It's that time of night when everything seems darkest, the mostly clear sky above helping little with the moon's face hidden in shadow. Only the stars and the streetlights provide any illumination at all. And the phrase "cold as a witch's tit" might come to mind...
A battered fullsize van cruises through the streets towards the Hamilton Campus, the kin driving (Malachai) listening with half an ear as his alpha briefs everyone else sitting in the passenger compartment. "From what the bird told me, if this place's a Wyrm-pit, it's all plated over. No gurgling sludge and suchlike in the halls. Bonus, but keep your eyes open. Looks like they're torturing the folk they kidnap, injecting 'em with stuff, so be careful. If we can save 'em, we save 'em. If they wig out on us or anything freaky, drop 'em. Clean death and keep moving. We got no time for speeches." Shotguns are being checked over by the other two kin of Igni Ferroque, ammo settled, and the reinforced jackets that make them look like biker punks fastened into place. Modern brigandine, nearly, with metal plates rivetted over delicate areas.
"We we get there, sneaky here," and Jason's given a nod, "is gonna go in and bork the surveilence hub. Mal's rigged up a boomer for that, if he needs it. Then we go in, Mal rigs the offices to go off like a roman candle, and we carve our way down into R&D following the birdy's map while people panic at the fireballs over there. She said lot of the doors were card-locked. We got no time for dancing around, blow the locks out, keep moving."
Said map is sketched out on a legal pad, and passed around to any that want to look, "This hour, nobody with any innocence has call to be there 'cept guards. So if it moves and it ain't us, splat it. Clear?"
Jason looks up from tugging on his black gloves when he's gestured to and he gives a small smirk to Urick, firing off a salute to the alpha. When he's looking away, the boyishly handsome Fianna fires a wink and a grin at the only female in the place. He's grabbed an extra reinforced jacket form the Igne Ferrique, and takes that map to eye it thoughtfully.
They're headed for the parking garage near the R&D building. Emily's map's a good one; the raven knows and remembers her stuff alright. Three floors above, five floors down underground, keycards required at all entry/exit points in the basement levels. Her map is of the B-5 floor. It's got a curving hallway, not too unlike the R&D building's curvature actually, and various doors marked off. There are also cameras overlooking the major entry/exit points, likely hooked into security feeds. The unknown factor right now? How many guards there might be patrolling. Their first obstacle, however, is the front gates to the parking garage. It seems Hamilton's ramped up security -- there's two guards instead of the normal one in that guard booth. They're still preoccupied with watching screens rather than the actual darkness, however.
As the van gets close enough to see the campus, Urick moves up to look out the windshield. "Don't pull in, drive past and find a side-street." Even as the van wanders right past the parking garage, Urick turns to look back at Jason, hopefully managing to catch his attention away from the 'I think you would go well with a nice red wine' grin Fiona is sharing with the Ragabash. "Soon as we stop, twinkletoes, you hop out, go stealth, and move in. We'll be ten minutes behind you," and the Ahroun taps his watch to illustrate.
Jason quirks his brows at the map, actually keeping his attention on that paper for a while, rather than getting distracted by the glare from the predator with the breasts across the way. "Do we know of any other entrances to the parking garage? Or any other entrances at all?" Oh yeah, it's hard to hear him in the way he whispers, but hopefully they're willing to listen. "It'll probably be easiest for me to get to the basement and take out the generator, rather than the heavily guarded/watched security desk. You guys up for taking out the external power afterwards?"
To the parking garage, there are at least three other entrances, likely also guarded at this point. But that doesn't mean the garage itself has guards patrolling its every level, right? Anyway. There are plenty of shadows for a ragabash of Jason's stealthiness to go through. Above ground, it doesn't seem like the security is as high as it could be.
"We can scrag anything we can get to," agrees the Ahroun, settling back into a seat as Malachai maneuvers the van into a nondescript parking spot within easy walk of the Campus. "We just can't sneak about so much, y'ken?"
"We need you to get us an opening so we can get in and start the /real/ party," chimes in Fiona, cycling the pump on her shotgun before safetying it and tucking the thing across her back on its strap. Then the grin she aims at the Fianna's downright challenging as the van's engine turns off and the door's unlock, "Think you're good for it, hot stuff?"
"Hah, I like to hear that," Jason rasps, flipping through the pages of all the maps they have, quickly committing all Emily has to memory before handing it across to Mal. He meets Fiona's challenging grin with one of his own and a browwaggle. "Better than you'll ever know, kitten." He pulls open his jacket, getting a visual on his holstered handgun and pats the combat knife tucked into his pocket. "Let's rock and roll, kiddos."
