Project Genesis - Episode Four: To the Underground

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Blind Hemingway

Ancient Iwaku Scum from 2006.
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  1. Primarily Prefer Female
Surrealism, Surreal Horror (Think Tim Burton), Steampunk, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Spaghetti Westerns, Mercenaries, Dieselpunk, Cyberpunk, Historical fantasies
Episode Four: To the Underground

[ame=""]YouTube- Lupe Fiasco - Streets On Fire[/ame]

For those of you that care to know, my name is Adeline. Most people just call me Ada.

I like talking about politics. I'm entitled to my own opinions. The Faith even preaches all are created equals in the eyes of the Holy One.

However, there is a place that not even the rebels of this society go to.


This is the Vaniburg District, the underground society of Semile that is intermingled with the stink of sewers and livelihood.

People of this alien society are stuck in a limbo between slave and citizen.

Officially, they are that not illegal citizens but in the caste societies of Registered and Unregistered no one dares approach them.

In the long haul, there are several means of escape. The first is a little more honorable, joining the army for several years to get granted your precious Citizen's ID Badge. With this little bad boy, Registered Citizens are able to receive healthcare, schooling, welfare, and other amenities from the government. The second is to steal one of these Badges, which is a capital offense. A great many have been shot on site by police for doing this. The last and simplest is to find a firearm and place it next to your head.

Though, when rallied together these people are the most dangerous threat to the government. However, there has been no one in the past decade capable of organizing them.

However, I remember the Unregistered's Uprising more commonly called the Infinity Rebellion.

I was just fourteen at the time....

The location was Northern Point.

I was wandering the streets of the old district, my hands tucked in my pockets. It was quite chilly that day because of the cold breeze. The streets were almost empty, only a few people here and there. Some blamed it on the weather, mostly those who wanted to forget, to hide from the world they lived in.

The old population of the District often spoke of a "better time", a time when there were no fights and when everything was peaceful. I couldn't imagine something like that, I was born in a world full of bloodshed and war. For the past twenty years there had been nearly constant war with the Norfolkians.


The sound of dance music greeted me as I passed by Café Propaganda. It was actually a club, though no one cared. I'm not even sure how the community afforded to keep it open.

I could see couples dancing in the dim light.

Having nothing else to do, I would sit outside and enjoy the music.

[ame=""]YouTube- Kingdom Hearts- Highway Blues[/ame]

The DJ had just switched to a new set of quiet, slow music and the young dancers had to accommodate themselves to this new pace.

I bet it was like this back when my grandparents were young. This must be what's left of the 'peaceful age'.

The music was quite relaxing, my thoughts soon drifted away and I dozed off.

Some time had passed when, in a half-awake state, I noticed several men dressed in paramilitary uniforms enter Café Propaganda.

Half a minute later the music stopped.

My instincts told me something bad was about to happen, yet I wanted to stay, just to see if I was right.

When the first shot was fired, I jumped off the bench and ran home as fast as I could.

Several more gunshots followed; patrons of Propaganda, those who were still alive, screamed and shouted.

Somebody had already alerted the city guard. Sirens wailed in the distance.


I later learned that the paramilitary men where members of the Crusaders, acting on suspicion that Propaganda was a leftist hangout. This was the powder keg that would launch a massive movement generalized as the Infinity Rebellion. Most credit for this conflict goes to some mysterious pre-Genesis 00 codenamed 01. I think it is a bit of a generalization, he was just the right voice at the right time…

He was successful in routing the government forces. His movement had stole arms from Nova Corps. However, in the wake of the conflict little remained. Most of the Unregistered were rounded up and murdered in cold blood. I was spared because of the senior Talbot's love of blondes.

The first reason I bring this all up is because of the fact I am one of the Unregistered. While I may be wealthy from my considerable good fortunes, I will never forget where I came from.

My other reason is quite simple, if you are on the run any of the various underground lairs the Unregisters call home is the best place to hide. No one cares who you are in a land of black markets and gangs. If Yuri and Anna were smart, this would be the best place to hide.
Yuri sat in the back with Sahar. Better for him be be with her after all it had been him who had convinced her to go with them, besides he was hardly in a condition to drive. Anna was in the front driving and he avoided looking at her, To be stuck with her was bad enough. He had no choice when she asked him where they should go. "Underground." had been his only reply and when she had looked at him as if he was crazy he added. "Its the best place to disappear."

The city was a warzone, riots flooded the streets though Yuri saw this as a good thing, everyone was busy with the rioters and payed them no attention. They would have to dump the car soon but that would be easy the hard part would be living in the underground, no matter how temporarily. They would be safe from the crusaders and everyone else who was after genesis, but they would be out of contact with the brotherhood, and Vandiburg was a dangerous place.

