Not-So-Light Investigation

Characters: Wanda Maximoff Laura Kinney Luciana Gutierrez Lexi Nemo Kitty Pryde Jean Grey
Rated: PG-13
Summary: A group of X-Men infiltrate the headquarters of a psych research company in search of a motive for one of their own setting a clinic on fire.
OOC Date: Thu Dec 28 20:40:08 2017
IC Date: December 28th, 2017
Where: Fairlight Institute HQ

The Fairlight Institute's headquarters are as low profile as its clinics are: five stories in Hell's Kitchen with no signage of any kind, well-maintained but unremarkable. Finding the address took Kitty a little bit of digging - they have no apparent use for visitors, but every business has a trail, no matter how faint. Kitty might also learn that Fairlight's been around since the 90s, consistently operating as a psychiatric research clinic for small numbers of patients via invitation or referral only. Ostensibly, it specializes in unusual cases, including those involving post/nonhumans; it has, however, produced minimal amounts of published work.

There are cameras posted near the front and rear entrances. The front door leads into a reception area with a couch, a table with a few magazine, some chairs, and a circular desk. Beyond a wall with a single door lie elevators and a hall leading to several offices. Mounted above the call button is a card reader.

After hours, there's no-one downstairs but two guards taking turns sitting in a security office and doing lackadaisical rounds. Both have security badges with their names and headshots on them.

Laura Kinney was used to climbing and entering. And a certain amount of breaking. The upside to these old brick buildings is that there's enough cracking and damage to the bricks that a few extra marks from her claws as she uses them for anchors won't matter. When she reaches the top she hops over the edge, leaning over to give Lexi a hand up while she looks for an entry point.

There is a locked, steel roof access door near a corner of the roof. There aren't any cameras up there, but Lexi and Laura might catch a faint whiff of cologne from beneath the door, stale and lingering.

"Sure, I could hack it remotely, but onsite, I'd have a better chance of not being detected," Kitty had told the group rather earnestly. "Plus, if something goes wrong, well, you know I'm good for a very quick getaway." Like, through the walls. Or the floors.

And, after Ororo's news, such is how Kitty entangled herself with this little mision. She'd agreed that Lexi and Laura would go look through the physical archieves, while she and Wanda would try and see if anything different was on the computers, and they'd compare notes afterwards. Their comms would keep them in touch.

Thus, grabbing Wanda's hand, Kitty and the Scarlet Witch had sunk through the roof after Kitty and 'stuck' her head down through it to make sure the coast, indeed, was clear. "Now, we just need to find a nice quiet room with a computer. The server room would be ideal, but any physician's office or station ought to do. Or, the Administrator," she tells Wanda, in a hushed tone.

Wanda smiles slightly, "I'm just going to glitch out any cameras or the like between here and there. Hopefully they won't attract too much attention." She shrugs a bit, hanging onto Kitty so they're both phased, "Let's get everyone in so we don't have to break down everything." She grins at that, "Sneaking is the objective, not trashing the place."

"I really can climb on my own, Lexi. I promise." Gemini offers, smiling to her friend. They've been teammates for years, and students together before then, but Luci is also the younger of the two, the 'junior' X-Woman, and she's used to reminding her protective, supportive teammates of what she can do when plans are being made. "And I should be able to pick the locks without trace. I'm no electronics whiz, though. Alarm wires could be tricky."

That said, the young mutant heroine readies with the plan, biometal of her twin extruding through her fingertips to form clawtips of sharp metal, perfect for climbing the building quickly and easily. The same effort can then create a metal skeleton key as a perfect shape match, and open the lock without leaving any trace of picking. That's her contribution, until they reach the hardcopy medical records. Hopefully her experience reading medical charts as a nurse with sports science experience will be of use there in parsing them quickly.

Wanda whispers over the comlinks, "Well, Gemini, let's solve the problem. No sudden moves for a moment if you please." She then gestures, whispering under her breath as she focuses her magick… and brings the rest of the group into the same room inside with herself and Kitty. "There, just to expedite things and minimize the risk of setting off alarms." She smiles a bit, "Keep your coms on, no unnecessary chatter, and no lethal force. Alright?"

