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|Priscilla|| SOMEWHERE IN NEVADA:
A city ravaged by a freak hurricane blown in from the west coast. Months ago, broad swathes of picturesque, overgrown nowhere-metropolis had been laid to waste, a fan-shaped lane of devastation carved through practically every single suburban, office, low end apartment and shopping district all at once, curving around one side of a river and narrowly missing 'uptown'. The sharp gap between sparkling lights at night over the water, and desolate blackness on the other, was only ever made sharper by the large and heavily staffed coast guard blockades on the bridges.
Months later, it looks exactly the same. People still living out of vans and in encampments in public parks. Streets still filled with rainwater pooling in dented and broken asphalt. Drum fires burning in the dark, without power even where street lights still occasionally stand. People driving cars to and from the river to get water to then boil. The only things that have changed are the profusion of empty orange plastic relief crates everywhere, the utterly token presence of helmeted personnel at permanent medical tents, the profusion of jackets and heavy blankets for the oncoming autumn cold, and the fact that every collapsed building has been picked over for anything valuable by now. Blocks that still have standing edifices are filled to the brim with either extended family and friends, or hundreds of office squatters.
One would imagine that, in all this time, not a damn thing has been done about it. For all of the fact that the government had called the Paladins to drive off Elite interference the first time, it seems they had no intention of addressing anything. One would be incorrect. The government absolutely has done something: the blockades are triple the size, and the few places selectively receiving power --police stations, gas stations, and a couple of supermarkets, mostly-- are patrolled by armed coast guard.
This seems to have been sufficient to cause a second, mysteriously unsourced call for assistance, framed loosely as many different 'concerned citizens'. This is for two reasons. One, a road leading out of the city eastwards has also been completely blocked off by heavy police --that's actually the navy, not the coast guard, right?-- presence and is currently the site of a heated confrontation between a jam packed gridlock of people with functioning vehicles and ten times as many people without apparently intent on biking or even walking somewhere, clashing with a riot line. Two is that the current state of affairs is blamed on 'that spooky maid again'. The figure who had been around last time, tidied up a ruined city block into an art deco piece, refused to elaborate, and gotten driven off by Elites.
|I4||I4 arrived on site because of the call of 'concerned citizens'. He looked up the data about the last time this place was visited, and expected to see a city back together or mostly back together. What he got...was far from that, and extremely disappointing. "POD, log this down for review. It seems we're going to need to forward emergency aid.
Heavy police...no military presence. Especially there..? I4 decides to simply walk there, and not immediately get involved in the argument, instead of trying to listen to what is going on, and attempting to scan the area specifically for any...anamolies? Something that might warrant that much military force guarding.
I4 simply takes a listening approach for now.
|Featherman Neo||This calls for a HERO, to talk to a maid and see what the hell is going on!
Featherman Neo grabs his communicator as he walks through the encampments, dressed in his full superhero armor, and starts dialing. "Featherman, fly!" He shouts out once away from people, as he calls up a friend. He wants to find out who to talk to in order to find this maid and specifically have a discussion with them about what's going on and learn their side of the story.
The big blockade is worrying, though. What are the military trying to hide, and how is this the maid's fault? A gut feeling makes this hyper-suspicious. He's gotta hear what she has to say.
|Candy|| "Funny how the cops and the market have power, but none of these guys, ah?" Candy idly chews on a toothpick, calling over the angry yelling, over the honking, the revving of engines. "So, did you guys think about why people might wanna leave if jack shit's changed, or... do you just not give a shit?" He's unarmed, or at least, appears to be. He's certainly anomalous, if I4 cares to observe. There's no suspenders. The closer he looks at Candy, in fact, the more likely it is that Candy will simply disintegrate, like a reflection on water disturbed by a thrown rocck.
A moment passes. There is the sound of a whole row of magazines being released. Every soldier present at the altercation with the leaving citizens is now utterly without ammo--and they can be sure of this, because the real Candy appears in an alarmingly sudden fashion at the far end of the barricade, deliberately putting himself away from the crowd so as not to endanger them.
"EY!" He calls, holding up a bag. "Looking for these?" He's holding a piece of trash--a yellowed plastic bag that says 'ENJOY YOUR MEAL :)' which is just transparent enough for onlookers to see the shapes of unspent ammo, straining against its confines. He was especially thorough. "The first one of you motherfuckers to reach for a radio gets to be on the receiving end of one, right between the eyes."
He whips his index finger in a tight circle. "Wrap it up and let 'em through!"
|Tomoyo Daidouji|| 'That spooky maid again.'
Tomoyo was aware of the disaster before that, of course. A lot of those blankets and jackets were donated by her, along with some food and water. But she had not been present at the location until now, until hearing complaints of a strange maid. Considering the state of the place said maid showed up last time...
Two vehicles pull up on the opposite side of the riot line from all the people trying to leave. A black sedan and a white carrier van. The presence of such an obviously military blockade is of great concern. A disaster has happened here! If people want to get out, let them!
The back door of the sedan opens, and Tomoyo strides out and storms up to the most important figure maintaining the blockade. "Excuse me sir!" she shouts over the angry babble of others. "Why is the road blocked? I would think there are more important things you could be attending to here."
The four besuited woman who back this small Japanese teen up immediately convey 'hey this girl is important, you should maybe answer her questions.'
|Priscilla|| Trying to pick out any specific 'verbal argument' in an angry mosh pit that big, never mind over all the honking of horns and smashing of bottles, is a meaty task even for an Inspector unit. It takes audio processors fit for the highest quality of video game music rips to filter out useful information, and it can only be one string at a time at that. After having time to compare a few of them though, they all seem like roughly the same thing.
Nobody involved is hoping to simply 'get out of town'. There's something alternatingly being called a 'base', 'lab', 'station', and 'facility' down the road that enough people bothered to know about to spread around the neighbours for months, that has been a source of much grumbling and suspicion as time had stretched on and only boots had shown up, the city seemingly forgotten by the greater government, but now after a number of lower scale riots from people sneaking uptown, the mayor, several members of the city council, and chief of police, had all driven off to that spot eastwards out of town and ostensibly decided to stay, which the disgruntled general population has taken as an admission, and running away to hide. The fact that it's being blocked off now with such heavy force is only making things worse.
|Hiromi|| Hiromi did not come here for concerned citizens, nor has she heard any such complaints. By chance, she picked up fresh signs of a quarry that had escaped her some time previously. Her business with that one is not yet finished, the territory she'd taken still under her own authority, and still awaiting the rising of a hero to reclaim it from her. Maybe some encouragement is needed, if progress has stalled. Hiromi can be very persuasive.
