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[SS] Lighting the Fuse

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:14 am

«Oh dear, but isn’t exploration what man craves the most~? And we’ve only just met~time’s still young~»

Guy's mouth formed a lopsided grin. It wasn't often someone was willing to play him at his own game. If it weren't for the menacing aura this woman gave off he got the impression he might enjoy this. Or perhaps that was what made it so enjoyable?

«I see. So nothing suspicious at all, huh? Then we sincerely hope that we did not end up making you overly worried or anxious. The streets are safe with us around, of course. Just forget about the stuff I just mentioned, until you notice something. If you do, just run to an Anti-Skill station and you’ll be helped. Yes, yes. They’ll help you good.»

Why didn't that make him feel safe at all? If she wasn't suspicious enough already, the woman with one eye had practically printed that she wasn't to be trusted in capital letters across her forehead. The thin veneer of politeness only made her seem more sinister. No wonder people had trouble trusting authority figures these days.

But bad girls weren't altogether unwelcome.

«Oh right, right, I can’t let this go without at least leaving you my name, can I, Mr.~?

"You can call me Guy." He said with a slow wink.

«Call me…Marybeth~❤︎»

Marybeth eh? Another foreign name in a place like this? She was certainly intriguing. He was about to blow her a kiss in parting when the sound of shattering glass derailed his train of thought.

«No…this can’t be…? Already…? …how did you…find me…that quickly…»

Guy watched the happy go lucky girl freeze in a manner that had become all too familiar to him. Sheer, unmistakable terror like an animal in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle, helpless to prevent its own inevitable demise.

Well this had taken a turn for the worse...

«…Thanatos…?»

Guy glanced to Mikoto, a wordless understanding that had formed fromtheir shared experience.

Something's about to go down.

And on top of that, more importantly.

Are you ready?
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:01 pm

At first, she'd grown desperate to know if he was just that depraved or simply acting the way he was for the sake of annoying her. If it was the latter, and boy was that likely, he could be proud of his amount of success.

However, that regular and at this point “normal” type of exchanges between the two found itself cut short in a rather alarming way. Red flags had gone off in her head the moment the petite researcher had returned without any need for words, the sheer terror in her face spoke loudly enough.

And likely, the fear that had been gnawing at her from the moment she'd met yet another researcher would become strongly justified soon enough.

But for now, she only gave a nod to Guy's unspoken question, and was the one to put the first step forward in this situation, likely leaving him to handle Mayuso herself.

Especially if protection would be needed. The low amount of other customers around could be a concern, but seeing how they were within Anti-Skill and Judgement's territory, it would be easy to get the authorities involved to protect them. If not, she was growing an abnormal attitude for simultaneous combat and protection anyway.

“That's an interesting reaction you're causing there.” She spoke confidently, though without bringing attention to the foreign woman's malicious glance. No one needed to point it out from how powerful it was. “Are you really Anti-Skill officers?” Question were tentatively asked, but she wasn't really interested in the answers.

“If not, what do you want? From her?”

The sole reason she had bothered to ask was to prepare what she felt would be needed in this room, as many of the furniture pieces would have streaks of electricity occasionally and subtly running around them.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:47 pm


!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, that’s—their—move?!


Frenda could feel her thoughts fragmenting as a high pitched sound producing effect in her brain reminiscent to listening to nails on a chalkboard. The shrill noise was hardly a fire alarm. In other words, this was the enemy’s doing.

It was obvious what the enemy was doing. She was using Frenda’s own smokescreen against her. She had used Frenda’s own attempt to shift the balance in her favor to forcefully wrest it back and gain even more leverage. She had been anticipated and outplayed.

But now was not the time to curse at the impudence of her enemy. The enemy would likely approach her under the cover of sound now and she had no time to waste.

She needed to take away the advantage she had prematurely given away. Quickly, she reached into her skirt and pulled multiple of her pyramid bombs and aimed them at the windows lining the sides of the control room—each and every one of them.

They quickly exploded, creating heat within the room and shattering the windows.

With a heat and pressure differential, the result was obvious, the air and smoke would begin to flow out the window, creating an effect that would look like the control tower was coughing out smoke.

But, before the detonation had fully finished, she tilted her upper body and made a sudden dive for a nearby table. If the enemy would attack, it would obviously be aimed at her head. Just as she predicted, the gunshot missed her head and she found herself under cover. She could not detect the exact position on sound thanks to the black noise being played, but she could still get a feel for the general direction from where the gunshot came and tossed a pair of pyramid bombs that way.

Since that was unlikely to take the enemy out, she dashed towards another location while still under the cover of the thinning smoke and took cover once again and concealed her locations while getting a decent view of some of the open LED displays.

Dammit...how am I supposed to deal with this? She thought as she found herself cringing from the noise.
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:34 pm

A move quicker than her own. Right as Laurie was about to grant two presses to trigger her ears caught the sound of something passing through the air, smashing against the windows of sturdy reinforced glass. An ominous sound, followed up by the most expected sensation.

The noise of explosions paired with blunt miss-fire.

Shit. She’s quick!

Knowing fully well how much giving away surprise at sudden unpredicted events could cost, she immediately threw herself, taking a blunt dive behind one of the control room’s tables, perfectly well evading the explosion following right thereafter by just a split second’s mercy.

However she still groaned, hadn’t the landing been the same to the ones she’d kept training ever since. But pain was acceptable, wasn’t it?

With the smokescreen slowly dissolving under the new conditions of the battlefield, she could feel her biggest advantage fall apart bit by bit. Another rather unpleasant turn of events, yet nothing she hadn’t been used to.

Even if she was the weakest member of the group, Laurie still was part of Thanatos. She had been with them for only two years now, but even then she felt as though it had been the right place for her. Having been kicked from her country’s army shortly after finishing her training with unseen record, due a number of jealous colleagues pushing blame for various severe equipment malfunctions on her, her career had been sunken before it could have even begun. Afterwards she had been thrown into a torrent of misfortune, seeking a place for herself in the vast military world. However with her record stained by a history of mistakes, hardly anybody wished to get involved with her, fearing the possibility of another more severe fuck-up. Most of the time she’d just take simple jobs at the side of the desperate in need for assistance, drowning in the frustration of a complete failure. Shouldn’t she just quit that childish fairy tale of hers? Was there even a way back to begin with…?

