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liamc2
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Feel free to post now. Your characters are in this SYF building in Singapore, introduce them soon 'cos we're all about to be debriefed...

[size=1][b]Déjà vu [/b]

The door closed behind Liam as he entered the humid room. Rae was looking at him, a huge grin on her face.

?Great job Liam, you really followed that ?one bullet? philosophy well.? Her eyes were on his chest, where the bandages were embossed on his shirt.

Liam?s eyes narrowed, ?up yours Rae.? With a wry smile he added, ?one the other hand, if you were in that situation we all know your corpse would be cooling in the Singapore morgue right now and the SYF would be denying all knowledge of your existence.?

?Sure sure, you?re just jealous that my shot was the one that took him down-

-from the other side of town. You weren?t even there.?

?Sniper, pistol. Potato, potato.?

Liam shook his head and pulled a Sprite from the small bar fridge in the corner, ?What happened while I was out??

?Not much. The Commander has mentioned that we?re getting some reinforcements soon.?

Liam sat down and popped the top, ?aw crap. We get some rookies.?

?Not rookies, since we?ve suffered a lot of casualties in our age group the paperwork finally went through and we?ve got some new additions. Quite a few interesting additions.? Rae?s voice alluded to something interesting.

?What do you mean??

Rae laughed. ?Well, you know how the SYF used to be between England, America and Australia? -Liam nodded- Well, with all the security leaks and goings on from that catastrophic mess you- Liam?s eyes narrowed- ?were involved in, the Russians found out.?

?Found out?? Liam raised his eyebrows and the Sprite in his hand was forgotten. ?Found out as in they want in??

?Got it in one. According to the file they sent they?re sending the top agent they?ve got.?

Liam?s lip curled, ?it doesn?t matter how top this agent of theirs is, it ain?t going to stop me from laughing at their accent.?

There was a pause where Rae tried to regain control of her face and forced it into a stern look of sorts, ?behave, Liam. I?m serious. We?re getting some younger agents in our squad too, to be bait etcetera. I don?t need you to be disrespecting our new comrade in front of them, they already know [I]your[/I] record.?

?Anyone would think we were married the way you carry on. They?re sixteen. Remember what happened when we were that old? It wasn?t that long ago you know.?

Rae sighed. ?I know. I just don?t want a fiasco like what we just averted??

?Hey. Matt?s girlfriend came onto [b]me[/b].?

?She hit you over the head with a brick in her purse.?

?She didn?t get shot did she??

?She wasn?t [I]going[/I] to get shot.?

Liam and Rae had been recently assigned to act as covert bodyguards to keep an eye out on Matt, Rae?s older brother, and his girlfriend while they were on their first date in downtown Singapore.

It had not gone down well.

While Matt and her were walking up the street, Liam noticed some suits at the top, and a flash of weapons. While Rae radioed to base, Liam sprinted into the market place and in one fell swoop, bodily carried Matt and his girlfriend behind a stall. After he had nosedived in the mud, Matt?s girlfriend stood up and whacked him upside the head before Matt could explain.

It turned out that the suits were part of her protection. Matt?s girlfriend was a prominent American General?s daughter.

Liam barely avoided being court-martialled.

?Look Liam, I?m just saying, watch your mouth.?

?I will, I promise you.? Liam looked into her eyes and said it, though added in an undertone to himself, ?though I won?t promise them??[/size]
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[i]Brad woke up and checked his watch. He was late for the briefing. He swore under his breath and got dressed. He was buggered because he had arrived by plane at one in the morning and only had a few hours sleep. He chose a nice long cloth trenchcoat with a built in holster custom made for his gun. He checked the chamber to see if it was loaded and then slipped it into the holster.

He left his room in search of the briefing room. He had no idea where the hell he or it was. When he arrived earlier this morning he had been escorted by a guard to his room, only slightly aware of were he was or what he was doing. He stopped and looked at a map. He found the briefing room after a few minutes and muttered a triumphant 'ha!' Then he realised he didn't know where he was and his triumph ended.

He noticed a guard walking past and asked him where the briefing room was. The guard responded with a string of sentences that made no sense. He figured that it was either because he was to tired to understand human speech or the guard didn't speak english. He opted for the second option.

After about half an hour of frantic search, Brad finally found a door with 'Briefing Room' written on it. He breathed a sigh of relief and entered.[/i]

[b]Brad:[/b] Sorry I'm late.

[b]Man:[/b] You're not late, you're about five minutes early.

[i]Bradley was confused. He looked at his watch again and then realised his watch was still on Australian time. He turned red and then introduced himself.[/i]

~TUN

[/size]
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[font=gothic][color=indigo][i]Katarina looked at the remaining Russian agent, still wearing his heavy Grenztruppen Der DDR replica coat (OOC: Sound familiar?), who stared implacebly at her, then down at her wrists. And the nice shiny handcuffs that held them together behind her back. Of course, she had to crane her neck back over her shoulder, which did things to her anatomy she was sure he was rather appreciative of, so he probably wasn't in a hurry to take them off, even if he had been allowed to.[/i]

"They're there so you don't live up to your previous record."

Katarina: You vant me to kick your *** like zis anyvay?

[i]He looked away uncomfortably, then motioned her out of the room and down the corridor. Katarina strode down it, stretching her long legs enough to make the guard hurry to keep up. They got to the indicated door. Katarina looked at a moment, again turned back to regard her bound hands, and decided it was unneccessary anyway. And it would serve to make things clear right at the start.

The front kick to the latch raised a cry of alarm. Well, two cries of alarm, if you wanted to be metaphorical. One from the door, one from the guard. The spinning back kick, delivered to a point that was actually above Katarina's normal head level, knocked the door down, without sending it flying. She didn't know the various positions of people in the room, after all.

She walked in, over the door, no apology on her face. Haven discharged his most likely unwelcome duty, the guard left abruptly. Katarina looked around, and locked eyes with the one the limited information she had been given identified as Liam. He raised an eyebrow at her, and when he spoke, it was a rather understated, soft tone.[/i]

Liam: You could have used the handle.

