Post by Steinerman on Jul 24, 2011 20:10:37 GMT -5
Raiph shook his head in a negative fashion, "as I see it, we jumped to no conclusions, iceman. Your man is welcome to come with us, I suppose we'll contact you and refine the plan as we get closer to the go-date."
"Which will be within the next three months." Robert added, slipping on his jacket. "As to your payment, the gold and APC's will be delivered to a location of your choosing, at any time you choose. You will have to send a technician to an Outcast office for the database access, from one of our offices he'll be transported to a more secure location. The gunships will be delivered after the mission is completed."
Raiph and Laura strolled over to the door while Robert stayed behind a second longer. "We will not be leaving an operative with you, however. There is no need, communication can be handled through your operative traveling with us."
Post by The Silent Fourteen on Jul 26, 2011 22:57:51 GMT -5
Sturm shook his head and sighed. "Well, damn. I was looking forward to abusing new recruits again. And as for the payments, bring them here next week. The technician will be equipped with the proper technology to access and save the files, to ensure proper and safe transport to our data lab."
Lighter's ice bonds began to melt away. To ensure a clean end bargain, Sturm resealed his mouth and feet.
"Now, one last difficult thing. Finding Rain might be a challenge. Hm... heh heh heh... alright, take this." Sturm dug through one of Lighter's drawers. After a minute, he produced an unusual arrow. The shaft was made of steel, and the head looked as if it was a... chainsaw.
"Take this," He said. "As you go through the woods, yell out 'Rain, Rain, come today, I've something I need to say.' He seems to like that. As of late, he's been cultivating a "Forest Spirit" thing. Show him the arrow, and he'll know you came from us. Good hunting." And with that, Sturm ushered the guests out and shut the door.
The three mercenaries kept silent as they exited the village, only daring to speak once they were well away from prying eyes and Robert had cleared the area using his superior senses.
Laura was the first to speak, "Those guys give me the creeps." She muttered as they trudged forward.
"You'll get used to it." Raiph replied with a chuckle. "You know," he continued, "for a guy who claims to have spies everywhere, he didn't know there'd be three of us meeting him? Does that make any sense?"
Robert shook his head, "He has many spies, yes. But our units should be free of them. None of us take betrayal lightly."
Raiph muttered something along the lines of "bloody right we don't."
Laura shook her head in confusion, "I'm just glad he doesn't know about the entire operation, safer that way."
Robert nodded sharply in approval of the young woman's good sense, "very good, Laura. They'll be useful, but trusting them any farther than the payment would be foolish."
"The payment seemed rather high, Robert, we can afford it?" Laura replied questioningly.
"It's a dent, but the Outcasts have deep pockets, as do some of our other allies. And when we take Acera, we'll make it all back."
He tossed the odd arrow to Raiph, "go out and call for our guest, we have a meeting in Rogueport that I don't want him attending, keep him busy with your Hell Legion until we meet up at the Dragon's Lair, if you would be so good."
Raiph caught the arrow easily and nodded, "Aye, I'll do that. Don't want these buggers knowing any more about the op than they need too. We have contingencies in case they flake or screw up, right?"
"Of course, Raiph." Robert said with a grin, "we always have contingencies."
Minutes later they came to a small band of mercenary soldiers waiting with vehicles, Robert and Laura took half the troops and set off immediately while Raiph took the arrow and started calling out the words Saal had instructed them on.
After repeating it twice in the large booming voice of a Centurion used to yelling at his men, he stood and waited, "bloody odd way to get an assassin's attention." He muttered to the surrounding soldiers, who were all staring at their commander as though he'd gone crazy.
Last Edit: Jul 27, 2011 2:42:43 GMT -5 by Steinerman
Post by The Silent Fourteen on Jul 29, 2011 2:43:57 GMT -5
The trees rustled as a warm wind swept through the forest. Rain lifted his chin and sniffed the air, filled the serenity of nature. A bear approached him, sniffed, and continued on its way as the man were just a tree or bush. He then proceeded to walk, feeling the through the forest as if it was a part of him. He remembered something he told Order recruits during survival training.
If you stay still long enough, nature will unveil herself to you. Your awareness will heighten, and you will begin to feel the pulse of the Earth. Once, a recruit laughed, and called him a "Damned tree-hugger." With one motion, Rain planted his pistol in the man's jugular. Rain hated the pistols and swords, but they made for useful tools, especially while hunting. For that purpose, he still kept his special issue .45 Automatic.
He followed the bear for a minute, watching its nose the entire time. "I'll bet..." He said to the bear, "That you smell something. Or rather, things, because otherwise you'd be more likely to go for a hunt. And I'll bet they aren't from around these woods, because nobody from the Order uses the trails... Outsiders..."
Rain ducked down and began to crawl silently on his stomach. After living in the woods for so long, his smell perfectly matched that of the forest. As he approached the path, he heard three distinct voices and three pairs of feet. One was female. It was obvious by how she walked. The soft thuds from her footsteps indicated hiking boots, and that she wasn't nearly as big as the other men.
