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HGM

Flight of the Osprey

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Ulysses still not entirely sure himself decides the best thing to do is compromise, and moving at around quarter of his full potential waddles along making short but swift steps across the creaking floor before him, looking not unlike a penguin going at many times the speed in his reserved rush towards the sounds of life before him. cringing visibly at the creaks each unsure step produces as he shuffles along, for whilst he was sure that working for the government afforded him some leeway he was not only unsure that demolishing a building accidentally or not was on the cards.

Deciding prudence was the better part of tactics he opts to having made a bit of a racket already not waste time faffing around and instead head towards the source of the disturbance.

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GM

Ulysses managed to tear a path with utmost care. The building surviving the man's charge.  Eventually coming to the site of a teenager crawling underneath a pile of bent metal blocking a doorway.  A barrier that easily tore apart once the Spirit of Industry came at it head on.  The apartment that Ulysses had invited himself into was about as fire damaged as the rest of the building, however, the signs that someone had been living inside as of recent were noticeable.

The fair skin teen was wearing a grey hoodie kept open enough to reveal a blue polo.  A gaudy gold necklace with the words hard knocks emblazoned hung over his collar.  The boy's wavy hair had slight flecks of blonde highlights, and even more flecks of dirt and soot.  In fact, a shower was easily a luxury the youth had given up for his private living conditions.  Pulling out a pocket knife from his jeans, the youth pointed the blade threateningly at Ulysses.

"Oi,ya gonna wanna leave.  None of dis weight iz yours blud.  'Nother step and I'll 'ave to shank you ite?"

*            *           *

Agnus' night was going far smoother.  At Dee's direction she did indeed just go find Rafael Medina.  Rafael was chatting up a redheaded woman.  Someone whose main selling point was how she was some three digit number away from the throne and not much else.  The absolute disinterest on his face was readily apparent.  Nodding along to her every word and not contributing much of his own.  Instead seemingly content to bury his words behind a frequent consumption of white wine.

Rafael's lack of apparent interest in what was coming of the woman's mouth did little to hinder him from staying put.  One didn't need to be a mind reader to figure out his intentions after she got a few more drinks in her.  Not that they could leave the room unnoticed.  Rafael had two large muscular bodyguards on the opposite wall.  Of course, it might've been more precise to call them babysitters.  Their attention seemingly more focused on Rafael than anyone who came near.  Rumors of the unruly Medina apparently did not escape the host's attention either.

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"Now, Son, Lets not do anything hasty eh?" Ulysses calmly intones as he puts down the twisted metal of the obstruction "nobodies here to hurt you, we're here to investigate the fire.." he says, leaning against the doorway, causing the wood to creak unsurely with his weight clicking his tonuge and wincing slightly  "Mighty unsafe place to be right now, Son, what say you, i call up my partner, foreshadow and we three go for a nice chat somewhere less...prone to falling down on us?" he says even as his calfs tense, ready to surge forward and close the distance to restrain the youth like a coiled spring

" Do Ya parents know you're here?"

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Agnus wasn’t exactly a master seducer but she’d done alright for herself in the past, though she was technically off the market right now. But this was important business for Queen and country and all that so she didn’t have time to go about this the old fashioned way.

Okay Dee I don’t want to strike out her, I know it’s a little dubious but can you give me an in here? Hopefully I work my magic from there.

As she waited for an answer she struck what she hoped was a seductive come hither pose, she’d considered providing her own soft lighting but that was probably a bit to much.

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As Agnus moved closer toward their target, Dee moved off to one side of the room where she could keep an eye on things.  When her partner asked about giving her a "in," a faint smile came to Dee's face as she mentally replied.  

Oh, I think I can do far better than just give you an in.  I will just remove the current distraction. 

With that, the Enlishwoman fixed her gaze on the redheaded woman speaking with Rafael was speaking to.  As she did so, Dee reached out toward the young woman’s mind with her powers.  Dee found it rather easy to enter the woman's mind, seeing as it was already rather compromised by the alcohol she had already consumed. 

From there, it was a simple matter of seizing control of the young woman completely, taking over as the woman had finished a lengthy bit of her idle gossiping.  Dee then made the young woman begin to take another sip of her drink, but purposely causing her to appear to accidently spill some of the wine on herself instead. 

Under Dee's guidance, the redhead was appropriately shocked and embarrassed by her clumsiness, before she quickly excused herself and slipped away to deal with the catastrophe.

