prison itself - the sound of a highly-secured facility moving to a serious alert! 

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Moving swiftly along the road, with Blackstone rising up ominously before him, Gideon glanced out to sea, reveling in the icy breeze. He could see a jet-skiier out on the water; that was an unusual hobby to have going on at this time of night, but he had no room to talk. Then again, whoever it was also happened to be headed for the prison, and that set him a little on edge. He peered closer; he considered himself a well-informed person, so if whoever it was happened to be in costume he might just know a thing or two about said individual. Sure enough, he did.


Through the gloom, thanks to the jet ski's lights, he could make out a familiar costume.


It was Foreshadow! Gideon felt positively giddy; he was out on patrol, and here was a legendary hero, the kind of man he'd idolized as a kid, doing the same thing in the same place at the same time. This was the kind of thing he'd always dreamed of, meeting one of the greats. It was said that Foreshadow now operated very differently from before and so probably wasn't the same person whose exploits Gideon had eagerly followed, but still. Gideon was halfway to waving when he realized he wasn't wearing his costume. Cursing, he pulled over and fished around in his bag for his mask.


As he was getting his mask and duster on, glad for the isolation of the dark and lonely stretch of road, he glanced up, scanning for the hero. He'd probably blown his chance now. But as he was looking about, something else caught his attention: goodness gracious, great balls of fire! He stood, dumstruck, as something slammed into Blackstone's walls and burst like an overripe fruit. The distant blaring of alarms brought him back to the present. He kicked the Donorcycle back into action, his purple duster flapping in the wind behind him as he sped for the prison's main gate.


This had to be what that strange feeling was about, and it looked like the big leagues. He could only hope he was ready.

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"...oh, blimey."


Breaker stopped stock-still, staring into the elevator with the air of a man who'd just been poleaxed between the legs. Which, all things considered, wasn't a half-bad metaphor for what that red-clad tosser had done to him Southside not that long ago. He wondered if she was just as surprised as he was - which lead to an excellent question of why she was here. She didn't strike him as the sort who'd end up tossed into the old nick...well, not unless she kicked someone's head off.


Though given she'd folded him up in one punch, that wasn't out of the realm of possibility...


He tossed a look at Joe, purely quizzical-like, and turned back to give a somewhat awkward hello; when the lights abruptly went emergency red. And the alarms started sounding. And the speakers started screaming. And the floor started shaking.


"...uh." The large bruiser stood there for a moment, taking in the situation again; then gave a somewhat awkward look to both the Warden and the heroine. "I didn't do it?"

Edited by Quinn
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Outrageously tall men with green mohawks do not get forgotten easily. So, it was with a mixture of confusion and trepidation that she looked at Breaker. Still, he was being good, in a manner of speaking. He seemed to be getting let out, so it was hardly her place to judge. Maybe prison had changed him. When the alarm went off, she didn't think it had been him, but she was slightly amused to hear him state it outright.


So, she looked at the warden and the guards. "Think your guys could use a little help figuring out what just happened, and stemming the tide of convicts?" If they thought the situation was well in hand, she would stay to protect them from potential attackers. But she assumed she was the only hero in the area, and thus the only one the guards would be getting help from.

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Foreshadow looked over at the person off in the distance riding their motorbike.  Exchanging a look for the faintest of moments.  But not lingering for too long.  Even if he wanted to focus on the image the universe had seen fit to provide ample distraction.  In the form of some sort of projectile floating overhead.  With the worst possible target in the area as far as he was concerned.


Any shouts Foreshadow could have even considered mustering up would have been naught.  The sound of the ensuing explosion deafened the Russian profanity as it escaped his lips.  Accelerating towards the chaos, Foreshadow didn't question who could have possibly fired upon the correctional facility.  His only concern was making sure everyone was unharmed.  Even if unlike the staff the general population weren't as likely to welcome him with open arms.  


You didn't have to see the future to know when you were in for a rough time.  Sometimes a rocket propelled explosion, or whatever it was served as a giant bulletin board.  It was definitely a rough one.  As soon as the jet ski touched down on land.  The long faded smile on Foreshadow's face was replaced with transparent concern.  Taking off into a dead sprint for the Blackstone.

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"The prisoners aren't rioting. Not yet, anyway." Drummer was listening to his earpiece, a look of intense concentration on his face, and after a moment he barked a few code phrases "Sierra Mike Alfa, yeah. And put Alfa Lima Lima on it." Realizing there were people in the car who didn't know those words, people who might need to know, the warden explained. That's the outer perimeter alarm, not the inner security alarm," he said aloud, letting Crimson Tiger translate for the benefit of their guest. "That only goes off if someone is attacking the exterior of the prison, but that hasn't happened in over a decade, not since the '03 Grue Invasion. I'm sending people on top now to see what's going on."



