Project Genesis - Episode 5: Family Portrait

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-Ministry of Information-

Lars Mullman stepped out of the elevator, feeling for all the world like he had gotten into a fist fight with the cyborg he'd rammed with a van. The local hospital had wrapped his injuries, but that still didn't prevent his head from throbbing if he moved it the wrong way, or his ribs from stabbing him whenever he took in a deep breath. Getting caught in a car crash isn't something you just walk away from normally, but he had to, every burning step of the way. When he had actually found a medical team, he had barely been able to stay conscious.

But that was yesterday.

Now, back in a clean uniform, and doing his best to keep his limp unnoticeable, the police lieutenant stepped out into the hallway where the office of Thaddeus Dayne was situated, and nearly found himself bumping into a group headed the other way towards the open doors. "One side, officer," spoke one of the officials, flashing a quick apologetic look at Lars' bandaged head and fingers before resuming his walk.

Turning to watch the two men drag the man between them down the hall, Lars momentarily became lost in his thoughts.

Men like that who are just doing their job...I wonder if they've also deadened themselves to what they do for a living. Hey, wait a moment, who's that they're carrying?

Suddenly, it dawned on him. Though beaten slightly and a lot less in command than when he'd last seen him, that face was unmistakably the face of ex-minister Grazer. Reflexively, Lars began walking towards them, but then a voice behind him made him freeze up.

"Are you the policeman who's here to see me? An Officer Muller?"

Slowly pivoting around, Lars found it much easier to recognize the face of Thaddeus Dayne, minister of information. The minister seemed friendly, but a slight slant around the eyes suggested that gears were turning up there. It was best for the officer to simply defuse the situation. "Mullman, actually. Police Lieutenant Lars Mullman, here to deliver a progress report on the search."

"Yes, I was informed that you would be coming. Please come with me, Officer Mullman. This information is best kept from inquisitive ears."

"Of course, Minister." As Lars followed Dayne down the hall, he cast a quick glance behind him just quickly enough to see the elevator doors closing with Grazer and his escorts inside. If he hadn't been keeping up a facade, he would have cursed. This had been one of his best bets at learning about Grazer's research, and the opportunity had been thoroughly blown.

"In here, please," Dayne said, showing Lars into a room marked Operations. Stepping through, the police lieutenant was initially unsure of what he was seeing, and then he was awestruck. Rows and rows of computers in a room large enough to hold the equipment of at least two Brotherhood hideouts. Guards flanked the room, weapons at the ready to utterly destroy whoever threatened the safety of this equipment. Lars did not realize it at the time, but he was inside the editing room, where reality was taken, warped, and enhanced to provide the government's version of the truth.

The room appeared to be mostly empty right now though, with one row being manned, while the rest had been shut off. The portion of the room that Lars was being guided towards was conspicuously far away from the screens being worked with, not coincidentally.

"Now then, report," Dayne commanded.

"Huh...oh yes! My apologies." Bringing his mind back into focus, the lieutenant stated, "As per our orders, the Semile Police Department has been conducting a citywide search jointly with the cooperation of Crusade. Thus far, we have eliminated more than a tenth of the city as potential hiding spots."

"Only a tenth?"

"Progress has been slow in the lower class sectors, where rioting is still strong. We have diverted some of our manpower to clearing up the situation, but there have been delays due to sniper attacks from unknown assailants in that area."

"They're hardly unknown, lieutenant. But please, continue."

"Bottom line, minister, our current estimate is that a sweep of the entire city will take at least another week."

"That isn't nearly fast enough, lieutenant. The Messiah must be found soon, if we are to have any hope of our salvation. Recall your men from controlling the riots and devote your entire attention to finding Genesis by any means necessary. If you and your men truly desire the world to be in peace, you will redouble your efforts."

"Yes, minister."

With a salute, Lars turned to leave, when Dayne spoke behind him, "Oh, and lieutenant, it goes without saying that the Lord will look very kindly on the man who brings Genesis back. Whoever is fortunate enough to retrieve her may discover many blessings in his future. Think on it."

As he stepped out and boarded the elevator, Lars found himself thinking just that. If his situation with the Brotherhood fell through, it wouldn't be too stupid of him to consider possibly playing on the side of the government again. He would have to see where the chips fell.

(Summary: Lars is sent to the Ministry of Information to deliver a report to Dayne on the joint operation between the Crusade and the SPD to find Sahar. He learns on the way inside that Grazer is being held somewhere in the building, and on his way out, Dayne hints to him that whoever finds Sahar will be rewarded for it)
[ame=""]YouTube- Ballad of a Fallen Angel[/ame]

Messiah, it has a simple meaning, anointed one.

That word made Ada cringe.

It had happened when she was young; the incident in which she lost her left arm.

"Which girl? There is a potential messiah in every generation." Ada said as she flicked the Victory cigarette to the ground.

"That girl, Mr. Altair and all of his allies keep talking about." Rhiannon responded.

"Ah. Then let me tell you a story." Ada said.

"A story?"

"Yes, it's about an extremely respected High Priest  who found Messiah at the gates of the Holy City."

"I don't understand."

Ada kept looking at the computer screen, avoiding eye contact with Rhiannon.

"The High Priest asked Messiah, "When will you finally come?" The High Priest was quite surprised when he was told, 'Today.' Overjoyed and full of anticipation, the High Priest waited all day but Messiah never came. The next day the High Priest returned, disappointed and puzzled. He then asked, "You said you would come 'today' but you didn't come! What happened?" Messiah replied, "Scripture says, 'Today, 'if you will but hearken to His voice.'"

It was her first encounter with the 00. He had jet black hair and steel grey eyes. She could hear the various voices talking. The 00 lunged at her, slamming her to the ground. He had a methodical look on his face. The black haired 00 then forced himself on top of her. She could feel his fingers bury themselves into her soft, exposed flesh. She cried out in pain, because her body did not refuse the intrusion. All she could do was cry. Such a useless emotion…

Ada then finally looked Rhiannon in the eyes. She had an innocence to her that Ada had lost all those years ago. Rhia was a naïve little nymph in this world of badness. Ada both pitted and envied her for it.

"I'm sorry. I just like telling stories. It's a bad habit. I have given up the need for and belief in a single messiah who would one day bring judgment, and perhaps salvation, to the world."

The cold icy wind kept its unwelcoming grasp on her; it was as if the bitterness of the world was eating away at her. The gods had seemingly abandoned her. When the 00 had finished his deed, he shot up. Fear entered his eyes. Did he feel remorse for what he had done in just a matter of moments? If so, it didn't last for long. He then unleashed an animalistic like scream. He then picked her up by the left arm. The 00 just kept shaking her until he underestimated his strength and ripped the arm off. Ada could almost see a light coming before her, she closed her eyes smiling….

She then pulled out another cigarette. It was a habit she developed after the incident. It was something she never talked and people never asked her about again. There was only one person that kept a curious front up about it, that being Altair.

The girl awoke to find a guttural man in a blue parka with a white skull cup covering his bald head. He smiled at her, "The gods have chosen you to survive. We cannot deny you your life." With that she was scooped up in his arms and carried away to a Nova Corps airship. Perhaps good times would come again, once more.

