Meet Maya - Robbers


brynn_icon.gif bf_cassandra_icon.gif finn_icon.gif lucille_icon.gif niki_icon.gif weasel_icon.gif

Scene Title Meet Maya - Robbers
Synopsis The robbers side of the Maya demo arguably goes much more smoothly than its counterpart. Until…
Date May 20, 2019


The rain is coming down hard, and you think you can feel it, tingling over your skull, pattering against your shoulders, cool down your neck. The ground beneath your feet is hard concrete. You look around, and see other figures standing in the circle you stand in, dressed as you are dressed: scratched up, well-worn body armor of various kinds, leather, torn denim, equipped with an alien looking pistol holstered at the hip.

And beyond them, you see a panoramic of a city. You are on a tall rooftop. Light floods upwards from a skylight in the centre of the circle you and your companions make, too bright to see clearly through it.

One of the figures in the circle breaks, coming to stand at the edge of the skylight. A woman, her black hair braided into a severe, long rope down her back, eyes shaded dark, and she gives a wolfish smile as she speaks. "Welcome, players," she says, "to Rapture. You have your peers have been selected for Operation: Clean Sweep. Beneath our feet are the wealthy elite, men and women of impossible great fortune who benefit off the exploitation of the poor. Tonight, they are celebrating their own mastery of the universe at a gala event that hosts back-room deals with tyrants. These are the people who start wars simply to add another digit to their bank account.

"But tonight, we have our own celebration to attend to."

The skylight dims, slightly, and now you can make out the activity below. Many men and women in fine attire, drifting around a ballroom floor, and the dark shapes of lingering security men at the borders. You also notice that at your belt, an abseiling cord is hooked in. "As we speak, they're auctioning off the Galaxy Diamond set, a jewelry collection worth billions of dollars. The money is being funneled into a charitable organisation that's nothing more than a front to bankroll corrupt politicians across the world.

"We're going to steal those diamonds, and make an example that no one is untouchable." She grips the rope attached to her belt and unholsters her laser pistol. Her severe tone seems to change, listing into a more upbeat, neutral affect as she says: "Please review the rules of the game before jumping. When all players are ready, we shall begin simulation."

Welcome to Maya, running simulation: ROBBERS

You are equipped with a laser-type sidearm. Your ammunition is unlimited, but inaccurate shots will be deduct points from the final tally. You cannot be hurt and killed in Demo Mode, but hits taken will deduct points from the final tally.

You are equipped with a superpower. You may choose between Fire, Ice, or Telekinesis. To trigger this ability, simply direct your focus using an empty hand. Please make your selection now.

If you wish to exit the simulation at any time, simply touch your left hand to your right wrist, and hold for 10 seconds.

Do not, under any circumstances, trigger your real life ability if you are SLC-Expressive. Doing so may cause harm to the equipment, yourself, and others.

Remember: you can choose to play, or not to play.

Beginning simulation in 10 seconds.

The woman aims her pistol at the skylight, and as the pulse of countdown winds to a close, she shoots. A burst of white-blue light darts from the end of the pistol with a sound like an electrical charge, and the glass explodes into fine fragments.

She launches herself from the edge of the rooftop, disappearing down into the brightly lit ballroom below, rope hissing.

“This is so cool.

Weasel shudders a little at the feeling of the rain as she takes in all of this rather amazing simulation. She’s not much of one for civilization and technology, but there’s something to be said for this. The tiny girl glances around herself as the intro plays out, a huge grin on her face.

As the rules pop up, she reads through them; the ability selection is pretty sweet, she always wondered what it would be like to do stuff like this. After a moment of thought, she goes with the obvious choice — Telekinesis. Fire and Ice are neat and all, but how cool is being able to hit things with your brain? It’s the ability she would have chosen for herself if these things were a choice.

Dark gray eyes watch in amazement as the woman leaps from the rooftop. She’s totally going to rock this shit. A glance is cast around to her fellow players, and then — she might as well take the first leap, right? “Happy hunting,” she says, mostly to herself. Without a second thought, her hand on the weird gun thingie, she performs her best approximation of a swan dive off of the roof.

There's a ping of anger for the tall blonde highlighted haired woman that stands in the circle, Lucille's cool blue gray eyes flash at the word war. This was a simulation but it felt so god damn real and with the words from the dark haired woman it becomes even more real for the Wolfhound operative. Her eyes close briefly as she allows herself to feel the rain hitting her skin.

"This is insane." She says as an aside to her date for the day, taking the time to actually see what was happening at the event she and her comrades were being contracted to guard. It hadn't disappointed.

