Hello, there, I’d just like to warn people before viewing this, that this story is very roughly-written. Chapter 1 is fully-edited, however, I still have to work on the edits for chapters 2 through 5.
Also, be warned, this story includes extremely graphic circumstances. The world is rotting, so peoples’ bodies react to pain a lot differently than in real life, and it’s as graphic as it would be if real life was like this.
Thanks, and I hope you visit my site, ToddTech Productions. Have a good read, it’s a collaborative ToddTech project, and it’s the best.

Chapter 01: Genetics (Page 01)
The quiet tapping of steel toes guided the chaotic thing across the pavement.
"Eeeek..!!" echoed the shrill shiek of a fleeing victim, voice sounding throughout the little city district, "Someone..!! Help meee...!!"
Gunshots blared through the streets as the woman tried to turn and run; bullet casings clashing against the sidewalk. The girl's screams quickly overcome by gurgled pleas to live as she collapsed against a dumpster, to her knees, then her back. The dumpster slid closer by an inch as she lay, dieing.
The green-tint glasses slipped from the man's dark and glaringly empty green eyes. His steel-toed boots spread farther apart as he hitched his handguns to the satchels on each leg.
There were plenty of witness standing around, one even stared eye-to-eye with him. But as he looked back to the motionless girl, blood seeping unseen from the shadows of the dumpster, he could only grin, yellowed fangs glimmering in satisfaction. Messily shaking his two-color hair, he looked back at the gazer, and pulled his glasses back to his face, as well as a finger to his lips. The man standing ahead of him could only stammeringly nod his words hushed.


The footsteps from the street stopped before a large, towering, stone mass. A soft sigh opened the glass doors.
"So, I just told him I'd rearrange his body parts if he kept working on his goddamned computer."
"Yeah. I hate people who just go on with their day, like they don't have a gun in their fa--" the two men stopped face-to-face with the assassin. The one who was interrupted started to shake in a sudden moment of fear.
"J-J-Jared..! H-Hi!" the man stuttered, "I-I was ju--"
"You two were just talking about business outside the building? You know that warrants a disconnection here at ToddTech."
"Y-yes... and we're so.. so sor--"
Deftly, Jared interrupted him again; physically, this time, with a hand to the man’s shirt's torso, throwing himself and the man's shirt into the side of the building. The other hand thrust hard between his legs, as Jared grabbed hard without hesitation or abandon toward him or the other. The man almost yelped, and wriggled over the marble sidewalk helplessly.
"I'm sorry, you're what now?"
The other man took a step back, signalling the automatic glass doors to slide open again behind him. He leapt almost two feet in the air. For a moment, all the sad victim of this cruel punishment could do is utter incoherent noises, staring back at his boss' cold, empty green eyes.
"I...." he shuddered, not knowing if he was bleeding already, or if he would bleed next time he would try to go to the bathroom, but swallowed and tried to calm himself nonetheless. He sighed deeply, "I am very sorry. We were talking about our business outside the business quarters, sir. I have strong doubts we will talk about such things again... If we do, I will hold myself accountable for my actions to the highest regard, sir.."
Somehow, through that whole speech, he managed to continue looking into Mr. Todd's eyes, even after the paw let go of him. Jared shook his head, and put the paw on his shoulder.
"Well then. You're good. Either you're incredibly good at making up complete bullshit on the spot, or you're a good worker, you just made a small miscalculation in my patience," the tiger looked to the side, grinning sheepishly, "Either way, though, you're a great asset to the company."
The man glanced to his partner, with a smile of relief, giving a thumbs-up, then looked back at his boss.
"Thank you so much.. I appreciate i--"
"But if you make another mistake, you better hope you're wearing a cup, because either you, or your balls aren't going to take another breath from that point on," he sighed, looking past him again at the automatic glass doors, "and trust me. You don't want to make that decision."


The laboratory door slammed open. Its door knob cracked the wall for the second time that day, and the hinges groaned with a shudder.
Ahead, a beaker in hand, the lupine figure sighed, although he still poured carefully the contents of the small beaker, into the larger glass beaker, which looked more like a cupped bowl.
"Stop.. breaking my things, Jared..."
There was a light scoff that escaped the tiger's breath, as he swivelled his way around one of the other lab tables. "We hired a bunch of idiots.."
"They're talking about missioneering on the streets again?" responded the wolf with an audible, though, quiet voice. His tail moved slightly, with disinterest, as he watched the bowl's darkening color, topic unfascinating to him.
"Why.." Jared shook his head, the beaker bowl catching his eye's interest, as he began to observe the concoction.
"There are 'idiots' all over, Jared. You're guaranteed to get every type of person if you insist on hiring so many people from the city.."
The wolf looked up at his boss, delicately shifting the goggles on his face, to his forehead, and gave a something of a wolfish smile to him as he gently turned, then moved across the table behind him.
"Vince, I've told you," he put a paw down on the table in front of him, sliding it across the surface as he walked, trying to get closer to the bowl beaker, "It's insurance. There are killings in the streets, diseases; people are dieing."
Vince's smile faded to a slight grimace, as he looked back at Jared again, sweeping a paw across the table, accurately snatching a small test tube.
"That reminds me...." he sternly glared his boss in the eye, "You left the communicator on, I saw your mission... You're complaining about people talking about their business out on the streets, when you're the one killing people on the streets."
Instantly, the tiger's face received realisation, though his face only smiled. Vince must've been in the security room with Grandon, the security worker, when he did his off.
He was no longer in Vince's eye sight, circling around the table to Vince's side, as the wolf poured the contents of the small tube into the bowl.
"I figured.." he paused, to slide his paw further in front of himself, toward Vince, putting the other on the side of his own neck, "Public humiliation was her thing. What's more humiliating than her public watching her as she dies and doing nothing to help her?"
Vince sighed, and slammed the test tube by the side of the bowl, the liquid starting a soft boil.
"Damnit, Jared, you're such a hypocrite!" the wolf barked, shaking his head, "You act so macho, that's what's going to get you killed."
As Vince's black lips moved, the entirety of his full voice was wrought with concern.
"Don't worry about it, Vince.." the tiger stood up straight now, and dropped the paw on his neck, "We're working on stuff to fix that."
"And it'll be goddamned expensive, just so you can keep being cocky..
"Jared... You tell people.. how important it is. To keep their killings, their missions, as stealthy and quiet as possible..."
"So, that just proves how much I know the city," he looked straight at Vince, "Look, I know you worry about me, but don't. There's no situation where I would put myself at absolute risk."
"No, you--" as Vince started to shout louder, the bowl spewed black liquid onto the table, which fizzled into the material, which darkened on contact, disappearing, "N-No..!!"
The tiger swiftly whirled away from the wolf for a second, reaching under the table, snatching an odd-looking cloth. The wolf, panicked, didn't grab for anything, but instead, put his bare hand under the table. Droplets surfaced under the table, and before Jared could turn back and warn him to move his paw away, Vince had already positioned his hand under the black foam on the underside of the table.
"Vince--!!" Jared shouted, cut off by the harsh sound of acid burning through skin.
"Nnnnyghhh....!!!!"
Vince reeled back, chest heaving, covering his sizzling hand with the other. Without any of his senses working, his knees failed him, and he fell back in pain, the spine of his back cracking against the floor.
Looking at Vince, Todd placed the cloth on the spot under the bowl, and glanced to Vince, who was practically rolling on the floor. Sighing, he looked under the table, to make sure the cloth was in the right spot, and then surfaced his head once more, to watch his paw turn off the burner.
".. gh... wh.. what is... T-Tambour.. ine...." Vince stumbled on his words to get them out.
Jared eyes widened. He looked at Vince, and took his paw into his pants pocket.
"What.. did you just say?" his head instantly started racking itself with questions, as it would any time he wasn't in control of the situation.
Jared reached slowly out of the pocket, retrieving out a stapler he'd stolen from a bank, moving it slowly toward the cloth, pushing it on a corner.
'...how c.... he know... out Ta.... ourine..'
"Jared?! Wh-what's.." Vince looked at Todd, his mouth unmoving, yet he could hear loud static, and his voice of all things.
"... are you hearing my thoughts..?" Jared moved the stapler to the other corner, stapling there, the cloth safely catching all the drips. The burner, by now, had stopped, and the black liquid half occupied the bowl.
Vince's hands slowly parted away from each other, revealing black splotched scars on his completely unharmed palms, though the fading hair-raising sizzle still sounded like it was eating his skin.
"Vince, your.. hands--" Todd gasped, getting closer to Vince as his eyes started clouding up.
Both looked to each other eye-to-eye, worried about the concoction, and its effects on Vince. For a second, there was no pain in his body, but it surfaced again.
Paws surging with agony, Jared cried loudly, as Vince could only watch Jared, staring into his eyes, as the tiger covered his own paws with each other, staring back at his.
"Gyghh--... s-stop...." Jared muttered, as he tried to look away, but found it increasingly hard to even move a muscle.
Softly, Vince turned his head away from Todd, and closed his eyes, unsure, but feeling exceedingly powerful. Slowly, the black scars shrank away, the fur reverting back to its normal flushed beige grey, but, after a second, the black re-appeared on his hands.
"Brass to Missioneer Desk, Brass to Missioneer Desk, come as soon as possible, Brass to Missioneer Desk," sounded on the overcom.
'Shit, no..' Todd thought, the pain once again gone away, "Not now.."
Vince sighed, closing his eyes, biting his lip,
'Jared, go, I'll be fine--ngh..'
'I'm not leaving you like this!' Brass shouted in his mind, "Missions can wait, we already lost Teriann, I'm not losing another one of us!"
"You mean Teriann and.. ngh... Arcane.." Vince softly muttered, the black slowly receding again.
"R-Right, Arcane," he nodded, unsure,
'.. what the hell is happening to you…'
'What you intended this formula to do...' Vince nodded, and smiled a bit, as the black struggled to remain on his paws, but he focused hard, 'Go, I assess the effects of formulas by myself anyway..'
"But this formula is--..!!"
"I don't want to have to tell you again, go!! I can't work with you around me!" Vince shouted, slamming his paw into the ground.
The door jerked nearly shut, then swung open again, slamming hard into the wall for the third time that day.
Jared starteldly rose, and glared at Vince.
'.. I'm calling medic in. They can assess you.' he thought at the wolf, then turned, making his way back past the tables, and through the door, ending the conversation.
"Jared..!!" Vince angrily barked, slamming the ground again, the door jerking again.

