Sphinx Links

June 16, 2016:

Rain, Corvinus, and Ozymandias stop an illegal auction, and rescue a slightly ungrateful fortune-hunter with remote viewing powers. She provides the Ozymandias with clues to The Sphinx whereabouts.

Mansion

On the surface, this is 11,000 square foot, late 19th century mansion. There is a detached carriage house and the barn. The entire place has recently refurbished to its original grandeur. The mansion sits on1.85 acres.

Characters

NPCs: Dragomiriv cousins, bodyguards, Fortune Hunter with remote viewing powers

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Mansion

On the surface, this appears to be just a 11,000 square foot, late 19th century mansion. There is a detached carriage house and the barn. The entire place has recently refurbished to its original grandeur. If someone was to look closer, especially tonight, they will see that the entire place is filled with security.

There are several surveillance drones flying around the 1.85 acres of ground. There are security guards that are checking vehicles, and another pair of security guards checking guests as they enter the building. There are a dozen security guards are patrolling the grounds.

Inside the building, a mixture of super-powered mercenaries and regular guards are patrolling the different rooms and the main floor where the auction is taking place.

The servers walked around providing people with their final round of drinks before the auction starts. A woman in her mid-thirties raises a small hammer to strike a golden gong to let the participates know that the auction is beginning to take place.

Depening on your connections or your ability to perceive mystical artifacts, the location and the purpose of this auction can be found.
Corvinus pages: Which city is this in?
You paged Corvinus with 'Outside of New York.'

Black as night, though perhaps not as stealthy as more memorable folks, an avianoid entity observes the goings-about. Currently bearing not the original occupant of the form, but a somewhat overwhelmed yet creative fellow, the figure approaches to the perimeter of sensing devices, as several senses and spectrums play through it's processors, including the frequencies that the local surveillance drones utilize.

There is no hacking of the devices, for such a crude primitive approach would immediately draw attention. However, what the entity does is change it's transmission profile to match that of a drone, so it occupies a 'blind spot' on the wavelength. It's not perfect, but it's the best option on the spur of the moment.

As to why this is the spur of the moment?

Jim Reha had been running a simple background programme to distract part of his now massively overpowering mind for any particular items that bore a particular 'resonance' to the avian form. It was more of a joke, done to assuage any lingering concerns about having lost plumage in the past, and having been bound by agents of a terror organization for a time.

It was a bit of a surprise, then, that he got a *ping* from the general location of the auction, as if something of either his… or the Thanagarians… might be present. It may be a false reading, but it was necessary to investigate. If the Thanagarians were here, unseen, the world was in dire danger. If it was an ancient artifact from times long past, then it needed to be recovered and secured.

It continues to monitor the transmissions between the security teams, the drones, and the interactions of the guests, patrons, and auctioneers, subtly listening to all the noise…
.

Rain is not really one to be bothering mansions. She really isn't. She's not a combat wombat, she's no mercenary and certainly not a homeless person anymore. For now, she is here mostly on hearing something about mystical artifacts. And some of these mystical artifacts might need to be kept away or safe.

And so she'll try an invisibility spell because MAGIC IS CHEATING. And friendship is magic. She does not need to 'hack' things, though she's more of an electrical engineer anyway. And so it is time to sneak OH SO INVISIBLY.
The drone operatives haven't picked up anything admist at mansion's security center, so Corvinus is able to make it inside the estate; however the guards are still patrolling the area. The drone doesn't notice pick up Rain, and the security personnel seem to have fallen under her spell as way, because they haven't noticed her either.

When the auction starts, half a dozen ancient artifacts of various sizes are brought to the front of the room. There are video cameras placed three feet away from the boxes, so people in other parts of the word can stream and bid on the auction. When the boxes are placed in the front of the woman, two men in the mid-twenties sporting spray on tans walked out in front of the audience. One of them preens around in front of the audience like their movies stars accepting a standing ovation, while the other remains subdued as he obviously holding his contempt for his cousin's behavior. Ryan Dragomirov , the name of one of the two men. He is sporting a sixty dollar haircut, and a thousand dollar suit. He accents has a small trace of Eastern Europe. "Greeting, I am glad everyone here could us tonight. My cousin and I are again more than happy to have you here at our house. I hope you find our wares tonight, but I know some of you with the deep pockets are here for what we have on the main screen.

With that cue, Trofim Dragomirov, the name of the solemn cousin, puts out a remote and the wall in the back of the boxes reveals a huge video screen. The video screen turns on and a woman in early thirties is chain to a wall, somewhere else in the complex. Ryan looks at the crowd, "Now remember, bidding for this super powered individual will be silent. Highest bidder will win."
Ozymandias has already switched to thermal vision as he looks over the layout of the estate. Ozymandias quickly approaches the wall, and ascends over it via flipping over it. Before his feet touches the ground, he has already thrown two sleep bombs to knock out some nearby guards.