"Did that answer your question, hun?"
How many years? 5? 10? Somewhere in between? Stepping down the whitewashed hall, the camo-clad 00 allowed his thoughts to drift. Dr. Amy Sheridan. Once she hadn't been all that important, a lab tech somewhere and before that…a student…a child…an infant. What was he? Amy had begged the same question and together they had set themselves to discovering Jerek's past…but it had been ages since then. The convoluted meditation lessons, theory on centering oneself...all to grant Jerek enough control to walk out of a flame retardant room. Those days had been difficult ones, but her familiar face did not seem to represent the hardship, but the soft warming confidence a mother bequeaths to a child. Since leaving the laboratory, Jerek had not seen her. They said she'd been moved to a top secret project…to the savior…but the details were hard to come by. Now, he'd dragged the woman from wreckage and needed to know what she knew…what she had discovered.
He surrendered his weapons at the first door…as if they mattered. The guards knew well enough that Jerek could send this entire installation into the earth if he'd wanted…but the commander of Nephilim was a smarter man then that. No memories…not even a shred of a name…Jerek Aldere had been chosen for him…only his skin left the biological index card of an origin…the naval proof of birth Sheridan had not worked through.

The room was pleasant enough, a High Priest's office was bound to be. Everything was ordered rather neatly...and it all smelled of some subtle spice or smoother fragrance...but beneath its facade of homeliness, Jerek perceived the room differently. Everything about the room evoked the image of sterility…cold, strict, cleanlieness. Sitting in the chair with an uncomfortable grimace, Jerek awaited the Doctor while attempting to not be excited. Although this was his first time reuniting with his former caretaker…he needed to keep objectivity. 01…he was still out there…Jerek knew it in the pit of his stomach. He just needed her to prove it one way or another…or perhaps…smile as she used to and ask him if he wouldn't like to be a scientist like she was…so intuitive she used to praise. Jerek had not said so then…but those praises were worth more than all the uniform compliments, titles, and medals he had received since he'd left her care.
Location: Park Heights, formerly Maryland, old subway

"My best friend gave me the best advice ... He said tomorrow's a gift and not a given right ..." Amidst the chaos and fighting above, a man was walking through the water with an old fishing pole on his shoulder and his earphones in his ears, singing.

"Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!"

Zion paused and glanced back the way he'd come. Singing? Down here? He'd been walking through these tunnels for hours. He hadn't seen anyone else around here. His music was low but he took out one earphone anyways and listened for it again.

"Din, dan, don. Din, dan, don."

Now usually he could ignore things when he wanted to and go on his merry way. Everyday life was filled with distractions, like a shiny coin and some leftover food. In this case, he really wanted to catch that twelve-foot long alligator. But the singing ...

Zion put the earphone back into his ear and made a small shrug. What harm would it do if he investigated the singing and lost a few hours of his time? It wasn't like he had to go save the world or something. 'Sides, he had this crazy feeling there was something ... someone down that way.

The man paused when he came to a section where the lights had all been broken. Which was weird because the lights had been fine when he had come this way not too long ago. He tampered with the lever on the wall nearby and began pumping it up and down. It was rusted and it squeaked each time he moved it but his ability came into play when a few of the lights flickered on. Enough to show him a woman and two men standing there, the latter of which were aiming guns at the former.

"Frère Jacques, frère Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines!
Din, dan, don. Din, dan, don.
C'est l'Enfer qui m'a créé"

Zion realized the one they were aiming guns at was the same one singing. Well, he wasn't one to leave a damsel in distress. It'd be bad karma. He raised the fishing pole like a spear, aimed it at the two men, closed one eye. Estimated the distance, estimated time it would normally take to reach them, estimated how fast he would have to accelerate the molecules without killing them ...

Once he had the calculations down, he threw the pole. As soon as it left his hand, he sped the molecules up and it moved so fast, the men didn't even know what hit them. One moment they were standing there, and the next they flew off their feet and slammed into the wall.

Zion was already running forward and he stopped beside the woman. He picked her up, slipped her over his shoulder and began running away when he realized--his fishing pole! "Oops, almost forgot my--" He stopped, turned--finally remembered he'd used the pole to zap the two! He threw his free hand up in disbelief. "And that was a perfectly good fishing pole, too!" He turned back and started running away.

"I guess I'm wrestling the alligator when I find him. Hope he's not a fan of wrestling or I'm screwed."

[Summary: Zion is down in the subway to look for a twelve foot long alligator, armed with his trusty albeit old fishing pole. He is attracted by Sahar's singing and the "presence" of someone and investigates. He mistakes Setem and Yuri as attacking Sahar, zaps them, and runs off with Sahar over his shoulder. Zion attempts to retrieve his fishing pole before realizing he used it in his attack and bemoaning its fate.]

A friend? At the very least someone who was not trying to kill them, a small glimmer of hope and now this. It felt as if his spine had been shattered for the umpteenth time his face rested against stone. Yuri wanted to cry out, to scream his frustration out on the world and to have the sound somehow fix the mess that a few hours ago had been a simple operation and now, like quicksand, was threatening to swallow him whole.

It was then when a blur flashed past, he only a for a moment but there was no doubt as to who had gust run past and even before the rush of air in 02's wake hit Yuri something inside him snapped.

He had had enough.

Teeth clenched he push himself to his feet, eyes narrowed at the retreating figures. A snarls sounded in his throat as he started after the old man, the messiah, and the freak.


Anna lay curls up shivering.

She was gone, Sahar was gone and..... down the passage she could see Yuri getting up and the look on his face shilled her to the bone. She had only seen it on him once before and then, as now, the didn't know what triggered it only what it meant. Yuri was in kill move, and now the calm way the sniper usually was when he was killing for the brotherhood. This was a quest for blood.

With quick glance at Setem she hurried after Yuri. She had to made sure he didn't get himself killed.
Sahar was now confused. Seemingly out of the blue, a series of strangers had appeared. However, this newest one had the gall to physically pick her up! She wanted to snap his neck so badly; yet, there was a power to him that seemed to suggest fighting him might not be a wise decision. Her mind was conflicted; should she toss him aside like she did so many others or just wait this out? She asset the situation at hand; he had her in his grasp. If he could literally zap her death. She decided attacking was not a wise decision at this time.

"I don't trust you." Sahar said.

"Well, I guess we'll have to worry about that after I save your cute little tush!" Zion responded.

"I do not understand what you said."

"Those bad guys were going to hurt you! They were armed with guns. I doubt you want to be shot up like the low rate soldiers the Semile government uses above us."

"Are you an undergrounder?" Sahar asked.

"Yeah, sure...."

She let her mind slip into a half conscious state; maybe this fool would take him to an area with more toys to mess around with....

"No!" 02 yelled. He wasn't in the mood to deal with yet another kink in his plans to find Sahar. Without bothering to pay attention to the now stunned Setem, 02 simply ran past him and Yuri. His great speed made him a blur to them; though Yuri was more than sure who it was.

"Come back here, you moron!" 02 yelled at Zion, "I don't want to have to kill you! I am that girl's brother!!!"

