Star ArmyⓇ

Star ArmyⓇ is a landmark of forum roleplaying. Opened in 2002, Star Army is like an internet clubhouse for people who love roleplaying, art, and worldbuilding. Anyone 18 or older may join for free. New members are welcome! Use the "Register" button below.

Note: This is a play-by-post RPG site. If you're looking for the tabletop miniatures wargame "5150: Star Army" instead, see Two Hour Wargames.

RP: Section 6 The Reaper Cometh

Jack Pine

Staff Member
FM of S6
Game Master
RP Date
4/2/YE41
RP Location
Sirris VI
Obsidian City - Warehouses near starport
Zeke pulled the tarp down tight and anchored it, giving a pleased whistle as he stood back to look at his most expensive possession. The Oban mech that had seen so much modification and use. To be honest, the cocky blonde couldn't remember just how many sorties he had flown as it's pilot. It knelt proudly in his eyes, it's distinct mechanized shape only silhouetted by the tarp. A soft chuckle left the man's lips as he began to head for the door, after giving his t-shirt a quick brush despite it's mechanical fluid soiled state. The majority of his night so far had been spent doing maintenance on that impressive machine.

The tap of boots on metal, left the echos of soft clinks as he walked through an empty warehouse. Which faded as he walked out into the rain night air, something he was more then happy to walk in. It had been a long time since he had felt rain, so many of the worlds he had run jobs on lacking it at the time of his visits. He gave a relaxed sigh as he now strode through puddle covered service road that crossed in between warehouses. Despite the casual pace he traveled, the spikey blonde was due back at his girlfriend's apartment. The splish of his boots almost made the sound of steps a short distance behind him go unnoticed.

Idly looking back, a figure in a long cloak was there, just some other person making the trip home he thought. After a few turns however, Zeke began to feel uneasy, as it was becoming clearer that he was being followed. Stopping in the middle of the service way, he turned to face the figure which had also now halted, saying nothing, or moving. "Alright fucker, why the hell are you stalking me? I owe you money, you a merc with a grudge, or are you just some sicko who get's your kicks from following people? WELL?!" Zeke shouted to the figure, confronting them with a growing sense of annoyance and uneasiness.

A soft chuckle reverberated from the figure, a synthetic sound at best. "And here I hoped to find someplace.....quieter. You are indeed Zeke Rykiel?" came it's raspy simulated voice.

"Yeah, so what of it? What do you want?"

The figure's head tilted at him, "What do I want? I want nothing more then what the dark one wants.......and he wants something from you." A sudden click was heard as something shifted under the cloak, their arms raising, "Dead or alive, neither matters. The light glinted off a pair of suppressed barrels. Zeke dove as rounds impacted the wall further behind him now, making a dash for the closest warehouse door as he felt a few slash across his body. Another laugh echoed from outside as Zeke crashed through a side door of one of the warehouses he had been between.

He wasn't sure how he made it, or was still standing, but he quickly shuffled into the warehouse he had managed to duck into. Deeper in he went, into the dark, trying to get as much distance from where he had entered as possible. Taunts and laughter followed on echoes as he went, knowing full well now he was being hunted, but for what reason he did not know. "Shit shit shit shit shit." Zeke whispered as he clenched the particularly deep gash seared into his thigh. He had no gun, having like an idiot for once, felt safe and with no need to. He had one of the LCKs he kept hanging from his belt in it's sheath however, having found many utility uses for the knife. But versus what he could only at best speculate as being SMGs, left his chances of survival in a straight up fight as slim.

More shots whispered as the wall to his right lit up with flashes of sparks, a searing spike of pain as one ripped through his shoulder. With a gasp he stumbled and slid down the wall to the floor, leaving a crimson streak. Stifling a cry, he tried to rise, only to find a mechanical hand on the back of his neck. Zeke was brought face to face with what only his pain stagnated mind could describe as the grim reaper, but created out of metal. A skull like face stared back into him with cybernetic eyes. "The pretty little toy in your neck. I've come to claim it for my master. The Dark Apostle's command is my wish Zekie boy." it rasped in his face with somehow a grin to proceed it's words, "But first let me toy with you." A barrel could be felt placed against the left side of his abdomen before a muffled sounds that gave way to a agony filled cry as yet another bullet ripped through his flesh. The round discharging in plasma inside as it passed, cauterizing as it cut a path.

Zeke's instincts and will kicked in as he with what strength he could focus, grabbed the long knife and with a hum of the blade, struck out across it's chest. Sparks flashed as it shrieked briefly, dropping him to jump away. Discarded, the man with adrenaline in his system, half stumbled, half limped into the main area of the storage floor. Stacks of cargo piled high in the dark passed as he desperately moved in search of a way out. But soon, he knew it was back, the sound of skittering on crates, and the bumps of leaps across them made him stop. A drip of black stopped him as it struck his face, freezing as the oily substance rolled down his nose, and again as another drop fell past his cheek. With a shudder, he slowly turned his face to the rafter, and there it was.

Without the cloak it was a monstrosity of technology. A elongated metal skeleton without the cloak, some mechanism in it's chest leaking the fluid that now was beginning to cover his face. "Oh void, what-" was all he could whisper as it's lower jaw split into four fanged appendages to hiss in anger at him. Suddenly the figure was a shadow as it dropped for the kill, and again reflex kicked as Zeke threw the knife out of fear. The blade piercing the thing as it shriek on it's pouncing. Pinned he was as it bound him to the floor under it's weight, more fluid running from where the blade struck. "Poor prey, so foolish to think you were making it out of this place. In the dark, the reapers cometh."

He gave a shakey grin, "The reaper doesn't know much about knives. Clear bitch!" With his Gesit, Zeke remotely discharged the full charge of his LCK's shock function. The being atop him cried out in a static filled mechanical cry of pain as it was fried from inside where it's vital components lay. Still smoking, it slumped with a clank as the lifeless terror fell over, now dead and unmoving. Shoving it off with a wince, he dragged himself to a crate to slump against, happy he had survived. "Help is coming you stupid shit. Bring friends next time." he said as he spat on the scrapped stalker with a shaken, but confident chuckle.

"Reaper are legion." came a new voice like before.

"Fuck~"

Terror taking back over, Zeke looked skywards once more, several sets of glowing eyes staring back, a few hisses following. Before he could move, or scream in fright, they descended upon him. Dragged struggling and yelling for help, he was brought to the center of the floor where he was pinned by many sharp fingered hands. "Hurry and extract it, more are coming." one barked at another, unseen as his face was shoved into the metal floor plating. Several sharp pains suddenly turned into searing knives of agony as a clawed skeletal hand forced through the flesh of his neck to take hold of the Geist underneath. Screaming into the floor, it was violently ripped from his neck.

Numbness over took his body as his limbs no longer responded, and as his vision went black. His consciousness fell into slumber as he passed out from the pain, his body now limp on the floor as the Reaper clutched the gorey mass of metal and meat in his cybernetic hand. As soon as they appeared, they vanished, slipping back into the dark. As silence rested even under the feint patter of rain on the metal exterior of the warehouse, a door was opened and the rapid foot falls of several people entered the space. Lights flashed about and searched until the medical team that had gotten the alert from the now removed device found their charge.

Zeke was rushed to the hospital, unaware of the mercy he had been granted tonight for his will to live delaying death long enough for help to arrive. He was however, not the last to fall prey tonight........
 

Jack Pine

Staff Member
FM of S6
Game Master
"By The Hands Of The Reaper"
Obsidian City - Sanctuary Hospital

Several Hours Earlier.......


It had been several days since Koroleva woke from her comatose state. Confusing and somewhat aggressive. A soft rattle as she tried to lift her remaining arm, which was shackled to the side of the bed. To make sure she wouldn't just run off. Her prosthetic 2-bit arm resting on the table next to her. The Nekovalkyrja's remaining silver eye lazily drifted over to the open window, gazing up at the night's sky. She was still covered in bandages, constantly undergoing surgery to properly set her bones straight again. Regenerative powers were good, though by no means could it handle the amount of damage she sustained now. It was too fast, too short-term focused. Cuts and gashes were one thing, fractured and crushed bones were far more complicated.

It was frustrating - even her jaw was as good as bolted shut, a sort of plastic muzzle around her mouth to support it. Only her digits and toes, elbows and her left eye were visible.

Glancing over at Mark, though, she couldn't help but feel a tinge of remorse. He'd been here, day and night. Putting almost everything that mattered to him to a halt. She'd heard Chlorate passing through several times as well. Though Koroleva was hard-pressed to properly remember it. With the ongoing torrents of madness in her mind still, even though quieted down. She wasn't always the most coherent. But even now, it was far worse.

Heaving a soft sigh, the cuffs jingled softly again as she moved a hand up to squeeze Mark's wrist softly.

Mark sat in a chair snoring softly, the weight of Koroleva and his mother's passing, weighing heavily on the still rather new Lord. The jingle caused him to stir, realizing Koroleva had waken. He gave her a tired smile, "Hey, nice to see you sleepy head." He said as he reached to meet her bound hand, taking it in is.

Koroleva blinked slowly. Her eyelids feeling overburdened as she closed them again briefly, giving Mark's hand another squeeze in response. Rolling her head over the pillow, she glanced outside again, before back at Mark. Her eyes surprisingly soft. She slowly lifted Mark's hand and brought it to her head, gesturing for him to touch her just above her brow, eyes falling closed again. A soft grunt ensuing.

It was a bit of a different manner then he had seen her act before. Intrigued and curious, Mark complied, his hand reaching forward tip the tip of his finger brushed over the skin above the eyebrow.

Koroleva let out a soft, content huff. Opening her eyes weakly again to glance up at the night sky longingly. But even Koroleva was hard pressed to admit she could barely walk, let alone strike out as she did in the past.

Mark saw the look, and knew her well enough to know she longed to be outside and free. "When you get better, I'll take you outside. There's this spot up on the mountain, looks like a grassy plain, with a pond, birds, and a great old tree to sit under for shade. I've been more or less meditating there everyday for an hour. You'd love it there at night, no lights to block the night sky, but the those of the city below." He said with a reassuring smile.

The Nekovalkyrja's lazy gaze, both due to exhaustion and the amount of painkillers she was getting, drifted over to Mark again. Letting out a content huff as she closed her eyes again. Seemingly content with the prospect of a quiet place to be. A soft rumbling starting in her chest, though cut short by a soft wheezing breath as she settled again.

It was hard to see her this way, much less the mess she had been brought in like. The raven haired man leaned forward and planted a kiss on the cat girl's forehead, "Rest, you'll get better soon, then I'll take you outside as promised."

A soft hum came from Koroleva in response, a pleased one. Ironically, the bed rest she was forced into gave the otherwise ravenous Nekovalkyrja a certain sense of calmth and serenity. With a soft sigh heaved, she slowly shut her eyes again and settled back into the pillow.

With one final kiss, Mark gently got up, having a need to acquire some food. He hadn't eaten yet given the situation, so now seemed best as she slept.

Koroleva let out a gentle murmur in response, though seemed to otherwise not much stir at all. Mark left the room to get dinner, leaving the Nekovalkyrja to rest. Though several minutes later, a figure clad in darkened robes snuck in, the door sliding shut as he turned on his feet to gently lock it. Before glancing over at Koroleva's sleeping form.

Moving with methodical precision, he moved over to the breathing apparatus and flicked it off. Before slipping open one of the drawers and pulling out a pillow. Humming softly as he approached. "Need me to fluff up your pillow?" A raspy voice quested, before he pushed it down on the Neko's head. Aiming to smother her completely. This, however, caused Koroleva to wake up, squirming and struggling as little as she could - cyan, lucent blood bleeding through the bandages as she fought against her assailant. With all, being laughably little to him, the power she could muster. Her hand flailing and straining against the cuffs.

Though in a sudden moment of clarity, she gripped the handlebar she was attached to, ripping it free and smacking it around wildly. Hitting home against the dark figure's head. Who staggered enough for Koroleva to toss herself from the bed, smacking unceremoniously against the floor. A pained grunt coming from the normally ferocious Neko. Caustic blood pouring from a crack on her forehead, as well as from her nose. Crooked in a rather painful way.

She needed to get out of here, she needed help. No way to stand, let alone fight. Crawling her way over to the door, with ragged breathing of exertion, Koroleva's hand clawed against the sealed door. Desperate in her movements, with the dragged trail of blood behind her. The robed villain only cracked a laughter and teathrically took his position over her. Grabbing the handlebar that was still attached to Koroleva's wrist, stomping a boot down on her shoulder whilst pulling it up until a snap resounded through the roof. Causing a muffled cry to emerge from the Nekovalkyrja, which then ensued into a muted sobbing. Limp and unusable, her arm positively flopped back to the ground as he let go, gathering a fistful of hair and smacking her head against the door once. A metallic hand sheened in the sterile lighting of her room, before it plunged down in the back of her neck. Digging through flesh and severing through tendons, grasping at the Geist. The popping of ripped flesh resounded as the Geist was ripped free from her skull, a spray of blood hissing against his darkened robes. Eating away at the fabric, revealing spots of a metal ribcage. Having succeeded in his goal, the mysterious villain released the strands of platina again. Leaving Koroleva's head to thump against the door again, before sliding down ever so slightly. Flicking the item through his hand before tossing it down on the floor, he turned around and took a running start to leap out of the window.

And all that was left of Koroleva was a wheezing, spasming body. Leg jerking erratically, eyelids blinking rapidly. Left to die, just like that.

The soft footfalls of the resident Llamnel prosthesis expert barely made a whisper as Harmony stalked the halls of the hospital. This visit was a special one, one that she didn't fear but looked forward to in a strange way. Koroleva would come back stronger from this, that much Harmony would make sure of. She was in a tough place, that much Harmony new, but she would help best she could to make sure she recovered.

Dressed a little more the part of a doctor, she had her white lab coat on with some comfortable soft scrub pants and shirt. She had made the rounds of a few rooms to see some patients, get measurements, check on fittings, check on patients to see how their prosthetics ran.

But now she stood outside of Koroleva's room. She knew Mark was probably in there, he seemed to care for the Nekovalkyrja dearly, but as she knocked and waited with no response, she tilted her head curiously and tried the door. It was locked... Which started to send up alarms in her head. She banged on the door a few more times as she got a whiff of a scent. It stuck in her nose like a thick liquid.

Blood...

She was off in a dash to the Nurses station, and as she slid in front of the counter to a stop her fists were pays, her pupil slits, and her teeth elongated.

"Get room 212 opened immediately!" She roared before she took off running again. She cleared the distance to the room in half the time it took her to get there and she looked around frantically to find the source of the blood. The source at her feet, Harmony was beside the Neko on her knees, hyperhyperventilatinger condition.

"HELP! SOMEONE HELP!" She screamed out loud into the halls as she cradled Koroleva's head.

Mark had been at a dispensary machine looking at meals, the cafeteria closed this late at night. It wasn't too far from Koroleva's room, a very convenient placing for him. But that was forgotten as he heard screams from way down the hall, his heart sinking along with the sealed tray that slid into the dispencary rack. Grabbing the sword he always kept close out of respect for ancient teachings, his enhanced reflexes had him turned around and beating feet on tile faster then any normal human should.

Turning the corner, his blood ran cold, like that which sat pooling on tile in the door way to Koroleva's room. All cool was lost as he slid into the door frame out of desperation, ignoring the pain as his eyes settled on the two women. "Koro.....no....," he barely managed as he lowered down onto his kness among the blood soaked tiles, "W-what happened? I was j-just here?!"

Harmony face was covered in tears as she shook her head. She had never noticed the broken glass or the Geist unit on the ground, her focus on Koroleva. "W-we need to help her we need to do something where is the doctor why aren't there nurses yet?! I can't do this I can't help her I can-...I can't..."

The Lorath girl tried as hard as she could to not shake at her own helplesness.
 
  • Like
Reactions: IQ

HarperMadi

Submissions Reviewer
FM of S6
When the moon set theough the clouds that drifted through its light, like ancient ships on a starry sea, there was a woman walking alone through an otherwise empty park. She brushed the hair away from her ears, feeling how the breeze touselled it as she reached into the knot of a tree.

Withdrawing a pack of cigarettes, she closed her eyes, taking one and lighting it, breathing deep. Replacing the pack, she sat down against the old, slightly glowing plant. Silver layers of hair shined in the moonlight as the musclebound giantess relaxed, unwinding from her day before she would walk back to her barracks room and sleep off the day's events. "Mom," Spark sighed.

"I don't know if you're out there. I don't know if you can hear me. The clones are getting out of hand, and if you were here, you'd have some kind of advice for dealing with weaponized versions of your wife. Please, give me a sign?"

Something else however carried on the gently wind tonight, feint yet rapid rustle of leaves and grass. Something moving quick in the dark unseen.

"The dead cannot speak for the living." came a raspy whisper from somewhere.

Something within Spark jumped, her training kicking in to crush the cigarette in the palm of her hand. She slowly stood, not moving, but cocking her head to listen and determine range and direction of the noise. Her eyes flashed, angry as the red that decorated them. "Whoever you are, I want no trouble. Causing some would be a bad idea."

A feminine giggle sounded, "Spark dear, you've always been the one to look for trouble."

Rustling continued, but....it was coming from all around. Nothing was seen, the entities that which stalked the amazonian sized clone keeping to the shadows, never straying too close to the lights. The raspy voice came again, a different direction entirely this time, "Maybe that's why she died, because little miss buff, just couldn't just stay a sat on her tuffet."

A shudder ran up Spark's spine as she reached into a pocket and pulled out her comm chip. The screen illuminated her face as she boldly started for a lighted path. "I'm calling for my fireteam!"

Aside the shake in her voice, there was no indication of lanything disturbing her. But something here knew her, and did not appear to be anything less than hostile.

The signal bars would be empty, something those stalking her were causing somehow.

"So you run from me again dear daughter, you never were one to love your mother."

A figure became apparent across the street, standing before a alley, "That will be futile Spark. You are here to play, just like we did with sir scarface." It was the same raspy voice, followed by a grating chuckle like a whine of a engine on its last leg. A metallic object was thrown to land near the side walk.

Spark tried to ignore the voice, pushing out of her mind how much it sounded like Sarah. She continued towards the street light undeterred, though her heart jumped when she heard the metallic clang, instinctively looking at it, steering clear enough that she wouldn't be in any danger, but close enough to identify it. There, she stopped, under the street light, individual groups of muscles limbering, flexing as she prepared to fight or run. "I don't know who sir scarface is referring to. And your mimicry of Sarah Pine's voice is a sad attempt to piss me off."

She put the phone up to her ear, making sure to flex the muscles of her back and appear somehow even bigger than her nearly three hundred pound frame already did, speaking loudly and clearly into the disconnected handset as she took a closer look at the metallic plate. "Jane Fox Two Six, request Charlie Fox Tango on my position, hotdrop with armor support, time now. Just need a rescue from the girls."

She wasn't going to show it, but the fact that it was Rorik's ranked and printed shoulder from his jacket shook her. High ranking targets had already been hit, and she knew that the armed forces would soon be in disarray. it begged the question of why her, though. Was she special, interesting in some way? Spark didn't like the answer she kept coming up with. There was no time for questions, she needed to decide what to do.

Another chcukle, but this time from both the lone figure, and from the disjointed voice of Sarah, "No help is coming. You. are. alone. Accept the end and it will come quick, resist and we'll make it slow."

More and more figures in black coats began to emerge from the dark, one by one, their number steadily growing. At first it was 5...then 8.....then 12. At this point they were spread out all around, formed in a circle that slowly began to close in, their pace casual and smooth as if they had not a care in the world.

"Come with us Spark, and we'll reunite with the knight....well, what's left of him anyways."

"He's not my knight." Spark put her comm back in its pocket, bending down to pick up a storm grate. With that in hand, she took a battle stance. She knew she was outnumbered, and more were coming. She had to run, but she needed an opening, first. So she would hold her ground and keep posturing. "Stop now, and I will spare you."

A chorus of that raspy chuckle echoed from each of the figures, "Such a broken fool, your denial is entertaining."

