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To Whom It May Concern...(IC)

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The strange package arrived in the mail early one day. The plain Manila Folder sported no address, or return address for that matter. There was nothing to detail where it had come from. Inside was a single sheet of paper with typed writing on it:

To Whom it may concern,

If you are worried about How I found you, you may stop. Suffice to say there are ways of saying what you want to say without knowing who to say it to.

Enclosed you will find a stack of pictures and a sum of money. I hope the amount is to your liking.

After investigating the rest of the envelope, there WAS more. Strange that he had not noticed it before... The pictures were all of the same individual. Some "suit" from downtown. But there was more on the letter...

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to assassinate this individual. There will be no repercussions for this action. Certain preparations have been made to ensure this. The sum of money in the envelope is only half of your total fee. The other half you will receive at the completion of your mission.

You may find the individual at his place of work. It looks like a simple wall street building, but appearances can be deceiving. The basement features a huge bunker for this man's protection. I offer you warnings about the security systems. They are quite extensive.

There is no need to contact me to discuss the acceptance or declination of this mission. I will know your answer regardless.

Strange way to deliver the classifieds section...

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Ronin stared at the letter a bit longer wondering if this was some elaborate hoax. Had Mary given out his address. Again.Would someone have to die for it. Again. Ronin put down his coffee and spun the letter on his table. well the money was real enough. That was good enough for him.Whoever this guy is I hope he kissed his wife this morning.

Leaving the Letter on the table Ronin walked up stairs to his bedroom. He opened his closet door and removed one of his Kevlar weave costumes.The fabric stretched over his muscles giving him the ease of movement he would need.

Click

The Sword belt snapped over his broad chest, leaving the two sword hilts protruding over his back. The weights belonged there.

Parry, Parry. Block. Disembowling thrust, slide behind... His mind automaticaly put itself through the routines he knew better than his own name. Most of them weren't his.

Snap

The Ammo and Gun belt tightened around his waist. He kept his sidearm holstered on his thigh.Again his mid began to call up zones of fire and imaginary cover as his phantom self returned fire to lethal effect.

Finally he threw a long coat on and headed for his garage. He could get there whack this loser, and be back for his stories. Maybe. Better pack a lunch.

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After spending a long time examining the letter and the pictures, you manage to glean some small bits of information. Then something strange happens...

As you go over the letter one last time. You discover another sentence that you had not even noticed before.

You already posses everything needed to complete this mission. There is no need for excessive planning, and no need to pack a lunch.

That could NOT have been there before! It would have been easy to see, it was right in the center of the page! You flip the paper over a few times. There seems to be nothing else special about it....Maybe you should just do what it tells you to...

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Ronin eyed the building across from him. It was the one in the picture alright. He lifted his binoculars again looking for entrances, while watching for security personnel. He hated to admit it but that letter freaked him out, and this mission was starting to seem a little strange. Maybe he should cut and run now, but he had accepted the mission. He knew that no one had been there to see it or that the had even said it out loud, but he go the feeling that someone somewhere had gotten hsi word. Ronin didn't back out on his word as a merc.

He stood balanced on the head of a gargoyle. Pretty dramatic but it offered a nice vantage point. HE had checked and rechecked his equipment. He was ready now for the entry point.

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The stake out takes quite a while. But soon enough it becomes clear that the security guards posted outside the buildings have at 5 just like everyone else. There may be more inside the building, but they at least were beyond the current range of vision. The building seems oddly vacant after hours, but you find it is impossible to see through the tinted front doors from this range.

You gaze around at other portions of the building looking for other entrances, but you cannot seem to find one. In fact, if you gaze at anything other than the building it feels like your brain becomes foggy. It is almost as if there is a haze surrounding the building and so it is the only thing your are able to see in any real detail. You can definitely tell that other objects exist, but there is no way to discern any details, about them. You cannot see street signs, or license plate numbers or anything. All you know is "that car is yellow" but it is equally difficult to tell whether it is a taxi or not.

Once standing in front of the front doors you gaze up at the bright red neon above the doors. You know that the letters are part of the English alphabet, and you know that they form a coherent word or name of some sort. You also know that it should be close enough for you to read clearly. However, no matter how long you stop and stare at the sign, no matter how many times you read it, you find that you are ultimately unable to comprehend it.

With everything else around you deeply ensconced in a terrible mind-fog, you decide that there is nothing for it except to attempt the front doors...

