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 Mission Impossible: 'Why me?' (PG-13)

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Floris



Posts : 127
Join date : 2017-02-03

PostSubject: Mission Impossible: 'Why me?' (PG-13)   Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:19 pm

Why me?

The thought echoed in her head as absolute pandemonium ensued all around her. The first few warnings of the pilot had been taken quite casually. The usual turbulence issues. Stormy weather. All those things everyone always ignored. It wasn't like planes had a tendency to crash. One of the most safe methods of transportation after all, yessirree. Which of course, made the subsequent crash and impending doom all the more obvious and frightening when a fucking lightning bolt had trashed the plane, fried every electronic aboard and lit the starboard engine on fire! At the very least she drew some solace out of the fact that the thought was distracting her. It was a step up from what her boyfriend was doing, which was crying his eyes out, clinging to her arm with so much desperation she feared he'd rip it off sooner or later. She absentmindedly patted him on the head and told him it'd be alright.
AS IF! The plane was going to crash from a fucking high altitude, straight into the jungle, which was in the middle of absolutely fucking nowhere! On the continent that nobody had yet bothered to colonise because it was god damned feral and she wouldn't be surprised if the bugs who had held the planet before being bombed to teeny tiny bits still maintained a colony there, even though the military had said they'd been wiped off the face of the Earth. Nova Tera. WHATEVER!

Okay. So much for her maintaining her composure. She let go of the stress that an impending impact and consequent painful death usually conjure in human beings and looked out of the window. If she had to die, she may as well enjoy the scenery on the way down. In that way she was lucky that her seat was right next to the window. Front row seat on the Highway to Hell! What a fucking privilege!
A primal part of her that remained rational and looked for survival, lodged deep within her cerebral lobes and focused purely on not being a total panicky twat, told her that there was still a chance of survival. The plane was in a steep descent, but it was still gliding down rather than plummeting straight to the ground with all the grace of an overweight rope dancer without a safety net. So, her brain reasoned, if the pilot could avoid crashing into a mountain, hill, jungle, or anything else that had the solidity that could severely damage the craft, and land on something similar to a flat area, they actually had a very good chance of surviving.
That same part of her brain also kindly informed her that they were above a jungle and visibility was dodgy at best, and that the pilot could only rely on his eyesight given that the lightning fried his instruments.
Thank you brain. If I live through this, I'll make sure to down enough alcohol so I won't hear from you for a week.
She sighed again. The ground was a lot closer now, but at least she was managing to entertain herself quite properly in the meantime.

She switched her focus outside, properly now, and managed to be both stunned and amazed. The storm that was raging outside was absolutely overpowering. She hoped that the moron who had approved this flight would be shot, but she doubted that was a reasonable expectation of hers, so she'd settle for him being fired and being sued to bits by grieving families. Lightning was tearing the skies apart and now that the plane was actually in the midst of the storm rather than at the very top —it should have been above the fucking thing except this planet worked entirely differently and the heavier gravity had made it impossible for them to climb high enough to avoid it— of the monster, she could feel the thunder reverberating through their metal casket. From time to time a particularly powerful gust of wind would smack against them and every passenger who wasn't belted down would turn into a popcorn kernel that was thrown into a superheated frying pan. She was quite sure one of her passengers was dead already as a cause of that, but honestly she found it hard to find pity for them. They'd join them soon enough afterwards.

A sudden flash caught her attention. Something, probably a tree that was torn from the ground, was moving in the storm and approaching them. Impending doom temporarily forgotten, she pressed her face against the icy window in a desperate attempt to see it better.
Torpedoed in mid-air by a tree while crashing to the ground. Oh the irony.
Except it wasn't a tree. Whatever it was, it was flying! The raging clouds made it impossible to judge its size, but it was very clearly aiming for them, even though the wind threw it back and forth constantly and seriously impeded its progress.

...

It was
aiming for them?

She pulled her head back from the window, stupefied. Not a second later the thing crossed the remaining distance and a loud thunk announced that it had connected with the plane. Which meant it didn't destroy the plane. Which was good.

