Event Den of Rats

Got it,” Miasma said. Ayla slid out of cover and moved forward at a crouch. She managed maybe five or six steps before she paused and looked back at Molt and gave a brief nod before she turned away and made her way past the vehicles to the supply cache.

She paused again at the last vehicle, some overcompensating monster of metal, and peeked out from behind cover to check for any militiamen who weren’t distracted by the sound of the cannons before she broke from cover. She dashed across the open ground between the vehicles and the supplies, raising her left hand as she went. She took aim at the ammunition, and there was a hiss as a jet of pressurized alcohol escaped from the nozzle. Miasma pivoted on her left leg as she moved, aiming to cover as much as the supply cache as she could with the flammable liquid.

She checked, a flick of her eyes over her shoulder to see if either of the militants had heard the sound of the sprayer and were heading her way, before Miasma turned her wrist. There were a pair of clicks from the starter, a metallic twang followed by the dull feeling of heat. Flames raced out, splashing against the rack of guns, she could feel the air rushing as the cache ignited and she drew the flames back to the right towards the stacked boxes of ammunition.

For that she didn’t wait to see it get swallowed in fire before she turned on her heel and dove for the cover of a vehicle.
Another surprising thing about the Venom Suit was the stealth it could grant. Though visually distinct, the amount of padding and rubber they had packed in there made it damn near silent. Nothing loose and little hard, the only things that could make much noise were the vials on his hands if they clicked together, and he hadn't suffered tremors in a long time.

He followed in behind Rowan, though his path seemed even more cautious, taking longer to get into position, rather than risk being spotted. It was only once everything was lined up, and the targets were firmly downwind of him, that Gaz let himself relax. If anything went wrong--with either of them--he at least had a clean way out, to kill two birds with one chemically-restructured stone.

But it was just that- a way out. A contingency. Tempting as it was to just gas the bastards and get it over with, there was little he could do to contain what he'd release. If the rest of them clocked the respiratory hazard, they'd scramble to prepare themselves- meaning his later attempt, the important one, the stone which could hit more than just two birds, would be ineffective. Injection would be a better call for now. Hopefully, there wouldn't be a need for him to fall back on old habits just yet.

The vials were filled as quickly as they had been on the carrier, this time with something a tad less pleasant than saline. It was something he had overseen tests for; some venom derivative that stopped the heart as soon as it reached it. The lethal dose was high for this sort of thing, but that meant a couple of grams- the fifty millilitres each glove could administer almost felt wasteful.

It wasn't, though. Not for him.

Rowan's voice crackled through the earpiece, flatter than usual, though she may just have been trying to keep the noise down. Gaz responded, quiet and muffled by the mask.

"Sounds like a plan."

And so, the coiled snake waited- watching the idle motion of his target, whilst Rowan's position was held in the corner of his eye. The gunfire had been a good distraction, that was for sure. If either of these men had any idea what was about to hit them, then they were doing a damn good job of hiding it. Pity. He wondered what had happened to bring them to this low; what string of hatred and misery led to them being hired goons at a terrorist rally.

His cue came before he could finish that thought.

Gaz lunged forwards, the echo of gunfire masking his already muted footsteps as he closed the gap between him and his target. Once in range, he pulled back his right hand and snapped it forwards, attempting to hit the man in the neck- or, failing that, the shoulder. Should the needles hit their mark, the pneumatic levers would drain them almost instantaneously, and the overdose they packed would do what it was designed to do.

In short- it would be quick, but it wouldn't be subtle.
Last edited:

TO THE EAST, the two guards that had been otherwise unoccupied soon found themselves adjacent to a complete warzone. Their reactions were immediate; the one sitting upon his phone dropped it into the dirt, then scrambled to grab it as he instinctively moved behind the crate he had sat upon; the other stopped his practice-firing and whipped his gun towards the source of the gunfire, unable to see anything but the oncoming gunfire that came from hundreds of yards away. Neither the east nor the west was at any particular risk of receiving strays; the eastern yard was wide, as was the western vehicle lot, which meant there was plenty of clearance between the active agents and the southern face of the compound, which was currently a mess of dust and fire as it began to partly crumble.


