/simu/ - Simulacrum

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>Date: March 15th, 2017
>Somewhere in the British Countryside

>Two ladies sit at a table, harsh light shining through a large bay window next to it, obscuring their features. At the centre of their table is a chess table, the pieces laid out for the start of a new game.

>One of the ladies picks up her king's pawn, moving it two spaces forward.

"I suppose you've heard about the attack on The Wedge."

>Her opponent responds by moving one of her own pieces.

"Of course, the official stance is that the Meta-Human Alliance did it, but. . ."

>The first lady moves one of her knights forward.


>The second lady thinks for a moment, then moves her one of own pieces in response.

"It's all too quiet for them, so either it wasn't someone important, or it was a pretender."

"You say that, but they have hit 21 other holding facilities since then, all across the world, and haven't denied ownership of this attack."

"Ah, but all of those were very open attacks, not like the first one, instead it looks like they're sending a message on how they actually act. . ."

>The first lady nods, then moves the same knight again, placing it by the initial pawn.

"Have any of them attacked there, yet?"

>The second lady brings one of her own knights out to respond.

"Not yet. . ."

"Then why don't we make a bet?"

>The first lady brings out her second knight.

"How do you mean?"

"The usual rules, we each select several candidates to make up a team, send them there, whoever manages to convince her of the worthiness of their cause gets it all."

"And I suppose I will be paying for these candidates?"

"Of course, you know I can't afford to setup up our little dances."

>The second woman leans backwards, sighing and running over the proposal in her head.

"Fine. . ."

"Excellent, it's your move by the way."

>The second woman looks at the chess board and goes to move a piece. . .


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>March 15th, 2017
>Time: 9:36pm
>Location: The Nightowl Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

>A cheer rings out in the casino as the guests are treated to the sight of a win at the high-roller table. The winner, a young woman with long red and white hair, has a smug look on her face that appears to say that she knew she was going to win the roll.

>As the crowd cheers and celebrates the win, someone slips through the crowd, approaching the table and brushing aside some of their fringe, itself a mix of black and white.

"Hey, stranger, care for a bet?"

>The winner at the table looks the person up and down and shrugs.

"Sure, not sure what you can offer though, I've already won enough to make set me up for life. . ."

>The challenger grins and takes out an ancient silver coin, the symbol of an owl engraved on one side. Placing it on the table for the winner to see, they turn it over to reveal a box engraved on the other side, causing the winner to react, her brow furrowing as she considers the stranger in a new light.

"This'll work, right?"

"Well, can't refuse, pick a number I guess. . ."


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>March 16, 2017
>Time: 12:00pm
>Location: The British Museum, London

>A person dressed up in baggy clothes, a cap, and sunglasses, all creating an incognito look, stands in front of one of the exhibits, reading the plaque for more information on it. From behind them, the same person from Vegas, this time wearing their white-black hair out of their eyes, walks up behind them.

"Oh that's an interesting piece, found in 1850 by. . ."



>The incognito figure looks over their shoulder at the newcomer.

"It was stolen in 1850."

"Oh, right, guess you could say that about most of the pieces here. . ."

"You could."

>The white-black haired person goes silent for moment, awkwardly tapping their foot.

"Jeez you're not easy to talk to. . . Maybe you'll be a bit more open if I had one of these. . ?"

>They take out another coin, similar to their bet in Vegas. . .


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>March 16 2017
>Time: 10:04pm

>A woman with silvery dyed hair and a fairly slim, averagely sized body sits on a run down couch in a brick warehouse. The entire building is pitch black, save for what little light leaks through the upper windows as well as her phone.

>Appearing bored, the woman flips through the cheap looking phone - a burner. She grumbles to herself, clearly not satisfied with her current living condition.

"Gotta get out of here."


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"Wow this place stinks. . . you really live like this?"

>The same person from both Vegas and London walks around in the open of the warehouse, although the door doesn't seem to have been opened.

"I mean, I'd say that if I could see anything, you allergic to lightbulbs or something?"

>They grin and wave to the woman.

"I imagine you'd like some money to get out of this dump, right? Some kind of well-paying job. Because I've got one if you want it, and you've come with recommendations."


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>Feeling too exhausted and disgusted with her surroundings to protest the stranger's presence, the woman asks:

"…What kind of job?"


File: 1663098251840.png (322.3 KB, 627x611, stranger-3.png)

>The person shrugs.

" A bit of manual labour, you know, the usual, things need moving, heads need bashing in. . ."

>They take a packet of candy out of their pocket and put one in their mouth.

"All on a lovely Mid-Atlantic island, with lovely. . . rain and. . . more rain. . ."

"Oh, and it's tax-free!"


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>The woman thinks about it for a few short moments, before saying:

"I'm in. Almost anything is better than this."

>She hops off the dirty couch and quickly wipes herself off.


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"Sweet, come with me then. . ."

>The person offers out their hand. . .


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>Date: March 16th, 2017
>Location: Sanctuary City - "Camo" Base #4
>Time: 10:30 AM

>The industrial district of Sanctuary City is currently bustling with activity. Various cars and busses are quietly chugging along, as multiple people walk down narrow sidewalks. Some avian wildlife flies around, in the form of a few birds - with some people walking dogs along the streets. There's an air of mundane conduct in this part of the city - as various people go about their business.

