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The Adrenaline Project

Setting

Mission Details for L4T8-001:
Search and Destroy: Kerem Housali, a rogue Turkish arms dealer
Bounty Worth: 32,000,000 us dollars
Location: Remote Area in Mirpur, Pakistan
Drop Time: 1400 hours
Estimated Completion Time: 1600 hours
Supplied Adrenaline: 6cc of Rush
Lift Time: 1700 hours

Power Rating: F (no Titans/man powered defense)
Threat Rating: D
Kill Authorization: Yes
Capture Authorization: No
Survivor Authorization: No
Witness Authorization: No
Demolition Authorization: Yes

EDM (Estimated Defensive Measures):
450 rifle armed mercenaries
40 tanks
32 missile turrets
a steel reinforced fortess with tesla fence surrounding
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L4T8-001 (First Mission)

Leo and Taurus' First Mission

Minimap

L4T8-001 (First Mission) is a part of The Adrenaline Project.

3 Characters Here

Taurus [15] Just... Leave me alone for now...
Leo [15] "Um . . . I don't really have anything I think I should say right now."
Libra [0] "I will be the judge of that..."

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Waiting in the common room were two men in identical three black piece suits, with white dress shirts, solid maroon ties and slim thick sunglasses. Their hair was gelled back but looked almost exactly the same. They were the same height, body type, complexion, and facial structure. These men looked exactly the same, except for the one on the left had red cuff links and the one on the right had blue cuff links.

As Paul and Jacqli walked up to them the one on the left spoke first in a monotone voice. "Special Agent Taurus, Special Agent Leo, I am Mr. Red."

The man on the right stepped forward speaking in an almost exact identical tone. "And I am Mr. Blue, we will be escorting you up to heli-pad. You are required to be blindfolded and restrained." With that the two men placed locking helmets that canceled out all sound, sight and smell, and then their arms were bound behind their backs with forearm restraints. They were then lead out of the commons area through the entrance hall to the elevator. The four of them took the elevator to the roof where a stealth heli-jet was already roaring and ready to go. It blew strong air at the four of them as they loaded into the heli-jet.

After about an hour in the air, Paul and Jacqli's restraints were released and the helmets were removed. Sitting across from them were Mr.Red and Mr.Blue. Mr.Red spoke up, "We will now brief you on your mission."

Mr. Blue than said, "As always, remain calm and cooperative or we will use deadly force if nesscessary."

Paul rubbed his wrists and streched his arms, which were sore from his restraints.

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Jacqli said nothing as she was at last released from the restraints. The entire time that she’d been restrained, the only thoughts that’d passed through that skull of hers regarded much the same things as she’d been thinking about before she’d even accepted Paul’s help in getting to her feet before leaving the facility. How she wasn’t ready for this, yet how she had to do it, how she had to try and be the least problematic partner she could. Not for her own sake, but for the sake of the one who’d gotten stuck with her. It wasn’t as if Paul had chosen to have her assigned to him . . . it was something forced on him, and Jacqli knew well enough that she didn’t even deserve to be where she was. It was her own selfishness and want to be free of the pain she had to endure that got her where she was now—acting as the evidential replacement for someone who didn’t need to be replaced. She was worthless in comparison to everyone else, and she had no worth even being a part of the Titan program as she was. . . .

A sigh came from her as she drew her crystal-colored eyes up to the officials sitting in front of her and her partner. Even though the restraints had indeed hurt her arms, she made no effort to show signs of discomfort; the pain they caused was a trivial matter, and in her conscious memory, she could recall much worse. . . . Jacqli simply adjusted her ponytail before she drew her hands into her laps without a sound coming from her. All she wanted to do was get this over with as quickly as possible so that she could go back to simply biding away the time that no longer belonged to her. She just wanted to go back into the delusion that was now her life. The sooner I can be alone again, the better. . . . she thought, eyelids lowering a bit as a passive expression stayed over her features.

All she had to do was complete the task these men had to give her and Taurus, that was all; she just had to make sure that she wasn’t a burden to anyone, just . . . do her duty and then she could be alone again with her thoughts, and not a bother to anyone. “Please, just tell us what we need to do, sirs. . . . I just want to get this done with, the sooner it’s over, the better for everyone.” Jacqli spoke, her voice quiet.

