DISCLAIMER: DC Comics is not owned by me. Any canon characters used in this story are the property of DC Comics. This story is mainly about original characters, though it occurs in the DC universe - specifically, within the universe established by DantesClover in Hidden Agenda (read it, y'all).

Author's Note: The characters Morana, Echo, Zero, Nano, Sta, Tic (pronounced "tech"), and StaTic (the fused form of Sta and Tic) are the propety of me, of course. As is their group, Covert Action Team Zeta (C.A.T.Z.). The characters Dr. Celia Williams and Carter Roulet are the property of DantesClover, and are used with his permission. If you want to know about those two characters, check out his stories Hidden Agenda and Against the World. You should also check out Bone, Luck, and X by heartofwind. Pretty good story. It's also set within the same universe as DantesClover's two Roulet stories.

C.A.T.Z.

True Agenda

Chapter 4 - Fallen Death

Morana prowled the night streets of Jump City, searching. She knew, in the back of her mind, that she should probably be getting some sleep, but she didn't feel at all tired. She actually felt energized, restless, eager. She hadn't felt like this for a long time - not since that day forty years ago when DeathTech tried to kill her, or three years ago when another group made the mistake of being present when they woke her up. She had tried to move past the killing, past the desire to spill blood, but had felt a little depressed and miserable during that entire time. She knew that she had mental issues, that she was more than likely an unstable psychotic killing machine, but trying to be something different just wasn't working out. I'm not a bad person, she thought. I am what I am, though. Spilling blood makes me . . . me. Makes me feel . . . whole. And now that she'd worked past the shock of finding someone in her own league, she found herself driven to find him again. She still intended to kill him, but it wasn't his death she was seeking anymore; it was the fight. So she'd actually gone back to the jet and snuck on board. Everyone was asleep, which was just stupid, she thought; someone should've been on watch in the cockpit, monitoring the displays. So she was able to sneak into the armory and remove all seven of her blades. Her arsenal was somewhat different than it had been a year ago; she had two kodachi blades in a dual sheath that rested just below her waist behind her, a katana and a wakizashi in specialized partial sheaths on her upper to mid back, a Gurkha kukri in a sheath on each thigh, and an Indian poinard in a sheath that was just to the left of her navel but canted slightly towards the right. Most would find it unwieldy to carry so many different blades, or even to carry that many sizable blades at all, but not her; she barely noticed their weight or the slight discomfort.

That had been a couple of hours ago; this time when heading to Jump City, Morana had taken a straight line, moving swiftly and silently. She'd been wandering the city's streets for an hour and a half now, hunting. Searching.

Carter Roulet stood on the third floor of the abandoned seven-story building, which was actually located towards the forest near Jump City rather than the harbor as the average person would have expected. He'd planted the various explosives he'd 'borrowed' and stolen all around the entire floor, following the maxim of 'P' for 'plenty.' Better too many, he thought, than just enough. Towards sunset of the next day (Or would it be sunset of today? he asked himself), he'd do something to draw the attention of whoever was after him and lure them here. Then he'd trigger the explosives and teleport out of the building. Perhaps that Morana girl would come, too, he thought. She was certainly something else. Makes me almost think about regretting that comment about her breasts. He shrugged. She was certainly attractive enough, in spite of that - or maybe because of it - but he never forgot that she had fought him to a standstill, even as he'd done the same to her. Their fighting styles were vastly different, though they both seemed to utilize elements of similar styles (he'd noticed that she used a variety of krav maga techniques) but in very different ways. His style combined offense and defense in such a way that there was no difference between the two; the sword and the shield were one in the same. Her style, on the other hand, was built solidly around attacks with little to no defense. That should have been a liability, but it wasn't. Fighting her had been like fighting the wind; he could feel her attacks, see the effects of her moves, but couldn't land a blow on her. And there was something else about her, something intangible that he couldn't place his finger on. Not too surprising, since he couldn't remember a lot anyway. As he injected himself with more liquid painkiller, he continued reflecting on Morana - which was surprising to him since he didn't do much reflecting. Roulet knew he was screwed up - he had Celia Williams to thank for that, too - but he thought that that girl might just be as screwed up as he was. She seemed both younger and older than he was, a conundrum he couldn't (and didn't want to) explain. And the way her had eyes had changed color towards the battle's end . . .