Once they made their way to the island, either by ferry or by boat, both Mindsteel and Foreshadow found a guard staff eager and ready for superheroic help, albeit thoroughly baffled at what they were dealing with. A menacing reddish-brown fluid had been sprayed across the side of the prison by the explosion - a foul-smelling ichor that clung to the sides of the old fort like rotting glue.


"I don't know what to make of it!" said Captain Schmitt of the upper-deck Blackguards, who had buzzed Mindsteel on through to the island and greeted Foreshadow on the beach. "If that's Grue technology or some crap, my people aren't getting near it till we get a lab guy on it! Can't even get through to the warden with the security alert on."



"As per standard protocol, the elevator's going back to the last floor it visited, and into lockdown, until the perimeter alarm has been breached. Better to cut down our own mobility than give intruders access to-" Sure enough, the elevator went down to the level they'd just left - just in time for a Blackguard, one of the three who'd been left to put prisoner 03314, to smash violently into the unbreakable security glass that had been deployed in front of the doors.


As the man slid down in a boneless heap, the heroes inside the elevator saw what had happened in their absence.

There were four of them, a jumpsuited figure in plain, generic black with a fully-covered face and limbs none of the heroes there recognized, and three more familiar - a green-glowing powerhouse with a nervous disposition, aka Gamma the Atom-Smasher, another black-clad figure who was from his speed and blurred movements the speedster-thief Downtime, and a fourth with a sandy body and muscular build who looked very much like the lovely veteran villainess Sandstone.

Their target was clear enough - Prisoner 03314! While Downtime worked on the security panel to open the cell, his fingers moving at an impossible rate, 03314 stood in there, still shackled but with her bite guard gone, and stared at the glass as if she could burn holes in it with her eyes - seemingly focused directly on Gamma, who despite his size and well-known powers was actually twitching nervously beneath that glare.


As the elevator opened, Sandstone turned and said "Damn!" Walking up to the elevator shaft, she said "Hey, none of you are on the list, so as long as you...Markus? Markus Flynt?! Hey man, how's it hanging?" She grinned, her threat forgotten. "So you're still in stir, huh?"

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"I wouldn't go too near it," came a low voice from behind Mindsteel and Foreshadow. Bulky muscle and thick armour plates slid past the group under a long black cape. "It's a big, homemade stink bomb. Looks like someone mixed up a load of tar and tape and shot it out of something big so it splattered all over the wall. Definitely not unearthly." Arrowhawk shook his head, red eyes glaring out from under his cowl. "All the same, I wouldn't just walk up to it with a scrubbing brush. The fumes along wouldn't be healthy."


He glanced around at the heroes already there. "I thought dirty protests were usually in the prison..."

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The excitement of standing beside frikkin Foreshadow (which a 20-year old should probably be a little less giddy about, Gideon reminded himself) was dampened by the situation. He had no idea what that stuff was, but given where it was he could guess its purpose. A supervillain prison had to deal with its share of bizarre breakout strategies; now it was Gideon's turn to make sure that one of them didn't work. He jumped a foot when Arrowhawk spoke, then turned on the spot, starstruck again. He was on the front lines with the veterans!


Then again, he remembered, suddenly sobering, all the people he'd want to brag to about that were dead or in prison.


"I'll take your lead," Mindsteel told the other two heroes, trying to sound as calm and confident as possible even as he admitted that he had no idea what to do. What was the point of firing a giant stink bomb? A distraction, or something more sinister? He hoped one of the others would have a guess.

Edited by Sszinid
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"...oh, blimey."


A quiet part of Breaker's mind noted - it would be just his luck to, within one day, run into a) the girl who folded him up in one punch, and b ) the crush who flung him across a stadium with one punch.


The other part of him was busy staring somewhat slack-jawed, with a similar poleaxed expression to before. Breaker blinked a few times, then shook his head to clear his mind - actually managing to give a hoarse laugh. "Good grief - Sandy! What th' ruddy 'ell! Hah!"


He didn't step up and give her a hug (that would be awkward as hell), but he put up a brofist for pounding - stepping forward for that (and coincidentally interposing his massive frame between the innocents in the elevator and the villains in front; probably inadvertent, that. Probably). His free hand, behind his back, promptly started waving the others down. Ho boy. "Heh, not anymore. Made early parole on good behavior - if ya'd been here ten minutes ago, ya'd have been bustin' me outta that cell!" A chuckle. "So, who's gettin' the early release there?"


