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aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato)

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« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2014, 05:24:27 pm »
"Axel," Lily smiled, "of course I want to help out Rio. I'd never turn away a guest, especially one in need."

She quickly prepared Rio's juice. "We can do what we can for him while he's here. This could be his first opportunity to try out a more normal life. We'll make it the best one we can."

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« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2014, 08:43:41 pm »
Tony got no response the first time he called. OK, time to try the next one. After calling the Red Lotus Triad and informing them in very vague terms that he might have something of theirs in his possession but getting only a negative response to his prompts, Tony began to think that perhaps Rio had been screwing with them. Sighing, he drove the Delahaye down another residential street in the next neighborhood over. It would be a waste of to time to call every single triad out there, so he decided to do the next best thing he could think of.

The ferret slowed the Delahaye as his eyes scanned the street for what he was looking for. Finally pulling the car to a halt on a street he judged to be far enough away from Axel's neighborhood, the mustelid exited the car and proceeded to walk over to the nearest storm drain. Acting totally natural, Tony dumped the bag of credits down the opening and walked back to his car. Whistling to himself, he pulled the door open, slid behind the wheel, and started driving off, the bag now out of his possession.

Reaching for his phone, he dialed Axel.



Vergil's orange eyes grew rather wide as Triste's tail gently brushed along his leg with delicate force. Not usually one to think about such pursuits, the gecko had to admit he was feeling a bit of... longing right now. So, it had been like that, had it? They hadn't seen each other longer than ten minutes and she was already looking forward to seeing how in practice with his "special training" he was? He certainly wasn't going to protest that. Smirking, he nodded once. "Heh, very well. I'll see how well I hold up." he said with some measure of confidence.

As the elevator dropped, his hand suddenly lashed out and he hit 2 so the elevator would stop on the mezzanine level first. "They're waiting for us downstairs!" he warned. "I just hope there's a way out on the second floor." he murmured, the elevator stopping with a ding on the mezzanine now.

Upstairs, the tayra was frantically radioing down that the target might be getting off on 2. In the lobby, the second team decided to drop the pretense, and started whipping out high powered laser rifles from bags. Training them up above, screams erupted from patrons as they noticed the weapons. "Remember, take her alive!" shouted one of them.

"Pain in the ass!" a second yelled.

Vergil could see for the moment they were out of sight from the ground floor. "Windows to the right." He nodded in their direction. "You fast?" he asked.

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bushwacked

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« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2014, 09:33:41 pm »
Axel smiled and kissed Lily on the forehead. "Right. It doesn't look like he's had it easy. And, hey, maybe it'll even be fun having a kid around for a bit. You know, practice for if we ever decide to, ah... Well, you know... Later, I mean. Ah..." Axel's ears started turning pink. The phone rang suddenly. Axel started, then took it off the handset and answered it.

"Tony? Is everything okay? Is it done?" he asked anxiously as they started making their way back to the bedroom.

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

Triste peeked down through the glass to the lobby below. Those were some high grade weapons... and with all the civilians down there, things would be complicated. Shaking her head, she turned to Vergil as he mentioned the windows.

"I guess you're about to find out," she said lightly, preparing herself. Triste motioned to Vergil. "After you."


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« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2014, 10:51:05 pm »
Tony breathed a sigh of relief when he heard Axel pick up. OK, so far, so good. No problems with the triads... yet. "Yeah... as done as I could make it, at least. I dumped the backpack down a storm drain in the next neighborhood. Its weight should prevent it from being carried anywhere beyond the drain, and even if it's swept away... all the better. We'll have 'em chasing after that instead of poking around here." he quickly explained.

"Anyway, you got things covered over there? Need me to come back?" he asked, turning the Delahaye around and starting back in the general direction of Axel's neighborhood.



Nodding once, Vergil charged out onto the mezzanine, drawing the immediate attention of the team below. "There they are!" one shouted, and began blasting away at the white gecko while another behind him tried to shoot out the glass panels separating Vergil and Triste to cut her off. Vergil looked behind him, ducking as he did so to avoid his head being sliced off. Curious... they didn't seem to be too keen on using lethal force against Triste.

Turning his attention to the windows up ahead, Vergil focused and shattered the one directly in front of them, hoping there weren't any innocents down below, though he was pretty sure these windows opened up onto an alley. Already the sound of sirens could be heard wailing from outside, and he was at least thankful the Corona authorities were on the ball with this.