[i]Katarin bowed, or seemed to, then jumped, tucking her legs up and bringing them through her arms, so when she landed, her hands, still cuffed, were crossed in front of her, serenely.[/i]

Katarina: You see, zat vas not so convenient.

[i]Liam's eyes crinkled slightly. No doubt, the accent. Katarina spat out a string of profanity, in heavy Russian dialect. Liam blinked, clearing his face, then strove to calm it. Katarina gave a quick, scathing glance to the others in the room, and went to lean against an unoccupied wall.[/i]

Katarina: Shalt ve get on with this?[/font][/color]
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[color=royalblue]"Why shouldn't we? I'm sure it will be invigorating."

[i]A cool sophisticated voice, with a smooth American accent, filtered through the room. Katarina, Liam, and Rae looked up into the corner it came from. Only one of them was confused, the other two were partially elated. Lying horizontal aross the tall storage cabinet, dressed in a long goldenrod printed sarong and a matching crop top, all lined with silver jewelry, with a long mane of thick brown hair, and unmistakeable yellow silver eyes, was Zharra Dominae, cousin of Jaudiar and Ananda. She smiled sweetly and leapt down to their level, moving with an unalloyed grace. She landed in a crouch, then straightened like she had no spine. The sarong flicked out as she moved, and Rae mentally calculated how she could get one of her own. .....civillian attire. Good move. Of course, from the high slit on her left thigh, she could see a knife of sorts. The girl steped forwards and offered her hand to Liam, who took it uncertainly. She shook with him, and then with Rae.[/i]

Zharra: Hello Liam. Rae. It's been awhile.

Liam: ...I don't even remember you.

Rae: I saw her at the party of Pizzaro's....but I thought she was Jaudiar in another outfit...and without a few extra years.

Zharra: Scope, assassin's work, agent training....you know.....

Liam: Where's Jaudiar now?

Zharra: Shot down in Congo while eviscerating a target. She died well.

[i]Her expression remained calm and calculated, despite the urge to break someone's neck at the mention of her dear father-sister. Instead, she turned her silver eyes to focus on Katarina, a half smile on her lips, maintaining professional courtesy.[/i]

Zharra: Katarina. Welcome to Singapore. I'm sure we'll have fun.

Katarina: ...I'm sure ve vill.

[i]Instead of disguising a laugh into a snort, like Liam was struggling to, she sat down in the nearest briefing chair and took out her knife.[/i][/color]
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[color=purple]Bailey Carlmine, previous French American army brat, always managed to arrive exactly on time. It was both flaw and ally, but somehow she seemed to bend time in her favor. It was no surprise that she found the briefing room already occupied by five other agents, most of whom looked roughly close in age to herself.

Bailey looked curiuosly down at the door which, knocked off its hinges, laid horizontal to the floor. When she felt five pairs of silent eyes watching her, Bailey looked up and flashed a smile around the room, "Hello."

"Hello, welcome aboard." When no one else responded, Rae stepped forward and offered a hand, which Bailey shook with firm enthusiasm, "I'm Rae. This is Liam."

"Ah, hey Liam. I'm Bailey." She offered a slight wave to the others around the room.

A girl with long dark hair dressed in a beautiful sarong smiled in return, "Zharra."

"I'm obviously a new member." Bailey gushed suddenly, "But I've been in training for a few years." When she noticed that the pale, black-haired girl's hands were bound, she approached her, "Why are they keeping you all tied up?"

Katarina shrugged, the whisper of an amused smile floating around her lips, "Zey do not trust me."

"Unfortunate." Bailey grinned, "I'm sure you're just as skilled with those on as without. That's what I've found from being cuffed before."

"The door was her doing." Liam added.

She turned back to Katarina and gave a genuine chuckled, "Nice move." As Bailey found a vacant spot to sit on the floor, she stretched out and checked that her thigh holster still held her 9mm firmly against her inner thigh, "Well this should be a rather interesting new adventure."[/color]
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[size=1]"It's certainly going to be...interesting." Rae returned to her seat, mentally sizing up the inhabitants of the room. Last time they'd started off with more -- although they'd all dropped off pretty quickly. Some had just not been able to take the stress, like Iitashi, who'd been sent home, debriefed, and completely erased from SYF history.

She trusted the Russian to be constant in her rebellion, at least. She was well trained, and certainly feisty enough to be an asset to SYF, although having someone who would stab you in the back was slightly disconcerting. [i]Isn't it always though?[/i], Rae thought wryly, recalling certain members of her own family.

Zharra, Rae trusted automatically. After working with Ananda and Jaudiar, she knew how very competant Zharra would be; she was trained by the best.

Bradley? She knew nothing about him. He was Australian, at least. Could be a good sign.

And as for Bailey, well, she was enthusiastic, which was usually encouraging. And she seemed to know about SYF and it's work, which meant she wasn't a very new recruit. But...there was something about her that said that she hadn't seen many missions. The lack of sarcasm and trauma, probably.

Rae smirked and sent a glance towards Liam. Sarcasm and trauma -- the main two requirements for surviving in the SYF.

There was a knock outside the space in the wall -- you couldn't really call it a door -- and then an amused and even worried voice spoke. "I expect this was Liam's doing?"[/size]
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[color=royalblue][i]Her eyes cooled somewaht and she sheathed her knife, standing to attention as their senior officer walked in. She spoke with swiftness and delicate diplomacy quite unlike some of the others in the room.[/i]

Zharra: Actually I had a minor scuffle with a vending machine sir. But it's quite splendid now sir.

Liam: Yes, it was clogged sir, so she stuck her knife in the coin part sir.

Katarina: And vhen that didn't vark, she drop kicked it. Sir.

Zharra: And it was uphill from there sir.

Bailey: As you can see everything here is under control sir.

