2020-01-12 - Vacant Building


Nick and Isis investigate an unused Lobo Tech building.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jan 12 09:20:25 2020
Location: Paragon Investigations

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Theme Song



"This is the building, right, Nick? The one that you asked Miss Potts for permission to enter?" Isis is prowling alongside Nick as they approached the secured structure. A warehouse or facility of some kind.

It's been closed for a while, by the looks of like - detritus gathering in the parking lot and surrounding area. There's an ominous feel to the place, probably worse as the afternoon is drawing on.

"What do you think we're going to find here?"

"This is the building." Nick says quietly. He peers at it and the doors. The windows are barred. He takes a breath and gets a little closer. "We need to get inside. I don't like the feel of it. Or the smell of it."

Looking at one of the locks he tries the handle. "I might be able to force this. To answer your question, I'm not sure. But someone was doing something important here. I want to know if there's anything possibly left."

"Shouldn't we have been given a key or something?" Isis asks as she watches as Nick tries the door. Her nose twitches, ears flattening as the scents come to her. "I don't like the smell, Nick. It's too much like where I grew up …"

The last time they'd been in a facility, Isis had sort of lost it.

"Try the door. I could try and pick the lock, but I only know what I've learned from ESO …" Which is to say, nothing.

It takes a bit for Nick to force the door and it's not quiet but he does get the door open. The air is a little bit stale, as one might expect, the scents - not pleasant for the feline and canines noses.

"Which way? That looks the office areas down that way …" Isis' eyes seem to glint in the gloom as they adjust to it. "… offices up stairs and what does that sign say? Laboratory? That way."

Nick looks at Isis carefully when she says that. If that's true then they may very well find something. But probably something they don't want to find. "Laboratory. Yes." Nick says as he heads down that way. He doesn't expect any traps, not in this building, and there should be no guards though it's always good to be careful.

The building isn't massive so it doesn't take long to reach the lab. It isn't locked and he pushes it open. As is expected a lot of the equipment has since been removed but there's a very distinct chemical and disinfectant smell to the whole thing and it looks a lot less… dusty than the rest of the place.

"Whoo boy." Nick says wrinkling his nose. There. The procedure beds. There's four of them in the center of the room and while they have been stripped of most of their stuff, they look remarkably like other tables that they've seen in places far more connected to the the sorts of project that resulted in Isis…

Isis growls faintly as they move through the building, nose wrinkling, ears back. She really doesn't like it.

It's not her the scent gets to - she's ready for it this time - Nick gets a whiff of an underscent. Something that triggers something in his mind to have him … find someone or somewhere … not here.

Scouting around the room, Isis starts to poke in drawers, looking for information they can use.

Nick takes a few steps into the room and sniffs. Then sniffs again. Then once more, deep. Then he is quiet for a long time. And just stands there which is abnormal. After several minutes, though, he turns to walk out. He doesn't call to Isis. She might not notice him but for the sound of his boots on the tile. Just turns and very slowly walks out of the room and back the way they came.

His emotions, though, those are even stranger. They're dull. Dead. Just nothing. He feels nothing. He thinks nothing.

"Hey Nick, this looks interesting. I can't read it fully though…." Isis says, not really noticing Nick starting to walk off. "… Nick? Nick?"

The slim feline-like mutant turns as his footsteps start to fade. "Nick?" Maybe he's f—— no, she doesn't like the way his mind feels. That's how it felt … before. "Nick?!"

Bounding to the door, trying to make it before he does and put herself in his way "Nick, where are you going?"

Her mind reaches out, trying to affect those emotions - make Nick … feel something.

Nick doesn't answer. He just walks. When she reaches out he pauses and almost looks over his shoulder. Almost. Then he keeps walking. When he gets to the door he stops and looks at her. He doesn't tell her to move. He just stares. Like he's a roomba and he's run out of room to vacuum.

Nick had one of those in the office once but he, er, got rid of it. It was a bit of a distraction for… some people.

"Move." He finally says, flatly.

Isis misses the roomba - she used to like pouncing on it. She's too big to sit on it and let it take her for a ride.

"No. I'm not moving, Nick. Come back to me …" Isis says quietly. Those blue eyes of hers so very bright as she looks at him. "… come on, Nick. Tell me where you're going."

All the while, the slim woman is using her gift, swamping Nick with emotions. Happiness at the moment, trying to get his mind to switch back on.

At least it isn't feral. Right?

She's not going to move though. If he wants out the way, he's going to have to move her.

