Half a day had passed since the hassassins struck the Bunker, agent Tong still lay LHost recovery process, his cube was easily tracked down, and extracted from the site of the conflict.
The moon had started it's ascent on the skies of Novvy Cimmeria, and the temperature was dropping, sparse rays of sunlight permeated the antennae, slowly receding with each passing minute.
The situation below the bunker, at the mission control area was colder than at midday, much to Agent Feng's misfortune, sneezing with a red inflamed nose, he cursed his luck....
-Are you finished with your report Pheasant rank Agent? Incurred an Immortal besides him.
-I have, and right now the document should be sitting at the high command's comlog,desk or whatever venue they would desire to go through it.
-And the identity of the Attackers?
-That is out of my jurisdiction, however some DNA samples along with encrypted dossiers sit at the Yanjing wing of the bunker.
-That is sufficient, a thorough proceedure agent, you are relieved from your post for tonight, have a good meal, warm yourself up, and go to the infirmary...
-Emperor be thanked, and you as well Immortal.
Sneezing and coughing, Feng walked through the security rooms, across biometric sensors, and all other security measures until he got to the elevator that would take him above ground, to the warmth of his office and bedroom, "my own nest of intrigue, winter is no time for pheasants, it's spring!" he thought and laughed aloud.
Meanwhile, Agent Lee was going over in the morgue and "resurrection" chambers of the quantronic clinic, where none other than Sophos was stationed after such a grueling battle, supervising in a white room clean room, Zhanshi Yisheng came and went about their business as she sat, in front of a monitor while her yudbots played with some Yaozao, on command the helper bots would retrieve supplies or other necessities to the Doctors here...
-A bad day underneath the scorching sun, I hope I can meet Agent Tong once again...I once heard that Hassassins...
-...Strike the heart to kill the body and the cube to kill the soul? inquired a serious sophos.
-Worry not birdie, the cranes' cube was succesfully retrieved and should be back into material form tomorrow.
-You make the process sound mystical
-You´ve never undergone the process so it's natural to feel such aversion to the post-mortem experience...
-How can anyone guarantee that it's not simply a clone acting as Tong did, and that his soul went into another place?
-There is no such guarantee Agent Lee, but at the same time if you want to discuss metaphysics with me you should be aware your arguement is pretty raw.
-Because there is no guarante not just that you exist or that I exist, the mind can only ever prove to itself his own existance, everything else is just a matter of perception, which should not be trusted and forms no basis to manifest the real fabric of reality.
-So everything outside of our minds do not prove the truth of reality...that is quite a horrible feeling.
-I concur, so my own advice when talking about such things is to take them seriously, but never lose sight or lose your way from what your mind tells you, the spirit or soul in which the mind can subsist also needs a body, so neither the soul, spirit and body can exist separately.
-But in this day and age the identity of someone with a cube can be brought back from death?
-You can see it that way, because it is partially true, imagine the mind, soul and consciousness and identity to be held in life support in the cube, those who have a cube are continously processing information from the brain and thus the mind into their cubes, as it is updated by the second of processing, and the quality of such a backup depends entirely on the process and the science that gave birth to the possibility of "bypassing death", discoursed sophos, without taking her eyes appart from the delicate data that shone upon her eyes.
-So the cube is a life support system for the individual processes of one's mind, soul and spirit, and the body is irrelevant as to what makes us individuals?
-That is not completely true either, as the image you see each time in the mirror in the morning, every single picture in which you can see yourself photographed, the very possibility to weave together that image and it's continuation or updating thereoff of it's form also form a part of our identity.
-And what if that body is replaced with an LHost body?
-Lhost bodies are advanced enough to be indistiguishable from your real body, but the memory of the death of your previous body and the coherence of the memories it is imbued with thanks to the cube are sufficient reason to our minds as to stop all doubt.
-I see, no wonder I have never been asigned to cases where Human Trafficking is present...I do not understand the half of this, I only hope that Tong is well soon.
-And he will be agent, you have my word.
Kissing him in the cheek, a reflective Agent Lee, went down back into the mission control wing of the bunker, the doubt of reality weighed upon his shoulders and seemed to bring down the slow elevator as if it were a machine independent of it's own machinery.
-What a mindfuck...but I can find no flaw in those arguements...
He said, gripping his beard, and upon reaching the underground floor, the Guilang and Bao Sentries Saluted him, he felt a twinge of reality, that he so desperately needed after such a stressful talk with Sophos, and Saluting back, donned one of the jackets from the perch, after clearing the various sensors, biometrical scans, and credentials cleared for access.
