[Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

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[Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:53 pm

Vector studied the papers on his desk, punching in the code that would unlock the bottom right drawer. He reached in, finally diverting his gaze, and pulled out a single folder.

Throwing it on his desk and kicking the drawer shut with his foot, he opened it and examined its contents carefully. The file was significantly shorter than most of the rest, with far fewer jotted notes in the margins. Which, honestly, wasn't too surprising considering how new the member was. That and the fact that it was made towards the end of the last Boss's rule. He probably stopped putting so much effort into maintaining files on the members. And yet somehow this girl had managed to reach the Enforcer rank. It was only natural for things to slip through towards the end of a boss's period of ownership. But if Vector was to keep everything running smoothly, things like that could not be allowed to go by unchanged.

It was time to take quality control into his own hands.

A small plan began to form in his mind as he leafed through a few of her mission reports. It had taken some people years and years to even get close to Enforcer rank, and here this girl had just managed to do it without so much of a flutter of her eyelashes, it seemed. Vector believed in giving credit where credit was due, but there was just no way to tell. And even then, he'd need to see with his own eyes. Someone else's assurance wasn't going to cut it when it came to running his gang.

So he figured he'd give her a bit of a more personal test.

Switching his pager to the public setting, he cleared his throat before addressing the entire base.

"Good afternoon, everyone. Sorry for this interruption, but could I get Haze to come up to my office?"

He repeated her name and the question once more before bidding everyone a good day and ending the transmission. Satisfied, he slipped on his mask and waited patiently for her to reach the fourth floor. He'd told the guards outside to let her in when she arrived.


Last edited by Vector on Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:47 pm

Ceara glanced up at the announcement, frowning before closing the book she was reading with a snap and standing. Sure, the new base was a marginal improvement compared to the dingy parking garage from before, but the PA system was a bit… much. She didn’t know very much about her newest boss, save for the fact that his rise to power was shady to say the least. She had never even heard of the man before he brought what was essentially Script’s head into his base and claimed the Guild as his own. The girl was suspicious, but if Vector could at the very least get the mask from someone with an ability as powerful as Script's, then he earned his rank.

She didn’t really like Script in the first place.

Though she couldn’t really figure out why he would want to see her specifically. Ceara climbed up the steps to the man’s office, nodding at the guards who opened the door for her. There was nothing that she did that came to her mind that would warrant such special attention. Striding into the room, she stopped in front of Vector’s desk, raising an eyebrow. “You wanted to see me?”
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:55 am

Vector sat back in his chair as he waited, eyeing his room. The base itself was no major improvement from the last--it was incredibly difficult to establish a gang hideout that was both luxurious and secret--but his room was pretty decked-out technology wise, even if one couldn't see it. The good thing about being the boss was that he had time to scope out this new hideout, clean it out, and implement whatever he wanted before he announced his plans to move. That way everything was to his satisfaction. And since the base met his satisfaction it was a lot better than the last.

The door to his room, for instance, was solid--he'd had to borrow a truck to bring it over, and it had taken him hours to get it up to his room. He'd installed it himself, naturally, and as such it had everything he required--it was bulletproof, had two electrical locks triggered digitally, and an optional deadbolt for extra protection--and as a bonus served to soundproof the room. As much of an honor and a respectability as it was, being Boss of the Guild meant that he'd only have more enemies and that he'd be in charge of the protection of even more people--all of his members. So the door was only one of the fixtures he had implemented in case of any internal troubles. He liked to prepare in advance, leave nothing up to chance. Here in the Radius, you never knew what could happen.

Speaking of the door, he disabled the lock with a few keystrokes.

Within a few minutes, he heard the door slowly open--half a function of it's weight, and half of the person pushing it open-- and sat up straight, hands in his lap.

The girl strolled in and stopped before his desk, seeming not in the least intimidated. Rather, she seemed perplexed.

Probably apprehensive of her new boss singling her out like this, he thought to himself. But yet confident and unintimidated. Good qualities to have in an Enforcer.

"Hello, Haze. Sorry for singling you out like that, but I've got something important for you, and I figure it would be better to give it to you in private."

He smiled through the slit in his mask and handed her an envelope.

"I've got a special mission that requires someone of a particular skill level--and I've chosen you. In that packet you'll find all the details. I'll leave you to read it on your own time, but there are a few special things about it. First off, this needs to stay clandestine--it's completely off the books and only you and I know about it. Second, your target is a skilled and incredibly dangerous harbinger. You need to bring your best if you want to take him down. And third, there's a time limit. I have high expectations, and I sincerely hope that you meet them."

With that he sat back in his chair and grinned.

