Wild Rodent Chase


bella_icon.gif carrie_icon.gif colby_icon.gif kayla_icon.gif len_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif minea_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Scene Title Wild Rodent Chase
Synopsis The Company goes a-hunting. It takes five agents, a psychiatrist, and a secretary to bag one not-so-little rodent. Or does it?
Date August 16, 2009

Fort Hero: Sublevel 2

Deep underground, Fort Montauk's Sublevel 2 has two very distinct faces. The main tunnels are in decent repair, if stained by rust and adorned with cabling, pipes, thin spidery traces of cracks in the concrete; any larger ones have been patched with plaster fused into the artificial stone. These central areas link all of the commonly used spaces together.

However, the tunnels extend beyond what the Company has chosen to currently occupy, and once one gets away from the active zone, the facility's drawbacks become more apparent. Often lower than the central core, the outlying corridors tend to be damp, water seeping in to form small puddles on the floor; Montauk Point is not exactly high in elevation, and the water table lies only a short distance below.

The past few days have featured a lot of gossip in the halls of Fort Hero. Not the usual run of gossip, either, the bread-and-butter office chatter of relationships, work, things we'd rather be doing; rather, complaints about damaged furniture, shredded files, and the apparent ongoing pilfering of dry goods from storage — no matter which room the boxes are put in. Setting guards at the door helped, but not with the nuisance damage elsewhere. Not even the Company's Evolved employees can watch the whole of Fort Hero 24-7 — even if they knew what to look for.

It isn't mice, unless they're very large mice. That's not much to go on.

Whatever they are, they're smart enough to avoid obvious traps, wary enough to stay away from people, and familiar enough with the nooks and crannies of the base to remain out of sight. Thus this little excursion. Grab a bunch of people who surely aren't doing anything important and pitch them at the problem: go check out some of the lower tunnels and see if you can find out where they're coming from or living or anything of that sort. It's a change of pace at least. Besides, what better way to get familiar with the full layout of Fort Hero? Even if that means setting out away from the well-traveled and well-lit areas.

Hey, how many of those conspiracy theories were more than just purest speculation, anyway…?

"Montauk Monster, I'm telling you. I saw the tabloid on the street the other day." Minea's sure of it, flashlight up, jeans, long sleeved shirt and her leather jacket. It does get chilly in basement levels and near this water level. She's opted for a a tranq gun calibrated for a dog instead of an honest to god gun. She doesn't want to go deaf while they're searching.

Veronica's walking with Minea and shakes her head. "That was some illusion that one chick — Flora? Fauna? Merriweather? — did at the Company barbecue. It wasn't real, Min. You were still in Phoenix and missed the fun on that one." She bends to investigate what looks like a scrap of cardboard dragged back along this tunnel.

Colby walks behind Veronica and Minea — not quite a part of their gang, not familiar enough to head the way, but brave enough to linger some where in between. The Latina's boots carry out a steady beat, her braid thumping carelessly along in tandem against her upper back. A greasy old beater, some frayed jeans, and a leather jacket keep her both modest and warm. Her favorite glasses, made useless down here, sit propped on the top of her noggin. "That tequila is sounding mighty fine by now," she quips jokingly at the pair before her.

Unlike Minea, she's opted for a true and true gun, a habit from her prior career — she's new to The Company, she'll learn. Her flashlight supports Sawyer's prodding and examination before swiveling back forward.

Carrie isn't much for humane when it comes to stuff gnawing on her furniture. She's come with a high powered BB gun and well… her tazer. She will make those things squirm. Especially when she found out they had gnawed at her grandmothers end tables. They were antiques! Her flashlight sweeps across the tunnel she's going down. Her radio crackles with the conversations of the other agents. "That was a riot really." She chimes in, voice echoing off the concrete. "Company's finest running and screaming from an illusion."

This is personal. Bella only had one file here, the Martinez evaluation, and now half of it is being used, she presumes, to shelter a burgeoning swarm of little beasties. People's intimate secrets are for exploitation, not bedding! The psychiatrist is wearing winter boots for extra protection, as well as raincoat, just in case something leaps on her from above, and a wide brimmed hat so that nothing will get in her hair. She looks, in short, utterly ridiculous, gripping a long handled flashlight in both hands, illumination doubling, in a pinch, as bludgeon.