But though that trail continues in one direction, her attention is pulled in another. A great commotion of two sides, their intent unclear to her, apart from that neither is capable of passing through. Remaining out of sight a little longer, uncertain as to where exactly her target has gotten to, Hiromi's appearance is a sudden eruption from the earth, both inevitably noticeable and, given her current mood, inescapably menacing.
Candy has the dubious honor of being her immediate target, being the most interesting person in sight. Hiromi leaps directly to his position once he's revealed himself (and presumably become the focus of attention for a great many others), a mostly-humanoid figure with obvious supernatural presence and an uncannily hard-to-read expressions. It's not at all impossible, however, to tell that her immediate reaction is curiosity, even before she asks, "What are you?"
Notably not 'who.' She doesn't really need names, though she accepts them.
Only afterward does her attention shift to the blockade enforcers. She listens, smells the air, scans the crowd, and gives an order, "Fetch your leader."
No sense wasting time with the rest, unless they have the strength to resist her. That would just be bullying.
|Karlan Nobles||Pramanix: "Oh my... Things are still a mess out here, aren't they?"
SilverAsh: "It appears so. I thought things would have improved by now, but that does not appear to be so. Perhaps..."
Pramanix: "Oh no. What are you planning now?"
SilverAsh: "Nothing at all. Now, let's see what this whole commotion is about, shall we?"
Although Pramanix shoots her brother a heated and defiant glare, she can't quite bring herself to object as she spies that big pile of people being blocked in by the police. The siblings, dressed in their distinctly blue and black non-fighting outfits consisting of fancy coats and tiny hats, approach the line shortly after Candy's stunt, his observation about the power going not going unnoticed either.
"He's right. If there's no power where they're living, then what reason is there to keep them here?" Pramanix asks, eyeing Tomoyo and her bodyguards curiously as their leader appears to be on the same wavelength there. The lady in blue is already sounding somewhat suspicious of the police's motives, however, as she approaches the front of the dividing line. "If you can't let them leave, then you should at least let them into the areas with power so they can get cleaned up and feed themselves properly."
"How much are you charging for use of those facilities?" SilverAsh asks, drawing a blank stare from Pramanix followed by her tugging him aside to start whispering between themselves.
Pramanix: "Wait, we're really doing that now?"
SilverAsh: "Yes, why not?"
Pramanix: "I... Didn't think you cared about this sort of thing."
SilverAsh: "I can be a convincing actor."
Clearing his throat, SilverAsh reaches into his coat pocket to bring out a checkbook. It's a fancy-as-hell checkbook, too, with gold leaf on the cover and embossed paper all over the place. "We don't expect you to relinquish that space for free, of course, but the Karlan Restoration Fund is here to aid these people in their time of need. Now..."
|I4||I4 frowns, a lot of people, very angry makes for a lot of effort to try and figure out what is going on. However, from the looks of it, it seems that it comes down to needs not trying to leave. Power hasn't been restored, water is still having to be boiled. It's funny that it's come this far without an actual riot. Then Candy takes away their force multipliers. Great...
I4 steps out from the crowd and has his palms up indicating calmness. "Alright, let's not get too hasty here people," he says, as diplomatically as he can. 'Ugh,' I4 thinks, 'They're going to cause a riot at this rate.' Of course, as MORE people show up, including Hiromi...this is looking increasingly unfriendly.
"I think they are right though, your bosses need to come out here and explain some things. Never mind because Paladins came to aid you, and yet this city is still a mess."
|Priscilla|| The front line of the blockade is mostly comprised of the local police department, apparently at no lack of funding or materiel once it was all transferred from uptown, in standard riot control formation, with a (probably deputized) chief with a megaphone further at the back, not even bothering to use it at this point, and merely radioing the occasional order from his chest mic. The thick line of military humvees and more heavily armed personnel in tan colours is behind even him, more concerned with the road than the civilians, and marking a strong 'line of no return' as a warning.
Tomoyo trying to storm up to the deputy means being immediately blocked by plexiglass shields to the face, and the threat of a lot of aggressive shoving and probably being hit with a baton, save for her cadre of professional bodyguards who can certainly prevent that for long enough for the deputy to recognize 'someone important enough to have bodyguards' and wave her forward. When she starts being demanding though, all he has for her is a disinterested, even mildly aggrieved shrug, like he would rather be doing literally anything else. "It's blocked on emergency orders ma'am. Handed down from the state governer. Navy marines probably here on account of the avionics warfare research center off the highway, and these folks being dumb enough to think they can storm into Area 51. Not my chain of command." He concludes "If the mayor says this is more important, this is more important. Until he gets back, we're staying right here. Round the clock shifts. Now have a nice day."
|Priscilla|| The two ostensibly rich Karlans get more or less the same VIP escort through the riot line (which is quickly closed back up as the proles try to rush through), and rebuffed with mostly the same thing. "Look, if you're here for charity, go talk to the blue hats at a relief tent, not me. If you wanna talk to the governer, you can wait until he gets back, like everyone else. Secure compound. No tele-transmissions in or out. That's basic protocol. Have. A nice. Day." He reserves a more despising look for I4. "Yeah well maybe the fuckin' Paladins shoulda tried harder? Or better, not stuck their nose where it don't belong at all."
However, even if it takes the police seeing the trash back to get the idea, the marines(?) notice all of their weapons being a kilo lighter pretty much all at once. A lot of heads are all turned Candy's way. However, it is the crowd that reacts first, and not just because of Hiromi's command. Realizing the prospects of them being shot are effectively zero for the next thirty seconds, the crowd goes from chanting angry mantras and throwing bottles to storming forward at maximum capacity. The riot lines have to give way to giant, shitty midwestern lifted trucks and SUVs barging through, enough ramming the cordin side by side to even begin to part the humvees. People on foot go surging down either side. A number are immediately dogpiled, but neither the police nor marines have enough hands to deal with this. Tear gas goes flying, but is mostly a lost cause at this point. Still, this won't stop them from *catching up*.
|Priscilla|| Featherman, after making his calls, learns the unhelpful and unpleasant truth of last time. The complaints are all anonymous tips from random neighbourhoods that lead through a few local police stations that lead through town hall that lead through state before finally reaching Multiverse bands. Nobody has any record of who asked what. Just 'a lot of people all want this taken care of, don't you want to listen to them?' as a premise. His commmunity contacts can't finger anyone in particular who filed anything, nor can they from *last time*.