[i]She raised a can of Sprite and smiled sweetly, while containing a fit of slightly supressed giggles. Their senior officer looked slightly skeptical, but let his gaze sift over both her legs and Bailey's charming jeans and blouse....and the gun she was cleaning. He cleared his throat and sat down, the others falling to in order. In typical cliche, his hands were folded on the desk, his ateche case on the conference table. Zharra crossed her legs and slipped the side of her sarong over again.[/i]

Superior: Well, getting back to buisness. I have your files here.

Zharra: And the general idea, judging by the e-mail from Ananda, we're investigating child extortion, kidnaping, and prostitution.

Superior: More or less.

Zharra: .....mmm, sounds delightful.

Liam: Same ol' same ol'.

Zharra: I can't believe we're still having this conversation.

[i]He gave her a withering glance, while Rae helped herself to the files from his case, and handed them out to the perspective people. Their superior blinked, and let them get to work.[/i][/color]
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[size=1]The officer wandered off shaking his head, and Matt stepped over the threshold. And eyed the door. And Liam.

Liam shot Rae a sidelong glance when she burst into a fit of laughter. Liam raised his hands as Matt walked in, eyes still on the fallen door.

?Wasn?t me, I swear. Comrade Katarina can claim the glory.?

Matt eyed Liam and Katarina, sizing them up, ?well,? he said slowly, ?that makes a nice change.?

?Come off it Matt, that was three years ago, I was young and reckless then?I still am, but that?s beside the point.?

Matt rolled his eyes and put down his bag, after unzipping it he pulled out a laptop and a LCD projector. Within seconds the projector was running, filling up the entire wall, and the laptop was humming away to itself.

Matt beckoned with his hand to Liam while typing with the other, ?got that donut?? He queried.

Liam fished in his pockets, pulled out a DVD and tossed it to him. Matt caught it without even looking up from his keyboard. The DVD was slipped in just as the doors opened. The Commander stepped over the threshold and was flanked by two plainclothes Singapore officers. Liam nodded to the Commander, and he returned it.

In the fiasco three years ago, the Commander had stepped in as a grandfather for Liam?s stint in Juvenile detention, ever since then the status stuck.

?Right.? Barked the Commander. ?By now all of you know the formal introductions. You?re here to save or protect some part of world, and this time the Singapore government has requested us to step in. It seems there has been an alarming increase in the number of child kidnappings in the past year.? He nodded to Matt and a graph appeared, with an alarming eighty-degree angle. ?Rae and Liam, who were originally on this case, discovered that this was the work of a well-organised Triad lord. Thanks to their efforts he has been eliminated.?

Even in the now gloomy room, Liam could see Rae?s pearly whites showing.

?They retrieved some very important data, including a cache of ransom MPEG?s that had been sent to the US. We believe that there is some connection between the chosen targets, but nothing is certain yet. We know nothing of the blackmail that was paid as the parents are refusing to talk, on the grounds that their children are still not safe, even though the Triad general had been taken care of and his Triad had been disbanded.?

On the screen appeared several blurred photos of the kidnapped ?children,? whose ages varied from four, right through to twenty-one.

?Included in the parents are some prominent wealthy businessmen, so the only cause the courts are willing to accept is that of money. Something more insidious may be afoot, but until we perform this sting operation, with the aid of the Singapore police intelligence,? he indicated the two in the suits, ?all of are work will be just pure speculation.?

The lightpro image had now switched to the SYF logo of sorts (after seven years they still didn?t have an official logo, something that amused Liam greatly), and now Matt had taken his position in the line up of officials. The Commander beckoned to him, and he stepped forward into the one down light.

?The sting,? he said dramatically, ?includes us planting one of our agents,? his hand was now pointing to the surprised Bradley, ?in a situation as a son of a wealthy Australian businessman for the Metal Storm corporation. -Liam?s ears pricked up at the mention of the name- This is because of intel we received from our senior agents that we planted in waiter positions in the more prominent Triad karaoke bars.?
There was a ripple of laughter through the group. Even Liam had to admit that the idea of a tattooed criminal drug lord singing along to ?My Way? (the favourite track of many a Karaoke bar in Singapore) still amused him.

?This intel eluded to the fact that the Triad?s not only knew about this Metal Storm businessman?s visit, but had exact details of his hotel, and places where his sixteen year old son was likely to visit on the trip. No doubt this information was received from a mole in the company, but everyone comes up clean.? He paused and a list of over forty names appeared. ?Except this lot. These are the Metal Storm associates in Europe. The problem is that if we performed a criminal check without giving proper reason, we would be in breach of several diplomatic laws and could quite possibly blow the existence of this mission and the SYF way out into the open.?

The Commander stepped forward. ?Which is exactly what we don?t want. The SYF?s secrecy has only just remained intact, and we do not want any strings attached to this mission that will certainly lead back to us.? He coughed and cleared his throat before continuing. ?Therefore this mission is top secret and remains under the guise of a Singapore police operation. You will follow their orders to the letter, but we have full reign on any intel, and have the right to pursue any leads, may they arise.?

?So ve ving it? Ja??

The Commander?s forehead creased. ?Exactly what I didn?t want said. But yes. You wing it?within reason??

?When do we start?? Bailey?s eyes sparkled as she leaned forward, Liam could see that the metal mind behind all that bubbly nature was clicking over.

Matt took this question. ?Tomorrow. The Triad?s information links the businessman?s conference to Thursday, and him arriving tomorrow morning, two days from now. So we plant Bradley with his ?father? and it will give us time to set up surveillance in the area. If all goes well, Bradley will be gone Thursday afternoon.?

?You?re smiling Matt. I don?t trust you when you smile.? Liam?s voice was suspicious. ?You only smile when you?re thinking about something completely different.?

Matt gave Liam a ?I?ll tell you after? look and said, ?dorms are downstairs through the door in the Janitorial closet.? There was a quiet pause. ?This door,? Matt continued, ?leads to what the public believe to be a full backpacker hostel.?