Chapter 02: Crime (Page 06)
Half an hour earlier...


"So.." she spoke with a voluptuous tone, "Did you get any more information on Brass..?"
The girl beside her, walking through the cold park, sighed and looked in the other direction, toward the empty swing.
"No," the fox girl put it bluntly.
The cold day seemed like it would chill both of them to the bone with the light clothing they were wearing. The lighter, more social fox wore almost all pink, in light tones, full cleavage open, button up shirt reaching below the waist line of her darker skirt. Instead of wearing heels, she wore fur boots, pink too. The less social girl wore a dark purple shirt that barely made it under her equally large breasts, and her short skirt, oddly matched with hiking boots fit her personality to a tee.
"Patty, are you losing your touch..?" the pure white fox snickered, looking up at the red city sky.
The pale fox's pale eyes reflected the dark purple clouds, ominous of rain. As her muzzle pursed a grin, her finger spun the silk lace on her neck over her full cleavage.
The other fox was obviously annoyed, growling low, but softly, as she stopped walking.
"I don't know why you call me Patty, it's annoying, stop.." she continued to stare at the still swing. The wind blew a bit, and the swing moved toward her, before being tugged back in place.
"I can call you whatever I want, I'm your big sister," she stopped too, then strutted briskly back to smile down at Patrice, and put a slim paw on her head.
The fox twisted quickly away from the older sister, and met her sister's eyes with her own green, lavendar hair swiftly ending the glare as it fell in her eyes.
"I'm not going to get your stupid information for you if you keep treating me like this."
"Tsch," annoyed, the older one's grin faded, looking away too, "You do it for me because you're my sister too. For the same reason I tease you, you have an obligation to me. I'd do whatever you asked of me, Patty."
The fox looked down at her older sister's feet, then tore her sights away, to behind her, down the path back into the streets. Cars lightly drove down the wet streets, and an elderly-looking man coughed as he read that day's newspaper.
"Is that so?" Patrice's eyes moved to the elderly man, and then to the other bench, "What if I tell you to leave me alone."
Softly, she took her boot off the pavement, and re-applied it ahead of her gingerly, pausing a second, then continuing on away from her sister.
The white fox opened her mouth, but all that came out was a single noise, before she closed it again. 'Fine,' she thought, turning, too, putting the hot cocoa to her lips, and sipping the top froth away.


An eager grin was draped across the scientist's black muzzle, "So you'll help with the study, then.."
In the coffee shop, two men sat, discussing arrangements for bio-alteration volunteering. One was a scientist wearing a black trenchcoat that doubled as a lab coat, with a black turtleneck and green khakis. The tiger was oddly black, with green stripes and green eyes, green-tint glasses protecting them from the light. The other was a mere Caucasian human with long raven black hair, an odd victorian-style crimson cape, a gold-plated armor hand on the table next to his coffee cup, and white eyes.
"Hmm..." his voice was dark, but casual, and it portrayed him extremely gothic, "What does this... ToddTech do, anyway..?"
Jared's eyes faltered for a second, then he instinctually pushed the glasses up on his nose.
"Science.. Mostly," he said, eyes looking down at the cocoa on the table.
"Hmm?" the human's white eyes looked at the tiger's direction, not directly at him, "Mostly..."
"Ah-- uhm, yes," he nodded, turning his head silently at the human, wondering what his problem was, "Science mostly. But we buy and sell products as well, and we have some ToddTech-made items, like chocolate, computers, and... weapons."
Almost cursing himself out loud, Todd bit his lip for blurting the word 'weapons' near the same sentence as 'Todd Tech' so carelessly. That section of the company was a secret, even from most of the company, itself.
The human sighed, and put both hands on the table. One was wrapped in bandage, scar marks over the places that weren't covered, the other loudly banging the hard wood under the gold palm.
"And.. I should trust such a company... with my life?" strangely, his pale eyes still looked straight past Todd, who was getting nervous now.
"Well.. yes, if you want to help shape biotechnology. If you don't, that's fine too, you don't have to do this.."
The man sighed, and shook his head.
"When do you want me in?"
"Oh," Todd leaned back, and tried to break his own green eyes away from the white-eyed human, "I, uhm, didn't mean right away. We're only in the beginning stages of creating the serum, and the chemicals we're using are extremely volatile.. Anything could happen if we treat you to it right away. We need to calm some of the more violent chemicals.."
"Huh..." the man leaned back as well, eyes wandering to the side, "So, that's when you'll make me telepathic..?"
Todd almost immediately sat up, but the man smiled softly, which seemed like a rare sight, proven further by its fading a second later.
"Then it'll be like I have real eyes.."


"Vince. Vince, do you hear me?" the grey-beige wolf's communicator vibrated on his pant thigh.
He sighed, reaching in his white labcoat's inner pocket, then the other. His eyes trailed down himself, down his formal and pale yellow shirt. As his eyes caught the thick green khaki jeans that wound to his upper ankles, he spotted his communicator, and slipped it off the small loop on his leg's side, pressing a button down.
"Yes, yes, I hear you, but," he sighed again, shaking his head turned to the side, staring at the monitor that listing the chemical properties of something, "I've just started to get a hang of these chemicals you told me to work on.. "
"Oh?" Brass' voice paused for a second, then a soft breath noise was made, "That's good news. How long is it going to take to be ready? A week?"
"Mmm," he studied the screen, rubbing an eye with a palm, "Maybe... longer. I-- I don't know. You know how dangerous this is, we have to be cautious. I don't want to have to ship something off knowing someone's going to die."
"Hmmph," Todd snickered, "We're deal with death all the ti--"
"Jared," Vince said sternly, straightening his eyes away from the screen.
"Whatever, don't pesker me, I'm going to be doing some repainting here in a little bit," there was another pause, leaving Vince time to study the screen more, "I just have to wait for the right time..."
*
As the tiger muttered those words, his green-red eye caught a certain silky woman crossing behind some cars. She appeared to have the same cup of cocoa Jason Vincent had ordered before he exited the coffee shop.
He looked at the cup he had in his own hand, and grinned a little, "Too easy."
"Is this about the security lapse? You can barely make anything out, the cameras weren't functioning well," Vince's voice sounded under the loud conversations near the coffee shop, "Don't do anything you'll regret, you hear me Jared? Jared! Jared!!"


The red fox stopped in front of the old man, sighing.
'No... Hayden was.... don't do anything.'
Softly, the old man on the bench coughed, and turned the page beside her, staying quiet. This startled Patrice, and she stiffened up a bit before looking toward the old man.
In front of the violet and grey-haired elderly man, the headline on the front of the paper blared at her.

"High-Security Company Misses Thief!"
Under the headline was a greyed-out and blurry picture of a woman wearing stocking gloves, and a short skirt over jeans. She cursed herself lightly, looked down at those exact clothes, and turned back toward where her sister was about to go. Hayden told Patrice the job would be easy and she wouldn't be seen. Jared Todd' organization, ToddTech, wasn't just a company that studied science and sold stupid consumerisms. There was a dangerous side to ToddTech, a side the Verté family could use, extort, for their benefit, lead by a man named Brass. But if either one of them slipped up, they would go Queen of Hearts on them. Patrice could even imagine Todd screaming "Off with their heads!" now that she knew she was caught. Heart racing, she could barely hold it together, steady walk turning into a fumble to hurry, then evolving into a sprint.
"Fucking.... ugh...!" she pumped a fist through the air, and then used that paw to push past a group of people standing in the middle of the sidewalk.
As she bolted out into the street, she was almost hit by a few passing cars, but she made it safely onto the next sidewalk. Glaring down the walk, she tried to make out Hayden, and nodded once seeing her. She couldn't be more than ten feet away from her, and she was turning down an alley, coffee cup in hand.
"Hayden..!!" she shouted quickly, but no response. Sighing, Patrice moved past the milling crowd in the streets, to get to the alley Hayden escaped in.
"So... you're the newspaper girl.." a dark voice said.
As the red fox's eye fell into the street, she saw Hayden leaning over a garbage bin, coffee cup over the opening, coffee straw in the side of her mouth. As Brass, the man who they were hunting, the man who Patrice had stolen from, and the man Hayden made a fool of on her newspaper, spoke, she dropped the cup straight into the trash.
".. yes, I publish the Daily Dragoon.. would you like an autograph?" her eyes turned on Brass.
Her hands, Patrice, could tell, were shaking, but Hayden hid them from the tiger. Playing dumb wouldn't help her in this situation.
"You're also the woman on the front page.." Brass shook his head, "You should know who I am. You stole files from me, stole video from me, then tried to make a fool out of me in front of the entire city.."
"I-I don't know what you're talking abou--"
"Hayden Verté, publisher of the Daily Dragoon, she's going to have a grand show for Sphere's first Invaluables Museum. A fierce competitor to get top story with three other publishing companies, and soon to be dead."
Immediately, Patrice gasped loudly, then put both paws over her face, and hid behind a dumpster.
Jared took a glance toward the dumpster, raising a brow. This gave Hayden ample time to start a quick get-away, or so she thought it would be, as she turned, and started running, screaming.
"Eeeek..!! Someone..!! Help meee...!!" she screamed at the top of her lungs.
Patrice thought to herself frantically. There were at least five people in the alley, how was he going to kill her so fast-- Gunshots echoed and shook through the dumpsters, and the apartment walls connecting to the alley. The red fox covered her ears, and as quick as the gunshots came, a gasp of breath struck through her heart, and a fleshy slam onto the ground showed her Hayden's upturned face, covered in blood, and covered in hair. Hayden stared sidedly at Patrice, making a gurgled plea for the fox to get away. Soon, her death engulfed her, and she was gone. Only Patrice, the five strangers, and Jared Brass Todd was left.
It was too late for it to matter, but the fox realised why Hayden put the picture of her up on the newspaper. She blurred the image, and made it black and white, so you could only tell it was a female fox being recorded. More importantly, if Hayden had the videotape, ToddTech wouldn't. As Patrice stared at Hayden's shell, she cursed herself for a second, regretting coming down the alley, wishing she didn't have to die as well.

