(2014-08-14) It's A Trap!
It's A Trap!
Summary: Members of the Justice League attack Project: Rebirth, only to be handed a surprise
Date: 2014-08-14
Related: http://ageofheroesmux.wikidot.com/log:2014-08-09-a-mole-extracted, http://ageofheroesmux.wikidot.com/log:2014-08-09-a-mole-acclimates
NPCs: Iron Man
Scene Runner: Power Woman/Caitlin Fairchild
Social/Plot: Plot

The coordinates given point to a location in central Hamilton County in far-upstate New York, long beyond the reach of Westchester, Suffolk, Or New York County. The location, once reached, proves to be a lakefront in a heavily wooded area, overgrown and shaded from overhead view. Curiously, the location is little more than a green blur to various civilian satellite imaging systems; it is a cellular dead zone; and even the overhead sensors of the mighty Watchtower and JARVIS cannot see much about this place. Clearly, the organization that put this location together has done their job well.

Even knowing to look here, Kryptonian senses can barely detect anything out of the ordinary, suggesting a wealth of lead shielding as been used. Only with the help of Xavier's lovely deep cover mole can the assembled force locate the means to activate the telescoping tower in the center of the lake, and its rising concrete jetty that reaches the shore, large enough for heavy deuce-and-a-half military convoy trucks. Even activated, X-Ray and thermal scans cannot pick up anything of what lies beyond the massive doors of the tower.

"Can you confirm any of this, Miss Marvel? I'm not picking up anything, down here. I'm looking right at it, and I still can't see where it leads or what else is down there." Power Woman signals to her teammate, still aboard the Watchtower keeping an eye on things. Someone has to be on Monitor duty, and it seems the Mightiest Mortal Maid drew the short straw.
You paged Power Woman with 'Are you flying?'

"Five years ago, it could have been us." Moon Maiden notes, quietly, to Power Woman as she stands next to Power Woman. "Instead of these poor kids. That the same government that was kind enough to let me be raised by my parents did this… it makes me boil." She stares at the lake. "Marvel Girl, they're shielded against Kryptonians. How are they against telepaths? If you can tell me the kids are in there, I'll rip the doors off and we'll get them back right now."

Up in the Watchtower, Miss Marvel checks the radar and performs a full sensor sweep. "I'm getting absolutely nothing, Kara. All I have on my scopes is your location through your earpiece. Everything else looks like the local flora and fauna. I'll keep scanning, but stay in touch. If I need to dispatch backup, I may only have your signal as something to go by. Watchtower out."

Caitlin cuts through the foliage, advising to avoid the access road that the base uses. She looks back at the road, noticing the tracks. "Something's not right.." She says.. "All the tire tracks are leading outwards. A heavy convoy." She turns and reaches the shore with the other women. She's wearing the costume that Kara had JARVIS make for her, a purple and green jumpsuit. Since Caitlin doesn't really need armor, none was wasted. The material is strong enough and flexible enough where it should withstand normal force. She takes out a set of binoculars that she'd worked on, and looks at the door. "There are no guards. There are never no guards at these doors." She looks to the resident telepath for some possible answers.

Jean Grey has been quiet, tracking things down with her mind as she hangs back, letting those that can be big and bruising be… well, big and bruising. Not that Jean can't throw down with some folks with her telekinesis, but that's not what's needed right now. What's needed? Her telepathy, which says…

Guys, there's something wrong. I'm only picking up a few dozen minds, asleep in one location. There's three or four nearby active, and two others active but… strained, somehow, away from the main group. She pauses, and then continues through the mental link, There's some sort of interference. Almost like static.

Power Woman stays close to Caitlin, and reports over her comlink to Miss Marvel everything that Jean sends telepathically, so that there will be a record. That could be important, later. "OK. That … is weird." She glances towards Laurel, who has more experience working with telepaths than she does, waiting to see if her friend has any wisdom to share. "Guards missing. Signs of a serious convoy out of here. And fewer minds present than there should be. That's … not great. Caitlin, any of that mean anything to you?" She's the whole reason they're here, so she ought to be consulted, right?