As the rules are detailed the woman's eyes widen a fraction at the selection of abilities. So use to having something unseen, something akin to being mental even though she deals with the physical body. The choice of Telekinesis is crossed out in her mind. Fire was too chaotic, too hard to control. X'd. Ice. Lucille smiles to herself as she feels the cold and looks down at her hand clenching her fist as frost lays itself along her hand. Nifty.

When their captain of sorts is shooting the skylight and leaping down below Lucille looks over to Finn and winks, "Keep up," Before running after the younger girl who had jumped before her and dives through the shattered skylight, twisting her body to stare up at the man before angling down.

Micah would have loved this.

Niki takes a moment to appreciate just how real all this feels. The rain, the smell of wet concrete, the wind that catches her hair. She could have been a cop, and it almost certainly says something about her that she chose the robbers option. Jessica was always a facet of her personality, after all. Sometimes, that rises to the surface and comes out to play.

The power options are considered. There's a sneer of derision for ice that she doesn't realize she's making. Her estranged sister's ability. The instinct is to choose the opposite, and so she opts for fire. Whether the rush of warmth that happens is real, imposed by the program, or psychosomatic, she doesn't know.

"This'll be fun," Niki muses to herself with a little grin. Then it's down the rabbit hole.

There’s a glint of a smirk when Finn recognizes Weasel and he lifts one finger to his lips accompanied by a small wink. He probably shouldn’t be here, and his colleagues of a sort would probably not approve of his being here with Lucille, but here he is.

Amusement crinkles those eyes as their captain explains the mission. “Too bad the diamonds are only virtual,” he asides to Lucille, before scanning the rules. Brows lift at the directions not to use his real ability. His doesn’t come with an on-off switch, but his also isn’t likely to electrocute anyone or the equipment.

The choices present themselves and he opts for telekinesis as well, before snorting at Lucille’s dramatic jump, waiting for Niki to follow because he’s a gentleman, after all, then following suit — no gymnastics from the 6’2” man — he just makes sure not to cut himself on any of the rough edges of the skylight — it might be virtual, but he doesn’t fancy feeling pain for the next however-many minutes.

Brynn's eyes flicker as she reads the instructions put in front of the players. She hadn't been certain how it would work for her, but it is something like a HUD no one else can see. Closed captioning floating in front of her. She's fascinated by how far the VR technology is advanced … this is no simple video game. It's exquisitely rendered in terms of colors, sharp edges, and art wrought of light. It's truly amazing.

It seems the objective is clear enough and she takes a long moment to consider a power choice. Ice sounds like fun… and so, the choice made, she blows out a breath and hurls herself into the experience.

Better late than never seems to be the name of the game for Cassandra lately. The last one to arrive meant that her choice of what team to join wasn't really much of a choice, and when she was bundled into Maya’s simulation, it took her a moment or two to gather her wits and figure out where down was and what the best choices would be. Scanning her team’s abilities, two telekinesis, two ice, one fire, made her one choice easy. Balance is key to success in games like this, she's found, so her choice of fire - while an unlikely one for a seer - is an interesting.

“This should be fun….” Cassandra tells herself as she hefts her blaster in her right hand, her left hand warm from the imbued pyrokinesis as she peers over the edge of the roof. Uncomfortably, the weight of the weapon is familiar thanks to her time dancing through dimensions. A quick check of attachments and then, with a look to her companions that are already charging into the fray, she blows out a breath, readies herself, and hurls herself into the simulation.

They jump, they leap, they fall.

In the moment they plunge down into the brightly lit interior below, the vision of each player fills with white, and there is a moment of weightlessness, before the physics of the situation kick back in, and they see as they descend — men and women scattering from the rainfall of glass shards, banquet tables and smaller seating areas dotting the room.

The floor meets their feet as the rope pulls taut, slackens, disconnects from their belts as if taking on a life of its own.

The sound of chamber music fades.

As they take in their surroundings, HUD information hovers in overlay. A health bar in the upper left pulses full and green, and each object and obstacle they focus on seems to become highlighted in that same green, an artificial visual overlay that only throws into sharp relief the detailed, realistic renderings of their surroundings. (Each others' faces, also detailed representations of themselves, if perhaps a little smoother, false, more obviously digital.)

Panicked civilians churn around, some ducking under tables, some backing away mutely and warily. As players rest their eye on individuals, more data pops up — targeting concentric circles in dim green hovered over foreheads, over hearts. Watches, jewelry, wallets, all ding on their radar as well with little dollar sign indicators.

Of course, the Rich and Powerful are not the only entities involved. Dark shapes in the form of security, who had been guarding the perimeters, are springing into action, pulling their weapons.

Maya twists in place, aims her pistol, and fires. A streak of blue light flares from the muzzle of her weapon, catching one of the guards in the chest. She immediately moves to grab a tuxedo'd man by the arm, and hauls him in front of her, just in time for a bright scarlet light from an enemy weapon to slash across her hostage's belly. There is no gush of blood, but he grips his hands at entry wound anyway, only on his feet by virtue of Maya holding onto his collar as she twists around to fire again.

