The Matrix: The Way the Wind Blows
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A story by SpikeSpiegel
Based on an RPG by Ushgarak
The Way the Wind Blows
The crew of the Persepolis
The crew of the Shehazarard
Ushgarak...............The crew of the Bounty
It was time. Dallas, the captain of the hovership Shehazarard, had along with Marduk, the captain of the Persepolis of which Cloud was a crew member, had orginized a simple training mission in the Matrix. The objective: a flag located in the centre of a building of SWAT. The first team to get the flag from the room and to the other side of the building won. Cloud was part of team A, along with Coeus, who had been assigned to be team captain, Burn, Ares and Castor. Cloud didn't know any of them all too well, he had been free for about a month, maybe two, and yet he trusted them all with his life.
Cloud looked around at the city-type enviroment. He still had a little trouble getting used to the fact that it wasn't real. At his hips in holsters were two Walther CP88's, on a strap around his neck was an Ingram Mac 10. He hadn't really had much experience with guns, his strength was his martial arts abilities and his skills with a sword. He thought that this was the perfect time to try using guns.
Burn had already begun checking his equipment nervously. Coeus had signaled for them to come to him while he gave them his plan.
"Alright, i want Burn, Cloud and Castor to enter the building, take out the guards as fast as possible, then move into the next room and start on the SWAT. As for me and Ares, we will move around the building and take Fire and Rade out, then proceed into the back of the building."
Ares then spoke, giving Coeus his ideas in terms of a plan, "Coeus, I think you should send Burn and I in to handle all of the mundanes, aided by Cloud, Castor, or you so that, if a member of the opposing team gets to us, we aren't defenseless martial arts wise. And then we grab the flag and run for it!"
Cloud noticed Castor checking his gun and then put it back. He then told Coeus "Tell me where to go, and Ill do my job..." He sounded ready for this. Cloud on the otherhand was a bit unsure, he had taken out "mundanes", the name given to those who were not free from the matrix, before with no problem, but it wasn't just mundanes here now, it was others who were free, and that made them strong, agile, and equal...if not better than Cloud.
Coeus then turned and walked towards the central building, the rest of the team followed. Coeus and Ares split and went around the team towards the sides of the building. Cloud looked at the door, as a hand whose he didn't know whom it belonged to opened the door. Inside the tall room was three concrete baricades equally seperated along the floor, which was sloped upwards so each barricade was higher than the last. Cloud sighed, he knew that there would be guards behind each one. He could see their heads and guns pointing at them all the way around each barricade.
The mission had just begun
Bullets roared from Burns Desert eagle and into the head of one of the guards. Their lifeless body fell backwards behind the barricade. Cloud ran forwards towards the barricade, towards the side opposite the guards. As he ran the guards opened fire. Cloud couldn't see what Burn or Castor were doing now. The bullets all either flew past him or hit the floor.
Now was his time to act, Cloud grabbed the top of the barricade and vaulted himself over it, his foot connecting with a guards chin. The guard reeled backwards. Another guards head exploded thanks to Burns sharpshooting abilities. More bullets came at Cloud. Spinning in the air he performed an airborne shell of the turtle, the bullets all flew past him once again and he landed safely on the other side of the barrier.
The guard whom Cloud had kicked now tried to pistol whip Cloud. Arching backwards Cloud dodged the punch and saw Burn vault the barricade and hit another guard, the guard stumbled backwards, hurt but not out. A bullet flew past Clouds face and another skimed his leg. His first instinct was to grab his hurt leg, but doing so would surely cost him the fight, he bought himeself up again. More bullets came at him and all missed, flying into the concrete as had so many others shot at both him and Burn. For a moment he wondered where Castor was, thinking he should be with him and Burn on the other side of the barrier. Unfortuantly this gave the guards enough time to open fire again. A bullet clipped him on the shoulder causing him to consentrate on the fight at hand. The guard that had tried to pistol whip him before now lay KO'd on the floor, he must have been somewhere else entirely mentally. Maybe he wasn't cut out for this sort of thing after all...no there wasn't time to think like that, least of all at the present.
He ran to the next barricade and leapt over it, coming face to face with more guards. Again Cloud's foot came down on the guard closest to him. Such was the power in his attack that the guard flew backwards and into a crumpled heap on the floor. Cloud looked behind him at a guard that was pulling his gun around to face him. Cloud smiled and raised his foot, hooked it around the guards arm and kicked the gun out of his hand with the back of his foot, the front of it then flew forwards into the guards face, stunning him. Now CLoud bought the back of his fist to his face, but the guard managed to re-couperate and dodge the blow. More bullets came at Cloud, this time he moved fluidly and correctly, as he had been taught by the download program, using a sacred dodge technique known as the willow step.
Now as quick as he could manage Cloud performed a backhanded strike of the subtle, a move for catching opponents off guard, the guard tried to dodge, but instead got his head caught between Clouds fist and the barricade, knocking him out.
Cloud then ran towards the third barrier and leapt that as well. Landing he turned towards one of the guards and bought his fist up in a powerfull tiger-claw shaped blow, the blow sent the cop back, but didn't kill him.
"Damn Glocks, how the hell do they expect to do anything with this damn gun." He heard Burn shout out.
A shot from Castor dropped another guard. Cloud smiled and performed a grasshopper kick, spinning his hips at just the right time to forcfully send the guard back into a wall dead. Bullets flew past Cloud as he looked back at the three remaing guards.
Three guards, three of them...easy.