Finally Yuri broke the silence between him and Anna going over details in much the same way he used to go over mission plans with Anna, his voice neutral his face passive. "Once we are underground no one will care who we are, they will assume we are a couple with their daughter and not give us a second look unless we give them a reason too. He hid the near useless rifle under the front passenger seat and made sure his pistol as hidden. "At no time should you show your weapons, if they see nothing worth taking they will likely leave us alone. Sahar.." he said using her name as part of their apparent truce.. "You should stay with Anna and treat her as you would treat you mother and stay with her once we have a meeting point I'll get the Dr. Sherriden and meet you there." he looked at her as if wondering as if she'd blend in the underground society. "Might work better is you acted a little spoiled, I'm sure Anna won't mind." he glanced at Anna a vicious glint in his eye and looked out the window at the at the city as it flew by. Everything was riding on them... he hoped with Anna around he could keep it together.
And so, the man and woman travelled through the night with the Saviour in their arms, hoping there would be room at the inn.

And the lord who blessed this immaculate conception sat in his tower and commanded his angels.

"How are things, Mr Aldaire?"

On one the green-screens in front of Thaddeus Dayne, a figure turned to give a report. Commander Jerek Aldaire was surrounded by Custodians and Cyborgs who were dragging bodies and box-files through the ruined lobby of the Mancini Mansion.

"All targets eliminated, my lord. We have secured the four mansions..."

Dayne sensed the hesitation. "But...?"

"But... I think there were Zeros here, Sir."

Dayne looked up, one hand holding a lazer-tool while his other arm lay open on the desk, wires and pistons exposed. "Do tell, Mr Aldaire. Do tell."

Jerek moved to a hallway, the camera-bot following him. "There's evidence of Eximius powers. Some of them match the signatures from the Tesla. And Mancini... he wasn't killed by my men."

"You're sure?"

"Not even a Class Five Cyborg could do this to a man." The camera flickered, trying to focus on the bone fragments and gore that had repainted the hallway.

Dayne went back to working on his arm. "Well well, it seems Mr Mancini had a more active life than I gave him credit for." He soldered a piece of metal, flexing his fingers. "Run a check on him. See what other dirty little secrets he was hiding."

"We've also lost contact with Police Lieutenant Lars. He was tracking a straggler on the west perimeter and has yet to confirm the kill."

"So when you told me that all targets had been eliminated, was this a form of Zero colloquialism that I'm unfamiliar with?"

"Apologies, my lord. The report from the battle-net shows that the straggler was fatally hit, but Lars has not yet to tag the body."

"He's probably still piecing it together. Our cyborgs aren't known for their delicate executions. Send a squad to find him."

Dayne turned off the screen then brought up another, switching to a link from across the city. "Gustave, my friend. How are we doing?"

The bald and giant outline of the Colonel approached the camera, lit now and then by sparks and muzzle flares. He was standing in a workshop and the background was filled with scientists, technicians and construction bots.

"Unacceptable," Gustave barked, as talkative as ever,
"One's failed to uplink. Three shorted their optics. The shielding on Zayan is fucked and we can't get Dalet past 1500 degrees. We need NovaCorps input."

"NovaCorps is being less than cooperative. After ten years with Grazer as their liaison, they're having trouble adjusting to my enquiries."

"We should have brought them under our heels when we had the chance."

"Now is hardly the time for Communism."

"They must learn respect!"

Dayne raised his free hand to calm his friend. "In time, Colonel. For now, keep the Programme going. Jerek will be sending over more field-data on the Zeros."

"We'll need it," Gustave scowled and turned from the camera.

Dayne changed to a third link - one from the deepest vaults of his own tower. "Mr Ballik, I hope you have good news."

In a dark room, Inquisitor Jacob Bellik turned to the camera, holding a syringe in his blue-gloved hands. As usual his eyes were stark white and unblinking. "Grazer is ready, Minister. He will read whatever we prepare for him."

"You're as effective as ever, Inquisitor. The main broadcast will go ahead after the morning prayers tomorrow."

Ballik bowed slightly as Dayne turned off the screen and opened the fourth and final link. "Lieutenant, what's your progress?"

There was a flickering picture of the Lynchwood Swamps, lit by nightlights that showed the black and twisted wreckage of the Tesla. A Custodian officer snapped to attention in front of the camera. "Sir! We're running final lighting checks and PMA. We'll be ready for broadcast by first light."

Dayne closed the cover on his arm and lifted it, flexing the fingers. "I certainly hope so, Lieutenant, or there will be one more body in the swamp tomorrow."

The officer shook visibly. "Ou..our agent has assured us, Sir, that the weapon-impacts are authentic..."

"And what about the Agent himself? Has he remained authentic?"

" have my word, Sir. The agent's cover is impeccable. No one knows who he is..."

* * * * *

Forty miles from the Tesla crash-site, Heinrich Heydrich led his small unit back into the Outlands, leaving the swamp behind. His weapon was slung and his mechanical left arm clutched a PDA, working through lines of data.

