Stigma took a perverse sort of pleasure in tracking down potential New Order supporters. Watching him, Brad was strangely reminded of a cougar, slinking soundlessly along a stone ledge, poised to leap for the kill. The thought made him shiver. It was a good thing he was on their side. Using Jaime's computer, Stoller searched file after file, unblinking and without rest, until one caught his attention. "This woman. I've seen her at all of Charlemagne's circuit parties," he announced triumphantly, and brought up more on her. The warrior was a member of the Broken Glass, an S-Class team that was continuously punished for unnecessary force and cruelty. Brad shuddered, but did not respond when Naomi questioned his reaction-only drew her closer to him. "Bit, Brad, Kelly and Oscar. I want you four with me," Stigma said over his shoulder as he typed a few commands, brining up the profiles for all of the members of Broken Glass. "If Kelly goes, I go with her," Kris piped up loyally, meeting Stoller's eyes calmly. He nodded, not really caring, and took the coffee that she offered. "What am I doing?" the Hemeros pilot questioned as he walked into the command room, wiping his hands on a towel. There was a look in his eyes that spoke of his need to help recover his son. Steve looked away from his old friend, ashamed that his blood relation had caused so much pain. "Your going to be our air support. We're going to investigate the Broken Glass team. Rheanna Sariyah in particular." He showed them all her picture; her hair was long and pure white, with dark sapphire eyes. Her lips, a dark rosy red that contrasted her pale complexion, curved upward in a smirk that ruined her stunning beauty. "And I'm...?" Brad let the question hang, raising an eyebrow to gaze curiously at the seasoned soldier who'd taken charge. "You and Bit will guard our exit. The Taskers and myself..." a strange gleam appeared in Stoller's eye. Leena sidled closer to Layon, and he took her hand. Harry was oblivious to it all, stretched face down on the couch and fast asleep. "We will pay our friends a short visit."
Blowing air through his lips, Stoller ran a hand through his hair in frustration. The base was empty. He itched to get back at Charlemagne for the humiliation the young one had dealt him, and he knew that Rheanna was much closer to him than he'd let on. If he could get to her, he would have Toros in the palm of his hand. Disappointment washed over him as he reached up to touch his throat mic. Two pairs of hands grabbed his arms, throwing his backwards; caught off guard he tumbled to the floor. The air rushed from his lungs, leaving the warrior dizzy and confused. His delayed reaction gave his attackers time to restrain him, and they took full advantage of it. Stigma was flipped roughly onto his stomach and cuffed. When he was hauled up onto his feet, Stigma was given a chance to gather his wits and regain his breath. "Haven't see you in awhile, Stoller," the man on his left commented. Jerking his head around at the familiar voice, Stigma recognized the redheaded mercenary as one of his fellow recruits. They'd been friends until the day he'd been promoted among the ranks of the Backdraft and Marduk was left behind. "It was nice, wasn't it?" he returned pleasantly, and received a blow to the head for his trouble. "Cheeky ol' bastard," grumbled the man on his right; Stoller didn't know him. Marduk nodded in agreement. "Mistress!" The dark-haired stranger released Stoller's arm and pounded on the door they'd ambushed him outside of. After a few moments, a slight silver-haired young woman in greasy cutoffs and an over-sized T-shirt opened the door. Her intensely dark royal blue eyes took in the situation with a glance - the smile on her face indicated she found something amusing. Recognizing her, Stigma glared with hate. Unconcerned, the woman - barely out of her youth - reached out a hand and touched his cheek. A searing pain, like a serrated knife being twisted viciously inside his skull buckled his knees. Rheanna cupped his face with her other hand so that the contact was not broken; Stoller screamed. There were needles being stabbed into his joints, someone was closing their hands around his throat and cutting off his air, his lungs ached for air- The pain was gone as suddenly as it started, leaving behind shaking limbs and wet cheeks. He felt worse than he ever had before. At her wave, Marduk and his companion dumped their burden unceremoniously inside her room, and then took up a guarding position outside the door. He didn't have the strength or ambition to move, and breathed heavily on the coolness of the tile floor. "You have great potential for success, Mr. Stoller," said the night-eyed creature - for Stigma had seized to think of her as human - commented. She perched carelessly on the edge of a chair, observing him with interest. "Yet you throw it all away to rescue a mercenary and a worthless pilot that you do not even know. "Moreover, you risk your life to get back at Charlie through me. I am flattered, of course, but you underestimate him. He would find a way around you, to get me back." Her voice was flighty and pleasant, like a teenager. For some reason it chilled him to the bone. "Did you know that I cannot read his thoughts, even when I try? It is the most pleasant feeling in the world." Standing, she stepped over his outstretched arm and spoke to Marduk. "He has a pair of female accomplices in the building, and a male in the skies. The two in land units are good; send the very best. Find them all, and lock them up." The two men nodded and left. Shuddering, Stoller tried to lever himself up, warn his companions, but there was no energy left in his limp body. His eyes rolled back in his head as he sank into blessed unconsciousness.
A/N: Been awhile, huh? Sorry, ya'll, I just haven't had any inspiration for this ficlet up until now. Hope it don't disappoint you. I've been really busy with my Lord of the Rings fanficlets. If any of you are fans, please check them out! Much thanks to my great beta-reader, Lady Harlequin! Go read her work while you're at it. Let me know what you think!