Setting down on the roof of the building was a tricky proposition. Not designed well in first place, the rotting apartment block could scarcely be expected to support a full AV. Instead Holly guided the craft into a low hover, popping the hatch. The team had to leap down, under the howling jets of the AV. There was someone waiting for them. Tall and leanly muscled, the woman cut a striking figure among the rusting AC units and debris. Seemingly carved there, she didn't budge in the slightest under the buffet of the craft's jets. Her only concession to the howling hot winds was that it blew her platinum blonde hair about. Stonewall. The name fit, Photon thought. The last happy little member of their crew. A thug and enforcer for various gangs and crime lord from the Metroplex to the Nevada badlands, Stonewall had a rep as a dutiful thug of limited intelligence but immense physical power.

One they were all on the outside, Holly pulled the AV up and away. It would wait in a holding pattern while they check out the scene and talked to the cops on site. Perhaps few more answers could be gained here. Stonewall tugged her synthleather half jacket back into place, smirking. The crew didn't look so hot. A skinny glowing girl, a weasely looking guy who almost looked familiar. She checked her mental filedisk of faces she smashed, fucked or both and his didn't come up. oh well, it wold probably fall into one of those sectors later. A silver haired girlie, not bad looking but borged, one of her eyes a crystalline ruby. And what was with the bug looking GAD? Ugh. Not too hot looking… Whoa. check that. One member of this bunch was hot. Damn hot. Tall and leggy, the blonde looked like she'd been poured into her jumpsuit, from high hard tits to an ass she could just reach and take a bite out of, this girl was a walking piece of paradise.

Circe sighed inwardly. She'd seen it before, men and women looking at her in 'that' way. Not a big deal, it would just be nice if someone looked at her as a person, and not as meat. She could almost feel the lust coming from their new 'recruit'.

Looking over the blond with an appraising and admiring look, Stonewall strode forward with a definite swagger. "Name's Stonewall, I'm the new 'recruit' to this band of misfits. In case you're wondering, I'm muscle. Nice and simple. So what's the job."

Blink chuckled. "Nice, but not so simple, I'm willing to bet. As for misfits? Well, you're probably right there."

"Speak for yourself." Blacscarab signed.

Stonewall answered with a grin. "Nah, really pretty simple. I prefer the direct approach. Probably cause I'm just a stone-headed bitch who won't get out of otherpeople's ways… But this gig is a shot at a little redemption, so I gotta behavelike a good girl…"

This woman was hilarious. Good and cocky. If Blacscarab had vocal chords he would be laughing his chitin of right now. He'd had many an underling from his operation with the same attitude, they were usually the first ones to get greased when the shit hit the fan. This woman was a brawler plain and simple, a great step below a master assassin like Black Scarab. She'd probably rush headlong into a bunch of hired muscle instead of stealthily killing the head of an operation from a creative angle inside his bedroom.

Photon gave the roof a quick survey, then strode over to Stonewall. Wonderful people they keep surrounding me with. "Stonewall, you're officially in the custody of the Purgatory Project. You'll get the full details when we get back to PCF Alpha. At the moment, we're after one Mara Kimgure– wanted for illegal gene splicing, tax evasion, and at least one murder." She briefly introduced the others, then continued, "Let's go downstairs."

Stonewall gives a sloppy salute. "Yes sir!" she snaps with a mock serious expression. "Just point me at the nearest target, ma'am!" Stonewall asked Blink, "She always this friendly?"

"Always, after going through the last two hours and getting less than 10 hours sleep out of the last 48. Sorry about that. We do need to get down there, though," Photon pre-empted Blink's reply.

"You get used to it." Blink replied. "Actually, she knows her shit, and that's what counts. She's generally pretty cool."

"Nada problem, boss. I've got thicker skin than that. You're probably a better boss than most of the wackos I worked for… So what kind of shit did I sign up for, I'm not exactly the investigative type…" Stonewall replies.

Two armored Metrocops waited for them at the base of stairwell. In the dim lighting their black enameled armor took on an unwholesome carapace look, particularly disturbing after the biological nightmares popping up recently. "We've set up a temporary base of operations, follow us." A man, judging by the deep thought electronic voice, the officer turned on his heel, leading the way down a couple of more flights and into a hall. It was crowded with more cops and a couple of plainclothesmen, one leaned over a portable monitor, her forehead furrowed in thought. She looked young, with cherry red hair, spilling in curly waves down her back. Grey long coat and white skirt. Conservative, and not very flattering. Her partner on the other hand, was dressed in a crisp cut Eurostyle business suit, accentuating a leanly athletic frame, chiseled muscle perfectly honed by a daily regimen of exercise and biochem. His face was equally striking, powerful and rugged, short blonde hair tied back in a simple ponytail and a matching blonde goatee lending just enough of roguish air to make him interesting to the females in the group.

