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Hunt, Capture, and Kill

Unknown (world-wide, but mostly USA)

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a part of Hunt, Capture, and Kill, by Haas33.

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Haas33 holds sovereignty over Unknown (world-wide, but mostly USA), giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Unknown (world-wide, but mostly USA) is a part of Hunt, Capture, and Kill.

8 Characters Here

Valentine Knight [55] "I have half the world running from me, and the other half desperately hunting me. I am the closest thing to God mankind has ever encountered. Do not make an enemy of me."
Blue Jay [49] Why must you hunt me? It won't end well. For you...
Audra Hathaway [36] "Don't make a girl a promise, if you can't keep it."
Connor Davenport [18] "The right thing to do is always the best thing to do."
Aryanna Hollace [17] Yes that is a red hood. And yes, that is a dagger in your chest.
Schroeder Kreinstein [8] "I wouldve been fine with anyone BUT the kid."
Derek Xavier Stiles [2] Call me Shadow, but I prefer Stiles. It's pronounced STYLES, if you call me anything other than that.. you have some sort of death wish and I've no problem fulfilling it.
Diandra le Fay [2] "Ow much ah you going to pay me?"

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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Valentine crouched behind a small brick fence that surrounded the house; it wasn't much, and no match for bullets, but it was something. He glanced upwards as he saw the black, ominous shape of the gunship emerge from over the buildings, dripping with missiles and autocannons, its twin cockpit bulbous like the head of a menacing insect - a Russian-produced 'Hind' gunship, used by their military for decades. They were nearly forty years old, but were still heavily in use for their vast frontal firepower and durability; military doctrine frequently entailed using them as airborne tanks.

He considered trying to shoot at it, but knew from experience that doing that would only make it angry; without something on the order of a 20mm anti-tank rifle or a couple of Stinger missiles, nothing was going to bring it down. So he just crouched in place, praying that it wouldn't see him, and that something, anything distracted it.

Fortunately, his wish was granted, and he saw a small shape zoom up from the house towards it, gun in hand. He recognised it as Blue Jay; now what was the damned girl doing? Where'd she gotten that gun? He felt that he should have warned her, but had no time, and a part of him was relieved that it was distracted for the minute. He saw her almost dance with it; the ominous helicopter turned towards her, its 30mm autocannon flaring, anti-tank rounds slamming into the building behind her. So, Blacklight weren't holding back this time; they were going to kill him or they were going to level the entire city block trying.

He saw gunfire flare from Blue Jay's weapon; it was a 9mm pistol, a G17 from the looks of it. LAPD-issue; he'd used dozens of them, mostly acquired in the field. She must have grabbed one from a dead police officers. But what was she trying to do? There was no way in hell a gun that small would get through the hull of a Hind. Unless...

He saw it flare violently, smoke coming from on top of it. She must have hit the rotor hub! Because of her angle and proximity, she could nail its weak points. Genius! He heard the sound of cars in the distance, but they were some distance away; Blacklight hadn't waited for backup. They must have thought that a helicopter gunship was enough to deal with him. And they were right. On the other hand, it wasn't exactly enough to deal with a special little winged girl, was it?

It evidently restarted its engines and kept shooting, something popping out of a tube on its left weapons pylon. He didn't have time to see what was happening, but he did see, as she was falling, Blue Jay fire off the rest of her magazine, and suddenly, a huge explosion flared underneath the craft. She must have hit one of the inch-wide fuel lines on its underside; a brilliant shot!

His spirits were dampened a second later, though, as he heard a psychic shriek, and he sprinted over to Blue Jay, slinging the huge bag of equipment over his back. He saw her falling, quickly; something must have caught her wings. It couldn't have been one of those 30mm rounds - one of those would have blown the wing clean off. So what was it? He didn't have time to dwell on this, however, focusing his mind solely on picking her up. He reached where he thought she'd be and braced himself to grab her, hoping that the ceramic armour on his arms didn't break anything. Fortunately, he was decent when it came to catching stuff, and she fell right into his arms. The impact was massive, and he heard something crunch; he wasn't sure whether it was him or her. The weight of her falling more than tripled the effort it would have taken to carry her normally, and he struggled for a moment, barely succeeding in holding her; but he managed to stop her progress. A moment later, though, her psychic screams subsiding, he realised just what was going on, and dived to the ground, shielding her with his body as the helicopter crashed to the ground, exploding in a pillar of flames.

Heat washed over him, followed an instant later by a massive shockwave that wracked his body, feeling like he'd been hit with a car; he grunted as a lightning bolt of pain ran through him. But it didn't stop him in his tracks, and he stood, realising that Blue Jay had been caught in a net - which meant one of two things. Either they'd intended to capture him, or they knew that she'd been there. Neither option had terribly fortunate implications.

He quickly drew his long combat knife and hacked the net off her; it was only nylon, not carbon nanotube or something similar, which he was thankful for. Sheathing his knife, he stood, leveling his automatic rifle at the flames as he saw a group of dark figures walking out of them, silhouetted like demons emerging from hell. Hinds had a small troop bay, and these men must have jumped clear at the last second; Blacklight were the best, after all, and they weren't about to go down easily.

He kneeled back down over Blue Jay, and whispered, "Now, when the shooting starts, Jay, run. Don't wait for me." He grabbed her pistol from the ground next to her, and reloaded it for her; he didn't imagine that she'd have had any weapons training. "Get to Audra, and get her to drive you out of here. Shoot anyone who tries to stop you. As soon as you're out of danger, leave Audra and run for your life. Again, don't stop for me, do I make myself clear?"

He knew that he should feel panicked, infuriated that he was going to die for something as petty as protecting a child. Yet he didn't; he felt only a kind of peace. He could finally leave, could finally atone. Could finally be with Stephanie...

No. Not quite. He still had an obligation to this girl, to see her through. He wasn't going to let himself die here.

He stood, racking the bolt on his rifle and leveling it at the dark-armoured, balaclava-clad Blacklight troops. "Alright, gentlemen. Your crusade against me ends here."

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway
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#, as written by Haas33
Falling was not fun. No wonder people were afraid of heights. It was absolutely adrenaline pumping, jaw dropping, teeth shatteringly scary. I mean, whenever she was dive bombing it was a rush of sudden joy, but that was when she knew she could snap her wings out right before she slammed into the ground. Full out falling however, was quite the opposite. Only her shrill scream could be heard over her pounding heart, and the wind whipping her hair back. She felt hopeless, just like she did back at the facility, trapped, lonely, it was only a matter of time before all the torture came down on her like she would come down on hard cement with a splat.

Sucking in a breath, she braced herself for impact, hoping she might get lucky and be able to roll when she hit the ground, avoiding her immediate death. Not likely, but it was worth a shot. Angling her body, she made it so her wings wouldn't crumple like an accordion when she landed on them. She also shifted her hands so they wouldn't twist and break. Her legs were hard to control as they were tangled in the rope.

Sudden, immediate pain, splintered through every muscle in her body. Her breath left her in a whoosh and she coughed and wheezed, trying to fill her lungs with air. Her wings seemed fine, her legs felt like a painful crumpled heap and her arms were sure to be bruised and torn up with scrapes. She was a bit out of it, and fairly dizzy. Worse was when a shockwave trembled everyone in her body and she groaned in pain. AS if from a distance, she heard Valentine speaking, and she paid attention enough to know what to do. She would much rather just pass out and sleep, right here, right now, but she had to stay strong. Her life depended on it. She heard something ping off a wall, and she got up unsteadily, knowing that the shooting had started. She tried to run, but instantly fell to the ground, her left ankle a twisted mess. She cried out in pain, but had her sore wings w]pick her back up.

Using her wings as a crutch, she half limped, half flew away, keeping low to the ground and trying to not bend her foot. Where was Audra? Luckily, her backup was still on her, though some things might be awfully smushed now. Though, she did take some amusement in hearing Valentine think about what great shots she had made. The truth was, she had missed. She wasn't even aiming there, not even her intention to hit any of those things. Smiling to herself, she continued onward, trying to not to trip over a trashcan when she saw Audra. "We need to get out of here, now. We need a car," she said.

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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Valentine saw the distant look in her eyes, the way they were unfocused, confused as to what was going on. He'd been there all too often himself; it was sometimes referred to as 'shell-shock'. Usually caused by close proximity to powerful explosions. He'd gotten used to the sensation; he'd been close to hundreds, if not thousands of high-powered explosions over the course of his life. He knew exactly what to expect. He hoped that she didn't suffer any cranial trauma, though; at her age, her bones weren't fully developed, and a solid hit to the head could leave her with permanent mental damage, if not dead.