"You have 24 hours to complete the mission. Your time starts now."


Last edited by Vector on Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:13 am

Ceara couldn't help but feel a little unnerved by the mask. Only his eyes and mouth were visible behind the gang logo and it freaked her out a little, though her face remained composed.

"I figure it would be better to give it to you in private."

She blinked and accepted the file, holding it to her chest as Vector spoke. It wasn't clear to her if being picked out from the rest of the Enforcers was a compliment or a warning. Her eyes narrowed a minute bit, scrutinizing him. Probably wasn't a good idea, her boss would not appreciate being analyzed, but it was habit whenever she did anything related to the Guild. Calm, curious, a tad smug - he knew something she didn't - but nothing out of the ordinary for a gang Boss, if there was an ordinary for these kinds of people.

She smiled slightly, just the smallest curl of her lips, and nodded. "Alright then. Thank you, I'll get right on that." A time limit? Probably some sort of test then. He was making sure the people in his ranks deserved to be there, and while she did not need anyone's approval to know that she was there for a reason, she did want to remain an Enforcer. Inclining her head one last time, she turned and left the room, opening the file as she walked back down to the ground floor. Joshua Barnes, mid-to-late thirties, harbinger, power manipulation... She committed as much of the file into her memory as quickly as possible, already heading towards the exit. She didn't have long to get it done, she didn't want to waste more time than she had to.
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:13 pm

As she left, Vector smiled a little to himself. He could see her mind whirring as she was listening to him explain the situation. And that small narrowing of her eyebrows didn't escape him either. She was scrutinizing him--and not trying to be discreet about it in the slightest. Bold, he conceded, the corner of his lips twitching in remembrance. Of course, boldness and confidence had their downside. They so often developed into complacency and overconfidence--two decidedly less admirable traits. Hubris had been, remains, and would always be the downfall of so many ambitious and talented fellows. Perhaps it was even to blame with the number of leadership changes in this gang also. If that was the case, things were going to change. Vector had no death wish, particularly not any time in the near future.

As for the girl, from what he had observed (hey, he was allowed to do his own scrutinizing) the girl showed promise. But promise meant nothing if it wasn't applied properly, and unfortunately for many they just didn't know how. Yes, this was a test of her promise and skill, but it was something more than that too. He had high expectations stemming from her quick progression through the gang ranks, and if she passed the test she would be an incredibly valuable asset. Vector didn't like having too many commanders--he felt it was counterintuitive rather than a good display of the gang's strength. Rather, he'd prefer a few seriously talented and deserving commanders who knew their stuff and were powerful in their own right. And if she did happen to pass this test, the girl--Ceara--would be just that much closer to becoming one of those commanders.

What she didn't know, of course, was that the person she was hunting for had been sitting right before her the entire time. Instead she'd be committing mostly fabricated details to memory, combing the city for any trace of this 'Joshua Barnes' fellow. If her skills were sharp, she'd find the trail and it would lead her right to him. If the 24 hours passed without much consequence, he'd be incredibly disappointed but nonetheless understanding. There could be a million reasons for failure, and her detailed report would be just as telling as the outcome of the mission.

On the other hand, if she did manage to find him within the allotted time, then the real test would start.

Locking the door behind her (and putting on the deadbolt for good measure--only natural when the boss planned to leave the nest, no?), he pulled out his phone and activated the tracker. He'd just neglected to mention the fact that the file had a tiny and practically imperceptible tracker in it, one that would allow him to examine her movements and to be prepared if she did so happen to find him. Of course, that all depended on what she did with the file. Plenty of possibilities presented themselves, and he eagerly awaited her response.

Hopping out of his chair, he gathered everything he would need in his satchel and threw on a dark hoodie, switching out his Guild mask for a more-realistic face mask and making his way over to the right wall of his office. Punching in a few numbers on his cell phone, the painted-over door swung open, allowing him access to one of his extra rooms and the elevator that he'd conveniently forgot to include in his floor plans. He would take it down to the basement levels and slip out undetected.

From there he'd go out and assume the role of Joshua Barnes in public, though making sure his movements weren't too easy for the girl to trace. He'd have to be careful and lose her several times, especially when the crowds of people began to thin, in case she caught onto him prematurely. Finding his lair in the dark from the information he'd provided wouldn't be an easy task, but it was one he was hoping she could take on and succeed in. To that end, he'd need to bring his a-game to this 'mission' as well.

That wouldn't be a problem. Vector never did anything half-assed. It was all or nothing, and Vector was playing this game to win.

