Kellen Gustke, present day
The white building looked nondescript. Blending perfectly into it’s surroundings in this small sleepy town. However I knew it was armed to the teeth with defenses and a security system that would rival even the most advanced banks. The government thought if they hid these things in tucked away places like this we would never find them. Unfortunately their staff were their own downfall.
You sure this is the place?
Somebody had skipped their breakfast this morning. Don’t get sharp with me, I thought back. Mariusz, known more commonly as The Black Ace or simply Ace went quiet, apparently not interested in saying anything further.
“Ready to do this?” I asked, shooting my partner a side-glance. Nyesha nodded. She wouldn’t speak right now, her voice was usually muffled by her full black bodysuit. Since this was a small town knee deep in the bible belt and it was mid-morning Sunday, everyone was on the other side of town in Church. I approached the building carefully, seeing where there was a opened window. Eventually I spotted a basement with small windows next to the ground. They were dusted but I could see well enough. I focussed on a spot and let my power do it’s thing.
I blinked my eyes and I was in a small basement that smelled strongly of bleach and had what looked like the aftermath of a bad mold infection on the walls. I pulled out my handheld sensor and it warned me there were beams at the bottom of the stairs and also at the windows. There wasn’t any on the stairwell itself though. Stairs were more tricky but luckily there was a banister. I blinked and gripped the banister instantly. Good thing I did as I wobbled on the corner of a step. My teleportation wasn’t 100% accurate unfortunately. I checked and saw there was a trip on the other side of the door which made things more difficult. I grabbed a laser cutter from my belt and got to work making a small opening. I had to be fast here. The moment it began to fall and I saw the other side I blinked, spinning and catching the fallen debris in the nick of time.
I let out a breath and checked the handheld. Nothing to see. I continued making my way through the building, avoiding any alarms until I found the room I was after on the third floor. In side were servers filled to the brim with information. It was one of five or six the Legion had scattered across the globe. They acted as a back ups if their main server hub in space went down for any reason. I plugged in the decrypter and went about preparing the upload of info to our own secure server. Admittedly the Syndicate doesn’t usually target parahumans, rarely employs them either. Apart from in America for some reason. I was sure arguments were had over Ethan’s approach to management but he liked having his own specialist parahuman unit, and it paid well too.
I checked in with Nyesha who was playing look out somewhere in the shadows no doubt but she gave the all clear. This was the part of the process that could trip an alarm. I looked at the time estimate, ten more minutes. I suppose it would take time to download and upload their whole entire database. If we actually got useable information was another matter for our in-house tech genius Yvanna. The decrypter was top of the line but the Legion had parahumans who specialized in making new and more difficult technology. It was entirely possible the decryption would fail and we would have terabytes of useless data. It was trickling down to two minutes when an alarm was sounded. I saw the machine screen hijack before my eyes and cured.
“Nyesha, what’s going on out there?” I asked.
“Noth-” she was cut off by a hiss and I could hear the wind around her whipping. I also heard another voice talking about arrest, etc but it was so fast I could barely track it. Tachyon, just great. I manually hacked my way into the house security quickly and saw where things like traps were set. I also saw a blur on the camera footage. I couldn’t hang around. I hit go on all the traps that weren’t right by the door and heard an explosion go off. Below and to the right of me. One minute to go. I dialled Ace and hung up to let him know I needed an update.
Give me a chance, she’s doesn’t just talk fast, this is difficult to follow.
If she was still thinking then this didn’t work. I checked in with Nyesha but she was busy fighting someone else. Of course an attack on their data was a serious thing so more than one would turn up. 50 seconds to go. I heard another trap trigger much closer and muttered a curse, pulling out a small gun in one hand and a curved knife in the other. In close quarters next to the machinery I couldn’t use my bombs.
Abandon the mission, there are ten on their way. Looks like something tipped them off before we arrived.
Shit! I gritted my teeth and looked at the terminal. 43 seconds. Three versus ten wasn’t good odds though, no matter how good we were. I yanked out the equipment taking whatever we had and threw a bomb at the far wall just in time for Tachyon to arrive. I teleported the heck out of there and outside. The s
un blinded me for a second and I saw Nyesha trying to deal with two people at once. Ace was quiet but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was trying to help from a distance. I raced to her and gripped her arm, pulling us both down to dodge an attack.
“Time to bail!” I teleported us as far away as I could on the road, where conveniently our escape vehicle sat. Ace was waiting inside as our driver. We dived in and he sped off quickly. I checked our rear cameras but nothing was giving chase. Then someone was, Tachyon. Perhaps the only time you can see her without a blur is when she’s chasing a speeding vehicle. It meant I had a better shot though. I reached for a bomb but Nyesha stopped me. She lifted the hood of the vehicle and waited, watching her. When she got within Nyesha’s dead zone she hit her. I saw the moment Tachyon felt the impact of Nyesha’s power, her body stuttered and she squeezed her eyes shut to fight the assault. I used the distraction to grab a much nicer gun from the backseat. I easily sniped one of her knees to hell and she disappeared behind us in a whirl of dust and limbs.
“Guess she’s out for the count for a while.” Ace commented. “She was thinking pain then passed out.”
“Sure she isn’t just dead?” Nyesha asked but he didn’t even bother replying. Ace was very adept at knowing the difference.
“Good. Let’s get back to base asap. We’ll need to switch vehicles under cover, they’ll already be following us on satellite.”