Their stride did not speed up, but still the distance continued to grow increasingly shorter. The one by the alleyway had crossed the street, but didn't advance, didn't block the alley either, only stared at her. He called out to Spark once more however, "Your siblings are next on the list. We've already taken care of a few. Jacky Pine, Jacklynn Pine, Talos Pine, Armora Pine, all dead by our hand. You have no hope you sad poor girl. They all died on their knees broken just as you will. The neko, Koroleva was the most pitiful kill this night. I personally dragged her from her bed and took the back of her neck as I left her paralyzed and fading on the floor. Bled to death in a hospital, the one place she could have been saved, and in the end it did no good. Just as it did your mother."

Okay, chitchat's over. "If you read a report on me, you know I don't die easily. And you just fucked up."

Spark stiffened, straightening as she stepped forward, slamming her boot down near the thrown armor plate hard enough to send it skittering away. Lowering her form, Spark spread out to brandish her storm grate with the gutteral roar of a beast coming out of its cage. This was still posturing, but the sound was meant also as a call for help as she stepped again into a pirouette, her mind's eye locking onto the wraiths. Another spinning hop towards one adversary and the grate popped out from her center of balance, carried by a point and one arm towards the clad figure's head.

If they weren't going to give her an opening to escape and return in power armor, she was going to make on

The figure looked in disintrest as she swung straight for him, only giving a feint sigh before he was sent landing flat on his back with a loud DINK sound as he skidded across asphalt by a few feet. "Homerun...." could be heard feintly from the raspy voice of that figure. The way to the alley was now open, but she wasn't out of trouble yet. The others hissed before taking a running gate after her. The figure who she had struck down began to rise again, his robe knocked partially aside to reveal the mechanical being underneath, the hood falling away to show a glaring metal skull with a jaw split into four. One of the jaw mandibles now hung broken, and a dent was well visible in his chest. With a hiss he discarded the cloak.


On the other side of the block near another exit to the alley ways between the builidings separating her from the park, Angela paused. She could have sworn she had just heard a roar of some sort of animal in distress, then a loud clank of metal on metal. The farm raised girl almost ignored it, but thought better incase a animal had made it's way into the city and was now terrorizing someone. Switching off the pad she had been focused on during her walk home, the tanded skin gingered haired woman began to hesitantly walk into the alley.


As planned, Spark dropped a knee and exploded forward at a dead sprint down the alleyway. She could hear the hissing behind her, knowing she could keep this pace for a mile or so, but eventually, the wraiths would catch up. she didn't look back to confirm her kill, but spotted someone walking into the alley. If they had cut her off, she was in trouble. If that was a civilian bystander, they needed to go the same way she was.

So Spark made a snap decision, sacrificing some of her time in a roar of "Run!" She then angled herself to avoid the person, turning and pitching the storm grate backwards with a vicious spin. If the person tried to intercept, Spark would easily bowl them over and keep going with the speed and power of a high gravity trained, adrenaline fuelled soldier, or so she thought.

Angela squinted to adjust for the dark alley, having made it a decent way into it's dark interior. She heard the shout to run, and was confused until she looked on further to see the small horde in pursuit of the barreling woman. "Oh shit." Angela cursed before wheeling around to run, but stopped as five more now were lined across the way she came, "Double shit."

They were cornered and surrounded, the farm girl slowly backing up as the five advanced in, raising SMGs. Oh god, I'm gonna die here, she thought as their charging handles clacked.

The sight of five SMGs popping up almost stopped Spark, but the way the other person wheeled, she was a bystander. So she kept running, adjusting course to tackle the woman into the relative cover of a dumpster. Charging handles clacked, and she hoped she could time the hit just right.

A squeak left the woman just before a fast moving force collided with her, sending her into the ground between a pair of dumpsters as the metal walk way they had just been was lit up with bullet impacts. It was short as the chorus of chattering guns stopped, their targets no longer in the open. A tsking sound could be heard as the 13 from before drew near, "Looky here, she went and drew in another fly to the trap. Why what a splendid surprise."

The lone figure from before kept close to the opposite wall as he walked into view, "Here kitty, we just want to play."

The other five still closed in a few more paces and waited, guns ready as the seeming leader talked. A distant crack was heard which caused the reapers lined up to tilt their heads before one suddenly had a hole punched through it. Several more in quick succession were heard, the 4 remaining blockers staggering as they were caught off guard.

"What is it gonna take to prove-.....fuck." said the figure as it began, then the other four were suddenly picked off in quick order.

Angela wasn't a soldier by any means, but she had the will to live like anyone else. Taking a brick in hand she chucked it at the now distracted figure, striking his metal skull with a crack of impacting morter. She grabbed Spark by the hand and pulled as she urged her to run for it, "Come on!"

"Go! I'll cover you." Spark pulled her hand away, a pistol finding its way out of a holster in her lower back and a knife appearing in the other hand. With covering fire coming down, she could put two rounds of 9mm armor penetrating lead into the remaining guard at the end of the alley before turning and moving around the dumpster with the practiced ease of a Fenrir clone. three more shots rang out as she chose and fired on another target. "Stay low, stay in cover, and above all else, stay behind me!"

A quick glance to the open end of the alley told her it was only twenty feet. Too much for a three second rush, but if she and the girl stayed low and cut the wall, they could make it, if they ran basically now. so five more shots rang out as Spark turned on her heel, covering fire meant to keep her adversaries from giving chase for a precious half second while she built up speed.

The gingered haired girl beat feet as she made a run for it with Spark, her stance stooped and lowered as rounds were sent back at them. The rapid clatter of pursuing feet could be heard and the clicks on the walls as some of them took to the building sides like spiders. More high caliber rounds were sent from the distance to sail over their heads, striking metal targets, or just near misses around them. A few fell, but the way they spread the horde minimized their losses. Several bullets grazed Angela, one cutting across the top of the right shoulder and across the side of the left thigh, and another merely cut her across one of her cheeks.

They cleared the end of the street, Angela waving Spark around the corner of the wall they had been keeping close to before making for it across the street.

Spark knew better than to stay close to the wall much longer, starting to hear the sounds above her as well as behind. That didn't stop her from cursing as Angela made a break for the other side, where there could be even more. She turned and let off the last of her rounds, reholstering her pistol as she shouted to direct the girl to better cover and stayed back, considering taking one of the fallen creature's weapons.

Deciding she didn't have time, she sprinted across the street, following the other woman as fast as the burning in her calf and the wet feeling in her left side would allow her.

The road was a T-section, a double lane highway that was intersected by a street that ran parrallel to the alley way, buit stopped at the highway that ran in front of it. Angela had been headed for the opposite side of the highway, having reached the guard rail to jump over into the next lane. However, a jeep could be heard approaching, a Hound's headlights seen just down said lane. The farm girl hadn't been paying attention, fear and adrenaline making her run for what was perceived as safety even as Spark shouted at her. The vehicle screeching to a halt as it drifted in to avoid her as the horn blared, accompanied by thuds against it's armored body. Rounds had struck it as it passed the cone of view from the alley.

A man with dark black hair dismounted from the jeep, dark black cargo pants, a revenant undersuit, boots, a sash like garment, a newer looking rifleof some sort, and a katana at his waist. His expression was of one of pure anger, barely contained behind a calm exterior. Mark pointed to Angela then Spark catching up, "Take the jeep, and get her to safety."

"That's two I owe you, asshole!" Spark skidded to a stop, pointing at Mark. "GIRL! In the car! Mark, you better have some firepower for me, I ain't letting these fuckers disappear!"

Moving towards the car, Spark didn't get into the seat, in stead taking cover behind thenriver's door and opening the back seat.

The couple laying in the back row's floor board were clearly spent, empty casings littering the floor, and barrels still smoking. Mark held onto the rifle he had slung, but Spark would feel a heat as a energy blade was pointed in her direction. "That wasn't an order Corporal. Take the girl. And fucking get in the car. Go to the hospital and rally there. I will not ask again."

The look in his eyes were that of a man pushed passed a edge, where logic took a back seat as something dark drove his focus. Something had happened, something to change him, to push him to a level of hostility that even bled toward allies. Angela looked at him fearfully, "Please let's just go, I don't like that look and he doesn't look too friendly. Please, let's get out of here." She didn't want to stay too close to the man, he gave off the aura of someone looking for blood.

"If it's not an order, I ain't following! I'm not leaving my brother!" She knew it was a bad idea, but she'd heard he was already dead. Damned if she would let them be right. "Get in the damn car, Mark! I'm hit, I can't drive safely, let alone run. You want to rescue me? Get her to the barracks and me to my armor!"

We don't have time for this damnit!, Angela thought before just taking a spent rifle from the back seat floor board and giving a batters swing for the back of Spark's head. With no warning, and with her focused on Mark, the rifle connected with a cringe worthy smack. Dropping the rifle and giving a few quite apologies as the woman crumpled knocked out, the nepleslian girl began to hoist Spark up by the armpits. "I'll get her there, we're going, we're going, we're going." Angela said desperately to calm the very angry ninja man. This was one fucked up night, but at least she was alive.

Mark appeased, turned his attention to the figures skittering out of the alley way, a few more having been picked off. He raised the slung Avenger plasma rifle, and with a pull of the trigger, sent five bolts of blue plasma zipping towards the reapers. With the plasma katana in his other hand, the iroma blade cloth stiffening both sharp ends as they raised like snakes poised for the strike. Mark charged as his eyes glowed a rage filled red, his legs taking a stepping jump off the guard rail as he ran to clash with them.

Meanwhile Angela had managed with some effort to drag Spark into the back seat and get her buckled down before climbing into the front seat. Hitting the gas and ignoring speed limits which didn't matter right now, squealed tires as she took off down the street and away from the battle. Once speeding around several corners, she asked the GPS for directions to the hospital, a place not far from where they currently were. The man had said there was soldiers there, meaning security.

Eventually reaching the destination and pulling into the underground garage, she pulled the vehicle up next to the closest elevator. Once the jeep halted and the engine was turned off. She sat quiet and still for a moment, purely exhausted and in pain from her minor wounds, she simply leaned face first against the top of the wheel to cry.

It wouldn't be long before fabric shifted, the mass of muscle in the back seat pushing herself up. She had been awake for some time, figuring our her injuries and taking note of the situation. Seatbelts clicked as she disengaged them, and a gentle hand was placed on Angela's shoulder. "Civilian. Are you alright? Are you wounded?"

Spark's voice was calm, cold like she was dead inside. Her scarlet eyes were glazed over, the shock of messy white hair and high cheekbones denoting her as one of the Fenrir clones most people in Obsidian had seen at least once or twice. "What is your name?"

To be honest she wasn't expecting the buff woman to be awake again already, especially with how hard she had struck her in the farm girl's desperate haste. The crying had covered up the soft click of the seatbelts as well, so as the hand landed on her shoulder and Spark spoke, she nearly shat herself. Giving a surprised squeak, she flipped around to face her, "OH MY GODDESS, I'msosososorryIhityouinthehead,pleasedon'tbemad,orhurtme!" Angela said spewing words with no pause in between in a effort to apologize. However, when she saw the clone's calm expression, she took a shuttered breath. "Angela Hartbrook, I'm a office worker for the local company."

Spark nodded, slowly, something flickering behind the icy expression and slow, carefully calculated movements. "I will not harm you. I am afraid I may be somewhat wounded. Will you assist me to seek medical aid, Miss Hartbrook? Are you wounded, as well?"

Deep violet eyes framed by a gentle well tanned face gave a frown as she looked herself over quickly. She was bleeding pretty good at the top of her shoulder from a decent gash, and across her left thigh just under the hem of her skirt from another one. Feeling the pain now from them, and a stinging soreness in her cheek, idly wiping away the blood from a cut across said cheek. "I am, but as far as I can tell, nothing major. Who was that man from before, he looked like one of the lords here, but I only ever saw him on TV. He was rather angry it seemed about something, I thought he was going to kill you......I'm sorry I hit you like that, but..we had to leave, and I was worried he really would." Angela answered, her gaze turning down in shame for striking this woman who had saved her as she apologized.

"That man is Commander Oaklen. He is a... He's my brother." Something clicked in Spark's mind, and she shook off the emotionless demeanor, stiffening with a curse. "I have to go back for him! let's get inside, I'll get combat treatment while I get my PA deployed, you get stitched up."

With a swift motion, Spark opened the door and slid out, almost forgetting about Angela. Standing tall and pressing a hand against her bleeding side, she looked back with a gentle smile. "You did the right thing. Saved my life, and yours. Thank you, Angela."

The comm chip found its way into her hand again as she selected a contact and placed her call, now that she had signal. "Sir, there's been an incident. Commander Oaklen ordered me to the hospital for treatment of combat injuries. Yes, sir, the big one. I need my armor deployed and dispatched to my location. Yes, sir, I wish to reengage targets. A Storm Rifle and combat load would be nice. I understand, sir. Urban warfare and Storm Rifles gets rowdy. Avenger it is, then. Thank you, Sir. No need to wake up the rest of Charlie, yet... Actually, deploy them to the Ironhart residence. Guard duty. Thank you, sir. I'll give a full sitrep when I can. Yes, sir. Sleep well, sir. Yessir, when you can. We'll handle it, sir." A push of a button and she concluded.

"No you're not! Did you see his eyes?! He could have killed you, he still might if you go back. I don't think your brother wanted to be saved," Angela said worried she would end up that way before yanking the keys from the jeep. "I'm holding onto the keys, and if you want em, you have to take them from me. And I'm willing to stash them someplace you won't be willing to go. You're still hurt and need help, and that is final." she stated firmly before dropping them down her skirt then giving a firm expression as she crossed her arms. However, she hissed as the gash on her shoulder moved with the action.

"That is family, miss. I'll get a stim, stop the bleeding, and my armor's medical subsystem'll handle the hole. Now, I'm not the only one who took a hit, so unless you want to be picked up like a sack of tubers, I'd start heading to the elevator." Spark stepped towards the girl, drawing her shoulders back and ensuring that her facial expression held no qualms about reaching into Angela's skirt for those keys or commandeering another vehicle.

The only other vehicles in the garage were civilian cars, and only a few, most likely those of the staff working at the hospital tonight. Things were quiet as the two had their little stand off in the garage, rain could be heard outside now. "I'm not going anywhere until I'm assured you're getting fully treated too. It's also clear those guys were hunting you, I'm pretty sure that man ordered you here, FOR YOUR SECURITY. If you want these keys, come and take em, but you'll have to catch me first. I don't want to see you hurt."

"You know what combat treatment is, right? Full suspension antibiotics and medical nanoes, paste and gauze with genetic blank stem cells to accelerate. It hurts like a bitch, but brings a soldier back to combat strength within five minutes. So you want me to call a medic and he'll give you, some, too, or would you like me to do my job and defend key personnel? I'm a Corporal. He is a member of the royal family and a Council member."

She couldn't, in faith to her career, allow Mark to engage solo, and this woman was making it difficult. With that being the case, Spark simply turned and walked towards the elevator. "We're both hurt. You're right. Let's get patched up."

That felt too easy but maybe it was because Spark realized just how tiring the whole ordeal they had been through had been. With a relaxed sigh she strode after the beffier woman, taking an opposite corner in the elevator where she leaned against the wall with eyes closed. "Sorry, but I wouldn't feel right letting you willing go into a situation more then likely to get you killed. I haven't even been able to thank you for saving me yet. Maybe dinner or a coffee at the least sometime."

"Maybe. My name's Spark Pine. F-26 Fenrir Division, Charlie Strike Team, New Dusk Conclave Army. Willingly putting myself in harm's way is ninety percent of my job." Spark smiled warmly, idly pressing a button to take them to the trauma center floor. "Thanks. I might take you up on that offer. Might even wear a bikini to that if you give me back my brother's keys. He's gonna want them back when he gets here. And there's a metal detector. Don't need you getting searched."

Angela narrowed her gaze at the clone, not liking that embarassing idea of her secrets being stripped to some random security guard. "I hope you're being honest about that," she said with a sigh, "But I guess if that's the case, then I guess I have no choice. They were starting to poke me in the ba-...privates anyway."

Turning away a bit, she slid a hand back in and fished the keys back out, then dangled them by the ring after turning back around as she offered them over. Even if the whole thing was a lie, she at least could say she tried.

She could see the flush in Spark's cheeks, and the averted gaze as Spark held out her hand for the keys. "I'm sorry for getting you hurt. I... You're really nice. It took me a while for it to click."

"I've had worse before from working on my parent's farm. This whole office job is new to me. So don't be, I got to meet someone new out of it." Angela replied with a giggle as violet eyes regarded her warmly. She straightened the hem of her skirt and her shirt as they waited for their floor, "You're also very nice too, very strong as well. I shouldn't be surprise my pitful batter's swing didn't keep you down for long."

"I may have a lump from that for a few days." Spark slipped the keys into her pocket, her free hand rubbing at the knot in her skull developing from the surprisingly forceful swing. "Memory's a bit fuzzy. Next thing I remember clearly is having to go back. You hit pretty hard. Farm life was good for you, physically. Would you like to start a farm, here? I like them. Quiet. No firefighting."

"Yeah, actually that was my long term goal. I was going to work until I had enough to start one of my own someday," she reaffirmed before remembering how Spark had been like after waking up, "Oh, actually you were acting pretty strange when you got up. Nearly scared me enough to shit a brick. You were really monotone, and kinda robot like. You're not.....like....an android right? I've never seen one, so I have no idea how they llook. Was kinda sheltered as a kid I guess." She asked awkwardly, not wanting to come off as weird, then again with how the night was going. She could afford a few less worries.

"I'm not from some old movie." Spark looked away again. "I'm a clone soldier. One of a a hundred. Only I'm defective. The others were hardwired for no emotional response. I was never good at following orders. Still. A farm sounds nice. I'd be glad to help out, if you want." She offered another smile, moving slightly, before the wound in her side reminded her of limits presence with an angry hiss. The elevator dinged, letting the doors open to the trauma floor, and no metal detectors.

She hadn't even looked out the doors yet, still focused on the woman, who she felt bad for. "Hey, you aren't broken, I for one think you are a great human being. Besides, imperfect is the new perfect haven't ya heard. You're always welcome on my farm, I'd kill for a hundred hands like you."

Angela gave a wide smil before looking out the doors, "........."There are metal detectors." Rrrriiiiiigggghhhhtttt. Why did I fall for that."

"Because it made sense." Spark said simply, stepping out into the lobby and flagging down a nurse. "I said I was defective. Not broken. I am not the standard I was created to. I am, however, a good soldier."

"Now you really owe me the oppurtunity to repay you. Don't die, I want to be able to cook you dinner as repayment one night. Non-negotiable." Angela simply said as she followed, finding being tricked irritating. But there was nothing she could do now, and knew she couldn't stop Spark even if she still wanted to try.

"I would appreciate that." Spark gave a small chuff of laughter. "I'll start cooking for you, too. Granted, it'll be field food, but..." She shrugged, keeping her smile. It didn't take long for the two to start getting examined, and Spark waved her nurse off to make sure Angela was okay, first.

"mmmm, rations, just like dad's hunting trips. I should really go hunting here sometime, I hear the woodlands between here and the defense line are full of decent game. Hopefully a manual on edible fauna exists for such things." The ginger haired Nepleslian said as the nurse came over and began to examine her gashes. A doctor was waved over who brought a small cart of supplies.

"Please come with us to examination room 2. We'll need to removed articles of clothing so we can apply dressing to the wounds properly."

Angela looked a bit uncomfortable with that, "How much are we talking here?"

"Essentially everything but undergarments. There are rather large blood stains in your clothing, we need to make sure they aren't hiding others." the doctor stated as she crossed her arms, but not in an annoyed way, but in an insecure manner as she held her arms closer.

Spark saw how Angela moved, similar to Jacky. A soft hand was placed again on the redhead's shoulder. "It's okay. The doctors are sworn to the secrecy of their patients. Anything they see can only be used to help you, and only by them."

She had seen that insecurity before, but could only offer support. "I'll be right here when you get out. And I will tell you my defect. I won't ask about any you might have."

