Building J Escapade

The day was hot. Hong Kong is beastly in the summers. Though to look at us you wouldn't have seen it. We passed through the city with fairly little attention drawn.

Well, fairly little attention for us. None of us are as adept at slipping away in a crowd as we'd like. Douglas is too tall, Chase Summers is too much of a scamp on those rollerblades of his, and CyberBoy... well CyberBoy is liable to attract notice anywhere he goes mid-summer. Something about the heavy trenchcoat, sunglasses and nearly every inch of exposed skin clothed in black. Not exactly the typical outfit for a day that had potential to be over a hundred. Then again I suppose it was wiser than exposing most of his mechanical innards to the general populace. CyberBoy had reconstructive surgery BURO style. He was lucky actually, very few of them lived. Lived to be fired and sent back to life as a drugde. CyberBoy found his way to the Netherworld. And we found him there. He's been with us for six years now. He laughs and says the Prof only keeps an outdated model like him around to tinker on like an antique car. I think we're the only family he's ever had. Last year I caught Chase teaching him how to play catch. I've never seen him so happy.

Well, this little family was now headed to a family meeting. And to see Dad.

Chase reached the building long before any of us and spent the waiting doing stunts off the stairs. I swear my heart leapt at least six times as the damn kid nearly shattered every bone in his body falling and then bouncing back up. I absolutely refused to run, catch up and stop the little brat so he had scraped both his knees, one wrist and an elbow before mastering a leap and glide down the railing of the sixteen step platform. One day that boy was going to kill himself.

Chase was still attempting dares when Ken pushed open the double doors and strode through them. Douglas followed behind him, then paused in the doorway to hold it open for me. I entered, thanking him, then looked back to see CyberBoy watching Chase and waiting to enter with him. I think CyberBoy had a little brother once.

The elevator ride up was silent save for the crackings of gum by Chase. I held my tongue. He -knows- Master Tso hates it when he rollerblades inside the office. Then again, this poor kid, barely twelve and he's had more than a dozen guns pointed at him in seriousness. If I'd gone through that at twelve I'd probably do more than rollerblade in private places to release stress. That kids gonna be old too soon if he stays here much longer. Hell, maybe he already was. Older than any other twelve year olds I knew. Than again, I didn't know any other twelve year olds.

Master Tso sat in a deep black leather chair behind a desk. His beard was trimmed, and he sat in a fitted charcoal grey suit. A strange thing to see him in, as used to his practice gi as I was. He nodded to us all as we entered, one brow rising at Douglas's familiar form, but he extended a hand in an arc about the room and gestured to the chairs. Before folding his hands together.

He smiled faintly, his voice sounding far older than he. "Please, all of you, have a seat." He waited, patiently as I chose the couch, Douglas choosing a seat next to mine. Ken sank into an armchair opposite Master Tso, and next to CyberBoy. Chase stole a seat upon a bookshelf, earning a look from Master Tso which he promptly ignored as he began to fiddle with one of the wheels of his right skate. He saw us all settled then let his eyes go skyward his forefingers tapping together. "A situation has arisen. Buro forces have invaded and cornered a section of the city, half a block of office buildings on the lower west side. So far, the occupation hasn't spread to the media but we have been informed of sixteen deaths. None that we know of are Inner-Walkers, but it is possible. It has been publicized as a gas leakage to explain the closing off of that part of the city, but military forces are under way to being assembled. It has great potential to become a bloodbath."

'I hate those words. More than anything. I hate those words.'

He pauses, lowering his eyes to us. Douglas is scowling, slightly, the expression seeming at odds with his normal refinement. Ken looks stern, but I can see the excitement leaking into his eyes. Chase is preoccupied with the tightening of a wheel. He seems oblivious to Master Tso's watchful eyes. CyberBoy... he's much harder. Deciphering emotions on him is as easy as deciphering Ken's handwriting.

