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The Free Agent

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Cervantes De Leon Posted: 18:09 Aug22 2010 Post ID: 2889483
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So, here we are people. If you've read my past fics, you're probably familiar with my style of writing. Lots of fights, mixed in with small amounts of plot and slight character development. The former will also be known to those who read my tournament, as well as my sometimes over the top sense of humour. For this, I tried to take the best aspects of what I have done so far in my time here, improve on the weaker ones and try to bring something unique not only to my general style, but possibly the board in general.

Just note that this isn't intended to be the longest fic on the forum. It's something that you might see as a little bit of an experiment. so I'm hoping that this is appreciated as much as I hope it will be.

Enjoy.


The Free Agent

Chapter 1 – Promotion

The year is 2040.

The ever increasing advances in technology have brought about many new aspects to society. From military weaponry that has grown more sophisticated, destructive and lethal, to improvements in both robotics and prosthetics to allow people to receive artificial limbs or even full prosthetic bodies if need be. Technology is more important to society than ever before, playing an integral role in recent wars and general military activity. In recent times, however, modern technology and modern people have been met with the surprising occurrence of something once thought to be merely stories from books, movies, internet boards and television. The re-appearance of those that could wield magic – later named ‘elementals’ by governments – caused many problems in the public eye, ending in mass discrimination of those who were somehow able to manipulate certain aspects of life. Eventually, these incidents lead to the forming of a group of people with such abilities that helped to fight crime on levels similar to both police and military. Added to branches of military organisations throughout the world, these groups train the people to utilise both standard military and police training alongside their unique powers to keep both the public both safe and in favour of their existence.

The following mission file relates to one of the biggest incidents of its kind to hit the city of New Kanden, covered by newly promoted agents Firius and Glacia.

“So, are you sure you got the disc?” one of the men said to his co-driver, who had just jumped in to the car.
“I’m sure.” He responded bluntly, “Now can we just get the hell out of here? I want to get this over and done with so I can get the money.”
“Heh, you can bin your agitation.” The driver said to him, “There ain’t no one who’s gonna stop us.”
“Whatever, just floor it already.” The man said, fastening his seat belt.
The driver leaned forward slightly to turn the key in the ignition. His passenger and partner-in-crime scanned the alleyway from his seat, just to make sure that there was nobody within sight of them.
Just as the driver laid fingers on the handbrake, a gunshot was heard, followed by the small smashing of glass, the sound of a bullet imbedding itself in to a human skull, and the car horn blaring as the driver’s head hit the steering wheel. Before the passenger could react, he heard a pair of feet land on the car roof. He unfastened his seatbelt and pulled out his pistol, but before he could do anything more, his car door opened. The man grabbed the criminal by the collar of his shirt and dragged him out of the car, giving him a vicious hook to the face with his free right hand, and then knocking him unconscious with a blow to the forehead with his left knee.
“I’ll take that.” Agent Firius said, taking the slightly visible disc out of the unconscious passenger’s trouser pocket. As Firius zipped the valuable disc in to a pocket on his black, sleeved top, he heard the mumbled voices from behind the door next to him, saying what sounded like “Intruder! Gunshots fired.”
“Damnit...” Firius rolled his eyes, “I knew I should have used the silencer.” Firius quickly jumped on to the bonnet of the car, stepped up on to the now dented roof and jumped up to the first floor fire escape route of the building next door. Several men burst through the door just as Firius jumped through an open window.

Firius ran through the broken-in apartment and quickly shoulder barged through the door. As he ran along the corridor, he stopped just before the stairway, hearing swift footsteps and loud voices. “This better not be civilians in a hurry.” Firius thought, ejecting the current clip in his pistol and replacing it with a full one from a pocket on his black combat trousers. Firius took cover behind the wall, waiting as he heard a group of three thugs charging up the stairs. As the first thug’s foot hit the final step, Firius swung his pistol out from behind the wall, slamming the gun in to his face, knocking him back with a broken nose. Firius stepped around out of cover and held his gun out, facing down to see the three thugs knocked half way down the stairs. “Thank God, I almost thought I hit someone decent.” Firius shrugged at them, causing outrage with the thugs. One of the thugs angrily began shooting at Firius, who dodged the shots and jumped up the upwards staircase next to him, seeming like he expected the reaction. Firius ran up the staircase, hearing the thugs get back to their feet and re-start their chase a couple of stories below. “I should probably hold back a little bit, just in case any innocent people get in their way.” Firius realised, stopping for a moment to let the pursuers catch up. As the sounds of their footsteps got louder, one person chose the right time to step out of their door. The elderly woman gasped at the sight of the gun-wielding men that appeared on the landing in front of her, all three of them glancing at her for a moment while discussing how to dispose of her. Before they could carry out their plans, Firius – who was waiting half way up the staircase behind them – swung on the pole that rose from the stair’s banister and kicked down the middle thug. The other two thugs – initially shocked at their comrade’s take down – turned towards their attacker and stepped back as Firius got to his feet. The first thug swung his machine gun at Firius’ head, who ducked the attack and delivered a vicious uppercut to the man’s chin. As the man was knocked to the ground, the second slammed his weapon in to Firius’ back, knocking him forwards with a small amount of pain. “Ain’t so tough now, are ya?” the man mocked Firius, who quickly dodged out of the way as several bullets shot through the wall behind his previous position. Firius spun around and jumped at the man, kicking him in the face with enough force to knock him out before he hit the ground. Firius made a quick turn around and grabbed the head of the only conscious thug left, slamming it down on to the wooden ground. Firius removed the ammunition clips of the thug’s machine guns as he noticed the elderly woman, frozen in fear of her attackers. Taking out a wallet from one of their back pockets, Firius placed a few notes in to the woman’s hand. “Get yourself something to help you calm down from that.” He said, “I wasn’t here.”
Before she could thank the man that had saved her, Firius turned around and continued to run up the staircase.

“Agent Firius, you have three minutes until your drop-off needs to be made.” Firius was informed over his earpiece. “Make sure that the area is clear so that we can get our helicopter in safely.”
“Got it.” Firius responded, beginning his ascent of the final flight of stairs. “What exactly can they do to take down a helicopter?”
Firius stepped out on to the rooftop of the building, pausing for breath after the climb up to his destination. He looked over to the building opposite, where he noticed two men wielding rocket launchers as the sound of the helicopter’s blades became audible to his ears. “Rocket launchers? How did they get a hold of weapons like that?” Firius pondered for a moment, snapping out as the sound of his transport got louder. Quickly taking aim, he fired a few shots at the attackers, taking one of them out with a shot through the head. The other one, quickly taking notice, put down his rocket launcher and armed himself with a sniper rifle. “Oh, this is perfect, just perfect.” Firius moaned, running in to cover against the wall at the edge of the building. He tried to look up slightly, only to duck back down as a fired shot made impact with the wall inches from his head. Firius crawled along the ground, hoping that his movements were invisible to the sniper. Reaching the edge of the wall, Firius quickly shot up and fired at his attacker. The shot hit the man in his right hand, causing him to yell in pain as he dropped his weapon. Another two shots and the man hit the ground, the blood from the two holes in his head forming a small puddle around him.

“Good work.” Firius’ earpiece told him as he looked up to the incoming helicopter. “We’re heading down now.” the pilot continued.
“Copy that.” Firius confirmed, stepping back as the helicopter tried to swing in towards the roof. He could feel the wind blast around him as the helicopter got closer, though he didn’t feel any colder from the air gust.
Just then, two men appeared on the same roof as the rocket group, running towards the helicopter as it hovered close to them. “Watch yourselves, air support.” Firius informed them over his earpiece’s microphone. Before they could react, the first person jumped at the helicopter, grabbing on to the landing rails. He quickly swung up and punched the pilot hard in the face, knocking him out in an instant. As the unconscious pilot was thrown out of his vehicle, the second man jumped up in to the helicopter in a similar fashion to his ally. With both men in, the helicopter charged at Firius, the two mounted machine guns on the helicopter blazing at their target.
“Ah…damnit.” Firius said, running back to the stairway entrance as the mounted turrets barely missed him. “Control, this is agent Firius. The helicopter has been hijacked; repeat, the helicopter has been hijacked. The pilot has been thrown out and possibly KIA. Over”
“Roger that Firius.” the female voice at headquarters confirmed. “We have no choice but to authorise the destruction of the helicopter. We will arrange an alternative method of extracting you and the data from the vicinity. Over.”
“Copy that control.” Firius responded. He looked at his pistol, knowing that he had two shots left in his clip, and shook his head. “There’s no way I can take it out with this.” he realised. “Ah well…just makes things worse for them.”
Firius stepped out and held his right hand outwards, palm open and facing up. The hand slowly began to heat up as flames flickered in to life around the fingers. The small flames danced together to form a fireball in the palm of his hand. “Hope these guys enjoy the extra firepower.” Firius mused, unable to resist the fire-related joke as he shot the fireball out of his hand. The fire collided with the underside of the vehicle, causing it to shake out of control in the air. Firius quickly charged up and shot a second fireball, colliding and destroying the main propeller blades. The helicopter spun out of control, heading past the building Firius stood on and aimed to crash land in a nearby scrap yard. “That’ll save time clearing up the mess that’s going to make.” Firius said to himself as the helicopter collided with the ground, exploding instantly.

“Control, this is Firius.” he called over his earpiece. “The helicopter has been downed. It’s landed in a scrap yard just south of my position. The two hostiles are most likely KIA, though not yet confirmed. Over.”
“Roger that Firius.” The woman at headquarters responded. “An emergency medical squad has been dispatched to your position. Please find where our pilot landed and check on his condition. Medical staff will escort you back to HQ along with him. Over.”
“Affirmative control.” Firius responded, turning around to return back down the stairway.
“Oh, one more thing Firius.” his earpiece continued, “Colonel Wilson wishes to talk with you.”
“Really?” Firius said, stopping in his tracks in surprise. Colonel Wilson was one of the longest serving – and most respectable – men in the organisation. He was also the man who helped Firius with a fair amount of his training in the earlier stages of his career. Firius instantly realised that if the Colonel wanted to say something to him after a mission like this, then it was definitely something both positive and important. “Put him on then.”
A few seconds of silence followed as the connection was changed. “Is that Firius I am speaking to?” the silence was eventually broken as Colonel Wilson spoke.
“Yes sir.” Firius responded, stiffening his manner and attitude as he spoke to his old mentor.
“We just received word of both your recovery of that data disc and your interception of the helicopter takeover. Good work, son.”
“Thank you, sir.” Firius responded, feeling his heart beat faster as his nerves built up.
“After a quick discussion with the head-of-command and several of the other colonels, we have agreed that maybe you are ready for a promotion to the Free Agent rank.”
“Seriously?!” Firius spat out, shocked while he broke out of his professional manner.
“Affirmative.” the colonel continued, ignoring the sudden change in attitude. “While we will have a more detailed discussion about it, we would like you to join with us in a week’s time so you can be formally promoted.”
“Yes sir.” Firius said with increased enthusiasm. In returning to this serious attitude, he was struggling to contain his excitement.
“Oh, and once you’ve returned that data disc to us, take the week off.” Colonel Wilson finished, “Get to it!”
“Yes sir, over and out.” Firius said as the earpiece went dead. He stood on the rooftop in silence for a moment before suddenly bursting with excitement. “Yes!” he yelled out, throwing his fist in the air as he laughed in joy. As he continued to celebrate, he remembered something that brought him back to his senses. “****! The pilot!” he recalled, making a sudden dash down the stairs.
“I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me if I’m going to keep this new rank. ” he realised as he leaped down the steps.

