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Tak had to appreciate Greg's sense of humour in all of this. It kept the situation from getting more tense than it had to be, and it made it abundantly clear that no matter what was going on with Wallace, they didn't take him seriously, which no doubt helped the ninja coax some answers out of the former head of security. However, the question still lingered in the air about what they were going to do with Wallace: leave him alive or kill him? But it seemed Greg was happy to compromise on the matter with a sleeping dart.
He helps Greg drag Wallace to one of the chairs, and then suddenly his eyes widen a fraction and he looks to the agent. [b “I just got it. 'Nap time' because the dart came out of your watch.”] He grinned ever so slightly. [b “Very clever, Greg Ramirez.”] He follows Greg's lead around the aircraft as they wait for the autopilot to take them to their destination.
[b “Perhaps we can find answers from Moon Knight and Tigra if we keep Mr. Wallace alive. He knows much about us and perhaps more about this Zodiac Cartel, which makes him optimal bait.”] He pauses for a moment, thinking on that. To him, it might be much more dangerous than beneficial to keep Wallace alive. [b “But I would much prefer him dead. I have no doubt we will be seeing those two again anyways; they're connected with this somehow, but I do not know how much our missions and reasons align.”] Tak surmises. Despite their aggressive first encounter with Moon Knight and Tigra, perhaps they were on the same side in all of this? He was sure they all would meet again, but because of their last encounter, there was bound to be some bad blood between them; he did almost kill Tigra, after all. Only time would tell at this point though, and for the moment Tak and Greg had more important matters to attend to.
Soon enough, the VTOL warned them of their approach to their destination, and upon Greg's request, Tak sits down and buckles up in the co-pilots seat, hanging on as his partner landed the craft. Despite the bumpy ride on the runway, it seemed that Greg stuck the landing, and he tried to give the man an appreciative and reassuring smile however green around the gills he might currently be.
[b “That is an excellent question.”] Tak says, revealing he's sort of been 'winging it'. To be honest, he didn't expect this much action this fast, nor did he know what to expect when they finally arrived, so he needed a second to get himself situated. Standing up, the ninja places a hand on the windshield, looking over the runway and towards what appeared to be a compound. Fortunately for him, his vision was enhanced so he could see through the darkness and make out some of the details other than the obvious, like that the lights were on. It seemed they had landed far enough away where no one was coming to investigate immediately, but he was sure these people had some kind of radar system and they wouldn't have long before someone came to take a look at their ship. Fortunately enough for them, they still had the cover of night, so it gave them a few options instead of a full frontal assault they couldn't win.
[b “We go in quietly, have a look, and decide what we want to do from there. This is a big compound, so no doubt they have personnel on deck or at the very least some kind of welcoming committee since they were waiting for their comrades to bring back Wallace. We can also no doubt learn more about the Zodiac Cartel while we're here, and perhaps some key members.”] If the mastermind was Taurus, then it would stand to reason there were eleven more people at the top of the food chain as well masquerading as zodiac signs. If they could discover any of their identities, it might point to who Taurus was and they could cut off the true head of the snake before it poisoned Fair City.
Tak quickly checks himself over, keeping track of what weapons he had left and which ones might come in handy in a pinch. [b “Grab what you can from around the ship and then we will sneak our way to the compound.”] He begins t leave the cockpit and then stops, turning to look over his shoulder at Greg and the dead copilot. [b “Perhaps you should grab his armoured vest as well. You might have a nice chest, but I don't suspect it is bulletproof.”] And with that, Tak begins to leave the ship, quickly crouching down outside to avoid being seen. He would lead Greg towards the compound when the man joined him.
Greg let out an exasperated sigh when Wallace started to stutter and say he couldn’t answer such a simple question. Well… it wasn’t simple but still. Greg just wanted answers and to make this as painless as possible for himself. He was ready to user other methods of getting answers out of Wallace when Tak stepped up and crouched in front of the man. To be honest the Japanese man was much scarier looking than Greg especially in his ensemble, so Greg was okay with him taking the lead in intimidation.
