• A cold, harsh air filled the military compound of Santa Agua, Mexico City while the light of the full moon hung in the sky, casting a faint glow over the buildings while the street lights cast an eerie orange glow into the alleyways and the barracks. There were only two ways into the compound; first was through the front service gates that were heavily guarded by both the soldiers of the Russian Renegade Mechanised Army, and the bloodthirsty Desert Raiders; who had been called away from the Sahara Deserts by Victor Koidra to assist with the manufacture of a new weapon. The order caused a great deal of unrest between the two factions; for the Renegades; this meant that they had to be near the Desert Raiders, who favoured close combat over long range superiority. The Desert Raiders were at unrest because they were away from the harsh winds and humid temperatures that they were used to. Both found it difficult to work with one another but managed to work it out thanks to the negotiations between the commanders.
    The second way of getting in was through a series of underground tunnels that lead from outside the complex and into a small supply shed that was located at the south wall. It was a quietly guarded area; a small amount of soldiers patrolled the area and those that did were close to falling asleep or even drunk. Within the pitch black tunnels; stalked a mysterious figure carrying a mixture of weapons; ranging from an assault rifle to a sniper rifle. In the small amount of light that hung from the ceiling of the tunnel; you could see the black body armour that covered the figure. The muscular body shape moved with ease as the trooper walked forward towards a ladder that led to the ground level. He stopped to look back around him and to check that he wasn’t being followed. Turning back to the ladder; he slung the assault rifle on his shoulder and jumped back up onto the ladder and swiftly, but silently jumped from step to step, reaching the top of the ladder; the trooper jumped onto the cold ground and rushed towards the door but stopping towards the covered side. His view was blocked by the night so he held up two fingers to his helmet, switching the view from normal vision, to night vision and finally to thermal vision. He looked around the area; three guards stood at alert, while two more were sat up against the wall; sleeping to troopers guessing. With this in mind; he needed a way of getting rid of all three soldiers at once but with his assault rifle; his shots could alert the other soldiers to his presence and jeopardise the mission. He had made up his mind; by using the sniper rifle to the right effect; he could take down all three of them without breaking a sweat. Removing his sniper rifle; the trooper quietly flicked the safety off and looked through the scope. He quietly sat there for a couple of minutes; watching the movements of all three soldiers and waiting for the time to be right. One of the soldiers stepped to the right, inline with the other two and that was the right time to strike. The trooper pulled the trigger and one shot flew towards them, and in a split second; all three of them fell to the ground without a single noise being made. The two soldiers sat against the wall only moved to make themselves more comfortable as they failed to notice their comrades drop dead. Sitting against the wall; the trooper looked up at the ceiling while letting the cooling air pass by him. Before continuing; a small beeping noise came from inside his helmet, so he pressed his left hand against his helmet and watched through the visor as a teenage girl in front of a blue backdrop appeared in a small screen. She had a slender physique and fair skin, crystal blue eyes and black hair with blonde streaks. The only clothing that could be seen was the curved neck line of a black t shirt.
    “What’s up Kari?” the trooper asked with a quiet voice, in an attempt to not allow anyone to know he was there.
    “I’ve been asked to give you some mission information” Kari continued as she reached over for something outside the camera’s vision. “Here we are; we’ve found out what the vampires are making in the military complex Tai. It seems they like to play with big missiles and their creating tank units to launch the missiles” Kari finished as a set of data files appeared on Tai’s visor; he read through each page and every word to get any idea of what was going on. “Well at least we know what’s happening, all I need to figure out is how many soldiers I have to kill”
    “Fifty two, they’ve all been spread around the compound and some are in groups so be careful Tai”
    “Where is the nearest group and how many are there?” Tai asked as he watched Kari type it in. “I’ve uploaded the information into your visor. It should be coming through now” Kari replied as Tai’s visor changed from the reports to a map of the compound; showing red diamonds which left Tai stunned and confused with the map. “Care to take me through this Kari?”
