5468/N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Was Here

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N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Was Here
Date of Scene: 06 March 2021
Location: Kingston - Miagani Island
Synopsis: Two Outsiders and one Catwoman stumble on a NOWHERE operation. Just as they threatened Red Robin months ago, they are hitting Gotham.
Cast of Characters: Conner Kent, Phoebe Beacon, Selina Kyle, Laura Kinney

Conner Kent has posed:
Everybody has heard of Blackgate and Arkham Asylum. But before the bulk of the criminals become hardened or crazy, they were juvenile delinquents. Gotham does not have a single place for them. Rather several small and mid-sized facilities. Usually understaffed, under founded and rife with corruption.

Kingston Juvenile Detention Center is one of the best. Mostly because it is on the smaller side and it is founded in part by the Five Families, for the times one of their kids crosses the line and gets caught. Of course there are also a lot of gangers, ex-gangers, junkies and street rats that end up here. But the mafia kids are like royalty.

Maybe that is why the whole place is burning tonight.

The cops are on the way, but delayed due to a bizarre and massive traffic accident on the main avenue. The other way is through the Narrows, and the cops hate to get in there at night. The firemen have the same problem, there is a station nearby but their truck was hit by... something.

So. Yes. Someone wants the place burning. Or maybe burn someone in there.

Still, it looks like most of the kids and staff got out. Or at least they are in the process of getting out. A single police cruise seems to have made it to the city block to provide a minimal help.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:

    Phoebe did not like fires. The smell of burning timber, of singing drywall and melting paint.

    But tonight, Balm couldn't afford to be afraid of fire.

    Clad in her gray armor with her hood and domino, her pack swollen slightly, Balm is agile enough to hop from a rooftop, to a fire escape, to a lightpole, and then to the roof of the police car, briefly blocking out the flashers.

    "This... this is bad." she states over the shortwave comms, and she turns to one of the adults.

    "Do you have anyone unaccounted yet?"

Selina Kyle has posed:
Catwoman was doing her usual rounds..Of what, you say?Well, wouldn't you like to know. But anyway, that's not the point! She's...Around, just happens to be in the area when the building goes up in flames. Hmm, that's interesting. Was this an accident or...Deliberate?

Really, it shouldn't concern her though, because it's probably under control....And hopefully the cops will be here soon, or the firemen..Yeaaah, probably not a good idea to hang around here..

Except...What if not everyone got out? So she pauses on a nearby rooftop and watches for a moment or two, scanning the upper floors. Just in case..Now don't go thinking she's about to play hero here or anything..

Laura Kinney has posed:
Fires aren't really something Laura can do a great deal about. At least not with her powers anyway. But her training includes all sorts of 'useful' information. Like how to burn a building down to destroy evidence (or to take out a target when the client wants it to appear like an accident).

Having been out accompanying her team-mate on patrol X-23 only has relatively light gear. Comms, plain street clothes with a hood and a simple cloth mask.

Still she always has her claws.

Leaping down from the rooftop after Balm, going directly down to street level with a eye watering crunch, she ignores the police officer and instead heads towards the nearest fire hydrant. Who knows if it'll work, this is Gotham after all, but a quick swipe of her claws should open up a gap the pressurized water can escape through. Spraying in an arc towards the burning building.

Conner Kent has posed:
Selina can be quite sure it is not an accident. She could see the fire starting in three or four places of the building at the same time. Also, the delayed firetruck? It was an explosion. As the woman comes closer, she can briefly see a large figure moving through a hallway in the top floor, unbothered by the flames. Screams can be heard over the roar of the fire.

The two cops on the front gates of the building are trying to help everyone out, guiding coughing kids to a side of the street for them to recover. One of them looks up startled when Balm makes her cartop landing. The batpeople always drop from the sky uninvited, but it is impossible to get used to it. "What? We don't know yet," he stammer, "but... I think yes, there should be more kids here." Beat, "who are you?"

