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Van Helsing Academy: Warriors of Daylight

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a part of Van Helsing Academy: Warriors of Daylight, by Shi-chan.

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The world is a part of Van Helsing Academy: Warriors of Daylight.

9 Characters Here

Timothy Arden [5] Deadly both up close and from a distance
Anna Hellsang [3] A strong but shy girl, who is very talented when it comes to melee combat with weapons.
Quinn Glanz [2] A Trigger Happy, Joke Cracking Guy with a Love for Weapons.
Viktor Lucair [2] [Spoiler Alert!]
Callen McDugal [2] A funloving and quirky girl with a strange origin.
Old Man Hellsang/Hellsang House [0] A man who is no longer seen, and a house that speaks with his voice
Gilliam Blake [0] "Call me Gill....you don't mind if I smoke, do you?"

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Theo frowned, feeling bad for Clive. So that's the penalty for helping us? Steep. He sighed and turned to say something to Anna when she very suddenly fell to the floor. He put his arms out too slowly and missed by a foot. He crouched and put a hand under her head, seeing if she would respond. "Anna? Anna? Are you okay?"

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Timothy nodded, the answer confirmed what he had assumed. He kept any further questions quelled, seeing as his suspicions about the sorcerer was correct. He could assume the same about his other questions to a degree. He didn't have the chance to push forward anyway. The scream stole all his attention. At the very first note the soldier had completely ignored his meal, every muscle tensed as his gaze fixed upon the source of the noise. For a moment he relaxed, they were relatively safe here. If not hidden then at least they would be forewarned. Like everyone else in the room he aimed to get a glance at what ever had caused the problem. While he didn't quite hear the fearful murmurs of the victims the cause was somewhat obvious as the dripping corpse was held up for general view. Within moments Timothy had caught on to what happened, despite the syrup dripping from its body. The creature was quite obviously Clive. There was a small comfort in that Clive mentioned that he could return, as had already been proved. Like most people in the room he inadvertently gagged at the though of consuming pieces of the mutilated corpse, despite not having actually acquired any fruit salad. He mind started running though, surely someone or the robots would have noticed when a dead cat ends up in a meal.

His gaze drifted upwards, searching for some entrance to the room from which the body could have originated from. The search was quick when no obvious fall point could be located. Instead for a moment the fluttering of black creatures drew his attention the wind. Black birds, ravens. Their presence raised the hairs on the back of the boy's neck. He wasn't superstitious but such omens were still generally connected to events. After all, only a few nights before did the another set of omens culminated in suitable horrors. He couldn't pass it off lightly, not with the insubstantial feeling he got from them. In the stunned silence the fleeting goodbye cry of the avians was lost. Although the low voices nearby stood out like PA announcements. Timothy shot a dark look at Viktor. He could make light of the situation, in other occasions it might have been welcomed. In this case Timothy thought the Eastern European could have kept the thought to himself.

The words from the girls, or more accurately Callen's words and Anna's intial silence, brought his attention over to the other side of the table. The damaged young woman's attention wasn't on the scene acted out across the room, instead her eyes were fixed on her plate. Timothy was too slow to recognise her eyes glazing slightly and the her quiet words. "Kid." He called across to Theo, still not knowing the boy's name. The call wasn't loud but insistent enough to cut through most chatter. Too little, too late. The boy tried but he missed the chance to halt her descent as well. Timothy almost winced at the awful sound of her contact with the floor. He too felt like rushing across the table to check but it was tempered by common sense. Again he frowned at Viktor's actions. Timothy was confident that their leader would be alright but to prevent Callen from going to her best friend's side was too cold. The young man moved around the table to Theo's side. He was glad to hear the concern in the boy's voice. He may be rude but they were still on the same side.

"She should be alright." Timothy agreed with Viktor and offered to the newcomer as comfort. Even though there was control and concern in the voice he found himself hoping earnestly that he was right. He didn't show it on the outside but something inside him had dropped with Anna's fall. He was shaken far more than by Clive's corpse. She had seen what she had been through, how tough she was and how dependable. Yet she couldn't cope with this. Timothy felt like he had overestimated her and guilty of the expectations he had. She was only human, like the rest of them. He can't confront his nightmares and he couldn't expect so much from her.

Again the soldier felt the tingle on his neck. A sixth sense telling him that he isn't safe, that they weren't safe. He frowned and looked around, yet he couldn't see anything untoward. For a moment his gazed settled on Viktor but moved on, returning to the problem at hand. "It might help if we move her somewhere more comfortable." He suggested to Theo. He made no effort to reach out to Anna and physically check her condition. Doing so might have given away the small tingling in his fingers, currently clentched into fists. The only sign how vulnerable and unnerved he felt at this very moment.

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Callen stared at Viktor for a moment, not believing what he was saying. Why was this guy so inconsistent? One minute kind and fun, the next cold and... Well, he was almost cruel. Perhaps understanding others was not his strongest point. She calmed when both Theo and Timothy reacted, swiftly and with care, but she was tense, her fists balled up and her teeth grinding. She said nothing, though, she held back, she did not want them to know how scared she was, how frightening that sound was to her.

She looked down at the plate, and true enough, there was one big fat piece of Clive jumbled in with the rest. She could only imagine what her friend must've thought when she noticed. Had she eaten any of it? Had there been more she hadn't noticed? Had she mistaken the texture for a piece of orange? Had she eaten a part of someone she knew?

All of a sudden it made more sense why Anna had fainted. Callen couldn't stand there and claim that she would have been able to stomach it, herself. A few seconds later, Anna groaned, slowly, and moved her hand to the back of her head. It wasn't until her fingers came in contact with Theo's hand that she opened her eyes, and looked around to see the fuss she had caused. Callen was stretched across the table, an absolutely crazy look in her eyes, Timothy was now on the other side of the table, looking very uncomfortable, and then there was Theo right above her.

"I... Ow." She mumbled, trying to sit up, to bring herself out of this rather humiliating stance. It seemed that her brain had problems focusing on anything other than the constant throbbing pain in the back of her head. "Am I bleeding?" she asked, touching the spot where it hurt, which felt dry and non-sticky. Looking a her hand, she found that the answer had to be no, she was not.

Slowly she got to her feet, meeting the eyes of Callen. "He said that something like this would happen," the redhead began. Anna returned her stare, "The sorcerer knows that we're on to him. He's trying to scare us off."

Callen reached out, gently grabbing around the back of Anna's neck, and pulled her face closer. She planted a big, wet kiss on the injured girl's forehead, and just as she was about to urge her friend to go find a doctor-robot, she was interrupted by Mr. Hellsang's voice over the speakers.

"Anna Hellsang to the office immediately. Anna Hellsang."

The two girls exchanged a confused glance, but as Anna looked around, it was clear that a robot was already wheeling her way. "They'll think I did it..." She mumbled, referring to the other students, a hesitant question in her voice. But she looked up, and then turned to Theo. "Thank you for the help. It was very kind of you. I'll be more than happy to play a board game with you later."

