I woke up being dragged across a stone floor. My head bobing back and forth my vision blurred, I was still drunk. I tryed to remember the night before, but couldn't my head hurt too much, I groaned.
"Shut up" a girly voice said above me and I looked up. She was a strangely familiar in her early with high cheek bones and long black hair tied into a bun. She had stunning blue eyes and her olive skin looked almost white against my chocolate brown skin.
"What you doing later sweetie, oh I know me." I said as she forced my head to hit a brick that was sticking out. She snickered and opened a cell to my right and threw me in. I sat up, still groggy, I looked ahead of me just in time to see the gate close. The women, who I still couldn't quite place, looked at me with a smug smile. She was wearing a black jumpsuit with what looked like titanium plates over her chest, sholders, and forearms. Her neck, legs and biceps were protected with hard leather plates.
"Oh I like a confident women" I start to say drunkly "but a smug women is just ugly" her smile began to fade turning into an angry frown. She spat in the cage, "cute scarf for such a cute man" she said before leaving me, most likely so I couldn't insult her a second time. But one thing didn't make sense, a scarf? I looked down the 'scarf' as she put it was my ticket out of here. I began to poke the scarf, "hey get up" I tell her as she began to wake up and move into my lap.
She was a four year old red fox, the runt of her litter she was only six feet from head to toe and her tail was four feet in length. "Red" I tell her as I look for my weapons, they had taken them, "go find my weapons and a way out of here, I need to get over this hangover". Red gave a cute little yawn and stretched she gave me a look that seemed to say "you got it boss" at lease that's want I thought she said. And she scampered off. I got into a meditative sitting position. I then began to manipulate my body's energy and dissipate the hangover. The cell began to ring with a light soothing tone from my voice, this was gong to take a while.
Generally, it was not in the best interests of agents of HU to get caught. Generally, even if caught, said hypothetical agent would have escaped quite a while ago while still being transported, or not at all. Generally, I did not often find myself in a deep, dark, dank cell in the very roots of quite a large fortress.
Today was not a general day.
I had been assigned to taking down a group that presented a minor threat to HU here on this world, no doubt at the insistence of some member of my family. They had regarded it as a mission where the necessity of assets was low, and therefore provided me with the usual basic survival equipment, of which I had several hundred pounds of already stashed away. Unfortunately for me, however, the fortress headquarters of this organization proved just about invulnerable; the walls were too high to scale without a running start, which there was not enough room to build up, I couldn't drop down behind them due to the fortress cleverly being built underneath a huge overhang of very solid stone, all the external steam vents and air intakes were either far too narrow or just plain small for me to fit into, and the source of water was underground.
So, instead of forcing or finagling my way inside, I simply got caught. Easy as pie.
The cell itself wasn't actually all that bad; it was a bit cool, owing to being so far underground, but steam pipes in the walls heated the internal rooms to a reasonable temperature, and the bed was actually a lint-stuffed mattress; not bad, as far as prisons go, and it was almost too bad that I had to move on. After the cursory examination of my surroundings, during which appreciative bed-patting may or may not have occurred, I turned to examine the interior of the locking mechanism purposed to holding the door closed against the wishes of the individual on this side of it, finding the lock to be a simple two-tumbler affair, which would be easy enough to pick or disable, depending on how much attention I was willing to draw.
"Well, given the choice..." I muttered to myself, then drew an SR-11, firing a single 11x19mm round through the lock, shattering it. The pieces dropped away, the door swinging inward on it’s own as the bolt separated itself from the rest and fell to the floor. Based on the sudden influx of shouting mere seconds after destroying the lock, I had attracted the attention of potentially the entire base; which, to be fair, was in fact my original goal. Quickly, I retrieved a second SP-11 from my pocket dimension and stepped out into the hallway.
Chi, the fundamental energy that made up every living being. All life has the potential to manipulate it, and I am such a person. It came to me as easy as breathing, effortless yet malleable. I had been meditating for five minutes before Red came back. I was focusing my chi to my liver to quickly process the alcohol, five minutes is all I needed.
Red now in her human form brought back all my weapons and my leather rucksack. Sometime over the years I had Red she had developed the ability to use Chi. She could manipulate her body and turn into a 4'0" human women. She could also manipulate the light an create illusions. She pulled out keys and opened the door at that moment I heard a loud bang from the top floor.
I threw my energy upward to sense what was happening on the upper level. As I did Red turned back into a fox and slid into the outside pocket of my hooded sleeveless leather kneecoat. I could sense a cluster of ten low powers men and women heading towards one man of power that rivaled mine then I was cut off, something or someone was jamming me.
