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The Raid

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NightrivalHS.jpg

A half-moon peeks behind thin clouds and lights the sky in radiant creamy light. The nipping winter air leaves a thin veneer of frost on every surface, leaving the pavement to glitter in the streetlights. Within a maze of dilapidated warehouses on the outskirts of Southside, a lone figure stalks the empty streets.

Creeping closer to the warehouse's back entrance, Nightrival slips in and out of the looming shadows splayed across the streets and nearby buildings. He presses himself close the walls of the warehouse, inching slowly to a possible window or door on the other side. He moves gingerly and cat-like, timing each step and channeling his weight away from his feet to avoid making any sound. He glances over his shoulder to look for his companion, the armoured warrior Shinken.

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NightrivalHS.jpg

A half-moon peeks behind thin clouds and lights the sky in radiant creamy light. The nipping winter air leaves a thin veneer of frost on every surface, leaving the pavement to glitter in the streetlights. Within a maze of dilapidated warehouses on the outskirts of Southside, a lone figure stalks the empty streets.

Creeping closer to the warehouse's back entrance, Nightrival slips in and out of the looming shadows splayed across the streets and nearby buildings. He presses himself close the walls of the warehouse, inching slowly to a possible window or door on the other side. He moves gingerly and cat-like, timing each step and channeling his weight away from his feet to avoid making any sound. He glances over his shoulder to look for his companion, the armoured warrior Shinken.

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NightrivalHS.jpg

A half-moon peeks behind thin clouds and lights the sky in radiant creamy light. The nipping winter air leaves a thin veneer of frost on every surface, leaving the pavement to glitter in the streetlights. Within a maze of dilapidated warehouses on the outskirts of Southside, a lone figure stalks the empty streets.

Creeping closer to the warehouse's back entrance, Nightrival slips in and out of the looming shadows splayed across the streets and nearby buildings. He presses himself close the walls of the warehouse, inching slowly to a possible window or door on the other side. He moves gingerly and cat-like, timing each step and channeling his weight away from his feet to avoid making any sound. He glances over his shoulder to look for his companion, the armoured warrior Shinken.

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Inside the warehouse . . .

Ms. Linn lifted her wiry arm and looked at her watch before punching a few buttons on her PDA. She pushed her long black hair out of her face. Her visage was screwed up into a scowl. "They're 20 minutes behind schedule," she barked. "Twenty minutes!" Linn wasn't concerned about punctuality or schedules. Her primary concern was security and operations, and downtime was always a security risk. Linn tightened the sash on her long black leather coat and then stormed out of the small, smelly office back into the warehouse proper. Her men were standing around holding their assault rifles, looking bored. She stomped her black boot hard on the floor before she spoke.

"We've got twenty more minutes to wait," she announced to her crew. "Consider this a Code Red!" She turned to the man standing by himself in a corner. "Time for you to earn your pay." Linn stormed back into the little office and slammed the door.

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Inside the warehouse . . .

Ms. Linn lifted her wiry arm and looked at her watch before punching a few buttons on her PDA. She pushed her long black hair out of her face. Her visage was screwed up into a scowl. "They're 20 minutes behind schedule," she barked. "Twenty minutes!" Linn wasn't concerned about punctuality or schedules. Her primary concern was security and operations, and downtime was always a security risk. Linn tightened the sash on her long black leather coat and then stormed out of the small, smelly office back into the warehouse proper. Her men were standing around holding their assault rifles, looking bored. She stomped her black boot hard on the floor before she spoke.

"We've got twenty more minutes to wait," she announced to her crew. "Consider this a Code Red!" She turned to the man standing by himself in a corner. "Time for you to earn your pay." Linn stormed back into the little office and slammed the door.

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Inside the warehouse . . .

Ms. Linn lifted her wiry arm and looked at her watch before punching a few buttons on her PDA. She pushed her long black hair out of her face. Her visage was screwed up into a scowl. "They're 20 minutes behind schedule," she barked. "Twenty minutes!" Linn wasn't concerned about punctuality or schedules. Her primary concern was security and operations, and downtime was always a security risk. Linn tightened the sash on her long black leather coat and then stormed out of the small, smelly office back into the warehouse proper. Her men were standing around holding their assault rifles, looking bored. She stomped her black boot hard on the floor before she spoke.