"I am sending you on a reconnaissance mission into the secured block. I need an accurate count of the force holding it. The Arcanowave they are armed with and what they are doing here. I have no secured way of getting you into the compound, but there is a tunnel that runs under that area of the city. We can get you to a mile away from the area undetected. The rest will need to be covered underground. The tunnel runs alongside a parking garage, one that will likely be empty at this time due to the occupation." He took a deep breath and his eyes panned the room for another reaction. There was none. "From our technical quarter it has been determined that the space between the tunnel and a catwalk of the parking garage is thin enough to be lasered through. You will enter the restricted area through there and hopefully will be able to leave through it as well, undetected."

There is a long pause, and a sigh. "Though I am sorry to say it is not likely. This mission is dangerous, and could prove fatal. I want you all to know you have the right to say no." His eyes passed over the room again. I schooled my face to be expressionless. Douglas did the same though he managed it far better than I. Ken said nothing, but he nodded and his fingers slid inside his jacket for a second, I think to brush against his two closest friends. CyberBoy nodded as well, though his face was far better at being expressionless than either Douglas or I. Chase raised his eyes from his skates and trained them on Master Tso for a long time. Master Tso nodded. "Someone will be needed who can navigate his way among the catwalks easily to take information back and forth to the checkpoint. I had you in mind, you have proved invaluable in past circumstances. It will, of course, be understood if you wish to refuse." Master Tso inclined his head again ever so slightly his eyes still on Chase. Everyone's eyes were on Chase for a moment, though only Master Tso and CyberBoy could be caught at it. No worry could be seen through those mechanical eyes of CyberBoy's, but I saw his fingers twitch, and worry practically fell off him in waves. Chase's eyes met Master Tso's, and after a long moment he nodded. Tension raced through CyberBoy's shoulders as Master Tso returned Chase's nod. "Very well." the old man said as his eyes passed over us all again. "You will be assigned a few more members and given final instructions this eve at 18:00 hours. You have from now until then to prepare your supplies." He stood and withdrew a handful of envelopes, sealed and tossed them to the edge of the desk. "There's one for each of you. Read them carefully. Report back here before 18:00 hours. If you need to aquisition any supplies have your request in by ten for anything difficult, three for anything we regularly have on hand. I'm sending a medic as well." He stepped around the desk and his legs took him to the door, he paused in the doorway, turnng back to us and looking us over again. "Good luck to you all. May the chi flow with you. Much depends on this." A flicker crossed his face. "If I do not see you all again, fare well." And he strode from the room.

We were still for a long while. Ken was the first to rise and retrieve his letter. Chase was second, bounding off the bookcase and thumping his skates across the floor. He snatched his letter and CyberBoy's passing it to him. Douglas left the couch a full second before I and we reached the desk simultaneously. I found my letter and opened it. The others were opened as easily. The room was silent as we each tore through our letters. Some were pages. Some were only one. Mine was three and rather blatant about what I was to retrieve and eloquent in the descriptions of people I might recognize. I noticed Douglas's was seven pages. I didn't know if that was good or bad.

The rustle of papers stopped and there was a long quiet. Then Chase skated towards the door swinging through it with speed. "Anybody up for breakfast?" he said, looking back at us duringhis backwards skate towards the elevator. CyberBoy followed him and I shrugged. Yeah, sure breakfast would be fine. Douglas followed behind me and Ken was last out of the room, pausing to pick up the other envelopes which he dropped off with the secretary downstairs. She was one of us. She'd see them delivered. There was time. It was barely seven thirty.

Breakfast was a quick affair, filled with nervous chatter about nonsensical subjects. We went to a place that knew us, they're not always certain about CyberBoy but they don't get upset about his appearance at least. And one of the waitresses has a tender for Chase so she stuffs him full of food. It's good for him. He needs some mothering sometimes.