"They might have realized their cover was blown and cleared out." Laurel says. "Or they might have technology that could interfere with telepaths. Emma's mentioned there are ways." Sparkles form around her as she rises a foot off the ground. "This could be a trap but I don't think we have a choice. I say we go in. I rip the doors open and Power Woman and Marvel Girl get inside. My guess is one of you will get a better sense of what's up - either through x-ray vision or through telepathy. Ms. Fairchild and I will cover you in case they bring out more of those red sun weapons."

Caitlin Fairchild looks to Power Woman as soon as she hears what Jean says. "Crap.. They've evac'ed. Those minds are the… kids?" She tries to think.. "Why leave the kids?" She shakes her head. "No matter. We need to get them out of there." She takes off like a gazelle and barrels down the entry ramp to the front door. "No need to use force when all we need to do is knock." She says with a smile to Moon Maiden. She types in her access code at the keypad and oddly enough the doors open. "They'll be down about 5 levels." She says, over the comlink to the rest. "Something doesn't feel right. We need to get them out ASAP."

Jean Grey keeps herself focused on scanning, Maybe they were kids that couldn't be used for their war efforts? She frowns, Or else it's a trap. But we don't have a choice, we need to… wait. Those minds, they're being sedated. The ones that seemed asleep, it's drugs. They aren't dreaming.

"They could be tying up loose ends. Get rid of the kids we're concerned about." Moon Maiden knows tactics like these. Her own arch-enemy uses them. The expediency of war. The ruthlessness of efficiency. "Kara. We can't be safe. Those kids may be dying. You need to find them. Now!" Power Woman is the only one who is fast enough but Moon Maiden's already in flight, grabbing hold of Caitlin with her lunarkinetic powers. She knows Jean's own kinetic enhanced flight will allow her to follow. In a cloud of silver sparkles, Moon Maiden rushes inside.

"Damnit. Damn damn damn!" Power Woman growls, and she takes off. Her feet no longer touch the ground, her cape flutters behind her as she charges the length of the concrete 'road' and dives into the room, then down. "Sorry about the elevator" comes back over the comlinks, as Power Woman punches right through the lead-impregnated armored floor and dives the length of the shaft, blasting out of the elevator shaft over a hundred feet below the floor of the lake bed. "I can hear their heartbeats. The others are talking, upset. They can't get their cells open, but they're trying. Laurel, rip that damn elevator out and bring it to the bottom. Patch the floor. We'll need it to carry them out of here quickly."

The signal from Kara Zor-L's League communicator starts to get weaker, less precise, less clean as she streaks off through the base to find where the kids are being held. There will be some clangs, as she rips off the doors to the cells. "Sorry to be so abrupt. Hi, I'm Power Woman, I'm here to rescue you. Others will be right behind me. Support each other, please, make your way down the hall marked with the scorch line. I have to find the others." Zwoosh!

When the rest of the crew reaches the hallway, they will find the kids Kara just freed - two teen boys, two teen girls - holding onto one another and making their way down the hallway, dressed in olive drab hospital gowns. The guys reach out to catch hold of the heroines as they appear. "The guards … they said something about bombs. They were saying the traps were set."

The girls blubber, "Something's not right. I saw them waking up Sam. They /always/ keep Sam under. It's bad."

One of the reasons Kara and Laurel make such a good team? They have no problem switching off when it comes to giving direction. Kara followed Moon Maiden's instructions a moment ago. Now, Moon Maiden follows her's. With a swipe of her hand the elevator doors are yanked off. Then Moon Maiden closes her fist and jerks, hard. The entire elevator car slams out of the shaft in a shower of debris. Rather than taking the time to patch the floor, Laurel just turns the car upside down so the ceiling is now the floor. Caitlin's deposited inside and Laurel, the elevator car AND Caitlin travel down to the kids.

