Promethian Titans

A favour for a friend... then an electronic interruption

In which Atlas calls in a favour and someone tries to take out our electronics on the flight home.

Xaedas told the group about his brother, hopes that we keep it clean even if we’re in combat, and suggests maybe Voltage just needs more hugs.

Shockwave wants to know how detailed Eagle Corp‘s mission briefings are… Lightning reveals that they are often more precise than accurate, nice presentation of what could be really old information, not thoroughly checked for the teams like Miss Midnight does for us, and very little in the way of structure for how to handle missions, Black Dragon’s more for letting teams do their own thing rather than using actual leadership.

We have a few days of peace and quiet, start to settle back into our routine of morning classes and afternoon training, then one morning, Midnight says, “Today’s going to be a learning experience. I need a team leader, who’s it going to be?”

Jade asks what kind of mission…

“Thanks for volunteering! Follow me.” And off they go to the briefing room. Turns out to be a vid converence with Atlas. He has a personal delivery he needs done, without agents in his company finding out about it. Apparently this was his price for assisting us with the floaty Promethean device that spent a while floating a piece away from the base… he tells Jade to pick a team.

Jade comes back and picks me and Shockwave and Pulse, but when she complains, he rescinds the offer and it’s just three of us. When we get back to the briefing room, Midnight is staring off into space. Warden places another call to Eagle Corp and we speak to Atlas and arrange to pick up the small package at the Spire, take it on a transatlantic flight, refuel at Heathrow, final destination Ljubljana airport, in Slovenia. He clears our Lancer’s flight plan and we take off almost immediately.

Apparently there were even terms of the redemption of this favour – it doesn’t take us away from UN business, no breaking the law, no impeaching our honour, no conflict with our own team. Phoenix’s presence was a dealbreaker on this one for some reason. On the flight to Eagle City, we discuss things… Jade feels that we should take advantage of the UK layover, tells us of the terms of our favour fulfillment. Then when we run out of mission-related stuff to discuss, we dig up all of the Transporter movies (Yay, Jason Statham!) since Jade and I were both thinking about them and Shockwave hadn’t seen them.

When we land, we’re met by an Eagle Corp suit with a really fancy hat. Before we even got to the limousine, Jade had arranged for several orders of gumbo from this Cajun restaurant they must have eaten at when they were here the first time, sounds like he ordered some not too hot foShockwave and me, and some blow your head off hot for himself. The limo was ridiculous, 40 feet long with a swimming pool… good thing the streets in this place are unusually wide.

The gates at each security checkpoint are wide open, waiting for us. When we get to the Spire, there’s actually a bellhop in the elevator. A bellhop! And it’s a glass elevator on what was at one point the tallest building in the world… and holy crap, is it FAST. I eventually turn around and look at the buttons instead of the landscape… We’re ushered into an office that’s well-appointed if TV can be believed. It’s the secretary’s. Atlas’s office is just beyond belief, it’s the rest of the floor and an open concept workroom or something, drawing tables all over, and Shockwave looks like a kid at Christmas.

The package is about the size of a cigar box, shrink-wrapped, with a label indicating a name and mailing address, Petyr Polichnic and something about a sanitoruim. The package is very light. Atlas tells us we’re expected at the location. He gives us a business card with nothing but a phone number on it, in case we run into trouble. We’re not even out of his office before he’s back on the phone, running his company…

Boy was it ever hard to get back into that elevator… Just stare at the buttons, ignore how high up we are…

As we get back to the airport, we see a catering truck delivering a bunch of thermal food delivery bgs… Cajun spiced gator tastes a lot like chicken… We did end up eating a lot of it… I tried to only nibble… guess I’m not eating for the rest of the week…

We touched down at Heathrow but just for refuelling, we didn’t even leave the Lancer. When we got to Ljubljana Airport, we were met by a police officer who already didn’t like us because his boss had been paid off to let us bypass Customs. He recommended we not give him an excuse to make trouble for us. An honest cop, who would have guessed… He really seemed to dislike Shockwave too, moreso than Jade or me. Probably some local prejudice thing. He hands us a small envelope, which turns out to be for a car rental. Jade selects a Land Rover. Pretty small for a truck, narrower than a Jeep, but at least it’s bigger than most of the stuff on the roads around here, I’m surprised at how narrow all the streets are! Good thing he’s got his international driver’s license on him…

Jade asks Shockwave how well he drives.
Shockwave shrugs, “I don’t have a license.”
“I didn’t ask whether you had a license, I asked how well you drive.”
Turns out Shockwave’s got a few more years’ experience over Jade, but seeing as how we’re not expecting trouble, Jade drives. I sat in the back, it was just too weird up front in what I’m used to being the driver’s seat but without a steering wheel! That, and Jade as Kevin is really small and this thing has a bench seat so I wa eating my knees by the time he could reach the pedals. Eventually he got the GPS sorted out and we head out through this scenic country, I took a bunch of photos with the camera on my crackberry. Apparently Ljubljana has a world-class hospital with top neurosurgeons etc…

