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Greg really hated days like this. Days, well nights really, like this always were a wild card and he was never too sure what would occur. For example he had a feeling that he could have been arrested or killed. This feeling led him to go gun less because explaining away a serial less Gunter the cops was too much of a hassle. At the same time explaining away his vest would have been worth his time. But neither event had occurred and Greg was left with chasing after someone who may or may not have a huge role in the assassination attempt on Tak. The worst part was that Greg didn’t have a weapon. Hopefully everything went smoothly and Greg wouldn’t need a weapon though Greg knew that would be further from the truth. His luck, after all, was shit.
“Activity above you. Unable to discern what it is,” the voice chimed in, breaking Greg’s musings.
The man looked up and saw nothing but he trusted the agent on the other end of the line. Something had to have been there for the handler to mention it. He would keep vigilant for whatever it was and hopefully it was just a pigeon. “Roger, which way was it going?” He asked as he got closer to the agent’s last directions.
There was a minute of silence before the agent on the other end of the phone answered. “The same direction as you sir. With current position of the cameras we are unable to discern exactly what it is and the air space has been closed so no top support,” the agent replied.
Before Greg could open his mouth to reply another voice joined the line. “Proceed with caution Sierra. Abort mission if it gets too heated. We can gather information another way,” the all too familiar voice of the director joined in.
“Yes sir,” Greg grumbled as a reply. He didn’t like the fact that Fury was on the other side of the line. His presence always made life more difficult for Greg. ‘Abort now Agent. Wait for backup Agent. Do you even care about your life Agent?’ All of those were statements and questions that he got any time Fury was overseeing him. It was annoying as hell. Fury was overly cautious when it came to Greg and his actions. Greg was pretty sure Barton and Widow didn’t get this obnoxious oversight like he did. They also didn’t do long missions like Greg did and not nearly as unprepared as Greg. Whatever. Greg would be totally fine.
He came upon the building that he was directed to and cursed. He really didn’t want to climb all those stairs. “I’m hanging up now. Will call when the circumstances allow it. Enable protocol 4-5-1-4 1-Sierra if there is no contact in 48 hrs and feed Nemo in 24 hrs,” Greg said before hanging up. The protocol was to assume he was dead and to give Nemo to a good home. Putting his phone on silent he carefully peaked into the building. He would need to get to the top of building which was just going to be a blast.
Not seeing anyone on the ground floor he carefully and stealthily slipped into the building. He would need to find a gun as soon as possible and hopefully he didn’t run into too many people.
It was like something was looking out for Greg because he got halfway up the building when he ran into his first person. Some bored looking guard stood at the foot of the floor’s stairs staring off into the abyss. Greg pressed him against the side of the wall as he watched the man for a few minutes. Eventually he turned away long enough for Greg to slip up the stairs and put his hands on him. Greg somewhat felt bad for killing this henchman but it didn’t stop him from snapping the man’s neck and gently lowering him to floor. Grabbing the gun he continued up the stairs and eventually crashed through the door and was greeted with a sight he didn’t like at all and a greeting.
Greg whipped around quickly to be greeted by a sight that was not familiar at all. Well he was familiar with people in suits, three piece and super, but this was one he wasn’t familiar with. Greg was about to say something when there was a flash.
Turning around another person, and someone that Greg had zero knowledge about, joined them. “We could all share Wallace,” He grumbled to himself. All he needed was information and then they could have a field day with Wallace. Then came another vigilante joined them and it was now a full blown party!
“What the hell did Wallace do to be wanted by so many people?” He hissed as he came out of his surprised stupor. So did the lowly henchman who started to fire away and Greg ducked for cover. He needed to get to Wallace first if he wanted to even have a chance at information. Wallace, sadly, was the most interesting lead he had and most likely the most fruitful. [i ‘Fuck me. I should have just retired from the Marines,’] he thought to himself as a shower of bullets came to his direction. Scrambling out of the way he moved quickly while making a few shots at his attackers. He couldn’t make many shots with his small amount of bullets. Greg really wasn’t prepared for this at all.
Maybe, just maybe, he could get to Wallace and let the other people fight the goons. With those intentions he began to slink around the perimeter of roof and let everyone else fight. Wallace was super close when he felt a someone behind him and a gun to his head. [i ‘Fuck. Me,’] Greg thought as the henchman decided that enough was enough. “One more move and this fucker dies,” the man gruffly yelled. Greg paid no intention to him because his eyes were following Wallace that was getting closer to the VTOL. Life sucks.
Takeshi disappeared from the scene again to get his equipment. He had barely made it to the scene when Greg had first arrived to talk to Wallace and he considered himself lucky he could keep the man away from Greg. He might not have known it, but Tak might've saved him a whole world of hurt. With men from the attack on the scene and Daniel Wallace returning, they no doubt were going to make their variable—Greg Ramirez—their scapegoat, especially since Tak was no where to be seen. All it would take was for him to get in to police custody, a few bribes, and then Greg Ramirez would've been a handsome face among others in tomorrow's obituaries. They almost had Wallace, but it seemed Steven Grant was more interested in saving face from an investment he didn't realize was dirty.
That didn't matter at the moment though. Politics, money, laws, Tak didn't have to worry about that anymore. Not when he put on his gear. When he wore the mask and visor he was someone else... [i Something] else. He was a weapon, and the sights were now on Daniel Wallace. The man could run, but he couldn't hide. Not behind walls, not behind people, not even behind laws. There was no one he couldn't get to, as evidenced by his [i candour] with Mr. Century. Wallace knew something, he just wasn't expecting to be outplayed by Tak. So he could run as fast as he wanted, it didn't matter. Wallace was his.
The suit came on with practised and swift grace while enveloped in shadow, and immediately a building is grappled and scaled. He begins running in the general direction Wallace had hurried in. He touches the side of his visor, a HUD with AR came up and a secure transmission line opened up. [b “Eyes.”] He said as he continued to run. Numbers in the form of approximate coordinates came up, and Tak followed them, quickly running along the edge of the building before sighting Wallace power-walking down the streets... And Greg Ramirez. [i What the hell?] Take shakes his head and marks Wallace as a target with AR and continues to follow unimpeded. He was heading North-East after making a sharp turn to what appeared to be towards a multistory parking garage. It provided cover, but also boxed him in... What was he planning?