"Juuuuust offering…" Lexi whispers, her tendrils flicking out. "Okay. Hard copies are up one floor, second door on the right. It's locked, and there's probably minor security on it." She looks at the others. "We'll slip up there, you grab th' data. We'll meet back here if we can, fall back to either your location or ours depending if ther'e strouble?" She looks to Laura. "…nonlethal force, please."

Kitty doesn't spot anyone beneath her chosen ingress point, just an empty hall a few feet down from a four-way intersection. There are doors spaced intermittently along the hall, complete with nameplates suggesting that Kitty's found a finance-focused area for Wanda to bring the group into.

The distant scent of cologne in from a ways past one of those corners, growing gradually more pungent.

Laura Kinney nods, before padding off on soft-soled shoes towards the hardcopies, not bothering to turn any of the lights on. "Someone is around. They stink." She stops outside the locked door, legs slightly bent, ready to attack if the group is caught.

Gemini gleeps softly as she is suddenly transported inside. She crouches down, as they are supposed to do when being stealthy. "OK. The nose that knows. You lead, Tendril." And she falls in, clawtips ready just in case, for climbing and such. She and Izzy always get so excited when they're in the field. It's still 'new and exciting' for them.

"Remember, we're here for information only. Non-lethal takedowns, if any have to be done. We get what we came in for, and we get out, as soon as possible. We don't want to leave any traces of us ever having had been here if it can be helped," whispers Kitty. She nods to Laura, "Let's move, before Stinky gets here." And then grabs Wanda's hand, "We split up, stay on the comms, keep us updated."

She gets her bearings for a few moments, and then begins to move off towards the direction where she believes the offices ought to be. Such things do tend to be on the upper floors, afterall, where the best views are.

Wanda hangs onto Kitty, "You lead, Kitten." She grins, and makes a gesture, hexing the internal cameras… just in case they need the help. She then whispers, "This is more your forte than mine, so I'll trust your judgment."

Lexi quietly opens the door, slipping out as she rises on the balls of her feet, moving heel-to-toe to minimize the sound of her footsteps as she starts slinking down the corridor towards the stairs up. She watches for signs of any cameras that might need to be bypassed, staying close to the walls where she won't be obviously in the middle of the view of one where they'd most logically be set. She whispers to Gemini. "How long do you think you'll need to go through the records?"

Assuming they make it to the records room without incident, Laura has a pretty simple plan: Start at the most recent dates, start going back until she runs into someone who resembles the woman people described. Or maybe just memorize the names and pictures. That'd work too.

From their starting point on the third floor, Kitty and Wanda are in a decent position for canvassing the upper levels. There are many workstations available, but most are unable to access more than a narrow slice of company data— whatever's relevant to a given employee's position. As such, the company's leadership, as well as its senior researchers - Marjorie Ellison, overseeing the study of exotic disorders; Joseph Tarrant, in posthuman psychology; and Abeleine Fisher, leading studies related to extranormal phenomena - on the fifth floor might well be the best bets for accessing useful data without hitting dozens of terminals.

On the fourth floor, the records room lies beyond another badge-locked door at the end of an otherwise lightly used corridor. While the building is generally light on interior cameras - Kitty and Wanda would only run into them near fifth floor leadership offices - both the entrance of the hall leading up to Records and the space before the door are under surveillance. Complicating matters further, there is a fingerprint scanner set just above the badge reader.

As for the cologne: while lingering traces of it are evident on the fourth floor, the worst of it seems to have remained on the third, at least for now.

"That will depend on how many records, and their organizational status." Gemini answers honestly. "Hopefully less than an hour. I'll be as fast as I can, but I have to be as thorough as possible in the time we have available. Anything could be the key." Gemini knows how to walk softly, but she's not as gifted in stealth as some others; has something to do with her mass, far greater than one expects given her size.

Up to the fourth floor then Gemini and Tendril go, with Tendril leading the way to avoid any security alarms. Soon enough they're at the door as Lexi frowns at it. "…mmm. That's pretty strong security for a records room. Even for medical." she murmurs to Lucia. "I can try to bypass it, but it'll take a bit. And I can't fake a fingerprint. Can you?" She glances at the other young woman.

