Tales of New Secca

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I. R. Shogun

I. R. Shogun

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Days passed and little of note happened at the arcana council's main tower. Unfortunately after Lantho returned to the tower with the sapper called Slice the wards that controlled motion through the tower tightened and became more powerful. Dice and Whiz would eventually be able to make it back to the lobby of the tower, but it would take significantly more time. And more importantly than that it would disrupt the control that could be exerted over the mage-tech firewall. Ultimately this meant that the duo was stuck in the upstairs of the council building.

Benito entered the upper levels of the tower as well, although he himself was allowed into the building as a mage. In the lobby Vash made a point to take in all that was occurring between the three teams. He and Ham were rarely talking, more focusing on steeling themselves for whatever was coming. The pair called CnS systems were rarely venturing away from the circle of computers they'd set up in the corner, the only one not housing any windows. If nothing else that was smart, they couldn't be picked off by surprise. Then there was that other odd squad, there were only three of them as far as he could see, two dwarves and an elf sapper. What was worst wasn't the lack of mingling between the people hoping to play bodyguard, it was the lack of interplanning they were undergoing. Kiyoshi's group would have plans within plans and know their targets, the defenders on the other hand were running into combat blind. He didn't like it, but then there wasn't a lot he could do, except hope that Benito could handle Lantho long enough for the Arcana council's own contingency measures to kick in. This was gonna be ugly...

******************************

Smiling Tom:

He'd been in this place for two days now. Kiyoshi hadn't taken long to make up the rest of her plans, and for the money she was paying it hadn't taken him and the rest to commit everything she wanted done to memory. Tom was the only one inside at the moment, and everyone else was waiting for him to make their moves. The Arcana Council tower was well guarded against non-mages. Spell scanners on every floor, most of the people who were there regularly knew each other, and technology was forbidden, making it easy to spot people who didn't belong. However Tom hadn't gotten where he was by being unable to handle hard jobs, and Kiyoshi footing the bill was even better. He just had to be sneaky about when and where he pulled out his modern gadgets, and about how long he stayed in the line of sight of the people in the tower.

It was going to be simple enough, spread out his scramblers, then hit the button when he was in a ready position to make a quick exit. He'd gotten the first part done, but then something went awry. The magics protecting the tower were suddenly corrupted, as if augmented in some way foreign to the mages and magic that were normally in place. Tom suppressed a chuckle as he realized what had happened. Whoever was guarding the place was being naughty, messing with the magic in a way he was unfamiliar with. Normally he'd leave it alone, anyone who could mess with the magics guarding this tower wasn't generally anyone who he wanted to bother with. However any changes to the field could mean his communicator would be knocked out, and that meant he couldn't hear if the mission was in a place where he'd be guaranteed pay. Plus depending on what the change was doing their hacker might have troubles, and that meant the mission could be in trouble, no good.

On the plus side the anomaly wasn't hard to trace, with the right equipment. He pulled out a simple cord detector, used to locate wires and such of certain makes in certain conditions. In this case the lack of any wiring made what few cords he wasn't carrying easier to locate than the ground when you fell. He quickly made his way to the hidden and out of the way chamber that the anomaly was coming from, moving as quietly as possible, more silent than night. There were two of them, an elf that looked to be a decent sapper, and some odd looking dwarf who seemed twitchy, neither of them was a front line fighter, Tom could tell that much easily. He had to hold back a chuckle as he pulled out his tazer and moved into range.

Unfortunately for him the elf was wary, and turned just as Tom was close, vanishing, Tom knew immediately he was dealing with a teleporter and rolled forward. The elf swung a blade through the air where he'd just been, but instead of finding purchase and cutting Tom down the elf just found himself catching the barbs of Tom's stun gun. There was a loud fierce crackling as millions of volts of electricity raged through the elf's form, dropping him rapidly. For good measure Tom delivered a hard kick to his head, making sure he'd stay out. Tom then turned to the twitchy dwarf.

"P-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-lease d-d--dd-on't hurt me..." said the dwarfling.

"Oh don't worry, I'm not being paid to hurt you," said Tom as he delivered a hard strike to the dwarf's neck, knocking him out. Tom quickly left the room, and the unconscious pair to any mages who heard the commotion. He made his way to the elevator shaft as he put his communicator in. "Commence operations folks." And with that he tripped the button of his detonator, setting off dozens of magic disruptors through out the tower. Some mages would keep their powers, but many wouldn't, and more importantly, the wards guarding the tower and its inhabitants would be knocked out.

*********************************

Kiyoshi:

"Strange," said Red Eye.

"Hm?" asked Kiyoshi as she looked through her scope at what was going on in the tower a ways away.

"A second ago there was an odd shift in the magical barrier surrounding the tower, like a tech component," said Red Eye.

"Meaning?" asked Kiyoshi.

"Meaning if I had had more time I could have tried to hack it," answered Red Eye.

Kiyoshi shot her a glance.

"Not that it matters now I guess, Tom took out the barrier, and now there are about one hundred little robot sentries in place in the air around the building," said Red Eye.

