2020-01-15 - Enter and Break


Paragon Investigations is attacked - Shayera helps stop that and everyone finds out unsettling information.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Jan 15 04:04:24 2020
Location: Paragon Investigations

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Theme Song



Nick is sleeping. This is a sensible thing for him to be doing because it is late and it is cold and he has a lot of work to do. He is NOT aware that there are several winged figures circling like hawks above Paragon. Slowly descending on a silent glide. He is not aware when they land at both the front and back door. He is blissfully unaware when one of them pulls out a device that starts melting the lock.

And the the door frame smoulders and sets off the fire alarm. Then he is INCREDIBLY aware that something is wrong.

Granted, at the moment he thinks it's just a fire alarm. But it is quickly joined by the intruder alarm, which also sends an alarm to the police.

At first, Shay doesn't really take notice of the alert that goes out to the police. But then the address comes through, and she's out the door with a muttered curse and her mace in hand. Getting there, even over several city blocks, is the matter of only a few moments thanks to not having to deal with traffic. Of course, that means she sees one of the winged people invading Paragon. Oh hell no.

With a wordless shout, she dives at the one easiest to reach, ready to bash them with her mace the moment she's close enough.

Isis had been dream walking - she does that most nights. When the alarm goes off, she doesn't wake immediately. It takes a lot longer for the slim feline-like mutant to even start rousing.

When she does, she's completely awake, leaping from the bed - claws extended from her fingers, growling lowly as she stalks to the door.

She doesn't bother donning anything more than she's wearing - which isn't a lot, to say the least.

Nick jumps out of bed and rushes downstairs to find their home being invaded from two directions. He picks up a chair and throws it like a frisbee at the back door. It shatters with the force of the throw and sends the people there momentarily sheltering. Long enough for Isis to pounce.

Shayera lands at the front door. There are three there and two are already inside. The remaining one turns and draws a pair of curved blades. Those are unusual. They're not made of Adamantine, but rather something silvery and mirror bright in the same way. They're also definitively not of a style ever used by the Aerians.

He's well trained though, deflecting the mace strike like he has practiced transferring the momentum of dive bombing people and spinning into his attack.

Isis isn't really thinking with her human brain - the 'cat' is well in control at the moment. As Nick tosses the chair, Isis leaps from the railing of the stairs, claws outstretched to rake down the face of one of them.

She doesn't stop moving though, training kicking in and feral mind well in control. Up and over the shoulders of one, to land on the other and bite their ear.

Damn. This one's good. But Shay practices diligently and moreover, she's stubborn. Deflecting one blade with her mace, she tries to use the momentum of the same swing to bash the other blade. Hopefully it'll either break or get knocked from the winged invader's hands. Oh, and just for good measure, she kicks out at the man. She learned that tactic watching a movie.

And to see if these guys react like a previous assailant did, she snarls a rather vile epithet at him in her native language.

The twist to Shay's mace does send one of the curved blades flying. The fighter switches his grip and stance to more traditional one weapon style but still gets kicked in the chest. Her insult goes unremarked which may well tell her something.

Though not as much as the little rod the guy pulls from his side. The one that lights up at the end and sends a blast of heat at her chest.

Isis's pounce gets her well on the shoulders of one and then the back of another. He immediately starts thrashing, especially when his ear is bit. The feline woman feels a stabbing pain in her side. Not like a knife. More like a needle. Hopefully she didn't just get injected.

Nick meanwhile is wrestling with two. One from the backdoor and one from the front while a third has another - interestingly empty - syringe that it looks like he's looking to stick him with.

For… some reason.

Isis yelps as the needle pricks her, knocking the hand at her side away. Dropping to the ground, she skitters through her assailants legs and comes up to grab the hand she just hit.

In one smooth move, she twists, bringing the arm around with a *snap*. She's lethal and ruthless when she's like this.

At least she's not trying to kill him?

Having neglected to stop and get the rest of her armor — she's wearing the vambraces only — that blast of heat to her chest HURTS. Enough so that it knocks her back more than a few steps. But, really, two can play that game. And this is something else she's learned from movies. She'll be your Huckleberry as she whips out a small 9mm pistol that she likely certified to use through the police department and shoots at the winged man now wielding just the one remaining sword. She's not aiming for center mass, but also not really good enough yet to be sure that she won't miss his leg or wing.

