Princesses:Amazon Brigade/Chapter 01

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Note: This log is still in IRC format, and may be awkward to read as a result.

Chapter #1: Ambulance Chasers

<Capn_Ascii> Like all good stories, this one starts off with a bang.

<Capn_Ascii> KABOOM!

<Capn_Ascii> The explosion echoes across the cityscape. A fireball has just erupted from the side of a skyscraper, one of several reaching up from the center of the city.

<Capn_Ascii> Sirens wail as the authorities rush to the scene. But across the city, other individuals take interest as news stations broadcast their reports...

  • Jenny looks up from the goo on the alley ground that may or may not belong to a Mothman. "Do Mothmen blow things up?" she mutters to herself.

<Andrea> Andrea shakes her head at the news reports. "Is Hillary Clinton Responsible for Explosion in City? Ahh, can always count on FOX News to bring up the 'important' question," Andrea snarks. She starts typing rapidly. "I'm going to see if there's anything being reported in less obvious locations before we head out... assuming you want to check on this at all?" Andrea asks Suyana.

<Suyana> "Yeah. Maybe we could catch whoever is responsible!"

<Selphie> /me panics, quickly racing to the targetting computer and scanning the battle log of her plasma cannon. She sighs, noticing its Safety *IS* engaged, and it wasn't her clumsy ineptitude that just cost some corporation a whole bunch of office desks and renovations.

<Selphie> Thinking quickly though, she'd better set down in the woods before the ambulance choppers come soaring through her airspace. Also, people might be hurt! She should go and investigate as soon as she's grounded.

  • Selphie settles into a clearing, slings her sports bag over her shoulder, hops on her Segway and rolls down the loading ramp. She beeps a button on her watch and the ramp retracts, vanishing with a shimmer.

<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: The police networks are full of traffic relating to the explosion. They're setting up a perimiter around the base of the building, but so far no one is going up into the skyscraper proper, most likely to due to concerns about the stability of the building.

<Andrea> "Well, I've got a location, but the police don't want to go in... okay, let's hit the road. I don't think we'll learn anything more here."

  • Jenny climbs into her junker and heads for the explosion, figuring that a pair of strong hands often come in handy during trouble.

<Selphie> It's pretty bumpy ground in the woods but soon the Segway emerges into a park and she zooms along the footpaths, scattering pigeons in her wake, heading for the skyscrapers. Durian would be proud.

  • Andrea walks out the door and heads for the rental car.
  • Suyana grins widely. "Off to adventure!" she says while tagging along.
  • Andrea gets in the car and starts it up (after both Suyana and herself are buckled in properly, of course)

<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: According to the magic information box (i.e. computer), there are emergency choppers on the way, but it will be some time before they arrive. You have some leeway to work, at least.

  • Andrea heads in the general direction of the explosion.
  • Andrea parks a few blocks away to avoid being an obvious explosion-chaser and to avoid the worst of traffic nests.
  • Selphie sees people getting into cars. Selphie sees people driving away from the devastation. Selphie sees few vehicles driving *toward* the doom and destruction.

<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: As you approach the site, you see the actual Explosion Chasers(tm) - a group of four young persons dressed like extreme sports enthusiasts who drive around in a van. Pfft, what nerds.

<Capn_Ascii> Soon you see the flashing lights of police cars blocking off the streets. If you're going to get any closer, you'll have to figure out a way to get in without being seen.

  • Andrea checks for a possible gap in the lines.
  • Jenny parks somewhere convenient and begins walking toward the skyscraper, looking to see what can be seen of it, without approaching TOO close to the police line.
  • Selphie brings the Segway to a halt as she spots the barricade, then deflects and rolls into a nearby park. She unzips her sports bag, flings a hexacopter drone into the air and huddles over the controller's viewfinder, hoping few of the officials are staring up into the Sun to spot the little eye-in-the-sky.

<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: The police are blocking the roads and attempting to evacuate nearby buildings. You could probably sneak into one of said buildings to bypass the blockades, although you'd have to be careful not to draw attention.

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: It's really tall, and there's a big burning hole in one side near the top. Smoke billows out into the open air.

<Andrea> "Hmm, let's try to hide in a building. We might get missed."

<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: You unleash the Selphie-Copter Mk1 and send it flying up into the air. Whee!

<Suyana> "Hiding is not my strength, mi cielito. Talking is."

<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: You soon have the drone flying over rooftop level approaching the tower. Now what?

  • Selphie looks around for what's going on on the ground. Are firefighters opening the fire alarm control thingy? Are people evacuating the building? Does anyone look suspicious? Are people trying to bust into the building if it's locked?

<Selphie> (She looks around through the dronecam, but occasionally glances around at her real world surrounds too.)