    “Of course; the map is using a GPS system and all buildings have been marked out with dark green lines. There are two different coloured diamonds; the one green diamond should be obvious in the fact that it represents you”
    “Alright I think I get it now; the red diamonds represent the enemy” Tai finished the explanation as he gripped his sniper rifle and jumped back onto his feet. “If you want to access the map just press the button in front of your chin under the helmet and everything will be fine”
    “Thanks Kari. I’ll speak to you later” Tai finished as he prepared to turn the screen off. “Come back alive Tai. Remember that we’ve got a cruise to go on in a couple of day’s time”
    “I know” Tai finished and the screen switched off, leaving Tai to carry on with his mission. Getting up from the ground; Tai risked a look out into the open ground and saw the two guards still sleeping and decided to kill them quickly, but with a bit of a bang. Tai unclipped two grenades from his back pocket and pushed the pins out of both of them. Chucking them against the wall; a loud explosion rang through the compound and lit up the night sky with a glow of orange fire and left a residual glow of orange, giving Tai the perfect chance to take down the other soldiers that flock to the area with swift rounds from his machine gun. He sat waiting patiently for soldiers to run out into the compound and looked into the moonlight. Looking towards the east; Tai saw three soldiers run towards the explosion but that was it. This was weird; after a big explosion; Tai would have thought that the commanders would have sent out more than just three. What was going on here? Were they keeping the security so tight that they would only send three troops at a time? No matter what the reason was though; Tai jumped from the building and opened fire on the soldiers; his machine gun launching bursts of three bullets at a time and taking down all three of the soldiers; each dying in a different way. Tai ran towards the set of bushes and observed the surrounding area; checking for any soldiers that might take him by surprise but found no sign of the enemy, allowing Tai to move on with his objective.

    The central warehouse of the military complex was buzzing with activity as the Renegades were working hard on building new tanks for both the Renegade army, and the grand army of Valcyria. Overseeing the construction was none other than Victor Koidra, who had demanded a way of launching the missiles from far away. His blank eyes looked on at the construction and he caught a glimpse of three of his soldiers step forward with a nervous twinge in their steps along the gantry.
    “Speak” Koidra demanded as they cowered back, unable to talk without the risk of being killed in the process. There fear and cowardly acts got on Koidra’s nerves as his clawed hand gripped the hilt of his katana and gradually pulled it from the sheath, making the soldiers cower in more fear.
    “We have reports of what looks to be a GPDN command truck three miles south of the complex” one of the soldiers replied with a stutter in his voice, trying to choose the words that would not get him killed. Koidra remained silent for a while. He knew that the truck would belong to the GPDN and therefore mean that someone is trying to destroy the complex like so many others. If that was the case then that would mean it could be any agent that has caused trouble in the past. No matter whom it was; Koidra would have to deal with it in the same way as in the past. Then he thought; why create a mess; we could easily make the agent reveal himself from within the complex and save the army the trouble. So now all he had to do was put together a party to take down the command truck, which was easy to accomplish, especially as the GPDN agent would probably give himself up to save the captured agents. “Organise a unit of troops and meet me outside the front gates”
    “Yes my lord” the soldiers said in unison and stepped back, turning away from their master and walking away along the gantry. This was turning out to be an interesting night; not only would the tanks be completed but Koidra would have the chance to end the lives of GPDN agents. Looking back to the past; it has been almost a year since Koidra was unleashed from his frozen prison and so far his plans have been going exactly how he had wanted them to go. The GPDN thinks that they have delayed Koidra but they haven’t even stopped him from making new soldiers. With every victory the GPDN claim; Koidra has made a new discovery that will allow him to strike back at the world. Koidra took a step back from the steel railings and walked along towards the exit of the warehouse, spreading his wings out while looking towards the exit and the soldiers that had started to gather, ready to take down the GPDN command truck.

