2.12 - Undercover
With the information provided by Ronnie Chan, Leona was able to track down and spot fresh tire tracks. From following those she was able to pinpoint the shed he’d mentioned. The thing was large enough to house two of the minivans in question, but only one door could accommodate it. She flew around, scouting the area. There were a few avenues for escape. While she was looking, another important detail commanded her attention. An area where the ground was flattened by something large was nearby. That large object perhaps was a dirigible!
Leona grinned at having discovered a possible clue. After examining the door from a distance, it was clear that it had been crowbarred open. The key would be useless. She stepped forward and approached the doorway. There was no reaction to her presence.
Ten feet to go.
Leona readied her defenses just in case. An ambush would be inconvenient. She carefully stepped to the doorway, hoping the suit would just be there waiting for her to snatch it away. Even if it wasn’t there, perhaps a lead or two would be hidden within. She clenched her fists, ready for a fight . She stepped inside. There were no windows, nor any other doors, no other way inside.
Leona stepped back carefully and moved to the side of the building, choosing to not use the door by instinct. She charged a bolt to create a second doorway. The bolt flew and broke a hole directly into the side of the shed. Once the dust and wood chips cleared from the air, a single criminal was inside with the minivan in question. He gasped, dazed and started to scramble to get into the vehicle.
Jumping through the hole, she glided over to the minivan. “That won’t work,” Leona stated and opened fire on the vehicle’s tires, flattening them instantly. To demonstrate more puissantly, she stepped in front of it and blasted the hood open, looking for the clasp that usually was found in the center and to the forward. When it popped open, she searched briefly and blasted the alternator. It was a wrecked mess of scrap metal. The horn went off for a second as the van started to die messily. The criminal raised his hands and grinned sheepishly, as if to beg ‘don’t hurt me’.
Leona grinned at him, nodding reassuringly. Gesturing for him to step out, she carefully looked around to make sure she hadn’t missed anything else important. The man stepped out slowly and she kept an eye on him while scanning around. Nothing else drew her attention, so she returned it all to the man who spoke, “F-fancy meeting you here!”
Leona grinned at him. “Ah, I remember you.” She chuckled. “Since we’re getting to know each other so well now, why don’t you share some information with me?” She patted him comradely on his shoulder and winked. “Where’s the exo-armor being stashed away?”
“You mean that big metal suit thing? It’s not here. If I tell you where it is, will you let me go?”
Leona smiled again and tilted her head. “I can’t promise that… you’re an escaped prisoner after all… I can promise that I won’t be rough on you, though.”
“How about this, you give me a thirty second head-start after I tell you! After all, you don’t want to waste time chasin’ down some nobody, do you?”
Well reasoned and never were truer words spoken. “That’s pretty clever.” Aurora appreciated the harmless cunning implied. “Alright, but instead you’re coming with me to where it is. If I like what I see when I get there, we’ll just see if I happen to catch you while I’m dealing with the thing. It’d be even more in your interests if I didn’t end up having to fight it, that is.”
“Oooo-kay! I’ll lead you to it,” he nodded, agreeing instantly to the terms. The thug looked towards the open hole and back to Aurora. “We going to use your hole or the door?”
“Smart mouth.” Aurora slapped him lightly, not seriously. “You point and we’ll go where you direct me.” She placed a hand on him and surrounded him with a field. She took a handful of his belt in her hand and swooped out with him in hand. He yelped, but stifled his outcry quickly. “Start pointing, and I’ll use you as a compass.”
The guy started directing her quietly, but he spoke quietly and quickly. “That way! Wait, this way now… don’t go too far right yet.” Leona supposed he was leading her towards the refinery which was her next stop anyway.
Leona flew over it with him in hand. “What’s the best way to get in without being noticed?” she asked while they were hovering.
“Whoooooa! Wait a minute! Don’t go so high up!” He squirmed. It was hard to concentrate with him thrashing, but she managed.
“I don’t know! I don’t know!” he cried desperately.
“You really don’t know?” Leona faked dropping him and grabbed one of his legs. “By the way, I wouldn't squirm too much. If I lose concentration, you really might fall.”
“I don’t know, oh God! I don’t know!” he started yelling louder.
“Tsk… okay… new idea!” Aurora smiled and circled down to a place that seemed safe and let him down easy. “Here’s what we’ll do instead.” she changed her hair and put on another dress, experimenting with touches like makeup which she hadn’t tried before. She activated her phone’s mirror app and focused on the lessons Quinn and Goonie had given to her, particularly the job Quinn did on her face for the rave she’d met Sarah at. She smiled after approximating the look. The man calmed down and watched, fascinated by how her appearance changed right before his eyes. When he edged away, Aurora gestured and put a ring around his ankle so he couldn’t move.
“You’re going to escort me in, like the lucky man you are today. I’ll be on your arm. Nothing to be anxious or nervous about. If you try to say anything to anyone though, you’ll definitely be the first one that gets a taste of my um… lightshot? I haven’t really named them yet. You know, foom.” He winced appreciatively. “Should knock you out nicely until I can address bigger issues.”
“Y-yeah, yeah!” he said. “But you said you were going to let me go after I showed you! I thought you super-types didn’t lie!”
“I didn’t lie. Showing me isn’t just a general set of directions. It’s more useful, plus you’re my cover. Showing me means showing me exactly where the suit is, so I don’t have to infiltrate the building and have to guess.” Leona smiled. “Calm down. You’re a lucky guy for having such a sexy eighteen year old on your arm, aren’t you?” She winked. “Think about the cred that might get you if you escape, assuming no one suspects you. Hey, I tricked you… you might catch some flack for it, but it’s believable.”
