(2014-09-23) A Little Help
A Little Help
Summary: Batwoman get in touch with Black Lightning to help getting into a very secure area - an old bunker/base under the desert in Utah
Date: (2014-09-23)
Related: http://ageofheroesmux.wikidot.com/plot:project-rebirth
NPCs: Nothing major
Scene Runner: Batwoman.
Social/Plot: Plot

After their first meeting in Metropolis, Batwoman finds a reason to return and seek out Black Lightning. Suicide Slums, he said. Alright, then. That's where she looks for him. The place is all factories and warehouses, so she finds one of the latter and sets a series of smoke flares on the roof. Red smoke, in the outline of the Bat symbol she wears on her chest. Slipping back into the shadows, she watches and waits.

Between New York and Metropolis, Black Lightning still makes rounds, and teaches school, in the Suicide Slums. Even as he sees the flares and smoke, so do others. Not for trouble, but some tone things down a little knowing there might be others on the prowl this evening - red flares on random rooftops is not worth looking into. Black Lightning instead takes off, a blue flash of electricity, up into the sky, noticing the outline of the symbol and then with a grin, heading down to land within the outline. Seems a good target to focus on anyways. Striking down, he calls to the darkness around, "Hello?" Hopefully he didn't make a wrong assumption, this would make a great trap he thinks suddenly.

At first it looks like nobody is there, just smoke flares fizzling on the roof. Then there's movement, a shadow separates from an HVAC unit. A tall shadow, with vaguely peaked ears. "Thank you for coming." a familiar female voice sounds. Booted feet crunch softly on the asphalt roof as she approaches. "I need your help with something, if you can spare a few days."

"You're welcome," grins Lightning, moving to step beyond the flares and out of the light. Treading careful, and simply stepping over flares. "I can mange a few days, just need to let me know what you need. I promised I owed you one last time we met, I'd like to make good on that." He is curious what she has in mind, maybe curious if she needs to start now or is arranging something.

Red lips peel back into a grin as well, and as she moves the red lining of the cape makes it easier to see her in the low light of the sparking flares. "I'm going to Utah on a field trip. There's a hiden storage facility there, and I believe you are uniquely qualified to help me gain entry." She pauses for a moment, then adds. "It's a -government- facility, so if that's going to be a problem you should speak up now."

Giving a shake of his head, Lightning isn't opposed, he does stand up more, crossing his arms over his chest; more giving his hands something do to than anything else. "No, problem, I suppose it depends what you're after. I trust you enough to know we're not stealing property, more curious what you suspect to find there." One hand comes up from the folds, tugs at his chin whiskers. "And how soon you need to be there, just so I can let the folks up in New York know I'm on hiatus."

"Information. I'll tell you the whole story on the way, but at the root of it is a government agency doing experiments on metahuman kids. That's enough to hold my interest." And gone is Batwoman's smile when she brings up government experiments. "The Utah facility is a document vault that's been abandoned since the fifties. It'll probably withstand a direct nuclear blast."

The tugging turns to a finger, slightly shaking. Lightning ponders what she says, then offers, "The Justice League mentioned something about kids, this isn't the same thing is it?." He lets that settle and then sets that shaking finger down. "As for that, I don't need force to get into a place like that. I just need a power line." Offering to her, but she may have already suspected that by seeming him use the lines last time with the 100.

Batwoman nods once, curtly, and replies simply. "Yes." Folding arms over her chest, she sways a little and grins when he mentions only needing a power line. "That's what I was hoping you'd say." Reaching into her utility belt, she produces a card and offers it. "Private jet. Here are the numbers and hangar location at JFK. It'll be waiting tomorrow night, and we take off at midnight." She pauses, then adds. "I'll be in costume."

