Beneath the Neon Stars - In Character Thread {MATURE CONTENT}

Discussion in 'Forum Games' started by RJS, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. Lumaceon

    Lumaceon Popular Member

    Ina listened intently to the rundown. Overriding senses...Revenant had said something about that himself. A terrifying ability, especially against her. With that kind of power, a fight could be over before it'd even begun. How were these individuals even capable of things like these? Either way, she hadn't really betrayed them yet, and the neutral stance would likely be ideal for the time being. Join the stronger side, or even better, make both believe you're an ally. Whatever it takes to survive.

    Suddenly her train of thought was broken by a voice. She turned to listen, staring into his eyes the whole time without a single blink. It might be best to get on this one's good side, seeing as her life may depend on it at some point. To that end, she gave him a soft smile and replied back, "Thank you, I will keep that in mind. It is a shame, Elin's injuries. I did read the details of Yeta's previous missions, that was quite a brave thing you did. Given the nature of Natalya's capabilities and the assumed name 'Dracul', I do wonder..." Ina trailed off for a moment, before continuing. "One must be careful when speculating though. Still, I do wish to know what makes these shadow agents so powerful."
     
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  2. the_j485

    the_j485 King of the Wicked

    After a spending a quiet, uneventful night in the safehouse with the other operatives, Sy awoke to see Tessie was already up. She was practically buzzing it seemed, ready to get moving, and judging from her not doing much else, she'd already had breakfast and prepared, so she must've been up for a while. Had she slept?
    Sy didn't know for sure, but wasn't really feeling too up to asking her about it, what with other things on her mind. Wolff was involved here, and he wasn't keen on acting out in front of him - he didn't know if he was looking for an excuse to do something to him. He had no idea if Wolff was well-controlled by Spider, meaning that he needed evidence to excuse an action such as Sy's execution for dissenting, or if he had as much freedom as one such as Raptus had possessed - before his timely demise of course, for which Sy was grateful. That said, it was worth assuming that either could be true, and as such to be careful what he did, all the while seeming normal.
    The group barely spoke as Sy prepared for the escort, and said about as much on their short journey to the Crooked Axle, eventually making it to the front door of the establishment.
    "So," Sy said, breaking the silence of the group, "Do you want us in there with you, Tessiana?"
     
  3. lenscas

    lenscas Over-Achiever

    When Wyatt woke up he discovered he was the last one to have woken up. Not wanting the others to wait for him he quickly turned his AI back on, only to realize it wasn't turned off. "Odd" Wyatt taught "I'm sure I turned it off like usual.". However rather then looking into it Wyatt went on and prepared himself like the others for the mission.
     
  4. RJS

    RJS New Member

    [THE INSTITUTE]
    Marquese turned to face Leo. "The main implications of this are that all sightings of EXODUS whilst on a mission will need reporting, and once reinforcements arrive you will need to engage with great care. It also means that you may find yourself at some point assigned to a mission directly combating EXODUS, once we identify the source of their support." Marquese paused, then beckoned the other members of Yeta Squad over. "I'm not overly happy with the fact that Partition operatives have managed to make their way into the Upper Levels, especially one as notorious as Wolff. I need you to go patrol the border areas near the checkpoints, follow up on anything suspicious. If there was one there may well be more. Get yourselves equipped and move out ASAP."

    [THE BROKEN AXLE]
    Tessie turned to stare at Sy. "Your mission was to ensure I met with my contact safely, was it not? As far as I can see you haven't finished yet. Come on." Ducking slightly as she went through the entryway, Tessie disappeared into the gloom, leaving her guards little choice but to follow her. The inside of the bar was dirty and run down, almost as if it had been abandoned. Clustered around tables scattered across the room, various suspicious faces tracked the group, while yet others focused on seeing straight. After all, only two sorts of people could be found in a dive like this during the daytime.

    They had only been waiting for about three minutes when a hooded individual walked in. It seemed a glance was thrown in their direction, but not being able to see the face meant they couldn't be sure. The figure briefly mingled with a cluster of people near the mildewy bar, but eventually sidled over to them. "You got any dough fer a song?" The voice that came out was harsh, gruff, but definitely female.
     
  5. Eruantien

    Eruantien New Member

    "Understood, sir. I'll be awaiting deployment at once." Their mission assigned, Leo strode out of the chamber toward the hangar, where he assumed a floatcar would ferry each operative to their assigned patrol. He set his neural interface to download information regarding the checkpoints' locations, as well as anything else the Director had sought fit to distribute concerning the mission. Leo's thoughts briefly turned to Ina, but he decided against attempting conversation for the time being. Soon enough, they'd be deployed; he'd see then where her assignment was, and in the meantime, he had a good amount of thinking to do.

    Leo couldn't recall seeing any signs of other 'suspicious' activity. But, owing, no doubt, to Wolff's and other elite Partition forces' (Godetzka? Leo grimaced.) fantastic elusive abilities, they'd be hard-pressed to detect any signs of hostile operatives. How does the Director expect us to even survive for five minutes against one of them? Hopefully, our own backup would arrive quickly in case of an emergency... These thoughts followed Leo as he entered the hangar bay. Seeing no one immediately present, he sat down on a metal crate and began to eat a small nutrient bar from his satchel.
     
  6. Lumaceon

    Lumaceon Popular Member

    "Hm...border patrol," Ina thought to herself, "At least that sounds fairly safe." She followed Leo from a distance, watching as he entered the hanger. Proceeding inside, she looked around the room to find him sitting on a crate eating some sort of food. "A military floatcar isn't the stealthiest method of border patrol," she criticized, avoiding his eyes. "Follow me and keep up; if we move fast enough it won't take that long to get there on foot. Maybe we can catch them off-guard." With that, Ina strode out of the hanger, expecting him to follow her.
     
  7. LivingAngryCheese

    LivingAngryCheese Over-Achiever

    Dan smiled at INA, but inside he was conflicted. Is she trying to flatter me? Oh, whatever, she's sort of like a little kid, still learning to act normally. A heavily armed one. She's probably just being nice. "Erm, thanks." He smiled, before being interrupted by an announcement. Leo and INA quickly ran off to get ready. Dan was used to this process by now, he wasn't as eager. He didn't have any need to impress Marquese... well perhaps he did, considering the events that had just transpired yesterday. He hurried to the armoury and saw INA flying off to the hangar. He simply grabbed the gun that he liked to modify, and put on some light body armour, then headed off in the same direction as INA.
     
  8. sgbros1

    sgbros1 New Member

    Amongst the bickering between the other patrons in the bar, a faint metallic clang could be heard from a distance. Though, it seemed as if only Jerana had heard it. Definitely a droid, she thought. Her scavenger instincts began to flood her again, urging her to snag it and deconstruct it for parts. It would also give her a chance to prove herself to the Partition, she reasoned. Quietly breaking away from the rest of the gang, she exited the saloon, on her own quest to find that droid.
     
  9. the_j485

    the_j485 King of the Wicked

    Sy looked around the bar as they entered. Calling the looks they got shifty would be an understatement, as he felt many pairs of eyes staring towards their group, wondering what brought such a well-equipped gathering of them to such a dingy bar.
    The woman initially caught him by surprise, as she asked him the set phrase he'd been told about. It did cross his mind that she'd somewhat butchered the phrase, but he paid it no mind. He was doubtful that he knew it word-for-word himself. Taking a moment to remember, he responded with the agreed reply.
    "Sorry, no, my change is in my other jacket at home."
    Having been focused on the gruff woman, he didn't notice when Jerana walked off outside the bar to find herself a drone. If he was lucky, the others might have picked it up.
     