All this preparation, including some self medication, California style, means that Dr. Sheridan shows up a bit late, tromping after the main group. "Hey, hey, hey!" she calls, eyes a bit squinty, hair whisping out from under the hat and smelling slightly acrid, "Wait, please, I don't want to be eaten!"

Magnes, wearing his usual semi-casual suit with his hair slicked back, something Minea is likely not used to seeing yet, walks along with a tranq in each hand. He stays close by Carrie, having two real guns strapped under his jacket, which he doesn't intend to use on poor little animals! He's on radio as well, speaking his mind on the topic of the monster, "But what if it's the real one? I hear it's a dog genetically crossed with a pig and a raccoon."

For having been the one who spotted their destruction in the first place, Kayla hasn't been affected much by the rodents' behavior. Then again, she doesn't have much for them to gnaw on — and she's used to living with mice besides. Still, she too has been thrown at this probable wild goose chase; dressed in her usual professional attire in spite of the environment, an earpiece clipped on, flashlight in hand.

She's walking down the corridor a little distant from the rest, the beam of light shifting from one crack in the wall to another. "That's what you've got the tranqs for, isn't it?" Kayla remarks to Magnes. She herself isn't packing anything weaponlike; not really a surprise. An expression of distaste flickers across the woman's expression as she makes careful circuit of a puddle on the floor, even if it is just seepage; her shoes are not waterproof.

"What the secretary said. Christ, Sheridan, what are you hunting — Moby Dick?" There's a flicker of the flashlight towards the psychiatrist and she raises her brow. "Spelunking in an old super secret base, with super secret agents, hunting secret animals that are eating stuff. I think I might be able to tack on the word secret one more time… Reid, why did you not dress properly?" Minea shakes her head at the careful dance around the water and she just walks right through it. "I'm laying five bucks on an old resident who can.. phase through walls. A throw back from the experimentations they did here."

"Why would a phaser tear up cardboard boxes? Is he missing fingers for some reason? Opposoble thumbs? Needs more fiber in his diet?" Veronica teases Minea. "Magnes, see if that puddle is water or something else." She winks at Colby. She doesn't really care if it's water or something else, but wants to see if Magnes will do it. "Because, you know, if it's urine, the sheer size of the puddle would give us a clue as to what we're dealing with."

"Hm?" Colby, no doubt, is going to stop and turn for the familiar redhead. The newest agent's lips draw up in what is quickly becoming a smile reserved for the pleasant psychiatrist — amused and only slightly cocky. "Glad you could join us, Dr. Sheridan," she quips on a more humorous note then aught else as her gaze scans the chosen attire. She gives a nudge of her chin to the women ahead of her, and falls back just enough to take a place at Bella's side.

Sawyer's wink earns the flash of a grin before her attention swivels around to the figure she presumes to be Magnes. "Remind me to stay on your good side," she offers to Veronica. She skirts the puddle, if just to make room should the boy aim to follow Sawyer's order. "Summer Camp," she mumbles, bringing up the little inside joke for the two women leading ahead of her.

Unafraid of the stagnate and nasty puddles in the tunnels, Carrie tromps right through the puddle in her old combat boots, anyone close might get a bit of ickiness on their feet. "Pfft. Tranqs? Come on. Tranqs mean they get to live and make more of those damn things," the woman grumbles. "And seriously, Maggie, there is no such thing. My money is on rats. I hear they are grow pretty fucking big in New York." She's quiet for a moment and adds, covering her mic and leaning close to Magnes so she can whisper, "Hey… maybe we'll run into mutant turtles, too." She gives him a grin in the darkness, the barest flash of teeth. Out loud she asks, "Think we'll find a gator? That could be kinda cool."

