2020-05-03 - Vixen Was Here


A disturbance and a discovery

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: May 3, 2020
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



Now that Mari knows about T'Challa and the Black Panther being one and the same, the Black Panther's continued and frequent presence in the Disaster Zone makes a lot more sense. He's keeping an eye on ghostly activity in addition to keeping an eye out for Klaue or any sign of what he has been doing. This is probably one reason why the ghosts haven't been too much trouble recently. T'Challa has been taking great pains to browbeat them into behaving if not well then at least quietly.

Tonight is no exception. The Panther is perched high up, watching the ruined center of the Disaster Zone - what used to be a thriving and relatively high end business park - below. The buildings are crumbling and some of the pavement has caved in to the levels below. And the spirits? Those are restless. So very restless.

Mari can't see the spirits, of course. She can see the effects that Klaues ongoing presence is having though. It's bad enough there's rumours of missing mutants, without having to contend with the gangs that the man is sponsoring. There's also been whispers that some of the residents have been press ganged into helping.

To verify the latter, Mari has been doing some scouting tonight and asking questions. Her face is grim as she perches as by the Panther and looks down on the scene.

"Something has them riled." The Panther says. "I think it's in the building. Shall we take a look?" Should be simple to jump down to what is left of the top of it. As they're debating there's a light in one of the broken windows of the office complex, on the sixth floor some ways below them. It's only for a moment but it looked like someone moving with a flashlight.

"Huh. Did you see that?" T'Challa cants his head and peers some more but can't see anything.

"Do I want to go and see what's got spirits riled?" Vixen casts Black Panther a wry look. "Not particularly, but I promised your goddess I would look after you and now I know the truth, that includes you in this guise as well." The light does catch her eye but it's gone before she can make anything more out.

"I did. I think whatever has your spirits upset might need a light source. Or perhaps it's just coincidence. We'll have to be more careful … but let's go."

She steps off their perch to the next ledge …

The Black Panther chuckles and then begins to leap down. It takes a few minutes of careful descent but they make what is left of the roof and then slip in a large hole down to the eighth floor. Right away something is off. Even though Mari can't see the ghosts she can feel the unease they're generating. What's more there's a scent here.

Well, there are a lot of scents here. It smells like dust and mud and mildew. Sort of unpleasant. But there's also a rather distinct odor of anti-perspirant. Nothing a person would notice but Mari looking for information surely has the senses she needs to detect it at the moment. It heads downstairs in a wafting trail. More pertinently there are several places where chunks of rubble appear to have been pried from their locations with something akin to a crowbar. Someone was looking for something. Maybe two someone its hard to tell over the off brand antiperspirant.

Oh… wait. There's another smell. Semtex.

As Mari lands, the glowing silhouette of a bear appears behind her and cat on her shoulder. She takes a moment to get her bearings, wincing at the feel of the place. "It's like a miasma, isn't it?" She murmurs, her enhanced eyesight letting her see more clearly in the dark.

"A person who needs to some taste in personal hygiene. I swear that's AXE I'm smelling." The woman gestures to the rubble that Panther has likely already seen "They're looking for something…" She pauses "No … they're planting something. Careful, I smell explosives."

At the mention of explosives the Panther tenses and sweeps his eyes around the room. "I do not see anything. They must have carried them further down. I wonder what could be in the building that warrants that. Can you follow them by the scent of their axe?"

Probably she can. And it does go downstairs.

As they begin to move Panther nods. "It is a bit like a miasma, yes. The spirits are so agitated they're throwing the emotion off all around them. They might be close to getting violent. So we shouldn't linger too long. And neither should the person or people here."

Down two floors and… hrm. This place is pretty open down on the sixth floor and there's no real sign of anyone, but the smell of explosives is stronger. It's laid out sort of like a bank, but what bank would be on the sixth floor of an office building. Of course if it's like a bank there might be a-

"Hurry up with those charges." Someone hisses from an open door in the back.