“Y-yeah… sure,” he said nervously, sweating already. He tugged at the light ring until Aurora dissolved it. She took his arm and held it firmly.
He walked towards the refinery with her and as they approached, the man-sized door opened, though there were vehicle-sized ones as well. A guy with a gun looked out. “What are you doing?” the newcomer asked, “You wanted to stick to the car, didn’t you? And who is this?”
“S-Super… Sue Per Hino?” he halfway asked nervously.
“Sue Per Hino, eh?” He looked at Aurora. “Didn’t I hear you yelling before?”
She grinned in reply. “That’s why they call me super Sue Hino, baby.” She winked. “I was giving him the rid of his life earlier.” She stuck out her tongue slightly. Thankfully, she’d chosen to go with a darker hair color for her disguise, so that might imply an Asian bloodline paired with the silly name the man had chosen. He’d already subtly tried to betray her. Noted. She posed like those girls did in videos online on social media. “Don’t get your hopes up though, I think I’ve grown really attached to my baby here, and I’m a one guy girl, right baby?” She stroked his chin lightly with a finger and a wink.
“Um… y-yeah. She’s… uh… my baby?” he said, looking at Aurora nervously.
“Nice,” The man said righteously. “Well, get your head in the car. We’re almost done here, and then we’re taking off.”
“Awwww… baby was telling me all about the big awesome robot thing you guys busted the police station with! I got all hot thinking about it, pulling a job like that. Baby says he’s the pilot and the ringleader. Isn’t that amazing?” Aurora cooed and petted her baby for the second. “Why do you treat your star pilot so harshly?” She grinned. “Anyways, I told him I’d give a real ride to ANYONE who showed me that big awesome thing…” Aurora nearly died on the inside delivering such lines.
“WHAT?” the man asked, shocked.
“Ha, you told this twist you were the man in the armor? Boss’ gonna twist your head off, man.”
“No, I ain’t never said that! You tell him, you tell him I didn’t say that! I ain’t no snitch!” he declared, suddenly hyperventilating.
“Yeah, well wait here, baby, I’ll get the boss and you can have a talk with him. He’s gonna love this story.” The guy started to close the door and the thug broke out from Aurora’s grip and dove to try to get inside.
“No! I ain’t never said that!” He said over and over again.
Aurora grinned at him. “It’s okay. I”ll tell them you manned up and told me the truth. Oh, bestill my maiden’s heart. To be lied to by my first lust. Oh well, such is the way it goes, I hear.” She waved her hand. “Now run. If you get away from here they’ll think you just chickened out. And trust me, your boss isn’t going to get the chance to get at you, if he even thinks twice about you.”
The guy took off running, touching his knees to elbows as he started pumping so hard. Aurora watched him go with a small smile. She waited for only a couple of moments, and the door opened again. “Okay th--?” The guy from before looked around. “Hah, he shit himself and ran off. All right, kid, come in, the boss wants to see you.”
Aurora grinned. “He did. Poor baby… he broke my heart when I found he lied to me, but the real pilot wants to see me! So exciting!” She put on a dreamy airheaded expression. “Escort a lady?” She extended her arm with a warm smile.
He smiled and waved Aurora forward instead with his gun. “Uh uh, Boss wants you, I ain’t touching the boss’ stuff.”
“Well, aren’t you such a gentleman?” Aurora smiled and stepped inside, affecting a little anxiety about the gun as they progressed. She allowed him to direct her. Too forward and assertive would be automatically suspicious. She wondered idly whether she’d meet the boss or the suit first. Assuming the boss was the pilot himself, she could eliminate the threat either way without much of a struggle.
As soon as she walked inside, the man slammed the door behind her. “Sorry sweetheart, no witnesses,” he said, putting the gun right to her head.
“Oh dear!” Aurora blinked, definitely surprised and put out. It seemed like a perfect plan, but she wasn’t surprised enough to not turn her protection on. She waited for the gun to fire. It had to be the skin-tight variety so she hoped he didn’t get shot by his own shot. Once he fired, she spun and thrust her arms out to grab his weapon arm, turned it and applied her field to it simultaneously. She slammed it down hard on her knee. The gun went flying. She followed it up with a strike underneath his chin swiftly. She wasn’t much for martial arts, but with the reflexes she had it was child’s play. She placed a hand on his chest while he was stunned and put a ring around his arms and torso. The bullet struck true but ricocheted. Lucky for him he wasn’t holed.
A moment after, a voice came through an electronic filter. “Have you dispatched that fool and his girlfriend, yet?” it asked.
Aurora reached below and firmly palmed his balls through his trousers. She nodded very exaggeratedly as if to say, ‘you won’t have them anymore if you cross me.’ She grinned.
“Y-yeah…” he yelled, “He ran off but I got the girl!”
“Good. Get to the van, then, and pull it up to the second bay.”
Leona leaned to his ear and spoke quietly. “Something’s wrong with the Van right now… it won’t start… baby came to say that and it slipped your mind.. You were so worried about the girl…”
“Van’s dead! Girl told me it was dead ‘cause I shot her… I mean before I shot her… !”
“All right then. Everyone fan out, quick search for a new vehicle, otherwise we’ll pay that yellow bastard another visit and just get one from him.” The owner of the voice laughed a little at the end.
A number of booted feet quickly moved in the other room and the vehicle doors started to rattle as the motors that controlled them activated.
“When it’s safe, take me to your boss. Should be nice and cleared out. You do as I say, and neither of them will get harmed…” She patted his pouch to remind him of his danger. “What you don’t know is I can shoot people… non lethally… but with the power of a shotgun blast. If I think you’re too much trouble, you’ll be out like a light before you know it.” Aurora listened carefully to the men’s movements fading. She gestured for him to move, keeping the ring in place.