Midnight Raid

Deep in the reaches of the Sharo Rogue network sat a camouflaged tent, surrounded on almost all sides by a thick bank of snow that made the white material of its' roof incredibly hard to pick out from the surroundings.

Inside were five navis, all dressed in the typical navi uniform of the Sharoan Military.

The first, a young, female navi with long black hair tied into a tight ponytail, was called Jackshot by her teammates. She was fairly light-built, kind of skinny with a musculature that implied she chased a lot of people.

The second was a taller man with a buzz-cut, wearing a beret. His build was thicker, more stocky; he was definitely the brawler of the team. Teammates called him Bynn. He liked to break things. He was very good at it.

The third was a second female navi, typing away at a holographic screen and wearing a pair of specialized goggles, their lenses glowing green. A grin ran over her face as the screen showed the viewpoint of a gun drone as it obliterated a few Cloudy viruses that had tried to sneak up on it. Her hair was (sloppily) kept in a pair of short pigtails, with the rest being unquestionably messy atop her head. They called her Petts. Two Ts. Not one, she'd get angry if you used one, and she could tell.

The fourth was a brick of a navi, iron-y features giving him an almost metallic sheen. Him is used here as a gender-neutral pronoun; all along his form you could find no features to suggest either gender, he as just a large, metal humanoid, almost larger than Bynn. They called him Steelclad. He, or it, was only vaguely humanoid; his face had nothing but a mouth on it, and his frame could be either muscularly female or muscularly male. With the ratios of his shoulders and hips, it was hard to tell.

Finally, lecturing this group and standing in front of what looked like a large projector screen was a navi with a few extra stripes on his arm compared to the others, his hair blonde and cut into a flat-top. They called him Trackord.

"So!" Trackord snapped, flinging his pointer at Petts' goggles and causing an impact just large enough to jostle her out of her reverie, "To reiterate the short version of the plan for the slackers in the room, there is a base 10000 panels +X of here. It is a bunker. It goes down 3 floors -Z from the surface. Our target, thankfully, is on the first floor. There are three entrances."

He paused, making sure Petts was paying attention, then pointed back at the chart. "The first entrance is on the -Y side. It is a set of large doors connected to a hangar bay. These doors are coated to ironbody standard and have enough HP that not even our best ordinance could chip through them in a timely fashion, so that is merely an escape route you will cover."

"The second entrance is on the +Y side. It's a small, side door, sparsely guarded and even more sparsely used, it cannot normally be opened from the outside but it's not too tough. A well-placed detonation could get us in there."

"Sir." Bynn spoke up, pointing at a spot on the screen. "What about the entrance on the +X side?"

"You will not interrupt me, Corporal, or I will have you sent back to boot camp!" Trackord snapped, prompting Bynn to sit back down. "The +X entrance is a back door, effectively. The enemy guards it like one, with multiple sentries posted that way. That is where we will be braking in."

Bynn nearly spoke up again, but held his tongue. Next to him, Jackshot held up a hand.

"Yes, Sergeant?" Trackord nodded to her, crossing his arms.

"Why the +X entrance, sir? Isn't the +Y entrance a much safer and easier way in?" She asked curtly, looking him in the eye.

Trackord sighed. "Tell me, Sergeant. If you come in from +Y, which way is our target most likely to flee?"

"...-Y, sir." Jackshot answered, understanding what he was getting at.

"Yes. He will flee to the armored hangar bay, full of vehicles we do not want him escaping in." Trackord explained. "So, Sergeant, you and your company will be heading in the +X entrance, taking down targets as you go. Specialist Petts will have one of her gun drones standing by near the side entrance, should the target flee by that route as per the plan."

"You and your team, Sergeant Jackshot, will head in the +X entrance, leading our target down the T-shaped main hallway that makes up the majority of the first floor, aside from the side rooms. When you reach the T junction at the end of the hallway, you and Corporal Steelclad will veer your shots toward the -Y end of the junction, in theory pushing the target toward the +Y exit and Petts' drone.

"Shouldn't we just shoot the target, Lieutenant?" Jackshot asked again, crossing one leg over the other.

"I'd say yes, Sergeant, but this target has a knack for staying alive too long for that to be very useful here. No, command wants you to get him into a killbox where all four of you can target him at once, then take him down." Trackord said.

