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Old 11-19-2012, 01:55 PM   #51
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Jason laughed at Kenji's flirtatious compliment to the Doctor regarding her bodyguard. The guy had his own style, that was for sure. It was a pretty good line too. "I'm with Kenji on that, Doc. The more pretty we have, the better. Maybe it'll make some kind of hotness shield to keep us from getting stoney," he winked, "If not hard."

The feral looking photographer nodded, "I'll try and keep it quick. If I see anything that needs immediate action, I'll give you a text...or it'll probably be pretty obvious. Either way."

He gave them a wave and then looked up at the looming factory again. A place like that would definately have security, especially if something bad was going on there. Security, however, always had the same problems. You can't watch everywhere; so security looks where people come and go from. Guards and cameras watch doors but they don't watch windows or the roof.

Jason drew in a breath and felt the divine power within him being readied and gathered. He'd wanted this to be a surprise later...but nothing for it now. He pushed the world away with his power and it pushed back, lifting him up into the air.

He half-turned as he ascended, waving at the other two, and then went straight up. He'd come in on the building from high up, check out and skylights or such first, then start carefully peering in windows. If he was lucky, he might even find a way in from the roof for some inside work.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:44 PM   #52
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Kenji's grinned widened at Jason's response and he nodded to him, in appreciation. The man was obviously playing along, contributing to creating an overall better mood and even seemed to genuinely like his idea. Having witnessed his perception skills earlier that night, he was also pretty confident that Jason would probably be the best candidate to scout ahead and see what might be going on with that peculiar factory. And Kenji most certainly didn't seem to mind spending more time with Gabriella, that was certain.

********

He nodded in agreement to Dr. Moya and gestured over to one of the benches she indicated.

"Good, good. Come now, fair lady, let's take a seat on that bench and enjoy that lovely autumn night under London's sky, while we wait either for Marta's arrival or for our friend Jason's scouting results. I can understand Marta to be honest and your own situation, up to a certain degree of course. Seiryu tends to be more discreet, certainly not calling up to check on me, but then again what could you expect from a living dragon who seems content to remain dormant, posing as a fine tattoo around my fit body, eh? Discreet and loyal for sure, though I'm quite certain that your bodyguard must have more than her fair share of virtues as well.

You know, I could say I'd envy her. Having worked as a security specialist for years and as a V.I.P security guard as well, I'd be more than happy and pleased to ever offer my services to such a lovely and obviously brilliant lady such as yourself. Which is more than can be said from most people with the "V.I.P" label. Though now, come to think of it, if I was ever to be assigned in your security detail, I'd have some doubts on the degree to which I'd manage to perform my duties adequately. On the one hand, I'd most definitely never take my eyes off of you, quite literally, while on the other hand, by being so completely focused on your fair visage and on those - forgive my boldness - intoxicating eyes of yours, I'm afraid I'd miss whatever else might be going on around",
he added, with a genuine smile.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:17 PM   #53
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Gabby sat down and smiled a little. She wasn't unused to men complimenting her, but normally when they found out what she did for a living, or about Marta, they decided she was either a lesbian or too involved in her work to be worth pursuing. "It's very kind of you to say. I don't really think it would be too hard, however. I've never been prone to the kinds of antics you see from celebrities." She looked up at the sky, the stars obscured by the lights of London. "Marta would tell you I'm worse than they are, of course. I expect to do things by myself, don't like risking her neck over my own - which she says is her job."

She crossed her legs, one hand lifting her hair off the back of her neck. "It's just that . . . well, I feel like I'm probably better equipped to handle things, you know?" Her other hand went to her chest, pressing between her breasts as though something there ached. "Just given the way we - you know, people like us - are. She's strong and tough, but she's still just a mortal, I think." The fingers on her chest trailed to her pendant, fingering the golden helix lightly. "I wouldn't be able to stand it if someone I could protect was hurt."
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:52 PM   #54
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Jason alighted on the roof of the factory with less noise than a moth would have made touching down. The roof wasn't as large and sprawling as some he'd been on but other than size it looked like any other industrial building roof. It was tarred and sealed; with heat/AC vents and hoods here and there as well as a trio of sealed up electrical panels and a rooftop access door. There were also a pair of skylights evenly spaced.

Before he could investigate further, the door to the roof access began to open. The nimble Scion threw himself into a roll coming behind one of the tall vents and crouching down with his back against it. Had he been spotted?

The wild young man took the risk of peering around the hood. The roof door was open and a woman in a security guard's outfit was standing on the roof. She was young, he'd guess his age or a bit younger, and pretty. Her eyes swept the rooftop a few times before she turned and headed back inside. As the door closed, the sound of a lock clicking into place was clearly audible.

Jason stood and stepped out from behind the vent. Curious. Was that just a patrol thing or had his presence been noticed? She hadn't searched the roof, just looked out...which made him want to say she was just doing a round. But that was dangerous thinking. He had to assume his enemy was smarter and more prepared than he was.

They certainly were the last, anyway. But he wasn't going to underestimate them.

He crept over to the nearest skylight and peered down into it, then blinked. "You're kidding..." Jason leaned down and examined the skylight itself and grinned. They opened. Probably for cleaning and emergency ventilation since this place used chemicals. But it'd also be a handy way in that nobody'd really be looking at.