She still remembered that day, when they had found her. When she had extended her hand towards her. She could still recall those feelings she held that moment. How little she believed in their honesty, how disgusted she felt at their demeanour and methods. She could recall every bit of negativity that had filled her mind when encountering these self proclaimed «saviours». And she could recall the true beauty of those days she had spent with them.

She wouldn’t just allow for that to remain as a memory. She’d go back there. She’d avenge those that couldn’t anymore.

Therefore she couldn’t afford to lose.

Immediately after her eyes behind the thick framed glasses ran across the space, seeking out the many monitors displaying the entire room’s security footage. Now that the smoke was slowly clearing, sight should return to her. It didn’t matter how much of it, just a tiny hint of the enemy’s presence would be more than enough. The shimmer of her golden hair, their shadow, that disgustingly cute beret on her doll like head, anything.

There!

Having memorised the layout of the control room in relation to all possible camera angles she could interpret the gleaned information instantaneously, pinpointing the exact position of her target within a mere second.

Not falling for the spoils of hesitation, she immediately tossed a simple splinter grenade in perfect textbook manner so that it would land well right next to the grenadier, then in perfect sync to her opening attack she’d charge from her cover seeking out the dodging target, aiming shoot them down for good.

Guys, watch me! Watch me carry on the wrath of Thanatos!
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:34 am


After the sound of the last explosive she had thrown went to silence, the smoke had began to clear up. If Frenda were a betting girl, she would bet on the likelihood that her assailant had survived.

Once again, the situation was forced into a stalemate and the best she could do was figure out her and her opponent’s next move.

How do I locate them? They probably went for cover again.

Her mind, finally accustoming itself to the unpleasant screeching enough for it to form coherent thoughts, began to run through a tree of possibilities and prune out the illogical branches.

If they went for cover, then there’s no way for them to find me, either…

Her mind tapered off as she had come to realize an issue with that train of thought. The assailant had not been impeded by the surprise element. That meant despite her observance and avoidance of the security camera, the assailant was still able to find a way to see what she was doing.

If that’s the case, I can find them when they make the next move.


As such, all Frenda could do was wait in vigilance from her position.

So, she waited.

And waited.

And finally, she saw something land in front of her—a splinter grenade.

The main instinct for the average person would have been to hightail it out of there and take cover. But, in all likelihood, this was meant to be a diversion and the assailant was likely banking on Frenda coming out into the open during the escape.

In the end, the optimal solution is—


Quickly, she reached into her skirt with both hands and pulled out a roll of her cutting tape in one and one of the spark pens in the other. Within a second, she ran a quick strip of the tape on the corner of the grenade and then cut deep through the grenade.

The detonation wire on this type of explosive is in the edges. The current in the wire produces the heat necessary to detonate the core. In other words, cutting the wire will deactivate it entirely.

This was the simple solution she had come up with. But, the situation was far from over. She had seen the grenade’s landing. In other words, she could pinpoint the assailant’s location.

Checkmate.


Without hesitation, she a scattered set of 4 pyramid bombs towards the location she had estimated. That should have more than enough to cover the entire area.

Now, let’s hear you scream.
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:23 pm

«Huh?»

It hadn’t even been a proper sentence, but that fit, wasn’t there even a proper turn of events.

Anyone, be it professional or amateur would have escaped in the presence of a splinter grenade suddenly dropping right in the middle of your safe zone. However, with this girl, there was no such reaction.

The instance she should have fled, nothing at all happened.

Holding onto the gun, standing upright and having already taken aim, ready to press down the trigger, Laurie didn’t even realise how off guard she had been.

She had been played perfectly, way too perfectly.

Everything just defied expectation and experience.

That had been their game to begin with.

What should have been Thanatos’s play, had somehow been stolen, no surpassed by the enemy.

This went beyond anything they’d ever done or seen themselves.

This went beyond all of her spreadsheets or creativity.

Hell, to begin with she had been no combatant, so what had she expected.


With the landing of the pyramid bombs it all ended. That mercenary woman no longer had any way to react, had the surprise at her enemy’s extremely unconventional unforeseen reaction shattered her composure, making the outcome bright as day.

Noise, heat and light enveloping the control room one last time, equipment being wrecked, screens shattered, walls ripped open, tables flipped over.

Then, only the continuous tone remained.

No more footsteps. No more transitions. No more bullet fire. No more explosions. No more green light.

The control room was silent.

The armoury had joined it just at the same time.

Thanatos had been defeated.

They had all died.

It was over.


That woman in lab gear was still cowering in fear.

She had seen it all, from beginning to end.

She had endured it, she had survived, she had made it through the eye of the storm.

And now there she was…

The sole survivor.

The battle had finally come to an end.
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:08 pm

Between the lines 1

Code 0171

Project Zeus_Fuse

Attempting Log-In

Requesting User-ID

AoKami099

Confirmed

Requesting Password

**********************************************

Confirmed

Access Permitted





Commencing 2-Factor Authentication

Requesting Primary Authentication Key



Please provide Primary Authentication Key



Primary Authentication Key identified



Requesting Secondary Authentication Key



Please provide Secondary Authentication Key



Please provide Secondary Authentication Key



Please provide Secondary Authentication Key

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:08 pm

Chapter 2

Those that call themselves Death Gods and the Girl that calls herself a Scientist
Plastic_Card_Meltdowner.


The tension in the small scientific café NuTrend had turned electric.

It was as though sparks were shooting through the air. No, they actually were.

However not even then mysterious one eyed Anti-Skill officer(?) Marybeth showed any sign of concern, simply smiling in the most sinister and blood loving way imaginable.

Like a freak of nature she’d stand there, her two friends occupying the door, the currently terrified to death scientist girl in the far corner and the remaining two blocking the path.