"What the hell is he doing..?" Vince's jaw almost dropped off his muzzle, "There were six citizens standing around the alley when he shot her several times in the back!"
"Vince, haven't seen the papers?" Grandon's soft voice sat at the front chair.
".. what about them? I don't see any excuse he'd have for doing something like this and blowing his cover!"
Grandon sighed.
"V, there was a tape stolen from here while I was in the bathroom. The tape had that chick stealing files on all our guys."
Slowly, the wolf took a step forward, ".. she took the staff list? Wh.. why..? How would she even know where to look?"
"I'd think instead of finding the tape, I'd find the thief, and off her before she had a chance to give it to anyone else," Grandon sighed, "Well, that's what I'd do anyway."
"You're not a strategist..." Vince softly put a paw on the back of his chair.

Softly, Brass sighed ahead of her, and she felt his eyes turn toward the dumpster. Patrice tightened, and closed her eyes.
His footsteps moved off his target, and slowly took him out of the alley.
'What the..' she watched Brass appear, and then walk back into civilization, '.. he's.. getting away. No, I can't let him get away..!'
She sat up quickly, and took only a step forward before a soft groan interrupted her.
"N..ngh..."
Patrice turned, and looked down at Hayden's shell with wide eyes, "Hay..--!"
"Shut up.." Hayden's voice said quietly.
Brass' footsteps were unnoticeable now, hidden amongst the rest of the crowd outside, too far away.
".. Hayden, you're.." Patrice softly stared down at her, "... but.. your heart stopped.. I heard it.."
A slow grin, similar to Brass', but very much Hayden, grew on the white fox's face.

His paw slamming the tube into the table is what the monitor in front of Grandon showed. From watching Vince so much, Grandon knew whenever Vince doubted himself, he would slam his paw into the lab table.
"Ugh..!!" Vince's ears drooped down after raising his voice. On the screen, his voice wasn't loud, and it sounded rough, digital.
"Vince, keep your cool.." Grandon shook his head. His voice was very soft, but didn't fit his appearance.
Sitting in front of the monitor was a robust red dragon wearing an orange-yellow hoodie rolled up in the sleeves to the elbow, green shorts and sneakers without socks on his rarely-seen lower half. His legs were bigger than his torso, and just the way he was built, and especially dressed, made him look fatter than he really was.
Looking across the monitors, he sighed, nothing out of the ordinary, then stopped before looking at the separate computer.
"He thinks he's so powerful.." Vince's muffled and computerized voice said on the far left.
The door behind the dragon opened, and eyes were on him.
"So do we have the tape yet..? It wasn't on her body," the coarse and self-important voice wasn't hard to mistake.
"JT, you have to give me more time," he shook his head, "'Sides, how would you know it ain't on her body?"
The tiger smirked softly.
"Well, I got a chance to see up her skirt when I shot her the first three times.." he looked up at the ceiling slightly, "and... well, you saw her clothing. There'd be no other way to hide it."
"Jared.. don't you think you're maybe enjoying your job a little too much..?"
Gently, Jared nodded. "If my life is my job, and I don't enjoy my job," he paused a second, then looked to the door, "Well.. That's personal."
Grandon stared at the floor below the large computer.
"Yes, boss," the dragon sighed, and closed his eyes, "So.. what about that video? We can't just leave it to chance for someone to find it."
"Yeah," Jared said, "Well, there's more important things to worry about, Grandon. You know how to work with chemicals, right..?"
The dragon perked up in his seat more.
"I.. yeah, J, but just a little, not a whole lo--"
"That'll be enough to help me and Vince out. I want you to come up to the lab in maybe... ten minutes. Me and Vince need to talk about what we're working on first."
"Yes, boss," Grandon smiled, and looked back at Brass just as the door opened.
A monitor shut off as he opened it and exited the room.
"Ten minutes or sooner, come when I tell you to, otherwise ten minutes!"
The cold metal door slammed shut as if it were a vault. Grandon sighed, and turned the monitor back on.

Chapter 03: Intrusion (Page 13)
Vince slowly got up, and regained power over himself. He could already hear the footsteps outside the lab, coming to 'examine' him.
'No... I'm not letting them take this away from me..' Vince thought to himself.
His palms had returned black, as he was now only focused on the incoming danger. His own company. Quickly, he tilted his head a little, and just as two men fashioned in yellow plastic protective gear appeared in the doorway, the door slammed shut.
"Hey, who closed the door!" a woman yelled muffledly through the door, the doorknob jiggling madly.
The wolf didn't know if he could do it properly, but he was a man of science, heavily relying on science before physicality. If any man could control these powers, it would be him. Softly, he sighed, and turned toward the large glass wall facing outside the tower, out, almost seeing down the entire street to the edge of the planet, the city. Growling, he put a paw out, lab tables parting, moving out of his way slowly enough not to damage anything.
As his other paw moved up as well, he closed his eyes, walking straight to the glass outlook. His claws tapped the glass as they rested against it.
"Mister Cody, sir! You need to let us in!"
Lightly, he shook his head, "I need to break myself out."
The glass rumbled, and broke apart forward, the entire wall in the room flying outward, then freezing in glass shards in the air, at least 7 feet ahead of him, all the glass pieces rotated from the sudden jerk in motion. If he didn't allow the glass pieces to rotate in the air, they would break into pieces, and Vince wouldn't be able to handle that. This was the easy part of what he had to do.
Taking a step back, he also took a deep breath. Deftly, he burst forward, and leapt out the window. Opening his eyes, he turned over, facing the tower, back facing the ground. His labcoat was flailing to the side, away from him, as were the chains on his leash and belts.
'
Come on, Vince, you're a scientist... do it right..!"
He pushed his palms forward, concentrating, and the glass all flung forward into the room, shattering into smaller pieces for only a second before it made the window again, a large shard of glass flying all the way into the lab and breaking on the floor.
The wolf didn't have time to care, though. He was plummeting toward his death, and he was losing breath and his body felt like it was going to rip out of his skin. He could hear screams below him, but those didn't matter either. Quickly, he closed his eyes again, and tightened his fists. Instead of falling to his death, about ten feet off the ground, Vince stalled in the air for a second enough to keep him from dieing. Gently, he floated down to his feet, on the ground below him, people darting out of his way.
The crowd of people had parted and were now wowed.
"How the heck..!"
"I want to be able to do that!"
"When's it coming out?!"

"What is it?"
The woman laid back on the long chair, customed for leaning back. Brass glared at it, allowing such a slacking lackey to be even lazier with his own invention. She popped the gum bubble, and chewed for a second.
"There's an openin' for one o' that girl's banks. They're havin' troubles with security. If you wanna find that tape, I think it's in the bank. That's what the whole staff room's been sayin', anyways," she looked at Mr. Todd in the eye, smiling, "So I get a raise, right?"
".. you're fired."
He turned, and walked down the hall, scoffing disturbedly, "and by the way, get Kyell and Marble before you start packing, tell them to meet me on my way to the door."
".. wait.. what?!" the girl shouted, "You can't fire me, I just got this job, you're 'apposed to get me a week's notice!"
Brass stopped short, and sighed. He reached in the satchel on his pant leg, and shoved his paw backward, two-needle revolver in hand, leaving four holes in the desk below her feet. Screaming, she darted up from her desk, gasps from within the room.
"Think of it as a week-long vacation without pay, then."
"Jared!" a woman's voice shouted behind him, the direction he was about to go.
As Todd turned around, his eyes caught an old man's appearance, a violet-grey-haired black fox with white hairs around the person's mouth, an old-fashioned bland red sweatervest.
"Kyell," he rose a brow.
"Jared, you don't need to call me by my operating name," she shook her head and took out the grey hairs with her paws, prodding at her hair, voice professional, but still quite casual and normal, "I heard gunshots in the direction the red fox from the paper was. She saw the paper I was holding, and ran for it. Was that you?"
Brass froze, and stared at the black fox, "... what?"
"Yeah, I tried to catch up with her, but she was a good runner. After she ran into the alley, I heard gunshots and saw the flashes."
"N-No.. you said.." he shook his head, thinking back, pausing, "... son of a bitch.."
Sam looked up at Brass, ridding her face of the white dye on it.
"Jared, what happened, who did you shoot if you didn't shoot the red fox?"
"The publisher of the Daily Dragoon, that... Hayden Verté girl," he sighed, and looked up at the ceiling, "A.. a lavendar-haired fox wearing a.. probably a tank top and shorts was cowering in the corner before I left-- damnit, I should've known!"
"... well, that explains the commotion in the Golden Verté bank."
Brass sighed. "I can't believe I was so stupid... wasn't she dressed exactly like she was dressed in the picture?" he looked at his spy, who looked away from him, sighing too, "She made it way too personal now.. she's being cocky, and I don't like that."
Nodding, Sam looked back at Jared, "Yeah, you're the only one that can be cocky."
Jared looked at Sam, and Sam smiled sidedly.
"Yeah, okay, where's Tarot?" he just sighed.
"Umm..." the black fox rose a brow, and looked down at the floor, "If... I'm not mistaken, she's making some preparations for a bank trip."
Standing a second, Todd put a paw on his hip, and looked past Sam with a troubled, and confused look, shaking his head. The was a pause, and the black fox almost opened her mouth to say something before Todd spoke.
"I never get any privacy around here.."
"So we're doing the bank robbery then."