Jason slid his phone out of his pocket and tapped out a quick text to Doctor Moya and Kenji both, "On roof; skylights here open up. 30 seconds to give me a good reason not to go in and poke around a little."
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:51 PM   #55
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Kenji was delighted and quite relieved to see Miss Moya smile upon his compliments. Deep inside him there was this fear, this uncertainty that she might chastise him for his behaviour or scold him for his sincerety, even perhaps try to put an abrupt end to their discussion. He was also afraid his compliments might be considered too old-fashioned, since he admittedly was a romantic at heart and that didn't usually go well nowadays. But this was not the case apparently and Kenji felt his heart fall back into its place. He loved to see her smiling. It somehow exerted a feeling of serenity in him, for some strange reason, and it certainly made her even prettier.

"I believe I can understand. It is her duty to protect you, yet you feel it is your duty not to endanger her life or wellfare when you can take care of things yourself. And it is true. You are, we are quite better equiped to deal with some of the most peculiar or dangerous situations we might encounter better than others. It is our responsibility to do this for our patrons and - on their behalf - for humanity itself, after all".

Seeing Gabriella lifting her hair off her neck, then touching between her breasts, pressing as if something ached her, Kenji felt mesmerized. She probably had no idea what her gestures were doing to him. He was almost worried that she might really ache at the spot she was pressing, even as he was painfully aware of her beauty. He sighed, as her fingers trailed their way to her helix pendant - which seemed admittedly a remarkable piece of jewelry - almost a bit too loud, and forced his mind into focus once again. He should not lose his concentration, not while they were investigating something that could potentially prove very important and quite serious.

He regained his composure, as quickly as he could and nodded to her last comment.

"Indeed. I could not stand that either. Would you let me protect you, Gabriella, if it ever comes to that?"

As soon as he'd finished talking, his cellphone vibrated in his jacket. Checking it, he read the text message from Jason and looked again at her.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:42 PM   #56
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Gabby had her phone out as well, looking at it. Then she shook her head and started to type.

Because you're not a fool. Send.

Because you have no idea what's inside. Send.

Because if you get yourself killed by going in while we're here for backup, I'll smack you stupid. Send.

Then she looked back at Kenji. "I've had my say to him. Your call if you tell him anything." She tucked the phone away and leaned back on the bench, crossing her ankles in front of her. "I wonder when Marta will . . . ."

She cut off as she felt a presence behind her. "You wonder when I will what?" a soft, lightly accented voice said. Gabby turned her head to look at the tall, dark-skinned woman standing there. Marta was intimidating, the gods knew. Almost 6 feet tall, with a build that was equal parts curvy and muscular; her face was lovely, but it seemed almost too hard at times, as though she were thinking about things normal people wouldn't like to know about. Long jet black hair, now pulled back into a tail, trailed down her back, and gold-and-obsidian earrings glimmered in her ears and one in her nose.

What was most interesting was that she was dressed in something akin to military fatigues; olive drab cargo pants that still seemed to fit her perfectly, a heather grey t-shirt under a jacket that seemed to be suede. Gabby knew that it was actually jaguar hide, supple and protective. There was a long dagger sheathed at Marta's waist, and strapped to her back was a long cylinder that looked like it might be a message container, but actually held three stabbing spears.

"Get here," Gabby finished, smiling a little. "It took you a while."

The pretty woman snorted. "I've been here for about ten minutes. I hope," she said, giving Kenji a skeptical look, "that you won't let him charm you out of your clothes. You're smarter than that, Gabriella."

"Hush, Mart. He's nice, and you're being overprotective. You're supposed to keep me safe from harm, not from suitors." Gabby stood up and peered at the roof of the factory. "I'd text Jason to let him know you're here, but if he's been a moron and gone inside, I don't want to blow his cover."
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:18 PM   #57
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Jason hadn't waited even ten seconds before he'd begun to examine the way the skylight opened to see how best to open it without alerting anyone who might happen to be looking up at the time.

Of course, there was an easy way to see if anyone was. The power of flight was still within him and he let it carry him off his feet and then made himself parallel to the roof, perhaps at waist height. He them crept forward through the air to peer down through the skylight from above and see what could be seen.

His phone hummed in his pocket and he grimaced but ignored it for the moment, one hand blocking out ambient light from the surrounding area to let him look down into the factory. Then his phone hummed again. Then a third time within not even five seconds.

He threw himself up vertical again with a soft grunt and floated back away from the skylight before fishing his phone out of his pocket. He read Gabby's messages and grunted; he'd been called a fool for doing things before. Usually something he wasn't supposed to be able to do and usually right before he did it. That wasn't a good reason.

Not knowing what was in there...well, that was true. But none of them did. And there was no way to find out except to go in and look! Their investigation so far had led them to this point and they had no leads other than this place. If they didn't look, how would they find anything out?

The third text though made him smile and then sigh. Damn it. He didn't want to upset her and the message was sarcastic and angry but he didn't doubt that if he did get hurt, she'd be upset and feel guilty about it.

Jason stared at his phone for a few moments and then looked past it at the skylight. Would they get a chance like this again? He had to make a decision...

It took him another five minutes to fly up and then over to an alleyway where he thought he could land without being seen. His gut nagged at him the whole way, and as he padded towards the bench where Gabby and Kenji where with reluctant feet. This was a mistake; he should have gone in.