Just like a Mexican stand-off everyone was facing off against one another, waiting for something to happen.

«Are we Anti-Skill officers? Do we want something? What it is?»

Ever cheerful the one eyed fiend would pick up on the questions asked, not even showing a single sign of tension or worry. She’d just stand there, still on the same track from when she’d been just about to leave the place, after having ended up caught up in her little flirt. She kept smiling, loosened her back and switched targets for her bone melting glance.

«I’m sure you can figure all that stuff out for yourself, really, kiddo. There’s no need for auntie Marybeth to spell it out~!»

Making her voice sound all cute, she couldn’t help but chuckle.

«I mean, we’re just here to fetch and bring the little missy here home. Alive and unharmed at that~»

In tandem to her cheerful speech’s conclusion she’d make her move, sudden, unforeseen and quick. Where there had been nothing in her hand just a moment ago, there suddenly appeared a throwing knife she’d likely drawn from her sleeve and the before any brains could process it, it’d already be flung, straight for the blue haired girl’s forehead.

With speed and precision as they were, the attack would be entirely lethal, if not for a straight forward miracle.

Aligning with the surprise twist, the two men at the doors immediately took up their rifles, pouring down their magazines upon both Guy and the unnerved middle school girl, not minding the collateral damage.
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:28 am

The disarming moment where the situation appeared to de-escalate was all too suspicious when tensions were running so high. Did she seriously expect anyone to believe she was going to leave without causing a scene?

This was what was called the calm before the storm.

Guy had already made his decision in that moment.

Marybeth's movement had been too quick and too subtle for untrained eyes. It was likely only dumb luck that had seen the young man lunge from his seat in time to knock the twin tailed girl aside. He collided with her smaller frame, knocking her out of the path of the whistling knife just in time for it to pass perilously close to her ear, severing a few strands of light blue hair on its way.

The gunmen opened fire and Guy scrambled to put the dull, colourless benches between them and the gunfire. He could hear the rounds ricocheting off the surface behind him as he clutched Mayuso close to his side so that she didn't risk getting hit by a stray burst of fire.

He glanced across at here Mikoto had been standing, hoping that her heightened awareness of the situation had kept her from harm's way as well. By now he trusted that she could take care of herself.

"You know, getting shot at is a deal breaker of mine!" Guy called out from behind the bench as he waited for the firing to cease. There would only be one chance onee that firing stopped. "The date's off, lady!" He looked about for something, anything that could be used to defend himself. But there was no cutlery on the tables and nothing sturdy enough to use as a club. He reached over for a shard of glass only to pull his hand back when a round shattered the smooth floor inches from his fingers. The only other items nearby, a pair of salt and pepper shakers, seemed to mock him. "Great..."
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:05 pm

The atmosphere had grown so heavy and filled with the tense impression that a single wrong move would mean death for everyone in this room that Mikoto found herself unable to act before the woman who was clearly posing as an Anti-Skill officer.

(Crap...!) She cursed herself out for that hesitation as the sound of gunshots reverberated throughout the previously plain and mostly silent café deafened her ears, with some of the bullets barely missing her and grazing her skin before she could do anything but raise her arms to at least protect her face.

(Shit... There's no way they're going to let us time to act even if they miraculously run out of ammo. I need to do something and fast...!)

It was very likely that these were mercenaries whose reactivity was certainly nothing to mock, she realised, and something as stupid as not having any more bullets to fire with would hardly stop them.

Especially since knives were an entirely different matter that they seemed as equally proficient in.

There was no way they would make it out of there if they weren't stripped of at least one of the two.

She had considered forcibly straying the bullets' course, but at the speed the bullets went, the risk of imprecise collateral damage was too high for her to be willing to take it. Only a table she'd forcibly brought to her front using magnetism could serve as her shield, but even then she felt like it wouldn't last long.

A glance around the room during that brief second of protection thankfully told her that neither Mayuso nor Guy had been casualties of this deadly rain, and the cashier had seemingly had the wise idea to hide since she could no longer see them.

(…!)

Finally, her eyes landed on the mercenaries guarding the entrance as they mercilessly attempted to kill them. Their guns were nothing alike the ones she'd usually see in Academy City for self-defence purposes. Rather than the usually small, portable and efficient handguns, here were military assault rifles complete with the necessary knowledge to make them all the more deadly than they already were.

Even the knowledge she now had of this city's dark side told her that this was abnormal.

(This is going to be dangerous, but be damned if you do, be damned if you don't!)

The table that had once served as her guard was propelled towards Marybeth – though she wasn't the target of Mikoto's plan – and in that split second Mikoto shouted out as loudly as she could before bringing another one in front of her, now that she precisely knew what she wanted to do.

“Get down!!”

The benches that had only been rapidly and messily arranged around Guy and Mayuso for at least the smallest amount of protection against the gunfire was now being reinforced into a full-blown shelter by the surrounding furniture.

And at the same time, the barrel of the assault rifles were being deformed. Not in an old-fashioned movie-like way of bending it upwards or downwards, no. It took some effort on the girl's part to pull it off quickly enough for the move to actually help, but the assault rifles' barrels were being contracted until they were almost completely shut and unable to let bullet through.

Which announced bad news for the mercenaries if they'd try to keep shooting that downpour of ammunition.

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'Mikoto thinks'

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:45 pm

The control room had finally been brought under their control. Saying «it had seen better days» was quite the understatement, however that had been the outcome of the fierce firefight. Dozens of screens had been shattered, switch boards ripped open, the sturdy windows smashed and the corpses torn apart even more than they had already been. But that was the negative side effect of it all.

«So, can we somehow get her to talk? Unfortunately you ended up killing the last one of that scum, leaving us no other choice but this. But really, this seems bad.»

Covered in blood, dirt and with both heels of her high grade boots torn off, Mugino Shizuri stood there as though it had been a jolly Sunday out in town, twisting a strand of her wavy hair, while staring down the sole source of interest in the entire space.

