(2014-06-30) Aiming at AIM - The Madripoor Mission
Aiming at AIM - The Madripoor Mission
Summary: The Justice League has tracked the AIM sale of some skybikes to a cell operating in Madripoor. When they show up to take action, they find a few other like-minded hero types in the area, only too willing to help out.
Date: 2014-06-30
Related: Log talking with Tony about the case
NPCs: Countless AIM mooks and science types
Scene Runner: Power Woman
Social/Plot: Plot

Madripoor. "There has never been a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious." Or so goes the relevant Star Wars quote. It is often portrayed as a rather lawless land of renegades, a Southeast Asian realm notorious for having absolutely zero extradition treaties, and banking laws as obscure as those of Switzerland or the Cayman Islands, with a history of supporting and shielding piracy. In modern times, that has translated to becoming a hub of major organized crime activities, and as a place often associated with the movements of terrorists and terrorist organizations.

It's not a nice place.

Into this den of iniquity come a disparate array of people who are far more nobly inclined.

Members of the Justice League have come to Madripoor, tracking an Advanced Idea Mechanics cell responsible for the sale of a pair of particular skybikes, used in the attempted assassination of a young heroine way back in upstate New York. Clearly, the League is taking this seriously, as they have sent some serious heavy-hitters on this assignment, including League Chairwoman, Princess Diana of Themyscira, the Wonder Woman. With the princess are another of the League's biggest names - physically, and by reputation - the Kryptonian beauty Power Woman, and the League's resident psion, the ever-amazing Marvel Girl!

Meanwhile, aboard a sleek modern ship just docking on a pier nearby is a cargo container. Nestled within that cargo container is the latest Advanced Idea Mechanics trap for the mysterious and amazing heroine once known as the Hummingbird, now using the moniker of The Flash! The Flash has been captured by an AIM striketeam, and they are almost back to their secret base, ready to unwrap the present they have brought in. Unfortunately for them, while their trap was excellent at capturing The Flash, it may not be doing so hot in the keeping of The Flash, now that she is awake and aware and recovered from that knockout gas. Oops!

Also near said warehouse is the figure known as Doctor Mid-Nite. The good doctor and his owl companion have come in search of justice. It seems that suppliers in his area have started carrying a supply of Venom, a dangerous superdrug known for its biggest, most dangerous user - Bane. The good doctor has been tracking where that supply has come from, and that effort has brought him halfway around the world, to the dark and dangerous shores of Madripoor, to a facility he may or may not know is the local clearinghouse for Advance Idea Mechanics.

And lastly - but certainly not least - there is the lovely Rita Farr, also known as Elasti-Girl. Elasti-Girl has come to Madripoor for a location shoot demanded by the - apparently insane - producer of her latest movie. Which is why, as twilight falls in this dangerous part of town, Rita Farr is crossing the street with three dangerous-looking trenchcoat-wearing ruffians, while half the block is closed off for camera crews. And it just so happens that's only about two blocks away from a certain warehouse.

A lone owl soars overhead, silently.

Somewhere below the bird, Doctor Mid-Nite crouches atop a building in between the warehouse and the film-crew, watching the datafeed sent to him by the owl's spy-cam. He lifts his head, gauging the rating at which night is falling, then peers down into the streets below. "Why do I have a bad feeling about this 'house call'?," he murmurs under his breath, before signalling the owl to fly further out — to the freighter. "Not too close, Charlie," he whispers. Then to himself: "All I want is a low-spectrum scan."

The cowled man waits a moment or three, then sneaks to the edge of the building to glance behind and down at Rita Farr and her entourage. Squatting on his haunches, he puts a hand to his jaw (the only exposed part of his face), and waits.

The Flash! She REALLY loves the aesthetic effect of her white suit with its trailing rainbow of ribbons. It's neat, it washes easily, it breathes surprisingly well, and it's totally recognizable. Problem: It's TOTALLY RECOGNIZABLE. So it actually made finding her to spring the trap on totally doable. And if there's anyone who know's how to prepare and plan ahead… It's AIM, alright! The good knews is, since they haven't been able to experiment on her YET, they never actually figured out how to deal with optimal dosing.