There was another woman there; tall for a woman but not the biggest he'd seen. She was muscular and strong; her arms bulging even through her leather jacket but she was curvy as hell too. Reminded him of those women June would bring with her sometimes.

"You must be Marta. Look like you could bench press Kenji with one and and go for a photo shoot later." Jason hadn't attempted to hide his approach but he also didn't speak until he was about five feet from them. "I think you're wrong, Doc. I am a fool...because we're not going to know any more about all this without going in and I threw away a golden opportunity. We don't know if we'll get one again."

He was glad she cared though. His voice wasn't as hard as he wanted it to be.

"So now what? I can tell you the roof's easy access through those skylights. There's a door up there too but they pay attention to it. A pretty guard stuck her head out and looked around when I first got up there." He shrugged, "Don't know if she was just patrolling or if they got wind of me somehow. But either way, we need to either decide to go in there now or back off and come back later. Sooner or later, one of the guards is going to look out and notice us here, even if we are across the square. The place ain't exactly jumping."
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:48 PM   #58
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If Kenji was startled, by the sudden intervention of Marta, he never showed it. In fact he had learn to control himself in a way quite sufficient, so that almost nothing could catch him off-guard. He was not surprised that Marta had observed them for some time before stepping forth. If she was indeed acting as a bodyguard to the lovely doctor, then that would be the right thing to do. Observe the situation, evaluate any and all parameters, then act. He smiled. This would be his approach, were he in her shoes.

Admittedly she cut quite an imposing figure, reminding him of the histories of Amazons in greek mythology. Her beauty - though of a different, more wild and untamed sort than Gabriella's - was undeniable and her curves were quite evident despite her choice of clothing, which come to think of it, made quite an antithesis to her feminine figure, accentuating it even more in some strange way.

He stood up and bowed graciously to her, in a genuine gesture of welcome, displaying his homeland's etiquette on such situations, before offering her his hand, for the more traditional, in the western society, greeting, having on his mind to even attempt to lightly kiss her palm, as was usual in the middle ages and the renaissance, if she'd appear to let him do so.

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Marta. I should say that Miss Moya has spoken very highly of you already and I was looking forward to meeting you in person. In fact, I insisted that you'd join us, if only to grace us with you beauty - which is evident in your fair visage and posture - as well as your expertise, before our upcoming investigation which may prove to be quite dangerous.

I am Kenji Tanaka. Security specialist, rider of justice in the dark nights of London and hopeless romantic as I'm sure you'll have figured out by now. Apologies if my compliments to Miss Moya offended you. I assure you I was quite sincere. Besides being romantic I also am quite fond of beauty in all forms and therefore I do tend to get carried away a bit in similar cases.

I can understand you though, since I've been employed in a similar line of work for some years. Being responsible for the safety and wellfare of an individual is quite a taxing task and can lead to people like us being overly protective of others".


*******


As Jason stepped forth, Kenji seemed relieved to see him and extended his hand to congratulate him on a scouting well done.

"You did well and the information on the building's security is very useful, but I do not think it would be wise to risk your own safety when we can all help with that. Besides, I think that we might do better as a team. And if our suspicions are confirmed this may end up a lot more dangerous than a simple break-in to a secure and guarded building. According to your scouting, would it be more sound, tactically wise, to approach from the roof?"
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:51 PM   #59
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Gabby suppressed a smile as the two men tried to charm Marta. The other woman was hard to win over, but Gabby could tell she was impressed. "Well," the Amazonian woman snorted, "at least they both look like they can handle themselves in a fight." Her eyes traveled appraisingly at the men. She looked away for a moment, checking out the building that Jason had been on top of of with the same cool assessment. "I don't know what kind of place that is, but it feels wrong."

With a sigh, the doctor nodded. "It does, but . . . I've no idea what we should do." She looked at Jason apologetically. "Maybe you're right, maybe you should have gone in." Her tongue traced a circle around the inside of her cheek as she thought. "But it's just so chancy. What if something had happened?"

She ran a hand through her hair, sighing. "I say we go somewhere private and come up with a plan. Going in there without some kind of extraction protocol, or some idea of what you'll be looking for, is a recipe for disaster and failure." She spread her hands. "What do you say, guys? Come back to my place, coffee and skullduggery?"
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:04 PM   #60
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Kenji nodded in appreciation to Marta's comment.

"You're quite right Miss Marta. And I would say that the same is true for you as well. You do seem more than capable as far as direct confrontations are concerned. And that is a good thing. Regrettable as it may be, situations nowadays tend to require a mastery of the fighting arts from people who have our responsibilities. Those that we have to deal with on our patrons' behalf are at most times less than talkative. Thus we need to be capable to defend not only ourselves but all those who might be endangered by the reckless or deliberately cruel behaviour of those beings and their servants".


As soon as he heard Gabriella's suggestion, he smiled in appreciation.

"An excellent suggestion Miss Moya. From our experience earlier tonight, public places do not seem to be that safe or private enough to discuss about our next course of action. Thank you for your offer. I'd be delighted to come, if Miss Marta does not object of course, and even more so, if she'd be willing to join us, since her expertise might come in handy and she may very well have an active role in this matter. And we definitely need to plan this operation with detail. It is important that we are prepared and we make the most out of this intrusion to the facility that looms ahead of us.