« Last edited by Cervantes De Leon on Aug 31st 2010 »


By ozzo

Mission debriefing: Now available
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Yogi_Bear Posted: 23:56 Aug22 2010 Post ID: 2889635
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Great first chapter, I really enjoy the futuristic setting combined with a touch of good old magic. Already loving the protagonist, and I will definitely keep reading.
Thanks Craizen

Proc^^
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Oginig Posted: 05:39 Aug23 2010 Post ID: 2889675
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“Get yourself something to help you calm down from that.” He said, “I wasn’t here.”

Firius is officially awesome. You're developing him really well.

I’m also pleased that you’ve actually made the thugs competent. Too often I see protagonists with mad skills taking down foes who can’t do anything properly, but these guys can jump to helicopters. Nice change of pace.

Really a very good opening. I’m a little skeptical as to why Firius would bother with guns at all when he’s capable of asploding people, but, I’m sure there’s a reason. Constantly burning everything probably takes too much energy, I suppose.

Either way, very enjoyable. Nice work.
Sincerely,
Jaffa

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CurryMonster Posted: 12:07 Aug23 2010 Post ID: 2889770
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Damn it Jaffa, stop stealing my words. I was going to say all of those things.

Firius seems like a fairly typical action hero in some regards - mostly the one-liners, I think - but he doesn't have the same staggering arrogance that you'd expect from that sort of character. Definitely room for development, and it'll be interesting to see how it works out.

One thing, though. "He was also the man who helped Tony with a fair amount of his training in the earlier stages of his career." This sentence threw me a little; either Tony is someone we haven't been introduced to yet, or it's our man's real name and Firius is a cool-sounding codename. If it's the former, I'm not sure it needed to be mentioned yet, and if it's the latter, it feels strange that it'd be mentioned in passing like it was. Still, probably something that'll be covered later.

I'd tell you to keep at it, but given how much you've already written, it feels a bit unnecessary.


The Undying Night Book 1: Fiendlord. GET IT HERE.
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GoldenPili Posted: 01:42 Aug24 2010 Post ID: 2889950
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These two above have basically said what I want to say: Your character is awesome, the storyline immediately grabbed my attention, and I'm looking forward to the next chapter. Thumbs Up

I also like that you've kept things into some sort of reality. He's not some god-like Mary Sue that blows up everything in sight with fireballs and manages to knock out a bunch of thugs without anybody noticing. He also makes mistakes and gets excited, instead of the ego-driven perfectionists we see nowadays.

Again, good job.

When the coroner cuts me open, I want the whole room to smell like potato wedges. - Gabriel Iglasias

Cheer's to Craizen for the awesome sig and avy.
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Dagron Posted: 15:26 Aug24 2010 Post ID: 2890055
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From military weaponry has grown more sophisticated, destructive and lethal, to improvements in both robotics and prosthetics to allow people to receive artificial limbs or even full prosthetic bodies if need be.
I think there should be one or two "that" or "which" in this sentence. Maybe just an impression?

Is it Commander or Colonel Wilson?

Otherwise, nice introduction! Firius seems pretty cool and believable, and I thought that the scene with the bad guys hijacking the helicopter was awesome. It'll be nice to see what becoming a free agent will mean for him. Smile

On a side note: I wonder what that granny went to buy with that money?
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Cataclysm Posted: 10:47 Aug26 2010 Post ID: 2890581
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Nice first chapter you have here. I'm struggling to think of anything to say that hasn't already been posted, to be honest.

I am curious as to what is so awesome about the Free Agent rank. My first guess implies being some sort of undercover mercenary, though I have my doubts whether that is true or whether something like that could even work?

As said already, Firius is a great character. The one liners are slightly cheesy, but if such lines are part of his personality and not an attempt to make him seem cooler then I can see him becoming very enjoyable to read about.

Also, and correct me if I'm wrong, I think I can see many movie influences here. Some stories are obviously meant to be read, whereas pretty much everything here is kept simple enough to move at a quick pace whilst remaining detailed. The whole action process is incredibly easy to imagine, and as I did imagine each scene many similar scenes came to mind. When the thug was pulled from the car after Firius fell upon the roof Batman came to mind. The chasing through the building instantly reminded me of the first Matrix movie towards the end, when Neo is heading for his ecape phone. The helicopter scene seemed familiar also, though I can't pinpoint from exactly where, maybe because I have seen many helicopter, roof scenes.

I'm sorry if this isn't what you intended, though. I can see the original work put into this too, and that's probably what I like most about this. It reminds me of so many films, books and comics that I have watched, read and enjoyed, whilst adding it's own touch. That touch is the action filled consistency entwined with humour that, if experience from your other work is anything to go by, provides the reader with enough entertaining development to maintain interest, but moments that break up what would be a monotonous drag and stop the fic from becoming a boring path to the end.
Sig and avy by Jam Jar


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TestVirus101 Posted: 09:05 Aug28 2010 Post ID: 2891483
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It seems pretty interesting so far. I have a small gripe and that's only really with the way that the words flow. I think half the battle in making something good is choosing the right words to use and when to use them. Giving your sentences the right flow is in my opinion a great way to keep people interested.

I won't go and try and find a multitude of examples, but I will provide one so you know what I'm talking about:

"Firius shrugged at them, causing outrage with the thugs"

It just doesn't sit right with me. I mean in this particular example the sentence is actually probably a typo because "causing outrage with the thugs" doesn't make sense. But just in general having sentences that sit really well together will make it much better.
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Cervantes De Leon Posted: 19:49 Aug31 2010 Post ID: 2893645
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Thanks for all of the comments people.

Chapter 2 – Alliance

“For many years, this institution has served on both a national and international scale.” Colonel Wilson told Firius as they walked through the corridors of the ISA – the International Security Agency. As they walked through the pearl white corridors of the main building, Firius’ attention drained away from the colonel’s speech about the organisation’s history and more to his own excitement of his new promotion. In the past week, he had been waiting desperately as those in command discussed the promotion, eventually confirming the news to him only the previous day. The Free Agent rank was only given to those who had acquired elemental abilities and had not only trained to be able to use them effectively and safely, but also received sufficient training in hand-to-hand and weapons combat, as well as several other disciplines such as detective work and stealth.. The Free Agents were also known as being of both military and police status, adding to their level of flexibility regarding what they do and how they go about it. The flexibility to go about the missions, as well as some say in what missions they got to perform, were what gave the rank its name. While they were able to perform solo missions and mix about for tasks with others of the rank, Free Agents were assigned with a partner that they performed the majority of their missions with.
“…and so you are now among the select group who have achieved this rank among the years.” Firius returned to Colonel Wilson’s discussion. “You are now a representative of what both the ISA and the country as a whole stand for. Don’t let us down.”
“I’ll try not to let you down.” Firius said, feeling a lot more relaxed towards the colonel now that he was a rank closer to him.
“Heheh, good to hear. You’ll know about it otherwise, believe me.” Colonel Wilson responded in an almost intimidating manner.
The confidence drained away. “…Yes sir.” Firius squeaked.

The two of them made a turn to the left at the end of the corridor, leading to a slightly different corridor that was adorned with portraits of past Commanders and several other important figures in the ISA’s history. Walking along the red carpet that lead to the Commander’s office, Firius scanned through the various portraits on either side of him, eventually noticing one of a younger – but still relatively old – colonel Wilson. Whereas the portrait depicted him with dark brown hair that was beginning to fade to grey, the man that stood next to him had bald for a fair few years now. His face and hands sported several scars from his long time of service, something that also reflected in his brown, wisdom-filled eyes. For this particular day, he wore a black tuxedo with bow tie, something that all high-level agents did on these days of promotion. Making one final comparison of the then and now, Firius began to wonder how long ago the portrait was, but valued his own life enough to refrain from asking.
The two of them stopped outside a pair of double doors coloured just like the rest of the building, but sported a gold framework that set the Commander’s office from the rest of the building. “You will be assigned to your partner as soon as they are brought up here.” Colonel Wilson told Firius, taking a hold of one of the doorknobs. “Wait here a moment while I talk to Commander Rowland, then you will be called in.”
Firius nodded as the Colonel opened the door. As the door was shut, Firius was left alone in the now silent corridor. He rocked impatiently back and forth on the heels of his feet, awaiting one of the doors to open up and let him in. “I haven’t really thought about my partner yet, have I? ” Firius thought, “Hope it’s not some unbearable twat, I’ve heard about the procedures for re-assigning partners…Crap. It’s going to be an unbearable twat, isn’t it? Knowing my luck, it’s probably going to be some muscle-bound meat-head that can’t string two sentences together without a fist being involved. ” Firius shuddered at the thought of having to work with this newly-imagined person just as the doorknob next to him clicked the door open. Firius took a deep breath as the door swung open for him to enter.