"Ahab is a remarkable figure," Bella says, giving Minea a good natured, narrowed eyed glare, "At least from what I remember of reading half of that book freshman year undergrad." She skirts the puddle Kayla avoids as well, though she wisely (if somewhat neurotically) donned formidable footwear. The bright pool of her flashlight darts around with the nervousness that only comes from someone who is dead certain that the next shift will reveal beady, luminscent eyes and ravening, rodential incisors. She's feeling pleasantly half terrified. She shoots Colby a quick grin, "Now I feel safer, thank you Colby," let's just hope the nesting scraps are illegible. One hand leaves her flashlight just long enough to tip back her hat, for the sake of her vision. "Oh, god, Carrie, don't jinx us! Someone… get me some wood to knock on."

"I bet it's Many As One, from Planescape: Torment. There were so many rats in the city, they all got together and became one big sentient hivemind, controlling all the rats from their secret tunnel cave." Magnes explains, then quickly does as requested, sticking his foot into the puddle, then lifting the puddle with gravity, making it effectively stuck to his foot. "It, uh, this is weird, I've never moved liquid before…"

The hunt is on it seems for Bigfoot, or the Lochness Monster or something that's going around eating paper. Not quite the MO of the above creatures, and surely with enough people around those particular urban legends would not go hungry. Regardless, Len is wandering a good distance back. He wasn't there when they headed out. He brought in some special equipment for this takedown. He has what looks to be a butterfly net in one hand, draping it over his shoulder like it was a rifle and a baseball bat. One of them wooden types, not one of those sissy aluminum ones. He can hear them up ahead as he approaches, and proving his stealthness, his boots do not make a sound as he gets closer, listening to them talk about puddles and whatnot. In a voice just a bit louder than he probably should, he announces. "Have we caught that blasted thing yet?"

Why isn't she dressed appropriately? The only response Minea gets is a sidelong glare and the stiff refusal to comment. There's a substantial dose of pride in there somewhere, and not a lot of good nature. (Presumably Kayla has good nature somehow.) "They do," the secretary confirms for Carrie regarding the subject of rats and size. "And they get mean." She pauses, looking over her shoulder first at Magnes, then at Len upon his self-announced arrival. The woman doesn't comment on either, but after a moment continues her progress forward.

They're well beyond any of the routinely-used passages by now, the scent of rust getting stronger, the walls showing more cracks and less repair. There are also many more puddles sitting stagnant on the floor; little ones, big ones; some shallow, some surprisingly deep, all things considered. The corridor curves gradually around, visibility reduced by the bend; on the far side, the tunnel continues, but there is also a metal staircase leading up — despite the fact that they've been walking away from Fort Hero all this while.

Minea reaches out to knock her knuckles gently on Veronica's head when Bella demands someone knock on some wood to unjinx them. "Denton! We're hunting the Fort Hero Moby Dick. Sheridan's our Ahab and Varlane's the puddle sniffe… lifter." Right. Her own foot scrapes at some stuff against the wall, dislodging it and peering down at another puddle. "There's something to be said, for moving into an already established base, as opposed to building a new one…" They don't have issue like cracking foundation.

But there's the staircase, leading up and Minea frowns. "There an outbuilding that this leads up to?"

Veronica peers up, then looks backward. "I guess there's only one way to find out? This safe to go up, boss?" she says, peering back at Len, one foot already moving onto the staircase. "It's not going to bring me into the Top Secret Alien Warehouse or anything is it?" She takes another step up, though she waits for confirmation that it's not leading to something that's above her clearance level.

Colby chuckles softly to Bella's reply. She falls contemplatively silent, observing the antics of her fellow agents with an amused expression lighting her tan features only subtly. Can't ruin her reputation, no matter how small, after all. She gives a little twitch and looks back to Len. "Did I say Summer Camp? I meant Elementary School." She chuckles and gives the man a little nod of acknowledgement before turning her attention to Veronica and the staircase.

"Oh come on.." Carrie says to Bella with a chuckle. "You can't tell me you're with trained Agents and afraid?" She shakes her head. "Denton.. I'd be insulted. She doesn't think we can protect her." Chuckles she glances at the shrink, "Unless, you know… it's a giant mutated gator," she teases, before continuing on.. Then karma seems to strike the agent: she steps into a puddle and ends up with he foot sinking to above her ankle. Carrie lets loose a long line of curses and gives her foot a few shakes. "Watch that puddle," she grumbles, as she moves to peer up the staircase as Veronica starts going up.