If Caitlin weren't so focused on the job at hand, she'd be amused at the option of flying, being that much more like Power Woman. Once she reaches the bottom level, she runs to the room where the children are being sedated. She starts up the sequence in the machinery. She listens over the comlink. "Bombs? That explains it… Them…" She stops herself before she lets out an expletive. While the awakening sequence is at hand she turns to a computer, her fingers running as fast as she can mortally move them, which is considerably slower than the speed that her brain is going in. "DAMMIT!" She yells. "They wiped everything. It's totally antiseptic. There's not a single clue that anyone was here." She taps one more time and pulls up a schematic. "The kids aren't lying." She says over the link. We have four bombs, and they're on a timer. They left this here to taunt us." Once the sequence is finished, she wakes up the remaining twelve, 6 looking exactly alike. "C'mon guys, help is here. Get to the elevator, now!" A blond boy nods to the redhead and helps to lead the group to the elevator.

"Wait.. Sam? What about Max?" She talks to Jean. "Take the map from my head and give it to everyone. Get the kids out, I'll deal with the other two. We don't have much time!!"

Jean Grey floats down after the elevator, Apologies, Caitlin, but no time for niceness. With that, Caitlin might be wanting an aspirin, but Jean projects out a map from Caitlin's head, Alright, they must have tweaked onto your cover, Caitlin, time to get the kids and get out. If we can stop the bombs, so much the better. She pauses, then radiates a bit of calm to the kids, so they don't panic. Save that for the adults.

Already gone from the sleep ward before anyone else arrives, Power Woman swept the room to be sure no one was in immediate danger, and then left again. The Kryptonian powerhouse is following the sounds of breathing and heartbeats, seeking out the last two remaining signals, when the telepathic signal reaches her, overlaying, and the broken comlink signal. "Bombs? Crap. OK, I have to find the bombs. Someone else has to get those kids. Hope you can hear me. Iron Man is so upgrading this comlinks after this!" ZWOOSH!

"Marvel Girl." Moon Maiden turns to her redheaded team-mate. "Power Woman's near indestructible. Ms. Fairchild apparently is, too. My armor might protect me from the blast. These children, they need you to get them to safety. I'll search for the remaining children while they deal with the bombs. Good luck." She clasps Jean on the shoulder and then takes off, flying as fast as she dares. If walls get in the way? They get broken.

In the name of the Moon, she'll damn well punish these assholes.

Caitlin Fairchild is already bounding down the hallway to the extra large holding pens, where they keep the most volatile of the children. A pair of fraternal twins, Sam and Max. Sam is an angered swarm of energy. At first she's a swirl of fire, only to be replaced with a torrent of ice, to a flash of light as bright as the sun. Max is a hulking brute, looking barely like a human being. Dents in the walls exhibit his utter strength. "I'm on it, Kara. I know these two. They have to be treated carefully. They're still just kids." She warns everyone. She makes her way to Sam's pen… only to see that the door is wide open, and the girl recognizes Caitlin.

"YOU!!" she shouts. "You're the one that put us here! you're the one that drugged us! They told us you'd be back, they told us to KILL YOU!" She shouts as she shoots a flare of fire at Caitlin, who ducks out of the way, though the outer layer of skin gets a decent tan. "Calm down, girl. They've messed with your head." Caitlin says, trying to reason with her, all the while Max is pounding on the walls. "They planted bombs. Both you and your brother will die if we don't get you out. There's no time to fight!"

Jean Grey is carted off by Moon Maiden, and she telekinetically seizes the elevator car, hauling it behind her as she works to keep the field around the car to protect the children while projecting, Hang on kids!

Difficult as it is - extremely so - Kara Zor-L blots out everything else, even the shouts and cries of her friends, the battle raging on, the blubbering confusion of the children. She blots it all out, and focuses on … power. Energy. Active circuits. Sniffing for explosives. Feeling the air for the warmth of building charges. Hunting for bombs when all the data that would have told them where the bombs were emplaced … is gone.

Damned good thing Karen Starr is an engineer.

