November 10, 2009
I look wildly around to see if I can spot any of the computer controllers like we found at the previous lab. I don't see any out in the open, but there are some odd contraptions in two of the nearby flower beds. I see a small moss man close to one of those flowerbeds and walk casually that way to see if I can just walk past him to go investigate. Nope! He sprouts thorns and shoots at me which forces me to do a tai chi move to allow them to fly past me. I hear them hit the bushes behind me and then from my right I see another creature stretch out long vines to entangle me. I attempt to jump above the vines, but they manage to snag my right leg. Now what do I do? Then suddenly, it is ripped off of me by a ball of water and the moss creature gurgles in fear and scampers off to attack Trevor who is able to defend with his data disc.
Since I am now free, and Amethyst has managed to paralyze the moss matron - and it took out all of the moss creatures as well. I take advantage of this and walk carefully into the planter to my west. There is a large variety of plant life, some thorny, some pretty, and some delicate. If the situation was not as dire, I would enjoy this interlude in nature, but plants should not attack! In the center of this planter, I find a modest sized water barrel with barely a third sunk into the ground. I open it up and find water - big surprise - but the water only occupies the top third of the barrel. I pull out my tri-comm and do a scan to see if I sense anything hiding inside the barrel before I go in hand first.
I reach down carefully and I can feel a false bottom or maybe just the bottom of an insert. I feel around the top of the barrel, and I undo four latches and carefully pull the insert filled with water up and out of the way. I can hear the hum of machinery underneath, but at the same time I sense movement out of the corner of my eye. The Moss Matron is attempting to break out of the paralysis and stand! Amethyst hits her with another blast and she is down for the count - and then Samaritan tries to be cute and turns her magnetic and it starts pulling all sorts of things towards it. I shrug in defeat and turn back to my hope that I have found the generators. I look inside the barrel and use my tri-comm. Success!! I recognize most of what I see here, but there are some modifications. The good news is that this is similar to the devices I found before that keeps the plant active, the bad news is that there are four linked together and if I only take out this one the other will compensate. I glance quickly around and see that Samaritan and Ziva Gray are close to two of the four generators in the room. I quickly contact them and explain my theory that taking out three of the four generators will put such a burden on the fourth that it will burn out and the plants will be left with no life - or at least not anthropomorphized life.
Amethyst pipes up that he feels confident that he can get to the fourth one and take it out. He does and then Samaritan destroys the one beside him and I quickly rip wires out of this one. Ziva hasn't done hers yet, but with three down I check to see if the system is burning out, but while there is some effect, it is not as widespread and dramatic as I was hoping. While my eyes are roving around the room, my sight is caught by another generator in the middle of the Moss Matron!! And now that we have removed the drain on her energy, she is probably even stronger. Not what I intended!! I am glancing wildly around and trying to think of something to do. Suddenly I sense Amethyst and request him to do a ranged attack on her generator. He does a lightning strike and sparks start flying and then I send in my data disc to try and finish the job. We manage to crack the shielding, but it is going to need another hit at a minimum to take it out.
I catch my disc on its return and swipe the correct sequence to allow the disc to discharge energy when it hits the generator this time. Since we had cracked the casing, my disc enters the generator and discharges enough energy to cause the generator to fail with a fabulous display of sparks. The Moss Matron slumps to the ground and the various moss creatures around the room crumble. I am ready to shout victory, when I see Don dash up the stairs. Then he calls me over the comms spouting some nonsense about prepping for surgery. I go up the stairs and see lime green liquid in a vat attached to the city water supply. Don tells me we have to change the PH value of the fluid to be more acidic. I head over to the controls, but this is not a normal keyboard and it takes me a few minutes to figure it out. The top line is not qwertyuiop, but is instead iamgenius - ego much? As soon as I touch the keyboard, a failsafe tries to trigger, but I quickly disable it from immediately releasing the fluid into the water supply and then change the PH value to make it more acidic.
Then Medkit comes over the comm and says he found some documentation about some lady that will be waking up soon. Don thinks it refers to the Moss Matron. I disagree. No way we are that lucky.
Green House of DOOM
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Amethyst yells "It's an illusion!" I only wish that would help my pounding head and the waves of dizziness. I know that I need to take some kind of action, but I swear there are still pumpkin heads around me. I do see a slightly yellow misty smoke and take out my tri-comm to see if I can figure out what it is and how it is impacting us - hell, maybe even figure out an antidote. All my tri-comm can tell me is that this mist is working as an amplifier of a sonic attack. I glance around the area to see if I can find some sort of air movement system to clear out this smoke to minimize the effect on the team. I see all of the air vents in the ceiling and across the room - ALL the way across the room - I see some controls that should work those vents. I start walking that way in a very determined sideways fashion and get re-directed by one of the werewolves or maybe it was a werepanther?
I continue to struggle across the huge distance on my way to the control box. The one who re-directed me follows along as either back up or to pick me up when I fall. I manage to get to the control box and I can see all of the yellow vomited over the box. I am starting to find the color yellow toxic and not cheerful. I manage to get into the box and re-wire so that all of that mist will be vacuumed out of our area and be spit outside to be in a larger volume of air and therefore less likely to have an evil effect. I wait until I can take some deep breaths of mostly clear air while I evaluate what I can do next.
Then I hear an all clear across the comm channel and I am being informed that Dr. Hank sent Tesla Coil and Donato to assist us. They apologize for being late and ask for me. Amethyst sends them my way!! Tesla Coil shares with me the information they have on covatrinium which is a LOT. They share their fears of a explosion or implosion which might have disastrous effects on multiple dimensions. Donato joins us and wants to know which idiots are making the chroniton generators. We all agree that it is Team Luthor and then Feral starts attacking the Hammer Empire. I try to play peacemaker, but Feral makes too much sense.
They realize they have been caught out and tell us that Luthor has been siphoning the quantum energy from between dimensions as a green energy source. This could be on purpose to start the dimensions collapsing into each other OR to create a situation for him to reap benefits (financial, legal, or political). They ask what we know of AIM's goals and I share the whole moss men and taking over the city and turning it green - not in the good way. Don shares the video he took in the junk yard which explains why we did not enter that place! Then Tesla and Donato make contact with Poison Ivy. She seems to be mad about Dr. Grimm so I turn her over to Samaritan to charm her.
Isley begins to tell us about the past of Dr. Grimm and how he was responsible for turning her into Poison Ivy. She continues to discuss how she can help us by investigating the serum to see what she can do to help us. Medkit asks if there is anything we can use from the past of Grimm to get him of balance and she give us a name: Niles McCormack. A former lab partner that he was always in competition with. Amethyst also discovers that a lovely misting of water will cause the java moss to stop while it absorbs and uses the water. Finn and Mason suggest that either he is planning to open up a "green" dimension and let it overrun this one or maybe to use the same serum on the people and animals to turn everything green or possibly using the chroniton generators to speed grow the greenery to overtake the concrete jungle.
Then Feral starts talking about Ghost Orchids to Poison Ivy and they determine that Dr. Grimm is probably working to pull in a dimension that has those same criteria to make them grow the best. If that is the case, then we need to work on finding his greenhouse first as we are not ready as a team to take on the moss monster in the junk yard. I ask Tesla Coil if he can do a search of the power grid to see if anything looks unusual. At the same time, I start working on the possible water usage and chemical additives that might have been re-directed away from a specific area. I pull out my tri-comm and start to punch in some instructions when I suddenly feel very woozy again and feel like I am about to pass out. I suddenly know that I need to get out of here and get some sunlight.
I walk outside and find a nice patch of the fading sun where I can watch Donato's technique. I try my tri-comm again and track the water usage and chemical additives. I can see where there has been intrusions into the power grid by a construction crew. That is to be expected, but the power and water is being routed to a building supposed to be abandoned and only three blocks from our present location. Close enough to walk - but since this is a warehouse district and not residential I am fairly sure that walkers would be noticed. I suggest instead that we use the vans that were going to make a delivery and deliver ourselves instead. The crew seems to latch onto that idea and starts making a lot of suggestions as to how to make this next phase go smoothly.
