#1 Posted by Akube (846 posts) - - Show Bio

A tall, weary man entered his apartment in downtown Ushundi, capitol city of his land, his country, Bandari. The man was Akube Mahatu, and he hadn't set foot in his home in days. Between his duties as leader and his duties as defender, there seemed not enough hours in the day to do anything. However, at long last, an opportunity for rest had arisen, and he walked into the living room of his pristine, but modest abode. He walked up to the wall of windows and looked out over the city. Buildings, none older than ten years, stood shoulder to shoulder for miles. The unending ant lines formed by the cars below showed that his people were bustling, thriving despite the suffering they had each known in the years prior to the country's founding. Although Akube's eyes had grown accustomed only to filth, he could not deny the beauty of it. Unfortunately, his eyes were too heavy to observe beauty for a moment longer. He kicked off his shoes, flung aside his hat and his glasses, and dropped onto the couch, immediately falling asleep.

Akube's eyes shot open as the telephone hammered in his ears. He set his feet on the floor, cursing silently as he forced himself across the room to the kitchen pass-through where he had left his phone. "Yes?" he said, putting the phone to his ear, wiping his eyes.

"Akube..." began the familiar voice of Amala, his trusted adviser of the last six years. It had taken her some time to grow comfortable calling him by his first name, but he convinced her that if they were to improve Bandari together, they may as well become friends. Of course, as a member of his inner circle, she not only served as his political adviser, but shared in his double life.

"What is it, Amala?" The tiredness in his voice fell away and he grew serious. Akube could tell by the slightest change in her tone that something was wrong.

"It's Twahana..." she answered.

"What about Twahana? What happened to him, Amala?"

Akube's eyes went bloodshot as he heard her reply, "He... he's dead. He was in New York for a U.N. summit. They found him in his hotel room, hacked to pieces."

"How long ago?" he asked sharply.

Amala quickly replied, "We received the call forty-five minutes ago. His room number is 1422."

"I'm on my way." Akube hung up and glanced at the clock. He had only gotten an hour of sleep. No matter now. He walked back through the living room, down the hall, and into his bed room. He flung open the top cabinet of his wardrobe. Hung up, as if on display, was his uniform. The black mask and shirt were coupled together, gray gloves and boots laid out, and the interior of the two cabinet doors was covered in an arsenal of equipment.

He had quickly changed into the lower half of his uniform, and pressed something built into his belt, a section of which began slowly blinking. Soon, he pulled his shirt, armored and bulletproof, over his head, and put on his gloves. Now, only the mask remained, and he slipped it on, completely immersing himself in the darkness. He ran out to the living room, and hit a switch on the wall, which caused one of the windows to automatically raise open. He charged forward and dove through, embraced by the cold night air.

As Akube fell towards the ground, he was caught by a silvery blur and carried up into the sky, high above the reach of the Ushundi skyline. He twisted the throttle of his hover cycle and raced at breakneck speed, defiant against the wind as he raced off across the sea, towards New York.

NEW YORK CITY

Akube had raced the sun across the Atlantic, and it was barely over an hour until daybreak. The leader of Bandari looked down at the restless city streets. In many ways, they reminded him of Ushundi, and yet, they were equally alien to him. He had flown just over the water to avoid radar detection, and his craft flew quiet enough that he went unnoticed flying over the city. He came to a halt outside the window of the hotel room, scene of a horrendous murder, one which he intended to rectify. Although dawn was approaching, it felt still like the dead of night, and Akube moved with the appropriate level of stealth. With a precise flick of his wrist, the small claws shot from the fingertips of his gloves, and he carefully sliced a hole in the window. He reached through the hole, opened the window from the inside, and jumped in, landing silently on the carpet. He crept inward, noticing the mark of a bloody hand sliding across the wall. The blood had already turned brown, but it was nonetheless an ugly sight, and it was only the beginning. As he emerged from the hallway and into the main section of the room, he saw blood splattered all across the floor, the bed, the television, and the wall. There was a white outline of a body in the middle of the floor, although the hand was outlined on the bed, and the head was outlined about a foot away from the body. Numbered cards were carefully laid out across the room to mark the crime scene, and the door had been covered on both sides in police tape.

Akube lay his hand down in the center of the outline where Twahana had died, and whispered, "I am sorry, old friend. I am so sorry." His words were followed by a moment of silence, and he bowed his head. However, his solemnity was broken as his nostril flinched beneath his mask. A peculiar scent filled the air, not one of blood or gore or misery, but of... spray paint. Fresh spray paint was in the air, and Akube looked up to see, written on the ceiling in black, still wet paint, one simple word, "GOTCHA!"

