The Den Games Network Forum RPG
Page 16

Game Masters:
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds

(Master Chris)

In the freezer section of the van all Jessica Hayes could hear was muffled shouting. Something had gone wrong, they knew! She'd be gunned down while trapped in the confined space of a freezer van! An undignified death. She would die there, unable to do anything, unless she got out now and started to run for her life! Jessica looked at the other people in the van. They didn't seem disturbed at all, almost serene in fact. Stupid sheep! They don't even know how close to the abbatoir they are! Hayes got to her feet, they might choose to die here but she would live! Hayes moved towards the door's latch, stretching her hand out....

Alexiev slapped her wrist without looking up. He whispered:

"You are not calm enough. Surely, in here you can keep cool, nyet?"

At the sound of his voice Hayes stiffened. She suddenly recalled the epiphany she had had earlier that day. This Alexiev was the same man who had saved her life as a child. She lowered her hand and turned towards him. Alexiev lifted his face up and looked her in the eye for a split second before looking away. Not only did Alexiev recognise Jessica but he knew that she recognised him now. A subtle nod was all that he gave her but it was enough. Hayes resumed her seat. If he could save me once, maybe he can help me again...


Silvia looked out the window.
"Sleg!" She turned to Iceman. "Boss... they're in trouble!"
"Hm. Nothing we can do right now." Iceman replied calmly, and walked on.

"What?" Silvia said. "But... we can't just leave them there... I could take out these guards in the Astral!"
"And get a bunch of security mages attacking you?"

"Look, sleghead... are you forgetting what I am?!" Silvia yelled. "I can take out these mages if I have to! I'm not just gonna sit here and watch our peop-"
"Shut up!" Iceman interrupted her.

"The hell!" Silvia "I can take out these mages if I have to!"
Iceman looked Silvia straight in the eyes. "These people down there know the job, and they know the risks." he said coldly. "It's their job to take out the security mages. If you go rampaging around in the astral there will be at least one mage that gets the chance to sound the alarm. We can't risk that. The mages have to be taken out silently."
"The base is already alerted!" Silvia yelled.
"For a bad delivery order? Don't think so."

Dammit... this is all going wrong! Does he WANT this mission to fail?

Silvia frowned.

Wasn't that what Benedict said?

"Try to stay alive, and don't trust Iceman... for he is the real leak."

But... if the leader is... Ah, frag. What am I supposed to do?


Hayes heard terse, nasal voices from outside.


"No chances. Orders are to proceed with extreme prejudice. Fragging Wiz-Worms are in there. Magic back-up on the way."

A pause, nervous shuffling of feet.


Five UCAS Marines opened up on the van. Goblob, exposed in the driving seat he'd spent years of his life sitting in, earning his meagre wages, had no chance. No less than 25 rifle-rounds struck him, richocheting off his heavy orkish jaw, cracking his sternum, deflecting through his lungs turning them into red rags and bouncing off his ribs down into his pelvis, bursting all major organs on the way.

Bullets zinged through the rear freezer compartment at head height, letting in dazzling bright light from the ONI Building's spotlights, trained on the van., criss-crossing from each side. Everyone's first instinct was to hit the floor, Rei yelping in fright. Alex felt a heavy impact on his back, and he knew he'd been hit. Luckily the rifles the guards were armed with were only loaded with standard ball ammunition: Ripping through the Van's body left little force left to penetrate the armour the 'runners wore. Jessica yelped as something zipped past her face. A trickle of blood from the graze in her cheek ran into her mouth. Tyme4Cryme laughed maniacally, chambering a fat red buckshot round into his gold-plated Shotgun.

"Let's get the fragging chekists, my blood is all a-"

With a wet *slap* sound, and sickening choking gurgle, the Dwarf flopped with a thud to the floor of the van, bright red arterial blood spouting from his throat.


"Looks like they're alertned now." Iceman murmured.

No sleg. Thought Silvia.

A crystal clear voice in from Chance over the wristphone (set to voice only, of course, lest someone be listening in).

"Base Camp, its gone fragged! Moving in-"

"NO!" Bellowed Iceman, making everyone around him jump. "We wait. I don;t give a frag what happens to them, the mission comes first. I will personally execute any fragger who so much as lifts a finger unless I say so. Got that?"

"But-" Silvia began.

"NO!" Screamed Iceman, with such voracity that Silvia fell back to the floor under Iceman's gaze.