"Ah, you're here." Smooth voice, a resonating baritone. "I hope you can provide some insights. My name's Macafferty."

"I can provide you sum'tin stud boy…." Stonewall mutters under her breath…

"Yeah, right." Blink mumbled. "Nasty, fast and ugly. And they operate from inside people's bodies." She shuddered, thinking briefly of her own 'passenger'.

"Gee, I think I saw a movie like that once… Other than that, I just got off the boat, agent studly, so I got no idea what's going on."

Black Scarab walks to the wall closest to the terminal the red-haired girl is working at. He steps onto the wall and clings there, facing the woman with only his feet touching the wall coming to rest in a comfortable squat and signs; "If you're finished hosing down the floors with estrogen we can get something done." He turns to 'Red'; "What's new Red?"

She glanced at him. "Oh. Hello." and went back to looking over the displays, apparently of the inside of the apartment.

Macafferty flashed Stonewall a charming little smile that had probably parted more legs a Gyno Autodoc. "You're not alone in that, Ms. We maybe just have a few more questions, but no one's here is totally up to speed."

"Given that there have been three deaths because of what happened here, I hope so, too. What have you managed to find out? And what tests have you applied? Knowing that may give us some ideas…" Photon pointed out.

The woman at the panel straightened, clearing her throat. Not to attract attention, but honstly coughing. "Very astute, observation, Photon. I'm Danielle, Danielle Winters." Stepping forward, brushing past Macafferty with a bruque familaritiy, she started in. "A complete forensics sweep was run already, isolating several hair and tissue samples, some of them of… unusual natures. They're currently under analysis with the assistance of your doctor. Due to the nature of the criminal, a complete biohazard scan was run as well, turned up nothing." Danielle pasued,"not that I really expected such, given the apparent nature of the suspect, Dr. Kimagure. Overt revenge motives do not fit her psych profile. I'd say she considers herself above such petty motivations."

"Um, if you don't mind me asking," Blink started, "What do you mean by 'unusual'?"She shuddered slightly, aweaiting the answer.

Macafferty shrugged carefully, so as not to disturb the fine line of suit. "Just that, the sampples taken didn't match any known DNA profiles–at least not in our database."

"Not in any database," Danielle with quiet vehemence. "Not Metro, Nippon or IntraEuro. They weren't even classfiable."

"Danielle," with an air of long suffering, Macfferty held up his hand. "Likely dealing with a custome Gene-job, maybe some nanatech alteration to cover her traces."

"That doean't make sense. Kimagure made little to no effort to cover her trail and actions aside from location. She didn't care, about being found out, about getting caught, none of it matter. It doesn't fit her profile to go to expenive lengths like gene masking when she didn't even use a false name to get this building."

"Let's try to attack this from that standpoint, then. What motives do fit her psych profile? And is there any evidence here to support any of them?" Photon mused.

Macafferty sighed, a grudging expression crosiing his face. "Danielle was transferred to feild operation straight from Special Crimes, she tends to see conspiracy and pattern in every slip up and coincidence. A pause, "But sometimes she's right."

Circe looked up at the mention of Dr. Kimaguire. "May I see the psych profile? If she's who we're looking for, I'd like to know a bit more about her."

"Of course," Nodding Danielle peeled back a flap of on her wrist. Fine cables snaked out, crawling down her hand to click into a previously unnoticed briefcase on the floor. "I'll down load and make you a hardcopy. Kimagure is a planner, a very logical reasoned mind. She does very little frivolously. She had no intention of this scheme lasting much longer than it did. Correction, she did have a vice."

Circe looked at her. "What kind of vice?" she asked. "And a hard copy would be good, thank you."Blink looked at the cables, smiling just a bit. "Actually, Ms. Winters, if you have a port, I can do that myself." She pointed to the stud on her left temple, over her eye.

"I thought a hardcopy would be more managable. Kimagure was vain, exceedingly so. She spent a large amount on hormonal and surgical treatments to maintain a youthful appearence.Even in her work, she emphasize youth and beauty." Danielle paused, fixing Blink in a long thoughtful stare.

"All the same, I'd like to do a download as well, if permissible." Blink replied, returning the stare.