With Caitlin's mental schematic of the base, Power Woman's pretty sure of where they would have to be for maximum efficiency. She streaks through the hallway and finds the first location. The lead-impregnated walls yield her nothing, so she has to use other senses, and then trust blind stinking luck as she drives her pointed hands into the wall, tearing away concrete and steel to find the bomb. Yank. Rip. Shred.

Electrical engineers do it with a charge!

Through the crackle, pop and hiss, comes, "One down, three to go …"

Moon Maiden reaches the holding cells just behind Caitlin. "We don't have time." She says, sounding apologetic. "I'm sorry, children. I know a very good therapist who will help you get past this later." Then she lifts her hand and two sparkling soap bubbles rise from her palm. They grow until they settle around the children's heads, distorting their features like a funhouse mirror.

That's when the depression begins, driving the children into despair. Into lunacy. Into crying, curled up balls on the floor.

"I hate using that power." Laurel whispers as she lunarkinetically lifts each child. "It fades quickly, though, and usually doesn't leave a lasting impression in the mind since the despair is artificial. I'm taking them to the surface. Help Power Woman."

With that, the Maiden of the Moon floats away, carrying the last of the children to safety.

Faced with building despair, the distorted, hulking form of Max contorts, thrashing, clearly intending harm. But before that can happen, he starts to wobble, and then slowly collapses in on himself. Within a minute, Max is … relatively normal. He's still very big for only being sixteen. But he's no longer monstrous-looking, or superhumanly strong and heavy.

Faced with such fear, Sam explodes, energy surging across the chamber, scarring the walls, cracking them. And in that wake, a dark-haired girl collapses, showing no signs of the torrents of uncontrollable, raging energy that had been her whole presence before.

Caitlin Fairchild blinks and was hoping more to appeal to the kids instead of making them feel worse, but as Laurel said, there's no time. She swallows and nods. "Get them out, keep them safe. Watchtower should be ready to help with the evac." She says and heads of. "Kara, I'm with you on this. The kids are safe and away, along with Moon Maiden and Marvel girl. It's just us." She says as she heads down a hallway, remembering how the schematic went. She follows down a familiar hall and steps into…. her old quarters. "Cute…" She says, as she goes through her things and finds a blinking red light… right in her underwear drawer. Thankfully Caitlin's an engineer as well. She disarms the bomb. "That's two. What's your sitrep, Kara?" She asks.

Just as Caitlin suggests, Miss Marvel chimes in over the comlink. "I'm getting multiple readings. Moon Maiden, Marvel Girl, I have zeta tube points ready and waiting when you're set. Just give me the word."

Jean Grey says in the comlink, "The word is given, make the beam wide enough for the kids, just get the entire car here!" She reaches the surface, not quite as fast as she might have otherwise, but hauling an elevator full of kids is mentally taxing, even if you aren't in the car with them!

Sitrep? Power Woman's voice sounds distracted, distant, and still crackly. "I'm disarming a second one now. Underneath the holding tank for the nuclear pile's cooling fluid. Sick bastards. My guess is the fourth one will be underneath whatever that huge space is along the eastern edge of the structure. I'll be there in forty seconds."

With the two children floating behind her on a field of silver sparkles, Laurel flies out of the facility and sets them down next to the others. She speaks directly into her comm unit. "We're ready. Do you need one of us to catch the zeta tube?"

Caitlin Fairchild was already heading in the direction of the last bomb. "Not if I beat you there first, Beautiful." She gets there in time, only to realize that the last bomb was set early. She stands there watching the timer go down. :20, :19, :18…..

Miss Marvel's voice comes over the comlink. "No need, Maiden. We've got a special guest star arriving to help get you all back here safely." She says, as a sonic boom is heard and a red and gold streak comes through the sky carrying a large box. Iron Man makes it on-scene and presses a button, and the porta-Zeta Tube unfolds out of the box much like his suits unfold out of their case. "Evening, Ladies." He says. "Someone call for a cab?" He helps to get everyone through the Tube where the end up walking onto the Watchtower.