He headed to his office, where the panels were the color of ink and directly beneath a mantle of stars, blue, red, yellow, green, chirped as they made their geometrical display of data processing, an Imposing Figure however was in his room, an Inmortal in full armor, wearing a white coat over his armor.
-Excuse me Agent, I did not see you there. Agent lee Apologized and bowed in respect of the Emperor's representative, and every Immortal Warrior iis one of these, so bowing was not something anyone in Yu Jing was foreign to.
-You're forgiven agent, however such formalisms are not as necessary.
-Because while I am your superior in status and class, I hardly could say that my mind is as sharp as yours.
-And why would that be?
-Because my mind is primed only with the duty and virtue of our people, which sadly at this moment in time, emperor forgive me, are fractured values, and so I dedicate myself to find these fragments that have broken apart from our whole, and give them peaceful repose.
-I see, you're from the Yuandun Division is it not?
-That is correct, and I was not wrong on the sharpness of your perception and mind.
-I am honored sir, but could we get down to business, we have finished our proper introductions.
-Very well, simply put, I have disturbing news, one of our Bunker wings is on the verge of a cruel and alarming attack.
-By whom? your courage wavers underneath your words.
-And it is wise they do, for only a fool would recklessly Engage the Onyx Contact force.
Saying that he flicked gestures in his comlog, printed in his armor, and the office came to life, the feeds were full of images, and audio was stable, in the image the bunker area looked like a bad sci fi movie scene, filled to the brim with Alien residuous Bile, Worm like creatures, vomitting upon fallen aliens of many species, as well as biomechanical structures, the bile it secreted acted like nanomachines from a nanojet injector, but faster, the muscle tissue was filled expertly at every hole, with greenish bile, the color slowly receding as if being drunk by the muscle but the less bile there was, the more muscle was visible until nothing but a perfect biological reconstruction of muscle, structures and bodies.
-That is not good I believe we must act immediately, said Agent Lee, while opening channels and calling those on duty to form a party to directly assault the aliens.
-I will monitor your operation, though it is entirely under your jurisdiction agent.
-I don't mind a Test, you shall see that my regiment and Crane Rank are verifiably well earned and practised.
As soon as our forces were deployed, they met the face of true suffering, two Xeodrones Towered among Ikadrons, Bit&Kiss were among the ranks of the aliens, and a Samaritan weaved with shadows was effortlessly "flying" his trail left with residual images that glowed a caustic green, and as soon as he was spotted he dissappeared from sight...
Xi Zhuang, Lunah,some Kuang Shi, 2 celestial guards and two Yuandun Crane Rank Agents were deployed, Agent Feng was there as well, he had been looking for the opportunity to participate in a Yuandun division Operation, with support from a couple remotes and our Ace in the Hole, which does not exist...
-The Antenna is compromised, Agent Lee's voice informed the battlegroup, your orders are to demolish the antenna along with any opposition, or alien you engage, and of course do not compromise our Antenna, it is currently our only link to information from these bastards.
-Understood Agent, I shall lead Xi Zhuang the Celestial guards and my Fellow Agent to demolish that thing.
-Agent Feng, Do not compromise, your orders are to survive and provide necessary backup when neededed.
-Understood, Nest Keeping, nothing like some adrenaline to pump out the cold in my veins.
-Sophos, you already know what to do, provide support where necessary and if possible demolish the antenna yourself, a secondary objective that is not your priority but should the situation arise don't doubt to take it.
-Of course, If they manage to desecrate the roots of our operational control antennae they are one node away of accesing the Quantronic network, which would of course mean, that we could very well be impregnated by aliens within the belly of Zhan Huo. Disclosed Sophos.
-Lunah, don't let a single one out of your sights, and strike with great prejudice at the enemy, give no ground at all, our souls are at stake here.
-Li-Ming make the Kuang shi earn their paycheck and also prove their loyalty to the emperor, they are not sucestible to their mind control devices.
-Understood sir, her voice came coldly, while the kuang shi around her cheered their newfound fortune.
Roaring like primeval beasts, the Xeodrons announced and relayed the intent of the Samaritans Will upon the Alien vestiges.
Upon our Left Flank, a Makreep Tracker, opened fire against the Kan Ren perched on the building, his bullets however met the air, a Holoprojection, old tricks do work against the Living Intelligence it seems...
Next she Fired at one of our kuang shi, the bullet caught him in the torso, and where the bullet point struck, his chest inflated and burst in a gory mess.
Her next Shot, met the air as passed through another Holoprojector of the Kanren, in the ground, the Makreep clicked with dissastisfaction, but promptly hid beneath the short wall of the roof where it perched.