"Of course." Danielle raised her wrist. "I hope this isn't rude, but are you an Alpha?"

"Nope." Blink replied. "Just Daddy's little girl." A frown crossed her face briefly.

"Ah. You resembled some of Kimagure's work. The structure of your lips and cheekbones is very much like her favored facial designs."

"Most common reasons for taking something is only way to get a copy of it unless it's one of a kind, the challenge if it's 'unstealable', or jealousy," Warp suggests, as he looks over the items on the table, not touching anything.

"Ah yes, the 'unstealable object'." Blink says. "I've acquired… well, heard of a couple of those kinds of tales. No such thing." She smiled at Warp.

"Never said anything was unstealable… meant people say things are impossible so it brings the best and brightest out to try and take it," Warp corrected.

Stonewall starts off looking around, trying to pay attention to the conversation, but soon gets bored, and instead watches Macafferty.

Plucking up a sheaf of glossy faxprints, Danielle passed them out to the assembled team members. "Here you are."

Stonewall took hers, looking intently at it for a few moments… This Kimagure was a hot one, she had to say. Nothing like this Circe babe, but she wouldn't kick her outta bed for eatin' soywafers…

Photon nodded at Danielle. "Thanks." She began scanning through the profile, searching for anything that would give a clue about where Kimagure would have gone.

"What is known aboutt he people she killed here? Or the other people in this building?" Warp asked before reading over the paper handed him.

"The only known victims were the two police officers, but then again people fall into the Sprawl and never come up all the time." Macafferty shrugged. "The perp owned the building entire, no other occupants…"

"OK to search the building then?" Warp asked "Has the city found the original blueprints and modifications submitted to the building inspector's Office?"

"Inspector? Hah! for one these sprawl down cracker boxes? Not like it's that important, Kimagure's likely trying to jet out of town. We've got the usual places covered in case she bolts. She's going to ground somewhere so we just have have track her," apparently Macafferty was trying hard to keep his voice neutral which made his scoff all the more plain.

I can get them for you, Warp. Holly volunteered. Download shouldn't take long.

"No… she's not leaving town. Meticulous planner, remember? She's planned for the event that this place was discovered. She'd have to have. So where's her next bolthole?" Photon mused.

"Come on, she's an intelligent woman. She has to know staying in the Metroplex is a dead end proposition." Maccegerty returned.

"And if she knows it, but is sure she can get around the cops?" Photon asked. "Call it a gut feeling. I don't think she's leaving."

Blink looked at the file and the pictures, comparing them to the images she still had from the hospital. "Hol?" she whispered. "I've got a bad feeling about this. How do these killings compare to the ones at the hospital? Same type of entity possibly responsible?"

Forensic medicine isn't my area, Blink. The AI souned in intrigued. Are you having a gut feeling? One name leapt out at the cyberthief. Arcadia Arcology. April's home. Kimagure had been responsible for her love. Not a mother, something more, something less but tied her none the less. April… Blink's hand, her flesh one, trembled; the cool steel one was far to precisely crafted to allow trivial emotion to move it.

Photon skimmed the file. Highly Educated, all the best schools, one time assistance to Dr. Mile Mostraum. Now there was a name to drop. One of the initial researchers on the Replicant lifeModel development team for Hybrid Technologies. Jesus…those guy practially invented Replicants. Head of Genetic Layout for New Arcadia Arcology. That sounded familar. What didn't seem familiar, or more so right was… this woman didn't seem like a criminal. Born wealthy, educated, highly motived yes, but a criminal? Why run an operation like this? She made more money than this operation brought in on gene patents alone…

Hmm… Impressive credentials. "So, why here?" Photon murmured. "Why this place? Why this setup? She was already wealthy, so that's not likely." She looked up. "What was she known to work on above-board?"

"It's cheap, its out of the way, why else come to the Sprawl?" Macafferty shrugged then adjusted his collar. "The good doctor worked primarily in the custom gene package racket, you know, designer children for the those too wealthy to do it the old fashioned way." More than a little scorn dripped into hte detective's voice.

Blink glanced at Macafferty, lowering her mirrorshades just a bit.

"Custom children…" Danielle murmured, twisting a lock of hair around her finger. "Kimagure was infertile."