Now, as to how we can get there, Jason can move faster on foot than most can on wheels. I can safely and quickly transport one or maybe two passengers with my motorcycle and Miss Moya can attest for my driving skills. Miss Marta did you come here by car or via public transportation and how would you propose we get back to Miss Moya's place?"
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:50 PM   #61
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Jason didn't even bother to try and hide the aggravation on his face. What would going and talking more about this do? The factory was there; whatever they needed to know was inside, maybe along with whoever they needed to take this fight to. How were they going to get any other information without going in there?

"Of course something'll happen if we go in there, that's the whole point! Going in to find out what's going on and stop it." He shook his head, "We're at this point because we've followed up all the leads we have and they've led us here. What else can we accomplish by talking more? It's time to do something."

Seemed like he was outvoted though. Doctor Moya obviously felt nervous about just going in and wanted to plan. Well, how could they plan without knowing anything? And the only way to...no point in making that argument though. He was sure there was something the other two could mention that they could look into further. The building's plans might be public or something they could get hold of or something.

Kenji spoke up and confirmed it. More planning and talking. Jason grimaced; he hoped that the bad guys wouldn't be more on guard next time. This might be the best shot they'd get.

"I'm outvoted though, I guess." The wild looking man looked back at the factory with a regretful look. "Hope this doesn't bite us on the ass later." He shrugged and turned to walk away, "Text me the address and I'll meet up with you guys there. I'll touch base with someone I know and see if she knows anything or can point us anywhere else."

This was still going to be a waste of time. But he wasn't about to be accused of not trying to help out.

Jason didn't wait for any answers; as he said, they could text him. He just gathered himself and with another prodigious leap, sailed far up the closest building that wasn't their target, grabbed hold of a window ledge and heaved himself up enough to jump again, making the roof and disappearing from their sight. He'd head a few blocks way, at least, before going to the address Doctor Moya supplied. No one was watching them that he knew of but that was no reason not to be a little tricky.

As he sprinted across the rooftop, he pulled out his phone. He sailed over the street below and landed on the roof of an office building opposite, thumbing through to select June's number. He'd probably just get her voice mail; it was pretty early/late in the States...though he wasn't sure if she was there or not, now that he thought about it. Anyway.

"Hey, June." He started speaking, not having noticed if it was her or if he was leaving a message. "It's Jason, I'm looking into that little job Mommie Dearest gave me. It's lead to some interesting stuff but there's a name that's come up and it means nothing to me, but I thought you might be able to give me some background. Ever hear of a guy named Tomas Genardo? He's mixed up in this, whatever it is, and I know he was with the dead woman in that picture you gave me several times during the Games."
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Last edited by Armphid : 12-31-2012 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:57 PM   #62
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Gabby sighed softly as Jason jumped away. He was so impetuous! But she smiled brightly at Kenji. "All right, I can give you directions to my flat. Let me text him the address and he can meet us there." She pulled her phone out and quickly typed a text up with the address of her flat to the scarred young man, then tucked it away into her pocket. "All right, then." She paused. "Mart, how did you get here?"

With a sniff, the Amazonian woman said, "I ran, of course. I'm not some weakling that has to ride everywhere." She stretched her arm over her head for a moment. "I'll meet you at your place, then, Gabby. I'll grab some milk, too - you're out." And she took off down a side street, setting a pace that even a person on a bicycle would have been hard-pressed to match.

"How does she know that?" the doctor asked rhetorically. Then she smiled at Kenji again. "Anyway. Um, we'll want to get on this road," she pointed to one of the streets nearby, "and follow it until we go over the river. Once we get over the river, take the second left, and then the third right. My place is the second house on the left."

~ ~ ~ ~

From the other end of the line, Jason could hear surprised silence. "Genardo?" June asked, finally. "Yes, he's got ties to Aphrodite's Glory. I think he's the vice president in charge of marketing?" June's voice was uncertain, but there was a rustling of paper, and she sounded more sure. "Yes, that's it. He's their VP of marketing, very tight with their CEO, Molly Duncan."

She pauses, the says almost hesitantly, "Jason, are you . . ." you can hear her thinking about what she's about to say, not wanting to mess it up. "Are you comfortable with this? I can take over, if you think Mother has . . . given you more than is suitable."
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:38 AM   #63
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Kenji nodded to Jason, as the young man literally took off. "See you there then. Watch the skies", he added, with a smile. Then he started the engine of his motorcycle and waited for Gabriella. Hearing Marta's comment and witnessing her lightning fast departure, he barely suppressed a slight grin. Such primal grace, such independance and such thinly-veiled contempt for anyone not adhering to her standards. Which apparently were quite high, he thought to himself. He could not think ill of her though. And not because of her wild beauty, but simply because he was taught the principles of self sufficiency at some point in his life and he could understand her point of view.

When Gabriella approached, he handed her his helmet once again.

