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Razgriz
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PostSubject: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 04:47 am

((For the posts concerning my character, please consider them more of a prologue that takes place before everyone else's stories. It would require a lot of timeskips otherwise))

My lungs were burning, sweat dripping down my back as I ran across the rooftop. Vaulting over an air conditioner unit, I was coming up fast on the edge of the building, a gap between it and the next. I wasn't worried though, having jumped over alleys of similar size hundreds of times before. And I doubt this will be the one alley I can't jump, the words shouted within my mind, as I jumped off the edge and over the alley. It was an amazing feeling, even if it lasted for a brief moment. It felt like flying, though it ended all too soon when my legs impacted the roof of the next building, knees bending as I ducked into a roll. Parkour was a way to get around, and in all honesty it sure as hell beat the crowded side-walks. Plus, there was no real worry of getting mugged or being pick-pocketed. A sudden vibration in my pocket jarred me back to reality, and I came to a stop, sitting down on a metal cube, one of the vents on the roof. Extracting my phone, I felt a pit form in my stomach. 'Kat,' the screen read. Oh great.....it was my sis. Opening the phone, I brought it my ear. "Hey sis, what's going on?" was all I could say. "James, where are you?" Ah right, where are my manners? James Conner, at your service. At only five and a half feet tall, dark hair, tanned skin and an athletic build, I wasn't exactly an exceptional teenager, freerunning aside. Pretty average to look at really. At only fifteen years old, I wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to see running around rooftops, but here we are. I had to choose my words carefully, or else risk the wrath of Kat. She hated it when I was out running on roofs, even though I more at home doing parkour than walking on a street. "Just.....taking a jog around. I'm at the school track." Man did I pray she bought the lie. She made a surprised sound though. "Oh, well then that works James, because I'm at the school right now. Remember, today was the meeting with your teacher?"

Holy fucking shit......the school was maybe ten blocks away, no way I could make it in time. And to add to it, there was also the fact that I blew off the meeting. Long story short, I was doing badly in class, and my teacher called a meet. If you're wondering why my sis was there, and not one of my parents.....they're dead. Both of them. Katherine was all I had now, and vice versa. As if my sudden panic were transmitted through the phone, I all but heard the disappointment in her voice. "You're not actually at the school track, are you?" Eyes closed, I felt the bottom of my stomach fall. I didn't want to disappoint my sister, she was the only family I had left. But class, school.....it barely appealed to me. I only went because I had the one real friend there, and even then that was barely enough. It wasn't that I was stupid or anything, far from it. But I enjoyed being out, running around, and not stuck in a classroom. I only did it because.....well, because it was what my sister wanted for me. "No," I said. "No I'm not. But if you can stall for me, I can be there soon." She sighed again. "Dammit James....just get here, okay? We can discuss this later, but right now just get here."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke


Last edited by Razgriz on 20/05/14, 09:31 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 05:04 am

A soft sigh ran from his mouth, as Orion looked over the terminal. It seemed that his driver had turned up, thankfully, and already gathered the luggage too. The young man made his way down to her, silent as he took his carry on and made way to the car parked outside.

"Good to see you, sir. How was the trip?"

Orion shrugged, scratching his neck as he sat in the passengers seat. Ever since the run-in a few months back the only car he or any of his employees had access too was a damned two seater, making everything a little too comfortable for Orions liking. But he wouldn't just ignore her. It was hardly worth it in the end, she always got what she wanted.

"It was fruitful. All goals were met, dealt with, you know the deal Tash."

She chuckled to herself as Orion looked out the window, and in silence they made way back to his home.
Orion wondered as they drove just how long he could go now. Consistently thrown from place to place to deal with 'threats to national security of a superior degree' that basically just come down to lunatics who call themselves genetically enhanced when in reality they're barely beyond that of the average athlete. It wasn't fun, being a lapdog.

But it wasn't like he could say no. Not with the threats proposed to him.

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[19:44:21] @ Xazhi : San has a raging hard on for Elves

[10:30:23] Felix : Fuck yeah Rape

[08:53:05] Magikarp : I'm lonely as fuck, why else do you think I'm here with you bitch nuggets

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Razgriz
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 05:14 am

"Sure thing Kat. I'm on my way," was all I said, before I hung up and started running again. I had ten blocks worth of rooftop and obstacles to traverse, all while running at top speed, and with a ticking clock to boot. This was going to be fun, in its own bizarre way.

So, I figure some explaining is in order. Welcome to the year 2034, New York City. Well, I wasn't really in the Big Apple, just across the Hudson from it in Brooklyn. A lot had happened over the past twenty years, and I only knew the start of things from my history class. When oil resources ran out in the late 2010's, none of the existing alternatives could fill the gap. The Resource Wars started soon after, and from 2018 to 2028, the whole world got covered in war, even the states. Hell, Brooklyn and the Big Apple took some flack, and most of my hometown still had the scars. We managed to rebuild, but it was still there to see. Anyway, my dad was a soldier in the war, and was KIA. Hardly had any memories of him, just a few pictures. I was born in the war, and he was away on service. My sis knew him better, she was ten years older than me so she got to spend more time with him. As for mom, I knew her right up until she got killed in a mugging gone wrong four years ago. I tried not to remember the way she looked then, when we had to ID the body. She was a kind woman, and a good parent. That's where Kat came in. Being the legal adult, she took custody of me since no other relatives were around. She got a job at a tech company, sorry, the tech company. Nexus corporation. They were famous for ending the war, after creating a sustainable form of fusion energy and sharing the designs with practically everyone that could afford it. Nexus didn't quite have a monopoly, but there were always conspiracy theories on how they created dozens of shell companies or legitimate companies that were secretly owned by Nexus so that they did create everything. Frankly, if that was the case it wasn't all that bad. Prices were decent, fair even. Besides, Nexus wasn't that bad; because of them the war was ended (in the majority of places anyway) and they had actually helped create dozens of medical advances, technological advances. Hell, they were based in New York itself, and the city got so many benefits from it all it wasn't called the Big Apple anymore. Now they called it the Gilded Apple.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled race against time. I was rushing down the fire-escape of the last building, and I still had a ways to go before reaching the school. Thankfully, I was one of the fastest people in school, so getting there in time wasn't a problem. Surviving my sister's disappointed gaze, that was another matter entirely. My lungs were burning again, and my legs ached from running down the sidewalk, but I got to the front of the school in time to see my sis standing on the steps, all but glaring down at me. She was few inches taller than me, had long dark hair tied into a pony tail, and blue eyes that radiated with frustration. "Finally.....dammit James, where were you?" I couldn't meet her eye, I was that ashamed. Not because of what I did, just that I got caught.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 06:58 am

Images painted in black and in red and in blue filled the many canvases of the art studio. This playing at an extremely loud volume, drowning out the sounds of the street that floated to the artists windows. The studio was a mess, paint and canvases lay scattered about, the walls had their own artwork drawn on them, as did the floor. clothes littered the floor, uncleaned, and the whole room smelled of paint and body odor. They entire place was a mess.

The man living in it wasn't much better. He was disheveled, his hair unkempt and his clothes covered in paint. He had not bathed in what smelled like weeks or possibly months. He looked tired, but in his eyes was a frightening energy, he looked possessed. He painted and drew up painting and drawing alike, one right after the other. All followed the same themes: despair, depression, anger, self-hate. They were all black red and blue emotions. The people who walked by the studio said he was crazy, they sometimes heard him talking to himself, or screaming at nothing. Or what they thought was nothing. The landlord of the place was afraid, because he believed the guy who rented it was mentally insane, and he didn't want to serve an eviction notice for fear of his life. however, he still turned the water and electricity off, so he didn't have to pay those bills. The man inside didn't mind, nor did he notice.

He was too busy making art. Really depressing and sometimes scary pieces of art. From drawings of men in twisted positions to missing limbs to self-torture. You could say the man was a little disturbed. Or you could say that I am a little disturbed. That man is me. I'm no professional artist, but when I'm so possessed with an idea, I have to get it out, this idea so happened to need to be let out through paints and inks. The idea that possessed me was from a dream that I had. A few deeply disturbing dream, that I only remembered bits and pieces of. I had a gut feeling that this was one of my dreams of the future, of something yet to happen. But I didn't know when it was going to happen. I can't change a future if I don't know how much time I have to prepare for it, or if it doesn't concern me. My visions, my dreams of the future, don't often concern me.

This one did. I was being tortured in it. I don't know why, I don't know when, I just knew it was going to happen. I might be a little paranoid about these things. But I forget eventually, and then when it happens, I'll be filled with a strong sense of deja vu. For the longest time it only happened when I was in school, but that's because 90% of my life was school. Now, everything was different. I had an education that I didn't use, a degree in biology and physics. I had a plan to go do research, that I abandoned for 100 days in a desert.

I still imagine how my life would have been different if I hadn't done that. where I'd be now, what I'd be doing. I played my Tool at high volume, to give me some space from reality. I didn't really want to know where I would have been, or even the should have been question. I didn't want to think about it, I didn't want the answers I would reach to make me unhappy. So I escaped through art. Some art studios bought my art, and occasionally it was decent pay. Living as an artist was hard, unless you had something to supplement your income. Like the stock market. Or a job.

Man, I hated living here. This country, this state. I could've had a job at Nexus. I didn't go for it, I didn't like what they were doing, but at the same time it would've put me in great position to learn more. Education was more appealing to me than money. A lot of things were more appealing than money. Unfortunately, I was a minority.

I moved my easel and took the canvas from it, placing both of them against a wall. I needed some fresh air. I needed to go back to reality. I turned off the music, and everything was silent. Silence was good. I needed to be alone sometimes. Not hear the voices of other humans, or anything like that. so I walked out of my studio, after having spent days cooped up into the world with the rest of the human race. Sometimes I wish I had stayed dead.

_________________
"Every one believes they are the Good Guy."
A few lies can be used to control the masses. 
The paradox is that I both know and don't know what you feel.
I know your pain. I feel your pain, but it is a fraction of what you feel. 
A Pisces man. Me.An Indigo Person.

Relax, your life is short, we're all going to die. Some are already dead, they just don't know it yet.
During character creation in TES: Arena, choosing the Breton race elicits the following: "Thy race is descended from the ancient Druids of Galen, quick witted and strong in the mystical arts. Thy folks are crafty and intelligent, a learned people who use their gifts to guide others to enlightenment..." There has been no mention of the Druids of Galen since.
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 08:34 am

The sounds of the club seemed to make her glow. The music and noise just helped her move. Wearing nothing but glitter and a sultry look, Alexis Hunter drew many eyes. Her shock of white hair and deep blue eyes were an offset, just adding to her exotic look. As she danced, her thoughts lingered on her family; they were proud of both her invitations to join the worldmof dancing or diplomacy, back on their planet. Now, she should have done dancing. Seriously.
Her planet revered all forms of enterainment, and strip dancing was an art there. Not many had the courage to bare it all, making them respected.

Here...here many did it just for money. And while she would rather not, it was good money. It jept her afloat and Seryna fed with tech and intel in their search for the Sayla.
And, as her number came to a close and she went into the back, two guys were waiting.
"Lexi!" The first was Little Jimmy, the boss. "My man Toby here is fresh from a stint in the pen for some bullshit. I wanna give him a welcome home present, and you fit the bill girl."
"Jimmy..."
"I know, prison. Listen girl, I'll be straight. He stole some stuff and got caught. Made some bad choices, you know hownit works. So do a friend a favor; he's been stuck with a roommate who takes BJs from men whenever he feelsmlike it. Give him some womanly company." He leaned closer. "I aint makin' you go pro bono baby. Little extra for the favor."
libra sighed and noded. Jimmy led them to a back room. "He takes asnmuch time as he wants. He gives you problem, Maurice is outside. And Toby here knows not to mess with Maurice,right T?"
"My jaw still is sore."
Jimmy meremlaughed and left them alone.

"Nexus has the server guarded Jake. It's risky to go Paladin until you are breaking out."
"I know Aries."
"Don't be using that tone. This one could have our ticket to Sayla."
"You keep saying Sayla. What is it?"
"In time. Just keep crawling."

Jake grumbled. Fucking aliens.