One of the members of the second team was racing up the stairs to the mezzanine to try and get behind Triste. Keeping low, Vergil skidded to a halt just beneath the window. "Better hurry!" he called back to her, checking to make sure they were still in good standing to escape.

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aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato)

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« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2014, 11:23:39 pm »
Lily brought Rio his juice. "Here you go," she smiled.

She sat on the side of the bed. "Let's go make the couch in the guest room into a bed. You'll be close to the kitchen, feel free to eat whatever you like, and I'll show you where the restroom is."

She smiled. "And I bet I know something in the living room you'd like to try before going to sleep..."

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« Reply #45 on: May 05, 2014, 12:57:22 am »
(White Dragon Headquarters)

Rory had just came from a lunch banquet with several of his fellow red poles. The meal itself was quite something. White cut catfish with scallion and ginger, soy sauce poached sea bass and a dessert of tofu pudding in a ginger and sugar syrup.

As was tradition, he did not have his cell phone with him.

He passed by the shrine of Guan Yu as he took a seat at his desk. He looked at his cell phone and saw he had a voicemail. And it was from Tony Stracci.

"Fucking hell, it's that bak gwei again."  

He opened the voicemail and read the message. Tony had found the creds. This was gonna be ugly if his three 49ers met him. And it could lead to a conflict between the White Dragon Triads and the Stracci Family. Which was not a good outcome.

The Human opened a channel to the trio. "Lin, Yuan, Zhu! If you encounter a Ferret holding the creds, find out his name before you beat his ass! If he's a Stracci, you ask for the creds back but do not harm him!"

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

(Crown Gardens)

Lin kept an eye out while the two Humans scanned around the Crown Gardens neighborhood. He was aware that he and his fellow 49ers stood out in their business attire but he wasn't too concerned. As a Giant Panda, he was blessed with immense strength. And of course, the business suits were carbon nanotubes, made to be bullet resistant and fireproof.  

It wasn't too bad. Though there was a lot of graffiti on the concrete buildings, elevated walkways and elevated highways. A few hooligans riding either hoverbikes or wearing flying frames flitted around, either racing or painting graffiti. A few working class men drank beer and chatted on the front stoop of one of the houses.

"The cash is in the next neighborhood," Yuan said, looking up from his tablet. It's not moving.

"Move out then!" Lin barked.

The trio headed up an elevated walkway that was a direct route to the neighboring development. They passed by various working class people who sometimes stared at them but other than that, they were mostly ignored.  

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

(Mott Place)

Soren's heart pounded in his chest. "So Anne, how was ascension?"

Her voice came through the radio. "It was amazing. Your spirit's just floating up, up and away. It's like all your earthly cares just vanish."

Please hurry, he thought. He wasn't sure how much longer he could keep Anne talking. Knowing what happened here, he was sure those onlookers were exhorting her to jump.
 
(OOC - bak gwei is Cantonese for white guy. It's not a polite way to refer to a White Westerner. Rory's not a speciesist. But he is a racist.)

(OOC - If no one minds, I'll name Soren's neighborhood.)

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« Reply #46 on: May 05, 2014, 06:04:54 am »
Rio took the juice, shifting a little uneasily as Lily sat near him. "Uh... thanks," he said as he reached beside him and plucked a pack of Smokey Bear cigarettes from the bed. Tapping one out in what seemed to be a well practiced move, he held it between his teeth and slid a cheap plastic lighter from his pocket.

"Yeah, we've got it covered here," Axel said brightly as he entered the room. "Thanks again, Tony. I guess we'll..." He trailed off when he saw Rio taking out a pack of familiar looking cigarettes. He'd promised Lily that he was going to give up smoking, but a few days ago temptation had been his downfall and Smokey Bears had always been his favourite. "Oh crap. I'll call you later, Tony." Axel hung up, and took a step further into the room. "Hey, what's, ah... what's this now..."

Rio lit the cigarette then paused. "Oh, fuck. Sorry, I'm being rude. Want one?" he asked through clenched teeth, putting away the lighter and holding the pack out to first Lily then Axel. "I guess they're yours. Found them in your underwear drawer."

Axel paled, and now it was his turn to shift uneasily. "What?! That's just, like, ah, not true, honey. I've never seen them..." He trailed off. "Wait, what were you doing in our underwear drawer?"

The boy shrugged and blew out a reasonable attempt at a smoke ring.

