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It hurt...but this pain...this pain is what she was used to. Like it or not, the Helldivers had prepared her for such physical pain. Emotional, though, was far worse...

Or at least, that was what she was trained to know.

Letting out a groan and cough, Maria tried to at least get to a sitting position but the best she could make Neo Angel do in her condition was to now lie down flat on her back than on her side.

She then heard all the commotion over the line...and heard a familiar voice.


She must have misheard but then she heard some demonic roar of what she SOMEHOW guessed was from a framework. How she knew that without even looking escaped her but that voice...

"Mai! You ok?!", then came Jake's voice over the line.

"...still here", she managed to respond. "But Jake, that voice..."

"You know it?", Jake then asked.

Then came the voice again.


Now she knew who it was but here of all places? Why? And what's with this new attitude?

"...Cau...Caulder...", she groaned in pain.

"...wait. That's Caulder?! Your old boss?!", Jake then said in shock. He soon abandoned his sniper position and pushed Weissritter to Neo Angel's location as fast as he could.

" were...dead...", Maria then called over the line.

She then heard him take a long deep breath as if calming himself down then simply said this.

"...well talk later Seven. Just tell your squad to NOT come anywhere near my framework, Ragnarok, and they'll be fine. I shall handle these new turtle Cruxi personally", he responded as he moved east to the next turtle Cruxi.

"...I think...Elise summed up that nicely anyway", Maria responded, hearing Elise's latest order.

Maria then made a global call to everyone.

"...everyone...don't take any direct hits from the long range blast the turtles fire. Even with my TK barriers, I wasn't able to tank the hit. I don't care how big and tough your frameworks are, DON'T TANK it's long range...shot...ooowww..."

"Don't talk Maria! Caretaker! Where the hell are you?!", Jake yelled as he continued to head towards the Neo Angel.
Hey uh is it too late to join this?
Jake and Elise (Collab with Ariamis)

Jake watched as his shot hit the mark. But then he noted how the turtle cruxi reacted with tentacles suddenly springing out. Then the two CWM's that suddenly moved in front of it.

"Elise. I hit the target but get a drone on this for the data. That looks like a heal factor it has", Jake said over the comm line.

"I'm trying, but I don't know if I can," Elise responded. "The drone will be shot down before it reaches the target. I need someone to get close so I can pull it off."

"...scratch that then. Just make a mental note of it on the report when this is over", Jake then said.

Jake then took stock of his situation. Because of the two CWM's most likely ready to throw themselves in front of his shot or perhaps some other defensive maneuver, one energy shot probably wouldn't penetrate the line to hit the turtle. Which mean't he'd have to fire rapidly in one go. Course, that mean't burning out his current clip but he still had a few left. He could ask one of the other pilots on the east side to try to charge forward but there were too many at the moment to attempt such a risky maneuver...unless...

"...Elise. I could fire rapidly at the risk of burning out my clip but let me ask you something. Should I ask Black Star to try to stealth it behind the line and get rid of those two CWM's?"

"I'll send him a message about it," Elise answered, and her comm window disappeared.
<Snipped quote by DarkRecon>

I’ll add you to the list. If you want, you can always join the Discord as a guest. It’s open invitation for anybody.

If you don't mind my presence there. I've also noticed RPers hosting their RP's at discord lately too so I do have an account there. But can I get a link to your then?
Aw shoot. Late for this party. Still, can I at least get notified if you open up for other openings to join?
Maria and Elizabth (Brief collab with Mr Rage)

Maria's shot hit it's mark with Tayna's setup as most of the CWM's were demonished in one shot. She then saw her in trouble but she also saw her quickly dispatch that Cruxi.

"Targets neutralized. Nice one and thanks for that heads up Tayna. Now help me return the favor if your able. I'm going to try sniping that turtle Cruxi north of us. Cover me."

As Maria took aim, she heard a scream briefly from someone she remembered. While she avoided her on the ship, she couldn't ignore her now. Even more so since it was clear that...Princess Elizabeth wasn't used to live combat.

"...hey having regrets now?", Maria said, sounding like she was teasing her of all things.

The words "Hey Princess" seemed to echo somewhere in the hallowed halls of her Memory as the voice came through her comms unit. She looked on as Katya deployed attack Drones to take care of the sleeper.