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Razgriz
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 08:41 am

"Please, please tell me that you weren't out doing that parkour stuff again. You know how dangerous that stuff is James." Now wasn't the time, but I still bristled at the fact that she still thought I was some kid that couldn't take care of myself. "Only if you have zero skill. Which I don't. You think I'd be doing that stuff if I wasn't good at it?" Kat sighed, the sound carrying all her frustration with me in it. "Dammit James......and then there's skipping school? Why?" I kept staring her down though, not backing down. "I didn't skip school. I just...left early." That didn't make her any happier, and she walked towards me, now looming over me. "But you still left early, the same day we had a meeting with your teacher. Goddammit James, what's the point of going to school, if you won't stay in class?" Folding my arms, I scowled at her. "And who says I want to be in school anyway." God, I think she was going to slap me right then and there. "Last I checked, you did. You made me a promise James, to live up to your potential. After mom died, we both made a promise. I've been living up to mine, now what about you?"

Ouch, that hurt. And honestly, there wasn't much I could say in response. I guess she took pity on me though, because her voice softened a little. "Look, how about we get this over with, and we'll talk when we're home. We can order pizza." The olive branch was out, and I gladly accepted it. I walked up the stairs, looking at her only once. There was warmth behind her eyes, and concern. "Sorry Kat.." it was all I could say.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 09:20 pm

I was sitting down in my apartment, wires and gadgets crisscrossing the floor and walls and ceiling, everything connected to everything else to make a massive nest of electronics. I stared at the computer screens, their bright white glow the only source of light at the moment in the room, the flicking planes of digital translation casting harsh shadows from the wires and edges everything made. I typed fast, time was of the essence. Everybody was counting on me, I was their only hope, like that one fictional character...what did they call him...OB1? I don't know, it wasn't important. My research, however, that's what was important. I needed it to continue, needed to finish it and replicate the results.

My name is Frentiu Fanalan Asa Urthus, or Frank Fernando for any of these human legal documents that dictated what I had and what I didn't have. I didn't bother hiding my real name to most people, but that dull human one sounded better to my ears, as the humans that lived around me couldn't replicate the same sounds needed to make my name what it was supposed to be. I am an alien, an extra-terrestrial as humans liked to say. I come from Asadan, a planet no one on Earth can find no matter how powerful the telescope they make. Perhaps once upon time they might have been able to, but no longer. You see, my planet, my home, was dragged into an alternate dimension, where the laws of physics don't always apply and what you think you know might not be the case. For whatever reason, I, and so far only I, was spit back out and given several gifts from the transition.

I have the ability, and I do not know why, to open portals, wormholes to this Void of space and travel through it as naturally as I may travel through water, yet the locations of the portal do not coincide with logical positions within the natural dimension of life. I may travel 500 feet in the Void, and open a portal only to find myself moved 10 feet in another direction in the real world, with time having not changed or moved at all while I was in there. Although, only objects from my planet seem to be stored in the Void. Meaning just my suit and myself, as I have not found anything else in my Earthly travels belonging to my home planet. Along with that, I have this strange new vision and hearing skills, being able to see things not directly in front of me. My hearing goes beyond physical waves traveling through a physical medium, to where feelings seem to emanate from individuals, letting me know, at the very least, where someone is without them making a sound.

I do not understand what I have become, but I know what I must do, and what I must do is reverse the mistakes I made in pursuit of saving my people. I must find a way to replicate my technology, recreate my lab from my home planet, and bring forth my people so that they may live again.

I typed more and more into the computer, until it's internal buffering system filled up and my typing was was being wasted. I groaned and stood up, pushing the chair back through a tangle of wires with a soft squeal, and walked around my home, my new possibly permanent home. I went to the door and opened it up, looking up at the sky and wondering which star currently being blocked out from the light of the sun was my own.

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A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.



The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.



Don't walk behind me I may not lead
Don't walk in front of me I may not follow
Just walk beside me and be my friend




Last edited by Ammo on 18/05/14, 06:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Razgriz
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 09:45 pm

We walked through the front doors of the school, and save for at least one or two students that were staying after school was over, the place was deserted. A line of lockers covered the wall to the right, the left side of the hall dotted by classroom doors. The room we were looking for wasn't on this floor though, so we had to go up a flight of stairs. Kat didn't have any trouble, but after my whole sprint to get back here, it was a bit of a struggle, my legs wanting to collapse beneath me. She never said it, but I was certain that coughing noise she made was a laugh at my expense, though I let her have it. On the second floor, we got off the stairs and walked to the middle of the floor. English class......I hated, English class. I just found the whole thing kinda useless. Math I was good at, along with computers and a little bit of history. But having to write essays about subjects I didn't really care that much about? Not my thing. My English teacher, Mr. Buckell, was waiting for us inside, sitting at his desk. He and I tended to but heads now and then, especially since nowadays I viewed him as having a pole so far up his ass you could use his tongue to play tether ball. As for me, I was under the impression he viewed me as a troublesome slacker who by the grace of whatever God still existed managed to get this far into school. I was probably right, though I never did ask. Didn't really care.

"Ah, Ms. Conner, pleasure to see you," he said to my sister. He was a middle aged man, definitely twice my sister's age. His hair was graying, and I was sure it came from the stress of the job. Or from me, I can be very irritating. He wore wire rimmed glasses, and in the current light it made him look rather menacing. "Please, sit down." He gestured at two chairs that had been set up in front of his desk, and my sis and sat down. I kinda sat on the edge of my seat, ready to bolt if needed. What? The guy creeped me out.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 09:57 pm

The bustle of this busy city drowned the unneeded thoughts in my head. I had a task to do but would rather try my luck in the bars. This place was a tourist trap and with the world still in its upbringing, Tokyo still was the most advanced city on earth. This meant there was a lot of business to do and with this body count it was easy to hide. I walked passes hordes of people and brightly lit shops letting it all mash into a vast collage of blurred colors and sounds.

"How many Nexus buildings are there in this sector," I said as my nose filled with the various scents of the vendors selling their goods.

"Four main towers, six warehouses, and three housing buildings. The target is in the northeast tower in the Arakawa ward."

"I didn't know Tokyo flourished this much after the war. The population grew..." A few school kids bumped into me on the street. I turned around to look at them wondering if I should make their day then decided to continue my way to my mission. "And their manners diminished."

"Stop complaining and hurry."

"Don't rush me Abigale." I did not hear a reply from the lady in my ear after that but I knew she was still there behind the static filled silence. My journey would take some time so I hailed a taxi.

_________________


Did you think I was lying?
I said I’m evil, without even trying.
Drinking the red from your heart in one sitting.
You think you've got me pegged, you must be kidding.
I raise the dead up and they do my bidding.
Girl, I’m a thousand years old, I’m a riddle.
Bad little boy, yes, I’m bad, but not little.


Don't you know I'm a villain, every night I'm out killin'
sending everyone running like children
I know why you're mad at me, I got demon eyes
and they're looking right through your anatomy
Into your deepest fears, baby, I'm not from here
I'm from the Nightosphere
To me, you're clear, transparent
You got a thing for me girl, its apparent
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   08/05/14, 11:39 pm

"Well Mr. Buckell, I understand that James hasn't been performing well in class." Right to the point I guess. That was always my sisters style in these types of things. Buckell rested his hands on the desk, folding them as he began. "Well Ms. Conner, the situation as it stands, is not promising for James. His grades in class are getting close to failure, despite having done most of the assignments." And here we go. My course work in English was a mix between doing some small homework assignments, that were simple read and answer the questions. And then there the projects, the essays I had to write. Apparently, they were a huge chunk of my grade in class. "He performs well enough in his basic homework, but there's almost zero performance from him in class, and he does none of the essay assignments. Frankly, if he doesn't change soon, I'm afraid I'll have to drop him from the class." Maybe it was me, but I could have sworn I heard a hint of longing in his voice when he talked about dropping me from the class. Kat didn't miss it, and she went on the offensive. "Maybe I'm mistaken, but it almost sounded there like you want my brother to get kicked out."

Score one for Kat. She may not have approved of all my activities, but when the chips were down she was always there to support me. Or at the very least, make sure I was on even footing. Buckell blanched a little, almost as if she had slapped him. He recovered, but it was not graceful. "Well....certainly not, I would never suggest that. And I'm offended that you would suggest it. But the fact of the matter here is that if James does not get a passing grade in the next assignment, I will have to fail him." I was fed up at this point, so I decided to speak up. "Look, it's nothing against you Mr. Buckell. But I just don't care, about any of the subjects that you've had us write about before." There was a sudden, evil glint in his eyes. "Then I have good news for you. The next assignment, is a free choice paper. You choose a subject that you care about."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 12:01 am

"18 years ago today, Nicholas Oehlberg disappeared from his home in Arizona. He was 24 years old and had just graduated from Arizona State University. Although no foul play is suspected... he disappeared from his house without hit wallet, his phone, or any of his possessions... it was as if he had just vanished into thin air... More tonight at 10 on Wolf news with Patrick Hazie." Crackled a TV in Queens. It had been 18 years since he disappeared, since he left his home to live in a desert. He had told no one. He had just wanted to disappear.

"Want to hear more about the mysterious disappearance of an Arizona Graduate? Tune in tonight on the DNN!"

They just wanted people to watch their news station, they didn't really care if he was found or not. His was a story to be profited on.

"Did the Arizona Grad commit suicide? Did he runaway and change his identity? Find out what his former psychologist says!"

Money brought many fish to the pond these days. None of them would understand. Not even he understood. He was 22 now, and had been 24 when he disappeared. 18 years went by, and to him it had felt like a few months in the desert.

_________________
"Every one believes they are the Good Guy."
A few lies can be used to control the masses. 
The paradox is that I both know and don't know what you feel.
I know your pain. I feel your pain, but it is a fraction of what you feel. 
A Pisces man. Me.An Indigo Person.

Relax, your life is short, we're all going to die. Some are already dead, they just don't know it yet.
During character creation in TES: Arena, choosing the Breton race elicits the following: "Thy race is descended from the ancient Druids of Galen, quick witted and strong in the mystical arts. Thy folks are crafty and intelligent, a learned people who use their gifts to guide others to enlightenment..." There has been no mention of the Druids of Galen since.
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 12:30 am

Oh....great. An assignment I couldn't weasel my way out of. Well played Buckell, well played. Beside me, my sister smiled. "Then I suppose that solves it. Was there anything else Mr. Buckell?" He was silent for a moment, as if at a loss for what to say. Then, with pursed lips, he nodded. "Nothing more. Thank you, for stopping by Ms. Conner. Have a pleasant day." We got up, Kat and Buckell shaking hands, and we left the room. The walk down the hall, and to the stairs, was not exactly devoid of an argument though. "Haven't been doing the work? Are you kidding me James? What happened to that promise?" There was no easy answer to that. Hell, there probably wasn't a good answer either. I shrugged, and said, "You already know why I didn't do the papers. None of the subjects appealed to me." She groaned, and I was under the impression she wanted to hit me then. "James, it doesn't matter if the topic appeals to you or not. You suck it up, and do the work. End of discussion."

Frankly, I didn't want to do the work at all, even if it was a subject of my choosing. But....she was my sister, and the only family I had left. I wasn't going to be happy about it, but I'd do it. For her. We got out of the school, and walked over to her car. I got in the passenger seat, and we started driving away. eager for a change of subject, I decided to ask her about work. "So, how's Nexus going? Going to change the world again?" I noticed a frown form on her face, but it was only there for a second. Was she nervous? "Let's just say....that there have been some interesting developments, going on at Nexus." She wouldn't go any further, so I decided the subject was to be dropped. I looked out the window, at the street. It was getting dark out, the sun was setting. It always set early during Fall. But all of that ceased to exist, in a flash. There was a loud bang, a screech of metal, heat beyond anything I had ever felt, and a flash of light. Darkness consumed my vision, as pain beyond anything I felt enveloped me.

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What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 01:47 am

"Master Orion, it is good to see you home. A package arrived for you while you were out, it has been taken to your room so you may look at it privately. I shall go and prepare you a meal."

The young man didn't acknowledge his words, instead heading upstairs to his room, alone. He didn't really want to talk to anyone right now. His brain was working at half capacity and his body was working at barely a third. He needed a rest more than anything else in the world right now, but deep down he knew he wasn't getting it.
He entered his room and threw his phone to the back of the bed, glad it was off, knowing he was missing a number of messages from his 'employers'. He looked at the package on the floor before him, lifted it, and ripped it open with one pull.

"Typical."

Orion dropped the 'gift' on the ground angrily, as he collapsed onto the bed, closing his eyes and smiling as he finally got some rest, the rejected ammo pouch lying in a huddled pile at the entrance. Orion had done enough killing for a while... A long while.