"Rats are smart, very smart. They'll go for the weak and helpless first!" Bella exclaims, "They'll wait in shadow until we pass them and then 'raaar!'," Lord help them if there is a rat that actually makes that sound… The sight of the staircase pauses her chatter. She peers up, then glances to Colby, then Len. "Did we not get comprehensive plans of this place?" Another look up the stairway. What could lie beyond? Bella hopes it's Elvis. Elvis or Jimmy Hoffa. Or Elvis and Jimmy Hoffa. But everyone knows they're in Area 52.

Magnes shakes his foot, sending the liquid flying down the hall in front of them. He puts a tranq away and pulls out his own flashlight, keeping it mostly aimed at the floor so he knows what he's stepping in. "So, just a thought, I mean, not to freak anyone out, but in X-Men there were these sub-mutants, and they lived underground. They were the mutants rejected from society and felt the need to hide, until eventually a whole community formed in the sewers…"

Kayla pauses by the staircase, running the beam of her flashlight up the narrow, spiralling, black-painted structure. "It probably connects to one of the former artillery bunkers," the woman decides after a bit of consideration. She reaches up to shove escaped hair back out of her face. "We should be right about at the edge of that. Building was sealed a couple decades ago." Glancing over at Bella, the secretary shrugs a little. "Sure, there's plans on file. This place has gone through the hands of at least three different organizations, though — four, if you count us separate from the first Company occupation, before it finally got mothballed. There's been a couple remodels, and whole reams of files are missing, withheld, destroyed… or otherwise not on hand."

The sight of the stairwell causes Len some pause. The conversation goes on around him as he pushes ahead to take a look. As Kayla explains what she knows about the stairwell and where it might lead, Len is already taking a couple of steps upward. He holds his bat at the ready, just in case he needs to take a swing. "So there could be plenty of secrets that lie ahead, or there could be a whole lotta nothing up here is basically what you're saying? Maybe some literal skeletons in the closet, or a horde of rabid mutant evolved chinchillas?" He takes a couple more steps upwards. "Well, if it's as sealed on the outside as you say, then we can at least be certain that whatever's in there came from this direction instead of from the outside. Maybe we should take a looksie…" He turns, glancing down the stairwell at the others, the white of his teeth definitely shown as he grins widely. Len likes him some adventures.

"Swing batter batter," Minea mutters under her breath. "I vote the senior agent sacrifices himself first. I vote too that Reid goes to the back. In case things get hurt. Easier for you to take off and get away." Get out of range. Not like Minea doesn't know about the secretary's ability. "Or will Martinez like her first task to be venturing forth into the bunker of doom, be the red shirt to our Kirk?" Minea gestures to the stairs.

"Mutant chinchillas? I bet you ten they're sugar gliders," Veronica tosses back at Len, and heads up the steps. She pulls her tranq gun from her holster. "If it's a mutant something, better alive than dead to study it." Her would-be neurosurgeon rears its head once in a while. She is, after all, her father's daughter. "If it's regular normal rats, kill it three times over just to be sure it's dead." She's not a fan of rats. The agent pushes Len in front of her with a wink back to Minea. She looks tiny next to Len's hulking frame, a good foot shorter than him. "You make a good shield, though, boss." She's teasing about being afraid, but lets him do the honors of opening the door, if it will open.

Colby tips her chin up to observe the theatrics on the stage of the stairwell — until her name is mentioned. "Eh?" She looks back to Minea, cracking a slight smile. "Red shirt? Pah-lease…" She taps her collar bone twice with a fist, and pulls her hand away in with her finger split into pairs — pinky and ring, middle and index, and finally her thumb. She had nerdy brothers. She drops the 'Vulcan' gesture and nudges a thumb up the stair. "They look like they've got it under control, besides." Even still she steps forward and takes a post at the bottom of the stairwell, shining her light up.