  10. lenscas

    lenscas Over-Achiever

    After hearing the butchered sentence Wyatt wasn't sure if they should say the sentence and looked at the others as a way to communicate his uncertainly on the matter.Luckily for Wyatt Syderis decided to say the phrase despite the butchered start.

    Wyatt then remembered that he didn't see the new member and quickly looked around before sending a message in secret to Syderis to let him know of the disappearance of Jerana, not wanting too draw too much attention by actively searching for her. He also send a message to her, hoping he just missed her or something stupid.
     
  11. RJS

    RJS New Member

    [THE CROOKED AXLE]
    The hooded figure merely nodded, before reaching out a hand. "Let's make this quick. Lot of unwanted attention buzzing around this area, if yer catch my drift. I'll slip her away in a jiffy." Tessie stepped forwards, not even looking back at the group as the two walked out of the bar and disappeared into a nearby crowd.

    Outside, Jerana was headed towards the sound she had heard. Just as she was about to turn down the alleyway, a rough hand grabbed her from behind, covering her mouth and dragging her into a nearby doorway. "Don't struggle. I just saved your life." A low whisper in her ear. "Bunch of Institute down there, and not your average rank and file either. Not sure why they're here, but...Ah, shit, really?" Jerana caught sight of Tessie leaving the bar with a hooded figure. "Your group just gave the biggest intel coup we ever received right to the wrong person. Just my fucking day. Hsst!" She was pulled further back in as a team of three people dashed past their doorway, weapons drawn and headed for the bar. They appeared to be dressed in standard Institute uniform, though the weapons were unusual and the uniform bore a small insignia - the letter omega. "Executioners...your lot are in for an interesting scenario. Now if you don't mind me, I've got a VIP to recover thanks to your team's incompetence. Good luck." The grip holding her released as a figure blurred past her field of vision, leaping high onto the rooftops and disappearing out of sight. All the detail she could catch was a metallic mask covering the side of his face that she could see and the fact that his legs appeared to be artificial.

    Inside the bar, Sy barely had time to react to Wyatt's message before the Institute troopers burst in. "Everybody on the floor, now!" roared the lead trooper, hefting what appeared to be a large pole.

    [THE UPPER LEVELS]
    The ship dropped the patrol group off near where their previous operation had occurred. Tito had set out patrol routes for each to follow, whilst he remained centrally as an information co-ordinator, circling in the floatcar. As they moved along their routes, the three saw nothing that appeared to be out of place, though there did seem to be more noise coming from the alleyways than usual. Each time they checked though, they found them deserted. Tito became increasingly concerned, ordering the floatcar to scan overhead. As they continued their patrols, it was Ina who first detected the noises again. Tito's floatcar sweep just managed to catch a manhole cover in the next alleyway over settling down into the ground as he arrived. Reconvening the squad, they moved into the sewers. Tito sent Leo and Dan to the right, whilst heading left with Ina. "Keep your wits about you," were his final orders, "we don't know what it is we're dealing with here."

    What they were dealing with shortly became clear, as both parties found themselves under attack by shadowy hooded figures.
     
  12. sgbros1

    sgbros1 New Member

    It only took a moment to get Jerana out of her wondrous daze about her mysterious "knight in shining armour", when she heard the hefty commands of what is presumed to be some patrol squad coming in the direction of the tavern. Glancing down the path Tessie and the "informant" had gone down, it was clear the lot of them were long gone by now. She decided to follow the trail of the commands, assuming the worst from her teammates.

    It seemed to have come from the bar. She crept up towards the bar, as silently as she could manage, and peered through a somewhat frosted window. Bodies lay flat on the ground, though they appear to probably still be breathing. Though vision was unclear through the window, her teammates couldn't be spotted in the bar, setting off several alarms for Jerana. Are they hiding? Jerana panicked, or have they been taken into custody...? How, why...? Doubts swept frenziedly through her mind, before she could even make any rational decision. After firing off some messages to her superiors, informing them about Tessie and being in the wrong hands, as well as some messages to her teammates, there was one decision left to make.

    Would she be dumb enough to confront the patrol squad?
     
  13. Lumaceon

    Lumaceon Popular Member

    Ina's eyes adjusted her vision to the low light, allowing a more 'scenic' view of the environment. It wasn't long after they'd split up that she noticed 2 figures that appeared to be engaging them. With an unnaturally quick reaction, she flung her arm upwards, retracted the laser compartment and fired at the nearest target, who appeared to be the slightly more agile of the two.

    The shot flew wide even as her opponent closed in, lashing out with a fierce kick. The blow narrowly missed, Ina dodging to the side. Tito released counterfire which caught the assailant with a glancing blow, and he backed off. The second attacker, had been slowly approaching throughout, and a set of what seemed to be antennae had unfolded from his head. Sparks jumped between the two, before an electrical burst engulfed the battlefield. Both Ina and Tito felt their advanced systems shutting down.

    As the electrical burst was fired, several warning messages glichily flicked into Ina's vision. Leaving a support-class opponent unchecked was never a good idea, luckily the hindrance seemed negilgible, so she ignored it for now and continued to fire on the more agile target. The laser was sidestepped, before an explosive burst of speed brought the attacker right in front of Tito. Again, a kick lashed out. Tito was caught heavily in the chest, flying back into the nearby wall and impacting with a sickening sound. Coughing weakly as he staggered to his feet, he pulled out his rifle and returned fire. More bullets tore glancing impacts through the attacker as they were forced to step back.

    The attacker's compatriot stepped forwards, antennae sparking once again. The two Institute operatives' targeting systems began to throw up error messages, only focusing on the one who had just hacked them.

    Ina knew full well just how important her targeting really was; without it, it'd be nearly impossible to hit the physical attacker. Not only that, but Tito could clearly benefit from her nanobots which, thanks to the electrical interference, wouldn't be able to help a thing. Forced into a metaphorical corner, she turned and fired on the support, mentally exploring some of the colorful language she'd picked up over her time with real humans.

    The laser struck the target square in the chest, though it seemed to have no effect on the antenna-opponent. Another kick grazed through the air near her face, the sheer force of the air it displaced feeling almost like a blow against her sensors. Tito similarly opened fire on the support-class, but like Ina his shots bounced uselessly off the armour. The antennae sparked one more time, and this time Ina felt the servomotors in her legs begin to seize up. They were still moveable, but she was more vulnerable than she had been.

    Ina promptly switched focus to tactical subroutines and thrusters to maintain a fair amount of evasion. This up-front attacker was concerning, with that heavy a kick, she must have an incredible level of augmentation. Who were these people, and how were they so powerful? Lights flashed on her HUD as systems began to function again. Ina made the quick decision to play a support role herself, as she bolted over to Tito and quickly rubbed her hand over his wound, introducing several healing nanobots into his system at the cost of her laser's energy.

    She barely had any time to regather her senses, as another kick flew in, again missing her by mere millimetres. Tito tried to draw a bead on his opponent, but with his targeting system still malfunctioning, was forced to take aim at the support class again. Rather than waste more bullets however, he threw out a grenade, bursting and releasing an electrical charge. This seemed to particularly effect the support opponent, who stumbled backwards.

