2008-02-18 The Beginning of a Beautiful Endgame

Warning: contains Season Three material!


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Summary: After their first encounter, Daphne and Hiro race to the coveted address. A pattern appears to be forming. A man's plans start to be cemented.

Date It Happened: February 18th, 2008

The Beginning of a Beautiful Endgame

Yamagato Fellowship Storage Warehouse, Tokyo, Japan

Lit by ambient lamps and boasting a beautiful gleaming hardwood floor, this is a lovely warehouse if there ever was one. Shelves upon shelves, floor to high ceiling, are filled with boxes of ancient artefacts. Paintings — samurai battles, ancient Japanese landscapes — hang on the walls, along with swords and other pieces of history. There's even a nearly life-size, hand-carved wood statue of a Tang Dynasty horse with gold filigree, ready for battle, in the far east corner.

What there isn't is a big ol' obvious vault door.

It's a busy day for a speedster. Having, she imagines, dealt with whatever was going on in that office, Daphne applies herself to the next step. Luckily, she steps a bit faster than most people so pretty soon she finds herself in a large warehouse filled with enough shiny things to give any thief pause. Like that painting for example or oooh, this sword.

She goes for one of the ornamental weapons, feeling for heft and balance, before eager fingers grab up a scroll right next to that which has these kinds of— oh, right. She's here for a reason. But ehhh, who's ever gonna pop in here /right now/ anyway?

Well, Hiro for one.

Upon appearing in the warehouse, he immediately begins to look around. No vault. He knows they have one … he remembers his sister talking about it. But where? Could it be a hidden vault? Or is it somewhere else? It is times like this that make him wish he had a memory that extended beyond video game details and comic book issue numbers.

But wait, look!



And - how? This is… slightly more annoying than just slowing her down. "What are you, stalking me?" She accuses immediately, "Cause, buddy, /that's/ a little creepy and that is /not/ a path you want to go down." Daphne relinquishes the things she had been examining, all the while carefully watching the guy for any signs that he's about to make her job here that much harder.

"You need to understand," Hiro insists, moving the courier tube on his back around so that he can access what is in it if the need arises, "What you're looking for is very dangerous! If the wrong person gets it … "

Daphne moves carefully down the row of things she's at, a few steps closer to the guy, but otherwise looking like she's just meandering. She even touches a few more objects, flicking at a priceless looking statue here and there, "And what makes you the right person, anyway?"

"Because the man who was guarding it was my father," answers Hiro, as though that were clearly all the explanation that Daphne needs. As she gets closer, he flicks the top off the courier tube and deposits it into his pocket, "You don't understand."

"Yeah, you keep saying that," Daphne sighs, stopping to narrowly eye whatever he's doing with that thing strapped on his back. "Alright, then. Why don't you explain it to me? What. Am I not. Getting?"

Uh oh. Hiro's bluffing about knowing all about this formula is beginning to fail since he can't really explain why it would be bad. Just that everyone having powers … would be bad!

"I already explained! It would be very dangerous!"

"Yeah, you /said/ that," And said it and said and said it. Daphne hides a smile at what is starting to sound like shaky arguments. Instead, she puts on a face of growing concern. "But I don't see how I can trust you on just that. I mean, this is /so/ important. Maybe you're lying to me! Maybe /you're/ the dangerous one!"

Hiro's arms fall to his sides, not really used to being accused of villainy.

"No I'm not! I'm a hero!"

"Bad guys lie," Daphne informs him very seriously, "That right there could be a lie." She throws up her hands—what are we going to do with you now?-style. "Besides," she adds, a little more true solemnity to her that comes off as more dried out bitterness, "I've seen a lot of people Some of them even say they're doing right, but they're just as bad."

"I'm not bad!" Hiro pauses once again, clears his throat and calms himself down. Okay, this has to be persued differently, "That formula could make more people special! Like you and me! Very dangerous!"

Why? Hiro doesn't quite know. He didn't know anything about this formula until a little while ago. What sort of abilities does it give?

Daphne takes a long moment to think about it and, although it may in fact bring the argument back around to the beginning, she can't help but point out— "So you're telling me that people being special, like you and me, is dangerous. Japan! You just called yourself dangerous again!"