By the way, now that you're talking with Donata .... while she's wearing goggles, and life has been hectic with AIM shooting at you... you realize... that consulting engineering company that hired you? Donata...That is one of the owners. You're sure you saw a mouse lady there that resembled her... But really.. no. That couldn't be true, right?? It doesn't appear that she recognizes me at all, but the googles and face mask make expressions SO hard to read. She does seem to have been paying me focused attention......but again......Donata just seem to be a very focused individual.
There is a lot of discussion about different techniques to use in the coming battle. The two consultants offer to keep our prisoners in check until the police arrive to collect them and put them in jail. If team Luthor shows up, they also have conversations ready for them. We load up in the two working vans, make our stops for gear, grab food at Big Belly Burger, and then head to the Green House! Amethyst will drive one van with Medkit beside him in the 2nd position with Feral in the back inside a box. Samaritan and I will be inside the first van as Don grabbed the clipboard to use for an entry fee. The Hammer Empire people split between the two vans with the leader and two others going in the first van and the remaining two going with Feral.
We roll up to the five story building. The top floors have had some work done, but nothing obvious. Don follows the delivery signs to an underground garage where there are two AIM goons and they direct us to an elevator. He warns us that the boss is twitchy and is about to run the last test. Don talks a LOT and mentions that the third van isn't part of our convoy and it would be a good idea to go outside to keep an eye out for it. This leaves us alone in the loading area. We begin to unload the freight and put it (with Feral) on the elevator and we head up to see the boss.
We get out of the elevator into a wide open green house area. I use my tri-comm to check and see which controls do what. I carefully observe the raised beds and sometimes some of the plants move the wrong way. I suggest that I get to the control panel with Feral doing point since she has the best sneak. We will leave two of the Hammer Empire to guard the elevator until Amethyst suggests that they jam the elevator so we have all fighters on deck. Feral heads in and guides me to the control panel so I can get the blinds down and the UV lights on to get an environment that is better for our fighting style. The rest of the team moves into the atrium as the blinds lower with more than a little noise. I can only hear the misters going off and then there is a sense of life in the room - more than just plants.
We are still in our AIM disguises, so we walk closer and then I use my disc to try and take out the specialist quickly. There are six adds that need to be taken out quickly so we can focus on the moss matron. Feral and the war wolves go up into the rafters so they can do surprise attacks as well. I let my disc fly and it knocks him back and Feral drops on him to keep him out of the fight. The others pound on the two AIM guys and they are out of the fight so I move forward to the pumpkin head next in line. I toss my disc and I hear a crunch and a snap and the pumpkin head falls the the ground and out of the fight. I remind everyone that we have three more adds that we need to get out of the fight before the moss matron wakes up.
Another pumpkin head comes into view and he tosses a baseball sized pod at me. I use the disc as a shield and knock the pod back at the one who tossed it at me. It explodes in a brownish fog around his head and I totally get frowny face from him. Feral requests fire support and I suddenly remember all of the fire plans and request Finn and Mason to prepare the fire attacks. Then the moss matron moves and roots all over the floor come alive along with dozens of moss men and tanglers.
November 10, 2009
So, Feral thinks she is doing a fantastic job of confusing the enemies of our enemy, but I think they are mostly just amused. Trevor wants to know what our plan is, but I got nothing. I don't know what we are facing so I don't even know how to start formulating a plan. I attempt to listen as our underground team gets into more trouble. They ask if I have instructions for them, but I really don't. I do have a suggestion for next project lead though!
The Hammer Empire group gets upstairs - escorting Don! - and we begin an exchange of information. AIM has found a Hammer empire storehouse and is stealing them blind, but slowly enough that it took a while to figure out who. They have trackers on their storage cases and are able to track where they go, but haven't been able to really do so - until today. We discuss whether working together might be someone else's plan, but even if it is, the likelihood of us being used that way is still probably for the good of Metropolis and we can always drop each other like a hot potato later. I devise a terrible plan, but everyone insists that I come up with a plan already.
We go and ambush the thief team, who have been dodging and turning as if someone is chasing them. We pop the ambush and take them out - carefully. We get into the AIM uniforms and pile into the van to head to the parking garage. Feral rides the top so she - and the Hammer Empire group - can jump off at a strategic moment. Amethyst shoots the electronic eye and then we head in to the next part of the plan. Take AIM's toys away and then go to take over their clubhouse. We arrive and then Don pops outside and begins to blab and apparently tells more than he learns. While they are chatting and attempting to distract, I pretend I am doing paperwork. I suggest to Amethyst that he stretch his legs and go prop on the front of the cab so he will be in a position to get to the commandos in a hurry. I will give him a few minutes to set up and then I will also step out to stretch my legs so I can easily toss my frisbee to help take out either the commandos or the techs - whichever side needs more help.
Then it begins to go klaboey as Don has a gun pulled on him and the AIM team moves into position. I grab my disc and aim it at the commando taking aim at us. I miss of course and pretend that I meant to do that. He fires his disc back at me and I remember seeing the disc used to absorb energy so I hold my disc in front of me as a shield. The other disc hits it and mine seems to thrum - not sure what that means, but I do have a couple of experts I can discuss this with - later! I see that the lady werewolf has been slammed into one of the cars, but I have a clear shot at my current nemesis. I throw the disc and it connects with his left shoulder and a flare goes off as the energy is discharged. Next thing his entire body stiffens and he collapses to the ground. He appears to be down for the count and I look for my next target.
I see the lady warwolf fighting her next target, but he pulls a - is that a wooden chain?? or maybe a chain made out of tightly woven vines ??- out of a pouch and uses it to block her punch. She is not amused and he appears to be as silent as he is unaffected. How do I get my disc charged so I can have an impact on him? Then some sort of poisonous gas cloud is coming towards me and I run to the front of the truck cab to get away from it. I see the cloud roll back to the lantern faced and they just suck the cloud back in! So much not okay with that. I know that the energy seems to work best and then I remember watching Trevor switch his disc over to do the energy bands to capture. I attempt to do the same thing and my disc's glow changes a bit so I aim it to wrap the last two commandos together. As soon as I toss the disc, I can see the contrails and it swirls around them and binds them until they fall to the ground.
I have a moment to celebrate and then a miasma surrounds me and I lose all thought and even the ability to stand.
November 10, 2009
We run away from the junkyard. No reason to put a nice face to it on my personal journal. Medkit thinks he might be able to find out something from Euraka Island where a group of scientists are living and hiding out. We send him off and head to the Infinity Foundation where Dr. Beast has his headquarters. We enter and start discussing the moss. I let Don take over to see if they can come to a conclusion about how to prevent this moss from taking over the city.
Beast is happy with the challenge to discover more about the creature. I run my tri comm over it and I can tell that it is moving around slightly - almost like it is testing the limits of its current prison. I also think that is as close to testing a live subject as I want to get. I leave it to Hank and he is thrilled. He names it Herb and carries it to a different part of the lab while I go over to the metal arm structure that Amethyst had grabbed as we were running out the door. My tri comm tells me that is a honeycomb structure within the forged metal which Beast identifies as covatrinium. I attempt to cut off a bit so I can begin doing some testing. Nothing happens. I look around to see if I can see something that could cut. If nothing else, I can always try the liquid nitrogen.
I ask Dr. Beast if there is anything in his lab that might be able to cut this metal. He agrees that the liquid nitrogen is a possibility, but not as precise. He digs around in a tool drawer and brings out a pen light sized device and when he clicks a button, a four-inch red laser light. I take it and snip off the tip of the "pinky" finger. First, I apply some heat and the metal becomes flexible and you can see the honeycomb inside. As it cools, it goes back to the original shape. My tri comm tells me that if heat was applied direct to the honeycomb structure, then there would be a chance to change the struture. I flip the test and apply cold. It begins to shrink, but as I am watching the reaction with my tri comm, I can tell that the honeycomb structure is getting stronger until it reaches a point at which it becomes impervious to the cold and no longer has any reaction.