"Oh geez," Zion said, "A jackass at 12 o'clock. This shall be a little more fun than I thought!"

'What the hell just happened?' The only thought that passed through Setem's head as he got up. Yuri didn't take long to get up either and from the looks of thing, the edge had just been reached. He was about to take action as 02 started to run after Sahar and the new fellow who was the only one capable at the time of tripping Setem. He did not want to miss this chance, the one chance to find out more than he ever needed to know. With what energy he had he manipulated the sewer water making a tidal wave effect that sprayed up and froze 02 to the wall. Even he had trouble breaking out of this one. It gave the 00 enough time to question another. "I could care less about what you do to me after I let you go, but at least tell me, what is your real relation to Sahar?" The 00 seemed to ponder, however, it was not of the regular single voice, but looked to be an insane thought process by many. "Let's start with something simple then, you want Sahar right? We both are after her, and apparently both wish to protect her. After all, if I don't protect her that wouldn't make me a good bodyguard now would it?" Setem now waited for 02's response prepared to unfreeze him if he accepted the facts.

[SUMMARY: Despite Yuri looking ready to beat the piss out of Setem, the 00 goes after his fellow experiment. He starts asking the obvious questions and hints to a temporary alliance/truce between the two.]
Constantly answering to an ever ascending echelon of power
The Kingdom of Men constantly turns his head upwards
Hoping that what he does appeases whom ever that upward gaze is directed toward

He wages wars, destroys cultures, snuffs out life
All in the name of a Lord he cannot see or comprehend
But if one were to say that there would be only clouds and space to greet his gaze

Would man truly accept that he is alone in this world?

Or would he just continue on believing
Sparing himself from the starkness of solitude

-The Child, Words of a Species

Again. He was so close. And again. Gone from him in an instant. Taken, stolen. Again.

Liberated he was. There would be no more fighting to be heard. Just him and him alone. It was a feeling that had become so foreign to him that he himself did not even notice until he shouted out the frustration that sat in his stomach, directing it towards the captor of his prized Sahar.


As the words seem to fall out of his mouth, he began to wonder how much of that he actually believed.

It was so different without her… The warm embrace of her presence always hovered over him, guiding him and the others on what needed to be done…

Now there was no one. All he had left was the bits and pieces of information she instilled within him, the task in which he was to accomplish; to fix a family that was broken…

A broken family…

A sister he only briefly seen once… And faceless amount of siblings that were only mentioned seldomly…

Still… There was something about Sahar… He couldn't grasp the words to express it… But it was familiar… It was soothing… It felt like…

This wasn't the first time he felt like this…

Wasn't the first time that she wasn't there…

There was another…

Suddenly, he felt his body stop and a numbing chilling consumed him. He was halted, pinned wall to wall, in between frost and cement. All he could do was stare helplessly at the thief running away from him, taking away Sahar with him.

"…Could care less… Let you go…Tell Me…Relation to Sahar?"

All he could do was watch as Sahar became smaller and smaller…

"…You want Sahar right? We both are after her, and apparently both wish to protect her. After all, if I don't protect her that wouldn't make me a good bodyguard now would it?"

He struggled and fought hard against the ice, his fingers managing to move, obliterating the ice and surround his fingers, manage to get enough room for him to move his finger around, destroying the ice around his hands.

"…" 02 could feel it from this man as well… He was a part of that seldom talked about siblings that she mentioned before. She wanted 02 to be civil towards them, even if they were hostile.

"Let me go…" He spoke of his own volition, his voice alone. "…I don't care…I don't care if you want to protect her…" His face grew red from the effort he put forth in struggling, managing to start a hairline fracture in the ice that encased him. "I don't care if you want to kill her… I don't care what any of you want to do with Sahar!"

"I AM HER BROTHER AND I AM TAKING HER HOME!" 02 managed to free his arms, piercing through the thick layer of ice around his torso with the strange power imbued into his fingers. He managed to partially free himself from his icy prison, preparing to chase after the man that took Sahar and ready to subdue his fellow 00 if he still insisted on getting in his way.

[Summary: 02, now freed from the multiple personalities, starts to wonder why he is doing all this chasing in the first place. But regardless of how he felt, he had a job he needed to finish up and he just honestly wanted to be around her. Before he could deal with Zion, Setem froze him and 02 pretty much just flips the bird to Setem's offer, breaking himself semi-free and ready continue the chase...]

As Lieutenant Lars made his departure from the Ops Room, Dayne turned and glanced down at his PDA. It seemed that Lars had been missing for a few hours during the riots and one of his subordinates had already filed the initial paperwork for his alchemisation.

Dayne smiled as he scrolled through Lars' records and marked the man back from being 'dead' to being 'alive'. He also cancelled the preliminary draft of Lar's 'heroic death at the hands of Dante Snipers'.

The lieutenant had just missed out on a great memorial. How unfortunate...

Closing the file, Dayne continued through the Ops Room and into Conference Room 7. There was a whirr as several cyborgs turned to him, their heads superimposed with holographic images of human faces. Behind them were screens and internet uplinks showing more faces, as well as a few people in the flesh seated around the conference table.

Most of the Ministers of the New Guard were represented. And in the corner, Eros herself had found a seat and was preparing to take minutes for the meeting.

As Dayne closed the door, his politic smile came as smoothly as clockwork.

"Welcome, brothers and sisters, to the first meeting of the new cabinet." He clapped his bionic hands together and moved to the head of the conference table, followed by the screens and holographic faces. "I congratulate you all on your new promotions, and I thank you, from the bottom of the heart, for staying the course in these difficult times. Many of you have supported me since the very start, and in return I now welcome you to the inner circle of government. Let it never be said that Thaddeus Dayne does not reward his friends as generously as he rewards his enemies."

There was ripple of polite laughter from the New Guard politicians.

"Now, we all have much work to do, not least for the coming war with Norfolk. So I will be brief. The Old Guard pursued a policy of primary and secondary control - namely the force of arms and the doctrines of faith..."

Dayne moved through the shadows of the conference room and approached a giant screen mounted in its far wall.

"... We, however, will now move one step further, into Tertiary control."

He paused for effect, making sure all the eyes, cyborgs and uplinks were watching him.

"The wonderful thing about television, my friends, is that stupid people believe it, and smart people do not. And therefore, neither will act upon what they see, for the stupid man is too weak and the smart man is too cynical."

Dayne pressed a button on the screen and a picture came into focus, showing the feed from Channel Four of the Semile Public Network.

"Put something on television..." whispered Dayne as he turned up the sound. "... and you never have to fear it again."

He moved over to Eros, placing a hand on her shoulder as she took the minutes. And on the screen, a news broadcast ended and an advert for a new primetime show began playing...


A revolution is coming...

One man will make a difference.


"The name's Altem. And I'm here to show the Crusade what a real God looks like."

In humanity's darkest hour, the Inifinity Rebels stand ready...

"Call me Cassidy. I'm Altem's combat specialist. I break the rules... and I'll break your heart too..."

Beautiful and deadly. Altem's gorgeous assassin is never far from the action. The politicians want her, but the hunters soon become the hunted. She'll get close to them, she'll learn their dirty secrets, and then she'll blow them away.