    Outside the complex; a black truck was parked under a series of rock formations, giving it cover from any vampire attack flying over, but unfortunately parking under a rock formation made it vulnerable to landslides and rockslides. Stepping out of the van; Kari did her hoody up tighter as she felt the cold air around her. It was strange; Kari always thought that Mexico had a warm climate even during the night but it was a chilly night and it was during July, a time when the temperature should be at its peaks in Mexico. Kari rested up against the truck, holding a communications link in her hand and attaching a gun holster onto her waist. She looked into the stars and watched as the dark blue night reflected the light from the moon. She couldn’t wait for the coming weekend; the cruise had finally arrived and after the amount of events that has happened since she joined the GPDN; Kari welcomed the holiday with open arms. She had spent the past couple of weeks shopping with Tai and Sora, looking for new clothes to wear and she had finally packed both two suitcases she is taking. Kari had realised something; she was different and different to how she used to be but she didn’t turn out to be the complete opposite. She knew that she was no longer a tomboy, but she still had the same traits from before she met Tai. She still listened to a more alternative form of music ranging from rock to metal, she still enjoyed the thrill of a motocross race and she enjoyed just sitting back with an X box controller in her hand and playing first person shooting games. Attaching the communications link to the back of her head, wrapping it around on her ear; Kari sat down on the dirt and looked into the sky; waiting for Tai to respond to her call. “Hey Kari, what’s up?” Tai started as he appeared on the visor. Tai looked to be crouched down; holding his sniper rifle while sitting up against a wall to one of the buildings. “Just wondering how the mission is going. I’ve let Data take over at the PC and when I let him check; you were proceeding towards a group of soldiers”
    “It’s going well, I’ve taken down the soldiers and I’m just about to proceed towards the warehouse. I have to hand to it Boom and the other scientists with the GPDN; this new battle gear is incredible” Tai commented as Kari could hear him remove an ammo cartridge and replace it with a fully loaded cartridge. “I wonder if you could upload MP3’s into the helmet speakers” Tai enquired as Kari started to giggle. “You’ll have to ask. They did it for the data screens so I guess they could do it for battle gear” Kari suggested as she started to yawn. “You should get some rest”
    “I’ll be fine Tai; I should have gotten more sleep last night rather than just continue packing for the cruise” Kari finished as she heard the sound of boots walking through the command truck.
    “Kari! We’ve got a problem!” Data shouted out as he looked towards the sky. “I have to go Tai. I’ll speak to when this is over”
    “Speak to you then” Tai finished and the communication went dead as Kari removed the device and ran towards the truck.

    “What’s wrong Data?” Kari asked as she climbed up through the door. “Take this” Data handed her a black machine gun with a grenade launcher attachment and Kari immediately knew what was going on. The vampires had somehow managed to find out where the truck was, which meant they also knew there was an agent within the compound. What worried Kari most was the fact that they risk jeopardising the mission if her and Data are captured and Tai was forced to reveal himself just because Koidra would say that no one would be harmed, which everyone in the GPDN knew was the biggest lie Koidra ever made. Kari jumped back out of the truck and looked towards the nearest rock formations and the group of silhouettes that charged towards them. Kari wasn’t afraid; she had faced vampires before in the past and knew how to defeat them; the best way was with a well placed bullet to the forehead or a shot to the heart. Kari took aim and trained her site towards the nearest target and the sky was lit up like a small torch in a large forest as the screams of a dying vampire echoed through the lands. One by one Kari fired on the vampire soldiers and each one of them fell; ever since joining the GPDN her accuracy had improved while using a high powered weapon. Data quickly jumped out of the truck and joined Kari in shooting down the vampires. The night sky was lit with brief flashes of light coming from the machine guns they both used. In a matter of minutes the group had been reduced from three dozen to only four vampires that tried attacking. The four of them were shot down by Kari as she pulled her pistol from the holster and fired both weapons at the same time and releasing the empty ammo clips. That was it, the group had been killed and Data confirmed that when he checked the computer maps from inside the vans. Kari was relieved as the brief attack had ended, but she couldn’t help but shake the feeling it wasn’t over.
