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Red Team Mission Thread [PG-LSV]


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[font=trebuchet MS][i]Current Red Team Leader[/i]: Gavin[/center]

This mission thread is created exclusively for [I]current[/I] Red Team members to post in. Players have been notified about the posting order via PM. Please direct any questions you have in regards to the event to [url=http://otakuboards.com/showthread.php?t=49109]The Legionnaires Underground[/url] thread.[/font]
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[B][center][size=3]Mission #105: The Children's Army[/size][/center][/B]

[size=1][I]?Dust to Saturn, come in Saturn.?[/I] He waited for a few instants, hearing the static idly crack over the line, until a fuzzy voice chimed into his earpiece.

[I]?Saturn here. What?ve you got??[/I] It was dark, nearly midnight, and rain dripped down from the black sky into the cracks and gutters of an impoverished sector of Seoul. Soaking clothes, poor visibility, even poorer people. Dust cleared his throat to make the next message plain as day.

[I]?You?re not going to believe this, but there?s??[/I] He hesitated for a moment, but snapped back from his momentary shock as he stared in disbelief, watching a line of children scurry down the street towards him.

[I]?Twenty, possibly thirty children. Oh, wait. Quiet down, they?re coming this way.?[/I] He pressed his back against the damp brick wall, and rested his hand idly on his revolver resting in its holster. Closing his eyes, he waited until the queue of children had passed him by before snatching another breath of air.

[I]?They?ve past. So what are we going to do? I knew there was a lot of them, but not[/I] this [I]many.?[/I]

[I]?Why?re you asking me? You call the shots,?[/I] she replied in a dull tone. The static gave her a characteristic drone. Dust?s eyes caught the shadowy figure atop an apartment building in the distance, and called to her via the lightweight headset he wore.

[I]?Then move south two blocks, turn left, and immediately right through an alley across the street. Wait in that alley for my mark. It should take me approximately two minutes to reach the entrance to the ?Children?s Army? doorstep. Go. As for you, Vernacular, are you there??[/I] His directions sped up as he casually strolled across the neglected road, moving towards the place where the children had left.

[I]?I?m definitely, most definitely receiving your current transmissions, Dust, and what fine transmissions they are.?[/I]

[I]?Less words, more meaning. Now, follow me in, but give me some room to maneuver.?[/I] He did not wait for an affirmative from her, and continued his stroll through the thick rain. Picking up his pace was necessary after he caught a child glaring at him through a foggy window. The urge to kill the boy at that moment had been overwhelming, but his gun was not silenced. If it had been, there was no doubt the boy would have been lacking an eye and mass amounts of gray matter.

He swung onto the next avenue, then without any further deliberation, dove into the said alley, supposedly leading to the Children?s Army and their hideout. To his astonishment, a teenager, no older than seventeen bumped into him, and glared at him menacingly. His revolver flew out of its holster and was firmly placed against the girl?s temple, the hammer cocked back and his expression completely stoic.

?Vernacular, I presume??

?You catch on fast! Now, why don?t we kick down the door and see what the fuss is about? So what do say? Hm? C?mon, Dust, stop being so square, start opening that door,? she whined impatiently. It seemed to Dust that when she changed appearance, she took on the personality as well, which proved a great annoyance.

?I?m a man, middle aged no less, wearing a stereotypical cowboy hat, and look rather scruffy at the present. And you expect [I]me[/I] to open that door??

?Fine, fine. I?ll do it?? she groaned again before rapping on the wooden portal. The rotten wood visibly shook under her knuckles, and water bubbled out of the many cracks present. Dust crouched almost as soon as a slit shot open at eyelevel to examine the knocker.

[b]?Would you let me in already, it?s f__king cold out here!?[/b] The stream of Korean pouring from Vernacular?s startled him. It was seldom he heard foreign tongues, and even more rare that they were spoken with such fluency.

[b]?Whatever, just be glad the Boss hasn?t locked up yet.?[/b] He heard slower, thicker words coming from the man, and presumed him to be bulky and dangerous. He loaded his revolver before he swung the door open.

The fat man?s face was full of surprise, then terror at the sight of a crouched man with a loaded revolver pointed at his face. [b]Bang.[/b] The body flew backwards, and remained limp on the floor of the small, dingy, dimly lit room. Vernacular jumped back slightly, momentarily losing her form before gathering her wits back.

?Let?s go, everyone will have heard that,? he casually told her as he stepped over the body, and into a puddle of blood. She narrowed her eyes in disgust, but followed at Dust?s heels.

[I]?We?re in, Saturn. Make your move.?[/I]

[I]?I?m on it. Saturn out.?[/I]

?As for us, we need to find a way to kill these children of satan.? He pulled the hammer back on his revolver once more, and pointed it towards an open door across another dank corridor, waiting for something to step there. Vernacular audibly swallowed upon hearing the word ?kill,? and Dust turned to look at her.

?Kill? You mean turn into the cops, right? Killing a child is atrocious and disgusting and vile.?

?These kids can murder the cops, no problem. I meant to say kill, don?t you worry,? he said in a hushed tone to her. A smirk escaped the tight corners of his mouth, but Vernacular could not help but look surprised. He signaled for her to be quiet when he heard Saturn on the line again.

[I]?I?m killing them, but the going is slow. I don?t really know much Korean, but it seems they get the general picture. Further instructions??[/I] She was breathing heavily into the headset, but managed to maintain her dull monotone.

[I]?If the schematics back home were right, you should be a few halls away. Rendezvous as soon as you get the chance. Follow the bangs. Out.[/I]

?So we run, run, run and kill, kill, kill these poor, defenseless children?? Vernacular was stringing her sentences together faster than usual, and slowly began fusing English with Spanish and Greek. Dust?s pet peeve kicked into gear again.

?That?s enough!? he shouted as loud as he could in whispering tone. ?Speak correct English. That?s an order. Now follow my lead, I might need you to draw some people out.? They were on the move again, scuttling down the creaky floorboards of the rickety complex. The pair stopped in unison after hearing a great deal of screaming and shouted Korean coming from upstairs.

?What the? hell?? The words gave Dust away, and a throwing knife buried its way into his back. Vernacular whirled around, and saw two children, menacingly glaring straight at them, and carrying an array of projectiles.

[b]?Stop! He?s with me![/b] she franticly screamed in Korean. Her guise did not save either of them, as he noticed shuriken flying past his body, and embedding into the crumbling plaster. Two gunshots rang out, and the children flew backwards, lying lifeless on the floor. Vernacular began whispering in Cantonese, but stopped immediately after a cold look from Dust.


?Shot them both. They?re dead, like I said they would be. I?m telling you, they?re not defenseless!? He grew frustrated, and turned his back to her, showing the knife that was drawing blood and staining his tan clothes.

?Walk around, draw them out. Not too many children can compete with a gun and a quick reload,? he said, then gazed down the dark hall, deep in thought. ?Except? this kid, Speedy.?

?What a girl, what a girl, what a girl! I?m glad we?re here to recruit her from a life of crime,? Vernacular said.

?Yes, I?m well aware she?s formidable, and quite the thief. Make sure I don?t try to kill her; that would be bad. Although, I?m sure she could effectively defend herself?? He stopped talking after realizing he was nervous, and Vernacular?s glib habits were wearing on him. Instead, he forced his reluctant mind back into the moment, asking Saturn about the eerie sounds from a moment ago.

[I]?Those screams a minute ago? what was that??[/I]

[I]?Me making them gout their eyes out with their own weapons. Some got desperate and bashed their skulls in with loose rocks.?[/I] Dust visibly cringed, as did Vernacular after hearing the same in her own headset.

[I]?So since you?re above us, I assume the schematics aren?t correct. Keep following the shots, and we?ll find a way to meet up eventually. Out.?[/I]
[B]OOC: [/B]I'm very sorry to everyone if it sounded horridly forced towards the end. I couldn't think of any other way to put it. Sorry, Shy, if it's still too violent.[/size]
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[COLOR=Indigo][i]Not goin' ter be sick, can't be sick...just come up with a reason fer 'im t'be in 'ere so 'e'll stop killin' the kids...ugh...think think think think...[/i] Vernacular snapped her fingers, [i]Ok, got it![/i]

"Dust, I'm going to try and tell the next children we meet a story, don't go off shooting them, ey?" She waited for him to nod before she moved to the front..."which way do we go now?" Dust sighed.

"Any direction, kid." Vernacular gritted her teeth but refrained from making an obnoxious retort to the kid statement as she headed to the left, smack into a group of three or four children.

She tugged at her earlobe nervously as the children all pulled weapons, the smallest jumping onto Dust's back, holding a knife to his throat. To Dust's credit, he remained perfectly still, despite his knife wound, not even attempting to draw his gun . [i]Ok...show time...[/i]

[b]"No you meat-heads! The Head will kill [i]us[/i] if you kill [i]him[/i], this man is a weapons supplier who doesn't ask questions..."[/b] She stood, waiting for some kind of response, for the children to stand down...getting none she continued. [b]"Com'n! If The Head don't like this man I'll bring him back to you and you can do whatever you want...."[/b] The children seemed to hold a hurried conversation with their eyes alone before the small one removed his knife from Dust's throat and slid down.

The oldest looking of the children stepped forward, glaring up at Vernacular.

[b]"Ok then.You do that..."[/b] He smirked. [b]And we'll come with you.[/b] Vernacular mentally grimaced as she tried to think of an excuse. [i]Got it...I hope...[/i]

[b]"No one else is supposed to know he's"[/b] She jerked her head towards Dust [b]"here...The Head said so...besides,[/b] She narrowed her eyes. [b]If you don't I'll tell The Head you aren't part of that fight going on...[/b] she smirked as they all glared at her before dissapearing through the various doors that lead ofthe hall.

Vernacular quietly spoke to Dust over her shoulder as the continued down the hall. "Now all we have to do is find Saturn before trying to rendevous with...Speedy...right?" She shook her head, she couldn't believe she was leaving of all the extra words simply to ease Dust's temper.

Dust nodded "Correct. That shouldn't be to har-" He stopped as they heard pounding footsteps on the floor above them. Seconds later in a shower of powder and fragments of floor, Saturn fell through the celing.

Vernacular winced. "Hooray for faulty building materials...ey?" [/COLOR]
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[FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=DarkOrchid][i]Saturn was angry, feeling the rage of the children around her mingling with a deep undercurrent of intense psychic fear. Instead of letting them stab her, throw things at her, and generally mutilate her body, she turned and watched several children approach her. Her head raised itself up, as if on its own, and she delicately flicked an eyelash at the leader. The male child, holding a knife, suddenly went rigid, his entire body seizing up.

Saturn silently bid the boy to impale himself and perform the service he would?ve done to her, on himself. Slide the knife into the chest, then up, down, and across, then repeated until his hands dropped to his sides and he slid to the floor. The other children looked at each other, then back at Saturn. She narrowed both her eyes at them and took a step forward. They, horrified beyond reason, turned tail and ran as far away as they could successfully manage without falling over the other dead. Saturn passed over the dead body, took about three steps, and then fell through the floor and landed in a cat-like crouch, her hair acting as the catch all for the various chunks of dust and drywall that came with falling downwards. She straightened up and looked from Dust to Vernacular.

They looked back at her as she brushed the various debris from her body, noting with intense displeasure, the way the white powder stuck to her black clothing. She gave them a quiet look, noting their own emotions as they viewed her. From Dust she felt a sort of quiet approval. From Vernacular she got a bit more of a horrified sense, coupled with complete distaste. Saturn smiled slightly, but without mirth behind it. Instead she turned and looked at the empty hall.[/i]

?Are we waiting for something?? [i]Her voice was utterly devoid of emotion, and that seemed to irk Vernacular even more.[/i]

?We were waiting for you. Before we met up with Speedy.? [i]Dust spoke in the same calm voice she had, only with more feeling. Vernacular looked slightly put out but held her tongue mercifully. Saturn adjusted her radio, built into her earring, and then tossed her hair out of her eyes. She placed a hand on her hip and looked to Dust.[/i]

?Where is she then? I think we should get this over with as quickly as possible.?

?Can you sense her??

?Not her directly. Everyone?s afraid. The children here are being manipulated only slightly less effectively than by me. Their emotions seem horribly forced. ?but of course, not too difficult to override.?

?So you killed them then. Innocent children, without their own free wills to guide them.? [i]Vernacular spat out her words, furious and disgusted.[/i]

?Not with my own hands. I?ve never killed anyone with my own hands.? [i]Saturn raised an eyebrow at Vernacular coolly, then turned her gaze back down the hall. Dust walked towards the door at the end, and the women followed.[/i]
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[size=1][color=dimgray]Speedy stood in the middle of the room. Some children surrounded her.

[i]Now what.. I'm surrounded by kids like me who are afraid. But.. afraid of what?[/i]

Through the hallway she could hear footsteps drawing nearer. Voices were to be heard. First a male's and then a female's and then the male's again.

Speedy walked towards the door and peeked in the hallway. Her eyes widen when she saw the man holding guns.

"Who's there, Speedy?" A girl around her age asked.

"Shhh.. they might hear you!" Speedy hushed.

Outside of the door she could hear the man calling out, "Who's there?"

Then a female responded, "Dust, you're just hearing things."

The man said, "No. I'm positive. I heard something."


"There. At the door."

"Is it Speedy?"

Speedy was surprised at the fact that the female's voice knew her name.

"Let's move in but keep your guard." The man, who was also known as Dust called out.

"Speedy.. what's happening?" A little boy asked.

"They're coming.. keep steady and watch out."

The boy nodded and went to warned off the others.