>A pair of civilians walk past a set of large metallic junkyard doors - with a mountain of trash heaped up into the air. The junkyard itself is, however, a front. Beneath the exterior, there's a series of tunnel passageways hidden behind some of the "scrap" - leading into constrictive pathways. On the interior side of the pathways, is a large underground factory of sorts.

"….So where is it? The payload?"

>A scoff of annoyance emanates from across the hallway, as a woman in a black and form fitting suit walks into a large room. Moving her hair to the side, the woman in her late 20s, appears to be thinking to herself. As the voice from before speaks - she breaks her trance and looks up - seeing another woman staring at her with her arms crossed.

"Oh for fuck's sake, Aisha. Do you think they're going to just eject a capsule from the air?"

>The woman with snow white hair, Aisha, narrows her eyes. Pushing herself off from the wall of their command room, she stares daggers at the red haired woman, stating:

"Derelict, we're on a time table here. If we don't get those munitions by the end of the week, we're not going to be able to finish the contract-"

"You're working with people who fucking hate Meta-Humans."

>Derelict shouts for a moment, allowing the weight of the situation to sink in.

"….We're working on a contract with benefactors who can help us destroy the MRD."

"Because they don't want Meta-Humans to be protected from what they're gonna do to us!"

>Silent for a moment, Aisha closes her eyes and then sighs. Her headband, gleaming with a smooth metallic surface - shines brightly for an instant. Afterwards, she opens her eyes and starts walking towards the hallway.

"Doesn't matter, Derelict. If they become a problem, we'll deal with them."

>Scoffing, Derelict then takes out one of her handguns, a modified S&W, vintage and .32 caliber. As she spins it in her hand, she then says:

"You know, we could just try something more simple instead."

>Aisha then rounds the corner, coming to the Outsiders' general armory. Moving to open the large metallic cabinet in front of her, she pulls out a set of modified handguns - modern in design. With custom engravings and pressure sensitive triggers, she casually flips them onto her waist - watching as they magnetize firmly in place.

"Oh? And what exactly is that?"


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>Location: ?????
>Time: 12:00 PM [Relative to Sanctuary City]

>A jungle in the middle of a South American country is remarkably loud - compared to its normal level of sound. The cause is as swift as it is deadly.

>Large volleys of gunfire rip through various tree branches, plants and other forms of vegetation - as the brightness of muzzle flares rises.

"…Did you get him?!"

>A pair of mercenaries in tactical suits and goggles slowly continue moving through the forest. As they begin slowly flanking around another nearby tree, they both look at each other. Aware of the same trigger point.

"….Son of a bitch-"

>Both of the mercenaries then explode in a set of bloody showers. As bloody chunks fall to the ground, the smoke of burning wood rises into the air.

"Wow, the tripwire actually worked huh? Neat."

>A man in an elaborate costume, with a tactical outline, gracefully flips to the ground. As he lands from the large tree trunk above, he looks at it and salutes to it.

"Thanks Mother Nature! You really know how to loosen people up!"

>As the forest is empty and lacking anyone to groan at his deliberately bad joke, the masked man then groans loudly.

"Ugh. Tough crowd. I guess the dead aren't worth a good laugh."

>Muttering to himself, the man then turns around and begins walking away from the tree - still in the jungle.

"I wonder if those Eukaryon fucks are still gonna send more mercs. Sure, I may have stolen and ingested a super cool serum…..but it was just one of them! Plus the other 5 are gonna sell for so much money when I-"

>Hearing a rustling of the forest, the man then immediately draws a large modified SMG from his hip. Aiming the large barrel at a set of noises off in the distance, he says:

"Oi! Who the fuck is that? Come on! Out where I can see you!"


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"Hey, rude! Pointing a scary gun. . ."

>The person with white-black hair walks out from behind the man, swatting a fly in the air.

"I think that's mouse you're pointing your gun at by the way."

>They shrug.

"I'm not expert though, I'm just a busy worker, doing my job, collecting people for other jobs - or, well, job. People like you!"

>They do fingerguns at the man.

"Good money in it, if you're interested, chance to meet new people. . . must be a team worker. . . opportunity to see an 'exotic' Mid-Atlantic island. Learn some history. . ."

"Any of this working for you, big guy?"


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>Staring bluntly at the person, the man's lenses narrow reflexively on his mask. In a low tone of voice, he says:

"You're fucking weird."

>In a more reasonable tone of voice, the man then spins the SMG on the trigger with his finger, managing it with surprising dexterity as he says:

"Yeah sure, whatever. I don't really give a shit about what's going on, as long as I get paid."

>The man then holsters the SMG in the large strap on his thigh, stating:

"…..So what. Do I just follow you or some shit? I dunno how this works, sprite."


File: 1663101938996.png (322.3 KB, 627x611, stranger-3.png)

"Blink, the name's Blink."

>Blink offers out their hand.

"If you would. . ."

