Azure Tracer/Rush Hour Hell

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Rush Hour Hell

((This was a co-written story done by myself and @Muspell. While the story isn't something that will continue its a fun diversion and was a treat to write. Hope you like it.))

Bounding through the front double doors of a non-descript office building a shower of bullet fire followed closely on the heels of a gray skinned humanoid. Slamming through the doors closely on his heels a cadre of armed security burst onto the bustling streets of Paragon in southern Steel Canyon. Shrieking in panic pedestrians fled momentarily tangling up the guards as the gray figure dodged sharply and pushed south along the main downtown strip.

As the scenic view of Silver Lake to the north faded behind him, it was quickly replaced with asphalt and concrete. At a spring he veered into the thick morning foot traffic sparing a quick glance at the black football sized canister. Stenciled in white block letters on its side was simply, "P.C. X-11".

Slipping it quickly back into a sling hidden under his dark blue suit jacket he spared a glance to his rear at several security guards. Ducking into a side alley he slowed to jog then a walking-stop as two figures in dark navy military style uniforms appeared at the opposite end. Advancing with assault rifles lowered they pressed inwards. Glancing over his shoulder he caught sight of a third figure wearing a similar uniform and a wide brimmed hat. Malta, including a gunslinger who'd teleported into place behind him, cornering him.

Breaking into a sprint the Malta operatives converge on the gray skinned thief all at once. Turning on a dime he turned charging the gunslinger. Lunging at the sudden change the malta operatives attempted to pile in on him at once. They only managed to grab at air. Nimbly feinting to the left, the agile thief spun around the side of the gunslinger and sprinted back out of the alley as the out of shape security guards finally caught up with him.

Keeping pace as the pursuers barreled out of the alley behind him, pushing and weaving through the suddenly panicking swarms of pedestrians. The monolithic statues near the heart of Steel Canyon loomed into view and the wailing sound of police cars began to echo loudly off the buildings surrounding them.

Met with the snarled morning rush out traffic however the police find themselves unable to push in to the heart of downtown. Somehow however three military trucks had managed, and as Noba sprinted into the central circle of the city they swerved to a jarring halt. Two squads of the Council's Cor Leonis super soldiers poured out of the trucks quickly forming a skirmish line. Several groups broke off scattering into the alleys in an attempt to flank and cut off the gray skinned thief.

Sparing a glance to his rear he saw that more Malta operatives had fallen in behind him he realized he was now between an immovable object and an irresistible force. Picking up speed until he was only twenty-five yards from the skirmish line the Malta close on his heels as he suddenly leaps. Its easily 15 to 20 feet, well above the height of the military trucks, as he grabs onto the railing of a fire escape hauling himself over.

Breaking formation the council troops move to intercept and only manage to collide with the pursing Malta operatives below. As the firefight below breaks out with sudden and fierce intensity the figure ran and jumped grabbing the next floor's fire escape. Flipping up a good two stories and landing on the railing he continued to climb higher towards the roof of the building.

Hoisting up over the ledge and onto the roof he arches his brow at the diminuitive woman, dressed in black leather pants and a trench coat with unnaturally blue hair, standing opposite him. “Seems like you people just can’t get enough of me today.”

Shrugging impassively the girl takes the last bite of the hotdog in her hand. Sprouting a blue and white-blade of mostly transparent material from the cylinder in her opposite hand, it quickly sparks to life as the edge begins to glow a bright azure blue.

"I'm bored and they seem interested enough in you. So I'm hedging bets that it will at least be somewhat amusing to find out why. It was Noba right?"

Chuckling with a growing grin Noba regards her, “I guess whoever you work for doesn't throw you many bones, then..., " he begins to walk a slow circle around her leaving a fair amount of berth between them, "Oh well, at least this'll be more exciting than that cluster-fuck down there. Right Lilia?"

Grinning with a chuckle he starts to walk a circle around her he its a long moment as they two size up their opponent.

"Can't say they don't try, but what can I say I'm hard to keep amused." Shifting in the blink of an eye her black leather pants and trench coat are replaced with a stylized azure blue and black uniform. Skin tight it doesn't appear much different from something any of the random capes inhabiting Paragon might wear. "But really don't say it'll be interesting unless you mean it, I react poorly to disappointment."

Leaving a blue tracer of light the sword slices at his stomach in a wide arc as she pivots suddenly on her heel spinning towards him - a move made without her watching his movement and leaving the smell of burning atmosphere in the blade's wake.

Without hesitation The Ootmian dropped moments before the blade reached him, rolling past and behind her. His leg flashes out with a vicious kick to the back of her knee. Meeting with only concrete as she side steps away from him she takes to the air suddenly flipping over him and landing several feet behind him.

"Interesting Noba, but not really fun yet, " her comm clicks to life in her ear. Scorpio HQ begins to rattle off a description of a person of interest. Gray skinned figure in a blue suit reported suspect in a high profile theft from a nearby classified Portal Corporation Research facility. Her grin suddenly turns predatory and she beckons him forward, "But no one ever said I'm completely without patience."