The equipment was hardly useful and even the consoles they had managed to start running wouldn’t give them much of an insight, as their data didn’t provide the necessary passwords to grant them access to the deeper depths of the system. Stranded as they were, they had at least been given a final opportunity, unfortunately not the best one.

Among the countless dead, there was a single living person. A woman so young she could have been called a girl. She was frail, not extraordinary and in all ways did not fit into the scenery. Cowering and shivering she sat on the floor, her head lowered, pressing against her thighs, blocking off all light as though attempting to do the same with reality. With what she had seen however, this was hardly an unnatural reaction. Hells like these were hardly ever endured by the normal people.

And yet, the lacking presence of the general normal people made her the abnormal.

Mugino’s expression made it clear that the turn of events wasn’t pleasant to her at all, even though she had been as much to blame as her partner.

«She’s probably entirely done for. Who can blame her, though. The problem is, we need her. We really need her. If we can’t get access to the main control room, there’s no way the mission will be accepted as done. And unfortunately…we do not know where it is. Besides, I think that hag would give us quite the bonus if we dug some more stuff out from the core systems, don’t you think so, too? So, Frenda: Do. Something. About. This☆»
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:25 am


Frenda’s eyes darted around the now calm—or at least relatively calm—control tower. The state of unreliability it was in was hardly optimal. With pieces of motherboards, shattered screens and RAM laying strewn all over the ground, it was fairly evident that the terminals there were no longer something that could be utilized.

While that eliminated the primary threat of the fans being used, there was no longer any way to retrieve the location of the other control room now that they were stuck in this state.

Her gaze drifted to the woman who had remained hidden within the room (somehow) during the entire scuffle. The lone survivor of both the corporation and Frenda’s onslaught. Right now, she was the only path left to finishing up the job cleanly enough.

Pressure was mounting from both the obviously pissed off Mugino and the ever moving second hand.

Frenda simply gave off a customary ‘understood’ to her superior before looking down at her last trail. “I’m going to put this as bluntly as I can. You may have survived up to now, but you’re essentially a dead woman walking. As long as your employers stand, you’ve got zero chance of living. You’ve got two options right now. The first is to keep cowering like this and die at the hands of those who still have this facility under control. Even if you somehow manage to escape, you will be tracked down and killed in the end.” No matter what, the woman was hardly in a position of power. If anything, she had been robbed of any power or influence by simply surviving.

“On the other hand, you can provide us with all of the details to the last control room that you have including authorizations, passcodes, and the location and throw the last few chips you have left in that bet. Do that and you’ll at least be able to find some way to live, even if it’s hardly what you’re used to.”

It was a fairly standard technique for drawing out information. She just needed to move herself from the position of interrogator to potential salvation.

“So, what will it be?”
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:45 pm

This wasn’t at all what she had imagined when she’d woken up this morning. This hadn’t been anything she had thought about when applying for her job. This hadn’t even been anything she would have realistically considered anytime throughout her everyday life. It was all just too abnormal.

This world of bloodshed and blind violence.

War.

She shivered all over her body, sweat pouring from all her pores and her mind blanked by shock.

Somehow she had evaded that lethal blade headed for her face, being thrown to ground by the scruffy man that now had his arms wrapped around her figure, somehow guarding her form the merciless world. She could hear the screaming of the rifles, the noise of the small peaceful café’s interior shattering. It was dreadful, deadly, despairing. And yet his body’s warmth posed as the safe oasis amidst all that calamity.

However that hadn’t been all on her mind right there. Something worse was about to happen, Satomi Mayuso could tell. She knew. She knew them all too well, after all. Thanatos weren’t this simple a kind of opponents.

«We need to get out of here! Quickly! Their preference is to surround their enemies!»

The girl too frail for her lab coat would have loved to shout, however all that left her lips was something, which in the face of the rifles’ noise would only appear as a whisper. With her frantic shaking in an attempt to free herself of the boy’s grasp she was rooting to earn his attention. Once she’d have it, she’d use her glance to direct his attention to another spot: The door behind the counter.

«They probably have another team pushing in through the back entrance!»

Oddly enough, even though she was the sole panicky one, her mind had remained her sharpest asset. Was it through the adrenaline or simply because finally her survival instincts had kicked in? Whichever it was, place for questions was rather sparse.

❮❮❮ ✖︎ ✖︎ ✖︎ ❯❯❯

Dodging the flying table with great ease and a grin spread wide all over her face, Marybeth quickly readjusted the aim of her glance, in the middle of her comrades blindly firing anywhere. She wasn’t about to slip another throwing knife from her sleeve, nor did she show any intention of picking up a fire arm herself, she simply manoeuvred across the space, not minding the storm of violence at all.

«Our date off? Don’t make me laugh! We’re right in the middle of it~❤︎»

A crazy laughter wasn’t all there was lacking, clearly. As she concluded her speech, she already had leapt on top of the tables and benches serving as her honey’s and prey’s cover, not minding the supporting unit at her back, believing in their unforgiving fire support.

A mistake, as she’d realise just a second later, when suddenly the firing ceased entirely. The desperate clicking of them pounding their triggers in utter confusion made her mind jump conclusions way quicker than any good hint in Cluedo.

«Stop it you idi–––––»

There was no need for her warning, did the decisive blows follow suit just a second later, upon their rifles blowing up right in their arms. The explosions weren’t that big or heavy, yet still enough to even knock two war hardened mercenaries off their feet in a single action, most likely damaging them in more ways than good. No matter how weak an explosion, from this close a range and the torn structure of the rifles serving as shrapnel, this wasn't a good thing to recover from.

«Not bad. You’re using electro magnetism, right? First those sparks, then that flinging of the furniture and now messing the barrels of their guns like that…seriously that’s amazing, kiddo. Academy City’s Espers sure are something to behold. Hehehehehe! Brilliant!»

She wasn’t fazed at all. No, to make it worse, this sudden turn of events only seemed to motivate that one eyed demon even more. Her sole eye being bloodshot and that grin ever growing, she showed off her explosively developing killer intent.