Either or, Tak and Greg were hot on his tail, and it wouldn't matter much once he got to the structure. Wallace quickly enters the building, looking over his shoulder every now and again, and then begins to ascend to the upper levels. The building Tak was on wasn't as tall as the parkade, so he couldn't jump on and meet Wallace halfway. He'd just have to meet him at the top!
The ninja throws out a grapple line and quickly enters the parkade, running silently between the parked cars and towards the stairs. He opens the door to the stairway and looks up to see Daniel Wallace running for the top and immediately follows suit. He bursts through the door of the open top floor and stops immediately. The entire top floor of the parkade was devoid of cars. It had much more sinister things in store for him.
In lieu of cars, there was a squad of men in front of what appeared to be some kind of Avenger class VTOL. Some of the armed men were ushering Wallace towards the VTOL but had stopped once Tak had burst through the door. With his enhanced hearing, Tak moves out of the way for Greg to make the same mistake he did and come through the doors. He looks slightly in his direction and then back to the men and Wallace.
[b “Glad you could join us.”] He says and raises a hand to his back to touch his sword. One of the armed men raises their gun and takes a step forward. And another surprise came. Two of them, actually.
There was a flash of white, silver, and grey. It had appeared the man who began to raise his weapon had been hit by a falling parachute, but once it settled, it appeared to be attached to a man, and not in the form of a parachute, but that of a cape and hood. He was dressed in silver, white, and black armour, holding a truncheon, and a crescent moon on his chest. His face was shrouded in shadow and covered by a mask, but Tak could see the white lens of the mask when he looked at him and Greg. He suddenly wasn't paying any mind to the armed men directly behind him. [b [+grey “Wallace is mine.”]] He said to them, and then one of the armed men went to attack the costumed vigilante. But it seemed like he had company.
Out of the shadows struck... [i something]. It sent the thug flying and in his place appeared to be... A woman. But a woman who had fur, a tail, and the markings of a tiger on her velvety hide. She grinned at them and spayed her fingers to reveal nails that were claws, and licked her lips.
The appearance of these two... he wanted to call them [i vigilantes], but that seemed to blase in their regard... The appearance of these two individuals caused a shock making everyone on deck freeze up to process. Tak was only slightly faster to process. They were here for Wallace and so was Tak and he assumed so was Greg. These men were here to protect Wallace, and considering the VTOL that sat idly at the far end of the parkade, they were here to spirit him away as well. So it appeared no one was really on anyone's side but their own and they all wanted the same person.
This was about to get [i very] messy.
Greg followed after Steven closely and silently to the man’s car. His mind was going a million miles a minute as he thought about his next step. He could resign right this moment and avoid whatever Mr. Grant wanted of him or he could stay silent. As much as Greg wanted to just quit so he didn’t have to deal with a damn thing and spend the rest of his assignment stalking Tak he knew he couldn’t do that. Something was fishier than the morning fish market and it had way too much to do with Tak so he would stay, for now.
Stopping in front of the car Greg stood at a very loose at ease position as Steven talked. If Greg wasn’t as good as hiding his emotions his eyebrow would be arched by now. There was no way in hell he was giving Mr. Grant useful information. “The only thing I had to go off of was the sound of a weapon discharging as I went to my post. What caused me to react was the guards doing absolutely nothing,” Greg simply stated. Was he on his way to his post? Not really. Could the security cameras prove that he was on his way to his post? Yes. They did say gardens and never specified which one so Greg should be safe.
He would hope that this occurrence would be investigated because it wasn’t normal. It was everyday some used an energy weapon to attack an Ambassador. Greg knew for a fact that SHIELD would be doing an in depth investigation and hopefully it would help bring out some information on Mr. Grant as well as Tak. There was something about Grant that Greg disliked greatly. Instead of saying all of that he gave Steven a small nod. “Of course, sir,” he quietly replied. “I’ll stay, for now,” Greg added. It had nothing to do with the pay and everything to do with what was occurring. He needed the information.
Once Mr. Grant left Greg took a step back and looked around. His eyes glanced over everyone that remained. A news anchor stood close to the tape line but the rest of the people seemed to be first responders. Several gurneys were filled with bodies covered in sheets being moved away while other people were moving the injured to an ambulance. Instead of sheer chaos it was controlled chaos. Most importantly Mr. Wallace was no longer in the area and he didn’t know where Wallace went.
Fishing out his phone he dialed an all too familiar number. “Do you have eyes on us?” Greg asked when the phone was instantly answered.
Greg let off a hum as he walked towards the line. “Which way did a certain Mr. Wallace, full name Daniel Wallace, go?” He asked.
There was a long pause and the sound of clicking could be heard as they went through the footage. “He went east. Tracking his path now,” the voice calmly stated.
Greg moved over towards the direction that they had said to go. The whole time he walked he kept his head up and moved with a purpose, blending into the background with ease.
“Mr. Wallace is walking slowly and is back tracking. If you continue straight and then make a left in 500 yards you will eventually run into him as long as he doesn’t change directions,” the voice said.
“Stay on the line and make me aware of and when I need to turn,” Greg calmly responded. He would rather go straight to the top, Mr. Century himself, for answers but baby steps were needed first to lay a good foundation.
Steven leads Greg to his car, but instead of getting in it, he just leans against it and crosses his arms as he looks at the other man. He doesn't exude any hostility, but there was a certain caution he seemed to have, especially when he made an obvious glance over Greg's shoulder at Takeshi as he began ordering people around and the attacker Greg had pointed out was apprehended. Obviously these guys weren't exactly pro's if they didn't bother vacating the scene of the crime, especially with two witnesses still alive to point them out. One of them being part of the actual security detail. An oversight maybe, but one that would no doubt cost them. But those were just minor details. Not why Steven was here.
