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Inside the embassy
Cont from Charms

Reed blinked a few times to wet her eyes. They felt strangely slick without her usual contacts. The embassy security gate check did not allow for the wearing of any device that might block, retransmit, or alter the reading of a retina. Reed therefore wore none today. She had to make due without the Lens warrior in her left eye. The technology was not as robust as the land warriors Jacques preferred, but she would have preferred something. As it was, she was running blind. Ironically enough.

The Chinese flag billowed on invisible streams of air overhead. Every once in a while the seemingly weightless material unfurled completely and the Five Stars would show themselves. With a self-amused smirk, Reed gauged the reaction of her fellows, if there was any. The Legion representatives seemed overwhelmingly apathetic to the Chinese. Jacques had made his feelings clear yesterday on the roof.

She stood in security line just another rep of the Legion, apparently. When it came time for her scan, she stood in place while invisible eyes tingled up and down her body. She had nothing on her of note, of course. There was a borrowed Wallet in her pocket, but that was turned over to electronics checks while she was physically cleared. Her clothing was simple as it was yesterday. Well-fit, but not particularly snug pants fit her hips and thighs well. She wore shoes that were sturdy enough to withstand the African terrain, yet they themselves weren't exactly tactical.

After her body was cleared of anything that might compromise the Chinese, they asked to examine her jacket. She slipped a short, lightweight jacket from her shoulders and laid it across the arms of an expectant young man. He was Ministry of State Security, as were all the examiners in this convoy of secrets. The Ministry was around almost sixty years, and by now were terrifying in their efficiency. Their entire purpose was to circumvent measures against enemy spies, agents and counterrevolutionaries. More so, not only did the Ministry protect against such threats to the government, but to the entire socialist system as well. Dual designations gave the Ministry enormous leverage in the scope of their mission.

Reed smiled, amused, when the man returned her things. Foremost, her jacket bore a security tape, a small square about the size of a thumbnail that allowed passage in pre-designated areas of the Embassy. Primarily, the common areas. They'd come a long ways in the last ten years.

"Thank you very much,"
she said with a disquieting smile. The Chinese man did not respond.

And Reed was inside. Of course, that was the easy part.

CCD spy and all around badass
The arrival of Jacques and his crew was pre-arranged. His personal escort, a squad of four armed and armoured Legionnaires, were forced to wait outside, although the Chinese had been kind enough to let them wait inside their embassy's gates, rather then on the still-crowded street the men had been forced to clear a path through.

Jacques entered with Reed and two of his men. He wore no armour, and handed his drop-leg holster over to the guards without preamble, as did his team. None of them carried Wallets or Landwarriors however. He had no doubts the Chinese had people on hand to whisk away any interesting information contained within such electronics, and that they would be bugged and tap'd by the time they were done at the embassy.

A metal ammo-can was handed over for inspection; inside sat three dozen challenge coins emblazoned with the symbol and motto of Legion Premiere and a space on which would normally be engraved the names of the recipients. Logistics hadn't allowed for that to be arranged in advance, but he trusted that the guards would be able to sort it out on their own.

He trusted that Reed would be able to do what she needed to without his assistance, he only hoped that whatever it was would not burn them in relation. His visit to the embassy was without alterier motives; these men were leaving soon, and had done a service to him and his men. It would of course help to strengthen the air of cooperation between the Legion and China, and most thought that was his entire motivation.

In short order, he and his men were seen to a room where they could meet with the few guards not on duty at the moment, and then those men would switch out with those on the perimeter until he had had a chance to speak with all of them in turn. The entire meeting was understood to take the better part of two hours, which would hopefully give Reed the window she needed for her own errands.
While the men filed into a boardroom, Reed crossed to a guard. She bowed her eyes before him despite the fact that she could tap him on the temple with his own weapon before he blinked. Customs should be observed. She had a role to play after all.

The guard's still expression shifted into surprise when the woman spoke naturally fluent Chinese. "Duì bù qǐ, cèsuǒ zài nǎr?"

He blinked at her and pointed across the lobby. She followed his line of sight to a hallway with the sign for toilet was posted. She nodded understanding and for once in her life, was sincerely grateful for his help. She told him as much: "xiè xiè nǐ de bāng zhù."

She felt his eyes follow her until she disappeared down the hallway. She was, of course, not actually going to the bathroom.

CCD spy and all around badass
Jacques and the rest of his entourage were shown to the board room where some of the Chinese soldiers already waited. The ambassador was still in residence, but a meeting between himself and Jacques had never been the goal of the visit. Jacques would get what he could from the Chinese, but had little interest in working through an intermediary that would be fleeing the country. He would continue to work through those he had spoken to remotely; those ones were in a better position to do what was needed, while the Ambassador could do little but offer empty promises of wasted time.

He would speak with each man individually. He had memorized a few key phrases but Chinese was not a language he was fluent in, relying instead on English, which, luckily, was a common tongue in the modern age. While they were not necessarily fluent, the soldiers knew enough English that they could struggle through.