Bit moved away from our sight, however Kiss started his advance upon our left flank, he shot a pitcher near the position of our weibing yaokong unit on overwatch, but was met with a flash pulse straight to the head, his sensors were malfunctioning and so he took cover in the nearest wall, awaiting the reboot of his optics, the pitcher however, struck the ground where it intended, and the flow of data was almost palpable.
An Ikadron advanced quite aggresively on that flank, and burned down the Kanren Operative, who failed to hack his systems and immobilize him in time, the flames clung to him and effortlessly reached his flesh, when he screamed nothing but fire came out, and his charred corpse lay on the battlefield.
The Kuang Shi shot at the Ikadron as it advanced with their pistols, but their accuracy was not adequate, and soon the Ikadron had taken position right beneath our noses were the kanren lay, and once again his flames flew through the air melting the Yaokong unit.
That was it for their first strike, now came our turn to retaliate, the Kuang shi desperate and impetuously moved, flanking the Ikadron, one caught the attention of a Xeodron and was shot down, falling to the ground mortally wounded amidst a pile of his own blood.
The next one fared better and engaged the Ikadron in direct combat, he cranked the chain of his rifle, and a spray of bullets hit the Ikadron square, his flamer flew and hit the Kuang shi as well, however, as soon as the kuang shi saw the flames he dropped to the ground and rolled amidst debris, breaking a lot of his armor and bruising and cutting him but the fire failed to start, while the ikadron fell silent and still like an abominable statue.
-That's great the emperor smiles upon your luck this day Kuang Shi, Li-ming congratulated the Kuang shi which was standing up and reloading the chain of his rifle.
Rem chirped into life and moved into the position previously held by the yaokong she lamented herself at the loss of her buddy, frustrated and angered she opened fire upon the pitcher, sweeping it away in a cloud of dirt.
-I won't let you take their souls, she announced energically.
And so the Lieutenant Crane, advanced through the right flank with the Crane Datatracker, Xi Zhuang, a Guifeng Celestial Guard hacker and Li-ming herself, mostly unimpeded they approached the Antenna, an Ikadron was protecting it, and as soon as it caught sight of the agents, it alerted the Xeodrone behind the container, the Agents took defensive positions, and took a shot at the Xeodron, the Ikadron's flame were out of reach, however the Ikadron opened it's mouth and Electromagnetical energy was blasted in two blue electric balls against the agent, the bullets were absorbed into the energy and hit him square in the chest, his power armor malfunctioned, his comms were fried, but he was not wounded, the gui feng hacker, whom also boasted of his engineering and medical capacities, tinkered swiftly with the armor, changed the comms circuitry, and replaced the energy capsule of the power armor, and the agent was up again.
He moved into a better position covering himself, the guards were circling the building in a defensive position, and he took a shot at the Xeodron once again, he failed to answer with his rifle but his armor was impregnable against the high velocity AP rounds for whatever reason, he took another try at him, the Gui Feng hacker however, fell beneath the hacking area of their Morat Hacker, and his skull burned to a crisp, as the Ikadron fell from the blast of the bullets the Xeodrones bullets struck true this time, and killed the agent in his spot....
The Fireteam weakened and in a bad position, was attacked by an Unidron, who shot plasma with his rifle, however as it was powering up his weapon to fire, the spitfire, and combi rifle bullets from the crane and xi zhuang broke his head appart, muscle, blood, and machine crumbled, and his life was ended.
Next came a coordinated strike against the fireteam the Xeodrone, eager to retaliate, was the spearhead, he jumped atop the building where the Unidron's corpse was, and opened fire however the Makreep which was about to support his attack found herself without Line of Fire to any of the Agents, she had made herself visible, and Major Lunah shot her as she was looking through her scope, trying to find the agents in it.
The Xeodrone struck down the second Crane Agent, but the Makreep paid the price of her tomfoolery with a viral round to her clavicle, if such thing is called a clavicle in their case, and it must be said that viral ammunition does affect the aliens, she died on the spot.
The Xeodrone Jumped back into a position where it could link with his twin Xeodrone and the samaritan, he tried to shoot major lunah from afar with his multi rifle, but missed his shots, and the rounds of Lunah struck true, however biomechanical beings are immune to viruses, nonetheless the force of impact was enough to burst a hole on his side, bileous blood the color of motor oil covered his green exposed muscles.
Bounding him to his will the Samaritan, jumped atop structures along with both xeodrones, the wounded one jumped again into the building were the unidron fell, the samaritan leading them, took his shots against Rem, and Lunah took another oportunistic shot at the wounded Xeodrone, this time the Xeodrones neck muscles burst beneath the strike of the viral rounds, however rem could not fend of the samaritan's plasma barrage, and was burned almost, desintegrated to nothing.