Just as Greg expected the six simple words that Tak said got Wallace to swear bullets. Greg was somewhat impressed that Wallace hadn’t pissed himself at this point. Tak was just completely terrifying. When the Ambassador sliced the line and Wallace plummeted to the ground Greg had to keep himself from snickering. Tak could give SHIELD interrogators a run for their money. He was good and Greg was impressed. His appreciation only grew more when Tak opened the cargo doors. Greg grabbed onto one of the straps hanging from the ceiling to keep his balance and keep himself in the plane as well. With the door wide open there was vacuum effect start and one that Wallace was about to experience as Tak kicked him out. Instead of plummeting to his death Tak stopped the line last minute and gave Wallace an ultimatum. In that moment Greg realized one thing and that was that he found Tak attractive. [i ‘Fuck me…’] he silently thought to himself. Greg always had a type and it was the dangerous types. Tak definitely fell into that category.
Pushing that thought out of his mind he looked down at Wallace who was now at his feet. Greg gave the man an unimpressed look. [i ‘Zodiac Cartel… what the hell,’] he thought as he looked up from Wallace and let out a snort. “Moon Knight is still worst,” Greg responded before Tak prompted Wallace for more information.
“There is a lot of people interested in the project. Even my own employers have a vested interest in it,” Greg said once Tak made the realization that it wasn’t him but the project. It made sense though. The Fair City Project was an amazing idea but one that was just waiting to be defiled. Everyone wanted a part to play so they could mold the city for either better or for worse. SHIELD wanted a completely secured city and were playing their own hands to get what they wanted. Everyone wanted a piece of this pie.
Looking back down at Wallace as he was asked more about the Zodiac Cartel Greg was somewhat impressed by the fact the male replied quickly with a name. Said name caused Greg to snort. “That sounds like a load of bull,” he jokingly said, snickering a little at his own joke. Listening back at Tak he gave the man a nod. They wouldn’t be meeting Taurus anytime soon, but he would have SHIELD looking into it for sure.
Greg let out a soft hum of though as Wallace asked if he was going to live or die. Greg should kill Wallace. His cover was completely blown and that put Greg at risk. Having this one risk could reign havoc on Greg carefully crafted life. But he could have more answers. “How about a quick nap,” Greg suggested as he fidgeted with his watch. A small dart shot out and Wallace slumped down instantly. “There goes my only defense that isn’t a gun. Stupid single dart watch,” He grumbled as he dragged Wallace over to one of the chairs and began to tie him up with some of the supplies he found before covering Wallace’s eyes. “I would rather have him dead, but he may have more info. If we can get back to the aircraft after our adventures, I can take him to my employer. If not, well we can always rig the plane to blow just in case. He knows to much information on both of us,” Greg said as he took a step back and looked over his handiwork. The only way Wallace was getting out was if he gnawed a limb or two off. Happy with his work he went back to the cockpit to check how much longer they had.
“One question I have is where does Moonie and Kittie play into this. Why did they want Wallace? Do they know anything about The Zodiac Cartel?” He asked knowing that they didn’t have enough information to answer these questions, but he just wanted to air them out. They may even have to find the other two in hopes of finding more information out. Before he could ask anything else the alert went off and Greg was instantly sitting down. His eyes scanned all the gauges before preparing to land. As they got closer to the woods, he could just make out a tiny runway. “Buckle up now,” Greg said as they got closer. With single minded concentration he landed the VTOL on the empty runway. It was a little bumpy, but they arrived slightly. “Sorry, it’s been awhile since I’ve flown,” he said with a shaky smile to Tak. “So what’s the plan?”
It was a simple question for Wallace, but one that carried a lot of weight. Perhaps it was good that Greg had cut to the chase, because Tak had a few questions lined up and painful techniques in between if he didn't feel like talking. The sudden shock (literally) of being awake upside down, the imagery of his dead comrades, and the two scary men looming over him was a pretty good motivator... But apparently so was whoever was behind all of this.
“I... I can't...” Wallace says, looking away almost like he was ashamed. Tak [i tsks] to himself, crouching down in front of the man so they were at face level. He tried his best to look away from the Ambassador, keeping his eyes firmly on the ground and off to the side, but Tak could see it was hard for him to remain fixed. What now that he wasn't answering their questions? Were they going to kill him? Torture him? Let him go? Well, that was all up to David Wallace's imagination, but a little bit of prodding never hurt anyone.