>Keeping their hand ready for the man to take, they add:

"Oh, and try not to throw up."


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>Shaking his head, the man then says:

"Yeah OK, whatever. Name's Catharsis - because I'm smart with the big brained names,"

>Thinking to himself, Catharsis says:

{"This dude's weird as hell. But hopefully his boss has money. If not? Then I won't be in a great mood so meh."}

>Lazily, Catharsis then takes Blink's hand.


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"I mean it, people usually throw up the first time."

>The jungle environment disappears, being replaced with a beach, the whole experience creating a "motion" that makes it feel like the passenger's stomach is being turned upsaide down and back rapidly.

>Letting go of Catharsis's hand, Blink takes a step back in their new location. . .

>Date: March 16th, 2017

>Time: 1:06pm
>Location: Hamilton, Bermuda

>Blink takes another step back, their feet leaving footprints on the beach that the pair have arrived on.

>Much cooler than during the summer, the beach is empty besides all of the people that Blink has "collected", the variety in the group making them a ragtag bunch.

>Turning away from Catharsis, Blink does a head count.

"Sphinx. . . Outsiders Leader. . . Water Girl. . . Derelict. . . Thief Girl. . . Guy calling himself Catharsis. . . Yep that's everyone! You really need better names by the way."

>Blink does a single clap to get everyone's attention.

"So, before we get into the boring formal stuff, why don't we have a bit of an icebreaker? Say hello to each other and all that - I'll start."

>Blink gives everyone a wave.

"I'm Blink, you've all met me now, no I don't have any other names, yes you'll be getting paid, either in non-traceable cash or equivalent value in precious metals or jewels, your pick. Oh, and the job's going to be taking place about two hundred miles that way. . ."

>Blink points out to sea.


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>Catharsis's mask lenses widen dramatically as he looks on aghast at the expansive view. The bright light of the Sun strains his eyesight as he puts a hand to his mask.

"Woah woah woah! I didn't ask for a vacation spot to be dumped in!"

>Putting a finger to his chin, he then thinks out loud:

"Though this is kinda nice, not gonna lie….."

>After watching as Blink explains the situation, Catharsis then points at Blink and says:

"You sure about that payment, short-sprout? I don't even know who your boss is! Besides."

>Waving his hands at the other women, Catharsis says:

"The manicure squad here might break a nail or two if they've gotta swim. Just leave it to me."

>Catharsis says, proudly pointing a thumb at his chest.

"…..As long as that cash is the real deal, that is!!"

>Standing a few meters away, Aisha rolls her eyes, as Derelict stifles a laugh with her hands on her mouth.

"I can tell you're a real charmer, clown show."

>Silent, Catharsis then begins slowly sauntering up to Aisha, moving with exaggerated steps, his arms appearing more bulky than in reality. As he stands in front of the mercenary in the skintight silver suit, he then stares at her, saying:

"Listen here, Princess, I'm not some rank amateur goon with a gun and a drinking problem!"

>Pulling one of his customized SMGs with surprising speed, he places it at Aisha's chin - somewhat surprising her.

{"What the- He's faster than I thought!"}

"I'm easily the best marksman in the entire world! Point me at a target, and it's hollowed out in an instant!"

>Shoving the SMG further into her cheek, he then says:

"I'm the best at what I do! Provided I have some alcohol on hand!"

>Silent for a moment, Catharsis continues staring at Aisha as the latter says:

"….Have you made your point yet?"

>She states, somewhat on edge.

"…….Yeah sure whatever."

>Catharsis then pulls the barrel of the SMG from Aisha's cheek and spins it back into its waist holster. As he does so, he whistles lightly and walks away a few feet.

>Aisha then looks at Derelict from the edge of her peripheral vision, getting a concerned glare in response from her subordinate. Whispering, they speak to each other quietly:

"…This guy's insane."

"That, or possibly bi-polar. That's my guess. Keep an eye on him, Derelict."

"….Will do, boss. Sheesh."

>Derelict makes a mental note to keep tabs on Catharsis now.


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>Sighing, Aisha then turns back to Blink, and stares at him for a moment. Then, Aisha turns her attention to the rest of the assembled, makeshift "crew".

"….I'm Aisha. Details are need to know basis."

>Crossing her arms, Aisha makes a slight nod to Derelict standing beside her, Derelict having her hands on her hips.

"That's Derelict, my second-in-command. While I can't speak to our more exuberant associate over here."

>Aisha glares at Catharsis, who's taken a seat on the beach floor and started building a sand castle for whatever reason. She then turns her attention back towards the established group, continuing:

"We're expert marksmen ourselves. Tactical infiltrators with reconnaissance experience. Trained in multiple forms of close quarters combat. Ordinance expertise. You name it, we have some experience with it as well."

>Derelict then picks up:

"Oh and as for powers? We're both Meta-Humans. My boss here's got super reflexes, photographic memory and hyper senses."

>Derelict immediately moves to stab Aisha with a knife concealed in her wrist gauntlets - only for Aisha to immediately and effortlessly grab her, pin her and flip her over into the ground below - tossing sand up into the air.

