Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Tad whistled to himself as he strolled through the crowded streets of Aelindra, weaving through the people like a minnow among his school. To an outsider it would look as if he was completely at home among the people, wearing a tastefully skintight button up shirt, and a pair of summer slacks, he was about as common of a sight as you could get during a weekday. He had eschewed the use of his normal equipment, the bulky protective gear would only serve to draw attention, and possibly suspicion, to himself. He carried only his clothes, a pouch of small denomination coin, and what he considered to be a socially acceptable weapon of self defense, a small dagger kept sheathed at his belt. Even in a city as large and wealthy as itself, there was always the risk of being attacked, it would go against all of his better sense to walk around unarmed.

He had been in the city for a few weeks now, he had been staying in a small hotel on the west side, it wasn't as nice as some of the other places that he had seen but it provided him a good location from which to start his morning operations. Every morning after preparing himself for the day, he would use the crossroads to travel to another part of the city, where he would immediately queue up to travel to another location, he would repeat this a few times before going to his actual destination. This served a few purposes, it attempted to prevent someone from determining his actual destination by visiting several proxy locations in between, it also allowed him to monitor the people who came through the portals after him, anyone that he saw follow him through several hops was likely watching him. If there weren't so many locations in the city to hop to, the tactic might not have worked, but he had gone his entire visit without using the same portals within a three day period, hopefully avoiding the scrutiny of any of the portal guards.

His purpose in this city was to steal a valuable prototype, one of several that had been created, which were unregulated by any governing body, and necessary for the survival of one of his friends. He had heard of a tech similar to it when he was traveling through Union City several months back, and upon hearing that the same company was developing a significantly more advanced version, had promptly greased a few palms to find out where they were being developed and tested. One thing led to another, and he found himself making a trip to Aelindra with the intention of finding out more; that part had been easy, the engineers at the company had loose lips that were eager to talk about their project. The past few weeks were all about information gathering, subtly talking to the people involved with the project, researching the building layout, finding out what company ran security for them, when the busiest hours of the day were (and conversely the slowest times of day).

His destination now was the security company in question, they had the layout of the building, the number of guards, and the patrol routes, all in one convenient location. He had already run through his limited knowledge on counter surveillance and was comfortable to proceed directly to the building. It was more of a warehouse, squat, only a few stories tall, with large cargo doors and a plain grey exterior. A sign was fastened securely to the building, just above the visitors entrance, proudly declaring the location of "Aelindra Tactical Response". The building was a combination of steel, stone, and wood; it was actually a curious piece of architecture, the original building having been made from stone, and the later additions made from framed wood. Security was tight, as you would expect from a company that sells security as their service, armed guards at every entrance, on the rooftop, and likely posted in the hallways. There was no way that he could go in the building, and sneak past them all, or fight his way through them. The security was just as tight at night, something that had irked him, they must have some high value clients to warrant such extreme measures around the clock.

So he would revert to what he did best, pyrotechnics. Fire, or rather smoke, was a huge concern in a building. If you got yourself trapped in a burning building, odds are you would either suffocate or burn to death. So he would light a fire to flush out the people inside, and hope that anyone left inside would be too busy hunkering down in a safe area to spot him. He had a vague plan too, enter the public area during the confusion and pretend he was returning to get something vitally important, sneak into the operations area, rifle through the files until he found the right one, and then get out. Easy enough, right?

He slipped easily out of the flow of traffic, ducking into the narrow alleyway that ran along the western edge of the building, it was probably six feet across and bordered one of the wooden walled expansions. Foot traffic was low, the alleyway dirty, perfect for starting a fire. He would have a few minutes once the first started to move back to the south side of the building, where the entrance was, to wait for the rush of people exiting. He hoped the files he needed weren't on the second or third floor, that would complicate things, and he wasn't sure if there was a basement, which would be even worse. He placed his hand on the wall as he strode, casually laying a thick layer of his special combustible material on the wall in a thick stripe. His hand started going numb, almost like it was falling asleep, as the blood drained through his pores to create it. When the stripe was about twelve feet long he stopped, stepped back, and lit it on fire. The whole stripe erupted with a whoosh, flames licking greedily up the side of the building, the material would burn cleanly, the wood would not.