Axel walked up to him, plucked the cigarette from his mouth and snatched the pack away, putting it in his pocket and giving Lily a knowing glance. "For safe keeping..." He decided Rio could keep the orange juice.

"Hey! What the fuck!" Rio protested. "I can deal with no beer, but what the hell's wrong with a smoke?! It's like breathing fresh air, only better!," he said, quoting a poster he'd seen. Sighing, he looked down dejectedly at his glass. "...What's in the living room?" he asked Lily eventually.

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

Triste sprinted up behind Vergil, feeling an impact run along the floor next to her as someone fired a round at her feet. She caught up to Vergil and looked over the edge quickly. The window did lead into an alley... complete with an open dumpster full of trash. How clichÈ...

From behind, she could hear pounding feet as the second team charged up to meet them. The panicked screams of the civilians continued to echo about, a stark contrast to the utter silence that had met her when she'd first arrived at the archives. Triste looked at the gecko beside her. "No time like the present, Vergil," she muttered and pushed him out, aiming for the dumpster. With a last glance at the gunmen who'd finally managed to reach the mezzanine level, she leaped out after him.

aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato)

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« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2014, 06:30:56 am »
Lily pursed her lips when she saw the cigarettes. "Axel...honestly..."

She ushered Rio towards the living room. "Nobody in this household smokes," she said firmly. "Especially young boys."

The living room was warmly lit but a bit sparse. Only a few couches, a threadbare rug, and a counter containing a television furnished its expanse. The last of these Lily regarded with a smile. "This is what boys your age like! Television!"

She flicked the set on and sat down with him on the couch. The current channel was showing a laser golf match. "If you've never tried one of these before, you'll fall in love!" She handed him the remote. "Use these buttons to change what you want to watch. There are all sorts of things on, just look around."

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« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2014, 07:41:39 am »
the girls reached the roof and headed out.  knowing anne had great strengths, Marita had grabbed a syringe containing a drug anti-toxin, it was used to stop ODs and return users experiencing hallucinations to normal. which, judging from what Marita had overhead from Soren , Anne was now experiencing.  Anne thought she could fly, it meant the drug she had taken was a powerful one to form such a powerful belief in the user.' Grab Her! marita said, and she grabbed anne around her waist and began to pull. Rose lent her assistance and Marie did as well.thanks to the element of surprise  and their combined strength they had managed to bring Anne back from the edge and were now on the floor of the building roof . Marita could hear disappointed cries and some boos from below. the group down there had wanted her to jump. 'As Rose and Aarie held Anne down, she pulled out her phone and sent Soren a  text message ' We got her Soren. Applying anti-hallucination drug now. if she gets nabbed by the cops shes going to spread many years in prison, the cops here are a far more ' law and order' bunch' than those in Lanthae. There you could get people off by greasing a few palms, here not so much. she needs to get into rehab, like Rose did.' Marita finished the text.
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« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2014, 04:34:58 pm »
Tony hung up after Axel had to go. Grinning a bit to himself, the ferret realized that the rat practically had a kid to take care of now. He had to admit, it would certainly be good practice in case the couple decided to have kids. Well, that was one friend down. He knew Vergil was getting back to Corona today, but the mustelid decided to wait a bit before calling him. So that left Soren and the others... and maybe even Anne.

Reaching for his phone again as he took another swig of beer, Tony dialed Sroen as the Delahaye shot back onto the highway. At least that mess with the triad's money was behind him now.



The gecko didn't have any further time to react before he was pushed out the window by Triste. Crying out as he fell and suddenly found himself buried amidst the refuse, Vergil sputtered and tried to flounder his way to the top. Unfortunately, he wasn't fast enough, and was soon face to face with Triste's not insignificant chest. "Ooof!" He gasped as he tried to pull back amid the massive black bags. "Sorry!" he hastily apologized. "Quick! Get out!" he ordered as he grasped the top of the dumpster and hauled himself out, brushing his feathers rapidly as he did so.

As soon as Triste was out, Vergil telekinetically pushed the dumpster down the alley to the front of the building. It worked to draw the attention of the thug who appeared at the window. "This way!" Vergil called, waving as he ran in the opposite direction, to the street at the rear of the archives.

Behind them, Vergil could hear the dumpster collide with a parked car. He didn't wait around to hear if Kalis's men bought it or not. Rounding the building to the street, the gecko attempted to act as casual as he could under the circumstances. "Well I hope you have some form of transportation, because I'm afraid I'm fresh off the train." he explained. He had to admit, he was extremely eager to learn about his identity and his link to Rex and Kalis. "Where to from here?"

