NationStates Jolt Archive


Trials of a Man

20-08-2003, 10:41
Jaime Walf opened his eyes and lay in bed, his hands folded behind his head. This was the day he would step up to fill the shoes marked 'Prime Minister'. The day he would take control of the nation of Haraki.

He sighed and rolled over, facing the wall, wrapped in a small amount of blankets. The 6'6", strikingly handsome man, with his closely-cropped hair, lay there wondering just what the future would hold. Today he was making a speech, and more. He rolled over, preparing to get up, glad at least he wasn't going to live in the Prime Ministerial house.

He rolled over, looking out into the small room, noticing a large grey shape on the floor. Jaime grinned. "Why hello, Lupo."

The large wolf stood, shaking and looking up at him as Jaime rose and got dressed. Jaime chuckled, pulling on the clothes he would wear, then walking downstairs and getting himself breakfast.

*

Jaime's powercar screeched up outside the main government building in Atherlon. He hopped out, followed by Lupo, and Jaime stepped inside. He was met by his secretary, Dav Larne. Dav nodded to him. "Sir, the staff you requested has arrived."

Jaime smiled. "Good. Thank you, Dav."

Dav nodded and led Jaime towards the next room, as people carrying reports and files rushed past. Jaime stepped in, followed by the wolf that confused people around the building. Three men were sitting around in various chairs. Dav introduced them.

The young, blonde, calm one seated in a leather armchair near another one. "Ray Houston, IIA Secret Service. He's here with his partner."

The tall, brown-haired, calm and collected man wearing a grey suit, sitting with steepled fingers. "Bill Hurley, veteran IIA Secret Service agent. Ray Houston's partner."

Jaime nodded and smiled. "I've worked with Bill before."

Bill smiled and nodded as Dav went on.

The young, angry-looking, impatiuent man with brown hair. "Colin Hart, your new aide."

Jaime nodded to them all as Colin Hart handed him a file. "This is the speech you'll be giving today."

Jaime nodded his thanks as two more Secret Service men entered.

Dav introduced them. The tall one with black hair. "Arnold Sweeney, a member of Bill Hurley's team." The short man. "Harry Gosalay, the last member."

Jaime took a breath and continued. "Thank you. As far as I can tell, you're my new staff. Colin, when am I presenting my speech?"

"In about half an hour," the young man replied.

*

Jaime stepped up to the podium, greeted by the cheers of tens of thousands of people gathered to hear what he had to say, and the dozens of TV cameras aimed at his face. Lupo stood at his side, and the four IIA Secret Service agents stood nearby. Colin Hart sat off to Jaime's right.

"People of Haraki," Jaime began.

Colin reached into his pocket and pulled out Jaime's speech. His eyes widened. Jaime wasn't talking from his speech, he was talking from himself.

Jaime was giving the speech the people needed to hear. Halfway through, however, he suddenly stopped talking. Lupo, beside him, was sniffing the air and growling.

Jaime suddenly spun around, a tiny wince, and a grimace crossing his face, as he spun, and then, as fast as the eye could see, his hand snatching out and catching a crossbow bolt from the air in front of his face.

The four IIA men sprinted for the building the bolt had come from as aime just laughed and turned back, putting his left hand onto the podium he was behind, as if to support his weight. He grinned and gave the rest of his speech twirling the crossbow bolt between his fingers absentmindedly.

*

Jaime sat back in his desk, and Colin handed him two reports. "The first's about the speech, no need to read it, you know you did well. Even without a script-" He gave Jaime an almost warning look. He didn't like being disobeyed, even by the Prime Minister, "-and the secoind's about the man that tried to kill you."

Jaime took the second report, and flipped through it.

"Hmm ... Daniel Rodriguez, minor hitman for Black Hand. Really bad, low-level crook. Accredited - probably wrongly - to the death of an IIA agent four months ago, and another - again, probably wrongly - IIA Secret Service agent three months ago. Since then he dropped out of sight, to avoid the law, most likely."

Colin nodded. "Yes, that's right."

Jaime put the report down on his desk and looked up into Colin's eyes. "Just who, may I ask, has put out a contract on me with Black Hand?"
20-08-2003, 10:59
A bump already? Shucks...

:cry:
Dread Lady Nathicana
20-08-2003, 11:14
Well, well, well ... all went to plan, and he's in. This should prove ... interesting.

She was pleased for him, though she knew their already limited time would now be even more brief. Perhaps, all things considered, it was for the best.

The reports coming in from the field were good. Little resistance, little uneccessary bloodshed. All the same, she knew he'd not approve. Better to have him busy with his own nation than attempting to 'help' her with the Dominion.

She was barely suprised at the report of attempted assasination, though her eyes glittered coldly upon reading it. He could take care of himself - she'd seen it far too many times to deny it. And of course, she had her hands full here. And there were other complications ...

Grumbling, her eyes went once more to the phone, pondering breaking protocol to hear his voice ... then turned once more to her laptop, preparing a simple message.

To my dear Jaime,

My congratulations on a successful campaign, and overcoming your first attack as PM. I'm certain the people have chosen well. You have my utmost confidence as you step forward to lead your nation.

Once I've taken care of matters here, we should meet to discuss your next steps - I would enjoy the opportunity to assist you in any way possible.

--Nathi
20-08-2003, 11:23
Jaime read the message as it appeared on the computer in front of him. He smiled.

FROM: Lord Jaime Walf of Haraki
ROUTED THROUGH: Haraki
TO: Lady Nathicana D'Aquisto dal Lupe, Dread Lady of the Dominion

Nathi,

Thank you. It's good to hear from you. And yes, I think I would both enjoy and need that meeting. I've still not quite got the hang of running a nation.

-Jaime

He sat back, hitting the send button and sighing, wishing everything in the Dominion could be settled peacefully and quickly.

That was when Colin stepped in, placing a report on his desk, nodding, and whispering something in his ear. Jaime nodded, and as Colin stepped out, he opened the report. It was marked:

"Priority 1, Security Clearance A2, HIA Headquarters"

He read through it, then picked up his phone.
20-08-2003, 11:38
Jaime dialed, and got what he wanted on the other end.

"Dark of the Night Clothing Store, how may I help you?"

"Yes, can I speak to the manager?"

"The manager? Sure."

There was half a ring before Jaime was greeted again. "Hello?"

"Hello, I'm interested in the Special Offer going right now."

"Special or Limited edition?"

"Special Edition, thank you."

The manager sighed. "Let me put you through to the operator."

The next thing Jaime heard was, "Operator?"

"Hello, I need to contact your main branch."

"Okay."

There was a silky sound, and then he heard something. "Yes, secure branch."

"Get in touch with the following organizations," Jaime said, and began to list them.
21-08-2003, 13:48
Chris Derek sat in his seat at home, frowning. He stood, moved to the computer, and sat down. He let a small smile cross his lips as he read the reports on the screen, and a frown at one.

He quickly typed a reply, and then smiled, reading the message to him. He quickly typed another reply.

FROM: Chris Derek
TO: Treznor

ROUTED THROUGH: Chris Derek Private Sattelite, untraceable, constructed secretly during his term of office.

MESSAGE: Thank you for your most ... generous ... donation. It is most welcome.

Derek

---

He hit the send button, and then allowed himself a smile as he checked his private bank account. Despite the spendings he'd already made, his bank account still read H$13,045,231.12, mostly thanks to The Empire of Treznor's donation.

Derek walked to the phone, and picked it up before the first ring even began.

"Derek."

"Yes?" he asked the voice on the other line, already knowing who it was.

"I trust you have another task?"

"Yes, indeed I do. I will send it to you now."

He hung up, and walked back to his computer.

OOC: Many thanks to Nathi
21-08-2003, 14:04
Jaime finished his phone conversation, put the reports and documents he had finished into his 'OUT' marked bin, and sat back in his chair.

He had barely begun to relax when he noticed movement on the street. He rose instantly. "Bill," he called out.

Hurley and Houston made their way quickly into the office, followed by Sweeney and Gosalay. "Yeah, Jaime?" Hurley called out.

Jaime beckoned, and he strode to the window with Jaime. Jaime pointed out what he had seen. "Bill," he began, "see that? I almost recognize that. You know what to do."

Bill nodded, reached into his jacket, and pulled out his pistol. "Yeah, I know."

Jaime and te other three Secret Service agents drew their weapons in unison. Jaime smiled. "Haven't gotten a chance to kick some ass in a very long time," he said, sliding an extra round into the chamber of his glock.

The five of them strode out of the office. Dav rose, his brow furrowing on the sight of the guns. "Sir?" he asked in a questioning voice.

Jaime waved his hand. "Don't worry. We're just taking care of business."

The five of them made their way to the back door of the building, into the parking lot. Jaime leaned against the wall beside the door, and Bill Hurley opened it, stepping out.

Ray Houston and Arnold Sweeney followed him, beside Jaime and Harry Gosalay, all with their weapons out.

Jaime peered around the corner of the building, before nodding the 'all-clear' to Bill, who rounded the corner with his gun up. The other four followed him, silently.

Jaime and Bill rounded the corner, Jaime ducking an expected, clumsy punch. In a flurry of kicks, the attacker was down on the ground. Bill managed to tag one in the shoulder with a well-placed shot, before three more jumped out of their car, guns up. Jaime got one with a shot to the forehead before the IIA boys took over.

Shots were fired and cover was taken, while Bill snuck around behind the enemies. Another attacker was down, leaving two uninjured and one wounded, before Bill got behind them, taking one down with a kick, and another with a shot. The wounded one swung around, his gun levelled at Bill's head...

...and found a gun barrel to his neck. Jaime smiled. "You're under arrest," he murmured, and the man dropped his gun.

*

Jaime sat back in his office again, before Bill came in. "Two dead, one wounded, two knocked out. Not bad."

Jaime nodded. "Let me take a guess who they are."

The two men looked into each other's eyes, and chorused dismally, "Black Hand Operatives..."
21-08-2003, 22:43
Jaime sighed. Bill had left his office only minutes before, and now Jaime was left trying to puzzle out just which one of his enemies had placed a Black Hand contract on him. God knew he had enough.

He sat down at his desk, typing up a message.

TO: Jack, HIA Agent
FROM: Lord Jaime Walf, Prime Minister of Haraki
ROUTED THROUGH: Haraki Governmental Buildings
SUBJECT: I need...

MESSAGE:

...you to help me. Someone's placed a contract on me to Black Hand. I need you to find out who. Inform Kulikan and get your team on this if you must, just do it.

-Jaime

He sent it, then sat back, reading a low-level report from the Marine Corps about a routine peacekeeping mission's soldiers being extracted without difficulties.
21-08-2003, 22:53
Jaime tossed the report, picking up the next one. It, too, was from the marine corps, but this one was marked urgent. A peacekeeping force of an ally's had been attacked and they had withdrawn, requesting aid from the Harakian marines. Jaime quickly sent a message authorizing the sending of five hundred marines and one hundred MEEF to help calm the men the peace was being kept against.

Another three thousand regular soldiers were waiting off the coast if they were needed, as well as a full Naval Detachment and several squadrons of fighters.

He sighed. My first week in office and already I'm sending marines off to fight. Then again, this is technically our land, a colony of ours, so it's their job... Still, I can't feel good about it. I don't think I'm supposed to.
Steel Butterfly
21-08-2003, 23:06
Emperor Nemerov smiled as the reports of Mr. Walf taking office came on the news, although he did not have time to respond.

http://ffforever.info/pics/fftsw_images/characters/hein.gif
Emperor Alexander Nemerov
Empire of Steel Butterfly
Steel Isle, Steel Moon,
CTaNbHaR Eabo4Ka, XIII
Orion Sector, The Dominion,
COMA, NSMLB Commissioner
21-08-2003, 23:13
Marine Private Gary Banks sat in the belly of a plane, holding his M4, seated beside his buddy, PFC Roger Brittany. Banks turned to Brittany. "Hey Rog, why we here anyway? I'd rather be at home with my wife and kid. Why'd we get shipped off here?"

Brittany sighed. "Gary, look at it this way. You signed up for the army, you enlisted in the marine corps, you passed the training. We're being sent to defend Haraki ground, it's our job."

Banks was about to complain when an MEEF guy, Sergeant Major Terry Gustar, walked over. "Hey you two, shut the f*ck up. Me'n'my buddies'r'trying to get some sleep. We just got back from an p when we got sent out here, all right? So shut up and siddown."

He made his way away from them. Banks turned to Alex Moore, on his left, and murmured, "How do you like that? These MEEF boys think they own the world, eh?" Moore gave an answering shrug.
22-08-2003, 00:11
Jaime flipped through the reports. "Standard stuff ... Marines landed in the Haraki Colony. No troubles. They've been there a day or two."

He leafed through other reports, before suddenly he got a call.

"Yes? ... Yeah, this is Jaime Walf ... Of course it's secure! ... Good ... Good ... What?"

The phone fell from his hand, dangling and bouncing at the end of its line. Jaime's face showed revulsion. "What the hell is going on?" he asked himself.

*

Chris Derek walked into the warehouse, laying down a briefcase on the table underneath the swinging lightbulb. He turned it so the snaps faced the other person, across the table, and snapped it open. Rows of packets of bills sat there. Three hundred thousand dollars in all. Derek spoke.

"All yours, plus another three hundred thousand after the job, if you agree."

The man on the other side, shrouded in shadows, and looking at Derek over his steepled fingers, nodded after several seconds of thinking.

Derek turned and walked out of the warehouse.
22-08-2003, 09:16
Three men sat around a darkened table looking at the suitcase in front of them, lying open with a lot of bills showing. The first spoke.

1: We're definitely going to have to try this.

2: Agreed.

3: We've taken the money. We've made the contract.

1: But this man ... So many have tried. It will be very difficult.

3: That is why we make a better plan than any before us.

2: Agreed.

1: But what plan could strike him? He has proven knowledgable about most things to do with our business.

2: Agreed.

1: We shall have to make a plan. But what would it be? Where would we strike him? While he speaks? While he sits in his home? While he sits in his office? While he-

3: What about his motorcade?

1: What?

3: His motorcade. He always travells with two small motorcades. The first is a decoy, and he rides in the other one.

1: But that would be difficult. We shall have to obtain many men to do this with. Besides, what if we strike the wrong one?

3: We will not fail. We will destroy both motorcades, to be certain.

2: Agreed.

1: Why don't we go through different ways we could strike at him before deciding one method.

3: *sigh* All right. We will investigate all possibilities before deciding.
22-08-2003, 10:40
Derek finished typing his message and sent it. Everything was going according to plan. The men he'd hired were professionals. They would get it done, and no-one could ever trace it back to him. Perfect. Of course, those men he'd hired would have other uses later.

He slid back in his chair, reading the newspaper. Nothing to do, nothing to do but wait...

*

Moore looked up at the marine that had woken him up. "G'Day, sir," he murmured, rising and pulling on his jacket.

Lieutenant Nicole Prison stood before him, a stern look on her face. "Get up," she commanded. "I've got to account for my squad. That means you."

Moore shrugged and stood up, standing a good half-head taller than the short, brown-haired woman. Although she was short, she was one of the most respected people in the entire marine division. She woke up several other people, including Moore's friend James Kerty, who rose instantly. Prison led a thirteen-man team outof their barracks and into the blazing sun of the New Haraki colony. She strode across the sands and came to a halt in front of Lieutenant-Colonel Harry Sanders. She gave a sharp salute. "Squad 3, ready for duty."

Sanders nodded, and commanded the squad. "At ease."

He looked them over, making sure they were in good health, then nodded and waved them away. "As you were," Prison called out.

Kerty's best friend, Jeremy Smith, whispered to him, "What was that about, Rog?"

Moore just shrugged.
22-08-2003, 11:35
Moore was practising his hand-to-hand combat against a punching bag. High punch. Uppercut. Kick. Roundhouse. Jab. Suddenly he found himself swung aside as First Sergeant Randy Hall, one of the MEEF boys, stepped in front of him, catching his jab. "Not bad," he commented, and ten suddenly lashed out, causing Moore to stumble backwards. Moore looked angry.

"Hey man, what's your problem?" he called out.

"What's my problem? Nothing. You've got a problem. You need training, bad."

Moore was offended. "Hey! I'm good at this stuff!"

Hall laughed. "Show me."

The two circled, until Moore dashed in, charging Hall, who spun aside, delivering a quick kick to Moore's ass, which sent him stumbling forward. He spun to face Hall, who spoke. "If I'd had a knife or a gun you'd be dead. Again."

Moore closed, more warily this time. He closed, trying a quick series of right jabs, but Hall ducked under them and grabbed Moore's arm from below, flipping him easily over Hall's head. "Again."

Moore got to his feet, closing and feinting a punch. The MEEF man decided to give it to him, and went for the feint. Moore kicked out low. Hall brought his legs up, landing them on Moore's kicking leg, and then lashed out with his foot, kicking Moore in the chin, sending him sprawled to the ground. Hall rose, dusted his hands off, and spoke. "Yep, you really, really need training, Moore."

Suddenly they were interrupted by a shouting voice. "Randy Hall! What are you doing?"

Hall turned, looking down at Prison, who stood a full head shorter than him. "Training Moore here," he replied, treating her with complete lack of respect, although she was technically a higher rank.

Her eyes blazed. "Look, Sergeant, I've half a mind to run you into the brig. I need my marksman in good shape!"

Hall sighed. "Good thing, 'cause half a mind's all this boy's got to work with. Maybe you can lend him yours."

He walked off, out of the training room, followed by his fellow MEEF friend David Grant. Prison leaned down, helping Moore to his feet. "Argh, I really hate the MEEF attitude!" she grumbled.

Moore shook his head. "No, Randy was right. He was just giving me training. A little rough training, bu still."

Prison sighed. "When will you ever learn?"
22-08-2003, 11:53
Jaime Walf opened his eyes and lay in bed, his hands folded behind his head. This was the day he would step up to fill the shoes marked 'Prime Minister'. The day he would take control of the nation of Haraki.

He sighed and rolled over, facing the wall, wrapped in a small amount of blankets. The 6'6", strikingly handsome man, with his closely-cropped hair, lay there wondering just what the future would hold. Today he was making a speech, and more. He rolled over, preparing to get up, glad at least he wasn't going to live in the Prime Ministerial house.

He rolled over, looking out into the small room, noticing a large grey shape on the floor. Jaime grinned. "Why hello, Lupo."

The large wolf stood, shaking and looking up at him as Jaime rose and got dressed. Jaime chuckled, pulling on the clothes he would wear, then walking downstairs and getting himself breakfast.

*

Jaime's powercar screeched up outside the main government building in Atherlon. He hopped out, followed by Lupo, and Jaime stepped inside. He was met by his secretary, Dav Larne. Dav nodded to him. "Sir, the staff you requested has arrived."

Jaime smiled. "Good. Thank you, Dav."

Dav nodded and led Jaime towards the next room, as people carrying reports and files rushed past. Jaime stepped in, followed by the wolf that confused people around the building. Three men were sitting around in various chairs. Dav introduced them.

The young, blonde, calm one seated in a leather armchair near another one. "Ray Houston, IIA Secret Service. He's here with his partner."

The tall, brown-haired, calm and collected man wearing a grey suit, sitting with steepled fingers. "Bill Hurley, veteran IIA Secret Service agent. Ray Houston's partner."

Jaime nodded and smiled. "I've worked with Bill before."

Bill smiled and nodded as Dav went on.

The young, angry-looking, impatiuent man with brown hair. "Colin Hart, your new aide."

Jaime nodded to them all as Colin Hart handed him a file. "This is the speech you'll be giving today."

Jaime nodded his thanks as two more Secret Service men entered.

Dav introduced them. The tall one with black hair. "Arnold Sweeney, a member of Bill Hurley's team." The short man. "Harry Gosalay, the last member."

Jaime took a breath and continued. "Thank you. As far as I can tell, you're my new staff. Colin, when am I presenting my speech?"

"In about half an hour," the young man replied.

*

Jaime stepped up to the podium, greeted by the cheers of tens of thousands of people gathered to hear what he had to say, and the dozens of TV cameras aimed at his face. Lupo stood at his side, and the four IIA Secret Service agents stood nearby. Colin Hart sat off to Jaime's right.

"People of Haraki," Jaime began.

Colin reached into his pocket and pulled out Jaime's speech. His eyes widened. Jaime wasn't talking from his speech, he was talking from himself.

Jaime was giving the speech the people needed to hear. Halfway through, however, he suddenly stopped talking. Lupo, beside him, was sniffing the air and growling.

Jaime suddenly spun around, a tiny wince, and a grimace crossing his face, as he spun, and then, as fast as the eye could see, his hand snatching out and catching a crossbow bolt from the air in front of his face.

The four IIA men sprinted for the building the bolt had come from as aime just laughed and turned back, putting his left hand onto the podium he was behind, as if to support his weight. He grinned and gave the rest of his speech twirling the crossbow bolt between his fingers absentmindedly.

*

Jaime sat back in his desk, and Colin handed him two reports. "The first's about the speech, no need to read it, you know you did well. Even without a script-" He gave Jaime an almost warning look. He didn't like being disobeyed, even by the Prime Minister, "-and the secoind's about the man that tried to kill you."

Jaime took the second report, and flipped through it.

"Hmm ... Daniel Rodriguez, minor hitman for Black Hand. Really bad, low-level crook. Accredited - probably wrongly - to the death of an IIA agent four months ago, and another - again, probably wrongly - IIA Secret Service agent three months ago. Since then he dropped out of sight, to avoid the law, most likely."

Colin nodded. "Yes, that's right."

Jaime put the report down on his desk and looked up into Colin's eyes. "Just who, may I ask, has put out a contract on me with Black Hand?"

Handsome or a hot guy as a girl would say?
22-08-2003, 11:54
Bizarre ... Handsome, for your information.
Dread Lady Nathicana
22-08-2003, 11:55
<secure transmission to PM Walf from the Dread Lady>

Jamie, I've been worried. I regret that once again, internal affairs prevent me from being present during this transitional period. All the same, I wanted to speak with you concerning your safety.

Remember what we talked about all those weeks ago? If you're unwilling to do what's neccessary, my operatives stand ready. He's dangerous, Jaime. And moreso now that you've replaced him.

I don't understand why you haven't taken action earlier, boy. You've let your soft-hearted emotions get in the way of taking care of business. Please ... take utmost care. While I've faith in your skills, you've got a man with incredible contacts and skills of his own. Never place too much confidence in your own physical abilities. It's a mistake too often made, with oftimes tragic results.

Best of luck with everything. I hope to join you again soon once matters have cleared up here. Perhaps you might see your way clear to make an official visit? It's as good an excuse as any, and it would give us some ... time.

Again, mi amore ... please, be careful. Even one as loved as yourself needs to watch for hidden daggers.

With love,

--Nathi
22-08-2003, 11:57
Bizarre ... Handsome, for your information.

K, ill leave the thread now, ba bye
22-08-2003, 12:01
Jaime read the message and slowly nodded. He was about to send a reply when his phone rang. "Yes? ... Yes, Jack ... What the hell? ... No. I won't let this happen ... Then scour the god damn city! ... He's gone? ... You found his f*cking house!? ... Oh my god ... What the hell have you boys been doing?"

He slammed the receiver down, furious. He shut his laptop, and strode out, bellowing, "BILL!!!!"

Bill came running up. "Yeah?"

"Contact Kulikan, and tell him to do his job right this time!"

Bill seemed confused, but nodded and ran off. Jaime turned to see a crowd of secretaries and messengers watching him. He bellowed at them. "AND WHAT ARE YOU ALL DOING? Get back to work."

"What the f*ck are they doing that they manage to screw this up?"

He walked in, picked up his phone, and dialed a number. "Phiera! Contact who you must, but get this done..."
James Adams
22-08-2003, 12:02
nice good to see u all again :D
22-08-2003, 12:13
Derek sat in his new home, watching the cameras planted inhis modest house, as police investigated it. "Well, Jaime, what are you up to now?" he murmured. He fingered a small tube in his right palm.

"Well, better late than never."

He clicked the red button on top of the tube, and the camera he was watching shorted off. Derek tutted. "Jaime, or whoever did that, I just got killed in a terrorist attack..."

*

HNN - Haraki News Network 7:00 News

---

"Hello, and this is Anchor Yani Latine. A terrorist bomb exploded at the house of former prime minister Chris Derek today, killing him and two policemen inside the house. Another policeman suffered severe injuries, only because he was outside the building. Ex-Prime Minister Chris Derek is confirmed to have died in the explosion, due to dental records taken after the bomb went off. Remnants of the fanatical terrorist organization, the Liberation Front of Haraki, or LFH, are blamed for this dreadful incident. This is Yani Latine, signing off."

---

Jaime sat at his desk, watching the news and wondering if it was true or not.

God damn Kulikan and his team, they're too bloody slow...
22-08-2003, 12:13
Derek sat in his new home, watching the cameras planted inhis modest house, as police investigated it. "Well, Jaime, what are you up to now?" he murmured. He fingered a small tube in his right palm.

"Well, better late than never."

He clicked the red button on top of the tube, and the camera he was watching shorted off. Derek tutted. "Jaime, or whoever did that, I just got killed in a terrorist attack..."

*

HNN - Haraki News Network 7:00 News

---

"Hello, and this is Anchor Yani Latine. A terrorist bomb exploded at the house of former prime minister Chris Derek today, killing him and two policemen inside the house. Another policeman suffered severe injuries, only because he was outside the building. Ex-Prime Minister Chris Derek is confirmed to have died in the explosion, due to dental records taken after the bomb went off. Remnants of the fanatical terrorist organization, the Liberation Front of Haraki, or LFH, are blamed for this dreadful incident. This is Yani Latine, signing off."

---

Jaime sat at his desk, watching the news and wondering if it was true or not.

God damn Kulikan and his team, they're too bloody slow...
22-08-2003, 15:25
Moore and two other marksmen lay in their positions. One was female sniper Ria Olores, and the other was Moore's rival marksman Tim Baker. Moore took aim, sending a shot into the bullseye from five hundred yards. Then he moved on to the moving targets. One shot into the head at two hundred yards. Baker was keeping up with him.

Olores finished her practice and rose. The other two looked at each other, then back into their scopes, firing faster and faster, still keeping pace.

After three minutes, both dove to the side, reloading and then swung around, their crosshairs centred on each others' foreheads. After a second of this they grinned and put up their weapons. "Good one," Baker told him."

"Likewise."

It was all the exchange given before they turned and walked off.

*

Captain Roy Parker, Major Juan Currie, Sanders, Prison, First Liuetenant Robert King, and Brigadier-General William Rodriguez sat around a table. Rodriguez began to talk.

