Paris, 1315 hours. Skyler walked into the hotel lobby dragging his suitcase behind him.

The clacking they always made as they rolled across tiled floors always annoyed him, and he was silently grateful to the hotel for their use of marble tiling without gaps. He was actually quite pleased with the hotel in general, it was located in uptown Paris after all, and Skyler found the subdued but warm décor to be very pleasant to behold. The white marble floor and columns complimented the dark brown wood of the furnishings and trimmings very well, and the gold accents finished it all and provided a very nice touch he thought. He didn't look so bad himself, the Lykopex was dressed in black formal attire with a white shirt and no tie, and he kept his tail professionally still with just a bit of a wag as he walked. He was here as an executive of Aperion, the military industrial research and development company, and intended to look the part. This might be the nicest place I've stayed in all of my trips here, He thought to himself as he walked up to the reception desk. The well groomed black panther behind it greeted him courteously, in French, Skyler presented his passport and reservation, and with practiced speed and professional lack of discourse, the receptionist handed him his keys and bid him have a pleasant stay. Skyler rolled his suitcase over to the elevators on the left side of the lobby, pressed the up button, and waited. In his mind, Skyler was running over the actual reason he was here. It was a business trip, technically, but while he was an executive for Aperion, he was actually in Paris on Organization business. Lambda Information Services had a main branch in Paris, and they had been contracting with a client who apparently knew something about the Organization, and had hired the services of Lambda to investigate further. Either through cleverness, caution, or just blind luck, the client had chosen to interact with a company that had, until now, been of little interest to the Organization, so the SIGINT sector did not have any eyes in their system. So off went Skyler to put some eyes in place, find out who the client was, how much Lambda knew, and to erase or dead-end anything that could be problematic. As the elevator door opened, Skyler breathed in deep the flowery scent that flowed in, and found himself greeted warmly by soothingly reddish brown carpets and creamy white walls lit by brass fixtures and decided he was very content with it all as he strolled down the hall and counted off the room numbers to his suite. When he reached 402, he slid the key into the lock, turned it with a soft click, and went inside. He sighed happily and smiled a bit as he got his look at it. The room was colored the

same way as the hallway outside, which pleased Skyler greatly, was comfortably furnished with mahogany chairs, a table, and a couch. In the joining room to his right was a bedroom, and he wheeled his suitcase into it and laid it down next to the ornately carved dresser there. Before he did anything else, he sank into one of the plush chairs and leaned back, totally relaxed. I'm in heaven, he thought to himself as he sat there, and he only got up when he felt himself starting to doze off. Skyler stood back up and, after locking the door to his room, strode back into the bedroom and unzipped his suitcase. He took out the change of formals he had brought, and hung them up carefully in the closet beside the bed. Greeting him in the suitcase was his HK MP7, magazines, suppressor, his tactical equipment and clothes, and his Gerber Mk I. He lifted the MP7 out and checked it inside and out to make sure it was still clean from before the flight. It was, so he slid a mag in, flicked the safety on, and stowed it away in the top drawer of the dresser, along with the rest of his mags and the suppressor, and all of his communications equipment. He lifted out his folded tactical pants and shirt, and put them in the second drawer, then took out his LBE vest and admired it for a few minutes. It was one of Aperion's products, made especially for Organization operatives. It was made from a mesh weave that was very elastic, capable of bending and twisting as much as he could, but that would not lose any strength no matter what position it was in. There were twelve small pouches across the front and lower chest for MP7 mags, each fastened by a magnetic clasp, designed to be silent when opened and closed, but strong enough to not come undone when the wearer rolled around and put it through acrobatics. On the back were several pouches in which Skyler kept his PDA, lockpicking kit, an empty 1TB HDD, and his cell phone. These were closed with small but sturdy zippers, and padded with a few millimeters of neoprene. The material, despite being only a few millimeters thick, provided extremely sturdy padding which could protect the delicate things Skyler kept in those pouches no matter how careless he was with his movements. It was fastened in the front with a center zipper, made of polycarbonate; as strong as titanium, and as silent as a tomb. This was supported with three ultra-slim clips made of the same material. by The thing he liked most about the vest was how incredibly low profile it was. The elastic mesh fit snugly around his slim frame, and when he wore his jacket over it, which wasn't loose, the vest was completely hidden beneath it. Skyler placed it neatly in the drawer and shut them all. With his things stored away, Skyler turned his attention elsewhere, and went out for the afternoon. He hadn't eaten since the flight left that morning, not counting a pack of peanuts on the plane, so the first thing he did was find a well to do cafe overlooking the Seine, and indulge himself in the exquisite cuisine. He spent the next few hours wandering about the city. Paris never got old, and the city