The result? The time between the dose fading, and her full-wakefullness is incredibly short. It takes a moment to take personal stock. Head still attached? Check. Not in a tube of liquid? Check? Not on a surgical table? Check. All four limbs… SPECTACULAR CHECK. "Huh. Well. Time to do this. I'd make a pun or something but… uh… there's noone here… so… I guess I'll TELL everyone I said something awesome if this comes up in conversation. Conversation with who thou- FOCUS." With a deep inhalation, she flexes… with that same super-fast motion, throwing her weight in one direction, and then back in the other. It would normally sound like loud thumping. With this speed? More like a high-pitched buzzing whine.

From their vantage point, Wonder Woman surveys the docks with the rest of her Justice League teammates. She's apprehensive; not just about the mission, but just from being in Madripoor. She knows of this country's reputation due to her status as an Ambassador, and it's record with the sex slave trade and prostitution sickens her. She'd like nothing better than to fly down and break up a few 'massage parlors', but that would neither help matter nor contribute to the mission here. And so, Diana waits patently, communicating over the psychic link provided by Jean. « Are we all ready? Kara, what is the layout of the freighter that you can see with your x-ray vision? »

Marvel Girl landed the Quinjet a discrete distance back, standing next to Diana as she keeps her telepathy a bit focused. Best really not to be trying to read too many random thoughts in a hive of scum and villany like this, as she waits for Power Woman's response. Her hand pats one of her belt pouches, confirming that she has all of her gear present and accounted for.

Rita Farr sighs as she does the scene for the fifth time, the extras blowing their parts over and over. She wants her hotel, she wants a bubble bath, she wants some strawberries and whipped cream. She doesn't want to be in Madripoor. The director yells cut as she hits her mark, looking up in the air where a CGI dragon will be, her scream still echoing as he finally lets it go to print. "Thank you, Raoul," she sighs.

With the League quinjet safely stowed several buildings away, where it shouldn't come to anyone's attention until after they are done here, Power Woman has been handling everything with personal flight since making the landing. She's not actually on the same rooftop as Wonder Woman at the moment, but that's only because she has been working her way around, getting different vantage points to get as complete a picture of the inside of that warehouse as possible. « Freighter? Checking … » comes Kara's thought, as her X-Ray Kryptonian peepers sweep to the side, checking out the pier, and then the boat. « Wow. That's some high-end engine. That damned thing is nearly a surface-borne jet in water. Even hydrofoil capable. Definite 'pirate' capabilities. And I see beekeepers inside. » Kara opines; they've all ended up using that nickname for the AIM agents, after Tony used it the first time he spoke of them.

« Hey. That cargo container on deck. There's something … no. Some/one/ inside. And trying to get out. /Fast/ » Power Woman sends on to her teammates, while she continues to lay out a reasonable guideline of the layout of the freighter, and then the warehouse. It's a lot to keep in mind, but the Kryptonian has advantages where that is concerned. With that memory of hers, she can keep it all in her head, which makes it easy to relay to her teammates. « I think we should go. Like, now. » Kara is a woman of action. There's only so much peeping and spying she can take, really.

Charlie's flight, thankfully, goes unnoticed thus far by the scum and the villainy around, so much the better for his long-term viability. Even with heroes the world 'round, people STILL don't generally look /up/. As such, Charlie's low spectrum scan sweep comes back from his cameras to the good Doctor Mid-Nite's heads-up display. The feed shows a gang of six jogging from the warehouse down the pier towards the freighter, even as the guys on the freighter - wearing peacoats over their distinctive golden beekeper uniforms, headpieces down and heads covered with tukes - work on tying off and securing the vessel. Then they will probably work with the other six to get the ramps in place and then wrestle that huge cargo container down off the deck and onto the rollers they have in place to get it to the warehouse.

The smooth operation of the crew is disrupted, however, as the cargo container starts lurching a bit wildly on its supports, as repeated whines and crashes sound from inside. The impacts with the inside of the 'trap' holding her are likely to give Flash some nasty bruises. But she's imparting one HELL of a lot of kinetic energy to the trap, slamming it into the packing material between it and the cargo container, which is causing the cargo container to lurch, rather than fly apart. The kinetic energy is distributed across one whole end of the container, that way. But the trap's walls were built reinforced, to try to contain the Flash. Which mean that they don't just disintegrate. But they are still denting. And that means seals are going to pop. Springs are going to misalign. And things are going to come apart. They just haven't. Quite. Yet.