Cassandra, still getting her bearings, feels something like a warm tingle across her back, and her vision pulses red as her health bar dips. Turning, she'll see a black-clad security guard firing from where he takes cover behind a marble pillar.

Think fast.

Weasel lands in a light crouch, that combat training from her childhood paying off quite nicely in the virtual world — especially in the virtual world. Gray eyes skim the area, taking in the HUD and the various targets that pop up in her vision. It’s both disorienting and amazing at once. Civilians can be used as shields — looks like anything goes here, as far as she can tell. Good.

When in Rome.

Her attention lands on the dark shapes of security, and a wide grin appears on her face. She glances about for the location of her teammates, before lifting her hand — time to check out that sweet Telekinesis action. As instructed, she aims her hand and focus at one of those guards as he reaches for her weapon, staying low to the ground; once that ‘shot’ is fired off, she’s rolling toward some cover that involves a group of ‘civilians’, all the while grinning impishly.

The Wolfhound Operative lands firmly on her feet and takes a look around to survey the situation allowing her senses to get use to the HUD and the utter chaos that was already ensuing. Lucille slides forward towards the guards rushing their way, a hand seemingly dipped in frost presses on the space of the floor before her as she looks up and tries to cover the floor with ice to deter them, firing off shots of blue light from her firearm as she does so.

The sensations were so familiar, battle was an old friend and flashes of Lucille's many turns of that field come forward. The war. Pre war. Wolfhound. The Crucible. Blue eyes squint as she fires and moves to another spot in the room.

Twisting her body in a backbend she springs for cover while looking for her first bit of jewelry she was to steal. The points mattered, this was a game. Her heart rate elevated but steady. Lucille has to remind herself. This was a game.

Niki hits the ground running. One hand at her side is engulfed in flames, ready to be put into use, while the other holds her firearm out in front of her. When the first security guard steps into her view, Niki fires off two quick shots before veering to one side, bee-lining for the nearest civilian target with jewels she can snatch. "I'll be taking those, thank you," she murmurs as she reaches out with the previously flame-wreathed hand to snatch at a dazzling necklace.

Then she whirls around, pulling the woman in front of her as Maya did. Her right arm is locked across her hostage's shoulders as she sweeps the room for the next nearest guard to take down. Time to test that fire out.

Weasel lifts her hand, focuses — and there's a delay of about a second until she can feel some intrinsic sense of control wrapping around the centre of gravity of the guard. It feels a little less like perfect motor control and more like pulling back a rubber band for release, and as she lets go, the guard suddenly goes AAHHH!! and is flung several feet backwards, limbs wild and flailing, landing hard.

Immediately, above his crumpled but still moving form, a scroll of greenlit numbers appear, tallying up to something like '254' before it blinks out of sight.

Nearby, Lucille slaps her hand to the floor and a flood of a faintly glowing white frost spreads out several feet. The shining boots of two security guards slip and slide, and as they land hard on their backs, she sees numbers dance and scroll above their struggling bodies — '154', '190'. As one gets up, and she points her pistol, her aim is narrowed as she sees green concentric rings hover over his forehead, and as she squeezes the trigger, blue light strikes Bullseye.

'671', glowing even brighter.

She spies a long table of splendor in display, although none seem to register as the Galaxy set. Much like the baubles being worn on scattered NPCs, various artifacts in display blink with dollar signs: a bottle of fine wine, a small portrait, a jewelry case.

When Niki's hand comes down on the dazzling neck, she feels a tingle pass through her fingers — the necklace disappears with a flash and a faint but very distinct cha-ching sound. As she wraps her arm around the shoulders of her hostage, she can feel the strange pressure of her strength bearing down on something, and then more as hands clasp on her sleeve. Panicked breathing, a soft whimper as Niki extends her fire-wreathed hand.

It unfurls as a sudden banner of flame, deadly realistic, and immediately snaking out to wrap around a security guard. Numbers start pouring off of him for every second he is on fire: '26', '12', '13', '22', '32'.

She feels the woman twitch as red lasers shoot across the ballroom and strike her hostage-turned-meatshield, and a peculiar weight as she ragdolls in Niki's arms. '240'.

Finn’s used to scanning the room at large, taking in details or just letting his subconscious do so, thanks to the way his real life ability works — the more he sees and hears, the safer he is. That luck won’t do anything for him in this virtual world, but the habit still helps pay off in other ways. One hand on his weapon to blast anyone shooting at him, the other hand held out to fling away anyone who might rush him with something other than a gun, using the game-gifted power of telekinesis.