The pistol puts three small holes in the man's wing as he scrambles away, which hurt and will bleed but aren't enough to stop him flying, really though they will impair the matter. He puts the door between himself and Shayera, unleashes another blast of heat and then turns to rush Nick.

Only to be sent flying back out with another person's head in his gut. Nick had just tossed someone like a ragdoll. Well. They are rather light and he is that strong.

Out back there's a howl of pain in a language that Shayera does NOT recognize as someone's arm is broken. Isis has to move fast though because the other person out back is coming back around on her with a large (full) trash bin to slam right down on her head.

There's a lot of growling coming from the half naked woman with cats ears on her head. Using the arm she just broke for leverage, Isis' ears turn slightly at the sound behind her.

She drops as the trash can is bought down, using the arm she's still holding to take the hit (OUCH!) and skitters between the legs of the next one. Rising smoothly, the feline-like mutant puts both hands in the avians back and *shoves* hard enough to send them sprawling over the can and their partner.

Then she picks up a chair and brings it down over their head. It's unlikely to break - that really only happens in movies - but it will damn well hurt.


Shay knows to expect that blast of heat this time, and dodges out of the way just in time to see her opponent forcibly sent back out of the building with another likely attacker having hit him like a bowling ball thrown by an Asgardian. She's not about to let this advantage pass by.

Chasing after the two fallen attackers, she swings her 9mm to swat the one with the heat weapon across the temple, and will similarly bash the other one with her mace if it's needed.

It is need and it does also do the job. There's sort of crunches that probably indicate some serious trauma but hey. They're not getting up.

Which can also be said for inside the house. The answer to Isis' call is the sound of another chair breaking - they break when Nick uses them - and he calls out "I'm here."

Out in back Isis does finally manage to club the two he's dealing with into not moving. Which ends that fight rather nicely.

"Alright." Nick says kicking one of the now comatose bird people. "Who ordered late night KFC?"

He peers up front and… "Shayera?"

Of course chairs break when Nick uses them as clubs. The guy is *huge* and strong and bring enough force to bear.

As the last of her combatants fall to the ground, Isis kicks them with her bare foot "Ow, ow, ow …." She hops around and over to Nick. "Who were they? And …" She turns to show her side to Nick, there's a lot of bare flesh on display at the moment. "… did they stab me or something?"

She hadn't seen the syringe Nicks 'partner' had - if she had she'd be very, very worried.

"Oh. Shayera is here. Hey Shayera!"

Huffing at the two winged attackers she just put down, she straightens and turns toward the building just in time to hear Nick and then Isis say her name. "Are you two okay?"

Returning her pistol to its holster she steps into the building proper. "These jackasses really have a hard-on for you two." She's starting to think drastic measures might have to be taken to keep them safe.

"I got jabbed by something." Nick looks at Isis. "She did too." He picks up the syringe and sniffs it.

"Hrm. I don't smell any drugs. This… was for drawing, not injecting. Why would they want blood and tissue?"

That's actually sort of generally worrying given that Nick and Isis are both mutants. There's an obvious conclusion. It may not be correct but it is hard to escape.

"How did you get here so fast? Not that it's a bad thing. Do you recognize any of these?"

"I don't feel like they got narcotics into me…" Isis answers, rubbing her side and rubbing her ears against Nicks arm. "And they don't smell like they had anything in them. What they smell like is the ones they'd use in the facility when they'd test me."

She's a bit sulky - not because she's sulking but because the memories are really quite unpleasant for her.

"I would have said it was because we were investigating, Nick but … why break in here and try to take samples?" The blue eyed mutant looks to the downed avians "Can you get them taken in, Shayera, so we can question them?"

Shay frowns at hearing that they've both been jabbed by needles, though both of them saying that they don't smell chemicals on the syringes is a bit of a relief. But, it reinforces her assessment that these two are well in over their heads. "I heard the call from your alarm system, recognized the address." She doesn't feel the need to spell out that she can fly really damned fast when she needs to, and the lines of straight streets make it easy to fly very fast. "And no, I don't recognize any of these people."

She digs her phone out of a pocket (okay, she now has true appreciation for these overly bulky protective phone case things) and calls in to the precinct she's based out of to have these winged people taken in. "It's getting worse," she tells the pair after finishing the call. "I cussed at that one and he didn't understand me. And the one that you broke, Isis, said something in a language I've never heard before."