I listen to an update from the boys about what they have been doing with the moss - Herb. They want the hand part of the metal to see if the moss would interact. I continue working with the metal by adding some acid. I am able to slowly etch the exterior of the metal. I then put a drop onto the honeycomb structure and it dissolves and crumbles away leaving a hollow tube of the forged metal. I then attempt to bend the tube and it flexes easily. Trying to do the same thing to the section with the honeycomb structure intact has zero effect. The honeycomb is obviously providing the strength and durability of the creatures. Then Amethyst offers to do a sonic test on the metal pieces. He begins at a low level and slowly increases until the metal is singing. Well, humming anyway and providing musical tones. He plays with it a bit and does manage to get a decent rendition of Twinkle, twinkle little star. After that he continues to increase the level and the metal reacts by floating until it begins to reflect the sonic energy in various directions.
Next up, we attempt the lightning. Based upon the reaction to the higher levels of the sonic energy, we put the metal pieces inside a blast shield and then Amethyst starts at a low level and slowly increases. This time the metal reacts by storing the energy. After he stops the test, it holds on to the energy for a while before it discharges. This actually makes sense for storing the chroniton energy to slowly dissipate as the creature moves around. The possibilities flood my mind as a way to help those who need prosthetics. I force myself to stop this as we are in the middle of a crisis and further scientific study can wait. Dr. Beast offers to make us a couple of devices that can detect the radiation given off by the chroniton generators and the team votes to check out the possible drop off lccations for more materials to be used in the next stage of experiments by Dr. Grimm. Then we can take that to some local experts to see if we can determine what Dr. Grimm is actually attempting.
After an hour of tinkering around while we rest and refuel, Dr. Beast hands us five of the radition detector. Trevor explains about AIM using old underground parking decks and empty warehouses. We all turn to Trevor to get his experienced viewpoint on the best place. He knows of a group of warehouses that are vacant and unused - except in spring when Hammer empire uses them possibly for the Golden Lotus festival during the Lunar new year. Hank also tells us that Dr. Isly has information on Dr. Grimm and is willing to talk to us on video later. Same goes for Telsa Coil from New York who had chroniton energy experience.
Our devices pick up a trail of energy which is so strong that is appears that AIM has stolen another Lex Corp generator and headed for a warehouse. We stop to pick up Dr. Reynolds on the way to find out what he discovered as we head to the area as a whole group again.
November 10, 2009
Trevor sends us to a safe house location - at least he claims it is. We go pick up our vehicle and then head down the street. I look around eagerly as this is not a section I have been in before. It looks like the city is trying to make improvements and bring some industry back to the area. We enter a very nice workspace that appears to have been recently remodeled - this does make their claim of no one being around for a while suspect. They begin discussing what they have observed and what they think is the problem - this includes a nice synopsis of how AIM operates. They then begin to break down the problem for us. Dr. Hogan Grimm has been stealing chroniton generator from Lex Corp and then doing experiments in which he is giving moss enough intelligence to do a maze. In the first phase, he was able to keep them active and working for six hours. They think he might have gotten the time frame up to twelve hours by now. They have also observed city maps with triangulation spots that encompass several of the city parks and have the potential to create a city-wide disaster. There are tow main locations with activity: a scrap yard with Star labs leftovers and an office building with a lab/office on the 10th (top) floor. They both want out of AIM and think we can help them - and help the city at the same time.
We ask for some privacy to discuss the situation. They walk around the corner and we get into a conversation. I lay out the situation as I see it and ask each member of the team for feedback. Amethyst has some reservations about their story, but does want to help them as well as the city. Moss overrunning the city is also a bad thing and he does want to stop it. Samaritan thinks we call the boss, report, and get our next orders. Medkit is of the opinion that we should confirm their story first and get more facts before we call the boss. Feral thinks the duo has been duped by AIM and is probably either under surveillance or being used without their knowledge. I am of the opinion that I do not want to call the boss because I am wanting to prove myself as a leader. Feral has been pacing about as she does and mentions that she can text the boss our plans while the doctors "talk" to the pair to see if they know more than they have told us. Then all plans are tossed out the proverbial window as Feral tells us to get quietly and quickly to the center of the building just as a LexCorp commando breaks in with two robots. We are in a hallway and halfway to the stairwell when we hear a crash of glass from the east wall. Windows all around - great concept!
Feral takes off to do her thing and I run to find a computer to see if I can do something. The computers are here and plugged in and working, but there is no Wi Fi. How in the world can there by no Wi Fi!!! I think very quickly and look around to see if there is maybe a sprinkler system I can trigger - water and mechanics do not mix well and then I suddenly think of it! LexCorp will have a hot spot or bluetooth or Wi Fi or something. I hack into the nearest combat drone and I have seconds as I can tell he is figuring out programming to block me, but I find the maintenance auto shut down sequence and turn him off. One down! No way that trick will work again so I run down the hallway to work with Amethyst. I pull my disc of doom and throw it at the combat drone in front of me. It hits and there are some sparks and a yellowish lightening plays over the drone. The disc comes back to me, but no obvious effect. I am fairly positive that I did some damage, but I am not sure what. Then the armored dude shoots out a green mist that covers the two drones in front of him. He has repair nanites!!!
I furrow by brow and decide that Mr. Power Suit needs to know that he can't hide behind his drones so I hurl my disc of doom at the south wall and bounce it past the drones straight into the armor dude. He staggers a bit and then my disc comes back to me. Just to keep him off his feet, I bounce it off the north wall and it raises sparks from his arm. Not getting as much effect as I really want. There has to be a better way to do this. Then Ameythyst is jumping in front of me and grabbing me in a protective embrace as a wall of flame and debris rolls down the hallway. I am shaken by the concussive force of the blast and feel more than a little shaken. The battle is over. The two power suits fly out - fast - and then we start trying to figure out how they found us. Feral is sure it was our own gear since LexCorp is determined to take us out. Silverwing drops by with new tech and to grab the old to have it overhauled. Amethyst brings over the memory cores from the drones and I do a dump to see what there might be before corrupting them.
We gather our gear and head to the junkyard. We see little clock work moss creatures scurrying around the yard and digging in piles. Each time they find something they scurry to a back corner. In the back corner is a ten foot tall clock work creature. It might have weapons and it certainly has items from Star Lab and Lex Corp parts on it and then we hear it speak. "Titan online."
November 10, 2009
We enter a room and can see devastation. Maybe an explosion?? There are burnt bits of moss around the room with a large round machine in the middle giving off a light avocado glow. I can see a computer work station to the south of that machine and a lot of barrels around the room. Several of the barrels in the room look like they have been used as a child's toy - punched, squeezed, kicked, etc. I do a quick survey of the team and they want to split up and investigate different areas - except Medkit. I send Amethyst and Medkit to the central machine to investigate and see what they can determine. Samaritan heads for the moss to see what he can learn from that and I head for the computer work station. I leave Feral as our security to watch the doors and windows - and our back.
I am about tp head straight to the computer station, but then I see a machine just to the south of me along the east wall and I take out my tri comm and do a quick scan. It appears to be an air purifier and something to do with ionization? Which just strikes me as weird. I glance around the room and see two others for a total of three in this room. Considering the size of the machine, I would imagine that one would be enough to purify the air for the entire building. So why three for this small room?? I do a quick check for notes left behind by any scientists and they are there, but burnt to a crisp. However, the machine casing itself is not burnt at all. I head to the next one so I can compare data to see if I can determine more.
I hear the chatter behind me about cotton balls and thorns and I hope that they are also listening as Feral cautions them. Then Feral barks "Run!" and I head for the door noticing the moss creatures - with yellow eyes!! - and they morph into armed creatures when Feral tries to intimidate them. Suddenly, SCIENCE!! Air purification tied to ionization should mean the method to control these creatures. I head quickly back to the machine and pull up the menu. Chroniton?? It is currently set at 30% and can go from 1 - 100%. I turn it down to 5% and see the two - and only those two - behind me start stumbling around as if they were drunk or stoned. Okay then, I will check the other two machines and turn them down as well to see if that affects more of the moss creatures.
