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PSIn: Scientia Potentia Est [Always Open]



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Eva

~ ♥~ Grand Summoner~ ♥~
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As Michiko let Demetri speak, suddenly the speakers caught her attention. Without a second to lost, she threw her stuffed animal at Demi, telling him to not lose it no matter what. Grabbing the closest thing to her--which just so coincidentally happened to be a wrench, she swung at the pilot's neck, getting a one hit KO.

"Just trust me! Put on a parachute!" Michiko yelled back at Demi, who was probably mortified at her actions. Unfortunately , she had literally no time to explain that they were being chased, as well as the pilot being instructed to let them get hit to kill the three of them.

Pushing the pilot off the seat, the plane took a slight dive. Michiko sat in the seat, pulling the controls towards her she she scanned the controls. It didn't seem too hard, and she didn't have to think too hard. Her mind whirrled as the gears began their calculations. She needed to get them to North Korea alive while somehow managing to get there undetected. So far, however, every conclusion lead to only one of the three neccesities, which was unacceptable.

There was no way in hell Michiko would compromise.

By the time she had finally thought up a possiblity, they had traveled quite the distance--which actually ensured the success. She held her breath as she jerked the plane up, and boom--they were hit. Scrambling out of the pilot's seat, she immediately pulled open the plane door, pocketing his Xoom into her bag. After pushing him out the window, she quickly strapped on her own parachute and made the leap.

Boy, was that exhilirating!

Once the two touched ground, she accidently stumbled onto him, laughing. That was the greatest rush she had felt in some time. "Wow! Lucky us, eh?" She motioned toward the plane, which had recently been blown to bits. "No need to worry, they think we died." She mentioned as she got herself out of the parachute, dusting herself off.

"Oh, right, you were asking something?"
 

Orion

Prepared To Die
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The vibrant red hair at the pinnacle of the woman's lithe body was like a fiery beacon in the dimly-lit chamber - mounting fog and eerie blue light being all there was for her to track her targets in. The piece of machinery she gripped expertly in her hands bore the hallmark of all firearms - barrel, trigger and handle - but that was where the familiarity ended. The body of the Tundra-3 rifle was the length of a standard assault rifle and half again, with its vertically-elongated hexagonal barrel - pierced by two vertically-oriented holes at its end - was clearly something out of a science fiction movie. It seemed a perfect weapon: As its wielder lined up the four bright, blue laser sights on a roving target, it shone in unusual ways, only made all the more otherworldly by the mist that seemed to thicken with every blast.

Where one might expect the weapons ammunition to be stored was no such thing, only a slight bulge where she rested her hand on a horizontal foregrip, which closed over the batteries of the weapon that would, on any other gun attempting non-standard ammunition, be running hot, even beginning to overload or melt if such a strain was placed on it. But this one was cold, about three degrees celsius below zero, and as such, the woman wore a pair of black synthetic gloves that did wonders to insulate her hands while retaining dexterity and circulation. Her other hand, the right, was of course squeezed around the handle of the weapon, the thumb through a singular hole behind her index finger. Tapering back a quarter of a foot was then the butt of the rifle, small and even slightly cushioned, but hardly there to reduce recoil.

As each shot was fired off almost silently, her aim kept steady and true, wavering not at all, despite the fantatic velocities obtained by her 'ammunition'. No, the butt was there for steadying the rifle against the errant movements of one's own hand and arms - it was impossible for the gun itself to actually have any physical effect on the rifleman. It had no recoil. Zero. A shield of sorts extended from the side and bottom of the gun a few inches in front of the grip, and had the double purpose of protecting a shooter to a certain degree, as well as acting to keep everything behind it separate from the effect of the gun gathering its most standard form of ammunition: air.

Truth to be told, the shield also acted as a hand warmer. Without it, the first tester of the rifle's earliest prototype had fallen in love with the smooth, quiet and light nature of the weapon, and got hypothermia for his affection. A gentle wirring sounded each time the red-head touched her index finger to the trigger, and it ceased as immediately as it was totally replaced with a soft click. Straight after this, a whump sound issue from the barrel of the gun, and a second one a moment later. Firing in bursts, each target was struck at phenomenal speed with a bullet composed of supersonic, super-concentrated air.

How it managed to be so wonderful would elude much of the world for decades yet, but those who knew understood they had this very woman to thank, and by extension, Hermann Niels. The woman executed the deft movements of eye, arm and body that saw to the efficient 'destruction' of seven more drones that extended from telescoping poles from the ceiling, walls and floor, all while another scientist in the ASVUT wondered yet again at the technology this girl was helping to develop. She was the star attraction, the star pupil and the star subject of the entire division, and she received the praise of every person involved at some stage or another. The friendship of quite a few of them was welcome, and the affection of staff less so, men and woman alike.

This man in particular was one of those sort who went through life at every turn never doing anything risky because of the possibility it might turn out badly. His first party once legally allowed to drink, only after his friends were able to coax him into attendance did he sit quietly away, not talking to anyone for fear others would be violent drunks, and adamantly avoiding any alcohol himself. He was the kind of man to become head-over-heals infatuated with girls he would never actually talk to, let alone know. As it stood, the closest he had come to Chass De Sorcières was in the designing of a single thus-far-failing handgun implementing the sciences of her PSInergy to act as a personal defence item. Nothing lethal, and in the end, nothing all that effective, either.

He looked on with lust as he imagined the form-fitting thermal suit she wore under any outer garments, sleek and black and tight but never chafing, it didn't show one bit under the clothing she was currently dressed in: Denim cargo pants, tough and flexible boots of black leather, a long-sleeved shirt of striped violet-on-grey. It was baggy, and made her look more like a soldier than the precise warrior that she was.