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Paul rested his head back looking up to the ceiling finally being able to see something more than complete darkness, he breathed deeply and exhaled hard. Paul thought about the first mission he had with Grant. Paul was just like this little girl beside him. A beaten broken shell of a person who murdered another human for his spot in something just better than the injections. Paul felt like he was all alone, but Grant made it so simple. He was so strong, everything was like an exercise. In the years Paul knew Grant, he never thought he had seen him at 100%. That's why his sudden disappearance was odd, for Grant to just die... It couldn't seem possible to Paul. But regardless, he couldn't let this girl come into this alone. Grant was gone, so maybe it was time Paul tried to be the hero he was.

Paul sat forward and snatched the paper folder from Mr.Blue, which contained the information. "I'll breif her, you guys just stay out of the way, as usual. Nothing has changed here." Paul spoke strongly and confidently, obviously never having issues with these guys before, the just took them to the drop site and picked them up, they were chauffeurs with hand cuffs.

Paul turned towards to Jacqli as he quickly read over the information on the mission in the folder. After a few moments he looked up to Jacqli and smiled comfortingly. "Look, this is gonna be a real simple mission. We're droppin' into a remote fortress to eradicate the whole place. We're after a arms deal name Kerem Housali, he's decently armed but nothin' that could stop a Titan. So just relax and focus on destroyin' anythin' that moves and isn't me. You're going to be fine, I'm going to be going in and pulling their fire, you just stay more towards the back and take out stragglers." Paul reached over and put his hand comfortingly on her back, "You're gonna be just fine kid."

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Paul smirked as if looking at himself when he first came. He almost said the exact same words to Grant when he first called him kid. Paul felt a bittersweet laugh come from his lips, he finally understood how Grant must have felt when he told him what he did in response. Paul spoke the same words, "My old partner use to call me 'kid', your my partner now, so that's your name now."

Paul reached into his pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes, popped one out, put it in his lips and with a lighter from inside the pack lit it. Paul chuckled softly and leaned back. "I was 18, and he still called me kid. I guess it beats rookie. Look kid, I know how you're feelin', I was just like you and want you to know it's okay to feel like you do. In fact, it's important. So I'm gonna to need you to stop trying to keep it all in. That's how people go crazy. It's not your fault that you're here, we've all been dropped into hell, it's not our job to climb out, it's our job survive as long as we can." Paul took a drag on his cigarette and exhaled the smoke slowly, staring coldly ahead. Remembering something Grant told him that he desperately needed to hear.

"Don't blame yourself for taking Grant's place." Paul leaned his elbows onto his thighs. "We are all bound to be replaced and you don't deserve to bear the weight of something that is not truly in our control. Grant wouldn't have blamed you, hell, that old stubborn bastard probably would have thanked you."

Paul exhaled another cloud of smoke. "Grant wouldn't want you blaming yourself, and I don't either. We're partners now," Paul looked over to Jacqli and smiled warmly. "That means we're family, kid. You don't hold qualms against family."

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It didn’t help, what he had to say didn’t really help her. It did nothing but make her feel even worse. She was not worth being called ‘family,’ she wasn’t anyone’s family. Look what her very existence managed to do to those who were her blood kin . . . her grandmother and mother parted ways due to her conception, her own father abandoned her mother, and her mother never even came around to get her after she was suppose to have gotten clean. She tore her ‘family’ apart just by being born. . . . And now, she was just suppose to accept that she was worth being called family when it came to people she didn’t know, a group she’d just been dropped into?

I’m not worth it, just stop . . . damn it, please just stop showing me kindness. It only makes it worse, makes me know how very wrong it is for me to even be sitting here. she thought, body tensing up as she forced her eyes down and away from Paul. Jacqli did not want his kindness, his pity, or his sympathy. She didn’t even want to be regarded as an equal or someone beneath him, she just wanted to end this mission and return to her isolation. Soon enough, you can go back into the delusion, soon enough . . . just do what you have to and then you won’t have to be a bother anymore. A forced breath escaped from her lungs as she clenched her eyes shut. As hard as it was, she was forcing her composure back over herself. “I’m not worth being called family, all I do is cause problems to everyone who is stuck being around me. It’s better if everyone has as little contact with me as possible. It really is.”

“You can call me family, say that our circumstances make us as such, but that’s not true . . . I’m someone who was dropped into all of this, and who they had replace someone who should well still be here, even if you don’t hold a grudge or ill feelings against me for anything, you still shouldn’t waste your time showing me sympathy. I don’t deserve it, Paul.” Jacqli breathed all of that out, quickly, keeping her head down. “I’m just here to do what I have to, so I can go back to being alone, and out of everyone’s way.”