They're auctioning a person?? OH HELL NO! Not on my watch they aren't!

The avianoid entity begins to scan for the Wi-Fi frequency, secured or not, that the bidding is going on. It is probably unlikely that the security will last a persistent assault, but that is not the fellow's intent. No, his goal is to slow the bidding, but make it unclear as to why the servers are running 'slow'.

Have to buy time to get in there. This is going to get messy.

Given his hurried rush to the manse, there's no way he could send a message to anyone he could rely on as an ally without compromising them in this high-stakes scenario. With the processes running in the background he casually strides to the undoubtedly electrified and sensor-ridden fence at the edge of the property, extending talons to cut a large enough hole in it for him to stride through, even if it does draw a lot of attention to his location…

Oh geez. The idea of an AUCTION for artifacts always makes Rain a bit queasy. She furrows her eyebrows from invisibility. And so she is going to try to scout out a bit. The guards just - fall asleep? How odd. And the idea of auctioning a person is doubly horrifying. Rain is detectable to those with magic senses and so on. But she's close as Ozy is, puzzled by who made the guards slep. No time to contemplate it.

SNEAK LIKE YOU WANT TO WIN.
"The gate sensors do triggered an alarm, when the hole is cut. The security center follows their security protocols, and guards moved quickly towards the hole in the area and the surrounding area. Another group of guards get into formation in front of the mansion.

Ryan brings his right hand to his ear piece and speaks a few words in Russian, before turning to the crowd. "It seems we have a small disturbance outside. I am sure some deer or wildlife has got caught in our fence, so you might hear a little bit of gunfire. Now, for our first item. This item is called the Tablet of the Coward, and was recently acquired from a museum in London.

Ozymandias watches as the guards heads for the whole in the fence, and grinds his teeth a few times. He remembers a time, when this would have been easier a job, because he didn't have to worry about causalities. He gets on his Justice League com unit, "This is Ozymandias of the Justice League. I am engaged with hostilities at mansion at the following coordinaties. Have police and emergency personnel on standby, when I give the all clear."

With the transmission from the Justice League frequencies, Jim sends a very brief response…

«Corvinus, unaffiliated, opening this up to really Speed things up. Nonlethal means online. Standby for something interesting.»

He stands there and waits for the guards to arrive.

"Hello. You seem to have made a grave tactical error. You should give up now."

As he intones those words and weapons draw forth and start firing at him, he LEAPS upwards and flies for the roof of the mansion, more of a controlled jump than actually flying, per se, as rounds go winging at him, past him, and deflect off of him.

«I have guard aggro. Be wise.»

A whisper back, "I can heal you if needed." He may know and remember Rain. Technically, she's a fringe member of the JLA. She's very shy and very much on the lower end of power. If Rain comes across any not sleeping guard, she'll stop - and turn them into a newt. It's her first, nonlethal distraction/disabiling spell.

« Let me know if you need me to turn into a bear and bother them, » Rain remarks quietly.
There are a large beads of sweat that are beginning to form on Ryan's head as he looks down at the tablet for the bids, and the sounds of guns. The artifacts were going to help them pay back their creditors, and give them a small profit; however, the real prize for the night was the auction of the female, and the bids are not coming in fast enough. The auctioning of the female was a joint venture, and if they don't make a profit on this auction, Ryan knows he and his cousin will be facing grave circumstances.

Ozymandias quickly comes up with a plan, and then speaks on his comms, «There is a woman inside that needs to be saved. That is our first priority. Rain, I think the bear will be nice way to make an entrance. » Ozymandias throws some more sleeping bombs at the men shooting at Corvinus. «Okay, I am heading towards the entrance with Rain. Can you do clean up here, including taking out any vehicles, and meet us inside? I don't think they will be expecting anyone dropping in front up top.»

Ozymandias pulls across out his bow and rapids fires several arrows at the guards to clear path for Rain."

«Attack Protocol engaged. Will advise.»

The bird-like being lands near the parking lot and begins to turn cars on their side, attempting to not damage them as bullets splatter off of it's plumage with some grunting and some blood beginning to fly.

"The freedom of individuals is paramount. Your action is forbidden by the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Your lawbreaking has been noted for proper authorities for appropriate disciplinary measures."

*BANG*

A round clips the side of it's head as he turns, a bit 'punch-drunk', towards the person who managed to get the bell-ringing blow in on him.

There's a small jump highlighted by tracer fire and then a firm backhand — only the crass would call it a 'bitch-slap' — which sends the lucky gunman sprawling with a broken jaw, but decidedly still alive.