[i]Who are they? What do they want with me?[/i][/color][/size]
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[SIZE=1]?Let?s move in, but keep your guard,? Dust said in a hushed tone, and reloaded his revolver. The motion elicited a look of disgust and [I]?don?t you dare?[/I] from Vernacular, who stood in between him and Saturn. ?You know what to do, Vernacular.?

The lady solidified her form, and closed her eyes for a moment to bring her mind into the element of a Korean youth. Upon opening her eyes, she stumbled into the adjacent room, breathing raggedly as if she had just run a short distance.

[b]?I? I think I lost them. I heard a crash, and ran after someone got shot,?[/b] she lied. The children furrowed their brows, but accepted the tale after piecing together the screams and the crash of weakened floorboards.

[b]?Alright, Speedy will protect us. I think the people you ran from are outside though. Maybe they followed you??[/b] Dust, on the other side of the wall with his ear pressed against it smiled as the bait was taken. Saturn stared at him, and then went back to feeling who was inside the room. He took a slow, deep breath after feeling a tinge of apprehension and anxiousness in his lungs.

?What was that?? He asked, his former smile slowly fading.

?Sorry. There?s so many emotions in this place, I?m having controlling where my powers go,? she lied. Dust shrugged, ignorant to how exactly her powers worked. His father had taught him that ?if it?s not broke, don go fixin it.? He turned his attention back to the room, where he heard more whispers.

[b]?Did you hear them then? We might have to run,?[/b] Vernacular said, trying to strengthen their faith in her as a legitimate member of their crew. She was greeted by affirmatives from the three children there, but Speedy interjected.

[b]?Hide, but we have no place to run. I?ll stop them.?[/b] Following the words, there was a creaking of old floorboards, and finally, silence. Speedy waited behind the door, several shuriken in hand, ready to embed them into whoever tried to enter unannounced.

?Cover me,? he whispered to Saturn. She nodded, and silently got behind a wooden rocking chair, hiding from sight. Dust kicked in the door, and brought his weapon to bear, but found no one. To his surprise, his hat was crucified to the wall by several daggers.

He crouched, looking around franticly for the target. It was then he saw a glimmer in the shadows. Instantly they registered as throwing knives, and he shot all four of them out of the air, releasing brief blossoms of sparks before they died into blackness. A whimper, then gasps, to his right. Dust?s eyes fell upon a girl, no older than 15, silently crying.

?Saturn, stop,? he said as he approached Speedy. The thief backed away from the cowboy, tipping over a small stand and an empty bottle onto the ground. She fell with it, and sat, looking awestruck at Dust. Behind him, Saturn entered the room quietly, and stood beside him.

?I thought it would be easier to win the battle without weaponry,? she said, glaring intently at Speedy. Not breaking eye contact with the girl, who had finished crying, he called Vernacular.

?Come on out. We have Speedy.? Vernacular stepped forth from a closet, and the door groaned, as it swung open.

?Glad to hear that. Mission?s Accomp?? she was cut off by a shuriken diving into her left arm. She swore loudly, in a language that sounded more primal than human, and whirled around, looking for the source of her pain.

[b]?You whore! You were with them all along!?[/b] More daggers flew towards them, several finding their marks on the trio. Speedy watched, then laughed at their expressions of pain.

?Speedy, we?ve come to recruit you to the Legionnaires. You can use your talents for good, and get a steady income. What do you say?? Dust wanted to murder the girl, but fought for civility in his voice.

?Drop your gun!? Speedy screamed, with command that startled Dust. She dipped a hand into her pocket, and let it stay there, gripping something.

?What? I?m here to help, not ??

?Drop it or I?ll kill you. Drop it!? Dust looked at her, hating her more, but ultimately dropped the gun on the ground.

?Kick it over here.? He complied once more. Vernacular looked completely shocked.

?Listen to reason ? I can report you to the police, and you and your friends will be locked up. If you join the Legionnaires, you can do good for others, and get money, just think what you can get wi?? He was cut off again, and growled with impatience for the girl as she picked up his revolver.

?And I should trust someone who came into my home and killed my friends??

?It?s impolite for little girls to cut off their elders,? Saturn chided. Vernacular looked as if she wanted to chuckle, but fought the urge.

?Yeah, Speedy, Saturn?s right. With that money, who knows? You might even be able to help out your friends. What can you lose?? Vernacular questioned her, and when she still showed signs of doubt, she changed to a blonde hair, blue-eyed lady in business attire, then back to her Korean youth get-up. ?Need more proof??

Speedy furrowed her brow, then shook her head, as if trying to get rid of a bad thought. After another eternity of silent, she drew another shuriken, and lobbed it at Dust. It landed on his chest with a sickening thump, but Dust gave no sign of pain, only silent rage.

?Look, miss. I?m going to kill you, your friends, and burn the place down if you keep that up. I don?t need a gun; trust me, I?ve taken care of bigger business than [I]you.[/I]?
OOC: Don?t post until you check your PMs ? I gave you a posting order. Raiha, you?ll be finishing the mission with your post.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=1][OOC: Okay. I've been busy with school lately. Sorry for the short post. I'm having writer's block with all the homework stuck in my head.][/SIZE]

[color=dimgray][size=1]?Look, miss. I?m going to kill you, your friends, and burn the place down if you keep that up. I don?t need a gun; trust me, I?ve taken care of bigger business than [i]you[/i].? Dust.

Speedy look at Dust with a surprise look on her face. "You wouldn't dare."

"Oh I will."

Speedy took a sighed, knowing it was no use to argue again. "Let me ask you this. What good will joining be?"

"You can help people." Vernacular joined in.

"We're the Legionnaires and we want you to join us. You can do plenty of things." Saturn said.

"How do you know?"

"Umm.. let's say we were doing some research."

"Well enough with the questions. You'll learn about us soon enough."

"And how soon is that?"

"I said soon," repeated Dust and left towards the door.

Speedy took a second thought. "Wait."

The group turned to look at her.

"How will I know that you guys aren't the bad guys here?"

"Well we explained our powers." Vernacular remarked.

"You got a point there.. but what about your friends?" She pointed to them.

"Well Saturn, she can control and feel thoughts, emotions, etc. and Dust here, is good with his gun. He can shoot and quickly reload his gun." Vernacular exclaimed.

"Hmm.. interesting."

"And Speedy. I heard that you're pretty quick yourself."

"Yup. I'm pretty good at stealing too."

"Ah." Dust checked his pocket. "Did you steal my wallet?"

"Nope. I could if you wanted me to."

"No thanks."

"So.. Speedy?" Saturn questioned.


"What's your answer?"

"Umm.." She paused.[/size][/color]
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[color=darkorchid][font=times new roman]"You think you could make it today Speedy? We have a schedule to keep."

[i]Saturn?s eyes became slits, and her lips curved venomously as she watched Speedy look from face to face. Eventually, she looked down at her hands and mumbled an affirmative. Her voice was so low that not everyone heard it, but Saturn did, and her upper lip curled.[/i]

?Just so you know?Speedy? You?ll be running with the big dogs. And if you die, we split up your gear.?

?True enough. Those who fall behind stay that way.?

[i]Vernacular grinned at the humor, and then paused. She had no real hope that this new girl would work out, but she might as well give her the bad news first and let the rest work itself out. Dust paused, but didn?t say anything. Saturn had been quiet throughout the ordeal, so he figured she might as well be the one to say a few choice words about the situation. Unfortunately, she didn?t say anything.[/i]

[i]The newest acquisition looked up at Saturn, taking in the deadpan expression, the cold eyes, and the black leather. She shivered unconsciously, and then took one more look into Saturn?s eyes. It proved to be a mistake. If Dust hadn?t put out his arm to catch her, she would?ve fallen face first into the ground at Saturn?s feet. As she stared into the eyes that were rapidly filling up her vision, she felt her emotions surging in all directions, out of control. The girl began to bawl, sobs wracking her body, making her shake like a leaf in Dust?s arms. Saturn shrugged her shoulders nonchalantly, completely heartless in the face of Speedy?s grief. Although, it was her pleasure to say that it was entirely her fault. Speedy managed to turn her tear filled eyes up to her tormenter. The older woman looked down and took a cigarette from behind her ear. Out of almost nowhere, a silver Zippo lighter appeared and she flicked it on, lit her cancer stick, and then flicked it shut with a lightning fast movement of her wrist.

She inhaled slowly, still watching Speedy, still radiating the empathic energy that was making the little thief cry her eyes out. Then, she crouched down and picked Speedy up out of Dust?s arms. She exhaled into her face, then stood her up straight.[/i]

?Just so you know. And this is your only warning. As a Legionnaire, you don?t hurt your team mates. No more shuriken in people?s chests. I?m only doing this to you now, so you know what it?ll be like if you try to push your luck.?

[i]Speedy?s mouth worked, but no words were coming out. Dust looked from the hysterically sobbing girl to Saturn, and then back. He waved his hand slightly and Saturn stopped pouring on the heat. Vernacular?s eyes shifted back and forth, mildly disturbed by the display, but she held her tongue, for a change. Dust looked quietly at Speedy, then gave a meaningful look to Vernacular. To her credit, she took the hint and gestured gently to Speedy, and she followed quickly, shooting a frightened glance towards Saturn. Saturn smiled out of the side of her mouth, then inhaled once more and exhaled the mix of poison and smoke.[/i]

"You're a cold one Saturn."

"The little whore nailed you one in the chest."

'Good point. But revenge isn't going to be productive here."

"Well tough sh`it for her. She's probably learned her lesson now. And if she hasn't, I'll teach her again."

[i]Dust chuckled quietly. Saturn had always been like that, even before he had known her like he did now. He plucked the cigarette from between her two fingers and took a drag. She snatched it back, took one last pull, then extinguished it between her finger and thumb. He didn't wince at the smell of burning flesh, but instead cupped her fingers in his hands and kissed them. She smiled up at him, her eyes showing a mild spark of life. The two stepped closer together, then kissed, their bodies melting into each other's, their eyes closing slowly.[/i][/font][/color]
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  • 3 months later...
[b][CENTER]Mission #113: Assassination Vacation[/CENTER][/b]
[size=1]"[b]So the doctors have cleared you for duty ?[/b]" Augur had known the Arbiter as long as he'd been part of the Legionnaires, it was the Arbiter himself who'd recruited him to become part of the organisation. Still the question caught him slightly off-guard, it was unlike the Arbiter to ask a question that in itself was apparent, the Legionnaire medical staff did not clear unfit personnel for renewed duty. "[b]Yes, the unusual synaptic activity has ceased nearly entirely. Though the Temple was just a medium, it seems that without it they are unable to make telepathic contact.[/b]" Jack was perhaps one of the few people who didn't find the Arbiter to be intimidating, he wasn't sure exactly why that was, but meetings with him were often less stressful for Augur than they were for other members.

"[b]You said nearly ?[/b]" Internally Augur chuckled, but given recent losses of Gold Leader and three other Legionnaires in the Temple, Jack had to accept that it was a fair question. "[b]In the opinion of the medical staff, the residual activity appears innocuous, though as you know Arbiter, my brain activity has been the source of controversy before...[/b]" Jack was referring of course to his initial scans when he first joined the organisation, then as now, the on-site physicians and neurologists has been somewhat unsure of the long-term effects of Augur's powers. Before entering the Arbiter's office, Jack had not been entirely sure as to the purpose of their discussion, his powers had given him glimpses of the conversation, but the Arbiter strangely enough often defied the powers of those working under him. Sighing gently he decided that a direct approach to the matter would be best...

"[b]Given my recent condition Arbiter, I can understand and empathise with your concerns, but honestly I feel no obvious changes to my abilities or physical well-being and think it's time I got back to work.[/b]" Well he'd said it, now either the Arbiter would have him confined to the infirmary for further testing, or he'd accept the Irishman's opinion and assign him to a new Team. The Arbiter's eyes took on their blue "[i]I can see right through you and your ********[/i]" glow, of course Jack wasn't at all perturbed by this and often it served only to make people think the Arbiter could read thoughts. A moment or two later, the Arbiter himself sighed before removing a datapad from one of the many crevices of his desk and passed it over to Augur.

Without even pausing to allow Jack to pick tablet, the Arbiter continued. ?[b]No doubt you?re aware of Red Team?s previous mission, as well as Dust?s termination from the active Legionnaires ?[/b]? In the seventy two hours since he?d awakened from the recurring nightmares, Augur had been reviewing the details of all the recent missions undertaken by the teams, including Red Team?s disastrous mission in Seoul. While he didn?t entirely agree with Dust?s methods, it seemed very little of that mission could have been undertaken another way, at least for a non-psychic. ?[b]I?ve reviewed the mission details, yes.[/b]? He had hoped he?d be assigned to Gold Team again, but it seemed for the time being anyway that it?s three remaining members would go their separate ways.

?[b]May I assume Arbiter that you?re reassigning me to be part of Red Team ?[/b]? Something in the Arbiter?s expression changed, he couldn?t place his finger on exactly what, but if he had to guess he?d have said amusement. ?[b]You could say that Augur, you?re to become Red Leader for their next mission.[/b]? The Arbiter left the comment hang in the air for just a moment, as if to give Augur time to full accept his promotion. Augur had served on Red Team before in his nine years as part of the Legionnaires, but he?d never been asked to lead a team before, something to do with his unwillingness to leave people behind when the time called for it. Still, a long time ago Jack learned to trust the Arbiter and his methods...

