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 Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)

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PostSubject: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:10 pm

A loft apartment in a well-to-do Librium neighborhood. Four in the morning.

*Bvvvvvvvvvvm......bvvvvvvvvvm*

The mobile phone on the nightstand tried to scurry across the surface as the vibrate mode announced the call. Lance fumbled in the dark for the device. Tired fingers finally grasped it and brought it to his ear.

"Someone better be dying," he grumbled to the caller. There was only one reason why that line would be used at this time of night. Lance shifted cautiously on the bed, trying not wake the beautiful creature lying naked next to him. He clicked the lamp once to get the lowest level of the three way light bulb. A polished gold and silver coin glinted in the light.

"That is the plan, but hopefully not one of ours." Even in a sleep addled state, the addonexus would recognize the voice of Master Dawn. Lance had been there the day Dawn took up the mantle as one of the leaders of Umbra. "Heads."

Lance picked up the commemorative coin from the Great Conflagration. Whenever anyone called him about a job, he decided whether or not to accept it by a coin flip. He'd also give the potential employer the opportunity to call the outcome. Heads on this coin was the mushroom cloud following the detonation of the first atomic bomb. Tails was the symbols for the United Nations and the Courts of Light and Shadow showing they could all live in peace. Lance flipped the coin and winced as the metal rang in the air.

It was too early for phone calls, coin flips, and disturbing the woman he met in the bar earlier that night. The coin plopped down on his open hand. Mushroom cloud.

"Protect or neutralize?" Lance set the coin down and then rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He could hear the smile in the reply.

"A little of both, actually. You'll have a partner for this one. He's a kneecapper that gets the job done. Not unlike a certain former operative..."

"Get on with it, Dawn." Lance interrupted. He might be the only one who could get away with talking back to the upper echelons. Lord knew he was older than most of them. Dark and Lance were about the same age, but the freelancer was essentially born into Umbra.

"Yes, well as I was saying. This operative was recommended for a protection racket that slid across our table a few days ago. That's not normally what we do, but the client is offering a great deal in black market intelligence.

"So what do you need me for."

"This operative is a greenhorn. He shows excellent promise but lacks your experience. Let him take the lead but watch his back. The mark knows who you are, so your presence alone should be more than enough to keep him in check. No, you don't know him but you did pull a job for him before."

{Oh great. Double crossing a former employer. Oh well. It was bound to happen in this business.}

"What's the greenhorn's name, and where do I meet him?"

"The operative goes by Claymore. He'll be waiting for you on top of the Fidelity building in half an hour." The line went dead.

Lance groaned softly and leaned up against the headboard. Crystal, his fling for the night, rolled over and draped an arm over his knees. Everything ok, babe? she muttered, mostly still asleep. The freelancer brushed her hair behind her ear.

"The office called. Gotta go in early."

I thought you were a psychic.

"The other side doesn't always use cards. Gotta go. Feel free to use the kitchen. I'll come back when I can." Lance slid her arm off his body. Why did Dawn have to ruin this? So much for retiring from Umbra.

The addonexus threw on whatever 'tough guy' clothes he could find. He didn't know what equipment he'd need, but Lance could always summon it to him later. He still packed a few hunting knives just in case. After running a comb through his hair, Lance orbed out of his bathroom in a flurry of dark spheres.

*

The spheres coalesced on the rooftop of the Fidelity Apartments. It wasn't too far from his loft, but Orbing provided the fastest way to get their aside from the fire escape. He had gone with the dark version to better mask his appearance before the sun rose. Lance hadn't met this Claymore before, but he figured only one other person would be standing up here at this time of day.
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:00 pm

Vincent rolled away from the gorgeous blonde next to him, breathing deeply to catch his breath. He had been called to the hotel where the three leaders of the Umbra Enforcers worked from in order to be given an assignment. That had been five hours ago, around ten thirty. He had promptly been brought up to Mistress Eve’s room, and hadn’t left since. “So I’m guessing that I don’t really have an assignment to receive, that you just wanted me to come here?” he asked once he finally caught his breath again, looking back to the naked woman next to him.

Eve was stretched out on the bed, looking very much like a sated predator. She brushed her long, blonde hair behind a pointed ear. “Actually, you do. I recommended you to Dawn for a protection detail early this morning,” she said, giving him a mischievous smirk.

Irritation welled up inside Vincent. “So you had me come here, and then kept me up all night just to send me out on a protection mission with no sleep? Why in the hell would you do that?” His voice was sharp, his irritation making itself blatantly clear.

The smirk vanished from Eve’s face as her eyes took on their customary frosted look. “Being my favorite does not allow you to speak like that to me, piglet. Besides, did you not enjoy your night?” He couldn’t say that he hadn’t. The woman looked maybe a year or two past thirty. She was an elf, though, and looking as she did probably meant she was well over two hundred years old. And she did indeed know how to make a night pleasurable, as Vince had found out on many occasions before tonight. He knew he was her favorite, her pretty as she called him. He also knew that she had a new pretty every five years or so. To her, he was a pet, a toy, around for her amusement. He didn’t complain; besides the pet names he had no problem with their situation, and it was clear the pet names would not stop. What couldn’t be changed had to be endured.

“Apologies, Mistress Eve. I did enjoy tonight, as I’ve enjoyed every other night in your company. I would have liked at least some sleep before I have to hold someone’s life in my hands, however. It is difficult to be vigilant if I’m falling asleep.”

“Don’t worry, sweetling. You will have someone else there with you. A former enforcer during the war. Dawn still thinks of you as a greenhorn, and thinks you still need a babysitter.” Vincent ground his teeth slightly at hearing that. A greenhorn? He’d been an enforcer for a little over five years now, with no failures in his past. It was no secret that Vince and Dawn didn’t get along, though neither had a reason they could think of as to why they disliked the other. “Dawn wants you to protect the mark, but I want you to do more. This man says he has very valuable information that Umbra can use, and if it’s true he will be hunted. That is the purpose of your mission, as Dawn sees it; to protect. I want you to lure the hunters out and find out who they are, who hired them, and exactly why. I can’t help but think there is more to this than Dawn is telling Dark and myself.” So this was going to turn into a power play between the heads of the enforcers. Great. “All the pertinent data has already been transferred to your phone. Review it quickly, though. You need to meet your partner on the Fidelity roof at four thirty.” Vince picked up his phone to check the time. Four o’clock. Also great.

Five minutes later Vince was on the roof of the hotel, dressed in his customary black garb complete with his jet black cloak. He had his Gemini daggers sheathed on either hip, and his greatsword Excelsior strapped to his back. Along Excelsior’s belt across his chest were small loops holding vials. They contained refills of all his metals that were needed to make his ability work; Iron, Steel, Tin, Pewter, Copper, Aluminum, and Duralumin.

