Prologue: Short Change Hero John Crichton looked at the assembled war table around him. This was Lost Souls, his semi-elite task force based around the criminals remains of the Ninth Team, which him, Kirito, and Accelerator were the only survivors. They'd all been felons imprisoned by the multiverse spanning Organization, with the exception of Rachel Allison, their former handler, but Crichton had bargained for their loyalty on a combination of bluff and the use of his regained position with the Organization. While the first week he'd expected their little safe house to glassed from orbit, as another week had passed, then another, he'd gained confidence. Hera and Skull Face hadn't betrayed him, at least not yet. The people in this room were notoriously unstable and dangerous, but then so was John. It was taboo for a Wildcard to hold the position of Squad Leader, but it'd be nigh impossible for any other person to ride herd over this group with any level of control. But then, maybe that was why Crichton had survived this long. He had no control, and was pure chaos within order. And that was what Lost Souls was, a small band of chaos in the much larger order of the Organization. The people seated around the wide table of the war room of their safehouse, really just the dining table of a suburban home owned through a series of shell companies leading back to the Organization, included: John Crichton - The Wildcard Rachel Allison - The Manipulator Darth Vader - The Mastermind Setsuna of the Moment of Dreams - The Heart Kirito Kirigaya - The Warrior Accelerator - The Weapon Hei - The Fear Izana - The Zero Meta Knight - The Code And their newest recruit, the man that Skull Face had ordered them to wait for, one: Scott Lang - The Line Leaning forward and taking a deep breath, Crichton began his briefing. "Alright. The attack at Peacetown was three weeks ago, and believe it or not I haven't just been sitting on my ass playing house with Rachel." He said this with such a straight face that it had to be a lie, though who knows about which part. "I've been putting the description of the robot through every database and informant that the Organization has, and first, let me say there are a drenload of mechs out there. The running tally for different models from different universes runs in the tens of thousands." "But anyways, I wasn't able to get a good lead on the robot until I started using Rachel's credentials." He looked across at the red eyed woman. Technically they were the same rank within the Organization, and it was fairly irregular for a captain to be in another captain's squad, but she'd requested to stay. Crichton still wasn't sure why. "Thanks for letting me borrow those by the way." He added, when in reality she hadn't even been aware that he'd had that information. "So, this is what I got. The mech is from a world marked TL4-64891325. Its a somewhat common machine, but the modifications that were on it, the plasma cannon, those were non standard. The world is off limits to officers without special clearance for reasons that are 'classified', but I was able to trade a favor or two for the coordinates." Crichton reached down beside him and picked up a small metal cube. The insides were shielded from prying eyes, but they all would recognize it. It was the portable TDE device that allowed for travel from world to world. "We're breaking the rules..." Who's not surprised amiright? "...and going in quiet. We do not want to be caught, or we could be sent back to the Box and this'll all end badly. I wish I could say that my position would be able to shield you, but I can't promise that." "However, working in our favor is the fact that from the rumors that are floating around, only a handful of agents have feet on the ground. If we're careful, we can get in, put down whoever attacked Peacetown, and get out without anyone knowing." As if John's plans ever worked. "Also, here and there I've been working on Setsuna's kissing problem, but no luck so far. Whoever worked out the energy exchange differential was a genius in they're field, and I'm not." He looked at the group in front of them and asked simply, "Any questions?"