Ten minutes of head start is basically all that Jason needs. It's just a matter of patience and waiting at critical moments before moving on. The cameras with their line of sight do have blind spots that he can go through. Once he's down into the building itself after having followed a lab-coat wearing technician into the first underground level, his exploration brings him to the solid metal doors that are marked with DANGER: HIGH VOLTAGE signs. These doors don't actually have keycards, but they do appear to be locked.
Jason sticks his tongue in his cheek, his thumbs in his pockets, and rocks back on his heels as he casually glances up and down the hall in both directions. Doo dee doo dee doo...dum dee dum... Grabbing hold of those doors, Jason gives them a yank. Hmmm, still locked. Man, if only he'd taken the time to learn Open Seal from Bianca instead of Rite of Silence. Seriously, who uses their ears anymore? Ah well... It takes just a moment and Jason is shifting up to Glabro, convinced he's in that blindspot, and tears the door open.
Blindspot or no, the door comes off its hinges with some 'encouragement' from the Fianna ragabash. The sound of it is a metal wrenching sort of dull clang, but he just needs to get it off the frame so he can squeeze in. And squeeze he'll have to do - the generator is a large wall of wires and fuses and breakers connected to the actual machine deeper within the room, with hardly any room for anyone to actually manuever into. No alarms yet. But not too long after he's futzing around with the wires, he can hear doors opening and booted footsteps making their way down the hall with crisp movements and sound. Sounds like a decent group - two pair.
The first thing Jason does isn't that he goes for the wires. Rather, he slips his lithe form easily past those wires and towards the generator. It only takes him a few moments to find the gas tank for the generator. The cap comes off, and a long stick of wrapped thermite with a digital timer on the top comes out of Jason's jacket. That gets fit a little snugly into the gas tank aaaaaaand....glancing at his watch, Jason sets it for three minutes. He whips out his phone, hammering in a text message to Igne Ferrique as he glances about the room. "charges set. 3 min. im omw out" Dropping the phone away, he pauses at the sound of those footsteps. He edges up to the slight opening of the doorway, sticking his eye through and peering out. Hmmm...
Tick, tick, tick. The group of guards that has come out to investigate the noise takes a glance at the door of the generator and immediately Jason can hear them talking to their radios. "We've got a break in. Perimeter do a check. All stations on alert." Apparently, though, they don't even bother to look /into/ the room of the generator. Must be too small to fit them all.
Jason smirks. Oh this will be fun... Shifting up to Glabro, he glances around room. Hmmm, might as well. Taking hold of one of the biggest cables connected to the fuse box, he yanks it out before turning towards the doors, pulling out a ski mask to pull over his head. He gets as much running room as he can and...SLAM! He bodyslams the doors the rest of the way off their hinges, twirling a kick and aiming to send that slab of metal flying at the two guards. Then he's down to homid and sprinting at fullspeed down the hallway. His hand goes to his necklace under his shirt, calling on the Elk spirit within...
Tick, tick... The guards apparently don't expect that at all, and the two in the back are the recipients of the large metal door to come flying off its hinges at them. They don't get the chance to fire weapons. With two knocked down, the other pair spin around in surprise (their backs had apparently been to that generator door), and with weapons raised get a couple of shots off. They miss, their bullets striking the concrete wall and ricocheting off from around Jason. The Fianna's got the edge, running down that hallway. He has the advantage of the fetish's lent speed. They really won't catch them. But they will catch the explosion that comes from the gas fumes contacting with sparks from the wire. While the majority of the building suddenly powers down, in the elapsed time of three minutes wherein the guards try to make their way after Jason, the generator room suddenly explodes in a fireball that races down the natural corridor of air. Boom and fwoom, baby. The explosion actually rocks a bit of the ground above. Jason's lucky - he gets to the doorway of the stairwell with just a little bit of singing.
When the explosion rumbles, some might think it's a disturbance of geographic nature. But it isn't. The fact that the guards had called in for a perimeter check send the others from station booths posted around Hamilton's building campus up and at 'em in their respective locations. They grab their guns or check their holsters before exiting the respective booths to go check on a scheduled patrol route, likely to meet up with guards from the other booths around the perimeter at set up waypoints. It's actually rather efficient, except that it's routine. Should Igni Ferroque be watching, they'll spot the guards moving away. Others are coming from some of the buildings - notably the R&D building, above ground - to sweep the grounds.
And Igni Ferroque does watch, actually waiting a bit past their little 10-minute deadline as the patrol is spotted and they start tracking the pattern... ah. They almost move casually as they slip out of the van, make sure their weapons aren't hanging oddly or going to jab into anything, and then start making their way towards the perimeter, aiming to time their crossing just after a sweep. They may not be stealthy, but they know military-style ops. And timing. Gotta have good timing when you deal with gunbunnies and crazy bombers in your pack.