I race to the second machine and immediately turn it on and get to the chroniton menu. This one is set to 50%!! I quickly turn it down to 5% as well and that makes two of the moss creatures disintegrate. The mechanical components disengage at the joints and the plant components turn brown and fall off. There does not appear to be any way that these could be put back together. I do say appear as there is a chance that turning these up to a higher percentage would do something, but that is an experiment for some other time. Right now I have to save my team. I do notice that the machines are only affecting the moss creatures in a direct line of the machines and there does seem to be a range limit as well. There is one more machine and then maybe I can get some information from that computer work station?? Amethyst fires off some lightning bolts towards the still active moss creatures and heads towards me.
I get to the third and final machine and I am glad to see that the remaining moss creatures are in the direct line of the machine. I get to the chroniton menu and see that this one is set to 90%!! Who was playing, what do the different percentages have to do with the moss creatures?? Why does it only affect those in a direct line and close range? How close is close? Anyway, I quickly turn it down to 5% and see three more of the moss creatures disintegrate. This only leaves two, but then they reach out to their fallen comrades and begin stealing components and moss and that seems to heal them? I agree with Don, this is fascinating. I turn back to the console and crank it down to 0%. Let's see how they react to that! Then I see Amethyst dodging and I turn to see why and there are AIM commandos! Joy, just what we didn't need.
Turning down the machine to zero finally got the last two moss creatures down and out. Now to deal with the AIM problem. I see that Amethyst has been banded with the power from the data disc so I run to him - after looking closely at the computer station - so much info!! - and pull out my disc. I use it to see if I can cut the band or something. When I lean down and reach out my data disc, it starts glowing and it absorbs the bands of energy. Handy! Amethyst stands up and shoots out a paralyzing beam. I follow it closely with the data disc. My intent is to knock him into his comrade and hopefully take him out of the fight for a round or three. Seems that Amethyst was upset about being tied up. I am able to knock both of the guys into the barrel next to them and they are on the ground.
I am about to put my energy matrix into hurling pipes at the new group of AIM, but then two of them turn on the others and knock them out. They basically say "Come with us if you want to live!" I want to know why we should trust them and one pulls of his helmet and introduces himself as Trevor Finn!! I tell him his sister sent us to rescue him. He tells us that he does need help, but more to take out a Dr. Grimm. Apparently the room we are in is the first phase of some project. I tell him I need the data and he agrees to pull the data. While he is doing that, I tell the rest of the team to complete what they are working on and then we will go with Trevor. I head over to the avocado machine to shut it down.
I hear Feral behind me scaring one of the AIM guys into clearing the room to remove all traces of us and them from the room - which includes shutting down the avocado. I then turn to the air purifiers and quickly turn the other two to 0% and put them into maintenance mode. I check with Trevor and he has gotten what data is available from the work station. I then ask my team if they have gotten all they need from this location? We will share and discuss once we get to the 'safe house'.
We walk out with Trevor and his partner, Grant Mason. He gives us an address card and tells us to meet him at a place that is several blocks away and should keep us from notice from the emergency services. We head back to the vehicle and allow Don to grab a cup of coffee and head to meet Trevor - with the cotton plant and Feral having a moment.
November 10, 2009
We all gather in the meeting room and share what we have managed to discover over the last three weeks. We seem to have two principal areas to investigate: the Ironworks district (specifically the Lincoln Industries warehouse) and Vibora bay in Louisiana. I decide that it is a better idea to check what leads we have close to home before we go. We drive there and circle the building slowly. I scan for life signs but can't seem to get a lock on anything bigger than a rat - must have some shielding in place!
We see an entrance to an underground parking lot, but that seems too risky, so we find a local Dunkin Donuts and park in their lot and then wander back to the warehouse. No one seems to notice us. The walls on this warehouse are massive and solidly built. I almost expect to see bomb shelter this way signs. It is obvious that they manufactured power transformers here in the past. We decide to split up and head out to do a quick scan of the outside of the building. Boys go west and we girls head east to see what we can find. Then we can meet up .
As we walking down the east side, we chat casually. I see power lines that have been added, new camera placements, though the cameras appear to be turned off. There are no side doors visible in the wall of our target warehouse. Across the street is a mostly town down building and at the far end of the street is an arch that looks like a set of double entrance. that would have been used to move the massive transformers. Since there is nothing weird on our side, we head back to meet the guys. Might as well go in the front door behind Amethyst. Before we head in, Don shows us a sample he found. It appears to be a liquified plant consisting of several different pant DNAs, but it can still photosynthesize sunlight. Nothing about it seems similar to the Society of Ra research I found during our last adventure. Amethyst manages to open the realtor's box and get the key to open the front door.
We enter behind him and see a small waiting area. To the right is a reception desk, a plastic plant, and a black and white checkerboard tile floor. There is a door in the wall opposite so we go through it in to a long hallway with dim emergency lighting. We each start to investigate in the ways we know best. I check the floor to see if the dust has been disturbed. It has obviously been maintained and kept clean for a while. I can see that the old security system has been removed and oddly, the left lightbulbs have been removed from the emergency lighting which makes the hallway darker if we decide to head in deeper. The team splits up and they all head to a different room. I stay in the hallway and then I check with each team.
Don and Amethyst were cackling in glee about moss that was alive and how quickly it dodged and happy they still managed to get a sample to share with Dr. McCoy. Feral and Medkit are standing on a desk and looking at a video. Apparently they found a baseball sized hydroelectric generator in the ceiling. Then suddenly Feral's fur is standing on end and she is telling everyone to get off the floor and onto something wooden. Don says he has an idea and runs - outside. Then there is a glowing purple ball of electricity rolling down the hallway and then it is gone! Don walks back in and he is soaked to the skin. Apparently he did something with the city's water valve. This means they will be coming out to see what happened and that puts us on a timer. I know we have to check out things while we are here. There is a chance that whoever has been using this as a base will move if the city comes out to investigate. We head to the back.
As we enter the courtyard, we can see metal parts scattered around the space. I see a Pyrex bowl and look at it closely. There is a quantity of burnt and singed moss. Behind me I hear Don chortling as he captures a sample from his experimentation that brought part of his sample to life. I continue to scan the pieces around me and can see more burnt and singed moss on the other pieces. It looks like this was at one time configured into a humanoid shape. We continue towards the testing area which also has more of the scattered pieces closer to it. The center appears to be very well shielded with triple thick glass and a slightly open front door. Since that is so inviting, we head to the side door. This is well insulated and shielded and must have been heavy as it takes Amethyst some effort to get it open. When we get in, we see a plasma ball - or what is left of one. There is water on the floor and also lots and lots of burned moss on clock work skeletons.
October 20, 2009
I see Feral ahead of me - with a double!! I head that way slowly and as I get closer the edges of one of them blurs and then I see a human male instead of Feral. He heads to the left and I move slowly to the junction, staying close to the left wall so I can see without being seen - hopefully!! I can see Feral again (the real one) and she is staring daggers at the room to my right. I glance over and I can see four AIM commandos and that Ajax guy who seems to think he is something important. I think they need to be taken out of the fight, so I look around quickly and find an environmental control panel. I open it and find the controls for that room and I turn off the heat in that room. There are lots of alarms and what have you, but the temperature is dropping quickly. I hope that their suits are not geared for that!!
Then one of those guys shoots one of those discs at me so I bounce over to the right corner of the hallway. I see another beam fly past me and it hits that potential telepath. I should be worried, but perhaps taking him out of the action is a good thing right now. Behind him, I can see the windows starting to fog over and it looks like the commandos are starting to feel the effects as well. I decide to take a chance and - from my position of cover- throw my disc. I throw it straight and I can see him attempt to dodge back, but his joints are starting to freeze and he is slammed against the wall and hits the floor. The disc comes sailing back to me and I catch it. Probably a vain hope that he would get frozen to the floor.