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It didn't take a pyschic to know there was some sort of mental fugue going on. This mission seemed to be getting stranger by the second, he only hoped his target wasn't a psychic. The last time he had fought one things hadn't gone so well. Ronin kept his hand on his weapons as the door slid open. He darted in keeping low, ready to dismember anyone who spotted him. He pressed hims self up against a wall, taking in his surroundings.

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The sliding doors open from the center sliding away from you in both directions. Moving as quietly and carefully as possible you hug one of the walls. From your vantage point you manage to catch a glimpse of a security camera mounted on the ceiling swivel in your direction. With the advance notice you manage to duck into the shadows against the wall to the right of the entrance. The small hallway that you are in leads off to a stairwell. The stairwell leads both up and down.

Directly across the entrance lobby, you can see an area designated for a small convenience shop set into the wall. It seems that by day this shop must sell newspapers, magazines and coffee. But now there is a metal cage drawn over the storefront. As you now stand in the recess on the right wall, the entrance that you came through is on your left. Gazing around the corner to the right, careful not to be spotted you get a good look at the rest of the lobby. About fifteen feet from where you are crouched, the lobby sports a square security desk. There is no one servicing it this late at night, however. The desk is set diagonally in the center of the hall so that one of the corners points towards the entrance way.

From this central point, the lobby branches out in four directions. The first branch is the one through which you entered and now currently reside. The two branches to the left and right both have elevator banks. There are eight elevators in both hallways. A sign near the ceiling on both sides of the lobby notes that one set of elevators (the left set from the entrance) is express service to the top ten floors of the building. The other set of elevators (the right set from the entrance) services only the bottom ten floors. Within each elevator bank, one of the eight elevators is a service elevator.

Behind the security desk the lobby branches out again in a fourth direction. There is another stairwell in that part of the building, as well as a service entrance to the back of the building.

As you gaze at your surroundings you notice that the strange mental fugue still has not been lifted. It covers the back branch of the building, as well as the elevator bank that services the top ten floors of the building. The only details that you can make out of the lobby are a few choice hiding spots, any security cameras, the elevators that service the bottom ten floors, and the stairwell in which you are currently hiding (the stairwell in the back of the building is also shrouded). The security desk in the center of the room is certainly there, but is also shrouded. You highly doubt you will be able to get any information from the registers or logs kept at the security desk given your past experiences with the fog.

Whereas the fog outside the building was a hindrance, this fog is actually helpful. You note the fact that it seems to be limiting the places you can go, but only limits them to the places you need to go. It is almost like this fog is showing you how to reach your target...

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Ronin decided he had no intention of using the main elevator's to go down. Too much risk of detection. Both the stairs and the elevator's might be watched. What disturbed the mercenary was how deserted the place seemed to be.

Making sure to avoid the security cameras' fields of vision, Ronin moved towards the back of the left corridor looking for the service elevator. He waited with his back agaisnt the wall. He didn't want to be spotted by some Janitor cleaning the place. When he saw it was empty he went in and pressed the button for the bottom floor. His target could be anywhere but something told him that the man would be at the bottom. As the Elevator began to descend, Ronin removed the service hatch and hauled his body over the top. He slid the hatch most of the way back over leaving just a crack, for him to look through.

Ronin could smell old grease and dirt form the elevator's cables as the motor whirled beside his head. He kept a look out through the crack. If the Elevator stopped and someone got in they wouldn't see him, though maybe he would have to take care of them. His heart wasn't racing he had done this before. Many Many times. Or at least someone in his head had.

The elevator vibrated as it descended. Ronin called up a picture of the man he had been sent to kill. He seemed relatively unremarkable, but that never matter much to those who wanted them dead. He had of course left the letter in his house. There was no point, in bringing along anything that could be traced back to his client.

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*PING* the elevator slowed to a controlled stop. The doors at the floor slid open, and two men in suits entered the elevator.

"This has to be the worst security system ever." the first suit said to the second, "All we do is sit here all day, stop the cars that are bound for the bottom floors and question the people inside."

It was then that he noticed there was no one inside this particular elevator. He began to look around excitedly.

"There's nobody here!" remarked the second one.

"Thank you, captain obvious!"

"Well what do we do?"

"We do exactly what we were told to do whenever we find an elevator car with no one on it."

"Oh yea right. I just forgot about that one, 'cuz it never happens."

"You are an idiot" the first suit said as he turned and ushered the second out of the elevator. On his way out he smacked the emergency alarm button.

The doors to the elevator shut on that floor and it began to descend slowly again. After traveling only about five feet, however, it stopped.