"Too bloody lazy to do it the old fashioned way, if you ask me," Photon muttered. Custom children, hmm… does that tell us anything? Probably not by itself…

Circe studied the file, trying to get a feel for the woman outlined therein. None of it made much sense. Vanity wasn't enough to provide a motive for these killings, and greed didn't seem likely either. Something was missing here, if she could just put her finger on it… Infertile. Plans… Rolling the image around in hre mind, Circe tried to get inside the woman's head. It was knack that had served her well as a assassin, a talent alongside her psionic power but not a part of it. Perfectly laid out, everything precisely planned. She'd spent the proper amount of time being educated. Perfect grades and examinations scores… Stepping to the console, Circe ran her finger down the screen until it rested on the one thing out of place in the immaculate room. A small doll. A child's toy. "I need to go inside." Circe annouced looking up from the screen. "The doctor found her children."

For some reason, Blink felt chilled to her very soul, unconsciously cupping a hand over her belly. Even she was unsure if the gesture was protective or disgusted. Oh great… what the fuck's going on with me? Blink wondered.

Danielle nodded, "Let's get you in clean suits. No sense is possibly contaminating the scene."

"I'm going to look around her quarters to see if there is anything I can spot." Warp sid waited a couple of moments grabbing a pair of gloves to not leave additional fingerprints.

The helments echoed the soft hiss of their respirators. More like light spacesuits than clean suits, the outfits were fully enclosed white plastic "baggies", that while loose, were suprisingly easy to move it. Conversation was through a radio link.

Now that they were inside, the structured order of the place was almost oppressive. It was like a show room, nothing out of place, nothnig marred or dirty. All set just so. More than that, there was a sense of…waiting. Of something about to happen hanging in the air like a faint charge. It was easy to catch yourself looking around, trying to peer under furniture, expecting something.

Downloading the files to you comlink, Warp. I'll overlay the apartment layout. A skeletal diagram materialized in Warp's visor, rotated to adjust for his position in the room and zoomed. This room matched schematics but there were 4 others, 5 if you counted bathroom.

"Is there anyplace where the schematics don't match the actual dimensions built holly? Possibly using a satelite to check?" Warp asked as he started looking thru the schmatics to see where he would try and hide something.

"You'll have to move through the apartments locale by locale for comparison. Warp." Holly replied. The layout of the apartment fairly simple, a main room acting as the center of a "hexagonal" arrangement for the others. Except… the sixth point was missing…

Warp left the others looking around the current apartment as he started going thru the others trying to see if between the maps and Holly he could find unaccounted space for a possible safe or other hidden items.

Circe went immediately to the toy, careful not to step on the body outline. A small simple doll Laura Lavish. Plastic smile, empty head and breasts like two torpedoes strapped to her chest. The perfect woman, Circe smirked, picking the thing up. What are you doing here?

This place gave her the fuckin' jeebies, certifed. Stonewall tried to look impassive, but would've much rather been outside scoping the metrodicks ass. Worse yet, she didn't know why she was creeped. Being scared, well, it happens, Gods way a tellin' you to get the fuck outta whatever the situation was but just feeling all bumpy for nothing, like some juve watchin a holospookshow, that was definatety squidge style. It pissed her off. Leaning on the couch, she felt it shift under her weight and straightened, looking around at the others with sheepish grin. None of the others saw and she was about to scot it back in place when she noticed markings on the floor.

Black marking, swirling like those "barbwire" tats she'd seen, but there was other shit mixed in with them, looked like numbers or some sorta fucked up writing but looking at it too long made her head hurt. Ow, that's wierd shit… Wonder if I can get a tatto like that… Stonewall looks up to the others. "Uh, folks. I think I found sumtin…"

Photon looked up from her contemplation of the place's almost oppressive order. "Oh?" She wandered over toward the couch to look at the markings.

The were familar, terribly familar. Twisting marking, intertwining, coiling in unatural mind bending curves that seemed to, had to be impossibly to reproduce on a flat surface. For a moment, Photon felt faint, nearly losing her balance, she staggered into Stonewall.

Stonewall grabs her, easily supporting her wieght. "Whoa, chica, what's got you so chilled?" Damn, what's wrong with the girl? She looks way wrecked… "Uh, guys? Sumtin's wrong with the boss lady…"

Blink walked over to where Photon and Stonewall were. "Jen? You ok?" She looked down at the marks on the floor, whispering, "Holly? Can you see this? Record if you can. And can you patch me privately to Dr. Martins?"

