2020-08-05 - Rolling Over


Another trip into subways reveals where the drugs are coming from at least.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Wed Aug 5 02:26:22 2020
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



It's time to go spelunking in the subways. With the discovery of a 'lab' and the poor people being used, Mari had called in back up.

About an hour and a half ago, they had found another side tunnel that wasn't part of the original subway and followed it. Not very wide, the group can see the marks where the tunnel has been dug. The smell to the standard nose is pretty bad - musty and dank, with just the hint of rot and decay.

Hunter, however, has the scent of people - about fifty feet ahead and maybe a half dozen of them.

Zeal is actually rather fond of spelunking! Though, this is more like dungeoneering, in her book. Unless maybe it leads to a real cave! That happens, it could happen here.

Dressed in her armor, Zeal has her optics active so she can at least see reliably. Subvocalized. «Oracle, an it please thee, scan for any electronic emissions as we go, if you would be so kind.» <Of course, Zeal I shall keep my sensors peeled.> Comes the text reply on her HUD. To the others. «Comms check, if you please. Zeal is active.»

She's walking with hands empty, though she's quite well armed, all things considered.

Few things can get Brandon worked up like experimenting on people so when he learned about it, he didn't even hesitate when Mari contacted him. And when the odor started to get strong, he transformed to spare his nose. This time he's a mechanized dog; taking up less space, lower to the ground, harder to see. Still, he's about the size of an Irish Wolfhound but more powerfully built. « I can hear you. » he answers. Their thoughts, that is.

"Six. Fifty feet." The words are murmured in the same mush-mouthed accentless half-growled sotto voce Hunter has been using over the comms since the group insisted on using them the last two times. Yet again, the Hunter is way out ahead of the group, crouched low, moving with incredible stealth and wide-open hyper-senses to pick their way along, checking for traps and issues like has come up multiple times before.

Given the threats they have run into thus far, Hunter is not exactly unarmed, either. The rifle is visible, or was to her allies when last they saw her. The backpack, though … no telling what is in there, or in the various pouches on the web harness connected to it.

While Spider-Man is better known for swinging from building to building in the open air of the city, he *has* had to go underground for various purposes now and again - typically running down supervillains in their lairs, or looking for bombs or hostages. But there's an uncommon urgency to his ceiling-crawling this time around, and if he were on the tunnel floor instead of its opposite surface, he'd be hard on Hunter's heels, or at least as close as she lets him get.

He is, however, on the ceiling and deferring to Hunter - if she wants him further back, he'll give her some distance. On the plus side, he's *quite* good at moving quietly; Spider-Sense is a bit of a cheat code when it comes to avoiding unwanted (and potentially attention-drawing) noise, in addition to warning him of traps or other nasty surprises.

Hunter reaches the area ahead of everyone. She can hear the murmur of talking "What are we going to do?" "I didn't know they were doing it …" To her ears and her nose, they're worried and scared. Which is … interesting given everything that's gone of from now. About six feet in front of the door, she detects a pressure plate that extends nearly the width of the tunnel. If it was to trodden on … well, it can't be good. Brandon can see this as well.

Spidey on the ceiling is helpful as they near the location, he's got a better view of things than most on the ground. His spider-senses tingle a little, but not in the way of imminent danger. He can see at least one person, a young woman who keeps running her hand through her hair nervously. From this vantage, Spider-Man can see part of the mechanism that's attached to the plate. Wires that run up small grooves in the walls.

For Oracle and Zeal, there's little to see at the moment. There's no camera's or security feeds down here to hack. «Scanning for communications, Zeal.» The VI informs her.

"Vixen here. Online." Mari responds through the comms. "Keep your eyes open, the last time wasn't so nice."

Zeal is /not/ a fan of innocents being hurt, tortured or mutated - she's actually been all three, once at the same time, and that is enough to put her very firmly on the Hunter side of the 'measured response'; in this case measure the bad guys for their coffins.

Sadly, she's under standing orders not to kill, and on the whole she believes but sometimes, times like these, it is HARD. Softly. "Were morality easy, there would be none who were immoral." She says, not to anyone in particular, articulating her thoughts as they move.

Zeal is not nearly as stealthy as Hunter, and has no cheat codes, that said she's a fairly skilled huntress - she's adept at not being too noisy and remaining unseen, even moving.

«Thank you, Oracle» She sends privately, and then to the team. «No electronic feeds or emanations.»

The young woman will move forward very cautiously and keyed up to a fine tension, ready to act, wary.