"Here you go, Gabriella. I think it fits you nicely and despite what Marta says, there's nothing wrong with travelling in style. Now, come on, let's go there. I think I got it, but if I take a wrong turn or miss the right road, please let me know. As for how she knew about your shortage of milk, let me put it this way. It's her duty to take care of you. That much is evident. And she doesn't regard it as a chore but rather as a responsibility. She really cares for you and that cannot be doubted. And she also has her own code and standards. Let's hope I'll stay on her good side, eh?" he said, with a wink, before hitting the gas and letting his trusted motorcycle roll into the nocturnal streets of London, once again.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:15 AM   #64
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Jason smiled despite himself. She cared, on some level, it was plain in her voice and her hesitation. It might have just been that she cared about losing an asset, or about screwing up in front of their mother, but he liked to think if might be something more. Having a woman like her sound like that talking about him...that was a pretty good feeling.

"Molly Duncan's a new name, at least," he answered after a few moments. "I don't know what we're getting into, June. I've found a few other people like me who are on the same trail and we're working together. Slowly. So I've got back up but it might not be enough. We've found an outdoor display of statues that we're pretty sure are people turned to stone...so we may be looking at a medusa. Or Medusa for that matter, I don't know how this shit works."

He came to the end of the rooftop and stopped rather than springing off again. "...We may be in over our heads. These guys I'm with are the slow and steady types but when time comes to act...I don't know, I've got a bad feeling. But you gave this job to me; I'll do it or, well, you know the other option." He paused, "If you don't hear from me by tomorrow night, you should come check into it yourself, that's all I'm saying."
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:42 PM   #65
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June's voice is somber. "I understand. But, Jason. Don't underestimate the importance of being steady." You can hear her shifting a little, tapping something out on a computer. "I'll check in myself if I don't hear from you. Be safe, little brother." She hangs up, leaving you standing on a building and looking out at the city.

~ ~ ~ ~

The bike stops in front of Gabby's house, a typical dwelling - brick, taller than wide, with a few windows facing front. She dismounts and pulls off the helmet, handing it to Kenji. She walks toward the door, pulling out her keys as she goes.

When her foot hits the bottom step, the door opens and, revealing Marta standing there. "It's about time."

"Dammit, woman. How do you DO that?"

Marta steps aside for Gabby, a small smile playing on her lips. "Cut across lawns. I bet your scarred friend will be here soon - buildings are good too."

Gabby turns, ignoring the other woman, and smiling at Kenji. "Welcome to my home. Please, come in. I can make coffee, if you'd like."
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:19 PM   #66
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"Little brother," he repeated softly as he lowered his phone, "Never had a big sister before." Jason shook his head and slid it into his inner jacket pocket. Did that make the times he'd ogled June or fantasized about her incestuous thoughts? Not that anything like that'd be new among the gods. Still though, it was a little bit of a disappointment that she thought of him that way.

Only a little bit though. The fact that she seemed to really care at all, to worry about him...that felt pretty good.

He'd better hurry. Given the time he'd been standing there talking to June, the others had probably beaten him to Doctor Moya's flat. Next time they were going somewhere, he was really going to have to pull out all the stops. No way he was going to be last every time.

He re-oriented himself and set off again. Within a few minutes, he was hurling himself from the top of a townhouse across the street from where Gabby and Kenji were standing before an open door with the imposing Marta stepping back to let them in.

At least he wasn't too much behind them.

Jason landed on the sidewalk a few feet away from the others; he didn't want to startle them and end up shanked or shot. Not that it would take him out but it would be a buzz kill. "Coffee sounds great, Doctor Moya," he said, trying to keep his tone casual, as if he'd just gotten off a bus instead of plummeted down through the air in a fall that should have broken bones and jellied organs. "Thanks for the hospitality. Lead on."
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:35 PM   #67
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Turning the engine off, Kenji received his helmet from Gabriella, taking the time to observe her pretty eyes once more and got off his motorcycle, securing it properly, before walking to the house. Seeing Marta in front of them, opening the door even before Gabriella managed to reach for her keys, Kenji smiled imperceptibly, even though he was almost surprised.

"Expert timing Miss Marta. One could say that I wasn't going as fast as possible, if only to enjoy a few more minutes of travelling in London's night, with such a lovely passenger on my motorcycle, but that would just downplay the truth which is that you possess remarkable mobility and athletic skills, putting to shame even vehicles designed explicitly for quick transportation. And doing so, while looking not in the least tired and pretty damn gorgeous, if you wouldn't mind me being bold enough to say. Miss Moya is very lucky to have you looking out for her. Thank you as well, for consenting to have me and Jason visit your home. Your gesture of hospitality is much appreciated I assure you".

She and Jason really had a unnatural competence in moving quickly and capably through urban terrain, thought Kenji, even as he marvelled at her fit body and athletic posture. As if to validate his words, Jason landed on the pavement, accross the street from Dr. Moya's house. Kenji, turned to face and welcome him.

"Your agility never ceases to amaze, Jason. You do have a knack for ignoring the laws of physics, eh?", he added with a friendly smile, extending his hand for a handshake of approval, to the scarred Scion with the athletic capabilities of many olympic track and field medalists combined.


Then he proceeded, alongside him, inside the house.

"Thank you Miss Moya. Your invitation honours me. I do believe I should have brought something, this being the first time that I'm visiting your home, but circumstances, coupled with a lamentable forgetfullnes displayed on my part, did not allow for such a thing. I promise to make amends though at first opportunity. Oh and coffee would be fine. I'm usually more of the natural orange juice type, since it fits better my nutrition and exercise regime, but given the fact that we've been running around London for some time and that we've already had our share of alcohol in the pub, I believe a strong coffee would be just fine".
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:37 PM   #68
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Gabby grinned at them. "Gentlemen, as you have both defended my person tonight, you can feel free to call me Gabby - or at least Gabriella." She gestured for them to follow her inside, and brushed past Marta with a pat on the dark-haired woman's shoulder. "Aww, Marta. You big softy, you didn't have to buy a pie too."