[b “That is too bad, Mr. Wallace.”] Tak finally says as the silence started to get more tense. Wallace was sweating. [b “I am sure you know all about me by now, and I keep my word as a good businessman should. And just like any good businessman, I have alternatives if I do not get what I initially want.”] He places a hand on his hip and remains stoic. Impassive. [i Deadly.] [b “Your colleague here has used the autopilot to take us to your employer's whereabouts,”] He pats Greg on the shoulder for emphasis. [b “We'll be there shortly, and we were more so asking you these questions as a formality rather than necessity. When we arrive where the autopilot takes us, we [i will] have the answers to our questions, only slightly delayed. Perhaps we will find someone more negotiable than you. So, if you are not willing to answer...”] It was just as fast as a blink, Tak's sword coming from his back and slicing the line holding Wallace up. The man plummets to the ground with a hard and sad [i thud!] groaning as he lay there groggy and disorientated.
Tak walks over to a lever on the interior wall and pulls it down, red lights beginning to flash in the cargo hold with them. Machinery grinds and the area begins to get gusty as the cargo doors begin to open. “What the hell are you doing?!” Wallace shouts over the wind as Tak approaches him. The ninja kicks the man in the chest, and he begins tumbling towards the open ramp, screaming his lung out. And just when it seemed the wind was going to take him and he was going to be the second Century Security member to plummet to their death tonight, Tak slams his foot on the cable still attached to Wallace's bound feet.
[b “I always get what I want, Mr. Wallace.”] Tak calls over the harsh wind. [b “Either we know now and you live, or you die. Quite a simple transaction if you think about it.”]
Wallace just screamed for a moment, and perhaps he saw when Tak's patience was beginning to wane because he shouted. “Okay! Okay!” And Tak smiles slightly to himself, pulling the level again and the cargo hold door shuts itself again. He walks over to Wallace, grabs him by the shirt, and tosses him back over to Greg's feet.
[b “I believe it was Greg who asked the question, it would be polite of you to answer him after you apologize.”]
“I'm sorry, Greg!” He says, obviously panicked. “They're called 'The Zodiac Cartel'.” And honestly, it sounded so stupid that it [i had] to be real.
Tak looks up from Wallace to Greg. [b “'Moon Knight' doesn't sound so lame all of a sudden... Tell us more.”]
“They're some secret organization with a lot of power and financial backing; fingers in every pie kind of thing. I was put in charge of Century's security force after he got the contract and was instructed to kill Ambassador Watanabe. I hired mercenaries to do the job but I had no idea who you actually were, and I don't think they did either...”
That made Tak think on that for a little. [b “Then I am not the real target... Its the Fair City Project; everyone on it.”] And Tak's coming to America to look in to the irregularities in the Project's books provided them with the opportunity to get to him as well. With Tak in the room, they could kill him and everyone else who had a stake in the project save for the people who didn't attend. [b “Whoever did this stands to gain much from the death's of everyone who attended the signing, but that doesn't leave us with many suspects as a result.”] Knocking a good number of people from their list, but providing them much cover thanks to the many people who didn't attend, and everyone having seemingly equal motive for the crime. Tak himself had a substantial holding in the Project, so it was likely that's why they specifically targeted him... The Zodiac Cartel wants to own and control a city before its even built, giving them unlimited access to the means of construction, what [i is] constructed, and even [i who] lives in the city. The sky was the limit and they could be looking at a city literally full of villains. [b “Do you know who the leader is, Mr. Wallace?”]
“He calls himself 'Taurus', but I don't know who he really is.” Wallace answers, seemingly becoming less rattled.
[b “That is a shame.”] Tak says, thinking to himself on the matter some more. [b “I'm sure wherever we are being transported to, it is not this [i Taurus] we will be contending with... But that is who we need to be focusing on. Discovering his identity is of absolute importance so that Fair City doesn't fall in to the wrong hands; perhaps we can get some more details while we are here, or at least clues to point us in the right direction.”] He crosses his arms and taps his chin with one hand before looking to Danial Wallace. [b “You have been most helpful, Mr. Wallace, and for that I thank you.”]
Wallace looks back to him, hopeful. “So, umm... you're not going to kill me?” He squeaks out.
[b “I honestly have not decided yet.”] Tak says, leaving the man sputtering. The Japanese man looks to Greg. [b “What did you want to do with him?”]