I take a moment to investigate this disc. I know there should be a way to change the effect. I have seen bands of energy that wrap around a target and the hit and rebound already.....................hhhmmmm, I seem to remember the commando running his finger around the light rings on the top. Maybe there is a way to select the different effects by turning a band?? Time to experiment!! And just then the Roa Society guy that had been frozen by Amethyst runs up beside me and then - I can tell he is Krytptonian - he super speeds into the room with the AIM commandos (and Feral) and starts hitting. The commando that I am trading discs with twirls TWO fingers this time and then hurls it towards me. It shoots past me, hits the wall opposite me and then bank shots towards me. I hold up my disc to play pong and hit his disc away from me. It bounces up to the ceiling and then back down to the floor and the floor plate I am standing on it tasered. I am not sure what the floor did to him, but it does tingle more than a little bit. I think it is time for me to do some walking with my fingers!!
Then another Society commando runs up, sets Medkit down beside me, and pulls a bubble of energy from thin air and uses it to heal me. It feels great!! Just as I am about to say thank you, he freezes, and I can see the purple glow that indicates that Amethyst has shot his paralysis ray at him. Which, since he is a bad guy is a good thing, but he had just healed me, so I do feel a little bit sad. It is never good to doubt who is on which side during a battle. Perhaps a scientist is not the right person to go into the field and tackle tricky situations like this.
Since the guy in front of me is all tied up (and did heal me!), I decide it is time to put my scientific guesses into the next phase and experiment by running my finger around the light ring closest to the edge. I then hurl it at the same commando and I see the energy trails wrap around him and he is trapped by the field and falls to the ground. Then I see the Society of Roa officer come running towards us and he HITS Amethyst. I figure that I do not have to set up the disc again in order to keep the same setting. I toss it, but he dodges. Sadly, I don't even get him with the return flight. Then it is over as quick as it began.
Feral walks over and hands me a LOT of gear that she has liberated. Among the gear is a polished dark metal rod that reacts to touch (maybe heat, maybe friction??), but does not glow when hit against the wall though it does thrum. It appears to be the same material as the disc, but more testing is necessary. Suddenly I remember that there are some kidnapped victims in a room to the south that we need to rescue. I also remember to tell them that there are a couple of bad guys in there. The crazy scientist tells Amethyst about the victims in the room too. I lead the way down and then step aside to let Amethyst lead the way. Instead, a bad buy that Medkit has taken control over walk in first. When we enter, instead of a battle, we see all of them enclosed in energy spheres. The doctor walks over to the chambers to try and grasp the system while Feral and I chat about the difference between Kryptons and humans. Then Medkit pops out of the room and asks for help. I walk in and see that two people have to work in tandem to safely get the people out of the chambers.
Feral heads back to check on the telepath while we set them free. They are very disoriented and seem to be having issues with moving quickly. How should we get them to safety? Don finally contacts us and it seems that he has been having fun. Don and Amethyst take over the AIM sub and go back to shore. Feral and I use the maintenace catwalk and get the kidnap victims as well as myself back to shore and meet up with the rest of the team. We stay in the hotel to maintain our cover and then go home after making sure the victims get home.
Another successful science experiment.
AIM for the win!
October 20, 2009
Then we hear Amethyst ask for help. Can't remember that happening before. Feral verifies that the enemies are all stunned, restrained, and without weapons. The only enemy we still have to deal with is Dr. Joara. Feral suggests putting her outside in the water, but she is Kryptonian so I don't suggest that. I ask Don if he has anything we could use to knock her out for an hour or two while we go help Amethyst. Don thinks he MIGHT have a solution, but he can't guarantee anything. Dr. Joara glares at all of us while we are talking and then suddenly the green gas is emptying out of the cylinders. She is happy as she feels that her work is done, and it doesn't matter what we do to her anymore as the Society will survive. I know she has put that gas above into the meta humans.............now we have at least three problems to solve.
Feral picks up a device and turns it on the doctor who collapses after a green ray hits her in the knees and then she hands it to me. I glance over the device and it appears to be a fluxion stunner. I say "hallelujah" and turn it on the Dr. Joara's head and she passes out. I put that in my bag and then tell Feral and Don that we need to head out to help Amethyst. Feral suggests that Don should follow the pipes to see where they go. He heads out one way while we start going north and then he comes running back in and races for the hatch and for some reason he is letting the water IN! What is he doing??? Feral suggests I look for small water tanks while she tries to find a homing beacon for the submarine that the AIM commandos come in. I find actual rebreather harnesses on the AIM guys and I pull three. One for me to use if I have to follow him, one for him, and one for a jet pack. Now I have to figure out whether I can get to him before he drowns and if it is better to head for the submarine or drag him back in here. Also, what do I need to take with me?
Then it is too late and the water has filled the airlock. We watch him struggle to hold his breath - and then he turns, drops us a salute and heads out into the water - like a Don shaped torpedo. I am going to kill him as soon as I get my hands on him! I take a deep breath and evaluate the situation quickly. Don is holding his own and should be good to handle whatever he has gone into the water to handle - he can call for help over comms - right? Then Feral and I need to go and help the others, but first we need to tie all of these goons into a nice big pile so they can't get loose anytime soon. We grab our equipment and stash it in easy reach as we carefully head north. We get to a corridor and can see that Amethyst has been busy straight ahead and to the right. I check to see Feral's preference and I notice that there is something interesting at the end of the corridor. First, we have to help the boys and then I can check on the toys.
We get closer to the domed area and can see Amethyst and Tank hiding, but Medkit is in an Oscorp disguise. Then a Protector enters and talks to Medkit who is then surrounded by a green energy field. Amethyst fires one of his paralysis beams, but the protector puts Medkit behind him and is able to dodge the blast. I take the trooper in armor and slide him into the room to provide a distraction and that forces the protector and Medkit closer to the wall. Tank fires a blast at the protector and hits, but the armor takes it mostly. The protector decides that it is time to flee and Feral turns to race back down the hallway and disappears. I scurry into the room and over to the first console I can find - the Stargate. I start looking for information quickly and find one set address is for Kryton, one for that data center we were at, one for the Oscorp headquarters in Metropolis, one for here in the base - Amethyst confesses he did that before he turned it off. I dig deeper and find that a Dr. Steven Gunter Baptiste has been assigned by Oscorp to work with Society of Rao. He seems to be studying Kryptonians to find a cure for himself - an unspecified ailment.
I determine that my best effort would be spent in getting to the kidnapped victims and freeing them. They should be mostly able to control their meta powers by this time and should be interested in fighting with us. I power walk that way after telling the others what I was planning to do. Amethyst mentions that a protector is in the room guarding them so I power walk back to the console and quickly flip back to the screen showing where Oscorp members are. That protector has moved to the hallway to the east of this room so I head to the south and then east doing my best to get to the room where they are before someone else from Oscorp arrives. I get almost to the door and I glance north and see Feral is on the ground and facing something. I also notice that the enforcer that had a paralysis beam knocking him out is about to come to.
I enter the room and there is TWO techs, one Oscorp and one Rao as well as an enforcer. I continue to saunter into the room and tell them I was sent down to check on the volunteers. The enforcer watches me carefully, but the two techs welcome me and walk me through the process of doing a brain scan. They have been able to get the ooze in standalone samples to duplicate the powers they have scanned and these will be input into a new protector as soon as it is created. I have them walk me through the powers they currently have in the volunteers: one can shoot a physic bolt, one is able to control light density and generate darkness fields as if dark was a physical entity, on that can project fire and absorb fire but is not able to turn into fire, one that can generate energy fields around themselves only, and one that energy makes then stronger. Solar and gamma tried so far, but still working on different energy types to see if they have an impact. They then claim they will return the victims once they are able to induce a meta power without having to use the ooze. Which means never as there is no way to do that naturally. If there was, it would have already happened. I think I have gotten all the information I can right now so I make my excuses and head back out. I can't take out the three of them without help. The enforcer in the corridor is starting to stretch and move around so I give him a little finger wave and head north - he just watches me go.
Then I hear a should down the hall," I am Ajax Balthasar McGee and I am here to capture Dr. Baptiste and claim his powers for my own!"
