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Archangels Assemble!
[[Sorry couldn't help the reference]]

It was all over the news, but more importantly it was in the CCDPDs vision. A god fought with one of their own officers. This was not a good thing. This was going to be hard to pull from the grips of the mundane, even with a man on the inside it was going to be difficult.

Today, Martin would meet the others. Today Martin would put them out on their missions. Today the Regus could very well join in on their meeting and on their first official hunt. A true god had emerged, there were videos of the man and his abilities. He was just a common thug, no one was going to miss the bastard. No one.

Martin called in all those in the first order of Archangels. They would hunt this god, they would kill him and right the world. He was sure of it, it was their destiny, it was their legacy. It was time to fulfil that and bring the world back into balance.

There were several new faces under his command. He'd sent texts to one Jacinda Cross, an American who came across the great ocean that separated the two worlds and impressed the Regus enough. He hoped she was half of what he expected. A woman as old as him, who'd lived this long, this was no soft woman. And another who crossed the seas, Ichiro Yoshimura, a Japanese samurai who came for the honor he assumed. The rest were all native to Old World European or all within reach of Moscow or the Vatican by land. He trusted those men and women before he trusted those who were separated by the water, particularly the American. She would have much work to do.

Today they would all get a run down on new tech. And plan for the destruction of this one God. He doubted he'd let any of them take this one down, he was first, he intended to hunt this god and kill it, but he'd take all the help he could get.
Armande's eyes were impassive as he gazed at the images on his screen. It was the fifth video he had seen showing the destruction in Izmailovsky Market. He had passed through the fire of anger and nausea of disgust. He did not begrudge or tamp down such feelings. Indeed, he welcomed them, as a dagger welcomes the slow methodical strokes of a stone, honing its edge, shaving away the extraneous and leaving what truly mattered.

Here, on this screen, for all the world to see, was the reason the Atharim existed. A godling, uncaring of the injury and destruction he causes by his actions. All too common in myths too numerous to recount, but now given flesh.

His wallet beeped and he looked at the message. He came as close to a smile as he ever did. Barovsky was on top of things. He felt a stab of excitement in his heart. To be a part of this hunt would be exhilarating. He had not had a proper hunt in months, much less an actual reborn god in control of his power, as opposed to those wretched creatures whose first touch of power was accidental.

He closed the image from the market, leaving the email from Dr. Daniat at the forefront. Despite the encrypted nature of their communiques, she was not forth coming with details. Still, word from her was encouraging. It meant there had been promise.

Holding an artifact out of time was as close to a religious experience as Armande understood. Leading the Atharim, an organization that was as focused on the arm of flesh as the Mother Church was on the heart of spirit, left little in the way of Mystery and academic and esoteric philosophies. As the Church was to the soul, the Atharim was to the hand. Two sides to one coin, one as necessary to the other.

And yet he was a student of history and philosophy, among other things. They were steeped in history and tradition. Their identity flowed outwardly from it, a life giving spring of water. A passage from St. John came to mind and he found it ironic. An 'everlasting well' indeed. It nourished them. To hold an instrument that had been used during the god-wars would be as near to holy communion as he could envision, time coming full circle. No wonder the serpent eating its tail was such a fitting symbol. The endless eternal struggle of man written in the flesh of the Atharim.

No, Barovsky would begin this hunt. He hoped that Cross and Yoshimura realized the privilege he had bestowed on them. And what he expected of them. Each had their own issues. But so did anyone, he admitted, including Barovsky himself.

They would be what he needed, what the world needed. "Michael and his angels did battle against the dragon and his angels." Yes, it was foretold.

He began to type a reply to Dr. Daniat. Into his mind images from millenia ago kept flitting. He allowed the momentary indulgence as he continued to compose his missive.
Yoshimura put aside anything else he wanted to do that day. When the call to action came, it was time to do so. He made haste to Atharim headquarters. As usual, he went through protocols for entrance and headed straight for the meeting place given to him by Mr. Borovsky.

