A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by Rackenhammer »

Valencii let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding when Marcus picked up. "Heyo, I've brough up some preliminary results. They weren't actually all that difficult to find, really; the blocks were huge, but not precisely applied. Hell, the fact that our perp could even block satellite readouts narrowed the field pretty readily. Anyone could have found this if they were looking for it; I'm rather surprised more of their enemies haven't come out of the woodwork. You may find company before long."
*That's as specific as I dare get. It's not as if I know much about my shadows.* "In any case, cross referencing the merc pic with a little PI work of my own kept coming back to this one squirrel, Leah, friend of the family Renon. Now, I'm not sure if the GBI have any leads on her; she did a pretty good job of keeping the first snatch under cover. However, if the number pulled on you's from the same gal... well, there's a lot still left unswept under the rug, if you know what I mean. Fresh trails, and all that.
"As for location..." He chuckled a bit. "Urban real estate's the only commodity that is absolutely impossible to sell on the black market. As such, it wasn't to hard to get a few plots in Nassau that are associated with her. If we assume that she'd keeping to herself in there, that eliminates the mostly public areas, leaving this address." He sent it over to his customer. "Keep in mind, these are only the preliminary results, but I'd call it enough for a search warrant. Do you want me to send a copy to the GBI?"
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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by osprey77 »

Matt watched his cell mate, who seemed not to notice him at all. The young hybrid felt mad. If this Merc wouldn't help him, he would just have to help himself.

But alas, all the determination in the world will get you nowhere, when you are physically incapable of doing the deed. Matt tried to stand, but as soon as he gained his feet, he pitched forward. He scrambled forward, only to fall again. Twice more he tried, only to fail. The results of two years of physical torture and starvation rations left him incapable of running to his cell door, let alone 'away.' At this point, he could barely crawl.

The boy sank to the ground, breath sobbing in exhaustion, a far place to sink to for a former free runner. Matt yelled at the ceiling, as if the one-time family friend could hear him, "Just kill me already! Don't keep me here like a dog! Kill me!"

****
Leah could, actually, hear him. She muted camera in the cell, keeping the video feed running, and turned to face Vince, musing over what he had said. "Not bad, not bad at all. Let's put you at commander level, which means you control twenty mercs, get superior lodgings, and ((ooc: insert appropriate salary here)) a month, and call it even for now. Sound good?"

She was trying to get this over with quickly, though she was not above bargaining if she had to. She simply wanted to get on with planning Katya's capture.
"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."
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"With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere."
C. S. Lewis

"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'"
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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by cossant »

Jeremy had closed his eyes, slowing his breathing. He needed to recollect himself, and he knew of only one way to deal with this kind of torment. As he began his meditation, all of his thoughts raged like a storm. The anguish of his brother's betrayal, the anger of being locked up, the determination to escape conflicted with confronting his brother, all of these thoughts raged through his mind. And yet, his face remained peaceful. Soon, the thoughts began to falter and calm, before they ceased altogether. The first step. Then, he began to tune out his senses further, deafening himself to any outside force. The only sound left was his heartbeat, which had slowed tremendously. Now, even thoughts of who he was left him. He was nothing more than a spark of life.

Matt had yelled. He didn't know what, but he could hear it, though it was as if from over a long distance. It was time to get back to work.

A sudden intake of breath strengthen Jeremy's heartbeat. His senses sharpened, as his mind began to process a new flood of information.
He could hear Matt's exhausted breath, hear the sound of the guards walking, even hear the echo of Matt's voice travel through the corridors.

As his eyes snapped open, he already began to form a plan in his mind.

"Save your strength, Matt. I'll get you out of here soon enough." he assured. He left himself out of his escape plan because he knew he wouldn't be able to get both of them out. All part of the job.

Being a Mercenary was a real pain, sometimes.

* * * *

Marcus hesitated. The GBI would most likely send a search party, but they wouldn't expect a mercenary team. Even if they did, Leah probably had a dozen escape routes planned. Gone before the GBI realized it. No, he would have to use a different tactic.

"No GBI. I have a better plan. Keep me posted if you get any more information." He said as he disconnected. Time to call up Ronnie.

****

Vince nodded. "Sounds like a good deal. Something on your mind? It sounds like you're in a hurry." he observed.

