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 Inception - Bash Job

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:59 pm

"But would you be who you are today if not for your past?" John countered, obviously sensing her irritation.

He fell silent for a moment, and it was impossible to tell whether that was to let her digest his question, or if he was having trouble answering hers.

"It was easy..." John finally said, sounding more sad than angry now. "The projection never leaves, no matter how much I tell her to..."

There was a click as he drew a pistol from beneath his coat. "And that's the last question." He said as he leveled the barrel with her head.

"Good night, Sofie..."

BANG!
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:31 pm

Sofie was almost tempted to laugh at John's question. If he knew about her past, he would never presume to ask that.

When he answered her question though, her mind went blank. Wide-eyed, she turned around to face him. All that greeted her, however, was the sight of the gun barrel.

--------------------

Sofie jolted awake in her chair, gasping. She laid in the chair for a few moments, trying to catch her breath. She ran shaking fingers through her hair, then fished into her pocket for her totem. She didn't often find the need for it, but...

The ring was there, cold and solid. She quickly released it, satisfied, before getting to her feet. John was still in the chair, sleeping. Now that she was calming down, the details before the end of the dream were coming back now, as well as their implications.

It was something she would need time to digest. And she had no intention of being around when John woke up. Turning away, she grabbed her back and hurried out of the warehouse. Her appetite seemed to have abandoned her, and she doubted she was going to get much sleep. This was going to be a long night.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:08 pm

The following morning...

Karina pushed open the door in front of her, motioning for the group to follow her inside. "The staff have already adjusted the sedative to match your specifications, profesor." She said to Elliot.

Inside the room, Ferral was laid out on a small bed with an IV attached to his arm. Several lawn chairs sat around the room, each with a line attached to the PASIV machine resting on the arm.

"Any final thoughts before we dive in?" Trevor asked the team.

Karina shrugged and dropped into the chair by the door. John shook his head and took one of the chairs against the far wall.

[OOC: You can have Elliot hit the switch and put us under when you post.]
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:23 pm

Sofie took the chair next to Karina, keeping the other woman between her and John. They hadn't said a word to each other since the previous night, nor even made eye contact. But as she sat down, Sofie couldn't help but give him a fleeting glance.

It was business as usual. That was good. But still, a part of her couldn't help but consider what if...

And she didn't like what ifs.

"Well, I'd really like to not die," Hunter said, taking the seat on Sofie's other side. "So yeah, let's try to not let that happen."

Elliot, who was examining the PASIV and double checking that everything was in order, looked up at this.

"You won't die," the professor supplied helpfully. "Your mind will just be stuck in Limbo."

Hunter sighed and reclined back in his chair.

"Thanks, Elliot."

Sofie smiled slightly, glad for the distraction. But she only had a moment to enjoy it as Elliot nodded to Karina, then hit the button.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:52 pm

"Welcome, senorita." John bowed slighly, motioning for Mia to enter the estate. He held up a hand as Ferral took a step forward as well though.

"Pardon me, senor, but I must follow protocol." He took Ferral's arm and patted his way down it before doing the same with the other. John then proceeded to check all the obvious places where a person might store a hidden weapon. Mia stood by while he searched, looking annoyed. She offered Ferral a slight smile, obviously trying to raise his spirits.

"All good." John finally said, taking a step back and motioning for Ferral to proceed. "Your father and his other guests are already inside, senorita." Mia nodded at that and lead the way into the estate.

---------------------------------------

"Showtime..." Trevor muttered, giving his wife's shoulder a slight squeeze. Karina winked at Sofie, who was seated at the head of the table, looking like none other than Paul Montegro, the head of the Montegro cartel.

"I'm afraid this isn't a matter that can simply be ignored." Karina said to Sofie, sounding concerned. "If these reports are accurate..." She trailed off as Ferral and Mia entered the room, clearing her throat as if to imply some unknown consequence.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:21 pm

Montegro scowled darkly at Karina, obviously greatly troubled by this news.

"But what can we do?" he asked. "Without a man inside Suarez to tell us, we're finished. They'll-"

He stopped short at the sight of Mia and stood up, his face alternating between smile and frown.

