Hour Remining: 49

Location: Astania

Mission: Detention Centre

Target: Sankaku Corporation

Security Level: 1

Operator note: Sometimes I think we're all just insane.

"Be quick about it. They've noticed a disturbance when we ported in and their alarm level is already rising."

"Roger that, Central."

Maria switches off her comms, and counts to three. Her outfit is being unnaturally demanding today: skirt jacket tightening around her waist, and the red scarf is becoming insufferable. Perhaps it's just nerves. Eight years spent in The Agency and ten spent fighting corporate takeover don't result in nerves, she reminds herself. There's something wrong, but as the situation demands she's going in blind.

Decker has already moved forward. A good man he is, though obsessive in ways she can never understand. It doesn't matter though, as long as his twentieth century brown jacket and fedora combination stays out of the way. It always has, during their odd five years as partners.

"South east room clear. Only seeing office desks and a terminal." His voice rings in her ears, tucked neatly behind bulky, metallic signal receiver. It's the only thing less than fashionable she allows herself. After all, the job comes first.

"Copy, I'm going north."

She has her back to the wall, right hand a few centimetres away from the door's handle. She focused on her left arm, as the skin lights up a dull yellow, indicating ready status. Bar-shaped pulses can be seen emitting from it, bouncing radio waves back and forth within close proximity. The result, absorbed into her system through the implants on her skin, shows a large amount of computers and two cameras within the immediate room to her right, along with a patrolling guard. This isn't something too strange, but with the intended security for this facility, it does strike her as a bit much. If anything, that signals valuables.

"Security level climbing." Says the robotic voice of the female A.I overseer, indicating the stress of time. They cannot stay here for too long, and with just the two of them, the operation will be restricted as to how much it can do.

"Incognita, disable the firewall of the north eastern computer." She whispered.

The A.I complied without a moment's hesitation. Two faint beeps later, Maria knows that she has what she needs. Tapping her fingers against the implant band, she infiltrates and analyses the code of the now vulnerable computer.

"Power unit increased by two." Confirms the A.I.

"Hack the two security cameras."

The order is done simultaneously, and she now has full view of the room. Just as the scanner has told here, there is a long corridor full of unimportant tech within this room, along with an entrance on the backside. A Sankaku guard, outfitted in office apparel, red tie and white suit, holds firm a pistol, manning security of that door. The door itself is particular, red power lines running across its surface, indicating at least a slight resistance to being busted open. This ticks her off. This isn't a civilian facility, so she expects better guards with higher-powered arms and armour. Still, it is always best to take things one step at a time.

"Guard spotted." She hears Decker's voice through the comms. Not a coincidence, maybe, but no time to think about that now. He should be able to take care of himself, whichever way.

"Guard spotted," she states, and proceeds with her plan of action.

Grabbing the door handle, she pushes it open inward. The cameras tell her that this has been noticed by the guard, and he is approaching. These are fairly simple sequences to take, especially dealing with low level personnel. At this point, she shuts off her connection to the camera, and enhanced her listening instead. Times like this, she finds it best to rely on her human instincts. Standing here, feet glued to the pavement, and fingers millimetres away from her neural disruptor, she is reminded of those sleepless nights under the Caibarien tunnels. She was but eighteen years of age at the time, and every step onto the wet concrete ground had to be immediately identified upon hearing, else there would have been serious risk of lives for the freedom fighters. Her hearing has developed extensively since then, and with the addition of technology can accurately identify gender, weight, height, body type, and even preferred weapon type if given the chance.

The guard's steps are counted one by one. At step number twenty, two more before he reaches the door, Maria's grip is already at his collar. Without a chance to react, he is thrown to the ground, and feels a light sting of a non-lethal weapon knocking him out cold. Maria pulls her victim around the corner and away from sight. Searching the guard's limp body, she finds a hundred credits, along with a level one security pass. This should help her get through the door clean and easy.

"Guard down." Decker's voice rings through the communicator.

"Guard down," she reports, craning an eyebrow.

Her previous feeling that something is off now becomes even more apparent. However, she still has a job to do.

Walking through a now cleared corridor, Maria takes note of the layout of the computer systems. This is a detention centre, but there seems to be more than just a holding cells and appropriated technologies. From her pocket comes a small CPU, which she connects through a nearby camera Incognita has taken over earlier. She does this with great haste and precision, but drop dead calm with every movement.

"Security alarm risen." Says Incognita.

The CPU reacts at the same time, pumping a bit of gained power into the A.I's virtual discharge. This is an invention of Maria herself, after her week-long trail blazing sabotage of none other than Sankaku Corporations, costing it an upward of fifty million credits. Incognita should now have ample ability to take better measures against the likely amped-up security within the detention cell, wherever it may be.