"My heart belongs to you, Altem. You know that. But it doesn't mean I can't have fun right? Heh heh!"

"Goddam it, Altem! What kinda mess have you got me into now?"

Riley, engineer and comedian, with an invention for every situation. What Altem's best friend can't fix with a wrench he'll fix with a smile.

"It'll be ready tomorrow!"

"You said that yesterday!"

"Can you... teach me... what is love is... Mr Altem?"

G.I.N.A., an android with a heart of gold, specially developed by the Crusade but now turned renegade. She wants to know what it means to be human, and Altem will be the one to show her.

"Your plan is illogical, Mr Altem."

"That's why it'll work!"


Sex... intrigue... corruption... action... adventure... seduction.

The Revolution begins tonight, 9pm!


[SUMMARY: After speaking with Lars, Dayne chairs the first conference of the New Guard ministers. He reveals a new primetime show that is going out to all the televisions in Semile. It is a show about a group of revolutionaries, pitched halfway between satire and ludicrousy.]
02, his rage was evident and his power immense. He was able to break his arms free of the ice that should have completely sealed any normal man. Setem gritted his teeth as the 00 would not listen to reason. He tried to play off the new information he was given. "A brother is supposed to protect their siblings. Do you not care for her safety?" He remained silent against the wall thinking from the looks of things. "If you really cared about her you would defend her to your last ounce of strength." The word affected 02, he could feel it, an overwhelming feeling burning in his chest.

[ame=""]YouTube- ロード ã'ªãƒ– ヴã'¡ãƒ¼ãƒŸãƒªã'ªãƒ³ã€ŒBlack Dragon's Temple〠**REQUEST**[/ame]

It was slow, but grew at an intense rate. The adrenaline began to pump through his system and his hate for Setem rose. Unaware to Setem, and perhaps himself, his right hand began to shake and his fist clenched. He batted at the bindings in front of him shattering the rest of ice to bits. "Die!" The meaty fist was flying at Setem at an alarming rate. He hesitated a moment but managed to pull up a screen of water before him. The current blasted his fist above his face and over his head. Once he knew for sure 02 had completely missed he turned the wall of water into a sort of pillar pushing his opponent straight into the ceiling. The liquid dissipated streaming back into the center of the tunnel. There was an impression left on the ceiling and small fragments of rock stuck in 02's hair. He got up and took another swing at Setem. Waving a hand in front of him, the water made a several inch thick wall of ice. The punch made it half way through but a light was emitted from the fracture. His fingers started to destroy the wall and made a large enough hole for his hand to get through. With the structure already weakened all he needed was one kick and the wall came crashing down. He followed up with his left fist curving down low for an uppercut straight to Setem's stomach. He could feel the acids reaching the top of his throat before being launched several feet back. Setem was on his knees spitting out the remainder of what he coughed up and gasping for air. The hot sting at the back of his throat made it hard to do so. 02 was not going to let him have a chance to get resituated.

There was a brief flash of white and a hard warming feeling on the side of his face. This was quickly ended by a dramatic and rough hit on the other side. His cheek rubbed against the cement as the bits of grit cut open several small wounds. Without looking Setem used the water to grab a hold of his enemy again. A quick tug and 02 was flung into a new domain, the source of water itself. "The advantage is mine." A powerful suction kept the psycho from getting out. Meanwhile concentrating on the molecules Setem started to make small but effective explosions in the water. Each one seemed to be able to tear a little skin away and ripple the water on the surface. It wasn't long before He froze the entire body of water only leaving the 00's head exposed. He walked on the solid block and started moving around his prey like some kind of vulture. After his third pass he began asking questions again. "Is this all you have? You are ensnared in what is mine. I could easily end your life right now and your pursuit would be over." The hostility in his voice made the threat seem real. Instead of following through he sat down next to the head. "But I will not. I'd much rather see your conviction." He unfroze the water but managed to stay afloat on it. 02, shrouded his thoughts in one goal, of eliminating obstacles and Setem was now one rather big one.

"End it…now."

[SUMMARY: Setem gets into a brutal confrontation with 02 and proceeds to take a quick upper hand. Despite his early lead the 00 manages to punch Setem in the face and give him some heavy damage to the head. Blindly Setem takes an offensive and puts 02 within inches of death. Even after telling him of his intentions, 02 is still focused on eliminating the obstacle.]
It would not end this way.

I could not end this way.

02 being taken out and pinned to the wall put one less obstacle between him and the old man. He aimed at his back but at a full run his aim swung wildly and the risk of hitting Sahar was too great. With a grimace of frustration he hurtles after them jumping over a deep looking pothole on the tunnel floor.

With Sahar in tow his quarry was slowed down significantly, she appeared to be running in a half daze. "STOP!" he called out "You don't know who that is, we're protecting her."

Most of the rage he had felt seemed to have ebbed, perhaps it had been directer at 02 instead of the newcomer. "Please listen."
The Tesla, Altair's Quarters

Altair took a deep breath and sighed as the hot water from the shower splashed onto his face and down his chest. Everything was going differently than he expected, but his first goal was in sight. He almost had the man power to return to the surface. It had been much harder than the first time he had done so.

Ten years ago...

01 had just escaped Nova Corps after his rampage...or so the official reports said. In reality, Albert Talbot had let him loose and snuck him out of the city.

"Dad, where are we going? What about Mom!? What happened to her!?"

"Al, you know what happened. Listen to me. You are not safe here."

"What? Not safe? But my powers! My powers will keep me safe!"

"Altair, listen to me. Project Genesis was a success to the point they want to continue it. To make results STRONGER than you. Your potential was great enough to entice them to continue what should have been finished. You have the power to become a great and inspirational leader, but in this time where the Government uses God to justify whatever they see fit you have no chance."

A young Altair looked up at his father confused.

"Then...what do I do?"

"People. Gather people willing to fight against the government's god!"

"Are you telling me to start a rebellion?"

"Not just a rebellion! A revolution! I will support you as I can Altair, but I will be unable to support you publicly!"

"What!? Wait! Where do I go!?"

"The Northern District. There are rumors of an oddly capable group of rebels there. Earn their trust and shake the foundations of this nation."

"But why?!"

"I can't tell you everything. I don't know it all. David. David Talbot, your stepbrother. Stop him. No matter how high he rises, no matter how long it takes, you have to stop him! I don't know the details, but you must do something! You're the only one who can in this world right now!"

[ame=""]YouTube- Code Geass OST 2 Track 13 "Pessimistic Time"[/ame]

Altair, only 14 at the time, was set loose into the Northern District. For the next four months he spent the time finding the rebels, learning their radio frequencies, the terrain, and the enemy: The Crusader soldiers of the Government. With Altair's intelligence it did not take long before he was ready. During one of the battles between the rebels and the crusaders, the rebels' radio crackled to life with an unknown voice.

"If you want to win this fight, listen to me!"

The man who answered was Randal Xavier, who would later go on to be Altair's right hand man.

"Wh-what?! Who are you!? How did you get this frequency!?"

"That doesn't matter right now. Do you want more of your people to die, or do you want to feel victory for once? .....Pull the pin on a grenade and throw it into the third story window of the building above you on your left."