Laura finds the fire hydrant works (or worked) and had pressure, the spray of water hits the front of the building, reaching almost the second floor. It might be of some help for the people trying to get out of the building. Her sharp eyes can also see at least two large shapes moving in the upper floor, and hear some screams.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    Phoebe makes a grim face, and simply states:

    "Balm for a wound."

    and then she's moving, she pulls up a bit of cloth to cover her mouth -- not Bat enough for a breather unit -- and calls out "X -- help me find the people who are still in there! Between the two of us we should be able to get some out!"

    ANd like the idiot hero she never wanted to be -- she goes in through a window in a slightly-less-than-totally-on-fire part of the building.

Selina Kyle has posed:
Well, isn't that interesting..Clearly this was no accident. And who is that on the upper floor?Could be an arsonist, and she'd rather not engage with the big guy who undoubtedly started this mess...However, those screams did not evade her senses, and she frowns a bit, following the source of the screams and pulls out her whip to latch onto an upper floor window sill, swinging across the two buildings and attempting to kick through the window and land inside the top floor of the building.

"Hello? Anyone here? I'm here to help!" hopefully she doesn't ru into the arsonists but..

Laura Kinney has posed:
Laura doesn't stick around waiting. Not for Gotham PD anyway. The whole place will be ashes before they get here. She sprints towards the building, letting the spray from the hydrant soak her, claws extending as she leaps at the wall. Digging them in at an angle and climbing up like it's a ladder.

"People inside on the upper floors," she says into her subvocal microphone. "If you head inside check the doors aren't hot before you open them and watch for falling debris."

She's hoping that being soaked in cold water will delay the fire and smoke long enough to locate the people inside. Even as she climbs she's sniffing the air. The smoke will make it harder to locate people but not impossible. And if there are chemicals which would accelerate the fire it'll give advance warning if this wasn't an accident. Of course it's Gotham. Chances are this was deliberate...

Conner Kent has posed:
The window Balm choose leads to a small office. Not on fire, since the first plant is not on fire yet. There is enough smoke to bother. A real breathing mask would really help. The next few rooms are empty, and then she crosses with an old man in a janitor uniform that is stumbling towards the door out. But it looks like he will make it out.

The second floor, however, is a much hotter place. Catwoman is hits one of the regular windows of the mess hall, since there are confinement areas here and most of those have barred windows. At least there is not backdraft, not yet. And two seconds after she lands, the door opens and a couple youths break in, closing it behind them. Coughing, one of them wears a bloodied pajama top, they look at Catwoman with wide eyes. Then the door burst in. A tall armored man walks in. Blue armor plates on legs and arms, white chest-plate with 90s style tactical pouches. The helmet is peculiar, blue glass on the front, a red 9 floating on the faceplate.

Atonal voice. "Negative both, sorry kids, no witne..." then he spots Catwoman. "We have masks!" The armored figure raises an arm, and jet of fire shoots towards Selina.

And that is about when Laura gets to the third floor too. Just in time to see the armored person attempt to fry Catwoman. Definitely she heard some gunshots and noticed the smell of strange chemicals. They are not using conventional weapons. Or even somewhat unconventional weapons. That tech Laura has never seen (or smelled).

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "... beleive it or not, I'm passingly familiar with protocols..." Phoebe gives a low and tired voice into her mic. Check for draft. CHeck for heat. Open and close. Check closet. Check for draft. Check for heat --

    "The way is mostly clear!" Balm calls out to the man. "Get out of here!" she calls -- checking rooms. The smoke tickles at the back of her throat.

    Places like this should have a monitoring station. Controls. She searches the first floor for the control of the building -- sprinklers should have popped. There should be water washing down everything

    "Sitrep, X?"

Selina Kyle has posed:
Well isn't this fun. She really should have minded her own business, I mean, she's not a super heroine and she certainly wouldn't get paid for it.And where's the fun in that? That's when she spots the innocents and sighs. Right that's why.Because she still has a heart and a thief's honour and all that..


