Ursa couldn't drive, neither could Franz. Richard's leg was playing up and Hiro had been insufficiently healed. That left Jayden, who panicked behind the wheel and so was refusing to drive, and Garnet. When he was handed the keys to Indishan's car (Indishan seeming to have disappeared with Mortis) he was warned by all of the others to drive sensibly and in a way that wouldn't get them stopped by police. Amazingly, he did as he was told. They got to their safe distance from the castle very safely. Hiro gave Franz a look.
"You're sure it's here?"
"Positive. I can give you instructions as to where as well. Be warned, I think it's protected by an alarm system."
"Crap." Richard muttered. "You know how to bypass that?"
"Double crap. Right, out the car, everyone except the gingers."
Ursa looked like he was going to object. Garnet sat back with his eyes closed and put his shoes, which were in Teen Titans's Robin Converse over pink socks with blue aeroplane outlines all over them, on the headrest of the seat in front of him. The other four made their way to the castle. Jayden found them a window they could sneak through without alerting people inside. They were lucky enough to only encounter three people they had to knock out, or kill, and then hide the bodies of. Finally they found themselves in the same room as the Grotesquery after having changed their path at least eight times to avoid large groups, most of those times the same group in the same area. "Pretty thing." Franz commented, tilting his head to the side. Hiro gave him a funny look as Richard and Jayden each took a corner.
"This would be so much easier if you'd let Gar come."
"We're not risking getting him captured again, plus tunnelling this successfully would be near impossible for him."
"How the hell are we supposed to sneak this thing out?"
"That's why Ursa and Garnet aren't with us. You think this window's big enough to get the damn thing out of?"
Franz nodded. "Just about."
"Where are we?"
"East side, south-east corner. Third window from the bottom."
Ricky texted the information to Garnet and opened the window, opening a proper call with him and talking in a whisper. "There's about three or four guards by the wall. You'll have to take them out before we can slide the thing out to you."
"Got it. The Aussie's on it."
Ricky watched from the window as Ursa attacked the three guards with Garnet's flintlock pistol and a set of nunchucks he'd probably found under a seat. The medical man couldn't help but laugh. The redhead was clearly enjoying himself and the stupid grin on his face was just too much. Garnet and his stupid new shoes tunnelled under the window with a tarpaulin, looking eager. Ursa came and helped hold it taught and the four men in the room heaved the Grotesquery to the window. Alarms wailed and once the bandaged torso was off the tarpaulin, Jayden called for them to keep it taught and jumped down into it rather than escape through the door like the other three idiots.
Buying baby stuff became an interesting aside to all the paperwork and meetings. There was a spare room in Erskine's house that, up until then, had been used as an extra attic and a place to store things he bought and didn't need. Decorating the room and arranging furniture helped pass the time when he had trouble sleeping. He still had the occasional night terror and sometimes slept on his knee funny, causing him to wake up with a shooting pain up his leg halfway through the average night. Mist usually scolded him in the morning if she found he'd used his time that way though. One thing he hated was that news got around quickly. He stared at the little congratulatory messages waiting on his desk. Normally he would be quite happy to see these things, but after the thing with that Acacia Adonia woman he felt the less people knew about it, the better.
A man awoke on a floor in a stolen car. Across the globe, mass destruction was enveloping Azerbaijan and the Philippines. This man knew he was at fault, but he didn't remember who he was, just that he'd been stabbed recently and now he had people after him. There was an American man driving the car, humming along to a rock song playing on the stereo. Some instinct told him to stay on the floor and he obeyed it. The car eventually pulled over and the man driving turned in his seat. "You're awake." He said, sounding mildly surprised. The man on the floor gave no response. "Sit up then. You have a name?"
"Obviously," He did as he was told and frowned. "I can't remember it though..."
"Shame. I'm Memphis. I need to get into Mevolent's castle."
"Then you're crazy, unless you have a veritable army at the very least for distractive purposes...but they'd have to be willing to go on a suicide mission."
"I know. That's why I'm recruiting people right now. You're one of them. I have another as well. He's called Niall and he has a pet vampire with him."
"You want me to go in there?"
"You have a reputation, sir. Whoever framed you may have half-assedly cut your hair and tried to make you a stranger to the world, but I think I know you. What's the earliest thing you can remember? If you go into childhood memories, I will shoot you."
The man paused. "Uh...being stabbed across a counter..."
Memphis nodded. "I think someone likes you. I can't explain why you're still here unless you have a reflection out of place someone killed instead of you."
"Not that I know of..."
"...Has anyone ever told you that you look a tiny bit like Serpine?"
He shook his head.
"Well, I think I have a plan, Mr Shudder."
Daemon stood in the corner, face a clear frown. Austin arched an eyebrow from the maze of duvets and blankets he was hidden beneath, questioning her mood.
"You kissed me."
"Did I?" he asked blearily. Her face was a good enough confirmation. "Oh."
"Don't you have a girlfriend?"
"Nah. She cheats. I don't want her anymore."
"Well aren't you fast to move on?"
"I kiss. Call it gratitude."
"You kiss out of gratitude?"
"Call that something I picked up off of Cay."
She gave him a funny look and came closer. "You seem out of it, Ozzy."
