Because I gave Snake Eyes his own fic of ninja awesomeness, I felt obligated to do the same for Storm Shadow. This has been in my head for awhile now. Will be a couple of chapters, not really sure how many.
Jaye gripped her sidearm and flattened herself against the floor; the Crimson Guard's boots clumped past her hiding place under a sofa. She relaxed infinitesimally as the footsteps faded.
She wormed her way out of the narrow space; Breaker emerged from his cramped hiding spot under Tomax (or maybe Xamot's) desk. The communications expert rolled his neck; Jaye distinctly heard the crackle of joints.
"Ow. I thought he'd never leave." Breaker kept his voice soft, but the sentiment was heartfelt. Jaye resumed her guard position at the office door, and Breaker returned to clicking furiously at the top-of-the-line laptop on the desk. "Damn. They really don't skimp on the security programs."
"Can you break into it?"
A discreet snort. "Already done…woah. Nice." A few more key clicks, and the tech slid a disc into the drive and started downloading files.
"What?" Jay glanced over her shoulder.
"Their computer background…Maxim's Miss March, if I'm not mistaken." Breaker grinned at the expression on her face. "Oh, and I found the briefings too."
Jaye sighed. "Men."
There was a very soft, vaguely disgusted snort just behind her. Jaye spun, her gun coming up, but the figure inches behind her leaned easily out of the way as she struck for his temple with the butt of the gun. "Storm!" She lowered her weapon. "Don't do that. Warn me before you sneak up on me!"
The ninja glared at her. When he spoke, it was very softly. "Snuck? I could have tied bells to myself and walked right up to you. You both do way too much talking on stealth missions…you ought to use sign instead. Are you almost done?"
"Yeah." Breaker extracted the disc from the computer and tucked it away securely in a reinforced titanium case. He grinned at the rather irritated ninja; Storm had protested when he'd found out that Jaye and Breaker were going to be assigned to the information snatching raid on Tomax and Xamot's headquarters. The ninja had insisted that he would be better off alone.
However, their intel had pointed towards the information Hawk wanted being encrypted, and that meant Breaker had to come. Jaye had been inserted as a lowly secretary, beneath the Twin's notice, and she'd secured the tech entry to the office complex, where they'd both hid until the building emptied for the night.
Storm Shadow had gained entry after dark, with the ease that only a ninja could pull off. His face was too well known to slip into the building with the rest of the workers, but then Jaye suspected that he preferred to break in his own way anyways.
*Good.* Storm pointedly used ASL instead of speaking. *The guard is changing in twenty three minutes; that'll be your best chance to slip out. I found two guards about your sizes…here.* The ninja dropped a bundle on the floor next to Jaye.
Jaye eyed it. "Do I want to know what you did to them?"
A slow grin. *Sign, Jaye…and no, you do not. Do you know where the guard station is?*
Jaye nodded and tugged the smaller of the two uniforms on over her normal clothes; it was, scarily enough, a perfect fit. Breaker finished shutting the computer back down and pulled on the larger uniform. It also fit unsettlingly well. Both of them eyed Storm Shadow warily. The ninja just smirked, slid out the door, jumped, and vanished into the shadows of the office ceiling.
"He creeps me out sometimes." Breaker muttered.
"You and everyone else." Jaye slid the Crimson Guard mask on. "Let's go."
Things went fine for about ten minutes. Then they rounded a corner and ran face-to-face into a squad of three guards. The leader narrowed his eyes.
"Smithton? Abrams? This isn't your sector. Remove masks and identi...ghhhkk"
The man fell backwards, clawing at the loop of wire around his throat. Storm Shadow jerked the man back, a knee in the small of his back, and there was a nasty 'crack'. Jaye drew her knife and lunged for the next man as the two were reaching for their sidearms; she got the blade into the man's throat before he could react. A gunshot, and she tensed.
The last guard, looking rather surprised, toppled. Breaker lowered his weapon. "I'm guessing we should probably move."