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:16 pm

There was going to be a lot of watching and waiting this time. She flipped through the papers one last time, snapping a photo of the page on the man’s general movements before slipping them back into their envelope and sliding it into her bag. She’d find a way to destroy it soon. There was no point in keeping around something like that, especially if she had the most important details on her phone and the rest in her head. Though knowing where the man was usually wouldn’t help much at all, especially if he knew he would be followed. There was nothing in the file about what Barnes did to earn the target painted on his back, and it was probably better that she didn’t know. Even still, she caught the downtown bus headed towards the general area of his workplace. There wasn’t much of a chance that she would find him there, but that was all that she had.

There wasn’t much to go on in the first place. The Radius was a massive place, and if he didn’t follow his usual movements – and he probably wasn’t going to – then this was just a pointless wild goose chase. 24 hours to find a man with very little information. That was either a vote of confidence or Vector wanted a reason to get rid of her. Ceara sighed and stepped off the bus, looking around. She’d worry about his reasons for giving her the assignment later, now she needed to focus on finding Joshua.

Glancing around, she stepped into a nearby alley, sighing again as she observed the dumpster in front of her. Was this necessary? Probably not, but she wanted to reduce the chances of anyone finding the envelope. And even if someone did, there was nothing in there that linked it back to the gang, Vector, or herself. She pried open one of the black bags, grimacing, and shoved the file in there before retying the knot and tossing another bag on top of it. Wiping her hands on her pants, Ceara walked out the other end of the alley, immediately targeting a nearby coffee shop. She’d use their bathroom to clean up and afterwards grab a coffee and maybe a sandwich. She’d be up all night, the caffeine was needed.
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:52 pm

Vector lazed around a bit at first in order to give Ceara the head start he needed for this scheme to work. Thinking about that, he chuckled a little at the irony. He didn't drop his guard though--he needed to be on his toes. She could get rid of the package at any time, and his tracker would be rendered ineffective. Though, in that case, he had a backup measure in place. It was always good to have backup plans for your backup plans, according to him. Despite that, however, he wanted to stay close, but not too close. He didn't want to make this impossible for her, but not a walk in the park either. He really had to toe the line if this was going to be executed properly, and he refused to let all this preparation go to waste.

The tracker blip idling in the same spot for twenty minutes told him that she'd either settled down between what looked to be two buildings, or that she'd dumped the file. Waiting a little for the 1 p.m. bell to sound, he rode the influx of workers the three blocks separating the two locations. And as his position on the map paralleled that of the beeper, he casually turned his attention to his left, scanning the dumpsters across the street that coincided with the location of the tracker. Looking back at his phone, he dialed the erasure code and watched as the slow, idle blip faded out completely.

As for her location, he had another nifty program built into his phone for that. There were a few perks when it came to being CEO of a vast practical technology monopoly like Synapse Technologies. He dialed her number into the data entry entry box and hit send. Within a minute he received a digitized map of the district map with a single blue dot marking her general location. Now, this wasn't too hard to figure out considering their proximity, but this little trick would begin to lose its effect as the distance between them increased, at least until he got to his final destination.

A good half an hour of careful searching led to the little coffee shop that housed the girl. He absently gazed in through the front windows, eyes passing over her just like the rest. He paused for a second, reaching into his pocket as if searching for a wallet. Coming up empty-handed, he shrugged and cracked a smile at no one in particular. Instead he took a glance at his watch and continued on his way. The action would soon start.

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:35 pm

With her hands satisfactorily sanitized, Ceara had just gotten in line for her food when she caught sight of the blonde head outside the window. At first it was only a passing glance, after all blonde hair wasn’t exactly a rare sight, but a second look caused her to recognize the man standing outside the shop as Joshua Barnes. She didn’t let her gaze linger for too long, drifting it towards the front of the shop before checking her phone. Ceara stepped off the line, sending the display case of sandwiches and cupcakes and whatnot a forlorn look before exiting. She was really hungry, but not enough to simply let the man walk away now that she had actually caught sight of him.

It seemed to be a little too easy, but she wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Ceara kept a healthy distance away from the man, using the crowd and her small stature to avoid being seen. She wished she could use her power to see if he was aware of her, but there was bound to be a fight, and when it happened she didn’t want to be suffering from her restitution.
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:30 am

Vector heard the faint beep that usually accompanied store doors opening, smiling faintly to himself.

And so she takes the bait.

Now came the hard part, at least from his point of view. He had to make sure not to get caught and yet keep her from knowing that he was onto her and (hopefully) several steps ahead of her. Though, naturally, he had several tricks up his sleeve--and a few in his pockets and satchel, too--to help him achieve that goal. He pulled out his cell phone once again, making a show of looking at the number, and put it to his ear as he waited.

