You have to be a member to borrow the books…
Bursting through the back wall of Professor Pride’s office, our heroes are forced to fall back from the dozens of Ninjas heading towards them. Lady Britannia rips up the mobile shelving nearby and closes the breach behind the team. They have broken through into a vast archive of legal journals, and shelf upon shelf of papers vanish off into the darkness around them. As they party moves forward, with Catseye sailing across the tops of the racks and scouting ahead, the motion sensing lights flicker on as they pass through the paper lined corridors. The lighting does more to reveal what lays behind them more than it does to illuminate what lays ahead, and progress is slowed for Maximillian to lead the way. The enhanced senses of Catseye makes her perfectly at home, and Lady Britannia uses her diadem or radiation send out brief pulses radar signals to navigate by. But then the power is cut! The shifting shelves are shrouded in stygian gloom for a moment, but then the floor mounted emergency lighting flickers dimly to life. The red arrows highlight the floors between the rows, and the show the way to the nearest exit, but not much else. Activating her echolocation abilities the Serpentine Spectre is as at home in the darkness as a bat, and quickly shouts her warning to her comrades that there are a couple of dozen people moving stealthy around them!
At that moment the Engineer, who is most closely guarding Professor Pride, finds himself fending off an ambush! As the flurry of blows is exchanged between them, once again he moves with preternatural speed, his Queensbury style more than match of the Ninjutsu he faces. He even has the time to take a phone call mid battle! Before any other team member has time to react he downs one ninja
“Yes, right oh, understood, you need to sing the national anthem”
Another swift combination drops the next would be assassin
“…oh and list as many of my discoveries as you can, you know Watkins particles, Jeremiah fields and so forth…”
He easily evades a vicious spinning back kick and swiftly delivers a stunning haymaker of his own to the hapless Shinobi he is now standing behind
“… in short, try to be more like me and that should help you enormously”.
Panting a little as the rest of the team look on somewhat taken aback. Jeremiah adjusts his collar
“We had best get as move on Ladies and Gentlemen; it seems that our magnificently attenuated domicile is undergoing a similar tribulation from these Asiatic footpads”
Professor Pride provides a suitable modern translation “Good lord you mean the Shard is also under an attack from these Ninjas?!”
There is no more time to discuss the issue as Lady B, Catseye and Serpentine Spectre shout out their respective warnings and the team is swamped with shuriken and sword blows form all sides!
Catseye has swollen to the huge form of the ‘Grimalkin’ phase her people are capable of, but whilst her combat skills are much improved in this state, her self-control leaves a lot to be desired. The searing pain of the shuriken, combined with the flashes and bangs of the distraction bombs utilised by the Si Fan assassins unlocks the fury caged within! All control is lost, and her hunting instinct will not be sated. With a furious roar she leaps into all-out attack, striking at barely seen targets in the darkness. The black and green clad Si Fan retreat and let the Knights of Albion deal with their enraged colleague. Wasting no time lady Britannia scoops the enraged feline form up into her arms. The scrape of her claws at the armour protecting her vitals is sickening to listen too, and the Catseyes claws and fangs sink in the very flesh of the good lady B several times, but she stands stalwart to the end. Well accustomed to the battle rage are the Asguardians, and lady Britannia has the fortitude to withstand the rending attacks the hellish spitting fur ball is trying to unleash upon her. Yet through it all lady B stands firm and calm. Eventually the battle madness subsides. Catseye looks aghast at the damage she has done to her friend, but there is no time dwell on the situation, and all are thankful that battle garb provided by the engineer has proven is so successful at defending the parties resident battle tank.
The sinister game of cat and mouse rages back and forth, with Ninjas striking in full force and then quickly retreating to launch their next assault. For brief moments the ill lit battle rages through the stacks once again. The Si Fan use every trick known, and few the team have never hear of! It is clear that a small number of these nightmarish murders have some sort of meta human or supernatural skills, and lady Britannia is forced to focus her will or risk losing her mind to their mesmeric attacks, flashes of light, clouds of burning pepper and smoke grenades billow through stacks, but are quickly nullified by the spectral Paul T Geist, as is the fire set at the far end of the archive where the stair well to the library vaults are located.
At last out heroes are making their way down the stair well and come the great vault of the British library. Once again Lady Britannia takes the lead, and once again she utilises her Asguardian diadem of radiation to prove she has a full spectrum of super human powers at her command. Her radar sense quickly identifies not only the furtive killers waiting for them to enter the vault, but also the complex network of traps they have obviously set up for the team at the entrance. Never one to waste time, she quickly wrenches the remnants of the vault door form its hinges and hurls it bodily at the trip wires and I the general direction of the ambushers! In their haste to escape the tons of steel heading their way the majority of them are helpless to protect themselves from the blinding flash of light the Diadem of the Æsir.
