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Mutants & Masterminds: Future Imperfect - Chapter 2.1: Scouting Las Vegas


Joani

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The streets were strangely empty oustide. One would expect more traffic merely an hour before new years eve – especially in a city like Las Vegas. Instead the place was deserted. In the far distance to the south gun shots could be heard interrupted by occasional explosions. The scouting party slowly picked up pace as they slowly realized what was going on. The city was under siege.

Just before they reached the next main street that would lead further south towards the MIC a small trek of military vehicles, armoured personnel transports passed them by. They were heading towards the MIC, too.

Click to reveal..
You replenished 1 hour worth of Quantumpool at light rest
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Ronnie held up a closed fist, falling back into hand signals automatically. At the same time, she shrunk back into the shadows a bit. Once the transports were gone, she checked both ways and then eased across the street. "Your place is just ahead, right?" Ronnie asked the General.

Things were weird, really weird. And Ronnie didn't like this, not a bit. She wanted this shit done, so that she could get back to the gym, into good clothes, and get some smokes.

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Once Ronnie shrunk back, Adrian followed suit, sending the message down the line. They were closing in on the clinic and the situation didn't look good. He hoped to hell that they - somebody - had gotten Juno's father out of there after ... after they got grabbed. Had their been a fight? He didn't know, couldn't remember. This sucked, the not knowing what he had done wrong in the fight so he wouldn't make the same mistakes again.

If you made a mistake. If they simply overpowered you and your defenses did you no good.

Yeah, happy thoughts.

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Juno crept along with the others, crouching down behind a dumpster when Ronnie signaled. She was getting frustrated though. Every time she heard another distant echoing report of gunfire, or the rumble of an explosion, all she could think of was her little piece of the city and what might be happening to it. She'd been gone for a week...a week! Not knowing who was left or where they were was like a slow poison.

And making things worse was the certain knowledge that being in this group was slowing her down. She was sure that if she tried hard enough she could adapt to the need for speed and stealth, and have little trouble doing all the scouting she needed.

Trouble was that she owed Ronnie, so she couldn't just run off and leave her. Plus, Adrian was here, and she was a little surprised to find that Adrian had become one of 'her people' in her head. She wasn't going to abandon him. And, of course, even if it wasn't likely her dad was still at the clinic, it was probably the best place to look for where he had gone from there.

So she stuck close to Adrian, stayed normal, and watched the 'General' to see what his answer was. The sooner off the streets the better.

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Kevin stopped when the signal went up, and slunk as best he could into the shadows. When questioned by Ronnie, he nodded silently and gave her silent hand signal directions to the Clinic (in case she didn't already know the exact route).

He hoped that it would still be mostly standing; that the robots wouldn't have demolished too much in their attempt to get him and the others who had congregated. But more than that, he hoped that there wouldn't be any bodies. Kevin didn't know if he could handle any more dead friends.

It had been 11 years, but the wounds were still fresh in Kevin's heart. He'd just started opening up again to Miriam, and he didn't know what he'd do if he found her dead.

And he hoped, for the sake of the rest of the group, that he didn't have to find out.

Click to reveal..
(( [Wounded -2] || 11/28 QP || 6/6 WP ))
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The Mutants made their slow but stealthy approach towards the free clinic looking out for any possible threats or other unusual activities. As Ronnie reached the corner she held up her fist again urging the others to stay behind and take cover.

Not good... this looks not good at all

The whole block was missing - as if a huge bomb had hit the place and levelled everything to ground zero. She looked around making sure they were at the right address. There was no doubt about it (she was at the right address) - only the clinic was missing. The whole block was missing!

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Juno waited for a second, then scurried up to Ronnie, hunched over, to get a look. What she saw devastated her in ways that her ability couldn't heal.

"The clinic," she whispered. "Dad!"

She started to get up, started to run forward, no longer concerned about stealth or subtlety.

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"Oh man, this is not good," whispers Adrian to no one in particular. He thought he recognized this place, but there was no construction anywhere near the clinic. That could only mean that the hole in the ground ...