"Oh no, never better," she replied with labored breathing and dripping with sarcasm.

"...take a deep breath...relax...but it's horrible isn't it?...but don't make the same mistakes I did Elizabeth. Don't lose yourself in the heat of the battle. Don't forget who you are...or do you think just being another "number" in the system is the way to go?", Maria then asks as Neo Angel dropped to one knee to take aim.

Maria figured the emphasis she put on the word "number" would make her remember who she was or perhaps who she still was deep down. But they had never met in person so it was doubtful. She had heard her voice over the comms but that's when she was "Seven" and sounding monotone or devoid of any emotion. Just in that one incident that involved her kidnapping once upon a time. Despite the success, both Elizabeth and her family weren't too happy as to how the Helldivers handled that situation nor did they even know about her team back in the day.

High command thought they did good though. But Maria figured after whatever happened between Caulder and those above him broke down, they used that mission as evidence to shut down the Helldivers team.

(Note: Going to do a collab with Ariamis with Jake and Elizabeth. I'll get to him next.)
"K Nine" and "Setsuka"
Location: Azure City (Abandoned Warehouse), MSU HQ
Interactions: @Bea and @Shard

It was during the fight at that Warehouse turned Quadcell prison that both Agents K Nine and Setsuka arrived on the scene. They had also shown up at the same time local authorities showed up to reports of gunfire. The commander even pointed out the missing agent and, according to Vermin Roach, his "new friend" talking to one of the officers.

But they still had work to do. The Commander said that they'd be taken care of. So now, it was up to them to raid this place.

Odd thing was, the gunfire had stopped.

When them and other officers went downstairs, they did find a lot of things. For one, dead bodies from both soldiers guarding the place it seemed and prisoners who didn't make it but only a few it seemed. Still, evidence suggested that, indeed, Quadcell had their hands all over this place.

And it seemed the place was quickly evacuated. There was a hidden door discovered that led into the sewer systems of Azure City. It would seem members of Quadcell that survived had decided to cut their losses. But again, papers and documentations left behind painted a clear but grisly picture as to what was going on here.

With the area secure, both K Nine and Setsuka were called back to MSU headquarters for debriefing.

And just has he expected, K Nine got chewed out.

While they were happy that they found out where that prison was, they didn't like the fact that he had to dirty his hands to get that info. Even more so with the infamous Vermin Roach. A "Class A mutant" threat to MSU and other agencies of the law. Some even said that it wasn't even necessary since the gunfire heard and agent Replicant's escape made that move pointless and reckless.

"...well sorry for "caring" bosses. And stop acting like I "enjoyed" that experience because I tell you now. I-DID-NOT-LIKE-DEALING-WITH-THAT-SCUM", was the smart and tempered reply he had given them.

Needless to say, there was an arkward silence after that remark.

Now, both he and Setsuka were at the medical ward area of MSU HQ. They were actually walking towards the room that the one they were trying to rescue, agent Replicant, and the mutant called Maksim were staying at. The reason being was simple.

It was sort of a "punishment" that the commanders felt K Nine deserved for his smart remark.

" don't have to do this too Setsuka", K Nine said.

"Hey. Not going to leave you on a sinking ship. I paid Roaches services too you know", Setsuka responded.

"Only because I forced you into it. I made that call, not you."

"...Danny...were partners. That's what we do."

On that, both continued on with their new assignment.

Simply put, they were going to "shadow" both Agent Replicant aka Milo and the mutant Maksim until told otherwise. They'll watch from a distance but nothing more.

To Danny though, it felt like babysitting...

* * * * * * * * * *

The members of quadcell that had evacuated their warehouse prison were working their way through the dirty water and pathways of the Azure City sewer system. Out of all of them, the female in the white lab coat was the one that stood out a little amonst the group. A somewhat annoyed look on her face since she had missed the one opportunity to study such a rare mutant from MSU. While she did manage to grab some blood samples, she was forced to abandon all her other projects because she didn't think MSU would find the place as quick as they did or rather a mutant breaking his restraints and releasing said mutant.

But as she and her group moved, a roach seemed to be following them...watching them as if it had a will of it's own...

...keep moving...mind your own business..., Roach thought to himself as he observed the group.

Truth be told, he was just making sure they didn't do anything foolish down here since this was the only place Roach felt at home in. If Quadcell started building a lab down here...well...that would be bad for his business. Then again, his business wasn't exactly safe either.