"Will they be a problem?" asked Kiyoshi.

"Shouldn't be, there's no other active hackers trying to stop me, they'll be annoying but they won't stop me," said Red Eye. "They might be annoying for Torgg and Evaltan though."

"Oh well," mused Kiyoshi as she looked back through her scope and got ready.

***********************************

Torgg:

"You ready dwarf?" asked Evaltan as he checked his pistols.

"Whenever you are elf," replied Torgg.

"Let's rock," said Evaltan as he revved the engine of the commandeered truck and pushed the petal to the metal, moving headlong into the side of the arcana tower...

******************************

Vash:

He could feel the hairs standing up on the back of his neck before he saw the changing of the light near the elevator. He turned to see the truck gunning for the building. He looked back and saw the lead dwarf from the Biotechnica group and her assistant finishing the last of their security drones. They would be safely out of the way of the crash, but they didn't seem to notice it was coming.

"Everybody look out!" he shouted as he dashed back and pulled his pistols. There was a deafening boom as the truck crashed through the front doors, shooting glass and metal everywhere. the vehicle crashed heavily into the far wall, next to the elevator. It didn't look like anyone was hurt yet, maybe a cut or two from the thrown glass, but now they were on their guard, just in time for three bullets to strike the truck and make it explode. Now they were all dazed, but as they rose and recovered they were faced with a pair that was all ready for battle.

The dwarf known as Torgg was clad in armor reminiscent of knights or samurai of old. His gear let everyone know he was a top street samurai by the elaborate make of the metal and synthetics, more expensive than most runners made in a lifetime. Evaltan on the other hand wore no armor, instead staying mobile as he fired off shots that came close to the various defenders, although few found any purchase, save against the various drones swarming to the area. Oh yes, they were ready to party, two top contenders, and they had surprise on their side, things were going to be bloody indeed.
 

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Ham ducked behind a chair as the glass and bullets came. He stood no chance against guns, he was just a thug...then he caught sight of the samurai, a more formidable foe, but for sure a tough one. Taking cover behind chair and desk, Ham managed to make his way closer to Torgg's end, managing to charge him in an attempt to knock him off balance.

-------------------------------------------

As Lantho and Benito settled in a closed room, Benito whipped up some magi-armor to protect Lantho and himself. focusing durability on vital regions. Benito then closed any windows, and gave them a few layers of armor. Benito was a bit taken by all the use of magic, but he still could keep going for long while. The old magic enhancement gem in his hand, and his own troll blood would hopefully help him through this one. Lantho caught a glance of the gem, giving it a look of familiarity.

Benito sat silent, waiting to play his maximum support. Benito cracked open a few tomes he ordered to be sent up with him too. Books mostly on illusion spells.
 

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"Right... Now I want you to just plug that little cord-..." Cheshire turned just in time to see a vehicle coming through the front doors and got out an "Oh hell!" Right as it smashed in. Sypher was quicker though, grabbing the hacker and diving behind the wall of computers before the explosion ever took place, "Time to roll Sypher!" She said in his ear as gunshots started pinging off the walls. They would be safest here at the moment. The backs of the computers acting as a very expensive shield.

Cheshire peaked over her desk, pretty hidden from what all was going on. Her eyes seemed to run with data just like the machines she was so fond of, "A couple of warrior. One armored midget. One gun-happy-s.o.b," She pulled her own pistol from her side, just in case, as Sypher picked up a piece of steel pipe. In a single moment, the purple haired girl deciphered the battlefield in her own mind.

From here to the gunman was a good three second dash, and, to the armored man, abut four or so. The gunman would take maybe half that to shoot them both dead if Sypher were to try and run either of them down. "3% chance of survival through frontal charge," She mumbled and started typing away on a keyboard without looking, "Cover your ears Sypher!" A click of the button later and a quick series of sonic waves came out from the sound system. Non-lethal maybe but if it was good enough to fight a riot, it was good enough to buy them a few seconds.

After the short burst of sound waves hit the occupants of the room, not distinguishing between friend and foe, the brawler broke towards the small, armored dwarf while calling out, "Cover me!" Cheshire responded with a quick burst from her sidearm at the dwarf, hoping to allow her friend to get close enough to inflict some sort of blunt force trauma to his body with the thick pipe. While Sypher was clumsy in day-to-day life, he was incredibly precise about combat.

If and when the brawler did his part to the dwarf, Cheshire would lay down more fire where it was needed and follow Sypher out the door to their armored van, which was reasonably close to the door. From there, they could really do some damage to the invaders, CnS style. Cheshire only hoped that the sniper, Kyoshi, wasn't waiting on someone to come near the door... Sypher was tough as nails and then some but a bullet to the head... She didn't want to think about it...
 

wanderingmagus

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Another dwarf slammed into the first, scuttling on eight mechanical arms like a spider. Lasers shot out of her head gear, burning giant slashes in the truck. A machinegun coming out of her back sprayed through the holes, destroying electronics and more.

