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8 yrs ago
If there are RPs/PM's I need to reply to- I am working on it, I'm a little overladen in life atm. I haven't forgotten about you :)
8 yrs ago
Aaand back.
8 yrs ago
ALERT- I'm going AFK for a week, anyone that sees this on here, I won't be about to respond, this is to both 1x1s/RPs.


I've RP'd for the best part of over ten years now here on the Guild, and particularly like military settings, both contemporary, past and near future. I have even dabbled in a little more experimental RPs, as well as created a plethora of 1x1s over my time in the guild. I've like creating RPs with a distinct flavor, but love classic settings too.

I'm pretty flexible and try and get back to people on ideas and responses, but sometimes, I may become very busy and it will take some time till I am un-busy- though I always come back!

Most Recent Posts

@Ariana Grey

Interesting! Drop me a PM with what you have in mind- I'd love to play with something to that regard as there's something inherently linked to what the main character I'm writing for is managing right now, and would be an interesting tie in!

Keen to see what you have in mind- I very vaguely remember Hanna (the film) - I will say it's probably one of those where the character would be slightly older just due to the level of intensity involved in parts of the RP, and what I may potentially have in mind!
Skye Rosalind Lyons

Kaitiaki Homestead, Raven HQ

Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D'Urville Island
South Island, Aotearoa / New Zealand

Running in the Shadows

The scene unpacked itself, as exos could be seen in the far end of the forest getting sniped by Freya, whilst the Land Rover was on the flank. There was too much going on. Explosions, shit getting blown up, it was utterly bonkers. The house itself had been hit, but in the forest below, from the hill downwards towards the beach, there were soldiers flooding in. Finding a suitably large branch, Skye laid herself down and sprayed with the MG3, blasting a group of enemies on the flank, watching Frigga set herself up by the base's supply point, further down the hill, then breaking after some sniping and going head-first into a whole group of enemies. She was doing her bit. Skye had to do hers.

"Frigga, I've got your flank, keep the breach going then let's get the fuck out of here!" Skye called out on the comms, knowing that Frigga was going straight into the mess of this- starting a fire and probably then some. With a jolt, the exo sent Skye much further down the hill, and a group of soldiers were quickly flanked, Skye picking them out. An exo lept the treeline, and with her now known ability to fight back in this regard, Skye rolled sideways, using her FNX to clap them with a smooth headshot, before rolling back up. Home had become a warzone, but defending was easier than attacking.

Skye herself could only duck as the house took another direct hit from a JDAM, the whole site blasting apart, sending shrapnel.
"Really!? That took at least a year to build!" Skye yelled, watching as another group came charging up the track, getting a faceful of lead from her MG3. The open field with Freya and blasting shit, clattering enemies, with Tiny Nord likely doing the same. It would hold the breach for now, as Skye had her work to get to.

The situation was tense. The hillside was swarming now with enemies, fire and rounds being sent up, a hell of a lot, and it was clear, that way was a no-go. The only way would be back- and towards the emergency RV point, where the airstrip and boat would be. They needed to get off this island- there was no way of putting it, support from the New Zealand Defence Forces wasn't going to arrive anywhere near in time, hell, they'd end up in the country capital faster than that. And that scared Skye. If they turned around, all shit would hit the fan. It was a scary prospect, so as many of them they could take now and delay, the better. While somehow making their own way out of the grinder. Skye knew Sam was in bits, but she was leading well- holding it together, and she just hoped, prayed that they would make sense after this. The members of Raven were exceptionally talented and physically conditioned, mentally so too, but most normal people would barely last a few seconds of what was going on. It was intense, and with what had happened with Rose, doubly so. Skye knew the team would have more questions than even could be answered, it was just beyond absurd at this point, and even more so, just wild. But the classic point in hand stood- survive now and worry about it later, or die thinking.

Exo-equipped soldiers were moving through the forest below the ridgeline the base sat on, up the sinewing tracks in the forested ancient woodland, whilst from above, the sound of 20mm rounds was ringing out, pattering the area down. There was no denying. This was Ragnarok, the end of things, but by hell, the team had the war direct to deliver. And they had plenty up their sleeves. Rose had found lots, but not clearly enough. Almost in a way, Skye was surprised- it was like the team had done something to home to make this better, without her knowledge. It wasn't for now to think about. It was their creativity, and she had to applaud that, even if it wasn't right. The good old ask forgiveness later, don't ask permission trick.....but well, who was to complain as the SAM took out one of the two Mi-28s, clattering it down with a massive explosion.

With it, Skye made her move towards the support area, the area made up of a couple of concrete pre-fabs. With Tahlia on the vehicle, Skye knew this one was up to her. The teams would be able to get out, thanks to the cover fire- but Artemis's troops had already made it here. They needed clearing, and with Frigga, Tiny Nord and the others absolutely lacing fire, she could get to work.

Making her way towards the supporting area, hearing enemy chatter, Skye stopped, holding short before moving inside. Leaning down, she took her frag and pinning it off a wall, lobbed it, before moving on the other flank, enemies scattering as she took nobody out with the grenade- but got the others once they split. Bit by bit, the German-made machinegun buzzed, rattling away as Skye clapped them down, the volume over accuracy doing the job as she moved through the supporting compound, aware the computers were frazzled, but likely, there were two members of the team that needed help. They were the only two that she'd know would have been here, in the situation that had been posed.

With the dust clearing, Skye moved inside, and called it out. They'd been pinned down, and so far, couldn't make their move to the.
"It's Queen, Foxhound!" Skye called, as Vincent, Sophie and Raphael made their way out, nodding to her, all armed. The call was good- just to avoid friendly fire considering they weren't on the comms network.
"Foxhound, we're ok." Vincent took the lead, the only one of the three with active combat training, carrying an H&K UMP.45 as did the other two, the spares for an emergency situation like this. It was always handy to have lead on availability, especially in this sort of place.
"Okay, what's the situation? Where the fuck are the others?" Skye called, barking the order direct, dragging whatever energy she had after the incident earlier.

"All in the tunnel, but we were pinned. Thank you for coming....merde, they are serious. I got one of them, but we're lucky not to be dead." Vincent called back, the body in the room evident of that, probably one of the forward team.
"Okay, entry to the tunnel is there, other block. I'll carve you a route out. Just move quick. Follow me." Skye called back, as Vincent took his hand on her shoulder before she hustled, looking into Skye's eyes, the one that was a little bloodshot considering well, neurotoxin after-effects. The t-shirt wearing Scot was soaked, her eyes resolutely with a distant stare, the emotion now only to save them, help them and get out of here. Vincent had something to add though, beyond just survival.

"The new VTOL, it needs to be destroyed....they cannot have it, mon dieu. Your Gustav will do the trick. Aim for the right engine, it's got fuel and it'll blow the rest. Merde, what the is going on...." Vincent said, his confusion making it clear, Skye coming back to sense and nodding back, the ginger-haired Scot resting her hand back on his broad shoulder, agreed.
"Got it. Too much to explain right now, just follow my instructions, and you'll live. Vincent, you stay on point, Sophie middle, Raph on the rear. I'll clear the inside, the hatch is underneath the fridge in the welfare room." Skye directly replied, checking her MG3's belt, and her clutch on it, the exo back on a regular setting once more on her arm-mounted PDA.

"Oui, Major. We have this. You go out there and make sure we can run." He replied, as with that, the team then did move.

Skye nodded back, and leaving the computer den and the support amenity, including Sophie's office, supply point and telecoms array, they moved across the courtyard, headed to the other building, Skye up first before waving to them. Stacking up, Skye heard voices inside, enemies. Looking to Vincent, she gave him a wry look, taking a grenade and with it, asking him to pull the door. As he did, she lobbed the grenade in, and well, concrete did the rest. The door blasted outwards as it blew up, Skye charging inside, and well, showing off her prowess in a situation like this. It's hard to explain what her ability was like, but when she was fluid, like a squirrel on crack, just faster and quicker and able to block out the other distractions. Only living in the moment and fighting back.

Spraying the room, Skye took a few rounds herself, knocking her into the floor as she coughed, back up again and moving into the next, kicking someone over and hosing them down, inside the large canteen for the support team. Looking around, she whistled, and the other three ran inside, Skye noticing the horror on Sophie's face- no doubt.
"We're going to be okay. Get to the other side, the others will meet you there. Fire up the boat and have it ready, we may need to go, quickly." Skye called to them, then looking to Sophie, who looked like she was on the verge of crying.
"Sophie....please, please listen to me, you need to pull through. I know this is difficult. Trust me. You're going to be alright. You have to keep going." Skye said, the silent look in Sophie's eyes vacant from the horror, the smell of bodies, the explosions and cordite, as another one boomed, interrupting the moment.
"Shit!" Skye yelled, as she moved through the room, and with a falcon kick only described as superpowered, kicked the heavy fridge out of the way, sending dozens of chocolate bars, fruit, milk and dairy everywhere, all over the room, making it even messier. It was almost a comical moment, a levity in the absolute dark.

"What a waste, but alas. See you on the other side, look after yourself, Skye. Do not go dying on us, eh?" Vincent added, giving him a smile, a reassuring one as she put his hand on Sophie's shoulder, Skye giving a wry smile and nod at his never-ending humour in a situation as bad as this. With it, they clambered down into the tunnels, which would lead them to the RV. Skye had done her bit. They were out, and aside from that, they all needed to leave. Things were getting spicier out there as a jeep rolled by, Skye ducking inside and switching to the Gustav, checking her backblast and.....BAM!

The jeep flew past with a large crackling explosion as the AT round detonating, as the one person wrecking crew came around and hosed down two more enemies, before being flanked by another, to which Skye turned and coiled down into the mud. With a hard turn, the exo-equipped soldier tried to go for Skye's head, but she'd had experience of that too. With a weave, Skye wrestled them over and shanked them with a hard hit of the soldier's own knife, standing up once more and reloading her Gustav in the rare opportunity. So much was going on, it was hard to track. That was why she did what she did, but still, a radio message would be good.

"Chaos, last batch of the support team are going to make a beeline through tunnel. Recommend we get the hell out. Frigga, Tiny Nord, cover each other and retreat, I'm going to try and lay down fire and cover you, just make a move and run. Do not get bogged down in fighting, clear who you have to, they pincer you and you'll be toast. There's a thin forest track we can use to get to the RV. Chaos, take your group and get to the RV with the Land Rover, disengage and get back. I've one last thing to sort." Skye added, drawing the Gustav, and with an adjustment of the optic, spied the VTOL further down the hill, in the clearing it always was in. With a gulp, she sighed, and well, clacked it away. The jet-equipped VTOL was state of the art, prototype for them in fact and an advancement of the V22- but they'd have to live without it now, as the round hit and detonated it. It gave Skye away for that moment, as she ran from where it was, gunfire now towards her, the ginger-haired rabbit now
"Fuck, there's a lot of you bastards!" Skye yelled, clambering a fence and rolling as gunship fire came in, with it making her way into the woods. She coiled over seeing another group come after Frigga's flank, and with it, laid down fire, clapping them out.
"Well come on then!"
Kaitiaki Homestead, Raven HQ

Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D'Urville Island
South Island, Aotearoa / New Zealand

Skye Rosalind Lyons

and everyone in Raven Squad


“Fuck…..that was close. Sam, there’s a lump on her back. Quick, we have to check. That is her, no time to explain, but I promise, if you don’t trust me, that will prove it. It’s an upload node. I’m gonna stay here, I’ll hold it tight, just…shit, thank you, thank you, thank you….” Skye yelled back, cradling the device hard in her hand. Standing, she kicked over Rose, and well, it would be an incredibly subtle thing. Rose hadn’t seen it coming, but it was worth the gamble. Worth the punt.

More opportunities would come for Rose, none as good as this, but when risk was death, then any chance was risk free, right?

The implant would be a small protrusion- next to a vertebrae, a tiny little lump that would harness itself to the back of Rose’s ribs, and already there.

Samantha moved quickly and yanked up the woman’s tshirt as she began to examine her back. “There is a lump what I am supposed to do with this Node?” She was trying to understand what was going on. It was a lot to process and she was certain the explanation would take longer than they had.

Hyperventilating, Skye came down onto the floor, the neurotoxin slowly beginning to fugue in, Skye’s slurring increasing as her heart played all sorts of panic, and her body, brain and all of her was beginning to recoil. Whatever it was, the slow burn would have worked rather nicely. It would have made Rose look an absolute hero holding it tight, but right now, it was backfiring.

“She’s a genetic copy that can jump across to other bodies identical to mine, look…..I don’t have one, check. Sam, there’s a bomb in the kitchen, and she’s stabbed me with….I think that vial there, she said it was a neurotoxin. She has to have something on her, some cure, she said something about it, she was talking about keeping me alive if I changed my mind. Crap….you need to cut the connection to this, stat.” Skye yelped, looking across, on the other side of the floor to Rose,and spasming, tried to push in the trigger. She was struggling though.

Skye was definitely feeling it now- the trigger would go as soon as she fell out of consciousness, and that pressure had to be applied. A bomb needed defusing, urgently, and before that pressure went. However it had to be kept on, it had to be done, as Skye only prayed, prayed and prayed, Sam would have her back on this one. She was a clever girl, and right now, she needed everything from her.

Samantha was never more grateful for her big beautiful brain. She rose to her feet and lunged for the desk. She had helped review the digital security at the base and had helped install additional security into Skye’s office. She had built a faraday cage into the walls that could be activated with a switch. It was the ultimate protection against digital breeches in an emergency. She flicked the switch to activate it. That would shut down all incoming or outgoing signals. “That should shut down any transfer. Now let me get Boomer to take care of the bomb. Where is it?” She said that as she began to search Rose for any vials. She believed Skye because she could tell that she was fading rapidly. Skye was already slurring her speech.

“It’s….rec room, sofa. Shit….” Skye slurred more, the usually unstoppable team leader crawling on the floor, and looking back at Sam, watching as she looked through Rose, trying to find something. If Skye had last utterances to make, she’d make it now. Because it was worth it, protecting them, making sure the team had been at least alerted, stopped.
“Thank you.” She mumbled, the electromagnetic field allowing her to release the clacker but with it, fading fast from being awake.

Samantha found a pouch in Rose’s jean pocket. She found a vial there. But could she trust it was the cure? She didn’t know. She needed help. She did her best to tie Rose up. She picked up the phone and used the landline to call the recreation room. “Boomer, there is a bomb on base. It might be in the rec room sofa. It was on a deadman’s switch. I have the switch inside a faraday cage. It needs deactivated pronto! Send me some help to Skye’s office. I need medical.” She hung up the phone since she had a crisis to deal with. She would have to trust Boomer to take care of the bomb.

Chuck had been pacing and waiting as intel came back from the base. Tahlia made a great second in command. She jumped right in and started providing him with what he asked for. He trusted the Kiwi to have his back after the operation in Columbia. Guards had been reporting back that they had begun sweeping. No one had reported back anything of significance yet. He knew the base was mobilizing against the threat but full mobilization took time even with training. That is what made operatives like Samantha so valuable. They were in and out in the chaos with the goods before the target knew what was happening. He hated feeling like the target. Chuck was preoccupied with trying to figure out what was happening and had not noticed Duke pawing at the sofa. Chuck’s attention spun towards the intercom when he heard Sam call his name. Chuck catalog that important information. His attention spun to the sofa in question that Duke was doing his best to tell him had a fucking bomb in it. Chuck looked around the room. “Clear out of here. Tahlia get to Skye’s office to see if you can help with whatever Samantha needs. Get Sophie moving there as well. NO ONE gets back in here till I have cleared the fucking bomb.”

He moved to Duke and gave him a well deserved pat. “Thanks buddy. Sorry I wasn’t paying attention to the signs.” Boomer needed his bomb removal kit. But did he have time to retrieve it? He would make do with what was in the room. He moved over to the kitchen and bean to pull open drawers. He pulled a few knives out of the block. He found a screwdriver in a junk drawer which didn’t surprise him at all. This was a base of badasses used to maintaining their own equipment. He bet there was a bottle of gun oil hanging around too. The drawer had a few other items that might be useful. He looked around the room. The one thing he really needed was a mirror. He grinned as spotted a decorative mirror behind the bar. He frowned.it was too big. He sighed. He hoped it was not some irreplaceable antique or sentimental piece. He used the screwdriver to break it on the corner. He just needed a piece small enough to handle. He took the piece about the size of a cell phone. He went to the kitchen and pulled out a metal spatula and the duck tape. He taped the mirror shard to the spatula, leaving the center clear and free to use. He then began to carefully inspect the sofa. Once he was certain that the cushions were not wired in any way. He pulled them off the sofa. He called Duke over to check them. Maybe they made it easy and planted the explosives into the cushions. His luck never went that way.

Tahlia moved on call up towards the stairs and onto the office, security starting to sweep, the rain intensifying in the overcast yet evening sun, bounding her way up. Sophie could be seen outside, in the rain between the two bases making her way in.

Sophie joined in as well, turning a full 180 and headed up to the base again, the team doctor hearing the call. For what was supposed to be another day of moaning at the team, well, this could be getting more serious. She knew how to hold a pistol, but she was no soldier- and with what was going on, she prayed that the team would know how to handle this, and she could do her job too. It sounded like Skye was in dire need of attention, and that never boded well.