[+blue “It wasn't hard to find out what happened.”] He states to Greg, the obvious. [+blue “So I'm not going to ask you what happened. I want to know what you know about Century Security. Obviously the reporters and security personnel were part of the same outfit and obviously you're not, so I'm hoping you can shed some light on maybe something that was said or something you saw before you were put on duty.”] If there were all these slip-ups, maybe Greg had noticed another one before they actually perpetrated the attack.
Grant Industries has slowly been buying up a lot of companies—Century Security being one of them—in an effort to grow exponentially. Nowadays anything with a 'Grant Industries' logo was bought up like hot cakes. Whether it was clothing lines, real estate, industry, or security, you had 'a Grant promise for quality'. Grant Industries used to just be in real estate and stocks, but more recently they've branched out and have been known to buy and 'flip' companies for a greater profit, and it seemed that he was intending to do the same for Century Security.
[+blue “There will be an investigation into this and I don't want to go down for someone else who was dirty.”] He glances over Greg's shoulder to see Daniel Wallace making a hurried exit toward the opposite street; either picking up a car or a cab. His eyes then pan over to Ambassador Watanabe who was also keeping a vigilant watch over Wallace as he departed. [+blue “There's more here than we know and its tied to the Fair City Project. Until Century Security is liquidated I want you to keep an eye on things. I'll double your pay, or triple it if you still want to walk, just keep me in the loop. This is a stormfront, and I see more strange things on the horizon.”]
Tak watches as Daniel Wallace leaves the area. The man knew something, and he didn't much like Steven Grant getting in their way about it. He knew the man was just trying to save face, disconnect everything soiled by Mr. Century, but the news of his death hasn't reached the ears of the media yet. SHIELD had cordoned off the area. He touches the scuff mark under his eye. [i Tak had burst through one of the windows, dodging gunfire, and agents. He incapacitated and maimed, but he did not kill these men. And once he was clear enough, he made a break for the door at the opposite end of the warehouse, opening the door, and the stock of an assault rifle slammed in to his face, cracking his visor and undoubtedly bruising his eye.] And the authorities would have a hard time identifying a body that was dropped seventy feet, especially with the Intelligence agency in their way.
As the authorities clear out the area some more, Tak glances over his shoulder to look at Greg and Steven Grant speaking. He tried to tune his enhanced and refined senses to listen in, but with the sirens, people talking, whispering, and shouting, it was hard to differentiate from everyone's own conversations.
<“What shall we do about Ramirez?”> One of his staff asked in Japanese and he looked at the man. What was he to do with Greg? No doubt Steven Grant would try to play them at odds, trying to get more of the inside track in to what was happening. However, that easily could go both ways if it needed to, and he was interested in finding out what Steven Grant's sudden interest in the Fair City Project was.
[b <“He is to be rewarded for his bravery.”>] Tak responds, but again looks in the direction that Daniel Wallace had left in. [b <“But there is still work to be done this night. If you can, I would like you to talk to Grant Industries HR, but not Grant himself. I want Ramirez on my security team for the duration of my stay in America.”>] He looks at his attendant who was about to protest but the look stopped him. [b <“For now Wallace is someone I would be interested in talking to.”>]
There was no way the night could get any worst. The look that Wallace was giving him could kill a lesser man for sure. Before Greg could say anything to Wallace a familiar voice joined the chorus of voices. Turning his attention away from the irate manager he was graced with the sight of an alive Tak. Greg did a once over of Tak, noting that he didn’t appear to have broken anything but he did have a small mark under his eye. [i ‘Curios, I wonder what he did,’] he thought to himself. Tak definitely did something big between now and when he jumped out of the window too bad there was no footage on where he went.
“Ambassador,” Greg replied with a small nod of his head. “I didn’t expect to see you so soon after you left either,” he added. Maybe with Tak here everything wouldn’t be a train wreck? A guy could hope.
He looked away as the body guard asked Tak a question and pointed out Wallace. Greg wouldn’t be too surprised if Wallace was a part of the assassination plan but he also wouldn’t be surprised if Wallace wasn’t. He seemed too annoyed to be a part of the assassination it was as if Wallace wasn’t in the loop about what happened. Or he could have known but didn’t expect this outcome. Either way Greg felt a small ounce of pity for the man as the cops came forward. It looked like his night had become slightly decent and he could enjoy the last of his waking hours.
Greg was ready to turn away when Steven Grant approached them and stopped the arrest. [i ‘Fuck me,’] Greg silently cursed as he looked at the man. Of course somehow, someway, Steven Grant managed to buy out Century Security as it was going down the trash. Also it was throwing a wrench in Greg’s plans.
With a soft sigh Greg looked at the rest of the group before Grant. Why the man wanted to talk to him Greg didn’t know. He was hoping that it was to fire him because of his drinking. Greg could dream. “Of course Mr. Grant,” he replied, forcing himself not to grumble. Taking a few steps forward he looked back at Tak. “Keep an eye on the dirty blonde in the back. He is one of our attackers and is sending you death glares,” Greg quietly informed Tak before fixing his coat and making his way towards Grant. “How can I help you sir?”
[b “Greg Ramirez.”] Tak says, seemingly coming from the crowd of people. He was followed by three other Japanese men and women, obviously part of his team, especially considering they kept a vigilant eye on the surroundings. To be quite honest, they were mostly for show, Tak being more than capable of handling pretty much any situation he was in. And this time he was armed with more than throwing spikes under his tailored suit. [b “I had not expected to see you so soon. Sorry I had to run, I had some business to take care of.”] He looked slightly flushed, like he had just gotten back from a workout, and there was a small scuff mark under his right eye that wasn't there before.
“Is that him, sir?” One of his attendants asks, looking at Daniel Wallace. Takeshi nods his head, and the attendant looks over his shoulder at a few police officers and nods. Two police officers come, one of them pulling out a pair of hand cuffs.
“Danial Wallace, you're under arrest for suspicion of conspiracy, attempted murder of an ambassador, four counts of first degree murder, aiding and abetting, and purchase of illegal weaponry.” And they begin to set upon him, and honestly this was immensely satisfying for Tak to watch. He knew Mr Century was dirty, the security personnel was dirty, and it was probably safe to assume that Daniel Wallace was also dirty. But Greg wasn't dirty, so Wallace might be clean as well, but to him it seemed unlikely, and it didn't make sense as to why he would pull Greg in for questioning, and not his men who were living and the perpetrators of the attack. Luckily enough for Greg, Tak was a living witness and he could exonerate him with ease and point fingers where they needed to be pointed.