    “Stay on your guard Kari, Koidra’s soldiers are still out there” The voice of Rosa instructed Kari from her mind as she removed the ammo cartridge from her machine gun and replaced it with a fresh one. “He’ll attack in force now so I guess there’s no reason to take a break”
    “I’m afraid not Kari” Rosa finished as she looked towards the truck to watch Data jump onto the ground. He still carried his machine gun as they both knew that Koidra would return to try and take them, if not kill them. The only thing to decide was what to do next, they couldn’t risk and open battle with just the two of them armed with machine guns going up against a full squad of vampires during the night, it would be an act of suicide. “Well we need to keep our guard up for now on, and hope that Tai completes his mission” Data advised with a nervous voice. “What can we expect from our good friends the vampires?”
    “Well it’s likely that they’ll attack in force so that would be one thing to look out for” Data continued as he thought back to previous engagements with Koidra’s minions. “The other thing is…” before he could finish; vampires jumped from the dirt, each carrying tranquilizer guns and heavy weapons. Both Data and Kari fell to the ground as a round impacted with their necks and knocked them out, ready for the vampires to capture them. This was a new tactic for the vampire and it surprised Kari; as her last images were of the vampires coming towards them and binding their hands together. But the one thing that got Kari’s attention was the silhouette of a winged human walking towards them both, laughing with a deep tone.

    Back in the complex; Tai had just taken down another group of soldiers; which marked the end of the objective to take down the guards that patrolled the compound. All Tai needed to do now was to find a way into the warehouse and destroy the tanks and to stop Koidra from building anymore using the military complex. He knew little about what was going on here; the one piece of information that Tai had gain was the fact that a Mexican terrorist executed the American president in the same warehouse that Koidra was using to build the tanks. It was curious as to why Koidra would choose this particular location to make tanks. Maybe he liked the fact that someone important was murdered there. What ever the reason was Tai didn’t care; the only thing that mattered was achieving the mission objectives and stopping Koidra from destroying what Tai loves. It’s weird but out of the time Ta has been in the GPDN; he has only encountered Koidra once back in May while in Portsmouth. Tai expected their encounters to be more frequent. Either way Tai had to put his mind on his mission; destroying the tanks and getting out of the complex before he encounters more blood thirsty soldiers. “GPDN agent!” Koidra’s voice rang through the complex and caused Tai to stop and listen out for Koidra’s next announcement which could help him greatly. “We have the two accomplices that were in the van three miles south of the complex! If you want to see them alive then you shall come to the main warehouse! You have ten minutes or they both join my army!” Koidra finished leaving Tai stunned and shocked as he tried to figure out how Koidra knew about the truck. This caused new problems; Kari and Data were in danger, yet how come Tai didn’t foresee this? Every time something bad has happened Tai would always have a dream marking the event but there wasn’t any dream. There was no warning that this would happen. Tai stopped thinking about the past and started to rush towards the warehouse. Tai wondered if Koidra knows that it is him on the mission and that he was playing dumb to lure Tai into a trap. It wouldn’t be the first time Koidra has done something like that; Tai and Kari both read through past mission files to find out that many agents had lost their lives to Koidra after being led into a trap but with that knowledge in mind; Tai knew exactly how to avoid it.

    The central warehouse was lit up from both the outside and the inside. It was almost too easy getting in; there were no guards to stop Tai from breaking through the defences which meant that Tai could stop Koidra easier. Thinking about it though; this was how the other agents were killed so Tai had to exercise an extra level of cautiousness while trying to break. He sneaked over towards the door, checking all locations to see if anyone was coming for him but proceeded inside when he realised nothing was wrong.
    He looked along the gantry and drew his pistol, ready for anything that came towards him. Tai needed a strategy if he was to save Kari and Data in less than ten minutes but what to do, how could he complete his mission and save his friends at the same time. No matter what Tai would do, he couldn’t stop to think about it, not with lives on the line.