"Trying. But if I get this wrong the safe won't open."

"That's a possibility, but be careful." Vixen answers, lifting her nose to the air and gesturing "It's hard not to track them. I much your prefer your body spray to this. And it's AXE, Panther, not an axe." She starts to move, carefully through the building, down the stair wells and out onto the sixth floor.

"This looks like a showroom of some sort. I don't remember what was here before the blitz, but I wonder …" Oh yeah, there it is.

"Shall we?" She asks the Panther, calling her own spirit panther as well - spirit claws appear at her fingertips as she stalks across the room.

"You really wouldn't want the safe not to open, would you?" She asks.

"Not familiar." Panther murmurs. That's because he has taste and, you know. A nose. He looks up, eyes narrowing beneath his mask when he hears voices.

The response to Mari's question is a hissed 'SHIT' and then a blast of sonic weapons fire.

There are not many people who use that kind of tech and really only one group doing it in the Disaster Zone.

"Klaue's men." Panther hisses to Mari. One of the figures - difficult to see in the dark - darts across the room firing blindly. The other one tosses a block about the size of a large cell phone out into the middle of the room.

"Vixen! Bomb!"

Boom. The bomb goes off, electronically detonated and the center of the floor starts to give way.

"One day when I want to horrify you, I'll let you become familiar." Vixen answers. The sonic weapon fire hits Vixen and she's knocked backwards with an 'oof'. "You don't say, Panther." Klaues men, but why are they are here.

She's just recovering when the Panthers warning comes, diving out of the way, towards the one who threw that block. With the panthers agility, it's a long leap but not *quite* long enough. She lands precariously on the edge of the floor where it's crumbling and has to scramble.

That doesn't stop her trying to slash the man with her claws. "Is that how you greet a lady?"

"You're no lady! You're a freak!" The man says as he's clawed on the arm. His body armor would have protected him a bit on the chest but not on the arm and he falls back, clutching his arm and bleeding as Mari has to scramble to keep her footing. The floor beneath her hits the one below it and that gives way too. That hole is getting deep. Probably best if she not fall into it.

The other one fires again and Panther leaps at him to stop him. Which is a good thing because the bleeding mercenary is scrambling for his detonator. He's going to set off all the bombs. Mostly they're placed around the safe but… it might also bring a good chunk of this building down around them at this rate.

"I might be a freak but I'm *still* a lady. I have all the requisite bits." Mari quips, using the panthers agility and the bears strength to help find more stable footing. "Now if you don't want worse than that, I suggest you …. you're not going to stop are you?" beat "Have you thought that if you detonate that, you'll go down as well?"

Not that she waits for an answer - Vixen leaps, fangs and claws out … to land on the guys chest and send him backwards, where she intends to perch cat-like on his chest.

Vixen catches the mercenary an inch shy of the detonator, drags him back and sits on his chest. Flails a bit and tries to get her off, then he goes for a knife. That won't do. It also won't work. Vixen can easily see what he's going for.

Outside the room there are several grunts and impacts. Then silence. A moment later the Panther walks in.

"Well, that was bracing. It looks like you have everything under control here Vixen?"

Strangely Mari is very heavy at the moment and she's perched on the guys chest like a cat. As he goes for the knife, her claws close about his wrist and dig in, just before she slams his arm to the floor. snap

"Bracing. I like that word. And I think so. Our friend here was just about to tell me what they were doing."

"No I wasn-OOF!" T'Challa has kicked the man in the ribs just above where he's being sat on. He struggles with Mari for a moment and then goes a bit limp. He's bleeding and clearly in a lot of pain, especially around his wrist.

"You work for Klaue. Don't bother denying it, no one else has that sonic tech. What's in the safe?"

"He didn't say…" The mercenary says sullenly. "Just told us to come get it."

The Panther looks at Mari. Surely he can do better, can't he?