"…And my subordinate can generate vibrational waves with a thought - powerful enough to rupture solid matter with enough focus. Combustion is a secondary byproduct of her powers as well."

>Aisha holds out a hand, allowing Derelict to take it and slowly rise to her feet. Dusting her skintight black suit off, she then says:

"You always lead with the vibrational waves. The combustion's way cooler, isn't it?"

>Derelict says, giving Aisha a sheepish smile as Aisha rolls her eyes.

"As I said, those are the need-to-know details about us. For optimal mission performance, it's best that we inform each other of our capabilities, training and experience."

>Aisha then nods at the rest of the group, waiting for are response. Derelict makes a gesture with her wrist, causing the knife to quickly retract back into her wrist gauntlet.


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>The red-headed woman laughs at the spectacle, her voice filtered through a synthesiser of some kind, thee somewhat synthetic sounds matching the smile on her mask.

"He's a funny one, I wanna keep him."

>Sphinx, meanwhile, scoffs, a furry tail flicking up from behind her for a moment before returning to its original position.

"Jeez girl, what happened to the whole 'honor among thieves' thing? Anyway. . ."

>The woman gives the rest of the group an exagerrated bow, like out of a stage show.

"She's Sphinx, I don't have a name like that because I don't do stuff like leaving calling cards 'cus that gets you caught. . . we're both thieves, she has some kind of plant dealy. . ."

>The woman puts a hand to her mouth like she's mocking telling a secret through a fourth wall.

". . .and is a real downer. . . and I'm lucky."

>Finished with her introduction, the woman takes a step backwards, her mask maintaining the same smiling expression.

>Sphinx, meanwhile, stays silent, not adding her own commentary.


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>Catharsis glares at the woman in the smiling mask. Narrowing his lenses, he then says:

"I'm not a pet! Unless you're willing to pay me a lot of money to be!"

>Catharsis looks down at the sand castle in front of him, then goes silent for a moment.


>More silence. Then suddenly:


>Catharsis then immediately removes both of the customized swords from the back of his suit - beginning to rapidly slice at the sandcastle, creating a sea of various sand castles. As this happens, he then retracts the swords - placing them back in their holsters.

"It's all ruined! I wanted symmetry in the structural foundations! Uggggghhhhhh!!!!!!"

>Slamming his hand on the ground repeatedly, Catharsis then goes silent for a moment. Afterwards, he looks up and says:

"….The hell are you all staring at?"

>Muttering, he stands up and then says:

"….So can we go now? This beach is boring."


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>The woman tilts her head.

"Well if you wanted to make a bet. . ."

>Blink coughs to bring themselves back into the conversation.

"We'll get going soon enough, we're waiting on two things: her to introduce herself. . ."

>Blink points at the woman with silvery hair.

". . .and the boat I ordered, because this place feels like swiss cheese whenever I try to get close to it and I'm pretty sure I'd fall out of the world or something if I got too close to it."

"You know, like in a video game when the character goes all crazy and clips through the floor? Except I'm an actual person and I think that'd hurt - maybe."


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>The woman looks annoyed at even having to speak up. Quickly, she says:

"My name is Cynthia."

>Without another word she crosses her arms, looking visibly tired and a bit irritated while she waits to leave.


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"Her name is Cynthia and she's not a people person, ok!"

>Blink claps their hands in mock celebration to try and avoid any tension.

"So we've got introductions done and the boat is. . ."

>Blink brings out a phone and checks it.

"A few minutes away."

"So I figure I should probably explain a little about this place."

>Blink coughs and takes out a folded piece of paper, reading through it with a wooden delivery:

"Saint Jude's is a prison island located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, it is used for holding Meta-Human criminals deemed too politically subversive for typical maximum security prisons on mainlands such as the Wedge for America or The Cage in Britain. . ."

>Blink licks their finger and flicks over a page.

". . .as such it has a constant military guard, necessitating the use of skilled mercenaries for this job. . . that's you."

>Blink points at Cynthia, Catharsis, Aisha, and Derelict.

"It is also equipped with top of the line security systems, meaning that any attack to free a prisoner will end if failure if security credentials are not obtained, as such we also need skilled thieves to obtain this. . ."

>Blink looks up over the paper and smiles.

". . .the target is a prisoner most likely located in the depths of the prisoner due to them being an Alpha level Meta-Human with a penchant for bringing people to their cause. Blink, we need you to. . ."

>Blink crumples up the paper.

"And that's all they wrote."


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>Not paying attention to the briefing with any degree of interest, Catharsis points at Blink with an accusatory stance and says:

"Why don't we just cut the power to the place and let you do all the work, shrimp? You can teleport a long ass distance, right?"

>Catharsis makes an exaggerated gesture with his hands, sardonically.

"So……we blast the place up, raise some hell, and then weaken whatever dampener tech they've got there. Then you do the hard work of actually going into the place, finding the dude, and getting him out!"

>Looking up at the rest of the group, Catharsis says:

"Less work too!"

>Aisha stares at Catharsis for a moment, trying to decide whether his plan is absurd or efficient.

"The idea of this is quite possibly the stupidest plan I've ever heard."