She does her best to cover her mouth from the smoke, pulling a handkerchief out of her pocket and tying it around her mouth. Yay, now she looks even more like a punk. She eyes the youths and tries to appear less threatening, removing the hanky long enough to smile at them. "Hey there, can you two get out? The exit is that way..Hurry! Take the stairs.." she jerks a thumb back towards the stairs. At least the goggles make it easier to see in the smoke.

Hopefully they listen. Either way, she steps between the youths and the armoured man. "Okaay, I'm guessing your not police or with the army. Nice gear. Bet it cost a fortune..." But looks like he's in no mood for small talk. Then that fire is shot at her and her eyes widen, ducking and rolling to the side to avoid it. Still she'll likely get singed just a bit by the heat, and she flinched a bit, glad that her suit offers at least some protection.

She uses the smoke and flames as a cover, switching to infrared vision as she focuses on the armoured guy and pulls out her whip again, snapping it out towards his legs, attempting to wrap it around his ankles and yank him to the ground or at least off his balance.

Laura Kinney has posed:
"Hostile targets," Laura warns over the Outsider comms channel. "Guy with a flamethrower, blue armour and their own comms. Marked with a nine." Suggesting there could be another eight arsonists around. Maybe more. Regardless she commits the figure to memory for inclusion in the after-action report.

Of course she also leaps through the window, trying to draw attention away from the mystery woman in the catsuit. This probably means the stream of flame gets turned in her direction but she's soaked in cold water and people don't burn anywhere nearly as fast as movies would have you believe. Her healing factor will stop her dying from shock and regrow the damage to her soft tissue.

Still she doesn't make it easy, staying low and making a darting zig-zag approach. Hiding her claws until she's within striking distance and then if she can get close cutting the exotic looking flame thrower apart.

Conner Kent has posed:
Phoebe doesn't seem to be able to find anyone else in this floor, although she can see a couple kids in pajamas struggling to get down from the upper floors. Again, they might be able to make it on their own. It seems clear the real trouble is in the third floor. Where the younger kids are kept. On the other hand, there is plaque that says 'Monitoring Station L1' in a door she just passed.

Catwoman's words draw gasps from the two youths. "She is Catwoman!" says one excitedly (yes, they are thieves too!). Then both scream when 9 kicks the door open, and try to run towards the door to the stairs down, the injured one leaning on the other.

But the armored figure has no eyes for them, not when Laura enters the mess hall. "X-23 identified. She is a target!" The atonal voice sounds almost excited. Taser wires burst from the other wrist towards the brunette girl.

But Catwoman's whip wraps around his ankle and when the thief woman pulls hard, 9 loses balance. He crashes face fists, breaking a large lunch table. Ouch. Taser cables go wild. "I request assistance," grunts the armored man, grabbing the whip with a hand and struggling to stand up.

Laura can hear heavy footsteps approaching. One or two more armored killers.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    A monitoring station? That might be promising -- but there are kids, in pajamas, and she takes a breath, and she goes to get the kids and see them safely out, reaching up to grasb a hand.

    "This way -- c'mon, I know the safe route out. Are there any more upstairs?" she asks, and she extends her aura. The smoke will still be there, but the pain from it will not, and damage will start reversing as the hooded hero goes to lead the kids out.

Selina Kyle has posed:
Catwoman grins and winks at the kids. Ahh. Fans. Always nice.Good little thieves in training. They have good taste. Hopefully they will get out safely, and it looks like one of those heroines is tending to them now. Good, nothing less to distract her.

X23 is given en a thoughtful look as well. Oh yay, a superhero..Wolverine jr was it? She smirks and shrugs, "Well, as long as you're on my side." with a shrug, she turns to face..9..Yanking her whip away from him as he tries to climb to his feet. Hopefully it'll throw him off balance.

But she doesn't wait to find out, rushing at him with a well placed side kick aimed at his stomach, using her grabbed whip as further leverage. "Do t bother getting up, 'honey.'" she purrs.

