El Gato Loco, Ti Chane, and Lief Freyrson wait in the coding area of Rascal Mindset, Inc. Just outside, on the other side of the very door which our soon-to-be heroes entered, are 7 people dressed as police officers carrying automatic pistols – most likely members of The Avenues.
Ti is closest to the southern entrance, hiding behind one of the office desks. Lief is 30 feet back on the eastern side, near the hallway entrance, brandishing axe and shield, ready to charge, intimidate, and repel the invaders. El Gato stands 10 feet behind Ty, covered by another desk.
Wynona Franks and Henry, the security guard, are downstairs below the atrium at the center of Rascal Mindset, Inc., away from the combat. In Wynona’s possession are the pieces which the Avenues have been striving to get this entire time.
Their adversaries bust through the door. For a single second, there’s quiet as the “police officers” gauge the situation. Ti pounces, Lief charges, combat begins.
* * *
Meanwhile, Wynona and Henry are downstairs trying to figure out what to do next. Henry said there’s a place below the fountain they can hide, but Wynona wants to help her new-found friends in any way she can.
“Henry, where’s the fusebox?”
“In the janitor closet, why?”
“I’m going to turn the power again.”
Henry gets defensive. “Oh no you’re not. We have just gotten the power back in the first place, and these servers are the lifeblood of this company.” He put a hand on his holstered gun.
Calling his bluff, Wynona scrambles, quickly getting into the closet. She puts a mop handle against the door latch, effectively locking it… at least for a short while. She spots the fusebox, opens it, and shuts up the main power switch. The lights go off…
* * *
…and the emergency lights come on. At this point, everyone is in close combat. Lief up at the front with axe and shield, Ti with his fists, dodging and weaving, and El Gato in back with his force field up, kinetic knives slicing. As much as they try to stay in melee, making the guns of less use, blood has been spilt.
Then one of the Avenues gets a lucky shot – Ti gets hit in the chest with a burst of gunfire, falling down, blood oozing from the wounds.
A concussive blast can be heard off in the distance, signaling another breach, but no-one is able to investigate. Ti, as he falls, realizes when he looked out the window before combat, there were not just people dressed as police officers, but one dressed in SWAT gear as well. He saw no SWAT amongst his current adversaries…
* * *
Wynona stands in the darkened closet. Henry bangs on the door. She pays him no heed, as her attention is drawn to a flickering of light in her bag, now obvious with the lights out. The bluish tint makes her think it might be the tablet, left on accidently, but the light comes intermittently.
Looking inside, she remembers that while they were driving out here, sparks lit up between the two notes when they were close together. Now, all three are together, so little lightning flashes course over the notes. She aligns them on-top of each other, each of the numbers facing the same way. With a flash, they become one paper – just as she suspected, GPS coordinates.
With Henry, the security guard, still pounding on the door, she takes out the tablet and plugs them into Google Maps. Internet is weak in a basement janitor closet, so while the app shows the area, it is not able to provide anything more than the direction and proximity. Looks like it’s directly to the north a ways. If she remembers right, that’s in the wilderness park, near Mt. Baldy.
Given a moment to think, she realizes that while distant gunfire can still be heard, Henry is no longer knocking on the door.
BLAM BLAM!. Henry’s glock fires at something. A quick tat-tat-tat is heard in response from an unknown assailant – sounds like from a semi-automatic rifle. They go back in forth a few times – from the proximity and pitch, she can tell they’re moving around the basement area… and then, silence. tat, goes one last shot.
Clack, clack, clack She hears a pair of military-type boots walking around carefully, searching the area. No sounds from Henry though…
* * *
Ever since he was a teenager, Ti Chane has been training his body. Both to endure, to be self-sufficient, to heal. His body has become a masterpiece. He no longer needs to sleep, and cares little for food or drink. His years-long training will now have saved his life.
Ti’s body fills with an inner brightness – a white light bathing the room for a few seconds. He takes in a much-relieving breath, and quickly establishes his surroundings. His assailants are, as are his friends. While still hurt, he re-enters the fray with newfound vigor.
* * *
Still behind his force-field, which is taking more and more energy to keep up, El Gato Loco is the first to see the newcomer – a gang-banger in full SWAT gear. He knows that Lief, Ti and himself have been barely keeping the enemy at bay, and with this new foe in the mix, fully refreshed, with full ammo and impressive armor … the tides may turn against them.
With that in mind, he faces the new foe, hoping for some luck. They trade a few shots, the knives slashing and shots firing, but stand at an impass. This needs to end, now.
Whether it be adrenaline or the strange hour, he feels a surge of power as his kinetic knives lash into the SWAT member, who suddenly goes flying against the northern wall, crumpling into a small pile. With a sigh, El Gato turns back to face their existing adversaries, confident that the new foe has been dispatched.
* * *
Lief Freyrson is in the heat of the fray, still close to the southern entrance. Two of the gang-bangers lie on the floor, dead. One can be seen several feet away, crawling and spitting up blood. He cares not – he is still surrounded by three.
While he has been hit by gunfire, he is ever more thankful of Forstarder, which has repelled many shots. At this point, he understands that they courage could easily buckle, and attempts to intimidate them into submission. They resist, appearing to be fighting with a rage like the Úlfhéðnar of old. Interesting – they seem posessed.
* * *
Hearing the clack-clack of the boots almost directly in front of the closet, Wynona opens the door, attempting to surprise Henry’s killer. But the killer is larger than she realized, and the door does not budge an inch. Her foe appears in complete SWAT gear. However, there is a pause. Her foe sees something in the darkness, and leans his head to the side, as if he’s talking to someone on a shoulder-mic, but no words are spoken.
Wynona takes this chance to run. She quickly finds the stairs and starts climbing just as she hears a quick tat-tat-tat of gunfire below her.
* * *
Ti hears a scream. Wynona. Lief and El Gato seem to be handling the two remaining gang-bangers that remain, so he books it east towards the atrium.
The one banger crawling away has apparently made it to the hallway, and desperately tries to make himself small upon seeing Ti. No matter, his protectee is in trouble.
He seems the atrium ahead- the large room in which the large marble fountain in the center collapsed during the earthquake into the basement floor below. Hmm, if he times it right…
Still racing, he gets to the edge of the collapsed floor and leaps towards the founting, using it to switch direction as he tumbles onto the floor below. A section of the floor beside him falls down in blackness below. He sees Henry’s body laying there, a gunshot to the knee … and one to the head.
Another scream, this time coming from the stairway in front of him. More gunshots.
* * *
Having dispatched his foe, Lief runs after Ti. He passes the disabled banger and hears the walkie-talkie sound off. He stops for a split-second as he recognizes the voice, the voice that’s been after them this entire time
“The token has been found. Send the rest, before the cops get here.”
Find out what happens next, on the next session of
Age of Empowerment
Session 5: The Darkest Hour