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The view through the window was nothing but a sheet of white, as the lake-effect snowfall sought to blanket the capital of the fledgling union in a sea of crystallized water. From his new office on the upper floor of the recently established National Security Headquarters, Grand Executor Joseph Tynes stared out into the void. On his desk, a series of reports on the recent campaigns in Yh'mi, mixed in with various documents on military development projects. His right arm was still tightly bound in a cast, the bones that had been shattered by an assassin's bullet almost two months ago still not healed. As a result, his ability to place his signature upon items requiring his approval had become severely hampered, making his new job a difficult one. For the moment, he was content to ignore the papers and enjoy the snowfall outside, the beauty of the blizzard giving him nostalgic memories of his childhood. Everything he had done since he took power in Norkotia was out of love for the nation that had raised him, and he intended for many more generations to live to enjoy the simple things he had been privileged with experiencing in his youth. He was abruptly roused from this reverie by the intercom on his desk.

"Minister Redbridge is here to see you, sir."

"Send him in."

The door opened, admitting the Vulkish man who was donning his customary suit and fedora. Diric Redbridge, never being a man to waste words on small talk, got to the point quickly as he made his entrance.

"Excellency, I have completed arrangements for your trip to Ursa Madeum, save for one exception." he spoke, his voice dry and dull as always, "It appears the farm implements you wished to transport to House Hildebrand will not be ready for travel in time for our scheduled trip. We will either need to delay our departure, or we will have to leave without the implements."

"That's... unfortunate." Tynes sighed in disappointment, having looked forward to giving the two machines to Hildebrand personally, "But I want to be sure I am home in time for Kerzentag, so we will have to proceed as planned."

"Very well." Redbridge nodded, though he made no move to leave.

"Is there something else, Diric?"

"Yes excellency, there is. Tell me, does the name Kersh Engel sound familiar to you?"

"Engel..." Tynes leaned back in his chair and rubbed his chin in thought, "Kersh Engel, you say?"

"Yes, Doctor Kersh Engel. He was once a medical researcher for the university, where he was considered a genius and thought to be the wave of the future for Norkotian medicine. Unfortunately, it was discovered that he was conducting often fatal experiments on non-consenting patients, in clear violation of the law. He was subsequently convicted and exiled, and he has not been seen in Norkotian territory since."

"Oh, yes... I remember him now. That was quite a while ago..." Tynes noted.

"Fifteen years, in-fact." Redbridge specified.

"Why is this relevant now?"

"Prior to his exile, Doctor Engel had made tremendous strides in the field of prosthetics, particularly mechanical ones. There are at least three examples of individuals who he successfully implanted with functioning mechanical limbs, though only two survive to this day. It is my belief that his expertise would be exceptionally useful to us now, not only for our military forces, but also for yourself." the minister explained.

"My arm is still healing, I don't need a prosthetic." Tynes laughed at the notion.

"Possibly, but I'm afraid the latest results from your x-rays are not promising. At the least, Engel may be able to conduct a reconstructive surgery that would correct any errors made during the initial surgery. And as I noted a moment ago, with our military forces soon to conduct operations in Yh'mi and elsewhere, there is sure to be an influx of wounded and dismembered young men. With Engel's knowledge brought back to Norkotia, our medical capabilities will be granted a significant boon."

"You make a good point." Tynes nodded, "But Engel has been gone for well over a decade, how do you intend to find him?"

"I already have, your excellency."

Edited by Tyler

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Port Caelum...

Neon signs blended awkwardly with the traditionalist architecture above as the man made his way through the busy streets of the Genesarian city, his tan suit and dark brown fedora causing him to stick out amidst the robes and kimonos of the local denizens. Yet he moved without fear of being accosted, for there was no law against looking different in this town. For better or for worse, the cultural over-tolerance that most Valcurean nations practiced had made it far too easily to infiltrate their ranks. Making his way to a more secluded place in town, the man entered a darkened storefront, which stank of mold and mice. He did not go far before a pair of glowing gold eyes looked up at him from the shadows.

"You're late." Mara Mercer growled at the man, whilst lighting up a match that illuminated her battle-scarred face.

"On the contrary, you are simply early, bounty hunter." the agent in tan replied, as he watched Mara use the match to ignite the end of a cigarette.

"You know when they're movin' him?" Mara inquired as she took a drawl.

"They've expedited the timeline from where I initially anticipated. He's being transferred to the airport tonight, so they can ship him to a prison city in the interior." the agent explained, "I spoke with certain local information brokers, and I have the most likely routes they will use for the transfer."

He pulled out a folded piece of parchment, which he tossed to Mara. Her mechanical arm whirred to life as it snatched the item out of the air in a blur. However, the woman's eyes did not shift, remaining fixed on the agent.

"Am I workin' alone?"

"Two other mercenaries from Terrenus are on their way as we speak. I have assurances they will arrive here within the next few minutes. You're free to use any means at your disposal for this operation, but remember, you are acting of your own accord." the agent wagged his finger at the cyborg, "No client or benefactor."

