2007-02-18: Chapter One: Combustion - The Rescue


Clint_icon.gif Hiro_icon.gif Anders_icon.gif Orion_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Kellie_icon.gif, Rainer, The Haitian

Summary: Hiro and Clint make a daring attempt to steal back Isaac Mendez's last paintings - and pick up an unexpected guest in the process.

Date It Happened: February 18th, 2007

Chapter One: Combustion

The Rescue

Kirby Plaza

Kirby Plaza. 7:30 PM - just after the last bits of sunset have finally been done away with. Last time Hiro Nakamura was here, he wound up stopping the unstoppable force, and getting thrown into another century. Well, take two. He'll try to upgrade from pyrrhic victory to qualified success. And, just like last time, he's not alone.

Hiro crosses the street, keeping well clear of the actual plaza itself, flanked, presumably, by a far more heroic-looking ex-football star. "Mr. Clint - thank you. This will be very dangerous, but I do not think either of us could do it alone." Hiro pushes his glasses up on his nose and looks up at the building, reaching into his pocket and handing Clint a little piece of paper. "Those are the floors that the paintings are supposed to be on. We will start there. We will have to move very fast! And remember what we were told: If you see the Haitian, run."

Hiro takes a single deep breath, before pulling his black courier cylinder over his shoulder. He's unscrewing it and opening it up. Why? Well, there's a katana inside. Of course. "Ready? We will keep in touch by cellphone. Tonight, we will have to be… the World's Finest."

Clint takes the peice of paper, as he studies the building a bit, "Hmm.." He looks at Hiro's tube, where the blade is hidden. Clint brought his own weapon with him, though his is a bit more, well, primative. A good 'ol baseball bat. Sure, he's a football player. And man, is he dressed for the occasion. Sure, he left his Neo jacket at home, but he's wearing a pair of grey and black and white urban camoflage pants, and a loose fitting, black hoodie. And of course, a pair of sunglasses. Even though the sun just finished setting. The bat is held in his hands, you know, being as un-suspicious as possible, "Just tell me when you're ready to go, and we'll go." He says. Man, this is such a bad idea. But it's still something that has to get done, "You got your camera, right?" He asks, just double checking that Hiro has a digital camera. In case he finds the paintings instead of Clint.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the building, Anders is typing away on a laptop, hunting and pecking at the keys, "Dear Sir," the document begins, "Please consider this my notic.." Anders stops, scowling, and deletes the text, to begin again, "To whom it may concern," and another delete, "Mr. Rainer.." then the laptop is closed and turned off. The man stands, patting his smart suit jacket down for smokes and a lighter, and heads on out of the office into the hallway.

Second degree burns hurt like hell, no matter who you are or how fast you heal. In Orion Granger's particular case, he doesn't heal much faster than any other non-powered or, for that matter, most powered humans. The tall man is lurking around the Kirby Plaza complex, a number of bandages and salve slathered across his forehead and nose. For the moment, he is contenting himself with staring out a window at the plaza below, sipping a cup of apple juice.

Hiro nods, once, before reaching into his pocket to produce what looks like a thin blue bandanna, which he ties around his forehead. It's a cultural thing. "Yosh!" he says, tightening the bandanna. This is, after all, a sneaking mission, Snake. "Mission… start." Closing his eyes and concentrating as hard as he can, Hiro abruptly disappears…

… and reappears in an unlit room. Hiro probably counted up to the first floor he had to go to, and then jumped into a darkened room that he could see. Less risk of jumping into a wall, or into a room full of men with guns. Hopefully it's going to turn out to be a room full of paintings. That'd be nice.

Yeah, but it'd never be that easy, would it? Clint vanishes from view, and reappears in a different room from Hiro, one floor above him. He shows up in a bathroom. A men's room, thankfully. Unfortunately for him, this room is relatively well lit. But empty.

"Alright.." He says, as he grips his bat in his right hand, "Now to figure out where these paintings are.." He and Hiro are going to make things quite interesting for the Company tonight..

Unlit ciggie in mouth, Anders seems about to light up before a passing secretarial type coughs at him and does that annoying guilt thing non smokers do, so ciggie goes behind ear. Hes up and walking about, needing to do something, and he could do with emptying his bladder, so to the Gents he goes. The same gents that Clint has just appeared in? Indeed so. He opens the door and steps in, whistling tunelessly.

Granger is a floor below Anders, rather conveniently. His location with relation to Hiro is still obscure, but the tall man finally turns away from the view of the city. He takes another sip of his apple juice, briefly frowning at the business types milling about in the cubicle packed area before he starts making his way into a hall. A hall that connects the offices, of various kinds, to the cubicle space full of the Company's peons.