#2 Posted by The_Assassin_ (17389 posts) - - Show Bio

Several Hours Before Akube's Arrvial

To the casual on looker the man pushing a cart down the hallway was no more than another member of the hotel staff, here to deliver a guests meal. He stopped outside Room 1420, the guest inside opened the door and allowed him in, without a word he pushed the cart inside, politely nodding to the bodyguards in front of the next room over, Room 1422.

The employee turned the man renting the upscale hotel room. "Here's your order from room service, Sir" lifting the the cover that kept the contents within warm, frowning at what he saw "Sir I think the kitchen messed up your order... does this look right to you?" gesturing for him to look. "What are you talking about?" leaning closer to look, his eyes going wide as a syringe was thrust into his neck, his body fell limp, being caught by the man whom delivered his meal. Silently being sat on the floor.

The average looking man reached up and removed the synthetic skin mask and tossing it to the floor next to the unconscious resident on the floor, carefully removing the contacts that altered the color of his eyes.

"I should've started using this stuff years ago" smirking as he looked at his watch, 9:47 pm. He'd been in the room less than a minute, if the bodyguards outside his targets room where any good they'd notice if he stayed in to long. He removed a small device from a pouch and jacking into the building security system, changing the keycard required to enter room 1422 to the one for room 1086. "Perfect" smiling "What would I do without modern technology?"

He reaches up and tears away the employee garb, revealing the black and white suit beneath, covered in weapons, gadgets and two razor sharp katana strapped to his back. "Time to go to work" humming softly as he walked out to the balcony and climbed onto the rail, silently leaping the short distance to the target's balcony.

He slid the glass door open, a silenced 9mm handgun in his hand. He looked to the bed where the still sleeping man lay, Twahana was his name if he remembered correctly.

"Hey you! F*ck face wake up!" raising a booted foot and kicking him off the bed onto the floor. The ambassador came to feet surprisingly quick, into a fighting stance of sorts.

"Who are you! What are you doing here! Leave immediately or I will call my guards."

The masked assassin looks down at the numerous weapons strapped to the belt. "Is it not obvious?" arching his brow quizzically.

"Who sent you assassin"

"Your mother of course"

"Answer my question damnit!"

"Nah, I'm not paid to answer questions." surging forward, plunging and quickly drawn Kukri into Twahana's abdomen, removing the blade and delivering a powerful kick to the sternum. The diplomat fell to the floor, attempting to dragging himself into the next room, leaving a trail of blood as Mike calmly walked towards him. Another kick and he was on his back, he raised an arm to defend himself and with a single fluid motion the assassin drew his katana and severed the limb, sending it pin wheeling onto the bed. Before he delivered the final blow he squatted down so he was face to face with the man he was about to kill.

"Oh by the way, No one sent me to kill you, your just bait for the trap" a flick of his wrist and a life was extinguished, rolling across the floor with a shocked expression frozen on his face.

"Now the fun begins" stealthily exiting the room the same way he'd entered, making his way to the roof to wait out the police.

Hours Later...

They'd finally left after searching the apartment from top to bottom, their search inconclusive and the body removed. Skillfully he climbs down the side of the building and slips back inside, placing explosive charges in various hiding spots throughout the room, topping his little trap off with a can of spray paint, writing out the word 'GOTCHA' on the ceiling above the body.

"This shall be our finest hour!" holding his arms out, grinning at the trap he'd laid out. Then suddenly he vanished, reappearing across the street inside a large air conditioning unit.

Inside was a high caliber, semi-automatic AS50 sniper rifle, a pair of binoculars and a cooler, everything he'd need to wait out his target. Akube Mahatu, leader of Bandri.

Arrival

There he was, he had gotten here quicker than expected but oh well, just meant he got paid sooner.

"Wait for it... Wait for it..." he look up, the signal, triggering the detonator held in his off hand, activating the charges.

"Now lets see if he's as tough as they say..." waiting for the explosions to subside.

#3 Posted by Akube (846 posts) - - Show Bio

Akube was quick to react. Hardly a second after glancing the message left for him on the ceiling, he dove back into the hallway, tucking in his arms and jumping for the window as an inferno exploded behind him. The sheer force of the explosions overtook him and hurled him through the window much harder than he had anticipated. Glass rained down, falling to the street far below. Akube reached out and narrowly caught hold of his hover cycle.