Marta sniffed imperiously. "Don't be silly. We can't have your guests in the house with nothing but a brick of old cream cheese and some stale crisps." She waited until Jason and Kenji were both inside before shutting the door and shrugging out of her jacket.

Right inside the door was a small foyer, with a living/dining area to the left. A small doorway behind the dining table lead into the kitchen, and a stairway directly in front of the front door lead upstairs.

Gabby sighed and shook her head. "It's not that bad. I've got some lemons, you know." She kicked off her shoes and headed for the kitchen, shaking her hair loose as she went. "This is my home, guys. I hope you like it. Have a seat somewhere, I'll be out with coffee in a moment."

She vanished into the kitchen, the sound of running water coming a few moments later. "So, we know that the odds are good that we're dealing with, at best, a medusa. And at worst, The Medusa - one of her sisters, that is." The water shuts off, and there are small sounds, plastic unfolding, the soft sound of pouring ground coffee, the click of the machine shutting, and the distinctive sound of percolation. "The question is, what can we do, quickly and easily, to protect ourselves from them? I know they're venomous, fangs at least, right? And the little snakes are probably as well, but less of an issue for us. The turn-you-to-stone thing is . . . well. I would say it's limited to the Gorgons themselves, but the number of statues on that street seems to disprove that."
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:58 AM   #69
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Kenji smiled and nodded courteously, to their host.

"As you wish Gabriella. Thank you for your appreciation. I believe that we did nothing more than that which any proper gentleman should have done, considering the circumstances, let alone someone of our special heritage".


He took off his jacket, staying with his tight-fitting uniform-like clothes, which felt and looked as a body-glove, accentuating his thin but fit frame and excellent physique. His extensive training kept him in good shape and well trained muscles could be seen - bulging and relaxing - below the fabric, to the eyes of a keen observer, as Kenji moved around the place.

"The house is fine, Gabriella. The appartment which I recently rented - for my stay during the Olympics - since I used to live in Japan before that, is smaller and much more spartan. As such, this is a most pleasant change, and that is of course without even starting to mention the lovely company that I'm honoured to enjoy, this evening. Very kind of you and Miss Marta or Marta - if she'd preffered to be addressed as such - to invite us here".


Kenji sat comfortably in a chair, in the living room area, awaiting for Gabriella to return with the coffee, while also not forgetting to thank Marta especially for getting a pie for them as well.

"Coffee, pie and such lovely company could make the evening most enjoyable, while a healthy dose of mystery and the anticipation of a risky mission would make it even more interesting", he remarked to Marta with a smile, as he unpacked and opened his laptop, setting it on the table, so that all could have easy access to it. He plugged in the flash-drive his father had given him earlier and retrieved the files relevant to the mystery they were trying to solve.

"Well", he spoke quite loudly, to ensure that Gabriella - who was in the kitchen - could hear him as well, "I wanted to present you first hand with the intel I received, that I told you about in the pub, before we were interrupted. I have here the picture and presumably the voice as well, of that woman who sits on top of the beauty cream project, and the pictures of the ladies that have been seen inside that factory which we're about to further investigate.

Now, regarding the issue of avoiding petrification, that an entirely different subject. As much as I love mythology and Greek one at that, the only useful detail that I can recall is that even Perseus - the vaunted Greek hero who killed the Medusa, did not in fact look upon her, during his quest to slay her. Now, if memory serves and please, Jason, do correct me if I have it all wrong here - its not my native Pantheon's history after all - Jason received considerable help from the Olympians - including Hade's helm that rendered him invisible - and he observed Medusa from the reflection she cast on his polished shield, prior to cutting off her head. If we could avoid looking to her or to them - in case they're more - directly, maybe we could avoid that dreadful effect, but this might be easier said than done.

It might sound a bit silly, but given the equipment we possess - which isn't exactly much to speak off - we could perhaps attempt to affix our cell phones, that nowadays come with an in-built, relatively high-res camera, so that everything we view is filtered through their screen and lenses, while also keeping our other eye shut or obscuring its field of vision entirely by covering it. This way we do not risk regarding such creatures with our naked eyes and thus we might escape their power's effect. I'm not exactly an expert in putting together such contraptions but perhaps someone more experienced in that could easily affix a mobile phone to a head circlet of some sort, allowing it to function in a way similar to the army night vision googles which are fixed on soldier helmets. There is also a chance that my helmet could protect me from such an effect, but having never tested it on such an occasion I cannot be certain. Sorry if it sounds strange, but I'm afraid that's the only thing I could come up with at the moment.

Maybe after a cup of coffee and some delicious pie, more ideas will flow",
he concluded, almost apologetically to the rest.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:50 PM   #70
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"You smooth operator, you," Jason grinned at Kenji as he sat down in a chair and leaned back, bringing it up off the front two legs. The guy liked to talk, and he did it pretty well. He was also always throwing out lines to the girls. The guy was confident, and given that Marta looked like she could break either of them with her thighs, ballsy as hell.