Just a few seconds more. Let them think those idiots in the van are all alone, trapped like Dogs. I just need that idiot Alexiev to hold them off for enough to get the Mages out... Then we can pick them off at our leisure...

He offered a hand to Sil to help her up.

I couldn;t risk her in all this, of course. So young, so innocent, so...

He stared into those big, round eyes...


Alexeiv was now sure of Iceman. It finally had dropped its mask and showed how he was in real.
But still the hell broke loose on the van. It was a crossfire in all directions.
If only he could reach the flashbang...

But that would give it brief seconds before being turned into raw steaks. He needed a bigger distraction.
But, in order to do that, he would have to break some orders and rules.

"Listen up, men...and women"
He began to talk
"Since the situation has turned critical; I should assume command. Iceman's a prick. And now I know he's the leak the Johnson said. We are in a critical situation."
A bullet flew past his forehead, ripping off a wound.
"I think i can call for help... but it'll be OUTSIDE of our forces. How's it?"

"Either way we can get ripped off by the marine squad that is surrounding the van... and umm... the mages that are coming."
He spoke. He had never been so sure about his sixth sense. He knew he had been spotted by many directions...
The radio cracked.
"Iceman. I am out of this. I don't like to die in the hands of a crazy plan thrown off from the mind of a prick like you."


Chance bit down hard on his lip at Iceman's orders, throwing his hand out to stop the others from his team from breaking cover and running to assist the van team. He knew the rational behind the instructions... the mages had to be taken out before he and Silvia could go astral and kill the security rigger, thus eliminating the drones. If the magic-users remained alive, neither of them would stand any chance against the magic veterans. So they had to hold until the mages came out.

Alex, Choak, Tyme, Shadow, Rei and Hayes... The soldier felt the names burn into his mind.

Comeon, you cowardly fraggers. Chance cursed the mages. Come out so that Iceman can kill you.


"Iceman..." Silvia said. "We gotta do something!"
"No way. We can't let the mages know we're here."
"Exactly." Silvia replied. She quickly got up, ran past Iceman and jumped out of the window.


It's all about timing...

Four... three... too... much speed! Sleg!

Silvia unfolded her wings, and dived to the side, with less than a meter between her and the cold, hard plascrete. But she was far enough; the marines couldn't spot her there.

Dammit! I'm still going too fast!
She retracted her wings and rolled over the plascrete. But she didn't have time to care about a few bruises. She had work to do, and fast.

Silvia looked up. Iceman would be pretty upset right now, but there wasn't enough time to explain her plan. She acted on instinct, as always.

As he said... Can't let the mages know his position.

She looked at the soldiers shooting at the van, then at the fortress they were guarding.

Still no sign of these sleggin' mages...

All right. Meet Geneva, slegheads.

Silvia softly sang the incantations. This was elvish magic... it was part of her, and she was getting the hang of it again.
She tried to reconstruct the Daemon as well as she remembered him. The crustacean armour, the long black razor claws, the crab-like face, the spider legs.

Dammit... faster..

The illusion appeared.

That oughtta give those mages a reason to put their ugly mugs in Iceman's scope.

"Now go, my pretty, and scare the sleg outta them!" she whispered.

While the illusion charged towards the marines, Silvia quietly ran away to the side to get closer to the van.
She snapped her fingers. "Music, maestro!" she whispered to herself.

The Daemon let out a horrifying scream. Silvia shuddered from the mere memory of the scream, but she was glad even these memories were of some use to her now.

She hid behind a dumpster and waited.
She hoped the marines wouldn't see through her illusion too fast. She knew a mage would recognise it immediately, but she was still there to protect her illusion from magic dispel for a while.

Then she realized none of the people in the van except Jessica had been there in Geneva.
Sleg. Let's hope no one gets a heart attack.


"What was that?" Rei shivered. She had been trained to confront people, but not wailing phantoms.

"I don't know..."
Alex mumbled. It was very odd indeed. He could hear the wail... but he could not guess where it came from... Were his senses joking him?
Possibly. Mages also do illusions.
That voice... Alex suddenly became even more shocked. This was the weirdest stuff he had seen.
He whispered. Yes. It was his mother's voice... but how? She was known to be dead.
My spirit remains in my sword.
Yes. That could be. His mother's katana... Her spirit had bonded with it.
To protect all of his family. There was no need of calling for reinforcements for now.
Quickly the mind of Alex was filled with another plan.
"Everyone- do like if you were dead already."
"It won't work..." said Hayes. Obviously she meant the mages would spot them even if they faked death.
"This time will work. Believe in me." As quickly he said this, the sword began to glow with a green light.Rei looked at the katana with wide, surprise eyes.
He knew what to do exactly.