"We've got twenty more minutes to wait," she announced to her crew. "Consider this a Code Red!" She turned to the man standing by himself in a corner. "Time for you to earn your pay." Linn stormed back into the little office and slammed the door.

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The "man" standing in the corner was only one in terms of limb number and placement. Little else besides that, from his metalic hide to his wholely mechanical eyes, would point to him being in any way related to humanity, a fact which sorely distressed him.

Renichi Sonada, aka Nanowire, glanced about the warehouse, taking in just how far he'd fallen in his quest to return to humanity. It had all started out so well. He had a plan, and names to make that plan work. All he needed was a little bit of money to start things rolling. Now he was a mercenary, selling out the very beliefs he'd held while human to become one again. That's how he had gotten into this, Nanowire supposed. Just look over some crates - nevermind what was inside - and he'd be well paid for his efforts. But was it worth it? Was this the way to get back to what he was, or was he just digging himself in deeper?

Nanowire settled in for the duration, the wall behind him groaning in protest of the weight it was forced to support. No doubt somebody would be here soon to spoil Ms. Linn's party, but he couldn't be bothered to care past getting the job done.

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The "man" standing in the corner was only one in terms of limb number and placement. Little else besides that, from his metalic hide to his wholely mechanical eyes, would point to him being in any way related to humanity, a fact which sorely distressed him.

Renichi Sonada, aka Nanowire, glanced about the warehouse, taking in just how far he'd fallen in his quest to return to humanity. It had all started out so well. He had a plan, and names to make that plan work. All he needed was a little bit of money to start things rolling. Now he was a mercenary, selling out the very beliefs he'd held while human to become one again. That's how he had gotten into this, Nanowire supposed. Just look over some crates - nevermind what was inside - and he'd be well paid for his efforts. But was it worth it? Was this the way to get back to what he was, or was he just digging himself in deeper?

Nanowire settled in for the duration, the wall behind him groaning in protest of the weight it was forced to support. No doubt somebody would be here soon to spoil Ms. Linn's party, but he couldn't be bothered to care past getting the job done.

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The "man" standing in the corner was only one in terms of limb number and placement. Little else besides that, from his metalic hide to his wholely mechanical eyes, would point to him being in any way related to humanity, a fact which sorely distressed him.

Renichi Sonada, aka Nanowire, glanced about the warehouse, taking in just how far he'd fallen in his quest to return to humanity. It had all started out so well. He had a plan, and names to make that plan work. All he needed was a little bit of money to start things rolling. Now he was a mercenary, selling out the very beliefs he'd held while human to become one again. That's how he had gotten into this, Nanowire supposed. Just look over some crates - nevermind what was inside - and he'd be well paid for his efforts. But was it worth it? Was this the way to get back to what he was, or was he just digging himself in deeper?

Nanowire settled in for the duration, the wall behind him groaning in protest of the weight it was forced to support. No doubt somebody would be here soon to spoil Ms. Linn's party, but he couldn't be bothered to care past getting the job done.

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NightrivalHS.jpg

With his back pressed against the eastern wall of the warehouse, Nightrival looks up and sees the small windows lining the top of the wall. His searches for the familiar glint from Shinken's armor, but the warrior is nowhere to be seen. He returns his attention to the windows.

Those would be ideal, but the wall's too sheer. Unless I get creative . . .

Nightrival remains mindful of his surroundings, intently listening for voices or movement as he sprints to the back entrance. He reaches the steps leading to the backdoor and leaps up to the roof with a single standing jump, then with careful measured steps he prowls along the edge, just below the windows. He suddenly halts, stands right at the edge of roof, takes a deep breath, then lets himself fall foward.

With his feet anchored to the roof, Nightrival hangs upside-down and facing one of the windows. The brick wall scrapes against his knees, but the utter silence and moonlight clear his mind. Man, this brings me back, he thinks wistfully. It's like Indonesia all over again. He draws one of his new throwing knives and slips it into the frame, gently wiggling the blade in an attempt to pry open the window.

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NightrivalHS.jpg

With his back pressed against the eastern wall of the warehouse, Nightrival looks up and sees the small windows lining the top of the wall. His searches for the familiar glint from Shinken's armor, but the warrior is nowhere to be seen. He returns his attention to the windows.

Those would be ideal, but the wall's too sheer. Unless I get creative . . .