Dropping a coin and Burning Steel, Vince pushed off the coin and launched himself into the air. It would take him roughly twenty minutes to reach the Fidelity building in this manner, using Iron and Steel to jump from rooftop to rooftop.

He arrived with a few minutes to spare, and no sign of his partner yet, so he began to review the information on his phone, Burning Tin to enhance his senses and keep track of everything around him. The marks name was Eric Douglas, formerly an employee of one Gustavo Buckner. Buckner was known to Umbra; he had many contacts on the black market and was often at odds with the company, jealous of the fact that Umbra ruled the information networks of Terra. It seemed obvious what information Douglas had to give Umbra, and also who would want him silenced.

His Tin enhanced ears caught the faint sound of a footfall behind him. Putting his phone back into his pocket, he turned to face the newcomer. “You must be my partner this morning. They call me Claymore, for obvious reasons, but I wasn’t given a name for you.”
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:03 am

Three people had been in bed with an attractive woman tonight. Three were forced to leave their beds and the women they had shared them with. Of course, only two of them actually made it out their front door.

Aranel stretched and yawned as her mark stumbled as he was walking away from the bed. "Something wrong, love?" she asked, turning on her side and propping her head up on her hand. The man hacked and gagged, falling to his knees and clutching at his throat. "Tsk, tsk, tsk," Aranel shook her head, climbing from the bed and walking up behind him, the shadows from the digital clock casting a soft, neon glow on her bare body. "Someone not feeling well?" He tried to turn up to look at her, an accusatory glance in his dark eyes, but she planted a foot at the back of his neck and pushed him to the floor.

He struggled weakly, his body starting to writhe. Aranel stood there, head tilted to the side, her eyes burning with the cold reflection of electric light. The man reached for his pants, and the weapon he had tucked away on his belt, but Aranel's eyes flicked over to them and cast them across the room with a quick burst of force.

She crouched down, stroking the man's hair, her weight still pressing down on the foot that pinned him by the neck. His mouth started to froth, and he gagged as if about to vomit. "No no no..." she whispered, shoving a telekinetic gag between his lips. "Don't make a mess now..." The last thing she wanted was to get his bile on her feet. The poison was almost done working its way through his system. She had been quite kind to him. She had given him the night of his life, though it was also the night of his death.

He finally grew limp, and she wrapped a telekinetic bond around his throat just to make sure. She squeezed to ensure no more air was flowing through his lungs, and felt for the nonexistent pulse of his now still lifeblood.

She hummed softly as she rose to her feet, stepping off the man's back and towards the bathroom. A quick thrust of her mind shoved the body under the bed and out of the way. Some maid would find it in the morning, maybe. Maybe not. These ape-run hotels didn't tend to clean up so well.

She took her time showering, washing away the sweat and fluids of sex and violence. It was always so nice to have a good roll to release her tension before a job, even if the man had been a human. She didn't mind slumming it with the hairless apes now and then. She just made sure to kill them after so they didn't get the idea they were her equal.

Soon after, she watched the data scroll across the dead mark's computer pad as she slid silk stockings onto her slender legs. Still humming, she committed names and faces to memory, slipping into lacy black undergarments. A set of knives were slipped into her garter, a handgun strapped to her inner thigh, and a set of tiny, coin-sized explosive discs tucked between her breasts. A black leather miniskirt hugged her hips as she twisted to take in her reflection in the mirror, and a black halter top was slipped over her well-toned torso.

She wrapped her hair up in a twist, sliding two sharpened metal chopsticks in to hold it in place. She slid into knee-high leather books with hidden steel toes and thick high heels, zipping each one up and then slipping another set of knives into them. She pulled on a pair of black leather gloves, tucking them down to her elbows and flexing her fingers in them to check the fit. Unseen metal pads were sewn into the knuckles, lightweight but strong enough to break a man's nose.

Still humming, she pulled out a heavy black case and laid it on the bed. She flipped the latches open, and lifted the lid, letting out an amused and pleased moan at the sight within. Black gloved fingertips glided over the rifle with more tenderness than she had shown her short-lived lover, and she began the well-practiced task of assembling it. Her grin widened with excitement as she slid the barrel into the slide, twisting and locking the pieces into place. The rifle was strapped to her back, and she slipped on a belt with spare clips and a modern version of the classic P99.

Armed and ready, she telekinetically lifted the dead man's computer, and crushed it under five hundred pounds of force. She had the information she needed out of it, and it wouldn't do to leave it lying around where anyone else could find it. The dead man, in addition to being a mediocre fuck, had been an employee of Gustavo Buckner. He had, point in fact, been the man Buckner had sent to eliminate Eric Douglas. Instead of lying, cold and lifeless under the hotel room bed, he was supposed to be on his way to intercept Douglas and put a stop to his treachery, making sure Douglas didn't spill any of Buckner's secrets to Umbra.

The Courts had a slightly more... elaborate plan in mind than Buckner's simple assassination. The first step was to eliminate Buckner's assassin... done and done. The Courts had other plans in mind for Buckner, and part of that meant making sure no more of Buckner's men fell into Umbra's hands. They couldn't allow Buckner's agents to be interrogated and give up their information.

The second step involved giving Umbra a little taste of victory. They were a treasured ally of the Court of Shadow, after all, and among friends it was important to share and share alike. But Umbra didn't always share in return, and that was where Aranel came in. Her hit on Douglas was a ruse. While feigning assassination, she would acquire a copy of the data Douglas was bringing to Umbra. The dead man's computer had revealed to her that Douglas would be carrying a flash drive that contained a list of names and contacts of Buckner's black market connections. During the chaos of the battle, Aranel would need to acquire that drive, copy its contents, and then return it to Douglas' person.

Then, Umbra's agents would 'valiantly drive off the assassin,' protecting their charge just as they were being paid to do. All nice and clean, though of course Aranel didn't have any orders not to kill one of the protectors, if it came to that. It would make for a more convincing show, after all. They would flee back to their safe house, confident that they had done their jobs well, and collect their pay.

After that, step three would begin. But Aranel didn't want to get ahead of herself.

Adjusting the sniper rifle on her back, she crouched next to the bed. She caught a glimpse of the dead man's eyes staring out at her from under the bed, and she smiled. She kissed her leather-clad fingertips, then reached down to close the man's eyes. A moment later, she disappeared from the room, teleporting to a rooftop near where Douglas would soon appear. She didn't have any information on where his escorts were coming from, so she would have to wait. She raised her binoculars to her eyes, hidden in the shadows, and watched for when the mark would approach. As soon as his protectors showed themselves, the fun would begin.
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:47 am

Darkness enveloped the world for the one covert operative without a warm body, pun notwithstanding, accompanying them in their bed. He had never really dreamed since his modifications were installed, not that REM sleep was all it was supposedly cracked up to be. A soft beep beep sound enveloped the darkness, and brown eyes shot open, adjusting near instantly to the darkness.

"Lights."