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 01:55 am

Pain. White hot, burning pain. It was all I could feel. I tried to open my eyes, and was struck by even more pain in my right eye socket. I tried to breathe, and my chest flared in agony, and what I breathed in was nothing but smoke and ash and the faint hint of battery acid. When I tried to move, I realized I couldn't feel anything where my right arm and leg should have been. Risking more pain, I opened my left eye, to take in my surroundings. I was in the passenger seat, the right side of the car......gone. The door, most of the front. Just gone, with a small crater in the asphalt there below me. I struggled to look around, to my left......to Kat. I saw her then, limp and leaning back against the drivers seat with her eyes closed and blood trickling down her face. She wasn't moving though, and suddenly I found myself fearing the worst. I would have screamed in pain, in agony, but the moment I tried that same pain in my chest came back. There was nothing I could do, so disabled, so crippled was I. The only comfort I took was that soon, I'd be dead, and with my family again. Hell, it was coming soon, I could feel it. My vision began to darken, the edges beginning to blur. I was even starting to hallucinate. There was a stream of liquid silver, that seemed to be moving up the side of the crater and over the twisted metal of the car, towards me. Perhaps that was what death really looked like. Then it touched me, and I had doubts. It felt real, as it oozed over my stump of an arm, spreading from where it touched. Despite the fire, it was cold. With a start, I realized that this stuff, whatever it was, was not only oozing over my skin, but into me as well. I could feel it, as it spread beneath my chest, to my legs, and even over my face. And then I heard a voice, from inside my head.

Initiating symbiosis. Repairing host body. Bonding to host nervous system.

And suddenly, there was more pain. Every nerve felt as if it were on fire, and I felt as if a needle were being shoved through my eye and into my brain. What was this thing? Repairs? Host body? Bonding? Whatever it was, I could tell that at the moment, it was trying to save my life.

Correct host. We are working to repair the damage to your body, and are consulting your genetic information on how to perform suitable repairs. We shall perform limited repairs, starting with your eye and your collapsed lung.

Wait, my collapsed lu-holyfuckinggodthathurts! It felt like a balloon, was rapidly grown inside my chest, but with that pain came a gasp. I could breathe again.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke


Last edited by Razgriz on 09/05/14, 02:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 02:15 am

"All right! Shut up!" His voice rung is my head as I became conscious. It seemed that in my short little trip I had passed out. The drivers voice infiltrated my mind and caused my head to ache, it started to piss me off. I pulled some cash out of my wallet and tossed it at him as I left the taxi.

"Awake are we?"

My head jerked at her annoying voice spoke in my ear.

"How did you know," I said as i rubbed my forehead and looked at my watch trying to figure out what time it was.

"The driver said to wake your lazy ass up," she chuckled in her alto voice.

"Oh really?" I was ready to turn around and strangle the guy but he left to swiftly. "Obviously I am at the tower. Give me an update. Is the target still here?"

"Yes. Thirty-fifth floor, southwest corner. Umm office number is 35-8D. Repeat."

"Thirty five dash eight D. Understood." Too much staring as I proceeded up the step into the double door of the Nexus building. I was obviously an outsider but that wouldn't stop me from entering a high security building. I immediately headed for the receptionist desk which had this cute Asian in the seat and placed my elbow on the counter. "Hey." She looked into my eyes and we locked for a second. She stammered with her words but they came through.

"U...Uh. What can I um do for you?" She smiled a desperate little smile. I pulled a little package from under my jacket.

"Hello, I have an important meeting with..." I turned my head a little to the side. Shit what was his name, ah yes. "Mr. She-mane." She giggled.

"I think you mean Shimane. Hei Shemane right." I smiled.

"Ah yes haha I am not good with names." I faked chuckle, had to put on the charm.

"Sorry he isn't in today, on vacation. Sorry." She gave me a reassuring smile. I had the hopes of saying some random name would help me get in. I looked around and saw a security guard staring in our direction, more appropriately, at me. Another way in it seemed. I looked back at her, her gibberish escaping out the other ear. Something about this great place near here. I didn't care. I put up a finger at her and she stopped.

"Just shut up." She jerked backed at my words. "Why don't you be useful and help those behind me." I walked away from the counter a little butt-hurt. This place was busy as expected so I knew she couldn't follow me the whole time. I paced slowly toward the security guard that was looking at me. I had better luck with guys anyway...Bitch.

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Did you think I was lying?
I said I’m evil, without even trying.
Drinking the red from your heart in one sitting.
You think you've got me pegged, you must be kidding.
I raise the dead up and they do my bidding.
Girl, I’m a thousand years old, I’m a riddle.
Bad little boy, yes, I’m bad, but not little.


Don't you know I'm a villain, every night I'm out killin'
sending everyone running like children
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You got a thing for me girl, its apparent
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 03:10 am

The first emergency vehicle, a firetruck, came to the scene and parked with the firefighters getting out. One of them heard me gasping in pain and shouted "We've got a live one!" "He...help," was all I could croak. They ran towards me, as did his coworkers. The next few minutes went by in a blur of images, sounds, and sensations. Emergency teams arrived, cops and ambulances. There was more smoke, and I coughed enough to make my throat sore, putting a strain on my re-inflated lung. They loaded me into the back of an ambulance, the EMT's setting to work on me. I felt a needle get inserted into my left arm, while they did their best to dress the stumps where my right limbs had been. I had a mask over my mouth, oxygen being pumped into me. Then I went to sleep.

I woke up much later, in a hospital bed. The room was empty, though then again there was blue-white curtain to the right of the bed, blocking some of my view. They had propped me up, in a bit of a sitting position, and I was thankful to find a window nearby. Twisting my neck, I looked out the window. There was a freeway, the FDR, outside and below. Beyond that, was the east river. Bellevue....I was in Bellevue, in the Gilded Apple. I guess this was the best place they could take me. Then I looked down to my right, and found that my right arm was indeed gone. Just below the elbow, was where it had been taken off. As for my right leg, it ended above where my knee used to be. God, but what mattered to me the most, was that so far as I could tell....Kat was dead. My sister was gone. I was alone now, no family left in the world. The grief that followed hit me like a train, and I broke down sobbing.

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- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 08:08 am

Toby was unceremoniously chucked out into the rain. Little Jimmy sighed.
"Toby my man. I gave a pro bono dance as a gift. Then you try and use my girl that way? No no. See here, I'm legit. These girls don't get disrespect and Maurice will pound anyone who doesnt listen when they say no. So go fuck off boy, and when you come back, you better have remember what your momma taught you."

Jimmy returned to Libra, who was in a flowery robe in his office. "I'm sorry Lexi. I'll throw in a bit more. Take tomorrow off too." He rubbed his temples. "Why is it so hard to run a legit business?" He muttered as Libra exited.

Outside, Libra ran into Millie.
"Alex!" She smiled brightly and hugged Libra. "Listen, I got what you needed." She handed over a folder. "Had to promise mom I'd come back for thanksgiving, but I got it." She leaned closer. "Don't suppose...I could ask for more?"
Alex sighed and shook her head. "No. I don't want to send you the wrong message. I did what I had to for the info. I'm sorry it's blunt...but you're my friend. Don't forget that." Libra smiled. Millie looked crestfallen. "You shoot down everyone so bluntly...but pretty respectfully too." Millie kissed Libra's cheek. "Now I know why all those guys give you flowers."
"So?"
"Makin' me jealous."
"As if. They couldnt kiss as well as you."

Leaving Millie to her thoughts, Libra went for her clothes. Some...favors had to be done, and she got it. Info was hers.
"Seryna. Got it."
"Good. I'm waiting."

Stepping outside fully dressed, Libra shielded her eyes from the sun.
"Aries...hold on."

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 08:17 am

Such pain....is it normal, among your species?

I nearly jumped out of the bed in surprise, my head turning every which way it could in search of the origin of the voice. That was hard to do, since I was missing two limbs and was stuck in a hospital bed. An uncomfortable feeling on my left arm made me look down, and I noticed a set of intravenous tubes, attached to needles in my arm. They itched, but I wasn't about to rip them out. "Who is that?" I said aloud. Silence was my only response, until the same voice spoke from inside my head.

Greetings, our host. Verbal communication will not be required. It is too inefficient compared to already available methods.

What the hell was going on? Then, as if it knew what I was thinking, a series of memories flashed into my head: a mental conversation, between me and whatever the hell this thing was. Not simply words, but emotions, images, and simple reasons that went with them all. It was hard to describe, but all I knew was that in some way, it all made sense. When they stopped, I realized I had had my eyes closed, the better to see the images and memories. It was only then that I noticed someone in the room with me, standing in front of the bed. She wore hospital scrubs, lime green in color, and her hair was trimmed short. Dark skin showed where the clothing ended, and there was a look of concern on her face. "Finally awake are we?" she asked, her tone that of concern. She walked over to the side of the bed, checking the machine the tubes led to. It must have been good, because she didn't seem worried. I shifted a little, straightening in the bed before a firm hand, hers, came down on my shoulder. Despite the strength behind it, she never pushed me back down. "Easy. You've been through a lot James. You need to rest." I didn't need to ask how she knew my name. One of the wonders of the medical revolution in the past few years was that hospitals could find out exactly who a patient really was from scanning just a hair, our DNA being stored in secured databases. Only hospitals and law enforcement agencies had access to it, and even then it was an ethically gray area. It was a feature that helped hospitals determine more quickly what type of blood the patient might need, or if they had any family. A more cynical person would have also noted that it alerted the insurance companies ten times faster than it did before, meaning the bills would be prepared ahead of time.

I didn't feel like resting though, but I figured it wouldn't do to struggle. Relaxing back into the bed, I took a breath before talking. "What happened?" She frowned at me, as if the subject were a taboo. "What do you remember?" was what she asked me. The memories came back, and for a moment I was back there in the wreckage. "My sister and I," I began, "were driving home, from my school. There was some kind of explosion, and everything went black. When I came to.....I was in pain, in the wreckage." My voice started to break, as the feelings I felt came back. "And then....and then I realized that my sister was dead." I started crying again, and felt the nurses hand pat my shoulder. She tried to say something, but I couldn't really make it out. Chances were I didn't even care. I just wanted to be alone. Eventually though, I stopped crying, and figured I may as well have some questions answered. "How bad.....other than, well....you know." She sighed, as if this was not something she wanted to answer. Walking to the foot of the bed, she picked up a flat device, the size of an old fashioned clipboard. She ran a finger across the surface, and the screen warmed to life, displaying my charts. "Well, for starters it's a miracle you're still alive. I don't know the details, just that there was an explosion of some kind. That was how you lost your arm and leg. You suffered severe burns, along with some nerve damage, but amazingly there was little damage to your organs. The doctors aren't sure how that's possible, but they figured you should count yourself lucky. You're scheduled to be fitted for a pair of artificial limbs, and some synthetic skin grafts." Right....health care these days was outstanding. Or, at least for those that could afford it. Because my sister worked at Nexus, she got covered under their health benefits, and I shared in them. I wasn't sure what the terms were, but I definitely remember though that in the event she died, then I would only be covered under the plan for another two months before I was dropped. Still, artificial limbs, and synthetic skin? That was impressive.

Though unnecessary. We can replicate your damaged skin and amputated limbs, with near perfect accuracy. The only difference is that they would never be organic.

Whoa.....I knew that voice said it could repair my body, but I never thought it meant that. Replicate, not repair. And not organic? What are you? was all I could think towards it. The nurse looked at me with a curious look. "James, are you okay?" 'Shaking my head, I noticed that I had phased out a little. "Sorry, just a little overwhelmed is all."

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 08:42 am

Libra entered her apartment and started undressing.
"I'm home."
"File."
Half-naked, Libra put the file by Serena. The mostly machine Valkyrie was her friend and only ally on Earth. Seryna had nearly died trying to save a Kayvan convoy, and was rebuilt with the finest tech. Still herself, Seryna was working hard tonfind the Sayla.
"So...Millie keeps trying to kiss me."
"Did you like it the first time?"
"She put her tongue in mynmouth. It was weird. But nice. But mostly weird. And then she grabbed my breasts like this." She demonstrated. "Moved them...she nibbled and licked my neck...I felt like a pastry!"
Seryna turned around. "Some Earth documentaries label this 'foreplay' and it is anpredeccessor to mating. Since humanity seems to view mating more loosely then us..."
"...so she wanted sex?"
"Yep."
"What documentaries?"
"Found them at this internrt location called....uh...LesbianCafe dot com. Apparently...they dress up as...schoolgirls...nurses...holy fuck, what in the name of the gods?" She looked confused. "Why is this dog...oh my god." The screen goes black.
"I fucking hate this world now."

Libra just closed her bedroom door, preparing to pray to the porcelin god.