Suddenly the elevator car lurched! Next to the opening in the ceiling through which the mercenary was looking, the cable attachment on the car separated itself from the car with the sickening sound of metal. The instant before his entire world sank, Ronin felt his stomach do the same...

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Ronin felt the snap of gravity as the car began to hurtle down. He had less than a split second to gather his legs and leap up. Even then the distance would have been too great for a normal, man but Ronin was still able to grab on to he severed cable. IT was greasy but his grip held. He glanced down to see sparks as the car scrapped the sides of the elevator shaft. The rumble rolled up the shaft as the car vanished into darkness.

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The elevator car screams to a crash at the bottom of the shaft. From his position dangling on the greasy elevator cables, Ronin can see that the drop is quite significant. It quickly becomes apparent that he will have to find another way out than just dropping to the bottom. A quick glance at the walls tells him that there are plenty of handholds should he try to climb down the sides of the elevator shaft. Looking a the door a few feet above him, he sees that it will most likely be terribly difficult to pry open and get out. Not only that, but those two goons are probably still waiting on that floor...

Ronin takes a moment to gather himself as he dangles above the black expanse below before deciding what to do.

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Ronin looked up at the door where the elevator had stopped. Murder flashed across his mind. Someone was going to suffer for that. It would be easier to go down. Then again there was no telling what would be waiting down there for him. Anyone down there must have heard the explosion. Besides those tossers tried to kill me.

Taking out his grappling gun, he fired it as far up as he could. He squeezed the retract button and rode it to the door he had almost entered. With an acrobatic twist he inverted his body wrapping his legs around the grappling line. As quickly as he could he took off a small piece of the plastique he had brought with him. Never leave home without it. working quickly he affixed a piece tot he cracks of the doors and stuck a micro-detonator in it.

When he was finished he quickly inverted himself and zipped as far as he needed to stay out of the blast. He fit his rebreather on in case the explosion took all the oxygen. Well then lets see what we get...

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FOOM!

The explosion shook the elevator shaft for what seems like a few seconds before calming back down. There was dust and debris everywhere in the air surrounding the place were the door used to be. Riding down to the vicinity of the door he could seen that he had blown a hole clear through the door as intended, as well as the walls immediately surrounding the door. Swinging forward slightly so that he could land onto the now wrecked floor tiles surrounding the blast area you drop into the opening. Good thing for the re-breather mask too, as the air is still thick with dust.

You can see the two guards in suits on the ground to either side of the doorway. Both are either unconscious, or possibly even dead. one of them is covered with a large piece of the wall he must have been standing next to.

You wave your hands to try and clear some smoke away. Well if the didn't know you were here before, after an explosion like that, it is safe to assume that they do now.

As the area clears you can see a long hallway stretches out in front of you. It is a plain hallway with plain white walls. nothing else adorns the hallway except a door at the far end with the word, "Stairs" written on it.

Two other hallways stretch out to either side of you, but when you gaze down them, they once again appear foggy and it is difficult to see what lies down that way. There are a few doors with writing on them in this hallway, but you find that it is impossible to make out what they say even though they are a far cry closer than the stairwell door at the end of the other hallway.

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Ronin swore under his breath. So much for interrogation. He looked at the hallway in front of him. He was beginning to get tired of this. He felt like he was being herded. He moved down the hallway keeping an eye out. Before he left he rifled through the two unconscious men's suits. Maybe he could find a communicator or pass ID.

He moved quietly towards the door.

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A quick once over turns up a few security IDs. Just what you need. The hallway is just as plain as it looks. The door at the end, however, is not. There is no handle on it. There is simply a keypad with a card swipe next to it. An electronic lock! Good thing you brought that ID with you.

The little electronic screen above the keypad displays the words, "Swipe Card." Doing so changes the message.

"Welcome Emp#11748332. Please enter pass-code." You fumble for a second in spite of yourself. You decide to look on the back of the security ID to see if it contains any information. Luckily enough it does! "Employees are reminded not to divulge their four digit security pin # to anyone."

That was...helpful... You look back up at the security panel. "Please enter pass-code." flashes again and again.

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Ronin eyed the door skeptically. This could easily be a trap. Then again, Who cares? Ronin punched in the numbers ont he back of the card, into the keypad and hoped the whole thing didn't blow up in his face.

Frustrated withthe key Ronin wonderd over to the two prone guards. He checked for pulses or life signs.

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"Incorrect password. Please swipe again."

The first guard you check is in fact alive. The one with the piece of the wall fallen on top of him is not so lucky on the other hand.