With the social stuff, anyway. He'd shaken the man' s hand outside and given him a clap on the shoulder, which was probably more than he should have given the Japanese sense of propriety. But the question of how good he was in action was still somewhat up in the air. He was bad ass against the tools at the pub but given what they were up against, that might not be enough.

The scarred scion listened, nodding occasionally as Kenji spoke. "I might be able to put a name to that pretty face and voice. I have a...I guess she's a cousin, isn't she? Anyway, she acts as my handler, sends me missions and such, and she told me that the guy I'm looking for, Tomas Genardo, is the Marketing VP for Aphrodite's Glory." Jason then shrugged, "But for just a VP, he's apparently really close with the CEO; a woman by the name of Molly Duncan."

"Not that any of that actually helps us at all." He sighed, "This whole "child of the gods" thing is like playing cards with a blindfold. We know names and all the rest but it doesn't tell us a damn thing about how much trouble we're actually in."

He took a deep sniff as the scent of brewing coffee filled the house. God, that was good. "Gabby, you're a gem of a hostess. That smells amazing, instant or not." Jason then glanced between the other three in the room, "You've got the story right from what I remember of it, Kenji. I'm not a scholar by a long shot; but Perseus had all kinds of edges we don't. He also killed Medusa, but I don't know if monsters can come back to life or not. Wouldn't that be a kick in the head?"

"The cell phone plan is brilliant too. I like that. It's still going to be risky, we'll be fighting every social instinct we have, and a lot of fighting ones." You aimed for the head because it was the best way to take someone out, so all of them would be used to swinging at, and therefore looking, at the opponent's head. "But it's as good a solution as we've got."

The wild looking young man looked over at Gabby, "Any chance that stone change can be linked to the cream? You said it was damaging cells, right?" He was probably just getting everyone's hopes up but you never knew.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:21 PM   #71
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Grabbing mugs from a cabinet, Gabby paused, thinking, running back in her head over the things that she'd found while doing Linda Overpeck's bloodwork analysis. She set the mugs down on the tray, her hands shaking a bit. "I don't know. I suppose there would be a way, but I'd have to have more of a . . . wait."

She stepped into the doorway, heading to a pile of papers sitting on one of the unoccupied chairs. Marta pushed past her and started pouring the prepared coffee into the mugs. Intent on her task, Gabby snatched up one of the folders, knocking the rest of the pile over. She didn't seem to notice, flipping through it quickly. "It wasn't petrification, no, but it was . . . something else . . . yes, it should be . . . here."

She pulled a sheet of paper out and smacked it down on the table, triumphant, as Marta came out of the kitchen, tray of coffee and milk and sugar in her hands. "Ha! I found it! I know what they're doing!" She looked at the males, a smile on her face. "Don't you see? They're switching chromosomes, pulling some out and swapping them for others, making . . . look, see, in pair 4, they . . . ." She trailed off, blushing a little. "You have no idea what this paper says, do you?"

Looking at the sheet, covered in numbers and diagrams, she sighed. "Okay, well." Gabby grabbed a cup of coffee and poured some milk into it as she sank into another free chair. "What's happening isn't turning them to stone. It's . . . turning them into something else. And given the similarities to reptilian DNA, there's . . . well, it's not concrete, not without a sample from one of the real thing, but given what we're dealing with, I can't believe it's anything else." She tapped the paper lightly. "I think the cream is turning people into medusae."
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:58 AM   #72
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Kenji nodded to Jason's comments, glad that the scarred Scion approved of his approach and ideas so far.

"Good to hear that. I'm glad you find it a good idea. Now, regarding our lady in question, you are correct Jason. This lady, that you can see, in the video feed, sitting in the royal box, during the Olympics, is Molly Duncan indeed. As a contact of mine, who is in position to know, put it, she's got top-end money and top-end security clearances. We might be dealing with quite serious things here, and that is even before starting to factor in the possibility of facing multiple medusa-clones. Miss Duncan seems pretty well entrenched, in terms of resources, connections and general infrastructure and thus we should plan accordingly".

He looked over to Marta and Gabriella and saw that they were both occupied. The smell of fresh coffee that emanated from the kitchen was quite pleasant indeed. Then he saw Gabriella searching frantically in her papers, retrieving the one she was looking for but dropping the rest down. In the blink of an eye, Kenji stood up and went by her side, kneeling down, picking up the rest to return them to their original place.

"You dropped those, Gabriella", he said with a smile, "I'll leave them here and then you can put them back where you want".

Kenji returned to his seat and listened carefully to Gabriella's findings, as Marta brought the tray of coffee, milk and sugar.

"Thank you ladies. Its smell is tantalizing indeed", he said with a spark in his eyes, as he took one of the mugs that Gabriella brought.

"Miss Marta, might I have the pleasure of serving your cup of coffee?", he inquired politely, "since you've already obliged us with your hospitality and since Gabriella was quick enough to already serve her own cup of coffee, depriving me of the chance to do so for her as well".

Pouring the hot coffee into one of the mugs, he looked at her again and continued, "would you like any milk and how many teaspoons of sugar, if any?"

After that, he offered to serve Jason's coffee as well, and finally poured his own into a mug and added the desired quantity of milk and sugar, savoring its smell for a while, before tasting it.