The security guard in front of the bank was crushing the talk button on the large black device attached to his dark navy pants.
"I don't care, don't tell me you're searching, just find her! It's already eight in the night, for Christ's sake!"
'B-But, sir," the pleading voice on the walkie-talkie stammered, "She could be anywhere in the city, sir. It's going to take time. It's been an hour, we haven't found anything, sir, and we've only searched, like, a fiftieth of the entire city. You can't ask my team to continue searching like this, sir!"
Punching the bank wall hard with his bare fist, pieces fell off the brick.
"You find her in an hour or you and 'your team' is fired, okay?!"
"Geez, calm it down..." a familiar dark voice said under his dark glasses.
The angered man turned to the black-furred tiger quickly, and narrowed his eyes.
"What's your business here?"
Softly, a brown skunk dressed in a violet coat stepped up to one of the three bank machines aligned across from the overly large wooden doors to the bank, and punched in a few numbers before placing another machine on the screen. Under her light brown dreadlocked hair, her eyes reflected the running numbers on the machine.
"Hey!" the man looked at the tiger, then darted forward only to have a barrel heavily land on his forehead.
"Uh-uh-uh..." Brass grinned, gun against the man's head.
Money started practically shooting out of the ATM, and the machine murmured its glee, ordering the ATM to shoot out more. Softly, the skunk looked at the angered man, and started pocketing the money in her coat.
The man almost growled, and took the barrel of the gun, yanking it, pointing it away from him. Brass jumped, almost, and shot a few bullets into the pavement.
"Y-- ahh-- God, what the fuck?!" Todd shouted, fingers crackling beneath the man's burly hands.
Without hesitation, Jared let go of the gun, which caused him to fall back, and caused the man to tighten his fist around the gun, throwing it into the wall, breaking it to pieces. As Todd was coiled to the ground, his voice coarsely gave a grunt.
The skunk sighed, and turned to the man, stuffing her coat with more money, luscious paper.
"You're making this really difficult," her dry and soft voice spoke, her paw reaching into her coat for the final time, at least for now.
"You're the ones trying to rob me," the man stormed toward the skunk, clenching his fists, knuckles cracking.
Softly, Todd groaned, looking at the broken pieces of gun ahead of him.
The brown skunk backed up away from the man, taking her own, oddly-shaped yellow gun from her coat. Closing her eyes and turning her head, she clicked the trigger seconds before the man would reach out for her, and one of the bulbs on the gun shot out, and attached itself on the guard, zapping him. The guard shut his eyes closed, but consciously fought the shocks off. His body was so big, it almost could absorb the electric shocks, barely phasing him. He growled louder, grabbing at the cord attaching him to the gun and the pain.
"Rrrawhh...!!" he threw the cord off him and tore the bulb from his body.
As he threw the bulb and the shock gun flew forcefully out of the skunk's hand, his radio clicked off his pants. Turning his head to the radio, this was all the boost Jared needed to assert himself to the gun parts, picking the butt of the gun up, twisting to his stomach, throwing it directly at the back of the giant brute's head. The assault seemed enough to give the security guard an aneurism, making him exceedingly angry, turning at Brass vengefully after the connect, one hand on the bleeding bruise on the back of his head, the other grabbing Todd's shirt, forcing the tiger to get up with him.
On the way up, Jared grabbed at the shock gun, glaring at the man. They had experienced smart ones before, but he was taking this and the girl's bank personally already. As Brass thrust the gun into the man's stomach, the skunk girl had already picked up the radio. With the motion of the skunk, the man widened his eyes, ready to grab at the gun, which all too fast triggered Brass to shoot another electric bulb through the man's security jacket, directly into his stomach. The man was shaking now, angry, and electric.
"Hello, sir? I think we found something, there's blood in the back of a--"
Tarot, the hacker, the brown skunk, slapped the man across the same profusely-bleeding bruise Jared left with the radio, breaking the output inside, blood splattering across the sidewalk.
With that swift move, the man screamed loud, finally, feeling the pain a normal man would've felt by now, Jared's paw slamming his body into the brick wall, unexpectedly causing the wall to shake. The snap of the bulb just made the man scream louder, electrifying him. As Jared's shoulder pierced against the man's backside, and the electric force surged through his body, the security guard helplessly shouted.
"Yahhh'm going to KILL you when I get f-free..!!" he screamed.
With his face safely toward Tarot, who glared at him, the situation had been contained.
"We got him.." Brass sighed.
Softly, Sam's head popped in and looked on the scene from behind Brass.
"That's who you got for me..?" she raised a brow, "There's... no way I'll be able to-- ahh!"
A slim woman pushed open the door, looking toward Sam, backward to the door. Quickly, Brass pointed the stunner at her, and fired another bulb, at her.

Vincent Cody, the head bio-engineer and scientist of ToddTech had begun a mission that wasn't requested of him, that would've seemed impossible to any man, including himself, had he not had the accident.
As Vince moved past the trees in the shrouded and shadowed forest, he could hear the tree roots in the ground below him trying for their lives to sap up moisture from the completely dry ground. He could even completely understand what, in fact, the birds in the trees were chirping. He could also hear the thoughts of the distant industrial worksmen less than a mile ahead of him. Tilting his head toward it, he could barely hear it, though, he knew he was close. Only distance kept him from hearing what he wanted to. His rivals' plans.
It was a rare sight, to see trees in Sphere City. The city was only so small, but from what Vince had heard from the dragons of Sphere City, the trees hadn't always been rotting, and the streets weren't always packed. Streets seemed to crumple into one another and shrink smaller, foot by foot every few years. It seemed like since he was born, the city was rotting. Since just one bustling city engulfed the entire globe, it wasn't hard to believe. There could be any number of things that were happening to the core of the city. However, Brass dismissed all Vince's theories on how the city could be suffering from so much rot. Sickness was breeding like wildfire, people were breeding like wildfire, and all the life forms inside the city had to work hard to live.

Blam! Brains and blood splattered up against the brick wall of the bank, the brute's eyes rolling back, bleeding out his eyes like tears before falling to his knees, face forward.
Tarot sighed, the bank doors closing behind a 'guard', "How did I know you'd end up offing him as soon as Kyell turned her back?"
Jared looked down at the upturned body, and frowned at it, the white of his eyes staring up at him, a red and pink pool forming around its head.
"Aww, don't look at me like that. I did you a favor. Now you don't have to pay for all those anger management classes."
The skunk sighed again, and shook her head, facing it, after, to the ATM screen. There was an extremely crude green and black camera screen on it, and she could see the spiky-haired black fox coming into the bank with a navy security outfit, a knee-high skirt on that fit her perfectly, at least, from what they saw of it before Sam went in the bank.
Brass looked at the body for a few more moments, before looking to Tarot.
"Think we should move the body?" his eyes, safely hidden underneath the large green glasses, looked to Tarot, who shrugged, not caring much for his crime.
"I'm not touching something you broke, yourself," Tarot shook her head, watching Sam wave to another officer, "You know how I feel about this."
Jared only grinned, looking at the doors, scratching an eye brow.
"Well, it's either that or we leave it here or gross out Sam," he shook his head too, then looked back at the screen, "You're not scared of a dead body, right?"
Tarot sighed, looking to her right, down the street. Her nerves were getting to her since that man almost killed them both. She knew it was the right thing to do, yet still disapproved.
"Marble, look at the state of the city. It's rotting and so are its people. Crime and killing is necessary, and we're the ones doing the justified crime and killing. He was going to kill us."
Tarot narrowed her eyes.
"That's because we're the bad guys."
"Pssh, right, a rich family that ruins other rich businessmen’s' lives for fun. Besides, who the hell waves their money around like that bitch did? Believe me, anyone trying to protect her deserves to be killed, you'd have to be an idiot."
"It's not right, Brass," she snapped, and glared at him, "We're running around the city ruining peoples' lives--"
"Bad peoples' lives, and people that have ruined our lives' lives. I'm not debating this, are you moving the body or not?"
Softly, the bank doors opened up, and Sam's head peeked out.
"You guys coming..?"

Handing a large and heavy box to a shirtless, and rather hairy, but muscular man, the delivery officer sighed.
"These things are real tough to handle, what the hell's in these?"
Sighing, the man shook his head, shifting the box on one shoulder, holding it with a hand up top. He made a gesture with his other, bigger arm, to the officer, and the officer's eyes widened, staring at him. There was a very large casing around that arm, but that's not what shocked him. What shocked him was the fact that he knew the man just, almost gingerly, pushed a thirty pound box on his shoulder, then actually asked for another. Quickly, the officer managed down at the next box and picked it up with a noticeable effort. Shucking it into the large man's hands, he shifted that on his other shoulder.
"H-How..."
"Men are so completely useless.. Go on, get out of here," his low tone sounded exceedingly similar to Brass', except his tone wasn't dark in the slightest way, it was rather boyish and masculine, 'This load'll last us at least a month in research.. Maybe if I scare him, I'll get a good price for just these two... Besides, a month longer, we'll have the entire soul diamond mine to ourselves..'
From the forest behind the large purplish-red brick industrial factory, Vince watched the scene take place, with added commentary.
'Soul diamonds..?' Vince thought to himself.
".. o-okay, well, do you want the rest of the shipment, or..?" the man shook his head, raising a brow, still shocked from the show in front of him.
Vince looked at the soul diamonds. Something emanated from them, something not natural. As weird as it felt, and as sudden as his powers came over him back in the lab, the four other boxes of 'soul diamonds' laid out in front of him felt so much more not mortal. They really did emanate something Vince couldn't put his finger on, but it felt a lot more similar to Vince's concoction than he wanted it to feel.
"Take 'em back to whoever gave 'em to you, kid," the shirtless man nodded to the officer, and stooped down to place one of the boxes down, and reach in his leather plate skirt with that hand for a handful of money, "How much?"
"Hmm-- what?! the officer stepped backward again, looking at the boxes, "You can't just.. not take these things..!"
The large man's lips slowly pursed a polite grin, but what Vince felt from the grin was as dark as the soul diamonds.
"You're new... I get that," he looked at the delivery man, and shook his head, "But all I want is this. You can charge me for the whole delivery and take it back, I don't care. Right now, all I need are these two."
The kid looked down at the boxes in front of the large man, then at the man, and slowly and nervously nodded. "T-That'll be three fifty, then.."
The large and burly man's thoughts were getting less frequent, and less distinguishable from the officer's. His eyes flickered a little in their focus, and he sighed, large hands searching for the right amount of money, and handed it to the other man quickly.
"The whole price of the delivery," he said.
Vince was surprised, raising a brow at the cheap three-hundred dollar price. His paw accidentally slipped into a small bush, he was so surprised, creating a soft shaking of leaves.
Immediately, the large man's weary brown eyes turned straight to Vince's paw, the emotions in his head making Vince all the more surprised, but now, so much more scared. The man felt like certain death. All of the man's thoughts were centered on the bush, at crushing whoever was in the bush with his bare hands. It was then, Vince could see the man's metal skeleton in his mind's eye, making his arms like steel compressors, one arm completely made of machinery, and a strong clock gear battery that controlled all of these where one the man's kidney's should've been. There was no doubt. The grey hairs pushed back through his scalp, the huge muscles and the metal skeleton to go with it, and the certain fuchsia color of his metal skirt.
'Thomas Fuschio..' Vince thought to himself loudly.
So loudly, in fact, Fuschio's head raised, a puzzled look on his face.
"Thank you so much for your generosity. It's been nice, and... certainly cool doing business with you.." the officer nodded to the great man, pocketing the money in his uniform, and took the handle of the box-carrier, leading it with him, away from Fuschia Industrials and its hidden forest location.
Vince cursed himself in his head. He thought for sure his thoughts were safe, but for some reason, he couldn't control them half as well as he wished he could've now, or a fraction as well as before he entered the forest. As Fuschio eyed the bush still, and he took a suspicious step toward it, Vince was trying to figure out exactly how his abilities could've faded so fast. The 'soul diamonds'?
'.. if ther... omeone here, watchi... hen I have to fin..' Fuschio's quickly-disappearing thought trail managed to get to Vince's own thoughts.
Softly, Vince crept back away from the bush, trying to stay hidden, but Fuschio took another intimidating step forward.
'Is that whe... 're hiding..?'
Fuschio narrowed his eyes right at Vince's position, and Vince froze.