The room Hiro teleported into is very mysterious, being so dark and all. It should become clear pretty fast that this room is far too small to hold as many paintings as these teleporting heroes are looking for - and it kind of smells like chemicals. The kind that like to burn the inside of one's nose. Eau de Lysol, anyone? It's closet, housing such exctiting artifacts as cleaning supplies and unpacked shipments of who-knows-what. But hey! It's the closet /of/ the room with the paintings! Too bad it's locked, huh?

Security on these floors? High. Not quite as high as some, but there /are/ expensive and important objects up here, you know. One floor below the level Clint wound up on, a plain clothes security officer strolls down the hallway, speaking into a walkie-talkie. "I'm on Shift C, confirm that the Haitian is still in play?"

Somewhere in the Kirby Plaza Building, a dark-haired woman is locked in a cell. She is dressed in a hospital robe, and her dark hair is untended, falling around her face. Both her wrists and ankles have been chained to a metal chair. She does not struggle against her bonds, nor does she make any attempt to free herself. 'Subdued' is a good way of describing her. Strange.

Hiro drops to a knee the moment he appears. He's done enough night-time scouting of Feudal army camps to have picked up a thing or two about a thing or two. More importantly, he's played the hell out of Metal Gear. Then he realizes that he's in a closet. Hiro stands up, looking just a little bit perturbed. "<Oh, nuts,>" he says, to himself, in Japanese. He even whispers to himself, since he's being… you know, quiet. "<Not again.>" Sniff, sniff. "<Gross.>"

This is not the first time that Hiro has found himself trapped in a closet. Great. Hiro creeps towards the doorknob, and before he even tries to rattle the knob, presses his ear to it.

The man wearing all black with the sunglasses turns and looks at Anders as he walks into the bathroom. Sure, he's holding a baseball bat in hand. But he pretends it's nothing, as he walks over to the sink and begins to start washing his hands, "How you doin' tonight?" Clint asks of Anders, trying to be as non chalaunt as possible about this whole thing. One thing he's always known. If you act like you belong somewhere, generally people won't bother you about you being there. If you act suspicious, well, then people will be suspicious. He just hopes this holds true. And this guy isn't a mind reader.

Anders , whilst not the sharpest company employee, isn't a complete idiot, he pauses when he sees the baseball bat, "Good, thank you," he says, with an eyebrow raised, "Are you the ringer they brought in for the softball team? Nice to meet you." he asks Clint, gesturing at the bat, smiling and not giving him a chance to answer. "If you'll excuse me, nature is calling," he says, moving to the urinals and unzipping, his back to Clint. His free hand does, however, go under his jacket.

Orion reaches up to his ear with his free hand and clogs his one ear so he can listen to the security traffic for a few moments. He would very much like to know whether this 'The Haitian' is in play or not this evening. As he marches down the halls, moving gradually toward the room with the paintings, Granger continues to take sips of his apple juice. Nothing like a little comfort food to help soothe the soul, especially when you're wounded.

A haze of static and words answer the security officer's question into the walk-talkie - an affirmative, whatever it was. He keeps on walking, oblivious to the feat of space-bending that just occurred in the room he's about to stroll past - however, when he does get there, he raps a few knuckles on the door. It's a spacious room; the sound carries.
"Mr. Madson?…" No answer. "Huh." Seeing Orion, he gives a nod. "Madson down with you-know-who? Between you and me, I don't know why he keeps trying. Man, good thing she's locked up tight."

Hiro waits on pins and needles. Though the door, he hears a rap-rap-rapping at the chamber door, a voice, and then nothing. That's promising - there's nobody in this room to answer. Hiro does, however, keep hearing voices outside in the hall. It's now or never. "<What? Someone… locked up? Huh.>" Gears tick in Hiro's mind. First things first. Once he's confident that the room is empty, and that there's nobody coming in, he shuts his eyes and tries to make the jump to other side of the door - disappearing, turning a Hiro-filled darkness into little more than an empty closet of Lysol.

Orion stops as the guard stops to chat with him. The tall man shrugs, "I would assume he is. I haven't heard from him for several hours, so I'm not sure if he's gone down for another interview… Or if he's reviewing the paperwork." He studies the door for a few moments before looking back to the guard, "Why don't you finish your shift? I'll see if I can find Mr. Madson."

Darkness. It makes up most of the main, much more comfortable room, that which the paintings are presumably in - but the dusky half-light from outside cuts through a window, illuminating a several tubes stacked neatly against a metal easel. An empty tube sits in front of the easel - its contents have been removed and spread across it. Just barely, through the shadows, a depiction of two man involved in a seemingly life-or-death, modern duel might be glimpsed. One is Japanese, with glasses; the other, sandy-haired. All around the walls of the room are less obvious, but intensely gruesome paintings, dark and bloody. Isaac's Death, from every angle, it seems.