He turned back towards south opening of the alley and trotted off, slipping casually back into the flow of traffic to await the subsequent discovery of the fire, and the panic. Then, he would enter the building in search of the files he needed.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It took only minutes for the fire to spread across the outside of the building, the red substance he had spread acting as the kindling for the flames, creating quick heat that ignited the wood and turned it to glowing coals. It devoured the dry exterior of the building like a wildfire, causing the small trickle of smoke that had first licked its way up the side of the building to turn into a billowing cloud that choked out the alleyway. Shouts of alarm rose from the pedestrians around him, various people telling others to alert the city guard of the fire that now raged. City fires were dangerous, they could spread easily from building to building due to the proximity. The city firefighters would arrive at some point, but in a city this large, even though it was the capital, he could expect at least fifteen minutes before they were actually notified and arrived to battle the flames. After that, he would probably have a half hour to an hour to search through the building and then escape undetected.

A particularly brave passerby ran into the building, Tad positioned himself close to the doorway, as if he was unsure if he should go in as well. He could hear yelling inside, and the sound of running feet on hardwood floors. The door burst open and the very same man came running back out, hacking and choking on a haze of smoke that followed him. Tad grabbed him and pulled him aside, out of the path of the doorway and to safety. He questioned the man as his coughing fit subsided "Did you warn them? Are they coming?" The man's eyes focused on Tad briefly, his mouth opening and chest swelling as if he was going to speak, but another bout of coughing racked him. All he could do was shake his head weakly.

As this was happening a few people emerged from the building in similar states of distress, having obviously run through the smoke to get out, and inhaling it. At this point, Tad was getting a bit worried, he hadn't expected the fire to progress so rapidly, nor had he accounted for the amount of smoke that the people were inhaling. He would have to actually try to get people out while searching the building. A thief and mercenary he was, a senseless murderer he was not. He brushed the few people milling at the doorway aside and darted into the room, falling into a low crouching run to avoid the worst of the smoke and heat that was now roiling out of the building in thick clouds.

The first room he came into was a foyer, a sort of meeting room where guests and employees would meet before branching off to whatever area they needed to visit. There was a large, ornately carved desk sitting in the center of the room, a reception station of some kind he guessed. It was empty of any living souls, which was fortunate, and he scrambled over to it as quickly as he could managed from his awkward crouch. Shuffling through papers rapidly and searching every surface of the desk revealed no building map, with his hopes dashed he turned to search the rest of the room. There were three more doors leading deeper into the building, one on each wall. He definitely wouldn't be chancing the left door, the west one, because that was where the most smoke was coming from. Which left his choices to heading north into the heart of the building, or east to skirt the inner wall.

He decided to just dive into the heart of the matter and pushed forwards, towards the north door.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The doorway opened easily, and as he stepped through he was relieved to find that there was a fairly low amount of smoke. Good, that meant the fire hadn't spread too far out of control yet. The room itself was a pretty standard office space, desks, chairs, papers, etc. There was no one in the room, likely the few that the other gentleman had warned. Now that he was out of the thick, choking smoke that clouded the foyer, Tad took a deep, even breath. There was a stairway to his right, the spiral kind you usually saw on a warehouse floor, a bare metal railing adorning them. There was a landing above, blocking his view of the second floor, and the haze of the smoke didn't make it any easier to navigate. This wasn't the room he was looking for, that was certain, the question was; Which way to head next? Should he continue on the ground floor and look for a basement, where most companies would keep an archive or storage facility? Or follow the path that led up? Hoping that there was some kind of project management or security operations room where there would be live copies of the security plans.

He figured he would start low, a basement was almost always more secure than an upper floor, where anyone could scale the walls and break in. He pushed through the north door again, and found himself on the main warehouse floor. Equipment racks lined the walls, soft training mats were spread across the floors to create small arenas where individuals could train, strength training equipment was huddled in a corner. The spacious room just oozed a sense of dedication to ones fitness and skill. Fortunately for him, it was empty, the normal denizens of this place having either fled when the fire started, or were out on a job site. A cursory look around the room revealed no stairs or entrances to a lower level, so he jogged a quick lap around the several thousand square foot floor. He shuffled a few mats around, but found nothing except for smooth stone floors. It was during his jog around the room that he noticed the western wall was beginning to burn through completely, flames licking up the inside of the wall and further reducing the wall to ash and charcoal. In fact, the entire western wall appeared to be in flames, and possibly part of the roof.