Pushing her slightly to expedite her escape, he spun around, rifle leveled at the approaching soldiers. He exhaled softly, waiting until his body was at its natural pause, before pulling the trigger; the weapon seemed to fire in slow motion. He could feel the firing pin hitting the round, the primer igniting the gunpowder, forcing the bullet forward; he could feel the cycling of the bolt, flying back and then shut, chambering another bullet for the cycle to repeat a tenth of a second later. A burst of four rounds flew downrange, impacting one of the soldiers in the chest hard, staggering him backwards but not dropping him. Valentine knew all too well that they were wearing 'Dragon Skin' ballistic vests, the same material his coat was interwoven with; he'd never punch through it with assault rifle-calibre weaponry.

He unslung the sniper rifle he'd 'borrowed' from the assassin earlier, leveling it; it was .338 Lapua, specifically designed from anti-armour use. There was no time to calibrate the scope, so he just twisted the device off, using the weapon's integral iron sights instead; he leveled it at the first of the Blacklight troops as they started shooting back, having now achieved a bead upon him. 5.56mm rounds pinged off his armour as he fired, the weapon discharging with a huge crack, slamming into the chest of the leading soldier and causing him to stumble to the ground. The Blacklight men realised that he was now an all too valid threat and hit the deck, their fire suddenly becoming much more accurate. Valentine crouched, firing off another two shots against one of the soldiers, both centre-mass; a pool of blood spread out underneath the man. Another shot hit the third man in the skull.

The remaining two leapt to their feet, realising that they had no hope in direct combat, and approached quickly while Valentine reloaded. They closed the gap in seconds, and Valentine discarded the rifle, drawing his combat knife and his revolver. One of the men swung at Valentine with his knife; they knew to aim for the gaps in his armour, and Valentine barely managed to pull his arm away in time for the blade to cut through empty air. Valentine brutally punished this mistake, slashing twice across the man's collarbone, where the vest didn't protect; after that, he slammed the blade down his throat, behind the sternum, before ripping the blade out, shattering the man's entire ribcage and coating Valentine in blood. He screamed horribly as he fell, and Valentine followed it up by knifing his partner in the eye socket, twisting it around to break through the skull. The man sank to the ground, already dead, his face disfigured beyond recognition.

Valentine turned and started running, the first man he'd knifed still screaming on the ground; he took no notice of it. He grabbed the duffel bag from the ground, moving in the direction that Blue Jay had gone. He felt a pulsing pain in his chest; he must have had a bruised or broken rib from all the impacts. He suddenly felt all too aware of his own mortality...

((I love writing close combat scenes like that. Makes a nice change from the usual clean, elegant kills you see in assassin RPs; I find that it drives home just how horrible, just how brutal fighting really is. It's a point I've tried to make everywhere I go on this website; that murder is not a fun, enjoyable, exciting thing, but a nightmarish, brutal affair that can leave people with permanent mental scars.))

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(Sorry for the short post! Flooded with homework! Again!)

Audra ground her teeth frustrated and fighting with all her inner selves. When the Russian people arrived she had disappeared into the shadows and watched helplessly as Valentine and Blue Jay split. It would have been so easy to go out, and go back to her superiors and be punished for betraying and escaping her own masters. She slid smoothly away, letting the darkness eat her alive so as not to grab attention. Glancing at Valentine she snapped out of her dead obedient self. "Get your ass over here!" She pointed to the open car she had stolen and then... Was gone. As if she vanished out of thin air, but really she had dove back to her hidden place away from the street, the perfect place to be for small and apparently vulnerable people. After that she threw a phone into the open car. On it's screen was a map back to her safe house under the abandoned school. Also were a couple ideas on how to lose Blacklight. Soon after, she took off, leaving Valentine and Blue Jay to their fate.

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway
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#, as written by Haas33
She was there. Not one minute ago... now her mind was only a whisper in BLue Jay's brain. Cautiously, she looked around, then spotted a flash of light in a nearby car. Curiously, she crept/limped over, trying to stay hidden from the bullets that were whizzing around the place. Inside a car was a phone, lit up with a map. On the map was a safe house, and attached with a link was some ideas on how to lose Blacklight. Blue Jay looked at the phone quizzically, as if it was about to blow up. How would anyone know about Blacklight? Blue Jay only heard through Valentine's thoughts. BLue Jay frowned, considering who would have inside information. It appeared that 'cupcake' had placed the phone here, which didn't make sense. Was she apart of Blacklight? In an instant, she leapt back, almost expecting to be surrounded by people with guns. She was met with searing pain from her mangled leg.

Was 'cupcake' a traitor? She hadn't picked up on any thoughts that suggested this....then again, she might have been able to conceal her thoughts. Frustrated, she went to flitter back over to the car, but rough hands grabbed her. She tried to turn around, but two hulking figures stood in front of her, and two were holding her arms. She tried to scream out, but already duct tape was being forcibly placed over her mouth. Trying to come down, she reached out to the minds around her. She urged them to release her, but that didn't seem to do anything. She felt weak and helpless, struggling like a fly caught in honey.

These figures were part of backlight, six were surrounding her, clearly backup of whoever was in the helicopter. They sure weren't messing around. BLue Jay could tell that Valentine was occupied with a brutal fight between someone from backlight, and wouldn't be able to even notice her, as his back was turned. She struggled limply, but it was no use. She had thought there was only the people from the helicopter, not even noticing the others surround her. Her brain was a little fuzzy, probably from the huge fall.

Already, they were throwing her into the back of some heavy duty vehicle, probably armored. She winced as her leg knocked against the wall of the car. Everything had happened so fast.... Why did they want her anyway? They were after Valentine after all. A lot of people were after Valentine. A lot of people were after her. The vehicle started, and the zoomed off to god knows where.

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway
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Valentine spun around as more gunfire pelted him from behind; he unloaded the rest of his magazine into a Blacklight soldier with little effect before it clicked. He scrambled on his vest for more magazines, only to realise that he was out of ammunition. Shit.

He dived to the ground, unslinging the duffle bag from his bag and digging through it until he pulled out an M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle; it was a hundred-year-old gun, was about four and a half feet long and weighed upwards of twenty pounds loaded, but damn, it was effective. He crouched, bracing the weapon firmly against his shoulder before he opened fire.

The rifle sounded like an artillery piece, letting out a solid boom, boom, boom as it sent .30-06 Armour-Piercing High-Velocity rounds downrange on fully-automatic. The powerful bullets punched clean through the armour of three charging Blacklight soldiers, cutting them down with deadly ease. He swung the weapon around, firing another short burst into a now-fleeing soldier, literally sawing the man in half with a spray of blood and gore. He couldn't help but admit; wielding this weapon, he nearly felt like God Himself. The sheer firepower it offered was truly something else compared with any other weapon he'd ever used; he hadn't had his hands on one in years, but damn, he was glad he'd picked one up.

Having dealt with the troops from the gunship, he spun around, facing troops who'd just arrived in an armoured vehicle. He was preparing to open fire when a burst of rapid gunfire flared from the vehicle's roof-mounted M240 machine gun; he instinctively raised his left arm to shield himself, and felt something in his arm click as a 7.62mm round slammed into it. He rolled into cover behind a low brick wall, however, and resting his M1918 on the structure, prepared to open fire; however, he froze as he saw Blue Jay being stuffed into the back of the vehicle. Shit. The hell did they want with her?! They'd been created to deal with him! But he realised that he couldn't open fire; to do so would risk the rounds punching through and hitting Blue Jay, and he knew all too well what rifle-calibre rounds would do to a small frame like hers. So all he could do was watch as the armoured vehicle roared off into the street.

He killed the rest of the Blacklight troops who presented an immediate threat with precise single shots, before clicking a new magazine into the weapon from the duffel bag and standing, jogging into the street. As he ran, he systematically took stock of his injuries. A sharp, stabbing pain in his upper arm indicated a shrapnel wound, evidently having slipped through the gaps in his ceramic armour; additionally, he counted two broken ribs, and a slight difficulty with breathing indicated that one lung was slightly collapsed. None were immediately life-threatening; but things were going to get really, really bad if he didn't keep moving. So, for what seemed like the ten thousandth time in his life, he popped open a small autoinjector syringe and stabbed it into a gap in his arm. Instantly, the pain was gone, and he felt energised, sharper; yet the slight fuzziness in his mind indicated that he might make slightly poorer judgement calls. His impulsiveness was getting worse the more he took these combat stimulants; he'd been doing it for ten years, and it was taking its toll on his mind. Nonetheless, he couldn't stop now. They were his one edge over Blacklight.

Gunfire pelted him from behind, and a fair bit landed around him as he sprinted down the street, rifle in hand. He was about to make it to a car - not the one Audra had suggested, which was presently full of bullet holes - when he glimpsed something in the shadows of a building. He spun, leveling his rifle, checking for an enemy; but the frame he sighted was too small to be a Blacklight commando. After a moment, he realised that it was Audra.