After breakfast we said hasty goodbyes and each made our way to collect supplies for that night. Douglas offered me a ride home, but I chose to walk. I often walk the length of the Lady's Park, a calming really, before the storm. And the storm would break that eve. I knew that well enough. My instructions had been precise. I was to locate and identify the power sources of the place, find a vantage point from which the place could be taken, and make certain the technical support survived the expedition and returned with the collected information of each party. On a second priority it was said one of the men who was in the party had been identified Dr. Carl Vallers, the oldest apprentice of Dr. Curtis Boatman. If he was here things were serious. Very serious. My letter gave me further instructions to pick up a package at our lab. It would include pictures I could recognize him by and more importantly, a container of ST-322 mixed with Cyanide DNSO. I was to administer it in private, wait until he slept the sleep of the just, sabotage what I could and retreat to a vantage point. While the ST-322 put him out the rest of the mixture would stop his life systems. I was to leave a vial of a popular 2056 drug, half empty about him and apply it to him as needed. With any luck, by the time he was found, I would be long away and he would look like a drug overdose. Luck. There was the key. I, unlike the others, was instructed to stay behind in the captured zone. Whether or not the mission went off smoothly. For me, there would be no returning until the block was taken back.

I let out a deep breath. For me, there might be no returning. But that was a thought to entertain at another time. Now, I had a file to retrieve. So I quickened my pace, but not so much that it wasn't a lovely walk.

Douglas reclined slightly in the chair at his desk. The papers of his letter lied tossed upon the desk, the first and last pages prominent.

'Mr. Slater,
Your assignment is more skewed than any other. I had hoped that you would see fit to join our crew in this assignment. We are not truly allies and yet in this we need to be. As you have agreed to this mission, here are your priorities.

First off, see to the safety of our Technical support Kale Evans. He is a good man, and well trained, but he has not the knowledge of firearms and offense needed for such an assignment. He is, however, the only capable of fufilling the electrical and engineering manuvering needed for this endeavor.

Next come the twins, Marcus and Martin Bryars students of mine, well trained in their respective arts. The first is a student of the shadow's companion. The second studied both the path of light and of the sharpened scales. They are both well skilled, but not as trained as I would like for this mission and I would ask that you watch for impulsive behaviour. Their loyalty is not in question save it's secondariness to their loyalty for each other. I believe that if one were to fall the other would stay by his side instead of following an ordered retreat.

Next on my list is Ken Tsao, a man of so many talents and a'...

Finally the seventh and last page continued.

'Finally and most concerning to you, Ms. Li has been ordered to remain in the zone after the retreat of the team. Her dispatch of Dr. Vallers is crucial to this assignment as is her tactical analysis. But I fear for the vulnerability of her position. I try not to throw away the lives of my students recklessly. This impromptu mission will be endangering a good many of them. I am counting on you to lessen that danger.

There will be a four day interval between her finalizing his demise and our entrance into the fortress. During this time I fear her positon may be discovered. If such happens I am hoping that you will consider remaining in a proximity to her such that you can alert us. The speed of the descent on the area can be hastened if either she or Kale Evans are endangered.

I know you have personal interest in this war. I know who and what you are Mr. Slater. I am hoping that your concern for Ms. Li will interfere in your priorities concerning the Lodge. There will be time enough for us to cross on opposit sides. If you can help them, I ask that you would.

Master Tso'

Douglas looked at the letter again and sighed. Damn. Damn damn damn. Why was it that when things went so smoothly they had to be all confused. This damn war had a habit of doing that to him. Dammit all to hell. He sighed again, then opened his desk drawer and pulled out a beautiful set of guns, cleaned them carefully and loaded them. Things always got so confusing. He slid the guns away and picked up the phone. Time to pull some strings.

The next hour and a half was spent checking and rechecking my supplies, memorizing my letter before setting it aflame and awaiting the arrival of my other teams members. They weren't long in coming.

Ken arrived soon after I did. Of all the Dragons, I knew him the best. He had been crucial in my recruitment. Along with the next arrival, Doc Jones. He had been a professional doctor once, until the war brought him in. He had lost enough patients to this damn war that he chosen sides. A few years ago he had pieced me back together after that awful museum incident. I owed him my life. And a lot more really. He was a good man, around fifty or so, though for some the Inner Kingdom extended youth, in others it destroyed it. I was twenty nine and if I looked a day over twnety two it was a bad morning for me. Douglas had the same damn effect, but if Douglas was a day under a hundred and twenty nine I was a schoolgirl.