"If they are chinchillas then I might be less inclined to taze them." Carrie comments blandly, moving up the stairs with the others. "But I could get some enjoyment out of watching a rat wiggle. Allergic to the damn things." she chuckles and grins. "Yeah.. bossman can be the red shirt. Nice knowing you. I'll make sure we sing a few round of 'Friends in Low Place,' for you at your wake."

"I uh, Mister Denton?" Magnes asks as he begins to walk up the stairs, catching up next to him. "If you're gonna walk in front, maybe I should walk next to you, in case this place is unstable?"

"Well, I suppose it could be worse," Bella says as she tries to stay as much in the midst of the group as possible. "It could be an old abandoned mental ward or, I don't know… prison. Not that there's much difference beyond a certain point. Can't we get a clairvoyant or some specialized technopath to map this place? We'd feel pretty stupid if some terrorist cell decided to set up in one of the hideyholes here and we accidentally bumped into some getting lost on the way to the water cooler."

Inevitably, Minea's suggestion earns her a sidelong look from Kayla; nonetheless, the healer doesn't disagree. Fortunately, 'move to the back' in this case just means 'wait until everyone else has ascended the stairs'. So she remains at the bottom of the well, watching impassively as the others go up. A rearguard would be watching the tunnel; but Kayla's a secretary.

Fort Hero: Artillery Bunker A

The other end of the staircase leads out into a room with cinderblock walls, a concrete-slab floor, and many parallel wooden rafter beams. There's several small piles of crushed stone where it looks like someone cut halfway into one of the walls, removing one layer of blocks; or maybe they've crumbled down around a previously existing inset. Bars hang from the ceiling, twisted and bent, possibly under their own weight; they probably used to support something, before one end rusted loose. There's dirt and dust aplenty, along with a few faded splatters of graffiti — not many, but evidence that once upon a time vandals made it in here. The room is decently large; the hallway leading out is comparatively small, but not the kind of small that would pose any problems to the investigating party. Not when 'normal', in this bunker, means 'sized for semi truck deliveries'.

Len is rather cat-like when it comes to mysteries. If there's something he wants to know, he seeks it out, so into the bunker he goes. "Just keep an eye out for anything funny," he says to Magnes. "If someone looks like they're going to fall through something, just help them out. We don't need any serious injuries hunting rodents." The net in his other hand is poised to snatch anything that moves. Since there are several carrying flashlights, he gets a good look at the graffiti as he steps in. "Well, this is interesting." Not really interesting as in he found something interesting, but the fact that he was expecting.. more? "Start looking around for evidence that the 'thing' has been in here," he directs the others before he starts to see if there are any other exits in this bunker, or evidence that perhaps someone else has been in here.

"It's interesting that…" she peers at some of the graffiti, "Kilroy was here?" Veronica's kidding of course. It doesn't actually say that. Her flashlight sweeps along one wall, up over the ceiling, then down another wall, looking for any signs of mutant chincillas, rabid sugar gliders, or teenage mutant ninja turtles. Or just plain rats. "Downside of having a super secret organization in a super secret locale that no one can know about — we can't just call Terminix?"

Colby traverses the threshold in turn, fanning out as the crowd slips into the dilapidated room. "How anticlimactic," she notes with a tilted smirk, lifting a hand to adjust the set of her glasses atop her head before beginning to make her way towards one of the off shooting rooms.

Magnes stares up at the rafters curiously, aiming his flashlight up there. He doesn't make a move to do anything just yet, instead asking, "Mister Denton, should I fly up and see if there's anything strange?"

Carrie comes out of the stairwell and glances around looking a bit amused. "It's like.. a big empty place. Why am I not surprised." Splitting off from the group at Denton's orders Carrie starts looking to see if anything looks well… she doesn't know what she's looking for. Her little pool of light moves around the floor, prodding anything that looks proddable with her booted foot.

Bella's with Colby on this. The empty, delapidated grandeur they discover is a little underwhelming after all the tense expectations. But she quickly reminds herself that actual danger is much less fun than thriller movie danger; that, amongst other reasons, is why she is not an agent. "We really should retrofit this for something," she comments, light panning over some unreadable, hastily sprayed grafitti. "Will these derelict areas go to whomever writes up a request for them first, or do you think there are plans for all this higher up the ladder?"