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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by Rackenhammer »

Valencii nodded. "Right, then, I will." He cut the connection, but immediately was rung up again. He didn't recognize the number; its code was Domusian in origin. Puzzled, he picked it up, but was relieved hear a familiar voice. The other caller wasn't sending video.
"Kolin, good to hear from you. That little business I sent you on go well?"
"Yes... and no. I made the delivery all right; Deuxvrey's personal secretary had to pick up the shipment for him, though. Unfortunately, I've been... mugged? Assaulted? Kidnapped? Anyhow, the upshot of it is I'm without papers or credits, holing up at a friend's apartment. I can't get back until the embassy reprocesses my papers, and in the meantime, I'm curious as to why I was jumped by two goons in the middle of the Financial district."
Raymon pursed his lips. "Rivals trying to get the goods?"
"No, they seemed to wait until after I'd had it delivered."
"That... other business we've been working on?"
"Possibly. It was more or less an open secret to begin with. I'm not sure, though, as I got away before any interrogation could take place. I'm currently trying to find out, believe me."
Raymon sighed. "Then you won't be here for a while. Pity, I could use your help on... something else that's come up. There's a new lead in the Renon case I've been doing a little PI work following."
There was a pause on the other line. "It lead you to MEZER?"
"No, don't worry about that. Actually, I think I ought to call them up. There might be an opportunity in it for them."
"Insider trading, old friend? I thought better of you than that."
"Hey, its just a favor. Not like I'm taking a cut."
"Ha! Well, I shall call you when there's more to say."

The call ended. Valencii pondered for a moment, wondering if he'd done enough for today. "Well, one more call couldn't hurt..."
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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by osprey77 »

Slowly, Matt turned his head to Jeremy. "You mean it?" His voice sounded as hoarse and as raspy as it had been when Jeremy was first dragged into the cell. It was as if all the strength he had seemed to gain when hope had first reappeared, all the progress he had seemed to make, had been wiped out in one outburst. Save his strength? It was about all he could do, now...

****

Leah hesitated briefly. How much should she tell a merc (however adept at getting necessary information)? She considered the 'adjustment' to her plan. It seemed sound. It would mean no torture for Katya, but the end would be the same, and soon, leaving her time to gather her assets and 'disappear'. Best not to get to many people involved, she was planning to leave most of her merc force to take the fall for her. Who cared if they could tell the GBI everything about the plan and Leah? 'Leah' would no longer exist... but she did need at least one helper she could trust for phase one.

"As a matter of fact, I was thinking of how to proceed with my...project. I need to take care of a few things here, then I will require your assistance. I'll call when I need you."

She indicated that Vince was dismissed. She needed to carefully plan what to tell him exactly what they would be doing. She wasn't sure...but he could balk at a full-family massacre.
"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."
C. S. Lewis

"With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere."
C. S. Lewis

"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'"
C. S. Lewis

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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by cossant »

Jeremy already had a plan of his. Unknowingly, though, several other groups had plans too.

Forcing himself up, he approached the cell door. He could hear the guard walking down the hall. Perfect.

"Yo, psycho! Yeah, I'm talking to you." he yelled, the guard glaring at him. Jeremy continued. "Man, I've seen some stupid and dim-witted mercs in my time, but you all take the cake. I could take all of you on with one hand tied behind my back." He had the guard's attention, though the guard just shrugged off his insults. Yeah, it seemed pretty childish. Until he continued. "You know, maybe before Leah kills me, I'll mock her choice at choosing you guys for a pathetic excuse for a guard force. Then, maybe I wouldn't be the only one to die." That got the guards attention. And he was furious. He abandoned his patrol, and unlocked the cell door. This could hurt.

Without further delay, the guard struck Jeremy with the butt of his gun. Jeremy retaliated, by lunging forward, slamming the guy against the wall. The guard shoved him off almost with too much ease, and punched Jeremy right under the jaw, causing Jeremy's head whipped back as he slumped to the floor, not moving. The guard locked the cell door as he left. "Mangy mutt." he grumbled as he locked the doors. For all he cared, Jeremy couldn't be killed sooner. He almost had a mind to do that right now, if it wasn't for Leah probably wanting to kill him first.

With a cough, Jeremy rolled over to get his face off the floor. "Well, that was unpleasant. *cough* but, it furthers my plan. I'll tell you later, Matt. Just rest up."

*****

They were done waiting. "Take Valencii alive." The words rang over their ear pieces. They had their orders. If anyone had payed close attention, they would have noticed the traffic dimming. Surprising how much you could control through electronics. several figures appeared throughout the streets. Two were far off in front of Valencii, two behind, and one who oversaw all of it was his scoped Assault rifle. They began to move in, as the traffic trickled down. Once they were given the all clear for law enforcement, they would strike.