His fears had been confirmed, and his motives for going AWOL were righteous ones after all. He took comfort in that as he pushed his men for another day, allowing them no rest.

One of the batches of explosives used in the Tesla raid was the same batch he had tagged a month ago, back in Virginia Beach, when he first had his suspicions.

Now he was coming back, back to the source of the arms deal - back to the man who he had once trusted but now suspected of the ultimate betrayal.

An arms dealer in Virginia Beach and a man he had once called his friend...

Reza Deane.

[SUMMARY: Dayne is coordinating 4 operations: the Mancini clean-up, the ongoing Solomon Programme, the confession of Minister Grazer, and the doctoring of the Tesla news report. However, one Heinrich Heydrich threatens to expose an agent of the Crusade who is working to frame the Norfolkians.]
"Mmmmm…ahmmm." The man woke clutching the back of his head. The hit was just enough to knock him out and not leave anything behind. "Where am I?" He asked himself looking about his own cell. The men from before had tossed him into a well secured room barred off and no water to make any kind of escape. Looking ahead of him he saw a door and one makeshift desk made from a fold out card table. On the other side of the door he could hear a murmur of voices right before the door squeaked open. From what he could tell there was a Lieutenant, a Commander, and one more person who was told to leave before he could catch a glimpse of him.
"So this is the guy huh? He doesn't look like much." The commander said.
"Give him a chance. Honestly I would for once like to not do my other job." They seemed to be planning things for Setem even though he was right there. The rumors were true, the Norfolkians were definitely arrogant.
"Exactly what do you want to do with me?"

"Hold on we are getting to that. I'm Commander Charlie Maxwell and this here is Lieutenant James Pierson. Today is your lucky day, I'm here to see if you are legit. Every time I do not get an answer I like, that is one strike against you."
"An interrogation?" Setem thought about it for a moment. He really had no information of value besides the names of the three people he killed, and those were not even Norfolkian. "Alright, shoot." There was an echoing laugh from the two men when Setem answered. He tilted his head slightly in confusion.
"Looks like you did well on that first one." As he commented Setem noticed that they both were taking their hands off their pistols. He had just avoided a fate decorated in lead.
"You want to gain some kind of advantage right? I happen to know some valuable information about Project Genesis that you might find interesting."

"Well spit it out why donch'a?" Charlie said letting a slight accent slip through.
"With Project Genesis no longer in the hands of the Crusade you have a chance to get hold of a great advantage. Of course you guys would spend hours searching but I got something you do not have."

"And what's that?"
"Could I have a glass of water?" Charlie nodded to James to get the water. Within seconds he was back. He handed the water over to Setem who clutched it between his hands.

"So what is this hidden advantage you have over us?" He concentrated his best and formed another water ball from the water in the cup. To further prove his point he froze it and then unfroze it and let it spill on the floor.
"I'm sure you have heard stories of all the double 0's. My identification is 07, or Setem if you still prefer names. I offer you my services against the disease known as Crusade." He hoped that the reputations of the previous experiments would proceed him.

[SUMMARY: Setem wakes up in the brig and two Norfolkians come in to observe Setem for possible treachery. Setem proceeds to go over the top of expectations and shows off his power hoping that the stained reputations of the other 00's would aid his efforts.]
Altair stared out the window outside. The Northern Ruins.

This was the place where Infinity had stopped its covert tactics. They had become so large, that one single covert operation seized the northern region in three days. It was that day 01 made his threat... a threat now written out of history by the strenuous efforts of the Ministry of Information. Only a few collectors would have a copy of the speech now, preserved on fading parchment or recited in the hearts of the rebels.

"May the Semilian Government hear my words! For the last year I have struck at you time and time again dealing significant losses to your forces! And while your soldiers knew just how dangerous, how organized, and how determined we are you foolishly ignored their warnings! You disregarded their reports! You put your faith in your so called "God" to handle such things! This reckless error has proved your undoing! The Northern Region is mine. Your soldiers have fallen and the people have united under the flag of Infinity! Under the flag of justice! Under a flag where they can forge their own path! Their own destiny! Where they cannot be oppressed or belittled under a rule where God is the one who decides how they live their lives!

So tell me, Semilian Crusaders! Where is your God now!? If I was so evil, the so called "Demon" of your Crusade, then why has your God not stricken me down? Why has he let me defeat, kill, and even turn your people to my cause? Why does your church secretly lie divided? Why does one half consider me a demon, and the other half call me a savior!? Even if you defeat me this is only proof that your crusade, perhaps even your entire government stands divided!

In 24 hours Infinity shall march on you in the Southern Region! Evacuate your young, your old, and the other civilians that do not wish to fight! The people who care for their loved ones too much to risk sacrificing themselves in a battle for a God that for all they know may not even exist! So come then Semilian Government and Crusaders alike! Challenge me! Even if we're defeated my message has been spread! You are
NOT bound by an invisible being known as God! You may choose your own path! You are who you want to be, not what some God says you are! It is time my brothers! The time to rise up is now! Victory is within our grasp! Fight hard, fight valiantly, and fight for what you believe in!!! LONG LIVE INFINITY!!!"

