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Reunion Part Final

Suki was driving. “Their eyes didn't look right.” 

Angst was in the passenger seat. “I didn't recognize those weapons. I think they were partly psychic.” 

Goner was behind Angst. “This is unbelievable.”

Frank said, “Get to the highway. We have to get some distance, figure out if they can track us.” 

Angst saw the sign approach then recede behind them in the early morning light. “Goodbye Jones Heights,” she whispered. 

“What's the last thing you remember before this version?” Max asked. He was between Goner and Frank in the back seat.

Shorelines,” they said. 

“Okay... I don't remember where I was before that, and I don't recognize some of those names, but you guys found me during the Event. We were together for a while after that.” 

“We thought the Event shifted us here,” Goner said. 

“What happened next?” Frank asked. 

Max looked down at his hands. “A lot. A lot of bad things.” He glanced at Angst, then Frank. “I don't know if I should say. Some version of them may still happen to you.” 

“To us? What's that supposed to mean?” Goner asked. “What happened to us?” 

“Do you know how or why you became Marshal?” Frank asked.

“No. Maybe I was hiding? Or maybe it was a trap. To me it feels like a lot of time passed after the Event. I feel like I was alone for a long time.” Max glanced at Suki. “I think I met some other versions of some of you. I don't know, it's all pretty jumbled.” 

“Well, it's good to see you again,” Angst said softly. 

Max smiled. Then he winced. 

“Max?” Frank asked. 

“There's just a lot going on up here,” he said, rubbing his temple.

“Try saying it,” Frank said. 

“I keep thinking the words Realtime, Fragmented... Citadel, Underground, Purgatory.” 

Goner chuckled. “What? Don't any of you follow pop culture? Realtime was the latest album from the DJ Mana Junkie, Fragmented is this season's big cable TV drama, Citadel is one of the hottest superhero comics out there, Underground is the best-selling biography of corporate whistle-blower Simon Light, and Purgatory is catching all the buzz on the international film festival circuit.”

“Shit, what is going on here?” Suki said. 

“Yeah, I forgot how weird and confusing things could get,” Max said. 

“No, I mean here, out there.” She pointed out the front window. They all looked outside the car to see the road start to blur, the trees start to shimmer, the sky start to ripple. 

“Can you feel that?” Angst asked. 

Frank said, “We're shifting.”

Goner sighed.

Suki smiled, tears in her eyes.


Reunion Part Five

The storage room of one of the businesses that Frank did record-keeping for. A laptop playing music. A cocktail of psychotropic drugs. A mashup of pagan ritual, Neo Linguistic Programming, and LEGACY brainwashing techniques. 

Marshal had seemed more confused than scared by the abduction. Once the trances had taken over he had become incoherent, then silent. 

Goner was on lookout. Frank was checking Marshal's pulse, pupils, whispering mantras in his ear at designated intervals. Angst was reading the notebook from the satchel – it was filled with poetry. 

The sun would be coming up soon. 

Suki finally walked towards him. Leaned in to look him in the eyes. 

“I don't know where you went. I don't know why you left. We never really knew all that much, I guess. When we found each other here we did what we always did: got safe, laid low, started researching, looking for ways we could help. We had done weeks before, not usually as quiet, but... Then it was months. And there were no calls, there was no sign of you. 

“And then Angst said, 'We need to start living in what's happening, not what might happen'. And she did, then Frank did, and Goner did. But I couldn't. Couldn't do it. I went crazy instead. Like my mind couldn't stop shifting, even though we had. I wondered if that was how you felt, all the time. 

“I took too many pills, too many times, I cut up my arms and legs, I ran away, got arrested. I think I was trying to make a shift happen, somehow. Or maybe I thought that if I got in enough trouble you would come and rescue me. 

“Finally they put me in a hospital. Put me on meds. Put me in therapy. And things eventually got to be okay.” 

Suki straightened up. A tear rolled down her cheek. 

“So why are you here now?” She screamed, “Why now?” She slapped him. 