Having finished this round of particular tests, it seemed the Tundra-3 rifle would be going into more widespread use, at least among the military elite of Sweden's closest allies. The word ally in itself was tenuous, because in this day and age, it was never quite known who was truly a friend or an enemy. Who would come to your aid or stab you in the back and take every scrap of PSIn science and technology you had. Just starting to feel the cold, Chass jogged to the other side of the lengthy chamber to where a thick silver door opened in the now-brightening room, revealing the woman's father, dressed in casual coat and trousers, thick arms and large body warming her as the two embraced.

Speaking smooth Swedish, the father congratulated her: "The rifle and the shooter both performed fantastically, and we can tell just from outside viewing - not even worrying about numbers - that the Tundra rifle has finally pulled through. We can expect production soon, and profits after that. Massive revenue, that for one thing we can use to furnish up your home, finally get your some proper furnishings." The Swedish government cared the bare minimum for what was - in the end - their most valuable weapon, Chass herself, but cared infinitely more for the things she could make possible for the advantage of Sweden, militarily and financially. This facility of the ASVUT was fantastic when it came to equipment, hardware and software, but where it lacked most was in every part relating to people. Food was canned only, cooking was with microwaves alone, water was melted snow. It had been a sore spot for Chass for a couple of years now, but her father assured her it would all improve soon. Very soon.

Chass knew that when her father used the phrase 'your home' he meant the entire complex as a whole, because in the end, it totally revolved around Chass, basically belonged to her because she was all the truly mattered in it all. Her own benefit would have the much-loved collateral effect of improving the quarters and facilities available to all others. A larger pool and gym were things aside from a proper bedroom Chass was dearly awaiting. "We could all use the improvements," she commented as they left each other's arms and exited the test chamber, already dimming to blackness.

=====

Understanding that without Jericho he would be left in hostile North Korean airspace with missiles and anti-air fire and no way to survive meant Didact's only real option was to go with the man. It was even likely that, tea-break included, they could get there faster than the plane. Jericho did, after all, possess the power of instantaneous travel. Truly formidable. But then again, everything about PSInners was formidable on some level. They were all weapons. The best weapons. And more than a few of them - from countries apathetic or hostile to each other - were all converging on one place. That would make for an interesting get-together, Didact thought.

The sudden change in air pressure as Didact stepped from kilometres up to ground level caused his ears to pop, disrupting his hearing for a second before he made a swallowing action, and it was gone. He followed Jericho, at the same time analysing their surroundings, trying to guess at a location before he just ripped the answer from someone else's mind. He found the experience enjoyable, and hoped he could do it again in future. Far too often, Didact knew well in advance where he would be, and it took away from this newfound joyous challenge of figuring out where he was.

The two made their way to a cafe, sparsely furnished, but playing excellent music that had the odd effect of simultaneously calming and invigorating a listener. Truly puzzling, unless you were Didact, in which case you quickly understood the exact mechanics - of sound, rhythm and hearing - that caused this to happen. It put Didact into something of a zen state as he ordered his tea absent-mindedly, but after realising he had just lost total concentration in unknown, possible hostile territory, he snapped himself back and asked Jericho where they were, now alerted that he had allowed himself the distraction of the brief enjoyment when he should have grabbed that piece of knowledge immediately. Once her knew where they were, he asked further: 'So, what're we to do? I hope you've got or can acquire SOME kind of intel on our destination. I could grab it, but it would be nice for you to do your bit of research too.'
 

1Gannon1

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Seeing it as a possible lead, Alek booked an immediate flight to Japan. He had created quite a bit of money out of the trash bins of the city, and was able to rent a private flight. When the plane had reached considerable speeds, he poured energy from his orb into the plane, sending it forwards at incredible speeds till they had passed japan and were above north korea. He then stopped providing energy, and instead slowly sapped some of the energy causing it to fall to the ground, causing it to fall at a safe speed. He drew his PSInergy blades and lept out of the plane, creating an opening, and sped himself to the ground. Just before he hit the ground, he stopped his motion (enursha would not apply to him, I completely stopped motion on all parts of his body, so nothing could keep moving) and then dropped slowly. He began to search out those who looked helpful, and question them about one named Jericho. So far, he had heard nothing. But he would find the PSInner eventually.
 

Professor Ven

The Tin Man
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The music in the cafe changed to a more moving tune, as Jericho speedily gargled in Russian towards the young waitress for a cup of tea alongside Didact's, after removing the aviator sunglasses from his face, revealing the stark blue eyes. "Borshch i Pirozhki , i ne zabyvaĭte, slivkami i saharom, pozhaluĭsta, milyĭ." The waitress blushed a light color of pink, taking their orders and strolling off to take the order back and go wait another table nearby; a few moments later, tea was served, Jericho's appetite was sated for now, until his luncheon was table-side. Don't I just feel posh now, 'ey?

"Saint Petersburg, since 1991; otherwise known as Leningrad since 1924, figuring you did your homework as a kid. Quite possibly the crown-jeweled city of Russia." He placed a few cubes of sugar, make that three, into his tea-cup, along with a dash of cream, stirring the concoction with a spoon. Jericho took a sip, pleased by the taste and apparent want of ignorance of Didact. Silly rabbit, he mused mentally, recalling that American cereal commercial from the other day.

"How I acquire information of my own is of my sole business, my good fellow. Now, if you will excuse me, I must relieve my bladder, out of the fear it might burst." The churning of wooden chair legs followed this white lie, as Kern stood and walked to the restroom, opening the door, and going all the way back, to the last stall. He shut the privacy door behind him, locking it, and pinged.

