Tales of Dark Tidings in Colorado

May 19, 2017:

Avengers Spoiler and Iron Guard, along with junior member Varanus, seek out Varanus' creator, or any news as to his whereabouts, at an AIM facility deep in the Rocky Mountains.

The Thorn, Rocky Mountains, United States

Characters

NPCs: Director Nezzer, AIM Compound Staff, SHIELD, Dr. Lazlo Carlos

Mentions: Batman

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

On the trail of Varanus' creator, Dr. Lazlo Carlos, a data sift of AIM's corporate headhunter's computer files (the one that found Dr. Carlos from the University of San Francisco computer science PhD program) has revealed that the operation to build Project Varanus, the komodo mimic, was located deep in the Rocky Mountains, along passes only open in the summer. As it is spring coming, the snows have begun to melt, allowing the base to reveal itself again, pushing away the snowstorms that hid the tunnels carved into the side of the tall precipices and narrow ravines to hide the AIM compound from the sight of satellites. An Advanced Idea Mechanics executive is located here, codenamed Dutyfoot by AIM, a man rumored to have a specific intention for Varanus. He is the one organizing the hunt for 'Vincent', as he prefers to be called.

Along a pass, there is a cliffside emerging from an artificial cave, with a wide helipad. This is the primary docking facility into the AIM facility, The Thorn, with a black 'A' painted on the the pad. It leads into a cave nearby, this particular landing pad selected for its distance from nearby updrafts. There is one safe way into the valley to land, the other with incredibly difficult drafts. And that single way in is lines with assault turrets, IFF sensors, and mine drones.

Nathaniel has been going over all the info on the doctor he could find in the nets and in SHIELD's databanks (those he can legally access) but had no luck at finding his current location. As Varanus assumed, seems AIM got him, dead or alive. And tracking down AIM has taken some time.

"I can hardly believe they have this kind of places in the US." He comments when the Avengers finally reach AIM hideout. "The DEO is spending a fortune in trying to control the para-humans and then misses places like this one."

Sitting at the computer of the quinjet that brings the recon team in, Spoiler is quickly reading over whatever information is available on the area.

"Turrets, IFF, and drones. Hospitible place. If we can get in under their sensors, then maybe… Not sure we should jam the singla. Might give us away… DEO's looking for obvious and in populated areas. This… is neither," she reasons as she glances at nathan. "Think you can get us past those sensors?"

Varanus sits in a chair behind the pilot seats, watching the approach of the Quinjet towards the compound over Nathaniel's back. He then sits down in his sit from his craned position upwards. "AIM loves these creepy little locations. This is an obvious one, believe it or not. Most of their facilities are in corporate facilities, you'd never guess. This one is a weapons cache." He slides his Hawaiian shirt off, now only in his tanktop. "Once we hit the ground, I'm going to disable a trooper and take his uniform so I can face dance. I'll try to get you into the guts of the facility, Spoiler, with myself as a safecracker. The executive in charge of my project probably knows everything." He pulls a small pair of nunchaku out of the rear of Nathaniel's seat, bound together by leather, and slips it into his khaki short pocket. "I bet I can get some answers."

As the Quinjet approaches, other openings can be detected, farther down the mountain. This ones lead to roads into deeper locations in the mountain's valleys, for fresh water, waste dumps, arms caches, even hangars for large craft.

Nathaniel shakes his head to Spoiler. "This is as close as I can get the airplane without setting of the alarms," the holographic cloak is designed to deceive at close range, anyway. "Although if I stay here I might be able to trick the sensors into letting you pass. I am reading quite a mesh of signal traffic and I think I can figure out how to make it ignore you."

"That's probably for the best. Your armor's loud," says the purple Batling, pushing up from her chair after they've landed. "I'll keep radio silent unless there's an emergency and I've downloaded as much intel into my personal systems so I'm running a hot uplink whiel in there. Give me one hour. If I'm not back by then, bug out and get a message to Batman," states the blonde before turning and slinking off the quinjet. She moves low and fast to get into the base. Computer terminal for blue prints is her first stop. Planned, anyway.