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« Reply #50 on: May 05, 2014, 05:30:58 pm »
(Mott Place)

Soren's phone buzzed. He breathed a sigh of relief. He texted the girls back. Good. Now we gotta haul her into rehab and keep her away from the cops.

When he finished, he got a call from Tony. "Hey, Tony. It's nice to see you again but I really can't chat. Anne just tried jumping off the roof. She just got toasted on some really strong shit. Right now, we have to get her into rehab before she gets arrested and/or kills someone or herself."

---------

Anne struggled against the trio who were pinning her to the ground. "Get off of me! What the fuck do you think you're doing!?" The hallucinations had worn off but she was now quite pissed off.

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

(Hauer Square)

Hauer Square was a working class neighborhood just like Crown Gardens. Except it was a bit closer to the vertical farms so there it was much less well lit. Despite the seemingly perpetual twilight in the area, children of all species and races played on the sidewalks and streets.

Zhu waved back and smiled as a group of Komodo Dragon hatchlings stopped their game of tag to wave to him.

At Yuan's direction, they turned down an alleyway. "Right, the creds are somewhere in here."

"I think I see them!" Lin piped up. Thanks to his Ursine low-light vision, he could see the bag of creds in the storm drain. Thankfully, it hadn't rained so the drain was dry.

Grunting, Zhu lifted the heavy steel grate as if it weighed nothing. While Yuan kept an eye out, Lin used a piece of rebar he bent into a hook to grab the filthy backpack.

Zhu put the steel grate back in place and retrieved a plastic bag from his pocket. Making sure no one could see them, the trio transferred the creds to the opaque plastic bag.

Tossing the filthy backpack into a dumpster, they exited the alley and headed back to their headquarters.

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« Reply #51 on: May 05, 2014, 05:39:26 pm »
Marita jabbed anne in the leg with the anti-drug serum and injected it into her ' You were on some serious drugs. you were pretty spaced out' marita said as she finished injecting anne, and put the syringe away.' we're putting you in rehab, the cops here arent very sympathetic at all to druggies, you get busted doing something like that. they arent going to put you in treatment it'll be 20-25 years in jail' Marita said.' come on marie said as she started dragging Anne towards the door that led down to the building.
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« Reply #52 on: May 05, 2014, 06:54:36 pm »
"I've seen TVs before," Rio rolled his eyes exaggeratedly. It was true... sort of. Back where he used to live, there was an old, beat-up electronics store. Through the dusty window there was a tiny, out of date television on display. Rio used to spend time pressed up against the glass, peering through at whatever grainy, black and white image was being projected. He'd never seen one up close though... or one in colour. He took the remote from Lily and flipped the channel. A cutesy cartoon came on, two squirrels holding hands and singing. Axel wandered into the room, and when he saw what Rio was watching he grinned and leaned against the door frame. "Farm Friends! I used to watch this all the time as a kid..."

Rio looked back at him and grimaced. "What is this shit?" He flipped the channel and the ending of Scarface appeared. A coked up Tony Montana was waving a huge gun around, blowing holes in other gangsters. Rio grinned at the sudden cacophony of gunfire and death. "Whoa..."

Onscreen, Tony Montana invited his enemies to say hello to his little friend. Rio looked from Axel to Lily, delight on his face. "This is fucking awesome!"

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

Triste nodded as they crossed the street, pushing their way through the crowd that had gathered outside the archives, drawn to the sounds of chaos from within. "One of the Ivitz headquarters. It's not far, we'll be there soon." In the distance, she could hear sirens approaching. Picking up the pace, Triste turned the corner. Parked on the side of the road was a sleek, black motorcycle. Mounting up, she looked over her shoulder and waited for Vergil to climb on. "Come on, move it!"

Once he was on, Triste gunned the engine and they sped away, the sounds of sirens and shouting fading. Weaving her way through the traffic, she could see the top of the top of the Ivitz building they were heading for. I've retrieved the target. Bringing him in now. He was investigating the Cataract.

Excellent.

20 minutes later, Triste pulled the bike up outside the headquarters and cut the engine. The stone-white, severe looking building reared up over them. Grass grew around the walkways leading to the entrance, closely cropped trees planted along the paths. Nothing about the building was inviting - even the greenery seemed sterile. We're here.

