Iceburn began with a whisper, but Metamorph was already through the door. ”Aaand he’s gone.”
Iceburn said. As for his plan…”Let’s hope they aren’t trigger happy…”
She muttered under her breath with a nervous smile. But she was nothing if not a performer, and she had done similar ‘distraction’ roles before in some of the rinky-dink heists she and her friends in Rhelasia used to pull.
But she couldn’t distract anyone in her superhero outfit. She needed a disguise. But how? Her pink eyes scanned the floor and she peeked around the corner. With the coast clear, she made her way…to the janitor’s closet!
As the roaming guard made their patrol, they would suddenly encounter the young pale woman with a cap and a baggy outfit on, pulling a cart of supplies in one hand and a mop in the other. ”Moppin’ floors, moppin’ floors, that’s what I’m getting pa-id fors.”
She sang brightly, adding a croaky rasp to her voice and a hunch to her shoulders. Her head was down, her face mostly obscured.
The guard aimed his weapon at Pei, as if her mop and bucket were some sort of deadly weapons.
“What the hell are you doing…?” The question would have been obvious, but what kind of janitor would continue cleaning the building during a heist? He walked up to Pei with a scowl on his face.
“Do you want to end up like the rest of the people here?”
The guard kicked at the bucket, spreading dirty water all over the marble floors. It looked like there were a couple of people who managed to stay out of sight during their sweep of the floors. ”What’s that, sonny?”
She croaked, still not looking up, hoping to use her hat to hide the youthfulness of her face. She cupped her ear in his direction. A lot of her hair was white, after all, she had hid a lot of the rainbow part under her cap. ”My hearing isn’t what it used to be!”
“Either get off this floor, or join the hostages downstairs! Understand?”
He really didn’t have time for this nonsense. There was something going on downstairs. Theo’s message was strange to say the least and he could swear he heard the muffled sounds of a distant explosion.
The guard was waiting for Pei to leave the area and he wasn’t being very patient. It would be less than a minute before he’d resort to violence.
Iceburn was nothing if not willing to take a hit for the team… but she wasn’t looking forward to it. At all. Nonetheless, she pushed forward. ”Hmmm? Oh yes, yes, I understand. Just fine, sonny. But, no, thank you. I’ll just clean this floor and move on, I don’t have any sausages.”
She said. Hostages kind of sounded like sausages. That was what she was going with here. ”But if you’d like, you can come over for some homemade cake and iced cream!”
The stalling tactics could only take them so far and the guard was fed up. He grabbed Pei and pulled her away from the cleaning supplies with a rough tug on her left arm.
“I don’t think you’re getting my point….” ”Ooh!”
Iceburn said, feigning alarm. She winced, preparing to take a hit, but fortunately, he saw fit to only tug her. Harshly, but, whatever. At the very least, he’s not the type of guy to beat up defenseless old ladies. Iceburn would go easy on him.
During a childhood of picking pockets and close up magic, Iceburn was an experienced student of distraction. It was a subtle thing. But while her arm was tucked, Iceburn stumbled forward, bring her other arm around behind her. All she need to do was tap the trigger of the gun, and leave a little mist behind. A little rock of ice stuck behind the trigger of the gun. If he ever tried to pull the trigger, it would get stuck. Iceburn pressed her lips together in anticipation, and waited for her leader’s mark to act.
Meanwhile, within the cubicles, a hunter lurked in search of the hostages on this floor. He could still quite plainly hear his teammate’s interaction with the guard. While he appreciated that she was buying him time, he well understood that the time was quickly diminishing.
The small walled workspaces could be a maze if they hadn’t checked the floors above with similar layouts. Moreover, the young lion knew that the workers wouldn’t be crammed into one of these areas. Instead, he found his way to a corner where he could only assume to be a supervisor’s office.
Peeking around the corner just barely, he could see the hostage taker at the door. There was a bit of distance between the final cubicle and the office, enough so that if there was a wrong turn, their cover would be blown. Exhaling to steady his nerves, Kila put a hand up to his ear as he timed the man’s pacing pattern.”Now!”
His voice cut into the comms as he cut the distance toward his opponent. Just as the man turned his head to face fast-falling footsteps, a heavy shin came down on the back of his head to drop him.
The guard was knocked to the floor before he could pull the trigger on his sound gun. The kick to his head hurt and made him see stars. He squinted and could just about make out a moving shape in front of him. He pretended to have lost consciousness, staying still. ”Squad A, splinter off to the upper floors. Zatara remain in the lobby with the hostages, you are the most equipped for the unexpected. Be cautious Stormcaller, we don’t want—ugh!”
His body fell to his hands and knees, as he suddenly felt his body shaking. His dark fading vision made contact with the man he had struck.