Since Marvel Girl is keeping her mind reeled-in, only really paying attention to her teammates' thoughts, she won't pick up much about anything else going on. Still, she might notice the film crew two blocks down, as a cheer goes up from them and they start walking around en masse, apparently starting to gather things and try to pack up. Depending on her vantage point, she /might/ also notice that there's a bird with an odd sort of cowl on, flying overhead towards the freighter Diana was concerned about. Isn't that interesting?

When Rita's shot is finally called, the crew cry out in relief. That's five times they've done the shot with the lead actress, which makes it probably the twentieth time they have actually shot it. They're exhausted. Thankfully, since the second half of this scene is all CGI, it'll be done on a soundstage. So now most of the crew are starting to pack up. The second camera crew isn't packing up, though. Instead, they're turning to start scanning and recording 'local color', all as stock material for the CGI studios to use in populating the green screens. And then, two blocks away, there are some cries of alarm on a pier, and a nearby warehouse disgorges another five or six crew, all arrayed in some curiously brightly colored golden suits, with green tubing or striping. Weird, hunh?

Mid-Nite lifts his head again, frowning.

« AIM? » he thinks to himself, rather 'loudly' for a thought. It is hard to mistake the tech used by the terrorist organization, but the realisation only adds more questions for the doctor, not answers. « What are they doing here? If they're experimenting with Venom… » He banishes the thought and focuses instead on a particular heat-source within the container-ship. He counts two seconds and switches to ultrasonic — and suddenly the space between himself and the freighter comes alive with sound vibrations, most of which emanate from a certain metahuman's cell.

More curious than ever, the Doctor (who has yet to spot the Justice League strike team) removes one of his Black-Light devices and sets it for slow release. The evening atmosphere around his building gradually deepens to black, and the doctor leaps down to the street. Moving from cover to cover, he starts tailing the other people already jogging to the pier.

Bruises heal on their own over time. Organ-removal does not. She's not keen on risking that. Since she doesn't know anything about what's going on outside the container, she just keeps slamming her weight back and forth. Baaack and foooorth. Baaack and fooorth. "I been workin' on the railroad… all the live-long day… I don't know what comes next… Man, I never realized how much it sucks being locked up when you can reall move." She lifts her voice to shout at her possible captors,"I HOPE YOU KNOW THERE'S GONNA BE SO MUCH PUNCHING WHEN I GET OUT. SO MUCH PUNCHING."

Diana analyzes the situation as both Kara and Jean check in. She nods at Kara's assessment of the situation, noticing the heavy swaying of the container holding in the speedster. « Very well. I will start the engagement. Jean, Back me up with your tepepathy and your telekenisis. Kara, once I have their attention, rescue whomever is in that container. Then we work our way down towards the labs. Go. » And with her thoughts sent out, Diana flies off the roof, confident that her teammates will perform as directed.

Diana flies through the air just slower than the speed of sound. She slams down onto the deck of the freighter, punching down to create a shockwave to try and knock some AIM soldiers off their feet. "AIM provided weapons that attacked a friend of mine," she says darkly as she stands back up and manuvers her back towards a bulkhead. "Which just catapulted AIM to the top of the League's priority list. I suggest you surrentder. Now."

Flying up silently behind Diana is Marvel Girl, who reaches out with her telekinesis and levitates a forklift, sending it flying after some of the other AIM soldiers as she takes advantage of the fact there's a whole lot of heavy things loose on the deck that will hurt, a LOT, if they hit mooks at high speeds. Her voice seems almost amplified by her telepathy as it has an oddly echoing effect, "I would really advise you to surrender. Amazons aren't exactly known for their patience."

Rita catches sight of the conflict in the distance and is reminded again why she's glad she wears her unstable molecule costume under even her work costume. She sees the flying fgures, notably the very famous and much admired Wonder Woman, which would seem to indicate people are up to no good, "Awwwww, darn it! I guess the bubbles are gonna have to wait. Better run for it, guys, things are about to get special effectsy.

The conflict is still some distance away, though, probably a couple of hundred running steps for an average sized woman. Of course, when you gain ten feet in height on every stride, you find it doesn't take nearly so long, as the AIM heavies find Wonder Woman and Marvel girl on one side and a sixty foot tall movie star on the other, her hands on her hips, "All right, you…you…troublemakers! That's just about enough of that tomfoolery!"