>Aisha stops and thinks to herself again for a moment, before continuing:

"….But if the dampeners are large enough, and situated externally to the premises in order to supply that much power? It could work."

>Derelict blinks for a moment.

"OK what? There's no way they're gonna have dampeners lying around out in the open! Who's stupid enough to do that?"

>Aisha casts a side eye glance to Derelict as she says:

"….The Wedge, given how powerful the Meta-Humans were, external generators were needed to fully negate their abilities. That's the entire reason they're redesigning their security protocols."

>Catharsis points at Aisha now, excitedly saying:

"See?!?! See?!?! She gets it!!"


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"The weird feeling isn't dampeners, I don't actually have a problem with those. . . I can just pop in and then be stuck there with those, this thing is something different. . ."

"So, like, no idea if it works like dampeners - but there's bound to be dampeners, right?"

>Blink shrugs.

"Would definitely recommend taking them out, I mean, it'd cause some chaos, but not for us. . ."

>Blink disappears for a second, returning with several earpieces in their hand.

"These will provide enough of a counter-signal to handle your standard dampeners - but if anyone asks, you didn't get these from me."

>Blink coughs.

"They're technically medical equipment. . ."


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>Aisha glares at Blink with disbelief. Looking down at the miniature devices in their hand, she then says:

"How could you possibly have access to miniaturized wave suppression technology? That's black market equipment!"

>Derelict cranes her head to the side, even more interested in the devices.

"Standard dampeners operate at a high oscillation rate, and alternate between frequencies at set intervals. You'd need a microchip that can anticipate and predict the wave pattern-"

>Catharsis, surprisingly, finishes her statement.

"-And make a counter frequency that cancels out the wave patterns in a sequential manner! Crazy right?!"

>Catharsis then quickly rushes over to Blink and snags one of the earpiece devices from them, looking at it for a moment.

"Assuming you're not full of crap here, shrimp, I can use these in my line of work. Nice job!"

>Catharsis then mutters as he fastens the earpiece under his mask and through to his ear. After a few seconds, he goes:

"Don't feel any different. Meh, whatever then."

>Aisha then turns back to Blink and says:

"So you have an employer who can supply trained mercenaries with hundreds of thousands of dollars in non-traceable rare earth metals. An entire operational plan for breaking into the most high security international holding facility this side of the Pacific Ocean."

>Derelict comes up beside her boss, finishing her statements.

"And microprocessors fast enough to generate counter frequencies for rapidly shifting dampener devices."

>Aisha then says:

"Forgive me if I'm not at least a little bit curious about your benefactor - and why exactly they need us for this, specifically."

>Aisha makes a motion of resignation with her hands, moving them up in the air in exasperation before lowering them to her sides again.

"You seem to be well equipped enough for this - more than we would've been."


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"Well. . . errr. . . not quite. . ."

"They don't know how to fight, sweety."

>The masked thief's modulated voice cuts through.

"I mean, that's obvious, right? You could buy the nicest gun on the market but it's no use if you don't know how to turn off the safety. . ."

>The woman moves some of her hair to slip the device into her ear, covering back up again.

"Also this stuff's not black market, it's just medical stuff, you can get hold of it if you're like, a hospital, own a hospital, or have a Meta-Gene that means you'd die or something if you walked into an area with dampeners, like those."

>She points at Sphinx's ears.

"I bet you already have some of these, right Sphinx honey?"

"No comment. . ."


>Blink rubs their hands, a gesture of nervousness.

"Yeah, what she said. . . It's just a crime in a lot of countries for people who don't need these things to have them, and you were hired because they wanted the best of the best. . ."


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"Dampeners actually hurt people with changed bodies? I always heard that was just a rumor and it didn't affect them."

>Cynthia grabs one of the ear pieces and moves it around in her hand, looking it over.


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>Aisha glares at the woman with the smiling mask on, eyeing her carefully. As she does so, she responds to Blink.

"…That's the implication. Unless you need these, you're not supposed to have them."

>Looking directly at Blink, she then says:

"Given how this has nothing to do with medicine or any medical applications, and seeing how your benefactor decided to hire mercenaries and thieves…"

>Derelict waves her hand in the air in a sheepish fashion.

"Yeah this is sketchy as hell, even for what we're used to dealing with. But the money's good, so no more questions from us."

>Derelict takes one of the earpieces and flicks one at Aisha - who catches it with her hand without even looking at it.

"….Payment in rare Earth materials. We'll send an invoice."

>Fastening the earpiece to her ear, she then turns towards the shore, looking at the facility off in the distance.

"You're hydrokinetic aren't you?"

>Aisha says, gesturing her head towards Cynthia as she says:

"Don't think I don't remember you, after the stunt you pulled off last time in Sanctuary City."

>Derelict is confused for a moment, before her eyes widen.

"Wait, that's her? Seriously?!?!"

>Aisha nods, then says:

"I've seen what you can do, so a reconnaissance scout would be appreciated. Given how none of us seem to be as skilled with navigating the waters as you are."


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"Is it sketchy though. . ."

>The red-haired theif butts in again.