It made sense that Century Security was just the middleman. Greg couldn’t see what the security company would gain for killing the Ambassador. Especially since their failure to protect the man would look poor on the company so it made sense that someone else was paying them to take a fall. Who and why were the two biggest questions in Greg’s mind. At least his main job, finding out Tak’s secret, was done. Now he just had to convince SHIELD to let him stay on this case instead of moving him away. After all SHIELD was going to get what they want from Greg which meant that there was a chance for him to be moved.
“Well at least you don’t have a lame code name like Moon Knight,” he said with a small grin when Tak replied to his questions about his secret life. Of course asking said questions also left him open to be asked the same. Greg knew that a normal person couldn’t do half the things he was able to do. A normal security guard wouldn’t be able to do the same stuff either. It was obvious that he had his own secrets which he was going to keep quiet. Thankfully, Tak didn’t push too much on the subject and left the question in the air. The only thing Greg was willing to tell Tak, if he had insisted on pushing the subject, was that he was SHIELD. His past was too classified to share and it was something that he kept a secret for himself.
Getting out of the chair he followed after Tak and stopped before the unconscious Wallace. Greg positioned himself with his good ear towards Tak as he silently watched the Ambassador string Wallace. His arms found themselves crossed over his chest as he looked over Wallace. The man was a little bit bruised up from going head first through some glass but Greg could careless. He was breathing which was all that mattered to Greg. To be very honest Greg didn’t even care if Wallace was alive. It just made his life easier.
Impassively he watched Tak wake Wallace up. Greg rather liked the little shock therapy that Tak used and was curious about where Tak got his technology. Was he like Mr. Stark and built his own stuff? Or did he have a team? So many questions for Ambassador Watanabe and no time for Greg to ask since Wallace woke up. “Morning sleepyhead,” Greg coldly said as he watched the man wake up. It was kind of fun to watch the man realize that he was fucked. For a few seconds Wallace’s eyes frantically farted around before landing on them and going wide. If Greg had to pinpoint a moment when Wallace realized he was fucked it was right when those eyes went big. Snickering a little to himself he let Tak go through his spiel about honesty. Greg was kind of glad that he wasn’t on the angry side of Tak because the male was rather frightening. Tak did, however, surprise him by relinquishing control of the interrogation to him but he would take it.
“Let’s start with something easy Mr. Wallace. Who do you work for?” He asked, keeping his voice even.
Tak was surprisingly pleased with Greg's answer to accompany him to... wherever it was that the autopilot was engaged to take them. The ninja was no stranger to doing things on his own, but Greg had proven time and time again to be a capable companion, and diving in to the unknown together would add a good amount of assurance for him. It was strange having a partner suddenly, but welcome.
When Greg said he had questions for him, Tak nodded his head. It was no surprise to him that the security guard would have questions for him. Like he had said, he was no simple ambassador, after all. [b “It is not Century that is so enamoured by me, but someone else. Century was paid off to act as a disposable instrument; there's someone with much more pull and power out there. I know because I asked Century myself. Make sure you watch the news tomorrow.”] He tells Greg. [b “As for the questions about my double life? I have been fighting for...”] It seems he has to think on that for a moment. It wasn't like he marked it down on the calendar. [b “A long time, and I go by many names: ghost, ninja, shadow, kemuri, ken, shinobi... You may call me 'Tak'. Code names do not concern me as much as results.”] And he thinks for a moment, looking back out in to the night sky as the VTOL flies itself closer to their destination. [b “How about you, Greg Ramirez? You have some pretty impressive moves and interesting skills for private security. I assume you were in the military? Special Forces? Flying a VTOL is a very specific skill, even one I do not have myself.”]
He would let Greg decide if he wanted to answer Tak's questions or not, but whatever the result, the ambassador eventually stands up, checking over the autopilot and then motions for the cargo-hold of the VTOL. [b “Let us go ask more questions. I am interested in Mr Wallace's take on all of this.”] The man had to know something considering whoever it was behind this sent an extraction team at the first sign of trouble. It was likely he was a liaison between Century Security and this mystery organization, but really only time would tell the measure of his involvement. Either or, they would get valuable intelligence, especially considering they didn't know where they were off to just yet. However, it was quite obvious that it would be dangerous.
Back in to the cargo hold, Tak unravels his grapple line and promptly ties it around Wallace's ankles, and then throws the line through a loop in the ceiling, hoisting the man up so he was a few feet off the ground, but his face was around chest level for the two standing. Tak then ties it off somewhere and then crouches in front of Wallace, close to the man's face. His nose was broken, he had lots of cuts from the glass, and one eye was black and bruised shut, but he was still breathing, and that was what was important.