"What the...?"
As the "daemon" continued its "rampage", Silvia felt a strange magic cast.Then nothing. Could it be... that all of them died? And the spell was only a last ditch effort of Choak? Oddly, it didn't seem like it was Choak's one, anyway.

I don't like that... It's way too weird Lupus snarled. A magic cast, then the silence. Even the souls were silenced. Way too weird, indeed.
No life signal from team 1. Not even astral. After that spell.

Alex smiled. That Disruption spell could come in handy to play a fake death and fool the mages.


Chance felt the lifeforce of Team 1 'pop' out of existence. In his head, Lupus whined. The soldier lowered his head...

Dammit Iceman, their sacrifice better be worth it.

Out at the gates, the UCAS soldiers eyed the 'beast' nervously, ceasing fire on the van in their apprehension. It was patrolling between them and the gate, keeping the soldiers from running back to safety. No one thought about going hand-to-hand with the fearsome creature... and a few scouting shots had no effect on it whatsoever. The sergeant ordered his men not to shoot at the thing... for fear of provoking it into an attack.

Seeing that the van no longer showed any signs of life... no return fire or movement through the holes ripped into it, the UCAS sergeant tapped his mike as he eyed the pacing beast nervously, his guards around him in a uncertain circle wavering as they gulped at the size and bulk of their foe. The gate lay temptingly beyond reach... One soldier attempted an experimental step towards it and was rewarded with a growl. He crapped in his pants and hastily stepped back into the defensive circle.

"This is Sentinel One. Where the hell are the mages, gruddammit! The bogeys in the van are gone, but there's this huge fragger out here with lots of horns and teeth between us and the gates, and it looks HUNGRY!"


Sleg.... once the mages tell them it's an illusion they'll just ignore it. But illusions can't kill.
Silvia frowned. Something felt wrong about that. some memory hidden inside her...
She tried to remember. Illusions? Who did she know that was skilled with Illusions?

Dark Sorrow.

The images flashed through her mind. Death. People being killed before her eyes. People dying from water that didn't exist, from heat that was only in their mind, from nonexisting knives cutting in their bodies.
The images shocked her. She had seen them, but she never realized exactly what Mugen Ra had shown her. She doubted even Mugen Ra had realized the sheer vastness of the information.

Memories are a lot more than just images. She didn't only have memories of Sorrow seeing the people die. She also knew how he was feeling when he killed them, who these people were, how Sorrow had known them, how they were killed... and exactly how Sorrow had killed them.

Silvia trembled.
My goddess... this is terrible.

She had trouble concentrating on the illusion. The pain, the death... it was all coming back to her. But she had to know.
Must... go... deeper.
She had never realized how dangerous her own mind could be to her. After the incident with Polt she had somehow created a way of supressing all traumatic experiences. She realized now that that was how she got through the second Geneva incident, Mugen Ra and Transys. And now, it was all coming back.

No! This is... too much!
She forced herself to open her eyes and focus on the illusion. She could see two mages approaching in the distance.

One of the mages tried to dispell the illusion, but Silvia was quicker. She channeled mana to the illusion to keep the spell intact.

The Daemon turned towards the mages. They knew it was an illusion, but in a battle of pure mana they were no match for her. They tried to dispell, while she reinforced the illusion with her Dragon side's astral energy. There was no way she could lose as long as it was all about pure mana.

"Kill it, dammit!" the leader of the soldiers yelled at the mages.
"It's not real!" the mage yelled back. "It's an..."

The Daemon turned back towards the soldier and jumped towards him, slicing his razor sharp claw through his middle.

The soldier looked at his belly. Even though the claw had gone straight through him there was no sign of any damage.
Then why was there pain? Why...
He fell to his knees, coughing up blood, still staring down.
He knew it didn't make any sense. The claw went through his arm too. He knew it did... and yet his arm was fine.
He looked up to the mages in the distance, with fear and confusion on his face.
He fell to the ground, blood leaking out of his mouth.


Behind the dumpster, Silvia fell down too, tears rolling over her cheeks while she tried to control her own mind. The pain was unbearable... her lack of magical skill had caused part of the spell that killed the soldier to backfire on her. She knew she wouldn't die from it, but the pain was still there. And it was horrible.
She looked under the dumpster to the Daemon. The thought that the mages would be confused as hell didn't help her much, since she knew it wouldn't take them long to find the origin of the mana that was reinforcing the illusion.