Then a loud scream emerged from the intercom, metal shrieked and glass broke, and the scream was cut off instantly, replaced by the overpowering sound of the howling wind. The clear indication that the cockpit was now directly exposed to the outside air and that their pilot was quite probably dead or dying —the latter being an entirely different manner of dying that the rest of the passengers found themselves occupied with, as they were doing it from the inside of the plane as opposed to the outside— was enough to temporarily subdue the herd of passengers from stampeding. The intercom clicked off and that was the magical sign for the shrieking, crying, wailing, and whatever other activities humans performed when faced with an immediate death. She closed her eyes and realised that she was done. Too much to take in, not enough time and quiet to think. If she had to die like this, well, nothing she could do about it. But for the love of god couldn't they please be QUIET!

Despite being an atheist herself, to the eternal annoyance of her parents who were both firm believers that there was something out there, she felt that something or someone must have heard her plea, because the plane suddenly performed a sharp lurch to... the left? Right? She really couldn't tell. But regardless of which direction, it made everyone shut up. Despite that a new vacancy for pilot just opened up in the cockpit, [i]something[/ii] was steering.

She looked to the outside again and saw that the ground was very near now.
She abandoned all pretense, all thought, pulled her whimpering boyfriend up into her arms and hugged him as tightly as she could while the plane performed its final acrobatics before it ran out of space between itself and the floor. The last thing she remembered was the back of the seat approaching her very quickly, and a quick feeling of satisfaction that she wouldn't have to wait to get herself utterly wasted to give her brain some payback.
Then darkness took her.


Last edited by Floris on Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Floris



Posts : 127
Join date : 2017-02-03

PostSubject: Re: Mission Impossible: 'Why me?' (PG-13)   Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:21 pm

"Alexandra!"

She didn't know whose voice it was. She didn't care. She was asleep. Peacefully asleep. At home. She remembered it quite well. Sunlight falling through the window, curled up on her bed with a good book, wearing just enough of nothing to be perfectly comfortable on the soft blankets until reality and book blended just enough to take her away to a faraway land where planes didn't crash because they didn't exist.

"Alexandra!"  The voice returned, more incessant. More nagging. She felt someone violently tugging her arm and shaking her. That got her attention because it set off a choir of church bells in her head. She opened her eyes and looked directly into her boyfriend's very worried face.
"I was sleeping, Thomas!" she groaned.
"You didn't look asleep. You looked like you were dead!"
"I'm f—oomph!" She got rudely interrupted as every molecule of oxygen was forced to make a swift retreat from her lungs as he held her in a panic-enforced bear hug.
"Gerroffame!" she cursed, battering his back with pathetic blows. To her eternal relief the bear hug actually lessened and his hands moved up from her middle to her shoulder and the back of her head, gently holding her instead. Which was, she hated to admit, nice. She slowly brought her own arms around him and returned the gesture, finding peace for a few moments.

It ended all too soon.
"So we're alive then?"
"Surprisingly enough. Three passengers died, about a dozen others have wounds from when they were tossed around, but pretty much everyone who had their seat belts on got out relatively unscathed, although given how you smashed into chair, I would be wary of head traumas."
"Well what do you know. Seat belts do save lives."
"There's the Alexandra I know and love, full of sarcasm and spiteful remarks."  
She twirled her head around and growled at him, only to have him catch her head and look deeply into her eyes. She really didn't think it the time or place for romantic gestures, but sadly enough there was nothing romantic about either.
"Pupils react normal, at first glance. I'd ask if your head hurts when you turned that sharply but given that there's an actual dent in that chair, it would be quite a moot question."
"Thanks doctor," she moaned as the pain caught up with her. "Mother always said I was a hardhead."
"It's what I love about you," came the swift reply as he let go of her head. Thomas crawled out from the mess of chairs that were sprawled all over the plane and helped her get to her feet. She would have smiled at him to show her that she wasn't being an ungrateful little shit and that she genuinely appreciated his concern and his help, but smiling hurt. Everything hurt. Thomas seemed to know though, if the gentle squeeze on her shoulders was any indication.
"Get up at your own pace. Don't rush it, if there's any problem, just yell and I'll come straight back to you. In the meantime I'll check on the others. I hope I can find a needle and threat, some of the wounded will need stitching."
"And what makes you think I'm not heavily wounded? I could be bleeding internally?" she countered, making her voice sound hurt and weak.
He let out a short laugh and pressed a kiss on her forehead. "Alexandra, I've known you too long for you to fool me that easily. As long as you're healthy, you're a very sassy little bitch." That got a weak smile out of her, the pain be damned. Her retort was smothered when he pressed his lips against hers. Softly, but urgent. An affirmation the both of them were still alive and alright. She slowly moved her hands towards the back of his head, but he caught her by the wrists and broke the kiss. She pouted.
"But you're my sassy little bitch." He kissed her forehead again, got up and climbed over the wreckage towards the open emergency exits, leaving her behind with a very pleased grin.