The Kid scrambled foward to Ronnie on cat-like feet.

"If this is what I think it is, we need to boogie. Your place next, right?"

He saw no reason to investigate the hole. This was something out of the old Super-Hero vids he had seen growing up, were heroes fought villians and they left carnage in their wake. This was carnage and the best they could hope to find was body parts and crushed rock.

Doc wasn't going to like this. Neither was Juno. Adrian looked around for wrecked ambulances - any sign that people had not been able to get away from the site. They needed hope, especially now.

When Juno ran up, Adrian barely hesitated.

"Juno," he hissed as he moved to catch up with her. "There are no ambulances out front. He got away. He had to get away."

He didn't stop running after her though.

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Ronnie grabbed Juno as she started to pass Ronnie's position. "Stop," she hissed. "If we go there, then we're going to stop and think about our approach first. If your dad was there, exposing ourselves now won't help. Stop and think about everyone involved in this, including your father." She sighed and her expression softened. "Juno, I'm sorry. But there are better ways to find if your father is alive than digging in a pit for a body you may not find. We need to find where people are gathering to compile lists of the dead and the missing. We'll get answers there. And as I promised, I'll help you deal with this, but you have to trust me right now. Cool?"

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Juno pulled against Ronnie for a moment, but to her credit didn't flop or struggle. She stayed tense, pulling steadily on Ronnie's grip, but not throwing a tantrum. As Ronnie talked, the strength slowly seemed to drain from her, and she sank down into a crouch, leaning forward so her hair hung down around her face and obscured it.

"No, it's not cool," she snarled when Ronnie finished. "Nothing is cool right now."

She looked up at Ronnie from under her sweaty bangs, and her eyes were anguished, leaking slightly from the corners.

"I can find him," Juno said urgently. "If get out there, and he's been around, I can find him. I can smell him."

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Kevin halted with Ronnie's fist, then slowly crept up with everyone else. Upon first seeing the destruction, his first response was disbelief. Then came hope and dispair in equal measures, canceling each other out and leaving Kevin cold and devoid of emotions.

There was only so much that a heart could bear before it shut down out of self-preservation. Kevin was there; staring out at the scene of distruction, analyzing it coldly against his memories of other war zones. He tried to analyze debris patterns, to see if it had been an explosion or an implosion. He also tried to look and see if there was any evidence of activity after the destruction, broken boards on the road, debris that looked as if it had been moved, anything.

There was an equal chance that Miriam had been in there, or not, when this happened. And it mattered to Kevin, somewhere deep down inside... but right now, with his heart shut tighter than the iron curtian had been at its' peak, the only thing that was going through Kevin's mind was their next move. That would be getting to Ronnie's and getting clothes. Of course he'd keep an eye out for any hospitals along the way, any of which would have what he needed...

A second train of thought started running through Kevin's mind; a train that was classifying what needed to be stolen to protect those in his group. Two lists were made, one to get from a hospital, and the other was compariable things that he could pick up at a Walgreens, CVS, WalMart or other thusly medically stocked store.

Kevin's response to Ronnie was cold and calculated. The biggest change, was in his eyes though. Ronnie would be able to see in them the seasoned war veteran, in the middle of combat, that he now was. Not a trace of the old 'Doctor' was left in this new 'General'. His eyes were those of one who had seen too much death, and his voice was as cold as all of those graves. "We're not going to find anything here, we need to move on. Keep an eye out for any hospitals on our way, we can get what we need there, and they'd likely have the list you're looking for. If not, we can stop at any store that has a pharmacy to get what I need. Now let's get moving; the longer we're out here the higher the chances of us getting discovered."

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Ronnie nodded and put a hand on her shoulder. "I know you can, kid," she said softly. "And you will find him."

If you can find a phone, I can make some inquiries, Nana said, her voice brisk. Maybe see if her father is on the list.

Yeah, Ronnie sighed, I'll get you a working phone, right after I pull the first miracle out of my ass.

No need to be rude, Baara chided.