He noticed the Russian straight away - a tall man with dark hair and eyes, and a well kept mustache and beard. Like the Regus, he held himself in a way that gave him an intimidating presence - well suited to lead a group of people ready to kill godlings.

Yoshimura approached the man and gave a bow before offering his hand. "Ichiro Yoshimura reporting"
he said. "Mr. Borovsky, I presume."

Edited by Yoshimura, Jun 22 2015, 09:00 AM.
Jacinda was in the library, of all places. It wasn't that she didn't care much about reading...well, ok, she really didn't care all that much about reading. Learning, sure, in an on the job kinda way. Mom and dad had been out-doorsy, off the grid, hippy like folks and had given her a lot of freedom when it came to what people might call schooling. They had wanted her to find her own way. And she had.

She smiled remembering her mom and the crafts that she made to sell at various festivals or fairs. And her sweet hearted dad. It made her whistful for her innocence and youth. They didn't know how ugly the world could be. In some ways, she was glad they never had to see what she had grown into. Then again. she wondered what her life might had been like if they had never been killed.

Different. Of course it would be different. What was the saying? If things were different then things would be different. Duh. It was what it was. And she was not unhappy.

In fact she was excited. It was why she was in the library, making herself read old stories about the gods and the god wars. It wasn't that Regan hadn't talked about them. But when you were a field hunter you didn't really spend a whole lotta time on old histories.

But now, well, she wanted to understand her quarry- actual gods, not poor shleps who accidentally touched the power. She needed to get into their minds. The myths and legends were the closest she had. So she read and read.

What struck her was how very petty they were. Despite their power, despite something that you'd think a person would at least use to better the world, they were just as petty and mean-spirited as anyone else. Worse, in some cases.

Like Athena. Goddess of wisdom and justice and all that. Fairness anyway. And crafts, like weaving. So in one version, this woman comes along- Ariachne- and is a great weaver, so much so that people are praising her to the skies about it. And in a very normal human fashion, she jokingly brags that she's better than the goddess herself.

Which made sense to Jacinda. You know how it goes, sitting around throwing a few back and you get to bragging on yourself a bit. Sure you say it, but you also kinda know that you are joking around too. Making fun of yourself a bit. At least, that's how she could see it, pretty easily.

But no, of course the "goddess"- and she thought of the name in quotations to emphasize how very far from a goddess she really was- was so insecure and bitchy that she comes down and challenges Ariachne to contest.

So what is Ariachne gonna do? Someone challenges you, well, you can't just back down. How would you live with yourself? You have to step up. And she did. Think about that. She did it. Stepped right up to a "goddess" and, probably terrified but not showing it, was willing to put her money where her mouth was. Win or lose, it was about stepping up.

Couple different versions of the outcome, but the one Jacinda felt seemed most likely was this one. Turns out Ariachne really is that good. Her tapestry or whatever just blows everyone away. What she liked best was that the thing had images of the all the shady crap the gods were always pulling. Zeus pretending to be some woman's husband so he could nail her- um, how was that not rape? Apollo chasing the nymph Daphne, who CLEARLY was not into him no matter how much of a god he was, and her crying out to her father to save her from this rapist-god. He answered by turning her into a tree. Jacinda wouldn't have been surprised if he tried to do her as a tree anyway. Maybe in another version. If so, she hoped at least he got some splinters in his junk. At least a little payback.

So Ariachne puts all these images into her work as an example of how unfair and uncaring the gods are. And of course her stuff if far better. And what does the "goddess" of wisdom and justice and all that crap do? Flies into a rage and tears it to pieces and then turns her into a spider. What a bitch! Petulant, weak, pathetic bitch.

Obviously a myth. And yet the core, the kernal, made sense to her. That was exactly how the gods were- uncaring, arrogant, petty. The fact that the Greeks recorded these stories about the beings they worshipped- to her anyway- told you that they really were like that. If not worse! If this was the disney-fied versions of their gods, what must the reality have been like?

