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Thread: Faster Than Angels

  1. #861
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    Default Lillehammer, 2211

    For the third time this month, Halvred had sat quiet at the laundromat and listened to the yelling and banging of someone who thinks he's a big crime kingpin. That scrub with the big boy gun was a Korean immigrant named Kyung, who would pay common thugs cheap to keep watch while he went through the classic 'It'd be a shame for something to happen to this establishment' scheme in a few different towns, having just enough wit to distance himself from any prosecution. Hal's anger had been suppressed for long enough that it might as well be him that takes care of the matter.

    Hal had found out that Kyung liked to street race along the E6 near the Oppland/Hedmark border, a two lane road along the river. It was almost completely free of tight corners, but was extremely narrow, even for a two-lane road. Hal had already been an established racer of the area, but had been focusing more on training in the simulator after finding out he'd be a pilot for Syncline.

    His hobby of racing had started with a G-Tech zone-class craft, which Sterling had had him pilot it as part of his training. It might have seemed odd to give Hal a vehicle to improve his combat abilities, but it was one of the most important things he'd ever done. Fear, experienced in both a fight and a race, inhibits the ability of a fighter to rationalize when one should focus on the offense or defense. Pushing one of the most dangerous types of craft there is in a way where one slip up would be lethal in an uncontrolled environment trained Hal to think past horror.

    Piloting the fastest class of physical craft gave Hal an appreciation of racing. It wasn't so much the adrenalin that the high speeds gave, but the need to know the vehicle you ride and the track you're on well enough to travel among the fastest possible route, while still reacting to immediate obstacles. The car he got to follow his new passion was a 2144 Koenigsegg CCGT, known for being a bit more 'pointy' in design then what would be typical of the make.





    The black Koenigsegg arrived to a group of people partying around several high performance cars, a few recognizing it from before its hiatus. Halvred stepped out to greet himself to his old friends, keeping his eyes peeled for his target. Stopping not to far down the road was a Zonda released just a year earlier, with a driver drawing Hal's attention like a bull to red cloth. The engine was revved loud enough to challenge those from Sweden had they listened hard enough.

    Hal walked towards the call to confront the owner. He did not recognizing Hal from when he was spotted doing his daytime rounds.


    “Don't feel ashamed, you're far from the first.” Kyong boasted from the inside, thinking Hal was a newbie.

    “Lemme see the engine, it sound's like you tuned it a bit.” Hal requested calmly.

    Kyung pupped the back hood to reveal the engine, eager too show off his work. Hal pretended to care about the inner-workings for a bit, and walked back to the driver.

    “This thing up for wager?” Hal asked.

    Kyung almost busted out laughing before seriously considering the challenge. “What you got in return?”

    Hal motioned Kyung out of the Zonda to show his CCGT. The interior was not made for weight reduction, having speakers surrounding the cabin and fire red cushioned seats. Hal always thought that his best car should have a bit of luxury to drive, a concept Kyung seemed to agree with. The Engine was custom built from the ground up by a friend of Hal's that normally works on war vehicles. The friend ended up charging, but it was worth the heavy payment.

    It didn't take to long for Kyung to accept, as he called to attention the new race about to be held. The two cars sat next to each other as someone walked to the middle with a starting gun. The cars were considered equal performance, and so when the shot is fired, they would drive at will. The starting man check each driver to make sure they were ready. After making one last check to make sure the road was clear, he aimed up, and shot his gun, and the bang was followed by the squeal of tires leaving the starting line.





    Hal let himself get edged out before being fully overtook, where in he kept close behind. Kyung didn't let himself get to cocky, as he was just now catching up to his wager. Hal was able to stay close enough to make Kyung just that little bit less confident, but didn't attempt a pass on the narrow streets. Kyung had drove the streets enough to drive the racing line by instinct. Hal, in full concentration to the race, read the leaders movements and followed flawlessly. They kept they're positions up to the bridge crossing from the left side of the river to the right.

    Kyung made a perfect corner and landed his turn on the left side of the road. Hal turned a bit tighter onto the right lane, and accelerated faster then he'd been driving before. He meet side by side with Kyung and turned left into him. The speeds they were going meant Kyung had no hope to recover. His car broke throw the guard and slammed nose first into the river.

    Halvred pulled to inspect his car, which didn't take a scratch. Kyung floundered out of his wreck slightly injured. Hal walked to the side of the river and bent down closer to Kyung's level. He had reach out to a hand that Hal didn't offer, getting instead a cold stare.


    “Get out of my town...” Hal's command barely exceeded a whisper, but was loud and clear to Kyung, whose panic fueled new anger toward Hal. He had turned around and was walking back to his, Kyung lifted himself up. He reach behind his back to grab his revolver, but the water had damaged it to the point where the trigger wouldn't move. Hal's story was that Kyung lost control, which everyone else believed. Kyung didn't risk staying in town, but knew how to get more money while he waits for his chance to strike back.


    rip in pizza zonda
    Last edited by BardicSMG; 20th April 2016 at 02:57 PM.

  2. #862
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 22.1

    Well, looks like my schedule has gone up in smoke, only because I don't follow it. Have a new part today.

    The referenced album title of Part 21 was 'How I Learned to Stop Giving A Sh*t and Love Mindless Self Indulgence' [takes a breath] by Mindless Self Indulgence

    [s2_14.1: Part 22.1] The Eliminator Brings Rivalry

    <22120531>

    Sunday, May 31st, 2212

    Angelus HQ, Perth, Australia

    20:50:17

    The team were preparing for an otherwise ordinary eliminator event of the season, taking place on Sol 3. The simulators were warming up, as the one pilot that qualified got ready.

    Gareth walked up to Kyoko, opening his mouth to speak to her. She instantly held her hand up.

    "Stop. You always attempt to speak to me at the most inconvenient times. Why?"

    "Isn't it obvious? You are never here unless there's a race! You disappear for days, then turn up when a race is on. These are the only times I can speak to you!"

    "Hmph... thank you."

    "A-... what? 'Thank you'?"

