Apparently, nobody had called ahead to tell them we had Wraith with us… or why we had Wraith with us… in any case, Miss Midnight had to wrangle Warden a bit to get him to even let us use the elevator… Warden was not a happy sentient even after Midnight suggested that Wraith wear a tracker tag…
We take her down to the cafeteria, where she complains the whole way to Lightning about what a dump this place is, they get on like old friends and she keeps telling Lightning that she could get her old job back no problem… With Cassanova still in interrogation in Maryland, Shockwave takes over our little informal interrogation in the caf… It was kind of awkward but I didn’t know how to do any better myself… He shows her the video where Professor Mueller is murdered but she doesn’t show much more reaction than anyone else would to seeing someone working away at one second and then looking unnaturally back over one shoulder the next. Then he catches my eye.
What do you need, Shockwave? “Can you find out from Rosa if she has any family?”
Lightning, do you know if Wraith has family? “I really have no idea.”
I relay this back to Shockwave. Shortly thereafter, she excuses herself to use the can. We discuss our strategy for this interrogation… and by the time she gets back, we still have no strategy worth the name…
Even if the glitch is consistent withhow she appears to electronic media, the alteration to the time isn’t consistent with what she can do. She suggests another Eagle Corp person (Half-Life) who’s in Berlin, gets us her email address. X and Jade had met this person. Eventually things degenerated into getting Wraith something to eat (“By your command!”).
I was in mental contact with Cassanova anytime they didn’t need my services here, so when they finished their interrogation and told him he was free to go and to please leave American matters to Americans, I excused myself from the table and went upstairs to get Ivanka to arrange to get Cassanova home. She’d just handed me a plane ticket she’d printed out for him and I was relaying the info to him when her phone rang. She mentioned the name Polaris, then there were some exclamations of increasing levels of surprise, and then she mashed the big red button and the klaxon sounded… Midnight burst in the door then and I hastily excused myself to the briefing room while Ivanka explained the situation.
Wraith came along when everyone else assembled… There has been a disturbance in Northern Canada. We have no satellite coverage at the moment. There has been an attack on a facility in the city by something tougher than Polaris, who has informally requested our help. So she needs a few of us to volunteer to head out with Lightning, and just happen to “be in the area” so we can help without having to wait a week for the UN paperwork to come through Ottawa. When I asked where in Northern Canada, the answer, “Sudbury,” surprised the hell out of me, nothing exciting ever happens there! Sign me on for the Lightning Bus! Phoenix, Shockwave amd Xaedas volunteer, and Wraith comes along too, Lightning says she’ll drop her off on our way back, since there’s really not much else we can do with her anyway. Lightning doesn’t think she did it and even if she did, Eagle would just pay off someone at INTERPOL anyway. At least she thought the Arch of Victory was neat.
Lightning teleports us… to someone’s living room… much to the surprise of the two occupants of the room, who were eating steak dinners. “Hey, you guys’re on TV, eh?”
I turned on the Knockout charm and sweetly excused us before they could think of asking for autographs… X commented later that Americans would have had guns out, and these guys hadn’t even had their front door locked. Aaah, Sudbury. How I’ve missed you and your redneck yet un-American ways.
Once outside, I looked aorund and determined that we were in New Sudbury. X went vertical for a look around and saw a… thing of some sort, merrily destroying a large glass building at the edge of a lake. I called Polaris (who was not expecting us there so quickly, “Well, we were in the area, I grew up here!”), he was able to spot Xaedas and flew over to him. Looks like he got dragged backwards through a wood chipper. Apparently, some contraption surfaced in Ramsay Lake and started in on destroying Science North! Polaris led X (carrying Wraith) and Phoenix (carrying Lightning) to the site while Shockwave piggybacked me. Glad I didn’t have to fly!!
We arrived, lots of flashing lights, lots of Sudbury Regional squad cars making a perimeter and trying to evacuate the area. Polaris showed us the shaky-cam footage of the thing surfacing in the lake, its feet deploying, guns bristling… Polaris freeze-raying it, it hist him with lasers, pinchy-claws andspreads of bullets… he took a beating but he did get the laser gun broken. It doesn’t look big enoug to have caused the damage we saw in Russia.
In we go, Wraith just observing… “I’m not on the payroll but I’ll catch ya if you go in the drink.”