Next up were the wonder twins. Marcus and Martin, absolutely identical and a bit creepy too. The boys liked to finish each other's sentences. They seemed nice enough, though I had only met them in training. They played off each other well, both masters of the arts. They were a joy to behold in combat.

Kale Evans showed up about five minutes after they did. Absent-minded, shirt untucked, socks not matching and scuffed tennis shoes, Kale Evans was the epitome of a 90's geek, minus the glasses. His backpack was weighed down with tools, wiring, cables, knick-knacks and a few computers. That boy would set off metal detectors for miles around, but when it came to anything electronic he was brilliant. I had gone up against his electronic security surveillances for six years before being recruited. They were top of the line. Nearly got me caught half a dozen times because of it. He was one of the best. I was glad to be on his side now.

Next in was Lacey McGiverns, P.I. She had joined the dragons a decade ago when one of the cases she was working on literally fell through. Right into a damn operation. She had been wounded, but managed to take out two ninjas before Mad Dog McCroun got her out of the mess. She had proven amazingly useful. She tended to work closely with Ling-Sa, the woman who followed her in. Ling-Sa was a professional assasin from 69 AD. Trained ninjitsu, and a nasty knowledge of chemicals to boot. They had worked as a pair ever since a nasty expedition in China. There were innuendos about the two of them but I personally think they were just like sisters.

Chase and CyberBoy showed up as a pair just before six. And Douglas showed up a moment after them. That surprised me, I would have expected him to have arrived before I. He was always so precise. As the sixth chime from the clock downstairs rang, Kar Fai opened the door and entered from the inner office into the outer one where we all sat. Ling-Sa sat in a perfect yoga position on the floor. Lacey sat on a couch behind her, checking the mini-uzi Kale had made for her after a particularly violent excursion. CyberBoy sat patiently, Chase had actually removed those damn skates of his. Ken waited with those eager eyes of his. Douglas managed to look just as refined in mission clothes as he did in his suits. Marcus and Martin, were as always indeterminable from each other. Kar Fai was old. A monk from ancient China, he had grown up with the seriousness of the Hand all about him. That severity had rubbed off.

Kar Fai was brisk. "You have all understood your assignments?" There were no objections. He nodded. "Very well. Your requested equipment has been brought. You will all be taken to the tunnel now. May the fortunes be with you. You will find your guide downstairs." And just as briskly he retreated to the inner office.

Our guide took us into the tunnels at high speed. The place was dark and damp, and you could hear the sounds of rats about. I mainly ignored it all. Until we reached the breakthrough point. A team had been sent ahead so the place was ready for us. Out of the cramped darkness and into a large blind garage. Our team spread quickly through the whole and out into the room covering as many angles as we could. I went through first, rolling out of the whole then taking a light sprint across the place and leapt up into the pipes. I heard the light scurries of foot work behind me, but I never looked back. We all had assignments to get to.

I followed the pipes across the room then foudn a window. I checke dit first for security, found none and then moved it open and scampered out and up and along the sill. Dusk was rising upon the city as I scaled the drain pipe up to the roof. From the roof I could see the entire city as the sun set. Normally it's a beautiful sight. Today... today was pretty far from normal. BURO operatives in uniform patroled the streets. I watched them for abit, then saw the shadowy grotesque shapes that followed them. Dammit, abominations. I hate abominations. Fucking BURO sick minded twisted perverse bastards. I hate abominations.

I watched the city a bit longer, leaping from rooftop to rooftop as it got darker. Once, I thought I caught a glimpse of another dragon, but I spent little time pondering it. With any luck we were all hard to spot.

The evaluation of the city went quickly, or so it seemed. BY full dark I had covered my entire expanse of the block, mapped it all out on the small blueprint computers Kale had passed out amongst us. I monitored my block for another hour, marking the passings of the guard. When I finished collecting data I returned to the garage and into the tunnel, trading my palm computer to Kale for a new one so he could download my info. We didn't speak at all. I didn't ask if the others had reported in. Instead, I accepted my new pilot and exited the way I had entered.