Hell hadn’t even begun yet.

«Everyone, discard all magnetic equipment immediately! The enemy’s a magnetism Esper or something.»

Barking her quick orders into nowhere in particular, likely a communication device (considering her other two friends hardly useful state), she shifted gears all over again, turning the girl at the room’s centre into her next target. Or so it would have seemed.

Immediately after, she picked something up from her pockets, starting to throw it around, not aiming for anything particular, just randomly spreading the objects all over. As they clung to the surfaces they touched, they would reveal their identity. Clumps of a grey colourless mass, much like clay or plasticine. Upon a closer inspection, small silver tubes would be found sticking out from them, serving as a messenger of their true purpose.

«Now let’s see how you’ll like this, kiddo. This is KS Prometheus-1, an new prototype explosive inspired by C4! It’s super sticky, gluey and has the power to wreck a tank with a single of those clumps. And guess what? It’s a cancelled line. You know why? It’s way too insecure! It goes off at the slightest contact with an electric current!»

For some the act of openly bragging about your ace was recognised as the most fatal mistake to commit in a fight, yet she had done so with a clear intention in mind. Waging a war against somebody, didn’t only occur on the physical level, by shooting around or throwing grenades; it was a task of the mind as well. You had to pressure your enemies, push them into a corner and ruin their motivation to go on. Hell, you had to manipulate their every move. And if anything helped in doing that, then it was giving them the crucial information they needed to cling to life. That way one could be sure to narrow their possible paths down to a select few, a turn that’d ease the act of prediction by a lot.

But was that really all?
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:49 pm

«We need to get out of here! Quickly! Their preference is to surround their enemies! They probably have another team pushing in through the back entrance!»

Crouched behind the improvised barrier of the tables, The scruffy young teacher cast a quick glance to the door leading to the rear of the cafe. Her appraisal made sense. A well trained military unit would obviously set up a perimeter as basic protocol.

With that in mind, one escape route was now compromised and forcing their way through would lead to an ambush at best, assuming the enemy wasn't already pressing forward to corner them in the storefront. That meant that the best chance of getting out was now through the weakest part of that perimeter. Two enemies had been disabled, leaving a gap in their defenses.

All that stood in their way was one lunatic. A lunatic who had just effectively neutralised their strongest asset.

Looking down at the salt and pepper shakers in his hand, Guy uttered something to Mayuso.

"When I run, you run. and don't stop for anything." He couldn't guarantee there weren't more soldiers waiting outside the entrance, ready to gun down anyone who emerged. But this was their best shot at survival.

His face set in an uncharacteristically stern expression.

"I'm about to do something really dumb."

While Marybeth's attention was still on Mikoto, Guy hurriedly vaulted the barrier that had been protecting Mayuso and himself.

"Hey 'honey'." He called out to the mercenary woman. "Catch." He darted towards her, tossing the pepper shaker at her face.

If that had been his plan, it was a foolishly naive one. She was quick on her feet and with her hands. He was injured and had unarmed. A simple distraction wouldn't cut it if he wanted to make a getaway.

If that had been his plan.

The distance between them closed as Guy's hand shot towards Marybeth's exposed eyesocket, jamming the open salt shaker into the gaping orifice. He wasn't gambling on her being caught off guard by the feeble distraction of the pepper. In fact he was hoping she was fast enough to see it coming, to knock it aside and keep her hands busy while he slipped the cruel surprise past her defenses.

If he was lucky, this was going to sting.

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:29 am

The world was in flames. Panic, hectic, fear, hurry. There was no break. No interruption. Everything was just rushing forwards.

Receiving her warning, the boy protecting her announced the contents of his plan to follow it up. They would run. Not in the future, but right here and now. Unable to even adjust her mind to it, she simply followed suit. The next part of his explanation already escaped her, was she entirely bent on making it out of here somehow.

The Railgun had been neutralised with great ease. Thanatos would come flanking them with more numbers. Death was approaching ever quickly.

Her mind was about to go blank, a state she herself despised the most. But what could she do about it?

She simply put everything she had into the running motion of her legs, screaming from the top of her lungs in an unrealistic attempt of mustering more strength.

Satomi Mayuso had to get away. Out of there.

❮❮❮ ✖︎ ✖︎ ✖︎ ❯❯❯

On the other end there stood Marybeth, the grim reaper incarnate, savouring the great joy of another fallen enemy. Academy City’s Espers? Just another idealised fantasy of the innocent fluff world she had just now dragged to ruin. Power was not all it needed in this world. Granting children such power as a reward to work that was hardly of value was a mistake and an insult to all those that strode on the path of professionalism. The power to oppose soldiers, tanks or even entire armies to simply be granted with such simplicity? To Marybeth it was a joke. A lie. A concept she had been longing to crush ever since the day she had entered this Mekka of science.

And right now she had once again done so.

Little did she know how heavily this exact scenario would weigh on this scale.

Yet, this wasn’t it. The counter blow was already on its way.

The girl wasn’t the one to strike back, though.

«Hey ‹honey›. Catch.»

From behind the safe barriers that man came charging, throwing a single item her way.

Naturally her reflexes would react, directing her hand to knock the flying projectile away on the notice of a moment, not even thinking about the meaning behind the act. She hadn’t even analysed the incoming thing, expecting truly nothing that would ever prove to be useful under those circumstances. Her enemies were just normal people, after all.

«Sorry, but I’m not the type you can convince with cheap convenience store presents~❤︎»

In the end, she found herself tricked by that simplified perception. Suddenly he’d stand right before her, making his move on her wide open body. Or rather the wide open socket of her eye.

However there had been a slight miscalculation on his side, as well. She had only used one of her hands when knocking away the first projectile. Her other hand was moving, ready to take him up on his offer. Time was of the essence, though. An unfortunate truth she herself would realise.

She would use her fist to knock his arm away last moment, ending the path of whatever he had picked up from the ground. Stopping a shard was all it would take from cutting her, she thought. However, only late she realised the cruel other possibility he had decided on.

