[identity profile] kansouame.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] theblackcross
Omi wiggled into his mission gear as he juggled the phone he was trying to hold to his ear at the same time. “Senka, I owe you one. I promise to return it just like I found it!”

He tilted his head to hold the phone with his shoulder as he tied his shoe. “No no no… I told you, it’s not anything important. I just… er.. uh.. yeah, you caught me. There is this girl I want to impress. Oh yeah Senka, she is pretty, eyes that would make you just melt.”

Omi gathered the things he needed one-handed. “Look Senka, I really have to go – I will tell you all about it later.”

Omi blushed. “Yeah, I have protection.. geezus Senka. Thanks for loaning me the van and you promised not to tell Manx right? Ok.. yeah yeah I owe you a big one and tell Kyo I owe him one too for having it here in the next 10 minutes. Gotcha, thanks man. Ja na.”

Omi closed his cell phone and rubbed this stomach. He really hated lying but he needed the satellite hookups in that van if tonight’s mission was going to play off without getting a lot of people killed. Calling Manx was not an option, as he didn’t want to get her involved for basically hijacking Kritiker equipment. Sometimes you just had to bat your eyes and go with the flow to get what you wanted. Omi’s thoughts drifted to Ken. Had he done that to Ken? Had he just manipulated his friend to get… no no… Omi shook his head. He loved Ken in his own way it just wasn’t sexual. He had tried it but it hadn’t felt right, no matter how much he had wished it otherwise. He would just have to figure out a way to earn the man’s friendship back and possibly Yohji and Ran's trust again. He had really fucked up. He wouldn't let himself make that mistake again. He wanted to keep his family together more than anything. He would do his best to make amends. Later… if they survived tonight…

He bounced off his bedroom door, his hands full and bounded down the stairs to the basement. He flipped on the lights and started connecting his laptop to the room’s AV equipment when his phone rang. Kyo’s voice over the line told him the van was in the alley behind the shop waiting for him, the keys behind the visor. Omi snapped shut his phone with a satisfied click and logged in. He checked the connections one more time as he waited for his teammates to arrive.
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Date: 2010-07-01 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genuinelie.livejournal.com
Ran caught the last of Ken's words in the stairwell as he descended into the mission room, and pushed down his unease. It was business tonight, and it had already been decided that Ken was included. No options, so they would work with what they had, defective or not.

He couldn't help but notice the lump of guilt in his own throat. Could any of them have prevented this?

He was alarmed at the difference between his own thoughts, and the thoughts he might have had before the fall of the tower. Aya and Ran. They were different. He knew his reasons for not becoming involved before. He had a mission and was prepared - he expected - to sacrifice everything for it.

And now he was having to reassess himself. Find a new core to run on. That core was softer than he had expected.

He was getting softer. Ken was getting harder. There had to be a middle ground.

Maybe if he had joined Weiss as he was now, he could have been a friend to Ken.

But he would have died.

Ran was aware he was frowning, but that was nothing new. He took his usual place on the wall, watching Omi expectantly.

Date: 2010-07-02 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
There was palpable tension in the air as Yohji entered the room. He felt like he'd just missed something vital. No one even so much as looked at him as he threw himself down in a chair though, and he didn't get the impression they'd be willing to fill him in.

Ran looked unhappy. Perhaps he'd be able to enlighten Yohji to what had transpired later on.

"Soooo...." he drawled, fixing his gaze on Omi, who looked the tensest out of the room's occupants. "What's the plan? It's brilliant and fail-safe, I assume."
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Date: 2010-07-02 01:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genuinelie.livejournal.com
Ran felt a tingle of excitement mixed in with the tension. Finally, they were going to do something about the threat that had been taunting them. And he was more than satisfied with Omi's plan - Yohji would be out of the way, and he would would personally be able to look after Ken. Although Omi was right - the projector room was the most likely hidout for their targets. He did not love the idea of having to watch his own back and take out their enemy alone. Ken was competent - he would have his hands full if he turned against him.

