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Zenith Omega
Contrapasso I
Thu Apr 2, 2009 3:16am
75.164.125.182 (XFF: 70.192.119.56)

NRP: God DAMN it's been a long time since I've done a solo CD. Hopefully this isn't TOO terrible...



Contrapasso


Retribution


The sun beat mercilessly against the battered armor of the transport as it rumbled through the streets of Epsilon City heading for the long abandoned industrial sector. Inside Zenith Omega drummed her fingers anxiously against the steering wheel of the transport, her bored eyes taking in the decay of the area around her. Buildings that had stood for centuries were being slowly worn down by the inexorable weight of time that crumbled the concrete even as acid rains chewed away the paint leaving the buildings a dull uniform gray. At the end, she knew, was the base of the Ravens. Epsilon City’s premier mercenary organization. Not as infamous as the Freelance Reploids but still renowned in the Upper North which had once been Canada for their military efficiency and tenacity.

It had been several years since last she had traveled this particular road but she still knew the path. Perhaps too well. Old memories surged to the forefront of her thoughts dulling her eyes with the haze of remembrance.

“C’mon love. Lets see a smile hm? We got the job done, got paid, and now we’re on the way home and I for one plan on getting roaring drunk!” Bison rumbled, grinning down at Zenith.

The assassin rolled her eyes, the only sign she gave of even recognizing his existence besides a slight downward curl of her lips. The transport jounced suddenly as it hit a deep pothole sending Ravens slamming into their webbing.

Bison laughed. “Y’know, maybe the boss oughta spend a little of the dough we’re raking in on fixing this damn road.”

“Amen to that.” Charlie Whitt grumbled past a heavily chewed cigar as he brushed ash from his brown armor.


Zenith snapped from her memory just in time to see that very same pothole disappear under the nose of her two-person transport. Her seatbelts snapped against her armor’s pauldrons the second the transport’s wheel dropped into the hole and she let out a curse as she was nearly jounced from her seat.

“Damn it.” The assassin growled, wrenching the wheel to the right to avoid another lurking pothole.

Focused as she was, the rest of the trip proved relatively smooth and soon Zenith hit the brake and stared up through the plasteel window of the transport at the looming warehouse that had been converted to serve as the base of the Ravens over three decades ago.

In the dusk it looked spectral as it loomed over her. A once abandoned shell that had been lovingly adopted and given a second life. Zenith popped the hatch and clambered out of the transport just as a cold wind swept past the silent warehouses and slender smokestacks sending shivers down her spine. Wrapping her arms around herself the assassin looked around.

She should have been challenged by now but the only sound she heard was rustle of discarded bits of trash rolling around in the gutters. Grimacing the assassin started forward towards the massive, weather-beaten, reinforced doors she knew led to the garage that covered the entire main floor of the warehouse.

Suddenly, as though they sensed her presence, motors buried in the walls to either side of the doors whined to life and they began to recede with a thrumming squeal that echoed through the air. The doors stopped abruptly leaving a space wide enough for three people to stand abreast and framed between them was a figure Zenith recognized instantly.

“Been a while Zee.” Samantha said with a mocking grin. “Ah-ah!” The hunter admonished, holding up a finger to halt Zenith’s advance. “I wouldn’t. Not if you want your…friends…to survive.”

A holoscreen popped into existence in front of the lithe assassin and stopped her dead in her tracks. The screen snapped to static for a brief second then the picture cleared showing Samantha’s constant partner, the black armored sniper Aiden, his pistol angled down at a man Zenith once thought she loved.

Aiden pulled back the hammer of his pistol and rammed the barrel against the battered visage of Antigo, the leader of the Ravens. “Lets have a smile for your girl eh?”

Antigo slowly lifted his head and managed a feeble grin that leaked blood. “Zenith…Good to see you again.” He rasped through split lips.

The report of Aiden’s pistol echoed through the Raven’s base and out onto the street like thunder. Antigo stiffened then slumped forward, acrid smoke billowing from his head.

Zenith’s eyes narrowed to baleful slits of red fire. “You’re both going to pay for that.” She hissed, activating her plasma blades.

“Oh I don’t think so.” Samantha cooed. “Not if you want the rest of them to stay alive.”