"As will I then," says Lightning taking the card. "Power Woman asked me to tell her if I hear anything on the streets about Rebirth and the kids, should I be telling her?" He doens't know Batwoman is working with the Justice League, and that's not wholly his question. More, if she's going solo, its also the opportunity to tell him not to tell the JL as well. He tucks the card away, ready to go as he verifies with Batwoman first.

She smiles again, perhaps at the mention of Power Woman. "You can tell Power Woman anything you can tell me." she replies simply. "She sponsored my membership into the League, after all, and she knows about this case."

"Nah," he says after considering that, "If your becoming official, with them, I'll give it all to you. Not that I have anything. But you're easier to get in touch with than her." From his perspective, though he does have the Stark communicator, he doesn't want to abuse that. "Good to see you again, I'll be there, tomorrow, at Midnight."

Which he does make it, after letting Outsiders know he's going to be out of communications. He's comfortable enough with private jets, not that he's been on many, but his time in the Olympics and dealing with sponsors post gold medal, its nothing too new to him. Just showing up in costume is knew. He bypasses security and everything to touch down close to midnight at the location where she indicated the private jet should be. Hopefully not a rush of security as the lighting strikes there.

JFK is a big airport. Big enough to house many private hangars for executives who wish to remain discrete, as well as maintaining a small fleet of private jets for hire. The funds are washed through several layers of Kane Foundation subsidiaries and suppliers until no link to the parent company is present. As advertised, the jet is waiting with the door open. And just inside is Batwoman, in costume, close enough to guard the door without looking like she's guarding the door. "Welcome."

Her in costume is all he needs, he bound over, and up to the door. As he walks/climbs stairs, he waves, "Thanks. I'm ready, all clear of obligations." Looking over the jet itself, "Nice wheels." He'll duck/move in as indicated by the other woman. "You sure we'll be good with a couple days on this," he ponders, not sure if she has an agenda to go over about this mission, or if he should ask questions but it seems a good lead into that topic.

She grins. "Thanks. It's a rental." Stepping up to the cockpit, she opens the door. "We're ready, pilot." Closing it again, she levers the main door closed and it seals. Tapping the cockpit door to signal they're ready, Batwoman moves to take a seat. "There are sleeping berths in the back, along with a serviceable kitchen. We'll land in Salt Lake City, but you'll need to fly us both from there."

Taking a seat as well, he listens and looks around, liking the accomodations. Black Lightning nods as well, "That won't be a problem. As long as you know where we're going or have an aerial photo, I cn get us there." As the plane moves to start their journey, he considers for a moment. "Are we expecting much in the way of government interference. Is this place well guarded or just tucked away and forgotten?"

Batwoman shrugs as the jet wheels out of the hangar to taxi towards the runway. "I'm hoping that it's just tucked away and forgotten. The 50's were a long time ago, even for the government. But we should be prepared for the worst. Probably no guards, but the security systems will likely be active."

Fair enough for him, Black Lightning toys with the arm rest of his chair and then the shade on the window. Not that it matters, its night time. "Thanks, for seeking me out for this, its an honor for you to put your trust in me like this." He says as he's settling, "Well meant even, thanks Batwoman."

She nods, crossing one leg over the other with a soft rustling of the cape. "Let me give you some background, then, so you know what we're dealing with." Batwoman draws a slow breath, composing her thoughts. "Some time ago, Power Woman and others came across a base in New York. Unfortunately the security protocols activated and it was wiped clean. Mostly. I went through the place and found a letterhead with the word PAIN on it. And I did some checking with the CDC…"

Lightning nods his head as he listens, not wanting to interupt her as she talks. Making notes of some of the bigger things to come out, CDC, PAIN and the New York Base wiped. He might have questions but he affords Batwoman the respect she is do to finish her thoughts.

Batwoman continues. "I have some connections, and when I called them everybody laughed at the mention of this 'PAIN' group. CIA, DIA, FBI, and even Interpol. They talked about metagene extraction and space aliens. So I naturally dug deeper, and that's where I found this base. It's an old salt mine that's still used for storing hardcopy classified intel. Built in the early 1940's as part of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, it didn't roll over to SHIELD in the 1950's with her sister bases. But it's been kept up for storage."