    "Yes, thank you. You have gotten me angry enough to actually do well in this event. I am now in the right mood for an eliminator event. I thank you!" She bowed at him.

    Gareth had a surprised expression on his face, which turned into a frown. He opened his mouth one more time, then walked off. Kyoko then turned around, entering her simulator, ready to race...

    3, 2, 1... GO!
    <21:00:00_>
    <sol 3: short fwd_>
    <eliminator: lap 01_>
    <system error | andy hunter°_>


    All 26 craft set off, all aiming for destruction. Despite qualifying, Kyoko was at the rear of the pack, only just being able to qualify for the 26th position. This event was not going to be gentle on the team known for pure racing due to their somewhat weak shields. Somehow, though, Kyoko wasn't eliminated as much as Brandon had anticipated, as her racing skill allowed her to avoid a lot of her opponent's attacks.

    The event went as planned, but every so often, Kyoko had to flip around and slow down so she didn't go too far ahead of the pack. Once she got a feel of the rhythm, though, her racing style changed, now focusing on attacking the competition, venting her anger at Gareth into her opponents.

    "HAADADADADADA!" She yelled as she fired weapon after weapon into the various craft.

    Brandon's constant smile wavered a bit, his eyes widened slightly.

    "This... does not seem good." He muttered, looking closer and observing her actions more carefully.

    <contender eliminated_>

    It wasn't the first elimination in the match, but it was Kyoko's first kill.

    <contender eliminated_>

    Instantly, though, she was eliminated by Crinale.

    "Hah... of course. Where were you this whole time?! I had to wreck someone else!"

    Finally, the rivalry began, the race splitting into two: Angelus vs. Crinale, and the rest of the teams against each other. With that, the eliminations suddenly started to rise tremendously. Despite that, however, the two teams had more or less equal points with each other.

    "Give up, Angelus! You can never defeat us in battle!" Lucia taunted.

    "Our similar scores say otherwise." Kyoko retorted.

    "Pure coincidence!..."

    <contender eliminated_>

    "...you are nothing but our plaything, a mere toy we can destroy over and over again! UGH!"

    <contender eliminated_>

    "Rethink your strategy, prodigy. Your current one is getting you nowhere."

    "I need to rethink nothing! Everything is perfect!"

    "Perfect? Allow me to show you why it really is not!"

    The female racers continued their battle; the perfectionist prodigy, hell bent on destruction of the one team in particular; and the helmeted purist, shrouded in mystery, being forced to play to the tune of the race's rules. They continued their battle, getting even more forceful as they progressed, all culminating in the inevitable, a final attack by both teams that would bring the entire race – and much more – to a grinding halt.

    Crinale were ahead of Angelus by a fair amount, speeding over a weapons pad and getting their super-weapon. Kyoko already had Angelus' super-weapon at the ready, knowing that she'd be able to attack them with the high speed of the railgun charge. What she wasn't counting on was Crinale using their weapon.

    The instant they picked it up, they flipped their craft around, firing the Quantum Destabiliser the instant the white craft came into view. However, Kyoko saw the black craft and had fired her EMP Railgun at the exact same time. The instant the charged pulse hit the energy beam, the simulator stuttered, then all visuals began to warp as the physics engine broke from attempting to process the attacks' collision. Finally, it gave up, and the entire ser///__

    <FATAL SYSTEM ERROR: STOP command at 0x00000080_>

    *** WPNCOLLS.OPD - Address 16AD874F base at FC7F0000, DateStamp 0001C7F70564




    The final line has some data that isn't just random hexadecimal, even though it looks like it. Running the DateStamp through a hex to decimal converter, it gives a value of 7649822052, which is Unix time for Sunday, 31 May 2212 14:34:12 GMT, or 22:34 in Perth. The other numbers? Random typings that make it look like hexadecimal, so only 0-9 and A-F are used.

    The file that caused the error is in a short filename, or 8.3 format (8 characters for the name, and 3 for the extension, or file type). The name is just Weapon Collisions. The extension, however, gives a little insight into a certain thing to do with the F12000. The PD means Physics Data, but the O? I'll let you try and figure that out, shouldn't be too hard
    Last edited by Ace3000; 20th April 2016 at 11:30 AM.

  3. #863
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ace3000 View Post
    the pd means physics data, but the o? I'll let you try and figure that out, shouldn't be too hard
    o my god, crinale are octopi confirmed!

  4. #864
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    Default Part 86: Debriefing

    As Jonathan and Nico disconnected from the Electrospere, they were greeted by confusion and fear.
    "Why is Nikole still connected?" asked Celicia frightened.
    "She, is unconcious. A violent external disconnection could harm her lethaly." explained Nico while starring to the ground.
    "And what about the Antithesis, why did they shown up?" yelled Leonard angrily.
    Jonathan stepped infront of Nico, who had no explaination for the passed events "They broke through the barrier and penetrated into this sector. They weren't supposed to be around where we were, it shows their strenght..." he explained in a sight.
    "Dammit, Nikole..." whispered Johann and clenched his fist.

    "Mr. Bovier, I also got something to report." announced Selene and stepped infront of Jonathan "I got to know one of the Antithesis who didn't appeared to fit to the names we got..."
    "What do you mean?" asked Louis.
    "She said that her name was 'Kyoko Fujisaki', but she didn't made the appearance of the Kyoko Fujisaki we know." Selene explained calmly "In return, she asked me who this was."

    Selene pointed at Kyoko.

    "So this is not Kyoko Fujisaki?" threw in Leonard.
    "Only she knows, she should take of her helmet!" said Louis.
    "Wait now, wait now." went Nico inbetween to calm the situation. Kyoko stood calmly next to Brandon, who made a slightly nervous face.
    "Let's see..." said Jonathan, sorting his sorts.

    "Everyone of us, excepting Celicia, got their 'own' Antithesis.
    Jana and Madison also appear as an Antithesis.
    All Antithesis have a real-life counterpart."

