Chapter 124: It’s over. We’re done!

Arron slinked through the dark backstreets with the hood of the bloody hoodie pulled down to cover his face. Since he now knew the territory of each of the families well enough he was able to avoid the hot spots and escape from deep within the family-held territory.

With how serious this situation was, he could not chance meeting with any members of one of the families nor could he pay for a ride out of this territory and so he was forced to walk for several hours hiding in the shadows.

The people that he did meet were those down on their luck or criminals trying to escape the view of their targets. Both did not pay much attention or care that Arron was wearing bloody clothes.

When Arron reached the safe house, he waited for several minutes to make sure no one was following him in person or with a drone. When he was sure the coast was clear he rushed into the rundown building and passed the security protections to enter the high-security room.

When he was locked inside the small secret room that was hidden behind the metal bed, he was finally able to sigh in relief. His feet were killing him since they had been crammed inside the small shoes the whole time.

There was a small stash of clothes and shoes inside the room just for a case like this. It only took him a few minutes to change into the fresh clothes.

Only after changing did he access the emergency secure coms that had been set up here. But first in order to activate the connection he had to enter a set of codes to unlock it. There was only one number that could be called and Arron did not hesitate to tap on the name and start the call.

“Who is this?” asked Kix when he answered the unknown number marked as urgent.

“Kix it’s me! My identity has been compromised,” said Arron, his face coming into the light allowing Kix to see Arron’s damaged mask.

“Crap! Are you safe right now? Did anyone follow you?” asked Kix as he sat up fully alert from the paperwork he had been reading.

“For now I am safe and no one has discovered me yet. I am not sure how thorough their search will be. If there is anything I have learned while undercover, it is to not underestimate the families and their power to get weapons, hi-tech, and information. This secure base may not be so safe in the coming hours.”

“I’ll alert A.S. and Chief Chesty. You can explain everything to them when you have been safely extracted,” said Kix ending the call.

When the call ended the device he had just used fried its circuits and the chips. It was a one-time use item and this was a measure taken to stop anyone from tracking and tampering with the device or the call.

***

[The killer is cornered requesting …]

“That was the last transmission we received,” said an office data worker who had accompanied Ox to the crime scene.

Ox was silent as he watched the last captured footage of Arron chasing after a suspicious hooded figure that ran into the back halls where two large explosions destroyed the cameras in that area.

“His wrist-datapad was recovered… or what’s left of it. Something cut it in half and then it received a large amount of heat melting most of it,” said the data worker showing the melted pieces.

“Can any data be recovered from it?”

“No, it’s just scrap now.”

Ox turned to one of the two enforcers who had been with Arron. One of them was being bandaged for the wounds he received.

“Is what you said true?” asked Ox with a stern expression.

“Everything I said is no lie! When I managed to catch up to Sorry he was being attacked by the hooded assassin. I rushed over to help him but that is when an explosive was thrown at us and in the explosion I was knocked unconscious,” said the enforcer a little embarrassed at his failure.

Ox nodded, “… he was able to dodge the attack and chase after the assassin. Their fight must have been too much and so the assassin detonated the last of their explosives in a suicide attack that killed Sorry. Is that what you think?”

“It is. Because the explosion was so strong there is nothing left of either of them.”

“Keep searching the area and the security footage of the local area. Test everything you find at the explosion site. We can’t declare him dead with such little information,” said Ox.

***

“What did I tell you? You bit off more than you could chew and this is what happened,” said Kix as he slapped Arron on the shoulder.

Arron only let out a small grunt not bothering to reply. The two were currently hiding at one of the Office of Reason’s many safe houses in sector 1. This one was in an underground basement that was underneath one of Mother and Father’s gang-controlled businesses.

A.S. had chewed Arron out for over ten minutes after hearing that his cover was blown. After he had cooled off he had started making plans and had sent someone to extract Arron from the hot zone. When they had left the safe-house all important equipment was taken out before the room was blown to pieces.

“Before I arrived here I got word from the chief that the raids are going to happen today. With the information you have gathered and presented to the Office of Reason, there is more than enough to take down the targets that they have been trying to get for years. Of course, the Office of Reason will not be the one doing the raids. That’ll be us, the M1, and we have to strike now while the iron is hot or everything we have done will be for nothing if they manage to get wind of this and escape.”

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It was already evening when several teams of M1 officers arrived in sector one. Arron and Kix were given the all-clear and allowed to get into an old hovercar and drive to the meetup zone, an underground parking garage that was no longer in use.

When they arrived they were greeted by several familiar faces all from the ERF 3 and over 100 other M1 officers.