It's axiomatic that no one ever looks up — except, apparently, Magnes. Thus, the youngest agent sees the small, dark silhouette in the rafters first. It looks like little more than a round lump clinging to the wood, perhaps somewhat smaller than a housecat, although nothing resembling a feline shape. It also barks, short, sharp, equally-spaced percussive sounds; their timbre is most reminiscent of a small yappy dog, though those things tend to give off flurries of barks.

The last to come up the stairs, behind Minea, Kayla arrives only after the thing in the rafters starts squawking. One hand still resting on the rail, she scowls in its direction. "The heck is that?"

Colby, as she makes her way out of the entry room, happens across something that is not concrete, cinderblock, plaster, or decaying wood — what looks like the remains of cardboard boxes tucked into the corner, the kind used to hold paper… or archived files. Remains is the operative word, as clearly something has been chewing on and pilfering from them for years, the boxes ragged and torn-up shells, files reduced to mere fragments and any original order completely demolished.

"Well, fuck me sideways." Minea's attention gathered by the 'yipping' in the upper corner. "Hey, Sawyer, Denton owes you money." She nudges Kayla with her elbow and points. "Heh. Worse than rats. It's a frigging squirrel that's been terrorizing us. Jeeze." Minea's shaking her head as she peers up. "Denton, how you want to deal with Alvin, Simon, and Theodore's relative?"

Len glances upwards as Magnes asks if he should fly up there. "Well, if you think you can take it go ahead, but damn if it has rabies or something. Probably best to keep your distance." Little does anyone know that Len is already considering getting a cage for that thing. Hey, the Company could use a mascot. What? "If you can use your ability to dislodge it from where it's crouched and float it down here so we can get a good look at it, that would be good though." Len mentions to Magnes. He doesn't see the box or any other boxes that may be around. His attention is fully on the creature.

"Yep, that's a squirrel call," Veronica says with a laugh. "Not quite a sugar glider, but close, right?" She glances at the box. "That's a lot of damage for a little rodent. There's gotta be more of them. One little squirrel couldn't eat through all our supply boxes, I don't think." She flashes her light over at Magnes. "Not an X-man Mutant Turtle after all." She keeps a straight face, so that he will think she accidentally mixed up all those names.

"Tree rats!" Bella exclaims, more angry than surprised, or at least angry at being surprised, "Pampered, big tailed tree rats!" She brandishes her flashlight in the critter's direction. Maybe it'll be… uh… intimidated? Suddenly, though, she remembers rodent reproductive rates, or at least the approximation she was always told about. "Jesus… be careful. It may have reinforcements." She starts scanning, trying to locate other potential vermin vectors, following close in Colby's wake. The chewed-out nest is a likely location, and she gives a little yelp, ducking behind the Latina in a move worthy of Sir Robin the Not-Quite-As-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot. She peeks out behind her ablative she-shield after a moment. "Oh… those don't look salvageable."

"Would a tranq kill it? I mean, we don't wanna kill it, right?" Magnes asks, apparently concerned if it is indeed a squirrel. "Maybe I could catch it with my hands, I could change its gravity before it could bite me, I think. I need one or two of you to stand at the entrance, just in case. Don't kill it." He floats up, trying to touch the rafters he spots the squirrel on, only shifting gravity a bit heavier, not enough to cause any collapses, just enough to possibly slow the squirrel's movements.

Colby wrinkles a nose at the 'treasure trove' she discovers.

Rustle rustle.

She taps the papers with the toe of her boot, one hand on her holstered weapon, the other steadying her flashlight. Apparently all the hype has her expecting something to jump out. "Anyone missing some files?" She calls back towards the main room. Rustle rustle.

Turning around from her trip around the warehouse she trains her light up to the roof as well. "What? What do you mean not kill it? It's a menace." No sympathy from Carrie, that's for sure. "You leave it alive.. it'll make more little squirrels and then we'll all be overrun. And personally, I'd like to keep my furniture in one piece."