When he obeyed, A group of crusader bodies fell out of the tinted glass to the ground. Randal stared in awe.

"How...did you?"

"Are you ready to listen?"

For the next two months, whenever the rebels entered battle, the mysterious voice would crackle to life over the radio when they were on the verge of defeat, and when it did, the rebels won. Eventually, the rebels weren't satisfied with just a voice.

"...I see. I agree, its time we met.

The rebels and Altair met for the first time ever late at night in front of a train station in the far north. It was raining that night. Altair first had the rebels introduce themselves. Before finally introducing himself.


"I am Altair."

The rebels stood in awe at what they saw. One rebel just muttered "He's just a kid..." while the Randal walked up to Altair.

"So you're the one that's been helping us?"



"Because we share interests. And because I needed to make sure you were capable. I would like you to join me in a rebellion to shake the foundations of this nation."

"What makes you think you can lead us to victory?"

The young man kicked a crate next to him that spilled out into weapons and ammunition.

"Okay, you've got smarts, and you've got connections for weapons. But you're a kid. If you can't fight yourself what good are you?"

Altair raised a large train car into the air with his psychic powers and flung it into the foundations of a building marked for destruction. The rebels watched in awe as the building tumbled and collapsed before their eyes. A lone boy had wrecked a building like it was nothing.

"How...did you do that?"

Altair explained the ins and outs of Project Genesis to them. They seemed oddly receptive to the whole idea.

"I always thought they were up to no good in that place."

The Rebels joined forces with Altair, and the young man was soon being addressed as "Lord 01." For a time Altair staged small attacks in scattered locations. Two years later, now 16, Altair attacked a provincial government building with a terrifying efficiency. The whole ordeal had been broadcast by the Crusaders who thought they'd be filming a testament to God's powers against rebels by defeating them. What they ended up filming was much more damning for their cause. The broadcast Semile watched ended with Altair holding a .44 Magnum to the head of the provincial Governor.

"Damn you! You will never get away with this! God will see to it that you're struck down!"

Altair smirked.

"God eh? Tell me. If God is so against rebels..."

He leaned in and whispered loud enough for the cameras to hear.

"...then why did he let me get away with this?"

Altair executed the Governor on television broadcast to the entire northern region before the Crusaders could cut the feed and proceeded to address the region. His hair had grown longer over the two years. And finally, he donned the sunglasses that would compete the image people would remember Infinity as: Like it or not.

[ame=""]YouTube- Code Geass R2 OST - Siegfried[/ame]

"Hello, Semile. I am 01. And my rebellion."

The people standing behind Altair all wore long black dusters with visors that dropped over their faces. The dusters on the back were emblazoned with a lone symbol.


"We are are Infinity. We are a group that has seen past the Governments lies. That they are not some entity guided by God but an evil group using God, they only thing that is "absolute" in your society, to sway your will without question! If God was truly with them, he would have never let me execute the the first of many Governors to come on national television! For two years I have staged attacks in the Northern District, and today marks our formal introduction."

The tall man next to Altair, Randal, tapped him on the shoulder.

"It seems my time is short. For those of you who have now seen the truth, for those of you who now see God as a flimsy facade for the Government and wish to join me: Seek us out! If you are trustworthy and dedicated to the cause, I will find you! I swear it!"

It was the perfect introduction, and one so bold, so unheard of, that he would never be able to pull it off again. Again, as quickly as they had come, Infinity disappeared. At first only a few people joined them. But as more victories came Infinity's way, the faith of many people, mostly in the north, was shaken even more and thus, more people joined. It was an absolute madhouse for the Government. They found it disturbingly difficult to filter Infinity's actions from the public. Even more so, the rumors that spread across the nation were impossible to stop. Eventually it reached the point that Infinity was accepted by the people as a very real threat. And so Infinity continued to grow until Altair decided it was time to launch the Infinite Uprising, where Infinity was defeated when they managed to separate Altair from is troops. And so ended the tale of Infinity...or so the Government would go on to believe, even with Altair still alive.

Present Day

Altair finished his shower and proceeded to search for Rhiannon and Ada, who he soon found on the upper levels. Seeing them in conversation, Altair quickly suspected Ada was up to something so he decided it was time to intervene.

"Rhiannon! There you are! C'mon, I'll show you your quarters!"

He smiled as he took Ria's hand and lead her away from Ada, leading her towards the room next to his.

[Summary: Altair thinks about the rise of the first Infinity Rebellion. He then takes Ria to her quarters to get her away from Ada, suspecting her of trying to sway the 00 away from him.]
Park Heights, Subway Tunnel. 1.5 miles from Underground City of Vaniburgh.

Zion had not gotten very far, when Sahar placed her small hand on his head, which then made his body stop running.

"You seem like a fun toy; but I must break the two smelly dolls over there."

"There's no way you could fight either of those guys…You're a small woman." Zion responded.

"Put me down! Both of those smelly dolls separated me from my mother. This is why they must pay. Just like how those dumb plastic soldiers did! I am the Host of the Seraphim!"

Zion didn't understand what she was talking about. He had no desire to fight either of the two guys he had tried to wound to save her. "Ummm, I guess that makes sense. I'll put you down then."

As he placed the young woman to her feet he finally noticed that her clothing was stained with blood and were in tatters. Her ivory flesh was exposed in many places; leaving very little to the imagination.

"Miss are you sure you're alright? I can help you… I work for a charity…" Zion was a little nervous, when Sahar's red eyes made contact with his. The 00 could sense something powerful about Sahar as she stared at him.

"Hey! You are just like me… One of the so called Altered! " He said.

"Shut up." Sahar said, "You're lucky I don't snap your neck like I am going to do to these two fools."

She then knelt down and put her hand over the water, "Hmmm…Water level is lower than it should be. Means someone is using psychokinesis."

"So the other two…They are Altered as well?"

"You are a really dumb toy." Sahar responded. Her red eyes focused on the water below her.

The subway tunnel was rapidly becoming more and more humid. Sahar was seemingly rearranging vibrations of atoms in matter to alter temperature. As the humidity increased both 02 and Setem's body's abilitiy to sweat decreased. Their bodies' efforts to maintain an acceptable body temperature was now being significantly impaired. Sahar was trying to get them both into a state of hyperpyrexia.

However, Zion didn't like where this was headed. In an act based on pure instinct, he grabbed Sahar once again and started to run away.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!?" Sahar snarled, "The only reprieve from this conflict is death!"

"Then it's better to let them wipe themselves out and let us live in peace, instead of murdering them over a temper tantrum!" Zion responded.

Someone then cried, "STOP! You don't know who that is, we're protecting her."
Zion then saw a battered man come to a halt.

"Do you know this guy Miss?" Zion asked.

"Yes, he is one of my broken dollies."
"Doublethink... To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink."
George Orwell, 1984

If faces can be read like books, then Dayne's was written in a dead language. He remained at the head of the conference table, his cherubic smile greeting each of the questions that came from the other ministers.

A young New Guarder, a female brunette with a patch over one eye, was the first to speak. "Is this wise, Mr Dayne? A primetime show glorifying rebellion?"