Six hours later Jack found himself staring at the four man, well three women and one man team that he?d chosen to partake in this mission. Era had been the most obvious choice, given she had been the one to confirm what he had predicted, and given Saturn?s empathic abilities she was the perfect candidate for validating or refuting the responses of the politicians they would have to interrogate. Tech was perhaps the odd-woman-out of the three he?d chosen, she didn?t have any psychic abilities, but the chances were high that the assassination would be attempted with some form of explosive and that made her a requisite. Sam stared at Jack without any kind of emotion, he knew that he was on Red Team for no reason other than Augur had wanted him on it, but Samuel Malkins was a man of many talents, and Jack was sure he would be of substantial use on the coming mission.

The runway used by all Legionnaire personnel was dotted by a number of jet hangers, many of which contained rapid-response aircraft and prototypes for future development. Red Team were taking what appeared at first glance to be a normal private jet, used by those who could afford to travel in such a manner. The situation in London required a convert insertion and so this seemed to be the most logical method, ?[i]hiding in plain site[/i]? as a friend used to put it. Exhaling gently, Jack knew that it was possible he might lose someone on a mission like this, but as God was his witness, he intended to bring them all back safe and unharmed.

?[b]Alright, you all know me, so I?m going to say this as plain as I can. This mission is more than just a job, given our recent losses in South Africa, this is to restore people?s confidence in the Legionnaires as a group. The target for this assassination is very high profile and we have yet to confirm fully who the responsible party are.[/b]? Again he exhaled, he?d heard these kinds of pep-talks before and they never ceased to make him even more concerned about missions. ?[b]I?ll explain more on the jet, and we should touch down in Heathrow airport within a few hours. Once we?ve landed we?ll be escorted to Ten Downing Street, after which we have a little over sixty hours within which to complete our objectives...[/b]?

The flight was shorter than Augur expected, he felt more comfortable clarifying the exact nature of the Team's mission while on board the aircraft, less exposed. As expected, there had been little honest reaction to the more clandestine details, as well as those group suspected of preparing to carry out the assassination. "[b]As all of you know, there are many groups on the planet who are not too happy with the idea of supermen...[/b]" His eyes briefly met with the three female members of the team to which he hastily added "[b]...or women. Some of them consider us to be anathemas to the human race, others to God and some because they think we're trying to take over the world.[/b]" He watched as Sam's eyes rolled, Era shook her head and Tech just sighed gently, he couldn't disagree with them.

"[b]Unfortunately for David Cameron, the current British Prime Minister, his powers have recently come to light and though it seems he still has the support of the British public, he has become a target for extremists.[/b]" Sighing himself, he rubbed against the fresh stubble that had formed on his chin before continuing. "[b]The Prime Minister is a telepath, capable of reading people's thoughts but not altering them to his own gains, so in reality he just has a built-in polygraph machine, quite useful in politics. One would think such a meagre power wouldn't affect his career, but it seems there are those who think he can some how take over the world.[/b]" Jack was somewhat annoyed that a normal man like Cameron could become a target for a relatively inoffensive power.

"[b]What about blackmail ?[/b]" Saturn's comment had caught Augur completely off-guard, but in fairness she was completely right. Cameron being able to read people's minds had insider information as to what could be used against political enemies or rivals, Jack hadn't thought of that, maybe he'd assumed the Prime Minister had enough morals not to abuse his powers in such a way. "[b]You may be right, but our mission is very clear. We are to prevent the assassins from carrying out the contract, after that we can leave the British political situation to the experts.[/b]" It was a cop-out and Jack knew it, but he couldn't really think of anything else to say.

London's famous rain pelted like machinegun fire against the roof of the car as they sped through it's many streets, it was past midnight when they'd landed and so the numerous streets were lit only with the pale orange light of the solitary street-lamps. The cabbie had a thick Cockney accent, from the East-End if Augur remembered the terms correctly. To the untrained eye, the five suited individuals appeared to be no more than a group of business execs in London for a business meeting.

"[b]So what're you here for mate ?[/b]" Jack was sitting the middle of the five, well three with the other two facing him from the opposite direction and the question was clearly addressed to him. Nonchalantly he responded with a Boston accent that Vernacular would have been proud of. "[b]Well I and my associates work for a Swiss banking company interested in increasing their acquired stock in Lloyds TSB, we're here to oversee the buy and make sure everything goes smoothly.[/b]" Without missing a beat, the driver responded with a statement that nearly provoked a change in Augur's pleasant expression. "[b]You know my brother-in-law's got stock with Lloyds and he's never said anything about any Swiss company owning part of the bank.[/b]" Jack was thinking of his feet, not one of his strong points, before Tech took the opportunity to respond with a line of business jargon than went well and truly over his head. The driver simply shook his head and said something along the same lines before returning his attention to the wheel.

Twelve minutes later, those same pounding rain drops were lashing against the frames of the five Legionnaires as they found themselves outside the imposing black door of 10 Downing Street. The on-duty police officer regarded them with an impassive stare, and even when Augur removed their mission briefing from the inner pocket of his jacket and passed it to the guard his expression continued to remain impassive. A quick word to the intercom and the five well soaked superheroes were ushering inside, after which Jack found himself face to face with the anxious looking British Prime Minister.


Alright, the posting order has already been determined so I'd like to get this show on the road as soon as humanly possible.[/SIZE]
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  • 3 weeks later...
[SIZE=1]Blowing her nose, Tech sighed. Before walking out the door of the lab, she dropped her used tissue into a small gadget on her belt, a soft sound of something being quickly incinerated coming from it seconds later. She walked towards the Legionnaire?s runway where her team was probably waiting for her in one of the many jet hangars. She thought quietly to herself as she tried to remember the hangar number.

It was a relief to be getting back out into the field, having been stuck at Headquarters waiting for any news to come from the team members out on the mission in South Africa for far too long.

Augur had informed her earlier that she had been assigned to the Red Team for its next mission. However pleased she may have felt to be on a mission again, her suspicions about the new infection that inflicted her team leader kept her worried. She had learned from her Augur that Pygmalion, also inflicted with the strange illness, would also be going to London.

[b]?All I need.. Like this cold wasn't bad enough? I?ve come up with antidotes and vaccines for twenty-nine different viruses and minor diseases, yet I cannot get rid of my damn sniffles!?[/b] Tech whined quietly to herself. Colds always made her feel drowsy and dismal, and her normally perky attitude almost completely dissolved in all her used tissues.

[b]?Must?ve caught it from one of the Labbies,?[/b] she mumbled, blowing her nose again. ?Labbies? was her nickname for all the members of Legionnaires that spent most to all of their time in the laboratories.

Tech had been one of the Legionnaires running around doing tests on the surviving victims of the last mission, and while there was progress, none of the information made much sense. But while she was wary of being so close to the two of them, she also found it an excuse to examine their behavior out of the medical lab. Equipped with practically everything and anything she would need for taking notes on the two of them, she felt well prepared.

And still, stepping up the stairs seemed oddly difficult. However, she was surprised to find the jet entirely empty. She blinked a few times, asked the pilot what jet the red team was assigned to, and sat down to stare gloomily out the window when he confirmed that she was on the right flight. She had always been impatient, but she was also anxious and worried about her team mates. Not only for herself, Saturn and Era, but for Augur and Pygmalion themselves. What was this illness? How does it spread? And if it does, what will happen to them all?

Asking herself questions seemed to pass the time, and before she knew it, the red team was in London. It was raining hard, as Tech expected -- examining weather patterns with the Legionnaire?s satellite is a small hobby of hers, but since they were in London after all, she would?ve expected it anyway. The car ride was pleasantly quiet, which annoyed her slightly. Though she was tired and sick, she still appreciated conversation.

That?s about the time the cabbie spoke up, asking Augur a question. She could sense his tension when after he answered, the cabbie continued to pester him, claiming to have a relative involved with the bank Augur and the rest of the red team were using as cover. Knowing he?d have little way to reasonably reply, Tech interrupted and used her vast knowledge of world companies and stock exchanges to come up with an answer. Her response was acceptable, and the cabbie quieted down. Though she wanted conversation, such interest in their affairs from a stranger was dangerous.

The team was dropped off about a block and a half away from their actual destination due to ?new security rules?, though she was sure the man was just being spiteful for not getting the answers he wanted. Quickly getting soaked, and certainly getting sicker, Tech grimaced as she had to walk through the pouring rain.

Once inside and past the security, Tech, Augur, and the rest of the team were standing in front of Prime Minister of Britain, who looked like he needed to lay off the coffee and was due for a good nap. He waved his arm towards a row of chairs set up just for them, and the five of them took their seats.

[b]?I?d like to thank you for coming,?[/b] the man stuttered nervously, rubbing his hands together and glancing about the room as if waiting for someone to come out of the walls and kill him right then and there. [b]?All of us know why you?re here, and I?ll butt out of your plans. But as for what you?ll be doing with me, I?d like to be kept in the loop on that one. Other than that, there?s really nothing else to say. The police have no leads, my personal officers are patrolling this and the surrounding buildings, and I?m stuck her panicking.?[/b]

[b]?Don?t worry, sir. Sitting before you are men and women picked for their essential skills for this mission. You will be well protected,?[/b] Augur reassured him, standing up and patting him on the shoulder. The Prime Minister seemed to relax a little bit, a small smile forming on his face. [b]?But I cannot lie to you,?[/b] the team leader continued, making the nervous man?s smile falter, [b]?We, ourselves, are sure of nothing other than that there is someone after your life. Our job is to protect you as best we can and search for clues.?[/b]

Augur made sure to leave out the part about the Prime Minister?s certain death he had foreseen, which the rest of the team thought was a good idea. After that, Augur assigned Tech the job of going through the buildings where they would be guarding the ?Mini? (Tech?s ?code-name? for the Prime Minister, though she was the only one using it) and searching for any planted bombs, unauthorized surveillance tools, and any other curious technological terrorist tools. Saturn, accompanied by Pygmalion, were given lists of all politicians that British Intelligence thought were possible accomplices to the plotting against the Prime Minister. And Augur and Era would remain in constant company of the Prime Minister.

[b]?? so we?ll be staying in this building for now while you start your search. Remember. Anything suspicious should be investigated and reported,?[/b] Augur finished. Tech nodded, confirming that she?d understood her directions, and walked out of the room, blowing her nose loudly.[/SIZE]
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[FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=DarkOrchid][i]Saturn and Pygmalion surveyed the lists in a quiet study. The empath laid down her list and ran a finger across it, the other going over the computer screen set up for their use. Each name was linked to a photograph and a biography. She sighed as she did so, closing her eyes, or at least letting the eyelids flicker. Pygmalion watched her surreptitiously. She was impassive enough, and her face betrayed none of her thoughts, until eventually she paused and lifted her left and right hands off the screen and paper. Quickly, he returned to his papers and scribbled down the odd note or two he had thought of.

He set down his pencil and turned to her. She didn't smile at him, merely raised a hand to her ear and flicked back a cigarette into her hand. Her voice was quiet and cold, but not completely chilling.[/i]

"Mind if I smoke?"

"Won't bother me none."

"Good. I was going to do it anyway."

[i]Like magic, her zippo appeared in hand and she lit the requisite cancer stick, inhaling slowly as she did. As she exhaled, she turned back to him and held up her list.[/i]

"Our biggest concerns are underlined here, for your reading pleasure."

[i]She flicked the list across the table to him, smiling ironically the whole while. He blinked a few times. Her list almost completely corresponded to his in the way of suspects, with only two exceptions. She heard most of his thoughts almost by second nature, although is face and emotions were about as easy to read.

"Ah, North Korea, Japanese dissidents, Iran, France, and so on and so forth.... Wait, who?"

He turned back to look at her, mildly unsettled. She shook her head at him as he opened his mouth and pointed to her screen. She had called up a picture of the Iranian president, with listings underneath. Samuel stared, almost uncomprehending, until she highlighted the politicians beneath him. His voice was almost impossible to hear, a muttering that came from the side of his mouth.[/i]

"Son of a *****. Ahmadinejad wouldn't. Would he?"

[i]Saturn smiled again, her grin ruining his disbelief.[/i]

"You really think he's happy with the threat of U.N. embargos? The U.S. wants it. England is their ally you know."

"Of course. But this drastic? Isn't his style more to blow up a few more busses?"

"Well...he is nuts."

"Coming from you, that means almost nothing."

[i]She twisted her mouth at him and blew a line of smoke at his face. He sighed and underlined the poltical opperatives on the list, then turned back to her. She raised one eybrow at him, and the two stood, pushed in their chairs, and headed back to Augur and Era. The Prime Minister, a distinctly uncomfortable man, looked over at them. His first impression was that Saturn was a strip dancer, but that was quickly dismissed. While she had a fetish for black leather, cigarettes, and wild hairstyles, no strip dancer would ever have the same look in her eye. Pygmalion stood still, holding his files and looking very professional. Saturn leaned over and whispered in Augur's ear. He nodded and pulled up a chair to sit her directly across from the Prime Minister.[/i][/COLOR][/FONT]
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"You have something already?" the nervous president asked.

From behind him, MI6 director Hector Lodough shook his head with a nearly inaudible sigh. Seeing the previously energetic PM in such a state was nothing short of a disgrace.

"Nothing more than a hunch," Saturn answered casually.

The official goggled at her. Pygmalion had to admire the confidence she expressed.

"A [i]hunch[/I]? Do you realize we routinely monitor over 500 organization as part of our day-to-day operations to protect Mr. Cameron?"

The politicians' eyes shifted between Saturn and the man, unsure of what to do. Augur stepped in.

"Mr. Lodough, in our branch we learn that to survive, we must be able to trust your instincts. Mr. Cameron of all men, I'm sure, can understand that. If Saturn and Pygmalion have a hunch that Iran is involved, then I'll go down to Teheran and flatten the Presidential Complex myself, if I have to."

