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Friday, May 15, 2015

Port Regal, Freedom City

Sundown

 

The setting sun cast long shafts of golden light across the city, making long shadows on the lawns of the oldest homes in Freedom City; complicated gables and spires threw Escheresque shadows across wide, manicured lawns. This was once the quarter for the rich and powerful, and although many may have relocated north of the bay, it held old money, old power, and old secrets.

Three women were determined to reveal some of these secrets. Blodeuwedd had been making her regular patrols along the waterfront when a silent alarm drew her attention. Armed thugs had been trying to break into a warehouse containing exotic metals like iridium and electrum. Monkey Wrench had caught a gang trying to sneak into the shop and steal scrap metal; when the drones cornered them, they would only scream about the Signal, the Signal! Temperance had spent most of her day tracking down a spiritual violation, a nearly-silent scream that seemed to pervade the entire city.

Their separate investigations had lead them to an experimental physicist of ASTRO Labs who hadn’t been in the office for two weeks, and from there to a home his family had owned three generations ago. Apparently the family’s fortunes had fallen from the Forties, but the man had returned to his roots for whatever scheme was afoot.

Edited by Raveled

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Blodeuwedd stood on the edge on a nearby building watching from complete concealment, keeping to the shadows more out of habit as it wasn’t really needed. As the green glowing goggles cut through the darkness she wondered why she was giving this so much attention. The robbers had been arrested, the robbery foiled and no harm was done. Yet...

She couldn’t quite put her finger on it but something about this case had got her attention, something was off about the whole thing. So she hid in the darkness watching the house to see what would happen.

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Monkey Wrench knew there had to be something behind "the Signal" other than the ravings of a deranged band of thugs. She sent one of her drones to tail the thugs through their time in police custody and to their release. Hopefully they could follow the thugs and learn a little more from their words and actions.

The drone, barely the size of an adult hand, carefully monitored the gangsters, watched the lead man from the shadows of alleys and window ledges.

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Temperance hadn't really been settling well that day. 

There was a certain sensitivity that came with attunement to the spiritual realms, especially in the city. Sometimes, it meant knowing whether the train was delayed down the track or anticipating a power outage; other times, it meant feeling like there was a tuning fork going off right behind your ear. And that would have been preferable, compared to this. Screaming wasn't exactly a pleasant sensation to experience, especially when one was supposed to be making plans to move out of the dorms. So, when she had managed to make some time, she put on her work clothes and hit the street, trying desperately to fight the urge to run away from the source of the screaming.

In time, she found herself at the house. It wasn't right to call it a home, and not just because of the screaming. The showers seemed to loom a little longer here, and deeper. She only wondered what she'd find inside...

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Monkey Wrench's drones monitored the man, and she followed him past the river and into Freedom City's historical district. The buildings were a bit shabbier, and the ones that weren't had signs out front, declaring them to be offices or museums. Eventually the thief's broken-down van parked in the driveway of a broken-down house, and he knocked on the front door. Monkey Wrench, Blodeuwedd, and Temperance watched a tall man in a spotted jumpsuit answered the door. There was an angry argument, with lots of hand-waving; the exact words were hard to make out, but "the Signal" was mentioned several times.

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Monkey Wrench went to her computer, a collection of the best parts she could find, making a Frankenstein Beast of a machine she called Boris, and ran a search for "the Signal" cross-referencing it with a photo of both men, as provided by her drone. Meanwhile, she sent her drone up the side of the building to see if there was a way for it to get inside - a cracked window, an air vent, an open door, something.

"All right Boris," she muttered to herself. "Let's see what you can tell me."

She wondered about this "Signal." Smoke signal? Non-verbal signal? Gang signal? Computer signal? What kind of signal could encourage thugs to want scrap metal?

While the search was running, she went back into her shop and checked out what kind of metal the thugs had been after. If she could determine its value, perhaps she could have a better idea of what they really wanted.

Edited by ayen
Length too short

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Temperance scanned the house from a distance. It did not look like any kind of happy place - not that she expected it, what with the spiritual screaming. But that was probably for the best. It was a lot better than seeing a charming, two-story house in pastel colors with a well-manicured lawn, maybe a tricycle in the driveway... and a horrible death scream emanating from its bowels. Given the choice, she would have preferred a house that looked like it was begging for a wrecking ball to usher forth that kind of thing. 

She was surprised, however, to find that she wasn't the only one there. She noticed a drone watching the house. She wondered how to approach not being the first hero to the scene, especially when she wasn't familiar with this one. But, there was no impression like a good first impression. 