While she slowly regained control of her mind to block the effects of the pain illusion, she threw a quick look at the window she had dived from.
"Dammit Iceman... what are you waiting for? " she whispered. "I can't hold this..."

Just before she passed out, she heard two shots being fired, and felt the mages disappear from her magical senses.

She smiled.

Before the gate, the Daemon dissolved in the air.


The two rifle shots snapped Chance out of his reverie... The magical presence of one of the enemy mages simply blinked out of existence, while another faded in a more jerky fashion... signs that the second had not been blessed with the clean headshot kill of the first. Then came another few shots, which Chance guessed as putting paid to the surviving guards.

He searched for Silvia's astra signature and found it... But there was no response to his mental prodding.

Crap. She's unconscious. I'll have to do this myself.

Motioning to his team around him to hold position and cover him, Chance lay still and concentrated.

At first there was only the usual blackness of night... then he found himself floating clear of his physical body. Correcting his too-rapid ascent, he willed himself into a torpedo shape and kicked off with mental legs, drilling right through the immaterial walls of the UCAS fortress.
There, he expanded his consciousness, searching for someone... Most of the astral signatures he encountered contained shapes of fear and uncertainty, but there was one. One that had the same fear and uncertainty, but mixed with a sense of vengeful purpose.

He had found the rigger.

Chance swept up behind him, balling up mental hatred in a roiling cloud of malice. He reached out with his astral hands, placing them upon the sides of the riggers head...
Back in the physical world, the rigger suddenly felt the hair on the back of his skin prickle...

Chance allowed the summed force of his mental blast into the rigger's mind. The man convulsed, then twin streams of blood jetted out of his nostrils and onto his control panels. Spasming as neurons in his head fired hapzardly, the man collapsed onto the blood-slicked floor, green ectoplasm already pouring out of his ears, eyes and nose to mix with the blood.

Chance had braced for the force that he unleashed, but it still took him longer to get back into his physical form. When he did, he had to pause for a moment to clear his head.

Then he tapped his push-to-talk button.

"Base Camp. Puppet Master is down. Repeat, Puppet Master is down."

Around the base, disabled UCAS drones were falling gracelessly from the sky, their ground-based tracked equivalents likewise rolling to a lifeless stop.


"Puppet master is down."

Great. Alex thought. Now with those sniper gunfire taking out the mages, it wouldn't be too difficult to sneak in. Heh.

"Roger, Base Camp. Here team 1. We are in the move."
Chance blinked twice. They were alive. But, what the hell had just happened with their auras?

He replied. He didn't care about Hayes as team leader, but he hoped she would understand why he was taking that decision.


He shouted to the rest of the team, while kicking the freezer van's door.
A soldier was caught from behind, and Team 1 did not give him a second chance. Rei shreded the guard mercilessly into pieces with the katana, blood sprayed her face. Her eyes had a icy glare.Although, she had been trained to kill.

But Alex stopped. In a sudden. He felt the same cold sweat, his heart shrinked and froze like a dead man's one. He was a walking corpse. Soon anyone would pull the trigger. He felt a scope zooming in his head.

Someone is aiming at me.
Was what he felt. He had been always like this. Somehow, in these years of gunfire he had developed this sense... or had been he always like this?

There was no time to discuss it. He quickly moved, and the bullet narrowly missed him, hitting in the ground a short distance from him.

Iceman... you fragger.
He cursed.

Iceman had to end it himself. Why Alex was so relunctant to die? Why?
He needed to die. And carry the secret about Iceman's true personality to the tomb.

Meanwhile, a rushed Alex was dodging the mad sniper's gunfire...


"Come and taste the Sweet, sweet candy, Alex!" Muttered Iceman, before the words were lost to the roar of the rifle, kicking against his shoulder.

Crystal couldn't see exactly what was happening, but from the snatches of conversation she'd heard it looked like the plan was in action. Iceman seemed to be shooting at the Mages, Chance was reporting the Rigger downed...

She waited for Iceman to give the signal to move, but Crystal knew better than to interrupt a sniper at work.

She headed off after Sil, trying to contact her through the mental link again.


"DIE FRAGGERS!" Screamed the corporal at the head of a 6-strong unit of backup guards rushing from the ONI-Bulding's guardroom. They were wondering what had happened to two of their mages, and having seen one messily headshot, the other writhing and screaming on the floor with a ruptured chest, they weren't too happy. Their training was clear in this situation: Start firing and screaming.