Salt!?

Her eyes widened in shock at her enemy’s overly devilish ploy and before she could even continue further the shaker unveiled its natural property. The holes in the top were always open to allow for the contents to seep through. It would only be a little number, but as her arm collided with his for the sake of stopping the strike, some of those grains were knocked out of those holes, sent flying into the air, travelling the all too perfect angle.

A scream of infuriating agony would mark the moment of their arrival.

Marybeth, struck by the element of surprise invoked by her own narrow mindedness, would collapse onto her knees, screaming…

❮❮❮ ✖︎ ✖︎ ✖︎ ❯❯❯

It would be that scream that’d serve as the trigger for another group’s actions.

Before anyone would notice, the entrance door leading towards the kitchen burst open, with another two heavily armed figures making their charge. Mustering their weapons, a pair of oddly shaped, partially translucent pistols that’d reveal the interior workings, they would begin firing immediately. Unlike before, though, not in the way of a violent spray, but with a sniper’s perfection.

Shot for shot. Each aimed for the three targets. Underlined by lethal perfection.

They wouldn’t let off for even a moment.

War was a merciless bastard, wasn’t it?
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:32 pm

At this point, covering her ears served no purposes, her hands served as hardly any worthwhile ear plugs. If the previous order from Marybeth to unleash as much ammunition onto these civilians as they could was qualified as a “downpour”, then what was going on was something much more along the lines of a merciless tempest.

Just barely crouching to avoid being the direct target of far too many bullets for her to control any even if she were able to somehow modify their trajectory without risking blowing them up, Mikoto quickly came to a simple conclusion.

This wasn't going to do.

There was no realistic way to deal with this.

Even assuming she managed to get rid of this wave of mercenaries, there were no guarantees that it would be the end of it, and the two of them would only risk slowly exhausting themselves until  either or both were killed. If this were a game, then it would likely throw an infinite amount of enemies as the player would slowly realise that perhaps killing everything in sight isn't actually what they're supposed to do to progress.

Except they would not have any continues were they to miss that opportunity.

Instead, there was only one thing they could do with the slight opening Guy had bought them, and that was flee. At least far enough to either get some help, or get away from the danger that was this potentially kamikaze café. It was a gamble she did not want to try out, as far as whether Marybeth was bluffing or not.

There was only so much time Guy had managed to wring out, however, and if they didn't get around to moving then no matter the amount of time it wouldn't be enough.

Mikoto ran towards Guy, tackling him out of the café through the shattered remains of what was once a window, hardly stopping to take in the impact before she resumed running with a firm hand grasping his arm.

“Those mercenaries are just going to keep shooting at us whether you defeat their leader or not! Do you have an idea of where that girl could've fled to?! She has to know what that “Thanatos” is and what they want since she's the one they want, so we need to find her!”

_________________

Spoiler:
"Mikoto speaks"
'Mikoto thinks'

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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:53 pm

«…you don’t get it…do you…?»

A voice frail as ice spoke up. Wouldn’t it have been for the silence that had enveloped the entirety of the now peaceful underground structure, none would have heard it.

«…this should have been my end either way…»

There was no strength in her words, no will to live, not even the remote instance of a survival instinct. It was as though a ghost was speaking. One could tell from the difficulty she had at forming those words, how heavily weighed down by everything she was. But that was only natural. Judging from the lab gear she wore and her overall lack of a muscular physique, she was likely the type that had never seen the world. Neither a crime scene, nor anything like the kinds of injuries that’d usually bring someone into a hospital. Her world may have been so innocent up until now that people like Frenda or Mugino couldn’t even imagine. Therefore the damage taken from everything that had happened in this facility tonight was most likely immeasurable.

«Look…at what happened to everyone…look at this…I survived…what for, though? What do I gain from this? What does anyone here gain from this…?»

As she continued her voice rose. Strength was returning along with a beat of heart. It wasn’t true strength, though. Likely the images were flashing in her head again, dragging her back into the traumatic hell she had just escaped.

«Even if I made it out of here…do you think I’d be able to ever forget any of this!? DO YOU THINK I WOULD!?!»

In response to that sudden outburst Mugino clicked her tongue in annoyance.

Instead of waiting for Frenda to continue her little interrogation game that most likely wouldn’t bring them anywhere, she simply made a move of her own, straight forward as she was. With the typical fierceness of her actions, she simply kicked the girl’s shoulder with the sole of her boot, knocking her backwards and pressing her against the wall behind. Taking into consideration her own beastly strength, she knew fairly well how painful it’d be to remain locked up in this position for more than just a bunch of seconds seconds. Yet little did she care.

«I don’t give a shit about your blabbering. You had a bad time? Really, now? How pitiful. Boohoo. The world’s not fair, you know. Such things happen. You made it out alive, so be fucking grateful. Looking at how easily someone like you could have died here. Looking at all your colleagues and what not, you should clearly see how lucky you are. So embrace that, you shit.»

Concluding her speech with increased pressure on the girl’s shoulder, the torture master Level 5 wouldn’t back off at all. Her partner may have gone for a more roundabout way, but at times the direct method would bear fruits over anything else.

However writhing in pain the lab gear girl would hardly find the strength to speak up again. She dove too deep in the pit of suffering. A fact that entirely escaped Mugino Shizuri as she would increase the pressure even more, up to the point where bone would shatter any moment.

«We’re just asking a single thing. Access. That’s all. Once we have it we’ll leave you for good. Can’t ask for anything else, can we? Now talk.»

There was no talk, no words, just the writhing and eventually something born from within it. What was breathing seeped by pain transformed into a chuckle, laughter and despair. She was laughing. Not because the joke was funny, but because there was no escaping any of this. She burst out, exploded and lost herself entirely. The girl would laugh and laugh and laugh. Witnessing the display from up front, the Meltdowner couldn’t help but twist her face in disappointment. There was nothing to do there, was there? Or wasn’t there?