Laura Kinney has posed:
"He's definitely not alone," Laura updates, speaking out loud so Cat-Woman can hear her. Thankfully it seems like she's got number 9 covered for now. So Laura darts towards the side of the door she can hear footsteps from. Those steps are too heavy to be teenagers, let alone kids, so she coils up ready to strike.

The next figure coming through that door is going to walk into a whirling storm of adamantium claws. All aimed with clinical precision for non-lethal but disabling spots. Weapons will be lopped off, tendons cut, bones broken and muscles shredded.

It's probably for the best the kids aren't sticking around to see it...

Conner Kent has posed:
Phoebe takes the juves out, and upon returning she meets yet two more. One of them seems to have been shot with a high caliber gun and is barely conscious, babbling about having met Catwoman. Blistered skin, too. They came from the top floor.

On said floor, Catwoman finds kicking the armored thug is like kicking a brick wall. Although to her credit the man (or whatever he/it is) does take a step back on response to the impact. Then 9 throws a punch with the strength of a gorilla.

It is number 14 the one that comes running to help. And finds adamantium claws waiting in ambush. Otherwise identical to the first arsonist. Adamantium cuts through that fancy armor, although not easily. It is a very tough alloy, whatever it is. Laura draws blood, and other substances that could be oil or hydraulic fluids. The blood is tainted by steroid-like and strange chemicals. All hints she is maiming a cyborg, not just a man in power armor.

Number 16 comes through the wall to save 14, trying to tackle Laura down and deliver a nearly-lethal electrical shock.

Selina Kyle has posed:
Catwoman blinks as she nearly breaks her foot on 9. "Woah, someone's been eating their Wheaties!" well. Looks like she'll have to switch tactics. Laura's comment about additional thugs gets a nod from her but she's a bit distracted right now. As the thug aims a punch at her, she darts nimbly to the side, grabbing his arm, redirecting that punch into a nearby wall then attempts to sweep his feet from underneath him. She may not be that strong but maybe she can use his strength against him..

"Naptime!" she calls with a smirk.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    The juvies are out.

    Returning, Phoebe finds the two others. Blistered skin, one was shot.

    This will not stand.

    She gives a gentle smile, and she reaches out to take the barely concious one, and brings them up over her shoulder. Blood stains against the gray of her armor, and she reaches for the other.

    "Hi. My name is Balm. Catwoman's up there, huh? Sounds exciting!" she states, and she focuses her aura again.

    The kids might feel that tingling, warm-and-cold sensation, as she turns around to lead them to a window -- test for heat. Check for draft. Open door. Close door.

Laura Kinney has posed:
Fighting cyborgs is tricky. You never know quite what is a vital part and they generally take a lot more stabbing before they stay down. Still it means Laura can be a little more literal with her disarming strikes. Cutting chunks out of 14's cyborg limbs off rather than trying to figure out where the weapons and armour end and the person begins.

When his friend 16 bursts through the wall she twirls back and away, trying to stay out of his reach, while jabbing one of her foot claws into the floor. Her neat little pirouette leaving a big weak spot in the floor. It probably won't break under her own or Catwomans weight but a cyborg killing machine?

The extra distance does mean she's at risk of being shot at with the tazers again though...

Conner Kent has posed:
As Balm keeps helping survivors, Catwoman applies Judo expertly on a cybernetic killing machine, smashing the faceplate on a brick wall. Through a brick wall. Which actually seems to stun the killer for a few seconds. But he is pulling his head free, and slowly standing up. The 9 now has a little crack going through the middle of the o. He raises a hand to the visor, and mutters. "Requesting withdrawal".

Meanwhile 14 is out for the count. Likely due very expensive repairs and hospital bills. But 16 will have some revenge. Although he failed to catch Laura due to the fancy footclaw trick, he opens up with machine gun fire to the tiny ex-assassin. After all it is not as if bullets are likely to kill her, right? This time is not from a writs-mounted weapon. The borg is using a sub-machine gun. Not a model Laura has ever seen, not even in the Facility files on firearms.