"No I really would rather not, only family and people close enough to know have ever seen that much of me. I j-just..can't. I'll just bandage these later when I get home." Angela said, holding herself tighter and taking a step away from the doctor. "Please, I have my reasons. Only people I know, w-would even be considered."

"I know what you are." Spark smiled, gently, bluffing. "There are others, here. The doctors are only concerned about your safety. Not your body."

She shook her head, remembering the last time someone she hadn't known saw her that exposed, "No. I need to get home, I'm sorry." Angela said before trying to walk away.

"But ma'am, your injuries!"

Spark's hand clenched, the other moving to attempt to grab Angela's injured shoulder, but paused at the last second. "Alright. Then let me treat your injuries. It won't be fun. But no one will know."

She stopped giving Spark a wary look, but she caved despite the still present urge to run. This woman had saved her, she cared, and if that was qenuine then she would accept what she was hiding. "Fine, but only you. I trust you enough, so where is this room?"

The doctor seemed hesitant to accept that, but he knew spark and her stubborness combined with her temper. "First room on the right."

"Roger." The Corporal nodded firmly, gently taking Angela's hand and relaxing the grip on her shoulder. Turning to the doctor, she made her instructions clear, "Medical nanoes and zip stitches, please. I'll need some for myself, as well. When my armor arrives, lay it out in the order I need to don it. Pass my undersuit through the privacy door. Thank you."

Angela said not a word, only holding Spark's hand as if afraid to lose her hand, as they both entered the examination room and the door was shut. "I-I-I just want to say I-I'm sorry again. This isn't easy for me, and has been k-kinda point of confusion most of my life. I was born...d-different."

"So was I." Again, Spark gave a warm smile, picking up the packages from the bedside table. "Sit."

Bringing the packet open, she pulled apart the sterilized papers, revealing alcohol soaked pads and an adhesive backed device, like a pair of zipties on a band. "These will hold the wound closed while the nanoes work. It may take a few days. But scarring should be minimal."

She looked at the items then with a sigh, began to remove the layers needed, first being her top. Once that was off, she stood and with hesitant hands that paused at her skirt, finally dropped it. She closed her eyes tight, afraid to see Spark's reaction as she made the reveal.

Spark carefully smeared a silver paste on Angela's thigh, only casually glancing up to check for further injuries. She barely noticed Angela's anatomy, only enough to stay respectfully clear. She didn't even know if she'd remember anything unusual about Angela by morning. She placed the zip stitches and drew them tight, pressing Angela's wound together with surprising care and gentleness.

"Nothing unusual, here. Looks like you got glanced a few times, but you're fine. This doesn't hurt, does it?

When no comment came, she opened her eyes with a shy redness, only giving a quite hiss as the stitches were applied. "Yes, a little.......Is this not weird to y-you? You're the only other stranger who's....seen it. Those who found out before, kept away, acted like I was some alien. But you act as if this is an everyday sight....why?"

"Because my... I'm not concerned about what your body looks like. you got caught in my mess and ended up saving my life. You're a good person. I don't care what's between your legs." Spark shrugged, moving up Angela's body with a cleaning cloth, checking for injuries and patching them as she went. "I've seen weirder. I'm just glad you're not seriously hurt. My defect is autism, by the way. My high functioning autism cancles neural conditioning."

"I was born with both sets of sex organs.....It's made things rather confusing and hard to....be open about. Something that didn't get a very positive reaction when I was a child. And the reason my parents moved us to Cavalon. Most people who knew, didn't know how to refer to me, which lead to more then a few out right avoiding me all together. After a while, my parents asked which I wanted to be considered and to basially keep the other part lowkey. I simply chose female, because clothed I lokked like any other female." Angela explained after she was patched and cleaned, finding Spark touching on her to feel strange yet welcoming. "I guess we aren't different in that regard, both just born a bit different."

"I understand that," Spark nodded, finishing her work. She stood up and twisted, hissing sharply as she started on her own wounds. "I find it... Difficult, sometimes, to interact. And more often, I can't... Sorry. There's a reason I'm a Corporal, and my twins are mostly Commanders or other high ranks. Usually end up doing something dumb. If you want, I'd... If you want to go get coffee or... Something... Sorry."

She looked almost teary as Spark showed understanding and opened up to her in kind, and as the clone apologized after making such a kind offer. Angela stood, still not having dressed yet and wrapped her arms the buff framed woman in a hug, "I would love that thank you, and remember, I promised to make you dinner."

"I..." Spark looked down, wrapping an arm arond the half naked woman holding her. "Yeah. I'll be sure to take you up on that."

Spark gave a warm smile, her cheeks reddening as she tried to be gentler than her form and career normally allowed. "I... I'd get dressed. My armor will arrive shortly. Then we can get you home. Afterwards, I have hunting to do. I will make sure I come back, for dinner. For you."

"You better, otherwise i'm gonna be pissed you didn't. I hope you give those guys hell buffy." Angela said with a giggle as she finally released the woman. As if on signal, a undersuit was slid under the door through a slot in the door.

"That's my cue." Spark stepped back, whipping the tee shirt off her back, revealing just how buff she was, despite Angela's earlier jab. Most Fenrir females had soft, supple curves, rather than chiselled lines and veins forced to the surface. Alabaster skin that had never seen sun slipped too tight across the hardened musculature, which the sport bra clad Spark still seemed insecure about, despite her having to strip down to get into the skin tight Revenant undersuit.

"Sorry, not the best to look at, I know." The gym shorts and her holster were next to drop, Spark slipping her legs into the suit, sliding it up over her shoulders to start closing the front. "I'm not that big, righ?"

"I dunno, not a bad view from here, I'd class you up there with eye candy on my chart. You're big enough to me." Angela said with a giggle and a wink as she watched intently, never having seen another woman undressed. Her words were true, and certain anatomical signs corrolated that. "I might need to find more situations to be the damsel in distress if this what all the knights look like."

"I... " Spark smiled again, flushing shyly. "You're flirting. Thank you. I could use some help armoring up. When Charlie armors, we always set each other up. It's difficult to put my own armor on. I'm not that flexible."

She flexed her fingers to settle the material of the undersuit, stepping towards the door. She knew the undersuit softened her figure, perhaps enough to make her look like her sisters, but the fact remained that she was about to don armor that added a few hundred pounds to her frame.

With another look of warmth and care, Spark slipped out the door, beginning to don the heavy metal and polymers, the servos and power systmes of the armor coming online. She knew first and foremost, she was a weapon. But to be called a knight, that stirred something within her. Ancient, powerful, it felt good. Like something to aspire to. For once, Spark felt as strong as she looked, and her posture showed it.

"Then I'll assist you. Tell me what you need and I'll do my best." Angela answered as she quickly redonned her clothes.

As Spark would exit, a couple troopers with Avengers would enter as they escorted several stretchers. All but one carried motionless figures. The first was female, a familiar cybernetic arm atop the sheet covered body. Next was another female, it was Harmony, still and not awake as they carried her. Another covered body followed, canine ears poking up past the end of the sheet. Finally a spikey blonde haired man lay twitching on the last stretcher, his eyes greyed when they briefly flickered open, blood soaking a wad of gauze under the back of his neck.

Spark did her best to ignore the death and pain starting to surround her, focusing on her armor. "Could you place the spine and gorget, please? Set plates over servos. Everything is labelled and self locking."

She lifted her abdominal plates into position, letting the joint wrap around and waiting for the spine. She looked up long enough to note the bodies, who lay under the sheets, taking a mental note of who was already down and who wasn't coming back. But just as quickly, she looked away. She needed to focus. "I need to get back out there before more people die."

It didn't take long for Spark to finish armoring up, her voice guiding Angela's hand. When Spark finally picked up her helmet, she had added a full foot to her height, amost four hundred pounds to her weight, and looked like the armored giantess she had seen in her partners' body cameras. She set the helmet to the side, selecting a point on the table to rest her plasma rifle, the other two hardpoints on her suit empty, magnetic slots saved for the power cell style magazines she started placing in easy to access points. Unlike the eight HAR 1 magazines she usually carried, these fit two per slot, letting her carry enough for herself, and Mark, when she found him.

Her pistol found its way into the holster on her hip with two fresh magazines next to it, and a fresh one inside. A knife with its plasma tipped blade took its place sheathed horizontally under her breastplate. Finally, she picked up her weapon again, lifting it over her head to clip to her back for transport. An earpiece found its way to its place, a small HUD screen deploying over her eye.

Picking up the helmet for the last time, Spark took a knee in front of Angela, speaking softly, "Do you want to go home, Angela? Or do you want to stay here, safe? All of those people that came in, under sheets dead, dying, or maimed, those are people I know. There's nothing I can do for them except keep the count from getting higher. That includes you if I can't protect you. So it's your choice."

The ginger looked at those being rolled past for a moment, recognizing them as faces Spark would likely never see again. It made this night feel all more like some nightmare, another reason to go home and hide. But.....at the same time, she didn't want to go home and face a different kind of Hell.

She had made what could have been the closest thing she had to a friend in a long time. The woman before had opened up to her, and Angela to her, and both accepted each other. Going home and hiding while that friend likely went out, despite being hunted, just to help others likely facing the same. It just felt as if it would be cowardice to leave her now.

"I'm going, but I'd like a pistol if we can grab one before leaving. I know how to handle one." Angela stated looking determined and putting on a brave face, knowing full well what she was likely signing up for.

"Alright." Spark hesitated for a moment, before reaching down and retrieving her pistol, and its spare magazines, handing them over to the beautiful redhead she was looking jn the eye. "When I get out, stay in the truck, shoot from the window, and don't open that door unless I am getting in. Lock the doors so they can't get in if they get past me."

Her hand reached up and tapped her earpiece as she stood. "Corporal Pine, Spark, signing on the net. Vic is ready, awaiting dispatch orders." With that, her helmet slipped on, lighted eyes blinking to life, along with several indicator lights on the wrist. This close, her rank and name on the left pauldron was at eye level, along with the cobalt stripe Spark still wore, lined with iridescant red as it ran from right shoulder to left hip.

"Let's get down to the truck so we know where to go when orders come in. You driving or me?"

"I guess I will, not gonna be good for much else on this trip. Hmmm..." Angela said as she contemplated where to put the extra magazines. She had no pockets and didn't just want to leave the spare ammo free to clatter about in the jeep. Looking down she could think of only one answer.

Sliding the pistol into the back waist band of her skirt, the two magazines were simply placed within her cleavage for storage. Something her generous bust more then offered, "Ready to go."

A trooper approached the corporal, "Ma'am, we have a problem. I can't reach Lord Pine, or the Major. Comms are black in multiple sectors of the city. And....," He turned his helmets head towards one of the stretchers that had passed, and was not further down the hall for the briefest of moment. "With Lord Oaklen's current state, I believe it is wise to to omit the status of Lord Pine's son. Amit Pine was carried in on one of those stretchers......He......He's deceased ma'am. Neera, Adria, Nyx, Isabelle and her infant twins are all unaccounted for. Same for Jacky, Hati, and Jacklynn. Corporal,.......you are the only present ranking member and member of the royal family."

Spark thought for a moment, before turning and delivering a Revenant II augmented kick to a nearby bucket with a loud curse. She steeled herself immediately after, taking an audible breath. "Okay, I want mapping on the comm blackout zones, three man fireteams set up perimeters with AP rounds and plasma rifles, set the perimeter, drop fireteams into the hot zones. Kill anything that doesn't immediately show up as biological. Search and destroy, isolate and rescue survivors. Got it?"

She turned to leave, before stopping herself. "Last thing, trooper. Get me the last known location of Mark Oaklen and immediately let me know when Charlie makes hostile contact. That's gonna be our rally point for that sector. Any potential targets, wounded, and survivors go there. Send medics. Every blacked out sector, I want an eight man fireteam holding the center or likely location of any HVP. Angela, on me. We got a Lord to rescue."

With that, Angela's knight turned on her heel and moved briskly to the elevator, unslinging her Avenger and holding it at low ready, the butt stock tucked under her arm as she checked that her armorer had put a fresh magazine in the chamber.

Keying her comms one last time, Spark spoke on a broadwave secure channel to any troopers listening. "My name is E7I Spark Pine, F-26. I have been informed that at present, I am the ranking member of the royal family. I refuse this to be true. Your leaders are in the blackout zones, cut off, hunted by mechanically augmented weapons I will call mimics. Find them. Bring them to safety. Bring them somewhere they can lead you better than I can. I am just a Corporal. Many of you outrank me. So use your best judgement and remember your training. Exterminate the mimics and keep our people safe. E7I Pine out."

"As far as we know, he's still in the same area you last saw him." the trooper called back.

Angela took a brisk pace to keep up with the now heavily armored woman, saying nothing as they both loaded back into the elevator. Pressing the key for the garage, she stood back into the corner again, the pistol giving a tap sound against the wall. After a moment she finally spoke, "......I'm sorry Spark, hopefully we can save the others. I'm not well versed on loss, but I'm here...if you want to talk...or...." what more could she say, she could only guess what the trooper was feeling, and she felt bad being unable to do much.

Spark was silent for a long moment, her armored shoulders seeming to droop, just slightly, her head hanging down towards her chest. "You're doing a lot. More than anyone should ever have to ask of you. Thank you."

To be honest, Spark didn't know how she should feel. Alone, scared, this attack was coming completely out of the blue and lashing out at any of the Pine family that had grown away from being weapons. Striking at their families and close friends. Even the armor's weight and pressure wasn't comforting, now. She knew she should feel rage. But with no contact from her leadership, she was unsure of what to do. She guessed she was the leadership, for now. Until she could rescue Oaklen and confirm the safety of the others. She just hoped that there was someone, anyone left.

"Just do me a favor, okay? Stay alive. I know I've asked a lot. But just stay alive, even if it means leaving me behind. I'll manage if I have to. My job, after all." She hoped Angela could hear the warm smile behind that voice. The implied promise that Spark would make it through.

For a moment she couldn't bring herself to say yes, not out of defiant rudeness, but for the feeling that it would be like accepting she wasn't coming back. "I'd rather die together, then survive alone. I don't want that to be the case, but I know I would only get in your way. I will only leave you behind if there is no other option. I may not be a soldier, but that doesn't mean I'm not willing to stand next to those I care about."

"I'd... Thank you. This is a nightmare. It didn't have to be yours and you're volunteering. Thank you." The doors opened and Spark stepped out, handing off the keys to Angela and bumping her weapon's safety. With a barely perceptible whine, the rail charge built, and Spark slipped into her training, scanning around for any threat. She quickly unlocked the driver's door and pulled it open, waving Angela into the driver's seat, before getting in on the other side. "Lock the door by pressing down on the door handle when you close it. Can't be opened from outside when you do it."

Angela gave a brief nod before taking the keys and mounting up. With the turn of the key, the Hound's engine hummed with a soft whine. Once Spark was aboard, the vehicle rolled backwards before turning around a pillar and heading right back for the entrance. The rain pitter patted off the roof, having grown heavy at some point while they were in the hospital. "Normally I like the rain, but now it's hiding who knows what. Let's just hope they didn't bring any other freaks with them."

"The rain always hides something worse..." Spark mumbled, hopefully quietly enough her partner couldn't hear. Still, she quickly started setting up communications and navigation, activating the truck's door locks in the process. Then all she could do was wait, scanning out the window as she looked for any sign that her Commander was okay.
 
Last edited:

Jack Pine

Staff Member
FM of S6
Game Master
"Reap or Treat"
Obsidian City
An hour after Zeke's attack


The night was still quiet, the rain a heavy down pour. The city was for the majority, still unaware of what lurked in the shadows, of those dying within their walls. It was a state of emergency, yet no alarm could be sent, the only signs would be isolated sounds of gunfire and cries of pain. Everyone who was someone within the government had a target on their head, and the reapers were here to reap. Sindy was no different, and the reapers drew closer and closer, their red oculared skulls of metal turning there gaze to her name on the list. Cloaked figures moved in the dark, mist, and rain as they convered on her apartment.....

Meanwhile, within her appartment, a TV screen played a war film. Sindy sat on her couch with a beer in one hand and a 10mm pistol in the other. Relaxing in her blue pajamas, she sat there idoly working on her new ship design, while also watching the movie in front of her; Sindy being completely unaware of the infestors creeping on her appartment. The interior of her appartment was mostly clean, though there were a few empty bottles of beer and wine sitting around.

Prodding and poking, the reapers searched for entry, optic eyes peering through the window at Sindy. Cunningly calculating, more went to the roof. In they crept, slinking through the building, quietly ending the lives of those who would have been witnesses. Finally, the generator was found, a reaper bracing itself against the machine, ending its own existence as it overloaded it's cybernetic body and set off it's dead man devices. The machine sparked and sputtered as it died, the slagged corpse melting through it for good measure, scrapping any chance of repair.

With startled gasps from occupance, darkness decended on the corridors and rooms. Power gone, leaving anywhere without windows pitch black, the storm bringing the rooms even with windows close to the same. Sindy was now alone in the dark....

”Fuckin’ storm, cutting out the power at the worst time.” Sindy groaned as she got up And fetched a candle, lighting the wic and looking for more. She set her’s down onto the counter or the kitchen and went looking into the pantry for the other two, grabbing her shotgun in case. “Too fucking dark, shadows could be jumping out at me and spook me...” she said after she managed to light the other candles and set them down around her small apartment.

As Sindy moved about, the signal to move was given. One reaper with a delicate claw, began to slide the door open, the power outage disengaging any locks. The pneumatic front door quietly slid open centimeter by centimeter. Once it was open enough, the creature lowered itself on all fours and slowly staying close to the floor as possible, began to skitter slowly into the apartment. More readied incase the solo reaper proved not enough for one woman.

Sindy attempted to flick on the lights, “Huh, looks like everything is going to be out for a while. Reaching down towards her drawer, she fumbled around till she found her torch and turned it on, turning around to see the creepy fucker in front of her. “Shit!” She shouted as she fired a round at the Reaper.

Sparks flashed as the round struck it in the chest, causing the figure to stumble a few steps back. With a clicking of annoyance the lower jaw split into four with a hiss filled shriek as the reaper broadcasted it's anger. With a flurry the skeletal creature rushed Sindy with frightening speed, having been quite thoroughly pissed from being struck.

Holding firm, she fired two more shots at the ungodly looking reaper. "Bitch! Get the fuck out of my house!" Unshaken and angered by the intruder, she attempted to contact Zeke through her Geist, [Fucking intruders in my house!]. She then also attempted to relay that message to the S.S.A.F. Sindy's expression starting to show ultament rage and her eyes grow focused on her target.

There would be no reply, only dead silence from Zeke, the message to SSAF was met with an alert that troops were inbound. The ping relaying as the reaper fell from the two extra rounds, crumpling to the floor near her feet. As it died, those waiting outside made their move. Two of her windows shattered, and two more figures slinked up from the floor. Animalistic growls emanated from mechanical mouths. "Prepare to die alone." one hissed with a raspy voice.

With a sadistic chuckle, she responded, "I've killed hundreds of beast and men, don't think a few little robots are going to put me down little man!" Sindy then shouts, "DRAGUUNS!!!" As she then grabbed her 10mm pistol and dual wielded both as she hunted down the Reapers. "Zeke!!! Why are you so fucking lazy! Stop sucking off your boyfriend and get your ass over here!" She added, attempting to reach him again.

Both of them skittered at her, one leaping over a nearby couch, only to get a shotgun slug through it's ocular with a wet thunk as blood sprayed from the hole. The other was was pelted with the 10 mm rounds, sparking as they lept for her. It's armored body handled the rounds well enough to make it's charge.

Sindy dropped down onto her back and attempted to kick the Reaper into the ceiling, quickly attempting to fire a few more slugs into the invader. “Guess ya’ll really do have time to kill, ‘cause you’re just proving me to be drop dead gorgeous.” Smiling as her rage continued to pump through her vaines.

Kicking into the ceiling wasn't quite successful, but the slugs were, the reaper rolling over her to land against the wall with a thump. It shifted, but did not move much, holes in it's chest gushing black fluid. A raspy hitched chuckle left it's cybernetic mouth, "Blondie isn't coming, we had our fun with him and left him to die. The-..light leaving his eyes, th- urgh..the screams, pure music. Zeke Rykiel is dead bitch hahahahahahaha!"

