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[SAINT] Fever

Jadg Wolf

Inactive Member
ON> Black Sands

Wolf appraised the prospective agent sitting on the opposite side of the desk in his makeshift office at the Black Sands SAINT training facility. He and his partner Karl Hadgard had both had a hand in her training, but Master Sergeant Ghi To was truly Karl's star pupil. With the Kodian as her prime mentor for over a year, Wolf believed her to be the best candidate for his new program to introduce the trainees to field work as their final tests. As they had already exchanged pleasantries, Wolf got straight to the point: "I believe I've been talking about this for a little while now, it's just been a bit difficult for me to consider how exactly to execute this, so I apologize for the delay."

"We're going to stage an evaluation for you. My original intent was to get as close to a typical operation as possible, but as it's not every day that someone's conspiring to overthrow the Empire, we're going to take over a police case." Wolf himself knew little about it aside from the generalities that made it a legitimate choice for Ghi's evaluation. "Possibly a waste of your skill, but it's not unheard of for a highly trained agent to freeze up on their first mission, so we're going to do it in as safe an environment as possible. Of course, there'll still be danger, but Karl and I have every confidence that you'll be able to handle it. If you don't have any questions, I'll open a channel to the police station and we'll find out the specifics of the operation."

“I am happy to undertake any task to serve the Empire,” Ghi replied softly, sitting up to attention in her chair in such a way to not sit on her tail – the diminutive agent remaining in the same cat-human hybrid body she had designed for herself over a year earlier, her entire body of smooth feline musculature covered with a layer of ginger fur, her face showing the true features of a ‘cat girl’, cat ears, blue feline eyes and long canine teeth (albeit without whiskers which would serve no purpose). Perhaps that which was visibly different was her even more defined musculature, the calm way in which she held herself and her eyes which now seemed at least on the surface unemotional.

What a difference that time had made on her – she looked back on the person she had been with a sense of warm familiarity combined with contempt. She was far more than that which she had been, and perhaps a little less, “What is the nature of the crime we are investigating?”

"The mark is a small-time hacker, I believe," Wolf answered. "I didn't look too far into the case, just enough to ascertain that it would work for our purposes. That's why we're about to call the station." He stared at the desk momentarily as though choosing his next words carefully. If there was any flaw with this exercise, it was that it actually didn't address the most common cause of apprehension in new agents. He quickly looked back into Ghi's eyes and spoke in a more forceful tone: "You're not going to kill this guy. The police just want to apprehend him. This one would be easy, he's a criminal, but--I'm sure you've heard this quite a lot--you need to be prepared to kill whoever you're told to. Could be a criminal, could be an ex-army officer and his kid sister who stumbled across some classified information." It had happened before, and even Wolf had hesitated in that situation.

Wolf was springing this on her, sure, but he figured better to address it now than not at all. If she got cold feet and wanted out, she would be the one who knew too much, and SAINT would have no choice. "You're a soldier, but army are hard to work with because they think there's not a big difference between killing the opposing force and killing a kid who knows too much. Think about that while you're executing this operation. It's good that you know you're serving a higher cause."

He blinked and reassumed his normal gruff tone. "I know it doesn't really answer your question, but I didn't want to forget to give you that speech." He smiled humorlessly. "As we're both mostly in the dark, I'm going to call the station unless you've got any questions about the big picture, the case as a training exercise."

Ghi took the information in quickly, drawing her own unvoiced conclusions and giving her some more information about her superior – his consummate professionalism was one of many of his attributes she wished to emulate. The story regarding the child certainly gave her something to think about, although she was versed in some of the moral ‘grey zones’ in which SAINT plunged itself – still she didn’t want to hurt a child, nor anyone out of a simple crime of ignorance. None the less despite her shock nothing showed itself on her face – her training meant that her façade could deal with far worse than slight emotional impact. “I have no questions sir.” She said smoothly, watching attentively as Wolf played around with his desk console and patched through to the police station.

"Mister Wolf, Master Sergeant To." The detective on the screen nodded at the two operatives respectively. "I've just finished the report on our intruder problem here, though there's not much I can give you. We know he, or she, is based on the fringe of Central Uesureya and has probably been working for a while. I'm sorry to say it took someone reporting computer mistakes to bring him to our attention. The damage has been light but the skill used in doing that damage has been...pardon the opinion, but rather admirable. I'm sending you the files with both intrusion reports and the dossiere that the profilers have made." The detective turned to a second computer console and tapped a few buttons. The file transfer request chimed waiting on Ghi's computer when she could get to it.