"Enough!" Ran growled. "My leg is fine. I'll tell you if I am unfit for a mission. I'm not willing to put any of Weiss in jeopardy for selfish reasons." He directed his stare at Ken. "You have the bigger job in this. You'll be able to cover three of us. It won't be an issue for me to hunt, but I wouldn't be able to move as fast as you will if any of the three of us need backup. Omi has put you where you're needed. Unless you have an objection to covering any of us?"

Better he say it now. There was always the tied-up-in-the-storage-room option he'd come up with earlier.

Date: 2010-07-02 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
Yohji flipped through the papers in his file, taking a quick inventory of where the manager’s office lay in relation to the projection booth, and other elements of the theater. If something went wrong, the projection room was most likely going to be the detonation point. And…there were so many ways he could imagine things going wrong. There could be too many henchmen for Ran to take on alone in his injured state. Whatever was on the disk might be too powerful for mere earplugs to block. Ken might… Yohji’s lips tightened and he didn’t allow himself to complete the thought. He was relieved that Omi had assigned Ken to be his backup. He wanted Ken having as little to do with Ran on this mission as possible. That was certainly a sign of how bad things had gotten, considering that Ran probably would need back-up more than any of them. Omi had planned this well. Yohji didn’t feel very happy about his assignment away from the main action, but he’d concede it making the most sense. And he appreciated Omi’s calculated handling of Ken. The kid knew what he was doing.

Yohji looked up from his file. “Don’t be an asshole Ken,” he said frowning.

He’d intended to make some sort of flippant tension-breaking comment flaunting the brilliant inclusion of his finesse for sweet talking…but suddenly all attention was on Ken and the room’s strain seemed elevated beyond a place that could be touched by banter.

“Good thinking, Ommitchi,” was all he said with a serious nod.
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Date: 2010-07-03 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
"Oh for fuck's sake," Yohji snapped his folder down and shot Ken an icy look. "Stop making it sound like Omi forced you into anything. You weren't exactly innocent and you could have fucking said no." He gestured to where Omi was sitting, "Yeah, Omi acted like a jerk." He swung his hand around to point at Ken. "But he wants to fix things and you're acting like an even bigger jerk. If you can't put your issues aside for five seconds I don't think you should be accepting this mission."

This...was a train wreck. He rather had to commend how well Omi seemed to be handling it...but there was only so much anyone could do when Ken seemed dead set on imploding and bringing everyone else down with him.
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Date: 2010-07-06 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genuinelie.livejournal.com
Ran closed his eyes, making sure his mouth followed suit. Ken was just blowing off steam. He was sick of hoping for the best - but there wasn't going to be any forthcoming reassurance of Ken's reliability, and arguing was going to work at cross-purposes to his goals.

"We know you're a reliable teammate, Ken," he finally said, before someone else could jump in and make things worse again. "We trust each other with our lives."

He opened his eyes again, finding Ken's and holding them.

He willed some reason to surface. Ken had to understand that his logic was flawed - they would have helped Manx cart him off if they didn't trust him still, on some level.

Just have to make sure that's the last mistake we make.

Date: 2010-07-05 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bcmanx.livejournal.com
Her meeting with Mastermind left her contemplating too many things at once. She had learned more in that short, calculated conversation than Kritiker had in the three years they had been investigating Schwarz and Esset. But she needed to put her ponderings aside. Weiss was walking into a potential death trap and it might very possibly be their own employeers doing.

She had the cab drop her at a random hotel and checked in under a new alias. She knew she was being overly paranoid and that the likes of Mastermind should NOT have contributed to that. But she couldn't shake the feelnig that he was somehow being more forward and more truthful than Kritiker at the moment.

She quickly secluded herself in her room and voice dialed Yohji. Their mission to recover this disk had to take priority.

Date: 2010-07-07 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
The words 'fuck you, you psychotic basket case' were hanging on the tip of Yohji's tongue, when he was doubly interrupted...first by Ran's unfathomable reasonableness and secondly by the unexpected ringing of his cell phone.

Seriously, how the hell did Ran manage to stay diplomatic in the face of such grating assholery?

