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Zenith Omega
Contrapasso IV B
Sat May 16, 2009 7:39pm (XFF:


Acquaintances New and Old

Doctor Aratticus Vere looked down at his latest project and grinned as he unconsciously ran a grubby hand down the front of his labcoat smearing it with oil and the reploid equivalent of blood. “You will be my opus.” He whispered tracing his hand down the comatose reploid's face, absently brushing a smear of blood from her cheek with his thumb. The fat scientist heaved a great sigh of satisfaction as his hand moved lower, over her neck to finally rest on her breast. It was perfect right down to the last detail. Vere's draconian personal standards allowed for nothing less. But the reploid on the table before him exceeded all but one of his creations. His grin stretched. She would not overwhelm Zenith but she most certainly matched her. “Perfect. You are absolutely perfect.”

The demanding jangle of his communicator broke Vere free of his reverie. The reploidologist quickly turned to his work station and stabbed a blinking button activating the built-in video communicator. “What?” He rasped. Tremalark, the head of Shadow Laboratory's security didn't even blink.

“We've been breached sir.” The reploid reported, his voice as bland as though he were reporting the latest stock numbers. That combined with the blast visor on his helm made the security specialist's emotional state a complete mystery. It was exactly how Vere had designed him but the doctor had come to find it incredibly annoying in the intervening years.

“By who? Who even knows we're out here?” Vere replied, glancing back at the reploid on the table then back to Tremalark. “Mavericks?”

“If only.” The security chief replied. His face distorted and was replaced by security camera footage showing a reploid in black armor gunning down Shadow Lab security bots with precise shots to the head or torso. The footage blurred slightly then came back in sharp detail displaying a close up of the intruder's face with its signature visor and silver hair pulled back in a short pony tail.

“A-Aiden!?” Vere gasped, color draining from his face. “How? He should be dead damn it!”

“It would seem Hasp and Brutus failed.” Tremalark replied dryly as his face replaced the footage. “So far we have managed to contain Aiden to the top level. However, his companion is making things difficult. Hacking the mainframe to disrupt camera signals and deactivating the automated defenses.”

Vere ran a hand over his shaved scalp and nodded. “I can block him from here. Activate the entire security force and get them armed and heading for Aiden.”

“Already on it.” The security chief responded. “You get that hacker out of our system, I'll handle the rest.” The screen went blank before Vere could reply. Not that it mattered much. The reploidologist dropped into his chair and wheeled over to his personal terminal logging in and quickly opening the mainframe's code feverishly working to locate and repair the damages.


Tremalark cut the feed to Dr. Vere's lab and turned to his tactical screens, quickly looking over the number of activated security drones. He tried desperately to push his excitement down and focus on getting the laboratory secure but couldn't quite manage to extinguish the feeling. In all his time as Shadow Laboratory's chief of security nothing had challenged his skill. Oh there had been a few attempted break-ins but the only truly thrilling moment in his career had been the escape of the Final Heights reploid and even though that entire event had been an embarrassment for the entire security team he still remembered it fondly. It was the only time he had felt truly alive.

A shifting of the light behind him sent a chill down his spine and Tremalark spun about, drawing his mega buster as he did. But he did not raise it. Not when he came face to face with a pistol muzzle that, from his perspective, had a bore bigger than his head.

“You're holding friends of mine captive.” The man holding the pistol growled. “Where?”

Tremalark felt his hands shake and cursed himself for a coward even as he took a breath to speak. “They'll be on the detention level. Three floors down. The elevator bank you passed just outside will take you there.”

The figure nodded and retracted its pistol. “Good.” He turned to go, paused, and swung around again. “Watch out for that one.” He pointed a gloved finger at Aiden, displayed on the security monitor. “He's damn good.” Tremalark managed a tight nod as the infiltrator strode away, a half-smile on his face.

The security chief turned back to his monitors ignoring the unpleasant sensation of sweat cooling in the padding of his helmet. How...he....he's dead. I saw it!


Aiden tightened the Morrigan against his shoulder and twisted his upper body around the corner. The briefest glimpse of security drones sent him whipping back as plasma blasts smashed into the space he had occupied not seconds before slagging concrete and sending shards flying in all directions. The drones were nothing compared to him in terms of skill but they had numbers and the Shadow Laboratory had been designed to be easily defended with a number of choke points and automated defenses that, if Codex were doing his job, would be inoperable.

Priming a grenade, one of his remaining three, Aiden silently counted the seconds then threw it. Brief electronic screams were cut off abruptly in a hellish wash of flames. Aiden stepped out of cover in a careful crouch, sweeping his rifle in tight arcs as he approached the smoky scene. The grenade had done its work well. Limbs and bits of flesh and armor littered the corridor along with a vast swath of blood. One drone had been bisected and its torso was trying to drag itself towards its legs. The sniper stared at the pitiful display for a brief second then ended the drone's suffering with a single round to the head.

The sudden clatter of metal boots on tile sent Aiden into a forward dive. As soon as he could see the first drone he opened fire splattering the drone's head splashing gore and bits of its positronic brain back into the face-plate of the second drone in line.