Nick rocks back a little on his heels and then leans forward again. He looks right into his eyes. She can feel emotional reactions from him. His mind is restarting but it's not reaching his body. It's like he's on flat autopilot.

"Move, Kitten." He says again. If she can keep him here just a few moments longer he'll probably come out of it.

Of course what's worrying is 'what put him there in the first place?' Something he scented, surely. But what? And how? Hadn't Hank purged this from his system? Or did it do permanent damage?

Blue eyes meet Nicks brown one and she holds, hitting him with sorrow if she can. "No, Nick. I'm not moving. Wake up, come on …"

He called her Kitten, that's something. If he doesn't snap out of this soon, she might just try to make him sleep.

Why is he doing this? What happened? Hank had neutralised the drug he'd been given, right? "When we're done here, we can get icecream. You like icecream, don't you?" He does. Just not as much as Isis does.

"I…" Nick frowns. "I like ice cream, yes." There he is. Slow and muzzy, as if he had been sleepy. Then he gets the sorrow… and starts to sob. Isis has only seen Nick cry a handful of times but he's crying now, his mind filled with memories of the worst times in his life. What a thing to wake up to.

He may have temporarily forgotten ice cream.

Isis blinks as Nick starts crying, blue eyes widening in shock. "No, no…. don't cry. I …. " She really, really sucks at this. She's much better at fighting than counselling. "Nick, please stop crying …" She could swamp him with happiness again, but that could be bad.

Instead, the slim feline-like woman, goes for … calm. As calm as Isis can get, anyway. "You're with me. Nothing is going to hurt you …" Without thinking, she rubs her ears against his chest.

It's strange but she means that too.

"Come back to me, Nick…"

Nick sniffles. His nose is a little bit… goopy. He looks up at Isis, still reeling from those emotions and memories. "I.." He swallows.

"What happened?" Okay it's more like 'wha appened' because he's still a bit congested from crying. His eyes are red. But she can feel his emotions calming down. It's just that his physiology is a couple minutes behind.

"There you are …" Isis purrs a little, rubbing her ears against his chest again "… welcome back. I don't know, really. We came into this room to look around and then you were … gone." she taps her temple to explain.

The feline-like mutant looks up at the wolf-man a little sheepishly. "You were going somewhere and I stopped you - though if I hadn't managed to bring you back, I think you would have shoved me out of the way. What do you remember, Nick?"

Her nose is twitching as she takes in the scents of the room and peers around. Something set him off, but what? And Why?

"I had to be somewhere. I'm not quite sure where. I didn't know where it was but I knew how to get there." He frowns. Nick seems to have forgotten those internal directions. Annoying. "I don't remember anything else. Not you talking to me. Not talking to you. I don't even remember how I got here." Nick would be a lot more worried if she weren't constantly pushing 'calm' out at him. As it stands, well. He still feels more than a little bit concerned.

"Do you smell anything?" For obvious reasons he doesn't want to go back in there.

"Somewhere, but you don't know where …." Isis frowns, letting her mind ease back from keeping the were-wolf calm. She's worried but, for now, managing to keep it from showing.

"I smell lots of things I don't like, Nick. And I'm not hearing anything." If anyone was going to hear it, she would - her hearing goes much higher than Nicks.

Her nose twitches again, as she shoves Nick back out the door. "The only thing that I can't place in the scents is … it's like the cream that they use on burns. Alo-eee I think it's called."

"Do you want to come back in, or shall I keep clearing?"

"Aloe." Nick says as he pulls out his phone. "Keep looking. Turn on your video chat. You can use that to let me see." And it'll mean he'll know if something is wrong with her as well. He'll just wait out here bythe door. No sense in letting this get any further out of hand.

And it is a bit out of hand already. The only OTHER time Nick displayed this behavior, something had been done to him so it has to be somehow related.

It could be anything that set Nick off. That's the problems with scents - particularly for noses as sensitive as theirs.

Taking her camera out, Isis connects so Nick can watch as she clears the room, starting with drawers and rifling through them. "What are we looking for again?" She asks as she starts. The scent still wafts from the room, tickling at Nick - does it affect him?

"Oh right. Look at these files that I found …" She turns her camera so he can see the drawer and the information she's found in it.

Nick looks at the camera which if Isis is watching the picture-in-picture display will show her mostly his big black nose. He's got a long, narrow face. It's just how he's built. He looks at the files. "Isis. Pan the camera down. Good. Hold it steady and let me read."

There's a couple minutes pause on the other end and then Nick's voice sounds very… careful. "The files say that there is a basement below your feet. Look around. See if you can find an entrance. It's probably not hidden. Well. It might be hidden but it's probably not disguised. Try moving the filing cabinets if you have to."