"We have experience in dealing with what's hidden. We've been tasked to protect Mr. Cameron, and we don't intent to fail," Saturn added.

Somehow that didn't seem to reassure the man much. Pygmalion remembered he was a telepath and wanted nothing but to smack his own forehead. He had never received a training on maintaining a mental shield. And now that could prove troublesome. A comment from Lodough returned his attention to the discussion.

"At least that explains these weird money flow out of Iran that some of our operatives reported."

"What do you mean?" Pygmalion asked.

"Several millions, part of which in precious artifacts, have been lost track of. At first we though it was some sort of money-laundering scheme, but that cast a new light on the whole thing," Lodough explained.

Pygmalionrolled his eyes at the carelessness the man showed about the whole thing. Tech was now ready to present her own little report. She took out one of her small notebooks and began flipping through her near illegible scribbling, marking the items as she spoke.

"Lots of cameras all over the place. I asked and they explained that it's for monitoring so no surprise there. Still, they say it's near impossible to hack through and I'm worried about that bit. I mean, it's not about being difficult, it's about actually being impossible. A dedicated one could just..."

Augur interrupted her rambling with a sharp sigh.

"Oh yes, sorry, my bad. I'll just investigate that. There's a camera with a different model that seems to have different patterns too. I also found 2 micros. One's older than myself, the other's seems to be for surveillance of the crew. Still reported them to Mr. Lodough's staff."


"Augur, I have some really about this whole Iranian items connection. We have no idea what the iranians got out, and trust me, they have access to somepretty powerful items."

The precog raised an eyebrows.

"Why didn't you mention it back there?" he enquired.

"You think Lodough would have taken that seriously? The man's straighter than a Greek temple! If we'd told him one of our team was 2000 years in the past last week, he'd have laughed in our face. I'm not even sure he takes this whole assassination stuff seriously."

"He does," Saturn quipped. "It's a façade. He has to stay solid if the minister won't."

"That doesn't change our problem. Augur, do you think you can arrange a surveillance at the British Museum?"

Now the man goggled at him.

"What's the point?"

Pygmalion sighed in turn.

"There's a carpet in the Greco-persian collection I suspect is one of the Moayid Arabesks."

"Mind being more explicit?" Saturn asked.

"A mystical plan of the universe was weaved into 5 carpets in the beginning of the sixth century. By standing on the right point of the right carpet and uttering a mystic formula, one can teleport anywhere in the universe. The Iranian government has a hold of 3 of these carpets."

"Wait a minute, anywhere in the [i]universe[/i]?" Saturn insisted.

"You heard him," Augur snapped, "I'll see what I can get."
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[SIZE=1]Era, unaware of the rest of the team?s talking, was outside the meeting room on a balcony. Her hair blew slightly in the cool English breeze rising from the Themes, and London sparkled ahead of her. She could just about make out the London Eye from her vantage point and memories of visiting this city returned. Era smiled a little and turned around to see Augur walking toward her, some papers held in his hands. The Prime Minister was looking a little shaken and sat in a chair at the head of a large table, a cup of tea clasped firmly in his hands. He was staring at Saturn still, obviously trying to come to terms with what was going on.

[B]?Seems Saturn and Pygmalion have got something,? [/B] Augur commented casually, glancing down at his teammate as she leant on the balcony rails, [B]?Could be quite important.? [/B] As if to prove his point, Augur slipped the sheets of paper into one of Era?s hands. The witch nodded and glanced down quickly, wondering if she could find anything with these names.

[B]?I?ll see what I can find,?[/B] she said in her usual soft voice, her blank eyes turning once again to the London skyline.

Augur paused for a moment and closed his eyes, bringing his hand up to his forehead as he collected his thoughts. [B]?Thank you, Era,? he said finally, ?I?ll get a couple of agents with me tonight so you can have a break and do some searching, the Prime Minister will be safe without you.?[/B]

Era nodded in agreement and straightened, motioning for Augur to walk with her into the meeting room.

[B]?Augur, you don?t think we?re being led on another farce, do you??[/B] Since Era?s last mission, she found herself lacking in confidence with the Legionnaires safety. She, along with her other teammates had almost died on that island, and for nothing. And now Arachnid was dead.

A tear slipped quickly down Era?s cheek before she swiped it away, hoping her team leader hadn?t seen. Arachnid may not have been the most tactical of members, but he?d saved Era?s life on more than one occasion and she?d never had a chance to pay him back. She wanted to tell Augur about her feelings on the last mission, but thought that he somehow knew. She was met by a simple, yet confident, shake of the head and her confidence was momentarily restored.

Pygmalion turned to greet Era and Augur with a friendly nod, [B]?Get the notes, Era?? [/B] he asked politely, already knowing the answer. Era nodded and smiled a gentle smile in turn, sitting down opposite Saturn, who waved lazily.

[B]?You two have uncovered something rather interesting?let?s hope the media doesn?t get a hold of it.?[/B]

The Prime Minister cradled his head in his hands and groaned, his tea left cold and forgotten. [B]?I?m in enough of a mess already, I can?t have the media knowing about this?it?ll ruin me.?[/B]

[B]?Sir, I think media scandals are the worst of your worries when we know for sure someone is trying to kill you.?[/B] Saturn, always the brutally honest one, levelled with the PM directly. Obviously she didn?t feel the time for tact and gentle words was now. Era smiled a little and turned to look at the PM herself.

[B]?If you like, I could take some time to make sure all media attention is diverted from you, Sir. Tech could check for bugs when we travel, too, I think.?[/B]

Era looked to Augur for permission and he shrugged, [B]?It wouldn?t hurt.?[/B]

Once the team had finished planning, Era had left to do some future searching using her powers. She wasn?t sure exactly what Augur?s plans were with regards to these ?teleporting carpets? but she knew he?d make the right decisions and, if necessary, would tell Era about it in the form of another memo. The Witch had retired to the lounge, where she was sitting comfortably in front of a roaring fire. Tech sat on the floor, scribbling something about circuits and computers.

Era closed her eyes and leant back, hoping to find a connection between one of the suspects and the death they were praying to prevent.[/SIZE]
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[SIZE=1]This mission was a test of everything Augur was, his dedication, his inner strength and his will to prevent an innocent man from dying a needless death. Turning from the company of the Prime Minister and the rest of Red Team, he returned to the balcony where he an Era has shared a private conversation a few minutes before, something about the mission just didn't seem to fit. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, despite all the controversy surrounding him just didn't seem radical enough to attempt something like this, and the revelations of these magic carpets weighed heavily on his mind. He closed his eyes, all the facts pointed towards an Iranian plot to kill the British Prime Minister, but it felt wrong, every fibre in his body told him they had overlooked something or that the information had been falsified. Augur rubbed his temples, trying to gain some divine insight into their current situation, the carpets were what worried him the most, looking up at the stars above London he spoke quietly to himself, "[B]Unhate, if you're out there somewhere I'd really appreciate some advice...[/B]" The loss of Gold Leader still weighed heavily on his heart, he should have seen something, he should have been able to warn them sooner. He was buried so deeply in his thoughts he didn't even realise Tech had been standing behind him.

"[B]Are you alright Augur ?[/B]" He shook his head, maybe he just wasn't cut out to be a Team Leader, he wasn't exactly prime Team Leader material, he didn't have the force of will required to make the tough decisions and that made him a liability. "[B]I'm just tired Tech, that's all, after everything that's happened I just wonder if I'm cut out to be a Legionnaire... I mean if I'd only been able to warn the team sent into the Temple we mightn't have lost so many good people...[/B]" He slammed his hand down onto the railings of the balcony, he knew he couldn't have done anything, but it didn't change the fact that he still blamed himself for Unhate's death. He rubbed his eyes with his free hand, he was just so exhausted, so drained, maybe the medics had missed something, maybe he'd been affected more than he believed. "[B]Do you honestly believe that ?[/B]" Tech's hand rested on his shoulder, he felt as though he were going to burst, and without warning the tears just flowed down his cheeks. "[B]I don't know, I just don't know, I haven't been able to make sense of anything in the last few days. And now this mystery surrounding the Prime Minister is just highlighting how unworthy I am to be Team Leader, the facts just don't fit and all I can do is ask why...[/B]"

He ran his fingers back through his hair, there was just something out of reach at the back of his mind that would solve everything, explain everything and he knew it was there, he just couldn't find it. He sighed heavily, almost sobbing, he didn't want to look weak in front of his team but he was only human and he couldn't help it. He turned round slowly to Tech, his eyes were red and the tear stains were visible down his cheeks, he had to ask the question and he had to get his answer. "[B]Tech, I'm going to contact the Arbiter and ask him to select a new Leader for Red Team, most likely one of the four of you. I can't complete this mission in my current condition. I'll recommend you or Era take the leadership as you've both got the skills to finish what I began...[/B]" She just blinked at him, as if he'd just told her he was dying. "[B]If that's your decision then I'll abide by it, but personally I think you're making a mistake. The Arbiter selected you as leader for this team, and he doesn't make arbitrary decisions, you're hurting, you feel as if you're the one who got those people killed in the temple, but it wasn't your fault.[/B]" Augur opened his mouth to say something, but he just couldn't speak. "[B]You're gifted with a very special ability Augur, one that not even the most experienced neurologists on the planet fully understand, you see the future but are helpless to change parts of it, and that has to take an emotional toll. But you have a great inner strength, all you need to do is acknowledge it's there.[/B]"

Again he could find nothing to say to her, maybe his pain was obvious to others, maybe she was just good at reading people. He wiped his eyes with the sleeve of his jacket, she was right, she was so right, and yet he couldn't fully accept it. He breathed in and out a few times to try and calm down, he mind moved back to the carpets, there was something about them outside of what Sam had told them, something maybe he didn't even know about them. What would the point in being able to move anywhere in the universe be ? And what was the point in tying it to the Iranians, if the Prime Minister were to be assassinated, it was conceivable the entire planet might go to war because of it, he was a shatterpoint... It felt as if an intense light had bathed Augur, he understood the meaning of what was going on here, but the significance was unbelievable if he was right. He hadn?t much time, if he was right then the entire planet could be consumed in war before the night was out. ?[B]Tech, I need the British Museum completely sealed off to the outside world, we don?t have much time.[/B]? Tech just nodded, it seemed her message had got through all his turmoil.

He looked back out over London again, at the beautiful stars and wished Unhate fortune in his afterlife, exhaling again he forced all his doubts back down, he couldn?t afford to put his team in danger because of his own problems. He put back on the mask of calm inner peace he usually radiated, they had a mission to complete and now for the first time since he?d been named Red Leader did he have any idea what was going on. The Prime Minister was still sitting in the chair where Augur had left him only a few minutes ago, he looked even more shaken now than he did then, because he?d known, he?d known and he hadn?t said anything. It was not often that Augur got angry with people, but this slimy bastard had been on the inside from the whole time. His fist moved faster than he?d even realised, and before the Prime Minister could even protest his situation he was laying flat on his back, but Augur wasn?t nearly done yet. The remaining agent had already drawn his weapon and the sound of a gunshot echoed through the room, Red Team froze, Augur stumbled for a moment before falling to a kneeling position, he face was contorted in pain, but he didn?t move, he didn?t fall to the ground in a pool of his own blood. In fact the bullet could be seen plainly on the ground next to him, and it looked as if it?d been shot at carbonised steel.

The guard could only look on in horror, in his mind this Legionnaire was the assassin, and he?d just stopped a bullet fired not three metres from him. One look from Augur and Sam struck the man in the back of the neck, and he crumpled neatly onto the ground. The rest of the team just looked at their Leader from an explanation, rising slowly and somewhat shakily from his knees he asked Era and Saturn to secure the Prime Minister, who looked as if he might wet himself in fear. Augur moved somewhat tentatively to the chair the Prime Minister had been sitting in, before he explained his actions to the rest of the team. ?[B]I know you?ll all think I?ve lost my mind, or worse, that I?m working for the enemy, but right from the start I?ve had a funny feeling about this mission, that something just didn?t fit... and this bastard ![/B]? He pointed over to the still quivering political leader. ?[B]Has been in on it since the beginning. We all know that the leaders of the Middle East aren?t on good terms with the West, and if the President of Iran was proven to have assassinated the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom then it would probably lead to another massive incursion into the Middle East, put simply we?d be talking about the Third World War.[/B]" Augur inhaled sharply, gripping where the bullet should have penetrated his ribs.

?[B]But we all know that no matter how radical some of these leaders are deemed, they?re simply not stupid enough to risk igniting something as destructive as World War III. Then when Sam brought up the information about the carpets things started to make sense, you said that they could transport people across the universe Sam, what about parallel realities ?[/B]? Tech was the first one to make the connection, she barely whispered it, but everyone heard her. ?[B]The multiverse ?[/B]? Augur just nodded, Sam shook his head in disbelief ?[B]There?s no record of the carpets ever being used in such a fashion, but then again there?s not exactly a wealth of information available on the Arabesks. It is possible that when all five around brought together it may be possible to connect them somehow, but I?m still left asking why ?[/B]? Saturn and Era hadn?t said anything yet, they just looked on as they mystery of why Red Team were in London was being unveiled to the unsuspecting world.