I sighed and stood up, reattached my kukuri the base of my waist so it faced sideways but hidden underneath my coat. In the inside pockets I placed my nunchucks and tanfas. I slid my rucksack over my sholders and walked out of the cell.
"Stop!" Said a man behind me, and I turned to see a boy no older than 16 pointing a revolver towards me. He was only 3 feet from me I could easily close the distance, but I decided to play it out. I held up my hands in a surrendering position, and said " put it down kid I don't want to hurt you".
The hallway was undecorated, as most prison hallways were, but I had no issues with that in particular; after all, neither I, nor the guards moving in on me, had come to appreciate the aesthetic effect of what passed for modern decor here.
I noted that their uniforms appeared to be composed of solid plate armor, but only two of them wore helmets and the rest seemed to have strapped their respective pieces of armor on in quite the rush. In a way, I was impressed at the battle-readiness of guards who were capable of these kinds of response times, but, unfortunately for them, that didn't mean that I wouldn't have to put them down, at least for now. I quickly got off a round, hitting the leg of the guard in the lead, who crumpled to the floor and tripped the woman directly behind him, who, in turn, seemed to be struggling with an adjustment buckle and wasn't paying due attention. The third quickly leaped over the two on the floor, only to be knocked out of the air by a hit to his shoulder.
The rest, seven by my count, quickly ducked behind door frames and down branching passageways, drawing revolvers and clearly set on forcing an extended firefight in order to pin me down long enough for reinforcements to arrive. As of now, I was unwilling to take the hits necessary to rush their position or engage in a drawn-out fight, so I ducked into a stairwell a few doors down. I paused a moment, blind-firing a few rounds down the hallway to keep their heads down, before I heard footsteps descending from upper levels. As a stairwell was not the most tactically sound place to engage in a gunfight, and I had no desire to reveal the extent of my abilities to my enemy just yet, I went down, only to be halted at the next floor by the sounds of yet more feet echoing upwards. Quickly, I ducked through the landing door, carefully, and silently, closing it; hopefully, the two forces on the stairwell would meet one level up, then engage their allies upstairs, one side assuming that the force in the stairwell was me plus reinforcements, while the ones on the stairwell assumed the guards in the hallway were an invading hostile force.
I took a breath in, then turned around, intending to find a way to the armory, and it's ample stocks of very explosive gunpowder.
"Get back in the cage" he said angrily and gestured with the gun, a fatal mistake. With my left leg I kicked the gun into the empty cell before leaving his hand a loud kaboom Eccoed in the hallway. In the split moment the gun left his hand my left foot touched back down to the ground and I came back up to the underside of his chin with my right leg. His head hit the low ceiling with a confirming thud. His body hit the floor, lifeless.
I sighed again, such a waist of life. I steped over his body and begin to sneak up the stairs. As I reached the top I could hear a guard talking. "He's escaped sir" said a strangely familiar feminine voice "no I don't think he's here to help chain escape" she paused "he didn't have any weapons on him" another pause, "we don't know how he smuggled a gun in". Was there someone else? I asked my self I decided to try to take her.
I sneaked up behind her as she placed a weird device on the wall she quickly turned around and kicked me out a window. I quickly correct myself in mid air and performed a double back flip and landed on my feet and slid. She jumped out of the window as well landed in a kneel and stand up. She cracked her knuckles and neck. I smiled, "your good, very good, I like my women feisty, I'm going to enjoy this" I said before realizing it was the same women who threw me in the cell.
She charged, her previous sly smile was missing. Instead her previous beautiful features were contorted in anger, I also charged. I kicked with a round house, she, in her anger, tryed to block but it failed. My kick went through her defense, hitting her in the face. She recoiled and came back with a front hook, she was faster than I expected. I responded buy punching her twice, our fists meet with each blow. Unfortunately for her I have ceramic plates on my nuckles. She steped back and kicked me in the sternum. I caught her foot and judo flipped her onto the dirt she caught herself and back filled away. I charged a second time I forced my chi into my legs and as she landed on her feet I pulled her head down into my knee. She tryed to recover but she was not fast enough, I deliver another round house kick. This time to her side. She crumble to the floor and swept me off my feet tripping me backward. I recover by hand springing forward double stomp kicking her in her stomach. She reaped back and rolled trying desperately to get away. She draws a pistol and points it at me. "Don't think that will save you" I say as I focus my chi to my hand manifesting a blue energy the size of a baseball. Stunned she drops the gun "Y-you! Your with Heros United aren't you" she said almost terrified. "Who?" I replied before I threw it at her head leaving a good sized hole in her head. I sighed before hearing the cocking of a gun behind me. "Don't move" it says.