The next two days were much the same. I hid among the rooftops, drains, and catwalks. I monitored the activities of everyone in my section and followed the path of one Dr. Vallers and assistant. An oblivious pair really, so wrapped up about their own work that they never noticed me. On the third night I made it into and out of his sleeping quarters in two minutes and thirty-six seconds. A decent enough time. The kill was set for the forth night, and as tempting as it was to quicken the schedule it would have endangered the team. They were slowly exiting the area, one at a time after gathering their information. If Dr. Vallers were to die now, the damn BURO might start a search of the whole damn block. One dragon is difficult enough to hide in a search like this. A team of us would be damn near impossible.

The fourth day came. I positioned myself near our entrance garage. Late dawn, I had losened some cables on the other side of the block, making the flooding of a building they were using probable. It shouldn't atract notice as sabotage, but it would certainly keep extra grunts busy. And so it did. As I was told later, every member of my team expected to leave on the fourth day did. I stood alone on top of the Hawk's Ledge Bank, crouched within the shadows of other buildings, looking out over the rest of the city beyond the magical baricade. May the fates be with us.

Night fell. As shadows grew fuller across the city I set across the heights towards The East Main Building. As the moon began it's ascent, I had hooked my line to the roof and was descending the wall, step after step until I reached a window on the sixth floor that wasn't locked. I had personally made sure it wouldn't be. I watched the empty hallway it led into for a few moments, then slid open the window. Down the hallway into the stairwell. There were guards posted at each floor but they were easy to slip by. Into a dimly lit hallway in which sleeping quarters had been arranged. The door I was headed for was electronically locked. The hallway had a revolving camera. Due to it's tilt and projecture I had exactly thirty two seconds to get into that door and have it closed again. I set up my visual wire and slid it down the hall from my hidden vantage point. The wire wouldn't be picked up by the camera, but the tiny camera on the end of it would let me see into Dr. Vallers room and monitor it. Slowly, the camera laden wire made it's tenuous journey down the hall and under the door. The room was dark, I turned on the infa-red sight, and twisted the wire so I could see about the room. Desk, scattered papers, tossed clothes, a bed and Dr. Vallers, asleep in his chair. Proceed. I waited for the camera to go by then swooped under the camera along the wall to the door. I lfted my palm computer to the side of the lock, hooked them up and let it handle it's quick calculations. 14, 13, 12... eight numbers, four more to go. 6, 5, 4... 2 more to go. 3, 2... unlocked! I swept in the door quietly and closed it just as my silent timer went off. Done.

I crept through the dark room, using goggles to see through the haze. Carefully, I applied a few drops of the liquid from vial onto his lips. He licked them. I applied more drops. He licked again, then his breathing settled deeper into that hazy drugged sleep. I filled a hypodermic, tapped it gently and injected it into his arm. His bdy went stiff, his eyes opened wide for a moment, looking up at me his mouth open in some sort of gasp for air. Then they closed and he sank further into the chair. I withdrew a small bottle of pasty cream and applied it gently over the puncture wound. It wouldn't hide the needle puncture forever but it would certainly make finding it more difficult. I spread about some drug paraphenelia, and applied it around. Then I tied a cords about his upper left arm carefully and filled a hypodermic with synthetic heroin and injected it into him, leaving the needle in his vein, I placed his fingers upon it briefly, then arranged his slack in the chair. Poor guy, just another drug overdose statistic.

I retreated from there, following a similar path out of the building. When I was out, I removed the latex gloves and disposed of them. Then I retreated to a heating duct in the office building closest to the garage. It was the middle of summer. It was hotter than a fire. No one would be turning on the heat. I set up alarms about the place so no one would stumble upon me then I curled into a fitful sleep.

...The city was silent. Strange really, it almost never is and I've been around long enough to know. I watched Ms. Li on part of her assignment. I wouldn't have seen her save I knew her location. These little computers hold a lot more than one would realize. I knew she was secluding herself in the old downtown office building, a place with real history. If my estimate was right, Ms. Li would be curled up in sleep. She always slept after an assignment, as if by sleeping she could forget it. The poor girl, she'd get used to it.