"You think?" Storm Shadow was coiling his garrote and slipping it away into the top of his tabi. He opened the nearest door, revealing a tiny office. "Shove them in here. It'll buy us a few minutes." He tore the shirt off of the man Jaye had knifed and shoved it into the throat wound. When he dragged the corpse into hiding, it didn't leave a blood trail. Jaye raised her eyebrows; that was a nice trick.
"I thought we weren't supposed to talk?" Breaker raised an eyebrow.
"Discharging firearms has made that rather moot." As if to reinforce the ninja's point, a distant alarm started screeching. The ninja scowled. "I told Hawk that he should have sent me alone. Follow me; I know the quickest way out."
They took off. They ran into one other patrol, this time a search party of five men. Storm Shadow launched himself onto the first two with extreme prejudice; Jaye really thought that the Geneva laws must technically make using a knife that way illegal.
The other three were dealt with by her and Breaker. Storm Shadow listened, and this time didn't bother hiding the bodies, instead beckoning them after him and taking off at a flat-out sprint. Figuring that that couldn't mean anything good, Jaye and Breaker followed at speed.
Sure enough, bare seconds after rounding the corner she heard outraged shouts behind her. The three Joes tore off with speed that would impress even BeachHead.
A few quick turns and a stairwell later, and they were bursting out into the parking garage through a maintenance entrance. There was a shout from a guard shack; Storm Shadow veered off for a few seconds. There was a yelp, a heavy thump, and Storm emerged from the guard post a moment later.
They seemed to have lost their pursuit. Jaye didn't hear feet pounding after them any longer. They headed for the ground level of the parking garage. From there, it was only a few blocks to their car, and then they'd be away scot free…
They rounded a corner to find about thirty assault rifles leveled at their faces. The detachment of Crimson Guards glared at them; Jaye raised her hands slowly. Breaker did the same. Storm Shadow, of course, was nowhere to be seen. Jaye hoped very hard that the ninja was setting himself up for maximum possible damage to the men they were facing.
The apparent leader of the guards eyed the ceiling. "Storm Shadow!"
There was no reply. The man repeated the ninja's name, again with absolutely no results. The Crimson Guard scowled. "Kill any of my men, and they die instantly. Kill me, and they die instantly. Move for them, and they die instantly. Come out where I can see you in five seconds, or they die instantly. Men, if any of these things happen, shoot them before you do anything else, and that is and order. Five…four…three…two…"
Storm Shadow dropped from the ceiling and landed just in front of the other two Joes. He was looking murderous, and the glare he leveled at the Crimson Guards really should have spontaneously combusted the lot of them.
The Crimson Guard commander smiled. "Excellent. If he twitches wrong, blast all three of them into oblivion. I doubt you can dodge thirty AK's at once, ninja…and even if you can, they can't."
"I've got it. You've got us." Storm Shadow glared. "I told Hawk that he should have sent me alone...they'd never have seen me."
"What are you going to do with us, then?" Jaye asked.
The Crimson Guard commander pulled an odd-looking gun from the back of his belt. "Storm Shadow, I am going to tranquilize you. Dodge, and they both die…all three of you are going to the Twins." A wide grin. "I am so getting a pay raise and a promotion out of this."
Storm hissed angrily but didn't move. There was a little puff, and a small dart hit the ninja in the arm. He staggered almost instantly, and went to his knees.
"You." His voice was slurred. He was glaring at the Crimson Guard commander. "I'll remember you…your head is mine."
He slumped to the ground, hitting the cement hard enough to make Jaye wince. This was not good.
"Disarm him." The Crimson Guard commander motioned one of his men forwards. "Thoroughly. You, disarm the other two and put them in cuffs. Try anything, and all three of you die instantly."
Jaye's guns and several assorted knives were confiscated. Breaker was similarly disarmed. Storm Shadow took considerably longer to search. By the time the Crimson Guard was finished, he'd removed the ninja's swords, eighteen throwing stars, six knives of varying sizes, two dozen throwing spikes, the garrote, a blowgun and a dozen presumably-poisoned darts carefully folded into a packet, twelve smoke bombs, a lockpick kit and eight loose picks, a communicator, and a set of climbing claws. His mask was removed too, apparently because of the comm wire stitched to the cloth.