"The damage has been small: Doors refusing to open or opening for the wrong persons, allowing a few children into a machinery room and locking an owner out of her store, but most recently the two reports given to you tell of money missing from a few electronic currency accounts. The first was a small amount, but the second was rendered bankrupt and the money has yet to appear in another account. I have little input on how that is possible, but it happened. I am relinquishing this investigation to SAINT, but the department requests that the offender is brought in alive and in condition for questioning. We are very interested in how this person managed to get this far.”

"As for background information, all we know is that the outlying housing of Central Uesureya is composed of slums and low-income housing toward the outer edge, composed mostly of people who have for various reasons desired to 'drop off the grid'. We are suspecting that the offender is operating from the eastern region, possibly using a large custom system constructed from abandoned materials. The profile given is a male, late twenties, off-the-grid and probably looking for some easy cash from hacking civilian accounts. The profilers are split on what sort of physical condition he is in, so you're looking for an athlete cyberpunk or an overweight garage-dweller." The detective smiled. "That's all."

Wolf nodded as the detective made his report, mentally filing the information and considering a few questions to ask. He decided that as it was Ghi's operation, he would defer to her and see what she asked and observe how she asked it. "Thanks, detective." He smiled in return and nodded before facing his student. "Any questions for the detective, Ghi?"

“Only one or two sir.” Ghi replied before turning to the display of the man, “You say that this mans skills are ‘admirable’, as someone who is not particularly versed in computers of the ‘art’ of ‘hacking’, could you tell me just what makes this man admirable, and indeed what you personally think he is capable of?” Ghi undersold her own abilities, having received SAINT training in at least basic covert and subterfuge style computer manipulation, but allowing another to fill in your ignorance seemed to be as good a way to get information as any.

The detective looked at Ghi a moment before answering. "He slips in and out of the system with a good amount of practice. If we didn't see the results, we wouldn't know to look for him at all. Also we haven't been able to find many traces of his intrusions. The hacks were reported in that area, so we are pegging our point-of-origin on the hope that he is new at this, albeit very talented, and is testing his skills on nearby targets. I think we may have to catch him in the act to get a fix on his location, however. As for what he is capable of...

"I think that, if his aim is money, he may continue to be an inconvenience to the populace, possibly move on to Kyoto or other planets to avoid being caught by repetition."

“Thank you detective, I am sure I will have more questions after reviewing the information you’ve given us.” Ghi thanked the detective, allowing some of her natural warmth to flow into her voice, “It will doubtlessly be a pleasure assisting you in this case.”

The detective nodded. "Thank you for your help with this, Chief."

ON> Central Uesureya Outskirts

The Fox T4 shuttle was fast approaching the outskirts of Central Uesureya. The two SAINTs had been informed by scouts of the likely location of their mark. As Wolf had taken the threat of the mark's impending departure quite seriously, they had scrambled quickly without defining the operational parameters, which he was presently going over with Ghi as she piloted the shuttle.

"Typically, you'd have access to whatever weapons you need to get the job done, and then some. In big operations, by the time things get hairy enough that we're involved, stealth isn't so much a factor as you might think. However, it's not a completely lost art, and since you're out to apprehend this guy instead of eliminate him, there's no need to break character and take an assault rifle when a standard issue police pistol will do fine." Wolf waved his own Type 30 NSP, honestly cursing the fact that he had left his GP-5b. "Last thing we need is a civilian to come along, spot one of us with military-grade weapons, and call the police, effectively confusing the chain of command and maybe interrupting our operation. Heavy weapons shouldn't be necessary anyway. And working with limitations, aside from sometimes being necessary in our operations in the first place, will make it that much easier when the reins are cut altogether, which is also why we're not using PANTHEON to tell us everything about the operational area.

"I'll be scouting around in an attempt to cover the exits, but for the most part it'll be up to you to go in and get him by any means necessary. As long as you don't kill him, that is, but if you feel like you're in danger just do what you have to do." Wolf leaned back and adjusted his Kevlar vest as he noticed their momentary arrival. "Any questions?"