?You mean I don?t get to sleep in my flat tonight?? Liam?s tone was annoyed, ?or until the end of this mission? My landlady is going to be mighty suspicious??

Matt grinned. ?You?re landlady is one of our operatives, she already knows.?

?Oh. Why doesn?t anyone tell me these things??

~~~

The others filed out and downstairs, Liam and Rae stayed behind with the now grinning Matt.

?Guess what?? He said, still grinning.

?What?? Liam and Rae said, exasperated.

?We?re going on a date on Thursday night, Karen and I. A proper one this time, without the metal men. I knew of this great little restaurant and she accepted. The bonus is I don?t have to worry about security eying me all the time.?

Rae squealed and gave Matt a hug. ?Congratulations! I?m so happy for you!?

?The way you carry on, any one would think they were getting married.?

There was a pause where Matt and Rae just stared at him.

?Oh.?

[/size]
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[font=gothic][color=indigo][i]Katarina ignored the bantering group, and went immediately downstairs, looking for the dorms. She found them quite easily, and a quick survey showed that someone had had the consideration to make sure the rooms outnumbered the people. Given that license, Katarian walked up to the first open door, only to find someone else's bags on the beds. Two people to a room it seemed. She walked out, and checked each progressive room until she found her own. Sure enough, two beds, two sets of bags.

Without checking whos they were, she dumped them outside, kicked the door closed and flicked the latch, again without using her still bound hands, and pushed the beds together. She didn't feel like sharing, and it was pretty obvious it wasn't required.

She gave the room a quick survey, and wondered exactly where they dug this place up from. A small bathroom, the beds, a mirror, a table and chair, and a slightly more comfortable recliner. She wasn't sure what this was all about, really. Not relevant for now. She threw herself onto the bed, and moved to put a hand over her eyes, only to remember the cuffs. She swore in exasperation, and lifted her shirt, pulling her pistol out of its stomach holster.

The Yarygin was a damn fine pistol. Katarina raised her hands over her head, taking the pistol so her thumb was through the trigger grip. She pointed the pistol at the chain, and wondered whether she should just pick it. Anyway, that considered, she pulled the trigger. The chain disappeared.

She absently moved to reholster her weapon, only to hear a pounding on her door, and someone yelling in either anger or concern. Katarina sighed, and took another shot, this one at the top right corner of the door. A spray of splinters, another muttered curse, and the shouting stopped. Katarina looked critically at the hole, slightly smaller than an inch in diameter, but about seven feet off the floor, and decided it wouldn't be a problem. That decided, and her time apparently her own, she decided that it would be best if she got some rest. She glared at the remainder of the cuffs, which clicked softly against the studded bands she wore around her wrists. Damnable.[/font][/color][/i]
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[color=darkgreen][font=gothic][i]Malania, having snuck into this high security complex somewhat less than safely, was not happy about being shot at. However, a quick check of the damage to the door revealed that the person inside was the one she was after.
Pulling out her own Yarygin, she placed her ear to the door for a moment or two and then stood back, aiming and firing quickly before her target moved.

The person inside was identified as female by the surprised squeak that erupted from the splintered door.

Malania pressed her eye to the bullet hole to check what damage had been done - lucky. Katarina - if that was her - had missed the bullet by a mere ten centimetres. [/i]

Malania: You had better let me in now, Kat, becoss I'm going to aim a little better next time.

[i]How long had it been now? [/i][/color][/font]
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[font=gothic][color=indigo][i]Katarina looked up in shock, surprise, and no little pleasure. She jumped to her feet and bounded towards the door, unlocking and opening it with a swift jerk. Sure enough, Malania was outside, a slight smile on her face. Katarina embraced her swiftly, probably coming close to breaking a rib. Of course, Malania didn't go any easier on her. Katarina sheparded her inside and relocked and closed the now quasi-ruined door, before spinning and throwing Malania onto the bed.[/i]

Katarina: Shoot at me damn it.

[i]She landed alongside her friend, and asked the most pressing question.[/i]

Katarina: Lutveya?

Malania: I don't know. She was assigned to something else, I don't think they wanted to risk all three of us in one circumstance. No one would tell me where she'd been placed.

[i]Katarina blinked in annoyance, Malania's complete lack of accent was already aggravating.[/i]

Katarina: Vy can't zyou talk like a dezent Russian for vonce?

[i]Malania gave her an arch look, but didn't say anything. Katarina didn't really require her two. She looked rather critically at Malania's clothes, rather torn from her various scrapes during her entrance, and immediately found her something more appropriate. Black leather and sheer velvet. After all, if she wasn't going to talk respectably, the least she could do is use her physical appearance to uphold the reputation at stake.[/font][/color][/i]
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[color=darkgreen][font=gothic][i]Malania slipped into the tight clothes with exhaled breath, filling the shirt brilliantly after months of baggy uniform shirts.[/i]

Malania: Ah, that's better... Hey, have you got any toothpaste? I don't think I've brushed my teeth since I left Moscow.

Katarina: Eew... Yeah, it'zin my bag. I'm sopposing you're vithout a toosbrush, also?

Malania (smiling wickedly) : You bet.

[i]Having found the toiletries bag, Malania attacked it, making full use of all the little practical things Katarina had stuffed in there. Including a tiny little GPS. Wonder what that meant...[/i]

Katarina: So, my pretty, vat on earth bring'zyou to Singapore?

[i]Malania finished brushing her teeth and tying back her hair and collapsed back on the beed - seemingly exhausted from the little escapade with the toiletries.[/i]

