The Silent Hunter

Atop an elevated position in cyberspace, a figure with a cloak laid prone and stared through a pair of binoculars, scanning the area from high ground. Validus signalled to Markerlight, who was all the way on the other side. She simply responded with a shaking head, informing Validus that no, there was no sign of his target on her side as well. "Still no sign of him yet, captain. Are you sure he's here?"

"This is the designated target area from the GNA, Validus. I don't see a point for them to relay false information." Tsujsa simply responded. "Besides, they could be in one of the buildings at the moment, and probably threat might not show his face until our client exposes him or herself in the open."

"Completely reasonable. Also I feel kind of like a stalker doing this... sheesh." Markerlight said with a sigh, before returning to scanning the surroundings.
Validus didn't have to wait too long before a large limo-like vehicle pulled up to a large street. As the door opened, a blonde-haired navi wearing a long, brown leather coat stepped out as other navis began to come out as well. The first navi had a strange aura about him, as he was dressed in a "gentleman" fashion, complete with stylish silver glasses, but the mismatching medieval gauntlet and his pair of greaves seemed very off. yet complimenting his overall look.

The navis quickly surrounded the vehicle till one more navi finally came out. The navi was a woman at her late teens, dressed in a short, white dress complete with an equally designed summer hat. She was quickly surrounded by the other navis, most likely the body guards, as they proceeded to enter a building nearby.

"...Validus, do you respond." An unknown voice suddenly came into Validus' frequency as he continued on. "This is Alphonse.EXE, the NetPolice in charge of handling Miss Gren's protection...At your service." The navi with the brown coat didn't make direct eye contact with Validus, but gave a small thumbs up towards his general direction. "Validus, do you respond?"
Markerlight suddenly noticed a peculiar sight in ACDC net: A limo vehicle. Signalling to Validus and pinging the location of the limo, Validus turned to face the limo from his location as well. That was probably the client alright. He pulled up a small window beside him with an image of the client. First off was a navi with a distinguished appearance, though the medieval equipment seemed to clash with it heavily.

As soon as he left the vehicle, a large complement of navis formed a sort of perimeter around the limo. "Whoever this person is, she's got to be someone big." Validus remarked without dropping his binoculars and keeping his eyes glued on the target. Eventually though, a matching person showed up on the window, with the green words glowing "Identity Matched". The figure had suddenly entered another building, and left Validus' line of sight. The blue navi grinned. "Bingo. That's our target to guard." Tsujsa chipped in.

Another voice suddenly crackled into the navi's helmet. It seemed to be coming from the navi with a brown longcoat. The same one that was wearing the mismatching medieval equipment. Validus noticed the thumbs-up gesture he had directed towards him.

"I copy, Alphonse. We've got a dominating view point of the entire area at the moment, and we haven't seen anything suspicious yet. I'd prefer it if you helped keep our location discreet too."
"We will try our best on our side. I truly appreciate your help in this mission." said Alphonse as he turned his back against Validus. "However, I do have some things I need to note before we really get started..."

Not so far from where Validus stood, a roar of cheers could be heard from the nearby street just around the corner. "I am unsure how much information the GNA has provided for you, but Miss Gren is currently attending a net-wide tour as a show of good faith to the people." It wasn't long before the bodyguards began to stream out of the building with Gren still tightly protected. Most of them began to surround the vehicle while a few of them personally entered the limo as it slowly drove on the street. "Miss Gren is very brave, but she is till very afraid of what might happen. The bodyguards protecting her has already put her on the edge and we really can't push things anymore this little girl." said Alphonse as he trailed just behind the limo.

"So, I'll get straight to the point." Just as the limo turned around the street corner, the cheers magnified in volumes. "Keep things under control as much as you can, we do not want any sight of the possible attackers within Miss Gren's sight. Maintain radio silence at all times, unless the situation is beyond what you can contain. Understood?"
Validus pulled the slide loader of his rifle, getting it ready to respond the minute a threat pops up. Markerlight pulled her's pistol's slide and prepared the chamber as well. Both of their weapons giving a soft hum to confirm that they were now armed.

"Roger that Alphonse. We'll be watching for Miss Gren to see that she's unharmed throughout the tour." Validus replied, before nodding to Markerlight. The SP nodded before taking point, as both of them vaulted across buildings, chasing after the Limo and making sure that Miss Gren wasn't attacked from an unexpected direction.