"It is exquisite. Thank you again. Now, Gabriella, that is a most interesting - if dire - development. If they can do such a thing and have the financial and political back-up to go on with it, world is in serious trouble. We do know though, that Miss Duncan argued quite strongly with someone, possibly Mr. Genardo, the man Jason mentioned, regarding their latest project, as can be heard by the audio file recording. Maybe their serum is not finalised yet and there is some hope of disrupting it. We also have photos of the women who might very well be those specimens that were transformed to the new Medusae. That predatory look in their faces might indeed signify that alteration, as does their increased physical beauty. As such we might be able to recognise them, though what good would that be, if we are risking petrification by looking at them, well...that's another story".

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Old 01-14-2013, 02:13 PM   #73
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Jason's look as Kenji served the coffee to Marta and himself was one of bafflement. It was a nice gesture but obviously something the rough and tumble hero had never encountered before. "Uh, thanks, Kenji. Black is fine for me."

The picture that was coming out wasn't a good one. He was all for a strong and direct approach (which did often mean a violent one) but with resources and connections like this lady seemed to have, friendly with the Royal Family and all, that was looking like less of an option. But what else could they do? Those same connections would clear any legal or bureaucratic trouble they could throw at Aphrodite's Glory too, right? "Turning women into medusas...damn. Though none of the women in these pictures are anything less that damn good looking."

He tapped his mug on the table, "Maybe...they disguise themselves. So they can go around with regular folks, you know? I mean if they were stone turning all the time, they couldn't get anything done and it would get them noticed right away. I bet they change shape or something. So that they can be pretty normally, maybe to lure people in, and then go all snake-haired on them. That's something for our side."

Jason made a disgruntled noise in his throat, "Just a guess though. Which is all we've got on all fronts. We don't know that Molly Duncan or Tomas Genardo are involved with this...gorgonization, we're just guessing. We don't know that the stuff is actually made at that factory. We don't know who the dead woman in the picture I was given is or why she was killed. We don't KNOW anything except for Jack and sh-"

He stood up abruptly, cutting off his own speech. He grimaced and shook his head, "I hate flying in the damn dark like this. Sorry, guys, didn't mean to get all bitchy like that." This was all guess work and uncertainty; how could they confirm any of it? He could think of one way but he knew the others would disagree. One way or another, there were answers in that factory. "So all of this is good as far as it goes but what do we do with all this?"

He started to pace, stalking to the door and back to the table again. "I mean, is there any way to verify this or get any idea of what we could be going into? 'Cause I'm feeling like we're hitting a dead end but I may be wrong; I'm not the smartest guy in the world."
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:49 PM   #74
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Gabby raised an eyebrow at Jason. For someone who claimed to hate flying blind, he had been more than willing to jump into a building filled with gods-knew-what with no information. She shook her head, however, and tapped a finger against the table. "What we know is that that factory could be a roiling mass of monsters. I've heard the phrase, 'plan for the worst, hope for the best' before."

She leaned forward, elbows on the table and coffee mug clasped between her hands. "Here's my thought. We go in during the day, when they're less likely to be able to disappear us - people will see us going in, and I can even call up and tell my office that I've an appointment there. It'll make it less likely they'll be able to get away with eliminating us without a trace." She tapped a finger lightly against the ceramic mug, thinking. "It would be best if I went in as a decoy, and you two went up to that skylight and entered. I think I can hold a lot of attention, if I need to."

Marta snorted softly, and Gabby glanced at her. "And I don't look dangerous - they'll probably think they can talk around me, and get me on my way easily." Her expression soured a bit. "Or they'll try to recruit me. Either way," she said with a smile that was a great deal braver than she felt, "I should be able to keep them from suspecting someone else is on to them. Maybe even get the leader, that Molly Duncan, alone and end her. Without a head, it should be easy to end the rest of the snake, right?" She sipped her coffee, then added, "Sorry for the pun, I suppose. It wasn't on purpose."
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:02 PM   #75
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Jason almost smiled; he could tell he'd irritated Gabby. Nothing for it though, it was who he was and if she didn't care for it...a pity. For them both. It didn't hurt his feelings much though; he was wild and scarred and she was a doctor. A respectable guy like Kenji was more her speed.

He bit back his response to her quoting the old saying. A snappy comeback might have made him feel a little better about her thinking he was an idiot and throwing idioms at him but she might actually have a plan. That was what was driving him the most crazy; they kept saying they needed a plan but neither of them was suggesting one.

The tattooed young man listened and thought for a few moments, crossing his arms over his chest and tilting his head back. "It's got merit. But you know, one sneaks a lot easier than two. Assuming they can't sniff you out for what you really are, if Kenji there were to wear a suit or something more normal, he'd look fit but not exactly dangerous too."

Not to untrained or inexperienced eyes, anyway. There was no hiding that he moved with grace and the quiet confidence of a bad ass but not everyone picked up on that. And they might assume he was just a mortal bad ass even if they did. "Going in the front door's a lot more dangerous too. You'll be on their turf and on their terms. I don't think you should go in alone, though I think the rest of the idea's pretty solid."

If she didn't go alone, it would have to be Kenji that went with her. His scars and Marta's height, build, and piercings would be threatening in just about any environment or circumstance. "What do you think, Kenji? You seem like a guy who things about the strategy angle."
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