Alex stared down the charging soldiers for a second - Suddenly the corporal tumbled sideways, under the legs of his men, tripping them. Shadow leaped down off the Van's roof, emptying the clip of his 9mm, three rounds into the corp's head, the rest sprayed at the other men. None of the light ammo penetrated their armour.

Scrambling to his feet, PFC Derin Kronstadt reached out for his rifle, but ended up with a small, spherical object with a digital timer on it instead.

It said '00:00', in big flashing numbers.


Bodies, and bits of bodies, flew this way and that. Rei was coated in a fine spray of blood, while Shadow, too close to his own frag grenade, was knocked flat.

Alex stumbled to the floor, too. He tried to get up. His sixth sense told him not to.

The pavement exploded into chips a few feet away - He realised of he'd kept moving the bullet would have given him a very short haircut. Instinctively he rolled backwards, behind the smoking van. Tyme4Cryme lurched out, clutching his throat.

With a horrfyingly wet sound, the Dwarf tumbled off tha tailgate, onto the floor. Only then did Alex see the red cratered ruin where the rapper's head had been.


Iceman brought his eye back from his scope to admire the shot.

"Tyme is up, Comrade."

He scoped out some more targets. Alex seemed to be in cover. He'd need to be drawn out... Or forced to go into the ONI building, where hopefully the UCAS men would take care of him. Preferably something would happen quick: Iceman was itching to get in there.

He found his target: The Japanese girl.


Chance got to admire his handiwork almost instantaneously: He could already see several of the wheeled perimeter-defence going around in circles. Others sat still, unmoving, damaged by the neural shock of the death of their controller.

He frowned: There were still some drones that appeared undamaged. They would have reverted to their hardwired patrol routine programs with the loss of their rigger. Luckily, without their controller's guidance, they would be little more than armed guard dogs.

Crystal appeared next to his team, havinng sped down the stairs from the building. There were lots of things Chance wanted to ask: 'what's happening? What the frag is Iceman playing at? But Rusty had his head screwed on.

"Bonza! Ya can give us a hand with these drones!" He said, pointing into Crystal's bag'o'tricks.

Crystal simply nodded, and pulled out four canister-type grenades, 2 Willie Petes (White Phosphorous), Two Chaff. With these, they should be able to blind the rest of the drones, at least long enough to get into the ONI building.

Crystal ran off in search of Silv.



Silvia heard Crystal's voice echoing in her aching head. She frowned, slowly opened her eyes, and looked around.
She was lying on her back, right behind the dumpster. Between the dumpster's small wheels she could see the remains of the skirmish at the gate, and two feet walking in her direction.

"I'm here..." she said, weakly.
Ah, sleg... get a grip, girl.
"I'm here!" she shouted again, louder.

Crystal moved towards her. "You OK?"
"I'm fine... " Silvia replied, while Crystal grabbed her hand and pulled her on her feet.
"It's just my head." she said, and closed her eyes for a few seconds.
Then, she looked at Crystal and smiled. "The rest of me is still in prime condition though."

She slowly walked towards the rest of the group, carefully observing the situation.
"What a mess."
"Tell me about it. Iceman's still shooting."
Silvia turned her head to Crystal. "What?!" Then she noticed the Dwarf's corpse. "Oh, for frag's sake..."
She looked up to the window, and saw the end of the barrel of Iceman's rifle. "Bastard..."

"Iceman!" she yelled up to the window. "Stop fooling around dammit! We got a job, remember?!"
"What the frag do you think you're doing?!" Crystal 'yelled' a her. Silvia could feel the panic in her thoughts.
"Relax. We're too close under the window, he can't hit us here."


Perfect timing, dragon-girl
Alex thought.
He had sensed Iceman stopping his maddnes for a brief moment.
The same moment he needed to realise Rei was in peril.

Alex yelled, while tackling her to the ground and dragging her later to a "safe" place.

When iceman took the scope back, both rei and alex had dissapeared.

"They all are traitors, sil. They do deserve to die."

Was his last response. Sil knew that she had nothing to do about changing the mad russian's mind.


"Rusty!" Chance hissed as he slung his rifle and got ready to catch and toss. Rusty flipped the pins on the WP and chaff grenades, lobbing them to Chance who promptly caught and sent the devices flying over the fence into the 100 meter wide exclusion zone. There, the grenades started spewing out an thick cloud of smoke, effectively blocking off a causeway of sorts to the side of the ONI building.