 

As the brown skunk peered into the room, behind Brass and Kyell, she couldn't help but be amazed. The bank wasn't even damaged, and there were only two security guards, laying unconscious on the ground.
"I thought that woman was rich.."
"I guess there weren't enough idiots on demand at the time..." Brass' eyes flicked across the bank, "There's probably a few guards in the vault, and if they haven't come out yet, they're probably waiting for us."
Sam sighed, and sat right next to an unconscious man with a strong overbite, back almost touching his legs. Softly, she put a paw on his chest.
"You have no idea how scared I was when you didn't come and one of them recognized me.."
Groping the unconscious man's chest, there was an obvious set of lumps right against the side he was laying on, and Sam looked up at Brass.
Jared nodded, and moved his eyes to the vault. There were three keyhole mounts on it.
"We were busy."
Tarot sighed, spinning a key in her finger, looking at Sam. "Let's hurry and unlock that door and get out of here.."
Sam's paw slipped under the man's shirt, the man fully flopping against his back. As she took the key under his shirt with the other, she looked at the door too.
"Yeah, I noticed those locks. I guess since that big guy was so big, they thought we'd never get the last key," she passed the key off to the paw on his neck, scritching it a little, before looking at Brass, and throwing the key at him.
As Todd caught it, he sighed.
"This was a little too easy, but.. I guess the Vertés underestimated the abilities of a crime lord and his team.."
Tarot nodded, and took her advance toward the door before Sam and Jared. "I think it was more along the lines of underestimating the power of a broken stun charge. I don't know how you can say it was easy."
Sam slowly looked at the man's face, kissed him on the cheek, and got up, walking side by side with Tarot to the walk-in money chest.
"We were lucky, Tarot turned to Brass, who was looking at the other unconscious body, "Come on."
"Why leave a guy without a key?" Brass softly kicked the this body a little, and orange-furred tabby rolled over.
Sighing, he stepped over the man, and walked toward the wall. As he was walking forward, Sam and Tarot were trying their keys in the locks.
"What the.." Tarot rose a brow, putting her key in the last hole, and tugging at it, the keyhole not moving at all.
Brass moved against the wall, and eyed the three mounts. In, both, Sam's key mount and Tarot's key mounts, the keyholes were bigger, and the keys were missing piece where they should've fit. Shaking his head, he looked back toward the two unconscious guards, and the orange tabby was gone.
"Shit.." Jared sighed, and reached in his coat for his gun.
Almost immediately, Tarot noticed Todd's movement, and looked back at the missing orange tabby, herself.
"What the..!!" she dropped the key in her paw, Sam catching it, ".. th-that can't.."
"Tarot, get a hold of yourself," he looked around the room.
Nothing was out of order, but there were a lot of hiding places the man could've hidden, like the various pillars across the ceiling, and the bank teller tables at each side of the bank, to name three.
"I knocked him right out, though, I hit the side of neck just the way we were taught to; it's worked every other time!" Sam yelled at Todd, pocketing the keys.
Todd pocketed his own key, sighing, looking back at the two, and making a gesture to the right. Pointing to Tarot, he then signalled toward the door outside that would lead to the device they left there, and when he pointed to Sam, she nodded, and turned for the left before he could even signal her there. Tarot leaned against the wall of the door.
"S-Something isn't right, I felt it the second I saw the first guard.." Tarot stuttered, holding her left chest.
"Tarot," Jared said sternly, looking at her, shaking his head, "This isn't the time to panic. Remember what I said, we're the good guys."
Sharply, Brass turned, and started walking forward and to the right, waving off a paw, "The good guys always win."
As Sam moved softly on the left, holding the two stunner handguns close to her chest, Jared moved sternly across the floor, holding his own handgun with dual charges close to his side, on the right. Both of their images skated with them across the marble floor. Marble, herself, panned her eyes across the room. The other unconscious body was still laying on the floor.
'At least the other guard's still out..' the brown skunk thought to herself, looking to her left side.
As Jared and Sam's quiet footsteps crept further through the bank, it was more and more apparent that either the tabby wasn't there, or he was going to be incredibly hard to find.
Suddenly, Tarot started beeping. Stopping shortly, Jared turned quickly, as Tarot did to her other side, as she unclipped her pocket monitor.
"Fucking shit!" Tarot screamed out loud, turning even Sam's head.
Not even clipping the black screen back to her belt, she darted forward to the large bank doors that were, obvious to her now, cracked open enough to slip through quietly. Sighing, Jared gripped his pistols tightly, and only leaned against the glass bank teller window he was standing by.
"Fuck!" Tarot cursed loudly again.
"Tarot, wh-- wait!" Sam shouted, running about half her speed to catch up with her.
The door slammed open wide, crackling against the bank wall after Tarot kicked it strongly, bringing the bright city lights straight into their crime scene. Tarot pushed the door back before it could ricochet off the wall, barely missing a bright orange and brown striped tail darting away from the bank.
"Without all they keys, without my pride and joy I worked five fucking weeks on, and with a rogue bank guard that knows our faces and our crime, we're fucking screwed, hurry the fuck up already, Brass..!!" Tarot screamed, sharply catching up in speed, in pursuit of what seemed at the time like everything important to her.
Sure enough, when she double-checked the monitor as she zoomed past it, the contraption was gone, and hundreds of dollars and a month and a half of hard work were gone with it.
"T-Tarot, wait up!" Sam shouted, tail briskly swishing behind her, trying to keep up too.
Softly, Brass sighed, ".. well, then... there goes our neighbourhood."


Shaking now, Vince could barely take the pressure. He had only gotten his abilities for a short time, and already, they were vanishing from him. As Fuschio stepped closer, his heart sped up faster. Gently, he leaned against the nearest tree, huddling as low as his larger-than-normal sized body would let him, clutching at his chest, trying to stop his heart from speeding so fast it'd be fatal. Already, he could feel the corner of his eyes cold, obviously blood, and his face was hot, as well as his heart. Gulping down his fear a little, he closed his eyes, and tried to feel as invisible as he could, wishing and hoping at the slightest chance that Fuschio wouldn't be able to see him. As the overly large man approached him, he tried to limit his inhaling time to slow his heart down, but it was doing very little for him.
"I.. gotcha--" Fuschio looked straight down at Vince, but blinked a few times. Slowly, he knelt down and moved in front of the bush, rattling it around, "What the.. I swear, I heard something here.."
Vince stared into Fuschio's eyes, not knowing what was happening. The large fake arm reached out for him, near his legs, and as Vince looked down at the large hand, he saw nothing in front of it. Impulsively, he was about to scream, but shot his paw to his muzzle, making a short muffled noise. Softly, he took his legs, and scrunched them to his stomach, looking back up at Fuschio. Patting the ground heavily with the fake arm, Fuschio's face was near-priceless, confused.
"... I must be.. going crazy today.." he mumbled to himself, standing again to his full stature, looking around the forest, eyes flicking anywhere Vince could've run to or hidden if he weren't completely transparent, ".. Yep....."
Turning, Fuschio sighed, shaking his head madly.
Whimpering as quietly as possible, Vince could only scare at the huge and scary man ahead of him. Just the sight of the poles jutting through his arms was enough to make him shudder, knowing if Fuschio ever caught him, he would immediately be killed in the worst way he could be killed, depending on what Fuschio had on him at the time. Softly, he leaned against the tree, touching his hot face. As he did so, his feet faded back into focus.
"What-- no--" Vince held his mouth again, putting his paw back on his heart, feet disappearing again. His heart had sped up suddenly again, and he could feel blood flowing down the center of his cheek, down his nose.
Quickly and sharply, Fuschio turned back around, and walked back to the spot, looking around where he thought he heard the noise. As he looked back toward the factory, Vince's nose slipped a drip of blood onto the dry and cracked ground that barely saturated the bush and the tree behind him. Immediately, Vince put his paw on his nose, paw instantly being soaked by blood, shocking him even more today. Getting up, Vince knew if he didn't escape now, he would definitely be caught.
"Well, now, I know I must be going crazy now--" Fuschio turned around, to see proof he wasn't so crazy.
Red blood that would feed the plants what they needed to survive, soaking into the clay ground, as he heard shaking of grass or a tree. Looking up, he growled loudly. Jumping deftly over the bush, his feet stomped straight into the hard clay floor, punching the tree hard. The impact almost shattered the tree, putting a dent where his fist was, immediately causing the top half of the tree to start a roll off of its hinges, back into the ground it was born in loudly. Fuschio looked around the forest harder this time, and held his walkie-talkie on the belt holding the large metal sheets over his jeans. Slowly, he pushed the red button on it.
"We have a stealth spy somewhere here, and she knows about the soul diamonds.. We need to get a comb of the entire forest, she seems fast at running, she could be out in ten minutes!" he shouted loudly at the receiver.
Vince was gasping for air, barely having dodged the falling tree, but tried not to make it obvious he was indeed invisible, and nowhere near fast or a female. As he looked back, he saw a small and round camera on the top of the roof, out of sight from anyone at a close distance, aimed right at him. The lens was red and purple. Staring at it, he moved to the left, and the camera followed him to the left.
'.. I hope Brass' mission went better than this...'