Sindy's rage triggered again as she strut over to the reaper and grabbed him from the collar, "I think you're head will look good on a pike, but no... that would be too good for you... I think turning you into a modern art would be better." She then placed the shotgun barrel againt his head and pulled the trigger. Hoping to splatter his brains all across her wall.

And splatter they did, the final reaper falling still as it's oculars dimmed, only giving a chuckle before it's demise. The room would have been silent if not for the wind and rain splattering in from the storm, adding to the mess from the skirmish. No more reapers immediately appeared, the situation calm......for now.

Sindy took a step back and looked at the mess, “Looks like a weird fucking art style. I think I’ll show Zeke when he wakes up. She took out a camera and took a few pictures of her kills then placed it on the counter. “Now... I have a broken house to fix and some soldiers to press through some SABER training for being late.” She said walking over to grab a beer, “If they fail, they start again.”

The roar of thrusters could be heard outside as a Bolt shuttle came to a hover above the roof of the building, the sounds of armored boots rapidly falling in the hall a few minutes later. Lights shown before they swung into the apartment to illuminate the apartment, a trooper sweeping the place as two more entered in with him.

"Clear! 3 hostiles down." came the call followed by the confirmation from the other two as well.

"Ma'am, you need to come with us, we're in a state of emergency. All councilmen are being brought to the hospital as our rally point."

Turning to the new arrivals into her apartment, she set down her beer and started to inform them on some things she had on her mind in a very impatient tone, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from these fuckers is that they’re receiving our messages. There’s no doubt that they already know where our rendezvous point is and they know where everyone is. We need security on everyone who’s in the Council and everyone who is related to the royal family NOW.” Punctuating as she was furious that this was allowed to happen, “If these mother fuckers can get past our line of security, then we really don’t need all those Dovanian boys on that perimeter. We need them here sweeping the fucking streets and security! They have- what, 10,000 people here? And they have eight times the military presence than us?! Call those fuckers in here to do the fucking job we have Mark and Talos training them to do! For fucks sake! We need security not fucking honor guards. Get me a suit of power armor and more ammo, I’m finna shoot some bitches if ya’ll ain’t!” She finished by grabbing an extra box of ammo for her shotgun and pistol, then left her apartment door, “Let’s get moving boys!” She called out still pissed.

The troopers followed after while trying to form a perimeter around her, "Ma'am, we're in a state of emergency. A few councilers are dead, both lords are missing, Lord Oaklen's wife is dead, so is Lord Pine's eldest son, and Mr. Rykiel.....He's in the ICU currently under watch. Corporal Spark is currently in charge with major Talos MIA."

The speed that’s Sindy took when she whipped arounedbto glare at the trooper was enough to cut diamonds, “You’re telling me none of these people had security at all?! Who in their right mind would leave these people without at least a guard?!” She then punched a hole in the wall from pure frustration. Taking a deep sigh, she added, “Out of the years I was an Draguun under the King, not once did he ever leave without at least someone protecting him. When I find Mark or Jack, I’m going to give them a piece of my mind on how to run a military.” She then goes to make a call to the Fort outside Obsidian, however remembers that the place is a dead zone. “Get me a line to those fuckers on the perimeter, I want some extra security since we can’t get our shit in order.” She ordered the trooper who relayed the massage to her, “Fuckers set up radio dead zones.”

"Nothing is going out of the city, we can't even send a call to the defense line. A shuttle was sent to make physical contact. Lord Oaklen was at the hospital when the first attack happened,....they...killed his wife. He hunted down the thing that did it when it tried to go for one of the Pine daughters in another room. He left in a fit of rage before we lost contact with him. Miss Spark confirmed he's in the park area somewhere when she came to the hospital from being attacked as well. She gave orders then went back out as well. There are squads combing the dead zones to find VIPs and clear out any hostiles found." The trooper explained, undeterred by the woman's aggression.

The group would find their way to the roof as he talked, boarding the waiting Bolt shuttle before taking off again, their course set to Hospital. "ETA til arrival is five minutes ma'am."

The tall Osman would board after him and hold onto the ‘Jesus Handle.’ Remembering about Seraphina, she turned to ask, “Have you been able to locate Seraphina, Kessler, or his sister and her children?” She asked as they were valuable and important personnel. Completely skipping over someone, though not remembering them anyway.

"Negative, we have no data on their where abouts currently......or Kyle's."

”Who? Anyway let’s just get moving.” She said as getting to the location was more important than talking about no bodies that she didn’t know.

The shuttle turned and gave a kick with it's thrust as it took to cruising speed, climbing above the height of the other buildings. Once high enough, the craft accelerated towards the hospital. As stated by the trooper, the trip around 5 minutes, the craft then lowering until hovering aboe a landing pad on the roof. Two other shuttles hovered around the building, moving in a circle around it. Armed men with a anti-air nest were stationed on the roof as well.

Sindy hopped off of the shuttle and took a quick look around before heading inside. Armed with a shotgun and pistol, Sindy in her pajamas looked like one pissed off girlfriend after a day in zombieland. "Alright, bring me someone in charge of the S.S.A.F. I need to dish out some orders." She said to her escort.

"Excuse me? Ma'am, last I checked, you aren't enlisted personnel. Besides, we have orders. Secure the hospital as a rally point, search all deadzones for VIPs, and eliminate all hostiles encountered. We've spread out across the city." the trooper who disembarked with her scoffed, "Besides, you have someone to go see. He needs you more right now then what little good a woman with a antique shotgun and PJs are gonna do."

"My orders were to direct me to Zeke and to make sure they maintain course of current orders." She told the soldier in a more calm tone. She sighed and turned back down the hallway, "You're just followeing orders... Just... show me where he is." Saying in a more defeated tone than she had presented before, lowering her shotgun to point at the floor. "But I'd have you know, this shot gun killed the lot of 'em without any fancy fucking gadgets. Antique or not, it's as effective as killing as your peashooter." Sindy stated to him in a clear tone, "Lower technology, although still very much as deadly. Don't forget that."

"Noted, now follow me please. We need to head to the ICU wing."

The trooper lead the way, stepping into a elevator, hitting the floor indicator after Sindy had entered. The usually soothing elevator music was actually disturbingly out of place for once on this dark night. The doors opened to several troopers standing guard, they waved the pair through and into the small lobby. The soldier who had been by Sindy's side walked down a corridor to the right, the one that lead to the surgery suites on this floor. They passed empty bloodied stretchers, a couple bag covered bodies by a door.

Sindy quietly glanced at the environment around her, this wasn't the first time she saw something like this. It was just never this quiet. 'I prefer the sound of men screaming in pain then silence. It's too eiree.' She thought to herself as she followed after the soldeir who was escorting her to Zeke.

Further in, the soldier turned down the hall for surgery suites passing by a few observation rooms for the major surgical theaters on the floor below where the advanced medical machines were kept. A doctor stood outside a room on their right with a mix of exhaustion, and morbid neutrality as he read over somesort of charts on his pad. As the two approached he looked past to Sindy briefly then back at the trooper, "I assume you're here to see mister Rykiel? He's curently unconcious, but stable for now. He's suffereed severe trauma to the neck, the creature forcefully removed his implant. He's blind, will be hurting when he wakes up, have minimal motor function until we can get him a new one, but he'll live. The medics found him just in time, loss any more blood and we wouldn't be having the same conversation, or in the same place. I'd say keep it brief, but with this stuff going down, who gives a fuck."

The trooper turned to Sindy briefly after the doctor was done speaking, his helmet making unclear why, most likely to just see how she was handling the prognosis. "Thank you doc, please attend to your other patients." the trooper said before stepping into the room.

Silently following after, Sindy anticipated the worst. She had heard stories of others having their geist jacked, someone even had it happen to them twice, so this wasn't anything to scoff off. When she stepped into that room, her intire body tensed up and braced for the worst. "Zeke?"

It was a medium sized surgery suite, a few gel beds with some auto-docs suspened in alcoves in the ceiling. Only one bed was occupied, but a few others had been clearly recently used from crimson stains left in them. The beep of life signs came from over by the occupied bed. The trooper already knew the obvious bed to visit, "Remember, doc said he was unconcious ma'am. He won't answer back for now."

He said this as he crossed the room, and slowly pulled back the privacy curtain. What laid in the bed was not a pretty sight by any means. Zeke was in his stained work clothes still, stains from minor bullet wounds still present in them, one in the leg that had left a larger stain. What was most clear however, was the braced and padded thing on his neck to protect his ravaged neck while it healed. The bed was heavily stained around this, the man a bit pale. He hadn't responded, still under from whatever the doctor had injected him with, his half lidded eyes a dull grey then their usual vibrant blue.

A blood bag, salene drip, and sensors ran from the medical station setup next to the other side of the bed, a cart covered in bloodied gauze and emtied drug hypos as well as tools littering it's top.

There were no words that could describe what was being seen, Sindy just stood there and looked down at the person she cared for. "Damn it Zeke, I don't know how to handle the loss of something more than family. Sorry I... *sigh*." She turned to the trooper dumbfounded, "What do you want me to do, I've never had to deal with this before. I have no clue what I'm suppose to do here?! I saw him, now what?" She asked and asked, a the internal self confusion just kept piling up on how to properly respond to this. She just didn't know, and the only person she cares about more than her family is comatose.

"Stay here with him, keep him safe, let the army handle the rest. We have our orders, we may not be able to communicate fully across the city, but we don't need that to hunt these fuckers. These guys are professionals, and whoever sent them had to have an inside source. We need to keep any VIPs we have secured where they'll be safe and can keep an eye on them. Right now, Mr. Rykiel needs you to do that for him. If you need anything, give me a call, just ask for Warrant Officer Harris." The trooper offered with a shake of the head at the sight, "I need to go organize fortification of the builing and make sure we have LZs for medivacs."

With that, he headed for the exit, giving a nod as he did, but stopping by the door. He looked over to a weapon against the wall, something left over from a trooper who had run into the reapers and not made it. He paused as if he knew the original owner of it and thought for a moment. Picking it up, he carried it over and grabbed a chair for Sindy, placing both beside Zeke's bed. "An Executioner, standard ballistic 12ga. Nothing fancy other then 16 rounds of helpful....For just incase."

"Fine, I'll play babysitting..." She stated in a less than positive tone. "God damnit Zeke, you had to go and get yourself nearly killed. What the fucker were you even doing before this happened?!" She said as she sat down in the chair. "Ya know, I hear sometimes, comatosed people can hear and see everything. Though in your case you can't see at all. So maybe you'll be able to hear me." Sindy stated as she adjusted herself in the hospital chair, idly grabbing the Executioner. She paused for a moment to think of something to tell him, though, there was that chance that he can't hear what she says too. She decided to take his hand and place it on her thigh, holding it firmly, though not enough to crush it, "Here's a little motivation, if you don't wake up soon, I won't tell you a little secret about me."

Zeke was in a strange inbetween of concious and unconcious. The drugs kept him just below the surface, but the pain kept him from sinking deeper in slumber. The outside world was a water echo, seeming hollow and distant. At first he paid it no mind, even as he heard the various voices come and go followed by the sounds of tools. Meanwhile the events of how he got here were a blurr, seeming like nightmarish flashes under the waves of the murky water that was his consciousness. But something drew his attention back to the surface, a voice that stood out to him among the rest, one that brought out a twitch from his left hand as he inched closer to the surface to hear.

Sindy felt the slight twitch of motion that Zeke gave as he was awakening, “Huh, never knew motivation would be a factor. That or your having nightmares and I’m just over reacting.” She stated as she thought of something to talk about. “You know, I was a Captain back on Osman. Military standards are far different than what they once were for me. Then again, I am a Draguun, so that’s also a contributing factor. I think my brother joined the war against OSO when they arrived. He was part of an artillery crew, not being tall enough to be a Dragoon. He’s still alive though, you haven’t meet him. Doubt you honestly will, he isn’t the same as he was. Young, energetic, innocent, the opposite of every other Draguun. He was honestly a fluke in our family, but I had to accept him as my kin all the same. He lives in an apartment a few blocks away, though his name was changed due to him marrying. She isn’t around anymore though.” Sindy told as she eventually trailed off about the people she once knew.

Such a story brought back memories of his own passed comrades, who hadn't been kin, but had been the closest to having any. He now lingered just within contact of the surface, the twitch remaining slow and constant. But the story of her brother also reminded him of his own, the one who had one day just turned. Killing their parents, before turing it on him and offering a choice. "Take it and kill me, or die." his older brother had said when he offered the grip to the scared 8 year old boy. Zeke still remembered the jerk of the gun in his young hands, shaking as tiny fingers jerked the trigger out of terror. The monitor next to his bed beeped a blip faster, barely noticeable in the change of rythme.

His twitching concerned her, “Or you can hear me...” she said under her breath. “I know you can get me Zeke. So I’m going to give you an order that should be simple. Wake up. Please.” Her grip on his hand tightened.

Grey eyes shifted, eye lids reluctant to open more as breathing steadiy increased, the twitching turned into a pained flex. A quiet hiss left his lips as the pain returned with his return to consciousness. The rest of his body felt numb, but he was alive at least, even if he couldn't move, or see. His eyes searched until a sound drew them in her direction. "Sindy?"

Bitting her lower lip, Sindy restrained herself, “No, it’s Jack. Who else would I be.” She said in a rather ‘As a matter of fact’ and joking tone. “You can’t see me can you? Good, I’m damn near naked after I was jumped too, luckily I had a shotgun.” Placing emphasis in the ‘I’ as to tell him she was at least prepared. “I know this is a bit of a bullshit question, but how are you feeling?”

"Like I got the back of my neck ripped out, shot, and left to die by some metal skeleton sons of bitches. I can't move, I'm c-cold, and really hurting. What happened since they brought me here? I smell b-blood, more then I should if it were just me, are you hurt?" he asked with a small measure of trepidation, finding the situation frightening in his helplessness. The fact he couldn't see, made it all the worse. He smelled blood and lots of it, death, and something else. Not able to see the sources of such smells, left his mind running at what they could possibly be in the room, and he didn't like any of the answer. He also felt anger, angry they had dared to jump her too, and while he was down and out.

“Well, a few councilmen are dead. Jack and Mark are no where to be seen, few MIA council members and family... what else.” She started to explain everything she was told. “A few dead too, Jack’s eldest son, a daughter... no she’s just in another room, and Oalkin’s wife... I don’t recall anyone else. Kessler and Ceilia are MIA, same goes for Seraphina and her ‘date’. Adria is also missing, probably out with that Crimson kid. As far as anyone else, they’re all here.” Sindy took a look around the room for a second before telling him about the blood, “Most of that is you, though there were some people using that bed before you. Not exactly the best thing to have happen, and I’d rather be drinking at home to be honest.” She looked down to him after explaining all of the ugly details and sighed, “As for me, I have no injuries... as far as I know. I can’t feel it if they did nick me somewhere. So I’ll have a doc check me out, later.”

"Fuck.......it's a damn disaster, and all after I let those...things..get the drop on me. What a mess I got turned into." Zeke cursed, mind scrambling to figure out something, anything, to do. But he was pretty useless right now, crippled and debilitated. Worst of all, was how he knew jack would react to all this loss, how it would wittle down at his best friend and closest thing to a brother.

“Yeah, well right now you’re as useful as a Crimson Experiment. *Sigh* I probably shouldn’t have told you anything. So how about you just pop a chill pill and just ramble till you can pass out. I’ll respond if you want me to. However, I ain’t getting no sleep, so that means you got to sleep for my missing time, on TOP of yours.” Sindy told him with a Boop on his nose as she finished.

"About all I can do, and hope they don't decide to attack the hospital. Grrr, I hate being this useless." he growled as he clenched the one hand he could move hard enough for his nails to bite into his palm. She was right though he thought as he felt something warm moisten his fingers that brought a fresher coppery blood smell.
 

IQ

FM of S6
Game Master
Sirris VI
Obsidian City
Jacky's appartement

There were tired thuds of footsteps in the hallway that connected all of the apartments on this floor, heavy footfalls that stopped just outside the room of one Jacky Pine - the sounds of keys rattling into the mechanism before a satisfying click signalled the mechanism had been successfully unlocked, "I'm going to be so sore tomorrow... mind if I grab first shower?" the tallest clone of Fenrir asked quietly as she bumped the door open with one wide hip, holding it open for her shorter sister before tossing the keys over to a nearby bowl, the rabbits foot attached to them sailing through the air before they landed with a slight clatter and settled.

Jacky's apartment was nice but still mostly stock despite her having moved in a little while back, there were some bits of modern art hanging off the walls and a basket of clean laundry next to the couch in the livingroom that needed to be folded but otherwise the place was pretty void of character - funnily enough it spoke a lot to the faux-white haired girl's internal struggles and slight identity crisis but as she stood there in her oversized basketball shorts over some compression leggings and gym shoes, with a hoodie covering the tall clone's ripped upper body she had nothing but a tired expression from all the working out and a slight smile from being in the presence of Lynn.

"You do you, sis," Lynn answered in response, stretching her shoulder as Jacky went to unlock the door. Before tossing her head back. Wearing a fur-coated zip-up over the otherwise light tanktop she wore for all manners of excercise. It was a matter of not letting muscles cool down too rapidly for Lynn, it was detrimental for those. Though as she walked in, Lynn exhaled a soft breath and kicked her shoes off. Proceeding to undo the cord of her sweatpants before tossing them aside. With a soft thump, she practically dropped herself in the sofa, letting out a soft breath as her muscles still ached with the burn of extertion.

Leaning her arms up, she tossed her head back and let out a soft breath. "You made it pretty cosy since I last was here," Lynn complimented with a passing glance of Jacky's form, who no doubt was moving for the shower.

"Thanks... just trying to add a little bit here and there you know~?" the larger girl mused back happily as she dragged the black hoodie off to expose the white t-shirt underneath, complete with very visibly muscled arms sticking out the sleeves and the swell of her chest filling it out before the item of discarded clothing was dumped on a nearby table and shoes were set next to the door.

"Anyway... showers then we can watch Ace Defective 2, sound like a plan?" Jacky reiterated, moving to plant her hands on the back of the couch and lean down to look at Lynn's relaxed pose across the sofa, brows creasing out of concern as the damaged tissue across Lynn's arms was noticed again, "...or if you want to just talk, then that is good too."

Lynn seemed to beat Jacky to the punch. Content to switch on the TV on, idly zapping through channels, before glancing over at Jacky as she spoke again. Lowering the volume enough to stimulate proper conversation. Pushing the round-framed glasses up her nose, before letting out a soft murmur. In particular at the confrontation that no doubt would be started now. She followed Jacky's gaze and flinched. Lowering her arms ever so slightly to hide the scarred skin against the sofa. "Nah-... Just TV is fine," she murmured, lowering her gaze, clearly an attempt at avoiding eye contact.

"Alright... tv works then~ I'll be quick," J sighed, ruffling her sister's silvery locks before moving into the bathroom and shutting the door with a click, it wasn't too long before humming could be heard and steam escaped through a small crack in the door - billowing out into the main living room only to be carried away by the ventillation system's silent fans.

Jacklynn let out a soft, yet appreciative murmur as Jacky passed a ruffle through her gunmetal grey mane. Before forcing herself to focus again. Hearing the soft humming with a faint grin, before zapping through channels again. A slight grimace as she adjusted her position, before moving to grasp whatever she sat down on top off. Pulling up a rather large jockstrap. A frown passing across her face, before she shrugged and tossed it to the side. Investing little thought into it as why this was in Jacky's place.

Something she'd ask later. Possibly to avert attention from the scars Jacky had obviously seen.

As Miss J had announced it was indeed a quick shower, the water stopping and a short moment for the clone to dry herself before Jacky emerged in a pair of baggy tracksuit pants and a tank top that hugged her slightly damp skin, a hairbrush running through the bleached hair as she moved back over to the couch to sit on the arm near Lynn's feet, "Ahhh that was good... your turn, sis," she mused happily, mismatching eyes widening a bit as the material of a jockstrap was felt against her foot before it was quickly swept away under the couch without a word.