of love felt perfect for him. He felt entranced by that romantic feeling in the air, the wonderful sights that are all most pleasing to the eye, and the sounds that softly graced his sensitive black ears. He had the money to enjoy the high life, and he could think of few places he'd rather do it than here. This is so much better than the Grey Fox. I have more money than I've ever had before, I'm being paid a fortune every year, and this is what I get to do. He thought smiling as he sat under a tree. Skyler loved the organization. He found the high class, low profile life to be perfect. Low profile when I'm not roaring around in my Lamborghini. He thought with a soft chuckle. The seemingly unlimited resources and funds of the Organization made him love it all the more. The training he particularly liked. The Organization had taken him to a school for operatives that combined the physicality of Soviet era Spetsnaz and British SAS with the incredibly clever and sneaky tradecraft of the CIA's Special Activities Division, to create one of the most comprehensive and excellent training programs Skyler had ever heard of, even after having been through Grey Fox. The supply sector astonished him as much as the training had impressed him. They seemed to be able to get anything he wanted; anything at all. Any weapon he could think of, even custom work could be done. His company, Aperion was a part of the supply sector actually; focusing on research and development of new technologies. They already had the technical specs and the means to make a system similar to Hyperstealth's new stealth camouflage system, but that was being kept nicely under wraps due to its still prototype nature. The IT division thoroughly impressed him with how much they seemed to know about everything. They knew governments down to the secretary in charge of filing cabinets, and could look up anything they didn't know right away. But then came an op like this one, and reminded Skyler that the Organization wasn't an omniscient and all knowing force that had eyes everywhere. There were still quite a few things they didn't know, and it was ultimately up to the operatives to see that they found out. Skyler loved every minute of working for the Organization. He loved the high life naturally, but furthering its goal of knowing what people in power were up to and making sure no one was going to destroy anyone else, and the need to protect the system that was so elaborate and expansive balanced out the ease with responsibility which he could agree with heartily. As the sun set, Skyler tore himself away from the wash of color that streaked the sky

and clouds, and walked back to his hotel at a nice but not quite brisk pace.

2030 hours Once he was back in his room, Skyler took off his formal wear and donned his tactical trousers and jacket. They were made of the same material as his vest, only these were twill woven instead of spun into a mesh. They still possessed the durable elasticity like the vest however. They were black as jet, and while not tight fitting, they were snug enough to eliminate bulk; their cut patterned after Roggenwolf's fatigues. Having clad himself for combat thus, Skyler opened up his laptop and spent the next two hours poring over floor-plans and virtual models of the Lambda office that the IT sector had acquired from the Paris building authority. He also downloaded both of these to his PDA, just in case. Skyler glanced down at his watch and sighed, his ears folding down a tiny bit with it. He still had one hour before 2230, the time he'd set as mission go. He went back to the dresser and disassembled his MP7 and cleaned it inside and out one more time, finishing with some dry lubricant to keep it silent and working perfectly. He screwed the suppressor onto the threaded barrel, and stuffed it into the black duffel bag he always brought along on ops for carrying things he didn't want others to see. He donned the vest he loved so much, filled the pouches with mags and the rest of his things, strapped his Gerber Mk I onto the right side, just under his arm, then put his black athletic jacket on over top of it, completely obscuring it from sight. He swung the back duffel onto his right shoulder and across his back, flicked his tail when he was sure all was ready, and left his room for the lobby. The lobby was empty at this time of night, save for a single staffer who worked the late night shift, so his totally black outfit drew no attention as he passed out of the hotel and into the street. He walked into the car park on the block next to his hotel, and met up with one of the Organization's Paris local operatives. He was a very dull looking ferret standing next to a much better looking VW Scirocco. The ferret looked Skyler over with a wily grin, obviously admiring his slim and curvy body. “Are you going to stand there and stare at me, or are you going to drive to the site?” Skyler asked, impatient with the ferret's distraction from the point of his being here. “Alright, alright. Geez. Can't a ferret get a look at a girl anymore?” The ferret fended. “I'm a guy, thanks.” Skyler said bluntly, half glaring at the pesky ferret.