Within minutes of his meeting with them, the men had relaxed. Laughter could be heard, as they shared stories with Jacques of the past few days, or of their time in Sierra Leone. They gave up nothing that could be considered secret or dangerous, but even then there was plenty to be shared. Questions of the battle at Jeddah, of others the Legion had been present for in Africa. Jacques would have little difficulty buying Reed the time she would need.
Reed strolled right past the bathroom and approached a locked door at the end of the hall. She paused in front of it, eyes roaming around the edges from floor to ceiling to floor again. She looked over her shoulder one last time and put her hand to the adjacent scanner on the wall.

The device glowed green. Magnetic locks in the door released and Reed sealed herself on the other side.

The room she was in was hardly the world's most secure. For crying out loud, all it took was a handprint - easily faked - and she was inside. Stores locked their jewels up behind stricter security.

Then again, this was the Chinese embassy in the middle of no-where Africa. What could they possibly have to hide? Anything of highest value would have been evacuated the hour the order to GTFO arrived. What was left?

Reed slipped out of her heels and climbed the stairs in her bare feet. The shoes she carried.

When she reached the third and highest floor, she slowly checked the hall before emerging fully. There were signs of abandonment everywhere. Desks were cleared of all essentials. Everything of value would have been digital anyway, but the walls were almost completely bare, having been stripped of display screens and other technologies.

There were no guards up here, for which she was thankful. Explaining herself would have been a pain. So she approached the Ambassador's office without interruption. She knocked once and let herself in. The graying, dignified man turned as she entered.

He reached for a safety button but Reed stopped him with a command. "Tíngzhǐ!"
Her voice firm as iron. He flinched, arm stretched out in midair.

Her lips twisted, eyes glowing dark as coals. "I need your desk, Ambassador."

CCD spy and all around badass
Reed walked out of the Embassy about thirty minutes later without a hint of expression on her face. She'd quite clearly convinced the ambassador to allow her access to an otherwise secure Chinese network. Why? As Reed had gone on to explain, her presence was an asset to the Chinese government because she was dedicated to keeping the CCD from controlling the Sierra Leoneon mining. The Chinese weren't necessarily her priority - that much she admitted - but rather, undermining the CCD was her primary job. It seemed that the Ambassador's contacts back home agreed. Resources in the country were written off anyway - might as well be delivered into the hands of someone who could aid their position. Reed hadn't even needed to leverage some of her inner-track knowledge about the Ambassador: that in his shame for acting against the ruling powers in Beijing, he was assigned a dead end position babysitting the dark continent.

She toyed with one of Jacques' borrowed handheld Wallets while the group walked to their own embassy. With it, she mapped out the location of the first cache of necessities. She'd need a car to get there, and a few strong arms wouldn't be turned away, and if she had her way, she'd be headed east within the hour.
CCD spy and all around badass
The completion of Reed's tasks coincided well with Jacques' own. He left the board room with friendly and familiar hand shakes and smiles. He had a way with soldiers, having grown up around them his whole life, and in departing he had given them his heart-felt thanks. They had been ordered to take lives, something that never quite sat right with any civilized man, no matter the cause. But any traces of discomfort with the act, any lingering doubt or concern they had felt had been scoured away. They had taken lives, but had saved countless more with the action.

He told stories of the children that had been taken into the Legionnaire headquarters, of a family reunited, of the discovery of a doctor among the refugees who even as they spoke was treating wounded only a few hundred meters from where they stood.

To each of the embassy guards he had given a Legion challenge coin; something rarely seen in the hands of men not of the company but well earned by the Chinese sharpshooters. They would later be able to engrave their own names on the coins, and were encouraged that should they ever visit Morocco, or anywhere in Africa the Legion stood, they need but show the coin and find brothers in arms and open doors. And of course, should any want a new line of work, the recruitment center doors were always open.

The last was delivered more as a teasing joke for their commanding officer and the ambassadorial staff in attendance.

The walk back from the Chinese embassy to the Legion HQ was a quiet one; the streets in the embassy district were still busy; people still came and went seeking their respective embassies, or whatever help any embassy could offer, but the line to the Legion HQ was certainly the longest. Word had already spread that the refugee camp set up in the neighboring manors was the most organized, and people came to see the lists of inhabitants to seek out missing loved ones.

Legionnaires stood guard on the street behind hastily built bunkers of cinder blocks torn from compound walls and mounded dirt, and they maintained an orderly cue. Clean water was provided by large stew pots with ladles for those stuck waiting to drink, and a Legion medic, clearly exhausted but still pressing on, walked the line with another Legionnaire as protection to make sure no one waiting was in dire straits.

Jacques men were tireless in their commitment to his cause, and he longed to be able to give them the rest they deserved. More were coming from Casablanca though, and with their arrival the shifts would be shorter, the rack time longer. But until then, pots of coffee were always brewing in the embassy kitchen. At least so long as those supplies lasted.

"I trust your visit was to your satisfaction, Ms Reed? Dare I ask if you've any other unusual requests for me?"
He didn't seem as tired as he had that morning; the visit with the Chinese soldiers had brought some energy back to him, although it was hard to tell how much of it was an act since he was in public.

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