I don't see a need not to be, Ronnie grumped then added, Sorry, guys. This stinks of shit soup, and I'm irritated.

Things didn't get better when the General spoke up. Ronnie swallowed her anger at this guy once again throwing around orders. She knew she should have left his ass back at the gym. Outwardly, she smiled grimly and said, "Yep, pretty much what I was saying. Since we're rolling to my place, I know a few pharmacies along the way. At least one should have the supplies you need. I'll take point again."

She slipped out into the night, heading toward the first pharmacy she was aware of between here and there.

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Kevin nodded silently to Ronnie, seemingly content to let her take point/lead. He followed in his assumed place, which was actually at the end of the line, making sure everyone kept up and kept hidden.

He didn't say a word, and he was still very far from thawing out.

Click to reveal..
(kevin_bridges): stealth roll

(07:39:22) (kevin_bridges): defaulting to dex

(07:39:28) ChatBot: (kevin_bridges) rolls 4d10 and gets 10,7,9,4.

(07:39:46) (kevin_bridges): 3sux @ std diff

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Juno hesitates, looking at the place the clinic used to be. Finally she mutters a curse under her breath and follows the others, making a reasonable effort at quietness.

(07:07:24) ChatBot: (Max) rolls 5d10 and gets 8,3,4,5,2.

1 success on stealth

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Adrian padded after Ronnie once more. He was so glad that Juno hadn't finished going out there. Those bullets would have stung. More importantly, they would have given their mission away.

You know, Ronnie's not half bad looking for an older woman. What am I thinking?!?

Once they stopped again, waiting at a street crossing for the all-clear, Adrian picked up a piece of loose masonry and began squeezing it in his hand to relieve the tension. It wasn't working all that well.

Click to reveal..

(08:13:48) ChatBot: (Adrian) rolls 8d10 and gets 2,10,1,10,2,1,8,3 = 3 successes

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They moved in the shadows crossing the street at one critical point which left them to exposure in the lights. Everyone seemed to be doing fine but suddenly a flashlight was pointing at their direction revealing Juno for a few seconds out in the open. She quickly rushed towards the others but it seemed to late, someone was already calling out to them.

“Hey you! Come out of there and show yourself. This is Captain Dwaine Hicks of the US-Army. If you are an US-Citizen we mean you no harm. Identify yourself or we will open fire. You got five seconds.”

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Of all the goddam...

Cheeks flaming with embarrassment at having been spotted, Juno steps out of cover and puts her hands behind her head.

"I'm a citizen," she calls. "Reyes! Juno Reyes! I'm looking for my dad!"

Now, she thought, hopefully the others would be smart enough to stay out of sight.

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Hunkering behind some garbage, Ronnie looked at the odds of getting Juno out and cursed to herself. There was a shot, but it was a long shot, and involved being alone. "Guys," she muttered, "go on ahead to the stores and my place. I'll follow you, if I can get her out."

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"No," Adrian seethes, "We can't leave both of you."

Still, he saw the logic of what she said and Ronnie could see it in his eyes. Defeated by his own internal struggle to do what was right over what was macho, he snuck backwards and began to look for a way around.

"What is your address?"

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Kevin didn't like the fact that Juno got caught, but he liked the idea of leaving Ronnie behind even less. However, she was the current leader, the effective ranking officer. This was her op, and he wasn't going to superceede her orders.

Kevin quickly and quietly made his way over to Adrian and Ronnie. His words were quick and to the point. "Adrian, I assume you know this area better than I. Get the addresses and directions and we move out. Ronnie, if you can't get Juno, get out yourself. Currently you're the leader of this little group, and we need you and your expertise more than we need you running after her. Besides, we can always spring her later, when we're at full strength and compliment."

With that he waited for the exchange of info between Ronnie and Adrian and for Adrian to lead the way through this war-zone.

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Ronnie nodded. "I believe I can get her out, and maybe get some information we need as well," she said softly. Her purple eyes were darting around the area, noting the details of the nearby buildings.