"Hey, ma.... Yeah? Yeah, I know, but--"

He let out an exasperated sigh.

"Look, I know you wanted me to board the 1:00 train, but I got held back at work!" He massaged his temples with one hand before glancing at his watch again, scrutinizing the design. It was a top-quality SynapTech prototype that he'd gotten just recently, and he was itching to try some if it's more advanced functionalities. After about a good half a minute of listening, he decided that was long enough to listen to the angry tirade from his 'mother' on the other end.

"Okay, ma. How about this? It's 1:13 right now. The station's two blocks down and the next train's gonna leave in two minutes. If I rush down there right now I can take the first train to your place. If not I'll have to wait another 15. Okay? Yes, yes."

He chuckled slightly.

"Love you too. See you soon."

And then he took off, full sprint, slipping his phone back into his pocket.

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:32 am

Ceara continued to move with the flow of the crowd, keeping her head up even when she nearly passed by him. She saw him stop to grab his phone, she heard his entire conversation. It was kind of hard not to, he was speaking loud and clear, letting everyone know that he was apparently going to get chewed out by his mother.

Her eyes narrowed. A bit too loud, even for a crowded street, right? Forgetting about saving her energy, she glanced directly at him for the briefest fraction of a second. No exasperation, no panic, just a little bit of smugness. He knows. Ceara ignored the small part of her saying that there was something familiar with it in favor of ducking into a side alley when Barnes took off, turning and sprinting parallel to him, but out of sight from the majority of the crowd.

She didn't know how he knew, but she wasn't going to let him get rid of her that easily. Maybe he really was going to the station, maybe he wasn't, but she'd stick with him until there were a lot less people milling about. Hopefully she could keep up for that long. It was certainly easier to hide yourself from a crowd not paying attention to you specifically than one person who was. Now that she knew he knew he had a tail, she could throw most of the super sneaky stuff out the window and it would make following him easier.

Barnes really was making a break for the station, she realized after a few moments. Ceara slowed down and made another turn, taking an alternate entrance, but still keeping an eye on him.
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:21 am

Vector relied on his knowledge of this area to guide him, his mind whirring. If the girl had any skill in this particular area, she'd be at the very least suspicious of his phone call. If so, he needed to work fast. The train really was going to leave in two minutes--a bit less than that, now--and he was determined to get aboard, if only to kick her off his trail. If he missed the train, she'd be on him and he'd have no choice but to take her on in public in the middle of the day, with civilians around--not desirable in the slightest, or end the 'mission' right then and there and let her know his true identity--even less desirable.

Using the store windows he raced by to check behind him, he figured out that she was no longer trailing close behind him--in fact, he couldn't find her at all. Given the circumstances, he was willing to bet she was on to his ruse. All the better, he thought. He'd just have to start cinching the knots tighter and bringing out his trump cards. If she'd run up ahead to apprehend him--which he was willing to wager she did--he'd have a slim margin to work with.

Pulling off his hoodie, he stuffed it into his satchel, replacing it with a set of headphones around his neck. Taking the stairs down the station, he quickly pulled off the mask and stuck it inside the satchel as well, before taking the itself off his shoulders and shortening the strap. He gripped the handle itself, treating it as a carrying case, and ambled down the last few steps, slipping into the train after changing his gait. Flashing a glance at his watch, he made his way to the last compartment and sat down.

Looking at the watch face, he counted down the time.

45 seconds left.

He quickly shot out his foot, tripping the nearest passerby, who promptly let out a yelp and stumbled into the unsuspecting crowd of sitting across from Vector. He quickly got up, and as the scene played out, dropped his mask on the floor, slipping on a new one, fuller in the face. And with five seconds left on the clock he sidestepped other passengers, squeezing past the doors about to shut, and made it onto the other side of the station, maintaining the gait-walk all the way up the stairs.

Hopefully he'd left the girl in the dust. If she'd missed the train, his job was a lot easier. If she had gotten on--and he'd lost her--hopefully she'd find the mask abandoned on the floor. Written on the inside of the forehead in permanent marker was the number of a landline for one of his old hidey holes in the South District. It would be essential for stage two of his three-stage plan.

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:24 pm

She glanced around once she was on the platform, her eyes trained on the entrance the mans had been headed towards. Fuck. Did she lose him? Ceara scanned the platform a few times over again, trying to make out the blond head and his face from the mass of other people trying to board the train that had just pulled in. Swearing softly, she looked through the windows of the train, lips pressed together in a firm line. She could either risk getting on the train and letting him walk if he wasn't on it, or the opposite and stay here while the train pulled away from the station with him possibly on it. Either way there was a fifty-fifty chance of staying with him.