« Rescue. Got it. » Kara Zor-L, Power Woman, responds. She holds back, though she is veritably vibrating with the urge to go Go GO! Wonder Woman said wait, and she will wait. Just don't mind her Kryptonian brain counting down the picoseconds until she can act.

Kara watches as her teammates spring into action. She also watches as everything around gets darker. Darker. DARKER. And she watches as someone goes jogging up the pier, apparently unperturbed by the darkness, even though all of the AIM troopers are pulling up their beekeeper hoods, clearly hoping their inbuilt sensors will have more luck with this crap. « Hey. Someone else is coming down the pier. Single guy. No trouble with the darkness. » She doesn't know he made it, but she can tell he's moving confidently, unlike almost everyone else.

« My turn! » Power Woman sends to her teammates, and then she is but a white and crimson streak across the much-darkened night sky. That streak resolves only as a flash of very wide-beamed heat vision strikes one end of the container, melting away hinges and weakening locks. Then Power Woman rips right through as she leads with those Kryptonian fingers in spade positions, driving into the reinforced, armored shell of the trap inside. Weakened and distorted by Flash's efforts, Kara finds plenty of purchase, and then those fingers push all the way through, where Flash can see them crumpling reinforced steel like it's spongecake. With a grinding, wrenching sound of metal being torn assunder, Power Woman rips the trap open, tearing a hole more than big enough for Flash to zip right through. "All out! Punching to your left, to your left!" she shouts for the other woman, whose rant she was listening to while waiting for her chance to take action.

The good Doctor Mid-Nite's Black-light devices have indeed made the entire outside of the warehouse and pier much darker than it had been, which is creating all kinds of difficulties for the AIM troopers that are pouring out of the warehouse in response to all of the noise and other troubles. As such, he can easily make his way to the freighter if he wishes, though said Freighter has now been rocked heavily on its keel by the Wondrous Woman and her Amazon outrage. And then that massive container that was lurching about is seized and shorn assunder. So there's a whole warehouse worthy of his attention, or he could decide to make the acquaintance of some of the AIM troopers out on the pier. It's not like there's any shortage of them at the moment.

The Flash is set free, after more of her own efforts, when the very wall she's been slamming hardest into is literally punched through by incredibly - frighteningly - strong feminine fingers, and then crumpled like moldy baked goods. Its' mighty dark out there. But as a bonus, someone is saying there's punching available to the left. And Flash might be able to make out the glow of headlamps on AIM beekeeper suits. How nice of them!

More than a few of the AIM troopers - the crew of the ship - are knocked off their feet. Two are even thrown clear of the ship and into the waters of the harbor. Neither is pinned between hull and pier, which is a good thing for everyone's stomachs. The AIM troopers scatter a bit, backing away from the angry Amazon, but it looks like most of them are doing so because they're reaching towards this or that crate or bundle, pulling out a variety of AIM weaponry. Clearly, they're the sorts that don't know when to give up.

A good half of the dozen or so AIM troopers out and about on the pier are swept this way and that /off/ the pier, as a forklift comes hurtling out from the warehouse. Half of them leap out of the way into the water to escape, while the other half don't quite make it and get hammered. Regardless, all of them are getting wet, which is not good for those advanced AIM weapons.

As such, by the time that Elasti-Girl's giganticly bodacious form is on the scene, there are only a handfull of AIM troopers still armed and ready to make trouble. Two of them turn from their vantage point at the warehouse entrance to the pier and aim up - Up - UP at Rita, and fire. One of those beams is a blue-white cone that starts forming ice even as it travels the air and makes freezing, aching contact with Rita wherever it may hit, trying to build up ice to go with the cold and the pain, in what might be a mightily impeding manner. The other beam crackles and snaps as golden zig-zagging light ripples out and hammers whatever spot it might hit. Should it hit Elasti-girl, a small piece of her unstable-molecule uniform, somewhere perhaps around a hip, disappears in a wink as a sphere of golden light flares and then collapses in interdimensional fury.

Mid-Nite doesn't stop.

Instinctively ducking when he spots the 'flying forklift' — and muttering an exclamation of shock — he signals Charlie (the owl) to swoop down and fly interference. Then he sets his attention upon the AIM troopers still on the pier. The first of the troopers to attack fires blindly into the artificial dark, sending an electro-bola sizzling over Mid-Nite's head. The Doctor throws himself into a forward roll and comes up on one knee.