"Get back in the cage!"
I quickly retreated back into the door frame, switching my SP-11's for a silenced 9mm SP-07, ready to be chased by a couple of bullets. Instead, a series of slams echoed down the corridor, followed by a rather exasperated sigh and a series of quickly fading footsteps. Cautiously, I leaned out into the hallway, just in time to catch a glimpse a figure moving into an aperture further down the hall. Keeping my footfalls light, I moved down the hall towards the crumpled, battered form on the floor. I quickly checked for a pulse, frowning and drawing my hand back when I didn't find one; I wasn't sure who this new mystery party was, but the body was clearly wearing a guard's uniform, and based on his last words...
Potential ally or not, this mystery person was of interest to me; no typical human had the strength to do that sort of damage to a person, especially not someone in body armor. Whoever they were, they were a potential asset to me, especially in the center of a base where currently my best tactics were subterfuge and playing my enemy against themselves, some amount of backup didn't sound so bad. If it turned out that they weren't so receptive to diplomacy... I quickly checked the chamber of my pistol, then continued down the hall, turning into the stairwell.
I was halfway up the staircase when a resounding crash echoed down the passage. I quickly ascended up the remaining steps, arriving just in time to see a figure, a different one than the person I had followed here, jumping out of window on the other side of a small room that appeared to be some sort of office. I spent a moment of indecision between the empty window frame and a pile of documents on the desk itself, before grimacing and approaching the window, quickly dropping my SP-07, which disappeared into a small aperture, and catching an 7.62mm SAR-25 that dropped from another at a slightly higher level into my waiting arms, then approached the window just in time to see the person I had been following kill his- yes, he, I was sure of it- target, then noticed another guard approaching him from behind, gun raised.
The guard's mouth moved and, without hesitation, I swung the rifle up to my shoulder, aiming through the red holographic site and squeezing the trigger, firing a single round that passed clean through the small gap in their armor right next to their clavicle, slicing a diagonal line through the heart and left lung before potentially lodging in one of the ribs, or passing between them; I was not sure enough of the round's trajectory to confidently state either. The guard raised one hand to their chest, appearing shocked, then simply collapsed. I sighed and lowered the barrel of my rifle; this mysterious man had better be worth the effort.
A loud thud, that's all I heard before I turned to see the soldier laying limp on the ground. I walked over and removed their helmet, it was a girl no older than fourteen. She was quietly whimpering, blood spewing from her mouth, tears streaming from her face. I put my hand on her forehead and began to feel her body's energy. Nothing I could do could save her.
"I'm sorry" I told her as I snapped her neck. Who ever ran this organization used both kids and adults. Not that I'm complaining, but you think these guys would send someone more trained. I stood and sighed and gave both the young girl and my opponent a bow.
I turned to the man who saved my life. My red robes underneath my sleeveless leather trench flapped in the wind. Just being close to this guys aura I could tell he was just as powerful as I was, maybe even more so. I bowed to him as well my name is Jacob Chain, I am a 5th level monk of the Blood Moon Temple, pleased to make your acquaintance. I looked up to see his form for the first time.
I watched neutrally while the man snapped the guard’s neck, then let out a small breath. I listened to this man-Jacob?- introduce himself to me; given that his first reaction to my presence was a well-mannered greeting and not outright hostility, the potential for him being an asset significantly grew, but I wanted to make sure. Just one more test…
I crouched in the windowsill, my rifle laid across my legs, still loaded and ready to fire at a moment’s notice. “Toby Elexion, Level V HU Free agent. I was assigned to taking down this particular organization, and I was wondering, perhaps, if you wished to accompany me to their armory.” I caught a C4 pack that fell out of a portal. “I have explosives, they have huge stockpiles of gunpowder… I’m sure you can make the connection.”
With that, I leaned back slightly dropped the C4 into another portal; how this Jacob person reacted from here… well, if he was hostile, I’d put two rounds in his heart and one in his eye, no harm done and no real sacrifices. Otherwise, he could actually be more useful than I had initially expected; after all, he had taken down, from what I could tell, the most powerful person present at this location.
I looked curously at the clay like substance that fell from a portal and into Toby characters hand. "I've never seen a clay like that before." Just as I speak Red jumps out of my pocket and on top of my backpack. She rummaged through it for a few seconds then pulled out clothes in her mouth. She jumped off an ran behind a bolder. "So how do you want your enemy stronghold? Crispy or well done?" I asked sarcastically.