The holoscreen’s view pulled back to show a mass of bodies that Zenith instantly recognized as the Ravens laying horribly still in slowly congealing pools of their own blood. At the center of the carnage stood Aiden along with Antigo’s corpse and kneeling behind them were three heavily wounded reploids in power shackles: Bison, Charlie Whitt, and Synthia. The last of the Ravens.

As Aiden’s attention focused on the camera once more Bison suddenly heaved against his shackles. The picture quickly went to static but not before Zenith saw the massive reploid surge towards Aiden with a hoarse roar.

Samantha chuckled and dismissed the holoscreen with a wave of her hand. “Well then. I guess we’ll have to bring you in the hard way.” She lowered her Dai-Katana from where it had been on her shoulder. “Lord Comb wants you taken alive but you and I both know just how much you can survive.”

Zenith’s plasma beams snapped into being again and she slid into a combat crouch. “When I’m done with you, you will plead for death.”

“Promises, promises.”

The two activated their speed adaptors in the same moment and the air crackled as omnium katana met plasma blades in a flurry of strikes far beyond the ability of the human eye to see, much less comprehend.

Zenith snarled wordlessly and worked her blades through a complicated series of slashes and thrusts that set Samantha firmly on the defensive. The assassin didn’t let her current advantage go to her head. If her foe managed to break free then the vastly greater reach of her Dai-Katana would be hell to get past and into striking range again.

***

Aiden crashed backwards with Bison’s titanic bulk on top of him. The sniper barely had time to twitch his head to the side as the Raven brought his armored fist down in a strike that punched a hole through the steel plating of the floor.

Ramming his knee into Bison’s groin Aiden used the smidge of extra space he’d created to free his arm and strike at the reploid’s head with his gauntlet blade. Bison jerked backwards allowing the sniper to kick himself free of his captor.

Sliding across the floor Aiden snapped his pistol up and fired several shots that ricocheted from Bison’s torso armor with a round tearing through his left ear eliciting a grunt of pain from the Raven as he lifted himself to his feet. “I’m gonna rip you limb from limb.” He snarled, ignoring the steady stream of blood oozing down his front from his shredded ear.

“Try it.”

***

Samantha’s every breath was agony. She held a hand against her abdomen trying not to think about the constant stream of warm blood leaking between her fingers. Across from her Zenith knelt on the pavement her left arm rendered useless by a deep cut to the shoulder that had snapped her collar bone and dug deep into her actual shoulder.

“Ha!” Samantha panted triumphantly. “You can’t even stand up.”

Zenith disappeared with only twin streaks of dust marking her passing.

Seconds ticked by before Samantha finally fell forward against Zenith her eyes wide and blank as the assassin’s plasma blade burned away her guts.

“Sure I can.” Zenith whispered, yanking her blade free. Stepping back she pressed her palm against her hunter’s forehead and shoved. Samantha hit the street like a puppet whose strings were cut.

“I always knew you were better than her.” A voice said seconds before a stun saber slammed into the base of Zenith’s skull.

Lord James Whitmore Comb handed the stun saber back to his subordinate and stepped over Zenith to squat beside Samantha. He gently prodded at the massive wound that had ended her.

“I don’t think her CPU is salvageable.” A short fat man in a white lab coat said from behind Lord Comb. “Too much trauma. Probably shorted out the core personality.”

“Ah well.” Comb replied. “Salvage what you can and lets head back to base.”

“The remaining Ravens?” The captain of his security force asked, stepping up beside Vere.

Comb looked up at the warehouse and smiled coldly when he heard a shot ring out. “Collect them. Doctor Vere might find a use for them.”

“Yes sir.” The blue armored security reploid and his brothers streamed past the squatting CEO and Dr. Vere into the modified warehouse.

Comb rose to his full height and moved back to Zenith. He stared down at her with undisguised hate as medics lifted her comatose form onto a security stretcher and locked clamps into place over her wrists, waist, and ankles. “It took years but I finally have you back and now you will pay.” He promised. Pulling a pocket humidor from within his perfectly tailored jacket the young CEO offered a cigar to Vere then stuck the other in his mouth and lit it inhaling deeply.

Victory rarely tasted so sweet.

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