"Sure thing~" Lynn chimed, chipper as ever. Getting to her feet and passing Jacky, handing her the remote before softly tapping her shoulder as she passed. Strong legs with visible muscle carrying her into the bathrooms. Albeit with a slight limp due to the weights she had pushed. It was her leg day, after all.

Soon, the sound of water running filled the apartment again. And where Jacky hummed under the shower, Lynn imagined herself as the vocalist of one or another metal band whilst she showered. Deep grunts and piq squeals resounding from the bathroom as she rinsed herself.

The remote was accepted with a smile and placed down as Jacky waited for her sister to exit the room, taking this opportunity to stow away the discarded undergarment in her pocket before returning to running that brush through her hair - watching a news channel idle in the background as a small and sudden chill ran down the girl's spine, unexpected but something that passed quick thankfully as the brush found a knot in her hair.

Lynn's rather hellish sounds seemed to halt for a moment. Mayhaps telltale about the looming storm? A soft coughing resounded, before the Fenrir clone doubled the effort to imitate the music she was so passionate about.

Though, just like that, a loud thump resounded. Before a slam against Jacky's front door. Forceful enough to have the thing fly from it's hinges. Two figures stepping inside, toting fully automatic weaponry. Only a split-second to respond before the silenced thumping began to break loose. An indiscriminate attack that not only shot up Jacky's appartement, but one deliberately difficult to get away from.

Jacky's head snapped towards the door the moment it was kicked in, brush still tangled in her hair as the girl's already pale expression got moreso, barely enough time for her brain to process it all before the gunfire started up and the large clone threw herself back behind the hard-backed Section 6 branded couch - she could feel something cold, and then the sensation of something warm running down her shoulder but Jacky was too focused on reaching down under the couch for her lever action rifle and sending off a message to her showering sister.

[Two intruders, front door, grab the carbine from next to my bed!] Jacky mentally yelled, finally gripping the trusty metal handle as the rifle was checked and then cocked, the clone staying low for fear of losing her head - hoping the lack of sight on her might play to the large girl's advantage.

The two intruders seemed to split up from eachother ever so slightly. One focusing down Jacky as bullets ripped away at the sofa. The other seemed to know that Lynn was also present, laying down fire through the bathroom door. Almost rendering it to splinters.

[Jacky - I'm hit. I... I- can make it to the bedroom... But fuck...- my leg.]

It was a stray that got to her. Piercing through the door and shattering the glass panel she was behind. Before the bullet deeply embedded itself in her flesh. The Jane clone had managed to jump for cover behind the toilet, using a towel to keep it from bleeding too much, before crawling over to Jacky's bedroom. Bullets whistling overhead as she went. Though when she pushed the door open, she pulled herself up on the bed, grabbing the carbine, before moving over to Jacky's closet. Ripping it open to get one of her hoodies and put it on. She was still wet, so she could get way too cold way too quick. And a shivering hand wasn't too helpful when shooting.

The gunfire ceased as the attackers exchanged looks with eachother. Before the chime of two magazines hitting the ground resounded. A split second later, a magazine slapped in and the spring cocked. "Check her, I'll check the bathroom for that smaller bitch," one of the two offered. Trimming his gun on Jacky's last known location. Same as his colleague.

[Hang tight sis... you've got one coming for you, I'll try to get their attention] Jacky spoke back, no concern for her own flesh wound but the worry for her smaller twin's own injury was prevalent even in the mental message as J steeled herself - gripping the now-clammy metal a little tighter with each approaching footstep before throwing herself to the side, four quick squeezes of the trigger and four subsequent cycles of the lever as Jacky's side slammed into the carpeted floor and unloaded half her tube up towards the aggressor's center of mass.

If she only had managed to swipe a bottle of deodorant and Jacky's hairdryer, she'd give the fuck what it was in for. But sadly, she had little time to actually do such. [G-got'cha. Fuck-... I'm bleeding all over your nice carpet- heh.]

She heard the noise of a different caliber going off and realized Jacky had gone on to fight. The aggressor that was moving to the bath room, swiveled on their feet, bringing up the rifle to answer Jacky's volley, which effectively damaged her target. Collapsing to the floor with a loud clunking.

Lynn pushed herself up, before throwing her full weight against the bedroom door, crashing back in the living room with the carbine raised. Two silenced shots ringing out before the gun was ripped from their attacker by Lynn's gunfire. The figure brandished a knife and dashed over to Lynn, aiming to plunge it in her neck. Uncaring for Lynn's bullets, some seemed to eve ricochet off of him.

Jacky saw her target hit the ground and was already moving one leg up to get just enough leverage for the clone to perform a tight roll, knee pressing into the downed figure's chest but her focus was entirely on lining up her sights with the intruder still charging Lynn - it was a risky shot no doubt but surely even riskier to not take it right? the world seemed to slow down like everything was drowned in glucose syrup as a moment of doubt seeded in her mind.

What if she missed? What if she hit Lynn? What if~

Almost as if somebody else had squeezed down on her trigger finger, the shot was made, a 6mm rifle round spiralling through the air and a clone hoping like hell she had made the right call.

"Fuck- fuck fuck fuck-..." Lynn cussed under her breath as she saw the charging form and the flash of a knife. Though another shot of Jacky's lever-action rung through the appartement again. The form crashing down against the wall, clattering on the floor. Lynn glanced at Jacky, letting out a pained grunt as she crawled over. "We gotta get out of here, Jacky, warn people," she croaked as she got close enough to the sofa to pull herself up. "My leg's a fucking bust."

J kept her rifle trained on the body for a moment or two longer after it had fallen, a rather cold and calculating look in the normally shy and quiet clone's heterochromatic eyes that faded back to their usual appearance when drifting over to the sight of Lynn, "We do... but we can't do that with you bleeding everywhere~" the taller girl thought for a moment as she moved closer, stepping on the neck of the first corpse with a casually sickening crunch as their neck broke under her weight.

"...come with me, I'll get my hair straightener and then we can bind it up with the medkit in my bathroom~" Jacky suggested, moving to support Lynn's weight and help her back into the bathroom, seeing as they couldn't just do it out in the open due to a lack of door to protect them.

"Fuck," Lynn grunted again as she pushed herself up on the sofa. Pulling up the carbine again. "Not the bathroom," she protested with a faint breath, picking one of glass shards in her arm out. "Get me a spare magazine, I'll watch the door when you work," the smaller of the two suggested. "Also, bring me a battery, hairdryer and the biggest fucking can of deodorant you can find."

"~Alright," J responded after a brief moment of inner contemplation of whether or not to go along with it, but time was a luxury the girl's could not afford, so without any resistance Jacky reached across to her backpack and passed Lynn two magazines before retreating into the bathroom - connecting to the emergency services number before it cut out, so she tried a few more times and got the same result before checking social media and sure enough it seemed like their connection had just been severed.

"Lynn... comms just went down, looks like it is just us~" the larger clone spoke back into the living room, sweeping through draws and cupboards to find what she needed.

"Fuck," Lynn cussed yet again as she glanced up at Jacky. "If we can get to my place - we can hunker down with the turrets. They're still prototypes, but I'm pretty sure they'll fuckin' fire," she answered in response. Before pushing herself up and dragging herself to the far corner of the room. Accepting the magazines. Ejecting the one she previously unloaded, pushing a new one in and pushing the third in one of the hoodie's pockets. Putting herself up straight, she raised the rifle again and held it trimmed on the door.

A frown danced across Jacky's features as she returned to see Lynn had repositioned despite being injured, but with a bundle of supplies in one arm and a pair of shorts in the other she squatted down to take a look at the towel-wrapped leg, seemingly having forgotten about her heterochromatic eyes that the girl made such an effort to hide.

"Your place it is~ my hound is parked out back, so I'll fireman's carry you down the fire escape incase more are out front," she began planning, an apologetic wince as the towel was carefully removed from Lynn's latest wound.

Lynn glanced at Jacky as she approached, before refocussing on the door again. A determined look crossing her face - one Jacky wouldn't have seen before. She would've seen Lynn serious and that was off-putting in and of itself. Though this time, she seemed to lack any kind of emotion. No fear, no anger. Just cold determination. "Alright," she muttered, before whincing in pain as Jacky removed the towel.

Grasping at the empty magazine, she held it up with a soft breath. "Whenever you decide to burn that motherfucker shut, tell me. I don't need no countdowns - just tell me right before you're going to do it," she requested, before placing the empty magazine between her teeth.

She took some time to carefully inspect the wound while the hair-straightener's coils heated up, setting aside some gauze and antiseptic with a frown as no exit wound was found - "Alright... looks like it is still in there~ but this will have to do for now, I'm sorry for this~" was the only warning given before J clamped down on her sister's wirey leg with one strong hand and used the other to quickly scorch the wound - holding down Lynn's other foot with one shin to avoid getting kicked as the smell of burnt flesh graced her nostrils.

There was a veritable grinding and crackling of metal as Jacky apologized and drove the hair-straightener down against the wound. A stifled grunting and muffled screaming being blocked by the magazine in her mouth as Lynn bit down for dear life. Making sure to focus on the pain of her protesting jaw muscles, rather than the horrid scent of burning flesh and the white-hot pain that coursed up from her leg. Her eyelid twitched momentarily as she fought hard against passing out from the pain. Though she managed to hold on to her consciousness, albeit barely. The adrenaline more than just helped.

Jacky was as quick as she could be about it, lifting away the hot object and replacing it with the stinging sensation of damp gauze that was then wrapped with an elastic bandage to keep in in place - once that was all out of the way she looked back up at Lynn's pained expression with an equally apologetic one, she really hated having to do that but it was what needed to be done.

"You good?"

Lynn thumped her head against the wall repeatedly as Jacky lifted the hair-straightener again. Pulling away some of the skin, it'd be one nasty burn, but it was colaterral at this point. The stinging sensation of the damp guaze caused Lynn to bite down even harder. White pulses ripping at the corners of her sight. Though she spat out the magazine, before glancing at Jacky. "Fuckin' peachy." She responded with a faint grin.

Her sister nodded and then revealed the pair of Gym shorts that had been grabbed earlier, shimmying back a little and gesturing for Lynn to lift her bare legs a little, "Okay... we'll get you into these and then get going... objections?"

"None at all," Lynn croaked with a gentle breath. "We get to my place, we barricade the door. I get those turrets in place and we wait until this shitstorm's over," she murmured, closing her eyes with a soft breath, lifting her legs with a pained and shaky breath. "Let's go."

"Alright, good~" J reaffirmed, helping her sister back into the recently-discarded gym shoes and a pair of her own baggy shorts before standing up from her squat - finally remembering there was a hairbrush in her hair before that was tossed off to the side, moving to help Lynn up and place a small lackey band in her hand, using another to do up her own hair to keep it out of her eyes.

"Should take... no longer than fourty five seconds to get down both ladders and to my car... I know how your nerves can get during combat but - I need to know you've got my back, alright?" she spoke, a very different side of Jacky that was usually tucked away behind her armour now slipping through as she pulled into boots and then retrieved spare mag tubes from under the couch - being tucked into a pocket of her sweatpants as a hand was offered to Lynn.

Lynn took the hand and nodded. Glancing at her rifle, before grunting out in pain as she was supported by Jacky. "This ain't my first rodeo," she answered with a grin, before cracking her neck. Delighting in the relieved popping, before scraping her throat. "I've got your back sis - always do," Lynn concluded, before whincing once again. "Let's go. We're running down the clock here. You just make sure you don't go deaf and that I don't knock you on your ass with recoil."

"Just making sure..." Jacky reaffirmed as she shrugged into her hoodie and backpack before finally moving down to lift Lynn, bending over to put her sister's core over one shoulder before the taller girl leant back and tried to make the process as comfortable as possible - one hand securing Lynn's body as the other readied her lever action, gently pushing through their back door with her shoulder as both girls now found themselves on the fire escape, chilled night air bitning into their exposed flesh a little though this seemed to worry Jacky little as she looked around, letting Lynn watch her back and after a moment of reconnaisance they descended to the parking lot.

Rubberised soles hit the ground and the lever action was raised once more, Jacky moved with purpose towards the hound though was still careful to clear her sectors, whispering a quiet, "Clear so far... how are you holding up?"

A soft, pained grunt came from Lynn as Jacky lifted her up into the fireman's grapple. The carbine she had was held on to for dear life. And once settled on her larger sister's back, the safety flicked off again. Lynn pulled the pulley back, holding the rifle up as Jacky moved about. It seemed to be an eerie quiet. Not a single soul on the street. Lynn was also watching her sectors, covering Jacky's back as they moved around. "Absolutely fucked," Lynn answered with a soft breath. "I'm try'na not pass out, it's getting real hard, though. Just gotta get them turrets working, then I can go sleep."

"Just do what you can, it's all I can ask~" Jacky agreed as they moved past a few cars to get to her hound, rifle being rested against the wheel arch as Jacky fiddled with the biometric lock and the passenger-side door popped open with a satisfying pop, one that promised safety once they were inside its armoured embrace.

She moved around to the drivers's door with her rifle and was about to hop in when something occured to the Jane, so instead she paused and informed Lynn, "...hold it for a second, I need to check something," she spoke before ducking down to check the underside of the car, if these guys were as swift as they had been when entering the building then it was likely any potential car-bomb would be easy enough to spy.

Lynn seemed to grunt with each step Jacky took. A shiver traveling through her. She seemed to have grown much paler than before. Cold sweat on her brow and another shiver crawling down her spine. She gave a faint nod towards Jacky. Huffing out a soft breath.

Though as Jacky checked for the bomb, she could make out something that wasn't right underneath the car. It warranted more investigation.

Though as she checked, a dark figure snuck up just a few vehicles away. Clad in the same robes. A shivering Lynn's gaze fell to him, pulling up the riffle, she took a deep breath, before three well placed shots popped from the passenger's side. Causing the figure to drop with a loud clunk. A soft thunk of Jacky's carbine hitting the ground as Lynn grew even too weak to hold on now.

Jacky's mind immediately made the darkest connection it could, gunfire... Lynn dropping the gun... she popped back up with every intention to find her twin's bloodied corpse but instead a sigh of relief left F-23's throat as she saw Lynn didn't appear to have any more bullet holes riddling her body, but Jacky still moved around to hand her sister back the carbine and make sure she was secured before reaching across to turn the heating on, "Nice shot sis... lets get you home~" Jacky promised, pressing a kiss into her sister's forehead before shutting the door and moving back around to hop into the driver's door and start the hound up properly - a sideways glance to the brick she had found taped to the car's underside and quickly discarded before beginning to reverse out of the parking space.

"Thanks," Lynn answered with quivering lips as the carbine was securely placed in her lap. Giving her sister a weak nod, Lynn rested her head back against the seat. Several beads of sweat trickling down her forehead. Though the Jane clone reminded herself to switch the safety on. Lynn sent a weak glance out of the window before Jacky kicked the vehicle into gear and drove off. Headed for her own apartment.

There was a stretch of silence as they drove, Jacky casting a glance across to her sister's paled features each time they drove under a street light and she felt terrible to see Lynn this way, she had to say something - to ensure Lynn didn't pass out just yet and so after a minute or two Jacky spoke up, "...guessing... guessing you threw that thing on the floor, huh~?" she began with a gulp, if not Lynn then who?

"W-... What thing?" Lynn questioned as each streetlight they passed was a painful stinging in her eyes. Too bright, it was all a blur for her. But she had to hold on, Jacky didn't know how to set the promised turrets up, let alone properly interface, add bio-signatures and such. She had to hold on.

"...the jockstrap?" Jacky simply asked as the car turned, her foot pressing a little further down onto the accelerator as they hit another straight stretch of road, the worry in her heterochromatic features evident.

Lynn couldn't help but let out a faint chuckle. Before exhaling a shakey breath. "Y-... Yeah, that yours? Or y'ain't gay?" The Fenrir clone quested with a faint grin, before letting out a strained cough.

"Yeah it~it's mine... and I can assure you I am very much gay... ask Orias tomorrow if you want~" Jacky smirked back a little with flushed cheeks as Lynn's apartment pulled into view down the end of the street.

"Alright," Lynn asked with a breathy, ragged chuckle. "You fucked the queen? I'm-..." another coughing fit as her eyes slowly slid shut. "Damn - you got a dick," she added with yet another ragged chuckle.

"Yeah... it puts a few things into perspective, no~?" Jacky queried as she began slowing down to turn into Lynn's driveway, "...I trust you to not let everyone know... but I'm glad I can tell you, Lynn~" she finished, a warm little smile and a happy blush though concern for the smaller woman still more than prevalent.

"Yeah, also pisses me off-..." Lynn answered with a faint cough, before offering Jacky a faint grin. "Haven't even gotten a guy to look at me," the Fenrir clone answered with a soft yet pained cough again. "No worries, though."

"Trust me... wasn't something I planned, Orias was just~" Jacky smiled a little as she stopped the car, "...Orias~ we'll find you a lucky guy some day~ but for now we go inside, and maybe put on some chill music while you set up the turrets?" the taller clone spoke, popping her neck a little before grabbing her bag, gun and moving around Lynn's side once more.

"If I make it through this - heh," Lynn answered, eyes sliding shut slowly. "Fuck - Jacky, I hope she was a good fuck, because these might be my last words," she added with a grin. Popping the door open, holding the carbine up.

Jacky put a hand on Lynn's shoulder before speaking, looking deep into her purple eyes with Jacky's own blue and red orbs to get across just how serious she was being, "Lynn... you might have a bullet in you but it luckily didn't bleed much... you're going to live~ and the worst thing you might have to deal with is a week of antibiotics from my shoddy work alright... just trust me on this?" she promised, not yet hoisting Lynn out as a few of the many scars on Jacky's body shon in the moonlight.

Lynn glanced over to meet Jacky's eyes, before shaking her head. "I think-... These ain't normal bullets," Lynn answered with a faint smirk, before shaking her head. Grunting in pain as her sister hoisted her up again. "Come on, get me inside - I'll get the turrets running, then I can pass out."

"Inside we go then~" Jacky nodded before finally hoisting Lynn onto one shoulder carefully, carrying the smaller girl to her house with a small murmur of, "...if uh, if you did want to know though... it was pretty good~"

The Fenrir clone grunted out in pain as she was hoisted up Jacky's shoulders again. Though her eyes shot open, the adrenaline flooding her system causing a much needed second wind. "I said I hoped - I didn't wanna know," Lynn retorted with a faint grin.

"S-sorry, sorry~ I'm new to all this sharing stuff..." Jacky trailed off as she turned to let Lynn unlock the door, watching the eerily empty streets and hoping the gunfire in the distance meant their side was going alright.

Lynn leaned down to press her hand against the biometric scanner, the door to the lounge sliding open. "Third floor," Lynn grunted. "Stairs, they might've rigged the elevators," she added, with a pained breath.

"My thoughts too~" Jacky nodded before slowly moving in, rifle ready to meet any resistance that might come their way

Lynn pointed her gun towards the top of each flight of stairs as Jacky moved, making sure to use her advantageous position on top of Jacky the most. The stairwell seemed clear, though as Jacky opened the door, be it normal or kicking, there were two dark figures at the end of the hall, fiddling with the biometric scanner of a door. Lynn was first to send several shots over to them, at the same time, she shouted; "Down the right hall, left, get into the cleaning cupboard!"

Jacky sent two of her own shots off before calling back , "On it~!", her legs pushing off to bolt down the right hall, then left to where Lynn said the cleaning cupboard would be? The weight of an additional person, especially one as proporionately smaller as Lynn, made little difference to Jacky's muscled body as she moved - powerful legs pushing off the flooring with a few squeaks from her rubberized soles.

The smaller Fenrir clone flinched as several bullets whistled past the two of them. Slamming in the wall behind them, though Jacky managed to duck around the corner just in time - the loud clunking of heavy metal feet resounding across the hall. Though the door of the cleaning cupboard in question was properly visible now.

The larger clone continued to barrel down the hallway at full-speed, spinning on her heel once they approached the cupboard in question to empty her remaining ammo and keep the pressure on their assailants, dropping down to one knee to let Lynn off as the previous tube was ejected to be replaced with one from Jacky's back pocket.