Markerlight maintained her field of vision to the Limo, while Validus moved right behind her with the rifle in both hands.
Hopping from buildings to buildings unnoticed, Validus continued to trail the limo. There were no signs of malice anywhere near the "parade," till something finally came up in the navi's attention down at the street. "You sure we gonna do this?" said one of the HeelNavi to the other, heavily dressed in thick clothing to cover their identities. "Blahblahblah, just shut up and get ready, alright?" It was instantly obvious that these navis were up to no good, and to top it off, it seemed like they didn't notice Validus at all!

-Unaware of their Enemies!-
ThugNaviA: 150 HP
ThugNaviB: 150 HP
ThugNaviC: 150 HP

Terrain: 100% Normal

-Preemptive Advantage!-
Validus.EXE: 120 HP
Markerlight.SP: 40 HP

"Validus, hold your ground. I detect something abnormal in the area."

Validus and Markerlight both halted abruptly before hitting the ground on the roof, weapons primed and ready to fire. "What? What is it?" Validus hissed in his comms as he eyed his surroundings. Markerlight was the first to notice it, as she shook Validus' shoulder and pointed at a group of navis in thick clothing. "I think Tsujsa's referring to them."

"Very perceptive, Marker. I'm not sure if they're the ones mentioned in the mission who sent the threats, or whether they're just a bunch of creepy stalking fans," Tsujsa said, a hand holding up a battlechip. "Either way, we've got to neutralize them before the limo arrives."

"Three tangoes... do we take em out or do we get confirmation first?" Validus said as he placed the rifle on the ground. Two tripods materialized as if the navi willed it, and set them down to stabilize the rifle. He let his cheek rest on the stock of the rifle, the non-visor eye staring down the scope, placing the three navis in his crosshairs. "I'd prefer we have no civilian casualties, especially if they're the aforementioned stalking fans."

"I'll drop down and get confirmation first. If they're the actual targets I might be able to distract them before the limo arrives, making them miss their target when they're occupied with us." Markerlight suggested, a smile in her face as she readied her handgun.

"Good call. I'll upload you with an elec chip. Just in case things get hairy." Tsujsa said. As he slotted in the ZapRing chip, a small, rifle magazine with a lighting stripe across it appeared next to Validus. The Navi simply picked it up, and with a simple transformation sequence, the magazine turned into a pistol clip. Validus handed it over to Markerlight, who immediately ejected her handgun's clip and inserted the converted Zapring data, causing the weapon to give a yellowish glow. The SP nodded and smiled. "You better not let me get shot at while I'm doing this." Markerlight added before making her way down to confront the three navis.

"Alright, Validus. Load up your rifle , and get ready to fire the minute things get hairy down there." Tsujsa said, as he placed another chip. As the data was transmitted, a three-chambered revolver-rifle hybrid weapon replaced the standard rifle in Validus' hands. Validus pulled the chamber out. There was only one round in the three chambers. Pulling out another two slugs, he placed them into the chambers and twisted the slug's behind, arming the weapon, before snapping the chamber back into position. The weapon gave a soft hum as a small display on the side of the weapon printed out:


"Weapon primed. Showtime." Validus muttered, as he watched through the scope of the rifle again.

Markerlight dropped to ground level easily enough. With her handgun in her arms, she snuck up behind the three navis, and then pulled the sidearm up, pointed at the middle navi of the three. "Odd place for one to watch the parade, isn't it? Alright, hands where I can see them, suckers. " Markerlight said out, in a volume loud enough to only catch the attention of the three navis instead of everyone else.

She trusted Validus to be able to drop the three of them down immediately the moment they started attacking, but in the event that they would prove to be more resilient than expected, she was ready to respond and counter any sudden movements from the three navis.

1. Validus - Convert ZAPRING for Markerlight use
2. Validus - Magnum - Charge
3. Validus - Magnum - Charge
4. Markerlight - Tactical Movement - Sneak up behind the three navis.
5. Markerlight - Dodge
"W-what the hell??" The three Heelnavis were startled by the strange girl who held them up at gun-point, all of which raised their hands immediately into the air. "Who are you? And what the hell are you doing to us!" said one the navi as he kept his arms up where Markerlight and Validus could see them. However, one of the HeelNavi seemed to be less incorporate by Markerlight as he immediately turned to swing his fist at the SP. "Hey! Who gave you the right to hold us up! Huh??"

Though the first hook was a miss, the other Heelnavis followed up as they began to outnumber the SPs with their own attacks, landing few hits on Markerlight before they stepped away. "Piss off and mind your own business!"