The ferret's eyes got really wide for a moment before he turned away without a word and got into the driver's seat of the Scirocco and motioned for Skyler to do get in on the passenger side. Skyler did, dropping his duffel bag into his lap as he sat down, careful to pull his tail out from under him as he did. The ferret drove out of the car park and on toward the business sector in silence for a few minutes, before speaking again. “Sorry, it's just, you look like a girl.” He said as politely as he could. “I get that a lot.” Skyler replied with a bit of annoyance still in his voice, “Now if it isn't too much to ask, please stop commenting on my body. I get that people like it, but I don't want to hear it constantly.” “Right. Sorry.” The ferret drove on for a half hour or so until they were deep in the heart of Paris's business sector, dwarfed by the immense office buildings. The ferret had the Lambda office marked on his satnav, but his destination was actually a street a block or so away from it, where he would drop off Skyler who would then proceed on foot when the ferret was ready for his part. “You know the callsigns?” Skyler asked as the ferret pulled to a stop. “Ground to Sky, yes I do.” The ferret replied with a bit of sarcastic flourish. “Not that I like them, but at least I didn't come up with them.” He added. Skyler smirked, actually amused by the ferret's dig at the callsigns. He opened his door, slung his duffel over his shoulder again, and set off at a casual pace toward the Lambda office. The ferret turned off the car and switched seats into the back, where he booted up his laptop and logged into the network, synchronizing with Skyler's PDA as he walked. He had the virtual model of the building loaded and could see Skyler's position relative to it and could monitor his progress once he was inside. More importantly, he could use Skyler's PDA as a conduit to integrate his sky program into the Lambda database, which would prevent needing to do this all over again in the future. Skyler walked into view of the office and went around it once to get an idea of which entrance would be best. He would have liked the irony of just going in the front door, but it wouldn't get him where he wanted to go as fast, and it was also much better monitored than the service door behind the building. He gently dropped his duffel bag onto the sidewalk next to the door and took out his MP7, chambering a round quietly before flicking the safety back on. He then took out and put on his earpiece that hooked wirelessly into his PDA and

fastened the collar like neck microphone just tightly enough to keep it still as he moved. He tapped his earpiece twice to let the ferret know he was kitted up. “Liking the collar pretty?” The ferret's sarcastic voice sounded clear as crystal in Skyler's ear. “Shove it,” Skyler retorted as he took off his jacket and stuffed it into the duffel. “You are no fun at all,” the ferret replied with a touch of disgust. Then he got down to business. “Alright Sky, through that door is an electrical room, which will get you into the main building. I'll walk you to the server room as you go.” “Got it.” Skyler confirmed. The door was of course locked, but Skyler had made an art of lockpicking, and not even a modern lock could keep him out for long if he wanted in. The door opened to his careful touch after only a few minutes, and he slipped inside. The room was pitch dark, but strangely he could hear his way through it. His ears were so sensitive, taking after his fox half, that he could tell where objects where by listening to the air flow around them. No nightvision goggles for this Lykopex, he saw with his ears. Well, his right ear anyway. The ferret was busy talking him through the next hall way in his left ear. “Twelve meters to your right then go right for another ten. Door on the left.” he said, taking on professional brevity and lack of emotion in speech. Skyler didn't say anything in return, but tapped the earpiece once to confirm the instruction without needing to break the silence in the hall. He crept down the hall, his light shoes making no sound whatsoever on the carpeting, turned right as it intersected another, and found the door the ferret had been referring to and, finding it unlocked, pushed it open. It was the security office, which was lit, and inhabited by a single night guard who was monitoring the security camera feeds. The guard was of course exceedingly bored by the uneventful (he thought) night, and had dosed off; apparently some time ago by the sound of his snoring. Skyler snorted softly at this incompetence, despite its working in his favor, and quietly moved the cameras away from the area he would be in, turning them to stare at blank wall space. “Security is blind. Moving on server room,” He reported in a whisper, his throat mic picking it up clear as day. “Third hall to your left, twenty meters down, glass door to the right.” The ferret advised, watching from his laptop as the small triangle indicating Skyler's location moved through the