The hand’s also ready to grab anything with the high $$$ signs on it and stow it, mindful of gathering objects that don’t weigh him down too much. He’s played enough video games in his time to watch his inventory load. “Yippee ki yay Motherfucker,” he says cheerfully as he shoots at one of the guards, grinning over at the gaggle of womenfolk he’s playing with.

This might be the one and only sort of situation where Brynn is willing to bring every bit of her foster father's training to bear. As they hit the floor, she pivots on a heel and crouches low to make sure that she is covering the flanking angle of the security team, her firing angle not great because of the civilians in the mix creating chaos. They are digital enough and unreal enough to keep her from getting squeamish. It's a game, after all! The points start racking up even with civilian deaths, so everything is now fair game!

Later Brynn may decide this is not the kind of game for her, but for now, she lands two shots square in the face at a guard who leaps between the tables at her, and her free hand chills as the 'power' is brought to bear too, aiming to freeze people's feet in place so they can be robbed. Maybe shot too, but ya know. The objective is the rich stuff! Where's the rich stuff, Mikey??!

It’s different than being in combat, but close enough for government work. Cassandra reacts to the red flash in her vision and the warmth along her back by instinct, dipping down to make a more difficult target before leaping for cover, twisting in the air to land on her butt. From her sitting position, she draws a bead on the guard that just fired on her, as well as any others that might be in the vicinity. It’s a fairly acrobatic maneuver that looks awesome as she does it, minus the butt landing, but it allows her to push herself toward the nearest wall and table of valuables, keeping a bead on one side of the column while her extended hand shoots fire along the other side, hopefully roasting any guards that are in the path while driving the guard into the open where she can pop him at her leisure.

She’d rather a rifle in this case, for accuracy, or a shotgun for sheer brute force, but a pistol was what she was given. Ah well.

It's a lot like dropping seven cats amongst a hysterical flock of chickens.

Bodies go flying under the influence of telekinesis, strange ice glows blue from Brynn's hand as it coats the floor and seizes up around ankles, stalling the retreat of begowned women and tuxedo'd men, and blooms of fire enwrap the dark-clad security guards, eliciting near-comedic yodeling cries. Points spring off ragdoll-dead bodies in vibrant green, anywhere between the 600 and 800 range, and lesser points gathered every time an ability impinges an effect on whatever targetted they are directed at. Adding to the frenzy, there's that constant distinct cha-ching and dollar sign when the rich and powerful go down, or a hand reaches out to touch an intended prize.

With the initial flurry over, they can see through the scattering crowd a set of large double doors, partially open, leading into a secondary chamber. Remaining security guards are mobilising, ducking and weaving behind pillars and the occasional inaccurate shot. One grabs the edge of a banquet table, and with a noisy clatter of glass and china, it's hefted over on its side to create a twenty-foot long barricade that several of them swarm behind and use to take shots from partial cover.

Their position means that an easy run for those doors is out of the question.

Doors which abruptly swing open, and out stalks a woman — long, shining blonde hair, deep green evening dress, the skirt of which she wrenches aside to reveal and take into hand her own laser pistol.

She aims for Weasel, first, and misses when Weasel responds — but the red laser strike hits the ground and detonates, flame and marble fragments flying. Weasel's vision pulses red, health bar eking smaller as she's caught in the blast radius. Then, Green Gown is moving, as smooth and swift as a cat, disappearing behind a pillar at the next shot levelled at her.

Behind her, into the secondary chamber, a display beneath bright lights is just visible.

For a moment, Weasel stares between where the guard was and her hand, a look of shock prompting her mouth to drop open briefly. Slowly, a grin builds itself over the look of shock, and she promptly holsters her gun. She never did like guns — so if she can use both hands to telekinesis the crap out of some guards…well.

One hand is aimed toward the still moving guard, another at the next available target, and then the girl skirts into a cluster of hiding people, snatching at their valuables in the process. “This is so sweet. So fucking sweet.” She then figures out how to snap necks , doing so on one unsuspecting guard that has his sights on Lucille.

And then, the Lady In Green fires off a shot and things explode, and her health bar takes a hit. “Bitch.” She hisses, diving into cover to watch the woman disappear; then, the girl starts edging toward that chamber with the display lights, hands up and ready to smack anyone who gets in her way down.

Spinning as she grabs the necklace of a passerby while freezing them in place, Lucille grins as she sees the points. Neato.

That blockade is going to be a problem though, especially the firing. Crouching down she makes her way to the side of the room, looking this way and that before she slams her hand on the left wall nearest to the floor. Frost collects along the wall and she focuses her newfound virtual ability, angling to make a wall of ice blocking the guards from firing at them.

Niki has not played as many video games as Finn, so she's much less discriminate about what she snatches up. If it's got dollar signs and it's within a reasonable distance, she's grabbing for it. All the while she fires – well, fire at the guards.