Then there was noise, alarms going off. My eyes rose. BURO teams running all over the place. Alarms. Dammit, they discovered him already. Well, Angel is the best at what she does. She'll be alright.

Then suddenly a loud wailing rose. The scuffling and howling sounds, the hissing and spitting. Abominations. May the fates take pity on us they were releasing the abominations in the blocked off section of the city. Damn and blast. Angel, I had to get to Angel and get us both out of here. A BURO team she could hide from, but abominations? Blast and hell. I rose form my secured place and headed towards the rooftop. Those damn creatures could sniff out anything. Even her. I'd better get to her first. Gods help us all if I didn't.

I awoke with the strange sound reverberating through the duct. At first there was confusion at to my whereabouts. Then remembrance came crashing down upon me with full weight. And my mind registered those sounds. I had heard them before. Those snarlings and growls were from an abomination. I listened a bit longer. Not just one. Hell, a whole team of them. Good gods above what had I done. I scampered down the duct to remove the closest trip wire and as I did I heard the scraping sound of another being triggered. Hell, I thought to myself and pulled back into a shadow from which I could see part of the duct. Rat, rat, rat please let it be a rat.

It wasn't a rat. It was Douglas. I moved into view.

"What the hell is happening?" I asked hurriedly as I rushed towards him, undoing the trip wire as I went.

Douglas's face was severe. "They've released the abominations. I've gotten in touch with Kar Fai, but they can't be here for a while. We have to get up into the highest most remote part of the city and away from the wind. Hell! Those damn creatures are tearing apart the city." He took my hand and we left the duct heading up towards the roof. "Come on, they're not far from here and god knows how well they'll pick up a scent."

We scurried to the roof, fleeing the howlings below us. When we leapt from that roof to another I could swear their bellowing got louder. The city was being lit with spotlights whirling about. Damn. Damn damn and damn again. No time for cursing though, we had to get across that void on a jump. No time for pulling yourself across on a rope. The brick, gods below the brick is lose, my footing, I lost my footing. Down, I was going down. Twenty five stories, my god, my Jareth, I was soon to see my Jareth again. Then I felt a jolt and the world got still. As light enveloped me and I heard the frantic wailings of the beasts below, the shouts of BURO operatives I looked up. And there was Douglas, a firm grip around my wrist, holding me from the long descent. He lifted me to safety, then pushed me towards the edge again. "Go!" he yelled as the first shots towards us rang out.

We sprinted across the rooftops, never again losing our ground and yet the lights stayed with us and the howls of the abominations... I still have nightmares of that night. Those creatures, my god what could have posessed a man that he would build such a thing. Such monsters. Their howls were heard, reverberated through every inch of the buildings as we sprinted across it. And things were troubled. It would be light in three more hours. And that was longer than I could keep up this kind of pace. And there was no way out. As we came upon the end of the row of buildings shapes rose up before us. Quickly we dashed to the side, and I leaped for the safety cables I had erectedthe first day, cables to tie myself into if I was crossing from one side of the street to another. Normally I don't need them, but I always set them up as a precaution. Thank the fates. Douglas leapt after me catching closely to me.

Damn and blast those creatures followed us onto the ropes. I whipped out my gun and turned to Douglas. "Cut it. Cut the rope." He didn't even question the insane order. Instead he drew a knife and sliced it through and then we both held on as quicker than a meteor we shot towards the building opposite us. I straightened my gun arm, firing an entire clip into the window we were rocketing towards. Boots first, Douglas and I entered the building, shattering the broken windows into sparkling shimmers about us. We let go of the rope rolling out of the way, and heedless of cuts we were up and off a few seconds later. We made it down flights and flights of stairs before we got backed into a road, frightening odds at each side. Back to back, Douglas and I stood together, him facing the onslaught of two abominations, and myself the arcanowave technology of a BURO squad. This was decidedly bad.

