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It felt familiar to have the weight of gear surrounding him, fitted against his muscles in such a way that it moved with him, like a second kind of epidermis. The kevlar clung to his chest, clamping around him almost too tightly. He realized he'd gotten bigger since he'd had the vest custom made and he wondered when he'd put on the muscle. He couldn't recall anything in particular. He resituated his duffle bag up onto his shoulder.
Jon dropped him off in Times Square and Christian moved into the shadows of the sidewalks. He could have driven himself but he didn't like leaving such simple trails. Taking such predictable action seemed dangerous in situations like the one he found himself in. He chose to wing-it, make his choices on the fly, that way he was harder to find.
Harder to pinpoint.
A few blocks away, he walked by an unattended motorcycle and his movements shifted. Indecipherably so, he knew, from years of practice. He swung himself over the motorcycle as if it belonged to him. A constant play of his projected motions spun in his head; every motion seen before it happened from a different perspective. Himself on a movie screen only he could see.
Constantly aware of how he was being seen. It was a blessing as much as it was a curse. Even in his head, the frown that ghosted over his mouth was frightening - worsened by the deep, jagged scars over his eye.
The pouch of speaker wire he kept clipped to his keys came in handy more often than most people would believe. He pulled it out and took a cursory glance around him for onlookers. No one nearby seemed to be paying him any mind. Quickly, he found the ignition wiring and removed the caps. His fingers expertly finagled with the wires and connected them with the speaker wire.
In seconds he was able to hit the ignition button. When the bike roared to life, he secured his duffle bag around his chest and tore off down the street. Adrenalin rushed through him and he gulped down the fresh air. He almost smiled to himself.
He abandoned the bike, after a thorough wiping down, a few blocks from the West side Labs for Jiyu. The building itself was unfathomably easy to break into.
From an inner pocket in his leather jacket, he pulled out one of his favorite little pieces of government tech. The glove was a snug fit around his hand, the thick nylon and polyester hugging his skin tightly enough that he could feel the thin wires embedded in the glove. He flexed his fingers in it, pinching his thumb and index finger until he felt the pop of the power cell in the bed of the thumb.
A glowing, neon blue light flickered over his palm; the wire veins coming to life before his eyes. Static tingles traveled through his hand, up his arm until they reached his shoulder and neck. A small spasm shook his spine but he grinned to himself.
The coming night would be full of the things he enjoyed. Recon, demolition, espionage.
He pulled his CBRN mask down over his face and approached the front of the building. He felt gloriously rebellious walking up to the wide, shatterproof glass doors in full view of the security camera.
A hulking, scarred, eerie man came into focus on the movie screen in his head and he felt a sick satisfaction frothing in his chest. It was so easy to give into the abyss that swirled within him at all times.
He stretched his fingers out, pressing his palm flat against the metal of the door, and crushed the power cell in the thumbpad for the second time. He had been electrocuted once when he was younger, and the memory was sharp and vivid in his mind. The numbed tingling that echoed up his arm, echoed again and again and again, threw him back into the memory. He shook it off and watched the lights in the foyer flicker and go out.
The red light beneath the camera lens went black.
He used his bowie knife to separate the lock from it's slot between the doors and they swung open with the sudden jolt. He strode in and made careful mental notes of his surroundings; though they hadn't changed since the last time he'd been in. A large, curving secretary desk occupied most of the far wall and the adjacent one to his right. Waiting chairs lined the remaining wallspace, save for the two elevators that broke up the wall to his left. Between the elevator and the reception desk was the door to the staircase. Near it was the door he walked into every day for the last few weeks.
It was locked, so he broke in. Really, he thought to himself, nights like this were almost too easy.
The door opened up to the security room. He pulled the emergency backup box from it's hiding spot behind the safe underneath the desk. He shoved the small box, filled with discs and thumb drives, into his duffle bag and shoved his way through the door to the staircase.
He sprinted up the stairs to the first level with laboratories. The lab doors were thumbprint entrance only, but with the power down that wasn't an option anyway. Instead, he took his compressed air canister from his duffle bag and took his Glock from it's holster beneath his arm.
Spraying the can upside down into the locking mechanism, he waited until the canister was empty. The Tetrafluoroethane would freeze the lock until it was too fragile to withstand any sudden force. Taking a single step back and aiming the Glock, he blew the lock open with one loud crack. He kicked the door in and immediately began his search.
It took him less than an hour and a half to search all ten floors of labs before he found what he was looking for. He set charges as he went. filling the middle floors with explosives.
He jogged down the staircase, picking up momentum with every floor he decended, and burst through the heavy door into the foyer. It took him longer to stop than he'd expected, but he skidded to a halt with a huge grin on his face.
This was the kind of work he enjoyed. Amusing himself in an empty building he was about to blow up.
What else could give him that kind of rush?
He set a half dozen more charges on the ground floor before he made his way out of the building and onto the sidewalk. He ducked between two empty office buildings and changed into a pair of jogging shorts and t-shirt behind a sole, foul dumpster. In under two minutes, he'd entirely unarmed, stripped, redressed, and put his weapons and mission clothes into the duffle bag. The two fireproof boxes he had taken from the labs nestled between clothes, weapons, and a few extra compressed air canisters. He walked for a full block before he saw another person.
He began jogging and didn't stop until he was a full two miles from the building. He was back in Times Square, and he could already see Jon's truck navigating a nearby street. Christian detonated the explosives.