2020-08-03 - Into The Night


Nick and Isis investigate some rumours and are in for a rude surprise

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Aug 3 00:23:48 2020
Location: Disaster Zone

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While a great deal of work has been done there, the Disaster Zone is still a very, very dangerous place. It's dangerous for the people who still live there and it is dangerous for anyone choosing to travel there as well. In some ways it has only gotten more dangerous in the last several months. There have been scattered reports in the news about gangs moving into the ruins and word on the street from Nick's various contacts is that there is some kind of shadow conflict taking place involving mercenaries and superheroes.

Nonetheless Nick is there tonight. There had been another report of mutant hunters and so far as Nick knew that SHOULD have been shut down. The rumor had been just that, a rumor but it had been alarming enough that the wolfman PI had felt it necessary to go and check that it was indeed JUST a rumor.

He's moving down the empty streets in the fading light. No street lamps will come on here. The power has long since been cut.

There's been an awful lot of work done in the Disaster Zone, but not this particular part. The buildings are still ramshackle and debris is piled on what were once, pavements.

"I thought we got the last of the group who was doing this." Isis says, voicing some of Nicks as they move. She doesn't need light, her eyes adjust quite nicely thanks to the feline nature of her mutation.

The only obvious part of her mutation is the ears that sit atop of her head and the slightly feline cast to her features.

"According to what we heard, it should be just up ahead."

"I had too. And they'd been so quiet for so long. Why start up now?" Nick would expect that if there were a group out there hunting mutants it wouldn't have taken this long after the case had been closed to hear from them again. As it is, well, here they are. He looks about slowly and then looks back to Isis.

"That should be it there. I don't really like this very much." But with only two of them he doesn't want to split up. "Let's not go in the front door…"

There should be af ew ways in.

"Start it up? Maybe they never stopped but just went real quiet for a bit." Isis might be scatty but she's far from stupid. Concentration and education are what she generally lacks. When they get to building, the feline-like mutant looks it over carefully.

"How do you handle this with your PI's licence?" She's been studying and knows that Nick prefers to do things by the book. This … won't be.

"Normally there's a door at the back. Getting there might be trouble with all the rubbish about. There's a window ajar up there and I could make that jump, almost soundlessly." Nick couldn't though. "I don't want to split up. Shall we try the back?"

"Well normally you call the police. But since no one really owns any of this we're not breaking and entering. The only thing we're doing that we aren't supposed to be doing is being here to begin with." Really, folks are supposed to stay out of the DZ. It's not deemed safe for habitation and… it isn't.

"But yeah. Let's do the back…" Nick moves in that direction and indeed there's rubbish and rubble piled around the back door. None of it looks new but it's kind of hard to say. The door is in pretty sad shape but getting it open without making too much noise is kind of tricky, and it is so quiet here that any noise feels like a shout in a theater.

Eventually though it is off its hinges and laid down. Nick steps in and looks about. This place had used to be a business of some kind with possibly residences upstairs. There are a number of buildings like that in New York. A lot of the furniture is broken or gone - looted or repurposed by people still in the zone. There's a strong smell of mildew. And it is even darker in here than it is outside.

Not fit for habitation and yet a lot of people still live there, refusing to move or just not having anywhere else to go.

Isis is silent as they move - even Nick has trouble hearing her, except for the occasional 'shush' of her clothing. Wrinkling her nose at the mess they're confronted with, Isis helps gets that door and peers inside. "What a mess …" she murmurs as she steps inside, letting her eyes adjust to the deepening gloom. Nick will see her eyes shine a little - just like a cats and notice how wide her iris' are.

"Ugh, that smell. This was an office. Let's check the rooms out here first … I'm not sensing anyone else, well, no one different than I was when we walked into the Zone. House is probably abandoned."

"I'm not smelling anything either." Well, except for mildew. He glances up. There's an upper level that they'll have to check as well. Slowly and carefully the two work through the business at the lower level. There's nothing here of any particular interest. Broken furniture. Ruined merchandise. Rotting walls and floors. The staircase up is a bit tricky as there are a few points where it has rotted enough that it won't support much weight but they do manage to get up to the upper, residential portion which is split into two apartments.