So she read on, gaining perspective and trying to learn how the gods were defeated. It was going to be bloody and hard work. But it had to be done. She smiled to herself. And she was going to be a part of it. She'd show Regus. She'd do a good job. It was worth doing.

Her wallet buzzed and she looked. Barovsky. About damn time! She'd seen the videos. She'd had a hunch what would be the first prey. No, she checked herself. Barovsky was in charge. That was Regus' whole point. If she wanted to be part of this then she had to be part of an actual team. That meant trust.

Easier said than done, of course. But she'd at least watch and observe. She couldn't stay completely quiet, of course. That wasn't her nature. But she'd give Barovsky the benefit of the doubt. Who knew? He might actually be better than her. Or at least as good.

As long as she got to help kill these beings who would call themselves gods. With the memory of Athena in her mind, she made her way to the meeting place. The short Asian guy was there. That made her pause. Still, she was there for a reason.

She stepped up and looked at both. "Jacinda Cross."

Edited by Jacinda, Jun 25 2015, 04:59 PM.
Two uncertainties in the team were thrust upon Martin. He would do as the Regus wished. He would have preferred to have had his own hand picked team, but this was the important part, getting the unknowns into a team environment - particularly the American woman.

The Japanese man came and introduced himself. Martin took his hand and offered up the same bow. "Borovsky will do, Mr, makes me think of my father - a dreaded man. Take a seat we'll begin as soon as the others get here."

It wasn't long before the American woman walked in and he smiled, she was attractive and hard, but she was still American. Very few of them worked well in teams. She introduced herself. "Borovsky. Take a seat we'll begin as soon as the others join us."

Gunnar Halvorssen followed in next, he was a Swedish hunter Martin had worked with before, and often. He was a good man in a fight, he was the only one of his pick that hit this particular group, he hoped more of his other suggestions would make it soon.

All the hunters were here, the specialists still hadn't arrived. As Gunnar was taking his seat the three specialists walked in a group, gossipping like school girls. Martin rolled his eyes. He raised an eyebrow and his team sat down. They were people he worked with regularly.

"Alright we are all here. Our team consists of 4 hunters and 3 specialists. Jacinda Cross and Ichiro Yoshimura are new to us please help them learn the ropes and be understanding - but not too understanding. Gunnar and I round out the four hunters."

Martin indicated that the other three stand, and they did. "Fai Jen, is our medic, she can take care of you if you get injured. I will not express it strongly enough, do not run around injured. I can't have you hurt, some creatures will target you. And with a god you are going to be their target and if you can't move you are no good to me. Fai Jen will be your best friend."

"Annemarie Wijnhoven is our tech specialist, she is in charge of anything tech related. You need a computer or wallet, Annemarie will be who you go to. She'll run coms for us on this mission among other things."

"Marko Ziegler is our weapons specialist. He will tell you more about what he's got to offer later. You will like what he has to offer."

Borovsky flipped up the screen and played the video of their god that was running around the web and media screens around the CCD. "This is our god. His name is Sebastian Volodin. You have his records on your desks. Study him. Know him better than you know yourself. The Regus and I have already formulated a plan. But in the realm of seeing what we can do as a team. I open up the discussion. What should we do about this god? How do we go after him?"

Yoshimura nodded at Jacinda and greeted her before taking a seat as instructed. He nodded to each of the other team members in turn as they were introduced by Borovsky.

The video didn't take Yoshimura as off guard as the one the Regus had showed him - that one still burned in his mind. What struck Yoshimura about this one was the complete lack of concern for innocents. At least in Vellas' video the targets were military. It wouldn't save the man either way, but Yoshimura could respect a military attack. This was wanton destruction.

When Borovsky mentioned the file, Yoshimura opened it and skimmed it. It was a typical dossier - name, age, sex, and basic biographical details. He was a common criminal working for the Mordinov family. In feudal Japan, he would have lost his head a long time ago, but that was a time long past.