?[B]So we could take over. If the entire world is plunged into war then the Legionnaires will be looked to to restore peace... all it would take is one mistake and the Legionnaires might take direct control over the entire world in the name of order, we would become everything we?ve always fought against. I am willing to stake my very life on the fact that there isn?t just one carpet in the British Museum as we speak, but all five, and those responsible for what may come to pass.[/B]? The room had gone very quiet as everyone processed exactly what Augur had said, it was too unbelievable, and yet it made perfect sense, terrifyingly perfect sense. Saturn held the Prime Minister by the collar, ?[B]What about him ?[/B]? Augur looked at the wretched creature ?[B]Either he?s the real David Cameron and is just looking to save his own skin by cooperating, or and chances are this is the more correct assumption, he?s some poor bastard from another universe who was brought in to replace the real Cameron. So which is it ?[/B]? With a broken nose and the possibility of death hanging over him, the Prime Minister just sobbed his confession ?[B]You don?t understand what it?s like where I?m from, the Legion rule the entire Earth and call themselves the protectors of peace but the entire world has turned to hell, most of America is a wasteland, and the overall population is less than 500 million. So when the Legion ordered me here I was just happy to get away, but they?ll plunge this planet into the apocalypse too if they manage to get through... you have to stop them.[/B]?

?[B]Where?s the real Cameron ?[/B]? The Prime Minister was still whimpering like a frightened child, and given his background, Augur couldn?t blame him but they had precious little time and he knew where David Cameron was being held. He went to open his mouth to speak, but Augur simply nodded to Era. The guard had since regained consciousness and looked almost as pallid as the man he?d been tasked with protecting, ?[B]I?ll inform Director-General Phillips of the situation immediately, and I can only apologise for the mistake of shooting you, however given the circumstances I hope you understand.[/B]? Augur nodded solemnly ?[B]Of course, to you it looked as if I was the assassin and you responded as expected. Now that aside, I will require Director Phillips to completely seal off the British Museum from the outside world once my team has entered, after which the Director will be under order to destroy the entire building if we fail. The Legionnaires from this parallel universe cannot be allowed to complete their mission.[/B]? The look on Sam?s face might under different circumstances have caused Augur to reconsider, the British Museum held priceless treasures, and destroying it and everything therein would be a tremendous tragedy, still Sam understood that it had to be done if push came to shove. Looking into each of the four faces of his fellow Legionnaires Augur simply smiled, at this moment in time, facing this enemy, he could want no better team.

Several hours later, Red Leader found himself staring in awe at the British Museum, Director-General Dame Elizabeth Phillips was a woman in his early fifties, her face puckered in a scowl that told Augur all he needed to know. She didn?t approve of this mission, she would say as much before evening opening her mouth, her main concern was retrieving the genuine British Prime Minister, and Augur giving the order to destroy the museum with the Prime Minister inside was enough for her to dislike the man. Still his authority would seem to have superseded hers at least for the moment, although she could argue that his authority had been granted by a charlatan and thus he really had no authority at all. But the precog was not interested in listening to her, in his mind he had a mission to accomplish and her bitching was just complicating matters, under different circumstances she may have even liked him. Augur had already requisitioned the necessary weapons and equipment for his team, including a prototype implosive that wasn?t officially supposed to exist. Giving one last look to the outside world, Augur and Red Team moved in through the secured doors of the British Museum.

The building was pitch black, it?s power and communication lines have been severed before the group have even arrived at the scene, and the only light available came from the standard issue military flashlights now fastened to their weapons. The museum was quiet as a tomb, not the exact metaphor Augur would have liked to use but under the circumstances it seemed the most apt. According to Sam the carpets were most likely located several hundred metres into the building, along with a number of other artefacts required for the ritual. Their pace through the museum was vigilant, it felt all too like the golden temple from South Africa and had the potential to go far, far worse if they failed. As their bootsteps sounded gently off the marble floors, Augur kept the butt of his rifle pinned to his shoulder swaying the flashlight in a general search pattern, by their current speed they were to reach the ritual site within four minutes and he really didn?t need to be surprised by some ghoul summoned from the beyond before they had a chance to halt whatever was going to occur here in the next forty-eight hours.

The glimmer of multiple torches brought Red Team to a silent halt. Moving ahead with Sam, Augur cast his gaze down onto a newly hewn alter, surrounded by several figures draped in dark robes chanting what Augur could only assume was some forgotten language attached to these Moayid Arabesks, all five of which lay at the base of the alter. Augur?s next instinct was to locate Prime Minister Cameron, but he was no where to be seen, obviously he was hidden away in some other part of the Museum. As much as he might have wanted to, he fought the impulse, Augur knew that going to search for Cameron now would be futile so long as these cloaked deviants were able to continue the ritual. He turned to Sam to order them to move back and regroup, but the now pale complexion of his comrade prevented him from doing so, and the three words he uttered was enough to send his heart rate through the roof. ?[B]We?re too late...[/B]"

The light that engulfed the British Museum was enough to illuminate the entire building, and blind all those who had no expected it. Standing on the carpets were five individuals, four of which were frighteningly familiar, the fifth, the leader did not share the appearance of any Legionnaire Augur had ever met, yet when he spoke it was disturbingly obvious who he was. Meeting Sam?s gaze, Augur gave the order for the other three members of Red Team to join them at the balcony above the ritual site, as Era, Saturn and Tech drew closer, his heart stopped as the resonant voice of the parallel group?s leader rumbled through the darkened air. ?[B]It seems we have visitors, perhaps they will be gracious enough to present themselves before their new masters, or shall we be forced to simply terminate them for their lack of manners ?[/B]? Their cover was blown, the only thing they could do was comply, that would buy their more time, he looked at the other four members of Red Team, each of them bore a different expression on their faces, and yet all five agreed that revealing themselves was the only course of action.

Augur was the first to begin moving down the marble steps towards the site of their enemies, the five figures stood in a group, as a team, and as the last of Red Team descended down the steps, both groups simply stared at one another, and the fate of the planet rested on their shoulders. Augur spoke first, ?[B]We know why you?ve come here, and we cannot allow you to proceed with your plans. Stop now or you will be met with ultimate force.[/B]? His words rang clear, filled with the determination which had been missing from within him hours before. If all five Legionnaires had to die here today, then they would die knowing they had stopped this threat dead in it?s tracks...[/SIZE]
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  • 2 weeks later...
[size=1]Tech felt her heart racing as she examined the five figures that stood menacingly above Augur. The possible end of the way of life as the Red Team and the rest of the world knew it had just walked through a mystical portal and was staring the five of them right in the face. They all knew that this was it. They had only one option, and that was to fight. But it was who they would be fighting that was so utterly bizarre, they could only stare in disbelief and worry. The only two words that came to mind as Tech watched an exact replica of herself (with a few adjustments) stand patiently beside the cloaked figure: [b]?******* freaky.?[/b]

[b]?Ha, I know what you mean. But it?s insanely cool, isn?t it? Never thought this thing would be possible without technology.?[/b]

One of the opposite beings had spoken, and the voice was frighteningly similar to her own, but it was also oddly robotic. The Anti-Tech?s grin quickly faded, and she fell silent once more. Tech?s curiosity was nagging at her, and the five Anti-Legionnaires knew she was there anyway, so she slowly walked to Augur?s side to get a closer look at them. Her own mirror being looked just like her, but with shorter, spikier hair and small metallic attachments around her right eye. It was just like looking at a puddle and seeing her reflection, only distorted slightly from the ripples of the water.

Tech blinked a moment, only to realize that she was suddenly alone in another room all together the next. It took her only a second to grab one of the gadgets off her belt and point it at the Anti-Tech, who had been approaching from behind.

[b]?Impressive,?[/b] she grinned. [b]?It?s hard for people to find me that quickly since they can?t hear me breathe.?[/b]

[b]?So, you want to take me one on one, I?m guessing,?[/b] Tech replied, her face emotionless. This was too important for her normal cheerful approach to violence. Her opponent wouldn?t be thrown off guard by it this time anyhow. Without waiting for a response, Tech reached for a particular pocket on her belt that held a small gadget, capable of temporarily disabling any electronic or technological weaponry in a set radius. Even though it would leave her unarmed as well, it was better facing someone she knew nothing about with just fists rather than her own arsenal, that would most likely be outmatched, twenty to one.

The sound of all her weapons and tools powering down only made Tech?s excited heart pump faster. This was frightening, and she had no idea if she could actually anything at all, but she?d try. Like Augur had said, Anti-Tech and the rest of her group would not be allowed to follow through with their plans. Whether or not he was capable of backing up that statement was yet to be proven.

[b]?You?re stupid, you know that? You?re really, really stupid,?[/b] Anti-Tech began laughing loudly.

[b]?That would make you stupid, too,?[/b] Tech replied quietly. But the Parallel either didn?t hear her or was ignoring her, and continued.

[b]?I mean, why would you disable all of your weapons before a fight? You had me outgunned severely, yet you decided to make it all useless! It?s the stupidest move I could ever imagine you making! But, I?m guessing there must be [i]some[/i] method to your madness. You are, or should be, a genius, after all.[/b]

Tech was silent. She was positive it was only a bluff.

[b]?Oh. You probably don?t get it yet,?[/b] continued the negative reflection, sensing Tech?s confusion. [b]?I don?t rely on weapons anymore because? well, I [i]am[/i] a weapon. I killed myself about a year ago, after having perfected this shell. The only thing remaining from my original body is my brain.?[/b]

[b]?Well, that explains the weird voice. But? your brain didn?t suffocate and lose massive amounts of brain cells during the transplant? How did you connect it to the control of your shell? thing??[/b] Tech asked in awe. Any documented attempt of moving a brain from one body to another, whether living or not, was unsuccessful either because the procedure took too long and the brain became useless, or the brain was not separated and reconnected right. She had almost forgotten she was supposed to be killing the Anti-Tech.

[b]?You know, I?d love to answer your questions, but I really should get on with killing you,?[/b] the cyborg replied. Tech suddenly found herself flying backwards, an intense pain in both her shoulders. She landed on the cold, marble floor, and heard the loud sound of footsteps. The strange part was, she had disabled all electronic devices nearby, and Anti-Tech was pretty much all electronic, but still, she was fully operational. There was little time to think about it, though, as her opposite was walking towards her to finish her off. Scrambling to stand up, her shoulders flared up in protest, forcing her to use a nearby exhibit as a crutch. She placed a hand on her right shoulder and pulled it back to see blood.

[b]?What did you hit me with??[/b] Her answer was a punch in the face. Stumbling backwards a few steps, she readjusted her jaw with a sickening crack.

[b]?Bolts. I keep a couple in my belt. My arms move much faster than a regular human?s, so it was easy to pull one out and throw it at you without you seeing me do anything,?[/b] she explained, still advancing on the Legionnaire. Tech was grabbed around the neck and thrown at one of the glass cases on the wall, making a loud crashing noise as her body shattered the glass and brought the case down to the ground, bringing other exhibits down with it as well. Spitting out blood, Tech struggled again to stand up. She wasn?t cut out for this kind of fighting. She relied on her gadgets, and she had made them useless a couple of minutes ago.

[b]?You know, this is kind of disappointing. I expected you to be at least a decent challenge rather than a rag doll,?[/b] Anti-Tech sighed, a fake upset look on her face.

[b]?Bite me,?[/b] Tech growled, once again on her feet. [b]?My weapons may be disabled, but I can still unplug you.?[/b]

[b]?HA. Like I?d give you enough time to analyze my schematics.?[/b]

[b]?Too late,?[/b] came her smug reply. Anti-Tech?s eyes widened slightly, flashing her worry. Tech was grinning wide now. Cracking her opponent?s over-confident shell was all it would take to win this. [b] ?You?ve got four weak spots. One is a loose joint in your right shoulder. Hitting that would take your entire right arm off,?[/b] she began. Anti-Tech lunged at her, as if hitting her hard enough would make her forget. But she was clumsy, so she was easily countered. Tech grabbed her parallel?s right arm and struck the top of the shoulder with her elbow. Like she had said, the entire arm came off in her hands while the rest of Anti-Tech continued into a pile of debris she had made earlier.

[b]?Another two are at your hips. Hitting either one would detach your lower half.?[/b]

[b] ?You won?t get a chance at them,?[/b] Anti-Tech replied, her face emotionless. There was a small noise before her belt quickly encased itself in a thick metal coat and a button popped out of her left hand. [b]?This is a slightly barbaric way of doing things, but I?d rather see your guts than my bolts. Say bye-bye now.?[/b]

Tech raised an eyebrow, her eyes locked on the belt and button. [b]?And the last spot,?[/b] she continued, as if Anti-Tech hadn?t said anything at all, [b]?is a small port on one of your temples, though it?s hidden by your ?hair?. If anything were to hit or get into it, the result would be your brain popping like a balloon. Within a millisecond, your ?perfect? shell would become spare parts.?[/b]

[b] ?You won?t be able to reach it in time, my dear counterpart. You see, I plan to turn you inside out??[/b]

[b]?Yeah, yeah. I got that. That button launches something that will do it, right? And that belt will instantly contain me in some shield so that only I am affected by your whatever-it-is. But see, I?ve fried it. Even if you?re still operational ? who knows [i]why[/i] ? any separate gadgets you have, like your belt, are now useless. And they will be for approximately another five minutes,?[/b] Tech replied grimly.

[b]?You?re bluffing.?[/b]

[b]?If you?re so sure, press the button. Let?s see how your leader likes it when he finds out you turned everyone in the museum, including him, inside out.?[/b] Despite Anti-Tech?s confident statements, her hand didn?t move.

[b]?You were right about one thing, though,?[/b] Tech chuckled, pulling a small box out of her pocket.

[b]?And what?s that??[/b] Anti-Tech asked warily, readying herself to press the button. The box shook violently in Tech?s hand before shooting out of sight for a moment and reappearing on the side of Anti-Tech?s face, on top of her left temple. Before she could react, the box shrunk and entered the small port, attaching itself to the inside and sending an electrical shock through it. A second later, there was a soft ?thunk?, and Anti-Tech?s shell collapsed.

