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Æon Æternal (Closed)

The Aeon Society - Formerly the Aeon Society for Gentlemen, not yet the Aeon Covenant - was founded to improve the lot of humanity, and to push back the boundaries of the unknown. Far from its origins as a Chicago gentleman's club, it's now best known for its scientific research and philanthropy. But, still, there's much we don't know. Too much, even. When things seem beyond the understanding of modern science, when a disaster gets too strange for the Neptune Foundation, or when weirdly advanced artifacts of the distant past show up on auction, they call your team.

Las Vegas, Nevada. 10:48 PM.

Madame Sophia's Psychic Studio is the cramped front parlor of a trade house in the outskirts of the city, far from the Vegas strip. It smells like incense, cigarette smoke, and old perfume, and the room is decorated with curtains and scarves pinned up on the walls. Low new-agey music plays from a boombox in the corner, and the neon yellow and purple light of the eye-in-a-hand-in-a-pyramid sign affixed to next to the door leaks in through the window. It would be incredibly unconvincing if, within minutes of the start of her consultation, she hadn't told you the hotel you're staying at, the time of your flight to Vegas, and what the meeting room in the Chicago headquarters of the Aeon Society looked like.

Madame Sophia is a black woman in her 50s, dressed in a long, colorful dress in paisley patterns, with her hair tied up in a bandanna. When it became clear that you weren't customers, she dropped her mystic act, leaning back and lighting up a Virginia Slim. She's had sort of an air of familiarity as she went through the standard battery of tests and questions for psychic powers. Everything seemed normal, until-

A distant 'foomp'.

Shattering glass.

The room fills with smoke.

"What the HELL!" Sophia cries out in alarm, before her house's front door is kicked off its hinges. What do you do?
Konstantin Ivanovich Azhikelyamov
Константи́н Иванович Ажикелямов

It would have been almost nine in the morning back home in Saint Petersburg, and Kostya's glad it means he isn't really tired, especially when the door burst open. He doesn't know what the smoke is, but he know the faster they get out, the better. He darts to Sophia--fighting off whoever's coming in isn't his strong suit--and asks, just loud enough to be heard, "Is there back door?" in his thick Russian accent. The easiest way to not get hurt was to not be there when bullets start flying.
"Through the kitchen!" Sophia says, as she starts running for it herself. Kostya can feel someone shoulder by him in the smoke, and heavy footfalls. It's crowded in here, and chaotic, and whoever just came in sound like they're loaded for bear, their breath filtered through masks.
Grigori Voronov (ригорий Воронов)

Grigori was sitting on a far too small chair, consulting with a studied neutral expression, the checklist of questions to ask a possible psychic in hand. He's up in one instant when he hears the sound of the door getting kicked open. He gestures to the others to move along, guiding Sophia and the others towards the kitchen, placing huge hands on the backs of the slowest folks and gently pushing them towards the kitchen.
"Move, move!" He barked. He had noticed their gas masks; he and his companions didn't want to be anywhere near here in the near future. His hand searched idly in the dark for the remote control of the ventilation system. He had seen it earlier on the coffee table... ah-hah! There it is!

And so it was that the unwanted guests saw a Russian giant appear out of the smoke, eyes zeroed on them.
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For anyone who's outside, you see it unfold in seconds, with practiced precision. A van pulls up in front of the house. The side door slides open, and a man dressed head to toe in black, from filter mask to boots, leans out and fires a grenade through the window of the psychic studio. The room fills with smoke, and then three men pile out of the van, bursting into the house.
Konstantin Ivanovich Azhikelyamov
Константи́н Иванович Ажикелямов
Kostya didn't need Grigori to tell him to move as he kept pace with Sophia. He heard Grigori behind them, and the whirl of the central air, and didn't realize he and Sophia were trying to go out the same door at the same time until the strode right into the door jamb.

"Oof," Kostya said, and then scooted out after Sophia.

He hoped nobody saw that.


One Time Luck
Zerya reacts quickly, too, surreptitiously drawing her pistol and sliding into position behind a dumpster to check who's currently occupying the van, assuming their plan would be somewhat derailed without a getaway crew.
The van's currently idling, a man in a full face mask in the driver's seat. He's actively checking the mirrors, so, safe bet if you try to attack him, you've only got one shot at this.


New Member
Trent hastily backs away towards the back door, slipping through after everyone else is already through. He spies a sun chair and quickly erects it as a makeshift barrier in front of the door, tossing whatever else in front so that anyone who tries to go through there is going to be slowed down!
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One of the masked people squares up against Grigori and swings, but fifty years of experience as a spy isn't for nothing, and as the spy took up a defensive stance, the blows were deflected. Still, it's now three on one inside the house. Or, it would be, as one breaks through the door and tries to flank around the side yard of the house, as the other pulls a taser from his belt, sparks arcing between the metallic probes.

In the back yard, Kostya and Trent find themselves in... Well, a suburban backyard. Ringed by fences, a barbecue and some playground equipment. Another chair or two. Sophia looks between the two of you. "What the hell's going on? How'd you two just..." She takes a breath. "One's coming around the side of the house. Can you- what do we do?"
The masked man person's blow is parried by the spy's massive, log-like arms. As he notices that one of his opponents has a taser, he steps to the side and smacks him across the jaw with a well-placed left hook.