"I see nothing. Occasional random patterns. Record what?" Holly was intrigued. "This is the second visual input I have not been able to register." Blink scarely heard here. Those marks, those marks. They were so recently carved on her skin. Her stomach heaved, dread sinking in her guts like a spent uranium weight…

Why in the world is this here? Circe thought as she glanced over to where Photon was. If she was making 'children', there should be some evidence of it…

"I realize I'm da fresh meat here. but why the drek is everyone freaking out over these marks? I got scarier tattoos…" Stonewall looks around, a little nervous that a bunch or heroes and stone cold criminals are so crashed about s few symbols… "Hol? What da hell did I miss?"

The team has encounter similar marking before. In that case imprinted on Blink's epidermis. The event lead to an ecounter with a strange and apparently hostile biological entity. Holly replied. Some real sub-z shit, go girl.

Photon took a deep breath and steadied herself. "Thanks." She braced herself to examine the markings again, then turned. It was much less of a jolt this time but still unsettling to look at directly, As before they seemed to scuttle and shift, right at the edge of comprehension. She could tell they were pearmantly set in the floor, part of tile work. Numbers, odd letters, other things best left unrecognized were part of the overall design but nothing that made much sense. Pushing the couch further she revealed more of the pattern. She couldn't help but think of some old wave form experiments basck in school… just VR stuff, applying mathematical models in 3-D to create holograms. It helped alot when later using her powers.

"You sure you cryo, boss. You looked kinda green…" Stonewall asks.

"I'll be fine… believe me, that was a better reaction than what happened a couple of nights ago…" Photon replied. "Green didn't do it justice."

Black Scarab quickly leaps up to the ceiling where he could get a better view of the whole design He had to remove the thick gloves and boots to pull it off. Frome above, the partially revealed section of pattern looked even more incomplete, there must be more hidden under the other furnishing in the room.

Warp followed the pattern, until he came up short at a wall. Something could be hidden in there.

"Wonder what's behind wall number 1…" Stonewall looks like she'd rather not know.

"Shall we find out?" Photon asked. "Any sort of a catch in the area?"

Black Scarab follows Warp to the wall and when he stops he gets the idea that this is where it ends. He uses his vision to see if any ambient light, Ultraviolet or otherwise escapes even a hairline crack in the wall. The wall seems quite solid, no cracks, at least none that exude light.

Warp started examining the wall for hidden switches or other methods of opening. The wall felt smooth, solid. Warp ran his fingers over the surface, trying find any cracks or imperfections. Nothing, but there was a distinct… humming, a vibration he could feel straight through the wall.

"Hold it there's a vibration coming from here." Warp tried pushing the wall to see if it was like some cabinet doors with no handles where pushing in released the holding mechanism. Nothing gave or moved under his touch.

"You want me to knock, boss lady? Or ya wanna leave this to the pros?" Stonewall shifts nervously, she wants to do something, but these marks got the whole crew freaked, so whatever's behind the door has gotta be some sub-z shit… Stonewall may be no Einstein, but she knows better than to stick her hand in a snake pit without looking first.

"Let me check first, Stoney." Blink says, trying to keep her voice level. "I might be able to feel something you guys can't." She moves to the wall, running her cyber-hand slowly along the edges and the face of the wall, letting the sensors do their work. As Warp did she felt the vibration, but her electronic nerve endings detected them much more acutely. Not just vibration, sound. It was echoing voices, the low murmuring of a chorus. Of course she couldn't make out the words only sense their echoing resonance. It made her feel cold inside. The wall couldn't be that thick, if she could feel this through it. She could blink…

Screw this waiting around. Something's got these mooks spooked, and I ain't gonna wait for it to sneak up on me… Might as well face it head on… "Stand back." Quickly looking over the wall, Stonewall brings her arm back-

"No, not just yet… let's do this carefully. Anyone who's got any special senses that might be able to see what's in there or detect some sort of opening mechanism, turn 'em on. Let's see if we can see what she's hiding."

Stonewall puts her arm down, looking sheepish through the helmet. "Yeah, sorry bout that… Old habits die hard."

Circe looked up at Blink's comment. She walked over, still holding the doll. "Voices?" she asked. "Well, if there are voices, there must be minds, right?" She smiled weakly. "You guys keep looking for the switch, and I'll see if I can find anything back there." She closed her eyes, letting her awareness expand, slightly. She could feel the presences of her teammates, the nervousness, even the sense of nervous readiness from the new recruit. She pushed it out toward the wall, and beyond. Circe gasped. Not expecting to feel anything, she was instead awash in sensation, in feeling. Her empathic senses reeled from the flood of psychic impression that swept threw her, to quick and to muddled for her yo fully discern anything but a longing her soul ached in sympathy. A lost, alone feeling like a lost child.