When Green Gown shows up to the party, Niki is quick to kick over a refreshment table and duck for cover behind it. She takes a moment to appreciate the finesse and poise. Jessica would be impressed. But admiration or no, she's playing this game to win. When she has a shot, she takes it.

Bodies fly as Finn waves his empty hand at security scrambling to get into position, one guard crashing hard into a gaggle of partygoers, sending them all ragdolling away wildly. His aim is decent, lack of ability or no, and little green scores leap into the air as the laser of his pistol passes bloodlessly through his targets, most of them easy one shot kills so long as it lands in the general vicinity of chest area, head. Soon, between all of them, the only guards left are the ones who took up a defense near the door of the chamber, behind the heavy banquet table.

Ice spreads from Lucille's hand at a rapid rate, thick slabs of faintly blue-glowing white that adhere to the wall. Almost too fine and quick for her to perceive, green grid-like marks glitter over the spread of ice, guiding her eye in building it up and directing it towards the gathering of guards behind their barricade.

All the while, the security guards steer their attention towards Weasel — and in her press forward, she incurs wrath. One shot strikes her across the chest, her health bar sinking a fraction, felt as a strange static-like tingle, and her vision glows red to replicate damage taken. A second and third shot strike her to the same effect, but this time, the red that fills her vision blots out all shape and depth, filling her world with angry scarlet save for the blinking green of her health bar.

Although she can still feel the marble floor beneath her feet, a sense of gravity, and hear the chaos around her, this moment of blindness is a disorienting one, and the visuals slow to bleed back in, shadows first.

Niki sees a flash of green, at the same time as a shot is taken. Red laser light slams into Lucille's growing wall of ice, detonates, and ice explodes into a million glittering fragments and mist. By the time Niki is squeezing off her shots, Green Gown is on the move again — a burst of blue laser light from Niki's pistol seems to catch and reel off a minor score, '13', but this particular enemy is hard to hit.

Suddenly movement. While fire is focused on Weasel, it's Maya that makes her own attempt, charging for the open door of the secondary chamber. A few guards turn and fire, and she dodges nimbly, for the most part, using her own telekinetic ability to grab onto a small table and tumble it towards the barricade of guards, wood smashing into splinters — not enough to kill or break their defenses, but it gives her a window to move.


A thunderous echo resounds throughout the chamber, more raw and real than the uniform electrical sounds of pistols discharging. This is a sound that carries, fills the room, smells of smoke. From above the door of the chamber, appearing alone on a mezzanine, a tall man in a stark white tuxedo, red tie and hint of scarlet from his waistcoat, hefts a very matter of fact looking rifle, pointed straight down at where Maya—

— staggers backwards, a faint cloud of glittering scarlet in the air that paints a nearby pillar in damp red. She falls backwards, lands hard, and stays still where she is as liquid crimson seeps out across the marble from beneath her.

The man grins, a glint of a gold tooth sparkling, as he turns his rifle towards his next target — Finn, apparently, who has only a split second to dive out of the way before the trigger on the rifle is pulled. BLAM.

Green Gown has Finn’s attention — that is, until Maya is shot and his green eyes find the sniper — worse yet, find the sniper’s rifle pointed at him. He doesn’t have much time to react, but as he dives, he makes a swiping motion to send a table hurtling toward the Goldtooth. Finn doesn’t watch to see how it connects — or doesn’t — instead trying to slide under a table, pushing it down with another waggle of fingers, in an attempt to put a barricade between himself and any bullets coming his way.

Brynn's attention is split many directions because she can't use sound as a cue. On the up side of this, however, is the fact that the closed captioning that she sees offers clues that she might have missed hearing. Like the 'sounds' of weapons in her periphery. Ducking low, she uses the toppled tables for cover, snaking her way toward the far side of the ballroom while everyone's attention is on the showier explosions and screaming. She can see Lucille building her barricade and from behind cover where the guards can't see, she draws the soldier's eyes with a short, sharp hand movement. Years of combat-signing are inevitably useful here, thanks to her foster Dad. Draw their fire, I'll hit them from behind.

Assuming Lu reads those signs as intended, Brynn can then literally take sniper shots in quick succession when the guards behind the table turn their attention away. Flanking 101.

Before the war, Cassandra had read, games like this were extremely popular, but after the war, she would expect the thrill of gunning down people to lose its allure. The realities of war, when experienced, do tend to make other experiences the ones you seek out. The brunette finds herself falling back into old habits as the game continues. Harrying, tiring from cover, using angles to get the drop on people, all the while moving, moving, moving. Her laser flashes out, seeking any guards that might be aiming the wrong direction - namely towards her - but the report of the shot, and the visceral feel is sends through her, is something that immediately gets her attention.