"Doesn't mess around, does he?" The Crimson Guard commander shook his head. "Take them all to detention. Keep the ninja separate."
A rifle butt cracked into Jaye's temple, and everything went dark.
When she opened her eyes again, she was staring at a poorly lit cell block ceiling. She groaned, and Breaker's slightly-battered face appeared in her field of view. "Hey. I was starting to worry about you."
Jaye sat up, massaging a really beautiful lump on her head. "Ow. Where are we?"
"No idea." The tech sighed. "They knocked me out too."
Breaker pointed. The cells they were in were barred on three sides, with the cinderblock wall forming the back. Storm Shadow had been unceremoniously dumped in the cell next to theirs; the ninja was cuffed hand and foot, and then had been cuffed hand to foot. He was still out cold.
"He is not going to be happy when he wakes up." Jaye winced. "That doesn't look comfortable." She sighed. "How long have you been awake?"
"A little while." Breaker stood and leaned against the bars. "Long enough to know that someone comes through every hour to check on us."
Jaye stood. Her spine popped; she must have been out for awhile. "Well, we've missed our check in, so they'll know something happened by now. If we're lucky, they'll already have Snake on a transport."
There was a groan from the cell next to them. Both Joes swiveled in time to see Storm Shadow stir and then roll to his knees, his arms twisted back at an angle that looked distinctly painful by his restraints. The ninja looked very much the worse for the wear; the Crimson Guards hadn't apparently been particularly gentle to him during transport.
"Dead." He said, apparently to thin air. "All of them."
"How are you feeling?" Jaye moved over to the shared wall of bars between their cells.
That earned her a glare. "Just fantastic." There was more sarcasm crammed into that last word than Jaye had thought possible. The ninja glanced around. "We're in the basement. This is the Twin's private detention facility."
Breaker blinked. "A dungeon in an office building?"
Jaye shrugged. "Whatever floats your boat, I guess. We've missed our check-in, Storm, so help should be coming. I'd guess that Hawk will send Snake, and maybe Scarlett. Probably some of the others as well."
Storm Shadow didn't answer. He was working at his restraints. Breaker leaned against the bars between their cells and watched with interest. Jaye peered at the ninja and winced as she saw a thumb joint pop sideways. The ninja pulled and wiggled, and his hand slid free. It looked like he lost some skin off of his knuckles, but still.
The other hand joined the first in freedom a few moments later. Storm uncurled from his awkward position with a sigh of relief and rolled his shoulders.
"Better." He shook his hands, which had apparently either popped back into place or re-grown bones. "Much better." The ninja examined the cuffs around his ankles, and reached into his sleeve. He scowled, and checked his other sleeve. This search also came up empty, and Storm's scowl darkened. "Thorough, weren't they?" The ninja combed his fingers through the hair just over his left ear, and grinned. "Not thorough enough, though." He extracted what appeared to be an ordinary bobby pin, twisted the thin piece of metal in half, bent one tip at a right angle, and proceeded to pick open the locks on his ankle cuffs in roughly five and a half seconds.
Breaker grinned. "I should tell Ripcord and Shipwreck that you put your hair up like a girl...unless you want to buy me a new case of gum. I'm almost out."
Storm snorted. "If you're going to disparage my methods, I'll leave your ungrateful backside there when I break us out. And don't try to blackmail the master. You familiar with a little thing called 'mutual assured destruction?' I know about Tijuana."
Breaker went pale. Jaye blinked. "Huh?"
"He knows." Storm stood and stretched. "Which one of you has been awake the longest?"
"How'd you know we were unconscious?" Breaker, apparently eager for a distraction from whatever unknown incident Tijuana involved, jumped at the subject change.
"You're both sporting really lovely goose eggs. I made an educated guess."