"As ya wish." Mara let out a puff of smoke as she leaned back in her chair.

With that, the agent made his exit, leaving Mara to smoke in the shadows, as she waited for her contracted lackeys to arrive.


Edited by Tyler

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images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR9BBs9pQlULpvksXhLbKBw3AWHYxrfyuofSU8tqS0sr1NtkOL-Port Caelum...

A pair of women sauntered through the Genesarian streets, their flamboyant robes matching those of the city's denizens. If only the Mistress did not die which further led to the cartal's dissolution, then these would proudly march on this city wearing their edgy coats and the cartel's symbol. But alas, all good things must come to an end and the good Mistress finally kicked the bucket. There was no more joy left in the eyes of these two, only sorrow and grief, each clinging to the false hope that at the Mistress would actually be alive. 

But they cannot grieve forever. The world moves while they are trapped in their hearts mourning for their loss, leaving them much farther behind. They both knew the world had long since forgotten the Mistress and her cartel yet they were not interested in reforming it. The cartel will never be the same without the Mistress. Only she or someone of their blood can lead. The fake Black Head that keeps swinging her dick around had gravely infuriated the pair but they both knew that there is nothing they can do. There was nothing left for them but to leave the cartel and move forward with the rest of the world.

It won't be long before Sera and Khaki would meet their contact, Mara. Yes, the Mistress' most trusted agents are once more back in the criminal world and this time, there's no Mistress to guard their backs.

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And even worse, these two young ladies were contracted to follow a woman whose life's work was the track down criminals and terrorists and put them behind bars... or six feet under.

"You best be the mercenaries I was told to expect." a voice sounded from the shadows once Sera and Khaki arrived in the old shop, "'Cause ya kept me waiting long enough as it is."

The glowing golden eyes in the shadows bore into the two cartel women, as the owner of said eyes cycled through a couple different visual spectrums. Finding what she saw to be rather interesting, she stood up and stepped out of the shadows.

"Soooo, they saw fit to hire members of the infamous Blackspear Cartel to assist me? Ya gals are lucky I need ya for this gig." the bounty hunter remarked, "Actually, your perfect for what I'm intendin' to do. Come with me."

No handshake, no hello, no formalities whatsoever; Mara simply did not desire to waste any more precious time, as she turned and headed for the back entrance. Rather than try to intercept the convoy en route to the airport, she instead intended to beat them to their destination. Sure, she could probably crush the guards and free Engel easily while on the highway, but then she'd be stuck having to escort a fugitive through a huge metropolis, with no guarantee she'd reach her transport out of town before the authorities tracked them down.

"Have either of ya ever hijacked a ship?" Mara inquired, looking over her shoulder at the two girls behind her.

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"Hijacked a ship?" Sera chuckled. Following this queer woman was a new experience for her. She would have loved to correct the woman about the cartel, but Sera found it funnier if people did not know about the cartel's dissolution. Gotta keep the cartel's stort alive, even when it's already dead

But highjacking a ship? Sera mulled over that notion. She had done a lot of crazy stuff in the past, so surely she must have hijacked a ship as well. Yeah, she must have. Probably.

Despite her lacking mental faculties, Sera was always a good agent, especially at taking orders. She was never one to plan though as thinking too much can make her brain explode. Poor Sera.

So she simlply nodded in affirmation. "Where's the ship? Let's do this."

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"It will be in the airport several blocks down." Mara replied, "We will infiltrate the ship while it's still docked, then move to seize it after it has left the city's airspace."

They made their way down the busy straits toward the airport, Mara in the lead the entire time. Her clothing was relatively modest compared to her normal getup, partially so she had sleeves to cover her metallic arm so it wouldn't attract attention. She wished the shield she had commissioned was ready for this assignment, but it had turned out to be more difficult for the smiths to construct than originally anticipated. Oh well. She would do things the way she had always done; with lead, steel and muscle. 

Entering the airport itself would be no problem, but once they neared where the airship was docked, she anticipated increased security. If she had to knock out a guard and steel his or her uniform, so be it. Hopefully they wouldn't have to resort to less dignified ways to get onto the ship.

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960360543bd385870aa8762a11a8b4b5.jpgPRETTY KHAKI

"So how do we do it?" Khaki asked after awhile. She had already ditched her kimono to her hooded coat. The previous costume was rather hard to move in and their next task would require more effort than necessary. They are only here as support though. Sera is too dumb and noisy to actually do stealth missions while Khaki is just Khaki. A cute and pretty girl. One cannot deny Khaki's cuteness and it has saved her more times than she could count. 

She had been rather compacent through the whole trip, letting her eyes and ear do the work instead of her mouth. She fancied herself a professional agent, a status that was leagues above her partner Sera who was simply a mad brute. Khaki was always the calmer one. Her only flaw in the past was her lack of confidence. Now that she had gone through a whole character arc, that flaw was no more.