Marshal heard a voice. Okay, we are a go. 

“I don't want to come back,” he whispered. 

“What did he say?” Frank asked. 

Alright Max, it's time to make things happen. 

“I want to come back,” he said. 

Goner shouted from the doorway. “Three vehicles approaching.”


Reunion Part Four

“This is the 'no-turning-back' conversation,” Frank said. “If we do this, at the very least we will be kidnapping a person, drugging them, and psychologically torturing them. We'll have to go on the run. Our lives in Jones Heights will be over.” 


“Or we'll be waking him up.” 

“If he even wants to be,” Angst said. “We're happy, maybe he is too.” 

Frank looked at her. They were at their regular table at the cafe, regular lunch orders. “Marshal's not happy. I could tell that after one pint.” 

“What exactly did he say? How could you tell it was really him?” 

Frank took a bite of his sandwich. Sipped his coffee. “It wasn't any one thing. There was no code word or trigger phrase. There were no references he recognized. Nothing obvious. It was... It was as if Marshal is exactly the type of man that Max would have been if nothing strange had ever happened to him. If all the stories had remained stories and had never come true.” 

Angst looked out the window, thoughtful. “I never really could tell how much of what Max said was true. I'm not sure he could either. He taught me how to shoot, though. And to fight monsters.” 

“And sometimes he made you feel better when things were really bad.” 

Angst smiled and nodded. “Okay, let's go get him.” 

As they stepped outside, a car pulled up. Goner was driving. And Suki was in the passenger seat.


Reunion Part Three

“Hi Goner.” 

“Hey! Angst, how are you?” 

“I'm good,” she said. 

“It's good to hear you.” 

They spent some time catching up. Her quiet life in town, quiet job at the B&B. Let him know that Frank was good too. He talked about his busy job in the busy city. Investments, portfolios, boardrooms, deals. Money. He checked to make sure that they were both still receiving the monthly deposits – it didn't feel like charity, they had been through too much together to have any pride or shame attached to such mundane things. 

Goner was good at his job. He used to wonder if he was always suited for work in this field or if being initiated had somehow made him good at it. He had only joined the army for the education, and had only moved into private security for the money. Everything after that had been about survival. At first, anyway. He had been so young. 

“It's...” Her voice changed. 

“What's the matter?” he asked. 

“He's back, Goner.” Silence. “He's different but it's him. Frank confirmed it. His name is Marshal Montgomery, he's in town travelling. He doesn't recognize us. But it's him.” Silence. “He's here for two more nights. We... We're going to try and make him, help him remember. We thought you should be here.” 

“Why the fuck? Even if it is him... just leave him alone. I thought we were done with all of that. It's been seven years. Why the fuck?” 


“He did me a favour that day in the alley, and I paid it back a hundred-fold. It's over, all that is over. Just let it be. And don't you dare get Suki mixed up in all of it again. She's finally doing okay.” 


“Fuck this. No way. It's over.” 

He hung up.


Reunion Part Two

Marshal Montgomery had booked a room for three nights at the Chambers' Bed and Breakfast in the town of Jones Heights. Angst's shift the next day started at noon; Marshal had already headed out by then. Theresa Chambers told her that he had been quiet and polite during breakfast and had taken one of the Walking Tour maps from the front desk when he left. When Angst was replacing the towels and soaps in his room she resisted the urge to go through his travel bag. She noticed that he had used the room's kettle to make a tea but hadn't used any of the packets of instant coffee.  

Frank followed Marshal for hours as he walked the streets of the small town, stopping in shops but buying nothing. Along the canal, sitting at a park bench for a while. Marshal wore a satchel over his shoulder and listened to earphones as he strolled through the Heights. Occasionally he would take a notebook from the satchel and jot something down. 