Varanus hops out of the Quinjet after Spoiler, onto the slope of the mountain near the helipad. He scrambles along the cliff face on his flipflops, approaching beneath the turrets by allowing himself to slide down the rocky surface of the cliff face. He grabs ahold of a crag, hanging over for dear life but without much visible concern, before he swings about like a marionette to grasp another side of the break in the mountainside. Dropping himself down on a ledge, he sidles along, moving towards the helipad into the base from below. The wind blows past, kicking up his carefully combed brown hair.

Spoiler can see, via the base's top entrance, turrets and sensors around the helipad, although the sensors are visible and large, indicating they're probably meant for aircraft. Heli-mines are also visible in the air, moving in sweeps before landing at ports along the rock and recharging. Varanus seems to be approaching the helipad from the underside. Guards are posted near the helipad, inside the cave alongside the helipad that leads into the base proper.

Meanwhile, Spoiler uses her climbing and her glider cape to help her down the mountain, keeping pace with inhuman Varanus. She's silent as they descend, focused on the task at hand.

Varanus, after manuevering the delicacies of rock climbing like a rapidly learning professional student, begins climbing upwards, his body immune to the rigors of fatigue, and his titanium aluminum endoskeleton up to the task of scaling a mountain, with more strength relative to lesser weight than an average person. He finds himself beneath the helipad, and looks down to Spoiler, nodding quietly with a finger above his mouth in a 'shhh' signal. He swings beneath the helipad, using his arms to monkey-bar to the outer edge of the landing deck, before he swings up and around to position himself atop it, carefully. Remaining low, he watches, carefully, as the guards turn and shout at him, before he dashes forward, bullets fired at him and striking into his titanium skeleton with little effect as he rushes forward.

Spoiler glances up once as varanus take the high road. She inhales, part of her wanting to help but… he's giving her a distraction. A much needed distraction. She can not waste it. So, the batling moves, slipping into a smaller less guarded entrance, crouching down to survery the room she's in before she'll move forward.

Varanus throws himself off the ground at a guard, leaping up into a whipping jump kick that strikes the AIM mercenary contractor across the side of his head. He snaps and falls to the ground. Varanus lands and twists about as the second soldier spins about to shoot him, but Varanus is already in movement, grabbing the barrel and jamming it upwards in the air, before he slams his left hand's fingers into the guard's chest in an upward blade. The pressure point strike takes the guard down, dropping him forward. Varanus begins stripping the guard of his uniform hurriedly, his physical features slowly morphing to resemble the guard. And then, as the uniform is completely taken, Varanus stands up, shaking his head and body, falling into the unconscious guard's posture. Varanus picks up the rifle, studying it for a moment, before clearing the chamber and flipping the safety on, shouldering the weapon.

Spoiler finds herself in a tunnel leading into the water and power section of the base, beneath the helipad, meant for cooling the facility, including the helium stores that keep the computer system super cooled and functional. There is less visible resistance here, merely a twisting tunnel with red lights. There are, however, visible pressure plates on the ground, lining the floor of the tunnel. There are doors along the tunnel, leading to technical rooms, each one with a label in English. At the end of the tunnel is a lift, presently non-functional, although guards could easily be deployed downwards from wherever they are fed from within the facility. It is likely that computer access exists in these technical service tunnel rooms, along with various maintenance shafts to access the systems in case of manual necessity for control. Hangar access, water control, ventilation, heat, pest control, computer coordination, radio communications, security systems, internal landline, and other functions are all accessable from the corridor, and labeled as such; at the expense of walking on the pressure plates.

Perfect. Spoiler slips to a terminal, noting the countdown in her HUD tickign down the seconds.

00:58:47

Finding a terminal, Spoiler hunches down by it, as she slips a cable from her belt, and starts to hardline access the terminal to look for blueprints and any information on the good doctor their are chasing.