The security man in the hall nods at Orion. "Alright. Probably fine. Been obsessed with those paintings and that girl." He gives a salute and carries on his way.

Hiro looks slowly around the room, and has to look away. He's seen this scene for real, twice, but it still doesn't make it any more desirable. "… Mr. Isaac…" he laments, sadly.

And then his eyes catch his own image in paint, and that of another man, and his heart stops. A sharp intake of breath is barely kept quiet as Hiro stares at the painting, crippled with disbelief.

"K-Kensei?" It can't be. He swallows the lump in his throat and reaches for his cellphone, complete with camera. Compared to an American phone, it's practically from the future. His other hand produces a tiny little mag-lite flashlight, which he thought might come in handy. Hiro starts snapping pictures, before moving quickly to that pile of tubes, checking their contents.

Granger nods to the security guard before turning toward the door. He checks it once, to see if it will open without needing a key. For the moment, he doesn't seem aware of the flashlight light or camera flashes (if there are any) winking about under the frame of the door.

The paintings in the tubes are pieces of a Mendez series as yet unseen - it's difficult to tell exactly what they depict, what with them being rolled up tightly, but the glimpses of colour are new, the strokes different.

The woman chained to the chair shifts slightly, slowly pulling her chin up from her chest. She looks out from beneath her black bangs, peering at the door to her cell. The room itself, a tiny square, is lined with fire-resistant material. The only different is the door, where the handle is metal. There's a window in the door, not lined with glass, but with vertical bars. From where she sits, Kellie can't see through the window. The eerie silence of her wing doesn't comfort her; she still makes no effort to pull out of her bonds. There's a sheen of sweat over her forehead, though it's not clear why.

Hiro starts doing some mental math. Okay. There's an easier way to go about this. It's going to take him minutes to open up every tube and take a picture, so he'll just have to take all of the paintings, the one on display excepted. Hiro takes a moment to type rapidly into his phone; the speed at which a young Japanese man types out a text message would probably seem like a superpower in and of itself. He sends it off to Clint without delay-

"got em, will take 2 safe place & come back. can't leave, there is a prisoner somewhere. gotta save her."

Then he starts trying to pile up the tubes in his arms. There are two problems with this: 1) Managing several thick plastic tubes is difficult, and 2) Hiro is a klutz.

So when it all clatters to the ground in a noisy mess? Well, they should have seen it coming.

The door is locked. Orion frowns for a moment or so before he reaches into his pocket to produce his keycard for the door. He just about gets it out when Hiro's klutziness kicks in, creating an enormous clatter of painting rolls. The tall man slots his card and pulls it back out, moving his hand to pop the door open while he drains the last of his apple juice.

Why is he wasting time to drain his apple juice? It's quite simple. As soon as the door is open, Granger steps in and flings the empty cup at the head of the first three-dimensional humanoid figure he sees in the room. Short of a mannequin or Rainer hiding in here, that should be Hiro.

The guard that wandered past earlier is headed down a corridor that turned off to the left, but he stops when he hears a very distant sound. Probably nothing, but the wing was so quiet… "Granger? Granger?" he speaks into his walkie.

Hiro watches the painting tubes fall all over the place, and his heart stops. He watches everything as though it were in slow motion-

-Only it's not actually in slow motion, which, really, would have been fine and dandy for Hiro, but he's got other problems right now. "Mou iya desu-" he says, hopelessly, as the door bursts open and Granger steps in, following his first instinct: Slow time down. He could freeze it, but this could be a long night. Better to save his energy. The cup winds up in honest-to-god slow motion, about an inch from Hiro's face, creeping towards him like a caterpillar. He holds up one hand to grab it before everything goes back to normal. The tubes clatter to the ground.

"You are /no/ Colossus," Hiro says, angrily, before reaching to his back and drawing his sword with a smooth motion. Judging by his stance-can that little guy actually use that thing?

"Unauthorized entity in the paperwork room. I am engaging."

Granger watches Hiro mysteriously snatch the cup from mid-air like some kind of latter day nerd ninja. The tall man frowns slightly, but keeps moving into the room. His keycard and door-opening hand pulls his pistol from behind his back, apparently sliding his card into a pants pocket. The other hand gains a metallic sheen, disappearing into a shiny iron/steel gray within just a couple of seconds.

"And you are not allowed to be here."