Fighting men! Men with guns and blades, here trampling through my woods. This is rich... With skill honed over a life time of bow-hunting, Rain silently. pulled out his bow and an arrow from his quiver. It's just like hunting deer. A smile crept across his face. Harsh people with harsh tools did not belong in his woods. The Order was barely tolerated, only because they were taught his laws.
I am the guardian of this place, he thought, reminding himself of his purpose.
The other two men had heavier footsteps, and their feet slapped against the soil. He knew that this came from them wearing business or dress shoes. So... that means they probably have jackets. And if they do, they could easily be concealing armor or weapons. It would be best for me to work this one at a time.
As he crawled up, he saw them pass by his concealed position, all of them talking about some grand scheme. Indeed, his suspicions about the intruders had been correct. He darted behind them, leaving only foot prints. As the walked, he tracked them from a short distance. He sized up his new targets, and concluded that the biggest one should be the first to go. After that, the girl. Then the last man could be cut off and isolated. He would definitely call for back up, but a few forest predators would quickly take him out.
"Rakutan," He had told the cadets, "is a VERY dangerous place for people like you."
Suddenly, a object was passed to the biggest man. It looked like a chainsaw arrow.
"No..." He whispered.
Suddenly, he heard his Forest Call come from the biggest man. A booming voice repeated the words "Rain, Rain, come today, I've something I need to say.'"
Rain cursed Sturm and trotted through the forests. He heard his caller mutter something about how this was a "bloody odd way to get an assassin's attention".
Finally, Rain broke silence. "You would be absolutely correct, wicked man, if I was an assassin. However, I am by no means a paid killer, like those Snakes in the Order or the Jackals like you. I don't pick at the carrion of anger and revenge for scraps of money and technology. I don't seek fortune or power, for I have a treasure trove already. By the way, I'm Rain, and I want that goddamned arrow. Now, why the fuck did Sturm give you that? He's the only thing in the world that would give an outsider that arrow. Now, why have I been summoned by you meat headed clods?"
Post by Steinerman on Jul 29, 2011 19:39:04 GMT -5
Raiph glanced on bemusedly as the man the assassins had chosen to send went on a little tirade about snakes and jackals, even going so far as to demand the arrow.
Even now he could sense the intense disgust emanating from the eight Hell Legionaries behind him, they'd taken an immediate dislike to this forest ranger, and weren't likely to change their opinion any time soon if he kept talking the way he'd begun.
But Raiph merely chuckled in good nature. "At last I've found someone who agrees with me, those assassins are snakes." He agreed heartily.
"To answer your questions, Sturm says you're to come with us 'jackals' as you seem to think we are. I'm Raiph Wilson of the Hell Legion, who might you be?"
Post by The Silent Fourteen on Jul 29, 2011 20:53:58 GMT -5
Rain sneered at the Hell Legionaries and then looked back at Raiph. "Like I just said, I'm Rain. And you are still holding on to that arrow. You might want to fix that. You're lucky, by the way, that Sturm told you the code. If he hadn't, I'd have put another through your heart. But I digress. So, I'm supposed to be the little message boy for Sturm and Lighter."
Rain placed and end of his large bow into the soft ground. He then unstrung the weapon and placed both string and bow into a long, slender bag. He sniffed the air and felt the presence of the nearby animals. He sensed a couple of bears that could be of use, as well as a hawk circling overhead.
He placed the bundled bow on his shoulder and walked over to the uniformed Legionaries. He inspected them, looking carefully at their weapons and armor. He made faces at a few, and then broke out into a smile. "I'm glad to hear that you saw the assassins for what they are. At least snakes hunt for their food. But I did overhear your conversation earlier, and you are close to figuring out Lighter, but I'll bet he still pulled the wool sack over your eyes."
He shot a look at Robert, and glanced quizzically at Laura.
"I'll give you a lesson, and it's one you should remember. I am a twenty five year veteran of the Order. From the age of nine, I lived in the Snake den, learning their trade. I remember when Sturm first brought Lighter into the town, and I remember training the man. He was quite possibly the cruelest man to ever grace the streets of Razortooth. Lighter loved the killing, and he lied whenever it was convenient to get what he wanted. He could act the fool whenever he needed to, and he could make anybody suspect idiocy. Once, he said that the best way to look like an ass, was to look like a proud and overzealous ass. Trust me, he knew that three of you were coming. And don't trust your men. I'm sure he has a spy in your ranks. If you would like, I can weed them out for you."
He looked back at the Legionaries and smiled. Personally, he thought that the seemed like a nice group of kids, but he knew that he needed to gain the fear of the mercenary leaders. And he knew that the best way to do that was to act feral and insane.
Lies within lies, treachery within treachery... now I remember why I left the guild in the first place.
"Remember, Lighter is treacherous. He is cunning. And, he is one of the most intelligent people in this continent. He has his operation planned out to the minute. You don't need to worry about failure with Lighter. You have to worry about his motives, and possible betrayals. Tell me, what did he ask for payment? It sounds like you have a large plan in the works, and I'm sure it wasn't cheap."
The hawk circled overhead. It screeched, and swooped down out of sight. Rain felt it fall to the surface and squeeze the life out of a mouse. It rose once more.