Immediately on entering one Nick smells the signs that people have been here. There were no such smells below which means they get in from the roof or through the windows, somehow.

"Hang on Isis. Someone's been here. Recent-"

Thump. Thumpthump. That was on the roof above them.

Isis makes the stairs fairly easily with her agility. It's put her a little ahead of Nick on the stairs. Her nose twitches as well and she's looking around when he joins her. "Mmmmhmmm. All over this floor. Hard to say where they enter and leave from. We can track that th-"

Her eyes turn up to the ceiling at the thump. "Maybe we won't have." She slinks into the shadows watching the window and listening, moving carefully to follow the noise as it moves. "Want to go greet them or wait till they come in?"

Nick slips back against the wall behind the door and motions to Isis to wait. They came up from the ground so maybe whomever it is won't smell them until it's too late. He listens as the thumps move behind the wall that he's against and then the sound of a window opening in the hallway greets them. And then it gets very, very quiet.

That silence is ended by a big, muscled, clawed arm coming through the wall near Isis and trying to grab her. And another one coming through the wall near Nick.

Both Nick and Isis have assumed that these people are just that … people. Not mutants or otherwise with enhanced senses like their own. Hopefully they'll live to regret that assumption.

Isis is ever so still as she waits, her breathing slow and quiet. It goes quiet, her ears swivel back towards the wall just as the arm bursts through.

She bites at the arm and scratches with the claws that have formed at her fingertips. "Nick. Mindshield." That's all the warning he gets as she sends a wave of fear rolling out. It's a gamble really - scared animals are unpredictable.

There's a snarl of fear and anger as she makes the wide area empathic attack. Nick pushes the arm near him away and backs away from the wall. He kicks the door shut in the face of a slavering wolfman much like himself but darker and larger and then tips over a shelf to block the door. That won't hold it for long but it will hold it.

"Come on Isis. Back out the window!" It's time to go.

Or it was. The window behind them explodes inward as an even larger wolfman leaps in. He's black furred and his eyes are crimson. He looks over Isis and Nick and growls low. Getting past him in the confines of this room won't be easy and the door behind them is being battered down as they stand there.

Well that worked, sort of. Isis scratches and yowls and works herself free of the grip. Her hair is covered in plaster dust and she sneezes - blech.

She just makes the window as it explodes. Add shattered glass to the plaster dust now. The feline-like mutant actually yelps in surprise and stares up at the big black wolf. He's large and she thought Nick was large.

"Nick." She says quietly. "No matter what happens, just go. I'll follow …" She needs to move this wolf out of the way so that Nick can get by. She's slim and agile enough that she should be able slip past, much more easily.

"Hi There …" she says to the growling canine, a wave of … relaxation and lassitude rolling out from her. "Do you come here often?"

"I do." The Wolfman says and then Isis feels a wave of emotion rolling back at her. Trust. She trusts this mutant. She may realize with some alarm that this is an empath and a potent one as well. That trust though, isn't stopping the door from being kicked down behind them. The big dark wolfman takes a couple steps forward. Nick glances behind him. That door won't hold much longer and he doesn't have a clear shot yet, so he shifts over toward a couch off to the left of the door and of Isis.

Isis blinks and takes a step towards the black furred wolf. He got through her shields and all. "Oh. You do …" Wait! What is going here? What was she doing? Right. Distracting him so Nick can get away. Steeling herself, reinforcing her psychic shield, the blue eyed woman looks up, so innocently. "Can you help us get out of here, please?"

Nick is going to roll his eyes when he sees hers flutter. She must have heard Nick move, as she moves a little to give him a clear line. What will she do when the black furred wolf says 'yes'?

Hopefully Nick will be clear and she can fight.

"Why would you need to get out of here? Stay. Everything will be alright." There's another strong wave of emotion. Which is cut off by a flying sofa that hits the bigger wolfman in the flank and sends him sprawling. Nick rushes the broken window and clambers out just as the door breaks. Isis should have the room to climb out behind him.