Jason hits the ground with a roll after that explosion, coming up with his back to the wall and his gun coming out of his holster. Glancing around the stairwell, he grins when he realizes he's alone. He gives a wheezing, triumphant laugh, tucking that gun back into its holster. Glancing around to make sure he's not in the sight of any cameras, his form suddenly pulling out of focus. Glancing over the edge of the stairwell, he snorts. Staits are for pussies... Hopping over the edge, Jason dangles for a bit...before dropping to the next level. Again and again until he reaches that bottom floor.
The trip down to the bottom floor's easy though, for a free runner. Stairs really are for pussies - or guards without the athletic skill. On his way down, Jason'll notice the keycard locks that lead into the other levels. The lights on them are all red, indicating they're still locked.
Meanwhile, Igni Ferroque does well to wait for the two guards on the south end of the campus to move from their position, heading east to meet up with the pair of guards coming from the east side of the campus. They're going to have to swing their way around a little bit in an arc to avoid the guards coming out of the R&D building to inspect the outer perimeter. Taking a look, though, the lights of the building have turned off or are flickering weakly in some spots. They have a clear path to the main office.
Excellent. Old hands at group operations, the pack does take the time to make sure they don't run right into that guard detachment, in no tearing hurry but not dawdling, either. Upon reaching the doors to the main offices, Holyoak and Dorn take up positions flanking the entrence while Urick tries the doors, Fiona right there behind him. If they're locked, he'll apply brute force, but either way those things are coming open, and once they are, he quickly scans the interior for movement.
Jason hits that bottom floor, dusting off his hands and stepping up to that last door. Heeere we go, let's hope Igne Ferrique isn't far behind. He pauses by the door, ear pressed against it...he glances up the stairwell, listening for the sound of booted footsteps. If all is good, and he's still out of the sight of security cameras, he'll kick that door open, either in or out of Glabro.
In Glabro form is the only form that seems capable of crushing that door open - /normal/ humans use battering rams and the like - but Jason in his near-man gets it done. B-5's lock means nothing! And it seems like it was on the fritz anyway, since once the door busts in, the lock's red LED light just dies off. He's in. There aren't any sounds to be heard of bootsteps, however, from behind that door. When he looks past the open door, he'll note the lights have died off on this level, casting the hallway into a relative pitch darkness. A bit further in, he can see the emergency lights on a separate circuit that are on, flashing occasionally.
Outside and above ground, the main office doors open without a fuss (though they do have to be jiggered open with a bit of force themselves, due to their manual lock state). There's nobody in the main office building that comes out to greet the heavily armed Dies Ultimae pack. As they sweep the ground floor, that becomes more apparent. The main office building is empty this time of night.
Jason stops just inside the door, staring into the darkened hallway...and testing the air in deep breaths, searching for a familiar scent. Hmmm... Slowly, his form blurred and his steps nearly completely silent, he edges his way into the hallway. "I think I played this level in Silent Hill," he whispers to himself, peeking in rooms as he passes.
Grunt, "Mal, you're up. We want this to be flashy." With that, the formation shifts, the two Garrets staying near the front door while Dorn and Holyoak move off further into the building, the demoman slipping a heavy pack from his back and replacing it with his shotgun as he goes. From that satchel he starts pulling plastic-wrapped parcels of chemicals, each trailing a fuse, and each being stashed at various places around the ground floor. It's not like he's trying to hide them or find structural weaknesses, but it's still likely to take a while.
While Holyoak and Dorn are working, the Garrets manage to spot the pair of guards that had left the R&D building sweeping around towards the main building. They're being cautious of course, trying to spot some unknown amount of intruders in the dark is going to be difficult with just two flashlights over their guns between them.
Back beneath the grounds between the parking garage and R&D building, Jason's entered the lowest basement level and his caution takes over. The rooms are dark due to lack of lighting or just empty for the first few that he looks into. He'll notice the slight curve of the hallway the same way that B-1 level looked when he was up there. The intermittent flashing lights provide some brief moments of illumination before things go dark again, never giving the pupils a real chance to adjust to the darkness, nor giving them the opportunity to have enough light to really see by. It's as the Fianna is moving along that he thinks he hears movement from behind him, the scrape of feet.
It's the flashlights that warn them, happily. The Garrets pull to either side of the door, flanking and waiting to see if those guards are going to come inside. Holyoak and Dorn continue their methodical circuit of the first floor, but before very long the last of the packages are in place and the pair start making their way back towards the front door, the demoman trailing fuse behind.
