Summary: They're at the forbidden area, but there's a couple of things they have to do first.

Set in 178.

Tao is now my second favourite character of this series. XD And aaaaah, I just can't stop writing at the moment!

Setting Up

By Dark Ice Dragon

"Heh. Following the Central Order guys worked," Tao said quietly, sounding pleased with himself, as the three of them hid in the shadows a little distance behind the group they'd tailed from the hospital. The group of four had never checked their surroundings once, their entire focus on their destination. Considering the other Central Order people they'd had contact with, M-21 shouldn't have expected anything else.

He could hear the sounds of fighting the further into the forest they went. It wasn't a heated, drawn-out battle, but quick scuffles before the next batch of fighting started. M-21 frowned. That wasn't Frankenstein's or Rai's style, but he hadn't been able to see how Regis properly fought so maybe...

They stopped at the edge of a clearing, where they were able to get an unobstructed view of what was happening.

"Is that Regis?" Takio murmured, frowning slightly at the sight of Regis battling against the Central Order members by himself. There were a number of unconscious bodies spread across the clearing as well, their dark coats standing out against the grass.

Not that M-21 knew, but he didn't think the white uniform was normal here, not when it was paired with the white hair with black streaks. The handkerchief tied around Regis' face was surprising though - if he wanted to be unidentifiable, shouldn't he have done something about his hair? Or did he only have the one handkerchief?

They watched as Regis took down another person with a quick jab and dodged the spears of two more opponents with ease.

He'd be fine for the time being, but the Central Order wasn't sending everyone in at once, forming a larger group out of Regis' sight.

"Hey, Takio," Tao said, shaking his hair away from his eyes. "I'm going to need your bag again."

"What else did you put in there?" Takio asked incredulously as he set his bag down as quietly as he could.

"Important stuff," came the instantly reply. M-21 kept his eyes and ears open for anyone coming their way as the bag was unzipped and Tao began to rifle through it.

There was a snort, and M-21 could see Takio cross his arms from the corner of his eyes. "Speakers are important?"

"Yep! They're needed for this exact situation!"

M-21 turned to see the look of disbelief on Takio's face, as well as Tao pulling out bags of cables and other assorted technology.


"We need to make a good entrance, you know?" Tao started to unpack the smaller bags, unfurling the cables with a well-practiced flick.

M-21 raised an eyebrow, glancing back at Regis. He was still fighting well; his ability was higher than his opponents, and it looked like the Central Order was trying to tire him out first before sending in the bigger group.

"This better not take long," M-21 said, looking at Tao.

Tao grinned, humming. "It won't, it won't." He started creating three distinct piles, each one holding the same amount of items.

"So I was thinking we need some different code names while we're here."

Tao got blank stares from both M-21 and Takio. He continued on, unheeding (or not noticing) their looks.

"Numbers is easiest, and it'll be a good way to confuse them for a while." He pulled out a smaller bag compared to the previous ones and shook out three earpieces. Tao threw one each to M-21 and Takio.

"So I'll be number one-"

"What?" Takio interrupted, his hands stilling from brushing his hair away from his ear. "Why are you number one?"

"Because I thought of the idea," Tao said loftily, his earpiece already in place.

"Ugh," Takio said, shaking his head. "M-21?"

M-21 raised both his eyebrows at their antics. "I don't care what number I am." Or what number they were either.

"Great – you can be number four."

Number... four?

Tao leaned back to watch the fighting for a few seconds. "Regis obviously wants to be anonymous here, so we'll help him with that."

Hm. Made sense.

"Now," Tao said, a manic grin spreading on his face, "after we've set the speakers up, just roll with what I say, all right?"

…What exactly was he going to do?