Meanwhile, Jake activated the PERSEUS system. Encased in the armor, he powered skywardm
"Jake. Nexus is moving a salvaged fighter craft. I need you to intercept the courier and find all departure times. If we can find this ship, we can use the blackbox to find Sayla and get me planetside."
"Thats a really awesome game."
"FOCUS!" Aries sighed. "Alright...they are coming from the west in an armored convoy. Shouldnt bee difficult."
"You always say that."

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 09:00 am

This time, she seemed to smile at me, as if my reaction was a good sign. "Of course," she said. Then she walked over to the edge of the curtain, looking back at me. "If you're feeling up to it, you have some visitors." Visitors? Who was here to see me? Curious about who was here to see me, I simply nodded, and she pulled open the curtain. The rest of the room came into view for me, and I noted a couple of things: first, the rest of the room was covered in balloons, flowers, and get well cards. Chances were they came from my school, a project of some kind for their classmate. Second, there was a glass wall with a door in the middle, at the end of the room. I wasn't in quarantine or anything, that was just the way the doors worked for this room. Anyway, the third thing, or in this case, people, was a pair of familiar faces standing on the other side of the door, almost waiting. One was a man in his forties, just now getting the edges of his hair grayed. He was tall, muscular, but despite the rough appearance I knew he was actually a good man, even had integrity. However, I barely had time to register who the second person was, before they pulled open the door to run into the room, flying across the distance to hug me. First of all, OW, that hurt. Despite the painkillers, a lot of me was still in pain. "Heya Chris," was all i could muster.

Christina "Chris" Martinez, 15 years old, light brown hair and skin, hazel eyes and a gymnast build, was my best friend. Well, in many ways my only friend, though I guess that was a tad unfair to some other people. See, we'd known each other since kindergarten, and not a day goes by that I have not heard the word "adamant" to define our friendship. Her father, Michael Martinez, knew my sister on account of his job as chief of Security, over at Nexus. He and I were on decent terms, and he liked me a helluva lot more than most of the other guys in school when it came to hanging around his daughter. Chris choked out a sob, and I could feel the dampness on her cheek. "Oh thank god you're alive James, " she squeaked in a constricted voice. Getting my only arm up and around her to hug was difficult, but doable. "Yeah....nurse said it was a miracle or something." That and some weird disembodied voice. Michael walked into the room, standing behind Chris.

"James, I'm sorry about Katherine. She was a good woman," Michael said, and I knew he was being sincere. All I could do was nod at him, the gesture carrying my gratitude for his condolences. Chris still clung to me, crying. "Chris, please. I know you care, but can you please let go? It hurts." She let go as if I had shocked her, looking apologetic. "Sorry," she said, her voice very tiny. She ran a hand through her short hair, trimmed to hang just above her chin and jawline. She looked so vulnerable, and it was such a stark contrast to the strength she always carried. You would have to know her the way I did, to understand why this was such a drastic change. Let me put it this way: she carried me through school, and was capable of kicking my ass. And she was crying now, for me? Then again, she was only human. Being made of cast iron only meant hat it was still brittle. This was her breaking point.

"It's okay Chris." That was a bit of a lie. I was far from okay. Kat was dead. And now I had something....living, inside me. Talking to me. No.....no, things were far from okay. But I wasn't about to tell anyone else that. For all I knew, I was hallucinating. Or something. "How long have I been....here?" It was something that bugged me. Almost simultaneously, both Chris and the voice spoke.

"Three days."
72 hours.

Okay, did not need to hear both voices, but I doubted there was an off switch for the one in my head. But three days? I was out for three days? Not surprising, considering my injuries but still. Chris waited in silence, as if waiting for a response. "Well," I began, "so much for that English paper..." Thankfully, Chris cracked a small smile, playfully punching me on my good arm. "Ass." Behind the smile though, it was still clear for me to see the pain she felt. I wasn't surprised; she and Kat were good friends, almost sisters really. And she was gone. Add to it the fact that she nearly lost her best friend....it was simply a testament to her strength that she was able to keep from breaking down again.

The nurse left the room, apparently wanting to give us all some privacy. It was then that Michael spoke. "So...James, I think it would be best, if you came to live with us. I think Kat would have wanted it that way." I didn't mind actually. I was always welcome in the Martinez household, and there was no one else I really considered family. Or at least, close to it anyway. "Thanks Mr. Martinez. I....I can't thank you enough." He simply smiled, and walked for the door. He stopped though, looking back at Chris. "Chris, I need to sort a few things out. I'll be in the hall." Then he left, leaving me and Chris alone in the room. She took a seat in a chair next to the bed. "Good thing my sister's health insurance still covers me." She smiled a little, clearly appreciative of the same thing. "So, they're getting me fitted for a pair of artificial limbs soon. Kinda cool." It was a poor attempt to make light of the situation, and I myself was surprised at how quickly I was getting over this. Not just the fact that Kat was dead, or that I now had a voice in my head. I lost an arm and a leg. Two pieces of who I was were gone. I felt incomplete. The only up side was the fact that prosthesis technology had come a long way, and today's prosthetic arm and legs were actually a hundred times more....lifelike, I guess was the best term. Hundreds of points, of articulation, and it still looked like a human limb. Except, well for the lack of skin and the fact that it was all metal, lights, plastic and rubber, and oh right, no sense of feeling. The tech, as far as it had come, still couldn't replicate nerves. Once you had the limbs, the only awareness you had was what you could see. And that was pretty limiting.

"Cool. Maybe you'll be able to hold your own in the ring with me this time." She smiled again, and I kinda scowled at her. I may have had the will of a fighter, but I lacked the skill of one. That was where Chris came in. Her dad was a Marine in the Resource war. It was how our families knew eachother, what with her dad and mine having served in the same unit, and became pretty good friends. After the war ended, and Michael took custody of her when her mom ran out on them, he started to teach her how to fight, to defend herself. She knew a variety of things, boxing, Krav Maga, Aikido, and a whole bunch of other schools of combat.

"Ha, maybe I'll finally take you down," I said. Yeah, fat chance. When we practiced together, it wasn't really practice. It was me 'enjoying' my relationship with the training mat, considering all the times I spent kissing it. There was a reason Chris was still single: guys were way too afraid of what might happen if they pissed her off. Made them too scared to even try flirting with her. But the humor was good, kept my spirit up. "Listen, I wish I could stay, but I need to go James. Sorry." I placed my hand on hers, looking her in the eye. "I'll be fine Chris. Go on. Not like I'm going anywhere." She smiled again, though it looked pained, and then did something very, very rare. She kissed the top of my forehead, and then walked away. It was a gesture with a bit of a history attached to it, one I wasn't going to mention at the moment. It was more than personal.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 04:45 pm

"Get up!"

Orion was yanked out of his bed, hitting the cold floor with a large slamming sound as he instinctively encased himself in a thin coat of iron to protect himself from the fall. He forced himself to stand, admittedly shaken by this sudden occurrence. But, to his annoyance, it was exactly who he'd dreaded.

"Oh good. And here I was thinking I'd catch a break for once."

His armour slithered off of his body and vanished, as the agent before him looked down and shook his head angrily, clearly not glad that their 'top field agent' had failed yet again to report back in. In complete honesty, Orion had come to enjoy it, this anger that came from these defenders of the country so very easily.

"You arrived back early, with a successful mission, and chose to void your contact to confirm you're return. We were scared shitless that something had happened on the flight. Do you have any degree of understanding of what that means, you ingrate?!"

Orion ignored him, walking past and checking they hadn't injured any of his care takers when they barged into his home.

"Honestly I don't. All I know if you thought I'd be killed be some loon with a plastic gun that the government classed as a threat to the security of the country of the Federal Republic of Brazil. Or perhaps you thought I'd be killed on the plane, or in the airport, I dunno. All I know is you don't give me half the respect I deserve."

Orion turned to look at the agent, who shook his head and walked past him angrily, but trying to keep it back. He had his own business to attend too, far more important and paramount than his own.

"Next time, you'd best make sure you follow your orders, exactly. Don't half-ass with us. You're valuable, but not in-expendable."

And within three minutes, the house was silent, and again Orion was left alone in his room, with a sigh, as he scratched his head. He needed to go out more. Meet other people.
Nicer people would be a good start.

_________________
[19:44:21] @ Xazhi : San has a raging hard on for Elves

[10:30:23] Felix : Fuck yeah Rape

[08:53:05] Magikarp : I'm lonely as fuck, why else do you think I'm here with you bitch nuggets

[14:42:07] Draco : San has no taste
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 06:12 pm

Once she was gone, and I was alone, I decided to speak in a quiet whisper. "Okay, what the hell are you?" The presence in my head came back. Whatever it was, I could almost tell that it truly meant me no harm.

We are the last of a dead race, our host.

"And? That tells me absolutely nothing." It sensed my frustration, and I could feel it working to form a more cohesive answer. And that was when the flash came. Instead of speaking, images and facts rushed through my head as it told me what it was. The entity, was an artificial intelligence. A very, very advanced AI, far beyond anything humans could hope to make at present, spread out among nanomachines, all of them now bonded to my body. Self-replicating, a science that was beyond anything human science could describe, it was the single most advanced piece of technology that its makers had ever created. Its makers, a name I could never pronounce, were highly advanced, but peaceful. They still maintained a military, but it was easier to compare them to the Japanese Self-Defense force. They were never aggressive, but that didn't stop them from getting in the crosshairs of another, far more dangerous space-faring race. This empire was advanced in a different form of science. Where the makers of the AI preferred machinery, the other race had advanced along the lines of biology. Living weapons and ships, born out of biotechnology. It was terrifying, the images I saw of their warriors, clad in living suits as they tore through alien battlefields on distant worlds. They outnumbered the makers and pushed them all the way back to their homeworld, and in a desperate bid to ensure the survival of their civilization's legacy, they flung the nanomachines into space. Secured in a small probe, it was sent through a wormhole. Something had happened though, and its original course was lost, and it diverted to here. And then it fell on me.

I rubbed my forehead, the method of conveying all that information giving me a headache. It was a lot to take in, and it all sounded like something out of a movie, or a comic. "Okay, so they created you to be....what? A science project?"

We were meant to be the first, of a new line of weapons to combat the enemy. The abilities we granted our hosts, were substantial.

It was wrong for me to be interested in these abilities. Even if it was irrational, the machine's arrival had killed my sister, and nearly killed me. Add to it that with it bonded to me now, I wasn't wholly human anymore. I was....a mix of man and machine, and I had to wonder now just how much of me was still man and not machine. Am I still human at this point? I mused silently, not directing the thought at the AI. But I figured that right now, it was rude of me to ignore it, so I asked about the abilities.

We can accelerate your bodies natural healing process, and keep you free of disease, viruses, sickness. What we cannot help your body heal though, we will replicate with near perfect accuracy. Speed, strength, agility and reflexes are augmented by a factor of five. There is more, but it is easier to show than to tell.

Whoa, that was a lot. And the fact that there was still more to see was a tempting offer. But there was one bit that unnerved me. Uh, when you say replicate, you mean like replicating organic cells, right?

No. We will use nanomachine cells to replicate your organic tissue. For camouflage purposes, we can alter the color and texture of the replicated cells, to match the original tissue.

So on the one hand, it would still look and feel like me. On the other....on the other, the more damage I took that called for such healing, the less human I was going to become. If things got bad, I'd probably be more machine than anything else, and my humanity would be gone. That was not something I wanted to lose. So all I needed to do was avoid serious injury. Easy.

The next few days, went by at a painfully slow pace. Chris and her dad came by to visit then, but there was one visit that came after them on the third day that I was awake, that I was not expecting. A police officer, one of the cops that was on the scene, had come to see me. Officer Josh Stallings was his name. He didn't really have any questions for me, beyond what I remembered. Apparently, the working story was that it was a gas line explosion, and it was all a tragic accident. Good a story as any I supposed. He told me though, that there was something they salvaged from the wreck of the car, in the trunk. It was a briefcase, or at least something they took to be a briefcase. Whatever it was, they couldn't open it, since it was locked and since I was the only living relative left, it was now my property. It was strange, since I never remembered Kat ever having anything that fit the description. Still, it was a mystery I'd solve later, when I was out of the hospital. He left, and I was once again alone. That isolation though, was a bit of a lie. I had the AI in my head, still talking with me. That and I had the nurses come in to give me a small series of injections. According to them, the injections were meant to prepare my body for both the surgery, and the addition of the prosthetics. I didn't know the details, nor did I understand them, even with the AI's help. All I knew was that it would keep my body from rejecting the artificial limbs, or at least the 'sockets,' they were going to be attaching to my stumps. God, I hoped I was ready for this. Chris came in the last day, the day of my surgery. We had maybe a half hour, before I was to be wheeled away.