On the screen behind Dayne, the pilot show of Infinity and Beyond was reaching its climax. A young Altem was chasing after a fat governor through the corridors of a provincial mansion, the camera switching between his cool expression and the sweating terror of the fat man.

"Rebellion is a part of human nature," Dayne replied smoothly, "No matter how much we suppress it, it will always seek an outlet. Better that the people are screaming at their televisions than rioting in the streets."

"But this is a direct parody of the Infinity Rebellion!" another young minister protested, his face flickering on a cyborg's holo-display.

"My dear minister..." Dayne picked up his PDA and brought up a stats screen "...since the Infinity Rebellion ended the Ministry of Information has published 12,437 confessions of heresy, carried out 781 mock executions, raided 253 Brotherhood safehouses, declared war on seven nations and alchemised 23,982 members of the Crusade. Do you really believe that the people will remember ONE true incident amongst the 40,000 fake ones?"

"You don't have much faith in humans, do you?" one of the delegates muttered.

And on Dayne's face there was the slightest flicker, the slightest glimpse of the fundamental belief at his very core. He spoke softly, and it was a single truth amongst a cavalcade of lies.... "On the contrary... I have the greatest faith in the human spirit."

No one would know how profound that statement was.... not until this was all over...

On the screen, Altem had captured the fat, sweaty governor and was dispensing one-liners as the orchestra played. Inept Crusade soldiers lay dead all around, with Altem's female companions posing provocatively over their corpses.

"And all this is well and good," an older minister said, "But what about the Messiah! She's been missing for two days now! What the hell are we doing about that, Dayne?!"

"Haven't you been keeping up, old friend? We've declared war on Norfolk..."

"Oh horse-shit!" the minister interrupted, bringing smirks from the other delegates, "We all know the Norfolkians don't have her!"

"Oh but they do, Minister. In spirit, they do." Dayne flashed a smile.

"Is this more of your doublethink shit?"

"My friends, in all likelihood, the Messiah is probably unconscious at this very moment." Dayne scrolled through his PDA again. "Though I have yet to access all of NovaCorps reports, I do know that the Messiah was dependent on medication, without which she would suffer an overload of some sort. So my guess is that little Genesis has probably had a seizure and her captors are now panicking and trying to secure a black-market doctor."

"Your best guess?!" snapped another young woman, whose hair was tied back fiercely from icy features. "An overload of some sort?! Do you even KNOW what NovaCorps is up to right now?"

Dayne's pause was almost undetectable. "In truth... I do not. Since Minister Grazer was removed as NovaCorps liaison, my ministry has experienced some... difficulties... in achieving a dialogue with NovaCorps." Again, another slight pause. "But I assure you all, this is a temporary delay, and I am confident that a proper etiquette will soon be restored."

A cigar-smoking soldier barked from one of the holo-displays. "And while yer restoring etiquette, our own Custodians are bein' drafted into the Nephilim Expeditionary Force! How're we supposed to find the Messiah if ye keep diverting our resources to this bullshit war?!"

"A bullshit war that has led to a record increase in civilian recrutiment to the armed forces," Dayne corrected with another smile. "More and more citizens are joining up every day to do their duty for God."

The other man puffed on his cigar and muttered. "Sometimes I think you don't even wanna find the Messiah..."

"God will deliver her back to us, brother."

"And does the High Priest share that belief?" asked another minister. "It's hard for any of us to say, since all contact with him now has to go through YOU. Is the Farm Boy even in charge of Semile anymore?"

Dayne clasped his hands together and answered humbly. "I have done nothing without the High Priest's approval."

"I'm more concerned whether HE does anything without YOUR approval."

"High Priest Tobias is greatly troubled by the Messiah's disappearance and mourns her absence daily."

On the screen, Altem's friend, Riley, cracked a joke, and the Infinity Rebels all laughed heartily as they walked away from the burning mansion. Then they froze, mid-grin, and the credits started playing.

Dayne unclasped his hands and bowed. "And now you must excuse me, brothers and sisters. I have a meeting with the War Cabinet at 1100, and I'm sure you all have your own duties to attend to. The Blessings of the Crusade go with you all."

With the traditional exchange of farewells, the uplinks began shutting down and the remaining delegates and cyborgs shuffled out of the room. In less than a minute the chamber was abandoned, leaving only Dayne and Eros, who was finishing typing up the minutes.

With a sigh, Dayne turned off the screen and cut short the orchestral theme tune, returning the room to silence. Then he crossed to Eros, his cybernetic hand coming to her shoulder as she typed.

"New ministers, same old questions," he whispered.

He felt Eros bristle slightly, then warm to his touch. And her face, though it smiled, was just as unreadable his, hiding the truth in the deeper places beneath seeming.

He pulled down the strap of her jade-green dress, his metal hand moving over flesh, plunging downwards, cupping her breast. The sound of typing stopped abruptly and was replaced by the girl's sensuous breath.

A doublethinking desire, shared once more.

[SUMMARY: Dayne assures his fellow ministers that Infinity and Beyond will contain rebellious sentiments in the population. He also assures them that the war is a good move and that the High Priest is still fit to rule. His only slip-up comes when he reveals how little progress he has made in liaising with NovaCorps.]
-Semile Lower Sector, Brotherhood Safehouse-

"What do you mean you don't know where he is? I need to share some information with him immediately!" Slamming his good hand onto a table for emphasis, Lars glared at the startled young man in charge of this hideout. Every time he came here, it seemed like the representatives were getting younger. Filing that small insight away in the corner of his brain, Lars focused instead on the matter at hand. Commander Yuri needed to know what the police lieutenant had found out soon, before it was too late for Grazer.

"I've tried calling other cells, honest! Nobody seems to know where he is!" answered the meek fellow. "Last I heard, he was out near the Mancini place."

Rolling his eyes at this, Lars snapped back, "Yeah? Well, the 'Mancini place' is a hole in the ground now, so he's obviously not there. Don't you people have any way to track one another, like a location beacon or something?"

"No, not really...We used to, but we stopped after the ministry intercepted our radio signal and..."

Putting a hand to his forehead, Lars yelled, "Geniuses! You're all a bunch of freakin' geniuses! What next? Did you put a giant neon sign above your HQ saying 'Rebels! Inquire within!'?"

"Hey man! Be respectful! My sister-"

"Screw your sister! If you don't know where Yuri is, then I'm going to find him myself." Without giving the man time to respond, Lars walked out, stepping over to his car in a very foul mood. "Why do I bother with these people?" he muttered to himself, turning the key in the ignition. "Should have gone to work for Norfolk. They'd probably pay more..."

The crackling of the police radio interrupted Officer Mullman's train of thought. "HQ, this is Patrol Vehicle Eighteen, discovered reported stolen vehicle next to old subway entrance, ID tagged 'Mancini,' over."

Mancini? Thinking about it, Lars had heard that the rich fool had had one of his cars stolen on the day that he'd died. This was a potential clue, and one that deserved to be followed up on.

"Patrol Vehicle Eighteen, this is Lieutenant Mullman. Relay coordinates and wait for backup, over." After waiting for an affirmation, the officer started the car and drove towards the location. It was time to do what he was good at, and hopefully this would bring about results.

