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All In Motion
This was written to [Unknown LJ tag]'s prompt for my March 19 prompt request. It follows on from Talk Turns to Action which has links to the earlier pieces of this story. This part runs to 1,570 words.

Mayin zigged and zagged through the park in a crouching run, a decade's worth of skills and experience coming back to her despite her lack of recent training. She came across one inconvenient interloper and had him down before he knew that she was there. She took his weapon and left him in the recovery position, reasonably certain that she hadn't killed him. She also managed to make contact with Wraith without getting shot, using a recognition code they'd used before - the call of a creature that had never walked this planet.

The three person screening team worked better than the two man had, simply because it gave them an extra weapon for suppression fire when they had to move their charges across open pieces of park. A couple of the interlopers attempted the sort of grandstanding heroics you saw in the action genre but picked the wrong time and place for their tactics to actually work. Mayin had to shoot one of them. She was prepared to concede that this lot were a little better trained than she'd thought on her first assessment of them, but there were some gaping holes in their skill sets and background knowledge.

They certainly weren't good enough to stop the official party getting to the lift, not when it was protected by Wraith, Mayin, and Oberxiao Huhn Jan-li.

At the lift, Reaver had the door open, a key in the console, and a swag of height emergency evacuation kits on the ground beside it. Three kits were set to one side, unopened and the checking seals still intact. All the others were open and the woman in the business suit and Neoma were going through them, taking out the carabineers and the winches. Sharvon was still working his drones.

Reaver started organising everyone into the lift, then the woman in the business suit said, "We're not all going to fit. It's too small."

"I know," Reaver sounded gentle and patient. "That's why the three of us are going to make sure those idiots don't manage to interfere with the lift from this end and then follow using the emergency abseiling kits."

"Which three is 'us'?" That was Jan-li.

"Wraith, Thale, and me. Do you have a problem with that?" Reaver looked at him, waiting for an answer.

"The lift passengers should have someone on point in case these factionists have someone on the ground." The oberxiao looked at his ambassador who nodded slightly. "Wraith would be a better choice than me. He's one of you, he has a better skill set for the task, and that business suit behind a G149 is going to avoid the whole-enemy-uniform-behind-a-weapon response that I might provoke. I can abseil, probably not as well as you, but I can do it."

"Point," conceded Reaver. Wraith and Mayin nodded as well.

Wraith kept watch with the oberxiao, while Reaver loaded the passengers into the lift, and Mayin talked to her niece as she put on her abseiling harness. She was adjusting straps as she talked to the child but tried to keep her eyes on the girl's face. "Neoma, I can't come in the lift with you because I have to make sure that the bad guys don't press the buttons to bring it back up to the top. You understand that, don't you? It's the best way I can keep you safe."

Neoma nodded. "Yes, Aunty Mayin." She sounded and looked scared, but she was a sensible girl in a dangerous situation - scared was a sensible reaction.

"Good." Mayin nodded back in response. "Now, I'm going to ask one of the most responsible people going in the lift to take care of you. Wraith is going to be busy making sure that you're all safe when you get to the ground, but I do know one other adult who's going with you. Come with me, please." She stood, took Neoma by the hand, and led her over to the head of the former enemy's delegation. "Excuse me, sir?" Half the official party for the ceremony turned to look at her. "Admiral-General Ambassador Perger Kuh-zhou, sir? We were introduced in a restaurant several weeks ago. You may remember me."

"Of course. Jan-li's luck witch, the Shadow in the Dark Thale May-in, known as Lang Mugou." He smiled, and turned to Neoma, "However, I do not know this young lady."

"Sir, this is my niece, Neoma. Would you please take care of her until I can reclaim her when everyone's safely at the bottom? If, by any chance, I can't rejoin you then, could you please see her safely home to her parents, my oldest brother and his wife?" Mayin added, "On the understanding that if anything untoward happens to her and you did not do everything within your power and abilities to prevent it, I will find a way back from beyond the grave to 'discuss' the matter."

"Of course." He smiled again. "To everything, including your rider. I will escort and care for your niece, you will do your utmost to protect all of us. Go see to your taskings, Lang Mugou, with it clear in your mind that this is taken care of."

Taking her dismissal, Mayin went and relieved the oberxiao so he could put on his own harness. When Jan-li was done he replaced Wraith, who went to take up position in the lift.

"We've got them keeping their heads down still," she told Jan-li as he settled into position. She'd had time to look and had started picking out a few of the interlopers who weren't quite as well hidden as they probably thought. Useful as that was, she couldn't account for all of them.

"They're getting their toy drone to watch us." He was amused. "I've degraded their picture quality, cut their sound channel, and I'm considering adding some of the local entertainment broadcasts to the drone's transmissions just so they think that they've got an interference problem."

"So, they'll know when we send the lift down?" Mayin thought that would be likely to set off an attack. "This is going to turn into one of those writeups about who knew what about the other side's capability and when, isn't it? Because we think they don't know that we know they'll know. Not my favourite spiralling snug hole."

"You don't like my interference solution?" He paused. "Multiple human heat signatures, at zero, thirty five, ninety, one thirty five, and one seventy degrees,"

"You are an interference solution," she retorted. "Does the eye target, too?"

"Multiple designations, with identification matching and target priority setting, for in system and external weapons." He didn't sound smug, just factual.

"Do you want to handle general suppression fire while I deal with anyone who's too stupid to take a hint?" Mayin sighed. "We just have to hold them until the lift reaches the bottom and we go over the edge."

"If I get the chance, I'm going to take out their eye in the sky," replied Jan-li. "I agree that not killing all of them as and when the opportunity presents itself is wise under the circumstances, but it would be easier than this." He paused for a moment, pointed his right arm at the one thirty five degree bearing from them, and let his hand flop from the wrist. The energy weapon in the prosthetic fired at a planting of large bushes, and an instant later there was a scream. "Fairly sure I didn't hit either of the pair behind that planting, but their drone controller is definitely gone. Now they'll probably either scout or try to overrun us on the grounds that we're up to something."

"If they're going to finish this with any semblance of control then they have to regain control of the official party." Mayin gave him a sideways look. "If our plan works, then catching you is their last hope."

"I'm fairly sure their leader would like to execute me herself," he used the G149 he'd acquired to send a couple of suppressing shots at the ninety degree mark. "However, she seems to think that leaders don't do that task themselves." There was shouting from the region he'd fired his energy weapon at, and he added, "Now it begins."

The next few minutes were frenetic. Jan-li's cybernetic eye and implanted energy weapon were very useful in persuading the would-be assault force to keep their heads down behind solid things. If the interlopers had made a sustained, concerted charge, the two of them would have been overwhelmed. As it was, the initial charge got off to a ragged start and then petered out when they found themselves facing defensive fire that dropped a few of their number. Killing as few of them as possible still seemed the best policy, but some of them showed disturbingly low levels of self-preservation.

Fortunately, Reaver came for them before centre of mass targeting became the only option to save their position from being overrun. He crouched down on the other side of Jan-li from Mayin and said, "Lift's on the ground and locked off. There is no key anymore so it will take some effort to get it back." He took a shot at someone hiding behind a low decorative hedge. "Time for us to leave, my doves. We want to be about two body lengths on our current left from the lift."

This is now followed by On The Ground.

This entry was originally posted at https://rix-scaedu.dreamwidth.org/118024.html. There have been comment count unavailable comments there.

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I think that I've fixed the font issues this piece had when it first posted through from Dreamwidth but if it displays as odd sizes, etc, please let me know and I will try again.


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