Bring him in. I'll have someone meet you in the lobby.

Triste climbed off the bike and turned to look at Vergil as she started to make her way up the walkway. "Come on. Everything you need to know is inside."

aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato)

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« Reply #53 on: May 05, 2014, 09:15:06 pm »
Lily smiled. "Thought you'd like it."

Though crime dramas weren't really her thing, she sat with Rio and watched the end of the movie silently. She was just glad that everyone seemed to have cooled down somewhat.

A while later, she roused from a groggy half-sleep to see the channels flipping quickly. A western, a Shakespeare play, an antiques auction, a documentary on the 2008 Pelvanida invasion, a tear-stricken lawyer sniveling about a missing kid, a car insurance commercial...

She sat up suddenly. "Wait. Go back. Go back to that!"

Impatiently she wrestled the remote away from Rio before he'd even had adequate time to process her request. Flipping back rapidly, she tuned back to the lawyer.

"It's just...so hard to handle..." the puffy-eyed man, who appeared to be on a late night talk show, sniffed and wiped his eyes. "First my wife disappears, and now my oldest son...I don't know if my heart can handle this again."

"This is a hard time for you," agreed the talk show host. "What can you tell viewers about Ejlert, so that they might be able to help locate him?"

The lawyer shook his head. "There was no reason for him to leave, we all loved him and he had many friends. He was the lead quarterback at Carriage Hills High, and top of his class in mathematics, his passion. I can only assume the worst...the best thing viewers could do is send money to help fund the search parties. We had a very successful fundraising when we tried to find Lily, and if anyone could find the heart to...donate again...I'd be so grateful."

"I'm sure there are viewers who will help you out." the talk show host ruffled some paper as a number appeared on the screen. "Call Denny North and the 'Search for Ejlert' campaign if you know anything or wish to provide support, and show some compassion for a tragedy-stricken family. Up next, warships have appeared on the horizon, and what that means for your weekend--"

Lily turned the television off. She tried to speak several times but couldn't. "Axel.....I...Axel, did you see that?" she stuttered.

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« Reply #54 on: May 06, 2014, 12:37:29 am »
Tony felt his heart sink at the mention of Anne having almost jumped off a roof and needing rehab. "Damn..." he said softly. "Shit... is... is she gonna be OK? What clinic are you sending her to?" he asked, drumming his claws on the steering wheel as he pushed the pedal down a bit more heavily here. He suddenly had the inclination to go and see how she was doing; it was his day off, after all. "Oh yeah and I was just calling to see how things were... I think Vergil gets back in town today, and I wanted to discuss well... Kalis, and what he means for the future of Ivitz." Tony outlined.



Vergil had to admit, the ride on the motorcycle was kind of thrilling. He'd never been on one before... or perhaps he had, but he certainly couldn't remember it. Looking up at the rather foreboding building, he kind of doubted Triste at first, but figured it had to be true. Entering the lobby, a stoat with wiry spectacles greeted the pair. "Agent Acyle... Agent Speicher... welcome to Section G. I'm Preston Fugate, special liaison for the special forces. Agent Speicher... it's good to see you back with us." he said seriously but sincerely too, despite his somewhat wooden posture. "This way, please." He motioned with a paw, and led them to an elevator in the rear of the lobby.

Swiping a card he had, the doors opened and Vergil regarded them with a smirk. "Thought I'd had enough of these for one day." he cracked to Triste. The elevator took them down several levels, deep into the heart of the underground beneath the building. Exiting into hallways that appeared as sterile as the greenery had been, the stoat led them down several passageways until they reached a door with heavy security out front. The guards however stood aside and didn't give the newcomers a second glance however as Fugate led them into a large conference room.

A round table dominated the chamber, and a giant screen with the Ivitz Federation's logo on it hung above them. Seated around the table were various species, some dressed in military attire, and some not. They regarded Vergil as if he were a curiosity, but then, curiosity melted away to smiles, though some seemed force while others were genuine.

"Sit down." Fugate instructed the two of them before taking a seat himself. "These gathered here are the upper echelon of Section G, Ivitz's special forces. They were, and hopefully still are your direct superiors, Agent Speicher. First though... I assume you have some questions."

"Do I ever..." Vergil began, looking around the room at the new faces. "So uh... first things first I guess... since uh... Agent Acyle seemed to know... who exactly am I... and what's my connection to Rex Sardolemuel?"