...Oh that's right. He'd already gotten the chance to punch Ken. That would definitely help.

"Stop projecting your fantasies on me," Yohji flipped Ken off as he snapped open his phone. "Heya, good looking," he answered cheerfully.

Date: 2010-07-07 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bcmanx.livejournal.com
"Yohji..." Something wasn't right about the cheery tone, but Yohji could put up a front like no other. "... I haven't been able to find out much but I did have a... conversation that could prove a bit useful."

Manx paced the hotel room a few steps before pausing at the window to overlook Tokyo. She cast her sights downtown, pausing to question her course of action on last time.

"This disk that will be used tonight is not the sole copy. There is more than one, possibly many more. Whoever is using that disk may possess vitally important information. You will need to secure him so we can question him."

Thoughts of an unstable Siberian shredding their target before they could gain an ounce of useful information flashed through her thoughts. Somehow, the thought also included Siberian grinning ear to ear. A tiny shiver lodged in the base of her spine.

"Please tell me Siberian is not on this mission..." Manx knew the answer, she just wasn't allowing herself to believe it. She was helpless to prevent it and the man who could ran away like a coward.

She silently shook her head wondering how a member of Schwarz was the most stable element in this entire scenario.

Date: 2010-07-08 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
"Well...shit." Yohji stared blankly across the room, his attention completely focused on the detached voice in his ear. On some level he'd suspected that would be the case. Schwarz had the disk...and they knew that it would be used. Yohji had found it pretty hard to fathom them willingly relinquishing such a powerful weapon without trying to prevent the loss...unless they had already made a copy for themselves. Surely the whole basis for putting such a destructive force on something so common as a disk was primarily for the ease in mass distribution. Shit. Shit shit shit.

Manx's follow-up statement was no better for bolstering his confidence. His eyes slid over to the man in question where Yohji caught him in some comical farce of a pout. He looked like a petulant child whose toy had just been yanked away. Viewed in conjunction with his earlier behavior, it made Yohji's skin crawl.

"Understood. And I wish I had better news for you than you had for me." He answered grimly. "But you can bet your sweet ass I tried to prevent that."

Date: 2010-07-09 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bcmanx.livejournal.com
"Damn..." She shook her head despite having correctly anticipated the outcome. "Whatever happens, just keep clear of Siberian when he chooses a target. I have no faith in his better judgement at the moment. Unless, of course, one of you is his chosen target. Should that become the case..." Manx paused, not sure how things had escalated to this point so quickly. "... Yohji... if you have to... do what needs to be done."

The tone of finality in her voice even gave her pause.

"There are several reasons Schwarz could want Weiss to deal with this but the most likely is that they are afraid to do it themselves. Whatever this disk is capable of, it can hurt them as well." She took a breath to check her information. She didn't want to raise questions about her sources especially as they were about to head out.

"Ken mentioned that Prodigy gave you earplugs to use? I'm betting that they may actually be useful. Schwarz is going to alot of trouble to make sure this gets done. They want information as much as you do."

Date: 2010-07-11 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
There was a very long pause as Yohji let Manx's instructions properly sink in.

Do what needs to be done.

Well, fuck.

It's not as if the concept of turning their weapons against each other had never occurred to Weiss. They'd all thought of it. They'd even staged it. Funny how then, Ken had been aligned with Omi's optimistic stance that the bonds of their friendship trumped their loyalties to Kritiker. He'd stood up for the indisputable power of orders.

It had been an act though. Yohji had never been good at keeping the lines between his professional and personal lives from blurring. The loss of one partner had been exactly what had sent Yohji to Weiss in the first place. The hell he'd let himself feel responsible for the death of another. A few weeks ago he would have outright laughed at the incomprehensibility of Manx's instructions.

A lot had changed.

Manx had voiced a fear that Yohji hadn't been willing to really admit to himself, for all of the effort he'd made trying to get his other teammates to see the scope of Ken's psychosis. He'd already seen Siberian mime a killing blow of his claws ripping through Abyssinian. It was not something he could bear to see actualize. Drawing his garrote on Ken suddenly became closer to the realm of the fathomable.