    "So we can be sure, the Kyoko Fujisaki that Selene talked with IS the Antithesis of the real Kyoko Fujisaki." concluded Jonathan.
    "But the Antithesis didn't recognised her real self." brought Laurencia up.
    "Probably due to the helmet..." said Jonathan "But as far as I'm concerned, our Kyoko got it before the Antithesis showed up. It's a thing in her life, if I'm right, that an Antithesis would know. Especially considering their capabilities..." her continued his reasoning.

    Argument broke out, then silence as everyone thought the same, or maybe not.
    Jonathan broke the silence "Selene, how did the Kyoko Fujisaki you have seen look like?"
    "Well, she appeared in white, like everyone else and wore a kimono with wide trousers. Her hair was dark brown." Selene explained roughly "She was also rather calm, considering the nature of most other Antithesis. It was strange."

    "Take of your mask." said Jonathan to Kyoko "Prove my point, that you are the wrong subject."
    "Whaaaaaaaaa-" was the response of Brandon and Kyoko.
    "Her hair is not brown, I swear it is not!" yelled Brandon at Jonathan.
    "Sure?" he responded in a cold tone.

    *slap*

    Kyoko slapped Jonathan in his face.
    "You want us all to trust you, but you don't trust us!" she yelled at him "I am not affected by an Antithesis, I'm fine with that and want to go home, ok?"
    "You need to trust us, this is not the Kyoko Fujisaki you search!" added Brandon.

    Jonathan looked angrily at the two, lost any emotion and whispered "That was not nice, surely not...". He turned around and noted "Interesting what just happened, huh? At least for me..."
    "I have to apologuise! My behaviour was definitely not right and leaves a bad mark on my human life!" he excused as he turned around again and bowed down infront of Kyoko.
    "Alright, that's about that." threw Nico in "We need to find the real Kyoko Fujisaki! Allé!"

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________

    The Sixteen Members of the International Hope & Faith Association
    #01 Nico von Bovier (Jennter Enterprises/Germany) - #02 Jonathan von Bovier (Jennter Enterprises/Germany) - #03 Friedrich IV. von Hohenzollern (Germany) - #04 Brandon Smith (Angelus R&D) - #05 Dave Jurisdans ("Player") - #06 Kyoko Fujisaki (Angelus R&D) - #07 Selene Konstantinákos - #08 Nikole Maliina Carole (Syncline) - #09 Johan Webber (Syncline) - #10 Louis Repell (United Nations) . #11 Leonard Daniel Love (B&B Enterprises) - #12 Kyotaka Ishimasu (Orbit 1) - #13 Laurencia di Andrei (Italy) - #14 Antonia Gabrielle Xavier da Zonta (Hydronis) - #15 Celicia Flaubert (Jennter Enterprises) - #16 Jana von Bovier (Jennter Enterprises/Germany)

    The Sixteen Antithesis
    #01 Jonathan von Bovier (Jennter Enterprises) - #02 Nico von Bovier (Jennter Enterprises) - #03 Jana von Bovier (German Empire) - #04 Madison Larough (European Federation) - #05 Friedrich IV. von Hohenzollern (German Empire) - #06 Brandon Smith (Angelus R&D) - #07 Dave Jurisdans ("Player") - #08 Kyoko Fujisaki (Angelus R&D) - #09 Selene Konstantinákos (World Reknown Diviner) - #10 Nikole Maliina Carole (Syncline) - #11 Johan Webber (Syncline) - #12 Louis Repell (United Nations) - #13 Leonard Daniel Love (B&B Enterprises) - #14 Kyotaka Ishimasu (Orbit 1) - #15 Laurencia di Andrei (Republik of Italy) - #16 Antonio Gabrielle Xavier da Zonta (Hydronis)


    21st September 2030
    Münster, Germany

    "Welcome back!" greeted Rebecca Jonathan.
    "It was successful!" replied Jonathan excited.
    "And...how is it?" she asked.
    "You aren't longer human, just the mind!" he responded exstatic.
    Last edited by Jonny; 20th April 2016 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Forgot title once again XP

  5. #865
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    Default Düsseldorf, 2210

    Johann rushed into the bathroom to get a break from the crisis outside. The stress that had been caused had seemingly set his face ablaze. He washed his face with cold water and tried to breath slowly. He raised his head from his hunched figure at his reflection in the mirror. The doppelganger on the other side stared back in perfect poster, showing a clear superiority in his blank expression. The image behind the glass lifted his arm, with his fingers making a barrel of a firearm.





    Palm Gardens, 2203

    Drag racing, of all things, has grown immensely since the days of the measly quarter mile on pavement. Garcia inspected the sand she knelt on, which she always saw as the hand that feeds, or the one that could starve her in an instant. It was always everyday before the race when she would get second thoughts, then instantly find focus the morning she needed it. She couldn't find her focus on this day.

    South-western American drag racing in this era was populated by the muscle cars of the centuries previous. A few Euro-cars that shared the spirit of barely driving in a straight line slipped by every now and again, TVR's and a few models of Jaguar weren't to hard to find in the area, but Garcia always more concerned with style. Of all the shapes that she could have gone with, she had already stumbled upon a 1962 Shelby Cobra. Most people would keep it under a tarp except for that one time every decade where they would drive it to a party, giving it an entire hour of sunlight, but Garcia doesn't have that kind of occasional passion.

    Johann has made double and triple checks of every part of his little sisters car. He made one last test of the airshield; easily the most important asset, as it worked as its own aerodynamic shape to allow the car to reach the speeds its engine demanded, as well as letting Garcia drive the convertible with an open top. The abandoned hanger the car was stored at had the added benefit of a fully functional jet engine, which was repurposed as a wind machine for testing resistance.

    The sound of the jet startled Garcia, something that hadn't happened to her sense the first time it was demonstrated to her. Johann saw the unusual behavior, and was made rather perplexed by her nervousness. He turned off the jet after confirming that the shield worked properly. Garcia rose has the sound of the artificial wind died down.


    “Are you feeling alright?” Johann asked.

    Garcia scanned through the stretch of sand in front of her. “This Jerold guy... I've never raced him before.”