She walked up to the drone and locked eyes with it. "I'm assuming you're not here to lay claim to whatever is in there," she said. "Whatever it is, it's not wholesome. I take it you have a strategy to intercept?"

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The drone wasn't much fancy to look at - a metal saucer roughly the size of a man's palm, with two arms reaching out from the front. It had "eyes" so to speak, but whether they were cameras or ports for lasers remained to be seen. Overall, it looked well constructed and high tech.

 

The drone emitted a red light that scanned up and down Temperance's face. Once the scan was complete, the drone purred, and a slightly tinny voice projected from it. "Not yet. I'm working on it. Right now, it's just surveillance and research. Do you have a plan?"

 

Back around the block, MW activated another drone. This one she sent to scan the area for life forms. She had no objection to this new person, but she wanted to know who else was in the area, just to make sure there were no surprises. She was still new at this "super hero" thing and she knew she couldn't afford to make junior mistakes.

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“I suggest we go have a look at what they’re doing inside.” a voice with a soft Welsh lilt came from just beside Temperances left ear. “Eventually at least.”

Blodeuwedd then stepped into view of both the other hero and the drone, with only the soft green glow of her round lenses beneath a dark blue hood.

“I don’t believe we’ve worked together before the names Blodeuwedd.” she gave them both a curt nod “I assume we’ve all been drawn to this place for various reason, perhaps it would be wise to compare notes?”

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Temperance managed to keep a hold of her nerves and not jump when Blodeuwedd whispered in her ear. Given the screaming she could still hear, it had been some work, but she'd managed to maintain her composure. Barely. She turned to look at her stealthy companion. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance," she said. "I am Temperance. Master of elemental water, and walker in the worlds of spirit and flesh." She gestured to the house. "Whatever is in there is greatly disturbing the world of spirit, sending up shrieks that are putting everyone in the realms invisible on edge. And, given that I'm not the only one here, odds are that disturbance is reaching out on more than metaphysical levels in there. Whatever's in there has enough reason to draw people in for mundane reasons." 

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The three heroines gathered next to the building, discussing the situation before them. As they conferred, a pack of creatures rounded the corner of the building and started coming towards them. At first glance the beasts looked sort of like Rottweilers, but there were boxy, metal contraptions strapped to their heads, and as they turned into a patch of shadows the dogs' eyes began glowing like flashlights. One opened its mouth and began panting, and where the drool fell on the grass it began to smoke and bubble.

The heroes only had moments before the pack of dog-things ran directly into them.

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"Look out!" cried Monkey Wrench. She reached for her controller device and started tapping out commands. Instantly three more drones flew out of her pouch and hovered at eye level. "Aim for the boxes," she muttered, partially to herself, partially to her minions, as she tapped out the command. They were to try and shoot off the metal contraptions while hopefully leaving the dogs uninjured.

As the drones flew fearlessly toward the dogs, MW took a few steps back and climbed the stairs. It wasn't a rooftop, but any elevation was good against an unknown foe. At least from a few stairs up, they couldn't drool on her.

The drones swooped in, took deliberate aim, and fired at the devices which seemed to be controlling the dogs.

As they did, MW scanned the area. She didn't know much about the devices, but chances were good that someone nearby was controlling them, just like she was controlling her drones. If she could pinpoint their source, she could "cut off the snake's head," as her daddy would say.

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Blodeuwedd gave one of her strange tight lipped smiles.

"Well I think that helps answer if they're up to no good, let's get to work then."

She crouched down as she twisted towards the Robot hounds, causing here dark blue cloak to swirl around here dramatically. As the cloak twirled around here she drew her blade, Dyrnwyn, with a single fluid motion slashing out towards the robot the blue glow that surrounded the blade tracing out a pattern in the air adding to her rather drmatic flourish.

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"I didn't suppose they would be," said Temperance. "When one shows up with an army of robotic hounds to the site of a spiritual disturbance, it doesn't speak to wholesomeness." Eliza wasn't even sure if she was being too pretentious - this whole situation screamed of way too much weirdness, even for her metric, and she was trying to keep it together to a certain extent. She decided to push aside whatever ill feelings she had, however, and focus on her art. The water whipped from the pack on her back to her hands, quickly turning to ice in the late spring heat. The ice broke and cracked in her hands, forming into smooth, rounded bullets. With a flick of her wrist, the ice swept out, targeting the joints of the robot dog - and sending it clattering to the ground as a mass of broken parts.

"Do we have a plan for getting inside? Or will smashing our way in work?"

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