She remained seated for a while longer as she slowly started shaking off the pain and the daze. Taking in her immediate surroundings she saw that she wasn't the only person to do so. There were at least two dozen people still inside the plane, which was surprisingly intact given the height they came from, and most of them were attending one another, or searching through the wreckage of their belongings. Some people were already on their phones trying to get a connection. She wasn't sure if they were to be admired or to be pitied. She was more inclined to lean towards the latter when she saw the familiar letters of facebook on one particular screen. It was hard to make out in the sun though.

Sun?

She catapulted herself towards the window, regretted it for a long moment as the pounding in her head resumed, the choir of church bells replaced with the world competition in gong ringing, and looked outside. The storm had passed entirely. The sun was shining without a care in the world, and only near the horizon could she make out the silhouette of the storm clouds that had brought them low. Man, she must have been out longer than she thought if the storm was that far out already. It was good though, it meant that at least they'd have most of the day ahead of them to get some sort of rudimentary shelter set up, make survival plans, all those necessary things that were best done in broad daylight. And she even knew how to do most of those necessary things! Well, on Earth at least. New planet, new ecosphere. Eh, she'd manage. She had her Swiss army knife on her after all, and that thing was useful!

She climbed out of the emergency exit to see well over a hundred people milling about. Most people were still processing the fact that they survived the crash, a few were still unconscious, another handful were surrounding her boyfriend whom was playing doctor, and to her personal annoyance nobody was busy doing what would be needed if they wanted to survive the coming days. At least her boyfriend being the group's doctor would give her some authority, and she feared she'd need it. Humans could be really, really stupid animals.

Taking solace in the headaches growing dimmer with each passing moment, she started drawing up a list. Several lists. Available materials for shelters and tools, where to make a fire, number of survivors and state they were in, food supplies they had available, ensure basic hygiene, arrange a watch, see if they had weapons —because they were in the unclaimed jungle on a pretty damn feral planet—  to defend themselves with, arrange foraging teams, maybe hunter teams, arrange a supply of clean water... Honestly, they had a lot to do. She was aware that now wasn't the best time for that. Best to let everyone get themselves in order again, and in the meantime she could actually do some of those things already. Best to get as much done as possible. it would help her take the lead position and organise things if she had the power of information and having done things behind her.

First things first! She turned around and went inside the plane again. Carefully stepping over the broken pieces of luggage, seats and other items usually found in a plane, she made her way towards the nearest toilet, which —thank the heavens!— was still in working condition. That was one minor worry out of the way. She quickly cleared up the glass shards from the broken mirror and put them in the bin. Perfectly usable toilet! Bam! That would be a luxury! She made her way to the rear of the plane and checked the rear toilet, which was undamaged as well. The mirror had somehow even survived in there! She took a quick glance into it and realised she looked like a mess. The entire front of her head was doing its best to look like the cover of fifty shades of grey, except with blue and purple rather than grey. She looked good otherwise, given that they just made an involuntary descent of several thousand metres. She closed the door to the toilet again and paused for a moment when she didn't hear the 'ping' that indicated it was free again, before remembering that the electronics had been zapped. Her brain instantly mocked her for forgetting it, but she threw up the defensive argument that denting an airplane seat was a good reason to do so. Her brain, although not happy about it, conceded her the point.

She went into the part of the plane were passengers normally didn't enter, but she knew it held the pantry and that would be very important. She was not two steps in when she found the broken body of one of the flight attendants. Being bounced around in a confined hallway with some trolleys wasn't good for your health it seemed. She felt the strange notion that she shouldn't be so calm and collected about seeing a human body so close to her, especially not given that the owner had been smiling warmly at her only... Earlier that day. If her estimate of time was still right at least.
Must've used up all of my ability to feel for the day on the trip down. Come on girl, let's move you out of the way for now. We'll bury you later.
A part of her that the rest of her mind found decidedly morbid was happy that most of the blood wasn't in the body, because it made moving the deceased flight attendant so much easier. She unceremoniously dropped the dead girl in a corner and pushed the trolleys out of the way in the other one before taking stock of the inventory.
Food should be good for a few more days if we're careful... If we can find something edible in the forest we might even last a fair bit. Meat should be prioritised though, no way that'll stay good for long with the power being gone.