There is indeed a door that leads to stairs. The lighting is working and the air feels damp down there. The hallways are bare, unpainted concrete. The whole thing feels…

… probably awfully familiar.

"What? Oh …" Poor Nick is likely to get vertigo the way the camera moves as Isis goes looking for the door. "Here… Are you going to come with me?" He probably can't … or shouldn't. Slowly Isis begins to descend, nose wrinkling at the musty smell.

"I don't like this, Nick. And are you alright?" It's good it's lit, but she would have been alright in low light too. "There are rooms off this corridor. I … don't want to go in." He really can't blame her can he?

"I'm not sensing anyone down here but … it smells like there were. Not too long ago, either. The door up here is … open."

She'll poke her head around the corner in a moment.

"No. I'll be out here, watching the camera." Nick says. He peers through the screen, not able to see much and not able to smell anything. Which is maddening. It's almost like being blind.

"Be very careful Isis." Nick says clearly. Once she gets her head around the door she discovers the source of the smell Nick had caught. There's a chemical workstation that is clearly used to mix and synthesize things. One of the containers is open and offgassing. It's probably been sitting like that for a while.

"If you see any security down there get off right away. Any sign of how people are getting in? There must be an adjoining tunnel from somewhere else."

"Why would there be security here? The building should be empty." Isis' nose wrinkles at the container that is offgassing. "I was wrong. It's not Alo-eeee…" Nick might have corrected her but she's still going to say it wrong. "… it's foul, whatever this is. Let me put the lid on it and find a bag, we'll take it to Hank to examine."

As she works, her ear flicks and flicks some more, making her bat at it in irritation. Nick will definitely see that and know there's a breeze. Or at least he might hope it's just a breeze.

It takes her a bit with the batting at her ears before she turns to look for the tunnel. "I think there's a breeze coming this way. That would mean a door or something, right? Left open?"

"I'm not sure but it looks like that place is still being used so it might have some. Alarms or something like that." Nick says through the phone. It's frustrating to only be able to guide her from here but it's better than nothing for both of them.

"Could be a vent system too. But if there is a door it might be hidden behind something. That is if you're not seeing it.

There is a pretty good breeze. It's coming from the back corner of the room. One of the wall panels is loose. When pulled open it reveals a crawlspace that appears to have been crudely dug, possibly with claws or hand tools. It wasn't machined and it almost certainly isn't part of the room's design.

It might be frustrating but Nick also isn't getting the empathic backflow from Isis, so there's that. "I'm looking … it's annoying my ears … " So she has noticed, the ear is still flicking as the breeze teases it though.

"Wait, there's something here." Isis has to put the phone down her top to hold it and the bag on the floor as she pries the panel open - thank goodness for her claws. "Are you seeing this Ni—- Oh hang on …"

She takes the phone in her hand again to show Nick the tunnel "I … do you think someone dug this to escape? I can follow it …"

"Either escape or break in. It would have been hard to dig that tunnel while in the room. Someone dug it from the outside probably. It would have been noticed otherwise…" Nick pauses, peering down the tunnel. He can't see what's on the other end.

"I really want to see what's at the end of it but I don't know if we could maintain cell contact and I have no idea how far it goes." And it's too narrow for her to turn around in. If she had to back out she'd have to back out.

"We'll have to come back. Maybe buy a little RC car and a go pro or something like that?" Home made drone ahoy.

"Why don't you come on out if…" The picture fuzzes. "Huh. Isis are you still there?"

Isis looks at the ground and sticks her head into the tunnel "They've cleaned up if they did, Nick. There's not much dirt on the floor and I would have expected there to be some …" As the image fuzzes, the feline-like mutant looks at the phone. "The air doesn't smell all that fresh, that means the breeze comes for a distance."

"Nick? Nick? I'm here can you see me?" She's not going to get into that tunnel … maybe she should start heading out.

"Isis? Isis I can barely here you. Get back up here." Nick growls a bit. "Isis can you hear me?"

There's a cold chill in the room all of a sudden and a sense of being watched. For just a moment it smells like there's something behind her but when Isis looks there's nothing. Still she can't shake that feeling. The feeling that there's a presence here. That someone is in the room with her.

"Isis? Can you hear me?" Nick is still trying.

Isis spins as she feels that chill, blue eyes flashing and nose twitching. "Nick. I'm coming up … " She says, not able to hear him except for the odd syllable. Slowly, the slim feline-like mutant edges about the room, keeping her back to the wall as much as she can.

