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3 yrs ago
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@Double I discussed in the PM, right? You have total freedom on that part, but there's stuff to fall back on.
As a trained sniper, Niko felt most comfortable being up and away from it all. It wasn't necessarily because he enjoyed taking people's lives away, but rather he thought of the detachment from the center of action helpful to his state of calm. It was very reminescent of using a plane to assault a ground target. The pilot does not feel the kind of pressure he would in aerial combat, with another guy firing missles their way. His brother was a decent pilot, so he knew the feeling right off when Niko described it. Anyway, the point of this was that Niko elected to take up position on a roof. It was generally out of the sight of people, it had a commanding view of the parking lot that WU would be taking their mark, and was a little hard for somebody to sneak up on him here. Of course, it wouldn't be a proper stake-out without an interruption, so there goes his cellphone with the ringtone he chose for the army. Sighing, he picked up.

"This is Niko. What's up?"

"Corporal Niko Renzo?"


"This is Central Dispatch. We've just been notified that your brother, Lieutenant Jonathan Renzo, is currently hospitalized in critical condition-"

Niko's eyes shot open, his jaw going a little slack as the dispatcher relayed the news. Winger was alive, but he'd taken severe rib damage, hip damage, and broken his left arm. His entire respiratory system was traumatized from the impact, like he'd been hit be a large truck, but that wasn't the case at all. He was found in an alley too narrow for that.

"How did this happen?"

"We don't know, sir. He was found in an alley with an as-of-yet unidentified individual that we believe he shot to death. It's possible that this man had performed the deed himself, but with him being full of holes, we may never know."

Maybe not, but Niko had a suspicion. If they hired one assassin, why not two? One for each brother Renzo.

"Could you ask that someone watch over him? Police, if nobody else? I'll try to arrange something more permanent."

"Police are already watching him, due to the investigation of the man's death."

"Right, gotcha. Goodbye."

Those rotten bastards! They really were! It wasn't just him they wanted! They wanted the rest of the family wiped out to cover their trail! He was sure of it! Niko looked out from the roof, all sides, trying to find any sign of Wu. Not yet... Why? What was taking him? Agh, dammit... This couldn't wait. He had to make a call, himself. Winger needed proper protection, and besides, he might need to check up on...

"Athena? You alright? ...are you there?"

He'd dialed the number, got an answer, and then kind of a muffled groan. For a moment, he feared the worst, but then when he got "Hangover." in response and heard her hunting for some coffee, he was a bit more relieved. They hadn't gotten to her. No, apparently, the hair of the dog that bit you was all she had a fight with, really.

"I got to drinking last night after I covered my bet by buying rounds for the house. Sorry you didn't win, by the way, but then the girl ya lost to is really something, so don't feel bad."

"I don't, really. But that's not what I'm calling you about. I need you to do something for me, Athena. My brother's in the hospital and..."

He explained his situation, basically all that he knew in brief report. Athena listened while audibly drinking her coffee, and then...

"Oh, shit. I guess that was real, then."

"...what was real?"

"Well, I'm glad you told me this, Niko, because I just found a dead guy in my living room."


"Dead guy, maybe late 20s, broken wrist, broken neck... Yeah, looks like I killed 'im last night. Too drunk to register what happened, and went right to sleep."

Niko was dumbfounded, then shocked, then angry. They DID try to kill his mentor, and the man they hired got to do it was ended in about half a second while his target was thoroughly intoxicated. He didn't know if that was a comment on Athena's skill or the other guy's lack of skill...or both! Just then, he noticed Wu Han with another man entering the parking lot.

"You do what you have to about that, but I need you to keep an eye on Winger in case he's still in danger. I gotta go now, g'bye!"

He almost dropped the phone, trying to jam it into his pocket, before slipping down to the ground via drain pipe. Wu Han would hear the sound of Niko speeding towards the business suit long before he did. At about the last second, he'd started to look back, but by that time, his legs had been swept out from underneath him and his body shoved to the ground by Niko's right hand. He'd basically grabbed him by the tie for that. If he'd shoved down at his head, the back of the man's skull would've caved in, and he was sorely tempted to. The client - or rather, the mouthpiece they sent to speak FOR the client - found his target - which is to say, Wu's target - scowling down at him.

"My brother is in the hospital and you hired this assassin to kill me. Or rather, you were told to do so. Now, I could've done alot worse, just now, but I didn't. Don't make me want to. Give up your client, and then go into hiding, for all I care. He's the one I want, not you."