Then, turning to Timothy, she nodded her head once, and then spoke. "I hope that we can soon have a practice fight. I will kick your ass." She paused as she took a few steps towards the robot, turning back to look at them all. "I'm sorry that I made you all worry."

Callen motioned for her friend to hurry the hell up, and with a sly smile, and a hand on her newly acquired bump, she went with the robot.

Twenty minutes passed, and Anna did not return. Callen had remained by the table, and slowly things had calmed in the room. The plates and trays had been removed, robots had apologised to students, over and over again, and many had left to go about their daily routines. Callen just sat there, worrying.

"Theo Ackebecker, Viktor Lucair, Timothy Arden, Callen McDugal, all report to the office."

"What...?" Callen whispered, not quite understanding how that simple accident could lead to them being called in. Had Anna gotten confused and accused them of something? She had just seemed fine when she left them there. Still, it was a bad idea to let powerful men wait too long, and Callen did not take long to be on her way. She hummed a tune as she walked, hands in the pockets of her trousers, head held low. Michel passed her, and she gave him a quick wave to say that she could not stay and chat. She mimed an ugly old face at the boy, and he smiled, seemingly understanding that she was on her way to see the old guy.

When she entered, she found Anna standing beside the robot, almost huddled in the corner. It was hard to tell in the half-dark, but her right cheek looked swollen and red. The long haired girl did not look like she wanted to approach, so Callen just stopped. There was no reason to make her feel uncomfortable. As the rest of the group turned up, Mr. Hellsang began speaking to them.

"Our target is in London. You have two hours to pack, then you will be flown out. Bring no more than a backpack. Remember that we're still trying to remain somewhat secret. You must bring him here, or if circumstances does not allow it, interrogate him there, and then kill him. Questions?"

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Viktor put his arm down when Callen stopped trying to scramble over the table. He held her arm, lightly. He hadn't meant to come across "Cold" or "Uncaring"; if anything, it was care that drove his actions-he prevented the scene from becoming bigger than it needed to be, Callen not vaulting the table stopping general panic. Naturally, though, he was oblivious to their misconceptions of his actions and did not address either of them until Timothy moved to Theo's side. "She'll be fine, Callen. Do not worry so; it was just a little fall. Worst thing, she'll have a headache and'll need a drink." He nodded affirmatively and let and let Theo administer whatever medicinal practices he knew.

When Anna got up, he offered her another, this time apathetic, nod of acknowledgement, and didn't move to comfort her when Callen did. He waited patiently for her to talk to her friend, and almost asked Anna if she was okay, but stopped himself; everyone else was going to, why repeat the same question one more time? This likely only added to the general opinion that Viktor was to be disliked, practicality and all.

When Anna left and Callen sat down, Viktor returned to his seat. He pushed his plate away until it was time for a robot to take it, not bothering with his drink either. He bumped her shoulder and tried to think of something consoling to say, but Anna had already shown herself to be alright. "Uh... So, yeah?" was the best he could think of.

Twenty minutes later, Viktor's name was called. What the fuck is it now? He sighed and got up (not having left Callen, as silent as she may be), and walked with her with the tacit understanding that she would not be bothered if he said nothing. They came to Mr. Helsang's office (Callen entering first) and he assumed the best stance he could: Legs narrow, wrist clasped in hand behind his back. Anna was to the side, and she looked like a mighty strong hand had struck her face. He winced on her behalf.

Mr. Helsang spoke, and Viktor sighed. Long-range op, no recon, no support but the 'packs on our backs? "What are we cleared for, how long are we expected out, and where's our rendezvous?" I've never been through London. What do I know about it? It smells bad, it's riddled with underground tunnels, half of which are flooded, and its skyline is the clearest for a developed city-no skyscrapers to speak of. There's a bridge that used to crumble every three months and a lightly-armed police force consisting of small squad cars, horses, and mostly foot-men. The alleys are narrow and twisting because most of the houses were built without a city-limits plan, meaning dead-ends and generally fucked up streets are constant. There's still a large "Olde Town," so fire isn't a safe option. What about economics? I don't know anything about their stores... dammit. I know I definitely can't expect a gun store to operate in broad daylight.

=======

Theo [Plagiarism wrote most of this; we PMed back and forth because we wanted our characters to talk in the next post but doing it between posts is awkward. This counts as his/her post and mine, so Shi/Templar, you're up)

Theo smiled softly when she stirred, then very lightly blushed when she offered the board-game. I really hope you like Scrabble! He held her back and arm to help her stand, then took his hands from her and stuffed them in his pockets like he didn't know what to do with them. "You're welcome." He looked away from her, a little embarrassed (and not knowing why), to the window, and noticed three familiar birds: Jerkbeak the food-snatcher, Tenderwings the slow-flyer, and Retard the retard. At least, that's what he was calling them until better names could be chosen.

Callen stole Anna's attention from him, and then she was taken to her father's, leaving Theo with Timothy, Viktor, and Callen. He looked at each of them with an expression like, "Well, now what the hell do we do?" He sat down, looked at his food, and threw up a little in his mouth. At least, for once, it's not me who's passing out or falling down. That's a really bittersweet thought. I bet she'd never hurt a fly in her life... Vampires, werewolves, zombies, ghouls, goblins, and Nosferatu, not to mention their compatriots, being well bellow a fly on the Hated Creatures scrotum pole, of course. He sighed. "So... uh... Callen? D-do you know how she...?" He pointed vaguely at his face, trying to be polite. "I'm kind of... scared to ask her."

20 minutes later: Theo tagged along behind Viktor and Callen, as he had been doing since he met them. Maybe that was his niche in their clique, the obedient yet scared and abused puppy who doubled as whipping-boy on weekends? Wasn't befitting a man of intellectual desires, but he filled the role just as well.
Inside, Theo had to squeeze past Viktor; he didn't leave much room past the door. He managed it (thank God for his spindle-forming eating habits), but getting past Viktor put him close to one side of the room. He took a step back, to make room at the door, and narrowly avoided knocking into Anna. "Oh, h-hi. Are you al-"

Helsang spoke and it scared the fucking shit out of Theo. Jesus, Hell, his excrement, the heebie-jeebies, and all other manner of doodly bits left his body when it came to the thought of...
Well, Theo's thoughts weren't entirely thoughts. They were unconnected words floating around: "London, Sorcerer, kill. London, Sorcerer, kill. Secret, interrogate, kill." He swallowed uneasily. "Uh, sir?" He wanted confirmation on this. "T-Theo Ackabecker speaking, sir. I'm a m-mind student. I don't know if my skills really function in this situation..."