Swarms of buzzkill drones sawed at the intruders, each drone like a flying, intelligent killer chainsaw. A giant stone dragon reprogrammed earlier was breathing lava into the top hatch as the truck fell apart into a million little pieces, courtesy the deconstruction drones taking apart every nut and bolt. A second failsafe firewall shot up all around the building, preventing any access, visual, magical, auditory, communication-related or otherwise, cutting wires and plumbing, as well as air supply, as it went. It was programmed to be a standalone firewall, completely magical and self-contained, with orders not to shut down until the universe ended; only a reality-hacker like Whiz could have even begun to penetrate it.

A rock giant smashed its way out of the ground, grabbing at legs and bodies of intruders.

Jack was riding an ice phoenix guardian. He called down to the CnS team: “There’s an assassin upstairs! The drones tell me-” An explosion muffled the rest of whatever he was saying.”

****

Slice twitched. Turning to Lantho, he said, “My brother has fallen in combat. A human sapper approaches, the one called Smiling Tom. He has dealt with ones such as myself before, and uses a tazer. I was assigned to protect you at all costs. What are your orders, sir?”

[ooc: this means you get to control Slice, Shogun.]

[ooc: NOTE: from this point forward, automated drones such as the rock giant, dragon and buzzkill drones can be utilized by anybody (Yuan, Ray, etc) to fight. They themselves in their posts, that is; short of direct wire-connected or reality hacking, characters themselves cannot influence drones any more than they can influence independent creatures.]

[ooc: NOTE: the failsafe firewall blocks vision, sound, and other things both ways. Its appearance is a mirrorlike cylinder, surrounding the building completely both aboveground and belowground. Originally designed by the building’s owners as a true failsafe against a then-impending asteroid strike, its use and existence was forgotten over the years until Whiz dug it up and reprogrammed it from within the tower. Its inventor was a legendary reality-hacker, a rare ability few in history ever had. Supposedly, Whiz’s mother was a distantly-related descendent of the woman. Due to its merely solid properties (non destructive), it will not harm anyone in contact with it, feeling instead like a very smooth insulator. It reflects anything, so can be used like one of those walls people bounce bullets off of in the movies. It also can serve as a normal wall, like the ones you slam opponents into or back up against. If Whiz is still alive after all this, it will go down. Keep him alive.]
 
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Lord Yuan

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When Ham was about to charge one of the goons, he had to stop a second before contact. He was coming from the side, and the bots and animated statues caught his attention more than Ham. Ham did get shot in the leg by the same purple haired person he saw before, as she let loose a flurry of bullets to scramble Torgg so her aid could get a chance to strike.

"BENNY! YOU ***! YOU TOLD ME TO DO WHATEVER THES-..." then Ham saw the large spider man villain-esque machine also attempt to strike his target, nearly sawing off his leg and searing off his arm.

Ham just took cover. It seemed like they wanted at Torgg more than he did. Meanwhile Evaltan shot him in the same leg. Ham had tough skin, the bullet still penetrated the flesh a bit, and it hurt like hell.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Benito set down his book to look to respond to Slice himself.

"Lantho is a top class mage, his hands are tazers. On top of that I have some armor on him, you can't see it but I made it, it does flash on heavy impact to show breaks or cracks. One of my only useful spells. It can take about two gunshots to the same place to pop a hole. Other magic should be heavily dampened but will drain at the durability. The tazer should be quick work with the armor on, hell, might as well suit you up too." And Benito whipped up another shielding layer around Slice.

Now Benito was a little exhausted, he still had some kick in him though. He got up balancing on his cane to make things easy and save some energy.

"I say we move to throw off Kiyoshi's idea of where we are, and try to knock out this Tom guy. Sappers creeping around with tazers doesn't set my stomach straight." Benito offered his plan, but didn't take it into action, and instead waited for the go from Lantho.
 
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I. R. Shogun

I. R. Shogun

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Torgg:

The dwarf laughed wildly as the other dwarf, toting some sort of mechanical spider legs rushed him. This would have been an interesting enough challenge on its own, but between the dozens of magical and mechanical items that also joined the fray he knew he was going to have to step it up a bit. He tossed out about a dozen orbs, all of which immediately exploded, sending chaff, magical and mechanical, all through the air. Magic guardians fell inactive, drones of all sorts shut off, but to his chagrin the other dwarf was unaffected.

With an expert flourish of his spear he opened up several wounds across her form, still unable to stop being battered himself by her dangerous limbs, all bearing plenty of dangerous implements. Torgg continued to laugh as he drove the spear into the joint of one leg, causing it to overload and fall apart, and he then rammed his fist into the mouth of the female dwarf, knocking her back as he threw several darts into another dwarf who was rushing over from the downed form of a magical dragon of some sort. He scanned the rest of the room swiftly, picking out a few brawlers in the ranks of his foes, this would be a fun battle indeed...