[b “Mr. Wallace.”] Tak says. [b “Mr. Wallace, it is time to wake up.”] And he stirs a little, but his eyes remain closed. Tak presses a few things on his gauntlet and the fingertips on his gloves glow blue. After another moment of waiting, Tak touches Wallace and a small electrical charge zaps the man awake with a surprised shout. He huffs and he puffs, disorientated and as his head clears as much as it can, Tak takes his place beside Greg, crossing his arms over his chest and waits for the man to become coherent. When his eyes stopped darting around the room and rested on Tak and Greg, that's when he knew they could start asking questions. The key was to start out small and then go for the big questions.
[b “Mr. Wallace, I am so pleased you could finally join us. We have a few questions for you, and how you decide to answer them is in direct correlation with your health and well-being, so I recommend your honesty.”] He lets that permeate the air for a moment. [b “Do you think you can do that for us?”] And it looked like Wallace vehemently agreed to those terms considering the force he was nodding at them. He looks at Greg and nods, motioning for him to ask his questions first. Tak knew more about the situation, so it was a good idea to get the man warmed up first.
Greg let out a soft hum as he listened to the banging at the door He knew why Wallace was banging at the cockpit's door but didn't care at all. He was just waiting for Tak to hope into the aircraft. It was only when Greg climbed higher into the air and the alarms began to scream at him did he finally close the doors. He hoped that Tak made it into the aircraft on time. If Tak didn't he would just take Wallace back to SHIELD. If Tak did make it on the aircraft then Greg's job just became a 100% easier. With Tak on the aircraft they could question Wallace together and Greg wouldn't have to hunt down Tak later for answers.
The man got his answer soon enough about where Tak was. With his one good ear he heard what could only be the sound of glass shattering. Which the only two reasons for that was either Wallace was tired of his lack of response or Tak was on the air craft. Greg was going to go out on a limb and assume that it was Tak since Wallace didn't seem like the type of guy to break glass.
"Welcome aboard," He said as Tak walked into the cockpit and unceremoniously pushed his copilot out of the seat. "Or I could be pretending this whole time and we are speeding to our doom?" Greg suggested to Tak when the man commented on him being able to fly. It was only when Tak made a commented about him not being a simple security guard did the man look over at Tak. A dark eyebrow raised a little bit, "And you aren't a simple Ambassador." Greg knew this fact on some level because SHIELD wouldn't have been as interested in Tak. What Greg didn't expect was that Tak was a "super hero".
Greg let out a soft hum as he gazed over the instruments for a few moments as Tak asked him if he wanted to be dropped off or come with. Pressing a button he engaged the autopilot and turned back to Tak. "I think coming with you would, perhaps, be the easiest course of actions. I want answers on why Century Security is so interested in you. i also have a few questions of my own for you. Like what name do you prefer to go by when dressed like that? And how long have you been fighting? Those are just to name a few questions."
Dealing with Moon Knight was more... [i stressful] than Tak had originally anticipated. He was a very formidable opponent, but Tak's weapon advantage kept his adversary on the defensive. He just had to wait until Greg was in position before he could make his next move... But that was [i if] Greg could fly a VTOL. It would sort of throw a wrench in their plans, but at the very least he could take the pilot hostage.
And whatever way it seemed to have went, the VTOL's engines roared to life. Tak was waiting for it, but it seemed to have caught Moon Knight off-guard for a split second. A split second the ninja used to his advantage, sweeping his opponents legs out from under him and then running towards the now ascending aircraft. One of the soldiers left behind stood in the way and and began firing, but Tak was able to dodge his clumsy aim, jump, and then jump off of him.
The aircraft ascended quickly, and in mid-fight Tak knew he wouldn't be able to grab it. He quickly throws a grapple line and it latches on to the landing gears before it completely stows away. Tak climbs the line to VTOL and like before he activates his vambrace so his fingertips can stick to the surface of the aircraft. And just as luck would have it, or perhaps through the efforts of Takeshi's new favourite person, the bay door was still left open in the haste of Wallace's escapes and made for a convenient entrance.
And it seemed Wallace was having a problem with it, as he was yelling over the wind and engines at his 'pilot'. He was accompanied by two more of those soldiers and all three of them had their backs turned to him. Too easy.
