Chapter Eight | Successful failure

Asmodeus had just landed atop the Sony Building when his com unit started to go off. Grabbing it quickly, he answered, "What?"

"Special Operative Asmodeus. What in God's name are you doing?"
"I'm rescuing a downed operative."
"You don't have authorization to leave your post."

"You know what – fuck you – you guys aren't in charge of me. If you want to leave Sera down there, that's your business. But if I can help her, I will."

With that, Asmo ended the conversation. The com unit started to ring again. This time, Asmodeus didn't answer.

"I'm coming for you, Sera," he muttered to no one.

He pulled out another device from his belt. The small device was just a screen with two buttons underneath. Hitting the first button, the screen flashed on. After hitting the second button, the device told him it was scanning for signals. A few seconds later, the device returned that Seraphim was indeed inside the building but couldn't provide an exact location other than "signal distorted – underground."

The screen then turned red and returned a second reading.

Alert…scan discovered a primary CEA target in area…
Touch screen to show details.

Asmodeus sighed. He didn't care about the CEA anymore. They can solve their own damn problems, he thought as he shut off the device. Climbing into the vent system, Asmodeus walked towards what looked like a way down. Flapping his wings, he descended as quickly as he could.

Landing at the bottom of the vent, Asmo looked for a way to see where he was. Seeing an opening, he turned his head as to see out. Looking for a sign to tell him what floor he was on, he found nothing and was about to find another descending point, when he heard someone speaking in English.

"Hey, Ed," someone said. "What's the news on the timeline situation?"
"Oh, Usaka-san just finished his second interrogation with the conscience. So we'll have some concrete data to work off of soon enough."

Conscience? Interrogation? Asmodeus thought. Crap. It doesn't sound like I have much time.

He backed away from the vent and ran to the next vent down.

A good thirty minutes later he couldn't find a way to go down any further. Turning back on the scanning device, Asmodeus discovered that Seraphim and himself were both underground. She was only a few dozen meters away. Getting out of the ventilation system, he found that the area was deserted.

Using the device, Asmodeus found the room where Sera was, surprisingly unlocked. He walked into the pure white room. Flying up to the table in the center of the room, Asmodeus was shocked to see Seraphim battered and bloody on it. He ran to her side.

Seraphim was breathing heavily, but still managed to smile when she saw Asmodeus.

"So," she said softly, "the CEA does give a damn…"
"Let's get you out of here," Asmodeus said. "Can you walk?"
"No…the bastards paralyzed me."

Asmodeus didn't say another word, but picked up Seraphim with surprising strength and managed to flutter down with her. He turned on his cloaking device and started to move towards the door.

It was a slow and belabored process, but eventually he found a place to hide while the drugs wore off. Surprisingly, only twenty minutes had passed when Sera started to move.

"Okay, let's get the fuck out of here," she said as she gingerly stood up. "I can't fly, as you can probably tell."

The two agents moved towards the hallway and eventually found the elevator.

"Why are they making this so easy?" Sera asked. "Shouldn't they care that I'm out of their custody?"
"Yeah…this makes no sense," Asmo admitted as he flew up to take the elevator to the rooftop.

The elevator rose to the top of the building with no interruptions. Getting out at the top, Asmodeus was shocked once again to see no one making a move to stop their escape. Nevertheless, he pulled out his radio and handed it to Sera.

"They're pissed at me," he said as way of explanation.

Sera took the com unit and made the call.
"This is Agent Seraphim. Immediate evacuation requested."
"Seraphim?" the incredulous voice on the other side asked.
"Yes, it's me. Now get us out of here."
"Rodger, ma'am; EVAC team will be there in twenty seconds."

Surely enough, an EVAC craft landed nearby twenty seconds later. The side of the craft folded out and a couple agents ran out, escorting Sera and Asmodeus off the building.

Taking off, the pilot turned around and informed the two passengers that they weren't going right back to Piro and Largo.

"We're taking you two to HQ. We have a bit of a more pressing situation at the moment."

Sera nodded, feeling weak. Asmodeus figured he was in trouble, but that didn't stop him from pointing out the two fighter jets heading towards the EVAC craft.

"Took them long enough," he said. "It looks like Sony doesn't want us to go just yet."

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