Malania: You do.

Kat: Veh?

Malania: I'm acting as Mother Russia's eye... KGB want me to keep an eye on you.

Kat: And you?

Malania: I jumped at ze... the opportunity of course. I was so amazed I had finally been given the chance to see you again. As for the keeping the eye on you thing...

Kat: Hmmm?

Malania: Well, we'll see how things go. If your life is the high one, then I'll take that and the KGB can go do something nasty to itzelf. Itself. If you're not liking things... we ditch both industries and move to Bora Bora, ok?

[i]Katarina smiled, tears welling at memories of childhood fantasies. Embracing her friend again, they both let the tears out, the feeling of solitude blissfully fading away.[/i][/color][/font]
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[COLOR=royalblue][i]In the middle of the sweet and cushy moment, ....absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened. The fact that both girls were on an emotional high probably excused the fact that Zharra had been in the room since the first shot was fired. Liam and Rae were still chatting. Bailey and Bradley were shamelessly flirting, and she was feeling slightly out of place. Instead of getting "all up in that," she went downstairs, and heard a gun fired. Probably not to kill Thankfully...only one.

She was standing by the doorjamb when she saw Katarina embrace another girl, who looked suspiciously like her. Just shorter. Her eyes automatically rolled, and she padded in silentley, moving like a local in her bare feet. As they embraced, she quietly slid off her thigh holster, sarong, and top, then opened her backpack and took out her clothes.

Butt naked, she walked across the communal bedroom to the showers, not even looking in their direction. It wouldn't belong now.....[/i]

"So romantic....I may throw up."

[i]Over the loud burst of ice cold water from the showerheads, neither of them heard the spoken words. They did, however, hear the sound of the shower. Malania turned her head and saw an open backpack and discarded clothes. Katarina's eyes widened.[/i]

Katarina: It is Zharra.

Malania: Agent?

Katarina: ......she's not quite like ze others. Somezing is different about her.

Malania: .....I like the sarong.

[i]In the showers, with her ear rotated to catch everything, she smiled.[/i][/COLOR]
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[color=purple]On most nights Bailey would have wanted to get to know all of the new people in her company. This time, however, she felt a bit more reserved and she wasn't entirely sure as to why. Maybe it was the fact that she had heard so much about both Rae and Liam and had respected their tales for so long. Or, Bailey pondered, was it because Zharra had awed her, just the simple grace and beauty of her? Or [i]maybe[/i] it was because one of her fellow agents was a handcuffed Russian girl who looked as though she could easily kick anyone's ***, and Bailey wasn't sure exactly how she felt about that...

Either way, she knew that it would take more time than usual to get everyone to warm up to her.

When Bailey chose a room, she pulled out a small framed picture of her brother and parents, and set it next to the bed she claimed as hers.

She stared at the picture and then laughed out loud, "I'm so cliché." But, nonetheless, she kept the frame resting where it was.

Bailey didn't bother to unpack. She simply stripped out of her jeans and blouse, choosing black lycra pants and a lavender tank top to slip into. Clearing enough space on the cold tiled floor, Bailey spread her legs into a V and leaned forward far enough to rest her chest on the floor. Stretching every night always felt so wonderful and it kept her muscles in peak condition.

After a few minutes of the V stretch, she stood up and reached toward her toes, wrapping her arms around the back of her legs and pulling herself toward the ground. Bailey continued the nightly routine she had adopted until her muscles felt warm and fluid.

She smiled at the fact that she was gloriously in-shape.

Her body felt like molten silver was weighing it down, so she opted it was time to get some sleep. Taking her 9mm out of its holster, Bailey placed it under her pillow at an angle she had become accustomed to. She wasn't a highly superstitious person, but having her Beretta available at all times took the edge of sleeping in new places.

As she drifted off into dreams, Bailey saw the predictable images of her interrupted childhood.[/color]
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[size=1][b]OOC: Just letting you know, I won't be here Thursday. Not sure about Wednesday, but I'll try to post then.[/b]

Rae huffed her exasperation and walked off, muttering about 'The denseness of males', leaving Matt laughing and Liam looking self-conscious.

They'd worked together often since the mission a few years ago, but Rae still hadn't gotten past how very slow Liam could be at times. She was one of the people who could actually banter with him -- without being shot -- but over the past few years they'd barely had enough time to say 'I can shoot better than you' before they'd been sent off on a new, separate, mission. It seemed the Head Honchos only wanted Rae and Liam teamed together when something big and bad was expected in the mission, which didn't bode well for this operation.

Rae made her way down to the dorms, looking into the other rooms before hers. She'd chosen beforehand, knowing that the best rooms would be taken quickly, and wanting to get her own without fuss. She was surprised to see Bailey sleeping quite comfortably in the room. Bailey hadn't unpacked yet, but Rae wasn't going to allow herself to be lazy; chances were there'd be no time to once they got started. She unzipped her duffel.

"What do you want, Liam?" Rae asked without turning around.

He made a sound of approval. "I can never figure out how you know when someone's there."

"Call it paranoia." Rae turned and sat on her bed, not bothering to unpack yet. "Looks like you've got a roomie. I checked out the other rooms before now; two Russians and Zharra seem to be sharing a room, and I'm in here with Bailey. It leaves you with Bradley, although, if you're really uptight, I'm sure there's enough room for you to be on your own." She grinned and gestured towards her sleeping comrade. "Think I should wake her up?"

"Probably. You can be quite a shock." Liam leant against a wall. "Two Russians?"