From her angle, she moves to draw a line on the man with the rifle, using the pillars for cover, sending a wave of flames towards the tuxedo-clad sniper, seeking to drive him into the open where her companions can pepper him with their abilities. “Someone use their telekinesis to grab him. Or that rifle!” She calls out.

This is a lot harder than it looks!

Beneath her feet, Brynn does not hear glass breaking underfoot, but she feels that specific sensation of yield and collapse, the slight slipperiness as she traverses low and snaky over shattered glassware, behind the backs of toppled tables. As her captions scroll with such pertinent information as gunfire and explosion and (on a slight lag) Cassandra's shouted directives, she focuses and fires.

'567'. '666'. '501'. '703'. Green scores dance and glow as she fires, blue laser sniping through whenever one guard rises from his defense to try a shot at Lucille.

The table thrown Goldtooth's way by Finn's desperate, outflung hand spirals end over end, slamming into a dangling chandelier which explodes into sparks and shards of glass. Wood crashes against marble balustrade, shattering on impact, driving Goldtooth backwards. Spiralling splinters catch on fire and land, charred and smoke, as Cassandra sends a gust of flame upwards, blackening stone, splintering more glass, charring wood. She sees little scores of '17', '7', '21' dance up as some of that heat damages the enemy, but he's moving, too, sliding behind a pillar, winging around from on high to fire again.

Finn's table slams down to protect him just in time, but just above his head where ducks, splinters fly as the next shot blows a hole clean through.

Everything is happening very fast. By the time Weasel's vision is fully clear, she sees Maya's body lying still, surrounded in seeping blood, and the next thunderous BLAM turns her attention to the slice of profile partially covered behind a marble pillar. There's a clear choice, from her position — use this moment of distraction to run the rest of the way into the secondary chamber, where glittering jewels await, or engage in battle.

Meanwhile, Niki's firing slices across marble where she last saw Green Gown, who's attempt to get a clear shot at Lucille is thwarted as she instead ducks for cover, diving behind overturned table. Rather than risk exposure, the lady in green stays low, and Niki sees red laser light fire upwards — and connect with a hanging chandelier directly above Brynn's position, slicing through metal chain. It spins, sparking, swinging — and then falling.

Normally, in a battle like this, Weasel would probably stick around and help with Goldtooth. This, however, is a video game, and this is clearly one of those early boss battles. She could stick around and help, but the goal in mind is right there; perhaps she can win the game for everyone.

After the tiniest moment of hesitation, Weasel stays low, quickly making her way toward the open chamber, to hopefully accomplish the main goal of their mission here. This is way too fun — she would probably play games like this frequently, if she could.

With Flanking 101 a success, the grey blue eyed woman tries to train her gaze back on the lady in green but those lasers, Lucille's eyes widen and she runs towards Brynn, sliding on her knees while thrusting her hands out to make the floor behind Brynn more icey and allow her body to connect with the deaf girl. "Sorry! Coming in hot!"

Clutching to the woman's body as they hopefully slide out of the way. Lucille can only pray with her eyes closed, fuck she hopes they don't get shot.

With Lucille switching gears to help Brynn clear the area before the chandelier comes crashing down, Niki refocuses on where Green was last seen. She can't help but grin when she sees that her choice of cover is an overturned table. With her left hand held out in front of her, she lets out a stream of fire, attempting to render that cover utterly useless.


The captions that scroll across Brynn's vision have the fault of not quite distinguishing themselves grammatically, directionally, emphatically, but movement out the corner of her eye warns her just in time as Lucille suddenly goes skidding into view over a spontaneous Slip'N Slide of glowing blue ice. For both of them, the impact doesn't hurt, but there is a solid, amorphous weight to the feeling of Lucille slamming into her, and of Brynn breaking Lucille's momentum.

Their world spins, and they go tumbling aside. Brynn will land hard and see, barely inches from her, the visual chaos of the looping metal fronds and shivering crystals of the chandelier smash into the ground, exploding with sparks and glass.


Quick snapshot: Weasel's slender frame darting through the doors of the secondary chamber. A blonde, green gowned woman disappearing behind overturned table that is immediately blasted in flame.

And the man with the gun, stepping out from cover to send a several neat, thunderous shots towards where he last saw Cassandra to drive her back. "Now that ain't polite!" he calls out, confident as he moves towards the staircase that spills down onto the main floor. "You crash my party, scare my friends, and now you wanna take my gun away? C'mon and try it, you fuckin' mutant assholes." BLAM-BLAM-BLAM, three shots cleave and splinter further through Finn's cover.

“Look who’s talking!” mutters Finn, followed by a grin. “Lang, is that you, you asshole?” Because obviously everyone who says ‘ain’t’ is Lang.