What followed the speech were cries through out the Northern Region and even some cries in the southern region all repeating "Long live Infinity" along with 01. The speech, the battle, and the aftermath were later known as "The Infinite Uprising". For three days the battle waged on until 01 disappeared. Thrown into chaos by the disappearance of their Commander Infinity was defeated. A week later the Semilian Government announced that 01 had been captured and privately executed. Their proof was 01's trench coat with the infinity symbol on the back: singed, tattered, and bloody.

Shaking off memories of hearing the speech, Altair looked around the room. Its was one of the safehouses littered through the region. An old abandoned hotel that was left in surprisingly superb condition. Altair had brought Rhiannon to it from the Mancini place. The escape was an rather hectic if not educational one. Altair had tried to read 02's mind as they escape and was greeted with numerous voices saying different things with the same meaning to them.

"The reports on 02 were certainly accurate. The man is not stable. Fractured personality maybe? Or is he just mentally unstable? Well, at least I know that there's yet another person looking for Sahar...or maybe not. Who else could someone that insane look for..."

He sighed and took a drink from one of the two bottles of water on the table. One was full and unopened. The other one Altair had been drinking for the past hour or two.

"What the hell were they thinking making more 00s? However this second generation was made, it certainly wasn't effective. The only even remotely stable one I've met so far is...her."

Altair looked over to the bed where Rhiannon lay unconscious. It would take further interaction with her to learn just how messed up she was after Mancini's abuse. The brief glimpse he had of her file told him that at the very least she seemed to suffer from an inferiority complex and trust issues. Altair paid the file little mind though. Now that she was away from Mancini maybe he could form an opinion outside of his little social ring. All he could do for now was wait for her to wake up. He picked up his phone and called Jason.

"Jason? Yeah, I need an escort team to Safehouse Gamma. Yeah...Linette's got the files close to unencrypted? Good, good...she's complaining her feet hurt? Well, dammit, tell her to stop wearing the stilettos. Oh please, she doesn't wear them because they make her look professional. She wears them because she knows that they make her thighs and ass look good with the skirt.....hey, just because I don't know women that well doesn't mean I don't know what I like.....No, I'm not looking to sleep with her.....Oh sure, laugh it up asshole. Maybe I should tell Sabrina in maintenance the time you peeked on her undressing...Yeah, I know about that! I have the security video to prove it too!...That's right, you just get my escort down here. And good luck finding the tape. I had Linette hide it. Alright. See you back at the Tesla....Oh! Get another one of the Officer's rooms ready. We've got a guest."

Altair hung up and looked over at Ria.

"Alright, Princess. Anytime now. Can't wait for you to wake up if the escort gets here before you rise and shine.

[Summary: Altair thinks back to when he heard 01's speech 10 years ago, ponders Rhiannon's situation, and calls for an escort back to the Tesla while he is given (And returns in kind) a hard time by Jason.]
Anna noticed by the tone of his voice that he still wasn't happy to see her. She frowned. It wasn't her fault that they got sent to work together. They used to be a very effective team at one time. Her eyes scanned the street, looking for the hidden entrance to the underground.
She noticed a man-hole that had an insignia on it, native to the slave races. Anna pulled up next to it and quickly uncovered the ladder leading under the city.
"Alright. Yuri, are you alright enough to go after the doctor?" She asked, helping Sahar out of the vehicle.
"Oh, so now you care how I feel?" Yuri replied, an icy tone in his voice.
"Just answer me," Anna snapped, annoyed with his grudge-induced attitude.
"I'll be fine," He said, "Just go." He climbed into the drivers seat and took off. She sighed and looked over at Sahar.
"Right. You go on first," Anna said, climbing down the hole after Sahar.
"I'm glad you're awake, Miss Emily! Do you think they will let you come home soon? Your nephew has been by a few times this week and I don't like what he's doing with your house."

"No, Rhiannon... I don't think I'll be going home."

Rhiannon shifted on the bed as she took a deep breath. The images of her dream were all jumbled, as dreams tended to be. A mixture of old memories and new. Miss Emily before she died, the Mancini house filled with holes and fire. Val Mancini, Miss Emily's nephew looking bloodied and angry.

Shifting again, she was trying to force herself and her body to wake up. Her muscles ached, especially her lungs. Taking in deep breaths kept giving her twinges of pain. That one man had used her own power on her. Was this what it felt like when she stole people's air? This is what she did to people?

Realizing that she wasn't lying in her own bed after a nightmare, Rhiannon sat up quickly with a wary expression. The moment she spotted that guy her fingers twitched in preparation for a defensive attack. A deal. That's right... She had said she would go with him.

"Where are we now...?" she said slowly, annoyed that her voice sounded a little croaky.
Altair reached over to the unopened water bottle on the table and handed it to Ria.

