//// Initializing Thought-Record #4227 [Codename: Battery] ////
Price’s recovery is remarkable – it seems his body can rebuild itself by crystallizing. After just a few hours, he looks no worse off than I am – the skin is a little raw, and blistered in places, but it’s mostly intact. Incredible. Seer and I have patched up our injuries, but there’s little we can do besides keep them from hurting – we don’t seem to be blessed with any healing powers. Oh well. It’s not that bad.
We get going.
On our way there, the little winged kid re-appears. Seer shouts for him – apparently Opal told him to trust anyone who identifies themselves by yelling the word “paladin”. She tells him everything will be fine; she tells him we’re going to see Opal. He doesn’t seem to recognize the name.
The Hunter is gone when we arrive. I hope she doesn’t come back. Has she been chasing after that scientist for all this time? Or maybe the scientist just led her to something interesting; the thought makes me shudder. There must still be a few volunteers alive in here. No time for that now. Focus. Think positive.
I hack open the electronic lock with my kitchen knife. I understand absolutely nothing of the wires inside, but I fiddle a bit with them, try to make it look as real as I can. Opal opens the doors; one of his shadow-men just pushes a button. We slip inside. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
The room is an absolute mess. The cameras have been busted, the furniture is piled up all over the place, most of it broken. I count five shadow-men, but no living, breathing, human being. We hear his voice, though – he’s hiding somewhere in the room. Mirror does most of the talking.
He stands up. He’s pale, dark-haired, well-dressed. He scares me a little. Mirror takes his form – shrinks out of zir clothes – it makes me jump a little. Then ze starts to undress. Opal seems pretty embarrassed by it. They’ll need to change clothes for the plan to work, obviously – Fox is unlikely to believe it otherwise. Opal ducks down below the debris to change – it’s hard to see the point of that, but I guess he’s a modest sort of person. One of his shadow-men delivers the clothes. Mirror gets dressed, seemingly with a practiced routine. I guess a person like zem changes clothes a lot. Vaguely I wonder if ze knows zir way around make-up, as well. I wonder if I do.
[At this point, there was a great lot of OOC confusion as to the exact specifics of the plan. Details were discussed back and forth, but eventually a plan was settled upon in which Opal would simply stay off-camera until the doors were open, and then we’d all make a run for it. The camera filming Mirrors’ “death” would be destroyed. Additionally, Anton learns that his characters’ stats are adjusted slightly by shapeshifting – by coincidence, Priceless and his mysterious, initial female form had similar Attributes, but Opal doesn’t.]
I need to fake a muzzle flash, for the gun. Seer will be holding it, so I stick close to her. I haven’t tried small feats of pyrotechnics before, and I’m a little afraid to try. I might lose control, particularly with all those shadow-men standing around – they freak me out. But I try. A sphere of light appears in my hand, and I flinch back reflexively – afraid it might explode. It doesn’t. I dismiss it with a thought, and try again – making them smaller and smaller, more and more brief, until I have a pretty convincing flash of light. It seems we’re ready.
We mention how we’ll need to rough Mirror up. I think Price takes that as his cue, because he hits zem right in the face, before he starts heading for the doors, dragging the prisoner with him. We follow him – not much else we can do. Seer waves an empty gun at the camera, lowers it at Mirror, pulls the trigger – and I make a little flash of light. It looks pretty convincing; for a moment I’m worried Mirror’s actually been hurt somehow.
Shadows! The shadow-men are going nuts! I don’t even realize it’s a charade until I’ve thrown myself to the ground. They tricked me! Of course – they need me away from the camera, so I can destroy it. I take it out – focus a beam of light and fry the wiring. Hopefully it should look like the shadow-men caused it.
Mirror and Opal switch clothes once more, and it’s done. We return to the security center.
Fox tells us she’s pleased. She’s going to open the doors soon, but she’ll also activate the self-destruct – trapping the Hunter inside when the place blows. I think of all the poor people who might still be alive somewhere in here. We convince her to at least let everyone out before she does it; give them a sporting chance to escape. The Hunter’s already running around freely, so it can’t make the situation any worse.
Mirror asks about our memories. Fox says she’s downloaded them to the hard drive in here. I’m skeptical about it, but the next thing Fox says convinces me – she’s been reading them. She didn’t mean to, but she transferred the files through herself and picked up some of the information. Fox isn’t human. She informs us, quite matter-of-factly, that she’s a security program, not a security manager. Apparently Mirror had already figured that out, though I’ve no idea how.
So she asks us one last favor. She wants to be downloaded to some kind of portable device. She wants to go with us. We take a smartphone from the sleeping security guard – she says that she’ll be able to fit in there. I’d like to have a look at her source code. It’s probably unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Or maybe not. I don’t remember what I’ve seen before, after all.
Fox informs us that the base is in the forest, so we’ll have no problem hiding once we get outside. She also promises she’ll inform those she can that they should escape, but she won’t sound the alarm – so as to not alert the Hunter. At least that human kid will be okay, then. We also decide to bring the sleeping guard; Price can carry him outside no problem. Let’s try to keep the casualties down. Fox says a final good-bye, before she transfers herself to the phone, opens the doors, and starts the self-destruct. We have fifteen minutes – plenty of time, but no reason to tarry.
First person to act is Seer. She takes out the walkie-talkie and orders Opal to leave. I’m surprised at the authority in her voice. She tells him to bring the kid, and to fetch Ruby if he wants to.
We leave. There’s no point in running, but we hurry. One of the shadow-men swishes past us, and we see it guiding Ruby towards the exit, far behind us. She’ll make it out all right. A few moments later, we’re out.
Sunlight. Jesus Christ, sunlight. Wow. Wow. Wow. This is so good. This is awesome. We made it out. Hell yeah! This feels fucking fantastic. Wow. I pick up the pace. I run; I can’t help myself, I break into a run, straight into the forest. It have to stop myself from screaming at the top of my lungs. I want to climb a tree. I want to climb a mountain. I want to fly – I want to fly straight into that huge burning sphere in the sky. I doubt I would survive it, but I don’t care.
I don’t stop until I’m exhausted. I actually have to go back to find the others – they stopped at a sensible distance from the mountain. They’re watching it go down. I’m grinning like an idiot. I have to force myself to stop. We still have problems. They might seem small and insignificant right now, but they’re still there.
Ruby joins us. Apparently she got imprisoned here for having violent tendencies. She seems like a nice enough person, though. I’m sure there’s nothing wrong with her. Wait. Hold back. Be realistic. Don’t think positively. You’re being way too positive.
We’ll need to find someplace that has the technology to re-implant our memories. We’re somewhere near Yellowstone – Wyoming, probably, or Idaho. First we have to get to civilization. Find some better clothes. Learn how our powers work. There’s a lot to do. Ruby and Opal offer to team up with us. I ask Opal if he can teach me to control my powers – he says he can. I guess I’d better stick with him then. The others agree – I guess they have reasons of their own. That makes seven of us. Seven rogue mutants trekking through the wilderness, fighting against The Man.
This is going to be interesting.
//// End of Thought-Record #4227 [Codename: Battery] ////