"What the fuck was that?" One of the men stated-- pulling his crossbones bandana over his nose and mouth, wiping his phone off on his jeans before tucking it shakily into his back pocket. The other tilted his head.

"Couldn't have been one of the bombs. Right?" He muttered. "That was-- gunfire. Fucking A10 levels of--"

He didn't finish the thought. Syringes stabbed into his neck and shoulder-- the body immediately flinching as he whirled around, attempting to shoulder Gaz back. A sharp "FUCK!" escaped his mouth as he turned with slight bewilderment to see the costumed and masked figure before him-- eyes almost cringing into an expression of disbelief as he grabbed his neck, staggering back.

"What the FUCK!"

His gun was raised-- he fired off a volley of shots, backpedaling towards the compound as his compatriot behind the crate finally took notice of Gaz. In a flash, his sidearm was unholstered-- his rifle left on the crate in haste. In a moment, the trigger would be pulled-- if Songbird didn't act.

TO THE WEST, things were off to a similarly tumultous start. Miasma managed to evade momentary notice as she stepped forward-- but the jettison of flame that engulfed the munitions crates immediately drew unwanted attention. Guns upon the roof were immediately pointed and fired off at the Agent as the boxes were set alight-- panicked orders and declarations from the opposition accompanying the slight whine of bottlenecked pressure and crackling flame.

A moment later, the munitions underwent the natural consequence of any highly-explosive flammable compound when it was set on fire: they detonated.



The munitions boxes exploded into a mess of shrapnel and flame, the vehicle Miasma ducked behind thankfully absorbing most of the metal shards that screamed through the air at a speed beyond that of sound; the shockwave itself, however, was a different story. Like fireworks crates set alight, the boxes exploded into fire and debris-- the explosions of which only served to throw as-of-yet undetonated munitions all along the vehicle bay, which blew up at random intervals and spread fire along the western face of the building. Those who were unfortunate enough to be caught in the initial shit-show within the vehicle bay were sent sprawling along the ground-- on fire, or in pieces.

"WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?!" A voice screamed from somewhere within the compound-- retaliatory gunfire spraying out into the woods towards the approaching Cannonade in staccato, disconnected bursts. More guns from the second floor fired out at the vehicle bay, along the western treeline-- bullets striking the road behind Molt and ricocheting into the abyss of night. The G-Wagon remained relatively unscathed-- save the scraping of debris and shattered windows along the side that had been directly facing the boxes of munitions.

And perhaps, just beyond the sound of gunfire and explosions-- the fog of war and ringing ears-- there was the sound of an engine roaring to life, somewhere within the run-down compound.

"What the FUCK IS THAT?!"


Rowan had no response for Cannonade. Instead, her focus was entirely on the man in front of her, the first obstacle on what was sure to be a chaotic night. Under the cover of gunfire and explosions, she was able to move more quickly than would have otherwise been possible, careful to stay out of sight as Gaz began to take down the first of the two men standing guard. She hoped that he hadn't taken a stray hit, but if he had, they'd have to resolve that once they got this taken care of.

The man in front of her spun to face her companion, drawing his gun. The moment he turned, she leaped up, aiming to wrap an arm around his neck, the other beneath his dominant shoulder.

It's only one man.

Rowan had been trained on this, before. It may not be her strongest area, but it was necessary, in case she ever found herself in a physical altercation. It helped that she had the drop on him. He was taller than her, but he hadn't expected her, and as the agent pulled him down towards her own height, she placed her masked face next to his ear, dropping her voice into a whisper.

She waited for the explosions.

Yeah, the distant gunfire was a distraction, but it wouldn't be enough to pull eyes away from anything closer. Miasma lighting up the munitions, though - that was a cover. The moment the first cracks and pops sounded off, Molt drew her gun, running quickly down between the vehicles. Two shots for the tires, one below the fuel door. Two shots for the tires, one below the fuel door. She moved quickly and methodically, clearing the entire fleet before turning to the gunners above.