(Summary: Searching for Yuri, Lars discovers that the Brotherhood hasn't heard from him in a while. Hearing on the police radio about a recovered stolen car belonging to Mancini, he drives down to investigate, hoping that this will yield results.)
-Subway Entrance-

Lars' vehicle came to a stop in a parking space just a short walk away from the crashed car. What 02 hadn't stripped away from the vehicle in its malice had been more than crumbled by the head-on collision with a pole. And most regrettably, the vehicle had been expensive. Not everybody could afford a hover model for their car. Surrounding the car and marking off the area around it with yellow tape were two SPD members, looking rightfully spooked.

However, the car wasn't the first thing on the lieutenant's mind at the moment. Of considerably more importance was the van backing up towards the selfsame vehicle, marked with the insignia of the Crusade. And a possibly even more vital detail was the highly conspicuous set of stairs leading underground, situated suspiciously close to the wreckage of Mancini's expensive car. If the upcoming members of the military were anywhere near as intelligent as Lars was (which he didn't doubt), they'd be able to connect the dots too.

In the time that it took Lars to come up to the car wreck, Crusade soldiers had already begun filing out of the vehicle, armed with assault rifles and plasma guns. Striding near the front was a cyborg similar to the one Lars had dispatched yesterday. Flashing an identification card (not that he really needed one), the squadron's leader said, "Thank you for locating the vehicle, officers, but this is our operation now."

"Going into the sewers?" Lars asked bluntly.

"None of your business."

"I thought so. I'm coming along then."

"You're what?"

"Joint operation, remember? This is our mission too."

The cyborg seemed to be working over things in his mind, and then he sighed and said, "Very well. Just try not to screw things up."

The rest of the men gave Lars a glance that suggested they wished to dip his face in acid. The lieutenant considered whether or not he recognized any of them from the Grazer mansion incident, but figured that so long as he didn't bring it up, he would be fine.

They walked in columns of two down the stairs, one of them near the back fiddling with some sort of device that looked vaguely like a scanner of some kind (Lars was never a technological savant). Lars himself had his revolver drawn, although he really hoped he wouldn't have to use it. His prior experience with the Crusade's armor plating suggested that small arms fire would be a poor solution to a possible friendly fire incident.

One thing that troubled Lars though was the temperature. It was oddly humid, and getting hotter the lower they climbed. That, and it was dark. The soldiers all had engaged their nightvision goggles, and Lars himself had drawn a flashlight from his belt, but one of the soldiers quickly pushed it down when he tried to turn it on. He didn't know whether they were looking out for his safety or their own, but the friendly reminder was a welcome touch.

In short time, the stairs had gone down into a flat boarding platform that had once, long ago, been the stopping point for subway trains. Sweeping the area to the left and right, the soldiers carefully filed into a formation that would allow each of them to shoot in either direction without accidentally shooting each other. Lars, meanwhile, stood on the bottom two steps, leaning around the corner and squinting into the blackness.

In the corner of his vision, illuminated slightly by the street above, Lars could see the soldier with the doohickey walk up to the Crusade captain and say something in a hushed tone while pointing into the darkness. The captain seemed confused, and for a brief moment, Lars could see a flash of something akin to fear on his face. Looking more carefully, the policeman could see him say under his breath, "Three of them? How?"

With a slightly less confident motion, the cyborg motioned the squad to move forward. Following close behind, Lars simply chose to fall behind one of the soldiers and hope that he didn't trip over something.

The darkness was unbearable to the lieutenant. He felt helpless, barely able to see in front of his face without the lights. And worse, as the squad plodded along, noises started to sound through the tunnel, sounding like footsteps and loud rushes of water. Sometimes, words would even echo through the space.

Suddenly, the squad stopped. With a motion that Lars couldn't even see, the squad began to shuffle into the shooting line formation again. The lieutenant felt something pressing into his back, and he turned around to feel something like a helmet, being passed to him by the man who was holding the strange device. Putting it on, and having the world suddenly become clear again, albeit green, he realized why the squad had stopped.

There in front of him was a strange scene. What looked like a dozen bodies were strewn about the walkway they were standing on, twisted and contorted in unimaginable ways. Lars felt like retching, but didn't, partially because he was distracted by a sudden faint noise in his ears.

"Comm check. Comm check. Whisper your response."

"Could have warned me that this helmet had a radio in it..." Lars mumbled.

The soldier with the device gave him a thumbs up. "Good. Keep your weapons ready, officer. Something is definitely down here."

"Yeah, I could tell. Looks like the work of Dante."

"Oh, I doubt that, officer. Most likely, it's-"

"Cut the chatter!" a harsh voice whispered, probably the captain. "Eyes straight, people, and use callsigns from here on. Someone might be listening in."

That gave Lars an idea. If there was someone in the Brotherhood in these tunnels, they might have a radio receiver tuned into the current Crusade frequency. They changed it every so often, but that didn't help much when someone on the inside had access to the frequencies. "Don't want Dante to know that eight Crusaders with full weaponry are coming, eh captain?" he muttered.

"We're not dealing with Dante," insisted the first soldier yet again. "It's the-"

"I told you two to shut up!"

(Summary: Arriving at the scene, Lars decides to team up with a group of Crusade soldiers to investigate the subway. When he's given a helmet with nightvision and radio equipment, he decides to use it to warn anyone hooked into the signal that they're coming.)
There was the faint crackle as faint voices filled the space between the starring Yuri and the panting Anna. Yuri immediately turned to face Anna. Putting the radio to her ear Anna listen for a second.

"........eight Crusaders with full weaponry......" she visible paled.

"Crusaders." she said, her voice quiet, "Sounds like a hit squad."

"Fuck....." Yuri swore....

"I know that voice...." anna went on "It.. its Lars."

"Lars........" Yuri though, he knew that name, then it came to him, thier mole in the police force.

"Then we should take our leave." he shouldered the rifle and grabbed Anna by the arm as they ran for a maintenance door that hopefuly led to the surface a round from Yuri's pistol taking care of the rusted lock. As the door creaked shut behind them Yuri took one last look at Sahar. Hw would see her again soon, of that he was sure.
Eros watched the whole meeting, eyes fresh to politics, to people laughing politely. A part of her felt hard, nearly angered when she felt the condescending wafts of emotion drift from the people who would criticize Dayne.

Eros kept her mouth to herself, lips tight, though her emotions pent up slowly, her typing becoming more and more clipped, forceful. It was all she could do not to reveal her annoyance at their behavior, but what would she do? Grow angry, ruin things for Dayne? Never. Eros let out a sharp exhalation as they left and felt suddenly the touch that melted her like thick sugar.

Letting out a different breath, a soft sigh that almost hinted at warm sentiments, Eros sunk back against the man, her eyes closing for a moment and she could feel tension from him. In the back of her mind, something cried to Eros to be stronger. He had a wife and his loyalties did not fall within a hair's breadth of her body, it was wherever the wind blew it. Yet you simply consider yourself warned, don't you? You feel better, to say you knew this time what you were getting in to. Eros tilted her head back to smile at Dayne.