The guard slips into the facility as others rush past him, faking a limp and panting. He slips into a side door in the main causeway as the guards move out onto the helipad to secure it, grinning. "Always count on pack behavior to ruin the buffet," he mutters to himself, moving towards a computer security terminal. He taps at the terminal, looking for recent logins. He spots one he finds suspicious, from a maintenance tunnel, and clicks it on. He types at the computer, using his knowledge of AIM systems from his development years to guide him.

Spoiler is logged in with a security key from the main causeway, giving her access to the main system, sans technician password. Varanus looks over his shoulder, slipping away and leaving his terminal logged in, as he skulks farther into the facility, mimicking the gait of a guard he just saw move past towards a turret control position. That guard had rank.

Okay. I'm in. Spoiler seraches for the blue prints of the facility so she can load it up with labels of rooms as an overlay to her HUD. It will guide her through the base. As the download is working, Spoiler quickly moves to try to locate informatino on this Doctor. Is he here?

Varanus sees a scientist scurrying down a corridor, and adopts the movie personality of R. Lee Ermey's character in a movie he viewed while at the Avengers Mansion, Siege at Firebase Gloria. "Doc, we got a serious breach! We need to secure this facility! Where's the top kick, he needs to evacuate! SHIELD is raining down on us like a storm cloud of dobermens that just ate rancid pork at a Bar Mitzfah!" he barks out, his pace quickening to follow the scientist. "Hurry, hurry, we need to get him down to the hangar!" The scientist, aghast at just how profane the Varanus is being while mimicking the flak operator's posture and making defensive gestures (he stole them from a rapidly deteriorating restaurant kitchen staff during a rush), motions Varanus to follow him.

Spoiler is given a full brief of the facility, even as the elevator near her tunnel begins to groan and rumble, moving downwards slowly towards her floor. Someone noticed those pressure plates after all. The base, meanwhile, has records of many scientists working there, none of them matching Dr. Carlos' name. His research, however, shows up in a database of assets from many scientists that worked on various artificial intelligence projects being stored at the The Thorn, the computer array deeper inside the facility. One way through is down the maintenance shaft at the technical terminal, although it would involve a precarious breach of super cooled helium channels being pumped into the largest of the computer systems, the supercomputer used for the entire network's integrity. Logic dictates that it would crash the base network, although secondary machines would still have the data on them, they just wouldn't be networked together.

Air gap. Okay. Spoiler glances at the elevator as it starts to rumble toward her floor. She unplugs quickly and stores the cable as she gets up and off the floor, and hidden away in a nook on the ceiling near the elevator doors. She sweeps her gaze around to turn her HUD. There needs to be an alternate way into the that computer array that doesn't involve super cooled ANYTHING.

00:57:21

The scientist motions for Varanus to enter the facility director's office, before Varanus swings his hand out and catches the scientist beneath the jaw with an upward swing of the edge of his left hand, fingers flat. The blade of his hand catches the AIM operative between his Adam's apple and the underside of his chin, knocking him down and sprawling him across the floor. Varanus steps into the project head's office, his face morphing back into his normal appearance as the facility director drops his jaw.

"Varanus, it's you…"

Varanus smiles, snapping his nunchaku out straight.

"I prefer Vincent, Mr. Nezzer. We need to talk."

The elevator slams to a halt with a crash, in typical freight elevator style, and five security guards with submachine guns disembark from the elevator, moving one after the other. They're quite talkative, referencing a systems breach, their leader telling them to do a room to room search down the tunnel, of all the potential computer terminals governing the facility's life systems control. Steph's HUD would indicate that there is now an additional path to the reference computer system with all the vital data: the very elevator the security guards exitted from. The question is, how to engage the elevator with those armed soldiers present beneath her?

How to, indeed? She can wait for them to clear away… At least one will be left to guard the elevator. She could drop him, risk exposing herself.

She could toss a distractor smoke bomb clear across the room, draw attention, possibly still be left with one but then they'll be cover for her for a few seconds.