As he left the realm of toilet territory, Jericho appeared in the dark corner of a New York bookstore. However, the entire building, and the row of buildings along the avenue were all dark as well, sealed shut against the night, save for the glare of street lamps and traffic lights, the corner chosen for out-of-air-entry was normally dark during the day hours. He pulled the next day's paper off the top of several stacks, and once again accessed his mental power, reappearing in the rather more appealing restroom stall, paper in hand. He walked out of it after flushing, washed his hands vigorously, drying afterwards, and strode back to the table, plopping the paper back down on the desk.

"If I want something, ser, I can simply waltz in and grab it. The only catch is that I must visit such places beforehand, giving myself and your Highness to plan out the entire operation. Given our natures, we can easily find Hermann and better protect the future generation. Besides, I still have yet to thank the fellow for my new bicycle, as it were, though spending nearly ten years in a box is something any sane person would want revenge for." A toothy smile followed the statement, and a few moments later, the waitress came up to their table, setting down his ordered food.

"Bon appétit." The spoon dug into the soup with a ravenous hunger, as the Dingo began munching and crunching, devouring the delicious morsels.
 

1Gannon1

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This isn't working! Neuro thought to himself. There was no way he could find this Jericho PSInner if he kept looking this way. He strolled over to the public library, but in this poor country they didn't have computers in public places. He created more reliable looking money from the matter in some trash on the street, and bought a new laptop. He checked the internet, but there were thousands of people with the name "Jericho" and that might not even be this bloke's real bloody name! Mentally he scolded himself for thinking "Bloody" and "bloke" as he couldn't afford to betray himself by sounding like a Brit. Which he of course was, but that was the point wasn't it? He put the portable in a lightweight travel bag he reconstructed out of some bricks from the walls of an old abandoned building, and set off. How was he supposed to track down a PSInner who could be anywhere in the world, who for all he knew could have the power to be completely undetectable by any means? He lit a garbage can on fire, then turned a brick wall into water so he could cover it in ice.
 

Alaude Drenxta

\+The Devil's+/ .{Advocate}.
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Fire-scorched sand and broken husks of metal marred the innate beauty of the ocean wake. Smoke billowed from the area like a beacon for all around to see as the jetliner's shell gushed white death into the air, intoxicating the surrounding area with the smell of burnt gas. As the fire raced about, the ocean waves washed back and forth, quenching the flames each time they attempted to rise up, small licks of fire dancing off into the water before suffocating beneath the tide. It was the very picture of devastation, and amid the chaos a young looking man carried another over his shoulder, both quite injured and one bleeding profusely. The strange part was, the one being carried was not bleeding only from the large open gash in his shoulder, but from the very pores in his skin, as if his blood were pulled from his veins through to the surface.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Large 90mm rounds pierced the hull of Rizzo's transport, punching fist-sized holes in the hull of the plane. A sudden lurch, followed by rapid descent, told them that the gas tank had been pierced, and thick noxious smoke began to fill the interior, flooding out of the holes in the plane. Rizzo darted into the cabin, grasping the pilot by the shoulder and staring him down intently, hoping the man had a plan for what they would do next. The plane began to fall rapidly out of the sky, and the fact that potential death was imminent served to freeze their minds and tongues, daring them to speak before the crash. The pilot managed to keep the nose from diving into the ground first, but nothing could have prepared them for the crushing weight of their collision with the beach below. They hit the sand with tremendous force, landing on Onch'on beach in North Korea, a place near enough to their final destination, but certainly not a place they would have wanted to wind up.

Moments later Rizzo came to, a puncture hole in his leg from a shaft of metal having torn through him during the impact. His entire body felt rigid and brittle, his very bones felt like fragile glass. He'd solidified his blood just before the impact, but even that hardened shield was not enough to keep his body in pristine condition. His lungs felt torched and dry, a combination of smoke and fire causing him to wretch uncontrollably each time he attempted to breathe. It felt as if his skin would flake and tear at the slightest tug, but he knew this was no time to rest and recuperate. The pilot's body lay beside, a thick metal sheet spliced through his shoulder blade, puncturing his lungs. Arcadio himself had lost a lot of blood, but this man seemed near enough to death that nothing would save him. With a quick prayer, he mourned the man's passing, and made a decision that would likely haunt him for the rest of his days. Placing his hand on the man's side near the wound, he pulled. Not physically, but mentally. He could feel the man's capillaries bursting as he pulled, and with a forceful gush, the pilot's blood began to flow freely from his own body and into the Cardinal's. As his blood stock began to replenish, Arcadio could feel his strength returning, his body was beginning to heal the damage that had been done to him, being more capable of restoring itself now that he was no longer near death's door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pulling the man off his impalement, and collecting the satellite phone that luckily had survived the wreck, Arcadio hefted the pilot onto his shoulder and left the wreckage as quickly as he was able. Once outside, he set to bandaging up the wound in his leg, otherwise he would continue bleeding out and would die soon enough. Immediately after he took off, still carrying the dead pilot, hoping to find a safe place to give the man a burial and his last rites. He knew the horrors of what he had done, and despite his subconscious reassurances, he knew even given the circumstances that what he'd done was a sin. The man may have been dead, but he'd not given up his lifeblood willingly, Rizzo had taken it from him, and at the very least he would show some final respect to the man who had saved his life.

Some few miles away he bore a hole in the sand, still near the beachfront, and placed the man's body inside. The nearby smoke would serve as his guide toward the heavens, and a silent prayer vigil would have to suffice for the moment, for at the very moment that the burial was complete, Arcadio knew he would have to leave. A team had been sent to the crash site to investigate, likely to ensure that the targets had died in the crash. He could not afford to wait around until they realized there were no bodies and began searching for their target.