[+blue “Excuse me, excuse me.”] A voice came from the crowd, and a man pushed through the people. Police tried to stop him, but he walked passed them like a socialite who owned the place... And by how he was dressed, it might appear that way to people who around. He was a handsome, tall man, with neatly trimmed brown hair, dark eyes, a strong jaw, and his well-tailored suit did little to hide his boxer's physique. Tak's eyes narrowed. This was man was-
[+blue “Steven Grant, Grant Industries.”] He says with a practised smile, holding his hand out to Tak, but keeping his eyes on the police and Wallace.
[b “I am aware of who you are, Mr. Grant. You belong on the other side of the police tape.”]
[+blue “No, no, I have vested interests here. You can unhand Mr. Wallace, he works for me.”]
[b “Vested interests? Works for you?”]
[+blue “That's correct, Ambassador Watanabe. I've bought sizable shares on the Fair City Project and made a six billion dollar donation to it as well.”]
His eyes narrow again. [b “When?”]
[+blue “Thirty minutes ago.”] Son of a b- [+blue “And I bought and am to starting to liquidate Century Security, five minutes ago. You want to bring someone in for questioning, I'd suggest going in and talking to Mr. Century himself.”]
[b “Or else?”] Takeshi challenged. And as if waiting for it, Steven Grant pulled out an envelope from his pocket and held it up. The police around them suddenly kept their hands very close to themselves. [b “A cease and desist order, Mr. Grant?”]
[+blue “You bet. Now release Mr. Wallace. And Mr. Ramirez, if you'd come with me I'd like to ask you some questions myself, after all for the time being you do work for me.”]
Greg had nothing else to do. It was a rare occasion when he found that he had nothing to do and Greg was going to take advantage of it. Shrugging out of his clothes he tossed them into a basket and pulled on a pair of threadbare sweatpants. He had one goal in mind and only one, finish the case of beer that had been in his fridge since he returned to the states. Greg could be productive instead and file his report with SHIELD and figure out what he was going to do about his useless security job but he could care less. That was what tomorrow was for.
Grabbing the case he made his way to the couch and plopped down. Nemo made his appearance onto his lap and let out a loud purr of contentment. Greg lazily stroked the creature as he opened a can of beer and turned the television on.
This peace and quiet only lasted a short while before he got a phone call. “Gregory Ramirez,” he answered giving the phone only a cursory glance.
“We weren’t able to follow him,” a voice on the other end glumly said instead of an introduction, not that Greg really needed one.
“What do you mean you couldn’t follow him? There are multiple cameras in the area,” Greg replied as he finished one can and opened another. He didn’t like the fact that SHIELD lost the ambassador but there was nothing he could do about it. There was no doubt in Greg’s mind that he would run into Tak again either by accident or... coincidence. At least that’s what Greg would claim.
There was some shuffling on the other end of the phone before Greg got his answer. “The cameras were destroyed. No one noticed it until you called,” the voice sheepishly said.
“And how did that happen?” Greg asked, annoyance dropping into his voice. This was a blunder that he wasn’t happy about. Broken cameras? Those were easy to find and fix. SHIELD had no excuses in failing to keep an eye on their network.
“One of them malfunctioned and another got peed on and the wiring most likely was being chewed at by rats,” they replied.
Greg let out ab annoyed sigh and leaned back into the couch. Good thing he had a beer because he would lose his shit right about now if he didn’t. “Make sure they get fixed. Now,” Greg hissed as he hung up the phone.
Grumbling about SHIELD’s incompetence he went back to petting Nemo all while a movie started in place of the tv show he had hardly been watching. At least Nemo would never fail him.
It had been sometime later and a case of beer later when he got another phone call. He was hoping it was SHIELD calling to inform him that the cameras had been fixed but it wasn’t.
“Mr. Ramirez,” a vaguely familiar voice said on the other end. “This is Daniel Wallace with Century Security. There has been an incident at the Embassy and we will need you to come in for some questioning.”
Dread filled Greg as he heard those words. He was hoping that the mayhem would have kept him from being contacted for the day but that’s what he got for hoping. Taking a deep breath he moved Nemo off of his lap. “I’ll be there in thirty minutes Mr. Wallace,” he calmly said as he got up to change back into a suit and hung up.
“I can never win Nemo,” Greg quietly grumbled as he went to his closet. There was a false backing that was hard to to find but Greg had its location memorized. Fitting his fingers in the small groves he pulled the backing out. In the hidden section of the closet sat all of the SHIELD gear that he couldn’t leave laying about. The one thing he wanted was his vest for just in case. It was lightweight, fitted comfortably under a shirt, and was slash proof and bulletproof proof which was what Greg cared about the most. He may not be able to protect his head but he could at least protect his torso.
Pulling the vest out he put the paneling back on and got dressed. As he was on his way out he sent a text to Coulson as a heads up that he had gotten a call from his “job”.
The walk back to the embassy was quicker now that he wasn’t evading people and making sure Tak was following him. Greg still took several unnecessary turns before he got to the embassy and when he got there everything was cordoned off. A frazzle dark haired man stood at the edge of
the police tape, surrounded by suited men and women. From where Greg was he could even pick out a few SHIELD agents on the other side of the tape talking to officers. The tension that he didn’t know he had eased up a little bit as he approached the crowd. “Mr. Wallace?” He asked as he approached.
“I’m assuming you are Mr. Ramirez,” the man said as he took the last few steps to close the difference. His nose scrunched up once he was bear Greg. “Have you been drinking?”
“Yes,” Greg simply replied knowing that wasn’t the answer that the other men wanted and not caring. What he did care about is he noted that one of his attackers was in the crowd. This night just couldn’t be simple.
