In The Basement

May 12, 2016:

Following the leads provided, Ford and Claire end up at a house somewhere in Hamburg (emits by Mana)

Hamburg - Germany


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It took a while, questioning the captives they'd taken and, in the case of one, stabilising them. There wasn't an awful lot more information forthcoming, but eventually Ford got a picture. These weren't Purifiers they were dealing with.

They were mercenaries. Hired from around Europe to come to Hamburg and seed discord. There's two things that stand out in the interrogation - they had certainly seemed to have infiltrated the Law Enforcement agencies and, some of them at least had strong, if twisted, pro-mutant tendencies.

Interesting. It's probably an idea to get that information to GSG-9.

The only hard lead the playboy millionaire had was the address in Hamburg and where he and Claire now find themselves, observing it from a few houses away. Good bet, he'll find a lead to the missing woman there.

For all intents and purposes, the house appears quite normal for the area. There's two cars in the driveway and no one's been seen going in or out. A quick internet search shows the houses in this district all have a similar layout, so finding a way in isn't hard.

Ford could hardly believe what he was doing. This was some rogue James Bond type of crap he was pulling, and he KNEW he shouldn't be. Especially not with Claire in tow. But… he couldn't trust any authorities in Germany anymore. He couldn't trust anyone. He had to do this solo… somehow. Hiding in the shadows a couple houses away, Ford squinted in the direction, watching the place quietly. Two cars… had to mean someone was home. From his own car, he frowned, before shaking his head.

"This is insane. Why am I doing this…? We SHOULD be getting out of here and reporting all of this to the proper authorities… but… for all we know, everyone in the police force could be comprimised…" He opened the door, shaking his head and pulling out his balaclava. "I can't believe I'm about to do this… Claire, stay here and keep a look out. If anyone suspicious shows up… just… I dunno, honk the horn or flash the lights or start the engine. Something innocuous to get my attention, you know?"

"…We should, but considering what they said… there aren't authorities. Do you think you could get SHIELD or someone in here fast enough? Probably not. So… we're here. And if she's hurt, starving, or if things go poorly, you're going to need me. So… we're doing this." Claire murmurs firmly, reaching to take his hand and give it a gentle but certain squeeze. She was behind him in this. She sighs, sinking back into the car and behind the wheel. SHe doesn't like being look out, but he had a way better chance of getting out fast than she did. So, she waits and watches.

Ford has some choices to enter the house - the front or back doors or through an open window he say on the side of the house. So far, there's been nothing unusual that would indicate the house is anything but a residence.

It's late of course, the street lights are on and there's plenty of shadows to hide in and cover his approach.

As to the other houses in street, there's lights on and every so often a car leaves or enters a driveway.

Ford knew better than to judge books by their covers. Slipping his mask on and giving the thumbs up to Claire, Ford quietly approached the house in the darkness, approaching the open window. That would likely be a better entrance than kicking in either door. He had to admit… this was kind of cool. Felt a little like Batman creeping around, making the darkness his ally.

Except Batman had a cooler animal theme. Ostriches were a hard one to work with.

It's a debate, keep the engine running or not. But an idling engine seemed more obvious than a dead car parked in the shadows. So, Claire kills the engine. She keeps the keys in the ignition and sinks deeper back into the seat, shifting low enough none of her body can be seen. She's got the window cracked open against the spring, but also so she can hear things should something awful go down or shots be fired. Otherwise, for now, she plays look out. Dark eyes sharp, paranoid. She's trying to keep her heart swallowed back down her throat.

Encountering no obstacles to entering, Ford might be surprised to note that the house appears empty. There's a light on in the kitchen, but no ones there and the rest of the house seems quiete. Strange, given the two cars parked out front and the fact that, in the time they'd been watching, no one has left to go for a walk …

As he moves through the rooms, he becomes aware of faint, muffled, sounds - under his feet - and in the kitchen, a door slightly ajar, that has stairs leading down.

Back on the street, an older BMW moves up the street towards the car that Claire is sitting in, slowing as it nears the house that Ford is in, but doesn't stop.

Ford blinked as a search of the house seemed… remarkably unremarkable! He knew it had to have something here! Maybe a secret panel or a switch or… a perfectly ajar door leading into a basement. That certainly didn't raise any eyebrows! Squinting and bracing himself, Ford quietly and carefully opened the door and slipped down the stairs, one step at a time, hoping to cause as little noise as possible to alert his potential foes.

As that BWM slips past, Claire watches. She doesn't panic, beep, turn the horn on or anything yet, because the car is still moving, but she does try and study whomever is IN the car, seeing if there is any way she might recognize them, or at least that she can describe bits of them later. She also looks at the plates on the car, if the driver does indeed totally pass them.

As Ford descends, he can her see light peeking around the corner and hear voices - at least two men and one woman.