Meanwhile the rest of the team battle in the stair well against the final assault of the ninja team following them. The ice attacks of the engineer, the electrical fists of the Serpentine Spectre and the giant blue anvils of the Blue bolt soon have them on the run. The few remaining combatants try to take down Catseye in the final moments of the battle but her reflexes far exceed the obvious description of ‘catlike’ and they cannot land a single blow on her. Not to be out done Clara also displayed a degree of agility and fighting prowess difficult to comprehend. The shuriken of the midnight murderers fly uselessly around her as she finishes off her sword wielding opposition.
Finally making their way in the main vault, our team of heroes, plus one librarian, quickly slap the bracelets on the disoriented and blinded brigands. All bar one.
It seems the leader of this operation is still very much in the fight, and is obviously looking for the original copy of the madman’s mutterings. He is clad in heavier armour than his underlings, and what little can be seen of his face seems distorted, almost lizard like… without a word he does not so much as vanish in a cloud of smoke, it seems like he transforms directly into smoke and dissipates away!
Professor Pride shouts with joy and points to the shelves in one section of the vault “he hasn’t found it yet, its sill in section 18!”
A disembodied voice chuckles and shouts its thanks, Catseye snatches up a fallen piece of one of the traps so recently detonated by the vault doors rapid transit, and hurls it at the security sensor in the alcove that contains the madman’s mutterings. Hardened steel shutters descend with an ominous rumble and locks off that section of the vault. However the next thing we see is the figure of the uber-assassin coalescing next to the book. Wasting no time the Engineer assess the situation, strides up and uses his freeze ray to fill the entire transept with ice!
Forced into a confrontation, the leader of the Si Fan assassins gets to work.
The smoke like form vanishes from view, and only Clara has a hope of tracking his movements, and even she struggles to pin point the spectral killer.
Suddenly the Si Fan materialises behind lady Britannia and strikes! He penetrates the engineered armour that so often protects her with ease, striking where the weakest locations with the razor sharp Shikomizue that delves deep to inflict horrific wounds
Before anyone can react the Shinobi master has gone from view once more.
A few moments later the smoke coalesces again this time behind the engineer. He is forced to retreat from his ice-capade but manages to remain unharmed. The third time the vaporous villain substantiates the team are ready form him. Paul uses his air control to prevent he villains escape, Lady Britannia braces herself, shrugs off her awful wounds and unleashes the full barrage of her attack strength, and the rest of the team each launch their respective attacks. Once again the villain vanishes, but he has left behind a lot of blood this time….
At the far end of the vault he rematerializes, and unleashes a long range firestorm at our assembled heroes. Shielding the hapless professor the team take the onslaught as best they can and repeat the successful tactic from before. With Paul T Geist limiting the ability of the misty apparition to appear and vanish at will; it gives the rest of the team time to finish him off. With a wry smile the engineer unleashes his latest gizmo… the Ninjas armour is transformed by some sort of ray from steel to paper! Next Carla takes on the form of the black shuck and phases an attack straight through him, which actually sets his paper based armour on fire! Finally Catseye launches a flying assault, accelerating her attack not only with her 3D manoeuvre gear but, judging by the tell tail blue glow, significantly enhanced by the kinetic manipulations of the blue bolt! But where is Paul? Has the sheet of engulfing flame destroyed him?
The force unleashed is too much for anyone to withstand and the last of the Si Fan are at last defeated, and the Madman’s mutterings is secured once more.
With both books now secured and the British library safe once more, our team rush at full speed to help out at the Shard. The scene that greets them is a diabolic horror show. Dozens of dead litter the 22nd and 23rd floors of the shard where MI13 London makes it home. Paul is already back here, in his solid physical body doing his best to mop up. The engineer rushes around returning life to the lifeless and the healing the sick with his resurrection clockwork. Meanwhile the rest of the team head off toe Li Min’s antiques and curiosities shop. During the fight at the library Catseye’s phone received several calls, and it seems that her mysterious contact has launched an assault on the place aided by the Master Wu and the white tigers!
They quickly locate the secret Dojo and temple under the shop, and there can be no doubt that this was the main London base for the Si fan. A pit of serpents is in the middle if the underground temple, and there is clear evidence of battle. Injured, dead and dying White Tiger Ninjas lay everywhere and the walls are peppered with cuts and shiruken. In the middle of the alter are two letters one addressed to the KoA and one addressed to the Engineer personally. The letter to the team is read out by Catseye, and it seems that whoever her contact in the Si Fan was, he has blown his cover now.
To the KoA
My dearest friends, I am sorry I could not give you more notice; but it was clear that something was happening here and I thought it too important to risk waiting for your help.
Sadly, this may have been mistake. Despite the valiant help from my colleagues the White Tigers; I could not prevent Li Min from escaping with my father’s body. I have no choice but to pursue them to where ever they may have fled. We can be sure of only one thing: They will never stop their insane quest to return his monstrous evil to life.
As for what the letter addressed directly to the Engineer may be, he does not care to share its contents, but the smile that transforms his countenance as he reads it is tender
The end (for now)