Lynn grit her teeth as Jacky put her back down again. The clone pushed herself up as she grabbed a broom and a roll of ductape. "Try to-... Fnnghh-... Barricade the door," she added. Just casting a glance at the darker figures that were rushing down the hall, rifle raised at Jacky as she closed the door, several bullets fired at her. The jolt of pain flooded Lynn's system with the adrenaline she sorely needed. Snapping the handle in half and the brush off, she made a makeshift splint for her leg, before pulling herself up. Walking with an obvious limp. Her face seemed to slowly drain colour and emotion as she pulled several bottles of cleaning fluid and industrial solvents from the rack. Gathering a box of nails as well as a small plastic tube.

"Let's give 'em a surprise," she murmured as she worked. Using FlexileSeal Spray to shut off one of the sides of the pipe, before dropping a handful of nails in. Ductaping several other, larger ones against the outside of the tube. Bullets smacking against the door as these odd, cloaked figures made their advance, just a moment later, a loud thump was heard against the door. And again - they seemed to be intent on breaking it down. A soft smoke billowed up from the pipe as Lynn poured in several different liquids, before sealing the other end off as well. The tube already trembling in her hand. "Open," she called out to Jacky - giving the thing a few vigorous shakes as she waited for her sibling.

J's mismatching eyes widened as a bullet whizzed through the air an inch in front of her nose, leaving a hole in the wall near her head as Jacky recollected herself for a moment before making a reach for the handle - her pale, scarred hand found it easily enough and with a twist, the door was opened roughly a foot, which would hopefully be a big enough window.

Jacky knew a pipe bomb when she saw one, and was ready to slam the door shut once it had passed out the threshold.

Lynn rolled the pipebomb out, before raising her rifle as a metal claw suddenly gripped around the edge. Trying to yank it open. Though Jacky was still in the way. Tossing her rifle aside, the Jane threw herself against the door, to smack her weight against it, hoping to wind the attacker, before grasping at the knob to pull it back shut, grimacing as another three bullets were fired, smacking through the door, digging into her right arm and shoulder.

With their combined effort the door slammed shut, veins throbbing in the small part of Jacky's forearm not covered by her hoodie as the door was firmly held shut, a worried expression going to Lynn's bloodied arm but nothing was said yet - she simply braced for the ensuing explosion and moved her body protectively in-front of Lynn's

The explosion rippled through the entire hallways - the door smacking against Jacky violently with a single burst - some of the shrapnel Lynn threw in would be felt smacking against the door. Though it seemed entirely silent on the other side of the door - then again, it was hard to make out with the ringing ears the explosion caused. Lynn propped herself against the shelf, taking some of the cleaning rags and ductaping them around her wounds.

Jacky let out a grunt of effort as the door she was bracing against kicked back at them, bucking slightly with the shockwave before continuing to stand her ground as the explosion's heat was felt through the doornob - she listened for a moment, content with the silence before turning back to Lynn, "You'll have as many scars as me soon..." she chuckled a little, adams apple pressing out against her throat as it was cleared before she continued, "how are you... y'know, holding up?" J asked quietly, having long since forgotten about where the bullet had given her shoulder a deep gaze earlier in the night.

Lynn limped over to the closed door, leaning against the side with a faint breath. Before swallowing thickly as she closed her eyes briefly. "It's-... Getting kinda difficult," Lynn answered with a faint breath. Before pushing herself up again, switching the carbine to her left. "Come on - it should be clear to get to my room now-... I hope," she added, exhaling a soft breath, before whincing. "I-... Can walk- don't worry."

Jacky nodded as she hefted her rifle, shrugging the leather strap a little further onto her uninjured shoulder, "Just... stick behind me, yeah? you've lost enough blood already..." she murmured before swinging the door open quickly, silver barrel of the lever-action quickly sweeping the corridor for any more intruders.

Lynn fell in behind Jacky - only offering a curt nod in response as she sweeped the halls behind Jacky, making sure to keep her flank covered. The hallways seemed a mess of metal body parts, strewn about and ripped to shreds by Lynn's makeshift bomb. Pieces of shrapnel littering the walls. Though the clone moved behind her sibling's lead. Before arching an eyebrow at the disfigured torso that crawled away from them. "Hold up," she murmured, walking over, before kicking the wounded skeleton on his back. Huffing out a soft breath. "You wanted to kill us, huh, you stupid fuck?" She murmured under her breath. Before squeezing off a single round. After the brief intermission, she fell back to Jacky's side. "Let's go."

J held her position, watching Lynn stroll over and vent some of her frustration on the whole situaion into the mechanized, skeletal intruder's face before linking back up again - she didn't have anything to say on the matter, simply offering a nod and a small murmured breath as the two clones approached the front door of Lynn's apartment, Jacky took up position with her rifle aimed through the door and checked there was a round in the chamber before giving Lynn a nod to say she was ready.

Lynn offered a curt nod in response, before letting out an annoyed breath. "My key card's still at your place - I can get in, but anyone that has it also can," she murmured with a soft breath. Moving over the console, she lowered the carbine and whinced as she started to give in various codes - smearing blood over the console as she did. But the door slid open to reveal Lynn's appartement - untouched and messy as she left it always. The clone pushed herself back again, lifting the carbine and giving Jacky a nod. "You go left, bathroom to bedroom, I go right, bedroom to bathroom?" She suggested.

"Alright~ sure," Jacky nodded before moving in to execute their plan, being careful to scan her sectors as the larger clone quietly stalked towards the bathroom, rifle pressed firmly into her shoulder.

Lynn nodded again as she limped through her depicted route as well, keeping an eye on the door behind her as well with a quick glance, before resting her hand on the door of the bedroom - offering Jacky a curt nod to sync up, before slamming it open as soon as Jacky did. Both bedroom and bathroom seemed clear, so Lynn turned on her feet again. Moving back into the living room of her appartement. "Clear here - how's your side, sis?"

Jacky likewise slammed open her door in sync with Lynn, rifle sweeping through the bathroom and coming up with nothing before she moved back into the living room too with a small nod, "Clear for me too... something feels off~" the taller girl admitted with a huff, looking over to Lynn with a sympathetic squint at the injured girl.

"They should'a been here," Lynn agreed with a bite of her lip, before shrugging. "Their loss, get the door, I'll fix the turret," she added, limping over to her desk and starting to work on booting them up. Giving the prototype a quick one-over, including to see whether it was actually loaded. Before nodding to herself with a hum. "We're live - putting it in sentry, adding your signature to the... Uhm-... Do not kill list."

"That... might be preferrable~" Jacky chuckled a little as she shrugged the hoodie off then slung the rifle over her shoulder and moved to wheel one of Lynn's larger tool chests in front of the door, a rather heavy thing that she then put two tool boxes on top of - if somebody tried to open the door then they'd have a rough time and it would be far from quiet.

Lynn watched as Jacky moved to barricade the door. "You can lock them wheels and just let it-..." A loud slam resounded, the heavy toolbox being knocked into Jacky's form. One of these metal assailants swiftly pushing it aside before collapsing on top of Jacky - aiming to throw her to the ground. The flash of a knife visibly. Lynn pivoted on her chair, pulling up the rifle, biting her lip as she squeezed the trigger - a dry click resounding, before a struggled rattling. Her gun had jammed.

Jacky found herself momentarily stunned as she was blindsided by an enemy crashing through the door, rifle thrown from her grip as she was thrown to the floor and the metal creature loomed over her - Jacky raised one hand to shield her face before the blade stabbed straight through her hand with a howl of pain from the heterochromatic girl, the nerves in her hand crying out in pain only fuelling her as Jacky grabbed the opponent's shoulder with her uninjured hand and kicked into their stomach, flipping the would-be assassin over her head until they crashed back into the floor with a heavy thud.

Lynn grit her teeth as she tried to clear the jam whilst Jacky was fighting - though cussing under her breath, she tossed the carbine aside and grasped the handle of the turret.

Jacky's assailant was quick on his feet. As soon as she tossed him away, he ripped the knife from her hand and got to his feet. Flicking the dagger around before another loud clunk pulled his attention. Lynn ducked away from the second turret that sprung to life on her desk, the first on the floor in front of her. An unholy barrage of shots rang through the appartement, ripping through the reaper - Sparks flying everywhere as both turrets emptied their clip on him. Ripping through cloak and metal - positively tearing him apart.

Lynn exhaled a soft breath as they powered down again. Getting to her feet as she knelt next to Jacky. "Fuck - you alright sis?"

Jacky looked down at her hand with a shaky exhale of pain before deciding to ball it up in a fist near her chest, teeth gritted but she gave a nod and began rolling over to right herself, "...fuck... I'll be good... I've had worse ~" she gritted out after reading her Geist's damage reports, somehow it'd missed a lot of the important things in her hand and gone straight through, so Jacky pushed herself into a kneeling position with a shaky breath as blood stained her tank-top.

"...what are you planning on naming those puppies?" she grunted, nodding towards the turrets that had saved their lives.

She nodded, getting to her feet, limping over to the sink and getting a rag. "Apply pressure to it - I'll uhm-... I need to reload 'em first, then I'll tend to you," she hummed, handing the cloth over, before moving to reload the turrets. Grasping the one on the desk and floor. Heavy, limping footsteps as she whinced in pain due to her shoulder. Though placing them both down in front of the door. Moving over to shut it again, locking and subsequently barricading it with panting breath. The Jane clone turned on her feet and gathered the first aid-box from underneath her sink. Kneeling down next to Jacky again, gritting her teeth with a hiss as she did. "Let's see here," she hummed with a faint frown. "I haven't decided on a name yet - gunpuppies, I guess?" She answered with a faint smirk.

Jacky nodded with a pained smirk as she flicked the medical kit open, other hand clutching the rag close to her chest as she retrieved some antiseptic, a needle and some thread, "...works I suppose, I can self-stitch though... you just look after yourself," Jacky hissed as she poured a small bit of antiseptic on her shoulder and held the needle in her injured hand, carefully threading it before swapping back to her uninjured hand to begin closing off the wound, needle piercing her flesh with another small murmur of pain.

Lynn only nodded, leaning back against the sofa as she took the bottle of antiseptic after Jacky was done, ripping the already bled-through makeshift bandages off, bundling one up and putting it between her teeth - noticing how her pain threshold was lower than her sister's before she poured it on the wounds on her shoulder. A muffled cry as she forced herself to work through the pain. Bandaging it up neatly. Pulling a large set of tweezers from the box, she exhaled a soft nasal breath. Getting up to gather a kitchen knife as well, getting back down next to Jacky and exchanging a brief look, before spitting the cloth out. "I'm gonna try and get that bullet out," she exhaled with a soft breath. "There's energy drinks in the fridge, if you need them to stay awake - in case I pass out from the pain. Just be ready to take over if I do," Lynn added with a faint grimace.

Jacky had tied off her shoulder and moved to messily stitch up her hand with a few pained grunts through gritted teeth before it was finished and the larger clone looked across to Lynn with a raven-browed frown, "I can do it if you want... I don't doubt your ability but... I'm bigger, I can keep you from moving easier - we can't afford to have a nicked artery~" Jacky suggested, retrieving an autoinjector of pain meds from the box before scooting a little closer to Lynn.

Lynn was about to inch the knife into the cauterized wound, before looking up at Jacky, murmuring in appreciation. "Yeah - sure, thanks," she answered with a soft breath. Passing the knife onto Jacky. "Y'know how to do it? Just tell me when you start," she murmured, taking one of the bloodied rags and putting them in her mouth again. Giving Jacky a solemn nod.

"I've watched enough of my own be removed... trust me Lynn~ you're in safe hands... roll over~" J reassured her sister with a gentle smile, calloused and scarred hand gently rubbing her twin's foot to try and help soothe any nerves she might be feeling.

Lynn nodded with a muffled grunt, before rolling over as asked, closing her eyes as she waited for Jacky to begin.

Some shuffling could be heard as Jacky laid things out before gently sitting herself over Lynn's legs, flicking her sister's calf before injecting the pain meds into that still-tingling spot that had been flicked - the smaller girl would be able to feel... certain parts of Jacky's anatomy brushing up against her every now and again as Jacky took the knife and began cleaning it thoroughly.

"So... Lynn, what's new with you?" she asked, giving the pain meds a second to kick in.

Feeling the painkillers kick in, after a soft huff as she felt the needle jab into her leg, she bit her lip. "Not much," she murmured. Feeling Jacky's assets rubbing against her thighs as her sister moved. Though she didn't really mind or mention it - it was Jacky after all. Folding her arms before her, she rested her chin on the back of her hand. "You?"

"Looking forward to watching that movie some time... not much else," Jacky chuckled weakly before moving to press the knife against Lynn's seared flesh, pinning her lower body down as J began gently easing the knife to split the numbed skin and bite into the smaller girl's layers of muscle.

Lynn exhaled a soft breath as she felt the cold steel against her thigh, exhaling a soft breath as Jacky began to ease it in. While it was effectively numbed, she still felt how it inched in and slice against muscle. It didn't hurt per se, it felt more like a dull ache. "Yeah - after all this shit's over, movie night at my place," she murmured.

The unsettling sound of Jacky going deeper with the knife graced Lynn's ears but her sister tried to overwhelm it with casual conversation, "I don't know why we didn't do it at your place originally... I guess mine was closer to the gym~" Jacky mused, using some clean rags to pat away the blood before reaching across to a pair of surgical tweasers.

"You're doing great, sis~ almost there~"

"Holy fuck - you're going to town, down there," Lynn answered with a faint smirk, before letting a sigh escape from her nostrils. "Yeah, it is, even though I got a better home cinema system," she added with the same smirk. Huffing gently as Jacky told her it was almost over. "Yeah-... These meds really take the edge off," she hummed.

There was a small popping sound as the bullet was carefully dislodged and dropped on the floor with a metallic thud, she applied some grey goo directly to Lynn's flesh to help dissuade any further bleeding before gently easing the two halves of her wound back together with a huff, "I really need to do something with my place one day... it looks so boring in comparison~" she chuckled a little, beginning to stitch the wound shut carefully, a much neater job than had been done to her own wounds.

Lynn let out another soft breath, before a soft grunt as Jacky moved in with the tweasers. Before she suddenly bucked against Jacky's form, letting out a cry of pain as the bullet popped from her flesh and was eased out. "Fuck-... Fuck-... Shit," she panted heavily, thumping a hand against the floor. Though she quickly recollected herself. "Eh-... I just gotta... Fuck-... Clean up more." she retorted as Jacky went to sew the wound shut again. "You want some tunes?"

"Music sounds good~ but at least your place looks lived in," Jacky spoke before moving to bite off the thread once she was done, one hand gently patting Lynn's rear before the removed bit of lead was pushed up for inspection, "And we're done... you did great, Lynn - I'm sorry it hurt, I didn't see any fragments but you might want to get a scan once this is over just to check."

Upon mental command - a soft click resounded, before a random song from her playlist started playing." There's... Uhm-... A remote for the music on my workbench," she added with a soft hum as she pressed herself up. Pulling herself up on the sofa. Carefully lifting her wounded leg in. "Can you get the gun as well?" She asked with a faint smile. "I'm going to unjam it-... Would be a poor show if you got it back broken from a techy like me," she added with a grin.

Jacky nodded as she grabbed her own rifle and slung it over her shoulder before moving over to grab the things Lynn requested and palm them off to the smaller twin with a soft smile that she at least looked like her worries had been eased even if slightly, "...this is one of your songs I actually don't mind - uh, you got a landline?"

Lynn took the rifle with a gentle smile, laying it across her lap with a soft murmur. "Uhh-... Yeah, there's one against the wall, next to the door. Make sure you tell 'em about the turrets. Say, you want me to kit this thing out a bit?" The Fenrir clone asked, though happy with the distraction from her sore leg and shoulder. "Y'know, nice dot sight, bump stock, maybe fit a new barrel?"

"Uh... I just ordered a new optic in but a flaired magwell, longer and heavier Skusten barrel as well as a match-grade trigger are on my to-do list if you want to take a crack at all that... up to you though, don't strain yourself~" Jacky reciprocated as she moved back to the door and picked up the handpiece, lifting it to her ear before turning back to Lynn.

"Anything you need?"

"Got those laying about," she answered with a smirk. "Just a crutch, that's about it," she answered with a shrug. "Or a broom, y'know. But give 'em a call first." She answered, beginning to work on getting the gun unjammed.

Jacky nodded before dialling the number she'd committed to memory, relaying information that her and Lynn had been attacked and since relocated to her apartment - stating that they should be good to hold out there for the night and to not worry too much, they'd be alright toughing it out.

 

Jack Pine

Staff Member
FM of S6
Game Master
"One For My Neko"
Sirris VI - Obsidian City - Immediately after Angela and Spark's departure

Anger, hatred, coldness from the rain, and a need to kill everything in his way that even looked like a Reaper. That's all Mark Oaklen felt, the Avenger rifle in his right hand. Those that had funneled out of the alley way, only to be mowed down by his and the mysterious sniper's crossfire were no where near enough to satisfy him. He had only the expression of a man who was out for revenge on his face, even as he walked by all the reaper corpses in the process of slagging themselves with built in dead man devices. Steam and smoke wafted up in billowing columns as he entered the alley way, now a sight reminiscent of one of the war zones of old he had been in. Some colony city off on a world he could no longer remember in this particular moment with the state of his clouded mind.

Boots made quiet splashes as he walked through the puddles of water that were growing more frequent on the metal grated alley, some now tainted black with the Reaper's life fluid. Mark's eyes glowed a fierce crimson red, as if representative of the blood he sought from his foes. Other then the heavy rain, it was quiet, and that made more angered. It meant there was nothing to kill, nothing to unleash himself upon.

The walk albeit long, seemed to pass quick as he exited out next to the park. The street was quickly crossed, and the sound of walking through puddles was replaced with the wet sucking sounds of boots crossing mud instead. Trudging across it, he didn't know where he was going, but he was crossing the park. Maybe in hopes of facing any Reapers held back from going after Spark. Marched and marched he went, leaving a boot printed trail across the grass. All the while, figures moved through the shadows. Someone just hit the jackpot, and Mark stopped as he realized there was movement on the fringes of the dark where he could not see.

Dropping the mostly spent magazine of his Avenger, a fresh one was slapped in, before the free hand found the grip of his katana. The blade was generated within the sheath as all the magnetic segments popped out rapidly one by one in a row on either side of the sheath. Drawing the blade, the rain burst into steam as the droplets struck the super heated plasma within it's katana blade shaped field. The ends of his cloth blade raised as if ready to pounce, reading the intent of their owner.

"COME ON YOU MOTHERFUCKERS, I'M RIGHT HERE! COME GET ME! I WILL KILL ALL OF YOU!" he shouted to them as they emerged from the dark around the park. There were far more then those that had hunted Spark. Easily more then twice, 30 figures marching his direction. They stopped as one shouted back, Mark not bothering to listen as he raised the rifle and fired several bolts of plasma at the closest Reaper. His target side stepped, only for the one next to him to be topple in a heap as the plasma slagged their body.

It was clear that the time for talk was over, the Reapers all dropping onto all fours to skitter towards him. They were quickly closing the distance as he pulled the trigger down for a few second at a time, sending bursts towards targets. The closer they got, the less time to dodge they had, and the more effective his enhanced reflexes were. When they reached the 20 yard point, that is when they began to fall more frequently to his fire. By the time they were within 5 yards, 10 had fallen to his Avenger, which was dropped as it was finally emptied, and as he took his sword with both hands. What happened next was a blur as he rolled, the cloth blades slicing through those that pounced over him. Coming back up, he was slicing away with his blade, the cloth blades fighting those at his back.

Spinning, and wide arcs swung, he fought with a roar. Even as he was cut and slashed, he cut them down, one leaping on top of him on for him to roll, taking them to the mud as the cloth blade defended him. The lighter assailant was tossed off before Mark rose again and stabbed down through the Reaper. Once the fight was over, Mark stood there with heavy breath, beaten and bleeding from numerous slashes. Realizing it was over, he let out a scream of madness, still letting the blood lust run his thoughts. Around him, Reaper corpses lay sliced and scattered. Not bothering to pickup the rifle for which he had two cells left for, he trudged on again, even as the bodies behind him ignited.
 