She scrawled her address and the locations of pharmacies on a piece of paper and passed it to Adrian. "Oh, say, Kid? Can I borrow your shirt? Please? You can get one from my closets - though don't go digging around in there until I show up, ok?"

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Without hesitation, Adrian pulled off his shirt. He really wasn't all that cold anyway. He handed it to her, but before letting her take it from his hand,

"If you don't come back, I'm coming for you, hear?"

With a grin, he added,

"I wouldn't want to face Travis without you."

Looking over his shoulder,

"Doc, we gotta roll before more crap comes our way."

With that, he back stealing away from his friend's confrontation and the would-be rescuer.

Click to reveal..

Stealh: (08:33:00) (08:34:14) ChatBot: (Adrian) rolls 7d10 and gets 2,8,1,10,2,1,1 = 2 successes:(

Hurt -1 Q-Pool 11/22 WP 10/10

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Kevin looked to Ronnie, and said "you have until dawn to meet us at your apartment. After that we'll take what we need and head back to the school to mount an op to spring the two of you. So you have until dusk tomorrow to stop us from coming to get the both of you." That said, he nodded silently and followed Adrian towards their goals.

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"Thanks," Ronnie said, nodding. She gave both men a smile, then caught the General's arm. "If... Look, just tell my friend Travis..." She realized that she didn't have a damn thing to say, and dropped her hand. "Just tell him I'm glad I found him again. If I can't tell him myself."

Awkwardly, she watched them until they were gone, then gathered herself and released herself-

Nana pulled on the shirt, which gave her more decency than she had had. Standing, she boldly walked out of the shadows, her hands up. "I'm Nana Selk, US citizen," she called out as she advanced, her hands where they could be seen. "I need to talk to the person in charge." She looked at Captain Hicks, stopping next to Juno. "Would that be you, Captain? If so, I need to talk to you."

She was an average-looking middle-aged black woman, wearing a too-large t-shirt and the remains of a dress. She shouldn't have inspired any confidence, but her attitude made up for her clothes. Her dark eyes stared at the Captain with the calm expectation that he would cooperate with her.

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He still wondered how she was going to pull this off. Maybe ther was more to Travis and Ronnie than two people caught up in a bad situation ... maybe A LOT more. They always seeemed to have a plan, if not the answers. Travis was like a commando, or Mutant-X from the Glory Days. Ronnie ... Ronnie was like his grumpy sidekick.

The time for thinking was past. Now was the time to make their way to Ronnie's pad. There might be some answers there.

Click to reveal..

Stealth Test: (12:24:54) ChatBot: (Adrian) rolls 7d10 and gets 8,8,8,2,4,1,1 = 3 successes

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Captain Hicks lowered his gun but held it ready in case this was a trap. "Good Ms. Selk. Stay right there.", he waved with his hand and the rythmic tapping of army boots on concrete could be heard. 4 Soldiers came closer to Juno and Nana and carefully surrounded them.

"My men will take you to the Stryker. We talk there. If you have any weapon on you, now is a good time to put them on the ground."

Captain Hicks turned on his heels and moved towards the armored vehicle further down the road. The Soldiers kept their save distance escorting Juno and Nana to the Stryker.

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Juno gave 'Ms Selk' a funny raised-eyebrow look...then recognized the clothes and nodded.

Well well, looks like Ronnie's been holding out on us. Wonder who she really is; what she really looks like. I guess that purple hair shoulda been a giveaway.

She eyed the soldiers warily, but offered no resistance as they were herded towards the waiting APC.

"I've been kind of under a house for the past few days," Juno told Hicks. "Hiding out. I saw the riots and I saw some kind of weird robots or something, but nothing makes any sense. Can you at least tell me what's going on?"

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"No weapons on me, Captain," she said easily. It wasn't obvious where this motherly-looking woman would hide weapons anyway, or that someone so naturally unassuming would be a threat. There was a gentle nature to her that left Juno feeling like this was a stranger, dress or no. Ronnie - or whoever she was - apparently had a hell of an acting talent.