Kitty points, silently, towards Abeleine Fisher's name - it seems the most promising. Extranormal Phenomena would quantify, perhaps, the fire - the strange being hovering over the hospital post-fire, among other things. And, give them all an idea, better, of what sort of studies this hospital is really doing. She looks back to Wanda, instructing the Sorceress to watch her back, after phasing easily into the office and bypassing the keycard system entirely.

She leaves the lights off, just in case someone might be patrolling the hallway, and turns the computer on, sitting into the chair, and wiggling her fingers. "Alright. Time to work some Kitty Magic," she declares, quietly. "You want to keep in touch with the group while I try and get my way in here? Going to take me a few."

Kitty's fingers begin to fly over the keyboard, working on cracking the password and the access codes to get full access to the researchers computer and the secret contents within.

Laura Kinney shrugs. "I could possibly go in through the ceiling. It depends on if they extended the walls fully up to the actual ceiling through the drop one." She gestures to the overhead tiles. "Currently I think we may have to determine if any of the guards are cleared to enter, and disable one of them."

Wanda nods, whispering, "Keeping an eye out." She says into the comlink, "This is Wanda, we're working on the computer records now. How's it going on your end?" She hmms and makes sure the cameras just seem to be not quite working when they are pointed towards her or Kitty.

Kitty will find security to be stiff, but far from insurmountable if she's willing to give it some time. On the other side, she'll find notes, profiles, biometrics, and other data related to cases being worked by researchers at Fairlight Queens and Manhattan alike, ranging back about 4 years— or, more accurately, she'll find references to such, with the actual information encrypted behind a final layer of physical token-based security. Downloading the files is an option; figuring out a way to access them might take a while, however.

The only exception is a set of preliminary findings on the 'Queens Event' with a timestamp dating back just a couple of days, consisting primarily of telemetry and thumbnail files of the patients who were present at the clinic. Their compiler's been working on trying to determine whether any of the patients could've been responsible for the clinic-razing fire, but has only managed to cross maybe three quarters of the candidates off of his list.

Gemini glances at Tendril. "Honestly? Given Federal guidelines, the camera coverage is entirely normal for medical records. Fingerprint scanners aren't the norm, but they're not too far out of bounds, either. Usually it would be badge and code, though."

When asked about bypassing the fingerprint scanner, she responds "It may depend on how good a scanner it is. If it's just fingerprints? Yes, I can. Just like wearing a glove with an imprint. But if it scans the vascular patterns? Maybe not. What about the cameras?"

Laura would have to check to be sure, but the panels appear to be short-cut friendly, as - despite increased caution in the form of fingerprint scanning - Fairlight doesn't seem to have sprung for anti-action movie security. The scanner is of middling grade, for that matter, so faking the prints just might be an option.

Kitty sticks a thumbdrive into the workstation and begins by downloading the most accessible, and relevant files she can get access to, those of the Queens Event, after briefly scanning over it. They can cross reference names later. Once that task is done, she sets to trying to access the encrypted files rather than hacking them. She mutters to Wanda, "This is going to take a little longer than I expected. These files are encrypted, and the encryptions are token-based even to access them, to be able to download them at all. Essentially, I have to trick the computer into thinking I have the proper tokens, which is - much more difficult than simply hacking a password. It's not based on the professors user ID on this computer. It's based on server access. If I can get access, we'll ahve a lot more information. And we can decrypt them back home."

She says all this, eyes glued to the monitor, and keys clicking quietly. The frown on her face belies her present focus, and intensity on her task. This, afterall, is for Jean. Kitty's not giving up easily.

Lexi considers. "I could unplug it with a tendril but it might make them check it out. Or…it's a movin' one. I could just hold it in place ta break th' motor so it doesn't turn towards where we are. They might just assume it's a malfunction but since it's not actually out not check it too closely?" She glances at Gemini. "Hmm. We can try ta see if ya can pass the fingerprint, if it rejects it it won't trigger alarms the first time. Most are set ta not trigger three times, in case someone moves while it's scannin' or somethin'."

Gemini nods. "Given the timing, we should be able to slip in and give the first scan before we have to break the cameras. Just be ready in case I can't get through on the first try. But we're going to need a badge."