[b]?I was bluffing.?[/b]

Tech took a step towards the way out of the room, but almost fell over. She was finally starting to feel the strain on her body. The adrenaline had kept her from hurting much, but it was over, and the rush was gone. Her shoulders had been bleeding the whole time, and she was starting to feel woozy. Her legs were ready to fall apart beneath her, and her readjusted jaw was aching horribly. And to make matters worse, Anti-Tech had teleported the two of them to a random room., leaving her with no idea where in the museum she was.

[b]?****,?[/b] she grumbled. Leaning on whatever she could find, she made her way to the hallway out of the remote room. [b]?I need to work out..?[/b] she thought quietly to herself, frustrated with her body being so fragile.[/size]
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[FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=DarkOrchid][i] Saturn, the true empath, hissed in a violent cacophony of both rage and agony. Without a backwards glance, she threw herself forwards at the monster that could?ve been her in another time, and with a different childhood. Anti Saturn caught her fist in one hand and slammed the other into her ribs, both hurling themselves into the walls of the museum, uncaring while shards of glass and stone rained down around them. Saturn?s eyes flickered with a crazy fury, both glowing like searchlights, while the other regarded her calmly and sweetly. Her voice lilted sweetly, kindly, and as gently as one could imagine.[/i]

?Now, now sweet sister that is no way to treat your family.? [i]Saturn snapped back, spitting blood up as she did,[/i]

?You?re no family of mine you god cursed piece of shît.?

[i]With a empathic surge, translated into pure energy, Anti Saturn slammed her hands down in one smooth motion, and the movement became a force that drove Saturn to her knees. She looked up through blurry eyes, feeling her energy quaver under someone who had complete and total control of herself and the feelings of everyone around her. The evil pouring from her was palpable, and it made Saturn cringe and whimper? ?or one should say, it made her emotions cringe and whimper.[/i]

?Let?s face it baby girl, I?m stronger. I have control, everything you could never figure out, and I have.? [i]As she taunted, she circled her slowly, first once, and then again. Saturn watched her, moving only her eyes, unable to move her head or neck.[/i]

?I have you now, and I have everything I ever wanted that you couldn?t ever take for yourself. ?it?s a shame. You?ve got the raw talent, but you could never get yourself out of that pathetic self-pity party. And now I?m going to dispose of you and take your sorrow far away??

[i]Just before she completed the third, and final circle around Saturn, the empath in question gathered together the remnants of her will and jerked herself up onto both feet. Her mind quivered, then expanded, drawing on the collective energy of everyone within the city. Saturn drew both hands forward to her chest, then pushed forward and screamed as she did. The force of her mind shoved back into Anti Saturn, and pushed her against the far wall, the glass in the windows shattering. With a sickening crack, Saturn?s evil side struck stone and concrete, blood filling her mouth and stars obscuring her vision. If she could have seen, Anti Saturn would?ve seen Saturn slowly stalking forward, her hair flying behind her with all the energy she was gathering, and her fists clenched so hard the nails had sunk into her flesh. And as she walked, she spoke in a cold and bitter voice, one that could be heard over the sounds of everything else.[/i]

?You might have all that sweet and supernatural control to manipulate people and to control everything you think you want to control? ?Saturnine? But it won?t be saving you from me. Dear sweet sister.?

[i]Saturnine?s eyes snapped wide open. Not only had she been named, she had also forgotten what it had been like to have no control, and to not limit the power she had. Saturn?s left hand snapped around her neck, fingers digging deep into the flesh, blood pouring from both her own wounds and Saturnine?s. Then the empath who had lost all her inhibitions drew her very close to her face, and screamed once more. This time, it was silent to all but Saturnine, and the only sound anyone could hear was the sound of Saturn?s hand plunging deep into Saturnine?s chest, and the flesh ripping apart as she tore out her heart and flung it to the floor.

In spasmodic bursts of blood, Saturnine sank to the floor, her eyes flickering in sheer disbelief. Saturn?s laughter rang out like bells, and her eyes had dimmed to the ordinary hazel they had always been.[/i]

?You underestimated me, didn't you? I will mutilate your corpse, and I will laugh over the pieces of you that now belong to me.?

[i]Without a qualm, Saturn drew her knife and knelt over her darker half, who was dying in failure and agony. Her laughter continued, but it was subdued into a mild chuckle, as if thinking over the irony of everything. Ironic that she had never killed someone with her own hands, and even more ironic that she was desecrating the corpse of someone who should've been more evil than her. With two cuts to the chest, she opened everything up and began pulling out various parts of Saturnine's body. With a crack, she broke open the ribcage and began to pull parts out, keeping Saturnine alive as long as she could last.

????.. ???.. ??????.

Tech cautiously opened the door to the museum and found two Saturn?s, one dead and the other leaning against the wall, a lit cigarette in her lips. She looked up and exhaled simultaneously, and smiled slightly.[/i]

?I take it you killed your uglier half?? [i]Saturn looked over and raised one eyebrow quizzically.[/i]

?You betcha. And you killed yours?? [i]Tech couldn?t help but notice the fact that a bloody mess that looked suspiciously like a heart was laid out next to the Anti Saturn?s corpse, along with other internal organs, now in alphabetical order. At least she thought they were. Saturn noticed her glance and grinned this time, a full on smile.[/i]

?Big time.?[/COLOR]
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The black robed figure Pygmalion recognized too easily. He had worn such a cowl-like garment at the beginning of his career, and it brought back unpleasant memories. The original one was still back in his personal museum, maintained immobile by enchanted wire. The last time he'd attempted to exorcize the ghost in there, he'd almost been strangled to death. This version was covered in Egyptians hieroglyphs reproducing Jewish, Greek and Hindu protective formulas.

"A call to Yahweh in the wrong scripture? Don't you respect anything?" he growled.

The other man's eyes he couldn't see because of the cloak. But his mouth curved up in a nasty smirk.

"I only respect that which grants me power," he said with a silky voice in stark contrast with Pygmalion' own, deformed as it was by his stone flesh.

He grasped the two side of the cowl and threw it open. Something shone brightly on his chest, but only for a second, as it seemed to dissolve into a thick smoke that seemingly poured out of his body. Within a few seconds, the entire room's floor was bathed in it. [i]Texcatlipoca's mirror... I though I'd destroyed that thing back in 1634,[/I] the man thought. Alternate history, off course, tend to bring back old problems.

"Don't get down in the smoke," he muttered for Augur. "It will give rise to your worst nightmares."

"I'm waiting," his double jeered at him. "You expect to defeat by just standing up there like a monkey? Well, then, let's just bring you [I][b]down[/b][/I]!"

The man projected his right arm forward, losing the cowling the process and revealing his face. Pygmalion noticed bitterly the man had somehow at least half his age off his appearance. The doppelganger pointed at the two Legionnaires with his closed fist. That alone would have been laughable if not for the glowing blue ring on his index. The entire middle section of the balcony was briefly surrounded by a soft light, then the other Pygmalion apparently pulled at thin air.

The two legionnaires jumped on the side as the entire section was pulled down and crashed to the ground. Pygmalion wasn't quite as lucky as Augur, though, with his newly acquired mass. The damaged section of floor crumbled under his weight and he came down crashing violently to the ground. When his eyes opened again, he was surrounded by the grey mist produced earlier by his double, whose voice raised somewhere he couldn't see.

"Are you ready, now, to face your fear? To fight what terrorize you at night? To meet with the heart of your nightmares?"

An all too familiar hissing slowly rose in volume behind him. Multiple rattles he remembered all too well.

"I do not fear you,"he whispered. "You are my pas, my present and my future." His tone began to rise too. "But I have changed. I do not [i]fear you[/I]!"

With the last, shouted word he turned around. The red eyes of the Medusa drilled into his own for several seconds before taking a surprised look.

"You cannot petrify what is already of stone," Pygmalion reminded.

The mythical monster exploded into wisps of smoke. His double gave a low chuckle.

"Nice. Show off, but nice choice of words. I see you've received some 'improvements' of your own."

Pygmalion began to advance into the smoke. His words showed irritation.

"Where are you?"

"Here," the voice whispered near his ear.

Pygmalion jumped forward and rolled. Despite his best effort, his body was engulfed in flames that he didn't felt, although they consumed the better part of his coat and completely singed the rest of his clothes. He grabbed one of his gun and shot, but the bullet was deflected by the magical shield.

"Tech made these for me. Shona firestone pills."

The young man flipped one in his hand. Pygmalion's eyebrows raised.

"Tech wouldn't recognize magic if it exploded in her face."

"But you're no less afraid of it, right?" his double sneered back. "You were afraid of their powers. Afraid to lose control."

"Yes. I was afraid. Afraid it would end up controlling me instead. Afraid I would not be able to distinguish the good and the evil anymore. Afraid I might... end up like you."

His face distorted with rage, Pygmalion-2 pointed his ring-doned fist at the archeologist again. Pygmalion was engulfed in the blue light and paralysed. Then, as if violently repelled by a magnet, he was sent back flying into the wall. The telekinetic force let go for a split second, allowing his hand slipped to his back. When the light raised in intensity again, he slashed through it with the obsidian-clawed glove over his right hand. Another fireball was thrown at him, but the claws dissipated it as if it was a mere illusion. His double stepped back, surprised by this turn of event.

"Quetzalcoatl's claws," he explained. "They'll cut through any magic you can throw at me."

Pygmalion took advantage of the brief moment of hesitation and charged. A single slash of the claws ripped through the multi-layered protective shield. His forearm crushed the neck of his double against a statue of Apophis.

"What now? You want to kill me?"

"No. That would just lower me at your level."

His other hand disappeared again, and reappeared with a vial of clear liquid. He knew his double could tell that it was magic. Pygmalion smirked.

"Yes. Water of the Salmacis fountain."

The other shook his head and tried to slip away,only to get the pression on his throat increased.

"No! You can't!"

"Wanna bet? You're as much a part of me as I'm a part of you, as much as we may both dislike it."

With the vial firmly held in the palm of his right hand, Pgmalion backed his arm, then shoved it in the middle of his double's chest, crushing the glass in the process. The double yelled in terror. Pygmalion yelled in pain. They were both engulfed in blinding light for a moment that seemed an eternity. When it receded, Pygmalion was holding himself up with his forehead pressed against the statue, panting. His skin had recovered some, but not all of its original flesh-colored reflections and he looked noticeably younger.

"Just another day in my life. But damn I won't be doing that too often," he muttered.
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[SIZE=1]Era felt some sort of psychic wave hit her as she was faced with her parallel self. Suddenly, her mind?s eye seemed to be clouded, and all she could see around her was black. She could hear the others, smell them and sense her presence but in all other ways, she was blind. She felt the sick feeling of panic rising in her gut as she turned her head wildly, feeling herself grow nauseas with a mixture of dizziness and fear. She tried to pull herself together, but something was messing with her mind, quite literally. She clamped her hands over her ears and shrunk down against the floor in a ball, feeling her chin touch her knees. Her fellow Legionnaires, if they hadn?t already left to fight their doppelgangers, must have wondered what had come over her.

Then she felt it, the sharp tug on her shoulder length hair, her head being yanked backwards. In her mind, she could see the blurry outline of a woman, slowly becoming clearer the harder Era concentrated. Then she gasped, seeing now the likeness between her and her darker self. The other Era smirked, releasing the Legionnaires hair and stepping backwards, her velvet black cape sweeping around her feet as she moved elegantly over the tiled floor. Slowly, Era was starting to see her surroundings. They were no longer in the museum, she realised, they were in her foe?s mind.

[B]?You?ve probably already realised, Era,?[/B] the woman spoke, her voice duskier than Era?s, [B]?That we are no longer in a physical world. We are, in fact, not even in time. This is a plain where time does not exist, and only darkness surrounds. I discovered this place a long time ago because I, unlike you, am not afraid to use my powers to their greatest ability,?[/B] she clenched her gloved hand into a fist for effect, [B]?I am Eva, and you, dear Era, don?t deserve to exist.?[/B]

Suddenly, Eva dashed forward; Era trying to take in everything while her mind was telling her to block the attack that was no doubt coming. Everything seemed to be coming in stops and starts; at one moment, Eva would be rushing forward and the next, she?d be in slow motion. This place was awful, Era realised, and she couldn?t be happier that she hadn?t found it by herself.

Era?s doppelganger was not difference physically, but her appearance certainly set the two apart. Whereas Era kept her blank eyes open, Eva had them covered with what looked to be a metal headband. She wore a dark grey body suit with a thick belt covering her abdomen, and her cape was black velvet. Era brought her arms up just in time to block the punched aimed at her face and felt burning pain shoot up her arm as something solid collided with her bone. She winced and stumbled backwards, [B]?Metal gloves,?[/B] she muttered, [B]?Cheap.?[/B]

[B]?Nay, Era; clever. You?re a fool for relying only on a segment of your power, how can you ever expect to win??[/B]

Era stayed quiet as the words sank in, settling into what she believed to be a defensive stance. She had never let anyone teach her hand-to-hand combat of any sort and the only weapon she had ever used was a handgun. Era was one of the peaceful Legionnaires who used her powers to incapacitate opponents. When faced with someone who equalled, if not triumphed over, her in power she didn?t seem to stand a chance.

