A/N: Hello! New chapter for your reading pleasure, written as part of the 365k365day writing challenge to write a thousand words a day. As always, I don't own anything I didn't create, and I hope you enjoy.

Violet Turned Red
Chapter Sixteen
Pilots at Play


Apparently, even perfect soldiers could be wrong. Five hours, probably a few gallons of coffee, and a new keyboard later, Heero was no closer to getting back into the system. Clearly, Hellsing had a master on in their employee, the likes of whom he'd only seen a few times in his life.

More than once, he'd gotten part of the way in, slipping through any back way that he could find, only to be kicked out soundly on his figurative cyder ass. It was almost like the other hacker knew his style personally, and could guess what he would look for. Almost like- no, that was impossible. Shaking the thought from his head, he knocked back another half cup of hot coffee, he sent his fingers flying over the keys once more, sharp eyes searching through the scrolling code for something, anything that he could use. There was to be a way past this guy, and he was going to find it or die trying.

What he spotted instead made him blink, rubbing his eyes to check if they'd just decided to scramble the code in front him out of sheer exhaustion. But no, it didn't change. There was a damn smiley smack dab in the middle of the code, tucked inside some programmer's notes and winking at him. And right in front of him, it changed to stick its tongue out at him. The Preventer growled. They were taunting him! With fresh fury, he forced his focus to sharpen as he dug down into the code. He'd see who taunted who!

Back in Hellsing's server room, Duo was grinning with red eyes shining as his fingers danced over the keyboard. He wasn't sure if it was just him, but it felt like this was a lot easier than the last time he'd hacked against Heero when they'd been testing the Preventers' systems for weaknesses. Like he was just moving and processing a lot faster than he'd ever been able to even as a Gundam pilot. Apparently vampires made better hackers, who knew. Good thing too, or they've have a problem on their hands. Especially by now. He could practically feel Heero's irritation through the computer as he not only blocked him time and time again, but teased him too. Because really, how could he resist? It didn't seem likely that Heero would figure out who it was behind the keyboard either, not when everyone 'knew' that one Duo Maxwell was deader than dead.

He let out a quiet cackle, fangs flashing as his grin grew wider and more wicked. "Come on, Ro, let's dance." Now, did the computer they had Heero using have a webcam...

Turns out it did, and Duo was treated with the view of Heero hunched over the keyboard typing furiously, glaring at the screen below the little camera eye with a level of hate that he thought his old partner reserved for enemy combatants and reporters. And was his left eye twitching? Snickering, Duo zoomed the camera in just a little. Yes, yes it was.

Said eyes flicked up towards the camera eye and went wide for a moment before the pilot's hand came up and the video feed abruptly cut off. Duo grimaced. He could pretty much figure what had happened to the poor little camera, and it involved the word 'crunch.' Hands that could bend steel after all. A little plastic and circuitry camera? Didn't stand a chance.

"Touchy, touchy," Duo muttered before snickering under his breath. Well, at least Heero still looked pretty healthy. That was a big plus. What could he say, he worried about the guys. Not like he could call them up and check on them. "Sorry about having to do this to you, buddy, but can't let you in."

Setting a false trail to distract Heero for a moment, Duo opened another code box and starting crafting one of his more vicious viruses. He'd made it to combat anyone who got to far into the Preventer servers, but had never needed to put it into action before now. It was designed to do a very simple thing. Erase everything on the computer system, and then overwrite it with busy but meaningless code. In other words? Heero would be hacking on a brick. It wouldn't stop him, but it might slow him down long enough for Duo to code something to keep out a hacker of Heero's caliber for a few weeks. He'd figure out what to do from there later.

Smirking, he tucked the virus right where Heero would probably go after he figured out that his lead was just a dead end, ready to spring the moment that his old partner pocked at it. That done, he sat back with a satisfied grin to wait.

Aaand poof, down went Heero's connection into the systems. It really was too bad he'd lost the camera already, but it would have been delicious to see the guy's face in that split second between Heero noticing the virus and the system going into full shut down. Snickering, he cracked his knuckles and stretched in his chair before picking up the phone and ringing Integra's study. "Hey dragon lady, ninmu kanryou."

...

Heero sat back and stared at the black computer screen flashing 'no input' in visible shock. They'd beaten him. Him. Just who the hell did they have over there?! He'd never been bricked so soundly and solidly before, not once in his life. And especially never so easily.

But he wasn't about to give up so easily. Heero had been given a mission, and accepting his failure to complete a mission was not something that he did. It may not be as simple as he'd figured that it would be when he'd started and passed through their firewalls the first time, but he wouldn't have survived the war if he didn't know how to pick himself up again and figure out a new way around. He was getting into that system if it killed him.


ninmu kanryou - Mission accomplished. Yes, he's imitating Heero.