Hot sun of Arabian Peninsula was starting o fall. Desert Jewel,
an abandoned resort hotel and perfect place for black-market aug
dealers, was covered in the sand, glowing and glittering in many
shades of gold, just like an amber in the middle of the sea of silver
skyscapers, wich was supposed to be before the aug incident in 2027.
It was unfinished. Scaffoldings were still all around the place,
making it look like it was abandoned some hours or even minutes ago.
Construction workers' stuff was laying near dead concrete walls. And
all was covered in warm, amber-colored sand.
His long, jet black talons were
tapping silently aganist stone floor as he walked around the room,
looking for a way to get higher. They were dangerus weapons, but the
deadliest wasn't touching the ground. Longer, sharper and more robust
claw was held up for keeping it sharp. It was like a dagger, capable
of slashing through enemys' throats, ripping of internal organs,
piercing tree bark and penetrating skulls. He kew it very well. And
he knew how to use it in best way. Since he became victim of this
damn experiment, he learned his new adventages and disadventages. And
still was augmented. Not as much as before, but enchancements like
CASIE, icarius landing system and hacking augs were still on their
right places. His limbs weren't metallic prosthetics like before. His
body was new. His body was new and he wasn't a human or Sarif-made
machine anymore. He was a bird. Ancient raptor resurrected by using
genetical technology advencements. Made from african grey parrot,
firecrest, common raven, wedge-tailed eagle and crocodile DNA.
Genetical hybrid created in similarity of Deinonychus
antirrhopus, small to medium
sized predator of early cretaceus North America. The animal that went
extinct millions of years even before mammals became bigger than
averange fox. Before ancient beast disappeared forever and turned
into enigmatic fossils hidden below the ground and forgotten for a
long time... But now they had a chance for reborn. The first living
and healthy cloned dinosaur was Archaeopteryx, hatched
from surrogate chicken's egg in 2023. After this, everything went
better than everyone expected. New, more unrelated to modern birds,
species were cloned in next years, Jurassic Park like facilities
appeared, housing lots of very different creatures, from small
tank-like Ankylosaurus to
He finally found a way to get up. There was a fallen scaffolding
leaning aganist the wall, so he could climb on it and go unseen above
Jinn's head. But there was another problem. There were two of them.
And they easily could see him. But hey! He still got his cloacing
system, so there was no need of killing anyone. For now. He walked as
fast and silent as he could, but talons were still tapping aganist
- You heard that? Someone is here.
-We must find him.
Shit. The battery was running out and they could alarm others at any
time. Before his cloac disappeared, he drew stun gun from his small
backpack and pointed at one of the Jinn. Man fell on the ground
unconscius, dropping his machine pistol. The second one heard the
sound of gun clapping on stone flooring and turned to see what
happened. Bird had a plan and everything was happening as perfectly
as he thought. Now he could get rid of him. When male below him
reached exact point, he jumped from beam right on man's head and
crushed him on the marble panels. Men were laying on the ground now,
so the bird felt a bit safer now. Fluffball searched their pockets,
looking for something useful, but he found only some money and
machine pistol ammo. He couldn't hold anything bigger than 10 mm
zenith pistol in his wings, so he left guns near their owners. Yeah,
wings. They were pretty useful in some situations, but sometimes he
wished he could get his arms again. At least they weren't classic
bird wings, but three fingered hands with wing attached to the second
Now he could get access to apartaments level. And there were many
Jinn, all of them armed and alert. He decided to get higher again, so
he climbed on unfinished, or partially fallen, terrace, where he
could watch men from above. Bird went full stealth, keeping head low
and carefully walking on sand that worked like silencer for talons.
The just couldn't spot him now, if they did, there will be no help
for him. They had guns, combat augmentations and many more, and he
had what? Only a stun gun, some non-combat augs and his own body. Of
course he had a dermal armor under feathers, but it wasn't making him
bulletproof, only less likely to being killed in one shot from
smaller and weaker firearm. And because of it he must be always on
high alert to dodge and hide somewhere or counterattack if necessary.
And here comes his reflex booster that allowed him to takedown more
foes in short time or to avoid projectiles and his own anatomy. He
didn't have any leg augmentations because they were powerful enough
to jump over three meters in air, run faster than olympic runners and
kick with enough force to break bones. And those talons, black, shiny
and always in best condition.
He went through apartaments level smoothly and unnoticed, just like
Miller wanted. His infolink popped up. It was Macready.
-Jensen, we're inside the atrium, taking up positions on the
tarraces. What's your twenty?
-Still moving- the fluffball said, moving fastly beetween covers.
-Well hurry the fuck up. Enemy helo is inbound and this sandstorm's
getting close. You get that comms booster disabled?
-Negative, didn't find it.