The wall…rippled. There was no other way to describe it. Its surfaced flowed and shimmered like a the surface of a pond disturbed by a thrown rock. Blink drew back with a startled eep but it was gone…

"Drek!!" Blink yells, stepping back. "As if things weren't fucking weird enough."

"Whatever it is," Circe began, "it's lonely. Maybe that ripple was like the door opening? Porting isn't my thing, but maybe it was a doorway of some sort?"

"Not like any I know of." Blink replied. She turned to Photon. "Boss lady? You want me to port to the other side?"

"I've got your link to the Doctor, Blink." Holly said.

"Thanks, Holly." Blink mumbled. "April, what more can you tell me about this woman? Those… symbols, they're here, on the floor, and there's something weird in this place. And I mean weird with a capital 'fucking', if you know what I mean!"

"Dr. Kimagure. I don't think they're much I can tell you that you don't know." April sounded worried, perhaps tired. "What I know, its all from the press releases, the media. She, she designed my type but moved on almost immediately afterward. Going from project to project. Definitely one of the more gifted minds in genetic science, ranked with Nostraum in that regard."

"April, love? This seems a bit personal to you. What's the buzz on this? Are you ok? Designed your type, and moved on to what, do you know? Don't answer if it's painful." Blink changed her tone. "Holly, is there any link between Dr. Kimagure and my father? I know I'm custom, but genegenics might be within daddy's bag."

"After she left, what's not a matter of public record, I really don't know anything about…" April confessed.

"Well, it couldn't hurt to ask." Blink replied.

"There nothing in the police file to indicate she did any work for your father's corporation. But the list is hardly exhaustive. Do you ant me to run a search?" the AI asked.

"Absolutely. All parameters. You never know what might turn into a link. Any companies she worked for, clients in common, the works."

"I'm on it."

Stonewall stared at the wall. "Damn…" She muttered. Curious, she puts her hand on the wall surface, seeing what the effect is. Her hand touched the wall. It seemed solid enough, much as she could tell through these thick gloves.

"Looks solid enough to me. Maybe the door doesn't like me. Wouldn't be the first time…" Stonewall backs up to let the others try their hand at it. She couldn't shake a sense of nervousness. It was making her sweat, the stuff was running down between her tits and back. It itched like Hell, but she couldn't scratch a fucking things is this damn all body condom she was sewn into… Muttering low curses, she tries to shift the suit around to get a better angle. What did she need this fragging thing for anyway? Great, just great, now she was getting a monster wedge…Cursing even more, Stonewall tried to straiten the suit back out again, trying to find at least one position that wasn't so damned uncomfortable… Much more of this, and I take this thing off. Going back to jail would be an improvement.

Stonewall's weird little dance, which rather resembled a child who had to use the bathroom really bad, caught everyone attention. When she finally dug the suit out of its new home, she looked up into everyone's ever so slightly amused, looks.

"Hmm… That might be the safest way, actually. I'm not sure if having Stonewall, here, punch through it would activate some Rube Goldberg booby trap or something, and you 'porting in might be the best way to circumvent that. Still, though… be careful, and be ready to get out of there immediately if you have to," Photon responded. And let's hope I'm not sending her…

Blink looked up to Photon. "Null perspiration, boss lady. I'll be there and back before you know it. Might want to have Warp ready too, just in case." She looked at Warp and winked, then realized he couldn't see her behind the shades, and laughed. She moved up to the wall. "Ready when you are." She said, more to herself than anyone else. "Holly, I'm porting now." She relaxed, then blinked…

There was a moment of silence. Blink was still there. Nothing changed. The world held its breath… then all hell broke loose, taking the form a miniature typhoon sweeping threw the room, as space itself seemed to fold inward, twisting into a eye searing knot about Blink. The vortex stretched everything out of shape, sucking it toward the Blink shaped "hole" in reality. Everything but Stonewall, he seemed totally unaffected. Her suit, her clothing, all of shredded and fell toward the hole instantly, but the woman herself was the eye of the storm. Not even her hair moved. Circe was not so lucky, the empath was seized and pulled in before she could scream.

Circe screamed, reaching out to grab anything…finding nothing.