The Shepherd man reaches out with that virtually-enhanced ability as he peers over the edge of the splintering table. This time his telekinetic reach is more deliberate and less frantic — a hard shove of their assailant, aiming to send him down the stairwell.

With that done, Finn pops up like a whack-a-mole mole to dart over to another table to take hide behind, all while shooting at anything that seems unfriendly. Namely, the Lang wanna-be.

Without context, COMING IN HOT means nothing to the deaf young woman, but Brynn gets the drift as Lu slides into her. Letting herself go limp and getting carried sideways in the tangle of arms and legs, they wind up bumped up against the far wall and the text of the chandelier crashing to the floor definitely makes her wince.

Lying there atop Lucille's prone form, Brynn has a perfect line of fire at the man shooting at Finn… and she brings up both hands, one with the laser weapon and one with her ice power, and launches both sets of ammo at him full blast. May as well take the advantage where you can get it, right?

The fullisade of fire keeps Cassandra in cover, the shots splintering the table she's beneath. Hopefully she’s okay - no red glow that she’s noticed. “I was just gonna borrow it!” She yells, lifting her blaster over the edge of the table and blind-firing In the direction of the asshole, keeping crouched and using what little vision she has to walk the fire. “Besides, isn't it true that all’s fair in love and war?”

With a mighty heave, Cassandra pushes the table over to act as better cover, using a bit of rubble to look like the barrel of her gun. A little manipulation and she props it up as a decoy. From a distance it might look like her gun. Then, when no fire is coming, she sends a torrent of flame towards the man, hopefully driving him away from the stairs and back into cover! She then runs for another position to flank him, and if she can't, hopefully someone can.

Finn's senses seem to narrow in, an intrinsic sense when he feels his own control clasp around Goldtooth's centre of gravity. Tension gathers, releases, and the man suddenly goes spilling down the stairs. His rifle clatters noisily, and he lands hard, a sharp yell of paint as his shoulder and arm connect with marble stairs, tumble down the last few steps. This change in angle throws off Finn's aim, some, and Brynn's long with it, bright blue lasers piercing empty air and glancing off shining surfaces, but it doesn't take much to correct.

Particularly as a wash of violent, icy energy comes rolling from Brynn's outstretched hand, creating a frosty ice slick between herself and Goldtooth until her power reaches where he is getting to his feet. Ice seals up around his legs, his hands, fastening him to the floor as it climbs up his arms. In Brynn's view, green lit numbers of '21', '12', '14', '27' drift up and off of him as she maintains her focus. The whites around his eyes are all visible as he struggles against the growing ice, and then gives a hoarse yell as Finn aims, shoots, blue light slicing through a frosted over arm, which shatters in an explosion of vaporised ice.


A rolling fireball of flame engulfs him from Cassandra's outstretched arm — '14', '29', '11', '17' — and clears to reveal the vague outline of a person, lying still, and still merrily on fire, to the point where bright, computer generated flames obscure the grisly details. In Brynn, Finn, and Cassandra's view, a big '934' drifts up, glowing celebratory green.


From the wall of flame that was her cover, Green Grown leaps, tall high-heels doing nothing to prevent her agility as she goes running — specifically for the rifle that had spilled onto the ballroom floor. Flames lick and catch on her silken green tail of her dress, and a smear of blackened soot streaks up one bared arm. She leaps, lands on knees where her rippling skirt breaks through friction, sends her sliding with grace, spinning, aiming—

— through to the secondary chamber where Weasel is making a run for it.

She squeezes the trigger.

Oowie. Lucille rubs at her head and looks over at the younger woman, "You alright?" She asks with a raise of an eyebrow but then the woman is firing off shots of blue light and ice towards a man shooting at Finn and Lucille could thank the girl for having the man's back. And what a back it was. Is. Always. Best back. Lucille shakes her head rapidly ridding her brain of thoughts not of stealing and hurting people for points and she rolls over climbing to her feet and staying in a crouch.

Best to join him, Lucille leaps to her feet, ice trailing behind her before she thinks again. That Green Gown lady… "Hey! Let's get the Green Lady!" Shouting to Finn as she charges ahead after Weasel and the woman in green making their way into the next room.

“Why won’t you just die already?” Niki growls, lifting her weapon and taking aim at the woman in green again. She squeezes off shot after shot, alternating with bursts of flame as she rushes ahead. The intent is to grapple with her up close, if she survives that long.

Gotta get those points.


Weasel sees ahead of her a small explosion of obliterated marble as a bullet sinks deeply into it, dust like smoke drifting, disappearing. Someone shooting at her — and the shot going far wide.

Glossy marble floors are now changed out for lush carpet, her footfalls muffled as she enters the chamber. Ahead of her, a display — three glass pedestals, over which seems to hover a set of jewelry. A bracelet, a necklace, and in the centre, a tiara, all of them encrusted with diamonds, refracting rainbows, and slowly turning in mid-air.