As for the two by the front door, they're going to give those guards a very rude welcome if they stick their heads in.
Jason blinks heavily in that flashing light, wrinkling his nose in a silent snarl. Okay, fuck this. He's cupping his hand and just about to call a Faerie Light into being when he hears that scrape of feet behind him. Hmmm... Not even bothering to glance back, he sticks his head in one of the doorways, flicks a glance around, and turns in there, like he'd seen something interesting. Once inside, he presses his back against the wall. As soon as anything else comes around that corner, he'll be grabbing it. And maybe breaking it or throwing it against the wall. Or both.
The guards do in fact make the stop to check the main office building doors. The pair of uniformed men shine their lights towards the glass doors of the building as one of them approaches. He seems to have caught the sight of the door lock having been forced open.
As Jason ducks into the room, he comes upon relative darkness and sees in those brief flashes of lights that the walls are awfully close. It's either a storage room, or, as the evidence of a table with some straps on it would indicate, it could be a surgical/torture room. It's empty, sure. And he hears, rather than sees, that the door he'd just gone through scrape closed. There's also a scratchy chuckle accompanying it. The Fianna gets closed in.
The nice thing about a fireteam that's worked so closely together for as long as this one. They often don't even need commands. The bomb-setting pair come back and spot flashlights hilighting the glass doors and immediately fall away to either side, shotguns to hand and taking up firing positions. But there's not howling charge through the door, though Fiona's lips pull back off her teeth in a downright crazed grin. Instead, they wait.
Jason frowns deeply as that door closes behind him, his brows pulling together. Hey now, that wasn't supposed to happen. He glances around briefly before he holds up a hand and three small lights spark into being in his palm. To any people (or cameras) it will look like he has an innovative flashlight on his palm. Hopefully, they'll give him enough light to see. He sniffs at the air, wrinkling his nose and looking back towards the door. Hmmm... His ear goes back to it, his glabro senses perked.
The pair of guards at the main building get closer to the entrance. Their flashlights shoot beams sweepingly within. With the team of Igni Ferroque hidden away, however, and being quiet, nothing seems to give the guards any further impression of intrusion. The suspicious one shakes his head and motions for the other to head off, saying into his shoulder radio, "This is Green-Sector-Bravo. Main building is clear. Heading to Blue." They get various responses garbled by the radio, but then the pair of guards are off and headed for the R&D Building.
Below, Jason's faerie lights come into play to illuminate the little room. He doesn't see much outside of that little square window separating the room he's in from the hall outside. The sniggering chuckles continue - sounds like just one? Those sniggerings cut off as a tortured scream rips down the hallway in an echoing cry.
As soon as the guards are a decent ways off, the pack moves. Guns are returned to straps, the fuse is lit, and they're off towards the R&D building in a fast but careful scurry. Behind them, fire crawls along that long, branching fuse... It really doesn't take very long at all for it to reach the first package, which goes up in a roar of fire that would put some Hollywood gasoline bombs to shame, designed to set everything nearby on fire more than damage anything structurally. And it's just the first...
Jason doesn't like sniggering. Especially from some unknown sneaky little shit. Well hey, he's gonna see what happens when you try to trap a Fianna. And Jason's tall enough to look down through that window. Or punch through it. Rearing his fist back, he leans all his might into smashing through that glass, trying to grab throat or face or whathaveyou of the person pressed against the other side of that door.
There is more boom, and definitely more fwoom. The explosions rock the area around the main building and the building itself, definitely something that's more attention drawing. That'll definitely get the guards' attentions back, and more of the perimeter than anything else.
Jason's fist rams through the window, and his Glabro arm manages to catch enough scruff to grab whoever it is by the shirt collar. That gets him at least a satisfactory yelp of surprise from the sneaky one. However, as he'll soon find, the owner of the yelp doesn't just sit around to get caught up either. The Fianna's arm gets bitten into, and hard! Not that this should be more than just an annoyance to a Glabro. But, it's painful enough on its own because it comes from the pointy teeth of a relatively skinny looking Glabro in turn. Manic looking, it's a little tough to spot the shifting, skinny Spiral Dancer that's got the other ragabash trapped behind that metal door.
As the flames roar up behind them, Igni Ferroque doesn't even stumble. They've got their target and they're going for it. Once again, Urick's first through the door, this time into R&D, and aiming to follow the path laid out by Emily's map, his pack following behind as a unit, the two male kin keeping an eye to the rear while Fiona has her weapon pointed forward. Urick himself remains barehanded as ever.