"So....how's things back at school?" She grimaced. "Well," she started, "things are kinda normal. A few people talk about you now and then, but it was nothing compared to the first two days." At this point, she grinned. "You should have seen the look on Buckell's face when he heard you had survived. I think he was kinda disappointed." That kinda had me worried, truth be told. It told me that my continued existence was not welcomed by Buckell. I knew he didn't like me, just not that much. She must have seen my discomfort, because Chris immediately switched topics. "So, what do you plan on doing when you come back?" I frowned, as I concentrated, thinking on what I'd do. "Well.....I'll start by cleaning out the house." The house, was a small, two floor brick house that was attached to a row of identical houses. It was where Kat and I lived, after mom died. Big enough for us both, it was the only home I had. And now it looked like I'd be giving that up, since I couldn't really pay to maintain it.

"Oh, yeah..... I'm sorry about that James. There were a lot of good memories from that house." She wasn't wrong about that. There were years worth of memories and moments in that house. In fact, it was more than a house to me. It was a home, in every sense of the word. Good moments, bad moments. Parties, laughter, tears, warmth and comfort, and good food. Family....and I had to leave it, even if it meant going to a place that was more of the same. It was troubling for me. But there was a gentle pressure on my shoulder, and I found that Chris had placed her hand there. Looking to her face, I could see the tears welling up in her eyes, even as she smiled. "You're not the only one that place matters to James." God...she was a good friend. And while I wasn't the worst of guys, I wasn't the greatest either. I didn't deserve her friendship, and yet there she was, still freely giving it to me. Chris, was good people.

I wanted to say something, to convey how grateful I was, not just for the offer to let me live with her, but for the fact that she was standing by me in my darkest hour. But all I could manage was blinking my eyes a few times. She seemed to get the message though. "Don't mention it."

We both sat in silence then, until her time was up and she had to leave. A trio of nurses walked in, helping me into a wheelchair. We left the room, going down the hall and down an elevator. They were taking me to the surgery room. When we entered, I saw the table in the middle of the room, machinery around it, and double the number of doctors and nurses. Getting me onto the table wasn't much of a challenge, and when everything was set, they placed a mask over my mouth. "Okay James," one of the nurses spoke, "I want you to count back from one-hundred." That seemed easy enough. 100....99...98..97..96..... Darkness overtook me, and I was out. There was no dream.

I awoke later the next day, back in the room. As I stretched, yawning, I heard the sound of a clink, metal hitting hard plastic. It came from my rightside, and hesitantly, I looked down at where my right arm used to be. There was once a stump there, but now what had replaced it....looked a little bit, like a normal arm. But there were obvious differences. It was made of a white material, a plastic of some sort. I noticed that, where it met my elbow, there was something that looked like a socket, built into my skin, connecting the arm to me. The wrist and hand had a degree of articulation that gave their movements an astounding, life-like quality. I couldn't feel, but it responded to my thoughts as if it were truly my own hand. The fingers as well had the same degree of finesse, perhaps better, and I spent a minute flexing the hand, twisting the wrist now and then as I tested it. I then looked down to my feet, pulling the blanket away. I still wore the hospital gown, and I saw my feet at the foot of the bed. My left was still normal, toes wiggling at my command. And so were the toes of my new, robotic right foot. Pulling the gown up, I saw how the leg was comprised of a calf, and a knee. It was made of the same material as the arm, and responded just the same. Hesitantly, I swung both legs out of the bed. My left foot touched down on the cold tile of the floor, but I still felt nothing in my right foot. It was difficult at first, standing up. Without any real sensation to work off of, I had trouble balancing on my foot. But years of running across rooftops, of finding my balance in constantly new areas, almost seemed to prepare me for this. Soon I was able to walk from my bed, to the other end of the room. And I was able to laugh for the first time in days.

There was a sound to my right, and I saw the nurse walk in. She seemed concerned at first, that I was up and about so soon, but that look of concern quickly faded. "On your feet so soon James? The doctor wanted you to stay in bed for a bit, go through therapy." I shook my head at her. "No way am I staying in bed now. God, it feels like it's been years." Walking again towards the bed, I leaned against the frame, the pressure quite noticeable against my right leg. "I never thought I'd be able to walk again..."

Highly doubtful our host. We would have replicated your leg and allowed it to feel all manner of sensation it could feel before.

We'll get to that later. For now, just keep up appearances. I'd keep the prosthetics for now, until I was out of the hospital. And I still needed to figure out what the hell I was going to do with these....machines.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke


Last edited by Razgriz on 10/05/14, 05:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 06:26 pm

It was weird, there seemed to actually be a part of me that feels bad for taking the light from his eyes. He was a genuinely nice man. Heh, even made it possible for me to enter the building unknown from an exit in the building. The chemistry was there, for him. It didn't take much for him and I to "click", to ask for a quieter place to talk. The place didn't have to be anywhere important, but it had to be in the building. As we roamed the halls of the first floor Abigale had given me the assurance that the security cameras were under her authority and I should take the chance to move up the building. Thanks to his card I was able to access the upper floors of the building. His clothes were a little baggy and that didn't sit right with me but I had a , albeit shitty, disguise. I looked up at the roof of the elevator. "Thank you Steven."

"Do you always have to talk to the dead?" I could hear the annoyance in her voice, yes this wasn't the first instance.

"Just because they are dead does not mean that they can't listen. Sometime I prefer it to you. I wonder if you would as interesting if you were in their place?" I heard her mumble some words under her breath, it made me smile.

"You are nearing the floor. Be quick."

"Understood." I was greeted to drones at their computer as the doors slide open. Not one eye granting their curiosity any leeway by stealing a glace at me. It was rush hour in office form up in here. Those that were standing were constantly moving around chattering in bird fashion. I made way to my objective. "Entering."

"Good now link me up." I walked over to the desk and sat in the seat.

"Where is the computer?" I twirled around in the chair. This place was void of any human touch. Bland and boring.

"On the desk, place your hand on the desk."

"Ah I see." I took out the package out and unwrapped it. "There you are." The box held a prosthetic hand, quite the craftsmanship. Very realistic. Thing, the name I had given it due to a favorite movie of mine, had the fingerprints and DNA inputs of the owner of this room, Dr. Roger Sterling. Sterling was a leading researcher in Nexus's underground programs. I placed the hand on the desk and the whole room was garnished with bright lights. "Nice setup."

"Good it worked."

"What do you mean it worked, was there any assumption it wouldn't?" There was a pause of silence and I felt annoyed. "Placing infiltrator." A small metal rectangle about 3 inches long was had the capacity to bypass the security on this heavily encrypted computer. I placed it on the table and a small circle of light surrounded the device. "What now?"

"Now we see what Nexus's little secrets are. Stay there until further notice."

"Gotcha."

_________________


Did you think I was lying?
I said I’m evil, without even trying.
Drinking the red from your heart in one sitting.
You think you've got me pegged, you must be kidding.
I raise the dead up and they do my bidding.
Girl, I’m a thousand years old, I’m a riddle.
Bad little boy, yes, I’m bad, but not little.


Don't you know I'm a villain, every night I'm out killin'
sending everyone running like children
I know why you're mad at me, I got demon eyes
and they're looking right through your anatomy
Into your deepest fears, baby, I'm not from here
I'm from the Nightosphere
To me, you're clear, transparent
You got a thing for me girl, its apparent
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   09/05/14, 06:48 pm

"If you'd like," the nurse said, still standing by the door, "I can inform your visitors that you're awake and walking. I'm sure they'll want to see you." I nodded, back to moving around the room. Chris and Michael walked in, and while Michael had a smile on his face, Chris seemed to be torn between joy and frustration. "James, what are you doing? Shouldn't you be in bed?" She walked over to me, and while I knew she cared about me and was being a friend, when she grabbed my arm to steer me back to the bed, I jerked it out of her grip. "Chris, I've spent the past week in a bed, unable to walk. No way I'm going back now." That seemed to only make her more frustrated with me, and there was a spark in her eye I was very much familiar with. It was the same spark she got when she was preparing to kick someone's ass. "James," she said, her tone terrifyingly calm, "do I need to make stay in that bed? Because believe me, I will." And then her hand gripped my arm, my human arm, once more and squeezed. Hard. I blanched a little, not from the pain but just from the threat. I wasn't used to my best friend making threats against me, even if yes, it was for my own good. "Okay okay, calm down Xena, geez. I'll get in the bed." Once she let go of my arm, I walked back to my bed, sitting down at the edge. "Think I've risked death once enough anyway."

The spark in her eyes vanished, and she regained her friendly demeanor. "Thanks James. Sorry, it's just..." I stopped her, holding up my hand. Well, robotic one anyway. "Chris, it's fine, I get it. And maybe you're right. I need to focus on recovery right now." And getting a few more broken bones because Chris beat me into bed would not help at all. I laid back, resting on the pillows. "Any idea how much longer I'll be here?" Chris took her usual seat by the bed, her dad leaning against the wall in front of the bed. he was the first to speak. "Well, I talked with your doctor. You have at least two more days in here, and most of that time is going to be spent in therapy, getting used to your new limbs. After that, you'll be good to go. In the meantime, there's a legal matter that needs to be attended to." He stepped forward, coming towards the other side of the bed. "Kat's will was found. There's going to be an official reading, once you're out of here. But the summary of it is that, she had me declared a legal guardian for you, in case she died. She left you some money, most of it coming from a life insurance policy she took out on herself. And, she left you just about everything short of her clothing and jewelry. This also seems to include a briefcase found in the trunk of her car."

Again with this briefcase. My curiosity about it only increased. I had asked Michael once what was so unusual about it, and all I got from him was that it was a Nexus security briefcase. It was issued to all their scientific employees to safely transport personal documents, data files, anything that was of confidential nature. The outer casing was made of a carbon nanotube alloy, rendering it bullet-proof, and resistant to any form of cutting or drilling. There was a material the CNT was coated in, making the case heat resistant in the event of fires or blow torch cutting. And finally, it was encrypted. There was a tiny computer built into the case, attached to the locks and a few other mechanisms that kept the whole thing secured. A keypad, very much like a cellphone keypad, was built into the side of the case, though the material looked a little burnt. Thankfully, it was still functional, though we still had no idea what the passcode was. For now, it sat in Chris' house, safe and secure.

"When's the official reading?" was the first thing I asked. Michael answered again. "In a week, once you're out of the hospital and have had time to move in with us." He traded a look with Chris, and there seemed to be a message I didn't get, because she got up and left my bedside. "I'll be outside," was the last thing she said before she exited the room, leaving me with her dad. It would have only been more uncomfortable, if she and I were dating. There was still an uncomfortable silence between us, until he cleared his throat, breaking it. "James, I'm going to be honest with you. What we're about to discuss, is going to violate several non-disclosure agreements between me, and Nexus. But, your sister, my friend, is dead. And right now, there are certain things happening at work that have me worried for you." I tilted my head to look up at him, and was shocked by what I saw. Michael, the man that always struck me as the grizzled war vet that had survived one of the bloodiest wars in history, a man I viewed as impossible to actually scare.....looked worried. Nervous even. That had me scared.

"My employers....Nexus Security, are making inquiries about your sister's death. She was one of their top researchers at the facility, and her death has apparently set them back in one of their R&D programs. But, there's something else. They took over the investigation, of the explosion that killed her. I was in charge of it, and my team found something." He closed his eyes. "We found the remains of a bomb on her car. Plastique maybe, we're still not a hundred percent. All we know though, is that the car was rigged to blow. Someone planned to murder your sister."

I was frozen in place, my eyes going wide. Someone planned to kill Kat? Someone put a bomb on the car, and it would have killed her....and me. "Do....do you know where the bomb came from?" He shook his head. "Unfortunately no. There wasn't much left of it for us to determine who made it. The explosive compounds of the bomb are also common, or at least standard. James, I'm telling you this, because I want you on your guard. You've always been reckless before, but that needs to stop now, especially if you're going to be living in my house, with my daughter. Someone, wanted your sister dead and they didn't seem to care that you were in the car with her. Now they may leave you alone because she's dead, but if not, if they don't want to leave any risk of you testifying against them...." He didn't need to finish. All I could do was nod my head. "I promise Michael, I'll be careful. And....can you keep me posted, on any developments? I'd like to know what's going on." He seemed troubled by that, but nodded his head. "Sure James, I'll do what I can. No promises though." And then he left the room. All that mattered to me though, was a single thought. Who would want to kill Kat? I desperately wanted to know, but I realized that, in a way, the only thing that changed was that now I knew someone wanted to kill her. What didn't change though, was that it was because of these damn machines that she died. There may have been a bomb, but it was their arrival, their impact that killed her, and did this to me.