He jogged into the shadows, kneeling down to the little hideaway where she was concealed, checking for pursuing soldiers; but oddly, they seemed to be preoccupied with something else at that moment. He didn't much care what as long as it was keeping them from shooting him.

"They got the kid," he told Audra, crouching and leveling his rifle at the Blacklight troops at the end of the street. "We need to get out of here, before we follow." Suddenly, and completely unexpectedly, he saw the troops turn around, and start moving rather quickly in the opposite direction of him. His grip tightened on his rifle. "Something's not right," he muttered. "How often do you see the best-trained troops in the world on a borderline-religious crusade to kill a known terrorist retreat for no reason?"

Then he saw, emerging from the smoke and flames of the helicopter, a hulking figure, clad in a dark grey longcoat over heavy-duty armour.

"No fucking way..." he breathed, face turning to a mask of horror, as he faced Audra. "We're getting out of here. Now."

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Character Portrait: Valentine Knight Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway
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Audra

Audra felt someone appear beside her, and out of pure terror turned and almost threw a punch at Valentine's face, but she checked her before hand. She glared at the man before turning to look over at the flame with emotionless eyes. She didn't move, didn't even think or realize she was clenching a metal bar that looked like it should've been attached to a bike. Then all at once emotions flooded through her. Fear, anger, fear, and terror, and then she began to shake a little, remembering the cold nights in the pit, and all the times she didn't have any food in her stomach for days. I can't go back, I can't go back, I can't go back. She thought to herself over and over doing her best to suppress the bubble of panic inside. Feeling cold and numb, she mumbled something that faintly sound like: "I can't go back."

"I can't go back." Audra looked at Valentine and felt as if she got her head knocked back in. "Well? What are you waiting for? Run you idiot!" She pushed him forward and got ready to follow after him.

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight
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#, as written by Haas33
Bright light stabbed into BLue Jay's eyes. She winced, her energy drained, her entire body sore. Her leg was still a mangled mess and hurt so much she thought she might pass out. She felt like a sick little puppy, weak and helpless. She didn't know where she was, what was going on, who was there, or even why she was there. Nothing made sense. She didn't even know anything about Blacklight! Why would they want her? Thoughts whizzed around her brain, and she noticed some of them weren't her own. Is the kid awake? Blue Jay tried to look around, but only bright light seemed to filter through her eyes Holy shit, he was right that kid has wings! Again, she strained to look around, but she was bound to what appeared to be a chair, not able to move. In an instant, she calculated her chances of escaping. Wooden chair...simple rope, already a plan was formulating.

Her eyes were adjusting and she could faintly make out six figures, but she sensed more thoughts, and therefore, some were probably behind her. She's awake. Oh good. I've been dying to see this. Blue Jay finally could make out the details of the room. There was a small glass window and a fairly sturdy door. A man looking rather important was striding toward her, and four men guarded the door. She could tell more were standing about, ready to pounce. "So, what is your name, little girl?" the important man said, a fake smile on his face. Right, gain trust, then tell her the plan. What a stupid little brat. Blue Jay narrowed her eyes angrily, then spat in his face. However, she missed, and her spit instead landed on her mangled leg. The man laughed. Children really are the worst things in this world.. but he clearly didn't understand what she was doing.

As he spoke, her leg was healing, her saliva stimulating the healing process. She could feel her broken bone set and mend back together. Her tissue formed around the bone correctly. It was still a bloody, gory, mess, but at least it would heal right. "My name is Anastasia Monique Buttercup Isabelle Chrysanthemum Flower Sparkles, the third," She said, returning a fake smile, ice cold malice in her eyes. This has got to be the most stubborn sticky kid I've seen. Anastasia my Ass.The man's smile was replaced with a frown. "Well, Anastasia, how do you know the Sword of Damocles?" the man continued, hoping she would cooperate. Clearly, she wasn't going to.

A look of confusion crossed her face. "Is that, like, a special kind of sword or something?" she asked, a sweet smile on her face. This child is not as innocent as she seems. She knows exactly what I'm talking about, the brat.She could hear Mr. Important let out a heavy sigh. "He's a person! You know him, you were with him!" He said, exasperated. Blue Jay frowned, shaking her head. "Now how can a sword be a person? And what's a Domecelies?" The man's eyes widened and his face grew red. what a little fucking brat!!!! I swear I'm going to kill that kid. Unfortunately, I can not do so, because then the brat wouldn't be able to kill out guy. In anger, he slapped her face. She didn't even flinch. Growing up in the facility, you expected more pain than a simple slap. He turned away from her, and while he wasn't looking, she spit on her leg again. Kinda gross, but it was healing her leg more, the tissue growing back, a little bit of skin forming.

"Ok, kid. Here's the deal. You are going to hunt down, and kill the Sword of Damocles. Got it? You already have a microchip in you so we know exactly where you are. One misstep and we will be on you in a flash. You will also have a shock collar. DO something we don't like? Say something we don't like? You will get shocked. And not a tiny shock. A painful shock." With that, he strapped a metal object around her neck and it connected with a click. Blue Jay looked at him blankly. "You really need some anger management classes" She said. "By the way, you swear to much. I am not a brat, certainly not sticky, and I'm probably ten times smarter than you. I'm sure Josh is actually a nice guy, even though you are sleeping with his wife."

Everyone in the room sort of froze. Some guy in the corner started stalking toward Mr. Important. Clearly he was Josh. "You son of a bitch!" Mr. Important was standing awestruck, looking at her with pure amazement. Suddenly, pain swept through her, and she yelped. She was stinging and tingly, and shaken up. Tears sprung in her eyes and her vision started to blur. She cried out, but then it stopped. everything was discombobulated. Someone was untying her, and she stood up dizzily. her felt felt much better, but it was still bleeding. She unfolded her wings and everyone in the room gasped. Without another word, she ran across the room, slammed through the window, and leapt out.

The wind caught in her wings and she flapped rather ungracefully, her brain still mush. She tried prying the color off but it wouldn't budge. She might be able to take it off with something else, but it seemed unlikely. Shooting it off might work, but that would kill her. She applied some more magic spit to her leg, and skin formed over the wound. She wouldn't be able to walk on it very well, let alone run, because it was such a big injury. She tended to the rest of her injuries and then angled her wings.

She was going to kill Valentine.

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Character Portrait: Blue Jay Character Portrait: Valentine Knight Character Portrait: Audra Hathaway
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A sharp gunshot cut through the shouting in the room, everything going silent instantaneously. A man clad in a military uniform stood wide-eyed, blood splattered over him. Josh, the man he had been fighting with, was slumped upon the ground, blood leaking out of a neat hole in his skull and across the floor. And, in the doorway to the room, stood a man clad neatly in a suit, a smoking M1911 semi-automatic pistol in his hand. Around him stood five tall, imposing figures, clad in gunmetal ceramic combat armour and wearing grey dusters. Some men in the room reached for their sidearms before they realised that the off-grey of the coats was different from the black of their target's - and that there were five of them.

Suddenly, everyone in the room, save for the man who was splattered with the blood of his now-dead opponent, snapped a crisp salute to the suited man, faces a mixture of awe and pure, unbridled fear. The suited man stepped forward, observing the blood-spattered man through the sights of his handgun.

"Colonel Smith," he said, voice perfectly calm and even. "I see that you have entered an altercation. Do we tolerate altercations in Blacklight, Colonel?"

"N-n-n-no," the blood-splattered man replied, stuttering, voice subdued like that of a child being told off. "We don't."

"Precisely," the suited man said, lowering his weapon. "I will say nothing more of it, but do not let me see this happen again or the bullet shall be in your head, not your opponent's."

Colonel Smith seemed to regain a tiny bit of confidence, in the pause, and said, voice slightly challenging, "You can't do that, Drake. We're the same rank. You have no authority to summarily execute me."

"No, I do not," the suited man replied. "But these men beside me - if you could call them 'men' at all -" he said, with a sweeping motion of the hand, "Do not much care for rank. As far as they are concerned, everyone looks the same down the sight of a gun. And that is all they care about." Smith said nothing, just sat there looking terrified, so Drake continued, "That's enough of that, though. Now, I see that the girl is absent. Have you deployed her already?"

Smith shrugged. "She's been pumped full of combat drugs and fitted with a shock collar. The less time the Sword is alive, the better."

Drake sighed, shaking his head. "I do not like your little freak, Smith. Deploying that failed experiment is only going to create more problems than it will solve. She is no soldier - and while you may play on the Sword's sense of justice, I have seen him set off explosive devices with children in the blast radius. It will not faze him for long. And even if it did, she is too mentally unstable to be able to reliably kill him."