Samantha looked down at the vial. She couldn’t wait. Skye was already struggling. Neurotoxins worked fast. She had to hope this was really the cure. She took the vial and slammed it into Skye’s thigh. “Please be the cure!” She prayed verbally over her friend. She hoped the psycho that had been trying to convince her that Skye was her enemy wasn’t lying about the cure. She hoped she carried the cure on the off chance that someone turned the tables on her and shot her full of the neurotoxin. That made sense considering Skye and the team had already taken out Lynx.

Skye yelped, her lungs filling with adrenaline from the needle at first followed by the antidote, forming fully and the saliva and kick of the initial bit of the drug slowly trickling in. It would take time for it to counter, given there were probably mere seconds before Skye would have lost her cognitive ability and just died there and then, right in time for Rose to do her thing. But of course, with that plan foiled, not being dead was rather a perk. Skye felt the light come back in, the toxin neutralizing in a coloured haze, as she spluttered out, coughing and yelling as the light kicked back in fully.

“Ah!” She yelled out, looking around, seeing Rose on the floor, still in total shock on what was going on. Clambering onto her feet, she leaned hard against the table, still a little disoriented, feeling blurred, weird and like she’d drunk a lot of beer.

“Are we alright? You…..you didn’t shoot me. Cheers. I can’t believe we did that.” Skye mumbled, coming back to herself, albeit very confused, disoriented and unsure of what was going on- drunk almost. Rose had seriously underestimated Skye’s ability in fighting the neurotoxin, hoping it would have pinned her rather than made her fight- most people would have been almost instantly dead from that neurotoxin, but Skye and her particular nature now seemed to make a lot more sense- that resilience was baked in naturally, like it was her entire body pulling in one way to stop it slowly swallowing whole. Putting her hand over her back, she felt nothing there where the lump may have been, relieved and breathing a long, hard sigh. She knew it wasn’t. But it was always safe to check, almost like this wasn’t a dream.

Samantha looked on anxiously as she hovered over Skye praying that the cure would work quickly and not doom her friend to death. She let out a painful sob as Skye showed sounds of improvement. She hugged her friend tightly, grateful to hear her snarky Scottish accent. “Cheers?! I can’t believe you are still alive.” Samantha closed her eyes for just a moment, overwhelmed by all that was happening. She was almost dizzy with relief. She released Skye as she began talking again.

“I owe you so much after this. She said her name was Rose….she said something about blood. It tracks, apparently, so whoever she is, whatever is following her, will know where she went. We need to kill her, quick before she comes back awake, or we have trouble….verify it if you can, but likely she’ll have something to differentiate her, even tiny changes. Sam, this is surreal, but basically, she can jump bodies. She’s got a bank of them like me…and we just gave her everything, because she had all the permissions I did. Fuck, we might be completely, totally compromised…..damn, I can't even start to explain it all.” Skye uttered, looking over at Sam, in a total shock. First time this had happened, it had sapped Skye, but to kill her, in exceptionally warm blood while suffering from poisoning?

This was getting beyond ridiculous. And discombobulated. It felt like she was having an out of body experience, like a really, really bad fever dream. Like this was a fantasy, and she wasn’t even real, or in substance. Looking at Sam, she awaited a reply.

Samantha gave Skye a look. “I do believe that you're Skye but really? Kill her quick?” She shook her head and rose to her feet. “She is sitting in a faraday cage at the moment and can’t send or receive any signals.” She tried to reassure Skye that she couldn’t jump. She still wanted a second opinion before she put a bullet in the brain of someone who looked like her dear friend.

Skye nodded, looking across as she headed to the base of her spine, at the very least, taking a knife from across her desk and rather painfully to the unconscious Rose, knowing this could relapse her. She stabbed into the spine, and the node was there and then. With a yank, Skye pulled it completely out, keeping the knife in position against her, ready for Sam. A tiny plastic box, maybe the size of a matchbox followed, as Skye yanked, the composite severing from her spinal column.
“This is how we know it’s her. She would have followed us here, from splatter, and she’s just going to know where she went. Like her own personal chain… like crumbs for her to follow. Even with the Faraday Cage, she knows we’re here from entering. Only choice we have is to go before she can follow us up. Or, someone comes here following the signal.” Skye spluttered, knowing she was going to be feeling the effect, her head pounding with a head-splitting migraine, making her physically feel nauseous and sick, knowing Sam was going to get none of this.

Chuck called Duke over and told him search. Duke dutifully sniffed the cushions and sniffed. He went back to the sofa and sniffed all the way around it before sitting next to the side arm closest to the door and barked. Chuck nodded and told Duke “Good boy!” he moved the two cushions out of his way and then motioned to have Duke move. He pulled out his makeshift mirror tool and very carefully slid it under the sofa. Chuck laid down on the floor and pulled out a small pocket flashlight that he had found in the kitchen drawer. He clicked it on and froze. Sweat immediately began to pour from his brow. This was a very special bomb. How the hell had anyone had time to get that in there? How did they even get the parts on base? Chuck began to follow the wires. The set up was pretty simple. The kitchen knives would cause too much tension before breaking the wire. He needed something to snip it. He laughed as he pulled out a pair of fingernail clippers that had been in the junk drawer. He opened them up and then very gently clipped the lead wire. He breathed a sigh of relief and pulled the wire off the battery on the device and disconnected the cell phone that was being used as a receiver. He then lifted the corner of the couch carefully and gently pulled the bomb away from the bottom of the sofa.

The bomb was some kind of experimental explosive he was not familiar with. He didn’t know its properties. So he treated it cautiously. He set the bomb down gently on one of the sofa’s cushions. He rose to his feet and went over to the base intercom. He spoke into the com. “This is Boomer, Bomb in the recreation room has been disarmed. Be on the lookout for additional devices.” He took a deep sigh of relief. Damn all his support had gone. He needed to find out what was happening. “Duke, come and search.” He began to run towards Skye’s office. Duke at his side. Duke didn’t deviate so he hadn’t found any other devices.

Samantha was having trouble following Skye. She was still reeling from having to figure out who the real Skye was. She was starting to understand there was a lot more going on though. “Nanites? Those must be some special nanites to be able to transmit from such a small surface area. So we need to be sure none of that blood leaves the room. Shit, but that blood has already leaked the location of the base. We need to evacuate!” Anything that blood had touched had compromised safe houses, locations of where they had been. Artemis could have been tracking their operatives and equipment. That included the lab doing the analysis on the blood. This blood had handed Artemis an inside look and painted a target on their most secure and secret locations.

Skye nodded, as Rose yelped out, coming back to, but before she could, Skye did what any person with any left reason could considering Rose had tried to kill her. She pushed on the knife, and through her throat, tore the life out of her own copy.

Read that back a second. Yes, this is getting confusing. Skye’s killing Skye? Or Rose?

Well, it had to be done. Skye Rosalind Lyons, the version that Rose had called the defect, the version that Sam had probably not a full understanding of, wasn’t dead, but Rose, the version of Skye that was the original, albeit not the one the team had known, now was with a knife sticking out. So Skye nodded to that effect, knowing full well, they could still be under attack. Too much adrenaline was through her from the shot, so she had to keep on it, as best as possible. She used the knife to at least rip the tape off, the clacker now no longer active as a device given the defusal, and the faraday cage activation to cut out any EM signals.

“I get what she meant now. This is insanely complicated. But in a nutshell, you’re right. There shouldn’t be any in me, but you may need to run a check on my vitals with Sophie, completely run me through because otherwise, Oracle will treat me the same. She said I was inert, a defect of some kind. Sharing genetics, but beyond that, very little of actual substance. I can’t do what she does like that, switching bodies and all because I lack that. But I suppose that means I’ve actually got some humanity left. Shit Sam, she was talking a lot about some horrific, world ending stuff. Worse than a nuclear bomb. But if we don’t get out of here fast, we’re all going to follow her. Artemis may even be expecting Rose to deliver the goods….oh shit, of course. I didn’t even say. We gave everything to Artemis because of her, the intel, the drug…... All of it! She used us….knowing I’d fit perfect. Now it makes sense. Shit, shit, shit!” Skye yelled, her sadness conflated with how angry, and distraught she was about just how totally screwed they were.

A look of horror crossed Samantha’s face as she saw Skye push the knife through the imposter’s throat. The flow of red blood is so utterly bright in this dark situation. It seemed to highlight how ludicrous their situation was. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the blood pouring out of the neck of the woman who looked like her friend. Samantha was trying to keep up but it was hard with so many shocks in so little time. Sam closed her eyes and turned away from the sight. Samantha had taken lives before and spilled blood before. It was the shock of seeking someone who looked like her friend dying in such a way. It was a shock to the system. How does one deal with that and just move on? She had to keep moving. She understood better than anyone else on the team the breadth of information those nanites might have shared with Artemis. She took a deep breath and compartmentalized this trauma like a champ. “Nanites are like little tiny robots in her blood. Hers are evidently revolutionary. The only way I can see them working like she talked about was if they work together to amplify their capabilities, maybe using the iron in blood to boost the signal.”

Skye nodded, looking down at the version of her that was dead, the second in only 24 hours. You only lived twice? Well, Skye had no idea how that song played now.
“With a signal, they just need to emit anything on any broadcasted trace it can leap onto and transmit geolocated data to. So we may have half a chance they haven’t worked out exactly where we are. But I think they know. If she knows, whoever she might be with in Artemis that she convinced to her side after literally destroying their command structure will too.”

Samantha looked at Skye. “We need to make sure not one drop of that blood leaves this room. We need to strip and wash clean before leaving. We don’t want Artemis to have any clues as to where we have gone. We can destroy the blood with fire before we shut down the faraday cage. We need to evacuate as soon as possible. The VTOL will need to be abandoned. Anything that had her blood on it needs to be cleaned or abandoned. We need to regroup.” Samantha’s eyes widened in alarm as a thought struck her. “Skye they have already found us. The proof is dead at your feet! They know where we are!” Her voice rose in urgency and fear as the thought that attack was imminent rose to the front of her brain.

Skye nodded, looking down at Rose one last time, trying at least, before sitting up.
“Agreed...this is messy. Oracle....he wanted me to deactivate my data links. Basically lock me out because he said there could be a breach. Turns out it’s a physical one, with literally her!” Skye swallowed a very deep lump in her throat, thankful Sam had saved her, yet the situation became more, and more frightening by the second. She was realizing what it meant. This wasn’t even some simple situation of data transfer now. It was way, way worse.

“Artemis will be already on their way too, if Rose left last notes with someone, before she comes back again. We may need to get ready for a fight. There’s a series of tunnels that leads to an exit point near an old mine and runway for the support team, less so for us so we may need to go overland. There’s an F35, and a stashed patrol boat that can get us off island back to the mainland. Then from there, we can probably make our way through to an NZRAF base overland. I don’t know where after. But from here, you can’t trust anything I would think. Rose will know all my contacts, everything I am because she’d be me, and I have no recourse to respond. We just need to follow protocol now like I’m dead, until we get to safety. I’ll go through it with you now.” Skye’s mind raced, knowing shit was about to get real- the brief interlude the team had coming to an end.

“Sam….same way you got me, I trust you. We’’ll be on our own because once I tell Oracle what’s happened, he’ll go dark and I’ll tell him we’re in the Omega Protocol for a team lead. I’m going to give you a code. It’s a response for it, a 2IC code for someone to take over as if I was dead, or worse, compromised. Listen to me close. I’m going to need you to call out that code, and stay on the line to Oracle. Protocol is always to regroup and then, a new team lead outside the team will take over. I think the guy is a bastard if I know him, but he’ll do what’s right. I can’t work it out what I do. Either I need to disappear, or hope Oracle has some answer to this quandary we’re in..” Skye called back, moving along as she got to her desk, readying the comms, and the mic she had in place for the intercom.

“I’ll be there with you, I’ll try afterwards. We are a family, and till the end, that carries on.” Skye smiled, knowing that she had to hold back some of the worse news. Even in nearly dying, the reality was slowly fading in. Skye was no longer the team’s strength, she was their achilles heel, and right there with Rose dead, she was absolutely personifying it.

Samantha was shaking her head no. “Skye you do what you have to do. So we don’t use your playbook. We use mine. You come with me. I will keep you hidden and informed until we figure a way out of this bloody mess. Don’t you think you are going Lone Ranger on me!” She glared at Skye. She had a nagging feeling that she was trying to cut and run leaving them all behind. That made her angry. Even badasses needed their friends every once in a while. She glared at Skye with her hands on her hips. Not that her impassioned plea moved the Scot once she had made up her mind.

Skye noted it but in her usual focussed stoicness continued on, stuck in her mode of operating and trying to get the team together, for their ends, not hers.
“Team, all stations. I'm alright, no need for medical here right now. There’s a clone of me, verified it’s her, and verified by Sam, neutralised. Everyone, gear on, immediately, prepare for immediate contact. We have a critical situation, repeat, situation is critical. Support teams, head for Kaitiaki Centre, Raven Squad, I need you all ready to move on an emergency, full combat gear for potential attack. There’s a possibility we’ve been found, and that Artemis may be on their way, imminently.” Skye called into the base comms, the last thing to do, and with the bloody mess of Rose on the floor, they had no time to lose. Rose had gambled completely on this, but then again, what gamble wasn’t worth taking. She’d gotten all of Skye’s accessible data, and done absolute carnage with it. Finished what Skye had started. She had used Skye like an absolute fiddle, and now, everyone would pay that price. Not unless they could escape, because Plan B even seemed like an absolute win for Rose. Destroying Raven in the process? Perfect.

Samantha glared at Skye. She understood time was of the essence but if that damn woman thought she was going to fade to dark and disappear she had another thing coming! “I understand this is situation critical boss. But if you think I am leaving you on your own to deal with this, we are going to have an issue!” Her voice had risen as she made her feelings known. Samantha was breathing hard and her heart was pumping. She took a deep breath. Skye had said she was going to be there. For once the stubborn Scot did not take the expected road and try to say she didn’t need help. Samantha calmed down some but was still running on the edge.

Taking her phone, Skye made the call again, the last one she ever wanted to make, but right now, had to. This was it. Last chance saloon. The pickup was instant, Skye aware Sam was angry, fuming even. Skye was trying to play it out in her head, to say something. She would have to come up with it.
“Oracle, it’s Skye…..situtaion is FUBAR, Code Omega. Cut any link to me, I’m passing it across to a secondary. She’ll verify and you talk to her. Do the same with the data links with her, anything. I’m going to get the team out. I’m really, really sorry about all of this.”

“Affirmative. You have Artemis inbound, I have multiple radar signatures five minutes out from you, helicopters and air, likely to be a significant force. They are moving on contingency, so it seems like you actually killed the right one, Skye. Still makes things complicated, so agree with your reasoning. We’re getting more data in and we need to understand the situation better. I’m scrambling channel and awaiting a new signal pickup for someone in your team that isn't compromised. And we’ll speak later. Out.” The link died, as the phone itself bricked, dying out. Pulling a drawer cupboard open, Skye pulled out another device, the spare that she never thought she’d have to give. She also pulled out some hand gel, wiping her hands out after she passed it across, wiping her fingers clean with disinfectant.

“This is yours. The print on the phone will bind to you, and on it, a quantium-encrypted link to Oracle, not one through me, but through you. For now Sam, you’re the ears of the team, commander of Raven. For everyone’s safety, I hope this works. Oh….and for now, I am coming with you. You’ll need me and I’ll do my best till I do need to do that.”

Samantha took a deep breath and closed her eyes to cement the code words and memory for easy recall. A trick she had long learned to deal with her eidetic memory and to help with critical recall of details. She opened her eyes and focused on what Skye was telling her. She accepted the phone and told Skye. “I will do as you ask. But know that no one replaces you, my friend.” She looked Skye in the eyes. Her feelings about the Scot on display. If Samantha had to flee the base, then Skye was going with her.

Tahlia arrived inside following that, seeing Skye, Sam, and oddly, Skye on the floor, again, dead.
“Holy shit!” She yelled, probably in utter bewilderment seeing this for the first time.
“I’m going to assume this is way, way too complicated. Sam, Skye, what do you need from me?” She said, looking at Skye, then across to Sam.

“We have incoming. Aerial assets, and a shitload of Artemis are coming to us. We need to gear up…now. You too, and get security ready to take out aerial assets, and any contacts. Then we need to all run.” Skye looked blankly, and with a resounding nod. Walking out of the room, Skye led the way, no time to do anything more with the dead body of Rose, and certainly no more time to pack things up.

“Fucking hell, Aotearoa is not exactly full of military so they’ll stick out like a sore thumb off the island. Works to our advantage. There’s a tunnel network out of here, but we need to go to the bottom of the base to get support staff out, but we may need to fight them off to keep it open without them realizing we’re running. I’ve got a few tricks up the base’s sleeve, so they’ll be on our pitch.” Tahlia commented, falling in line, following as they made their way out of the office.

Samantha calmly walked over to the comms on the wall. She spoke into comms “Rafael, this is Chaos. Execute program Safestop.” She waited for Rafeal’s confirmation before turning back to the room. Rafeal had set in motion a program that Samantha had developed with him that would shunt all sensitive data to Samantha’s secure site before wiping all the servers and triggering the program that would have them overheat into slab. There would be no intelligence gained from the base from that area. She had set up this contingency with Rafeal without Raven’s Squad knowledge on the off chance the base was breached. She knew it could get her killed or backfire impressively when it came to light. She was very grateful she had done it though. There had to be more about Artemis that they could use to track them down and stop this madness.