Eventually Frank came to feel that there was some sleight resemblance, but without Angst's prompting he never would have made the connection. But he was also less certain than Angst that there wasn't some need lurking there... He was, if not happy, at least content. Teaching guitar lessons, the occasional gig at the local pub, part-time work doing some record-keeping for a few small businesses. Dinners and movie-nights with Angst a couple times a week. There was a lack, though. There was the memory of his finger on a trigger. Even shadowing Marshal for the day brought back the rush, reminded him that once he had been a hunter. 

When Marshal stopped at the pub around dinner, Frank decided he would make contact. Frank was well-known there, it would be easy to create opportunities to start a friendly conversation with a tourist. 

Three hours later Frank called Angst. 

“It's him. He doesn't know that he's him, but you were right.”


Reunion Part One

“It's him. He's back,” Angst said.  

“But... I mean...” 

“He doesn't look like he usually did, but I know it's him.” 

“He didn't recognize you?” 

“No. Please. Please believe me,” she said. 

“Okay... Okay, tell me. You said he looked different.” 

“Older, like we are I guess. Heavier, bearded.” 

“And what name did he check-in under?” 

“Marshal Montgomery. License and credit card.” 

“And he didn't... He didn't recognize you?” 

“I know,” Angst said. “I know we always used to recognize each other, no matter what version we were in. Or we thought we did. How can we be sure? I'm sure about this. It was him.” She switched her phone to her other ear. “Do you remember how I used to sometimes have those dreams, and they felt true, and then they would become true... That's how it felt when I saw him. I know it's him. ” 


“Listen, I know how it sounds. I know it's been a long time. And I'm happy now. I like it here. I miss it sometimes but I don't need it. And I'm not stupid, most of it used to be pretty terrible. It was scary and violent and... So it's not that. It's not me needing it to be him.” 

“Alright,” Frank said. “I'll check him out.”



“Hi you.”

Max grinned. “Heya. How'd you get this number?”

“It was the decrypt key for the cortex-drives on these hybrid cyborgs that were terrorizing the city. Once I hacked them I noticed it was the same length as a phone number so I thought I'd give it a try.”

“Clever. So you're sorted?” Max asked.

“About to lead the reprogrammed cyborg army in a revolt against their corrupt creators, but it should go okay.”

“I miss you.”

“Me too, sweetie. How's things on your end?”

Max took a breath. “I've been thinking a lot. Mags... Maggie, here's the thing... I was never a marine. There was never an MK-Omega project. I was never part of any experiment, I never shot anyone. I don't really know how to shoot these guns I carry around, I don't know martial arts, and I certainly don't have any magic powers. I'm sorry, I don't know what's wrong with me.”

“Max... It's okay. I'm not really an angel. I've never travelled in time. I have no idea how to fight demons. I'm making it up. It's all made up. Just like laws, and governments. And money and religions. And culture and even identity. It's all made up, it's all art. Everything is art. But that doesn't mean it isn't true.”

“Hm. Yeah...”

“You told me that, when we first met – or one of the first times we met – after we woke up in those weird tanks in that underwater base. Max, I gotta run – the borgs are getting restless...”

“Right on, have fun! Thanks, Maggie.”

“Love you!”

“Love you too.”



Max had kicked off his shoes and felt the sand between his toes, and it felt good. 

A wave lapped up on the beach, nearly reaching his toes this time. He sat on a log watching the sun setting upon the horizon. He took another pull from his beer.

The sound of fire crackling behind him and the strum of a guitar made it all seem so surreal to him. It had been a long, long time since he had just sat with nothing to do but drink a beer at his own pace.

"This is grand, isn't it," Frank said as he approached him. He was holding out another bottle of beer. "It looked like you were just about running on empty on that one."

"Thanks man," he said as he took the new bottle and placed it beside him. "Really, don't want to move from this spot."

"Simply beautiful here, isn't it old friend," Frank said as he sat on the log beside him.

"That it is," he replied. He finished the last of the liquid in the bottle before chucking it out into the water.

"You know that's 10 cents you tossed out there," Frank chided. 


Knight's Gambit

"This is a stupid game," Darius interjected. He looked at the board again and couldn't decide what to do. "Why do you even bother to play it?"