Hiding under cover of brush in a forest nearby, Rizzo slung open the briefcase that contained the radio phone, and make a quick call, hoping to warn the other investigating agents of the impending danger. As if it weren't already obvious, North Korea was not safe.

"Dino. Patch me through to the MI6 contact. The plane was taken down on a beach in North Korea. A warning needs to be made, hopefully I am not too late..."

"What!? Uh...yea, okay. They'll be tracking your signal, this isn't a good idea."

"No other option. Even if they find me, they won't take me alive."
 

Ordeith

Great Old One
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"Speak up now. You really mustn't keep me waiting."

The phone speaker choked out a choppy syllable or two, then fell back into awkward silence. The Australian agent on the other line could think of nothing in reply--for he could think of nothing that could possibly satisfy the contracted madman from Alcides Corporation. Nevertheless, Zimmerman was waiting for his answer. It was maddening, trying to conform an entire intelligence organization to the standards of a man whose humanity was questionable at best.

"I don't care who you hold accountable for this," came Zimmerman's voice again, "as long as you can explain how the express conditions of my contract have been ignored." While his tone was calm, there was an unmistakable edge of anger to what he said. The agent needed to give him some sort of answer immediately at this point. "...Mr. Zimmerman," he began, "we weren't made, um, aware...of the value of the information that you--"

"Please don't try and placate me; it only eats up more time--and as my clients are usually so eager to point out, time is money. And actually, in your case, the saying is quite literal. Isn't that funny?" The agent was somewhat unnerved; Zimmerman's amusement sounded completely genuine, and non-accusatory, like a child's. The hard edge of anger had completely vanished.

The private mercenary continued, "I find it incredibly funny, because over the past several months, you've yet lost more money than all of Alcides Corporation's first-quarter clients combined." His voice regained its biting edge. "The next time, anything that so much as smells like Didact is something I need to know about." The call ended without any further warning.
_____________________________________​

On the other side of the phone conversation, Melvin promptly disposed of his Bluetooth earpiece by means of easy evaporation, allowing the vapors to waft out through the sun roof of his rental sedan. At a fast-but-not-unusual speed, the unremarkable silver Honda made its way down the roads of far eastern China. Its destination seemed to be the latest vacation spot for PSInners: North Korea.

Apparently, Dr. Hermann Niels had decided to lend his talents to Communist superpower, placing PSIn technology in the hands of a megalomaniac dictator. As far as that was concerned, per se, Zimmerman couldn't have cared any less--literally. However, North Korea just so happened to be his target's destination, and the brilliant minds in control of Australian intelligence had failed to make the connection.

Since landing a hijacked private jet inside a hostile Communist state (that happens to be very fond of missiles) is a very poor idea, Melvin had instead landed in Dalian. From there, his goal was to legally enter North Korea under the blessing of the Chinese government--that is to say, the Alcides-forged blessing of the Chinese government. Once within, he would keep intimate surveillance on Niels until Didact attempted to make contact. Even to someone whose mind spend most of its time drifting in drug-induced clouds could see that Didact wouldn't be able to resist the lure of Niels' knowledge.

Meanwhile, #00527-02 let the part of his mind that interacted with the outside world autopilot the car, while the rest of him stayed deep in the reverie. It was dangerous to venture outside the fog and into the big, bad world; he couldn't see the trail of blood from inside the fog.

There once was a man named Niels,
Who made the Koreans a deal...

...I'll drag him from bed, by his bald little head,
And pinch him 'til he squeals.
 

1Gannon1

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It seemed about time to make use of the few benefits of working for an elite government agency. Stones pulled his phone out of his pocket called up SOPCOR on said item. It rang for about three seconds before a Scandinavian doctor picked up. He was speaking a language that Neuro recognized, one of the Scandinavian ones for sure, but he didn't speak any of it. "Translation: Start. Hello, can I please speak to the intelligence agency? It's codename Neuro. I'm on a secure line, this phone isn't running on a normal service provider. I'm just having it send live audio through a private connection, the mobile one you sent me." Alek relayed through the translators. He got a reply in a few seconds after the Scandinavian's words had run through the translators as well. They had given the intelligence agency the line while he had waited. "Hello, Agent?" They said quite simply. "Get me any data you can on a (translation error) sinner named Jericho. A picture maybe, and where he's been seen lately if at all possible. Definitely what his (Did not translate) PSInergy is. I'm presently in North Korea." He said. (OOC: I will continue later, after I review Jericho's profile)
 

LongLiveLife

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The landing reminded Demetrius his repugnance for any form of machine-aided transport. He and Michiko had been prey to a full-throttle air chase. His gut had taken the full brunt of each of the airplane’s swerves, loops and dives. Avoiding missile lock-on had made telekinetic warfare on the two, possibly three, fighter jets chasing them impossible. Now his legs insisted the ground was cotton; his inner ear argued, very persuasively, that he was still rotating; and his head felt like it was still in the sky, waiting to make its slow descent to Earth. The parachute ruffled after him.

From behind, sharp, over the soft trickle of a slow-running river, came the sound of giggling. It was warning enough of his partner’s approach. He turned to face the blur coming fast at him. The collision was soft, but reflex made Demetrius steady her, regardless. He starting laughing, too, hands rested on her shoulders.

‘We need to get moving,’ he said, remnants of a smile plastered on his face. Question was: to where? ‘I’m going to need my tech back to analyze our current location and distance from the target. Trouble is North Korean territory is notoriously uncharted; the entirety of our map has come from satellite imaging and guesswork.’ Michiko returned the Xoom. Demetrius immediately activated the GPS. Seconds later, a map – it was a satellite photograph, blurry, but sufficient – appeared onscreen. ‘There we go. Kaech'ŏn, mining, machining and metal-working city – all prison labor, mind you – also known for its fruit orchards and reservoirs; the region is more than sixty percent forest and about a hundred kilometers from Pyongyang. We’re on its outskirts, just beside Taedong River, which is lucky enough, because the river takes us there.