Woahshit, how did that even work? The girl pauses only very briefly, taking in the pock mark left in the stone by the bullet, and the jewels in turn. She glances back from whence she came, before carefully — cautiously darting toward the jewels.

Her goal right now is to grab them while the others are keeping their opponents busy. She expects some end stage boss to show up, so she keeps her gun and hand raised as she moves, ready to react if anything else happens.

Behind her, back in the first chamber, there's the noisy clatter as the rifle falls a second time as Niki's pistol shoots laser light through the shoulder of Green Gown.

She sags forward on her knees, one hand gripping her shoulder, the curtain of her blonde hair falling to conceal her face. Unlike the security guards, a single shot from Niki's pistol does not fell her, and she starts to get to her feet, a bare knee peeking through the slit of her skirt, but as successive shots lance through her back, her spine arches, and she lets out a cry as the next wave of flame engulfs her form. It licks across her skin, the silk of her dress, curls blackened her sun-spun golden tresses.

As Niki nears, she sees the way her skin seems to resist the burning, where blackened scorch marks left by lasers fade, as if healing. That doesn't stop scores lifting off of her in vibrant green at each accurate shot.

Green Gown lurches forward, reaching for the rifle once again, but winds up collapsing limply on the ground. '901' drifts up off her prone form as Niki slides to a halt.

As the rest gather, they see through the doors, into the secondary chamber, Weasel reaching for a glittering, floating tiara of rainbow diamonds—

— and then they see Weasel disappear with a flash of glittering green light, and the sound of cha-ching

Two more items remain: the glittering necklace, the glittering bracelet. Through the broken skylight, rain is coming down in sheets of silver. Beneath tables, the remaining gala goers duck and hide, cringing away. No security guard remains standing or, indeed, alive. And in the new silence of rain patter and the occasional whimper from the non-player characters around them, they hear a distinct, wailing cry in the distance.

Police sirens.

“Hey, ice queen,” says Finn when Lucille joins him, and he nods, joining her in Niki’s wake. When Green Gown reaches for the rifle the second time, he pulls it with a wave of his hand, to bring it out of her grasp — but it’s all moot. She’s gone.

“Nice!” he says to the firestarter, before the cha-ching draws his attention to Weasel’s chambers, and he bolts that way suddenly, another wave of his hand bringing the rifle along with him, floating along in midair through the power of telekinesis…

The goal is simple: break the glass with the rifle, and use his power to swipe one (or both, but he’s not that greedy) of the remaining items.

Climbing to her feet, Brynn slants a grin at Lucille. Thanks for the save! Even if Lu doesn't know the signs, the intent is clear. With [SIRENS IN THE DISTANCE] flashing at her, she makes the combat sign for Tie it up! so they can evacuate. Hastening into the other room, she's uncertain which way we're supposed to escape — or if it's back out the ceiling! Still using standard combat signs, she queries whoever will understand them, Exfil?

With all the chaos going on, Cassandra has done fairly well, in her eyes. Her life bar, or hit points, or whatever, haven’t hit zero just yet. ‘More than 1 hp means I’m ready for fun’ seems to be the mantra of the designers of this game. She’d gotten a few points, too, from errant guards running into her flame and some well-placed shots. It’d actually started to be fun, in her eyes. Pushing herself to her feet from her spot of cover and hefting a chunk of debris in her right hand, ignoring the cowering NPC’s, Cassandra starts to hustle towards the other room and the unbroken display case. The people with Telekinesis have the advantage here, so she’s got to be quick - and lucky - if she’s wanting to get a bit of the loot for herself. Either one would be good to grab, she thinks. The necklace probably has the higher score out of the two but, if that gets taken, she’ll go for the bracelet. Really, whichever one is left when she gets there.

When Cassandra gets close enough, she uses the brick to smash the glass and, hopefully, get one of the items.

Except the world suddenly goes dark. Cassandra's swing, having shattered glass, rings oddly in her ears— statics— and completes into nothing, her hand suddenly closed around nothing. Before she has time to consider what's happened, red lettering begins to pop up in streamers before her, and the sounds of reality begin to filter in to her like from beyond a long, long tunnel.

She and the others under the simulation one by one begin to pull free from their rigs to come back to the real world, all while being corralled by concerned Crito Corporate attendants who smile— nervously— and provide customer-service-perfect reassurance that all's well. A show is made out of making this look from an outside view like a debrief of their experience, like nothing unusual has happened in the demo process. At the end, they offer each participant the chance to come back again when Maya has rebooted…

After they figure out just what kind of action from guests not even present in this instance of the simulation took down their whole prototype.

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