"Nah." Clint says to Anders, "It's a present, for my kid." Clint is nowhere near the urinals. And is within sight of Anders. Or at least he was up until just a second ago. By the time Anders realizes that the guy isn't at the sinks any more, well…It might just be too late, as he'll be introduced to the wonders of America's favorite past time, the hard way, as Clint has teleported to just off to his side and behind him, and is swinging the bat as hard as he can for the Evolved's head.

Anders has his hand on his gun, but unfortunately wasn't expecting the teleportation (by any means). Half turned, the bat catches him along the jaw with a sickening crack and drives the big man back against the wall. He slides down the wall, apparently out cold, having cracked a tile or two in the process. Speaking of cracking, that is the noise the water makes in the urinals, freezing into a no-doubt very pretty little ice sculpture or three as the man slides to the floor.

Hiro pushes his glasses up onto his nose with his forefinger - they'd fallen down low onto his face in all of the conclusion. Holding his sword in both hands, Hiro digs in his heels. He's been thinking about this, the question on his mind:

How do you stop a human tank?

"I must do everything I can to protect the world. I am sorry. I know there is good in you."

Hiro gives a kiai shout - which basically means he just screams abruptly before he /sprints/ for Granger with that sword, slowing time just enough to give him time to react to a gunshot, which makes it look like Hiro is… well, a very fast little man with a sword.
That's enough for this security officer. Turning on his heel, he runs down the corridor, swerves, and jogs up to the room with the paintings, whipping his gun out as he skids to a halt behind Orion just in time to catch sight of Hiro on the attack.

Up on Anders and Clint's floor, several paces down from the men's restrooms, a stern-faced man in a dark brown suit - Rainer Madson, as a matter of fact - emerges from an office and stalks across the hall space carrying a roll of thick white paper under one arm. He pauses in front of the door across the way - this door is very much not like the others, as it has something akin to bars in the window. Maybe it's high-security storage. Yeah. He rummages briefly in his pocket to withdraw a keycard. He halts, however, looking darkly down the hall at the ruckus.

Kellie's cell is near enough to these confrontations that sounds begin to filter in, and the woman chained to the chair tilts her head to one side, listening. The corner of her mouth turns up in a wicked smirk. "Company," she chirps in a melodic sort of way, her eyes fluttering closed. "Can you hear them?"

But the other occupant of her cell says nothing. He never says anything. He sits, unbound, watching her with an unwavering stare. He is not a prisoner here - at least, not in the same way.

Orion's eyes narrow as Hiro moves toward him at seemingly blinding speeds. The tall man frowns slightly, metal bubbling out of his flesh beneath his shirt and overcoat. To Hiro's slightly out-of-time eyes it is possible to see Granger bulk up just a few inches across the torso in the intervening five seconds; an eternity to someone moving so much faster than Granger. The gun shot doesn't come, not yet at least, for Orion is busy trying to draw a bead on Hiro's seemingly obscene speed.

Rummaging through the now unconcious cryokinetic's pockets, Clint pulls out a heavy revolver and a pair of speed reloaders, as well as a cell phone. He tucks the spare rounds in his pockets, as well as the cell phone. He checks the revolver to make sure it's fully loaded, and then pats Anders on the head, "It's a good thing you didn't get to use this. You might have shot your eye out." He moves back up to the door, and then peeks out of it, doing his best to be as stealthy as he can. He hopes Hiro's okay.

Hiro clears the distance between himself and Orion in a flash, just in time to watch him bulk up and shield himself from harm. Just as Hiro'd hoped he would do when faced with the threat of a sharpened sword. Gritting his teeth, Hiro lets his concentration break; time snaps into full-speed, and Hiro slows down, but only for a moment. "Forgive me!" he calls out. He's taking this one step at a time.

The slash - or the stab - doesn't come, just as the gunshot doesn't. Instead, Hiro drops low on one knee and *slaps* Granger on the back.

How do you stop a human tank?

Easy. You drop it off a cliff.

Which is why both Hiro and Orion re-appear in Kirby Plaza. Well, above Kirby Plaza. Several stories above Kirby Plaza, to be exact. In mid-air. That high-pitched sound you hear? That's Hiro screaming at the top of his lungs, in a terror that he was prepared for but is nonetheless not enjoying.

The security officer has no clue what's going on. Suddenly there's some Japanese guy zooming around the room when he knows it should have been empty earlier? Seriously? /What/? It's all a little too much for this fellow, but he tries to flank Orion and train his pistol on Hiro. Easier said than done as he's suddenly left alone. "…Requesting back-up, I'm calling from the Mendez room, we have a security breech, intruder is… missing."

Clint may be trying to be stealthy, but Rainer is already looking down the hall in his direction, suspicion mounting. And he does not recognize this man who peeks out from the washroom. "You," he calls out gruffly. "Let me see your identification."

