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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.
The beam sheered through the table like a hot knife through butter while Takeshi hid out of sight. Eventually there wouldn't be a table to keep him out of sight, but he was mostly trying to buy time to come up with a plan. Being locked in a room with a group of assassins equipped with top of the line energy weapons was not an ideal situation to be in. Not to mention it was a tactical nightmare since he didn't brought simple weaponry with him. If he lived after this it wasn't going to be a mistake he would make again. They caught him off guard and that wasn't something that was going to happen twice.
It wasn't a long process to assess the situation. Especially since it was chaotic. People were being cut down but Tak was the target. Collateral damage, and less people to point fingers. The security team hadn't responded so it was also safe to assume they were in on it, reaffirming the fact that the intent was for there to be no survivors, especially not him. Maybe saving Darren and the old man was futile. There wasn't much he could do for them, nor was there much he could do for himself. First day in America and he might have to reveal himself. Because that's what it would be either way. Everyone dead and Tak is the only one standing. Or all the assassins are dead and the executives survive, witnessing him killing everyone... Tak couldn't reveal himself, but he couldn't die either... He begins to pull back the sleeve on his jacket, revealing the first bits of throwing spikes. It looked like everyone was going to have to die.
However, just when he was about to fight back, there was a gunshot and one of the men with the energy weapons hit the floor, blood spattering the walls and carpet. At the sound of his name and the instructions to leave, Tak pulls back the sleeve on his jacket and stands up. The man himself appeared to be part of the security team, but didn't seem to get the memo that he was supposed to kill Takeshi. If he was the only one not to be bought off, he must've been a last minute addition or something to that effect.
[b “Yes, of course.”] Takeshi responds to the man. He as well scanned the room, noting that several people were in critical condition and those who weren't had been killed. He looks back at the man when he asks if he brought his own security team and he nods. [b “They're back at the Embassy.”] And considering they were in the chancery and the security team had been compromised, it was going to be one hell of a journey. However, considering that whoever this was easily took down the armed gunman and two of his supposed allies it appeared they had a fighting chance. They just had to survive until they got back to the embassy building and until the proper authorities arrived.
Tak picks up one of the pistols from one of the dead security personal and grimaces. He didn't exactly like using guns, but this would have to suffice for now. He motions for the two of them to get moving but lets his saviour take the lead. Without the screaming and firing of the energy weapon from within the office, the chancery was eerily quiet. It was doubtful it would stay that way for much longer.
[i Footsteps from behind.]
Tak turned and at the same time his gun arm came up, his eyes assessing the person a split second before pulling the trigger. Two shots to the chest and the security officer was on the ground, bruised but not dead. There was then shouting from one of the many halls, indicating backup for the downed man.
[b “Time to pick up the pace I think. How long until the authorities arrive?”] Hopefully his team would be joining them soon anyways. Gunfire was hard to ignore.
Greg felt an inkling of annoyance run through him as he was sent to patrol the outer perimeter instead of being on the Ambassador’s detail. This was originally not his mission and because of that he didn’t have the chance to be fully trusted within the embassy. In fact he should be in India right about now, helping build a school, instead of in New York, capital of horribleness. The only reason why he was assigned to the mission last minute was because the original agent got in a car accident and SHIELD needed an in to watch Ambassador Watanabe. He didn’t know why SHIELD was so interested in the Ambassador and it wasn’t his place to ask. All Greg knew was he could have been that in if he had more than a month to prepare. Now he was here, distrusted, by his employer and all of his suggestions had been ignored.
Having spent a good amount of his adult life in some type of security job Greg likes to think of himself somewhat of a security expert. He could walk into a room and unwittingly find choke points, best places to assassinate people, and the best places to be unseen. He also knew that having a room filled with important executives and ambassadors without security inside was just plain stupid. No matter how small a room was security could always fit. Which was why Greg wasn’t in the empty gardens patrolling but instead hanging nearby the room. His body was pressed into what little shadows he could use to shield his body from the other guards. Something was wrong and he could feel it.
His gut feeling had been his predominant savior since he was 16 and this time it didn’t let him down. A blast could be heard out in the hallway that caused Greg’s hand to twitch. Instead of rushing to the room he stood there and watched the guards who stood outside. They weren’t phased by the sounds of shots and screams at all. This was a set up. No wonder they didn’t listen to Greg; they wanted to kill the ambassador.
A soft sigh left his lips as he slipped his gun out from its holster. This was not in his job description at all. He was suppose to just happily sit there, gather information, tell them how to bulk security and go on his merry way. But no he now had to go save people . Checking his pistol to make sure it was still loaded he made his move. Thankfully, the commotion inside would cover his own weapons’s firing. With two hands on the gun he pushed out of the shadows and shot the two guards swiftly and without a blink of an eye. Worse case scenario he fucked up by killing them and Gregory Ramirez would magically die but he didn’t him time to care about his current alias’ death. It would just be one of many. Greg knelt by the two guards to assure that they were dead all while the shooting inside continued. The two were extremely dead.
Sitting back on his heels he glanced at the door. His next move was crucial to the safety of the room. He could wait for backup but there was no knowing who was on his side and who was on the crazy gun wielding psychopath on the other side of the door’s side. Greg really, really, hated this mission. Taking a moment to reload he took a deep breath and cleared his mind. [i ‘One... two...three’] he thought to himself as he stood up. Pressing up against one of the doors Greg pushed open the one opposite of him. He only had a second to identify the target and act. Without a second thought he pulled the trigger and the assailant, who had been turning, was stopped. The part of Greg that was way too use to this giggled a little as the words headshot pinged in his mind but the call for professionalism kept his face stoic. He really did need to play less video games though.