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Paul's fist came down ontop of Jacqli's head lightly but firmly. He then opened his hand and grabbed her head with his large hand. He spoke like a big brother scolding his little sister, the more heated he got the deeper his drawl became. "Now see here, we are siblings in circumstance, I need to trust you and you need to trust me. Aye' can' do that if yer gonna shell up like a crawdad, so you need to work with me on this, Aye' promise it's better not to do it alone."

Suddenly a yellow light on the ceiling of the heli-jet began to glow and flash. Mr. Red said, "We're approaching the drop zone." Mr. Blue then added in, "Get ready for your injections."

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She squeaked when his fist came down on her head, and he held onto the top of her skull with his hand. Jacqli winced at this, at being touched, and the fact that he’d acted in a manner akin to a sibling scolding another sibling. He was treating like the family she was not. She wasn’t his family, they were caught in the same situation, but they weren’t family, she could never be family to anyone, not after the misfortune she’d already caused the people around her in the past. He scolded her, and she could tell that he was riled up to her earlier melodramatic monologue about how she didn’t belong. His accent had gotten stronger. . . .

Honestly, she wasn’t worth . . . this, getting worked up over. It would’ve been easier to ignore her and to just get the mission done without getting exasperated up over what she’d said, but then also, she shouldn’t have let slip what she did. What she had said was fuel to anyone’s fire, to get them going. She knew better, but . . . it’d gotten out, normally she watched herself, and kept any trace of weakness, of her real thoughts locked up so that no one knew of them specifically because they caused this to happen. But even if she’d upset Paul, he was still insisting on what he’d said before, despite her words and what she believed. He wanted her to trust him, and for himself to be able to trust her? He doesn’t have to worry about me trusting him, he’s capable of this, of doing something worthwhile, I am not, I’m. . . . she began thinking, sighing.

The little Leo found herself chewing on her lower lip, uncertainty filling her heart and mind. Paul was so sure of this, despite the fact that someone as insignificant as herself was sitting next to him instead of the person who really should’ve been there. He was insisting . . . why? Why was he bothering to exert such effort into convincing her of this? She was doing it again, causing someone strife. Just like always. But . . . he sounded certain of himself, despite the fact that she was being difficult, he was still trying. And that was enough to cause another crack to form in her already crumbling mask. He’d already made one earlier, and so had Dr. Sterling.

Yet, in this instance, enough of the mask Jacqli wore had crumbled off before she could repair it to allow just a bit of her real self to surface. Unable to really grasp why it was that someone was trying with her despite the trouble she presented, Jacqli felt her cheeks go a bit red in embarrassment, that uncertainty she felt making an evident appearance over her features. She moved both her hands from her lap and set them on Paul’s hand, which was still on top of her head just before the yellow alarm light began to go off. . . .

”We're approaching the drop zone." Mr. Blue then added in, "Get ready for your injections." Jacqli heard the warning, and knew that she needed to be ready for something she’d not undergone before, not in these conditions. But still, she couldn’t help peeking up at her field partner, an apologetic look on her flushed face.

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"Look kid, I didn't want to drop all of this on you, but we need to work together on this or we could die. Every day is a survival, we are responsible for our country's safety but we need someone to watch our backs too. We're partners and there's no time to be less." He smiled apologetically at her. "I'm sorry kid, but keep faith, I've got your back." He smiled warmly and winked, his homeland aura just exuded welcoming and support.

Paul reached out and grabbed his syringe filled with 6cc of Rush. "How long does it take you to change?"

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She’d listened to what he had to say to her following it before, the expression upon her young face was still one of apology, and embarrassment. Honestly, she still didn’t grasp why he was exerting the effort with her that he was, but he seemed so sure. . . . He was being nice to her, and she didn’t understand it. There wasn’t a reason for it, given the circumstances she’d not given him a reason to regard her as he already seemed to. He said they were siblings of circumstance; family. Despite the fact that she was being so difficult and insistent about herself and what she did, he still was willing to try to make her believe otherwise. All she’d been ready to do was her simple duty of not getting in the way and playing as his back-up as he’d instructed before. That’s all he needed her to do, but then he went ahead and gotten riled up with her for saying what she’d said about herself. Why . . . ?