The leader of Bandari dared to look down, dangling by one hand, high above the bustling city streets. The explosion had hit him hard. His suit prevented any serious damage from shrapnel and glass alike, and he got away with only a spinning head and what would later develop into some very nasty bruises. He struggled to lift himself back up and took his seat on the cycle. He took hold of the controls and his eyes narrowed as he scanned the skyline. "You couldn't have expected that to work." he whispered. A sharp twist of the throttle and the engine roared, the cycle began to rise higher into the air. "Take the shot. Show yourself."

#4 Posted by The_Assassin_ (17389 posts) - - Show Bio

"Son of a b!tch is fast" watching through the scope of his rifle as his target hung from some kind of floating motorcycle "Where do I get one of those?" as he worked the bolt, ejecting the round and sliding in an explosive tipped round. "Why is he just sitting there? I know that have snipers in Africa... just in case I think I'll leave him a little present." removing a few grenades from his belt and rigging a trap in case his target came to investigate his sniper hide.

"Now where was I... Oh yeah!" sighting in the masked man's hover cycle. Trying to find a vital component, a fuel tank, something... after a few seconds he shrugged. "Screw it" letting the entire eight round clip fly, the high explosive rounds tearing through the air towards their target. Before the first round impacted he was gone, diving down into a ventilation shaft, busting through a large ceiling vent in the abandoned office building below. "Come and get me..." he said aloud, doubting the HE rounds wound actually kill him, but they'd disable his vehicle if they hit. That was for sure, he reached down and drew his .45 caliber pistols. Waiting for the fight to come.

#5 Posted by Akube (846 posts) - - Show Bio

Akube had baited his would-be assassin by sitting at a hover over the bustling streets. In anticipation of the coming shot, he cranked the throttle and swerved. His timing proved impeccable, as a hail of bullets came towards him. They struck the wall, only managing to hit Akube with debris. However, one bullet struck the side of his cycle and exploded, blowing open the steel plating and causing severe damage to the wiring and the right engine. A piece of metal had flown up and hit Akube in the leg. His suit had prevented it from slicing clean through him, but it still caused him great pain, and he bent down and ripped the shard from his lacerated calf.

Recovering from the onslaught, Akube directed his view to the approximate position of the shooter. He struggled to keep the cycle steady despite only one fully functioning engine. He tested the throttle, than raced off towards the air duct the shooter was positioned in. Black smoke billowed from the cycle in a trail behind him, but he kept it level. He dropped altitude and fired off a barrage of rubber bullets from the machine gun mounted on the cycle, immediately setting off the explosives the assassin had left behind in his perch as he fled.

Akube pulled up to avoid the flames. The duct was blown open, fire and shrapnel raining down on the gravelly rooftop. Akube set the cycle to hover, then stood up on the footboard, looking down the hollow shaft that shot down inside the building. He folded his arms over his chest and clenched his fists, three golden claws erupting from his knuckles. With a short breath, he jumped, keeping himself straight as an arrow as he fell into the open air duct. He passed through the opening and crashed down on a conference table. The lights were down, but Akube could still see clearly, he stayed crouched on the table, looking for the hunter who had lured him here, the hunter who had become the prey. The vent had already fallen off before he came, so the assassin definitely came this way. He jumped from the table, landing silently on the ground. The man in black stayed low to the ground, prowling with his claws out, catching the faintest light. The assassination was over. The fight had begun.

#6 Posted by The_Assassin_ (17389 posts) - - Show Bio

Like a mouse to the trap the champion of Bandari followed his would be assailant into the interior of the abandoned building. Having planned ahead the elusive assassin hit the ground in a roll and sprinted down a hallway where he ducked behind a crate. Picking up a detonator he waited until he heard his target's feet hit the floor before he triggered the charge he'd left in the fuse box, plunging the building into darkness as he placed a pair of thermal imaging goggles over his eyes to assist him in tracking his foe. Slinging the final piece of gear across his back he smirked, an AA-12 fully automatic shotgun, capable of unleashing a wall of lead towards any unlucky foe in a matter of seconds. Very few individuals were capable of shrugging off such an onslaught.

Stalking his prey through the darkened corridors he taunted his foe with a series of concealed intercoms, occasionally silhouetting himself in doorways before seemingly vanishing as the impromptu psychological warfare continued.