“Ah, Firius.” Commander Rowland stood up out of his chair and walked out from behind his desk. The Commander stood up from behind his desk, showing fully his black suit with white short and red and black striped tie. He pushed his glasses back up towards his eyes as he walked towards Firius. Commander Rowland shook the hand of the new Free Agent, and then stepped towards a small, wooden drinks cabinet that hid between filing cabinets and a bookcase. “Drink?” he offered Firius, holding a bottle of brandy in his left hand.
“No thanks.” Firius refused, “I’m riding my bike later on.”
“Shame, but fair enough.” Commander Rowland shrugged, pouring up a glass for himself. He glanced over at Colonel Wilson, who nodded. “Good job on that data disc mission, by the way.” Commander Rowland said, pouring up the colonel’s drink. “Our team down in technical has already had the chance to scan through it and decode the majority of its contents. What we have found is information that we would like you to follow up on for us.”
“What kind of information is this?” Firius asked, suddenly curious as to what exactly he was carrying while blowing up a helicopter.
“Well, this is probably stuff that we should wait until your new partner arrives to discuss. The Commander said, handing Colonel Wilson his drink while taking a mouthful of his own.
“She should be here any second, sir.” Colonel Wilson told Commander Rowland while having a quick glance at the door.
“She? ” Firius thought, scrapping his original thoughts about his partner. “I’m being teamed up with a girl? I hope she isn’t going to be one of those girls who talks about meaningless gossip the whole time that she’s not doing it on the phone or texting endlessly beyond the speed of sound…I really need to lay off the stereotypes. ”
A sudden knock on the door snapped Firius out of his thoughts as a voice spoke behind him. “That’s her here.” The voice of the colonel spoke from the slightly open door.
“Well, send her in then.” Commander Rowland told him in a tone that noted the obviousness of his request. The man’s head slid back out of the door, creaking further open as the female Free Agent nervously stepped in. She took one step in and stopped as she saw the back of her new partner, almost instantly recognising him.
“Tony?” she said, causing Firius to suddenly straighten up.
“She knows my name…that voice…no way. ” Tony realised, turning around to face his new partner.
“Hailey?” he responded, lost for any other words at the surprise reunion. Her uniform was identical to his – as all agents of the previous rank wore – while her face was almost completely unchanged from what Firius remembered; unevenly cut, shoulder length blonde hair with light blue eyes shining underneath the small amount of hair that covered her face. The two stepped towards each other and hugged, sirens blaring in Firius’ head that said ‘Jackpot!’
“The two of you do recall one another then, agents Firius and Glacia.” Commander Rowland grinned, waiting to see how long it would take the two free agents to figure things out. The two of them let go of one another as they thought over what exactly the commander meant.
“You mean you set this up? You intentionally put us together while knowing of our past background knowledge of one another.” Glacia realised while Firius remained blank faced for a few moments, eventually figuring it out for himself.
“I guess you could say we’re experimenting here.” Colonel Wilson spoke, confirming Glacia’s statement. “Our Commander here has had the idea that if we were to pair up people with a history, they might be able to perform better as a team. We did some research in to the backgrounds of the two of you, as well as some other agents, to find possible matches. The two of you were the first that we found.”
“So, you’re saying that the two of us are guinea pigs for the whole Free Agent teaming system?” Firius asked, wanting to make sure that he had got the grasp of the situation.
“If you wish to put it that way, then yes.” Colonel Wilson confirmed, taking another sip of his drink.
“Well, if that’s the case, no complaints from this test subject.” Firius said, unable to keep himself from smiling at the turnout.
“Suits me fine.” Glacia added.
“Good.” Commander Rowland said, downing the last mouthful of brandy from his glass. “We should probably get you two tooled up with your new weapons now.” The commander nodded towards Colonel Wilson, who walked past the duo and opened the door behind them. “Once you’re done, head to the briefing station.” Colonel Wilson told them as they walked out. “Your first mission as a team is waiting for you.”
“Yes, sir.” both Firius and Glacia said to the colonel before walking onwards. The colonel closed the door behind them and took a step towards Commander Rowland’s desk, its owner now sitting behind it.
“Are you sure that this is a good idea?” Colonel Wilson asked the commander.
“Well, they’re going to end up learning about their partners eventually, no matter what agent we pair them with.” the commander responded. “Our data proves that closer teams are able to work to a higher standard than when solo or with unfamiliar alliances. I’m just trying to fast-track the system.”
“Maybe, but did you notice the data we gathered from sources that knew them?” the colonel explained further.
“You mean the unconfirmed thoughts of them possibly having a romantic interest in one another?” Commander Rowland asked, raising an eyebrow. “Are you basing your opposing opinions on mere school ground rumours?”
“If these rumours are true and, to put it one way…their flames were to re-kindle…” the colonel said, pausing to clear his throat, “…it could lead to distractions in their work. If one were to be injured or killed during a mission, it might bring the other to leave service mid-mission, or even worse, become unruly and reckless, maybe even go rogue. Can we really allow such possibili-”
“Victor, there’s no need to worry so much about this.” Commander Rowland stopped him, slowly rising from his chair. “If our little test run doesn’t work, then we will re-allocate them if it is deemed fully necessary.”
“Ceri, you’re not listening to me here.” The Colonel pleaded, taking another step towards the desk. “This is a huge risk that you could be landing yourself in, the sort of risks that you’re father only started to take after twelve years in the role of Commander, let alone four.”
“Yes, I know that you served under my father before me, but this is now my time.” Commander Rowland stated, no longer wishing to argue with the Colonel. “I know that my father always appreciated your input, but we need to push ourselves forward and try to fin d better ways of maintaining our record for success. As long as we remain one step ahead of the criminals and the terrorists out there while keeping within the government’s green spotlight, then we can call our advances and ideas a success, right?”
“…Very well.” Colonel Wilson answered, somewhat grudgingly. The Commander could sense his still apparent disapproval.
“Good.” Commander Rowland said, walking towards the door behind Colonel Wilson. “Now, I do believe it’s just about lunch time and I’ve heard that the canteen staff are serving curry today. Shall we?”

“How long has it been?” Firius asked Glacia as the two of them walked through the corridors.
“Must be about seven years. Christ, it’s been too long.” Glacia responded, still unable to stop smiling at this revelation.
“Only seven? Not long enough then.” Firius smirked, prompting Glacia to shove him in to a wall in humoured annoyance.
“You haven’t changed a bit Tony, still got the same old sense of humour.” Glacia said, laughing as Firius pulled himself off of the wall.
“You’ve not really changed either Hailey; you’re still freakishly strong.” Firius said, rubbing his shoulder with some slight pain.
“I know.” Glacia smiled, proud of her handiwork. She walked passed her partner and slapped him twice on the shoulder. Firius followed Glacia as they entered the weapons department.
“Ah, I’ve been expecting you two.” Said the technician that awaited them. “Your weapons are ready for collection.” The technician indicated to the weapons on the table, picking up a machine gun and giving it to Firius. “We have looked in to your behaviours while partaking in missions in the past and have created these weapons based on your styles. Agent Firius, we have noticed that you tend to use speed and agility more than most, so we modified this machine gun to suit this. The machine gun I’m sure you can figure the best use for, but the alternate fire I’m sure you’ll find interesting.”
“Uh-huh?” Firius said, slightly uninterested as he examined his new gun. On first inspection, it appeared to be a standard machine gun, though there was a noticeable compartment added to the top of the gun.
“The weapon is compatible with these specially designed explosives that are attached to the front and fired like a normal machine gun bullet. The weapon is designed to recognise when one of these mini-grenades are equipped and only fire one bullet that activates the launch of the grenade the next time you pull the trigger.” the technician explained, seeming proud with the results as he stood straight and raised his head.
“A machine gun with explosives?” Firius’ eyes widened as he continued to stare at his new weapon. “Damn, you guys know your stuff.”
“Quite…but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.” he said, ignoring Firius’ comment. “If you were to press that button on the back of the weapon…”
Upon prompting, Firius noticed the mentioned button and – feeling slightly excited – pressed it. The added compartment opened up as a blade swung outwards, the blade was sharpened on one side as it curved inwards slightly near the bottom of the blade, then back out before curving in to a point near the back of the metal. The blunt side of the blade was parallel with the top of the gun as the weapon’s handle swung upwards to match it. “This…” Firius tried to speak, speechless, “…this is something.”
“We added this little thing to allow you to attack at close range and end any confrontations quickly, just to keep with your style.” the technician explained as Firius pressed the button a second time, folding away the blade and returning the machine gun to normal. He took the gun’s holster from the table and attached it to his belt. Happy with his new toy, Firius’ attention turned to Glacia, who has her eye on the sniper rifle that lay before her.
“Ah, yes. This is your new weapon agent Glacia.” The technician stated, something the two of them had already guessed. “We have noticed that you have an exceptionally high accuracy rating, as well as preferring to assist and support other agents rather than lead the charge. With this, we decided that a sniper rifle was the best weapon for you, with a modified scope with increased zoom capabilities and armour piercing rounds as standard.”
“Wow. What else you got under the hood?” Glacia asked, so far unimpressed with the obvious statements about her weapon.
“Well, we have made this weapon the first to be compatible with a new kind of ammunition we have devised.” he explained while holding out one of the bullets, unimpressed with Glacia’s lack of enthusiasm. “These rounds give out both an EMP and static charge, so can nullify electrical equipment and stun human targets.”
“A long range taser then? That’s pretty cool.” Glacia admitted, though still hoping for something else as she picked up the rifle. “What about short range? This thing would be mostly useless then?”
“Well ahead of you.” he said, expecting such a response. “We have noted that you have a good level of strength, so we have added short-range defensive capabilities that should work to your advantage.”
Noticing a button similar to the one of Firius’ machine gun, Glacia pressed it to reveal four long spikes circling the end of the rifle.
“Hey, now that’s pretty sweet.” Glacia admitted, showing a small smile. Firius tried hard not to laugh, knowing that his partner was leading on the technician about being unimpressed the whole time.
“Right, now that you two have what you came here for…” he said, pausing to emphasise his annoyance at their attitudes, “I will leave you to test them at your own pace.” Before either of them could say anything further, the technician turned around and walked through a door marked ‘Restricted access only’. Glacia returned the spikes into the rifle, picked up an over-the-shoulder holster for the gun and put it on before joining Firius in leaving the department.

Not too long later, the two arrived at the briefing room. The two of them sat down in the dark room as Colonel Wilson became visible with a blast of light from a large screen behind him.
“You two are probably now thinking that with your new promotions, increased pay-checks and new toys that you’re pretty much unstoppable.” The colonel spoke, pacing back and forth along the width of the room. “Well let me tell you this. Complacency is what has killed many a free agent in the past on their first line of duty. We expect a hell of a lot more from you now, so when we think that the goons that we need to send people out to are the nastiest, most bloodthirsty scumbags that we have ever seen, we expect you to take down these freaks without any second thoughts. Understood?”
“Yes sir.” the two responded with enthusiasm that appeased to the general.
“Your first assignment is one that should be a little more easy for you than some bloodthirsty freak-show.” Colonel Wilson continued. “We want you to follow up on the data that one of you captured for us last week.”
“You’re welcome.” Firius said. Glacia couldn’t help but giggle slightly while Colonel Wilson waited for silence to return, slightly annoyed.
“From the data, we have found that of the many crime groups that exist within the city, most of them are actually linked by one lone group.”
“A simple crime group, huh?” Firius said, “Isn’t this something that the police should be dealing with?”
“Normally, yes.” Colonel Wilson responded, “But this time, their influence has spread wide enough to reach our level of action. You yourself reported that they had gotten hold of not only high-level weaponry, but also athletic and helicopter pilot training. These are no ordinary thugs we’re talking about.”
“So, this crime syndicate, any words on the location of the main group?” Glacia asked, steering the conversation back to the topic at hand.
“Negative.” Colonel Wilson responded. “That is what we want you to do sort out. Find out where they are hiding and take them out. How you go about this is up to you.”
“…Is that everything?” Firius questioned, ready to leave his seat.
“Affirmative.” Colonel Wilson stated. “Welcome to the Free Agent rank.”