Miasma was under fire - which meant they weren't looking at Molt. Popping out her empty mag, she palmed another, pushing it in with a click as she raised her gun towards anyone unlucky enough to be visible from her angle.

Crack. Crack. Crack. Crack.

Staggered shots. In their panic, they probably hadn't even realized some of the bullets were being fired from a gun.
Seconds, now-

Shouldering Gaz was enough to knock the needles loose, but not much else. He had been trained in this sort of thing, after all. He had to be. Despite being a lethal noncombatant, his unaltered strength and unfortunate weight category meant months spent in training, even when his role was more field medic than environmental hazard.

As such, he knew roughly what to do. Expecting the strike, he let it carry him backwards, turning the momentum into a swift evade to avoid the lethal follow-up. The bullets flew past his shoulder, probably finding their mark in some haybale target way off behind him. His training had paid off, it seemed.

But this wasn't really a fight. It was murder, with evidence of struggle. Gaz relaxed- visible through the suit, as his shoulders slouched and his posture started to loosen.

-I wonder if he knows how few.
The reaction was fast but late, heavy rounds cutting through the air with an angry zip before plunging into the earth with a heavy thud as Miasma finished her pivot. Not one for getting shot or for getting , Ayla dove back for the cover provided by truck or was it a van, or like an ATV sort of thing? What it was was really less important than the feeling of bullets thumping into its side, though she couldn’t tell if that was from the riflemen trying to pin her in place, or from the munitions cooking off a little too well.

As if to answer her, explosions rocked the side of the vehicle as Miasma hefted herself up into a crouch. She placed a hand on the ground to try to keep herself steady as she moved to the vehicle’s front end. Had the riflemen caught onto Molt’s position? If not she was better suited to picking some of them off, so she should keep trying to pull attention.

Which might be hard to top given the bullet fireworks, but all the same Miasma swung out from cover, her arm lifted to send a gout of flame to wash over a nearby vehicle that seemed to have lost a large chunk of its door. She took aim for the tires first, before running the flames along the body of the vehicle, at the very least smoke could help provide some cover.

SONGBIRD AND ELIXIR executed their assault on the pair of soldiers rather flawlessly. Though one had fired off a few disparate shots, any successive trigger pulls were weak-- ineffective. The poisoned militiaman's aim slouched, body staggering back as the serum began to take full effect.

"Whadd'hre... hnnfhrh. Doingh. I..."

He collapsed backward onto the ground; if Gaz cared to look, his eyes were wide, stricken with fear. Then, the look left his gaze, replaced with an emptied and glassy stare into the sky. He was dead.

For the second, the brief moment of panic was replaced by calm; spared a far less gruesome fate, his eyes fluttered and he collapsed, slumping onto his knees and let down face-first onto the ground. His eyelids twitched; blood stained the bandana mask that covered his mouth and nose. Being forced into REM sleep would likely have neurological consequences, but it was better than being dead.

And with that, the backline was clear-- forces were pulled away to the south and west, leaving the east relatively unattended. A door closer to the south would likely allow them to link up with Cannonade, but place them in a more direct line of fire; to the north, there appeared to be a service and back entrance to the abandoned law firm, likely leading to a safer position. The choice was theirs in how they continued, but one thing was for certain-- they needed to move, and move quick. Already, flashlights were sweeping along the roof and from the south towards their position, and the longer they loitered out in the open, the more likely they were to be spotted.

MOLT AND MIASMA, meanwhile, were past the point of discretion. While Molt returned fire through the hailstorm of the munitions fire-- a conflagration that had extended to the actual building itself and lit a portion of the structure ablaze-- Miasma set up a secondary distraction by engulfing a nearby vehicle in flames. The van caught fire relatively easily; in a few moments, the cabin was burning with disgusting, chemical-laced smoke from rubber and dyed cloth alike being turned to ash, and the entire chassis was blackening from soot and stripped paint from the fire. At some point, the gas tank would likely catch fire; for now, though, things seemed stable. The thing about explosions, however, was that they weren't exactly telegraphed.