Yoshimura had worked as the head of a team before and he began to admire Borovsky. He was straightforward and fostered a team environment well whether or not it was intentional. He told them that a plan had been developed, yet wanted to hear their opinions. A good team functioned on good communication and Borovsky was forcing them to communicate. It was a good tactic.

Yoshimura looked awhile longer before speaking. "If he has control of his god powers - which he clearly does - then surprise will be a good choice of tactic. Try to end him before he knows we're there, unless someone knows a way we can keep him from using his power."
He typically didn't like the more sneaky approach, but it was really the best he could come up with. "It might be good know some places he frequents as well as if these,"
he looked down at the file again, "Mordinov's still sanction him or if they've pushed him to the side."
Worrying about a god was one thing - but if they didn't have his thugs to distract them, they could focus more on the task at hand.
The room was fairly quiet until what looked like everyone was there. It wasn't as if they were all old friends and this just another job. Barovsky didn't care to repeat himself, which she could understand. Yoshimura had that whole Asian zen thing going. That probably helped when he was kneeling meditating on lotus blossoms or something. Though he'd probably not appreciate that little comment.

They were soon joined by a massive blond hulk of a man and Jacinda couldn't help but be impressed. About his looks anyway. There was no shortage of pretty dumb guys out there. Still, the eye-candy would be appreciated. Then again, this was the Regus' project. She doubted dumb would be allowed anywhere near this team. Which only made him that much more...interesting to her. Gunnar indeed. What a name.

Rounding out the team were some squints. Which wasn't fair, she knew. Field agents needed the support team. Equipment was crucial. As was not dying from a gun shot wound. Still, she'd spent most her life being her own support team. Patching herself up was part of the job. She was going to have to get used to this.

Fai could be pretty if she chose to smile. Which wasn't now. Probably her standard MO. Serious and focused. Anne-Marie, however, seemed far too young and innocent looking to be part of the team. Jacinda almost wondered if her parents knew what she did for a living. Ditto for Marko, which made her laugh inside. Hard to imagine him as a weapons guy. You know, given what weapons actually did.

But Barovsky wouldn't have had them here if he didn't trust them to do his work. She was going to have to keep reminding herself of that. These people had to be good, the best even.

Surprisingly, she found herself interested in seeing how they worked together. Barovsky showed their quarry- a video she'd seen quite a few times. God, what a punchable face he had. Not that he wasn't cute she supposed. But that look- that smirk- just begged for her to do something about it. Maybe bust the nose, knock a few teeth. Something.

Well, more than something. He was as good as dead, now that he was in their sights. Barovsky had a strategy but was interested in hearing their thoughts. She shrugged at that but said nothing. After Yoshi spoke, she only had a coupe things to add. "Yeah, he's right. This guy will lash out randomly. Doesn't seem to exactly care that his shots ran wild."
She snorted. "Probably'd shoot a guy in the back without a thought. Surprise would be best."
She laughed. "I'll make sure to forget my perfume so I don't give our position away."

Edited by Jacinda, Jul 1 2015, 05:16 PM.
Martin listened to the discussion that presented itself. Surprise was always good, if possible, even on a regular monster. It begged to question these two philosphies and if they had truly taken on a god. Martin worried only slightly that these perhaps were not the right men and women for the job. Surprise was necessary, it was not even remotely thinking outside of the box.

Marko watched Martin's reaction, and Martin watched his. He frowned, but he stood up with a glint in his eye. "I might have a few toys that will be useful, surprise or not."

The object was to take this man out with the least resistance possible, the ability to disable and disarm him was key. How does one do that when they can weild unsee magics. You use technology of course.

Martin gave Marko control of the tablet that sent the images to the front screen for everyone to see. On it sat the specs of the M-29+. It was a light weight, not exactly stealthy sonic gun. It emmitted a pulse of sound, similiar to that of a jet engine. In close range the sonic boom was deafening. The concussive force was extensive. Marko grinned at Martin as he spoke, "This isn't ideal for situations where civilians are with in the range of the pulse, but anything in it's path will have a massive headache afterwards. But it does it's job. Your perp will be disoriented and he will likely be off his feet long enough to apphrend or put a bullet in his brain.