What the…? Half a lifetime's worth of reflexes had Photon grabbing for the nearest unaffected solid object almost instantly. "Can you shut this off?!?" she yelled toward Blink. Grabbing the edge of the couch, the closest and slowest moving piece of furniture, Photon "hung" in the air, feet aimed for the hole. Her feet and legs seemed to ripple and stretch ever so slightly…

Stonewall walks forwards, trying to put herself between the others and the 'vortex'. She walked over easily, the effect surreal in the whirling storm swirling threw the room. Once she was close, she could see past the "hole," see into a vast blackness.

Warp lost his battle with the force and toppled forward, straight into Stonewall's arms, hitting her with a muted grunt of surprise. One that was repeated when Black Scarab was torn from his grip on the wall and slammed into Stonewall as well, sandwiching Warp between them.

"What the fuck just happened!" She yelled to no one in particular. "Hol, you still picking up Circe and Blink?"

"No. I'm getting nothing from there units", the AI answered. The vortex passed, space folding back into something resembling solidity. But Blink and Circe were gone. Photon dropped to the floor. but fortunately nothing was injured but her pride.

Stonewall puts her two teammates down as gently as she can, and walks over to Photon. "Hey, boss lady, you have any idea what the fuck just happened? Does Blink do that all the time? I saw black on the other end of that… hole. Dunno where they went…" Stonewall looks around the room, then down, noticing that she's naked except for her small silver cross and a scowl. At least she can show off the tattoos… "Damn. That was a new jacket…"

"What the hell was that?" Photon asked in a shaky voice, as she picked herself up off the floor. "So much for the subtle approach…"

"It was very similar to one of the Warp's spatial portals, though accompanied by much more violent effects," Holly said. "Nothing from Blink and Circe's transpoders…"

They woke in darkness, a dank heavy blackness that seemed laden with threat. Blink moaned, her body felt like she'd been pulled threw a chain link fence. Closing her "wet" eye and kicking in her cybernetic, she saw a pattern of heat, the wall of this place seethed, pulsed and flowed, thermal patterns moving like something alive. The chamber, if that was the right word for it, was roughly hexagonal and small. In the center, the floor rose to form some sort of platform or table. It to had the thermal pattersns of flesh…

Circe, later, might have ben thankfull she couldn't see where they were, but at the moment she was cursing the darkness, feeling around, her fingers sliding in thick mucus-like puddles, running over strangely bone like ridges and rises in the floor. SOmetimes she'd feel something disturbingly like a pulse…

Stonewall curses under her breath. "What's the plan, boss?"

"Hol, what would be capable of blocking those transponder signals?" Photon asked. "And can you tell if there's any of it in the area?"

"Any number of insulating materials or jamming techniques. I detect nothing active but that doesn't elimiate the possbility." Holly replied. "My scaning capability is limited to the what the Rigs can report."

Stonewall started pacing, obviouslynot giving a damn that she was butt-naked. Those who bother to look will notice a few tattoos… A barbed wire one on her leftarm, a fleaming dagger at the baes f her neck goin a few inched down her back, arose on her right heel, a small abstract design on her right hip, and a hint of one on her inner thing, revealed as seh walks back and forth, but not enough to identify.

"Damn. Okay, then… Hol, is there anything in Blink's file about her ever emerging at a place other than where she was trying to go? If not, we can probably assume that she's in there," Photon gestured toward the wall.

"Aside from the yatch incident, no Photon." Holly reported.

"Blink? You all right?" Circe asked. She could feel the confusion coming from the young teleporter, which didn't help her own state of mind all that much.

"Five by five." Blink replied. "Not thrilled with the results, but I'm intact. Idont like this, but I can see a… table of some sort. I'm going to check it out. Stay put." She edged over toward the platform.

"You don't have to tell me twice, girl." Circe replied. "Any idea what happened?"

"Not a clue. Never had anything like that happen during a 'port. Just fucking weird, if you ask me."

The "table" felt more like blister rising from the floor, soft and fleshy, it spring back under her fingers. Very warm and sickeningly slick. Blink thought she felt some hard… bones or something deep inside, then her fingers brushed… hair.

"Ewwww!" Blink said, pulling her hand back. "Circe, I don't know where we are, but we need to get out of here. You sense anything?"

"I'll give it a try." the empath replied. She 'reached out' cautiously, so as not to receive the rush like before. It was the murmur of voices in an audiotorium, so many voices, so many words, that picking out meaning was impossible but mood coudl be discerned. Circe felt a sense of longing as before, but now more urgent, exicted even.

Someing moved the overhead darkness, creaking and squelching. Blink looked up, taking a step back and could just make with her infrared a jutting spire of…something slidng down from vaulted ceiling…

"Circe, be ready…something's coming, and I don't know what it is." Blink tried to keep the fear out of her voice, and couldn't.

