After a week of training and attuning the phone call from the professor was a welcome emergency. interesting how a war that is fought across time always seems to be fought at the last second. “hey guys, no time to waste gathering everyone. we need to go now.” Drake said to Nathan and Ian as they rushed to the lab. Momo met the car and ushered the crew inside with very little ceremony.
The Professor explained that she had discovered a potential asset in the 2056 timeline by the name of Dr. Diablos. the crew was being sent to attempt an agreement of mutual benefit. They were given new identity cards for the trip to Cuba City 2056. Ian became Ian Bean. Drake became Don Ho the 17th. and Nathan was George foreman the 27th. Apparently the future is a very uncreative place. Arrangements had been made for them to use the only portal to that juncture that the organization controlled, to reach Sydney Australia and meet their contact.
The crew hadn’t even walked out of sight of the lab door when the whole tunnel shifted. The tunnel now stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions. “lovely” Nathan said to no one in particular.
“So, do we turn back, or continue?” asked Drake.
“Doesn’t seem to make too much difference right now.” replied Nathan. “Let’s continue.”
the crew walks for what seems like hours but it is the underworld so it is sometimes deceptive. they finally arrived at frosted glass door set into the end of the tunnel. it appeared to be the front door of a television studio in Van Nuys, California. Ah Hollywood. Much closed to Cuba City than Sydney. "well now what ? drake asked. to slip in and try not to be noticed or cause a scene and see what comes of it. Nathan heads for the door with a swift “Follow my lead”
bursting through the door he screams across to the receptionist,"This is unacceptable! have you seen that dressing room they gave me!!…….I’m a professional!! "
“But sir, you were outside.” she replies with a confused look.
“Exactly…… Someone get my agent on the phone, they can’t treat us like this!”
a staff member runs out into the lobby and begins apologizing profusely.
“We’ll get this straightened out right away sir. right this way your broadcast is just about to start. we’ll need to hurry.”
The crew is shown into a tv studio that appears to be made up to look like a shopping mall. there are several mercenary looking men standing next to a gentleman that could only be a game show host. The skinny microphone and too perfect hair coupled with the leopard print jacket were a dead give away. either that or he was a pimp.
the Crew was introduced to the host and before any questions could be asked, the lights came up and the camera crew started the count down. The host turned immediately to a camera and began his intro and welcome to the studio audience. there wasn’t an audience in sight, but he welcomed them anyway. apparently they were using a recorded audience or they were somewhere else in the building because they erupted in applause and cheers as he welcomed them to…….Professional Combat Shopping!!!!
And It’s All Nathan’s Fault!!!
The host turns to the mercenary looking gentlemen and introduces them as the House Champions. They each talk a little trash and flex and try to stare the crew down. Then he turns to the crew and they each talk a little smack right back. The host explains the rules(there aren’t any beyond grab the most valuable stuff and return to the finish line within the time limit. breaking merchandise would get subtracted from your total.)
Nathan uses Movement sorcery at this point to tie the shoe laces of the Professional mercenaries together. as the round begins everyone jumps forward and the crew pulls ahead as the professionals go down in a heap. The crew gets to the weapons wall first and begins choosing their gear. armour, bats, baseballs, throwing stars, and Nathan grabs a helix ripper just to be sure no one else can use it against them. the pros get to the wall just as time runs out and are left with nothing for the next round.
before the next round Nathan uses sorcery to give Ian a speed boost. as they line up for the second round the mercenary with the obvious jacks for the helix ripper gives Nathan the “I’m watching you” pantomime. Ian, Nathan and Drake had determined to go for the high ticket items in the form of bridal, jewelry and ticket packages from the travel agency and find the grand prize trip to Boatman world/Disney.
The round begins and one of the pro’s pulls into the lead and heads for the sporting goods store on the first floor. as he nears the doors the floor drops away beneath him and de disappears only to bounce up again a second later and grab the door handle.
Seeing this Nathan begins “running” an sixteenth of an inch above the floor. fortunately he had gotten pretty good at the deception over the last week of training. he headed for the escalator with Ian right behind. He never even looked back as he vaulted to the railing and “ran” upwards. as Ian hit the escalator it sped up and shot to the top. As Nathan jumped from the escalator rail he slapped the emergency stop button and hit it with a blast of electricity in hopes of disabling it. It started running backwards even faster than it had been moving before. the professionals that had reached it couldn’t keep up and were soon at the bottom looking for another way up.
Drake chose to go straight for the travel agency and jumped up to the second floor with almost no effort. when he arrived at the agency he discovered two revolving doors spinning out so fast from the center that you could feel the breeze. he grabbed a baseball out of his pack and attempted to throw it threw the doors before they could come together. it didn’t work and the ball got caught up in the spin and got swept around until it contacted a laser grid that shredded it. not getting in that way. second choice, break the window. as the glass shattered the high pressure inside the agency exploded glass shards outward. Drake expertly dodged them with no harm. it didn’t take him long to ransack the office and find the grand prize ticket. there were lots of travel packages printed and he stuffed his pack and returned to the balcony.
Ian drove for the bridal shop. He soon discovered that the windows wouldn’t break. so he grabbed a length of det cord from his personal stash and outlined a large oval on the wall next to the door. The ensuing explosion was LOOOUUUDDD! he pushed the debris out of the hole and began looting the tiaras and dresses.
As Nathan reached the Jewelry store the security gates were down and there was a large red button/pad on the floor in front of the doors. he grabbed a baseball from his pack and through it at the button. instead of bouncing it shot upward and into the darkness and glare of studio lights far above. Being unable to see where it went or where the wall ended, Nathan decided to try to climb up and look for a way onto the ceiling of the jewelry store inside. He reached out and grabbed the security gate from the side and then swung his body out into the Anti-Gravity well. If not for his Movement sorcery he might have hurtled after the ball. as it was it was close. He ascended all the way to the studio roof only to find the jewelry store wall went all the way up and the ball was crushed to the gravity inducer in the roof. apparently someone had tried going over the wall before. The climb back was difficult. Nathan was 20’ or so from the floor when the Ripper mercenary stepped from behind a column with a wicked grin and a baseball bat. he swung as the button and the gravity returned to normal with Nathan hanging head down, he faked a near fall letting his feet flip over his head and then grabbing an edge of the scenery and stopping himself with his feet on a column and arms on the wall. It was at this point where Drake tapped the merc on the shoulder. He turned with a high swing which drake ducked as he brought his own bat up between the merc’s legs lifting him off the ground. “ripper’s” eyes crossed, he let out a groan as he doubled over and began to crab walk back to the escalator where he was catapulted to the lower level where he hit his head and fell over unconscious.
Drake reached over and grabbed the security gate and pulled up with a great heave and the gate screamed as the lock gave out and the gate lifted up out of the way. the inner doors weren’t even locked. They stepped inside just as the announcer started the one minute count down. it became a smash and grab mission. as they filled their packs Ian joined them carrying a double arm load of silk and pearl beaded gowns and an apparent backpack full of bling from next door. They were at 30 seconds when they exited the store. there wasn’t time to make it back to the escalator and all the way back to the finish line so they opted for jumping the rail with a short fall to the first floor and then running for the host. They made it with only seconds to spare.Stay tuned…..we will return right after these messages from our sponsors………