Orion blinks as he finds himself staring down at the ground of Kirby Plaza. He looks to the screaming Hiro then back at the ground before letting out a startled, perhaps frightened scream of his own. Granger whirls in air though and tries to climb atop Hiro's equally plummeting body. Under his breath, Orion manages to mutter something.

"About time urban climbing came in handy."

Well, crap. Caught. Clint tucks the revolver into the waistband of his pants and covers it with the hoodie, and then steps out of the bathroom. He looks down the hallway at Rainer, as he pats his pockets, "ID, ID. Uh. Damnit. I think I left it in my office. Give me a second, and I'll go grab it." He waits to see what the guy's gonna do before he makes his next move. He might have to knock this guy out as well. He hopes he won't have to, but somehow he doubts this guy is gonna be naive enough to let him get away with that excuse.

There are only a handful of seconds between them and the ground. Hiro can't /stop/ Orion, but he can at least delay him. He tries to wriggle loose and kick free of Orion, and if he can't do that, he'll try to teleport on his own, ditching Orion - back into the Mendez room, to get back at those paintings. "AIEEEEEEEEEEEE-"

And he teleports back into the room. "-EEEEEEEEEEEEE-oh." He doesn't know how long he has until Orion picks himself up and gets back up to this floor, so- in the meantime. Hopefully, the guard is scared enough by the screaming, teleporting Japanese man that Hiro has enough time to knock him upside the head with the pommel of his sword.

Rainer's voice causes a strange reaction in Kellie. As the man outside her cell speaks to Clint, she jerks a hand with a clatter of metal. Of course, the bonds don't break. That's not even a concern. Her screws her features into a look of mischief and predation, but the voice that comes out of her mouth is nothing like one might expect. "HELP!" It's a cry of utter desperation, her voice betraying fear, pain, hope. "PLEASE! Please help me!" Her voice breaks as she cries out, as if she were in tears. "They're going to kill me!"

All the while, the silent man sits in the corner of the room, watching her with a distinct lack of emotion.

"Wh- you! Stop right th-" *SMACK*. This guard is not winning employee of the year. He collapses in the doorway, down for the count.

Security personnel start to pour out of the woodworks. Not literally, although that would be pretty impressive, but they certainly do start to appear everywhere as searching the building becomes top priority. They haven't quite made it to this floor, but Rainer can hear boots pounding down the hallways. His eyes narrow on Clint. This is not the look of a naive man, nor a man who beats around the bush. "Who are you and what do you think you're doing, boy? These are private offices." It's just about then that Kellie kicks off her hysterics; the door earns a dark look from Rainer, but he focuses all his wrath on Clint, taking a step forward. He pointedly does /not/ explain the yelling woman. "If I don't see clearance, I see your ass with a boot in it goin' out the door."

In the back of his mind, Orion makes a mental note to punch Hiro in the face /HARD/ next time he sees him. Then, before the Japanese guy loses consciousness, thank him for providing just enough sideways inertia. Granger's whole body metalizes during the fall as he launches himself away from Hiro and Hiro launches Orion away in mid-air.

A moment later, the metal covering the ends of his fingers turn to sharpened claws and harden with an audible crack. The tall man reaches out for the Kirby Plaza building and, by the barest of margins, manages to hook his new found claws into the concrete on the outside. A shriek like metal on an electric grindstone fills the air as he tries to slow his descent.

Oh wait. Window. Awesome!

Granger curls his fingers, metal starting to shred off as he grinds the claws down rapidly, and manages to swing himself into the building through a window. The metal of his membrane protects his flesh from the ruinous glass and the prompt, high speed impact with a desk just inside of the window, along with the skidding across the floor and into a wall. Orion remains where he is for the moment because that hurt. It may not have killed him or even seriously injured anything, so far as he can tell, it hurt. And he needs to take a few moments to catch his breath before he tries to stand up and clear the glass and desk shards from his suit.

"Alright, alright.." Clint says, "You win.." He reaches behind his back to grab the revolver, and as he's bringing it out, he blinks out of existance, appearing directly behind Rainer with the barrel of the weapon hopefully lodged into his back, "Here's my identification." He says, "Now, you want to tell me why you've got some girl aparently being held against her will inside of that room there?" He asks, "And keep your eyes forward. And if I were you, I'd call off my goons. A .44 round will cut you in half at this range."

Hiro has to work fast-but he's good at fast. As the guard drops to the ground, Hiro dives for the painting tubes, gathers them up in his arms, and does that voodoo that he, uh… doos. He winks out of existence, surfaces at Clint's apartment, dumps the paintings literally on the couch, and is back in a flash. It's a good thing he's been pacing himself a little bit as far as the time stop goes-this could be a long day. He does let a minor "yatta!" escape his lips after he drops off the payload. It's very tinny, and stealthy.

