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Basically Yaoi, But With Ninjas. - 2. Under Cover of Dark.

Once The Pilot’s briefing is done, I let out a long sigh.

It’s not the difficulty of the mission that gets to me. Not really. I knew from the start that there was going to be risk. Having to kill a man bothers me, but I made my peace with that a while ago. No. What bothers me is David.

I put my face in my hands and let out a quiet growl. It doesn’t help.

“Of course it’s David,” I mutter, unable to keep the bitterness from my voice. “Why wouldn’t it be him? First time I ever open myself up with a guy, and BAM! He’s with an anti-assassination-squad! Just my fucking luck!”

I spend a few minutes yelling nonsense at the clouds; hoping no one below is close enough to hear me. It calms me down, just a little.

Still, though. Why’d he have to be so hot?

Fuck it. I’m wasting time feeling sorry for myself. I just need to get this done. I close my eyes, take a breath, and throw myself off the roof.

Freefall is weirdly relaxing when you’re used to it; the feeling of your belly rising into your throat kinda goes away, replaced by utter freedom. If it weren’t for the fact that doing so would lead to my remains being splattered across the pavement, I’d be tempted to keep my eyes closed. I’ve missed this.

It’s when I reach the midpoint of the fall that my body enters the shadow of the next skyscraper along. I dip into my power.

When I first came here, I was worried that it might be hard to get The Pilot’s attention. Just another minor power user looking to get a boost from a wave-suit. Those worries turned out to come to nothing. The Pilot’s never gotten hold of a shadow-jumper before.

I let myself slide into the shadow slowly, my gathering momentum following me into the void as my perceptions expand out through every space connected by the shade. I finalize the transition just a foot or so from the ground, giving my body more than enough time to hit terminal velocity.

For a moment, I hang in limbo; not blind, not deaf, but still falling, even while outside of normal space. I reorient myself; redirect my momentum, and from the web of shadows all around me, I choose my re-entry point.

My form emerges from the side of the skyscraper like a bullet shot from a gun, rocketing my way out above the city streets, and quietly marveling as my goggles pick out every detail below me in vivid crystal green.

I feel a momentary regret. Flying this way just isn’t the same without my wing-suit. I’ll have to remember to bring it next time.

Regrets aside, however, I make it across town in good time.


I find Raylund-

Nope. No first names. Hovis. I find my target in an indent at the centre of the city. The topography of the Turtle’s back is weird. The shell is split and cracked in places, and the architecture of the city simply has to work according to the landscape. In this particular area, one of the scales has split itself partially away from the rest of the Turtle’s shell, making for a mile-wide patch of space under a constant cover of shade.

The buildings under here are strange; disorganized; some of the streets coming together at odd angles, some of the buildings merging into one another at the halfway point. The closer I get to the middle, the more the place layers out; a single, ground level walkway giving way to layer after layer of wide plazas that stretch between the buildings for whole city blocks at a time like massive, concrete plates. Why not, I guess. It’s not like there’s any sunlight here to block out.

It’s on one of these plates where I find the target, standing in a concrete pit that looks stuck halfway between a skateboarding pit and the set of a broadway streetfight, addressing a crowd of some thirty or so men and women. None of them look happy. All of them are armed.

I spot David a little way to the side, already in his wave-suit. He doesn’t appear to be paying much attention. In fact, he seems to be texting.

I take a moment to be annoyed that his wave-suit came with pants.

“Friends, be serious,” Raylund says, his voice laden with an accent I would take for Norwegian if I didn’t already know him to be from the Skylands. “All of us here know that the demon attacks are on the rise. None of us can afford to exist in isolation. Your city may have its Pilot and its wave-suits, but if you take my help, you can take destiny into your own hands. Keep pace with the monsters at your doorstep. Hand power only to those who are truly deserving of it, yes?”

I roll my eyes. God. An idealist. Maybe I won’t feel bad about killing him after all. Why are pre-collapse people so weird about morality? You do what works to get by. Simple as that.

Speaking of which, an idea strikes me as I scan the area from my perch. There might be something I can do to even out my chances. The target only seems to have two other guards besides David, and neither of them has any significant protection, as far as I can see.

His suit is supposed to be a balance between strength, speed and physical durability. A close-combat powerhouse. He’s the only real threat here.