What he learns from his secret contacts changes in the moment. He's guided to the back of the crowd, where someone is loitering around in a suspicious, full-body concealing black raincoat and hood and watching ominously, with just the edges of a slightly longer frilly skirt and headband visible at a glimpse from the edges. The moment he actually makes contact though, they turn out to be some random lady from the neighbourhood in cosplay. His contact gets the update at the same time as him; the locals have already suspected surveillance and taken to fucking with it on purpose. Some small faction seems to be invested in supporting the mysterious stranger, and feeding them false info.
The real deal is already way down the road, and neither the police, navy, or governer, realize they've already let her slip through yet. She's almost definitely at the avionics facility by now. Unless he *really* hurries, she'll get there first, and if he does, he'll be running face first into a triple secured military compound by himself.
|Featherman Neo||Once he's been screwed around for a bit, Featherman just thanks the lady for her time, heads off, and gets the intel. He won't beat her there unless he risks himself. He's not willing to risk himself in a military compound over this. So...
He makes his way to the blockade, and jumps on top of the white van Tomoyo mentions. "Onwards! Breach the barricade!" He's keeping up top so he can fight while they drive, should it become necessary. He's agile enough to keep his balance even if they go fast.
|Candy|| "Me?" Candy grins at Hiromi, twirling a lock of dark hair around one finger. His eyes are locked on the soldiers, but there is a bounce in his step. "I'm a lot of things. I can hardly keep track of all of 'em, much less all the things people say I am." Candy watches as Tomoyo and her bodyguards are let through.
*Can't hear what they're saying over all the pissed off people. But... looking at faces... somehow, I do not think the girl is hearing what she wants. I wonder what that is?*
"You're big," Candy glibly notes of Hiromi. He can just barely see her, out of the corner of his eye, much less read her expression. "Or maybe I'm just short. My name's Candy, and... oh, shit! Showtime."
Candy flips a sarcastic, deliberately sloppy salute to the soldiers, then promptly blinks himself over to the humvees as--
More crude precautions, slipped beneath the humvees, two per vehicle. Then, a glance towards the tear gas. He doesn't know what to do about that... but he'll do his best.
-The sound of lumber plinking against asphalt. Each humvee is parked with nail-driven two-by-fours beneath their wheels, each one weighed down with heavy cinder blocks.
-Bandanas appear tied over the mouths and noses of charging pedestrians. It's not much, but it will have to do.
As one of the humvees is smashed aside by a shitty lifted truck, Candy flings a card over the crowd. It collides with the bed of the truck, and Candy blinks himself into it, hitting the deck to tap on the back window of the cabin. "Where you headed, my friend?"
"Is that right? Well you know, I think I got a bone to pick with him, too. Get us there quick so I got a chance to speak to everybody!"
By 'speak to' he means 'arm and armor.'
|Tomoyo Daidouji|| Tomoyo approaches the deputy, rubbing her nose to soothe it after being aggressively bonked by a riot shield. The man gives his 'following orders' spiel with all the energy of a late shift retail worker 9 hours into a 10 hour shift. He's going to be of no help. As much as Tomoyo would like to stoke his belief in his fellow man, she won't find much in him.
But, even as those nice-looking snow leopard people try to help, and the boy from the Paladins, the actions of Candy rile the crowd to a fever pitch. Without the fear of being shot to hold them back, they surge over the blockade, and Tomoyo is physically lifted and pulled away by her guards, all of whom rush to the idling cars.
"Where too, ma'am?" one of them asks Tomoyo. "The lab. Hopefully, we can help prevent a massacre. And find the Maid too." Having expected this answer, they join the rush, expertly weaving through the crush and keeping heads low just in case anyone manages to reload and start firing.
|Karlan Nobles||Pramanix: "Avionics warfare... Hm. That sounds ominous."
SilverAsh: "Quite indeed. A potentially useful resource, perhaps, but judging from the ongoing situation now?"
Pramanix: "Not worth it."
SilverAsh: "Not worth it."
Coming to an agreement with each other, the sibling glance from side to side as the results of Candy's bullet-based subterfuge (and Hiromi's mind control, although they're unaware of it) bear fruit rather quickly. "We'll speak to your governor after this." Pramanix answers quickly as Tomoyo offers the rides, and they both wind up going for...
Completely different vehicles. SilverAsh leaps atop car, sitting side-saddle on the trunk while Pramanix clambers onto the roof of the van. Spotting Featherman, Pramanix stares at him owlishly for a moment while pulling herself up. "Are you a friend of Zephyrman?"
|I4||I4 is in the middle of the crowd trying to call for peace.
The crowd erupts into a riot, and right now I4 has never hated Candy in his life than he does right at this moment. This is because he's being crushed in the riot, drowning in a sea of bodies trying to push over the wall, while he helplessly gets dragged along with the current.
"Hey, sto-" he says, before being smashed upside the head by an angry man in a SWAT outfit.
|Hiromi|| Hiromi gets a partial answer from Candy, though there's no time to finish the exchange, and no time for the blockade's leader to come and meet her. Even her orders won't be followed, if following them is impossible. Instead, she gets her answers from Featherman Neo, after hearing him speaking on the open frequency. That gives her a new destination, which is uncoincidentally the same as everyone else is traveling toward.
For the moment, she'll accept his excuse that he can't fight without this missing member. Rather than hunting him down, she'll have to hunt down whoever that is. Most likely, that's the one shirking. It's unfortunate that Featherman Blue's trail is completely cold.
Having no need to move stealthily, Hiromi simply sights down the road, bends like a spring coiling, and shatters the road beneath her into a web of sinking cracks, as she disappears into the sky. Her arc carries her as far toward her destination as she could see, as will the next. She'll just continue this way toward the 'avionics facility,' skipping the line by entering through any convenient window. If there isn't one, a wall will do.
That seems to be where the relevant leaders are. If not, maybe they'll have better answers for her.
|Priscilla|| Candy's ample experience in fucking over military, police, and military police, from dealing with uncontrolled guerilla proles, works basically the same here as anywhere else. Half a million dollars in price difference doesn't really make the vehicles in question any more capable of getting traction when lifted on nail boards, albeit steel cable tires will eventually grind through them if they tried.
The inexplicable suddenness with which everything happens catches the soldiers who should be dealing with it offguard, startling them with the rapid Minecraft clunks and leaving them searching around for what *else* he could have sabotaged. The commanding officer on site actually has the common sense to order them to hold, until they can verify turning an ignition key won't cause something to explode.
The result is a whole convoy of trucks and vans and SUVs blasting down the road at non-regulation speed, followed at lower velocity by chevrons of bikers and behind them a wedge of adrenaline-pumped up and Archwolf-spurred angry and excited civilians, whooping and hollering and dragging each other along as they charge on through. It'll be a while before the runners get anywhere though; their destination is still a couple of miles.