"Stop this idiocy at once or face the consequences. There is no second warning."

« Okay, » Deep breath. Rain will get closer, and once she can get in, she mumbles something quietly. « Remake the beast. » And she turns into an immense Siberian Godbear. A dire bear, lost to history that was so fierce, villagers today still speak of it in whispers and horror. Of course, it's also a quiet clue to Rain's heritage, unbeknownst to her.

She bellows, a loud, bear roar. That should get their attention. She even charges on four legs, then two. She has beautiful white fur and violet eyes.

BUT SHE iS STILL A GIANT PREHISTORIC BEAR. OH SHIT. HIDE YOUR PICNIC BASKETS!

And a chair will be swatted and thrown just for a starter. Ozy will have free reign to sneak along behind.

Ozymandias pauses for a second at Rain's transformation. He was expecting to see just large bear,not a dire bear. This pause allows for one of the guards to begin to raise his rifle on him, but lucky Ozymandias is able to recover to fire an arrow down the barrel causing the rifle to explode. None of the guards have had Ozymandias's life experience, and they are beyond terrified by the dire bear. They quickly begin to run away from the mansion

When Rain crashes through the door, the people gather there are ever more terrified. They rushed to escape the mansion and get into their cars, but…

Corvinus have been turned the cars on their side preventing the occupants from fleeing via their vehicles. Those that don't surrender will be easy for the police to pick up latter. The chaos of people fleeing the mansion and the front door really breaks the morale of most the hired gunman outside, especially after their bullets seem not to have any effect on him. The leader of the guards outside shouts over comms, «Everyone that is still moving, fall back to the carriage house, and prepare to evac. Leave these heroes to the group inside.»

The avianoid leaps into the air to land near the carriage house.

"Gentlebeings. Please lower thine weapons and surrender, lest thine wish is to be disarmed forcibly. The choice is thine."

Why the archaic wordage? Why not?

One of two things will happen with this pre-emptive action. Either they will go running away or they will actually show some sense and drop the weapons. The bird-like being tries not to let on the amount of fatigue and soreness he's feeling right now. Hopefully anyone else here can continue on towards the mission objective as he'll be busy in any case.

To be fair, a dire bear takes getting used to. Rain has startled plenty of foes and allies alike. But she's more here for the fear factor than to bite someone in half. She will mend poor Corvinus and feed him up later if he likes. She adores the guy.

One of the guards nearby will get swatted and thrown out a window if she can get close.

And she does not speak, only growling and moving to clear a pathway to where the young lady might be stored.
"The soldiers fled to the carriage house to escape jail, so they have decided to make a last stand against the avanoid. The leader of the group spits on the ground, "I don't know what the hell you are saying, but it seems you are lookin for a fight. Fire!" The remaining guards fire at the avianoid.

Inside the house, Dire-RainBear has cause completed mayhem as the crowd continues the flees and cousins try to secure the artifacts. Three super-powered individuals appear in front of the cousins to give them more time.

Ozymandias gets on coms and speaks to Corvinus, «How are you doing out there? »

«Damage at function-impairing levels. Lethal force authorized. Executing.»

Jim winces and ducks under the hail of gunfire as his wings fold down in front of him, rounds flying EVERYWHERE as plumage shreds off his flight appendages, then he straightens up, a bloody, steaming avatar of ancient wrath and anger.

"That fucking goddamn hurts. Sonuvacockmun—" Let's just say the tirade gets worse from there as he advances on the leader, claws out and blood dribbling down them as the blades dart forth once, twice, tagging the firearm the man carries, and leaving lacerations across his midsection — surgically placed that too much effort on the man's part might cause ruptures or worse. "Sit the fuck down and stop fucking shooting goddamn…" and there's even more profanity as he starts to advance on the other gunmen, ready to inflict far worse if they don't put down their weapons. Any niceties have flown out the window because everything is hurting right now.

«Free the fucking hostage save the fucking day. I've got a few more minutes.»

It's MAYHEM TIME! Rain is going to swat and throw things at anyone who stands in Ozzy's way. She smashes through folding chairs and moves to hit anyone who goes between them and the girl. « We're almost there, » She promises. Roaring, she is going to try to grab one of the individuals and use him to club a cousin.
There is a very good reason why Ozymandias knows about this auction. He allowed for several pieces of his own artifacts that were loaned to musuems to be stolen, but not the real ones just ones that he expertly recreated. Three of the items are rare mystical artifacts, and the other artifacts are laced with a part of a concussive compound. The other part of the concussive compound, Ozymandias is filled into the pouches that Ozymandias throws at the artifacts. The artifacts start to glow green causing Ryan to back away from the artifacts. When he backs away from the artifact, he is completely knocked as super-powered being with claws is thrown into him by Dire-RainBear.

