Jump to content

Aberrant: Nova Reality - Breaking Down Bricks


Recommended Posts

The crime scene was still smoldering when the novas arrived. The police kept more than the normal number of onlookers away. After all, a nova had almost been killed here and that brought out both the vultures, the believers, and even a few CoMA members.

The bomb squad kept moving carefully through the wreckage. To them, this was obviously a near-nightmare scenario. Someone had moved a couple of hundred kilos of military grade explosives to their city, set up an impressive and professional detonation sequence, and used it. No notice had been given that anything like this was in the works. The intelligence pipeline was empty. The only thing anyone knew, or more properly - suspected, was this had been a trap set to kill one of the Windy City Knights.

Outside of the work zone established by the bomb squad, a mixture of Organized Crime Task Force and Counter-Terrorism detectives, FBI, and Directive Agents roamed about, gleaming what information they could. The Directive had stepped in on the tenuous angel that a nova had been the target of the attack. Everyone else was there for the obvious reasons of a really big bang in the Chicago area.

Beyond them, police from three different precincts were combing over the surrounding area, keeping interlopers from taking anything that might be evidence, and the thousand other chores that beat cops had to do.

Senior Agent Hassad from the FBI was conferring with Detectives O'Bannian and Litski from OTC and CT respectively. More senior police officials were avoiding the publicity like the plague, but the mayor was screaming for results and fast. The mayor had been a powerful proponent of the WCK and much of his political future was on the line now that violence had come calling.

All three men were surprised when the Knights ghosted into the midst of them. Jager motioned for DigiGeist and Damanor to go on to the blast scene while he and Rose addressed the Law.

Jager recognized the two detectives, but the Special Agent was new to him.

Addressing SA Hassad,

"Hello, I'm Jager of the Windy City Knights. We are here to help find out who attempted to murder our team mate, April Rice. This is Rose "MoonShadow" O'Hara with Argus International."

"MoonShadow, these are Detectives Litski and O'Bannian. We know each other."

The mention of Argus coupled wiht the sudden appearence of the novas gave the three men a pause, but Hassad rapidly recovered.

"Jager, I'm Special Agent in Charge, Hassad. Mrs. O'Hara, good to see you. Are you here on official business?"

The other two men nodded their greeting to Rose, but seemed hesitant and grim.

Jager continued with bull-headed determination,

"We will be assisting in this investigation, Special Agent Hassad."

Rose could sense the matter coming to a crossroads. The police were caught between the real desire to have the novas help out and their protective sense of jurisdiction. There was a fine line between nova vigilantism and being able to tap the vast nova potential, but no one seemed sure were that line was.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"O'Meara," Rose corrects gently before giving the police officers her best grandmother smile. "Lads, I cannae speak for the team yet, but there's nae reason why ye cannae pool yer resources taegether. Nae offence, but outside of the team, I cannae see anyone who can laugh off a bomb-blast, while the Knights havenae the investigative resources an' authority that the police dae. Surely we can work taegether on this?"

Her voice is calm and reasonable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DigiGeist stands where he came in. Looking over the structural damage of the area, making sure the team is indeed safe while helping with the investigation. He starts moving into the area that'd be considered ground zero for an attack of this magnitude. As he approaches the yellow tape, a uniformed police officer stops him.

"Sorry, keebler. Police business."

DigiGeist just shows him his WCK credentials.

"Now officer, you wish to have some assistance, or you wish to exert your authority more? This is a security problem that needs to be addressed through interagency cooperation. I will be turning over all evidence collected to the proper persons involved, which looks like a shared data exchange between the FBI, ATF, CIA, and your department." DigiGeist says with a matter of fact tone and a quirk of an eyebrow. "It isn't my intent to impede or circumvent jurisdiction. But this matter, well, surpasses those borders. It is potentially an international crisis here and all you're worried about is local jurisdiction?"

DigiGeist is obviously bluffing, and playng up the situation, but the officer bites, and stands aside.

"Thank you. Cooperation will get us all further in this investigation."

He carefully steps over the tape, and then pulls out some recording and analysing gear from a pouch on his jumpsuit. Specifically ordered from Alchemist himself.

"Now to see if I can't see anything odd here..."

He's interrupted by a Directive agent... who's doing a good job not looking like one.

"Excuse me, Samuel. What are you doing here?"

"No, excuse me. How do you know my name?"

"I know things. In any case, what are you doing?"

"Helping in evidence collection. I have sampling equipment that can not only do on-site analysis, but not disturb any evidence here. Is that adequate?"

"Cute, but we are perfectly capable of collecting data on our own, DigiGeist. You'd best be sticking your nose elsewhere. We know your past... history with criminal investigations with Interpol."

"I'm suprised the records on Department Archangel weren't as sealed to you spooks as I originally thought."

"They were. But how you think we gained access?"

Didge pauses for a moment, then realises what's up.

"You're one of them huh?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While the more social novas debate jurisdictional matters, Damanor examines the scene from outside the Police Line (Do Not Cross) - and is shocked by what he finds.

"Supports taken out by explosives, triggered by a cellular phone. It's just like when...no, that's impossible. He's dead. I'm sure of it."*

[* Blatant foreshadowing to The Optimal Solution. Coming soon to an OpNet terminal near you!]

