2020-04-24 - Whiff of Brimstone


Back at the 'Church', Hank and Isis are disturbed while doing some investigating.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Apr 24 21:56:31 2020
Location: Lower East Side

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Theme Song



The effects of the protest are still visible in Lower East Side. Well, not the protest but the 'response' from the Church. When the police had arrived, several Church members had been taken into custody and the building cordoned off for further investigation - rumour has it there was information found on site.

That might annoy the mechanics next door. It's impeding the access for business.

All seems quiet in the building at the moment - as it should be - and it would be a perfect time if someone wanted to find out what's going on.

Ford was having a heck of a time today. First the protest itself blocking the shop, then the riot, then the scenic view of a rifle barrel, and finally, the police investigation. Today was just not his day. Thankfully, he didn't have to leave work to go pick up his little sister from school - a friend of hers was carpooling with her. That left Ford marginally free for the evening, in conjunction with the lack of business coming in.

Ford sighed as he watched the police cordon off the place next door, shaking his head. Of course they would be shacking up right next door. /Of course!/ First the subway crash, then the festival, now this. Next thing he knew, it'd be right outside his apartment! This was getting ridiculous… Ford wanted all this business out of his neighborhood. They could take it somewhere else, but not here, dammit!

…his eyes drifted to the doorway that led to the back entrance of the building. The police had sectioned off the building… but then again, he couldn't be seen… Ford straightened up, moving for the doorway leading to the offending building in the back of the shop. Not yet… he'd try and get this done as a man first. Perhaps if he found something worthwhile, he could bring it to the authorities and make this all go away…

Approaching the building is easy. There's noone watching it, except for the neighbours and most of those are busy doing other things. Of course, there's also enough shadows to slink about in and avoid the nosy parkers. Well, almost.

"It's bad business isn't it?" Says Bethany Harper, the proprietor of the beauty salon that's on the other side of the church. She's taking the trash for the day out when Ford approaches. "Who'd have thought they'd set up shop here? It's bad for business all round."

It's hard to tell if she's sympathetic to the Church but she's certainly not happy with the effect on her clientele.

Ford might notice, the light that is moving on the second floor - Bethany hasn't seen it, but she's not looking.

Ford is admittedly caught off-guard when he hears someone else nearby. Ah, Bethany. Always good to see her about. Ford adopted his usual, casual grin as he leaned against the wall outside the back, pretending to have come outside for some other purpose. "Seems to be a lot of bad business setting up shop around here lately. Must be your stunning looks that draws them in. Maybe you should try being less astoundingly gorgeous?" Ford offered coyly.

Ford's sharp senses did catch a light moving on the second floor. He glanced at it every time he thought he had an opening, just biding time until Bethany went back into the shop. Someone was still moving around up there… only question was, who?

Bethany isn't about to linger, she's got to close up for the day and go home. "I don't know about that." She says. "I only know of the Church and I hope you not implying that I'm a bad boy magnet." Closing the lid to the trash container, the woman turns and heads back in.

That leaves Ford alone at the back of the building - at the cordon, the back door several feet away.

With a light moving around the second floor. Someone is … snooping?

Ford smirked and waved as Bethany headed back inside, before glancing up at the building again. Ford hummed as he looked at the doorway leading inside… he had a feeling that if someone was inside snooping around, they probably wouldn't be alone… and they'd probably have a lookout. Rather than risk alerting the trespasser to his approach, Ford decided, perhaps now, was a good time to tap into his oni heritage.

Vanishing perfectly from sight, Ford moved to the ledge beneath the window, crouching down. Then, in one quick leap, he put that super strength to use and jumped up to the window ledge, grabbing hold and steadying himself on his grip. Cloaked by his demonic powers, Ford peered up and in through the window, leaning forward to see if his sharpened senses could pick up on anything…

Seated before a found laptop, Hank is busily engaged in trying to break the security of the thing. There's a couple leads running from his visor to the computer, data scrolling on the HUD inside, vaguely visible on the inside of the lenses of the clear yellow polymer. Eyes bright, he looks to Isis. "Find any thumb drives or the like? I'm nearly into this laptop." After all, things aren't like in the movies, even basic security takes a LITTLE effort to break - safely anyway.

