Chapter Seventeen: Blastoff

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Cole slept through Leo's mission briefing. The only thing he cared about was the fact that there was a powerful infected in the building below him. Kire stood next to him, fully knowing that he slept through it, yet said nothing. She noted that their goals were different and Cole knew all he needed to know. Cole quickly found the door to enter the building and kicked it open. He dropped the cigarette he was smoking, stomped on it, then disappeared into the building. Kira and her puppets quickly followed."They are in." Leo said from the cockpit. He then faced the jet's upwards cameras."See their command center?" Riku asked, standing nearby.

Leo continued to scan the sky, flipping through the different vision lenses the camera had."Not yet. Our command said it was right by the Eiffel tower, right?""According to you, they did."Riku began scanning the controls of the jet, checking for something that could help. "Need help finding anything?" the holographic stewardess asked."Anything that can help us find a cloaked ship?" Leo asked. The stewardess smiled."There is. Switch to camera filter seventeen, then press the highlighted button,"As she spoke, a button on the control panel began glowing red. Leo quickly switched to the seventeenth filter. The camera view went black and white."A sonic camera..."

Leo said. "Clever."He pressed the button, immediately doing what it would do. In the camera view, a large ship appeared in their view. It looked more like a floating fortress than an aircraft. Leo then corrected himself. It was literally a floating fortress. Metal walls stretched several yards on all sides, surrounding a single large building. Leo guessed that somewhere within the walls was an outdoor courtyard with multiple other infecteds ready to defend their leader. Riku took in the view. Their eyes met for a moment."Vlad and I will drop into that courtyard." Riku said. "You'll stay back and make sure the Lucia stays here and recovers.""Somebody say my name?" Vlad asked as he entered the cockpit."We were just discussing our suicide mission." Riku responded."Good. When are we going? I made a bet with the German that I could kill my target and get back to the jet before he could.""Depends. Are you two ready?"Vlad cracked his knuckles."Yeah." he said, grinning. Leo's gaze switched to Riku."I've come to terms with it. I'm ready. If it is kill or be killed, I will not hesitate."Leo nodded to him."Autopilot!" Leo called out. "Initiate stealth protocols and take up to the point directly above enemy fortress."The jet followed the order floating towards the enemy base.

As the jet got in position, Vlad left the cockpit, singing some some in romanian that neither Riku nor Leo could understand. Based on the rhythm, Leo guessed it was something by Powerman 5000. Riku took a step towards the door, but halted when he felt Leo's shoulder."Riku..." Leo said. "Have you even killed a person?""I have not." Riku said, surprisingly open on the subject."Well, remember, you have blades on you hands. If the throat opens, they usually fall down." Leo said, getting next to him and walking with him the last few inches to the door. "I know how to kill someone, Leo.""I was being ironic.""That isn't what ironic means."Riku looked out the took to see Lara's leaning in, kissing Vlad on the cheek."For luck" she said quickly, before turning away, blushing and sitting next to Lucia. Vlad rubbed his cheek, not having been ambushed by a kiss before.

Leo audibly sighed."Vampires get all the chicks." he said. He then turned on his heel."I'll be in the cockpit keeping an eye on you guys. If things get dicey, I'll try to headbutt someone with the jet. Good luck""I'm not a vampire." Vlad called after him. "And thank you. If I get impaled, it'll have been enjoyable fighting alongside you."Fighting is a strong word." Lucia whispered from her spot."What was that, concussed?" Leo called back. "Good luck. Don't make me come down there to help you guys. I don't think I can stand yet."

Vlad nodded to her. Lara, her blush too deep for her to speak, simply nodded towards the two. Riku nodded back. Vlad and Riku took their spots by the boarding ramp."I just want to get this out of the way now." Riku called behind him. "Just because I'm a jap going on a suicide mission doesn't mean you can make kamikaze jokes. I draw the line there.""No problems there." Lucia said from her spot. Lara made some kind of agreement noise from her position."You guy's ready?"

Leo quizzically called from his spot."Yeah.""Yes."With their words, the boarding ramp opened, revealing the courtyard below them.Vlad turned to Riku, trying to hold back a smile."Ready to unleash some divine winds?" Riku gritted his teeth together."Shut up, vampire."The two lept forward into the air, darting into the courtyard. Riku landed swiftly and silently, while Vlad landed like a cannonball next to him. Riku immediately spotted movement within the surrounding buildings."Let's make this quick." Vlad said, smiling and scanning their surroundings. "I have a bet with a German I need to win."

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