Frisbee of DOOM!
October 20, 2009
I try to talk to the Aim commandos and entice them to our side. They just take it as an invitation to attack me. I attempt to do a running dodge, but there is some yellow energy ribbons that manage to wrap around my torso. I decide to use it against those who used it and run at and try to use my body with the energy ribbons as a battering ram. I bounce off the one to my left and bounce him back almost to the wall, the one to the right seems surprised as well and bounces back closer to tank. There is one more commando, but since he is already against the wall, I don't really manage to do much to him except maybe shock him a little bit. Their armor/wetsuit/jumpsuits seem to absorb and dissipate the energy.
The energy bands seem to be wearing out. I decide to try and finish them off and bounce directly at the last guy again. He is a bit dazed and confused so I hit him hard and fast. He tries to put that tiny shield up between us, but he is too slow. I bounce him against the wall, and he is almost unconscious. I seize the opportunity and grab that disc thing. If he was going to use it, then it sounds like it is a great tool for scientific research. I turn and see the guy who was stuck to the console has freed himself and his disc, but the rod is still stuck in the console. I do a flying leap and grab the rod and twirl using it as a center of gravity kick the disc in the center of his check. He is knocked back a step, but the disc has taken no damage. The rod, however, is now in my hands and the cords quietly slip back inside the rod and it is as if they were never there. So, I turn and hit the disc on the guy with the rod. There is a flash of light, and I am knocked back a step, but nothing else seems to happen. Then it seems to be his turn to throw his disc at me. I hold up my disc in defense and his bounces off mine. My disc is glowing brighter, but neither of them seems to be damaged at all. Next, I use his distraction and step over to the console and check to see what Dr. J had been working on.
It seems that the green glowing mist in the tanks around the room is a chemical that has been made to impact Kryptonians and, according to her notes, help them to see the error of their ways. She has named it Specter of Peace and she is using the mutagenic powers, especially those that modify energy, to see if she can refine the mist to use the energy matrix of any Kryptonian to alter their mind and then to further modify it to be able to use it on humans to get them on the right path, as she calls it. Just as I am about to make further discoveries, a disc is hurled at me and knocks the disc out of my hand. It lands on the floor beside the wall to my right.
I see a shield go whizzing by, which makes me check my surroundings. Apparently, Don was throwing his shield at Dr. J who is no longer inside a bubble and is about to use her device. I rush over and grab the disc from the floor and throw it at the device in her hand. It knocks the device to the floor, and it is shooting sparks. Dr. J is also holding her hand as if she had an electrical shock. And the disc comes straight back to me. It has gone straight back to whomever throws it.............
Who is the real adult?
October 20, 2009
My boyfriend shares some of the information he overheard in the galley. How does he manage to get people to just talk to him and share all of those details. Maybe they were planning to kill them? Or change them?? Anyway, we start looking around to see if we can find a map to see if we can find where they are planning to do whatever they are planning to do. I am able to use my tri comm to show our surroundings visually, but I run into some encryption. I manage to unlock at least one level.
It leads to another map with a maintenance diagram which shows that the freight elevator and maintenance hatch both lead to a sub-level that is about five floors below us. Feral is a bit worried about oxygen levels, but I convince her it will be fine. I suggest that since both places seem to end up at the same spot, the guys go on the elevator and we take the hatch down. After all, they are supposed to be here and we are not. We see them head off and Feral, Tank, and I head down the maintenance shaft - think turbolift. It is good for a while, but then there are windows. I love the view, Tank is confused, but Feral is trying very hard to be mature and NOT freak out. After a while, we can see domed buildings below - an underwater base. We appear to be heading for the one on the SW corner of the underground mesa. We get to a hatch on top of one of the domes. I crack the code on the door and ask Tank to lead the way, but Feral bounces out and lands on the sentinel.
And there in all her glory is Dr. Joara Zarn-Del. I land lightly on the floor and walk over to the console across from her, laying my tri-comm down on top. While I engage her in witty banter, I do my best to figure out what she is up to here and the best way to sabotage it. She laughs and her fingers start flying across the keyboard as she suggests that I need a quiet place to breathe. I sense movement above me and I dodge to the side as a column slams into the floor where I was and fills with a green mist. Sadly, my tri comm and the one that Feral had snagged from the sentinel are locked inside. We will just say they are being kept safe for a later pick-up. I roll to my feet and move closer to Dr. Zarn-Del - and the tech.
Suddenly Feral bounds into the bad doctor and bounces her back from the console. The Dr. ignores Feral and continues to talk smack to me. Then she pulls on a gauntlet and fires a beam of energy at me which gives me a massive headache. I do recognize it. A flexion bracer, a device that initially was used to help people on Krypton. Now it only causes pain - which does seem to be the only real purpose these people have. Then I see the field tech grab a device - looks like a mini tri comm - and fire at me. I dodge that and the blast splashes against the tube that came out of the ceiling. I am thankful that the tube does not crack as I am sure we don't want that green gas in the same room with us.
I continue moving towards Dr. Joara, taunting her and trying to get her to attack me. One, to wear her out and force her to use a lot of energy in fighting while I use the strength of the willow to flow around her punches and deflect her hits. I get close enough that I am sure I can grab that gauntlet from her. I manage to snap open the catch and slip it off her and into my pouch with the other tools. I do not take the time to investigate it right now - bigger fish to fry - but I do want to check out the modifications made to see if some beneficial use can be made of the scientific progress. She manages to sweep my legs from under me and I fall to the ground. Don is suddenly there and manages to knock her back some. Just as suddenly she clicks a few buttons and Don is stuck in a force field! She pulls out a mini tri comm too so I walk over and take that away from her too!
Suddenly, there are four people that walk in through a water lock - AIM mercenaries!
The Kryptonian Connection?
October 20, 2009
We rest and recuperate on "The Bus" which is a comfortable plane and has a decent kitchen. We gather in the conference room and we are treated to a presentation from SAFEGUARD, starting with Captain America. He informs us that there are three likely places where Oscorp is working on the Protectorate Program. He has teams for two of the locations and wants us to handle the third - an offshore oil rig that has been re-purposed as a wave generator. We begin discussing plans to get onto the rig and being able to find out what they are hiding - as we all know they are. The plan we decide on is for the men to be rescued from a life raft while Feral and I swim underwater and get onboard from another direction. The men head off and we get into our gear - Feral objects to the suit not being outfitted with holes in the right places. But we get fitted up and have Tank (the safeguard guy) join us.
We swim under the helipad and slowly go up the stairs to the deck level. We slowly move around the deck avoiding the security and find a staircase down a level. We go for a few meters and then there is Amythest. He and I exchange information. He had found seven vials and I did a quick check to see what I could discover. It appears that they are pain medications for a variety of cybernetic implants. I asked where he had found them and it was a med kit on the wall. This means that the majority of the people on this rig have implants of one kind or another. We saw five security on the deck level and Amythest says they saw five or six in and around the mess hall. That means that we have only found 2/3 of the what we were told for sure is on the rig. Hopefully they are sleeping.
Amythest heads back up to the deck while Feral and I continue down below to find a server room so that maybe we can find answers. Over the comms, I hear someone complain about Earth air and I begin to quietly curse - it just has to be the Kryptonian connection!
Hostages and heroes
October 17, 2009
I can hear lots happening over towards the south end of the room, but I am focused on getting to the hostage. I am not really a fighter, as my near-death experiences confirm, so I decide to take a running leap over to the other side of the room and get closer. I stay on top of the server stands and look down at the hostage. They appear to have been slipped into a protector suit that does not fit. It also appears that they are hooked up into a lot of equipment and a set of headphones that are probably complex-programmable programmable backhaul links that are inducing a somnolent state. I think my best bet to help is to find the off switch. I trace wires and find another tri-comm. I lay down on top of the server stand and reach down to plug in a hardwire between my tri-comm and this one. I do NOT want to find out what bluetooth devices are in this room. I manage to crack the encryption, which was harder than I anticipated.
