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Paju hadn't changed much since Curtiss' last assignment. That mission, as well, had been a direct perogative from the Bureau Direktor.

As another sign of goodwill, the dignitaries of the Sinister Empire had opened up a direct channel for members of the Bureau to eradicate dissenting superhumans, opening up a permanent bridge between the Reich Eternal and its Asian neighbors.

Curtiss was the first company man to place his polished shoes upon the Paju tarmac, a day which had left his jet-black, well-tailored suit coated in dust and grime. By the time Curtiss had managed to leave later that week, 23 superhumans hung from the lamp posts and balconies of the Sinister Elite's domiciles. His suit, however, had remained unchanged.

Curtiss remembered that the filthy, sheenless view of dirt and blood upon his expensive shoes was oddly similar to the mess in Paju, the mess that was also on his gloved hands. The mess that would only keep getting messier.

The type of messy that no hand wash or disinfectant could clean.

Curtiss' mind shot back to the present with the distinct triple-beat tone of his personal communication device. He quickly unclipped it from his belt as he stepped from the vehicle dropping off his gear at the Paju safehouse. The communique emblazoned itself in bright green light on a nearby wall.

Von der Hande des Feldkommander Shultz:

Our mission parameters cannot be shared at this time, but we have encountered a small group of rebels who fit the description of a dossier sent to us prior to our current engagement. Please view the following footage.

This message's digital footprint will erase itself upon your closing of this message.


Curtiss wasted no time as he accessed the surveillance files. The screen presented a darkened setting, broken occasionally by the flash of gunfire and other equipment. He managed to catch a glimpse of several of the rebels as they made their escape from the Sturmtruppen squad. A brief second was just enough for Curtiss' active mind to do its work.

There she is, he thought, Mia Ko is far closer than even the Bureau had suspected.

Old memories of bodies swaying in the wind broke his concentration and Curtiss accidentally closed the communique, inadvertantly deleting the footage and information. He visibly shuddered.

Let's not make this any longer than it needs to be.

The money would be waiting for him when he brought her in. For a while, maybe he could forget the putrid waste that each of these missions left on his personal memories.

Curtiss refocused his mind, grabbed his bailout bag and got back into the vehicle. Utilizing his personal driving skill and knowledge of the backroads, Curtiss knew he could make it to the Haeju ruins in short order.

Time meant everything in these types of breaks.