A pause here, and a dignified looking pangolin in a military uniform spoke up after a moment. "I can answer that. You're Vergil Speicher, Agent 127072. You were recruited by us five years ago in the aftermath of the Scorched Earth War. Before that, you had been a soldier in the Federation's service. Rather than me bore you with the details, we could permit you access to your personnel files..."

"Do I have any surviving family?" Vergil quickly broke in.

"No, I'm afraid not. You were orphaned at a young age, and under Federation welfare for some time. But getting back to what I was saying, we recruited you specifically to Agent Acyle's squad to act as a double agent when Rex Sardolemuel began acting... against Federation orders. You had served under him previously, and he trusted you quite a lot. You were reporting to Agent Acyle frequently on any developments that occurred with Sardolemuel. As he began turning more and more rogue and his power grew, your assignment became increasingly dangerous, until we decided to pull you out. No sense in having a corpse on our hands, after all. What you had discovered before that though... was of vital importance." The pangolin tapped a keypad in front of him, and the screen burst into life like the rising sun, bringing new light into the room.

"Sardolemuel and Kalis were starting to hunt for a place where the sea flows into a gaping hole... a place known as Torment's Cataract. We believe a city once stood there, but suffered some great calamity, and sank into the sea, leaving the Cataract behind in its place. The location is notoriously difficult to find, not only because it's one giant waterfall and sinkhole, but also because it sits in a region of massive electromagnetic interference, making locating it remotely impossible, as well as sending any aerial reconnaissance in to be a risky proposition at best. According to our research, the civilization that built their city at the Cataract also constructed a massive battleship, ten times greater than anything we've ever been able to develop."

Concept art appeared now on the screen, and Vergil whistled at the sheer size of the projections. The ship was estimated to be almost 4,000 square miles*, which would rival some small countries in size. "We know this vessel exists from ancient records we uncovered, but so too did Sardolemuel. However, it's believed to sit at the Cataract, and the location of the former city was carefully hidden by this civilization in a series of waypoints they set up across the globe. Sardolemuel had located about half of them before we pulled you out, but before he could finish his quest, we took him down." the pangolin continued. "He grew overconfident, and we were able to bring his fleet to battle before he could find the last waypoints. You and Agent Acyle were part of a team sent to infiltrate his ship and kill him personally. The mission was... mostly a success, as Kalis turned on Sardolemuel and fired on his ship with his own, getting a bit too greedy as it were. But in the destruction of Sardolemuel's flagship... we assumed you were lost. Agent Acyle reported she wasn't able to save you... and much to our relief, here you are."

Vergil glanced at Triste now, then back at the pangolin. "Why relief?" he asked.

"Hm... well you see, Vergil, you're an incredibly valuable asset to us. Outside of Kalis and his forces, you're the only one who witnessed the location of the waypoins, and even though you might not be able to remember them, we know they're there... buried within your memory. You're the only link we have to those waypoints, and your memory is coming back. Just now you were researching the location of one of them, after all. We think if you could unlock those memories... remember how to find these things, then you could help lead us to Torment's Cataract before Kalis."

Vergil chewed his bottom lip. "But I don't know..."

"But you have to try." the pangonlin reiterated. "It is there, Vergil... and if Kalis beats us to the Cataract... it'll spell devastation for not only Ivitz, but the entire world. If he gets his hands on that ship... we will fall... and if we fall... nothing stands between him and total domination of this planet, do you understand? You've seen Kalis at work... you know he doesn't care for life. His only goal is chaos and destruction. There is no alternative to this... we need your help in stopping him. He's had zero defectors since assuming control of Sardolemuel's forces, and has killed every agent we've sent to infiltrate his organization. You're the only one who has prior knowledge of the waypoints. Please... this is really our only hope." he pleaded.

Vergil looked up at the ship's projections again, and then down at the table, thinking carefully. "I have a few more questions but... first..." He looked over at Triste. "Agent Acyle... if we're going to be working together, I'm going to need people I can trust. I'm sorry but working with complete strangers isn't going to fly with me... at least... not right away. Since time is of the essence, I really can't sit on this one, and I know that. Would you have any objections if I brought in a talented group of individuals I've come to trust over the past six months? None of them represent a threat to Ivitz, and as they say, desperate times, right?" he asked, looking around the table. "I can vouch for these guys, and I want to work with them again... provided they say yes, of course. If not... I'll settle for your guys instead. Deal?" he asked, looking back at her now, as he needed to be able to trust her first and foremost on this.