    “Yeah, that once applied to everyone you've raced.”

    Garcia turned back for a look at the Cobra. “I've never even met the guy. I guess it's late for this kinda thing, but...”

    “It wouldn't hurt to back out now...”

    Garcia made eye contact with her brother, just about to open her mouth and call it off. She instead looked back at her vessel, and walked back to its left side. She stepped behind the wheel, feeling the familiarities of the inside.

    “Did you check everything by now?” she asked.

    Johann simply gave a nod, and waited for a response.

    Garcia looked back to the field of desert, and her feelings started to drift into sheer determination. With a firm grip on the wheel with her right hand, she turned to give her answer.


    “Let's do this...”


    This is a multi-parter, so I'll be sure to follow up on the post after my next post. F*** the police comin straight outta Iowa... imean Mars.

  6. #866
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 22.2

    It's Friday, have a thing.

    The referenced album title of Part 22.1 was The Sea Brings Rivalry by MOOG... Tell me you guys have seen Mighty Car Mods.

    [s2_14.2: Part 22.2] Never Trust the Racing Commission

    <22120531>

    Sunday, May 31st, 2212

    22:34:10

    The screens had shut off, then filled with text, scrolling through lines and lines of code, showing various processes that were running. Finally, in red text, the last two lines of code appeared.

    <FATAL SYSTEM ERROR: STOP command at 0x00000080_>

    *** WPNCOLLS.OPD - Address 16AD874F base at FC7F0000, DateStamp 0001C7F70564


    Naturally, all over the world, every team other than Angelus and Crinale were confused, wondering what it was exactly that cause the whole system to crash and die.

    Meanwhile, in the cockpit of one Angelus simulator, Kyoko was just sitting back, staring at the crash error, twiddling her fingers.

    'Nnngh... was that my fault?' She thought, 'No, it was probably both our faults. Anyway, sitting around here won't help, might as well head to the lounge.'

    She got out and went to the lounge, where she presumed everyone else was. She was right, as soon as she entered, she saw several employees, including Gareth, conversing with Brandon. When he saw Kyoko, he stood up, and slid his hands in his coat's pockets.

    "Kyoko, we need to talk about something." He said, his constant smile unwavering.

    When they entered his office, she opened her helmet for some fresh air. She did that only when she was alone, or with Brandon, the only one who knew her true identity. When he was sure they were alone, he dropped his act, his smile instantly snapping down into a look of discontent.

    "What was that all about?" He asked. "Your racing has become more violent than usual."

    "I-" She began.

    Brandon raised a hand to stop her, "I know what you're going to say, and I am willing to overlook this incident, considering what type of race it was. However, if you display that kind of behaviour in an actual race, I will be forced to take necessary action. Your status, your identity... doesn't matter."

    "...fine. If all you wanted was to berate me for my performance, then I shall just take me leave for the night." She said, closing down her helmet and walking out, before turning back. "You know, I think you're the one that's changed."

    Brandon blinked. "Me?"

    "Yes, even though you never looked it, you've grown very cold recently."

    "So what if I have? My views still remain the same. I still want the F12000 dead, I still want a pure league."

    "I don't like it... I-I mean, I do agree with your views, I just don't like the way you're going about it."

    Brandon closed his eyes and took a deep breath, "Maybe I'm going about it wrong... maybe I'm not. I don't know what's right or wrong anymore. I've lived for 53 years and I'm not even halfway through my lifespan. You know... sometimes this extended life is a gift... and sometimes it's a curse."

    Kyoko stepped back, realising that she had entered a sensitive part of Brandon's past. However, she continued. "Do... do you regret it? Extending your life."

    "That decision was not my own, my parents did it when I was born."

    "Did you berate them for it when you found out?"

    "No, I just accepted it. It's not an easy thing to fix, if not impossible." He looked at the clock on his computer. "Anyway, don't worry about me though, we need to go see what the Commission has to say about the incident. Let's go."

    They walked out of his office, into the main lounge, where several people were sitting there.

    "Have they said anything yet?" He asked Gareth.

    "Not yet, no. I think they may be still trying to clean up this mess."

    "Great. I want to see what they have to say about it, do we send the pilots back out, or will it just end like that?"

    Fortunately, he didn't have to wait long, the Racing Commission had made their decision.

    "As you are no doubt aware, a systems error was the cause of our event suddenly being halted. We have discussed the action that is to be taken, and we have decided to end the event. The scores were as such before the event ended."

    The screen showed the pilots' positions and scores, listed in order.

    "As you can see, Crinale has obtained 1st place, with Angelus surprisingly taking second! Maybe they aren't as against weapons as they made out to be!"

    "ASSHOLE!" Brandon called out, and walked out the room, back to his office. As he entered, he got on his computer, and continued his private research into the spy Nikole told him about. However, without a lead, Brandon could find nothing. The data he obtained at the Sidewinder race only got him so far.

    The data... he obtained?

    "I'm just going to get right to it: There is a spy amidst your team. We have obtained sufficient evidence to support our claims, including intercepted documents from the spy themselves. It is the irrefutable truth."...

    ...

    ..."We don't know, they have assumed the identity of one of your team members."

    'My... team members?' He thought. 'No, it can't be!... can it?' Finally, he made his decision. '[sigh], fine... Sorry to do this, but it's because I trust in you all.'

    He started to search though Angelus' own database and logs, searching through the emails of all of the team members. Nothing. He went deeper, searching through the logs of the data sent through the team's internet.

    [22120227 15:50:38]angelus plan to overthrow current crinale leadership, part of greater plan to destroy f12000. -ΣΣ17

    "Sigma Sigma 17? Finally, I have a lead... two, even. That information doesn't add up to when I first revealed it... [gasp]! The 'Loose Thread'!"

    Brandon finally had the info he was looking for, he knew that with that, any and all further information would be easier to obtain. Like pulling a loose thread, the entire fabric would eventually fall apart, hence why he called it such. He went all in, searching high and low for the codename ΣΣ17, along with the one person he told the plan to recently...