Honestly, Luci isn't quite a Mission Impossible sort, but she is a trained X-Woman, she pays attention, and she's adaptable. So off they go. Once they manage to sneakily tendril-nap someone's badge and get to the fingerprint scanner, she has already formed a perfectly smooth, ridgeless finger, which she then presses down onto the oil pattern left by a previous user, offering the warmth and pressure to reactivate the scanner, hopefully picking up the pattern of those oils even as she lets Izzy create whirls and ridges to match the pattern she has found."

Wanda looks over her shoulder at Kitty, "Okay, let's decrypt it back at the ranch. Just get everything you can." She then speaks into the comlink, "How's it going down there gang?"

Picking pockets, or badges from dozing security guards, that Lexi can do quite well, thank you. She waits to slide the card until Lucia is ready, then slides it through, waiting to see if it unlocks. NO one has come to check the damaged camera yet, at least. Hopefully they won't notice it's actually stopped in place fo ra while.

Tricking the system for full access - especially after worming into it and rooting around for goodies to steal - is a risky proposition in that it's likely to leave behind signs that someone was monkeying around with the system if Kitty doesn't take care to clean up after herself— which, of course, takes time.

With multiple points of security and no one size fits all solution to bypassing them, grabbing all of Fisher's secure data is also liable to take a while, leaving the ninja/nerd to thread the needle between safety and thoroughness.

Laura Kinney ducks in after the others, sticking to the camera blind spots. Any physical locks on the filing cabinets are shimmed using a claw, and she gets to file searching, ears alert for any sounds not those of her teammates.

One sleeping guard in a fourth floor security office later, Gemini's able to finagle her way through security features to reveal a room lined with file cabinets. At the opposite end lies a hopelessly dated computer terminal.

So far, between Wanda ensuring that cameras are conveniently pointed in the wrong direction, staticky, or otherwise not quite functional; and Tendril guiding the others in sneaking by cameras, it would appear - based on a lack of cologne, jingling keys, or other obvious tells - that the rest of the on site security is still unaware of the intruders.

Dating back to '93, the files are robust— despite the sparse nature of Fairlight's practice, each is packed with biographical information, medical information, interviews transcripts and videos; and pages upon pages of assorted notes.

Kitty keeps typing, making some exasperated sounds now and then, muttering, "This is way more secure than it should be for a mental hospital. This is black ops, Weapon X, Illumanti type computer encryption, Wanda," Kitty mutters as she gets further, and further in. She's making progress, but she knows how much time it's going to take. "I'm getting closer. And then I'm going to need to take the time to undo everything I've done, to remove traces someone was in the system. Jesus."

She mutters again under her breath as she hits a wall, and continues to work on forging that token access. Finally, however, she is able to complete it, and the downloading of all the encrypted files starts onto the thumb drive.

"Okay. Downloading. Finally. We still clear? Stinky hasn't made his way up here yet?"

Lexi slips inside, holding the door for Gemini as it unlocks, then lets it close behind her, before leaning back against the door so she can listen to what's happening in the hall outside. "All you, chica…grab pictures of anythin' that looks important? Maybe if ya look for…uh, mutants. Or Jean Grey….if she was involvedin this stuff, maybe they got a file on her in particular?"

"Alright. Any other names you can think of? Most of this should be cross-referenced based on name, after all." Gemini mentions. She then gets started. Soooo many files, so little time. But she knows how to read a chart, how charts are usually organized, and can make reasonably quick work of this. "Keep an ear and a nose out for anyone coming this way, Tendril."

Wanda shakes her head, "No sign of trouble yet, Kitty… I'd rather not turn anyone into a frog, but well…" It wouldn't be like they'd be a frog forever or anything, just for a few hours and then they'd poof back. "That's definitely something odd going on here, though, with that level of security. And I doubt it's good for us."

As it so happens, there is indeed a file on Jean Grey. The bulk of it was compiled in 2002 after her parents brought their catatonic daughter in for study. While they were able to determine that she was psionically active - via rudimentary scanning tech - they weren't able to actually resolve her condition, leading them to discharge her after a few weeks of work. There's an obit clipped from the paper, as well. Between that and the names in Kitty's 'Queens Event' files, there are, at least, a few solid places for the records team to start.