************************************

Vash:

He rolled behind a pillar to take cover and assess the situation. The dwarf, Torgg, was a nasty little cuss. Vash had seen some of the bodies he'd left behind in numerous battles in the past, even for a twenty year man they could make him uneasy. Still, Ham Fist was a comparably skilled fighter, and there were plenty of others with some skills up close on this team. His main charge was going to be taking down the elf, Evaltan. The pistoleer wasn't top ten, but he still had a rep, and he was staying mobile enough that while everyone tried to zerg the dwarf he could pick them off.

Vash heard the sound of the chaff go off before he realized what it was, something he pieced together as most of the sentries of whatever origin fell from the air, effectively dead for the time being. That meant one less thing for Evaltan to concentrate on, making him that much more dangerous. Vash sighed, do or die he supposed.

He dashed out from behind the pillar, quickly locking down the elf's position and opening fire. Evaltan was smart though, diving into a roll behind a pillar himself, then rolling back out and firing a dozen shots at Vash. The old human held deadly still, knowing that the way Evaltan was moving he wasn't likely to hit anything, making a dodge have little use. Finally Evaltan stopped, sending a carefully placed shot right through the meat of Vash's left leg, not near an artery or vein, nothing Vash needed to worry about, but enough that he had to move to push away the pain.

Vash noticed quickly that the elf wasn't already on him when he heard more shots going off, he remembered the hacker girl had been wearing a pistol, he hoped she knew how to use it as he rolled back into the fray and began firing at the agile pistoleer, trying to think of how he was going to finish this.

********************************

Kiyoshi:

She growled as she noticed an odd inconsistency arise with the air. An almost intangible quality, but she knew it was there, a field of some kind, a problem...

"That thing I told you about before is back," said Red Eye.

"I noticed, fix it," Kiyoshi growled as she waited for her time to strike.

***********************************

Smiling Tom:

He grumbled as the elevator refused to work, something was keeping it shut, which meant he'd have to do this the old fashioned way. He forced the shaft open with use of an old wedge rig he'd brought along, then set up his repelling rig and prepared for a descent. He got down three jumps without trouble when suddenly the rig refused to let him down. He looked up angrily, this was not the time for an equipment failure, but as he looked up he realized it was a lot worse, a slime figure looked down, then waved and cut the rope. Tom would have screamed if his mind had let him process the fall...

*****************************************

Seconds later, tucked away:

Whiz slowly felt his faculties return just in time to see the barrel of the gun pointed at his face. The half dwarf screamed but in a second a cold, lightly accented woman's voice calmed him. "Easy boy, you'll get nothing helpful from doing that," she said.

"Whwhwhwhwhwhwat do you want?"

"The barrier around the building, take it down," said the woman as she put away her pistol, revealing a form clad completely in black.

"Bbubububububububbububut the boss said," Whiz stammered, only to be interrupted.

"I don't care what your leader said, take it down and keep it down, I've got a lot riding on this, and if you don't take it down, I'll break all your little fingers in ways that won't heal, and I'll make sure you're the last person to die here, alone, and hungry," the woman hissed.

Whiz took a second, then tapped at his keyboard, eventually there was a shift in the air as the barrier dispersed. The woman nodded and then started to walk away. "Stay here, your friend will be up in a little while, he'll get you back to the lobby, and make sure you keep that barrier down. If you don't, well, I already told you what I'll do," and with that she vanished.
 

wanderingmagus

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Dice woke up, just to see the shadow fade. Seething with anger, he hissed a black cloud at the figure before it shimmered into nothingness. Venemous teeth glistened, and he grabbed and slammed the half-dwarf into the wall, making the creature struggle for air. Without looking at it, he hissed,

"The shield. Put it back up."

"B-b-b-bu-but the l-l-laa-lady s-s-s-a-a-said.."

The half-dwarf gurgled as blood started coming out of his half-crushed windpipe, staring wildly at the shadow. The shadow grinned glowing teeth, and rippling claws tore their way through flesh, making him writhe.

"Whatever she said she'd do to you, I can do still worse. I won't kill you, Whiz. I need you alive. But oh, there are sooo many things worse than death in this world. Would you like a tase?"

Without even thinking twice the shield returned, this time permanently and in fifty different dimensions, preventing teleportation inwards. As soon as it was up, Dice slammed the creature into the wall, making him unconcious. Hauling him onto his back, Dice faded to a shadow, and went to a safe place, far, far away.

****

Wrench spat blood and titanium teeth, grinning savagely as nanobots reconstructed her face and filled her circulatory system with a mix of adrenaline, estrogen, LSD, ecstacy, steroids and a large number of other illegal fight-enhancing drugs. She was loving this. Her cybernetic implants were telling her every move of the opponents. Bullet time didn't even begin to describe it.. it was like being omnipotent, omniscient...

A rock slammed into her helmet, forcing her back to reality again. But no matter. The other dwarf was going down. And afterwards, she would preform all sorts of experiments, oh yes, all sorts of experiments indeed... Several missiles roared out of the broken leg, detonating and creating sonic booms that shook the entire building. Carbon tetraflouride ate its way into machinery and flesh alike, spraying from her many arms. She paused, and two arms drilled their way into a wall, smelting a temporary fix for the broken arm and restoring it to battle-worthiness. She looked at her power supply. Enough to kill this ****er.

