Money, Crime, and Disruption

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Portland, UK

Outside, the sun was rising, its rays steadily bathing Portland in a honeyed glow. Two masked figures sat in a small country bar. The outside wall adorned with ivy gently waving in the sea breeze, a blanket of silence only punctuated by the creaking wooden sign depicting a gold crown.

"So, any news?" The voice came from the tall man on the left; an imposing figure with an equally imposing voice.

The reply was from a man far from home, a rough slow drawl at odds with the scene, "The Insurgency seems to be preparing for a Foundation raid, not sure it matters to us either way… Hang on, there was something else…"

"Ah yes!" he continued. "The Foundation seems to be planning an MTF raid into one of MC&D's warehouses. They have an instance of Tempus-02 stored in there."

Phaedrus thought for a second, "I'll take the Wolves again, we need some more exercise."

"Good to see ya gettin back into it," replied the Canadian, a grin tugging at his face.

Sarah, the current server, headed over to the table to take the bill. Despite it being early, these men weren't an unusual sight. They seemed to like watching the sea in relative privacy.

Interesting fellows though, she mused, looking out the window. Turning back she saw the larger of the two staring at her with his head cocked. She gave a little yelp and tripped over a buckled wooden floorboard that she had completely forgotten about. A half-empty pint flew over, just missing her head and landing right in her lap. Mortified, she looked at the men in the corner. As the larger of the two stood and went to walk over, she tried to scramble up.

A hand came into vision.

"You lookin like you be needing a hand?" She accepted it gratefully and with the help of the Canadian's firm grip, she unsteadily stood up. The other figure walked over to the tab that lay in a puddle of beer from the spilt pint. He brushed it off, and placed it on the table along with a pile of coins, before turning to leave. She noticed him pointedly ignoring her, as well as her mistake, and frowned.

She watched as both men exited the door. "Thanks!" she hollered at the Canadian.

"Sorry for the trouble, ma chérie!" the stocky Canadian shouted back, flipping something towards her. She caught it by instinct. A small silver coin lay in her palm with the letters "AV" etched onto its face and ringed by a series of notches on the edge. Before she could shout a further farewell, they were gone. Shaking her head, she pocketed the coin and went to change. Probably the most exciting thing that would happen to her for weeks, she supposed.

Olken City, N/A

Phaedrus donned his kevlar vest, followed by a slightly tatty leather jacket. The rest of Alpha-1 (known colloquially as the Wolves) squad watched on, their expressions unreadable under their caps. Today was a plainclothed operation. They didn't want MC&D raising the alarm too soon; it could bring the Foundation down on them faster than planned.

Percy had said there was a Chameleon on the other side waiting, they had a lodestone set up already. Glancing quickly at the rest of the wolves for confirmation, Phaedrus placed his hand upon the linked lodestone, twisted the watch dial 90-degrees, and pushed.

Liverpool, UK

Phaedrus arrived standing in a dingy, poorly lit room beside an identical lodestone; his stomach feeling like it was briefly left in the aether. Field division Alpha One carefully walked to the door, opening it slowly, the hinges recently oiled. They seem to have arrived in a storage shed within the perimeter fence of the warehouse. Guards were posted up the entrance to the main compound, presumably to cover the MC&D trucks as they fled.

"Alright, Alpha One One and One Two, you guys take the entrance on my left and clear it out. I will take the small entrance ahead nearest the warehouse. One Three, you are on Foundation watch."

Three "ayes" swiftly came back as he started to advance forward towards the brickwork. He peered slowly past the corner, then swiftly stepped out.

A sharp jab to the nose of the first guard as he rounded the corner to disorientate, H&K P30 shoved up to his chest. Bang. The shot was slightly muffled by the body, but not enough. Phaedrus dropped to the floor, bullets flying over his head for a second before he heard a wet thump. A brief scuffle to his left was heard before a slight crunch cut it off. Phaedrus stripped the guard off, shrugging on the uniform. A voice came over the headset.

"Alpha One Three here, we have a problem. The Foundation started the raid early, there's a squad headed your way."

Phaedrus cursed, grabbing the Glock and its spare ammo from the fallen man. "Roger that, we are waiting near the warehouse now." He heard a loud engine getting steadily louder.

The truck rumbled past, some sort of open top transportation vehicle, no more than 2 meters away. He pondered a second before speaking, "Hey, One and Two, you able to take out the driver and 3 remaining passengers? I got the other two."

The reply was fast, "Sure thing, looks like somewhat easy pickings."

Phaedrus headed towards the warehouse, picking his way past hastily discarded boxes. Perfect. A small brick wall sectioned off a load of crates. He sat and patiently waited.

Just under a minute later, he heard two guys advancing towards his hiding place. He took a quick look, one looked like a trainee, the other one he wasn't sure. They had probably expected an easy smash and grab.




He let off a burst of shots from the Glock, one scoring a direct hit on an unknown shin, the soldier crying out in pain. He took the advantage. Within two steps he had closed the gap, smashing the gun barrel down on the MTF's head. Twisting the arm of the man up as it reached for a holstered pistol, he dislocated the shoulder with a sharp pop. As the guy struggled to free himself, exposing his weakened headgear, Phaedrus took the opportunity. A quick shot into the back of the head, through the broken helmet, finished the job.

He turned to the second guy. Click. Shit, he was out. In a moment of pure stupidity, he chucked the empty gun towards the remaining MTF. The unfortunate MTF's eyes followed the trajectory of the spinning pistol, raising his arms in defence. Surprised the ploy worked, Phaedrus grabbed his knife and shoved it into the kid's earpiece gap with a wet squelch. A brief look of surprise passed over their face before the body slumped to the floor.

"My two are down, what's your situation?"

"All are neutralized. One dead, three completely lights out."

"Okay then, I see the truck we need. Numberplate TR15 MCD, meet you there."

A quick shot blasted through the driver's window, painting the inside a deep red. Phaedrus grabbed the doorway of the truck, yanking it open, a body tumbling out; warm viscera coating the seat. Phaedrus brushed the fabric off, wiping his hand on the driver's coat.

"I got the van secure. You almost here?"

"Yep, we see you. Will just hop in the back."

Phaedrus heard the clank of the door shuddering shut. He waited till the noise died down, then quietly edged the van out the gate and onto the side road, effectively avoiding the Foundation and bulk of MC&D's force entirely. It would hopefully be hours before they realised the van was gone, and they would likely blame Foundation forces.

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