Because his arms appear to be safely down, and not armed, Daphne steps in and leans forward to whap him upside the head. Much gentler than before, but still forceful. "Okay, though," she says, stepping back, "Bad, fine… umm… jeez, well, what are you gonna do with it, then?"

"Hide it," Hiro lies, flinching from the whap to his head but at least not ending up unconscious this time, "Where nobody will be able to find it."

"Okay, great," Daphne claps her hands together, shifting in place a little to show her apparent enthusiasm for this new plan, "….. where is it?"

Hiro begins to look around, adjusting his glasses as he does so. Of course, his search abides more by movie and comic physics than reality. He tugs on a few suspicious-looking things that he believes might be levers. He looks under a scroll or two. He even mumbles 'Open Seasame' at one point.

Daphne subscribes to the 'cover more ground' school of searching, by way that she buzzes through pretty much the entirety of the warehouse seeing if anything catches her eye. It, in fact, does not. So when she ends up back near Hiro, she looks a little put out with the hold up, "I thought you knew more than this."

"Over here," Hiro suddenly insists, running over towards the wooden horse statue in the corner and giving it a push … gah, too heavy. He strains against it for a moment before he waves at Daphne, "Come on! Help push!"
Daphne stares for a moment like he's gone crazy. "What— what are you—?" But she seems to catch onto his enthusiasm and, after a skeptical second of eyeing the statue, she throws in her own… very minimal… weight to help.

Gradually (very, very, very gradually) the ancient horse begins to move, the pedestal it stands on rotating clockwise. Graaaate. Grrraaaaaaate. A light automatically turns on below, where a simple set of stairs lead down into a corridor beneath the statue. At the end is a thick steel vault door; beside that, a small security command center with what appears to be fingerprint identification.

After the horse finally moves and they descend the stairs to the vault, Hiro looks at the security console curiously and then back at Daphne with a broad smile. Unfortunately for him, his trusting nature seems to be as real as the sword on his back.

"Okay! I'll open it and then I can hide the formula where nobody will find it."

He looks at what appears to be the fingerprint identification mechanism and presses his finger against it.

But who can blame him when she bursts out with such a brilliantly proud smile when he looks back at her? Daphne doesn't know how he figured it out, but he did, and she eyes all of the stuff carefully. "So, Japan-man, did you know you had your Batcave?"

At his declaration, she turns her attention back to him and then goes to stand near the mechanism to watch the process.
The console flashes, an image of Hiro's fingerprint enlarging on the screen as it's scanned. It confirms Hiro's name — in Japanese as well as English text — and beeps approvingly. Open sesame! A metallic clunk sounds from within the vault door. It's unlocked.

Hiro beams right on back at Daphne, turning his back on her for a moment as he rushes ahead towards the inside of the vault. Must get formula! Must save the world!

Much like the rest of the Fellowship's storage facility, the interior of the vault looks more like a museum than … well, a storage facility. It also looks bigger on the inside than it does from the outside, but there doesn't seem to be any TARDIS controls — just precious art and objects from feudal Japan. There's a definite Kensei theme down here. There's a safe immediately opposite the door on the far wall, embedded into the wall. On it, another identification mechanism — retinal — and small keypad.

After carefully watching the monitor confirming names, she walks further in. Really, Daphne kind of can't seriously believe all this. I mean… look at it. This place is… "—did you say it was your dad's?" Talk about extreme. And priceless enough to bring in a hefty price. The speedy thief's eyes light up a little the longer she looks at the loot, but eventually her gaze drops to the keypad. "Looks like it's your turn still," she says, glancing over her shoulder for Hiro.

"Hai," Hiro agrees, whether that is to it being his turn or that everything here belonged to his father is anyone's guess. Moving over towards the retinal scanner, he removes his glasses and carefully holds them to one side. Leaning in, he presents his retina for the retinal scannery.

Beep beep … booop. 'UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS' flashes on the small screen as a neon green light scans up and down Hiro's eye in a line, becoming distorted over his glasses.

Daphne is over there in a second, staring at the bright uninviting lettering with some dismay, "What'd you do?" she asks, as if the rejection is somehow Hiro not wanting it to open enough. "Hey, what about this?" This being the keypad she points at, "Don't big secret doors have passwords?"