Chapter 04: Cornered (Page 25)
A creak split open the dark room like a melon, barely revealing much of the crimson and ivory room.
"Sir..? You here?" an orange tail swayed into the room, and after it, holding a large flashing green and black screen, was a half visible striped orange paw. As the paw and tail moved into the room, more light broke the darkness.
Nothing. Slowly, the other paw on the shadow moved across the wall closest to it, to find a light switch, and faded into the darkness again. The sliding noise disturbed the awkward silence, but then after a moment, just added to the queerness of the dark room. Once completely engulfed in the darkness, the no longer orange shape's paw ran over a bump on the wall. An invisible smile came to the shadow's face.
"Don't." spoke a dark, and heavy-toned voice. Obviously strong.
"G-- yahh!!" the shadow jumped back, and tore its paw away from the wall, "M--Mr. Zi--"
"Forget the formalities," the intimidating voice echoed through the crimson walls and the gold and silver plaques on the walls, "What happened?"
The screen adjusted position, and showed to the front desk of the room. The shadow of the large chair ahead of the flashing screen didn't look at all like it was occupied, but the voice distinctly came from someone that would be sitting in such a large chair in such a large office.
"Does that have a tracking system?"
The shadow shook its head, "Mina said the machine was just a hacking system. A trio tried to get into the bank."
".. and where is Mina now? or the other two officers I invested my money on."
"Uhh..." the cat's tail swayed nervously, swallowing back a lump in his throat, "Well, Mina.. said they.. killed Torque. When she felt the gunshot, she ran off to the door, but they knocked her out and stole her uniform, and her key."
"So I lost half of my investment," the aggravated voice sighed, "What about the shifter?"
"Mr. Z-- Uh, sir. They didn't kill anyone else. But they knocked the shifter out before he could do anything. I pretended to get knocked out, and put the key pieces in my mouth so they wouldn't find it if they searched me. Once they figured out they were missing something from the keys, I got out of there and stole their machine."
"Fine," the voice still sounded aggravated, "Did you see them? Do you know who they are or why they were there?"
"We don't need to, we have this," the shadow shook the screen a little, "We can find out who supplied it, and we can check what's on it. I did see them, though, and they were calling each other by codenames, but they had real names, at least, that's what Mina said."
"Leave that here and go find Mina and the shifter. Make a report of everything you know together, and return it to me once you're done."
The shadow nodded, and looked around.
"I can't see in the dark, I'm going to have to turn a light on.."
Sighing, the shape behind the chair moved from it. A long coat moved behind it as well as a spiky tail and large wings. The wings, though his face and tail were dragon, looked furry and feathery, and were much brighter than the rest of the shadow. Wings spanning away from the desk, it was hard to tell exactly where the large man was. Faster than expected, the screen was torn away from the orange cat's figure.
"Thank you. That's enough."
The figure barely had a chance to jump again before being ordered to leave, and the tabby back-stepped slowly back into the light.
"No, thank you, sir. I would be unconscious on the floor without you."
"You're not invincible. Remember that, Cole."
The form nodded, looking to the light.
"I could be, though.." the face of the orange tabby from the bank came into sight from the office at the side of the large doors.
"Don't. It's extremely expensive, and it's far too costly," the other form was making its way back to its chair, "One procedure at a time, Cole. If you do a good job, who knows, you might be the next Hayden.."
The tabby smiled. "That's all I ask, sir. Thanks again."
Moving out of the doorway, the tabby left the dark scene, into the mansion's lighted hallway again.
"But the bottom line is, don't push your luck.." the dark voice spoke to himself, disappearing into the chair again, and soon, the chair wasn't even distinguishable in the room.

"You what?!" a black paw pushed up two large green orbs on a black mount.
"J-Jared, I... I'm sorry, I completely disobeyed your orders.." Vince pleaded, leaning on one of the lab tables, shaking his head, looking up at Brass.
"Bullshit, you didn't disobey my orders, you disobeyed my plea for your fucking
safety! You could've died, Vince, you know that, don't you?!"
"I just--!!" Vince sighed, and banged his head against the table, paws covering his head. Muffledly behind the table, he answered, "But I didn't.."
"What?" Jared looked down at Vince, own paw resting on the table in front of him, standing over him.
Vince softly rose his head, shaking it again.
"I didn't die," Vince licked his lips, and looked up at his boss, "Look, I'm sorry, but... Fuschio has something going on.. Something about.. soul diamonds.. That's more important. and this serum, this is more important too, it's a complete breakthrough."
Brass turned, and leaned his legs on the table, tail flopping onto the table, over Vince's right side.
"But it's only temporary."
Smiling, Vince pet the tail, looking at the other, shorter tail, the bone sticking a foot out from the covered fear. He knew Todd for a long time, and it still irked him. He broke away from Brass' backside, and looked off to the side.
"But it's still a breakthrough. All we have to do is make it last, but the effects aren't even dangerous."
Sighing instead, Jared turned his upper body to face Vince, looking down at his paw, then his face.
"We're so lucky.. All it took was seventy-four hundred recipes.. it must be monumental."
"Jared," he moved the paw up, rubbing his boss' lower back, smiling more, looking at him in the eye, "It's monumental to fly eleven stories to the ground and not get hurt, then read someone's mind and turn invisible before they can see you. Stop focusing on the wrong things. To any normal person, this would be insane, but I did it-- our serum did it. That's all that's important."
"I know what's important to me.. and you not dieing is important to me. Never do a stunt link that again."
Vince nodded slowly, looking away.
"So are you sure it's only temporary?"
"Yeah.." he sighed, "It started wearing away when Fuschio came up to me, and it totally went away when my heart stopped beating so hard. I tried to excite myself up again, but I couldn't. I could barely even use it when my heart was beating hard like that. It's all gone now, I can't do anything."
"Hmm.. and all you have to show for it are those nasty burns on your hands.." Brass took the paw patting his back, and turned all the way, flipping it upside down, horrible black stains on his fur still.
"I can live with it.. I'll say I spilled black dye on my fur."
"You better," he sighed, and looked up at the ceiling.
"You look like you could use some a coffee break.. How about we go out for a walk?"
Shaking his head, Jared looked to the new day's bright sun through the glass window and his green orbs. There was a tiny hole in the window where Vince miscalculated, but the entire window was otherwise perfect.
"You know how much I hate the sun."

Sighing, Grandon sipped his morning coffee, after a long night of watching the cameras and identifying each of the bank officers. The door to the coffee shop closed behind him, and he was back on his way to the glamorous ToddTech tower. The dragon never slept, so not sleeping the other night was nothing to him besides adding to the heavy bags under his eyes.
"Finally, some peace away from those blaring screens.." he said, talking, ironically, to the laptop strapped to his back, rubbing his eyeballs.
After a full night of breaking through security, cracking countless codes, and dealing with a few dozen computers trying to shut his IP address down automatically, he was beat and ready to just watch the cameras. As he looked around the very small amount of milling crowd, he knew most of these people were crazy morning people. Regretfully, though his boss was a morning person, though he didn't sleep, Grandon was not crazy nor a morning person, and would get a long list of security-esque feats that had to be completed that day.
Rubbing his eye again, he glanced over at where he first saw Brass shoot Hayden. Though Hayden was dead, that other girl wasn't. But even though the girl was dead, and it'd already been a day since the murder happened, this didn't stop him from trying to see the crime scene, taking a quick turn down into the alley. Sure enough, the woman's body was missing from its place. Body farmers that would sell rotting body parts to help aid the sickly were growing in number, since the number of sickly were growing in number. Even a fancy face like Hayden Verté was still business to these monsters, probably.
"Any reason a guy like you's dressed so inappropriately, awake so early, and standing in a garbage bin alley..?" the soft voice said behind him.
Softly, and unsurprised, Grandon turned, only to see the face of the criminal who ripped his own personal work off in front of him, the red fox with lavendar hair.
"Wh-what-- are you doing here?!" Grandon blurted, before putting a large hand to his mouth, looking at her with wide eyes, waving a finger at her, "Mmm-- Nnm!"
Patrice, who was just about to pass the alleyway, looked at the dragon's large body, and decided it wasn't very wise to stay, staring at the left leg of his shorts, a gun strapped to it, quite obviously. Quickly, she turned, and ran into the small crowd, elbowing a passenger, making them fall and drop their coffee as she ran out in traffic, to escape him.
"Hey--, watch where you're going!!" the woman said, on the floor of the sidewalk, coffee spilled over herself.
Grandon looked down at the gun on his shorts, and sighed.
"It's... just there to protect me.. it's not like I'd use it.." he looked out at her.
Running from a large man was normal in the streets, but not common for large men wearing bright orange hoodies and shorts with soft and approachable voices. Nonetheless, not many people had heard their conversation, so Grandon found the issue safe to pursue. Gently, he leaned down to the woman that had fallen, teal green and pale red hair in her face.
"Umm, need help?" he put his hand forward to the woman.
As the girl shook her head, the hair parted way for her glasses, showing her soft lavendar eyes and dark skin.
"Damn rude these days.." she scoffed, looking up at Grandon's pants, still laying on the ground, mahogany coat splayed out behind her.
Looking oddly at her, Grandon looked down at the gun on his shorts, then her, and smiled, looking up, hand still out.
"Mm.. you going to stare at my crotch all day, or..?" Grandon tried to persuade her away from talking about his gun, or the woman that ran away, hoping this wouldn't take long.
The two-tone haired woman blinked for a second, then shook her head again, quickly taking his hand, shocking the dragon a little, but tugging her up nonetheless. She looked up at his face, smiling a little, laughing with an embarrassed face.
"Yeah, I'm sorry, it's just.." she put a finger on her white-gloss lip, and looked back down at him, "You know, I don't see many charming and polite guys running around with guns on them."
He nodded a little, and looked at her. Under her open coat, she was barely wearing much besides a violet tank top, and a white thong.
"On the other hand, I see plenty of that all the time," he pointed to her.
Looking down at herself, she jumped, and quickly covered herself up with her coat.
"OH!! Oh my-- Oh, I'm so sorry, I must seem like a total spaz and a slut!" she put two finger to her forehead, and looked out to the pedestrian traffic, then glanced back at Grandon, "No, I'm sorry, I was just taking a quick trip to the coffee shop, when I got blindsided by that really horrible impolite woman back there. Really, what was her problem, do you know her?"
"Uh.. yeah-- No, no, not really, but, uhmm.." Grandon was starting to lose sight of the fox, she was still running in the distance, and was already past the park, "Look, I have somewhere I have to be, so.. Nice talking to you, but I have to jet, kay? Sorry for the-- I gotta go, later."
Grandon patted the woman on the shoulder, and gave her a quick smile, gently moving through the thin crowd, then once out, ran across the street toward the park. He sighed again, and looked back at the woman, who was staring at him. He had no choice but to turn his head back to the fox, but when he turned to see a distant running figure, he only saw nothing.
"... damn," the dragon pumped a fist through the air, and sighed again, looking across to the large ToddTech tower.
He rubbed his hands together, and walked forward through the park. He had a feeling today was going to be an even longer day since he saw the fox.