Kayla reflexively recoils from Minea's elbow, leaning back against the rail. And gives the woman another offended look that they all know she isn't actually going to care much about. "How is a squirrel worse than rats?" Aside from gnawing on cardboard and tearing up paper, but she's got more experience with rats than squirrels.

The rodent, visually identifiable by type when it fluffs up its large tail, continuing to vocally protest the intrusion of humans here. Magnes' approach causes it to jump for another rafter, abandoning the role of sentry in favor of attempting escape. With the flashlights on it, it looks less than classically gray — oddly gray/brown mottled, ears incongruously large. Not so much unlike a chinchilla in that respect.

Minea's phone starts ringing, of all things, as she unholstering the tranq gun she brought. "Maytag, Take this. Calibrated for a small animal. Lets not go shooting the animals near the secretary? Tranq it and it can be brought back to the base proper. Then Denton can tell them the issue and something can be done. There's likely a few more here. It's storing up for winter. It's August for Christ's sake. Winter's around the corner. I gotta go, take this." The phone held up. "I'll find my way back."

"If anyone has a clear shot with a tranq, let's go that route." Len's already considering what to feed the thing and how he can get The Company to pay for the feed. "Does anyone see any other critters running around here? Are we infested, or is it just this one?" At the mention of 'files', Len's attention turns to Colby. He walks over and takes a peek. "Anything salvagable in that mess? Might be useful. If it's just a nest now, then I dunno what we do with it. Grab what you can," he instructs as he turns his attention back to the critter.

"I think maybe they got trapped inside and are just doing the best they can. Maybe we can get some of the no-kill cages, then put them back out in the wilderness. I can't imagine they prefer paper to their natural environment," Veronica says. "It has to be more than just one, don't you think?" She glances at Kayla. "We can requisition some no-kill cages, right? Set them in the places that they've been turning up."

Magnes gets sick of beating around the bush with the squirrel. He holsters his tranq, then starts flying after it as best he can in the rafters, keeping his flashlight in his mouth, bordering on deep throating it, but that's a concern for another time. "Rit rack rere!" he exclaims, trying to grab it with both hands and suppress its movements with gravity.

Files? Files! Bella tenses. "Um… I lost some files so please, don't anyone read them as they may contain confidential information!" Disclaimer disclaimer! But this is about as much as she can take. As Minea begins to depart, she grabs her chance to get an escorted return trip, "Wait!" she calls out again, jogging to catch up. "Good… uh… good luck everyone! If you find anything of mine, send it to my office without opening it!"

"Doubtful," Colby calls back, pleasantly relieved that nothing's pounced her unexpectedly. She tucks her flashlight between her torso and bicep before crouching down and passing her hand over the paper work.

She gives up, though, and aims to turn back to the main room to see what help she can be in catching the… squirrel, according to the conversation.

"Dammit, Maggie Boy.. You get rabies.. I am so going to laugh at you." Carrie follows the progress of her former trainee with a frown. "Use your jacket and throw it over it. Make the Jacket too heavy for it to get out of." She starts moving after him in a lazy stroll. "Just.. don't crush the damn thing. Wouldn't want anyone to cry over it," she comments blandly. "Personally, I say crush the damn thing."

The files and papers are not particularly openable — to open requires that something be closed in the first place. There are a few nearly whole sheets, but not many; most are brown with age, pencil rendered illegible by flashlight, pen and typewriter not presently much better. Reading will require a better setting.

The squirrel stays one bound… half a bound… a quarter bound ahead of Magnes, but he has the advantage of superpowers and appropriate application of them; it doesn't. Of course, the rodent does what any self-respecting rodent does when squished by grasping hands: it squeaks once in affronted protest and bites down on what digits it can reach.

Kayla looks over at Veronica; not a glower, unlike practically every look she's given Minea this afternoon, but her expression doesn't convey much useful information. Maybe she appreciates the thought on Vee's part. Or maybe she just thinks Vee is being slightly dense. "They've had traps out and didn't catch anything. Not even mice." Not cages, true, but still…

There's a loud yell from the rafters when Magnes catches the squirrel, trying his best to keep the thing still with gravity pushing against it from all sides, but also sure not to use so much force that it crushes the thing. "I g-got it…" he calls down from the rafters, then adds, "And I'm bleeding."