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GM

 

The youth scoffed.  "Do I look like me folks are in the picture?  'Sides don't 'ave anything to say to no blooming costume."  Taking a quick look at Ulysses' neckerchief turned cowl, the kid reached up and attempted to pull the cloth material over the larger man's eyes.  Charging forward in the same motion in an attempt to push past him.  What instead happened was the boy was knocked to the ground after slamming into Ulysses.  Clutching the top of his head as the sharp pain of the impact reverberated through his skull.  Small baggies filled with a yellow powder.

 

"Fine I'll go with ya."  The child relented, clearly upset with the situation.  Accepting his defeat he began to set upon collecting his small bags with haste.    

 

*            *           *

For a moment Rafael's expression soured.  It was a faint moment, and if one weren't watching the man closely they might've missed it.  But, Dee and Agnus were anything but inattentive.  "Hurry along now, it just wouldn't do to be waiting on mi piba all night."  Rafael called out with an outwardly polite smile.

 

Waiting just long enough for her to slip out of view before he resumed looking around the room.  Tio never throws a lively party.  Always too stuffy.  And the entertainment...so lacking.  Rafael thought whilst mentally appraising the guests around him.  No doubt as a means of entertainment now that he was no longer occupied by company

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Suddenly Foreshadow's head was flooded with a vision.  Six muscular looking men with various tattoos and piercings were storming the building. Pulling out various weapons from their biker gear, it became readily apparent that they were not looking to greet Foreshadow and Ulysses politely.   "Fu-un."  Foreshadow whispered to himself sarcastically.  

 

Turning his casual walk after Ulysses into a dead sprint.   "Big guy, we've got company coming.  And I don't know if they're here for us or your friend.  But, it's all sticks and stones they've got in mind.  Definitely not a wordy exchange if you catch my drift!"  The precognitive acrobat shouted across the hall.  He was less worried about the threat of someone trying to attack them, than he was about the possibility of the building giving way in the middle during the commotion.

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Having been caught by surprise by the youths audacity Ulysses found himself briefly blinded by his own cowl and something crash into and bounce off him, by the time he'd gotten his eyeholes lined back up he'd barely caught a glimpse of the last bag of yellow powder, he was about to reprimand the boy before foreshadow spoke up about the armed thugs entering the building.

 

"Think our little friend has stolen something from em....something powdery in sandwich bags." He says in a thunderous and disapproving voice "you stay put boy, i garuntee youd much rather go with us than them." as he turns to address the more pressing issue looking about the charred derelict "not really the best venue for me..but I think I can manage to avoid knocking the place down."  He says a little more quietly not wanting to give the youngster anymore reasons to try and bolt. "Good time to build synergy in th' workplace eh?"

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Dee kept her control over the young woman as she ensured she was well away from Rafael.  Although she could not now read his mind, his expression left little doubt as to how he was feeling.  It was now the perfect time for Agnus to draw Rafael’s attention so they could learn what they were here to uncover.

<Alright, the competition is out of the way and Rafael is starting to look bored and in need of some new entertainment.  I believe the time is right for your big entrance.>  The young Englishwoman communicated to her teammate.

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Agnus was never one to doubt her own abilities, well not often anyway, so as soon as the opening presented herself she seized the moments.

 

Cheers Dee, now wish me luck I'm going in.

 

Grabbing a couple of glasses of champagne she sashayed towards her target extruding as much confidence as she muster, and she could muster a lot. 

 

"It seems a shame that you're here all alone, do you mind if I join you?" Agnus offered on of the glasses ofor champagne whilst sipping her own, giving him a charming smile.

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GM

 

Rafael looked Agnus over approvingly.  "A shame indeed.  It'd be rude of me to turn down an offer from such an exquisite lady.  And where did my uncle find you?"  Rafael asked inquiring to Agnus' invitation to the party.  Scrunching his face up Rafael was hit with a moment of recollection.  There was just something on the tip of his memory.  "Wait a tic.  Where have I seen you before?  Were you at that rally in Bolivia last year?"

 

*     *     *

 

The sound of boots hitting against the burnt floors became audible to both Foreshadow and Ulysses.  The armed men storming the building having arrived.  Looking outside they were able to count three jalopies.  Not exactly the image of classy criminals.  If anything such decrepit wear and tear spoke to low rent thugs.  Low rent thugs that they needed to fend off inside a building that didn't seem as if it could take any more punishment.