‘Best we keep off the highways, anyway. Freedom of movement here is restricted, and the military are bound to be patrolling the checkpoints. Still, we’ll need transport, and that we will find from Kwan-li-so Number 14, a political prison for enemies of the state, approximately six kilometers downstream.’ Demetrius pointed to the small, white rectangle on the display.

Overhead jet engines roared; he felt it in his bones. ‘Probably think we’re not quite dead enough. Move, before they really start raining hell on us.’

Michiko nodded, and they set off along the path of the river, clearing through stretches where the forest was continuous with the riverbank, a dense army of elm and yew, lit by crimson-gold sunrise, that alternated with patches of flatland. At one point, Demetrius convinced himself a patrol unit was snooping the forest, but Michiko powered on and ignored him, and as always, her instincts were on the nail.

By the time Kwan-li-so Number 14 entered their line of sight, the sun had assumed its position, full, in the morning sky, though for more than one reason Demetrius wished it hadn’t. A barbed wire fence – no doubt electrified – encompassed the outer perimeter. Solid concrete walled off the prison behind the fence, interspersed by watchtowers at regular intervals. There was movement in the windows, confirming his suspicions of a perimeter watch. Though all were believably effective mechanisms at preventing an escape, none could keep within the pained voices of men, women, and children.

‘Stop,’ Demetrius said and launched his hand at Michiko. His grip was firm but not painful, and served to keep her under the cover of foliage. They were roughly one hundred meters from the camp. ‘Here’s the plan. I’ll take out Watchers One—‘ he pointed to the watchtower closest to the left ‘—and Two—‘ he pointed to the right ‘—to create a blind spot in between, because the camp’s main buildings block the line of sight of Watchers Three and Four. We’ll use it to get into the prison, get a vehicle and then get out. Fast, stealthy, done. Any insider advice?’

A pause.

‘Okay then. Let’s do this.’

Through the windows of both towers, Demetrius orchestrated both guards’ swift elimination; their feet flew upward, propelled by psionic will alone, and their heads collided with the hard floor before the reflexes that would have commanded their arms to protect their skulls activated. The guards were instantly unconscious. Demetrius was instantly running. He made signaled Michiko to follow with an abrupt twirling gesture.

They reached the fence. A sharp crackle sizzled somewhere to the right, but coming from everywhere beneath it was a low hum that made Demetrius look uneasily at his partner. ‘Telekinetically augmented jumps,’ he said while drawing an arc in the air. ‘Keep your knees bent and brace for impact; we’ll be frog-hopping the electric fence and the wall, but I can’t promise a smooth landing.’

Demetrius grabbed Michiko’s hand, bent his knees (she did the same), counted her in with his fingers, then pushed off the ground, boosting their altitude with telekinesis. Midair, the odd feeling of reminiscence pervaded Demetrius’ thoughts. In the later part of his post-augmentation evaluation, the scientists had been so keen to push the development of flight. He could never manifest it. In theory, flight should have been a part of Demetrius’ repertoire: there had been ample electromagnetic leakage in the laboratory for his use, and he had lifted weight far greater than his body’s, for so much longer than a few seconds. In the end they reduced it to psychological inhibition. A primal fear of flying. How demeaning.

They landed with a soft bump on the other side and bolted to the wall of the main building. There, breathing heavily, they stood in the shade. Cement blotches in varying shades, shapes, sizes and colors covered the ground. It smeared over any sign of plant life. The whitewashed walls were as austere as the floor, and as lifeless, too. It seemed even moss dared not grow within the confines of this prison.

‘Need you to make a lucky guess,’ Demetrius whispered. ‘Which way’s the garage?’

Michiko had a glazed look, another one of her premonition-calculation hybrids, one that would undoubtedly find them a safe route out of this place.

‘What?’

She shook her head. ‘It’s this building. All plausible futures in which we come out alive need us to first enter it.’

‘Have you absolutely lost it?’ Demetrius restrained himself from shouting. In the distance hissed the slow slurp of the Taedong River. ‘We have a deadline to make. Niels is not staying in Pyongyang forever, and I have no intention of—‘

Michiko started walking along the length of the wall.

‘Fall back. You’re going to blow our cover!’ Demetrius rolled his eyes. He could have halted her movement and ended the argument right there and then, but his lessons in patient autonomy from medical school argued viciously against the idea of removing motor control from his ally, stubborn as she was. And so he followed.

‘Unlock this door,’ she said before turning the corner. ‘It’s a back entrance for the cleaners. In ten seconds, when the feed alternates, the guards watching the CCTV footage from the cameras there and there will see us.’ Even without looking, her aim was deadly. Demetrius saw she knew exactly where the cameras were, and he was impressed. ‘Now, get this door open.’

Demetrius Xylas nodded. Arguing with someone who understood the future and its infinite possibilities was futile, and he was not so arrogant to deny it. His mind probed the innards of the handle and sharply retracted all the metal pins sealing it; immediately the door swung open. In an office a kilometer and a half away, the camera feed changed.

The narrow corridor they were in now was bathed in cold fluorescent light. It filled the place with an eerie feeling. An unpleasantly sterile smell, like hospital grade bleach, rose from the ground. Demetrius stepped warily through it.

‘This way!’ Michiko urged.