Hunter inches close and pulls out a bit of chalk, drawing a line around the pressure plate for the less observant. Then she hops over it and continues. The chalk will reflect the bit of light the others are using and should be easy to spot, especially to those using night-vision optics.

That done, Hunter creeps closer, to the edge of the doorway, and observes the group within from down low, narrowing all her senses to the room and the situation. Then the tiny dull red flashes of light begin, transferring information back to the group. They got it before. Hopefully they will again.

Brandon leaps easily over the plate, then continues to pad down the tunnel till he's just out of sight of those further on. « Targets? Civilians? How many of each and what's the layout? » Oh to be a clairvoyant at times like this.

Rather than hanging back and watching for the red-light Morse code message, Spider-Man continues along the ceiling above the pressure plate, taking a very close look at those wires in whatever light happens to illuminate them. He can see *one* of the captives inside the cell, which is at least a hint they're in the right area, but Hunter said there were six; where are the other five? Just out of sight, at an angle he can't see without trying to make his way through the gap?

Those wires are a bigger worry, though. He reaches for one of them, 'testing' to see if his spider-sense triggers; if there's nothing, he'll break it. Same for the other one. Sure, just about everyone in the team can jump over the plate easily enough, but if the rescued civilians have to come back this way, they might not be in any shape to. Neither, depending on how things go, might the heroes.

«I saw one woman already,» he reports over the comm. «Seems nervous, but she wasn't shackled - just locked up. Let me see if I can get eyes on any others …» And he maneuvers to try and do that - preferably without revealing his presence to them.

Are the civi's really locked up or just locked in? The murmur of conversation can be heard by all now.

When he finds out, he's going to kill us….
… we didn't know …
We could tell him …
//… you tell him! I don't want to die //

Spider-Man's test reveal a mechanism at the top of the wall that triggers a series of bolts from the wall in the tunnel. He can disarm it, if he's careful. And he probably should. Now that he's closer, he can see the area better. Sort of a room with makeshift chairs and couches. It might almost be cozy if it wasn't for the debris strewn around.

And there's four of five he can't see. Three men and another woman. One of the men looks angry, the others just simply look worried. Hunter can see them, just past the centre of the 'room'. The sixth seems to be pacing just out of view.

"Are we going to break the door down, knock or send our friendly teleporter in?" Vixen asks?

Are the civi's really locked up or just locked in? The murmur of conversation can be heard by all now.

When he finds out, he's going to kill us….
… we didn't know …
We could tell him …
//… you tell him! I don't want to die //

Spider-Man's test reveal a mechanism at the top of the wall that triggers a series of bolts from the wall in the tunnel. He can disarm it, if he's careful. And he probably should. Now that he's closer, he can see the area better through a gap in the top. Sort of a room with makeshift chairs and couches. It might almost be cozy if it wasn't for the debris strewn around.

And there's four of five he can't see. Three men and another woman. One of the men looks angry, the others just simply look worried.

Hunter can smell them, they aren't 'close' to the door.

"Are we going to break the door down, knock or send our friendly teleporter in?" Vixen asks.

Zeal will simply Step Between, voted least popular means of transit by Brandon, and emerge just past the chalk line so nicely visible, thank you Hunter, and she will approach the door. She does look for traps of course, but she's more familiar with old style and primitive out door traps, not the more modern ones with wires and such. She's probably the least tech savvy person there.

"I am not unwilling." To teleport, so long as she can get a line of sight, that's an option and it seems like there's ways for her to get line of sight. The words they overhear though, those are concerning.

The trap is noticed, and disarmed with a little bit of work before Spidey moves on.

But the contents of that room - five people (maybe six, one's still 'missing') - and the overheard conversation put him ill at ease. «They don't *sound* like they're prisoners, at least not entirely,» he reports. «And if that's a holding cell, it's five-star accomodations next to where we saw other people being held. Hunter, is that door actually locked? And either way - knocking might be worth a try, at least to see how they react.»

Knocking when the source of the knock is still hidden is *possibly* a safer option than if Spider-Man just gets their attention through the gap … depending on which newspapers any of the 'captives' favor, anyway.

The flashing dull red light transmits the information. 'Door, metal, light, closed. Talking, quiet. Setting charges.' The flashcodes come in, and the last two words are repeated, and then the flashing ends … and Hunter prepares to set charges on the door sufficient to blow it off the hinges inward, standard breaching charge arrangement. If not stopped, once set she retreats to the placement of the pressure plate, hops it back over to the other side, crouches down, covers her head, and then flashes out: 'Three …. two … one …'


But it's not that hard to stop her. But that's her plan. And Hunter's not one much for conversation, as previously noted.