“None sir,” Ghi replied, mentally checking through her inventory even as she flew the shuttle. She was garbed in contemporarily fashionable clothing, baggy black jeans, and a hoody covered by a jacket, however the hoody actually integrated a covert set of body armour, and strapped on the inside of her jacket she had her bandolier of knives, grenades and at her side hung her Type 30 NSP. All in all she felt fairly capable to deal with the possible threats, although she could not deny she felt safer knowing that her ‘soul’ was stored back in Black Sands. Even if she failed she could continue to serve the Empire in some form or the other. As the shuttle drew close to its destination she began to slowly warm up her muscles with her learned training exercises, preparing herself for anything. She could not fail her instructors or her empire in this most simple of tasks.

The outskirts resembled a dense population district, with tall buildings composed of tenements and apartments with neighborhood shops clustered in some areas. Rooftops were mostly flat, but adorned with patio furniture, gardens, and antennas of all shapes and sizes, making it difficult to find a landing place for the shuttle. A run-down open park eight blocks away was the closest open area, so the SAINTs set down there. The place was almost deserted, but trickles of people were moving from place to place as the city began to wake up and the night shift began going home. The unemployed and off-day workers were doing some shopping at an open market a few blocks past the target's house, while ground vehicles wound their way through the narrow streets, only avoiding pedestrians when they could afford the time. It would be easy to blend into the growing crowds.

There was probably one or two police officers in the area, both of them plainclothed and discreet. Police presence usually caused excessive paranoia in the hiding ones, but as long as the people who wanted to be 'off-the-grid' didn't cause problems, the police had an unspoken peace with them. However, there were hundreds of video cameras in the area, one on almost every building corner that covered each main street and alley. The back alleys were un-watched, and anyone who lived there knew to keep out of them unless they were looking for trouble.

Grabbing his jacket, Wolf stepped out of his seat and opened the hatch of the shuttle. There was a GP-12 in the back which Wolf eyed for a moment before remembering what he had just told Ghi. He shook his head and stepped out of the shuttle as he put the jacket on, zipping the bottom but leaving enough space so that he could grab the now concealed NSP in the backwards holster on his left without too much difficulty. He changed into his Geshrin form mid-stride before turning around and leaning against the shuttle waiting for Ghi. Wolf surveyed the little area he could from their insertion in the park while speaking in the Geshrin's warm, soft voice: "I'm going to come clean here and say that I didn't really think much of the time of day. I guess you can just think of it as another limitation." As the sun was coming up, outside visibility would be improved but daylight brought a host of potential troubles, the growing crowd one of them. But if everything went according to plan, the situation outdoors wouldn't hamper the execution of the operation.

“Alright, computer users tend to me night-dwellers anyway,” Ghi muttered back, concealing her NSP in a similar fashion and relying on the general weirdness of Yamatai to ensure that her hybrid state would not create that much attention. That being said she noted that a more covert form might be desirable and a small part of her mind started thinking of the characteristics she would imbue a new body with. She did not let her dominate her mind however and turned to her instructor, “If all goes well should I bring the offender back here, sir?”

"Well, ahm...never mind." As he heard some of the quiet thoughts associated with the body change, Wolf almost started to suggest that she would be able to keep her hybrid form if she acquired a Shadowshifter body, but as he was truthfully unsure of the genetic component, and as it wasn't pertinent to the operation, he decided to bring it up later. "Oh, yes, we'll bring the mark back here when he's incapacitated, and use the shuttle's comm system to hail the nearest police station. Stun should last long enough to get the attention of someone, whether they come to pick him up or we have to fly him somewhere." Wolf began to walk out of the park and toward the subject's house. "I'll be walking around, like I said. If he runs for an exit just let me know through telepathy and I'll help you head him off. We don't want to let him get into the crowd. Otherwise, let me know when you've got him and I'll be around to help carry the body." He smiled jokingly, as his real purpose would be dealing with anyone who questioned what they were doing dragging an unconscious man around.

