Disclaimer: Noblesse isn't mine.

I am Tao (Part 1)

I am your protector.

I am your defender.

I am your deliverer.

I am Tao.

"You're thinking out loud again." Takeo sighed through the headset. "We have No. 3 with us this time. Try to stay focused."

"Ah, sorry, No. 2."

"What were you saying? Was it a poem?" Regis tugged at his mask but failed to alleviate the discomfort it caused. "And why are we wearing disguises?"

"It was his intro." Takeo explained, his own mask tied neatly under his hair. "He watches too many super hero cartoons."

"What is a super hero cartoon?"

"Oho! It's a form of human entertainment, No. 3!" Tao chirped happily as he tracked the target on his computer. A single dot slowly circled the perimeter of the building. "People with super powers fight for justice. That sort of thing. It's a TV show. I think you'd like it."

"So it's a story about enhanced humans? The Union allows this?"

"Ah, not quite." Tao laughed. "I'll let you watch my favorite series when we get home."

"Don't!" Takeo shouted and immediately lowered his voice to a permissible level. "If you get him started, there will be no end to it."

"Haha, you make me sound obsessed, No. 2."

"What about the disguises?" Regis slid his fingers under the edge of his mask to momentarily relieve the pressure. "These are uncomfortable."

"You have to keep your secret identity!"

"Target is in view." Takeo redirected the conversation back to the mission. "He is leaving the premises."

"No. 4, prepare to move."

"I'm ready."

Tao's fingers flew across the keyboard as screen after screen appeared. "I have deactivated the security system. No. 4, remember this is a stealth mission."

M-21 leapt to the rooftop and blended into his surroundings. "I'm in position."

"There's a door three meters south by southeast of you. The alarm is off, but you will have to pick the lock manually. Does it have a deadbolt?"


"Alright! That makes this easy for you, No. 4. Use the thin metal tool I gave you. Push it into the doorframe above the lock and slide it down until you hit the latch. Then angle it down-"

"Got it."

"That was fast! Have you done this before?" Tao cheered through the headset. "No. 4, are you a prowler?"

M-21 ducked through the doorway into a stairwell and flew down to the next floor. "All clear."

"Are you ready for the first obstacle?"

"Just roll the dice."

Tao rattled the dice in his hand and threw them to the ground. Six. He counted the spaces on the game board and drew a card. "Oho! You get a second turn! Proceed to the next floor."

M-21 dropped another flight of stairs. Three more flights until he reached ground level. "Clear."

Tao rolled again, moved the game piece three spaces this time, and read the new card. "Your path is blocked by a powerful enemy! Find the nearest to escape!"

He cracked open the door to the third floor and stepped into a hallway. "All clear."

"No. 3, your turn!"

Regis jumped to the ground. His portion of the practice mission began at the back entrance. "I am in position."

"Good, what type of lock does your door have?"

"I don't see one."

"Describe the door to me."

"It's metal with a narrow window at the top. There are buttons above the handle."

"That's it!" Tao checked the security system again. "No. 3, that lock is on an individual circuit. It's not accessible from an outside server. You'll have to follow my directions carefully."

"Couldn't I simply break through the door?"


"How did I earn a penalty?" Regis stepped away from the door to access his mistake.

"This is a stealth mission, No. 3. Breaking through a door recklessly could alert the enemy to our presence here." Tao selected a penalty card from the deck. "'You are attacked. Your comrade comes to your aide and is injured. Skip a turn.' No. 2, the injury goes to you since it's your turn next. I'll draw an injury card."

"No. 1, I found something." M-21 interrupted the game.

"Oh?" Tao returned to his computer screen. "The building should still be empty."

"It's still clear, but the walls are lined with cages."

"I did choose a building being used for illegal activities. You're bound to find strange things inside."

"I'm moving in." M-21 stepped toward the first cage. A bottle of water balanced on top of a neatly folded blanket. The next cage held the same items. "It looks like they're preparing to hold someone in here."

"No. 4, withdraw."


Tao grinned as he stood on a nearby rooftop and allowed the wind to whip through his hair. "RK-4, to the secret lair!"

"What is a secret lair?"

"No. 3?" Takeo shouldered his gun case effortlessly.


"Just go home."

A/N: This is written as a gift for oOTinaOo.