«…central…ventilation shaft…»

That was all there came. Like the last three drops at the end of the rain, the voice came and disappeared entirely. Once the words were spoken, the lab gear girl lost consciousness under the pressure on body and psyche. She had been forced beyond her limit, clearly.

Yet in the end those three words would be all they needed.

They weren’t access codes or anything, but that didn’t rob them of their importance. A location was what they had asked for after all.

Done with the interrogation, Mugino would once again lower her foot, turn towards Frenda and flash a tiny smile with a hint of satisfaction.

«So that’s where it is, huh? So simple.»

Another look at the facility’s layout would fill in the gaps. The entire structure was reminiscent of a skyscraper, only that it had been built into the earth instead of on top of it. At the bottom, the place they were currently at, rested the armoury, however that had simply been the bottom most of all floors, even below all others. Above there was a different structure with a ventilation shaft system functioning as its absolute center point. Like branches the tiny shafts would spread out all over the insides of the facility, all of them leading towards the same gigantic tree like core: The central shaft. From the plans alone it was clear that, besides being countless metres in height, it held a diameter of about 40 metres, a number way too large to occur sensical. Likely there was some truly high grade equipment in the game, once again posing as proof of Academy City’s science fiction novel level technology.

A shaft so large leading from top to bottom, easily reaching all of the facility’s levels, would most certainly allow for something like a secret room to be hidden within it. But where exactly?

It was time to find out.
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Kira Kohaku on Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:26 am


Overboard…

That was the one word that Frenda would use for her partner/leader/idol’s approach. It was definitely unnecessary. Frenda felt fully confident that her interrogation would have reaped the same fruit. Still, she could hardly argue with the results.

She struggled to stifle what would have obviously been a chuckle. Going overboard. Breaking through everything with overwhelming force. Getting what she wanted while stomping her heel down on anything that stood in her way.

How Mugino-like~

With a smile directed towards Mugino, she quickly pulled up the blueprint layouts for the facility. Considering that the central ventilation shaft was above them, there had to be a way into it. A lot of paths involved going through service elevators and the like.

But there was one thing that stood out to her.

“If we’re talking about a central ventilation shaft, wouldn’t it be accessible from the pump station from before?” Frenda pointed to a number of the branches that came from the core facility that was the central ventilation system. “The pump area’s generally safe now that it can’t be activated from either end so we can get through in one of the maintenance shafts or ventilation pathways that connect it to the central ventilation shaft. There are numerous possibilities from there alone.”

It was an absurdly simple option that bypassed meandering and led them straight there. There was no need to use any secret passageways or search from roundabout method. She just needed to choose the straight shot.

“We can start with the one behind the rotor in the pump. That one’s the biggest.”
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:35 pm


She was running. Like crazy she was. Seeing her like this no one would believe she was the lazy type that’d spend the entire day tied to her desk or bed, reading magazines and books, devising schemes for new technological breakthroughs. She was running as though she was part of a nation wide marathon, competing to become one of the lead pack who’d end up in the TV broadcast reporting about the end results.

However she didn’t run because she wanted to. She ran because she had to.

Satomi Mayuso was being chased by Thanatos even now. She had been the first one to make her escape through the shattered windows, making her way into the streets. With her mind blinded by fear and panic, all she found herself able to was head off into the first best direction. The most open path of them all. The one her body told her would lead her to safety. Maybe therefore she had subconsciously chosen the path leading back into civilisation…or rather an area that would harbour at least some more people of the helpful kind. In fact, the direction she was headed was that of the Judgement and Anti-Skill training grounds.

However, her mind hadn’t been able to warn her: This certainly was the most obvious choice.

Thanatos had been swarming out into every direction, everywhere, chasing their prey. Even with their head cut off momentarily, the unit would work without fault. The men and women in black military gear had been everywhere. Two would remain in the restaurant, supporting their leader, the rest had spread out into the streets. They wouldn’t be firing blindly, though. At times one of them was waiting at a random intersection and fire, yet nothing really would come from it. Satomi would simply keep running and somehow make it away.

But why?

She could see it in the distance, the shape of the building’s roof. The safe harbour. One of the training ground facilities frequented by the city’s law enforcement institutions. If she made it there, her mind told her, she would be safe. Even Thanatos, no matter how they currently managed to cover their traces, wouldn’t be able to prevent attracting unwanted attention. Somehow they would be brought to fall or at least chased away for the time being.

However, that was what everyone would think in her shoes. That was the last straw of hope anyone would try to grasp.

And shattering hopes of that kind was their speciality.

She tripped. Something would interrupt her leg’s path, clinging to her, robbing her body of her balance and thus causing her to fall. It hadn’t been anything natural, but an invisible interference, a wire thin and see-through. Only on second look she would find herself able to make it out even in broad daylight. It stretched from one end of the street to the other. She could tell it had been there the entire time. Someone had set it up way in advance.

It was a simple trap, yet quite effective in that way.

After her frail body slammed onto the rough asphalt, her eyes would find themselves making out the shadows creeping up from the dark. In no time at all, she had been circled and surrounded by about a dozen men and women in black, equipped with gear. She could see simple cars having been moved to block the road to both the front and the back. They had overtaken the entire street. They had blocked off any and all paths of escape.

When one of them walked up to her, grinning joyously at the sight of her despair, she knew it was the end.

She had been captured.

☆☆☆☆☆☆

No matter how excellent and bullet-proof their plan, Thanatos were no arrogant fools. They might act like the kind of bragging assholes the majority of the time, but they were still the kind to never underestimate an enemy, no matter how successful the campaign.

Thus, even with everything going perfectly well up on the front, they would always have their eyes on their back as well. Their target was one thing, but their company should never be forgotten about.

Therefore, once those two would make it out into the open, the second phase of their attack began. A perfectly aimed shot simply striking down from above, carrying the fierceness to shatter a skull on first impact. Then another one only a second later. It came from far away, yet with high precision. Reflexively searching roof tops for the sniper, however, wouldn’t lead them anywhere, did the angle not make any sense to begin with and was there no trace of anyone in that position. No, those shots came from way up above, right from the skies.