The next thing to occur is a blinding cone of light projected from his visor — not the sort of thing one wants to suffer when coping with the dark, or wearing night-vision goggles. The Doctor speaks a moment later, his voice coming from a tiny speaker in the device worn by the owl, rather than from his own position:

"Organized crime can be hazardous to your health," he advises before breaking into a dead run for the upper deck. Raising his voice a little, he calls out into the gloom for Power Woman, Wonder Woman, or anyone (he recognises those two at least) to hear: "This is the Doctor. Don't sink the ship. Drug ring. /Venom/!" He belabours the last word, hoping it will catch someone's attention.

Oh hey, look! Freedom. "Oh, hey, look! Freedom!" After taking an infinitesmally measured moment to wonder if her brain is starting to echo out her mouth without bidding, the be-rainbowed woman is back on her fit. In a blink, she's standing before Kara to take the briefest of moments to examine her,"I am going to assume then, that you are NOT for the punching, as your famous and not associated commonly with being of the 'needing to be punched variety'. On the left. Right, thanks."

She takes a moment to breath in that *coughcoughcough* sweet Madripoor air and then she's breaking left at unbelievable speeds… right into unexpected darkness. She's indeed aiming for lighty-parts… when (still a bit woozy), as she goes zooming (leaving behind a rainbow trail of light), she is fired upon by a nasty sonic weapon. At her speed… this sends her FLYING through the air in the direction of the man like a Flash-sized missile (and over the beam). Since she's sort of hurtling at high speed, she just sort of shrugs (when you're really fast, falling takes FOREVER) and sticks out a fist so as to make unintended flying punches a reality,"Girl meets boy. Boy shoots at girl. Girl punches boy in face at high velocity."

After she makes her entrance, Diana gives the AIM science-soldiers a chance to surrender. If her sending a shockwave along the deck and Jean tossing a forklift at them won't encourage cooperation, then Diana figures not much will. And then the shooting starts. One of the soldiers fires a red beam at Wonder Woman, but she reflects the beam with her bracers towards a soldier trying to attack Flash from behind. Some yellow-clad soldiers that got back up start rushing the Amazon, and Diana happily educates them in the folloy of such tactics. "For a group calling itself the 'Advanced Idea Mechanics', your ideas are rather poor…" Mentally, she sends her thoughts over the mental link « Jean, there are others looking to join us here. Link us all up. Kara, disable the ship's engines, then secure it. We'll start working oour way towards the warehouse. I'll send aid for you if you need it, but this fight seems to be going well."

The AIM mooks, for the most part, are /trying/ to shoot at Marvel Girl, but she never seems to be quite where they think she is. However, some of the boxes that the soldiers were reaching for are quite aggressive, launching themselves forcefully at the mooks to try and keep them from getting more out. « Got it, Diana. One sec. « .« With that, she expands the mental link, reaching out to Rita, Flash, and Doctor Mid-Nite as darkness or high speed isn't much of an impediment to communciating via thought, « Gentleman, ladies, this is Marvel Girl. Shall we coordinate our efforts? « .«

Rita Farr yelps as her hand starts to get iced up, even as part of her costume gets zapped, "Hey! Didn't your Daddy ever teach you not to aim science fiction weapons at a lady, pal?" she says. Her hand grows of its own accord, fist growing momentarily gargantuan to shatter the ice as she stretches her other arm out and loops it around the ship to keep it afloat, "Sinking averted! And oh, um, hi inside my brain! Sure, let's coordinate 'em right into the hooscow!"

"Yeah, punching me would not be good. On your left, on your left." Power Woman offers with a beaming smile for the newly-released Flash; she recognizes the look from materials in their League computers, tracking known metahumans active around the world.

OK. No sinking the ship. It will take Kara's mind a bit to put together darkness and the title Doctor and come up with anything useful. Drugs, thought? "Doctor Mid-Nite?" the Kryptonian murmurs, wonderingly. Anyway. Job to do!