"Mia, darling, I didn't expect you back this early," he said, making obvious looks at Karina and Trevor to hold off any further discussion. His eyes then drifted over to Ferral, studying him like any protective father.

"And who is this gentleman?" he asked Mia, though his eyes never wavered from Ferral.

--------------------

Hunter watched the proceedings through a hidden camera, smiling at Sofie's performance. The dignified and elegant woman could even pull of a convincing cartel boss.

"She's something else, isn't she?" he asked John, who had joined him in the upstairs suite.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:21 pm

"I got off work early, papa." Mia said as she fell into her father's arms for a quick hug. "And this is George, my date." She gave Montegro a kiss on the chin and mouthed the rest silently. "Be nice... Please."

"A pleasure to meet you, sir." Ferral said. He was clearly somewhat nervous, but he was also doing an excellent job of hiding any discomfort he was feeling.

"He has manners." Karina cut in. "That's worth a few points."

Anything else she might have said was cut off by a sudden fit of giggles. Trevor had apparently done something to her beneath the table, and she stuck a finger in the center of his chest, giving him a warning look.

"Sorry, love. Ya said the 'm' word." He said, giving her a wink.

------------------------

John simply grunted in response to Hunter's question. He'd seen Sofie work before, and although it was a sight to behold, he didn't feel much like looking at her right now.

"Any sign of deterioration or projection violence?" He asked, keeping the conversation neutral as he slipped into the chair beside Hunter's.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:54 am

Montegro shot a look at Karina and Trevor, as though they were no better than ill-behaved school children, before turning back to Ferral. He studied the man for a moment, then extended his hand.

"My daughter is an excellent judge of character. After all, I taught her well. If she welcomes you into our house, then so do I."

He gave Ferral's hand a firm shake, then added, "Make sure I don't regret that generosity."

Montegro looked over at Mia, who was still watching them anxiously. He smiled and walked over to her, resting a hand on her shoulder.

"I still have some business to conduct. Why don't you make our guest comfortable, and I'll join you for a dinner. We'll have the cook fix up something extra special."

He placed a kiss on her temple, then took a seat back at the table, indicating that the pleasant distraction was now over.

--------------------

Hunter glanced up at John's unusual response, brows raised. He seemed to be trying hard to keep things on point.

"No, everything's behaving itself," he said, watching the monitors. Sofie did a nice job of giving Ferral a sense of welcome and belonging, as well as placing the burden of trust.

"What's up your ass, anyway?" the Architect asked, glancing over at John. "You've been moody all day today."

He wondered if it had something to do with Sofie. It was a reasonably safe wager.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:40 pm

Ferral shook Montegro's hand with a nervous smile. "Of course, sir."

Mia gave her father a smile of her own, far more open than Ferral's. "Okay, papa." She waved for Ferral to follow her. "We'll be in the pool house."

Trevor waited until both of them had turned the corner before speaking again. "May-haps I could plant a man fer ya?" He asked.

"That won't work." His wife responded. "It needs to be someone that's already got a good reputation with Suavez. Otherwise, it might be too late before your plant could get the necessary information."

---------------------------------------

John glanced in Hunter's direction for only a moment before returning his attention to the monitors in front of him. Silence was his only response for several moments.

"You seem like a pretty savvy guy..." He finally said.

"Last night, I was made aware that someone had accessed some private files of mine." John continued. "It's rare that such a thing happens to me, given the obvious amount of security that people like us tend to have set up. My security measures were unable to prevent the intrusion, but I do know who the perpetrator was. Unfortunately, it's someone that I know, or thought I knew."

"So, I apologize for being moody. I'm trying to figure out how to proceed."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:48 pm

Montegro folded his hands in front of him, staring grimly into the distance.

"Who can we find with such qualifications on short notice?" he said. "Perhaps I should send Mia away. If there's any threat to her safety..."

He trailed off, his voice heavy.

--------------------

Hunter raised an eyebrow.

"Private files?" he asked. "What, did your computer get hacked? If you know who it is, I can probably steal back the files and screw with their own setup."

Somehow, though, something didn't quite seem to fit. John's reaction seemed far too personal. Sure, having files of a sensitive nature stolen could mean a lot of trouble, but that usually caused anxiety, not this mopey brooding.