Phoenix burns one of its guns, Shockwave punches it, Lightning grabbed one of the cops’ megaphones and hollered at it to shut down its main guns, realizes this thing is dozens of separate individually intelligent mechanisms and shuts down one of the gun systems, and I get ready to TK the tip of the sonic cannon if it looks like it’s going to shoot anyone, and X tries to freeze it. Wraith comes down beside me, comments, “Ooh, he’s fast!” when Shockwave zips in… Lightning manages to lock down the thing’s legs. It tries to shoot Phoenix with the sonic boom and though my TK didn’t have an effect, it missed anyway. Lightning tries to get its generator to stop powering the peripherals but apparently it denied her request. Its lasers powered back up, and I TK a brick over it, intending ot drop it on whichever boom fires next. It starts folding iteslf up to go into water and its impellers start going, I try to jam my rock into its intake and asking Polaris mentally, Hey, can you freeze the water around this thing? “I’m a little busy here holding the shield.” Well, it hasn’t sent anything toward your shield, and it’s trying to get away… “Good!”
Shockwave feeds a piece of rebar into its impeller, lightning orders it to blow its ballast, I think I feed its intake another rock, Phoenix singes its plating and Xaedashauls it bodily out of the water and flips it right onto Paris Street. It tries to right itself but we clobber it to pieces before it gets a chance. Xaedas arranges with the locals for removal of the thing, he flips it back off the road, then they get a float and he and Phoenix pick it up and place it on the trailer so it can be moved.
We get a personal thanks from the Police Chief AND the Inspector of Emergency Services, then Polaris takes us up the street to a licensed restaurant because Xaedas wants a beer. Polaris tells us he affects magnetic fields, I’m not sure exactly what triggered it but Lightning is very quiet even for her, and loses her appetite. I nibble on my salad…
Polaris commented that he was supposed to have checked on something at the Neutrino Lab at Crichton Mine “They found a neutrino or something”, and gets a call that they’ve lost contact with the scientists at the lab. He heads out, we settle up our bills in case we’re needed and I keep the mindlink open with Polaris… eventually I get “Hello? How does this thing work?” Just like that, what’s up? “It’s real bad.” OK, we’re on our way.
The cops were still there wrapping stuff up and when we told the inspector where we were going, he offered us earthbound misfits a lift in a squad car… so Lightning, Wraith and I all squish into the back seat and off we go.
I got to chatting with the cops over the 10 minute drive, one them (the beat cop, not the inspector) tells us that there’s been some weird stuff coming out around Lasalle High School, his daughter just started there last year. He asked what I knew about the drug problem but I told him I didn’t have a lot of friends when I went there… They suspect there might be a Promethean artifact hidden there but they are still doing their own investigation, apparently they found out that a chemistry teacher (who’d taught me last school year) had been found to not be registered with the Ontario Board of Education but he’s since disappeared and apparently hidden his tracks well, and something about cult activity in Sudbury. I gave him one of my email addresses so he could let me know if they come up with anything interesting or in case he wants to give me a heads-up if they’re going to contact the UN (so I can help get the paperwork through faster from my side… Aah Canada, land of paperwork).
And Polaris is right, it IS bad, looks like a bunch of it’s caved in around the mineshaft, the crane that used to house the elevator has been knocked over and is perched precariously near the edge, so Xaedas moves it to somewhere safer. Polaris dives down the hole, X follows him, Lightning jumps after him and when Wraith sees that, she dives in after her with a squeak of alarm. Phoenix floats down after them… Shockwave and I stay up here where it’s sensible…
I stay mindlinked with Polaris through their two miles of free-fall, the place is destroyed, looks like there was an explosion at the bottom of the shaft, scoremarks, and a cave-in at the level where the lab is. Wraith stretches out and winds her way through the rubble, reports 4 survivors and they eventually dig them out.