"So.." Brass sighed, fixing his glasses so the sun wouldn't reflect on them so much, annoyed.
Vince leaned against a park bench, sighing happily, his tail wagging against the bench too, looking up at his boss, who was standing beside him, leaning against the bench with his paw.
"Jared, sit down.." Vince insisted.
Gently, he shook his head, and looked out to the playground.
"I wonder how lucky we'll be with the longevity factor.."
"Jared..." Vince looked down, discouraged, "Please, will you just stop... thinking about work for once? Once in your life? ... for me?"
"Vince, I can't.. Our work is way too important, we're bordering on being God," he smiled, scoffing, "You can't be blind enough to not see that."
Looking ahead, the wolf sighed again. "I guess you can be egotistical enough to let relaxation off?"
"Vince, please, it's been a day.." Brass looked at Vince, and nodded to him, "This is my relaxation. It's relaxing to know our hard work paid off, and even more relaxing that we'll get rich from selling this bitch."
Vince's ears perked up suddenly.
".. wait, who said we'd sell something that potent?"
"I did," he rose a brow to the wolf, and leaned his hand on him, "Won't we make a fortune from it?"
Vince cowered back on the bench.
"Wh-- What?! But... There are killers running around, like Fuschio-- and like us."
Brass smiled softly, and covered his muzzle laughing.
"Jared..." he stared at his boss, "It's not funny! You could put everyone in the city at risk by selling this kind of thing! It's not right!"
"Vince, it was a joke.." he shook his head, smiling over his paw, "I'm not an idiot. Giving this knowledge to anyone but my own staff would make me just that."
Vince stared hard at his boss, silently. Something was wrong with him, obviously. Brass always seemed anti-social like he was that day, but even though the anti-socialism was perfect for his business, he barely had any room to care for anyone for less than a quick buck.
"See? I'm relaxing, I can multitask," he slyly moved his paw away from his face, and ruffled the furrish hair on Vince's head.
"You always do," Vince said darkly, staring down at the sidewalk.

Her feet slammed on the ground loudly, the iron and rubber in her heavy boots making sure they were heard.
"Fucking.." she yelled out openly, turning a few heads as she ran down the street, already far away from the park,
'This is rich, Patrice. Run into the man you stole from, now he knows your face. What's next, you going to give him your drivers' licence?'
Although she hadn't seen Hayden since she paid her off to not spill her sister's secret, that she wasn't dead, Patrice refused to make any future contact, or be found by either her sister, or Brass of ToddTech's secret agents.
"You're going to have to try harder than that, Miss T. Thief," the kind voice said from behind her.
Quickly, she turned at the voice, but nothing was there but a small group of five staring at her as if she were crazy.
"Where are you?!"
"No, no," Grandon's voice laughed behind her again, "That voice you're hearing is on your back. The one you used to hide your face when you ran from an actually very nice guy."
Patrice tightened her eyes, and irises moved to the side.
"So what, you'll still kill me," she looked around for a place to hide.
There was a long pause, which gave her ample time to move into a small alleyway with an appealing unlocked door. Sighing, she stared forward into the street, a few people trash talking a 'crazy bitch' that just ran into the alley between Reddish's Bakery, and Chris' Magician and More store.
"I'm sorry, but I can't hear what you unless you press that black button on the compact communicator I gave you."
Shouting at herself, Patrice deftly grabbed the neck of her top, and tugged it over her head, off her shoulders, throwing it to the ground; a pin the size of her nail sitting in front of her, the same color as her shirt sitting on it. She sighed, and took it, looking at it, a black prong sticking out of it, making it look like a earring. She pressed the dull pin down, and held it a foot away from herself.
"It doesn't matter how nice you are, you still work for a crime organization. I did you a favor taking those files, so everyone could know who you really are."
There was a distressing sigh on the other side, and then a shift of noise.
"Listen, I'm just gonna try and find the files, not you, or your deathbed, which, by the way, if this was any other brother, believe me, the latter would be delivered to you as we're speaking," the voice calmly said, "I just need to know exactly what you did with the files."
Thinking about it, she leaned her bare back against the cold brick behind her.
"Look, you will get your ass handed to you on a platter if anyone 'sides me finds out where you are," the voice lied, "Now, all this is, is a communicator, I don't have no tracking device on it, I don't use those."
Shaking her head, she pressed down the pin again.
"Listen, I don't know where it is, I gave them to my ssss..." she stumbled, "Uh, my employer. I got paid, she got the files, that's it, and I've refused to work with her since."
"Yeah, I wouldn't either, your face was all over those papers. It's just, it looked like Hayden, the chick that's dead now because of the guys I'm working with."
Looking up at the orange sky, then down the street self-consciously, she scratched her arm.
"Why do you work with them if you're so harmless," she looked down at her shirt.
"Well, it's pretty easy. I hold 'em back from harming so much," there was a pause for a short time, "Of course, being one of the highest ups, one of three of the highest, actually. That's right, I'm the head security officer, that's why I have that thing you're holdin' there."
She cursed herself, and stared down, not wanting to know that.
"Okay, that's enough, if you don't mind, I'll be going now, there's nothing else I can tell you," she let go of the pin, and looked at it, readying to throw it.
"No, wait! That's mine, don't throw it away, it's the only spare I have, and those things are crazy expensive!"
"Hey, I know how to lock onto a frequency," a weak female voice said in the background, "If you want."
"That's not needed, I'm on the corner of Raven and Marrion, you can get this back, along with my shirt. No one'll be seeing it on me from now on."

Brass softly looked up to the coffee shop, and his eyes flickered.
"Wait one second.. That.. Jason Vincent guy. He wanted a piece of the serum.."
"You're the one not focusing on the bigger picture, Jared," he looked at his boss, and wiped his hair out of his face, the wind blowing a little, "Everyone that knows about it will want one. We'd have an epidemic, and it wouldn't exactly be a good one."
Straightening up, Jared stared at the shop.
"...Damn.. You're right," he mumbled, "I didn't think of it like that.."
Vince nodded, and looked up at the orange sky. He didn't want to focus on work, but if it would make Jared feel better, he'd talk about it. It wouldn't be much a break, but he knew Jared wouldn't let it pass.
"You know," Vince started, pausing for a second, then coughed, "People will get curious if we overuse it. If we had super strength serums running around, people would notice their impecable fighting power. If we had a bunch of telepathics, which we'll obviously be working on, running around, we'd end up with people that would know what would happen before it happened. We could make super speed, kineticism, invincibility, all at our fingertips, and create an army hand-crafted by sheer power and will. and all to an audience full of normal people that would extort and cheat us to get it."
Brass licked his lips.
".. it sounds like the world Fuschio would want.."
"Who are the good guys now?" Vince gazed at Jared, who now had a troubled look on his face.
Sighing, Jared looked down, putting a paw over one side of his face.
"Why didn't I think of any of this.. We would be a circus of crime-justified freaks like Fuschio.. We'd be no better than him, or his lackeys, like Shalharti."
Vince nodded, "It would definitely give us an edge. Think straight for a second, Jared, what would you do with that power?"
He looked sidedly at Vince, and stared at his eyes.
".. I would take self-worshiping cretins like Fuschio down and make sure ordered chaos was maintained in this city.."
Nodding again, Vince smiled at him, "Nothing bad, right?"
"Not to me.." an eye flickered under Brass' glasses, which he tilted so only the sun was visible on them, "I'd rule this city with an iron fist, and I would have info on every crime, find out if it was justified, and punish the culprits of the bad crimes.."
"That's acceptable, I guess," Vince looked oddly at him, ear twitching.
".... I don't know.." Brass rose his head, and looked away from Vince, "I..."
He sighed, and shook his head.
"Hmm? Jared, if there's something on your mind, then.." he reached a paw out to his back, putting his palm on his spine.
Jerking up, Vince froze, eyes going blank. His jaw slowly dropped, paw twitching.
Pictures flew into his mind. The huge man crushing Jared's gun. The guard that came outside without warning when the huge guard was in trouble. The tabby running away after receiving a painful enough blow to knock a normal person out.
"... why didn't you tell me.."
Brass tilted his eye to the side, forcing his glasses to block his face again.
"So you still have your ability..." his muzzle softly mumbled, "I'd appreciate it if when you prod my head, you don't force me to see what you're seeing too.."
"You suspected something was up, and you didn't tell anyone..!!" Vince stood tall, and took Brass' arm, gripping it, "What else haven't you told us?! or do I have to search your head for more answers?!"
He shook his head.
"It's nothing, they don't have abilities like you, I was over-reacting.."
Swiftly, he hugged Brass from behind, pushing himself onto him, wrapping a paw around him, tightening his grip on Brass' arm even more so he wouldn't move. The paw on his chest moved slowly up his neck. Squirming, Brass whimpered quietly as he could, the pain trying not to surface on his face, irises thinning.
"N-No... You don't.. Have the right to pry into my head like.. Nnngghhh.." he struggled, trying to twist his arm away, his bones crackling.
"Jared, stop, please," Vince sighed, paw reaching the side of his head. Vince closed his eyes, resting his chin on the tiger's shoulder.
As Vince struggled with his disbelief, but, in the end, his slight feeling that the serum was still in his wrists, fueled the tiger with images of his own struggle with Fuschio, and Brass struggled to fight Vince's prodding into his ordeal at the bank. Flashes of Vince's paw moving, and his foot becoming visible, and Brass exploding the large man's head in brains and blood. Brass yelled out an incoherent noise, startling onlookers of the weird sight. Brass and Vinces' minds flashed with mixed and jumbled thoughts of each other and their work, uncontrollably feeding off of each other. Softly, both men's faces started oozing blood, Brass' eyes closing from Vince's quick order. After a long moment, Vince got what he wanted, and Brass was de-briefed in a matter of less than a minute that had quickly passed through pain, confusion, and a mess of static and images. Deftly, Vince pushed his boss' arm away, and took his hand off of his head, taking a step back. Brass felt his body weak, and fell to his knees on the cement, blood dripping onto it from his lowered face.
"God... damn...." he said, voice coarse, feeling raped of everything in his head.
Vince heaved back his air, trying to control his breath, panting.
"You deserve to be fired, but there's no one higher up but you.." he darkly muttered to him, standing above him, droplets of blood dripping off his cheek too.
"Fuck you..." he tilted his face, shaking his head, barely feeling any strength to sit on his knees.
"No.." Vince stared at Brass, "How could you hide so many sins from me..?"
What Vince had seen is countless shaky business transactions, papers with obvious moral bankruptcy, shootings on innocents that could've been his enemies. He also saw almost complete proof that their discovery of superhumanity wasn't the first.
"Dammit, Jared, if her guards have such strong powers, what about Hayden, herself? and you knew who that girl was, but you never bothered to tell anyone.."
"It's my company, I can do whatever the fuck I want to..!!" Brass coughed blood, and winced, holding his heart. It felt like he was dieing.
"You certainly lead us, even me, like that.." he glared at his boss, and sighed, collapsing on the bench, ".. You stumble on all this information, and you don't tell anybody, even the most harmless or crucial things. You've almost been killed too many times than I could've counted, you've put the entire company at jeopardy even more times than that, and you know it, but you do it anyway..."
Brass' head tilted to the crowd standing, listening to them, with open mouths and eyes, gazing expressions on all their faces.
"Ghh.. Get the hell away, there's nothing to see here..!!" he screamed, grunting, collapsing on the ground, upturning himself so his back hit the ground quietly, but loud in his muscles.
Vince stared at the ground, dripping blood down.
"You're just like Arcane..." he muttered under his breath.
Perking up, Brass' eyes widened, and he looked at Vince. His expression was enough to tell Vince what he was thinking, even without reading his mind.
"I'm not stupid, I looked in every corner of your head, I know that secret too.."
Wincing again, whimpering, his neck tilted back, head against the ground, body shaking.
"I'm nothing like her... I kill for a reason.."
Vince shook his head, leaning against the bench. Most of the onlookers had already gone away by now, and the remaining people around them were people that were complete strangers, or not listening.
"You kill to liberate the world... To turn it into what you want, to produce people just like you, and destroy people who think differently than you do, or people that are a risk to you achieving your goal of riches and control.." Vince shuddered, clearer tears of blood paving the way across his cheek for other tears to go through, "You're a monster.. I don't see the difference at all."
Jared's mind spun with explanations and come-back lines, but none of them could mount to what Vince said to him. What he saw of Vince in that entire episode were acts of kindness, and goals of reaching medical and scientific breakthroughs. The only thing that concerned him was Vince's concerns for Teriann, even after her grave.
"That's right.. No conscience.. No regrets, and no second thoughts.. You're always right.. But only to yourself.."
Softly, finding the strength to get up, he rose, and leaned down to Brass, putting a paw on the side of his head. The bloodied tiger flinched, and turned his head.
'I'm going to pay a visit to my girlfriend now..' Vince thought heavily at his boss, hair in his face, 'and you can't stop me.. Because your body isn't as tough as mine is.. You're not strong; even if you were, you'd still be this pathetic.. It's about time someone took charge of the situation, and not just for the best of one person..'
Lightly, Vince took his paw off of Brass, and shook his head, moving a paw through his hair to brush it back.
"Wait.." he muttered, "No, what are you going to do..? Stay away from that vault! .. I'm warning you, Vince, don't do anything to my research, she's too important!! Do you hear me..?! I'll kill you if you lay a hand on her, Vince, stay the fuck away from her, or you'll be in the ground just like Teriann!!"
Labcoat trailing behind him, paws in the pockets, Vince sighed, walking briskly as he could, toward his home, the ToddTech tower.