====Both====

Viktor looked at Theo. "You can sit at pickup, don't be a gi-" he became very strikingly aware of his proximity to Callen "-wuss, Theo." He wasn't too terribly excited about being very suddenly dropped into hostile territory and being expected to plan for something he had no information about, either, but Mr. Helsang wasn't going to take no and the sorcerer sonfabitch murdered a cat, scared two (somewhat) innocent girls, lay destruction to thousands of students in several schools across several countries, and was the reason he hadn't been able to send a letter to Isabel. Bastard would pay for every day FedEx got his message late.
"Besides, we need some kind of logistics on-station. I don't want to deal with ten minutes of distance-lag in comms." Viktor was referring to the travel time of waves; hypothetically, if spacetravel was ever freely possible, and two ships were a light-year away, and a wave could travel at a speed of one light year, sending a message would take one hour. Add a few minutes as a response is formulated, then a response is sent. You wouldn't know that everyone on one ship was suffocating to death until two hours too late.
Of course those waves actually travel much, much slower, and London less than a few thousand miles from where they were presently, but a ten-minute delay in a message relay could have them all dead. Not that Viktor much cared for Theo in a combat situation.

Theo thought about it and nodded. "I guess... And no one else at the school knows you guys like I do, do they?" he shrugged and tried to convince himself this was a good idea, and that he was going to break his legs parachuting into an ocean of bad guys.

Viktor looked at Callen and Theo. "We should head to the armory first, pick gear before food; we'll be in urban territory with plenty of food available, won't we? And I'm hoping Mr. Helsang will provide a vehicle of some kind, recon van or sedan or something." He shrugged. "Theo, I know you're bad with guns, but we've got two hours, right? We've got one for getting our affairs in order, then you and I have one in the shooting range. That's an order." Viktor didn't intend to take command of the full thing, but right now Theo needed something to survive with and being Mr. Friend wasn't going to be it. He grabbed Theo's arm and led him outside, walking slow enough at first for Callen, Anna, and Timothy to join them if they intended. (Viktor had not yet realized the potential that Anna sitting bruised in a corner met she might not be coming)
Viktor soon began a jog and expected Theo to keep up. If he couldn't, it was Theo's fault. A robot (as always) directed them to the armory, and with Mr. Helsang's permission opened it.

The first thing Viktor noticed was that the armory was noticeably colder than the rest of the house. Good; weapons and ammo were better maintained a little below room-temperature. Unlike the machine shop, this was more organized, like the school's, but more fully stocked as far as depth. Sheer number of guns was lower; Mr. Helsang guessed correctly that any attack large enough to IDP students wasn't going to leave many. "Theo, first lesson: The nine-millimeter pistol will not kill a man in the stomach or below in less than two shots. It is useless against anything larger than a man. It's only practical use is against zombies, who are slow and will require much ammo for large groups. Second lesson: The 45-caliber pistol, more common in the western hemisphere than our own, will kill a man in the stomach or above. It will give werewolves a nasty hicky, too. Alright? They're both used in pistols. Unless you find some Heckler and Koch shit somewhere, you're only going to see 9-mil sub machine guns. You could probably use one... Eight pounds, semi-automatic, brace or stock to make it more accurate than a pistol? Hmmm..."

Viktor was browsing the shelves high and low. Theo was looking around, wide-eyed, like an idiot. "Uh... o-okay? Yeah, I understand the basics. H-and-K is German. They have the designation HK. They made the UMP forty-five. All of that kind of stuff. Sells to America."

"You see anything that's Russian? Ignore it. Any that's Czech? Czechoslovakian? Ukrainian? Cuban? Kyrgyztanian? Iranian? Ignore anything the USSR used to control. It's all... for lack of a better term, it's all poop. All of it. They only thing they've ever made worth shit is the AK-107KMS, the Kobra sight, and a non-electronic range-finder. Chevrons sights, guns, ammo, the rest of it is all just absolutely terrible. Ignore it altogether. We need American things, German things... if we weren't going for stealth, I'd suggest some Greek Anti-material rifles... Any shotguns you find? Go for Italian; Benelli is a big company for a reason. And you want it small, composite. It should got in your bag, be easy to take apart, easy to put together... It can't jam. Ever. Ever! Ever ever ever. Alright? Good." Viktor talked in a rush. Theo continued to stare like an idiot.

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Timothy spend the next twenty minutes thinking. He had breathed a sigh of relief when Anna had recovered quickly, that should be a good sign there was no permanent damage. Still the words hung over him 'The sorcerer knows that we're on to him. He's trying to scare us off.' It wasn't the part about the sorcerer trying to scare them that was on his mind. He for one was not so easily deterred and he didn't believe the others were too. It was the implications of the statement before that. How much did the sorcerer know? He didn't take the words to heart, there still was no sign that they had been uncovered. Clive himself said that he was always the main target. What did concern Timothy was the fact the sorcerer's power could reach out here and to that end, just how power was this mysterious character? For all they knew he could be aware of every single action. No wonder Timothy didn't feel safe. Yet as the group waited in the silence for Anna's return he didn't mention his concerns. He lent his elbows on the table and his chin on his hands, ignoring the tray of food that was eventually removed. He certainly had no appetite anymore, at least he had eaten enough. He was dragged out of his contemplation by the announcement. Like the others he was curious and uncertain as to why they were called up. His only guess could be that Anna had revealed more of their situation. At least he now knew Theo's name.


He joined the back of the pack when they entered. Again his gaze was almost drawn to the monitors displaying the entire mansion. Yet his grey eyes were intercepted by Anna, she looked miserable at that point. He noticed the mark on her cheek and his thoughts we're almost distracted. It seemed almost like she had been slapped. Timothy couldn't help but wonder what the relationship between the girl and her father was, although they didn't appear close. Mr. Helsang didn't give much time for thought. He had always seemed straightforward but there seemed somewhat of a rush. With the request for questions a number of them bubbled up. He didn't relay them first, instead the other reached that and he gave time for their answers. First though he had to up Theo's attitude, Viktor had the right idea but Timothy threw a few side glances. Again he felt the other wasn't going about it the right way.
"He's right, you have training is skills we don't. We deal mostly with the fighting, you and Callen are needed for pretty much everything else." A glance towards Viktor again, a small grin of respect. "Except lockpicking. There are a reasons Backups and Brains are trained instead of just Soldiers." Hopefully Theo was bolstered by the comment, Timothy could see that the boy at least tried to psych himself up but there was every reason to be apprehensive. He didn't like how little information they had. Did Mr Helsang have a source they could contact? With other questions out of the way he added his.
"Are there any resources in place? We need a lot better information. London is a big city, a lot bigger then we can sweep thoroughly I'm sure. We don't even know what this sorcerer looks like." He didn't know if the others had the answers, in reality he could trust them more then their hidden leader. He had told Anna before that they need a plan, the more information the better the plan could be.