Much like the secondary stage of the munitions fire. Ear-piercing shrieks and deafening crackles echoed out into the night as homemade napalm and repurposed fireworks were set alight, throwing molten fire into the air and onto the Jurors if they weren't careful enough to evade the hellfire they'd created. The place was a veritable warzone, and through the fog of battle, one thing was clear-- the building was burning, and it was burning quick. Given the fact that there were a total of two confirmed high-yield IEDs on the premises, this was not a wholly good thing.

It was effective, however, at flushing the militiamen on the ground out from behind their cover; some were easy marks, already half-consumed by flames as napalm coated their heads and sides; others dove for safer cover, returning shots through the smoke towards Molt and Miasma. One particularly smart-- or idiotic-- soldier rushed through the smoke and flames, faceless and decorated with a ballistic mask that had a skull upon its face.

His gaze found Molt, from her cover, and he charged-- aiming to tackle her directly, firing off two shots before he drew close enough to attempt a running bear-hug takedown onto the soot-covered dirt.

"Fucking spook," He growled. The side of his armor was singed; shrapnel stuck out along his arm and side. "I'm going to fucking lynch you after we kill your fucking friends."

Through the clamor, the sound of an engine might've cut through; another armored car-- some sort of modified Toyota Tacoma, in the spirit of African insurgent forces-- roared through the smoke, thumping over a fallen body and slamming through the flaming van Miasma had set alight. No visual on the driver, but one thing was clear--

-- in its truckbed, there was something covered by a tarp, and it was big.

Easy marks.

One after another terrorists fell, and by the time they caught on to the fact someone was shooting at them, Molt had already shifted position, moving behind another truck to reload her gun. Most of them probably weren't trained for a situation like this. Wannabe soldiers, dishonorably discharged, small town cops and overweight gun nuts. The ones that were military - active or not - still probably weren't used to this sort of chaos.

Pushing another clip into her mag, she glanced around the corner of the truck -

Shit. Someone was coming up on her. Didn't hear him over the explosions. Shit shit shit. She threw her arms over her face and upper chest as the charging asshole fired. One of the shots hit. Maybe both. The burn exploded across her arm, the side of her outfit wet in seconds. She didn't have much time to react before he tackled her to the ground.

They hit with a shock, rolling through dust and rocks and gravel. He knew enough to control her gun, and she knew enough to not fire it - she couldn't even tell where the fucking thing was pointed. Instead, she strained for her boot, bringing her leg up to meet her free hand. Couldn't reach. No knife.

"Choke on a dick, soycuck," she hissed back. "You're a fucking LARPer."

Then, flexing her hand, she drove the points of her talons into the gap below the man's body armor. Not enough to hurt him bad, but enough to distract him - enough to give her an opening to lurch forward against his grip and dig her teeth into the soft spot beneath his mask.
With the element of surprise on her side, paired with the distraction Gaz provided, this pseudo-soldier's mind was clearly trying to handle too much at once to resist. It only took a few moments after her suggestion for his eyes to flutter shut, paired with a bit of bleeding from the nose. It left Rowan largely unphased, however. She'd seen this a hundred times during testing, back when those had been ongoing, and paired with her relative lack of sympathy for the extremist group, any concern she would have had for the mans wellbeing was quickly discarded.

Once he was on the group and incapacitated, she looked over towards Gaz and his mark. He- the soldier, not Gaz- was gurgling, in a way that suggested a far worse fate. Her face twitched into a frown for a half moment, concealed by the mask and once more discarded after a moment. These men shot at them, and would have gladly killed more people like them. They were going to bomb a rally. Whatever had to be done, would be done.

"Let's keep moving. Northern door. They know we're here, but don't know where we are. Are you okay to keep moving?" The last question was tacked on at the end, as she remembered he didn't typically do this kind of work, and due to the tacked on nature, it was asked without the usual concern she would have, something that seemed consistent since this raid started. Even as she spoke, Rowan was moving towards the aforementioned door, hand reaching for her sidearm as she approached.