"Alanya!". The Ork stepped forward to the fence and cupped her hands as Chance ran up, stepping up and being tossed over by the strength of the meta-human. He landed inside the exclusion zone, precisely where he wanted too... within the tracks of a drone that had been patrolling near the fence.

Chance had thought about the threat of mines. But the presence of tracked drones meant that they could not be used... No sense destroying a drone with a accidently dislodged mine and giving the late security rigger a headache and excuse for a day off.
Loping from drone track to track with the grace of his gestalt so as not to give away any bootprints, Chance made it to the air conditioning unit he had spotted earlier installed in a ground floor office. Behind him, Ash followed while the others waited.

The other windows were locked, of course... But most air conditioning units had quick-install brackets secured only by a few large screws, which Ash easily dealt with with her fingertip. Working quickly, she pulled off the air conditioning unit and laid it outside the building. Chance then pulled out a can of 'Krazy String', a brand of party streamers. Shaking the thing, he turned its nozzle to the 'stream' setting and sprayed in a figure of 8 pattern into the room, eyes keen for the first sign of the stream hanging up on something... like a tripwire.

Nothing caught... and both Chance and Ash were inside the office a moment later. He signalled to the others outside the gate, Rusty and Alanya crossing the zone to enter the office and take up positions. Crystal was still back there with Silvia... He hissed for them to hurry and rejoin him over the radio, still unaware of Iceman's attempt to murder Alex.


Silvia sighed, and followed Crystal. She threw an apologetic look at Alex as she ran past him. "Don't let 'im catch ya, dude."
"Come on. We gotta hurry." Crystal said to her.
"Coming." Silvia said, and ran after her.

She quickly followed Crystal through the air vent, and a bit later, the entire team was assembled inside the office.

"There are more..." Silvia whispered. "Nevermind Iceman; he's lost it completely. But What about Plugin and the survivors of team #1?"


Iceman looked up as the air was filled with the low thuttering of rotor blades. Made from the latest LockmartNorth SmartAlloys (tm), the Sikorsky chopper was right on top of him before he even knew it. It must have been patrolling in case such a situation developed. Instinctively, Iceman ducked for cover, waiting...

Nothing came.

He caught a glimpse of the chopper as it moved away, at top speed, becoming silhouette. He recognised the markings.

Marine-1 - The UCAS President's personal ride. They had happened to attack while the UCAS President was visiting.

"Woo, looks like we almost hit the jackpot." He grinned to himself. "Bet whoever's in charge of ONI security's counting their lucky stars right now..."

He took stock, gathering his team.

Those that were still here, that is.

Plugin was the only one remaining with him. Iceman was not happy.

Plugin shrank back into a corner and tried to be small.


Gathered inside the low-security office, the 'runners knew they had to move fast, and move light. They were deciding their course of action.

I for one, am still going for the mission. I get the impression there's more at stake here than just money. We canm still frag Iceman and finish it ourselves, Sasha should still be on our side. We know that the guy Iceman was after is in one of these low-sec offices, Crystal typed. Trouble is, we weren't given a codename or password or anything... Looks like we're just going to have to play it by ear. Chances are Iceman's going to be coming after us any moment now...

The sounds of gunfire outside filled the room, making everyone duck.

"He's have to be bloody good to get through that, mate." Said Rusty, jerking a thumb. The clouds of smoke and chaff from the grenades was dispersing rapidly, too.

"Frag! Team 1!" Hissed Chance. He didn't feel too good about leaving them out there to face hell. Too many bad damn memories...

Well then, we need to give them a diversion. A chance... Pardon the pun... Typed Crystal again. Lets get moving. Anywhere but here.

That drew appreciative nods.

The complex, like they'd seen on Iceman's maps, was designed in concentric circles, much like the old Pentagon of the US of A: They were on the outer ring of the complex now, and seven rings seperated them from the centre. On this floor, the centre ring held the Database hub: Hopefully Plugin or Alanya would be able to work their magic from there and find out what they needed to know. At the centre ring, 2 floors down, lay the securitly centre, where puzzled techs were looking over the lifeless rigger's corpse. On level 3's centre lay the power plant, though there were switching relays in ring 2 of each floor. Crystal had an idea that a charge there would be able to cause a temporary local lighting blackout.

Alanya walked out into the first corridor, looking cautiosuly left and right.