"I mean, I'm no expert on fighting, but, like, I don't think they could beat up my MaMaw with those weedy little arms, isn't it more likely they hired you because you could do that?"

>As she continues on, Sphinx walks over to the edge of the water and squats down, bringing her hand down and letting a crab walk on it. After a few moments, she interrupts the conversation herself:

"Unless she can travel stealthily underwater, they will spot her, they have guard towers covering the entire island - which makes us getting in stealthily difficult as well."

>Blink looks over at the thief, surprised.

"I didn't know you were. . . doing something?"

"Scouting. Less than what proper eyes would give us, but enough."

>Sphinx let's the crab scuttle off.


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"I can't breathe or see underwater better than any of you. So there's no real point in me going ahead of anyone else."

>Cynthia finally places the ear piece on her ear, wincing for a moment as it pinches her somehow.


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>Aisha looks at Derelict, who sighs and shrugs her shoulders.

"Didn't bring the rebreathers obviously. We were in a hurry."

>Rolling her eyes, Aisha then says:

"Someone needs to draw their attention, long enough for Cynthia to move into place."

>Aisha then glares at Catharsis, who crosses his arms.

"Oh I get it. Use the strong, tough and brave warrior to hold off an entire regiment of armed guards, stationed on the most secure holding facility in the entire planet! Yeah that seems fair!"

>Aisha narrows her eyes, stating:

"Shut up, Garrick. You're the only one capable of withstanding direct bullet fire and regenerating the damage quickly enough."

>Not even surprised at the reveal of his name, Catharsis then mutters:

"Yeah but I still get shot at, not fun."

>Aisha points at the waters.

"You get shot, so that you get your money - then you can go on your way. Simple?"

>Catharsis rolls his eyes as he takes out one of his custom SMGs. Eyeing the barrel carefully, he then looks at Blink and says:

"You got a boat or some shit I can use yet? I'll draw their fire - but I ain't swimming there."

>Aisha looks at Blink as well.

"If not, then get Catharsis as close to the facility as possible. Given his reputation, I'm sure they'd be more than willing to focus on him with their fire - long enough for us to come up with a plan to breach the interior."

>Derelict speaks up, saying:

"…You all know I can rupture basically anything with a touch right? Including the water."

>Catharsis and Aisha then both stare at Derelict.

"What? Nobody asked. It doesn't have a range limit, and I've evaporated large bodies of water before."


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>Blink looks at Catharsis and Aisha, a little confused.

"We only have one boat. . . and it's like 200 miles to St Jude's. . . Sphinx has been here for a few hours now, that crab probably swum for like an hour each way - or caught a ride on a shark or something, can crabs do that?"

>Sphinx shakes her head.

"Also we don't want to evaporate 200 miles of the Atlantic, don't want to cause an international incident here."

"I guess we could get the boat close enough and then have our distraction swim in, or have Cynthia work her water magic to send him in. . ."

>Sphinx's ear perks up.

"A boat is coming."

>Blink turns to face her.

"Oh look, the boat. . ."

>A boat speeds up to the beach, stopping just before it runs aground, and a man steps off it.

"I'll just. . . errr. . . handle the pickup. . ."

>Blink disappears and reappears by the man, talking to him away from the others.


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>Cynthia pinches the bridge of her nose and closes her eyes, shaking her head.

{"These people think I'm some kind of miracle worker."}


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>Looking off at Blink in the distance, Aisha looks back at the shore, and then thinks to herself.

{"This is a waste of time. We'll need to send Catharsis at them anyways, so I might as well drop the act."}

>Looking at her boss's concentrated face, Derelict says:

"….Uh, Aisha? You OK there?"

>Aisha then says, without looking at Derelict:

"I'm getting us to the island. The act is wasting time, so I'll drop it."

>At that moment, Aisha holds out her hand - and watches as a massive amount of water from the sea begins rapidly rising into the air - swirling around as it forms a giant sphere. The sphere becomes transluscent from the inside, as the water begins rapidly pulling back to the edges of the sphere.

>Derelict opens her mouth, aghast and in shock as she realizes what her boss has done.

"Seriously?! You're showing them?!"

>Aisha looks at Derelict, annoyed.

"We're wasting time here, Derelict. I'm finding us a solution."

>Catharsis raises an eyebrow for a moment, going:

"Woah woah woah! Time out! You're a matter manipulator?! The fuck?!"

>Aisha, grimacing in annoyance, then makes a swiping motion with her outstretched hand - engulfing Catharsis in the large bubble.

"Hey! This fabric's not machine wash safe!"

>As he starts swimming in the water bubble, Aisha turns to the rest of the bunch, stating:

"I don't have to explain what my real ability is. You've seen it. The reflexes are a byproduct of body modification through that power."

>Aisha points at the sea in the distance, stating:

"I can cover the distance for us quickly, but I need to know if you're all willing to work with this improvised plan. All of you."


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>Catharsis continues swimming around in the bubble, realizing immediately:

"Woah…Wait how am I breathing in water?! Not that I'm complaining, but still!"

>Derelict looks up at Catharsis, somewhat amused at his surprise.