Ethan Kelly rose from his slumber as the lights in his minimally furnished corporate apartment blinked to respond. When his military commlink was activated it meant only one thing: wetwork, and the most urgent kind, considering the time of night. Throwing his feet off the bed and rising with a stretch, Kelly walked to his door, retrieved the data stick from his mailbox, inserting it softly in to the access port at the base of his skull until it clicked softly. Closing his eyes, Ethan walked the well known path to his steam shower while the back of his neck tingled with pins and needles, indicating the data stick was loading. Shedding his clothes, Ethan opened his eyes in his stark white bathroom, the contrasting stainless steel shower directly in front of him. Walking in whilst rubbing his eyes softly, Ethan prepared for his briefing.

"Kelly, Access code 0057841, Echo Echo Echo, begin briefing. And warm steam, please."

His left eye blurred as a prerecorded image showed a man in his vision, the name "ERIC DOUGLAS" appeared below it as his military comm began speaking to him.

[Good Morning, Echo Kilo. I apologize for the abrupt wake up, but this is hot intel and you are the asset with the highest probability of success.]

I always am, aren't I Shield? Ethan shook his head with amusement as the briefing continued while he finished washing.

[Target is Eric Douglas, a former employee of Gustavo Buckner, the intelligence dealer. Douglas has apparently gone rogue to recent sources, and Umbra operatives are currently being roused to bring him in to corporate protection.]

The images in his left eye adjusted to pictures of Buckner and some other gentleman who Ethan didn't know.

[Buckner has hired assassins to take care of Douglas, but they can't be trusted to not fall on the sidewalk and die on the way. That is where you come in. Eliminate the target and, if necessary, the Umbra agents accompanying him. You are not the only agent trying to facilitate this mission, but it is your responsibility to see it done. Your transportation will arrive in twenty minutes from the conclusion of this briefing. Good luck, Mr. Kelly.]

Toweling off, Ethan ejected the data stick from his skull and tossed it in the garbage disposal in the kitchen, holding the button for a solid seven seconds before washing the fragments away. Shield always had kind words for him, she always seemed to smile when wishing him good luck. He had never met the woman, but he always envisioned her as a motherly type...then again, that could be the whole point of her linguistics.

Dressing in a black pair of BDU pants and his "tactilneck" turtleneck, he arraigned the harness and shoulder holsters over the clothing with ease. His boots zipped up tight to a comfortable fit before tucking his pants in to them. Two nickel plated handguns slipped comfortably in to their holsters, and a large curved combat knife was strapped to his right thigh. A medkit, urban survival kit, extra batteries, a camel water pack, and night vision sunglasses found their way to various pockets and places of rest. Standing in his living room, Ethan smiled as he checks his apparel.

"Weapons cache open: level five."

[Voice Authorization Codeword] The female computer's voice was one of the suggestions of a set of glasses in the gadget lab. Something about needing more wiggle in his life, whatever that meant.

"Authorization: I aim to misbehave." That authorization always made Ethan smile as his walls opened with fluorescent white light, showing cabinets of the biggest weapons his collection had to offer.

Browsing his selection, Ethan lovingly patted the large tube of green metal for the personal TOW missiles before hefting the large ceramic fifty caliber long-range rifle from the shelf. Grabbing a smoke grenade, a flashbang, binoculars and various magazines of ammunition, Ethan placed each item in its rightful place on his body.

"Some other time, old friend." He spoke warmly to the heavy weapon as he pulled the bolt back on the rifle, throwing the shoulder strap over his body as the gun compressed to the size of a shotgun for travel.

I do love prototype weaponry.

Climbing to the roof via a stairwell, Ethan signaled for his pickup and climbed in to the helicopter that landed softly on the gravel. The trip was quick and quiet, the reduced engine and rotor noise being a real boon to covert ops. The pilot made a motion to Ethan, and he stepped out on the skid and in to a flat footpad attached to a length of wire. It dropped down, Ethan riding through the air until they approached the rooftop where he could get vantage on Douglas' apartment.

A soft jump and roll later, Ethan began assembling his nest. Scanning other rooftops for competition, he popped the tripod on the rifle, laying down behind it, easing in to the butt as he observed the mark's apartment.

On second thought...maybe the missile launcher would have been easier. Then again, blowing up two buildings in two months isn't the best kind of attention.
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:59 pm

“You must be my partner this morning. They call me Claymore, for obvious reasons, but I wasn’t given a name for you.”

Lance had tried to Sense out his 'partner' before arriving, but a code name wasn't enough information to go off of. Dawn hadn't sent anything on this Claymore. When he saw the name Buckner, he realized what he was up against. Arms dealers were tricky business, and Lance had only brought a couple of knives. At least he could whip up a few of the big guns later on. He took a quick moment to attune to his new charge. It would help the addonexus lock on to Vince if they ever got separated.

"Certainly not Piglet." Lance stepped into view. He had gleaned Vince's surface thoughts. The enforcer was still remembering his little tryst with the Mistress. "I think the most flattering name they have for me is Wild Card. Word of advice when sleeping with the boss....spice things up. Oh, and beware the cage. Never ends well."

The addonexus squinted a moment and looked out over the city. He could Sense the first batch of employees coming into the building. Being born on a leyline had triggered Lance's abilities, but it had also kept him from fully switching them off some times. "Maintenance will be up here any moment. Ready to go?" Lance placed a hand on Vince's shoulder. "You'll probably feel a bit dizzy, but it beats taking the Metro."

Both enforcers fields of vision became obstructed by swirling blue-white orbs. The rooftop washed away in the light, but the two would still be able to see the city move beneath their formless bodies. It took a moment for the cloud that was them to home in and then zoom off to Eric Douglas' apartment. They phased through the building walls on the opposite side of where Aranel was watching only by coincidence. Lance couldn't sense her presence while focusing on orbing himself and Vince across the city. Of course, Lance was also completely unaware of Echo Kilo taking up space outside as well. That was why the addonexus preferred to just Orb in. It's harder to track someone when they can travel where others cannot.

The bright light slowly dimmed down as their bodies turned back into matter. Lanced blinked quickly. Not because his vision was cloudy, but mass orbing always took a different toll on him. He prepared a knife, just in case. They were in an arms dealer's house after all. And there was a shifting noise coming from another room. If it was Douglas, he probably saw the lightshow reflecting around the place. And he was probably armed.

"Your mark," Lance whispered. "How do you want to play this?" His offhand was held out, ready to remote orb whatever Douglas decided to brandish at them.
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:04 pm

“Certainly not Piglet.”