My eyes followed the small, red-and-black figure as it scrambled out of Jacob's jacket pocket, grabbed a wad of cloth from his bag and scampered off behind a large rock nearby.
"Was that a-" I shook my head, discarding that line of query; I'd seen odder. "No, never mind."
I turned my attention back to Jacob and the task at hand, briefly wondering whether or not I should leap down to join him.
"As an answer, extra crispy. The mountain is laced with magnesium and potassium deposits; the right fireball in the right place and..." I grinned slightly. "Instant cooked fortress, just add explosives." I put a foot on the inside of the window frame and stood. "but before we get to that, I need a second. Just wait there, if you're willing..." with that, I slung my assault rifle over my shoulder using it's strap, and stepped fully away from the window and back into the room itself.
The office was a relatively mediocre affair, possessing only one window that faced outwards into the area outside; a few weapons, primarily non-lethal tools possibly for the purpose of containing and subduing prisoners, were affixed to a series of weapon racks attached to the far wall. Most of the rest of the room was composed primarily of filing cabinets and a few bookshelves, filled with manuals and references materials that gave no real clue as to the preferences of it's late occupant. Against the wall to my left, directly to the right of the window, was a desk and chair, both facing away from the window and both, strangely enough, covered with a thin veneer of printed pages. I approached the desk, side-stepping the broken glass on the floor in the process, and began rifling through the indiscriminate piles of printed material.
The bulk of the information was regarding statistics and finances; currently, this facility was fresh out of captives, due to a program mentioned several times called "Project Delta", which, from what I could gather, was an experimental weapons program. Most telling was descriptions of prisoner test subjects and posthumous medical examinations, which seemed to be mainly damage caused by either small payload explosives or high-watt lasers. I tucked the pages away in a portal, hanging on to one that showed a recently approved evacuation plan, which included a diagram of much of the facility: it might do to pay a visit to this lab and see for myself. The other thing of note was a map, which showed the planet- nothing new there- with very strange and different borders and country names-that was rather odd- and a series of dots labelled as either "Facility" or "Command", organized by letters of the Greek alphabet.
I cursed under my breath; this assignment just got a lot harder.
This facility, as far as I could tell, went under the same callsign as the project it housed: Delta. I suspected that rather than the facility being named after the project, each Facility had a project that was named after it, to promote organization. I sighed, then stuffed the map into another portal, resolving to report this complication to my superiors as soon as the current assignment was complete.
The remaining paperwork was mostly just requests, prisoner transfers, inventory- nothing particularly interesting or relevant, so I left it there. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, I quickly stripped the racks of their weapons, shattering locks where need be and taking everything that I could, dumping all of it into my pocket universe for safe keeping. That done, I glanced around one more time to make sure I hadn't missed anything else before returning to the window sill and leaping out, landing and rolling into the courtyard below, coming up in a crouched position before standing and brushing the dust off my pants.
I begin to walk over to the window I had been sent through. The glass was shattered, but the wall in and of its self seemed stable. I watched as Toby rummaged through all the drawers. And I took a quick grander of the inside as well. Most of the objects in the room were not interesting papers, handcuffs and chains littered the various desks that littered the floor. Soon the weapons rack caught my eye, and went to check it out. Most of the weapons looked shoddy. There was one in the far back near the bottom of the rack. It was a 4 foot long curved blade with a one handed grip protected by a thin guard. A Calvary sword, or Talwar maybe. I drew the blade from its hard leather bound sheath. The blade had gotten dusty from under use, but look like and expensive sword.
By the time I was done looking at the sword, Red had come back in her human form and in her red robes. From my jacket I pulled out a sheathed tanto and threw it to her. I hold up the curved Calvery sword. And say to Toby and red "what type of sword do you think this is."
I glanced back through the window, examining the sword that he was currently holding. After a moment of consideration, I shrugged.
"Couldn't tell you; my expertise is mainly firearms." I stated simply. Anyone else in my entire family would probably be able to identify the weapon easily, if not explain its entire origin; however, I had absolutely no idea.
I removed the emergency evacuation plan from my jacket pocket, examining the twisted skeins of various corridors and tunnels criss-crossing the rise that was obviously the mountain this facility was built in. The map was less a single map of the entire facility and more a series of papers stapled together, each showing different sections and levels, with sections of the same level being attached to each other to create a complete map. The entire collection seemed to be a proposal for updating evacuation maps throughout the facility, and several sections of the map appeared to have been marked for some sort of revision or censorship; I suspected that it would be in one of those areas that I would find the weapons project discussed in some of the papers that had been formerly cluttering the desk. I glanced back at my impromptu companion, and stated my question aloud.
"So, up for a little side quest?"