The mention of 'He' was under the assumption that this man's boss was ultimately the CEO of the Martian Mining Corporation, Brett Tavors... He needed proof, though, and this was the most solid lead he'd gotten, as of late. Apart from a clandestined attack on the home office itself, Niko wasn't gonna get much better than this, he was sure.
@GingerBoi123 Ohhh... Me likey already. Okay, then.
@GingerBoi123 Have you been working on a character in the meantime?
@Balthazar007 It's alright. I think we have enough material to work on, for now.

At the mention of spreading propaganda, Nero snorted and went "I'm not zippin' through the galaxy just to shout at people, lady.", clearly not interested in talking his battles. Talk is cheap, or for making badass one-liners before getting down to business. Oh, they saw Nero coming when they started taking kids for this war. They knew he was destined for killing things. Well, to that end, that's what he did, and that's what he preferred. Leave the rumors and gossip to people who like that sorta' thing. He'll take the wetwork assignments, thank ya much. Anyway, Nero had been talking over the first part of that sudden news bite with his attitude, so he missed part of it, at first, picking up at the mention of 'Restarters', and going "What the fuck?" as he noticed. There was a weird collection of guys who wanted the war to start up going around, kicking shit to the curb, apparently. Surprised to see a Rau've involved. Nero thought they were all suppose to be logical, not crazy like him. Ah well, whatever. What really threw him was everybody looking ahead at this armored crawler-thingy ahead of them now.

"Wait, in there? How the hell did we miss that shit goin' on?"

Hard to say, really. When did the food shuttle come across the weapon crawler in the first place? Nevermind... Looks like they were gonna be taking them on next, 'cause the weirdest Kaisoken Nero ever saw sent a transmission, next thing ya know. Ya get use to a thing, after a while, like the Kai being all floaty gem dudes who cast magic missle. This guy was somethin' else... He was basically workin' to plunder the shop they were on with his little demand. The owner made them the offer of essentially paying them to help out, which put a smile on Nero's face as Natasha seemed to agree that they had a job to do. He had no idea who Abbadon Kinslayer was, and it didn't matter, 'cause he got himself an idea when Ash started talking with others on how to do things.

"Here's what I say we do: Fin makes us a little portal in there so we can see what's up inside, and then Tarak shoves a whole buncha' stuns in there to make everyone miserable. And if he sees that crystal bastard, I give his gun a jolt that'll make his bullets shatter the guy's ass."

It was a cocky plan, but...think about it. They got portals, they got stun grenades, and that'll put off just about everyone. And as for Mirrorshard, Shadow Charged bullets oughta' rip right through him, no problem. At least, he thought so. Nero smirked as he got on his tactical armored mask as Avelyn spoke up about whether they were taking from the weapons shop.

"Hey, I'm all for it."

Was there even a Rau've term for cocaine? Remember, they were the ones that had to teach them about human concepts, including alot of the vices. Just think: Out there, somewhere, is a plant-boy ready to call one of his peers a motherfucking triffid if he got mad enough. That's kind of the effect Nero had in particular, a way, the Rau've were a bit like kids, themselves. At least, they were if you taught 'em something they didn't know, and they didn't know what to do with it. What's a normal kid do when they see the adults do something? Try to mimic it and fit it in with their life. What's an alien plant running pretty much on logic all the time gonna do? See where it fits, which amounts to pretty much the same thing.

Anyway, that wasn't what was important. There was as much laying off of what Iris was doing as keeping on. Nero's view on the matter was that they probably weren't gonna have much of a chance to goof off and have a sweet treat, later on. They were going off with some frigging mercenaries to do some serious business, which means that ya may as well get it out of your system while you've got ths chance, right? Well, half-right, in Ashton's eyes. He wanted to be responsible. Nero figured 'responsible' was gonna be forced on them, like during the war, where what they had to eat and sleep and work with was just limited. However, on thi point, he was also kinda' wrong, as the brown-haired boy was showing him...gambling? Kind of a high-stakes business gambling? Their contact had an idea about that, over text, and it seems like Ash got them some extra funds, thanks to her, but...well...he was kinda' with Avelyn on this one.

You can get hired for shit in a place like this, and there ain't much we can't do. Why else would the Moonstrikers want us? We're useful...

There'd always be work for their kind, mercenary work. And on that note, Nero had this to say on when the right time to stop is on their stock market gamble-thing...

"You should get out while ya still can. Gettin' lucky is one thing, but if you're gonna place a bet, do it on something you're involved in. 'Cause if you can't be sure of yourself, what're you even bothering for?"

