2020-08-09 - Dungeoneering


More delving into the tunnels beneath the Disaster Zone

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Aug 9 17:30:21 2020
Location: Subway

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Theme Song



With information from the gang members, further investigation is needed. A location is known, sort of - of where Klaue may meet the gang representative. Apart from that, there's a supply of PCP laced drugs that need to be removed from the streets. Spider-Man, Zeal and Hunter want to track these down.

Vixen was contacted and the four have descended into the Subways under the DZ again, so tracking could be done. "Did anyone work out what was meant by a meeting place not on the New York subway maps?" Vixen asks the others as they move. They've been at this for about an hour and are quite far into the subway by now with little results.

Just as they turn the bend that curves to the right though, Hunter gets a whiff of something that smells like the drugs those mutants had been dosed with.

"Unmapped tunnels." Hunter murmurs into the throat mike, a mush-mouthed nigh-bassso rumble of sound out of the darkness. As usual on such forays, she is well ahead of the group, slinking about and exploring, her hypersenses and professional skills the best advantage she can give to the unknown dangers that can lie ahead. "Know them."

"New York City is kind of an iceberg," Spider-Man explains, sotto voce, as he makes his way along one of the walls - a little easier to make conversation with, since he's roughly at head-height, but perpendicular (twice over) to the others. He nods in response to what Hunter said, and adds, "Most people, they think of how big the city is, and they think of the streets and skyscrapers … but there's a lot more architecture underground than most people ever think about. Sewers, utility tunnels, access passages, and that's just what's been built officially. The hardest part of hollowing out a cozy little hidey-hole to make into a lair down here is finding one that hasn't already been dug through - but if you know what's been forgotten or cordoned off, you can tuck yourself away without too much trouble."

Avery is keeping a low profile, moving with fair stealth from shadow to shadow, no abrupt movements to draw the eye and careful to keep the yellow of her cape from being too visible. The girl is also quite adept at not making too much noise. Sadly, she's not much of an investigator - yet. Having felt more like dead weight than an asset on these forays she's going to step up her studies, see if her liege lady can't beat some of those skills into her thick skull.

Subvocalized. <Oracle, dost thou have any such maps? Historical records perhaps, that might be applicable?> Zeal then speaks to Mari's question. "I am running a search for any such records on Oracle Net, Vixen."

The slender woman keeps her senses peeled, and is certain that Hunter had no trouble hearing her.

That scent gets stronger the further Hunter moves into the tunnels. The scent of drugs in a side tunnel. There's no sound to her ears, though she does get the scent of several others. Five different scents, in fact, though they aren't 'fresh'.

"I've found several places down here in my journeys. There's stories of the city under the city as well - places that have been built over as the city grew." Mari agrees with Peter. "Hunter seems to know the tunnels fairly well, which is a benefit othewise we're going to be spending a lot of time down here."

« Scanning Zeal. This will take a moment to collate and cross reference. » Oracle responds.

"Have you got anything, Hunter?" Mari asks their forward scout.

"Five, old. Side, fifty meters. Drugs." Hunter murmurs. When giving these softly murmured updates, Hunter must communicate, but even so she is exceptionally laconic. Thankfully, it seems there are those in the group that has been assembled who seen more comfortable with translating her words, as if rehydrating them into the full concepts they are meant to convey.

Hunter inches forward to the side tunnel she has located, tasting the air, absorbing vibrations and sounds, tuning in carefully. Then a series of flashes of that dull red light: entrance found. Holding position. That done, Hunter starts exploring the walls to find the access; this is one of the secreted tunnels, its entrance far from obvious except for her senses. Yet there is always a way to make them reveal themselves. She must be patient, methodical and intuitive all at once to find it.

"Familiar scents?" Spidey queries. He figures it's worth asking - they've dealt with enough of Klaue's goons by now for a possibility that Hunter would know one or more of those scents from prior encounters. Now, whether any of the scents match up *usefully* is another question; there isn't a whole lot to separate the goons in the first couple of recent incidents.

When Hunter switches over from subvocal communication to silent, though, Spidey actually shuts up. He's investigating what he can lay eyes on (and, if Hunter lets him, hands) to see if he might spot something she misses. Juuust in case.

But it'd be a lot harder to divide the effort - again, if Hunter even *lets* him - if one of the two couldn't stand on the ceiling or wall to work, instead of taking up valuable floor.

Subvocalized. <Many thanks, Oracle…thine aid is most appreciated.>

Zeal translates the more code (thanks Oracle!), and then goes silent as well. Alas, she cannot scale walls like a spider, she can be be ready, and watch their backs as the heroes approach. Whispered faintly. "Once we have the maps, if any, just in case we end up scattered I shall send them to your comms, all." Because that's just good practice, right? Zeal thinks so.