“Close that damn door!” Wallace shouted as he banged on the door in to the cockpit. “If you don't I'm going to-” [i Thump. Thump.] Wallace turns around at the noise to see his two attendants dead on the floor, a single shuriken embedded in the back of each of their skulls through their protective helmets. He looks down in horror before looking up to see Takeshi. Now he had the chance to look at him. Wallace had only ever seen him in his suit and tie, but here he stood in black armour, armed to the teeth with gadgets and weaponry, his face only showing because of an unlucky accident. Even with his face revealed, he looked like an entirely different person. He was a high respected Ambassador of Japan, but now he was here as a ruthless assassin with a bone to pick.
[b “Daniel Wallace.”] Takeshi says approaching the man. Wallace quickly turns towards the pilot's door again and begins banging on it for Greg to let him in. Without much hesitation, Tak slams the mans face through the small glass window on the door once again putting him unconscious. He wasn't needed at the present moment.
With the window shattered, Tak reaches in and unlatches the lock before joining Greg in the cockpit. He grips the back of the man's seat while looking out in to the night. [b “It appears you do know how to pilot one of these after all.”] He comments. [b “Not a simple security guard it would appear.”] Tak then shoves the body that was in the co-pilots seat out and then sits in it. [b “I was going to engage the autopilot and see where I was taken. I also plan on questioning Wallace on the way.”] He tells Greg while still staring out in to the night. [b “Would you like to be dropped off or would you like to keep me company?”]
Greg silently watched Tak peak over the concrete block only to be greeted with a wave of bullets directed at him. This wasn’t the worst situation he had been in but it was definitely finding it’s way up on his list of bad or poorly planned situations. Instead of dwelling on the horrible predicament he looked back at the Ambassador who seemed to have the gears going.
Just as Greg suspected Tak had a plan. The only issue was that Greg had to take a moment to laugh as Tak said the names of their adversaries. “Moon knight? Oh god that sounds like some bad video game character name,” he quickly said before listening to the whole plan. It could work. If he could get pass Wallace’s men they wouldn’t expect a takedown from the inside and then they could fly off. Shifting towards the other end of their cover he gave Tak a small grin. “That’s a broad assumption that I can fly a VTOL,” he said as he got in position to spring from their cover. “See you inside Ambassador,” Greg added.
The moment Tak moved and smoke engulfed them Greg darted out of their cover. People were confused for a few seconds and there was no action which gave him just enough time to get to the midway point before chaos ensued. He could hear people yelling and a few shots being fired blankly but nothing at him. Happy with everything he sprinted the rest of the distance and was able to get into the VTOL. No one was inside guarding the area which gave Greg the advantage as he moved to the cockpit. He pressed himself against the interior of the aircraft and carefully peaked into the cockpit. Two men sat their discussing plans while an armed man moved back and forth. As the man shifted and moved his body towards the entryway Greg pulled his head back to the other side of the wall and considered his choices. Having given up his weapon he had to be careful but there wasn’t much room to maneuver.
He glanced at the fire extinguisher before removing it from its mounted location and throwing it out. The loud clinging caused the guard to step out which gave Greg enough time to grab the man and twist his head before grabbing his gun. Greg only had a few seconds to act and he did it without much hesitation because the other two men soon found a bullet through their heads.
As the fighting continued Greg grabbed the two of the three deceased men and hid them in a corner and shifted the co pilot so the bullet wound wasn’t noticeable but at first glance all someone would see was a body there. Taking to the blood covered seat Greg began to go through his checks. Despite giving Tak a little bit of a hard time Greg did know how to fly way too many aircrafts. Greg use to be a helicopter pilot when he was a Marine and lived a much different life. VTOLs were something he learned with SHIELD and was very well versed in them. With his checks over with he began starting up the aircraft as he heard someone run into the back.
“Get out of here!” A now familiar voice yelled in the back. Wallace had made it on board.
“Yes sir,” Greg said in the low voice as he began to initiate take off as slowly as possible. Hoping that the aircraft coming to life would get Tak’s butt into gear and he would get in soon. Worse case scenario Greg would take off without the Ambassador and secure Wallace himself before calling Tak. Greg could be a dick but not enough of one to deprive Tak the chance to question Wallace especially since Greg owed Tak.