“Affirmative sir,” Ghi said, flashing a quick grin, “If there isn’t anything else I’ll begin.” She waited for a moment, enjoy the surroundings – so different from the barren waste of Black Sands, and so much crisper than the various simulations they had been running. There was nothing quite like the real thing, and it was good to occasionally see some of the beauty that they were trying so hard to preserve. Ghi would find this individual who so wanted to pervert all that was beautiful about the Empire, and she would deal with him with the exact right degree of prejudice.

The target house was eight blocks away from their shuttle, a few minutes walking. It was a five-story tenement that needed much cosmetic repair but was still sturdy. Walls had holes, and the stairs were ancient, but the place was kept rather clean by its keeper.

The basement was a whole other story. The keeper had given up on it after renting it to a complete eccentric and the eccentric's son. Instead, the keeper left the two to their own devices as the amount of machinery and wiring grew like vines within the rooms. Scavenging parts and wires at night, the father was a compulsive inventor and self-proclaimed mad scientist. Truth be told, he was rather good at it. His social skills were in the classic mad-science vein, however, which scared many who met him. The son was a quiet boy, as opposed to the father who was excessively outgoing in his son's mind. The son had a more brooding personality, and had rarely ever been seen by the other tenants, spending much of his time locked in his room.

The basement had the lobby and first floor between it and the second floor where the other tenants lived, so there were no noise complaints, and the keeper had received excessive reassurances that the nature of the "doctor's" work was not of the explosive type. So they were allowed to stay.

A low, intermittent buzz kept a steady beat with a green LED light that was linked to a mess of wires and circuit boards. The mess composed half of an already-too-small bedroom. Jip slowly lifted his head to look at the light. Hm. His dad would be home from the nightly salvage by now. He could sleep a little longer. Meanwhile, "Dr." Tazaar, a lanky man with a large duffel that protruded at odd angles arrived at the tenement and entered his access code to the front door. The computer buzzed him in and he went down to his lab.

As the SAINTs approached the house, Wolf glanced at it momentarily and then spoke to Ghi telepathically, "All right. I'm going to walk to that market down there and double back. It's all yours. Make Karl and I proud, Ghi." He looked over and smiled before turning back to the market, and passed the house without another glance back. He walked briskly toward the market, smiling and nodding at those he passed. The actual observation of Ghi's operation was secondary to the completion of the mission; for now, Wolf was her backup, and he didn't need to draw attention by staring.

Ghi looked briefly at her instructor as he left and turned to look at the house carefully, taking in all of the obvious exits and entrances and deciding that going in through the front covertly was only a distant possibility, what with the people walking down the road – she walked down the alley, fairly confident that she could handle any situation what would arise.

Acrobatically vaulting over the chain-link fence which separate the back of the building from the main street, Ghi landed on three limbs, her head quickly turning left from right to scan the premises. Seeing nothing to immediately grab her attention she approached the door silently and removing a lock picking set from one of her jackets pockets she adeptly started working on the door.

A yellow LED blinked on over Jip's door and he frowned. Not many living things ventured to the back doors. He got up, servos whirring to life as he lifted his cybernetic body from the small mat that he had been dozing on. He was tired, but the yellow light was accompanied by a higher-pitched and slightly louder alert sound than the green one was. Getting to his feet, Jip slid his door open and looked into the main room where his father was messing with the zipper of the duffel, which had jammed itself.

"Dad, someone's messing around out back," Jip said, his synthesized voice a very good replication of his old voice, with only slight digital distortions. The 15-year-old tapped his elbow, which had pinched a sensor in his sleep.

"Not rats?" asked the doc, glancing up at his son with a rather wild look.

"No, something bigger. The rats won't set off the yellow sensors," returned the teen. His father narrowed the widened eyes, but just went back to fixing the zipper. Jip watched him for a moment, then frowned. "Fine, I'll check it myself," muttered the boy.

Doc Tazaar turned away from the bag, distracted by a line of computer code that started zipping by on a nearby computer monitor. His lips spread into a joyous smile and he began chuckling as he clicked an interface probe into a datajack port on his temple and his narrow digits tapped away like rabid woodpeckers on the keyboard.

Jip climbed up the two flights of stairs, but slowly. He didn't get out much and the robotic frame that his father had cobbled together from abandoned parts to replace his chronically diseased body, while making his movements more accurate than an un-enhanced human, took some time to re-interface with in the morning. Especially when he was tired. Reaching the top of the stairs, Jip tapped in the code to the lock that his father had installed.