The non-Detective Batling continues her slow approach, and on a whim extends her senses to see for any traces of teleportation activity, her one super sense, other than being able to see in bullet time of course.

At least one of the scents had been present at the 'lab' the other day and Hunter has certainly scented them throughout the tunnels from time to time. So, frequent flyers - or riders - possibly. Likely to live down here or something like it.

"OK so that's likely another of their of strongholds." Mari murmurs, gesturing for the others to spread out behind Hunter. "The entry is likely trapped / locked and we'll have to get through it." She doesn't transmit to Hunter but she does wonder if the woman will just blow the door again.

"Zeal, what's the limits on your 'port?" Mari's thinking. "Spider-Man you seem to have some skill with tech, if we need to hack the entry, do you think you can do it?"

From his position, Spidey can see detectors mounted high on the wall of the tunnel - angled such that Hunter is about to trigger them.

Hunter can see the pressure plate design they've become so used to and finally, her keen eyes can make out the faint outline of the entry.

"I think so, and I can avoid tripping those alarms - Hunter, lower your hands and take one step straight back," Spider-Man whispers urgently. He's being very careful not to touch certain levels of the wall or the hidden door, either; it was unconscious at first, but now it's *very* conscious, even visibly so.

"Not sure if it's just an alarm or an actual trap, but no point in finding out the hard way, right?" he adds, setting to work. He does have a small toolkit this time around, and puts it to judicious use. He's not above asking Hunter to help if necessary, so long as she avoids the sensors; she's *probably* better at cracking security than he is, apart from certain sensors.

Hunter stops when Spider-Man warns her; she has noticed he becomes aware of things others do not, and so waits until he outlines what the problem is before taking action.

Eyeing the sensor mounted high up on the wall, she frowns. Not that anyone can see that, but she is impressed; someone managed to get that thing into place without leaving any scent on it. And without scent of stone dust, either. Its electronics are also, somehow, quiet enough she could not hear it, even when trying. She is impressed. Also annoyed.

Hunter takes the step back and waits. She is prepared to blow the door, but her intention was to find and disarm the traps, find the safe and proper way to open the door if she could. They are exploring, not on a smash and grab mission, and she clearly respects that priority.

"I can move myself and up to five hundred pounds, Vixen…save for a small number of sites I have /anchors/ to — such as the one near the Tolliver clinic in Mutant Town, I require line of sight." The Batling smiles then. "E'en a live video feed will do, I have no other range limits though using my powers can be exhausting, the power comes from within me, from my own person." She's not a very big woman either, but that might explain why she ALWAYS has energy bars and the like with her.

When the halt is called, she takes cover where she can watch their backs and her own. She starts to take out a flash-bang, then recalls how sensitive Hunter's ears are. "I do not sense any recent rift activity, so they do not have a walker amongst their number."

"A Walker?" Mari gives Zeal a look at that. "That would be bad on many levels, I think. Line of Sight though… good to know." Oracle is still working on those locations for Zeal and is silent. Mari is thinking though of how they might take advantage of this in the future. "If we could get a remote feed of a location, you could 'pop' in there? That would give us an element of surprise."

Spidey has to work to disarm the sensors. They're embedded in the stone work fairly well and from he can see they've been here a while, which might be why Hunter didn't see them immediately. He can get access to them, if he's careful, and finds several wires connecting them. No guarantee that cutting them won't set off an alarm - but … that's a chance they'll have to take isn't it?

As for Hunter, she can see faint grooves in the walls that connect the pressure pad to whatever is controlling it. The door is steel again, reinforced with a steel doorframe and three locking mechanisms, plus a digital one that requires a code.

Maybe a friendly VI could aid with the code breaking while Hunter removes the locks from the door.

"I bet somebody else built this lair and our bad guys just moved in," Spider-Man says quietly as he works, making *extra* sure not to drop any of his tools. "Let's see …" He falls silent as he focuses, save an occasional grunt or other noise of mild frustration. Getting through without springing alarms or otherwise being detected *would* make this a lot easier …

"Hunter, give me a hand, please. Right here - cut the two wires on the left as you see them. That bracket's in my way, but not in yours."

Hunter moves carefully, so carefully, around the perimeter of the doorway. When called, she looks up at what Spider-Man is doing, and those glowing amber-backlit green eyes take in the box in question. She pulls out a tool from a pouch, unfolds it, and then slides it up against the wall to the box, threading it into place as she lines it up. Then her eyes meet the Spider's mask, waiting for confirmation before she snips.