With his equipment and no one tethered to his waist, Takeshi felt a lot more comfortable in his own skin. As much as Greg was interesting to have around, he was here to do a job and someone was trying to stop him. Clearly they knew something if they wanted to wipe out Tak and other executives who were working on the Fair City Project, he just had to find out who stood to gain anything from the project being halted or delayed. Initially there were very limited clues, but now there was the security company who was hired and payed off. Either this meant that they had turned their own people dirty or had hired flunkies to be replacements. More likely the latter, but it still meant someone with power in the company was getting their palms greased.
So with that in mind, using a grappling hook, Tak ascends to a rooftop and quickly pulls up information on the HUD in his visor as he jumps from one to the next. [i Century Security] came up and a list of its constituents and benefactors. It was owned by Clifford F. Michaels, and the company was going under, slowly being bought up by Grant Industries... But it seems after a slight influx of cash Clifford was able to slow down being bought out. So whoever did this did this quick, because this was a huge paper trail leading him to Clifford Michaels, and the authorities would no doubt find the connection as well. But not before Tak had dealt with Century.
Despite being on foot, it didn't take long for Tak to make it to Century Security. It was a slightly isolated office building with a large garage and warehouse type structure attached to it. There were also a few cars haphazardly parked outside, and a lot of the lights were still on. Including the top floor where he assumed Mr Century himself was. It was quite a climb, but with Tak's advanced ninja suit and his abilities, he could most certainly make it.
Pulling back a piece on one of his vambraces it revealed a small compartment with a numerical display and a tiny screen. He presses a few and the outside of his palms and his fingertips glow a faint blue. He touches the wall and the stick and soon he begins climbing the wall like there were finger holds. Quickly he's up to the top floor, and perches on a ledge before swiftly shimming across it until he makes it to just before one of the brightly lit windows. He could hear two voices, one coming from a phone.
“-understand! My men failed! The survivors will be no doubt tell them it was the security team, and it won't take long for them to point their fingers at me!” Voice recognition picked that up as Clifford Michaels, Mr Century himself. “You told me if I got you in your men wouldn't fail!”
[+red “There were some [i unexpected] setbacks.”] A voice garbled through a scrambled said. [+red “You have your money, so I suggest you get your affairs in order and leave the country as soon as possible.”] And the the line disconnected. Damn! He only got here at the end of the conversation. But it [i did] seem like Mr Century was going to heed whoever was on the other end of the phone's warning. There was a ton of ruffling and scrambling, and when Tak peaked his head around the corner, he could see Clifford putting together a sort of bug-out bag. Now was as good as any, he places a small device on the window, and after a few seconds, it blows inwards. He would have only minutes.
Tak comes in through the now open window, Mr Century sputtering on the floor trying to figure out what happened. He freezes when he sees the jet black armour clad ninja standing in the hole that used to be his window. Tak doesn't give him a chance to react, crossing the distance with incredible speed, he grabs Mr Century and tosses him in to the wall, then quickly draws his ninja sword and swings, cutting the man's tie in half without even grazing his skin or silk dress shirt underneath. [b “Who hired you?”] Tak asks, levelling the ninja sword at the man's throat. [b “Who attacked the Embassy?”]
“I... I...” He was groping around for words at this point, sputtering all over the place. Tak grab him by the collar and lifts him from the floor and then off of his feet, bringing the man close to his visor. He slowed down slightly, less information to take in. “I... I don't know who.”
[b “I do not believe you.”] He drops Mr Century on to the floor, grabbing his foot, and then begins dragging him towards the window. Suddenly, all of the lights went out. [i Shit.] He had less time than he thought. [b “I do not have time for your games.”] Tak says as if he didn't notice the lights. He then hangs the man out of the window by his ankle. [b “Give me a name! Or I will drop you. Seventy stories.”]
“I swear to God!” He shrieks. “T-t-they promised me money as long as I could get the security contract! It was a lot of money, I didn't ask questions!” Tak begins to loosen his grips. “No! No! Their advanced weapons! I've never seen anything like it! Please! You have to believe me!”
He heard them before they even entered the room. “Whoever you are, put the man down.” He heard one of them say. Before he even turned his head he knew there was four of them, and no doubt more on the way. He turns his head and his breath hitches a little, but it doesn't show. They were in armour, but what caught him off guard was the SHIELD insignia embroidered on the uniforms. SHIELD was involved? This changed things.
“I said put the man down!” The leader said, taking a step forward, gun trained on Tak. And he listens, releasing his grip from Mr Century and letting him plummet to his death. Immediately they open fire on Tak, and he rolls, flipping over Mr Century's desk for cover and tosses out a few marble sized balls that quickly fill the room with a cloud of smoke. There's more shouting and coughing, and Tak uses this to his advantage. He's over the desk and slices the first man's gun in half with his sword, kicking out his knee, and palm striking him in the face. He quickly makes short work of the others, similarly disarming them and incapacitating them. He places his sword on his back as he hears more shouting and men filing up the stairs. Obviously that was a no go, but he had more options.
He comes upon the elevator and with his enhanced strength, he pries the doors open. The elevator was on a much lower level. [i Perfect.] Unattaching something from his belt, he attaches it to the wire of the elevator. The other SHIELD agents begin to fill in the hallway and open fire as he descends the elevator, the device on the wire rappelling him down with ease. He hits the top of the elevator, drops in to it, and pries open the doors again. He was on the third floor. Deja Vu. He makes a break for the window and then jumps through it, plummeting and landing on top of the warehouse. He hits it in a roll and continues to run.
This wasn't exactly how he thought his night was going to go, but he [i did] learn some valuable information. Now he'd just have to survive so he could get to the next step.
“Is that a compliment or something bad?” Greg jokingly asked as Tak called him strange. Greg personally preferred unique but he would take strange because he knew it was true. It was always hard trying to explain away the lack of personalization when it came to his home which people tended to find odd. The cleanliness was always easily explained away but having nothing on the walls always called for unique and sometimes elaborate stories. Thankfully he didn’t have to explain it often because he rarely brought people to the homes he was residing in. “I don’t need an award. I was just doing the job that they hired me to do. Granted there was nothing about them shooting at me or attacking an Ambassador in the contract. Maybe it was a clause I missed,” he humorously added as he walked into the kitchen.