Max reached for a cup of coffee and took a sip before replying, "It's all about the moment."

"Moment," Darius said. "By God's good grace, what moment is that?"

Max put the coffee mug down and leaned forward; he waved his arm over the chess pieces like a amateur magician at a kids' show. "You look at the board and what do you see? Several items carved out of wood on a two-toned coloured board. Each carving represents a being and what they represent. You know the stage is set and that these pieces can only move a certain amount in a certain way for a set number of moves. Though one might think that it's limited, alas the game itself is a wonderful dance, not only of the mind but also the action of movement. The possibilities are endless."

Darius looked at the board again and then up at Max.

"It's just an unanimated object, Darius," Max said. "We make it come to life with our actions." 


+ PLEX TOURS .5 The Subway

1. Bishop: No two people have ever described the conductor of the Subway in the same way. His physical appearance and personality seem to vary as much as the worlds at each stop on the journey. Bishop once told Max that the Subway was powered by a Mystery Engine fuelled by inputting data about heavily researched but currently unsolved topics like Bigfoot Sightings or the JFK Assassination. The origin of the Subway is its own greatest mystery, a subject Bishop is silent on...

2. Akimoto: Often found meditating or practising his sword forms in the aisle between seats. His worn army jacket draped over a stack of folded tropical shirts.

3. Aqua: Listening to the most current club mixes on her headphones, her signature cowboy hat and battle gauntlets on the seat beside her.

4. Suki: When she isn't bopping and skipping up and down the aisle, or watching the psychedelic blur outside the windows, she'll stretch out on a row of seats and use her school books as a pillow. The Godhammer is always within reach.

5. Max: Usually reading newspapers or comic books.

6. Doors: Always opening onto different platforms, different worlds, different possibilities. 



"I haven't seen Cube in days," Gauntlet says.

"He's on assignment," Brogan replies without looking up from the datapad.

"Is the file available?"

"It's deep cover. Classified."

"Understood." She turns to leave. "Sir?"




Three days later, Gauntlet and Viking are in the field, sniper training for an upcoming op. Gauntlet in the grass on the trigger of the .50 Cal, a mashup of Futhark runes and Bagua trigrams painted in nail polish along the barrel. Viking laying beside her, spotting, running through the Artemis mantras he will use when the time comes. If there is any surveillance on them it will be visual only, from Hermit.

"He left a note hidden in my bunk," Viking whispers. "I'll show it to you when we get a chance."

"What did it say?"

"That he wouldn't be coming back from the mission, that hopefully it was because he went rogue and not because Brogan's ambush worked. He apologized for not getting a chance to move on Brogan, and for leaving us in a difficult situation. He said that he hoped we would meet again, and that hopefully we'd remember each other if we did..."

"Hm." She adjusts her scope.

"So what's our play? You have to know he's right about Brogan."

"I think Brogan's only a puppet. I think it goes even farther. Maybe the whole MK-Omega project is dirty. So we watch and we listen, maybe look into Cube's first tour with the Cadre, try not to tip our hand, and maybe we can get a glimpse behind the curtain... And then 'To Be Continued'."

"Ha. That's what he wrote on the bottom of the note."



Section: Hostile Organizations
Sub-section: Cults
Entry 081118: The Revelation

A small cell of terrorists who operate globally. Their agenda seems to be destabilizing existing government and economic systems and disseminating anarchy. The nature of their communication network and funding sources remain unknown.

They tend to operate individually and only occasionally meet in person. Each agent is highly-trained in multiple combat styles and social engineering techniques. Agents are also expert-level psychics, employing clairvoyance, telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and in some cases even transvection.

The Revelation uses Christian symbolism in their activities. Field codes often involve linguistic or numerical references to passages in the Bible, from a variety of translations. Operatives adopt callsigns based on characters from Christian mythology. Despite these references, the cult does not appear to have an overtly religious motivation; there is no evangelical component to their actions. On the contrary, they have repeatedly attacked multiple power centres of organized religion, as well as government and corporate targets.