Fatigue, muscle weakness- quite severe, it looks like, especially on same side as injection. Marked impact on fine motor control (slurred speech, inability to pull trigger), though that's likely a result of the weakness, rather than anything neurological. Possible confusion, but there's probably an external reason for that. Symptoms in line with prior testing- safe to assume he died after sudden cardiac arrest. Nothing else of note.

Time elapsed: 19 seconds approx.

"Northern door."

He looked up as he echoed her words. The northern route was ahead- not quite dead in front of him, but angled as such that he could see it without moving his head much. It looked quiet. From the sound of things, the alternative route would be placing them right in the action, and Gaz didn't fancy catching a stray bullet from Megatron as much as he didn't fancy catching an aimed one from Rally Anon.

Rowan continued to concern him. She asked after him, using the phrasing of someone who was worried, but the tone of someone who wanted to get this over with. If it weren't for the fact that she had been off this entire time, he'd have assumed her uncharacteristic callousness was because he had opted for the lethal route with his mark- but something told him she didn't particularly care. Not as much as she should've, at least. Not as much as she used to. But...


Would he want to be tackling a job with someone who had reservations like that? As much as it concerned him on a personal level, on a practical level, this coldness was beneficial- or, at the very least, it was unobtrusive. They were professionals. The fact that she was acting like one now, depressing as it may be, would only help get this done quicker.

In that sense, then, Gaz hoped this was professional detachment, and not just fury wearing it as a mask.

"Fine by me." He nodded, "When we reach the vent, I'll go silent- I'll send a mute signal through on comms when I'm ready to deploy."

He brought a hand up to his face, tapping his mouthpiece with a bloodied vial.

"Keep your mask on, yeah? I don't usually give much warning."

Usually- as if he'd done this before.

Oh good, they had stored grenades next to their bullets, which was clearly the best place to store that, also, and Alya wasn’t entirely certain this was her fault really, it looked like the house was now on fire. By the looks of it, the fire was not a not a ‘oh, that’ll burn itself out’ sort of fire either, which was probably going to make itself into a bigger problem soon. For the moment however, Miasma kept close to the truck while she waited for the greasy black smoke to fill her immediate area.

Which, thankfully, didn't take long. Miasma pulled in a lungful of mostly air before she rolled out of cover and into the protective haze of acrid smoke. She could hear high pitched metallic ‘pings’ that were either from bullets hitting the vehicles, or maybe the sound of bolts popping in the burning truck, she really wasn’t sure and very much didn’t want to find out. Half crouched Miasma slid between vehicles making her way in Molt’s direction.

She tapped her earpiece as she released her held breath, and the one she replaced it with really prickled the noise hairs. She managed to keep her coughing down to two before speaking.

Their ammunition is on fire and cooking off, it should take care of most of their supply. I think they had explosives, the west side of the building is on—

There was a scream of metal as the flaming vehicle lurched from a hard impact, its body slamming into the one Miasma had been using for cover.

Shit.” The girl hissed. She brought her hand up, the nozzle hissing as it released a spray of pressurized alcohol followed by the heavy ’fuwmp’ of ignition. She aimed for the nearest wheel, trying to burn it out before the driver could try to run her down.

MOLT'S ADVERSARY was large, in comparison to the small woman beneath him. His hands wrapped around her neck, instantly tightening to a vice-like grip about the jugular-- thumb pushing into the soft gap beneath the jaw to inflict as much pain as possible. He held that pose for a few long moments, choking the life out of her, until Molt's talons struck a gap in his vest; he let out a grunted scream of pain, predictably loosening his grip around the Juror's neck and allowing enough wiggle room for her to snap her mouth up and bite into his throat.

His scream turned gurgled; then, it cut off entirely as he instinctively pulled away, ripping open flesh and muscle. Warmth splattered along Molt's face and throat; the man shoved her back into the ground, hard, which might have concussed her had it not been for the helmet on her head; in a flash, he scrambled for the grass, crawling away as his jugular bled in barely-audible squirts upon the dirt. Any mumbles were suffocated under the blood pouring into his esophagus; eventually, he simply rolled over, staring blankly up towards the night sky as he held onto his neck. And then, perhaps all at once, the corded tension in his body seemed to slacken. Nothing left.