"We were sent here to keep the peace. Since then, we've intercepted two arms shipments into the city. And we've received word from an informant that another one - the biggest yet, and that's saying something - is coming in tomorrow. We're going to send in the marines and the MEEF to secure the shipment and extract the crates of weapons, and to capture the arms dealers bringing it in. Now..."

They started making plans.
22-08-2003, 16:56
The first man put a file down on the table, and spoke.

1: Read this file. It's all the information we could gather on his office, his workplace. Detailed security information. Only four bodyguards. I'm surprised.

The second man flipped through the file, and handed it to the third man, who slid it aside for future reading.

3: But, do you truly believe that he needs any guards at all? Do you think the man can't handle himself, after what you saw him do on television? Catching a crossbow bolt from mid-air? This man is formidable.

2: Nothing a sniper bullet to the head wouldn't fix.

The third man laughed.

3: I like your style. Now, we've got information on the home, the office, and the motorcades. What about his speeches?

1: I've got a small amount of intel. They're the times he's most vulnerable, but also the times when he's most protected. Almost no way in while he's talking.

3: *sigh* Well, I suppose we must reach a decision. Which of the four?

1: I say ... well ... I don't really know. There are so many possibilities for either one.

2: I say motorcade.

3: I agree.

1: I suppose I would be overridden if I voted against. Motorcade it is.

3: Of course, we shall have contingency plans for the other three as well. But the main plan will hit the motorcade.

1: Agreed.

2: Agreed.

3: Good. Let's get to work.

*

Prison looked at her team. A group of rag-tag, motley young men and women, momst of them probably not past the twenty-year age mark. Prison was a veteran, at age 36, and never married. A lot of the guys she'd worked with haf hit on her. None had succeeded. She was what they called 'Black Widow pretty'. There was a running joke that she used poisonous lipstick so any guy that tried anything would get killed.

That wasn't important. Not right now. Right now what was important was what she was saying.

"See that sun? That sun is setting. It starts to set at 4:30 in the afternoon here. Get a lot of rest tonight, because your suiting up, locking and loading tomorrow. Tomorrow we will set out at 4:00. We will take NVGs and standard equipment, and we will ride our choppers out as the sun starts to go down below the horizon. We will ride low and fast, and our pilot, in his Traveller-class war chopper, will drop-rope us in the heart of the city. This is the real stuff. This sh*t'll get you killed. You'll get a detailed briefing tomorrow. Get some rest."

As if that was possible! Half the squad was up past midnight, not able to sleep because of excitement. Domonic Kris, a SAW gunner, tapped his friend Laura Ilyana on the shoulder. "Can't Sleep?" he whispered.

She shook her head and rolled onto her back. "Nope," she whispered back. "I assume you can't either?"

"Nope," he said with a shake of his head. "Finally, the real thing! We go through months of training for this, and it's finally arrived, and we'll be too tired to do our jobs right! Isn't it ironic?"

Ilyana gave a dry laugh. "I suppose it is," she answered.

Kris went to speak, but he earned a friendly punch on the shoulder from Baker beside him. "Hey, man, shut up and go to sleep," came a sleepy voice from the marksman.

Not a word was said the rest of the night.
26-08-2003, 22:43
Jaime read the letter from Nathi for the fourth time in as many minutes.

To my Dearest Jaime,

The days have been long, and the nights longer since last I saw you.
The pressures of our public lives have seemed to take on a life of their
own, dominiating our time, and drawing us further apart.

I've precious little information on how your rule has progressed, and I
hope that thus far, the transition has been a smooth one. I regret that
things went down the way they did with Chris, all the same. Please
believe me when I say we had no part in that.

When at last you do have the time, let me know so that perhaps we can
coordinate our schedules to see one another. I've missed you.

Ciao, mi amore ...

-- Nathi

He closed his eyes, trying to stop himself from doing what he wanted to do. Instead, he picked up his phone. "Kulikan."

He waited a short while so that the operator could get him the HIA operative.

"Jai-"

"Kulikan, listen to me."

"Yes?"

"Listen. Don't talk. Listen. Chris Derek is not dead. He is not the type to die in a terorist bomb. He has faked his own death so that we will stop hunting him. We're not going to stop. You will find him, and you will tell me where he is. And then I'll kill him. Oh, and Kulikan?"

"Yes?"

"Don't tell anyone. This op is totally black. Don't even tell your daughter."

"You're the boss, sir."

Jaime hung up, after this call, and paged Colin. The man came running. "Yes, sir?"

"Get me Jake Phiera, Commander of the MEEF."

Colin nodded, and moments later, came back with a phone. Jaime took it. "Phiera."

"Yes?"

"How's the op in New Haraki going?"

"Good. We've made a few raids, starting a new one. I'm flying over with my crew today, to oversee the launching of the biggest, and most potentially a disaster, raid yet."

Jaime nodded. "Good. Keep in touch."

He hung up, and finally managed to write out a reply to Nathi's letter.

My dearest Nathi,

I wish I could see you again, right now. I've had a very hard time. Too
many people want me dead, especially Chris. I believe you had no part in
his death, and I just hope his men won't try and carry on his work and
finish me off.

I'm doing all right, and I hope you're the same. I'm glad to hear that
the Dominion is resuming business as usual. Despite my unusually short
response to your broadcast, I'm truly pleased to hear it. I just couldn't
quite say all that I wanted to in a public broadcast.

I hope I can find the time soon to try and get some time to see you. I
truly can't wait to be able to see your face again.

I love you, and I will hopefully see you soon.

Jaime

He sealed it in an envelope and handed it to Dav. "Send this to Nathi. And don't read it."

Dav nodded and stood up, taking the envelope and stepping out the door.

Jaime turned and walked back into his office.
27-08-2003, 20:54
Phiera looked out at the other three onj the plane with him. Kris, the second-in-command of the MEEF, Doc, the head medic and field technical expert, and Jade Shadiss, the best sniper in the MEEF. Phiera spoke.

"Y'Know, I don't know why so many marines were sent here. The place is tiny. I bet they don't even have a proper army."

The other three laughed, and Jade threw in, "More kills for the rest of us, then."

*

The first man spoke again.

1: How many of each kind of person? Drivers, assaulters, snipers...

2: I say five drivers. Three for the vans, two for the boats.

3: I agree. That will give us plenty of other people.

1: Assaulters?

3: I say ten of them. That should be enough to overpower any IIA escort the man has, and take down all the cars.

2: Say eight. It allows more types, and still should be plenty.

3: Agreed.

1: Agreed. I say three snipers. One for either side of the street and one far up ahead.

2: Four. One behind.

3: No, three snipers is good. One behind would be a waste.

1: Agreed. Now ... RPGmen?

2: Two. One from either side.

3: Agreed.

1: Agreed. Technical Support?

...
27-08-2003, 21:43
In the neighbourhood where Jaime's house was, an elderly woman heard a knock at the door. She rose and made her way to the door using her cane. She opened it, to find a strikingly beautiful woman with long brown hair smiling at her. "Yes?" the older woman asked, in a cracking voice.

"I'm sorry to disturb you," said the younger woman, "But I'm looking for an old friend of mine. His name's Jaime. Jaime Walf. I saw his name on the news recently, just a snippet, and I decided to come up and see him."

The elderly woman smiled. "Yes, he was just elected as Prime Minister a few weeks ago. His house's just a few blocks down this street. I'll give you directions. Just let me write them down."

The younger woman smiled graciously. "Thank you. I'm awfully sorry for disturbing you, but thank you for helping me out. I really would like to find my friend."

The elderly woman smiled, and walked back into her house. She took a pad of notepaper and wrote down directions to Jaime's house, before making her way out to the door again.

"Yes, his house is just down to the left a short ways. Here's the directions. He suually gets home within the next few hours."

The woman smiled thankfully. "I'm sorry for disturbing you, but thanks a lot for helping me out. You have no idea how much this means to me."

The elderly lady smiled. "No problem, dear. I hope I see you again. Goodbye."

"Goodbye."

The door was closed, and then the young woman read the instructions and set about following them.
28-08-2003, 00:09
Moore was in the hangar, practicing his punching on a small punching bag suspended from a bar, having fun making it go back and forth, when suddenly a hand stopped it. He spun around, prepared to find Hall, and ready for a rematch, but instead found Prison, holding the punching bag. "Moore, a word, if I may."

Moore nodded and grabbed his white military-issue towel from the rack beside him, toweling the sweat from his neck. "Go ahead, sir."

Prison sat down on the bench across from Moore. "Look, you know you're probably the best marksman in this brigade, right?"

Moore nodded, still towelling himself off.

Prison continued on with her point. "Well, I need you to stay that way, and whatever you do, don't get dead today. The MEEF commanders have flown out from Haraki to oversee the rest of this operation. Phiera, Shadiss, Doc, Kris - All of them are coming out. I need you to remember your job, and don't get stuck showing off for them."

Moore looked indignant. "Sir, are you implying-"

Prison held up a finger to silence him. "Quiet. And don't let your rivalry with Baker get in the way. If he' got a gun to his head, shoot the man behind him."

Moore nodded. "Goes without saying, sir."

Prison continued. "Hall's taken a liking to you. I suspect that's why he almost killed you a few days ago. The man'll be watching out for you. Don't let him down."

Moore grinned. "I'll do my best, sir."

Prison looked him in the eyes. "And Moore?"

"Yes?"

"Don't get dead."

On this cheerful note, Prison rose and strode out of the room. Moore sighed, towelled off his hair, and hit the showers. In the distance, he could hear the sounds of a plane landing.

That'll be the MEEF top watchdogs, he thought.
28-08-2003, 02:11
The marines were getting ready. Moore was strapping on his combat boots. Beside him, Banks was checking his C8 magazine for the 5th time, and beside him Brittany was making sure his SAW straps weren't fraying. In the distance, Baker was chatting with Kurty. They were already ready to go.

The MEEF boys were waiting for them already. In the background, Dominic Kris (aka. 'Dis') was talking to Ilyana.

"Laura, how you feeling?"

"Good. Finally we get to figt these guys. The last two ops were pansy-assed half-missions."

Dis chuckled. "Hey, Laura. Take care of yourself out there."

She nodded. "You too, Dom."

The marines were finally ready, as Smith slid a magazine into his M4 and the marines rose to step out into the hangar. Outside on the tarmac, eight Traveller-class transport choppers were waiting. Four more Stalker-class gunships were ready, and two just arrived, state-of-the-art Storm-class chopper gunships.

Outside the four top-MEEF people were waiting. Phiera gave the shortest speech possible. "G'day, folks. You don't need me to say anything, so ... Good luck."

WIth this, the marines rwan out to their choppers. As they walked together, Dis turned to Ilyana. "Laura..."

"Yes?" she responded.

"If we make it through this alive..."

"A definite possibility," she joked.

"If we make it through this, would you consider marrying me?"

Ilyana looked over at him and chuckled. "Sure, Dom. Of course."

Dis grinned and ran to his chopper.

Moore's hands tensed and untensed on his rifle. He couldn't help but feel a terrible feeling about what they were about to do.
28-08-2003, 04:29
OOC: Hmm ... I'm beginning to wonder if anyone actually reads this or if I'm writing it for my own entertaiment. Either way ... meh ...

IC:

Jaime stepped out of his office, graciously avoiding the pile of paperwork on his desk, and locked the door behind him. The sky was beginning to darken outside. He passed Colin, who nodded to him. "Good day, Jaime."

Jaime turned to him, seeing Colin was carrying a file. "Aw, come on, Colin, you're still working after hours?"

"Well, I have nothing to do, so-"

Here's a hundred dollars. Take your girlfriend to a movie or something."

Colin's face stiffened. "I don't have a 'girlfriend' as you put it, sir, and what's more, I don't want one."

Jaime leaned against the wall. "And why would that be, Colin?"

"Because I don't believe in love."

Jaime shook his head. "One day you'll not believe that anymore. See you tomorrow. Be sure to mark down your overtime."

Colin nodded and continued his file-carrying.

Jaime, humming a small tune, stepped into his car and drove away, making sure he wasn't being followed. He wasn't being. He drove up, pulling up to a screech in front of a certain house down his street. He got out, still humming the small tune, and opened the trunk of his car. He pulled out half a dozen shopping bags and walked with them up to the door, ringing the doorbell.

An elderly woman with a cane opened it, standing a full foot and a half beneath Jaime. "Jaime! How wonderful to see you!"

Jaime grinned, leaning down tokiss her on the cheek. "Evening, Mrs. Mulrooney. I got one of my people to get youm groceries. I know it's hard for you to get them yourself."

Mrs. Mulrooney smiled graciously as she bustled into the kitchen and she and Jaime began putting groceries away. "You know, Jaime, someone came by to see you."

Jaime's ears seemed to perk up. "Who?"

"Some woman. I'm afraid my memory's not what it used to be. I'm sure she'll find you. Please, stay for tea."

Jaime finished putting away the last of the groceries, and grinned. "Aw, you know I would, but I've really gotta get home. This job gives more homework than Law School."

Mrs. mulrooney smiled. "Well, I suppose I'll see you in a little bit then, Jaime. Be safe."

Jaime grinned and waved as he walked out the door. "I will."

He stepped back into his car, pulling forward and down the street, and screeching to a halt in his driveway. He got out, and walked to the door, putting his key into the lock.

Twenty-one years of combat instincts made him turn, slowly. Illuminated in the streetlights was a face he'd not seen in a very long time. The brown-haired woman was standing there. "Hello, Jaime," she said.

"You ... But ... I saw you die!" Jaime finally managed to blurt out. "What happened?"

"Appearances can be deceiving."
Dread Lady Nathicana
28-08-2003, 05:10
ooc: well I know I've been following it ... but it seems to be more of a narrative. not sure how or if to contribute or anything given that. Keep up the story, eh? I think I can see where at least part of this is going now.
28-08-2003, 05:14
OOC: Which part? I think there's about 4 storylines going on at once...
Dread Lady Nathicana
28-08-2003, 05:21
ooc: I'd noticed. *grins* I'm going to wait and see if I'm right on this one. As I said ... enjoying the read.
28-08-2003, 05:37
Moore let his feet dangle over the edge of the Traveller's doorless exits, as they passed over the city that was the capitol of the New Haraki colony. Leading the assault force of choppers were the two Storm-class choppers, prepared to gun down anything that got in the armada's way. Then came the 8 Travellers, their only armaments being the machince guns mounted in their doors. On either side of the eight Travellers was one of the Stalkers, and the last two Stalkers carried up the rear.

Moore watched as David Casey, a squirrelly-looking, very religious man, slung his weapon under his arm and started muttering something under his breath. He was interrupted by the largest of anyone in Prison's team, the massive, hulking, 6'8", 200 pound monster, Sergeant Kristoff Passaway, a man who enjoyed making the team laugh by saying random things about various team members.

"Hey, Dave! You bein' all religious on us again?"

Casey opened one of his eyes to look at Passaway. "Yeah, I am. Just praying I make it home to my wife and kid, eh? Oh wait, you've never had a girl more than one night in your life, you wouldn't understand."

There was a muttered "Oooooh..." from the rest of the team. Nobody had ever dared to take on the Kristinator before. This was going to be good.

Passaway chuckled. "Actually, I happen to be calling my fiancee tonight."

"Who's she? She must be as big as you to find you attractive. That's a scary thought, friend."

Passaway grinned. "Actually, she's the prettiest girl I've ever seen. Not like your son - I mean daughter - Oh wait, if you don't know which it is, why should I?"

Casey blinked at this. "I should tell the One to smite you with lightning for insulting my daughter."

The team settled in again, prepared for the rest of the ride. Passaway and Casey were finished. Through all this, Prison had sat smiling in a corner. Her team had needed a morale booster. They'd just got it. Thank the One for Passaway. And also thank the One for Casey, a man willing to help cheer the men, whatever it took.

At this point they were all distracted by the pinging of a bullet off of the metal of the chopper hull. The team sprang into action. The two crew chiefs aimed around with their machine guns, and the rest looked around. But after the first few shots, there was nothing more. The first word to be said was from Moore.

"Sir, I've got an armed bandit running. AK. Looks like he fired the shots. Do I take him down?"

Prison's response was a simple, "Does he pose a threat?"

There was no answer from Moore. Prison asked again. "Does he pose a threat, Moore?"

Moore shook his head. "Not at this time, sir."

"Then put up your weapon, marine."

Moore did so. Baker whispered in his ear, "I'd a just shot him. Another notch in my gun."

This earned him a hearty "Fuck you," from all nearby.
29-08-2003, 07:40
OOC: It's OOC commenting time!

First of all, there are no new updates on this story because, well, I'm not on the right computer because I think my computer died, so I don't have any of the information I'm using to write this story.

Second of all, I'm refining the details a bit, including profiles on some of the main characters.

Titles - This is the section including the titles for the ongoing storylines.

Jaime's storyline - Trials of a Man
Marine Storyline - Travellers Caught in a Storm
Assassin's Storyline - A Shot in the Dark

There's probably more storylines, but I'm tired. That's my excuse.

Profiles - HIA Profiles of some of the main players in this game. More to follow once I get back on my computer.

Jaime Walf - Born September 04, 1966, in the city of Jamal-Murad, to a local police sergeant and a marine. Mother and father both deceased. Jaime was incredibly intelligent, skipped several grades, graduated from high school in ninth grade, due to having papers and exams written better than any Grade 13 students. Obtained a degree in Law from ITU, and graduated from university when he was fifteen, immediately recruited by the HIA. File sealed inside the HIA. He worked for them for fifteen years, doing most of their dirty work. Is known to have spent quite some time working with the MEEF during this time. At the age of thirty, he met Prime Minister Chris Derek, who asked him to become his personal bodyguard. Jaime of course accepted, spending the next six years as Derek's personal bodyguard. At a diplomatic function in Gothicum he met his future wife, Nathicana D'Aquisto (Now Nathicana D'Aquisto dal Lupo), the Dread Lady of the Dominion. They were engaged within a week of meeting. Their wedding was within several months. After that time Jaime continued to work as Derek's bodyguard, including through the purging of Haraki from the LFH. Thought deceased at one point, ater being captured and tortured by the LFH, he was found and rescued by HIA forces. He ran for Prime Minister in the latest elections and won in a landslide, with more than eighty-five percent of all local votes going to him. He manages to hold a ninety-six percent approval rating inside Haraki, and is a national hero.

Chris Derek - Born January 12, 1963, in Atherlon. Mother and father both deceased. He was raised as a very bright young man, also growing up with Lord Haraki, the future king of Haraki, and Derek's future wife Clair. Skipped Grade 5. He graduated high school with honours. School Co-Premier, valedictorian, went on to AU, and graduated with honours, and a masters degree in International Relations, at the age of 25, and went straight into politics. One daughter, Anna Derek, born 1986. He married Clair Braskin at age 24. He was elected mayor of Atherlon in 1989, at age 26, and elected Premier of the Inner Territories in 1991, at age 28. Lord Haraki was assassinated in 1992, leaving behind two children, Alex and Jane Haraki, then ages 11 and 9, respectively. Derek, as a long-time friend, adopted them. He was elected Prime Minister of Haraki in 1993, at age 30, the first Prime Minister of Haraki. For the next four straight elections he won. Wife Clair was murdered in a hospital room in 2002. Derek lost the 2003 election to his six-year bodyguard, Jaime Walf, and moved to a quiet home. Died in August 2003, in a terrorist bomb, at age 40.
Oglethorpia
29-08-2003, 08:04
Wait, Derek died?

He was around when I did the volcano RP :?
29-08-2003, 08:06
OOC: Read the thread and you will understand. It's long and complicated and hard to explain. Plus, I want to know all the work I put into this paid off because people should be actually reading it, dammit!
Oglethorpia
29-08-2003, 08:10
OOC: Read the thread and you will understand. It's long and complicated and hard to explain. Plus, I want to know all the work I put into this paid off because people should be actually reading it, dammit!

My mistake.

Anyways...pretty interesting. Good job.
Dread Lady Nathicana
29-08-2003, 18:34
ooc: posting to get this back up page, and to assure you that yes, it is being read and appreciated. now lets see some more, dammit. *grins*
29-08-2003, 18:37
OOC: Unfortunately, I'm STILL on my other computer because my good one won't turn on... I'm annoyed. I feel like getting my OOC Minister of Education to fix it-

---

Uh ... What do I know about fixing computers?

http://www.rpgdivinity.com/phpBB2/images/avatars/gallery/Trigun/Midvalley.gif - OOC Minister of Entertainment
Dread Lady Nathicana
15-09-2003, 23:03
Whilst perusing the forums I bumped into a pertinent thread ...
15-09-2003, 23:05
OOC: Wow! Where'd you find this thread? Even SEARCHing the forums I couldn't find it ... Thanks!

I hope to get back to this thread soon, with a whole new storyline, that ties into the Jaime storyline, but unfortunately my computer is STILL broken, so I can't post any new Travellers Caught in a Storm chapters.
15-09-2003, 23:09
OOC: Right. The update I promised you all, way back when. This new storyline, designed as a filler storyline (kind of) while we're all waiting for my computer to get fixed ( :roll: ). It's name ...

Plotting

The man turned to the rest of them gathered around the table. "Yes, I know. The man is a member of our clan, but he is a disgrace. He does not follow our traditions. He does not accept the ideals of the Clan. There is no hope for his redemption. We must take him down the hard way."

"Lord?"

The man at the front looked sternly to the younger man who had spoken. "Yes?"

"Sir, isn't he ... The Guardian? Would not even the Clan have problems taking down the Guardian? He has always been our bane."

In response, the man at the front calmly drew his pistol and shot the younger man in the arm. "Never doubt the ideals of the clan. We are supreme."

The younger man cried out in pain, clutching his forearm. He rose from the stone table and ran from the room, to be attended to by medics. In response to this brutal form of punishment, the other men around the table gulped and looked nervous as the front man holstered his pistol.

"We must take him down, and we can do that in any number of ways. We have already hried a criminal organization to try and kill him. They have attempted twice now, and both attempts have failed. This man IS a danger to the future of the clan. This is assured. His ideals do not match out own. He must pay. We will confine him to the circles of Hell reserved for traitors to their own kin. While he may be our blood brother, he is a threat, and will be treated as such. Go do your jobs."

The other eleven men at the table rose, rushing out of the room. In fact, it wasn't even a room. It was a cave, with passages leading out of it. The walls were rocky, and jagged, but the room was large, and the tables and seats were refined and well-chiseled.

One man, a young one with blond hair and goatee, lingered behind. The taller, front man put his head up to look into the shorter man's eyes. "Tomas (Toe'-Mass), what is it?"

"Lord, I have an idea. It involves the use of our citybred comrades. I believe it may prove fruitful to us."

The taller man stepped out of the shade from the flickering torches in the walls, and nodded. "Please, go on."

He was tall, over six feet, and had medium-length grey hair. He had a shaggy grey beard covering his chin, and spoke in a gruff, uncultured voice.

"Well, Lord Tirok (Tee'-Rock), the Clan could do this..."
Slutbum Wallah
15-09-2003, 23:19
OOC: One of these days I want in on these plots to kill Jaime. 9 times out of 10 he'd slaughter everything without breaking a sweat and I'd be overrun (the tenth time we get lucky but some passing elf-witch ressurects him) but at least I'd have tried! :x [/bitterrant]
Celack
15-09-2003, 23:48
yay! I found the thread you were taking about haraki. here's a bunmp!!!
21-09-2003, 06:42
Reminiscing...

Jaime sat at his desk. He'd finished the last of his paperwork for now, and shipped it out to Dav, but he was thinking. Having his birthday celebration had made him think.

It made him think about where he actually came from. Who he actually was.

Over thirty-seven long years ago, a small baby wrapped in blankets had appeared crying on the steps of an orphanage. His parents were never found, but from a information gathered by a team of investigators, it was discovered he was the last in the Guardian line of the Wolf Clan. He was christened Jaime, after the most famous of all the Lord Guardians, and a man who, at the time, was a member of the Guardian line.

Jaime had grown peacefully there for five years, growing quickly. They never figured out how old he was, but they estimated he was maybe several months old when he was found. No-one knew how old he was, or when his birthday was.

In those five years, he had become very intelligent, to the point of being brilliantly so. Going through the regular school system he found a joke, and spent most of his time in class goofing off and not doing work, yet still raking in 98's.

When he entered Grade 9, - at age 14 - he whizzed through it. His final exams were better than most Grade 13 exams in the same year, and he was asked if he wanted to graduate from Grade 9. He didn't see why not, so he graduated four years early.

The same thing happened in university. His first year law papers and exams were better than most fourth year Law papers and exams, and again he was offered the chance to gradute years early. Again, he didn't see why not.

By this time, every business wanted him. He was the newest catch. Just out of university, at age 15, a teenage prodigy.

He ended up joining the HIA, and getting into its field program. He'd been sent on more missions than he could count, from diplomatic missions, to assassinations, although those mostly came while he worked for the HIA Black Ops division.

He was their best field agent. He got into the Black Ops division by age twenty-one, and spent two years working alone, as the best field agent ever to grace the field of the HIA. After two straight partnerless years, he was suddenly assigned a partner, which he couldn't believe.

She was a very beautiful woman named Laura Sharpe, and Jaime had worked with her for a year, gradually beginning to care mre and more for her, until one mission they were betrayed. Jaime still didn't know by whom, although he did know that they had been tracked down and executed, probably in a back alley somewhere.

Jaime had been sneaking into a warehouse to take pictures and observe things, and Laura was waiting out front, ready to pick him up again. Jaime had taken brass knuckles to the side of his face, almost taken by surprise. He was unconscious mere seconds after realizing the enemy was there.

Laura had also been captured, and at almost the same time. She had been sitting in the seat of a parked car, and had suddenly found a gun to her head through her open window. She had been taken out, and her hands bound behind her.

Jaime had been lying on the floor, his hands bound behind him, when Laura had been shoved into the room, in front of two large men with pistols.

Jaime had lain there helpless, watching the men inside the warehouse torture and rape Laura, before finally putting her on her knees in front of him and putting one bullet into her head. She had collapsed backwards beside Jaime.

Jaime still didn't know how he got out of that warehouse. All he remembered was waking up in the HIA hospital several days later, and being told he'd been taken off Black Ops.

He spent the next seven years working HIA field work, with his new partner, a man named Kulikan, before then-Prime-Minister Chris Derek had approached him and asked if Jaime wished to be his bodyguard for quite a large wage. Jaime agreed, and left the HIA, after sixteen years of field service, at age thirty-one.

He spent the next five years guarding Derek, during which time he met and married the Dread Lady of the Dominion, Lady Nathicana D'Aquisto. Then he had run for Prime Minister after Chris Derek became unstable, and ... The rest was history.

