The Blue Crow's wall was unnecessary, insofar as pushing Nero back was concerned, since Nero had moved himself back to basically regroup with the Matthews. What they had here was kind of a 'thinky' problem, and those two were a bit more thinky, strategically. Like...Nero had good ideas on how to attack stuff, but when you're dealing with a giant jello mold, ya start to think that maybe 'What if I cut it this way?' might not be the question to ask. It seemed to him that Sam shoving an entire wall at the guy...or guys...might've been a good answer. On the other hand, it may've been the only thing he COULD do right now, because the lights were out, and the one who benefitted from the dark at any given time was himself.
Heh, may've done that a little wrong, getting the lights to go out. Ah well.
As Iris stated over comms just what it was she planned to do, Nero examined the situation briefly, realizing that he needed to think of something to keep that guy properly occupied. Guy was probably conductive, so he'd probably electrify even if the so-called robots weren't robots. Problem is, his two zappy daggers wouldn't be enough alone, plus there was the Crow's magic wall pushing at Samuel's now. That wouldn't do. Nero decided to cast Shadow Charge on the stone wa-
"What the FUCK?!"
His Shadow Step canceled, his spell blasted out as a wave, and he had visions of his time back in the lab where he was being integrated with bits of Kaisoken by Dr. Vallance, the man who did the procedure on him back during the war, saying "I hope you remember our agreement, Mr. Kayakos. I helped you. You leave me alone.", before switching on. The wave of energy was an enahnced Shadow Charge that almost got out of Nero's control. The earth wall was stronger and toucher, his armor - as well as Samuel and Iris' armor - was now in the same state. He could area-cast, focused on allies! And that wasn't all he could do... However, that would have to wait. Sam could probably smack that magic wall back and Blue Crow against the wall to knock 'im senseless now, and Nero suggested he do so.
"If we're leaving, you'd better knock some sense out of him."
@Conscripts I did before and I'll so again. I can do a small post in reaction to things before the twins, or possibly a bigger one after their post. I also need to revamp my sheet, which will be Soon...
Any sane man or woman alive would understand that Niko was planning on undertaking a covert operation, a stealth mission utilizing the fullness of his...and perhaps Wu-Han's...personal abilities. He just wasn't saying it out-loud to give anybody uninterested some plausible deniability, to effect "Well, he never actually said he was going to attack the Martian Mining Corporation.". Mirai seemed to pause, though, after his and Han's words regarding their situation. Wu-Han had added to his own statements that, as of right now, he wasn't likely to be in good standing with his father, the boss of his organization, and that it was even likely that his Lieutenants - Goda and a man called Li - may even act on their own volition. In short, a bullseye was now squarely planted on the assassin's back.
All this, Mirai seemed to be taking with a grain of salt...but she relented, and stated that if he was serious, then it was time to GET serious. What she suggested, though, was a little unexpected, and that the delivery upon that suggest rather surprising. She wanted them to go into space, to Mars itself! She'd prepared a Capsule Ship! It was already prepared for launch and everything! Niko boggled at this sudden turn of events. He was going to owe BIG for this, he could tell, maybe owe her for life... Less paperwork or not, this was a shapeship at his disposal. In his mind, he was wondering exactly what the catch would be, what he would have to do in turn. He knew that Mirai wouldn't be this accommodating - even clearing it with the company owner, Mr. Trunks Brief - without knowing that it come back to her or the company, somehow.
Perhaps the MMC hurt Capsule Corp in some way too, the way they interfered with RAMI. They had the first monopoly on space travel, until the other corporations caught up with their technology. This is a vintage craft, but in some ways, it's still better than today's space travel.
Capsule Corp's advancements were of well-documented history. spherical ships like this were seen taking off from this very area back when Bulma Brief was in charge, maybe even this ship in particular. In fact, Mirai all but confirmed this fact as he said it was used by Mr. Brief and his father on some sort of training exercises. She mentioned...the gravity controls? FIFTY TIMES Earth's gravity?!
"If there isn't a safety lock on the gravity controls, I'm putting one on there. Fifty, geez..."
Yes, Fifty Gs. That was the problem. It was at about 1.25 Earth's gravity right now, though, so as to give them an idea of what increased gravity was like. Training in that, though... That was like weight-lifting your own body. He hadn't been subjected to the kind of weight training that space travelers get. It could be interesting, even useful. Now, Mirai turned to him with a serious look, friend to friend, and asked if he truly wanted to go through with this. She had prepared this for him, and if he was really serious about this, there was only one proper answer. If he was not, then he would have to come to terms with it being a pipe dream, because he wasn't willing to go the distance. But Niko was adamant on this. His parents deserved better, the truth had to be known, those responsible had to be punished.
Niko took the remote, placing his free hand on Mirai's shoulder with a smile.
"Thank you, Mirai."
He turned to Han and gave him a nod.
"If you want to go that far too, step on in."
