Somewhere in Colombia, 201X
Yuri Lykos, despite his wolfish exterior, offered a cup of coffee to his guest. The fifteen-year-old, being a by-product of a mating between a wolf and a human, looked like a combination of the two, sported silver-grey fur, a canine muzzle, large ears and a tail, but still walked upright like a human. His soft topaz-yellow eyes watched as his guest, Professor Ramon Galvez, offered a "thanks", and took a swig from his cup. Along the table sat Soruki Crescent, Yuri's boss. Although he was merely a year older than him, Soruki presented an aura of a deadly twenty-something killer in his prime. His hair drooped over the right of his ruby-red eyes while his uncovered eye gazed at the blue, intricate brace on his right arm.
"Ah…" Ramon started, snapping Yuri back to attention. "I feel like a new man! There's no coffee like Costa Rican coffee."
"So, what brings a distinguished scholar of the Costa Rican government to Colombia?" Soruki asked, his eyes now sharp as a hawk.
"Actually, Professor Galvez comes from Costa Rica's University for peace." Yuri corrected. Normally, other people would have minded. Soruki wasn't normal.
"You see, over the past year, there have been past sightings of an armed group in Costa Rica. They're not ours, of course." Galvez said.
Costa Rica doesn't have an army, Yuri thought.
"Correct," Galvez said, as if reading his mind. "Article 12 of our constitution states that 'The Army as a permanent institution is abolished.'"
"You think its rebels that fled Nicaragua?" Soruki asked.
"No… They don't appear to be guerillas. They're far too organized." Galvez said.
"Okay then." Soruki said. "What's your take on them?"
Galvez shed his calm exterior for a second, slamming his mug into the wooden table, scowling, "The authorities claim it's a multinational security firm. Lies, obviously. They're bringing in state-of-the-art weaponry and equipment by the shipload."
"Where do you suppose they got this money?" Soruki questioned.
Galvez fell silent, staring at his mug, before he said, "I fear that Cypher may be involved." A silence fell onto the group as the words sank in. Cypher, an underground company that mostly controls the world's intelligence. Such a group would have access to thousands, if not millions of dollars. More often than not, top-notch soldiers would be hired to protect it. Galvez broke the silence by saying, "I understand that you and your comrades have neither state nor ideology – that you would fight any foe. Please, you must drive them out of our defenseless country. We come to you. The Fighters without Borders."
"So… you want to hire us?" Yuri asked, mollified. Although they had been hired before, Galvez sounded legitimately in need of their group.
"Yes, as our deterrent." Galvez said. "It's true that we can't afford to pay much, but we can offer you the caches of weapons we have found throughout Costa Rica."
"A base for forward operations would be nice too." Yuri asked impulsively, before he realized his foolishness. However, his heart rate returned to normal when he saw Soruki hadn't seemed to mind.
Galvez was silent, before he said, "I'll see what I can do."
"Hold it!" Soruki snapped. Yuri's heart sank back, and his boss continued, "You seem to think we're just a pack of "Dogs of War". Is that right?"
"Yes… that's what I've heard. You're battlers without a state."
"No… we've only left our families behind." Soruki said firmly and coldly.
"Please!" Galvez pleaded. "You must help us!"
"If your suspicions are true, then force is not going to do any good. You'll have to find a political solution." Soruki advised.
"The government's hands are tied!"
"Go back to your bosses," Soruki said, a note of finality in his voice. "I'll introduce them to a negotiator I know. She's pretty damn good at her job."
"No…" Galvez said, defeated. "I'm not here on their behalf."
"So why are you here?" Yuri asked, before his boss did any more moral damage.
"For over twenty years, I've preached the values of peace at multiple universities. Tonight I stand before you as an educator." Galvez said, clearly beginning to break down. Turning aside, he ushered in a hooded figure. The hooded figure took off her hood, to reveal short brown hair and sapphire-blue eyes. "This is my student. She came with me to study peace. Her name is Nami. Nami Serizawa." The girl looked timidly at Yuri, then at Soruki, then turned to the professor for comfort. "They have a supply port North of Puerto Limon. A few days ago, Nami stumbled upon that facility searching for a lost friend. She was captured."
Galvez nodded at Nami, and she reluctantly undid the robe, allowing it to fall to her feet; to reveal her white undergarments and little scars around her body. "She's only a child… fifteen years old. They did… terrible thing to her. But somehow she managed to escape." Galvez said.