"Oh, really?" Smith inquired, voice slightly mocking. "And your pet monsters are any better? Did it ever occur to you, Drake, that creating more of what we're fighting might be a slight problem?"

Drake shook his head. "The Mass Production models are indoctrinated to fight for us under any and all circumstances. The Sword is not human, if only in mind. It takes inhuman beasts to kill him; it takes something that will cancel him out. Unit One is already in the field on a trial. If the Sword survives this, we will simply deploy all six. There is no issue here."

Smith laughed, a high, arrogant sound; but it faded when he glanced around, and realised that the imposing figures were all simply staring at him with blank eyes. "We'll see, I suppose. Now, I have to get to the Ops Room. Let's see how this goes."

Drake nodded. "Indeed. I myself want to see Unit One in the field. This should be interesting..."

------

Valentine stood and began running, shutting the whole world out. He had no idea why he was so scared; he shouldn't have been, after all. But looking in a metaphorical mirror felt just like looking into the depths of hell. It was an unnerving knowledge, that.

He counted down how long it would take for a trained human to raise and fire a weapon, with the intention of hitting the deck just before it fired; the thing behind him, however, was far quicker than he'd expected, and when he was only halfway through the countdown, he felt a bullet slam into his back. His spine cracked horribly as the ceramic plate was pushed into him, but it wasn't terribly painful, so he kept moving. He couldn't afford to stop now. But, for some reason, he got the feeling that that bullet had been a warning shot. So, spinning around without stopping his movement, he drew his revolver, shoved Audra behind him, and fired three shots at his enemy. He didn't stop to look at whether his opponent was staggered or not, just span back around and kept running.

After a few seconds, he rounded a corner; as he did so, another bullet slammed into his shoulder, causing him to spin and topple to the ground. He stood back up a moment later, and began walking backwards, leveling his automatic at the corner; whatever the hell that thing was, a full magazine of .30-06 would slow it down at least a bit. "Start up a car," he ordered Audra, while checking his shoulder; no blood was on the ground, so it must have been shooting extreme high-calibre pistol rounds to have that sort of impact. Probably from a revolver of some sort, based on the rate of fire. Just like he was using...

"We need to get away from the thing as fast as we can. It just put two pistol bullets in me from nearly a hundred metres, and I genuinely don't know if we can kill it. And if you can't kill it... well, you run the fuck away from it."

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Blue Jay flapped along, following the sounds of gunshot. She had healed her leg a little more, but it still hurt a lot. How could she kill Valentine? He had saved her life on more than one occasion. She couldn't kill him...but what they do to her if she didn't? She shuddered at the thought. "Remember your target," a fuzzy voice said. Blu Jay assumed it was something that they had implanted in her...a transmitter or something. "Oh, and there will be, uh, two Swords of Damocles. The one with the red wristband is not your target." it said again. Two Valentines? What had they done? "To make sure that the one not your target doesn't shoot at you, go up to him and say 'FF negative target Subject 33'" it said again. Wow, this was pretty serious.

How could they make another Valentine? Cloning or something? Blue Jay frowned, then spotted the shapes below her. Her sharp eyes picked out the one with the red wristband, evidentially shooting at Valentine. She landed next to it, and immediately it turned to face her. "FF negative target Subject 33" she said hurriedly, before Red Valentine shot at her. "I'm on your side," she said, holding her hands up in the universal surrender motion. "Attack from the air." He instructed her. Reluctantly, she turned to face the original Valentine. "Take this," he said, shoving a small gun into her hands. She had no clue what kind it was, but she nodded solemnly.

It was really odd, Valentine telling her to kill Valentine. She stood still for a moment, and a shock came to her collar. Immediately, she jumped forward, spreading her wings wide and zooming ahead. She leveled her gun. She couldn't do it. He was right there. She could fly faster than he could run. If she wanted to, she could kill him right now. "Valentine! They want me to kill you! If I don't do something they shock me with this..." she shouted, but was cut short as searing pain ripped through her. She broke her wing beat pattern and stumbled to the ground. Pain ripped through her and she screamed out in pain. "Run Valentine!" She said, but was met with another shock. Tears welled up in her eyes and she screamed louder, curling up in a ball. When the pain stopped, she just continued. "Get out of the country, something. Go! Run!" She said, before pain ripped through her again. Through tears, she managed to say "run" She had never felt so much pain before. But she couldn't kill Valentine...She couldn't.

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Audra wanted to tear Valentine's bloody head off. She didn't like having to do everything he says or even follow him around. It was like being a dog at the end of some leash attached to some bloody rich guy. Just a loyal companion. Just a little buable. Her anger was beyond raving about, so she glared at Valentine, or at least the Valentine who had been shot by the bullets. Bullets. The same kind of bullets she had to dodge just to follow Valentine. Audra was acting... Well, different, but it probably wouldn't catch Valentine or Blue Jay's attention. A day ago she would have left them the second it got dirty, but instead she was still hanging around, practically calling out for the shooter's bullets.

Audra froze when Blue Jay popped out of nowhere speaking gibberish and... Wait, Blue Jay was supposed to kill Valentine? Odd. She cocked her head before looking back to Valentine, wandering what the man would do now. Flight or fight? Or was it eat or be eaten? Audra didn't know but her instincts were befuddled from all the shootings. Clear your head, she ordered herself, before slinking off into the shadows only to come back with no weapons except for a 22. magnum pistol that she would use - only when nessesary.

(Sorry, Know I misspelled some words, but not very good at using my phone for thigns like this.)

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((I am SO sorry for not posting!!!!! RPG wouldn't let me log on for ages!!!!))

Valentine turned to Audra, now irritated. She might have been a professional assassin, and a damned good one at that, but this was open warfare now. She was in no way equipped for dealing with someone who could and would level half a city block just to get to his target. And now she was just carrying a freaking .22! It'd be about as effective as a BB Gun against their enemy's armour. But he shut out any feelings of anger or irritation he might have had towards her. He could leave her later; for the minute, his priority was either killing Other Valentine or running like hell. He forced his mind into the dark space that it occupied when it seemed that his death was imminent - a space Vlad had caused him to develop as a part of his training. A place devoid of any emotion; the mindscape of a murderer.

"Get in the car," he stated, voice no longer shouting, but perfectly calm and even, lacking any kind of feeling. His fists clenched around his massive automatic rifle's grip, finger curling around the trigger. But the figure that emerged from the corner was about half as large as his designated target.

He realised with shock and terror that it was Blue Jay. And she was saying that she was there to kill him. It took him a few costly seconds to work out just what she was stating - that she'd been turned. That she worked for Blacklight now. For the enemy. For Them - the dehumanised term he used to refer to people he didn't like to think about killing. She was one of Them. That made her a target. Under other circumstances, he would have panicked, wondered what he should do. As it was, his mind skipped the 'decision' stage and moved straight into 'action'.

"I'm going to Hell for this..." he muttered, walking over to where she stood, half bent-over on the pavement, clearly in massive pain. She must have been equipped with a shock collar. Without pause, he swung the back end of his massive rifle into her gut, slamming it into her as hard as he could, throwing her several metres backwards with the impact.

But before he could turn and run, he heard footsteps to his right, soft - too soft for any normal person. The exact sound his Spetsnaz-issue boots made against concrete. He managed to bring up his rifle, using it as a block as Other Valentine's bowie knife, identical to his save for a carbon-black blade instead of the gleaming steel of his own, slammed into the weapon. An instant's delay and the knife would have gone into his neck. He threw the rifle away; its barrel had been twisted by the impact, and it was now useless. Without a second's pause, he whipped out his own knife in his left hand and his huge .500 Smith & Wesson revolver in his right, blocking his opponent's second strike with his gun's barrel and swiping; he aimed a tiny bit too low, however, and his blade bounced off his opponent's lower arm plate instead of cutting through the elbow gap. He threw up his own handgun as his enemy drew his, sending a gunshot high, and punching his opponent's face mask with the knuckles of his knife hand, cracking the plastic with the force. He managed to duck an instant later, sending his opponent's .500-calibre round high; he could practically feel the hot lead grazing his hair. This was a high-stakes game - one wrong move on the part of either of them, and they were as good as dead. And to make matters more complicated, both sides had a wild card...

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#, as written by Haas33
Blue Jay couldn't feel the pain anymore. She couldn't hear her own thoughts, let alone the thoughts of those around her. Her brain was going haywire, her vision blurring, and each move she made was jumpy and almost not connected to her brain. She was an electrified, hot wired, crazy mutant bird kid supposed to kill one Valentine, who was probably on the verge of insanity. Worst of all, she felt like her ribs were cracked, maybe from being hit, or hit into something really hard, and she didn't know why. THat was how messed up her brain was right now. She didn't know if she was being electrified, or if they had just stopped electrocuting her. Either way, you could tell she wasn't thinking straight. In front of her, she thought she was seeing double, but it was really just the two Valentines duking it out.