Tak blinks at Greg for a moment until he tells him he couldn't hear in his ear at the moment. Right, he should have thought of that. As for a plan? He honestly could not think of one just yet. There were many more factors than he had originally prepared to contend with today. Greg was here, Tak's identity was compromised, there were armed soldiers, two vigilantes, and a VTOL...
[i The VTOL!]
He peeks his head over their cover, and immediately a shot hits the concrete and he's back down. Despite the limited amount of time he actually was looking, he saw that Moon Knight and the Tiger woman were still fighting with the soldiers, while a few of the soldiers were trying to retrieve Wallace and drag him back to the aircraft. They were being slowed down by Moon Knight and his partner, but that could easily change.
[b “I will contend with Moon Knight and the Tiger woman. You sneak aboard the aircraft, take out the pilot and any one else aboard and I shall deal with the rest. Be prepared to take off.”] He pulls a Tanto from the sheath that rested on the back of his hip and hands it to Greg. [b “I wish you good fortune, Greg Ramirez.”] And with that, he tosses a black golf-ball sized sphere in to the fray. Once it lands, it erupts in to smoke, blanketing a large portion of the area with a semi-thick cloud. It wouldn't last too long in open air like this, but hopefully it would buy Greg enough time to get himself moving or positioned.
With incredible swiftness, Tak was inside the smoke as if unimpeded. He side-kicks a soldier out of the way before going straight for Moon Knight with his sword. The man was just as quick a before, but this time the vigilante only had enough time to block the blade with one of his armoured bracers. The two then engage in a deadly duel, Moon Knight being more than a formidable opponent for Tak. They broke apart every now and again to deal with soldiers who tried to interrupt them, but quickly engaged each other again.
At one point, the two were locked in to each other, sword pressing down on staff, and it seemed Tak finally gained the upper-hand, until-
[+green “I got him!”] And through the smoke cloud came the tiger woman.
[+silver [b “Tigra, no!”]] but it was too late. The woman forfeited her element of surprise and greatly underestimated Tak's abilities. He slips back, switches to a reverse grip, and swings all in this crucial microsecond. With Tigra's own momentum, the tip of the sword rends through her side. Instead of landing gracefully like a cat, she hits the ground with a howl and slides from her own momentum. It wasn't a fatal injury, but it definitely would give her something to think about and keep her out of the fight for a bit.
However, after wounding his comrade, it seemed Moon Knight now wanted nothing more than to put Tak in the ground. Wallace was completely forgotten about as he was being collected and dragged back to the VTOL.
A fist that the ninja didn't even see coming connected to his face, and the staff slammed in to his stomach. Despite being winded, Tak was able to grab hold of the staff and disarm the vigilante, who again, gave Tak a nice one, two to the face. Despite having a weapon advantage, Moon Knight seemed to be also an exceptional empty hand fighter and was still capable of giving Tak grief. He just hoped Greg was aboard the aircraft or close. It wouldn't be long before this ruse fell apart.
Greg was ready for no one to care about his life. He was the only odd man out compared to everyone else here. He had no super powers or no lame suit to protect him. Greg was completely normal with the exception that he is an agent of SHIELD which was not a little feat by itself. If he could be an agent for SHIELD then he could make a plan to save himself. While the two losers in their lame suits started to approach Greg began formulating a plan. If he could slam back into the man he could make his assailant off balance enough that the bullet wouldn’t be fatal because let’s be honest the man would pull the trigger. With a bullet wound Greg would be able to recover, kill the guy, and hopefully still be in the running to get Wallace.
Greg was about to push into the man when a spike whizzed by and hit the man straight in the head. As they guy fell he pulled the trigger right next to Greg’s ear and the bullet hit the visor of the man. Instantly Greg’s ear starting to ring and Greg knew that the ear drum ruptured. Scrunching up his nose is distaste he looked over at his savior. Ambassador Takeshi Watanabe. How... interesting. It now made complete sense why SHIELD was interested in this man but this revelation would have to wait. Moon Guy was already on Wallace and knocked him out. Moonie, as Greg was going to call him now, couldn’t have Wallace. Greg needed Wallace hell he would be okay if Tak took Wallace just not these two jerks!