"We're not talking about actual files, are we?" Hunter asked. Did this have something to do with Sofie? Was that where the tension was coming from?

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:18 pm

"C'mon, I think there's a futbal game on!" Mia said, pulling Ferral along down the hall.

He seemed content to be tugged in that direction, but he also had a thoughtful look on his face. "That sounded serious."

Mia gave him a harsh look before renewing her efforts to move him down the hall. "My father takes everything too seriously. Now let's go relax for a while!"

---------------------

"We have yer family's safety as our highest priority." Trevor responded in a placating tone. "But we also strive to avoid disruptin their normal lifestyle, whenever possible."

"They're gone." Karina cut in, turning her attention back to the people at the table and away from the mirror that gave her a view of the hallway.

---------------------

"Yes, we are talking about actual files." John responded, not taking his eyes away from the monitor where Ferral and Mia were crossing the lawn. "Specifically, tape recordings of privileged information, but that's all I can say."

"Had it been some nobody who'd gotten into them, I would have already torn their life apart." He said with a bitter chuckle. "Unfortunately, life is rarely that simple, and so, I'm left with deciding how to proceed." John waved his hand, as if to dismiss the thoughts from lingering around his head. "But I won't bore you with further details. I'll decide how to deal with things after the job is over."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:28 pm

Montegro's bearing changed quite suddenly at Karina's words. He nodded, then shot a look back at the way the two had disappeared.

"Better keep things moving before the projections catch on," he said to Karina and Trevor. "Is everything set to go?"

--------------------

Hunter narrowed his eyes. What kind of privileged tape recordings would John have? And who was this person he was so hesitant to retaliate against? It was impossible to say, but he couldn't help but be curious. It would do no good to pry further though. He knew John well enough to know that.

"Right..." he murmured, watching Mia and Ferral. "Well, it looks like the initial plant was a success. Let's just hope we can keep it up."

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Oct 27, 2015 9:49 pm

"We'd best move inta place then." Trevor said, pushing his chair away from the table. Karina did the same, and the two stood at the same time.

"I thought John said this wouldn't be easy?" She asked, frowning at her husband.

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, love." Trevor responded, motioning for Karina and Montegro to go ahead of him. It wouldn't seem right if he lead the way in this house.

Karina shook her head slightly and exited the room, leading the other two up the stairs and towards the room they had already prepared.

----------------------------------------------

"Yeah..." John stood and moved towards the door. "I'll go collect the two love birds from the pool house. Make sure everything is ready to go by the time I get there. If we fail to get either of them as they enter the room, my goose is cooked..." With that, he stepped out of the room, leaving Hunter to himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:58 pm

Hunter watched John go, brow furrowed. Whatever files John had gotten hacked, they must have been really important to get him so out of sorts. Still, loathed as he was to admit it, John was an expert. Whatever was bothering him, he'd get the job done regardless.

He blinked. Crap, John was going to kick his ass if he didn't get things set up. Quickly, he dropped down beside the bed and pulled out the PASIV and started putting things in place.

--------------------

Sofie entered the room, once more looking like her beautiful self. She shut the door behind her with the heel of her boot and sighed.

"Well, I have to admit, this is a bit anticlimactic. Ferral has a rather pleasant subconscious for a cartel member."

"Don't ask for more trouble than we need," Hunter said, double checking everything. "Failing a job would be bad enough, but getting stuck down here..."

"Yes, thank you for the reminder," Sofie said, sounding annoyed. She sat down on the bed and began inspecting her nails.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Oct 29, 2015 3:37 pm

"Hunter has the right idea." Trevor quipped as he moved to help the Architect with the PASIV machine. "Everythin has already been too easy. Trouble is bound to rear her ugly arse, probably soona, rather than lata."

Karina frowed, but she stepped to the side of the door, waiting for Mia and Ferral to enter. It was her job to subdue the closest of the two and let John deal with the other. She had no intention of slipping up with the one part of this layer that involved her.

Suddenly, the entire room was shaded in red. No, even the sky out the window had turned a shade of crimson...

But just as quickly, it was gone, and muffled sounds came from down the hallway. She recognized the first as feet pounding on the hardwood floor, but that wasn't the one that caused her to lock eyes with her husband. The other sound was equally recognizable. Gunshots...