Giving another nods, Lightning finds a question in there. "So we're seeing what we might find there? I'm curious, how organized was the base that Power Woman found?" Cause even if its mostly forgotten, if someone does know what's going on and can wipe this next base clean, would be good to consider before going in too blindly.

She nods in return. "We are, yes. The government doesn't just bury secret documents without some justification. This is something they don't want to get out, but also something they don't want to lose." Shifting a bit in her seat, she considers. "We'll definitely need to go into this 'eyes-open'. Especially you. Power Woman has been hit with red solar radiation far too often to be coincidence."

"You're thinking," returns Black Lightning, meaning her, Power Woman, and others, "They have been watching us, people like us. I haven't had too much spotlight, but they might already have a file on me?" Something in there is a like a trigger. He was definitely in for the kids and saving them, but slightly more personal if he knows they might have a file on him, ready to deal with him. Then again, the 100 used his personal life against him, that could be his bigger fear.

"Maybe not you, as you said, but they've had Power Woman's number for some time. Or at least not likely in THIS place. But I don't know what we'll find, honestly. I'm not a meta, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be dangerous."

"I saw your work back in that alley," returns Black Lightning with a grin, "Meta or not, good to know you'll be there. You said there's sleeping compartments in the back. As excited as I am to get this underway, I think I should consider trying to rest before we get into it too deep." A slight pause, seeing if she has something else to add about the mission, or if the grounds have been covered.

Batwoman smiles at that. "Thank you. And I do agree that sleep should be our next priority. The flight will take a few hours, but once we land I'm not sure when our next opportunity to rest will be." Gesturing towards the rear of the aircraft, she nods. "I'm recording our flight path and I've installed a high-altitude camera. We'll review the data once we land."

"Well planned," says Black Lightning, on the preparations made by Batwoman. Not that he could be much help logistically with a lot of the data, other than a flight path and a potential power line to really do his thing. "I do this daily," hero stuff, hero work, meet heros; he grins a little, "But this is pretty awesome." Teaming up with Batwoman and doing some proactive heroing work.

They both go to the back to their respective berths, which are small rooms private enough to even shed costumes. Time passes, and then rustling is heard out in the corridor. Batwoman wraps gloved knuckles on the door to Lightning's berth. "We'll be landing shortly." she declares, striding towards the forward cabin.

A fow moments pass as he gets presentable, taking a moment to look out to see that its still dark, but if there are lights close; like Salt Lake City and it suburbs. Moving to join her in the forward cabin. "I'd like to say I slept well, but travel, always gets me. I'm used to it though. Had a chance to see what your surveilance picked up?"

Batwoman is sitting in one of the seats looking over a data pad screen. It's a high-altitude terrain shot that's already mapped with a grid. "The coordinates say it should be…. yes. Here." She points to the image and shows it to him. "This is salt mine territory, but I'm expecting that inside this tunnel we'll find steel doors."

Bending down to look at it, a little, Black Lightning considers it a moment. "When I travel by wire, I have to fly solo. How close should I take you and how much time will you need?" The meat of what they're about to do. He looks more directly at her then, "I can get in, there's some lines not far away, I'm sure one leads in. It could take me about 10 minutes to get in there. But after that, depends how they're locked. If its electromagnetic, its a simple enough to overload the circuits and no more worries, if its manual, depends if there are guards."

"Get me close enough to be within sight of the entrance, then test the circuits. This is 1950's tech, but it was state of the art at the time. I'm expecting big doors with a lot of steel. There's probably a lot of redundancy in the circuits as well. If there are guards, we'll take it one step at a time." The plane lands, then, and taxis to another private hangar. "This good enough for you to know where we're going?"