“Glad to see you’re doing good!” said Captain Pointer as he shot Arron with his usual pointing finger guns in greeting and then slapped Arron on the back while he looked him over. “I wasn’t able to fully catch up with you after you got out of the recovery tank and were fixed up by Doc Octy since the Office of Reason snatched you up so quickly. You look fine to me.”

Captain Pointer’s smiling face frowned when he saw the tip of a shimmering holographic dragon tail on Arron’s left hand, “You better cover that up otherwise it could cause both you and M1 problems.”

“From who? The Office of Reason and Mother and Father already know I have this Irezumi. They are the ones that forced me to get it,” said Arron.

“Even if that is the case. If the media or some citizen sees it and makes a big deal about it, I have no doubt that they will throw you to the wolves and pretend to know nothing about it,” said Captain Pointer.

Kix nodded his head in agreement.

“All your gear is inside. As soon as you two are geared up we will be heading out,” said Captain Pointer as he pointed to their APC.

When Arron and Kix had donned their helmets, body armor, and armored boots along with a pair of electronic gloves for Arron, Captain Pointer clapped his hands and then tapped a few options on his wrist-datapad sending out documents to each of the M1 officer teams.

“We have to normalize the big shots before they get word of the raids and go into hiding. They will be our priority number 1 targets. We can take care of the low-level people later. The Office of Reason has already given us information that the buildings the targets are in have had their security compromised and are now under their control. We do not have to worry about any nasty traps, just the grunts with guns,” said Captain Pointer.

“Any questions?” asked Captain Pointer who looked around but found no one raised their hand. “Then let’s move out!”

Their armored vehicles exited the underground garage and split up heading to their different destinations. Since there were too many targets to go after each team only had 4 M1 officers. Three of them wore ‘soft’ armor (the type Arron was wearing) and one officer was using an exoskeleton to help assault heavily defended targets.

With such small numbers, this was a rather dangerous mission but the Office of Reason had given them orders to capture everyone at the same time and had not allowed them to receive help from the black-suit Office of Reason agents or local police. At least they had the element of surprise on their side so that should help soften the danger they would face. Only Captain Pointer’s group had more than 4 people as they were headed to take out the main target.

When the armored vehicle stopped at the coordinates that were plugged into it, Arron, Kix, Bishop, and Knox jumped out of the back of the vehicle.

Arron looked around and saw that the building in front of him was one he knew well. It was a pleasure palace under the control of the Ryu family and managed by Sen, one of the old man’s sons who had survived the blood war with the Office of Reason.

Ping! Arron’s helmet notified him of two approaching objects from the sky.

When he looked up and his helmet camera zoomed in on the target he let out a curse and then over the secure coms he shouted, “We’ve been found out!”

The two approaching objects were news drones, and they were now broadcasting the m1 forces for the entire mega-city to watch.

Similar messages from the over 25 groups came in over the group comms with similar cursing.

“Do not waste time! Capture your target!” shouted Captain Pointer, stopping everyone’s cursing.

Arron could hear the sound of gunshots in the background while Captain Pointer continued to issue commands to everyone. Wherever he had gone there was a major firefight happening.

“Let’s go!” shouted Arron as he led the others into the pleasure palace through the front doors.

“Ah!!” The frightened screams of the female workers echoed through the lobby as guns from the M1 were pointed at them as they rushed over to the front desk.

Arron hopped over the counter and pushed the cowering females to the side before accessing the cameras and swiping through them until he found his target.

“Fifth floor!” shouted Arron.

Bang!

He shot the communications terminal, disabling it. Hopefully, it would allow them enough time to reach their target without them noticing. The building’s alarms were already disabled by the Office of Reasons hackers so there was little fear of something like that alerting him.

They rushed the stairs with female workers and guests screaming in fright as they jumped out of the way of the scary armored M1 officers.

When they reached the 5th floor… bang! A gunshot slammed into the wall above Arron’s head. Causing him to retreat back down a few steps.

“Guess it’s my time to shine,” said Knox.

Arron, Kix, and Bishop all got behind the heavily armored Knox who, with only a hand signal, rushed out of the stairwell using the exoskeleton armor as a walking human shield for those behind him.

Several bullets bounced off the exoskeleton armor creating sparks and dust as they bounced off and slammed into the wall, floor, and ceiling.

BAM! BAM! BAM!

Hiding behind Knox, Bishop’s heavy guns fired off at a high speed and cut down the enforcers that had been shooting them.

There had only been five of them guarding the room that the target was in. As they reached the door it opened with a half-dressed Sen holding a gun as he peeked outside.