She could EMP the lights, make them flicker and die. Drop ALL of them, and THEN get the elevator. Yes. That works. And if she uses their bodies instead of hte floor, whatever tripped them off to her being here probably won't notice her again.

Room by room serach though. Let's do plan A, wait. Unless that elevator looks like it's going to close. Then it's plan something she'll make up then!

The project director goes for a gun, but Varanus is already making a skip forward with a bounce, before he swings the Chinese flail in his hand across their mutual space, smashing the pistol out of the AIM mastermind's hand, sending it sailing across the room. "Naughty naughty." Vincent grins, as the director backs up, and the mimic slides across the desk with a quick pommel horse mount and dismount, leaving him on Director Nezzer's side of the room. "I want you to tell me, exactly what happened to my creator."

The man sneers at Varanus, spitting, "You're a prototype, an empty shell. You don't have a creator. You have a designer. You were never alive."

Varanus clicks his tongue and snaps the nunchaku up and around Nezzer's hand, then traps it with the rope of the weapon and holds both grips in his crossed hands. "The customer is always right, my friend. Didn't you learn anything from Lazlo?" Varanus wrenches the weapon tight and twists it without a hint of regret, a pained whimper coming from the AIM director as he sinks to his knees before the face dancer android, looking up in fear.

The guards move room to room, with one in the hallway, his back to Spoiler. The elevator remains open, but it's a loud and slow thing, that freight mover, meaning Spoiler is going to have to announce using it somehow, and she lacks the firepower (in a traditional sense) fielded by the five man mercenary team.

The elevator has to have a shaft. Where is that room in relation to the shaft? Up? Down? Can I get to it through a grate in the ceiling? No need to have the elevator move me at all. Spoiler turns her head again to study this, seeking the sneaky way.

"We shot him," the Director spits up at Varanus, gritting his teeth.

The tightened clamp on the director's hand loosens briefly, as a haunted, lonely look comes across Varanus' eyes and face. And then, the android's face grows cruel, and he twists the director onto his side. There's a scream as tendons are wrenched by the joint lock turned into a sadistic takedown, Varanus mimicking the Director's exact emotional state at the moment of the announcement of Dr. Lazlo Carlos' death, before Varanus releases the weapon's hold on the man. Varanus seethes, but flicks his head to the side and calms down, immersing himself in Kyle Rayner's emotional state as he observed it at the Avengers Mansion. He kneels on the ground, giving the project manager's head a swift hammer blow with his knuckles to knock him unconscious. And then, moments later, Director Nezzer steps out of his office, dressed in the AIM executive's clothing but with the slight indication that he is not a man of power and prestige and egoism, instead a faintly gentler appearance of one of Director Nezzer's more abused employees hanging about his faintly slouched posture.

The elevator has a shaft, accessed through a grate on the top of the freight elevator, that goes up and down around the edges of the platform. The computer array is a 'floor' down, even if it's a roughly fifty foot descent into the carved out, bleakly light mountain innards. Several hangars are nearby, all of them linked to the surface.

That'll work.

00:55:38

Moving silently, Stephanie slips down behind the leader standing guard with his back to her. Just as quiektly, she steps into the elevator and then up to the ceiling to move the grate and slip up before replacing it again. It had to be quick and it had to be silent and no sooner is she on top of the freight elevator than she steps from it to hop lightly onto the small ledges on the side walls of the shaft. Time to climb down toward that computer bank. She'll use one of those hangars to get out after.

Varanus moves through the corridors, moving along towards the center of the facility, guards streaming past him. He sulks faintly as he makes eye contact with the security commander, looking at him with a hard look, before he looks away and steps into a facility. He pulls the Director's card from his pocket and slides it into the staff elevator, and it begins to lower through the facility, towards the level Steph is on.