Once we got them topside, they explained that they’d gotten weird readings, they’d thought it was an error, so they called in Polaris to help them recalibrate their equipment. Then they heard a loud noise, the lights went off, the generator didn’t kick in, and one guy says he thought he heard music. Then they got service to their Crackberries and one of them showed us a video he had been making for his girlfriend when the lights went out, and there was the distinct sound of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” audible over all the rest of the noise. Rosa panicks, Wraith goes to calm her down. By the time we get back to the thing at S’North, we get word that a C-130 Hercules heavy lifter was being sent to take the thing out to the Azores… so the police shut down the road to the airport so we could get the thing there (pretty tight fit in a couple places). While we’re waiting for the Hercules to arrive, Xaedas starts telling us about some of the stuff that Warden has… like the Nautilus, stright out of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen manned by thousands of the centurions, and figher submarine craft that look like Star Wars fighters, X enhances the descriptions with ice models… Phoenix tells us about last call’s meeting with Atlas and I tell Lightning about what we found in Russia, she gets more and more agitated… I’d mindlinked with Wraith (apparently it hurts her more than it hurts me) earlier and she’d given me some links on the Driller to check out, so I started checking those when we’d run out of things to say. Looks like its feet are about the right size to have crushed those cars in [[In Russia, with love. | Russia too]]. Wraith took off, apparently there was a PR thing by Eagle going on in the Arena so since she was there anyway, they wanted her to do some presentations…
Eventually, right around dark, the nice bunch of army boys arrived, they had a lot of paperwork for the chain of evidence for the thing (one had the PM’s name and scrawl, fresh ink and everything, they actually got paperwork out of Ottawa within hours), even though X planned to ride with it while the rest of us teleported to the Azores… They were taking their time to get the thing loaded, it was almost as wide as the plane’s opening so they were fussing about an inch at a time. We were in an elevated position and could see most of the city, or at least, its glow… so it was really eerie when half of it went dark… and then the other half… with a couple of exceptions… Phoenix flew up for a better view, and said there were a couple buildings still with power (hospital, arena, etc) and one building was glowing red. She described its shape and that it was glowing red through the concrete it was built from… From her description, I figured this was City Hall, close to the arena where Wraith would be…
As I’m contacting Polaris to let him know something’s up, Lightning calls Wraith, she tells her supervisor, “Yeah, I need to go take a smoke break… I’ll start. Back in a bit.” She met us outside the building. Phoenix started flying over, Shockwave following on the ground, X grabbed Lightning and me and took off after Phoenix with me screaming my head off the whole time.
The concrete’s glowing alright, like when you put a bright flashlight behind your hand. The windows are all dark, and we can hear a thrumming like the nacelles of the Enterprise… I provide a running commentary to Polaris. We get in the main door (X found it wasn’t locked) and where the elevator should have been was a glow so bright we couldn’t even look at it… we took the stairs downstairs and the door at the bottom is hot. Four glowing steel doors are in front of us, I remember from my school field trip that this would be the archives… we get in the door and the thing on the floor is glowing so brightly that we can’t see what it is. It’s heavier than I can TK, about the size of a table. Phoenix can’t find it at all. Shockwave closes his eyes and approaches it… sounds like it’s spooling up… he feels a pump casing, some housing, (ouch) a spinning gear…and finally, an off switch. Phoenix asks if it’s really shut down or did our eyes just burn out… But no, he really has shut it down, Xaedas starts popunding it into a more portable size. Wraith heads back to her boredom…
The power comes back on, Xaedas picks up the thing and we get him back to the airport just as they’re almost done getting the thing in place. Lightning zaps the rest of us plus the compacted Havoc engine to the Azores where we catch some sleep while we wait for the Hercules and then our pickup.
And then we get back and the work begins… Midnight has Shockwave fill out a bunch of files with information on the Havoc engine, which keeps him busy for a while.
Lightning talked to the internets (all of them, I suspect) to gather seismic information about what happened in Sudbury, both when the thing surfaced and started wrecking S’North and when the mess happened at the mine, and the seismic activity when things happened at the mine was an exact match for the seismic irregularities when Degteyarsk was savaged.
Both the Captain AND Miss Midnight attend the debriefing, just to make sure that it IS The Driller, and it does seem to be.
Xaedas gets information from Midnight about Rosa’s past (The Driller destroyed her village, which was the first manifestation of her powers, teleporting herself and her brother away.
I got an email from the cop I’d been talking to, and it was extremely interesting… that cult? Apparently they can be identified by a particular ring. And the .jpg he sent was a photo of a Chimera ring. Curiouser and curiouser.
I have a conversation with Midnight about what I can/should tell the cop regarding Chimera… what I know could get him killed… I’m still deciding what exactly to tell him, probably along the lines of “Thank you for the informtion, your cult is known to us. Be careful.”
And of course, all the questions this brings up… Did anything have to do with me? It was at my high school, my chemistry teacher and everything… there’s also been a suspiciously high turnover rate at the top, I think there’ve been 4 new principals in the last 4 years and all of the outgoing ones are no longer lisenced with the OBE either, one’s an adjunct professor at a BC university, one’s in Europe at Cern(which is weird, that VP in charge of discipline had struck me as nothing more than a big dumb bully… I sic Lightning on tracking down the chemstry teacher and she thinks she found him in the US Military, some think tank researcher related in some way to Cadmus Labs.
I start a file on each of these people, there are no links to Chimera so far.
Not public knowledge: Lightning and I also had a chat about Wraith after she’d left, she’d really like to convince her to come to our team, says she needs more actual friends. She says Wraith is so grateful to Eagle that she will do ANYTHING they ask of her and not feel anything about it, seems she’s OK with ceding control to them, and Lightning’s afraid of what happens if they do find something objectionable to make her do. Says she’s probably capable of having murdered Mueller, but strongly believes that she didn’t.