With his and the other's questions answered he didn't dismiss himself as quickly as Theo and Viktor did. He moved over to Anna, aware that even Callen hadn't rushed to her when they arrived. His face showed all the concern and it seemed that at this moment perhaps some tact was needed.
"Are you ready for this?" He asked gently. He was quite aware of camera lenses watching them and it did make him slightly uncomfortable. On impulse he put a and hand on her shoulder and tried to make eye contact, a deal also made awkward by Anna's single grey eye. "I will always be there when you need me. I made a promise for Jones and I will not fail, not this time." For a moment his voice took on a steely determination, reminding himself of his pledge. He looked away, he was trying to be gentle and got carried away. He looked back, for a moment she seemed vulnerable. More in need of protection then ever, but he reminded himself of how she had fought before she was overwhelmed at the academy. "I won't let you down, not again." With that word he was about to move away, but let himself a little grin and added. "Now, about that practice fight..."

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Anna moved outside of the room after having signalled for Timothy and Callen to join her. Callen waited for the other two to leave before she cast a final glance towards one of the cameras, with a look on her face that seemed to ooze the words "I will hurt you." She said nothing, though. Not all opinions were meant to be voiced without careful thought and preparation.

She turned and left, hands in her pocket, to find the other two outside. She closed the door, and looked at her friend. "What happened?" She whispered, moving closer. At first it seemed Anna was sad. Like she was fighting back tears. But the redhead girl was quite certain that her friend had a smile on her face.

Anna slowly rubbed her cheek, and then looked at the both of them. "Hellsangs do not get scared, he told me. We do not faint like silly divas. We are strong, and we do not sleep on the floor." She said, mimicking her father's voice. There was a clear defiance in her words, and she snickered as she looked away. "And then he had the robot slap me, because I got ugly, and ugly girls cannot marry rich men and birth sons who can take over the company after..." She paused, before lowering her voice to the point where it was barely audible. "... After the old ass."

Callen supressed a laugh, and covered her mouth, but her eyes revealed a lively shine. "So you're ok? We don't have to worry and angst and stuff?"

Anna shook her head. "No. But when he's dead, I swear, I'll spit in his face and piss on his grave, and then I'll take all his money and waste it all on bad investments. That'll be plenty payback for someone like him."

"I'm not sure that's the best way to go about it, but that's your decision." Callen said, pulling the other girl into a hug. No matter what, Callen was very sure that a hug was never out of the way.

Anna then looked to Timothy, the same determination in her voice as before. "Let's go beat each other up. You get to decide how."

Callen smiled widely, "I'll get started on packing, don't worry about the technical details. The other guys'll help out."

She knew that Anna had some anger to went, and Timothy seemed to understand that too. Besides, the other girl was terrible at packing smart, so this was the better thing to do.

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"Hey um... d-do you think Anna is okay?" Theo looked at Viktor, still be co-opted in this post. Viktor looked back at him.
"We've got enough things to worry about that you can forget about that and help me pick out some fuckin' guns, Theo."
"Well yeah sure, but like... She looked really hurt."
"Well she did catch a train with her face."
"Shut up, Viktor!"

One of Viktor's eyebrows raised. He looked at Theo, genuinely surprised. "Calm down, Theo. We've got more important things to worry about than your girlfriend." Theo's cheeks burned. He stuffed his hands in his pockets and turned away, pretending to examine a row of assault rifles nearby. "Now, you're small, no offense. You don't lift, you're not a sports person... Save a 10-gauge, shotguns aren't going to work for you. You need a gun with a foregrip and stalk, probably a threaded barrel and mitigation." Viktor shrugged. "Let me give you a best and worst example. Worst example: Scorpion ten-mil, used in Cuba but made by Czechoslovakia. It fires some big ass pistol rounds, 'eh? But it is literally a pistol that shoots fast. It jams, the recoil is impossible to control, and it looks ugly.
"Best example? Out of what's available here, I'd say the Kriss Vektor forty-five. It's got everything-all of the recoil is into your shoulder, not up or to either side. Foregrips are usually built in, and the stock is 'collapsible,' or fold able, so you can stuff it in your backpack. It fires really long G17 magazines, so... And goody-goody, they've got plenty here!" Viktor smiled and stopped as he came to another rack of weapons. "M4A2, Vektor 45, UMP45, M16A4... C'mere Theo."
Theo obliged and came over. Viktor shoved a forty-five into his chest. "Hold this."
Theo was a spaz of arms and legs while he reached for the handle and the fore-grip. Viktor unfolded the stock and pressed it into his shoulder. "Lean forward, tight grip. Do it!" He put a hand on Theo's back and made him do it. "Looks like a good fit. We'll find some short barrels and suppressors. You know the difference in a suppressor and a silencer?"
"N-no-"
"One is used on automatics, one is used on semi-automatics. They aren't interchangeable. Keep your gun on burst and you'll be plenty quiet." Viktor pointed at a box. "Go get that tool kit; we need to make some adjustments."

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(Oh, I didn't think Theo was still incorporated, I'd have posted much sooner if I'd known. Sorry for the wait!) .... (Also, I hate to admit this, but the sentence "Well she did catch a train with her face." and the almost "Do you even lift BRAH?!" made me laugh so hard. I can't stop.)

Callen was walking along, silently compiling a list of what she'd need. She'd have to hit up Viktor at some point, he sounded like he was the man with the gun plan, and even though she knew a bare minimum, it wasn't enough for what they were going to do. She had thought, just for a moment, "why choose us?" only to realise that everyone else were their juniors, or seriously injured without having been administered some Clive. It seemed a little heartbreaking to her that he only seemed to want to help them, but she couldn't bring herself to think that he didn't care about all the others.

She suspected that the other reason for picking them out was that they were totally a Power Ranger ensemble by now. Perhaps they should practice poses and punning? She could stitch them some fancy outfits. Sure, the boys would look adorable in catsuits.

It was easy to smile then. All it took was to force the darker thoughts away. What would happen? How big of a threat would this Sorcerer be? Would she ever get the chance to call home? Well, there had to be phone booths in London, and the others might give her five minutes to call.

Then it hit her. London wasn't that far from home. She stopped, her eyes wide and startled, her calm posture suddenly broken. It was real now. It was going to hit other people. Other people were already hurt! There was once when it was just inside the castlewalls. She could convince herself that just like all the other bad things, it was a fairytale, and she could just turn her back and pretend that all was good.

"I need backpacks." She murmured, looking around in the hallway. Only two other students were present, speaking at the far end of the space. They couldn't hear her, and didn't react.

"I need comfortable shoes." She then continued, the same blank stare in her eyes.

"We can't sneak, we're too clumsy. We have to disguise ourselves." Slowly she regained her composure as her brain got up in gear. "Maybe we'll be backpackers from Austria and we have guns so don't fucking mess with us because we will harm you in some horrible and traumatizing way."

A robot stopped beside her. "Excuse me Miss, are you all right?" It asked, politely as usual.

She looked at it, at first not quite understanding the question. "Yes, fine." She finally answered. "Do you think I should pack clean underwear?"

The robot was quiet at first, and then seemed to nod. "Yes. I think so."

She thanked the robot, and asked where she might find Theo and Viktor. Once again, it took it's time with answering, but when she'd gotten her answer, she was quickly on her way. It had occurred to her that strolling in the halls was not the right thing to do.