"Get inside!"

The door handle turned, and Ferral stepped inside, pulling Mia behind him. There was only a split second before Karina's fingers snaked between Ferral's neck and shoulder, pinching off the blood supply to his brain. He turned frightened eyes in her direction, but they glazed over before he could say a word. Mia squeaked in surprise, but before she could turn and run, the butt of a pistol brained her from behind. Both of them tumbled to the ground as John slipped inside the room and closed the door behind him.

"Security apparently knows I'm not with them now." He growled, leaning against the wall. It wasn't hard to see that he was trying not to put any weight on his left leg, and if that wasn't a giveaway, the crimson stain just above his knee would have been.

Trevor cursed under his breath. "Strap the gel down, and get Ferral plugged in." He barked before grabbing John by the arm and practically dragging him to the bed in the center of the room.

"How bad is it?"

John tried to smile, but it didn't come out well. "I can walk on it... For now."

"Blood loss?"

"Won't be an issue if I stay off of it." John quipped. "But I sense a great deal of running in my future."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Oct 29, 2015 10:27 pm

The sudden pulse of red throughout the layer brought all conversation to an abrupt halt. Sofie stood up, tense and alert.

"What was that?" she asked into the silence. Then, a sudden gunshot gave her a start. Were the projections reverting to nature at last?

Ferral and Mia barged through the door, but they were dealt with quickly. Sofie hadn't given them much thought anyway. She was too focused on the stain of red on John's pants blossoming with each passing moment.

She said nothing. There was nothing to be said. She simply watched as Trevor brought John over to the bed she had just vacated and checked his leg. Hunter busied himself in the meantime hooking Ferral and Mia to the PASIV before motioning for the others. Trevor and Karina were moving into place, but she was still watching John, feeling a cold numbness creeping up.

Because this wasn't the first time she'd watched someone bleed out. Watched someone slip into Limbo.

Only this time...

"Sofie!" Hunter said frantically. She turned her eyes away and moved over to take her place around the PASIV. Her eyes found John for one moment, just as the bite of the needle made everything black.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:51 pm

"Wonderful..." John gritted through his teeth as everyone else in the room went under.

With a groan, he pushed himself to his feet and shuffled over to Mia, making sure she was properly blindfolded and gagged. Once he was sure she couldn't draw any unwanted attention to the room, he poked his head out the door, glancing one way and then the other. Bleeding out wasn't an option. So, he would have to treat himself before he could run at full speed, and John had the distinct feeling that he would need full speed tonight.

-------------------------------

Trevor pushed the button for the first floor, leaning back against the side of the elevator. "Right then. We need ta lead Ferral inta the room that Karina has setup for him." He smiled at Sofie. "If you'd be so kind as ta deliver a message ta him, saying that Suavez requests his presence in the room we setup..."

Karina cleared her throat to draw attention. "Mi amor, I seem to recall you mentioning something about a place called limbo..."

He frowned. "Yeah, what about it?"

"Well, you said it could happen if one of us died in the first layer, before the sedative wore off..." She let her words trail off in an obvious question.

"Oh, bloody hell!" Trevor's head fell back against the elevator wall with a clang. "If the dreamer dies, the dream collapses, and we're all in limbo."
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:25 pm

Sofie froze. She had been concerned enough for John - perhaps more than she'd care to admit - but she hadn't considered the position that placed the rest of them.

She couldn't... She couldn't go to Limbo. Not there. Anywhere but there.

"Sofie?" Hunter said, putting a hand to her shoulder. She jerked away, looking surprised.

"Uh, you okay?" he asked, looking pale himself. "I know this is a mess, but we need to keep on track."

Sofie nodded numbly, trying to keep her mind on track. What did Trevor want? Oh yes, to lead Ferral.

"Yes, I'll- I'll meet you there with him," she said as the elevator dinged and stopped on the first floor. Quickly, the group dispersed, moving purposefully for their destinations. Time was now a more precious commodity than ever.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:03 pm

"Do ya need any kind of help, love? Or should I just leave ya to it?" Trevor asked, holding the door for Karina.