    Alexandra Kotova.

  7. #867
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 23

    After proof-reading this, I realised it may be considered filler. Maybe. I dunno.

    The referenced album title of Part 22.2 was Never Trust the Chinese by Mr. Meeble.

    [s2_15.0: Part 23.0] Recognition

    <22120601>

    Monday, June 1st, 2212

    Angelus R&D HQ, Perth, Australia.

    23:03:27

    "... how? How did I allow this to happen right under my nose?!"

    Brandon was at his desk, scrolling thorugh the data he had obtained, staying up late to obtain the information he needed.

    "Pfft, that's right, she's an international spy apparently, I doubt anyone would notice if they were infiltrated like that."

    He reached into his pocket and took out a small USB drive.

    "... Ugh, I don't want to use that... not for this."

    Suddenly, his phone rang, making him drop the drive in surprise.

    "Sh*t, no! That's still important to me though!"

    He picked up the drive, slipped it back into his pocket, then took out his phone and answered it, without looking at the caller ID.

    "Yeah?
    ...
    "I'm at HQ, why?
    ...
    "O...kay? I- huh? The hell, why did you just hang up? Whatever..." He slipped his phone back in his pocket, kept his hand in there for a few moments as he thought, then pulled out the thumb drive.

    "Screw this, I'm desperate. I need this info." He said, plugging it in and running the control program inside it, to collect even more data.

    About 20 minutes later, he heard someone enter.

    "You are an idiot. Get some sleep, now."

    ------------

    At the dead of night, the black car screamed up the gravel driveway, the red body lights activated as the driver entered. As it raced up to the top of the driveway to the house, it skidded to a halt, the helmeted driver leaping out before it had even stopped. Kyoko ran up to the door and knocked on it several times, before trying the doorbell.

    "Come on, damnit, answer!"

    It was then she realised the lights were off. Brandon was not home.

    "What?! It's 10pm! Are you're sleeping?" She took out her phone and phoned him.

    "Of course you are not answering the door when I need your assistance the most, argh!"

    "Yeah?" The voice came from the other end of the line.

    "Where the hell are you?!"

    "I'm at HQ, why?"

    "... Ugh, no reason. じゃあね1."

    She hung up at that point. Not wasting any more time, she re-entered her car and raced to Angelus HQ, switching off the red lights the moment she got back on the roads... but nearly lost it in the process, her AG racing skills bringing the car back in control. However, she was getting more and more emotional.

    "Ngh! Damnit, I hate this car... it handles like sh*t, it's always handled like sh*t and it will forever handle like sh*t, no matter what I do to it."

    ------------

    After being waved through by security, the modified R210 GT flew up the levels of the multi-story carpark, only stopping when Kyoko had reached her reserved parking space. She got out and ran towards Brandon's office.

    "Idiot, idiot, idiot! Why is that idiot still here?! He should be home, not pushing himself with whatever work he's doing! Argh!"

    Finally, she reached Brandon's office. Opening the door, she said, "You are an idiot. Get some sleep, now."

    "No, why should I? You don't know what I have to deal with."

    "No, of course I don't, but you still need sleep to function properly!"

    Brandon tool a large drink from the energy drink sitting on his desk, smiling unemotionally as he put up his mask. "No, I don't. And time is of the essence here, this is some rather... unorthodox work I'm doing here, and the sooner I find the solution to this massive problem on my hands, the better off everyone will be."

    "Sure, I may be just a damn pilot, but that doesn't mean you have to deal with problems on your own. Now, tell me just what the f*ck is going on with you?!"

    "You want to know? Really? Okay. I'll tell you then. Basically..." he stressed every word after, just to drive the point home, "I'm being forced to doubt my team members, to distrust them, all because of a single possibility that has become a reality. But I need to find some physical, definitive evidence, not circumstantial possibilities."

    "Who and what?" She asked, not backing down. In response, Brandon dropped his head onto his desk with a resounding thud.

    "You're assuming I have no leads to collect evidence, but I do, I'm collecting massive amounts of evidence at an equally massive rate. In fact, it's going so fast, I have no time to look it over, until the program I'm running finishes collecting it. Then, I'll investigate, examining every piece carefully, collating the most relevant and most incriminating of the files I have... and confronting the culprit with it."

    SLAP

    "IDIOT!" Kyoko screamed. "I'm trying to help you, and you just push me away! I can help you examine the evidence, but you're being too damn idiotic! LET ME HELP, YOU IDIOT!"

    Brandon turned his head slowly back to face Kyoko after being slapped, "You really love slapping people when things don't go your way, do you? That's... rather unbecoming of you. Fine, I'll let you in on it, but this must be kept secret."

    "Do you know who you're talking to right now, Brandon?"

    "...of course... I understand. Well, here goes...

    "I'm suspecting the one you know as Alexandra Kotova of being an international spy."


    1Jā ne, See ya
    Last edited by Ace3000; 29th April 2016 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Shhh, I totally didn't forget to write up the translation

  8. #868
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    Default Mountains of Nikko, 2198

    For more then three days now, Katsuo stayed on the overgrown yard of her home. She leaned her back on a stone slab with a name crudely etched on the other side. Natsuki was filled with guilt just from not being able to coax her daughter into shelter.

    “Katsuo... it's time to eat.” She knelt to Katsuo's eye level to try to negotiate, but got no response. “You can't stay out hear forever. It's going to rain soon, you'll get sick.”

    “Are you sure he's not coming back?” Katsuo asked.

    Natsuki simply didn't have the will to explain what happened, and hoped she had just forced herself to lie. She sighed and walked back inside to bring the food back inside. From the kitchen, she saw the door to the garage cracked open. She had found an old Icaras craft the week before that was going to be turned into a playpen to surprise Kat. She remembered seeing something else among the pile of scrap it was dragged from.

    She grabbed it from the old craft and brought it to the living room. It was a plush doll based off of Curly, the F7200 mascot. The head was actually a screen, the batteries just needed to be replaced, and it still worked.