"What About Bringing In The Target Alive?" Steelclad asked from the far side of the room.

"Negative." Trackord shook his head. "Command has, in their opinion, already wasted too many resources on this particular target by attempting to capture him three times prior to today. You will be shooting to kill, ladies and gentleman. Any questions?"

The silence that ensued was all the answer Trackord needed.

"Then get going!"
A while later...

One, two, three shots rang out with the loud banging of the firing hammer in Jackshot's revolver striking a round. In response, one, two-- missed one-- Heelnavis dropped, scouts for the +X entrance of the base. Bynn was already ahead of her, picking up the slack; one of his big, burly arms hefted a sword as he cut through the snow and then the remaining Heelnavi, shedding flecks of data all over the terrain. "Nice job, Bynn!" She called out over the team's comm line, turning to check for other targets.

She spotted Steelclad and Petts pulling their usual team-up routine a bit closer to the base; Steelclad had grabbed one Heelnavi with one of his amorphous limbs and then stuck it too far in the ground for it to do anything, then grabbed another and did the same thing, lining them both up for one of Petts' drones to easily strafe-kill from high overhead, bullets whizzing down and sending both Heelnavis scattering in beams of light. Mere moments later, both of those beams broke and sundered themselves against the Jack-Out barrier they had set up before they had begun the assault.

They couldn't take any chances with this target.

After having dispatched the sentries outside the bunker, Jackshot and her team closed in on the back doors. The fifth member of their team, if she was doing her job right, would have the target out in the hallway very shortly. As her team reached the threshold of the base, they lined up flush against the wall to either side of the door, and waited for just a few moments. Jackshot nodded. On cue, Bynn and Steelclad leapt toward the door, each of them striking one of the double doors that were their way in.

As one door fell to pieces, cut by Bynn's sword, and the other simply collapsed under the strain of Steelclad's pounding, they heard gunshots further in. Jackshot and Petts whipped around the corners of the doorway and crossed the threshold, sprinting inside as Bynn and Steelclad brought up the rear.

This was definitely the main hallway; Jackshot could see doors lining either side, and at the far end the corridor segued off to either direction.

A T-junction, just as they'd planned.

Prompted by the body of Lackwit.EXE flying through it like a bat out of hell, one of the doors on the left side of the hallway burst open. "Guards! Guaaaards!" He shouted, turning towards the team sprinting at him. Jackshot raised her gun, and their target-- Lackwit.EXE, the worst bastard to ever be a terrorist (In more ways than one), finally recognized her.

So of course, he areagrabbed, jumping a good 50 panels further down the hall and away from her team, and she cursed. "Double time it! Don't let him get away!" She yelled, firing off a few more shots down the hall. Bynn and Steelclad sprinted past her, veering toward the right side of the hallway as Jackshot continued to pepper Lackwit with bullets mid-sprint, and began to gain on him.

Shell after shell after shell pinged off of various barriers, casings, and armored bulk that Lackwit continued to throw up every time Jackshot shot him; he laughed maniacally as he frantically ran away from the group still chasing him, switching defenses every time Jackshot switched pierces, and sometimes before.

The entire chase neared the T-junction; Bynn and Steelclad were nearly on him, ready to tackle him if he even tried to venture down the side hall. They'd reach the junction any second now.


Lackwit's steps increased in speed as he glanced behind him and saw the two officers that had nearly caught him; he didn't bother to glance again.


Bynn activated a haste sig as Lackwit continued to sprint, gaining even more speed in response. He could almost reach him--


Jackshot, cursing and screaming as she fired shot after shot after shot at Lackwit, was suddenly broken out of her reverie as a giant missile sped by her, trailing smoke and flames and looking generally unhealthy.


Jackshot stopped in her tracks, stunned, and looked behind her. Pitts stood there astride another one of her gun drones, this one with its' armored carapace open to reveal a huge tube that could only be the source of the rocket. She grinned back at Jackshot.