A quick text message to Clint:

"they are safe; we gotta find the prisoner and rescue her. it could be the cheerleader. where r u?"

Granger slowly gets to his feet, metal retreating back into his body as he starts his trek back to where Sulu's son is looting paintings. His hands remain mostly metal coated, brushing and plucking sharp debris from his clothing while he moves. Hopefully he'll find some security personnel to join up with in a moment or two.

The fact that shaking her bonds will not break them does nothing to dissuade Kellie from making as much noise as humanly possible from within her tiny cell. "Pleeeeease," she cries, her wail long and pained, with a hiccup in the middle to suggest sobbing. "HELP!"

Despite her tortured begging and the rattle of metal chains, the look on Kellie's face is one of wicked amusement as she stares plainly at the wall of her cell. She's a convincing actress, judging by the way she can muster cries while still maintaining that devious smirk.

With a job like his, Rainer has come to expect the unexpected. Still, Clint being too close for comfort all of a sudden comes as an unfortunate surprise. "No need to get violent. You do not want /that girl/ to be your concern. Trust me. She just… likes the attention," he says as the woman's plaintive wails continue. "You understand." As a pair of security guards come hurtling down the hallway behind he and his very sudden captor, Rainer holds a hand up to slow down their progress, calm under stress.

Hiro stops in the painting room, looking inexplicably confused and embarassed. Well, he'll come back to that later. For now he reaches for the fallen guard's radio, as yet unaware taht Granger is immediately on his tail. The radio reveals it all - there's a disturbance. One floor up- great. Jogging into the hallway nervously, Hiro grasps for a fire escape map, tries to plug the coordinates into his head… and tries his best to aim for the room where Rainer and Clint are. Knowing his luck, he'll probably wind up on the wrong side of Kellie's door. Which begs the question: Who's going to make Hiro's day worse?

Kellie, or the silent man?

Clint keeps the weapon on Rainer's back, as he pulls his cell phone out of his pocket and glances down at the screen. He sends a really quick response to Hiro, saying the floor he was on. Which Hiro will know is just one floor away. Clint would respond with more, but he's got armed security guards coming at him, "We should talk." He says to Rainer,
"Where's your office? He asks, "And don't try anything funny. Or I will put a round into you. Got it?"

Orion keeps moving upwards, trotting his way toward the place that he assumes Hiro will be. If he could run just this moment, he would, but between the glass shards jabbing him in the legs and the fact that his whole body aches from trying and succeeding in cutting his horrible, several story fall, Granger is not likely to run again tonight.

Most likely, he arrives a moment and a half too late to catch Hiro. The Japanese nerd disappearing from the Mendez room just as Orion reaches the right floor. He reaches the room, peers inside, and makes a report on the radio. He then starts running up a level for the other trouble.

Now that people are so near to her door, Kellie's crying takes on a new measure of desperation. She even sacrifices her calm, amused exterior in favour of playing up the image. Were anyone to look inside now, they would see a young woman terrified for her life, trying (and failing) to wrench her hands free of the handcuffs keeping them attached to the chair. She calls out every phrase she can think of to beg for rescue, the urgency in her voice increasing with each passing moment.

"Very well. Across the hall," Rainer grunts, gesturing vaguely with the rolled-up paper he still holds under one arm. The security have their weapons pointed at Clint, tense, but unmoving. Before the man makes any move to move himself, he bangs once with his fist on Kellie's door.

Hiro winks into existence. He sees a scene that looks something like this:

Sobbing, pretty young woman, handcuffed to a chair and begging for help, apparently imprisoned. Hiro also happens to materialize - in Kellie's cell - with his back turned to the other notable inhabitant of the room, his sword still sheathed.

He opens his eyes and looks straight at the imprisoned Kellie. His face lights up. "I am Luke Skywalker," he says, brightly. "I am here to rescue you."

There's a glance towards the door, as Clint thinks he should go in there. But he wants answers first. So he grabs Rainer and then teleports the both of them into his office. Once inside, he keeps the weapon trained on Rainer, and then moves to the door and locks it, "Don't try anything funny, and we won't have any problems. All I want is some answers from you, and then, well, I'll let you go. Fair enough?" Not entirely the truth, but still.

The door to the stairwell pops open as Orion comes barrelling out of it, his pistol at the ready. Oh look. Security. The tall man trots toward them, still trying to clear debris from his clothing. He comes up beside them, offering a questioning look and a general, Company sign for a status report.