With time running short, he decided to leave the warehouse floor and proceed up into what he assumed to be more offices. He returned to the previous room and started climbing the metal staircase to the second floor. The staircase was well secured into the building, and didn't rattle or shake when he climbed it, a boon in most cases. He found himself now in a larger office, filled with a variety of cubicles, workbenches, and conference areas. He rifled through a few desks as quickly as possible, almost looking frantic, but didn't find any useful information. It looked like a common work area, but unless he got lucky and found one of the files that he was looking for just laying on a desk this wasn't the place he needed to be either. There had to be a storage room somewhere, so he kept as low as he could and rushed off in search of a doorway that would lead deeper into the building. The smoke was so thick now that he couldn't see the ceiling, and the heat was nearly unbearable, every pore in his body slick with sweat.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

An unnatural wind gust manifested in the office and pushed the smoke to the sides, opening a clear path towards the adjacent office area.

“Sorry for being late” Kaur said as he busted into the room.

“I had to take care of some elderly workers who got stuck under some shelves in the cargo area, do not worry, i managed to get them out with some minor injuries. By the way, I also found something that should prove useful for us”.

The red eyed thief reached for his pocket and took out a dusty and somewhat burnt map.

“I took the chance to search the cargo area for clues, taking advantage of the panic and smoke, and found this map with the layout of the building itself. It has the design of the old building before being remodeled but it shows an unique box shaped room on the highest floor, if you ask me, should be right next to the chief of security operations office and that is where I think we will hit the jackpot. At the rate the fire and smoke is spreading, and given that this is a security building, it wouldn't surprise me if we had the Troop of the Golden hawks coming to investigate. Let's hurry; we probably have eight more minutes before stealth is no longer possible”.

The red eyed trickster pointed the doorway and followed his partner through. After leaving, the smoke started to settle in again, meaning there was no going back to that same room. Exhausted and sweating from using his power, a smile appeared on his face while regaining his breath from the effort, Kaur mentioned that he only had enough energy to use his magic two more times.

“The stairs are way back, where we came from to be precise. We have to find another way up”.  He said as he observed the surroundings for a quick scan on the situation.

“Maybe we can make a hole on the roof, it doesn't look very resistant.”

The thief slowly walked around the cubicles during this time until he stopped right beneath a slightly visible crack to the human eye.

“Here, this is the weakest spot. Let's find something to throw at it and make an entrance to climb to the next floor.”


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A gust of wind brushed past Tad as he crouch walked his way through the office space, avoiding the worst of the smoke. Panic jolted through him, a gust of wind in a burning building could only mean one thing, back-draft. He turned, expecting a wall of flame and smoke to be rushing towards him, only to find Kaur hurrying towards him. Tad nodded to him as the man hustled them both into the next room, helpfully revealed by the fresh air the man had brought.

As they pored over the slightly charred map, a godsend if there ever was one, Tad realized the man was right, he had totally bypassed any and all methods of getting up to the next floor. With haste being of the essence, Kaur identified a crack in the ceiling, albeit a thin one. Tad stepped forward as the man started casting about for something heavy enough to throw at the ceiling, taking him gently by the arm and pulling him away.

"I've got something, clear the area and I will get the ceiling open."

He grabbed a nearby desk and started dragging it over, positioning it handily underneath the crack in the ceiling, it would help them in the climb through the hole as well. He placed his foot on the desk and hiked himself up, then reached out with his right hand and started spreading his Red substance across a three foot strip of the crack. The Red was darker than earlier, almost black, and hard like dried sap. This Red wouldn't burn, it would explode, the force wouldn't be much more than enough to cause the natural fissure in the ceiling to give way and create a hole large enough to pull themselves up through. He pressed his palm to the Red, channeling just the smallest amount of energy into his palm to create a spark with the rune on his palm. The surface of the Red lit up like it had been dunked in lamp oil, burning merrily, and Tad retreated to safety with Kaur.

No sooner had he arrived before the main part of the Red exploded, it was a dull 'whump' of a noise, the pressure in this enclosed space ringing his unprotected eardrums and causing his heart to skip a beat. The clatter of stone falling to the floor revealed his success before it became visually apparent, and he jerked his head to Kaur. "Let's go."

He jogged lightly over to the still warm hole in the ceiling and pulled himself through, before turning back to pull Kaur up. Only six minutes left.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Astonishing and impressive, Kaur thought to himself, such fine use of runes and mastery of explosives is something he had never seen in his whole path as a thief. He let out a relief that they were on the same side. He shaked off the dust from his clothes and reached for his ally's hand. He stepped on top of the table and then pulled himself up while grabbing Tad's arm. Kaur got up on the newly accessed floor but dizziness from the recent explosion was inevitable and he almost fell through the hole again, if it weren't for his partner to quickly react and help him.