Nightrival remains mindful of his surroundings, intently listening for voices or movement as he sprints to the back entrance. He reaches the steps leading to the backdoor and leaps up to the roof with a single standing jump, then with careful measured steps he prowls along the edge, just below the windows. He suddenly halts, stands right at the edge of roof, takes a deep breath, then lets himself fall foward.

With his feet anchored to the roof, Nightrival hangs upside-down and facing one of the windows. The brick wall scrapes against his knees, but the utter silence and moonlight clear his mind. Man, this brings me back, he thinks wistfully. It's like Indonesia all over again. He draws one of his new throwing knives and slips it into the frame, gently wiggling the blade in an attempt to pry open the window.

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NightrivalHS.jpg

With his back pressed against the eastern wall of the warehouse, Nightrival looks up and sees the small windows lining the top of the wall. His searches for the familiar glint from Shinken's armor, but the warrior is nowhere to be seen. He returns his attention to the windows.

Those would be ideal, but the wall's too sheer. Unless I get creative . . .

Nightrival remains mindful of his surroundings, intently listening for voices or movement as he sprints to the back entrance. He reaches the steps leading to the backdoor and leaps up to the roof with a single standing jump, then with careful measured steps he prowls along the edge, just below the windows. He suddenly halts, stands right at the edge of roof, takes a deep breath, then lets himself fall foward.

With his feet anchored to the roof, Nightrival hangs upside-down and facing one of the windows. The brick wall scrapes against his knees, but the utter silence and moonlight clear his mind. Man, this brings me back, he thinks wistfully. It's like Indonesia all over again. He draws one of his new throwing knives and slips it into the frame, gently wiggling the blade in an attempt to pry open the window.

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Getting tired of waiting, Nanowire pushed himself off the wall and started a slow walk about the warehouse. Nervous energy made it difficult to settle in one place for any length of time. Dispite his depression, he couldn't find it in himself to just gather dust over in the corner. His footsteps thumped softly against the concrete floors of the warehouse, far more quietly than should have been possible given his mass.

He noticed out of the corner of his optics that the other henchmen, the humans, were keeping their distance from him. They feared him, just like everybody else. Why should they be any different? Four hundred and fifty kilos of metal and myomers was fairly scary, after all.

He hated them for being normal all the same.

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Getting tired of waiting, Nanowire pushed himself off the wall and started a slow walk about the warehouse. Nervous energy made it difficult to settle in one place for any length of time. Dispite his depression, he couldn't find it in himself to just gather dust over in the corner. His footsteps thumped softly against the concrete floors of the warehouse, far more quietly than should have been possible given his mass.

He noticed out of the corner of his optics that the other henchmen, the humans, were keeping their distance from him. They feared him, just like everybody else. Why should they be any different? Four hundred and fifty kilos of metal and myomers was fairly scary, after all.

He hated them for being normal all the same.

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Getting tired of waiting, Nanowire pushed himself off the wall and started a slow walk about the warehouse. Nervous energy made it difficult to settle in one place for any length of time. Dispite his depression, he couldn't find it in himself to just gather dust over in the corner. His footsteps thumped softly against the concrete floors of the warehouse, far more quietly than should have been possible given his mass.

He noticed out of the corner of his optics that the other henchmen, the humans, were keeping their distance from him. They feared him, just like everybody else. Why should they be any different? Four hundred and fifty kilos of metal and myomers was fairly scary, after all.

He hated them for being normal all the same.

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He draws one of his new throwing knives and slips it into the frame, gently wiggling the blade in an attempt to pry open the window.

The slatted window at the top of the wall came open easily, revealing a small abandoned storage room inside. A set of wooden shelves lined the left wall. It was filled with the usual junk: cleaning supplies, a few basic tools, and what looked to be some old mechanical parts. On the floor were stacked a few moldy cardboard boxes and a broken mop handle. Opposite the window was a wooden interior door that appeared to lead further into the warehouse.

Shinken crouched on the roof behind Nightrival. "After you," he whispered.

_________________________

The soldiers were watching Nanowire move about, but they tried to look like they weren't watching. They were a bit uneasy that he was there, but not because of his appearance or his status as a super. These guys were too professional for that. They were uneasy because he was an unknown. In their line of work, "soldiers" lived and died by teamwork, and the new guy wasn't a member of the team. Still, he looked like he packed quite a punch, and that was always a good thing.