Of course, that distance is typically trivial to an Elite. Even if it isn't, there's ample opportunity to hitch a ride with basically anyone here. Blasting down an empty highway at a time rapidly approaching midnight, it doesn't take long to arrive at the castle of glowing lights off the road, deep down a dirt lane into exactly the kind of shitty desertified field one would expect of this place.
High chain link fences around parking lots, and thick plastic struts and concrete prefabs building closed fences around supply yards. Blocky towers have to run spotlights all over the ground in this state of heightened security, with layers of concentric borders and fenched checkpoints filled with patrolling soldiers, without blindspots. It evidently has its own telecommunications mast(s), probably encrypted, and a weather monitoring station, both blinking with red 'landing lights' in the dark. The whole thing is multiple square miles in size, involving an entire 'campus' big enough to drive around, between huge concrete buildings with varying effort put into olive drab and brick facades to appear less industrial brutalist, the least attention paid to on-site barracks, newly erected. Long airstrips run out into the desert, with mostly unmanned drones on the tarmac.
The requisite senses indicate that the complex actually goes deep underground, with most of what's on the surface being only the tip of the iceberg. The surface alone is enough of a problem though; there's no convenient stealth game route forward. Armed jeeps, beefy patrols, ample cameras, lights, and heat and motion sensors, and warning signs proclaiming no liability for being cut up or electrocuted and a fence are more common than grass here. For those that can tell, the transmission tower is in use, but on a private tightband. For those that discern other sorts of things, there's an immense heat signature running through the ground, and running water across from it; probably split off from the river.
|Priscilla|| There is also a strange smell of chlorine bleach, cast iron, and blood, which comes exclusively from the dirt path leading up to the outermost checkpoint. Or, what probably was a dirt path; somehow it's been rendered so sparklingly smooth one could drive a waxer over it. The only thing along the way is a neat white and black recycling bin, completely out of place, filled to the brim with a hundred pounds of spent brass, though there is no smell of gunsmoke or any signs of bullet holes or bloodshed.
Someone really dedicated to chasing that particular lead has to get dangerously close (that is, within visual and verbal warning distance, with lasers painted on them) to catch up to the silhouette of a woman in the most impossibly stereotypical 'maid outfit' imaginable, currently bathed in multiple spotlights, held up at a vehicle checkpoint, with the staff having evacuated, now surrounded by rows of marines. She stands out especially for being followed by a trio of floating 'halos' behind her, each one a simple ring of light pierces with three radial diamonds and a single point at their center.
The handful of people who saw her once will remember them differently. There are some other subtle edits to her design, but she still appears to be the same eerie near-monochrome, she still makes no sound whatsoever where she walks, and still seems to be the type who navigates with perpetually, serenely closed eyes. What stands out more is the lack of a stereotypical broom to go with it.
|Featherman Neo||As the vehicles approach, Featherman Neo leaps off as soon as they get close enough to the facility, and begins rushing to the vehicle checkpoint. Mid-run, he summons Featherman Engarde via the usual SNAPSHOT, which is being sped up for SFX budget.
As soon as the lasers are on them, and there's risk of being shot, Featherman Engarde suddenly waves a hand. A barrier, tall enough to cover a human, is formed directionally where the lasers would point. It won't cover the whole distance to the maid, but it's enough to make it difficult to injure them if they hunker behind it, unless powerful sustained fire or multi-hit attacks are used in succession.
"Use this for cover, should you need it!"
|Hiromi|| Hiromi isn't on the ground, for most of her trip, which means she's missing the opportunity to follow trails. That a recycling bin shouldn't be here doesn't occur to her. Cities are always full of things that should not, in her opinion, be. But the maid does catch her eye. Rather, the way she's being treated as an extreme threat first catches Hiromi's attention, followed by the halos.
That one looks strong. But won't she fight? If she's occupied, then Hiromi can wait. There's nothing but benefits to observation.
That doesn't mean she'll wait 'here,' however. The radio chatter has cemented her immediate assumption that what this city is beset by is, as it ever seems to be, a weakness in its leadership. It is the most consistent of human conditions that their attempts to govern themselves fall to embarrassing failure. Even if these people aren't hers, it's only right that she give them a chance to better themselves.
The arrayed defenses don't even give her pause. She doesn't slow down. The maid is witnessed in flight, from far off, and Hiromi is in the air again, aimed for the largest building in the area. Small arms won't dissuade her to any degree, and anti-armor weaponry will have little time to arm and track her before she's crashing through a wall and directing her commanding aura into the same demand as before, 'Bring out your leaders.'
She welcomes the inevitable resistance.
|Candy|| Candy does his best, once he arrives, to marshal all of the would-be guerillas, directing the SUVs and trucks to form barricades with their vehicles, and for those that aren't blocking the road to use theirs as cover. Surrounding the facility wholly may not be possible with the amount of cars they have. Given the sheer density of security in place, it's also not a great idea. That's fine--they can at least make a funnel, form a perimeter on one side so as to keep anyone fleeing the facility from regrouping with the soldiers that are surely in pursuit.
"Stick behind Featherman's shields. Let -us- be the ones that get shot at. You guys stay out here, and be ready to cover us if we gotta get out of there. Meantime, watch the roads. Them soldiers are gonna break their asses to get here."
Candy opens the tailgate of the nearest pickup. A moment later, a crude sparkplug radio sits on the open tailgate. "There. Use that if there's anything we oughta know about, and no shooting unless -we- pull the trigger. If them chickenshits in that lit-up bunker think they're gonna live the high life in there while you're squatting in office buildings and watched by soldiers all the time, ho ho! They got another think coming."
Anyone who needs one is given a gun. They're sturdy, wood-stock bolt action rifles. He can make much worse--but nothing he'd trust angry yankees with. There are certainly ways he could use them to disrupt the security of a place like this, but he hasn't had time to get to know them well enough for the kind of coordination something like that would require. This way is safer for them (marginally) and smarter for actually getting results.
That means he'll be working on his own, and that's fine. Candy has no idea what heat sensors are. He's actually doing a pretty decent job avoiding the less high-tech means of discovery. Even the jeeps he seems to have an answer for, guessing blind spots and staying inside of them, keeping low to stay out of lights. But again... he has no idea that heat sensors are even a thing. Eventually, Candy gets discovered, back to a wall and waiting for the light from one of those towers to sweep out of his path. "How the fuck...!"