ThugNaviA: 150 HP
ThugNaviB: 150 HP
ThugNaviC: 150 HP

Terrain: 100% Normal

Validus.EXE: 120 HP
Markerlight.SP: 20 HP
The moment Validus started seeing fists fly in the alleyway, that was the cue. Immediately, he aimed his magnum onto one of the targets and pulled the trigger on the rifle. A discharge of pure, explosive energy erupted from the barrel of the weapon, straight for the heelnavi that had hit Markerlight. A quick swerve of the scope found it's cross-hairs aimed for another navi, and Validus pulled the trigger again, and the weapon roared again, another fireball roared as it flew straight for another heelnavi.

With another swerve, the rifle found the last heelnavi, the one who had tried to attack Markerlight but missed. With the Navi in dead center of his crosshairs, Validus fired the last remaining round in the chamber, and vengeance now would find their ways onto the offenders.

Summary of actions:
1. Magnum1 - 120 Dmg - 3 shots - ThugNaviA, ThugNaviB, and ThugNaviC
Just when the Thugnavis began to attack Markerlight once more, the explosive bullets began to fly right at them as two of the navis were pegged by it. "W-whwatwhwhat now!!" All of them turned up to see Validus sniping down on them, gritting their teeth as the navi was just too far out of their reach. "Fine, play rough? We'll play rough too!" said the navi as he took a cheap shot at Markerlight with another punch. "You started this fight, lets finish it before your girl gets it!!"

ThugNaviA: 30 HP
ThugNaviB: 30 HP
ThugNaviC: 150 HP

Terrain: 85% Normal, 15% Cracked

Validus.EXE: 120 HP (4 turns left)
Markerlight.SP: 10 HP
As Markerlight felt the thug's punch into her again, she whipped her pistol out and placed the barrel point blank right at the head of the Thug Navi who assaulted her, and pulle the trigger, sending a massive discharge of electricity from her weapon. "That's enough of that, criminal scum." She said with an annoyed tone.

Turning her attention to the others, it seemed to be in her best interests to attempt to flee, or at least prevent giving them any opportunity to connect their blows to her.

Meanwhile, Validus silently cursed himself for missing the third Thug. But at least Markerlight had stunned him. With the rifle now registering an empty -click- sound to signify that the weapon was empty, Validus now had to resort to another attack. Tsujsa had inserted a cannon chip earlier, and the rifle began to change it's shape again, once more to the familiar, large barreled weapon.

Pulling the Bolt Handle and loading the cannon shell into the weapon, the rifle began to glow with a neon green color on it's sides. With the selection of a target, and a pull of the trigger, the weapon fired a solid projectile, not as flashy as the attack earlier, but still something lethal.

The Navi switched targets, and pulled the loader once more. Another round went into the chamber. This time, the weapon glowed a bright purple as opposed to green, and the barrel seemed to have grown slightly larger as well. Like the shot before, Validus took aim at the second target, and pulled the trigger again.

2. Markerlight - Zapring1- ThugNaviC - 40 DMG + Stun
3. Markerlight - Dodge
4. Validus - Cannon - ThugnaviA - 40 DMG
5. Validus - Hi-Cannon - ThugnaviB - 80 DMG
"Argh, persista-abfeoiuahdihd..." The HeelNavi was stunned by Markerlight's discharge, stopping him from mid-speech and also mid-attack. The other two wounded navis seemed to hesitate with their attacks compare to their straight-forward companion, but they made their decisions seconds too late when Validus successfully Sniped them into EJO.

ThugNaviA: EJO
ThugNaviB: EJO
ThugNaviC: 90 HP [Stunned!]

Terrain: 85% Normal, 15% Cracked

Validus.EXE: 120 HP
Markerlight.SP: 10 HP
"Tch. You're going to wish you EJO'd instead." Markerlight said as she spat out red pixels from her bruised face. No sooner she had finished saying that a massive harpoon flew out from Validus' position, straight into the Navi's chest.

"Sorry for the delay. Marker. Stay alert, he might break free of his bonds." Validus said through the comms channel. Markerlight simply nodded at Validus' position, and kept an eye on the navi.

Meanwhile, as Validus' rifle reeled in the harpoon gun to drag the stunned navi towards him, he pulled out a small combat knife that crackled with flames from his side hilt, summoned from a fireknife, that Tsujsa had obtained from a trade with Harke earlier. He would like to have a nice little chat with the thug. Preferably painlessly, if possible.