Len just shakes his head. "There wasn't a way to catch that thing without touching it?" Len has a net for crying out loud. Of course, it's a butterfly net, so who knows how effective that would be. "Someone makes sure Varlane gets to the medic and get checked out when we get back. Who knows what sort of disease that thing may have." He hands the net over to Castillo, as if putting her in charge of keeping that thing hostage. "Someone grab the papers. Did anyone find anything else of interest back in here?" He asks. No sense in leaving if they haven't completely inspected the place.

Veronica shrugs at Kayla's response. "I don't live here. I don't pay attention to maintenance stuff. And a cage with a tripped door might be different than a mouse trap." She moves further into the room, sweeping her flashlight over the walls and corners, looking for more than the one squirrel or anything else of note.

The few intact papers that catch her eye are folded delicately as Colby passes through the adjoined room, ultimately standing back in the doorway with her flashlight wedged beneath her arm. She looks up in time to see the fiasco of the float Magnes versus rodent come to a close. "Ya'll really think it was that critter that caused all the damage?" she inquires with a lofted brow. She seems skeptical, seeing as something caused enough issues to send a whole team of agents, and Magnes, down into the pits of the complex. "Lotta fuss," she notes with a growing grin.

"Shit." Moving along side Len, Carrie sighs heavily, murmuring. "Please tell me the base has a supply of rabies vaccine, or am I going to be driving him to a hospital?" Much louder she calls out to Magnes, "Great job, kiddo. Come on down so we can get a good look at what might be causing all the problems." When the net is thrust at her, she sighs and says something under her breath as she takes it. "Put it in the net, Maggie, and make it heavy till I can twist the damn mouth of the thing closed."

Magnes slowly floats down, increasing the weight of the squirrel so it can slide off his finger and into the net. He holds the finger up, which is bleeding pretty badly for a finger. "Crap, sorry, I don't know why I didn't think of the jacket thing sooner. I'm just not used to all of this yet." He takes a deep breath, staring at his finger for a moment, then the blood suddenly looks as if it's being held down against his finger. "Using gravity to stop the bleeding is really bad, I learned that before, so, I should hurry up and get back."

Len is already walking down the stairwell back into the corridor. "Oh, that net won't hold that thing, someone'll have to hug it." He mentions as he disappears from the room. Hey, no one died, so in his book this was a successful mission. Going to have to find out about that cage for his office though.

Veronica heads back to the stairwell. "Snuggle that thing, Castillo. First time for everything. Even squirrels deserve affection." She heads down the steps and begins the long trek back down the tunnel.

Colby watches the group standing round the biter and bitee with a smirk. "Yeah, that's just what you want — an open wound while traveling in these tunnels." Her gaze follows Len's retreat though, before she makes to move after him. When all else fails, follow the boss.

"Oh hell no. I am not hugging that thing." Carrie thrusts the net and its now contained occupant into Kayla's hands. "Here… I'm taking Maggie to the medic," she grumps before looking back at Magnes and crooks a finger at her former trainee, while continuing to say to Kayla, "Make sure to drop that thing off on Len's desk… he wants the pet, let him deal with it. Jsut you know… shut the door behind you in case it gets out." That said she drags Magnes after her for the stairwell.

Butterfly nets are much like the insects they are meant to capture: light, delicate things. They're not designed to hold big squirrels whose weight was further increased by gravity manipulation; it tears through the bottom, hits the floor, and takes advantage of Magnes' bleeding-induced distraction to dart down the hallway into the dark recesses of the bunker.

Kayla takes the net handle from Carrie, holding it in the hand with the flashlight, gray gaze flicking between the agent and the hall. Mm-hmm. She slides the glove from her free hand with the deft ease of a familiar, everyday motion, brushing bared fingers against Magnes' neck as he passes by. What bite was that? But the healer doesn't say anything; just makes her own way towards the stairwell, last again, not pausing to look back as she leaves the building and takes the light with her.

[OOC] Magnes says, "You do realize that 7 highly trained government secret agents just got beaten by a squirrel?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License