He's gone a split second before a sniper's bullet takes a chunk from his former position. That very sniper gets a close introduction to Candy's knife, but even work that quick can't stop the cascading alerts that go off. What follows is a kind of sneaking assault, where Candy uses the shadows and blind spots of towers and buildings along the way to minimize his exposure to the military's firing angles and lines of sight, baiting out a response on foot and whittling them down two to three at a time. Even with people after him, he's still trying to use his skills for stealth to his advantage, fighting without so much as a single shot of his own. No--it's all knife work from around blind corners, or thrown cards that, upon making contact, disintegrate, flooding the lungs and throat with water.
Candy really, really wants to have a word with the mayor and whoever else is in that bunker--and even if it means drawing out guards like flies to honey, he's going to carve a path there.
|Tomoyo Daidouji|| The lab comes into sight, and Tomoyo knows instantly; she can't let these people even try to go in there. Between the spotlights, the fences, and everything else, the whole facility screams 'if you try to break in, you will die.' And yet, these Elites seem to want to urge them on to try.
Tomoyo is trying to figure out if she should cut off those angry people, to try and encourage them to leave it to the Elites, when the road underwheel becomes impossibly slippery. The bodyguard behind the wheel slams the brakes and pulls over to the side of the road. "It's like the other town. She's here,"
She steps out of the car, and rushes towards the base, crouching low to get behind Featherman's barriers. She does not take a gun, but her bodyguards do. Tomoyo makes her way up to the spotlight clad Maid and calls to her.
"Miss Maid! Are you okay? What are you doing here?"
|I4||I4, trying to keep peace at the blockade is having a HELL of a time doing it. He's bashed and bruised and even goes down once. However, he finally gets over the crowd of bodies and reaches up for his POD who manages to get him a bit away. Trucks peel off, but he can't do anything about /that/ right now.
There is a charge before a big blast of air aims to try and knock people off their feet and apply a slow debuff across whoever gets caught by it as he finally lands.
He grabs the nearest of the guards and shakes him. I4 is currently hurt, has a wounded pride, and is not happy with his life right now. "I am with the Paladins! Where are your bosses or so help me I am going to write such a bad report that'll get people at the top down here faster than you can shit, shower, and shave."
|Karlan Nobles||Pramanix: "This smell... It's unnatural. Unpleasant."
SilverAsh: "Did you say something?"
SilverAsh: "I can't hear you."
After failing to communicate from their respective rides, the snow leopard siblings settle for just making vague gestures that they somehow seem to understand between themselves. SilverAsh raises an eyebrow upon spotting Hiromi advancing from overhead, stroking his chin with the hand that isn't clinging onto Tomoyo's sedan for dear life. Pramanix, meanwhile, watches Candy curiously does some crazy perimeter stuff with the other vehicles, and I4 gets a concerned look when she sees him getting up close with a guard.
Upon reaching the site of the maid's... Rampage? Cleaning spree? Confrontation? They hop off the cars, Pramanix yelping and slipping on the way down thanks to the sudden braking while SilverAsh maintains some composure despite falling right off in the same way. They pick themselves back up quickly enough, at least, and they both approach the broomless maid, stopping several yards away to address her.
SilverAsh: "It has been quite some time, ma'am."
Pramanix: "Are you doing alright? We haven't you since... Wait, he just said that."
SilverAsh: "Are you still cleaning this area as you did last time? Do you need space?"
Pramanix: "Or some wind or water to do it faster?"
|Priscilla|| Tomoyo and Featherman run up to the Maid on the road. As forewarned, they are immediately in two score gunsights before they even reach her, though in Tomoyo's case, it's her bodyguards who are. When Featherman throws up his barricade, there's no immediate attempt to break it down for the sake of it, but he can certainly tell that now the base expects their small group to be planning for something, and feel dozens of metaphorical overwatch cones pop up.
The Maid turns to look at Tomoyo, without really looking. At some point, the long skirt got trimmed up a couple of inches, the stereotypical mary janes gave way to lace boots, and the hair bun came down into long waves, but it's still the same serenely pale and patient face as before. "Oh my. It's you again. Not that I don't appreciate your brave efforts from before, but this certainly isn't a place for young mistresses like yourself." she replies, in that strange way that is somehow doting and flat at the same time. "I'm afraid I don't have any candy today. The 'inventory mechanics' have changed." she says. "A lot has changed. Let me see . . ."
"After the last time went so poorly, the Puppeteer had to rethink many paradigms, and make many adjustments to the apparatus. Our first attempt, back then, was to experiment by helping these people, in a place it should be easy. To tap a limited portion of limitless creative power, and build something new, to replace something people had lost. That was her aim. To use 'that paradigm' better than it had been used in the past. Finishing another's work, so that it could help other people who are in need."
"After that attempt went awry, I believe she contemplated her mistakes, and came to the conclusion that our approach was in error. She felt that her focus was misplaced, in recreating 'what she once had', rather than creating 'something she didn't have before'. It should have been obvious that it's impossible to solve things by 'helping people harder', if they don't want to be helped. Therefore, it follows that the correct solution would always have been to fix that which rejects the help. There's no point in trying to scrub rotten floorboards, after all."
"That is to say, our new objective is to first address the problem that is affecting people the most. Once I have Purified this area, creativity will resume. To that end, Sigma, Lambda, and Tau have been redesigned. And so have I. A shift in 'genre' was necessary. Do you like it?"
|Priscilla|| A short while later, Candy raises the alarm. Though he may have crippled an entire corner's defensive structure, the jig was going to be up eventually, and soon enough, sirens are blaring, radios are crackling, and red lights are spinning. The sound of yelling men and heavy, rushed bootsteps converge from all over like a rushing river, soldiers scrambling from their turn to sleep and pouring from the barracks, and armed men in unidentifiable black outfits lining up from inside the buildings.
Thankfully the civilians have done what Candy asked, being the charismatic latino firebrand that he is, and the road is now a blockade of enough overpriced V8 engines to stop bullets, which people are now fairly eager to get behind. The sounds of gunfire inside the base are redoubled from another side, where Hiromi leaps excessively high over the entire perimeter, and is intercepted by a barrage of streaking tracers that largely serve only to pelt her like hailstones before she crashes right through the side of a bunker.
'Shots fired' goes all the way up and down the chain. I4 can hear it at the barricade. Given the wide debuffs he's just applied, nobody, civilian or marine, will be catching up on foot inside of an hour now, but the audio coming from 'everyone in command' makes it clear that there's big trouble going on down the road.
Candy's run takes him all the way around to a huge series of transformer pylons and water boilers where he can feel a deep, electric hum from the ground under his feet. Given the unfortunate gate in time periods, he can't be totally sure of what he's looking at, but it's enough to tell that this building, and its lower floors, is consuming a gigantic amount of electricity, and its own generator can't be making up for all of it; it seems to be drawing from a power grid extended out of the city. Some spotlights and computers and central air can't possibly need this much. It feeds deep into the basement levels.