The fake artifacts explode and catches the remaining cousin and super-powered mercs by surprised. Ozymandias takes that time to stun them with his plasma gun. Ozymandias looks at the television screens and flickering of lights that appears near her location. «I think the hostage is nearby you.» Ozymandias wonders when people became so obsessed with talking about sex while they were fighting.

It doesn't take the remaning mercenaries at the carriage house to decide that prison might be better as the numbers begin to be depleted by Corvinus. A few start to throw down the weapons and shout, "I give up."

Upon clearing the carriage house,, the woman starts to shout "Now that the shooting is over. There is a horseshoe that is three feet from where you are located. If you are press the horseshoe, it will reveal this chamber. A chesire grin forms on the woman's face before she shouts again, "I am impressed, not with your team saving me. I am impressed that your team didn't take several of the less overt paths towards this chamber. A cocky ungrateful tone escapes her lips, " I guess not everyone is as good at seeing everything and everywhere. Before you reply with the obvious juvenile comments about me not seeing myself out of this situation, I would have done it sooner or later." And with that the woman pops her shoulder out a place with a grunt and pulls one of her left arm out of the chain. "This would be a lot easier if someone could help with the other chains
[OOC] Morien says, "Wrap up poses. I have only one pose after this."

The bird-like being squints and watches the mercenaries before taking the not-quite-eviscerated leader's jacket and using it to bind his wounds. After that is done the obsidian wounded entity stiffly walks towards the horseshoe indicated and gives it a tap.

The responsorial tone is somber, contemplative.

"To see all is to admit folly. To admit imperfection is to leave room for growth. To leave room for growth is how we all learn. You'll forgive me if I don't give you a hand getting loose, as I am busy watching your would-be captors to make sure they don't try to do anything stupid. Hopefully someone else can help you the rest of the way."

He turns his attention back to the mercenaries, watching them warily.

Rain pauses. "Sorry," She offers to the woman. She will do her best to press what is instructed, but she leaves it for Ozy. Paws kinda suck. She'll stop throwing people once the fighting stops.

Rain toescuffs shyly at the woman's words. She looks apologetic. "Here," She can talk somewhat in bear form and will help the gal out of her chains. "Let us get out."

After the fighting stops, Ozymandias looks over at Rain. "Can you do something mystical to keep the other artifacts safe for shipment to the Justice League? Ozymandias brings the cousins along to the carriage house. He pulls out his assegai and breaks the chain of the woman. The woman pops the shoulder back in her place and looks over at Corvinus, "Well, thank you for saving me. She quickly walks over to the cousins. Ryan is still unconcious, but he still gets knee into the groin along with his cousin. Ozymandias walks over to the woman, and pulls out a small pad and presses a button. A three-dimension projection of Anath-Na Mut. I am looking for this man. His name is Anath-Na Mut. Now the captor woman roll her eyes, "Are you daft or just ignorant? My powers don't?. Before she can finished her eyes closed shut and an emerald illuminates thru her eyelids. "How?.I?see him? This has never?"

Ozymandias hands her the pad and tells her to whisper the directions into the pad. The woman whispers the directions into her pad and Ozymandias places in back in his pouches. The woman open her eyes, "Why did my powers detect him?" Ozymandias smirks behind his mask, "I thought he might be in possession of mystical artifact, so I was hoping it would act like a beacon for someone with your powers,and I was right. Ozymandias furrows his brow behind his mask, "He has the Ka Stone. I am going to need a lot more help." Ozymandias peers back over at the woman, " Thank you, I am in your debt. If you ever need of assistance, I am sure you can found me.

Ozymandias dips his head to Corvinus, "Thank you for assistance."

Rain nods. « I will teleport them away. » She will shift back into human form, and help move the relics before going to Corvinus. "Hey, would you like to come to the manor? I can tend to your wounds a bit," She offers to the bird. "We can give you a ride or a portal," She remarks.

Rain seems fond enough of the bird. She looks to Ozy. "Thanks. And I hope we find this guy."

The avianoid winces a bit and hobbles some. "Artifacts need special care and security. Proceed carefully from this point, there may be no back-up from me in the future."

He hobbles a bit more then glances to rain.

"Could you, please? I'm so hungry now I could eat not one but two horses, and that can't be good, plus I think I'm leaking from far too many spaces for that to be good either?"

A slight wobble indicates that yes, he's quite ready to leave this scene to better and proper authorities….

"I have experience dealing with mystical artifacts in my travels." Ozymandias radios the police and the ambulances to give them them the all clear. Before he can ask another question from the captor woman, she has quickly vanished. Perhaps she will show up again…

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