Released from the will of the samaritan the Xeodron made one final jump into the ground were the agents lay dead, along with Xi Zhuang and Li-ming, in midair his beastly formed twisted and extended one arm shooting towards Lunah, missing once more he was caught by a viral round, which burst his leg muscle, and falling impacted the ground where it lay unconscious or broken, who knows with these biomechanical dudes?
The Samaritan however would not budge or desist in hunting us down, but his will was not fast enough for our counterstrike.
-We are sustaining heavy casualties, operational command has been relieved to me, announced Agent Feng.
-The kuang shi advanced impetously towards the samaritan, another one was caught in the shots of an operational xeodrone, the bullet pierced his belly and filled it with shrapnel, killing him, the other however fared better against him, and running while shooting his pistol, his bullets caught the flesh of the samaritan in his torso, a visible wound was carved and blood burst from it, some organ had just failed but the Samaritan would not relent....
-Ok, people we are going to destroy the antenna and as soon as possible we'll get out of here, reinforcements are on their way...Ordered Agent Feng.
Our Thermoptically hidden ace in the hole, a Ninja, advanced through the position of the dead agents, unimpeded made her way to the antenna, and struck it maddeningly fast with her katana, lighting bolts are slower than her sword and thunder less than the cuts it gave, the antenna now covered in alien bile, started to give way underneath her relentless strikes, until the inner energy convertor finally gave in to the pressure and burst the structure completely from within.
The operational Xeodrone started it's solo advance towards our antenna, Major Lunah luckily was able to wound this one as well, as it jumped on the roof of buildings.
-Talk about a big game hunter eh Lunah? Feng's joke came through the comms as he was overseeing the remnants of our forces.
Stopping at the place where he was struck, the Samaritan moved out and engaged the Kuang shi who wounded him, he grabbed him by the head and lifting him up like a rag doll, his helmet was broken beneath his grip, and as sudden as it burst, the Kuang shi's body started to wither away at his touch, his wound was closing, and the blood from the kuang shi covered his hand with an outer shell akin to a claw...
Throwing the carcass down, he jumped and shot at Lunah..."You do not deserve to live, Parasite!" she screamed as she let her bullet singe the air with poisonous intent, it went into the samaritans head, breaking his nose beneath the impact it came through the other side, the whole immediately started to dissolve as the acidic nature of the toxin carved his flesh into sickening pools of bile, blood, and flesh, he fell to the ground dead...
The remaining Xeodrone jumped once more, and shot at lunah, his bullets finally reached her, breaking her arm underneath the barrage his rifle was filled with bullets, and major lunah fell peacefully unconscious, as if she had saved us all...
Now his advanced Unmolested the Xeodrone reached our antenna, and tried to strike it, but quite a clumsy beast for such an unforgiving assault, he missed the antenna and cracked the ground beside it...
Running out of time the Wormlike doctor, advanced to the wounded xeodrone and brought him back to life...
-Ok guys clear the Area the reinforcements are here.
-Acknowledged said the ninja, and cloaked back into camouflage
-What a nightmare, all in the name of the emperor answered a kuang shi.
The Kuang shi and Feng retreated under the covers of shadows, until they came upon the cargo door of the area, and pressing the button the door oppened whistling with cold air, Agent feng went inside followed by the Kuang Shi.
From the Cargo a division of Yan Huo Invincibles, a Guijia and a Hac Tao, came guns blazing, the hyper rapid magnetic cannon of the Yan Huo turned the xeodron at our atenna to trash, the Missile launcher one met face to face with the wounded xeodron his worm beside him, and blew them to gory bits under the might of his Missiles, the remaining forces of the Aliens scrambled to scape, but the morat was cut short by the silhoutte of the ninja that drove her blade through his belly, disemboweling the alien as she recoiled the sword, the Hac Tao, was then beside the Ninja, and oppened fire upon the remaining forces, mowing them down like grass beneath a scythe, only Bit managed to scape the areea unscathed.
Immediately thereafter the Medical unit of Zhanshi and Sophos herself took the labor of rescuing the bodies and cubes of the fallen, and were transported to the medical wing of the bunker.
Back at the monitors of Agent Lee, the Inmortal praised him.
-That was quite good, I want you to accompany me on our next mission.
-Sure...but where are we going?
-Kurage, the Regional Operations Center of the JSA.
-Then we set sail on the morning I assume?
-At noon, but we shall get our preparations done in the morning, report in for the operation, and dust your hacking equipment, you're gonna need it.