The first thing she noticed were the mirrors at the ends of the corridors: The corridors weren't set at right angles, and the mirrors let anyone coming down see who was awaiting them: OPbviously they were dealing with the intruders at the front gate, or at a shelter station.. Luckily, she couldn't see anyone right now, though she could hear them. The colouring of the floor and ceiling tiles was a boring beige, and simple, light doors led to offices on the left and right, marked out as simple filing clerk stations. A sign led to the doorway to the next ring in, anther to the main entrance. She was about to tell the others when


She covered her delicate ears as all around, fairly soldi steel shutters slammed down over every dorrway, cutting her off from the others, still in the office, as well as stopping her going anywhere for the time being...


"Well that's that." Stated Lieutenant Commander Forbeson, smugly, taking her well-manicured hand off the override switch for the emergency door shutters.

"We don't know who the frag nailed the rigger, but I'll be damned if I let the fraggers have an easy time of it."

She casually dismissed the dead Rigger's body to the care of two Seamen in dress whites.

"Take that fat piece of frag away, and call up the reserve rigger." She ordered, adjusting the frogging and braiding around her Navy blue tunic.


Trapped between the front of the ONI building and the maniacal Iceman to the rear, Alex was starting to wish he'd stayed at home. He risked another glimpse at the front of the ONI building.

There was a man stood there, Navy Officer's uniform, Lieutenant by the look of him. No weapons in his hands, just standing there, waiting in the doorway.

"Hello there," The Officer said. "ready to surrender yet?"

Alex was about to offer a stinging reply, when the officer continued - "Only I don't think there'll be much time for talking when the Delta Force boys get up here. Damn, maybe one's got the scope of a rifle on you right now, waiting for me to give the order to fire. What's it gonna be, hm? And don't even think of shooting me. I'm a capable Mage. I've got my level 5 bullet barrier up and running right now."

Is this big-mouthed fool bluffing? Thought Alex. If Delta Force goons were on the way, things would get dicey. On the other hand, he could be lying.

Where the frag were the others?


If he's a mage, I should make short work out of him.
The sword mentally replied to Alex.
He mentally taunted all possible options.Heh. If it was a bluf it should go down quite easily... And he had not such feeling of being spotted at all.

"Oh, you have a bullet barrier. But tell me... do YOU have a sword proof barrier?" He said, showing the katana. It was shining with a somewhat strange green glare. A spellbreaker weapon.

"And this is no normal sword, I promise. Even if you had such barrier, this weapon would allow me to shatter it to pieces."
He looked back at the Liutenant, menancingly.
"Things might get ugly if you Delta pricks get in here. But you should know something... I had been a Spetnaz, and thus, better than those pimps."
He smiled. Oh yes, he had found a hostage...


Silvia looked at Crystal.
"Can't you blow it up?"
"In here? I'd blow us all up with it!"
"Hm. True." she replied, while getting some odd looks from the others. Not many of them knew about their way of communicating.
"Well, I suppose I could give it a try..."

She shifted her hands and attacked the steel door.

The claws didn't even penetrate the surface. They merely left a few scraches on the plasteel.
"This isn't normal plasteel..." She looked at the others. "No other options?"
"I can give it a try." Ash said.
She put her hand on the door and channeled heat into it. Slowly, the steel started to glow, but it didn't melt.
"This stuff is heat-resistant." she said, and looked at Silvia. "Are you sure you can't get through?"
"Yes. It's no use; I need a slegging sword to ge-"

Silvia didn't finish the sentence. As soon as she had said the word 'sword', green electric charges ran through her body, over her skin, towards her right arm.

Then, suddenly, black steel shot out through the palm of her hand. Silvia watched in disbelief as the long blade appeared.


Somewhere in a dark room in the Terganon museum, four wards glowed softly. But they wouldn't set off any alarm. The museum held many magical treasure; the wards were configured to ignore the magic of the objects themselves.
Between the four wards, in a huge plexiglass box, the huge dragon sword's point slowly dissolved. Faster and faster, the blade disappeared in a cyclone of green electricity.


Somewhere else Terganon, a dragon suddenly screamed, as he felt magic he hadn't felt in centuries being used in all its force.

His own magic.

He rushed to the door, not even reacting on the surprised looks of his colleagues in the office. He HAD to go to the museum, and fast... or all would be lost.


Silvia looked at the blade that was coming out of her hand. As she had her eyes fixed on the black point, the rest of the world seemed to have slowed down. As if everything around her was going in slow-motion.
This is impossible... it's like a storage spell... but I could never store something this big!