Javi had been doing his best to honor the order to get to Skye’s office. He had gotten bogged down as guards seeing him with two others began to ask him for orders. It was like no one ever expected a breech and were reeling, forgetting their training. Javi began orders to have them begin the bomb sweep that he had heard Chuck order over the comns. He had sent the two guards to Skye’s office ahead of him. He had ordered them to follow Samantha’s orders. He gave orders to secure the garage and vehicles. He wanted to be sure if they needed them they were available. He finally managed to get free and began to head towards Skye’s office.

Freya for everything done so far had begun to get a little antsy. Skye had left awhile ago, and Sam too. The giant of a woman still in the mind set that she ought to be protecting her girls some. But then it’s like the accelerator had been pushed through the floor. Tahlia and the guards were moving. The big woman had ducked up and out of the way as Chuck jumped to his feet, the news of a bomb being passed around. Freya looked around, analytical mind jumping from place to place in the room, trying to get an idea. But Chuck is already at the sofa she had just been sitting on! Freya swore in no less then six languages.

She looked to the door and nodded, “Where’s Sophie? I’m going to need her help.” As she said that she’s pulled the medical robe she’s wearing down off her shoulders, damn modesty, she’ll apologize for flashing a full room later. With a pull and a rip the bandages on her shoulders come clear, revealing red and angry looking skin, covering the fractures in the bones beneath. Shrugging the robe back up over her shoulders she makes for the door, “I’m going to go find the Doc, then head for the Armory. I’m going to suit up. Someone hurt one of my girls. And I’m going to hurt anyone connected to them.” She growls.

You don’t mess with a Mama Bears cubs. Not unless you want to try and slow down the raging charge she commits to protect them. And Mama Freya is in that situation. Someone hurt Skye, again, and put Sam in danger. Then the rest of the team on top of that.

Freya stormed out of the room, and down the hall, and almost as if providence is with her runs almost into Sophie, bowling her over nearly. The wide smile on her face is…terrifying, “Doctor! Good. Come on. I need you to hit me with your most potent painkillers.” The big woman had dragged Sophie off then almost carrying her by the scruff of her neck.
Sophie was stopped on the stairs, as Freya nearly bowled into the Swiss Doctor, boobs first. For the shock of the situation, Freya had almost dragged her back, and with a wry nod, followed along.
“Okay, we can do that for you. There’s a drug I’ve left in your armory, it’s a mix of steroids and painkillers that aren’t exactly sanctioned, I can do that for you but after it will hurt. It’s a modified version of the blue blood I gave to Skye, you can use it to amp yourself up. Mein Leiben Freya, the things you make me do, but if it keeps us alive, it is ok!” Sophie yelled back, following Freya down, knowing that like Skye, Freya was a bit of an animal. A good doctor tried to help a patient, stabilise them and make sure they would do no harm.

Freya was going to do a LOT of harm, but to everyone else. That was the mark of a real professional.


Maybe 5 minutes later, and herself tearing a empty syringe free from her back, Freya is in the Armory. The spot repairs on the Gjallarhorn will have to do. And even with who knows how many millileters of painkillers running through her system, and the growing adrenaline of wanting…no needing to protect the crew, she’s still slow as she gets her armour on.

"Okay, drugs are in you now, Freya. It’ll take a minute or two to kick in, but you’re going to feel particularly alive. Everything is going to be very focussed, sharp, vivid and you’ll feel more invincible than usual. The long term will mean you’ll hurt a lot more on recovery, but it’s a cocktail of adrenaline, painkillers, and a lot of material that’ll make you feel pretty superhuman. Don’t go running through walls though, because I promise the physical side isn’t going to heal. You’re just gonna feel really good, then you’ll hate me a lot later.” Sophia replied, in the heavy armoury for the rare occasion it was, seeing her get to work on tooling up.

Freya moved shakily at first after that injection. The door finishing it’s trek to open, “Running through walls? Me? Oh come now Sophie dear? I’m no Koolaid Woman.” She chuckled. She could almost feel it burning through her arteries and veins. That cocktail of chemicals and medicines and who the hell knows what else, “Thank you Sophie. I know you don’t like us operators doing even more damage to ourselves like this. But it’s imperative at this point. One of our own got taken right here in the base. Someone, somehow, set a bomb in the Rec room, a room we were all in for a time just recently. Listen, you need to get to the medical offices, tell your staff to lock and barricade the doors in, and only open them for one of the on duty team.” Sophie looked up at the giant of a woman. Then gasped as Freya slapped one of her larger then normal throwing axes into Sophie’s room, “Arm yourself and arm your people. Just in case. Gå min kjære, get moving.” Sophie taking off at a run then to get to relative safety, and to the support team, including Raph, who would need to head for the tunnels.

Palming the comm. Line button on her equipment table, “What’s the situation? Hows the bomb looking? I’ll be suited in a few moments here then I’ll head top side. I’ll support the guard contingent and provide first line defense. But how are we doing? I don’t like being in the dark over here.” Her words say she’s worried but her tone hides the fact she’s secretly horrified that this could happen to them. They were supposed to be safe here. The base just like the compound that Blue Sword operates out of, should be a place where the team could be isolated from their enemy.

So how did they get in? How and when and where.

She tried to keep it from showing in her voice, but the worry, and terror and horror is there.

Tahlia got on the comms, in contact with the security team, and the others.
“No contacts yet, but they’re coming for us, any minute. Skye is fine, but….shit, we’ll regroup in the armory, soon as.” Tahlia commented, looking to Sam and Skye.

Javi got to the office and felt ridiculously late as everyone appeared to have gathered there and were looking ready to move out. “I won’t ask. Just tell me what you need?” He looked at Samantha for orders as well after flicking an apologetic glance to Skye.

“Come with us, stat. We may need the Land Rover, compadre, part of our defence. For now, we just need to kill lots of people. Same thing as we usually do, but they came here to pick a fight.” Skye called back, the aggression back in her system as she felt the haze clear a little, the mindfog give way again and with it, Skye Lyons was back in some sort of semblance, as the whole group moved together.

Samantha nodded and motioned towards Skye. “She is still the leader as far as I am concerned. We need to get out of here. Artemis is coming to end us. We need to live to fight another day. Gather up. We need to stop by the armory and get everyone’s gear. We need that. We need to protect the base long enough that personnel can evacuate.” She gently nudged Skye. She knew that she was struggling to process everything. Hell she was too! But time to hit the gas. Actions were needed.

Chuck had shown up shortly after everyone else. He was one of the newest members of the squad. He knew the shit was hitting the fan. He would ask questions later. Now he just needed to know his job. He got the gist of it. Their base location was compromised and they had incoming and needed to evacuate the base. He kept a close eye on Duke. He relaxed after Duke sniffed Skye and rubbed his body along her legs as a greeting. That reassured him more than anything that he was looking at Skye. Chuck and everyone else to the armory.


Part Four

Kakari (Fight)

Moving downstairs, the team went at a pace- Chuck, Sam, Skye, Tahlia, Javi, Oliver together. The security team was just doing its gig, to hold the line, and monitor, and watch. But in the face of what was coming, there was a chance they wouldn’t last, not until the rest of Raven came out fighting.

“All yours, Sam. Code’s on the phone, repeat the six digits to Oracle and he’ll set you in.“ Skye called, as they headed down, and into the armoury room itself. Freya was standing tall in her armour. With it, Skye ran across to her section, yanking the MG3 and ammo pod, and began to start gearing up, not even taking fatigues, just the exo, gun, MAAWS and her pistol, taking the critical essentials here and now. She looked across as the others geared up, Skye putting her helmet on, syncing up her PDA to her combat glasses, offline from the team and now just set for diagnostics. The exo felt good, the t-shirt wearing, part-armoured operative ready to get back out there and respond. As bleary as it all felt, she had to find a way.

“Freya, you ready to go?” Skye called, watching as Javi grabbed an M4A1, Tahlia a Steyr AUG and the two taking plate carriers, helmets and ammunition, being ready for a fight even despite the fact neither of them weren't exactly soldiers by usual trade.

Freya shrugged her upper suit on and then stepped up and hissed as the leg portion snapped closed, reaching up and palming her helmet on, “Ahhh Skye.” She gulped and as the legs hummed to life then crossed to Skye, their Queen. Screw protocol, she grabbed Skye up into a hug, and maybe made it awkward as her upper armor is not fully closed, and she had taken the robe off, she doesn’t even have her usual body stocking on under that thing, so Skye gets a face full of Freya’s boobs in her face, “I’m glad you’re okay.” She says. The sets Skye down, going over and grabbing Starbreaker, hooking it over her shoulder, attaches the Stars Core, and pulls the AEW down, and finally with careful clicks the new shield module on the front of her armor after she’s sealed up the upper portion, and the new sniper attachment for the AEW.

The Battle Goddess Frigga turning, “Ready.” She says with a finality to her words.

Samantha entered the armory and headed to her locker. She took a moment to do what Skye had asked her to do. She hated every minute of it but she did it. She pulled the phone to her ear and lied her ass off to Oracle in a hard voice. “This is Chaos. Confirmation code…” She rattled off the code that Skye had given her. Oracle wanted to know the status of Skye. They were demanding a status update. With tears in her eyes and a crackled voice loaded with emotion Sam replied “The Queen has fallen.” The words tasted like ash in her mouth. She hung up on Oracle demanding answers. She had a base to protect. She looked over at her friends gearing up for war. She wiped away the tears. She turned her back on the room as she got ready. She needed just a tiny moment to pull herself together. She quickly pulled on her armor and all her gear. She strapped it all on. She made sure her laptop was slotted into its protected spot in her armor. She pulled the helmet on. Her systems integrated and she heard her AI “It is a good day for a fight Chaos. Syncing with a new line from Oracle. Special com line added.”

The radio for Chaos flickered back on.
“Chaos, Oracle copies. You’ve got the line in. Skye will tell you what to do, but I can tell you the situation, secure to you now she may be compromised for Raven’s systems. We’ve got at least six V22 tiltrotors with full combat teams and vehicles, a couple of Mi-28 attack helicopters, two F18s and it looks like they’re trying to bring everything more than that to the fight, but they haven’t all made it yet. You may need to hold the bridgehead for the support crew, then move the team out. They have more coming, so resist what’s coming, then use the rest. I’ll leave the rest to you. Get to the boat, get offshore and head for Wellington, and I’ll call in the next part of the plan.“ Oracle called, now coming through to Chaos’s helmet, pinging data, feeds, everything across. She’d feel like she had the insights that Skye had, albeit in a way that would ensure that Skye was now no longer able to be compromised by her literal twin.

Samantha took a deep breath and stepped into the role that Queen had asked of her. “Oracle, Chaos acknowledges incoming enemy forces.” She sighed and switched com lines. “Raven Squad we have Artemis inbound. We have a shitload incoming, six V22 tiltrotors with full combat teams and vehicles, a couple of Mi-28 attack helicopters, and two F18’s. We need to hold the line until our forces can evacuate the base. Emergency evacuation protocols in place.” She then deferred to their actual leader for Skye to determine where she wanted them. Samantha was gratified when her work on their SAM emplacements proved to work. She had rigged each one with its own targeting computer system separate from the base. She had thought about that after the havoc she had caused in the Aral Sea when she co-opted their own defenses. She didn't want that to happen to Raven Squad. She heard the thump as the SAM launchers began to pelt the intruders with missiles.

Skye looked at this situation, and herself taking a deep breath, looked on, watching everyone gear, ready and tool up. She appreciated Freya’s hug, one hell of a lot, all geared and ready, the warmth of Freya’s boobs reminding her that indeed, Rose probably had every right to probably be obsessed about the tech-giant’s bones. Blimey, that was…whimsical. And yet, a moment of comical giddy, as she looked to the others one last moment.

The sound of a massive explosion hitting the base above almost sucked the air out of her lungs, but it was expected. First hit, but the armoury was at least safe, the walls shaking with the impact, the SAMs engaging with air and starting to pick a few out of the sky, unexpectedly to the attack team, and the sky lit up with flares, as some dodges, weaved, and some blew up, creating one hell of a scene. But that meant they were here. Bringing jets, VTOLs with combat troops and no doubt more moving vehicles and jeeps, they were on full attack. There was one problem for Artemis, of course.

They were fighting a battle on Raven’s home turf.

The forested fields and green hilly fields on the lush green soil of D’Urville Island’s rainy evening just got a lot more interesting, and Skye was already ticking through her brain of what to do. She wasn’t done yet. Neurotoxin or not, and her official comms line cut off, she knew she had to give the team direction, or at least, an idea..
“Alright. We need to fend them off. Nord, Frigga, blast anything helicopter or heavy, hold the line. Chaos, Boomer, Javi, I need you in the Land Rover on the vehicle pool level, relocate and find another position to flank them from. We need to make sure we fire on them from an angle they don’t expect, and more firepower from somewhere else, we can at least catch them out as they try to rush the base from a flank. Use your initiative on that one….there’s more assets down the other end which you may be able to use. Taniwha, need to make sure the rest of the support team escapes, including Doctor Keller, Vincent and Raph. Protect them and stay with them in the tunnels, and get to the other side of them. Does that make sense?” Skye called out, giving everyone a specific set of instructions.

“Frigga, I’m with you. I’ll take out any armored assets and exos, just focus on the bodies they’re gonna throw….they are going to hurl themselves at us. Let’s fucking show them you can’t kill us that easy!” Skye called coldly, her voice holding firm, despite every cocktail of emotions going through her wanted her to stop, she had to fight, and keep on.

Chuck had gone with the team to the armory. He had quickly opened his locker. He put Duke’s armor on first. He then quickly got into his armor and carried as much gear and ammo as he could. He focused first on getting his canine companion protected. Then he focused on gearing himself up for the action to come. He then attached all his guns and shoved as much ammo as he could into his armor and pouches. He then made sure every weapon he had was on the tactical sling or stored in his armor. He was ready to go by the time the Queen began giving orders. She wanted him to go in the Land Rover? He wouldn’t fit in the Land Rover! He was going to have to do something he didn’t like to do. He went towards the motor pool. Once he got there he realized that the Land Rover had been customized and he would fit. He brightened up. He motioned Duke up inside. He looked over at Javi. “I will take the back.” He climbed up into the back of the vehicle and settled into place.

Samantha nodded and took off for the garage. She ran to meet Javi. She hopped into the front seat next to Javi. She had her visor down and her HUD up so she replied on team coms. “I’m ready let’s hit it. Maybe we can find a hill top to rain pain down from. I would be more effective in the sky though.” She didn’t have an armed and ready aircraft at hand that was not being flown by other operatives at the moment. “I will just have to make do.”

Javi had grabbed what he could of gear leftover in the armory and then made his way to the garage. He hopped into the driver’s seat automatically. Chuck gave him a heart attack when he opened the door and let Duke in. He forgot how tall he was. Then you put that man in heavy armor and it was the god of destruction that had loomed over him. Duke gave what sounded like a happy bark. He hoped the dog didn’t get car sick. He had managed to snag a set of the special coms that Chaos had created for the team. He was grateful since he needed them today!


“Who has seen my box of manpads?” a stumbling hulk of an armored suit said coming out of a slowly increasing hole where a door once was. He turned around, and slowly placed the door back into the spot it was meant to be, and turned back around. “I know I had a box of manpads somewhere, and I think they would come in use right about now?”

Tahlia looked over as Tiny Nord came out, the titan a hulk as he was barking it out loud, admittedly so considering how mad the situation was.
“Right there, shitload of Stingers, all yours, Tiny Nord. All geared for you to go!” Tahlia yelled back to Oliver while pointing out the crate at the far end of the armoury, nodding to the commander, and the other one on the line with Oracle.
“Affirm, boss.” She called, and with it leaving Tiny Nord with Frigga, aware that the two giants probably hadn’t fought before together- but well, it was likely that they would shred things up.

“Right on then,” the mountain said as he lifted up the box, “wont do shit for the F18s, but that’s what the other box is for.”

Tiny Nord, lifted up the second box as he rolled his shoulders a bit, the other much smaller box, well crate just jingled with a bunch of his other things, and on the side was strapped his shield. He rested it against the door, and he smiled a bit.

“Well, if you need me call, I’ll be outside having fun.”

Freya then makes for the door, and the outer sections of the base. Time to protect their home. And even then, this place may not survive. She turned to peer back at tiny Nord, “You know, we haven’t maybe officially met yet.” Her helmet still open so he can see the smile, “I’m Freya Kanatarrio, Physics PHD, CEO of Jotunnheim Energy and Defense, and resident Heavy dealing with Energy and Theoretical Physics attacks here on the team. Pleasure to meet you Mr. Black. Though really you can call me Frigga on the field, so I’m looking forward to working with you out there Tiny Nord, I’ve only ever heard good things about your work.” She gives him a wink, “So what do you say? Ready to go and blow some people up?”

”It’s what I’m here for.” Tiny Nord said nodding towards the woman, “No where near the titles of you, but I am glad to know you’ve heard of me. Now, I know I had iglas around here also, back when all of these things were made, they made them to fight their own countermeasures, not their opponents. So, hopefully there wont be many Russian attack helicopters about, but hopefully we can get rid of the F18s with something else…”


Javi waited until Tahlia had made it into the vehicle. She had slid into the backseat with Duke. Chuck was standing in the rear holding onto the cross brace across the roof. He made sure everyone was braced and hit the gas. “YeeHaw! Isn’t that what you yankees say Samantha? I always wanted to be a Cowboy!” The Land Rover flew out of the open door of the garage and bounced like a tiger on the attack as it rocketed away from the base.