Ceara huffed, walking to one of the less crowded cars near the back, and sat down, running a frustrated hand through her hair. The task he gave her should be impossible for one person to accomplish in a single 24 hour period, so why did she take it? She frowned and shook her head, looking around the car again. A mess of angry shouts and curses and heavy thuds brought her attention to the back of the car just in time to see a blond man slide a mask onto his face and slip out the door.

Fucking son of a bitch.

Ceara shot up out of her seat and moved towards the door, but they had dinged shut and had no intention of opening again. Peering out the window again, she caught the man's eye and glared, flipping him off for good measure before making her way to the back. Stepping over people and helping some of them up, she stepped into the compartment Barnes had come out of. He had planned this, that asshole. Ceara chewed on the inside of her lip, catching sight of the mask on the floor and picking it up. All that for a mask. She sighed and flipped it over, glaring at the number on the back. Definitely planned this. It was a set up. She was right, this was a test, she just hadn't expected for the entire thing to be orchestrated. Vector was not a man who would give her information on a man who didn't exist unless he wanted to. Pulling out her phone, she mulled over calling it before shaking her head. She'd check if the number was connected to any address before calling.
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:16 pm

Vector leaned against the outside wall of an old building, taking in the sunlight. It had been a good half hour since he lost Ceara in the subway. He stayed for a good 10 minutes, thinking about just how frustrated she must be in that situation. He idly imagined her emerging from the depths of the subway seething with anger, having stopped the train. But while it was entertaining to imagine, it was hardly practical. Even he couldn't stop a train suddenly, without any notice. Or rather, he could, but it was because he always liked to be prepared. There was no such thing as over-preparedness in his books, just being prepared for several other possible outcomes which one would be unlucky to face.

Regardless, there wasn't any time apportioned in that part of his schedule for lazing around longer than he needed to thinking about improbable scenarios to amuse himself. There were plenty of things to do, and lots of time left on the clock for the mission. Time that would be valuable if used correctly by her. 24 hours was but the blink of an eye in the greater scheme of things. After all, according to his count, the remaining time was 22:11:34 when just seconds ago it'd seemed like he set the timer. He was by far the luckier one of the two. He'd just finished what was meant to be the most difficult part of the mission for himself, and it seemed a good time as any to eat.

Now that was something he had time for in his schedule.

Meanwhile the girl would be no doubt be busying herself with finding out as much as she could about that clue he'd left her. If she'd called, she'd get the answering machine of one Joshua Barnes, courtesy of some very nice audio editing software. That probably wouldn't lead her anywhere unless she got just a little bit creative with her searching. On the net, however, thanks to a little bit of tampering and a lot of pathetic security he'd managed to sneak that number into all sorts of webpages. All she'd have to do was follow the yellow brick road from one to another by finding some sort of tenuous pattern, of which he was reasonably sure she could find several. That was, if they didn't start disappearing as people wondered at the random numbers that had popped up on their sites.

That was mainly a tool of distraction though. Only one of those numbers mattered, and it was located on a webpage that 'Joshua Barnes' had made himself, that she'd be able to find, hopefully. It might only take her a frustratingly long time for her to do that. Or not. What she would find if she was successful was a website succinctly titled "GET OUT" with a temporary cell number on it. Now that'd certainly spice the chase up a bit.

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:28 am

A thoroughly pissed off Ceara stepped out onto the street a few stops later, shielding her eyes. The only good thing that had happened to her all day was that Joshua had got on a line that stopped a walking distance from her own apartment. Beyond that, the entire day was close to becoming a huge waste of time. But she wasn’t giving up. No, if anything, Ceara was only more determined to find the man and beat the shit out of him, even though she pretty much figured out that this Joshua Barnes man didn’t really exist. Whoever was acting as him was testing her, and she was willing to meet the challenge. She threw open the door to her apartment, pulled out her laptop, and set to work. She still had the majority of the day left, but she had no idea how overly complex he made this game.

Turns out, extremely complex. Five hours, a pot of coffee, a sandwich, and a cup of instant ramen later, and she had her phone in her hand, tapping in the numbers before slumping back on her couch. Ceara didn’t wait for whoever was on the other end to speak. “I don’t know who you are, you’re working for Vector or hell, Vector himself, but you can shove it, asshole.” Probably not a smart thing to say to someone who was apparently extremely dangerous, but she was miles beyond caring. “Just tell me where you are so I can hit you in the face.”
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:34 am

Five hours spent in the same quarter-mile radius according to his map--that was how long it took before she managed to stumble across Barnes's webpage. It was also enough time for him to settle down and enjoy a large lunch and stroll to his next hidey hole. Still, she'd solved the puzzle in record time. Whether by luck or some undetermined skill was moot; being able to do it all was impressive, to say the least.