****

Rift saw the darts enter his flesh and slammed the healing and antipoison runes together. Thank God he had had the forsight to get a bucketload of those from the pharmacy the other day. As he let his body and the magic push the darts out, hiding behind a collapsed pillar, he assessed the situation. The metal and magic sentries were partially down, at least the ones in range of the chaff. The shield wasn't going down anytime soon, but he needed more friendlies. He grabbed what equipment he had lying around him and started building extra drones.

Turning on his videophone, he shouted at the image of the members of CnS, "Oy! Ya think we can get some sort of coordinated attack goin? Vash an' Wrench seem ta be doin a fine job at the moment, but looks like these guys are already waayy above my level, at least. I'm gonna need some kinda help, if ye'd be so kind."

He ducked as a few more darts went over, and some shapnel from an exploding droid rained down, giving him a few more extra pieces.

"Oh, and we're probably gonna wanna have a few more droids and whatnot. I kin make ye two exo-suits real quick if ya want, but ain't no way im leavin this scrap pile while those two are out for me life. Oh, and looked like dere waz a troll an our prime suspect o'er on de oder side, we're gonna hafta prepare fer em also. A little help here?"

He let the drone go. It soared up and let off a couple bursts of plasma at the elf, then was blasted out of the sky again. This was gonna be a looong nite.

****

Slice was getting more nervous. He again turned and notified Lantho of the mysterious 'porter in black.

"I suspect it's either Kiyoshi or Red Eye, or some sort of illusion spell. Either way, even with this shield up it's only a matter of time. And they're not messing around either. My brother had to flee himself, but leaves us a little preasent."

He looked at the others in the room for permission, and when it was given he exhaled a small blob of shadow which formed into a map of the area. A glowing orb tracked the mysterious woman, whose form was modeled also.

"do any of you recognize this figure?"
 

Lord Yuan

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Benito was still relaxed, hardly engaged. He took the illusion spell book along with him and was paying it more attention than Slice. He did look up a second to see the model."

"No dice...err...never saw it before." He mumbled, realizing Dice was the name of the other one, despite not being introduced. Benito was quick to catch on to things. Often small things that don't matter much though.

Aside from the occasional quakes, their floor was fairly dull. Sure Slice was uptight, but Lantho seemed kind of relaxed as well. Benito knew they didn't have any injuries yet, so he would keep sitting around until something happened.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ham Fist was now tight up against a wall only a few feet away from the battle between Wrench and Torgg. It was getting a bit out of hand in Fist's head. Rubble falling from everywhere, explosions, and not to mention the property damage. Ham has shaken up a few bars before, but he hasn't even seen anything like this in his life.

His leg burned and he wished that Benito was with him instead of some other stupid troll. All the people from CnS didn't care about him getting shot in the leg, even by CnS. And now he was worried that the foundation of the building was going to give way. Not to mention that he was getting hungry, he had to take a leak, he remembered he had to call somebody, then there were the sonic booms, nobody told him there would be sonic booms. Nobody gave him a complementary pair of earmuffs to mute out the deafening bangs.

As he laid bleeding up against a wall, and being nagged and taunted by all these little things he started to go a bit insane. Ham jumped up charging at Wrench, kicked off of the suit's armor and while pushing the confused dwarf back, lurched towards Torgg, nailing him in the chest, giving his armor a bit of a dent. Both of the dwarves faltered back for a second, Wrench likely making the momentary plan to kill Ham Fist if he gets in the way any longer, and Torgg wondering how a fist could dent his premium deluxe quality armor. Ham took this moment to grab at Torgg's spear, placing them in a good ol' game of tug o' war. His wounds began to hurt sharply, Ham started to question if the cool jump attack was practical in that situation.
 
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I. R. Shogun

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Lantho:

The old troll let out a long annoyed sigh as he stood and walked over toward the elf that had been dispatched to guard him. The elf was competent, even capable of controlling some level of magic, but Lantho was quickly losing any good mood he could muster under these circumstances. The Wall of Ages had been knocked on and off several times now, and that was troubling to him.

The elf, name of Slice, was saying something about his brother having encountered a figure in black or something of that nature. In a moment he produced a picture of the woman and suddenly Lantho realized exactly why this team that Biotechnica had dispatched was functioning the way it was, they were unaware of the overarching strategy that was in play here. He knew that Gustav liked to make sure neither of his hands knew what the other was doing, but this was ridiculous.

"I've never met her before, but you of all people should recognize her," said Lantho.

"Why is that?" asked Slice.

"Not only was she sent here by the same people that sent you and your team, and not only does she work for the same company as you do most of the time, but she's the most skilled person there is at the type of work you personally perform," said Lantho.

Slice took a second to consider this and then he realized what Lantho meant, "Midnight," he exclaimed.