“Pilot,” I murmur. “How do I turn the goggles back into a phone.”

No response. Instead, the goggles simply melt off of my face, trailing down along my skin in a cold, semi-liquid mass that makes me shudder as it goes. Particularly when it brushes against a nipple. A second or so later, though, the phone is back in my hand. A quick examination with my free hand tells me the rest of the mask seems to have stayed in place. I wonder briefly if it’s changed my hair color.

I flip the phone open, and pull the scrap of paper with David’s number from my pocket.

This is underhanded.

I do not care.

I need to kill this man.

I would also like a boyfriend.

I dial the number.

A few hundred feet away, the imposing figure in the red combat suit jumps slightly as his phone plays a snatch of upbeat pop. Several of the gangsters turn to glare at him. I am proud to say that I manage to completely stifle my giggle.

David makes an apologetic gesture to his employer, then backs off a short way to answer his phone.

“Hello?” he asks. “I’m at work. Who is this? How’d you get my number?”

I take a deep breath, surprised at the sudden rush of nerves.

‘Come on, Liam. You were having sex with him an hour ago!’

“Uh,” I mutter. “Hey, David. Sorry. You busy?”

“Liam?” he glances back towards the Target, then makes some unnecessary move to muffle the conversation with his free hand. “I mean, uh. Yeah. A bit. What’s up?”

“Oh, nothing much,” I murmur, still scanning the area, this time sizing up the distances between patches of shadow. The lighting around here isn’t great. I should be able to cross most of the distance in an instant. It’s just the last forty feet or so that will really be an issue. I sigh.

‘Guess I’ll just have to see how fast this suit is, then.’

Before David has much of a chance to reply, the Target clears his throat.

“Mr Volke,” he says. “I trust your private life can be put on hold for the next short while, yes? My protection was paid for at a premium.”

David blocks the phone so I can’t hear before he answers.

“Yes, sir. Sorry. I’ll make them go away, just give me a second.”

I scowl, not sure quite why it feels like my dignity was impugned. Surely I’m worth more than his employer.

… I am investing way too much in a random hookup.

David uncovers his phone.

“Look,” he mutters. “Liam, sorry. It’s awesome to hear from you, but could you ca-”

“I wanna send you a sexy picture,” I cut him off. “Pretty please? I’m already three fingers in.”

I hate myself for saying ‘pretty please’, but for what it’s worth, David does hesitate.

“... You are?”

I grin, then let out a low, slightly exaggerated groan.

“... Four.”

“Jesus Christ.”

This time, it’s not just the target who turns to look at him. This time, I don’t quite stifle the giggles.

“Can you find someplace private?” I ask, throwing in a moan for flavor. “I wanna show you real bad.”

David glances at his boss. Then at an alleyway some twenty feet to his left. Then back at his boss. He returns the phone to his ear, and does not move.

“Okay. I’m somewhere private.”

'... Motherfucker.'

“I swear to God," I mutter. "If one of us dies here, it’s your fault.”

“What?”

I hang up the phone.

David hears the line go dead, and stares down at his phone, likely confused. For my part, I’m no longer watching. I access my new power pulling a pair of long, neatly serrated combat knives into being, one in each hand. I test their weight, and take a breath. It’s going to be the first time in a while that I’ve killed a human being. Even longer since I did so with a knife. It’s not a feeling I relish becoming familiar with.

I assess.

My perch is two storeys up. By launching myself off of it, I should able to build up a decent starting speed before shifting into the shadows once again. If I choose my re-entry point right, I should be able to end it before anyone has time to stop me.

That’s blue sky thinking, though. Plans almost never go right. I consider other options. Ways to maximize my advantages. Really, it’d be best if I just waited for the target to leave the light. Then I could be in and out in the space of a single breath.

Maybe I should target the streetlights first. There are only two of them, spaced some forty feet apart. If I can shut them both off, then I win automatically. I doubt anyone here could stop me in the dark.

That should work.

I take a deep breath, pull myself to my feet, and step outside the universe.

That’s the moment when pretty much everything goes wrong.

One of the Target’s guards jerks as if shocked, her body twisting in my erstwhile direction, gun already raised. She points the barrel towards exactly where I would have been had I not warped just half a second earlier. All eyes turn to her, weapons suddenly at the ready. From my space within the void, I swear.