But even he knew how dangerous Quadcell was. He had a roach at the park and watched everything go down. But even more curious was the critical bit of information he had heard...the "other" reason that attack happened.

Indeed, this was business...but one mistake, business would close...permanently.
"K Nine" and "Setsuka"
Location: Azure City, Streets (Alley)
Interactions: None

To say it was a rough couple of days for both K Nine and Setsuka was an understatement. For two days straight, K Nine had dressed up in civilian clothes and simply had gone around questioning anyone who was present at the time of the attack at the park.

But it was all the same each time: people fully dressed and armored came out of unmarked black van, they all opened fire with disregard for any lives, then those that survived retreated. Even worse, one or more mutants were with said unknown group. A muscle-type mutant was dealt with at the northern entrance while another was dealt with by a "spec ops" agent. That mutant, though bug-type, was reported to be a shape shifter.

And despite all that, no group had come forward to claim responsibility for the attack or even the theft at the lab that occurred during the attack to begin with. Even Setsuka's PC abilities couldn't pin down a group. Though MSU didn't have evidence, there was one or two groups that could get both the firepower and mutants to do such a thing...

Even though they were both trained for it, neither liked violence nor taking lives. But both knew that there were people out there, both human and mutant, who made it their jobs to give you no choice in the matter. Both of them often wondered what drove those with such power to cross such lines...

So for the past two days, they went around as discrete as possible. Posing as MSU investigators rather than soldiers slash SWAT in uniform, they did their rounds as usual in civilian attire as stated. Looking for any leads to pin down those responsible for the attack with solid evidence or witness accounts.

Today, it seemed more the usual until they were contacted by one of the MSU commanders. They knew this particular female. True dedicated to MSU and it's cause. While she can be a pain to deal with, she knew her way around taking command. Little did either agent know was that she was the same woman that Milo himself reports to sometimes while on the field.

And she had contacted K Nine and Setsuka because they may have an agent M.I.A.

Now, driving in a black car with MSU plates, both drove to the missing agents last known check-in coordinates. Thanks to Setsuka, she was able to pinpoint the agents last known communication before said agent's sudden disappearance.

But now, both agents were now dressed in their personal gear just like in the park. The commander had said that she wasn't taking any more chances. They even had those special tatical goggle that spec op MSU wore. Nightvision, a HUD and these two they were wearing had a small camera on the right side of the head so their commander can see whatever they see.

Again, leaving nothing to chance.

They were actually able to drive the car into the alleyway before they parked it. Both getting out, they immediately took in their surroundings.

"Agent K Nine, checking in."

"Agent Setsuka, checking in."

"Copy that. Got your visuals. Search the area."

"Ma'am", both agents responded.

After some time, both found two individuals unconscious.

"Sounds about right. I had ordered the agent to question these two and others in the area. From the looks of it, didn't go so well. Non-lethal ammo was used as well. He was there alright. I'll send some agents over there for retrieval. Just handcuff them both and continue your investigation."


It would only take a minute before things suddenly changed.

K Nine was checking the damage done near a dumpster before a roach ran out in front of them.

Startled, he jumped back.

"...ew...pest control...", Setsuka said as she saw K Nine jump back.

"...damn...everything I've been through and THAT spooks me...", K Nine said.

But then, more started crawling around as if from any nearby crack and hole and started forming up right in the middle of the alleyway.

"...ok NOW I'm spooked", K Nine then said.

"'am...we may have a situation", Setsuka said as both agents readied their MP5's.

"I see it too...wait...don't tell me it's..."

Then, a nearby manhole was pushed aside slightly as the roaches seemed to have lined up near it. They crawled around the manhole in a perfect circle before they all stopped suddenly.

Then, a voice called from said manhole.

"...hello agents of MSU."

"''s him", K Nine said, now knowing the mutant behind this.

"...Vermin Roach", Setsuka finished.

"So you know who I am. Well that saves introductions", the voice said.

"How can we not? Your a wanted mutant", K Nine responded.

"Ah so you know of my reputation as well."

"...your lucky your down there and not up here. Otherwise, we'd be either trying to arrest you or shoot you", Setsuka said in a low tone.

"Yes. My...profession tends to cause some problems but I don't care by who...which is why I'm here", the voice in the manhole said.