We make it to the village with the sanitorium around suppertime. This elderly nurse complete with the bun and nurse’s cap and clothing that’s obviously pressed linens, rather than the scrubs you see at Canadian hospitals, met us and glowering, tells us in her thick accent that she disapproves of the disruption we’re going to cause poor Petyr (or perhaps the sanitorium in dealing with poor Petyr) after we leave, just like all his other visitors. She says he’s having a bad day and that our uncle won’t recognize us, I think our cover story must have been that he’s our uncle so we’re all cousins. Sure. A skinny Gypsy, a diminuitive Brit and an obese half-Chinese Canadian, cousins… riiiiight. Fine, we’re cousins, and Petyr is our uncle, don’t blow our cover.

The doors in this place are heavy, heavy solid wood. Upon entry, we’re assaulted by the scent of hospital antiseptic, and the sounds of sobbing and wailing muffled by heavy doors. The door she leads us to is 3" thick oak and unlocks with an internal “clunk” and takes her a good effort to open. She says she’ll return in an hour, and locks us in. “Clunk.” The door is smooth wood on this side, the walls are stone and the small barred window is 6’ up from the floor. So glad I’m not claustrophobic! What furniture there is is heavy and solid. There’s a 50-ish man in the bed, looks to be in terrible health. She’d told us he wouldn’t recognize us. He looks bleary, like he’d just woken up, only I don’t think he did just wake up.

We try to explain to him that we’re delivering a package for him, and try to show it to him but he says he can’t see it without his glasses and the nurses took them away. His accent is not dissimilar to the nurse’s but his English is much better, his accent quite subdued. Jade offers to open the box for him and reads him the note. “Pete. Drink this – Atlas.” It also contains a small vial of some clear but sort of viscous liquid, and a sealed envelope. Petyr wants us to read him the letter, so Jade opens it. It’s a letter from Atlas to Fireball Pete, saying that the effects from what he just drank won’t be permanent but will fix his underlying health problem even after the effects fade. Shockwave starts checking things out on his crackberry and finds out he was a local guy, a first-generation Promethean who did a lot of work throughout Europe and was very vocal about some smaller problems (like Bosnia-Herzegovina) that the Titans wouldn’t get involved with, they wouldn’t take sides. Nobody would get involved, and the Titans even told him to back off, at which point he walked away.

Despite it being a direct conflict with our mandate, we helped him drink what we suspect to be Promethean Serum. He levitates, arches backward, screams, and bursts into flames…. I back into a corner. He settles back down to the bed, and just as he’s about to touch it, the flames wink out.

Now he’s a mass of nice solid muscles, looks 20 years younger, wearing an outfit that’s three different shades of red. We hand him the letter. He reads it, then it turns to ashes in his hand. Then he starts hating on Atlas and saying he’s going to kill him and talking about breaking out of this place… we’re trying to keep this quiet like Atlas asked but getting inplicated in an escape from a mental hospital is not quiet so we try to talk him down. He doesn’t believe that we’re Titans repaying a favour to Atlas and not working for Eagle Corp… As a last ditch effort to stall him I asked if he knew Marie Oletrovski (I figured, hey, fire, and the name sounds like it could be from this part of the world, maybe they’re related…) And the world stopped. And then the room got very hot… So that’s why Phoenix was verboten on this mission… He demanded to know everything. We got it a little out of order until we figured out he’d been in here since shortly after Hurricane Katrina, he hadn’t known about Eagle City. We told him about the devastation Phoenix caused in Hamilton and that her mother had been treated and released from hospital… While we were explaining things he made some comments we didn’t quite understand, turns out he thought we’d gotten our powers from Doctor Prometheus himself, didn’t believe were genetic Prometheans instead of created ones… was upset to find out that Midnight and Captain Awesome had powered down, although he did have a little chuckle that the world continued to exist without her. I think he was more upset to find out that the only First Gen prometheans still apparently functional are Atlas and Black Dragon (although we think it’s due to serum). Then, with the comment that he’d been there long enough, he punched his way through the window

It was very depressing, actually… he says there’s nothing of note that he can do before the serum wears off, he can’t just go kill Atlas as nice as vengeance would be, he can’t go see his daughter like this… We give him a lift in the Land Rover for a little piece (he was really surprised to find that none of us fly) and then we let him out and he flew off. We passed a bunch of police cars heading back where we came from… Drive casual, maybe they won’t notice.