I find their statistics and the purpose of the tri-comm. It is transferring all of the information from this facility (based upon a download from before we interfered - gosh darn it) to another location. I determine to plant a small 'bug' hidden into the stream that will then send a transmission to a secure location (not our secret base!) so that we can track where their probable base is and make plans. I put together a quick script to tell us where it ends up and what it has found. I get back a network address with server location and some basic details about server space and such. I then check out the details on the hostage and find out that his name is Ornell Parks. Apparently, his power is energy manifestation and he can shoot lightning and create shields. The suit he is in is keeping his power dormant, but I can turn that off and then unbuckle him. The question is how will he react to being free? Will he join us in battle against our foes or will he focus on getting away?
I decide it is worth the risk and drop lightly down to the floor behind the hostage and I quickly and carefully unplug his suit and start to unbuckle him. As I see him start to regain consciousness, I start talking to him about we are here to help and are on your side. I keep him calm and then start heading for the door. Just before we go out, I prop him against the wall and go to check on Feral. As I am heading outside, I notice one of the security guards scanning one of the protectors with a cell phone?? Anyway, I find Feral and we start discussing how to get out of here with the hostage, when one of the guards speaks up and offers a lot of help. He indicates that we are working on the same thing and should work together. I do not see Feral going for this at all.
She heads on to the construction area while I head back to get the hostage. Don catches up with me while I am talking with the guard and I manage to grab the usb and get a copy of it before he tosses it away.
Who am I today?
October 19-20, 2009
Dr. McCoy says the two we rescued from the facility are doing okay. The sample we brought back seems to indicate that they are actually making artificial people - androids. And ones that are undetectable by modern security scans. After a LOT of discussion, we devise a plan to enter a data center that Oscorp is renting in Atlantic City. We get our fake credentials as members of a shell company and take the train. We disembark and freshen up in time to get to the facility for our scheduled tour. The building is modern looking with security features. We enter and after a brief battle of technobabble, we go into the data server area control center. I start to unobtrusively to search for Oscorp and where they might have their data stored. I see one screen that shows that the servers for that company are in the northeast corner of the submerged area. Then we go over to their security center and check it out. Amythest seems to be impressed.
I request we go back to the command center as we need to get some information from this trip - other than the tour information. I tell my companions to distract our guide while I drift over to an unused terminal and hack into the system. I get in and check to see that Oscorp has both primary and auxiliary servers. I decide to pull from the auxiliary servers, and I start getting almost live feeds from somewhere inside this building. They appear to be fairly normal EKG scans, but they are happening here and that means that there is a chance that one of the other victims is actually here! How do I share that with my companions without tipping off our guide - or the security staff?
Then I hear Feral give the safe word so I start trying to get us out of there without ruining our cover. However, as I am walking past the screen at the door of the command room, I see a script about a download - in KRYPTONIAN!
October 17, 2009
I am riding the elevator down to what I hope is the basement. It slows and stops at the 2nd floor. The door opens and I can see the back of one of the enforcers and a side view of another one. They are discussing some female scientist that visited earlier in the week. Apparently, she is involved in the ooze project. I casually reach over to push the down button and one starts to turn towards me as the door closes. I eventually get to the basement area, and I step out to see how very busy my teammates have been. Looks like they have been taking out OS Corps people and stashing them out of site. I walk over to a keypad beside the door and begin checking to see if I can get any information. This seems to be using a different security protocol - almost a Kryptonian military caste. I turn to my team to see if they have any suggestions or if we even need to go through the door. Feral says the other victims are in there and we must get them out. Don pulls out a key card and suggests we try this. I check it with my tri-comm, and it has an RFID chip embedded. I am worried that there might be a vocal component, but no one is sure. We could just try it, but I am afraid that there is some type of countermeasure system in place.
Feral wonders off to investigate one of the rooms and Dr, Reynolds pulls up some security footage that is inside the room. We can see several people wondering about and also a person floating in a tank of some kind. Amythyst brings over a photo of the network lines and it makes the idea Feral is proposing sound almost feasible. I overhear the two doctors asking for various chemicals in order to make some kind of concoctions. I go over the the security computer that Feral pointed out to me and I hack in and see that there is no vocal component to the door lock. I turn around to the team and let them know that we have a keycard and we can enter now. Are they ready? Amythyst speaks up and says that he will look. He finds the vinegar that Don needs for a reaction with the bleach that Feral found earlier. Feral gets on top of the door frame, Amythyst stands in front with Don beside him in a security uniform.
The door opens with many clicks, clanks, and rolls. In front of us are two of the whatevers in yellow and I whisper telling them to "Go, go, GO!" I wait until they have been accepted by the people inside and then I busily start tapping on my tri-comm and welk inside and begin heading towards the tank at the back of the room. There is a clash behind us and I freeze for a moment and then turn to slowly look behind me. The tech beside me glances up and then tells me that she will get the door closed. As she is about to close it, one of those in a yellow suit tells her to leave it open. They come over to investigate and then requests to have more security to be sent as the others are all on break. He walks out to stand guard and tells everyo9ne to leave the door open. Don and Amythyst head to the scanner on the SE corner while I get to the tank on the east wall.
Suddenly, there is a cat fight in the outer room so I take the opportunity to investigate the person in the getup in the back. I plug in my tri-comm and am able to see that this person, who seems to be in some sort of dream state, is actually connected to the entire room. In fact, it looks like he is connected to the white ooze in the tank. I notice that he is one of the victims from New York that we were sent to rescue, so I decide to check to see if I can discover which type of mutagen he has and that's when I set off the intruder alerts. I holler out apologies and one of the mechanized individuals turns to me and whats to know what I mean. I then babble something about I was told to not do that and then I went and did it and he sounds very frustrated and tells me he is coming to fix it. Then Don gets his attention and distracts him, but the then big dude out in the office yells "Intruder Alert!" also.
Suddenly I see a flurry of data going between the subject in front of me and the vat. I need to determine which half of this is leading. A quick check tells me that the victim in the chair is reacting to something - like the most basic levels of instinct and reaction. It seems to be a handshake type of system where information is sent from the victim to the tank and the tank sends back a confirmation signal to confirm it understands the command or the reaction or something. I am afraid to break the connection on the victim's end as i do not want to cause a feedback loop, so I head over to the tank and the arm that hangs over the tank where I can see an interface. I am heading that way when one of the techs rushed over to me. She tells me that she knows I don't work here and she needs to be rescued as well. I tell her we can help her, but we need her to help us. She tells us that this is the third victim that has been hooked up to the tank and each time five protectors are created. The current batch should be coming out in twenty minutes and they are going to be magnetic controllers. I tell her that I can't make any promises, but that if she gives me his information we will do our best to save him once we get out of here. She is pragmatic about her chances to get away, but is positive that we can save her brother. I ask her if she has a complex-programmable decoupled voltage-controlled-attenuator and she runs to get one out of her desk. This causes the ooze to start to boil over and I can see green mist rising from the other side of the tank. What?!?!
I ask the tech if she has a switch-mode jitter-free voltage-controlled-attenuator instead, but since she doesn't, I hook up my tri-comm and check program parameters to see if I can disconnect the victim or if I can drain the tank or maybe even both! I realize that I need to hold my breath as the fumes are becoming overwhelming. I can only do one or the other with the current environmental factors in place. I quickly disconnect the victim and the tank system goes into standby mode. Hopefully, that will give us time to deal with what is inside the tank AFTER we get through the current crisis. The tech comes running back with a tritonic neogenic fetcher and I plug it into the armature so that it can assist me with deconstructing the programming so that I can shut it down.
Then there is a green fog that flows from the other end of the room and settles into the tank. In a last ditch effort to stop the process, I start the emergency protocol to drain the tank. This does not help. The nanites have taken over the things in the tank and they come alive with AIM yellow eyes! I know that I need somthing with a decimated ultra-performance option that will stop them. I remember what the tech told me about them being vulnerable to cold for the first minute they are out of the tank. I yell for help out to the room, but the only person that can help has already been taken out of commission. The tech runs over to see if she can hot wire the freeze gun from the power suit, but something goes very wrong. I see Amythyst pull her away from the danger, but ice forms around her and there also seems to be electricity involved. I do a quick tri-comm scan for her vitals. I think I MIGHT be able to reverse the effects, but there is no guarantee. I ask her what she wants and she prefers to get control. I use Amythyst's ability to siphon the energy and then I can interface with her biometrics. I help her to get control, but she is no longer someone without power as either her dormant mutagenic powers were awakened, some experimenting gone awry, or maybe she was experimented on too.