  • Jenny looks to see if there is any sign of injured people in the immediate vicinity.

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: There are numerous people on stretchers being laid out near an ambulance on this side of the barricades. You can see more being brought out from behind them - presumably there are EMTs near the building working to get people out.

  • Jenny walks up to the police line. "I have some first aid skills. Can I help?"

<Andrea> "I can't come up with anything you can say that's actually going to get you in there, dear," Andrea replies doubtfully. "But I'm open to suggestions."

<Suyana> "That really tall person walking up to the line probably came up with something. We could back her up."

<Capn_Ascii> "No bystanders are..." The police officer turns to address Jenny, unexpectedly finds himself looking at her chest, then tilts his head back until he can finally see her face. "...uh. I, uh, mean...ahem. Sorry, but no bystanders allowed. We're evacuating the area. All non-essential persons are gathering here. If you want to help, we're setting up a medical area." He motions to the nearby ambulance.

<Andrea> "Hmm. I suppose."

<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: You can see quite a few people being walkrd (or carried) away from the building, but the only ones moving toward it are the firefighters in their big coats and helmets. A few are working the fire panel on the side of the building away from the front entrance; most of them look like they're assembling a team in preperation for entering. You can see a fire truck parked outside the barricades; several more fir

<Capn_Ascii> efighters are suiting up and jogging inside the perimeter. Hmm...

  • Selphie gets a whiff of an idea, recalls the drone, and stashes her Segway in a dense shrubbery. With everybody's attention on the goings-on, it's unlikely anyone will go gardenning this afternoon. She lopes off toward the direction of the fire team, wondering how easily she could blend in and join their investigations.
  • Jenny nods at the policeman and heads over to the ambulance, looking for someone to help patch up...preferably someone alert enough to answer questions about what they saw inside.

<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: The firefighters are throwing on their coats, helmets, and oxygen tanks with hardly a glance at anything else, immediately running off past the police line. There are lockers in the side of the truck loaded with all of their gear.

  • Andrea , still not seeing an alternative for herself, goes into a building to hide.

<Suyana> "Hm. Looks like she was turned away. Maybe we have to sneak past, after all."

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: Most of the peop0le on stretchers are out cold, being tended to by the EMTs. You do spy one middle-aged woman in a business suit who's groaning in pain, but nobody seems to have gotten around to her yet.

<Andrea> "Yeah, I'm just not seeing an alternative. Especially as I am not a medtech."

  • Jenny walks up to her and says, "Where does it hurt, and can you tell me what happened inside?"
  • Suyana tags along with Andrea

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: The woman coughs. "Don't worry about me, just tend to the others--OH GOD, IT HURTS SO BAD!" She flops back onto the stretcher. "Some kind of" She faints.

  • Jenny tries to examine her wounds and determine if she can help.
  • Selphie steps in, grabs up a coat, flips a fireman helmet down over her face, and falls in line with the rescue operation.

<Selphie> She also takes an oxygen tank and whatever other equipment the real firemen load up with.

<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: The tank connects to a full face-mask that covers your entire face with transparent plastic and your mouth with a breather. You quietly slip into a set of gear, doing your best to act like you belong.

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: The woman has slight burns, but most of her injuries appear to be the result of a concussive wave. Probably the initial explosion. There's not much you can do for her without opening her up, so you opt to leave her to the trained medical professionals.

  • Jenny turns away from the woman and looks around at what else is going on.

<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: As you peek out of the windows, you happen to notice a decidedly non-firefightery-looking girl putting on their gear in a decidedly i-hope-nobody-sees-me-doing-this manner.

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: You notice the same girl, as well as a second one who is staring at the first through an open window nearby. Creepy.

  • Jenny looks back at the exploded building and decides she is curious enough to take this further. She heads towards the fire truck, as unobtrusively as a 6'7" woman can, and tries to find the biggest possible helmet and suit.
  • Selphie hurries up, thinking to herself, "I hope nobody sees me doing this".
  • Selphie thinks to herself, this oxygen breather has been used by Common People and barely suppresses her excitement from squealing out a high-pitched, "I'm helping!"

<Andrea> "Worth a try, do you think?" Andrea asks Suyana. "I'm not good at faking things, though."

<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: Just as you finish dressing, you turn and notice a towering giant of a woman pulling another suit on. The both of you look at each other with caught-in-the-act looks oo your faces. An awkward silence follows.

<Suyana> "Well, I can do any talking. Let's give it a try."

<Andrea> "Okay," Andrea consents. She heads out the door and for the fire truck.