"We're in an old hotel in the Northern Ruins. I've called my friends for an escort back to my base of operations. We'll think up a plan to get Sahar back there when we can know we're safe."

Altair finished his water and set the empty bottle down.

"You okay? Anything seriously hurt? The escort should get here in about 30 minutes."

It was an odd transformation. One moment he was a menacing and intimidating, and the next all the hostility had just vanished.

"Wake up, stupid," a harsh voice penetrated the once warmand dark bubble Eros could feel surrounding her. It was still gray around her, an enfolding sense of security in the depth of the darkness. Eros was aware that her mind was drifting, her eyes closed. Somewhere within her, she could feel twinges of pain.

"Wake the hell up!" the voice called, louder, and the bubble seemed to pop as Eros let her eyes flutter open, gaze resting on the young Lancelay heir. A part of her felt like burning when she saw him, so much a copy of his elder brother but so different. Where calm and logical had resided in the elder's features, there was haughty arrogance.

Eros assessed her wound quickly, trying to remember how she had ended up in the mansion when she had clearly been aboard a ... had it crashed? Eros opened her mouth to ask questions, but she was hit in the face with a dress, more a robe than anything, or purest black silk.

"Get dressed, there are things to discuss."

With her hair of autumn bound in a black ribbon, the black dress sheathing her slender form, Eros listened in mild horror as the plans she would fulfill were given to her in quiet, measured voices.

"You wanted to make him proud, didn't you? It is your fault he was killed in the accident," the icy tones of the patriarch never failed to make her feel tense, ill. She nodded wordlessly. "We are his family. We are in danger unless you carry this out flawlessly. The ministry is crushing those it sees as a threat to its power, and that I can respect. But I can fear it as well. You will go and you will slither like the beautiful monster you are to the highest peaks for us. For now, you will be nothing but a junior minister. I expect you to help us survive."

And may they kill you for your treason when we are safe.


In the penthouse of the Ministry of Information, Thaddeus Dayne reclined in his office. He had his golden data-slate in hand and was reviewing the purges.

Updates were coming in every minute - Old Guard politicians arrested in their homes, dragged into unmarked cars, blackmailed or assassinated out of office. The Minister's fingers worked quickly, assigning names to execution lists or confessional-vaults, circling those who were to be written out of history completely, underlining those who would be alchemised.

Each name brought the slight tuggings of memory. Many of these Old Guard had been his associates and rivals through his youth. They were the people who had blocked him and demeaned him. But all their expertise and grandeur had been in vain, for it was he who was now triumphant - he, Thaddeus Dayne, the prodigal son of Leopold the Red. He had outplayed them all at the last hurdle, and now presided over their eradication.

A smile played about his lips, his eyes brilliant blue as he read the slate. With the old names transferred out, Dayne began importing the new staff profiles.

These were people he could trust - the sychophants and zealots of the New Guard - young and blind like he had once been.

Near the bottom of the list he paused on the name of a newly promoted junior minister.


His finger hovered, then continued onwards.

Good people, the Lancelays. Good gene-pool.

He would have to get a look at this new girl.

[SUMMARY: Eros Lancelay, otherwise known as 03, has secured a place in Dayne's new government. She is being brought into the lion's den.]
Rhiannon took the bottle with a slow distrustful motion. Even as she opened it, smelled it and took a sip, she was eying him with a sideways glance. The Northern Ruins was pretty far from where she should be. Without Val Mancini to give her orders, she supposed she would have to listen to this one. In the end, the objective was still the same. Hunt down a little girl. Probably kill people.

To answer his question, she finally shook her head. Hurting and unsettled, but no injuries that would cause a problem.

"...What happened to Mister Val?"
Altair glimpsed out the window and shook his head.

"After we escaped 02 turned his attention to Mancini. I'd bet money that 02 didn't let him live. It might be a little much saying this, but he got what he deserved. Its one less thing to worry about. The last thing I needed was someone hunting for revenge."

Altair took a quick look into his coat to make sure his ammunition stores were still in order. He had been forced to shoot a few of Mancini's men on the way into the mansion.

"Anyway, what's done is done. I guess an introduction is in order. My name is Altair. As of right now, that's all I can really say about myself other than you're safe with me."
"You prefer to kill people now, so they do not come for you later." It was a simple statement and observation. That is what it seemed like to her, and despite him being more relaxed here and now, she still remembered what he sounded like before. Being safe with him was probably dependent on the context.

Rhiannon moved, sliding her legs off the bed and preparing to stand. Her head was still a little fuzzy and it still hurt to take a breath. She leaned to set the water bottle on the side table, making a small grimace at the complaints her body gave.

There she remained sitting, quiet and thoughtful. If Val Mancini were dead, what was she supposed to do now? There wasn't anyone left alive in the Mancini family, where would be her new home? The thought of suddenly being homeless and without any purpose was a little disturbing! Should she still hunt down that little girl? But what would she do with her when she GOT her?