    Regaining control of her targeting systems, Ina once again fired at the agile opponent, with a now somewhat underwhelming laser bolt. Her attacker's mobility once again got the better of her, the bolt flickering futilely past the target. Ignoring her, the agile one again turned her attention towards Tito, another kick slamming heavily into his side. Tito immediately snapped his rifle up and returned fire, laying down a heavy barrage this time. Though none of them connected, their opponent was forced into cover, pinned down by the suppressive barrage. The heavy support shook his head in a somewhat dopey fashion, small sparks dissipating from his antennae as the effects of Tito's grenade wore off.

    Ina focused fired on the pinned opponent as her laser had an easier time focusing on the smaller area. The lasers flashed into her opponent, but left no visible trace of having been effective. Forced from her spot, the counterkick was swift, though somewhat hampered as she weaved through the bullets. Nevertheless, Tito took another solid blow to the chest, knocking the wind out of him. Gasping for breath, he raised his gun and continued to fire, though all flew wide of their mark. The antennae-wielder released another electrical burst, eliminating all advanced systems once more.

    Left with little to no options, Ina fired towards the attacker once more. Her attack flew wide, leaving the attacker free to continue her assault. Once more, a leg lashed out at Tito, catching him round the side of the head with a sickening crunch. He collapsed to the ground, unmoving. Even as the frontline attacker stepped over him with a smirk on her face, Ina felt her motors beginning to seize up again as the support-class made his presence felt.

    Ina glared at her HUD in frustration. If there was any time that Tito could be saved, it was right now. Coincidentally, 'right now' was impossible because of that electrical pulse. She had known war led to death, and even inadvertently been the cause of it, but seeing murder this close for the first time was a shock, to say the least. A mix of sorrow and the desire for vengence overwhelmed her as she watched him pass away, capable of doing nothing to save him. Perhaps if she hadn't played such a defensive game, they might have taken the advantage and he wouldn't have...no, now wasn't the time for that. She returned a mock smirk at the assailant and threatened in a near lifeless tone, "At least his death was quick. Statistically, yours would be much much less pleasant." With that, she fired another laser towards the assailant, more to buy time and gague the opponent's skills until she could swap power schemes. The laser flew wide, missing the target.

    Tito's killer weaved towards her, a vicious roundhouse feinted with the right, before being delivered with the left. The kick struck home, taking advantage of the hacking of her motors. With no armour active to absorb the force, Ina took the full power straight on. Her casing cracked in several places and a plethora of damage warnings began to flare up. Her partner began to rifle through Tito's corpse, not even paying her any attention.

    Ina crashed into the wall and began faking a weakened attempt to get up. The other one was ignoring her as if she wasn't a threat. Great. Best not to get his attention. Behind the scenes, a great deal of power shifting began to occur. A minor boost to targeting and laser energy, with a much larger boost to chasis strength. It seemed odd to her...fighting to the death like this, putting herself in such danger. Perhaps it was for Tito. He had stood for a lot of the same things she had herself before...well...everything. She did still wish for the best of humanity in a way; it was just so much more complicated now.

    Her opponent didn't give her the chance to rise, stomping down hard. Though the armour cushioned some of the blow, the damage indicators merely intensified as more of her system components were damaged. The other one looked up from Tito's body. "Fuck's sake Morrs, could you just finish it off already? No fun in dragging it out, since the damn thing can't feel pain anyway."

    As her opponent prepared to finish her, Ina finally sat up and fired a final laser shot towards her opponent; the shot that would likely determine which of them would live, and which would die. The shot burned a hole in her shoulder, causing her to stumble backwards. "This thing's still bloody fighting!" she roared, smashing her foot down. The impact carried less force than before, bouncing off the casing. Her partner jumped up, startled. As he did so, he accidentally activated one of the grenades he had been looting. As the electrical burst went off, he staggered, clawing at his face.

    Ina gave off a faint smile; luck, it seemed, was on her side for this short moment. Focusing on her attacker once more, she fired yet another laser. The laser caught her opponent square in the chest, burning a hole in the left hand side of her body. She staggered, gasping for breath that no longer seemed able to come, clutching at the small neat hole that had been bored through her body. She stumbled round, reaching towards her partner, before collapsing over forwards, arm outstretched as she lay prone on the floor.

    The support roared with anger, kicking Ina's head, though the blow barely even registered on any of Ina's sensors, let alone any damage sensors. Ina looked back at the attacker with no more concern than if he was a kid throwing a fit. She spoke softly, as if not to disturb the two who were 'sleeping', "I was ordered to remove the hostile forces from this area, but that doesn't mean I need to kill you. It would be best for you to surrender at this time."

    Her opponent took several deep breaths, noticeably calming himself before speaking. "What, you think because you dropped one of us, you've won? Your friend is dead, your other friends are dying as I speak. I have no need to surrender. You won't be taking me in alive, and you don't pose enough of a threat to me to be able to kill me. So, what will it be, robot? Will you disobey orders and leave hostile forces to save your friends, or will you sit here and let them die?"

    "Everyone always assumes I'm friends with my whole team...is that who she is to you," Ina turned and kneeled to the side of the body on the ground? Ina's hand began to accumulate a metalic-looking sand, which she spread over the wound. "If we're lucky, this may actually be able to revive her. I'm much more interested in the information you both might possess than killing you." She gave a glance over at Tito's lifeless corpse. "Enough people have died as it is."

    As the sand worked its way in, the hole appeared to seal and the prone Partition agent began to stir. She coughed weakly, crawling herself up. "What...what happened?" Her partner stood back, only the faintest flicker of emotion crossing his face.

    "I can show up with either 2 live prisoners or one dead body. The choice lies with you, but personally I prefer the first. I'm sorry I can't give you a better option." Ina's laser remained targeted on the one she had just healed, ready to shoot her back down should they take the second course of action.

    The revived prisoner climbed somewhat unsteadily to her feet. "Way I see it, you currently have no dead bodies and no live prisoners. Bit of a foolhardy statement to make, don't you think?" She lashed out with a kick towards Ina.

    Ina didn't even hesitate to send the message to her nanobots, as they began to clamp down on any nerve they could find and signal extraordinary levels of pain back to the mind. Ina's plastic face displayed a touch of empathy, but she remained resolute in her 'either/or' offer.

    Her attacker collapsed, fighting desperately to suppress a scream of intense pain that came out as a muffled grunt. Her partner looked over, and an unspoken thought seemed to flicker between the two of them. Moments later, a power surge was detected from deep within the brainstem of the revived agent. Before Ina could respond, an explosive detonated, devastating the cranial region and inflicting irreparable damage on the agent. Her partner spoke emotionlessly. "We had a choice. Do nothing and die slowly and powerlessly, or do something and walk with death by our sides. We both made our choice long ago. That explosive will have destroyed her cranial implants and brain structure, rendering her useless to you." Ina once again felt her advanced systems shut down as advanced software infiltrated her system. "Now, I hope you won't try to insult me by offering surrender as an option."

    Staring in disgust at the bloody mess that had once been alive, Ina's nanobots fed her a quick scan to make sure this wasn't a ruse, and glared back at the live opponent. "This war sickens me for so many reasons," she metaphorically spat out venom. "Fine. One life for another, I guess we're even." Ina slowly made her way towards Tito's body with the plan of carrying him out for a proper burial.