Brandon moves up to the door, nudging Zeal to the side before he transforms into a suit of power armor. He's large enough to take up much of the available space which means he's also easy to hide behind. « This is your chance to get away from him so he kills none of you. » It's a general broadcast to everyone in the area and 'sounds' different that the more focused ones when he's thinking directly to select people. « We don't want to hurt you so if you just answer some questions, you can take off. »

%«— Hunter, *wait!!*» Spidey transmits abruptly, looking between the charges she placed and the cell's interior. «You blow that door and it's going to hit somebody!»

"Everyone get behind Sarge…" Vixen instructs. Except maybe Spider-Man who might be safe where he is. And then Spider-Man tells Hunter to not blow the door.

At Brandons 'broadcast' the people on the room shuffle around. "FUCK. They've found us…" No, they didn't actually listen to what Sarge said. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. "We got to get outta here…"

What's missing is the sound of everyone drawing weapons. From what can be heard there's only one weapon being cocked - which means it's not likely a sonic weapon at that.

"Look man, we didn't know alright?" It's probably indicative of how discombulated they are they haven't realised that was a telepathic broadcast.

"I think someone should open the door." Vixen says dryly.

"Only if we can get out without dying …"

One rasping, growling mushy voice murmurs sharply, "Open, live. Hide, die." The explosives are set, but not armed, but Hunter can fix that in a hurry. If they want to do this all negoiatedly, OK. She can go along with that, as long as the scaredycats on the other side of the door cooperate. But she's after a bunch of very dangerous bastards who have been hunting her people. Peaceable is a good ways off. She understands not murdering civilians. But until they open the door, they are potential hostiles.

"Is this door even locked on your side?" Spider-Man calls out to the people in the room. "We disarmed the trap we found on the way in, so getting out safely isn't going to be hard. We just want to ask you a few things and you can be on your way."

He's taking one more look around what he can see of the room's interior; if the door Hunter was ready to breach is the only visible way in or out, If the people really only have one direction to leave in - right through the heroes. If, on the other hand, they *do* have another way out, then things may be a little more complicated.

"We're not here to kill you. Please, open the door so we can talk." Zeal does shift positions so she can get line of sight in case they need a way in, she's willing and able to just jump in and open the door herself, but…happy to try talking first, no matter how difficult that can be with her weird language issues.

Once she has a line of sight, she'll see if she can spot whomever has the gun, that will be her first goal should things go south.

« Make no mistake, we can easily take this door down. » Sarge broadcasts. « We have you outnumbered and outgunned but we don't want to hurt you. Please put your weapons away and either open the door or move as far away from it as you can so you don't get hurt when we destroy it. »

It's a good question that Spider-Man poses to himself but he can't see any other way out. Then again, he can't see the whole room. What he can see is the five look over to the sixth who comes into view. Another man, looking haggard and scared. "Open it, V but be ready…" Now Spider-Man can see them pick up their weapons and point them towards the door, though not in a way that indicates they're going to shoot straight away.

The door swings open, revealing the frazzled hair young latino woman. She's holding a gun on them but she frowns when she see's them. "Who the fuck are you?"

When the group gets closer to the room, they can see all of it. It's a 'lounge' type layout - definitely somewhere someone stays. "What the fuck do you want …" The sixth man spits out at them before his eyes fall on Avery "This ain't Bat territory. Nor Spiders…" he adds when he sees Spider-Man. "I'd expect the Bitch to come calling though." As he nods to Mari.

"Vixen, you mean. Same number of letters, so I can see how you'd make the mistake." Vixen smirks.

When the door opens, the crouching form of the heavily weapon-festooned Hunter is crouching, waiting, eyes softly glowing with refracted light. She nods slightly, does not lower her rifle, but does not point it at V. Instead, she crouch-walks like it is the most normal and natural thing in the world, back up to the doorway … and removes her explosives, putting them away. Then she crouch-walks inside. Since everyone else has this handled, she is not worried about being first or fasted. But she is definitely going to be the most thorough in sweeping the room for details others might miss.

This may not be Bat or Spider territory. But this is most definitely Pride territory.

"Just because I'm the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man doesn't mean I stick to *one* neighborhood," the red-and-blue-suited wall-crawler points out, casually crouching upside-down on the ceiling. "And I'm guessing from how comfortable your accomodations are, plus the weapons, that you aren't *prisoners*. So, mind clearing up who you work for? And what you were worried about happening?"