"— Wait," the guard currently seated in the first floor's guard room murmurs, squinting at a monitor with a timestamp from precisely one week ago, to the minute. "What the hell's— hey, Mitch? Ricky? Either'a you guys see anything— hh, I dunno, 's probably nothing, but one of the fifth floor cams is acting up…"

"Anything like…?" Mitch wonders. Ricky is, perhaps, busy.


Cologne begins to waft ever so subtly nearer as the guard wandering the third floor begins making his way up to the fifth, the scent drifting through elevator cracks.

Tendril's nostrils flare a bit as she leans towards the crack of the door, then hisses softly. "Someone's comin' up th' elevator. Man. Can smell th' cologne from here. Douse th' light, might need ta hide." she murmurs. "Might just be here ta check th' camera."

"Awful hard to read without the light." Gemini murmurs to Tendril with a sigh, but she does so anyway. Thankfully, patient files are usually still standard black on white, which she can still make out in exceptionally low-light conditions. But it's not ideal. She's going to get a headache if she has to keep this up for long.

It's a little bit, a few footsteps before Wanda alerts Kitty of 'Stinky' coming towards them. And, Kitty taps ont he computer, "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon," she urges it. As soon as the download does complete, she pulls the thumbdrive out of the socket, and there's no time to erase her footprint. What she /can/ do however? Is put her hand through the computer, and short it out completely as she waves Wanda over so they can phase through the floor, and begin to make their way to the other team. Kitty can only hope she got enough information on the computer side of things. But it's about time they blow the joint. And, while not exactly erasing her footprint, the shorted out computer system will make it extremely difficult for them to make sense of what shorted out, and what was on the system when it did short out. It's a good of a mask to her presence as she can make do, all things considered.

"We're on our way to you. They're investigating the cameras. Get what you can, and prep to leave before we're discovered."

Laura Kinney drops into a crouch again, passing any useful files over and getting into a position ready to deck Stinky if it seems like he's about to reveal the group's presence. They /should/ be able to get out the same way they got in, right? Have Kitty just walk them out through a wall?

The Queens clinic patients covered a diverse range of ages, backgrounds, et cetera. Their one unifying feature is that all of them were psychic in some way, for some reason; most were mutants, but one boy gained the ability to manifest memory-imprinted objects after exposure to exotic radiation; another woman can see people's deepest insecurities scrawled on their faces due to a generational curse. All of them were, to some degree or another, seeking help with understanding, coping with, and in some cases controlling, or even suppressing their abilities. All were sought out and personally invited to the clinic by Fairlight's CEO, Calvin Whittaker.

The record room is safe from cologne-kissed guards - for now - but Kitty is wise to vacate when she does: Mitch finds her handiwork shortly after she enters the floor.

"Uh, dude," he says, nudging his shoulder-clipped walkie towards his mouth, "Mrs. Fisher's gonna be pissed— her computer's toast, man."

"Wh— " stammers the first floor guard who has, by now, jerked upright in his seat. "How the— damnit, uh— I mean, I guess everyone, like, do a sweep of everything? What the hell."

Tendril whews as the guard keeps walking past. "Clear." she murmurs tersely, then says over the com. 'We're nearly done…can you get up to where we are or are we coming down to you to port out?"

"Sorry about this." Gemini murmurs, as she slips around behind one of the file cabinet 'walls' and then pulls out her phone to start snapping pictures of a file, despite the risk of the flash. She's moving as quickly as she can to capture every page of the file before they have to pull out or are discovered.

Assuming she gets enough time, Gemini nabs the entirety of the file they found on Jean, and summary pages on a dozen other subjects from the clinic that burned down. Then she gets everything put back, and preps for phasing evacuation. They'll have lots to discuss later.

Laura Kinney phases out along with the rest, removing her mask and pulling on a jacket to cover up a bit and stand out less in the winter chill. Operation complete, someone else who actually knows what they're looking for in the data can take care of that. She wants a Gyro.

The group meets up….and with a flash of red energy, they port away…hopefully ahead of the really cheeses off IT guys who are going to have to fix that computer. And the camera.

Back to: Logs Page.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License