If Ken attacked Ran or Omi there was no question that he wouldn't hesitate to do what needed to be done.

But if his teammate turned on him?

Yohji couldn't say with complete certainty that self preservation would triumph. Or at least, overcome his reservations quickly enough. Ken was in better fighting condition than him. It would only take that second of hesitation....

"I...understand," he answered noncommittally. He pulled the earplugs out of his pocket at the prompting and set them on his knee. "We'll use the earplugs." He added. Now was about the time he'd usually add something flippant and flirty to lighten the mood. The energy to put on that act had rapidly evaporated with Manx's suggested prediction.

Date: 2010-07-12 01:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bcmanx.livejournal.com
It was surreal in a way - how nightmarish this entire situation had evolved into so quickly. It was only a few hours ago that she hugged Aya to her side and wished her a fond farewell. And now they were wrestling with issues that could possibly be the biggest most life changing - life threatening - that any of them had ever faced.

The disk was the least of their problems. But it would be the catalyst for what felt like CHANGE.

"Yohji... this isn't a mission. You and the team need to be very clear about that. This is outside Kritiker... all Kritiker restrictions are meaningless in this situation." Manx couldn't beleive that, after so long indoctrinating them into the moral structure of Kritiker that she was suggesting they ignore it all. The change had already begun." First and foremost, I want you all to stay alive. Whatever is happening will never see the light of day if Weiss doesn't survive. Good luck Balinese."

She quickly hung up the phone on that last note. She wasn't willing to answer for her own abrupt 360 just yet. Much like Sato, she WAS Kritiker for all intensive purposes, especially with these four assassins. Hopefully this contrary direction would have the effect she hoped for - to punctuate the weight of this mission.

Date: 2010-07-12 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
Yohji’s mouth was open and poised to contradict Manx’s claim that this was neither a mission nor Kritiker directive, but he was cut off by her abrupt goodbye before any words got a chance to articulate.

It might not have been a regular mission, but the instructions had come from Sato. Sato was still their handler and still Kritiker, even if Kritker had apparently become corrupt and fractured. If it wasn’t a Kritiker mission, then just what the hell was it anyway? A Schwarz mission? That’s what it was starting to feel like. He sure as hell wasn’t doing it for kicks.

He frowned as he slid his phone back into his pocket.

(Continued a few comments below)

Date: 2010-07-12 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skyrat13.livejournal.com
(Continued from conversation with Manx)

…Yohji glanced around at his teammates, all in their usual mission gear and looking very much like they were preparing for a proper mission, albeit perhaps a bit edgier than normal.

Well,” he began, giving them all a slightly skeptical look, “According to our dearest Manx, this isn’t a mission or for Kritiker.” He raised an eyebrow. “She wasn’t so kind as to clarify exactly what that makes it instead, but apparently we’re supposed to make staying alive a top priority.” He just barely resisted the urge to sarcastically tack on …Unlike all those other times they’d apparently prefer to see us dead.

He tossed each of his teammates a set of the earplugs. “Courtesy of Schwarz,” he sighed. “We were strongly encouraged to use them.”

Date: 2010-07-26 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] genuinelie.livejournal.com
Ran caught the earplugs and took the comms from Omi. It felt like they were about to head toward a mock-fight like children playing make-believe. Earplugs instead of comm units - it was a good thing Omi had thought ahead to rig the theater with surveillance cameras, but if power were cut they were each going to be on their own. On their own...or against their own. He let his eyes roam to each of his teammates - Ken first, but there were no more clues to his actual intentions then before. Ran still felt apprehension looking at the brunet. Omi - he was impressed. Despite Ken's personal attacks and what had to be the stress of working in the margins of the organization that had cultured him, he had stepped up and provided the leadership they needed. He didn't look at Yohji - the man was too insightful when it came to what Ran was feeling.

He gave Omi a nod at his words. "We'll send them to hell."

He turned on his heel and headed for the stairs - the thrill of the promise of action, finally, running through him.


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The Black Cross

September 2010

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