Chapter 5: Mission Start

"Come in leader," a soldier in black armor positioned himself with a sniper rifle atop a rooftop. "I'm in position."

"Same here."

"Same here."

Several other confirmations came in as Ken reloaded his pistol. "Understood, maintain your positions until further orders."

Chloe looked at Carolina who was eager to get to the mission location. "This will be one heck of a welcoming party for you won't it?"

"I'll say," Carolina smirked under her helmet. She held onto her rifle tightly displaying a sense of anxiety. Ken directed Chloe to make a soft turn at the next intersection and said. "Just remember Carolina, worst comes to worst we turn tails and run. No point in losing our heads over this mission."

"I never run from a job."

"Well now you are a part of ATSG, so now you will have to," he corrected and motioned towards the nearby parking garage of the mission building. "You may not like it, but this is how we do things. Either succeed in the mission or get out before casualties take place."

"But that's not how actual battles are fought."

"We are a covert agency, not a war army. Keep that in mind for the next time you say something without thinking it through."

Chloe came to a stop and her two occupants exited the vehicle. "I'll go get in position inside the building. Let me know when you are ready for pickup."

"We won't make you wait too long," Ken waved as he ran ahead of Carolina. She followed closely and noticed him scoping out the entrance to the building. He looked at Carolina and motioned towards a back entrance. "You take that, in your armor you will stand out too much."

He activated the hologram projector on his gauntlet and pointed at a particular floor. "We will meet up here. Don't dally."

"Roger," she ran ahead of him. He studied his hidden blades and ensured that they were working properly. Good, let's do this. He hid his arms beneath his trench coat and entered the building. "Alright snipers, I need you to be my eyes."

"The floor you want to get to is heavily guarded. You may want to take them all out quietly to make things easier for your escape," one of the snipers from across the building spoke with uncertainty in their voice. Ken chuckled and replied. "Have some faith in your leader. We can do this without killing anyone. Get in quietly, get the data and get out."

Ken took the elevator all the way up to the level below the server farms. He stepped out onto the mostly deserted floor and activated his invisibility cloak when in the blind spot of a security camera. "Come in T9, are you in position?"

"T9 here," a man of average stature answered as he hooked up a wireless hack device that fed information directly to his armor's computer. "I have started the hacking procedure. The cameras will be down by the time you reach the target floor."

"Heh, want to make a bet out of it to see who is faster?"

"I'm going to have to take a rain check on that."

"You are no fun," Ken moved through the hallways carefully and precisely avoiding any who stood in his way. Carolina climbed the stairs to finally reach the mission floor. "Church, how many people?"

"According to your thermal scanners, about twenty. Whatever they are protecting must be really important."

"That's why we are here," Carolina whispered as she opened the door a crack and peeked inside. They were all spread out and adequately armed. Their armor seemed penetrable and from the way they carried themselves, they seemed to be average security guards at best. She closed the door at the sudden appearance of a guard in her sight. She watched him pass by via her thermal vision and gently open the door creating a passage for her. She walked inside and stealthily manoeuvred around the enemy. "Church, where is the server room?"

He brought up the floor layout on her visor and marked it on her map. She moved back and forth from the shadows A few close run ins nearly compromised the mission, however she was quick to activate the camouflage unit and blend in with the background. She looked around the room nearing the servers. Where is he?

Ken looked up at the wall that blocked his progress. He stared up at the vent and rubbed his chin. I think I just found a way of skipping all these idiots. He silently rolled a chair over to the location of the vent and unscrewed the vent with his trusty multi-tool apparatus. He gently set the vent down onto the floor and hopped inside. By the time any of you realize something is amiss, I will be long gone suckers. He trudged through the claustrophobic tube with one arm in front of the other.

He climbed up to the next level and observed the various patrols from the vent. Look at the circus we got up here. He waited for one of the guards to walk past. He eyed the cameras and noticed that the red blinking lights were inactive. It's a good thing he didn't take that bet. When they were at a fair distance, he started applying gentle pressure on the vent's sides. The screws were no problem. He gently pushed out the vent and slid it to the side. As soon as his body was outside, he placed it back into position to still maintain a certain element of normality in the environment. Ken looked around and decided to stick to the shadows which allowed him to easily walk past everyone into the server room.

She was there waiting for his arrival in the back of the server room where the host computer resided. He appeared out of thin air, and yet again the surprise has not lost its effect on her. "Who was it that said not to dally?"

"Yeah I get it, you are the best, blah, blah," he hooked up a wireless transmitter to the host computer panel and started the hacking program. "Keep an eye out."

In the main security office of the building, several guards scrambled about near the monitors simply displaying static. They were doing their utmost best to bring up the picture once again, but nothing proved to be a success. One of the men got on the radio and contacted their higher up. "Sir, it seems we have a problem with the cameras on the server floor. There doesn't seem to be damaged hardware of any sort from our readings here. But the transmitter is facing issues from the mother control room."

A deep, hoarse and imposing voice answered. The large man who seemed to exude fear and earn respect from his subordinates just from the sound of his voice decided to take two of his men with him to the mother control room and study the situation. His thick armor plating crashed and clanged against one another with every heavy step he took. As everyone noticed the three armored men, they made way for them without hesitation. All of them kept their head down if they knew what was good for them. The leader of the group motioned to the direction of the mother control room's door. His two subordinates setup positions on both sides of the door with their guns drawn. The leader activated his thermal vision and noticed one active life sign. The rest were sleeping soundly.