After a few twists, turns and locked doors, they arrived at a windowed door. Above it hung the universal biohazard symbol: three black circles, conjoined, center overlapping a fourth concentric circle, on a yellow background. Demetrius paused and frowned. What place could a biohazards laboratory possibly have in a prison? The answer was glaringly obvious; he just didn’t want to face it. PSIn. People condemned to the concentration camps never had a chance of returning to their former lives. They were doomed to indefinite ‘reeducation’: hard labor in the mines, primitive and ruthless. Perfect test subjects for the perfect experiment.

‘I take it this is what you wanted us to see.’ Demetrius nodded at the lab entrance. ‘If what lies behind that door has anything to do with PSIn, it’s going to be as big a catch as Niels himself. Saves us the trouble of having to force a story out of him.’

Out of nowhere, Michiko commanded, ‘Get the call.’

Before Demetrius could tell her that there wasn’t one, the Xoom sprang to life in his hand with a sharp vibration. Of course, he thought. A premonition. He needed no visions of the future to know it was the Italian to whom the chief had requested Demetrius grant aid, reporting in on his status. Such false hopes that he‘d had better luck than never entered Demetrius’ mind. He tapped the screen; four hundred kilometers away, transmitted on an encrypted radio frequency, a British government-owned satellite connected the call.

‘Agent Xylas reporting. To whom am I speaking, and what are your coordinates? I cannot trace the call; still, I trust the situation you find yourself in is as dire as ours. The KPA in the Pyongyang region will undoubtedly have gone on the offensive post Niels’ arrival.’

The sound of rolling waves emanated from the device.

‘Find transport to Chunghwa Airbase and locate Niels. Right now, however, my partner and I have discovered something big. PSIn big. We’re in what looks like a facility for clinical trials; only thing is it’s also a prison for political offenders. After we ascertain its purpose, we’ll be on our way.

‘Good luck.’
 

Lord of Chaos

Once more 'round the room we waltz.
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
5,623
Location
Within the Masquerade
"Chungwa Airbase. You're to protect the client from outside interference."

"What kind of interference? We talkin' guns, terrorists, democratic armies... what?"

"Something like that. Potentially PSIn Agents are being attracted to the spot as well."

"... Who
is the target? Why are they attracting such attention?"

"That's not important. Your pay is."

"Oh. Yeah, you're right. I forgot that I love money."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Leidron wasn't sure if money was worth all of this. He had been briefed on his way into the country of North Korea about what he was to do. It seemed simple enough, protect a client. However, standing around a room on a second floor, with several angry looking Asians with guns, staring out large glass windows that circled the room, was not his idea of a good job. In fact, it sounded like a terrible idea in which he would probably end up having to take a bullet just to cover any kind of suspicious actions.

Then again, that was one of the reasons why he hoped PSInners would show up. If a few of them came, metaphorical-guns-blazing, he could easily engage without fear of being recognized. After all, in the history of PSIn Agents being active, the protocal was that if they had to utilize their abilities in public, they would have to get rid of any witnesses. It was to keep the world from breaking out into any kind of preemptive Armageddon. That was bad for Leidron--it meant he didn't get paid.

"So where is the client? I thought he was supposed to be here by now."

"Running a little late, Mr. Ashcroft."

"Ah. Hey, you guys have any beers?"

The Merc leader, a man named Lee Chung-Ho, gave Leidron a look that would have killed most people, the cause of death being sheer cynicism.

"Oh. Right. On the job."

Leidron cast his gaze onto the ground below the building, out onto the tarmac, where things were happening. Soldiers were lining up, and there were several blacked-out vehicles pulling up in the distance. Soldiers were following those, too. It appeared that everyone was coming out for this, for whatever reason. Leidron scratched his chin for a moment and thought back onto a couple of nights ago, that he spent with the two women from down the hall of his hotel. One of them had given him her number, on a piece of paper that was in his pocket.

Leidron moved his hand down into his left back pocket of his jeans, searching for the piece of paper. He pulled out a wad of torn and crumpled lint and what used to be paper and smiled at it, as he dropped it on the ground.

"Must have gotten lost in the wash. Oh well."

His mind returned to the business at hand. His securities were in order--he was blanked from contact. In other words, using his PSIn abilities, Leidron created a field around himself, that kept him from being detected by mental means. It also slowed time, virtually removing him from existence in every way but physical. Gravity was an amazing thing--he only wished he could create it. Gravity pockets were a lovely idea in concept, but it was hard to give force to something that wasn't there. His personal field however, required a good deal of power, because with everything, there were flaws. He was constantly drinking energy drinks, to keep his pep up. Also, if someone were to actually mentally scan for a blank spot, they would certainly find him.

However, the chances of someone having that kind of tactical know-how, or even being prepared for what he could do, was slim. Leidron made sure he was untraceable, never staying in a location for more than a week. With the kind if income he earned, it was doable, and down-right fun at times.

He smiled, and took a sip of his Red Bull, as he watched out the window, prepared.


 

Orion

Prepared To Die
Joined
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Messages
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((I know this is long, but it's a good post, I promise D:))

Didact felt like he was dying on the inside with every second that passed in the cafe. The city was beautiful, yes. The hot drinks undoubtedly soothing for those whose brains didn't constantly run at ten thousand miles an hour. When Jericho departed - even though it would be for little over a minute - Didact was instantly fed up. There was still much to be done while his partner excused himself with apparently minimal concern for the unfolding events. First up - that one message on the flight from Blagoveshchensk that had almost had him arrested.
That did have him arrested. And then the arrest led to his freedom, so as far as Didact was concerned, all was forgiven for the four Australian agents who had attempted to take him in.

Not so much for the person who sent that one key message, however.

Didact had fetched the entire contents of the phone and stored every bit of its history - that which was coded onto it by machines and the rest by spacetime. This specific model of the Samsung Galaxy S - running custom firmware developed by Australian extragovernmental agencies as a catch-all system for covert devices in Australasia. Unfortunately, it was a system that was mired in its own integration and complexity.