She saw her hand stretch open as the cross-piece came out. Further and further, her hand streching impossibly far, the bones of her hand moving aside, bending as if they were made from rubber. But she felt no pain. It all felt normal; even natural.
As the last piece came out, her hand became normal again, and Silvia saw her fist automatically closing around the hilt.
She looked at the sword, still completely oblivious of the people around her. The blade was made of black mithril... this was a dragon sword. And not just any sword... it was the kind only the Hell's Knights had.
She looked at the name engraved in the blade in Draconian letters.

Arzurug Trocimar

She frowned. She didn't know anyone called Trocimar, yet the sword felt so natural.

"Silvia?" she heard a familiar voice yelling at her.
Suddenly, Silvia realized where she was, and why she was here. She looked at Crystal.
"What?" she said, still a bit confused.

"Don't know how you pulled it off, but you got yer sword. So could you please get the frag on and use it?"
"Oh. right. Stand back..." She grabbed the hilt with both hands, and looked at the door.

She didn't think. She didn't have to think; she knew what she had to do. The sword was hers, as if she had always had it.
A small mana surge awakened the sword, and the green electricity that had summoned the sword was now jumping playfully around the black blade. Four swift strikes cleaved through the steel. The cuts were thin, as if made with monowire, or even as if they were not made at all. The only visible effect were four thin green glowing lines on the door, some going further into the walls.

Silvia looked at the door, and pushed it. The pieces fell to the ground.

Chance frowned. "I never knew you could do that."
Silvia looked a bit helpless, still amazed at what had happened to her. "Neither did I."

She put the sword over her shoulder, on her back. From the moment the blade touched her clothing, a green whirlwind started knitting around it. In a few seconds, the scabbard was done. Leather straps appeared, tying themselves around her chest and shoulders.
Silvia wasn't even surprised. She knew the sword; it had given her all knowledge about itself. She also knew now that she had accidently activated the Calling spell by saying the words 'I need a slegging sword'. She even knew the letters on the sword were fading... the sword was hers, and it would soon bear her name too.

She frowned.
But why? Who is Arzurug Trocimar? Calling spells normally only listen tot he person that made them. Why do I have this sword?

She followed the others out of the room.

And who the hell would use 'I need a slegging sword' as calling spell anyway?


Lieutenant Commander Forbeson keyed in her secure-channel link to her direct CO, Admiral Younghusband. A flickering 3DTV screen on her wristphone portrayed the Dwarf in grim mood.

"What the frag's happening Forbeson? First the fragging President makes a snap-visit while half our staff are on medical leave, then some fragger calls in a suspicious vehicle then all fragging hell breaks loose! Stop fragging fidegting and report, damn your eyes!" Raged Younghusband, shifting in his high-seat slightly and farting.

"Well sir, we intercepted the van. When our mages went out to check as per orders, we lost them."

"Lost them? You daft bitch!"

"Ahem, well... They appear to have been shot. Then the sec-rigger died. I checked him over from Astral. Sure enough: His mana had been attacked directly."

"What now?"

"Now sir, I intend to take control of the situation. The Complex is locked down. I have a feeling the mess at the gate is just some sort of diversion..."

"Your 'feeling' is causing us valuable work-time, Forbeson! If this turns out to be nothing, I'll have your head!"

And with that, the Dwarf disconnected.

Forbeson set her face to 'stony', and got on her comm-link again.


The Lieutenant laughed back across the 20 metres of fire-wracked open ground that seperated him from Alex, taking off his cap and brushing his hair back. Alex caught a glimpse of pointed ears.

"What good is a sword if you are too far away to use it!?!" Yelled the man. An instant later there came the 'phut' of a grenade launcher. The Officer had been armed only with a holstered pistol, so it must have been one of his men he couldn't see who fired it. A concussion grenade. It hit the body of the van, blowing what was left of it into the air, slamming Alex and Rei bodily around. A sharp stabbing pain in his leg announced a piece of shrapnel. His ears ached like hell, head throbbing.

When he opened his eyes again, he couldn't see Hayes or Shadow anywhere. All was silent. He thought he might be deaf, but then he heard a noise above the beating of his heart:

Rotor blades. Incoming, this time.


Having scrambled down the building, Iceman made for the ONI building, rifle over his shoulder, Plugin being dragged helplessly behind him,.

"If I get there in time maybe I can get Alex before that fragging chopper or whoever's in it!" He yelled. Who he was yelling too Plugin could only guess.

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