« Last edited by Cervantes De Leon on Sep 1st 2010 »


By ozzo

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Yogi_Bear Posted: 20:49 Aug31 2010 Post ID: 2893681
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Very goodApplause

I'm excited to read the next chapter. It seems to me that you could have done something more with their weapons, i dunno, something to amplify elemental powers perhaps, but I like them. I'm also interested to see what Hailey's elemental power is.

Keep it up, I'll be looking for the new chapterThumbs Up
Thanks Craizen

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CurryMonster Posted: 03:22 Sep01 2010 Post ID: 2893772
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Well, you've certainly got Commander Rowland tuned to a fine point. I'm not usually as verbose as that, but otherwise, good effort.

Even without stroking my ego, you've done a pretty good job on this chapter. The usual grammatical cockups, but I won't bore you with those. I'm intrigued by their new weapons, and I'm glad you decided to give the sniper rifle a more practical altfire.

Oh yes, and:
"“You’re welcome.” Firius said. Glacia couldn’t help but giggle slightly while Commander Wilson waited for silence to return, slightly annoyed. "
Wilson's been promoted again, it seems.


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Oginig Posted: 14:15 Sep01 2010 Post ID: 2893935
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“Firius took a deep breath as the door swung open and walked in.”

The door walked in, did it? ;)

My only real criticism would be the way Firius keeps expecting his partner to be someone incompetent and annoying. If the Free Agent rank is so exclusive, why would he be expecting idiots? Shouldn’t he know that the other Free Agents have earned it just as much as he has? But oh well. It just irked me slightly.

Other than that, a few scattered typos and errors, but nothing serious. I’m not going to hunt for them.

“Firius began to wonder how long ago the portrait was, but valued his own life enough to refrain from asking.”

I just like the way your phrased this. Nice line.

“Now, I do believe it’s just about lunch time and I’ve heard that the canteen staff are serving curry today. Shall we?”

I lol’d.

Other than the minor complaints mentioned above, very nice work. Firius seems like a very cool character, and his new partner definitely seems interesting. The relationship between them should prove to be an intriguing aspect as they work together, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

I also have to comment on the weapons. Specifically how much they pwn. Machinegungrenadelaunchersword and Sniperrifletaseremplauncherwithspikes. Epic. =D Should be fun.

Anyway, nice work so far.
Sincerely,
Jaffa

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Cataclysm Posted: 07:19 Sep03 2010 Post ID: 2895022
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Though your previous work has been interesting I have to admit that you have upped your standards this time round. I will repeat that what I like the most is that your descriptions are not excessively detailed, but still give the reader a clear image of what is happening. Keeping things simple is probably what makes your fics the way they are, and were I the writer here I would not change that.

Like others I will comment on the weapons and give it to you that they are incredibly awesome. However, I found it slightly harder to imagine the transformation of both weapons into their close range forms than other process' in the first two chapters. I know myself that conversions of any kind can be a difficult affair when it comes to details, but I thought I would bring it up anyway. At first I thought the machine gun became a gunblade, and only after re-reading did I realise that it had become a complete sword. Even as I write this review, though, I am hoping that my second guess isn;t wrong, even after reading a third time that small portion.

Now then, with that out of the way I hope I haven't put you down in any way. Characters. Firius is just as fun to read about as I expected. The one liners are there, but usually when they are used it isn't to make him seem epic, I guess, usually because his lines are often followed by someone becoming rather annoyed or laughing. With that said I have to agree with Jaffa about his expectations regarding the partner, though. This fic seems to make the Free Agent Rank appear extremely exclusive, but even with that in mind Firius presumes his new partner could be someone useless. Then again, he is a character in this fic and not a reader that sees things from an outer perspective. Firius seems to have realistic thoughts that may not be the most rational, but are completely human, and maybe that is another reason I find him to be interesting.

Unfortuantely, I don't have much at all to say about Galcia. Perhaps after another chapter I can voice a coherent opinion. The only thing I can tell you now is that I am getting a bad feeling about her. Though that may just be my own obsession with making the one that seems the most innocent the real antagonist. Too much Scooby Doo as a child, maybe.

Besides all of this, I am looking forward to reading more. Just don't give up on this when things start to get interesting.
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Cervantes De Leon Posted: 18:47 Sep08 2010 Post ID: 2898890
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In reguards to Firius' attitude for his partner, I was just trying to show some aspect of him still being a bit arrogant, naive and inexperianced, though in retrospect it seems to have backfired a bit. Guess thats what happens when you go back to modify something several months after writing it.

Chapter 3 – The Mission Begins

Outside the main building of the ISA, Tony – now dressed in a more civilian outfit of a grey t-shirt, white trench coat and blue jeans with a grey backpack around his shoulder – stood waiting for Hailey to step out. Taking a quick look at his watch, Tony sighed as he leaned against his motorbike. Eventually, the door opened as Hailey – wearing a green, open-zipped hooded top, red t-shirt and black jeans – walked out towards him. “Finally decided to show up, huh?” Tony smirked, moving off of his motorbike.
“I figured I could take my time.” Hailey shrugged. “It’s not as if you were going to go off without me, right?”
“And what if I did?” Tony inquired mockingly.
“Then your *** would have been kicked so hard that you might as well sell that seat.” Hailey raised her eyebrow, trying to sound serious. The two eventually burst out laughing.
“So, want to head back to my place to start some work on this?” Tony asked, climbing on to his vehicle.
“Yeah, alright.” Hailey agreed. She quickly tied her holdall bag on to the back of the motorcycle before climbing on behind Tony, holding her arms around his stomach to keep balance. “You’re already enjoying this, aren’t you?” she teased, wrapping her arms around him and grabbing his shirt.
“Yeah, keep dreaming.” Tony responded as his motorcycle roared in to life. The two quickly sped off out of the car park and towards their destination.

A short trip later, Tony swung his bike down a small alleyway next to a block of apartments. “This is where you live?” Hailey asked, genuinely surprised. “On our salary, I thought you’d be able to afford somewhere...well, better off than a flat in this run-down neighbourhood.”
“Well, people would expect that, wouldn’t they?” Tony answered, dismounting his motorbike. “Most would think ‘Why would a field operative want to live in a place like this?’ right?”
Hailey, remembering Tony from the past, saw straight through his lies. “Your family...you’re still in debt, aren’t you?” she asked, now being serious.
Tony stared at Hailey silently for a moment, eventually looking away as he nodded. Realising that the reminder seemed to hurt him, Hailey sat on the bike for a few moments, feeling bad for her poor choice of words as she remembered what happened to Tony and his family when his father left his mother after emptying their bank accounts. She eventually climbed off, unfastened her bag and followed Tony. “Tony, I’m sorry.” she called out to him as she caught up.
“It’s alright.” Tony answered, stopping for a moment as she walked up beside him. “It’s not as bad as it used to be at least. Probably just be another year or so until we’ve fully cleared the debt we ran up.”
“That’s something, at least.” Hailey comforted him, placing her hand on his shoulder.
“I guess.” Tony said, his spirits lifting. “Thanks Hailey.”
Tony patted Hailey’s hand, continuing his walk up to his flat while she followed. After three flights of stairs, they came up to a door at the end of the 3rd floor corridor, numbered 309. “Just so you know, my flatmate doesn’t actually know that I’m an agent.” Tony explained to Hailey as he placed his key in to the lock. “You know, security reasons, stop word of identities spreading to enemies and such. So please don’t mention it to him, ok?”
“Sure.” Hailey shrugged, “It gives me something to blackmail you with.”
“Yeah? Well, I’m sure that I’ve got one or two to use on you.” Tony responded, unlocking and opening the door. The two stepped in to the small, cluttered sitting room; Hailey being reminded of her student days as she observed used beer cans, take-away boxes and many other items of litter of varying age lying about the room. She knew that Tony never was the cleanest friend she had when she was younger, but she was partly disgusted by the evidence of no improvement on his behalf. “Hey, Jason!” Tony called out, “You here?”
“Yeah, I’m here.” Jason responded, stepping out of the kitchen. “Seriously, there’s no need to yell.”
“Don’t you have work to get to Jason?” Tony asked, glancing at the clock on the wall in front of him.
“Yeah, just away head off now.” Jason answered, only then noticing Hailey behind Tony. “Oh, you’ve got a girl around.” Jason said, raising his hand up to Tony while Hailey looked the other way, prompting for a high-five.
“Not exactly for the reasons you’re thinking of.” Tony said under his breath, lowering Jason’s hand as he side-stepped so that the two could see one another properly. “Jason, this is Hailey. Hailey, Jason.”
The two greeted one another with a slight nod and small hellos. Jason had blondish hair that partly obscured his green eyes while not quite reaching his shoulders on the back. The red shirt that was a part of his work uniform was visible underneath an open grey jacket that was accompanied by a pair of similarly coloured trousers. As they let go of one another’s hands, Jason quickly turned away from as he noticed the time. “Love to stay and chat with you Hailey, but I’ve got work to do. You know how it is.”
“I feel for you there.” Hailey shrugged, hoping that the topic didn’t turn to her work before he left.
“Yeah, well, such is life.” Jason said before heading for the door, grabbing his keys from among the clutter on a small, wooden table in the middle of the room as he moved. “See you Tony.” He called out as he opened the door.
“Later Jason.” Tony called back as the door closed, leaving him and Hailey alone in the apartment. Tony dropped his bag on the floor and sat down on a nearby chair, relaxing for a moment before looking up at Hailey. “So…you want to make some start on things now?” Tony asked her, “Or do you want a drink first or something?”
“Nah, I’m alright.” Hailey responded. “I am feeling a bit sweaty though, mind if I take a shower?”
Tony’s eyes suddenly widened.
“I’ve got my own stuff, no need to worry about me using up all of your shower gel.”
“Um, sure, yeah. Down the corridor, door to your right.” he said, pointing to the corridor behind her.
“Thanks.” She said, closing her eyes and smiling. Picking up her bag, she headed to the bathroom while Tony dug out his laptop from underneath small pile of mostly emptied pizza boxes. As his laptop loaded up, Tony remembered a game the two of them used to play where they had to distract the other with imagery. Glancing over in the direction of the bathroom, he cursed under his breath; she had done it again.
As the laptop fully loaded itself, Tony took a disk drive that Colonel Wilson had given him and connected it to the laptop. Several windows popped up on the screen, each one displaying information about the different gangs in the area. “Five different established crime groups.” Tony began to talk to himself, “Each one practically owning its own section of the suburban area of the city. Typical gang warfare stuff.” He continued to read further in to each group, noticing similarities in the information. “Their recorded crimes in the past two months all seem very similar to one another.” Tony noticed, “There’s no way that a coincidence like this can run for all five naturally, this kingpin group is giving out orders as well as training them. Question is, are the leaders of this one of the five, or a separate one altogether?” As he scrolled through the information further, he noticed a map of New Kanden with a marked out area on it. “This must be the turf for one of these groups.” Tony realised, comparing the notes with the map. “The locations given are all within this area, seems a safe assumption that their hideout is somewhere about here.” Scrolling further, Tony found similar maps for the other groups. “Hold on…” Tony said, having an idea. Quickly loading up a map of the city, Tony checked the co-ordinates of each group, marking them off on the full map. Once they were all marked out, Tony noticed with a small sense of surprise that the five gang’s boundaries connected to one another. “I knew it.” Tony said to himself, “It’s obviously no coincidence that these groups were chosen. With a set-up like this, there must be some point that these groups have met up in the past.” Zooming in to a point in the centre of the boundaries, he scanned through the locations to find possible areas of interest, eventually finding a warehouse marked on the map as shut down. “Seems too obvious, but an abandoned warehouse seems to be the best bet.” Tony thought, noticing a pub opposite the building. “Perhaps I can get some eye witness reports from some of the locals.” he decided, digging out a pen and a piece of paper from next to him and writing down the address.
“Find anything?”
Tony glanced up at Hailey, her body wrapped up with a towel while holding a second around her hair, as she walked slowly over to him, looking at his laptop screen over his shoulder.
“I looked up the predicted areas of each of the groups and found that they all connect to one another with shared boundaries.” Tony explained to her. Hailey leaned in closer as she processed the information in her mind. “You thinking that this is their meet-up place?” she asked, curious about his reasoning for the marked warehouse.
“Seems clichéd, but also seems the most likely.” Tony reasoned, “Wide-open area, easily guarded from unwanted company. Seems like the best place to start checking.”
“If you say so.” Hailey shrugged, walking back to the bathroom while giving the towel on her head one last rub before removing it. “Just give me a few minutes and we can head off.”
“Alright.” Tony said, switching off his laptop while finding his eyes follow Hailey. Giving himself a quick double slap with both hands to his face, Tony found himself back to his senses.