The thud of papers on his desk brought him back to reality. Dav had put a file down in front of him. "Report from Fredericksen," he said, and stepped back out through the door.

Jaime sighed. His memories had been cu short by a report from the HIA Director of Intelligence. He shook his head, picked up the file, adn began to read.
21-09-2003, 15:50
OOC: You know, you're allowed to post OOC comments. I'm not writing this for my own sake ... Well, yes I am, but that's not the point!

IC:

The blonde-haired man, Tomas, ran through the woods lightly, carrying a G3 rifle bought off the blackmarket. Behind him was a small group of mean outfitted with other rifles or other such weaponry, everything from MP5s to SAWs. There were 5 behind him, and four more groups like theirs out there somehow. The honour of the clan would be restored.

He pulled up his left hand from the handgrip of his rifle, in a clenched fist, and ground to a halt. He beckoned for them to crouch, and they did so, before he raised his G3's barrel with his right hand, his left clenching on the grip again, as he raised it to his shoulder in a firing stance.

Behind him, one of the men raised an MSG90 sniper rifle to his shoulder, peering through the scope, down to the village surrounded by a palisade from far before this time.

"Anything?" Tomas whispered.

The sniper shook his head. "No. No activity in either the police station or in the army post."

There was a small watch station in the town below. About eleven Rangers (OOC NOTE: In Haraki the Rangers are not elite troops, they're just normal troops trained for survival, scouting and fighting in the wilderness) lived there. They were the only real danger to the incoming teams to restore honour to the Clan.

Tomas clapped him on the shoulder. "Good job. We're going to keep moving up."

The six men turned and started creeping forward, their weapons still in a ready position, slowly towards the town. Tomas turned to one of the men, and pulled a radio set from his backpack. "This is Tomas to all leads. Report in position."

"Group five, in position."

"Group four, geeve us a meenute."

"Group three, past position. We're coruched behind the wall, unseen by anyone."

"Group two, in position to provide support."

"Group one, in position for assault."

"Lead group, in position for assault."

Tomas gave the last sentence willingly, just as he would have given his life for the Clan. "All teams go."

He hung up the radio again and started moving towards the town. The other groups started moving up as well. Then Tomas raised his rifle to his shoulder, stood, and ran. His team followed.

Their first glimpse of the town, rounding the gates of the palisade, was a police officer giving a ticket to a woman, who was arguing with him about it. A man behind Tomas raised his Saw to the air and fired five shots in a burst into the air. "Everyone on your knees," he shouted.

Instead of complying, the police officer spun, flustered, as the woman in front of him dropped to the ground, her hands over her head, screaming. The police officer fumbled with the catch on his gun's holster, going for his USP45. Tomas opened fire, three shots catching the man in the chest and head, tearing his skull open and dropping him to the ground, twitching and bleeding.

The sniper dropped to a knee, aiming his rifle at the door of the ranger station. As the door opened in response to the firing, the sniper fired a shot, tearing the head off the ranger silhoutted in the doorway. The man dropped dead without a sound, blocking the doorway. The sniper kept his aim on the door, the SAW gunner switching his view there as well.

At this point Tomas spun, seeing Group one entering through the other gate. He smiled, seeing them, armed with their SMGs, running towards the police station, just as the door opened.

Three officers came running out. Two men, armed with a shotgun and a USP45, respectively, and a woman right behind them with another USP45.

One of the men in Tomas' team dropped to a knee and opened fire on full automatic, 10 rounds from his G36K tracking their way across the wall before the last four of them imbedded themselves in the woman's chest. She flew backwards as if slammed in teh chest by a pole, twitching. Blood bubbled from her mouth.

The police weren't used to combat at all. They had never seen any, in a town this quiet. Under three hundred people, everyone knew each other. Crime just didn't happen. That was why there were only four cops.

So when this descended upon them, they didn't know how to react. Two of their number were dead, and the civilians were in danger. The man with the shotgun took aim at Tomas, before a three-shot burst from an MP5 from Group one's leader slammed into his chest. He spun to face that man, his eyes wide with fear for his life, as he staggered backwards from the shots he had taken.

Another three shots tore into him, this time from Tomas' G3, spinning him around and slamming him against the wall of the police station. The man armed with an MP5 finished him off.

The last police officer stood there, his UMP held in front of him with both hands, facing off againt ten very dangerous men. He had no choice.

His UMP hit the ground with a thud, making a small cloud of dust rise and billow out from where it hit. The police officer looked around, seeing civilians scattered around, as the cop raised his hands in the air and walked slowly to the center of the street, five guns trained on him.

His head slowly turned to take in the full scene. Five more men were entering from each gate, all armed with weaponry of the like the cop had already seen. These were deadly men. He did all he could think of. He tried to be a hero.

"Run!" he shouted to the civilians. "Get ba-"

That was as far as he got. Bullets from two directions tore him apart and he collapsed, dead.

The twenty men inside the town with Tomas closed the gates, and secured the area, confirming they had over 250 prisoners. They had five men outide to give them support, and the attack had gone off without a hitch, except the ranger station still remained to be taken.

But Tomas had to make a certain phone call to the Haraki government. He made it from the phone in the police station, his G3 tucked under his right arm.

---

Jaime was sipping coffee at his desk when Colin meekly entered the room. Jaime lookd up. "Yes, Colin?"

Colin nervously laughed. "I ... well ..."

Jaime put the coffee down and stood, recognizing panic on his young friend's face. "Colin, calm down and tell me what's happened."

Colin seemed unable to do just that. He still laughed nervously and seemed unable to say anything important.

Jaime put his hand on Colin's shoulder. "Come on, man. What is it?"

Colin managed to get something out. "Sir, we ... we may have a slight problem."

And he began to tell Jaime about a phone call he had just received.
Dread Lady Nathicana
21-09-2003, 16:28
ooc: we're watchin .. readin .. waitin to see what happens. I'm still wondering what happened with the mystery woman a while back. Jaime walks in, pronounces that she's supposed to be dead, and ... nada. Back to biz as usual. *grins* Now, I've got my suspicions, but would be cool to see where that one was going.
21-09-2003, 23:03
OOC: Thanks. It helps me write to know it actually gets read.

IC:

Ranger Barry Alain had been lying in bed when the shooting started. He hadn't womek up for it until Lieutenant Christine Lister had grabbed him and dragged him out of bed, in his camo pants and white sleeveless shirt. He'd grabbed his G36, unable to find time to grab anything else, and stood, his back to the wall, beside the door.

He'd been spattered with blood when James had tried to leave the building, and had his head torn off by a sniper. Barry was horrified. He and James had gone through basic together. They'd gone through Ranger school together. To have him gone that fast was just unbelievable. Gone in the blink of an eye.

At this point Jean-Paul LaCroix crouched down beside him, holding a G36. "'Ello Barry," he said quietly. "Whass is happeneeng?"

Barry nodded to James' body. Jean-Paul's face paled. "An attack?" he said quietly.

Barry nodded.

Jean-Paul closed his eyes and uttered a small prayer for James' soul. His body was still blocking the doorway, not allowing them to close the door. More and more gunfire had been coming from outside, and Barry had heard a cry of something like "Run!" from John, the up and coming young policeman, engaged to that nice, quiet Margaret, whom he'd heard was to have a baby in several months. Now all the family's hopes and dreams were shot, thanks to a bullet or two.

Then everything quieted. There was still yelling and screaming, but only the cries of fear. There was only the occasional gunshot, that sounded as though it was just to quiet a crowd. Barry thought he might get a chance to remove James' body from the doorway.

Then something small and round flew in the doorway, hitting the floor and skittering along it. Barry's eyes widened. He knew what it was, but his mouth was dry and couldn't move. He was staring death in the face.

Then he heard a voice - He thought it was his own - shout out one word. "GRENADE!"

He dove for cover, at the same time as everyone else did, as the High Explosive grenade went off. The bed Barry was hiding behind was sheared off, and part of his right pant leg was destroyed, but Barry emerged none the worse for wear, except for a large cut on his lip from shrapnel. Poking his head up over the bed, his ears ringing, he surveyed the carnage that had erupted from that.

Both the windows in the building had shattered from the blast, and more than half the Rangers were dead. The only people he could see were Christine Lister, the CO, Catherine, and Jean-Paul, who was lying in a heap beside the door, bleeding badly. Catherine rushed over to him, and started tending to his wounds.

Barry rose, staying low and keeping his G3 at his side, making his way over to the door. Christine was crouched on one side. He took up his position on the other. Catherine was helping Jean-Paul.

Then they heard a voice ring out. "Surrender now and we can end this fighting!" It was accented, as though a man from the mountains of the Borderlands. Barry looked at Christine. Their eyes held a silent conversation.

Barry slid the hammer back on his gun, checking the magazine. They would not surrender. These Rangers would not go down without a fight.

---

Tomas had watched his grenade arc into the building, and seen the resulting explosion. Most likely, the Rangers were dead or dying. Now was his perfect chance. He called out for them to surrender. He got no response. He beckoned to some of the cloe-combat troops to move in.

They did so, moving low and fast, getting to the walls of the building and moving along the front to reach the windows, before crouching beside them. Then they stood, aiming their SMGs through the windows and calling out for the Rangers to surrender.

There was a brief spurt of gunfire from inside, probably from a G36, and one of the Clansmen fell backwards, clutching his face, but after a moment, the Rangers were defeated.

They had no choice. The first one to leave the building was a tall, blonde man in one-legged camo pants and a white undershirt, holding his G3 high over his head and looking at Tomas with utter disdain before throwing the gun at his feet and being forced to his knees, his hands behind his head.

The next to leave was a short but attractive woman, who had thrown her G36 out the door and was being escorted out, clearly in pain, by one of the clansmen who had her arm twisted around behind her.

The third and last to leave the building was another attractive woman, who put up a small fight. "But he needs my help or he'll die!" she kept repeating, refusing to leave the building.

After a short while of this, one of the clansmen drew his pistol and fired a shot into the man lying on the floor the woman had been tending to. He stopped mving or breathing. "There. Now he's dead, you can't help him anymore. Come on."

They grabed her by her shoulders, forcing her outside, and putting her down on her knees in the same position the other two were in. On their knees, with their hands behind their heads.

Then Tomas got a radio call from the outside support group. "We have hostiles. The enemy is starting to show up."
22-09-2003, 03:40
The say you never hear the gunshot that kills you. This is technically true. Or at least it seems that way.

Jaime was sitting in his chair, reading a book, when he read a strange pasage.

Those that seek, find. Just by looking at a problem you can find a solution.

"That's really damn weird," he replied, mostly to himself. "Why the hell is that in a book like this?"

He looked at the front of the book. It was, as he had thought, The Books of Fell. He was re-reading it for the third time, and he knew that passage had never been in it. "Someone's been .. Or something."

He looked up and to his left, to see Chris Derek standing beside his chair. Jaime laid the book down on the table beside him. "They say by looking you can find what you seek," he said sagely. "I looked, and now I've found you, Chris."

Derek nodded. "But is it you who has found me ... Or I who have found you?"

Jaime tilted his head. What an odd question. Why would Derek want to ask something like that?

"Evidently you found me. After all, you're in my house."

Derek stepped backwards, sweeping his arm out sideways, revealing the rest of the room. There was a bed there, and Jaime's worst nightmare. He could see the only woman he loved, his wife, Nathi, lying on the bed, blood trickling from her mouth. Jaime leapt from the chair, instantly at her side, his face paling.

She was dead. Jaime's face shot up. "Murdere..." He trailed off. Laura Sharpe was standing there.

"Murderess? But I was just following orders," she said innocently. "Just as you were all those times. Am I any more of a murderess than you are a murderer?"

Jaime rose, stepping to stand in front of her, his rage growing more and more. "Shut up! I had to live. I had to earn money."

"And so did I. I was just doing my job," Laura replied.

"And yet you've killed the only woman I-"

"You once told me you loved me, Jaime. Was that not true? Or are you a liar now? Were you then?"

Without him even knowing what he was doing, Jaime's hand was on her throat, and he had forced her to the ground. "You bitch," he snarled. "You're the worst kind of scum imaginable! A murdering traitress who's destroyed the man she once admitted to loving!"

"At the same time you told me you loved me," she managed to choke out through the pressure on her throat. "Go ahead, Jaime. Kill me."

"Make yourself the murderer you are."

Jaime couldn't control himself here. Before he knew what he had done he had snapped her neck. Her head tilted at an odd angle, and she twitched once and lay still. Jaime stood, horrified at what he had just done, when he heard a familiar voice behind him.

"What's happening, Jaime?"

He spun, seeing Derek there again. "I can;t do this anymore, Chris. I can't play this game of cat and mouse with you. I just can't do it anymore. Not the way I used to."

Without another word being spoken, without either of them seeing the other moving, they had their guns to each others' heads.

"I would kill you if I could," Chris snarled. "You hold the title that is rightfully mine!"

"So pull the trigger. Kill me."

"You first. Confirm the murdering ideals of your kind."

"MY KIND?" Jaime roared. "MY KIND? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?"

"Go ahead. Clan Wolf. The tricksters. The rabblerousers of the country. Go ahead, Jaime. The ones that kill people to achieve their goals."

"Sounds like the perfect place for you, Chris," Jaime snarled. "And you KNOW I'm from the Guardian line."

Chris smiled grimly. "But are you? We presumed you were, due to your actions. But what if you're not? What if you're one of the 'bad guys' you kill so frequently? You ..." He savoured the word. "... murder so frequently because they stand in your way?"

Jaime's gun slowly lowered, to hang at his side. His head hung too. "Chris, I can't do this anymore. I just can't."

They say you never hear the shot that kills you. For Jaime, that night, it was true. Derek's finger squeezed on the trigger.

"You'll never have to again, Jaime."

---

Jaime sat straight up in bed, with a yell of shock. He was breathing hard, and barely containing the fact that he wanted to bare his teeth and scream to the sky. That he wanted to let himself die in that very instant. Although he knew it had been a dream, the images remained ...

... Nathi dead ...

... Laura branding him a murderer ...

... Him confirming it ...

... Derek confirming himself as well ...

Jaime couldn't contain it anymore. He got out of the bed, pulling on a pair of pants and fishing a pistol from the floor. He stepped out of the room, spinning and emptying all 12 shots in a perfect quare around a picture on the wall. It was presumably of one of the Lord Guardians of Haraki, Lord Jaime Wolf, the very man Jaime was named after.

"Who am I anymore?" he asked the picture, or himself. He didn't know which.

"I don't know," he replied to himself.

---

Jaime stepped into the government building, a day's worth of beard gracing his face. There were bags under his eyes. Bill greeted him with a friendly, "You look like hell today, Jaime. What happened?"

Jiame blinked and shook his head. "Rough night."

Bill nodded, following Jaime towards his office. "You wanna talk about it?"

Jaime stopped in his doorway, turning. "No."

Bill shrugged his head to the side, nodding. "All right, man. Just, you know, if you need anything..."

"Yeah. Thanks," Jaime said with a nod, and watched Bill walk away. "Colin," Jaime called out.

"Yes, sir?"

"You know that town the terrorists - or whoever - took?"

"Yes?"

"Take me there."
Treznor
22-09-2003, 11:04
Treznor frowns as he reads the information on his data terminal. A moment later, his Minister of Foreign Affairs is on the screen looking nervous.

"It's about this report you just sent, Pete. Are you sure about this? Chris Derek is tapping heavily into the money we sent him for his election?"

The Minister nodded unhappily, sure that his Emperor would find some reason to blame him for this. "Yes, Your Majesty. Combined with the intelligence Minister Vitner has provided regarding assassination attempts against Prime Minister Walf, it suggests a very disturbing trend."

Treznor taps a finger against his lips as he ponders this for a moment, forgetting that he's left one of his people hanging. Then he shakes his head and sighs. "All right. Set up a double blind and get in touch with Chris. I don't care if he's got a grudge against Jaime, but using my money to do it creates problems. Do it quietly, Pete. Bring Ben in on this if you have to, but I don't want a whiff of this getting back to Haraki's intelligence. Make sure Chris understands we want the money back. He'll have to pursue his vendettas without us."

"At once, Your Majesty."

Treznor cuts the connection and stares at the report a moment longer. Then he types out some quick instructions, funneling large amounts of money through multiple dummy corporations in countless nations. He leaves it to his people to continue the process according to his instructions until the paper trail is completely buried.

Officially, Chris Derek will be requested to return the money donated to his election fund. Unofficially, five times the amount originally donated will be sent back to him through private investors looking to return Prime Minister Derek to his rightful position. Treznor just has to make sure no one can find the strings leading back to him.

Fortunately, Raul and Nathicana both taught him well. He's confident of success.
22-09-2003, 21:24
Chris Dereks lammed the briefcase down on the table. He had never seen this man's face. And he was one of the lowest men in the entire organization. Derek's ten million had been returned to Treznor, and the fifty million had been recovered to him.

"In this briefcase," he said to the man sitting across from him. "Is five million Haraki dollars. That's enough to live off the interest. I want Jiame Walf dead, as soon as possible."

The briefcase was grabbed by one of the two massive men standing beside the table, who checked it. "It's good," he told the man sitting down.

"Good," said the lightly-built man discussing things with Derek. "You will get what you want. Walf shall die. As soon as possible. You may go."

Derek rose, stepping out of the room. The smallest of the three men stood, and took the briefcase from the unresisting hands of the bouncer. "So, Derek really wants this man dead, does he not? So badly he pays Black Hand in more than one payment of over three million dollars each time, and he contracts private contractors to take the man down as well? He must know the legends about Walf. I hear there are more than three different groups, all contracted by Derek, all trying to kill Walf."

The larger man shrugged, and his deep voice rattled out, "I don't think about my orders. I just carry them out. We've gotta get this money to Messenger, soon."

They all moved and stepped out the back door of the room. "I must say," said the smallest man. "I do like working with Derek."

He said so, rubbing the handle of the briefcase.

---

Philip Morice, IIA little man, was shocked to see the reports opn his screen. "What?" His small voice echoed through the room. Technically he was off-duty in his small apartment in Garington, Outer Core. "I don't believe this..."

He rose, shutting his laptop down and folding it up, grabbing it and hurrying out of the room and down the stairs of his building. He had to get to the nearest IIA station, and fast. Haraki didn't have some of the best intelligence in the world for nothing.

He wsn't expecting anything like what was about to happen to him. Rushing down the street to his car, suddenly he was grabbed and pulled into the nearest alley, a hand over his mouth. He immediately went into trying to defend himself, trying to flip his assailant over his head, but he hadn't been to field school. He wasn't an agent. He wasnt trained in this kind of stuff.

His eyes were wide with fear as he realized he was about to die and he couldn't stop it. His arm snapped, twisted up behind him, and he was thrown to the ground.

His body would be found several hours later, with multiple stab wounds and severe bruises, from a beating. His laptop was beside his body, smashed in by a heel. It looked like a random mugging, as his wallet and all valuables were missing, but it was carefully engineered to look like that.

Derek was used to covering his tracks.

---

Colin answered his cell phone before it even finished the first ring. "Hello?" he asked desperately.

"We got another call from them. I'm routing it through to you now."

Collin listened, his face falling, as he listened to the latest call they had gotten from the terrorists in the town. After a short time, he slowered his phone to his side and turned it off. Jaimr raised an eyebrow. "Well?"

"We got another call."

"And...?" Jaime prompted from the other seat in the backseat of the military vehicle they were in.

"They say they're clansmen from Clan Wolf. They want you to step down from the status of Prime Minister, or they'll kill over two hundred people inside the town."

Jaime sighed. He'd worried something like this might happen for a long time. "I trust we have a perimeter?"

Colin nodded. "Yes sir. Eighty marines - two platoons - and twenty-four MEEF CRT incase we need to storm them."

Jaime nodded. "Right thing to do. I just hope it doesn't come down to that. And if it does ... God help us all. I'll need a sniper-"

Colin interrupted. "Sir, we have snipers among the marines-"

Jaime raised his hand to stop Colin. "No, I need someone I'm used to working with. Get me Shadiss."

"Sir ... Shadiss is in New Haraki on a marine garrison assignment."

Jaime nodded. "Of course. I'd forgotten. Get me a ... No, never mind. I'll make the call myself."

He picked up his cell phone and dialed a certain number.
Dread Lady Nathicana
23-09-2003, 00:03
"What in the nine hells is going on over there?"

Nathicana was clearly not amused. She sat behind her desk in the official office she maintained in the capitol, frowning darkly across it at the man holding copies of the reports she'd been perusing.

"Well, I ah ... it's been tight. You know they're a secretive bunch, and our agents have been having a devil of a time getting much information out of there. Walf's been keeping it tight, especially with the attempts and all." Angelus Massetti paled slightly, his grip on the pages tightening, creasing them in several places.

Keep it together man, she gave you a second chance after recovering from that damnable Wallah incident. Don't loose your cool now.

"I know, I know ... and he's been terribly tight-lipped with me." Her frown deepens and she bites her lower lip pondering the implications.

Hardly a word from him. Never see him anymore. What, is he feeling the distance as well, drawing back? Or is he trying to protect me again? DAMN the man, what am I going to do with him? I knew ... knew it would be this way. Not fair to him.

She took a long, slow sip of her icewater, then set the glass aside.

And not fair to me either.

"What's this you turned up about campaign donations to Derek from Treznor? And why is it we don't have more information on it?" she demanded, coming out of her revery with a vengence.

"Ma'am, please allow me to explain - both of those nations come with their own set of difficulties. Treznor being under martial law provided a slew of problems for our agents. In fact, several have been taken in for questioning by Black Company operatives. And yes, we do have confirmation," he quickly added, reading her look.

Her face darkened further. Jas had said his contract had been extended, but ... surely Devon didn't think to undermine her there. She was sure of it. At least, as sure as she was of anything. Routine. Had to be. It would look amiss if a few weren't taken in, if what he was doing was anything like what she'd just put her own nation through. And with the Iaceo terrorists, she really couldn't blame him. She forced herself to remain calm, in spite of her concern. Oddly enough, for both men here.

Nathi focused on the immediate task at hand. Jaime. Far too soft-hearted, despite his claims to the contrary. She was afraid that would be the thing that took him down finally. Considering her own misgivings, and admittedly dark thoughts in that direction, it seemed all too possible. He was far too trusting, far too ready to accept the good in people without recognizing the bad. God knew she had tried to convince him to let go, move on ... he'd hear none of it.

She wondered idly what he would think of more recent actions. All those deaths ... the hangings she'd so callously handled herself ... Mateo ... She shivered at the last thought, still seeming to hear remembered cries as her mind touched on it. The children. Thinking back to SilverCities, and the sisters, the twins, the look he'd had on his face while watching the little ones, and when he'd thought of the possibility of his own, gave her pause. She wasn't sure he could ever forgive her for those things she'd done. She wasn't sure she'd want him to.

"My Lady?" Massetti's voice brought her back to the present with a jolt. She'd drifted. She never drifted.

"Ma'am, reports do say there's a group who've taken a small town in Haraki. Reasons unknown. Now, by itself, that doesn't seem like something to raise any brows, even in a nation like Haraki. As you know, the elections have had things rather stirred up, with several factions not entirely pleased at the outcome. But we've gotten word that Walf himself is headed there, though what he hopes to accomplish that his military there can't is anyones guess."

She stopped in mid sip, swallowing slowly, then setting her glass down again.

"I want efforts redoubled. On all fronts. I want that damnable Derek found, do you hear me? And ... I want things here wrapped up. Send Marik in - I'll need to speak with him. I'll be spending a few days at my villa - unless an extreme emergency I am not to be disturbed. Marik will coordinate all corespondance - you will give your reports to him, and he will relay them to me. Understood?"

He nods quietly, not knowing quite what else to do. "Yes ma'am."

"And you stress to our people just how important this is. I will not accept continued failure, regardless of the reasons. Now, dismissed. Send for Marik."

Getting up and bowing respectfully, Massetti leaves, putting in a request with the secretary, and then beating feet for Marik's office at the back of the complex.

Nathi however, begins to gather up documents, filing things away carefully, shredding others. She gathers her laptop, several disks, her jack, gun, and several other items, stowing them away in her soft leather case. She picks up her cell phone and starts to make a call, then stops.

He'd never agree to it. I'll just have to find him once I get there.

A knock sounds on her door, and Marik opens the door without waiting for her customary acknowledgement. She nods curtly, directing him in.

"Marik, I need to leave for a short bit. You will keep up the illusion that I'm at the villa. You're my official go-between as far as they know, so you'll be staying there for the duration - though please feel free to travel back and forth. It will look more believeable. Get a double for me - one you can trust, or at least know you can keep a sharp eye on. Again, for appearances. You know the routine, we've played it before. I'll be in touch via the usual methods."

The usually quiet man nods, his brow furrowing. "All well, or ..."

"All well," she replies. "Nothing the state need be concerned with. Just don't let things fall apart here while I'm gone. A few days, nothing more."

"As you wish, Nath. I'm on it."

She nods with satisfaction, takes her things, and heads out the door.

"Else, hold my messages. Relay them to the villa, through Marik. I'll be working from there for the next few days. This place has been closing in on me of late - I need out to think clearly."

Not waiting for a response, she walks briskly down the hallway, and out to her waiting car.

"To the airport," she says to the driver. "And quickly."
Celack
23-09-2003, 00:27
O.O.c. *stands up and claps* i wish my rp threads got so much of a response.....
23-09-2003, 00:29
Jaime's car screeched to a stop beside the marine barricade set up across the road several kilometres before the road reached the town. He climbed out of the driver's seat, looking across the car dor at the marine there. "What the f*ck is going on here?" he asked in a quiet yet dangerous tone.

The marine gave him a sharp salute. "Sir!"

Jaime strode past him, not taking note of Colin climbing out of the car behind him. "Dispense the formalities, soldier. Take me to the CO here, now."

The marine turned, gesturing to a marine wearing a colonel's one star. The colonel gave a sharp salute. "Sir."

Jaime waved a hand to show him to stop the pleasantries. "What;s going on?"

"Wolf Clansmen took the city. They're armed and dangerous. We think most of the Rangers stationed there are dead. Same with police. We think they're armed with assault rifles, SMGs maybe. Heavy weaponry like that."

"Damn," Jaime replied, stopping as he saw the CRT boys sitting around, their weapons under their arms, smoking or chatting. Jaime getured to them. "What're they doing?"

"Resting, sir. They just got off sentry duty. The CRT's good. They could rpobably handle this if it wasn't a town, but..."

"But it is," Jaime finished for him. "Look, colonel ...?"

"Harry Williams."