“Heh, sorry. Seems like the pressure excerted from the explosion got me. I'm good now”.

The two were now at space that looked quite empty, only some large wooden tables with chairs and a board in the middle of the room could be seen. This had to be the meeting office showcased on the rugged map.

"Time is not on our side. We must hurry. To our luck, now we don´t have any reason to stop on each room and floor the search since we know exactly where we need to be". 

Both located the exit back to the main stairs almost immediately. From under the exit door, pitch black smoke could be seen flowing, the fire was definitely catching up. Both looked at each other for a split-second and they knew what had to be done, even if the stairs were covered in smoke, if the fire wasn´t there yet they could still progress. The two covered their faces to the best of their abilities and busted the door open with a timed kick. Then they rushed each step, in an attempt to get to the highest floor once and for all, there were many different factors in game and they simply couldn't risk it anymore. The steps and everything in front of them was barely visible, but as long as they were moving up, it didn't matter. Chief's Office, Kaur thought to himself when the shape of an exit merely formed inside the smoke. Close to suffocation, he approached the doorway and forced it open charging with his body. The trickster collapsed on the floor after charging, regaining his breath, he got up on his knee to rest for a couple seconds.

“This is it, the room next to this office should be an old storage”. Kaur said as he stood up.

“We should also start thinking on how we plan to get out of here once we retrieve the documents we need”.

There were probably only four more minutes to complete the task.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The smoke in the stairwell was thick, almost a like breathing in a soup, the particulate was large and gritty. It was all Ted could do to follow Kaur up the stairs without passing out, the opening of the door allowed a rush of 'fresher' air down into the staircase, and the roar of flames below intensified as the oxygen fueled them. The staircase seemed to spiral up and up forever before finally arriving to the door they were looking for, a giant 'P' stenciled on the outside, penthouse?

The door opened for them easily, Kaur stumbling through and falling to the floor where the oxygen was cleanest, Ted came through close on his heels and slammed the door shut, preventing the thick black smoke from consuming the room. Kaur pulled himself up, his breathing returning to a closer to normal state, "This is it, the room next to this office should be an old storage. We should also start thinking on how we plan to get out of here once we retrieve the documents we need."

Ted nodded, a storage room sounded like a good enough place to start, considering the difficulty of navigation in this horrid place. "I'm not sure about an exit strategy, though, I usually just wing it."

He left Kaur there, and moved into the adjacent storage room. The walls were lined with older style file cabinets, stretching from floor to ceiling. A table sat in the center of the room, upon which a large leather bound index resided. The filing cabinets were all labeled with a letter and number designation, the nearest the door being labeled 'A', with the drawers being labeled by number, further along it trailed into triple and quadruple digits (AA4, AF1, etc). Ted stepped forward and flipped open the index, the first few pages were a table of contents, outlining sections of the city by street addresses, he found the section he was looking for easily enough and started flipping through the book as Kaur caught up.

His finger traced the pages rapidly, sliding across the smooth paper to help his eyes track the various street addresses until he found the one he was looking for. "There, Q2, it should be in cabinet Q, drawer 2. If those plans are in here, it'll be in that section." Time was ticking away, faster than he would have liked.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kaur looked over Ted’s shoulder to see if he was finding progress with the newfound index, but it seemed everything was completely under control by how fast his hands and eyes moved skipping through the whole thing. Instead of helping he would end up being more of a hinder, so with that in mind, Kaur checked if he could find anything else that might be useful in the storage room. Papers, files, schedules, sealed boxes and much more could be found all over the place.

“I guess the disorder from the fire got everyone to their nerves and left the place in a mess when they ran off”

After a short time investigating, some smoke started getting into the room, to which the thief rushed back to the main area in the office and broke a window with one of the old chairs. He stood in place for some seconds, paying attention to the surroundings and the general situation outside. Everyone seemed to be busy dealing with the fire on the lower floors and with the smoke surrounding the building no one saw him break the window. Kaur heard a siren quite far away, started off as a weak sound , but it only got stronger every second and approached at a fast pace.

“Damn it, have you gotten the layout yet? We have to get going man, the Golden Hawks are soon to be here”. He yelled while moving with swift pace back to the storage room to check on Ted findings. 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.