Looking and orienting on north, currently and where it would be on the maps, Black Lightning nods. "Plenty good, and I have your eyes to back me up as we fly over there. If there's guards, they'll be more on the outside than the inside." Or he hopes. Stretching his neck a moment, he grins a little, "Its time, then." As if little sleep or not, now that go moment is at hand, he feels more revved.

Once outside the plane it's pretty close to midnight in Salt Lake as well. "Whenever you're ready, then." Batwoman offers. And yes, she doesn't appear to mind the thought of being carried. No matter that she insists on climbing buildings with a grappel line to meet Power Woman. There aren't any surprises along the way, and following the terrain map is pretty straightforward. "Looks like it's over the next rise, so let's just set down here." If there are any power lines, however, they're buried.

Black Lightning is a gentleman all the same, respecting that she was forward with him when they first met, its just a quick means to the job. Between the two, he probably considers her the more able all told, with her track record. Moving to set them down, he pauses to listen to the night and her. Closing his eyes a moment, "I can't feel any power flow, nothing close. I'll have to get closer, do you think you can make up for my general lack of stealth to get us nearer the base?" Like up to a light pole, or something else that is attached to the same grid.

Batwoman looks around, moving in slow and wide sweeps. "Any cables are either buried or dead or both." she offers, turning back towards him. "How far underground can you sense? And if there's a buried line could you jump into it?"

"If its a live wire, I can sense it at about five meters underground, and I can jump to it, that whole path of least resistence, if its there." He starts to move around a little, recalling where the nearest road was, as infrastrucutre lines seem to flow close to each other. "If we find a live wire, I think its indication enough its worth looking into that base of yours." Then finally, "I think I have something, remember, I need at least 10 (minutes) to find a good route in and a few extra to get to the door?" He's starting to glow a little, ready to go.

Yes, there are indeed wires running parallel to the road. And there's also a branch leading away towards the mine opening. "That should give me enough time to work my way up to the entrance." Batwoman replies. Flashing that red-lipped grin, she adds. "See you inside." And then she starts making her way over the low rise and down the other side towards the entrance.

The wiring does lead into the base after all, and he'll find it to be not only thick copper but shielded from interference. The base has back-up generators, but the lines go into a control room first. The computers are ancient and the place looks like it hasn't been used in years. There's surprisingly little dust, all in all.

Having to follow the line where it goes, and enters the base, he'll take it to the control room. Doing his best to exit the line without too much flash and be his whole self once again. He might consider more the lack of dust, outside of it being sealed for years, but his priority is to make his way to that front door and figure out how to get it open. He will look around the control enough to see if there is a map of the place, but from there, he'll go in the general direction he assumes the door to be. While he moves though, he will go slowly with ears open, not trusting it to be completely deserted, he doesn't want to run into anyone accidently. Thus, if there are real doors he needs to go through, he will try to open them quietly.

While the stuff Black Lightning is up to could be underground, in the vaults and protected area, there are some buildings still standing, including the main entrance to get down there. With the moon falling over it, it looks like a ghost town in minutae. All is quiet as it should seem. The hut over the steal doors that Black Lightning is working to open is near the center and it looks like its a clear shot, deserted.

However, being the observant type that she is, Batwoman might give pause as tiny orange light flares up and goes away, as if someone lit a cigeratte in a nearby building.

Most of the base is underground, which is to be expected, but it's not unusual for a few buildings to be above-ground at a mine as well. Everything on the inside is silence and steel, no doubt trusting to the security of locks and secrecy. There are multiple layers of entry doors, thicker and heavier on the inside.

Back above ground again, Batwoman spots the tell-tale sign of a cigarette and goes into full stealth mode. She checks around for motion sensors as she creeps closer, using natural cover first and then slipping up against buildings. She's looking for a window or a door, something she can use to gain entry before Black Lightning opens the door from the inside.