    Natsuki took the doll out to the yard and sat next to her daughter. Katsuo recognized the doll, as though it were a living pet. The eyes made by the screen let her young mind remember what she still had left in the world, giving back at least some of the comfort she had lost. She reached up to the plush, and her mother stood up, still holding it herself. Without having another exchange, Katsuo agreed to follow her mother back inside to shelter.




    Outskirts of Nagasaki, 2210


    Katsuo meet Ryouta right after she had broke Halvred out of the interrogation room. Hal was taken to a hospital, ready to call a lawyer in case Hideki was desperate enough to press charges after beating a bystander. He loaned Kat his hotel room as a token of gratitude, as she wasn't willing to risk going back to her childhood home after finding out it had been raided.

    In an adjacent hotel, leaving his parents before he was ready to care for his younger sibling, Irisu, was about where Katsuo meet Ryouta for the first time. His sister was kicked out of the home when their highly religious parents found out she was dating another girl. She had rented a room from her girlfriend's family at first, but Irisu had later found out that her partner had been stealing money from her. Between the two, Irisu and Ryouta were able to work up enough money to pay for a room, but Irisu's deteriorating mental health caused her to get fired from her job as a store clerk.

    Ryouta started out as Katsuo's mechanic, only because Kat took pitty on his situation, and thought that since Ryo was already a full-time mechanic, he could do a better job of maintaining her car then she could ever manage. When they got the money to purchase a beat up house out of town, which ended up being cheaper then the hotel room, their feelings had grown to where they ended up sharing. Just to at least try to make it a bit more official, the went on a date not long afterward, but they were too cheap to go on another one after already living together.


    Irisu had been getting very ill over the last few days. Since the winter chill wasn't helping any, the heater that's usually used for the living room was put in her room while she was at rest. Kat and Ryo shared a blanket in front of the TV playing anime. Kat was never interested with any movies or shows, just the AG races which had already ended the week before, but she had no desire to step outside in the ice and snow. Just as she was about to dose of, there was a knock on the door.


    “Just ignore it,” Kat said before Ryo had paused the TV. “It's probably just a solicitor, or something.”

    The knocking continued. “I don't think their going to leave until someone opens the door.” Ryo said.

    “You think they'll just stay outside for that long?”

    “Do you really want to test them...” The knocking got louder and more persistent.

    “Alright, I'm coming!” Kat proclaimed to the door. She got up with a sigh and throw her coat on among the banging. After a brisk pace, the door was opened, with the view of a metal barrel fixated to her face.

    Katsuo backed away slowly with her hands up, clenching her jaw to insure she didn't say the wrong thing. The gunman grabbed her shoulder and pushed her into a kneeling position, while another one from behind grabbed Ryouta and dragged him to face Katsuo, then pulled a shotgun to the both of them.

    The first man holstered his gun and strolled upstairs to Irisu's bedroom. He reached for the first doorknob he saw, but found that it wouldn't rotate past a couple millimeters. He then went back down to where he came from, grinding his teeth the whole way.

    Katsuo kept her head down and hoped that the two gunmen hadn't arrived for the reason she suspected. Ryouta saw right into Katsuo's fears, only deciding against to ask her what she thought was happening because of the double-barrels next to them. Ryouta had know clue why they where being invaded, and seeing the helplessness and regret in Katsuo troubled him more then he cared to think.

    The man with the shotgun looked up at the man arriving from upstairs.
    “Is she not here?” he asked without getting a response. “Zakhar, did you find her or not?”

    With the gunman next to him distracted, Ryouta ran into him and struggled to disarm him. Zakhar pulled out his revolver to retaliate, but Katsuo ran into his line of fire. She had her eyes forced closed and expanded her stomach muscles, but Zakhar didn't fire a shot. Behind her, Ryouta was thrown back to the ground, with the gun pointed right to his face.

    “What a brave, young, stupid soul,” Zakhar said. “Why don't come a bit closer, I've got something to show you.”

    Katsuo stayed put, now hoping to get a bullet and get it over with.

    “Little girl, as disappointing as it is, you're not going to die a hero. The best you can do is make this easy for all of us.”

    She refused to listen, and continued to test Zakhar's patiance.

    Ryouta looked up at Katsuo, afraid for her life.
    “For gods sake, just do what he says!” He pleaded in a hyper-ventilated state that forced more tears out of his eyes than he's ever had before.

    Katsuo finally gave up her front, and made her way forward. When he got the chance, Zakhar pulled her shoulder and spun her around.
    “Now, be a darling. Take me to where you keep the keys to the doors.” he demanded with his gun to her temple.

    Katsuo couldn't bring herself to move, and with a deep breath, did the only thing she had left to do.

    “Find them yourself, or get out...”

    Zakhar managed a straight face from what he found an amusing response. “Do you mind running that by me again?”

    “FIND THE DAMN KEYS YOUSELF, YOU GIANT PEICE OF S**T!”

    She got hit in the head immediately by the barrel of Zakhar's gun. With a cold new look in his face, he gazed a thousand yards before him, and gave a simple command to his follower.

    “Show her reason...”

    The gunman ahead of him pushed his boot to Ryouta's chest, and spun his gun to point upwards. When Ryouta looked up at the gun, the blunt end smash into his nose. His cry of pain coincided with Katsuo turning her head to look away, only to have forced to face forward again.

    Ryouta rolled to his side, and found the blood spilling out of his nostrils. The dented backside of the gun was now raised to the ceiling, then swung into Ryouta's chest. Instead of a scream, there was only the shatter of his rib cage, with more blood being thrown out of his mouth. The gunman walked down Ryouta's curled body. He pointed the shotgun down, poking at different parts of him. He eventually settled on his knees. The gunman stood up tall, and readied his gun to fire both rounds.


    “ENOUGH, PLEASE!” Katsuo cried out in defeat, “I'll do what you say, just leave him alone.”

    The gunman held his gun away from Ryouta, and walk up to Katsuo, waiting for her to lead the way. She reached into her coat pocket, bringing out a bundle of keys, and hand them over with one sticking out. The gunman grabbed the keys and walked up to Irisu's room leaving Katsuo where she was.

