The Rocket-Powered Sentinel Head of Bozeman, MT

datemm: '5'
datedd: '17'
dateyy: '1'
numericdate: '20150517'
summary: 'Cable and Lunair face off against a flying Sentinel head attempting to blast them into smithereens.'
chars: 'cable lunair'
npc: None.
locname: 'Bozeman, MT'
loc: ''
musicname: None.
musiclink: '\#'
log: "DAYS AGO:\n\nA job comes through the usual channels. Unlike most, it's a low-risk request, encoded with cyphers and a mix of lingos to keep prying eyes from the message:\n\n\"You're wanted as an extraction agent. A getaway driver.\"\n\nSeems easy enough, right?\n\nTONIGHT:\n\nOutside Bozeman, MT.\n\nThe parking lot of a Wal-Mart that was shut down seven months ago, ostensibly for \"plumbing renovations.\"\n\nThe directions said to park here and wait for someone to leave the front door.\n\nIt seems quiet enough — there are no other cars in the lot, and it's been nearly half an hour since the last car drove by on the street.\n\nLife has kept Lunair pretty busy. HYDRA's stepped it up, but with their takedown recently, things have let up a bit. Time to practice some life skills! And college doesn't pay for itself, after all. She'll be on her usual haunts (is there seriously a Hench app? How handy!). Lunair will take a flight easily enough, dressed nice and normally in lieu of her usual rufflemonster outfit. Yes, someone likes gothic and elegant lolita outfits. Thankfully, she's not wearing one now.\n\nShe will make her way to the appointed place. Extraction agent? Can't be too bad. She parks the car where they told her to, and waits quietly. Hopefully she got the right car and kind of car, yes?\n\nAnother twenty minutes or so of quiet and inaction.\n\nOne might wonder whether this is even the right address.\n\nAbout the time one might think that, though, the first explosion resounds through the immediate area.\n\nThe otherwise-darkened parking lot is brightly illuminated by a massive burst of light and heat, rising as a nearly white ball of flame from the Wal-Mart.\n\nThen, there's another.\n\nAnd another. And another.\n\nJust before the front windows and doors of the store explode, it's possible to see a figure running from the recesses of its center toward the exit.\n\nThe figure leaps through one of the six-foot-tall glass doorways, the metal frame for it twisting and shredding from the force of the impact before the ensuing explosion-bursts send it hurtling even further from the building.\n\n\"Start the car!\" a deep, gravelly voice barks. \"We've got to get a start on\"\n\nThe rest of the sentence is drowned out by another explosion — although this one is accompanied by a loud KRRRZONK sound, like the charging and discharging of some plasma or energy weapon.\n\nOh, look — it's a set of beams coming from the eye sockets of a large floating purple robot head whose neck ends in a rocket. As it fires, the robot head speaks. «MUTANT IDENTIFIED. PURSUIT SEQUENCE ENGAGED.»\n\nLunair hums, and plays with her phone. Got some sort of cutesy anime fighting game. She watches the time, looking puzzled. A sigh and she goes back to playing her game. Timetimeti HOLY SHIT!\n\nShe blinks, as the man climbs on and she winces at the explosion and sound. She was not expecting that in the slightest. \"Hi! Okay!\" One she's sure her passenger is in, she'll start the car easily enough. She doesn't hear the rest of his sentence, just getting a start. Nevertheless, the engine growls to life quickly and easily. As soon as he's in and the door closed, the car will jump as she hits the gas. Whatever that robot is, it is not friendly.\n\n\"Get. GOING!\" the figure shouts.\n\nIt's a man — white hair, leathery skin, and a gnarly scar over his right eye that becomes visible as he turns to look back through the center of the rear window.\n\nAs he does so, he retrieves a sawed-off shotgun from one boot and begins loading it.\n\n\"Ever outrun a killer robot before? 'Cuz you're about to.\"\n\nBehind them, the flying purple robot head begins closing in. Its eyebeams blast at the car, but hit the asphalt — sending a spray of gravel and blacktop into the air — and melt the base of a lamp post.\n\n«MUTANT PURSUED. ATTACK PATTERN DELTA CHARLIE NINE INITIATED.»\n\nLunair IS going. \"I am!\" She promises. Cars only have so much get up and go, even the ones with nice, powerful engines. Lunair is a sensible girl, opting to put the money under the hood. Wait, this guy seems familiar somehow. \"No, but I did rocket jump into one once. It was weird,\" She offers helpfully. Lunair might not have cosmic powers (dangit), but she does seem to be a really good driver.\n\nMaybe in another life, she'd be a racer or a stunt driver. In this life, she's currently trying to avoid a kille robot. There's a zig as the beam blasts, and a zag away from the spray of gravel. She falls quiet, as she concentrates on GTFOing.\n\n\"Well then,\" the man replies, \"get us onto the road and into town. We need as much cover as we can get.