All during this while, Nami had made her way over to Soruki, and then she bowed, tears already forming at her eyes. "Please…" She implored. "Get them out of the country… Make them leave Costa Rica."
Sorry kid… Yuri thought, upon finding his leader's perpetual frown on his face. Apparently a half-naked teenage girl begging him to chase out a bunch of people out of a country wasn't going to convince him.
"We know who you are, Crescent Blade." Galvez said. "That's why we've come to you…"
"Are they still here?" Soruki half-asked, half-snarled. Yuri, curled up on the floor in a ball, jumped up, and checked the window. Sure enough, both were still out in the rainy night, both enduring the heavy downpour that threatened to infect them with pneumonia.
Yuri had been sleeping for quite a while, thinking about the situation. Although he was much more content with sleeping it off and following Soruki's decision, this felt different somehow, different from all the war missions and the assassination missions they had been hired for. This seemed much deeper, something he'd personally like to see to the end. "Look, its not like we're trying to start a war. All we need to do is find out who this 'Security Firm' really is."
"C'mon, Yuri." Soruki seemed to half-mutter, half-growl. "It's pretty obvious that they're being backed by Cypher."
"Wait…" Yuri realized, his face turning a deathly pale. "That means…"
"Our friend the 'Professor' is with BLU." Soruki finished, frown turning into a snarl as he continued to try and light his cigar. Yuri could only feel tiny as he realized what this meant. BLU, short for the Builders League United, was a construction company that acted as Cypher's deterrent, a countermeasure that somehow gained an enormous amount of funds to rival Cypher. The reason why neither had taken over the world was because these two were constantly fighting with each other.
"Damned thing won't light." Soruki growled, trying to light his cigar, and failing for the umpteenth time.
"Huh?" Yuri wondered, brought back out of his thoughts.
"Put out some coffee, Yuri. It's time for a little chat with the 'Professor'."
The wooden door creaked open to the two guests standing outside the wooden house. Nami quickly dashed in, soaked to the bone. Yuri pitied the child, to have stood in the rain wearing only a red raincoat and her underwear was not a normal feat. Galvez noticed Soruki attempting to light the cigar, and hobbled over to him, moving his left prosthetic hand to reveal a lighter concealed in its thumb. A small flame lit up the room, and lighted the cigar. Soruki's animosity mostly disappeared. "I was once a heavy smoker. When I got my medal from the Secretary-General, he gave me this hand as well… But smoking was ruining my lungs, so I stopped." Galvez mused. Soruki let the cigar burn for a while, before he used the cigar itself to light up the blue brace, revealing much more intricate cuts and slashed. After a while, he opened the window, and pitched the cigar away into the night. "It's quite an honor to meet the legendary Crescent Blade."
"It's just a title my friend made up." Soruki replied. He paused, staring at the rain, before he asked, "What about you, comrade? Did they assign you to be a Medic?"
A dark smile crept over Galvez's face, and he complimented, "Well. I see the Crescent Blade is a sharp as his sword. I'll get straight to the point." From within the brown coat he wore, Galvez took out a map, and spread it out, to reveal the area of South America. "Central America is the navel of the American continents, bridging North and South. We want this land. We'll build a socialist stronghold and use it to split the Americas in two. America would lose its resources, its economic production, shipping lanes and strategic value. We, on the other hand, would gain a base of which all of Latin America would be within our reach."
"You think Cypher's going to let that happen?" Yuri asked tenaciously.
"Certainly not, wolf-boy." Galvez scoffed. "After all, Cypher's men are already here."
"And that's the armed group in Costa Rica?" Yuri asked to reconfirm.
"Precisely. It's clear that they have been sent it to disrupt our efforts across the border in Nicaragua. Simply put, the army now stationed at Costa Rica is Cypher capital. But it's more complex than that. Cypher's got something else planned as well." Galvez explained.
"What?" Yuri asked.
"That's the million dollar question." Galvez smiled. "We want you and your unit to find the answer. Infiltrate and investigate the facility where Nami was imprisoned. Learn all you can of their operations and drive them out of the country."