  • Selphie hurries off after the retreating firemen. I didn't see anything!
  • Jenny runs after Selphie, sticking reasonably close.
  • Selphie doesn't notice, what with the fully enclosed helmet and the unfamiliar fire-retardant clothing.
  • Selphie hopes she can do a better job at blending in. How do normal people on a mission behave anyway?
  • Andrea grabs fire equipment, just like that really big person and that other person, and follows them. They know what they're doing, right?
  • Suyana grabs whatever fire equipment looks like it'd fit best and walks in like she belongs

<Capn_Ascii> Andrea and Suyana gear up as well, with Suyana taking the time to grab a fire axe off of the truck as well. They follow after the first two girl, and soon all of you are approaching the building. The fire team is still rallying in front of the door; you could wait and enter with them, or perhaps try to find another way in?

  • Andrea waits to see what the other people that probably know more about this do
  • Jenny taps the first kid on the shoulder and jerks her thumb to the side, then starts heading around the building, looking for another entrance.
  • Selphie jumps and doesn't manage to suppress a Squeee.
  • Andrea follows Jenny
  • Suyana tags along, staying as alert as she can

<Selphie> Turning around cautiously she sees a group of nondescript fireman outfits running around the other side of the building. They must have just bumped her. She's too nervous - gotta calm down! Taking a quick assessment of the fire team milling at the front, she decides they're gonna wait around too long for her disguise to hold. She heads around the back after the others.

<Selphie> They must know what they're doing, right?

<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: Good thing *someone* around here does...

<Capn_Ascii> Somehow, the four of you collectively manage to bluff each other into rounding the corner of the building. Standing wide open against the wall is - surprise, surprise - a fire exit. The stairs beyond beckon.

  • Jenny heads in.
  • Selphie acts like a bold firefighter and boldly goes where no business tycoon's daughter has boldly gone before. Up a fire escape staircase.
  • Andrea follows!
  • Suyana not only tags along, but tries to get ahead of the others

<Capn_Ascii> Laden with heavy coats and tanks on your backs, you all begin the long, slow, arduous climb up the stairwell...

<Capn_Ascii> Ten floors up, and everyone is panting heavily. Twenty floors up, and everyone is struggling to go on. Selphie is lagging behind by nearly a full flight, barely able to catch her breath.

  • Selphie isn't used to exertion (of any kind) and tears off her helmet, gasping for breath. "Umm, guys? Let's just take the lift the rest of the way."

<Suyana> "...oh. I should have thought of that..."

  • Selphie collapses against a fire door which only opens from the other side, ineffectively grappling with the unresponsive door handle, unaware of why the door isn't working like a door.
  • Jenny turns around and notices for the first time that there's two more with them than she thought.

<Jenny> "Hi. I'm Jenny," she says, thrusting her hand out at whoever is closest.

<Andrea> "Hmm, that might be optimal, yes."

<Andrea> "Oh. I'm Andrea. Hi there."

<Selphie> Through her streaming sweat, Selphie wonders if these firemen will recognise her for how unfit she is.

<Suyana> "Jallalla! I am Suyana!"

  • Selphie fumbles in her sports bag for her asthma puffer.

<Selphie> "Selphie" she puffs, in a daze, "but most people just call me Selphie." She takes another puff. Did that come out wrong?

  • Jenny looks at Selphie. "Do you need me to carry you?"

<Selphie> "Are we nearly there yet?"

<Andrea> "We don't exactly know where we're headed. Or do we?"

<Jenny> "To whichever floor the explosion happened on, of course."

<Selphie> "You don't? Oh."

<Suyana> "I assumed everyone else knew where we were going..."

  • Selphie peels her soaked fireman's coat off, her clothing sticking to her with totally gross sweat just like Common People get.

<Andrea> "The whole point we came here was to investigate. Not much we can investigate until we investigate. Or... something like that."

<Suyana> "Let's take the lift, then. I guess running all this way was kind of, like, silly."

<Andrea> "Perhaps."

<Jenny> "If it's working, sure, we can try that. Probably the least safe place to be, but whatever."

<Andrea> "Safe? Who needs safe?"

<Jenny> "Did anyone happen to notice which floor, even approximately, the explosion was on?"

  • Andrea pulls out her phone and checks her notes on this.

<Selphie> "Sorry I'm dragging you guys back like this. Most of my stuff has been strictly ground-floor before today."

<Capn_Ascii> Andrea: It looks like the explosion occured on the thirty-second floor. Twelve floors up from here. Sigh.

  • Jenny vaguely wonders what "stuff" Selphie means, but doesn't ask.

<Andrea> "We got twelve more floors to go."

  • Jenny heads off on the current floor to look for the elevator and find out if it's working.
  • Selphie considers hauling herself up half as many stairs as she's already managed and somewhere nearby a pair of jellylegs manage to walk her after Jenny, decidedly away from any more stairs for the moment.