Vince gave a small start at the newcomers response. Surely it had to be coincidence…or did he hear it from somebody? Or could he perhaps read minds? Not many people knew about Mistress Eve and her pretties. Oh they knew that the pretties existed, yes, but it wasn’t usually known who it was until after the fact. Recovering from his small shock Vince listened to the rest of what Wild Card had to say. Spice things up? Did this man know from experience? That had to be the reason he knew about the pet names, but how did he know Vince was the current? Vince gave himself a quick mental slap. There were more important things to think about at the moment. When Douglas was safe and his information was in Umbra’s hands, then Vince could sit and have a chat with Lance.

Before he could respond, however, Lance closed the distance between them and clapped a hand on Vince’s shoulder. Vince stiffened, briefly expecting an attack, until his mind registered what Lance had said as he moved. People coming. “A little dizzy? What are you talk-“ Vince’s question was cut off as his vision was obscured by what appeared to be small orbs of light, and then he had the strange feeling that he had become part of the lights. He could see the streets of the city passing by underneath them as they flew towards Douglas’ apartment. Vince expected them to land on the roof of the apartment building and enter from there, so he was very surprised as they moved straight through the brick wall of the building and stopped in Douglas’ living room. As the light faded, Vince felt himself becoming heavier as he returned to normal.

As soon as the light was gone, Vince listened with his Tin enhanced ears. He had never stopped Burning the metal during their brief flight. In the small apartment he heard the shuffling sounds that Lance had heard coming from the bedroom, as well as what sounded like the hammer being pulled back on a revolver. He nodded to affirm to Lance that he had heard the question, but didn’t answer. Instead he raised his voice to carry through the apartment, but not any more than was necessary. “Eric Douglas, we are here from Umbra. Codeword Duralumin. Please put down whatever sort of weapon you have in your hands and come out here.” Duralumin was one of Vince’s metals for his ability, but it wasn’t a metal that was used often, and many people didn’t even know it existed.

“H-How did you g-get in here? I didn’t h-hear the d-door open.” From the tone of the voice coming out of the bedroom, as well as the stuttering, Douglas was scared shitless. “How we came in is irrelevant, Mr. Douglas. What is relevant is that we need to get you out of here and someplace secure. Unless you’d rather wait here for your killer to knock on your door?” A minute passed with no other sound coming from the other room, and then Vince heard the sound of footsteps as Douglas walked into view, standing in the doorframe. “How are you going to get me to safety? The files I have require a password known only to me to be accessed.” He was obviously still worried about his information being taken from him after just killing him. Indeed, that would have made life much easier on Vince’s end of things. He’d done that numerous times in the past. He was sure that Umbra’s intel analysts could break through to the files; there was no indication that Douglas was a genius with computers. Likely, his password could be gotten around quickly enough.

“We’re going to exit the same way we came in. My partner is going to teleport us.” Having experienced the orbing firsthand, Vince knew it wasn’t actually teleportation, but it wasn’t far off and he didn’t want to waste time explaining something he didn’t know how to explain. “We can be at our destination safely and quickly.”

Instead of looking relieved at the news, Douglas paled even further. “You two…you have…abilities?” Even through the fear in his voice, the scorn on the final word was clear. Vincent cringed inside. Douglas was a purist, one of those humans who saw anything touched by the other side as an abomination.

“Yes, we do, and we’re going to use them to save your sorry ass,” Vince said, his voice turning hard. With no sleep this evening, he had little tolerance for anything stopping him from finishing this mission quickly.

Douglas seemed to steel himself, visibly straitening. “No. I will not be touched by your abominable abilities. We will travel normally, or my information stays, and likely goes to my grave, with me.” Vincent sighed. They needed Douglas to cooperate with Umbra. He looked over to Lance, who just shrugged slightly.

“Fine. We’ll travel normally. Get your shit and get ready to go. We leave in five minutes.” As Douglas ran back into his room, Vince pulled out his phone and dialed the number given to him in his briefing. No one else would be calling this number, and when the woman waiting on the other end answered she wasted no time. “What can I help you with, Claymore?”

“I need a vehicle to transport Douglas. ASAP.” Vincent did not look forward to the need to drive to their destination. When he had seen the Wild Card’s transporting ability he had begun to hope they wouldn’t need a car, since vehicles were the bane of Vince’s existence.

“A car can meet you five blocks to the east from the mark's apartment in twenty minutes. Acceptable?”

“Yes, that’s fine. We’re leaving now.” Hanging up the phone he raised his voice again. “Let’s go, Douglas. We don’t have all morning.” He looked over at Lance. “This could have been so much simpler if protection wasn’t our first priority,” he muttered to the other man. “When we get outside, I’ll take point, with Douglas behind me and you at rear. Okay?” Douglas came out of his bedroom carrying a small bag and slipping a flash drive into his pocket. “You stay close to the two of us and you just might make it out of this alive. If we’re lucky, no one is camping on your apartment waiting for you to leave today. Let’s go.” Vincent led the way out of the apartment and down the five flights of stairs to the ground floor, exiting the building as the sky was beginning to light up with a pre-dawn glow. He began Burning all of his metals save Aluminum, preparing himself as best he could for anything.
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:34 pm

Aranel watched the helicopter arriving with a mixture of disdain and amusement. What kind of idiot takes a helicopter on an assassination? she thought. Ah yes, the HUMAN kind... The jet black helicopter might have been all but invisible in the night to human eyes, and the stealth rotors no noisier than a bird's wings, but an elf's eyes could see as clearly at night as they could during the day, and hear a hawk gliding in for the kill.

She teleported to a new rooftop nearby, one that offered her better cover against being seen by this new assassin. It happened without motion, light, or sound; she was simply here one moment, there the next. Only someone who could sense mana flows would detect it. Nestled in her new position, she watched the man through her binoculars, noting what weapons she could see and anything else she could learn about him.

She spotted what looked like a smoke grenade and a flashbang. Those some suit her purposes nicely.

Movement from Douglas' apartment drew her attention. She certainly hadn't been so distracted that she missed someone entering the building. They must have used magical means to enter the building. Of course, that could mean anything from teleportation to wall-walking to super speed to whiz past so fast she hadn't seen them. She wouldn't know which until she was it in action.

She was about to strike early, worried that they would exit the same way and be gone before she had her chance. But for whatever reason, they used the door on their way out. Very well, but she wouldn't delay any further. The moment they stepped out onto the city streets, she set her plan into motion.

Her sniper rifle was left on a stand, aimed down at the street level. She'd be back for it in a moment. What happened next was over in mere seconds. Striking first had that advantage; surprise was a tool you only got to use once.

In an instant she had teleported to a spot behind the rooftop assassin, who deserved death for giving away his location so easily. He was a useful distraction, though, and she didn't strike to kill just yet. Killing him would spoil her element of surprise, and since he couldn't see what she did behind him, she could hold that advantage for just a second longer. Telekinetic fingers reached out and did three things at once. A second later she was gone again.

The three things she did at once were: stealing the smoke grenade from his belt, pulling the pin on his flashbang, and twisting the focus on his rifle.