Greg was greeted by a fat black blob sitting on the counter staring at him. No matter how many times he moved the cat it
would always return to the counter. Giving the obnoxiously meowing creature a few head scratches he looked up at Tak who proclaimed the need to use the bathroom. “I’ll be here, appeasing Nemo,” Greg replied as the man walked towards the opened bathroom. He knew there was a window large enough to fit through but wasn’t too sure on what Tak was going to do. If he escaped it would lend some more credibility to SHIELD’s curiosity when it came to the ambassador. To be fair their interest in the man was well founded because he was hiding something. Greg was sure of it.
Keeping an ear on the bathroom he went about checking Nemo’s food and water. Greg originally didn’t want Nemo at all but the poor little three legged creature wouldn’t leave him alone after Greg found him in a dumpster outside a strip club. After the constant return of Nemo he gave in and adopted the cat. Greg definitely preferred dogs but Nemo was more conducive to his lifestyle. It was also easier on the junior agents when they had to take care of the ball of fur.
With Nemo’s food and water full Greg returned to the blob and continued to pet him in silence as he kept an eye on the clock. As the minutes ticked by and the constant sound of the water running filled Greg’s ears he knew that Tak had run off. He was okay with that. The man could probably take care of himself and Greg knew he would run into Tak again. The only thing Greg could do was try to figure out where the other man went and report in with SHIELD. Giving Nemo one last scratch he left the kitchen and approached the bathroom. “Are you okay Tak?” He called out. After a few moments he received no answer and knew his assumption had been right. Greg gave the door an attempt before grabbing the key from the top of the frame.
As the door opened Greg was greeted with an empty room and running water. “Wasteful,” he softly scoffed as he turned the water off and peered out of the window. The jump was significant enough that it could hurt someone but it was doable if necessary. Obviously Tak was able to do it because there was no blood or body laying around there which was good.
Closing the window and locking it Greg pulled out his phone and dialed a number he was familiar with. It only took one ring for someone to pick up. “Hey Phil it is Agent 1-Sierra, I just had the Ambassador at the safe house after he was attacked. He decided to jump out of the window. Do you think you can have someone track him?” He asked as he padded back to the living room.
[h3 Cat and Mouse]
Tak's eyebrow raised about a fraction of a centimetre when Greg said he didn't put his real address on the paperwork. That was a little strange considering Tak had just thought Greg was a very dedicated security officer, but it appeared there was more to the man than meets the eye. However, rather than dwelling on it now or beginning to ask exceptionally personal and probing questions, the ambassador did what he did best and remained silent for the time being.
He followed Greg's lead, blending in to the New York rabble, brushing shoulders with the people and keeping himself from being picked out. Every so often when it was convenient Tak would shed some clothing. Tossing his tie in a garbage can, leaving his suit jacket on a sleeping homeless man, and then untucking his shirt and tussling his neatly groomed hair in to something a little more 'messy'. He even texted on his phone to his security team in a casual manner for added effect. Despite being Japanese, he looked just like anyone else around here, his mannerisms mirroring theirs very easily, effectively invisible just like Greg. If Tak wasn't trained the way he was, he might've even lost Greg in the crowd. The man was an extraordinary sort, and an adept chameleon it would seem. Tak made an effort to keep his hidden weapons under his sleeves doubly concealed.
After a while Greg stopped around an apartment building which indicated to him this is where the man lived. It took an extra look to make sure they weren't followed as Greg punched in his code and then followed him in to the building. When they went up and went in to Greg's apartment... Well, it seemed Greg was quite the man of mystery. His apartment was sparsely populated by furniture, but he easily could be a minimalist, but what made Tak question that was the bare walls. No pictures, no art. This seemed more like a safehouse than it did an actual living situation. However, when he heard the cat's meow, it made him question Greg again.
[b “You are a strange man, Greg Ramirez.”] Tak says pointedly, stepping further in to the apartment. He surveys it like it was covered in landmines before he spins on his heel to look at Greg again. [b “I do appreciate your help and I'm sure my people will be here soon, and you will be awarded for you bravery.”] Now that Take was looking at Greg without distractions, the man was just as unassuming as his apartment, and they went together like a matching set now that he could see them together. But his charm and his wit was quite disarming, not to mention his level head under fire and his exceptional skills.
[i Very strange indeed.]
As Greg mentioned, they could now wait for his security staff, and no doubt an armed escort of a dozen police, and no one leaving him alone to do what needed to be done. And he was already shacked up with Greg for the time being, and Tak felt a surprising sort of guilt at the thought of harming him so he could escape. No, if he wanted out of here and to remain out of the lime light for the time he needed, it had to be now but he wouldn't hurt the man who risked his life for him. There was only one option.
[b “I need to go to the bathroom.”] He says rather unceremoniously and then walks to the bathroom. He quickly shuts the door and locks it, going over to the sink and runs the water on high. And almost as if on que, his phone chimes and he looks at it and the messages contents. His people had done what he had asked after he had got here, but now he needed to do his part... He snaps the phone in half like it was made of Styrofoam.
Luckily for Tak, Greg's bathroom had a window and they were on the third floor. Quickly he opens the window and looks out and below. Thirty feet was a far drop for people, it could either maim or kill you, but Takeshi was lucky that he wasn't regular people. With another quick glance at the door, Tak silently leaps out of the window before landing on to the concrete and in to a sprint. His team left him a duffle bag behind a dumpster around the corner, and it didn't take very long for him to find it. Immediately he suits up and places his weapons on himself.
It was time to get to the bottom of this.
Greg was relieved when Tak didn’t fight back. He didn’t know what he would do if the ambassador had been stubborn and he really didn’t have time to think about it either. Instead he moved on from the situation, grateful the Tak was making his job easier. As the moved as silently as the could Greg couldn’t help but be impressed by Tak’s ability to be stealthy. He could fully understand why SHIELD was interested in the man. Tak was rather skilled at shooting, more than the average person at least, and rather good at moving silently. Greg was finding himself just as curious and SHIELD when it came to Tak and normally he didn’t care to know more about the people he was sent to evaluate and spy on. Usually he just got the information and left; this however was going to be different.