Markus's thoughts were racing as he took in the rather incongruous situation - and the villains. He'd heard of Gamma, never worked with him - guy was a danger to himself and others. Hadn't operated with Downtime either (though from what he'd heard he'd be an okay guy to toss a few beers back with, if you could handle a lot of boasting). Sandstone was...well, Sandstone (though now was hardly the time to be thinking of a dinner date). And he had no idea who the prisoner was. Which was even worse.


Blimey was putting it mildly.

Edited by Quinn
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"It could serve as a signal.  It's not like inmates don't find ways to pass along enough information to have ears where the guards don't.  If it's not a precursor to some larger effect.  I too vote no to the touching."  Foreshadow's gaze never faltered from the questionable area.  Maintaining a conversation with the others without any eye contact.  He had a general idea of his surroundings to do as such.  


Despite his only run in with the Grue being a far from subtle run with the Meta-Grue.  Foreshadow doubted there was much in the way of chance of the Grue doing something lacking that much tact.  This wasn't some early 90's end of the Cold War propaganda film with people shifting the unseen terrors from the Soviets to the aliens blending in.  Or again ten years later when actual aliens did blend in.  No, he expected it fell somewhere far more in his regular workday.  Criminals overstepping their bounds.


"Ruling out interstellar shenanigans.  I'm all for giving a voice to the voiceless, but I doubt this is just a protest.  Not that I'm signing on for some union busting.  But let's get a closer look at the excitement rather than speculating.  Establishing contact with the rest of the Blackguards and Warden.  We might be able to put a nip on anything before it gets any worse."  Erick didn't believe the words even as they left his lips.  It was definitely going to get worse before it got better.  It always did.

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Sandstone snorted. "Not unless you've got green besides that hair, honey." She cocked a thumb back at the group working on the door. "This is a top-dollar retrieval job. But look, if you're getting out soon, think about what you're gonna do when you get out. The League's paying top dollar for people like us, and the new boss actually gives a rat's ass about the people on the front lines. He's-" 


"She's not going to work with you, Alexandra," said the warden, looking up from his wrist communicator. Unhappy though he seemed with this state of affairs, he wasn't particularly distressed - this looked more like yet another bad day rather than a disaster for the head of Freedom's toughest prison. "You're smart, you wouldn't have taken this job without reading her psych profile. Frances Psion is a loose cannon at the best of times. If you break her out now, people are going to die." 


"Seems to me that's the job of supers to stop, then," she said with a shrug. "Like Cat-Girl here." She frowned as she looked at Crimson Tiger. "Honey, don't you worry about what people will say on the Internet?" 


Across the way, another conversation was taking place between Frances Psion and Gamma, the Atom-Smasher. "Why would they send you?" inquired the former, her eyes narrow as she stared down the radioactive powerhouse. "Didn't you tell them what happened? Do they not know?" She laughed, and it was not a pleasant sound. "I guess you wouldn't have wanted to broadcast that, huh? Our little barbecue session, I mean.


"I, uh...that was all your grandpa's idea!" said Gamma, swallowing nervously and visibly keeping Downtime between himself and Frances. "And he fixed me up afterwards, so we're...we're square!" 






Inside the main control room in the Old Fort, the news was not good. The security alert had been cleared, but they hadn't yet been able to make contact with the rest of the prison. Looking at banks of monitors, Schmitt showed the heroes the interior of the prison. "Here's all the levels...except Level 2 of the Apex Level. That's temporary housing and trusty barracks. Where they put the people who've been on good behavior," he added for Mindsteel's benefit. "And it's where the warden last was." 

He pulled up a map that looked like an upside-down mountain - which in fact it was, a map of the prison. "But if we're going to get you down _there_...we'll need the monorail. That's nearly a mile of corridor down into the heart of the prison, way down under a whole lot of New Jersey sandstone." 

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"Hmm." Arrowhawk stood stock still, the only movement being a slight ripple of his cape. "A mile in a tin box through tunnels of crushing heavy stone. Into a potential breakout situation, with god knows what going on down there, and no way to contact ahead to find out." He let out a deep, weary sigh, and reached into his cape with one hand, drawing out a longbow where it was clipped to the quiver underneath. 


He shouldered it, glancing at his gloves as he did so to check they were secure and not loose enough to encumber his shooting. "I suppose someone's going to have to go in. It may as well be us."