Ghi’s sensitive ears picked up sounds from indoors even as she finished opening the lock, silently slipping inside the house and closing the door behind her, quietly drawing a scalpel into one hand and a NSP into the other. She sunk into the still present shadows of the kitchen, steadied her breathing and stretched her above human sense of hearing and smell to see what was happening further inside the house. Whatever it was, she was ready.

Jip leaned on the handrail of the stairs a moment, making sure he had his limbs and senses under control before stepping out into the atrium/lobby. The keeper was in the tenement office an waved at Jip through the bar-crossed window. Jip waved back, but didn't smile. Not that he really could smile, he barely had a mouth. Again, Jip derided the keeper on having an office outside of the apartment, leaving the back door unguarded like that...which is why his dad had installed the sensors in the back without the keeper knowing. He motioned and the keeper turned on a two-way speaker. "The Doc is trying to make a cake. Forgot to buy flour, you got any?" the cyborg boy asked. "Sure. I'll let you in, one sec." The keeper shut off the speaker and came out through a side door, then brought out a key to unlock the apartment door.

Hearing the door being unlocked and reasoning this gave her very little time to actually prepare anything, and reasoning that it would probably be better to remain covert than resort to action – which would rid her of an action rather than allowing her to keep her options open. Unfortunately this meant that she would have to hide, and assessing her options this meant hiding within the cupboard – which she did, taking advantage of her small size, closing the door quietly behind her and aiming the gun at where it would be opened in case someone decided to look.

The flour was retrieved without incident, it being on an upper cupboard instead of a lower one. And the keeper wasn't too big on keeping the dishes clean, so the lower one was empty anyway. Jip looked around, peeking out the very narrow, heavily barred back windows, but didn't see anything. He had been sure that he heard steps, however...

The Doc hummed merrily to himself as he tapped in a never-ending screen of code. A red LED lit up in the stack of monitors and his humming stopped. "Hmm?" he hummed. Snatching up a high-capacity micro-drive, he took the jack from his temple and put it in the drive, saving his work and loading it into the portable storage. The progress didn't move as quickly as he wanted it to, however, and it began to bear the brunt of his ire and vast curse thesaurus.

Thanking the keeper, Jip left the apartment and returned, quite unsurprised at his father's state. "You always take this so seriously," he said, setting the flour down on the table. "They don't even know where in this building you are, if indeed it is them."

"But I cannot let them catch me! Do you know what that would do to my research?!" Another bout of cussing at the drive was paused as the Doc looked at Jip. "You wouldn't have that body, or the ability to even use it, if I did not have freedom for my experiments. But now," he said with a growing grin as he disconnected the finally-done drive and lifted it into the air, "they will find themselves three steps behind once again!" With that, the scientist dashed up the stairs and out the door, skidding briefly on the tile floor as he made a sharp right to the front door of the building.

Jip narrowed his eyes and tapped a couple of keys. "They are usually not so quiet about it, though," he said to himself.

After the couple had left the kitchen Ghi eased herself out of the cupboard, and came to the corner of the kitchen, peeking around it and after seeing a disheveled man who at least vaguely matched the criteria of her target running out of the building with a great deal of enthusiasm she decided she could not hide any longer. “This is the police, stop or I will fire.” She shouted, aiming her NSP and breaking into a fast run, her hybrid body allowing her to reach far greater speeds than any mere human.

The man was too busy laughing to himself to hear her. Once he was outside, he tucked the drive into his coat pocket, crouched, and leaped, a short jet burst from the small boosters in his cybernetic legs carrying him to the rooftops five stories up. They also burned his boots from his feet.

Ghi swore internally, calling Jadg telepathically, “A cybernetic scientist just ran out of the building and flew on to the rooftop, I’m following.” Grabbing her pistol in her mouth she began quickly scaling the wall, her claws ripping out of her fingers and her shoes in order to gain purchase – reaching the top at breakneck speed and throwing a scalpel with her typical accuracy at the miscreant, following it up with her NSP.