Coordination is key.

Once the sensors are overridden, Hunter can move in closer again, pushing the thin cover of stones affixed to very old treated lumber out of the way, revealing the metal door. She checks silently with Spider-Man before resuming work on the rest of the door, starting on the physical locks. If he asks for her help with the keypad, she will offer it, but she'll be a bit in getting there. She is being very careful. the kind of careful that makes others wonder where the frakk she gets all these weird tools.

"A walker between, like myself, a teleporter." Zeal answers Vixen. "I have seldom found others, twould seem a rare powerset. I have seen some who could 'port, but it is not very common." And truly, there are not many at all who are primarily teleporters.

She nods then. "Yes, that has been of some small use, that ability. Indeed, I have used a telescope for greater range, I have never failed to walk between so long as the destination was 'real time' and visible."

Subvocal. <Oracle, there is a digital lock, wouldst be willing to aid the Spider-Man and the Hunter in defeating it? If need be, stop the other search, this be of far greater import.>

"I have no knowledge of this lair, but I have asked Oracle if she would be able to assist with the digital lock." After all, the VI does have comms access of her own, right? Avery turns her back to the others then, keeping her senses peeled to the direction they'd come from, being boxed in or interrupted here would be /bad/.

It's remarkably quiet down here - there's no sign of anyone else but themselves. Then again, they had to really search to find this place so maybe whoever runs this place isn't expecting trouble. Why would they, really?

Mari is still as Spider-Man and Hunter work, alert like Zeal for signs of trouble.

The wires are cut and ….

Nothing happens. Vixen blows a breath out as Hunter goes to work on the door.

« I can help, Zeal. Please use the key that Batgirl placed in your utility belt and connect it to the keypad so that I can access it. » When that's done, the VI goes to work. Within seconds the digital lock shows a constant green light. That's clear.

Hunter has a bit of work to get the locks open - acid would burn them straight through. Failing that, the locks can be picked.

After what seems like hours to Mari, the door can be opened. "OK, same as before." She says to the group. "Hunter, you want to lead us in? Spidey, go high. Zeal and I will follow."

There's no guarantee there's nothing on the other side, either - this is a risk they're going to have to take.

Hunter leaves as little evidence as possible; she picks the locks, with enormous patience. Once done, the tools go away, and Hunter hunkers down, reading her weapons. She waits while the digital lock is overcome and inches around, laying her back against the stone so that her left hand reaches out - not crossing her body - to open the door. She crouches very low, makes eye contact with Spider-Man first, then the other two, and back to Spidey.

And then Hunter opens the door and crouch-walks quickstep inside, pivoting around into the opening and then crossing the threshold, rife to her shoulder as she sweeps, ready as she can be for anything and everything, senses tuned in to the maximum.

With the tool in place to cut the wires, Spider-Man double-checks, then nods; once the trap is disabled, he puts his toolkit back together and away while Hunter's picking through the locks. With enough time and joint effort, the door is opened, and per Vixen's instruction, Spidey lets Hunter take point, following her through while clinging to the ceilings - keeping alert in case his spider-sense reacts to a previously unseen threat, and keeping his eyes and ears (and nose) open for any hints of what's actually here besides the chance of danger.

<Thank you, Oracle.> Avery replies. Once the locks are defeated, the girl tucks the key away into her belt once more.

A faint frown, and then while the locks are being picked she concentrates, moving to a spot with cover on a couple sides, and then committing it to her memory, filling the last slot, after all, nice to have a fall back position once they get into the thick of things. "How bad is this drug? What does it do?" She asks when she rejoins the others, and they make their advance, very cautiously, into the breech.

The door swings open as Hunter pushes it. The hinges creak a little - it doesn't get used much, clearly.

There's on a foot or two of space between the door and metal cage that houses piles of boxes, it's a little cramped as the four pile in. There doesn't seem to be anymore traps - though defeating the cage might be troublesome. However, Zeal … could possibly make this easier. And confuse the gangbangers when they find their product gone but the cage still locked tight.

"Bad, very bad." Vixen replies. Spider-Man might have more to add after his meeting with T'Challa the other day. "It's laced with PCP's, which is known by a couple of street names - one of which is Zoom. PCP's … can make those who imbibe it, rage out."

"Well people, what do you want to do about this?"

Spider-Man will see a scrap of paper, stuck in the corner by the cage and the wall on the far side of the room. It's the only thing that's really out of place here.

