Miles’ Nodus

Miles stifled his frustration, thought better of the habit and released a hissing sigh.

These operations would go so much more smoothly if they had access to reliable transport. With the entirety of inner circle of The Order’s capsualers gone to ground or in hiding they just had to make do.

The worst part was not knowing, the communication blackout requirement for operational security takes an energetic toll on the imagination.

He could be here for some time, in a quite literal dark place, awaiting the arrival of operatives that he sent into harms way. If things go poorly they may not return and he might never know the precise reason why.

The shadows of the sodium-vapour lit interior resolved into features, the first of three silent figures all in dark clothing. The Amarian featured woman eyes were alive with urgency but not a word was uttered, she flashed a warning hand signal to inform him of imminent battle. He gestured his acknowledgment and eased out of the light.

A pair of security guards passed by with a negligent flair of their flashlights, their noisy footfalls proceeding to recede along their prescribed patrol route.

The figures that followed were quick, silent and just as intent to avoid detection by the patrol. Four gang members, individualistic, undisciplined yet seemingly intent on violence rushed their secluded space.

The scuffle was brief, with no need for him to intervene. The gang was laid low silently and in good order. No one on his team appeared to be injured.

He looked to Angeline for explanation.

She handed him a datachip, “That’s everything they’ve got.” we were only detected on the way back. Someone on the team shifted their weight uncomfortably.

“And the Cylable?” He asked palm still open. The module was added with a hint of reluctance. “Useful.” was her only comment. He nodded.

“Any injury’s?” He inquired of the rest of the group, each of which indicated a negative so he turned his attention to the four prone figures stripped of weaponry before him.

He activated the Cyable, feeling rather than hearing the tone it emitted. He guided the module over the victims one by one, sensing wounds old and new in the energetic field of their senseless state. This local creation worked just as well as the prototype back at headquarters. Good, because there was no way to smuggle such technology down to the surface. It had been a feet to get themselves here. The Curse was unforgiving.

The Winnower clan, one of many Lirsutton Six street gangs had no idea what they had constructed, no idea who their commissioner was and no idea that their facilities would be infiltrated with all data traces erased while the product was stolen.

You three go ahead. “I’ll finish up here.” They nodded and departed. Grimly Miles keyed the Cylable to a serrated emission and imploded the causal energy centres at the base of their skull one by one.

Miles’ Harper

The message simply read:
“UNF standing blue, assist as able.”

Miles looked up from the cipher and caught Angeline’s cool grey eyes observing him. “Snowflake has issued a requirement to assist the United Neopian Federation in its current endeavours. Not much we can do about it here but this is a general order.”

“Who said we are to take orders from you?” Angeline asked pointedly. This was the first opportunity she had had to question him in the shelter of their safe house. He wished she had asked this question privately. Each member of the Nodo that were otherwise divesting themselves of equipment and returning items to the walls of the converted cargo container that they now called home. All turned their faces to take in his reply.

“Since Snowflake has not confirmed it really is up to you all to accept me as lead or not. What I will say is this. I have worked with each of the Sisters, learned from them, you will do well to benefit from that experience. Do you want to retain lead here Angeline?”

Angeline smiled. “This world is cursed, our posting here punishment. Why would I relinquish the whip to a godless man?”

Miles smiled inwardly at Angeline’s assumption of intent. "I’ve seen Snowflake discipline those that fall short. She finds ways to give them what they think they want, so that when they realise what they really need they know that that too is within her power. “It’s a test of character Angeline, do you really need to be in charge here?”

“Test’s of faith are in my blood, the question is Tyro, are they in yours.” With that she raised her own Cylable and emitted a raw wording blast that took every inch of instinct to avoid. The equipment placed in the wall behind him disintegrated. In that wide-eyed moment he realised that Angeline’s instant of hesitation in handing him the Cylable during the mission had been a ruse. He had it to hand, he could use it in his defence, but had she tampered with it?

With no time to equivocate he closed the gap between them, avoiding her aim. Prepared, she directed a blow to his throat. He blocked and countered with a edge strike to her own. If the larynx is crushed the Cylable’s operation would be severely impeded.

The others in the room dashed and ducked away from their clashing bodies and the aim of the active Cylable. He had the reach on her, he was taller and stronger, but Geana had taught him not to assume he was faster, and Angeline’s glittering grey eyes were a clear reminder of those past failures.

He snatched her off hand wrist, twisted to the side, slipped behind her and wrapped his hand over her mouth. The reverse headbutt was painful and unexpected. Worse, his eyes teared from the pain of a suspected broken nose, his blood flowed freely down his chin.
He felt her twist left to face him in his momentarily loosened grip but blurred eyes could not define her aim.

Shut this down now! His instincts screamed. His left hand tightened on her thin wrist, pulled her arm bodily across chest, he felt her spin off balance so that when the upper cut from his right hand landed it was against the full weight of her own body. The cross blow was clumsy, an embarrassment to his training, but sufficient.
The opposition collapsed.

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