Wolf had been scanning the various wares and items at the market for a minute or three before considering doubling back, finding a place to blend in and surreptitiously keep watch over the front door. Just as he was considering turning around, he heard a faint pop a few blocks away in the direction of the target site. Maneuvering around the market to get a clearer view, he started walking back to the apartment when Ghi's message reached him. As he saw the scientist, and Ghi clambering up the roof, he was at least thankful that the guy wasn't bothering to keep a low profile himself. Wolf continued to stare at the pair on the roof, ready to run to assist if the scientist disappeared, but in the few second interim he simply walked and kept watch to see how the rooftop encounter played out.

The scalpel flew true toward the mad doctor's shoulder as he fled, dodging around patio furniture on the rooftop. He stumbled over a reclined fold-up chair, the scalpel flew past him and hit a flowerpot. The pot fell, dumping its contents and shards onto a rope tied around the base of the shelving unit the pot was on. The rope came undone and fwipped through the pulley system it was woven through just as the doc scrambled to his feet, his hands still on the ground. The rapidly slack rope released the awning that it was holding up, which fell, then sizzled as the NSP shots fried through the thin fabric. The doc straightened quickly with wide eyes as he looked back through the hole at Ghi. "You-" he started, but quickly chose to just run. Running would be better at getting him away now...

Ghi flashed a quick, fierce grin, enjoying the adrenaline of this chase enormously as she sprinted after him putting her feline musculature to the test as she closed the gap with a great leap which would boggle a human mind (probably leading to the false idea that she could manipulate gravity) firing as she did so, performing a forward flip in the air and landing effectively on top of him in what she would later assume was a great feat of acrobatics.

The first shot dropped him like a sack of bricks (or potatoes if you prefer), so the others didn't have their chance to fry his nervous system too. Ghi's acrobatics, while indeed impressive, went unnoticed by the incapacitated man. His last thought before unconsciousness took him: @#$ was that---?

Ghi knelt over the prone form, bringing into her hand a pair of Emrys Industries Manacles, the magnetic version designed to inhibit localized electronic activity, and far beyond the ability of any humanoid to break. She attached them to the man's hand before contacting Jadg telepathically, “I’ve caught the man who flew away, he’s detained. However, there was someone else who might be an accomplice back in the building. The man came from the basement rooms, check them out.”

Several tenants came rushing out the front door of the building, looking for the explosion. Doc's jets had rattled a few windows, but done no damage to the street.

As Wolf approached the building, the edge of the roof quickly eclipsed the action, and with no line of sight, he began to jog straight down the street to the opposite side of the building, in the direction that the scientist had been fleeing. He didn't want to get involved if Ghi didn't signal for help, but at the same time, SAINT's reputation was at stake. Just as he was beginning to run, he received the next message from Ghi. "Impressive, nice work. I'll take care of the other. If you're still on the roof, move to the front and cover that exit." He slowed down as he approached the building and resumed a slow walk as he came alongside the tenement, paying no attention to any curious glances. "How'd you get in, is there a back door?" He began walking to the alley.

Then Wolf noticed the crowd of tenants and cursed before quickly doing a double-take and running at the now open front door. "Never mind, cover the back door." Wolf changed into stealthed Neko NH-7y3 form as he got lost in the small crowd, and felt a tightness across his chest from the Kevlar vest. He pushed inside, shed his jacket and grabbed the NSP before surveying the area and realizing he had no idea which door led to the correct apartment. He hailed Ghi: "Did you happen to see which door the mark came out of when he tried to escape the building?"

"The only door on the left leads downstairs," replied Ghi."The door straight ahead is the owner's rooms." She then ensured that the man was unconscious with a dose of general anesthetic deployed out of an Emrys Industries drug dispenser, and then moved over to the side of the roof where she lay prone, covering the door with her pistol.

"Got it." Wolf opened the appropriate door and internally debated running down the stairs and busting into the apartment. However, he realized that he had no idea of the apartment's layout, and a loud descent and breach would give anyone in the room time to hide or possibly flee to another exit--that is, if they hadn't done so already, as Wolf was unsure how loudly or quietly Ghi had proceeded. In lieu of barging in, Wolf stepped quietly down the stairs and found that the second flight of the stairway opened directly into the main room, immediately ducking down below the concrete barrier that acted as a guard along the side of the stairway. Taking a couple of quick glances over the barrier and registering the ubiquitous wires and machinery, he slowly made it to the bottom of the stairs, keeping low. As he was still stealthed, he needed only worry about keeping noise to a minimum.