It only worked perfectly with very few different combinations of applications, and it wound up that to save time and effort, the full-package OS was used rather than one specialised for the tasks involved in an operative's missions. There would be no issue with this setup - it meant you had a device applicable to all foreseen scenarios. However, it did mean that whoever worked out the weaknesses of one device and cracked it then had access to virtually every other device. And so, Didact had found himself looking at a stock-standard covert smartphone, but an empty one at that. He recalled only three names in the owner's contact list actually had numbers - and they corresponded to the only names the man might be calling from the plane.

Even more evidence to say the device was planted, since the 'owner' was not a cover operative by any means. He might have noticed a few unusual apparent modifications to his phone, but would find everything back to the way it was supposed to be when he landed again. The superfluous cover OS, made to look like a fairly typical Android system, was fairly convincing if one was hardly a power user. A hardcore owner of one such phone would notice the differences instantly, and Didact, having hacked a phone such as this not long ago, also recognised the cover with similar quickness.

It was hastily done, and when Didact had peered further, he in fact found a full Australasian covert OS alongside the personal details, clearance levels and so forth of an agent whose name Daedalus seemed to recall.
Seemed. Hah, of course Daedalus recalled. He had been a security guard on King Island, and although his project had failed to be effectively contained, that he was the only one to properly mount even a mediocre chase after Didact's escape meant he was quickly reassigned away from the failed project and to where the rest of its funding had gone: To catching Didact.

But why had not the agent himself been on the plane? It seemed like the tactisc of AUSSDEF operatives to blunder into a mission in-person. After all, the four agents who had then greeted him HAD appeared in person with no gear to immediately apprehend him or protect their minds. Not that the latter was easy. Wearing a helmet made of three feet of lead would quickly render each of them rather conspicuous. And clumsy.

So they were finally trying different tactics, but much different. AUSSDEF would have sent in a blank phone of this kind, or a copy, but this was the genuine article used by an agent who had, up until a few days ago, carried this phone in his pocket. Then he had attended a meeting, in the dark, standing on the sidelines.

He was there to fill a standard role when dealing with contractors for urgent or extremely secret ops. A bounty hunter, dealing with scientists and politicians who were only to glad to get the entire exchange over with, once a price was settled, at least. There was more discussion later, of course, but it was mid-way through this second round that the phone was taken from its owner, much to his objection. The contractor wanted things to move along very quickly, and decided to use the phone as something to grab Didact's attention, and it had worked.

Didact was reviewing the summation of it all - Alcides-contracted PSInner of a bounty hunter, going by the surname Zimmerman. PSInergy having something to do with transmutations of a kind. God damn it, Didact thought, more hostiles with physical powers.
Didact's psychometry was potent and hugely dangerous in the modern information-driven world, but in some situations it became useless. Like against explosions, or bullets or energy blasts. The three main reasons he always liked to do recon, and move into things well-prepared.

Which was anything but his current state. His next course of action was already fully formed as Jericho returned from the toilet with a newspaper, and better described his powers.
After which stage, Didact was fuming. A trillion ways of insulting and mutilating and humiliating the man flashed through his mind in a second, but he dismissed them all. Jericho could screw around all he liked, but if the two of them were to get anything done, it would not be achieved by Didact stooping to his level of foresight-retardation.

"You need to know your destination in order to warp there?" Didact burst out at Jericho. "I don't suppose you've been to a great deal many super-secret-PSIn-housing military bases? Much less the very one Niels will be at? I'm guessing you haven't even heard of Chungwa Airbase! AUSSDEF does a piss-poor job when it comes to missions but at least they keep up some decent intel, because that's where the forefront of North Korea's PSIn research is, and where else would Niels head if he was going into the country?"

Didact stopped his partner before he spoke out, "No, don't talk, we're wasting enough time as it is." Didact reached out suddenly to Jericho, grabbing a hand around the back of his skull. Perfect position, Didact thought as he force his own will upon Jericho's mind, which snapped quickly enough and with what should have been minimal lasting damage. The other Australian would demand an explanation at every step, and they simply lacked the time for that. As Didact familiarised himself with Jericho's powers in seconds, he also planted in his mind the explanation to what he would do next.

Jericho didn't know of Chungwa Airbase, that much Didact could tell - otherwise, he left the man's memories alone. Didact's warping gateways could work with line of sight, which was excellent. He didn't quite have to know his destination. That worked well, because Didact couldn't fathom any other way to get from St. Petersburg to Chungwa in any small amount of time.

Wait, Didact commanded himself, sending an apology into Jericho's consciousness. His mind worked at a fantastic pace and regularly skipped steps, making his thoughts intensely difficult to trace. He took a step back, and informed Jericho of the most harrowing aspect of their plan, as he had him open up a pair of GATEWAYs: Their plane had been tumbling from high altitude for more than a minute. They had precious little time to reclaim it with some stability, after which they had to make all speed to Chungwa, where they could teleport to the ground somewhere near enough to the base, and progress from there.

Gravity bent in unsettling ways as they crossed the threshold from St. Petersburg to North Korea. Thankfully, the plane was not so much tumbling as it was spiralling along its central axis, which was pointed straight down. Having reached terminal velocity, there was no acceleration in the plane that would cause them to float up or about. Relative to the plane, they fell at normal speed to the cockpit, which they both slipped into, Jericho pushing Didact roughly in first. Neither of them looked properly out of the front window until they had both managed to enter their seats in the cockpit.

Looking up, the ground looked very close. Maybe not in actuality, but travel fast enough, and the Andromeda galaxy would seem close to the Milky Way. Didact figured it all out at the same time as he was speaking, even taking into accoung the time it would take him to vocalise his statement. "We're hitting the ground in thirty three seconds from now at this speed."