*******

Marcus had forwarded the info to Ronnie, and he was working furiously to put his skills to action. All he needed was the opportunity, and he could help get his hacking buddy out. Jeremy had always helped him hack through networks that required two people in order to stall security measures. They even made a competition sometimes, just to see who could hack through and get any good information first. Now, he was going to use these skills to give Jeremy the opportunity to escape. "Hang on, buddy." he whispered.

*******

"This the place" a female dragon asked, her bluish green scales covered by body armor and equipment. "This is the place we traced them to." a burly tiger confirmed. The dragon nodded her head. "I'll find Jeremy, you take care of any problems we might have. We move on my signal. Shouldn't be longer than an hour." The Tiger slipped back into the shadows, as the young dragon moved closer to the buildings. "Hang on, Jeremy." she muttered.

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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by Rackenhammer »

Plans did not come naturally to Valencii. He had no big ambitions beyond running his businesses, and then retiring to relax and enjoy life. While this made him flexible in his business, it also meant that he was more often someone who merely reacted to situations, and had little power to change them.
On the other hand, he knew more than a few people who did plan, and one of these he was calling now.

He wasn't in. Raymon glowered at the screen, huffing a bit before composing his message. "Jehan? I suspect you're taking a rare day off. Well, I've come across something that may interest you. One of the Renon family's financial associates, Leah, may soon find her assets seized on criminal charges. If you want them on public auction, you'd best get in on the ground floor now. Make sure you get the real estate if you can, I think there may be more behind this than anyone knows. Hell, I've been paranoid that someone-"*click

The connection had been cut off. A sliver of icy fear started to run down the rodent's spine. With a spasmodic jerk he swiveled the chair around, eyes darting first to the shadows in the hall, next to the shadows out the window. Primordial instincts were yelling at him that there was a cat at the mousehole, drowning out rational thought.
*Calm down, Calm down! First, you've got to get out of here.* There were storage tunnels in the basement, kept dry by AC units to keep the books from rotting. As silently as panic would allow, Valencii scampered to the basement door, wondering all the while if he was really delivering himself into the hands of his sentinels.
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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by osprey77 »

Matt watched the whole exchange, puzzled. Further his plan? How did getting beat up further his plan? Rest up...It was about all he could do now. It was actually a relief...not to have any plans to make...and yet, be able, to have the faintest hope of escape...after all these years, could it really be true? The young hybrid couldn't say, as he slumped there, semi-conscious, breathing deeply.

((ooc: Sorry for the weak reply, but I want to give you time to wrap up the valencii plot before moving on towards the conclusion.))
"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."
C. S. Lewis

"With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere."
C. S. Lewis

"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'"
C. S. Lewis

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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by cossant »

The strike team moved in, sweeping through the building like shadows. Guns still concealed, they began their methodical searching, their eyes picking up on detail that most people wouldn't even notice.

"Top floor clear, No sign of Valencii."
"Ground floor is clear no sign of him."

The leader showed no sign of nervousness. Failure was not an option. They would find this guy. Even if they didn't, none of them feared death, which would be the punishment for not completing the mission.

"He's heading down to the Basement floor!." one of them reported. All of them moved in. The first one, who sighted him gave chase, his gun drawn. "You there! Stop in the name of the Party!." he shouted as he ran for Valencii.

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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by Rackenhammer »

The moment Valencii heard the intruder call out those words, all rational thought crashed to pieces in his head, leaving only bare instinct. He fled, quite possibly setting a lifetime record for speed as he flung open the basement doors and dashed into the shadows.

Everyone in Gawain knew about the Party. It was part of the cultural consciousness, the stock real world villain, much like Gawain had been in the 20th century. The irony of the role reversal was lost upon no one. All were agreed that the very worst thing that could happen to a person was to fall into Their hands. You'd never get out; no one could do anything for you, and as for what would be done to you-
Well, suffice it to say that Valencii would have quite honestly taken a cyanide pill before giving himself up to these guys.

The storage tunnels were a rat maze. Literally, Valencii had laid them out in such a haphazard way that only he could successfully find any particular item. It was a good way to detain thieves, and a good place to lose pursuers.
The mouse scampered along memorized pathways, gasping for breath in an all-but-vain attempt to do so quietly. *I really, really, wish Kolin was back from Domus...*
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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by osprey77 »

It's ironic, that while some are engaged in fight-or-flight situations for their very lives, how others are unaware of the danger looming just over their heads...

Or, at least, partially unaware. Gregor Renon was no fool, and held no dissolutions that the kidnapper would try again. Security was tight around the upscale home, and the squirrel inwardly cursed at the reporter who had let slip that Katya was now at home. 'Safe' the article had said...Safe as can be, I suppose, but how safe is that really? And yet, when the father watched his daughter, either working at her schoolwork, sent from the school he dared not let her attend anymore or practicing hover board tricks, seemingly not concerned with the closeness she had come to death, part of his gloom was lifted. And when he saw her laughing and talking with Jason; perhaps the first time the poor mutt had laughed in years; well, let's say it was worry of another sort that plagued him then.