She waited patiently for the woman's answer. Meanwhile her hands moved to her belts on instinct. The hilts of her plasma blades are still there. Their weight were a great comfort to her, especially during missions. These pair were a gift from an old friend. One she lost at the cold lands of Shawnee. Still, Khaki carried that friend's legacy together with these two weapons. And she will keep on living till she accomplishes them.

Edited by Thotification

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Her orders were simple, transport the criminal to the airship, and deliver him to Reyer City. It sounded simple enough, though there was a certainty from her Viceroy that she should be cautious, yet remain discreet. For this reason, she assembled her crew based upon quality over quantity. Including the Captain herself, she compiled her familiar squad of three psions and two wizards. While the actual task at hand was on the lawmen, Xartia insisted on sending an extra security detail. If he had have had things his way he would have strung the man up by his neck in the town square for all to see. While the Captain agreed the man should die, she wasn't sure she agreed with such barbaric methods when it could be done by such easier, convenient means. Then again, perhaps his crimes did elicit that ill will shall befall him. While she wasn't religious herself, the Captain was a firm believer in Karma.

"Ma'am! They're preparing to move the package to the carrier. ETD, approximately 13 minutes."

"Inform the rest of the team, meet at the ship no later than seven minutes from now. I will personally walk and arrive with the package. You should probably tell Ian first, he's usually the slowest."

Her fellow psion left to inform the third like them and the two wizards that it was time to go. Captain Rebecca reported to the jailhouse and merely waited outside, positioning herself roughly fifty feet from the presumed exit that would be used when moving the Doctor. The jailhouse was nothing special by the design of it's outward appearance, but just like the stone roads of Predator's Keep, this quaint jail was one that magic and the like would not see you escape. Only authorized personnel had access to cast within or even upon the facility, otherwise, the heavy enchantments afoot proved to absorb or simply disrupt the energies so swift and so precise that one couldn't even see their powers trying to manifest outside of them, assuming they had any. Long story short, it was safe. Unfortunately the cells were nothing more than holding cells. This was a jailhouse, not necessarily a full scale prison. Thanks to the nature of this particular fellows sentencing, the city was experiencing it's first happening of this nature. Never had they needed to send a criminal away to suffer a more severe fate than what they could offer here. 

Thanks to the relatively low crime rate in these parts of the Carmine Dominion, there were no other convicts present. The undivided attention of their legal system was given to the man of the hour. The murderer and conspiring cultist. In all, officers of the law worked hand in hand by a dozen to evacuate the criminal, in which only four of them left the facility entirely to move the convict. Accompanying him personally the entire was a Marshall. As they walked to the airship docked a few hundreds of yards away, the Captain fell in the with the small convoy, the rest of her party should already be arriving at the ship as ordered.

"Good morning Marshal, Captain Rebecca reporting on behalf of the Viceroy himself. We have been ordered to gather a small party for quality assurance. Being the first mission of this nature, our Viceroy wishes to remove as many chances of failure as possible."

"With all do respect, Captain, this is a simple escort mission with a simple guilty party. He hadn't put up much of any fuss yet, I doubt he's going to start now. You can tell the Viceroy your added assistance is not necessary."

"You have your orders Marshal, and I have mine. In case it wasn't clear, my team is accompanying you on this mission. This is not a negotiation or a debate, I am not asking, I am informing."

The convoy stopped and the Marshal turned to face the Captain directly. She too stopped with them and stood headstrong, facing him with just as much severity despite her shorter and generally smaller stature. She cared not that she was female or smaller than him. Rebecca was a gifted psion, and one of the original immigrants to PK when that's all the scarlet region was. To be here now with the Viceroy whom she shared such a deep history with made her feel a bit entitled in a city that was theirs.

"Very well. So long as you all let me do my job, I'll let you do yours. If you have a team, were are they?"

"They should already be aboard the vessel. I don't see them outside, so I have to assume they're inside already as I ordered them to head in ahead of time."

Aboard the airship was a crew of roughly 165, essential to running this size ship. It carried upon it a platoon of fifty, in which the Marshal, along with the Captain and her party would also be joining. While they all felt as if they were perfectly prepared, and everything seemed to be running smooth, it was curious to consider just how well they could prepare for something they held no experience with. The Captain recalled the jail underground in Predator's Keep. While it served it's purpose, she remembered the earlier days holding quite a few struggles that were a result of nothing more than inexperience. Thankfully those events had been overcome, and they could all be counted on a single hand. Still, her party was only five total, personally. Their minimal experience would prove nearly invaluable with some many other ranks afoot and all with their on training and methods. All with their own direct orders. The soldiers and crew were for the ships, the team and Marshal for the convict, and the guards remaining from the walk to the ship would ultimately see the ship's departure before heading back to the jailhouse.

By the time they arrived and boarded the ship, her team was indeed there. Once the prisoner was secure in his on board holding cell, they would begin making preparations for their departure. In the meantime the ships guards would execute patrols to ensure safety of the vessel inside and out. The ship's Commander was busy with his immediate crew on the ridge, running diagnostics to ensure all systems were and would remain functioning as they should, before, during, and after take off.

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