After going over everything, including cutlery, water supplies, liquor with a high alcohol content, first aid kits, toilet paper and the other handful of items they liked to sell on the plane, she considered the pantry a done deal and moved to the toilet in the front of the plane. Two were a godsend, but three would be a miracle. Still, if something could be recovered, it'd be nice to have three. Two for the women, one for the men. Men had it easy. They could pee everywhere! And hallelujah! The third toilet was in working order! It was really amazing, their crash had been surprisingly smooth all things considered! And with a bit of luck rescue would come within a few weeks at most! Still, she would set up camp as if they were stranded here. Better to overestimate the amount of time they'd need than underestimate it. Their survival was at stake.

As she was thinking that she realised that something was off. She was overlooking something. She stood in the hallway in front of the cockpit, just outside the toilet. What was she missing...

It came back to her in a flash. The thing flying towards the plane. Hitting it. The pilot screaming. The plane tilting! They were going to crash in the jungle! How had they...
She abandoned her line of thought and grabbed hold of the door to the cockpit, pulling it open. Or attempting it, at least. The damn thing wouldn't budge! She cursed and swore enough to make Thomas blush severely had he been in hearing range. Poor boy was so sensitive about the stupidest things! She thought it with a smile though. Stop! Focus! She searched around and found that one of the railings had come loose from the crash, and pulled it free. With a bit of stabbing she managed to wedge it solidly between the door and the frame and she started to wrench it open. It wasn't easy and within moments she felt droplets of sweat form on her face. God damn it was warm! It worked though, bit by bit the door opened more and more, until it suddenly past the point of all resistance and she crashed into the wall as it was flung wide open. Caressing her nose with a growl and a much gentler curse compared to her earlier outburst and entered the cockpit.


Overseeing the inside she wasn't sure whether she was supposed to unleash a tirade that would affirm the phrase 'Hell hath no fury like a woman' —thank you mom for that version— or to simply continue to gape at it all with her mouth wide open. In the end she chose the latter, incapable of gathering enough coherent thoughts to resort to the former.

The side of the plane had been broken open! In mid air! IN FUCKING MID AIR! IT HAD BEEN BROKEN OPEN! THE WALL OF A METAL AIRCRAFT HAD BEEN BROKEN OPEN IN MID AIR!
WHAT
THE
FUCK


She tried to dismiss the thought, to blame it on the crash, but fuck that! It was on the side! The upper side! Not the lower side! Something had landed on the canopy, simply tore open the fucking cockpit, caused the pilot to scream —she had multiple ideas what could have caused that, but given a lack of blood her best guess was decompression— and had hijacked the plane and averted a fatal crash! Because they had landed in a wide open spot with no trees! Next... Next to a river? She blinked. This made no sense. None at all! She clambered through the hole in the plane and avoided anything worse than a scrape as she climbed on top of it. Surveying their new camp site she grasped the full madness of it all and came to a thought that defied all reason.

Something had defied the mother of all storms to hijack their crashing plane, steer it towards what was likely to be the only survivable landing zone on memory, given that their sight had reduced to squat with all the rain, clouds and lightning, and had executed that landing so perfectly that nearly everyone was still alive, and had landed them next to a river leaving them just enough space to set up a perfectly defensible camping site.

Nah. I'm obviously imagining all this. Can't be real. Stupid Alexandra, mom was right that you read too many fantasy books. It can't be real. None of it makes sense, let alone the very simple fact that it can't be done!

She turned to look at the gaping hole in the cockpit.
I know brain. I'm not even convincing myself here.
Then she saw what were very obviously claw marks and her brain decided to deal with the overload by shutting off.


Last edited by Floris on Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Floris



Posts : 127
Join date : 2017-02-03

PostSubject: Re: Mission Impossible: 'Why me?' (PG-13)   Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:04 pm

Fool girl! He'd thought it plenty times before and he hoped fervently that he'd be able to think it plenty more times in the future. If he hadn't been keeping an eye on her when she started climbing out of the hole in the cockpit, he'd never have seen her falling unconscious. Given her usual resilience and complete inability to properly panic, an ability he thoroughly envied, he was more worried about the cause than the result.

As soon as she fell down, he had rushed stitching up the final patient —thank God his personal first aid kit had survived— causing slightly more pain in the process than necessary. He knew his stitches had been flawless though. He was skilled as a doctor. More than skilled. The moment he was done he had darted from his self-made field hospital and sprinted into the plane, nimbly dodged the debris in there and only paused long enough in the cockpit to wrap some cloth around his hands before climbing out of the hole. His hands were his livelihood after all. If his hands received damage it would greatly diminish his ability to perform his medical duties.