Shaking his head as if to clear it, Damanor begins to circle the blast site. The warehouse had been isolated, without any other structures nearby. It made close surveillance difficult, but also guaranteed that there was no way in or out without somebody noticing. In theory, at least.

In practice, someone managed to remove a shipment of drugs, replace it with C4, and get five or six people out of a building, all without being noticed by police. A teleporting nova could do it, but few novas would bother.

Damanor trips over an unexpected dip in the otherwise intact concrete. "I hope the cameras didn't catch that," he says, glancing toward the film crew with a frown. They caught it, all right. Just his luck.

He walks over to Rose and quietly says, "Moonshadow, the OpNet files said you can make yourself and others intangible. Is that correct?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rose nods to Damanor. "Aye, I can. I cannae make me or others completely immune tae energy or psychic attacks yet, nor can I touch anythin' I wasn't already holdin' before I went ghost, but I can make ye immune tae things like knives an' such, an' reduce the damage of bombs. Push comes tae shove, I can always ghost us out if I sense danger."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Special Agent Hassad's face looks very much like he has swallowed a very bitter lemon.

"Your Municpal Defender duties are very questionable here, Mr. Jager, but if the lead detectives don't mind you can look us around."

"You will keep us informed of any leads you uncover before you take any action. Is that clear?"

Litski gives Jager a quick,

"Go gett'em."

Jager give Hassad and Litski a curt nod then turns to the team and barks out,

"Let's get to work."

Quietly, as he passes Rose Jager says,

"Sorry about the last name mix up."

Jager glides past the tap line and into the rubble. Occasionally he kneels down and lifts an object to his nose for a wiff. He then carefully places the object back down were he found it.

After the team makes a peliminary scan of the area, Jager calls them over for a quick conference.

"What do you think?" he asks the assembled.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DigiGeist is still face to face with his pressor, the non-descript Directive agent who looks more built than trained...

"Hrmm. No answer... Well, my superior is calling me over. Good luck with that coldblooded look. It suits you."

He starts walking over to Jager, careful not to disturb anything. He manages this by actually hovering enough to have no appreciable weight. He walks without sound, nor leaving any footprints behind. He pulls out his scanner again, carefully scanning, not to make any notice he's doing so.

"This is so out of my league. I'm not a crime scene investigator. My skills are on the streets. Alghough, I did spot something promising."

He calls up a display on the scanner he borrowed from Alchemist.

"It's titanium, with a trace of body fluid, probably blood. May have been knicked off of the dead body. Probably some sort of orthopedic implant. I wonder if any of you guys wouldn't mind me asking a few questions around the Morgue. See what they've found."

He cocks his head a bit.

"I'd have to do it the hard way and actually walk in instead of the easy way... unless someone feels like busting a cap in me." Didge says, trying to inject some black humor. A hint of his canines show.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damanor listens to DigiGeist's report. It's good work noticing the titanium, and damn impressive that he identified its most likely origin so quickly. The joke, on the other hand, doesn't impress Damanor at all; as his sense of humor vanished when he arrived on the scene.

Damanor makes his own report. "I have an idea or two about how they managed to exchange the drugs for the C-4 without being noticed." Damanor turns to speak to Rose as well. "If you wouldn't mind, Moonshadow, I think your talents would be invaluable in searching the area."

"Whoever triggered the bomb was probably pretty far from here, both for their own protection from the blast and to make it more difficult to catch up to them later. It should make it easier to find them through the cellular network, though they most likely changed locations some time ago."

"Do you want me to make the cell trace now or after we look around here? I'd rather examine the scene first, before the police overrun the place, but I'll let you make that call." A moment passes. "No pun intended."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"DigiGeist, you head off to the morgue and run those leads down."

"Damanor and Rose, if you are willing, start running that cell phone call down now. Its a clear lead, so we can't expect it to wait for us to get around to it."

"I will stick around and make our report to the authorities. I will also see what else I can find out, but I'm suspecting this clean sight. Nothing here for us to see that we weren't supposed to see."

Jager sniffs twice and opens his hand. In it is a small robotic arm made of burnt plastic.

"The cargo was electronic toys from Guangzhu, which is what manifest said. The C-4 smells like a brand made in the Czech Republic. The CZM has been know to use it before, but it isn't uncommon on the black market."

"I figure a few cover toys with the explosives inside. The brand of containers used by the toy manufacturer has the added bonus of confusing standard drug detection practices. In theory, it would also mask the scent of the C-4."

"Multiple shipments of toys coming in. Some have the drugs April was tracking and followed up those with the explosives. Bring in the crates, take out the drugs and take it out on one of the trucks with a pre-arranged drop off somewhere. That's how you get the drugs in and out without anyone noticing. Of course, this isn't the easiest operation to get going, and it was sacrificed to draw our attention."

Jager looks down at the tiny arm. Obviously, he is still working through things.

"This is was a complex operation flawlessly implemented, so be careful out there."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"That will be fine, Moonshadow, though we won't be 'ghosting' anywhere quite yet. We're going to run a trace to find the cell phone the bomber used to detonate the C-4. With a little luck, we should be able to triangulate their current position."

Turning so the cameras can't clearly see what he's doing, Damanor pulls out his wrist-comp and begins running a not-entirely-legal search through the records of the local cellular networks. "Some of the others would be much better at this," he says to himself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...