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C2IP Update.2

The ground shook again, dislodging more rubble from the bombed-out buildings. Shadows swept across the ground from the light of the flares in the night sky, voices hollow and fuzzy with static calling out over malfunctioning sound-systems, repeating emergency protocol directions that were very 'too-little-too-late'. Mick strolled down the centre of the cracked and scorched street as if all the lights and noise were a massive party; this wasn't his first apocalypse. In a lot of ways he felt at home in disaster zones; they were somehow more honest. 

His contacts were less brazen, with good reason Mick figured, given that of the ever-increasing number of factions in what appeared to be a cold-war-turned-hot-turning-nova most likely had capture or kill orders out on them. They signalled to him with a pre-arranged series of flashlight blinks from the shadows of a ruined hotel lobby.

"Okay," Mick said, hunkered down behind the front desk. "First off, no I haven't gotten any leads on who the double-agent is. I don't doubt your intel, especially given the source, but there are so many variables in play right now...

"Second, Goner's rejoined Max, Frank and Angst, so they're active again as a cell. Plus they've gotten a lead on Mags - sounds like she's changed too.

"As for Suki, it looks like she's actually shifted along the Chronoplex - that's what we're calling it now, right? She seems to be in a much older version of herself. I know, it's not the first-time Suki's age has altered. No idea if or how she's going to intersect with the others.

"The Diner crew... Things are still different with them too... Like they're on a different frequency from the other Dragons? I dunno, I feel like something's brewing there.

"Max has got his spirit guides in play, the bird and the talking cat. Still nothing from Aqua. Oh, but get this - I found this weird urban legend about this strange warrior-monk type-guy who wanders the globe, actually walking, no planes or buses. He's this dirty bearded vagabond, stops briefly to debate about things like Confucianism or Norse Mythology. Sometimes does a bit of intervening on a street-level if there's some injustice happening, and ain't there always? There's versions of the tale where he seeks out a vision at holy places, the hidden Temple of the Sky on Everest, the sacred glass monolith at the centre of the Sahara Desert, the keystone of the Great Wall of China that contains the last essence of the demon Hrarchuta who sacrificed his immortality to save his love, the angelic Yuriti... It's great stuff; I wish I'd written it. But it's got to be our boy Akimoto, right?

"And lastly, just so I'm keeping track, so far there's the Chronoplex, the Paraplex, and the Ultraplex? Now, how about you share with me: do we know yet what exactly has kicked off this whole mess between the System and Counter-System?"

The contacts exchanged glances.

Suddenly a swarm of sirens began wailing outside and the thunder of helicopters erupted overhead. Mick sighed. "I get it, 'to be continued'."