He slowly opened the door and rushed inside. T9 turned behind, but before he could react, he was taken into a tight hold by his neck. A hold so tight that it crushed the muscles and blocked the desperate passage of air, and eventually his neck finally cracked. The leader of the group stared at the device attached to the controls and crushed it with his hands. "Annoying cheap toys…"

"General Creed, we have confirmation of people in the server room. It seems that they are trying to steal our data."

Creed looked to his right and flipped a switch. The building wide alarm triggered and everyone from the ATSG jumped in mighty surprise. Carolina looked around in a panic as Church did his best to get a good grip on the situation. Ken looked back at the cameras. The red lights were blinking once more. Shit, what the hell?

"We have to go," Carolina whispered as she saw the guards converge near the server room. Ken looked back at the monitor. The program was nearly complete in its transfer. "Hold them off."

"What?!" both Church and Carolina barked in unison. Ken motioned towards the approaching enemy. "We don't have time to argue this. The data transfer is almost complete. Just buy me a couple of minutes here."

"You are one crazy motherfucker," Church exclaimed as Carolina drew her weapon and got in position. The guards entered in pairs inside of the server room with their knives drawn. "Remember, no one fires a shot here. Anyone that does can look forward to explaining their actions to General Creed. I imagine that would be a fun time."

That gives us a leg up. Carolina waited for two of them to come around the corner before she jumped them. She quickly disarmed the two and punched them unconscious.

"What was that?!" two others began their approach. She found the perfect spot to mount her assault. Ken retrieved the device and safely stored it in his armor's belt safe storage. Carolina jumped the two other guards. She twisted their arms and disarmed them. She bumped their heads together and left them cold on the floor. "Hands up where we can see them!"

Carolina hid behind a server tower and stared in Ken's direction. The gig was up. He was caught in a risky situation. So much for being able to run away. She began to lessen the distance from Ken's position to hers.

"Tell your partner to come out as well and they better not try anything funny."

Shit, Carolina stood up with her arms up in the air and slowly walked out.

"Nice of you to join us, you with him?"

"What if I am?"

One of the men held Ken down and rested the sharp side against Ken's neck. The other one rushed for Carolina, but lost balance midway. The side of his head burst open as splashes of blood and brain painted the floor. The one holding Ken last felt the sharp, but momentary sting of a bullet entering the back of his skull and piercing out from his left eye socket. He quickly went numb and fell to the ground like a lifeless doll. Both Carolina and Ken looked in the direction of the bullet's origination. Chloe hailed the two on the radio. "You two owe me one."

"I'll treat you to a nice dinner and we will call it even," Ken joked as he rushed out from the server room alongside Carolina pushing past the other guards. The elevator on the floor dinged and the doors opened revealing their fears. An armed group of fifteen more men rushed out. Carolina and Ken kicked and pushed past many to jump into the elevator.

"After them, go, go, go!"

"What's happening in there Ken?" one of the snipers asked. "What are our orders?"

"Get out of there. Collect the others and leave. We will find our own way out."

"Are you sure? I'm seeing three armed men headed for your position."

"Do it!" Ken rushed out of the elevator and noticed the stairwell doors burst open. "We will find our own way out."

Chloe quickly met up with the two just as they were cornered. She pulled them into the shadows of an easily avoidable part of the building. She leaned in close to the two catching her breath, panic painted shades of red as her veins showed in her eyes. "What do we do now?"

"Calm down for starters," Carolina rested a hand on Chloe's shoulder. "Panic won't help us."

"She is right. Chloe," Ken looked out from their spot at the spread out patrol pattern. "Time to go play tag."

Chloe got the message. She gently pushed past Carolina and readied her rifle. Without warning she took out three of them with ease. "Hey assholes, catch me if you can!"

The chase began, everyone was after her. You may have numbers but I have speed. She rushed down the stairs, jumped over the bars and gave her comrades the clear window for escape. Chloe pushed past the many civilians on the ground floor as she pushed open the doors to the cold streets. The enemy guards kept up the chase, which forced her to become more creative in her escape. Eventually she started leading them down a narrow alley network. She managed to lose a good chunk of them in there. The leftover now fed up with this game of tag took out their rifles and opened fire. "Jeez, is that anyway to be a good sport about losing a fair game of tag?"

She readied her rifle and as soon as they were in her line of sight, they were down in a matter of seconds. Chloe stood up with a smirk and contacted Ken. "Looks like I won that game. So what will be my reward?"

"You are really trying to wring my wallet dry here aren't you?" he rushed through the stairwell until he noticed a group of three armored men. Carolina dragged him onto the floor nearest to them. It was a normal office building floor filled with several cubicles. The three men entered and opened fire at them. Carolina quickly acted to shoot the weapons out of their hands. Ken drew his pistol and shot two of them in the knees. Creed looked at his subordinates and glared at Ken. "You won't escape boy. I know you have the data."

Carolina stood between the two of them and cracked her knuckles. "Then how about a little spar match first?"

"That bloke in the mother control room, I imagine you will be missing him quite a bit," he cracked his neck, pointed a grip towards Carolina's neck and clenched his hands. "I'll be breaking your neck as well girl."

A/N: So, how's that for kicking the pacing off the ground? :P

Expect more of things like this in this fanfic, but at the same time some down moments for the sake of story and character development, as well as a breather. So what did you think about the start to that heist gone wrong?

Constructive feedback is appreciated.

Thank you for your readership, I appreciate the support!

~ Monty