The movement down the elevator shaft is poorly lit and only available via a single ladder in a side chute that is out of range of the platform should it descend. At the bottom, Spoiler finds a heavy industrial area, that is populated by workers and technicians and mechanics. The computer room is occupied by technicians working on the machines, workers move about managing the base functions, and mechanics can be seen working on various VTOL craft docked at the various hangars, all visible from the elevator shaft at the floor. There are pistols on everybody's hips, but they do not look well trained to use them.

Thank Goodness for lowlight on her HUD! Spoiler peeks in, taking stock of how many and where. They'll send up an aleart if comes tumbing out, batarangs blazing. She checks for cameras and provided there's enough space for her to slip in and then get to a hidey spot without being seen she'll take it.

Batman is going to be proud of all her sneaky sneaky!

Once in, she searches for the computer most likely to house hte info she wants so she can plot how to access it.

00:49:19

Varanus, still in the guise of Director Nezzer, steps out of the staff elevator in the hangar section, now on the same floor as Spoiler, straightening his plastic-coated black tie in a confidence gesture to those that see him. The straightening of the tie indicates an assertion or a posture of dominance in a formal but reclined fashion, a covert signal. Mechanics and pilots nod at him, as his back stiffens and he nods to the level command officer. "Very nice, very nice," he says with candor that is nearly an American politician.

There are no cameras, but the computer laboratory has computer specialists using the computers at most times, twenty-four seven, and a guard posted nearby. Spoiler will have to do something decisive if she wants the data. There is a door present, presently open, with a visible lock on it accessable from both sides. The lock is computer-driven, due to the security of the data held there, the aggregate research of all the Thorn's artificial intelligence projects held in archive.

00:46:02 - Spoiler's count down for Nathaniel to call the mission scrubbed and leave.

Up in the rafters above the scene below, Stephanie lets out a faint sigh, annoyed. There's just no way to get in without some sort of serious… Wait. A distraction. She might be anle to risk a quick single burst transmission back to the Quinjet, get Nathaniel to try to do something to clear some of the room. If she can get the outter room cleared, drop this Director guy while hte coputer room seals, she could use his biometrics to open it again, shove him in with her, take out hte technicians. Yesssss… Finally!

"Richards. I need a distraction. Has to be big enough to pull the armed guards from the innerds of hte base," she says as she creeps quickly over head to the main light fixture. Time to pull a Bat and plunge this room into darkness. Just as soon as the alarm sounds and the guards rush out.

Nathaniel has been at the Avenger One hacking AIM's lines while the other two took the sneaky way (for which he is not well suited). He got some interesting traffic from communications, but not access to the core systems, which seem to be a different network. He was planting some Trojans when finally Steph calls.

"Spoiler, good to see you are still alive," he had heard no alarms, so actually he knew she was alive. But she never calls anymore! "Distraction, hmm? I think I know how to make some noise here… give me 15 secs." Which is all he needs to send a lot of false info into the sensor grid. AIM is now detecting three different groups of half a dozen armed humanoids approaching the base from several sides.

As the lights go out, Varanus looks up rapidly, seeing that he's blundered into Spoiler's side of the mission in his attempt to reach the hangars for an extraction. Well, that's just perfect. Count on a finely working kitchen chef to find the right ingredient just in the nick of thyme. And he was looking for the parsley! He turns about, looking around for Spoiler, as guards rush around him shouting, the lower levels of the complex lacking guards with heavy hardware, merely drawn pistols pointing upwards, or, in the case of the less experienced armed crews here, forward into the dark.

Hangar bay doors begin sliding open at the notification from the sensor grids of approaching hostiles, small VTOL craft flown by semi-sentient AIs blasting off from the hangars and into the sky, past the docked helicopters and VTOL aircraft sitting in the area. Stephanie can hear the roar of the winds outside, and feel the cool breeze from the open hangar doors, as shouts echo over the alarms.

You're going to have VTOL company," Spoiler says softly into her comm even as she's flinging herself down into the lightly armed guards. She's not gonig to waste time, or breath on them. Not when she needs this Director's biometrics (maybe, possibly, look she's running with that theory!) as her key in and out of the computer room. She's quick, she's as efficient as she can manage it, and then she's reaching to pull Directer what's his face (Varanus) into a head lock.