"Akube..."

"Akube..."

"I killed your friend Akube..."

"You're next..."

The taunting voices seeming coming from ever direction to disorient his opponent.

"I'm over here..."

A door seemingly opening on it's own. The words 'Guess Not' spray painted on the wall facing the door.

The building was a venerable death trap. The elevators welded shut, the stairs blocked off, the windows boarded over with metal grates beneath. Tripwires connected to flashbangs blocked several doors to destroy any night vision he might posses. Loosened floorboards lined the hallways to give away the targets position. The combination of traps, close quarters and blocked exits made for the perfect trap.

Soon Akube would be dead and he could collect his money, he still had a psychotic wife to see about killing after all...

Moments later the black clad king of Bandari entered the room as his assailant watched from the rafters high above. Moments later he dove from his perch towards his target, unleashing a hail of lead from the shotgun towards Akube, hitting the ground in a roll he followed up with a series of slices from his katana directed at his head and torso before falling back into the shadows and await his next opportunity to strike.

#7 Posted by Akube (846 posts) - - Show Bio

"Akube is alive." the Bodyguard proclaimed, standing tall in the sea of nefarious traps and tricks, "And as long as I live, it will stay that way." The man in black tread lightly, pressing a switch concealed neatly beneath the seam of his mask. A pair of dark lenses slid from their housing in the protective plate over his forehead, covering the eye holes of his mask. The dark corridors took on a green tint and he saw everything. The water stained walls, the layers of dust and paper coating the floor, the strands of exposed wire hanging from the loose panels in the ceiling, all become visible to him, clear as day.

The Bodyguard had no idea where his attacker was, and he was barely able to avoid the numerous traps set for him. "But that means there is a greater plan at work here..." he whispered, confident that his assailant was most likely listening in, "Whoever hired you... whoever set this night in motion... was simply trying to get me out of the way, and get a clear shot at Akube. But what of the man who lays dead in that hotel room? The man you sacrificed simply to get my attention. Do you even know his name?"

Akube rounded a corner, turning and clamping his eyes shut as he felt the tripwire touch his ankle. The warmth of the flashbang enveloped him. It would have burned out his retinas if not for the reflexes so deeply instilled in him by ten years of battle.

He turned back on his path and kicked open a door on loose hinges at the end of the hall. The very second he did, his attacker burst from the darkness, a shotgun blast demolishing the wall behind him. Before the assassin's feet hit the ground, he directed his falling body at the guardian of Bandari, blade slicing through air on a direct course for his neck.

Akube ducked out of the way and all the blade sliced was concrete. When the Bodyguard looked back, a pair of steel discs flew from his hand, aimed for the deep, soft places in his attacker's muscle tissue, on his back, just below his right shoulder to render his sword useless, and his right calf to slow him down.

As the blades took flight, the man in black repelled off of a column, a cloud of drywall dust erupting beneath his foot. He twisted in the air and brought his fist down, aimed for a devastating cross at his cheek. His feet touched the ground and he recoiled his arm, pulling it back at just the right speed to shatter the man's nose in the midst of his reaction to the punch. As he did, he sprung the claws from his left glove and swung up to rip a piece from the assassin's side with a swift and brutal blow. He retracted the claws and placed his hands on either side of the man's head, forcing him to look into his dark eyes as he whispered, "His name was Twahana." Without warning, he pulled down, trying to introduce the assassin's face to his knee.

"He was a man of charity. A man of honor!" Akube continued, reaching down to hoist the man over his head, "And you murdered him! Why? WHY?!" He hurled his burden at a row of file cabinets against the wall.

The warrior stood tall, the cold gray light of early morning spilling in through a distant, faded window as he asked again, "To get my attention?! To call me out?!" He threw up his arms, bearing down on his foe as he roared, "Here I am! What do you plan to do with me?!"

#8 Posted by The_Assassin_ (17389 posts) - - Show Bio

"Heh... Heh... Heh..." was the only response from the masked murderer, tossed like a rag doll he now sat on a makeshift thrown of crushed file cabinets. Resting his head in his hand and watching as his target raged over the killing he'd committed the night before.

"Akube... the reason I did what I did... was to distract you."

A fiendish smirk visible behind his blood red mask. In a few moments members of various groups opposed to Bandari's very existence would execute strikes throughout the country and along the border, even at the Embassy here in New York. Of course, he didn't know that... or so they thought, he might have physically coerced one of the men who'd hired him into revealing what the plan was... with his fists... maybe a knife, but the details weren't important.