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Dee kept an eye on the area around Agnus as she approached Rafael, maintaining the mental connection with Agnus the entire time.  Hearing Rafael ask about some rally in Bolivia from last year, the Englishwoman sent a message to her teammate.  <Shall we see what rally he is talking about?> 

With that, Dee reached out toward Rafael's mind, carefully pushing her way into his subconscious as she began to scan his surface thoughts for sign of the memory he was thinking about.  Once she had a glimpse of the memory in question, she pushed deeper to review the entire memory, and see what he might be talking about.  All the while she was sure the relay the images over to Agnus.

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GM

 

Rafael's mind was hardly a steel trap.  With Synapse easily finding her way inside.  The images came fractured.  Protesters were gathered outside of a the central building to a local conglomerate (an enterprise owned by the Medinas of course).  They were protesting the company over rumors to its ties to financing a particularly violent cult that had been attacking small villages isolated from the cities.  

 

Then the images flashed to an underground lab.  It was dark with a sort of orange haze in the air.  A Dozen people from the protests were sitting there strapped to gurney's.  Rafael somehow included among them.  Men in lab-coats standing over them.  Looking with cold unfeeling eyes.  From behind a tinted  glass pane the silhouette of a person wearing some sort of helmet was obscured.

 

What came next was not unfamiliar to Dee.  Images of people being subjected to the process responsible for so much grief in her life.  Almost all of them failures.  Driven mad as the weeks rolled by.  By that point last year Headcase was already in activity.  Which could only mean one thing, and it wasn't clear yet how it played into the computronium smuggling if at all, but...

 

Someone, somewhere was trying to recreate the Powers Project...

 

*     *     *

 

The men entering the building looked like bums.  Their clothes were even more ragged than their cars.  Despite the weather not calling for it, they were dressed in various layers.  Each wearing a pair of gloves that had all manner of filth and grime plastered on the material.

 

How they acted was an entirely different story from how they appeared.   They entered the building as if they were thoroughly trained.  The first one in, readied his weapon and began heading for the stairs immediately.  From three floors up, neither Foreshadow nor Ulysses had a clear view of what that weapon was.  Even through the various openings in the burnt up floor.

 

The sound of footsteps on the first flight of stairs hinted that it wouldn't be long until they had an answer to that question.

 

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"Ulysses, I'll break off and try to ambush them.  I take it you're much better at the bullrush approach?"  Foreshadow asked, but took no care to wait for the answer.  Slipping away into a nearby apartment he'd begin tip toeing towards the stairs.  Using the burnt down openings and exposed beams to allow him easy access through the halls.

 

Don't think they're here for us.  Unless the cops told us where we were heading next.  Would be a longshot that they're here for the kid.  So what's the endgame here, destroy evidence with bullets?  Foreshadow contemplated as he neared his destination.  Quite unsure of what to expect other than being shot at.  Precognitive visions didn't usually trigger when the people with guns just wanted to talk.

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Ulysses nods his head in acknowledgement of foreshadows plan and once he's pulled away goes about making a target of himself to give his impressively acrobatic teammate room to manager and flank, pursing his lips and whistling sharply to draw the attention of the thug ascending the stairs.

 

"Oi, this is a crime scene son....but you knew that didn't ya? What say we skip the back and forth..." He says as he interlocks his fingers as he speaks "an' outta professional courtesy, cut straight to the ass-kicking marathon." Punctuating by pushing his hands out and popping his knuckles with whip like crack, torrents of dust and ash rushing outwards and over the thugs feet in the subtle but no less impressive display of industrial might.

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As Dee pulled the images from Rafael's mind about the memory in question (which were relayed instantly to Agnus), the Englishwoman's blood ran cold as she realized what it was she was seeing.  That initial feeling was quickly replaced by a burning anger, something that was not easy to keep from showing on her face as she watched the various people subjected to the Powers Process slip into madness.   

<We have to find out who is doing this and stop them.>  Dee stated to Agnus once the memory was done, her mental voice carrying  steely edge that was normally not there.

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Of all the times to be recognised it would be now! Agnus would have been chuffed if it didn’t jeopardize all that they were trying to achieve. Still one thing Agnus was good at was thinking on her feet.

 

“Wait... no...” she covered up the thinking time by apparently thinking about it a finger on her lips in a way she hoped she was cute “It may have been the Manchester or Madrid rally, I try to go as many as I can.”

 

It was difficult to keep up with both Rafael’s and Dee’s “conversation” especially with all that Dee was finding out, but Agnus was just about keeping on top of things.


Don’t worry Dee we’ll get to the bottom of this. Just keep it chill whilst I work my charms!

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