Jean Grey helps the kids out of the car, "Alright kids, let's do this and we can all go to Disneyland later." She grins, helping the children through, though she waits for everyone else to get through before hopping onto the pad herself.

Power Woman appears right behind Caitlin. "Hey, why aren't you … " she starts, wondering why the redhead isn't already tackling the bomb since she was so much closer. Then she sees the timer. "Crap. Well, hope there wasn't a clue we missed down here. I didn't see anything. Hold on tight!"

Kara Zor-L wraps her arms around Caitlin Fairchild, cradling the taller redhead in her arms, and takes flight. Not just flight … she blurs. She booms, cracking through the sound barrier like the mere air that it is.

The water in the lake rushes out, disappearing into cracks in the floor. Then the explosive wave thrusts outward and upward, shattering the concrete tube that was the elevator shaft, and turning the entire lake into a surging torrent of flying stone, dust and debris.

There are no signals from Caitlin's borrowed communicator, or from Power Woman. To the Watchtower, they are just … gone.

And then a streak of grey, red and green bursts up from the heart of the lake, rupturing right through the cascading and tumbling stone and debris.

A very dusty and dirty Power Woman comes floating down towards the group around the portable Zeta Tube station, cradling the tall redhead in purple-accented green in her arms, coughing a bit. "OK. For the record: new comlinks will be constructed of materials better suited to surviving bomb blasts."

Caitlin Fairchild would otherwise enjoy being in Kara's arms like this, if they weren't trying to escape a bomb blast. Once on shore, she shakes the debris out of her hair after grudgingly letting go of Kara. "How about a "No Bomb Blast" rule. Doesn't that sound more reasonable?" She grumbles as she heads for the Tube. "Them bastards.. All my good clothes. Do they *know* how much a bra that fits me *costs*?!?" She looks up and sees Jean. "Everything good?" She asks the other ginger.

Jean Grey nods, "All the kids that were here got zeta'd off already, though we might be taking them to Disneyland with their parents." She frowns, "Assuming nothing happened to the parents, that is."

Power Woman spins rapidly, dusting off a bit, and then stops, giving Caitlin a little one-armed hug. "Probably about what it costs for one of mine. We'll … enh. We'll go get some made." She was going to suggest more JARVIS production, but frankly lingerie should not be extruded. That's just wrong. "You want to zeta up? We should do after-action reports, before we figure out our next plans." She's not admitting how much she liked carrying the redhead. Nope. Not gonna do it.

Caitlin Fairchild nods to Jean. "Let's focus on reuniting them first. I believe a good bit of them came from Xavier's. We'll need to alert Frost ASAP." She steps onto the platform with the other three while Tony waits to pack up the contraption afterwards. She turns to Power Woman. "Why, Kara, is this your way of inviting me up to your place?" She winks teasingly, and then more seriously nods. "We have reports and we have to make sure the kids are safe and comfortable." Once all three go through, Tony packs up the box and flies off with it. Nothing to see here.

Jean Grey nods, "Sounds like a plan…" She looks between Kara and Caitlin, and tries to avoid chuckling. Really, she does, but she does look rather amused… and possibly a tad jealous as she says, "Reports reports reports, and I have papers to work on too."

Kara blushes at Caitlin's teasing. "C'mon. Let's get going." She's not going to justify the comment of her lecherous desires. "I was offering to take you shopping, if you must know." she mutters under her breath, as she steps through the zeta tube, and then take Caitlin's hand. Reports, reports, reports. Here goes.

And when Iron Man disappears with that portable zeta tube platform, all that remains is a ruined, shattered crater. What a shame.

Elsewhere: "I'm sorry, Sir. It appears we didn't get any of them. Damn them. That teleport technology of theirs … Well. Alpha base has been scrubbed. We have the samples, and all of the data. And they have nothing on us."

"Yes. Now, time for our beta test. Forty-eight was our previous record. I want to see if we can do that for more than one template at a time. We'll need plenty of resources to repel this invasion. And gather up the capital to keep the lights on."

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