If not, he would step back, because the idea was that launch time would be in about five minutes. Either way, Niko felt here was something more to this. It wasn't that he mistrusted his friend, but rather that things were suddenly going a little too smoothly, all of a sudden. Either Mirai or Mr. Brief were up to something, that there were deeper concerns and machinations at play. After leaving Winger and Athena a message stating 'I'm leaving Earth right now. I may be some time.', he gave Mirai one last look and said...
"I owe you, big time, but you'll have to tell me why it was arranged like this when I get back, alright?"
...before entering the ship. He trusted Mirai, but there was just that hint of her not telling him everything. Whether she didn't know or wasn't allowed, there was something more to this, and- Hello... Yeah, that DID feel heavier, all of a sudden. Of course, he might not feel the Gs accompanied by leaving the Earth, but it was still a surprise. Hmmm... Mars had somewhat less gravity than Earth. If he worked at the high gravity - within reason - in here during transition, he would be even faster when he got to Mars...
That shot was actually going to go wide. You'll see why later.
We'll start with the moment by which the Blue Crow intercepted Nero's attacks with a very shiny sword. Now, Nero wasn't an overly-smart guy, but his experience as part of the Ascendancy would properly inform him about the nature and uses of Perfected Electrim, that it was a difficult substance to make and very precious, because it was nigh-unbreakable and could be charged with magic. The Ascendancy had ALOT of the stuff at his disposal, and Nero had been rather keen to steal some, but uhh...they knew never to store it on the same ship as him, so he never got any. Fast-forward to the preasant, where he and Birdman were now properly clashing, because - surprisingly - the guy wasn't having any trouble following his movements, and he had a magic sword to defend himself with. Go fig.
"Did they tell you that Kaisoken Dust worked only on children?"
Nero actually shot back with "I don't really care what the Ascendancy told me.", but Blue Crow would never hear it. Even if he could see right through the Shadow Step, he probably couldn't penetrate the silence of it. It's just as well. Nero would only infuriate him, and he didn't need that in his day on top of whatever came to pass in the next few minutes. The disappearing blade, while a nice trick, didn't have the impact it was expected to. Maybe if it had been swung at somebody else. Maybe...anybody else. Because if its invisibility aura didn't register on Nero's visor - say, if it were on the wrong setting or there wasn't a setting FOR this - and the sword itself didn't raise the right kind of sparks to practically illuminate it when in contract with the Electro-Daggers...there was still Nero himself.
He's not smart, at least...not if you asked him the square root of a very big number and told him he couldn't have a calculator, or anything heavy about history, or alot of academics... He had great instincts, though, and very perceptive. Plus, he moves with great speed and precision. And let's not forget how good he is with those knives. It doesn't take him much to imagine where the blade is and act accordingly, which is why - apart from the occasional flinch - Blue Crow accomplished nothing. Nero deflected him as much as the man had done same when they began fighting. The mercenary saw through his stealth power. The Star Marine saw through the stealthy blade. One-All. This is why Nero was able to spoil Blue Crow's shot towards one of his friends in back. He had the proper ability to turn aside the invisible blade and snap Monomolecular Blade #2 at the wrist of the merc when he was taking aim. Even if the guy was properly armored, that was an 'Agh!'-Quality distraction, and the Matthews wouldn't even be threatened. They took cover anyway, and shoved their earth wall forward in a manner to benefit their wraith-y comrade.
That's completely fine. During the transition of said wall, Nero would perform a stomping kick against Clue Brow'sBlue's CluesCrude Bowel's Blue Crow's knee, both to cause him a nice imbalance and to generally kick OFF of him to roll back on that ramp now.
During the their pre-mission prep time, Narvia had actually remarked to him about the attention to his stealth, always straight to the point when talking their battle plans. For some reason, the girl's laugh made him feel...what? He wasn't sure. It felt like she was putting him on the spot, but her words sounded more like approval and her laughter pleasant.
"Well, I mean...if you're gonna do a job right... Right?"
It was difficult for him to place people, sometimes. Part of the reason why would always be that his life had been a kind of bare-bones survival among largely indifferent caretakers, followed by the army taking him away for torturous experimentation, then fighting in their war. Seeing and hearing something warm and unpleasant, and having it directed at him, was an uncommon thing in his life. Mostly, he felt he was accepted because they were all in the same boat. Nobody minded that he'd actually enjoyed killing. Ash and Flame always thought of him as part of the team. He and the others talked regularly, albeit sometimes he felt a little awkward. This was just different, somehow, more than being merely accepted into the fold. He didn't know how to deal with it.
The dust and smoke settled from the latest attack, soldiers calling out the all-clear and sounding off their positions. It was moments later that several same Ascendancy soldiers found their commanding officer, lying half-cooked on the ground by enemy fire. A quick glance was all you needed to tell that he was a goner, a long goner. As in, he was cooling from the initial blast that killed him already. The Sergeant-At-Arms glared coldly at this, his teeth then gritting as he shouted...
"Nero, you son of a bitch! GET OUT HERE!"