Do you truly hate us so? You act as if we had malicious intent when we had no true control over anything that happened.

Maybe. But do you really mean to tell me that you had no control over the damn vessel you were in? That you didn't choose the landing? It was childish, to continue on like this I know. In all likelihood, the machines were innocent in this and everything that happened was chance. But right now, I was still angry, still seething from my loss and wanted to lash out at the nearest thing. And since the machines were inside me, that made them the closest thing. Still, with that realization in mind, it kinda cooled my anger. Not enough that I'd be singing koom bah yah with it anytime soon, but enough for me to apologize. Sorry....I guess it's just going to be a while, before I can really accept everything that's happening. The awareness seemed to accept it, though it wouldn't say anything else. Guess I hurt its feelings.

((Present Day))

Another two days came and went, and I was finally allowed to leave the hospital. There was one minor detail though: I had to be wheeled out. Hospital policy apparently, something I really hated. I mean, what was the point of all that damn therapy, and getting used to my limbs, if I couldn't even walk out? I wasn't about to argue though. Chris and her dad were here, so that was good, especially since they brought over some of my clothes. Thankfully, the prosthetics were....organic enough, in terms of look, that I could slip my clothing on no problem. Then I sat in the wheelchair, Chris taking the handles. "You know," I started, "I can wheel myself out. She smirked down at me. "And rob me of the moment? You know how many times I expected to be wheeling you out of the hospital because of some stupid stunt you pulled? This is almost a dream come true for me." We both traded a laugh, and it was certainly good. Once out the front door of the hospital, we waited at the front for Michael to grab his car. While he was away, Chris stood at the side of the chair, her hand on my shoulder. We traded a look, and I found myself once more very glad to have her with me. "So....uh, think anyone will notice?" Before she asked what I was talking about, I raised my robotic hand. She grinned down at me. "Oh no, no one's going to notice that. They'll be too busy laughing at you when I beat you in training." Chuckling, I realized she was being serious. "Wait, what? Training.....for what?"

She suddenly leered at me, and I felt the bottom of my stomach fall. "Oh ho ho James, I am going to help you continue your therapy, by getting you back in shape, and teaching you how to fight." How to fight? Against who? "Chris, you really don't ha-" She cut me off, and I soon found myself staring into her eyes, and that same familiar spark was there. "Like hell I don't. If you're living in my home, then you're going to learn how to defend yourself. Not just defend yourself, but put your attacker in the hospital." Maybe it was just me, but she seemed to be getting taller. Or maybe I was shrinking in fear, I wasn't really sure.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   10/05/14, 03:41 am

I walked down some half abandoned street. Lights flickered and dimmed as I walked by them. Something is different.  I looked around, looking up and down the street, I don't remember some of these buildings or styles of architecture. New York must have changed a lot since I was last here, at my cousins' baby's christening. Even then I was mostly in New Jersey. I haven't spoken to them since then. I wonder how they're doing, my cousin Liz and her husband Eric and their three kids. My Uncle Bob and his wife Paula. Joe, cousin Nick, Cousin Robert, Peter, Curt. I haven't seen them in years. Not since I was still at the community college. That felt like an eternity ago. Such is life, I suppose.

As I walked down the streets of Queens, I noticed how empty everything seemed. Not many people walked the streets, no cars drove on the asphalt, and the street itself was uncared for. Cracks and holes riddled the road. I walked by shops that were closed with their windows boarded up. People I passed looked at me strangely. Most of the people I saw were either old black women or guys whose pants hung low. Both gave me the same disdainful look. The looks on their faces said to me "What is this guy doing here, he must be homeless and crazy." Indeed, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection off a glass pane. My hair was long and unkempt, my beard too, was long and wild. My clothes were ragged and torn, and covered in dirt as well as paint, but you couldn't tell that the paint was paint.

I furrowed my brow in thought. It was a little disconcerting that I was being looked at in this way. I needed to clean myself up, get some new clothes. A cop drove by as I looked at myself in the window. I refocused my eyes and realized I was looking into a gun shop. I frowned and walked away. I didn't need any trouble for looking as I did outside a gun store. I knew how New York cops were.

I walked around some more, eventually circling around to my studio. Where I saw a murder of crows sitting on the trees around it, and spiders crawling around in the grass. I also saw my landlord, as well as a few cops pounding on my door. I was standing behind them, they hadn't seen me yet. Looked like the landlord finally grew some balls. I cleared my throat, as I stood behind them. Only the landlord turned around. As he did, he saw the spiders in the yard, and the crows in the trees, before he saw me. "What have you done to the place!" he yelled.

_________________
"Every one believes they are the Good Guy."
A few lies can be used to control the masses. 
The paradox is that I both know and don't know what you feel.
I know your pain. I feel your pain, but it is a fraction of what you feel. 
A Pisces man. Me.An Indigo Person.

Relax, your life is short, we're all going to die. Some are already dead, they just don't know it yet.
During character creation in TES: Arena, choosing the Breton race elicits the following: "Thy race is descended from the ancient Druids of Galen, quick witted and strong in the mystical arts. Thy folks are crafty and intelligent, a learned people who use their gifts to guide others to enlightenment..." There has been no mention of the Druids of Galen since.
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   10/05/14, 05:44 am

"Uh, Chris you're starting to scare me." If anything, that made her smile even more. "Good. Use that fear during training, and you may be able to get a good enough incentive to do better." The car came around, pulling up in front of us. She walked to the rear door, opening it for me. Still shaking from the talk, I got out of the chair, and into the backseat, buckling up as the door was closed. Then she climbed into the passenger seat, and we drove off. Chris and her dad lived in a different neighborhood than me, though she and I still went to the same school. Because of the higher pay Michael's job granted him, he could afford to live in a bigger house that was only a couple blocks away from my old home. Here's a decent comparison: my house was a two floor, three room house with a tiny kitchen and a basement. The basement was larger than the overall two floors above, and it once served as the living room. A cramped kitchen, and a one toilet bathroom on the main floor, and then the three rooms above, with the full bathroom. The whole place wasn't that wide, nor was it long. Now, Chris' house was the opposite. Still two floors, but there was a total of four rooms, and a full bathroom up top. Ground floor had a larger kitchen, bigger living room, and a laundry room. There was even a garage, and mid-sized backyard. My house was a tiny outpost, compared to her castle. Bitch.

Still though, at least I had a home. Better than being a ward of the state. Instead of a family, I would have had government officials where it was their job, not a true desire or care, to watch over me. As we drove through the streets, my mind wandered as I thought of everything I was going to be doing. Sure, most of it was going to be moving my stuff into Chris' home, or going back to school. But at the top of the list, was learning more about these machines, and what they were capable of doing.

And there is much we have to show you. Much to learn.

By the way.....what do I call you? Were you ever given a name? That seemed to be, as of now, the most important thing to clear up. Whatever this AI was, it needed a name, and I wasn't about to start calling it "AI" everytime I wanted to chat.

Our makers gave us a name that while unpronounceable for you, can be translated to fit with one of your English language words.

Whoa, what? English language? It knew.....okay, it more than likely knew most of the language through me, but I hardly knew any appropriate names for this thing. Uh, I doubt I know the word you're thinking of. So how could you know it?

During the night cycles where you were asleep, we spread in tiny tendrils from your body, seeking data. We found it in the form of what you would call a fiber optic port, located within the room you recovered in. It gave us access to your World Wide Web. We required information about your world, and so as you slept, we learned all there was we needed to know.

Okay, now that was scary. I wasn't enough of an idiot to ignore that knowledge was power. And this thing had just scanned the internet, learned everything it could about my world. That made it dangerous, in a sense. But, if it was (hopefully) limited to my body, then perhaps it could be contained. But that was wishful thinking at best. And...what was the word?

Gestalt. "An organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its part." We find this word rather fitting, and choose it as an appropriate name for ourselves.

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- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   10/05/14, 09:23 am

"What have I done?" That struck a nerve I didn't know I had. Nicholas, What have you done? The old mans voice echoed in my head. Nick! Screamed the voice of a woman. They hate you Nicholas. You'll never be apart of them. Paranoia. Parasite. Voices crowded my head, I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples. "I have lived in this studio, trying and subsequently failing, to sell my artwork. That is what I have done."

The Landlord didn't seem pleased with this. Kill him. His face was red in anger, I could see the veins in his head bulging. Prey. His heart was racing. The Police turned around and told the landlord, "Something is blocking the door." Competition. The door was made of iron, or steel, or whatever metal they used, it was a metal door. The lock that held it was electric, magnetized. On off days when I moved about the studio, my body generated static electricity, so when I touch the door, I suffer a mild electric shock. Same thing happens when I get out of a car too, my body absorbs and creates electricity from the friction it takes, so when I touch the door on the outside, I get shocked. "You won't be able to get in without a key." I told the officers. They looked at me, and one looked to the other. I could see it in their faces. My pulse is racing. They didn't like the way I looked. They don't like you. "We have a warrant to search the property. Let us in." Said one of the officers. No pleasantries, just orders. "Yeah, can I see that warrant," I said, "Oh, and you're badges and ID's as well."

They didn't look pleased. "Can we see yours?" They said, looking me up and down, judging me. You are nothing to them. "I don't have any ID on me." Some of the spiders had begun climbing up the legs of the officers, but they were to preoccupied with me to notice. They won't listen to you. I kept my distance from them, I had a feeling they would just as likely put me in hand-cuffs as ask me questions. One of the officers looked to the other, again, and pulled out a signed piece of paper, signed in blue ink. Blue ink means that it's the original document, which means whatever the paper says is legitimate. Most official government documents are signed in blue ink, it's an old way of verifying things. Black ink would appear on copies that are photo-copied, because most cost-efficient copiers use toner, and not color ink. The officer waved the paper in the air, as if that was the only thing he needed to prove.

"That's a nice piece of paper you have there, why don't you give it to me so I can verify it?" I said, listen to the radio. I looked at the other cop, as he spoke into his radio. They are calling for back up.
"Fine, I'll show you inside." I said finally. The landlord looked relieved. Prey. The policemen looke at me wearily now, they weren't expecting that. They also just noticed the spiders crawling on them, they panicked and jumped around, trying to shake off the spiders. I unlocked the door and let the landlord in. All of my paintings and works had been put on the wall. Hung so that you could see the evolution of the works. I was as surprised as my landlord. A cat meowed, a black little guy sat on my bed. The landlord walked in my, somehow, impeccably clean studio. There was something written on one of my canvases, one of the blanks, in white paint, but I immediately noticed it because of the shine that came off the paint. While the landlord looked around at the art, still angry at me for never paying rent, I deciphered the white lettering left behind.

"This... this is incredible." The landlord said, after walking through my studio home. "I... thanks." I said, not fully convinced of his compliment. Prey in the den, dead soon then. "I still have to evict you, you haven't paid rent in months." I nodded. I understood, I didn't like it, but I understood. "Well, it's all yours then, sell it for what you can." I offered. I didn't need them anymore, they were outlets. And I let everything out that I could. "I'll give you a few hours to get packed up." He said finally. Pity I nodded again, and went into my room.

Where my stuff was apparently packed for me. I don't remember doing this. Any of this, but maybe I did. things began to blur, memories didn't make any sense. I went through my drawers, my closet, everything. But it looked like everything I needed had already been packed. Even my flash drives. I sat on my bed and thought for a bit. The Landlord was outside talking with the police. The Crows were still outside, watching, making the police and the landlord uncomfortable, the spiders were leaving, however. For some reason, none of that was weird to me. I thought, there were hundreds of spiders just walking around in front of the house, and their were crows on the roof and on the branches of the trees around the house. Just watching. Maybe I was hallucinating all of this.

The cat rubbed up against my side, and gave that irresistibly cute meow. I smiled, and remembered my Sally, who had died of old age while I was still in grad school. I rubbed the cats head. "Where did you come from? huh?" I spoke to her, I knew the cat was female, their were no testicles. I had no idea what I was going to do now. I didn't have any money. I didn't have an ID card with me, I had lost it a long time ago. How could I get a job? I'd have to figure something out. Nexus.

I got my bags and walked out the front door, the landlord was still talking to the police, I nodded as I passed by. I didn't want to talk to them. There was a cabby waiting on the other side of the street, parked. He waved me over, and got out of the car as I walked up with my bags. "Let me help you with that." He said, taking my bags and putting them into the trunk. I felt at a loss. I didn't know what to do, so I got in the cabby. After a moment he got back in, he turned to look at me, "so, where are you headed?" I looked at him for a moment, and asked, "Know any place that I can get a free shower and maybe a shave?" He laughed, and said, "sure." I know just the place.