Jason hisses an angry sound of pain at the bite of those teeth. Oh /that/ is just not kosher! With all his energy, he tries to /slam/ the head of the Dancer against the metal door. That should stun him enough for him to wrap his hands around his neck and, bracing against the door, he tries to yank the Dancer's neck through that tiny window with all his might. If his head and torso stay behind, all the better!
If that bite wasn't enough, Jason gets the worse part as he wrestles with the Dancer across that tiny space. Though the Fianna manages to smack the Spiral's head against the pane of metal, the window just isn't big enough to fit. Especially not a warform Dancer who pulls back just as hard. The ragabash's arm gets yanked through the broken glass, scratching on sharp ends and bleeding from cut veins. Owie! The whole while, the Black Spiral Dancer cackles madly like this is a fun game.
Meanwhile above ground, Urick and his team press towards the R&D unit, but they hear shouts in the forward distance. A couple of low-rung lab techs have come out to witness the carnage that is Hamilton Enterprises' main building being engulfed in exploding glass and groaning steel and fire. More, though, there's other guards who have come out of the R&D building like bee drones angered by their nest being disturbed. Three guards shotu orders for the group's front runner (Urick) to stand down and get down on the ground. They must be pretty confident, him being unarmed and they being armed. They don't fire yet, however.
Right, that's it then.
Urick doesn't even slow as the guards shout towards him, instead jut flicking a hand slightly towards those techs, almost distractedly. Fiona peels off towards them almost as though she were planning it from the start. Maybe she was, bloodthirsty bitch.
Then there is a tangle of fur and mass and claws and RAGE.
The Foehammer slams into the guards like a bloodstained hurricane, in Crinos and moving at speeds that something of that size simply Should Not be able to. Claws and fangs flash, seeking flesh and bone, even as a shotguns roar to cut silent the cries of the technicians.
It will be over in seconds.
Ow! Alright you asshole, enough playing around. Jason tightens his grip once more on the Dancer's throat, but this time he does it with claws. Rage-shifting the Crinos, he tries to bury sharp claws into the Dancer's throat, /tearing/ back and away with a silent snarl.
It really is over in seconds. The guards barely get any shots off. The one that does hits Urick and does, well, virtually nothing to the fury of the Walker ahroun as he tears the guards into Delirium riddled pieces. The shotguns do the rest. The rest of the guards that they probably should worry about above ground come running at the sound of gunfire, but a few of them stop entirely at the sight of the crinos. Others don't stop. They fire upon the group, peppering the area with bullets that pretty much miss, except for the few gnat bites that strike Urick in the back.
Downstairs, Jason's got his hands full. Literally. As he tries to manuever his arms around in that constricting space of the window, he finds it quite difficult to do very much outside of hanging on; his shift to crinos makes the window's constricting frame bend, and at the same time digs the glass deep into his arm. When he does pull away and back, however, he gets the satisfaction of feeling flesh and warm blood come with his claws in a spray. The Dancer yelps in a gurgle, falling back and away from the door. Yet, the creature isn't quite dead at all. Instead, the crinos takes off in a stumbling lope, away from Jason's trap door and down the hall, leaving a blood trail.
The Crinos barely even slows as he tears through his first foes, lunging from his last victim to the new ones that have emerged with just as little hesitation as his initial charge, and his pack fan out to mop up any that look to try and get out of the way of the Foehammer's flashing claws. They're almost methodical about it, really. Only once the knot of obstruction blocking their path is gone will they move on, Urick dropping back down to his birthform for the simple expident of needing to fit through the door.
Stupid small door.
Jason gives a raspy, derisive laugh at the sound of the retreating Dancer. He rears back, grabbing hold of anything sturdy enough, and slams both feet as hard as he can into that metal door, aiming to knock it completely free. Gonna try and keep him trapped? You can fucking try...
The metal door to Jason's makeshift cell breaks open after a hefty kick to swing loosely on the hinges. After that, he can see the intermittently illuminated blood trail of the fleeing Dancer that leads into the dark of the hallway.
Above, the grounds of the R&D labs are being smashed up. Literally. Foehammer's charge of the heavy brigade finds him several other victims - maybe innocents, some not so much. It isn't long before they follow Emily's drawn map plan down to the lowest level of the underground, via an unlocked keycarded door that stands no chance against the giant crinos' fists. It's only a matter of time before Igni Ferroque actually comes upon the entryway which Jason had gone through minutes earlier. And they too are forced to wade into the darkness with the emergency lights periodically strobing on and off, on and off. There are sounds of some screams for help, others just in pure pain.