Black Lightning makes his way to the point, sensing the lock from the inside. There is an electronic lock in place, which could easily be opened with the right key/code/etc. from outside, or remotely even. He gives a pause though, as it took him less than the anticipated amount of time, trusting Batwoman to be good with her counts and wanting to be on the mark for her.

Above ground, no motion sensors are seen, a window into the building can be seen, one story up, the main floor concrete walls it would seem. The glass is all out of that window and its not seen much use. Observing around, namely where the cigarette is, there does seem to be two men with weapons. They are done up black-ops style though, all black, night vision goggles even. Though the goggles are up and they seem to be shooting the breeze while smoking instead of walking their patrol.

Batwoman knows black ops soldiers, having trained with some of the best in the world. These two? They never know what hits them. She comes over the roof, of course, swinging out and down to catch each one with a kick… and her full weight behind it. One takes the kick full in the face, only because she missed his throat like the other. Deftly stripping off body mics, she zip-ties the two back-to-back at the wrist. If they need more time inside she'll have to come up with a longer term solution.

Meanwhile at the door, Blacklighting gives the countdown and then blasts the lines attachted to the lock until the wiring goes dead enough that the magnetic lock is tripped and he can throw the switch from inside. The vault/below ground is open, he moves further still to the door of the building he is in. She could easily break into this building, but he goes to open the main door. Not far from where she is tying up the two soldiers. He is quiet about it, cracking it enough to see that it has opened, but not sticking himself out to advertise to anyone else.

Batwoman turns and rises, cape swirling as her gaze falls towards the opening door. "All clear." she declares. "But we might need a more permanent solution for these two. Help me get them inside, and we'll start our search." Grabbing one set of boots she'll let him take the other. Once the guards are inside, she removes the masks and gags them with duct tape as well. "What's inside?"

Explaining what he saw between where he entered and here, he moves to help with the men. If they need to be stunned, he can taze them. "And I entered through the control room," he explains at last, "I can pretty much feed from there and have everything operational without starting up the generators. That might keep any alarms from going off if we don't access their grid, but I'll run out of juice eventually. It looks untouched since the 50's like you say, no dust anywhere. Either its been sealed the whole time, or someone cleans up after themselves."

The guards are unconscious and their mics have been removed, but they are far from harmless. And Batwoman knows it. She gives each one a single injection in the neck, then bends the used needles and tucks them into a pouch. "We have twelve hours." she declares. "And my bet is that it's been sealed. These two probably don't even know what they're guarding, which works well for them." Leading the way inside, she adds. "This is a paper repository, so I expect we'll find a lot of filing cabinets."

And that is indeed what they find. Rooms and rooms full of filing cabinets. "Let's see if there's any rhyme or reason to the filing. We're looking for the early files and a project called 'PAIN'…" It's going to be a long 12 hours.

Whether there is reason to this filing, or its more pre-Hoover era filing, Black Lightning doesn't mind looking through the files. Long 12-hours or not, he didn't just come to open the door, he's here to help as much as he can.

It takes a lot longer than 12 hours, and the guards each get another dose of sleepytime medicine before they have what Batwoman is looking for. Files are pulled, photographed, and then replaced with dilligent care before the two seal up the vault to leave it looking like it's never been opened. The guards will wake eventually, unbound and with all their gear. And with no idea what happened. Such is the wonder of truth serum drugs.

The first curiosity is the funding trail - always follow the money. Funding to the location spiked exactly 72 hours after Power Woman's appearance in Metropolis. Then a new project was created called the Prevention of Alien Incursion and Neutralization. Future funding for the base rolled through PAIN. And untangling the funding resulted in the following list of figures responsible for the program. The original Director of PAIN was General Wade Eiling, USAF. Directors of Research included Dr. Thomas Lightner in Physics, Dr. Anson Harkov in Materials Sciences, Dr. Dabney Donovan in Genetics, and Dr. Jacqueline Kirby in Astrophysics.

Batwoman smiles. "Looks like I've got some house-calls to make."

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