_________________
"Every one believes they are the Good Guy."
A few lies can be used to control the masses. 
The paradox is that I both know and don't know what you feel.
I know your pain. I feel your pain, but it is a fraction of what you feel. 
A Pisces man. Me.An Indigo Person.

Relax, your life is short, we're all going to die. Some are already dead, they just don't know it yet.
During character creation in TES: Arena, choosing the Breton race elicits the following: "Thy race is descended from the ancient Druids of Galen, quick witted and strong in the mystical arts. Thy folks are crafty and intelligent, a learned people who use their gifts to guide others to enlightenment..." There has been no mention of the Druids of Galen since.
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   10/05/14, 10:21 pm

Gestalt...... Well, Gestalt, nice to finally have a name for you. And as for me, call me James. No more of "our host." There was an odd sensation from Gestalt, and I realized that it was a very poor attempt, at amusement. Gestalt found my desire to be called by my name, amusing. Could an AI actually be amused? After all, it was just a machine, no real emotions. So maybe it was just putting on a show for my benefit.

Very well, James.

The conversation more or less done, I started focusing again on where I was. We were now pulling into the driveway of the house. There was a nice green lawn out front, a few small shrubs by the door. Once we had stopped, I opened the door, stepping out. Chris was already out by the time I had closed the door, and she smiled. "Well James....welcome home." Home....something told me, that I wouldn't have any trouble calling this place home.

Walking through the front door, I was greeted by the familiar sight of the living room. There was a sofa, large enough to seat several people comfortably (and on more than one occasion give me a place to sleep during sleepovers), a few single chairs, a coffee table in the center, and of course the ever important flatscreen tv. Chris and I used to play loads of games on it, and there were even a few sporting events I came over to watch from time to time. "Already feeling at home James?" Chris said, walking in behind me. She was beaming at me, clearly eager to see how I was doing. Geesh, I only just walked in the door. No need to act like I was that fragile. Not that I'd say that to her, not in her house anyway. It's just not done.

"Chris, there's nowhere else I could possibly feel at home." Well, except for my original home. But beggars, choosers, yadda yadda. We both moved out of the way, as her dad came in close behind, lugging a small suitcase. "James, your room's up the stairs. Guest bedroom, Chris and I spent most of the week working on it for you." Nodding at him, I moved to take the suitcase from him, since it contained some of my clothes, the rest at my old house. However, he pulled it away from me. "Why don't you let me carry it up James. Go on, check out the room." I frowned at him. Great, I was being treated like a weak child with glass bones. Not what I needed. Moving forward, I grabbed the suitcase out of his hand. "Michael, it's fine, really. I can manage."

He looked as though he was going to argue. Hell, so did Chris. But I shot both of them a look that while polite, managed to tell them both that I did not appreciate them doting on me. They got the message, Michael raising his hands, palms toward me. "Alright James, you win. Sorry." The apology hurt, because at the end of the day....they were trying to be polite. "Nah, it's fine Michael. I just....need to do this on my own is all." With that, I started walking up the stairs, the suitcase clunking up behind me as I carried it. It was....difficult, mostly because I had to walk with a leg that felt nothing, but eventually I was able to make it up to the summit of the stairs. It ended at a wide hallway, big enough for furniture to be moved through. Four doors were on this floor, and I was headed for the one to my immediate right. Opening the door, I found myself staring at a mostly scarce room, the only things inside being a bed with only the basic necessities, a very plain looking desk, and a closet. Oh and a medium sized dresser.

"So, think you'll be okay?" Chris said from behind me, standing in the doorway. She was leaned against the frame, looking at me, waiting for a response. All I could do was smile. "Chris, it's great. Give me a few weeks, and I'll make this room my own." A few weeks, and a chance to grab some stuff from my old room. I set the suitcase down on the bed, and unzipped it as I began to unpack. "Cool," Chris said. "I'm going to help with lunch, so come down when you're ready." Then she walked off, and I could hear the sound of her footsteps going down the stairs. That gave me some private time with Gestalt. Okay, about the internet thing.....did you hack, anyone?

Hack.....your thoughts suggest computer hacking. Exploitation of weaknesses within digital security systems. To answer your question, yes.

And that's what I was afraid of. Without boring anyone with the details, cyber security had become a major thing over the past two decades, even becoming a big weapon in the war. In most cases, it was more dangerous than nuclear weapons and the monitoring of it was taken with just as much seriousness. I did not want to bring down the wrath of any cyber security agency down on me, because Gestalt had hacked the wrong people. Were you detected?

Doubtful. Our cyberwarfare suites are far more advanced than anything on your world. However, even if detection was possible, they will not be able to trace us, or you.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 02:34 am

Kalyn had been building towards this moment for months. She'd picked a very difficult target this time; a very rich CEO. His house, if it could actually be called that and not a mansion, was equipped with the best security. The itself garden was huge, allowing for a guard to have established a patrol route. Cameras everywhere outside, a guard dog and a single security guard. Most thieves wouldn't have dared try to rob the place, despite the amount of valuables that could be taken, and those that did ended up in prison. Kalyn licked her lips, a slight smile creeping across her face. She watched as the security guard sighed and stood up to do his rounds.

Hiding in the grass had been her only option because of the large open space around the house, but that made it easier to reach the house in the shortest time; she'd had nothing in her way when she'd sprinted. She'd learned everything about this place, camera blind spots, the guard's patrol, and even what times people would be inside. It had taken so much time and effort, and Kalyn had loved every second of it. With a quiet click, the lock on the cellar door unlocked with a stolen set of lockpicks, which she quickly put back into her small black backpack.

Once inside, she breathed a deep breath and let the adrenaline pump through her. She felt more alive now than she had ever felt since her escape. Quiet as a shadow, Kalyn crept up the stairs. The ground floor was as grand as the exterior, and boasted a large chandelier in each room, only illustrating the amount of money this man had. Kalyn knew exactly where he would be at this time; in his study reading. She'd learned this by accident; she'd noticed him go in there once while preparing to leave, she noticed that doing so had become one of his habits. The first floor had many doors, though Kalyn knew which one lead to the study. She rested her hand gently on the doorknob as she prepared to enter the room.

Initially, the man didn't react. The shock of a complete stranger walking into his study wore off, though, and he was quick to question why Kalyn was there.
"Who are you?" He demanded, trying his best to sound intimidating. In truth, he was anything but. A small, fat, red and balding man, with glasses and a short goatee, it was almost funny to watch him demand answers, "Why are you here?" When she didn't answer, he'd gotten slightly flustered, taking her silence for her panicking at being caught, "I'll have the police here in thirty seconds if you don't answer, and my wife will have them here quicker than that if I call,"

"Your wife isn't home," Kalyn answered sharply, resisting the urge to smile at his expression, "She went to have a massage, correct? Even though we both know she's cheating on you with your co-worker,"

"How do you know that?" He asked, visibly shaken by Kalyn's knowledge.

"That doesn't matter. You're going to die,"

If one of her victims hadn't already been about to wet themselves, it was when she announced her intentions that they would. She didn't often talk to them, it made for less chance of it going wrong if she didn't, but the times when she did were the times she had looked forward to, like tonight. She wondered if he would beg, offer her money or some other thing he could think of. He went white and didn't speak, looking as though the words were too hard to say.
"Y- You can't..." He mumbled, his tongue stumbling, "I- I haven't done anything!"

Kalyn tilted her head, like a dog or child might when thinking, "You don't have to be a bad person to have bad things happen," She stated, frowning as though it were the most obvious thing in the world, all while a trickle of blood slowly turned into a large blade on her hand. That was what broke him. Her power. She hated that. Her anger flared, her thoughts turning to her kidnappers.
Those bastards made me a freak. Just look at this thing, pissing itself when it sees what they did,
She strode forwards, towards his desk, and 'fight or flight' kicked in. He tried scrambling away from her, only to fail to push himself away, and before he could fight back, she grabbed his shirt and slit his throat. The feeling of accomplishment washing away the anger.

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 02:41 am

Well, that was a relief. Last thing I needed was to have the government on my ass. Good....and for future reference, try and keep the hacking to a minimum. That kind of thing tends to draw unwanted attention. Gestalt didn't respond, though again I could sense it's attempt to mimic amusement. In the silence, I got all my clothes moved from the suitcase, to the dresser. Once that was done, and the suitcase was stashed away, I headed down the stairs. First thing I heard though, was a voice coming over the tv. It was a newswoman by the sound of it, and the story they reported on had me very worried.

"Government agencies around the world have been struggling to determine the cause of one of the most widespread cyber attacks in history. Most of the information has been restrained, but what we do know is that nearly every government computer had been hacked in the past week. Not only that, but simultaneously, and if the reports we have are accurate, as if the security in place wasn't even there. Officials say the security was only able to detect the breach. Still no word on who officials suspect, but evidence leans towards an independent party. More on this story, after these messages."

Undetectable my ass..... Then again, Gestalt did say if it was detected. Looks like it was detected. The a chilling thought hit me. Uh, Gestalt? Did you steal any information?

Not required. We were able to make copies of the original source material while leaving the originals intact and where they were found. It would have been rude to steal the originals.

And yet you hacked their computers anyway.....plus that's still stealing information dammit. I shook my head, fighting the urge to sigh out-loud. Instead, I reached the base of the stairs, and found that the tv was indeed on, and on one of the news stations though like the newswoman said, they were on commercial break. Chris and Michael however, were not in the living room, but in the kitchen working on lunch. By the looks of things, it wasn't anything special, just some sandwiches. Michael though, seemed to have the same anxious look on his face. I guess Nexus was among those that suffered Gestalt's little scavenger hunt.

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What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 05:56 am

"So, I don't have to pay you for anything then?" I said to the cabby, "No, you still have to pay." Oh, well, I have no money to pay, so this might be a problem. "I don't have any money to pay you with." We sat at a red light, the cabby turned in his seat and looked at me, "You're kidding, right?" I was honest with him, I had no money. So, he kicked me out of the cab. He was probably wishing I had told him earlier. As opposed to driving almost into the city of New York and then finding out I had no money to speak of. Lesson learned, I suppose, on his part. I sat down on the curb, of the not so busy street, and thought to myself. "What am I going to do now?" The answer to that is I don't know. I don't know what I'm going to do now.

I'm not used to solving these kinds of problems. I'm not used to being alone on this level, I usually have someone to turn to for guidance. Now I just feel lost. These are problems that other people have, not me. I don't get evicted for not paying rent, I pay the rent, I deal with it. I don't have to find a homeless shelter for the night, that's someone else's problem. I'd sleep on the street tonight, probably. Unless I found a place to stay. I could find a church, they might be able to give me sanctuary for a while.

What was I going to do?

_________________
"Every one believes they are the Good Guy."
A few lies can be used to control the masses. 
The paradox is that I both know and don't know what you feel.
I know your pain. I feel your pain, but it is a fraction of what you feel. 
A Pisces man. Me.An Indigo Person.

Relax, your life is short, we're all going to die. Some are already dead, they just don't know it yet.
During character creation in TES: Arena, choosing the Breton race elicits the following: "Thy race is descended from the ancient Druids of Galen, quick witted and strong in the mystical arts. Thy folks are crafty and intelligent, a learned people who use their gifts to guide others to enlightenment..." There has been no mention of the Druids of Galen since.
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 06:31 am

He heard me come in, and immediately struck up a conversation. "Can you believe this?" he asked, using a knife to spread mayo over the bread. "I got a call from my superiors two days ago. They wanted me to come down to work to oversee our tech department, make sure we were secure. I told them that wasn't going to happen, a) because I still had personal affairs to handle, and b) because my computer skills are shit. That's what the tech department is for." That made me chuckle, and I grabbed a seat at the small table in the kitchen. Chris walked over, placing a plate before me, a sandwich on top, sliced in half. Nodding my thanks, I started to eat while she took a seat opposite me. "Well, glad you're staying here dad. Honestly, you're hardly around anymore these days."

I could almost hear him frown, even if his back kept us from seeing his face. "Yeah, sorry Chris. Things have been a little hectic at work." He sat down at the head of the table, a plate and glass before him. There was the same weary look on his face. "Security at Nexus has been a nightmare, ever since Draco set up shop nearby." Oh right, Draco..... Remember Blackwater, or Obelisk, most of the big names of Private Military Companies? Draco LLC, is basically that. Though now they prefer private security contractor, they're an army unto themselves. Nexus founded them however, and still controlled them. From what I heard, they utilized the bulk of Nexus' military technology and weapons. I remember Kat talking about them once, and from what I gathered she didn't like them at all.