Selina Kyle has posed:
Catwoman coughs a bit, the smoke starting to get to her by now. Phew..Cyborgs? Not really her thing. She's not a heavy duty fighter, just a thief really. How'd she get caught up I. this mess? "Geez, you just dont know when to stay down!" she mutters as the borg gets up after all that. And she's running out of options as she backs away towards the nearest window. "Okaay, one last trick for you.."

She fumbles in her backpack and wraps her hand around something. Ooh a tear gas pellet. Let's see how well he deals with this one.."Hey ugly, over here!" she waves to him then, when she has his attention, she starts running for the window, at the last minute tossing the pellet over her shoulder at him before leaping out of the window..

Yeah, she'll let the heroes finish this. Now that the kids are hopefully all accounted for.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    Balm keeps helping the survivors out, and by the time she gets them both to the window, the nearly-unconcious-one is stabilized -- for now, at least.

    She lets them out, then closes the window behind her, takes a deep breath, and turns to go back into the burning building. Check for heat. Check for draft. Open and close. Check for heat, check for draft. Open and close. Her cheeks and ears are getting a little blistery as her healing factor and aura use catches up with her -- but if Catwoman was upstairs, and there was a fight?

    That's where Laura was as well.

    and as Balm is lifted by her adreniline, she feels that burning heat at her palms, and she focuses her Light, ready for a fight.

Laura Kinney has posed:
"Balm get everyone away from the building," Laura says into her comms as she throws herself sideways. The reason why no doubt becoming obvious when the bullets start flying. Her superhuman reactions letting her start moving in the time it took 16 to go for his sub-machine gun. Unfortunately very little on this floor will work as cover. So she'll have to resort to staying mobile.

Leaping, rolling and kicking off walls and furniture. But heading in the general direction of cyborg 14. Her goal being to grab some of the cyborg parts and throw them out the window for later retrieval and study. And to waste as much of his ammo as possible.

It's inevitable a few rounds will hit her but she just has to trust her healing factor can keep up. And that the building isn't about to collapse.

Conner Kent has posed:
The building is sturdy, it is a detention centre, after all. It also should have fire prevention and control measures, as Phoebe noticed. But they have not worked. Sabotage is likely.

While Phoebe runs through the growing hell that is the third floor is becoming, it is safe to say it is unlikely the stairs can be used again by anyone without a healing factor or super-toughness. If anyone is left they will have to risk jumping off windows. It is twenty feet to the ground, though.

The sound of gunfire comes from the right side. Laura manages to avoid most of the bullets, despite the cyborg reflexes being almost her match. Full auto exhaust a magazine in four seconds. 14 is being dragged away by 9. And the fire in the hall doesn't seem to bother them too much. And there is shadow forming behind them, which seems about to swallow both borgs. 16 is reloading, and trying to nail Laura with the taser wires.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    "X go low!"

    That's a command barked into the mic as Phoebe comes upon the scene. There wasn't time to calculate. She jumped up, and through the fire and flames the healer manifests her light staff, the solid white pole forming in mid air as Phoebe comes mid-swing, trying to knock 16 in the back of its helmeted skull!

    "What kind of effing villain goes after kids?!"

Laura Kinney has posed:
The secret to defeating tazers? Don't be grounded.

It's not a move Laura would attempt to use when her opponent had backup, but once the other two cyborgs begin to retreat she has an oppertunity. 16 swaps from sub-machine gun to his tazer, takes aim, then fires. And in that moment X-23 leaps off the ground and whirls her claws. Cutting the wires short without giving the electricity a route to pass through her.

When she lands she turns her momentum into a clawed leg sweep, trying to cut 16 off at the ankles. Quite literally. They're probably mechanical right?

Conner Kent has posed:
16-face is somewhat surprised by Phoebe's arrival, and perhaps distracted because the staff hits the helmet with a clanging sound from solidified light hitting hard ceramic and metal. In any case Laura's footclaw sweep rends the armor at his ankles, making him stumble. He rolls over, though, shooting his gun again at Laura while trying to retreat towards the door. "Meta-human kids. Not just anyone. We do what we must to protect the world."