Once inside the Stryker, that nature changed a bit, becoming more focused. "Captain, I'll be honest with you. I need to use a working phone to make a single call. I can't tell you why, but I can tell you that when that call is done, you'll have the authorization to debrief me on the situation and to release Ms. Reyes into my custody."

Her dark eyes met his steadily, and she let him see her sincerety. She wasn't one hundred percent it would work; if her contacts were unavailable... it didn't bear thinking about. Plus it would be embarrassing. Better to proceed with confidence. She gave Juno a reassuring smile and patted her on the arm.

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Kevin continued to follow Adrian, moving as quickly and silently as he could.

He was on the lookout for the promised pharmacies or other stores that would work though; if he saw one and saw that Adrian wasn't heading towards it, he would make it known that they were going to stop there first.

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Originally Posted By: May Allman

Once inside the Stryker, that nature changed a bit, becoming more focused. "Captain, I'll be honest with you. I need to use a working phone to make a single call. I can't tell you why, but I can tell you that when that call is done, you'll have the authorization to debrief me on the situation and to release Ms. Reyes into my custody."

Her dark eyes met his steadily, and she let him see her sincerety. She wasn't one hundred percent it would work; if her contacts were unavailable... it didn't bear thinking about. Plus it would be embarrassing. Better to proceed with confidence. She gave Juno a reassuring smile and patted her on the arm.


Captain Hicks nodded briefly having slung his rifle over his shoulder. Nana could see that the weapon was secured - the Captain obviously was no hot shot which was a good sign.

"I need a reason to do this, Ms. Selk. A very good one. We're having a very serious situation right now. The US is at war, we're on Defcon 5 and if you had run into Captain Morales' Platoon you'd be in custody now. He has a "shoot-first-ask-questions-later" policy. So why should I let you make that call. Aside from the question why you're here and what you where doing.", his last sentence was more directed at Juno and less at Nana. He didn't seem to buy Juno's story but remained calm and concentrated. This man appeared to have a high morale code.
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"I told you," Juno complained. "I'm looking for my dad, Hector Reyes. He was at the clinic...the..." she jerked her thumb in the direction of the empty block. "The one that was back there."

She looked around for a place to sit down for a second but didn't find one. "You've gotta have some kind of a list, right? To help people find each other?

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(ooc: I had to change the post to make it fit again. Glossed over the Pharmacy part to keep the flow)

Kevin and Adrian made it unhindered to Ronnie's appartment. The place looked save and untouched by any possible invaders or other fugitives. On their way they managed to get their hands on some of the stuff Kevin so desperately needed.

They quickly took inventory of usuable and unusable stuff and sorted it into two large bags - then they had to wait and hope that Ronnie and Juno made it.

Adrian turned on the TV but there was no signal. All he got was white noise on the screen. It reminded him of that movie "War of the Worlds" when every technical device ceased to function after the aliens destroyed them with an EMP-Pulse. Maybe this was just the same?

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Originally Posted By: Joani Reikspar
So why should I let you make that call. Aside from the question why you're here and what you where doing.", his last sentence was more directed at Juno and less at Nana.

Nana touched Juno's arm, like a mother soothing a child. "Just a moment, dear," she said softly. "We're getting there."

"Captain, I appreciate your caution, and commend your diligence, which you are balancing well with a willingness to listen and think for yourself. I'm very glad to have run into you.

"The reason that you will allow me to use the phone is that I have vital information about the attackers that must reach my superiors. The only way I can release that information to you, is to get clearance to do so from my superiors." She tilted her head at him. "Is that enough reason, Captain?"
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Captain Hicks nodded and checked on his options. After a short moment he addressed the driver, “We’ll move out to Nellis Airbase.”, he turned back to Nana and said in an explanatory matter, “That’s our HQ. We can only use landlines for communication. Short range wavelengths are working but not further than a few hundred feet.”

He wasn’t quite sure why he shared these vital pieces of information but something about the woman made him feel comfortable. Her presence was soothing. The Stryker started moving and he had to raise his voice again to be heard.