Summary of attacks:
1. Validus - Grappling Hook - ThugNaviC - 10 HP - Pull towards position
2. Markerlight - Dodge
3. Markerlight - Dodge
4. Validus - Prepare Fireknife
"Brrrr...N-now that whatever the hell that was that zapped my body is gone...It's payback ti-WOOOOAHHHOOO!"

The lone HeelNavi was suddenly reeled towards Validus with his special gun, taking up the navi all the way from the street to the top of a small building. Even though the Heelnavi was at a daze after the sudden shift in his environment, he was no-less quicker to talk trash against his opponents. "What the hell man?! What are you doing this for? Mind your goddamn business and piss of...f?" As Validus silently drew his knife, not even muttering a word, the HeelNavi finally lost it and began to spill everything.

"H-he-hey, chill down m-man! We weren't here to do anything harmful, yea? We just thought it would be funny to spook people up during this parade?...W-why would I lie to someone who has my life on the edge, yea?" said the navi as he tried to find the right footing on the edge of the building. However, soon after the Heelnavi told everything he knew about, he was able to shove Validus away and ran for the fire-exit of the building, disappearing before the navi could ask for anymore questions...

ThugNaviA: EJO
ThugNaviB: EJO

Terrain: 85% Normal, 15% Cracked

Validus.EXE: 120 HP
Markerlight.SP: 10 HP

500z + 11 BugFrags
"He took off..." Validus muttered in exasperation as he allowed the knife to dissolve into data particles. He turned around to face Markerlight's position, and gave the thumbs up gesture to her, signalling that the area was now clear.

"We shouldn't have let that navi go. What if he still does something?" Tsujsa said, folding his arms and giving a sigh of exasperation. The Navi simply packed the rifle up and slung it across his shoulder. "Then we'll deal with him once he shows his ugly face again. In the meantime, we still need to keep an eye on the escort." Validus replied, as he pulled out his binoculars once more.

"Marker, I need you to get to a higher elevated position. Don't return here, find somewhere around you to keep an eye on my blind spots. If possible, get your injuries treated."

The SP simply grunted in reply through the communications channel, which Validus took as an affirmative.
Validus and Markerlight continued on as they trailed behind the limo, searching ever-so vigilantly for any sign of danger for the cautious Gren. The crowds were beginning to grow louder as Validus' ear almost turned deaf from all the noise, but he had something else to worry about...

The navi caught a glimpse of a metool running across the back street, just like the three thugs before. However, it was something to be taken much more seriously. Not only was the hostile a virus, it had a strange contraption strapped on its helmet...a contraption that looked strangely like a bomb.

As it passed behind building to building, hiding from Validus' sight, it was quickly approaching the limo, endangering Gren and the civilians!

StrangeMetool: 40 HP [Behind Building C]

Terrain: 100% Normal

Validus.EXE: 120 HP
Markerlight.SP: 10 HP
Distance away from the street: Street <- (Building) A <- B <- C
"Cripes, these people are rather excitable, aren't they?" Validus said as he winced from the deafening screams of adoration the crowd had been giving. As he looked through the scope of the binoculars, the limo was proceeding without trouble. It seemed that the crowd's noise had been working to his advantage; it had filtered out the sound of his rifle from being discovered.

The Navi simply folded his arms as he continued moving to keep up with the limo in his sights. So far, so good. However, as he hopped from one building to the other he noticed something strange, which immediately vanished from his sight as soon as he turned his sights onto it. Putting a finger to his ear, he tapped into Markerlight's frequency.

"Marker, I found something. Confirm object, over." Validus said, as he unslung his rifle and headed towards the position. His worst fear was confirmed when Markerlight replied with a frantic:

"Validus, it's a bomb! The metool's strapped with a bomb!"

Cursing, Validus tried to get to a position where he could get a clear line of sight to the Metool, and only the metool alone. Once there, he proceeded to lay prone on the ground and pulled out the stands on his rifle to stabilize his aim. "We're gonna take him out." The navi said as he placed his finger into firing position on his rifle. "Validus, stop!" Tsujsa suddenly exclaimed. The Navi, startled, cursed as he almost pulled the trigger on the rifle. "Captain, you don't have to shout!"

Ignoring the Navi's complaint, Tsujsa continued. "If you delete the virus the bomb might go off! We can't risk an explosion. The real perpetrator might use the confusion in the blast to get to Gren."