Roulet shook himself when he realized he'd been thinking about that for the past half hour. When she comes, I'll find out what she wants. Then I'll probably kill her.

When the rest of C.A.T.Z. awoke the next day, they found that not only had Morana not come back, but that her swords were gone - which actually contradicted that first statement. She'd been back, alright, but only to collect her weapons. This actually left Nano a little sad, which made Echo think that there might be something going on between the two of them. But she left that alone, trying to figure out a few things: how Morana had gotten onboard the jet (and back off) without leaving a trace (including setting off the security systems), where Carter Roulet was hiding, and what to do now that he knew someone was after him. Suspicious though her behavior was, Echo knew that Dr. Williams was right in that Zero needed to be set up somewhere as a sniper. She knew that the other teen was a crack shot with her sniper rifle (she had seen her actually shot the wings off of a fly at over a mile), but where to put her was the question.

"I'll post on the tallest building in the city," Zero said when Echo brought up the problem with the others.

"But what if we find Roulet at a location outside of your range?" Nano asked.

"I can hit anything and anyone at any place," the girl stated matter-of-factly. "Leave the details to me."

"Well, I guess that's settled," Echo said. "Now how do find the bastard?"

"I'm sure he'll let us know," Tic replied.

"What makes you think that?"

"He knows he's being pursued now; he'll let us find him," Zero explained. "It'll undoubtedly be a trap."

"Let's walk into it! Yeah!" Sta exclaimed, clapping her hands together gleefully.

"That's actually not a bad idea," Echo said, getting a shocked "What?!" from Nano. "We walk into his trap, and have Zero pop him before he triggers it. He won't stay dead, but hopefully he'll be dead long enough for us to get him back to the jet and locked up so tight that not even Houdini could break out."

"Which might not give us too much time to keep him," Tic replied depressedly.

Doctor Williams sat back in the seat in front of the comm panel, her face flat and expressionless. The entire jet was wired with hidden receivers that transmitted everything heard back to this particular communications panel. So she knew that the girls suspected her (she didn't know that Nano had hacked her files and they knew the truth, just that they were suspicious). She sighed, not out of sadness but out of the loss of a set of tools she'd hoped to use for a bit longer. Standing up, she stretched herself a little to work out some kinks, then left the room to head back to her office within the 'secret' Failsafe facility she was currently operating from (she'd left the C.A.T.Z. building after the girls had fallen asleep). This situation would have to be dealt with now, before she had another Roulet on her hands. Upon entering her office, she locked the door and turned on every single anti-monitoring device she'd installed in the room (paranoia was a wonderful thing). Once seated at her desk, she picked up the secure phone built into it and dialed a specific number.

"There is a situation that needs to be sanitized," she spoke without preamble.

"Yes, ma'am."

"Follow the frequency trace signal to the targets."

"Yes, ma'am."

"Fully sanitization protocols. No mistakes."

"Yes, ma'am."

"I want four clips sent."

"That's double the norm."

"Redundancy. I hate to repeat a task. Understood."

"Completely, ma'am."

"At once. Priority target is Morana."

"Dispatching teams now. ETA is after sunset, target time."

Roulet had thought hard about how he'd get the attention of whoever was after him, and discarded several ideas. He wanted it to be flashy, but not too obvious. After all, he wanted them to fall into his trap without realizing it. He wasn't stupid enough to think that they wouldn't expect a trap, so he wanted to do something that would hide his trap without really hiding it. Then he had it. Now it was nearing sunset, and he was on a rooftop standing behind a bunch of custom-made fireworks. Lighting the single fuse that split into several fuses leading to each one, he stood back and took a drag on his cigarette, blowing smoke out right at the instant the rockets shot off. He was smirking hugely as they exploded, scattering sparks and light in specific patterns . . .

Nano looked up in time to see fireworks exploding. She thought it was odd, until she realized what was going on. Then her jaw dropped. The fireworks had made several words that read:

BACK THIS WAY YOU DUMB FUCKS

"Well, that's rather obvious," Echo commented dryly. Keying her headset, she said, "Sta, Tic. You see that."

"I'm sure everyone saw that," came Tic's reply.

"Let's converge on the location those fireworks came from."

"He won't be there," Nano said.

"He'll be close by. Close enough to further get our attention. Remember, girls, it's a trap."