"Precisely," said Lantho who now leaned in very close to Slice. "Now, if Gustav sent her here, and she tried to have your dwarfling do something it would seem that doing so is in the best interest of your company is it not?"

"I suppose that would be logical," said Slice, who showed no fear even in the face of the legendary troll mage.

"Let your brother know that I want the dwarf to take down the wall," Lantho said. "There's more going on here then you realize, but for everything to occur how it must our assassin friend needs to at least be able to take her shot, among the many other reasons why that wall has stayed down as long as it has. The sooner it's down the better my report of your activities to Gustav will be, and trust me, as far as your leader is concerned, a good report from me is very important."

Slice said nothing, instead crossing his arms. He didn't know if he could beat Lantho, but that didn't mean he was afraid to try. Still, his orders were to guard the troll, and if the troll had something in mind then it would be easier to just go along with it. In a second the wall went back down and Lantho nodded as he turned to Slice and Benito again.

"Now that that's out of the way, there's something I should let you know about this little assassination..." said the troll.

*************************************

Torgg:

The force of the impact was enough to knock him off his feet and make him skid, unfortunately he didn't have time to dwell on it as the orc rushed him and began grappling for his spear. The dwarf had been having some difficulty with the one with the tentacles, but this orc now... he was something else... Torgg recognized him.

They called him Ham Fist, and for good reason, even for an orc his hands were gargantuan, and he was one of the toughest brawlers in the city. Brawlers were annoying to Torgg, more than any other class. They were tough enough to be street samurai, but they were too damn lazy to learn any technique, it made them wild, unpredictable, and that was a problem for someone like Torgg, who liked to fight with a rhythm. Still, he'd beaten Boom before, this orc wasn't going to be that much trouble by comparison. He hit the hidden switch on the spear, causing it to break into two sections. Not optimal in this situation, but it surprised the orc enough for Torgg to ram his helmeted forehead into his foe's nose.

The shock was enough to make the orc let go, and allow Torgg to give him a wicked gash across his face. The other dwarf got back into the fray now, knocking the orc aside and pinning one of Torgg's feet. The samurai only smiled under his helmet as he dropped one end of his spear and pulled something out of his pocket, then tossed it into the other dwarf's face. She wore goggles, which shielded her eyes from the brunt of the pain, but as the powered began to make her skin sizzle she was distracted enough for Torgg to ram the end of the spear he still held into her stomach, right through the plating that kept her harnessed to the legs.

She backed off for the time being, the wound in her stomach would burn out plenty of the nano-bots he could tell she was using, especially after he pulled his weapon loose. What's more the powder he'd thrown was a special blend, it caused extreme pain, but it also blocked out tech, meaning the bots she had on her wouldn't be able to help, although he was sure whoever sent her had plenty of means to take care of it if he let her escape. Still the bots would be able to keep her up through a few more wounds once the stomach closed, but for now he got to focus on the orc, this was gonna be a hell of a time.

*************************************

Vash:

He was glad that the dwarf called Rift was handy with spare parts, the drones he was throwing together were the only thing keeping him on equal footing with Evaltan. The elf wasn't top ten, but he was damn good, better than some old man past his prime. Still Vash knew how to handle a fire fight, cover and all that. Still, even as the bullets whizzed past him he wondered where the hell those CnS kids were at, he hoped they had something good in mind.

He soon paid the price for his wandering mind as a bullet struck his left arm. He could move it, but not very well, that meant one less weapon he could use against the elf, and a lot less movement options to use. Vash wished he'd brought more gear, but he would have had to clear that with the commissioner, and that meant involving more cops in this, the city could afford to lose him, but he wasn't going to put any more cops at risk, not over this. Lantho was big in the city, but not so big that the police needed to be involved in this mess, not when Lantho's home turf offered so many counter measures on its own.
 

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"Attack?" Cheshire looked up and laughed a bit just as she broke for the door, quickly getting past all the distractions that were in the lobby. Sypher had already made it outside and had clambered into the armored vehicle. His partner soon followed.

"These idiots in here have no idea what they're doing. I don't even know where this Lantho is! We can't get up the tower because they're heads are so far up their asses!" The purple haired girl fired up the vehicle and pulled into some cover from any sniper fire. "I doubt they'll come out here but also doubt they'll make it up. Their reckless attack is probably a distraction so we need to worry about what is upstairs... Again though, we can't get up there," All the gear they had was used to PREVENT an attack... The attack had already happened, so what good were they? "We're leaving Sypher, we don't need this kind of money and were not given the proper specs to protect these fools. I hope Kyoshi has fun mutilating Lantho,"

Sypher blinked and looked back at the smoke pouring out of the place where doors once were. "Death before dishonor..." The brawler mumbled and crawled into the back of the vehicle, grabbing an assault rifle, a grappling hook, and a block of c4 "Are we only about money? Is that all we're about? If so... I don't want any part of this..." He flipped open the back and hopped out, looking up at the tower. Everything was scrammbled... Nothing was as it should be. They had not been able to even slow down the assault...