"So you're saying you're not going to steal the files back?" Grandon looked behind his shoulder at the half black woman behind him.
There was a silence.
"Come on, go meet her at the corner of Raven and Ma--"
"Would you shut up?!" the dragon barked back at the woman, "I'm doing business, if you couldn't figure that out!"
She smiled back at him, and nodded.
"Okay, all right, but I'm a businesswoman. and I know things about finding things that've been lost, which, I believe, is something you're having trouble with."
"I'm still here," the voice said on the other end.
"That's good, stay there, please," the woman happily said, and started a brisk walk toward the direction Patrice had gone a few minutes earlier.
"Where are you going? You can't do my work for me," Grandon leered at her, before sighing, and running to catch up to her pace.
She was much shorter than him, but he was a lot bigger than her, so that evened out their paces, and she kept walking.
"Who is that?" the voice said.
"Uhh.. If you didn't notice, no one I know," he said, staring at her,
'The nerve, tryin' to get up in my business, even after her usefulness expired.'
"I'm the woman you knocked over trying to get away from this good-looking and kind man, bitch!" she shouted at Grandon's ear.
"Ow..." Grandon blushed under his scales, picking up his pace.
The woman in front of him kept giving him compliments, and even when he was rude to her. She even offered to fix something for someone that seemed as dangerous as him. His eyes flashed with his past with people. He scared people because of his large size, his slip-ups with having scary weapons on him, and his lifeless yellow eyes along with those sharp teeth and hard cold scales. There was a charming endearing quality about the woman.
"So I hear ToddTech's hiring more obvious spies nowadays.." the woman leered back at the dragon.
He expected that coming, since the girl was fairly upfront with her issues, and she seemed to see through images.
"Uhh.. Yeah. I'm not.. I'm not really a spy, though, I just work for the head boss, and he gives me money to look after the video feed. I make a good collection of money a month, if you know what I mean, but that's because my job's 'portant, not because I kill people or rob 'em.."
She nodded.
"Yeah, I do kind of the same thing," she rolled her eyes back to the street signs, one of them saying "Marrion St." in big bold letters.
Walking forward across the street, Grandon moved with her, not many cars driving through the streets so early in the morning.
"So what's your name..? Since you're so hellbent determined to get into my business, I may as well get my head in yours," Grandon smiled with his sharp fangs.
The woman nodded, "That's only fair. The name's Lucifel Claude, I'm an engineer of sorts. I work best with mechanics and radars and practical things rather than powerful things," she looked over her shoulder, smiling at Grandon, giving him the peace sign, and a wink.
"That's a really nice name," Grandon rose an eyebrow, smiling brighter, her attitude being contagious, "I'm, uhh.. Grandon Harlem. All I'm good at is communications, really.. We have someone else to do the inventing and hardwiring. Actually, she's the one that designed most of the things I'm working with, like this communicator."
Lucifel stepped up onto the curb, and nodded, looking out into the city's many squares, a small crowd of older kids standing around, talking what sounded to be gossip.
"Working with machines is so much better than working with people," the girl shook her head, "You don't have to deal with machines that think they're right telling you what they want from you, and you don't have to put up with having to hear about their days."
Grandon chuckled softly.
"That sounds damn impersonal for someone so good with people."
Turning quickly, Lucifel gasped, "What?! You lieing, I'm not good with people!" she shouted, laughing at him, "Grandon, I couldn't be way further than that; you kidding me? Everywhere I go, everyone tells me to be quiet, or to stop treating them badly.
The dragon nodded understandably.
"Well, you've been nice to me, and I think you're nice," he put a hand on the woman's shoulder, and leered down Raven street.
Lucifel stopped, and stared down an alleyway, and held his hand in hers to stop him.
"Over here," she said softly, and kicked her head forward.
Stopping, the dragon leered at the girl, then slipped the hand off her, moving to the alleyway from the side of it. As the alley was revealed to him inch by inch, his eyebrow only rose higher. Patrice was still sitting in the alleyway, the pin in her hand, sitting next to her dirty shirt.
"Well.. You seem a little less naked than last time I saw you."

Ripping the doors in two again, the wolf growled, taking the bar on the glass, and shoving them back into place to make the two doors a whole again. He took out his wallet with a smooth motion, glaring at the a wall where the large security door was. As he stopped, he opened his wallet, and slipped a picture from its window displaying it inside.
On the picture were five people, two of them himself and Brass. The other was a familiar black and curly haired pale woman with yellow eyes, another pair of yellow eyes on a bright and scaly red face, Grandon, standing off to the left. The last, the one leering at the woman hanging over Vince's shoulders with a smile, had a deep and dark dissatisfaction. Her blonde hair covered her red eyes, and her lightly tanned skin showed her background in the hotter regions of the city. He remembered when Grandon set the picture up, and he looked at it afterward, the attitude Arcane had shown was enough to make him give second thoughts to her large position of power in ToddTech, as well as easy access to Teriann and Vince. But, like Brass, he thought nothing of it and accepted the risk that lead to his beloved's death.
Heavily-weighed by his conscience that was screaming at him like the pain in his body from the stunt he pulled with Brass, Vince carried his footsteps to the wall, and pushed on it, turning a small pin on the wall enough to open the wall up, allowing him access to the security room. The second he touched the wall, he felt the monitor ahead of the replacement security guard turn off.
"Turn it back on," Vince yelled up ahead.
As much as he saw in Brass' head, he needed to see it for himself. Softly, the woman ahead of him cocked her head at the voice.
"Oh, Mr. Cody, hello. I had no idea Brass told you about the--"
"Turn.. it back on," Vince impatiently carried himself toward the security center, screens covering the walls, even parts of the side walls and the ceiling protruding with monitors. But it was the monitor on the right side of the room, the small one in the corner, that he wanted to see. All the times he visited that room, he'd never thought about its importance.
"Uhh.. Mr. Cody, may I ask why?" she had a puzzled look on her face, not knowing what to do, this not being in protocol.
Growling, Vince ran forward, the woman screaming out, moving away from the large chair, pushing it away, the chair spinning. The wolf stopped at the chair, and glared at the button he'd seen in Brass' head that looked like any other button in the center. His knuckles cracked, and he paused for a second, readying himself. Gently, he raised the finger to the button, and closed his eyes.
"M-Mr. Cody, hold on a second," the woman pleaded, staring at his paw.
"It's too late.." Vince muttered to himself, pushing on the button, the monitor flashing back on.