"Then what do you propose we do?! If we sit about here idling, the metool's just going to waltz straight up them and blow up!" The navi said, losing his cool as he watched the metool simply strotting about, heading slowly towards the crowd.

"Snipe the bomb." came Markerlight's reply.

A deadpan "What." came from both Validus and Tsujsa as they heard Markerlight's suggestion. "Destroy the bomb before it can execute the explosion code. That way we'll disable it before it can even attempt to blow up."

"That... that might actually work. Validus, can you magnify your zoom to the metool?"
"On it." Validus said as he adjusted a dial on the side of his rifle. As soon as he magnified his scope to put nothing but the bomb in his crosshair. Markerlight proceeded to feed data from her side as well as her pistol's laser sight aimed for the bomb on her end. The resulting data feed brought in accurate distance, anomalies in cyberspace, and lock on data for Validus' aiming. The Navi pulled out a silver, wide bullet and slotted it into the rifle's chamber. A small display lit up and said "GUARD BUSTER LOADED" in a robotic voice.

As soon as it was clear that there was no one in the blast proximity in the event that the bomb does go off, Validus pulled the trigger. The discharge of the weapon muffled by a silencer code that Tsujsa had temporarily written in.

Turn summary:
1. Validus - Tactical movement - Get Clear line of Sight to Metool
2. Validus - Visor Guidance - Bomb on Metool
3. Markerlight- Dodge
4. Markerlight- Dodge
5. Validus - Guard Buster - 50 DMG - Bomb on Metool.
Validus unloaded the aimed shot at the bombed Metool, shooting off the bomb and the virus at once, even if it was unintended. The bomb unfortunately went off as it exploded in the back alley, but due to some godly luck, the explosion wasn't quiet strong enough to break through the cheering of the civilians on the main road.

The day was saved and the march could continue!...Or so the navi thought. Three more of those strange viruses appeared just behind the deleted Metool, rushing forward while disregarding the fact that they might be sniped! This is getting out of hand!

StrangeMetoolA: DELETED [Behind Building C]
StrangeMetoolB: 40 HP [Between Building B & C]
StrangeMetoolC: 40 HP [Between Building B & C]
StrangeMetoolD: 40 HP [Behind Building C]

Terrain: 100% Normal

Validus.EXE: 120 HP
Markerlight.SP: 10 HP
"That didn't go exactly as planned..." Validus muttered as he looked up from his scope. Thankfully the explosion had gone by unnoticed by the crowd. As soon as the smoke cleared, Markerlight frantically contacted the Navi. "Bad news, Val! We've got more suicide metools!"

The navi cursed. There were at least another three more of them that materialized. As he pulled the handle on the rifle again, he fixed the crosshairs of his rifle on the three Metools. Same bomb equipment. He can't risk blowing them up all at once; this amount could actually cause a more noticeable ruckus. There was also the issue of this not being the only group in the area. What if there were actually more, hiding away at other places? Metools were the lowest form of virus and were easily replaceable, and it wouldn't be too far fetched for the enemy to use more than 4.

"Marker, change of objective. Scan the entire sector and the route the parade's going to take. Contact me the minute you spot more bomb metools." Validus said. An audible "Roger" was the reply from the SP, before she sprinted off to execute her orders. Validus then opened up another line with Alphonse.

"Alphonse, we have a situation. I've detected some suicide metools attempting to head your way. We took out one and the blast wasn't loud enough to send everyone into a panic. This might be a diversion to utilize the chaos caused to get to Glen. Request recommendations to handle this, over."

The Metools were going to get closer, but Validus wanted to make sure that in the ensuing chaos that would follow, it would be organized chaos as opposed to rampant panic.
Alphonse clearly heard what Validus had to say, but there was a pause before the shooter was able to get a response. "...Continue shooting them down, Validus. I repeat, continue shooting them down." Though the navi was resolute about this decision, there were signs of hesitation in his tone. "We didn't think they would go this far, but we can't stop. The safety of the civilians along with Miss Gren comes first!"

That said, the Metools were still moving between buildings as if they were specifically aiming to disrupt Vlaidus' aims!

StrangeMetoolA: DELETED [Behind Building C]
StrangeMetoolB: 40 HP [Between Building B & C]
StrangeMetoolC: 40 HP [Between Building B & C]
StrangeMetoolD: 40 HP [Behind Building C]

Terrain: 100% Normal

Validus.EXE: 120 HP
Markerlight.SP: 10 HP