[I]?I have to,? [/I] she thought, [I]?There will be a way out of this.?[/I]

Eva was already setting up for another attack, her paces long and slow as she brought her knee up towards Era?s stomach. The witch brought her arms down together to catch her attackers knee, holding onto her thigh before spinning it roughly. She didn?t know if she?d be able to go on like this, but if she could at least figure a way out of this dimension, she?d be fine.

Eva grunted as she fell back, catching herself just in time to spin and aim a kick for Era?s throat. Era jumped back and closed her eyes, trying to tap into her counterpart?s mind. If Eva could do it to her, then surely, Era would be able to do the same. She just had to find it, unlock it, and master it within a few seconds. Nothing, really.

Again, Eva was on her feet and coming at Era. Suddenly, it clicked, and Era couldn?t help but smile. Her other half may be strong, but anger and physical attacks leave the mind weakened. She?d learnt that much when escaping from angry villagers all those years ago. Managing to side step the aggressive assault, Era whirled and brought her fingers to Eva?s temples, locking the two of them together. The witch opened her eyes and stared directly at Eva?s headband, knowing that the other women could see her perfectly. [B]?You leave your mind weak?you are no copy of mine.? [/B]

With a cry like none Era had let out in many a year, she pressed her fingers in, drawing memories and events straight from her foe?s mind. Eva screamed as her knees gave way, scratching at Era?s wrists as her every thought was taken from her. Sweat broke out on Era?s skin as she took the most important memories, keeping them clear in her mind?s eye as her power built up. The day Eva discovered this hellish place was first up, and within only seconds Era had eliminated it from Eva?s memory, essentially making it impossible for the event to have ever happened. Suddenly, the pair were back in the museum, but Era?s didn?t stop there. She couldn?t now; the adrenaline was too much.

[B]?You will?rue the day?you came to this?world!?[/B] Era said, her voice like venom as she pressed her fingers in harder. She felt the fragile bone of Eva?s temples give way and winced as her fingers sunk into the woman?s skull, gritting her teeth as she pulled up one last memory. The day Eva had discovered her powers.[I] ?Frightening?[/I], Era thought as she wiped the event clear, [I]?So many years to discover a power so strong, only to have it wiped from your mind.?[/I]

She pulled back, her fingers covered in a mix of her own and Eva?s blood. She was dead, Era knew as the limp body dropped to the floor, but she couldn?t help but feel a little afraid of her own mortality because of it.

Stepping back, the witch wiped her bloodied hands over her cape; dropping down to sit on the floor, head in her hands.[/SIZE]
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  • 4 weeks later...
[center][b]Mission #103: Assassination Vacation

[size=1]The British Museum shook as the full fury of it's superhuman inhabitants was released, the once blackened building, illuminated by the faint light of the ritual torches now gave way to technological explosions and magical flames. Two of the figures had not yet engaged in their deathly duel, they stood in the same positions they had taken in their original encounter and merely stared at one another. In so many ways these two men were exactly alike, and is as many ways they were completely different, Augur knew this, his doppelganger knew this and they stayed observing one another silently as chaos, death and destruction reigned about them. The polished marble floors were scarred and broken in several places not far from them, but here in their circle of influence the dark sheen flashed with an almost sinister gleam. Augur surveyed his otherworldly self, his cape swayed gently against his form, a mask covered all emotion that would be read upon his face, but underneath Augur knew there was no emotion, that even if he chose to cast off the mask what lay beneath would be features born of ice. But inside these two men were one in the same, he felt exactly the same as Augur did, because he was Augur, despite all his motives, despite any of his actions at their core they were one in the same.

In each of their eyes, the other saw all that they hated utterly, all that they feared completely, and all that they might one day become. In looking at this man Augur saw what he would be if he simply stopped fighting his darker impulses, if he gave into his fear, his anger, his sense of retribution against those who deserved it, in short what Augur saw filled him with a sense of loathing and terror, but some small part of him was also filled with curiosity, what would it feel like to give in ? What would it feel like to be able to simply stop fighting and know the power of his own darkness as this being knew ? He felt beads of sweat begin to form on his forehead, his heartbeat began to steadily increase, his breathing became heavier, he willed them to stop, he would not show fear, he would not give in. Slowly his heart returned to it's normal pattern, his breathing slowed and became more relaxed, but a single bead of sweat ran down cheek and struck the floor. "[b]You fear me, don't you ?[/b]" Five simple words, and internally Augur knew they were true.

"[b]I do not fear the darkness, for where there is darkness there is also light, darkness cannot exist without the light, it may smother it but it can never destroy it. I do not fear you, what I fear is what I might become if I give in as you have.[/b]" The statement rang with conviction, he would not be intimidated, too many people counted on him to succeed, he would not allow his planet to be consumed in fire, to see all that was good expire and allow the shadow to expand unmet by the light. "[b]You do fear me, what I am is what you could become, and you fear that, thus you fear me. But you do not just fear your darkness, you fear the superiority of that darkness, I am superior to you Augur, I always have been because I have no fears. You claim the darkness cannot exist without the light and yet even when the light is strongest there is darkness to match it, and when night falls only the pin-pricks stars dare to challenge it's power. Darkness came first and darkness shall always be more powerful.[/b]" His words carried the same power as Augur's earlier ones had, he had fallen so far from the light, given himself so fully to the darkness that it twisted him into something that was not fully human. He did not know fear, but neither did he know compassion, mercy, true joy or love, he was a shell of hatred, malevolence and cruelty, and eventually it would destroy him.

"[b]You are not superior to me, you who have committed such grievous sins could never be my better, to be superior to me you would have to be human and you are not human, not any more. The shadow and the light dance today and every day, the dawn, the dusk, the waning and the waxing of each others powers. But where the darkness fills the voids of mens' hearts, the light shall give them strength and they shall always know it. For the light does not twist as the darkness does, it raises a man to something higher, something greater, something closer to God. So long as I walk path that has been laid before me, you cannot defeat me.[/b]" Augur stood now again merely staring at his opponent, this wraith who's words would not sway Augur, who's power would not overcome him, who would fall against him. It was the way of the universe, the darkness may rise to great and terrible heights, but the light shall always burn brighter. A deathly shriek brought more words to Augur's lips, soon it would be finished, one way or another. "[b]Your allies have fallen, I give you this choice: Leave now and you shall do so unharmed, return to you world that you have condemned to pain and suffering. Challenge me here and you shall fall before my feet, your blackened soul will come before God Almighty and he shall cast you into the deepest regions of Hell.[/b]"

"[b]I have no allies, what your pathetic comrades have extinguished were nothing more than those wretched underlings who I found most unworthy of their holdings, who's demise I had long planned and served to them now in the most painful method. Those who have died here are those who quaked at my fury, those who's very will was at my command, those upon who my power was greater than any. You speak of God, to those I brought here, and those I saw fit to spare from my cleansing of the Earth itself I AM GOD, my power is everlasting, imperishable and indomitable.[/b]" Fear crawled into Augur's very heart now, his mind's eye formed the image of the billions who lay slain by his malice, nausea welled up in him, he felt their blood on his hands and their screams in his ears. "[b]Join me.[/b]" Two words that brought his unbridled fury to banish the fear, the sickness and the guilt, he would end this creature of evil here and now, he would return freedom to those he had taken it from, this would be his penance. But his dark half continued, nonplussed by Augur's rising anger. "[b]I shall give you power as you have never known Augur, power to destroy those who would rebel against the order of law, to remake the world in your own image, to make things as they should be. With my power you would be capable of anything that you desired, you would compel fear unrelenting in the hearts of your enemies, and love unending in the hearts of those you fought for. Know my power and you shall never know fear again.[/b]"

"[b]Never, I will NEVER join you, I will end your evil here and now. If I takes my last breath I will see you die and know that I have brought light back to the world you took it from.[/b]" The rifle that had lain lowered against his side was brought with lightning speed against his shoulder, without thinking he released the first volley of bullets, then a second, his finger stayed steady against the trigger until finally the clip rattled empty. But faster than Augur had raised his rifle, faster than he had even accepted that he had to slay this anathema, his parallel self had cast back his cloak and removed the pair of swords that lay beneath. As fast as the bullets had left the barrel of Augur's rifle, his doppelganger had blocked them, to the untrained eye it might have seemed like magic, something taken from science fiction. The navy blades looked as though they had been crafted from the night sky itself, and as Augur's clip professed itself empty he understood how badly he had underestimated his opponent. His shadowy nemesis returned the two blades back beneath the cape and with a stroke of his right hand, Augur felt the rifle wrenched from his grip by some unseen force of immense power, it hung in the air for a moment before being cast far into the darkness.

Driving his other arm forward, Augur was raised off his feet and slammed against one of the many pillars keeping the structure supporter, all wind left his lungs and he felt himself unable to move, he was pinned with his arms spread and his legs forced together, the pose of Christ at the Crucifixion, obviously his other half wanted what he was about to do to have some greater meaning. Again he removed one of the blades from beneath his cloak, Augur wanted to call out to his comrades, but none were in sight and he knew that as easily as this enemy had dealt with him, he would do the same to them. Another three steps and Augur found himself staring directly into the mask that covered his parallel's features, it held all the presence of a death mask and again Augur felt fear creep up his spine. "[b]I am sorry that I must do this, I had hoped your power would prove sufficiently developed that this might be avoided but you leave me only one option. I must free you from this physical dependency and let you know your true potential.[/b]" There was genuine sorrow in his voice, but Augur did not understand what he had meant, slowly he raised the sword horizontally and as the blade passed above his neck Augur let out a sharp gasp, comprehension came too late, and before he could struggle the blade passed with ease across his face, across his eyes and all Augur could do was roar out his pain.

Blood spilled down his face, he could smell it, he could taste it, but his sight was now lost to him, his arms tried to flail against the force that held him in place but he was unable to do so. The pain was unlike anything he had ever felt, it was like fire and ice at the same time, he could feel tears mixed in with the blood and he knew that this was his end. He hung his head, he knew he was defeated, at first he merely groaned but slowly as the tears continued to fall he merely sobbed, he had failed and the Earth would now pay his debt in full. The unseen grip that held him in place softened, and he felt his form collapse against the floor. His vision was completely dark, truly his parallel self had been correct, here the shadow had cast out the light completely, his fingers felt with hesitation across the floor, trying to find some way of gaining his bearing again, so that if he was to die, he would at least die on his feet. But even as Augur writhed on the floor, his parallel self merely watched him, his expression beneath the mask was one of anticipation, he felt nothing more, either Augur would understand his power and provide a true challenge, or he would lie there waiting for his end like a wretched coward.

Slowly Augur raised himself from the ground, after all he had gone through in South Africa it seemed unfitting that he meet his end here, in this manner, to this creature. Inside Augur saw his parallel self for what he really was, he was Augur who's heart had turned cold, who had been as emotionless as Augur's had before the Temple, who had never experienced that profound sense of personal loss that Augur had, the guilt that there should have been some way to warn his friends. The loss and the guilt that had forced him to accept that he was merely human, that for all his power, he was as susceptible to suffering as anyone else, that knowledge had torn down all the barriers Augur had placed around his heart and he was better for it. Hope was the quintessential human emotion, it was the light that fueled so many dreams and aspirations, Augur aspired to be a better man that he was, he was flawed but anything that was flawed could be improved upon and that was what it was to be human. But his parallel self had never come to this self-reckoning, never acknowledged that his power did not separate him from anyone else, that at his core he was still just a man, he did not aspire to be better, he pandered to his darkness and it had consumed him. In that moment Augur not only understood that he could defeat this double, he understood why he could defeat him.

"[b]Dum Spiro Spero.[/b]" The words passed through his blood-stained lips like a whisper, but it was loud enough for his opposite to hear them, "[b]While I breathe, I hope[/b]". Shakily he passed his hand down to his side, from the pouch he removed a small roll of antiseptic bandage, again his parallel self merely watched him, but beneath the mask, the smallest smile of satisfaction had formed upon his lips, perhaps he would prove worthy after all. Carefully Augur wrapped the bandage around his damaged eyes, the blood flow had lessened significantly, but he felt weaker for his blood loss, after a moment the flow had stopped entirely. He passed a hand over his face, but saw nothing, not even the slightest hint of light or form. "[b]Do not try to see Augur, that drawback is gone from you now, holding you back from knowing your true power. You have felt it before, like a great surging energy ready to envelop you completely, you merely need to acknowledge it's existence.[/b]" There was no malice in his voice, it was simply stated fact as he knew it, but the statement sounded entirely like Tech's from their conversation, "[b]...you have a great inner strength, all you need to do is acknowledge it's there.[/b]"

For a moment Augur felt as though he was floating, as though he had entered a dream, in his dream mist surrounded him, and from that mist forms began to take shape. His hands passed before his eyes, but they did not look like his hands, they were pale and entirely without colour, his arms and legs were the same, finally objects around him became clearer through the mist, the pillar behind him, the floor beneath him and his enemy before him. From that moment Augur saw his enemy as he truly was, it were as though he were made of the darkness itself and in this form he was terrible to behold. He did not look human, his figure was sharp and angular, demonic almost. But now to his doppelganger, Augur also looked different, gone was the frightened being who had dared to stand against him, gradually the power was filling into him and it filled the shadow with pleasure. He was different of course to the shadow, the light that emanated from him was almost heavenly, as though the sunlight and pure snow were his garments and his features. But this is what the shadow had wanted, he had wanted this contest because in the core of his being he doubted himself, was the dark truly stronger ? Now he would have his answer.