Current Known Roster: Gabriel (Gabby), Magriel (Mags), Ms. Morningstar (Lucy), Lilith (Lily), St. George (Pretty), Sandalphon (Sandy).

“There you are,” Cube said softly, looking at the file.

“For most people downtime doesn't mean research, my friend,” Brogan said as he entered the room.

Cube lay the pad down on the couch beside him. He didn't bother trying to clear the screen; Brogan would have Admin access and be able to track Cube's searches. Cube suspected that he had alerts set up for when certain files were opened and that his arrival in the lounge right now wasn't an accident.

“Would you believe I've seen all the movies we have downloaded? And the doc says I'm still not allowed to play videogames until my aura is fully recovered from the Inverness mission.”

“That's unfortunate,” Brogan said. “As soon as we get another secure transmission window I'll make sure I.T. gets some new content. They have digital comics online now, don't they? Didn't you used to read a lot comics?”

“That would be great. Thanks, Brogan.”

“My pleasure, Cube.”


Operation Tomb Raider

-- File Excerpt --

0203: Hostiles eliminated.

0204: Field Team arrives at front gate. Gauntlet maintaining cloak, Viking on overwatch, Cube bypasses defenses [mission-issued super-coolant for the physical lock, corrosive visualization trancework for the astral sensors].

0206: Field Team enters Villa.

0208: Floor One cleared.

0209: Basement cleared.

0210: Field Team approaches Chamber. Gauntlet drops cloak and performs Type 7 enchantment to access the Chamber. Viking performs Heimdall invocation and resumes overwatch.

0211: Gauntlet and Cube enter the Chamber and go dark.

“Three minutes for me to copy the text,” Cube said as he began scanning the first page of the Grimoire. “No one can hear us in here, so go ahead and say what you want to say.”

“I think you're the one who's been waiting to say something,” Gauntlet fired back.

Cube kept scanning the pages. He didn't want this to be a battle. “Okay, okay... Why don't we start with... All those things you saw and felt when MK-Omega was first training you for the Cadre, all those hallucinations and visions...”

Gauntlet remembered some of them, still had nightmares.

“They were real,” he told her. “Or parts of them were. I'm pretty sure, anyway.”

Gauntlet resisted the urge to deny it, maybe because they saw things (almost) as strange on every mission, maybe for another reason... “Is that why you murdered your first handler?” It was a counter-attack of sorts.

Cube looked up at her, hands still turning the pages, moving the scanner. “I don't... Well, it's why I'm going to murder Brogan.”

There was a moment when things felt violent. She asked “Why?” instead.

“Because I've met him before, I think, or a version of him. And I'm fairly certain that he's directing the Cadre towards his own agenda. That he wants the power for himself.”

0214: Gauntlet and Cube exit the Chamber. Exfil protocol initiated.


Operation Macrocosm

Brogan tapped the screen on the table and the holo-display shifted to a new view. "Obviously timing is even more critical than usual. The coordination over such a large distance is part of what makes their ritual so genius, but so difficult to sabotage."

Viking grunted. "All three of us could hit one site and the whole thing falls apart."

Brogan smiled. "As always, your 'blunt instrument' approach is appreciated, but Objective One is to commandeer the ritual to our purposes. We want them to get as far as establishing the scaffolding, channeling the flow, and priming the delivery system -" With each point he tapped the screen and the display highlighted a different data-set. "- but then we want to divert the incoming Mana to a target of our choosing."

"So," Gauntlet interjected. "That will mean one of us at the airport, one at the resort and one at the stadium, with three separate counter-spells, simultaneous deployment, and completely covert."

Brogan nodded. "Or else they clue in and call it off themselves."

Gauntlet sighed. "You don't lack for vision, Mirk."

"And the new target will be?" Cube asked.

"That will already be encoded in the counter-spells. You just need to get there and cast."

Gauntlet said, her voice dancing the line between sincere and sarcastic, "Sounds like fun."