Being a drone it did not hesitate but reacted instantly, snatching its leader's still twitching corpse up by the waist and using it as a shield. Reconfiguring the Morrigan to Distance Aiden sent a round through both drones. He almost lazily chambered another round, then another, and another. Soon the second squad was just as dead as the first. Rising to his feet Aiden brushed ineffectively at the blood now coating his front. His COMM crackled and Codex's voice filled his head.

“Hokay...Some guy's trying to fix my hacks. I've got him pretty well barricaded off but y'might wanna hurry.”

“Understood.” Aiden cut the channel before Codex could continue. He really never did shut up. The next batch of drones got lucky, catching Aiden by surprise. He took a round through the left side of his abdomen before he could put them all down. Stupid. He slumped back against the wall and tilted his hand back to examine the wound, a ragged hole that oozed blood and smoke. Rummaging quickly through a pouch the sniper snatched a LiquiHeal patch and applied it quickly. It wouldn't do more than staunch the flow of blood. Shouldn't have gotten hit. Bloody drones. Aiden pushed off the wall and started down the hallway at a slow hobble, hunched forward in pain.

He paused just before another choke-point his hackles raised. There was no sound of charging busters nor the slight clank of armored plates shifting. Carefully zooming in on the barricades Aiden was surprised to find the entire locale free of drones. He couldn't begin to imagine why but it was both unexpected and unsettling. Exactly what he hated most. It would be just like Tremalark to toy with him.

With no other choice he forged ahead and grew increasingly more nervous as he passed through choke-point after choke-point without encountering a single drone. Codex met him at the elevator door. When his cloak dropped the first thing the sniper saw was his grin. It was enough to bring his blood to boil but he swallowed back the anger.

“You look like shit.” Codex noted, pulling his PC from its armored sheath on his belt. “Honestly. Getting tagged by a drone like that? I'd heard you were a pro. Pretty shoddy performance if you ask me.”

“I didn't.” Aiden growled. The hacker chuckled and gave a “what ever” as he plugged into the keypad for the elevator and got to work. Within seconds he had it hacked and the two were descending towards the finish line.

Dr. Vere's Lab.

Taking a knee Aiden jerked his thumb at the lab's sealed door keeping his rifle aimed down the corridor.

Codex worked quickly, plugging his hand-held PC into the locking mechanism and typing madly at the small keys. “C'mon you little hussy.” He muttered under his breath. “Open up for daddy Codex. Uh-huh. That's right. Ooooooooh you like it rough don't you? Yeah...yeah....yeah...GOTCHA!” He triumphantly unplugged his PC and sheathed it then entered a long code into the lock's keypad. It took only seconds for the code to process but to the two reploids it seemed an eternity before the lock disengaged with a loud metallic 'shunk' and the door rolled aside to reveal Vere huddled behind a console clutching a sleek little hold out pistol in one hand and a crumpled handkerchief in the other. As they burst in the rotund reploidologist let out a surprised squeal. Aiden was on him in an instant, all the rage and loss he felt swamping his professionalism in a single instant. Even the pain of his wound was forgotten at the sight of his target.

“A-Aiden!” Vere gasped. “Listen. I've got a bargain for you.”

“Not interested.” Aiden growled. The doctor lifted his plasma pistol. Behind his visor Aiden's eyes narrowed. The pistol's barrel wavered then sagged as he knew it would. Atticus Vere was no warrior and from the way he was shaking he knew it. It was almost pathetic really. The great reploidologist, responsible for some of the most atrocious killing machines in the world, quivering so bad his fat jiggled like Jello. Aiden's lip curled in disgust when he saw the good doctor had pissed himself. Even as he watched a fresh jet dribbled down his leg.

He lifted the Morrigan, bringing the barrel within an inch of Vere's forehead, grinning as the residual heat off the barrel made him flinch back.

“Please! Aiden! I can bring her back!” Vere stuttered, dropping his pistol. “Samantha! I can give her back to you!”


Far below Vere's laboratory two reploids looked on in concern as their human friend clenched his wadded shirt against a wound in his shoulder that still dribbled blood.

Charlie Witt's grin showed blood-streaked teeth. “Aw s'not so bad.” He said, voice hoarse with pain. “Can't hardly feel it now.”

Bison uneasily glanced at Synthia. “Isn't that a bad thing Charlie?”

“Not if you're in my shoes mate.” Charlie wheezed a feeble laugh then groaned and slumped forward. Synthia lunged for him and pushed him back.

“C'mon Charlie! Hang in there!” She pleaded, clenching his good shoulder. “Don't leave us!”

Both reploids turned their heads sharply at the sound of their cell door sliding to the side with a steel-on-steel screech. “Y'should'a brought more boys.” Bison snarled coming to his feet, fists clenched. His eyes widened when the silhouetted figure stepped out of the light and into the darkness of the cell.

“Bison.” Antigo inclined his head slightly. “Synthia.” The female reploid's mouth worked but no sound issued forth. Charlie gave another liquid laugh.

“Knew you'd get here eventually Boss.”

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