Some frail obstructions as doors cannot stop the Foehammer. He doesn't so much attack the door as simply shove his way through it, utterly destroying the frame and surrounding wall as he goes, leaving the poor, warped door to crash to the floor in his wake. As the pack finds an area of darkness, their alpha pauses and snaps his jaws together sharply in signal. Instantly, flashlight wink on, hooked to the barrels of the kins' shotguns and casting back the darkness as they resume moving along the path. Doors along the hallway are simply torn free as they draw near, the Crinos peering within. Hunting for their objective.
Fuck subtlety. Bridges-The-Trouble-Water's muzzle splits into a rictus grin at the smell of the Dancer's blood. He falls into a crouch and takes off at a quick stalk. The Faerie Lights come into full view now, darting far ahead, following that trail to where it just disappears out of his sight. He's hunting...but he's determined not to get ambushed. Ears and nose are up, looking for that Dancer...and the source of that tortured scream.
It's a matter of time. Trouble finds that his prey has slithered off down the curving hall and, of all places, into another room only to have the blood trail disappear into a vent that looks way too small to fit anything, let alone a crinos. Or even a wolf, for that matter. He'll hear Urick and the Igni Ferroque coming up from behind as the Walker ahroun tears open doors. Their flashlights find a few rooms with a single prisoner in a few. One of them is a young woman who freaks the hell out at the sight of the crinos. Delirium, she haz it. Another room has a man who is unconscious, cut upon and bleeding terribly from some rather horrific torture wounds. The next couple rooms are empty. And just as Urick finds the blood trail that Jason's also trailing, he scents an older, but familiar scent underneath all that pumped airflow. It /can't/ be. But, it is? Or is it just him? Whatever, there's doors to bust in.
The poor, broken wrecks that the pack encounter along the way are met with their namesake. Fire and steel. It's almost rhythmical, really, the rending screech of the door being ripped loose, a pause sometimes broken by a terrified screech, and the the roar of a shotgun's blast, followed by silence.
And then the Ahroun pauses, nose sweeping back and forth over the floor, ears twitching. He knows that scent. It's almost buried under all the filth and horror, but he knows it.
The pace is picked up, but the process is not skimped on. Remove door, peer inside, judge those found. If they are too far gone... grant them release.
May your next life be more merciful than this one, poor souls.
Trouble comes up to that vent, sticking his nose up to the vent and snorting angrily. ~Pussy!~ he hisses into there. But there are other tasks to perform. His nose is up and about now, sniffing around...woah, hey. Is that a /familiar/ scent? All Jasons' attention goes to following that one now, fingers splaying against the floor as he starts to follow it, hounddog style.
Funny that scent smells so darn familiar. When Trouble comes out of the room, he's just come into the sights of Urick and the kin team. They find three more victims of experimentation which really probably don't have a better fate in store for them. It seems quite dire, their findings. Then, the group come to those last few doors at the end of the hall where Emily had been. There's one room that's dark. Urick manages to rip off the door easily, revealing a very dimly lit room. There, held strapped to an upright table crucifixion style by wrist straps and shackles around her ankles, is Kennedy. A topless Kennedy, anyway. Her lower half happens to be covered by a pair of grey sweatpants, stained with sweat and blood. But an alive Kennedy. She's barely conscious, if one could call it conscious. Something not is Not Right is being dripped into her intravenously. But more importantly... is another woman in that room with her. This particular woman is hiding behind the table to use it as a body shield. And this particular woman has a knife to Kennedy's throat. "Isn't that nice? A rescue party's come to see you," the woman hisses into Kennedy's ear.
For a moment, the Ahroun just blinks at what he sees, crouched there with his head taking up a good portion of the newly opened doorway. Then his ears lay back when he hears that voice and sees that knife. Oh, this won't do at all.
Without any sort of warning, the Foehammer pulls back and claps a hand over his own eyes.
Right as Malachai drops the flashbomb.
For a terrible instant, the area is thrown into blinding contrast, shadows as black as space and surfaces as white as the sun. But Igni Ferroque was ready, and their eyes were not seared by the glare.
Urick is back in his man-skin, and moving, intent behind every twitch of muscle. Intent to seize that knife-weilding hand and utterly destroy the wrist in one wrenching twist.
Trouble stares in amazement at the scene before them, when the whole group enters the room, Jason having shrunk to his near-man form. It's only from experience-trained reflexes doing missions with Vendetta that Jason reacts quickly enough as that flashbomb is dropped. He gets his eyes closed but not his hand brought up, so the Ragabash is left hissing and seeing bright spots for a moment, lurching against the wall as Igne Ferrique goes balls-postal in their normal manner. Time to let the trained troupe do their work. Blinking away those spots, he pulls out and readies his gun, trying to keep an eye on the scene as he edges towards Kennedy, around the tussle.