*4,000 square miles or roughly the size of the country of Lebanon.

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bushwacked

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« Reply #55 on: May 06, 2014, 07:37:43 am »
Sitting beside her on the couch, Axel saw. All that time ago, when they'd seen the man on the television claiming to be Lily's husband, pleading for her to come home, he'd believed it was a lie, a trick to lure her in. Or maybe it was more accurate to say, he'd willed himself into believing it. But now, with the news report they'd just seen, the truth hit him in the chest like a tonne of bricks. Lily did have a husband. She had kids. She had another life, and he'd dragged her away from it.

And now, to learn that one of her children was missing...

Rio, initially disgruntled by Lily snatching the remote away, soon understood that something was very, very wrong. "Uh... I'm gonna... go to the bathroom, I guess..." he said hesitantly, excusing himself from the situation. Axel kept staring at the blank TV set as the boy quietly left the room. When the sound of the bathroom door clicking shut carried over, he blinked as if being woken from a trance and looked at Lily.

"Lily, I'm... I'm so sorry, I..." He started to reach out to touch her, then stopped, suddenly unsure of what to do. Axel swallowed. "Do... do you want to call that number?"

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

Triste sat calmly as the pangolin explained the situation to Vergil, her hands folded on the table in front of her. As he listened intently, she kept her gaze on him, studying his reactions, his expressions. She was satisfied by what she saw. The voices echoing lightly around the room, bouncing back off the marble walls, lent the situation a vague dreamlike quality.

At Vergil's request after the pangolin had finished speaking, Triste's eyes narrowed ever so slightly. He'd met others, others that he was willing to trust with something as serious as this? Triste hadn't been expecting this... Her eyes flicked briefly over to where the pangolin stood on the other side of the room, and she picked up on his quick, curt nod.

The spider gecko turned her attention back to Vergil, and gave him a small smile. "Of course, Agent Speicher. If you deem them to be trustworthy, then I'm sure it won't be a problem." Her hands, still clasped on the table before her, tightened slightly. "But I would need to keep an eye on them. Given the severity of the situation, I'm sure you understand."

aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato)

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« Reply #56 on: May 06, 2014, 08:08:33 am »
Lily took a deep breath. "No..." she said. "I need more information first..."

She started to get up, to head to the computer room, but before she could she found herself hugging Axel instead. "I knew about my old life..." she whispered, tears streaming from her eyes. "Of course I did, we saw it on the tele in the clothing store all that time ago...sometimes I wondered if I'd abandoned them...but I thought they must have lived and died in Lanthae...and it was so much easier to just live with you. I love you...I didn't want risk losing you by learning if..." she suddenly drew away from him, burying her face in her hands. "Oh god, I'm a horrible person!"

For several minutes all she could do was cry, as months of repressed guilt finally realized itself all at once.

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« Reply #57 on: May 06, 2014, 12:17:54 pm »
Vergil nodded and gave her a reassuring look. "Of course. I understand you'd need to monitor them. Perfectly clear." he replied. "No problem with that at all."

"Good! So... any further questions?" Fugate asked.

"Just one... why did Sardolemuel turn traitor? What drove him to do such a thing? I mean... he was one of your best and brightest, yes?" Vergil asked.

"He was... he was a genius... the best we'd had. But he was also ambitious, and didn't like being tethered, so to speak. He desired full autonomy in his operations, and was frustrated with what he saw as government interference. As the war dragged on, he became determined to end it any way necessary, including extreme measures. He did just that, ignoring our orders and doing as he pleased to bring the war to its conclusion." Fugate explained. "Afterward, he was facing legal charges for insubordination, and against our advice, he and Kalis retired before any trial could be forthcoming, and vanished."

"For how long?" Vergil asked.

"A year. When he resurfaced, he declared himself an enemy of the Federation and managed to convince 90% of his old unit to rebel and join him. That's when we recruited you. He was extremely charismatic and very popular. It didn't take him long to start gathering support not just from the Federation's old enemies, but even amongst our own as well. It was a dark time. He promised change, but brought nothing but destruction and misery to thousands. He still maintained his support however, as he had this strange way of looking out for his own and ensuring his followers rarely suffered. By the time we'd finally killed him though, the devastation was rather extensive." Fugate said with a somber tone to his voice, bringing up pictures on the screen now of the aftermath of Sardolemuel's rebellion. Twisted heaps of metal where buildings had once stood greeted them, as did injured people with blood running down their bodies like rivers.