    Her opponent placed one foot on top of Tito's face. "Oh, sorry, did you want this?" Twisting his leg, he ground his heel into Tito's face. Ina raised her arm and casually fired her laser towards him as if to say 'move', more or less ignoring the taunt. The laser struck directly, though left no visible impact on her opponent. He grabbed the body, hoisting it over his shoulder. "Unlike my friend here, yours still seems to have plenty of data left on his implants. I'm sure we'll find it very useful." Turning his back on Ina, he began to walk into the gloom of the sewer tunnel.
     
  14. Eruantien

    Eruantien New Member

    Quickly assessing the situation, Leo whirled about and rammed his bladed gauntlet towards what he assumed was the jaw of the nearest attacker. The blow struck home, and his opponent was knocked to one side. Swiftly recovering however, they sprang back at Leo, their right arm lashing out at incredible speed. The bladed end caught him solidly in the chest, leaving a long gash.

    Meanwhile, their compatriot charged Dan. Their left arm appeared to split in half lengthways up to the elbow, before the two halves curved around to form a heavy claw. Dan found himself smashed into the wall of the sewer, held firmly in place by the heavy claw.

    Dan coughed, and a little bit of blood came out. "Fuck." He sent a message to Tito. Two hooded hostiles found in alleyway. Forced to engage. Pain was distracting, but in slow motion, you have a lot of time to get used to it. He focused on the man holding him up against the wall, trying to access his files. His attempt failed, as his attempts to bypass his opponent's firewall were thwarted at every turn.

    Leo fell back, clutching his chest in pain. He tried to dodge the next attack, while activating his nodenet for a higher rate of protection. His assailant's arm had folded back up, but it snapped out again at blinding speed. The blow smashed in again, though it was stopped by Leo's nodenet defences. Meanwhile, Dan received an error message that began to flash. His system power was being drained, presumably by his opponent. His computational and technological abilities would, therefore, begin to suffer.

    "I'm guessing rational talk is not number one thing on your to-do lists? You know, I'd personally recommend it." Dan said, as he brought out his knife, charged it up, and brought it down into his assailant. With his opponent holding him in place, there was never any question of Dan's attack missing. Though the knife scraped harmlessly along armour, it was enough to cause his opponent to drop him. The error messages that had been flickering died away as his power levels returned to normal.

    Dodging away from his opponent again, Leo's neural gear emitted an electromagnetic pulse, tuned to disrupt his opponent's precision. Mere seconds after the pulse was released, another blow snaked its way towards Leo, hitting him square in the chest. This time, the nodenet buckled and broke, and another cut was drawn across Leo's chest. Meanwhile, Dan's opponent stepped back, the hand on their left arm seemingly peeling backwards to reveal a nozzle that spat electrical fire at Dan. Dan twisted out of the way, evading the shot entirely.

    As Dan spun out of the way of the electrical fire, he yelled at Leo, "Leo, switch!" Ignoring the man he had been fighting he sprinted out in front of Leo, attempting to imitate his subdermal nodenet. Successfully bypassing Leo's defences, Dan felt a facsimile of the nodenet activate on himself. Blue lines crisscrossed along his skin, connecting multiple of his projectors under his skin, then the entirety of his skin flashed once blue, before all of the lines faded away, until his skin simply seemed slightly blue-tinged. He grinned. "Thanks for the upgrade too, now take the other guy." he said to Leo.

    "Copy that," Leo replied, spinning past Dan to engage his previous opponent, initiating a roundhouse kick to their presumed face. The roundhouse kick connected solidly, though Leo might as well have kicked a mountain for all the effect that it had. Dan found himself swiftly under attack from Leo's former opponent, as the oddly shaped limb lashed out once more, though the blow merely bounced off the replica nodenet Dan wore. Meanwhile Leo found himself on the receiving end of a claw rush. Unable to evade the sudden onrush, he found himself held firmly in place.

    "Just stab him!" Dan shouted to Leo. "You can't miss!" He then proceeded to fling his hand forwards towards the new opponent, handcuffs forming in mid-air. His opponent flung himself out of the way, before sprinting in towards Dan and delivering another heavy blow, which again rebounded ineffectually. Following Dan's advice, Leo swung his bladed fist directly at his enemy's face while kicking and struggling to get free of his grip. The blow bounced off, but it was enough to cause the grip that held Leo to be released. Dan had no chance to see, another heavy blow bouncing off his nodenet. Meanwhile, Leo was forced to duck as a spitting burst of electrical energy flew over his head.

    Dan swung his knife at his attacker again, frustrated. The knife bounced off an armour plate, before another blow struck in. With the nodenet fully discharged, the bladed end of the arm cut into Dan's shoulder. Leo configured his neural gear to readjust its power levels, directing more force to be applied to his bladed punches by means of increasingly violent energy surges. His opponent, perhaps registering the change in energy, backed off warily.

    'Argh! For fuck's sake! What the hell do you guys want? You're obviously not too keen on this, seeing as you backed away from my friend here the moment he became a threat. I attempted to hack into your friend over there, but he had a surprisingly good firewall. However, I don't feel like you will be nearly as hard to hack. You have three choices, explain what you want, piss off, or get all of your data put into the Institute database with a kill recommendation. Your choice.' Dan said.

    Not wanting to waste any time with his new power configuration, Leo decided to put some weight behind Dan's words with an uppercut against his own opponent. The uppercut hit home, apparently causing heavy injury. Meanwhile, the individual Dan had challenged laughed mockingly. "Oh no, how terrifying. Let me break this down for you. I'm not telling you shit. I'm not going anywhere. And that third option you threatened me with happened a long time ago. You think words will work on me just because you've barely managed to scratch me? Pa-the-tic." The last word was accompanied by a vicious blow to the face that sent Dan flying backwards, head ringing. Leo's opponent released another burst of crackling energy, which charred the surface of Leo's clothing as it narrowly skimmed past him.

    'Probably some other poor bastard the people before me pissed off.' Dan muttered, and attempted to hack into the fast one's files. The hack succeeded, though no data that could be used for his adaptive systems could be found. Confused that their attackers seemed to be moving slower and not hitting as hard, Leo nevertheless didn't intend to lay off. He brought his blade down hard on his opponent's torso in a diagonal sweep from his left shoulder. Twisting rapidly, his opponent evaded the blow.

    On the other side of the battle, Dan's opponent continued to lay down a series of vicious blows. Dan could only watch as one flew at lightning speed towards his face, before stopping mere millimetres from impact. "What? Intel secured? Copy that." He turned and smirked to Dan. "Seems it's your lucky day, brat. You get to live." With that, the two took off, disappearing at speed into the sewers.

    'The fuck was that?' Dan said, and dropped to the ground. 'Yo, Tito, do you copy dude? We were sort of just in a fight and you completely ignored my message.' He seemed a little worried for a second then added. 'Just send me an E for engaged in battle if you're in one right now.'

    Dan received no response to his message, the silence becoming oppressive.

    Dan seemed to get a little worried, and he opened comms to INA. 'Hey INA, why isn't Tito answering his forms?' Ina's voice responded through the comm bluntly, "They killed him. I'm on my way back to the rendezvous point."

    'WHAT!?' Dan screamed through the comms line. He tried to stand up, but fell back down as the adrenaline was drained from his body. 'INA that's not funny. That's not a funny joke.' Dan said, his body starting to shake uncontrollably. Noticing his panic may negatively affect his performance, Ina replied again, "Sorry, I'll keep working on my humour in the future. We'll arrive where we entered the sewers shortly, make your way here as soon as possible, our damage is quite severe."