"Colonel Williams. Look, Williams, I need to know. Is it possible to just snipe these guys?"

"No, sir," Williams replied, as if Jiame knew nothing of the business and Williams had to explain in an exasperated way to someone whose newbie orders would just get innocent lives wasted. And incompetent boss, that's what he thought of Jaime as."

Jaime raised a hand to silence him. "Williams, I'm not an idiot. I'm just running through the options. Let me guess. They're not all otuside. Some are inside with hostages, so we can't just snipe the place and get it over with, because we can't get a line of sight on half of them. Right?"

Williams nodded. "Yes sir."

Jaime sighed. "We're going to need in-depth recon." He turned to Colin. "Get me Adrian Ravenstar and his partner as soon as possible. Preferably before nightfall."

Colin nodded, rushing to get his phone to make the call to get the MEEF's best - And longest-leashed - recon specialist.

"Now, Williams, you were saying?"

"We can't snipe them because they're not all outside and we can't storm them because they're not all inside."

Jaime nodded. "We can't bomb them because of innocents, we can't use choppers because the clansmen will see and shoot the hostages. We can't use armour because they'll hear it and shoot the hostages."

"No, sir," Williams replied, again in his exasperated 'I-hate-newbie-special-forces-commanders tone'.

Jaime sighed. "I've got a good mind to take your boys off this perimeter and let the MEEF take over, colonel, unless you stop acting like that. Now-"

He was interrupted by the rumbling of an army truck outside the barricade. Jaime and Williams spun to see four trucks bearing the sign of the Haraki Army bearing down on them. They stopped and a man wearing a major's stripes hopped out of the cab of the front one. "Sir," he said with a salute to thwem. "Sir."

"What the hell is this, Major?" Jaime replied impatiently.

"Rangers. We believe this falls udner our jurasdiction, as Rangers have been fired upon," The Ranger responded, a bead of sweat forming on his forehead. It was all very well to storm in and take command from thos arrogant marine bastards, but this, well, this was the prime minister.

"No. The Marines are handling this one, Major," Jaime responded.

"But sir, they fall under our jurasdi-"

"I just changed your jurasdiction, Major," Jaime replied. "This is not your fight. Your boys can stay, but keep them out of our way unless they're needed. Maybe let them set up a perimeter on the other side of the town."

"Yes, sir," the major replied, swallowing. He turned, yelling back to the trucks.

Jaime sighed and turned to Colin, raising his eyebrows. "Well?"

"Ravenstar and his partner are on their way, as well as the Black Ops sniper you requested. They should all be here within a few hours."

Jaime nodded. "Good work, Colin. You do your job well."

Colin nodded with pride. "Thank you, sir."

Jaime turned to the assembled CRT crew. "You boys," he called out to them. He got hardly a response. A few groggy 'Yeah?'s was all he expected, and boy did he get it.

"Keep up the good work!" he called to them.

"Th'nks," came a single voice.

He turned back to the Colonel. "Well? What do you think of the CRT?"

Williams' eyes flared. Jaime smiled. He'd known he could pull this uptight colonel's strings.

"What do I think? They look like an unkempt group of scruffy civilians with guns!" Williams spluttered out. "I can;'t understand how you can call them the best anti-terrorists we've got! They're ... They're ... Undisciplined!"

The CRT commander tapped him on the shoulder. Williams hadn;t even noticed he'd left the circle. "We may be undisciplined, colonel, but at least we're not unobservant or ineffective."

Williams rounded on him. "You ... You ... You are a lot of scruffy civilians with guns! I'm betting you couldn't even hold your own in a fight!"

The CRT commander raised a finger. "No, we just look like a bunch of scruffy civilians with guns. We're catually good at what we do. And we pride ourselves on our image."

"Of scruffy, unkempt civilians with guns?" Jaime asked amusedly.

"Exactly," the CRT commander replied. "Sir, you understand completely. We love fooling our enemies."

He gave a salute to the two of them. "See you later."

He turned and meandered back over to his men. Jaime contained his laughter.

OOC: Thank you to everyone who posted!
Dread Lady Nathicana
24-09-2003, 04:02
It didn't take her long to be in her shuttle, jacked in, and making a decidedly short jump to just outside Haraki airspace. Following the usual protocols she requested in a clipped impatient voice to be allowed to continue on route.

"This is The Tempest Piloted by Nathicana D'Aquisto dal Lupo, Dread Lady of the Dominion, and wife to Prime Minister Jaime Walf. I'm feeding you my coordinates now, and understand that as per your usual I'll be escorted. Understand also that I need to see him, and I damn well mean to one way or another. I'm aware of the tense situation, and don't plan on exacerbating it. Please comply."

She waited impatiently for the answer.

Don't make me run the blockade, boys ... because so help me, I will if I have to.
Dread Lady Nathicana
24-09-2003, 21:16
(ooc: wee bumpage? just because. *grins*)
24-09-2003, 21:18
As the new bli on radar a[[eared just outside of Harakian airspace, six men rushed to their fighters. They were LRFBs, extremely long range fighters.

Then the transmission came. The vessel was identified as the Tempest, which was a security priority 1 vessel, under direct orders from Prime Minister Walf.

"We read you loud and clear, Tempest," the commander at the small military runway Gamma 1, just inside the Borderlands, into his microphone. "You have clearance to enter Harakian airspace. We will, as per usual routine, have two fighters escort you, and they'll take you where you need to go."

Four of the pilots shut down their plaes and climbed out of their cockpits, grateful that they wouldn't be going up against that ship. The remaining two rocketted into the air, slowing to cruising speed and gliding towards the Tempest.
Dread Lady Nathicana
24-09-2003, 22:35
"Roger that - Tempest out," she said in a clipped tone, immediately heading for the coordinates she'd been informed of by her intel. It took little time, and she made her landing smoothly, coming in low, off from a distance so as not to provoke any undue concern among the terrorists, or indeed, the military already stationed there. She was certain her escort had alerted the ground troops, but ... never good to take chances.

With an impatience she never had while flying, she quickly shut down the systems, jacked out, and quickly strode down the short hallway, and exited her ship. She made her way directly to where it seemed the most hustle and bustle was going on, familiar enough with military operations from her past to recognice a command center when she saw one.

Scanning briefly for any identifying marks or insignia, she fixed a higher ranking man with a cool, arrogant look.

"Where is he? I need to speak with Jaime Walf. Right now."
24-09-2003, 22:45
The Ranger Major looked up from where he was lighting a cigarette. "The PM? He's over inside the command center, after blowing off my entire unit, except to perimeter defence ..." The man trailed off, a lighter flaring in his hand and igniting the cigarette behind his cupped hand. A ranger sitting beside him tapped him on the shoulder, and the major passed him the cigarette for a moment.

The two marines at the barricade looked over at Nathi, and respectfully opened a gap in the barricade for her to pass through.

---

Inside the command center, Jaime was sitting in a chair clicking a pen over and over again in his right hand, bags slowly forming under his eyes. He'd been awake too long, trying to make this work. Finally he just gave up.

"That's it. Spike their phone call. I want to talk to whoever the hell's running this."

"Sir, are you sure that's-"

"I don't care if it's not wise, colonel," Jaime interrupted him. "I want to talk to him. Trace the phone, get me the number."

The colonel gave a sad salute and walked off to make it work. "Yes sir."

Jaime kept clicking the pen as he suddenly got a shout from COlin across the room. "Sir! Ravensar and his partner have arrived, as has the Black Ops sniper you requested."

Jaime nodded. "Good."

Then the colonel made his way back and handed Jaime a cell phone. "Here."
Dread Lady Nathicana
24-09-2003, 22:54
"Blowing off ... dammit," she mutters, giving them a curt nod, and striding purposefully past the marines, and into the command center.

She enters in time to see him take up the phone. Her brow furrows in concern as she looks him over, crossing her arms in front of herself and shifting her weight to her left leg, hip cocked slightly. Even so, the imperious look he's become familiar with is clear on her face, even down to the slightly raised chin and her flashing eyes.

"You look like hell, boy."
24-09-2003, 23:00
He looked up at her, nodding and allowing a smile to cross his face. "I know," he said quietly.

Suddenly he heard a voice on the other end of the phone. "Who is this?"

"Are you in charge?" Jaime asked.

"What? Who is this?"

"Prime Minister Jaime Walf. I believe you boys had a bit of unfinished business with me," Jaime told the man.

"Prime Minister ... I will get you our leader."

A moment later, Tomas took the line. "Hello, Prime Minister? I heard you were on the line."

"Yes, you heard right," Jaime told the man. "Now, I believe you are doing something considered illegal in my country. I'm curious as to know why."

Tomas sighed, seating himself on the desk of the late police sergeant. "We are the most loyal soldiers of Clan Wolf. We wish to see you, a disgrace to the clan, removed from powerin any way possible, from death to resignation, and we are willing to execute every hostage we have in this town if necessary."

Jaime slowly nodded his head, still clicking the pen. "I heard. Why am I such a disgrace?"
Dread Lady Nathicana
24-09-2003, 23:11
Nathi sat down quietly, intently listening to the conversation, her augmented hearing picking up bits she usually wouldn't.

She scowled darkly at what she heard. Still, she waited. Business first. They'd discuss this when the call was done.
24-09-2003, 23:35
"You, oril perdant-" Jaime was shocked to ehar this. This man could speak a language that had been extinct for millenia. He could speak Old Haraki. "-are a renegade. A disgrace. You left the ideals of the clan behind when you joined the protection agencies. The ones that protect the brutal oppressors of the free people of Haraki. You, most dishounourable sheirka have disgraced our clan by denying yourself the ideals and dreams of the clan."

"As far as I knew, I was descended from the Guardians of the Clan. How can I be disgracing them, if I protect the nation and people? If I've been made the Lord Guardian of Haraki?" Jaime asked the man on the other end of the line calmly.

"You? A guardian? A protector, yes. A disgraceful protector of the weak, yes. But the clan Guardian? The one to guard Haraki from the outside influences? The one who guards the ideals of Clan Wolf and does not allow them to be spoiled by people like you? No, Dentai Kirosh, you are not the Guardian of the Clan of Wolves. You are a disgrace to even the bloodline of the Clan," Tomas snarled into the receiver.

"You're wrong," Jaime replied, still managing to keep a hold of his calm attitude even thrugh listening to his name dragged through the dirt, "The Guardian protects those who cannot help themselves. The Guardian helps the weak. The Guardian takes care of the country."

Tomas laughed. This foreigner, this idiot, knew nothing of the history of the Clan if he believe that the Guardian did that. "No, dishonourable one, the Guardian does not do that. You have been tainted by the ideals of the Haraki clan. In the days of glory the Guardian protected the Clan from its predators like the Karaki and Haraki clans, those who sought to destroy it and all who claimed its glorious name. The Guardian would kill those who opposed the Clan, and not allow the Clan's honour to be crushed at any time. You, Mia Kesan have disgraced the glorious title of Guardian, by completing the opposite of its ideals."

Jaime shook his head slowly. "You're wrong, man. You're wrong-"

He was interrupted by a snarling Tomas. "You, Walf, cannot even carry the name of the Clan. You changed your pitiful name to avoid the burdens that came with the name Wolf. You have disgraced your clan in this above all things. You refused to take the name of the greatest group of singular men to ever grace this planet with our presence, and for this you shall step down from power or watch two and a half hundred of your loyal citizens shot dead in front of your eyes. Here is a simple demonstration."

He set down the phone and walked outside, to near where the three captured Rangers crept. In the tent, Jaime leapt to his feet, knocking over the chair he had been sitting in, and ran to the monitors covering one side of the room, finding one that showed him Tomas' presence and actions.

Tomas calmly drew one of the policemen's USPs from the back of his belt, snapping the top of it back and to the front again, checking the shots. He then took several steps forward, pausing in front of the female Ranger Catherine. He calmly put his pistol to her head. She was sweating, and breathing heavily, looking at a gun barrel put up to her forehead.

Tomas turned his head, waving angrily at the camera that Jaime was watching him from, even in its position in the bushes outside the town. Then he looked back down at Catherine and pulled the trigger of his pistol.

A bullet shot from the end of it, pounding through Catherine's skull and entering her brain, passing through it and exiting through the back of her head, slamming into the ground. Her vitals ceased instantly, and she collapsed backwards, dead. Tomas smiled grimly at the camera and walked back inside the police station.

Jaime's eyes widened with anger, yet he knew he could do nothing without endangering the lives of everyone inside the town. Tomas picked up the phone again. "You see, dishounourable one? One of your precious military, snuffed out as easily as blowing out a candle. And unless you announce the resignation of your position as Prime Minister within the next twelve hours, every man, woman and ..." He savoured the word, "Child shall meet the same fate as your dear Ranger here did. This conversation is over."

The telephone receiver slammed down on the hook of the phone inside the police station, and Tomas sat himself back in the seat behind the desk, almost pleased with himself.

Jaime slowly lowered the cell phone from his ear and turned it off, sliding its mouthpiece into the bottom of the phone and handing it back to the colonel. He turned grimly to the colonel. "Get me my sniper."
Celack
24-09-2003, 23:59
O.O.c. find if I jump in?
25-09-2003, 00:18
O.O.c. find if I jump in?

Depends how ... If you're actually going to contribute with long, worthwhile, good RP posts, sure, do your best, but if you're going to contribute posts such as 'OMG LOL I dropZorX n00KZ on teh VllaGe and KI||2 al TEH TRRSt! LOl omFG!' we can do without.
Dread Lady Nathicana
25-09-2003, 00:27
Nathicana continues to listen, observing every facial expression, every motion Jaime makes, weighing and measuring. She winces as he leaps up, though calmly gets to her feet to watch the monitor herself from a safe distance.

She watched the proceedings with no emotion. Such things happened. She'd done as much herself in her time. Clearly, the woman was military of some sort. She had known the risks.

Not so, her husband. She resisted reaching out to him just then, letting him work through his obvious anger on his own, not wishing to distract him. It was a difficult situation to be sure, but one she felt could be easily taken care of, if only he would resort to the proper measures. Of course, that meant sacrificing any number of townsfolk.

Nathi knew that was something he would not do.

She waited for him to give his instructions to the colonel, nodding at the mention of snipers.

At least that has some merit, if they're anything like the ones we saw on our tour. Still ... it's not foolproof. Much easier to level the place, and search the rubble afterwards. She sighed quietly. Ever the idealist, boy ... ever the hero.

It was step down, take decisive action, wait and watch the citizens killed off one by one, or gamble their lives, and quite possibly his. The latter seeming the most likely of the choices, knowing him.

"Jaime? What are you planning to do? And how can I help?"
Celack
25-09-2003, 00:44
O.O.c. find if I jump in?

Depends how ... If you're actually going to contribute with long, worthwhile, good RP posts, sure, do your best, but if you're going to contribute posts such as 'OMG LOL I dropZorX n00KZ on teh VllaGe and KI||2 al TEH TRRSt! LOl omFG!' we can do without.I promise to do shady secretive underground good rp posts.
25-09-2003, 00:45
Jaime took a breath as the colonel scurried away to fetch the sniper Jaime had called for, and Ravenstar as well. "I don't know what I'm planning to do. First thing is to get sniper watchpoints on all the critical places," he said quietly, knowing he ahd just contradicted himself. "Then I'm going to talk with my resident recon expert, and see whether or not he considers it possible for him to sneak in and get a better view of what's happening. At night, of course."

Outside the sun was beginning to set. It was maybe eight o-clock. "I'm going to try negotiations again, see if we can talk a later deadline or the release of some hostages or something, and I'm going to try and make plans, with whatever help I can get. Most likely this will turn into a CRT storm, with full marine support, and people will die. I just hope they're the terrorists. But for now ..."

A calm-looking man, with half-lidded eyes and a small smile, stepped into the room. He was wearing loose clothing, and a sniper rifle hung from his right hand. He gave a salute to Jaime. "Roger Pettington reporting for duty, sir. HIA Black Ops."

However, despite what he said about HIA Black Ops, Nathi recognized him as one of the Shadow Team Eagle-eye snipers. Even the rifle hanging from his hand was the same as the Shadow Team Eagle-eye 1 used. He winked at Nathi.

Jaime nodded at him, the nod both to acknowledge his rpesence and to show that he knew he was Shadow Team. "Pettington, I need you to find the best sniper spot you can while still being able to get a good view. And don't get seen."

Pettington nodded, and stepped out the door again, sliding the bolt back on his rifle as he did so. At this point a handsome, well-built young man stepped in the door, followed by an older, shorter man. They both saluted, and the leading man acknowledged Jaime with an "Adrian Ravenstar reporting for duty."

OOC: Celack: In that case, sure. GO ahead.
Celack
25-09-2003, 00:54
The leader limped over to the desk. It had been a year since hsi fall from power and into anbomity. He never egretted it. he killed an evil and motivated a country. He had found the group of miscreants in the serwer too. They were hiding from the fact that they had helped the Kåbüle try to regain power. He had found them and motivated them to strike back at the Kåbüle. they had and the surface knew nothign of it. Now they recruited from other countries and they had one goal. To save the world from the ancestral evils.
"Leader, in Haraki some people claiming to be the wolf clan have captured a city and are killing people. They claim Kamie Walf is nto a true guardian and is weak."
"I remeber him. from my other days. We msut help him. He is the guardian. We move"
"Yes Mr. Kanosis"
"I TOLD YOU NOT TO SPEAK MY OLD NAME"
"Yes leader. I beg forgivness."
"Go and prepare. tonight we leave."
Dread Lady Nathicana
25-09-2003, 04:07
"You know, you can stall a bit by asking for some specifics," she said, tapping her lip thoughtfully. She looked casually around for a moment. "Ice water?" she asks no one in particular with an expectant air.

"Now - they've asked you to step down, but have given no other demands than that. Who would they have replace you? What other consessions do they wish for? Will they be willing to allow you more time, as you've mentioned, to set things in order?"

She didn't like the situation at all. If only he'd ...

"You realize, don't you ... that there are easier ways to take care of this. Yes, distasteful, but you could easily put a spin on it for the public," she says in a very quiet voice, for him alone. "I know you don't like it, but it would elimniate a good many of your enemies in one fell swoop. Not to mention, go a good ways in getting them off your back. As much as you'd like to, you can't always wear the white hat. Not when you've opponents willing to do whatever it takes to get at you."

Nathi arches a brow slightly as Pettington enters, giving him a brief nod as she examines him, his equipment and the interaction between him and Jaime.

The other two enter, and she gives them a slow once-over as well, again, taking their measure, filing away details.
25-09-2003, 17:33
Jaime turned to Nathi, giving her a nod and speaking very, very quietly, knowing that with her augmented hearing she could hear and no-one else could. "I know, but I'm leaving that for a last resort, just in case everything else goes wrong," he told her softly.

He turned to Ravenstar and his partner, standing quietly at attention. "Ravenstar," he greeted the man. "Daniel," he said to the second one. They both nodded.

"Sir?"

"Look, you know the situation. What are your thoughts? We need to know more about what's going on inside," Jaime said, getting straight to the point.

"Well," Ravenstar said, looking out the door at the rapidly darkening outdoors. "You could alwas just let Dan and me do our stuff, get in and get out without getting noticed, and get you more info."

"Could you get indoors without them noticing?" Jaime asked pointedly.

"Depends," Ravenstar replied. Before Jaime could question him further, he continued. "Depends on what the terrorists are doing, and what they're good at. We know they're good at fighting already, they proved that by managing to take down an entire watchpost of Rangers. But are they good at watching their backs, keeping their flanks covered, just taking care of themselves? We could check all that out, give you strengths and weaknesses etcetera if we could just get inside. Even if we don't make it into a building."

Jaime nodded. "I'm going to talk to the leader again, and try to get more time as soon as you report back. If you don't report back, you're assumed dead or captured, and we go to emergency measures."

Ravenstar raised an eyebrow at this. "What do you classify emergency measures?"

"Going to any and all lengths we can to try and stop the killing of any more hostages. That means all snipers fire, and the CRT storms the place as fast as possible. Pettington can take out whatever we need him to and fast, so he'll be covering your back with a silenced sniper rifle. If you're going to get seen he'll fire to take out the terrorist going to see you, and we'll go to emergency measures," Jaime told them.

"As always," Ravenstar threw in with a slight smile. "We gotcha, boss."
Dread Lady Nathicana
26-09-2003, 13:59
Nodding quietly, she hid her surprise, taking it all in stride.

I'm impressed. He's actually considered it.

"Jaime, in all this you just be sure to stay out of the line of fire, alright? You shouldn't even be this close. You know damn well they could have snipers of their own. You took a horrible risk coming out here. You're a leader now, not an operative. Need to remember that, boy," she said, softly again, concerned.



(ooc: sorry - not a lot I can do here, really. whole point -is- to make sure he's safe and such, and to keep him out of trouble if she can.)
26-09-2003, 21:02
"I know," Jaime replied with a chuckle. "Well, just look at it this way. Once, I would've been leading the CRT in myself."

Ravenstar smiled. "I remember those days. We'll report back at midnight."

He and Daniel stepped out the door, walking over to the jeep that had brought them and their equipment. Grabbing silenced MP5s, jet black, and smeared with grease to prevent them from shining in the moonlight, they buckled on black, lightweight body armour, and pulled on black helmet-masks. They pulled black camo paint onto the rest of their face and skin that wasn;t covered, finally pulling on black fingerless gloves and waiting for the moon to go down.

For all intents and purposes, during the night the two of them would be invisible. They thumbed their headset controls. Ravenstar checked in first. "Sunlight, checking in."

"Moonshine, checking in," replied his partner.

"Command unit, checking in," responded one of the men inside Jaime's control post.

"All radios online," Ravenstar reported.

"All radios online."

"All radios are good to go," the command responded.

"Copy that."
Dread Lady Nathicana
26-09-2003, 21:15
She gives him a wry grin. "Why else do you think I came out here so fast? I was worried you'd try it anyway."

Nathi keeps out of the way, watching the proceedings with a critical eye, her arms crossed and scowling ever so slightly. She couldn't quite shake the itchy feel between her shoulderblades now that she'd settled down and seen that he was safe. This was not a good place to be, and she knew it. Even with all the protection.

I hope for his sake his plan works. Won't be good for him emotionally if it doesn't. He's had enough stress of late ... Best of luck, boys.
Dread Lady Nathicana
29-09-2003, 03:14
(good-natured bump?)
29-09-2003, 03:23
OOC: Oh, damn. I'd better update this. Thanks, Nathi.

IC:

The only reports that Jaime received regarding the infiltrators' job was occasional whispered radio broadcasts. First was the original check-in.

"This is Sunlight (Ravenstar). Radio is on. Good to go."

"This is Moonshine (Daniel). Radio is on. Good to go."

"This is Watcher (Pettington). Infiltrators in sight. Radio is on. Good to go."

"This is Command (Jaime's command post). All radios broadcasting fine. Good to go."

"All radios good to go," Sunlight replied.

---

"This is Sunlight. We've made it to the wall undetected. We're coming around to the gate now."

"Watcher. I have you in sight. Your whole path is clear, but the gate's guarded. You'll have to take another route."

"Command. What routes are open, Watcher?"

"Watcher. Over the wall, under the wall. Those seem to be the only options. Both gates are watched and there are no back gates. Whoever built this place was a f*cking genius," Pettington said, rolling his eyes.

"Command. Watch yourself, Watcher. Sunlight, bearing in mind all available options, take the best course of action you can find."

"Sunlight. Roger."

"Moonshine. Roger. I say we go over."

"Looks like over's the only option, at least for one of us. Watcher, is there a stream or anything going in?"

"Watcher. Yes. There is a small stream going in at the back, leading to a small lake inside. Looks like the little kiddies play there."

"Sunlight. Roger."

"Moonshine. Watcher, is it possible to get in by way of the stream?"

"Watcher. Possible, but it'd take time."

"Sunlight. We've got all the time in the world. Command, reccomendation."

"Command. We reccomend you send Moonshine in under by way of the stream, and get Sunlight in over the wall. Watcher will provide support and check to make sure Sunlight isn't seen."

"Sunlight. Roger."

"Moonshine. Roger. Moving along the wall to the stream now."
Dread Lady Nathicana
29-09-2003, 23:41
Nathicana slips back to a position where she can watch quietly, not wishing to disturb, nor seem to be horning in, especially in front of his men ... despite her rather forceful entrance.

She watches the vid feed, listens to the radio clips, all with interest, though she continued to feel ill at ease. She watches Jaime as well, masking her concern.

Just you stay here boy, where I can see you ... where their snipers can't. And whatever else happens, at least this will be fine.
Dread Lady Nathicana
01-10-2003, 09:02
The quiet, insistent chirrup of a cell phone goes off, and Nathi literally jumps in her seat. It takes her a moment to realize its her phone that's ringing. Fumbling to take it from the clip at her waist, she answers with a voice filled with trepidation. This was to have been for emergency use only, after all.

"Yes?"

"Nathicana, don't know if you've seen the news, but you've got trouble." Marik's voice came over the line, his tone quiet and tense.

"Haven't seen a thing. Go on."

"There's been an attack in Treznor. Devon's down. Critical but stable condit--"

She pales, nearly dropping the phone as she says in a tight whisper, "What? No. Can't be, you're ... What happened?"

"Iaceo. The terrorists. His limo ... missiled." There's a pause on the other end. "It doesn't look good, Nath. They hope he'll make it, but ... doesn't look good."

Nathi slumps back in her chair, stunned. She doesn't even have the words. Her eyes drift over to Jaime as he coordinates the operation ...

"Nath? You there? Need to make a statement. Carlos already has. I can work something up for you, but--"

"No ... no, I'll manage it. Keep things going for me, Marik. Same parameters. You know where I'll be," she says quietly, making up her mind, a cold tightness seeming to wrap around her chest. Why? And why now? Forgive me, amore.

"Affirmative, Nath. I'm sorry." Marik speaks awkwardly, waits for further instructions, then severs the connection when none are forthcoming.

She folds up her phone with numb fingers, rising unsteadily to her feet, taking several tries before putting it back on its clip at her waist.

"I ... I have to go," she says, sounding as though she doesn't quite believe what she's saying. "Jaime, I ..." She looks over at him with haunted eyes, not knowing what to say.

Walking over to him, she wraps her arms around him, leaning her head against his chest and holding him tight for a moment. She ignored the others in the room, not caring what they saw, or what they thought of it.

"Please ... you have to be careful. I should never have come, I know, but I was so worried ..."

I will not cry. I will not show weakness here. He has things well in hand. He'll be fine. He will. Nothing will happen, she told herself in a running mantra, trying to soothe her nerves.

"I love you, mi amore. Always remember that. Emergency number - can reach me if you need."