The smoke grenade came with her when she teleported away. The alteration to the rifle's lens threw it sharply out of focus, and the assassin would lose precious seconds getting it aligned properly again. And during those precious seconds, his own flashbang would go off, and with any luck, blind and deafen him, at least momentarily.

She landed in a nearby alley and telekinetically hurled the smoke grenade at the two Umbra men and their charge. This took only another second, after which point she teleported into an empty apartment in the second floor of Douglas' building. By the time the flash bang and smoke grenade had gone off, she was already out of sight. It had taken mere seconds, and the distraction would cause enough chaos to allow her one last move. She glanced out the window long enough to sight her targets, and sent out two more telekinetic hands. One reached down and slipped into Douglas' pocket to deftly remove the flash drive in a feat of telekinetic sleight of hand, lifting it through the concealment of the smoke up to Aranel's hiding place. The other reached across the way to the roof where her sniper rifle was sitting. It was a bit difficult and awkward to use her telekinesis from that distance, but she didn't need to be precise. The rifle was set on full auto mode and already aimed in the right general direction. Her telekinetic finger just pulled the trigger, and a hail of bullets descended on the poor victims below. Since she couldn't properly aim like this, they'd have no trouble avoiding the shots. But between the flashbang on one roof and the rifle fire from the other, the Umbra men should have their attention drawn away, and their hands full with keeping Douglas safe.
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:45 am

Settling down in the butt of the rifle, Ethan prepared for a long night. Precise surveillance and sniping typically required research of the target area, perfect camouflage, perfect vantage point for both the shooter and his or her spotter, and well, a spotter. He liked to defy the odds and expectations of his peers, and Ethan typically did better flying by the seat of his pants most of the time. Besides, with other assassins apparently after this guy, all Ethan really had to do was confirm the kill.

This is gonna be easier than choosing a...what was that?

His ears perked up at a slight noise. It might be nothing, it probably was nothing...but it could be something. Something was always worse than nothing...and that something sounded like gravel shifting just ever so slightly. That, and his hip felt lighter.

Grenade!

Quickly reaching to his belt, Ethan found no smoke grenade and no pin on his flashbang! Grabbing the distraction device hard, he ripped the belt loop off as he hurled the canister over the ledge and shoved his head in to the gravel rooftop, covering his ears. The telltale muffled crumpling noise accompanied the heat of the explosion, indicating that Ethan was second away from losing a chunk of himself. Giving himself a moment to feel for injuries and finding none, Ethan popped the 'NV' button on the side of his glasses, looking for the person who invaded his space.

Not a soul...either they are invisible, or a teleporter. I hate teleporters...

Tossing caution to the wind, Ethan threw his eye back to the scope, pressing the 'TO' button on his sunglasses - Thermal Optics. Smoke erupted in the street, only tightening the space between Ethan's index finger and the trigger of the rifle. Losing his smoke grenade really pissed him off, and the little bastard who took it was gonna pay. Ethan's thermal vision showed three bodies under the smoke, which was to be expected, which leap and dove for cover under automatic gunfire from somewhere to his right. He would deal with that later...it was too erratic to be controlled by anyone but a moron.

"I got you now, you son of a bitch...steal my grenade."

What had gotten his attention was the sudden appearance of a muted heat signature in an apartment overlooking the scene. That could only be possible by that heat accumulating there instantly, being teleported there, for instance. This was Ethan's chance to take action against a faster foe with better acute knowledge of the area. Carefully aiming, with his cross-hairs directly in the center of the heat area, Ethan fired three loud fifty caliber shots in to the wall. The large bullets would have no difficulty penetrating the walls of the apartment building, but the slight deviation of the focus on his rifle would surely exact its toll on the accuracy of those shots. They would likely miss...but not by much.

Jumping up from his position, Ethan grabbed his rifle by the handle and sprinted across the roof, leaping across the alleyway on to an adjacent roof. This gave him two distinct advantages: a new vantage point to assess new threats, and a new position none of the distracted players in this deadly game of blows was aware of yet.
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:21 pm

“Eric Douglas, we are here from Umbra. Codeword Duralumin. Please put down whatever sort of weapon you have in your hands and come out here.”

Lance had never heard of duralumin before. If he had, he didn't remember. The addonexus had spent quite a few years trying to forget the war.

“H-How did you g-get in here? I didn’t h-hear the d-door open.”

{Because we don't use one.}

Lance took in his surroundings while his partner tried to defuse the situation. “How we came in is irrelevant, Mr. Douglas. What is relevant is that we need to get you out of here and someplace secure. Unless you’d rather wait here for your killer to knock on your door?”

“How are you going to get me to safety? The files I have require a password known only to me to be accessed.”

{The opposite of how we came in.}

“We’re going to exit the same way we came in. My partner is going to teleport us.” Lance didn't bother correcting people anymore. They were essentially the same though. Dematerialize at Point A. Rematerialize at Point B. “We can be at our destination safely and quickly.”

Douglas blanched. Perhaps he teleported before? “You two…you have…abilities?”

{Well I do. Don't know about you.}

“Yes, we do, and we’re going to use them to save your sorry ass,” Vince said, his voice turning hard.

{Amen, brother.}

“No. I will not be touched by your abominable abilities. We will travel normally, or my information stays, and likely goes to my grave, with me.”

"You haven't seen my abominable ability," Lanced muttered out of the corner of his mouth, but only so Vince could hear.

“Fine. We’ll travel normally. Get your shit and get ready to go. We leave in five minutes.” Lance zoned out while Douglas ran off and Vince called for pickup.

“This could have been so much simpler if protection wasn’t our first priority,” Vince muttered.

"I could still orb us all out and you could torture the password out of him," Lance whispered back. They both knew it wouldn't be worth the effort.

“When we get outside, I’ll take point, with Douglas behind me and you at rear. Okay?” Lance nodded. It would be easier to support them if he could keep eyes on them. Douglas came out of his bedroom carrying a small bag and slipping a flash drive into his pocket. “You stay close to the two of us and you just might make it out of this alive. If we’re lucky, no one is camping on your apartment waiting for you to leave today. Let’s go.”

The trio made it out of the building without any problems. Unfortunately, that was the easy part. The fun part happened when a pop was heard from overhead. More than half a century's experience in the War told Lance it was a minor grenade, probably just for crowd control. Flash bang?

Lance put a hand on both men to keep them low to the ground, thereby making them smaller targets. It was more of a suggestive nudge than a mandate. Oh, how he really just wanted to Orb them all out.

He should have. A wild barrage of bullets riddled the street. The aim was wide, so the old man in a young man's body automatically thought diversion. Three more shots were directed at a higher level. Lance wasn't aware of any other Umbra operatives being called in for this assignment. Too many factors to process right now. Way too early for these shenanigans.