Apparently they didn’t, so we returned the rental car, got our paperwork in order and eventually got the Lancer back in the air.

We discussed things on the flight, we’re not telling Phoenix because it would do more harm than good, Shockwave and I are not telling anyone anything, we are referring any questions back to Jade, including Miss Midnight…

Oh, I do hope they don’t link us to the sanitorium escape… and I really hope we did the right thing, it might have been kinder to have just left Pete where he was…

While Jade was on the cellphone with Midnight, it fuzzed out, along with my laptop and all the plane’s instrumentation. Shockwave grabbed a handful of spare parts he always seems to have kicking around (SW: How optimistic of you… The Centurions respond to (almost) everything with “By your command”, including “The avionics are triple-redundant, so do you mind if I borrow these parts for a bit?”) and managed to determine that there’s a cone of interference originating in Milan and tracking us. Then he rigs the same device in a different config to restore our communications so we can make an emergency landing at Milan… and the Cylon’s response of “Affirmative” when asked if they were still operational and able to land the plane, is the first time I’ve ever heard them say anything other than “By your command”. Weird.

Jade gets back in touch with Midnight to make sure we can actually go hunt down the origin of the disturbance. She saus, “If it’s what I hope it isn’t, you’re going to want to get big.” Jade then gets the Mayor‘s number from Ivanka and lets him know what’s up, he plans to meet us at the airport while Midnight untangles the paperwork so we’re not trespassing again…

Shockwave then rejigs his device back to tracking the origin of the interruption… We got landed, and right afterwards, my laptop’s internet came back and all our phones and the Lancer’s instruments started working again. Shorthly thereafter, the mayor’s people greet us and get us a walkie-talkie just in case. Shockwave tracks the origin of the cone to a shopping mall parking lot. The boys stay outside investigating and I head inside to check with security guys, since I could see the cameras when we came in. I review their records but of course the camera that would be pointing right where Jade and Shockwave determine they were parked is not operational, but they figured out the approximate time it left nd I caught a side view of a black van with a white skull on the side exiting at about the right time. Couldn’t get plates though. And they have no way of transferring data to me, it’s not USB compatible so I go hunting for images, grab pics with my camera and in doing so discover that the reflection in a window does not match the van, the reflection clearly shows a vehicle covered with rivets or boltheads, and something large sticking up out of the roof. The cops come by and offer help while Shockwave tries to detect anything that might cause distortions, figuring something changing its image like that would be emanating a lot of energy. He tracks it to the highway, when we verify with other cameras it’s now a white van with a black skull, headed North through Switzerland towards Germany.

We ended up having to call Inspecteur Clousseau from INTERPOL to see if they could put up some roadblocks in front of it, and perhaps let us into the country… But by the time we got all that done, it had disappeared. However, INTERPOL is extremely interested, as someone has just completed a succesful weapons test to disable military-shielded avionics.

Jade tries to make nice with the Mayor, who of course wants to have us for a meal, but politely defers because we’ve got paperwork and it’s now getting dark…

On the trip home, Jade comments that he really wants to blow stuff up. I think it might be amusing to see a Boston Cream cake go boom, then the three of us get to talking, Shockwave has some ideas on the explosion and Jade wants to make Dessert Fridays a regular thing on Kevin’s podcast, I could even guest star as Gillian the vengeful dieter, in real me view. Lightning keeps telling me to be me more often… this should make her happy. And I’ll get an honest review from Kevin’s audience, to be sure…

When we get back, Midnight asked us during the debrief what we did. We gave her full details about the electronic issue but Shockwave and I both defer to Jade on the delivery mission and he’s so guarded on it that she leaves, with a comment about interrupting everything she’s doing just to answer his phone calls… I think she was kind of upset. I suggested that he try three words: “Off the record”. He looks pensive.

And then we go blow stuff up. The test explosion resulted in a mess on the ceiling and some refined procedures, but eventually the podcast went along as planned and after we cleaned up the exploded cake from the lab after the podcast, I think he went off to talk to her.

This whole thing with Phoenix’s father has made me wonder for the first time who my biological parents might have been. I’d never been interested in finding out anything about the people who gave me away until now… guess I’ll start with the adoption record and get Lightning to help me deal with whatever I find…

The other group got to go to the Opera in Leeds. Operas are apparently quite boring, X says he’d rather have been on the Lancer for a flight to the US then back to Europe rather than spend one hour at the Opera. I think they were there on a bodyguarding mission or something, X, Lightning, Pulse and Phoenix. Guys with Chimera tattoos attacked them with a power-stealing gauntlet, but they dealt with them and got the gauntlet, it seems that it’s now a Shockwave problem. Luckily for him, Autumn can heal its weakening effects.

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