    After the door opened, there was a loud glass shatter, which Zakhar instantly turned his head to. Not long after was the sound of flesh tearing, with the man screaming in horror. Another sound of stabbing, this time with more glass breaking. One more puncture, and the screams grew weaker and weaker, inevitably turning to silence.

    Zakhar didn't stay for much longer. He opted to cut his loses and leave the scene while he could still do it without trouble. Katsuo stood in a petrified state, instead focusing on Ryouta. He had fallen unconscious during the mess, and layed draped on the floor. Katsuo reached as carefully as she could to check if he was still able to breathe. She put her hand before his mouth, and felt a slight gust come out. Katsuo then held head, relieved to find he was still alive, and trying to find a way to allow air into him more easily.


    “R-Ryouta...” Irisu muttered in concern for her brother.

    Katsuo jumped away from the voice behind her, completely forgetting that Irisu was her friend.

    “Kat... are they gone?”

    Katsuo tried to push herself farther back from Irisu then the wall would allow. She found a new fear for Irisu that she couldn't bring herself to explain, and was at a lose when Irisu stepped closer to her.

    “Katsuo, you're scaring me,” Irisu started to fear that she would never get a response. “Please just tell me, is Ryouta going to be okay?”

    Katsuo started to familiarize herself with the Irisu she's always known, and finally let herself calm down. “Their all gone,” Katsuo finally answered, “everything is going to be okay.”

    Irisu dropped down to hug Katsuo, hoping to get them both out of shock. “Doesn't he need to go to a hospital?” Irisu asked.

    “A hospital can't do anything right now.”

    “But Katsuo, he's bleeding out of the mouth.”

    “Their won't be a hospital safe enough to call.”

    Irisu tightened her body, starting to weep uncontrollably.

    “He'll be okay,” Katsuo promised, “We're just going to need some help.”

    “Help? From... from who?”

    Katsuo finally reached her arms to Irisu's back. “Irisu...” she started to whisper as softly and calmly as she could manage, “We can't live in Japan anymore.”


    For some reason I had a hard time writing this part out.
    Last edited by BardicSMG; 30th April 2016 at 02:47 PM. Reason: timeline hard :(

  9. #869
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 24.1

    Thanks to Bardic for writing out half of both this and the next part!

    The referenced album title of Part 23 was RE:COGNITION by [ cell 7 ].

    [s2_16.1: Part 24.1] Australian Noir

    <22120527>

    Wednesday, May 27th, 2212

    Perth, Australia.

    11:32:40

    Nikole had instructed Katsuo to meet with her, but ended up visiting the grave where Matt had been buried. Nikole had tried to contact her old friend yesterday, if only to apologize for how she had treated him two years before. She understood why she had to find out herself, and it filled her with guilt. Katsuo ended up finding Nikole on her own, only to find out about Matt's fate herself. Nikole acknowledged Kat's presence on arrival, but stayed silent.

    "Did he go peacefully?" Kat asked, trying to be comforting.

    "He saw Ramaela, then Brandon, then asked to be cut-off. That's all I found out."

    "You can still redeem yourself." Katsuo said. "Even if Matt isn't here to see it, it's never too late."

    Nikole had grabbed a handkerchief out of her coat pocket. "Meet me in my car," she said in an attempt to divert her emotions, "We need to make sure no one eavesdrops on us."

    "I understand." Kat said, as though she were simply asked to give Nikole her own moment.

    ------------
    20 minutes later...

    Nikole stepped into the driver's seat of her car along side Katsuo. "One of our colleges had intercepted a signal headed to Angelus HQ sometime in early to mid 2211. It was a hack into their security systems, allowing the fob panels to accept another code that had previously been unsupported."

    "So there's a spy in Angelus?"

    "It could be that they haven't been infiltrated yet, but it would be to their benefit to strike as soon as there transmission is set. I was going stay out of this, since Brandon has no faith in me being honest, but I can't let this happen... I need to makes things right."

    "You're not taking this personally, are you?"

    "I've had time to think about it... and what I'm going to ask of you might be uncomfortable, but it's ultimately the right thing."

    "Anything that needs to be done..."

    "I need you to keep an eye on the four most important members of Angelus: Brandon Smith, Alexandra Kotova, Gareth Ardos, and Kyoko Fujisaki. If they seem at all suspicious, keep a note of it and tell me when we meet again. If you find out one of them is missing or an imposter, pull out and contact me as soon as you can."

    "Yeah, I can do that." Kat said, about to open the door.

    "One more thing," Nikole said to stop Katsuo. "Stay in public areas, and don't go anywhere you're not supposed to."

    "What? Why, how am I supp-"

    "Katsuo, there's been enough done-"

    "This is serious. Why should we sit by and let these people-"

    "Please... for the sake of my peace... don't intrude into their personal lives."

    Katsuo thought about Nikole reasoning and took a deep breathe to keep from getting frustrated. "Okay," she said reluctantly, "I'll stay in public areas then." then stepped out of the car.

    ------------
    <22120528>

    Thursday, May 28th, 2212

    Angelus R&D HQ, Perth, Australia.

    15:07:39

    Kat was able to sneak into Angelus HQ without being noticed by the tighter security, she thought that maybe the beanie she was wearing might have had something to do with it. She made her way to the lounge, where she saw Brandon, Gareth and Alex conversing. Hiding herself behind the door, she listened in.

    "...don't have the info we need, so it will be some time before we are able to attack." She heard Brandon explain.

    "How difficult is it to get the info we need?" Gareth asked

    "Is that a rhetorical question? This is Crinale we're talking about, they'd be hiding pretty much any and all sensitive information really well. It'd be almost impossible to obtain the info we need through legal means."

    "... Are you insinuating what I think you are?"

    "Maybe. Not really. I will definitely try to get everything legally, don't worry. However, sometimes you need to fight fire with fire... wait. How did I not notice that before?"

    "Huh?" Alex spoke up for the first time.