-- File Excerpt --
0903: Gauntlet casts counter-spell at Location Alpha. Viking casts counter-spell at Location Beta. Cube casts counter-spell at Location Delta.

0904: MK-Omega Satellite [Designation Hermit] tracks massive spikes in Mana [Types 7, 8, 17] at Locations Alpha, Beta, Delta.

0905: Hermit registers successful re-direction of Mana-flow to Target XXXXXXX.

0906: Cube begins exfil. Viking begins exfil. Gauntlet compromised, begins tactical engagement with opposition forces.

0907: Gauntlet clear, begins exfil.

0910: Local ground team confirms Target eliminated.


Operation Prometheus Unbound

-- File Excerpt --

Mission Overview
Hermit Satellite has confirmed the wreckage of a military-grade naval vessel off the coast of XXXXXXXXX [political affiliation unconfirmed] carrying a substantial amount of Type 20 Mana [source/configuration of Mana unconfirmed – possible link to recent archeological activity on mainland XXXXXXXXX]. Callsigns Viking and Cube deployed to site for containment and retrieval, Callsign Gauntlet coordinating remotely from Bisaillon Station.

Objective One: Prevent the Mana from being acquired by locals or competing interests.
Objective Two: Retrieve Mana and exfil to Station [Viking].
Objective Three: Investigate possible link to archeological activity [Cube].

Small talk on the plane.

“Back in the Forsvarets Spesialkommando, my unit would play Dungeons & Dragons during R&R.”

“That's awesome,” Cube said.

“I had a 12th Level Barbarian,” Viking continued. “I know, what a surprise.” He chuckled. “The adventures we would have together, in some ways they felt just as real as the missions we were assigned.”

Cube nodded. “I get that. I've cried more watching 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' than I have at any funeral I've been to.”

Viking sighed. “And then MK-O recruited me, and there was all the conditioning, the drugs, the simulations... I became less sure than ever what was real and what wasn't.”

“But you keep searching...”

“The Quest continues – I suppose that's what my Barbarian would say.”


Operation Domus Tenebrae

-- File Excerpt --
Location: Morrison's Crossing, Rural XXXXXXXXXXX

Day Eleven: Cube registers zero fluctuation in the building's Mana-field. Occupants remain unaware of surveillance.

Day Twelve: Cube registers zero fluctuation in the building's Mana-field. Occupants remain unaware of surveillance.

Day Thirteen: Cube registers point-zero-one negative fluctuation in the building's Mana-field [within parameters]. Occupants remain unaware of surveillance.

Day Fourteen. Cube registers sudden two-point-one-three positive spike in the building's Mana-field. Occupants at risk from toxic levels of Mana [Types 4, 13 and 18]. Cube enters the building. Viking begins Galahad invocation in case exo-parameter entities manifest. Gauntlet follows Cube in.

Gauntlet nodded as she oiled the barrel of her shotgun. "Absolutely. Furniture was tossing about, shadows were growing and breaking, there were loud noises, like howling or metal grinding."

"As soon as Galahad took over I could feel the dark radiating, even from the road."

"I had the speaker hooked on my belt, hit play - I was using that Hebrew/Enochian mashup you heard last week. I start firing elemental shells in pentagram formations in each room -"

"Classic," Viking said.

"It felt classic, you know? Old school."

"And where's Cube?"

"Same place as when you finally made it in," Gauntlet said. "Crouched over the kids. He was talking to them, while everything was going bonkers all around them. Not sure what he was saying, but they were listening."


Operation Ajna Nova

-- File Excerpt --
Location: XXXXXXX City, Downtown Core

17:34 Cube confirms eyes on the target. Maintains safe distance. 

17:35 Cube activates mission-issued sub-dermal ESP sync implant. Gauntlet [Mission Lead] gains "eyes-on" from position Beta. Viking moves to shadow position on Cube.

17:37 Cube maintains safe-distance stealth pursuit. Gauntlet assesses target's Mana level to be reaching critical point with no total-solution for clearing the threatened area of collaterals within the collapsing timeframe.