"I'll leave you here Sypher!" Cheshire said with a groan and flipped a few switches, preparing to go, "You know I will..."

"And?" The grappling hook shot up to the top of the tower and he hooked it to his pants, "Since when have you done anything but take the money and credit? I do the work... But I like it that way because I like to work and you like money," Sypher began making his way up the rope.

With a frown, Cheshire took the words in and decided, "Ok... Look... Do your thing, I'll be here..."

Sypher made his way to the top of the roof, placing the c4 on the roof, and blew a large hole in the middle of it. There was a brief moment where Sypher looked out against the skyline and, for a moment, thought he could feel someone watching him... He hopped into the hole, rifle pointed in front of him. Maybe he was no special forces, but he would do his best...
 

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Benito was calmed even more by Lantho's words. He was on the verge of just taking a nap. Still they had to prevent the assassination, but now the odds looked yet even better for them. He cracked open the illusion tome again, he was just getting to a good bit when a bang sounded from above, and the ceiling wavered a bit, shaking off loose dust.

Benito hit the deck suddenly creating a triple shelled barrier around Lantho. After waiting a moment Benito found it was not needed and quickly dispelled the barrier. Now he was sweating, and fumbled to try and open his book, the crystal in his hand starting to burn even. He had been over-using his barriers, and not one has even been struck yet.
--------------------------------------------------------

Ham already had two gunshot wounds, and a gash on his face when things just started, but he had been in worse before. Still it didn't stop the pain to think of worse wounds. Ham stood back up after being knocked to the side. Almost struggling, getting up in an awkward fashion putting him in a stance with his left leg forward. He was going to try another charge, try.

He did a strange running limp forcing him to zig-zag over to Torgg, he grasped the shoulders of Torgg attempting to pick him up in a running dash. Though the dwarf was more heavy than he thought, and he only managed to offset his balance then give him another hardy push.
 
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I. R. Shogun

I. R. Shogun

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Lantho:

The old troll let out an aggravated sigh as a loud bang came from a ways down the hall. Another non-mage getting into matters up here rather than helping out with whatever was going on downstairs. Still he supposed he couldn't do much about it now, Kiyoshi was going to figure out which room he was in soon, and he had to prepare for that eventuality immediately. He turned to Benito and Slice.

"You, Benito, I'm sure you have some knowledge of illusionary magics yes? I need you to throw one up, a simple cast, only on that window over there. You're going to need to make everything in that window appear about one foot to the left of where it actually is. Slice, I'm going to need you to just do youyr best to make sure you can't be seen, it's almost time," Lantho said as he sat at a desk in the chamber.

***********************************

Kiyoshi:

She scanned each room of the tower carefully. Red Eye was quiet for now, focusing on taking out the pesky sentries that had been set up by the guards sent to the tower by Biotechnica. The orc had said that the sentries hunted based on a database of individuals in the area. This was a foolish method, many many people came through this sector without living or working in this area, had they no regard for commuters or tourists? It made little difference, but Kiyoshi thought it funny that Gustav had sent a team that could cost him so much PR. Oh well...

Finally she came to the conclusion of where Lantho had to be, obviously the traditionalist mages would have their leader on the top floor, she'd already figured he'd be on this side of the building, always the north side with them. She sighed an annoyed sigh as she got him in the crosshairs, one shot, one kill, and then Tom and Torgg and Evaltan would just have to get the hell out of there. She took a deep breath, then squeezed the trigger.

For a second she saw the old troll gripping his arm in pain, only then did she realize she'd been duped. She hurriedly lined up another shot, adjusting for the difference in location that she was apparently dealing with, when suddenly two pops rang out behind her, and the orc hacker with her collapsed in a heap on the floor. She turned and faced a giant of a man in a red coat armed with a pair of pistols. Kiyoshi cursed under her breath as she opened fire on the pistoleer who dove out of the way.

She moved, quickly making for the window, jumping as she did just in time to avoid a return hail of fire from whoever it was who'd just shot at her. Her halo jumping rig would let her escape alive, if a little banged up. Even now she realized this whole thing had been a set up, the troll could have know the rumors, but he wouldn't have been this perfectly ready for her unless there was a leak in the Dragon's organization. After all, Biotechnica sent people to stop murder rumors all the time. No... this time something foul was afoot.

*********************************

Vash:

He grunted as he rolled to avoid more fire from Evaltan. Something needed to change here soon, they were getting their asses kicked by these two and there didn't seem to be much different they could do. He tried in vain to catch his breath behind a tower in the area. He pushed himself up to get ready for another run. He turned and started firing, only to find Evaltan was already on him. He was knocked off his feet by the elf pistoleer. Vash took a long annoyed sigh as he looked up into the pistol of Evaltan before he heard the sound of shattering glass and looked over to see a car bouncing a little ways into the alley.

The initial shock of this image was soon replaced by a sense of cold terror words could barely express as they were joined by the largest troll any of them had ever seen, and he didn't look happy.

"Where is he?!" roared Buffalo Boom. "Where the hell is TORGG?!"
 