"What are we doing next?"
Location: Subway tunnels, Park Heights

When Yuri grabbed Anna and ran away, Zion came to a decision then. He picked up Sahar again and ran like hell. "I gotta tell you, Sweet Cheeks. I know immediate danger when I see it. And that," he said, referring to the two people bailing out without warning. "That is a sign of immediate danger."

"What a dumb toy," Sahar muttered. If he really knew immediate danger when he saw it, he would never have gotten involved with this in the first place, much less be carrying her about now. But she had to admit, he could run pretty fast and he knew his way around.

Zion wasn't the type of guy to pride himself on anything and he knew he wasn't the brightest person in the world. But he always trusted his gut instincts. Why wouldn't he? He turned a corner and then--

"You have the worst timing ever, do you know that!"

Sahar couldn't see it and she probably didn't care but Zion had stopped running to talk to a twelve-foot long dark green alligator curled up in the middle of the tunnel. It yawned at the sight of the two, jaws opening to reveal the sharp, wickedly curved teeth.

Zion wasn't the least bit phased. He huffed. "Man, and I don't even have my trusty old fishing rod. Look, can we finish this up later? I'm kind of on the run here."

The alligator closed its jaws.

"... Yeah, I know, I always say that but I mean it for real this time."

The alligator looked at him.

Zion scratched his head. "Hm. Something to show I'm being honest ... That's kind of tough. I already told you I lost my fishing rod."

The alligator was still silent and didn't move.

"No, I'm not giving you my iPod! I traded a lot of stuff for it and that was before I fixed it up and found some old music files." He tapped his foot as he thought. "Oh, I got it." He started feeling around in his coat pockets and there seemed to be quite a few of them on him, some small, some large, some shallow, some deep. He finally found the pocket he was looking for somewhere in his coat. "Umm ... Here!" He pulled out a--

"Rrriipppittt!" A big, fat toad!

Zion turned the toad to look at him. "I know, I know, I owe you a hell of a lot of flies now. Look on the bright side, now you can add 'flying toad' to your list of accomplishments." And then he threw the toad really high in the air and at the alligator!

The alligator had eyes for the flying toad and his jaw opened. Zion took off, running straight for the alligator! As the toad went sailing down into that giant maw, Zion grabbed it, dashed left to avoid the snapping jaws, dashed forward a few steps and then jumped to avoid the swinging tail. Then he was running away from the alligator as he slipped the toad back into his pocket (but not the same pocket as he'd gotten him).

"I said you could have him, I didn't say you could keep him! We'll finish this up later!" Zion promised.

[Summary: Zion sees Yuri and Anna flee and decide it's time to get the hell out of dodge. He picks up Sahar and flees as well only to come face to face with that alligator he's been searching for this entire time. He tricks the alligator and avoids it but promises they'll 'finish' things up and runs away.]
[ame=""]YouTube- 07 tokage noyouni[/ame]Sahar might have been insane by this point but even she knew there was something off kilter about this young man that kept picking her up and running around like some kind of deranged gorilla. She also had no idea what he meant by calling her sweet checks. In her few years of life on Earth she never actually interacted with a male her age before. Granted, she wasn't exactly aware she had an adult body yet.

She had kept quiet while Zion did his circus act against the alligator. She found this doll to be more amusing than Yuri or Anna had been.

As Zion continued to carry her down the tunnel way, Sahar glared at the alligator still lounging in the middle of the pathway. Lifting up one of her hands she focused her attention on the gator and sent it flying down the tunnels a ways towards where Setem and 02 were. She wanted to see what other combat moves the over sized lizard could do against other 00s but Zion wasn't going to stop.

"Great, so now everyone wants to have flight under their list of accomplishments?" Zion said as he glanced back after he noticed Sahar raise her hand.

"Of course they do. I'm the boss of all the toys down here." Sahar responded.

"What a shame you didn't pop up sooner. My Old Man would've loved you."

"You're a weird doll."

"And you're cute. Pampered but cute since you come from the surface and all."

Zion kept running, taking many right and left turns. He knew the lay out of the former subway lines better than any of the Crusaders would have. Zion was going to take her to the local Unregistered Colony.

"So, what's a citizen like you doing wandering around the Underground anyways?" Zion said.

"I was kidnapped from my mother by a bunch of bastard rebels." Sahar responded.

"Sounds tough. Do you even know which rebels did it? Last I heard there hundreds of 'em."

Zion then looked down at the young woman in his arms. Just like him, she had bright white (ash blonde) hair. Her eyes seemed distant though, as if she had just gone through days of suffering. For Zion, it made him all the more curious as to who she was.

"It was the Dante group, you know the Anarchist ones."

"Well, what do you know, they actually managed to pull something off. Sucks to be them."

"More so for me, those dicks kidnapped me without my meds. Just a few minutes ago I was in the worse pain in my life. And they ruined my good clothes!"

Zion knew this girl was right. Her purple uniform was in horrible shape but he didn't want to make her feel self conscious about being so exposed.

"Hm. I can't help you with the good clothes. So if the Dante guys are the ones who took you, why is everyone else after you? I mean, yeah, you're an Altered but is that the only reason?"

"You don't watch the news? I'm the Messiah."

"Only idiots believe everything they see, that's what the Old Man told me and he's right you know. Everything they watch is monitored and fed to 'em. Messiah, huh. Interesting. Do you feel like the Messiah?"

"Sure. People do everything I tell 'em to. If not I punish 'em!"

"Yep, the Old Man would've loved to meet you. Those two guys back there were Altered, too. Do they really want to protect you or do they just think they want to?"

"I'll be honest, I have no idea. Those two dollies are very particular. So I kicked their asses a head of time, saves me the trouble of finding out."

"Heh. There's a philosophy for you. Hey, want to listen to music?"

"Depends. Have anything by Mozart?"

"Mozart?" He asked.

"Oh, you're into those anicent pagan songs. I'm surprised you could find something that old."

"Yeah, let's go with that. It's hard but I fixed up a couple of these devices they used to call iPods back in the day. I use this one. And the other one ... Oh, here it is. This one I've had for a real long time. Come to think of it, it's got some of that Mozart stuff and Beethoven and Bach."

He the showed her his ancient music device. Most of these than been destroyed by the early Church but a few could still be found in the Underground Colonies, where trash from above was often a trash for those that lived below.

"You sure are a weird doll. Do you have a name?"

"Zion." He said.

"A weird name for a weird doll. Makes sense to me."

He then shrugged, "On the bright side, hopefully this means the number of people with my name is relatively small. So, what should I call you, Miss You're the Messiah."

"Your Highness will work." Sahar said.

"Too many syllables. What if there's an urgent emergency, and Your Highness takes too long to say."

"Well people I dislike call me Genesis, mom calls me Sahar."

"So would you rather I call you Genesis and let the Sahar thing be between you and your Mom or should I use Sahar, instead?" He then knelt down, keeping Sahar piggy backing off his back. He then wrote both names in some mud.

"Hm ... You know, if you just rearrange the letters a bit they spell Sarah!"

"Just go with Sahar. The best name for a Messiah, you know?"
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