"Yeah. I spoke to one of the security as I was coming down. There was a breach, but it seems like Katarina has a friend who's decided to join us. Probably against KGB wishes, but since they sent their agent here, they report to us...I think that's the way it works. Or rather, that's the thinking around here." Rae went over and poked Bailey softly, having one of her lightening quick changes of topic. She drew back automatically after touching Bailey, ready to be shot at.

"On second thought," Rae grinned. She slowly inched her hand under Bailey's pillow, looking for the gun that any good agent would have. Bingo. "Silver Beretta, 9mm." She listed off to Liam, absentmindedly touching her own pistol; a 9mm silenced Glock.

"What's the best way to wake someone up?"

"Dump water over their head, I believe."

Rae glared. "Just because you think it's funny to watch someone splutter."

"It's true. I do. What about that whole pressure point thing? Squeeze her big toe. Apparently, it wakes you up. If she kicks you, though, it isn't my fault."

"It's never your fault," she muttered darkly, taking his advice anyway. Bailey woke up quickly and suddenly, arm automatically reaching for her gun. Rae grinned. It seemed that Bailey had seen more than she let on.

"Liam," Rae ordered, "Close your eyes."

Liam, not used to taking orders in any form, immediately ignored her, except to ask, "Why?"

"Because. It isn't nice to watch a lady wake up."

He laughed and didn't bother moving. Bailey took in the scene, and Rae smiled as her eyes became less wary. "I decided I should inform you that you're going to be my room mate -- just incase you woke up to my snoring." Liam snorted. Rae gave Bailey back her gun, once again absentmindedly touching her own. It was a habit she hadn't yet kicked -- she needed to have the security there; even after three years, she wasn't over her helpless feelings in Pizaro's mansion.

"Anyway. Welcome to...Singapore. Liam's not as scary as he likes to think, and he isn't the best shot either."

"I'm better than you, Rae. I always have been."

"Only just. And I was trained in information, Liam." Her voice was terse, eyes revealing how much she resented Liam's gloating.

He knew how much to push her though, and refrained from commenting on his background in Computer Espionage, simply muttering, "Bloody know-it-all."

Rae frowned towards him. "I'll give you 'bloody know-it-all.'"[/size]
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[size=1]

[i]Bradley managed, miraculously, to find the room he had slept in the previous night, to collect his things to take down to the 'hostel'. He had a duffle bag with most of his things in it and a small carry bag that he had taken on the flight. It contained a few of Bradley's favourite books and some other necessities. He picked them up and walked out the door. Now he had to find his way back to the 'hostel'.
"This place is a bloody labyrinth." He thought to himself. He managed to find his way back to the janitor's closet that led to their lodgings and went in. He went past a few rooms and saw that they were having two to a room. He picked one on the end. Someone elses bags were on the other bed so he put his on the other one. He unpacked his bag and put his clothes into the closet. He then picked up one of his books and started to read. He tried reading for a few minutes and became restless. He couldn't stop thinking about his mission. His first mission. He hoped everything went well, he felt as the youngest that everyone else looked down on him so he longed to prove himself.

He suddenly remembered how tired he was, so he took off his trench coat and removed his revolver, placing under the pillow. He lay down and grasped the gun with his right hand under the pillow and fell asleep.[/i]


[/size]
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[size=1]
Liam raised his hands up in mock defeat, when they were up by his ears; his Desert Eagle seemed to just appear in his palm.

Rae?s frown deepened somewhat. ?And would you stop with the quick draw? You know I hate it when you do that.?

?Yessum.? Liam?s eyes sparkled and the gun vanished.

Bailey looked dishevelled and completely confused. Liam scratched the back of his head. Rae?s and his conversations usually had that effect on people.
?So,? he said, ?Bailey. Pleased to make your acquaintance under casual circumstances.?

?Likewise.? She sat up and curled a loose hair behind her ear. ?You two seem to be in the know about this mission. Tell me about Singapore.?

?Incredibly clean in the main streets, has the lowest fuel emissions in the world thanks to an innovative traffic system. Vehicles are fitted with tags and every time they cross certain areas in the city the owner is billed.? Liam said.

Rae rolled her eyes. ?What he?s trying to say is that if the Triads use vehicles, we can track them down. That?s why most of them move around on foot. Hence why our hit was in the markets.?

?You mentioned karaoke??

Liam grinned. ?Yeah. Extremely popular. We had an interesting situation where one Triad wiped out another over a bad rendition of ?My Way.??

Bailey chuckled, shaking her head.

?No, I?m serious.?

Rae nodded. ?He is. Trust me on this, you have no idea what influences alcohol and bad signing have on an armed mind.?

?Right. Ok then. So how are the kidnapped child?s parents notified? You mentioned something about MPEG?s??

?In most instances an SMS is sent, usually through an untraceable medium like ICQ or otherwise. If the Triad feels they need a little more persuasion, a DVD is sent.?

?Always with the facts?? Bailey noted.

?It?s not his fault, his conversation skills are very limited.? Rae said in a false whisper.

Both the girls laughed and Liam just shook his head.

?This is where I take my leave.? He said. ?Adieu.?

As he turned from the door there was an unmistakeable sound of a pistol cartridge being removed, checked, and replaced. His footsteps died away on the rubber tiles.

?Is he always so intense all the time??

?Only before?I mean during?or?no?wait.? Rae sighed. ?Yeah, he is. But he does have his moments.?
~~~
Liam opened the door and entered the room. Bradley was lying down, but sat up as he entered. Obviously the boy had Rae?s uncanny ability. Liam sauntered past and sat down on the bed, ripping off his Velcro back harness and dropping it on the bedside table. After a minute or two a total of six loaded clips of ammunition joined it.