Naturally, he appeared from the shadows, as per always. There was just darkness, and then there he was,bandaging a wounded arm where one of the Rau've had slashed at him. Nothing serious. He had a way with gathering only flesh wounds while others expired around him. That's what they hated about him: He lived. He opened up with "What the hell do you want?", and the Sergeant rounded on the young figure behind the Killer Mask, pointing at the corpse on the ground.
"The Commander is DEAD! You were suppose to be looking after him. Bodyguard detail... Do you know what that fucking MEANS, boy?!"
"It means that I'm to kill the enemy that's trying to kill him."
"It means you're suppose to protect him! Keep him alive! DOES THIS LOOK ALIVE TO YOU?!"
"Looks like he forgot to duck to me."
The Sergeant lost it. This whole time, this whole stinking campaign, this kid had been nothing but trouble. He never defended them, never warned them of an incoming attack, never did anything more than just kill and bust their chops, laughing at how weak they were to depend on a BOY to do their fighting and complaining when they told him to do anything other than his job as one of the thrice-damned 'Star Marines', which was to kill. He lost it, and immediately drew a bead with his rifle to shoot-
One of his men cried out "NO!" and shoved the barrel aside as he pulled the trigger, simultaneously aware of both the rage exploding towards the thought of beating the soldier for insubbordination...and a sudden twist of fear in his gut as he'd seen the boy snake in a manner clearly meant to avoid the shot and launch himself forward to tear him open...at the soldier not intervened. As it stood, the shot went wide and rage found him glaring at the soldier in question.
"Sir, we need him!"
"No, we don't! Better to kill 'im now, and handle this mission with good dependable men!"
"Fucking let 'im."
Both men stopped and stared at Nero now.
"Shoot me, you fucker. I want you to do it. Make it easy. Gimme the excuse, so I can gut you dead."
"Nero, you shut your goddamn-"
"I don't take orders from you. I have ONE order: Kill the enemy. That's what I'm here for. Kill the enemy and kill the enemy and kill the motherfucking enemy! Not to look after some shit-for-brain soldiers like you! So, go on. Shoot me, so I can kill the enemy."
They glared at this boy without words, and they knew that they had a far worse danger with them than their own opponents in war. What had the Ascendancy been thinking, turning this loose on the battlefield...?
They were all classic cases of being forced to grow up too early. What'd it mean when they still acted normally?
They had entered the ship, and immediately the twins saw him running off to do his thing. Indeed, they saw him cast the Shadow Step upon himself and become shrouded in night, the shadow that would merge with other shadows when in proximity and render him invisible, the shadow that would walk wraith-like even in direct light and make it difficult to distinguish who and what he was. The Matthews knew, of course. Everyone in the Star Marines knew each other's powers, especially post-war when they actually started talking to one another properly. Nero was quiet and stuck to the shadows all the time. For the moment, he didn't call upon Ariel via communicator yet because she likely needed some time to set up and be prepared. It was alright. With no one aware that he was around, he had the upper-hand.
So far, no opposition to be found. Were they all dead? He'd remain in stealth, regardless. He'd once done a whole mission, this way. The enemy suspected everything except an enhanced human stealth agent, and it was too late before they even realized it. Anyway, Nero had still been investigating corridors by the time he got the signal from Iris and Samuel that they were checking out an Armory. He'd passed that a little while back. Go back? Make sure no one was coming? Nero paused in the darkness. He'd been eliminating a few lights around here for good measure, but now...
”Hehe, always to the point, aren’t you, Nero?”
Yeah, I said I'd be watchin' 'em, so I guess I'd better stick to them.
The light directly outside the Armory was one that he'd conked out when he'd passed there before, because he'd been planning to get in there earlier, and now he saw Samuel and Iris walking in. Whether they noticed his wraith-like form in between shadows was down to them. He'd said where he'd be, what he was doing around them. From the doorway, Nero saw what the Twins did first, the microwave weapon, and immediately recalled a few times when some commanding officer had decided to 'discipline' him for doing what he'd been placed in the army to do. Bastards... Hewas brought back to reality when some guns were primed from the part of the room that none of them had been watching.
Oh, for fuck's sake... I slack off for ONE SECOND...
"Didn't expect to meet you three so soon - Would you mind throwing down your weapons and surrendering?"
There was a...we'll assume man, for now. He was wearing a voice-modulator mask that was in the shape of a bird, protecting their identity for the time being. Armed though he was, the main issue was his back-up dancers, four mechanoids ready to open fire. Well, at any rate, we all know what the answer to the guy's question was going to be. It was going to be NO. And...it's hard to know who really acted first here. Was it Iris with the deconstruction? Was it Sam with the sudden earthy barracade for them to drop down into? Or was it Nero, whose shadowy self slipped from the darkness of the hallway to throw monomolecular knives at the lights before drawing Electro-Daggers to attack robots and masked humanoid alike with as the Armory was plunged into darkness?
Well, ! dunno, but one thing's for certain: There would be blood tonight!