Somewhere up there the KS Damocles-22 was in position. Being a remote controlled drone with all kinds of target assistance software and stabilisation technology embedded, it was the perfect long distance sniping method. With a range of about two kilometres, a striking power capable of piercing even sturdy vehicles like tanks and the capability of adjusting its position to work around any obstructions aiming down from above, it was a perfect asset for any kind of urban warfare. Wherever its targets were, it would find them and strike down upon them.

And that wasn’t all.

Suddenly another shot from another direction, defying the limitations of the time interval. And yet another from an entirely different one, would serve as harbinger of an even more unfortunate turn: There wasn’t just a single one of them.

Time was pressing. The girl was about to be caught. Yet the enemy was entirely unforgiving.

☆☆☆☆☆☆

«Using the shafts as a path we have already scouted? Not bad, Frenda~!»

Mugino would praise the girl’s idea, giving her approval for the plan with something that was quite close to a well-meaning smile, one of the greater rewards to achieve on her crude play-board.



Many minutes later the two girls would find themselves crawling through one of the shafts connecting the pumps with the central ventilation shaft. While it had been possible for them to cross the larger pump area in upright position, the further in they got, the less space was offered to them. All of a sudden the broad and easily crossable terrain had transformed into a narrow hell of ups and downs.

What spy movies would often depict as some easy game, or romantic, tensing action flick, would turn into more of a sweatily exhausting endeavour. Another one of those, no one would really enjoy. Yet it turned out to be the simplest way, taking into account the maze like structure of the countless corridors.

Frenda had been pushed into the lead, sparing Mugino the first encounter with whichever traps would come ahead, as well as the awkward situations of having someone’s face under your skirt or them pushing up your ass in case of a steep turn. While the primary hadn’t occurred at all, the latter had become as present as an annoying running-gag in a long-since-dead sitcom, further underlined by the stickiness of sweat invoked by the heated surroundings.

Yet in the end, after that over-extensive ride, they would finally break through the final hurdle, the cover at the shaft’s end, entering the new domain.

The space was vast and gigantic, even more so than the maps implied. Even Mugino, who usually was quite hard to impress felt a little out of place at the sensation of encountering this kind of unlimited freedom after having gone through that cramped butt-pushing hell for way too long.

It wasn’t lit properly, yet her Meltdowner’s light would reveal at least a portion of the area. It was spanning the dozens of metres mentioned in the data. The floor was covered in all kinds of cables, machines and structures one would expect. The walls were the same. Even with only a fraction of the entire thing visible, it became evident that thousands of paths would lead here. And with no sign of a ceiling or anything up above, it one could only imagine the many metres high the free space reached.

However they hadn’t come for sight-seeing purposes.

«No trace of anything.»

In fact there was seemingly nothing there. All there seemed to be was a vast area, empty at its core. The sight of a distinct structure amidst it all was missing entirely. No, there was not even an indication of where it could be. It could be anywhere, truly. Considering both the diameter and the height of the cylinder making up the supposedly hollow centre point of the facility, the possibilities would seem endless.

The loud noise of the gigantic rotors embedded into the floor not far from them, drowning out any other, wouldn’t help either.

She took a glance here, another there, her green sphere's light unveiling more and more of what was hidden in the darkness.

It was then that something odd did indeed show itself. While on first glance it would appear as nothing less than a natural part of the structure, it would remind them of something on the second. Something was carefully built into the walls. Something that quite well could appear like rails. Gigantic rails for something likewise gigantic to travel along. They were spread at even intervals, stretching way up into the seamless height.

A detail entirely left out by any of the construction plans.
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Guy Li on Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:54 pm

Any momentary satisfaction he had gained from his successful distraction was quickly lost when he was tackled out of the window. He staggered after her, pulled slightly off balance by her insistent tug on his arm. The act itself was sort of charming in a way and had they not been in a life or death situation he might have drawn attention to it.

In fact, even with the current situation, he was struggling to keep himself from saying something inappropriate. Luckily for the both of them, Mikoto spoke first.

“Those mercenaries are just going to keep shooting at us whether you defeat their leader or not! Do you have an idea of where that girl could've fled to?! She has to know what that “Thanatos” is and what they want since she's the one they want, so we need to find her!”

"Not sure. I told her to run and she did a pretty good job." He quickly caught up with Mikoto, keeping pace beside her despite his handicap.

"Well, on the plus side at least they didn't have anyone covering the entrance." Guy paused as if waiting for something to prove him wrong. A barrage of machine gun fire or a single, well-placed sniper's bullet. It wasn't often he got away with tempting fate so openly. "Maybe they're running out of people to throw at us?"
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Re: [SS] Lighting the Fuse

Post  Misaka Mikoto on Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:17 am

Though her hurried pace wasn't faltering in the slightest, Mikoto still glanced out the corner of her eye to seek for the new "snipers" that were after them. Ascertaining the fact that it wasn't a human unit, she had found herself a bizarre affinity with understanding that staying still would have them killed, and whatever it was that was making her dredge up that miserable knowledge once more, it certainly displeased her greatly.

The machines' terrifyingly accurate sniper shots had only missed them barely, but still annihilated the concrete it would crash against. That in itself was worrying enough to ensure she kept them moving and the drones forcibly distracted to the best of her abilities.

“Be happy about that. That's infinitely easier to handle for me. Why the hell are we the only two here, anyway?! Where did that earlier Judgement officer go, and why isn't anyone notifying Anti-Skill about any of these attacks?!” She clicked her tongue as she spoke, bringing upon a massacre onto the drones.

Between those that would find their inner mechanisms either bent in similar treatment to the earlier assault rifles or pointing and shooting at their “allies”, and those that were simply being forced by Mikoto's will to crash into the other, those seemingly terrifying devices were only proving to be more of a break to her than the previous flesh and blood unit had been.

“Goddammit... If no one's after us then it means they're going after her! Don't you have an idea of where she could have run off to?!”

_________________

Spoiler:
"Mikoto speaks"
'Mikoto thinks'

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Misaka Mikoto
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