Half an hour passed when Firius and Glacia arrived at their destination. The two dismounted Firius’ motorcycle and surveyed the area. The street was practically empty aside from the litter that formed a border around the pavements. “I can see why they’d choose a place like this.” Glacia commented. “It’s not exactly the sort of place you would want to look.”
“That’s probably the reason why the police have put off searching here for so long.” Firius added, “The map said that there was a pub nearby, I’m going to check in with the locals there and see if they’ve noticed anything.”
“Asking for help from drunks, have we hit that low already?” Glacia raised her eyebrow in suspicion of Firius’ idea.
“The bartender or the locals might know something.” Firius shrugged, “I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the thugs came by here for a drink on occasion either.”
“Yeah, well I’m going to inspect the building while you’re chumming it up in there. Don’t get too drunk or I’ve lost my lift out of here.” Glacia responded.
“I’m not going to drink and I won’t take long.” Firius rolled his eyes. “Are you that desperate to get out of here?”
“Well, I have got plans for tonight, so I would like to get this done somewhat quickly.” Glacia explained.
“Oh, and what sort of plans are they?” Firius inquired.
“A date.” Glacia responded, stunning Firius.
“Wait…a date?” Firius asked, feeling his ‘Jackpot!’ from that morning crumble to dust. His surprise seemed to confuse Glacia at first, her eyes suddenly widening as she realised something that she had forgotten to mention.
“…Oh! Sorry, I guess I should have said something about that earlier.” Glacia gasped, blushing at her mistake as she held her hands to her mouth.
“So…you have a boyfriend then?” Firius inquired, seeming almost dumbstruck at the idea of it.
“You know Michael down in Accounting? Yeah, we sort of hit it off recently, you could say.” Glacia explained, seeming rather shy about it as her arm began to almost instinctively scratch the back of her non-itchy neck.
“Oh…” Firius said, trying to think of how to turn the situation around. “Well...um...I guess...”
“It’s alright. You don’t need to say anything.” Glacia stopped him, knowing that he was trying to think of some way to make up for before.
Firius nodded, relieved that he didn’t have to embarrass himself by saying something potentially stupid.
“Well, I’m going to start on my end of the assignment. You probably should as well.” Glacia said, walking in the direction of the warehouse. “Let me know once you’re done in there, right?”
“Yeah, gotcha.” Firius nodded. Glacia nodded to confirm and ran for the warehouse. Firius turned around and walked towards the pub. “She went and got herself a boyfriend. Just figures that my luck would go that way. ” Firius grumbled as he opened the pub door.

Stepping in to the dark, smoke-filled pub, Firius looked around through the drinkers and card players for someone who showed a sense of intelligence. Eventually noticing the bartender working behind the bar, he moved towards him. The man stood there, unconcerned by the state of the men that surrounded the bar as he cleaned a glass while smoking the cigar that stuck out of his mouth. “You know that smoking isn’t only just bad for you, but illegal indoors, right?” Firius informed the man, leaning on the bar next to him.
“Bite me, fruitcake.” The bartender responded, putting the glass down as he took out his cigar to talk. “I don’t see you having the authority to tell me to stop.”
Firius pulled a small, wallet-like case out of his jacket pocket, opening it to show the man his new badge. “This little thing disagrees with you.” he told him.
“Ah, damnit.” The bartender muttered, putting out his cigar on an ashtray next to him. “What do you want?”
“Oh, not much.” Firius shrugged, “Except for some information about that warehouse across the street, if you have any.”
The bartender glanced about, wanting to see if anyone was watching them. Convinced that nobody was paying attention to them, he leaned in closer to Firius. “You see that group over there?” he whispered, nodding his head over in the direction of a table of guys in the far corner of the pub. “They’re part of a group that usually meets up here for a drink here every Thursday before heading over to the warehouse. I think they’re just a small group of the total number though.”
Firius made a quick glance in their direction, noticing that they had already begun to leave.
“Alright, thanks.” Firius said, patting the bartender on the shoulder before moving to try and intercept them. As he moved, he bumped in to one slightly tipsy customer that dropped his drink upon impact. Firius called out an apology as he moved past him, only for the man to grab his arm.
“Oi, you prick, you spilled mah drink!” he slurred, drunkenly trying to throw a punch at Firius. Firius ducked the punch, accidentally allowing him to punch another drunk just behind him. The second man retaliated, punching the first man squarely in the mouth. Staggering out of the way of the fight as more of the less-sober inhabitants of the pub joined in with the fight, Firius noticed that the group had made their escape.
“Shoot, they must be heading over to Hailey. I need to warn her. ” he realised, looking back at the pub fight while he leaned on the door. “…I’ll send someone else round to sort this out. ” he decided, stepping out.
“Glacia, this is Firius. There are several men heading over to the warehouse now. Watch yourself.” He called out over his earpiece.
“Yeah, I see them.” Glacia responded. “I found an old office room near the back that I’m currently holed up in. I think they’re getting closer, so I need some-” The signal suddenly cut out.
“Hello? Glacia? Come in, Glacia. Your signal cut out.” Firius called out, hoping that nothing had happened.
“…Radio silence. I need radio silence and backup.” Glacia eventually re-established the connection.
“Hey, you hear something?”
“We’ve got company, boys!”
“Damnit. I’ve been found out.” Glacia called out. “I need backup, now!”
“I’m on my way. Stay where you are.” Firius responded, breaking in to a run for the warehouse.


By ozzo

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CurryMonster Posted: 03:56 Sep09 2010 Post ID: 2899057
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Firius is such a dork. It's almost as though he's never seen a girl wearing only a towel before. I thought secret agents were supposed to get all the chicks.

I like how the narrative transitions from Tony and Hailey to Firius and Glacia depending on whether or not they're on-duty. It's a nice little touch. It also appears that your representation of the accommodation of two single men is spot-on, as is your depiction of a working-class pub. Someone's been doing his homework.

Nothing to whinge about this time, which is disappointing, so I'll just say I'm looking forward to the next one.


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Yogi_Bear Posted: 20:19 Sep09 2010 Post ID: 2899408
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CurryMonster said:Firius is such a dork. It's almost as though he's never seen a girl wearing only a towel before. I thought secret agents were supposed to get all the chicks.

This^

CurryMonster said:I like how the narrative transitions from Tony and Hailey to Firius and Glacia depending on whether or not they're on-duty. It's a nice little touch. It also appears that your representation of the accommodation of two single men is spot-on, as is your depiction of a working-class pub. Someone's been doing his homework.

And this^


I liked it, not much action this chapter, but looking forward to the next scene.
Thanks Craizen

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Oginig Posted: 11:12 Sep13 2010 Post ID: 2901076
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This Jason fellow seems like a stand-up guy, it has to be said. ;)

There are several things I like about this chapter. Curry mentioned one of them, that being the way you switch from Tony and Hailey to Firius and Glacia depending on the situation. It’s a unique touch, and it leaves room for some very interesting writing. I think it’s going to make character development a lot more interesting, because you’re showing that there is some difference between the way they are off duty as opposed to on duty. It gives you room to develop them both as agents and as human beings. Very interesting.

Speaking of character development, Firius really is coming along nicely. I’m loving the contrast between how cool he can be in action and how much of a doofus he can be in his personal life. He’s a very believable character. I think you’re doing a very good job writing about him.

I also like the fact that he managed to start a bar room brawl and be out of the way in the space of about ten seconds, and all without actually hitting anyone or being hit. I guess carnage follows Firius around. … Which his probably going to complicate his work as a Free Agent, but meh. I have a feeling it’s going to be fun to read about, and that’s what counts.