Hiromi ends up, by prioritizing size, breaking through the ceiling of the central staff building, and reaching a sealed bulkhead(?) blocking long flights of corrugated metal stairs, wherein both off-duty marines, white coated scientists, and civil workers in tailored suits alike are busy dropping their coffee. When she makes her demand, all three of those groups take *different stairwells*, splitting up across the underground compound to comply.
|Priscilla|| The spread of gunfire prompts the perimeter guard to finally do what they've been itching to get up to for the past five minutes, and finally vent their tension on the extremely suspicious enemy at the front. Heavy gunfire from ranks of soldiers with automatic rifles, from both behind the checkpoints and up in the towers, sprays en masse against Featherman's barricade, under severe threat by the mounted heavy machine guns on those parked armoured jeeps joining in, fully confident they can break it down.
It seems that this is also meant to keep him, the Maid, Tomoyo's group, and Pramanix and SilverAsh pinned down, so that a pair of snipers can take them out. They can tell because the dirt just past Featherman's head explodes, and across from him, the Maid sweeps out her arm with preturnatural quickness, flashing white, and lags for just a split second of 'stun', before a bright white streak ricochets from her hand and shoots back up into one of the towers, blasting the concrete top right off.
"As I was saying." the Maid continues to Tomoyo. "A change in 'genre' was necessary. The Puppeteer concluded that her error was in letting others take their turns."
|I4||I4 sighs because he hears the radio BEFORE the guy can answer. Great, now they were down the road at the base? Something is there, and I4 can't really get a good read from here. Worse, Candy went that way with people? And the giant wolf...this is just completely gone to shit. Beyond shit, this is absolutely something he can't handle on his own.
I4 stands up fully and considers. He could retreat and get help, but likely that will cause...problems. Ok think I4, what can we do here?
I4 starts running up the path towards the base itself. Maybe he can buy time? Or figure out what's going on?
Not get shot, I4 doesn't want to get shot again. This is when he'd finally come across the maid everyone was talking about.
|Tomoyo Daidouji|| The snipers are on overwatch, and the bodyguards endevour to do the same with those borrowed guns. They're not exactly crack shots, but they'll do their damndest. A couple even fall back to show those who came in cars how to properly aim. At the very least, a slightly better-trained force stands a better chance to divert fire away from their unarmed charge.
"A change in look too!" the tailor comments as the Maid explains how things have changed. "I love your hair in this style, and the boots are very chic." Compliments paid, she mulls on the Maid's words. It's not enough to try and fix things for people who don't want them fixed. You need to fix the cause, the reason they feel that way, so they accept the help. "I understand. Less of a maid, more of a nanny. Though... I think you can't really solve people insisting on fixing things for themselves. A lot of them feel like accepting help is weak. Especially here." Whether she means 'this town,' 'Nevada' or 'the United States' is unclear.
"But-wait. What does that have to do with this place? You think the leaders are the reason? I don't really see-" She pauses. The deputy at the barricade, complaining that the Paladins 'shouldn't have stuck their nose in.' The last town, seemingly forgotten. This town, the same. Both hit by storms. Is someone, or something... trying to prevent Elite interference? Is that what the Maid and the Puppeteer hope to correct?
Tomoyo feels this might be a stretch, but two similar incidents... that's getting close to conspiracy. "Okay. I'll help you again Miss Maid. We have people here who take umbrage with local leadership. They'll draw attention. Lead the way."
Putting her radio to her lips, she puts out the call. "Everyone! I'm going to help the Maid. She fights so that people may accept the help they need. So please, help her!"
|Featherman Neo||As the fire comes down, the Maid explains her goals, and Tomoyo requests help, Featherman Neo claps his hands together. "Alright...!"
His barrier's being shot down as everything goes loud due to Candy. It won't hold against that heavy machinegun fire, but it's long enough for him to leap on Engarde's back. Engarde's lance begins to charge with glowing energy, as it suddenly leaps through the air, moving to spiral straight into the tower that the Maid tore open...
And land through the concrete top, superstrength boots straight into the gunmen, using the lance to bash and bruise them. But he attempts to hold back from taking a single life. Stop their firing on the others, sure, and maybe get some firing on him, but Tomoyo needs to be protected, as does the Maid.
|Candy||*What the fuck is all that? Looks like they could fly a goddamn spaceship out of here, but they can't get roofs over people's heads.*
It's only the hum of power that gives him anything close to an idea. The sucker's game is to blow it up. It's fun, sure, but all of this might be put to better use once the issue with the mayor is sorted out. For right now, 'off' is just as good.
<J-IC-Scene> Lyrically Tomoyo Daidouji says, "Everyone! I'm going to help the Maid. She fights so that people may accept the help they need. So please, help her!"
<J-IC-Scene> Candy says, "I got an idea of how I can do that right now!"
Maybe interrupting the flow of power will help that maid, like Tomoyo--
*Wait, Maid? What? ...ah, who cares. Let's ice this fucker!*
<J-IC-Scene> I4 says, "Please stop helping, your ideas are terrible!"
A pair of insulated gloves appear over Candy's hands, one of them suddenly weighed down by a hefty toolbox. A wide grin appears on his face.
And Candy patiently struts between the transformers. He knows exactly what he's doing--he just doesn't know what effect it will have. After wires are cut and bolts stripped,
There might just be a winding-down of that electric hum, but there might also be a rain of sparks. Candy books it to regroup with the Maid. He's sure Tomoyo didn't misspeak, so she's gotta be somewhere. Amidst the chaos of a ruinously expensive military installation under high alert, Candy amiably musses I4's hair when they cross paths.
"Hey, buddy! You look rough."
|I4||I4 immediately gets bullied by Candy, which can only flail his arms upwards to try and break the bulli hair muss. "Hey stop, off-limits!" he shouts, trying to maintain his dignity.
A pause, "What did you do!?" he asks, because he wasn't there before, and every time Candy has disappeared something bad as happened when he reappeared!
|Karlan Nobles||Pramanix: "Did we get candy last time?"
SilverAsh: "We can get candy on the way back."
Pramanix: "But it's not the same."
The talk of the Puppeteer has both of the snow leopard-ish people boggling over what the Maid means. They do seem to understand (most of) the rest, at least.
"People might lie about whether they want to be helped, but... Yes, they do have to want to be helped at all for it to work." Pramanix concurs with a quick nod, jerking sideways when she hears the gunfire impacting against Featherman's barricade and the dirt near his head before she can see the guns themselves. "But if they don't, then... Can you really force them to?" She starts ringing her bell, calling up ice walls to help bolster the strength of said barricade.