Yuri's body felt limp when the words sank in. He was right, this was nothing like the little ops they'd carried out before, this man had wanted them to settle a turf war between the world's greatest organizations. Soruki, on the other hand, had been stroking his chin thoughtfully, before he asked, "What about her? Was it all just an act?"
"You mean her implorations? She was captured, that much is true. But I've kept my BLU affiliation from her." Galvez replied.
"And you thought we'd fall for a tear jerker?" Yuri asked incredulously, both slightly annoyed and shocked.
"Hm?" Galvez asked, as if he'd touched a nerve. "No, I had good reason to bring her along. She managed to escape with her life. Her friend was not so lucky." He left a pause, for dramatic effect, before continuing. "But why were they attacked?" From within his pockets, Galvez fished out a SONY Walkman music player, with a cassette tape inside. "Perhaps they saw something they weren't supposed to have seen. Perhaps they heard something they shouldn't have." Setting the Walkman upon the table, Galvez continued, "I believe this will help me explain." He pressed the button, and let the player do its work.
The rustling of the grass blades rang throughout the wooden cabin as the call of a bird resounded in the room. It continued to tantalize Yuri, whose lips drooled at the thought of a plump, juicy bird to feed on, when he mentally slapped himself, and forced himself to ask, "How does bird chirps explain why they were captured?"
"Give it time." Galvez smirked. The recorded cries continued on, until two voices, soft but audible over the bird's call could be heard.
"…dangerous… I… to get rid of it." A female voice could be heard. The voice sounded like it was in its 30s or so. It was crisp, smart, and sounded slightly arrogant.
"I take it away and discard it." A second voice replied. This one was female as well, but it managed to contain lots of energy, yet sound monotonous at the same time.
"You can't. The blade's too vicious. It's… many people." The first denied.
A while passed, before the second answered, "I take it away."
"It will slash you unless you break it." The first one seethed.
"LEAVE ME ALONE!" The second one snapped, still in monotone.
"Misa…" Soruki muttered. His eyes had snapped open with recognition, and sheer shock made itself apparent in his eyes.
"Voiceprint analysis proves that this voice is indeed that of the legendary bandit Misa Walker. The voice of the other hasn't been identified. Female in her thirties with a faux British accent." Galvez said, clearly enjoying Soruki's reactions.
Said boy was now in shock, his eyes empty as the gears turning in his head continued to accelerate. He moved his arm dumbly for a second, before asking, "Misa's alive… in Costa Rica?"
"As I understand it, she was your sister, fought by your side, and that you accidentally killed her, along with all your comrades." Galvez then reached out, and turned off the Walkman, removing the tape from the device. "Well? What'll it be? Will you take the job?"
"Boss, it has to be a trap." Yuri snarled through gritted teeth at his so-called 'guest'. However, Soruki had fallen silent. His pupils had dilated; arms lifelessly limp at his side. The blue brace was just as dim, almost dead. To think that his leader, the one that he'd trusted with his life in a millisecond could be rendered helpless merely by such a fact…
"Then I suppose you won't be needing this…" Galvez smiled cruelly, holding the tape over his prosthetic, flames already trying to lick the cassette.
"Wait!" Soruki snapped, everything snapping back in place. Before Galvez could even let go of the tape, it was already in Soruki's hand, the flames crying out for their victim as they continued to burn. "I'll do it for the girl." Soruki said. "For Nami."
The rain continued to pour down over the cabin as the hooded girl continued to stalk the place. Nami knew that Professor Galvez had told her to stay at home to keep safe from pneumonia, but she had to settle this… Looking through the window, she saw the wolf-boy, Yuri, snoring away on the ground, curled up to sleep. She allowed herself a little giggle at the cuteness, before the need came back to smack her into place. Hoping that he wouldn't tear her to pieces for waking him up so late, Nami raised her fist to knock on the door- only to have it snatched away by Soruki, now wearing his own brown hooded robe. "Hush." He said, before Nami could make a sound. "Don't disturb Yuri. He needs his sleep for tomorrow." Slowly, he led her into a smaller side cabin, where they would be unable to awaken anyone. "Now," he said. "What did you want to ask?"
"I… I need a favor." Nami said.
"Alright. What is this favor?" Soruki asked.
"I…" Nami started, before she realized her words were going to fail her. The blush on her cheeks beginning to overheat, Nami decided to let her actions speak, and dropped the hood, revealing nothing but bare flesh beneath.