"I'd be most appreciative if you'd make sure the projections stay out, mi amor." She responded, scratching him under the chin. "The sense of being completely abandoned to his fate will make him more apt to talk."

"Right." He caught her wrist and squeezed it gently before stepping back and closing the door behind her. "I'll watch the door then."

----------------------------------------------------------------

Ferral let out a long sigh and leaned his head back against the window behind him. A half-empty glass of whiskey sat on the table in front of him, and the two other men at the table were discussing something he was uninterested in.

He tapped his fingers on his seat a few times before turning his attention back to them, if for no other reason than to keep up appearances. This was important business, it just happened to be something he'd already been over and didn't feel like rehashing...
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:57 am

A knock sounded on the door to the meeting room. Sofie poked her head in, smiling.

"I need to borrow Mr. Ferral for a moment," she said, shaking dyed blonde curls against tan skin. "His presence is being requested."

She folded her hands patiently against a grey pant suit and waited for Ferral to follow her. Once they had left the room an shut the door, she turned to him and dropped her smile.

"It's Mr. Suavez on an urgent matter," she said quietly. "Please, this way."

Sofie lead Ferral down the hallway. Hopefully, the others were already in place.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:39 pm

Ferral frowned but then wondered why. He was being liberated from this boring meeting, and yet, something was off. When the words left the woman's lips, he immediately tensed. Suavez? Here? A summons rarely came to anywhere other than his office. If he was here, then something was wrong. The question was what was wrong... He couldn't have figured out about the money, right?

Swallowing nervously, he followed the woman down the hall. Was he being paranoid, or were all the people they passed stopping to watch him go by?

No. They were watching, and that only added to his impending sense of dread...

---------------------------

"Bloody hell..." Trevor groaned as Sofie turned the corner, followed by not only Ferral but also a string of projections. They weren't attacking anyone, but they were definitely interested in ways they shouldn't be.

"Hunter." He spoke into the com attached to his ear. "I need a distraction as soon as the Mark is in the room, and after that, I suggest you run..."

---------------------------

"Stairs..." John muttered as he hobbled down them, leaning heavily on the railing. "Why did it have to be stairs?"

A figure turned the corner below him, but before the man could even look surprised, John double-tapped him in the forehead.

Still muttering a string of curses, he finished the stairs and turned down the hall into the kitchen. With a soft click, he turned up the gas stovetop and reached for one of the biggest knives he could see hanging over the sink.

Something shuffled behind him, and John grabbed the knife next to it instead, spinning to throw it. Vacant eyes looked back at him as the projection toppled backwards.

Turning again, John retrieved the knife and sat it on the burner, watching as the steel slowly turned an angry red...
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:04 pm

In here please."

Sofie directed Ferral into the room with a faint smile, then shut the door behind him. Quickly, she stepped away and tapped her com.

"The Mark is in place," she said. She'd better move too.

--------------------

Hunter swallowed thickly. From his place in the lobby, he could see that the projections were getting agitated. It wouldn't be long before they started moving, and Karina needed all the time she could get.

"Right," he murmured into the com. It was on him then. Slowly, he rose from his seat and started making his way to the staircase. He'd rather trust his own legs than an elevator.

From within his pocket, he produced a cherry bomb and fingered it in his hand. Then, with a deep breath, he lobbed it. It let out a loud bang in front of the entrance, causing startled gasps and swears from the crowd. Then, with one synchronized motion, they swiveled their heads in his direction. Not waiting to see the repercussions, Hunter slammed into the crash bar and took off up the stairs.

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Fri Nov 06, 2015 3:16 pm

"Senor Ferral... How kind of you to join me."

Ferral twisted to look for the source of that voice, but just as he caught a glimpse of the woman, a black bag slipped over his head from behind. He twisted, as if to throw a punch, but collapsed to the ground as someone (most likely the woman) kicked him in the rib cage.

"What the hell!?" He wheezed, even as Trevor drug him to his feet again and flopped him into the lone chair, seizing the man's wrists to keep him seated.

"Who are you? Suavez will have your head for this!"

Karina clicked her teeth in a mocking sound. "Now, now... Senor Suavez is paying me quite a bit of dinero to figure out where all of his is going."

Ferral swallowed audibly at that.