"They do," Hiro asks, peering down at the keypad and trying to discern what the password might be. He removes his glasses, leaning in to try the retinal scanner once again … perhaps buying some time while he tries to think of what the password could be? Kimiko? Kaito? Yamagato?

Beep-beep! The retinal scan is successful, but nothing unlocks — not without that password. However, the screen changes, a video recording appearing in its place. Suddenly, Kaito Nakamura is in Hiro's face. «Hiro,» he addresses from a time in which he was alive and well. «Within this safe lies a valuable secret. Its contents must remain protected. You must not open it. Protect its location but do not open the safe

Daphne's joy at the scan working fades out slightly when the video pops up, prompting her to back up a little. Creepy guys delivering ominous messages? She doesn't like the idea of someone knowing what she's up to, even if they're on a recording. And not referring to her, specifically. One thing is for sure, he isn't on her side. So when the message seems to be over, she comments absently, "Well, you did a bang-up job with the location so far. I bet it wouldn't make a difference at a new place, as long as you're still protecting it, right?"

Hiro stares at the image for a moment, obviously contemplating the words. Of all the 'orders' he has been given today, Kaito's are the ones that hit home the most. Do not open the safe. When Daphne has finished speaking, he shakes his head.

"No. It is safe here. Nobody can get it but me."

"Okay…" Daphne considers, trying her best not to let the full extent of her exasperation show, "So it's good, right? Nobody else knows it's here… there's definitely no way someone could superpower themselves through that door. I mean, that never happens, right?" She can't help but be a touch sarcastic, but with deluded-over-there's current track record, it probably doesn't come up.

"It hasn't happened yet," Hiro points out, completely missing the sarcasm or the hint that maybe this isn't the best hiding place for the secret in the safe, "So yes. This is a good place. We should go now."

Clearly, it does not work to dance around subjects. Daphne chooses to gesture to the vault around them, "Hey! I was /there/ when you got handed the address to the place by someone other than yourself, and how did I even know to be there in the first place? There are some people out there you do /not/ want knowing /anything/ about you."

"The formula will stay in the safe," Hiro sniffs, easily slipping into his annoying stubborn streak as he turns away from the keypad and begins to move back towards the security command center, "It is decided."

Fine. He wants to do it this way, she'll do it this way. "Yeah, that's too bad…" Daphne says, "You actually seemed kinda sweet… in a dumb way." This time, her punch is revved up by a goodly burst of speed. She may be tiny, but even when the tiny get going—!

Either way, he woke up pretty fast last time, so Daphne loops back to the keypad and keeps up the superpowered double-time as she tries things such as 'secret', 'password, 'god', and the just-as-obvious 'hiro'.

Unconscious as he is on the floor of the vault, Hiro does begin to wake up before too long. Something about him, he gets knocked out a little easy but he always bounces back from it quickly. As he rolls about in a daze, head spinning since this has happened twice now, he's not quite aware of his surroundings or the fact that thoughts stay in the head and don't come out the mouth. Especially important ones.

"Mrmrrr … kensei … "

Okay, okay. Kensei. Whatever odd fascination is going around with that one, Daphne's trying it. After all, she's almost out of cliches and soon she was going to have to resort to phone-calls.

KENSEI. Bingo! … Just as the password is given the green light, another video pops up, revealing the stern face of Kaito, speaking Japanese. «I told you not to open the safe!» he tells his son, in who is looking a little blonde. Granted, the recording does not know that. «The formula must only removed if there is great danger. The two halves must never come together again. I am relying on you to carry the burden of protecting the formula. Be safe.» Beeeeep. The safe unlocks.

Inside is a simple square of aging paper in a plastic slip, a complex chemical string drawn upon it.


She'll be taking that, stern looking Japanese man. "Sorry, daddy," Daphne quips as she pulls the paper carefully to her and slides it into that ever-present messenger bag. There's a brief glance over her shoulder at the recovering Hiro - you could almost say it was a guilty one. Almost. Then the speedster strolls out, takes a last look around at all this crazy stuff, then takes off in the straightest line she can find out there. She has no idea how far of a range Hiro's particular brand of special has, and she doesn't much feel like finding out.

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