Blue Jay tried to get up, but moving seemed impossible. The only thing that seemed to be working was her wings, and she was sensible enough to flap them open, managing to whack them off the concrete wall she was slouched against in the process. Her eyes were trying to focus on the fight in front of her. She needed to do something...but what? She caught sight of a flash of red and knew which one was the right Valentine. Which one indeed. Kill the real Valentine and get help, possibly healed, maybe even protection. Or kill the fake Valentine, save the guy who had saved her, possibly get seriously hurt in the process, still be on the run, and still be out of place in this world. Blue Jay sighed. Her mind was made. Sort of...it's really hard to know if your mind is made when it is all a jumble from being electrocuted.

Blue Jay knew if she got involves in the fight, she would get hurt, no question. But she already was hurt wasn't she? Suddenly, thoughts screamed out at her. Both Valentines seemed to be thinking about gaps in the armor they were wearing. How could she hear thoughts when her brain was like scrambled eggs? How would she know? her brain was scrambled eggs! Blue Jay looked around for something sharp, and saw a long sword peeking out of a guitar case (one of Audra's katanas) and with out thinking, she managed to half fly, half crawl over to it and pick up the sword. Flapping harder, she pulled up into the air, her legs limp, her left hand holding her stomach, and her right hand holding the knife. Her eyes were set on the one she wanted to kill, and right now, his back was exposed, a gap in the armor slightly open. However, like any normal fight, he moved, and her chance was lost, only for another one to arise.

Her wings worked fast and clumsily to propel her forward, the sharp blade held tightly. She dove forward, and the Valentine's were to involved in the fight to even attempt to block her, or notice her even. They were to worried not to get knifed in the skull or shot in the head. Blue Jay tucked her wings in, angled downward, and dove. Her knife was held firmly in front of her, and her eyes were set on the Valentine she wanted to kill. Her brain didn't even recognize she had hit her target until his blood dripped down her fingers. She had hit him all right. Right in the neck, in between two plates of armor. The Valentine was frozen, mostly out of shock, but also out of pain. Blue Jay saw the knife on the other side, and she almost threw up. She didn't know if he was dead, nor did she care. He had tried to kill Valentine.

The real Valentine.

Blue Jay looked up at the real Valentine, no knife sticking through his neck like the very unfortunate one at her feet, mouth somewhat agape. Blue Jay dropped to her knees, then said two simple words. "I'm sorry," before loosing consciousness. From what? Heck if she knows. Blood loss? Electrocution? Her massive injuries? Exhaustion?

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Valentine was shocked to see Blue Jay moving again; by all rights, she should be well and truly out for the count by now. He knew that, having taken that kind of punishment, he'd probably be. And yet she was still moving, still trying to fight - it was nigh-impossible, nigh-inconceivable, for her to be in commission; his awe at her ability overcame any thoughts of whether she could be a threat to him or not.

Unfortunately, this tiny break in his concentration was all it took for the other Valentine to slip a knife in between his ribs.

He looked down, stunned. The knife had gone into the tiny gap between his chestplate and his abdomen plating; the gap was less than a quarter of a centimetre wide. It was an incredibly precise shot - the exact same one Valentine had used ten years ago against the Legionnaire to win that fateful fight, the fight where he'd secured his right as mankind's sole dark god, the only one permitted to pass judgement upon mortals. He'd forgotten about that gap; he'd never had cause to use it since then, never fought an enemy this skilled since he'd defeated the Legionnaire. And that single mistake had killed him.

He stepped backwards, his mind snapping back into combat mode. He dropped his knife and grabbed his opponent's now-free arm, wrenching it around, the wrist snapping; but even now, he could feel his blood dripping out onto the ground, his life seeping out of him drop-by-drop. He managed to bring up his .500 S&W, but it was knocked aside before he could pull the trigger. He was too unfocused, and before he could react, a high-calibre round from his opponent's revolver - identical to his, save for a matte black composite construction instead of his own weapon's polished silver frame - slammed into his chest armour at high velocity, staggering him backwards a few feet. He blinked a few times, vision blurry, until his eyes opened once more to be staring down the barrel of the revolver.

But the end never came.

The other Valentine sunk to its knees, light flashing for a second off its sunglasses, as though the lights in its eyes going out, even though Valentine knew that it wasn't quite dead yet. Blood covered its armour, leaking down its neck and through its off-grey coat. Valentine saw the katana in its neck, and then Blue Jay curled up in a foetal position - the only person in position to have put a knife through it. He saw it now. When he'd met her, he'd thought it inconceivable and stupid that anyone could have tried to use her as a supersoldier; she was just a scared, harmless kid. But now he saw the look in her eyes as they faded shut; the look of a murderer, the look of someone who'd killed and knew it. The cold look of a soldier; the look he'd seen in a thousand men's eyes over the years, in Africa and Japan and Afghanistan and Belarus and even here in America when he fought Blacklight. A thousand murderers - all of whom, felled by his hand.

But not her.

He watched the other Valentine collapse to the ground, and he leveled his revolver, thumbing back the hammer, preparing to fire it and end his opponent's life once and for all. He could get to the bottom of this mystery later; the mystery of why there were soldiers just like him, trained and armed exactly as he was. For now, he needed to terminate this opponent.

But then his opponent's glasses rolled off, cracking against the pavement as his head hit the ground, and Valentine realised a truly horrible truth as he stared into his own eyes - cold, furious, filled with a lust for blood.

This soldier, and the inevitable many like him, weren't just trained, armed and deployed exactly like him.

They were him.

He was shocked out of this mindset by a burst of gunfire flying over his head, and he ducked slightly, his opponent forgotten. At the other end of the long street, he saw a squad of ordinary Blacklight troops firing assault rifles at him in short, controlled bursts - the fire of trained professionals. He felt a few shots impact his armour, but they didn't penetrate, and so he turned, firing a single, booming shot downrange with his revolver; one of the men fell. He was good with most guns, but when it came to his revolver, he was a natural, able to wield it with perfect accuracy and ease. He could hit a ten-cent coin from fifty paces with his Smith & Wesson; human-sized targets weren't exactly a problem.

He grabbed Audra by the forearm, hauling her into the car and throwing her into the driver's seat; stepping away from the car, he grabbed his bag of guns in one hand and Blue Jay in the other, stuffing them both into the backseat before diving into the passenger's seat, a burst of fire missing him by millimeters.

"Drive," he commanded. "No time to wait."

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Audra wanted to run and leave to follow her instincts and leave this human scum to die by his clone's hands. Instead she watched for awhile, taking points of how he faught himself and how he moved. Clever, quick, and... Obviously skilled. Someone worth betraying and turning. Someone who was wanted by alot of people. She snuffed out the thought quicky and was in fact ready to turn and leave when the real Valentine grabbed her and threw her in the car. She glared at the idiot seeing the blood dripping from his cloak. She muttered under her breath, words about being an idiot but she stopped when Valentine threw Blue Jay in the back. She didn't bother to tell the man the risks of bringing the girl but she he knew the girl was a danger, but also... Different. She turned the car on, put the car in gear and stamped on the gas pedal.

The car vaulted forward and was zooming through the streets dodging and manuevering through almost impossible feats for an average person. Audra always like to lead a high speed chase, but now she was focused on losing whatever people were watching the car, mainly focused on losing whatever satellites Blacklight had locked on them. Without knowing it she got onto the highway and was going into one of the tunnels when she pulled the car to a stop right at it's opening. She motioned for Valentine to follow as she placed a protected call to someone. She spoke briefly in Russian to someone on the other end and when she was done she threw the phone on the road. A car immediately crushed it as it passed them. Audra made her way up a tiny mound covered with well groomed trees. Above them was a bridge. And after Valentine followed her into the well hidden area a black car pulled up to the car they inhabitated a minute ago. A guy got out and got into the driver's seat and both vehicles drove off. She sighed but knew they weren't out of it yet. She made her way to the concrete wall which held a steel metal door.

Audra opened the unlocked door and gave a grunt as she kicked it open. It reveal and elevator. She stepped in and pushed Valentine in. The interrior of the elevator was smooth metal tiles except for a control panel in the wall near the door. She pressed an unmarked button and the elevator went down. Their was no elevator music, no nothing, except for Valentine's, Blue Jay's and her presence. She found herself thinking of Blacklight. Thinking of her superiors. They were in the elevator for a full minute before it stopped and it's doors parted. Audra used the butt of her Katana to break the control panel and just in case placed a tiny explosive in the elevator that would blow in a short while. She walked out and of course pulled Valentine into the place making no show to help him with his load.