Nick takes both syringes and puts them on the counter. Then he kneels down and starts to look for ID. He doesn't really expect to find any and indeed he does not. Nothing so simple as a wallet with cards in it anyway. But on his third person as he's rifling through their pockets he stops and frowns.

"Isis. Shayera. Take a look at this…" He pulls back the clothing a little to expose the belts that both are wearing. "Look at the iconography on the harnesses here." He points to several sections where buckles have been embellished and decorated or metal plates have been etched and carved. "These are made of different metals. See? One is gold and one is silver. And these don't look like the same alphabets."

The one etched into the golden metal on one of the unconscious winged people is clearly Aerian. Shayera can read it, though it seems to be mostly things like initials and invocations to ancient gods. It's a very old form of the language though. The etchings on the silvery metal, though, are completely unintelligible.

Isis just wants to kick them again but her foot is still sore from the last time. "They fight well. They weren't expecting me to fight like I did - if they did, I would have been in trouble." Both Nick and Shayera can feel the echoes of her power - the sharp 'tang' of the feral cat mind that she fell into.

"They sent a lot this time, though. Why send so many? Let's assume they wanted samples … do they think we're such a threat?"

Clearly, they are and that's thanks to Shayera.

"What does it say, Nick? I don't recognise any of that."

At Nick's call, Shayera steps over from securing the last of the attackers — wings and hands both efficiently trussed and secured with zip ties in a manner that is clearly practiced — to look at the harnesses.

"This one," she points to the gold metal and its etchings then hefts her mace which is visibly very similar in metal coloration, "is familiar. Think of the runes etched into the weapons in those Rings movies, but in really old English." She then quotes a recently released parody movie "Does thy mother know thou wearest her drapes?"

Next, she indicates the silvery metal and its etchings. "This is new to me. Both the metal and what's engraved on it." She even sidesteps and tilts her head to try and look at the lettering from a different angle.

Nope. Still can't read it.

"So this one is in your language and this one isn't." Nick looks to Isis and shakes his head. He can't read it. He'd probably have to take a correspondence course in the language and as Shayera is the only one around who speaks it, she'd have to grade his work. That would go swimmingly.

The next thing Nick finds is a LOT more familiar. He makes a face, picks up a boxy device off of one of the harnesses and tosses it to Isis. "Gene sequencer."

The Institute has things like that, or rather the very advanced med lab in the Institute has things like that. Isis also knows what they are from her time, ahem, in labs. This one is set to scan mode. Likely it was meant to work on the samples that they collected.

While Isis is fiddling with it Nick brings over one of the syringes.

"Take a look see what it does."

"The letters aren't glowing…." Isis points out as Shayera mentions the Ring movies. Her nose wrinkles as Nick makes his next find. "I know what that is. They used it a lot when I was in the labs, being examined."

This is not bringing back good memories for the slim feline mutant, that feeling of feral is starting to rise again.

"I … " She sighs, holding the device out so they can put the blood on it. It takes a few moments for the results to appear. "X-Gene present." She mutters, no surprise there - both her and Nick have it. "What does vi vi section mean?"

both Shayera and Nick can see what's displayed there "X-Gene Present. Prepare subject for vivisection"

Shay looks at Isis flatly, then nods to Nick in confirmation. "Completely different alphabet, even." Her eyes follow the gene sequencer, and she watches with a visible amount of dismay at how familiar at least Isis is with that gene device.

"What-section?" she leans over to look at the display, then curses in her native language and stalks away to wait for the authorities en route. It's either that or kick the snot out of one of their captives until they find out who is giving the marching orders.

"Vivisection. Means they cut us open to see what makes us tick. Possibly while we are alive." Nick shakes his head. That's bad news and Isis will definitely know that. No one likes being cut open. Particularly if they're awake to watch.

He keeps searching. As Shayera walks away he finds yet another device. This one a flat disk. As the wolfman is picking it up he accidentally depresses the center and a holo image of a winged man - older and in what look like robes - appears.

"Shayera." It begins, possibly catching the woman's ear as she makes to depart. "If you are hearing this, then you have interfered with the work of my surrogates. It is understandable. You always were dutiful. It is both your best and worst trait. I know you must feel betrayed, knowing that one of your own is involved in all this. I know too that you are wondering who these others are. I always said that there were other masters of the sky than Akah Ma'at. Our ancient records clearly demonstrated this despite the insistence of the Council and the Priesthood."