Hunter's hand snaps up, flat palm, halting the others. She sniffs, she inspects, she is very thorough. Then she points towards the corner where the piece of paper is pinned, and points to Spider-Man; he can get to it where she cannot without ripping apart the cage. Then she points to Vixen. "Armor scent." Then she points at the boxes. "Faint."

Being able to climb on the walls and ceiling probably helps the crowding a little bit, but however much it *does* help probably isn't enough for comfort on anyone's part. "I thought Zoom was a different drug from regular PCP … and that PCP had more than enough street names already," he comments. "But yeah, some of the data we found suggests PCP was being mixed into Klaue's experimental drug, which can't possibly be good news for *anyone* involved."

He actually sounds a bit disappointed - he'd been figuring out a good introductory line for when they busted in on the drug dealer(s), and then they had the gall *not to be here*. He'll just have to remember it for next time.

He already noticed the paper, and with a nod to Hunter, Spidey scurries along the wall, circumventing the cage (and giving its construction a good look in passing; was it originally for storing construction tools or something, or purpose-built to stash drugs?). He retrieves the paper, preferably without tearing it, and moves to rejoin the others. "Let's see what we've got here …"

Zeal can't and doesn't try to hide the shudder about drugs, so foreign to her understanding, and these just sound /evil/. "For my own part I have anchored to just outside the entrance…so…I can dispose of the boxes and return swiftly to get us out afterwards, if all are so minded." A fairly nasty smile. "And, so long as I do not change this, we can return here anytime we choose."

She goes still while hunter examines, of course. "So, the drugs and the armor have something in common." She looks to Vixen, who likely knows more.

Once Spidey takes the paper, Zeal looks at it front and back, uploading to Oracle for study later if Spidey so allows. "Should put that back, it will be all that remains ere we depart. Further, we should lock the room again, and erase any traces of our visit, mm? Let them wonder what happened."

"If we have a copy of that, then put it back. We won't be able to reset the traps though … " Vixen notes, reading over Spidey's shoulder.

There's a date and a time - about five days from now and a single word 'Waldorf'.

Vixen looks at the boxes and then to Spidey "Don't ask me about drugs, I'm just regurgitating what I've read on the Internet." Drugs so aren't her thing. "But if that smells like my suit, I think we've found what we're looking for. What do you make of what you have there? And shall we remove the boxes, or just the contents?"

Mari might be a bit of a troll. Actually, she'd be tempted to fill them with baggies of plain flour, if she could.

Hunter could get the cage open, but she can't pop right in and out, and she can't climb ceilings. As it is, then, she moves back, the room having been checked as thoroughly as she can, and she takes up a position outside the room watching everyone's back. "Agree. Back." she murmurs as she passes Spidey hanging from the ceiling and Mari on the ground.

Taking the initiative, Avery pops into the cage. She's no Hunter, but she does have some training, and she's accustomed to looking for things like trip wires, or the like. Upon arrival, she stays very still and studies hard before testing the weight of one of the loaded crates…however many she can move with her, she does, teleporting them out to the entry way first to stage them for removal.

However many trips it takes she moves the drugs cache. "So…where to remove these safely? I can jump folks to a spot near UPS, or the Tolliver clinic…then we can figure something out there?"

"If we've got personal contacts at the clinic, that might be best," Spidey suggests, showing the paper to the others. "Shall I put this back where it was sitting, too? 'Waldorf' probably means the big hotel - wouldn't surprise me if Klaue's staying there as a legitimate businessman of some kind," he adds, his voice not *quite* entirely devoid of irony.

He'd help with moving the crates if he could, but *he* can't pass through the cage without opening it, either - and he's probably done about enough damage to the security already. "I don't suppose any of you have a mini soldering kit on your persons?"

"I guess we're moving the crates then. No need to worry about putting the paper back then - they'll be more worried about their missing drugs than a scrap of paper they probably didn't even know they dropped…." Vixen answers. "If the Tolliver Clinic is easiest, then lets go there. I have some contacts in the NYPD that we can hand this stuff over to."

Spider-Man might be named a menace by one newspaper editor, working with the police and handing this stuff over might go a long way to … making things easier.

"And no, I don't. What were you thinking though? Maybe we've something else amongst ourselves." That's to Spidey.

« Zeal. I've several results for the search you asked me to run. Most are city folk-lore and relate to subway stations that were never on the official map. One is ninety-nine point nine nine nine percent match for 'Waldorf'. President Roosevelt is said to have had a station installed under the Waldorf Astoria for ease of access. »

Hunter chuffs roughly, a sort of cough sound without the harder edges. And then she disconnects a pouch from the web belt harness she is wearing, extending it back behind her. No words. Nothing.