"Now would be a good time to use some abilities, don't you think?" {And grenades of our own.}

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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:57 pm

As soon as Vince began Burning his metals and connecting himself to every piece of metal within fifty feet, the world came alive. Tin enhanced all five of his senses threefold, so colors looked brighter, sounds were clearer and more abundant; the scent of the city filled his nose. The light morning breezed tickled across his face. All in all, it was turning out to be a beautiful morning.

There was a small sound as something hit the ground near their feet. Vince just had the chance to register that it was a smoke grenade before it went off and surrounded the three of them in a haze of acrid smoke. To Vincent’s enhanced senses the smoke was a weapon all its own. His eyes and nose began burning, forcing him to extinguish Tin. The discomfort from the smoke decreased, but didn’t go away entirely.

Before he could get his bearings, a barrage of bullets came from one of the nearby rooftops. The scatter told Vince it was more suppressive fire to distract them than anything else, and as he felt Lance’s hand on his shoulder he crouched low, pushing Lance and Douglas back towards the building and moving to follow them, trying to squeeze as close as possible to the brick wall. He felt one bullet graze his left arm, felt another ricochet off of the blade of Excelsior, and heard more than felt a third bullet hitting the hilt of the greatsword in the time it took to take the three steps.

Through the mess of things happening around him, Vincent didn’t catch the sound of the three high caliber gunshots firing into an apartment above his head. He did notice two other things, however. The first was a mass of metal suddenly appearing out of nowhere above him, mainly knives, and the second was the fact that the metal part of Douglas’ flash drive was moving from his pocket up towards the beacon of metal above him. Vince Flared Iron and Pulled the flash drive back to him. He felt the resistance as the drive broke free of whatever was holding it before it smacked into the palm of his hand. If Douglas didn’t make it out of this alive, at least Umbra could still crack at the data.

It quickly clicked in Vince’s mind that whoever was up there was probably more after the information Douglas had than his head. Vince figured that ruled out anyone tied to Buckner; Buckner would want the traitor killed as soon as possible. Who could it be then? He knew plenty of other corps and organizations would jump at the chance to have the info, but who else knew Douglas had it? At this point, Douglas looked nearly on the point of passing out, but didn’t appear to be wounded.

When the spray of bullets finally ceased as the rifle ran out of ammo Vince turned to Lance in time to hear Lance’s comment. “You’re right. Get him out of here, and take this too,” he said as he pushed the flash drive into the other man’s hand. At least if Douglas didn’t make it out of this alive, Umbra could still crack at the data. “There is someone above us I want to check out. Turns out luck wasn’t going to hold out for us today. Get him somewhere safe, and then it’s up to you whether you come back here.”

Vincent moved a step away from the wall and pulled Excelsior off his back. The dwarven made blade showed no mark of where the bullet had hit it, but hilt had a dent in it where the bullet hit, and the leather grip was all torn up. It made gripping the sword feel awkward, but it wasn’t anything that would hinder him much. He fished into his pocket, pulled out a quarter and dropped it on the ground. Standing over the coin, he Steelpushed off of it to propel himself up into the air. As he moved up to the second floor he honed in on the mysterious source of metal he had sensed moments earlier. Figuring out which window he was looking for he let himself fall back to the ground, Flaring Pewter just before he hit to take no damage from the forty foot drop. He Pulled his coin back to his hand and dropped it in another position where he Pushed off of both the coin and a parked car on the side of the road in order to shoot himself diagonally upwards and through the window into the apartment where his beacon was. He landed just inside the window, quickly moving into a defensive stance. It turned out his beacon was a slender girl in a mini skirt and halter top. He could still sense the metal all around her body. She had all manner of metal objects everywhere on her.

With the amount of knives he sensed, he knew this wasn’t going to be pretty. He only hoped that Lance had done his little teleport thing with Douglas and was out of here with the man and his information.
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:12 pm

The sudden explosion of shrapnel from the wall next to her caught Aranel by surprise. Someone had the means to track her, either through magic or technology. She threw up a telekinetic shield as quickly as she could, protecting her vitals, but she wasn't fast enough to block all the wall fragments that came flying at her. Shards of brick from the wall cut her arm, sending a spray of blood. She grinned. Someone had brought the big boy toys, if the gun could punch right through the wall. She hadn't gotten a very good look at the rifle in the brief second she was on the roof, but it clearly wasn't some chump's toy bought on the street. No, there was a big budget hitter on the field. Add that to the helicopter drop-off, and he was clearly either government or corporate.

She glanced back out the window, but the hitter wasn't camped in the same place. She didn't have time to search for him now. Seconds counted, and she was already a bit winded from the three rapid-fire teleports. She had to work smart, not rough.

She got her second surprise of the day when she felt something tug on the flash drive. Another telekinetic? She glanced down and saw one of the men looking up her way. Some kind of supernatural senses, if he'd managed to pick out the flash drive despite the smoke. She could fight him for control of the drive and see if his power could withstand five hundred pounds of force, but for one thing, expending that much brute energy wasn't her style, and for another, she might break the drive in the process. She decided on a more finesseful route.

She kept a 'soft' grip on the drive, not fighting the man for control. She let him pull the drive down, but kept a 'hand' on it for the moment. She pulled out some knives, two thin throwing blades in each hand, and got ready to jump down below and engage the enemies.

Then she saw the man jump up to her window.

Then he dropped back down.

Her face scrunched up for a moment, then she grinned. The man had just telegraphed his move. In the brief moment it took him to land again and push off for his second jump, Aranel crouched down out of his path, and grabbed the nearby couch in a firm telekinetic grip.

When he landed in the room with his sword drawn, Aranel flung her knives at him. Two blades held between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, angled away from each other so that when she threw them, the blades spread out in mid air. The four blades flew for the man as soon as he was inside, one pair aimed low at his chest and gut, the other pair aimed high at his face and neck.

She didn't take the time to stop, for she had no interest in fighting the man, but she noticed with increasing interest as the knives were hurled away by whatever power the man had. She noted it with surprise and interest, but the flash drive was her goal, and she had to stay focused on it. She was already leaping out the window as she threw the blades, telekinetically dragging the couch behind her. It wedged into the window as she leapt out, cracking the frame as she pulled it in nice and tight. She kept her grip on the couch as she fell, using the telekinetic grip like a rappelling harness to lower herself quickly down to the ground. The man in the room, if he survived the knives, was now theoretically contained for the moment. While he wasted time either trying to unwedge the couch or finding another way back down, Aranel would be focusing on her primary target.

On the ground, she moved fast, rushing at Lance, since her grip on the flash drive told her it was now in his hand. She had to divide her attention now, since she still didn't know where the sniper was. She could divide her telekinetic weaves up to five ways, and she needed them for this.

While one telekinetic 'hand' was lowering her to the ground, another directed a weak shield upwards to deflect shots from above. Since she was dividing her weaves, it wouldn't block a really strong attack, but it should be enough to at least deflect a bullet from achieving a kill shot. A third 'hand' was still on the flash drive, holding a tight grip. A fourth reached into Aranel's own pocket for her cell phone.