As Freya's climbing with Tiny Nord and Queen she radios Jotunnheim, “Freya here, Black Level incident. Get to the test site near Kaitiaki, liquidate everything! Get it to site Tertius, bypass Secundus entirely. Contact my parents in Perth, tell them I may be going dark. And for fuck sakes make sure to tell tell my mom and dad to keep my brother and sister on a short leash for now!”

And by then Frigga reaches the surface level, looking around, and calling to Tahlia, “Sit Rep? Contacts? Potentials?” She scanned the horizon, scanned the skies, this is the kind of nightmare scenario every operator has night terrors about. Your home base, your safe place, has just been lit up by the enemy, brighter then the Luxor Pyramids apex light. Now what do you do?

“Shitloads, helis and a lot of infantry with modern kit and exos inbound!” Tahlia stoically replied, being thrown around in the Land Rover.

And indeed, so many. She can see rotor vehicles in the skies approaching low and purposefully. There could be dozens of men in each of those tilt rotors. And those MIs were going to be interesting to deal with. Frigga takes a few steps over and braces her AEW on a boulder. And never gets a shot off at the start as a pair of jets scream over head. She follows their path, “They have fast movers too? Who the hell are these people? Attack rotors? VTOL tilt rotors? Fast mover jets? Who has the time and money for this?” She growls, “Not in my house!”

Skye had too many feelings. Everything. The two titans in front of her, gunfire and missiles flying into the sky, the sound of the hillside getting bombed, the base getting attacked, the security team trying to fend off in vein as the VTOLs landed in at the bottom of the island and flew out, firing close air onto anything, the sight of armoured jeeps, infantry, exos, all kinds being thrown up. At the top of the hill, it was like they were in a castle, except all on show. Skye stood valiantly, looking down at the world that she knew crumble. And yet, it felt….sweet.

This was Raven Squad. And no thing, person, anyone, was going to rip them apart. Not even Skye herself could. Cue the music. Because from one childhood memory, to another.

Skye hummed it, the other song that was on the radio before Heroes had come on. The Chain, by Fleetwood Mac....and that riff. That sound. It was like a trigger in her head, instead of this time being bad and overwhelming, just pounding out the adrenaline inside of the Scot's mind. A reminiscence that sort of harkened back. Defect or not, real or not, one or many, no, Skye Rosalind Lyons was ready, and for one more roll, ready to do her bit and counterattack.
“....keeps us together.....” Skye broke into a smile, tapping both Tiny Nord and Frigga on their gigantic armoured shoulders.
“Pride before beauty, come on then, let’s go get the bastards and make them work for it!”

Kaitiaki Homestead, Raven HQ

Rangitoto ki te Tonga / D'Urville Island
South Island, Aotearoa / New Zealand

Skye Rosalind Lyons

and Raven Squad


(A Collab between @FourtyTwo@BigPapaBelial@LadyAmber@Jamesyco)

The team coming together was a happy sight, with everyone in place that was here to grab a drink or at least, come together after it all. Even Tahlia and Freya were back, and grabbing their drinks, though Skye could tell the mood was unbalanced. A lot had happened, and the team had much to relax over, but they would see the latent tension in her. Skye could spot the look Sam was giving her, and well, it was fair to say the least. She was no alcoholic, but well, maybe the whiskey had come out too quick. And she had been withdrawn, more than usual, more….contemplative. A little inside herself, thinking about Lynx. A lot more. It made no sense, the lack of fear, the happiness, the memory. The David Bowie song. Shit, that rang in her ears.

Skye felt a little memory come back. Sitting there, that long drive away, all of it. The whole memory felt hazy, but in some ways, it wasn’t a bad memory. Just that it felt taint, contaminated by all that had happened.

As she went to say something more, her phone rang. The name listed up on it that would have their updates. So it was about time. Hoping that this was it. All clear. It wouldn’t be, as she picked it up.
“Oracle, is everything ok?” Skye’s voice responded professionally, the news less than stellar.

“Nope, opposite. You need to cut everything related to your personal data access, now, down all accounts immediately. We have a serious problem. I can’t even begin to explain it. Do it now, then we need to talk properly. We may have a breach, serious one…..Lynx is not at all what we expected, she’s used you. I’m getting intel as we talk, but if it’s true, we are in seriously deep shit. We may need to trigger the worst case….” Oracle’s voice carried, as Skye left the scene and the sofa, and walking towards her office, she knew what had to be done. If this was true, then well, things were about to get real. Seriously terrifying. Skye looked back to Sam, with a look in her eyes, a fear of sorts, one that seemed to be tripping inside, as she walked off, and out of the lounge.
“Fuck, don’t say that. We’ll have time to do something….hang tight…” Skye replied, ominous as she walked away from the team, panicked and worried, and well, off onto her own. Oracle sounded like the hairs on his back were raised, and from it, Skye’s were too, hand to phone, as she stepped into the office. She hoped it wouldn’t be too long; this was secret, and the team would know as soon as it was done.

Walking inside, the baton slapped into the back of Skye's head and with it, a sharp pull into Skye's side, of what felt like a screaming needle-like pain. It was too late, as she crumpled to the floor, and the door shut.


Samantha had started her day out with a run. She had needed some space to do some thinking. The last op had been very intense. She had needed peace and quiet to really comb through how she was feeling about things. She was grateful to Freya for forging ahead and engaging Lynx to save their leader and her friend. She felt guilty that Freya had come out of that fight with some pretty serious injuries. By the time she had managed to get to the battle it was over. She had come home from the op with some minor bruising. Seeing Skye in a desperate battle that had almost killed her and Freya had made her pause and reflect about losing them. Freya and Skye had become like sisters she had not known she ever wanted. Skye was like a big sister to her. She offered counseling and guidance while giving her the space to be herself. Freya was a like mind and kindred spirit that she could let her hair down with. She had found herself socializing more and spending more time with Freya. She found herself enjoying their interactions and seeking them out. Samantha had always been a very private kind of person and a loner. She had always felt different from everyone else with her intelligence and abilities. She had never really had friends. She didn’t follow normal child development rules because she could understand quantum mechanics and math by the time she was 10. Girls her age had been playing with Barbie and she had been building guidance systems for Uncle Sam. She had understood why others were not like her but it didn’t stop her from feeling lonely. She had never had anyone who really understood her or sought her company until she had come to Raven Squad.

The two women had come to be very important to Samantha. It was for this reason she had needed to really take a step back and re-evaluate what staying with the team would mean. Could she really go back into battle next to them knowing that they might not live through it? Would she care if they died and she wasn’t around to stop it? The answers had surprised her and opened up more questions and areas of growth for her. She hoped she was making her father proud. She had decided that she needed to work on building more things and creating things that will help mankind. She couldn’t continue to just cause more destruction. She wanted to put her skills to work to help solve some of the issues plaguing the human race. Humanity was on a one way trip to extinction if it didn’t turn around and change its ways. Overpopulation of the Earth was causing critical harm to the planet and its ecosystems. There was already a lot that humanity could do to stop and begin reversing the damage, however, finding the collective will to take and support those actions was nowhere in sight. She understood Artemis’ reasoning on that point but trading in superficial representatives and oligarchy for dictatorships was not the answer either. She also knew that if something happened to Freya or Skye and she wasn’t around to help prevent it, she would always wonder if she could have changed the outcome. She had chosen to stay with the team. She knew she would make a difference here. She would just take up some side projects like Freya.

Samantha had been quiet most of the day as she worked through all the emotions and thoughts that had bubbled up because of the intensity and actions from the last op. Others probably thought she was brooding or moody. She had not spread her typical cheerful mischief around today. She had carried on her work but had done so by herself without her typical sassy attitude. She was concerned about Freya. She hadn’t realized how hurt her giant friend had been in that last battle. She might need to rethink bracing inside her armor to help her prevent fractures. She already had ideas on how to improve her flight suit.

Samantha had sat through the meeting Skye had called. She had refused to drink with Skye tonight. She wanted to have a clear mind when she confronted her friend and tried to help her through the mind fuck that the last op had put her through. She understood why the powers that be had benched Skye after the last op. It had to mess with your mind to fight your doppelganger who seemed to know more about you than they should. She wondered how Skye was working through the information they had gained and processing it. She had a feeling that something was very wrong. Skye was typically confident and projected strength. Sam could tell Skye was faking cheer during the meeting. She knew that the last op was bothering her. Hell that last op had bothered her and she was still working on processing everything that had happened and it was not her face that the bad guy had mirrored. She had hoped to confront Skye with Freya and get her alone for some girl talk. She knew Freya wasn’t up to anything strenuous. She had left Freya behind sitting and enjoying the company of the rest of the team. She hoped the giant would start to feel better. She would confront Skye alone. Perhaps she would feel more like talking if it was just the two of them.

Bleary eyed, Skye looked up as she came back to her senses, leaned against the concrete wall.
"Evening....would you look who decided to wake up at long last." Skye fully opened her eyes, and....there she was. Skye Rosalind Lyons, doubled. She looked maybe a couple of years younger, but oddly, had the same wear, tear and scratches, cuts, marks. She was alive, completely well, like she hadn't been in any firefight at all. And was dressed identically to Skye, no less. Blue shirt, jeans, hair, everything. She had put the phone down that was in Skye’s hand, back on the desk and into place.

"No....no way. You're dead." Skye called in fear, in a desperate yelp, hurting from the pain in her side. The needle had definitely gone through and out, but it felt like she’d been stabbed, the feeling coursing through her something akin to it. Lynx didn’t really care so much.

"Very much alive. And to be honest, still not over the fact that you just didn't do as I said. I told you then, it's an easier way. Because, if you had any memory left, you know I don't really do that sort of thing. So I had to take a different approach when we met next." Lynx leaned in, smirking, aware this time, there was no running for Skye. No fighting back.

Looking at her hand, Skye saw it. Tape, and a clacker, pulled in tight. It was live, from the pulsating beep on it. This was a setup that would certainly kill if done wrong, because if she even so much as gently moved her hand a little, it would release and blow up whatever was on the other end.

"Wait, what!?"

"Dead Man's Switch, obviously. Have you never done this? See, you really aren't as clever as you think you are. You reach for a weapon, all I have to do is hit your arm really hard and a bit of amount of pressure will dislodge that. Even better yet, the walls are concrete. They'll die out there with the explosive I packed into the sofa earlier. I'll live, and then I'd just put you out of your misery for just being difficult. For someone like me, it’s rare that I'm undecided." Lynx mused, walking about and looking over Skye’s phone, the print unlocking it because of course, it was literally Skye’s prints.

"What the fuck.....and how did you find us? No, no….I saw you fucking die…..no chance!"

"Well, you saw THAT version of me die. That ranked as one of the more painful ones, I’ll admit, being ripped nearly limb from limb by the other redhead, who, may I say, is an absolute bombshell! So she is dead, but well, I’m still here. And did you really think I just put normal blood into that body? I've got nanite-covered smartblood. Recent addition, but my word, it is so good. Means I know where I am at all times. Even if I was splatted over your larger companion, the particles follow and do their job, just means I follow the satellite trace of it, because that’s what I do. I guess I had to make sure you got personal at some point or else it wouldn't have worked."

"So I'm you then? And who the fuck are you, another copy, working for Artemis? None of this is making sense…." Skye bluttered, feeling pretty helpless, as the other Skye towered over, sitting on her own desk, looking rather victorious at this point.

"Ah, Skye. See, the thing is, you must think you're the real me. Normal consciousness does that. The truth is, you're just a defect. A copy that didn’t work out." Lynx called back, Skye looking in horror, her body hurting, her mind in particular hurting from whatever she was stabbed with.
"What the fuck are you saying?" Skye’s confusion intensified, just realising her worst, most strangest fear. This wasn’t a clone. This was someone who seemed to be her more than this.
"Oh gosh. I have a lot to catch you up on, but fine, since they think you’ll be here a while on the phone, I should explain it to you. Maybe you’ll understand and come around, after all, you are reasonable, from every psych eval I have read. Do you really not remember any of our childhood?" Lynx seemed to query, the empathetic tone coming back, somewhat showing that while she seemed to not really care much, she did at least see half of herself in Skye. Which, in all honesty with how weird this was to Skye, may have made half a bit of sense.
"Does anyone?" Skye replied, confused about her line of questioning. She was psychotic, sociopathic, hell, just right now, straight up philosophical.

"I do. Have you ever heard of the programme run by the University of Edinburgh where they cloned a sheep, some years ago? Dolly the Sheep?"

"Well. The Americans had MK Ultra, the French, British, Germans, Belgians, they had to have something to counterweight it throughout the late Cold War, and then, in the new millenium. Initially, genetic manipulation, then playing with embryos, stem cells, that sort of thing. You see it all the time. But behind all of what happened to Dolly the Sheep, was a programme so incredible, it has never been even equalled.

"About thirty years ago, a brilliant scientist finally goes and does what is considered the holy grail of genetics as part of a joint project in NATO He spawned a human embryo in the egg of a donor, and put into her, the most brilliant, perfect genetic strand there was, manipulating the very fibre to create perfection. It, of course, would normally break every moral, cultural, scientific rule there is, but he did it because there was a lot of money, and a lot of possibility on the line. He saw it as a chance to fix genetic disease, but also, contribute to the betterment of humanity. And through a bit of IVF, he created us. The problem is, of course, genetic copies rarely last in animals, in humans, even worse odds. Well, they didn't have back when we were born.. So what's even more incredible...he understood the most unwritten code there was. He looked into the eyes of existence itself, and found everything. The understanding of human consciousness. And turned it into pure data, ones and zeroes, or at least, a quantum-encrypted version of it that does both. People are paradoxes, after all. And more importantly, how it works to flicker it out and in. Being alive is a neural network so complicated that it can't be made artificially, but it can be copied, duplicated, and wholesale, transferred into a host so it can parse, interface and work in another form that has the same layout. Memory, thought, feeling….your humanity. All of it. Who you are, perceive, and see, what you remember. That can't be copied between different minds from ECG scans to another host like a computer, or another brain of different capacity. But say, you had an identical host, one that you could just cut and paste into....well, that would change things."

"That is immortality. You can network into another brain, another body, of same type, same kind. The neurons are there, developed out to their logical conclusion in a carbon copy of you to work just the same to fire on. Synthetic external uteruses, or basically a giant plastic bag, and a few feedstuffs later with a networked connection, and you have as many versions of the girl that can live forever that you want, but of course, grown out in age and type for the moment being. Of course, provided that you do all of this perfectly, and have every prerequisite like we do, any slight imperfection wouldn’t work at all. So to answer your question….you aren't that! You’re not a version of me that does that." Skye's mouth completely, if not utterly dropped at her response. Lynx continued, sitting on the table, watching as Skye struggled a little, listening in hypnotically.

"We were born to our mother, all normal, but as an implant of that…..like IVF but more complex, as you can imagine. Anyway, we had an normal upbringing. After all, we had to. A child in a lab constantly becomes feral, a plaything. We lived, breathed, explored Portree and home, and had a happy childhood with him, and his recently married other half. A normal little girl, and it was a lovely time. Our dad, of course, being the chief researcher on the project was entrusted with his creation and enthralled. Our dad picked out our red hair, our little freckling, the blue eyes, the physicality, mind, all of it....very much so, he made choices that resulted in us being the cute little Highland girl we were. It’s needed because he realised that if he just made a cookie cutter lab rat, she would never be anyone human, that was his dream. But when we were listening to Heroes, they were taking us back to Porton Down, the laboratory where he had it all arranged. It's where I imagine it goes fuzzy for you. Because they parsed us over for the first time. Saw what they could do with another body. But instead of a cut...they copied. And had two versions, at once. Worse than twins, they had parallel minds. There is no merge function to that. That is a failure of the system, because me, and you, are BOTH alive."

"And Dad couldn't bare doing what any father ever wants to do. Adoptive or not, he couldn't kill you, the copy of the girl to the one he watched grow up because they’d kill her otherwise- and keep the other. He took you home and quit. Left the whole thing behind, and then...I guess he disappeared six years later when they realized he might not hold his end of the bargain and live a quiet life as a fisherman. To quit his life’s work for you, Skye, that is incredible. Because the UK Government and NATO realized that they couldn't replicate it without what he knew. Because he'd stolen it, destroyed it, and well, rendered it corrupted because he wanted them to never figure it out, understanding how ... .challenging it could be for humankind. The UK, US, European Union, NATO, China, Russia, everyone, have attempted dozens, if not hundreds since to do what our dad did, and they have all failed. Died before they were ten, because they were wrong in every possible way about understanding the human inside. A pair of giants that the Soviets did are the only ones I heard even came close, but they were incestual fuckwits with zero transfer capability. But not you, Skye. You're the girl that also lived, because you're remarkably, the carbon copy that doesn't shatter, and not the shell that should have been me. I know your records, you get periods, everything. You're completely normal. Your genetic structure is stable, with zero deterioration. Just....no way to work with my mind because your synapses have gone the other way due to a tiny genetic mutation caused by ... .well, I have no idea on that one. It means you have zero correlation to who I am now in my mind." She paused for breath, knowing Skye was going to be screaming internally at all of this. If there was any way to hear it, it was hearing she was a lab-tissue based freak, not even that could make any possible sense. It was a cosmic level of horror, the kind that would hurt anyone’s head, but right now, it was an answer. The answer.