-Well you better hope Singh's cover stays intact. Otherwise, you'll
be answering to me.
Yeah, yeah, the same sentence every time “You better hope blah
blah blah, otherwise you'll be answering to me.”. Couldn't he
say something else, maybe something more like “intimidating”?
Hearing the same thing every time shit happens became a bit boring.
Raptor was a little bit scared the first few times, but later it
wasn't working. Maybe it was like this because Mac didn't really like
birds. And augs. And Jensen was both a bird and an aug. Actually,
they didn't like eachother, only tolerated, but not always. Sometimes
Duncan treated him just like stupid animal, like a feral creature
that nobody cared of. Those hostile relations beewen them often lead
to small arguments. Even when Fluffball was right, agent couldn't
just take it easy and agree. His hate for enchanced raptor took the
top over everything else. Despite this, Adam had to be obedient. If
not, he could lost his work in TF29.
The last thing separating him from the atrium were those tall,
metallic doors secured by a keypad. Hacking it without multitool was
a bit hard, but still possible with enough skill in using those damn
wings more like hands with small help of his snout. After dealing
with electronics, the door opened and revealed his goal. He broke the
keypad on the other side and closed passage for possible upcoming
-This is Jensen. Penthouse acces route secure. Jinn shouldn't be a
-Copy that- it was Miller.
-About fucking time. Enemy helo sighted- and this definitely was
Bird get closer to the barrier and watched what was happenig below,
partially hidden behind the wall. His infolink popped up again.
-Alright, strike force. Position and hold.
-Strike One, in position.
-Strike Two, all set.
-Strike Three. Yeah.
-Strike Four in position and holding, boss. Eyes up, safeties off,
-Yeah no shit, brown-nose.
-Watch your fucking mouth, Halliday.
-Both of you shut up. Five, in position.
-Everybody stay sharp- Miller said- Singh's got eyes on Sheppard.
Patching you in now.
-Target's in the A.O. Remember Singh's down there, so watch your
Two men met near the helo. On with black-market arms shipment, second
being undercover Interpol agent.
-You got balls Singh- Australian said- Executing a buy with a
sandstor on our ass?
-I cannot take credit for Mother Nature, Mr...?
-You can call me Sheppard.
-How biblical. Are these the weapons?
Dealer moved crate lid and showed fresh black-market augs to Singh.
-The augs. They're getting harder to come by. Guns are still on the
chopper. Show me the cash quick and we'll-
Suddenly, a gold-masked man appeared behind him and twisted his neck.
Then more of them popped up from nowhere and killed aug dealers.
Nobody knew who they were and why they were murdering everyone at
-The party's been crashed! Sheppard is dead!
-What?! By who?! What's going on down there?-Director asked
-Miller, this isn't the Jinn! Repeat! It's not the Jinn!
More gold-masks appeared and started shotting. There was no time to
waste, they must be stopped!
-They're after the weapons! Open fire, OPEN FIRE!-Singh yelled,
scared and hidden behind a box.
-Macready! They're making a grab for the chopper! You got a shot?
-Negative! Negative! We're under heavy fire down here! We can't let
that chopper take off, Jensen.
-I got it.
Raptor jumped on the barrier and dived down with his icarius landing
system. He couln't see much because of the sandstorm. Everything
within a few meters was brownish-orange and blurry. And the strong
wind slowed him down, so he was more vulrenable to gold-masks and
their guns. After fight with power of nature, he finally saw that
helo, but one of the murderers noticed him. Fluffball pulled out the
chopper battery, seconds before merc caught him. It was too late to
die killed by unknown attacker, he dodged swing of a knife and jumped
right on his face crushing him to the ground. But bird's claws
couldn't pierce through mask. Insted, killer's head was smashed with
a powerful kick.
-Miller. Chopper's been grounded. Repeat-
Next of them appeared behind an aug. But this one had a machine gun.
Before he could notice that, foe fell on the ground, killed with a
good shot in the head.
-You're welcome- director said, looking at surprised raptor.
They both turned to the glass wall, now broken by sudden multitude of
Serious shit was going to happen. Glass and metal beams landed on the
ground with a loud thump. Orange grains brutally get into the
atrium, pushing everything toward the walls, throwing lighter things
aganist them. The raw anger of nature. Nothing could resist the
pressure of the sandstorm.
-Hide somewhere! NOW!
Someone was yelling. But Jensen could barely hear it. He could hear
only blurred sounds of agents running, crates shuffling, all of this
disrupted by loud shwissh of wind. Brutal wind. Brutal wind and raw
anger of nature. He couldn't resist it. His light, birdy body was to
weak for dealing with such force. The force that thrown him aganist
the steel barrier. Amber noise filled his sight, blurring everything
around him. He felt weaker and dizzier in every second. Then someone
lifted him. And it was the last thing he could remember from this