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"You make it sound like such a great plan," Mindsteel murmured, with more bravado than he felt. Being starstruck was wearing off somewhat as the reality of the situation sunk in. Whoever was doing this had managed to black out a section of a prison meant to hold some of the worst villains ever to menace a city that was commonly menaced by really awful villains; as far as Gideon was concerned, that meant he was almost certainly outclassed by orders of magnitude. And here he was, standing beside two of the greats as if he belonged.


It occurred to him that he'd probably sounded like a total prick a moment earlier, and he swallowed hard while heaving a deep mental sigh, his tone more humble the next time he spoke. "I'm ready. Is there any other way out, or will whoever's doing all this have to move up the same tunnel we'll be going down?" In a city hosting teleporters, creators of gates to other worlds, and tunnelers through solid stone that was likely a stupid question, but if someone was stink-bombing the walls they clearly planned for something to happen topside.


"Or maybe one of us should stay here," he added after a moment's thought. "There's clearly someone at work on the outside as well."

Edited by Sszinid
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Breaker'd been about to respond when the Warden spoke up, and his face got longer with each bit of explanation. "Wait, you mean that crazy bi-...what...aw, hell naw - she's a Psion?" Oh, that big man's face was a picture. Rule number seventy-seven of the underground - never go to work for groups who can have their mental issues/status classified en-masse. "Sandy, are you nuts? Busting out a buddy's one thing, but she's a ticking time bomb."


The mohawk shook from side to side as he put up both his hands, wincing. Damnit, here he was trying to go straight, and already calling back to what he used to do. The warden was going to deny his parole for, like, ever. At least until his 'hawk turned gray. Effin' joyful. "You know the rules - no collateral damage, hon', that's how we operate - makes our guys a whole lot better'n the crazy ones. Lettin' a loose cannon like this out's just gonna complicate things like whoa. Ya can still get the hell outta dodge here - clear out before somebody that don't deserve it gets hurt!"


Breaker adopted an earnest expression, still standing between the others and the villains - sure, his parole'd be screwed, but if she took it there wouldn't be a breakout, and he wouldn't have to swing for the fences! Win-win, right?


Shame things never go that smooth.

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Mali said nothing to the villain. Mostly because she felt herself above petty, catty remarks. Even a remark about 'well, at least I'm not the catty one' went unsaid. Instead, she watched the villains carefully. She shifted, subtly, in front of the noncombatants. From what she could read of Breaker, he was no more inclined to let this get bad than she was. That was good. He was big, pretty strong. If nothing else he could handle himself if things got rough. Bonus points if he were earnestly on their side.


Things could get tense, so she waited, very carefully.

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"As tactically sound as that idea is.  We're not exactly here alone.  Have a little faith in the Blackguards I'm sure they have at least access to one of the island's armor collection.  And the sheer number of potential victims prisoner and guard alike if something fishy is going on might require all hands on deck.  But if you want to pull rear go ahead."  Foreshadow responded pulling out his multi purpose escrima sticks taking a cue from Arrowhawks preparation.  The lack of insight to the state of what was going on beneath them urged at least some level of caution.


Foreshadow was also confident in that if a topside invasion did occur, the heroes would just deal with it when it came.  It may have been arrogance on his part.  But even if the situation turned dire he wasn't going to acknowledge the possibility of failure that easily.  He wasn't so optimistic to believe things weren't about to get arduous.  His concerns just didn't translate into actual worry.


"Alright Captain, let's start this journey to the center of the Earth.  Or insert witty chutes and ladders joke here."

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Down Below 


Sandstone stared at Breaker for a moment, then nodded, shooting a look at the warden who was still giving her a death glare before looking back at Breaker. "Yeah, yeah, I can see how you've obviously changed your ways, Breaker. Too bad! Otherwise I might have looked you up when you got out for all that good behavior. See you 'round, Tall Hat." She went back and joined the others by the door to Ember's cell, which was proving harder to get open than Downtime had evidently originally estimated - the black-clad speedster was muttering curses as he worked at the lock at super-speed. 


"C'mon, that'severypossiblecombination! Whatthehelliswrongwiththisstupidthing?" 


"They must have the DNA lockouts in place," offered Gamma with a tentative look at Ember - the big man's fear seemed to have abated now that she wasn't talking to him anymore. "We need the Warden to get it open." 