"Yeah, very." She came a little closer and helped him sit up. He felt strangely cold. "Austin, get up."
He did as he was told, hugging himself for warmth despite being fully clothed.
"Sierra and her lot said it would be healthier to get you up as soon as possible."
"Screw Sierra. Are they gone?"
"Actually, they're talking to the blonde guy downstairs. He's showing them his vampire cage."
"Oh wonderful." He went to the door and happily slipped out. Daemon waited a moment before following. Box was waiting at the bottom of the stairs.
"Austin? You attract a lot of new visitors." He gestured to a very smug looking Crystalline and a nervous-looking Repine.
The man in the corner propped himself up on his elbow. There was a French man talking to River in the centre of the room, lamenting. He was working for Mevolent, but he wasn't beyond lamenting to his prisoners. Although, why he was in a cell was a mystery. Charles looked around curiously, wondering how the hell he'd gotten there. Last he'd checked, the French kid had been tied to a chair being questioned by himself and Percy. The French detective sat up properly and addressed Leandre. "Where's Perseus?"
"Who's Perseus?" He replied, a laugh in his voice. The white-haired man's hands clenched into fists
"You know damn well-"
"Oh, right, the Spanish kidnapper guy. He was who I came for. I was told by an informant you two were, eh, together...gross, by the way."
"You're an idiot." River snapped immediately.
"Where is he, Leandre?!"
Leandre put up his hands in defence. "He's with a sub-general, as we call them, of which I might become soon. Apparently one of the small children he took was hers and she now has her little girl back and wants to 'thank' him for 'keeping her safe'." He gave a rather sinister grin and left the cell. River looked to Charles with a sad smile.
"Sorry about your friend."
"Sorry you're stuck here with me." He laughed slightly and she laughed along.
"I'm sure you'll be great fun."
"I don't even know how anything happened...the guy who just left was tied to a chair while I pointed a gun at him last I remembered."
"Ah. Maybe there was more than one on his team."
"If someone was behind me, Perseus would have seen them. He has very good eyesight. He shot a rat out of the window of a moving taxi."
She sighed. "He's only human, Charlie."
"That's okay." He sighed and sat back against the wall. "Why're you here?"
"Don't know. They need me for something...I don't know what, but it was me specifically..."
"Stay strong and don't let them get to you."
She gave an anxious smile. "Thanks."
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the castle, Franz and Hiro were playing with guns. They were back to back, but with Ricky between them. The science magic user offered the occasional punch to anyone who got past the other two, but didn't do much. He flinched or jumped whenever a gun fired. He was very against killing and bordered on pacifism, which was strange as first he was a doctor for a trio of killers, then he was an organiser and doctor for two more killers. The group of attackers went down as Hiro reloaded and Ricky went to explore, opening a door. The lights were on and there was an injured man strapped to a chair. Ricky pulled a face and went in further. There were two guns in the corner of the room and a few other belongings. He checked the man's pulse. It was strong and healthy, but he was unconscious. Hiro poked his head in. "Richard, Franz thinks he's found the way out. There's a coat rack thing and everything. Woah, that guy looks like he's seen better days..." He leaned so he could see Richard's face and saw what he was thinking. "Dude, no. We can't bring him along. Leave him."
"I can't just leave him..."
"He could be one of Mevolent's lot."
"Tied to a chair, bleeding?"
"Well...he could have done something really wrong and...yeah, that was stupid...but we can't afford to bring him along..."
"I'm going to try. I at least want a chance to heal him."
"He'll just ask us to come back and liberate some other people. I don't play to that shit."
"Well you don't have to come along any more." He began untying the prisoner and dragged him out the room, stopping to pick up one of the guns as he went.
The door was in sight but still a long walk away. The men hadn't encountered anyone else, and there was indeed a coat rack and another door leading to an unknown place. Franz stopped by this door and scrambled back. "Hide." He grabbed Hiro's wrist and dragged him down a side corridor, hiding in a dark supply room but leaving the door ajar so he could see. Ricky dodged into the coat rack nook. He covered the injured man in some fallen jackets and squeezed himself up against a bucket of umbrellas. That was his mistake, as now if he moved his leg, the bucket would knock over. A group of men stopped right there and began having a chat. Ricky started thinking complaints of how it was a stupid place to stand and chat and how it was just typical that they would wait there. His mind kept complaining until an all too familiar sensation invaded the leg against the bucket. The stupid RLS sensation. The uncomfortable need to move his leg. He couldn't move his arms to try fix it either. He tried to grit his teeth and bear it.
The sudden clatter of the metal bucket caught the attention of most of the men. Five of them went to investigate and one of them was shot dead instantly. Ricky and his restless leg burst forth, gun blazing. He tried to break to the door, but it seemed the odds were against him. Hiro rolled his eyes from the ajar door. "Idiot." he muttered before picking off another of Mevolent's lot to help his friend. The medical man was almost at the exit when he fell with a bullet in his back. Hiro paused, no longer able to see his friend but able to hear the enemies chattering and joking about him. "Richard!" He slammed the door open and ran into the group of Mevolent's men, firing blindly. Franz rolled his own eyes and stepped outside, leaning against the door and waiting for the Asian man to fail.