Did Phoebe's words rattle him? Well, they attempted to burn down the whole place. Hardly a precision attack.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    Well. She *did* almost swear.

    Balm sees red. She presses the attack spinning her staff and rushing the retreating 16-face and attempts to dislodge the helmet with a blow of her staff, swinging the butt-end to try and plant under the helmet to expose whatever ugliness is beneath!

    "By burning down these kids' homes?! Evil! VILE! Repungen-nt" she coughs in a growl, her eyes narrowed.

    She hoped to God that her domino could record this.

    "You're not protecting the world -- you're making a spectacle!"

Laura Kinney has posed:
Laura Kinney springs to her feet, claws sweeping back and forth to cut as many of the bullets out of the air as she can, but still probably taking a few rounds to the torso. Either way it's the sort of flashy move which'll hopefully keep the bullets directed at her.

She pulls herself to her feet, slowing slightly as the air gets increasingly bad especially with that tear gas grenade Catwoman threw before she left, and throws any cut-off armour bits out the window too. More evidence they'll be able to study.

Back on her feet, claws out, she advances on 16. "Trust me," she says with a low snarl. "You don't have enough bullets."

Conner Kent has posed:
There are a lot of bullets, though. Although since Phoebe keeps slamming the light staff in his helmet, 16 decides she also deserves a few, and first a short burst towards her midsection.

Besides, he has a flamethrower for Laura. Except... he is not supposed to kill X-23. But survival instincts are a thing and the bullets are not slowing her down enough.

But when he aims his wrist-flamer to the brunette girl, he freezes. Then the 16 in his helmet fades off as the glass becomes black. Over the roar of the fire and the smoke it is difficult to figure out what happened even for someone with enhanced senses. But it looks like the borg has been turned off.

Phoebe Beacon has posed:
    16... whatever it was... it is dead.

    And Balm is beginning to cough badly.

    "L-Laura, we gotta get out of here -- the stairs are gone. They're not gonna hold weight. Don't suppose you have a grappe gun." she almost gives a laugh, though it comes out in a wet cough.

    There is blood staining her armor. Some of it, around the midsection, is hers.

    "... almost forgot what getting shot feels like."

Laura Kinney has posed:
When 16 stops rigid, flamethrower aimed at her, Laura frowns then turns to run. "Window. Before it explodes," She motions at the nearest of the windows and bursts into a sprint. Best case? The fuel cannister from the cyborg will explode. Worst case? He's rigged with explosives as well and whoever just triggered the remote shut-down is about to blow them to bits.

She is at least used to falling this sort of distance. Turning as much of the force into a roll and sucking up the broken bones and bruises.

"Everyone get back!" she calls out, in case the police have failed to keep everyone from getting too close.

Conner Kent has posed:
There is no big explosion, but later the firemen will find only a few bits of degraded, corroded metal, as if the cyborg had been destroyed with acid from the inside. If Laura is quick, however, she can snatch the pieces of 14 she threw through the window. Red Robin, or someone else with the right scientific skills, might be able to learn a few interesting bits of data.

The building burns for half an hour more before the firemen arrive in strength. Laura can see someone watching Balm and herself from the rooftop. Which is too hot and smoke-full for anyone normal to stand. It is a man in what looks a green and silver body suit, wearing a full helmet that bears a glowing grin of sharp teeth and glowing eyes. He stares them for a few seconds, and then vanishes.

There are a few kids missing and a guard. The guard was found in the Monitoring Station L1, slain by what seem to have been huge metal claws. Someone sabotaged the security before the fire. The cameras weren't working, and neither was the fire protection sytems.

Three charred corpses were identified, eventually. Three kids vanished without trace. Maybe burned to ash. Although an optimist may believe they just escaped.

But perhaps they just went nowhere they could be ever be found.