There was a pause before he continued.

"See, I have "eyes" of sorts almost everywhere within this city. I see things happen and hear things that peak my interest. Then I saw what happened here..."

"...aaannnddd here we go", the female voice said over the line.

"...I'd say piss off...but-", K Nine started but was cut off.

"But an agents life is possibly on the line...but you know what? I'll sweeten the deal since I do wish to stay in your good graces..."

Another pause before Roach spoke.

"The individuals that possibly took your agent...they're most likely with Quadcell. They were the ones responsible for the attack at the park and the theft of that lab. And that's your only freebie for now."

And, sadly, that was the bit of info that hooked not just the commander but K Nine and Setuska themselves.

"......I can't believe I'm about to say this. Ma'am. I'm can chew me out much?", K Nine said.

"...physically, how much do you both have right now?", Roach asked.

Taking out their wallets, both put together around five hundred dollars, two hundred fifty dollars each, out of twenties.

"...good enough. I'll go easy on you. Now put it by the manhole here. No funny business."

K Nine then walked, rather slowly, up to the manhole where the roaches surrounding it seemed to eagerly wait for their payment. Laying a roll of twenties on the ground, the roaches then moved around the money and seemed to just "carry" it into the manhole.

Some time passed before Vermin Roach called for perhaps the last time.

"You'll find your agent and his new friend at the following address and coordinates if you wish to get technical. Beware. I saw some guards there. Well-armed too."

Roach then said a street name and address number followed by another set of numbers for coordinates for the location. True to his profession, he didn't mess around.

"And ladies and gentlemen...pleasure doing business with you", he said.

"...don't think for a moment this excuses your actions Vermin Roach", K Nine said.

"...oh believe me agents Setsuka and K Nine, I wouldn't expect anything less should that day come", Roach responded, revealing that he KNEW the agents code signs.

K Nine was about to jump into that manhole out of anger of all things before it instantly covered itself up and the roaches crawled into the four little holes on top of the lid.

"...damn it...", K Nine said, shaking his head in frustration.

"Forget it K Nine. We need to go. Now", Setsuka said.

"'am. I screwed up but were going-"

"I don't like it any more than you do agent K Nine. Just bring our agent home alive or...otherwise. I'll get agents here to secure those two thugs and deploy some at the area Mr. Cockroach called out. You'll both close to it though so you'll both arrive there first if you hurry."

"Understood", both said.

Getting back into the black MSU car, they pulled out of the alley and started going to their next stop...

With possible combat waiting for them just like two days ago.
Location: Festival Grounds (Near Western Entrance)
Interactions: @Moyai, @FlappyTheSpybot
Note: Done with Moyai on discord chat. Collab post.

As the battle raged, K Nine and Setsuka did their part with holding the line on the western side of the festival. Then, they heard a new and very familiar voice over the intercom.

Setsuka was the first to answer as she and K Nine returned to cover behind the table.

"Lightning. This is Setsuka. Myself and K Nine are at the western side. We're deadlocked with the terrorists here but at the same time, we've prevented them from advancing. Focus on the east side since it was the first place they attacked from. Then move north when reinforcements show up. Lieutenant! Sit Rep!"

"Not good! There's a mutant terrorist here and it's a big one! Looks like a "muscle-head" type! Good news though. Got two people here who are trained for this! A vigilante from what I remember and that plant lady mutant! Plus, this one appears to be the only terrorist up north! The other's appear to be retreating or regrouping!", came the response.

"Roger. Lightning. Stay in touch and let us know about enemy movements if at all possible. We'll hold the line here!", K Nine then said.

Then, his eyes still yellow, K Nine heard movement. Still in cover, he pointed his Glock 22 when he heard what sounded like a girl call out their agency initials.

That's when what looked like your average japanese-looking teen hide behind their stall with the two. They quickly listened to her ramble off her own mutant serial number despite how they're usually very complex to remember along with enforcing her right to assist in a crisis.

Setsuka, though, was shocked when she heard the girls same.

"...Asuka? You mean that child actor from japan?", Setsuka said.

"...wait...Cute Combat? That girl?", K Nine then asked.

But they were immediately interrupted by gunfire raking the tops of their hiding spot.

K Nine quickly popped up again, fired a shot then ducked behind cover again.