He planted his hands and feet carefully as he clambered onto the outside of the plane. He had seen how quickly his girlfriend had gotten on top of it, and despite being well above her in terms of physical ability he didn't share her lack of fear.
Call it what it is. Lack of bloody common sense.
He dismissed the thought. She wasn't like him and that was fine. She wasn't less than him because of it and he cared for her greatly, in his own way. Back to the issue at hand now. Girlfriend on top of a plane, laying unconscious, in need of help and a proper talking about why climbing up to the top of a plane after surviving a crash with probably head trauma is a horrible idea.

Making sure his footing was fine, he knelt down next to her and gently patted her on the cheek.
"Wake up Alexandra. Again."
Her mouth twisted slightly and he grinned. He tapped her cheek again, harder this time.
"Come on. Sleep later."
"I... Wuh? Thomas?"
"Come on girl." He helped her sit up. "Careful now, don't want you fainting again. You sho—"
"Did you see it!" she whispered urgently, her fingers digging into his shoulders as she grabbed hold of him, painfully so.
"See what?"
"The marks!"
He threw her a very confused look that he had absolutely no clue what she was on about.
"The claw marks!"
From the angry frown forming on her face he knew that he had let his face slip into an expression that indicated he doubted her sanity. He also knew from experience that was a mistake. Unlike the first time that this had happened, he braced himself before she could strike.
"Those cl—" She lost her balance when he didn't move as expected, her attempt to make him look towards the hole failing due to him holding his ground. Not a difficult feat if you had a serious mass and muscle advantage.
"Those claw marks! There! Where that —" She seemed lost for words for a bit. "That thing came in and hijacked the plane!"

He knew that he looked downright disbelieving now. He couldn't help it. Hijack the plane? In mid-air? In that storm? Break through the wall and into the cockpit? None of it made sense. Absolutely none. Impossible. Ridiculous. Obviously she hit... her.... head...

Unless...

No. That can't be. The bugs were wiped out.

He could hear his own voice, it sounded distant. "Let's go check those marks out then."
If there was one bright side to this situation it was when Alexandra's face lit up in pure euphoria when she realised she wasn't dismissed as a madman. That brought on the immediate downside that she tackled him in what she considered was an enthusiastic hug. He personally considered it a nearly successful assassination attempt by knocking him off the plane from a bit too high up.
"I knew I had a reason to love you!" she purred happily, taking obvious pleasure in laying on top of him.
"You may be a daft bint and more than slightly mad, but you're not a liar," he countered, earning him a punch to the side that knocked the air out of him.

By the time he regained it, she had already clambered down the side and into the plane again and he followed. Once inside the cockpit she pointed out the long streaks in the metal on both the outside and the inside. On the outside they were much longer.
"See! When it caught the plane it had to keep hold and obviously struggled in the winds!"
God have mercy on his soul, she was too excited about the idea of a potential monster lurking around that could break into a plane in impossible circumstances.
"And here, on the inside, that's when it must have punched his arm through to break open the wall!"
"Alexandra, dear, keep quiet, let your overactive imagination sit still for a moment and let me think."
"But—"
He raised a finger and gave her a very stern glare. It shut her up instantly, but left her pouting silently. She knew better than to bother him when he gave those looks though.

He sat down, closed his eyes and started digging around in his memory, when his father had first reached out to him with a new job, a few weeks after the funeral of his grandfather.
"Son, the disaster in Verli on Nova Tera that has taken the life of your grandfather has also taken the lives of many accomplished scientists and experts, consequentially opening the doors for new, younger talent to enter the fray. I have managed to land you a job there. You're still in your second year of higher studies in advanced biology and genetics, but you'll find that you can learn more there than any university could ever hope to offer you here on Luna. I will not lie to you. Nova Tera was violently reclaimed from an insectoid race that put up a pretty tough struggle given the fact that they relied on nothing but close quarters combat. They were wiped out with orbital bombardments on all continents, but we managed to do a lot with the corpses.They were an impressive species, thriving on a true deathworld. Their physical abilities were off the charts compared to humans in raw strength, speed, toughness, endurance. Your grandfather was involved in research that would benefit humanity.
His father had paused there, in deep thought. Minutes had passed in silence before he had resumed.
It is believed by some that there are surviving bugs. They were not without intelligence, and if there are survivors who escaped the purge they will likely plot and strike key targets.
His father had given him an intense look and he had caught on flawlessly.
You do not believe that the accident was a natural occurrence.
His father had nodded but not responded, indicating there was more to it.
Your education will continue, but be wary. To me you are very worthwhile. My successor. My pride and joy. To others you can be naught but a speck of dust. Remember how I raised you. Tantum mens rationalis vis ulla nocendi est.