"Ah, so now you know why we are here, no?"

"I have no idea what you're talking about!"

Karina rolled her eyes, and then planted her knee in Ferral's stomach. While he wheezed again, she put her hands on his shoulders, gently massaging. "We don't have to be enemigos, senor. I simply want to know where the money is going..."

-----------------------------------------------------

The largest portion of the crowd cowered at the sound of the explosion, but as soon as it became evident that it was over, they all swiveled to follow Hunter's progress. From behind the hotel desk, three men dressed in security uniforms dashed through the lobby. Two of them followed him into the staircase, and the other jumped into the elevator, punching the button for the 5th floor.

The heavy pounding of boots on the concrete stairs could be heard behind him as Hunter climbed upward. They weren't in sight yet, but these were no slouches. They would eventually catch up.
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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:33 pm

Hunter swore as he raced up the stairs, hearing the sounds of footsteps behind him. He'd been practicing at the firing range, but it wasn't quite the same thing. After all, the targets weren't moving... or shooting back.

Hunter threw open the door on the 5th floor and stood panting, eyes darting down the hallway. Which way should he go now?

The elevator suddenly opened and someone stepped through, gun raised. Hunter reached for his own, but it was too late. The sound of a gun rang through the hall, and Hunter gasped.

"You need to be faster than that," Sofie sighed, lowering her own gun as the man slumped against the elevator door. Hunter swallowed thickly and nodded.

"Look, they're coming after me," he said quickly. "You need to stay off the radar. Head to the room and get things set up for the next level. I'll keep going."

Sofie nodded and put a reassuring hand on Hunter's shoulder before heading off. Hunter watched her go, then realized the other two were practically on top of him. Swearing once again, he rushed off in the opposite direction, making sure to keep his gun firmly in hand this time.

--------------------

The interrogation would be underway. Hopefully, Karina would act quickly. Sofie made her way up the service elevator and up to the safe room. Hunter certainly had done his work.

Sofie slipped into the room and started to get things ready. Her hands and feet seemed to move of their own accord. Right now, her mind was still up on the first level.

Obviously, John will still all right. Or, at least, functioning. Otherwise, this layer would have collapsed by now. But how long could he hold out?

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PostSubject: Re: Inception - Bash Job   Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:26 pm

John sat his gun on the counter, giving both doorways a wary glance. Convinced he had a moment alone, he pulled open a cabinet and rifled through it. After a few seconds, he found what he was looking for. Muttering under his breath, he cut into his pants with the kitchen shears, opening up the hole where the bullet had pierced through on both sides.

The wound looked worse than he expected, oozing crimson from both sides, but at least the bullet wasn’t wedged in him anywhere. So, there was at least that much to be thankful for. Gritting his teeth, John reached for the knife, which was now a glowing orange, and pressed the flat side of it to the front of the wound…

---------------------------------------------------

Everything went red as Karina sunk her fist into Ferral’s rib cage again. It wasn’t like the flicker in the first layer though. No, this lasted for several seconds before it ended, and was followed several seconds later by an equally long haze of red.

She and Trevor shared a look for a moment before he nodded back towards the Mark. Muttering a curse, she sank her knuckles into his ribs once more. “Tell me where the money is going!”

“Don’t know… What you’re talking about…” Ferral wheezed in response before coughing violently.

“Oh, come now, senor.” Karina said, shaking her hand out for a moment. “Do you really think that Suavez would be paying me as much as he is if you didn’t?”

Ferral tensed under the hood, as if he expected her to punch him again. Good. He needed to be shaken for this next part.

“I don’t think you understand the situation, senor.” She said, running a finger along his jawline, which she could perceive through the hood. “Suavez is paying me for results. If I don’t produce them, he’ll be displeased with me, and I’ll do a lot to avoid that.” Karina closed her thumb over the other side of his jaw, squeezing until he flinched in the chair, trying to get away. “You’ll tell me one way or another. The question is just whether or not you can still walk by that point.”

---------------------------------------------------

The door to the stairs crashed open as the two men stepped out, pivoting to look for their target. One motioned to the dead man holding the elevator open and pulled out his radio. The other took off after Hunter, who was fleeing around the corner…
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