17:38 Cube proposes eliminating the target [Objective One is target capture, Objective Two is reducing collateral damage should the target discharge the rising Type 19 Mana]. Gauntlet denies request. Gauntlet gives Go-Code Aegis.

17:39 Viking initiates flash-invocation of Osiris and rushes the target. Cube begins firing his sidearm in the air in an attempt to clear the collaterals. The target discharges the Mana as Viking tackles them.

17:40 Viking absorbs 87% of the Mana, a lethal dose. The parameter modifications granted by the Osiris invocation successfully regenerate enough of the cellular damage to reduce the injuries to a survivable level. No collaterals are injured. Cube closes and secures the target.

17:41 Gauntlet confirms Objectives One and Two complete and initiates evac procedure. HQ deploys disinformation package #17 to local law enforcement and media.

"I don't trust him yet," Gauntlet says. "It's like he's got something to prove."

Viking shrugged. "Don't you think he does? Given what he did?"

"Plus he was willing to go off-book in the middle of a mission, when we already had contingencies in place." 

"There was no guarantee I was going to survive the Aegis play."

"Yeah, but the Aegis play still supported both Objectives." Gauntlet smirked and gave Viking a punch on the shoulder. "And since when did you have a problem with charging into certain death, anyway?"

Viking gave her a playful scowl.



Callsign: Viking
Heavy Weapons Specialist
Invocation Expert
Rage and Siege Tactics
Archetypography: High ratings in Types 5, 16, 19
Notes: During Operation Nexus Wave the targets detonated their source of Type 15 Mana rather than allow it to be captured by the Cadre field unit, resulting in mass exposure and infection of the local population. Viking completed a solo incursion into the area and successfully enacted an improvised banishing ritual that negated the outbreak. While the original mission objective was not achieved, Viking's actions prevented a disaster and saved hundreds of lives.
Recent Activities: After the shutdown, Viking has been employed as a college professor, teaching both engineering and writing courses.

Callsign: Gauntlet
Close Combat Specialist
Enchantment Expert
Breach and Clear Tactics
Archetypography: High ratings in Types 8, 11, 14
Notes: Gauntlet was the sole survivor of a field unit investigating a Type 7 Event. Her memories of the incident are fragmented but a forensic telepath was able to determine that she spent over five hours in continuous combat with exo-parameter entities. When local emergency responders were dispatched to the location, Gauntlet was still standing.
Recent Activity: Since the cessation of operations Gauntlet has served as the personal bodyguard of former Cadre asset, the Ritualist Kevin Amirault.

Callsign: Cube
Infiltration Specialist
Illumination Expert
Hunter Tactics
Archetypography: High ratings in Types 0, 1, 10
Notes: During a routine mission to eliminate a Type 1 threat, Cube murdered his handler and disappeared. MK-OMEGA conducted a full investigation of the incident and cleared Cube of any wrong-doing [Investigation Records Clearance Level 23]. He is approved for reinstatement.
Recent Activity: Cube has been dark since disappearing but a standard surveillance sweep of regional law enforcement activity registered his admission to St. Anthony's Hospital [Flagged as Type 17 Event].



"Do you want to hit a drive-thru?" Brogan asked. "You're probably dying for a coffee."

"Sure, thanks." But when they pulled up to the speaker Max said, "Make it a tea."

When Brogan tapped the cigarette pack in the dashboard tray Max shook his head. Brogan kept his eyes on the road, headlights in the night, streetlamps, exit signs. "I guess it has been a while," he said.

Max almost said "Has it?" but he wasn't sure yet what was safe.

"Perhaps unsurprisingly," Brogan said, "catching the police report on you turned into a Type 17 Event."

Max tried to remember the jargon... Seventeen. The Star. This version of Brogan might be testing him. "An Omen of what?" Max asked.

"During my flight here to pick you up we got a call from MK-Omega. They want to put the Cadre back together."