\"\n\nWith a grunt, he pulls himself halfway out the passenger window, sitting on its edge. As Lunair zags, he clutches the door frame tightly. It crumples a bit in his left hand which, every so often when there's enough light, looks a lot like it's made out of some silvery metal.\n\nThere's a BOOM! BOOM! and he slips back inside, popping his shotgun open and tossing the shells out the window.\n\n\"So does this thing have rocket propulsion capability, then?\" he asks calmly.\n\nAbout twenty feet away, the first car in nearly an hour to drive by approaches. The flying robot head promptly blows out its front tire with another KRRRZONK and flash of eyebeam. The car begins careening toward the pair of escapees.\n\n\"You got it,\" Lunair nods. Into town and on the road. She can do that. Lunair pushes the gas pedal, and the engine growls a bit as they gain speed. She blinks as he- did he crumple the door a bit? \"I can give it that, yes. Did you want me to make or activate them now?\" She's got the power to make things. And that includes rockets, after all. Granted, she's never done it with a live car outside the danger room, but hey.\n\nShe grits her teeth as the car careens towards them- speed up, jerk turn away, return to place in lane. The tires squeal a bit from the exertion, but if Cable looks to the rear of the car, they do seem to have boosters or rockets of some sort now.\n\nThe man turns to stare at the driver for a moment. \"Up to you. But my recommendation? Work with me if you want to live.\"\n\nHe leans back out the window and fires his shotgun twice again. BOOM. BOOM.\n\nThe man chucks the weapon at the robot head. It bounces harmlessly off the thing's forehead.\n\n\"This job would've been a lot easier if this thing weren't jamming my tech. Can't bodyslide out. Luckily, you're supposed to be a pro. Prove it.\"\n\nFrom his hip, the man retrieves an automatic pistol and checks it.\n\nUp ahead, the Bozeman suburbs blend into an industrial district. After that comes downtown.\n\n\"How attached are you to this car?\"\n\nLunair nods. She plays well with others, at least. She doesn't seem too ruffled by the noises. \"Let me know if you need more weapons,\" She remarks quietly. \"And not terribly. What's up?\" She asks. She shares a bit of sympathy. Having one's stuff, be it powers or tech jammed, is rarely fun. Lunair takes a deep breath. Let's see if the rockets she just made for the car work. A push of the button, and there's a WOOSHROOOOOOAR as the car leaps foward, now powered by rocket and engine alike. The scenery flies by, and Lunair is intent on driving.\n\nIt's a graceful, easy sort of driving as they seem to soar through traffic. It'd be super awesome without the killer robot at least.\n\nFor its part, the flying head seems to be focusing its attention squarely on the escaping car and its inhabitants rather than on large-scale mayhem.\n\nOf course, it is causing concentrated mayhem. Just after the car rockets forward, a loud KRRRZONKK eyebeam strikes the center of an intersection, causing road, pipe, and water to explode upward and outward. Other automobiles screech to a halt or collide with other cars. The flying head begins mirroring the movements of the car, zipping left and right as Lunair tries to shake it.\n\n\"Toward the nearest warehouse. We need to get this thing under as much weight as we can. Then, we're going to blow it up with your car.\"\n\nThe man purses his lips for a moment and then looks at the driver. \"Call me Cable. If we can both get out of this, I'd like to talk about extended employment.\" His left eye glows — just for a second, and then it fades away. Or maybe it was just a trick of the light.\n\nIt all feels a bit surreal. Lunair is trying not to tense up. And she resists the urge to turn around and get her rocket launcher. She also tries not to think about the havoc the flying head is causing. She's careful, trying not to hit anyone.\n\nThere's a sharp intake of breath as she narrowly avoids a motorcycle. Phew. That was close, at least the rider stays on and everything is okay. She shoots past a semi-truck, and gets honked at. Holy rocket cars, Batman! Lunair's eyes narrow as she zooms past a couple of slow moving Oldsmobiles. \"You got it.\" She nods. Nearest warehouse- where did she see- oh yeah.\n\nThankfully, she remembers passing a bit of construction and a warehouse. She can only hope she can beat the flying head there. Her foot is already heavier than a brick on the gas pedal, their rockets roaring and bright.\n\n\"Cable. Pleased to meet you. I am Lunair, and working on a new code name. It's an odd story,\" She admits. \"And sure thing.\" She seems thoughtful as one can be while she is trying not to get them killed.\n\nAs the car all but soars into the vicinity of a large, decrepit factory building, Cable offers a slight nod. \"That should do.