"And that's why you're defective. You're the only version of me that isn't cut, and paste, and I can't fix it now we’ve deviated. You're a version of me that hasn't got any neural networking…. because dad took you home, and treated you like his daughter, cutting out the lump above your spine that contains a neural node that is basically, a plug to your consciousness, memory and brain matter. The lion on your back covers it, I believe. Dad loved you so, so much, before and after. But he left me in a boarding school as part of the deal....as a fucking orphan. Because he knew what they would do, what they would want…it was like it was he knew he would lose his only daughter and so made a deal with the devil to perhaps save you. He left me to be experimented on, tampered with, tested. I was told they both died in a car crash, that I was special, that in spite of it, I was to be able to change the world. When I found that out it was a lie, do you know how close I came to just ripping out your throat?! And your mother…you wonder why she can’t handle this? She knows you’re a bastard child, an adoration of a man addicted to his work. Well, I couldn’t stop." She called the sealed door keeping the noise out. The other Skye that wasn’t on the floor with a DMS looked on, holding back every inch right now, and blow up her friends too by just ending it with a bullet in Skye’s skull.

"They put me into private school down south and only when I was 9, was I even allowed back for more testing. They did it for the first time, the transfer worked seamlessly. One body, to the next, clean. It felt good, suddenly, seamlessly going from one to the next. At first, it was direct, then broadband, then fibre, then it was satellite based. After all, the algorithms did their job, they did exactly as they needed to with the complex, infinite biomechanical machine that is a brain wired into a specien that doesn't get ill, hurt or anything. I learned how to fight, then to kill, then, how to do the work of someone who doesn’t have to worry about death. You learn so fast when you can take every risk without consequence. Just respawn in a liquid sack and drop out of it onto a padded floor. Which….I still can’t believe. I worked for good old Britain's Secret Intelligence Services, just the same as you, and I died at least a half dozen times. I was betrayed, killed, raped, all of it. I went through all that pain and learned so much. Lived lifetimes. And then I fucking learn that they want me dead...because supposedly, my actual double that for decades I claimed I was.....you.....were leaving.” Lynx seemed emotional, even for someone without much, she seemed to be bleeding it. Skye could begin to understand why. Jesus….that must have been rough as hell. To do that? Lynx didn’t stop.

"After everything, they realize I might be a threat. I cut them off first, feigned I was dead on an op with the server out too, and transferred an entire server room's worth of gear out of one secure location to another. Which was risky....got a feel of what it's like for you to suddenly not be immortal for a few days. Artemis were the only ones that could help me, so they stepped in nicely. And in the process, I made some upgrades to make sure I kept up with the times.. No more physical interfacing. It's to the cloud via satellite, wirelessly, every thirty seconds updating all of it. I've got an AI that basically works for me to parse it, and the terabytes and terabytes of data just rushes out without even a hitch. And well, when you have no fear, you can do anything. You also realise how fucked the world is. Can't you see? Run the numbers, run it all, and dreamers like Pavel Andros and Artemis think they can hide in bunkers, tell you the world’s going to be a better place if you only give them more power. Hah. Then there is you and everyone else, who thinks we can have it as normal. The truth that people never get, is that we are facing the end of us. Heat that kills, crises after crises, the full collapse of the order as we know as humanity falls apart. I can see that now. And we're not going to perform a miracle. I served Artemis. Now it just goes for me."

"So you're some omnipotent being now? That makes you God-Emperor of everyone, with the fucking AI that biases to you?"

"Not quite. For starters, there's no living in a computer, it's black or white, you're in a physical core or not, the parsing just gets done a lot better. There's no real way to kill me, I suppose because it always redirects to one, to a point it's a failsafe. But the point is, nobody has done this. Not even dad would have believed it's possible to harness an AI to improve cognitive ability. The other part of course, was it confirmed my worst suspicions..about everything."

"Then you didn't go far enough if you're that good."

"Well, here's the thing. I don't want you dead, them in that room, I might not either. In Chile, I guess I had to make you fight or else I'd lose my lead on you, so I made sure you felt it, the way I would...given we probably have the same training and capability. As much as you're full of feelings and lacking in immortality, you have been incredibly useful. I need another shell, and yours, yours would be unbelievable. I already lived through you as a double, came so close, but now, you have given me all that Artemis couldn't. They held the strings, but you, you dismantled them from the outside in to give them over to me."

"Everything that happened, it comes to me. I made sure that the moron himself, Pavel Andros had his grubby fingers over the hack that Mercury did to you with the weapons deal you couldn't miss, then once you took him out of the equation, I knew he'd leak the rest. Chile and Colombia, and poor old Spectre just had to go see Tejedor to accelerate their program knowing Raven was closing in, which Mateo wanted to see as well, and you wanted to take down a satellite network so you could pull apart Artemis. And did. So you in one fell swoop, got me the drugs, intelligence, and fuck, even the satellite network node that I needed. You basically set me up completely, because the other assets, they'll be mine in time. And now, here we are. I've got you here, your friends next door rigged to blow if you decide that's a bad idea, and well, the next phase to go on."

"You're a fucking monster.....and maybe you played well. Doesn't make you right though, makes you just a bigger murderer."

"And what do you think, are we really so different in philosophy than you think? You killed dozens, if not almost a hundred mercenaries, just in Chile alone. What's your bodycount, Skye, I reckon a few thousand? You kill people in cold blood, and I have to admit, proves that even without the ability to do what I can, our mortal coil is so fucking good as is. Tell me where we're so different because I just did the same. Only difference is, you were willing to die for what you believed was duty. You can't imagine what it's like to actually do it like I did. And then realize death means nothing. It’s pointless. Futile. But life, life is worth having."
"I do that work for the greater good, one that stops terrorists selling nuclear material, secrets, the lot....whatever your name is."

"Hah, the greater good. Do you know how many times I've heard that? You kill for the "Greater Good". So do I. We do it so much, didn’t we? Getting told by superiors that this time, we’ll win. But what are you going to replace that evil with? The status quo? You mean, the one that is basically Artemis anyway? Come on. You know this needs transformative change. You believe that, you say it. What's holding you back? I don’t see anything. I see a girl who just served a purpose like me, more useful because she has something special yet held back."

"You want to go further? Because you think they all need to fall? I don’t want this. Nobody wants this."

"Well, I want to kill all of them, Skye. All of them. The drug you found, the satellite network you just got a key for, the resources of Artemis, and now....the cherry on top. You. Now, you've just given me everything I want, your access just means I know what to do with it. I can't be mad at you, you're just a victim of it, though I'm jealous of your normality. I want to spare you, but you need to accept facts. You need to understand, root and stem, this needs a reset. Population needs thinning far more dramatically, money needs gutting, control needs asserting, and we need to make human beings better, far, far more than what they are now. We’re a template of it. Our body can survive climate change, and with enough work, so can others too based on what we are….and well, you would be a leader in that world, a fragment that can still be whole. Enough to keep me human, because you have that about you that I can’t have fixing issues in the day to day. You keep me going another twenty, fourty, sixty years with the servers that you stopped Artemis getting at Wildspitze, and I could make a world so much better than any vision of what you can believe. A world where we can have accelerationism, a cure for resources, and everything in-between, a human race that can't die, that spreads beyond this soil and has it all. None of their bullshit. Just us.

"Utopia, Skye. You stand between me and that, and you don’t understand that was literally what we were born to do.. Our blood can survive, so humanity can too. The many die so the few thrive to see a world beyond. And I'm not going to waste a version of me that might stand a chance in that world to ensure the feelings carry on….that'd be cruel. It pains me to hurt you as much as it did you, Skye, so if you agree to submit, you can live in that world. And I’ll find a way to put you into it. Just yield. Because if you don’t, this gets worse and I’ll ruin everything you love, before I have to do this again."

"You are beyond demented. You talk about people like they're things, like they're inferior?"

"Artemis would do this so they can live in their cells to ride the storm....they'd be swallowed in before they even tried. Didn't you identify it correctly? They would hold nations ransom, kill hundreds of thousands, millions, creating a black hole of despair and poverty. The only outcome, poor Spectre didn't realize, is that the world would disintegrate pretty fast at their expense. Look at how we dealt with disease, war, famine, before. Human beings are not made to co-exist when there are limited resources. We are animals in a non-infinite system. And without getting into semantics, the richest use the most. So I'd start with them, start ripping it apart. Scale back and retreat in the face of odds we cannot win against. That won't come from politicians, activists, generals, CEOs, bankers.....no, it will have to come from someone else with power, real power, that can do something. Someone like me. Humanity needs a cut, and it starts with the people you work for, Artemis, then the reality people won't say. A lot of people will die, but look at them, and how hopeless they are. They’re greedy, selfish, fuckpigs who want it all and can’t even admit they’re boiling alive....fighting over bloody shopping during the sales. So a lot of people will one day live in a world our father wanted to make humanity live in."

"Then give me your name at least. Because if you're going to swallow me whole.....I'd like to know. You will never take me. Never. I’d rather die than live in that shithole of your existence. You’re beyond mental. And I’d fight you to the last cell if that is what it took."

"Fine, I may as well considering I've told you what's going to happen, and well, there isn't anything you can do now, and you're going to want to die with it. It's Rosalind. Your middle name, I believe. But, call me Rose. Now, you're going to pass out, shortly. Neurotoxin's going to kick in, and you'll start getting a feeling of what I felt like at the start of this process to start a transfer, it’s a drug that in time, would click off that big boom in your lounge and kill you. I would pass you the cure if you decided to be a good girl, maybe even find a place for you in all of this, but you know what ... .I can’t if you’re going to be this hateful. This opposing fury, after all of it….no, I can’t work with that. I thought you’d understand, but you clearly can’t find the capacity."

“So here’s what’ll happen. After I stop you blowing them all to bits, I'm going to walk out of this room and see what it's like to live a life in your shoes. I think I look the part. And you know what? I'm looking forward to it already. Then you? I'll tell the team all about it. And then, they'll get to see you, who tried to kill me before I got you pinned with that same vial again. Then they’ll probably lock you away too, dissect you like they did poor old….what did you call her, Lynx?"

"You sick...no, they'll know. You can’t…."

"Do they? I'll have the ability to take your voice on, that's not hard with a modulator. Thanks to what you did, there's a good chance they'll have to remove you from your position as the team lead. And even more so when you sit there with a dead man's trigger in hand and they think I'm you. Can you believe that?" Rose chuckled, looking on at the helpless Skye, who even in this situation, was turning her gears in her head.

"But they would come to serve me well in time too. You are a born leader, and my, you really put people in the right place too. Like Freya. Do you have any idea how much her eggs would be worth? My gosh, you could make a better version of me on her. Wouldn't take much of Vale's genetics team, after all, splice it with a body for short-haul and you'd have someone unstoppable in combat. Or perhaps Sam's? She has that ability to hack anything. Cognitive processing power like that isn't easy to find, she has so much I’d want to unpack. Thing is, they'd have to die for that....so I guess you'd just be left. And clearly you don’t want to join in."

"You are beyond ludicrous. Crazy. This is your fucked version of morality?"

"Morality is relative, Skye. I call it survival of us as a species so we can go on for millenia, not a few more decades. Ta-ta, Skye."

With it, Rose left the room, and headed back down the hallway, hearing footsteps beyond the slightly sealed door. With the patch on her throat back on, she yelled out, and well, emulated Skye’s accent perfectly. There was Sam coming over quickly, and well, Skye, sorry, Rose, whoever it was, had to act natural.

"Shit…..Sam, Lynx is in my fucking office! I managed to take her out, come quick!" Rose yelled, and, realised oh, this was all too perfect. They'd have no way of knowing, the little sticker across her throat, putting her Scots accent back in, a teletype of Skye’s given it was literally from the same vocal cords, and well, sort of the same sample range.

Maybe she didn't realize that Skye didn't, well, hold on with that neurotoxin. An error on Rose's part had done no favours for her, as she clambered up, bleary, but aware, for a few minutes longer at least. She had no idea how long she’d been out, as Skye hunked up against the door, coughing hard, the trigger in hand as she reached across for a lamp on her desk, bringing it into hand. There was no time to think. Only to do. Once she rounded the corner, hoping to see Skye on the floor, the Scot had the chance to spring a trap. And pray, just pray she could hold the trigger as tight as possible and plead, beg and beg that Sam would figure this out. Somehow, there had to be a difference between them.

“Sam, she’s fucking lying! It’s fucking Lynx!” Skye yelled from inside, and getting ready, knew that any second now, Rose would meet Sam, in that corridor, as a first responder. Out of it, Skye had to be ready. She’d be the aggressor, and everything was set up to make her look like she was….well, going to kill the rest of the team, in a heartbeat. The only way she could pray, hope, was that Sam knew what was going on. She had to even the odds somewhat, at the least, put distance between the two, so they would be a 50/50. Otherwise, Skye was truly screwed.

She gave Skye a few minutes to disappear before she quietly slipped out of the room and went in search of Skye. She decided to try her office first. Skye didn’t like to sit still any more than she did. She was willing to bet that the redhead was working in her office or moping about waiting on the next update. Skye had been the one most impacted by Lynx. She was still waiting to find out more about who Lynx was. She couldn’t imagine the doubt and worry that Skye must be experiencing. She had just rounded the staircase to the landing by Skye’s office when she heard Skye yelling that Lynx was in her office. She took off running towards Skye’s office and the voice that had called out to her.

She saw two Skye’s battling it out on the floor. What the hell?! How many damn clones of Skye does Artemis have? Her eyes trailed over them both trying to decide what to do. Nope she couldn’t tell who was who. They were dressed alike, they looked alike, they sounded alike, How was she supposed to tell who was who? She needed to put a stop to this. The first step was to get control of the situation. They had both been yelling back and forth trying to win her attention and support to their side. She needed some help. She was only one person and it had taken Skye and Freya to take down Lynx and Skye herself would be a challenge for Samantha if she needed to fight her for real. Samantha ran over to the wall and slapped the alarm button. She pressed the intercom button “The base has been penetrated. I repeat intruders on base. I need help in Skye’s office.”

Chuck looked up as alarms started blaring. Duke surged to his feet and let out a bark, his body tense. Chuck’s eyebrows rose as adrenaline kicked in. Years of training and he slid right back to a state of readiness. He was however not in armor or even had a weapon on him. Well that never stopped him before. He looked around the room. Chuck didn’t even think about chain of command. He honestly didn’t know who was next in the chain past Skye. They were all such specialists and professionals. Everyone knew their role. Chuck simply took charge because he was trained for it and until recently was the person in charge. Chuck started pointing “Tahlia get on the intercom and get base security moving. Javi, grab some guards and get to Skye’s office now.” Chuck turned to the others in the room. “Everyone, pair up and help sweep the base. Be careful.” Chuck began to pace to bleed off energy as he waited to find out more. Duke began to circle the sofa.

Javi had been enjoying some rare downtime with the team. He had been called by Skye and invited to this meeting. Evidently that was her way of filling him in on what was happening with the team. He had heard the rumors and from overhearing some of the team talking of course. He was still trying to process what she had shared. He had startled when the alarm began to blare. What? He looked around as if expecting an attack. Chuck’s strong voice snapped him into focus. It was a shock to his system to hear the base had intruders. Javi took great pains to hide his equipment and its movement to make sure they weren’t tracked. How had Artemis found them? He surged into action and ran out of the recreation room. The whole base was coming alive as the alert and alarm sounded through the base. Guards armed with rifles and in kevlar began to pour into the main building. Javi only stopped long enough to tap two guards on the chest “You and You are with me. We are responding to Skye’s office. Sam said she needed help there.” Javi hoped the spunky genius was alright. He loved the ideas that woman came up with. He began to make his way towards Skye’s office.

Tahlia did as she heard, running over to the intercom on the wall, yanking the headset and pulling it in. The groundskeep come to grab it, repeating the words of Sam, specifically hailing the small, but not insignificant security team. They’d have access to a concealed SAM site, weapons of their own and ability to at least hold back the river of soldiers coming if there was an assault about to come in, or here. Chuck was quick to note the situation, considering his history- but this was the Kiwi’s home to provide for Raven, so she made it very clear on what needed to happen next. They’d have to lock down, and get mobilised.
“Kaitiaki Security, we have a breach! Get to emergency stations, we have an intruder on site in Kaitiaki Main!”

As Rose came around the corner, Skye smashed the lamp against her, kicking her to the floor, and backing over, falling over and putting two hands to her hands to pin the trigger into place, ensuring it wouldn’t even try to move. Rose belted up, drawing her pistol, pointing it dead at Skye. She couldn’t shoot, because it would mean instant kaboom. The door was left wide open, and that would release any explosion in. Even though Rose had no reason to care about leaving Skye alive, the only way she was tapping into Raven was by this very moment. That and the other aspects she would get to work on. So it was do or die. She had calculated it as a risk, because if Skye was dead, then Rose was in……permanently.

“Sam, she’s fucking strapped a DMS to me! It’s Lynx, I can’t explain, but it’s…it’s her, she’s setting this up, she’s drugged me and is trying to pass off as me!” Skye slurred, the toxin slowly building in, but Skye resisted everything, her voice slurring while Rose’s did not.

“Bullshit, you look like me, ey! Strapped that thing to yourself to make yourself look like a fuckin’ victim, Sam, she barely looks anything like me, it’s a ruse! We can’t shoot her given she blows that up, she’ll kill the team in there….we need to back her down, or we’ll be toast, and the bitch is going to come back again!” Rose called back, her voice modulator back on, her accent, calls, mannerisms near identical to Skye. Tiny tells would give her apart, as she raised the pistol back up at Skye, keeping off of Sam, praying that the American would buy the bait.
“Back down, fuck, you strapped this to me! Sam, I can’t…..I can’t hold this long….she’s done this to me to look this way, listen, please….” Skye looked to be breaking, but so, on cue, was Rose.