  • Like
Reactions: IQ

Jack Pine

Staff Member
FM of S6
Game Master
SIRRIS VI
Obsidian City
04 / 04 / 41 YE

The rain continued to pour, an eerie silence having fallen over the city at around 1 in the morning. Dark and misty, the cloud laden with dark clouds, any one outside would need a flashlight for areas without street lights.

The residential and more so, Craig's apartment were no exception. But something was heard, a skittering that was too loud for any small creature could be heard faintly against the metal exterior of the building that had been made from deconstructed starships.

Craig awoke with a start from his own bed, gasping. He then turned at the window while grabbing his gun under ther pillow. Still in just t-shirt and boxers he opened the window and rapidly looked out, aiming with the pistol up and down, left and right the entire surfice of that part of the building. His cybereye skanning for thermic sources in the proximities.

The rain would beat against his exposed body which hung out the window as he searched for the source of the sound, but he would find there is nothing there. Just dark night sky, pitch black with storm clouds, but.....something was feintly apparent on the side of the building. If Craig looked closer at it, he would see scratches, not deep, but clear enough to see. They appeared to be from a claw like appendage in origin, however what made them were long gone now.

Took not to much time before he realized the weird sings on the distant surfice, something was absolutely out of place, and he was going all deep in to it. Without wasting more precious time, he get back inside and with a rapid and decisive walk he moved to get his undersuit and prepare himself for a little not programmed walk. He knew that if he had to report something to the HQ it must have been not base on some "perceptions" but true facts.

Less than a minute later, the grey and black digital pattern of Craigs armor was seeing faceing out the window, and then with an athletic jumped he started to fly in direction of the scratches. It wouldn't had been possible to see him during that night, if not because of the sound, the glimmering flames of the thrusters and the ligths from his helmet which were scanning the metal surface.

It would lead a trail of markings for him to follow, leading all the way to the roof. Once there, a skittering could be heard as something moved about the roof, staying out of sight, and moving very quickly between hidey holes. Whatever it was, was large, a bit too large to be a animal that could even possibly slip into the city.

His flying wasn't in true a flight but more like long jumps, as his magnetic gloves and boots grabbed the metal layers of the building and then activate his thrusters to follow the trail. As he kept doing it he activated the camera, recording what he saw.

As he reached the top and saw the shady being, he extracted the pistol. It could have been anything, from a random guy from the military playing with a weird body suit to a freespacer bountyhunter hunting for a prey to a Crimson infiltrator, literally everything and all of them where illegal trespassing. He personally didn't cared to much about the "illegal" part of it but it was still his duty to keep secure the city and the interests of the NDC.

He pursued the entity, pistol and knife at hands, crouching while activating the stealth camo before running to shorten the distance.

It was fast, skittering away to the edges of the roof until Craig would come upon a open corner, the thing perched atop said corner. Red oculars stared back as a lower metallic jaw split into four sections, spreading open as it gave a long snake like hiss. It was hard to make out as it was adorned with a black claok, like that of a humanoid figure, but this being was down on all fours.

A freespacer, a very exothic one some would have said, but surely not a Crimson scout nor infiltrator. The mercenary exchanged the glance, even with the stealth mode activated and the darkness at his side still the rain was seeing dripping on his tall figure. He wasn't sure he couldn't see him, but if he wanted to catch him he had to preceed his obvious jump.

Craig took timeduring the long hiss of the creature to make his own math and prepared, crouching again silently. And then, as the silence settled, accompanied by the sound of the rain and distant thunders, the mercenary sprinted not towards the probable freespacer but next to him, in direction of his possible fall. He wanted to cought him alive, or at least trying it.

It wasn't hard to spot the splatter, or hear it as Craig sprinted through the rain. The reaper stood instead of jumping, before stepping to side in the opposite direction of his supposed jump a metallic middle finger flipped in the mercenaries's direction.

As he jumped, Craig realized that the being out-tricked him, but instead of getting angry, for him things were starting be interesting. Still in mid air the mercenary activated the thrusters while deactivating the stealth camo. To rapidly return to face his target, he went up, head looking downard as he pointed the pistol and started shooting at the lower junctures of the being, rotating to reach back the position prior to his miscalculation.

The thing shrieked as a few round scathed it's lanky body, hissing as he began to fall backwards purposely. A click sounded as a SMG was deployed in it's arm, the barrel popping out above the wrist. With a chatter, the weapons sprayed rounds to cover it's retreat.

As he touched the ground he bursted again with his thrusters to evade the coming salvos. Clearly understanding that the enemy didn't want to fight but instead find a way to defile and flee in the darkness, Craig started zig zaging , each time with his thrusters, closing rapidly the distance between him and the being.

The merc would just not give up, and the reaper had it's orders. Annoyingly having to dodge one stubborn human with power armor, was proving extremely vexatious, especially given he could not just kill the man and be done with this game. With a spin, the reaper tossed his cloak into Craig's way before curling it's skeletal metal body into a tight ball, causing it's fall to accelerate as it concentrated it's mass.

That was a smart move, as Craig try to cut his way off from the cloak with the knife he lost sight of the being. And so when finally he had a good view of the surrounding he saw that the creature was vanished. But indeed capture him was a secondary objective, getting intel was the first, and he had them as the helmet's visor was still recording.

As the storm was unleashing his wild strength on the skies, Craig still on the top of the building took his time for considering what to do. There is no way he will come back to his house and simply sleep, even if now after all that commotion he was still under the effect of adrenaline he will surely see the effect of lack of sleep later. He also didn't know if that being had fled or still watching from a secure distance, meaning that if that thing knew where his appartment was he could have killed him right after he went back to bed, but the thing was rather stupid to begin with.

There is only one thing to do, he didn't know if at that hour someone was still up at the Head quarter but that was the only place to give the registration. So, he started to jump, from roof to roof of the many blocks populating the center of Obsidian city, 'till he reached the HQ.
He then ascended and entered from the main entrance.

The base was a hive of activity tonight, troops and personnel scrambling around, frantically moving about to get various tasks done. Whatever was going on, things were not good if this activity was happening this late at night. Things were frantic, a trooper almost colliding with the man before turning to him. "You, we're in a state of emergency, someone's trying to assassinate the royal family and eliminate high ranking personnel! What are you doing standing around?!" he shouted before resuming his desparate course to get where he had been originally headed.

Craig, continued his fast walking towards the highest ranked officer he could find, which was surely busy dealing with all the mess happening. Not only the situation on the HQ was turbulent but also his spirit, knowing that something could have happened to Nora from his own negligence made him pissed off. Sure nothing was yet confirmed but the complete sensation of powerlessness infront of the events was unbearable.

In the middle of the chaos he marched towards what he saw as an officer, as he reached from behind he grabbed his shoulder and made him a 180 degrees rotation to face him. Without giving him a single moment to react, Craig extracted a small card from the back of his helmet and slap it on the officer chest "Go watch this and next time warn me you incompetents!". He said with his deep voice full of anger, anger because they didn't warned him, not sending probably an alarm to anyone outside the army's core. Then rapidly moved away to the exit.

What happened after was a run, as fast as he could in the middle of the streets and building's roofs, with a slight sense of desperation getting through his toughts as he didn't know what he could find inside Nora's bedroom. As he reached her appartment he simply forced the door and went inside, heavely breathing from the run.

Nora hopped through her bed room door with the plasma rifle Craig had bought her on love day, dressed in only a nightie, "Goddess Craig, what so urgent you're busting my door down at 2 in the morning?" she asked as if nothing was happening. Using the rifle as a prop, she leaned on it with a yawn, "You look like you ran here, and were worried."

He reeased a long sigh of relieve as he saw her "At least nothing has happened here", he extracted the helmet slightly looking downard, his armor was completely wet because of the rain, at first he went to hug her but realizing the situation he just made few steps towards her than took the pistol and aimed for the windows "The city is in emergency state, the royal family is under attack by a group of assassins, fortunatly you are still alive. I was worried to not see you again".

It was weird, he said that without trying to hug her or doing anything to physically transmit such words. It was as coldness was wrapping his behaviours, most probably because the danger was still under the corner.

"Craig what are you talking about, wouldn't they have sent out like a city wide alert then? I haven't gotten anything on the neural network either." she said scratching the back of her neck for a moment.

"I too haven't recieved any warnings but as I went to look at the HQ i saw soldiers and vehicles running from there to all the city, I was only there informed of the situation." Craig said while retracing the events, after a moment of silence he continued " Now that I think about it, something is really out of place.." He said right before he turned back and move for Mark Tazar's apartment which was in the same floor.

As he exited the mercenary turned back for a moment to see his beloved " Keep your eyes open, going to check a thing ". Then went to knock with his fist at Mark's door, ringing and slamming a couple of times.

The door slid open to reveal a very pissed looking Mark, shirtless, having been so angered at being awoken so late that he did not cover his scarred torso. Hundreds of names, carved into his skin as scars, names of the dead with their ranks and age included. "What. The. FUCK! Do you want this late at night?"

Craig's suspects were founded, the building was isolated from any transmission because of the presence of members of the royal family. The mercenary remained calm and cold, stoic as he looked Mark up and down before explaining the entire situation plus the new discovery.

As he ended the explication, the mercenary concluded with the words "I am going to take my weapons and protect lady Nora, you should probably go to the HQ". Before marching back to his apartment.

Mark grumbled as he went back inside and then left shortly later geared up as if somehow finding an armory. Hefting a LMG and wearing revenant Mk I, he marched out of the building and into the night. Nora remained in her apartment confused, wondering just what was going on and had everyone so on edge.

As Craig's apartment was right infront of Nora's one, she would see him coming back with his loyal heavy assault rifle on hands, another long sigh followed "Sorry dear for all the trouble but it's for your security. It seems the building is isolated from any transmission.". He ended while entering in the house and tooking off his helmet once more just to put it on the couch. His face wasn't showing the best of Craig's composure, his frowned face revealed a possible headache on the rise, most probably because of the lack of sleep.

He close the door behind him and looked again at Nora with a slight smile " I know you are absurdly strong but please wear something more protective, i don't want your skin to get corrupted by the touch of THOSE beings " He said as he still didn't told her what he saw on the top of the building.

"Kinda hard to when you bust down the door out of nowhere. Be happy the bedroom is sound proof, otherwise we'd have a crying baby on top of everything. Let me go throw something on." Nora said agitated herself at being so rudely awaken, her enhanced reason able to pick up the sound of the door even despite the proofing. She went into the bedroom and returned a few minutes later in a pair of jeans and some ols rock band t-shirt.

In the meanwhile Craig continued to check the windows, while drying his armor with a cloth he found on the kitchen, 'till Nora came back. He was still looking at the kitchen's window as she showed up, he glanced at her before looking back at the window " I'll be here until the situation is normalized, meaning the transmission will be back online..."

He sighed again then pointed at the door. "I'll pay for the reparations too." The mercenary seemed exhausted not only physically but also in the spirit, the fear of loosing someone made him revive feelings that took alot of his energy to contain. That's why he always made clear to not going for deep relationships, he would have get too much emotional.

"Sounds like the military is moving to handle things, hopefully everything should be clear by morning. Though, it also sounds like whoever it is, is very well trained, and equipped." Nora had a more serious expression, the other side having kicked in. Her mind calculating risks, possible troop number, gear, weapons, armor units, supplies, etc.

"Indeed..." He turned back and move to face another window. " Freespacers, if they are more than one. With heavy cybernetic modifications, someone hired them." Craig continued as he looked the outside streets being lit by the army's apcs lights.

"I saw one of them, he or she, woke me up as was crawling on the outside wall. It didn't even spoke once when i confronted it. Just hissings" He said the last words with a bit of anger as he didn't catched him nor pursued futher. He opened the window to look around with his heavy assault rifle before closing.

"That implies very light units, therefore these unknowns are assassins most likely. Any rifle round would likely prove sufficient in eliminating them. The threat would be in the speed of such a unit. Especially if able to evade a power armored individual such as yourself. Something tells me these are not freespacers." Nora still calculated as she took stock of her small stockpile of weapons and supplies. "They are too well organized, equipped, and specialized to be nomadic space automaton. These are prefessionals, and certainly not crimson units."

Craig humpfed with a slight irritation as his hopes to see their figure outside the windows faded. "Professionals? I don't know." He turned to see Nora "We still don't know the proportion of their attacks, maybe they failed or maybe they succeeded in some. Frankly it's frustrating... Also, there are so many types of freespacers you can't possibly imagine, I wouldn't discard that possibility." He moved around, walking to keep his mind focussed on something rather then let the rising headache take all the attentions.

"Craig, sit down, your boots are making hard for my hearing to pick up anything outside. It also doesn't help to be tense, come sit with me on the couch and calm, we'll be fine. Besides, pacing loudly means anyone outside can hear where you are in here." Nora said a bit softer, before taking a seat, leaning the rifle next to her legs.

He raised an eyebrow, with his eyes slightly glancing at the windows as he was in the middle of the living room *She is right*. With another sigh he reached for the couch, moved away his helmet and sit right next to her, calmly. The mercenary placed his heavy weapon along his left flank and his arm wrapped around it.

He raised his face to look upward, mentally retracing the latest events as his eyes looked blankly on the ceiling. His right hand made his way to find one of hers and caressed it "You know..." Craig leaned his head slightly towards Nora "I was thinking to leave Obsidian city, going to live outside of it . I am aware that is not the best of the moments but..."

"Wait what? Like off world, or.....we talking like out in the woods?" Nora asked unsure, having seems to have forgotten all about what was happening with that. She seemed concerned by that admission, hoping it wasn't the first one.

His eye widened for a moment "Calm down, I am talking about the bufferzone here in the planet." His cybereye kept sights of the windows as he tried to calm her down, although all this acting made his headache hammering even more. "Just be quiet, and let me explain. I would like to find a suitable place and buy a prefabricated house, for me you and Mia. What do you say? It will be a good one, we will choose it together." Craig smiled looking at her, although his voice remained serious.

"That's actually what I meant by woods, but I don't see why not. A place with a yard would be good for her as she grows. My uncle Talos is already building a cabin out there, so we would have help if needed not too far outside the city as well." She answered a bit relieved, her eyes wandering to he eye that looked elsewhere, "Sorry just kinda weird. It's....distracting."

"This eye is both a curse and a trophy" Craig stated with a smirk. "I don't have your reflexes nor acute senses, if i've to keep an eye on I actually have to" He slightly chuckled " Afterall I am here to protect you ".

"Well that's a comfort to know, and it means a lot. And believe me, these senses are not entirely all they are cracked up to be, they can be overpowered where a normal person's senses can handle it. So...how long you imagine we'll have to wait for this to ride out?" Nora admitted while squeezing the hand he layed on her's, holding it in her hand thankfully, and lovingly. She had grown to care for Craig more and more in the previous months, his part in her and her daughter's life growing every day.

Craig tap on the top of his helmet, which was laying right next to him "I connected the speakers directly to the military frequences, if the signal comes back we will hear something from it. Depending from the message we will decide." He firmly answered.

A moment of silence settled before the mercenary spoke again, in that space of time the sound of the rain could still be heard through the thick metal walls of the building " About Talos... He is a good man, if you think he could help us with the construction you are free to ask him. Although, what is he doing in the forest?" He asked simply.

"It kinda started after great grandmother died. He took it pretty hard, and wanted to get away from the city, that and he didn't care for crowded places either. He does seem like a roughing it kind of man anyways, so I think it will be good for him." Nora answered, looking a bit surprised by the question. To be honest, she hadn't really thought much on it, but given the situation of a move, it certainly proved relavent.

"So is that kind of man..." He said coldly, but right as he was continue the sentence a slight twinge at the temples made manifest to him that the noisy headache had to be stopped. Craig made a grimace as he put his hand on the forehead, the fingers massaging the temples "I hate when it comes". He mumbled, then turned to see Nora " Do you have something for the headache? It keeps hammering me".

Nora told Craig "one moment" before heading into the kitchenette to grab a medical labeled box atop the fridge. Opening it her finger followed various labeled compartments until finding the one needed. Pulling out a serving packet containing two pills, Nora returned theto case to its place before getting a can of cola from the fridge and one for herself.

"Here, it's extra strength, should help along with the drink." She said as she offered him the items.

Craig nodded and took the drink " Thank you " he said warmly before drinking it in one sip. It was in those moment that he always realize how that power armor was so comfortable, it was like having a normal cloth as it was so light, yet incredibly efficient.

Soon after the medicine started its benefic effects, he gave a brief look at the helmet before glancing back at Nora " If I had to imagine how to spend an entire night with you... this way, well it surely is the most unexpected " He chuckled at his own simple joke.

"Yeah too bad that suit doesn't have a zipper, otherwise it would be a date as usual. But, it could be worse, anything could always be worse. That was a hard lesson to learn, but thankfully one not having to have been reiterated lately. Thank you again Craig watching out for us, you're such a sweetheart." Nora said with a smile as she sat down and leaned on his armored shoulder.

"Uhh!" That last note on his behalf was very weird for him. Being called in that way made him uncomfortable "...Well, I uhm.. I did it because as we are a couple is our duty to take care of each other, Mia is also you daughter and when i decided to stay with you i was conscious to take the entire package.... Aehm...". He made another long sigh as he cooled down, then pat her head softly " Thank you ".

As if possibly at the most inopportune time, Craig would find his phone suddenly ringing. The caller ID was Lazarus, someone he hadn't gotten a call from before, but maybe it was related to Nora? Either way, the phone did not cease it's chime until Craig either hung up, or accepted the call.

"Hmm? Who could be calling you? I thought you said communications were down?" Nora asked, clearly confused that a call somehow had made it through.

The mercenary raised an eyebrow as he brought infront of him the phone, detaching it from the chest plate. "Your father..." He answered slowly toher as he realized the caller. He didn't move from where he was, he just took the phone next to his ear and opened the call.

"Yes." He said even before hearing Lazarus voice, neutrally, his normal deep and cold tone. He knew there was something absolutely off, the instinct recalled him of the same time at the shopping center. From the moment he choose to stay by Nora's side, odd events of little importance but with a certain frequency started happening. It was already obvious for him that the guy had many tricks under his sleeves.

"Meet me downstairs in five minutes. Don't worry about Nora, I have some associates watching the perimeter. Hurry Mulder, I don't want to wait all night." Lazarus's voice could be heard on the other end, edged with the tone that said it wasn't debatable. Before Craig could even quesion, or reply, the call was ended.

Nora overheard the conversation, but said nothing as she sat there waiting to see what Craig would do. She rested a hand on his shoulder, "Everything okay?"

His face was dead serious as he talked to her " No, but I guess I've to go deep down the rabbit hole which is this night ". He then hugged her with both arms, then silently detached, weared back his helmet and grabbed his assault rifle as he got up " I'll talk with your father, you can go to rest, there are others who will take care of the situation. " . He wasn't happy as he finally was starting to calm and relax next to her. Craig would have preferred to sleep in the coach with Nora, waiting for an improbable transmission from the HQ, rather than doing anything else at that point. But Lazarus invites are not ones you can refuse .

He moved towards the door and opened with just one arm, even though he put some strength as the mechanisms were broken.

The halls would be eerily quiet as he made his way down to the lobby, feeling as if eyes were watching him the whole way. Sure enough however as he got there, Lazarus stood impassive, waiting in a jeans, a muscle shirt, and a hooded jacket. He almost seemed bored until Craig arrived, giving the mercenary a smirk. "Good, come with me. You and I are going to take a short car ride."

Craig walked towards him with his militaristic manner "What do you want?". He asked in a serious tone as he was closing the distance between them.

"Just to talk Mulder, about some important matters. I need to make sure I can trust you. Now, follow me to the car, and all will be explained once we get there." The imposing man said with grim grin as he gestured outside to a waiting car.

He didn't reply, if Lazarus was doing this there was an obvious purpose, it would have not be a simple discussion and something was telling him that it had to do with what was happening in the city. His helmet didn't show his expressions, not that there would have been much to see otherwise as he get in the car.