This strain of thinking was now making it harder for her to breathe! Rhiannon pressed a hand to her chest as she tilted forward.
Looking younger than her age and intensely shy, Eros stared into the unforgiving pool of silver, which showed all her flaws clearly. Eros turned from the mirror and exited the bathroom, glancing around the building curiously. She had never been here before, all the people moving about, the smell of sterile efficiency, it made her uneasy. The stench of worry permeated the office and Eros bit her lip in response.

A small clerk, weasly looking to her eyes, approached her. He cleared his throat irritatingly, then coughed. It grated on her nerves. "Miss, Miss Lancelay? I've been sent to fetch you to the office of M-Mister Dayne." He looked almost sorry for her as he said it, waiting for her to follow him.

Taking a breath, Eros followed with graceful steps, her delicate footfalls inaudible but she thought her thumping heart might be. She was sent for already? Had she done something wrong? Her mind whirled, her worries spiraling but all too soon they had stopped walking.

"This door here, Miss." The young man departed as quickly as he could quietly flee.
"Prefer to kill people now so they don't come back later?"

Altair stopped and did some thinking. A brief pause.

"'re right in saying I've killed and will have to continue to kill. But unlike Mancini, I fight for a cause. But-"

Altair heard Ria hiss as she tried sitting up which made him immediately turn around and gently place his hand on her shoulder.

"Hey hey hey, you shouldn't be sitting up. 02 turned your own power against you. You should to take it easy! Here..."

Altair reached into his duster and pulled out a bottle and shook out two pills.

"Take these. They're painkillers. Its temporary at best, but once we get back to the Tesla we should be able to use the medical equipment on board to give you a look over."
Though people were being evacuated out the back way of the rich sector, near the front part, a small battle was still raging. Disheartened by the rebellious actions of their commander, Lars' police force division scattered in disarray, making them easy fodder for the soldiers, who had organized themselves into hunting parties. Most of the soldiers allowed the officers a chance to repent for their transgression and simply surrender themselves. A few didn't, and at the same time that the cops were being bunched up, scattered screams sprang up amidst myriad gunfire and the noise of approaching aerial bombardments.

And in the middle of this fracas, holding tightly onto a woman swiftly losing blood, Lars found himself pinned down by one unforgiving Cyborg soldier, his only asylum from a short but painful plasma-injected death being the armored hull of a battered police van. But it wouldn't last. With every shot, the Cyborg also gained two steps, and his reinforced battle armor shrugged off revolver blasts like they were pebbles.

"We're not going to make it! We're going to die!" shrieked Grazer's servant as the van shuddered from another burst of plasma fire. Desperately looking for a cover point to run to, Lars had to admit that she had a point. The only thing remotely capable of standing up to the weapons of the Crusade was the very van they were sitting in front of, and even that wouldn't last forever.

Suddenly, as he looked through the open gate, the lieutenant had an idea. "Get in the van!" he barked at the woman, opening the driver side door and pulling her in. "Over to the passenger seat, and put on your seatbelt! This is going to be...oh shit!" Quickly jumping in himself and closing the door, Lars turned the keys in the van's ignition and sent it rocketing off towards the rich district's gates, just as the Cyborg who had begun to race towards the van at an open sprint made a large flying leap for its rear bumper and grabbed hold.

"Alright woman," Lars said as a series of short bumps from outside told him all he needed to know about the Cyborg's current condition, "if you've got something to say to me, say it now."

"You-you're with the police, right?" she said shakily, pressing a rag against her leg to try to stop the bleeding. "Why would you risk your career to save me?"

"That's a funny thing, miss," he replied, "I'm with the resistance."


"Would I lie about something that could get me executed?"

Suddenly, the woman's demeanor changed. She seemed less panicky and more determined. "Then I have something to tell you. Something important."

As the van zoomed by a corralled group of police officers, Lars growled, "Enough with the formalities, woman! If it's so important, spit it out already!"

"A-alright. It's about a secret project...a project to make soldiers that can kill the 00's."

Lars almost swerved headlong into a building, jumping the sidewalk before succeeding in correcting himself again. The bumping from behind suddenly stopped, and his assumption was that the Cyborg had just been let go. "That's VERY important," he said. "Tell me more."

"Lord Grazer's arrest was not just to find a scapegoat. He was working on this project in secrecy, and the government wanted control of it."

"Any proof of this? Rumors abound in this day and age."

"When the government took away Grazer, they confiscated his research notes too. Find those, and it will be all the proof you-"

A large impact on the top of the van sent it swerving out of control, followed by another that knocked it in the other direction. Somehow, the Cyborg had managed to pull himself onto the roof. His eyes widening, Lars passed the revolver in his lap over to the woman. "Wh-what? I can't use this!" she protested.