Bradley eyed the armaments.

?You know,? he said, ?some people say that if you?re ever in a situation where you need more than three clips of spare ammunition, you?re not going to leave it.?

Liam grinned at his junior. ?Some people obviously aren?t me.?

?Bullets aren?t always the answer.?

?They are when there?s shooting to be done.? The finality of Liam?s tone made Bradley drop it.

Liam smiled to himself, flicked off the light on his side and rolled over to sleep.
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[font=gothic][color=indigo]OOC: You did make me do it.

IC: [i]Katarina looked at Malania for an instant, their eyes and minds in perfect agreement. They advanced on Zharra, and grabbed an arm each. She looked at them in amusement...apparently misunderstanding. The two Russians suddenly spun, and hurled Zharra across the room. She struck the door, bodily, and fell through, at last leaving it to perdition. Katarina looked at the door critically, and swore. She absently picked up her bags, gestured Malania out, and, stepping over the dazed Zharra, moved to the next unoccupied room, and set her stuff down. She closed the door behind her, locked it, and picked up the chair, bracing it against the door handle. Malania regarded all this with a raised eyebrow.[/i]

Katarina: Somezing about her annoys me.

Malania: Becoming more intolerant, are we?

Katarina: Perhaps. I have a right to be zough.

Malania: You didn't turn the shower off.

Katarina: I don't pay ze vaterbill, I don't care.

[i]Katarina looked back at the door, critically, then thoughtfully pushed the table up to brace the chair. Just to be certain. She then locked the door to the bathroom.[/i]

Malania: You really look like you want some privacy.

[i]Katarina's returned look was withering, and her comment toned exactly the same.[/i]

Katarina: Not at ze moment, I vant some sleep.

[i]That settled, she gave it her best shot.[/font][/color][/i]
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[color=darkgreen][font=gothic]OOC: I'm sorry it's crap, but I'm not in the mood for being alive at the moment.

[i]Malania kissed Katarina softly on the cheek before vacating the room via the ventilation system. Finding it rather spacious was surpising, considering the shocking ventilation down there.

After navigating the complex for a while, Malania found the security room, and lowered herself into it slowly, as not to wake the sleeping security guards. Quietly, she scanned the array of monitors, peering into various rooms in the building and finding nothing of interest. Her informer never mentioned why she would find her subject here - meaning they could move at any time, with no notice.

Malania, suddenly realising she had forgotten to bug Katarina, smiled slightly. Seems like she was getting sloppy.

Not bothering to use the vents again, Malania walked out the front door, and started down the street. She passed her informer five metres past the complex end - and completely ignored him. Any time now, and she was going to lose her job. Tut, tut.

About ten minutes later, Malania woke up in a furnished office with russian flags on the wall, with a smashing headache. Her informer stood, seemingly infuriated, in the corner of the room. A large, old, bald man sat at the desk, napping loudly.

Malania stood up and picked up an expensive looking ming vase on the desk, hurling it at the wall behind the man. It didn't wake him up, but it got a large gun shoved into the small of her back.[/i]

Malania: Oh no, not my intestines!!!

Informer: You disgust me. You disgust Russia.

Malania: I don't think you can speak for all of it. Is that the Russia who's flag I just threw a vase at?

Man with gun: Sit down, you English pig.

Malania: Excuse me? English?

Informer: Sit down, Ivan.

[i]At this point in time the old man chose to wake up.[/i]

Old Man: Malania, I understand that this is a difficult assignment for you, but think about your employer. Just because you don't like spying on your friend doesn't mean you can smash your boss's vase.

Malania: Is that a metaphor?

Old Man: It's a light tap on the shoulder. You're a good agent, and we don't want to lose you. Have some respect.

Malania: Sorry about the vase, but I don't want to do this any more.

Old Man: I understand. Listen, I'll cut you a deal. Three more reports, one a week/month depending on the level of action.

Malania: Or?

Old Man: Or we send you and your friend home in the same box.

[i]Malania made sure the angry tears were wiped from her face before she showed it in public. Although she had a place to stay, Malania chose to go back to Katarina - if not for the company, but to bug her. Katarina would understand. After all, no secrets between friends, right?[/i][/color][/font]
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[COLOR=royalblue][i]One eye opened slowly, and she hissed to herself. Sloppy really. At least they hadn't opened both her veins. Then again....it could've been a great deal worse. Her lip was bruised, but by her internal clock, she had time to sleep. Silently, she rose to her feet and flicked off everything important. Instantly, her eyes adjusted and began to give off a slight amount of light. Whoever had designed the bathroom was clearly not big on intelligence. From the clip in her hair, she selected her favorite tool....and quietly removed both hinges, top and bottom.

The tool was replaced, and then, stark naked, she lifted the door bodily, set it down to one side, and entered the doorm. Katarina was "asleep" and she was in no mood to converse about her night's sleep on cold tile....despite how warm Singapore was. Without another thought, she slamed her fingers into three different pressure points, and watched them take effect.

Annoying really. Ah well, paralysis could be worse. No KGB agent would really.....get away with....no matter how trite that sounded....knocking her out and locking her in a bathroom. Of course, now that she was paralyzed....she could just undo the lock and handcuff her again. But that wasn't exactly effective either....[/i]

"Tatara, golaenai, bis-emouthe shau."[/COLOR]
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[color=purple]She didn't really realize it was morning.

The room was an inky black, and Bailey found herself sweating underneath a light thermal blanket. The green digital clock to the left of her head glared brightly into her light-sensitive eyes, and Bailey winced as she turned to look at it.

6:37 AM.

Throwing the blanket off of her heated body, Bailey lay still on her back, listening to Rae's quiet breathing three feet away. Would she allow herself to admit that she was anxious about her first mission? Bailey wondered if the others were skeptical about her own abilities, but she didn't doubt herself in the capability arena.

She had grown up as a delinquent case. After her father had been killed and her mother went mad, she and her brother had been in and out of foster homes. Bailey soon found herself among the roughest crowds, partaking in a high number of offensive illegalities. She could hotwire cars, she could snake an entire store's money under the velvet blanket of night, she had been charged guilty of posession...the list went on for paragraphs. Luckily enough for the troubled Bailey Carlmine, someone had taken a keen interest in her skills and abilities.

That had brought her to SYF, and it probably saved her a life time of swinging in and out of jail.

For her first year of training, Bailey had quickly accepted the teaching methods and was eager to change the path of her future. The agents that she trained under didn't seem to trust her for that first year, but she supposed it was simply standard protocol for deliquents with long lists of ciminal offenses.

During the past two years she had acceled far beyond what anyone previously thought her capable of, and that knowledge alone kept her feet grounded and her mind focused on orders. She wasn't about to screw up again and get tossed back out into the world, unable to find real work.

Glancing at the clock again, Bailey broke from her reverie and decided to head toward the shower; after a hot and humid night under the blankets, she certainly deserved one. [/color]
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[size=1][i]Bradley awoke and looked over at his travel clock. 6:30am it read. He was hoping he would sleep longer so he lay back down and tried to sleep again. After about ten minutes of staring at the ceiling he gave up and got up. He went and had a quick shower and then found an empty room where he would not disturb anyone.