“What the hell is going on…?!” his words were cut short when four guns were pushed into his body.

“Drop it!” ordered Knox.

Clatter! The gun fell from his hand and skidded across the para-steel floor.

“You guys are making a huge mistake, do you know who I am? I will be out in an hour and then I will make sure to get payback!”

Arron silently cuffed Sen and shoved him over to Kix.

“Target secured! Exiting the building!” said Knox over the group comms.

“Understood! If possible, head to your next target!” shouted Captain Pointer over the loud noise of the gunfight that was still going on.

With Knox leading the way back to the front entrance they only encountered a few more enforcers who were easily taken care of before the group stopped at the front entrance.

“Why the hell has a crowd gathered out there so fast?” cursed Knox when he saw a growing crowd forming between the building and their armored vehicle.

“Kix, Arron, cover me and Bishop. We’re going to try and rush through. Just keep those people away from us and the target until we have secured him inside the rear of the armored vehicle,” said Knox.

Both Arron and Kix gave a silent nod with their armored heads not speaking.

The door was kicked open by Knox’s heavy armored foot and he held out his armored arms as battering rams in front of him, rushing forward into the crowd. Those who did not jump out of the way were forcibly knocked out of the way. There was no time to play nice with the gawkers that were hindering their operation.

Bishop was running right behind him dragging the angry Sen who was still cursing at them.

Right behind Bishop was Arron and Kix who had their weapons ready to stop anyone who tried to intercept Knox and Bishop.

The Gawkers in the crowd all let out loud OO’s and AH’s as if they were watching an interesting movie all while the news drones hovered above them capturing everything. Not all people were enjoying the live show. There were several dozen that were staring daggers at the four M1 officers.

As Arron and Kix were blocking the crowd from following after Knox and Bishop a screaming woman jumped towards them forcing Arron to reach out and grab her stopping her reaching arms as she continued to scream.

“Ma’am please stay back, we are… Yumi? What are you doing here?”

The struggling woman stopped her shouting and stared right into Arron’s mirrored helmet in shock.

“Arron!? Wait… you’re a special officer of the M1?”

“Well…”

“It’s over! We’re done!” she said, cutting him off.

“But… I’m still the same guy that you met when I was not in uniform! I am that same person you said you loved!”

“That was before I found out you were one of THEM!”

“So all that you said about staying together forever was a lie?”

Yumi ignored his question and shouted back at Arron. “What are you doing to my uncle!”

“Uncle?” After only a few seconds everything clicked into place. He remembered hearing that the old man had a granddaughter that he doted on because she was the only surviving family from one of his sons who had been killed in an attack by the Office of Reason.

“What’s this? A lovers quarrel!?” asked a female reporter who had only heard the last part of the conversation as she tried to push her way through the crowd.

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“It appears that one of the M1 officers is being dumped in Live on air! Apparently, the M1 is not only stirring up trouble with the families tonight but is also stirring up a pot of troubled love!”

Kix stepped forward and pushed Yumi away from Arron who had been standing still as a statue while she hammered his chest armor with her slim arms.

“Get back! We will not allow anyone to interfere with our mission!”

“The target is secured in the back! Kix, Arron hurry up!” shouted Knox from the rear of the APC.

Arron took one last glance at Yumi’s face which was filled with so much hate and anger. Seeing such an expression on her face instead of her usual playful and coy smile hurt him deep into his core.

Kix grabbed Arron’s arm and dragged him away to the back of the vehicle and shoved him inside.

“Get a hold of yourself. We still have a lot of s*** to do tonight! We can’t have you breaking on us now!” said Kix as he slammed the door shut.

Knox, seeing everyone was inside, tapped in the coordinates of their next target and a second later the armored vehicle lifted off the ground and shot out of the crowd. The automatic driving system did not care about the dozens of people that were in the way and just pushed through them.

While traveling through the streets at a high speed an emergency notification was sent to each of their helmets followed by Captain Pointer’s face appearing.

“The main target has escaped our encirclement and is on the run!” said Captain Pointer with a pained expression. His breathing was not calm and was full of pained gasps.

“Captain, are you OK?” asked Arron. Several other people chimed in to ask the same question all at once.

“Everyone that is not currently engaged with a target is to cancel your previous orders and intercept the main target! I am sending the coordinates now! We are trialing them but at this rate, we will be unable to capture the main target!”

Knox received the new coordinates and tapped them into the system causing the vehicle to swerve off of its previous course and head in a new direction.

“Since our team has already captured our priority target we will help you to cut off the main target’s escape routes!” said Knox over the group’s secure comms.

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