Of course, their attackers decided to burst through the door and found them. [i ‘Damnit, why can’t my life be easier?’] he thought as he started to run. Thankfully they weren’t far from the entrance and better yet their attackers were absolutely miserable at shooting. To be fair it was dark and they were running but Greg could do a hundred and ten percent better than them. They were just too frantic if they took their time they could probably have a hit or something. But Greg wasn’t going to complain too much about it.
Skidding to a halt at the gate Greg’s thoughts automatically went back to why his life couldn’t be simple. Tak didn’t even hesitate because he was up and over the fence in no time. Greg added that skill to the back of his mind as he scrambled up the wall himself. He wasn’t as graceful as Raj but he did manage to get over and that’s all that mattered. As he jumped down from the wall he followed after Tak as he took a phone from someone and began to power walk. Greg followed closely after him and kept his ear trained for the sound of gunshots. He turned his attention to Tak as he asked him if he had any place they can lay low.
“I do. I didn’t put my actual address down on the paperwork so we should be safe,” he said after a moment of thought. “Follow me,” he calmly said as he walked out of the alleyway. Greg shoved his hands in his pockets and hunched in on himself a little bit, melding into the crowd of people. His favorite thing about New York was that anyone could become nameless in this huge city and just be another face. It really worked to his advantage.
After a few minutes of weaving in and out of alleyways, always keeping a sedated pace and an eye on Tak, he stopped in front of an apartment complex. The floor that Greg lives on was all SHIELD while the whole building was own by them. It was a decent place to lay low like they needed to. Stopping in front the door he punched in the code to the building and secretly scanned his thumb to let him into the floor he needed. Glancing behind him he made sure no one was following them before gesturing for Tak to follow. Climbing the stairs he made it to the third floor and opened the door to the floor. There were only a few apartments on this floor. His eyes scanned them before going to his preferred room. “We can wait here until your security arrives,” he calmly said as he unlocked the door and opened it. The apartment was generic at best. Sturdy hardwood floor with with cream walls were the main part of the sparsely furnished apartment. A leather couch sat in the center of the small living room facing a mounted tv with a stone top coffee table in front of the couch. There was nothing on the wall and the only indication that someone stayed here was a soft meow and a scratching post. “I hope you aren’t allergic to cats,” he said softly.
Tak gives Greg a curious look after he's finished speaking. This man was very dedicated to his job, despite it being security, but considering his skills, Takeshi would peg him for ex special forces or ex police considering his skills and his loyalty. He had hoped that Greg would take the easy way out and they could split off, Tak would be able to move easier that way and he could kill without any restraint from a witness glued to his side. Mostly he wanted to get to his gear so he could do his own investigating... Either or, after this he had a score to settle.
[b “Alright.”] Tak finally agreed and followed Greg to another point of cover. Despite being in a suit and dress shoes, Tak didn't make a sound as he walked, even walking over easily disturbed ground. It would make this quicker and more efficient that way, even though Tak wanted nothing more than to grab his sword and gear from his room. Wherever they ended up after this, he would just have his team bring it to him. For now they were all probably safe in the embassy, Tak and the executives being the main targets, and with him now on the move, they would be looking for him rather than concerning themselves with his personnel.
They had a very finite space to move, but it seemed Greg was just as adequate at being stealthy as Takeshi was. They kept a quiet pace before the traitorous security guards burst through the doors of the chancery and began barking out orders to find the two of them. They were already fairly close to the front gate when-
“There they are!” One of them shouted and it was followed by subsequent gunfire. Now that would definitely get someone's attention. Clearly they were playing for keeps now, but with Tak and Greg dead all they needed to do was retreat, and there was no doubt already an escape plan in place.
Tak begins to sprint, their aim was good but not good enough to hit them. They were too far away and the darkness made them even smaller targets. This was easy to take advantage of, and once the two reached the gate, Tak climbed over like it was an obstacle course made for a child. There was traffic on the road, and a few bystanders that stopped to rubber-neck at the sound of gunfire, one of the them even having filming with their phone. Tak immediately grabs the phone. [b “Embassy business.”] He says, looking back to make sure Greg is following him as he begins power walking down the sidewalk, dialing in a number and then texting it. The first alleyway they come across, he slips in to and leans against the wall, believing they had gotten away for the moment.
[b “I signalled to my team to call the authorities, but I'm not sure who we can trust. People can be bought as we both witnessed today.”] He says to Greg. [b “I'm not sure where to go from here. It isn't safe for either of us. They know our faces and names. Do you know a safe place we might be able to get to?']
Greg was grateful that Tak had his six. It gave him time to worry about everything in front of him. He didn’t know why he trusted the Japanese Ambassador but he did. With complete trust in the man behind him he quickly moved down the hall. Greg didn’t turn when he heard the scuffle behind him and solely focused on what was in front of him. If it sounded like Tak didn’t have control of the situation Greg would intervene but until then he continued down the hallway, taking out anyone that came after them. As they turned the corner more patters of feet and the piercing sound of guns filled the hallway. All of them missed which made Greg question their training but was also thankful for it. Opening the door Greg was greeted with the cold crisp night air. The chilly air reinvigorated him and he was ready for anything. Even the horde of people that were going to be after them any moment now.
His enjoyment for the chilly air ended as he felt the hand on his bicep and Tak leading him off to a bush. It wasn’t the best for cover if shots were fired but it would work to blend into the background just long enough for them to regroup and make a plan. Crouching down he reloaded his gun as he listened to Tak’s suggestion, his nose scrunched up from distaste. What the man before him was suggesting would cause Greg to completely disobey both of his orders. SHIELD wanted Tak alive and his current “employer” had made a big deal about keeping the ambassador safe. In hindsight that was probably because his boss wanted to seem legitimate. He couldn’t be like ‘Oh yeah the Ambassador... don’t save him. We are going to kill him.’ That would definitely discredit the company if that was their opening lines. Nonetheless Greg couldn’t do it.