"Any clues as to why he did this, or what he discovered after he vanished?" Vergil inquired, averting his eyes for a moment from the screen.

"None... you weren't present with him for that, and the only other person who knows the answer to that is Kalis, who decided to join his mad rebellion without question. Remember, Vergil. These waypoints are vital... and the fate of millions is quite literally in your team's hands. It's best to remember Rex's story as a cautionary tale... you MUST keep your head about you during this. If Kalis finds Torment's Cataract first, it'll spell the end for millions. Don't ever lose sight of what that means." Fugate said, giving him a look that could've burned holes through him. "Rex Sardolemuel was a traitor... and it's vital that his legacy ends here... with you."

The gecko nodded, and glanced sideways furtively as he frowned. "While his story interests me, I just wish I knew more about it. Kalis is a monster who needs to be stopped... but I just thought that perhaps... maybe I could reach out to him somehow if I knew more about the past..."

"We'd prefer him dead." the pangolin cut in. "But with that said, we expect you to clearly assess the situation and use your best judgment. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, will be to find the waypoints that lead to Torment's Cataract before Kalis does. It'll be a race against time, or perhaps I should say, you'll be racing the storm, but it's a race you must win. We'll give you full access to your personnel files so you can find out more about yourself. Unlock those memories and help us bring Kalis to justice! End Sardolemuel's legacy once and for all! Agent Acyle will be your main liaison with us as well as be in charge of handling logistics on this operation. Trust me when I say she has special talents uniquely suited to this assignment." He smiled in Triste's direction here.

"You'll have full access to our resources as well to help you accomplish your objective." Fugate offered. "Do you accept?"

Vergil nodded solemnly, looking up now without hesitation. "Of course. This has to be done... and I accept." Standing up, he looked around the room. "Thank you for the information. I believe I've got the location of the first waypoint, and that's something to start with."

"Indeed, it is. Good luck Agent Speicher on unlocking your memories and finding the Cataract. Remember... keep things in perspective." Fugate told him, and both he and Triste were shown out now.

"So... I guess I'll assemble the team... or at least see if they're willing to help. Now that that's behind us though..." Vergil looked up at her as they headed for the elevator. "First of all, thanks for backing me in there. I know you might not trust them but... they helped me out in Lanthae before Kalis's attack... and I trust them with my life. Second... uh... how... involved were we, with each other? I want to remember as much as I can... including... any past relationships." he gave her a sincere look. "If I hurt you with my assumed death... I can only apologize." he said regretfully.

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« Reply #58 on: May 06, 2014, 07:07:16 pm »
Silently, Axel held Lily as she cried, an arm around her quaking shoulders. After several minutes, he leaned forwards and gently turned her face towards his, looking her in the eyes. "I love you too. And I know that the woman I love isn't a horrible person. She's the furthest thing in the world from that."

Giving her a small smile, he stroked her cheek with his thumb. "And right now, it sounds like your..." Axel swallowed. "Your son needs your help. So that means you have to be strong. For him. Okay?" He hugged her. "I'm here for you, Lily. You know that. Anything you need, anything I can do to help, I'll do it."

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

Triste didn't say anything as they walked to the elevator. As soon as the doors closed behind them and the lift started on its way back down, she turned to Vergil, shoved him up against the side and pressed her mouth against his, firmly, urgently. Her hands started on his shoulders, and then began to move along his chest, her long fingers exploring his body. Moments passed, and eventually she broke away from him, panting slightly. "Does that answer your question?" Smoothing down the front of her shirt, she stepped away and turned to face the elevator doors. "And you've got nothing to feel sorry for. I wasn't that hurt." She gave him a sideways glance and smiled. "But... I'm glad you're back, Vergil." Men are so easy...

Clearing her throat, Triste crossed her arms, her eyes narrowing inquisitively. "So... who are these people that you have so much faith in?"


aabicus (LettuceBacon&Tomato)

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« Reply #59 on: May 06, 2014, 08:04:04 pm »
Lily was silent for a time, just wrapping herself up in Axel's arms. "I've got to do something about it..." she murmured. "Maybe if he'd still had a mother, he wouldn't have disappeared..."

She got up. "Can you put Rio to sleep or occupy him or something? I was going to, but I now need to do some research on the computer. We're going to have to find a way to put him somewhere while we go on a little trip." She headed for Axel's computer room.