It’s not that I don’t have faith in him, I do, I know he’s capable of this, very much so . . . it’s myself that I worry about. If I screw up, I could get him hurt, cause problems and just be more of a burden. she’d already let herself slip, and gotten him upset, made him bother with her more than he should’ve. Even if it is my fault, I still cannot understand why he is bothering so much with me, I just, I just don’t. Most people would’ve just blown me off and let me think as I so chose, but even though I’m sitting where his real partner ought to be, being so much trouble, he still is insisting on what he said, and not just. . . . This was all suppose to be a delusion, a terrible delusion that she couldn’t escape from, where her life was as worthless as before unless she was given an order, where people didn’t bother with her unless they had to. But, this was not the case this time.

In truth, it almost made Jacqli feel like crying. She didn’t understand, knowing only for certain that the notion that someone was making a point with her beyond being a Titan made her feel like crying. The sentiment was something she just didn’t understand; why someone would even want to do so. . . . He’s sure of this . . . of me for some reason, Jacqli thought biting down on her lip, turning her head away to look at the syringe that’d be stuck into her soon so that she’d assume her Titan form. If someone like him is capable of even trying to have faith and trust in me, then maybe. . . . Her thoughts ended there, as she hesitantly extended her arm out, and lightly grasped the Rush, bringing it back to her, looking at it with a sigh. Maybe I can do a little more than just not be a burden. . . .

”How long does it take you to change?” she heard Paul ask her. Her reaction was a bit belated, as she slowly turned her head up and looked at her partner, staying quiet for a second or two before she answered, remembering back when she’d been forced into a Titan form, when she’d been injected with Rush as parts of the experiments and such at the lab. . . .

It didn’t take her long, she’d overheard what some of the scientists had to say about her and her body’s reaction time to the transformation-inducing drug. They’d said how quickly her body picked up on the Rush was remarked, surprisingly fast considering that she had been inducted into everything so soon ago. . . . Jacqli let out an uncertain sigh, “I-It doesn’t take me long, my body reacts almost instantly to it, so I change in less than ten seconds. . . .”

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"That's good! Grant use to take nearly a minute, I'm use to shooting right out the gates while he was warming up. I take about 4 seconds, so this is the plan." Sudden Mr. Red stood up and opened side door hatch, opening to the bright and warm desert air, blowing strong outside the heli-jet powerfully, about 3 miles above a dark steel fortress in the sandy and rocky hills. Paul yelled out to be heard over the roaring wind. "We're going to jump out of the jet and dive until we're about 1000 ft from the ground, about the time you can start to make out the shape of the guards we take our injections so we can change to Titan form before we hit the ground and catch them with their pants down. You got trouble with heights kid?!"

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Jacqli looked back over to Paul, still unsure of herself, and why he really seemed so certain of her when he had no way to know if she were even worth it. . . . The notion that someone actually could think her worth something, able to do actually do something right . . . it was an unfamiliar sentiment to her. She didn’t entirely know how she was suppose to take to that. How . . . was she? If Paul was willing to believe in her, then, maybe. . . . Maybe she wasn’t so. . . . Even if she might not be capable of much, maybe she could do something more than just be trouble and useless. Even if she could not do much, that little something she could do, it was still something.

Letting out a breathe, she stood to her feet, gripping onto the vial of Rush that she was to take to transform into a Titan, she walked toward the open door, a serious look upon her face. She looked down below her, before she turned her gaze up to Paul. “Heights do not frighten me at all.” She answered him, “I’ll be fine with the plan.”

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"Good answer, kid." Paul chuckled loudly. He then placed his syringe between his lips, so that it was held in his mouth like a cigarette. Suddenly but gently he wrapped his arms around her, holding her close and tight against his body. He spoke his best keeping the needle in his mouth. "I'll let you go when it's time to inject. Do so as soon as I release you. Once you've achieved Titan, keep a distance and a low profile at first, that way the focus will be on me. While their attention is drawn you pick them off." He looked down at her caringly and said in a soft southern dialect, "Ye ready kid?"

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She had not been expecting it, but then again, who would’ve? All she’d been doing was looking out at the base which herself and her partner were to basically going to get into for their mission to take out the threat within. Truthfully, a part of her was more than nervous about this, and still sure that she was to be nothing more than a nuisance for Paul, she’d cause nothing but problems. But . . . there was a bit of her that was beginning to think that she could maybe do something useful. Even if it were something small, she might be capable of just a bit more than simply not being a hindrance. Jacqli had begun steeling herself for the mission, for the true combat which awaited her below, more or less ready to leap when given the signal to do so.

