Having stolen a rental GMC Yukon, our soon-to-be heroes had followed the GPS coordinates to the next destination indicated by the tablet: 34 N. Banbridge Avenue, La Puente, CA, using the Yukon’s OnStar navigation system. They tried to take the 101 South, but a motorcycle cop stopped them, saying that “all citivilans are restricted from getting on the highway due to pavement instability.”
Due to the possibility that the highway may be impassible at points along their route (let alone the possibility of an aftershock or the road falling out beneath them), they decided to take the longer route through the neighborhoods. The roads were dark and empty (empty being a relative term, due to the fallen lamp-posts, trees, and cracks in the road), with the only light coming from the full moon that was out.
It was then that the late hour and adrenaline from the evening’s activities took it’s toll, they sat in relative silence during the longer route, exhaustion gripping at them. They made the wise decision to stop at a diner for some coffee and a bite to eat.
While waiting for exhaustion to take a hike, two police officers entered the diner, sitting at the countery. Some chatter could be heard over their speaker-mic’s. A female voice (whom Gato recognized) was calling in an incident:
“Dispatch, I need to put an APB out on four persons of interest in a code 187, last seen fleeing Union Station.”
She then went on to describe the characters. Gato recgonized the voice as “that lady detective”, and told his compatriots as such, that it was the woman who’s unmarked car they had seen at the scrap yard. As a note, he had noticed no change in tone as she described Gato.
It was then that Ti and Wynona decided to stealthfully leave the diner (one at a top, unauspiciously, of course). Ti waited outside in shadow while Wynona was trying to hack into the patrol car in which the officers had arrived; in order to listen to the chatter privately.
As Gato and Lief waited for Lief’s fries, they (along with Wynona, who had successfully hacked the cop car), heard additional chatter indicating an update to their last known position:
“Attention all officers, update on last known position of persons of interest in code 187: heading southeast alongside the 101 in a brown GMC Yukon.”
Lief’s fries having arrived, they thought it best to leave the diner. Everyone got back in the car, with Ti taking shotgun, since he proclaimed that he “no longer needed sleep.” During the rest of their trip, each reminisced about why they were travelling to an address in La Puente at 2:00 AM:
- Ti Chane had promised one of his students that he would finish this treasure hunt, and as chaotic as it had been, a promise is a promise.
- El Gato Loco was hoping that continuing this stupid hunt would bring out of hiding those responsible for kidnapping his sister.
- Wynona Frank had glimpsed into the mind of one of the people within this organization, seeing technology beyond anything she’d understood so far (which was a lot); and so her curiousity has griped her – even though they have been in more danger than she’d ever thought she’d be in.
- Lief Freyrson had been in search of an artifact reminiscent of his heritage in “The Dungeon” at the Alexandria Hotel. However the action which he’d joined in has sparked excitement, and so he’s been swept along for the ride, seeing these people as being worthy of his company.
Outside of dodging some tears in the road; they arrived at their destination – a hill, leading up to an electric fence. At this point they ditched the car. It was likely they were already being tracked by the police, so they would have to depart the area quickly.
Not noticing the strange pillars they passed far off in the distance to either side, they raced up the hill. At the top of this hill stood a stone pedastal, on which was a briefcase. The briefcase was locked by an impressive eight-digit combination; but considering that at each of the two other locations they had gotten notes with 4 digits each, they entered them in: 1-2-2-2-5-1-3-6.
As they were about to open the briefcase, leading them to the next step in this ridiculous quest; they heard growling. As soon as they had entered the area, they were being stalked. Looking around, they saw three panther-like creatures circling around them, surrounding our soon-to-be heroes. They were large cats in form, but gray in color, coated in what appeared to be an ash or dust, with several (what appeared to be) leasions on their hides. They lunged.
As astonishing as their entrance was, so was their exit. On the (presumedly) death blow, each exploded into dust; the wind taking any trance of their being real with it. As he thought back on their encounter, Lief recollected a few stories of the Askavándr; legend speaking of Ash-covered creatures originating from Muspelheim, the realm of fire. Though the creatures in the story were far more mystical and fantastic: dragons and fire-breathing dogs.
Returning to the task at hand, they opened the briefcase. Insider were several papers. The first was a letter, stating:
Your final challenge lays before you, in the Rascally Mindset, Inc. complex. Housed therein is a mailbox – #117. In this mailbox is a package which you’ll need to finish this competition.
P.S. – This company is known for … protecting their privacy. Good luck getting in…
Looking up, they could see the aforementioned complex as they crested the hill. Hearing the name, both El Gato and Wynona had heard vague references to the company. Open for only a few years, they company had had quiet successed with some apps, including Heroes United, a mobile game which had been largely successful, but was criticized for allowing players to pay extra to receive the more rare items.
All seemed to be dark, except for some emergency lights scattered across the complex. Inside the briefcase were some blueprints (including engineer-oriented maps), guard schedules, and some photos on the interior of the building.
There was a more immediate hurdle though – getting through the electric fence. All signs has pointed to the fence not beig active due to the power outages which had striken the region after the earthquake. After Ti chanced touching the possibly Gigavolt fence, El Gato easily sliced a hole of a decent size, allowed them easy access into the area.
As they enter the area, they could only think:
- Would they make it in and out of the complex before the police hunted them down?
- Why was “the lady detective” accusing them of killing a cop, anyways?
- Who was really calling the shots here?
- What the hell were those panther-creatures?
- Would this night ever end?
- Just how secretive is Rascally Mindset, Inc?
Find out, on…