Checkmate Warehouse Facility, Langley, Virginia
Alarms sounded as the thief dressed in the uniform of the facilities live in security sprinted down the corridor past rows of radioactive isotopes locked away in lead cases. Reaching the midpoint of the aisle he was currently running through the thief ran his hand across a case labelled CaX-1945/O-21-07, and with a surprising amount of force ripped the casing off and reached inside to claim the vial inside.
“Put the vial back in the security container and step away with your hands up!” A voice called over the loudspeaker, as an armed security patrol encircled the thief, their guns trained on him. Cracking a smile, the thief took a step towards two of the guards before all five of them opened fire, their bullets scything through his body, only for the thief to shrug, almost as if he wasn't being affected by the projectiles.
“I’d save the bullets boys.” The thief hissed, as his body bubbled and twisted as it grew larger, the features deforming until his face resembled a lump of crudely carved clay. “You’ll need them for what comes next.” He bubbled as he shoved the vial into his chest, his flesh parting to form a cavity for his potentially lethal cargo. Taking a step forward, the thief’s hands formed into a pair of massive hammers, before they smashed down onto the guards, their bodies breaking under the terrible impact of their assailant’s ad-hoc weapons. With a hiss the attacker thundered towards the exit, his mud body smashing through the reinforced doors into a stairwell.
“Metahuman stand down!” The voice over the loudspeaker ordered, as bullets rained down onto the thief’s position, the rounds slashing through his body. “We have you outnumbered Clayface, this isn’t Gotham City, there is no place for you to run too.”
“But plenty of places to hide.” Clayface replied as he produced the vial from his chest and crushed the reinforced glass before absorbing the contents back into his body. “You can hold this.” He added, as the shards of glass migrated to his arm, just as he swung it upwards, the sharpened projectiles flying out of his body and up at the guards. Not wasting time to see the results of his handiwork Clayface slithered up the metal walls of the stairwell, before smashing his way through a door marked maintenance.
“Intruder is on Sub Level 10,” The voice called, as Clayface bulldozed his way through a pair of security guards before ripping open up floor access to the building’s water supply. “I repeat the intruder is on Sub Level 10.” He added, as Clayface broke open the pipe and slithered inside and headed up towards the roof level, before bursting out of a stall on the top floor. Shaking himself with a disgusted grunt Clayface made his way to the roof and the helicopter waiting to take-off.
“Did you get it?” The helicopter’s pilot asked, as Clayface shifted into a more human form. “Yeah I got it” Clayface hissed, as his body shifted to become more feminine. “You can have it when I get my reward.”
“You’ll get your reward.” The pilot replied, as the helicopter took off the roof and headed east towards the rising sun. “Assuming that you got the right sample and that you’re DNA hasn’t corrupted the sample. If either of those things have happened you’ll be lucky to leave my mistress company alive.”
The elderly man dressed in a suit stepped off of the plane at the private airstrip and stepped into the private car that would take him to the bustling streets of Dhaka. It had been a long time since the man he was visiting had been relevant, but the recent theft of a deadly chemical from a Checkmate facility warranted specialised action. The man had never met the person he was seeking help from, but he knew Hadley ‘Rip’ Jagger AKA the Judomaster from the documents referring to his actions during World War II as well as the following years after the conflict.
“How long before we reach the meet?” The agent asked his driver, as the car ground to a halt in the crowded streets.
“Not long at all Agent Faraday.” The drive replied from the front seat as she drummed her hands on the steering wheel. “GPS says that the café Mr Jagger chose for the meet is a two minute drive away.”
“I’ll walk the rest of the way Miss Armstrong, park this thing and take up over-watch. I don’t expect any trouble from Mr Jagger but you never can tell.” Faraday instructed, as he slipped the door open and walked down the street, his hand resting on his holster. While Jagger may not be a problem, the streets of Dhaka were another story, what with the combination of poor people, an expensive looking suit and his apparent frailness making King Faraday look like an ideal target for muggers and kidnappers out to make a quick buck. Fortunately in the three and a half minutes it took him to reach the nondescript café, the only attention Faraday received were a few odd looks and an attempt by a local street merchant to sell him a knock off pair of sunglasses. While he hadn’t been late, his contact was already their waiting dressed in a T-Shirt and slacks, his face and body looking young save for the piercing blue eyes which told tales of a man more experienced than his youthful façade cared to show.
“You looking to buy a new belt to match those shoes?” Jagger asked, as Faraday sat down at the table with him.