The figure pauses and seems to look behind him at something though the recording doesn't show what. "You may not believe this now but what I am doing is necessary. The genetic condition of our people is serious and in not more than a dozen generations it will be dire, possibly quite soon before then. I tried to advocate for a focused effort to work with the grounders. I remain convinced that some of them have the key to what we need. Since our own Council would not act, I must. I will not see our people succumb to degeneracy and sickness. The name of Kelso Mez will probably be forever reviled for this, but that is a price I am willing to pay for the salvation of our people. My new allies here understand the meaning and purpose of such sacrifices and in exchange for my assistance they will help me achieve my goals. I do not know if you have it in you to help me save our people, but I will ask you - no, I will plead with you - please do not interfere. The ground has many possibilities for our salvation, but if the council has it's way I will only get this one shot. I cannot allow you or anyone else to interfere, but I know that you alone possess the strength to actually stop me. Resist that urge. Let me complete my work. Let me save our people. That is all that I ask of you, and I pray to the sky that you will consider my words with open ears and an open mind."

The hologram fades and Nick looks up at Isis, and then behind him to see if Shayera stopped.

That news doesn't sit well with Isis, who decides to climb Nick and try and perch on his shoulders. The feeling of discomfit and wildness gets stronger from her until she actively concentrates to contain it.

"Who's that?" She says, leaning forward a little over Nicks shoulder to get a better look at the robed figure. "What council? What genetic condition? What's degeneracy?" Lots of questions and she might sound a little like a curious pup for the moment. "Hey Shayera! This guy is talking to you…"

"How'd he know to send that here?"

Shayera did indeed stop at her name, and she turned back to watch the majority of it over Nick's shoulder. Well, more around Nick with Isis on his shoulders, but semantics. By the time the holo disappears she's muttering a nearly unending string in her native language and by her tone, it's undoubtedly curses.

"Kelso Mez," she hisses at where the holo was. "He's a genius, and a madman. He's convinced himself that our people are doomed to genetic catastrophe and that he's the only one who can 'fix' us. I really don't like the sound of 'new allies'. He's probably talking about the group that messed with you, Isis, which wouldn't surprise me in the least." After all, gods forbid he try approaching Grounder scientists himself for help instead of treating them like livestock to experiment on.

"I need to call this in to my superiors. It's getting out of hand."

"Is he talking about that or maybe…" Nick gestures to one of the winged people. "You did mention that the language on some of their gear was foreign to you. Is it possible he's found another… clan of winged people?" Clan? Race? Nick's not sure what the terminology would be but some of these are clearly not Shayera's people.

"But genetics. That does explain why they were taking samples of Isis and I. They must think that our X-Gene is in some way useful to them." That's a horrifying thought and means that other mutants may well be at risk.

Nick looks up at his shoulder. Isis is quite firmly perched there. "I don't think he did know. Or maybe he already knew that Shayera was active here and counted on her interference to get the message to her." Either way, here it is.

"Isis, see if they have any empty syringes and get some samples of our own before the police get here. We can hand them over to someone with some science and see if they're any different." There's a short pause. "Did you know this guy? How far is he likely to go?"

As far as vivisection apparently but how much farther?

Isis clings to Nicks shoulders, looking between him and Shayera. She's not really inclined to move, even when Nick speaks. "I don't like it, Nick. It's bad enough as it is without guys deciding I'm a nice kitty treat."

Sliding from his back, the slim feline-like mutant isn't gentle as she goes through their pockets and bags. She finds a couple of syringes and uses them roughly - Hank would be disappointed in her - to take the samples. "You need to label these, Nick …" She says holding them up.

"Will your superiors send more like you, Shayera?" Isis isn't sure how feels about that.

"I'm thinking he meant them," Shay notes as she gestures to one of the downed attackers. "It's very common for people from my home to think of Gr— uh, people who live on ground continents as inferior. Not worthy of consideration or respect. He's from what New Yorkers might consider a, high-roller family." She can't really think of another equivalent right this moment. "And higher the social status of some families, the more they think they're above others, especially people who live on the ground."

Gods only know what they would think if they found out people live UNDER the ocean.

"And yeah, I think he counted on my interfering with this attack more than knowing I'd be here." She watches Isis collect the samples, not really knowing what's 'proper' procedure or not, so not complaining. No one's bleeding out from the young woman's sample-taking. "More like me? Maybe. For certain, whoever they sent would NOT have the familiarity I've gained over the time I've been here. Whether or not they'd be open-minded enough to give this city and its people a chance is as likely as finding a decent and helpful person in the middle of Times Square."