When she got there, she peeked in to start with, and when she saw them knocked on the door to get their attention for a moment. "Hey, sorry to disturb, I just needed to ask something quick. How many packs you think we'll need, and do you want me to pack you guys some underwear? I don't think we'll be away for that long, so whole outfits and stuff isn't needed, but y'know. There's just things you always need."

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(I'm glad you found some humor in it. And we're co-opted until Viktor/Theo are no longer talking together)

Viktor helped Theo fix up a good stance with the gun. "Yeah, I think this will be a good fit for you, boy." He took it back and swung the stock back against the gun, almost halving the size. "Hold this. And..." He looked around. "Dammit they don't have bags in here." He sighed and crossed his arms. "You can go get so-"
There was the knock on the door. Viktor turned, as did Theo. "Callen? Eh... It's always better to plan worst-case. Two pairs of everything for everyone, plus some Oakley sunglasses or something. Preferably the all-grey or orange-blue polarized ones; vampires can be deadly. And can you grab me a duffle bag? Something big." One pair of clothing wasn't going to get them out of the city without police intervention if they got torn or shot up. The more the merrier. "Thank you. Theo, if you need anything, tell her."
Theo thought about it. Viktor already ordered clothes, and food would (hopefully) be paid for. "C-could you ask one of the robots about my hoodie? That would be nice, thank you." He offered her a smile. "Um... Is Anna going to come with us?"

Viktor walked off to look at more racks of things. He stuffed his pockets with whatever looked good, then laid everything out on an empty table when he was done. There was a P416 assault rifle, silenced. Fires five-five-six. Will kill a man with three bullets to the chest. This is just in case. Four Vektors, one for you, Callen, Timothy, and Anna." He looked at the selection and did some math over weight and how much ammo they could all carry. "As for sidearms, we're all taking the same thing to maximize ammo usefulness-USP .45s, used by the US Navy Seals since their creation. You know who they are, Theo?"
"Y-yeah."
"Screw on silencer. Fires forty-five, but you can't share magazines between this and the Vektor, so don't try. Aim for the chest. With the Vektor, the stomach and above is a fine target. This should carry us well. As for melee weapons, I've opted for the WWI trench knife." He felt like a cooking show host, showing his creations off like this. "It's a six-inch steel spike. The handle has a knuckle-duster grip-this was designed for going through helmets and skulls in one of the deadliest close-quarters wars in modern history. I could crush your Adam's apple with this, Theo. They're not too heavy." They looked dam scary. "There's also a standard kit we'll share between us-a map of the city, map of the country, survival knife, ten MREs... Mr. Helsang better have everything."

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"He has a house on a mountain filled with robots and guns. I think he can handle standard kits." Callen said, mostly just thinking out loud. She leaned against the side of the door opening, her arms crossed over her chest as she smiled at Theo. "Of course she's coming along. I think he and Timothy went to get a little training in, they'll most likely want to see if they can handle already being sent out. That and... I think she was really embarrassed that we all saw her like that. Best not mention it to her, you know how fickle girls her age can be."

She grinned at them, wanting to make them feel like that this mission was just like eating apple pie. Except with more danger and interrogation and things along that general line.

"It's nice to see you so hard at work, I better get moving too!" She said, giving them a wave before walking off again. She knew with herself that she weren't group leader material. Someone like Anna got too angry, someone like herself was too soft, she'd even designate an inanimate object a soul, meaning that she'd have a hard time ordering people to kill if it weren't a complete emergency. She was pretty confident that Viktor was their best bet. After all, he was in there, stuffing Theo's head with knowledge.

Mr. Hellsang had been kind enough to tell her that she was to pick up needed equipment in a room called the Departure Hall. She found the name to be rather unsettling, but when she found it, it wasn't at all what she had expected. Along both sides of the room there were long tables, each with a robot standing behind it like a clerk by a counter. All of them reacted when she walked in, and the sudden attention made her feel pretty weird about herself.

"Hi, I'm Callen McDugal, I'm here to pick up some-"

"McDugal authorized, basic have already been packed. Let us know if you need extra items." the one closest to her said, gesturing to a neat line of things laid out for her. She walked over, finding this to be a nice, and rather welcome surprise. Based on this, Mr. Hellsang had some idea of what would await them. She looked through everything, also making sure to check stitches and the like for any flaws, and finding nothing, she asked for those extra things that hadn't already been packed. "I would like six pairs of men's underwear, boxers I presume. They didn't specify their preferred kind. Four sets of women's underwear, and two sports bras, standard. Also, biggest duffle bag you've got. And Ackebecker has asked me to retrieve his hoodie."

"I'll ask someone to bring the hoodie. I'll get the other things right away." With that it bleeped and turned to the shelves behind it. It looked like everything was carefully organised here, and it didn't take long for it to return with the things she wanted. But she remained there, waiting for the hoodie.

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Viktor crossed his arms. "Theo, come here. Hurry up." Theo hustled over. Viktor threw one of the Vektors at him. Theo managed to catch it. "You're going to take this apart, and then you're going to put it together again. You're smart, and it isn't hard." He pulled a paper from his back pocket and unfolded it. "Here's a manual. Find use that toolkit. I also want a suppressor on all four. Hop to it!"

Viktor stood across from him, doing the same with the P416. They both worked on their equipment-Viktor telling Theo what to clean and how, and don't you dare touch that lever or I'll break your hand worse than you'll break the gun-and explained the finer points of gun care. "You aren't going to put that gun down until we land in London. You need to get used to the weight. Keep your hand on the foregrip and your wrist won't get tired. It's heavier when it's loaded." Theo wasn't entirely bad at his work. Good.
"When Callen gets here, we're all going to the range if she isn't busy. I don't want your gun loaded until we're there. Hear me?" Theo nodded.

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Anna's revelation almost rocked Timothy back on his feet, along with the venom in her words. Mr Helsang was not kind nor caring it seemed but Timothy had believed the man was at least pragmatic, for the protection of humanity. The way his daughter explained this opinion was destroyed. After Anna's rant his eyes narrowed and akin to hers, bored holes into the heavy wooden door. His protectiveness towards the girl was aroused and heightened by the treatment from her own father. He nodded to Anna as Callen left, he had some anger to vent too. The figure who commanded the defenders of humanity was an archaic, shallow man with not even concern for his own daughter. He managed to quell his anger somewhat, grinning at the memory of Anna's last phrase. If it came to choose between the command of the father or the will of the daughter, Timothy would side with his friend. It was still clear on his face that he shared the girls opinion of her father when he looked to her.

"I know where to go." He said, leading her to the training room he had spent the night in. While he still fumed about earlier he was somewhat cautious about actually fighting Anna in this situation. He didn't doubt her skill, he honestly believed her when she had claimed she was one of the best. He also didn't doubt her claim that they would beat each other up. Personally he didn't want to have to spend anymore time recovering. Neither of them could actually afford to with their two hour deadline.