It's questionable whether the reference means anything to Kellie. The minute Hiro appears in the cell, however, she swings her wide-eyed stare his way, blinking several times. Her eyes have begun to well up from her fear, and it's a short trip until tears fall. "You have to help me. Please," she says, instantly lowering her voice. "You don't know what they'll do to me. I can't stay here any more." She shakes her head slowly, her expression pleading; a short second later, however, she flicks a glance over Hiro's shoulder to the Haitian man, her features faltering again. Her voice is barely a whisper as she exhales, "Oh, no."

It's almost with… reluctance that one of the security officers gives Orion a status report, because the situation is not good. "Madson's been taken hostage outside of K-11E Holding, one-" Security pauses, listening. "-relocated to his office. One man. Unknown ID. Armed. This situation needs to be neutralized ASAP."

Once inside his office - his territory, even if it doesn't seem like such at the moment - Rainer places the roll of paper on his desk. (Primatech is a paper company after all, right?) He folds his hands in front of himself, one of them holding the keycard he fished out earlier, and stares Clint down. "Step one: I don't know who you are, and I can't imagine you know who I am, so let's get that out of the way. My name is Rainer Madson. I work for Primatech Paper. I also happen to collect art. If you will, please look at that reproduction on my desk. Go on, unroll it."

Clint puts the weapon in his waistband, visible this time, "Rainer Madson, huh?" He asks, as he picks up the painting and unrolls it. He thinks about something that Hiro said to him, "You can call me Kurt." He says, as he looks at the painting, and hmms a bit, "I see." He says, "You seem like a smart guy." He says, "So you know full well this doesn't mean a damn thing to me. But I bet it means something to you." He puts it back down on the desk, "So why don't you go ahead and tell me what's going on? Because to be honest, I've seen a lot of crazy stuff going down in the past week. And you, well, something tells me you can explain it. Otherwise you wouldn't be so calm after what I just did." Maybe this guy hasn't been teleported before, but the blatant show of abilities didn't shock him in the least. Which means this guy knows. And Clint intends to find out.

"Do not be afraid," Hiro says, reassuringly. "I will protect you. My name- for real -is Hiro. Hiro Nakamura. I'm going to get you…" Hiro stops, and then turns. Oh. It's the Haitian. With him. In a locked room. Hiro tests a theory- and clenches his eyes shut, his cheeks bobbling back and forth.

Yep, no dice.

So, instead, he draws his sword in one quick motion. "I will not let you hurt any more innocent people," he says. "I have seen what you are capable of." He doesn't add 'in the future'. "I will stop you here if I must."

Orion nods to the security detail, stroking his chin for a moment or two. The tall man starts moving toward Rainer's office and, by extension, Kellie's cell. He shrugs off his still glass-lined overcoat, tossing it onto a desk as he makes his way toward the doors. Granger flicks the safety off of his gun and summons up all of his strength of will to force metal back out of his flesh to cover his body. It'll take a little while, but it should be in place by the time he reaches Rainer's door.

The Haitian man says nothing. He does not rise from his seat to challenge Hiro, nor does he speak to argue. There isn't even a slight twitch of his facial expression. For a long moment, he simply stares Hiro down with that same unsettling, unblinking gaze.

Kellie, for her part, is reduced to the level of a whimpering, terrified little hostage. The tears are flowing freely now as she yanks on the handcuffs, trying to break them free of the chair.

Finally, he holds up both hands. "You must trust me," he says, speaking in a richly accented voice. "Strike me unconscious. It is the only way." As if to drive the point home, he rises from the chair only to drop to his knees, bowing his head. "You must not be caught, Hiro. You should not even be here. Strike me."

In the office, Rainer just stares at Clint for several moments. "I'm a calm guy." Stare, stare. Finally, forming a thin, harsh line with his mouth, he shoots a look at the unfurled reproduction on his desk. It depicts a woman silhouetted against a burning corridor, a flame in one hand. "Some damsel. What's going on? You tell me, Kurt. I'd certainly like to know why you deemed it necessary to illegally enter an office building and put a gun to my head. 'Crazy stuff' not withstanding."

Hiro is holding his sword in both hands, looking rather- honestly, almost heroic and cool, when the Haitian lowers his head. "Nani?" he sputters, baffled by the Haitian's response. He turns it over in his head a few times, looking directly at the Haitian. How did he know his name? What's this all about? Finally, he nods his head. Was he wrong about the Haitian?

"Okay. Sorry-" he says, simply, before raising his sword and bringing the pommel down onto the Haitian's head. That should keep him down for the count. He turns to face Kellie, absently typing into his telephone to get through to Clint.

'get out asap'

"Take my hand," he finally says. "I will get you out of here."