\" Once more, he leans out of the passenger window and fires at the flying robot head. BRRRRTRTRTRTRTTTRTRTTTT goes the automatic pistol.\n\nMuch of the gunfire pings off the robot, but enough shots land on one of the eyes to blow it out — reducing the thing to one deadly eyebeam-firing socket.\n\n«OFFENSIVE FUNCTIONALITY COMPROMISED. ENGAGING STRATEGUM OMEGA.»\n\n\"Yeah,\" Cable says as he stares at the robot. \"I doubt that's a good thing.\" He thumps the car roof with his non-metal hand. \"Pick it up! I think we got a kamikaze incoming!\"\n\nLuckily, it looks like this nearby factory has a half-open cargo bay door. What's inside, though? Who knows?\n\nDeep breath, and she'll burn a bit more from the rockets. How much can this poor car give? Lunair's going to find out, burying the needle into the red. The engine growls into a roar. There's a faint jerk. Crud. Not much more in terms of raw speed they can get. When Cable says something is probably not good, it is probably not good.\n\nShe doesn't seem to mind the sound of weapons. When your power is weapons, it's just a soundtrack to the chase. At the thump, she pushes past traffic and heads for the half-open cargo bay door at full tilt. Traffic is merely a blur of color, the world's details flying beyond. Here's to hoping there's nothing sharp and spikey inside that door.\n\nSharp and spiky? No.\n\nEmpty trailers, rotting wood crates, and rusting forklifts? Yes!\n\nCable slips into his seat just a moment before the car breaches the bay doors. He makes some barely audible sound — a curse, maybe? — and his eye glows again.\n\nThe forklift directly in the car's path suddenly slides ten feet to the left, clearing a path toward a somewhat more open area. Cable grunts and clings to the door with his right hand. \"Find a spot to turn around, if you can. Once this damn thing comes in — we have a high-octane bullet for it.\"\n\n\"Meanwhile,\" he adds, \"I've got a few snacks for it.\" He unbuckles a belt and holds it up, displaying the four grenades on it.\n\nThere's some relief and some worry. Lunair doesn't have time to dwell on what Cable is saying or said. She seems surprised as the forklift slides. That's new. She doesn't ask questions now, too busy trying not to kill them. She follows the newly opened path, swerving past some rotting crates.\n\nSplinters might come even due to wind, depending on how rotting they are. For now, she does her best to make a u-turn or at least follow the open path in a u shape through the warehouse and turn by hook or crook. The car's tires squeal in protest. This is so much to ask! It's a jerking, angry turn. \"Sure.\" This is dicey, balancing timing and steering.\n\nUnbelievably — or perhaps entirely predictably — the flying robot head doesn't immediately follow the pair into the factory. Instead, it can be heard hovering outside, scanning the building. Its voice is muffled somewhat by its distance from the mercenaries, but it's still audible.\n\n«SCAN COMPLETE. BUILDING CONTAINS HOSTILES ONLY. STRATEGEM OMEGA APPROVAL CONFIRMED.»\n\nThen, there's a roar as its rocket fires up again, and the head explodes into the cargo bay through the /closed/ door, looking not unlike a murderous Kool-Aid Man.\n\n\"Lunair … floor it directly at that thing!\" Cable shouts, lobbing his entire belt of grenades from his window toward the floor beneath the robot.\n\nA second later, they explode in a chain, sending the head into a wild corkscrew and then cartwheel, its orientation apparently off. Before the head can recalculate its move, the thing is positioned only a few feet above the ground, seemingly unaware of its location or targets.\n\nLunair winces. Dang approval. Oh NO! as it comes through the door.\n\nLunair's had to slow down to turn, but she nods at Cable's shout. Keeping them from smacking into a forklift, she veers sharply, then floors it towards the head. There's a deep VROOM and bellow noise as car and rockets roar to life once more, picking up speed. Can't take a turn at full tilt, after all. She's flooring the car towards said head, trying not to think too hard about it. Though, she's a bit worried…\n\n\"Tuck and roll!\" Cable shouts, kicking out the passenger door and diving out from his seat.\n\nAs if in slow motion, the car's momentum sends it soaring through the air toward the robot head, which manages to right itself just in time to see the vehicle careening toward its face. The head's good eye glows red, pulsing, as its voice booms:\n\n«OMEGA PROTOCOL INITIATED. SEVEN. SIX. FIVE…»\n\nOhholycrap. Lunair opens her door and dives out once free of her seatbelt, leaving the car to fly to its fate. She tucks and rolls, looking a bit like a confused hedgehog escaping a tube.