"Has your father always been like that?" He asked when they entered the room. He didn't have to mention how they would fight with the range of weapons mounted on the walls. He waited for her answer as he prepared for battle, he wasn't about to fight without the protective clothing. They could still beat each other black and blue but he wasn't about to push his luck with real blades. He wanted to share his opinions with her but he knew that even now the old man was watching them. Mr. Hellsang might react a little more harshly if someone other then his daughter felt the same. Timothy hefted his preferred scimitar from the rack and moved to the center of the mat. None of the three sparring knights moved as the had last time he was here, perhaps sensing two combatants in the room. He knew to brace himself, Anna was taking it out on him.

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Anna too had chosen to put on protective gear, but had only covered her torso. Her legs were fine, so she figured that it was much more important to make sure that the wounds the arrows had left would get hit. They probably wouldn't bleed, but it would hurt. "Yes. He's always been like that. He and my mother were a perfect match. I could never understand just how they managed to hold a truce long enough to make me, but I suppose they didn't always hate each other." She smiled at his choice of weapon. It seemed that, like her, he had found something he felt comfortable with, and would most likely return to whenever he got the chance.

She stood for a moment and looked at the walls. She wanted a fair fight between the two of them, not a show of supremacy from either side. She then chose a simple one-handed sword, much less exotic than his scimitar, and took an instant liking to it when she weighed it in her hand. She assumed her stance opposite from him, wondering if her shortage of eyes would turn out to be a terrible disadvantage. She already knew that her sense of depth were no where near as good as before, but perhaps it wouldn't be too much of a problem if she stuck with close ranged situations.

And then she opened the fight. She was not in the mood for humorous jabs and taunts, and skipped that part all together. Much unlike her usual style, she refrained from roaring at him, instead she tried a calmer, yet still persistent approach. As soon as he deflected her, she was there again. As soon as she left an opening, he seemed to pick it up instantly.

He was almost as good as Jones.

---

"I have the shirt you asked for here." a robot beside Callen said. She had been checking and double checking everything, and looked up in surprise as she hadn't expected it so soon. "It might still be a little damp, I pulled it directly from the dryer." It held Theo's shirt out to her, and she took it, smiling.

"Thank you very much. I hope it wasn't too much of a hassle." She responded, forgetting that it wasn't a human, but a robot, who most likely didn't care at all about hassle of any kind.

"Mr. Hellsang also asked me to inform you that your trip is postponed until later this evening, might even until tomorrow morning. There is a problem with your means of transportation." The robot continued.

Callen looked at it for a few seconds, and then blinked. "Well, if it's mechanical, I might be able to help, so if you need an extra pair of hands you just-"

"I know. We'll get you." It interrupted. Despite its polite tone, she still felt a little threatened. Perhaps it was the words. "We'll get you."

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Theo stuck his hands in his pockets awkwardly when he was done, missing his [bjacket[/b]. "So is this together right?"
"We'll know when we get to the range. Short of blowing up, it shouldn't be hard to fix if it isn't." Viktor nodded and crossed his arms. "How much ammo does it hold?" Theo moved his thumb to eject the magazine-Viktor grabbed the barrel and pulled it away from him. "You need to know without looking. Forty." He set it down and walked away. "I wish we knew more... If he was holed up somewhere, suppressed rifles could pin him in a building... Y'know, I don't think I've ever seen magic used before." Viktor thought about it and uncrossed his arms. Theo swallowed. "I-I have. Once, I think... I was visiting my uncle-he's got this farm or ranch or whatever out in Maycomb, Alabama. He wasn't born there though so don't think he's got more toes than he should-and well he was showing me his cows and stuff. It was boring and smelled disgusting so I wasn't really paying attention but I guess-"
"Can you get to the magic part please?"
"Eh, yeah. Sorry. So he left for a bit, and there was this cow. It got real still, and it was looking at me really funny. Like it turned its head on one side the way a dog or cat would, and its ears stood up-I didn't know that cows could do that-with its tail. I took a step back because it scared the hell out of me-and the it poofed. Just... gone. Minus the sound effect, of course. Uncle came back and though I hid his cow, made me stay at all night in the pasture to find it-he had them tagged and stuff so I could tell them apart. It was number seven-and I couldn't. I went back to where it was, and there was blood all over the floor. The grass died in that spot that night. Uncle hasn't let me visit him since." Theo shrugged.
"Some story. If I was your uncle, I wouldn't believe it."
"So you uh... y-you got any stories? Of monsters and stuff?"
Viktor shrugged. There was a lot of shrugging going on in the armory. Neither of them noticed the abnormal amount of hands-in-pockets and shrugging. "Well, where I used to live, in Sevastopol-"
"What, on the Crimean? Isn't that where..." Theo thought for a moment. "That's... Nosferatu, right?"
"That's the caribbean, Theo. Close enough. Anyway: Where I used to live, in one of the burrows of Sevastopol, there was a lot of crime. And well, I didn't know it at the time, but it turns out that a vampire or a group of vampires or something would bite gang-members, and then mutilate the hell out of them neck-up. Everyone thought it was just violent take-downs and hits or whatever they're called, which made the groups hate each other more, which allowed the vampire or vampires to kill more."

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Chest armor was adequate, Timothy supposed. As long as he didn't aim for her limbs or head she ought to survive without a cut. He didn't delude himself into thinking that he could even break her defense. He would try though, not caught of guard by the girl's uncalled advance. Battle was never an occasion to stand upon. Already his mind had been working through strategies. He was heavier then her, more so with the armoring and was strong by merit of his gender. That was considering that they would otherwise be matched, following the same or similar training programs. She of course was a smaller target and more agile due to her lack of weight. Timothy had considered how he could use this and her flawed sight to his advantage before the fight began. As Anna's sword came in instantly moved to block, letting the scimitar's curve deflect the alloy. Muscle memory snapped his reactions to levels unattainable to the untrained, just as with his opponent. Quickly Timothy's mind dropped into its detached state. Any anger he had felt melted away to be replaced by a serenity. He hardly registered each impact of the connecting blades as anything more then a feed of information. A feed that was quickly transferred back into action. Anna pushed on and Timothy continued to defend. Dancing the battle around as he could to keep the footing even. He took few advantages, reading through Anna's motions to calculate her ability.

Eventually he stepped up the pace, taking every advantage to strike through and move to the offensive. Openings that were not abundant and quickly closed with the clash of metals. He found her tactics odd, she seemed ready to release her fury and indeed when he had seen her fight before her actions were guided by anger. She tried to push in close, limiting his movement so he couldn't escape to her left. Of course that was his every intention. Even with only one eye she kept him hard pressed, although he didn't show how much he had to overwork. However Timothy was was stubborn, persistent and tenacious. He would keep up this fight until one person rose the victor or they both collapsed of exhaustion. Whichever came first, although he expected Anna outclassed him. She was far better then Jones.