They were in an underground canal. The water was a mere four feet away and it would be so easy to throw the wounded Valentine in and just leave Blue Jay to her fate, but of course Audra didn't. She instead led them to the right and went right again. The sounds of a tiny explosion ehoed through the tunnels. She paused and hear falling debrief and made a sound of approval before leading the way. The She walked and walked, turning left and sometimes right, making show of how she knew these underground tunnels by heart.

Audra finally stopped near a normal average wall albeit for a crack in that was half an inch wide. She pulled out her Katana and jammed her sword into the cracked and twisted it a certain way. Almost like a key. And pulled her sword out. The wall made a groaning sound, and it shuddered before it pulled back and slid upwards. She walked in and found herself pulling Valentine in. The wall slid back into place.

Audra turned and walked up the white tiled stairs. Light flickered on. The room was big, about the size of a basketball court. Across from where she stood was a flat screen T.V. implanted in the wall along with a black leath couch sitting in front of it. To the left was a kitchen most cooks would die for. And to their right were two beds, er, two white matresses on the ground in the corners of the room. She walked toward the beds and stopped a few feet away from it pulled on a white tile. It opened to reveal a cubbie like box in the wall. Inside were towels, bandages, and whatever one would need to clean up a wound and clothes. Guy clothes and 14 video tapes. "Here are the bandages. Clean yourself up." She walked to the opposite wall and pulled on a simliar tile. It opened to reveal almost the same thing except holding women's clothing and there were no tapes. She pulled out a remort and turned to the wall between the two beds. She clicked a button and the wall pulled back and slid open revealing all types of swords and Katannas. She clicked another button and the wall of swords pulled in and also slid open. Another wall, but this time it held guns. Assault riles(too many of to name), pistols, two shotguns, several Dragunavs, and right in the middle of it all was a 50 cal sniper rifle. "Take what you want, and if you need ammo, the entire stock is under the bed on the right."

Audra turned to and flicked on the T.V. and switched it to the News channel. She sat down and began to take account of what the normal people dubbed to be... A terrorist attack. She smiled at it and began to click to other News channels.

(Ohmygod... Longest post ever. Sorry if it's so long.)

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The soldiers kept firing short controlled bursts, and their leader waved his hand forward - an indication to pursue - but before they could begin running, they were halted by a calm, even voice in their earpieces.

"Secure Unit One. Let them go."

After a moment's confusion, they all reported affirmatives in their respective languages and ran forward, kneeling beside the fallen soldier, pulling the katana from its neck and bandaging it. The blade had managed to slip between his spinal column and his throat; it had cut an artery and was bleeding heavy, but for now, the monstrosity was alive.

------

Valentine staggered into the huge room, his blood dripping down, staining the white tiles. The pain was beginning to mount; with the adrenaline fading, it hit him that he really had been stabbed. In his flesh, not his armour. It was a strange feeling; he hadn't been properly wounded in close to a year. Yet there he stood, bleeding out over the floor.

He managed to walk over to one of the beds, pulling some medical supplies from it before collapsing on the bed in a sitting position. He gritted his teeth against the pain as he removed his coat, the heavy garment, interlaid with small armour inserts, clinking onto the ground; he saw quite a few holes in it, caused by high-calibre bullets that had only been stopped by his heavier plate armour. Glancing down, he stared at the knife jammed into him; it was identical to his own in every way, and he actually checked the sheath on his chest that his own was still there. He closed his eyes, wrapping blood-soaked gloved hands around it; he knew full well that this was going to hurt. Then, with no small degree of force, he ripped it out of himself, letting out a broken grunt of pain as he did so. He dropped the knife, his hand plunging back onto the mattress to support himself; his breathing was erratic, violent, due to the pain. He'd been shot many times, stabbed many times, but this was different - his knives were specifically designed with tiny serration in it, as to cause maximum pain upon cutting, to tear open the wound and make it hard to heal. He had to be pragmatic; but now, that pragmatism was biting him in the back.

After a long, fuzzy pause, he realised that he was bleeding out a lot quicker with the knife removed, and thusly, he stood, grunting again at the pain caused by tensing his muscles. He quickly stripped off his plate armour, letting the heavy ceramic plates bang to the ground, before removing his shirt; he was heavily-muscled, courtesy of a decade of combat, but unfortunately, that here equated to a great deal of blood coursing through the wounded area. Blood was splayed over his chest, having been spread around by the movement of his shirt, and a veritable torrent of it was going down his stomach. His legs shook and he fell to one knee, hunched over; he didn't have much time.

He grabbed a bandage and wrapped the wound, placing pressure on it to stem the bleeding. After he'd wrapped it enough and the bleeding had mostly stopped, he lay back on the now blood-soaked bed, exhaling quietly and closing his eyes, letting his muscles rest for a minute. After he felt slightly better, he sat back up and injected himself with a high-powered painkiller taken from a pouch on his armour. Then, realising that he was A), in the presence of a woman, and B), without a shirt, his face turned slightly red and he turned around, grabbing a T-shirt from the compartment and pulling it over his head; it was slightly small for him, but it fit.

After grabbing something from the pocket of his ripped shirt, he walked over to Audra, rather gingerly on account of the painkillers not having taken effect yet. The short walk seemed to exhaust him, and when he reached her, he staggered back against the kitchen bench, sighing. He then opened his hand and passed what he'd taken to her; it was a completely black credit card, gleaming slightly in the white light.

"There's a nine-figure sum on there," he stated. "Take two million. It should easily cover anything you lost out there, and then some." After a long pause of thinking about his next words, he continued, "I don't like it, but you saved my life out there, and I won't soon forget it. The fact that you saved me makes you a friend, whether I like it or not."

((Not bad, not bad. That post was a solid effort, even by my standards :) Also, may I enquire as to what's on the video tapes?))

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Audra ignored the man as he cleaned himself only taking note of how built he was. She also only gave him a cursory glance when he pulled a T-shirt on and walked toward her. She kept her attention on the T.V. hoping they didn't get any vid action of her. I swear if they have anymore to say about me I'll- her line of thought was interrupted when she realized Valentine had walked over and was holding a card out. "There's a nine-figure sum on there," he stated. "Take two million. It should easily cover anything you lost out there, and then some." Audra looked at him. "I don't like it, but you saved my life out there, and I won't soon forget it. The fact that you saved me makes you a friend, whether I like it or not." Audra looked away and purposely ignored the card and glued her eyes to the wall and walked toward the kitchen. "Keep it." Opening the frigerator door she made some reminders to herself on restocking all the safe and fall back houses with food. Er, frozen foods. She had never bothered to learn how to cook much less boil eggs. She muttered under her breath about getting some take out before walking over to the wall a few feet away from where her "closet" was and pushed on it. The wall wasn't just an average wall apparently because it opened and slid away like a door.

Audra went in and closed the door behind her. She then turned to the small restroom's mirror. Her face was partly dirty with dirt and her clothes were torn in some areas. She pulled her sweater off and paused to gingerly touch several already forming bruises on both her biceps. Apparently Valentine had a death grip. "Ow." She poked a bruise and felt a flash of anger that left as quickly as it came. She took her dirty clothes off and threw them in the trash before stepping into the shower. She cleaned her hair making faces as she found a peice of mud and some odd paper trash while doing so and was extra careful when she washed near her bruises. After awhile she stepped out of the shower and put on lavender scented lotion. Audra then put on some new clothes that she had stocked in the towel closet which consisted of a T-shirt that had some beer logo imprinted on it and some blue jeans.

Audra suddenly paused to stare at herself in the mirror. "Money comes and goes, but real true friends are a delicacy that should be enjoyed while you have them." Her brother's words suddenly filled her head and anger and the need to move filled her from head to toe. She was tired of this... Whatever "this" was for her.

Audra burst out of the room and paced. Your going insane. Just like your brother. And you will crash and burn. The stupid thoughts entered her head and she tried to ignore by continueing her pacing near the beds.

(Video tapes of how her brother went insane and tortured her for quite some days. :)

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Valentine wondered as to her reaction as she handed it back to him, and realised that he'd misjudged her when he'd first met her. She had, initially, seemed cold, callous, unprofessional and ruthless; just like any other paid assassin he'd ever met. But after the sheer efficiency with which she'd disposed of the phone and car, the way her safehouse was concealed and how well-stocked with valuable firearms she was he realised that she was a professional like him. Someone trained, someone experienced. Not just a kid with a sword - but someone who, potentially, was of great use to him. If he could somehow acquire her as a temporary companion, he might raise his combat effectiveness significantly. And with the sudden arrival of Blacklight's abominations, the clones of him, he'd need to up his game to survive.