“There is a list but it is far from complete. I don’t want to shatter your hopes Ms. Reyes, but the list of missing and dead people is rather long. You should try to befriend the thought that you won’t see your father any time soon. Even if he did survive there is no telling where he was brought right now. We are at war and communication is nigh impossible. Those bastards bombed us back to the stone-age in that area. Everything else is pretty much beyond my reach.”, his eyes wandered back to Nana.

“I’m inclined to trust you Ms. Selk but I need to know. Do you work for the Government? Which Department? Help me so I can help you.”

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"Thank you," Nana said softly when he said he was taking her to a landline. "Captain, I will tell you that I do for our Government," she said softly, keenly aware of Juno eating up every word. "But I can't reveal my department without authorization. I will ask, I promise you."

She'd just covertly told him she was a spook. She wondered if Juno would catch it, and what lies she'd have to tell the young girl to get her to keep this to herself.

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Captain Hicks raised an eyebrow and nodded slowly at her. His subterfuge was not his strongest suit. "I understand.", he commented.

"I can buy you about 5 minutes before I have to report why I'm back. You should have a solid story by then, else the Major will have my head for breakfast and that's nothing I'm looking forward to. You'll be put in detention and your chances getting out of there before the war is over are close to zero."

The Stryker entered the base and Captain Hicks made sure the platoon and driver were off to debriefing and resupply their ammo.

"The Stryker has access to the landline via a wifi connection. That's about the longest range we get around here. It's a shame - it's crippling our coordination efforts. Five minutes."

He nodded at the women and took a few steps away lighting himself a cigarette. His intuition better be right about them else they'd be in a lot of trouble soon. He took a deep draught of the cig and exhaled slowly while Nana made her call.

It took only a few seconds. Nana was very quick to relay the security phrases and access codes to alarm the authorities which in response awaited her report. She looked nervously around while she gave off the details without disclosing any information about names and who the mutants involved really are.

Captain Hicks was finishing his cigarette and looked at his watch. "Time's up." he said to himself and slowly walked back to the Stryker.

"You should have someone on that line now that convinces me to call in the General is a good idea."

Nana slowly nodded and waited for confirmation, then she gave the headpiece to Captain Hicks. "Can you patch this through to High Command?"

Captain Hicks eyes widened for a second but he did what she asked him for. "You sure got guts, Ma'am."

In a matter of seconds the General was on the line. They had setup a conference with Captain Hicks listening to what was exchanged between Nana's employers and the General of Nellis Airforce Base. Everything went really fast but in the end Captain Hicks smiled at her.

"I was right about you. I got full authority by the General to give you access to everything you request short of a nuclear strike. Who the hell are you working for?"

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"Sure thing, Ms. Selk. Anything you ask for."

Captain Hicks made another call and checked back with Juno.

"Here, Ms. Reyes.", he removed a PDA from the communication console of the Stryker and gave it to her.

"I downloaded the latest list for you. I need that thing back, though."

He smiled at Juno and tried to be as supportive as he could. They already had casualties before they even knew they were under attack.

Once Juno was outside he just looked at Nana and waited for his question to be answered... or whatever was on her mind right now.

----------

Outside Juno quickly managed to set a filter and searched for Hugo Reyes. The PDA came up with one result - it was on the list for missing citizens. Her name came up, too. It was right under her fathers.

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Kevin looked through their haul from the pharmacy, trying to organize it, and looking for some sort of bike messanger, satchel or duffelbag to put it in. A backpack would work, but he never really liked them. Once his heart kicked back in, he'd feel a little lost without his satchel that had been with him since WWI.

But now he was just working in the moment.

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Adrian went to the window and stealthfully kept watch. No senes in someone coming to remove 'looters', which they were now that they had raided the store (and why were all the condoms gone. The three in his back pocket had been goo-covered and he wasn't sure he trusted them.

Still looking out the window,

"What have you got, Doc?"

At the same time the thought occured to him,

Maybe Ronnie has some ... but I shouldnt' loot her place, so I'll just ask. She won't mind right? She's an adult.

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