You attempt to rouse the first guard. You realize that this is the second guard from the elevator. He is the one that earned the nickname Captain Obvious. His eyes flutter open as you lift his head off the ground. He is obviously hurt, but looks to be in stable condition.

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Before the man could get his eyes open. Ronin dragged him tot he elevator shaft and hoisted him over the empty air. "So your captain obvious? Then I guess you know what is going to happen if you don't give me the code to open the door?" He dipped the man slightly to emphasize his point.

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The man reaches up and wraps his hands around your arm as you hold him over the abyss. If gulps were audible, you would have heard his a mile away. You obviously scared the living bejesus out of him, and it was clear that he was ready to talk. The man appeared to have full use of his arms, but someone in his position usually kicked while struggling. From the lack of motion in his legs you gather that they must be injured.

"I'll tell you, I'll tell you! Just put me down, please!"

Once you get him down on solid ground, you manage to extract the password from him. He tells you that the password is "3228"

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Ronin brought the man back over unto the ground. "Thats a good boy," he says then draws his machine pistol. "Why don't you come punch that in for me? I would hate to think you were lying and I would have to toss you over."

He followed behind the man. AS they stepped over the other guard he gasped but he feel of the nozzle int he small of his back kept him moving. Ronin eyed him as he punched din the numbers for the door. "Say were you the guy who cut the elevator were you?"

"Wha? Ah no that was the other-" The back of Ronin's pistol cut his words short as he dropped with a thud. Ronin stepped through the now open door way.

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You carefully track down the steps. You look for anything that might trip you up along the way. You search for wires, or tiles or anything that might mean a trap. You don't find anything.

You walk down the stairs at a pretty good clip, still looking as you go. You reach the landing where the stairwell turns. As you put your weight on it, it drops away. The hole in the stairwell drops you a few feet to the next level down. The stairs on this level flatten and you begin sliding like there is no tomorrow. After careening down a few more flights of stairs you begin to come towards the bottom....

That is when you notice the giant fan that is at the bottom of this section of the stairs. It seems like you are going to slide right into it if you don't do something, quick!

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Ronin flipped into the air touching on the wall above the fan, before cartwheeling off the side. He landed quietly on the ground next to it. The only noise the fan made was a low hum. Ronin glanced back up at the stair well. eh could see up through he hole he had fell in. Think I got whiplash, wonder if this place is ensured?

he moved away from the stairwell looking for the door out. When he found looked around and opened it.

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The sliding door closed behind you, and your eyes fall upon an enormous room. It is a domed room that looks like it was large enough to house a small jet plane.

You can hear the door behind you sealing shut. The mechanical, pressurized locks ensuring that there will be no escape from the way you just entered.

"You did a wonderful job disposing of the other guards." Called a mechanical voice from the center of the room. Once you hear it, the source becomes clear. There is a man standing in what looks like a suit of super powered armor in the center of the room. The grey steel of the armor looks as though it is hard enough to deflect bullets. The lines of energy coursing through the armor display it's obvious potential for great feats of strength, or a really strong punch.

"However I would love to see you get past me. I will even make you a deal, defeat me, and I will give you the pass code to my boss's bunker." The figure raised a mechanical arm to point at a door across the room from you.

"Now get ready for a real fight!" The figure rocketed forward.

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Ronin checked the room, he was startled that he didn't recognize the man was there until he spoke. Even as the stranger spoke the optical enhancements Ronin had began to analyze his sophisticated armor. It was strange how many super's ran around under the delusion that they were, invulnerable. His mind allowed him to perceive even the slightest weakness in a being's construction.

"I got a better deal shiny," he said as he grabbed two canisters from his belt pouch. He threw them at the oncoming armored villain. "How about you give me the codes now, and I don't cripple you." The grenades bounced and spun and exploded in a brilliant flash. Ronin dived over the side of the railing. Even if the man had closed hsi eyes to avoid it, that gave Ronin all the time he needed to get out of sight. He need to think of something if he wanted to carve the big tin can open.

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*Thoomp* *Pwissshh* The grenades went off in the guardian's face!

"Ahhhh! What WAS that?!" The Guardian thrashed around for a second before planting his feet and looking around. "You avoid a straight fight and hid behind parlor tricks?" His arm reformed itself for a minute. Before there was a fist. Now there is a large-barreled cannon sticking out of his arm.

"Very well then! You will have to show yourself eventually! You will starve in this room if you do not. I on the other hand have this suit to sustain me! And when you do poke your head out, I WILL BLAST IT OFF!"

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