A long night in Toronto....

---- Kernelight; Toronto branch offices; Friday, February 2nd 12:45 AM....

A tired man by the name of Adrian is returning his push cart loaded with cleaning equipment back to the storage closet; his work of cleaning maintenance bay number 6 of Kernelight's Toronto branch depot was done for the day. He'd had to clean a loader Wanzer that was sitting in the bay as well, which is a lot of work. The storage closet wasn't much farther up the hall, at least....
And yet, as tired as he was, Adrian did not complain; technically, anything would've beaten cleaning Kernelight toilets, hands down. The cleaning officer had no idea how the toilets were abused by its' tenants, but occasionally, it took more effort to clean up than, say, a whole bay.

His footsteps (not himself, mind) carried him, pushcart and all, towards the storage closet. As he reached ever closer to the closet, Adrian began to rummage for his closet keys from his pockets. He looked around to see if anyone else was around; it was absolutely important that nobody had unauthorised access to the closet. It's a very important job.
Art's glance down the hall ahead of him showed there was indeed someone nearby, and walking towards him with a very military stride, to boot. The person in question was Art's supervisor, Aaron Berk, a large Irish man formerly in the service of Britain's armed forces, and now a member of Kernelight. The man also looked a tad tired from a day of work, but that didn't stop him from raising one hand and waving at the cautious janitor with a smile. "Evening, Art."
To this day, Adrian could not understand why his immediate supervisor was a military man, and not a janitorial department manager of some sort. Sure, his own circumstances were a bit different from the others, but they should've at least followed the order... or hierarchy... or whatever those smarter people called it.

Adrian visibly cringed, however, when he was called by the endearing nickname he got tagged with in his short employment in Kernelight; he did not like "Art" as a name at all. If anything, that sounded really feminine in his opinion.

"Good evening, sir," Adrian responded, straightening up and giving a quick salute and a small smirk.
Aaron returned the salute with a grin as he came to a stop next to Adrian. "At ease, lad. I know it irks you when Mark and Jose call ya that. They were really laying it on today, weren't they, Adrian. Anyway, I've got something for you." The man reaches into a jacket pocket, and pulls out an envelope with Art's name on it. "Your pay. You've earned it." He holds the envelope out for Art to take.
Adrian refrained from commenting about his two colleagues too much, not wanting to engage in work politics. Life was in the nine depths of shit already without it; he didn't need another extra layer as a sugar coating. He took the envelope from Aaron's hand, muttered a "thanks", and pocketed it into his jacket's front pocket. "You could've gotten someone else to give it to me," the janitor noted off-handedly, beginning to unlock the storage closet to store the cart's tools and taking out the tool set for the Wanzer bays. "Is there anything else you need?"
Aaron just shrugged. "I could have. Yes. But then I wouldn't have been able to see the look on ya face... The Docs sent in the final update package for your cybernetics. You'll be seeing them on Monday. It's not official yet, but you'll be off scutt work an' in my active roster inna couple more weeks." The big man stood there grinning like the Cheshire cat... if the cat was 6'4", red headed, and built like a gorilla.
Adrian turned away from the closet briefly to look at Aaron, checking to see if the man was lying. Seriously? Light at the end of the shit tunnel? The about-to-be-ex-janitor dropped the closet keys before quickly retrieving them from the floor, trying to maintain his composure.

"*cough* That sounds good, sir. Though it would've been better if you told me without that grin of yours," Adrian unconsciously placed his hands into his pants pockets, busily wiping away the sweat of excitement. Sure, it was a few weeks away, but damn was that good news.
Aaron laughed heartily at Adrian's reply, and patted the man on the shoulder solidly as he started to walk past. "That reaction was totally worth it." Once Aaron was past Adrian, and a few steps down the hall towards the elevator door, he turned his head and spoke over his shoulder. "As a celebration and test of your fully finished cybernetic controller, why don't you join me an the boys at the bar in midtown Tuesday night? Mark's buying," There was an unspoken 'or else' in there somewhere. "and Ceilia from the quartermaster's office will be there. We'll be playin' snooker fer chips, so watch that hot little number doesn't take you for all ya worth." Arron turned his head away as he got further down the hall, but Art heard him say "Think about it, lad." anyway.
The pat felt more like a slap to Adrian with the chronology of bombshells flying at his face in the previous five minutes, and visibly brightened at the mention of a booze night. You can always count on an Irishman when it came to celebrating an occasion (with booze). Whatever grin or smile Adrian had, though, was wiped off at the mention of the quartermaster's name, whereby he responded by storing his cleaning tools much quicker than he did.

Upon hearing Aaron asking him to think about the offer, Adrian shook his head quickly. He just got his hard-earned paycheck. Was he going to waste it on a night out? Perhaps. But one with Ceilia in it? Probably not. ... He shuddered at that thought.

Slamming the door shut after his storage was done, Art proceeded to walk down the hall, heading for the department office. He was done for the day; time to drop off his tools and keys.
Art arrived at the office to find it occupied by Serge, a young Zaftran man working as a clerk. Like Adrian, he had a pet name: Surge; a mispronunciation of Serge. And like Adrian, he hated it. With that in mind... "Clocking out for the night, Adrian?" Serge asked without turning around. He punched a button on his console, and Art's locker popped open before the man could so much as reply.
Adrian waved and nodded at Serge; at least someone was in the same predicament as he was. Unfortunately, however, he was about to say goodbye forever to this job-- can't say the same for the poor sap, however.