Turning to face her he grins right back at her as he reaches into his suit and pulls out a small cylinder with a red button. "Knew I forgot something… Can't go leaving a job half finished and having more half-monkeys blundering through the rift, eh?"

With a two rapid fire clicks of the red button the earth shakes and the Portal Corp R&D building implodes in on itself. Taking the moments distraction he tosses the remote at her and charges her. Batting at the cylinder she only has a moment to scowl at him as he leaps over her his foot lands on her head. Or at least lands where her head ouught to be, reacting instantly her symbiotic armor shifts.

Slipping on the now slick surface Noba's jump falls short. With practice ease he catches himself snagging the sill of a window swinging himself through the closed window of the floor below with a crash. A woman screams as he rolls into the room. Right himself he breaks back into a sprint paying no regard to the man and woman in the apartment. Across the room the tv report talks about the brawling that had broken out between the Council and Malta and a few small time heroes in Steel's downtown district.

Crashing through the front door of the first apartment then through the door of the apartment across the hall Noba dashed into the empty apartment. Leaping into an open window he uses the flower box as a springboard leaping and landing on the next roof.

Springing forward mere moments after he sails through the window, Azure bounds off the roof. Hitting the opposite roof without a pause she kicks off the wall of the roof access housing and sails forward. Skidding to a sudden stop, she eyes the trio of Nemesis sharpshooters assessing the situation.

With a yell two of the sharpshooters turn to face her as the third continues its bead on Noba below as he leaps out of the building and onto the next roof. Leveling the massive guns at Azure she smirks and bounds forward suddenly. Leaping into the air just as the first sharpshooter fires. The cannonball sized round whizzes by her slamming into the wall where she'd previously been standing.

Flipping in mid air and kicking off an air conditioning unit as she landed she charges the two from a diagonal. Her sword flaring to life it slices cleanly through the barrels of the two oversized guns, the second sharpshooter firing scant seconds later, the shell backfiring into his face. Pivoting as her foot finally return to the ground she kicks the stunned sharpshooter knockng him into his comrade and off the roof.

Turning back she rushes the last sharpshooter her sword slicing the gun moments after the round leaves the barrel. Barely having time to jump to the side, Noba waves his arms out to keep balance. The sharpshooters round impacts the roof where he had been standing leaving a bowling ball sized hole in the roof. Terrified screams echo out from the building as Noba turns to look at where the shot came from.

On the opposite roof Azure throws the sharpshooter off and leaps behind him using the body as a mid air springboard. She skids to a stop on the roof behind Noba with a flurry of gravel. Not wasting time, Noba turns and takes off running at full speed across the rooftop. It takes a moment for him to realize the sound of both his and Azure's pounding steps are being drowned out by the indistinguishable sounds of two separate helicopters.

Time not waiting for him, Noba doesn't slow down to see who else has joined in as multiple sprays of incoming bullets begin pelting and ricocheting wildly off of the various air conditioning units and ventilation systems around him. His run becomes a frenzied dance of weaving unpredictably in and out of cover – never stopping – which is only broken by another long jump to the last rooftop before the expanse of an intersection below.

The first helicopter breaks off as the other one dives down and hovers off of the edge of the roof in front of Noba, a Malta Sapper sitting on the open door next to another Operative with a sniper rifle. Blue arcs of crackling electricity dash through the air down at Noba, who ducks down behind the roof access hut for cover. It becomes quickly obvious that no cover is safe now, however, as a fifty caliber sniper round breaks through the two walls of the hut between him and the helicopter.

Breaking from cover he sees the first helicopter from earlier, carrying several Crey Corporate Security personnel who by then had finished reloading. With nowhere to go the gray skin jumps off of the side of the building that faces an alley below.

Breaking to the side with a scowl at the party crashers Azure kicks off an air conditioning unit towards the hovering Malta helicopter moments after the sniper opens fire. Curses come from the two in the open door as her leap takes her directly into the open door of the helicopter. Sliding along the floor past the two shocked malta operatives she makes several quick slices with her sword cutting cabling, wires and weapons before sliding out the opposite side. Grabbing the bottom rail of the helicopter she lets her momentum flip her around back towards the building.

Kicking off the wall then the helicopter as it begins its descent, the propeller grinding to a halt, Azure lands back on the roof as if she'd never left. Expecting to hear the helicopter slam back to earth she instead hears a voice over her comm, "Lilia I believe you dropped something."

Sparing a glance downwards she caught sight of the Cyber Knight setting the broken helicopter down, "They weren't exactly playing fair, just evening up the odds by breaking their toys."

"Understood, but lets watch the civilian damage, we've got a lot of media attention right now."

"Roger that, guess I'll have to see about giving them a good show for the 8 o'clock news, " Sprinting across the roof and launching herself into the air towards the second helicopter the Crey on board suddenly diverted their attention from Noba and unleash a volley at approaching figure, "Got another present coming your way."


Without even a flinch as several of the bullets find their way home, Azure lands inside of the helicopter skidding to a stop behind the Crey Agents. Grinning broadly and blowing them each a kiss she kicks them out of the door, slamming her sword into the helicopters control unit before evicting the pilot to the roof of a building.

To be continued...

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