One Time Luck
Zerya tries to slip behind parked cars opposite before covering the distance to the van at a dash, quick as she can, drawing her pistol as she attempts to throw the door open and aim her gun straight at him, trying to hold him up.
The driver didn't notice Zerya until she put her hand on the doorhandle, at which point he turned, looked her in the eye, and floored it, pulling her along with the van as it sped off. She could see him reaching for a switch, soldered onto the dashboard, flipping it from up to down as he drove off.

Inside the house, and in the backyard, the two masked men were bearing down on Grigori, despite the blow one took a second before, and the other had just reached the backyard and was pulling their taser. Then, all at once, they collapsed, like their strings were cut. What do you all do?


One Time Luck
Zerya grabs ahold of the door, tight, managing to get a foot on the mudguard with a second to spare, rubber stripped off her shoe as she strained to pull herself up and onto the roof. Maintaining a solid grip on the roof rack, she hauled herself up as the van swerved, hugging the roof as she tried to work out how to get in.

"Knew I shouldn't have skipped coffee..."
Kostya was out of his depth, and he knew it. He was unarmed, and unlikely to fare well in a fight against...whoever these guys were. An important question, but one for another time. He moved closer to the building, hoping that cover and surprise would make up for lack of skill.

He didn't get the chance to find out, as he heard the approaching attacker fall like a sack of potatoes. Kostya peered around the corner of the house and looked down at him on the ground.

"...Huh." Kostya carefully moved closer, ready to bolt like a startled deer, but too curious not to try and see what had made him fall like a toy with a dead battery.
The figure doesn't move as Kostya approaches. A quick check of his pockets produces nothing, and it's only when you take off their mask that your search yields fruit. The man who came around the side of the house is weathered in the way where it's hard to tell how old he is - He could be a real rough thirty or a 60 that's trying to keep him together. Behind his left ear is a surgical incision stitched shut, not quite old enough to be a scar. It feels warm, and getting warmer as you investigate.

Zerya, you'd better work that out fast, because the driver is, while doing his best not to crash, leaning for the glove compartment. When he opens it up, a handgun is inside and, let's be real, you probably don't want this guy having a handgun while you're on the roof.
Grigori blinked twice as he saw the goons fall to the ground all at once. He checked their pulses quickly. Still alive.
"Hrm." He didn't know what to make of this, but for now, his priority was ensuring that Madame Sophia and his colleagues were okay. He went after Madame Sophia and Kostya.
"Are you hurt?" He asked once he reached them. He gave an appraising look to the man on the ground. "Ah. Just fell on its own, didn't it? The ones back in the studio did the same. Can you tell anything useful from it?"
He had seen bodies in worse states, but not on people who had been moving and fighting. As Kostya analyzed the body, he looked over the street, seeing the car with Zerya attached to it speeding away. Cursing himself for not keeping up with Alert Status 1's gun training, he turned towards Madame Sophia. "Madame, it's clear that this location is compromised. We would like to escort you somewhere safe."
Kostya pulled his fingers from the eerily warming wound. "There's something behind his ear," he told Grigori, and reached in the pockets of his jacket. He didn't have a scalpel on him, but hey, it wasn't like he was trying to do real surgery. His pocket knife should be enough, just to pull whatever's in there out. He pulled his lockpick set out as well, and the tweezers that lived there, just in case, and went to work on the nearly fresh stitches.
With surprising deftness, Kostya sliced the incision open. Inside was a small device covered in circuitry. A tracking chip? Kostya had dealt with tracking chips before, at least, and knew the methods of baffling them. Behind the device, a wire went deeper into the man's head. The device was getting hotter, and a mechanical device in it was starting to whine faster and faster, for some reason.
"A tracking device?" Kostya guessed, inspecting it. "It's getting warmer. That can't be good." He was not great at programming, but good enough that he thought he could keep whoever it was tracking them from finding out if he took the tracker with them. He very carefully edited it to keep sending the same signal, as if he were going to leave it where he'd found it, and then removed the tiny device. "Look good?" he asked Grigori, carefully folding the device in his hankerchief before tucking it in his pocket.
Grigori hadn't run into something exactly like this before, but that was to be expected, given how often fringe scientists hand made things, even when commercial parts were available. Kostya had identified the tracking device, but the other half of the device was a self-contained generator, which was set to power the tracker and output to the wire that led deeper into the man's head, before it was removed, and it seemed to be rapidly overheating.


One Time Luck
Zerya clambered in as quick as she could, slapping one hand down over his to try and wrestle control of the wheel and take a swing at him before he could grab the gun.
"It's very small for a bomb," Kostya said, but didn't disagree with Trent. This kind of thing wasn't his forte either. "I don't like leaving it, even if it is a bomb though." They had exactly one clue about who had jumped them, and it was growing steadily warmer in his pocket. "If you have ideas on how to make sure it doesn't blow up, I'm all ears," he added. He liked that idiom.

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