    Kari was still knocked out from the tranquilizers, unaware of what was going on around her as she lay on the floor with Koidra standing over her with a smirk on his face. He had finally found the one he was looking for; the vampire hunter with the spirit of his ex wife’s sister within her. It was a rare treat, he now knew who was trying to destroy the tanks and was looking forward to the reunion between the two of them. So what could happen? Another duel of swords? A verbal duel? Only Tai could decide that and he was running out of time. Koidra decided to play coy, pretending he didn’t know who the GPDN agent was. “GPDN agent! You have one minute remaining! Come out now” the clock was counting down to the reunion of them all. Koidra knew Tai’s bloodline and the blood on his father’s side was the type that would do anything to save another’s life, and that could be the same with his mother’s side. Koidra could remember the duel between him and Lance like it happened yesterday. Their final confrontation before Lance retired from the GPDN and yet Koidra was still displeased with what happened. Not just because Koidra lost the duel, but Lance was so inconsiderate to retire before they could have a rematch. “Ten seconds agent!” Koidra shouted out as he drew his katana and held it to Kari’s neck.
    “Don’t touch her!” Tai jumped from the railings with his sword held greatly. That was the plan he needed, having his sword concealed and transferred from the van through the miniature warp gate that was built into his armour was the best thing Tai could think of. As the two blades collided; the strain caused sparks to fly between the two of them as they started their duel. Tai kicked himself from the deadlock and jumped behind Kari who slowly started to come to as she observed and analyzed her surroundings. “Whats… What’s going on?” she muttered as she sat back on her knees. “Its o.k. Kari, I’m here”
    “Tai?” Kari breathed as she slowly looked up to the armoured figure. “Tai Strife? Well it is a pleasure to meet for a second time” Koidra’s sarcasm wasn’t hidden and Tai removed his helmet just to look into the soulless eyes of the vampire that had plagued the world for so long. “Cram it Koidra, you knew it was me” Tai thrust his sword down, smashing the chains that bound Kari’s hands together. “Now where’s Data?” Tai demanded that his friend be with them, he had an offer for Koidra and Tai wanted Data to be present when it was made. Another point Tai had read was how Koidra had broken a promise made when people were captured and that was one mistake Tai did not want to make, he didn’t want to join that long list of blunders that filled up tomes within the GPDN archive. Tai wanted to be remembered for something that was worth doing, an act of honour that would match the founding members of the GPDN. Koidra simply clicked his fingers and Data was shoved forward by two vampire soldiers that belonged to the Desert Raiders. As Data rushed over to them both; Tai turned him around and with a quick slash from his blade; the chains were broke and gave Data freedom to move his arms. “Now I have an offer for you Koidra. If you let all of us go, then we’ll let you continue building the tanks” Tai offered which caused unrest and came as a shock to everyone in the building. A GPDN agent that would risk the safety of so many just to save two people. Koidra was intrigued, that was the first kind of offer he had been made and Koidra was almost ready to accept it. Unlike the past; this was an agent that Koidra could grow to like, someone that would let the enemy escape and continue his plans for world domination. There was no question; an offer like this was too good to pass up. “You may go; the soldiers will not stop you” Koidra finished and Tai, Kari and Data backed away from Koidra. Hoping to leave the complex and get on with the cruise in a couple of days time. Both Data and Kari were confused with why Tai would let Koidra continue his plans. True Tai was saving their lives but by saving their lives; so many more would be killed instead. It wasn’t right.

    Walking out of the gates, Tai held out his data screen and started to access the menu features. Tai raised a particular interest when he found the long range sensors. Only he knew the plan for taking down Koidra, and from the past missions, it would be impressive. “You’re probably wondering what I was thinking back there” Tai started as he looked towards the military complex. “Well you would be right to be confused. I needed to get you two out of the building before I could destroy the tanks. Now that you two are safe, we can begin the celebrations” Tai pressed down on the centre button of his data screen, and the night sky was lit up with the spectacle of fireworks as the warehouse that was being used to create the tanks was destroyed in a bright multi coloured event. That was Tai’s plan all along, the one plan that would get him remembered for years to come. In the past it was Koidra that tricked GPDN agents, this time it was a GPDN agent tricking Koidra and it worked out for the best. The tanks had been destroyed, everyone was safe and all they could do now was to wait for the cruise to come so they could finally have the chance to relax.