"I'll keep an eye on you four," Zero said softly, already falling into the Zen-like no-thought state of a professional sniper.

"Then let's get his ass."

Morana saw it, too, and knew exactly what was going on. It wasn't a challenge to her, not directly; it was bait for her teammates. Roulet was drawing them in, and would undoubtedly kill them. But where they were going, she would go, too; although she wasn't certain if it was to save her teammates or to get to Roulet. She didn't head to where the fireworks had been launched from, though. She began heading in a different direction, towards the interior of the mainland; there were plenty of abandoned or empty buildings in that area that would be excellent traps. Running into a narrow alley, she leaped onto a dumpster, then jumped to the wall opposite the dumpster, then over to the other wall, repeating the process at speed as she 'climbed' her way up the buildings to the rooftops. Once up there, she began moving swiftly, leaping from building to building (or finding ways up or down to them), all the while heading in the general direction of the forest outside of Jump City. She was certain that when she was close enough, she'd find Carter Roulet.

And this time, no one would stop their fight.

Carter led them on a merry chase, staying close enough for them to keep him in sight but far enough away that it wasn't easy. He could see that there were four of them, all girls, and only one looked normal; he realized she wasn't when she snapped her fingers while snapping her hand forward and a high-pitched, barely audible, sound exploded the brick work under his feet. He'd snapped some knives back at them, but the girl with richly dark black hair had raised her hands and the knives hit an invisible barrier of some kind. When the knives flew towards an air conditioning unit and stuck, he knew that the girl could manipulate magnetic energy in some fashion. Of course, he wasn't entirely leading them on; they were herding him, too. But they were forcing him to go where he was intending to go in the first place so it all worked out. And it wasn't that hard to stay ahead of them, either; as Red X, he'd prowled the city's rooftops so he was very familiar with them.

"Damn he's fast!" Echo growled as Roulet continued to stay one step ahead of them. They were closing the distance, but it was difficult work. He didn't seem to be escaping so much as toying with them. And because of his movements, Zero had yet to have a clear enough shot to guarantee one hundred percent take-down. Sta's electromagnetic abilities kept them protected from Roulet's surprisingly accurate knife-throwing, though Tic hadn't taken a shot at him since there was too much metal around to ensure that only he would take the shock. She'd gotten a seveal chances to hit him, but he'd always avoided taking damage; the buildings and projections on them were another story, however. Snapping her wrists down, she dropped a three-bladed shuriken into each hand and snapped her wrists forward, sending the throwing stars in curving arcs. A few moments later all four of them heard a "What the fuck?!" from Roulet as at least one of the shurikens at least grazed him.

"Sta, Tic," Echo said. "I want you two to break right; there's a few seven-story buildings nearby. He might be heading to one of them to try to lose us. You two cut him off."

"Awesome!" Sta said exuberantly.

"Whatever," Tic replied, following her 'sister.'

"Nano, I want you to break left and head around those other high-rise buildings. Come at him from the other side."

"You got it," the machine girl said, leaping onto an adjacent roof and moving off.

"Zero, I want you to begin driving him towards Sta and Tic."

"Affirmative," came the whisper. "Limited to sixteen rounds of sufficient force for distance and penetration."

"Make them count."

"Affirmative."

Morana had her earpiece back in place, and was listening to her friends as they tried to catch Roulet. She wanted to break in, to tell them that it was a trap - even though she knew that they knew it was a trap - but she stopped herself. It wasn't that she didn't care for them, maybe a little more with Nano, but that doing so would interfere with her goal of facing Roulet herself. She did, however, accelerate her pace to try and get to the building she knew he was leading them to; the sharp, acrid scent of the explosives he'd placed in it was rather obvious to her.

And she had a bad feeling that something else was going to happen; her instincts were screaming at her that something else was wrong, and they weren't being triggered by Roulet.

"Ten rounds left," Zero reported, snapping back the bolt to eject the spent cartridge and slide in a new round.

"I think we've got him cornered now. Be ready."

"Affirmative," she said, readying her seventh round.

Roulet was waiting on the fifth floor when the four C.A.T.Z. girls caught up to him. He was sitting in an old folding chair, one leg propped on a discarded paint can, smoking a cigarette and reading a newspaper. When they busted in, he moved the paper to one side, looked them, moved it back and said, "About damn time you got here. There's only so many times one can read the same seven-year-old articles before they get boring."