Timothy didn't know how long they had been fighting, or how long the synchronous dance would continue. Sweat beaded on his skin from the effort yet neither of them had gotten a hit in. He didn't know how long it would continue with no awareness as to the time. He took a gamble to gain the upper hand. He dashed towards Anna's left side, aiming to get in close within her blind spot. Blades wouldn't be much use here but up close was where Timothy had an advantage. Even if he managed to disengage both blades he could still use his free arm and strength to lock her down.

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Sometimes things happen faster than you can really perceive. It could be so many different things. A child growing up, two lovers parting ways, the death of a loved one.

In this case it was far less serious. It was Anna defeated.

And she'd fought. It wasn't that she hadn't tried to win. She always did. But just as she'd raised her sword to parry his move, a chill had run up her spine, and it has felt like someone was breathing down her neck. Perhaps there had been a whispered word, a sly threat, a swift touch of lips on her skin, but she had been unsure enough to lose her focus, her momentum. She had staggered, and at once he had swept her legs away from under her, and she had fallen hard.

Gravity was a bitch once you remembered her power.

All the air was knocked out of her, and she dropped her sword. Her fingers simply forgot to clutch. It didn't hurt, after all, the floors was covered with thick training mats. But Anna had never really felt that they were soft enough. Many thoughts passed through her head as she lay there on the floor including a memo that the ceiling needed some paint.

"Good form." She finally said, still a bit stumped. "Is someone here?"

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Viktor sighed and looked at the P416. "Maybe it's a bad choice..." He crossed his arms and looked at it.
"You're the expert with guns, Viktor, so don't ask me." Theo set his gun down and wandered off, looking at all the sharp, large, pointy, potentially explosive, lethal, less-than-lethal, blunt, small, and pointy armaments that filled the armory. "The rest of us all have submachine guns, right? Does one rifle make a huge difference?"
"It can, and that's not the issue. It's the choice of rifle. The P416 is a PDW, or 'Personal Defense Weapon.' It wasn't designed for a long barrel like this or to really be used much. But that does keep it small, doesn't it? There's the Cz Bren, and it's about the same size barrel-to-stock. It's just really thick in the middle. And it's Czech, which means it's shit. But if I really wanted to break away from you guys, there's the A1 covert from Britain. There's also Izhmash Nikonov's An-94 which works just fine with a suppressor. It's a little awkward though, with how the magazine is... hmmm... The Ruger 700 is used by US SWAT teams for a good reason..."
Theo failed to understand most of Viktor's word and failed to try fixing it. "Yeah, whatever you say, uh, Viktor. Just remember what you said about the range, right?"
"Yeah yeah. I don't want to get shot in the back for you being a dumbass. Don't worry about it."

Viktor finally settled on going with a Vektor like the rest of them and took the suppressor back off his rifle. He put them where they belonged and fixed up his SMG like theirs. "Let's go now." Theo wasn't in a position to refuse.

On the way, Viktor stopped one of the servant robots. "Fetch Callen, please, and tell her to report to the armory immediately. It is important, thank you."

Once there, Viktor set up three shooting booths and put a submachine gun and pistol in each, two loaded magazines, two unloaded magazines, and a plastic baggie full of .45 ammo. "We'll wait for her."

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In time, Callen was fetched. She had been trying to come up with a way of carrying it all without looking both stupid and like a fool when someone would, inevitably point out a much smarter way to transport all the bags. Shit like that always happened, and she liked being thought of as clever, so she wanted to avoid it. She had just managed to stack most of it in her arms, and some on her back when another robot entered. This one seemed more hesitant, but it perked up when she caught its eye. Or camera, depending on how you looked at it.

"Lucair requests that you go to the armoury when you have time. Preferably sooner than later." It said when it got closer to her. She peeked over the pile in her arms, and gave it a strained smile.

"Thanks, would you mind giving me a hand?" She replied, hoping that she was in luck. And well, she was. It probably had a lot to do with them being programmed to follow orders and generally be nice towards the students.

"Of course, Callen." it said, relieving her of the weight in her arms.

They walked in silence, Callen very much liking the little noises the mechanical being next to her made. The spinning of wheels, little bleeps and bloops, it all made her feel giddy and fuzzy inside. It made her happy. "You got a tip or something?" the robot suddenly asked as it stopped. "We're here." It explained, pointing to the door.

Callen was silent at first, not understanding why one of them suddenly wanted a tip. She hadn't been asked this before. Maybe their services were only free a limited number of times? She rummaged through her pockets, and much like she expected found absolutely nothing of value. "Ehh." She started, holding out the few items she had towards her companion. "I've got a yellow crayon and a button I found on the floor."

A tiny little space popped open on the robot's torso. "Just pop it in there, please." She did as she was asked, and before long she once more found herself over encumbered and her help had wheeled off faster than she had been able to see. She turned to where she remembered the doors to be, and hoped that they were still open. Taking a few tentative steps forward, she called out.

"Guys? You here?"

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Viktor, for lack of a more appropriate or fitting term, was fucking around with the controls. Ten-to-sixty feet, random size seemed about right. Theo looked up first, quite unsure about shooting a gun. He'd done it only a few nights ago, but remembered nothing more about guns than they're heavy and shooting them hurts. "Hey, Callen. Uh... You want some help with all that?" He came over, and despite any efforts she might make to stop him, he insisted on helping and immediately tried to. The result was getting in her way and dropping more things than he took form her. He apologized quite loudly and scrambled to pick things up, only to drop what he already had every time he stooped down. Viktor rolled his eyes at the noise and didn't come over until he was done. Many whiiiiirs, beeeeeeps, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs, and clunkclackclanks interrupted Theo's misbegotten apologies.

Viktor grabbed Theo's arm and made him stand up. "Stop fucking up and go stand in one of the lanes I set up. Don't pick up a gun until I say you can. Go, now. And put all that stuff down-carefully!" Theo obliged and ran off. Viktor looked at Callen and sighed. "Thanks for getting all of this, Callen." He bent down and bundled some of the items together. "Sorry that Theo is... well, a clutz," he mumbled. "Set this down on a table somewhere and go to slot six or five; I've already got the guns set up."

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Callen had been thankful that Theo had wanted to help, but quickly had become annoyed with him. Still she hadn't said anything other than a quick thanks and then allowed him to move on. It concerned her a little that Viktor was speaking to him in the tone that he was, but she wasn't sure whether or not she was in a position to say anything about it. She didn't know if the two guys had some sort of deal, if Viktor was playing mentor or anything like that.

"You heard that we got postponed, right? Guess they had some trouble getting stuff working." She paused shortly, "... And Theo only wants to help, he's a good kid."

She looked at him before looking around in the room again, taking a good, long time to get a sense of everything. Slowly it got awkward standing there, and she didn't really know what to do with herself. "I think I got everything, you can check again. I already did. Three times. But y'know. You can't be too sure. Umm... So, was there any particular reason you asked me to come here?" she scratched the back of her head as she spoke, sticking the other hand in her pocket.

