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The Scarab soared through the sky over downtown Freedom City like a bullet, her massive scarlet cape rippling behind her like a flag.  She was hidden under a cloak of psychic invisibility, a command to ignore and forget her presence that only the strongest minds could resist, but a red blur would show up later on security cameras and in the backgrounds of selfies (and then soon after on social networking and microblogging feeds).  Today, her target was a simple tech lab in the North End, Hallomen Advanced Experts.  She floated down to the ground and walked up to the door, which opened with a thought (or, to any observers, of its own accord).  Her cape continued to billow behind her, as though she were still shooting through the sky.

The crimson-clad hero floated up to the reception desk.  The receptionist heard a hundred voices speaking in unison inside her mind.  Her cape lifted to momentarily reveal an armored suitcase floating in the air beside her.  This is a matter of life and death which requires the ultimate in technological expertise.

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For a minute, it didn't look like the receptionist was going to reply - she sat there, blankly, eyes sliding between the Scarab and her suitcase and back, apparently trying to figure out how you respond to a legion of voices inside your own head.

Eventually, and never taking her eyes off the Scarab, she reached out to hit a button hidden behind the front edge of the reception desk. "...hey boss...? You've...got a visitor." The reply from the headset she was wearing wasn't audible, but it didn't seem to put her any more at ease. "Ah...no, boss. Walk-in, I think. You'll...want to take it."

There were two cameras over the reception desk, for a well-covered view of the lobby - and both turned to focus on the armored arrival, quietly clicking as they served as someone else's eyes. ".....sure, boss," the receptionist responded, hesitating. "And...when is Jonathan back from paternity leave? I'd really like him back on the desk so that I don't have--"

 

The light on her headset had gone out; she winced, sighed, and gestured to her right. "Ms. Hallomen will see you upstairs, on the third floor. The elevator will take you there, and then it's just down the hall. Or there's a, um, flier's entrance from the third-floor patio that'll put you about halfway down that same hallway. I can unlock that from here if you prefer."

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The latter will do nicely.  Thank you.  The Scarab floated up and out to the patio, then glided into the third floor, her cape never hanging limply from her shoulders but always like a sail or flag catching wind no one else in the room could feel.  The suitcase hovered with her, never leaving her side.  Her feet never quite touched the floor as she made her way down the hall, glancing back and forth for open doors, movement, or some other sign that she was headed in the right direction.

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"Over here," bade a seemingly-prescient voice from a left-hand door near the end of the hall - though if the lobby had been any indication, it likely had less to do with future-sight and more to do with the camera near the elevators. It, like its companions downstairs, had turned to track the Scarab's arrival.

Ms. Hallomen herself was...visually underwhelming. Slightly under average height, dirty blonde hair pulled back to keep it out of her way as she sat tinkering with an indistinct mass of plastic and wiring. Even the room itself was more workshop than meeting room, for all that it had clearly been designed with meetings in mind - most of the table was dominated by tools and parts and oil rags, the last of which Mara picked up to wipe her hands with. "Hello," she greeted, sizing her visitor up with dark blue eyes that had not gotten nearly enough sleep. "Never good when heroes show up here. Hoping your suitcase isn't explosive, but evacuated lab under this room anyway. Hope you don't mind."

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No, it is not-"HNNG!"  The Scarab flinched and held her hand up to her forehead.  Attempting to make contact with Hallomen's mind just filled The Scarab's with static.  She cleared her throat.  "Excuse me.  No, it is not, to my albiet limited knowledge, explosive, or physically dangerous in any other manner."  The suitcase flipped open to reveal that it was mostly padding inside, for what appeared to be a high-end solid-state hard drive.  "Though the information contained on the drive may prove explosive in a less literal manner."  The open suitcase floated over to the table and came to rest within Mara's reach.  "I used to rely upon Doktor Archeville's expertise in this area.  His current...'sabbatical' has left me woefully unprepared.  Do I assume correctly that you are at least passingly familiar with The Foundry?"

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Mara made a noise somewhere between discomfort and derision at the static, but apparently didn't feel it was worth explaining or elaborating upon - especially when presented with something to do with her hands. She gave the hard-drive a quick once-over as the Scarab talked, grunting and casting her eyes around for something to plug it into.

The mention of the Foundry gave her pause, halting the young woman half-bent-over to grab a laptop off a side table. "....passingly," she replied, brushing some copper shavings off its surface and opening it to hit the power button. While it spun up to speed she dug out what looked like a cable and external drive adapter, coiling it together to check for damage. "They create problems in the city sometimes. Companies like mine are...theft targets, too. Only succeeded once. Better security, after. General dislike of their science and methods. Why?"

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