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Colonel Corbec

Colonel Corbec

12/21/2007 8:12:04 PM
[b][u][i]The Flood[/b][/u][/i] [b][u]Starring:[/b][/u] [i][url=http://www.bungie.net/Account/profile.aspx?uid=826961]Pyroshark[/url][/i] [i][url=http://www.bungie.net/Account/profile.aspx?uid=1693293]Cortana 5[/url][/i] [i]And:[/i] [i][url=http://www.bungie.net/Account/Profile.aspx?memberID=1964083]X Rampancy X[/url][/i] [i]Approximately one year ago, I started to write a series of stories in which I used characters from this forum and put them into a fully fledged story. Currently, six stories have been written, not including this one. This latest offering is a complete and total re-work of the very first one. Nothing at all has been left untouched; every last facet and every last detail has been razed to the ground and re-written from scratch. While following the original sotry, to say nothing has been left untouched is a gross misunderstatement. I present to you the culmination of many months of hard work...[/i] [b]The Beginning.[/b] [i]“Many reputable historians have documented the notorious infidelity of King Obbiquiet, the grandfather of the current Queen Cortana 5... However, the results of his relations and subsequent congress with women other than his wife have never been accurately determined. Indeed, some seem to have ended with no illegitimate heirs at all… That said, the task of learning more of Obbiquiet’s ancestry continues on.” Excerpt from “The History of the Floodian Royal Family.”[/i] He idly threw the newspaper onto the exorbitantly expensive, luxuriously well-kept mahogany table. The table circled around the centre of a room thrown into pitch black, excepting the patches illuminated by recessed track lights in the ceiling, which beamed all of their light onto the table. An unnecessarily melodramatic choice, but one insisted on nonetheless. The newspaper was just out, stolen straight off the press. Its headline was revolving around Cortana 5, the achingly beautiful Queen of Floodland. The young Queen, with flowing brown hair and piercing eyes to match in contrast to her pale white skin, was causing trouble. That meant she was becoming more politically active than her predecessors, and not as it would have been preferred for the Ninjas. The position of King or Queen in Floodland had been downgraded to purely ceremonial after a series of long past historic events. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t throw around their weight as a public figure, though. Cortana had, in a very reckless decision, decided to speak out against the Forum Ninjas. She was calling for the Prime Minister of Floodland to take greater measures against them, and to bring them to justice. For those uninitiated in that phrase, and the enormity it carried, you should instead imagine this: a cripple, paralysed from the waist down, tells an easily aggravated ethnic body-builder that he slept with his mother frequently and for him to go back to his home country, followed by a string of colourful, race-based insults. What Cortana had done was exactly like that, excepting the fact that the consequences would doubtless be ten times more resounding. The Forum Ninjas were a shadowy group, and that was all that could really be agreed on by the public. Some thought they were simply a paramilitary group that was intent on nought but causing chaos and mayhem. Some supposed they were involved in religious fundamentalism, though of which kind was unclear: the Ninjas attacked any group, regardless of faith, ethnicity or political standing. Others thought they were a terrorist splinter cell, or a top-secret double-agent group founded by one Government or another. Conspiracies abounded, needless to say. But not only was their mere existence mystifying, their origin was, too. No-one could say with any measure of certainty when the Forum Ninjas had begun as a group, or, for that matter, why they even existed. Those closest to understanding were the intelligence services run by each Government. After several efforts to pool their resources together and secret attempts to capture or kill at least one of the enigmatic figures, little had been discovered. But a little was far better than anything else. They were also known to be so well equipped and somehow so well funded that they could do as they pleased. Dozens of attempts to end their organisation had met with abysmal failures and several deaths. Other than that; nothing was known. No motives, no background, no known source of income and no weaknesses. It shall suffice to say the Forum Ninjas were the most powerful and renowned group of its kind that would ever be heard of. “This will never do,” he announced. “Your proposal?” asked another across the table from him. “I propose we kill her,” the first man said, referring of course to Cortana 5. “Ourselves?” asked another voice. “No. I feel it would be a more favourable option and lead to a more profitable outcome if we hired