Slowly climbing from the wreckage with a groan. His body slowing healing itself from the damage Akube had caused. He angled his body towards the bodyguard, in a sort of relaxed defensive stance. The hand farthest from Akube resting on the grip of a .45 caliber handgun. Just in case...

"You see Akube... I know things... I'm friggin' nuts, but this lovable lunatic knows a thing or two that directly involves you."

Pointing at Bandari's leader, his eyes never wavering from his opponent.

"Now I know you probably aren't in the mood to hear me yap... don't blame you either, I did kill your friend, his bodyguards... and the guy next door, not sure if they know about him yet..."

The assassin shrug nonchalantly, pacing back and forth.

"Here's the thing, I'm being paid to distract you... and the money won't transfer for another..." Glancing at the watch on his wrist. "Ten minutes... so I assume a smart man like you already knows where this is going..."

Pulling the .45 from it's holster and firing in Akube's direction, if the shots hit they would only wound. Moving forward he dove at Akube, faking a left hook as his knee came up and connected with his opponents stomach, followed by a round house to the face, the bodyguard managing to keep his footing as his attacker came at him again with a series of quick strikes in an attempt to throw his opponent off balance as he pulled his Katana and swung for the knees. Confident his opponent would be able to avoid the blow.

#9 Posted by Akube (846 posts) - - Show Bio

He knew.

The man behind the mask was no mystery to him. No amount of trickery or deception would fool the assassin now. The Bodyguard sighed and stripped the dark mask, deprived of its meaning by this killer for hire, and cast it to the floor across the room. The shock of it had set in and Akube had his wits about him as the mask touched concrete.

"Here's the thing," said the assassin without any true concern for the lives he was putting on the line,"I'm being paid to distract you... and the money won't transfer for another... ten minutes... so I assume a smart man like you already knows where this is going..."

Akube folded his arms behind his back, silently pressing a button concealed in the cuff of his glove. It activated a silent alarm that transmitted directly to Koba, the head of the Bandari Security Force, and put the entire nation on high alert. The coasts and borders would be heavily patrolled and go into immediate lock down. The towns, villages, and city would become heavily protected, especially high priority targets such as water supplies, power generators, and government buildings. It was a scenario they had trained for, a scenario they had endured more than once. Akube's right foot slid back across the dusty concrete floor. He held his hands out in a ready fighting position. "It makes no difference now." he whispered, staring at the man who had nothing to lose, and everything to take. He was enjoying this. It was a game to him. He didn't care what he was doing, how many innocent lives he had just destroyed by opening the gates to Bandari's enemies. All that mattered to him was the game, and his payment for playing. Greed and savagery. Two things Akube had dedicated his entire life to purging from the Earth, and here they were, in the flesh, staring him in the face.

Akube was on the attack before the gun was out of the holster. He dove under the assassin's line of fire, coming up between his arms with a fist aimed for his jaw. He saw the knee coming, but he hadn't the time or the tactical advantage to go out of his way to block or evade. Instead, he took the staggering blow in his stomach and used the forward folding motion of his body to reach out for the assassin's throat in an attempt to throw him back. The killer broke free with ease and leaped into the air, kicking for Akube's head. He ducked and three golden claws sprung from the knuckles of his right glove as he sprang back up, punching directly for the base of his opponent's outstretched leg, a few inches below the buttock. Then, he grabbed the ankle of his still swinging leg and attempted to twist it. If he couldn't throw the man aside entirely, he could at least damage the ankle and make his landing very unpleasant. What Akube had in store for him next would be far worse.

The assassin came with a flurry of quick strikes. Akube took them all, only bothering to block the attacks that would do any real damage. His body armor would absorb the rest. He backed up slowly with each strike. The assassin thought he was working Akube into a corner. Instead, he was backing his target directly into his element, into the shadows. A hand burst from the darkness to seize the murderer by the throat and hurl him into the column behind him. The man in black charged forward, ready to bury his shoulder in the man's ribs and pin him to the column. Hard.

Akube's charge was interrupted by the gleam of steel. He broke his pace and jumped in the air, allowing the sword to pass under his feet rather than through his kneecaps. Poised in midair, legs tucked neatly into his stomach, Akube made one last explosive move. His legs unfurled quickly, feet together to strike his enemy in the sternum and send him through the dry wall and wire of the column. It was time to end this.