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Viktor led her to one of the firing lanes. Each was a cork desk with wood divisions separating every adjacent lane. "Theo, c'mere, and both of you listen." He reached past Callen and picked up the gun that would be hers to practice with. "Callen, this is the Vektor forty-five by Kriss industries. It fires forty-five caliber pistol rounds from an extended pistol's magazine with minimal recoil and is handled much like an assault rifle. It is automatic, and will stop a werewolf with a clip to the chest. Alright? But one slip, trip, tumble, or blunder will kill one of your teammates. I don't now how much Mind and Backup students are taught about firearms, so I'm going to teach you like a child. Keep it pointed away from people at all times, and if you aren't aiming at a target, keep it pointed at the floor. Same goes for you, Theo."
Viktor sighed and put the gun back down. He picked up the baggy full of ammunition and an empty magazine, then handed them to Callen and told Theo to do the same. "The more bullets you load, the harder it is to fill the magazine. Your thumbs are going to hate me." He grabbed his own and demonstrated-push the spring and rest down with one thumb and slide the bullet in with the other. "Most magazines are designed to be idiot proof-you can't half-load or put a bullet in backwards. If you did, you're not only retarded, but your gun is going to jamb and you won't be able to cycle rounds to clear it. So don't." He got his loaded, hand-muscles strained by the end of the forty-round count. The spring at the bottom of the magazine was a tiny ball of tension.

Theo struggled to get past ten, hated himself at twenty, found it near-impossible at thirty, and was out of breath by forty. "T-the magazines will already be loaded w-when we get there, r-right?"

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Callen finished their little task surprisingly fast. Her hand was still in cramps by the end of it though, so she just shot them both a strained smile, and shook her hand. "Backup. It's what we do." She explained, shrugging like it was nothing. In fact she was suppressing several annoyed groans of pain, thinking that she was just not going to be a little whiner.

"You aren't expecting me to shoot stuff, are ya?" She then asked, not sure if she was just supposed to help out with this, or if there were more violent motives. Either way, she wasn't too happy about it. "I was thinking, y'know." she began, making small talk. "We're probably not going to get this through Heathrow*, maybe we're going to land further away and sail up the river? Have any of you been in London before?"

*airport (Big, fuck off place.)

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"I'm sure Mr. Helsang has something planned, and no, I haven't. Always heard it smelled like piss from all the dead stray animals, though." Viktor reached for his jacket and his kukri from the pile of items Callen brought and looked at it silently, ignoring them.
"I don't really want to, y'know... kill anything, Viktor. Is that our job? Because back at the castle, when we had to do it... That wasn't fun, Viktor. Okay?"

Viktor very suddenly turned around and put a hand around Theo's neck. He pivoted and threw him over the desk into the firing range, then twisted the other way and put the knife's blade against Callen's neck. "Now imagine these are claws, and the hand that threw Theo over the desk there was was fangs. You learn how to fucking shoot or you both die like goddamned little girls, okay? Now Theo, get your ass back here, and load your guns." Viktor dropped his knife back off and picked up his own, then slipped the magazine in and pulled the action back, telling them to do the same."

Theo got up and brushed himself off. "Ow..." he was about to gripe when he noticed he was in Viktor's firing lane. "Uh, y-yes sir..." He found his way back over the desk and picked up his gun, then put the magazine in and cycled the first round. "Um..." Targets flipped up for all three of them.
"Aim for the center of mass. Headshots are nothing against anything that isn't a zombie."
Theo pulled the trigger hard as he could, and it didn't budge. "Viktor my gun is-"
"On safety, dumbass. I didn't say shoot yet. There's a switch by your thumb; it's the fire-selector. Put it on semi, first click." Viktor put his gun back down and came over to Callen. "C'mere..." he grabbed her arms and tried to help her hold the gun right, then showed the switch to her. "Every trigger pull equals one shot."

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"Let me go." She said instantly as he touched her hands to instruct her in how to hold the weapon. There was nothing resembling a threat in her voice, and she wasn't going to try and convince anybody she could take Viktor on and win, but this was against everything she believed in. It gave her an overwhelmingly sour and dry taste in her mouth, like when you have a fever and haven't had enough water. He was right. If there was something that wanted to kill her, she didn't stand a chance. Would that chance improve with a gun? Maybe.

She wiggled out of his grasp, leaving the gun in his hands. She kept her head low, and did not dare to look at any of them. It wasn't that she was trying to let anyone down, or be more of an obstacle than a helping force, she just couldn't compromise her own ideals.

"Look," She began, not even knowing if an explanation was due. "I've done some stupid things in my relatively short life. I'm paying for those things still. You're probably thinking that I'm naive, but I can't pick that thing up, use it," she pointed to the gun as she spoke, "and then go on living the life I think is proper. I chose backup for a reason. If you want to kill and maim and all that, I won't be the one to stop you. You can do what you want. I won't judge you. But don't you make me become something I don't wanna be."

She fell silent again, and then looked away. "And I'll just leave before you try throwing me around."

She then left the room, divided between feeling like a very stupid, silly girl, but also very proud at her stand.

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Viktor did not expect her to walk out. He watched her go, confused. "Callen?" But she was out. He looked at Theo, and Theo looked back at him.
"Shouldn't you go run after her?"
"What?"
"Well, like, in movies, when the girlfriend gets all mad... You're supposed to go chase her, and it starts raining, and music plays, and then you kiss or some-"
"Theo what the fuck are you talking about?"
"N-nothing. Nevermind, sorry." He looked away and down at his gun. "Uh, I turned the safety off..."
"Well don't point it at your fucking shoes, dumb ass. Lean forward and grip the stock with your shoulder and chest. Every time you pull the trigger, bullets are going to come out, okay? So be careful." He put Callen's gun down and went over to his own lane. "Switch the safety... enter of mass... open fire, empty the magazine." Viktor did so and tore ballistic dummies and paper dummies to pieces. Bang, bang, bang. Die, die, die. Theo went through ammo faster than he did. "There's another button by your thumb, magazine eject. Hit it, catch the clip as it comes out. Don't let go of the handle. Good." He reloaded too. "Alright, so put the next magazine in and pull the action back, right? Now change it to burst. It will fire three or four rounds, depending on the gun. It's got a bit more kick. Your spread is up and to the right, Theo; hold the gun a bit tighter and pull down when you fire. Now fire." Fresh targets came up. Chests, necks, and head exploded in Viktor's lane; Legs, stomachs, arms, and the back wall filled with holes in Theo's. Viktor repeated the instructions he just gave, but this time told him to put it on automatic. "Alright, on full-auto, it will keep shooting until it is out of ammo, right? Hold the trigger just long enough to say 'Fuck you.' No longer; you'll just waste ammo, aye? Now shoot."

Theo got a bit more accurate. Viktor sent for more ammo and continued practicing for the next twenty minutes. At the end, Theo was dismissed. His arms throbbed and felt numb in different places, the strongest in his shoulder. He attended lunch.

Viktor came about after another ten, taking the time to brush the guns out without taking them apart. He gave them to the same robot he asked about Callen's whereabouts. She was currently...