The room was dim, with sparse fluorescents installed in the ceiling providing enough light to wind one's way through the mess of machine and electronics but not enough to see what the mess consisted of. Wires hung in curtains around a table in the middle of the room, but few of them were actually connected to anything. Probably the Doc's idea of storage. Three doors were at one side of the main room, and a kitchen was at the far end. The doors were clearly to bedrooms or storage rooms, not closets. Jip's body was half-buried under some machinery around the brightly-lit table in the main room, like a piece of scrap robotics. A very nice hiding spot, considering the state of the room. Other than that, no one seemed to be home.

Wolf carefully checked the unlocked rooms before returning to the main landing. When he tried FWN night-vision, the resulting glare from the dim light was insufficient to overload the retinas, but bright enough to obscure the room, rendering the night-vision useless. A similar survey with thermal vision revealed nothing of importance. "Dammit." The cold feminine voice seemed especially loud to Wolf as he had previously been trying to keep quiet. "No one here, maybe there was no accomplice. Let's return to the shuttle."

When he resumed the Geshrin form, left the building, and met up with Ghi, Wolf noticed that the Doctor didn't match the description of a twenty-year-old male. While he was suspicious, he knew there was nothing to be done about it and instead congratulated Ghi on her first successful mission.

Over one of the computer monitors, the red light of a camera blinked twice, then went out.

[Central Uesureya. Police headquarters, Detainment And Interrogation Sector (DIAS).]

Doc Tazaar wasn't talking.

At least, he wasn't saying anything that his captors wanted to hear. It had been only a few minutes since he regained consciousness and control over his recently-shocked nervous system, but already he had shown an astounding degree of irascibility and a single-minded inability to think about anything but his work. And the fact that the micro-drive had been confiscated on his arrival was not making his behavior any better.

"I DEMAND that you let me go! Return my PROPERTY, post haste! I have rights! I have work to do, experiments that are of high priority! And you cannot undo what I have not yet DONE!" he shouted, his wild voice reverberating off the walls of the "interview" room, with the occasional expletive-laden insult sprinkled into his rants for flavor.

The officer guarding the door remained at attention, puzzled particularly over the Doc's last sentence, but also about the rest of the doctor's shouting. But it wasn't her job to talk to the prisoners...just to make sure they didn't get out. Which, judging by the manacles that kept the man's arms firmly attached to the tabletop in front of him, she didn't have to worry too much about that. Besides, the agent in charge would be there soon to begin the interrogation.
When Wolf and Ghi arrived at the station, they had spent a (month) short time looking for an on-duty detective with knowledge of the case they had requisitioned: they were unable to locate the detective they had originally spoken with. As a result, they had only just finished relating the details of the capture and were preparing to elaborate on their immediate course of action when a scowling female officer approached and addressed the pair of SAINTs.

"There you are. Your guy in the DIAS is awake and he's rather vocal. Would you mind doing your jobs before he's got a chance to give the whole sector a headache?"

"Well why don't you soundproof the rooms?" would have been Wolf's retort, but the officer had already turned around and started back from where she came. They probably are soundproofed, the bitch is just exaggerating. Wolf shook his head and told the detective "Well, I suppose we'll have more information soon then. We'll get back to you."

"Sure," the detective responded with a smile. "If I'm not around, don't hesitate to drop the analysis in the file." He departed before Wolf thought to ask where exactly the file was.

"Aren't there any stale donuts around here?" Wolf asked no one in particular, glancing around hopefully as the pair walked back toward the DIAS. "Anyway," he addressed to Ghi, "interrogation isn't my specialty. There's not a lot to my method and you've probably had more training in it than I have. I suppose in this particular situation I'm going to stop working as your advisor and more as your partner. I'll be mostly leaving it to you but just give me a meaningful look if you want me to get involved." He smirked as he added, "If you want 'bad cop', let me know so I can change to Geshrin form. I think it makes me seem a bit more friendly. Any questions?"

They were fast approaching the room, and Wolf had half a mind to draw his gun before entering, but as the Doctor didn't realize their affiliation, Tazaar wouldn't be expecting police brutality and the effect of the gun would be lost. He instead waited for Ghi to respond or lead them into the room.