Cloud leapt, spun and kicked the guard closest to him time seemed to slow down. The move was a modified version of trinity's special move. The download computer had helped him find ways to modify his attacks. The guard leapt over the barrier as Clouds foot passed over him. Another guard flew backwards from Burns shot.
Castor grabbed one of the guards, burn shot the other. Cloud smiled Castor had made sure the last mundane wouldn't be able to dodge. Clouds fist flew at the cops face and knocked him out. Cloud looked back at the dead bodies and grabbed his Ingram. It was time to take the flag.
"Team, remember, nearest person, whether mundane or otherwise..." Came Coeus' voice from the other side of the room.
Cloud looked at the room. It was large, with a balcony on the walls and a ladder up to it. In the centre of the room was a pile of crates and above them attatched to the celing was the flag. Clouds eyes then came down from the flag and looked at the carnage unfolding before him. Guns blazed everywhere and guards fell to the floor after a few seconds of shootout.
Both Castor and Burn, each of whom were standing next to Cloud opened fire at the guards. Cloud couldn't see if their hits connected or not, he had to worry about himself now. Clouds shots went nowhere, completely missing his targets, he relised he should have kept to his sword and fists.
Cloud tried again, firing three bursts at one of the guards. The bullets flew past his cover and into the armour. Blood splattered out of the holes as the guard fell back. Cloud then performed another willow step, dodging the bullets that came at him.
Cloud, now under the north side of the balcony turned and shot at a guard on the south side, the bullets hit but didn't pierce the armour.
The SWAT's all in almost perfect unison reloaded their weapons, giving Cloud time to shoot them, but he didn't. Instead he threw the ingram to the floor and drew his twin pistols, ran towards the boxes and kicked off them, pushing himself up to the North balcony.
At sometime in the fire-fight Cloud had been hit again, a bullet had torn through his leather coat and his t-shirt cutting his side. The adreniline from the battle had kept the pain from getting to him and prevented him from noticing. Cloud then shot at the guards who leapt to the floor to avoid the shots. Time to switch to fists to deal with the cops. He slid the guns back into their holsters. As he did so he didn't notice the guards finish reloading and aiming at him, their bullets came at him. Most missed, but one hit him in the thigh, wounding him. "All right now I'm pissed!" He shouted advancing on the guards.
One of the guards stood near Cloud's body flew back, riddled with bullets. Cloud looked down for a second and saw Ares at work.
Cloud then kick-jumped off the side of the wall and waited until he was high enough to kick a guard in the face. Time seemed to stop for a second as Clouds foot smashed into the guards face and sent him tumbling over the balcony to his death.
"Team A!!!! Fall back!!!! We have to make that flag count!!!!!" he heard Coeus yell, he looked and saw Castor grab the flag from the roof, "Ares, GET TO THE DOOR. Cloud, get down here, we need your help. Burn, its up to you, i know you are hurt, so either way i won't hold it against you."
Cloud smiled at the guards as he grabbed the balcony and threw himself off, into the pile of crates. He landed next to Rade, who had jumped down to try and catch Castor, but he was a few seconds late as Castor had already moved off the crates and was running towards the door. On one side off the room, Cloud's sense of direction was off slightly from the jump, he saw Virus shoot at Coeus and then Coeus' body vanish.
"ARES!! CLOUD!!! Someone needs to cover me!!!!" Castor shouted.
"I have been overtaken, but Burn is still alive for now, he is west side lower, successfully fleed. People, do whatever you can to allow Castor to get through that door. Ares, i hope you are near the door, in case Castor is attacked and needs to hand the flag off to you. Castor, Ares, i wanna see one of you make it through that door with that flag. Good work, people, we're almost there. Keep it up." Coeus' voice came through the simulation from the real world.
Above him, Cloud saw the SWAT's look at their weapons, out of ammo. They were now out of the picture. Cloud scrambled to his feet and ran towards the south side of the room, towards the door that Castor had run through. It had to be south, team A had to come from the North and head South.
Everyone was now in the south section of the room, Cloud saw Ares stand in the doorway, trying to take any fire away from Castor. Bullets and punches flew all over the place. Cloud turned and threw a punch as fast as lightning against Fire, who tried to dodge the blow but couldn't. Ares slammed the door closed, even more protection for Castor.
Burns body disappeared as Fire attacked him. Rade leapt up and kicked the door down, his hands then went for his gun. Fire then disappeared also from the punch Cloud had given him, the wound had taken it's time to inflict.
As Rade was about to shoot at Castor Cloud leapt at him and punched him, it stunned him for a second, but he still got the shot off and Castor dissappeared dropping the flag. Luckily the punch had stunned Rade for long enough that Cloud could run past him, into the third room and towards the flag.
Yet as he ran someone behind him, he guessed it was Hephaestus kicked him around the back of the head. Cloud stumbled forwards dazed and with his vision blured. Cloud's hand managed to find the flag as his grip tightened around it. He could just make out the door that he had to get to ahead of him. It was going to be close, but he thought he could do it. He began to move as fast as he could, but the bullet in his leg suddenly caused pain to rush over his body slowing him down.
Looking behind him he could see Rade come through the door behind him, "Oh s**t, this is not good." Cloud said turning and stumbling on towards the door.
"Sit still!" came Rades voice from behind him as he took aim at Cloud. Behind that he heard Ares dissapear from the matrix, finally beat from the fight. He was all who was left.
Cloud heard the bullets from Rades gun go off and felt a sharp pain all down his back...
...and he was out, looking up at the roof of the Persepolis.
"So......close....." he said as someone took the plug out of the back of his neck, "so....close...."
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