Nick has already at that point dropped to the ground. There are howls in the loft above. Angry ones. And answering calls deeper in the ruins. This is not a good thing. No this is not a good thing at all.

Isis takes another step towards the black wolf-man, ready to rub her ears against his arm. The couch flying brings her to her senses though, she hisses instead. The couch puts the bigger wolfman right in her way, to get out that window she has to go over him.

Up and over, down his back and out the window. She leaps from the roof, aiming to the land on the ground by Nick. Hopefully she's faster than the other wolf.


Nick doesn't need any encouragement. When she's on the ground he's off running. The other three wolfmen drop down about a hundred feet behind them and they can hear calls coming from up ahead and to their right.

"Make for the main road and take that back to the city!" Nick calls as he turns them that way. It's more open, easier to run in a straight line and most importantly harder to blindside them.

They're almost cut off by the arrival of a feline mutant and a lizard like one dropping from high above. Nick only narrowly avoids being pounced by the feline.

"Could take the subway and loose them there…" Isis says, following Nick as he turns them. She can keep up with him quite easily, she's fit and fast thanks to the feline characteristics.

The feline pounces for Nick just as Isis sees the lizard man turn on her. Hissing again, her claws flash out, scoring a hit on his face as she tumbles - right into the feline to play feline bowling.

Then she's back on her feet and legging it.

"Too risky. If we take a wrong turn down a blocked tunnel we'll be trapped." Nick says as they run. They make the wider but still rubble choked street. Now this is a test. A test of who is faster. If they're not fast enough then Nick and Isis will have to turn and fight outnumbered.

And at the outset it looks like they are faster. Faster than the wolfmen, anyway. The lizard and cat are keeping pace with them and as they run they can see a few more smaller, lither shapes emerge. Rodent like, some of them. A couple more cats. These are going to be harder to shake.

Isis agrees with Nick but there's also places to hide down there. The smell of the subways will mask them a bit. Up here …

Scampering along, Isis can hear and smell their pursuers. "Ten o'clock. They'll mob us and bring us down." She says, panting a little. "Keep your shields up. I'm going to scare them. I need you to howl when I do. If they're like the other guy though, we're in trouble."

She's scared, not that she'll admit it. After the dreams she's been having - getting caught by this mob is not good.

Without missing a pace, the wave of fear and terror goes out. It's strong and horrifying - and if these mutants are close to their feral minds, they should just turn tail and run. Nicks howl should aid that.

Nick lets out a howl as they run. It echoes among the bare concrete walls and empty buildings and it causes some of the creatures chasing them to miss a few steps. Nick takes advantage of that to fling a derelict car back in their direction.

"We're not going to make it to the safe area and even if we do they might chase us into it until we run into something they don't want to tangle with. This way!" Nick grabs Isis hand and tugs her off to the side. He makes several rapid turns and then climbs up a low building. His heart is pounding and he can hear the calls and chirrups of the mutants out there. But they're all moving vaguely past or away from them. Now they just have to stay invisible to that empath.

"It's a pack mentality." Isis says, letting Nick haul her to the side. He nearly jerks her arms from the socket but she doesn't complain.

Up the building, Isis presses her back to the wall and reaches for Nicks hand, lacing her fingers through his. "I can't hide us from the Empath. I wish I could … Keep your shields up and … try to do what normal people would be doing here."

She's not sure what that is.

"I don't think normal people are up here hiding." Nick whines a little bit as he stays low and tries to watch over the edge of the roof without backlighting himself too much against the darkening sky. The gloom makes it all around harder to pick out where everything and everyone is but after a few minutes it doesn't seem like there is anyone nearby.

"Alright. We have to get down and away. We'll have to head east, I think. Once we make the waterline we can pick our way out of this place." If they just take a straight line out they're near certain to be caught again.

"You okay?"