Not trusting herself to say more, she reaches up to kiss him softly, lingering for a moment, then with a guilty, apologetic look, she slips out of the tent, not waiting for a response.

She runs. Runs hard. Heedless of any shouts or soldiers who get in her way. Rubbing furiously at her face, she blinks back the tears that started to fall the moment she turned away from Jaime, her heart feeling like it was going to break.

Don't hate me. Please don't hate me. I have to do this. Have to know. Gods I didn't want to leave. Just wanted to be with you a while ... always the same. Never enough time. Never.

The sudden thought of 'wasn't meant to be' briefly flashes through her mind. She shoves it out just as quickly as it comes, anger flaring up inside her as she boards her shuttle, throws herself in her seat, and jacks in.

Nathi skims over her preflights, powering up and taking off almost instinctively. She throws in the jump engines the moment it's safe to, ignoring any hails that may come. Within a very short time, she's approaching Treznor airspace.

"The Tempest, Nathicana D'Aquisto piloting. Request permission to land."

(will continue this elsewhere (http://www.nationstates.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=76603).)
02-10-2003, 04:17
OOC: Wee! I got my computer fixed, which means I have my info back! So, wihtout further ado, I have the next update of Travellers caught in a Storm!

IC:

Moore scanned the area. After those initial first shots, the men ahd been on edge, but there'd been nothing to be worried about. These Colony folk didn't seem to have the guts to take on the MArines of Haraki, an organized, well-trained body of soldiers. The Colony just didn't have the guts, the heart, or the courage to take on this group of men.

Moore and Baker would remain in the chopper until the last minute, along with the two crew chiefs, to provide cover until the last minute, when they'd be put on the gorund to extract with the rest of the men. The choppers had had no trouble reaching the destination. According to their intel, an undercover IIA Agent who'd withdrawn several hours before, the arms were inside the building they were about to hit. The shipment had arrived less than three hours earlier.

The Storms pulled up at the target building, turning away tom styart their circling patterns. They would only be providing cover until teh target building was secured, and then they would pull out.

No resistance so far. It looked like the operation was going like clockwork. The ight Travellers pulled up, six of them stopping and dropping drop ropes, marines sliding down onto the gorund and securing the area.

One of the first on the ground was MEEF sergenat major Jim Buckland. He dropped to one knee, scanning the area with his M4 Carbine. Nothing. Just yellow dust billowing up from the streets, and wisping around the yellowed houses near them. Buckland blew sweat from his eyes. He was carrying full military gear in the blistering heat of New Haraki, purely because he was a careful man. "Clear," he murmured into his headset.

"Clear," replied his partner, Kim Davies, a female sergeant from the MEEF who was reknowned for never losing her cool. And she had a reputation for never losing a fight.

Suddenly Buckland spun around. He'd seen movement from behind him, through the mist. He rose, gesturing to Davies to watch his back, and advanced forward, his carbine at his shoulder, sighting down it.

Emerging from the dust was a goat, slowly walking through the streets. Davies breathed a sigh of relief, turning and lowering his gun. "Goat," he confirmed into his headset, relieved.

Then he heard gunfire from behind him. He dove sideways, into a doorway, raising his gun again. "Shooter!" he shouted. The marines near him turned their attention to his call. Overhead, Moore's Traveller spun around to provide support.

Moore claled into his headset, "Where? I have no visual."

"Too much dust," a crew chief muttered. "Can't see anything. Take the chopper out!" he called to the pilot. "We're stirring up dust. Let it settle and the snipers can take shots."

The pilot did as instructed, turning and circling away, letting the dust settle.

Moore still couldn't see anything. The four MEEF in the area and several marines had no idea where the gunfire had come from, so they were extra careful, not putting their heads out anywhere too dangerous. So they couldn;t find the enemy either.

"Movement," Moore called out, raising his gun. He saw a black teenager, not even sixteen, running towards the marines, clutching an AK by its barrel. "It's just a kid," he said. "No threat, but he;s still got a gun."

"Neutralize all possible threats," came Prison's voice over his headset.

"Roger," Moore replied, sighting his crosshairs on the kid's chest. His finger tensed on the trigger.

A gunshot rang out and the boy dropped. Moore was startled. He hadn't fired. Beside him, Baker grinned. "One up," he said cheerfully, chambering another round into his rifle.

Moore sighed. "That was my kill, Tim, and you know it."

"I got the shot, Alex. Mine. Called."

Moore sighed and gave up. Arguing with Baker was like punching a brick wall. He never gave in, even if his only argument was 'You're wrong, so I must be right.' It was enfuriating.

"Corner one, secure," came the voice of Fallen Noonan, Marine Master Sergeant and head of Squad one. "Secure all streets and we send in the MEEF."

"Corner two. Secure." That was the voice of Prison herself, calling from where she'd gotten Squad two to set up positions on one corner of the target building.

"Corner three confirmed," radioed in Karen Exodus, the company's First Sergeant. "Squad three has it secured."

And the last confirmation came from Captain Parker, at Corner four. "Roger. Corner four secure. All clear. Currie, send in your boys."

Major Currie radioed back with a "You got it, Captain. All MEEF elements, report in."

There was a rowdy chorus of check-ins from the MEEF boys.

"All clear," came the voice of Currie again. "We're clear for entry. All teams, check in."

Every man was accounted for. The MEEF hitched up their gear and stood on either side of the main door, ready to clear the target building. Squad two's elements took the three side and back doors.

The plan was going perfectly. Everything would work like clockwork. Or so the marines thought. It looked like everything was going fine.

Mind you, that was before everything went to hell.
03-10-2003, 05:42
Jaime stood. The radio reports were flying fast and hard, but Jaime just didn't have the heart for them. He stood, knowing exactly why she had left. They'd had a radio and a TV in the corner of the room playing the HNN to see if anything was being leaked to the public. It wasn't, but the occasional person would catch a glance of the TV or listen of the radio. Jaime had managed to listen to both at the same time. The radio reports from the scouts and the radio reports from the radio in the corner.

Jaime turned to the CRT sommander, crouched in the outside, just outside the door, flicking a cigarette through his fingers. "Jack," Jaime said quietly.

Jack nodded. "'Ey, Boss? Wassup?"

"You know what to do."

Jack nodded. "Yeah, that I do. You want me to take over?"

Jaime nodded, and stepped back out towards the car that had brought him. A motorcade would meet him halfway and escort him back into Atherlon. Colin and Bill were accompanying him in the car, and Bill's three Secret Service men would meet them in the motorcade.

Jaime climbed into the backseat of the car, without a word, leaning his arm on the window and watching out it as the trees roled by. Bill was a fast driver, and before Jaime knew it they would be meeting up with the motorcade. The whole ride was in silence.

Once Colin attempted conversation. Jaime silenced him by simply not responding, in any way. Colin soon gave up, and went back to reading his reports. Jaime ignored him. He'd heard every word said. He heard every sound, felt every bump in the road, saw every little animal that passed their car. His mind was the sharpest it would ever be, but not for a reason he liked.

Then the car pulled over, two black SUVs pulling in in front of it. Bill opened Jaime's door, and without a word Jaime stepped out and into a larger car, where one of Bill's men was driving and theother two were sitting. Colin and Bill got in, and the car's doors closed.

All in all, the motorcade consisted of three black SUVs, the large car Jaime was in, and two cars, including the one Jaime had been in a moment ago. It turned, onto the highway to Atherlon, driving away at a pleasant speed that would get them there within five hours.

Jaime just sat there the whole time, watching the occasional tree zip past the window. He could have counted the number of weeds in the side of the road. He could even smell the grass and the crops of the fields through his window. His senses were sharp. His mind was sharp. His reflexes ... well, they were as sharp as they ever were.

Bill was having a conversation with one of his men, about the hockey game that was to be on TV that night, and who would win, the Atherlon Tornadoes or the Rentville Arcs.

The motorcade passed through several small villages. Jaime could have counted the number of people who watched them go by.

Colin was busy. He was reading his reports, his brow furrowed, yet he wasn't reading. Jaime could tell by his eyes. He was daydreaming. He was in love. Jaime knew the signs. His young aide, who'd once told him he didn't believe in love, had fallen prey to the very thing he didn't believe in. Jaime felt it ironic.

They only had several minutes before they would reach Atherlon. Houses and building were more common, trees and fields less so. Jaime could see Atherlon in the distance. They'd be there within a minute or two.

And then they were. They were skimming through the suburbs of Atherlon. Several minutes later they were driving between several-story square buildings. Jaime's eyes caught a flash on top of a building up ahead, where a T-intersection met.

That was all the warning anyone would ever get. A rocket flashed down from that spot, hitting the ground in front of the leading SUV, whih screeched off to the side in a wide circle to avoid it. Then a single, resounding pop echoed through the streets and a bullethole appeared in the windshield of the leading SUV. The driver's head was turned to pulp by the sniper's bullet, and the car screeched to the side, ramming a building head-on. The driver lay in a heap in his seat as the occupants of the acr frantically tried to free themselves.

It was too late. Another rocket arced down from the same position, slamming into the engine of the SUV. It erupted in a fireball. The only life from it was a blackened man crawling from the wreckage a minute or so later, before collapsing, his legs still inside the wreckage.

Jaime's car screeched to a stop, the doors flying open and the four IIA men leaping out, drawing their guns. The man who was driving's long black hair flapped in the breese, as he looked aorund befor eunloading several shots at the sniper nest up above, where the rockets had come from.

Bill ran to the trunk of the car, which was all that saved his life. A bullet from another sniper, on a building to their left, rang out, slamming into the car's door where his chest had been a moment earlier. The trunk popped open, and he grabbed a UMP from it, throwing another one to each of his men. He didn't have time to strap on the bullet-proof vest.

Suddenly and unexpectedly, an unmarked white van roared out from a sidestreet, ramming the seond black SUV in the die, sending it creeching sideways. The van's back doors opened, and men with automatic weapons piled out, maybe six of them, opening fire on Bill's IIA men. The driver was caught by surprise, and three bullets ripped through his chest and stomach, felling him to the ground, where he twiched and screamed with pain.

Jaime dove for cover behind the car, pulling his pistol. Bill crouched down beside him, checking the magazine on his UMP. "Full," he grunted. "Good."

The second black SUV, the one that had been rammed, tried to open its doors, but in vain. Half of them were jammed against the white van's hood. As the others opened, the driver and passenger in the white van opened fire through the windshield with automatic weapons, smashing through their windsheild. Their bullets bierced glass, metal and flesh alike.

The IIA men tumbled screaming from the SUV. Only one of them ever made it out of the SUV. The rest never moved from that deattrap of whirling bullets, blood, sweat and shrapnel.

The IIA man that had escaped ran across the pavement, panicking. He wasn;t used to combat. He'd just been promoted from a desk job several weeks ago.

Bullets tracked across the pavement towards him, tearing through his legs and severing major arteries. He collapsed, screaming in pain, as blood flowed onto the street.

At that point the RPGer up top fired again. His rocket his the black car right behind the one Jaime had been in. It erupted in a fireball, sending shrapnel flying everywhere. A small sharp pierced Jaime's forehead, sending a jagged cut right across his hairline. His hand flew to it, feeling the blod running down his face. He swore and ignored it.

Another shard flew into the shoulder of one of Bill's two remaining IIA men. The man shrieked at the unexpected pain, before reaching up and tearing the shard of metal from his shoulder.

The black SUV at the back of the column screeched to a stop, along with the car that remained. From the SUV piled four IIA men, clutching large handguns. They opened fire.

A rain of small arms fire, complete with the two men from the remaining car, peppered in on the white van and its remainng occupants. One of the attackers collapsed, clutching one side of his face. He was dead within a minute. A Desert Eagle round had hit him in the cheek.

The attackers returned fire, causing the IIA to dive for cover behind their vehicles. One didn't make it. A bullet tore through his knee joint, severing tendons and leaving him crpilled for the rest of his life, which wasn't very long.

He opened fire randomly in the direction of the enemies, causing friends and foes alike to dive for cover, before an enemy sniper bullet tore through his head, his braing, and the back of his skull to end up buried half a foot in the pavement.

However, this shot revealed to Bill the position of the sniper to their left. He raised his UMP, firing off nearly twenty shots up onto the three story building's roof. There was a muffled scream and a moment later a sniper rifle hit the gorund underneath the building with a clatter. Hill hurled his empty magazine onto the street, slamming another one in.

"Looks like this is a fine mess we've gotten ourselves into," he growled, hitting the top of his gun with a clenched fist.

---

The third man turned to the two others. They were sitting in shairs, watching a small TV on the table in front of them. It was a newsanchor saying there was a pitched firefight in the streets of Atherlon between government forces,including Prime Minister Jaime Walf, and terrorists that had attacked them.

3: Very good. I am pleased.

1: Me as well. Slightly messy, but we didn't know he'd have so much security.

3: We weren't expecting him to be returning from out of town.

2: Derek will be pleased.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 15:23
ooc: right on - been wondering if you were going to take this farther, but it looks like not. are you open to me jumping back in? the timing of a lot of all this was ... interesting to say the least. I'd thought this storyline was going to move faster than it did. odd. anyway, seeing as you're on ... bump, and let me know if 'game on' or not.
05-10-2003, 15:28
OOC: Well, I was going to post more yesterday. I had the post almost finished - Like about a paragraph away - and my computer turned itself off. I think I've fixed the problem (Virus or something in my Temp. Internet Files folder, so I DEATed everything in it), so I should be able to update pretty soon. Still, no worries about you jumping back in.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 16:29
ooc: yikes! my sympathies on the virus bit. hope you get that cleared up soon. continuing from here (http://www.nationstates.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1722736#1722736) ... gads, what a mess.

ic:

Upon arrival back in Devonton, she quickly went to her shuttle, jacking in once more and firing it up. It seemed no sooner had she settled in than her phone was once again ringing.

Tiredly, she answered with a brief "Speak."

"Where in hell have you been? We've been trying to reach you for hours!"

She initiated takeoff, setting a slow course for home. "Yes, yes, what now?" Her voice is worn, and holds little in the way of real spite.

"You don't know, do you? Gods, woman ... it never rains but pours."

Nathicana went cold at his words. "Marik ... what is it?"

"Jaime. He left the ops site. Motorcade was attacked. The place is in chaos, and we've no idea on his status. Reports are flying, and we have our operatives scrambling over there. I need your word to take action. You'd left strict instructions to--"

"Do it. Send them. Immediate assistance," she managed past clenched teeth, the engines nearly stalling as her breath caught, her heart suddenly feeling like it was going to burst. She quickly input new coordinates, making for the Haraki capitol, laying on the speed, pushing her shuttle to its limits. "I'm going back."

"The hell you are, woman. It was ridiculous to go haring off like you did in the first place. Now with two attacks on leaders you're intimately tied with you need to be here, under guard, not jaunting about as you like."

"Save it, Marik. I--"

"No, Nath. Not this time. Your safety is my job. I've let you do as you like far too many times, and we've been lucky. You get your ass back here, and now, or I'm directing our ops to bring you back here, in chains if I have to. Jas is with me on this. You know he'll do it."

She listens, not caring. Her mind focused on one thing only. Finding Jaime.

I broke down earlier. No time for it now. Must be strong. Cry later.

"I'm sure he'll try. Goodbye, Marik. I'll be in touch."

"Dammit, Nath! Y--"

Turning off the phone, she lets it drop in the seat next to her, focused on her flying, losing herself in the sensation of being one with her ship. The feeling of raw power, hot engines, and cold hard metal comfort her, keep her going.

Upon finally reaching Haraki airspace, a feeling of deja vu running through her, she makes the proper contacts, her voice dull and emotionless. Running through the protocols, doing what must be done. She waits for clearance, having at least the sense to not try running their defences.

I have to find him.
05-10-2003, 16:51
"Aye, Tempest," comes a tired, stressed voice from the Haraki air controller. "You have clearance for entrance into Haraki airspace, but what with the recent goings-on ... You'll be escorted by a full squadron of fighters."

Six men had alreayd climbed into their fighters, the six zipping off of the military runways, slowly moving towards the Tempest.

---

Jaime growled, checking his magazine again. Still full. Nothing much had changed. There was an enemy sniper up on a roof, who'd taken down several IIA men. About four IIA men were left behind scattered cover, not counting Jaime, Bill, and two of Bill's men, one injured by a piece of shrapnel to the shoulder. There were maybe ten enemies with assault weaponbry against them.

Jaime stood, firing fof several shots in the direction of the white van, before poking his head back behind the ruined car he, Bill, and two of Bill's men were using as cover. He didn't hit anyone, but there was a hail of gunfire in return.

Bill stood, firing a five-shot burst from his UMP45 towards the enemies. He wasn't sure if he hit or not, but his head was nearly torn off by a returning volley of fire from the enemies.

After a few minutes of returning fire back and forth, with no-one hit between it all, Jaime heard frantic footsteps, quickly approaching his position. He slammed another magazine into his pistol, standing and firing four sots into the face of an attacker he was face to face with. He watched the man die, as if in slow motion. The bullets tore through him, before he fell backwards as though clotheslined. He twitched on the ground for barely a second and lay still.

Jaime had taken down one, but he couldn't stop the six or so other men charging them. Bill raised his UMP, his finger tensing on the trigger. He fired, shots tearing at the enemies. One hit a man in the stomach, but he ignored it and carried on.

The UMP was torn from his hands by a man with an M-16 as he slammed his shoulder into Bill. Bill staggered backwards, against the cover he'd been using. His UMP and the attacker's M-16 skittered across the street, out of reach. The two began grappling.

The attacker was bigger and stronger than Bill, but Bill had years of IIA training behind him. They seemed to be evenly matched, as the man kept slamming Bill against the car wreckage as cover.

One of Bill's men dove out of his hiding spot to avoid gunfire, rolling and coming up on one knee, firing his UMP. Bullets slammed into a terrorist's chest, stomach and neck, dropping him to the ground with 12 .45 bullets in him.

Then the IIA man was torn apart by a hail of gunfire from the remaiing four charging attackers.

Jaime was still standing behind his cover, quickly dropping behind it. Suddenly, however, there was a flare of light and an almight booming noise from the sniper's position. Jaime instinctively twisted sidewyas, so the sniper's bullet tore into his left shoulder instead of his neck or head. His hand flew to his shoulder, trying in vain to stop the flow of blood. He fell backwards against the car wreckage, sliding down to the ground, still clutching his shoulder, rivulets of blood running down his arm.

He looked up to see Bill grappling with an attacker. It looked like Bill was gaining the upper hand, even though the attacker was bigger than him. Their guns were gone. Jaime didn't know how. Then suddenly a crack rang out through the air, and a small flare of light between the two men. Bill staggered backwards, his hands clutching his stomach, his eyes wide with fright. Blood ran over his hands, clasped over a spot on his stomach as he staggered backwards and fell over. Jaime saw his aggressor clutching a small pistol in his big beefy hand.

Jaime didn't even consciously think. His pistol slowly raised, clutched tightly in his hand, shaking with the pain from his shoulder. He fired more shots than he thought he did, all of them tearing through the attacker. Through his head, his neck, and his chest. The man spun ninety degrees and collapsed, clutching his throat, still.

Jaime knew the firefight was calming down. He could hear less gunfire now. But he saw movement out of the corner of his eye.

A large attacker stepped into his field of vision, turning and looking down at Jaime. The man grinned, pulling a massive pistol from his jacket and aiming it down at Jaime. He was out of reach of Jaime, and Jaime's pistol was out of bullets. He didn't have two working hands to reload it, and half his sirt was soaked in blood. He could feel the sticky red substance oozing down the bridge of his nose from the cut on his forehead as well.

Jaime blinked.

Gunshots rang out through the air, and one large, powerful man hit the ground dead.

Jaime blinked again.

His gaze traversed the scene to his left, where he saw the only remaining member of Bill's team, the man who had taken shrapnel to the shoulder, shakily clutching a UMP and pointing it down at the dead terrorist.
Jaime gave a weak, nervous laugh and pulled himself to where Bill had fallen, turning him over onto his front.

Blood had soaked through his shirt, his breathing was erratic. His hands were shaking, even thgouh they were clutching his stomach. The bullet had torn through vital organs. Jaime knew Bill was dying, and no-one could save him.

"Jaime ... Jaime ... Is that you ...?" Bill asked weakly, in a raspy voice.

"Yeah, it's me," Jaime told him.

"I'm ... dying, aren;t I?"

Jaime nodded numbly. "Yeah. You're dying. I'm not going to lie to you about that."

Bill gave a weak laugh, that turned into a cough that spat blood onto his chin. "You ... always were an honest ... one, Jaime ... Thank you ... for all the time I knew you ..."

Bill's breathing stopped. His pupils dilated, and his body went still. His chest heaved and rose one last time, as his last breath left his body. Jaime's head turned, caught by movement.

Colin was climbing out from underneath a pile of wreckage, lookign around gingerly, trying to decide if the fight was over. He was unhurt, miraculously.

That didn't last.

The sniper, the last remaing terrorist, fired one bullet. It hit Colin in the chest, tearing down and exiting through the back of his stomach. Coli;n eyes widened, and he collapsed foreward. He was still alive,Jaime could tell. He was still breathing.

Jaime culd hear sirens in the distance. On the rooftop, he could see the sniper had picked up his rifle and ws running. Jaime wasn;t paying attention to this.

He pitched foreward, unconscious, and darkness took him.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 17:07
"Understood. Update on present situation available?" she asked in a quiet monotone. "And permission to get to the site," she half-asked, half-demanded. Upon brief reflection, she added, "Please."

She followed the accompanying fighters as directed, making no move to deviate course. Flying smoothly, her expression one of fixed concentration, she waited numbly to land.
05-10-2003, 17:10
"Clearance granted to the site of the incident," the commander agreed. "Update ..." He checked the computers and radio. "Nu update available at this time. We don't know what's going on."

Clearance was granted to land at the Atherlon Landing Strip (Different from an airport) in central Atherlon, only a short distance from the site of the attack.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 17:24
Damn ... oh damn that's not good.

"Understood, and ... thank you. Will meet up on the ground. Tempest out."

Landing, she rapidly went through lockdown and hurried down the ramp on unsteady legs. The sounds of sirens was loud in the air, and she paled visibly. The smoke from ruined vehicles was clear even from here. Stomach clenching, she began making her way towards the chaos, hardly seeing what was going on around her as she focused on getting to Jaime.
05-10-2003, 17:30
Jaime's eyes slowly opened, feeling hands clutching his arms. They were lifting him into the air. The whole world was going blurry. Last thing he remembered ... Colin shot ... Bill dead ... All this carnage ... All his fault ...

Jaime's instincts took over, slalmming the hands off his shoulders, and sending the two policemen it had been tumbling to the ground. Jaime's vision was bluury. His head ached. He could hear ambulance sirens in the distance. Probably getting Colin to a hospital. All this noise ... confusion ... chaos ... All his fault.

His vision was barely clearing, but the flames and smoke from the ruined vehicles reached his nose, his ears. He cold tell people were dead. He could smell blood, feel the stickiness of the liquid on his face, on his forehead, all down his shirt. Had he been shot? He couldn't remember. There was a cut on his forehead. He could feel it.

He could barely remember the events of thepast ten minutes. Firefight ... Too many people dead. All this noise. All this confusion. There was a crowd gathered. Jaime could smell sweat, and fear, and confusion. There was another hand on his arm. Another policeman. He spuin, tearing the hand from his arm, and bellowed, "Get your hands off me!"

He could barely hear his own voice. It was like he was out of his body, an observer to his own actions. His own voice sounded distant, and echoed.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 17:40
His voice ... that was his voice ... oh gods, he's alive in all that ...

"Move!" she shouted at the bodies blocking her way, pushing herself through, barely keeping herself in check. When they don't move fast enough, she moves them herself, forcefully shoving them aside, lifting them out of her way if she needs to, letting her augs take over as she swears fluently in her native tongue.

"Jaime!" She yells, hoping to be heard over the crowd, the sirens, the chaos that the street has become.
05-10-2003, 17:45
Somehow tat one word penetrated the deep shield of pain and confusion that was keeping Jaime seperated from the rest of the world. His vision was very slowly coming back to him. He could now see clearly up to about two feet in front of him. The rest of the world was still burry, though.

All he could hear was a dull roar in the background, but that one word, the one person calling his name, pierced through this. He knew who it was just by her voice, and he stopped moving, stopped resisting. He could - barely - see a policeman tryingquietly to approach him. Try ti grab him again. Trying to take him somewhere. Maybe trying to protect him. Jaime didn't know, and didn't care. He wasn't going anywhere.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 17:57
She continues to bull her way past, snarling angrily at anyone who gives her resistance in the least.

Nathicana nearly falters though when she saw him. All the people milling around him. The blood.

Oh gods, so much blood ... too much ...

She runs forward, heedless of the others, ignoring any attempts to stop her or call her off. Falling to her knees beside him, she reaches out with shaking hands to gently touch him, stroke his face, not daring yet to try and do more for fear of agravating his wounds.

"Mi amore, Jaime ... don't leave me, please ... hang on."
05-10-2003, 18:01
/"Oh god ..." he said quietly, feeling her touch, and hearing her words. "Oh, god, Nath ... What have I done?"

His voice was weak, his face was covered in blood from the gash across his ofrehead, and his shit was coated in it. Parts of his hair were matted and sticky with blooad and sweat.

Around him the fires were burning themselves out, and the policemen backed off, seeing Nathi approaching in her aggressive manner. They figured it was better to stay out of something like this, at least for now.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 18:07
"You haven't done anything. This isn't your fault," she says gently, then looking around at the police and others, her eyes flashing, "What's the matter with you people? He needs help! Get that stretcher over here, now!"

"We're going to get you patched up, ok? It's going to be fine." She continues talking in a low voice, using her training to give him a quick once-over, trying to ascertain how badly he's damaged.

Oh Jaime, I'm so sorry ... maybe if I hadn't left, I ... god, but what could I do? I couldn't let him ... I'm sorry, so sorry.
05-10-2003, 18:12
Two medical personnal ran up, carrying a stretcher between them. They laid it down beside Jaime and started moving him, very carefully, onto it, careful not to aggravate his wounded shoulder.

An ambulance slowly started backing up towards them, its back doors open.

---

The TV was lying on the ground, fizzing, a large crack in its screen. The three men were angry.

1: How could he get out of it? That trap was well-designed!

2: He must die, or we don't get the rest of our money.

3: Yes, yes ... The trap went wrong because half our assault personanel were missing. AN entire van's worth. Does anyone, absolutely ANYONE know why?

The other two shook their heads.

3: Then I suppose the only thing to do is continue our efforts to try and end Mr. Walf's life. He's injured, it shouldn't be too hard.