INSIDE THE COMPOUND, the air seemed deathly quiet; nothing but the soft echoing footsteps, and muffled thumps on the floor above. The roiling thrum of a ventilation system seemed to suggest that their fans were still active, which would ultimately be fortuitous for the entry team. They were met with little resistance on the first floor-- only lingering dust and a few dead bodies, seemingly hit by the initial barrage from Cannonade. Some of them appeared unharmed, save the blossoming tufts of mutilated kevlar where they'd been struck; others had holes along their hands and cracked-open skulls. The ground was a mixture of sawdust, old newspapers, and blood.

Sure enough, the central ventilation shaft lay within what appeared to be an old boiler room; any walls that would've made the place a closet of sorts had since been stripped, leaving only pillars of lumber and studs in lieu of an actual room. The place was about the size of a small office, and gradually narrowed into a hallway that led to a stairwell. Thankfully, the walls hadn't been entirely demolished, which afforded them a degree of discretion.


THE TRUCK WITH A COVERED PAYLOAD, meanwhile, made its escape. Its attempt to run over Miasma was not entirely on purpose-- instead of trying to finish the job and properly double-tap the agent, it roared past the impacted van. One wheel caught fire, but the continued traction and dirt appeared to put it out soon after it began; the tarp, however, was set alight in a blaze, fluttering into ash and warping enough to fly off the truck entirely.

In the back of the truck bed, something flashed red through the night; the truck peeled past the treeline, roaring out towards the main street. Something recognizable from the briefing given to them in the APC.

It was one of the bombs.
Even once they were inside, Rowan's ears continued to ring. She wasn't used to heavy artillery. Usually, her work was quiet, low key. She dealt in whispers and suggestions, but she knew well that wouldn't cut it here, not with people like these, a thought that continued to run through her mind as she stepped over the mutilated body of a terrorist. She hardly spared them a glance, instead keeping her gun, and eyes, ready for any unwelcome surprises. "Don't worry. It's not coming off." A curt response to Gaz, though she did mean it. It would practically be suicide to take off the mask, in such confined quarters.

The agent began to make her way towards the nearest stairwell, while also responding to Cannonade outside. "Understood. Moving towards stairwell, going to hold there until the gas kicks in." As she spoke, she motioned towards the ventilation shaft, a not-quite command for Elixir to move towards it and get to work. "How's the situation outside? Any time estimate for how long we have in here?" The rumbling they'd heard on entry hadn't been encouraging.

That was an understatement. It was worrying, frankly, knowing who was over there. Hannah could handle herself, of course, but Ayla- she was still new. Their last op hadn't gone spectacularly, and this one was just flat out more difficult, both physically and mentally. It, of course, didn't help that she'd been sent to where they were keeping the bombs, which circled back around to the explosions. If one of them had gone off, they would be on a shorter timetable than expected. She chose not to think about the possibility of casualties.

Given the state inside the compound, he was surprised there were any terrorists left.

Given the state outside the compound, he'd be surprised if there'd be any of them left in a minute.

"Situation's... hmm. Bad, from what I can tell."

The smoke- he could smell it from here, if that's what you wanted to call this particular sense. Gaz could, as with any chemical he came into contact with, determine the composition of whatever the fuck was coming in from Miasma's battleground- and it wasn't just alcohol she was burning, that was for sure. This couldn't have been intentional. There were bombs in the complex, they all knew there were bombs in the complex. Did she not know how to contain the fire? Did she think she didn't have to?

The fact that the entire compound hadn't blown up yet was something, at least, but Gaz could feel his luck starting to run out. He'd have to get this done quickly- not that he had any prior intentions to dawdle, mind. No change of plans, just a sick sense of urgency; clean and quick. At least it would stop him getting carried away.

"Not sure about specifics, but it sounds like we don't have long."

He was thankful that his end of the job hadn't gone nearly as badly. Rowan seemed as competent as he'd expect a Dagger to be- and a power like hers meant he didn't have to worry about nearly as many contingencies with his own plan.