Samantha looked at the two Skye’s.She didn’t typically walk around base with a gun. It was supposed to be secure. She used her voice to indicate she meant business. They both were trying to convince her that they were Skye, which meant they needed her help in some way. She would just need to swing things in her favor as much as she could. She needed to get them away from each other and she needed a way to control the situation. She was wary of getting too close to either one of them. “Step away from each other. We will figure this out. NOW!” Samantha walked over to Skye’s desk and pulled out a handgun that she knew was kept in the drawer. “Back away from her! We will deal with the switch.” She cocked the gun back and aimed the gun at Rose’s head. “Get moving.”

Rose looked to Sam, the fear at least palpable, even though she’d been here enough. She’d have to do this, keep going, keep the mirage going, stepping back, but responding.
“Sam, wrong girl, she’s trying to fucking detonate us. She’s a fucking clone. Told me she’s going to detonate the rec room, with all of us in it. She can do this, ‘cos she thinks she’s fucking invincible!” Rose yelled, in fear, as Skye looked on, breathing out a deep exhale, knowing she couldn’t carry on this. She had the right person, and while Skye wanted to yell deep at Sam to shoot, that would potentially lead to them both getting killed.

Samantha nodded and moved closer but stayed well out of the lunging range for both women. “I will figure it out but you need to drop that gun. Now!” She backed up till she could see them both. “And you, keep your damn hand on that switch until I can figure out how to deal with it.”

Rose did as she said, putting the gun on the table, hands up, Skye putting her hands up with the trigger, the two standing side by side, and well, it was impossible to tell.
“Okay, okay….you need to figure out which is which. Sam, listen to me. I’m the real one. Born in Portree, grew up without a dad from twelve, and I know you’re the same with the stuff that happened in your family. The talks we had….I know you better than anyone.” Skye yelled back, hoping, praying it would come out. Rose knew that already. Nobody stupid would let that go so easy.
“You read my dossier? Fuck, no wonder you hacked everything here! Sam, she’ll know that. It’s knowledge on how we hired you. She’s going to break into whatever that is, play you against me.” Rose replied, looking across, scowling in her face, Skye looking on dead into Sam’s eyes, just praying. Please, please, please. Don’t get this wrong.

Samantha looked at the two of them and pondered how she was going to resolve this. “Keep your hands up where I can see them!” She was uncomfortable as hell and confused. Samantha’s brain raced as she tried to figure out to solve this problem. How was she looking at yet another Skye. She knew the one called Lynx was very dead. Yet here there was another one. How many other operatives had helped her get onto base. Hell she looked like Skye, it might just be her but she couldn’t take that chance. Her friends were here. What if Artemis had planted explosives? The dead man switch certainly added to that possibility.

Samantha thought back to the interactions she had with Skye. She gave both women a wicked smile. “What did we talk about when we got back from the Singapore operation? Answer the question one at a time. Let’s start with you!” She pointed the gun at Rose. “What did we talk about?”

Rose struggled, realizing shit, this wasn’t it. She had to think on her feet. Think of something, while it was asked, and Rose realized she could tap into the only bit of knowledge she had on Sam. The part that Skye had kept as a note on her, the part that existed within the case files of each operative, redacted to most but to Skye, open.
“It was revenge. Revenge for your parents. Revenge for what they did to your trainer, and I made you a promise.” Rose replied, as confident as she could be, hoping Sam's memory might play up, or at the least, Skye wasn't attentive enough in a moment like that. A risk, but a risk worth taking given she knew Sam well enough from the file.

Skye shook her head, looking at Sam, her weary and weakened blue eyes coming through.

Samantha kept her face from showing anything. She listened to the woman and a deep twinge in her gut said that was not her Skye. They had talked about revenge but that is not what was most memorable about that talk. Samantha’s attention focused on the other woman as she began to speak.

“I made that promise to you too. But I made one about compassion. She won’t know it. Because she doesn’t understand how that works, she’s a a fucking psycho. She only knows wants, needs, hate. And you are more than that, Chaos. Please. Sam, I fucking know I can’t convince you looking like this, but I know you aren’t here for that. You want to have it drive you, but you know you are so much more than that. So much more good…and a family here that you found in us. That’s what we said…because revenge was what you want, but family, Freya, Mateo, me…we’re that for you. None of what she knows about.” Skye emotionally called back overriding the slurring in her voice, Rose hoping her own bluff would work, against Skye’s very real, very heartened call, the fragile state of Skye giving way, even past Rose’s complete crocodile tears. She was getting ready to do something, Rose knowing she might have to pounce.

Samantha turned the gun back to Rose. “Stay where you are.” She walked around the woman carefully. Samantha used all the skill and speed she had. It was the one area where she was better than Skye. She was faster but just by a smidge. She dashed forward and hit her over the head with the gun hoping to knock her out. She went down on top of the woman to hold her down in case the blow didn’t knock her out. She knew which one was her Skye. They had talked about their fathers and Skye had shown the first bit of vulnerability as she shared stuff about her mother. They had talked about the family they had chosen for themselves. She had not hesitated to act once she was certain of who was who.

Thankfully, Rose didn’t make that move. The way that Sam hit her with was like a freight train, right to the core of her head, and well, fumbling her onto the floor. Skye looked exasperated, the one that Sam probably prayed was the real one.

Skye Rosalind Lyons

Valle Natales, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Fireteam Condor


Skye fought back bravely, ducking into cover, yelling back across to Lynx.
"Seriously, we can talk this one out, whoever the fuck you are!"

"And come all this way to stop? No chance! I am enjoying this far too much, and your arse is mine!" Lynx yelled back in her distinctly neutral English accent, spraying rounds into the trees and rocks that Skye was covered in, Skye firing back but doing nothing in spite of the shield. She was pinned, and Lynx used the last of her exo's booster to leap over the boulder and clatter down in front of Skye. She had nearly nothing left to give. This would be it. Straight up, this is how she would die, if it wasn't for that split second moment of Freya firing that round, and then, in a sudden

And suddenly, the arrival of Frigga changed things altogether. Lynx had turned to shoot back, but well, Frigga was possessed. Driven by something animalistic, Lynx tried to dodge, using the exo, but it was no good. The shields were dead, and as she could hear the ATV coming, Freya began to finish the job. Lynx fought hard, throwing missiles, everything back, but Freya was unstoppable.
"Try it as you might, Frigga! You'd make one hell of a trophy if I could carry you out of here, come at me!" Lynx bravely yelled back, firing rounds at the ATV in the process too, knowing she could rattle them, at the least, delay. With it, Skye managed to relocate, and out of the way of what was coming.

Driven by something personal, and even Lynx couldn't understand it, Freya had gone from a cosmic horror to a real life one. She should have had the upper edge, but even through cloaking, it was like Freya didn't need to see, because well, there was only one place she could be, and one way it would end. Brutally, Lynx clocked the physical action from Freya and tried to overcome it, but to zero avail. Freya's work stepping on her caved her torso's entire bottom half in, cracking like the sound of wood being chopped in the forest, or a large branch howling off in a hurricane. Sam was closing in, as Skye peeked around the boulder, where Lynx had been sent over on the other side, and walked over with a slow hobble, looking to Freya, standing over, silent in her words, completely, totally dazed.

Laying there, blood pouring out of her mouth, Lynx was as good as dead. Skye felt rattled in her walk, and knelt by her side in the dirt, finding the last scraps of her own energy to look, looking directly at the other redhead, the one that wasn't much for the world and instead, the once with a smashed faceplate, and a wound that no doctor could cure. She didn't want to look. But she had no choice, she was compelled, utterly, utterly spellbound. And the words wouldn't come. Lynx's did.

"Remember when we were young, and......dad put on Heroes in the car? I remember it so well. It's our last collective memory. The last one, the last....innocent one. There weren't any others. None I can recall before then. And after, none that matter either." Lynx uttered, Skye totally fixed, the dying, spluttering blood version of her fading, slowly, drying.

"I wish I could even begin to start to explain it all. But you did exceed my expectations, and if you couldn't go easy, then it had to be this way. There's a greater good you just don't see, and it's us. Always is. Always has to be." Skye put her hand against Lynx's, the passion in the Scot's eyes intensifying.

"Please....please. Look, just tell me who you are, really. Whatever that is, I trust....us on that. No world ending scheme, just whatever the hell it means....please, don't leave me like that." Skye said, looking down at the poor girl, watching her coughing blood, her internal organs shredded, her body ruined, and no hope out. As mortal as it could be, and well, looking on, the other version of her knowing well, she was beaten. Lynx knew it had been worth the try. But well, it was in death that she could be honest with quite literally, herself.

"I just can't. I'm so sorry, Skye. You'll understand in time why all of this had to be this way." Lynx exhaled, before even she couldn't stop the inevitable. She rolled her head to the side, and like that, the life was out of her. Like a light, gone, and absolutely out.

With it, Skye sat by her dead doppelganger's side. She was utterly, utterly gobsmacked, broken, silent.

She sobbed a tear, the first that had left her tearduct in perhaps a lifetime, and that became a gentle trickle, as she leaned back against the tree, looking into the horizon, blank and away from Freya, or Sam, or anything at all. Her heart pounded and the tears became a flood that silently fell, Skye didn't so much as weep, as she just stared with a flood, the radio spluttering.

"Queen, it's Oracle. Do you read?" It uttered, Skye looking at Freya, a tear suddenly rolling off her cheek in a rare moment of exposure, and in return, finding the words was tricky.

"Affirmative." Skye's words were hard to make, they were tough to remove, hard even to extract out.

"What's your status?"

"Core is recovered. We just eliminated a lone contact, non Artemis I think, by the crash site. Highly armoured, highly experienced, and.....well, she looks like me. She IS me, Oracle. I'm looking at my fucking twin. Or a fucking clone. Or something, fuck, I don't know. I don't know what the hell is going on."

"Shit......Queen, are you sure?" He broke from protocol, and in that very moment, Skye nodded, breaking from her own trance, trying at least to focus again, objective word, trying.

"Positive. I don't know what's going on. I have literally no idea how this works....we need an extraction too, now."

"Shit. Artemis must have gone further than even we could have possibly imagined. Or they're trying something else on. Get out of there. Bring the body, and we'll do some forensics to figure out what went on. And her tech, too, if you say it's good. It could be a last play of theirs. Alright, I'll get Hawk back on the line."

"Roger that." Skye uttered, her words stumbling, looking to Freya, and then to Sam, utterly silent, distraught even. She looked back, as the radio hissed again.

"Queen, I have an LZ identified near your site. I've got no thermal signatures. There's nobody there, putain, you cleaned them out."

"Heh, yeah, I think we did. Well, you win some, you lose some. Freya, can you uhh....take her body. What is left of it. And uhhhh....thank you. Thank you. I'm really sorry I got a bit emotional. Just a lot to take in I'm afraid." Skye replied, and trying to hold it together and a little out of her own, with it saying nothing more. They'd understand, and well, it was mission complete. Albeit with more questions than answers. A lot more.

As the VTOL came in, the door opened, and the team rolled in, the dusty and dirty environment a shallow landing pad for them, and in this case, dead quiet. There was nobody here. Nobody at all, and it felt eerie, though perhaps it was a reminder of how much damage they'd caused in southern Chile tonight.

"Eyy, Queen, as I live and breathe! That was some crazy shit...." Vincent's tone was positive, Skye's was not.

"Vincent...not now, just fly." Skye retorted, sinking into her chair once again, and looking to the other two. Skye was valiant, resistant, hell, the one that pulled people together when shit really hit the fan. Even in Aralsk, physical wounds hadn't stopped her from running around and never, ever backing down. Right here, Skye had a certain wear to her that transcended physicality. It was like her very soul itself looked like it was utterly, paradoxically broken, looking to Lynx, and reaching across down onto the floor.

Pulling Lynx's hand, she revealed the vial, and pulled it out, examining it in curiosity as it was placed in the middle of the cargo bay.
"That is weird. Probably covering tracks. Or something. Fuck knows." Skye said quietly to herself, shaking her head, before going back to the seat, not wanting to interfere, considering a detox, report and detailing would have to be made. It was highly likely, if not certain, that Raven would not deploy until answers from this were made. Skye couldn't even think about it, she was so, so overwhelmingly flooded with emotion. A rational Skye would have hoped, dreamed even it was just as simple as mistaken identity, a girl like Freya that had a striking resemblance to Skye or a cousin perhaps. Maybe followed by a hidden sister, or cousin, then a twin, then last, a clone or a genetic copy. Which in itself, would be absurd. A non-zero chance. The worst one, which Skye was just thinking through, were those words. She knew her memory. Knew her skin. Knew everything. Fuck, it basically everything she was, in almost every single way. And she shut her eyes to it, trying to forget for a moment., sitting again.

"Sorry....I may need a moment. I'm really, really sorry. It is a lot to absorb. But I think we did it. That might be it. We have the masterkey for Artemis now. Just....she freaks me out a bit. I'm sure it will make sense. I am sure it will. Thank you both. I" She added, smiling at them both, the look in her face one of happiness to have such good friends, and yet, so unwound from it all.

The only thing that could break Skye's unbreakable spirit, rather poetically, was Skye Rosalind Lyons herself. It would last, but like all things, it had to stop somewhere, and inevitably, she would be thrown more to sort, and manage, and then, once they had some idea, what came next was on the cards.

She leaned back against the cushioned wall, humming and drying her eyes, the tears melting her blue paint and creating a horrible, sticky like mess of black and blue blended with dirt, grit and perspiration. The thing Lynx said about that David Bowie song, it stuck in her mind. That last, momentary glimpse, as she whispered it out loud.
"We can be heroes...just for one day....."

Skye Rosalind Lyons

Tahlia Harris

Two Hours before Chile

The phone buzzed in Skye's lap, as she picked it up, seeing Tahlia's secured and encrypted number come through.

"So, we tagged and bagged Spectre. As per sitrep, Jaguar has gone to ground. Makes sense, after all that happened."

"What is he saying? And agreed. I don't want to see him back until he's ready to go again. That would have been heavy after all the shit around Tejedor. Anyway, go, on."

"Not a lot. But we recovered something interesting. The drug, he muttered it's some sort of trial run, the intel from Jaguar backs that. It sterilizes people, but comes with some nasty side effects, mostly significant memory loss, but highly unpredictable. Which for the compound shouldn't really be a thing, Spectre thinks it should have been far purer, or altogether, something completely different. More like a sarin-like compound for Artemis's activities, so, lethal and extremely spreadable. He also said something about the fact he was betrayed. All of Artemis was, or something crazy like that, by some woman called Lynx. What does that mean for you?"

"It means whatever we do in Patagonia ends this then. All of Artemis comes into the light, because he got backstabbed probably by Pavel's leak. Or a contact there linked to Pavel who we identified after Aralsk. I assume it has to mean that, because otherwise, they're literally destroying Artemis from the inside out. Someone high up in Artemis lost their bottle and that was that. There's nobody else left. We just exploited a weakness and kept prying after they tried to kill us."

"If that isn't right though, Queen....what does it mean?"

"It means we know what loose ends are left, we'll find out about this time tomorrow. Either Spectre will succumb once he starts getting interrogated, or the data core will expose the whole network, and more likely, both, Taniwha."

"Have you got a working theory then?"

"Likely prognosis? Pavel meant by the fact they needed to do something about the problems the world faces, they meant they were going to start spreading that drug to people, globally.

Drop the population slow and quiet either by killing them or simply neutralising their ability to give birth, play the long game and promise governments that pay the cure or stop that train, keep them addicted, then suddenly, revel in the profit and chaos.

Project Mercury with the satellite network would exaggerate that, taking out key infrastructure and communications to make more chaos- a cover for rare earth and opportunity for Artemis to get monopolies too. Nothing like that to keep other eyes off the real problem, so the dragons can build their hoard bigger and steer the narrative.

It's literally their playbook since when I spoke to Oracle last, everyone wins apart from well, everyone bar them. Talking about climate change, resource depletion, inequality? They're full of shit, they want to survive the storm, and all of their boats need to float when it does."

"Jesus. That is a fucking lot. Never knew how sick the bastards were, but as a theory, it adds up. All that happened to us up to now, couldn't have been anything else. What do you want us to do, Queen?"

"Head back home, and I'll relay it through Oracle."

"Roger. Good luck riding her arse."

"I'm going to love it. Over and out."

Kaitiaki HQ, New Zealand

Fifteen Hours Later

The Reunion Party

The gentle patter of rain outside the evening light of the base was rhythmic, if not a little repetitive, coating the base in a typically New Zealand drench. The kind of rain that made going outside not such a great idea, it was just endless, and the trees and grass shook in the wind, the light storm coupled to just a continuous, horrid drizzle. There was another reason this place was so green, and volcanism could only go so far.

Sitting in the lounge, the team had the opportunity to regroup. At the very least, Skye was back in some shape or form, undergoing an assessment at Doctor Keller's, and revealing none of the compound was in her bloodstream, or even in her presence. The other Skye, now formally branded as Lynx given her tattoo and mark on her suit, had been taken away at a fuelling stop-off in Santiago, Chile. It was agreed to keep her away from Skye, and well, for now, to assess the situation before anything carried on. Whatever happened, lessons had to be learned, and it had to be investigated, in detail. Something as serious like this had rocked Oracle's lead, because it meant that the entire organisation could be completely compromised, top to bottom. Sitting tight was best, using other support teams in Raven for now to quell any work.

