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Cross vs. Lexander Morningstar: Prelude
Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:53pm


Iron Hand security officers held back the throngs as Cross strutted through the coliseum’s public concourse. “Hey, there’s Icy Hot!” someone shouted. Tournament fans screamed excitedly and one woman flashed her breasts. “We love you, Icy Hot!” Cross merely adjusted his shades and strutted even harder as though it all meant nothing.

One little girl with a pen and pad managed to push through the crowd and dashed towards the freelance reploid. A security guard started to block her path, but Cross waved him away. “It’s okay, Jimmy.”

Patting the tyke on her head Cross asked “Want an autograph, little girl? Sure, I’ll hook you up. What’s your handle?”

In a deep voice and thick Hungarian accent the child replied “My name is not relevant. I am only charading as an autograph seeker to gain access to you.”

Cross lifted his shades. “Wow. You must have started smoking like… in the womb. You’re moms has got to be the coolest chick ever.”

“I am not a child. I was given this appearance by my employer who sent me here to deliver a message to you.”

“So what you’re saying is that you’re legal?”

“Listen to me carefully.” the courier demanded. “Lexander Morningstar is a powerful opponent, but he relies heavily upon cybernetic implants. If you disable those implants he will be rendered helpless. Wait until he fires a ‘Brimstone Blast’ from his plasma canon. The power surge will leave his defenses down momentarily. If you use your shock bola to deliver a five second burst of electricity to the back of his neck during this window it should overload his sensory implants and give you the edge that you need. Do you understand?”

With steely resolve Cross replied “It’s as good as done.”


Lexander Morningstar’s battle attire fit his brawny frame as well as the custom tailored suits he wore. The black, gray and red ensemble emblazoned with the Frost Electronics Corporation logo was sculpted to match his own impressive physique. To the naked eye it appeared to be made of mere rubber, but was in fact woven from microscopic kevlar plates that interlocked like dragon scales. This material breathed like cotton even after being treated with plasma retardant, and allowed its wearer to bend and flex during combat.

The real secret to the super light armor, however, was a thin layer of experimental gel just under the surface similar in composition to liquid Titanium X. The gooey substance remained fluid until struck, at which time the molecules would instantly realign to absorb the shock as a solid. Several Trident Tech research scientists called this "smart armor", the next generation in infantry protection, and considered it their crowning achievement. Trident Tech was of course an F.E.C. subsidiary.

Morningstar cut an impressive figure under the lights of the arena and acted the part of the champion. He oozed bravado and was as aggressive a showman as he was a businessman. None of the millions watching at home or in the stands could guess that all the confidence that he projected was actually a mask hiding deep personal insecurities.

In recent years the executive had become addicted to surgical modifications, spending a fortune on state-of-the-art implants and artificially grown muscle grafts, all installed by the world’s leading cybernetic artists in Chiba City. And each night he spent an hour floating in a smelly chemical bath just to make the bio-electronic devices synch better with his nervous system by a mere .8%

Even before entering the corporate world Morningstar had been an overly cautious army squad leader, relying so heavily upon intelligence gathering that his commanders falsely took him for cowardly. But this trait served him well when his team was the last men standing after a particularly bloody battle. Then the commanders hailed him as a genius and even Baroness Frost took interest and offered him a position in her growing empire.

Despite a meteoric rise, self doubt and paranoia never left him. The accumulation of power only made Lexander rely even more heavily upon surveillance technology to keep tabs on both rivals and colleagues alike. It was this compulsion that caused him to risk scandal and ruin by smuggling an illegal tachyon scanner beneath the coliseum floor to feed him secret data on every combatant that set foot in the arena. Morningstar would know every move his opponent would make even before the impulse left their brain.

But this ace in the hole was not enough to set his mind at ease. His next opponent had been victorious in a four-way bout that no bookie nor statistics computer had expected him to win. The mysterious reploid standing before him was a true wild card.


This time the announcer got it right. Deafening rock music blared, strobe lights flashed and colored lasers cut through the air in a thrilling display.

“Ladies and gentlemen! The Iron Hand Tournament is proud to give you the iciest and hottest fighter this side of the Free Zone, four time champion of the Octagon and legend in his own time: Killer Cross!!!”

The audience went wild. From the floor amid smoke rose Cross himself. Six beautiful, scantily clad dancers appeared with him. They writhed and pawed at the motionless reploid like he was God. With practiced precision Cross touched the recall button on his sunglasses and in a flash he stood clad in his armor. Newly polished it shined like glass under the bright coliseum lights.

When the music ended, Cross and Morningstar were left alone on the arena floor. The two gladiators stood facing each other, each ready to unleash Armageddon.

  • Surprise VisitZeo Grey, Tue Sep 29 7:38pm
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    • Cross vs. Lexander Morningstar: Prelude — Kail, Wed Sep 30 11:53pm
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              • Part 2: Meditation in an EmergencyKail, Tue Oct 20 10:38pm
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                  • CheeseburgersAxel, Fri Oct 30 11:19am
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                    • Wunderbar!Vier, Sat Oct 31 2:19pm
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