Chapter Twenty-Three: Victory

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A massive chunk of metal that Riku guessed was a gunship landed in the courtyard and took Ken prisoner. Riku could see that out of the ten or so soldiers on the gunship, only three were human. The remaining seven were the same type grey-skinned humanoids that had faced during the team's first meeting. He still wondered how the Axis organization justified blowing up a plane in order to test them. Riku shook that off as the jet landed nearby the gunship. The hatch opened and the rest of the group walked out and approached Riku and Vlad.

"So, we saved the day." Leo said as he waltzed out of the jet. In his arms, he carried a tablet. "Apparently, I have a debrefing here." he said as he scrolled through the tablet. He cleared his throat.

"First of all, we did a good job. Apparently, when they searched the bomb..."
Cole autably grumbled. Riku guessed that the bomb squad forced him out when he was on break.

"They found traces of nuclear energy. So, Cole and Kira disarmed a nuke. Good job."

Cole tried to hide a smile about his success while Kira didn't bother trying to hide her's.

"Next up, after Kira killed their bishop, Cole killed their knight, Riku killed their king, and the tag team of Riku and Vlad captured their rook, we have most of the chess board. Can anyone report on the pawns?"
"I think I can." Riku said. "I believe that the king mentioned something about his power, his voice. We killed eight, for lack of a better word, things, that Gideon called their pawns. I think we have those accounted for."
Leo nodded at Riku,

"Good job. Now, any word on their queen. Or princess, considering..."

No one spoke up.

"OK, we are missing one queen. Let's hope that they just didn't have one. Moving on..."
He scrolled through the tablet.

"Something about us being great."
He continued scrolling.

"Something about us having another mission."
He continued scrolling.

"Something about Riku having his own mission..."
He stopped scrolling.

"Oh, Riku, you have a new mission."
"Oh." he said softly. "What is it."

Riku continued scrolling.

"Wait, something about Lara first."
He continued scrolling.
"Something about her being at significantly more risk due to her loss of powers."

He continued scrolling.

"Meanwhile, Riku has shown himself able to defuse a conflict in multiple ways. The two of them will board the gunship and return to Axis base. Lara will be debriefed and sent home while Riku will be send on his own mission."
"A solo mission." Riku muttered to himself. "What is it?"
"Something about a hostile takeover of some place called Fortuna City..."

He continued scrolling.

"OK, you will be sent to this place called Fortuna City. Apparently, it used to be a rich city, lots of places to spend money, lot of nice art, plenty of guards..."

He continued scrolling.

"It was taken over by a group of infecteds. Their leader, a man called Bojack, has proclaimed the New Fortuna City a safe haven for infected people all over the world, so long as they cause no trouble. As a member of the Axis Squad, you are to travel to the city and negotiate with Bojack and his gang. If nothing else, make sure that they won't be conquering anymore cities."

Riku nodded.

"Understood."

He then looked towards Lara.
"We'd better get going then."

Lara looked down at the ground. She sighed, looking at her hands.

"A shame these couldn't last."
She turned to Lucia and gave her a hug. She then walked over to each other member and gave them each a small hug. Only Cole gave the semblance of resistance.

"I'll miss this." she said. "I think I was almost about to get brave, too."
Riku put an arm around her.

"Let's go." He said as they began walking towards the gunship.

"I'll see you guys whenever I get this mission done." he called back. He unhooked Algolic and tossed it in the general direction of the group. Lucia caught the blade.

"Be careful," he called. "One cut will sting worse than anything you can imagine. Have fun."

A minute after they entered the gunship, the axis humanoids reentered the gunship and it took off. As the gunship flew off into the sky, Leo continued to scroll through tablet.

"And now for our mission..."

Riku looked out of the jet. He looked to Lara, who was looking down at her feet.

"Are you going to be OK?" he asked.

She looked up and put a smile on her face.

"Sure, I'm fine." she said as she looked out the window.

"It will be nice going home instead of fighting on rooftops."

Riku smiled at her, then looked out the window, watching the fortress slowly disappear out of sight.

"I wonder what this Bojack fellow will be like..." he said to himself.

The Axis squad all entered the jet. Lucia examined Algolic's blade. It appeared sharp to the touch. Riku's words echoed through her head. As she was about to touch the blade, Leo's voice entered the room.

"Box of stuff here." he called out, setting a large metal box in the center of the jet. He popped each side of it open as he examined the contents.

"There are a bunch of uniforms in here." he called out. The group surrounded the box as Leo pulled out each jumpsuit and handed it to their owner.

"According to the message, each of them have something special for their owner. Cole's is fire proof."
"Smart," he said as he looked over his jumpsuit. His and all of the other suits were made of a thick, pitch black material. He guessed that they had some type of kevlar build in, as well as some fireproof substance for his. Vlad looked over his and found that the arms on his were significantly expanded. He guessed that it was to accommodate his muscles. 

Kira's seemed to be slightly less thick, allowing for more movement. Lucia and Leo's jumpsuits were similar and had the same attachment: a holster on the right side of their waist. Leo went further into the box and found two handguns. One was a pure black model which resembled an M1911. The other was a dark grey model of the same handgun. He handed the black one to Lucia and kept the grey one for himself. He then looked in the box and saw a small box with Cole's name on it. He picked it up and handed it to Cole.

"What's this?" he said as he opened the box. Inside was a ring, made out of a pure white metal. The metal was in strings twirled together like a rope. Cole signed and looked at the floor of the jet. He slipped the ring on and left the room.
"I wonder what that was about." Leo said as he continued sorting through the box. Cole soon reappeared, dressed in his sleek uniform. Leo turned to see Kira smiling. He then turned back to see Cole walking to the front of the jet.

"Where are we headed?" he called back. Leo stood and grabbed his uniform and handgun.

"I'm glad you asked..."


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