"Smoke?" The soldier nearest to Nanowire held up a pack of cigarettes toward the mechanical villain. He had dark black skin and sounded to be of west African descent. One of the other soldiers, a young blond man with piercing blue eyes, chuckled at the gesture, but the black soldier cut his eyes toward the young man, shutting him up immediately. Apparently, this man carried some authority.

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He draws one of his new throwing knives and slips it into the frame, gently wiggling the blade in an attempt to pry open the window.

The slatted window at the top of the wall came open easily, revealing a small abandoned storage room inside. A set of wooden shelves lined the left wall. It was filled with the usual junk: cleaning supplies, a few basic tools, and what looked to be some old mechanical parts. On the floor were stacked a few moldy cardboard boxes and a broken mop handle. Opposite the window was a wooden interior door that appeared to lead further into the warehouse.

Shinken crouched on the roof behind Nightrival. "After you," he whispered.

_________________________

The soldiers were watching Nanowire move about, but they tried to look like they weren't watching. They were a bit uneasy that he was there, but not because of his appearance or his status as a super. These guys were too professional for that. They were uneasy because he was an unknown. In their line of work, "soldiers" lived and died by teamwork, and the new guy wasn't a member of the team. Still, he looked like he packed quite a punch, and that was always a good thing.

"Smoke?" The soldier nearest to Nanowire held up a pack of cigarettes toward the mechanical villain. He had dark black skin and sounded to be of west African descent. One of the other soldiers, a young blond man with piercing blue eyes, chuckled at the gesture, but the black soldier cut his eyes toward the young man, shutting him up immediately. Apparently, this man carried some authority.

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He draws one of his new throwing knives and slips it into the frame, gently wiggling the blade in an attempt to pry open the window.

The slatted window at the top of the wall came open easily, revealing a small abandoned storage room inside. A set of wooden shelves lined the left wall. It was filled with the usual junk: cleaning supplies, a few basic tools, and what looked to be some old mechanical parts. On the floor were stacked a few moldy cardboard boxes and a broken mop handle. Opposite the window was a wooden interior door that appeared to lead further into the warehouse.

Shinken crouched on the roof behind Nightrival. "After you," he whispered.

_________________________

The soldiers were watching Nanowire move about, but they tried to look like they weren't watching. They were a bit uneasy that he was there, but not because of his appearance or his status as a super. These guys were too professional for that. They were uneasy because he was an unknown. In their line of work, "soldiers" lived and died by teamwork, and the new guy wasn't a member of the team. Still, he looked like he packed quite a punch, and that was always a good thing.

"Smoke?" The soldier nearest to Nanowire held up a pack of cigarettes toward the mechanical villain. He had dark black skin and sounded to be of west African descent. One of the other soldiers, a young blond man with piercing blue eyes, chuckled at the gesture, but the black soldier cut his eyes toward the young man, shutting him up immediately. Apparently, this man carried some authority.

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NightrivalHS.jpg

"Ah, there you are," replies Nightrival in a hushed voice. He stashes the knife under his glove and scans the storage room. Convinced it was empty, he shifts his weight by bracing his hands against the window ledge, then releases his feet from the roof. He tucks his legs through the open window and hops into the room. Nightrival slinks towards the wooden door and presses his ear against it, listening for footsteps or voices on the other side.

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"Ah, there you are," replies Nightrival in a hushed voice. He stashes the knife under his glove and scans the storage room. Convinced it was empty, he shifts his weight by bracing his hands against the window ledge, then releases his feet from the roof. He tucks his legs through the open window and hops into the room. Nightrival slinks towards the wooden door and presses his ear against it, listening for footsteps or voices on the other side.

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"Ah, there you are," replies Nightrival in a hushed voice. He stashes the knife under his glove and scans the storage room. Convinced it was empty, he shifts his weight by bracing his hands against the window ledge, then releases his feet from the roof. He tucks his legs through the open window and hops into the room. Nightrival slinks towards the wooden door and presses his ear against it, listening for footsteps or voices on the other side.

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Nanowire's head came around slowly as the man asked him if he wanted a cigarette. He was something of two worlds about it. First, he got the distinct impression he was being made fun of, the other man chuckling at the scene cementing that opinion. On the other hand, the man handing him the cigarette looked sincere, and the glare he directed at the other man helped to dispel that notion. In the end, Nanowire could only take the man at his word, and helped himself to a smoke.