Shifting slightly he kept his eyes okn the door. Any second their attackers could burst through the door. “Ambassador, I can’t and I won’t leave you. What you are suggesting directly goes against my orders. My boss may have made them up as a cover but they are valid. We probably could make it out, together, through the front and get ahold of your team. As for my safety please don’t worry. I’ve been informed by many that I’m a cockroach and just can’t be killed,” he softly said. Greg wasn’t going to mention the fact that Raid did wonders against cockroaches and bullets did wonders against him but that was just semantics at this point. Greg had a rather lovely tendency of avoiding near death situations and this is one of them that he was hoping to come out on top of.
Shifting a little he glanced around. They didn’t have too far for the main entrance. Ideally their attackers wouldn’t follow them out because that would put them at risk. They just had to get out of the gardens first. “If we can stay to the shadows as long as possible we will be good. We just have to get to the end of the gardens and then the entrance should be near enough that it may dissuade our attackers from continuing. If not it will be a nice little run,” he said. “Let’s go, sir,” Greg added as started to move to the next place of cover as fast and as silently as he could. Time was ticking before their attackers returned.
That wasn't exactly reassuring, but to be fair, if these would-be assassins were anything worth their salt, they would have cut or knocked out communications to the complex in case someone wanted to try and call for help. And since there was a lot of action in New York it might be a while until someone calls something in like the man said. But to be fair, this was a government building, an Embassy, so it might be more likely that someone made a call. However, Tak wouldn't hold his breath and would assume that they were on their own for the time being.
The two of them picked up their pace and began moving, avoiding enemy contact as best as they could. If memory served correctly, they were coming upon a hallway that acted as a particularly effective choke point, and on the other side of it was safety. Hopefully.
There was a brief lull as they finally made it to the hallway and the two endeavoured to take a look. In all the confusion and action, Takeshi had not asked for a name, and in their brief respite it seemed the security operative had remembered before he did. [b “Greg Ramirez.”] Takeshi repeats back. [b “You can call me Tak.”] He adds and then nods that he will cover Greg's back. And with a professional swiftness, Greg turns the corner just as more enemies turn down the hall toward Takeshi. He doesn't let them process that he's there before he start shooting, clipping one of them in the shoulder and then moving on to the next. Two down, and Takeshi was about to turn to join Greg when another shot was fired, the gun from Tak's hand was hit and sent skittering across the tiled floor. Reflexively, Tak ducks, slips his fingers in to his sleeve, and tosses one of the spikes. Tak's aim was significantly better with thrown weapons, and his spike hit its mark; the man's neck, between the superior thyroid and internal jugular vein to be exact.
Quickly Tak turns the corner and joins Greg as more reinforcements seem to be coming their way. They sprint through the hallway and when they're halfway to the turn, bullets begin flying their way, pattering around their feet and ripping holes in the walls. They turn and right in front of them is the emergency exit. At the sight, Tak could feel his sense of urgency increase and so did his pace until they burst through the door in to the cool night air. When Takeshi had first arrived in America it was in the evening, and now the sun had set and it was night. The Embassy grounds were long and wide, spotted with trees, decorative rock formations, and hokora here and there. It was still very open and there wasn't much cover, but for Takeshi this was ample cover for him and his abilities in stealth. As was the nature of his occupation, he thrived in this kind of environment and the dark, and felt a little more like he had an advantage because of it.
Tak places a hand on Greg's bicep and quickly leads him to a non-assuming bush and rock that provided some cover. They didn't need to be fully covered, but if they kept low and out of the light they would blend in with the scenery. He crouches down and motions for Greg to do the same. [b “The chancery is not far from here and we have more space to move.”] He states the obvious. [b “I thank you Greg Ramirez for your help, but I suggest you find a way out of here for yourself if you can. The way to the chancery will be far more treacherous.”] He points in a direction away from the chancery. [b “They won't be standing at the front gate because it would rouse suspicion, so that's probably your best bet for escape. I would see you live to fight another day so I might be able to reward you for your actions.”]
Greg let out a soft hum of acknowledgement when the ambassador said that his men were in the embassy. All he had to do was get Takeshi out and to his security alive. Nothing too big. If all goes well this may just be the thing that he needs to get closer to the ambassador and gather the information SHIELD wanted. Giving the remaining members of the room one last glance he turned back the Takeshi who was now armed. Giving Takeshi a nod he silently turned and left the room. Brown eyes narrowed as he scanned the surrounding area.
They didn’t move far when he heard the tell-tale sound of feet approaching. As he spun around, ready to shoot, Takeshi beat him to it. Rather unusual skill set for an Ambassador but Greg wasn’t going to say a thing about it. He also wasn’t going to say a thing about the shouting and more footsteps. “I don’t know. I haven’t called anything in because I don’t know who to trust. So we are solely going on hoping someone else either called in the attack or that someone heard the shots. But it’s New York so it’s a common enough occurrence,” Greg informed Takeshi. It was a sad reality but with the rise of “super heroes” and New York just existing the sound of gunfire was a common place.
The steps were getting closer and it was time to leave. Gesturing for Takeshi to follow he picked up his pace. Thankfully Greg had taken the time to memorize the layout of this place. The hallway that they were approaching would be the biggest struggle for them. It was a long, empty hallway, with little to no places for cover. It was also the fastest way out of area. After the hall it was just a right turn and an emergency exit.
Coming to a half before he turned into the hallway Greg took the shortest moment to look behind him and address Takeshi. “I’m Greg Ramirez, by the way,” He said to Takeshi. In his haste he had forgotten to give the ambassador a name to correlate with a face. “If you cover my back and I’ll sweep the hall. Once we clear the hall there is an exit not far that we can use to get out,” Greg calmly added. Once they were outside they would have a better avenue to safety.
Without another word Greg turned the corner just as another group of attackers also turned. There were only three people but Greg didn’t know how many were coming up behind them. He didn’t care too much but he wanted the best advantage he could get. Before the other “security” guards could fire Greg took the chance from them. Only one of them got a chance to fire their weapon and in their panic the bullet uselessly ricocheted off the wall. [i ‘Pathetic,’] was his first thought as he moved forward. With the room silent now he could hear more steps, predominantly behind them. Hopefully they got out before their attackers approached because outside had a whole lot more cover than this hall.
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