"You do realize you're outmatched, don't you?" Echo asked, throwing knives sliding into her waiting hands. Roulet chuckled, then laughed. Setting aside the paper and standing, he stretched himself out - and pulled out twin katanas when he brought his arms down.

"Actually, you're the ones 'outmatched'," he replied, a dark half-smile on his face. "Don't think for one second you even have a chance against me. A snowball in hell has a better chance than you." He looked over at the 'twins.' "And why do you look so happy?"

"Because I just am!" Sta replied cheerfully, right before she and Tic rushed at Roulet. The move caught him off guard, but not enough to really matter. Tic launched electrical bolts at him, aiming for his swords, while his counterattacks were deflected by Sta's electromagnetic barriers. Echo had thrown her knives at him, then drawn her fighting daggers. Roulet's katanas had a longer reach than her blades and, judging by how well he was holding of Sta and Tic, he was faster as well. Then her blades were snatched out of her hands by Nano, who had rushed right by her nearly without notice. As though it was rehearsed, the twins broke to opposite sides as the machine girl slid smoothly into their place. The fighting daggers were moving in nearly a blur as she attempted to penetrate his defenses. But in spite of the katanas not being too well suited to such close-in fighting, Roulet's defense never broke. She was pressing him hard, but it wasn't enough. Not enough at all. Ducking under a swing, he straight-armed a punch into her midriff, breaking her rhythm enough for a katana to sweep in. She stumbled back, brining up both long knives to block his blow - only for his second katana to rip through her abdomen and slash out her left side. Whatever Nano had for blood began spraying and pouring from the wound as she staggered a couple of steps and collapsed. Echo, Sta, and Tic didn't move, too much in shock; Roulet merely stood up and watched the metal-skinned girl as she began bleeding out. Just then, though, Echo happened to look at Roulet, saw something past him - and felt her jaw drop.

"Oh, shit," she said. Roulet had just started to turn his head when a booted foot slammed into it with enough force to send him flying into a wall - several feet away. Morana landed, one knee deeply bent and the other on the floor, Gurkha kukris in hand. Looking up, the others saw her poison-green eyes shift to a blood-red color and each felt a tremor of fear. There was a sound of coughing, and of rubble hitting concrete flooring, as Roulet pulled himself out of the wall. Blinking his eyes and shaking his head, he looked over and saw Morana just standing up. She looked over at him, her body perpendicular to his, and said, "Hurting her was a mistake."

"How's that, Tiny Tit?" he retorted with a self-confident, arrogant smirk. Her answering grin almost made his own falter.

"Because now I don't have to hold back at all."

But, just then, all the windows on that floor exploded inward and forty-eight heavily-armed black-armored commandos burst in. Sta and Tic didn't hesitate for even a nanosecond; they moved Echo over to where Nano lay - actually, Tic had thrown her - and Sta raised an electromagnetic barrier as the mysterious soldiers opened fire with heavy automatic weapons and semi-automatic grenade launchers. The strain on the golden-white-skinned girl was evident, and it was obvious she wouldn't be able to hold out for long. Roulet had dropped out of the line of fire, and rolled behind a pillar that gave him momentary cover (he seemed to have forgotten about his teleportation belt for the moment). And with Sta fading with each passing second, it looked like CATZ was going to be cut down.

But that was if one didn't take Morana into account.

Screaming with a berserker's rage, suffused with a bloodlust that she hadn't felt for over forty years, she charged at the commandos, her kukri moving so fast she seemed to be wielding pure rings of silver light. Bullets began falling to the ground, cut up or in half. Releasing the kukris from her hands, she drew her kodachis and began using them to cut the bullets; the Gurkha kukris, held in the grip of her telekinesis, began slicing through the air, cutting for the soldiers. Her katana and wakizashi were drawn next, but by her mental ability. She released the kodachis from her physical grip, grabbing them in her mental grip, and let the katana fall into her left hand. With her right, she drew her last blade - an Indian poinard.