"Well," Kennedy says, her words slurring, "This is a neeeeew tactic, Maria. Is that supposed to be Urick? Needs /more beard/." She closes her eyes at that flashbomb, but she certainly doesn't seem to be acting like someone who's about to be rescued. Or like someone with a knife to her throat, for that matter. "Whoo, we're getting creative this time, aren't we? Or is that desperate? Haaaard to tell..." Why yes, she still is snarky on drugs. It just lacks the kick of her at one hundred percent. She's sporting several wounds on the visible parts of her, from want looks like beatings. And some claws. This includes bruises and cuts to her face as well, more's the pity.
Add to that list of cuts and bruises, one knife prick against Kennedy's skin. Then the chaos hits. Flashbangs go off, leaving folks blind and vulnerable. Urick charges forward to grab up that knife wielding hand (and wrist, and perhaps part of the forearm too) before snapping that arm entirely. It's not a pretty sound, that bone crackling one. Maria doesn't even manage a scream. The knife, however, tumbles limply from her hand. Shortly after that chaos though is that the entirety of the room and hallway goes dark - Igni Ferroque manages to see just the outline of another hulkingly large crinos that's standing behind Jason when the Fianna shifts and takes out his gun... then the Shroud drops upon them to fill it all with a supernatural, impenetrable, disorientingly pure darkness. Jason gets bowled over to a side and his torso flayed open with something that hurts like he's just been branded - or, struck with crinos claws. Then the sounds of Igni Ferroque getting tossed back. Malachai gets thrown back far enough that he ends up /outside/ the dark sphere. And somewhere in that dark, Urick can hear a terrible snarl of menace nearby. Someone, some/thing/, is Not Happy about them being here.
Right, there's the immediate threat dealt with. Keeping a firm and intentionally agonizing grip on that shattered forarm, the Ahroun swings around and barks orders, "Spiral! Sound off! Field of fire!"
The two shotguns still within the Shroud roar as one, Malachai witholding his shot due to distance and instead just taking up a covering position while Fiona and Jared aim past each other and basically fill the air within a certain arc with buckshot. They aimed high for the Crinos they can hear in there and didn't take those precious seconds needed to swap to silver rounds.
Rule of engagement: Get your first shot off /fast/. This discomforts your foe long enough for you to make your second shot count.
And if Maria looks to be getting testy, Urick will crank her shattered arm around in an attempt to dissuade her.
Trouble gives a silent yell of pain, toppling over from that hit and rolling onto his back, gun up and pointed at...darkness. Fuck! The Ragabash sends out the Faerie Lights...and the darkness is pushed back as they zip around, towards where that snarl came from, hopefully leaving Igne Ferrique still hidden. In a room full of allies, with his target (hopefully) now lit for the PMC's ire, the Fianna rolls back to his feet, hissing through the pain, and he moves closer to find that table, and the woman attached to it. Gun gets holstered and knife comes out to cut through those ropes. "C'mon, girl. You smell like the Beta will like having you back home," Jason whispers through his fanged teeth.
Kennedy's quiet as that darkness settles in, aside from one very tired sounding sigh, like maybe she's been in that darkness one too many times. But when Jason whispers to her, her head turns toward him and she whispers back, "Don't fuck with me. I'll kick you in the ball so hard you'll have to throw them up." Oh yeah, someone's been messed with.
More chaos! More blood! The war gods (GM) demand it. And what better than the smell of gunpowder and fire in the air to accompany the sounds of pained snarling whines. Urick's call out gives away his position, though he luckily doesn't get caught in the roar of the shotguns. What Urick gets instead is wrestled with, shoved against, and his arms wrenched back as well. There is some kind of sickening sound. Then Maria /really/ screams a rather bloodcurdling scream, and the scent of blood fills the air, slickens Kennedy's skin near that cry of pain. Urick's hold is retained on that arm - but it doesn't feel like there's any weight behind that. The fae lights manage to get their weak glow out as Jason pushes his way in. Only to come face to face with the bat-eared crinos that aims a solid punch into the ragabash's glabro face, knocking him further back and likely with a broken nose and cracked upper jaw to show for it. The room is still dark save for where the faerie lights show for it. And they aren't quick enough to follow where the Black Spiral Dancer is moving to, towards the exit of the room.
As he's shoved at, Urick snarls and shoves right the hell back! But then his burden is taken from him, though he keeps a grip on the severed arm out of a sort of irritated stubborness. The Ahroun puts a hand to the table contraption to make sure Kennedy's still there. Ah, there's living skin.