They might work for Klaue. They might work for any of a few dozen other bad guys who trouble various parts of New York on assorted occasions. They might be freelancers, working for whoever can afford their pay. Heck, they might even be willing to work for some of the good guys - not that Spidey can (or would) hire mercenaries, but a few of the better-funded heroes might find this crew a useful resource somewhere along the line.

"Always with the bitch word, as if being a female dog were a bad thing." Avery mutters softly, voice distorter still doing a number on her voice. Moving towards the open door, she looks for a good spot to Walk Between if she needs to, and she holds a smoke bomb, this one in pretty pretty pink, in a hand behind her, under the cape she wears. "We Bats are fairly flexible about such things as well, though…we are considered somewhat less friendly than the Spider-Man." A moment of pause. "Unless you were to ask J. Jonah Jameson, of course, his views are a perhaps a bit less friendly to the Spider-Man."

She marks very well what weapons there there, and stays ready with her smoke bomb.

Sarge takes a step forward to draw atttention to himself and lifts an arm so it's pointing toward those in the room. « Don't be crude or insulting. There are ladies present. And if you think your toys will bother me, think again. Behave and you might get out of those without anything broken. Your choice. » He's obviously losing patience with them. He only gives one chance.

"And who the fuck are you?" The guy stares belligerently at Hunter then Sarge before blowing out a breath. "It don't matter who we work for. When they find out what's been done, there'll be murder. Ours to start with."

V, the young woman, looks between all "You are *so* stupid, E. They can help us. Get us out of this. She, at least, knows who Klaue is and what he's capable of." The others raise sounds of discontent at the 'naming'. "Oh come one, they'll have worked it out. We work for Klaue. Or at least we did, till some in our gang stole his stuff…"

That's bad. Stealing from a crime lord, even if they aren't as ruthless as Klaue, is bad news. It normally ends up with shallow graves or bodies floating in the river.

Hunter eyes V, and then stands, lowering her rifle to her side. Her open left hand touches her chest. "Pride. Sanctuary." Of course, she also intends to find Klaue and end his arse. But scaredycats like this won't believe that possible. Best to just give them somewhere safe to go.

As for the belligerent one? Hunter shows no fear. Knows no fear. She just eyes him balefully, as if to wordlessly express, 'Pipe down, punk. Your betters are talking.'

"If you tell us where to find him, we'll gladly push Klaue's face off." In, not off would be the phrase, but Avery's mastery of the colloquial is far from ideal, sadly. Still, the sentiment and the bared teeth - those might get the message across well enough.

Avery grins to back up Hunter's baleful stare, hell, with the were's predator's aura they might even find Zeal's grin a bit off-putting. She is CLEARLY spoiling to punch Klaue in the face a few times. Bats must be crazy of something.

Spider-Man stares briefly. "Stole from Klaue? Wow. That's gutsy of you - and yes, we did know Klaue is up to stuff down here. Kidnapping mutants who've been living off the grid in the Disaster Zone, plus we think he's been experimenting on them somehow." He glances over at Vixen, who can either confirm or clarify, then looks back to the ex-henchmen (and -women).

"And yes, we can get you somewhere safer than a bolt-hole he probably knows about already. If you know enough to help us topple whatever he's trying to do in New York, then we can make *sure* he doesn't have a chance to come after you for pilfering his stuff. The more you can tell us, the better, but we'll work with whatever we can get. Hunter is good for her word as long as you don't take advantage of her," he vouches for the Pride's 'guardian' - never mind that he doesn't know Hunter as well as he'd like to; say what else he might, she *has* been good to her word thus far. "And if you'd rather seek sanctuary somewhere else … well, you might offend her, but we'll see what else we can find. Right?"

« You stole from Klaue. » Sarge lowers his arm and shakes his head. « If we wanted to kill you, we could just leave you alone. As it is, we're your best chance to live past next week. All of you or some of you. Your choice. »

"*We* didn't steal from Klaue …" V clarifies. "… just some of our gang. But … that ain't gonna matter when he finds out. And he will. If he hasn't already."

Mari just sighs. "Klaue will know already and I'm surprised you're all still alive."

"He's been outta town. At least that's what Chuck said when he took the drugs. And no, we don't know where Klaue is normally. He doesn't deal with us, we get our stuff from others." That makes sense, really. But they should enough to help bring this operation down.