\n\nIt's the final countdown! The car meets the head as two booms out, front end crumpling, sparks and gas flying everywhere. It's the world's worst eyepoke. The car is nobly sacrificed, metal groaning against the robot's head and pushing its way inward through the glowing thing. It's a simultaneous explodeocrunch. Michael Bay would be proud as flames and metal dance amidst the carnage of a crumpling robot head. While the car ramming into it did dampen the explosion considerably and knocked the sentinel head off its game, it's still an explosion- albeit much smaller than it could've been. A headlight lands near Cable, cracked and shattered, bits landing away.\n\nAs myriad bits and pieces of the robot head and car shower everything within the factory, Cable shields himself with his arm — although it looks like there might be a translucent blue shield just past his body, shimmering faintly as debris bounces off it.\n\nUltimately, things start to subside; there are half a dozen fires, several masses of melted metal and slag, and no end of crispy circuits scattered about the place.\n\nCable slowly gets to his feet and brushes himself off. \"Well, alright then,\" he says. \"You did your part. You'll get your payment transferred ASAP.\"\n\nArgh. Bits and pieces. Fortunately, Lunair can armor up in a heartbeat. Go go LunaPowerArmor! Her armor is damaged by the shrapnel about, but she's fine herself. Lunair pokes her head up after a moment. Phew. She sighs softly and looks around. \"Well, that was different,\" She admits. Definitely a new experience.\n\nShe straightens and stands, brushing herself off. She pulls her helmet off, and beams at Cable. \"Aw, thanks. Are you alright?\" She peers at him, to make sure no Cablebits fell off or what have you.\n\n\"Ehn,\" Cable exhales with a shrug and a frown. \"Not my first rodeo dealing with Sentinels. Just didn't expect them to anticipate the jamming. Had you on hand in case there was someone else to extract.\"\n\nHe sniffs and flexes his left hand, looking at it. \"Luckily there wasn't. But, still … someone was manufacturing these inside a former Wal-Mart. Doubt this was the only one.\"\n\nCable regards Lunair. \"Still, that's a job for tomorrow. Mentioned I'd bring you in for more if you wanted.\" He goes quiet for a moment, staring at her. \"Interested in saving the world?\"\n\nThe dude is super badass. Lunair's a bit wide-eyed. \"Oh. That's what that was,\" She rubs the back of her head. There's a weak smile as he mentions having her on hand. \"I'm glad for that, at least. And really? Huh.\" What an odd place, but it would make sense in its own way. Guess no one staked the heart of Wal-Mart.\n\nLunair glances around the warehouse, looking back to Cable. Those robots seem like bad news. \"… sure!\" The world is kind of a cruel, dark place at times but other days, it's quite a nice world and Lunair just happens to like existing.\n\n\"Good,\" Cable replies, nodding again, although his face looks grim. \"But don't be too excited. It's also unlikely that next time there'll only be one model activated for testing. Or full-blown use.\"\n\nHe folds his arms across his chest and his left eye gleams. \"I'll be in touch. You're resourceful enough to have a way to get out of this town, right?\"\n\nWince. Lunair nods. \"Okay,\" She turns it down a notch even if following Cable around is really, really, seriously COOL. \"Yup, no worries. I can get home easily enough,\" She remarks. \"And that's a bummer on the robots.\" Sigh. \"Between the metahuman detectors and everything.\" Headshake. So not good. \"It was nice to meet you, despite the circumstance. Be well, then.\"\n\n\"What makes you think I'm disappearing?\" Cable asks. \"I want to see your method in action. Besides, you know that with me around, you can't just waltz up to even a county airport.\" He begins walking toward the door opening made by the Sentinel head. \"So … show me what you've got. Now that I'm synced with my computer again, I can tell you that we've got a 'date' thirteen hours from now. In Mobile, Alabama.\"\n\nHeadtilt. Lunair looks confused a moment. \"Were you following?\" She's a bit lost. She's not entirely sure. Lunair ohs softly, and follows. \"Well, my friend can beam me up to their space ship if they need to. Otherwise I could've used a plane or a car. Even a train. I - we do? Wow, that's kind of impressive,\" Lunair boggles a little. Well, if he doesn't fuss, she can get beamed up by a friend and catch some Z's. Else, hmm. \"I mean, I could even rent us a car with a spare name. But-\" Lunair is puzzled. How is he- huh.\n\nShaking his head, Cable sighs. \"Can't always rely on outside assistance. Consider this a demonstration of survival skills. You can't get soft if you never let yourself get soft.\" With that, he steps out of the building into the Bozeman night.\n\nConfusion ensues. \"Well, there's lots of ways…\" She rubs the back of her head. \"Even under my own power,\" Lunair frowns. \"Okay. Thanks. See you.\" She waves. She doesn't seem mad at him, just confused and a bit unhappy."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License