And yet, even this paranoid parent could not protect his family from the horror to come...

((ooc: call it foreshadowing or delaying tactics; just let me know when your ready for me to move the plot from this end. Keep in mind it will probably take quite a few post cycles to conclude, even once I start moving in that direction.))
"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."
C. S. Lewis

"With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere."
C. S. Lewis

"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'"
C. S. Lewis

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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by cossant »

The strike team tried to pursue Valencii, but they were moving blind. Within minutes, they had not only lost sight of Valencii, but had somehow separated and lost their way back.

This was something they could not believe. In Edwin, no one got away from them. The Party saw all, controlled all, knew all. Here, they were limited. And they had failed.

They remained expressionless, as they faced the penalty of their failure. Death.

When the next person passed these mazes, they would find the bodies of the strike team. Each one would have a bullet from his own gun in his head. Considering what their punishment would be if they returned to Edwin, this was the only choice they had.

********

Marcus remained ever silent as he kept watch over Katya's home. He was still a wanted man, and the police were no doubt looking for him. But he still had a job to do. He couldn't help out his brothers. That was now up to Ronnie. For now, he had to make sure Katya remained safe.

"When an Ankoi accepts pledges his loyalty to a mission," he began, "he is pledged to complete the mission or die for it." Marcus knew what accepting any job entailed. Now, he was going to see this through to the end of it, or the end of him.

He hoped it wasn't him that ended.

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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by Rackenhammer »

The next person that passed through the mazes was Don, head of a GBI team that Valencii had called in. The bodies were being carried out into the light for better examination by the forensics department. One of them was being born on a stretched behind the skunk agent as he talked it over with the mouse.
"Really, I don't think Edwin really considered it a priority to get you; they would have sent a better squad. I mean, they get lost in a basement, then commit suicide? And they didn't even bother to hide their identity!"
"They may not have been from Edwin itself," Valencii mused. "They may have been poor sons of our soil brainwashed by an idealogue. It would explain how agents so incompetent managed to get past border security."
The skunk snorted. "Not that it's up to scratch, in any case." He sighed. "But why would the Party be interested in the Renon case? I can't think it's a coincidence they waited until now to peg you."
Valencii shrugged. "I really don't know. Anyhow, I've got to get back to my business. Will you be re-opening the case?"
"You've given us some potential leads. I don't know how long it would have taken our cold case division to get to it. We may have actually put more resources into it, if the entire department hadn't been focused on dismantling the Hyeri criminal empire. Speaking of which, I've got business of my own to attend to. Say hi to Kolin for me."
"Will do, officer." Valencii nodded goodbye, and went back to his house.

That had been exciting, yes, but it seemed his place in the matter was largely marginal by this point, unless his customers contacted him again. Don would probably deepen his involvement though, and Jehan... well, you could never tell with him.
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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by osprey77 »

((ooc: okay, time to get my part started up again. The plan isn't set in stone, I have an end in mind, but I am flexible, so interfere as you see fit.))

Leah had one last problem she was running through her head over and over...the other merc...the one who hadn't given in...what would she do about him? She had overheard Vince and Jeremy in TC, and knew that her problems would compound themselves if she killed him outright...and any overt orders could be found out...She was loathe to leave him for the GBI to rescue, but she knew time was running short.

She called a guard in, and snapped out the order, "Have one of our nondescript cars ready and running outside the side entrance." After the young guard scrambled away, Leah called Vince to her office. This plan must succeed, then, come what will. Alone, if I must be, but triumphant to the last.
"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."
C. S. Lewis

"With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere."
C. S. Lewis

"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, 'All right, then, have it your way.'"
C. S. Lewis

Image


All my Characters:
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Re: A Hint of Despair (Gawain, open to the first two people)

Post by cossant »

Vince knew that his brother would create a problem for Leah. He could give the GBI all sorts of information. But could he really pull the trigger on his own brother, if he was commanded to do so?

"When an Ankoi pledges his loyalty to a mission, he is pledged to complete the mission, or die for it." he muttered to himself. That code would mean his brother might die because of him. He hoped that Leah would see another way. Or maybe Vince could convince his brother to keep quiet. But no. Jeremy was just as loyal to the missions he accepted as Vince was to his own.

Pushing the thoughts out of his head, he walked into Leah's office.

"Something up, Leah?" he asked as he walked in.

Locked