« Engines, Got it. » Power Woman acknowledges, as she turns her head and twin beams of devastation surge outward, slagging the engines of the mighty craft, making damned sure it's not going anywhere, without actually putting any holes in the hull. So no sinking of the ship. And hopefully no singeing Rita's arm. "Hi, Elasti-Girl!" she calls, all good-naturedly, from her spot over on the ship.

« Hello, all. Good to see you. Anyone needs any help, let me know. » Power Woman adds, as the mental connection is set up. Rather unlikely any of these folks have ever /not/ heard of her, so she doesn't bother with 'introductions'. It can wait for later, if needed.

Doctor Mid-Nite's blinding cone of light blinds, dazzles and stuns the AIM trooper who had been facing off with him, and he cries out in some degree of pain as his eyes are subjected to that too-bright light all of a sudden. He reaches up and rips off his headpiece, freeing his eyes from the flaring blaze of that light into the nightvision attachments of his goggles … but that leaves him rather open to be taken out by hand, should the good Doctor wish to treat him as such.

The Flash goes for a trip and a fall in slow-fast motion, slamming her fist into the poor bastard's face, and they end up in a tangle of suited limbs. Since at that point he is unconscious, he's pretty limb and easy to disentangle from. But that'll leave the lovely lady speedster with a need for a means to pick her way around in the darkness so she can find more faces to punch. One punch can't possibly be enough!

Marvel Girl's fun with crates and boxes will KO two more of the troopers who had previously managed to prep themselves for combat, which is quickly reducing the fighting forces outside the warehouse to a pittance of what could have been. As the Amazon observed, all of this seems to be coming together quite famously.

Speaking of the Amazon, Wonder Woman manages to deflect the personal gravity augmentation beam towards another of the AIM troopers, and he slows down and then collapses under his own mass, unable to move or even lift his own weapon to attack the Flash. And then she manages to find a few of those who were in the water, climbing up out of the water to attack her physically, which proves they can't possibly be as smart as everyone says AIM is; the only thing more foolish would be going against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

As Elasti-Girl is quickly realizing, these goons' fathers' never taught them anything useful, like not attacking a lady, or never attacking an Amazon in physical melee combat. The not-so-brilliant bastards do take aim to fire again, but Marvel Girl's efforts slam boxes into them, which averts their aim at least for a shot or two each. But they aren't down, not yet, and will be taking aim - pun intended - again.

With all of the noise going on outside the warehouse, it should come as no surprise that inside the warehouse, the alarm has been sounded. In the labs below the warehouse, AIM scientists are shutting down their labs, gathering up their inventions, and preparing to attempt their escapes. Meanwhile, the fifteen troopers still inside that warehouse are quickly seizing a variety of weapons and making their way out to the pier, ready as they can be to lend a hand to taking out or at least slowing down the intruders, so that the scientists below can get away with their money-making inventions, the very lifeblood of AIM.

The good doctor's run at the AIM trooper with the electo-bola turns into a slide that carries him under the man's flailing arms. With the hazmat helmet removed from the goon's head, Mid-Nite reaches up and touches his neck — injecting a strong sedative through his gauntlet and into the guard's bloodsteam. The guard drops to the ground and Mid-Nite runs up onto the ship.

At having his mind 'melded' with others in the area, Doctor Mid-Nite cannot help himself but pause and project: « Inconceivable! A psycho-cohesive telecommunicative link? « .« His thoughts echo with profound interest. « How do you compensate for the shifts in brain algorithms to tell each distinct consciousness apart without residual overlap? « .«

He might have asked more questions, when a stray nerve-induction beam from one of the reinforcements catches Charlie in the pinion, and the owl shrieks in pain — falling from the sky toward the water. Mid-Nite hears the shriek, amplified by his cowl, and rushes to the edge of the upper deck, shouting: "CHARLIE!!"

Obliviousness… HOOO. Unaware she'd gotten anywhere near being shot, she salutes… and stumbles again when mental-linkups occur. Blindingly fast thought vomits from her head. Apparently, the Flash doesn't use spaces in her mental voice. // Ohwowthisiscrazyheyguyscanyouhearmeohneat! // Pause. (Presented with spaces from now on for ease of reading) // I can't see crap here and I need to totally buy nightvision goggles. I'ma go hunting. These guys always try to run off when they take a beating. And be careful. Sometimes these guys roll up on you with some unexpected tech. // Unable to see, the Flash blurs and then nearly disappears from sight as she accelerates. Why? Time to head on down to the warehouse and start throwing indiscriminate punches at AIM guys. There is one important question to ask.