"I can sense it." Circe replied. "I don't know what it is, but I don't like it." She moved next to Blink, and checked to see if she still had her pistol. Luickly it was still in its holster.

Blink saw something warmer grow from the spire, snaking down to the table not far frmo her.

Reaching for her gun she whispered, "Something coming down. Move back as far and slowly as you can."

"Don't have to tell me twice, girl" Circe replied. She drew her own weapon and moved slowly back.

Stonewall walked over to the wall. "I'd suggest busting the damn wall down and going in to lay the smack down on whoever took Blink and Circe… Course, with Blink's powers, she might not even be in the city, much less the nextroom. But it'll make me feel a damn sight better."

"Unless anyone else has any better ideas… we've tried being subtle, maybe the direct approach is best. Stonewall, go for it," Photon suggested.

"No Shit? Chill…" Stonewall walked over and gave the wall a look over. Reaching down to her chest, she brought up the small silver cross to her lips to give it a quick kiss, muttering something. Setting her legs apart, she derw her fist back, hitting the wall with all her strength. Her fist sank into the wall with a sharp pop, a spiderweb of cracks running out from the hole. Her arm went in to the elbow, into something warm and mushy. It was like the time some mook in Vegas tried to take more than she was offering and she'd set him straight… fuckers whole face kinda…well not time to dwell on memories. Thick green pus seeped out of the hole, slurping and bubbling.

"Allow me to be the first to say… Eiw!" Photon remarked.

"SMEG!!!! That is so drekkin' gross!" Stonewall tries shifting her arm, making sure her arm isn't stuck. The then pulls her arm out a little, so she can fit both her hands into the hole. She strains a little, the muscles on her back bunching and a lght sweat breaking out on her body. She's trying to tear a larger hole in the wall, to make an opening to get in or get the missing teammates out… "Ewwww… i could think of so many things I'd rather have my hands in right now…"

Circe and Blink jumped at the moist pop behind them as…something came tearing threw the side of the chamber!

"What the fuck?" they both yelled at the same time. Circe spun, preparing to shoot whatever was coming through, while Blink glanced back and then at the original thing coming from the ceiling. She trusted Circe to handle whatever was coming through the wall, and she would cover the ceiling.

The thing is the ceiliog starting whipping wildly around as a wet tearing filled the room. Light spilled into the chamher, temporarilty blinding the two. A large dark silouhette filled the hole…

It took a little more heaving then Stonewall was used to, but the wall gave slowly, tearing open and spraying her with a warm chunky slime that smelled of mold and something sickenly familar. Pumping squriming tubes sprayed the stuff like severed arteries, soaking her frmo head to foot. Inside was black as a Furies' asshole, but she could make out tweo people in totally rank smelling chamber.

"I hope that you guys, or I'm gonna be real pissed about this…" Stonewall said the the pair inside. "Don't just stand there ladies, move yer asses!" Stonewall steps aside so they can get out into the living room.

The sound of Stonewall's gruff but wonderfully familar voice sent a wave of releif threw the two women…

Blink and Circe made a mad dash for the hole.

"Stoney," Blink siad, "You have NO idea how glad I am to see you." she said.

"Ditto." Circe replied. "What the fuck IS this place?"

Stonewall looks down at the mess all over her. "I need a friggin' shower… You two owe me for this…"

The bleeding tear in the wall quivered and seeped, ragged spurting…vessels squirming in some form of unwholesome life…

Stonewall shrugged. "Looks like you got behind the wall… Just about took everyone else with you, too… Lucky I'm too fuckin' stubborn to budge, and I managed to catch the boys before thy joined you… After that, well, boss lady said I could do it my way…" She looks down again, vainly trying to wipe the slime off of her, hand reachign to her throat to make sure her cross was intact… It was intact… "So there anything we need from there,or what?" Stonewall asked.

Circe noticed the gesture, and looked at Stonewall with a smile. "That may be the kind of help we need. I don't know what this doctor has done, but that ….place is beyond obscene." She shivered, trying to gain some sort of warmth away from a cold she had no definition for….

Now thatr the furniture had been moved, the full extent of the floor markings was revealed, a twisting coil of knots and swirls covering most of the floor. But there was a pattern to it. The design seemed to flow, for like a better word, toward the wall seperating the chamber. As Warp looked at them, they started to make a strange sense, those dark ripples, almost like… a map.