Chapter 5:

Time to strike! - Infiltration

Jet Black Rock

Around the same time as Rocco was sprinting towards the front door, Aurora had shot a wire onto the conference building, hooking one of its corners. Rocco was making a lot of noise out front and Celeste had already cleared out the guards on the roof, so both of them were able to zipline across unnoticed.

Aurora came prepared with a bunch of blades, ranging from regular daggers to a bowie and even a hawksbill knife. She takes out one of the heavier ones that were strapped to her chest and with a precise hit, she uses the handle to break open the lock on one of the sky windows. She drops down inside and carefully checks the hallway. After making sure it’s clear, she signs Yami, who follows right behind her. They have now successfully infiltrated the building.

Aurora peeks her head around the corner and sees two guards patrolling the corridor, both of them armed with SMGs. They spot her, but faster than they can point their guns, she sprints up to the closest one and uses the wall near him to jump onto him. She grabs his neck between her legs and uses the force of the momentum combined with her body weight to tackle him. Falling in the direction of the second guard, she pulls out two daggers and lands them in his trapezius. Then, she pulls them forwards, slicing through the neck in a cross-like shape.

The muffled sound of them falling on the carpeted floor is echoing through the hallway. The guard that was tackled is trying to escape the chokehold but is slowly losing the battle as Aurora’s grip is too strong. Yami runs up and kicks his weapon away. “Pat him down! And don’t forget the boots” Aurora instructs. “We’ll interrogate him.”

As Yami removes all sorts of weaponry and tools, Aurora starts to release the guard from her grip and ties his thumbs together with one of his own tie wraps. They put him upright and start questioning him. “Where are you holding her?” Yami asks with the most piercing eyes. He puts his forearm on the guy's chest, pressuring him around the neck. As he does so, black smoke is coming off his arm.

“I asked you where!” He repeats. The guard, intimidated by the seriousness of the situation, panics. “Y-You’re talking about that city girl right? S-She is in the basement! I can show you! Please don’t hurt me! I’m just a hire!” Yami is relieved to hear Akari is still alive and loosens up a little, relieving the pressure.

They’re being rather loud and suddenly the door further down the hallway opens. A pair of suits come out, not realizing the noise they heard was from intruders. They’re not paying much attention as the male one is straightening his tie, and the female one is buttoning up her shirt. Slowly walking in the direction of the group, the male one looks up and makes eye contact with Aurora.

Aurora tilts her head in confusion but starts to realize what’s happening and quickly throws a knife at his forehead, taking him down instantly. The woman behind him screams but is cut short as Aurora throws another one, landing in her chest. She turns toward Yami. “We’ll have to go now.” She grabs the guard by the collar. “We’ll take him with us and question him as we go.” She holds up a knife to the guard’s throat. “Show us the way, but try anything funny and you’ll end up the same way they did.” The guard gently gestures his head towards the stairs sign at the end of the corridor. “Through there.” He says.

They head down, Yami’s up front, Aurora’s last, and the captive guard is in the middle. While going down, Aurora restarts the interrogation. “So… about your boss. You wouldn’t happen to know where he’s hiding, would you?” “Ehrm”- He’s nervous but thinking-” the alarm went off earlier, so I’d say he and his guests would probably be in the safe room?”

Aurora continues, “And where exactly would that be?” The guard explains that he was assigned to patrol the upper floors, so he’s unsure. “I think it’s close to the auditorium on the ground floor, somewhere at the back.” “Interesting.” She answers. Aurora looks past the guard and addresses Yami. ”Hey Yami, can you call in and inform Sen? Haiiro and Rocco should be able to find out if he’s there. Tell them that we’ll meet up with them after we rescued Akari.”

As Yami is about to call in, Sen relays a message through the general communication channel. Her voice is unnerved and sounds a bit raspy like she’s holding back tears. “Celeste is down! Attacker unidentified, keep your eyes peeled! Relocating to the building’s back entrance.” Haiiro is the first to respond. “Are you safe? Do you need backup?” “Negative! Continue the mission! Just… don’t take any risks. We don’t know who did this yet.” Sen answers.

Aurora was a close friend of Celeste and stops moving entirely. She’s spacing out. “Taken down?” She says with a quiet voice. Yami grabs her by the wrist. “Hey, you okay? I’m sorry about Celeste but we can’t stop here, we have to move.” She understands. Yami activates his earpiece and relays the info. “One of the guards told us that Akari is being kept in the basement. We’re on our way there now. We also suspect Kumoda being in a safe room on the ground floor, near the auditorium in the back.” Haiiro responds. “Rocco and I will move ahead, make some noise. You two get her out!”

The teams continue the strike as planned. Yami and Aurora descend further and are able to reach all the way to the second floor without any issues. Three more floors to go before they’re at where Akari would be. Then, they hear the door to the stairwell on the floor below them open. Yami’s ready to intercept and jumps down through the middle, surprising whoever chose to engage them.

As he drops down, he’s met by a woman in foreign police clothing. Hanging from the railing, Yami throws a quick punch, extending his arm as he trained with Haiiro. The woman blocks, crossing her arms in front of her. As they make contact, both Yami’s fist and her arms turn black. A small shockwave is created by the impact. “Quick to use violence, aren’t you?” she responds while being pushed back out the stairwell. Yami throws another but she blocks again and isn’t counterattacking.