Yes. Of course Hunter brought a soldering kit. And knows how to use it. Who the Hells do you think this is? "Call clinic. Clear out." she warns. Bringing the bluecoats to her territory, to one of her sanctuaries, without warning is bound to Go Badly (TM).

"I shall need one person to come with on the first jump then, to guard the crates until I can…" Zeal pauses a moment to think of the jargon that she's heard over the Batcomms. "..exfil everyone and the rest of the crates." She smiles to Mari. "It is good to get the drugs to the authorities, they will surely have a safe means of disposal, if nothing else." She does cant her head at a questioning angle. "Vixen, can you think of what it is that your armor and the drugs would have in common?"

A shake of her head to Spidey. "I have no such kit." She admits. "I could poss…ah, nevermind." She changes her sentence once Hunter provides a soldering kit.

<I thank thee, Oracle. Pray upload the maps and blueprints to everyone's comms, an it please thee.> She subvocalizes (which means Hunter and maybe Mari will surely hear her) to the VI. "Uploading to your comms, Oracle found maps, and confirms that there is an old tunnel beneath the Waldorf Astoria, built by former president Roosevelt."

Once everyone is ready, she'll call ahead to the clinic, and do the jumps, it will take at least two, maybe three. Fortunately, anchor-site to anchor-site is fast, smooth and only mildly nauseating!

"Thanks, Hunter," he replies, accepting the pouch. He can do some soldering as well - or he can just walk Hunter through it, as if she needs it. Maybe he should ask her for lessons on the finer points, see what he can learn. "Sounds like Oracle pinpointed it, too, Zeal - that's gotta be the meeting place. Subway station not on the system maps, convenient and covert to the biggest and most prestigious hotel in the city?"

He's going to wait until they're done inside the no-longer-secret hideout before he (and possibly Hunter) work on 'repairing' the security wiring; that way, they don't have to fiddle with opening or closing the door while the system is armed. Porting out to the clinic is a welcome shortcut out, though.

"Oh nice." Vixen quirks a brow at Hunter as she produces the soldering iron. Spider-Man too is proving resourceful. "I'll go with you, Zeal and make that call."

When the station is mentioned, Mari nods slowly. "I suggest that should be our next target. We know when the meeting is scheduled, we should get in there first and rig the place. Nothing is better than an uneven playing field, slanted in our favour."

It's time to move though, they don't want to get caught here.

Hunter is torn between being first on-scene at the clinic, and watching their backs here. Since she and the Spider-Man need to get the alarms repaired, she stays back, if tense, and waits while the others continue. She doesn't talk. At all. Once the boxes and the rest of the unit is gone, she resets the locks and gets the door closed, then puts the stone panel back in place, and very carefully smooths things out, leaving no sign of their presence. She even has little hand brushes in those pouches of hers. Once that is done, she helps Spider-Man as an extra pair of hands while he solders the connections back together and gets the plates closed and concealed once again. She is, again, the mistres of non-word communication, little sounds of hisses to be careful, chuffs to draw attention, pointed looks to direct the gaze, etc. It's eerie.

Walking Between is something all have done before, but this transit is a little different - when going from a point that Zeal has anchored, to another with an anchor, instead of a chilling infinity of light and energy storms, it is actually rather a lot like the classic Tardis transit effect in the older Doctor Who, a 'tube' of light and energy, and somewhat warmer. The tube does 'wriggle' a bit, definitely lending the term 'wormhole' to itself.

Emergence is swift, and the tummy rumbling is far less an issue this way.

"Bide, Vixen, I shall fetch the others and return." She does enter the clinic first to warn the staff, and the Pride that there will be Police incoming soon to the alleyway behind the clinic.

That done, she returns to the others and gathers the team and the crates in two more trips while Spidey and Hunter fix the alarms and traps.

Many hands make light work, as the saying goes, and even if this work is done in the shadows, it's still quite a bit less tedious than if Spider-Man were doing this on his own. Once they're done, he packs the soldering kit back up as tidily as he got it, and hands it back to her. "Thank you," he says - not just being polite, but genuinely appreciative.

And when Zeal has the chance to 'Walk Between' with him and Hunter, the transitional 'vision' feels enough like the classic franchise's time vortex to leave Spidey humming the theme tune which went with it … maybe to help get his mind off any ill-feeling side effects, even if they're reduced compared to an unanchored jaunt.

And so the 'hideout' is left locked and empty. That should give the gangers something to worry about.

Next stop, the station at the Waldorf Astoria.

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