"All right, well, hold tight." Sandstone shot a look back at the black-jumpsuited figure who was the fourth man in their group, who nodded silently and stepped back - and suddenly jumped inside the elevator! He grabbed the warden before anyone could react and vanished just as quickly, reappearing outside Ember's cell an instant later. "OK, Warden, open the door. We can do this the nice way, or the way where I hold your eyes open over the scanner." 




The monorail quickly zipped its way through the tunnels, the Blackguard silent and sure in their purpose as they guided the cars for the benefit of the heroes. Blackstone, dug out after 1993 with the help of Dr. Metropolis and other earth-movers, really was a gigantic prison, a place that could potentially have sheltered the entire population of Freedom City - as it was, it only held Freedom City's worst. Within a few seconds, they reached the sub-station that would take them down to the level that held the Warden and the VIPs who'd been traveling with him. "Our guest from Thailand and his escort, the hero Crimson Tiger," Schmitt explained - but at the station they found a scene of battle - the two Blackguards on duty beaten into unconsciousness and the control systems smashed. "Damn!" exclaimed Schmitt, practically jumping out of the cars as they stopped. "Jackson and Van Buren are two of our best people," he said, bending over the man and woman fallen at the foot of the control station. 

"We'll have to take the ladder; they're just one level down! You go, I need to look after my people!" He was already working on Van Buren, snapping open her armor's first aid kit. "C'mon, Mattie, you survived that damn Omegadrone, you can't let this get you down!" It looked as though both she and Jackson had been burned and tossed around, as if by some great, very energetic force. 

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Foreshadow didn't consider a prison tour to be a tourist past time.  Sure dilapidated prisons with a history, but an active correctional facility?  Foreshadow assumed the VIP was merely visiting a family member who was imprisoned.  "Crimson Tiger, huh.  She can more than hold her own.  If the warden's with her, he's as safe as can be and so is your guest."  Foreshadow looked between the burnt blackguards.  Giving a nod of affirmation towards the captain.  Foreshadow would have otherwise offered to stay and help with the first aid.  


But they were needed elsewhere.  And rules of engagement dictated the best preventative medicine was superior firepower.  Or in their case manpower.  Choosing to instead have faith in the whatever first aid training the Blackguards have received.  So that they could focus on preventing adding a bigger tally on the injured.  While he couldn't guarantee it would be faster, but if he was on his own Foreshadow would have just balanced himself on the monorail to descend further.


A ladder was as good as walking a tight line in a journey to the center of the earth.  If you took out all the fun of it.

Edited by HG Morrison
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"Awww..." Breaker did sound major league crushed when she said that, followed by the warden getting stolen right under his nose. His shoulders dropping along with his head - and Crimson Tiger could have sworn she saw his mohawk droop slightly. Face was a picture of sad - darnit, being good was going to be a lot harder than initially thought. After all, he couldn't let Ember and the rest of these bums get out and wreak havoc - good guy or not, the amount of collateral damage unleashed would be unacceptable.


Everyone behind him in the elevator saw his mighty hands clenched. Which meant...aw, man.


"I'm...sorry y'feel that way, love." Breaker's eyes flicked left, having noticed something before, before flicking back to her turned-around head. "Aw, heck...an' I'm real sorry about this."




That was about as much as Sandstone got out - see, there was one thing Markus recalled. The last time he and Sandy had tussled - he wasn't able to bench a cement truck. Now, however? Here's hoping they shorted out the nullifier cuffs on this level; he lunged left, one hand seizing the fire alarm and hauling downwards. Now, he just had to hope the timing was right - eyes watched the sprinklers in the ceiling as mighty thews bunched underneath his orange jumpsuit, and those powerful pistons he called legs propelled him forward like a runaway freight train; a thunderous right heading straight for the side of her head!


Rather incongruously - he wondered if he could make up for it with flowers. Aw, man.

Edited by Quinn
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The beaten guards made it all real. Gideon swallowed hard, murmuring a little prayer for the battered duo under his breath. The weight of all the earth above him seemed to press down on his spirit, choking him with worry. He hoped Foreshadow was right about Crimson Tiger's ability to keep the warden and company safe; a prisoner looking for revenge might do worse to them than had been inflicted on these two poor souls.


But there was no time to lose; if Schmitt said they had to go now, Gideon was inclined to believe him. Whoever had broken in clearly meant business, and they still had no idea what exactly their goal was. Jogging over to the ladder, the young man followed Foreshadow down deeper into the prison. Sparks flared around his hands as he prepared himself to call forth his psiblade at a moment's notice.


Whatever lay ahead of him, he had no doubt it would prove a tremendous challenge...

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