"Fire the icendiary!" one of them shouted. It didn't matter to her who had said it; they were all dead. Looking like she was moving as fast as the bullets, Morana dodged and slipped around the increasingly heavy fire being directed at her, fully immersed in her 'wind-dancing' style. A savage, blissful smile was on her face as she reached a line of commandos. One attempted to rush her from the side, but he was literally sliced to ribbons by the five swords floating around her via telekinesis. Her katana sliced into the armored torso of one soldier, blood spraying out of the fatally deep wound like water from a fire hose, as the poinard bit through the visored head of another, sending another fountain of blood into the air. A single twitch and she was several feet from her original position, and gunfire and grenades hit the unfortunate soldiers who were now in the line of fire. Screaming a blood-thirsty cry of rage and fury, Morana rammed both blades into the gut of a commando and ripped them out the opposite sides, easily severing his spinal column and sending the torso falling to the ground to land in the guts spilling out of it. Then she was again several feet away, this time slashing her katana through the neck of a grenadier while the poinard bit deep into the ribs of his machine gun-wielding companion. More blood fountained into the air beside her as another soldier lost his head. Whipping around, she saw Roulet there, his own katanas dripping blood. Lost as she was in her bloodlust, she had the presence of mind of to switch the katana and poinard to telekinesis and grab the Gurkha kukris with her hands. Then she threw herself at him, all seven of her swords flashing. Most of the commandos had been killed or fatally wounded by now, with more than half of them killed by Morana herself.

Echo, Sta, and Tic were stunned beyond belief at the carnage they had just witnessed. Even with what Nano had told them aboard the jet, they had been completely unprepared for actually witnessing it. But watching as the beserk Morana attacked Roulet snapped them out of their daze. With Sta still providing cover with her electromagnetism, Echo created a sonic wave to shatter the wall ahead of them. Tic picked up the bleeding and unconscious Nano as carefully as possible in a fireman's carry, and followed Echo to the wall. Even though they were five stories up, this building was so close to its neighbor that getting across wouldn't be a problem. But that wasn't the plan; instead, Sta encapsulated the group in an electromagnetic bubble and forced them out the hole. As they plunged towards the ground, Echo generated sonic waves through the bubble to cushion their fall.

"What about Morana?" Sta asked as she 'collapsed' the bubble.

"She can take of herself," Echo replied, more than a little scared of 'Lady Death.'

Just a minute longer, Zero thought, tightening her grip ever-so-slightly on her rifle's trigger.

Morana and Roulet ripped through the fifth floor of the abandoned building, heedless of the damage they were doing to it - or the blood flying and arcing through the air from the unfortunate commandos who got in the way of her whirling blades. Roulet, for his part, actually found himself trying as he deflected, blocked, and dodged her seven swords. The fury, speed, and power she possessed actually surprised him; moreover, it began to appeal to him. In her, he saw unbridled bloodlust and instability. Factors he had in common with her, though his was a cancer that his hyperactive healing ability barely kept in check. After one particularly brutal clash between his katanas and her Gurkha kukris, they sprang apart to get themselves enough room to attack again.

"You're one tough bitch," he conceded, catching his breath a little.

"You're not so bad yourself, asshole," she commented, nodding to him.

Drawing a full breath, Zero let out half of it and pulled the trigger.

Roulet and Morana were just about to leap back at each other when a loud crack! pierced their battle haze. Blinking, he looked down at himself but couldn't see any sign of injury (not that anything less than a headshot would really put him down for any length of time). Looking up, he was shocked to see a dark stain spreading on Morana's shirt - right where her heart was. Blinking in disbelief, she looked down at herself, saw and felt the blood leaving her, then looked back at him. With a ringing clatter of steel, the five swords she had been holding with her telekinesis fell to the floor. And her kukris slid out of her hands as she herself fell to her knees.

"Well . . . fuck . . .," she managed to say, coughing.

And right then, the explosives Roulet had rigged in the third floor went off.

Finally taking her eye from the scope, Zero looked in the direction her shot had went, then raised to a kneeling position and turned off her cloaking ability. Ejecting the spent cartridge from her rifle, she disassembled it and put it in its carrying case. Then she policed her seven spent casings and slipped them into a pocket on her combat harness. Reaching up to the comm unit in her ear, she said, "Primary target eliminated. Secondary target possibly inactive for the moment.

And thousands of miles away, Doctor Celia Williams of Failsafe smiled coldly and replied, "Good work. Return to base."

End Notes: I don't think I need to say anything right here; this chapter pretty much speaks for itself. I will say this, though: in a few days I'm going to be putting up a writing challenge on my profile - once I figure out what the challenge should be. So keep a look out. And do review this chapter.