As Ford jumps, he can see the glow of a computer screen, as the beam of a flashlight washes over him. "Did you hear that, Hank?" Isis Marik says peering in the direction of the window. "And can you smell it. It smells like Betsy and Nicks Truck." Which means, to Isis, it smells bad.

Fords senses can make out the scent of the feline woman he's seen a time or two recently and Hank. It will take a moment for his eyes to adjust to the fact a light was shone it, but he'll be able to see well enough soon.

"And uh … yeah, these thumbdrives and in this drawer there was an external drive."

By drawer, Isis means secured storage that her sharp nails - those of a regular cat - have managed to pry open.

Ford got a decent look at the scene in the room. He had seen these two before… the feline female, he didn't know. He'd seen her, but didn't know her name. But the other, he knew very well. Dr. Hank McCoy, a genius at engineering and practical sciences. He'd just read a thesis of his last week about metallic chemical reactions on the thermal friction generated by rotary engines! Not to mention, he was in a suit at the scene of the protest earlier! Ford had to admit, he was a fan of how he pulled it off. Noooooot so much this, though. Justified or not, this whole scenario looked about 12 kinds of illegal.

But Ford didn't have a lot of time to look, not with a flashlight being shone /right/ in his eyes! Dang it! Twisting to get out of the line of sight, Ford slipped and scrapped at the side of the building again, cussing under his breath as he caught himself from falling. That kitty was cute, but she /really/ needed to learn how to use a flashlight…

OH, it is all kinds of illegal, but…Hank's not just a scientist, he's a superpowered vigilante and an MD, and a government consultant…yeah, lot of hats! Oh, and apparently a hacker too. He's a little concerned, about the legalities—still, these guys are VERY slick, very well funded, and worst of all have sufficient connections that more traditional approaches might well be too slow. There's some urgency in play here.

Which doesn't excuse this, but it is sufficient justification for him to proceed all the same.

Keen senses /did/ hear something outside, and his nostrils flare as he scents the air as Isis suggests. "Mm, can't see anything…" He switches his visor to thermal imaging, and shakes his head. "…nothing on IR. Still, be wary." He extends another lead and starts copying one of the thumb drives. "Lets make sure to contact the Detective about these drives, and put them back."

Isis is peering out the window as Ford scrabbles and hangs there. "Are you sure you didn't hear that?" She frowns, handing the things over to Hank. "Someones … mad. Surprised." She's a potent Empath and it's not hard to get the hit from Ford as he gets himself under control again.

"We will. What's on the drive, anyway? It was buried pretty deep in that drawer."

Still peering at the window for a couple of moments, the feline-like mutant turns to peer over Hanks shoulder. "What's on them, anyway? Anything we can use to tie to Hadrick to this?"

Hadrick. They have a … name.

Hank will find a folder on the harddrive that is the recordings of calls between Gregory Thames, the Deacon of the church and Leland Hadrick. They're the type of the files that are created when your phone automatically syncs. He probably didn't realise they were there.

Ford silently inhaled as he he steadied himself, though his ears caught wind of what she said. Mad? Could she feel his emotions? Not good… he'd have to work even harder than normal to keep himself centered. But that name… Hadrick? Where had he heard that before, it sounded familiar? Braving a chance to pull himself back up, Ford peered back in through the window, this time with a better grip on the ledge. Arching a brow, still invisible, Ford squinted hard as he tried to get a look at the laptop screen Hank was viewing. Folders… files… call records…? What the heck were they looking for? And why all the secrecy?

"Oh…hellllllloooo…" Hank's deep bass rumbles. "…synched files, audio recordings, someone had their phone plugged in while making some calls." He copies the data to his visor. "I'll decrypt them later fully, but this looks like Deacon Thames and Leland Hadrick were phone pals."