But what made him most curious was that she turned down his money. Nobody self-centered would do that; indeed, anyone with any kind of interest in money would probably have taken it. Only someone who felt that they hadn't earned it or who didn't want it for some other abstract reason, someone who had principles, would do that. And principles were what separated monsters from heroes; that was how he'd justified his actions for so long, and to judge her by the same standards he judged himself, that made her no different to him.

He walked over to the entrance, where Blue Jay lay, crumpled and unconscious on the floor, her clothes and wings stained with blood, beside the bag of weapons he'd taken from Eric and Quentin's house. He realised that they were probably dead by now; he didn't care much about it. He'd lost dozens of friends over the course of his lifetime; for years, he'd travelled alone to avoid losing any more. Turning his mind to other matters, he picked her up, slinging the bag over his other shoulder; he carried her over to the blood-stained bed where he had been minutes earlier, and laid her down, carefully unfolding her wings as so not to crush them. She was almost supernaturally light; her bones must have been hollow like a bird's. It stood to reason, he supposed. He softly poked her ribcage, realising that it gave more than it should; several ribs were smashed in. He could also see her collar; he wondered if there was a tracking device in there. They were so deep underground that it probably wouldn't matter, but there was no guarantee. He'd have to get it off soon, one way or another.

He then turned to his bag, unzipping it and looking through it; thankfully, his sword was still in there, and appeared intact. He lifted it out gently and unsheathed it; the hilt was completely black, and the blade was darker than any normal metal, courtesy of being constructed of super-strong tungsten carbide. He ran the blade across one finger, pressing only slightly, and it drew blood. Ten years, and it was still sharp. The Legionnaire had constructed an incredible blade, he had to admit.

He heard Audra emerging from the shower, and saw her pacing; she appeared frustrated. He walked over to her, laying the sword softly down on the ground, almost reverently; it was a piece of his past, one of the only pieces he had left. "Are you okay?" he asked her, trying to keep his voice cold and uncaring. He needed her in one piece; a broken fellow soldier was of no more use to him than a dull knife or a jammed gun.

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Audra was angry. And those so-called voices she heard were what her Superiors would call an echo of the drugs her brother had used on her, and to think of them just raised this... Unexpected anger to rise even more. You should have betrayed them both. "Are you okay?" The cold and uncaring voice caused a memory to surface.

Video 9 / Ten minutes into the video / Location unknown / 9:45 pm

"Are you okay?" Austin asked cold, uncaring, mockingly as he plunged the white hot branding iron to her waist, near her belly button. Audra screamed out, the pain was too much, so much it was almost enough to knock her out. The blistering heat melted her skin, and caused her flesh to boil somewhat. She writhed and tried to push herself into the wall, but when she was sure he'd skewer her with the burning tool he pulled it back. She sobbed and hung limply from the chains that held her by her wrists staring not at her brother but at the video camera at the far side of her room. "Are you okay, now?" He carefully jammed the tip of the branding iron into her skin and slid it across her belly, leaving a bloody trail. "How about now?" He threw the tool of torture away and pulled out a sword, a curved sword, the kind of swords a pirate would have used in the old ages. He forced the sword's ragged teeth into her shoulder and painfully, slowly, sawed it to the point where metal met bone.

Audra muttered something her breath, a swear word in Russian. She looked at Valentine then snorted choosing her words carefully, "My mental and physical state does not matter." She cocked her head a little. "But to answer your qustion. I am fine." She spoke the last words forcefully as if she said them she would be fine. She turned to walk out of the safe house, needing to move and the place would not be enough for her. She needed to go back to the safe house under the abandoned school. She needed something from there. "There is a cubbie of movies under the T.V. and some DVD players including an old VCR to watch the old type of moves." She paused mid-stride. "I'll be back later. When Blacklight finds this place, which shouldn't happen for about three to four hours, there is an escape tunnel under my bed that leads to an underground parking lot. Theres a white van there and it should be open with the keys under the floor matt. Before you escape though I suggest you press the green button on the remote. It's sort of like a self destruct and will give you 45 seconds to get out of range." With that she walked down the steps and entered the tunnels, heading to only god know where.

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#, as written by Haas33
((Very very sorry for my long absence. I thought I had informed you that I would be away from wifi for a week. I had not...but I will post now!))

Blurry images stung across Blue Jays vision. Her memory was seriously fuzzy and she felt like an elephant was sitting on her chest. Her hands were caked in blood, her left leg was practically useless, and the only thing seemingly functional was her wings laying gently out from her sides. Her vision finally came into focus, and at the back of her mind, she heard familiar voices. She could see white ceiling tiles above her, and noticed she was on a bed, also white. Now, blue Jay had never had good memories in white rooms. Why? the facility she had been tortured in was white. White=torture. That combined with fuzzy memory and mystery blood made her instinctively jump up, ready for takeoff. However, all she was met with was searing pain coming from her ribs. Collapsing from pain, she fell back onto the bed, clutching her ribcage.

Still around her neck was a metal collar, likely with a tracking device in it, but clearly it had short circuited or something, maybe got out of range, because she wasn't trembling on the ground with volts of electricity coursing through her. Though she did truly feel horrible, in fact, worse than she was stumbling around going loopy from electrocution. She felt completely sore, and very very hungry. Her entire body hurt, but she felt like she needed to asses the most important injuries. She applied her 'magic spit' to her leg, which set correctly and fixed the broken bone. A little bit of muscle grew back over her leg, but she knew her injuries would take some time to heal. However, no matter how hard she tried, she could not heal her ribs. The problem was she had to be able to touch her 'magic spit' to the injury. Her leg was torn open so it was possible for her to fix it, but her ribs were just broken. Since she had already lost so much blood and needed food ASAP, tearing a hole in her chest would be catastrophic.

"Vavaltiene....." she mumbled, trying to say Valentine, but the word coming out horribly through her bloody mouth. "Valentine," she managed to say meekly, picking her head up to look around for Valentine. Memories sort of drifted back to her: the fight, the two Valentines, killing the fake one, passing out. Details were nothing, but she got a fuzzy perspective of what happened. She had to be sure that he had made it. Plus, she really needed food, something done with her ribs, and her collar thing to come off, but right now, she had to make sure he was alive. A thought struck Blue Jay. Why did she care so much about him? She had never had good memories with adults, let alone people with guns. he seemed rather cold and heartless, but BLue Jay knew why.

He was the closest thing to a family she had ever had.

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Audra stalked into her home under the abandoned school, her thoughts on winged six year old girls, and a guy who acted like God, and her brother, so it was only right that she didn't feel the trip line she walked into. That is, until it was too late, when she tripped and the wire net fell on her and the thought of knowing she's be sore tomorrow as the steel tipped bit rammed into her ribs. She didn't say anything but gritted her teeth and writhed while trying to stay still. "When caught in a net, never struggle, you'll make it harder for yourself to get free." Her old mentor's voice rang in her head as she moaned when her attacked kicked her again. She blinked back the tears that were welding up in her eyes. The person had kicked her right where the other scars were. "I see your doing just fine although you are getting a little sloppy." The voice was deep, harsh and obviously male. She twisted her head and looked at the speaker. "Jason?" She whispered out the qustion, not expecting an answer. She remembered Jason. He had been on of the other kids she met in the pit.

Jason smiled and kneeled down, pulling the net off her and grabbing her by the throat pressing his fingers harshly into her flesh. "We finally gotcha." He pulled her up until she was almost standing. Her toes were barely touching the ground. And that's when she saw them. Jason, Sam, Riley, and Jess. Sam still had his red hair, and he still towered over the others. Riley was still... Well the same. His brown chestnut hair still fell in his eyes, and Jess was still smaller than the others. Her black hair was cut short, almost an inch before her scalp. Her old friends. "Maybe you should have stayed." Audra gasped out, "Maybe you should have kept the net on me." She swung her legs up, wrapped them around his neck and leaned to the right while ripping his hand away from her throat. His skull slammed into the dusty ground, and the others were running for her, but by then she was twisting out of the mess that was Jason. Someone grabbed her shoulders while another grabbed her by the hair. She pulled out two twin Katanas from under the nearby desk and twisted around. Metal went through flesh and met bone. She was sliding away and... She pulled a string that had been lying on the ground. The lights went out, and she was engulfed in the vast blackness. Good thing she knew this play by heart.

Audra ran out of the building and on the way out pressed several letters on her keyboard. And that's this is the part she remembered. She was running, and staggering. Someone, most likely Jess, had knifed her when she had just turned the lights off, and now her blood was probably all over the place. But it didn't matter, because when she ran around the next block, the building blew up, and it didn't make her hesitate when she stole someones car. Nor did it make her drive an slower as she made her way to a canal.

