Late Night at the Office
rating: +14+x

Stackers Coffeehouse and Bar, N/A

Phaedrus sat in the corner of Stacker's Coffeehouse and Bar. Tonight was Open Mic, but he wasn't planning on staying for long.

A figure in black manifested at the door, nodding to the waitress on duty. The black mask with a golden "3" etched into it drew hushed conversation, but it was quickly drowned out by the latest singer. He took a brief glance around the room, locating Phaedrus in the corner and took a seat. "Heya Phaed, whatcha got for me?"

"Not Starling business I'm afraid. Our contacts at OIS are acting up, they busted into our research lab last Monday containing Elfa-07. I need someone to have a word with them."

"Sounds good to me, I assume lodestone 12 is still hooked up to the OIS London research centre?"

"Indeed it is."

Phaedrus stood up and stretched, placing a gold-rimmed coin on the table. "Enjoy the rest of the entertainment tonight, I want this done early tomorrow though."

"Sure thing, see you around Boss."

"Thanks for your help Julian, remember to take some time off at some point. You aren't invincible, however much you think you are,"

Phaedrus pulled out his ticket, pressing the grey button. He blinked out, leaving Julian to listen to the soft piano sounds now floating through the room.

OIS Research Facility, UK - Two days prior.

Jack checked his phone, quietly walking down the stark white hall. Research Lab 7, this was it. The echoes of whispered talk emanating from the next room. He slid the metal door open, checking behind himself as he did. Nothing. He let out a sigh of relief.

Eyeing the empty room, he noticed a small vent mentioned in the briefing. Clambering onto the surface, he placed his kevlar vest and extra ammunition on the surface; it was unlikely that he would fit with all of it on.

Contorting his body like a snake he entered the confined space, he realised it was slightly wider than he had previously thought. Just wide enough to turn around which would make exiting easier.

As the whispering got louder he slowly removed the phone from his breast pocket, clicking start recording. But, as he lay there, Jack slowly became aware of a form beside him, directly in his shadow.

"So. What are we watching?"

He stared in horror at the figure beside him. His eyes crossing as they slowly followed the barrel of a Glock 17 now aimed straight at his forehead.

"I would ask if you want the easy way or the hard way, but I think that's ever so cliche. Either you cooperate, or you don't."

Jack nodded mutely.

"Wise decision. Well, first; who specifically sent you?"

"I- I don't know. I just get told to- I do—"

"Calm down, we are just having a chat, man to man. I assume Director Flynn sanctioned this at least?"

Jack nodded rapidly. Due to the nature of the vent, with a second body in here with him, he couldn't easily turn—

"Secondly, does Mr Flynn know what you have found so far? Any recording or transmission devices?"

"No, I'm just meant to report back after— look I won't tell, I'll just say I found nothing."

"Well then, thank you for your cooperation Agent."

Jack sighed, letting out a breath he didn't know he was holding. His last breath for that matter. A small pop noise of a suppressed pistol was the last thing he heard.

OIS Research Facility, UK - Current day.

Julian strolled into the office, straightening his suit.

"Hey Director Flynn,"

They firmly shook hands, "Call me John. Please, take a seat. Is something wrong?"

"So John, you don't seem to have understood. When I bought the use of one of your facilities, I didn't expect your agents to try to steal our research. I assumed an organisation like yours would be above all this. Understandably, it made me rather upset when one of them happened to tell me indirectly it was a direct order. I thought you understood us, Jo—"

Julian cocked his head, hearing faint beeping. "Oh, I see, interesting choice. Backup on the way?"

Director John Flynn rose from his chair, Glock 17 in hand, grinning. "We aren't some sort of, company, you can push around. We are OIS and yo—" John let out a gasp, his eyes drawn to the severed barrel of the Glock as it slowly fell to the floor with a clank, followed swiftly by two soft thuds.

"Sorry. You pulling that trigger would have been extremely inconvenient for me, so I have taken measures to relieve you of the chance to do so. It may make resulting paperwork from this slightly tougher though."

Having quickly stood up, Julian slowly spun an engraved butterfly knife around his fingers, light dancing off its old, marred surface. Shoving the director against the wall he pierced his backup knife through the lapels of the suit and straight into the wall, pinning the shock frozen body there. Turning around, he heard the heavy noise of boots echoed outside and with a soft sigh, he raised Director Flynn's discarded pistol.

Bang… Bang

The first bullet tore through the peephole of the door, the second just below. He waited for a second, rapidly pulling it open; a body slumping through the doorway, falling to the floor with a muted thump. A hail of hesitant gunfire went flying past.

"Jesus Christ, you lads shoot like a bunch of drunk stormtroopers," Throwing down the director's empty handgun, Julian grabbed the Glock from the fallen man. Standard British secret service issue, decent iron sights and not a terrible fire rate. He could probably work with this. Hearing the rest of the agents shuffling towards the doorway, he looked around the room, his gaze alighting at John's desk.

Ah ha. He grabbed hold of the heavy metal paperweight from the stack of slightly stained paper. "Catch!" he shouted, hurling the metal block down the corridor. What happened next can be likened to someone hitting a particularly dense, red watermelon with an exceptionally solid sledgehammer. The pristine white walls becoming decorated with viscera, a gory rendition of Jackson Pollock art.

Taking advantage of the confusion, Julian stepped into the hallway, squeezing two shots off into the heads of the closest men; both falling into a heap on the floor like sacks of potatoes. Appraising the final man, he dropped his Glock, holding out his hands. "Well, what will it be?"

"Fuck you!" the man shouted, his barrel aimed directly at. Click. Julian winked.

"Isn't that unfortunate." Taking a hand from behind his back, he threw his prized butterfly knife. It arced through the air like a dart, embedding itself in the middle of the guard's forehead, the man folding in half like a puppet with its strings cut.

Strolling over, Julian yanked the knife from the forehead of the downed agent, wiping it on his now mucky suit. After a brief pause, he strolled back into the meeting room, "We will be vacating the premises asap, we don't feel very comfortable with your current level of security. I'm sure you understand… Oh and enjoy your upcoming vacation."

The figure strode out of the room as John sat in the corner shaking, the blood coating his stumps starting to congeal. He gave out a short sigh and passed out, silence reigned. A few minutes later the klaxon went off; but, by then it was too late. The man was nowhere to be found, the only sign that he had been there at all was a single gold-edged coin on the desk, the letters "AV" inscribed into it.

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