She made the call with exactly 17:10:01 left on the clock, and by then Vector had already been well-prepared for the task at hand.

He had a cheap phone with a disposable SIM card hooked up to his computer, and the voice editing program he used was already in place by then. It was a rather simple thing beneath the many layers of technological magic. All you had to do was raise the pitch a good bit, increase the clarity of the voice, eliminate any excess echo, and the it was unrecognizable. Of course, it could be picked apart on a computer screen by someone who knew what they were doing, but in effect it was impossible to hear the similarity. All the better, because Vector highly doubted Ceara would be in a very good mood after everything she'd been put through.

What he really wasn't expecting, though, was for her to blow up before he even had a chance to say anything.

He choked back his laughter.

"That's cute. Listen, hun. I don't know what kinda info you got on me, but you shoulda known better than to try what you did back there on the streets."

He trusted that she had memorized his file. The whole believability of Barnes's awareness of her tailing him rested on that.

"An' don't think you can just stroll on over'n make the rules now, either. I'm the one in charge here."

He closed his eyes, rubbing his temples. The fact that he even had to put on an act made him feel ridiculous, like he was dressed to play a jester on stage for the first time. But he'd already gotten thus far, and ending the whole ruse right then and there would go against his creed as a professional actor businessman gang boss.

"Maybe you should just sleep on it!~"

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:06 am

To say it was a surprise that he himself picked up was an understatement. Ceara had thought that it would just be another stupid, idiotic clue pointing to the next place to check out when she called. But she wasn't about to complain.

She rolled over, resting her head on her pillow with her phone sandwiched between them. She rolled her eyes at the barely concealed laughter. "Glad to be of some amusement to you. And don't call me that." Nicknames just screamed sleaziness and that was something she did not appreciate. She looked up at the sound of keys in the door and lifted a half-hearted hand at her roommate, who raised a questioning eyebrow at her position. Ceara smiled but shook her head, flapping a hand at her friend to dismiss her concern. The older woman wasn't happy with her being in a gang, no use bringing it up more than it was needed.

Grunting, she pushed herself up to a sitting position, curling her knees to her chest. "Sorry, but it's hard to follow rules if I don't even know what they are in the first place. I'd really appreciate it if you would clarify." Her tone was heavily laced with sarcasm. "And trust me, I really would like to take a nap, but I've got you talking to me. Wouldn't want all that work to go to waste. Now if you could please tell me where you are so we can keep this moving, that would be absolutely fantastic." It seemed like an awful amount of effort to hide his trail, one that he deliberately set her on, but she had found (hopefully) the end of it. Maybe, just maybe, she had passed this part of his stupid test so she could move on to the next one.
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:23 am

Oh. Looked like he managed to strike a nerve. Not that it was much of a victory what with the fact that he had to use pet names to assure it. Nonetheless, any extra bit of frustration he could add was welcome. Pressure, frustration, anxiety--anything he could add to stop her from completing the mission would suffice. So far, minus that outburst on the train--and on the phone just now, she was being a trooper. It was hard to not show your enemy your emotions and what effect they have on them when you've just been had at the very last moment possible. It'd be understandably frustrating for anyone.

He chuckled at the sarcasm in her voice.

"Now listen here, hun. There's only one rule out on the streets. The victor makes the rules."

Vector didn't add to that, but his tone made it quite obvious that he was didn't intend to give her any leeway that he didn't have to.

"Oh? You gotta forgive me. I'm sorry for taking up you time like that. Maybe you shoulda thought twice before calling this number. I could be tracking you right as we speak."

Naturally, he wasn't. At least not at that moment. He knew she was still within the boundaries of that quarter-mile blip, mostly likely even in the same room. Regardless, it wasn't as if she was much of a threat to him frustrated, tired, and completely in the dark about his location. Even if she wasn't, he was rather good at taking care of himself. You had to be if you wanted to make it an hour into the bosshood of the Guild.

"I should be asking questions about you," he said. "I know barely anything about you 'cept that you're not half bad... Don't get a bloated head, though. Every skill you got has the ability to be manipulated against you. Every strength is also a weakness when you got one of those with the power to do somethin' about them."

He grinned at his end.



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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:37 pm

She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Only for as long as he's the victor, though." Once someone was better than you at your own game, you weren't going to stay at the top for very much longer. "Come on, Barnes," she said the fake name with a very faint trace of mockery. "If you really wanted to track me you would already know where I am," she glanced over at her roommate's door. Ceara was banking on the fact that this was a test to keep her friend safe.