However, that steeling herself seemed to be utterly pointless as her composure was completely shattered when Paul pulled her to him. She couldn’t hold back the yelp that slipped from her throat due to the shock of being yanked out of her own little world, nor could she dismiss the shocked expression that had forced its way over her face, the first bit of emotion that came across clearly without anything being held back by that mask of hers. The shock had gotten an edge in-between one of the cracks in her mask, and managed to completely force it off for that moment. Jacqli did not dare to look up, as she knew very well that she looked like she’d seen a ghost. This was right before her first mission, with a large part of her heart still uncertain of herself; she’d already managed to make her partner exert more effort toward convincing her otherwise than she was worth . . . the very last thing she needed to do was to express anything like distress, anything that could be mistaken for fear, or weakness.

So, instead of saying or doing anything, Jacqli simply stood there, still, her arms kept at her sides, syringe of Rush held with the needle facing away from her and Paul, and she let him speak while she simply focused on calming herself down, and pulling her heart rate back down to a normal range. . . . Although it was a bit hard to understand him as he spoke with the Rush in his mouth, the teenager was at least able to mostly comprehend what he’d said to her. Give myself the Rush when he lets go of me, stay back behind him, let attention go to him and then come in behind, and take them out while they are off-guard. . . . she went over it in her head as she forced her expression back to as normal as she could manage given her current position. Even if it was for the sake of their entrance into the mission, the fact that Paul had pulled her to him, and held her close, it was still unnerving for a girl like Jacqli, given the life she’d led.

It wasn’t exactly like she were used to physical contact from people, and what she had been used to typically resulted in pain. . . . When he spoke to her again, his Southern accent making a return, her eyes darted up along with her head, and she looked at him, eyes a bit wide from the shock of it still, and she remained quiet a moment before even trying to speak. “R-Ready as one such as myself can be for this sort of thing I suppose. . . .” she murmured, knowing what would come next. The fall. So, before it could happen, Jacqli couldn’t help the fact that she turned her head back down, and that her body tensed up, as she braced herself for the feel of being left to gravity’s mercy; grip upon the syringe of Rush tightening to the point that her hand began to shake.

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Paul felt the young girl quiver in his arms, her whole body practically shook against him. This was her first jump, he knew how scary it could be. In a nervous attempt to break the tension, Paul spouted out, "Don' worry kid, it's just like jumpin' off a bicycle." He chuckled softly and gave Jacqli a hug-like squeeze, as he inched toward the open hatch. "Now don' you fret none, you get scared just look at me, focus on me. I'll keep you safe Jacqueline." He smiled warmly down at her and then nodded softly.

"Okay! Time to drop! This part's the scariest, so you can close your eyes if you want kid." Paul shifted the syringe in his mouth so it sat long ways in his mouth, so it could not blow away, since he wouldn't be able to be heard with the wind pressure and speed it didn't matter. Everything that was said was said, he trusted his new partner.

"Ooeh, Lez du iz! (Okay, Let's Do This!)" Paul yelled out with the syringe gagging his words awkwardly as like a stiff board Jacqli and him dropped through the opening and began to plummet rapidly towards the sand and fortress.

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Jumping off a bicycle . . . something she’d never done or had gotten to do as a child. She’d never even learned how to ride; even if that message was suppose to be comforting, it wasn’t. Jacqli was, she was still uncomfortable within Paul’s arms, physical contact wasn’t something she might ever be able to cope with, even if the gesture in question was meant to be a kind one. Kindness, she still didn’t understand it, why it was shown to her by him, why he insisted so much with her. Even if she didn’t understand though, that . . . persistence, the fact that Paul was going out of his way to be kind toward her, it meant something, something that she just couldn’t grasp yet. She trusted him though, she had reason to; he was experienced, and he knew what he was doing, so. . . .

So, maybe there was more to all of this than she could yet comprehend, just maybe. For now, even if she couldn’t believe in herself, maybe she could believe in the fact that someone had faith in her, someone who was remarkable.

When they began to fall, Jacqli tensed up even more, a look of fear passing over her face despite the fact that she knew she was safe, the feeling of falling, she didn’t like it. A whimper came from her throat despite her attempts to keep it down, and without meaning too, Jacqli found her empty hand grasping onto Paul’s shirt tightly, knowing she’d have to let go when it was time to become a Titan.