Greg grunted as Tak made his move and pushed him into cover. He was curious on what Tak had planned. “What?” He asked when Tak asked him something. Realizing Tak was on the side where his ear got to meet a gun he turned. “Sorry. I can only hear ringing in that ear. I’m pretty sure the ear drum ruptured,” he said. Greg really hated when his ears hurt. Between ear infections and ear drum ruptures Greg was just a big baby when it came to ear pain. After this he was guaranteed to bitch at least once an hour about how much his ear hurt.
“Do you have a plan because I sure as hell don’t right now. Moonie and Tiger right now are leading the fight and don’t seem the type that are willing to give up Wallace. Either we slip Wallace away from them or take those two out. Just how?” He asked. Greg really didn’t have a plan for this one. In fact the only plan you could think of was how he was going to go home and hit up some ibuprofen for the headache forming and the infirmary later so that the files would reflect his injuries but those were the only plans he had. Dealing with this clusterfuck was eluding him.
The stupor was broken when bullets began coming from the armed men's direction. Just like Greg, Tak, the moon-man, and the tiger-woman quickly dove out of the way, spreading out and effectively dividing up the gunfire. Luckily for Tak he was wearing his black ninja armour, so a lot of the gunfire was concentrated on the white and silver clad vigilante and the tiger-striped huntress. It gave him more room to maneuver as he aerial'd in closer to a squad, pulled his sword from his back and cut down two of the mysterious gunmen. They wore thick padded armour, but Tak's enhanced strength and specially crafted ninja sword sliced through it like it was foam rather than plating.
Throughout the rest of the parking garage's roof, the moon-man threw his moon shaped shuriken in to the palms of the soldiers, and attacked them with his truncheon, ricocheting it off the ground and in to heads. The tiger-woman seemed to be content with punching and throwing her adversaries, clearly having some form of super strength. Both were going non-lethal, a swift departure from Tak's own tactics. They were also distracted and were keeping the rest of the soldiers distracted in kind, effectively opening a way towards Wallace. He throws his own shuriken in to the throats of more unwitting soldiers and cuts down those in his way. Tak was getting pretty close when...
[+silver [b “Not so fast!”]] And the moon-man swiftly springs in with a kick, Tak barely dodging it. He was fast, he would give him that.
[b “This is not your fight, Moon-man.”] He says, as they do a deadly dance around each other while avoiding gunfire. He swings his sword for a vertical cut, but its blocked by the truncheon, which then extended in to the length of a staff. Tak backhand springs out of the way, but his adversary keeps the pressure on.
[+silver [b “Its Moon [i Knight].”]] He corrects and accentuates with another swing of his staff and another swift kick. Tak blocks and dodges it again, the two being taken a part by more gun fire, forcing them to retreat from each other. It drew attention his way and he was getting close to Wallace as well! It looked like he was going to have to kill this Moon Knight and his partner if he wished to obtain Wallace.
“One more move and this fucker dies,” And they all froze, everyone turning to look at the man now holding Greg hostage as Wallace slowly backed his way towards the VTOL. He was suddenly struck with a huge dilemma that he had no time to think about... It seemed Moon Knight didn't care whether Greg died or not, and neither did the tiger. They began moving, using this distraction to get closer to Wallace.
Tak could almost see the gunman's finger tightening, and without even thinking about it, the ninja's hand came up, a thin steel spike coming from under his vambrace, shooting out of a mechanism. Before the man could kill Greg, the spike embedded itself in his throat, and the force knocked his gun away from Greg's head, the trigger being pulled but the only damage perhaps being his bodyguard's eardrums. However, while in the midst of this pivotal second and how hyper focused he was, Tak failed to see the gunman who had started to take aim at him in the beginning of the hostage situation. The gun goes off, and barely misses Tak, glancing off of his already cracked visor and shattering it. Reflexively, Tak rips it off along with his mask, only for a vague second afterwards realizing what he had just done.
“Ambassador Takeshi?” He heard Wallace say as he looked up at his shocked face. Tak's eyes were furious and it made Wallace stumble a bit. “Kill hi-” And Moon Knight's truncheon slams in to his face and knocks out a tooth, Wallace dropping to the ground unconscious. The fight once again erupts, and Tak springs in to action, jumping and rolling towards Greg, tossing him behind some cover and quickly joining him.
[b “Are you hurt, Greg Ramirez?”] He asks. [b “I think it would be best if we retrieved Wallace together. I will answer your questions afterwards.”]
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.”>]
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