"I really doubt you set up all of this just to gloat when I finally got your number, so please, tell me what the whole point of this is." She hated the fact that she couldn't see his face. No face, no power, and therefore the one thing that she might've had over him was gone. She wondered if that was a coincidence or if Vector had told him. She didn't know anymore.

"I should be asking questions about you. I know barely anything about you 'cept that you're not half bad... Don't get a bloated head, though."

She tsked and rolled back onto the couch, staring up at the ceiling. "Why, thank you. And don't worry, I won't. I'm confident, not stupid," - though sometimes they were synonymous - "Go ahead and ask away, though I don't promise I'll answer anything. I have no reason to, especially if you aren't going give anything in return."
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:45 am

Excellent observation. That was exactly why Vector needed to be on top of his game at all times, whether he was doing business after dark or even leaving work in the afternoon to go out to lunch. His rather dramatic (and over-exaggerated, in many cases) return to the base with Script's mask was a risky move, but effective in the long run. No one questioned his ascension to Boss, and he was pretty sure he'd struck fear into the eyes of many a member of the gang that was now his responsibility. That would continue to be something that hung in everyone's mind, stopping what would otherwise be potentially successful attempts at slowly surpassing him and taking the role for themselves, like in many other cases of Boss ascension.

"That is very true. Which is why I've never let anyone find me. And my I'm not about to let you either."

Vector chuckled at her next set of responses.

"Do you really think this is about you? I've probably been giving people the slip before you were even born."

He stretched a bit and shifted in his chair, leaning on the table with his elbow.

"Only fair, I s'pose. I guess I'll start out with the simple ones. Who're you really, who sent you, and why were you chasing me?"

This was a question for which he was legitimately interested in her response. What would she say, what would she reveal, and what would she leave out while trying to maintain the current flow and cadence of the conversation?

"And did you really think I wouldn't know if there was a harbinger chasing me? Obviously whoever sent you didn't give you enough information."

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:39 am

She set her hand over her eyes, closing them for a brief moment. This guy just did not like getting to the point of things. Ceara snorted and shifted around to get more comfortable. "Definitely old enough for it, I'll give you that." More of less twice her age and he was still doing the same thing. She wondered if she would be the same way. The future wasn't something she liked to think about often. Just deal with today and tomorrow and she'd be fine.

"Can't a girl follow someone around for her own purposes?" She chuckled softly and sighed, slipping her hand off her face. "I could almost ask you the same questions, you know. I don't think who I am is really important, but you're right, I'm following you because someone sent me. And that's the only reason." At least she could say that honesty. She was only doing this under orders, no ulterior motives, no aspirations stemming from capturing him. "And no, I don't know who hired me." Also true, if you looked at it the right way. Ceara didn't know Vector, personally or professionally. "But he was thorough with his information. I never said I was surprised that you knew what I was doing." Just a little pissed that he did. Only a little bit.

"I answered some of your questions, so it's only fair you answer some of mine. So, why? Why go through all this trouble setting this up if this isn't going to lead anywhere, and why are you still talking to me right now? I'm not that interesting."
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:52 am

Vector scoffed at her response.

"Way to make a man feel like an old geezer. Not too old t'outrun a couple of rookies, though."

It was now his turn to snort at her answer. "Not if she doesn't wanna be pegged as a mugger." He sat back in his chair again, smirking as he closed his eyes. "And I see. Typical hired gun. Your employer, whoever he is, knew what he was doin'. Sending an empath out to tail me is pretty clever. Not that it worked, but y'all get an A for effort."

Vector was highly amused by the way she'd answered deceptively. The dishonest truth was the best kind, as far as he was concerned.

"Thorough with information, huh? I'd find that a bit disconcerting, but half of it was probably wrong anyway."

He grinned wolfishly at the word 'fair'. What a naïve thing to say, except she didn't really have a choice, did she? She was talking with her target, completely in the dark about where he was, and he had no reason to answer any questions unless he felt like it. Bringing fairness into it was nothing but a flimsy attempt to get him to talk, and they both knew it. Though of course, he'd be somewhat interested in knowing more about her and her employer, so there was a bit of leverage there too.

"Heh, I suppose I might as well. You can probably imagine, but I don't exactly take too kindly to folks snoopin' on my business. I got all this set up to deter the persistent ones. And they usually are, being hired guns'n such."

He took a bit of a long pause before answering the next one.

"As for talking to you right now, I got nothing better to do. Besides, you almost snagged me back there. If you hadn't read me, you might've been able to take me by surprise."