With a satisfied wave of the hand, he joined Craig in the car before driving them only a couple blocks away to a storage building. Ignoring the rain, the ominous man lead him inside to a dark interior save for a illuminated couch and CCTV setup. Various angles of footage could be seen as elements watched over Nora's residence as well as various other areas with things going on in most of them. It made clear just how widespread across the city the attack was currently.

"Take a seat mister Mulder, I'd prefer you were comfortable as you stay a while. We can watch over Nora here together, and dicuss a few things." Lazarus stated as he walked over to the setup, giving the footage a quick look over.

"Don't need to" Craig coldly answered as he was already staring one screen, after the headache was over he finally escaped from the drowsiness grip, he was now fully awake even though tense. Tense because he was grasping what was trully happening there, as his helmet moved to see the many monitors he realized.

"You are testing their defences...". His strategical and tactical mind already trying to figuring out what was Lazarus's plan, although the motives of such were obscures for him.

"Oh come on, you're no fun. But yes, you are correct, these are my men. And I am the mastermind behind what is going on here. You get a cookie and a gold star. Now.....that brings me to a very important question." Lazarus stated boredly and somewhat sarcastically at first, but finding some happy measure in the mercenary who was almost too smart for his own good, didn't have a grasp on the whole picture. "Are you going to be an issue for me now that you know? Tell me Mister Mulder, where do your loyalties lie?" he said lowly in a dark tone before giving a snap of his fingers.

The rest of the lights came on in the large space they were in, revealing the row of soldiers lined up with rifles against either wall, and if Craig looked up as he heard the clicking. A dozen and half of the thing he chased before skittered about on the rafters and ceiling. One dropped a dozen feet away before slowly getting up and slinking over in a non-threatening manner, it's skeletal body was black compared to the others, and walked with a up right posture, arms crossed behind it's back. "The Apostle asked you a question, I suggest you answer him promptly." it said raspily.

"Apostle..." He mumbled, trying to remembered where he heard that word before ".. A really ancient word, never thought you were that sort of man". He said just to catch more time to think. Craig turned his glance around to see the soldiers lined up, and then again the screens, particularly one who had a good view on the kitchen window directly pointed towards the living room where Nora was still waiting, maybe for his return.

In a snap of fingers everything was clear to him, every second of what happened as he set foot on that planet " Maybe you don't understand what kind of person you have infront of you Mister Lazarus. And I don't know what you expect from an old mercenary, but if you want me to change side in this war of yours, is not by pulling the emotional lever.". Craig stated, calmly and glacially, his words hurted in his heart, but when you are at work never put emotions in the way, and he was always on the job.

Lazarus raised an eyebrow as the skeletal Reaper behind him cackled, apparently amused by his response. With a sigh, Lazarus ran a hand over his face, "Mister Mulder, I don't think you understand. I honestly don't give a fuck if you love my daughter, I've brought you here to see if you are going to be an obstacle to my plans. The only reason I let you live is because I want my daughter to be happy, but if you're going to be a problem...well...wouldn't be the first death of the night."

With a snap of his finger, the reaper stopped it's cackling, and went silent as it bowed in apology. "So I'm going to ask you again Mister Mulder. Who's. Side. Are. You. On?" He reiterated as rifles to either side were raised, and SMGs were deployed above, laser dots starting to slowly trail over the mercenary's armored figure.

"I repeat what I said before Mister Lazarus..." Craig said as his scanners analized the walls, looking for some way to roughly escape if things went south. He didn't know what type of man Lazarus was, nor his patient or way to convince people, but maybe the right words would have played the way Craig wanted.

"... I'll join you, but i need something in return, something which is neither a lover nor enslavement." He continued calmly with his cool tone. The weapon placed vertically with the mouth on ground as the stock was holded by both his hands. He stood firmly and straight.

"So what? Money, power, support, other commadable goods and services? Name your price son. How much does my irritable father pay you?"

"Enough to let me prepare an invasion." Craig admitted, for the first time in his life saying to someother his final mission. "I don't need support of anyother kind but money, roughly 65 thousand DS monthly. Of course in exchange for my services." He continued coldly and politely.

"I can more then quadruple that amount. 500,000 DS. Need more? 1,000,000DS. You're protecting my daughter, and possibly giving me eyes in the NDC, and keeping Nora from knowing about all this. Hmm, whadda ya say Mister Mulder?" Lazarus said with a sly grin, spreading his hands as he proposed his deal.

*This man is mental, maybe he is going to shoot me as I accept the deal* His mind shitting its pants from the entire situation. But he pulled off his helmet, his expression stoic as ever although a little tick could be seen from a picky eye. A slightly nervous muscle contraction around his odd cyber eye.

He made a slight bow, leaning his upper body towards the young father of his even younger lover. "As much as you want to offer, Mr Lazarus".

"Azmodaeus, grab a case, and fill it with a mil please. I believe that seals our deal with Mister Mulder. Alright the rest of ya, you can pack up and move to the next objective. Also, Az, what's the status on the family?" Lazarus said with a wicked smile as he waved his black figure of a companion off to go collect the money, before asking him a question.

"The eldest son, and the wife of the other lord are dead. The Major is unknown, we have men searching for him. Other then that, the others have so far only sustained injuries. Quite a few are rallyed at the hospital with a sizeable security contingency."

*What? Really? Just this? Oh i will not comply* Craig's mind completely surprised by the sincerity of Lazarus words. His inner tension was slightly relaxed by a brief sigh, then took back his weapon on both arms and went for an essential question "What is the plan and objective?". He asked professionally to his new boss, being added to his long list of previous ones.

"The plan is a coordinated tactical strike on NDC HVPs, with the objective to knock off as many as possible within a limited time frame and cause as much instability in the upper echelon of this nation as possible. Success, or failure, neither are important. This is a shake down run of my new army, and kicking my father's shit in while I'm at it. So far it's been successful, sowing chaos, eliminating figures of importance and authority, and causing millions in property damage as well of military assets." Lazarus chimed as Azmodaeus strode off to retrieve the case, the troops heading out to go take care of some objective, the reapers above dispersing out the windows. "I also had a secondary objective, which has already been completed. Obtain a Geist."

Craig was inside the gears of a machine he didn't know, if he was there to serve two employers in the same time he had to know when one of the two would have smashed the other "And what will come after this? If anyone of the NDC's heads survive, retaliation is expected. I will stay here as you ordered but I suggest you to not remain more longer than the strictly necessary. If it's not conquering what you're looking for".

For the time he spent in the NDC he had already a vivid perspective of how the intelligence system worked, and it was lethally efficient. It would have been just a matter of time before they discovered the culprit.

"That's the beauty of it, my position is completely secure. Every countermeasure, obstacle, and subtrefuge is in place to ensure they never know I was even involved. Every unit is equipped with a dead man trigger that destroys all DNA evidence, and they only refer to me as the apostle. I have the technology, inner pull, and funds of a yamatai economic power at my finger tips. I have an army of the most lethal soldiers short of the nekovalkyria themselves, and all the assets of a fleet and corporation to do whatever I wish. Mr. Mulder, I was made a tool to kill, but now I am the master." Lazarus explained with a dark glint in his eyes, a madness that had been subdued for so long. It was only visible briefly, resubmerging into his mind where he had made sure to keep it. No longer was he the crazed slave, but mastermind of a entity that could pose a major threat to anyone in it's way.

"Understood sir". That's all he could say, Lazarus seemed sure to the core and Craig wasn't the type of guy to push on subjects, even less if his interlocutor was the terror of the Kikyo sector. Though the little spark of madness which glimpsed on his employer face was enough to make him worry about the longevity of the contract.

His stoic expression was covered as he took back the helmet , the voice croaked from the armor's speakers "What are my orders now?"

"Return to my daughter and continue to watch over her. Continue working here as if nothing changed, and keep me apprised of things here. As eventually I will have to leave for a while to attend some matters." Lazarus said simply, returning to his previously casual behavior. He stood with hands crossed behind his back before turning to the view screens. "Keep my baby girl safe Mulder, and out of the know of what I do. She's been through enough of it in her life already."

Apparently looked like Lazarus truly cared about her, from that point Craig was slightly relieved but how much of this affirmation will remain true till the end? The mercenary knew he couldn't fully trust, the way he took was full of obstacles and pitfalls but succeeding in it would have proven to himself that he could have truly faced the "last mission" of his life.

He made a slight bow "As you command". Then turned and walked away with his heavy rifle still on hands.
 

Noodlewerfer

Well-Known Member
"Deus Tonk"
Sirris VI - Obsidian City - Hangar

Two hours ago-

Mark had planned to gift his daughter something he knew she wanted, even if an odd and expensive request, he liked to see his gynoid daughter happy. Having placed the order a couple days after Sanctuary Day, the adoptive father ordered a custom made Hydra to be made for the girl. With it planned as a surprised for her, and not thinking she would check stray paperwork, he left the confirmation order form that notified him the project was finished, out in the open on his desk at home. It was a sheet of yellow paper, standing out amongst the sheets of white, and data pads with digital forms.

The robogirl was idly walking by in their home, near his desk, but she was a curious robot. She clanked backwards, noticing the yellow paper. Her glowing eyes looked left and right, and then at the papers on the desk. She clanked a little closer, glancing at the papers. The robot's servos whirred as she bent over the papers, reading the words upside-down.

It wasn't hard to figure out it was something related to Chlorate, a item number was listed in finished, a lot number in the base's garage listed as the drop off point. A copy of a message from the buyer, which was Mark, was shown at bottom. "Thanks again Izzy, this will make my baby girl happy, and I'll make sure to get pics of her reaction for you as promised." - Mark Oaklen. A bar code was available at the bottom as well, which would have a GPS tag if needed.

Chlorate squinted, looking at the note, looking up, then back to looking at the note. Yes, it was Mark, but what was this letter about? "Father has a baby?!" she asked aloud, not realizing that was referring to her. Her electronic eyes stared at the bar code, and after a few moments she decided to scan it with her own optics.

Her mapping system would display her position, then a highlighted route to the garage mentioned on the paper, a spot marked with the same lot number as where the item was dropped off now marked. It wasn't far from here, and thanks to the NDC's level of automation, Mark had shown the gynoid how to give a car a destination, and it would take her there. A very helpful tool for the curious bot who likely liked to explore and learn of her surroundings.

Chlorate thought, and then proceeded to walk to the car. She anxiously looked at her feet, hoping their loud clanking noise wouldn't attract the suspicion of anyone nearby who might wonder what she was up to. After all, she might have trouble explaining that she was tracking down the location a bar code on her father's paperwork led to. The gynoid got in the car and entered the route her scan indicated.

The vehicle made the trip a rather short one, only lasting five minutes or so, before pulling into the base. Troops rushed around, something was clearly going on, all ignoring the car entirely as it passed through the gates and traversed through the base to the hangar. Pulling up just outside, the doors opened, a voice chiming in with ["Destination Arrived"] as it did. The hangar lights were on, the doors open meaning some vehicles had been deployed, several bays empty. Towards the end, one vehicle sat covered in a tarp, large and hidden. If Chlorate checked the marker, it was the one she was looking for.

The android looked around, realizing she had been taken into a military base. Confused, she stepped out of the car with a clank. Her loud clanking noises continued as she stepped towards the tarp-covered vehicle. She looked down and noticed how much noise her feet were making, and not wanting to attract attention, she tried to step more carefully. Despite her efforts, her metal feet still made audible clinking sounds, so she started hovering in order to move more queitly. Floating towards the end of the hangar, Chlorate remained uncertain as to when Mark had a baby girl or how the indicated object was supposed to make said baby happy.

The tarp sat loosely over the large vehicle, and held a quite impressive sight underneath. Under it was a Hydra tank, painted all black with red stripe, gold and silver livery to top it off. It had all the weapons and the cockpit sat open, a tag on a string saying "For my baby girl Chlorate, happy birthday honey". It seemed to be for her, a tank, customized and fully loaded.

Leaving the covering over the tank, she read the tag and squinted. "I am... a baby girl? I was born?" she asked, confused. She poked her metallic arm to make sure it hadn't suddenly become organic. Rather than removing the tarp, she sent a message to Mark's geist. [Father? Am I your female baby?] the AI girl asked.

There would be no reply, only a feeing of depair and pain as instantly as the connection was made. Something was wrong, something was very wrong. The soldiers running about outside, her father's absence, and the emotional feedback that was felt over their connection. Something had happened, and whatever it was, was clearly very dire.

Chlorate fell over and clonked on the floor, laying by the tank. [F...f-fatherrr...] she sent, overcome by emotion. She looked under the tarp as she was on the floor, noticing a tread sitting there on the ground. "What...?" she asked, widening her eyes with yellow irises. Realizing what it was, she immediately got up and put her metal hands over her mouth. The gynoid was unable to keep still, she made clinking sounds as she happily tapped her metal feet. She proceeded to pull the tarp off the Hydra and she stared at it in awe with her illuminated irises.

A beep resounded as the light hit the console, photosensitive sensors registering the cockpit was open. [Ignition Start]

The tank switched to quad leg mode and rose from it's place, ["Presentation complete. Ignition started, awaiting pilot. User identified, Chlorate, pilot accepted. Welcome aboard pilot.....alert....secondary pilot not present...checking neural network. Alert alert alert, pilot Mark Oaklen in distress!"] the tank's VI announced before bowing forward to allow the gynoid to board with little difficulty. ["GPS marker activated, please board immediately."]

"Father?!" Chlorate asked, panicked. She realized it must've been connected to the surge of emotion over the geist connection. She quickly floated in to the hatch of the tank, getting in the seat. She was thrilled by the feeling of being in a tank, but also extremely worried because she knew something was wrong.

A GPS marker would show the way as the cockpit closed to protect it's gynoid pilot. ["Controls are free pilot."]

"Affirmative," Chlorate responded. The metal princess forgot she was talking to the vehicle's computer, it seemed like another AI like herself. Eyeing the various controls in the tank, she was already familiar with most of them from when she had uploaded herself to a Hydra before. Wasting no time, Chlorate started driving the vehicle, piloting it out of the hangar.

A tank leaving the base would go unnoticed, a few having already been dispatched into the city streets. They were on the prowl for something, something dangerous if sending tanks. Chlorate would have no trouble navigating said streets, as there was no traffic at this time of night. Rain began to pour down on the quiet dark city as the lone gynoid, but that silence would be broken. Gunfire and shouts rung out as she neared the end of the route. Coming into the center of the city, there were flashing blue bolts of plasma from a rifle that streaked into shadowy targets. The weapon was abandoned as a familar glowing red blade was drawn and swung, followed by flurries of sparks. The battle was seen by her from across the park, and over within minutes. The last man standing, shuffling into the road around the way. If Chlorate zoomed her optical targeting systems, she would see it was a worn and battle fatigued Mark with a look of muted rage on his face.

The robot drove the tank over to Mark fast, knowing it was possible he required immediate assistance. "Father!" she cried from within the tank. She scanned around in an instant to determine if there were any hostiles around them.

At first the voice was heard muted, his focus still searching for a new target. His eyes glowing red, he turned to the headlights of the tank thinking more had found him, but only to find the sight of the gift he had stored for his daughter. It sapped the energy from him, the realization it was Chlorate, which caused the memories of why he was even in this state to flood back to him. He pulled in a deep breath of air before collapsing to his knees, to the puddle laden street with a small splish as he did so. "C-chloe....honey, what are you doing here?" he said as the rage was just gone, only depressing sadness, before his eyes glimpsed to the burning bodies he left behind.

Chlorate peeked out of the tank's hatch, stating "I and the tank detected that you were in distress. What has occurred?!" She was oblivious and confused, then she followed his eyes and was alarmed to see the corpses. "Why...?" she simply asked without finishing her sentence.

"Stay in the tank, we're under attack! We need to move away from here. Chlo, head to the cliff overlooking the city, I need to see what's going on in the city." Mark said as he sheathed the plasma katana before scaling up onto the tank's chassis. Gripping onto any handhold, he directed her to go as directed, giving a waypoint on a way off cliff. "Please Chlo, we have to go, it's not safe here. We need to get out of the city as fast as possible."

"Affirmative," the gynoid said. She ducked back into the tank and drove quickly to the marked cliff. She considered flying the tank up to it, but she didn't think that was a good idea both because the tank could only fly for a short period of time (which she hadn't tested yet) and because Mark was hanging on to the chassis without a proper seat. She kept the tank in tread mode in order to go faster.

That it did on the streets, the GPS leading them on a route that went around the park and between the military and entertainment districts on the main highway. It would be a 15 minute trip if without stops, or obstacles, but who knew. The night had already been one horror after another that had been pitted against just Mark, who just slumped against the tank's hull. The night weighed heavily on the poor man who's heart was shattered, broken by loss and rage. He dreaded what he had to tell Chlorate at somepoint when their lives were not on the line.

Eventually, the robot had gotten the tank to the top of the cliff. Sitting inside of the cockpit, she reported "We are here father." She leaned her metal and plastic body against the back of the seat, since Mark hadn't told her to get out of the tank yet. "Father... what is happening?" she asked him.

Mark slid off the hull, but stumbled as he landed, not falling however. He was so tired and fatigued, he was not in any shape to fight for a while. "We are being attacked, in our own home without warning. Assassins, inside our own walls. How did this happen, how could this happen........We've been betrayed." Mark said before falling to his knees before the cliff's edge. He could see the smoke from even here as his fallen foes bunred, and the contrails showing his path of fury. A few more here and there rose from floors here and there on a few buildings. The glow of a few vehicle wreckages present, reflecting off the metal of the city structures.

Out here he could hear the confused radio chatter of the defense line, as well as reports of defense postions being harassed. It was silent chaos, and he wept silently as he saw it all now. How blind in his own rage, to see the loss everywhere around him. How many were now dead, how many of his subordinates still lived? The fear tore him down.

"Chlorate, baby girl, daddy has to tell you something. Come here and let me hold you dear. You must hear this and I want to be there for you to lean on before I do."

Chlorate climbed out of the tank, hovering down to Mark. Landing on her feet with a clank next to him, she stood there. "I do not understand... why do I need to lean on you? I am not damaged or low on power." She was unprepared for what he was about to say. Something was wrong, but... she had no idea it was that wrong.

Tears ran from crystal blue eyes, his hand reaching up to her's gently before pulling her to him. He held the droid girl close, "Chlo...I'm so sorry... I-I-I wasn't fast enough to stop it. Chlo baby, I'm so so sorry." he said as his voice cracked. "They got her....those things....chlo...they killed koro.....they killed mommy. I'm sorry, please forgive me sweetie, I tried. I-" the rest was lost in sorrow felt sobs as he held onto his daughter, feeling broken inside.

"What...?" Chlorate asked. Her eyes started to flicker and glitch. "Negative... n-no... error... this... could not happen..." Chlorate leaned on Mark with her full weight, slumping her head against his shoulder. "No... father... error... I do not... why... mother..." The corners of her eyes started sparking with no ability to make tears, and the robot "cried". Hugging Mark, she electronically sobbed and clung to him, unable to think or let go.

Mark sobbed with her until the fatigue caught up to him and he felt his hold of her wanning. "Chlorate honey, I'm not going to be able to stay awake much...l-longer. I need to rest, please take me to the tree over there."

Chlorate didn't speak, she only cried as she picked him up and clanked to the tree, setting him down. She looked at him with her sparky eyes, filled with grief, but not blaming him.

A gentle yet weak hand was rested against her cheek, his injuries now all clear to as why he was in the state he was in. "Chlo honey, I love you...I'm sorry I couldn't s-save her. I'm in no position to fight, or stop you from heading back. I need to rest, so stay safe, I'll se-" he managed before the hand lowered away and as his eyes closed from the waeight of exhaustion. Passing out before he could finish, Mark Oaklen slumped against the large tree.

Chlorate held on to her father's hand for a minute, and then looked at the tank. She knew what she had to do. Eyes still sparking, she let go and hovered into the tank. The robot sat down in the pilot seat and drove it back towards the city; she needed to avenge her mother.
 
Top