The phone is put back into her top, the bag with the substance snatched up. Claws extend from her fingers and a low rumble starts in throat.

Her mind rolls out though, sensing the area - trying to find any sign of a sentient mind. Or a feeling mind.

The moment she picks up the the odd smelling substance something drops down on her from above. It's cold. Well. Cool. Lizard like. Scales. Claws. It had been invisible and it's still quite hard to see. The only sound is a hiss right by her ear and the flick of a forked tongue. Claws cut into her shoulders and wrists as he tries to get a cloth over her mouth.


All Nick will see if the phone reception fixes itself, is the swirling of the camera as Isis moves. The phone is down her top, camera facing out - so he'll get a jumble of images and sounds as the Lizard lands on her.

Isis yowls as the claws cut into her, elbow throwing back sharply to connect with the assailant. Her mind lashes out, sending a spike of fear around the room. She can smell the cloth and it's making her woozy - she can't let that get near her.

With another yowl, the blue eyed feline just drops - the claws tearing chunks out of her shoulder. The smell of blood fills the air, as Isis rakes her nails around the lizards ankles, throwing herself into a combat roll to put distance between them.

She really must remember to look up next time.

The door … it's just over there and then the corridor.

The lizard looks toward the door, then toward Isis. Then it rushes to get between her and the door. It's got a long whip like tail but as it moves she can see it change. Become invisible. There's just a bare outline of it, a distortion in the air but only if you squint and look hard. The tail whips out to try to strike at her hand. Make her stop. Make her pull back.

There's a hiss. Something is… venting into the room. That's probably not a good thing. Isis definitely has limited time now. Nick's call has been disconnected by all the tumbling, so she can't hear him calling anymore either.

Isis can move fast when she wants to and she's been trained for this type of situation. Hissing and spitting, her claws strike out even as her shoulder *hurts*. Claws shouldn't hurt that badly, she knows.

It's the glint of the tail that gets another displeased hiss, just as it slices the back of her hand - more blood flows from that wound.

Already light headed, the hissing sound doesn't fill her with glee. In desperation, she focusses her other gift … go to sleep.

She's not going to stop though, that tail can whip her again - better sliced up than caught, right?

The lizard creature, it's a man about Isis' age, suddenly reappears stumbling backwards and looking confused and drowsy. He half heartedly tries to trip Isis up but there's no strength behind it. She gets clear and into the hallway easily only to meet Nick coming down the stairs. He looks a bit dazed but he's still focused. "Isis! What happened?!"

Without really waiting for her to answer he grabs her by the arm - it might hurt a bit - and flees up the stairs.

Nick arrives just in time to see Isis crash out into the hallway. She's still clutching that bag with the container too. He won't miss the coppery scent of blood as he gets there.

Isis yowls in pain as Nick grabs her arm, she doesn't try to pull free though just lets Nick drag her up the stairs. "Someones back there Nick. Tried to … grab me. Put something over my face, made me woozy …" He can feel her fear and anger - it's sharp and focussed though.

It's not often Nick gets to see this side of her - the fighter, the soldier who did what she was told.

Nick hauls her all the way up the stairs and back out of the building into the open air. By the time he gets there she can feel him getting woozy again. Starting to mentally fade a bit. He knows he had to get Isis away but the urgency is slowly retreating.

"Need to get the truck…" He murmurs before reaching over to… rub Isis… shoulder. "Mmmmm. You're dressed nice." This is really not the time for Nick to get affected but he'd gone through that room twice to try to get to her and get her back out again. And that thing can turn invisible. It might follow them.

Isis is good, she's been trained from a kitten to fight and use her gifts. Even cut up as she is and slightly woozy, she tries to focus on Nicks mind and keep him focussed. Not very well though - when his hand comes on her shoulder, Isis cries out in pain.

"I don't think I'm dressed nicely at the moment, Nick!! I'm bleeding and in pain …" she growls at him.

Grabbing his hand, the slim mutant drags him along. "Get in the truck and you can tell me how good I look then."

It's not too far to the truck and she wrenches the passenger door open, shoving Nick in and climbing in after. She'll climb over him, after shutting the door - no need to leave herself in the open if that thing does follow.

Once she's in she does have to drive and maybe that will wake Nick up. Either way the main hope is that Henry can make something of the goop they've recovered. Clearly this building is still in use and important enough to be guarded in some fashion. What neither will be able to know is whether they have been followed.

At least, not until much, much later. Isis is going to want to be especially on guard tonight.

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