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Sypher, with his assault rifle held tightly, moved down the halls quickly, peaking around corners and kicking in doors like some S.W.A.T. member. "Cheshire! I need your help at figuring out where in the hell this Lantho man is in this building!" He spoke into a two-way radio that was built into his shirt. Cheshire had rigged up most of his clothing with stuff like that...

"Um... I can't do that. There's no way to pick out just one specific person without already having him bugged," Outside, Cheshire sat in the armored vehicle, still displeased that she had to wait on her wannabe hero to do whatever he was doing, "But maybe I can-" A few shards of glass fell from high up and it took Cheshire a moment to figure out what happened, "Sypher! Kyoshi has opened fire!" Two distant pops came from... somewhere off a ways. She grabbed some binoculars and scanned without any results, "Sypher, did you hear me?"

Inside the building, Sypher had just kicked down the door and scared two students senseless, "Yeah... I read you..." Without a word, he backed out of that room and kept moving. He wasn't sure what he was looking for... The assassain or Lantho? Whichever one he ran into first he supposed. A figure moved around the bend of the hall just as Sypher came around the corner, "What the..." The brawler held the assault rifle closer and made sure his finger was on the trigger, "Who's there?! Come out or I'll light you up!"

Cheshire could hear every word but was more worried about losing part of her head to a sniper's shot. Was Lantho already dead? Was he that stupid as to get near a window? No... Of course not, "Sypher! I gotta check something," The purple haired rebel girl pulled out a ways from the magical tower, hoping to catch a glimpse of something... anything... Somewhere out in a building was the famed Kyoshi and... Someone had interrupted her. Cheshire grinned at the thought, "So we aren't screwed after all and momma gets payed," The special, greedy smile worked its way across the face of the hacker.
 

wanderingmagus

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Dice was still for a moment as he heard Lantho's orders, then relaxed. Pulling out a concoction made for forcing torture/interrogation victims conscious, he jammed the stuff up Whiz's nose, making the halfling gag and cough, throat still rasping and bleeding slightly. Terrified eyes looked up at the black shadow as the dark elf grinned.

"It's your lucky day, pipsqueak. Take your little shield down, then. Captain's orders."

Thin little fingers, so delicate, so sensitive, flashed over invisible keys, and through Slice's eyes the twin could feel the shield going away. But that didn't mean some porter couldn't still get the precious little bundle of intelligence here, so with a little rap he put the guy to sleep again. Little half-humans...

****

Slice nodded, and silently whispered a single word of Command, and to all intents and purposes vanished from existance. It was assassin's magic designed to allow one to approach within striking distance of even a Great Mage without being detected, so it should be good enough to blind a sniper..

For good measure he also projected an autonomous doppelanger and let it walk out of the room and stand outside the door. It should trick just about anybody, at least until Lantho was safely out of range of assassin's hands again.. well, assassins other than himself and his brother, anyways.. it wasn't as if they were hired for anything other than to guard this guy but still..

****

Wrench snarled in rage and pain as her audio-visual inputs went dead. As she tore off the headgear and wiped at the powder with a cloth, she heard the roar of what could only be one of the most powerful brawlers in the world..

With squinting eyes, she answered the creature's challenge.. Might as well get any help i can get to kill this guy.. "The dwarf you're looking for is him! He's the one!"

****

Rift was sending up about his sixtieth droid when he saw familiar mechanical arms and armour crash down in a heap in front of him. After the little rant, he ran forward and dragged his wounded employer back, pouring some ointment on her face as he crushed some healing and dispell-antitech runes, the first from the same pharmacy as before and the latter from a back-alley self-defense store he went to get defensive magic stuff from every now and then. It wasn't optimal, and had cost him a bunch of money, but boy was he happy to have the stuff at the moment.

It looked as if Wrench was going to be ok, but CnS bailed, and Vash was in a... not-so-good situation. Well actually...

He looked at the droid he had unconsciously finished with his free hand as he was hiding..

The elf was startled enough when the huge troll roared nearly right in his ear, but even as he got his attention back on the policeman, he saw the plasma bolts coming his way. He had little choice but to take his attention away from the man and dodge, raising one gun to shoot the sentry droid.. and leaving himself wide open for a defensive shot and kick from Vash.
 

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Ham saw Boom burst into the room, and after Wrench guided him he thought it would be best to step aside. Seeing Vash in a dire situation he rushed over to help, almost getting nailed by a plasma bolt. Evaltan was distracted by both Vash and the other assailant. Ham Fist swooped up behind Evaltan and put him in a body lock. Wrestling Evaltan to the ground and giving Vash free reign over what happens to him.

-----------------------

Benito managed to pick up on the illusion spell book faster than he thought, able to use some more of his magic to create a picture perfect illusion window. It was surprisingly accurate, and after hearing a gunshot he was surprised that it worked, but the crystal in his hand was beginning to burn, even cause bleeding around the back of his hand. He was done using up energy stored in that, from here on out his magic would drain his own strength, his senses, and possibly his mind.
 

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