When Nick whines, Isis rubs her ears against his arm. "I know. But Empaths aren't usually that directional. They look for the thing that is different in the emotions that are around. Us being terrified will be like a red rag to a bull." Isis isn't sure why that's a saying but she uses it anyway.

She doesn't move away from him though and when he mentions they need to get down, she nods. "Let's go. I'm …. ok. This is what it was like for me a lot - when they trained me. Can't afford to be scared, not yet."

Nick doesn't answer Isis. He also doesn't move. He just sits there, staring into space. As though he were seeing something else. Very slowly something ripples in the air beside him. A lizard is there. A chameleon type being with a syringe in it's hand. Without so much as a word or a hiss it darts right for Isis as Nick stares into the distance.

It tries to get around her and wrap its tail about her legs as it reaches for another loaded syringe.

"NICK!!!" Isis yowls, hoping to hurt the chameleons ears as she slices out with her claws. It's easy to let the wave of fear wash out from her this time. She's terrified, not for herself but for Nick.

As the tail wraps about her legs, Isis throws herself towards the edge, trying to overbalance the lizard and send him toppling. "NICK NICK NICK!!!!" He's been injected, she knows he has and she won't let that happen to herself.

Reaching out, the slim mutant grabs the lizard-mans wrist and lets her claws dig in. "You're going to regret that…"

The lizardman croaks and then hisses in pain as its ears and then wrists are assaulted.. He sqirms to try to get away but Isis has him by the hands. He brings up a knee into her side and then again, trying to hurt her badly enough to let go. Nick still isn't responding. He's breathing a bit faster but not responding ot anything she says.

"Just… BE A GOOD KITTEN AND STOP STRUGGLING!" The lizard hisses. That might be a powerful shock to her system, but she's also alert to any attempt to manipulate her.

Isis channels her fear into her fury and fight. The knee to her side hurts and she's sure hears a rib crack, all that does is make her claws dig in more firmly.

It's hard not to respond to the instruction that's given - they'd spent a lot of time embedding that programming in her. "NICKS KITTEN …" she growls as she tries to fight it. "…NOT YOURS. NICK!!! WAKE UP!!"

Given the hold she has, Isis tries to plant her feet and send the lizard-man spinning off the edge. If that fails, she has one thing to try.

Nick finally stirs and she feels his mind go into motion again. But as he does Isis pitches the chameleon man off the edge of the building. There's a meaty thunk two floors below. If he survived that he's probably not moving for a while. "Isis." Nick is rubbing his shoulder. "Isis are you okay? Did he stick you?"

He seems worried and his heart rate is greatly elevated. The concern is almost rolling off him in waves.

As the Lizardman pitches over, Isis loosens her claws. It's a close thing really, as he nearly takes her with him. Panting, she turns towards Nick - blue eyes ever so bright as she growls. "Nick. Nicks Kitten. No one elses…" she says in a bit of stupor.

"I … don't think so. My side is sore … " Which might be why she's having trouble breathing. "He got you … we need to get you to Hanks …"

Nick reaches down as if knowing she's hurt on her side. He gingerly feels her flank and yes. Something might be cracked there. "Yes we need to go." He pauses for a moment and then seems to shake himself.

"You need to come with me now, Kitten." The tone of his voice has changed and he grips both of Isis shoulders in a soothing, almost massaging kind of way. "Don't question. Just follow Alpha…"

Isis winces as Nick touches her side, it makes her breath catch. "Go, yes. Now."

The change in his tone and his hands on her shoulders should have warned Isis there was a problem. But it's Nick and she's Nick Kitten. "Yes, Nick. We need to go. Get help. Come on. Hurry up."

he could lead her whereever he wanted and she wouldn't question right away.

"Come on." Nick starts to climb down the building. He already told her that they need to take an indirect out. By the time she realizes just how indirect it will by too late. And even if she did realize it, she's Nick's Kitten. That's been very well established. She probably can't go against him. Or at least… not as fast as she needs to.

So he leads her out into the gloom. And when they don't return to the office the next morning… no one is likely to notice. Not right away.

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