2: I know just the man for the job ...
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 18:25
Nathi keeps near his side, keeping out of the way of the medical team as best she can while holding Jaime's hand, hoping to comfort, and feeling guilty the entire time.

She gets into the ambulance with him, settling in by his side.

"Just you be sure he has a proper escort. I don't want any more accidents. I don't care if you have to call out your whole damned militizia to do it. You keep this boy safe," she says to the police, realizing they don't have the authority, but needing to say it all the same.
05-10-2003, 18:32
"Um ... Well ..." the policeman started, until a weak voice cut him off.

"DO what she says ..." came a weak voice from Jaime. The policeman noddec glumly and saluted.

"It'll take a few minutes, but I can get the CRT element here in Atherlon to provide escort. Shall I call them?" he asked Nathi.

-
Note: CRT = Crisis Response Team, a branch of the MEEF (Marine Elite Expeditionary Force, Haraki's Special Forces)
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 18:37
She nods curtly. "Do it."

Might help keep my own people off my back as well. I do NOT want their interference right now. Damn Marik and his stubborness. I ought to have him flogged.

"Jaime, who's in charge while you're down? What's the chain of command? I know you're hurt ... I know this is hard, but I need you to think. We can't let that group step in during the chaos. Need to keep things tight here."

Focus on the facts. He'll be fine. He has to be fine. But, he's taken such worse wounds before, hasn't he? What's wrong? This just doesn't feel right ...
05-10-2003, 18:41
"Dace ... Dace, he's VPM ... He's supposed to be in charge ..." Jaime told her quietly, as the policeman ran off back to his car, radioing in for backup from the CRT as the policemen there already started setting up barriers.

Within two minutes the policeman jogged back. "They say they'll be here in less than five minutes. Thirty-six of them."
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 18:47
"Get Dace some serious protection as well. Secure location. Oh hell, I'm sure you folks have your routines. Just do it. Release statements ... spin this thing for all it's worth. Disinformation, keep facts quiet til we can get Jaime back on his feet ... " She looks over at him, concerned, watching the team work.

"I'm at your disposal if any assistance is needed," she says quietly, giving his hand a squeeze. "And you ... you I'm staying with for a bit."
05-10-2003, 18:54
The policeman nodded. "Okay. Dace is already being transferred into protection, as are the rest of the Prime Ministerial staff."

At this point a black sedan pulled up beside them, and out climbed two men. ANother two came from the back seat, one of whom opened the trunk, pulling out MP5s and handing them to each of the men. The one that was driving gave Nath a sharp salute and said, in a heavy British accent, "G'day, ma'am. Captain Nichols, CRT. We're the advance team. The rest of my boys'll be here in a minute or two."
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 19:02
"Good, good ... need to get him moving. Just ... " her tip trembles, and she bites down on it, steadying herself. "Just keep him safe. Roll out as soon as you're set. I leave it to you."

She sat there next to Jaime, watching him closely, her hands clasped over his, holding tight.

"Don't worry. It's going to be fine," she said, as much for herself as him.
05-10-2003, 19:08
The medics quickly began danaging his shoulder, stopping the bloodflow, and another one started slowly and methodically cleaning off his face, wiping the blood from it, being careful to avoid the cut. The four CRT men held their guns under their shoulders, looking around to ensure safety a lot.

Within three minutes of the original sedan pulling up, about five different cars and vans pulled up, and a lot of men climbed out, fully armed and armoured with carbines and SMGs. They saluted to Nichols. "Sir, CRT team reporting for duty," one of the men told him.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 19:12
She breathes a sigh of relief at their arrival, slumping down slightly as she sits next to Jaime, trying to stay close, but out of the way. Watching him with clear concern, she lets her mind wander over the past 24 hour period, thoughts flying back and forth, uncertain of where to go, or what to do.

He'll be fine. It will all be fine. All these things will be well in time. I can do this.

Still, she couldn't avoid the feeling of watching her carefully constructed house of cards crumble around her.
05-10-2003, 19:16
The bandaging medic finished tying the last bandage around Jaime's shoulder and turned to Nath. "I think he's stabile enough to move now. Where should we take him? Military hospital, civilian hospital, his house...?"

Nichols listened intently, as the CRT spread out to establish a perimeter around the site.

OOC: Weren't you saying something about your own people sending men to retrieve Nath.....?
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 19:27
ooc: ayup - just getting to it. child down for nap, time to think. *smiles*
ic:

A group of well-armed operatives in simple black uniforms pushed their way through the crowd, eyes sharp, several scanning the rooftops as much as the forces before them.

Seeing the CRT men, Angelus Massetti signals a halt with a sharp gesture.

"We're here to take the Lady, under orders of the Dominion government," he says in a deceptively calm voice."

Inside the ambulance, Nathi ponders the options. "I know damn well you have some extremely secure sites," she says to Nichols. "Are there sufficient medical resources there? We need to move, soon. Sitting here, we're making a lovely target."
05-10-2003, 19:30
"Looks like we have a bit of trouble ..." Nichols murmured, stepping up inside the ambulance and closing the doors behind him. "I'd say ... Lambda."

The medic looked quizzical. Nichols shrugged. "Well, it's secure, most people don't know it exists, and it's very hard to find. Driver!"

"Yeah?"

"Let's go. Drive. I'll guide you once we get to the right place."

"Gotcha," the driver called, and the ambulance started up, escorted by four cars with four CRT men in each of them.

Behind them, the CRT first lieuteant leaned on his rifle. "Which Lady?" he asked the men in black calmly. "Lady Guinevere? Look a thousand years ago. Sorry, can't help you."
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 19:44
"Don't be smart. We're here for Nathicana." Massetti signals his men again, and they spread out behind him, staring down the Haraki team.

"Dammit - she's in the ambulance," he mutters, catching sight of the dark haired woman as the doors close. "I say again, stand down. We're to take her into protective custody, and escort her back to the Dominion."

---------

"Trouble?" she asks, her eyes going wide, not seeing what was going on outside.

She braces herself as the ambulance starts up, feeling more than a little nervous about haring off to god knows where with a bunch of strangers all of a sudden.
05-10-2003, 19:51
"Buncha men in black," Nichols said in his heavy accent, shrugging. "Said they were looking for you. Hence, shutting the doors and leaving."

---

The first lieutenant shrugged. "'Fraid I can't stand down. See, I'm in my own country, and you're not. Therefore, I could arrest you for interfering in military affairs if I wanted to. Just something to think about. You have no authority in Haraki."

The eighteen marines behind him chuckled at this small exchange.

OOC: How many of them are there?
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 20:05
She paled slightly at that. "My soldati, no doubt ... please, no killing if we can avoid it. There's been too much."

Couldn't be Jas. He'd have had me by now. Probably still wrapped up with the Treznor mess ... small blessing that.

-------------

The group of twelve looked decidedly not happy about the situation, and obviously had conflicting orders.

"That may be so, but you're currently holding our head of state outside our borders. That in and of itself could be construed as kidnapping, and at the very least, could result in less than comfortable relations between the two nations here," Massetti replies, his eyes narrowing as the ambulance moves off.

"At the very least, we ought to be allowed to accompany the Lady as her personal guard. She left in a bit of a hurry, I'm told. We're here to make sure she gets back home in one piece."
05-10-2003, 20:08
"We didn't kidnap her exactly," the man said, giving up his joke of not having Lady Guinevere there. "She showed up. We never asked for it. And unless she wants to leave, she's not leaving. Right to free action and all that. I suppose one or two of you could maybe accompany her, at least until she tells you to get lost."

---

Nichols shook his head. "My boys'll do everything they can to avoid killing. They won't start something, s any death that happens will most likely be started by your boys. Hopefully, we can avoid that less than p[leasant possibility."
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 20:30
We're not to cause too much trouble here, dammit all to hell. Cheeky bastard. This is no time for a fight, and these are no standard ops folk.

Massetti nods, bristling slightly at the implications, and in no mood for jokes. "Then take us. Myself, Pascali, at the very least. We all know just how damned stubborn she is. I hope this time it hasn't gotten her in over her head."

Speaking in their native tongue, he directs the rest of the group to report back, knowing Marik will be less than pleased with the results so far, but not really knowing what else to do about it. Once they'd caught up with her, they'd deal with the intricacies of getting her back home. Orders.

----------------

She nods quietly, not really having the strength to worry too much about it. What would happen, would happen. Her only concern right now was for Jaime. She rested her head next to his, closing her eyes and whispering soft words in her native language, knowing he couldn't understand, but hoping it would soothe him as they drove. She kept hold of his hand with one of hers, using the other to lightly caress through his tangled hair.
05-10-2003, 20:38
"Right," the lieutenant said with a triumphant smile. "You and Pascali will be taken to Lady Nathicana. The rest of your team will be asked to return to the airport and catch the next plane to the Dominion. Tim!"

Tim, a Sergeant as shown by his stripes, came jogging up. "Sir?"

"Take these two men," he said gesturing to Massetti and Pascali, "to the Prime Minister and his wife."

Tim nmodded, gesturing to another three men behind him. His team followed him, as they gestured to one of the black vans.

---

The driver of the ambulance was ordered to stop by Nichols. "Let's see ... Lambda ... Turn left at the next light," he ordered the driver. "Then right at the next light. Carry on for four blocks, then go left."
05-10-2003, 20:45
OOC: I have to walk my dog. Be ten minmutes at most. Please don't go away!
05-10-2003, 21:02
OOC: Back .....
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 21:06
ooc: grr - locked up, lost my post ... one moment.
05-10-2003, 21:07
OOC: I hate it when that happens. Happened to me last night.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 21:17
Smug son of a ... we knew we'd loose folks in this once we went public. At least the others are still nicely set up.

"Of course," Massetti replies, still bristling. "Lead on."

Several eyes in the crowd follow the movements of the Dominion soldati, quietly observing, taking note. Others have already left to stealthily tail the ambulance.

The two men follow, climbing quickly into the back of the ambulance, much to Nathicana's surprise. She'd nearly panicked as the vehicle stopped, and now stares white-faced and angry at the two newcomers.

"Why ... " she begins, then shuts her mouth with an audible click of teeth, glaring back at Massetti in particular.

"My Lady," he says, making an awkward bow. "We'll discuss after we get things settled here."

"Yes, we most definitely will," she replies through clenched teeth, going back to comforting Jaime, looking quite protective.
05-10-2003, 21:21
The ambulance drove off again, following Nichols' instructions to the word. There were no windows in the back of the ambulance, so none of the people in it except Nichols and the driver knew where they were going.

Two of the four CRT men that had gone with the two soldati climbed into the back of the ambulance, sitting in between Nath and Jaime and the two soldati. Tim shrugged at Nichols, with a look that said, If it was up to me they wouldn't be here, but ...

Nichols sighed. "This ambulance back is too crowded," he announced. He looked at the two soldati. "I ask one of you to leave and ride in the van you came in."
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 21:46
"If you think we're going to leave now, you've got another thing coming. Our orders are clear. Retrieve Nathicana, and bring her home. We're cooperating here in the hopes to avoid any unpleasantness between our nations, as per our other orders." Massetti looks meaningfully at Nathicana, who shoots him back a wicked glare.

"You can both leave now for all I care. I'm not going anywhere until I know he's safe. Now the lot of you, quit bickering. He's been through enough without having to listen to this incessant yammering." Nathicana gives them all a steady look, though inside, she feels herself more and more reaching panic levels.

Don't send them off. May need them later. Lambda ... not familiar. No idea where we're going.

A sudden paranoia hit her.

Are these really the CRT?

Taking a moment, she carefully looks over the Haraki operatives, using what she knows of the weapons carried, uniforms, etc both from the tour and recent knowledge.
05-10-2003, 21:49
Nichols shrugged. "Well, it's Lady Nathicana's call whether or not you stay," he said with a grin. "Driver!"

"Yes?" came the called reply.

"Left here, go five blocks and take a right."

"Sir."

The ambulance followed his orders, turning left, and the motorcade around it bent to encompass the new turn.
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 22:08
Shifting tactics, she smiles briefly, fighting back the panic that's rising quickly. "They're fine. As I said, we'll discuss later."

She gives Massetti a brief nod, her fingers making a slight motion: be altert. Nathi firmly kept her place at Jaime's side.

Have I finally misstepped? Surely not ... they couldn't have ... wouldn't go out in the open like that, certainly. Not the style ... has to be legit. Stop worrying so much.

Too much had happened of late. Her nerves were shot. Too many thoughts running through her head. She felt weak. Tired. When was the last time she'd eaten? Hours and hours ago, at least ... water. Needed water. Always soothed her nerves.

Focus ... don't loose focus. She reached down to seemingly scratch her leg, fingertips brushing down under the edge of her boot, assuring herself that she had in fact not gone off completely unarmed.
05-10-2003, 22:13
"Here," a medic said, handing Nath a bottle of water. "Drink it. You need it."

Nichols shrugged. "As you wish, ma'am. They'll stay."
Dread Lady Nathicana
05-10-2003, 22:25
She blinks, looking over at the medic with wide eyes. Is it that obvious? Gods, I'm falling apart here.

"Thanks," she manages, sitting up, and taking her hand off Jaimes' long enough to unscrew the cap, drinking deeply. Sighing contentedly, she leans back against the wall of the ambulance, closing her eyes for a moment.

Massetti and Pascali both tense as she drinks, eyes narrowing, watching closely.

"Nichols ... are we about there?" she asks tiredly, not opening her eyes.
06-10-2003, 03:38
Nichols shrugged. "We're getting closer," he said. "Driver - Left."

The ambulance obeyed, swinging around to the left. The medic reclaimed his water, taking a long drink from it before passing it to the second medic, who wiped his brow and finished it off.
Dread Lady Nathicana
06-10-2003, 04:12
The sway of the vehicle, the sound of the wheels on pavement ... soothing somehow after all the chaos and confusion. She found herself drifting, thinking.

Reaching out, she took hold of Jaime's hand again, uncertain of what to say, just needing to know he was there, relatively safe. What would happen after, she wasn't sure. That could all wait. This was no time for such discussions.

The two soldati watched in silence, brows furrowed in thoughts of their own, clearly not convinced all was well, and never having seen Nathicana quite so ... subdued.
06-10-2003, 21:35
Nichols motioned to the driver. "Left right here."

"But it's not a light, sir!"

"Into the parking garage. Now."

The driver shrugged, turning left. Nichols opened the back door, hopping out and flashing a badge to the attendant, who nodded and let the gate up. Nichols climbed back into the ambulance, closing the door behind him. The vehicle pulled forward.

Nichols chuckled. "Well, looks like we're here."

Two of the black cars pulled in behind them, and the others pulled away circling the block several times.

The ambulance pulled into a parking space, and Nichols opened the back doors. "Lambda," he said, with just a hint of pride in his voice. "One of the most secure CRT positions ever built."

"We've got a little ways to go, still, but it'll have to be done on foot. Don't worry, it's not far."
Dread Lady Nathicana
07-10-2003, 04:38
ooc: ACK! I didn't see this earlier, curse it all. I'd been watching, and ... grr. Now, what I figure here is several, lets say a team of 6, is working to track the ambulance, and will be taking up a watch. No plans to break in or anything as yet, simply observe. Plainclothes, all armed though concealed, all highly trained ops. We've established previously that I have folks here, so I hope this isn't a problem. If so, let me know, and we'll tweak as needed.

ic:

On a secure channel, a brief conversation was going on.

Voice 1: "They've entered the parking garage."

Voice 2: "Copy that. Information on the location?"

Voice 3: "That's a negative. The blueprints on file are bogus.

Voice 2: "Signal still strong?"

Voice 1: "Jammed."

Voice 2: "Maintain a rotating watch. They're sharp - no need to attract attention. Keep your people on it, but don't linger in any one place for too long. And keep those scanners going. If they leave that location, I want to know, capeche?"

Voice 1: "Acknowledged, and out."

----------------------

She listens to the conversation, her eyes opening as Nichols announces their arrival, pulling open the doors. Massetti and Pascali are both alert, on edge. Nathi, is simply worn.

Getting out of the way of the medics, she stands back as they lower Jaime's gurney out of the ambulance and head in the direction Nicols points them in. She stumbles alongside, her hand reaching out to squeeze Jaime's gently.

"We're safe, mi amore ... you're going to be fine." She worried. He'd been so quiet, so very very quiet for most of the ride over. "Hang in there. We'll have you fixed up in no time," she says, trying to sound confident.
Dread Lady Nathicana
08-10-2003, 21:10
Bump in hopes of ...
08-10-2003, 21:27
Nichols led them down towards the door marked 'Stairs', stepping inside. It looked normal. Stairs leading down to the next level. However, Nichols stepped towards the wall, touching twelve of the bricks there in a certain order. There was a slight buzzing noise, and he reached through the wall, simply reassuring himself that it was in fact an illusion. His MP5 was still slung under his shoulder, his right hand loosely holding its barrel.

"Throuh this wall," he said cheerfully, stepping through it and simply disappearing. One of the five CRT men escorting them stepped through after him, the other four waiting for Nathi, her two soldati and the medics to go through.
Dread Lady Nathicana
08-10-2003, 21:36
Nathicana watched closely, but she was certain she'd not be able to remember which bricks he'd pushed. Irritation. Still, she was interested at the level of tech and security, as always. Her last visit had shown just how secretive they could be.

Nodding, she stepped through, her 'guards' closely behind her, though they looked a touch concerned at the idea of walking through walls. She'd had an experience recently not too dissimilar with vonKarma and his gun room. She made a mental note to get some of this tech for herself.

Throughout it all though, she continually glanced at Jaime, the strain of the past day clearly showing through.

"Can we go any faster?" she asked, biting her lower lip nervously. "He needs to get patched up. Too quiet."
08-10-2003, 21:45
"Don't worry, it's not too far," came Nichols' muffled voice form the other side of the wall.

As she stepped through, a strange tingling sensation flowed through her body, and she saw a tiny flash of red light into each of her eyes. Small buzzing noises came as her fingertips shuddered once, a tiny twitch.

Then she had stepped through, into a small square room with a door with no handle, no hinges, and three very large clamp-like things holding it shut at the far end. A female voice was saying through the corners of the room, "Personnel identified. Dread Lady Nathicana D'Aquisto dal Lupo, Dread Lady of the Dominion, Security Priority B. Cleared for entrance."

"Of course she's bloody cleared for entrance, or she couldn't have gotten through the wall," Nichols called up to the ceiling. "Damn computers ..."

He turned, typing rapidly into a small computer terminal. "Have to override security procedures to get your men allowed through," he explained as the two medics stepped through with Jaime on a stretcher, and the computer went through the same process for each of them.

"Personnal identified. Lord Jaime Walf, Prime Minister of Haraki, Security Priority A. Cleared for entrance."

"Stupid computer ... Nichols grumbled, stepping over to the door and, hiding it from everyone else in the room, touched a small place on the wall. A small plate slid aside into the wall, and he typed in a hidden, long number. Clunking sounds could be heard from the other side of the door, and then its locks sprang open. The handleless door swung back towards them on its unseen hinges, slamming against the wall, revealing a small passageway - at most ten feet - and another door, looking exactly the same.
Dread Lady Nathicana
08-10-2003, 21:59
"When did ... how did you ..." she asks, more than a little disturbed that her personal information was on file here. Still, she began to believe more and more that this was at least, legit.

Paranoid as ever, she watches the proceedings carefully, staying close to Jaime. Her eyes dart around as they head into the hallway, watching for anything amiss, and studying her environment.

The other two are clearly not pleased with the arrangements, but keep their mouths shut, knowing this is not the time and place to start arguments. They also keep a close eye out, hovering near Nathicana protectively while trying to stay out of her way.
08-10-2003, 22:12
Nichols shrugged, the door at the end of the hallway reading his eyes with a second retinal scan, and then emerging a keypad, into which he typed a word, then a number, then another word, then another long number, then another word, adn then another long number.

A vide monitor flashed to life on the front of the door, revealing a long face, in yellow armour, there.

http://goinside.com/98/4/sc2.gif

Nichols looked directly at it. "Guardian, I need through. PM's here, and he's got trouble. Shot to the shoulder."

Affirmative. The Prime Minister and his wife are to be allowed through. As are the rest of their ... entourage.

"Good EI, Guardian."

Affirmative.

The face shorted out and the door's locks clunked open.
Dread Lady Nathicana
08-10-2003, 22:46
Watching, her eyes narrowed slightly at the figure on the viewscreen and the EI designation.

"Nichols, I wasn't aware you had EI's here in Haraki," she says quietly, her brow furrowed slightly. "Are they fully sentient?"

Hoo boy, I hope it's just a program ... just an unthinking reactionary program. Not all that long ago, to think I wouldn't have cared?

She pays sharp attention as the door opens, trying to get a glimps of what lay ahead.
08-10-2003, 22:52
"One," Nichols told her as he beckoned the stretcher through into the long hallway in front of them. "Guardian. He was designed as the perfect security measure, unhackable, for all of Haraki's governmental systems, but ... Well, Jack screwed up, and Guardian got shorted into existence. He still does his job, just ... Three times as well as he would otherwise. And he's fully sentient while he does it. Enjoys watching feeble hacking attempts and planting viruses on the hackers' computers."

He opened the door in front of the stretcher, revealing a T-intersection with a door at it. Instantly it felt like they were in a military installation. The door swung open ahead of them, and Nichols beckoned them in. "That's where the doctors'll be looking at him."

Along the hallway of the T-intersection were bustling doctors and CRT troops, reading reports and files. A doctor ran past them carrying a bag of blood.

"This is the first layer of Lambda," Nichols said.
Dread Lady Nathicana
08-10-2003, 23:11
She nods, listening to hte explanation, her eyes going to Jaime once again as they make their way through the halls.

Later, she thinks. I'll ask more about that later. Right now, I just want to see him well.

"Excellent." She takes time to look around at the new room, watching those around them warily, still hovering protectively near Jaime. "I want a running explanation of what's being done, and his condition, understood?" she says rather imperiously, not having it in her to be more tactful, especially now they were where they needed to be.
08-10-2003, 23:15
Nichols nodded. "I'm afraid from here there's not much I can do. We just have to wai-"

He was cut fof halfway through the word as a doctor bustled into the room. "Now, what's going on?" the man asked, peering down at Jaime through his thin glasses.

"Shrapnel to the forehead, sniper bullet to the shoulder," Nichols reported. "Strange thing is, Mr. Prime Minister's been through more than this in the past, and come out none the worse for wear. This is just bizarre."

The doctor nodded. "Yes, I know he's been through worse, I've patched him up multiple times before, when I used to work for the Intelligence Agencies."

Nichols nodded. "How's he doing, doc?"

"He should be okay, but only if you shut up and let me work," the doctor said pointedly, as another man wheeled a large tray of instruments (Medical ones, you ignorant fools!) on a wheeled table in beside the doctor.

The doctor reached over to it, his fingers skimming across the rows of instruments, finding a pair of small tweezers. "The first thing we have to do is get the bullet out of him," he said, looking down at Jaime's bandaged shoulder, as the orderly who had wheeled in the tray started cutting Jaime's shirt off.
Dread Lady Nathicana
08-10-2003, 23:31
"Doc, if you don't mind talking aloud as you look him over ..." she says, familiar with the bedside manner. She stays out of his way, though hovers close, watching him carefully.

I knew it. I knew something was wrong. Hell, I've seen him take worse than this ... what's going on with you, boy?

Massetti and Pascali keep to the background, muttering quietly between themselves in their native tongue, keeping a sharp eye on Nathicana and the rest of the room. They knew she'd not leave without a fight if Jaime wasn't taken care of first ... the chose to bide their time.
08-10-2003, 23:38
The doctor shrugged, watching the orderly cut off the front of Jaime's shirt. "Ooh ..." the doctor said, with a sharp intake of breath as he saw the blood-soaked bandages. "This looks bad ..."

He bent down over Jaime's chest, looking intently at the wound, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, as he reached down gently poking at the bandages. "Yes, this looks bad ... He's taken worse before, though, and come out unphased. I don't get it."

He reached out, the orderly placing scissors in his hand, and he started to cut away the blood-soaked bandages. As the last layer of them fell away, he winced. Jaime's shoulder was all torn up by the shot, leaving flesh and blood exposed. The doctor gently reached down, poking at the wound.

As his finger touched Jaime's skin, Jaime's arm shot up. His eyes flashed open. His hand grabbed the doctor's throat, lifting him in the air and hurling him against the wall. A deep-throated growl came from his mouth, as he sat straight up, looking around in bewilderment. "What the ..." He blinked once, and then a flare of pain shot through his head. His back arched, his hand flying to his shoulder, and he fell backwards, his teeth gritted against the pain.
Dread Lady Nathicana
09-10-2003, 00:04
Nathicana winced, watching him examine her husband, not at all comforted at his equal astonishment at Jaime not being better off.

"Yes, yes ... I can see it's not good, dammit, but what's wrong?" she snapped, her nerves raw.

She literally shrieks as Jaime throws the doctor across the room, her hand going to her mouth, face pale. "Someone see to him, pronto!" she says through clenched teeth, rushing forward to Jaime. Her face a mask of worry, she hesitantly reaches out to stroke his brow.

"Jaime ... Jaime can you hear me? Talk to me, mi amore ... we have to know. What's going on with you? What's wrong? They're trying to help you. You have to let them."
09-10-2003, 00:08
Jaime lay there, slowly opening his eyes, the world coming into focus. Nathi's head was there, occupying most of his vision. Above that was a discoloured ceiling, and very bright lights. "Nath ... Is that you, or am I dreaming again?" he asked quietly. "And where am I if I'm awake?"
Dread Lady Nathicana
09-10-2003, 00:13
At last ...

"You're safe, Jaime. Lambda. Nicchols brought us here. CRT folk taking care of you," she says quietly.

"No dreams ... I'm here. I'm right here."

She leans down to kiss him softly, her hand gently stroking his cheek. Pulling back slightly, she looks at him with tears in her eyes.

"You've got to let them help you, Jaime. I don't know what's wrong. It's bad, but it's not bad enough to lay you out like this. Please ... let them work."
09-10-2003, 00:19
"Lambda? Damn ... Why'd they bring me here? What the hell happened to make them bring me here?" Jaime asked. He looked down at his shoulder. "What happened to me?"

Images flashed through his mind. Bill dead. Colin shot. a massacre. A slaughter. Disconnected, disjointed images. He couldn't make sense of them.

"What happened? Why am I at Lambda? And what happened to my shoulder?" he asked quietly.