"Spoiler alert: You're getting me in and out of the computer room, and I won't bust your teeth in…." Wow! Perky goth's got some growlly happening!

"I am not, they are chasing ghosts," replies Nathaniel at the com. "Although maybe I am going to shot down one of those drones, just to make it look more realistic." Besides, he is tired of listening AIM's inane radio chatter. The Avenger One holographic cloak can pass casual inspection, but it will be good if those VTOL devices never get close, they might have good scanners.

"Hey hey, little sister," Director Nezzer says, switching to his regular voice as an Varanus, in the headlock. "Let's play nice, I've got us an extraction plan." He slips a data card out of his pocket into the computer lock, and it clicks open, and he tugs her inside. The startled computer technicians look up at the pair, having already gone into ready positions to surrender in case of threat. "Don't worry, boys," Varanus says, straightening his tie. "The lady and I were just looking for a good recipe for beef kafta."

The VTOL drones hover about the mountains, chasing after the sensor ghosts. They have onboard intellects, however, and quickly determine that they are chasing a nearby wild weasel. They form up into a loose formation above the mountains, before they depart in three three-drone triangles, scanning beneath them.

"Vincent?" Spoiler asks the moment she hears his voice. Her head lock loosens and then she's following him to the door. It opens, he quips, and she snickers while launching herself forward into the poor illprepared technicians.

"Thanks," she all she says to him when the last tech is down and she has free access to the computers. Thumb drive jammed into place, she types quickly, eyes flicking over the screens. She's doing two things at once, using mutliple terminals, multiple thumb drives, working to DL as much data as she can before she switches out the drive for the crash and burn ones.

"Cover me?" she asks as she works as furiously as she can manage. And she's asking into her comms: "How're things top side, Richards?"

Nathaniel allows the drones see him once he is some distance from the Quinjet. Some electromagnetic noise, followed by a long-range repulsor blast to the head VTOL. Then he flies up and away, to see if he can draw them off the area.

After all it wouldn't be good if Spoiler and Varanus get hit from the air when they try to sneak out the AIM facility. "Just fine, call me Iron Guard when on official business, please. It is not fair I do not have your real name yet."

Nezzer's face performs an out-of-character jaw wince to the side as he sees Spoiler beat up the technicians, before he closes the door behind him, securing the lock. "There's probably going to be more goons coming, let's keep it snappy, little turtle," Vincent says, as he peers out a window into the darkness outside the computer lab. He turns about and looks at a table full of computer supplies, looking for a weapon. He elects on a large, red painted wrench, flipping it up into the air with his left hand and plucking it out of its falling spin with the right.

One of the VTOLs is blasted away by Iron Guard, spiralling out of control and crashing into the mountain in a ball of flames. The other two of the triad fly upwards after Richards, as the other two triads, swoop along at either flank, sweeping upwards at a rise impossible for a human's G-force limitations, attempting to overtake the time traveler.

I'm not a.. where did you even get TURTLE?!" Spoiler snips back at Vincent as she works. The first computer is set up with the crash and burn virus, her downloaded data secured in her belt pouch.

"Understood, Iron Guard," she intones into her comms, eyes scanning the screens now and then, to learn a little of what they were up to while she takes their data for later. Second computer down.

Nathaniel shots a couple more repulsor blasts to the drones but when they start to shoot back the armored hero retreats quickly, going into evasive mode. The laser cannons probably can't get through his armor, but he is learning to respect AIM's inventions. "How long do you plan to be in there? I can… draw this a little longer. But you should go before they get reainforcements."

"Well how else am I supposed to work 'snappy' into some repartee?" Vincente replies coyly with a sidelong glance at Spoiler, grinning. He turns about and peers out the window carefully. "Guards are starting to form up, Spoi. We better beat it soon."