‘Well, there goes the element of surprise. Why’d they have to bring a power sensor?’

Fine. I’ll just have to kill her first. I reorient my re-entry point.

A quick in and out. Cut her throat, then leave.

It’s just as I try to step back in that David catches fire. Literally. His whole body, on fire. It lights up the whole place, the boundaries of the shadows pushing back some sixty, seventy feet. I step back into the world at least fifty feet from the woman I meant to kill.

‘Fuck.’

Then she aims her gun at me.

‘Double fuck.’

“I can ex-”

She pulls the trigger.

I jerk out of the way by reflex, my eyes squeezing shut as I wait for the agony to bloom in my chest. Nothing comes.

‘Did I just dodge a bullet?’

I glance at the wall behind me.

‘I just dodged a fucking bullet.’

I look back towards the crowd, and that’s when David’s haymaker cracks me in the jaw.

David’s a big guy. I’m kinda not. I’m pretty sure even a regular haymaker from him would lay me out pretty good; but then there’s the fact that he’s wearing a super suit.

My body impacts against a door a short way away from him. It must have been a hell of a punch, because the impact causes the frame to shatter off its hinges. I land in a sprawl in the lobby of some random ass apartment complex, half aware that he’s already coming after me. My jaw aches.

With a small groan, I push myself to the side, into the shadows that David’s fire are casting through the open doorway, and pull myself back into the void.

‘Okay. Lesson learned.’ I think to myself, massaging my jaw as I watch my erstwhile sexual partner barrel through the doorway. ‘He’s basically my kryptonite. Stay the hell away.’

Easy enough to do.

David’s light has pushed my boundaries back outside the building, forcing me out into the area surrounding the target.

Come to think of it, this might actually be good. I have some distance from David now. If I act fast-

I step back into reality a bare three feet from the power sensor.

She swings around to bring her gun to bear on me, and it’s slow. Really slow; like someone put a cooldown order on time itself. I raise one of my knives to block her, and watch, slightly stunned, as my blade slices through the gun-barrel like butter.

I can work with this.

No need to kill her, now. She has another weapon at her hip. I slice that one in half, too. She moves to strike me, but I’m already gone.

I step towards the Target. He’s close now. Only twenty feet, at most. But the power sensor wasn’t the only one with a gun. There are more of them now; his other guard. People in the crowd.

I step under the first few shots, sidestep a third, and maybe get just a little overconfident in trying to parry the fourth bullet with a knife. The attempt earns me a searing pain as it grazes across my right shoulder. I wince.

Lesson learned.

‘This would be so much easier with a shield.’

Space bends.

I feel the handle in my left hand shift. I catch a glimpse of a small, medieval-style buckler sitting in my grip. I bat the next bullet out of the air with a sigh.

‘No. I need something bigger. A riot shield.’

Space bends.

‘Fucken’ sweet.’

I hear a yell from somewhere far behind me as I use the shield to simply stride through the hail of bullets. David’s voice. I can see the light growing brighter on the floor around me.

I should really hurry.

I reach the target, moving the shield to cut him and myself off from the majority of the crowd, and mumble an apology as I ready my knife. He has a hand at his wrist, a finger pressing a button on a watch a lot like mine.

I move to stab.

There is a pulse.

My hand impacts against my target’s chest in a pathetic sort of punch. I have half a second to wonder where my knife went, before the back of his hand connects with my cheek, sending me sprawling.

“Don’t shoot,” The target murmurs. “I was hoping to get a wave-suit for my work. I’d rather no one caused it any harm.”

The inside of my cheek is bleeding. Something tore a hole in the mask’s mouth section. Who turned off my bullet time?

I push myself upright, stumbling slightly as I find my feet. It’s a shame, really. Even after over a decade’s worth of training, I can barely take a hit.

‘Then again,’ says a wry voice inside my head. ‘The point of the training was so I wouldn’t have to.’

Hovis raises his fists, an eager grin on his face.

‘Great. Another fist fight with someone twice my size. Story of my life.’

He comes at me with a boxer’s stance, throwing a pair of quick jabs at my face with his fists. I sway to the side, duck behind him, and drive my foot up between his legs with all the force my smaller form can muster.