building model in his screen. Skyler walked along the wall crouched over, with his MP7 at low ready ahead in case anything sprung into view unexpectedly. The halls were deserted, which was to be expected, but he still thought was careless, and he encountered no one at all as he approached the glass door to the server room. It was locked with a number pad, and Skyler winced quietly. “It has a key pad lock, can you crack it?” he asked quietly. “I'm not in Sky, if I was then you wouldn't need to be there.” The ferret responded. Skyler glowered a bit, frustrated, then backtracked to the security office and looked around for something that could clue him in. The computers were covered in camera feeds and didn't provide anything helpful, but like any good lazy guard, they'd written down the passcodes to the different rooms on a slip of paper, then tacked it to the wall right above the monitor. Skyler smiled a bit at the innocent act that was about to sabotage their database security, then memorized the code to the server room, went back, and tapped it in. The server room was unlit, but the blinking lights of the hubs and servers themselves provided enough that he could see faintly. He circled the perimeter of the room and found the computer that tied into it all so the office's techies could run diagnostics and the like. Skyler took his PDA out of its pouch and plugged it into one of the USB ports on the side of this computer. “We're connected ground, your turn” He said softly. The ferret lost no time in switching over to his infiltration program, which used Skyler's PDA as an access point to embed itself in Lambda's system. He got into the root directory and latched his sky program onto several of the integral boot files, so they would constantly run and be accessible, and would not be touched by any security sweeps that might be run. Once he was established and the program was planted, he started pocking around for information regarding the Organization and Lambda's client. He found both within fifteen minutes or so, and downloaded them onto Skyler's PDA's internal memory. “Got it Sky. We're done here, let's go.” He announced triumphantly. “Took a long time, I hope we got everything.” Skyler whispered as he unplugged the PDA and slid it back into its pouch and started off back to the electrical room. “We got it; and I deleted their copies when I finished, so they won't be bothering us for a while.” The ferret responded with a touch of accomplishment. “Found their client's name too. You can advise higher up about that when you get back to your room.”

Skyler crept back out of the office as silently as he'd came in, and locked the service door behind him. He put his Jacket back on over his vest, stuffed his MP7 and his comms equipment back into his duffel bag, and walked back to the car. The ferret had also packed up by the time Skyler got back, and as soon as Skyler was inside he drove off back to the hotel.

The trip went silently, the ferret taking a leisurely speed on the return trip. He let Skyler out right in front of the hotel and drove back to his safehouse. By now it was 0145, but Skyler wasn't about to sleep just yet. He went back up to his room, the lobby and halls just as quiet as they had been when he'd left, and logged back into the network on his laptop, and started looking over the information on his PDA. He read over it slowly, not wanting to miss anything, but it was very dull and barely worth reading. Lambda hadn't actually found anything that was actually problematic, just a few rumors of the Organization's existence and their setup. Lambda itself had probably dismissed most of it as some crazy conspiracy theory judging by the way their reports were written. Skyler was much more interested in the information regarding the client. Lambda may have blown his ideas about the Organization off as baseless fiction, but the Organization itself wasn't about to, and they wanted this tied off neat. The Lambda records showed that the client was living in Germany, somewhere in Munich to be exact, and a quick query to the Organization's finding sector soon had a name based on who had contacted that office from Munich in the last month. He sent the client's name, location, and everything else he had to the Organization's coordinator who was in charge of this op, and made his recommendation.
Access: 195275894 Sign: Sky Director, the client who contracted Lambda to investigate us resides in Munich, Germany. His location and all available details have been attached to this communication. It is advisable that he be silenced, lest he become a larger nuisance in the future and potentially compromise us. Operative recommends employing the local underground affiliated with us to accomplish this in an untraceable manner.

-Sky 195275894

After sending the message to his coordinator, Skyler's part was finished and he took

off his vest and shirt, and collapsed onto the bed, falling asleep almost instantly.

0804 Skyler was woken by the beeping of his PDA, and rolled over to check it where it lay on his side table. It showed a single new message, which he groggily opened and read.

Access: 867392756 Sign: Director We got him. -Director 867392756

Skyler turned off his PDA and rolled back over to sleep again.

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