It was standard procedure for dead HVTs, but this target was neither high value, nor a target. The link to Skye was overriding- and figuring her out, background, everything, all of it had to be poured through. Her armour in particular was of especial interest rather, as was the link to Skye- it was also being poured over by the techs and anything out of it would be recovered, salvaged and used for the team in an upcoming kit update. Nothing at all had been said, and the intel core, that was with the team here, isolated and any trackers deactivated. The HVT, Spectre, was isolated out for further interrogation. Raven was not a set of torturers - they were far too important to waste on that sort of thing, and after two incredibly intense missions, the action reports for them reading like 80s action movies and having more redactions even for a redacted document than a political blackmail piece, so they needed a deep, cavernous breath before more work came.

So flying across the Pacific Ocean, returning home had come quick following that- oh, of course including Freya's large yet deflated helium balloon for repair. Then, the server core itself was being studied by Raph and Sam in Kaitiaki on an offline repository and any tracking on it had been deactivated, whilst Spectre was being tortured by Oracle's contacts for anything he knew. Same went for the drug- . Blue Sword had been asked to clean up the mess in Chile, and for the first time in potentially forever, things were going better.

Coming in, Skye grabbed a seat on the sofa adjacent to the table, quieter than usual, the team in there waiting, making food, chilling out, and off-duty. Skye was dressed in her usual- a navy t-shirt and jeans, the casual officer as per usual. The outside world had been cut off, given the criticality of the situation, more than the usual- they were sitting and waiting with an intent, not really back in operational trend and waiting for missions. She turned to face the group, aware they knew exactly what had happened, her husky Scots accent as per usual coming in.

"Hey all. Sorry for the admin. I've gotten off the phone to Oracle. We're to sit here and wait, they will have more work for us, but as you may have heard....there are some complications." Skye started, knowing her presence might have raised some eyebrows, particularly during R&R between the team's various tasks to complete.

"But, good news....we basically just took out a significant amount of Artemis's operations. About a dozen people are going to be arrested, tomorrow across five different countries- for completely unrelated charges to what we just found, but there is a hell of a lot of corruption that is being found in some higher ranking political circles that just came out, from slush funds to money laundering, and beyond."

"They're in disarray, given their leadership got taken out and what Spectre terms as the "Directors", or effectively, his entire cabal of people, are now without any idea of what the direction is. He says he was solely responsible, but I mean, it is likely they probably have some idea what to do. Meaning, they still will want to do shady shit, but have no common target. Someone will rise up in time to fill that void, but like a weed, it's a lot shorter and easier now. We did an incredibly good job. And I'm immensely proud of you." Skye said, smiling, the rare break from what had been probably one of the most fucked up days in her life.

"The other news, then. We're waiting to find out about the DNA test, but initial autopsy shows that well, she's got some differences to me. Tattoos, freckles, a few other bits basically don't add up. So it might not be me. So....that is good. If not, then it's likely Artemis managed to...make a genetic copy out of me. Someone who got angry and probably tried to destroy it from the inside, but didn't need us to find something. Which seems pretty incredible. That would be likely our next target to find out how they did it, because likely they could be trying to crack Raven by brute force for their next attempt, perhaps to buy time is my working theory. Which relates to the fact that the bad news is, I think we know how capable they are. So our work won't be done." Skye retorted, as she stood, a little more frail perhaps in the mental than before, but putting on a brave, stern face once again. Reaching into the cabinet that was of their particular fame, she pulled it out, and undoing the sealed cap, poured a dram, finally glad to be seeing this come to fruition.

"So....I say we say cheers to that. Thank you, everyone. We got through a particularly bad day of work yesterday. And believe me...other me has zero taste in whiskey and nae fucking Scots roots, because I can tell you this one comes out only for special occasions. '65 from Tobermory, one from the old country. I'd say put some tonic with it if you're....less acquired in taste. What comes next will be difficult to manage. But we'll end this. Once and for all." Skye added, chuckling as she finished pouring, the bottle complete considering everyone in the team, including Tahlia were up here. Taking her glass, she put it to the middle, and for a moment, relishing in the fact that she had a team. Her stoic self had been broken, and now, there was this to reflect on. A crew, a team, people. It was home, and everything worth doing. Even in spite of everything, and how much her head was ruined by that. The first time she ever felt a certain kind of pain, a certain kind of hurt. The image had to go on, and Skye was too stubborn, too proud, too much to say she needed help. She wasn't an alcoholic, not by a long shot, and the alcohol wasn't that- but it was clear, Skye even as good of an operator as she could be, had something deep down in her.
"Sláinte, everyone!"

Skye Rosalind Lyons

Valle Natales, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Fireteam Condor

The Sucker Punch

Moving through the burnt forest and in the darkness lit purely by only the remaining fires around, Skye kept her rifle high, the MCX in prime position as the trees began to thin closer and closer to the impact site, the ground suddenly having this black texture from the heat, and the kinetic energy that the core had turned this place into. Trees suddenly started vanishing, roots could be seen bare, and then, there it was. The crater itself. It was a hell of a mark on the landscape, a hole about twelve foot deep by about fifty feet across, scarring and directed rather than a vertical hit given the horizontal velocity. It had torched the forest coming in, which was still ablaze, as Skye saw the core itself down below.

With it, skidding on the dirt, she approached into the base of the crater carefully, the liquid nitrogen steaming off the core and cooling it effectively, as Skye checked the temperature with her NVG's thermal setting, before going in.

She gave hard kick to the side of the capsule at its top and knocked a small cone off, exposing the tungsten and revealing the top of the core, reinforced by another layer. Taking her multitool, she began to unwrenched the reinforced joints, yanking them off with sheer force, aware that the satellite's contents would be more than robust enough to be handled rough. Another sharp pull with the exo and the unit came out altogether, about the size of three house bricks, and was remarkably in one piece. All that destruction for one little unit, blimey, what a night this had been. Skye took her combat pack and stashing it inside, slung it back over, opening her comms again.

"Team, I have the core, secure...wait....standby..."
With almost a sixth sense, Skye raised her rifle to turn, but instead was hit in the back of the head, the knock throwing her onto the floor.

"Skye, Rosalind, Lyons....they gave you a really, really pretty name, didn't they? Don't move an inch. We have time before your two friends arrive to talk, and they may yet live." The voice called, masked, but certainly feminine, as she kept the H&K G36 pointed at Skye and stood over her, the two inside the crater and out of view of the rest of the team. Her cloaking suddenly deactivated, and revealed the 6"2, black and red exoskeleton wearing, visored operative holding a rifle at Skye's head.

"The hell are you talking about? And who the fuck are you?" The Scot's reply was curt, as she looked on dazed in confusion, the other exo-clad figure keeping her eyes locked on through her visor.

"That's no way to talk to me. See, you and me, we have a lot in common. We don't like Artemis. We don't like the world at the moment. Among other things. I was hoping we'd meet sooner, but you have served me incredibly well, so I didn't think to interfere. You really exceeded expectations, saved me so much work up there. Followed the breadcrumbs perfectly, like I knew you would, because I know you better than anyone. Now here we are." The voice was almost metallic, though it was probably the effect of the sealed visor and helmet that Lynx wore,

"Then if we have something in common, I'm here to help too. And what the hell do you mean? Come on. Who are you? Is being cryptic all you have?" Skye replied, the figure chuckling, shaking her head, Skye feigning how hard the hit had come in, built on her exhaustion. It was a heavy one, but the armour and foam in her helmet had stopped the worst. If she didn't, there was a chance she was as good as dead here. She noted the symbol on her shoulder, that of the Lynx's head, and well, putting two and two together, made that assumption as is.

"A much better version of you. But one with similar experiences, and understands. So do me a favour, sit still, and you'll get some answers and get to help. You might even get to live. For what it's worth, with the bigger picture in mind and the only people who matter to you, I'd advise it." With it, the exo-clad operative yanked out a vial that was in her hand and with it, leant in, and pulling the cover, revealed the needle underneath. She leant in and taking advantage, so she thought, got it ready.

Skye knew there was only one chance to stop this. It could be poison, or worse even. Skye couldn't have that or it was lights out. And what did she mean by that?

She brought her feet in close and kicked the operative hard in the stomach, sending them over as she stood, rifle up, and turning, sent rounds down range, full auto, full desperation, dumping the entire magazine into Lynx.

And yet nothing happened.

"Oh, you really are living up to your reputation, a hot head! Well, I didn't think you'd come easily.....but that just makes it a bit more interesting! Come on then, let's dance a little! I'm taking that core with me, with or without you!" Lynx grinned underneath her visor, the black tint making it invisible as Skye realised what had happened. That wasn't so much a Trophy System or something to snatch rounds out of the air as a portable field generator instead - the bullets held in mid air and then harmlessly deflected out, Skye in absolute shock. A portable forcefield, more or less. Something Skye had heard about in skunk works with a limited ability, but nothing like this. It was attached to Lynx's back, and coupled to the power unit of her suit.

"Shit!" Skye muttered to herself, in utter disbelief. This wasn't good. Oh, this was very, very bad. Something had to be done. And with a twist, Skye lept back, the exo clad rival following as she used her sidearm, rolling and moving out of the crater, skidding behind a stump and firing back at Lynx, in vain, yet knowing it had to overwhelm the system, somehow. With it, Lynx fired back, a couple of rounds clattering off Skye's armour, but Skye managed to roll, using her exo to dash out of the way, before laying down fire herself, forcing Lynx to do the same. She used a mini missile system on her shoulder to lock, then fire on Skye, but not before she used a treeline to duck and weave off fire, hailing more wood and chippings everywhere.

"Team, get onto me, now! We have a contact with an unknown operative, singular, highly advanced tech....they have a fucking forcefield!" Skye yelled into the open comms, knowing the shock that would hit- this operative wasn't like the other exo wearers, hell, even anyone she'd ever seen. It may as well have been an alien that had dropped out of the sky too, but Skye knew there was a person in there. With a sense of fucked up wit, no less.

Of course, Lynx wasn't going down without a fight. When you had an exoskeleton that was next generation, had cloaking, a field generator that basically doubled as a small-scale forcefield, and an exoskeleton that outperformed Skye's, you could do more damage than three members of the team put together. Plenty more power, plenty more tech too.

Skye switched tack, as Lynx fired rounds in the direction of Skye, as she got some back over, the rounds clattering her suit painfully, the armour holding just about as Lynx lept up and over the trees, crashing into Skye.
"Oh, come on, you can't run now! We barely even got started!" Lynx yelled back playfully, with her legs between Skye's body, as Skye wrangled and pulled her down and below, the Scottish redhead running on every cylinder left, yelled back.

"Argh....die, you fucking bitch!" Skye yelled back, and throwing a punch, Skye getting free and not held back, aiming straight for the faceplate and getting a hit, smashing it apart through the side of Lynx's helmet. And what she saw....well, it completely, if not totally, stopped her in her own tracks. The professional, cold, calculated and furious Scot for the only time she ever would, froze in almost dead disbelief, looking at the nose she'd detonated with the punch, and the bloody face it had left.

"Wait, what!?" Skye called, as the operative took advantage of the shock and with it, pulled Skye in close with a headbutt before kicking her away and yeeting Skye into a shattered tree, Skye's gut in agony with how hard she'd been sent. She yelped, standing up again and raising her rifle, Lynx in shock too, now angry, more than witty.

"Oh, you got me good now, Skye! Well, how does looking at you look? First time looking inside of what you are?" Lynx yelled, wiping the blood away, and well, it was all revealed. If she looked similar to Skye in height before, and the bare tone of her vocal cords in a neutral English accent, it was effectively because she WAS, Skye Rosalind Lyons. Or Skye was her. The Scot had no idea. The red hair, the face, the resistance, all of it. De facto, it was Skye's face and look, the same person, in another exo, in another setup. Lynx's nose was shattered, and her face was heavily lacerated, but there was literally no denying it.

It was far, far too much to take in. Was it a twin, a clone, a sister, someone from a parallel dimension, fuck, was something else going on, and what the hell was happening? Also, how the fuck was she this well equipped? An exo like that had to come from a place not even Skye had access to, which was even more harrowing. And worse, oh worse, she had the same tolerance. Like she was tough in her skin and fought relentlessly, unfazed by the fact she'd been hurt pretty seriously with Skye's armoured fist. Because despite the face of blood, she looked like she was just going up another gear. Exactly the same way Skye would fight. And exactly the same resilience.

Skye had no idea. And before she had to think, Lynx laid down fire more accurately this time, spraying rounds as this time into the stump Skye was backed onto, and with the reload, Skye took the initiative to run, and not hold, using her M32 instead to flump rounds backwards, darting between trees remaining and skidding through the muddy and gravelly forest. The explosions held the way for a little while, but not for anywhere near enough, as Skye charged every breath in her lungs.

She'd pissed off Lynx, and worryingly, she was doing exactly, if not precisely what she would do herself. Whoever this was, she was as well trained as Skye was, and trained the same. It was like two equal forces sparring, Lynx with an upper hand due to her tech, but Skye having the upper hand due to sheer bloody will.

"Team, I'm headed to you, I'm being chased....fuck, fuck fuck, she's me, the operative's me! Chaos, find whatever way you can to disable her electronics, exo and that forcefield, anything at all, Frigga, just fucking coat everything in fire and brimstone, get personal and rip her to bits if you have to once that's down! There is way too much shit to say right now, just put everything down onto her! She's got moves, I'll hold her as long as I can, she has way, way better kit than us!" Skye yelled, knowing that in this instance, there was no way she was winning alone. But even when they would arrive, they'd be up against it.

And for the first time ever, the team could hear it. There was always intensity to Skye, a fierce warrior. But right there was the sound of someone who was suddenly in complete, total disarray, in utter disbelief and shock, and unquestionably, a level of fear and horror.

She was terrified, more so than even death.

Frigga was hurting, and Sam was probably at the end of her line too- but they had to keep going. Skye was scared for them both, but they were all dead meat if they didn't win this fight. Even with her armour, if Skye knew what an exo was capable of in talented hands, it would be a match for even the giantess of the team, and Sam, well, Sam couldn't stand a chance in a firefight, not against that. What was even more terrifying is that Lynx didn't even stop though she probably knew they were there to join in the fight.

Lynx saw that as just evening up the odds a little. And for someone outnumbered one to three, did not back down at all. She went even fiercer.

The burnt forest was a hell of a place for a showdown, Skye taking a moment to readjust herself, reload and use the break. Skye herself was slowing, as she skidded behind a tree, seeing Lynx cloak up, albeit visible on infrared. She was moving just as fast, the blur giving her away, but right here, every millisecond would count.

Lynx slammed into the forest floor again, as Skye moved out of cover and yelling, went in direct with her combat knife. Forcefield or not, she could kill her another way, close in, using the blur to find her. But Lynx was just as fast, deflecting, going for a kick as Skye returned the move, throwing back. She was stalling. Not winning. Praying that any second, Sam could do something about that forcefield. And on prompt, get away before Frigga could torch her. Light her on fire or rip her apart with Starbreaker, whatever it would take.

"Fuck right off!" Skye yelled, hurling her into a tree, as Lynx sprayed rounds, forcing Skye to dive, Lynx coming back across and grabbing Skye and throwing another punch, throwing the knife out of Skye's hands, throwing her down onto the floor and getting ready to stomp on her head, as Skye rolled away, Lynx licking her bloodied lips, hearing the sound of the other two coming over.

"And no introduction to your friends? I'd expect better hospitality from a Scot, because they'll be joining you!"

This wasn't a boss fight, no, this was a version of the already supercharged version of the team leader in parallel. It didn't make sense at all, in any way. And as Skye switched to her pistol, she tried to re-establish herself, knowing she couldn't give much more, but she would give everything she had left in her tank.


Tahlia Harris

Isla Langosta / Lobster Island, Colombia

Fireteam Piranha

Extraction Action

Tahlia got busy relocating, as all hell broke loose down below, Boomer blowing up more shit, destroying as many people as she could, and then blowing up even more with the explosives from earlier. It was incredible, as Tahlia silently trod through the jungle, her prosthetics hurting a little from their attachment, as it always was. She knew she wasn't Skye, she wasn't Sam, Boomer, any of them. She wasn't exactly Scimitar material, but she knew how to survive, and hide.

A couple of guards were on patrol, clearly aware of the sniper's presence. With it, Tahlia got down, and laid dead still, watching as they scanned, looking for the shooter. Tahlia was a little wiser than to have the rifle in hand. The small MP7A2 pulled out, she picked up her sight, and for the first time in what felt like a lifetime, did what she had to. Hearing it up close was different to the world away that it felt from afar, so to see the whites of their eye, know it was her on the line if she got this wrong, that tension, that feeling...it felt strange, yet back easy.

Two dead Artemis guards later, and Tahlia moved on, continuing to relocate, hobbling through the rough terrain, and clambering up, the ghillie-suited Kiwi fining her next spot, by a clattered tree, and finding a perfect cubby-hole inside of it. Sliding down her spotting device on her rifle, she adjusted the bipod once again and sheltered herself in, using the foliage to cover herself, and the end of her camouflaged rifle, bringing the site back into focus.
"Back in. Still at work, Boomer?" Tahlia remarked to knowing it would be no response, the giant inside and now destroying everything in there, the explosions and him moving inside indicative of it.
"Jaguar, you alive?" Tahlia asked, the New Zealander's accent coming with that unique twang- it was almost indescribable, but like Australian with a weirder, throatier inflection to it, lower pitch than higher squeak. Her accent made her sound like a right farmer too, a rural charm to it in a way.