a third party to carry out the task on our behalf.” “You’re certain? We must remember the margin for failure,” pointed out one more. “We are acquainted with every assassin worth his weight in gold. Already I have deliberated as to who we will utilise. Should events become… unfavourable, we can always simply abandon the instrument.” “And pray tell, who have you decided upon?” “I believe you are already familiar with him…” Colonel Corbec was tall, strikingly handsome and had been the object of affection for more than a few fine ladies. His bright, blonde hair was kept short in a French crop cut, and his eyes were a dazzling blue. He was slender, yet not thin, and muscled, yet not overly so. He was wearing an immaculate black three-piece suit, a white, pinstriped shirt underneath and a red tie, crossed with diagonal gold lines. Spotless black leather shoes were accompanied by black leather gloves of an identical make. He held in one hand a business suitcase. Inside, it contained a disassembled VSS Vintorez Sniper Rifle. He stood outside the main entrance of the Flondon Opera House, a grand landmark constructed in the Neo-Baroque style, with lighting throwing illumination onto those approaching the entrance from the bustling street in front of it. Fortunately for Corbec, no CCTV system watched the front entrance. Certainly inside would be some keen-eyed photographers looking to get snapshots of famous visitors, but Corbec was experienced in avoiding such people. It was getting on for ten o’ clock at night now, and dark clouds raced on the wind high above. Corbec shivered a little in the cold as a pair of suited guards let a young couple through, having checked them with metal detectors. “You next, sir,” one of them called. Corbec was next in the line to get in. He stepped forward, and one guard swept a handheld metal detector over his body. It failed to voice a warning alarm when it went past the suitcase, precisely because it was foil-padded. The padding spoofed any detectors, effectively making Corbec’s deadly secret invisible. “We’ll need to check your suitcase, sir,” One guard said, a bull-necked brute with a shaved head. “Why, certainly,” Corbec said, completely unruffled, opening the suitcase. The interior contained papers and documents, and had a luxurious red velvet finishing. Corbec held it while a guard leafed through the papers inquisitively. Finding nothing untoward and not spotting the join of the hidden compartment, the guard was satisfied everything was normal. “You’re all set, sir. Enjoy the performance.” Inside, Corbec took a moment to look around at the spectacular architecture of the Opera House foyer. Marble pillars were at regular intervals along the walls, bronze busts of famous musicians dotted façades. Domes had been built into the ceiling, from which extravagant, massive crystal chandeliers hung. The domes themselves had been painted in intricate detail by renowned artists from the long-gone era of when the landed gentry ruled, and were lined with gold leaf. Nymphs and Cherubs looked down curiously like perplexed school-children on those below from perches on their pillars. Members of high society mingled and chatted, the men in expensive suits and the women in long, flowing dresses. Socialites clinked crystal glasses of champagne as they awaited the beginning of the performance of [i]The Damnation of Faust[/i], a work for orchestra, voice and chorus by Hector Berlioz. Written a few centuries ago, it had survived the march of time and long since been adapted for performance as opera. Corbec knew as much because he had researched the performance earlier. It was all about some fellow called Faust who sells his soul to the devil, or some such nonsense. Corbec had never had a taste for opera. But beneath the exterior appearance of harmless socialising was a more sinister theme. Corbec’s keen eyes picked out several more suited guards, with pistols subtly hidden away in holsters beneath their jackets. They were there to protect the Queen of Floodland, Cortana 5, from any possible threats and doubtless had an entire team of armoured SAS troopers waiting on standby, should the need arise for their support. Corbec’s employers-the Forum Ninjas-had tasked him with killing Cortana 5. They had provided him with detailed maps of the layout of the Opera House, directions to more preferable firing positions, and assurances that Corbec’s funds would be transferred to his off-shore account as soon as the task was complete. His suspicions about paparazzi were confirmed when he spotted a suited photographer, armed with a chunky camera, blasting away photos almost at a rapid-fire pace. Corbec kept a wide berth of the man. If a photograph of him at the Opera House was found, then he might be linked to the scene of the crime. Corbec, having seen enough of his opulent surroundings, and eager to avoid the whirring lens of a camera, set off to carry out his work.

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