With the locker open, Adrian was practically flinging his utility belt into it, keeping on himself just some miscellaneous stuff. He shifted his combat knife and handgun into his thigh pockets, however, not wanting those to stick out on a holster belt in obvious view.

Quietly, he left the office, but dropped Serge a thumbsup on his way out.

The "quietly" abruptly came to a halt as the moment he left the Kernelight grounds, where he began to skip his way to the metro station. His life was finally on track. Nothing can go wrong at this point, now.

---- Industrial Metroline Station; Friday, February 2nd 1:21 AM....

The giddy Art did not have terribly far to go. The Kernelight grounds ended right at the entrance to the subway station that also serviced the nearby waterfront warehouse district and a couple of factories. Adrian walkes down the stairs into the station, and swipes his metropass to get past the passenger toll gates. Once inside, Art finds himself alone. The benches are empty, and the station platform is devoid of life. This is normal for this time of night, to be sure.

The smart display on his card tells him the next train going his way will be at 1:35 AM.
Very much used to an empty subway station, Adrian made himself comfortable on one of the benches that he knew would be the nearest to where one of the doors to the train coach would open. With his luck today, the train might even reach earlier than the schedule! Was what he hoped.

Adrian began by sitting, arms crossed, but eventually changed his mind by shoving his hands into his pockets, instead. Wished they could set up a heater for the dude that always went back along at 1.30a.m., but hey, he wasn't the type to bother to complain about things. Too much hassle.

... And so, he quietly waited for the train to arrive.
Quick footsteps echo their way to Adrian's ears from the other entrance just down the way. A thin man in a beige longcoat, with a red scarf wrapped around his neck and lower face, and his upper face left in shadow by the black fedora atop his head makes his way at a jog to the toll gate, and swipes himself through it. He continues forward a little bit, but his jogging pace falters, and he stops to catch his breath. His hot breath is easily visible in the chill February night air as he turns his head to glance at Adrian, nods, and turns away again to look at a device he has produced from his pocket; presumably an expensive tablet phone. He otherwise ignores Adrian.

It is now 1:29 AM.
While he could symphatise with a man that wanted to catch a train, Adrian could not help but wonder the reason for anyone other than shift workers to be about in the industrial zone at this hour. Adrian shrugged, however; it was none of his business. He just needed to get on the train, head home, possibly drink a can or two before sleeping.
It wasn't long after that Adrian heard the sound of many footfalls echoing their way down into the subway. The other man in the station jerked upright, looked back the way he came, and then took off running towards Adrian as the sound of an oncoming subway train began to fill the station....


There is a gunshot from the far side of the station, and the pursuers kick open the normally locked and chained gate next to the toll gate. Two men in what appear to be night watchman uniforms run out into the station, and one takes a shot at the fleeing man with a 9mm semi-automatic handgun. The other followed suit with his own matching handgun. Neither hit the fleeing man, but he's fleeing towards Art, who is lucky enough not to have been hit so far. The only cover nearby comes in the form of poorly padded plastic chairs sitting on black rail supports in a row like benches, and none of that is going to come close to stopping a bullet. This could be a problem.
Sounds of rushed footsteps always meant something's horrible. ... Aaaaand there you go, Adrian idly mused, before realising that shit was happening to tumble his life further down the hellhole. He was about to not care, all the way up until Adrian heard gunshots following the man.

And the man's coming his way.

What the- run in another direction, you ass! Adrian mentally cursed, and quickly ran at a direction that was not in the line of fire-- presumably, closer to the rail tracks. The sounds of the train was entirely reassuring, and Adrian decided that he would just get on the train, and get the fuck away before more shit emerges. Never in his life when he wished harder for the train to arrive faster.
The train did indeed pull in and come to a stop before the running Adrian, with a closed door directly in front of him. As the door slowly opened before him, the running man, literally fleeing for his life, covered the distance between himself and Adrian to the sound of gunfire. Some of that gunfire was produced by the man himself, who had taken a small sub-machine gun out of his longcoat, and was spraying fire at his assailants with it. His hat was missing by then, however, probably shot off by a near miss from his attackers.

The doors open before Adrian, and not a moment too soon as a bullet whizzes past his head and blows out a window just to his left. However, before the man can take a step into the train, he is shot with a taser by the fleeing Zaftran, and shoved bodily into it. Adrian blacks out to the sound of someone with a heavy machinegun bullet-hosing the place he'd just been standing.

---- Downtown Toronto; Symantec offices; Friday, February 2nd 1:00 AM....

Elizabeth is just finishing up her work for the night....
Leaning back in her chair, she let out a sigh as her fingers finally came to a stop. Just because she was good at what she did, Liz couldn't help but think how unfair it was to throw this last minute project on her lap just because the company requested a rush job. She has better things to do with her nights, and this wasn't one of them.

Slowly she stood up from her seat, the image of playing that new RPG she picked up yesterday fresh in her mind. it brought a smile to her face just thinking about it.

"That should do it." She muttered, as she leaned forward to power down her equipment.