<Selphie> She goes back and picks up the fireman's jacket and helmet. Then wonders if she's still fooling anyone anyway . . .

<Selphie> "Umm. So, I'm not a fire fighter. Just so you know now before we have to, y'know, fight any fires with our Oxygen tanks or anything. I just joined in because I wanna help."

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: You find the elevator banks not far beyond the fire escape door, but none of them are working. The power seems to have been shut off from downstairs.

  • Jenny looks at Selphie. "Please don't try to fight a fire with your oxygen tank."
  • Selphie thinks about that for a second. Then takes a puff from her puffer and tries to figure out the oxygen tank mechanism. Clearly her brain is hypoxic.
  • Jenny sighs. "Looks like we're stuck with stairs, folks." She begins trudging back up the stairs.
  • Andrea sighs and follows Jenny. "Well, this sucks."

<Selphie> "Oh."

  • Selphie begins to look hopefully and apologetically at Jenny.

<Capn_Ascii> The lot of you trudge up what seems like an eternity of stairs, until finally, mercifully, you reach Floor 32. Now knowing what Hell must be like, you step out into the hallway. Almost immediately, you can see signs of destruction - scorch marks on the walls, overturned furniture, and blown-out windows. Smoke fills the uppermost reaches of the corridor, though thankfully much of it is escaping through the shattered glass to the outside.

  • Andrea looks for any sign of what caused the explosion
  • Suyana keeps an eye out for any actual fire
  • Selphie puts her helmet on before she collapses, and dials up the Oxygen.

<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: Ooooh, yeah. That's the good stuff.

<Selphie> "Don't breathe the smoke!" Selphie knows *that* much from the engineering workshop floor.

  • Jenny , keeping her helmet on, walks forward through the corridor, looking for injured people and the source of the explosion.
  • Selphie tries to figure out which direction from the stairwell the impact site must be, and begins cautiously heading that way.

<Capn_Ascii> You advance down the hallway, which emerges into a large, open area full of cubicles. Many of them are on fire, although curiously, not as many as oyu would expect given the size of the explosion. Speaking of which, the entire far wall of windows has been blown out, the cubicles around it scattered, as if thrown outwards from a single point.

<Capn_Ascii> <more>

<Capn_Ascii> The floor has been half-melted into something resembling a shallow blast crater, the center scorched and blackened. Sitting in the middle of it is a single body - curled up into the fetal position, unmoving.

<Andrea> "Anyone here know how to treat... well, I guess they're probably beyond treat, at this point. Though I could be wrong."

<Selphie> The heiress in her starts tallying up cost to business of replacing partitions, desks, thin client terminals, potplants, flooring, windows and infrastructure before she can shut it down. She ISN'T being THAT person today. Today she's helping! What can she do that's helpful? This is all so new!

<Jenny> "I saw this on a Netflix show. Turned out to be the devil."

  • Jenny tests to see if the blackened floor will hold her weight, and if the suit will protect her feet from the heat.

<Selphie> "You mean Looper? Where the kid everyone thought was the apocalypse turned out to be a victim of childhood homicide and orphaning? This kid could be the victim here, not a suspect."

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: The floor seems solid enough.

<Jenny> "No, it was one with the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse or something," Jenny answers as she steps forward, testing each step as she goes, until she gets to the figure.

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: You do notice that the area around the body seems strangely *cold*, not hot.

  • Selphie looks at the Scatter Diagram pattern. Does it look like the furniture has blown in all directions equally from the point of origin? Or does it look like it was mostly directed at the windows?
  • Jenny cautiously touches the figure with one finger, saying, "You there?" to the figure at the same time.

<Capn_Ascii> Selphie: Your keen, CSI-trained senses tell you that the explosion went outward equally from this one center point.

<Capn_Ascii> Jenny: As you inspect the body, what you initially assumed to be flame-blackened flesh is actually more like a halo of darkness around the body, as if something were absorbing light. Whoever it is, they're huddled over and shivering, as if cold.

<Capn_Ascii> Suddenly, you hear a voice from off to one side. "You'll have to excuse him. He lost his temper and had a bit of a flare-up."

<Andrea> Andrea blinks in surprise. "You call this 'a bit of a flare-up'?"

<Suyana> "Who is he? Who are you?"

<Jenny> "Are you evil?" Jenny asks bluntly, poking the body a little more.

<Capn_Ascii> "Him? Just some pathetic schlub. But me..." A figure steps out from a nearby doorway. It looks vaguely like a human, only somehow less so - the same light-sucking black as the body, sharp, jagged around the edges, and oddly flat, like a shadow come to life. Its body is wreathed in blue flames that waft off of him like dying embers. "...I'm the flare-up. And to answer your question...why, yes, I am. thank you for noticing."

<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---