Audra parked the car and walked under on the bridges and walked into a door like hole in the wall. Like before, she walked through twists and turns and made her way to slate of cement that was door to the safehouse Valentine and Blue Jay. She put her palm to the hole where she was supposed to put her "key" and walk in. She didn't though. She put her back to the wall, and slowly slid to the ground letting the realization that she was lucky. She had survived her friends and that was by shere luck. She should have been slowly being tortured by them as they flew back in the plane to Russian, or maybe even just being tortured but not put to death. Death was too easy for the likes of her.

Audra slid her hand to her side and forced herself to apply pressure to it.

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Valentine turned as he heard Blue Jay's moan, looking down at her prone, broken form, blood seeping out into the sheets. She was badly injured, that was for sure; he wasn't entirely clear on whether she'd make it or not. But damned if he was going to lose another person.

He knelt down beside her, grabbing his medkit from where his combat gear lay. "I'm here," he whispered, smoothing a hand over her forehead comfortingly. "Try to relax." He grabbed out a morphine autoinjector; with quick, practiced hands, he popped the lid and slid the needle into her side, letting the drug fill her system and dull her pain. He saw a small amount of saliva on her leg, and was about to wipe it away when he saw the wound close over because of it. It must have been some kind of stem cell-based cellular reproduction accelerator. He'd heard of drugs with similar effect in use by the most elite elements of Spetsnaz, but the sheer amount of genetic engineering that would be required to cause a human to produce it naturally... it was frankly incredible.

He realised a possible solution. Her worst injury was her cracked ribs, and they were pressing in on her lungs, making breathing difficult. She'd die within an hour if he didn't fix it; he'd seen similar injuries on soldiers in Belarus when he was near ground zero of a suicide bomber, and they'd died screaming in agony. If he didn't get her to someone with a medical degree, she was as good as dead. Unless...

He quickly dipped his left hand in some disinfectant before drying it off. "Listen, I need you to stay very calm, okay?" he asked, hoping that the depressive effect of Morphine was taking effect. He realised that he'd given her an adult dose; she'd probably be stoned out of her mind by now, which was exactly what he wanted for this. "Just hold still..."

He opened her mouth and slid his left hand in, wiping around some spit on two fingers, feeling the tiny scars and callouses on his finger soften and heal. With his right hand, he reached into his medkit and pulled out a gleaming black scalpel. The blade was made of obsidian; it was sharp enough to cut through skin without even feeling it, the blade's edge barely a few molecules thick. They weren't sanctioned for medical use by the FDA, but he had bigger things to worry about than that right now.

He removed her shirt, slicing through her chest above her sternum, then along each rib, exposing the broken bones. He didn't feel terribly uncomfortable doing this to her; he'd been forced to combat-operate on nearly every type of person imaginable, fit and healthy, male and female, old and young. After a while, you just got over it and accepted that it was what you had to do to save lives. The cuts were incredibly tiny, barely visible; only the smallest amount of blood poured out of them. As soon as all the cuts were made, he rubbed the spit into each of the cuts, letting it seep into the lacerations. He could hear the faint snap of bones clicking back together. This wasn't going to be a fun experience for her, but it was necessary.

After he was finished, he slid her shirt back on, and walked over to the sink, washing his hands. After he was finished, he walked back to her, kneeling down beside her and rubbing his hand through her hair again. "Are you feeling okay?"

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#, as written by Haas33
Blue Jay thought she went loopy when she was electrocuted. But right now, she was really crazy, from whatever Valentine had injected her with. She almost felt sad, but also like she was on top of the world. She kept wanting to star up into the lights above her. If she wasn't off her rocker right now, she might be happy that Valentine was alive. However, she wasn't doing so hot herself, and she was having trouble breathing. But hey, at the moment all she could think about right now was how pretty Valentine's purple eyes were. Or maybe they were blue? Yellow? Eh, whatever, the world was dizzy and bright, she didn't know up from down, left from right. Before she knew it, she was completely passed out, without a thought in the world.

"If you just stick your arm out sweetheart..." A man said. She was back in her dog crate at the facility, a scientist requesting her arm to inject her with god knows what. "No," she said, pulling her arms in and curling up in a ball. The scientist sighed, then opened her cage. In a flash, she jumped up and barreled the man over, opening her wings and practically whopping him in the head with them. She darted out of the room and startled several other guards. Some chased after her, but she ran out the door. She took to the skies, but like always, it would be over soon. She felt a prick in her leg, and soon she was falling to the ground, a tranquilizer dart numbing her senses. The scientist ran over to her and grinned at her evilly. "Are you feeling Okay?" he asked, but it wasn't his voice. It was Valentine's. "Are you feeling Okay?"

"Are you feeling Okay?" Valentine said, running his hand through her hair. Blue Jay pulled open her eyes, then looked up at him above her. She still felt kind of numb from whatever he injected her with, but her ribs felt better. Almost unbelieving, she pulled up a sore, scratched and bloody hand and gingerly feeling her ribs. Her leg wasn't broken, but if she even put pressure on it, it would hurt. In general, no, she felt like that, but horribly enough, she had had worse. "I'm ok..." She mumbled.

Blue Jay completely felt like crap. It was a wonder she was still alive. Although she did know why she was alive, it was because of Valentine. "Valentine..." she started. But words really couldn't sum up how she was feeling. And normally Blue Jay wasn't an emotional person who really cared about other people. But if it wasn't for him, she would be dead right now. So instead she grabbed the hand that was touching her tangled hair, and looked him in the eye. "Thank you," she said. Then she released his hand.

Blue Jay started healing all her little scratches and really anything that could be healed. However, she was exhausted and in desperate need of a shower. Plus, she steel needed to get her stupid collar off. "Is there any way I can get this thing off?" she asked, pulling at her collar which was most likely chafing her neck raw.

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Audra pulled her sweater off and wrapped it slowly and gently around her waist and then made her way into a standing position. She needed to look normal, to look aggressive, and unexperienced, like another assassin. And when she achieved making herself look presentable, she opened the cement door with her "key" and walked in, with maybe a slight limp. She looked at Valentine and then Blue Jay, the pent up frustration she had earlier was gone now. Instead she was quiet, smooth and efficient - she flinched when she sat down on the couch, but didn't mutter a word. Just turned on the T.V. and flipped to the discovery channel about sharks and their life style.

Audra made no noise and her eyes didn't stray from the screen, but there was some tension in the ways she sat. She wasn't thinking about anything but of... Sharks and the sensor thing on their noses.

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Valentine sighed with relief as she affirmed that she was okay. He wasn't going to lose anyone else; not her, not today. He didn't know why he felt so protective of her; just that he did. She had so much innocence, so much purity; so much that the world would tear away from her in time, if she should happen to face it alone. She deserved an ordinary, happy life - and instead, she'd been experimented upon and tortured. He wouldn't let it happen to her; not again. And, standing then and there, he swore that he would not lose her.

And, as she grasped his hand, staring into his blue eyes with her brilliant green ones, he saw a glimpse of another life. A life where he didn't have to worry about pain and suffering; a life where he had a house on the beach, he didn't know where, somewhere far away from civilisation. Just wearing normal clothes, not his familiar armour, mask and coat, not the marks of the Sword of Damocles. Standing on the beach, looking out over soft, rolling waves, Stephanie smiling and holding his right hand, and a little girl pointing out at the emptiness in pure, innocent wonder.

And then, all of a sudden, the images of fantasy were washed a way by a torrent of nightmarish memories. A burning crimson sky, gunfire echoing on the streets below, the White House pockmarked with bullet holes and craters, flaming and releasing smoke into the air, choking his lungs. Exhaling softly, staring down a scope, sighting his target. Sliding a bolt closed, chambering a single, fateful round. Pulling the trigger, the bullet screaming over the distance, the rifle's booming report like the thunderclap of an angry god. A single, nightmarish scream of agony-

He shook the images out of his head, hoping that she wasn't reading it at that moment. Nobody should have ever known what he felt at that moment, the horror of knowing that it had happened, that he'd just done the most monstrous thing conceivable. The thing that had taken all semblance of joy, of happiness out of his life. Nobody should have ever known that that had happened.

In response to her thanks, he tousled her hair slightly, smiling reassuringly and saying, "Any time, Jay, any time." Standing up, he thought about her next question, turning his thoughts to business, to war. It was an advanced model, the collar; difficult to remove for sure. Odds were, it'd be rigged to go off if the circuit was broken; it'd kill her, and probably him too, given how powerful Blacklight's explosives could get. Unless...

He turned around to the recently-entered Audra. He noticed something slightly odd about the way she held herself, but ignored it; he had bigger issues to worry about for the moment. "I need some active electrical leads and a strip of rubber," he stated factually, clinically.