She stands at the red door, and hovers the newly acquired key card in front of it. Responding, the door turns green. The guard she knocks out isn't going to stay unconscious for long, and it would be best if she gets where she needs to be and leaves before he wakes up and raises the security another notch. Her left arm activates again, as the golden bar raises up and down in light of the signals coming from the other side of the door. She spots two additional cameras and a console through the walls.

"Incognita, the cameras please."

That takes all of the A.I's reserve power, but now the entire room becomes clear as day. The chamber is the primary Detention Room, with a row of three holding cells, a security console at the off side, and a Sankaku Elite Guard on watch. This one has proper armour, beige and ebon, to go with his sub machine gun. Maria doesn't really care for those, but supposedly such equipment fits this priority level a little better, and actually puts her mind more at ease. There is only one person held in the cells, and with the distorting light it isn't possible to make out, and only possible to detect through their heat signature.

Opening up the door slowly, she can see the guards yet to realise the weight of the situation, though he is weary that there exists a need that requires concern, patrolling the parameter and all. Unfortunately for Maria, though it's more than easy to sneak up to him and take him out, her neural disruptor still needs a little more time to recharge itself. Easing herself in, staying outside of the guard's peripheral vision, she purposely left the door open behind her. Having her back to the console, she observes the movement of the patrol.

"What the-?" He stops at the sight of the unclosed entrance, and rushes to investigate. Distracted, he does not notice Maria tapping into the processor and bringing down the cell doors. Quickly covering her traces, she races to the cell with the prisoner in order to doge the line of sight when the guard inevitably returns. Soon she was completely out of sight, nicely tucked into the enclosed space with the captive.

"Good to see you, Internationale." A feminine, smoky voice calls to Maria inside the artificial, brightly lit containment cell. The prisoner, golden tresses spread by the sweaty, blood-stained white shirt, stares at her rescuer with great intensity. They exchange no visible shift in complexion, but both of them feel a rock drops off their shoulders.

"Nika," Maria acknowledges.

The inmate is Nika Moratova, personal bodyguard to Central, who The Agency lost contact with during the raid of their headquarters. She is presumed K.I.A, but it seems her livelihood isn't as threatened as one would think. That is, if one ignores the bludgeoned cheek, bleeding wrist, black eye, and ripped attire. For someone who's effectively a prisoner of war these days, the fact that she's breathing and not missing a limb is a decent cause for celebration.

Maria wastes no time in cutting lose her colleague. It's just a matter of jamming an electric lock. Without saying a word, Nika moves out, but not before she's handed the neural disruptor. The patrolling guard is pulling up to check on the recently dissipated energy cell door, and she is ready for him. Practically spinning, she grabs at the guard, pushes him down, and delivers a swift punch across his face before jamming the stun device into his neck. Maria notices the unnecessary brutality in those actions, but decides that it's just deserves.


She hands Nika a small communication chip, which the blonde puts in her ear.

"Elevator's in southern most room, secured." They hear Decker's voice through the comms.

"Guess that's where we're heading." Said Nika.

That's a rare moment of pause for Maria. Is she supposed to entertain this line of talk? She and Deck seldom converse, and they are usually on the field together so much she almost forgets how to hold a decent chat that doesn't involve codenames and confidential secrecy, or even one that does.

"Yes." That's all she decides to say.

The two move out immediately. With Incognita informing them that the security level has risen one level higher, faster than expected, it's obvious to Maria that the guard she previously handled has awoken, and is now actively searching for them. There should also now be an Obake Drone somewhere around the area, to respond to the rising threat level the facility is under.

It doesn't take them much to trace back to the room Central originally beamed Maria in. The guard is far from unmanageable, being civilian level and all, and the Elite will not be waking up until it's too late. There are safes and console banks, but this mission is already completed, so Maria doesn't want to tangle with any extra risks. Nika seems like she's ready to be out of here very soon as well, having been held here for half a day already, and it clear has not been a pleasant stay. All that is left to do should be to follow Decker's trail, but it's hard to know where he is at the moment.

Two rooms down south, and Maria has yet to see the guard that her partner said is taken care of. Perhaps he's being pinned somewhere near the elevator at the moment, but something should have come up. That is when she realises that Nika has no idea of that fact, and is basically just trying to go wherever as quickly as possible.


The word comes from behind the both of them, completely outside of Maria's realm of possibility. From the corner of her eye, she can make out another elite guard, his SMG raised and ready to shoot them immediately if they move. The fact that she hasn't heard any movement up until now means that he has been at that corner, silently waiting, and indicates that he has actually been expecting them.

Looking forward, she sees Nika holding her hands up as well. They are in an extremely compromising position. Though it's possible to take down the guard, it'd mean that one has to take the shot for the other, and even then it's not an assured thing. Presently, the camera in the room beeped. The guard turns his head, only to see a tall, dark figure standing over him. Before he can retaliate, the shock of the disruptor sends him to sleep.

"Let's go." Says Decker, sprinting forward. Nika follows. Maria, after a pause, decides to ask her questions later, and runs to the elevator.