Overall, this was a really good chapter. Like Cataclysm said earlier, you were always a good writer, but I do feel like you’ve ‘stepped up your game,’ as it were, in this fic. I’m enjoying it very much, and looking forward to more of it. Keep up the good work. (Or, y’know, keep up the posting of the good work you’ve already done. Whatever.)
Sincerely,
Jaffa

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Cervantes De Leon Posted: 14:07 Sep18 2010 Post ID: 2904029
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Chapter 4 – Gang Warfare

“Well, I’m going to start on my end of the assignment.” Glacia told Firius as she began to walk away from him towards the warehouse. “You probably should as well.”
“Yeah, gotcha.” Firius responded, heading towards the pub behind them. Crossing the road, Glacia made a quick check to make sure there was no one around before pulling out her pistol to ensure it was loaded.
“I hope I didn’t sound like too much of a *****, just throwing that out without even thinking to mention it beforehand. ” she thought, having a quick look behind her, “He knows our situation, I’m sure he’ll understand. ” Glacia affirmed herself, clearing her head as she entered the wide-open entrance of the warehouse.
Moving slowly, she took her pistol out and held it low, just in case there was anybody present. The main space of the building was completely empty aside from a few boxes, all unmarked and stacked in to several different piles. Certain that the area was empty, Glacia moved up the small staircase to the upper offices, taking each step slowly as she held her gun pointing upwards next to her head. Reaching the top step, she ducked under the first office window, hearing the rustling of papers within. She approached the door slowly, grasping the handle as she rose to her feet. In one sudden movement, she opened the door wide open, swung around the door frame and aimed her gun at the occupant. The man – who was sorting papers in to a suitcase – made a sudden turn around and pulled out a pistol of his own. Before he could shoot, Glacia fired at the man, taking him down with a shot between the eyes. Stepping past the corpse, Glacia looked through the suitcase, examining some of the papers for any traces of information regarding a central group. “Nothing through first glance. ” she thought. “Seems to mostly be addressed to one of these groups from another. Probably best taking this back to the ISA to receive a proper check through. ”
Closing the suitcase, she walked towards the door, only to hear footsteps below. Closing the door, she glanced out of the window and noticed several men entering the warehouse below. “Just my luck, it had to be today, didn’t it? ” she rolled her eyes.
“Glacia, this is Firius.” Glacia’s earpiece buzzed in to life. “There are several men heading over to the warehouse now. Watch yourself.”
“Yeah, I see them.” she told him. “I found an old office room near the back that I’m currently holed up in. I think they’re getting closer, so I need some radio silence and assistance if you’re finished hanging about in the pub over there.” As she spoke, her earpiece began to crackle, signifying radio interference.
Hello? Glacia? Come in, Glacia. Your signal cut out.” Firius yelled through the earpiece.
“Radio silence! I need radio silence and backup.” Glacia called back, louder than she had intended.
“Hey, you hear something?” Glacia heard one of the thugs below.
“We’ve got company, boys!” Another said. Glacia glanced out of the window to see the group arming themselves with guns.
“Aw, ****. I’ve been found out.” Glacia said to Firius, “I need backup, now!”
“I’m on my way. Stay where you are.” Firius responded, her earpiece going dead afterwards.
“Like I’ve got much choice on that. ” Glacia cursed herself for getting herself trapped. Pulling out her sniper rifle from its back holster, she opened the door slightly as she loaded the first magazine clip in to the weapon. Rifle fully loaded, she sat down next to the slightly ajar door, back against the wall, and glanced out of the gap to try and point out the right moment. “I’ve got one shot to try and surprise them. After that, they’re going to know my position. I need to make the first one count. ” She assessed the situation. Deciding on her target, she quickly stood up, swung the door open, aimed her rifle and fired, flooring the gang member with a shot through the shoulder. “There she is!” yelled one of her victim’s allies, returning fire with several shots of his pistol. Glacia swung back in to the office as the shots flew past in to the far wall, glancing out to try and pinpoint the next opportunity.

“She’s taken the free shot. ” Firius observed from the edge of the warehouse entrance, “Time to test out my own weaponry. ”
He took his machine gun out of its holster with one hand while pulling out one of the weapon’s rockets. He loaded the rocket on to the front of the gun before pulling out the first ammo clip and loading it in. Ready to make his move, Firius swung around through the front entrance and pulled the trigger. The rocket shot away from the weapon with a small trail of smoke, flying past several of the men before making impact with a pile of boxes closest to the group. The rocket exploded, blowing back a considerable amount of its targets with both fire and burning wood. Several of the remaining thugs scrambled as the boxes lay alight, trying to count up the casualties of the attack. They turned around to see their attacker still standing at the entrance, machine gun held high.
“Hey, this is the NRA meeting place, right?” Firius joked, blowing away the smoke from his gun. Noticing the group aiming their weapons, Firius made a quick run towards a pile of boxes near the corner, hiding as the shots began to hit the wall behind him.
“You were waiting for them to start firing at me, weren’t you?” Glacia asked him through the earpiece.
“Well, you would have moaned if I didn’t let you take your free shot.” Firius reasoned, glancing out and firing several rounds, resulting in two men to collapse with holes through their lower bodies.
“How very thoughtful of you. I’ll remember that for the next time you’re surrounded.” Glacia said, aiming out and firing at her second target, flying straight through his waist.
“Don’t trouble yourself. My kindness doesn’t need any returns.” Firius grinned, making light thought of his current situation as he crouched down to avoid shots through the hole-riddled boxes. Spotting another box pile at the other end of the warehouse, he made a sudden dash for them taking the thugs by surprise as they tried, but failed, to shoot him. Ducking behind his new hiding spot, Firius ejected the current clip from his gun, reloading the weapon while he had the chance. Weapon loaded, he stood upright, leaning out slightly to assess the situation. There were five left that he could see, six including the one suddenly crippled by a sniper shot to the back of his left knee, two of them were climbing the stairs, three were occasionally popping up from behind a fallen pile of boxes. Seeing a chance, Firius fired a few rounds in to the lower body of one of the men, disarming and flooring him. Ducking back behind the boxes for a moment as bullets flew by, he quickly swung back out and fired a few bullets at the men on the stairs, piercing through the right foot of one of them. Returning to cover, Firius began to charge up a fireball within his free hand, waiting for the bullets to stop for a moment before stepping out and throwing at the men before him, igniting their cover. As they jumped out from the burning boxes, Firius pulled out his pistol and fired a round in to a leg each, flooring them in pain. As he aimed at the one remaining visible gang member, he was unaware of another member sneaking up behind him. The man suddenly grabbed Firius by the mouth, blocking out his air with one hand while brandishing a knife with the other. Managing to press the button on his machine gun with his thumb, Firius spun the newly emerged sword in his hand towards his attacker’s waist and stabbed him. The man staggered back in pain, freeing Firius. Firius returned his weapon to its gun state as he grabbed the man with his left hand, the sudden heat coming from the hand burning the man’s face. Firius let go of the man’s face before giving him a swift punch with his right, knocking him out with the clear sound of his jaw cracking. Looking up, he noticed that the last man standing had reached Glacia’s position, brandishing a knife in one hand and a pistol in the other. As the man swung around the doorway, Glacia jumped back from the swing of his knife as she activated the hidden blades of her rifle. She lunged forward before he could fire his pistol, stabbing him through the lower body with all four blades. In pain, the man swung the knife at Glacia, who dodged it before grabbing the handle of the weapon. As both of them held the knife, the temperature of Glacia’s hand suddenly dropped as the air surrounding it became visible. The frigid air moved downwards and surrounded the knife, suddenly freezing the blade. The man pulled his hand away from the knife, his hand now blistered with the cold, as Glacia dropped the knife, allowing it to smash as it hit the ground. Glacia withdrew the blades and quickly kicked the man in the chest, knocking him down and slamming his head on the railings behind him. Glacia walked out past the unconscious attacker and down the stairs towards her partner.

“Well, seems that our guess was right then.” Glacia shrugged, returning her weapon to its holder.
“Yeah, who’d have thought we would score this quickly?” Firius responded, holstering his own weapon. “I’ll check the wounded, you report to HQ about our findings.”
Glacia nodded, activating her earpiece. Firius walked towards some of the downed men, looking around at the mess that their scuffle had caused. Most had visible bullet wounds, each lying in pools of their own blood that in some cases had been enough to render them unconscious. “Well, for the most part it seems that they’ll be fine, maybe one or two with lasting reminders to not tango with us again.” Firius commented, inspecting one or two of the more serious injuries.
Something suddenly caught his eye.
Quickly glancing up, Firius noticed one man running out from a box pile and jumping out of a broken window. “Damn, we missed one.” Firius cursed, drawing his pistol and running for the window. Aiming out of it, he saw the man running for the front of the warehouse towards the cars that were now parked outside. “He’s trying to escape!” Firius yelled out to Glacia, who ran for the entrance as Firius jumped out of the window. The man, panicking, reached the closer of three vehicles and quickly jumped in. He turned on the ignition as fast as he could, just about to set the gear in to reverse as a sniper round shot through the bonnet, killing the engine. The man desperately tried to restart the engine, but to no avail. He quickly got out of the car, only to see two fireballs fly overhead, arcing downwards on to the other two cars. The resulting explosions caused the man to stagger back. As he got to his feet, Firius stopped next to him, pointing his pistol at the man’s head. “Nice try, but you’ve nowhere to run to now.” Firius told him as he whimpered in fear.
“Firius! Something’s wrong here.” Glacia called out as she ran towards him. “I can’t get through to HQ, the radio comms are just producing static.”
“Really?” Firius said, turning his head around to her, “I thought earlier was just a one-off.”
Firius felt his gun holding hand being shoved out of the way, instinctively firing a round at the car’s tires. Firius turned around to see the man running, dodging past a fence before he could fire. “Crud, can’t believe I let him go.” Firius grunted. “I’ll chase him, you find out the source of the radio interference. There’s bound to be something here messing it up.”
“I’m on it.” Glacia nodded as Firius sprinted after the man.

