//// Initializing Thought-Record #4225 [Codename: Battery] ////
The basement is empty. I count four, five doors; one is made of glass. Judging from the faint glow on the other side, that would be where the fire is. We approach, and sure enough – on the other side are some enormous server stacks. Or… something; I’m not sure what kind of technology stores human memories, but they look like server stacks. Without hesitation, Mirror smashes open the glass with a baton. I guess that works; she clears away the glass, and myself, ze, and Price climb inside. The far side of the room is a raging inferno. There’s an access terminal right inside the door, and I find an automatic extinguishing system almost right away. Unfortunately it works by draining the room of oxygen – so the huge hole in the door is a bit of an inconvenience. Mirror picks up a fire extinguisher, but that isn’t going to cut it. We’ll need to cover the door or something.
Seer peeks in through the hole in the door. It looks like she’s got something important to say – but she doesn’t have time to say it. Something grabs her. It’s another Sleeping Beauty, a big one this time – a full-grown woman. For some reason she’s pulled on a blood-soaked lab coat; I doubt it’s meant as a disguise. How do these creatures reason? Do they reason?
I don’t have time to think. The others throw themselves through the door. They’re going to fight it. Kill it, probably. I need to build up my strength. If I’ve understood my power correctly, I absorb radiation – fire emits enormous amounts of radiation. It might be enough. I rush towards it, hoping the sheer intensity of the fire will give me the strength I need. It feels good. Warm. It drives out the cold from my body, and I can actually feel the heat sink into me. Correction – the light sinks into me. It’s strong, much stronger than anything I’ve experienced before. It’s only a matter of seconds before I have the strength I need. I run back, gather up my strength – hit it with all I’ve got. It dodges – I burn a hole in the ceiling – but I’ve clearly drawn its attention. Good.
Fire radiates heat. If I absorb radiation, the heat shouldn’t harm me, or at least I’ll have a degree of protection. It’s worth a shot. I owe it to Price; I can still see the burn injuries on his body. He could die from this, and it’d be my fault. I run for it.
The ruse works. The creature follows me into the inferno. My clothes burst into flame, and it hurts – but it’s not the unbearable agony it should be. That’s good. I hope it’s not just adrenaline. I hope I’m not dying, and I just haven’t noticed yet.
It’s over in a few seconds. I throw myself out of the fire. Price has the sense to cover me in a lab coat, put out the flames. A quick assessment: I still have skin. More surprisingly, I still have hair. Wow. That’s… that’s really something. Behind me, the creature dies horrifically: I don’t look, but I can hear it. I can smell it. If this hadn’t worked, I’d be back there with it.
We need to stop the fire, before it spreads any further. I get to the terminal. Mirror asks me to check the servers, so I do – about half the mutant memory storage has been destroyed. The best we can do is save the rest. Dimly, I hear Seer – she tells me to get dressed. I realize, suddenly, that I’m naked. My clothes were literally burned off my body, and the worst I have to show for it is a few blisters. How is that even possible?
Seer says the fire was arranged, by a female scientist – an employee. There’s talk of following her. I guess she might know something.
I pull on the clothes Seer gave me. It’s a guard uniform, probably a spare. It doesn’t fit very well. Mirror appears from somewhere with a piece of sheet metal – ze has the idea that we can hold it against the hole in the door while the room drains of oxygen. It’s a sensible idea, so I trigger the mechanism and clear out the room, together with Price. It takes a few minutes, but eventually the fire dies down.
Unfortunately that doesn’t help us very much right now – even though that’s where the memories are stored, there’s no nerve terminal. No brain-machine interface of any kind, in fact. Those machines are kept elsewhere, I guess. Seer and Mirror have searched the vicinity, and they haven’t found anything of the sort – so I guess our best bet is to make contact with Fox.
Before we leave, though, Seer tells me there’s a storage room full of food. Good. Even if we get out of here, we have no idea what the terrain looks like – it might be a desert, for all we know. We fill our pockets with sandwiches, snack foods, everything that can be easily carried. Price also sees fit to change into a guard uniform – I guess that’s good. Means we can tell the two guys apart. Mirror seems to like his form, but ze still wears a lab coat, so now there’s a distinct difference.
Before we head back to the security center, I use my powers to weld the metals door shut. No point in giving that scientist a chance to come back and finish the job.
We return without incident. Fox is grateful. At least I think that’s what she’s trying to express – but she pretty much immediately turns around and places more demands on us. She wants us to kill Opal. I’m very uncomfortable with that prospect – even though he tried to kill us, I don’t want his blood on my hands. She tells us he’s behind the door where the Hunter is trying to get in, but Fox can deal with her – send a distraction. We tell Fox we’ll need to think about it, and clear out to where she can’t hear us.
The obvious course of action is to fake his death somehow; Price suggests something along those lines. We all agree to it, so we check in with Opal – he doesn’t trust us, but it doesn’t take much persuasion to realize he has no choice. Fox isn’t going to open the doors so long as she believes he’s still alive.
Mirror comes up with a plan. I’m going to pretend to bypass the electronic lock – Opal will open the door from the inside, we’ll get in, Mirror takes his shape and we get out. Then we fake his death on camera – from there on, all we have to do is make sure Opal and Mirror never appear on camera at the same time. The exact details of the plan, we’ll have to work those out with him when we get there. He insists we rescue Ruby and the Fairy – that’s his name for the winged kid – but the plan is risky enough as it is. We tell him we’ll do it if there’s time.
So we go back to Fox. Mirror tells her we agree. It’s a good thing ze can keep such a straight face, because I certainly can’t. Fox sends someone to lead the Hunter away from the door – it’s the female scientist who set the fire. Apparently she’s some kind of anti-mutant activist. She trusts Fox enough to risk her life on her behalf, apparently; I guess that tells us something about our “benefactor”. I’m reminded of a saying – let wolves kill wolves so that the sheep have peace. That’s what Fox is trying to accomplish, I suppose. Well, we’re not her lap dogs, and we’re certainly not her wolves. Before we set the plan in motion, Fox is going to upload our memories to a portable hard-drive – it will be a few hours, so we have time to rest. Good news. I think we need to take a look at Price’s burn injuries – and mine.
//// End of Thought-Record #4225 [Codename: Battery] ////
//// Thought-Record #4226 [Codename: Battery] skipped. Time: 05h 49m 32s ////
[We rest for a few hours. Madde uses Priceless’ ability to convert WP into Health to heal most of his injuries. Mirror is uninjured. Seer has a slight wound from the encounter with the last Sleeping Beauty.]