On one hand, 'Kurt' isn't sure how much information to share with this guy. But on the other hand, he knows he'll probably have to share something with this guy to get him to share back, "Truthfully?" He says, as he points at the painting, "You can say it was because of the big guy with metal skin hauling off a whole crapload of these out of the back of a burning van." Clint's phone beeps again, and he glances at the message, "Hmm." Get out? But he's got his answers right in front of him. "I wanted to know who he worked for. Why he would take all of these paintings with him. Why they were so important to save." Save the cheerleader, save the world. That's what Hiro said the first set of paintings were about. So what is this set about? He hasn't seen them yet. Except this one. The girl, with the fire. Instantly his mind goes back to the park. What Jane told him, "The girl in the picture, she's the one you're holding captive. Why? Who is she?"

Granger walks up to Madson's door and considers it for a few moments. So many ways of breaching and so many ways of it going horribly wrong. He wouldn't want to kill Rainer by accident, after all. Finally he decides on a method but finds himself interrupted by the sound of Hiro's voice.

Orion whirls around, free hand reaching into a pocket for a keycard. He hopes that his keycard can open up that cell. He'd hate to find out what would happen if he let the Haitian get killed and Kellie escape. Again. Granger darts across the hall and starts trying to access the cell.

The Haitian man falls to the floor with a hollow sound, sprawled before the chair. True to his word, he didn't so much as flinch as Hiro brought the sword pommel down on him.

Still maintaining the charade, Kellie casts an appreciative look to Hiro as the Haitian man goes down, though she's still frantically hoping to escape. "I can't - I don't think I can reach you," she wails, straining her hand against the handcuffs. Nonetheless, she slides the chair with a loud protest from the legs as they drag across the floor, until her hand brushes Hiro's.

Bzzzt. Bzzzt. That would be the sound of the cell door's security denying Orion Granger's keycard. Only a select few are allowed in that room - and with good reason. Unfortunately, the security system didn't factor in teleportation.

Rainer eyes Clint's phone when it beeps again. Who is sending those messages, important enough to look at during a time like this? "I hope you realize that you sound… like a mad man," he says slowly. "That's it? You're here about an art collection? Those pieces were stolen. They were on their way here." The man frowns deeply, harshly, considering his unexpected captor. "That woman… I thought it was my civic duty to protect her from the public. I should hope any smart man would do the same."

Hiro takes a step forward to meet Kellie in the mirror just as Orion starts to get the door open. "Quickly!" he shouts, urgently, and Hiro probably has time enough to make eye contact with Orion through the glass of the door. He freezes in terror.

That guy is already up and about after falling out of a building? Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god.

Snapping out of it, Hiro reaches out for Kellie-

-and Kellie's handcuffs clatter as they dangle from the arms of the chair, with no girl in the middle of them.

Orion makes eye contact with Hiro for a precious second. Granger's eyes widen in a mixture of fear and surprise at the sight inside. He was kind of expecting it, but to see it is beyond his ability to immediately comprehend. He opens his mouth and lets out a shout of 'NNNNNNNNN-' before Hiro and Kellie disappear.

The metallic man punches the door with enough force to actually harm his knuckles. He points up the hall and motions security to move toward the cell door while he sprints back across the hall. His gun hand points down while his other hand comes up as if preparing a palm thrust for the door knob to Rainer's office.

Instead a foot-long spike of metal suddenly erupts from the palm of his hand. It doesn't actually launch, but it just grows as he thrusts it forward, trying to drive it straight through the handle to Madson's office; hopefully it'll give him the moment of surprise he needs to take whoever has Rainer down before they can do anything untoward to him.

As the door is suddenly rammed through by a metal spike, Clint turns his head in that direction, "Well, I do belive that's my cue." He says, as he glances back at Rainer, "Deuces." And then he's gone. Who knows where he ends up at. Probably back to his apartment, somewhere far away from this building. Yes. Because being around when whatever that spike is connected to would be a very bad thing.

Rainer stands in his office and breathes a sigh once Clint vacates - not a sigh of relief, but of frustration. "Kellie?" he asks curtly of Orion. There's a pause, then, "Paintings?" Shaking his head, he winds his way out of the office. "What a mess. The hell is the Haitian? Clean-up, stat."

Orion retracts the spike of metal as he steps through the door, sweeping his gun around for a second or so before he is satisfied that whoever was holding Rainer in here is truly gone. The metal man's metal starts to retreat back into his body as he stares at the frustrated Rainer. Oh this is bad. Very, very bad.

"The teleporting Asian escaped with her. He apparently rendered the Haitian unconscious after teleporting into her cell." Pause. "He also stole the paintings from downstairs."

At the mention of clean up, Granger nods and ducks back out of the office to assist security and janitorial in cleaning up the mess.

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