He flipped to the next weapon. "This is the Dazer 20, not quite the top of the line of the Lazer Defender series but those are still hard to get your hands on, these older models still do the same thing, they are slightly larger and but they can still be used in stealth mode if necessary."

"I have a few more gadgets..."

Marko went on showing a few more weapons as Martin checked the urgent message that came in. It seemed they had an Atharim hunter in direct contact with their god. Martin returned the message with a do not engage and just monitor message. They didn't have much time they had to gear up and get to the Red Light District quickly. It was going to be a good night!

Martin smiled and flipped on the lights. "There is no more planning time available. My apologies, maybe next time. We have a confirmed sighting and an decent enough area to take him down with the least marketable civilian casualties."
In otherwords, the low lifes in the Red Light district were expendable.

"Marko, dished out what you can spare on this first run. Fai I need you on standby outside the permeter to tend to any damages from the team, civilians are not your priority. Annemarrie, coms as usual my lady. I want you connected and these two outfitted with coms asap. We leave in twenty."

[[ Check out Useful tools. for weapons. Bring one of your choice. Martin will be taking one of the M-29+ above. After you gear up posts we will move to this to the Red Light district and wait for Bas et al to finish up their thing. ]]

Edited by Borovsky, Jul 6 2015, 08:04 AM.
Yoshimura listened as Marko gave his speech. They apparently did have a new arsenal to deal with. Sonic weapons that deafened and disoriented and lasers that blinded and burned retinas. It was quite the tool kit for dispatching of a god. Yoshimura yearned for the old ways in which these types of things were done honorably, but as he thought about it, maybe that is what he fought for - a return to that time. He could live with that.

Given an assortment of weapons to choose from, Yoshimura picked the second that Marko had spoken of - The Dazer 20. It was something that would work well enough for him.

Yoshimura didn't speak, choosing to listen and mentally prepare instead. He would answer any questions given to him, but otherwise he was ready to go.
Jacinda watched in fascination as Marko went over their new toys, his youthful face seeming to light up as he explained what was available to them. Now that would be a thing to have on a hunt! It wouldn't remove the need to hunt, the need for stealth. But it did give them something new to use, something to match all the power that they would have. And the stealth tech? Freaking awesome. She needed to get those disruption contacts. It would be good to know that her face was blurry to any cameras that might surreptitiously be recording her.

But one weapon in particular drew her attention. The Ares DEW800 STF, called the 'Staff'. It was sent a high level of directed energy at the subject, heating the water in their body almost instantly causing incapacitating pain and even death. If it was used right. If the person was running or moving about then it might not stop them immediately though it probably would still deliver enough of a jolt of excruciating pain as to weaken him.

Suddenly the lights flipped on and Barovsky spoke. Jacinda suppressed a worm of excitement in her stomach. The prey had been sighted in the red-light district. Barkovsky started barking orders to the others and Jacinda headed to Marko.

"Hey kiddo. That 'Staff' looks like it might be my speed. You have on in your bag?"
He chuckled at her sly and suddenly he didn't look as young as he had before.

"So, you want the Staff...." he said, dripping with innuendo. She laughed out lout and shoved his shoulder.

"Hey, I know what works,"
, her voice comically haughty and mysterious. She saw Halvorssen roll his eyes at her and she winked at him. He better not be a stick in the mud, not with those shoulders and blue-chip eyes.

Ares' staff was more the size of a flashlight, with a few buttons and a screen on the side. Marko serioused up enough to show her the basics of how to use it- to set the energy levels and focus- before he had to move on to the others.

The flutter of excitement was still in her stomach and she felt trapped in this room. But the godling had been sighted. They wouldn't be here long. She couldn't wait.

Edited by Jacinda, Jul 23 2015, 10:49 AM.

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