"I thought they were separate from Nexus?" Chris said, taking a bite of her sandwich. "At least, that they had no say in security within the main building." Michael shrugged. "Yeah, they don't really have any authority within Nexus itself, save for being posted in 'high-value' areas. But the district commander has been trying to make a push for a merge between his security forces, and the company's. Technically, it's possible, since we're all working for Nexus anyway, though some still oppose the idea. They don't want to turn the facility into a military base they say." It seemed clear from the way he spoke, that he was one of those people. I didn't have much of an opinion on the matter though, so I stayed quiet and ate my sandwich. Thew newswoman was back at this point.

"Welcome back to DNN, I'm Patricia Woods. Still our top story, the simultaneous cyber attack of what has now been confirmed to be close to every major computer on the planet. So far no one has taken credit for the attack...."

It was pretty much the same stuff she had said minutes ago. No real change, and certainly no identifying the source of the attack. Gestalt really was good at his job, and it made me make a mental note: next time a major test comes up, hack the computers for the answer. Save me a whole lot of trouble.

"Hmm, first the explosion and now this.....what a weird week," was the first thing I said to break the silence. Chris snorted, even if it as dark humor. "Yeah...looks like its nothing but headline news." The conversation kinda died from there, though there were a few bits where we talked about school, and then Chris began talking with me about setting up sparring session. I will say this for her: she was persistent. And while I didn't want to train with her......I figured saying yes was the only way to get her to stop asking me about it. Besides, I had long since gotten over getting my ass handed to me by a girl. And that was only the one-hundredth time I had told myself that. Maybe when I reached a hundred and thirty I could finally stop saying it.

_________________
What is a man but the sum of his choices?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Deal with the root of the problem, never the branches." - Alex CasaMadrid

"Good men mean well. We just don't always end up doing well." - Isaac Clarke
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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 08:13 am

Aries was surveying the web. Someone had gotten detected. But at that scale? She had barely hacked a goverment or two undetected. The range of breaking in was beyond what a Valkyrie was capable of.
"Jake. Be careful. You're not the only one with alien technology." The Valkyrie tilted her head. "And excellent."

Using some of the most advanced spy techniques available to a high schooler, and a copious amount of bullshit, Jake managed to break into a heavily defended outpost without his armor.
"Plug into the main computer."
"Done."
"Done. Took longer. Nexus has upgraded their systems."
"You cant be done."
"You're right. I just finished. Unplug and get out."

Jake unplugged everything and hit his gauntlets. The PERSEUS armor extended, and he cleaved through the door.
"There goes my here image." He joked.
"Head to the waypoint."

Sighing, he sprinted down the hallway, slicing through obstacles. As he exited into the main courtyard, alarms blaring, he fired his cannon and took flight. Dirt erupted as he disappeared into the clouds.
"VTOLs inbound."
"Not a problem." He immediately flared and was thrown back. Behind the VTOLs, he dropped down and damaged rotors, and roared away as they wobbled and fell, pancaking into the ground. Paladin quickly flew into the city. Manhattan...Aries said it was the best place to look for information. A bit bigger Nexus presence then LA had, he landed in an alley and closed the PERSEUS system, then steppednout. Realizing where he was, he jogged out and looked around. Brooklyn.

Turning, he took off in a steady jog until he reached a certain home. Approsching the door, he knocked.
"Ms. Mortimer said he lives here now..." he muttered. "Might as well see if he'sdoing okay. Accident..." he wondered if...nah. no way alien technology had fucked his life up. Couldnt be.



BACK IN LOS ANGELES:

Dressed in jean shorts, an embroidered top that had a threaddesign that revealed her shoulders and most of her arm, and tennis shoes (she never understood heels; were human females masochists? Would explain some of that...B...D..S...M? Yeah, M. That weird stuff on the site Seryna looked up. Made sense...)
Beyond female relations, Seryna had found a plethora of information regarding human science. Their technology was approaching the...well, the lower d of the galactcmic spectrum. And some of it could help locate where the Sayla went down. So, taking to the streets, the lithe girl jogged on. The human corporation Nexus had a depot of vehicles. She needed to comandeer one. The human...Camaro....was not fast enough to get her to this Area 51...but Nexus...
She turned the corner. Maybe.

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 08:32 am

The knock at the door derailed my conversation with Chris, and we both looked at the door. "I'll get it," she said, standing up and walking to the door. She took a look through the peephole and said "Oh hey, it's Jake." Huh, wasn't expecting him. Jake was a classmate of mine, though that was about it. We worked together on a few assignments but beyond that we never hung out. Still, it would have been rude to leave him out there and Chris shared the same idea, opening the door and saying "Hey there Jake, what are you doing here?"

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 08:37 am

Jake kept his hands in his pockets, and...well, was awkward. 'Specially around friendly, pretty girls.
"Hey. Heard...heard James was here. I...well, wanted to see how he's doing." He felt stupid. Couldnt form a better excuse, but hey. He at least had good intentions. He justmhoped Aries didn't break in and start telling himmthe British were coming. Because that would suck.
And he'd feel if hell came around.

He grinned a bit hesitantly, wishing he wasnt such an awkward fucker.

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 08:43 am

I stood up when I heard why Jake was here. Though to be honest I was surprised that he knew I was out of the hospital or that I was staying at Chris' house. Still, it was better to ask him than guess, and so I walked over, my robotic root clunking against the floor, my arm quite visible. "Hey Jake.....how'd you know I was here?"

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 05:10 pm

"Sherlock Holmes level of clue finding and deductive reasoning...and I gave the school secretary roses and ten bucks." Okay the last part was a lie. He just uzed puppy dog eyes and spun a sappy story about being a supportive classmate. The lady just ate it up.
Now Jake wished he had roses...maybe he'd bring some over to her tomorrow...
"So yeah...I just wanted to see how you were doing. Be a good classmate and all."He shrugged. Welp, yeah. He was lame. Then Aries piped up into his earpiece.
"Jake, I've sifted the data. I need more info but I know the convoy leaves in five days. A Nexus security employee is in your general area, he might have the codes to find the starting location."

As Aries rattlednoff the address, Jake's heart sank.
"Someone named...Michael Martinez."

Well fuck.

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   11/05/14, 09:28 pm

"Thanks man, I appreciate it," I said as I got closer. Michael got a call on his phone, and got up to leave the room while he had what I guessed was a private conversation. "So......what's going on?"

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   12/05/14, 01:44 am

"Well, I can't read for one, despite coming back from the library. Parked a street over and uh, wrong house." He shrugged. "So..." he rummaged and pulled out a piece of paper. "I made this while I was at the library. So you know some of the stuff we covered. Hopefully you can get a bit caught up."

Jake made a point of going to the library for real before becoming Paladin. So the list of assignments was legit, and thus...preserved his cover.
Now...how to appease Aries...yeah plugging into a computer here would get him screwed...

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   12/05/14, 01:52 am

"Oh, thanks," I said, taking it from him. I didn't have the heart though, to tell him that Chris had already done that for me.

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   12/05/14, 07:12 am

Jake looked between them, then sighed. "I'll...I'll be on my way. Hope to see you back at school soon."
He turned around and headed out.
"Aries." He said quietly. "Give me options."

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   12/05/14, 08:01 am

"That was....brief," Chris said as she closed the door. She turned to face me and asked "So....what do you feel like doing right now James?" Before I could respond, Michael joined us, looking upset. "Sorry kids, that was Nexus. The hacking incident has them all freaking out, and they're demanding I show up or else they'll fire me." Yikes, that was serious. "Damn, that sucks Michael," I said. "Uh....does that mean you're going to have to leave?"

Michael sighed and said "Looks like it. Listen Chris, there's money on the counter if you two want to order pizza, but we've still got leftovers in the fridge you can heat up. I should be back.....I don't know, but I will be back."

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   13/05/14, 05:20 am

He cast his eyes skyward as he fell back peacefully, laying on the lawn in one of the cities parks. Orion felt the cool nature and weather over him, as he simply let himself finally relax, away from his homes needs and wants. He looked up at the sky, and sat up, watching the people around him. It was always a nice time when Orion could come out and simply relax and have no worries beyond the beauty of the world around him.

"Sir, really, you should not be out this often nor this long. You-"

Orion waved a hand as the man looked at him with a sigh, looking away. He was both Orions driver and 'bodyguard' though he barely needed the latter. The people who cared for Orion, the ones who had been in the employ of his father, often showed concern at the smaller things, not properly aware of just what capabilities Orion had. Most simply assumed he had some bizarre armour thing going on.

"Honestly, there's no worries. I'm no bodies target, I'm no bodies enemy, I'm no bodies lapdog. Right now I'm just a man trying to enjoy some relaxation."

Orion fell back happily, closing his eyes, as Stan composed himself again and stood in silence at the door to the car, watching his envoy and sighing again.

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   13/05/14, 05:38 am

Chris sighed, but stepped forward to hug her dad. "Don't sweat it dad, James and I will be fine." Michael seemed reassured by the words, and went upstairs to gather his stuff. A few minutes later, he came back down in his work-clothes, a bag hung over his shoulder. That was where he carried his Nexus issued laptop. Kat.....used to have one, I guess if I was talking presently. It was like a company credit card, only usable for work related tasks. He gave Chris and even me one last hug goodbye, and left the house, the sound of his car starting up soon after. Chris and I traded a look, and I broke the silence with "So....guess I should get to work then, huh?"

She grinned a little, and said "You could.....or we could go a few rounds at Call of Valor?" Ah Call of Valor....a game that was nothing but bullets and explosions and lots of action. Grinning in return, I said "You're on."

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   13/05/14, 05:41 am

You ever played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? Yeah? ever grab some truck, go to the desert and floor it over the hill, careen down that hill and smash into the gate, breaking into the airway and jumping? Rolling and getting up, sprinting over. Jumping into a jet, getting it ready.

Gun the jets, raise into the air as a tank tries and ram you. Feel the air buffet your Hydra, and as you raise farther into the air and gun forward, dodging SAMs, until finally you are free and away.

That was essentially what Libra went through, except she had to form an energy barrier to understand the primitive jet's systems.
Finally getting it, she accidentally broke a few things (not the jet thankfully) before getting airborne.

After a few hacks to make the jet hers, she hit supersonic and headed for New York.


Jake was up a tree. Why? Because....he had to break into a classmate's house and probably would have to reveal his identity and then have his mom ground him.
Because...sigh...

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   13/05/14, 06:04 am

"Cool, I'll get the game set up," Chris said as she headed for the TV. She got the console set up, while I headed upstairs to go use the bathroom. I'll be honest, it was refreshing being able to actually take an actual piss after spending a week using a catheter. I mean Jesus Christ. But I was distracted, because as I got to the top of the stairs I briefly saw something. Through the open door of Chris' bedroom, he saw out her window a most peculiar sight: Jake, perched on a tree branch. The hell? Is he trying to.....Owl? I thought to myself.

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   13/05/14, 06:13 am

Jake was waiting for the lights to go off. He was lounging, snacking on a candy bar he forgot was in his pocket. Score!

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   13/05/14, 06:21 am

I debated opening the window to ask Jake what the hell he was doing. I debated, because there was a sign on Chris' door that read TRESPASSERS WILL BE KILLED AND EATEN! It even read in Spanish below Los intrusos serán asesinados y comidos! And knowing Chris, that possibility was incredibly likely. So you can understand my hesitation. Aw hell......it's worth the risk if he hurts himself, I thought, and strode into Chris' room, and opened her window. "Jake, what the hell are you doing?"

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   13/05/14, 06:52 am

Jake gave a start and fell out of the tree.
"MY HERSHEYS KING SIZED COOKIES AND CREAM CANDY BAR! NOOOOOO !"

He hit the ground as his precious candybar was ruined by mud. He sat up, rubbing his head.
"Could have been more overt James. Seriously."

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PostSubject: Re: Locked, Stock Material   13/05/14, 07:22 am

I looked down at Jake from the window, scowling and said "Screw overt! What the hell are you doing outside Chris' window?" A sudden thought occurred to me, and I got a bit pissed. "Oi, you are not going to spy on my best friend while she changes clothes!" I yelled down at him. Then I heard Chris from inside yell "James? What's going on?" Oh, shit. As pissed as I was......it would be nothing compared to Chris if she found out that Jake was planning on being a peeping tom.

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