When Metamorph turned to communicate with his Team, the guard took the opportunity to quietly change the frequency of his weapon. He fired it at full capacity. The relatively small amount of distance made the effect of the weapon even more potent. The young lion felt waves of shooting pain through his body unlike anything he’d experienced before. Yet, while his ears rang, his exhaled breaths held animalistic snarling beneath.
Unexpectedly he stood up, his posture still somewhat shaky. Even more unexpectedly however, the Metamorph helmet fell to the ground in front of him. A red glow came from above the hostage taker.
Iceburn had heard the command. She heard the command and looked up at the man that had her by the arm. At that point he would probably realize that she was seventeen and not seventy. Iceburn grinned apologetically for her deception and got to work. She stomped on the ground beneath his feet, and her Creation Mist sprayed and then solidified into a frictionless, slippery puddle of ice, just for him.
In order to escape, she twisted her her arm in his grasp and pulled it through the narrow gap in his thumb and fingers. In order to get said leverage she threw her shoulder into him. Normally it wouldn’t knock him over, he had height and weight on her. But with the ice puddle beneath him, Iceburn knew it would send him harshly onto his tailbone while she remained standing.
After that he pointed a gun and pulled the trigger- only to find it stuck. Grinning, Iceburn blasted the gun from his hands with a shard of ice, sending it scattering and ruined. After that, she crossed her arms over each other and blasted his ankles with ice, freezing them to the floor. Uncrossing the x of her hands she flattened him against the ground by freezing his arms tight and then attaching him to the floor. The ice was ice cold and uncomfortable, but it wouldn’t leave any lasting damage or hurt that much. She gave him only a moment to consider his predicament before tossing a snowball at his mouth that stuck there, silencing him. The whole thing would melt in a few hours.
Iceburn let the janitor’s outfit fall off of her.”Thwarted by the Incorrigible Iceburn!”
She struck a heroic pose, fists against her hips. Then she started running. ”Justice always wins!”
Iceburn burst into the room with the hostages in her full superheroic uniform. Bold colors, form fitting, with a cropped and sleeveless top with her logo on the back. Couldn’t be mistaken as anything else. Her open hands were misting and crackling with ice power, ready to go.
She wanted to see Metamorph standing victoriously over her opponent, already in the process of freeing the hostages.
What she got was different.
The guard was defeated all right- but he was laying on the ground with two broken arms. It was terribly violent, and she shuddered. The hostages were untouched- neither freed nor harmed. And perhaps worst of all, Metamorph was gone. The only thing left was his mask on the ground. Iceburn was never big on secret identities, but…that couldn’t be good. ”Metamorph?”
She asked, walking into the room and making sure it was clear. First, she made sure the fallen sound gun was totally disabled by giving it a freezing blast. There was no way that guard was hurting anyone now. She was reluctant to look at him and see his arms.
Iceburn activated her communications device and radioed in. ”Metamorph? Metamorph, do you copy? Where’d you go, buddy?”
No response. Iceburn bit her lower lip.
Then she rushed over to the hostages, knelt down, and put on a convincing heroic smile. ”Hi, my name is Iceburn, and I guess I’ll be saving you today. ”
She said. ”You all look right as rain to me, and that’s great to see.”
Her smile was reassuring and bright. ”My friend, Metamorph, is a bit anti-social, but he’s got a good heart. Did any of you happen to see where he might have gone?”
She asked, like she was asking for directions to the grocery store. No big deal. No reason to freak out.
One of the hostages answered in a shaky voice.
“I….I’m not sure where he went. He attacked the robber and…”
The woman was still rattled from the showdown between Metamorph and the robbers. She wasn’t sure who the good guys and the bad guys were anymore.
A man standing behind put his hand on her shoulder. He was remarkably calm and able to provide Pei with a more cohesive answer.
“I saw him leave the way he came, but I can’t be sure what floor he’s on now. I’m guessing he went after the rest of them. He did seem intent to…to take a violent approach. He didn’t harm any of us however….” ”That’s good, that’s good.”
She said, her voice soothing for the benefit of the more panicked hostages. ”Thanks very muchly.”
She stood up and steepled her fingers, placing them thoughtfully against her lips. Placing her finger against her comms device again she said across all channels to her squads.”A-squad, B-squad, this is Iceburn, of C-squad. I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, the hostages on this floor are safe.”
She picked up the mask he wore and gazed upon it. ”The bad news is that Metamorph has gone, uh, AWOL? As in, have no idea where he is. And he apparently,”
She pointed the mask knowingly at the man who had told her. ”Is approaching with violent intent. And I got a goon down here with two broken arms which seems like a little much. So. Yeah. For now I’m gonna guide these hostages out of here and…meet up with whoever’s closest?”
She shrugged, voice raising an octave.
With her report given, she went to the hostages.”Okay, everyone. Stay quiet and follow my lead. We’re getting outta here.”
Her plan was to get them free of any patrols and then point them to the exit once it was safe enough.