Every gonad possessing being within sight shares a collective wince. The Target buckles. I catch a glimpse of David charging across the space between us, no longer on fire. I guess his suit must have lost power too. Then, I note several of the people around me raising their guns.

I throw myself down on top of Mr. Hovis. No one fires. Well, that’s one problem solved. Now I’m just stuck in a grapple with a man significantly stronger than me.

A man I also just kicked in the balls.

It doesn’t last long. I might be nimble, and he might still be moving stiffly from the pain, but he’s still stronger, larger, and heavier than me. In just a couple seconds, he has me pinned. Maybe I would have lasted longer, but I was never really trying for a win.

He gets me on the ground, his hands around my throat. My fingers find his watch. I press the button that made the pulse.

Suddenly, the world slows down again.

I’m still being suffocated, of course, but that’s okay. I still have a hand free, and he won’t be able to choke me once I’ve stabbed him in the throat. I summon my blade, watching as, oh so slowly, his face begins to register my impending win. I give him a weak grin as I cut the watch loose from his wrist, then thrust my knife towards his neck.

There is a bellow loud enough to shake the pillars of the Earth, before David’s once more burning form tackles the man aside.

My knife hits David in the face as he moves past me, and for a moment, I panic. But it glances off his cheek, drawing nothing more than a thin line of blood towards his ear.

‘Right. Enhanced durability. Gotta get me some of that.’

He and the boss roll to a stop a short distance away.

I pull myself up into a crouch, shoving the anti-power watch into a pocket of my jeans, and holding my knife at the ready.

Guns at the ready again. I summon my riot shield. This would all be so much easier if I wasn’t trying to keep casualties to a minimum.

“Next time someone shoots,” I say, forcing the words out nice and slow to make sure they can understand me. “I stab them in the freaking face.”

The threat works, for the moment, at least.

David pulls himself to his feet, his movements not nearly as slowed as the others, and gives me a glare.

Then, his eyes go wide.

“Wait,” he asks, incredulous. “Is that- Dude! What the hell are you doing here!?”

I give him a weak shrug.

“I told you I was starting a new job.”

“As an Agent!?” he shouts. “What the fuck, man? I thought you were sweet!”

Okay. That stings.

“Look,” I sigh. “Just let me kill your boss, then I’ll be out of your hair, okay?”

“Fat chance,” he says, shifting himself in between me and the man in question, the flames across his form growing a touch brighter as he moves. “Sorry. You’re cute. But the job comes first, and I’m not gonna let you near him. Just walk away. Please.”

I let out a long, aggravated sigh. I can see Hovis climbing to his feet behind David’s back, holding his chest in protection of what is probably several broken ribs. David being here makes this almost impossible. I might have the advantage in terms of raw speed, but my one time boytoy isn’t exactly slow, and unlike me, he can probably punch through solid walls. The only thing I can think of is trying to draw him away from the target, then doubling back to finish the job. But, if David has any sense to him, then he knows that sticking to the boss like glue is all he needs to do.

I curse.

‘God, this would be so much simpler if I had a gun.’

Space shifts.

I look down. So does David. Where I once held a knife, I appear to now be holding a jet black copy of a Rueger 54. The first gun my father trained me with.

‘... Huh.’

Hovis tries to run. I shoot him in the head.

David watches his employer fall, and takes a step forward, fury etched into every line of him. I let the riot shield go, and manifest another gun, aiming both of them towards him.

“Please don’t,” I say quietly. “I’m only here to end a single life today.”

He stops.

“Your knife didn’t do much,” he answers. “What makes you think a gun would be any different.”

I scowl.

“... Fair point,” I admit. “I probably can’t beat you right now.” I shift my aim towards the crowd. “But I’m a good shot, and I’m pretty sure I can kill half the people here before you catch me.”

No one moves.

In the end, David swears.

“Just go,” he growls. “I’ve got a big enough mess to clean up already.”

I take a step back. Then another. No one follows. I turn around, and break into a run. I don’t stop until I reach the edge of the concrete plate, just throwing myself bodily into the void.

That was way too fucking close.

Copyright © 2021 Rhythminthemind; All Rights Reserved.
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1 hour ago, drsawzall said:

My...my...my...make-up sex is going to be soooo freaking hot!!!

Potentially 😆.

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