She is grateful for my help and confirms that we will help her brother. She then tells me that there is someone with a lot of money who is helping Os Corp to pay for all of the experiments. Dr. Joara Zarn-Del, a geneticst and behavioral scientist from Kryton who wants everyone to continue following the old ways. I have met her once or twice and she struck me as being very dogmatic, a firm believer in enhancing Krytonian evolution for the betterment of the whole. She then tell me that the other victims are either on an off-shore platform or in Jersey. Then finally she tells me that we can get out of here by taking the mainetnance stairs beside the elevator, up to a walkway and through a tunnel to the outside. I ask the team if there is anything else we need to do since there is only one victim here that we can rescue, we have gotten all of the medical data, and we have a way out. Medkit wants to get some samples, Feral wants to grab the server's hard drives, and I go to get the victim out of the contraption. I give him to Amythyst to carry as I attempt to hurry the team out.
We load onto the bus and turn into the first truck stop we see and remove the wrap to make the bus look different. Then we head for home - or at least headquarters.
The Shadow Knows?
October 17, 2009
I see a caped horror in front of me, but it is not facing me, so I sneak backwards quietly and try the handle. It is not locked!! I S L O W L Y turn the handle, enter the lab administrator's office, and hear that dratted hinge again as I close the door gently. The office is empty and a standard setup. I glance around to see a few bookshelves with some knickknacks. There are some books on a variety of topics, but a few stand out: Two books on philosophy (one by Marcus Aurelias, one by Miamoto Musashi ), another is "Advanced Neural Networking", and the last is "Chemical Compounds in Unstable Matrix Theory". Just then I hear footsteps coming towards me. Not the solid marching step of the caped wonder, but the more normal human step. I also hear voices. They seem to be talking about the vaccinations. They don't recall hearing about this happening but are overall happy about it. As they continue
The reports are about some samples that refer to New York Samples and there is a breakdown on what they have learned. The analysis has mentioned about variation gamma and that the breakdown analysis should be done in about 30 minutes from Greg Jergins. I quickly snap pictures of everything to keep for our report and then look around for a computer to hack. I must try for a few minutes, but I manage to get it unlocked. I start snagging the digital files of these in front of me. I look for information about Greg who is the lead researcher and has been here for 12 years. He oversees the ooze project known here as "Project Alpha". All his research is being handed upstairs and the ooze and the various distillations are component parts of something they are calling the "Project Protector". I hear the voices getting closer now and then passing on down the hallway. I slowly open the door a crack and peak out. There is an enforcer, a scientist, and maybe a cyborg. The scientist and enforcer get into one elevator and head downstairs. The maybe cyborg heads upstairs. I call Amythest and warn him of incoming. Then I call Don to give him a head's up about what I have found. I head down the hallway, after checking to make sure the caped marauder is not visible and check the door to the north and to the south. Both are unlocked so I make a SWAG decision and take the south door. There are lots of tables around and I see several samples of the orange ooze. I also notice a Kryptonian device - that really shouldn't be here, but Oscorp has never been known to follow the rules - and pick it up to check the latest reading. This was done on the ooze that is of a lighter orange than the others. Based upon what I am reading, the ooze is being used as a memory storage device for a DNA strand that has been introduced to the ooze. What type of DNA?
Then there is a message from Feral. She has found one of the people from New York. She thinks she can rescue them, but she needs a distraction. I glance around the room and see some glass bottles and alcohol and a chute in the wall. I open it and it appears to be the disposal chute. I don't have any way to access the security systems and set off any alarms from within here and there is no time to find the server room and access it. I tell the team that I can provide half of the distraction and Medkit does the other half. He uses his telekinetic powers to set off a lot of car alarms in the area. I hear some running in the hallway outside, but I am not about to investigate. I hope that is enough.
I have done everything I can in here, so I leave and go back to the unlocked door that I did not pick before. I slowly open the door and glance inside to see a techie playing with some device. I prefer to not have contact with anyone, so I shut that door and move east down the hallway to the next room. just as I am about to enter the room, I hear the door behind me open. I dart to the door on the south wall as I KNOW that room is empty. I peek out and see one of the caped horrors coming out of the room I was about to enter!! The techie approaches and says something about he thinks there was someone at his door just now. They start a search and head towards the room I am in. I check the closest table and open the under-table storage and there is enough room for me to hide. I pull the door almost closed just as they enter the room. There is some sort of weird shadow fog hovering around the foot of the guy in blue and yellow. He tells the techie that the shadows will help and suddenly the shadows from around the room are coalescing and streaming around the room like they are searching. Shadows can't do that! I pull the door closed so that they can't come into my hiding area. They are walking very close to my hiding spot. I hold my breath and keep very still. Then I hear the techie say there is something going on below. "Maybe one of the 'distillations' has gotten loose??" I wonder what that could mean. He leaves, the caped horror moves around and then slowly leaves. I get out of my hiding spot and dash to the room where the techie was, but there is nothing there to discover. I guess it is time to meet up with the rest of the team and head over to the elevator. I push the down button and FINALLY it arrives. I get on and push the basement level.
Where will I end up?
October 15 - 17, 2009
I am invited to a briefing with Don and his group. There have been stories in the news for a while about an ooze that mutates those who encounter it. We are introduced to an individual that was affected by the ooze, but the effects are now in remission. The Professor tells us about a method that Dr. Isley have found to minimize and even appears to reverse the effects. He continues to tell us that the entire world seems to be worried about this - except AIM. This is very troubling.
Feral summarizes our mission as get in, get info, get out and the response is unsettling as the Professor tells us that is the beginning of our assignment. We will be getting information from Dr. Isley and Hank McCoy that will have what they have learned so far. I am part of this team because I can PROBABLY make a substitute antidote and to exchange for what they claim they have created. We need to study what they have, and they are not really willing to share.
We concoct a plan to enter the facility using a medical bus doing booster shots with us being the medical crew. Though Feral will be in hiding to be our back up. I will take my IPad to talk to their computers and find out what they have to tell me. The Professor heads off to discuss with Blackjack about papers and getting the Three Investigators to work on the bus. Don and I head off to make the boosters and get some hazmat gear for the trip.
Upon reading the information, it appears that the ooze has been identified to have a plant-based origin: a crystal jade vine plant that is exceedingly rare. As I continue to work on the report, I notice that the plant does not appear to have been mutated at all. It naturally mutates the human genome. BUT the method being used to transmute the pollen into ooze is familiar. It looks like the same chemical sequence that a rouge group from Thanagar used to cause trouble - the Ivory Talons. I share these insights with the team and then crash for a well-deserved rest.
Around midnight there is a banging on the door and Feral is there asking for some nanites that can hide, record 10 hours of audio, then disengage with their host for Feral to collect. I must do a rush job and hand them over for deployment. She goes off and returns with the used nanites. I get the sub sonics that are being used as the actual password. I am even able to discover the name of the person whose password we are borrowing. My nanites even pick up that he is the lead researcher for Project Paragon - now if we only knew what that was.
On Saturday, we get to the site and enter the grounds. Don does his usual, makes friends, and gets us inside the building with access to a conference room and even help to move things in. I notice that one of the security guards is wearing glasses that appear to be either cyborg or at least wearable tach. We get set up and Don begins to be all doctory. I use a visit to the restroom to scope out the elevators and try to devise a way to get upstairs. I sneak out with one of the groups and go up in one of the elevators. I can hear footsteps ahead of me and head towards them, trying door handles as I go in case I need a quick hideaway. As I get closer to the end of the hallway, I glimpse a figure in armor.