Augur felt different, stronger now than he had ever felt before in his entire life, the pain of his eyes had evaporated like steam, power coursed through his veins like a great raging body of water. The shadow had been right, his sight had held him back, how else could be ever have come to know his power if he had continued to believe only as his eyes showed him ? But that still left him asking why, why would this creature allow Augur to unlock such power when he knew full well that with it Augur intended to end him ? Slowly the word formed upon his lips, tentatively as though it was precious to him. "[b]Why ?[/b]" The shadow merely smiled at him, and it was horrible, jagged teeth and cruel dark eyes filled with a sick joy. "[b]I told you the dark was stronger than the light Augur, now I will be presented with the opportunity to prove it.[/b]" Again he smiled, and again Augur felt a sense of revulsion rise up in him, but he saw something in the shadow's face, something he would not have seen if he still relied on his eyes, he saw fear. The shadow was not sure the dark was stronger than the light, for all his words he was right, the light and the dark had never been personified like this and he could not be certain he would prove victorious.

"[b]Quicker, easier, more seductive.[/b]" Now it was Augur's turn to smile, four words, four simple words that he saw made the shadow quiver ever so slightly. The energy between them was almost tangible, like opposite forces of a magnet drawn together, for one final battle. The shadow's face now drew into an incensed fury, fueled not only by his anger and his pride, but by the gnawing doubt that he might fall before the light. He removed the second sword from under his cape and threw it forward to Augur with distain, Augur caught it in mid spin, feeling the hilt smooth and yet firm in his grip, the craftsmanship was magnificent but perhaps now was not the time to admire the weapon. The blades sang through the air as light and dark assaulted one another, had both Augur's comrades and the shadow's servants been present, only Era and Eva would have seen the true display. To those who could not see on that level, the two men were dueling with such ferocity and speed that they were nearly a blur, the sparks as their swords collided was like lightning, the sound was like the rumbling thunder. To Era and Eva, it would have been a much greater display, the darkness striking with all it's wrath at the light, only to have the light return the blow with equal force, like angels and demons locked in an eternal struggle.

The battle seemed to last for hours, their speed was matched only by their power, each drawing into the reservoirs of their power for all they were worth, because one would meet their end in this battle, and either the dark would consume two worlds, or the light would be restored to one. The shadow had known it's powers for longer, had known the depths to which he could draw his strength from, anger fed it, pride restored it, and hate increased it's potency, but the seed of doubt which had formed was preventing him from drawing command of all his strength. Augur who had just begun to discover his power did not know how far his power went, but his hope and his dedication seemed unending, he fought no just for himself but for the greater good, "[b]dum spero spero[/b]" he repeated silently and he knew he could win. Their blades had only touched one another one in the encounter, Augur's first strike would have decapitated the shadow had he not moved to deflect it, sheering straight through his cloak, but even a deathly blow to the flesh would not ending the fight, only when one will was broken would it finally be decided. The large but shallow gash along Augur's chest had occurred soon after he had struck too far too quickly, the pain had been forced back down and the fight had continued.

The shadow and the light matched one another blow for blow, thrust for thrust, parry for parry and block for block, they were physically identical, their footwork was exactly alike. The only true difference between them now was their will, it was all that mattered and it would decide who would fall before the other. The security shutters were locked in place against the windows, but they were a physical barrier and they could not prevent the first rays of dawn from reaching both the light and the shadow's attention. "[b]Your power has waned Shadow, it is time the full power of the light was cast upon you.[/b]" The voice speaking wasn't truly Augur any more, part of it was but part of it was of something greater, a force inside Augur he hadn't known existed until now. The rays of the sun touched deep into Augur's spirit and he readied himself to complete their battle, the doubt that had once gnawed at the shadow now exploded into terror, the light knew it was stronger and the shadow would meet it's end here. The final exchange blazed hotter and faster than any before it, the shadow lurched forward to remove Augur's head with unmatched fury, but Augur had already rolled forward driving his own blade behind him with as much force as he could summon. First the blade broke against the armor surrounding the shadow, next it passed through the flesh until finally it struck home into the blackness of the shadow's heart.

The shriek was worse than anything Augur had ever heard before in his life, it was pain, anger, sorrow and hate rolled into one terrible noise. The shadow knew it had been defeated, he fell back upon the sword now driving it through the front of his chest, but something kept his lungs filled and his mind sharp even as his life-force bled out through him. Augur sensed the other members of Red Team watching, had they watched the entire exchange or just arrived now ? The look on Era's face was a mixture of joy and amazement, she saw Augur as he fully was at that moment. Her fingers were covered with something, blood he could only assume, he could not see the colour but it seemed the most logical assumption. Tech looked worse for wear, her grimace was no doubt part of her own pain from the exchange mixed with her vision of Augur, blind with blood covered cheeks. Pygmalion's transformation brought a smile to his face, the archaeologist looked far younger and better than he had at the beginning of the mission, the sparkle in his eyes indicated he felt a renewed sense of purpose, having faced his own demons as Augur had, as each of them had. Saturn looked different to the others, something her features that he couldn't place, she simply grinned at him and he nodded back.

The four members descended the marble stairs from which they had originally observed their parallel serves emerge, now Augur returned his attention to the shadow, but he merely laughed at Augur, it was cold, cold enough to send a shiver down his spine. "[b]Well, it looks like we failed then...[/b]" He coughed, spewing up a mixture of phlegm and blood, before spitting it towards Augur. "[b]...funny really, it was never my intention to rule this pathetic little world, of course my minions thought it was, their greedy little eyes carving up portions of the Earth for their future seats of power.[/b]" He laughed again, a series of dark cackles, he would be dead soon, so he might as well let them in on the little secret. "[b]But they've met their ends at your fine fellows' hands, pity really, I was hoping at least one of them might kill one of you, just show me they were worth bringing in the first place.[/b]" Again he coughed bringing up more blood, time was running short, he didn't want to miss the punch line. "[b]I knew I'd encounter Legionnaires when I arrived, or at least something akin to them, and while my minions engaged whatever resistance we met, I would search out my parallel self, in this case you.[/b]" His index finger rose pointing to Augur.

"[b]I know my own power better than anyone, before I cleansed the Earth of the unworthy, I took control of the Legionnaires, like those swords ? The Arbiter was quite partial to them before I beheaded him with one. After that it was easy, the Legionnaires had already control of the planet, so I just frightened people enough to give me even more power, it wasn't long before I controlled everything and everyone, people will do such stupid things when frightened enough.[/b]" Another laugh echoed forth. "[b]Eventually I began the cleansing of all those unworthy to share my Utopia, by the time I was finished it was so perfect, I'll rather miss to being able to see it again.[/b]" Augur hadn't wanted to interrupt, he wanted to know why his parallel self had come, but the idea of five and three-quarter billion people dying and the world being a paradise because of it warranted one. "[b]Your puppet in 10 Downing St seems to think otherwise, he said the States was a wasteland and people lived in terror and oppression, I get the feeling that's only the beginning of your crimes.[/b]" His eyes narrowed again in anger. "[b]That fool would say that, America a wasteland, bah, wasteland of morality, of law perhaps, and just because there are only thirty million of them there now doesn't make it a wasteland. I did them a favour, there's no poverty, no crime and everyone knows their place in life.[/b]" Again Augur felt like interrupting, knowing their place and being oppressed were one in the same.

"[b]I came here to find you, to convert you to my way of thinking, but you were too idealistic, too weak to understand. I wanted you to understand, even if you think my tactics are too heavy-handed there is merit to the philosophy. But you were blind in one sense of the word, so the only way I knew you could understand was to make you see things as they really are, see people are they really are, you see that now. Perhaps in time you'll recognise the wisdom I've imparted to you, perhaps not. But with your power you now could remake the world into order, and you could then use the carpets to down the same to another Earth, even if I only convert a small number of worlds to my way of thinking, they will still travel to other worlds in the multiverse to do the same. It's like that numerical joke about privacy, if one many has a secret and he tells two friends, and they tell two friend, and nobody tells the same two friends, then the day after everyone knows the secret. You may have killed me, by you are not the first Earth I've visited, the time will come when others will come here and continue my Crusade...[/b]" He burst ito a fit of cackles now, until they became more forced and finally his last breath escaped his wretched lungs. Augur looked at the form now, the darkness dissipated and all that was left was the shell of a broken man.

Augur began to turn away from the body, but Tech's wide eyes caused him to sharply return his focus to the corpse, the clothing around the body had begun to... liquefy. At first it retained the deep blue colour it originally possessed as a fabric, but as it drew closer to Augur it's colour shimmered and emerged as a pure white. Augur took a number of steps back, but the liquid continued to gain on him, it slithered it's way up his leg, up onto his chest before expanding out. It flowed along his arms, down along his legs, across his back until finally it settled and moved no more, he stared fascinated as the material once again took fabric form as a set of snow white robes. He ran his fingers along the material, it's texture was like a smooth cotton, he couldn't help but admire the craftsmanship, by the look on Tech's face she was obvious to examine it as soon as possible. He went to climb the first step before he realised exactly how exhausted he was, the adrenaline that had fueled his battle, at first he felt he would simply collapse into a heap on the ground, but gingerly he made his way up the stairs, the sweat trickled down his forehead and eventually he chose to sat with his back against the railing where he and Sam had first observed their parallel selves' arrival. His breathing was deep, he felt as though he'd sleep for a week after this, "[b]so long as I don't get any more nightmares[/b]" he added ruefully. Finally it hit him that they weren't finished yet.

"[b]Did by any chance, one of you come across the Prime Minister in your travels ? Or at least get any indication where he might have been stashed ? No ? ****. Someone help me up, I get the feeling Director-General Phillips would like him rescued before we decided to leave the building.[/b]" He smiled, his first one for quite some time before grabbing hold of Sam's outstretched hand and hauling himself to his feet yet again. At first he had been tempted to send Tech and Era out to give the all-clear, but he realised given their situation the all-clear couldn't be given until they brought out the kidnapped political leader. He tried to get some sense of the Prime Minister's whereabouts, but the silvery mist that now made up his field of vision relayed nothing, again he cursed under his breathe. "[b]Tech I don't suppose you brought along some variety of lifesign scanner that would help shorten our search.[/b]" He watched as Tech's cheeks flushed, either she had and she forgot to bring it, or she had and she forgot to turn it on, Augur more certainly hoped it was the latter.

Reaching into her pocket, the young woman produced a small device that looked curiously similar to a PDA, it made several bleeping sounds before finally going quite, they all surveyed the device for a moment, five dots showed their position, and as the device began to zoom out from it's current resolution they held their breath. Three seconds later the device let out what Augur could have sworn was a friendly chirp, about a hundred metres from their current position was one unconscious lifesign, chances were it was Cameron. Augur let out a loud sigh of relief, he really hadn't wanted to have to search the entire building for one man. With their flashlights now active again, the five-person squad made quick progress to where the "Mini" was being he'd. Before they could reach him however they were confronted by something that definitely didn't belong in a museum, the door was probably a steel construct and would no doubt be blast resistant. Augur rubbed his forehead for a moment, before looking to Pygmalion, hopefully underneath that flesh was some of that rock-hard strength he'd gained after the Temple. Looking dubiously Sam pulled back his fist and collided it with the door, as quickly as he'd hit it, Sam drew his hand back and rubbed it vigorously. There wasn't even a scratch mark from the impact, Augur might have been able to pry the door upon with his newly acquired power but his exhaustion told him otherwise.

"[b]Tech ?[/b]" It didn't make sense to look to Era or Saturn, neither of them possessed either the technical prowess or brute strength to access the chamber. Tech rooted about in her belt for a moment before withdrawing a small boxy looking device which she promptly sealed against the door. Augur's and the rest of the team who didn't understand the purpose of the device scrutinised it for a moment before it let forth a loud whine and the caused the door to disintegrate. Pulling his head back in surprise he merely looked at Tech and she flashed him a grin, he shook his head in exhaustion and moved through the now open doorway. Inside lay a man in his early forties dressed in a ruffled suit, he looked nearly exactly like the Cameron they had met in 10 Downing Street except for the fact that this one had grown some rather rough looking facial hair. He took one look at Augur and his team before relaxing in relief. "[b]Mr Cameron, I presume ? Although I'm afraid you wouldn't be the first I've met today.[/b]" The remark with met with Cameron's eyebrows knitted in confusion, he'd understand soon enough. He rose under his own power, which was more than Augur had been able to accomplish, after which the team lead him triumphantly out of the now partial destroyed museum.

"[b]Prime Minister, are you alright ?[/b]" Director Phillips sounded a much more pleasant woman when she actually cared for the well-being of someone, but at this stage Augur didn't really care. The Prime Minister sounded exhausted from his ordeal but replied calmly. "[b]I am Elizabeth, thanks to these five individuals, though no doubt you've been giving them your full support, and you usual cheer.[/b]" Augur couldn't tell whether the last part was supposed to be sarcastic or not. "[b]Director Phillips, if you wouldn't mind we have one final piece of business to attend to, I'd like the other Cameron brought to the jet we arrived in. And if it wouldn't be too much trouble, sent a team in to retrieve the five Arabesks, and a pair of swords from the museum, one of those swords will be found thrust through a body which I will also need delivered to us, as well as the other three you'll find therein.[/b]" Even as Augur spoke his words, a group of shadow covered individuals were busy loading the remains of the cyborg Tech into several cases. By the time the MI agents had reached the location of the remains, there was nothing to be found and no sign of any of the intruders.

Two hours later, have bade the Prime Minister goodbye, Augur and the rest of Red Team found themselves back on their jet returning to Legionnaire HQ. Augur had informed the Arbiter of their success and he waited to debrief them personally when they arrived, the group comprised of five exhausted superheroes merely relaxed back into their seats and allowed hours of much needed rest to finally catch up with them.

Mother of God, that has to be the longest post I have ever written.[/size]
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