“Only if you have one in black.” Faraday answered, with both men seemingly relaxing at the odd exchange of greetings. “Thank you from coming out of retirement to consult on this matter. Not a lot of people can tell us about CaX-1945/O-21-07, of the three you’re the only one who wouldn’t kill us if they found out the US government had been keeping hold of it for over sixty years.”
“If you know where it came from then why are you talking to me?” Jagger asked, as he caught a glint of sunlight bouncing off something from the building across the street.
“We don’t know how it was acquired, we have names of the parties involved as well as a date and a location, but there is no record on how it happened.” Faraday replied, as Jagger concentrated on the glint. “As someone who was there perhaps you can fill in the blanks.”
“If I do that I want it off the record, no recordings and no guns trained on my head.” Jagger replied, as he turned to look Faraday in the eyes. “Your sniper is good, but I have more than a decade of experience over her, no matter how well she tried to disguise it she can’t fool me. You know my terms, you want the information you meet them now.”
“Guns down Miss Armstrong, bring the car round.” Faraday ordered, as he removed the pin in his jacket and twisted the back, before producing his phone and removing the battery followed by slipping his shoes off and off lining the recording devices in the heels. “That’s all the ones I know about.” He stated, as Jagger looked up towards the sniper perch where Faraday’s driver was making an over the top demonstration of dismantling her rifle. “Will that do?”
“Yes, you have to understand should this get out into the public domain it could destabilise the relationship the UN has with the Justice League.” Jagger explained. “It all started at an Imperial Japanese holdout in Burma…”
Arke Communications and Logistics, Metropolis Campus
“You have failed this city!!” The woman dressed in a blue blouse and black slacks told the woman sitting behind the customer service desk. “I have been without Wi-Fi for the last twenty minutes, this is intolerable, I mean we live in America, not some back woods country like England or Australia.”
“Miss Lance we’re sorry we will try and restore internet service as soon as we can, but until we find the route cause…”
“You know I think I may sue you.” Lance hissed, as she placed her hands on the desk and pushed her face into that of the customer service woman. “This is my basic human rights we’re talking about.”
“Uhm I don’t think Wi-Fi is a…”
“You’re right, you don’t think because you are an idiot stuck in a menial service job!!” Lance snarled. “Get me your manager, I’m fed up with talking to you.” She added, as the woman picked the desk phone up and dialled a number, after a few seconds she placed the phone down again. “Well?!”
“He is busy at the moment, but if you want to submit a complaint in writing…”
“Oh I will!” Lance snapped as she turned away from the desk and stormed out of the atrium of the Arke Communications and Logistics building. “Tell me we’re in the system Babs?” She asked, as she tapped the flesh coloured ear-bud.
“If I don’t will you well at me like you did the assistant?” The voice on the other end asked, as Lance walked over to the car parked on the street. “Gypsy managed to plant the signal router in Arke’s systems so as soon as someone accesses a file we should get a full directory of their computer systems.”
“I still don’t understand why we’re targeting tech companies.” Lance replied as she slipped into the driver’s seat and watched as the rear passenger door opened slightly before shutting itself, seconds before a woman dressed in a green crop top and form fitting leather trousers appeared on the back seat.
“Arke and a dozen other companies were given a tax break for an unknown reason by Cadmas, the money they should have been paying is being funnelled into something and I intend to find out.” ‘Babs’ answered over the internal speakers of the car. “Return to the Clocktower, if Arke is a bust like Kord Industries and Wayne Enterprises then we need to move onto out quaternary target. Oracle out.”
“You’re really scary when you’re angry.” Gypsy stated as Lance pulled out of the parking space into the flow of traffic.
“You have no idea. I honestly hope that this goes well, I can’t scream my head off at another technician just trying to do their job.” She added, as the car’s internal speakers crackled. “What did Barbra forget this time?” She mused, as the soft sound of a dart being fired followed by a body hitting the floor radiated around the car. “Oracle are you there?” Lance called, as she stepped down onto the gas pedal.
“Change of plans Dinah, I need you and Gypsy to meet me at Eyrie 1, something new has just come up.” Barbara Gordon’s voice called over the cheek microphone of her headset.
“Are you okay?” Lance asked. “We heard someone fall.”
“It wasn’t me and the situation is contained.” Gordon’s voice continued as she looked down at the red haired bespectacled young woman, before removing a strand of blonde hair from out of her eyes. “Oracle out.” She added as she turned off the headset. “Out indeed, Faraday this is Armstrong I have control of the Oracle network, Miss Gordon has agreed to help us find our missing compound.”
“She’d better not be hurt, we don’t need any additional League attention concerning this investigation.” Faraday replied.
“She’s not hurt…yet.” Armstrong hissed. “We have a lot of fun things to do together Barbara, starting with me taking everything you have.”