“Damn, he’s pretty fast. ” Firius thought as he chased the man, following him as he dodged in to arather dark alleyway. His heart began to race as he brought his pace up, charging through the rubbish-littered street with his target in view before him. The man made a right turn in to another alley, which Firius followed him in to. Noticing a fence at the end of the alley, Firius jumped on top of it, spying his target having already done so. Perched on the fence, Firius lobbed a fireball over the man’s head, hitting the ground before the man, giving him enough of a shock to stop him in his tracks. His path blocked, the man looked around for a new means of escape, his panic increasing as his pursuer jumped down off of the fence. “Alright, let’s try this again.” Firius said, drawing his pistol and aiming it with both hands. “Lay down on the ground and put your hands on your head.”
Before the man could do so, two small cylinders landed between the two, instantly spraying out large amounts of smoke that obstructed Firius’ view. “Smoke grenades? He’s got backup?” Firius coughed as he tried to fan the smoke away with his right, pistol holding gun while covering his mouth with his left. As the smoke faded, the man – and the fire – had disappeared. Glancing up, he saw the runaway climbing up a fire ladder on the building to his right. “Not again…” Firius sighed, jumping up on to the ladder and resuming the chase. As he reached the top, Firius watched as the man leaped off the other side of the building. “What the hell?” Firius ran towards the jump spot, only to see the man on the roof of the next, slightly shorter building. Firius jumped down after the man, rolling as he landed, as the man leaped over to the next building. Getting to his feet, the agent continued to follow the gang thug, jumping building after building as the man tried to escape. The man took a quick look back at the agent, seeing him a building behind him. Looking forward again, he stopped at the edge of the roof he was on, shocked to see a road a fair distance below with no other buildings close enough to jump to. He turned around to see Firus landing before him. “End of the line, by the looks of it.” He said, pointing his pistol in the air. Firius knew that the man was unarmed, so his only means of escape here would be for the guy to try and physically attack him. Even if he was in a visible state of panic, to charge at an armed man was bordering suicidal. “He’s not that stupid, is he? ” Firius thought.
The man clenched his right hand in to a fist and charged at Firius, screaming at the top of his lungs. Firius sighed, waiting a moment as the man got closer before firing a shot in to his left leg, causing a spray of blood from below his kneecap as he fell to the ground in pain.
“…Done yet?” Firius asked, standing over the man while pointing his pistol back in to the air.
“S…son of a *****…” he spat out, trying to ignore the pain. “Who the hell are you anyway?”
“Well, considering your current situation, as well as my current predicament, I could give you two different answers to that question.” Firius told him. “If you’re willing to help me out here and spill your guts about your buddies and their plans, then I’ll tell you that I’m your best friend. If you’re not willing to help out things, then it looks like I’m going to be your worst nightmare.”
“You shoot me in the leg and you expect me to talk?” he almost laughed; the pain in his leg the only thing that was keeping him from doing so. “Even if I were to tell you everything, do you really think you could do anything about it?”
“Well, you asked for it. I hoped we could avoid any more bloodshed.” Firius shrugged, aiming his pistol at the man’s uninjured leg.
“Go on then.” he said, now grinning at his attacker. “Shoot me, kill me even. Whatever you do to me, just what is it that you accomplish? Eh, Firius?”
Firius lowered his gun for a moment, stunned by the man’s knowledge of his codename. “How do you know that?” he asked, the humour from before gone from his voice as his pistol aimed at the man’s forehead.
“So slow to catch on, aren’t you?” he sniggered, “You and your organisation, your other free agents, all this time and you’ve never noticed it. Funny how one lone being can change things, or even corrupt things.”
“A double agent? How did that go undetected?! ” Firius realised, activating his earpiece with his free hand. “Control, this is Firius. I need contact with a Colonel immediately. This is top priority information.”
“Affirmative Firius, we will patch you through momentarily.” the operator confirmed.
“You think that tattling on us at this stage is enough to stop us?” the man continued to laugh. “It’s too late, we know all about your group. How to override the security of your data archives, how to gain remote operation of your vehicular weaponry, if it’s important to you people, we can find out about it and destroy it.”
“You *******.” Firius kicked the man hard in his face, causing a shot of blood to fly out of his mouth as he rolled along the roof. “Just what is it you’re planning, who do you answer to?”
“You still think I’m going to answer you?” he smirked, spitting out more blood. “Think again, Tony.”
“What the- ” Firius was shocked. Panicking and unsure of what to do, Firius picked up the man by the collar of his shirt and dragged him to the roof edge, holding him out as far as his arm could stretch.
“Let’s try this one more time.” Firius said, pointing the pistol at point blank range between the eyes. “First off, how do you know my real name? Only very select people know such information, and I doubt anyone would have gotten away with this for as long as it would take to learn such data.”
“Like I said, just one man.” he laughed. “You still have no idea of the scale of things. What will you do soldier? Stand or die?”
“Damnit, he really isn’t going to talk. ” Firius realised, calming down as he assessed the situation. “I gave you enough warnings, so this really is your own doing.” He turning away from the roof edge and threw the man down to the ground, letting him turn to face him before firing a bullet towards his head. The sudden jolt of his body hit him, followed by stillness.
“Looks like he mentally exhausted himself trying to play those mind games with me while ignoring the pain of his injury. ” Firius noted, observing the unconscious man and the slight dent in the roof near his head from where he had aimed his gun. “He’s most likely worth more to us alive. ” he reluctantly decided.

“Firius? This is Colonel Wilson here. What have you got for us?” Firius’ earpiece buzzed.
“We have just raided a suspected meeting venue of the gangs, which we confirmed as true.” Firius explained. “We have the majority of them alive, though one of them did reveal some…disturbing facts.”
“Such as…?”
“We might have a double agent among our ranks.” Firius stated, “I don’t know who, but one of them mentioned something about one member being able to corrupt our whole organisation, being able to find out anything within our databases and take remote operation of our vehicles.”
“Are you absolutely sure about this?” the Colonel questioned, his voice evidently showing concern.”
“Yes sir. He was somehow able to obtain knowledge of not just my codename, but my real name too.” Firius mentioned, looking down at the unconscious body. “That is something I have disclosed to almost nobody within the ISA myself, so it would have to have been something they took off of my stored records.”
“Hmm, that is definitely some unsettling news.” Colonel Wilson accepted, “We’ll look in to it. Round up your captured men, we’ll send round some of our unregistered vans to pick them up.”
“You sure that’s safe?”
“They’re unregistered within the organisation for a reason, son.”
“Alright then, Firius out.” he signed off, deactivating his ear piece. Holstering his gun, he knelt down to pick up his victim just as his earpiece crackled back to life.
“Firius, can you hear me?”
“Glacia? Everything good on your end?”
“Looks that way. I found the radio jammer, something left lying in the back of someone’s car. It’s odd though, as something of this level of low-tech stuff normally has a very limited range and needs to be programmed to the same frequency as those that you want to block out.”
“You mean that they managed to find out our radio frequency?” Firius asked, slowly realising the links that were appearing before him.
“Yeah. This doesn’t look good Firius, for someone to know this, they would have to-”
“Have access to our information.” Firius made the link. The man who set up the radio jammer was also their double agent.
“Well…yeah. How did you…”
“The guy I was pursuing told me that we have a worm among us.” I told her. “Seems that we got more than we bargained for with this assignment.”
“Oh my god…” she said, concern noticeable within her voice. Firius found himself agreeing with her concern; an assignment like this was well over their heads. “Did you catch the guy?” she asked.
“Yeah, I’m just away to drag him back now. Round up the rest of the party outside, their transport should be there shortly.”
“Alright, don’t be too long.” Glacia confirmed. “Glacia out.”
As his earpiece went dead again, Firius picked up the man by his shoulders and dragged him to the doorway for the building’s staircase. As he did so, he felt his thoughts trying to piece the strings of the mission so far together. “A radio frequency jammer in a car like that, for them to set up something like this so quickly that we didn’t notice, as well as in such a small area that I’m out of its range when just 2 streets away…they must have known we were coming. ”
“The question is…how? ”


By ozzo

Mission debriefing: Now available
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CurryMonster Posted: 14:23 Sep18 2010 Post ID: 2904032
CurryMonster
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The plot thickens. I feel compelled to speculate the obvious angle before Jaffa arrives and steals it, so: Michael from Accounting is the traitor. He's extorting information out of Glacia, though whether or not she realises he's using it against the organisation remains to be seen.

Now that I'm finished being ridiculous, this was a thoroughly enjoyable and action-packed chapter, of the variety that I've come to expect from your work. Firius is still utterly convinced that he's being played by Bruce Willis, which is always good, and Glacia provides a good foil for his witty banter. Although if I was interrogating that henchman, I'd have stamped on his gunshot wound.


The Undying Night Book 1: Fiendlord. GET IT HERE.
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Cervantes De Leon Posted: 19:18 Sep27 2010 Post ID: 2909188
Cervantes De Leon
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Chapter 5 – Cyborg