    'Oh, what the hell INA! Don't scare me like that! I'll have to talk to Tito about his communicator when I get there.' Dan struggled to his feet and started limping to where they had split up. 'Come on Leo, let's go back to base.' He said in a tired voice.

    At the other end of the sewer, Ina stared off into the darkness in disgust. She needed more power...anything to stop more tragedies like this from occurring. Turning to the other dead body, she hoisted her lifeless corpse over her shoulder and began to make her way to the rendezvous point.

    With the adrenaline from battle now leaving him, Leo agreed wordlessly and trudged after Dan. The two reached the meeting point, and Dan looked around nervously when he saw INA. 'Where's Tito?' he asked in a worried voice. Ina turned to him and spoke as carefully as possible, "He was killed in our battle. There was nothing I could do to save him..."

    'So you lied to me?!' Dan shouted, sinking to the floor. 'God damn it! I should've been there to save him! Why the hell did I let him go off on his own!? Why did it have to be him? Why not you! Why not me! I'd do anything...' Dan trailed off in a fit of sobs. Ina stood there, giving him a few moments to get the tears out of his system before butting in again, "We should leave this place, we clearly don't have the power to continue any more combat." With that said, Ina began to climb up the ladder, hoisting the body of Tito's killer up with her. Winded and morally broken at the news of Tito's demise, Leo could only follow silently.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  15. sgbros1

    sgbros1 New Member

    As the Institute operatives stormed in, Sy immediately dropped into stealth. Of course there was a chance for them to see him even with his cloaking activated, so he had to act fast. Staying behind other people, he made his way to the back door down a corridor not visible from the main area of the bar.
    "Wyatt, I'm making my way out of the bar, through the back door." Sy messaged to Wyatt over the radio, "Do what you can to blend in and get out before those guys come after you. I'll be ready outside, and I'll step in if you need a hand."

    Wyatt had no time to reply to Syderis' message, instead he focused on trying to not stand out, while also trying to get as close as an exit as possible.
    Meanwhile, the AI got ready to take its form at a position a bit away from Wyatt, to make it less obvious that it belonged to Wyatt when it takes form to act as a distraction so that Wyatt could get away. It at the same time send a message to Wyatt reading: "Ready to distract them, sending message to Syderis checking if he could help with it". It at the same time send one to Syderis reading "Ready to distract them to get Wyatt out. Bullets would help. No action taken yet."

    "Let's not blow our cover yet - if we can get out without them knowing we're here, then we won't be on the run from them. Just use your AI to distract them while you make your way to me out the back door. Don't let it attack them, or it'll just let them know that you at least are here. Make it distracting and bright I guess, something other than its usual form, that they'd recognise."

    "Prepare to run" the AI send to Syderis and Wyatt right before taking on an quickly modified form to try and look more like a tiger but due to the lack of time to work on the 3D model its appearance is rather rough.

    Not able to really change the amount of light it gives off the AI decides to make it look like it protects someone else to further pretend it has no connection to Wyatt.

    Meanwhile, Wyatt is taking advantage of any distraction that has occurred thanks to the sudden appearance of the AI to get to the backdoor and while he makes his way to it Wyatt also makes his shield ready to be deployed in case shots will be fired at him.

    As the digital construction of a tiger began to move, one of the operatives merely glanced its way. His eyes glowed briefly, and the materialised AI dissipated. A burst of static arced through Wyatt's head as the tiger dissipated, causing him to stumble. This served to make him stand out to the others, who swiftly closed on him, the one with the staff pressing a button that caused a glowing axe blade to project from the side.

    As the pair closed in, the other operative pulled out a small pistol, training it on Wyatt. "Don't move. Power down all implants both authorised and unauthorised and keep your hands where we can see them."
    Sy stepped in just as he heard the AI fizzle out, still in stealth. Taking in the team, they seemed to consist of a hacker, a damage dealer with an axe, and one unknown. He surmised that it'd be best to take out the hacker first, as the firewalls that he had in his implants were a little weak, and it seemed like he might start targeting Sy's secondary systems, so he decided to take him down ASAP.
    A full metal jacket round loaded, a loud crack resounded throughout the bar as he fired the shot.

    The bullet lodged firmly in the hacker's chest, blood fountaining from the wound.

    Wyatt quickly used the sudden distraction by Syderis shot to be able to grab his knife without directly getting shot and quickly made his way to the hacker to try and get him out of the fight. His knife caught on armour plating sewn into the uniform and bounced off. The hacker turned to face Wyatt and once again, his eyes shone with an eerie light. Wyatt just managed to throw himself out of the way in time, foiling the attempt.

    Sy found himself in the unenviable position of having the large axe-weilder bearing down on him with a mighty swing. The blade tore through his clothing, leaving a deep wound. Meanwhile, the third member of the team moved to the hacker and slapped their hand over the wound. A faint whirring could be heard and the wound began to close.

    No response from either Sy or Wyatt. Jerana was really worried now. Could they have been fighting, do they need help...?

    She crept into the bar, through the front entrance. The spectacular view beheld her: a bloodbath, right in the middle of this quaint looking bar. Crimson spots dotted the place, and she could see her two comrades on the floor, one appeared to be attacked by a patrol officer, wielding a giant axe. Two more seemed to be together, probably getting healed. Her partners weren't in good shape. She decided to take the chance. Loading up a round, she fired a shot at the two officers huddled together, hoping it'll hit either one of them. The shot flew wide, failing to connect.

    It was obvious to Sy that killing the axe wielder was a priority, now that he was bleeding heavily from one shoulder. He backed up, lined up a shot and fired straight at him. The shot punched in, and blood started flowing heavily, though the axe-weilder seemed almost unfazed by the damage.

    Looking at the wound Syderis got from a single swing by the axe wielding guy Wyatt decided that putting a shield around Syderis was the best thing he could do. Hoping that the shield would be strong enough to keep him safe for a while.

    As Wyatt's attention was elsewhere, the enemy hacker turned and focused to him once more. Wyatt felt an intense pain in his head as several of his implants briefly shorted, causing electrical pulses to course through his head.

    Wyatt's shield hit Sy just in time, as another huge axe swing cleaved in. The shield intercepted the blow, leaving Sy unharmed. The one that appeared to be a medic smirked at Wyatt, extending a hand. A shield materialised around the hacker, just like Wyatt's.

    A miss, Jerana curses to herself. Despite her steady hands when working with the droids, strangely enough she could never handle a firearm without her palms quivering.

    It seems like the officers aren't caring about the shot ringing out, buying her at least some time, unless she blows her cover. Probably a risk worth taking, she aimed her pistol at the axe-wielding one, firing off other shot and praying to God she didn't shoot nearby Wyatt out of friendly fire. The shot flew wide.

    Sy readied his rifle once more, levelling it straight at the chest of the man wielding the axe, hoping this would be the last shot the man could take. Again, the shot punched in, knocking the axe weilder back. Again, he continued his grim advance towards Sy.

    Wyatt said nothing about the missing shots from Jerana, knowing that he wasn't the greatest with guns either and instead focused on Syderis' health and the shield around him as the shield got weaker every attack that landed on it.

    Knowing that the shield wouldn't last much longer Wyatt wished he could make another one however sadly enough the implant that was responsible for it still needed to charge more as it needed to unleash quite a bit of power to create the shield.

    Because of this Wyatt was forced to try and take someone out and send a blast of electricity towards the axe wielding guy, not really wanting to close into someone with an axe with just a simple knife. His target jerked and spasmed as the charge pulsed through his body.