Her own real fist thrust at Lance's forearm as she was landing, the metal knuckles in her gloves striking hard against his arm to jar him and loosen his grip on the flash drive. At the same moment, a fifth and final telekinetic hand thrust at Lance's chest to hurl him backwards. If she hadn't had to divide her attention so much, she might have been able to crush his chest in with five hundred pounds of force. Instead, all she was able to do was hurl him backwards with the equivalent force of a body slam.

While she was shoving him back, the two telekinetic hands holding the flash drive and the phone moved together, plugging the drive into the adapter hooked on the bottom of the phone. She grabbed the connected devices in her other free physical hand and pressed the 'Send' button on the phone. Her allies from the Courts would handle the flash drive now... Aranel didn't know anything more than an average person about computers, and wasn't equipped to hack the drive. She also couldn't 'steal' the drive, since her mission parameters required her to let it fall back into Umbra's hands at the end. So in order to get the information, another agent of the Courts would download the data from the drive. All Aranel had to do now was keep dragging the fight out long enough for the process to complete.
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Tue May 01, 2012 12:48 am

Laying about his new sniper's nest, Ethan watched the happenings down in the streets with mild amusement. The two Umbra agents were still bumbling with their mark, trying to get a hold of the slowly calming situation. He was irritated to find his focus out of whack, which would explain why the damned teleporter hadn't fallen in to a pile of goo with his three rounds in what Ethan thought had been center of mass.

As his sun glasses switched back to night vision as the smoke began to clear, he placed his eye behind the scope and grinned. He knew that sword, and that body. One of those agents for Umbra was Vince! Trying to fight the teleporter was a very dangerous game if you didn't know how...and Ethan suspected that Vince was new to the whole "Now you see me, now you don't" game in combat. It looked like this was going to be the second time Ethan saved Vince's ass: first that Terran Guard, and now this.

Those two will probably make up for what I have to do to their mark. Vince is going to be unbelievably pissed!

He watched as the unknown teleporter, who was a woman apparently, rushed the ground Umbra agent while Vince dealt with something in the upper apartment. Then he saw his moment: she plugged something in to her phone, probably downloading information for some third party.

"Not on my watch, sweetheart." Ethan muttered to her as he felt recoil against his shoulder.

The phone exploded in to a thousand tiny pieces of plastic, glass, and metal as a 50 caliber bullet flew through it and embedded itself deep in the building's concrete. Ethan smiled as the teleporter spun in surprise in his direction. She obviously thought he had bugged out once his grenades nearly ruined the surprise. What she hadn't counted on was Ethan Kelly never gave up until he was dead or nearly so...

"Surprise! Don't look at me now, you'll give me away."

Recoil buffeted his shoulder as a round slammed in to her left shoulder. She spun from the force. That was smart, it kept the arm attached, those bullets he carried were brutal. Another bit of force whacked his shoulder as another piece of lead hit semi-sonic speeds and blasted through her right kneecap, putting her down on her left.

Exhaling and breathing in quickly to deliver the final shot, the reticule on the scope rounded Aranel's head. Ethan now noticed the points on her ears and found a nostalgic value to what he was about to do.

"Esteë, Ohtar En Orne"

Recoil bucked against his shoulder once more.

==OOC: Elven translation: Rest, Warrior of the Trees

Lance, this should give you time for you to do what you need to do.==
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Wed May 02, 2012 7:46 pm

“You’re right. Get him out of here, and take this too,” Vince slipped the flash drive in Lance's hand. At least someone had some sense here. “There is someone above us I want to check out. Turns out luck wasn’t going to hold out for us today. Get him somewhere safe, and then it’s up to you whether you come back here.”

{You got it.}

The job was to get the information. Sure, the information would come better if Douglas survived. Umbra had plenty of cryptologists to crack the password should he not. Vince seemed capable of covering his own ass...at least until the addonexus could come back for him. Claymore unsheathed his namesake and somehow launched himself into the air with a coin of his own.

"You heard him, Douglas. Time for me to put a stain on you. Don't worry, it'll come off in the shower."

The normal human kept jumping back out of reach or managed to wriggle free of Lance's grip. That gave the elf assassin enough time to rush him. Reinforced gloves struck the tendons on the back of his forearm, reflexively causing his hand to open and leave the drive exposed. He started to curse at the failed objective, but the wind was knocked out of him as the force punch struck his sternum. Lance slammed backwards into a mail box and tumbled over it. The world found itself upside down and washed out as his head struck the curb.

Aranel drew her phone while Lance picked himself up. White orbs danced in his peripheral vision. Orbs! He needed to get that flash drive back. He reached an open hand towards the device and forced out a "Flash drive."

But the data gizmo was already plugged. Why would a phone have a USB port? Lance shook his head to clear the orbs in his vision from misfiring neurons. Both drive and phone started to dissolve in a cloud of white light. The remote orb encompassed the phone as the drive was plugged in. However, a well placed bullet scattered half of the cloud. The power behind the orb refocused on the now only intact item. A non winded Lance would have been upset he couldn't recover the phone's hardware to track the opposition's employer, but he was still trying to get his broad chest to work again. He breathed easier when the drive manifested in his left hand.

Another gunshot seemed to fracture an invisible forcefield before slamming into the elf's shoulder. She spun. Blood erupted from her knee as another shot crippled her knee. If he were the sniper, Lance would go for a headshot next. He could let the sniper take her out, or he could do something for a fellow hired knife. Lance gave a quick coin flip and committed to the Tails outcome: do something. He wildly waved his right arm up and to the side.

"Away," Lance barked simply. He hugged the mailbox for support while Aranel converted into a field of white energy. The field broke off into a bee swarm of white spheres and blew away in the general direction of the hand wave. That just left him and Douglas on the street.

Or did it?

Lance turned around but couldn't find Douglas. Was he hiding? Where? The addonexus ducked behind the mailbox. Closing his eyes, he focused very hard on Douglas. He hadn't taken the time to properly attune to the man, but he had enough for a Sense to work.

==I didn't want us to win too easily, Vince. Is Douglas just around the corner or did he make a break for it?==
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Thu May 03, 2012 8:36 pm

Vince had only enough time to notice the woman standing in the room with him was an elf before she was on the move. She wasted no time in throwing a handful of knives at him, which he Pushed away with hardly a thought as he moved in with an overhead swing of his sword. She deftly sidestepped the swing, and just as deftly rolled away from his follow through swing that would have taken her in the chest. She was wasn’t interested in fighting back, though, and came up from her roll closer to the same window he had just come through. Without a second glance at him she was out the window, somehow pulling a couch behind her to block the exit for Vince.