"It's as you said. She's really good at manipulating matter. I don't know how she does it, but it's almost automatic for her. Making sure you're getting the oxygen you need."

>Aisha keeps her focus trained on the rest of the group, saying:

"I can move us underground at rapid speeds - and supply us with the oxygen we need. Then I'll launch Catharsis into the prison's exterior once we're close enough - causing the distraction. As he's diverting fire, we'll need to find a way into the facility - before we reach the range of the dampeners."

>Crossing her arms, Aisha explains:

"Once we're within range - while still underwater, I don't have to explain what happens next. So we'll need a plan of attack ourselves once we're close to the edge of the dampeners' range."

>Aisha then keeps her arms crossed, looking at all of them, one at a time - as she says:

"Any suggestions then?"


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>Over at the boat, Blink is still talking with the hand over man.

"Hey, someone's running off with your people. . ."

>Blink looks over their shoulder.

"Right, got the keys, I'll be riiiight back!"

>They disappear and reappear by the others.

"Woah woah woah, I don't know who said what to who, but there's no need for fighting."

>Sphinx shakes her head.

"It isn't a fight, Aisha suggested this over using the boat."

"Oh. . . errr. . . well this is interesting, but I do want to point we have a boat."

>Blink indicates towards the parked boat.

"We don't need to do freaky water stuff, it's a perfectly good boat, nice and fast, I have the keys and everything."

>The red-haired thief adds:

"Yeah no offense sweety, but I'm gonna go with the boat, I don't like putting all my cards in someone else's hand - and if I wanted to take a swim I'd ask Cee-Cee."

>She turns to look at Cynthia with a lot of speed.

"I can call you Cee-Cee right?"

>Sphinx thinks for a moment, then adds:

"I also vote for a boat, for similar reasons."


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>Rolling her eyes, Aisha then says:

"Fine. Suit yourself."

>Making another motion with her hand, Aisha generates a second large sphere - a few dozen meters in volume that encompasses her and Derelict. As the water and air combination begins swirling around them, she then says:

"The job involves retrieval of the subject. Find your own way in if you can."

>Catharsis continues swimming around in his bubble, saying:

"Hey! What about me?!"

>Aisha looks at him, stating:

"Same plan as before. You're bait, and very good bait at that."

>Both of the large water-air spheres then remotely move themselves into the water - submerging themselves entirely. For a brief moment, ripples at the surface can be seen - moving at subsonic speeds towards the island prison. After a few more seconds, the ripples abate - as the spheres sink deeper into the sea.


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>Cynthia watches as the bubbles sink into the depths of the ocean, holding a confused yet annoyed expression, before finally letting out a sigh.

"God, what an annoying bitch. Nobody asked her to be in charge."

>Without saying anything else she begins walking towards the boat.


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>The two large spheres continue moving rapidly across the ocean floor - shifting their trajectories slightly, in order to keep pace with the ecology of the area around them. As they narrowly avoid jagged rocks and edges, Derelict looks at Aisha for a moment. She then says:

"Aisha, you didn't have to go head first into this. You're not usually this headstrong and impulsive."

>Aisha's arms are still crossed as she focuses on the maneuvering of both bubbles. Still wanting to get a reaction from her commanding officer, Derelict then shouts:

"Aisha! Listen to me! You're moving too fast with this!"

>Aisha then responds, though her arms are still crossed and her attention is still focused on the marine life around them.

"I don't trust our contractor. I don't trust the personnel they hired, and I don't trust situation we're in either."

>Derelict raises an eyebrow as she says:

"…This is a standard job. Contract is given, terms are set. What's so off about this one?"

"Who's our target, Derelict?"

>Derelict blinks for a moment.

"Well, it's……"

>Silent, Derelict narrows her eyes again, saying:

"….Blink never told us who the target was. In fact, all their benefactor said was that they were 'most likely located in the depths….due to them being an Alpha level Meta-Human with a penchant for-"

>Derelict's eyes widen.

"….Bringing people to their cause."

>She then turns her attention to Aisha.

"Who needs a Meta-Human with suggestion powers on a mass scale?"

"Good question. Let's go find out."

>Aisha then holds out her hand, increasing the speed of the bubbles as they move at sonic speeds under the water.


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>As they come closer to the large island prison, Aisha lowers the speed of the bubble movement. Derelict looks around for a moment then says:

"Alright, we're getting closer. How are we going to get in anyways, Aisha?"

>Aisha adjusts the bracelets on her wrist, still looking ahead as she says:

"Range isn't an issue for me Derelict, you know this. The point is to just use Catharsis as bait, and to serve as a decoy - long enough for me to excavate a path from underneath the bottom of the prison."

>Derelict then holds out her hand, trying to get a read on the matter surrounding them. She begins feeling interference immediately.

"Damnit…I can't find a consistent flow of stable matter to push on. Can you-"

"I already know where the bottom is. I'll start excavating once Catharsis is in position."

>Derelict then looks at Aisha for a moment, her gaze fixated on her boss. Staring at her eyes, she then says, without even noticing:

"….How's it like? Feeling everything at a distance? Every single atom and molecule?"