    Meanwhile, the hacker continued his onslaught on Wyatt, attempting to hack his systems. Wyatt felt his implants being forced into a low power state as his opponent's code coursed through them. Meanwhile, the axe crashed down once more on Sy, breaking the last remnants of his shield. The shielding operative however had quickly rushed up behind the axeman and lunged in to deliver a punch to Sy's face, though it was easily sidestepped.

    Jerana grunted, now concerned enough about her comrades' plights to actually step in. She lunged towards the axe-wielding officer, attempting to disable him. The attempt failed, as he moved out of the way.

    Loading in a full metal jacket round, Sy took yet another shot at the axe wielder. The man had so far shrugged off everything that both Sy and Wyatt had thrown at him - he must have been wearing some serious armour, or have some kind of other system beneath the skin keeping him going. The shot punched in. The axe-wielder dropped to his knees, before collapsing to the floor.

    Now that the axe guy was on the floor Wyatt's attention shifted towards the healer in the hopes that his attack would at least be a good enough distraction to make him unable to get the axe guy back up.

    As such, Wyatt ran towards the healer and tried to stab him with his knife. The medic easily sidestepped his attempt. Meanwhile, the hacker took advantage of the confusion to focus his efforts onto Sy, though his hack attempt failed to connect. Meanwhile, the healer continued the motion that had taken them away from wyatt's thrust, slapping their hand down on one of the many bullet wounds that now riddled the axeman. Moments later, the axeman began to rise back to his feet - somewhat unsteadily, but with definite purpose.

    Jerana was disgruntled as she noticed the rising body of the axeman. After collapsing clumsily on the floor, she cannot have any more failures, as least not more without any kills. Unleashing a primal yell, she pierced both her knives straight into the back of the axeman. The axeman moved forwards, resulting in her wild thrust missing.

    This motherfucker just wouldn't die. Sy could tell the healer was a problem, but he reckoned that healing like that couldn't just be done constantly, it'd need a moment to charge back up. Besides, the motherfucker might well be the biggest danger to Sy and the rest of the team right now. If he could keep him down for long enough, even the healer wouldn't be able to revive him.
    Not even bothering with entering stealth, Sy took aim and fired at the axe wielder's head, this time hoping that he'd stay down for good. The bullet hit home, but into the shoulder, reducing the potential lethality of the hit.

    With the axe guy back on his feet and Syderis still wounded Wyatt was happy that his shield was once again ready, though due to the attacks from the hacker it would probably be weaker then he would have liked.

    With that, Wyatt deployed the shield back on Syderis, hoping that despite it not being optimal it would still be strong enough. The shield formed around Sy, though this drew the attention of the hacker who focused back onto Wyatt. Wyatt quickly realised that a secondary firewall had been formed around some of his implants, restricting his ability to further use his shielding implant. The axeman, now fully on his feet, swung down heavily at Sy. The shield absorbed the blow, buckling but staying active. Yet even as Sy breathed a sigh of relief, a mirror of his shield formed around the axeman, the medic smirking as he did so.

    "Wyatt, Jerana, I don't think we can win this. We need to retreat, now." Sy radioed to his allies, realising quite how strong these three institute bastards were.

    Jerana muttered some curses. Her nervousness was getting the best of her. She needed to bail -- her comrades needed to bail. "Alright", she radioed back, "But how do we escape? Don't think they'll let us bail -- they're gonna arrest us for sure."

    "I can drop into stealth for a bit, you two are going to have to run like hell. Split up so they can't all come for all of us, then we can meet back up once we're safe."
    Sy turned on his active camouflage, and hurriedly made his way out of the bar, sprinting away through the back door.

    "Got it" Wyatt send back to Syderis after he got his message. It wasn't hard to convince Wyatt that staying to fight wouldn't exactly end well for them. Especially now that his shield was disabled, which seemed to be pretty much the only thing that kept them going.

    "RUN" He sent to Jerana, waiting for her to start running to make sure that she would get out, despite the AI constantly telling him to move.

    A derisive snort cut through the panicked comm messages. "So, let me get this straight. You encounter a group of opponents that, shock horror, actually work together and you all piss yourselves? Were it not for how depressingly pathetic this is, I'd be laughing my ass off at you shit-for-brains. You're lucky I could really fancy a drink right now, and that a bar brawl is the perfect accompaniment a lady could ask for." The door, hanging loosly on its hinges, was sent flying by a strong kick, followed by Natalya nonchalantly strolling in, idly twirling a knife in her hand. "So here's the deal. I help clean up the super-scary bad guys, and you all clean the stench of wet piss outta this place so I can enjoy my fucking drink." Her words were accompanied by a vicious slash to the nearby hacker, shattering the shield that encased him. "Sy, stay hidden to give yourself a breather and line up a killshot on that medic! Wyatt, pile the shocks on the big dumb guy. Newbie, try not to die." She sighed. "Ain't it a tragic shame that I got to do all the thinking for you shitheads."

    The hacker, stunned by the sudden appearance and attack, stumbled away from Natalya, frantically launching an ineffective cyberassault as a counter. The axeman, losing all trace of his target, turned to face the new threat. "Gamma, fall back. Don't try to deal with Godetzka head on!" Charging forwards, he interposed himself between the two, swinging powerfully at Natalya. The axe bit in deep, though her grin only widened as small tendrils of blood began to push the axe back out from her wound. The healer moved into position to support, firing a few bullets at Jerana that failed to connect.

    Despite all the mixed signals coming from everyone, they all had a resounding message for her to run. It was not of her to disobey commands and all, so she ran. Hugging tight against the walls, she crept swiftly towards the exit, leaving no trail in sight.

    Sy thanked his lucky stars Natalya had come just in time. Hell she was harsh, but he was starting to get used to it - not to mention, she was saving their arses on this mission.
    "Understood. Charging up now." He radioed over to Natalya. Following through, he flicked two switches on the left side of the rifle, and heard the characteristic whine of the capacitors charging, the sound becoming gradually higher-pitched over time.

    Wyatt quickly did what him was told and fired a bolt towards the axeman. He was thankful that Natalya showed up and didn't mind Jerana running away, so far fighting didn't seem like something she was particularly good at and it would be one less person to worry about. The bolt struck hard, and the axeman dropped to the floor again, unmoving. A very faint hum could be heard from his prostate body. Natalya spat. "As I suspected, a Lazari suit. Wyatt, knock him back down every time he pops back up!" she called, turning and hurling a combat knife across the room.

    As Jerana made her way across the room to the door, a knife flickered across her vision and stuck into the wall mere centimetres form her face, vibrating in front of her eyes. "I said stay alive, not run away!" Natalya shouted across the room. "If you're going to start sucking less, time to get a little practise in!" That said, she lashed out across towards the medic, extended tendrils of blood extending her reach and force. The medic was knocked off his feet, blood oozing from a series of parallel cuts to his body where the tendrils had struck home.

    The terrified hacker continued to throw further attacks towards Natalya, though he continued to miss. Natalya merely snorted in return. "Newbie! Think this one's about as close to pissing himself as you are. Play nicely now!" Meanwhile, the medic rushed over to the axeman again, pumping yet more nanobots into the seemingly broken body. Once more, the seemingly dead axeman stirred back to life, and began to clamber to his feet.

    Jerana stumbled back abruptly as Natalya called out to her. Following her orders, she eyed the hacker like a hawk, before leaping towards him into a pounce. Her knives struck home, leaving him staggering away with a deep wound in his shoulder.