It got worse. They attacked all at once instead of one at a time like honorable fools do. Dammit, I miss the day and age of honorable fools. It was gruesome. Horrifying. Sanguine. I emptied two more clips, then when I ran out of bullets I tossed the gun aside and proceeded with my sword. It's a beautiful sword, but this night it was crimson soaked. And they kept coming. I killed perhaps a dozen or more andthere was no end to them. Like bloodless hordes of monsters that haunt a child's dreams these monsters kept coming. But bloodless they were not, and by the time the first bullet pierced my body I was soaked in the blood of the fallen. After that bullet I slowed down some, it was partially the wound, partially the tiring and partially the sense of hopelessness that began to settle in me. I kept on fighting, but I could feel the sword getting heavier in my hands. And worse still, I could feel Douglas's breaths becoming more labored. He too, Douglas the invincable was tiring. Once, as I managed to roll out of the way of an armored claw I saw that Douglas had worked his way through nine abominations, bodies piled upon the side, but each time one went down another stepped into it's place. My god, there was no ending. I felt another bullet sink into me and then a third and another. After the fifth I stopped counting, the numbe had spread and it was hard enough to keep my feet, I took the sword for balance as I stared across the guns. Then my world began to shake.

Tired. Tired, god tired. Angel stands at my back, covering it's every inch cutting through rows and rows of BURO opratives as I cut through their pets. How many has she killed? Twenty? Fifty? A hundred, a thousand, a million, an eternity. It matters not, the blood keeps spilling and yet I can feel her. She, like myself, feels the pull. The pull of weariness. Tired, my god tired. Must fight on. Must, I am guarding her back. She falls. My gods above she has fallen I... the world is shaking and yet it's not, I have not been run through I...

The barrier! The barrier has fallen! Those new figures... the new figures are Dragons! Silver Dragons not my blessed brethren yet blessed all the same. The wave of creatures and soldiers ebbs towards the new fight leaving us here. My god, my Angel, Angel awaken, awaken we are saved. Tired, I feel tiredness pouring over me. Everything ebbs from my body as I sink next to her fallen form. Angel awaken and see the light.

Where are they? They must be here. They must. For hell and blast get some lights in this place so it can be seen. Lights! Bring more lights. I see them! Quick now, get Dr. Jones in here! Angel, Angel it's Ken. Angel, wake up. Get me another light! Angel awaken, it's not time to rest yet. Get Jones in here! Angel, come back.

I opened my eyes and there in the pattern of the stars in front of me was my Jareth, he smiled and held out his arms to me. Angel, angel my love can't you see the light? You must come back to me. You must. He said, and as I stretched out my arms towards him he faded and the stars grew brighter. Angel, the voice continued. Angel you must come back to me.

I came back.

Sixteen Dragons died retaking the east side corner of Hong Kong. All for an emerging feng shui site. Among them was Lacie McGiverns (shot by a BURO operative while helping Chase ), Jared Moloquy (a karate cop on the hong kong force ), Lee and Ling Kim ( a married couple I had remotely known. ) and sadly enough, Kale Evans ( who stayed behind to help carry out CyberBoy and Chase instead of retreating as ordered. He had a very young siblings whom Chase and CyberBoy have nearly adopted to help repay his brother's sacrifice. ) Dr. Jones died a few days afterwards from injuries sustained inside. He is missed to this day.

CyberBoy was horribly injured and spent the next six months being put together by the Prof. Chase was shot six times and lived, barely. He still skates, but not with quite the same vigor. Douglas and I, amazingly enough escaped relatively well. We each took a few weeks recovering and I have a few new scars to show for my trip. But most of them, can't be seen by the eye. Kar Fai claims we led a miraculous saving of this site that would one day be so pertinent and as reward all survivors were attuned to it. Sometimes, when I stop by it, I see Ling Sa sitting there, reading aloud from Lacie's favorite book of Robert Frost poems. She admits that she doesn't really understand them. But it makes her feel as though Lacie were still here and a part of her.

And I love Ling Sa for that.

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