"MISSILE!" Jackshot yelled into the comm, prompting Bynn to nearly trip over himself as he tried to stop, and causing Steelclad to stop entirely as the giant, flaming implement of death went passing by them, headed straight for Lackwit--

The explosion shook the whole building. The missile impacted with Lackwit with the force of a few dozen LilBombs, all primed to explode on impact and set to send a huge fireball bursting outward from their shell. That job they did nicely; Jackshot admired the great big glowing ball of heat as it expanded outward, coming just inches away from Bynn before it collapsed back in on itself, filling that part of the corridor with smoke for a brief moment.


The sound off in the distance was not promising. Bynn dragged himself to his feet and raced into the smoke; Steelclad followed him, then Jackshot, and finally Petts atop her flying drone.


The back door to the left was unopened. Their plan had failed. As the team raced into the hangar to the right instead, they were just in time to see a large jet go screaming out of it and onto the snow-covered runway. Jackshot and Pitts fired everything they still had at it; their bullets all either missed, or simply pinged off of whatever armor that thing had as it rose up, shooting off into the simulated night sky of Rogue Sharo.

Jackshot slumped, leaning against the nearest wall and sliding down to a sit, and let out a loud sigh. Bynn stabbed one of the other jets in the hangar angrily; Steelclad pounded a hole in the wall behind them.

Petts, meanwhile, hadn't given up yet. She was busily at work on a set of three holoscreens, her flying gun drones all trying to bring down the speedy jet before it could exit the radius of their jack out barrier. The rest of the team gathered at the open hangar doors as, one by one, they realized that the jet displayed on those screens was beginning to smoke; could she really do it?

The answer was no, apparently. All of a sudden the cover to the cockpit popped open, and the familiar light of a Jack-out beam began to materialize. Inwardly, Petts screamed at herself; outwardly, she screamed at all of her drones; she just needed one of them, any of them, to make the shot...!

As the beam began to break away from the jet, it suddenly burst from within, erupting into a million glittering fragments of data. The entire team paused, blinking.

"Petts, was he still inside the Jack-Out barrier?" Bynn asked, looking off into the distance and beginning to run.

"No, He Was Not. Distance Calculations Indicate That He Had Cleared Maximum Barrier Functionality By A Radius Of 814 Panels." Steelclad replied, beginning to follow him. Petts pulled up next to them as they continued to sprint, Jackshot already aboard her drone.

"Get on, let's go check it out!" She yelled.


A little while later the team arrived at the crash site of the Jet; Petts' drones had done quite a number on it after all, as it was still smoking from several holes in the fuselage. All around the crash site were bits and pieces of the plane; and, more importantly, bits and pieces of Lackwit, his data scattered everywhere in neat little cubes.

"Command, this is Jackshot, target eliminated, repeat, target eliminated..." Jackshot began, giving a report as she walked a little ways away from the crash.

"Damn, Petts! You're a pretty good shot with those drones!" Bynn grinned at her, roughing up one of her shoulders as she blushed and awkwardly looked away.

"I- I guess I am." Petts said nervously, chuckling. "I thought I had missed, though! All the drones were reporting they had, anyway. Do I need to recalibrate them again...?"

"I Have No Doubts In Your Ability To Hit A Target, Specialist Petts." Steelclad replied, mouth drawn into a smirk. "In Fact, I Doubt Anything Could Walk Away From Your Drones' Onslaught."

From behind Steelclad came a voice. A voice that was highly unexpected of the entire team; a voice that none of them had heard before. They whirled, training their guns, swords, drones, and whatever on it-- as it nervously cried out.

"Whoa, whoa, take it easy there!" the black-clad Heelnavi behind them called out, raising his hands in surrender. "Look, I just want to know where I am!"

"Who are you?" Jackshot asked, her revolver trained squarely on his head. She still had at least one shot left, of that she was certain.

"Look, I just teleported in and found myself covered in jack out beam. Do you know how that feels? Getting beamed twice in a row?" The black-clad Heelnavi asked indignantly, gesturing with his hands. "I mean first it's some castle, then it's a jet that's about to crash! Honestly!"

"I asked you to identify yourself!" Jackshot yelled in reply, firing a warning shot at the snow near the Heelnavi.

"Wait, wait! I-I'm PortaJohn! PortaJohn.EXE!"

There was a pause.

"Don't gimme that look!"[b][/b] PortaJohn yelled. "That's not what I'm named afteeeeeeer!"