“Any word from him yet?”
Colonel Wilson glanced over to Firius as he approached holding two cups of coffee. Taking one of the cups, he took a quick sip before answering.
“Not a peep.” he muttered. “They’re pretty stubborn for your average grunts. Whoever’s trained them knows their stuff.”
“That’s just what we need.” Firius said, taking a small mouthful of his coffee. “Someone worth his salt. This should be fun.”
“That’s the thing, Firius.” the colonel said, turning to face him. “After we heard your report, we discussed the situation and decided that this has grown in to a case beyond your current levels.”
“So you’re throwing myself and Glacia off the case?” Firius asked. While expecting the decision, he was still annoyed that it had been made.
“I’m afraid so. Sorry to be the one that has to inform you of this.” he said, turning back to the interrogation room window. “We will re-assign you two to your assessment mission on a later date.”
“Until then we just get to twiddle our thumbs and wait for some little corner shop robbery to happen, right?” Firius questioned, rolling his eyes.
“Unfortunately, yes.” the colonel answered.
Firius sighed. Even with the work that the two of them had started on the assignment, he had to accept that missions were re-assigned like this all the time. “I guess I’m not needed here anymore then.” Firius said, pulling out his mobile phone. “I’ll just go contact Glacia about this and get out of your way.”
“Do you think that you can break your way out of things that easily?”
The two of them turned their attention to the gang member within the interrogation booth. He stood up and stared with a blank expression at the two of them, despite being at the other side of one-way glass and in a soundproof room. “You, Firius, you have already brought yourself in to the underbelly of our proceedings.” he said, his eyes slowly moved towards him. “Now that you and Glacia have gotten involved, you cannot break out.”
“The hell?” colonel Wilson said, activating the wall-mounted intercom. “Restrain the criminal, now!” He called out to the interviewer and the two guards within the room. The guards walked towards the man and held him down in to his chair. “You alright?” he asked Firius, who was visibly concerned.
“I’m fine. Just hoping that whoever’s leaking this information out gets what he deserves.” Firius answered, leaning against the window. “Not just for my sake. I’m sure Glacia’s rather freaked out by this too.”
“Understandably.” the colonel responded, “It’s for the best that we allow this case to be concluded before the two of you return to action. An info leak like this could seriously compromise your abilities in the field.”
The two of them suddenly heard fighting through the speakers of the room, looking in to see the two guards unconscious at either side of the criminal. He picked up his chair and threw it at the interviewer, smashing as it hit the man’s face and knocking him out. Throwing the table that stood in front of him out of the way, he took a few steps towards Colonel Wilson and Firius, stopping motionlessly in front of the window. He smiled as the lights within the room suddenly went out, his eyes illuminating within the pitch black room.
“****, he’s a cyborg!” Firius exclaimed, the two of them putting down their coffee cups and drawing their pistols, aiming at the eyes within the window.
“I believe they refer to that as discrimination.” The cyborg responded, “I still have the mind of a human, after all.”
“Cyborg, human, unknown, whatever. Just what is it that you’ve done?” Firius stated.
“What do you think I have been doing while waiting here?” he spoke. “I have been hacking my way in to your power systems, using the codes that we have acquired through your central processors. I have also disabled the electrical locking override systems for this room, you cannot stop me.”
“How the hell did you gain access this information?” the Colonel asked, angered. “The codes are changed every thirty minutes; there is no way you could have acquired the codes without somebody noticing.”
“Our sources are up to date; we can keep track of the changes.” He responded.
“Why are you doing this?” Firius asked, “What is it that you want?”
The cyborg merely laughed. “Who says we necessarily want anything?” he said.
“What?”
“Chaos and carnage doesn’t necessarily mean we want something that would make us stop.” He continued, “We are not just a baby that is crying for its pacifier. We are more than a dog scratching on the door until it gets to go for a walk. We are more than just common criminals who kidnap people in exchange for money. We do what we do because we feel that it is right. We are merely expressing ourselves, do you see fault in that?”
Firius was stunned by the man’s words. Is this really what they were planning? Did they really want to kill thousands of people just for fun? Firius was sickened by the thoughts, but he knew he had to carry on questioning.
“If that really is all you want, they what do you want specifically with me?” he asked.
“How the hell should I know?” the cyborg’s eyes rolled, “All I can calculate is that you attempted to impede on our proceedings, so you’re wanted as a potential threat.”
A thought sprung to Firius’ mind.
“If that’s the case, then why haven’t you killed me yet?”
“What the hell are you doing?” Colonel Wilson muttered to him quietly.
“You say you’ve hacked in to the power systems, so the defence systems shouldn’t be a problem for you.” Firius taunted, ignoring the colonel’s warnings. “There are two security-based mounted camera guns at either side of me. They’re normally meant to shoot out the kneecaps of anyone who’s registered as dangerous and trying to escape, but I’m sure a cyborg hacker can easily re-program then to kill.”
“Are you honestly wishing to throw your life away?” the man questioned.
“Who says I’m throwing it away?” Firius responded. “If I’m a potential threat to your plans, then it would make sense for you to kill me; help your plans along; maybe even gain some respect and a promotion.”
The two of them stared at one of them intently as the Colonel could only watch on. The cyborg searched through the data files within its head, finding the operation files for the camera turrets Firius mentioned.
“Do it then. Shoot me and complete your assignment.” Firius taunted him again.
The man continued to scan through the camera turret files, finding the lines of code that he would need to change to kill Firius. He stared at his target for a few moments, grunting as he grudgingly closed the files.
“You can’t, can you?” Firius said. “You have reasons for wanting me alive; otherwise you would have killed me the first chance you got.”
“Like I said, I don’t know why you’re wanted alive.” the cyborg said, “I just know we are to exploit you, but not kill you.”
“That does it.” Colonel Wilson said, firing several shots at the glass to weaken it before jumping through the window. Smashing through the glass with his shoulder, the Colonel shoved the criminal to the ground, crushing his cybotic neck. Firius stared at the Colonel with a blank expression, surprised at the brutality of the man’s sudden attack. “Heh, still got it.” The Colonel said while the cyborg lay still. His control connections to the body were damaged by the attack, rendering his body unuseable, but his mind and head still living and operational.
“I take it this isn’t your first time.” Firius stated the obvious while holstering his pistol.
“Humans with robotic prosthetics – be it just parts or the full works – have been popping up worldwide for the past ten to fifteen years.” the Colonel explained. “I’ve encountered one or two in my time. The best trick is to take out their body controls with an attack to the neck, as in most cases the head and body are protected with metals highly resistant to bullet fire. That and they can turn off their sense of feeling, making them immune to pain. They’re tough bastards, that’s for sure.”
“Thanks for the words of wisdom, but I already knew about the designs of cyber-enhanced humans.” Firius said, leaning on the broken windowsill.
“Any training is better than no training, you’re still a rookie at these big scale missions.” the Colonel told him sternly, not fully accepting him shrugging off his advice.
“Aw, come on. At least give me some credit for squeezing some…disturbing information out of him.” Firius said.
“I suppose so.” Colonel Wilson responded. “That took some guts putting your life on the line there.”
“What can I say? I knew my hunch was right.” Firius shrugged.
“Guts and stupidity.”
“Oh.”
“Fools. You really think this is the time to stand about idly chatting?” The man spoke.
“Do you ever give up?” Firius asked it, “Seriously, you’re body has shut down. You should probably focus more on keeping your brain functioning after that sort of trauma than spewing out rubbish like that.”
“You still don’t think I speak the truth?” he questioned, chuckling slightly to himself. “I don’t know what you’re needed for, but I know what the ISA is needed for.”
“And what’s that exactly?” the Colonel asked, pointing his pistol at the man’s head.
“Your weaponry, your vehicles, your ammunition. We’re using your equipment to terrorise the city.” The man declared, shocking both Colonel Wilson and Firius. Before either of them could say anything further, the sirens that surrounded them began to blare.
“Warning. Unauthorised access to the tank depots and aircraft hangars. ” The intercoms repeated.
“No way. They’re actually serious!” Firius was shocked.
“Heh. Now you believe me. About time.” He said. “Think about it now. If they want to destroy the reputation of this oh-so-great institution of yours while also keeping an eye on you and your ally…”
Firius thought for a few seconds, before realising what he meant. Without a word he made a sudden run for the exit.
“Firius!” Colonel Wilson called out, but got no response. Cursing to himself, he activated his earpiece and called for medical and technical teams.

Hailey sat on the couch in the flat that she shared with Michael, huddled next to her boyfriend as the lights on the television flickered before her. She had lost all track of what was happening on the screen, only caring about being with Michael. She looked about the dark room, first looking out at the night sky as it was dotted with the lights of the city, then to the clock that she could just make out as displaying eleven o’clock. She sighed contently and burrowed her head in to Michael’s chest.
“Something on your mind?” he asked.
“No, not right now.” She responded, looking up in to his eyes. “Even with a day as stressful as this, I always feel that I can just lay here with you and let those troubles ease away.”
“That’s sweet of you, darling.” He smiled, kissing her on the forehead. She couldn’t help but giggle as she felt the kiss on her head.
“It’s moments like this that I never wish to see end.” she said, burying her head further in to Michael’s chest.
Hailey’s mobile phone suddenly buzzed to life as a column of light shot out from the screen.
“I just had to open my mouth, didn’t I?” Hailey grumbled, sitting up as she grabbed her phone. Seeing the caller as Tony, she stood up, straightened out Michael’s shirt that she wore over her underwear and moved in to the kitchen. “What is it?” she answered her phone, annoyed at the mood-kill that Tony had performed.
“And hello to you too, little miss sunshine.” Tony responded, slightly out of breath. “I know you probably want to get it on with your man about now, but we have a problem here.”
“Can’t it wait?” She asked.
“Yeah, sure, we can wait until the morning after…when half the city is destroyed by our own hacked vehicles!”
“What?” she was shocked, her reaction to the news had brought Michael to the door. “I never thought they would actually be able to do that.”
“Yeah, we thought they were just bluffing too. They want to destroy the city and take down the reputation of the ISA, yet for some reason, they want the two of us separately. I think part of their assault tonight involves us somehow. ”
“Did they say what for?”
“No idea, but they didn’t kill me when they had the chance, so they obviously want us for something. Could be capture, frame, throw a party, I don’t know what exactly.”
“So what’s the order then?” Hailey sighed, accepting that her personal plans had to be put on hold.
“We don’t have one. We’re officially off the case.”
“…What?”
“Yeah, they think we’re not advanced enough to handle a case like this.”
“So, what the hell are you planning?”
“They want us for some reason. I’m going to find out what. I’m sure you’d like to know as well, right?”
“Yeah.” Hailey admitted. This was more important than what she originally planned for the night.
“Get yourself ready, I’ll be round to pick you up.” Tony said, followed by the roar of his motorcycle. “Watch yourself, they might already be after us.”
“Alright.” Haley said, hanging up her phone. She quickly turned around and walked past Michael out of the kitchen.
“What was that all about?” he asked as she walked towards their bedroom, throwing off her shirt as she entered.
“Something big is happening.” She answered, searching through drawers for some clothes. “But, as much as it pains me to say this, it’s bigger than the two of us right now.”
“Oh…well, I guess work is more important right now.” Michael said.
“I guess so.” Hailey said, fastening her bra on. “Might be best if you find somewhere else to stay tonight. Tony thinks that they might try and find us, so it’s not safe here.”
“What about you?” he asked, “Are you going to be alright?”
“You know me.” She responded, now fully dressed. “Body of a princess, spirit of a fighter.”
“And quite the ego to boot.” Michael added, resulting in a playful shove in to the wall behind him from Hailey. The two laughed a little as Hailey hugged her boyfriend. “Take care of yourself out there, alright?”
“Will do.” She said, kissing Michael before picking up her weaponry and heading for the door. Opening the door, she quickly glanced back at Michael before walking out.

“What’s the status on our targeted vehicles?”
“We have acquired the control of five turret-mounted vehicles and three armed helicopters, sir.”
“Excellent. What about our two targets?”
“We have spotted one of them on security camera leaving the premises. He was spotted on his mobile phone, presumably contacting his comrade.”
“Have you hacked in to his phone and retrieved the call yet?”
“Affirmative. Uploading the call now, sir.”
The man listened to the conversation, smirking at both how much they knew, yet at the same time didn’t fully understand.
“Excellent work.” he said, “Inform that bounty hunter that responded to our little black-market dealings and send him towards our target location.”
“Jacob has already been informed and is heading out to board one of the helicopters, sir.”
“Good work.” he finished, ending the call. Spinning his chair round towards the multiple computer screens that lit the dark room, he couldn’t help but grin at his work.
“Soon, this city will crumble to dust. Soon…very soon.”


By ozzo

Mission debriefing: Now available
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