"If it breaks in, you WILL use it, or we're dead!" Secretly, the lieutenant had an ulterior motive for passing the woman his weapon. If or when the van stopped, he'd need some reason for driving off like he did. Misconduct could be justified if an officer was under duress at the time, and in the long run, it was her life or his.

The banging continued, and then, with a grinding noise, the top part of the van was slowly pulled away. With a quick upward glance, Lars saw that the Cyborg had taken off a good part of the van's roof, and was now aiming his weapon into the interior. "He's getting in!" Grazer's servant shouted, leveling up the revolver to aim through the hole.

"Then shoot, idiot!"

With a series of sharp cracks, six shots went through the new hole, and a rapid shifting above indicated that the shots had somehow knocked the Cyborg off balance. Then it slipped entirely, falling onto the windshield and barely hanging on to the hood.

Gotcha, bastard!

"Hang on to something!" Lars shouted as he gunned the engine. The Cyborg looked behind him just in time to realize its imminent demise as the armored front of the van crashed right into the solid metal exterior of a building, with the cybernetic man caught in between. Its spine still surviving the impact, the Cyborg raised its plasma gun just in time to see Lars grab his shotgun from between the seats and fire a blast right into its skull, finally taking the beast down.

"That's how you deal with one of those monstrosities, lady. Now let's get you..." Lars stopped suddenly, and breathed a sigh. The servant had been thrust forward against the dashboard by the impact, and the position of her head showed definite signs of a broken neck. Stupid woman hadn't actually fastened her seat belt.


Thrusting the slightly twisted door open, Lars stumbled out into the street. Before police responders or the military arrived, he would need to alter this scene to pin the blame for it on Grazer's servant. As for inciting the conflict, he could tolerate a demotion or two. If this information was on the level, and he succeeded in capturing it for the Brotherhood, he'd be on top anyway.

(Summary: At the Mancini manor, under fire from a Crusade soldier, Lars takes off in the police van with the Grazer servant, and discovers from her about a secret project that Grazer was working on to develop 00 killers. However, she doesn't get the chance to tell him exactly where the research notes for the project are, as she gets killed during a fight with the soldier. Lars decides to save his own skin by framing her for part of his police misconduct)
Commander Maxwell rubbed his chin then took out a pack of Marlboro Reds, lighting the cigarette.

"I need to call the Old Man at DESRON first." Commander Maxwell said to Setem, handing his pack over to Lieutenant Pierson. The two men left the holding area, closing the door behind them.

"Think it's a trap?" Pierson asked.

"The dogs didn't find anything out of the ordinary and if he had a tracking device on him that scrapyard magnet we put him through should have shorted it out." Maxwell replied. "Just looking him in the eyes tells me he's legit." Pierson nodded, the two men finishing their cigarettes before going back into the holding area, this time with a shotgun armed MA.

"Well, the easy part is over with." Maxwell said as the MA unlocked the cell, cocking his shotgun immediately afterward. The look on his face told Setem that he was eager to see the 00 try something.

"So what's the hard part?" Setem asked as he was escorted out with the two officers.

"Convincing the Old Man that you're defecting from the North." Pierson replied. A boxy Humm Vee rolled to a stop before them, the MAs getting off with a dog that was almost the size of a minihorse.

"You ever seen a Bull Mastiff?" Maxwell asked Setem as they climbed aboard a black and white police cruiser with a broken tail light. There was a red bandana duct taped over it.

"I can't say that I ever have, why?" Pierson motioned to the MAs and the large dog. The beast reared up on its hind legs, standing almost the same height as Setem.

"Where do you find a dog that big?!" he asked, staring.

"The British Isles. Leprechauns use them like horses." the MA chimed in as sat in the back with Setem, Pierson turning the ignition. "What they like to do is when we're tangled up with the highlanders these little people will storm in on those dogs and sling rocks at us. Not the smooth rocks you find here in the Cheasapeake but these really sharp, jagged rocks that not only break things but also leave nasty cuts where they hit."

"You travel a lot I take it." the 00 remarked as Pierson drove them past the ships, leaving the brig. The MA pulled his dogtag chain out. There were numerous molars hanging from the chain.

"Thirteen molars taken from thirteen different people in thirteen countries."

"Molars?" Setem asked as the MA jammed his chain back down his shirt.

"Trophies. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a trophy." Maxwell said as they passed the aircraft carriers. Setem had seen pictures but he'd never thought he'd ever see one in real life. "I've heard the Texans have more of a tendency to scalp their victims."

"Word of advice..." the MA interrupted. "Do not ever call one a savage to his face lest you want to keep your innards where they are. They always keep a sharp fucking knife with them."

"I don't know how to tell one apart from the rest of you Norfolkians." Setem replied as Pierson pulled up to a large, brick building. The sign read 'COMATLANTFLT, NAVSTA NORFOLK.' Outside were three Pirates sitting around an empty oil drum, one strumming a guitar while the other two traded swigs from a bottle of alcohol. Maxwell and Pierson led Setem inside, the Marine on guard saluted the two officers while his compatriot wrote something down in a green book.

