2044-02-02 Another Day, Another Fight

From X-Factor

2142-02-02 Another Day, Another Fight
Date Posted 2015/09/06
Location India
Participants Ciel, Rohan
Summary The end--or is it?
Another day, another fight. As is usual with their jobs, Rohan and Ciel know little of the whys and wherefores of their job, only that they and other support have been ordered to a large building with instructions to prevent the thugs inside from transporting its contents anywhere. The building itself is a sort of warehouse, possibly once a barn, its huge expanse giving some shelter from the sweltering sun. Currently, after Rohan executed a do-not-try-this-at-home dirtbike maneuver to enter in dramatic fashion, the warehouse's interior rings with shots taken through the maze of crates and bales that fill it. Rohan peeks about a pile of crates, and squeezes off a shot, barely waiting to see if he's hit anything before he ducks back into cover.

Ciel is making use of the high-stacked crates and shelves in the warehouse's interior to pop quick peeks at what lies around corners out of easy vision. She calls clusters and shots and groups to her teammates, with a special, certainly not at all biased focus on Rohan. No, okay, fine. A totally biased focus on Rohan; Ciel is a mercenary now, and mercenaries don't have to give an equal number of fucks for each teammate's survival chances. She doesn't bother to hide her preference for him at her six, and no one else seems to care either way. It's liberating, in a way, and they move faster for it. She steps through a portal to end at his side, breathing hard. "Two up there. You wanna drop in on them?" she asks.

Rohan glances over to her with a little laugh, half-breathless. "Do you even have to ask, Sky?" he wonders with a lift of an eyebrow, and a quick check of his gun.

"It's generally considered polite," Ciel answers, her grin wide and her eyes bright with the rush of adrenaline. She steps into him, lifting her hand to settle at the nape of his neck. She jerks his head downward and herself up, meeting in the middle for a fast, hot kiss even as she blinks a portal open behind him. She doesn't /quite/ shove him through; that would be dangerous. But she does step forward, pushing him into the fray. The portal opens atop a large stack of crates, and below, two thugs with guns aimed down the aisle. They are not looking up.

Rohan is most unprofessionally distracted, but at least he manages to regain control soon enough to stop from tumbling off the crates. He settles there, a good target if only the thugs were looking up. Which they aren't. With all the advantage surprise and height, he catches the closer of the two thugs with a shot clean through the temple.

Ciel is right behind him with a bullet ready for the second, and just as quickly, she's got a portal open in midair in front of them with its twin glimmering on the ground below next to the felled thugs. It takes brave soul to step off a study crate into a portal, but Rohan's had lots of practice by now.

Rohan trusts Ciel. Or her portals at least. He steps through the portal, ignoring the air underfoot, to emerge on the ground. "Should be close to the offices now," he murmurs to Ciel, low. "Might be able to nab whoever's in charge. Might get a bonus for tha."

"Hot damn," Ciel answers, turning just face just slightly to grin at him in close quarters. "If we manage one, let's take a vacation. Long sandy beaches, tall, tall cocktails..." She trails off, directing her gaze upward to place another portal for a quick peek through. This one shows an empty aisle, and she gives Rohan a gentle nudge and a jerk of her chin to indicate it.

"Are those the only long and tall things you can think of?" murmurs Rohan teasingly. His gaze goes to the portal and he regards the emptiness of it thoughtfully. "Worth a shot," he decides.

"Only ones worth noting," Ciel answers, and gives the portal another jerk of her chin, slightly impatient. She prefers blinking in and out to standing still in combat, and even this handful of seconds has her restless.

Rohan laughs softly, a deep chuckle. "You're cute when you're in a hurry," he notes wryly, and leaps through the portal.

"I just love the view when you leave," Ciel retorts, sliding through after him. The portal blinks closed directly behind her, and she pauses for a moment, gaze scanning the bits of the warehouse she can see above the crates with her gun held close. They've cut the distance to the front office by more than half.

"Sassy," retorts Rohan. He scans the area, gaze on the office. "I wonder what's in all these blasted things," he mutters about crates. "Drugs, I suppose," he says with a slight tension coming to his back. "Or guns. Not that we're paid to be curious." He leaves it there, and forges forward, cautiously.

"I don't have to be paid to be curious," Ciel murmurs, and for a moment her voice carries a not-unfamiliar dark tone as she glances to Rohan. She draws in a breath, pressing into cover as a series of bullets zings in their direction from thugs several rows distant. "Shit," she gasps. "No good angle. We're gonna have to rush them or drop in where they can see us."

"Easy peasy for us," says Rohan, with complete non-chalance, following her into cover. "Drop in, do quick work, carry on and take their boss? Or..." There is a very long pause. Finally, he says, "I think that'd have to be it. Don't see any way my special talents are going to be useful here."

Ciel shoots Rohan a glance that bears some slight degree of skepticism, hinting at an old not-quite argument that they've had more than once regarding his special talents and when he does and does not use them. She knows better than to press it further in the heat, though, especially when a crate behind her explodes into shrapnel. She winces, pressing closing into cover, and bites back a yelp as a bit of wood scrapes at her leg with enough force to leave a a frayed cut and a shallow, bleeding wound. She draws in a breath, steadying, and nods. "Three," she says. "Two." The next portal she opens puts them directly in the line of fire on "One."

Rohan glances to Ciel in concern, but there's no time to worry, no time to even ask before they are into the line of fire. He charges, gun at the ready, more or less into the faces of four thugs. He somehow manages to dodge all shots, sends a wild shot at goon number four, and ducks behind a crate that is really not quite large to hide him. They are almost in front of the office now, and a certain amount of action there seems to hint the leaders of this escapade might be trying to make their escape.

Ciel is right there behind him, and they've done this often enough by now that she knows which thugs he'll target and which are hers. She's limping, but only a little, and her gaze goes a little wild and determined as she catches the action up front. Behind them, gunfire continues to ricochet from the thugs they leaped over in all their portal-hopping. "Go!" she shouts, jerking a portal open in front of Rohan to provide a direct passage to that front office.

Rohan goes. He pauses a moment to thrust a fresh clip into his gun, vaults over the too-small crate with easy grace, and into the portal. There is a moment, there, when looking through the portal, that he--pauses. He stiffens, face pale--and then kicks himself into action, disappearing through the portal.

The portal lingers a few seconds longer than usual. This is because Ciel is not directly behind him. This is because a bullet has sliced through the crate she was using as cover and embedded itself deep in her midsection, despite her body armor. She screams, collapsing onto the floor with a hand jerked to her stomach. The portal flickers, sparkles flashing in warning, as she struggles to keep it steady long enough for Rohan to retreat back to her position.

And no Rohan appears. The portal remains open, offering a flickering glance at a now-open office. Time ticks on. And on. No Rohan.

Seconds tick, tick, and as blood drains into a pool around Ciel, the portal flashes shut. Low, she's at least in better cover. It takes her a long moment to accept that no one's coming, and a longer one to force open a portal leading to the highest stack of boxes she can see. She crawls her way to safety, curling in on herself as she attempts to stem the flow of blood before she passes out atop a forgotten crate. It's a very good thing that eventually, her side wins, and eventually, someone finds her.

But not Rohan. She might think the worst, at first, but there are some disjointed statements from teammates later, that Rohan had come back to HQ and immediately disappeared. His apartment is part-empty, with larger things left, but clothing and personal items missing, as if someone had hastily-packed. As days go by, it becomes clear: Rohan Ainsworth has disappeared.

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