    Sy remained hidden, and continued to charge his rifle for his shot on the medic.

    As the axeman rose again, Wyatt fired another bolt of electricity at him just him was told to do so. The axeman staggered, but remained standing. Natalya, disregarding all else, was putting heavy pressure on the medic, flinging a tendril back to retrieve her knife, before hurling it from an unexpected direction. The medic twisted away from the throw, allowing the axeman through. Elsewhere, Jerana suddenly froze as her implants began shortcircuiting, sending wracking pains all through her body. The hacker smirked nervously, as if to try and regain the composure that Natalya's arrival had shattered. The axeman however continued his wild rush at Natalya, swinging down hard. The axehead thumped into the floor as Natalya lithely danced around him, tapping him gently on the back as she did so. The medic tried to land a bullet, but all flew wide.

    Fighting back the pain that was seething inside her, Jerana attempted to wipe that sly smirk off the hacker's face. Without breaking a sweat, she pounced and attempted to lodge her knife into his chest. The knife caught on his armour and slid off.

    A small warning light flashed on the visor of Sy's helmet. It was now or never, to have the luxury of invisibility to allow him to line up his shot, before his cloaking was dropped and the institute agents would be moving, making it harder to aim for vital areas and deal greater damage in a single shot.
    One eye closed, the other down the scope of his rifle, Sy aimed and fired at the medic. The round blasted into the medic, leaving a vicious spray of crimson and knocking him to the floor. Nevertheless, it wasn't long before he started to climb to his feet.

    After Syderis shot on the medic Wyatt considered to put some pressure on the medic as well. However as he seemed to be able to move away from other peoples attacks with relative ease Wyatt decided against it and instead threw another bolt at the axe guy, just as he was ordered to do. The bolt dropped the axeman to the floor, the faint hum of his armour starting up once more.

    As the medic struggled to rise to the floor, Natalya gathered pointed tendrils around her foot and delivered a vicious kick to his side, puncturing in to his guts. She smirked maliciously as he cried in pain. The hacker slowly stepped back from Jerana, slowly raising his hands. "Please, don't do it...I was forced into this, I never had any choice! Mercy, please!" Natalya shot a disgusted look towards him. "You know what you've gotta do, Newbie. No survivors. They know we're here now, and that rat could call in reinforcements the moment he leaves."

    The medic struggled to his feet, coughing up blood. "Fuckin'...craven bastard", he spluttered, throwing a wild swing that Natalya easily sidestepped.

    Jerana gave the hacker a glum look that matched his own. "I never had a choice either," she muttered before pushing both her knives into his chest. Blood oozed from around her knives as the hacker looked at her, a blank, stunned look on his face. He coughed weakly, a spray of blood accompanying it as it flew into Jerana's face. He collapsed backwards, his motion pulling her knives from his body as he collapsed motionless to the floor, eyes staring blankly. Natalya grinned wolfishly. "There we go, newbie. Maybe I'll bother to learn your name now." "It's Jerana, ma'am," she replied without lifting her head.

    Sy caught himself staring as Jerana ended the hacker's life, the white of his armour now soaked crimson as his life left him. He'd begged for his life, and she'd killed him in cold blood. The newbie was going to do well, if she could do that with abrely a second thought. Still, she must have been through a hell of a lot to manage something like that, which didn't sit well with him.
    Snapping back to reality, Sy realised that the medic was still standing, if only barely. Unlike the hacker, he was still fighting to his last breath, and couldn't be allowed to keep going. Loading an FMJ round, he took aim, and fired straight for the medic's chest. The medic, staggering around, managed to evade the shot.

    Wyatt was just like Syderis, caught off guard by how easy the decision seemed to be for Jerana to kill someone who was begging for his life.

    With the axeman still laying on the floor Wyatt decided to throw a bolt to the medic. The bolt whizzed past harmlessly, though the distraction it provided gave Natalya an opening to punch several tendrils clean into the medic's chest. As he began to choke on his own blood, she grabbed her knife from where it had fallen and slashed his throat open, eliciting a final burst of crimson. She froze, seemingly luxuriating in the spray, before dropping his lifeless body. The tendrils dangling from her wounds began to recede and seal the openings as she vaulted nimbly over the bar, grabbing a bottle and pouring some into a glass. "Now, you had better go see Wolff...if you bitches dare. I understand that giving his sister to an Institute spy has made him pretty fucking pissed off at the lot of you." She took a hefty swig. "But hey, that's not my problem. Neither was all of this-" she gestured at the lifeless bodies, "but I ain't digging your ass outta this shit, Have fun."

    Sy breathed a sigh of relief. It was over, those three bastards were down and out, and wouldn't be troubling them any more... though he still glanced at the axeman every now and then. It paid to be sure.
    "Thanks for coming Natalya. We might be in the shit, but it'd probably be far worse if we'd have had to retreat." She chuckled softly as she poured another. "I'd save those thoughts if I were you. Not sure you'd want to think about worse once you find out what he's planning to do."

    Now that the gravity of the situation began to kick back in, Jerana felt a slight pang of guilt for the dead guy. He could've had a family, safe in the Institute. Someone could wake up the next day without a husband, or even without a father. Still, these were the same guys who programmed the bots that killed her two parents, even set to keep her in captivity in the Institute. Led her to fear for her life, fear the Institute. Now that she'd killed one of their operatives, it gave her a temporary sense of vigour. Dawning on her that, for once, she became the predator, instead of the prey.

    She gave her former adversary one last smirk glance, before approaching her comrades with a yell, "We gonna bury these guys, or what?"

    "I'd like to see you try," Sy commented, "unless you've got a shovel and a convenient area with a few feet of actual dirt. The owners of this place will get that covered, if they come back. I doubt this'll be the first time they've had to do it, in a place like this."
    Sy did his best to stay calm on the outside, but his mind was broiling from what Natalya had said. He'd expected a thorough dressing-down, an incredibly harsh one, but nothing that would deal lasting harm. What Natalya has said though, that had set his thoughts racing. What he was planning to do? Some sort of punishment? Their squad's performance had been... poor, to say the least, but they'd been up against harsh odds.
    He decided that there was essentially nothing he could do right now, short of running away again - and he remembered how that had gone.
     
  16. RJS

    RJS New Member

    [FLOATCAR HANGAR, THE INSTITUTE]
    Marquese strode purposefully to meet the oncoming floatcar, though his pace slowed as the doors swung open to reveal the three surviving operatives. He paused at the doorway, right fist over his heart and head lowered. Eventually, his head lifted and he looked towards the three of them. "Go get yourselves fixed up and get some rest. There'll need to be a debrief, inevitably, but it can wait until later." He took a big sigh. "Guess for some of you this'll be the first time you've come back with a part of your life torn away. Don't blame yourselves. It's not your fault Tito didn't come back. It's hers," he gestured to the corpse, "it's Wolff's, it's Spider's. You did all you could."

    "Don't feel like you can't show your hurt, that anybody will think less of you for crying. We've all sat where you sit now, and we all know how it feels. Hell, go to the mess and sob it out in company. I'll even authorise a certain amount of alcohol for you. You don't need to take it, but it's there if you want it.