"But there might be something they can do in the city proper." Nick adds as he stands up and takes the syringes from Isis. He labels them in sharpie 'asshole with gold buckles' and 'asshole with silver buckles'. There. Clear as day, yes?

"I don't like it either Isis. We'll get to the bottom of it, though. Do you think if we get you close enough to the station where they're booked that you can slip into their dreams?" Because they might be able to interrogate them, but dream walking might get them more and the police won't complain about questionable legality… because they won't know.

"Do you know where he might be, Shayera? This Kelso Mez? He's not in your city, I take it."

Isis smirks as she reads how Nick labels the tubes. She can read enough to know what he wrote.

"I could do it now, if you wanted …" Slip into their dreams she means. She's very … easy … about talking about it in front of people. "But as long as I'm within about about a block, I can find them. When I finish with them, I'm going to give them nightmares."

Because they woke her from her sleep and attacked Nick.

At Nick's question, Shay sighs. "No, I'm not sure where he could be. I was hoping that that message might have some clues in the background, but I didn't see anything. And no, there's no way he'd be doing this from inside Akah Ma'at.

She looks between the pair when they talk about dreams and nightmares, then after a moment of considering the trussed-up individuals, sidles over to whisper something to Isis. It's all so very conspiratorial.

Nick quirks a brow, but can't hear what is being said. He considers the problem they have. A hidden enemy who knows where they live. They might want to get another place to sleep for a little bit. Nick has a house and Isis presumably has a room. They could probably use those and just not sleep at Paragon. Which is a shame. Nick likes not having to commute.

That's the business though.

"Well. We'll see what we can get out of these, then." Just what they need, really. More people after them, as if AIM and whatever is going on with Lobo Tech weren't enough.

"Maybe I'll find out…" Isis looks at Nick, picking up his mood. Honestly, she's thinking about going back to bed here. She's a room in M-Town, which isn't somewhere she likes to stay if she can avoid it. It's so much here at Paragon.

"Dreams of not being able to fly? I can do that." She smirks, casting Nick a conspiratorial grin. "I'm hungry. We have hot chocolate and marshmallows don't we?" Because Isis is always hungry. Some things never seem to change.

"No. You're not staying here, either of you." Shay's got a full-on 'don't argue with me tone' going there. "If Kelso Mez knows how to find you here, he likely knows how to find you any place you frequent. We need to get you both off the grid." Isis can likely feel that she is genuinely concerned for them both.

"We have to wait for this place to be secured, then you should go somewhere you can't be tracked." In her mind, that means leaving the truck behind as well.

"I know a place." Nick says. "But it's a bit hard to run a business from there." And the commute is kind of hell, but he rather doubts any of these winged folked will try them down where he's thinking of. And it is 'down' where he's thinking of. A place he lived once before when he had to live off the grid.

But he's still going to run Paragon. He's not going to become homeless again. Not over this. Not ever again.

"Unless either of you have other ideas?" In the meantime he goes to pull out a bag of marshmellows and show them to Isis. Yes. He can make hot cocoa while they wait for the cops. Who should be here soon.

"What do you mean we can't stay here?" Isis almost hisses. "This is our place and they aren't running us of—-" Nick speaks and her eyes meet his. "Oh. OK…."

"We could try the school, Nick. They have places to stay - and I'm sure they'll let…. maybe not. We might put the students at risk." She shakes her head. "Just the Makerspace and Community Centre in M-Town."

Not even the marshmallows cheer her up for the moment.

"Or, if you both are willing to trust me, I can arrange for a safe house." Though, knowing the police, it'll be a two-star motel somewhere inconvenient. At this rate, though, and seeing how unsettled Isis appears to be, she's willing to give them space in her residence. Though, ultimately, it might not be much better.

"If that doesn't pan out, can either of you think of anyone else that might be willing to help?"

"There is someone. I'll call her in the morning. And Isis and I will take a trip to talk to someone to get this… resolved." Nick knwos some off the grid mutants who can probably make this problem temporary. He hasn't talked to them in years… but it's about time Isis met them.

"For now…" He hands Isis the cocoa. "Cheer up Kitten. We'll be back here soon enough. Trust me. I'm going to take you on an adventure."

She likes those. Even if they're just to the top of a filing cabinet in Stark Tower.

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