"Also, what are we going to be doing here? I just know that I've been summoned from my home by a man I don't know, telling me that I've been ordered around by organization I don't belong to, specifically by two men that I despise. What on Earth is going on here? Sorry if I've been a little short with you all... I'm just scared out of my goddamn mind that something bad is going to happen to me here. Large men have hunted me before. I don't trust you, but I'll help keep you from the snakes. I think I am Sturm's power play against Lighter. You see, they aren't as big of a happy family as you might think...."
Post by Steinerman on Jul 29, 2011 21:31:24 GMT -5
Raiph watched with pride as the Hell Legionaries gave not a twitch while Rain inspected them, though their eyes were locked furiously the man.
"You seem to assume that only your organization has spies and agents working in the shadows, sir. You would be mistaken." He said softly. In truth, the Hell Legion's internal security was strong, but not impervious. The Outcasts has fared better, but that was due to Robert and a pair of other Outcast shapeshifters that had an uncanny ability to sniff out spies and promptly disembowel them.
But in the months of preparation for the mission, Robert had arranged for several dozen, thorough sweeps to be done of all the mercenary units involved in the operation, and they'd managed to get rid of most of the spies. Whether they were Silver Star or not was another matter, but at the moment, most of the mercenary units involved were supposed to be free of spies.
"Sturm wants you to travel with us and relay messages for the upcoming operation." He said, indicating his men get on the two jeeps idling nearby. "But if you don't want to come, then don't. I think we'll manage just fine." He tossed the arrow to Rain and turned to leave, "Your choice, assassin."
Post by The Silent Fourteen on Jul 29, 2011 22:30:22 GMT -5
Rain caught the arrow with his left hand and inspected the head. He tugged the teeth of the chainsaw, making sure that it hadn't rusted over. After giving a look of satisfaction over the head, he stuck his little finger into the notch at the opposite end. The chainsaw roared to life, and then sputtered out.
Rain then quivered the arrow and began to speak. He spoke with obvious irritation, as if somebody had offended him.
"I swear to God..." Rain spun around to face Raiph. "If you call me an assassin ONE MORE goddamned time, I will put an arrow so far up your ass you'll spit splinters."
Rain placed his hands on his hips. It was an empty threat, seeing as how he'd unstrung his bow, but he thought it got the point across.
"You sir, are the biggest imbecile I've EVER seen. But, I'll go with you. I am not a part of The Order of the Silver Star. I'm through with that. If you MUST know, I broke away from Lighter and his group in the Assassin's Schism. Sturm and I still follow the Code of Starlight. Lighter does not. A small few of us, the original Silver Star ruling caste, escaped from his wrath. I personally abandoned that religion of Death, but I am still responsible for the Remnants. I believe that they are calling themselves the Shadow Corps."
Rain eyed the soldiers on the jeeps. "Your men don't seem to like me. In fact, you don't seem to like me. And all you are doing in wasting my time. I have half a mind to kick down Lighter's door, but I doubt that he'd be there. In fact..."
The ground rumbled. Dew fell from the trees, and a few bluejays squawked at each other. The rumbling picked up, and Rain grabbed hold of one of the jeep. Suddenly, the tremors died, and the forest went back to normal.
"...Lighter appears to be on the move. He's moving something big. Normally, they wouldn't use the tractors. But, I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that's Lighter. He's not in his office, and he's not in his planning room. So that means that rumble was him. Trust me, I know these things."
Rain hopped onto the back of a jeep and nestled himself between a couple of the mercenaries. The men showed obvious disgust, but remained orderly. "What," He asked them. "Do you not like me?" He gave a feral smile and growled at the man to his left. "You look familiar. Do you have a brother? I think I might have shot him a while back."
Post by Steinerman on Jul 29, 2011 22:52:55 GMT -5
Raiph chuckled as Rain hopped into the jeep. "listen, 'assassin'." He said, smiling as he said the word. "The Silver Star's top dogs seem to be calling the shots for you, which makes you one of them. Thus you're an assassin. You called us jackals, we'll call you an assassin. The world isn't fair, if you don't like it, hop out."
He took his place in the jeep, keeping one worried ear on the rumbling sound in the distance while listening to see if his men responded to Rain's verbal jabs. In true Hell Legion fashion, the two young men completely ignored Rain. Satisfied, Raiph turned his whole attention to the rumbling, his expression darkening, "bugger it but I think these assassins are going to be a problem."
The squad leader sitting next to him nodded, "do we even need them, sir? We've got the other group already infiltrating the city . . "
Raiph shrugged, "it's a risk, but Robert wanted them in on it, he wants the battle for Acera to be quick and done. Afterwards . . . " he left the rest unsaid. None of his men relished fighting the Silver Star. But they'd gotten the word through whispers and rumors. Most of the mercenary commanders seemed sure the deal with the Silver Star would go badly, and had told their men to be ready in case it did.
The Jeeps started off at a steady pace, the drivers keeping their eyes on the road. Raiph half-turned in his seat to look at Rain. "So, seeing as you seem to hate the Silver Star, why're you helping them?"