Why is she narrating her fighting? // And here's a punch for you, and there's a punch for you. Punch. Punch. You better believe that's a punch. That'll earn you a punchin'. // Does she know she's broadcasting that? Who talks to themselves when fighting. She opens up the gambit in as flashy a manner as she can think of, of course. Uppercutting a guy off his feet, and driving a foot into his belly to launch him into the guy next to him. "It's a gas-gas-gas! Oh my God, dudes, I JUST thought this one up! Your 'AIM' sucks!" Yes. She's taunting badguys with bad puns. Too much energy. Too much.

« Welcome, all of you », comes the gentle voice of Diana over the mental link. « Power Woman is disabling the ship's engines », she starts explaining as she blocks a few more blaster shots with her bracers. « The rest of the League is about to raid the warehouse, and we happily accept your assitence. » And then, Dr. Mid-Nite shouts out for his injured companion. With a backhanded smack, Diana dispaches another AIM soldier before flying off the deck and zooming over to catch the wounded owl, cradling it gently in one arm. « I hate to see any animal injured, especially one so favored by Athena. » She looks over towards Dr. Mid-Nite, smiling at him beofre flying off quickly to put Charlie in a safe place for the rest of the fight.

Marvel Girl slams another container into some mooks, helping cover things as Diana takes the owl off for safe keeping. She then communicates through the link, « Doctor, we can talk about telepathic subquanta theory /after/ the fight, okay? For now, Flash, I can give you a map, here… « .« And suddenly, Flash can sense where all the bad guys are, thanks to their thoughts… it's almost like she activated the minimap cheat in a video game, so who /cares/ about the darkness?

Assured that no one is going to be sinking the ship, and that it is stable, Rita is able to unwind from around it and concentrate instead on perhaps being a slightly more mobile target. She's starting to get offended at the bits of her costume that the one guy's warp field gun keeps destroying, even if the suit does repair itself over time. This could get downright embarrassing if she dosen't do something. "Alright, that's enough out of you!" she declares, and makes a giant fist, hammering it down on the pier and the shooter all at once. It probably won't kill him, but he's not doing so well, and that's good as far as she's concerned right now. "Hey, now. Bad guys shouldn't be getting away. Let's work on that." Yeah, this whole 'only in your head' thing is not really working out for Rita; she's way too up-front to keep it all inside. Oops!

Power Woman passes the information to everyone in the mental link that the AIM scientists are gathering up their wares and trying to make good their escapes from their labs below the warehouse. Seeing Diana taking care of the owl, the Kryptonian has to admit it's one of those sights that just strikes her in the heart: there is such gentle respect for that creature in Diana's every movement, it leaves her almost breathless. That! it rings out in Kara's mental voice. « THAT is why she is our leader. » she declares, as if anyone needed an explanation. It's why Diana is /her/ leader.

« OK. No bad guys getting away! » Power Woman declares, and she streaks off, diving /through/ the oncoming rush of AIM troopers, bowling for goons, and then slices open the passageway down into the labs with heat vision, following Flash into the tunnels below but going in the opposite direction: two speedy blurs of punchy vengeance for the price of one! Later on, she'll worry about getting all of the intel out of their computers, though anyone she spots trying to do any computer wiping gets first punchings. That data is why they're here, after all!

Charlie, at least, has been saved. With the nature of the neural disruptor, no actual injury has been done to the lovely and brave owl, and given a chance to recover, he will be as if it had never happened. But for now, he is gathered up protectively in Diana's embrace, and carried to safety. That leaves Doctor Mid-Nite free to perhaps wreck his vengeance upon the AIM jackholes who think it's OK to shoot defenseless owls. One might almost pity them. But nahhh. They deserve everything that's coming to them.

With Marvel Girl's happily provided 'virtual map' display in her head, Flash has everything she needs not to miss a single target down in this potentially confusing warren of tunnels and passages and chambers. And if her allies of the evening mind her constant litany to go with her actions, no one seems to be saying so. Yay.

There are plenty of safe places that Diana could put Charlie down, but his perch of safety is her choice. When she is done there, she can rejoin her teammates and her erstwhile allies in the battle, and vent perhaps some of that Amazon upset over the bird's unfair abuse. There is much wisdom to be taught to these fools of Man's World.