Setsuka then spoke while K Nine was firing his shot off.

"...Asuka...this isn't like your television show. Don't get me wrong. Your strong but not trained for...the horror of all this....but I see your handiwork back there with that opening leading out to the park", Setsuka said, pointing behind Asuka.

The woman nodded slowly, Setsuka's words echoing on her mind, taking her out of berzerk-like focus. She gulped and trembled a bit. "I... noticed." she answered in a nervous tone. Yet the MSU agent's next words took Asuka out of the downward spiral, she looked up. "Yes... There was a group and they were under fire and I guided them out..."

Setsuka nodded.

"That was smart of you. So much so that, if you still wish to help, find innocent people or even mutant who wish to leave the park and guide them here. As far as we know, East, North and even here in the West side have baddies. Lead them to the opening and protect them when you have to. But don't be afraid to leave either if you feel you can't handle it. I'd say just leave's your decision."

The mutant nodded. The MSU agent's plan made more sense than anything in her mind. "I will do that, ma'am! There are so many people in here... I will help as many as I can..." she looked towards the bridge path she took and closed her eyes. "Reinforcement will be here soon, correct?" she asked.

"Yes they will...I'm just sorry we couldn't stop this before it even started...", Setsuka admitted to her.

Then more gunfire as K Nine was now using his MP5 for suppression fire.

" code name is K Nine Asuka. Nice to meet you in person...just wish you didn't have to see the ugly side of M.S.U. right now", K Nine said as he returned to cover.

"And my code name is Setsuka. Whatever you decide, we'll respect it. It was nice meeting you too...just don't like these circumstances."

Moving next to K Nine, Setsuka nodded to him as they both rose and fired. Hopefully, Asuka would catch enough of a clue to start moving away from them while they both were firing to cover her possible escape from their hiding place.
Location: Festival Grounds (Near Western Entrance)
Interactions: Anyone can join in if you wish. Mind the western location though.

For K Nine and Setsuka, it just seemed like you minor incident. They were still looking for that little mutant girl but were coming up short. There was another incident reported. She was spotted again by an angry mob still trying to catch her but she had quickly ran off again.

But that's when everything went to hell when they were on the western side during one of their patrol routes.

"Emergency! Hostiles at the eastern-"

But the radio call on both of their headsets was cut off immedately when gunfire rang out. Then followed by explosions that seemed to be coming from a distance but from around the park it seemed.

"The hell?!", K Nine said.

"Lieutenant! Sit Rep!", Setsuka called.

"We got multiple hostiles charging in east side. Body armor and well-armed!", came his response.

K Nine, drawing his Glock 22 and combat knife and Setsuka drawing her MP5, Setsuka responed, "Roger! Were on the west side! Moving to regroup-"

But she was interrupted when an explosion close to them went off...and those same terrorist started charging though the west entrance.

"CONTACT!", K Nine yelled as he and Setsuka opened fire on the hostile targets.

The terrorists immedately stopped and retreated when they saw the two supposed SWAT members stopping their progress from the west side. Gunfire was traded. Both K Nine and Setsuka had found an abandoned booth to take cover in. Pushing over the table for cover, both ducked behind it.

Then, that's when K Nine's eyes went yellow...and heard it...rushing footstep coming right at them of all things. Almost like a blur, K Nine popped up and quickly fired two shot, both finding their mark on the rushing terrorists head. Then, he saw the grenade fall out of his hands. Thankfully, it exploded far enough away that the booth covering the two MSU agents wasn't effected much as K Nine retook cover.

Showing off her sharpshooting skills even with a MP5, Setsuka immedately popped a three round burst into a terrorist further behind the western side. Said terrorist immedately went down behind the car that was being used for cover.

"Jesus! Who are these two?!", one called out.

Then one swore and said, "I saw their uniform! They're MSU!"

"Ok! Don't rush them! Hold them here and let the others come in from the east and north!"

"...they're trying to flank us. Heard em say they had other teams east and north", K Nine said.

"Lieutenant! More hostiles North and West! We got the west ones pinned down but north and east needs assistance!", Setsuka said.

"I'm at north with a squad! East sounds compromised! I need units over there! F***! We need backup here at Festival grounds! All units report!"

And that's how it was for the moment as, in perhaps the blink of an eye, the festival turned into a war zone...
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