With a chop to the neck, Aurora knocks out the hostage guard and joins Yami’s floor. “You okay?” She asks Yami. “Yeah! But this one is though, she’s definitely not a regular enforcer.” The policewoman is keeping her distance, standing in the doorway watching them. With a smile, she introduces herself. “I’m Ari, let’s talk.” Aurora puts her hand on Yami’s shoulder. “We don’t have time for this, let’s go.” She points a knife at the law enforcer and shouts. “If you follow us, we’ll take you down! You understand that, right?”

Ari put her hands up, gesturing that she doesn’t want to fight. Yami is skeptical but continues to drop down further. Aurora gently walks down the stairs, not breaking eye contact with the woman until she’s out of sight. They’re now on the first basement floor, ready to open the door that lies in front of them.

Back outside, a young dark-skinned boy in ragged clothing is walking down the street. He’s holding a small piece of paper and stops at the nearby street sign to compare his note. He tries to read the sign’s kanji and mumbles to himself “Kaidan conference center.” It’s obvious that he’s trying to navigate his way there but can’t quite find it. Uncertain, he looks around one more time before deciding to follow the arrow on the sign.

A few minutes later, he comes up to a broken-down entrance, there where Haiiro drove through earlier. He hops over some of the rubble to look inside and compares the building shape to the crayon drawing on his note. “This seems like it.” He says satisfied. He then continues to enter the compound, being unphased by the bodies that lay near him.

Inside the building, Haiiro and Rocco had made considerable progress through the main lobby. Rocco alone, even while fighting unarmed, had taken out at least two dozen men. And while Rocco managed quite well, Haiiro had kept his back, taking out those who engaged him from a distance.

Standing in a pile of unconscious men Rocco reminisces about the past “Just like old times, ey Haiiro?” Haiiro responds in a snarky way. “I remember the time I was trying to dismantle a biological weapon, and you chucking it in the river because I took too long. We were lucky it was dissolved in the water.” Rocco chuckles. “I already said sorry for that at least two times!” Haiiro turns away “Let’s continue through the auditorium and look for that safe room.”

As Haiiro enters the auditorium, an Ōdachi swings at him from behind the door. Haiiro, seeing the blade's shine through the corner of his eye, moves to dodge but can’t evade in time. Right before the blade collided with Haiiro’s neck, it was stopped by Rocco’s blackened arm, which blocked the attack by pure reflex. Rocco’s natural muscles, combined with the, by Jet's toughened skin, stopped the blade from cutting through, but the cut was still deep enough to severely limit Rocco’s fighting abilities. “Shi-! That hurts!”

Behind the door, Joey was waiting, preparing. He knew Haiiro had entered the building and saw his chance to avenge his late brother Jimmy. “How dare you!” He shouts while trying to pull out the giant blade from Rocco’s arm. The arm had been hardened to the point where the Ōdachi was stuck. With all his might, Jimmy tries to slice through the arm instead, but just before he can, Rocco grabbed the top part tightly.

Unable to move it any further, Joey lets go of the blade and puts out his hand in front of him. Aimed at Rocco’s head, he reveals a gun mod in his palm and triggers the activation. The shot grazes Rocco’s cheeck. Haiiro had already moved and, in a single strike, had cut through Jimmy’s chest, throwing off his balance. Jimmy falls to the floor and coughs up blood. He had failed to take vengeance and yelled “You, you monsters!” He turns around and tries to crawl away. “You’ll never leave here alive.”- He says softly-” The Canadian will…” And with a final exhale he closes his eyes.

Rocco pulls out the blade and drops it to the floor. “Thank you.” Haiiro says as he sheats his blade back between his knuckles. Rocco smirks and repeats the same thing he said earlier. “Just like old times buddy, no need to worry about the small stuff.” Rocco takes off his shirt, revealing an unfathomable amount of scars, and rips up the cloth to wrap his wound, stopping the bleeding. “We should hurry and find that saferoom.” Rocco says.

They continue through the auditorium, in between the stands, and spot an exit at the back. Clap clap! As they approach it, someone is applauding them from the stand, somewhere along the elevated seats. “I should commend you for coming this far.” they hear. The auditorium is quite high up and the bright lights are obstructing their vision, but they can make out an outline from someone up top.

The figure stands up and jumps down towards them. Haiiro and Rocco can jump aside, dodging the incoming attack. Crack! Upon impact, the ground shakes and dust is thrown around. “Your journey will end here.” As the dust clears, a big blond fellow becomes visible. He had smashed a small crater in the ground and starts to stand up slowly, now standing in between the both of them.

Rocco recognizes the danger presented in front of him immediately and dashes forwards, fist first. Haiiro is only a split second behind him and attacks as well, shooting out a wire and propelling himself towards the blonde attacker, unsheathing his knuckle blade once again. The blonde smiles as he intercepts both attacks at once. To stop Haiiro’s blade, he had extended some sort of black flesh wall from his back. And Rocco’s fist was blocked by him clenching it in his enormous hand, almost crushing it.

Having grabbed Rocco’s fist, he twirls around and launches him at Haiiro, pushing the both of them back away from the exit. The impact from the throw is so powerful that Haiiro coughs up blood. “Now come! Entertain me!” he provokes them while gesturing his hand and assuming a fighting stance. “Show me how you’ve adapted Jet!”

Rocco grumps as he stands up. His arm is bleeding again. With that one attack, both his body and his ego suffered great damage. “Looks like we’ve got some trouble ahead.” He says to Haiiro while extending his arm, gesturing to help him up. Haiiro grabs onto him firmly and pulls himself up. With a determined look, he says “Let’s give it our all!”

Rocco charges at the enemy and Haiiro, having taken the railgun from his back, lines up a shot. Together they plan to take the blonde down and an epic battle is about to start.