He retracted the syringes from their place in his wrists. Trying to climb with those things in would probably cause some damage.

"Oh- goes without saying," Gaz muttered, "But if you see anyone reaching for protective gear, tell 'em to shove it up their arse."

Giving a final thumbs-up, he clambered into the vent, as silent as he was uncomfortable. Though he was certainly thin enough to fit through the narrow passages, it still required him to crawl quite close to the ground, and he could tell from the first step that holding such a position would be bloody agony after too long. All the more reason to make it quick, then.

Contact suit tech ASAP: more padding in the elbows, especially if they're gonna make me crawl like a rat again. Do the knees as well. This is inhumane.

He came to a stop at an intersection, light filtering through from openings further down each path. This was probably about as central as he'd get, it seemed- though it may have just been an excuse to stop crawling around like that. He shifted his position, leaning against one of the walls as he prepared the anaesthetic.

The gloves were pulled up, exposing the vents on his inner wrists. The mask, given its lack of filter, was kept on. All four outlets would be used at once, of course; limiting it to just the ones in his mouth would be pointless, given that he didn't need to use the needles for the time being. He tapped the communicator, sending through the signal that would serve as his only warning. It felt almost like instinct, like a routine he had gone through countless times.

Despite his mounting concern, Gaz felt himself relax as the gas started to creep through the vents.
Fuck. Fuckfuck. “Fuck!” Ayla shouted as the truck roared past her position, and through the flames. Miasma flicked a lash of flame after the retreating vehicle, the fires ripping through the tarp. The girl broke from cover as the truck rolled out of her range, hitting her earpiece as she tried to run after the vehicle.

Truck escaping on the west side, one of the bombs is on the back.” She said quickly. She couldn’t catch this on foot, why was she trying to catch this truck on foot? “Molt, do any of the cars still have their tires?” She asked. Could they catch up to it? Could the APC they rode in on block it before it could get away? She slid to a stop as she turned back to the vehicle depot. She couldn’t catch a truck, but she could find Molt.
Breathing heavily, Molt got somewhat awkwardly to her feet, spitting a bloody glob to the side and wiping at her mouth with the back of her sleeve. Shit. Fucking shit. Guy got up on her way too close before she reacted. Do that too many times, she was dead. Well - probably dead. She'd never been strangled to death before and come back, and she wasn't exactly excited to try it out for the first time.

"Fucking - fuck. Yeah. Molt," she said, pressing her thumb on her earpiece. "Molt here. Miasma's right, truck with a bomb's out, west side. All lot vehicles disabled. Advise."

Taking her thumb off, she glanced at Ayla.

"Fuck. If I knew they were gonna take off like that, I wouldn't've - fuck." Holding her bleeding arm tight to her side, she looked the girl up and down. "You good? Hurt?"

THE VENTILATION SHAFT was cramped, rusted, and stank of dust and mold; it also made for an easy place to deploy the soporific gas from Gaz's body. Colorless liquid bled from his fingertips, immediately snaking upwards into the shaft and ventilation system-- taken into the singular fan that seemed to work within the place.

It would be a few minutes at most until the gas would be ubiquitous enough to have an effect upon the defensive implements upstairs-- which meant they had to play the waiting game. Gaz, mainly; Rowan had the option of going up the stairwell herself, but--

"Don't-- fucking move, spook."

-- unfortunately, she was preoccupied with other matters.

A militiaman seemed to have snuck about through the darkness; standing only a few feet away, the only thing that might've alerted the Agent to his presence was the loud thump from beyond the wall. He stood in a full kit, goggles and bandana obscuring his face; in his hand, he clutched an HK416 assault rifle, complete with tally marks along the rail and an emblazoned Punisher skull along the magwell and receiver. Two magazines were duct-taped together to serve for an easy reload; a brief inspection would reveal that the other magazine still held bullets within it, should her eyes have flickered to the gun in his hands.


His hand tightened around the trigger. Was he shaking? Hard to tell, in this light. Had he come from around a corner? Opened a doorway she hadn't known about?