"And what do you think you're doing out there, anyway?!" Unlike her generally cordial tone with the Maid, Pramanix sounds considerably more annoyed with the soldiers in the distance. SilverAsh pulls her behind cover as another bullet strikes the ground behind where she had been, taking note of the Maid's flash of white afterwards.
"I don't fully follow, but it's preferable to the alternative. A shame, since I was hoping the leadership here would be more reasonable." He hurries over to an ice wall, peeking out from behind it while resting a hand on his cane/definitely not a hidden sword. "Unfortunately, they have been anything but. It sounds like we're in agreement about this place needing a change in leadership, then, Miss Tomoyo. Please, keep your head down."
With the pair in agreement on who to aid here, they get to work! SilverAsh charges out first, heading for another tower and unsheathing/sheathing his blade rapidly with threatening shwing shwing noises, each one sending an inexplicable sword wave overhead and threatening to chop the snipers' weapons apart in that tower (or them, if they're particularly unlucky). He dashes about erratically, too, intentionally making himself a hard, yet potential target.
It's all to keep them distracted, though, as Pramanix keeps ringing her bell and dancing around behind the combined ice wall and Featherman barricade. Snow starts to fall, quickly turning into a blizzard with strong gusts of wind following behind it. Unnaturally, the snow curves upwards into the towers and practically moves horizontally at those firing at the group, almost as if the blizzard has a life of its own in trying to blind and freeze the shit out of the gunmen.
|Candy|| "Oh, me? I cut the power," he says. "At least, some of it. This place is so big there's no way that's all it was." With a smile, he jerks a thumb towards the road. "Also, set up a perimeter so we don't have soldiers up our asses while we're trying to reach that mayor and his friend." Candy's hand withdraws at first swat, but he's still got that mischievous glint in his eyes.
"How's your aim?" Candy asks, holding up a playing card. The Ace of Spades is slipped behind I4's ear. "Throw it if you get into trouble, ah?" Candy pantomimes an explosion with his hands, brows raising.
|Hiromi|| Hiromi, even moving at high speed, is tracing a ballistic arc, unpowered in flight. She's shot numerous times by the on-guard guards. The final result is that she brushes crushed lead off her and onto the floor, producing a clattering to go with her shouted demands for leaders to be brought before her. Her clothing is nowhere near as hard as her body, but that fact is why she doesn't wear many unnecessary things. It would just be wasteful.
A waste, like time spent waiting. Rather than letting all three convene after being convinced of the necessity, Hiromi would like to just find 'the one' in charge. If there isn't a 'one,' that becomes more difficult. After reasoning over the problem for all of a few seconds, she snaps more orders at those of two of the groups, who haven't already left, "Bring them to me. Tell them, their authority, their lives, depend on the quality of their excuses."
With the last group, the civil workers, she goes herself.
|Priscilla|| "It has everything to do with this place." the Maid tells Tomoyo, both patiently sage-like, and totally inflectionless in delivery. "Well, she can't speak to us right now. But I know that's the case. I must go inside, and I must Purify the Corruption that has spread within. That is my mission." She says to Pramanix "Even if the ultimate goal is to watch over people, a maid can only be used for Cleaning Up. And wishes to save her strings for now."
When Tomoyo's faithful bodyguards begin returning fire to cover their charge, the Maid smiles, a little proudly and a little more sadly. "I don't think this is a place for a good girl like yourself, though. The results of our last encounter illustrated many convincing issues. I fear my new Purification procedures will be terribly violent this time."
Candy's work blows the transformers right about then. It is not a clear job. A deafeningly loud 'buzz', more like an electric roar, comes from the stations for most of a minute, along with a sustained magnesium-like flare of light that shouldn't be looked at, accompanied by an ocean of sparks and many small fires before a failsafe is finally pulled. Despite the gigantic quantity of power he'd just disabled, *none* of the lights, alarms, or even the coffee makers, upstairs and outside, turn off. God knows what it was plugged into.
Indoors, Hiromi would be left standing around for quite a while if she expected so many people to get all the way down to god knows what basement level and haul someone who doesn't want to be touched all the way back. It's basically wise of her to multitask in the way she does. Chasing the suits of course fills them with primal terror, which speeds them up from 'pathetic' to 'sad' in terms of their pace. Shockingly, it doesn't take her to any kind of executive lounge, but through a lot of secure stairwells and cramped bunker hallways, to something more like a 'presidential safe room', if she had any concept of what that is.
However, before she can get to it, the cramped metallic halls are blocked off by new soldiers in black uniforms, full face masks and goggles, and no patches or emblems at all. These ones, exclusively, it seems she can't Command to stand aside. Instead, the lights all shut off at once on that level, and she is blasted from all directions at an intersection.
She'd already been shot plenty so far, to no meaningful effect, and yet for some reason, *now* it actually kind of hurts. The sound and smell is different, for one thing, but a squishy human would be torn in half here, rather than given a new hole. She has no earth to work with here, and though the construction obviously isn't magical, it *is* meant to be nuclear-proof at least. Further, actually managing to hit one of her assailants won't kill, or even disable them, unless she puts her back into it. They feel very heavy and solid, and barely grunt.
|Priscilla|| Outside, Pramanix's blizzard and Featherman and Ash's joint attack have spurred on Candy's motley force, now that they definitely can't be identified and all have hick guns. The defense towers quickly crumble under their combined attacks, and the soldiers still outside have no choice but to huddle down behind cover, find corners where the snow doesn't just pile over them, and exchange pretty much blind fire against the wind. Nobody is killing anyone in a hurry like this, but the bullets flying both ways are enough to cause some stray hits, and generally cause scary chaos. The ones outside, but still within the compound, are flooding into the buildings instead, falling back to secondary defense posts where Elites will have to go right into their chokepoints to go further down.
This also appears to be the signal for the Maid; perhaps the one person here who could be assumed to know everything going on and exactly what to do, and yet unfortunately not in any way that could be explained or related. Before, when she had fought the Paladins, there had been sort of a stilted, systematic way of going about it, with the almost palpable feeling of shuffling through options and stopping to plan each step next. This time however . . .
PURIFICATION IN PROGRESS . . .
The maid vaults the barricade in a flutter of skirts, and takes off straight up the rest of the entry road like a blur. Bullets fall behind her along the way, far too late to matter, and as the machine guns start sweeping their fire towards her, she ducks into an extreme power slide under the checkpoint rails, leaving tracers flying over her headdress and white sparks kicking up in her wake, somehow from her shoes.
