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View character profile for: Kristoff Vernard
Always Check the Closet for Monsters
26th St and 5th, that was the address Kristoff had stuck in his head. He knew what it was, but personally he'd never been there before. Victor had a way of selectively letting him know what he needed when he needed it. Flying through Manhattan would draw way to much attention, so the safer option would be teleportation. Unfortunately for Kristoff, his magic wasn't exactly stable. The only reason he could even command it was because of his father's memories, and extended usage was rather… unpleasant. He needed to map out how to do this, as he couldn't teleport where he couldn't see. Go from this block, to this block, to this block, etc. Yeah, that would be exhausting. What other options were there?
Kristoff couldn't wait to get out of this suit, it wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world and it had already caused him enough of a headache. Undoubtedly the police had been notified, but with any luck the stories would seem too dubious to take seriously and that ought to give him an edge over any pursuit. He slipped, he never did that. Forgetting to reactivate incognito? What an indefensible blunder. Oddly enough his father hadn't made any comments since he left the diner. He only flew a few miles away, landing outside the city and hoping nobody saw him. Now came the hard part.
The buildings made things easier, by teleporting to the roof he could see quite a distance which made the rest of his jumps more efficient. The first jump was to a smoke stack, part of some rubber plant. Luckily the stacks weren't active. He looked across the harbor, then jumped again. In an instant he was 10 miles away on top of the Chrysler building. He sat a moment, the magic was already wearing on him after only two jumps. He decided to stay seated for the rest of these, lest he fall off the ledge of one of these skyscrapers. Taking a deep breath and bracing himself he jumped again, this time to the other side of the island. He keeled over, laying flat on his back. His head was swimming, and his vision kept fading in and out. He only had one more of these in him, and that was pushing it. He got to his knees, and looked across the park to the alley he needed to be in. Just one more.
Kris finally found himself just outside the door, but the final jump had nearly put him out. He sat up, only to start vomiting all over the place. His head was screaming at this point. Victor always did pipe up at the most convenient times.
Weak.. how weak. You shame me, you shame yourself. I was a master of sorcery and you can't even bear the weight of a simple teleportation spell? What a pathetic, useless dog. You truly were my worst mistake. Get up, go inside. GET UP!!!
He struggled to stand back up, but eventually managed. He opened the door and went downstairs, somehow knowing the exact layout of this building. The floor level was an abandoned office space, though still in good condition. Victor had bought the building years before the Exodus, though he never got around to doing what he'd planned with it. Kris stepped up to the streetside wall, placing his hand against it and just lightly pushing in. The pressure triggered a mechanical gear system, causing the wall to recede and descend into the floor revealing a blast door, which only Victor knew how to open.
Hmm.. maybe you're not completely worthless. Go inside son, the panel on the door is biometric, but you can use the armor.
He extended his hand to the panel. A laser scanned it, recognizing the signature that Victor had inscribed in all of his armors. The blast door opened with a hiss and Kris was amazed by what he saw. The laboratory was massive, it was a wonder how nobody had found it yet. Oddly enough there was no dust anywhere, the lab looked as good as new. In the center was a huge touch screen table with holographic capabilities and an array of programs still running on it. How was this possible? It had been over 20 years since anyone had been here, and even more astonishing was that the technology wasn't anything inferior to that of the modern age. Fascinating! This must be why Latveria was so desperate to gain control of his labs back home.
You smell that? That's the smell of genius. My genius. It's a tragedy you aren't here to finish what I started. In due time I suppose. Look at you, a kid in the candy store. You have a home away from home and everything you need for… whatever you want. Don't waste it.
Kris rubbed his temples. His headache was already bad enough without adding in the constant badgering from Victor. He walked down the corridor, finding the master bedroom that he, once again, conveniently just knew was there. He removed his armor, allowing it to attach itself to the chamber in the room. There were a few of these throughout the lab. Victor always did have a thing for variety. Kristoff, however, enjoyed continuity. For that reason he was perfectly content with just his one suit. He'd spent an exorbitant amount of time tailoring it, and he wasn't about to just trade it off for a shinier version. His best bet was to destroy these other suits, 8 to be exact.
NO! DON'T YOU DARE! I know what you're thinking you reprehensible ingrate!
And there it was, all the motivation he needed. Kris took control of one of the many smart tablets throught the lab, then after a few swipes found the self destruct mode for the armor chambers. But he hesitated, questioning as to why Victor would even put this here. Or why he would let him know about it. For whatever reason, that question lingered. Poking at him like a hot iron. Oh well-
Ahhhh! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST DID THAT! I'M GOING TO DESTROY YOU, YOU IGNORANT BASTARD!
As Victor raged on in the back of his mind, Kris watched as the chambers each submerged their armors in sulfuric acid, one of the suit's few vulnerabilities. It would take a few hours before they were completely destroyed. Just enough for a good nap. Kris climbed onto the massive bed, sinking in beneath the blankets. They smelled so fresh and clean, he was close to just clocking out completely. Then he finally realized it….
“Clean sheets, clean rooms, updated technology??? There's someone else here!”
And now he figures it out! I HOPE SHE KILLS YOU YOU LITTLE PRICK!!!
She? Well that was interesting. Kris leapt out of the bed and retrieved his armor again. Quickly he began clearing out the rooms one by one, but each one proved empty. That didn't make any sense. This place was obviously being maintained by someone… or something. As soon as that realization hit, he heard a voice.
“Welcome back Doctor! It's been 7,912 days since your last visit. No activity to report.”
Kris spun around to see a small doom bot standing behind him, speaking with the distinct voice of a woman. The machine believed him to be Dr. Doom, that was interesting, it must be the armor's signature. That begged the question of what would happen if he took it off. Another question to ask was why the bot hadn't greeted him upon entry.
Goddamnit why isn't she incinerating you?!?!? THAT BLASTED SUIT! Take off my armor you revolting poser! Let Violet show you what she's made of!
“No I don't want coffee. Violet, could you tell me how you recognize me?” Kris thought that if he had questions he could just ask the source.
“I'm sorry sir, I have limited responses. Would you like some coffee?”
Kris extended his arm and discharged an intense ball of electricity directly into the center of the robot. He couldn't take the chance.
Finally, after another few hours of scouring the lab for more bots, Kris returned to bed. He really need to get some sleep.