"You move or say anything, and I'm going to fucking kill you--"


His words stopped; his brow furrowed, though she couldn't see it, and turned to look at the wall beside him, where the thundering pulses seemed to be emanating from. What sounded like inconsequential vibrations, or aftershocks of the explosions outside, grew louder and louder with each passing moment--

-- until a deafening crash of cement and drywall culminated in an armored arm slamming through the wall, grabbing the man by the neck and tossing him upwards into the ceiling. His body flew with a choked gargle of shock-- a broken windpipe, or worse, perhaps-- and the impact of his ragdolled form into the rafters sprinkled dust and further specks of drywall into the air, like the winding aftermath of a snowfall. His body cracked upon the concrete floor of the gutted building, turned over itself, and did not move from where it lay still.

Predictably, the arm belonged to Cannonade, who emerged from the wall entirely with a crackle of stone and wood. A Cannonade-shaped hole stood where he exited, and there was a brief mechanical whrr as his suit's helm looked down at Rowan.

PROGRESS ON THE GAS? He inquired. His attention seemed to place itself elsewhere as he patched himself into the team's general comms. ELIXIR AND SONGBIRD ARE WITH ME, INTERIOR. CANNOT CHASE RUNAWAY IED AT THIS TIME-- NEED TO DEFUSE HERE. HAVE A FEW MINUTES, AT MOST, UNTIL THE FIRE BURNS DOWN THIS BUILDING.

OUTSIDE THE COMPOUND, the truck peeled out of the driveway leading up to the abandoned law firm-- skidding onto the main road with a screech of half-scorched rubber on pavement.


Roadblock 2 miles north, but that won't stop it. Moving APC for pursuit. RED Room, get me an update on police response and movement patterns in the area.

Approximately 20 miles of woodland and backroads but the nearby interstate has cars; can deploy jammers in the area.

Not needed. Moving to intercept on bike. Please advise, I am no longer providing overwatch on-site.

A hitherto unheard of voice sounded off on comms-- and as Miasma and Molt were speaking, the faint sound of a dirtbike sounded through the forest. Sure enough, a headlight cut through the treeline.

Approaching lot; be advised, blue. I repeat, blue.

The bike skidded to a stop; a man clad in night-raid camouflage military gear looked at the pair expectantly, identity veiled by a simple set of tinted tac-glasses and a shemagh about his lower face. A backwards ball-cap and communications headset completed the look; the front of his headgear had the impromptu patch for MIRA's Dagger Corps upon it.

"One of you, on the back. Now. Whoever's better with a gun."
Despite what his colleagues would tell you, Gaz did have the capacity for patience. He had to. It was another thing that came with the mutation, he'd often say; a single cut could kill a man, it would just take a moment for their body to realise it was dead. He could gas an office block with about five seconds of cumulative effort, it would just take a moment for it to spread far enough to cause the intended damage.

Medication usually took a moment to work as well. I guess.

He leaned against the side wall, trying his best to get into a comfortable position as the footfall beneath the shaft began to thin. All that crashing would normally cause some concern, but it could probably (hopefully) be explained away by the presence of ol' R2-D2 downstairs. The comms crackled to life in his ear, all but confirming this- except...

Can't speak though, can I? Not in here- if one of those dipshits hears me, I'll have a sawn-off shotgun shoved so firmly up my arse I'll start to fucking digest it. Another mute signal, perhaps? Morse code?

Email tech about fixing comms as well. Some TTS device would certainly make this easier.

Frowning slightly, he tapped the mic, sending through a signal that should be interpreted properly:

--- -.-

And then, he continued to wait.
Molt glanced at Miasma.

"Fucking - alright. Try to get to the others. Stay safe and stay low, there are probably more assholes inside," Molt said, uncharacteristically level. Tearing off a hunk of her sleeve with her teeth, she tied it around her bloody arm, then moved over to the bike.

"Running with one arm," she growled, then, a bit lower, "If I start to slip and you grab me, I'll hurt you."

She hoisted herself onto the motorcycle.

"We're after the IED on bike. They won't get away."