More disjointed images flashed through his mind. The last thing he fully remembered was leaving the barricaded town. RThe one the CLan Wolf men had taken. Then it was ... disjointed. Unknown. "An attack?" he said quietly, guessing from the images flashing through his mind.
Dread Lady Nathicana
09-10-2003, 00:23
"I asked for a secure location. You can't be out and about with the terrorists so able to attack at will. Dace is, I'm told, secure as well. Your motorcade was attacked, you were shot."

She tries to let him know in a calm voice, simply stating the facts. Her lip quivers anyway, having to go through this with him. She felt guilty. Felt horrible.

And she didn't have the words to tell him just yet.
09-10-2003, 00:27
He closed his eyes for a moment, quietly murmuring, "Damn. How many people dead?"

The doctor slowly started to rise up from his potition in the corner, looking somewhat angry at being hurled through the air like that. He stood completely, bending over and picking up the tweezers he had been holding. He started to slowly walk towards Jaime, his face showing extreme displeasure at having to heal this man whom he evidently disliked.
Dread Lady Nathicana
09-10-2003, 00:31
"Don't worry about that right now, Jaime. We dont' have all the facts just yet at any rate. Just rest, let them work on you, and tell me what's going on with you. This isn't right, boy. Not right at all. I've seen you take worse."

She gives the doctor a very pointed look, clearly saying 'just do it and you'd damned well better do a good job'.

The two soldati watch her, close-lipped and tense, watching for Jaime to lash out as he did at the doctor. Their hands within easy reach of their weapons, but holding themselves in check. Discipline.
09-10-2003, 00:36
Four of the CRT escorts stood, two on either side of the soldati, thei ahnds resting on their weaponry, just in case the others tried anything. The CRT were obviously disciplined soldiers. They wouldn't let anything go wrong in ehre, and if anything did it would be quickly quieted. Nichols sat in a chair, his MP5 resting on the floor in front of him, but in a position that he could easily grab it.

The doctor sighed, stepping over and commanding Jaime, "Hold still so I can get the bullet out."

Jaime nodded, and the doctor bent down, his rubber-gloved hands probing the wound. Jaime gritted his teeth, his face showing the slightest pain. The doctor commented. "I can't give anesthetic - yet. The wound's too delicate right now. The anesthetic could quite possibly overload his system right now, and cause him to go into withdrawl and breakdown. At least until I can get this wound bandaged, you get no painkillers, or drugs of any sort."

Jaime nodded in understanding, and the doctor starting slowly and carefully trying to peer into the wound, trying to see the bullet before trying to get it out with sharp objects.
Dread Lady Nathicana
09-10-2003, 00:47
Nathicana takes hold of Jaime's hand, squeezing tightly, offering support. She watches with worry, paling slightly as the doctor begins his probe.

"Jaime," she says, hoping to get him to focus on something else, "When this is all over, we'll take a vacation, ok? Just ... go away for a while. The two of us."

It would be at least a month and a half before Devon was up and about, and she could jack in to check his progress from anywhere she had access. It wouldn't be so wrong, would it? How could she abandon either right now? Her eyes couldn't hide her guilt, her anxiety, but she kept on anyway, watching him closely.

"We have my boat ... or the shuttle. Maybe go offworld ... "
09-10-2003, 00:54
Jaime nodded, squeezing her hand, knowing that she knew everything he wanted to say but couldn't. He winced in pain as the doctor moved his hands to get a better view. "It's bad. The bullet went almost all the way through his shoulder. It missed his bones though, thankfully," he said, backing out and removing his hands.

He reached out, getting his tweezers and using his left hand to hold the wound slightly open, slowly sending the tweezers down into Jaime's shoulder. Jaime winced, blinking, his eyes watering with the pain.

The doctor maneuvered the tweezers back and forth, further and further in, before slowly moving his fingers farther apart to open the tweezers and closer together to close them again, slowly beginning to tug them out.

He managed to get them out fairly quickly, moving the tweezers, covered in blood, and dropping the large metal bullet clenched in their ends into a metal tray filled with cold water. The orderly began to wash it off. "Well, the bullet's out," the octor said, handing the tweezers off to the orderly, who dropped them in another tray of water, and then the doctor rinsed the blood from his gloves in a small tap at the side of the room. "Now I should be able to work properly."
Dread Lady Nathicana
09-10-2003, 01:07
She'd seen such things before. Couldn't have gone through the ops she had and not. But that was different. This was Jaime. And seeing him in pain, seeing the doctor dig down into her husband's shoulder like that, makes her wince. She watches out of the corner of her eyes, trying to be strong and consoling, the tears rolling silently down her cheeks.

It could be worse ... it could be so much worse ... She shivers, thinking back to earlier and what had been left of Devon. His charred remains carted off, all that was left sitting in a jar on Rhea.

Damned if she would let anything worse happen to this man.

She let out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding as the doctor finally withdrew the tweezers, and the bullet. Smiling at Jaime, she merely nods, knowing the doctor knows his job well enough without any input from her.

But why is he so weak? Why does this have him down so hard?

"Analysis on that bullet?" she asks, still looking at Jaime, but towards Nichols.
09-10-2003, 01:14
Nichols stepped over to the tray, and as the orderly finished washing the bullet, reached out, grabbing it and handing it to him. Nichols took it, peering at it carefully. "Well, I'd need to send it to forensics for more details, but I'd guess ... 7.62. Probably .. x50, maybe? 51? 52? And considering what's available in Haraki ..."

He turned, throwing it to one of the members of his team, who caught it easily. He took one look at it, brought it closer to his eye, and rattled off, "The make of the bullet's easy to recognize. This is an HK bullet, for one thing, reducing possibilities. 7.62, definitely. That reduces it more, and it was definitely a snipe rifle, not a rifle with a scope. That reduces it more. I'd say givwen the possibilities, and what it did during combat ... 7.62x51mm bullety, MSG90," he said, handing it back to Nichols, who shrugged.

"Resident weapons expert," he said in way of explanation. If he says it's an MSG90 bullet, it is. Simple as that." The other man shrugged sheepishly.

"It was quite simple, really, especially considering the rifle the other man dropped when Bill put him down was an MSG90. Just simple analysis. I suggest you send it in to forensics to get the serial number on the gun that fired it, and then we can track down that gun's owner, and find whoever this sniper is."
Dread Lady Nathicana
09-10-2003, 01:28
She nods. It's not her place, but she nods in approval anyway. "I want them found, Nichols. I want them found, and I want information. This group has got to go. I will not allow such attacks to continue."

All delivered in the imperious tone she's used to using in her own country, with her own people. It doesn't matter to her that they aren't hers to command. It doesn't matter that she's in a very precarious position here were the situation to change but slightly. What matters to her is that Jaime has been hurt, and those responsible are still out there.

"Find them. I know you people have the skills. And Nichols," she says, taking her eyes from Jaime to stare the other man in the eyes, her expression cold.

"Alive, if you can, and not just for the intel. This is personal."
09-10-2003, 03:35
Nichols nodded, and snapped a salute. "Yes, ma'am."

He turned, handing the bullet back to the weapons expert. "Take this to Lambda HQ. Tell them what you just told me, and get them on it right away."

The second man nodded. "Sir."

They saluted each other, and the weapons expert trotted off holding the bullet.

The doctor turned to his orderly. "Fetch me bandages, fetch me ... Oh hell, get me everything."
Dread Lady Nathicana
09-10-2003, 05:02
She is surprised at the reaction, but pleased, trying not to let on, though she realizes her control is slipping badly. She shoots a look over at Massetti and Pascali, who look for all the world back at her as if nothing is wrong, their faces careful masks of neutrality.

When she turns her attention back to Jaime, they both give each other meaningful looks, Pascali shaking his head slightly, and Massetti giving a brief shrug.

"Hopefully we'll get some results here soon," she says, half to herself. Watching the orderlies scurry, and the doctor fuss doesn't make her feel any better in the least. Chaos. She'd always despised it, and this ... this was too much.

"How're you holding up, Jaime?" she asks with concern.
09-10-2003, 21:07
Jaime shrugged with one shoulder, ignoring the stabbing pain from his left. "Pretty good, all things considering. The fact that I just had a bullet pried from my shoulder, I'm bleeding down my face, and I just almost got killed again ... Yeha, all things considered, I'm doing okay." He winced as the docotr leaned down, looking at his wound closely.

"I still don't think I can give you any anesthetic, or your body could lock up," the doctor told him. "I'm going to have to stitch up your head, and it might scar. We're going to have to stabilize you, unless you want me stitching your head up with no anesthetic."
Dread Lady Nathicana
10-10-2003, 03:06
Nathicana gave him an exasperated look. "All this and you still have strength for sarcasm. At least you seem to be doing slightly better now the bullet is out ... "

She thought about that for a moment. "Something odd with the bullet? Or ... nerve damage, or ... " Her mind raced, trying to come up with an explanation. Maybe the odd abilities he had were just slow kicking in this time?

"Doc, could you hurry it up?" she said nervously. "I can help hold him if he needs."
10-10-2003, 03:15
The doctor nodded, pushing his glasses up his nose, where they were sliding from his sweat. "Yes, yes," he said in an exasperated tone, yet knowing he would meet a very angry Nathicana if he didn't qork, and fast. "COuld you lift him up gently? I need to remove the old bandages and see the other side of his shoulder."
Dread Lady Nathicana
10-10-2003, 03:54
She nods, gently putting her arms around Jaime and slowly lifting him up. "Just lean in, mi amore, hold as tight as you need. You wont' hurt me," she whispers softly, wincing at having to cause him more pain, and knowing it simply had to be done.
10-10-2003, 21:07
He nodded, wincing slightly as she lifted him to a half-sitting position and the doctor peered in underneath him, reaching in and peeling the bandages, soaked and sticky with sweat, off his back and into a tray held out by the orderly. "The bullet didn't penetrate the back of his shoulder. These bandages aren't bloodied at all, but it bled a lot from the front," he said, washing off his hands in the sink at the side of the room.

"I'm not sure what I can do to his shoulder except give it new bandages and try and stop the bleeding. Jaime won't be able to use that arm for a week or so, at least not doing anything strenuous with it." He looked pointedly at Jaime. "No firing guns. At all. Not with that arm. In a week or so, you should be able to use it freely, though, unless something goes seriously wrong."
Dread Lady Nathicana
10-10-2003, 21:13
Nathicana looked relieved at the prognosis, even with the fact that he'd be laid up. That wasn't the problem.

"But doc, why ... what had him so laid out? What weakened him like that? I know it's bad, but ... you said yourself, he's had worse?"

She continued to hold Jaime gently, now that she had him close, seeming not wanting to let him go. Her eyes were filled with worry, and the strain of the day showed in her face, her posture, and the way her hands shook as she tried to comfort her husband.

"And can you at least get him something for the pain?"
10-10-2003, 21:16
The doctor shook his head. "As I said before, because of his condition, any drugs or anything of the sort could lock up his body. No painkillers yet. The situation is simply too delicate."

Taking another look at the wound in the front of Jaime's shoulder, he shrugged. "I don't know what caused him to act like that. Shock, maybe. Behavioral. Reactions to what happens around him. Automatic reactions to 'play dead', as they say. Could be any of a number of things. I can't assess it yet."
Dread Lady Nathicana
10-10-2003, 21:26
Nodding, she asks, "Can we get him to a quiet room and a clean bed? He needs to rest. And unless it's against doctor's orders, something to eat? Oh ... and water. Plenty of water. Ice if you have it," she said absently.

Of course, that means time alone ... time to talk. What is he going to say? What the hell to I say to him? She mentally ran through several curses in her mind, feeling her heart start to sink again.
11-10-2003, 14:52
OOC: Bloody computer crash ..............

IC:

The doctor shrugged. "Yes, I believe so. All I can do right now is patch him up so he stops bleeding and then wait for his body to stabilize itself. Then I can do more serious work. But until he stabilizes ....."

The orderly handed him a roll of bandages and a wet cloth, which he used to gently dab at Jaime's forehead, wiping away the blood and dried blood there, before taking the bandages and beginning to patch up his forehead.
Dread Lady Nathicana
11-10-2003, 15:34
(ooc: owch - hate it when that happens. Anyhoo, not much I can do til they're finished, so ... short post.)

She stepped back, waiting for the doctors to finish their work, biting her lower lip nervously.

It will be ok. It will. I'll make this work somehow ... I hope.
11-10-2003, 19:59
The doctor finished, allowing the orderly to deal with the bloody cloth, and moved on to the shoulder. He did careful work with the blood vessels that had been severed, stopping the bleeding coming from Jaime's shoulder, before taking a roll of bandages and wrapping them around Jaime's shoulder, under his arm and a few wraping around his upper arm as well. By the time the doctor was finished, Jaime's entire shoulder was bandaged.
Dread Lady Nathicana
11-10-2003, 20:09
"How're you feeling, Jaime?" Nathicana asks softly, concerned.

Damn that was a lot of work ... lot of blood ...

"And, thank you, Doctor. I ... appreciate your good work here."
11-10-2003, 20:15
Jaime blinked once, as though just feeling his shoulder. "Well ... I must say, you do some of the best work of any doctor who's ever patched me up," he told the doctor. Turning to Nath, he smiled slightly, hanging his head a bit from his shoulder. "Pretty good, considering."

The doctor nodded at both their comments. "Walf, I'll need to see you again in a shrot period of time to see about patching up those wounds better, but until then ... Until you stabilize, my job is done."
Dread Lady Nathicana
11-10-2003, 20:47
"Right then. Time for peace, quiet, and rest," she says firmly. "Nichols - lead the way. And mind what I said earlier about some sustenance and such. And plenty of water - he'll need it."

She tried to smile back encouraginly at Jaime, her stomach sinking. "Lets get you tucked in, shall we?" she says softly.
11-10-2003, 20:52
He chuckled, pulign himself upright and shrugging the orderly's hand off his shoulder. "I'm okay," he grumbled almost cheerfully, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed he'd been on top of. He looked around, marking his eyes on the door, as Nichols opened it.

"Right. I'll take you to one of the more luxurious rooms here. We're not entirely a hospital, eh?"

As he opened the door and stepped out, Nichols took note of the two guards that had been stationed outside the door. One was a 6'10" black man, massive, who dwarfed even the rifle that hung at his side. The other was a normal-sized man, yet still incredibly well-muscled and well-built. He was handsome, with rugged features. He had a G36K slung over his shoulder, hanging below him.

The two men turned, saluting Nichols as he stepped out.
Dread Lady Nathicana
11-10-2003, 21:11
"Stubborn damned ..." Nathi muttered under her breath, still not certain just what was going on with the man, and determined to stay close to him. She hurried along to his side, offering support if he wanted it, despite the difference in height. Her sharp blue eyes dared anyone to chuckle at what must be a somewhat odd sight.

The two soldati fall in behind the others, their eyes firmly on Nathicana, and watching this way and that for any sign of trouble.

"Jaime, a short while ago you could barely speak. Don't be pushing yourself now."
11-10-2003, 21:17
He nodded, putting his arm around Nathi's shoulders and leaning slightly on her. "Never said I didn't need help. Just not from some person just out of university who's never met me before."

Nichols turned right as they left the room, leading them down the passages, turning occasionally. Following behind him were the four CRT men that had been in the room with them, then came Jaime, Nathi and the two soldati, and behind them came the two men who'd been guarding the room.

Nichols led them to a door, beside a long window that had blinds from inside drawn so nothing of the inside could be seen. Nichols beckoned to the door. "That's the room you'll be wanting. Do you two want your privacy?"
Dread Lady Nathicana
11-10-2003, 21:31
She gives him a look bearing mixed messages. "I ..." she hesitates, but nods. "I think that's best. Massetti, you who stand watch all you like. You've no need to protect me from my own husband."

"Out," she says pointedly, leading Jaime into the room, towards the bed.

Massetti opens his mouth to speak, Pascali wincing in anticipation of the upcoming fight. At her sharp glare, however, he stops. Scowling, and muttering darkly under his breath, he nods and takes up a posiiton along the far wall out in the hallway, Pascali following after, breathing a sigh of relief.
12-10-2003, 03:38
The two guarding CRT men watched the soldati leave, and then closed the door and took up their guard positions again. It was evident they were taking a 'If the lady don't want you in, you ain't getting in' attitude.

Jaime made his way in, helped by Nathi, sitting down on the bed, his long legs reaching the ground under it. Scattered around the room were various couches, chairs, and other such luxurious comforts.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 04:13
Nathi curled up in a chair near him, looking over quietly once everyone had left. She said nothing for a moment, simply watched him, her eyes tight with concern.

Finally, she gathered her courage and said three words in a quiet voice.

"Jaime ... I'm sorry."
12-10-2003, 05:18
He nodded quietly, not knowing what he could say or do at the moment. Finally it came to him. "All it did," he said quietly, yet, somehow, not angrily, "was confirm what I realize I already knew."

His hand instinctively flexed, curling into a fist and back, making sure there was no nerve damage from the shot to his shoulder.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 05:44
She lowers her gaze, unsure of where to go from here, though she winces slightly as he balls up his fist, relaxes, repeats.

"You were doing well ... I was in the way ... responsibilities ... " she trailed off lamely.
12-10-2003, 05:47
He nodded slowly, almost looking up at the ceiling, his gaze never moving, continuing to excercise his hand. "Yeah ..." he said quietly. "I know. Responsiblities."

But that didn't stop ..... No. Don't let yourself go there. Not right now.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 05:54
It isn't fair, dammit ... she starts, half begining to say something, then stops herself.

No, it isn't fair. To him.

She sinks further down in her chair, biting her lower lip.

"Do you n ... that is, is there anything ... dammit, can I get you anything, Jaime?"

She wants to go to him, and she half rises out of her chair before settling back in.
12-10-2003, 06:00
He thought for a moment. "No," he said finally. "No, I don't think there's anything I need."

Except you, dammit! I love you so much, and I hate this! I can't stand being mad at you, yet at the same time, I can't stop myself!

---

Outside, a beautiful woman with long brown hair moved through the halls of Lambda. She had been there before, a very long time ago. She recalled one of the marines had been boorish and tried to hit on her. So she'd hit back. Very brutally. No-one had bothered hr after that, and she'd gotten a reputation as a troublebringer. No-one really wanted to associate with her. People would avoid her in hallways, especially those that had known her ... before ...
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 06:17
"We need to talk, Jaime," she says quietly, hating every moment of it, unwanted tears welling up in her eyes. "Sometime, we need to talk. But for now ... please ... "

Nathi slowly gets up from her chair, and walks over to him. She puts out her hand tentatively, gently brushing her fingertips across his cheek.
12-10-2003, 06:18
He nodded, trying to stop a single tear from forming in his eye. "I know. But now ..."

Let's just forget all that ... For a time ...

His right hand rose, gently moving over Nathi's and coming down over her hand, soflty holding it against his cheek.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 06:29
Nathi sinks down on the bed next to him, snuggling up on his good side, wrapping her arms carefully around him and holding him close. She presses her face against his chest, not caring about the tears that quietly slide down her cheeks.

"I told you, mi amore, no matter what," she says quietly. "No matter what."

Even if I ... gods, let it go for now. You have him, here and now. And that's just going to have to do, for now.

He knows. And whatever happens from here, it won't be the same.
12-10-2003, 06:32
He carefully put his good arm around her, drawing her in close to him and kissing the top of her head. "No matter what," he said quietly. "I know."

---

She turned, inquirign from a doctor once along the way, before striding along to the luxury hallway. She stopped, seeing seven CRT and two unfamiliar uniforms outside the room she was lookig for. She stepped forward, snapping a salute, as the Captain was technically a higher rank than she possessed. Nichols looked shocked to see her. But that was only to be expected.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 07:38
Massetti and Pascali both look the woman over, carefully taking note of the other's reactions to her. Pascali's eyes wander over her in particular, though he stops just short of leering.

An elbow to the ribs is his reward from Massetti. "Put your eyes back in your head," he says quietly in his native tongue.

-------------------------------

His words didn't make things any easier, but she agreed. Now was too hard. After the day she'd already had, she didn't think she could handle the sort of discussion.

Contenting herself with the here and now, she simply nestles close, letting the tears fall quietly, not drawing attention to them.

Later ... and then what?
12-10-2003, 13:59
He held her quietly with his good arm, not knowing what to say next. He bent over and kissed the top of her head.

Later ... Deal with all that later ... Not now.

I don't think I could stand doing this right now.

---

The woman gave Pascali a pointed stare, almost as if to tell him one touch would mean no children for Pascali, ever again, then turned to the group outside in general. "I need to see Jaime Walf," she said in a commanding tone.

"Now hold up, lady," Nichols said, visibly paled, as though seeing a ghost. "You can't just waltz into the PM's room. Just who the hell do you think you are?"

It's a coincidence. It has to be a coincidence. She's not back, unless ... Unless Jaime was lying ... No. Not possible. Not about that. But ... Just looking the same. Just looking the same. I have to hold out belief uin that. She is not back.

She. Cannot. Be. Back.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 15:40
"I'm sorry, miss, but I can't allow that," Massetti said in a quiet voice, not threatening, not rude in the least ... simply a statement of fact. Next to him, Pascali tensed, his scowling back at the woman, but saying nothing.

"The Lady requested privacy, and privacy she's going to have." He nodded to Nichols in agreement, though kept his eyes on the newcomer.

-------------------------------

Nathi stirred, her hearing picking up the faint sound of voices outside the door. She sat up a bit, looking over with a touch of aprehension, not willing to leave Jaime's side just yet.

"We'll get you well ... get through this," she said softly. "Your men are working on getting the group responsible ... it will all be well."
12-10-2003, 15:43
Jaime nodded. "Well, if you got the CRT on it ... Shouldn't be too long. Probably be found soon. They know Haraki like the back of their hands."

---

The woman looked pointedly at Massetti. "And which Lady would you be referring to? Lady Guinevere?"
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 15:56
Massetti scowled again at the reference, clearly not amused.

"The Lady Nathicana, his wife," he growls back at her, "As I think you well know."

-----------------------

"Aye ... " Nathi says somewhat distractedly, straining to hear the conversation through the door.

Dammit, when they said privacy they meant it. I can't make out a thing.

She strokes her hand along his back, trying to be comforting, and feeling horribly awkward about the entire situation. Awkward, and guilty.

"The ... hostage situation. You were handling that very well. It's not that I doubted, you know ... I was just worried for you. So much violence here of late, so many attempts ..." She tilts her head up to kiss his cheek, softly, her own cheeks still wet with silent tears.
12-10-2003, 16:01
Jaime closed his eyes for a moment. "The hostages ... Damn ... I need to know how that's going ... As soon as I can get up and about. Not yet."

Damnit, damnit, damnit ...

---

The woman raised an eyebrow. "He's married?" she said, in a voice of almost wonder. "Now I need to see him even more."
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 16:11
"I'm sure they have the situation well in hand. You had your plans in place, your men were following them. For chrissake, Jaime, why did you ..." She stops herself, suddenly realizing why he'd probably left. Everything seemed to lead back to uncomfortable subjects that both seemed to want left alone, though needing to know.

"Nevermind all that. They can get you reports after you've rested," she says quietly.

----------------------------

Massetti gives the woman an odd look.

"Why don't we start this over with you giving a proper introduction, and letting us know just why it's so important you see Prime Minister Walf."
12-10-2003, 16:17
Jaime nodded. "Yeah. I'll need reports. Or a phonecall, or something. I just need to know what's happenning. Damn it, I hate not being able to tell what's going on!"

His hand instinctively shot over, grabbing something - He couldn't see what - and hurling it against the wall. What he had thrown burst with a crash.

---

The woman sighed. "Look, we don't have time for all that. I just need in."

She turned, walking towards the door, and was cut off by the massive, 6'10", black marine. His deep voice rang out through the hallway. "We been ordered so's you don't get in. Nobody gets in."
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 16:26
Nathi flinches, drawing back from him abruptly, and watching him with worry.

"I ... dammit." She closes her eyes a moment, then stands up. "I'll go request the reports be brought to you. Phone later. So long as you lay down now and promise me you'll get some rest. You need to keep your strength up as well. I'll see what's keeping that food," she says quietly, not meeting his eyes.

She moves towards the door, knowing that though he needs the rest, the reports and all will at least help keep his mind off other things.

----------------------------

"Ma'am, I'm afraid you're going to have to take the time. We've all been given strict orders," Massetti says, watching the CRT folks for an indication of action.

When in Rome ... bah. She tries to get past, I'll take action. Not until. Nathicana would have my head if I start an international incident here.
12-10-2003, 19:21
Jaime nodded glumly, looking down a the floor, as she rose and walked towards the door. He understood. Too many times he'd done similar things.

---

The woman sighed. "Well if I can't see Jaime, I'll settle for his wife," she growled.

"Look, woman, who the hell are you?" Nichols interrupted.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 19:43
Dammit.

She glanced one over her shoulder. "Please, Jaime ... lay down. Rest. I'll be right back, I promise, but you need to rest to get well."

And with that, she quietly opened the door and slipped out ... and looked at the gathering before the door in surprise as she quietly closed it behind her.

"Che cosa?" she asks her soldati, then gives the woman an appraising look, her eyes locked on her as she speaks to Nichols.

"What's going on here?"

Massetti and Pascali both grimace.
12-10-2003, 19:47
Nichols shuddered, seeing Nath exit the room. He dreaded to think what would happen when these two met.

The woman took over then. "Who are you?"

Nichols, quietly, murmured out her name. "Lady Nathicana D'Aquisto dal Lupo, Dread Lady of the Dominion ..."

The woman looked quizzical. "Which DOminion?"

Nichols sighed. "This is the Prime Minister's wife."
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 19:57
Nathicana drew herself up to her full uninposing height of 5'6", her chin tilted imperiously, blue eyes cool and challenging.

"Is there ... trouble here, Nichols?" she asks, her eyes still firmly on the woman, ignoring the slight.

Who the hell is this, and why are these men so damned jumpy about it?

Massetti replies quietly in their native tongue. "My lady, she has yet to identify herself, though she seems known to at least Nichols. She demands to see Lord Walf, and barring that, yourself."

She gives him a brief nod in reply, still watching the woman closely.
12-10-2003, 19:59
"Um ... Slight trouble ... This woman seems to keep insisting on seeing Jaime. Or yourself, since we wouldn't let her see him," Nichols replied. "She hasn't told us her name."

"Laura," the woman replied. "My name is Laura."

Oh dear god, was the first thought that sprang into Nichols' mind. It's her. She's back. She really is. God save us all.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 20:06
Nathicana froze. She knew that name. Jaime had told her all about it, what seemed ages ago in that room on the tour. They had shared many thoughts then ... many secrets ...

There was no way this woman could be standing there now.

"Non è possibile," she says, her eyes narrowing. "Regardless ... what do you want with Jaime?"