"Hope those aviator glasses mean you've got at least some skill in flying to help me do this right," Didact said as he flicked the wing flaps wide open, switched the engines down to a minimum, and pulled hard down and left on his controls, Jericho mimicking the action a moment later. Didact wished he could directly control Jericho again right now, but he neede all his hands free and the plane needed each of its halves able to act independently of each other for the next maneuvre. At least, before he disconnected from Jericho, he also planted in his mind a dozen or so techniques to get out of fatal dives, depending on how the craft was acting.

Slowing on the left wing and maintaining speed on the right, the angle of the fuselage changed with an agonising slowness that just may have mirrored their fate twenty seconds from now if they crashed in some very unfortunate and specific way. The plane's downward aileron roll was changed into a downwards-heading chandelle. twelve seconds consumed, and they were still nearly dead on the engines. Still with a dive to make.

Thankfully, most of the plane's downward and rotational momentum had been conserved and transferred, and the plane still had significant speed, but was in no position to make great use of it. Stuck in a falling ring with its wings vertical, it had no lift power, and only a sudden shift of its current wing-flaps would change it. Yelling "Now" to Jericho, Didact disengaged the flaps on his wings as Jericho set his to full, and the plane snapped to level with such violence the two would have easily been thrown out of their chairs and broken bones when they met the walls.

Horiztonally, the plane was moving at great speed when they straightened out, but it was the downward speed - and the downward momentum that came with it - that was harder to shrug. Altering momentum in the horizontal plane was easy, just adjust your speed. Doing so in the vertical plane was much, much more difficult, especially when one was already heading downards. The mathematics of it was simple for Didact, but the execution would be the hardest bit - having to take into account the role of gravity and the ever-changing impact of air resistance.

Clearly they had more time than their initial thirty three seconds now, but they needed the impetus for a power boost that only a dive coule provide. At their current downward speed, they had a minute. That was cut from sixty three seconds to thirty one, then ten, as their dive began and the ground once more came rushing at them, the soaring canopy of a rainforest that Didact hadn't cared for. Trees or solid ground, they would both kill him at these speeds. Or by some cruel twist of fate he would simply be crippled but left at the mercy of some wild predator until night fell.

When five seconds remained, in unison, Didact and Jericho yanked on their controls, pointing the nose of the craft more toward the horizon, both of them very much doubting they would make it. The plane still fell downwards, and still facing ten degrees down from the horizon, grazed the canopy, and then entered it.

Chaos flashed by around them, smears of bright and dark, greens and browns wizzed past them. An entire thicket of bamboo was snapping apart as their jet mowed through it, smearing a fibrous mess along the front window until virtually all vision was obscured. It was only their arms - locking the controls where they were - and their own state (frozen in fear) that kept them heading upwards, and the only thing that stopped the first big tree they struck from gouging a cockpit-sized hole in the cockpit.

As it stood, it tore straight through the landing gear of the craft, but Didact couldn't care less for that. His mind was only focused on the supernova of endorphins rushing through his body and the sudden onset of tiredness and a yawn that accompanied the departure of every last bit of his adrenaline. He made it, he thought to himself in the most stunning disbelief. Then, he looked to his side, recalling he now had a partner. He revised his thought to we made it, but didn't like that so much. It had basically been Didact alone who got them out of this mess, which he had walked into by trusting Jericho to at least be able to soon after deliver them to Chungwa.

He'd be much more careful around his partner from now on, maybe even inspire him to think more sensible (or even force it upon him, if necessary). But for now, he let him sit there in his own small state of amazement while Didact ran a check over the systems of the plain by readouts and psychometry, making sure the landing gear was the only thing lost. He could still hardly see through the front window, but a GPS display predicted that in their direction of travel roughly towards Chungwa they'd run into a heavy rainstorm in a few minutes.

That would clean the plane up a fair amount, Didact thought as he realised that he, too, could use a clean. The entire brief adventure - lasting no more than a minute and a half - had left him sweating profusely. He set the plane to an climbing autopilot course and locked it to that, leaving only him able to alter it. Jericho snapped to full consciousness when he noticed Didact leaving the cockpit, and was only able to catch up to him in time to have the restroom door lock shut in front of him. Sighing angrily, he walked with leaden legs to the cockpit as the sound of a shower began.
 

Professor Ven

The Tin Man
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
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4,337
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Slothia
He despised it all, yet it was enjoyable having a rock as thick as Didact. Sure, he could learn anything he wanted through systems, and somehow fly a plane. Oh, who bloody cares. Hermann needs to die anyway, bloody bastard he is. Or should I thank him instead? Jericho mimed a horrid impression of Didact as he sat in the cockpit with his right hand, as the left slid the knife back into its lurking space. I'm Didact and I can poke you with my little finger and make you smarter, ho ho ho, and make stuff go zoom!

Kern could hear the shower running, much to his discontent. Such an ickle rock, ain't he? Doesn't talk too much, obviously still sullen from being stuck on his little sad island. At least he got to see the sun, unlike some people. A socialite, Didact is not; useful, yes. After all, I need him to help me find Hermann, after all. The jungle swarmed in a great swathe below, all lushly green and most likely muddy; he could see the storm up ahead, as the plane continued it's near-irreversible course. Had to give me all those aeroplane maneuvers, including the Luftwaffe bombing run strategy on diving. Joy.

He could only really twiddle his thumbs in a sort 'awesome' manner, or however those hippies in San Francisco had done. It almost seemed as if his thumbs were having some sort of covert operative war against one another. Woo hoo. Wondering how long Little Miss Daisy will take with her makeup, hrm?
 
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