Instead of waiting for him to light it, he simply reformed his hand into the acetylene torch he'd absorbed on the way over. The pilot light seared off a fair amount of the cigarette, but there was still enough there to smoke. There was a possible hiccup in his plan of actually smoking it, though. While his body mimicked many of the functions of it's human analogue, he was unsure if his lungs were anything more than large heat exchanges these days. Nanowire's chest expanded, and he was pleased to find that, indeed, his lungs were still capable of drawing in air. (and the carcinogens contained within) A fair amount of smoke escaped the edges of his mouth as he couldn't maintain a good seal without lips, but the licking smoke only made him look even more sinister. Apparently, you don't need to absorb nicotine from one of these to feel cool, Nanowire remarked to himself mentally.

"Thanks," he said to the henchman. "You do this often?" He nodded to the building, indicating he meant mercenary work.

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Nanowire's head came around slowly as the man asked him if he wanted a cigarette. He was something of two worlds about it. First, he got the distinct impression he was being made fun of, the other man chuckling at the scene cementing that opinion. On the other hand, the man handing him the cigarette looked sincere, and the glare he directed at the other man helped to dispel that notion. In the end, Nanowire could only take the man at his word, and helped himself to a smoke.

Instead of waiting for him to light it, he simply reformed his hand into the acetylene torch he'd absorbed on the way over. The pilot light seared off a fair amount of the cigarette, but there was still enough there to smoke. There was a possible hiccup in his plan of actually smoking it, though. While his body mimicked many of the functions of it's human analogue, he was unsure if his lungs were anything more than large heat exchanges these days. Nanowire's chest expanded, and he was pleased to find that, indeed, his lungs were still capable of drawing in air. (and the carcinogens contained within) A fair amount of smoke escaped the edges of his mouth as he couldn't maintain a good seal without lips, but the licking smoke only made him look even more sinister. Apparently, you don't need to absorb nicotine from one of these to feel cool, Nanowire remarked to himself mentally.

"Thanks," he said to the henchman. "You do this often?" He nodded to the building, indicating he meant mercenary work.

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Nanowire's head came around slowly as the man asked him if he wanted a cigarette. He was something of two worlds about it. First, he got the distinct impression he was being made fun of, the other man chuckling at the scene cementing that opinion. On the other hand, the man handing him the cigarette looked sincere, and the glare he directed at the other man helped to dispel that notion. In the end, Nanowire could only take the man at his word, and helped himself to a smoke.

Instead of waiting for him to light it, he simply reformed his hand into the acetylene torch he'd absorbed on the way over. The pilot light seared off a fair amount of the cigarette, but there was still enough there to smoke. There was a possible hiccup in his plan of actually smoking it, though. While his body mimicked many of the functions of it's human analogue, he was unsure if his lungs were anything more than large heat exchanges these days. Nanowire's chest expanded, and he was pleased to find that, indeed, his lungs were still capable of drawing in air. (and the carcinogens contained within) A fair amount of smoke escaped the edges of his mouth as he couldn't maintain a good seal without lips, but the licking smoke only made him look even more sinister. Apparently, you don't need to absorb nicotine from one of these to feel cool, Nanowire remarked to himself mentally.

"Thanks," he said to the henchman. "You do this often?" He nodded to the building, indicating he meant mercenary work.

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Nightrival slinks towards the wooden door and presses his ear against it, listening for footsteps or voices on the other side.

Shinken gracefully and silently dropped in through the window right behind Nightrival. Beyond the door, Nightrival heard nothing but the dull drone of machinery, probably just the climate control in the warehouse. Upon closer inspection, the door did not appear to have a lock.


"Thanks," he said to the henchman. "You do this often?" He nodded to the building, indicating he meant mercenary work.

The African soldier took a long drag on his cigarette, flicked off the ash, and then held it out as if studying the nicotine delivery device while he exhaled slowly.

"I am . . . how do you say? . . . a professional." The African took another drag on his cigarette. It was just about burned down to the filter. He dropped it, and snuffed it under the sole of his black combat boot. With both hands free he hoisted his very high-tech looking rifle to his shoulder and looked down the sights. "And you?" he asked without looking up from his "gun meditation." "You have the look of a man who is also a professional. No?"

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