He started with some warm up stretches to loosen himself up. He then did a set of push ups and crunches. He looked around the room for a suitable bar to use for some chin ups but found nothing. Then he had an idea. He went into the room's bathroom and used the curtain rod as a bar. After he was satisfied he went back into the room and then started on some kata.

The only time he felt at peace was when he was totally immersed in his martial arts. His movements were like fluid, his body and mind moving as one. Bradley stopped to rest for a moment and wondered if the building had any boards he could break. He figured that they wouldn't really appreaciate him going around and breaking stuff so he just did some repetitions of punching and kicks. He considered going back into the headquarters and trying to find a weight room but he didn't know if they were allowed to leave the hostel. He did some stretches to warm down and then sat and meditated for a while.

Happy with his efforts, Bradley returned to his room and had another quick shower and got dressed. He decided to sit on his bed and read for a while but soon got restless and left the room to see if anyone else was awake.[/i][/size]
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[size=1]?Touch it again and I?ll bite your eyebrow off.? Thanks to the pillow in his face, Liam?s words were less dramatic than he hoped, but it had the same effect he wanted.

Bradley?s hand vanished from the holster.

Liam sat up and yawned, scratching the side of his chest around the bandages. A quick check saw that the wound was healing nicely and had completely sealed over. A modern marvel.

The bandage had a fine layer of a chemical compound that artificially stimulated any blood on the surface of the skin to clot. Instant scab. Amazing invention really, and to think, an Australian came up with it, and still held the patents.

Liam kicked the sheets off and rose from his feet. As he stretched to his full height, each individual joint in his body cracked, from the toes, through the knees and right up to his neck.

Liam winked at Bradley, ?that?s what seven years working for the SYF will do to you. You?ve got a long haul ahead of you.? Liam turned and put his back to Bradley, searching through his bag, ?now I need a shirt??

Bradley took in the mess of scars; flail marks, burns, cuts and yellow spots where acid had sat.

Liam pulled a t-shirt over his head, bearing an irate looking cartoon face in a top hat spouting the sentence, ?the knowledge you exist is a burden on my soul.?

?The scars come with the job too?? Bradley said rather dryly.

?They fade after a while. Mind you, the current ones are thanks to Rae. You might want to ask her about them sometime.? He held up his hand, stretching the skin so that it showed a strange symbol formed in scars. ?While you?re at it, you might want to ask her about that too. Her handiwork you know.? He winked again, thoroughly disconcerting Bradley, who just shook his head, left the conversation where it was, and escaped through the door.

Liam chuckled and pulled on some dark blue jeans and shoes. He wished he had that ability sometimes, to be able to just completely disregard everything odd that?s been said in a conversation, and to top it off, leave it without any qualms.

The door closed noiselessly behind him and he stepped out into the hall, putting on the ever-present holster and the various hidden clips.

Basically his full metal jacket?without the whole jacket thing?or the defence?so really it?s just a big gun?with lots of ammo.

Liam was a firm believer in offensive defence.

By the sounds of it, a few other people were awake at this hour. Though it wasn?t hard, the sun was up by four and the heat kept you awake from then on. Liam rubbed his chin, showing a mild distaste at the stubble that now seem highly interested in persistently regrowing.

?Maybe a goatee?? He mused. ?No?too distinctive?damn the rules?? He sighed.

Any voluntary change to physical appearance was written as against Australian SYF priority and interest. Liam found out after he appeared one day with an eyebrow piercing exactly how distinctive it was in a line-up.

The Commander had instigated a façade of events that resulted in Liam being ?arrested? and picked up out of a line up because of the eyebrow stud.

Liam wasn?t impressed with the ?misappropriation? of funds, but the point was taken.

He sighed. No doubt a goatee would result in the same response.

?Now I?ve got to dig out the bloody razor??
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[font=gothic][color=indigo]OOC: Hmm Raiha, shall we actually read posts next time? You're not in the bathroom. We threw you out into the hallway, walked over you, then went into another room, locked it very thoroughly, and basically gave you the hint "we're busy, come back later". That's all I'll say at the moment.[/font][/color]
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[size=1]Rae's eyes flicked open, her usual morning stretch abandoned in favour of glaring at the bathroom door. Shower was taken, which meant she'd have to fill in time. She hated filling in time. It was a bad trait; her impatience. Had almost gotten her killed a couple of times.

Perhaps she'd take a walk around the grounds. She hadn't yet familiarised herself with the hostel part of the base.

Rae rubbed her eyes, then pulled her hair up into a ponytail. Perhaps she'd struck gold, and Zharra was as good a hairdresser as Jaudiar -- it would certainly be convieniant.

She hadn't unpacked the night before, so Rae pulled out her non-crushable top and all-purpose cargo pants. She checked her things, then strapped her watch to her wrist, and slid a bracelet onto the other arm.

She'd go check on the others; she was used to babysitting, after all.

Liam was walking towards her, using a...survival knife?...to shave. Rae stopped just as they were about to pass. "Liam...I'm almost afraid to ask, but why are you using that?"

Liam shrugged. "Because I couldn't find my razor."

Rae nodded and went to walk past, then stopped and glared at him suspiciously. "Liam...is that [i]my[/i] knife?"

He put on an innocent expression. "I only took it to shave."

Rae huffed and snatched the knife back, then stormed off, colliding with Bradley on the way. She smiled at him. "Hi. It's nice to meet you, informally. I'm Rae."

She stuck out her hand, completely forgetting about the knife her fist was closed around.

"I was actually on my way to check on Zharra and the two Russians, if you'd like to accompany me. Liam's being...well...Liam, and my roomie's having a shower, so I'm pretty much alone."

She looked down at her hand. "Oh. Sorry." She blushed and slipped her knife away. "Let's go check on the Russians, hey?"[/size]
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