"We're going to see the Old Man. Let us do the talking and speak only when spoken to." Pierson said to Setem as they walked further into the building.

"Showtime, Outsider." the escorting MA chuckled as Maxwell knocked on a door. The plate read 'Admiral Jonas Baker, SACATLANTFLT.'

"Enter." the occupant replied. Maxwell opened the door and Setem was ushered into a very meager office compared to what the Crusaders used. Inside were three admirals and a Marine General.

"Commander Charlie Maxwell reporting as ordered, sir." Maxwell said with a salute. "We have brought the prisoner as requested." The admirals and general looked at Setem.

"You may be seated." Admiral Baker said as the MA closed the door. "And you can safe that weapon."

"Aye, sir." the MA replied, manually unloading the shotgun and safing it. He reinserted the slugs into the tubular magazine afterward.

"Now then... Mister Outsider, what can you tell us about yourself?"


-Setem is taken from the Brig to talk to the Old Man himself.

Sahar descended down into the tunnels underneath Semile.

Jumping from the last step from the ladders, she landed on a hard cement walkway. The surrounding area was well preserved but damp. An underground river flowed over metal tracks. This tunnel had once been a subway system, six hundred years later, nature had tried to conquer it from humanity, but it was clear humans were still very active.

"It smells like diesel fuel down here." Sahar complained as she leapt over an oil puddle.

The puddle was still fresh, most likely from a small scooter. This made Anna somewhat relieved. It meant someone had to be nearby and thus could direct towards the heart of whatever Vaniburgh district was nearby.

It was brightly lit for supposedly being an abandoned Metro system. She had to squint for a moment. Unlike the upper levels where filtered natural sunlight was an almost constant given, this place was full of  fluorescent lighting. It was unnatural looking to Sahar.


"Get used to it. These tunnels are the only place that the government doesn't have shitloads of cameras. The people down here are too ignorant for them to care." Anna said.

"I'll complain all I want. The only reason I am down here with you is because Yuri agreed to go find my mother. He was being truthful. You, on the other hand are not as trustworthy." Sahar said.

"Don't act like you can read my mind." Anna responded.

"Oh, but I can. I posses a frontal lobe with allows for me to pick up neural oscillation; your brain waves. I believe it is similar to deferred telepathy, though I am reading emotions not your actual thoughts."

"I see." Anna said.

Anna had never experienced the powers of an 00 before. Sure, she had heard rumors about mutants that had the powers of psychokinesis, the most extreme being tall tales of pyrokinesis, hydrokinesis, and aerokinesis. However, no one in their right mind would believe such things could actually be possible. The child was obviously delusional.

Sahar then continued to march forward, trying to establish she was the dominant one. However, on her third or fourth step, she then clutched her hand on her heart, "Ow. It hurts."

The 00 felt her heart rate increase, going well beyond the normal speed for a human.

"It hurts, it hurts!!!!!" Sahar then fell to the ground, reeling around on the cold damp floor. "IT HURTS!!!!"

Anna then ran over towards the teen, "Shit and a pile of it." She said under her breath.

"Honey, it's okay. You'll be okay." Anna had no idea why the 00 would be experiencing what she assumed was a heart attack.

"My pocket… I…I… I have some medication." Sahar cried.

Anna took little time to find a syringe full of a pale green liquid. Pulling the cap off the needle, she injected it into Sahar's right arm.

Sahar was now sweating and looked like she had just puked, "Yuri needs to hurry and find my mommy…"

"What's wrong?" Anna asked while pulling some tissue from her coat pocket and trying to clean up the sick girl as best she could.

"I've used up too much energy… Medication helps me stay healthy. Only mommy has the vials. This one will only last for eight hours…"

Summary: Anna and Sahar head underground. The tunnels were once subway lines, now an underground river way. Sahar starts feeling ill and clutches her heart. It soon turns violent and Anna has to inject an odd green medicine she finds on Sahar's person to make the pain stop. Sahar says it will not last for long.
Yuri drove for all he was worth, but in the chaos of the riots he didn't stand out much by doing so. It was good to be away from Anna and Sahar, even though he didn't think leaving them alone was a good idea, but he had made a promise and breaking a promise to Saher could cause her to turn on them, and the doctor was their best bet at keeping her with them.

He stopped the car near the mansion and tried to find somewhere with a good view... there where soldiers every where and no sign of AMy.. Silently he cursed under his breath.
Rhiannon eyed the pills with more suspicion than she did the bottle of water. It would be simple enough to poison someone under the guide of pain killers. With the thought of a deathly escape in mind, she took them from his hands and swallowed them quick with another drink of water.

Waiting for her breath to come back to her, it was a few more silent moments before she eyed him again. "I don't have a boss anymore. Am I going to belong to you now or will you trade me to someone once you find that little girl?"
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