As Vince moved the few steps it would take to get back to the window he heard the gunshots. They sounded like higher caliber shots, taken from some distance. Why the hell was there a sniper here? There wasn’t supposed to be any more support from Umbra on this job, which left only another assassin after Douglas. Vince Flared Tin to enhance his senses, and when the next shot went off he was able to figure out the general area the shooter was. It was one of three rooftops not too far away. A third shot and Vince knew which rooftop it was. After a moment of scanning, he could see the outline of a person lying on the roof against the pre-dawn glow of the sky.

Vince extinguished all of his metals. What he was going to do next was going to leave him disoriented for a few moments. He began Burning Duralumin first. Duralumin had a strange effect in that it didn’t really grant him a new ability as his other seven metals did. Instead it gave an enormous boost to whatever metal was Burned with it for an extremely short time. When Vince Burned Pewter, it about tripled all his physical qualities: strength, speed, dexterity, etc. When he Flared Pewter, it doubled the effect to give him six times his normal qualities, but only for a third of the time. Duralumin multiplied whatever enhancement he already had tenfold for a couple seconds before completely draining that metal reserve. Flaring Pewter while Burning Duralumin increased his physical qualities sixtyfold. That was exactly what he needed right now.

While still Burning Duralumin, Vince Flared Tin to enhance his five senses sixtyfold. For the next two to three seconds, Vince could hear ants crawling underneath the street; he could smell bread baking from three streets away. He could see the rooftop the sniper was on as if he was looking through a high powered scope of his own, and as he recognized the man he was looking at he almost wished he had the gun to go with his hypothetical scope. What the hell was Ethan doing here, and who the hell was he shooting at?

Vince didn’t have long to think on it, though. Just as his Duralumin boost was about to end, Ethan fired his last shot. Vincent cried out in pain as his beyond superhuman ears took in the sound of the gunfire. As his boost ended and his Tin was drained completely Vince was hit by the expected disorientation. His mind had trouble keeping up when his senses changed so much in such a short time. He could feel blood running down his face from his right ear, and noises seemed muffled on that side. He’d have to have some of Umbra’s mages look at it later. He was sure at least one of them had healing abilities.

He quickly pulled a vial of Tin from Excelsior’s baldric and downed it, replenishing his reserve. He Flared Pewter next and pulled the couch out of his way. Seconds after Ethan’s last shot, Vince was back on the ground just in time to see the elf being transported away by Lance. Vince looked up to Ethan, knowing that the Paladin agent was looking at them. He pointed his first two fingers of his free hand at his eyes, and then pointed at Ethan giving the universal sign for ‘I’m watching you’ before turning to Lance, only to find his partner searching for Douglas while keeping cover behind a mailbox. He didn’t like turning his back on a sniper that he knew was there, but he didn’t think Ethan would shoot him. More likely Ethan had orders to kill Douglas, or possibly the elf.

If Douglas wasn’t here, that meant either Lance had sent him away as Vince had hoped he would, or Douglas had run in the few seconds that the elf had taken Lance’s attention. Vince Flared Tin again, which only made it more apparent that his right ear was damaged, and listened for the rapid footfalls of someone running. It was still before five in the morning, so there weren’t any people on the street around them to interfere with Vince listening. He heard footsteps, quick enough to be someone running, coming from the alleyway to his left. If Vince had to guess, this wasn’t one of those alleys that had a dead end; Douglas was making a break for it by trying to get to the next street while the two Umbra agents were otherwise occupied.

Vince closed his eyes to focus more on the sound. “I think he’s running down this alleyway. Probably leads to the next street. You up for a chase?”
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Sun May 06, 2012 5:27 pm

Watching through his scope, Ethan was temporarily startled by the white light and swirling magic of Lance's orb spell. Not being aware of the differences in magic and abilities, Ethan merely caught the tail end of the event, watching the concrete side of the building erupt a small hole in the side of it, concrete dust and pieces of rock spewing everywhere. Assuming that the teleporter had gotten away of her own accord, he slammed his fist hard to the ground next to him, spewing gravel with his curse.

If you got away, my Elven friend, I am sure we will meet again. Now...to the target.

Settling back in the grove of his rifle butt, Ethan placed his eye back on the scope and scanned for his target. Not finding him immediately, Ethan thought that he must have run off in the smoke and the fighting. However, he did catch Vince's gesture, raising an eyebrow in response. That simply meant that his Umbra agent friend knew his position....which in and of itself was a security risk.

What are the odds that you think he knows its me? Nah, there is no way he can see he from this distance.

Regardless of what Vince did or did not see, Douglas had to die, and the fact was that Ethan wanted to preserve his friendship with the sword-wielding man. Friends were few and far between in his line of work, especially legitimate friends...not just the contacts with whom he associated. It was at that moment that Ethan knew he couldn't splatter Douglas across the street with a large caliber bullet on the odd chance Vince knew it was him. He couldn't risk the collateral damage of his friendship...business or no.

Therefore, Ethan had to get creative.

Quickly stashing his rifle in his duffel and securing it with a transponder tag, in case anyone got sticky fingers and an idea, he pulled the large pair of knives out from his boots....and began to hunt.

"Now this...is gonna be fun."
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   Sun May 13, 2012 12:05 am

“I think he’s running down this alleyway. Probably leads to the next street. You up for a chase?”

Lance shut out the rest of the city. Now that he knew which directions not to look in, scrying for Douglas became that much easier. Sure enough, their minds connected in such a way for Lance to get a pretty good location on their charge for the morning.

"Got him." The addonexus was getting his wind back from the psychic elf. He didn't care at the moment if she was cursing or thanking him. That would have to wait for another day. "And I ain't gonna run after him."

The 'senior' agent popped up from behind the mail box fast enough to give a quick two fingered salute to the sniper that had saved his hide. Lance's other hand lashed out and grabbed Vince by the collar. Where last time they were surrounded by bright spheres, menacing dark ones swarmed around them. The angry beehive of black balls of light followed the retreating footsteps. They were still on a protection detail, but the recent turn of events had fouled up Lance's mood as evidenced by the change in orbing style. They barreled down the alley and even passed through a few dumpsters on the way. So long as nothing interfered with his ability, the two would come out of it smelling like a rose. On the plus side, darkorbing would not blind the element burner.

Vince still might feel a little queasy though.

Douglas soon came into view. Lance eased up on the throttle and refocused their energies into substances. Since they were still moving, it would feel as if they had just stepped off one of the moving sidewalks in the airports. Lance, of course, was ready for this transition and seemed unhindered by it.

He had forgotten to tell Vince about the re-entry.

"You don't call. You don't write. Don't you ever run off like that again," he said to their mark.

==If Ethan has a clear line of sight of the alley, he would probably be able to see where Lance and Vince went. Orbing resembles a swarm of large fireflies even if he goes dark. It's not true teleportation like Aranel had.==
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PostSubject: Re: Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)   

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Heads, I win. Tails, you lose (Vince, open to logical entry)
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