    "Your hair, it's different."

    "...sh*t, I'll be back." Alex ran out of the room, right past Kat. Thankfully, she didn't notice her. She decided to follow her to see where she was going. Alex entered a storeroom, took out her bag, and rushed to her next location: one of the bathrooms. As she walked in, she looked at her reflection in the mirror.

    "Wh-? Damn it." She exclaimed, staring at her hair, which was a very dark, almost unnoticeable brown. She reached into her bag and took out an object. Kat noticed it immediately as a device used to change the hair colour of the user. Alex used it on her hair, changing it to her usual black. She then stuffed the device back into her bag and walked out, replacing her bag in the storeroom and returning to the lounge. Brandon, upon seeing her, had a slight suspicious look on his face, but made no comment on her hair changing again.

  10. #870
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    Default Faster Than Angels | Part 24.2

    The referenced album title of Part 24.1 was California Noir by Julien-K.

    [s2_16.2: Part 24.2] That Crooked Vulture

    <22120601>

    Monday, June 1st, 2212

    Brandon's house, Perth, Australia.

    23:09:31

    "Come on, damnit, answer!"

    Kat had had enough, she wasn't going to play by Nikole's rules, she was going to find out about the spy by any means necessary. She had followed Kyoko to Brandon's house, and was seeing her bang on his door.

    "What?! It's 10pm! Are you're sleeping?" She took out her phone and phoned him. "Of course you are not answering the door when I need your assistance the most, argh!"

    "Where the hell are you?!
    "...
    "... Ugh, no reason. じゃあね."

    She hung up at that point. Not wasting any more time, she re-entered her car and set off, switching off the red lights the moment she got back on the roads... but nearly lost it in the process, her AG racing skills bringing the car back in control. Kat continued following her, all the way to Angelus HQ.

    Donning her beanie again, she snuck into the building, following Kyoko right up to Brandon's office. Cracking the door open slightly, she listened in.

    "-ow what I have to deal with."

    "No, of course I don't, but you still need sleep to function properly!"

    Kat listened in to their entire conversation, complete with Kyoko slapping Brandon in the face. The conversation suddenly changed when they finished discussing the spy.

    "How are you holding up?"

    "What do you mean?"

    "You know what I mean. Your identity. How are you holding up keeping it covered?"

    "Oh, that... well, once I got used to it, it's pretty easy."

    "Good, good."

    "Although, I won't say that it wasn't tiring, because it was."

    Kyoko removed her helmet to cool off and sat down, continuing their conversation. Katsuo was about to leave, but there was one thing she couldn't let go of.

    She had to see her face.

    Katsuo cracked the door just enough to get an eye into the door. She used the window behind the desk to catch a reflection of her head. There was a slight chill from the sight she had beheld, but not enough to make her look away. She kept her eye on the face for a solid minute just to make sure she knew exactly what it was. After this realization, Katsuo couldn't help herself from staying to listen to the conversation they had, learning what should never leave the office, up until the last possible moment she could stay.

    ------------
    <22120602>

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2212

    Public underground carpark, Perth, Australia.

    08:59:19

    There was no way to know how much longer there was until any effort to find the spy became moot. Nikole was anxiously waiting in her car for Katsuo as a result of the issue. She showed up to the meeting point 15 minutes early just to fool herself into thinking she would get her information earlier, and now she has sat alone for another 15 minutes before Katsuo had arrived with the news.

    “They're attacking Crinale.” Katsuo started.

    “Attacking? What do you mean attacking?”

    “Couldn't tell you much more then that, just that they might not be playing fair for a while.”

    Nikole spaced out from realizing the complications of a company with those intentions being infiltrated, or even manipulated from the inside.

    "Any other requests?"

    Nikole snapped out of her trance. "Brandon Smith, anything about him?"

    "I heard him say he was trying to find the spy, in a roundabout way. He's in the clear."

    "Alright, at least we avoided a worst case scenario."

    "If you thought he was the spy, then why did you tell him about it?"

    "I had to tell someone, and Brandon was the least likely. He's the one that everyone would see everyday. Did you spot Kyoko at all?"

    "If she ever leaves her home, she wasn't in her favourite anonymous racing suit of secretness. Still, though, she and Brandon are too close for a spy to not get caught as her. She apparently only shows her helmet on a raceday anyway, which would make for the world's laziest informant."

    "Gareth Ardos?"

    "It could be him, he was a bit sociable, though. It'd be hard for him to stay undetected with how he acts, but it could be done, I suppose."

    "And Alexandra Kotova?"

    "Something was off about her... I almost didn't even see it. Apparently her hair had looked different or something. I though maybe she just changed it's colour overnight, but that would mean that whenever someone notices, she changes it back."

    "You saw her change her hair colour after someone saw it was different?"

    "Yeah, she went to the bathroom just to do it. That's all the weird stuff I saw her do, though."

    "Right... anything else I should know?"

    Katsuo looked up, as though she was debating with herself on what to say.

    "What is it... If it's that important, just tell me."

    After taking a large breath, Katsuo opened her mouth. "I know where Tarah Andrews is."

    "...How do you know this." Nikole said sternly, already knowing the answer.

    "Did you think I was going to find her grocery shopping? I had to, I couldn't get to her any other way?"

    Nikole laid her head on the steering wheel in frustration, then sat up in a slightly calmer state. "Maybe you were right. Just... don't tell me what you heard."

    "But she-"

    "If Tarah's been under the radar for this long, she hasn't been making any problems. We'll deal with the spy first, then we'll see what happens. You can go now."

    "Nikole-"

    "I don't want to hear it. Enjoy the rest of your day however you like, your job is done for now."

    Katsuo still felt she had more to say, but knew she couldn't convince Nikole to hear her out. After a bit of hesitation, she eventually exited Nikole's car, which promptly left the carpark, and went back into her own. It wasn't until she had managed to fully distract herself from the subject with whatever she had on hand before she went back to the outside world herself.
    Last edited by Ace3000; 12th May 2016 at 03:56 AM.

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