Marvel Girl is easily able to help mop up the last of the AIM troopers that come pouring - or stumbling - out of the warehouse. She knows exactly where they are and what they're thinking of doing, even before they can get around to doing it. So she can practically make this look easy. True style points!

For Diana, Doctor Mid-Nite has no words — only intensely projected gratitude. Then, in recompense for his injured feathered friend, he removes a compact-looking raygun of sorts — and fires it directly at the face of the shooter who hit his bird.

Intense light overwhelms the man's hazmat helmet and he stumbles about blindly. Satisfied, Mid-Nite spins on the ball of his foot — his cloak billowing out dramatically behind him — and runs down through a hatch and into the lower decks. Pulling out a few more Black-Light devices, he communicates bck to the 'team': « Another time then, Marvel Girl my dear, « .« he replies to her earlier comments. « Please keep that 'map' up — the Doctor is in and it is about to get /very/ dark in this ship. « .«

With that, he runs through the ship, heading aft (probably getting passed by the Flash more than once), tossing the devices all around. He barges past whatever bewildered scientists that are left in his way… tracking traces of radiation and sonic-imaging all the way to a 'mobile laboratory' nestled in the bowels of the freighter. The sight within is horrific:

Research equipment lines the bulkheads, with hypodermic syringes and other items lying on tables, and arm-length canisters of what looks like it might be 'Venom' all connected up to multiple medical beds.

Strapped to the beds are test subjects — AIM test subjects. Mid-Nite halts, aghast.

« They're experimenting with decahydrabolin on their own people…?! « .«

« Decahydrahoosit? Sorry, hun, but my degree's in n-th dimensional physics. Your chemistry's a bit arcane even for me. « .« She's actually just a student, but that'll serve, for now. The Flash is busy punching with the kindly-provided mental map. « Thanks, ladies! This almost feels like cheating, but… they're kind of evil, so I don't feel all that bad about it. I 'been punchin' on the railroad, all the livelong day… So much punching. « .« Eventually she runs out of punchables, and will skid to a stop outside to wipe a bit of sweat off her forehead.

« Boy-howdy it's warm! So, girls and guys, why don't you come out so I can meetcha. I brought SNACKS! « .« Her everpresent backpack is stuffed full of them. It's got cooler-lining, too, for water and soda! To be fair, though, she ALWAYS brings snacks. With a candybar in hand, and a bottle of coke in the other, she blurs, leaving behind her rainbow-trail, and… appears next to Doctor Midnite,"You like chocolate?" Pause. "Eeew. Let's see…" She bends over a canister,"Let's see… pisg * .28 divided by flow rate of five…" She eyeballs the canister,"Assuming it's compressed in liquid form, they could dose people for DAYS on this if they aerosolized it." Looking around at the syringes, she decides,"Dealing it out in concentrated doses like that, they're more likely to kill their subjects than see any progress. And they had to know this."

Once the owl is safe, Wonder Woman returns to the dock fight. A whole group of scientists are trying to flee, but Diana spins her lasso a few times and tosses it over them, snagging the five men in one giant, golden look. "I'm afriad you're not going anywhere," she says as she drags them towards her. And with the aid of the other heroes, the AIM labs are quickly secured. Files and data are gathered before the local police show up, even if it's only to make a show of arresting the renegade techs. Once everything is wrapped up, Diana approaches the other heroes, giving them priase for thier efforts as well as invitations to stop by the Justice League's headquarters or the Themysciran Embassy. Then, Wonder Woman leaves with the rest of her teammates, ready to analyze what they've found.

Warehouse District — Lowtown — Madripoor
Granted, a large portion of Madripoor can be described as such, but this place is /really/ seedy. Grim, grey, and full of nothing but old, foreboding warehouses. During the day, there is a liveliness to the place, but based on the disposition of the brutes working here, it's not particularly appealing. At night, unless you have 'business' here, your either sick of living or just have no sense… this place is bad news after dark. What was that sound?

  • Obvious Exits:
    • [E] - Industrial District — Lowtown
    • [N] - Slums — Lowtown — Madripoor
    • [SE] - Harbor — Madripoor
    • [SW] - Docks — Lowtown — Madripoor
    • [W] - Waterfront — Lowtown — Madri
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