"Carver hasn't checked in. He's three hours late." one man rumbles. He's clear enough to hear, which means he can't be too far away.

"Protocol says that if he doesn't check in, we're to finish the girl." a female voice answers this time.

There's a muffled sound and some scuffing. Like someone might be gagged.

The BMW does indeed pass Claires car and she's able to get a reasonable look at the driver - a young man in his early 20 years with close cropped dark hair, and get the number plate.

After a few more minutes, another car approaches from the same direction and Claire will recognise it - same BMW, same numberplate. Is it patrolling or casing the house?

Ford's eyes widened at the sound of discussion and hearing the gagging. Was that… the woman they were looking for? Sounded like she was in bad shape! Creeping a little lower down the steps, Ford tried to keep quiet while getting an inconspicuous look at the scene below. How many did he have to deal with? Where was the gagged person? Lights? Potential weapons? Anyone armed?

He had to admit, while this was incredibly dangerous, it was kind of exciting! Like one of those cartoons he watched as a kid depicting Captain America save the day from evil doers! Only this time… it was him! And real! And people could die!

The trouble with doing something that Ford would notice is, well, so will everyone ELSE on the block. So, as that BMW pulls by again, Claire mutters a quiet curse word and suddenly picks up her phone. Did he have his phone on? Maybe he was smart enough to put it on vibrate! It would be more quiet than beeping the horn, at least. So she begins frantic texting: 'BWM driving by slow. Second time come around. Watching house, I think!!'

It's a young woman, gagged, leaning against the far wall of the room. Lank blonde hair obscuring her face, but even in this lighting, Ford will recognise her as Sabine Kruger.

A further look reveals it's a little more than a basement of a house. It's been … renovated … steel walls and floor, there's a broom and assorted cleaning items to the side near Ford. On another wall, is a computer - Ford might wonder, why a computer was kept down here.

The other three are standing in the middle of the room, each carrying a side arm. "It's taking too long, getting everyone in place." the second man grumbles "Every day we waste, raises the danger."

"Patience, Carver seems to know what he's doing and he's still moving the weapon into place." the woman admonishes.

The BMW stops at the house just behind where Claires car is parked and the woman passenger gets out and stretches before looking back at the driver and gesturing.

Ford eyed the scene before him, before perking up at his phone vibrating. Thank goodness he had the alarm turned off! Looking at the text, Ford winced before looking back at Sebine. This was it. Do or die time. He had to get her out of here in the most stable way possible! Think! What would Captain America do? …no, he couldn't be the Flag Man. It wasn't his strength at play. He had to think about his strength! What was he good at?


Texting a quick message back to Claire, Ford hit the send button. 'On it. Call me back in exactly 2 minutes and ask me where the girl is. Okay?' Standing up straight, Ford adjusted his shirt and tried to make himself look as menacing as he could (given the mask, it wasn't too hard), before stepping calmly and casually down the stairs and into the basement. "Well, what do we have here? Looks like a bunch of idle hands, if you ask me." Ford spoke in a slightly gruffer voice than usual, trying to sound like a rough-necked mercenary. He eyed Sebine before continuing. "Good to see you all can handle at least one thing competantly - still have the girl in one piece and in your dainty hands. So at least I'll have some good news to report. Get 'er up. She's being relocated."

Two minutes. Claire could wait two minutes. She looks up, staring at the BMW and frowning as she watches the driver stop and the passenge get out. She trusts Ford, though, so she keeps her phone close and waits, counting down exactly two minutes.

The three turn to look at the masked man "I don't think so…" the second man sneers. "It's only us three and Carver knows where she is."

All three pull their weapons, training them on Ford. "Get rid of the girl, we've been made." the woman snaps at the first man, who moves with alacrity towards Sabine (who's muffled cries clearly sound distressed)

Ford will have scant moments to do something about this before all hell breaks loose and Sabine is lost.

The driver slips from the car to join the passenger and heads to the door of the neighbouring house - had they been …. lost?

Fine. Had to do this the hard way. He just wanted to be all cool about it. Ford perked up as the girl looked to be in great trouble, before rushing forward to knock the duo off their feet in an effort to plant a firm foot right in the back of the third fellow. Once he was disabled, he'd move quickly to knock out the other two out cold with a solid thwack to the noggins.

While Ford will probably not see the message, Claire texts quickly: TWO GOING INTO NEXT HOUSE. Just in case it's important. But then that two minutes is up and she calls. And it rings. And rings. And rings. Because he's fighting. Now she she's worried. She tries to call again and when he doesn't pick up, she turns on the engine and moves to drive a bit closer to the house. She's preparing to be a getaway car. He just actually had to *get away*.

The weapons fire as Ford runs at the duo, multiple times and as Ford knocks to them to the floor, the bullets ping off the walls, ricocheting. That's bad … one might actually hit Sabine, if he's not careful.