He opened his eyes again and looked at his very impatient girlfriend doing her very best to be patient.
"This can either be coincidence or not. I pray to God almighty it is a coincidence. Logically speaking, it is. There is no solid rational evidence nor motivation for it all. If it is not, there are several options. Regardless, I do not think it is a... monster. Keep quiet about it. We just survived a plane crash, no need to put people further on edge by spreading monster stories."

As Alexandra nodded he gave her a gentle shove.
"Come on, survival expert. Get things sorted."
She spun around and grabbed his neck, pulled herself towards him and gave him a long kiss. "You'll be fine dummy. You can survive me, you can survive this."
He smiled warmly at her as she walked off to do whatever it is she thought needed doing. The idea that he needed reassuring amused him. Silly girl. He focused his mind again.

It was probably a sort of missile, possibly a drone. I am not necessarily the target. If it was a deliberate attempt, it would have been easy to kill us. The lightning striking us couldn't have been predicted. Too many variables. Everything points to it being a coincidence and it would be foolish to assume otherwise until more evidence showed up. Father was undoubtedly already aware of the crash and had probably already ordered a satellite to be moved to our location. While Father on his own might not have enough political clout to get that done, Alexandra's father would have thrown his weight around as well, and given that he was the Vice-President of Nova Tera that meant a lot.

All I have to do is sit tight and wait for rescue.


He watched the graceful form of his slightly insane, significantly eccentric and head-over-heels in love with him girlfriend hop out of the plane through the emergency exit and land in the middle of the group, drawing their attention with a few shouts.

All in all the situation wasn't too bad.
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Floris



Posts : 127
Join date : 2017-02-03

PostSubject: Re: Mission Impossible: 'Why me?' (PG-13)   Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:06 pm

Run!

No time to think, no time for anything but to run. Bullets shattering the glass and impacting on the wall behind him. He was already spotted. How? Special forces? Nobody caught up with him! Still, this was what back up plans were for. He tapped his combhead, switched through different frequencies until he found the right one. A moment of static and he was in. Damn. Not good. They were pinpointing his location. And the target was still out there! Fuck! His mind alerted him when the telltale buzzing made itself known and he dived into cover, just in time to dodge the majority of the blast of an RPG being fired straight into the apartment he was hiding in. Who ever these fuckers were, they were good. No time, no time! Target had to go down before it managed to go into hiding. Stop running. Turn. Face them. FACE THEM!

He backpedaled, dived into the ground and grabbed his handmade darling, one and a half metres of precisely tuned destruction. He veered up, looked through the window and observed. Instantly he could see over a dozen people turn their guns towards him, people both on the ground and in the buildings nearby. Gods above but there were a lot! And they were damn well equipped. Special forces for sure. But for a low-ranking politician? Bullshit! Where was... THERE!

He jumped down again, towards the left. Then immediately reversed direction and rolled away towards the right. A hail of bullets tore through the wall and demolished the location he had occupied mere seconds before. Damn damn damn damn DAMN! Too close! He was an assassin for gods sake! Not a warrior! But he wouldn't run. Not like this. He jumped up and raised his rifle. He wouldn't need much aiming. Target sighted, predict trajectory. Steady. Exhale. Pull the trigger. Dive away.

A smile appeared on his face despite a concentrated salvo reducing everything around him to debris. Target down. Good. Still alive. Still in tact. Time to run. To try at least. No sense in staying to fight. No way he'd win, and no reason to try either. It was a miracle he hadn't been turned to pulp so far. No, not a miracle. Gods didn't award miracles. Skill. Training. MOVE! He tossed his gun away, but not before activating the failsafe. That'd be a big boom. No evidence there. Come on. Go. Run. Hide.

He felt the adrenaline pump through his body as he set off at a dead sprint, abandoning his stake out. He knew it would get increasingly risky as he'd leave the protection of the scrambler. No doubt they would be tracking him with thermal sights. Had to get mixed in with civilians. Make them loose sight of him.