His eyes shift to the window then as Isis does, and he disconnects the leads then moves towards the window. "Actually…grease, motor oil, and a hint of…sulfur and something floral, vaguely." He opens the window. Taking a deep breath, actively smelling.

As Hank looks at the files, one of the video calls starts playing. Ford can see and hear it readily enough.

"I can transfer the funds tonight, Gregory, if you're people are ready to move."

"I told you Leland, my people are eager to show a force again and we've got things in place. Phillipa is on shift tomorrow at the transit authority and everything else is in place."

Isis blinks at the recording. "When was that?" When Hank checks the date, it was the night before the subway crash. "Nothing tying this to missing mutants though, just … what do you call it? Civil unrest?"

Isis' nostrils flare as Hank speaks "It's stronger again, too, isn't it?" This time she stands right next to where Ford is perching and … swings her flashlight like a club.

Deacon Thames… Ford had to guess he was the head of this so-called church. Was in contact with this Leland Hadrick guy? That still left the question of who he was. A transit authority… and missing mutants? Clearly, Ford had just stuck his nose right in one of the biggest conspiracies in the city. And here he was, just wanting these nutjobs out of his neighborhood.

Ford's thoughts immediately froze when Hank actually got up, opened the window and took in a deep breath. Shoot! Shoot shoot shoot! He had super senses too… Hank probably got a good whiff of scents that certainly smelled like they belonged in a garage, but something else about them was… decidedly off. Mixed in somehow. But that was likely rendered moot when Isis immediately went to swing her flashlight like a club and smack him right in the forehead!

To Isis, it definitely hit something, though what she hit remained to be seen. Literally. But it was certainly heard! "AUGH! DAMMIT!" The both of them hear the telltale scrapping of flesh against old stone, before a brief silence… followed by a heavy thud on the ground below. "Aggghhh, fuggin'… hell..!" Whatever Isis just knocked to the ground, it was getting up, before immediately pattering off down the alley.

Hank raises his mental shields, and then looks to Isis. "Can you broadcast how you feel when you've just had a huge meal, and are wrapped up in a warm blanket in the sun?" Yup, lethargy and sleepy. Hank immediately drops to the ground, running all fours in hot pursuit of the fallen figure, whomever it is. Actually, he has a pretty good idea, in the eventful protest there was that mechanic who not only stood firm and unconcerned with a gun in his face, he also putted the gun from the guy's hands as he recalls.

He'll have to see if he can find out who the guy is, but he's probably the owner or staff at the place, based on his 'take charge' attitude — a manager at least, probably the owner.

Over their Comms. «Take the high road, cut to the back, I suspect there's an entrance to the garage in behind the alley, we'll cut him off…»

Isis reels a little as Fords anger hits her. It's a good thing that Hank was girding his mental loins … um, so to speak - the force of the emotion is broadcast for a fraction of a second before Isis' gets that under control. "Whoa. So angry." Is all she says as her claws come out from her fingernails.

As Hank starts to chase, Isis grabs his arm. "We should go. We're not supposed to be here and we don't want to answer questions we don't have to. The detective needs this information and I need to tell Nick what we've found."

Plus. There's more recordings to listen to and who knows what they'll find.

The pattering continues down the alley, but thankfully, Ford actually /didn't/ turn into the back door of his garage! He might not be a detective or a super sleuth, but he hadn't hidden this long to stupidly lead folks back to his home or work! Instead, he continued on down, turning down an alley further down and just continuing to run. He didn't look back, only listening to see if he was being followed. Once he'd cleared a good distance, only then did he slow down and dare to look back…

…nothing? Seems nobody was following him… a lucky break. He'd take the long way home tonight… but that was entirely too reckless. Maintaining his invisibility, he stuffed his hands in his pockets and began marching down the street. "Stupid, stupid… that was really stupid of me…"

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