"You know the last time we spoke to one of Klaue's men like this, I think I decided I liked his eyes, didn't I, Panther?" Mari purrs.

The claws on her free hand hover above the mans eyes. "You've got pretty eyes too. I think I might want them for myself." It's sadistic but then again, Klaues men are sadistic. "If you don't tell us what's in the safe, I'm going to me a souvenir or two. Now, answer the Panther. What was in the safe."

There's the gentlest of scrapes of claws against his skin, just enough to sting but not break the skin.

"They are rather nice eyes." The Panther says. The mercenary holds out for all of, oh, ten seconds before he starts to sweat and stammer. Finally he breaks down.

"Alright! Fine! He didn't tell us but we overheard a conversation. Supposedly the owner of this company was a collector of african art and was hiding something valuable in the safe here. The records were lost when the Blitz happened but when Klaue came across them he insisted that someone come here right away and bring back whatever was in this safe. Intact. Or it was going to be our skins.

African art. Then… possibly…

"Hmmm. Do I believe him, Panther?" Mari still has her claws at Klaues thugs eye. "So you figured you'd blow the place to get into the safe?" Mari hadn't heard of a collector here and she'd been in the city at the time. "Why did you need the charges to get into the safe?"

She wants to go and check it. She looks at Panther and raises a brow. Could they brute force it? They've their own set of unique skills and those sonic weapons.

"The safe is a real fancy model. It would take an expert to get into with a drill and we didn't want to draw attention. Those are noisy and slow. Bombs are also noisy but… faster. And we have explosives experts." Well that part makes sense. But Panther just smiles at Mari and digs his claws into the hinges. They cut. They're vibranium of course they cut.

"Pull it out now. I'll keep pressure here. And you, if you move I'm going to throw this safe at you."

He prooooobably won't move.

"Noisy and the sight of it will draw attention. But then again, it was your unlucky day, wasn't it … we were on patrol." Mari says, dragging her claws over his cheek - not drawing blood but certainly reminding him she can.

"If you move, he'll throw the safe and I'll jump on you and sit on the safe on top of you. Kapish?"

As the woman rises, the glowing silhouette of a rhinocerous beetle appears on her shoulder. There's no hesitation as she tears the door off and drops it on the floor by Klaues thug head. It lands with a resounding 'thud'.

That done, she reaches inside and removes the contents … a couple of pouches like the sort that jewellery would be kept in, some folders and some loose papers.

T'Challa leans in to peer at the contents, trusting Mari's rather terrifying set of threats to keep the wounded mercenary in place. He cants his head slightly. "Nothing that looks like… wait. This is a receipt for a storage unit." The Panther peers at it. "A very secure one. But this receipt is years old. If the bill on the unit hadn't been paid the contents would have been auctioned off." And that would have been some time ago. So no just going over to the storage place and getting what they're after.

"I wonder if there might be records of the contents and whom it was sold to…"

"And here I was hoping there would be some african artwork in here …" Mari says, keeping half an eye on the downed guy.

"Mmmm so it is. Gilderoys Storage Units. I'm not even sure if they're still in business, but we can find out. At the very least, we might be able to find the auction house that handled things."

If that's what happened. If the contents weren't auctioned, maybe there's records of where they went.

"I don't think we should linger here, Black Panther…"

"No. Nor do I." The Panther glances down at the mercenary and then shrugs. Taking him would slow them down and turning him over to the police would be awkward.

"I suggest you leave town. Otherwise this might not go so well for you next time. Ask your friend how it went for him." He sighs. Well. Time to get going.

"Shall we, Vixen?"

"We shall." Mari looks at the guy ground as well and jerks her head in the direction of the exit, leading them out and back to the disaster zone.

"You know, I think I should create a mark to use on those guys, sort of like a z for Zorro. V for Vixen? Something that says Vixen was here." She says loudly enough for the thug to hear her.

It's time to finish their patrol and then look at the storage unit.

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