The second man, puts his gun to Sabines temple and is about to pull the trigger just as Ford hits, causing the shot to go wide … and narrowly missing the bound blonde.

As Ford returns to the downed two, another shot rings out, aimed right at the masked crusader … then his hits connect and they're out cold, leaving Ford, a bound and gagged Sabine, three unconsicous people and the computer.

Outside, the shots can be heard. The basement hadn't been that sound proof. And the couple who just left the car, walk back out to the pavement and look.

Ford panted as the fight quickly ended, standing up to survey the area. Certain his assailants were out cold, Ford quickly moved over to Sebine and knelt down, pulling her gag off and starting to untie her. (Sebine Krugar? You're safe now. Everything is going to be alright.) His German was a little stitled, but recognizable. ("There is a car waiting outside. I will be out shortly. I need to check something quickly though.")

Once untied, Ford nodded up the stairs before turning his attention to the computer in the corner. He wanted to browse it quickly, see if there was anything worthwhile he could glean from it, perhaps even some flashdrives or something to take with him. But he quickly pulled out his phone, seeing the text and ringing up Claire again. "Hey. Sorry, things went south. There will be a girl coming out front. Pick her up, will you? I'll meet you at the end of the street."

Claire was already half way there. The moment he rings through, she releases a breath of total relief and puts him on speaker. "I'm pulling in now, I'll get her. But… god, Ford, get out of there. I heard shots! These people are dangerous!" Claire sets the phone on the center console, driving quicker to the house and leaning over to pop the door open. She literally does not want the car to stop moving, she just wants to get Sabine out of there as fast as possible, "Here! In, now!" She calls to the girl.

Sabines been hostage for days and is very weak, happens when you're not fed properly, bound and gagged. Whilst she understands Ford, she's in shock and although she manages to drag herself to her feet, she's clearly fearful of the masked man, edging around the wall - but not quickly, it takes a very long time to make her way up the stairs and out the door … halting when Claire calls to her.

Wouldn't you be a little wary of strangers?

Fords search through the computer yields a couple of things of note - this group, whoever they are, has a cache of weak mustard gas that will be used during the attack. Of other interest is a partial message, it's been corrupted - mentions of 15 to 30 people, a list of Governmental positions and a note that things are moving slowly. The message ends with the words, use Sabine, as leverage.

Ford looks through the computer, soaking up the info and getting a couple screenshots of the list with his phone, hoping it'll turn out. Whatever they were planning, Ford was worried about it. But, hopefully, he'd thrown a spanner in the works and messed things up for them. At least buy enough time for the real heroes to do their work.

Dashing back upstairs, Ford was about to head out the door when he saw Sebine a little hesitant. She needed a familiar and reassuring face… and what more of a friendly face could one get then his! He headed back for the window he'd climbed out of earlier, removing his mask and moving out of the dark, waving back into it. "Alright, good work!" he hissed into the empty air, before jogging to Sebine's side and offering her his hand. "Ms. Krugar? Ford Benett. Quite the fan of your work~ But now's not the time. My friend is on his way to deliver some intel to the German authorities. Meanwhile, my friend and I will be taking you to your father. I'm sure he'll be utterly relieved to see you."

Shoot, the girl is probably so weak. Claire looks out around the car, making certain none of those they should be fighting are on the horizon and could swoop the car from under her nose. When she's confdent they are alone, for the moment, she puts the car in park and slips out the driver's door, leaving it open. She's just about to approach Sabine when Ford comes back up and she releases a breath of complete relief.

"…Ford… I need to help her, she's sick… You need to drive, get us out of here." Claire has all her steller, gentle, tender bedside manner on now, as she approaches Sabine. "…Hey there, hun. I'm Claire. I can help… we'll get you somewhere safe. I'm a nurse." If Sabine doesn't freak out, Claire is gently going to get her into the back seat of the car where she can do treatment while Ford drives.

Sabine doesn't go exactly freely, but she's in no condition to resist. Besides, Claire really seems to be quite nice.

In the background, the pair can hear sirens approaching - seems someone alerted the authorities. It won't be long before they are here.

Ford nodded, handing Sabine off to Claire and letting the ladies get in the back and set up. Meanwhile, he slid across the hood of the car and jumped into the driver's seat, setting things in motion and quickly getting them out of there. "I'll contact X-Red and give them the good news. I'm sure they'll be happy to inform Mr. Krugar his daughter is in good hands. Just try to relax… we can even stop and grab some snacks if you'd like. Pretty sure I saw a doughnut shop on our way out of town." That actually sounded quite good right about now. Ford felt he certainly earned it

Claire settles in the back with Sabine. Water and some light food will be the first goal, but water primarily. She speaks in low, soothing tones, making certain the girl has full range of motion in all her extremities, gently rubbing blood back into some areas which were starved of it for a long while. Claire is going to be the girl's personal nurse until she's handed to her father and that medical team.

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