Still, if they were basically rich now, then he was getting another drink to wash down the snacks he had. Nero's eyes settled on something called 'Kazza!', which his Omni-Tool was translating as 'SPICE!', emphasis included. He was looking at it while some of the others were rough-housing or taking a rest. Sounded good, like some novelty drink like he'd find back in Japan when he was alot young, copped some yen out of the orphanage coffers, and bought himself something at the nearby convenience store. It was a bottle that fizzed, which was a good thing, but it was also continuous. He tried some of it and- "Agh, what the hell?" Think of a ginger beer, but with a strength and a kind of burn like peroxide. For something not at all alcoholic, it was strong! He was gradually taking smaller sips when one of the last of their group - Ariel - piped up, asking about the kinds of missions they'd be having. It was to Ashton, but Nero never passed up a chance to pipe up, if he had something to say.

"Might be rough stuff, if they wanted us on board. We can handle it, though."
Nero Bonuses:

Exceptional Stealth

Exceptional Senses

Exceptional Streetwise x2

Explanations given in profile.

They didn't call it a galactic bazaar for nothing.

'Course, he was fine calling it the other bizarre, the one that meant it was just fucking weird. I mean, take this point of view for a second. You're a kid from Earth. You got trained to fight an enemy in space, and that's the first-ever alien race you ever heard of. The Rau've? Weird guys, overall. Who woulda' expected plants to become a tough race in space? More than that, who'd expect 'em to be the winners of that fight, OR a bit nicer about it either? Not Nero, for one. Not any of 'em, that's for sure. But that's how it was, at the time. Anyway, take that POV, where you know basically nothing REALLY about anything out of what you were trained for as a kid for a few years, then what you picked up in the war and as a Prisoner Of War, basically. That isn't very much. So, take what little you actually know, and then go to that bar from Star Wars. You know the one. That's what being in this place was kinda' like, for now. They didn't know shit. Or not enough yet. For that part, it was easy to end up staring for a bit, which was admittedly what Nero was doing, at least until Flame was tryin' to get his attention 'cause Ashton wanted to travel on basically a mobile food cart instead of a regular one.

"What? I don't care. What harm would it do? I'm hungry, anyway."

For anyone outside the group, Nero sounded like he was talking like he was irritated, confrontational, and playing himself out to be hot shit. And sometimes, one or even all of those could be true. Those more in the know had kind of an idea that that's kind of a result of how his life's been and that he wasn't exactly good at 'people'. He was a tough, and he was completely fine with vicious behavior, as his combat record would show, but he didn't try to sneak-kill any of the Rau've while he was essentially their guest. They treated him alright, unlike the people of Earth. So...well...that's how that ended up. Also, even though he said he was hungry, he wasn't that hungry. He was in a stance of 'I could eat', but what it REALLY was...was this desire to stick with something quasi-familiar and inviting for the time being. And hey, if it also got them where they needed to be, fucking why not? So yeah, he was stepping on with the rest of 'em, and he was fine with it.

There was some friction on the matter, like from Avelyn, but ehhh...she'd come around. They got on the food tram and, well, scans or not, Nero started looking over things. He didn't really go into the scanning himself. He let the ones that were doing it just do it. What HE was going for was something simpler - which suited him, 'cause he hated using the Omni-Tool, sometimes - which was Translation Mode. Basically, if it wasn't in plain old ordinary Earth-fricking English, he'd get the machine to pick out the nuances and tell 'im what's up. If it didn't sound like human enough food, he was skippin'. He heard 'em talking about healthy food, and yeah...some of that made sense, but what he was grabbin' was a little of this, a little of that, and what looked like it could be pocketed and let to wait. Whatever wasn't, like something that was clearly chocolate and definitely a muffin? That was for now. Basically, it was snack-time, with bonus normal easy-to-preserve-in-pocket stuff for later, when it actually mattered. What's the big deal, anyway? They were going off to meet someone from that Moonstrike member, not get to the big fights right off.

Nero came around with his short-term snacks in hand, long-term ones in his pockets, and overheard the convo with Sami, Fin, Iris, and whatnot over the snacks Iris was taking in. He actually let out a snort at Finbarr, going...

"Aw, let it go. Maybe you noticed that life's a bit short for us, sometimes. It ain't a problem, for now. Besides, it's not like they fattened us up at the Rau've place, right?"
@dragonpiece I'm still calling him Wander.
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