"Just rest a bit, Mrs. Grey."
"Squad! Recovery op!" is barked out the door, answered by the harsh, metallic sounds of shotguns cycling as the kin snap a round of silver shot into their chambers and take up crossfire positions in the corridor, one on each wall, with Malachai crouched in the middle of the hall outside the shroud, between it and the way they came in.
"Jason, you alive? Get that needle out of her arm, I'll carry her. We're leaving." And as soon as the Ragabash declares this done, Kennedy will be hoisted off the table and gracelessly (though carefully) draped over Urick's shoulder as he makes his way back the way he came.
"Gaia's bones, I've known cats that weigh more..."
Jason chuckles raspily. "Only in the one? Good thing I've got the other for backup. Now you be a good little rescued survivor and pretend you're a ragdoll, mmmkay? Let's get you home to Nick--" And that's cut off as the Fianna suddenly takes a punch to the face. One of the Faerie Lights wink out. "Sonnuva BITCH!" he cries, bloody face coming up again as he looks around the room, snarling and with his knife ready to stab into some Dancer bitch. But nothing, even as all three lights wink back into being and zip around the room, one going out the exit. "FUCK!" he snarls, loud enough for people to hear for sure. Urick's order are followed if not replied to, the Ragabash sniffling through his bloodied nose. One light illuminates his work, and Jason carefully extracts that needle before he makes short work of Kennedy's restraints. "I swear to god, if I get a chance to chase after that fucking Wyrm spawn," he snarls, half to himself.
Kennedy seems to be taking it all very neutrally. Even when her restraints are undone and she's picked up, she doesn't actually seem to believe it's real. "Which one?" She says to Jason, just before she groans as she put over Urick's shoulder. Ribs, likely. "If we're going to get to the surface this time, can someone loan me a jacket...?"
Not too much of a chance. The Crinos Dancer can't be seen in the dark except for the meager faerie light chasing it. But out of line of sight, the light isn't able to chase the dancer further once Jason's attentions turn to the kin on the upright angled table. The gauntlet of kin with silver shot, however? They get that split second of when out of the darkness is the /leaping/ form of the crinos in a full on barrel rolling manuever. They might get their shots off, and might even hit. Might. If they can match the Rage-filled speed of a crinos, that is.
Oh, the kin do try to peg that diving blur of Rage. They might even succeed, against all odds. After all, their reflexes are only human. But shotguns have this wonderful thing known as "field of fire."
However, once the shots are discharged and the shells ejected, if the Crinos continues away it is allowed to flee, though at least one of the Kin keeps an eye on its last heading. Urick waits until he steps free of the Shroud to answer Kennedy, rumbling a quiet, almost gentle sounding, "Of course, miss. It's cold out."
The nearest Kin lowers their weapon long enough to take Kennedy's meager weight, at which point Urick shrugs out of his jacket and drapes it around the woman before just rumbling down into Hispo and flicking an ear. Kennedy is loaded again, rather like a somewhat cranky sack of flour, and the entire pack begins making its way back to the surface. ~C'mon, no-moon. We're getting out of here.~
They keep their eyes open, but now the focus is on escape, not the hard purge of before, so much better time is made. Hopefully.
Jason snorts, turning a glance of vicious hatred to the retreating Dancer, but he's feeling woozy for the moment in that blur of pain as his body slowly knits itself. He sheathes his knife and sighs, falling into step beside Urick when he can, and behind the massive Hispo otherwise. "We done Scorching this fucking Earth already?" he asks, trying to make his rasp sound dissappointed. And then he follows IF, trusting they scorched a clear enough path to get them all back out.
Jason provides the lighting, like a good Fianna, the Faerie lights zipping ahead like glowing, protective hornets as IF make their way out. Fuck the Veil.
They're going to have a time explaining this one to the police that have possibly arrived upstairs. Possibly. For now, though, the Igni Ferroque team's got their hands full. Their silver buckshot struck the crinos (much to the Dancer's /pain and anguish/, how satisfying). But the creature kept moving, nevermind that some of that shot wound up in the woman he's stolen from out of that area as well. They both leave a blood trail, but the crinos is away into the dark back down the hall the way they'd come, if they've kept an eye on where the creature is fleeing towards. That leaves them to get up above ground, and get back to their van without getting spotted further.
When the jacket is wrapped around her, Kennedy looks like she might start to cry, but /just/ manages not to. Instead, she hangs onto the hispo and curls up in the jacket for the warmth. And the modesty, likely. Not to mention hiding the bulk of her injuries. She does look toward the trail left by the crinos and mage, and anyone looking can see the hate broiling there in her features. Grrr.