He heard noise. Wrong noise. Heavy noise. He pulled his knife and jumped down the stairs, over the railing and landed on top of a soldier. Grabbing the man's neck with his feet, he caught himself and jumped forward the moment he lost the momentum of the fall. He kept hold of the man though, and broke his neck in the process. The soldier behind him only had time to slightly raise his weapon before a knife pierced the protective cloth on his face. It went like a plasma knife through butter. The man started falling down, blood loss claiming him instantly. The assassin finished his move, rolled over the falling man and got up instantly. Reaction speed was key. Surprise them. Don't give them a chance. You're faster than they, use it! More soldiers! Why soldiers? Why special forces? Target not that important. No, doesn't matter. Survive! Only thing! Stop thinking! ACT!

The third soldier was quicker, but failed to account the swift movements of his opponent into action. He fired a burst at chest height, but the assassin had rolled down all the way and slid between the man's legs. Before he could adjust, blink, or even think, the knife sliced through his trousers and most of his leg. Incapacitated and with a scream of pain, the soldier went down. Fourth man up. Section. Eight men at least; ten at most. Rifle pointing down. Too close to me. Up the assassin jumped, throwing the dying soldier above him off. He expertly tossed his knife from his right, dominant hand to his equally capable left hand, and used his now free right to push down the barrel of the rifle. Before the soldier could compensate, a massive headbutt followed, disorientating him. No second chance, the assassin slit his throat but shoved his knife through his armour, keeping him from falling down. Gunfire rang through the stairway and bullets impacted on the assassin's now thoroughly dead shield. A command was shouted. Confusion reigned. Shooting a teammate never is good for clarity. Idiot shouldn't have stopped. Before order could be reestablished, the assassin pulled the pistol from the soldier free and moved to the side of his human cover. Three soldiers visible. Snapping up the gun faster than the eye could follow, he unleashed a short salvo and he had three less opponents in his way, blood and bone leaking from their faces.

He launched himself forward, properly getting his footing again, and catapulted into the soldiers who were, thanks to his boosted perception, slowly falling down. The men behind never got the chance to act before four humans, one living and three dead, crashed into them. Eliminating them would have taken time, his knife wasn't in a good position, so he ignored them and rolled through, crashing down the next flight of stairs. While confusion reigned behind him, he aimed to escape.


Strangely enough there were no more soldiers down the next few flights, but that didn't matter either way. They'd be waiting for him. Of course they'd be. But that wasn't where he was going. No no. Escape. Out-think them. Outpace, out-think, out-smart them. He stopped in front of an elevator, entered an emergency code just for these situations, and waited impatiently for the doors to open. The moment they were open he grabbed the previously installed hook and hit the release. Holding on for dear life, quite literally, he shot up as the counterweight dropped down like lead. His shoulder groaned and popped out of its place, but he dismissed the pain. Ignore it. Survive first. Everything else is secondary. Focus. Floor nearing. Watch the numbers. Nearly there... Now!

He jumped. He crashed through the open doors and landed in the hallway. Shaking the tears out of his eyes, he quickly popped his shoulder back in. Not properly, but it'd do. He could move again. Close to top floor. Bad location to escape. Normally. He wasn't normal though. He didn't do what
normal people did. He ran towards the other apartment he had stuff hidden in. Another scrambler, other cloaking devices, survival gear. Hide there. Don't show. Robotic dolls would pretend to be inhabitants. Had lived there for years, perfect cover. He'd be safe.

He opened the door and was instantly thrown to the ground and pinned down, heavy knees crushing down on his back and limbs. How? No sound! No movement! Where—

"Told you this fucker thought like us," a voice said. He tried to look at the speaker, but only saw boots. Military issue boots. Same type the special forces from earlier wore. Why wasn't he dead yet? He tried to speak, cause a distraction, anything to give him a moment to free a limb, break out of their grasp. Instead they shoved a piece of cloth into his mouth. He tasted lazardine. Potent drug. Anaesthetic. Why would.... There was no....

Everything faded to black.


And to light again. He opened his eyes. Looking around in the cave, he sighed deeply. Memories. Why would they haunt him now of all times? Because he interfered? Played a god again? Bah. He spat on the floor and hopped upright.
"Not a happy memory?" the voice asked. An oh-so familiar voice by now.
"Maybe not," he replied, "but they're all I have left now."
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