"Target is eliminated. Tejedor is dead, I have the intel. There are a lot of guards. Go without me. I'll find my own way off this island." Jaguar's response was cold, even by Tahlia's standards. He sounded like he had nothing inside, given what had happened, he probably didn't want an examination of his feelnigs.
"Shit, they are going to swarm, you..."
"Negative, go. I'll do my thing. I'll catch you up later." Tahlia sighed, knowing Jaguar probably would. He'd get out under his own steam. Right now, she had Boomer to help, because Spectre was a priority target. And what a shitshow it was. She got on the rifle and checked her optic, watching Boomer go in, and with it, seeing a squad run towards, through the blown up gate, as Tahlia sniped the one at the back, the one at the front, then with two more high power rounds, blasted the other two as they ran for cover, predictably in a sniper lane as she would have liked them to be. Sounded like Chuck had Spectre- and was getting out of there. With it, Tahlia repositioned her rifle's aim, new magazine loaded, and picked up another team on the dock. Picking the first man with a clean blast through the top of his torso, she moved to the next, hearing a few sprayed rounds come from one of the other posts, exhaling and dumping the air in her lungs, before refocussing, realising it was blind fire, at least, in her vague direction to try and throw her off. She didn't care. It was easy enough to shoot, as she found that place in herself, and with an adjustment of wind, clicked away, and blasted the man's head with another .338 round.
"Scratch a few. Head for that RV, Tiny Nord should be there, soon."


As Spectre came to a little bleary, he uttered up to Chuck, the large armoured man carrying him making it clear.

Spectre was slowly realsing how shit-showed this had been. The entire setup. Tejador hadn't sold him out, no, there was only one person. Raven were coming for them, but for him to be here, right in this moment, attracted to a setup, it felt like serendipity for some architect. And it was only in the bleary coming to, before he passed out, he could utter it out loud.
"Who are you? And are you with.....wait, it's her, isn't it? She fucking.....she sold us out. She was never in it for us. She's in it for her." She muttered to Chuck, before going out like a baby again, dribbling now.

Raven Squad is a variant on an RP idea I've had for years, focussing on a military / spy-fi RP that takes influence from a range of sources. It's bombastic, over the top, ridiculous...and definitely an RP that lends itself to not being too serious while having a teeny bit of grounding. Trying to save the world isn't ever going to look totally realistic, right?

This is a rebooted RP, based on a few variants of the RP that have come before and is open to new applicants- the new IC and OOC is LIVE!


Taking influence from everything from an awful lot of video games and films- Titanfall to MGS, Rainbow Six to Arma and Bad Company among many others- with a sprinkle of a little insanity on top and a teeny bit of grounding to set up a near-future foe, this RP isn't exactly focussed on absolute tactical precision nor complete fantastical elements. It's hard to describe but if you're somewhere between The Expendables, MGS, Overwatch and Rainbow Six, it's roughly that with around the right amount of silly and serious and a dynamic team of elite misfits.

Interested? Read on and the setup and all the details are below.


The Setup:

Raven Squad (RS) is a mysterious task force, working against the forces of global terrorist groups in the near future (roughly 20 or 30 years from now) who often who are armed with quite advanced technology- or nefarious political aims. Al-Qaeda it isn't, so in come our operatives. In a world where mechs are prototypes, exoskeletons, jump-packs, optical cloaking and various other technologies are around the corner, the tide of warfare is changing...and Raven is there to stop the worst happening.

Raven Squad have access to that technology, and six of the most elite operatives that made it through a gruelling process to counter the threat. With different specialists allowing the team to have everything from a scalpel-like precision to brute force with heavy firepower, they act as a counterbalance.

Where an SF team cannot penetrate, Raven Squad come in. When a politician needs to go, they come in. When you have ten foot mechs trying to breach a high-security Gulag and you need those fuckers removed, they come in. Raven Squad are the people that stop the world ending as we know it. Problem is, they're a little dysfunctional- and well, they're not all the most....professional of soldiers, or spies, or agents, or well, anyone who is capable of getting the job done.


The Story So Far....

Quite a wild ride!

Raven are fighting against Artemis Group- a anarchic paramilitary serving a global elite's neo-Malthusian dream. Or in a nutshell, really bad guys wanting to do lots of bad.

Raven have been involved in rescuing data from a Austrian mountain site, hunted an Artemis HVT, before moving onto disrupting an arms deal containing nuclear rods- not before getting hit themselves. They have bounced back on a mission worthy of James Bond in Singapore to take down a tech CEO, and figure out how they got attacked- before then responding in turn. That has led to their current operation - hitting two of Artemis's super-weapons in the jungles of Colombia and the mountain peaks of Chilean Patagonia.

Things are never that simple though, and the team's real enemy still needs to be seen dead in the eye.



Post your interest below if you're up for this!

Set Tiny Nord up in Colombia in a boat off the coast- basically he's their extract, but also can come in to help get them out! Probably can wreck some hell on the docks before going in and fucking up anything that moves, helicopters and beyond- feel free to go absolutely wild on that one.

Tahlia Harris

Isla Langosta / Lobster Island, Colombia

Fireteam Piranha

Firestarter, Twisted Firestarter

The explosions below were making it clear that Boomer was taking no prisoners, and with his rifle and club, he wasn't going to leave any scalp untouched.

"Noted. Not with that implement, I'm not. Fucking hellfire, Boomer." Tahlia's voice carried a certain sternity to it, yet watching what he was doing, she was rather in shock. It was time to change magazines, on that note, and well, put her eye to the scope again, knowing that the body count he was collecting was now making her sniper fire seem almost anonymous. Mateo must have been straight up a ghost now, and well, she didn't want to know how much she was turning Thiago inside out.
"They're dropping back, but with any sense, there'll be another layer. Let me dent their confidence a little." Tahlia called to Boomer on the comms, loading a new magazine in, this time with something a bit heavier hitting.

Back on the scope, and well, the pyro was right where she needed him. Dragged out of cover, and trying to torch Chuck, well, at the least making his life inconvenient. Trying, and no doubt the flames would be sticky, it wasn't as much of a straight up threat as some of the other troops firing RPGs wildly around him, Tahlia taking out the round in the chamber with a normal round and instead, loading a much heavier, armour-piercing bullet inside from the magazine loaded, one that would certainly get more penetration on.

"Right....let's see.....windage, range....there." Tahlia whispered to herself, and picking him up, adjusted her sighting, noting the composition of the armour. No sniper round she had was getting through him, but oh, a heavy like that should really have known better. You armoured your tanks the same, even Laura knew that, or else your big arse was getting exploded. And with a gentle pull on the trigger, she watched him move and stomp closer, putting fire on Chuck, yet right as he was stationary, being right where she needed him. The round flew and with a loud plink, slapped into the bottom of the flamethrower tank, ricocheting before the true extent was revealed.

The pyro's tank ruptured, and with fuel pouring, it didn't take much for it to light due to the volatile compound mixing with his ignition substance, and suddenly, the guy didn't so much explode as well....get turned into a missile. The flamethrower basically turned into a rocket, and sent him flying into the building he had walked into, and with a loud bang, set off a huge explosion, toasting him and everyone in it alive.

"Aw fucking yeah! Eat shit, cunt! Hope you liked that, Boomer!" Tahlia called into the comms, the excitement coming through, as she adjusted her rifle again, pulling the bolt, a little high on being back in the field, and well, back to work, realising her inner voice had come out.
"Sorry about that. Right. Where were we? Okay, that might help you a bit. Watch for RPGs, they're fortified inside too from the looks from it, but you'll have a little less resistance now. Go inside and get what we need, Spectre is yours. The exos will be able to punch you harder, so make sure you clamp them. However you do that, I will leave that creative part to you. Actually, let me bring you some help on the flank. It'll make your extraction quicker, and if I'm not mistaken....shit, yeah we got more choppers inbound. " Tahlia called out.

"Tiny Nord, you on station? We might need some help on the northern side of the base, where Boomer is moving in. I know, the boat isn't fun, but we haven't exactly got clear airspace. Bring the patrol boat in close, they won't see you coming and hit the flank when you're ready. I think we might be about to make a hell of a lot more heat. I got visual on helis in the far horizon, likely carrying heavy munitions. They do not want to give up Spectre easy..." Tahlia called, knowing that Tiny Nord was on hand for extraction - and while he wouldn't have expected to be getting his hands dirty, the armoured American counterpart to Boomer would certainly be keen to blow shit up. Bringing in more high-calibre support would help, and given the versatility of Tiny Nord's platform, anti-air and anti anyone was always on the cards.

"Right, bear with, Boomer. I need to relocate to get a better shot."


Skye Rosalind Lyons

Observatorio Cruz del Sur, Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Fireteam Condor

A Closer Look

With Sam supporting Freya down, Skye had the chance to secure the entry point, and well, tidy up the mess of bodies they'd been making. It was a quiet shift, but once they got inside, it would be a lot busier- after all, out here they were surrounded by snow white-topped granite mountains and it was a light dusting that was below feet here in the concrete, so nobody was out here in the pitch black, given they didn't expect trouble. Not the kind that would come in without a trace.

"Negative, Chaos, move to me. Frigga, cover our backs. It shouldn't be far up to me." Skye looked across, the dark blue paint on her face contrasting her burning red hair, professional yet well, a Pict through and through. As much as there was a human being behind those eyes, she looked like someone else, someone that had already pulled plenty of blood on her hands. And she would get plenty more. They had a job to do, and not much time to spare. Skye certainly felt like they were on the clock, and right now, they'd need to get in and out.

Looking across to Sam, Skye tilted her NVGs up for a moment, the Scot looking across intently to Sam, and her visored helmet.

"Alright. I'll stay on point. We might need your hacking skills in a moment, Chaos." Skye added, as she opened the door with a solid clack, moving inside and through the concrete walls, rifle raised, intent and sweeping, following the signage and covering the corners as best as she could within the lit-up environs inside.

Moving through the corridor, Skye moved slow on the approach to the observatory galley itself.

"Okay. Few inside. Slow and smooth, no rush." Skye retorted, hearing voices on the other end, and with it, gently pushing the door open, the telescope in a cradle above with its own cut-out with corridors below, filled with equipment and workbenches, like a library meeting a highly scientific laboratory. Moving slow, Skye readied up, keeping the rifle at a point position, as she picked out the first two on the walkway next to the telescope itself, clattering rounds into them as the others reacted, Skye letting Sam take on the other two closer to the actual optic itself, as Skye got to work on the far end of the room. They'd have a limited time to sort this before they got onto their communications, but given the work they'd done outside, they would have enough.

Moving around the corner, the man used his Glock to fire a couple rounds back, as Skye used his trace to get him out of position, and shot a couple rounds into his legs, baring his head and slapping another round in. With the room clear, Skye called it into the comms, reloading her magazine as she did so.
"Sound seems to contain well in these walls. But this is getting bloody. More of them awake than I liked. Scientists are up, but there's barely any." Skye called, giving the ping for the team to regroup at the end of the room, this time, one away from the specific one that Skye really wanted. Control Room.

Arriving on the door of that room following a short corridor, it was almost like a NASA-like arrangement, quiet for the night with a handful of technicians in the glass-adorned office. A singular guard in there visible through the glass window in the wooden doorframe. And with it, Skye nodded to Sam, as she moved inside and pushed first, and with barely a flinch, slotted the man with a headshot with the MCX tilted on her shoulder, splatting him into the floor as the techs yelled, Skye filling the void first with her booming voice.

"Freeze! Hands on your head, or you get a bullet, comprendo?" Skye yelled, rifle raised, the two technicians doing as asked, as Skye rushed in, the speed she had from the exo just adding that extra something to make her look very much not like the other man she'd just taken out.

"We're not here to hurt you. Just don't do anything stupid, answer my questions, and you might survive. Alright?" Skye called to one, switching into Spanish for the rest of the conversation, accented yet the one tech nodding, in absolute shit-filling fear at the look of Skye towering over her, rifle in hand, looking somewhat inhuman.

"Shit, ok! What do you want? Please, we're just working on the satellites, we have nothing to do with her mercenaries, please!"

"Exactly, so you can do some work. The Project Mercury satellite network. Can you take the data off it, and download it? And think about what I said earlier, no time for wrong answers. Because we can do it the hard way."

"It's not possible. Please, I beg! It's coded in a quantum-encrypted key for removals from the base station, there's no way, no way! We're just making sure it stays in orbit, and sending data....don't shoot, please!"

"Well, shit. Plan B then. I need you to drop the satellite. Right here, right now. There's a valley down there between us and the town, put it there. I know you can do it, it's reinforced. Quantum key or not, direct entry will always work." Skye simply retorted, watching as suddenly, the other technician raised his voice, concerned and realising that this wasn't going to end well for either if they did as the Scottish lady said.

"No....you don't understand, they'll....they'll kill us anyway. And if it hits...it'll....well, it'll be a big boom." The tech said to the other, as Skye lurched in closer between them, the slight whine of her exo and her mere look one of absolute, fire-starting rage, given how she was between the two.

"I can make it look convincing you had a gun to your head. Your chances are better than us just killing you both and figuring it out." Skye added, leaving silence for a few seconds, letting them soak this up, at least process that she was in their language, and well, certainly making a point of it.

"Okay, okay. I can do that. We can take it down. Please, I have kids, I don't want to die..."

"So do all the people you're hurting with this. You might yet live." With that, Skye looked across knowing he was back at work, to Sam and the others, headed over to the man on the ground. Ripping his headset off, Skye put ear to it, and heard the various chatter. They were right now finding bodies, and well, they had zero idea of what the hell was going on. They were being ripped apart by ghosts clearly, and the alarm would soon follow once that happened.

"Well, that was fun while it lasted. Chaos, get to disabling the anti-air system here. I think we may need to get ready to loud. Frigga, there's a QRF headed our way. Find somewhere quiet, and rip them a new one, would you? I'll leave your surprise to you. Meantime, I'll make sure we get our satellite down with these two. Once we're done, we'll need to chase it and get to it before they do. Which means that ATV, and those motorcross bikes in Hawk's hold might come in handy for us." Skye added, giving instruction to the other two, knowing shit was going to hit the fan soonish.

"We may need some help, mind." Skye called, as she put hand to ear, knowing that now they may as well as the fact that they were seconds from an alarm.

"Hawk, this is Queen, we're going to need support within ten minutes. Prep the VTOL for fire support, and I'm going to fire a GPS marker for where we might need some transportation once we're outside."

Somewhere in Geneva, Switzerland

Two Years Ago

Lynx's Teeth

The white-haired older man sat with a set of aviator glasses on, the quiet evening cafe in Geneva as cosy as it could be- and sitting upstairs in the quiet, empty room, outside the Jet d'Eau, it was as unassuming it could be. Set out for him, and his partner to meet, and discretion even here was helpful. But then again, when you may have been public enemy number one, but looked like every other banker in this city, that just came easy. It felt strange to be sitting opposite to the person he wanted to see- the redhead herself, Lynx. Quite the figure, from what he had read. And how remarkable it was to have her on board.

"I almost didn't think I'd get this meeting." He spoke with a cold unassuming tone, it must have been Scandinavian in origin, but it felt so international, it almost dissolved anonymously.

"Neither did I, Christian. But I guess we had some mutual friends, and some mutual views." Lynx responded, the grey-shirt, jeans wearing counterpart at the table as stoic as ever, her charm back on as usual, a grin hiding a calculated, firm look behind the woman that sat there, a demeanour that almost looked steely past and through the sunglasses he wore.

"Yes, indeed. I'm glad you view things similarly. Tell me, what do you see, when it comes to our work? What is it that you're looking at the most?" He asked, raising his sunglasses for just a second, revealing his bloodshot eyes.

"World's on fire, and well, some preparation wouldn't go amiss. That is you lot seem to offer. So I thought it may as well be worth putting myself on your side. I did my homework. I know what you are, what you want, who you're made of. Some I don't agree with, but that's never the point when you need to make change."

"Agreed. I assume it's not money you want, with the way you talk?"

"Not really. You don't need someone with money to change things. Just the key and a place in what's next. Your organisation wants change and someone to do it with. So do I, and I can offer you that. I'll personally make your wildest dreams happen, and anyway, you need someone like me who can make a template. Get things done where money can't buy talent. You need an investor with capital at risk in this, someone who is willing to die to make a world they might not live in. I expect some parity for that, not like one of your mercenaries, but as someone who has done, well, what you know I'm capable of."

"And you realise that the directors will not like this, don't you?"

"I'll give them what they want within two years. They'll be safe and sound. Comfy even. I expect you don't trust me. Just give me what I need and you will in time."

"I trust you. They won't."

"Well, there is one aspect you might want to see. Maybe it will convince them a little more. You know little about me. But I'll show you who you really do want to know about." She replied, and taking it out from her jean pocket, rather than Christian being the one to do it, it was Lynx, the hand revealing the image, and then, placing it onto the table.

The picture was pushed across the table, the Polaroid displaying a red-haired operative in an exoskeleton in a blurry CCTV image, that white-haired man could see as nigh identical to Lynx in front of her.

"So how is it you are you doing two jobs at once these days? I thought you just did work for SIS? A spook, right?" The question was clear, his eyebrows raised, given the situation, and well, how impossible this had to be. Lynx's look turned to a grin, as she leaned in forwards, pushing her cup of coffee aside, very much aware this one, oh, this would get him right away.

"Well...if I told you how, I'd have to kill you. She does seem awfully similar to me."

"Heh, well, I'll be damned. Well. Lynx, whoever you are. You may be quite useful yet."

The stakes are only getting crazier from here- I look forward to throwing hell at them!
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