"Oh." Breaker winced and rubbed the lump on his head. "I have. A guard comes through every hour."
"When was the last one?"
Breaker seemed to be thinking. "Probably thirty, thirty-five minutes ago."
"Good." The ninja moved to the cell door and examined the lock. "Well well…they actually changed the locks after I left. Combination padlocks. I'm impressed." Another few moments passed, and Storm suddenly eyed the door at the end of the cell block. A blur of motion, and the ninja was kneeling on the floor again, cuffs looped loosely around wrists and ankles.
Jaye and Breaker, well familiar with the ninja's uncanny hearing, eyed the door. A few minutes later, a Crimson Guard strode in, stumping down to eye the prisoners.
"All awake?" The man grinned. "Tamox and Xamot are on their way; they're going to sell you to Cobra Commander for a nice profit. Especially you." This was aimed at the ninja. "We're all getting pay raises for taking you alive; I really ought to thank you."
The ninja bared his teeth in an expression that only resembled a smile in the loosest sense of the word. "I'm glad then that I deprived some of your friends of the opportunity to profit off of me. How many of you have I killed? Six?"
The guard glared. "Shut it."
"You know a man named Abrams?" The ninja grinned. "Oh, you did…your heart rate just spiked. I strangled him to death. He begged…or tried to. My arm was kind of crushing his throat at the moment, so it really didn't work too well."
The Crimson Guard slammed a fist against the bars. "I wouldn't be talking like that if I was chained up, fuckface. Just a warning."
"How about a woman, last name Smithton?" The ninja laughed mirthlessly, and it actually sent a chill down Jaye's spine. "She fought harder than Abrams, but there's not much you can do when you've got enough poison to drop three men in your blood."
"If I hadn't been ordered to leave you alone…"
"Did you find the one I shoved in the office? The one with the broken neck? He died fast. The two I knifed in the hall took longer, and the shorter one must have been hurting before he died. At least if I did it right, and I always do."
"Ninja, your ass is mine." The Crimson Guard was snarling. He fumbled with the padlock on Storm Shadow's cell. "I'll leave you alive for the bosses...barely."
Storm Shadow grinned. "Oh, don't spare me. Did you see what I did to your friend in the guard shack? He can literally watch his own back now."
The cell door flew open. The Crimson Guard lunged for the apparently restrained ninja.
There was a blur of motion. Storm Shadow was on his feet, there was a sharp crack, and the Crimson Guard slumped. Jaye blinked; the man's nose was a ruin. She had been in enough hand to hand classes to recognize the strike; up and into the nose, driving slivers of bone into the brain. She'd never seen it done so quickly, however.
Storm searched the body, came up with a handgun, a rifle, an extra clip for each, and a bowie knife. He stepped over the corpse, calmly sauntered out of his cell, and started fiddling with the lock on Jaye and Breaker's cell.
A few long minutes later, there was a soft 'click'. Storm handed them the guns; Jaye took the rifle and Breaker took the sidearm. The ninja kept the knife.
"Right." Storm Shadow eyed the pair of them. "I know where they keep items confiscated from prisoners. I don't know about you two, but I want my things back. It'd take weeks to get a new pair of swords, and I'm sure Hawk wants his intel, too. I also would very much like to get my hands on the Crimson Guard who tranked me; I still have a headache. Plus, if Snake Eyes had to save me from a cell as pathetic as this in a damn office building, I'd never hear the end of it."
"Sounds good." Jaye checked her rifle. "We'll follow your lead."
Breaker ejected the clip from his pistol, checking to see how full the magazine was. "If they broke our communicators, I am going to shoot someone. Those were brand new."
"Good. Try to keep up." Looking very much ready to kill something, Storm stalked off. "I hope they try to stop me...this has not been a good day."
Well, Storm Shadow is pissy and armed, Jaye and Breaker are armed and also ready to kill something, and there are un-stabbed Crimson Guards wandering around. I promise I've been working on 'arrows' and a few other requested fics as well, but this snuck into my head and has been refusing to leave me alone.