    I don't know if this'll help or not, but he chose this life. Damn well begged me for the chance to join. He knew what he was getting into, and he accepted that. He wanted to make this city a better place, not just by keeping it safe but by changing the Institute from the inside. Was that the right outlook? Fucked if I know. I've been a soldier all my life. Did it make him a great human being? I don't doubt it for a second. He walked his path without regrets. I'm sure, if there's anything akin to an afterlife, he's feeling pretty satisfied with how it all went.

    Listen to me, droning on like the old bastard I am. Off you go - I'll take this thing,"
    he grabbed the remains of the Partition operative, "to be examined. Dismissed."

    [RENDEZ-VOUS POINT, THE UNDERCITY]
    Almost as soon as they left the bar, all 3 of the Partition operatives received a basic neural message. A location and a time. No accompanying information. The location was down the far end of a narrow alleyway that ended in a wall, and as they walked down the alley they felt eyes observing their every move. At the far end, Wolff waited, an ornate pistol grasped in his synthetic arm, back turned to them. Should any of them have turned around, they would have seen shadowy cloaked figures move to block the exit, sealing them in.

    As they reached Wolff, all three felt heavy blows on their backs that knocked them to the ground and pinned them there. Twisting round would have allowed them to see more cloaked figures crouching on top of them. Wolff slowly turned, eyes red-rimmed, face in a vicious snarl. "I give you imbeciles one job." His voice was saturated with cold fury, held barely in check. "All you had to do is make sure the person you speak to uses the right passphrase. I'm sure there may not be much space rattling round in your brains, but two sentences? I thought you could be capable of at least that much. And now, thanks to you, my sister was taken into custody." The gun he held roved back and forth, back and forth in front of their faces. "Was it not enough that my parents had to be tortured to death, now you want my sister to be as well. It'll take days, and she'll be constantly screaming in pain until she begs them to end it and those bastards still...won't...stop. I was thinking that I could do the same to one of you three, strap the other two down and make them watch, make them listen as you scream until your voice runs hoarse and then on and on until your throat is ripped to shreds from the screaming. So, who will it be?"

    The gun paused at Jerana. "Certainly, on the surface you're the most expendable, and I hear you didn't even bother being around when all this was happening. I don't know why you ran out of the building, unless you're the spy that tipped them off!...No, no, you're not capable of that. Not at all. You're just a waste."

    Next it paused at Wyatt. "You're incredibly quiet...I wonder what it would be like to actually hear you for a change? They say a silent man hides many secrets - how many would you spill as I did the same with your blood?"

    The gun swung on to Sy. "And then we have our 'elite sniper'. I can see why you chose that role; you certainly don't seem to like getting your hands dirty. Your skills stand out - at least in terms of organising a retreat."

    Wolff gave a heavy sigh and spun away. "Fortunately for all of you, Spider doesn't like waste. We're making preparations to end this era of Institute tyranny, and when our attack comes, you're going to be at the very front line. At the very least, you can catch a few bullets that would have killed people who can actually get shit done. So go. Train yourselves to fight, or resign yourselves to death. I don't care which. Just know that my Dogs will be watching you. You try to run from this, you'll be dead before you get three feet. You try and turn your coat and your teammates will be carrying you as a living shield as you get the release you'll be begging for by then. Get out of my sight."

    The pressure on their backs abruptly lifted as the Dogs leapt up and onto the roof before swiftly dispersing. They were left alone in the alley.
     
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  17. RJS

    RJS New Member

    The populace of Magnopolis had spent the past three months living under what seemed to be an uneasy truce. Large-scale conflicts between Institute forces and Partition Rebels had vanished entirely, and even small skirmishes had dwindled in their frequency. To an outside observer, were it even possible for there to be such a thing, it would seem that the war had gone away. The residents however knew better, and merely became more unsettled the longer the peace dragged on for. After all, for it to be so peaceful, it only meant something big was coming up. Something that neither side wanted to waste any manpower for. The more peaceful it was, the more the electric tension built up. It was clear that sooner or later all the stress would break. The only question remained...when?

    [THE SEWERS, BENEATH THE UPPER LEVELS]
    The three man cell squatted in the tunnels, near a hatch that would bring them to the outside of the Institute's administration building. Minimal armed personnel, extremely large amounts of important information processing. It was clear what Spider's plan was - a shot straight to the soft 'brain' of the Institute to knock out any semblance of order and communication. All they were waiting on was the signal to go, as various other raiding teams would be popping up at the same time to cause confusion and support the assault on the datacenter. Sy, Wyatt and Jerana were left with little to do but ponder what would soon begin.

    [THE UPPER LEVELS, JUST ABOVE]
    The summons had come in early that morning. A big data leak had come in from a spy within the Partition outlining the initial battle plans of the assault on the Upper Levels. Marquese and Rowlands had confirmed the authenticity of the information, then sat on it until the morning of the attack. In doing so, they had prevented any information wending its way back to the Partition and so ensured the plan would remain unchanged. Several squads had been summoned in the early hours and dispatched to various locations. Yeta squad had been assigned to a manhole not far from a key datacenter, with plenty of little alleyways scattered nearby to allow them to set up and wait without being immediately obvious. Dan, Leo and INA were now playing the waiting game.

    The waiting had gone on for three months before this point - and all that built up stress was about to crack in an instant.
     
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  18. the_j485

    the_j485 King of the Wicked

    For the thousandth time, Sy organised his ammunition, checked his implants, and rubbed dust from his scope with one sleeve. Tiny actions, that didn't need doing more than once or twice; yet they served dual purposes.
    First, they gave him a greater peace of mind. After he'd checked them, nagging feelings and doubts kept creeping in. Had he got the ammo count quite right? Was he completely certain that the scratch on his scope's lens wasn't just dirt or dust that he hadn't rubbed at enough? Each time these thoughts grew and grew, until they reached a certain intensity that he could only sigh internally, and go through the checks once more.
    They also served as a distraction. He was as nervous as any of them could be. There would likely be little resistance from the data center workers, and they were essentially just innocents - they almost certainly didn't know what the Institute was truly like. He hoped that they would run immediately, and that the guards were the only ones he'd need to kill, but he couldn't be sure. He didn't know what he'd do if one of the workers rushed him, attempting some sort of heroics. If he was lucky, there wouldn't be any. If not... he didn't like thinking about what he might be forced to do.
    EXODUS had been quiet for a long time, alongside both the Partition and Institute. He did wonder if they would ask him once again to sabotage the mission, or something worse. It would be fitting, now that the tension was finally being broken, the paper-thin veneer of peace torn violently in half, with an explosion and a hail of gunfire. Time would only tell, but Sy felt ready - or at least as ready as he could be. Some things no man can prepare for.
     
  19. LivingAngryCheese

    LivingAngryCheese Over-Achiever

    Set up behind cover nearby the manhole. Dan sent to the others silently. He pressed himself up against the wall, and held his right hand up in the air. A custom machine gun design was generated in his hand, and he grabbed the grip with his left firmly, holding it across his chest. The stalemate was finally about to end it seemed. He gripped the gun a little tighter, took a deep breath, and released it. He was ready.
     
  20. sgbros1

    sgbros1 New Member

    The bloodied scene back at the tavern haunted Jerana's mind throughout the day. She had killed a man, taken a human life, without hesitation. The ramifications of her actions oh so long ago just began to hit her like a bullet to the skull. A colleague, a friend, maybe even a husband and father, gone without even blinking an eye. And all due to her irrationality at the moment, without considering any consequences.

    Jerana shuddered. But... they killed my parents, she thought, trying to push away the thought.

    But if they kill, and I kill, aren't we... one and the same...?
     

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