From what Spoiler can glean, the AIM facility is a storehouse on artificial intelligence concepts. 'Varanus' happens to flash by, labeled as a prototype for an infiltration specialist. And then, a note below it, 'Defective, intentional programming glitch, considered rogue'. Other projects involve animal-mimics, combat drones, and even elements of the legendary Adaptoid projects designed to mimic the powers of the biggest and best superheroes.

Two more drones fall, leaving Nathaniel no direct challengers. The other two triads of drones form up at his height, one going upwards and chasing from his left-handed side, the other approaching from below and center. They fire lasers in three-shot patterns, the two groups syncing their patterns in a complex rhythm.

"Ugh. So I'm turtle for the sake of your.. you know what? I'm just gonna roll with it. Like Po. Minus the asthma," Spoiler quips getting the third computer down, but as the report that it's time to scatter, she yanks the last download part way done, before yanking open the panel and droping in a small high impact explody EMP.

"Right now though, time to jet. Using an EMP, so open the door and let's get out of here. Thirty seconds," Spoiler says to Varanus as she heads toward the door. The moment it opens, she's through, expecting another fight, and ready to get low and use two smoke bombs to help herself out.

"On our way now, Iron Guard!"

The number of laser beams coming his way is starting to get alarming, so Iron Guard retreats further, leading the drones in a merry chase miles away from the AIM complex. When Spoiler calls, he replies quickly. "I am sending the airplane to pick you up. A little busy here. But SHIELD aircraft are on the way, so I will be fine. See you in the Mansion in a couple hours."

Varanus clicks his card into the door, and then steps out with a slide of his right foot, with a little revolver twist of the red wrench in his hand. He swings the wrench across the back of a guard's head directly in front of him, before he dances to the side with some rapid Hapkido work, drawing their aim away from Spoiler before she can leave the computer lab.

As the alarm continues, the heavy freight elevator Stephanie entered on ratchets downwards, about a dozen or so men with submachine guns on the wide platform. On the other side of the elevator, and to its right, is the concourse leading to the hangar where the aircraft are present, and the pair's way out.

As the frieght elevator thunks into place, Stephanie looks over. Great! Just great! Flash bang, from her utility belt, is thrown onto the platform as she sprints for their way out. A smoke bomb is held at hte ready, just incase the flashbang doesn't do the trick.

Varanus follows behind Spoiler, as the smoke bomb hits the lift and the mercenary agents of Advanced Idea Mechanics come stumbling out in disarray. The android mimic shouts at Spoiler, "This way, we're almost out of this chocolate box!" The similarity between a Swiss mountain base and this one is strong on Vincent's mind, even if the Swiss chocolate metaphor is admittedly not as good as he could think of. But he's thinking on the run, and as he thinks about it in a tertiary process, climbing into a helicopter, he smiles. Not bad, Vincent, not bad.

There's a quick cue-up of the gunship's sequences, as the rotors begin to turn and Varanus slips his helmet on, moving the gunscope in front of his left eye. His flesh morphs, and he takes on his standard configuration, instead of the AIM Director incapacitated on the upper levels. "Strap in, Spoiler!"

three points! Spoiler grins as she lands her throwie.

"This is not what Gump meant about life being a box of chocolates!" Spoiler calls to Vincent as she runs with him, climbing into the helicopter he has selected. She wastes no time, pulling on the headset and strapping in. She doesn't know how ot pilot these things but she's a quick study and if told what to do…

Varanus does the final pre-flight check, and pulls the helicopter off the ground. "Don't worry, this is an AIM model, I have programming on these babies." Varanus pilots the helicopter out of the hangar, with guards firing at it behind it with bursts of submachine gun fire, and swoops out with a curving turn portside and upwards towards the Quinjet. He looks over his shoulder at Spoiler. "Dr. Carlos is dead, Spoiler. Those lutzes killed 'em." He turns back, forward, with a haunted look on his eyes, not quite tears but disurbed all the less.

"A single human life less important than mine, and they say I'm not alive to begin with."

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