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:50 am

She laughed softly, glancing over to the clock on the wall. "I've been accused of being a mugger before, it's not that hard to talk your way out of that." With her power it wasn't hard to talk out of many things at all. Except, obviously, for times like this, where her power was absolutely useless. "I'm not appreciating the mockery," she mumbled, standing slowly and moving to her room. He wasn't going to tell her anything, and even if he did it would be on his terms. She had a little more than sixteen and a half hours left, and she wasn't about to waste much more of it talking to him.

"You must be one of the most paranoid men I've ever met, then. Don't know if I should commend or pity you for that." Always looking behind your back, even in the middle of the day, didn't seem like an enjoyable way to live. Even if Barnes wasn't who he said he was (which she was pretty sure was the case; his speech was a little too forced), Ceara had no doubt the man he really was was just as paranoid as Barnes. "Wonder if all that running around would make you a bit rusty in other areas. You can't outrun people forever, you know. I'm curious, though, what you did that deserves such paranoia. Obviously people want you killed for a reason."
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:36 pm

Vector chuckled to himself. "I'm sure, what with your power and such." He scratched at his chin a little. "No mockery intended. It's a surprise you haven't just thrown in the towel already." Vector had to hand it to her--she was ridiculously tenacious. After a third of her time had nearly elapsed, she was still kicking. He wondered how much longer that would last. He'd have to do something about that.

"No one's paranoid who doesn't have reason to be." Which was true enough. Vector was always careful to keep both of his lives--public and private--separate and well-masked, but for this 'mission' he'd needed to go the extra nine yards. He had plenty of tricks still left up his sleeve, and just not enough time remaining to use them all. Being normally incredibly careful and observant had its uses when playing an overly-paranoid target like Barnes.

"Hey, everyone once in a while some fella'll come along who just happens to catch up with me. I've got nearly two dozen years of experience taking down people who hit harder, run faster, and think smarter than I do." He paused for a bit, grinning to himself. It was all pretty much true, depending on just how much of a stretch one meant by 'nearly'. "But don't take it from me. I'll let you find out for yourself if you manage to track me down."

He remained silent for a long while.

"Sometimes it's not what you do that makes you criminal. Sometimes it's what people expect you to do. But then, that's no secret. Ask your boss--Vector, wasn't it?"

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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Ceara on Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:33 am

She snorted, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear. "Sorry, but I've gone through much more than what you've done to me without giving up, so I'm not going to stop just yet." She smirked. She had a timer constantly ticking down, so she might as well keep going until it hit zero. Some may call her stupidly obstinate, but her stubbornness had won her a good number of fights and bounties, so she saw no reason to change.

"I'd like to see if you aren't just talk," she muttered, stepping back out and into the kitchen to put on a fresh cup of coffee. "For all I know, you're just fantastic at running and have had absolutely amazing luck so far."

She paused at his next words before turning around and leaning on the table. "I think any Harbinger knows what you mean." No one could ignore the blatant bias against them. Simply being one could put you behind bars no matter how petty the crime. That only made her job that much riskier.

"And nice attempt at trying to find out more about him, but I wasn't lying when I said I knew nothing of importance about him." She sighed. "Now, unless you're about to tell me exactly where you are, I really don't want to waste anymore time talking."
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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

Post by Vector on Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:06 am

Vector looked at the clock, surprised at how things seemed to be rushing and dragging along at a snail's pace simultaneously. 16:33:18 remaining. And that wasn't counting the sleeping hours she'd use up after a day full of physical and mental exertion. Things would certainly take an interesting turn if she overslept and found herself with but a handful of hours left to catch a man whose face she wouldn't even be able to identify. Alas, that probably wouldn't happen, but a man could dream, couldn't he?

"If you're trying to get me to grow a complex and give you everythin', you've got another thought coming. You'll find out on your own if your skills are honed enough, hun."

He rubbed his eyes, starting to sting just a little in the light emitted from his laptop screen.

"Oh, no. There's probably nothing you could tell me about that man that I don't already know for myself." The truth. "Like I said, I've been kicking for a longer while than you. But you're right, there ain't no use staying up to talk to a geezer like me, is there? Généralement, les gens qui savent peu parlent beaucoup, et les gens qui savent beaucoup parlent peu."

And on that note he hung up, yawning. It'd probably take her a while to puzzle that one out, if she managed to puzzle it out at all. A quote from Rousseau, though without any text for her to search up or any sort of context at all it was virtually useless. He had no need to worry about her finding out his location at any point that night--and even if she did, he'd be awake in the blink of an eye and ready to take her on--so put his gadgets away and went in search of something to eat. He'd take a nice, long, well-deserved nap and continue this game in the morning.



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Re: [Vector] ⊜ Two Birds With One Stone ⊜ [Ceara]

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