Breaking and Entering

Kato and Nathan dispatched the second squad of escaped prisoners they encountered just as quickly as they had the first.

"I thought this mission was going to be tough," Nathan remarked after he gunned down the last guy.

"So far we've had the element of surprise. Once we lose that, these fights are going to get tougher," Kato responded, again cleaning his blade.

"If all goes according to plan, losing the element of surprise shouldn't become an issue," Nathan grinned. "Come, we're almost there."

A couple of minutes later, a door appeared to their right that was indicated to lead into the maintenance room by the sign next to it. Nathan tried to pull the door open and frowned when it wouldn't budge.

"Locked?" Kato guessed.

"Seems like it," Nathan grunted. "Looks like we've got to get in the old fashioned way."

Kato nodded and took up a position near the obstructing door. "Would you like the honors?" Nathan asked.

Kato nodded again, then lifted his foot and kicked the door just under the lock, just as he had been taught in one of his classes. The door still didn't budge, and the reciprocal force caused Kato to stagger backward almost across the entire width of the hallway. Scowling, he was about to give it another shot when he noticed that Nathan looked like he was about to burst out laughing. "What's so funny?" he growled.

"I can't believe you fell for that," Nathan chuckled. "Or, well, I can, but..."

"What did I fall for?!" Kato snarled rather harshly, dispelling most of Nathan's mirth.

"Nobody could kick down that door. It's made of metal and it opens outward toward us in accordance with fire safety standards," he replied, putting his backpack down, unzipping it, then he reached into it and pulled out a drill. "Fortunately, I do have the tools to get through, but this could get really loud."

"Do you have a lockpick set?" Kato asked cooly, still rankled by Nathan's little joke, or whatever that was.

"Na, that's a skill I haven't tried to figure out yet," he answered, inserting a metal penetrating drillbit into his drill.

"How about paperclips?"

Nathan paused and raised an eyebrow. "Are you wanting to try to pick that lock?"

"If you have paperclips and pliers, yeah, I'll give it a shot."

"Well, I suppose that a quieter solution would be ideal," Nathan murmured, putting his drill down, then diving into the pockets of his backpack for the supplies Kato had requested.

"I didn't know you knew how to pick locks," Mithrat suddenly whispered into Kato's mind, breaking his streak of almost an entire day of blissful silence.

Turning away from Nathan, Kato muttered, "It was a very handy skill to have when I was a street rat, but haven't had an opportunity to pick any locks since I met you," in reply to Mithrat's comment.

"So I take it your probably a bit rusty," the Guardian Force remarked.


Nathan laid out some paperclips and a set of pliers onto the floor. "She's all yours."

Kato used the pliers to turn some of the sturdier-looking paperclips into lockpicking rakes and a makeshift tension wrench. He gently placed his tension wrench into the bottom part of the opening of the lock and applied some pressure. He then picked up one of his broader and sturdier rakes and brushed the inside of the lock. At first, Kato had no luck keeping any of the pins in the lock propped up, but as he adjusted his pressure on the tension wrench and started to get a better feel of the lock, he finally started to make some progress. Unfortunately, it took him a while to get to that point, a fact that was exacerbated by the sound of gunfire nearby and Nathan's impatient comments.

"How much longer is this going to take?" Nathan moaned. "All that fighting will inevitably draw more attention this way, and this is a terrible position to be caught at if more rebels come from either direction. If I had known it would take you this long, I'd have gone ahead with the drill."

"Will you shut your trap!?" Kato growled as he dropped a pin that he had almost gotten into place.

Nathan did, thankfully, decide to shut up, and soon, the sound of gunfire died off as well. Less than a minute later, Kato was finally able to get the last pin into place, and with a push on the tension wrench, he turned the lock and unlocked the door. He gave the knob an experimental twist and was satisfied to see that it did, indeed, move.

"Did, did you pick it?" Nathan asked hesitantly.

"Yeah, got it," Kato grunted. He picked up his spare rakes and the pliers and handed them to Nathan. "Hold onto these in case we need them again." He then took up position next to the door and waited for Nathan to pack his things up and do the same. Once Nathan was ready, Kato threw the door open and they stormed the room. Fortunately, nobody seemed to be waiting for them inside.

"Well, now it's my turn," Nathan muttered. He walked over to a tool bench, placed his backpack on it, and pulled his laptop out and other tools out. Kato watched him put on protective gloves, then approach an area where wires could be seen. After examining the wires, Nathan clipped one of the wires and attached the two ends to something. He then attached a third wire that he had taken out of his pack with a plug at the end of it to the device the hooked the cut wires with, then placed the plug into one of the ports in his laptop. He then booted his laptop, and after logging in, started to do a bunch of things that Kato couldn't even hope to comprehend.

"You know, when I asked you to watch my back, I didn't mean that in a literal sense," Nathan remarked as he typed out some sort of a code or something.

"Right, sorry," Kato muttered, turning away. He scanned the small room for threats, and finding nothing of note, stood near the door they had come in through, which appeared to be the only way in and out of the room. He tried to listen for any noises coming from the hallway, but he heard nothing. "I think the coast is clear," he noted out loud.

"Good news! I'm in!" Nathan called out. "Would you like to take a look at the footage I'm getting from their security cameras?"

Intrigued, Kato walked back over to where Nathan had set up his laptop. There were a lot of black and white camera displays up, which made it hard for Kato to understand what he was looking at.

"Most of these are showing hallways and cells, which, as you can see, are empty," Nathan explained, scrolling through the numerous footage displays. Kato saw a few moving men and monsters in some of the screens, and he also saw some corpses and the remains of the blue mech in the garage they had entered...

"Do you think they know we're here?" Kato grimaced.

"If any of these G-army rebels are looking at what I am, then yes, they probably know we are here," Nathan replied. "There are the hostages," he continued, scrolling over and pointing to one display, "they seem all right for now. And there are some of our teammates," he added, pointing to a different display of three girls in Galbadian Garden SeeD uniforms and a snow leopard that looked like it was probably a Guardian Force standing over a bunch of dead enemies.

"But this is what concerns me the most," Nathan muttered, scrolling to yet another display.

Kato squinted at the footage Nathan was pointing toward. "What is that?" he whispered. The camera in question was showing a bunch of figures standing around a massive, serpentine-shaped robot or something.

"I'm not sure, but I suspect it's bad news," Nathan frowned. "I'm not sure the two of us can take out all of those guys and rescue the hostages at the same time, so I think it is time that we all get together and make an informed battle plan."

Turning toward Kato, he continued, "So here's my thought for right now. Since the coast is clear, I'll ask you to go find the others and bring them here while I keep playing with their system and think up some plans. While you search for our companions, I'd like you to pick up as many radios off the dude's we've taken down as you can. At least four would be ideal. I will lock the door behind me just in case. To get back in, knock on the door four times, then say 'Did you order a Hi-potion?'. Do you have any questions?"

Kato wasn't quite prepared to get bombarded with instructions, but he thought he'd gotten it all. "Yeah, I think so... wait, where were those girls at?"

"Oh, go back the way we came, then keep going straight at the fork instead of going back the garage. Then keep going straight from there. When you pass the bodies of the second squad of dudes we killed, make sure to grab their radios."

"Okay, can do." Kato took a deep breath. "See you soon."

"Yep, have fun," Nathan grinned and followed Kato to the door. Once Kato was back in the hallway, Nathan closed the door and audibly locked the door, Kato turned back the way that had come and jogged toward where Nathan had directed him, making sure to pick a radio off of the squad leader of the second team of escaped prisoners he killed earlier. He then continued toward what a sign he saw indicated was Tower C...

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