She stood firmly in front of the door, seeming for all the world to think she could keep anyone from entering she wished.
12-10-2003, 20:09
"I'm a friend of his. An old friend. I came to see how he's doing. I heard he'd been attacked, and I could tell he'd be taken to Lambda, because I used to work here."

I remember those days all too well, Nichols thought. Back when I was a corporal establishing my reputation in the CRT.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 20:24
"Nichols, Jaime wants updates on the hostage situation, the recent attack, and any other information relevant. I want your people to get that for him, understood?"

She continues to watch Laura, not acknowledging her comments for now.

"I also would like some food to be brought in, if that's not too much trouble. He needs to keep his strength up, especially after loosing all that blood. Juice ... juce and water, I think. And I'd like you to know, I don't think much of this vaunted security of yours if this woman can just walz in here demanding audience."

Nathi makes the slightest motion with her hand to her soldati, and they tense in response.

--Watch her.--

"I know who you are," she finally says in a dangerously soft voice. "Or at least, who you say you are. I'm afraid without proof I cannot take the risk of letting you in. So soon after an attack ... I'm sure you understand. Security and all." She smiles coldly.

"Besides, the last I heard, you were quite dead."
12-10-2003, 20:33
Laura grimaced at that. "Yes. There was ... an incident. I was betrayed. Last most people heard I was quite dead, but that doesn't change the fact that I am alive now."

Nichols nodded, turning to two of his men. "You, Dave, get food. Jim, get the reports."

They saluted and jogged off.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 20:52
Gods ... can't be. Simply can't ... he's in no shape to take a shock like this, not after ... dammit. It's not as though I can keep this from him indefinitely ... what to do. He'd never forgive me for this. If he'll forgive me at all for everything else.

She barely noticed the two men leave.

Not impossible, no. Shodey's bringing Dev back from the edge of death, why not? And the odd abilities I've seen some people posess, Jaime included ... possible? Could this really be her?

"Know this. Back from the dead or not ... if you so much as think of harming him, I can and will kill you." She watches Laura coldly, her hand on the doorknob.

"Wait here. This is for him to decide."

And with that, she slips back in the room, blocking the view inside as best she can, her eyes on Laura til she shuts the door with a click.

Turning back to Jaime, she leans against the door with a quiet sigh.

"You have ... a visitor."
12-10-2003, 21:08
Jaime looked up from where he was sitting on the bed, his knees up in front of him.

"Who is it?" he asked quietly, although he believed he already knew the answer.

---

As Nath opened the door and stepped in, Laura almost bolted for the door. The lightning-fast movement of the massive man beside it was all that stopped her. She stopped, snarling at the man.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 21:12
She watches him quietly for a moment, then nods.

"She says ... she says she's Laura," she half whispers.

----------------

Both soldati move to take hold of Laura, then back off just as quickly, eyeing her warily.
12-10-2003, 21:16
Jaime closed his eyes. "Oh, good f*cking lord. Not this on top of everything else. This can't be happening ... And yet it is ... And I know it is ... I know this is real, but ... How the hell is this supposed to be true? Now I've got dead people coming out my ears, attacks, terrorists ..."

He stood to the ground, raising his gaze to the ceiling and bellowing in rage.

---

Laura turned, giving a piercing glare to the soldati as they step forward. "Just try it, boys," she snarled. "I could use a little practice."
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 22:06
Nathicana stiffens, closing her eyes for a moment, her fists clenching tightly at her sides. She quietly locks the door behind her, then walks over to Jaime, standing in front of him.

"I don't know whether to believe or not. I do know you don't have to see her if you don't want to. You don't have to deal with any of this right now. I can get the doctor ... we can get you something to sleep ... this can all wait."

----------------------

"I don't recommend it, ma'am," is all Massetti says, Pascali and he both giving her a steady look in return, unphased.
12-10-2003, 22:14
Jaime nodded. "Yeah. I can't deal with this right now. I can;t talk to her. Last I saw her she had a bullet in her skull. But I don't need the doctor yet. I'm fine. For now."

He lowered his head, looking at the gorund in between the two of them. Just tell her something. Bluff past her, or something. Make something up. I just can't see her. Not now. Maybe not ever."
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 22:30
She impulsively moves in to hold him close for a moment, feeling awkward, protective, and oddly enough ... a touch jealous? She blinks at that realization, her own nerves about shot.

And just where do I have the right to feel like that? He's the one who's been betrayed and hurt. And he doesn't want to see her anyway.

"Then, you won't have to see her," she says firmly.

Stepping back, she smooths her expression to look calm and unruffled. "The food is on the way, as are the reports. I'll take care of it."

Walking quietly to the door, she unlocks it, and slips back outside again, not looking back. Closing the door firmly, she faces Laura with her full imperious 'Dread Lady' mode in gear.

"He cannot be disturbed right now. He needs his rest. In no condition to see visitors right now. I suggest you make yourself comfortable elsewhere and await a summons."

She stands, arms akimbo, firmly planted in front of the door, staring Laura down.

The two soldati grit their teeth, quietly taking up better positions behind the woman in case they're needed.
12-10-2003, 22:33
Laura linto her eyes, with a piercing glare, as though she was looking into Nathi's soul. She looekd like she was going to fight them every step of the way. Then the four CRT men, including the massive man and his silent partner, stepped in behind and beside Nath and the two soldati. Laura growled.

"Fine," she snarled. "I'll wait. But it had better not be long." She turned, and stalked away down the hallway. Nichols breathed a sigh of relief.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 22:44
She returns the gaze, her own eyes clear and cold, unblinking. Unflinching.

"You do that."

Nathi watches her go, the corners of her eyes tight, clenching her teeth. "Find out what the hell she wants. I don't care how you do it. I'll be damned if she's getting in there. He does not want to see her right now. And Nichols, background. Now. On her. I need to know just what I'm getting into here."

Looking around with irritation, she snaps, "And were are those reports and the food?"

You're letting all this get to you ... calm down, she tells herself.
12-10-2003, 22:48
Nichols nodded. One of the CRT boys ran off to fetch the reports. "I never actually worked with her, and I don't know her background, I just remember I used to see her now and then stalking through the hallways of Lambda. She was a lot nicer back then. I don't know what changed her. COuld be the fact she took a bullet to the head and survivied. COuld be-"

He was cut off by one of the men he'd sent off earlier arriving back with a tray of food and drinks.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 23:02
"Yes, well I'd like to know just how she managed that. Jaime told me about that incident," she says quietly. "I don't think he ever got over it."

"Thank you." She nods to the men, opening the door and directing them in, though she doesn't look at Jaime just yet.

"Perhaps ..."

Would she even talk to me? I need to know what she wants. She told them she'd speak with me instead ...

"Keep watch here. I'll be back. And Angel, dear ... stay. You and Pascali both. I need you here more than hovering over me. Nichols? If they so much as put a foot out of line ... lock them up."

She shoots them a triumphant grin, and stalks off down the hall with a determined look on her face to find Laura.
12-10-2003, 23:08
Nichols grinned triumphantly at the last sentence. "Only too glad to obey your orders, ma'am," he said, pulling a salute, still grinning.

The CRT men left the room Jaime was in again, without the food and drink they had had, and took up their positions guarding the door again.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 23:15
Of all the ... damn these men. Damn them all to hell.

The upcoming confrontation gave her energy she thought she'd left behind with all the chaos of the day as she marched with a purpose through the halls, searching for Laura.

-----------------

Neither soldati looked pleased in the least at that turn of events, shooting each other knowing looks, and grimacing.

"Damn that woman ... I swear, if she would for once bend her stubborn neck ..." Pascali muttered under his breath, earning him a worried look and a jab in the ribs from Massetti.
12-10-2003, 23:21
"Now, now, Pascali," Nichols said happily. "You wouldn't want me to take what you say as a threat, would you?" He blinked innocently.

---

Laura ended her small storm through the hallways in a waiting room at the end of one hallway. She sat down in one of the uncomfortable airmchairs there, glaring at the wall, and the pictures there.
Dread Lady Nathicana
12-10-2003, 23:34
Pascali blinks. "But I thought I ..."

"No, idiot, you didn't. Now stow it." Massetti grumbles back, smiling with mock pleasatry at Nichols. "No, I think we're all just fine here, thanks."

---------------

Catching sight of her quary, Nathi takes a long, deep breath, letting it out slowly.

Here goes nothing.

Walking forward with no further delay, she sits down in another chair, facing Laura, a determined look on her face.

"They said you'd speak to me at least, if you couldn't speak to him. So say your piece. What is it you want, and why do you need to see him so badly?"
13-10-2003, 02:09
Nichols smiled. "Good. Because I'd hate to have anything happen and ruin the peace here."

---

Laura's gaze didn't move. She coninued looking at one picture on the wall. "I wanted to speak with him," she said, "Because I was once one of his only friends and I heard he was injured. Although I'd rather not show up at this time, after he'd just been shot, I couldn't stand to simply be there watching the six o'clock news while one of my only friends, even from over a decade ago, could be dying in an underground complex."
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 03:05
"So why wait til now? Why did you leave him thinking you were dead all those years? Do you have any idea what that man has been through?"

She can't keep the anger from her voice, though a good deal of it is directed at herself.

"You meant more to him than that, and you know it. I think that nearly killed him seeing you executed right before his eyes. He's been through worse ... I've seen him worse. Why now?"
13-10-2003, 03:07
"You're coming to me for medical advice because your husband is very ill?" Laura asked calmly. "You wish to know why a simple bullet to the shoulder can injure him this badly, while I have seen him take three to the chest and keep fighting?"

"I believe I know the answer ... But do you find yourself truly wanting to know?"
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 04:04
This takes her aback somewhat, and she pauses.

"What do you know, woman?" she asks quietly, watching Laura intently.

I knew it. I knew something was wrong. What is it? A conspiracy? Tainted bullet? What? And how does she know?
13-10-2003, 04:10
"I've watched him enought times to know what shocks him and what doesn't," Laura said, still watching that same picture, her gaze never wavering. "I've watched him take a bullet to the stomach and fall over, and I've watched him take five to the chest and just take it grinning. The whole key is, what's happening around him. And just how his enemies are htiting him. Through him," She put her finger to her forehead.

"Or through something else," she said, slowly moving the finger down to point at her heart.
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 04:18
Nathicana watches her without blinking, her mind churning furiously, going back over all the time she's known him, all the times he's been hurt, and trying to match what was going on around him at the time.

And the color drains from her face as she makes the connections. She starts to shake her head slowly, in denial, but stops herself, not wanting to give away anything more to this strange woman than she needs to.

"You're saying it's all emotional? Empathic, even? His inner strength is what drives his physical strength?"

She speaks quietly, her face schooled to an unreadable mask, save for her eyes. Those speak clearly of worry ... and guilt.

Oh gods ... what have I done?
13-10-2003, 04:23
Laura nodded. "You've got it exactly. He can not even get shot, not even be touched, and he can feel the pain like he's been hit in the skull."

"It's all about what happens around him. What he feels, what he sees, what he hears. Everything combined on him at the time of the attack, and the shot to his shoulder was the last straw. That's why he's so badly injured this time, and not so many other times."
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 04:34
"Does he know this? Does he even realize?" she said, half to herself. She thought back to some of those times ... it had to be true. And this time ... she knew, in her heart, it was her fault.

He'd have never left that site if she hadn't run out on him, she was certain. He'd been worried, yes, but focused. Sad at the situation, concerned for the people, but calm. He'd made no mention of leaving previous ... And his condition now. He'd been weak as a kitten when they first took him into the ambulance. Was it her presence that had helped, or that of the elites and knowledge he was safe?

She couldn't honestly say.

And knowing all this ... where to go from here? Her brow furrowed in worry. Something the woman said though caught her attention.

"How much do you know of what's been going on, Laura? And where have you been all this time?"
13-10-2003, 04:39
"I don't think he knows. Although, he's bright. He may have it figured out. I haven't seen him in twelve years. What do I know?"

"And where have I been?"

She rose from her chair, walking over to the wall underneath the picture she had been watching so intently, turning her back to the wall and leaning on it. "I assume I've been recovering. Probably in an underworld hospital. I really don't know. I ... awoke, you could call it ... several years ago in a hospital, in a coma from apparent brain damage caused to me by the bullet. They said I'd never wake up. They were wrong."

"I didn't remember a thing. It took me a year to remember my own name. It took me another year to remember what my life had been. It took me two years after that to work out the details of my life. I spent four years living in a hospital. I didn't see sunlight for half a decade. And I was in a coma for eight years before that."
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 04:45
"I'm ... sorry. I didn't know," she said awkwardly, grimacing as she listens. "Do you know who helped you? And if so, why didn't they tell Jaime? Gods, what a mess."

[i]I need to tell him. He has to know. Has to understand. How can he expect to rule if a bad day can put him out of commission? Lord, I've had died ten times over by now if that were the case for myself. Too many pressures ... and I haven't helped."

"Dammit, how could I have known?" she mutters aloud, not meaning to, caught up in her own private reveries.

"I'll ... I'll speak with him. He's been through a lot recently. Too much. And this ... I think I understand now."
13-10-2003, 04:48
Laura gave a humourless laugh. "Most criminal doctors dislike revealing themselves to the Prime Minister. And yes, I encourage you to go talk to him. It works a lot better if you understand when you talk to him."
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 04:51
"If you don't mind waiting then," she says quietly, rising to her feet. "I'll send word."

She walks slowly back to the room, not really noticing those around her. Lost in her own thoughts, she doesn't even acknowledge those guarding the door, simply pushing anyone aside she needs to, and walking in without preamble, closing the door quietly behind her.

Nathi looks over at Jaime, and her heart sinks again.
13-10-2003, 09:16
Jaime turned his head to look at Nath as she stepped in the door, giving her an inquisitive look, almost as if to ask, Well?
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 11:23
Well what did you expect him to do? Smile, jump up and throw his arms around you, tell you all's forgiven? she asked herself harshly. Her eyes go to the trays of food, and the beverages, checking to see if he's done anything with them. She also looks to see if he's got the reports.

Firming her resolve, she crosses the room without a word, not looking at him til she settles herself down in a nearby chair, putting on her 'business' look, and reining in her emotions so that she can get through this. She sits with her hands in her lap, absentmindedly toying with the ring on her finger, as she is wont to do.

"Alright then. I'm still not sure what to believe, or not, but I will give you what I've been told, and leave it for you to decide."

"She claims to have been taken in by underground medics after the incident. She spent most of that time in a coma, and several more years working out who she even was, gaining back her memories. This is why you haven't heard from her. It's only recently she's been out and about, or so she claims. I think we both know the medical wonders available out there ... I can't in good faith deny the possibility of just such a thing happening. You yourself said you blacked out for part of that. There is no way of knowing what happened in the time between."

She takes a deep breath, fingers twitchy. Desperately wanting ice water to soothe her nerves, she nevertheless refrains from getting up to get some, forcing herself to continue.

"She claims she only came when she heard you were hurt. The fact that she got in here at all both surprises me, and makes me wonder. My thoughts are thus. Either she is who and what she says she is, and is here for no other reason that what she claims, or she is being used to get at you. The underground medical story makes me nervous. It smacks of her being taken and 'reprogrammed' if you will. Someone able to get close to you possibly, hurt you."

She winces at that line, knowing all too well what she's done is much the same. May have well as held the gun myself.

"The woman had other things to say as well, in reference to your wound, and the odd way you seem to have been affected by it. I remember the dreams you had, oh so long ago, back in SilverCities," she says, eyes tightening at the reference of their meeting. "Remember how they made you so ill? How they physically hurt you? Think back to the times you have been injured, and the seemingly amazing things you've pulled out of. And in turn, the things like this, in relation, small in nature. Now think on what was going on around you. Your frame of mind. Your emotional state."

Nathi watches him closely for his reaction as she speaks, pausing only to whet her lips.

"We knew then you had some sort of extrasensory abilities. I'm not sure what all Marcus was able to tell you or help you with, but you did seem to get a better control on things after that. If I'm not mistaken, and mind I know little of such things - in my nation after all, it's unheard of - you're an Empath of sorts. Your emotions, your mental state affect your physical one. For all I know, you've already worked this out, and I'm simply sitting here babbling. It would explain much. Your sudden increase in strength, endurance ... and the seemingly inexplicable things like this shot to your shoulder doing what it did to you." She finishes that last in a very quiet voice, her eyes slipping slightly from his own, then returning, a holding a look of sadness and regret.

"I'm sorry for my part in hurting you so, Jaime. It isn't what I'd intended. It's not something I ever wanted to do. I realize this isn't the ideal time and place for discussing it all. I'm not sure there ever will be one. It's been ... hard, this relationship of ours. Never seeming to have enough time, always our lives seeming to get in the way. I've changed. I think it all started with you, all that time ago. Lately I've been remembering things. Coming to grips with my own troubled past. Trying to reconcile things I've done, what I've become, what I hope to have and be. I'm still working on all that. I'm still not sure where I'm going. I do know that in spite of it all, I love you, and I don't know what to do about it. I told you no matter what, and I meant that."

She wasn't sure when the tears started. It didn't matter. She felt numb from all the ups and downs and revelations of the day. She wanted nothing more than to curl up in a dark corner somewhere and sleep a dreamless sleep, with no troubles to haunt her, no worries, no fears, and no choices.

Nathi knew somehow in her heart what she wanted. Looking at Jaime, she wasn't sure she could have that.

"Now, or later ... it is your choice when we talk. I won't insult you by not taking blame. I know damn well I'm at fault, and I'm not proud of it. As for her ... that's also for you to decide. I have my worries, but I'm certain we could protect you if you choose to meet with her. She's awaiting word one way or the other. You said before you didn't want to see her, and if that still holds, I'll make certain she's kept away. If not, I await your orders."

She sits in her chair, for once not the haughty, imperious leader. Simply a woman, confused, hurting, and full of regret, looking small. All pretense and posturing aside, she quietly wept, waiting for his decisions.
13-10-2003, 17:53
Jaime quietly rose, crossing over to her and putting his arms around her, trying to comfort her. "Nath ... It's okay. It's all okay," he said desperately trying to think of something to say.

"I had once guessed that my emotions may influence my health, may affect how I act or how I am, but I dismissed it as a load of supernatural crap. However, now that I hear it again, reconsider it ... Yeah, I think I'm beginning to understand."

Thinking along other lines, he slowly shook his head. "I can't see her right now. Can't talk to her. Just the shock of her being alive is enough. And to get in here she'd have to have identical fingerprints and retinal prints as Laura ... Sharpe ..." Curiously, it almost pained him to say her name. "or the computers wouldn't allow her in. They'd shut her off. Which means she is her ... I just don't know if I can accept that fact right now."

"I also don't think I could talk about ... that right now. Everything thrown together ... I just don't think I could."

He brushed a lock of hair from in front of her face, gently raising it to look into his own. "Partly for you."

He gently raised one of her hands and kissed the back of it. "I love you, Nath, and that's not going to change. No matter what."
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 18:00
"Why?" she whispers quietly. "Why are you trying to comfort me?"

She looks up at him with a mix of wonderment and guilt, and no small measure of relief.

"After all this ... why? You haven't done anything wrong. I have."
13-10-2003, 18:15
"Why?" he repeats her question back to her. "Why am I trying to comfort you? Because I love you, and seeing you sad ... Seeing you upset, or needing to be comforted ... It tears my heart in two."
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 19:25
"Jaime ... you don't understand," she says quietly. "And I think that we need to have those talks I think we've been trying to avoid for some time now."

She leans up and kisses him gently, her own heart heavy and uncertain. "You know I love you. I wouldn't be here if I didn't. But you have a right to know the rest."

Just do it. Enough with the hiding, the secrets. Devon has the advantage that Jaime never did ... he knows he's had to share.

"I don't know if we'd ever truly discussed much of my past. Especially not concerning Devon. I admit, ever since he showed up at that party, I've done my damndest to keep you two apart. You're not the only one to have someone you thought was dead walk back into your life. The difference was, if he hadn't faked his death, I would have killed him."

She sighs quietly, once started intent on finishing. "We were both in intel. I was the senior officer, and eventually, was made minister. He was a subordinate. We often worked together, and eventually were involved. Very involved." She reddens slightly at the memories, her eyes dropping for a moment. "When I made my bid for power, I went to clean up all loose ends. He was one of them. I wouldn't admit it then, but I'd come to rely on him. To care about him more than I should. I saw it as a weakness, didn't understand at the time really. He had to go."

"Years later, a random report comes in on him. I was shocked. And by that time, he was far too well protected to touch, having already taken over his own nation. It would have created an international incident. Still ... I never thought he'd come back." She finishes that thought quietly, biting her lower lip.

"I tried, Jaime. I did. But being with you showed me what it was I'd started feeling all those years before. And he was always there, it seemed. At events ... at diplomatic functions ... hell, you know what lengths he went to just to talk with me," she says, referring to her damaged office and lost Raphael. "It was so easy to fall back into old habits. So easy getting used to having him around. He never once asked me to leave you. Always supported my efforts to help you. Never judged, just as you never have. So alike and so different ..."

She looks up at him, eyes still wet with quiet tears. "I'm not sure I know how to explain. I'm not sure I do myself. All I know is that I love you. I hate seeing you hurt. I want to see you succeed, and be happy." She pauses, the corners of her eyes showing the strain. "And ... I care for him too. When they told me about his accident, I had to go. I just had to. I had to know." She closes her eyes for a moment, the tears streaming down her cheeks, continuing on in a whisper.

"It was horrible, Jaime. Horrible. The blast it ... it didn't leave much. I'm sure you've heard the reports. You wouldn't have left if you hadn't, I think. I had to do what I could ... and so I did. I got him the help he needed. And I'm waiting now for him to recover. Just as I'll wait for you to."

She let her words sink in for a moment, watching him with an anguished expression. "I couldn't choose. You were fine when I left ... all was well ... I came back as soon as I could, and then I heard about the attack here ... Gods Jaime, I've been so afraid I was going to lose you ... and I almost lost him too. Both, on the same day. Only two people I've ever cared for this way for. I haven't known what to think. I only know that the thought of seeing either one of you like this has damn near killed me. And lying to you has been leeching the life out of me bit by bit ever since he visited Devras for those trade talks."

Nathicana sat back, waiting. "Now you know. If there's anything else you wish to know, ask. I'm not sure I could do this again any time soon. I'd rather it was all out. I know what I want, Jaime. I'm not sure I can have it. I don't deserve either one of you when it comes down to it. But that doesn't stop me wanting."

"As for her ... I'm sorry. I truly am. I can't tell you what the right thing to do there is. I wish I could. But that's for you alone to decide."
13-10-2003, 20:00
Jaime smiled. "I know," he said eventually. "Everything you just told me, except for ... the part at the end. Do you think I have one of the best intelligence agencies in the world at my fingertips for nothing? I'm not mad at you. I'm just glad you told me, instead of keeping on lying to me. I've been lied to enough in my lifetime."

He reached out, grabbing a file folder on the table beside him. In fact, it was two folders. "Here," he said quietly. "These are the reports I was talking about. For some reason they brought these to me along with the other reports."

The first file was labelled at the top, "HIA Record and File: Lady Nathicana D'Aquisto dal Lupo"

The second was labelled "HIA Record and File: Emperor Devon Treznor"
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 20:17
Nathicana looks at him, stunned. She takes the folders with shaking hands, and looks them over quietly, not saying a word. Her lips compress slightly, and her brows shoot up more than once as she reads.

"All this time. And you never said a word." Her voice holds no malice, no anger, no blame.

She looks back at him then, weighing and measuring as she so often does. "Then ... why?"
13-10-2003, 20:21
Jaime didn't answer for a short time. "Because," he said at last, "I wanted to see if - and when - you would tell me. Again, all these files did was confirm what I realize I already knew."
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 20:25
"And that is?" she asks quietly, knowing it's a wide open question. She doesn't take her eyes off him, holding the files loosely in her hands, waiting.

"And ... more to the point," she adds. "What are we going to do, and where do we go from here?"
13-10-2003, 20:29
"Well, which was ... what you just told me."

In regards to the 'where do we go from here' comment, he smiles. "Well, I believe you mentioned something about a vacation...?"
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 20:39
She scowls slightly, tossing the files down.

"You know damn well what I mean," she starts, her eyes flashing. Tease me? You're going to tease me on this? God dammit, after all we've been through today ...

"And yes, yes I did. And my offer still stands. But Jaime, I have to know. Can we go on as we have been?"
13-10-2003, 20:43
Jaime smiled. "Yes, I know, but I have to have some way to relieve stress. That's just how I am. I suppose we could carry on, as you say, although it would be ery different from how we've been. I honestly don't know. I suppose we'll have to burn that bridge when we come to it."
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 20:54
"I ... I honestly don't know what to do yet. No more lies."

She stands up slowly, her eyes on his, and steps forward into his arms, wrapping her own around him carefully, har hands gently masaging the muscles in his strong back.

Nathi slowly kisses her way up along his neck, til she finally reaches his lips, straining up on tiptoes to reach. Kissing him tenderly, she whispers against his lips. "Then we'll deal with it one day at a time. For now ... " she kisses him again, slowly. "Lets see what we can do about tapping into some of that empathic 'healing' of yours. I promise ... I'll be gentle."

Letting her hands wander over him in familiar ways, she makes her intentions clear without further words, waiting only for him to agree.
13-10-2003, 21:01
Jaime relaxed, allowing her to release the tension in his back as she massaged it. He kissed her back, slowly drawing back. He smiled. "Shall we? I do believe so."

Ge drew his hand up, gently stroking her hair, before pulling her in closer to him and kissing her again.
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 21:18
She lets out a little breath she hadn't even realized she was holding, and kisses him deeply, not doing much else for a while, savoring the closeness, not wanting to speak.

Eventually, she leads him back to the bed, undressing him slowly, ever mindful of his shoulder. She shrugs out of her things as well, carelessly tossing all articles aside, her focus solely on him. Gently she helps him lay down, smiling mischievously. Nathi leans down to kiss him again, swinging her leg across to teasingly straddle his hips.

"And we're going to do this again ... and again ... and again, til you feel better, boy," she says, punctuating her words with kisses. "I love you, mi amore ... no matter what."

And with that, she proceeds to show him without words just how much she means it. She puts all the other complications firmly out of her mind.

Tomorrow. Later. Right now, this is all that matters.
13-10-2003, 21:30
OOC: And let's just cut forward a bit in time ............
Dread Lady Nathicana
13-10-2003, 22:14
OOC: Oh, I quite agree ... lead on, Fortunato. :)
imported_Kalessin
23-10-2003, 23:28
[OOC: Tagged]