>Aisha surprisingly responds, her arms still crossed:

"….Alienating, ironically enough. When you can feel everything around you, nothing feels real at all. Sorry to disappoint."

>Derelict looks away, embarrassed.

"…Yeah well back to work then."


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"Well I figured it was clear I was meant to be in charge. . . I mean, I'm the one representing the people employing you and all that. . ."

>Blink sighs.

"Why does she always pick the awkward ones. . ."

>Heading to the boat themselves, Blink takes the front of the pack.

"Oh yeah, you don't need to worry, I have a boating license and everything, I absolutely know how to drive a boat, ok?"

>Sphinx tilts her head, and the other thief adds:

"Usually when people say that, it means they don't know how to do the thing they're saying. . ."

"Yeah but. . . ok I'll shut up."

>Blink jumps up to climb onto the boat and offers out a hand for Cynthia to take, pulling her up onto the boat, and does the same for everyone else.

>Once everyone is on the boat, they set off, moving at high speed themselves.

"I also didn't cheap out on the boat like I could have, there's even pleeenty of room thanks to us being a little short on numbers so make yourselves comfortable. . ."

>After some time, the boat starts approaching the group's target, an island completely isolated from the rest of the world, the prison itself springing up from an old fort of some kind, with high walls around the entire thing. Several watchtowers line the walls, looking out for all directions to the ocean.

>With the target in sight, Blink stops the boat, making sure to stay outside of the visible range of the watchtowers.

"Well, I guess we wait for their distraction now. . ."


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>After a few minutes, a series of large explosions can be heard in the distance. Immediately, alarms begin to flare as gunfire rains outward, a series of bullets raining down across the outskirts of the facility - like streaks of black hail. More explosions appear soon afterwards, as more incendiary and explosive rounds unload from a distant machine gun.

"Ahahahaha!!! You guys suck at this!"

>Catharsis - having been launched into the air from the ocean with almost no warning - has equipped modified combustion rounds to his modified SMGs. With his aforementioned precision marksmanship and accuracy, he strikes key structural supports - causing portions of nearby watchtowers to begin breaking apart. As he lands on the ground at the exterior of one of the walled bases, he takes out a pair of grenades.

"Let's see how good my aim is!"

>Quickly, he then spins around - tossing both grenades into the air - blasting apart portions of the reinforced walls - laughing the entire time.

"I don't think I even need the money anymore! This is fun as hell! HA!"

>Catharsis continues wrecking havoc on the exterior, causing more and more security personnel and guards to begin diverting their attention towards the north side of the base.


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>Feeling the vibrations of the explosions above, Aisha then opens her eyes and says:

"Plan's started. Let's move."

>Aisha then moves herself and Derelict down deep through the ground of the ocean floor - beginning to burrow deep. Using her intuitive extra-sensory perception, Aisha uses her control over atoms and molecules to guide her relative position. As she burrows herself deeper and deeper through the destroyed marine sediment rock - she positions herself directly underneath the floor of the island.

>Derelict looks at Aisha one more time, saying:

"You sure about this, Aisha?"

>Aisha nods, stating:

"Probably better we keep the dampeners up - not sure who this Meta-Human is, but we don't want them using their powers against us."

>Derelict nods and adjusts her bracelets, prepping the stun darts function.

"One wrong move and they're out of commission."

>Aisha then makes an upward motion with her hand - exerting her Meta-Human power and ripping apart tons of rock and minerals as she begins remotely carving out the prison's exterior with precision and accuracy.


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>As the dust from the explosions clears, Cartharsis is treated to the image of base being unscathed from his assault, several alarms begin ringing out as he keeps his rampage up. As he moves about, a new wall of force appears, flashing blue before it solidifies.

>Inside St Jude's

>The control centre of the prison is a flurry of activity as the alarms blare, with administative workers watching what they can of the situation outside.

>As the chaos unfolds, a calm, collected man with grey hair walks into the room, his hands behind his back, making his way to the centre of the room, he finds himself stopped by one of the assistants.

"Sir, we're under attack."

"Yes, I can see that, by a lone idiot with an array of weapons."

"Should we send more his way?"

"He's a distraction, clearly, send a token force his way and-"

"Sir, we're detecting structural instability."

"How droll. . . Redirect field integrity to maintain the structure and let our guest in, he can wear himself out on some of the guards."

>The man carries on moving to the centre, taking a seat in a chair emblazoned with a logo in the shape of an eye.

"In fact, reduce the field, let whoever wants to come in, when they wear themselves out, we'll capture them and see who sent them."

>The room is silent for a moment.

"Well, what are we waiting for?"
>On the boat.

>Blink watches the explosions go off, then the field appearing for a moment before a blue flash indicates that it's disappeared again.

"Well, looks like we have a distraction at least. . ."

>They swing the boat around, heading for another section of the island.

"We'll slip in quietly, find someone with clearance, and take it from them - think you can protect us if things go bad Cynthia?"

>Blink looks back at her for a second.

"Because I have a feeling things might go bad, they had some kind of shield I didn't know about and got rid of it very quickly."


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>Cynthia nods at Blink

"With this much water around I can do that. Easily."

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