“Ambassador Watanabe, we need to leave,” he said as he pushed into the room and scanned the damage. It wasn’t a pretty sight and while Greg knew several people needed medical attention he couldn’t provide it until the ambassador was safe. “I assume you brought your own security that you can trust? I fear the embassy has been compromised.”
Worst. Mission. Ever.
New York City, the United States superhero capital. It was a long flight to New York from Japan, but there were many things to do during the wait. Takeshi Watanabe, the Prime Minister's son and current Ambassador between the Japanese and American government. He was here to oversee some of the details for the construction of 'Fair City', an arcology and man-made island currently under construction off of the West Coast of the United States. Currently just an elevated pit with the bare bones of carbon nanotubes for integrity, the arcology was projected to be nearly five hundred square miles, hold over six million people, and to be livable within the next five years, and then completed five years after that. This was thanks to Stark Industries, the Obayashi Corporation , as well as several other smaller construction conglomerates on the project. There was plans for an underground highway connecting it back to land and more affordable options for travel within the city itself. It was quite the undertaking, costing billions of dollars from both governments, but it was already the most ambitious project between two countries in the last century.
However, as exciting as it was, that wasn't what Tak was here for. Perhaps in a manner of speaking it was, but there was more to it under the surface. With a plan of this magnitude, there were obviously security risks and plenty of opportunities for people's palms to get greased. After looking through the books, there were very small details that seemed out of place, and although small, had very big implications. Some missing equipment here and there, a cargo vessel not showing up when it shouldn't, lay-offs, mass hires; all things that you'd expect to happen in something this ambitious, but the numbers didn't check out when help up next to the files provided to them. Again, very small, almost invisible irregularities easily chalked up to an accounting error, but his gut told him otherwise.
The plane touched down and Tak was greeted by the best service available from the American's. He had his own people with him as well, but they were none the less escorted to the Japanese Embassy in New York City. Over the next while this was where Tak and his team would be staying. It was a large collection of buildings for living, parking, and the chancery. It was built in a traditional modern American style, but it had many subtle Japanese elements on the inside that felt familiar and almost like home. Very tastefully done, and he could already see that his team felt more at ease here. They placed their luggage and other odds and ends in their space, but it didn't seem like they would have much time to rest. Tak heard someone at the door to his living quarters before they even touched the handle. There was a soft knock.
<“Ambassador Watanabe?”> A feminine voice spoke through the door when he didn't respond. They spoke in Japanese but were obviously American. He moves across the room and opens the door, revealing a woman a foot shorter than he was, dark hair, thick rimmed glasses, and a smart pantsuit. <“Sorry to bother you, but there is some forms we need you to sign and some executives who are eager to meet you in the chancery.”>
[b “I speak English.”] He told the woman. Tak didn't have an accent when he spoke. [b “I will be ready in a moment.”] He shut the door and quickly got ready. In the time he had gotten acquainted with his room, he had taken off his suit jacket and loosened his tie, so once he sorts that out he opens the door back up and nods at the woman who proceeds to lead him to the chancery building.
There was a section that attached the two buildings so it wasn't a treacherous. Once in the chancery, Tak is lead to one of the large meeting rooms filled with people in suits. He recognized some of them and some he did not. But one face he was looking for he could not find.
[b “Is Mr. Stark not going to be joining us?”] He asks the woman quietly ho gives him an apologetic look.
“Not today unfortunately.” Fair enough.
The large room had a long mahogany table in the centre, which most of the executives and big wigs sat at chatting amongst each other. He also spotted what looked like a reporting team on the farthest end of the table, talking to each other and snapping photos. Ahh... So this was a photo op for the executives. Normally he wouldn't have indulged, but it would help him blend in a little more. There was something else he noticed.
[b “Where is the security team?”]
“On the grounds and a few outside of the room.” Strange, but not unheard of. For the moment the room was crowded enough, so he could see why they wouldn't be in the room. He was about to inquire more about it when-
“Takeshi-san!” One of the executives, Darren Driver stood up and approached him. They shook hands quickly and he motioned towards the others in the room. Darren was a younger man with an olive complexion and inherited one of the conglomerates working on Fair City from his father. They've met twice and had dinner once. “So glad you're joining us. Sorry to make you come in here just after your flight, but everyone was eager to have you sign the papers and get your photo taken. The more people who know about the city, the better, right?” And Tak nods at that. “I promise we'll be done here in no time. We have so many more meetings to attend anyways.” And everyone laughs at that, Tak producing a polite smile.
[b “Lets get to it then, Darren.”] And after shaking a few more peoples hands, Takeshi is placed at one end of the table with Darren and another older man. The three of them hovered over a contract which Tak began to sign with a provided pen. This was apparently the photo the reporting team wanted, and just when the end of his pen was about to touch the paper, he knew something was wrong.
The light from the camera took a second to power on and there was an almost inaudible whirring noise. Like a transformer powering on... Or an energy weapon.
It was within the span of time it took his pen to touch the paper, but immediately he kicks Darren in the chest, using his momentum to knock himself back in to the other man. And when he does, a beam of energy fires out of the photographers camera, searing through the wall that Tak had just been standing in front of. Soon enough, there was shouting and the photographers camera's turned in to what appeared to be more traditional forms of weaponry and they began to open fire on the room, cutting down whoever they could.
However, it was Tak who was the target. And his cover behind the mahogany table was no match for their high-tech weaponry. Where the hell was the security team?
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