"Well. You're being offered Sanctuary. If it were up to me, I'd hand you over to the police and ask them for a deal for you. Your choice though. Come willingly or not, you'll be coming with us." Vixen says. There's no smile this time and the others get to see a side of her that is rarely seen. "Choose now."

There's murmuring amongst the others and the three other men look at Hunter. "We'll go with her. There's rumours of the Pride amongst the underground …." The other girl nods and looks to V "Come on V, E. It's that or let them take us in anyway…"

"You'll guarantee we won't be turned over to the cops?" E asks Hunter, mostly but also the others.

Hunter snorts. "No bluecoats." is her only real response. She doesn't just hate cops on general principle, but her territory is hers; she doesn't tolerate cops lightly, and would never, ever give one of her own, or someone under her protection to them. And not even Posse would actually want the war that would come if they tried to force the issue, made harder by not being able to find Hunter if she doesn't want to be found.

Sarge just shrugs. He doesn't particularly care what happens to these low level idiots and putting them in jail is next to useless at stopping that level of crime. So whatever.

It is really not such a surprise that thieves might steal from each other to Avery, the term 'honor among thieves' seem about as sensible as Jabberwocky. She did like the vorpal sword though. She frowns when the all genius brigade seems to have little to offer, though… "So he is back in town now, do you know where he was?" That might open up avenues for further research.

A firm nod in support of the Hunter's veracity when Spidey speaks, and further when Diya promises. "Of course you'd be well advised /not/ to steal in Mutant Town, or put any of the people there at risk, or try to sell your drugs — that will have very bad results for you. Swift and immediate."

She looks to Hunter. "Sewers, or shall I Walk Between to get people near to Mutant Town?"

Spider-Man raises (or given his position, lowers) his hands, partly shrugging, partly showing that he's not holding anything or crossing his fingers. "Why would I hand you over to the police when you're helping us?" he points out. "I mean, if you give us too many reasons to rescind our protection, we might have to revisit the question, but you don't seem dumb enough to make us do that."

He pauses briefly. "There's one other thing - what were the drugs Chuck stole? If it's something we need to get off the street, we should probably take them from him. And it might be a good idea anyway … but Hunter's the one taking you in, so ultimately it's between you and her."

"Something Klaue was moving for someone. Designed to make people … stronger, faster, you know? Chuck decided it needed a bit of a kick though so he put Zoom in it. We can tell you where to find him… " So yes, those drugs should probably be picked up.

"No, we never knew where Klaue was but … I heard once there's a meeting place in a station that was never on the NY subway maps… That didn't mean anything to me."

"Come on, let's get you out of here. We'll have question for you later, I'm sure." Mari says. "We should probably do some more exploring once this group is secured." It's getting late but that's the way it is for heroes, isn't it?

"I'll make a point of finding him and relieving him of those drugs," Spider-Man says, rolling his shoulders subtly, loosening up a bit. That's going to be his first stop after they get back above ground. "So all the details you can give me about where to find Chuck. As for the station - I've had to look for hideouts like those before, I know which books to hit for a refresher on that subject."

He glances around at the others: Sarge, Zeal, Vixen, Hunter. "If we want to make that a group project, I won't say no."

Hunter looks at the rest of the group. "No guide?" she asks. She should be their guide out as well as in. It's what she's good at, what she's good for. But, if they are willing to forego that, she will take these cubs with her now.

At Avery's question, Hunter eyes the woman curiously. She jerks her thumb towards the rest of the group. "Get safe." Then she gestures to the cubs, touches her chest. "Follow Hunter." She nods to the others, then turns and leads the way. They will never come to the surface, until they are already within Mutant Town, and close to safe sanctuaries. She touches her ear, nodding to the others, and heads off with her follow-ons.

"Hunter…a couple times now you mentioned something like Vixen's suit, do you sense that here?" Zeal asks out of the blue. Once she has her answers about that and whether to teleport the gang to Mutant Town, she looks to Mari. "Once I return we cna do that together, if you wish, Vixen." After all, Avery's not Pride, she's a friendly, but not 'in', heck, she's not even a mutant. Not like she's likely to be of any use with the sanctuary project.

She can't help but pat the head of the psi-dog, and then smiles to Spidey. "I'd be honored to assist once Vixen and I finish this reconnoiter, Spider-Man." She does move to the Hunter. "I will check in later, if you do not mind? I will of course do what I can to help get everyone out safely." She then returns to Mari's side, and looks to Spidey. "Perhaps see what preliminary info you can gather, and we'll stay on comms in case anyone needs anyone else, yes?" And yes, she's quite aware Hunter still has one of them.

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