Reaching the last fence, she jumps high, then one of her 'halos' snaps beneath her, and creates a platform to double jump over it, a second 'halo' repositioning to her side and flaring up to shoot her to the side in mid-air just as another sniper bullet comes by. One more repositions over her head, and thrusts down, where she collides with the ground hard enough to throw soldiers to every side like bowling pins from the shockwave, and make an unfortunately gory crunch from landing on some unlucky soul.
The third halo comes to her hand, and she draws out the length of a posh, lacquered black broom, the name Elizabeth stenciled on the side, and by swinging it, turns the forward facing end of what appears to be a cargo building into motes of dust, revealing a heavy freight elevator behind it. Sweeping the elevator itself, clears away like a mere coating of detritus, rather than feet of solid metal, and allows her to drop down the shaft, opening a way for the others to follow too.
The problem of being menaced by soldiers along the way doesn't happen; the three halos linger behind just long enough to form a triangle, fire white beams in all three directions, and rapidly spin around several times, circularly cutting everything down from head height to knee height in the cargo area, including slicing through the fence.
|Featherman Neo||Once he's done in the tower, Featherman Neo leaps off with Engarde again, this time moving to try and pursue the Maid through the blizzard. Bullets are deflected by the wrist-shield that Engarde wears, as they try to move as fast as possible to avoid getting shot. Once they reach the shaft...
"Anyone who needs a ride, just ask!" Featherman shouts out, before leaping down with Engarde, moving to slide against the walls of the shaft to avoid a painful fall and reach the same location she does.
Purification, though, is bringing a bad taste to Featherman's mouth. He couldn't say why, but he knew in his heart he had to be prepared to turn on a dime if this was different than he expected.
But given the circumstances, he didn't think it would be.
|Hiromi|| Hiromi accepts the terror of these underlings as the natural and sane response that it is. It is likewise natural that opposition should manifest before her, and entirely desirable that it be something to convince her that these people have accomplished something in the way of gathering strength, despite their many failures.
"Stand aside," she says, and when that fails to work, she immediately robs the nearest civil flunky of both clipboard and coffee mug. There's no time to also knock them out of the line of fire.
Shizendo is how her style was named, the natural path, though there's been few cases anyone still living has seen it, for how rarely it proves necessary. A spread grip on the metal head of the clipboard holds the flimsy object in front of her own head, and when bullets strike it, it's the bullets that break. Others impact her body, hurting, even bleeding her, but the darkness won't buy her opponents any time. They had only that one chance to hit her before she reached them, and no chance to make the all-important strike to her head that would have bought them more time.
The clipboard finally shatters only when she swings it like a razor, crushing body armor beneath it at the level of her unlucky first victim's neck. The coffee mug loses half of its decades-old print ('I Must Be A Mushroom, They Keep Me In The Dark And Feed Me Bullshit') when she brings it down on a second soldier's head. That proves likely intentional, as the jagged ceramic, behaving like some legendary blade, pierces the visor of the same soldier from the front. In the same motion, she grabs the first soldier's gun.
And swings it like a club, impacting a third target hard enough to reduce most humans to fine paste, jam the weapon, and subsequently destroy it, as the magazine responds to being forced into a shape half its own size by firing every round at once.
Hiromi's wounds are already healing. The blood remains, but that's all. Each man that falls to her is another source of weaponry, whether it's in the pieces torn from his armor, the metal of his equipment, or his entire body, struck into the bomb shelter walls hard enough that one or the other must necessarily break.
|I4||I4 can only watch as destruction rains down on everything. He gives Candy a withering gaze before The Maid runs off to 'clean corruption. Oh no.
I4 goes down after, but this time he's trying to put some sort of pattern together. He scans the area, specifically what she attacks to try and put together what might be wrong and if he can try and piece it together. Hopefully, an answer can be obtained before too many more people get hurt, or killed.
Or butchered by the alien-sounding Maid.
Candy points. All around, lights are still on. Alarms still sound. Despite how dramatically they blow, the transformers don't seem to have impacted much. "What the fuck was all that hooked up to? That's what -I- wanna know."
*And all that, while the town goes without.*
"And look! There's the guy that's gonna help me find out. EY! Featherman! Lemme catch a ride, my friend!"
Catch a ride he does, blinking away the minute they first encounter meaningful resistance. Appearing on his feet just a short distance behind, he extends his hands--smoke and lights dance there, and the smoke is blown away by the blast of the pump-action shotgun it once concealed.
|Tomoyo Daidouji|| Tomoyo is discouraged from following. Purification will be violent this time. And it's true, the tailor isn't cut out for violence. Certainly not this level of fortification-breaking, anti-state violence. And yet, she doesn't bunch. Indeed, she produces a video camera and starts recording the Maid as she launches into action.
"She's right ma'am. We should fall back. Leave this to the Elites," one of the bodyguards urges Tomoyo. But she's not budging. "If things are as bad as she says in there... I don't want to run away. Even if I can't do much, I can at least make sure a record remains. People deserve to know." Be that 'know what they're doing' or 'know the bravery of those who fought against it is unclear, but her zeal is apparent.
When the laser carves through the fence, Tomoyo moves. Clambering over it, she infiltrates the lab. Her bodyguards, angst unapparent behind those cool shades, reload and chase after her.
|Karlan Nobles||"If there's something corrupted inside, then it really is up to us to fix it!" Pramanix sounds enthused, at least, even if she's still balking somewhat at even the occasional death from someone getting sliced up or shot in the face. The helmets help keep her from putting faces to any of the soldiers' fatalities, at least, but it's still not particularly comfortable to see. SilverAsh slashing at them even from a distance certainly doesn't help, either, although he doesn't look nearly as bothered by that.
Pramanix's unnatural blizzard continues to rage for lack of knowing quite how to proceed, but she sees an opening when the locals start to rush inside. "Don't get too reckless!" She shouts while chasing after the Maid, the blizzard following behind her as she supports the halo-wielder with what might very well look like weather control for all the clouds and snow falling at odd angles in her wake. Luckily for Pramanix, SilverAsh actually has enough sense to pull her down just in time for the spinning lasers to pass right over them.
SilverAsh: "I wonder who she's after... Someone higher in the chain of command, perhaps? Or even someone with true political power behind questionable figureheads?"
Pramanix: "That's too complicated. Do you think anyone would really go that... Ugh."
Either way, they continue in hot pursuit of the Maid, sticking close to Tomoyo to add to the defense force! They make no movement to stop I4 from trying to predict the Maid's path, either, focused as they are on actually seeing where this is all going.