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Zenith Omega
Contrapasso VI
Tue May 25, 2010 6:58am
174.18.1.107

Contrapasso


Family Affairs


Somewhere

Angry red ribbons of agony cracked across her back. Ragged tears arced through her form leaking rivulets of lava-hot pain over every inch of her being. There were no tears. No screams.

Only pain.


***Delta City***

Antigo gestured and Bison opened the cell door. Curled in the corner of the monotonously gray room was an artificial angel. Her hair was the color of spun gold. Skin gloriously tan. When she looked up her eyes were a brilliant emerald that smoldered with rage.

But she did not move.

That was a lesson she had learned swiftly. The black-armored reploid was better than her in every way. And armed. A stinging reminder of that marred the perfect flesh of her neck. It was the first time she stood face-to-face with death. Her lack of composure still galled.

“Hello again.”

She did not reply. He could keep her trapped but he would get nothing from her. The black armored reploid showed no signs of frustration with her truculence. He gestured for the door to be closed and when it was casually leaned against it.

“Still not talking?” She sneered at that. He had the audacity to laugh.

One day I will rip your spine out and strangle you with it. She promised.

“Well m’dear I must say you’ve got me in quite a fix. See, I can’t quite bring myself to kill you and it’s a mighty waste of resources to make sure you don’t escape. Can you see my conundrum?”

Her sneer widened. If their positions were reversed she would not have hesitated to pull the trigger. For all his skill her captor was soft.

“With that I mind I’ve come up with an offer. One I think ould benefit us both. How would you like to join me? Become a mercenary. You’ve got the chassis and programming for it. In fact I’d say your combat matrix is one of the most advanced I’ve ever seen or heard of. Definitely on par with a few Hunter and Maverick programs I could name.”

“If I join, you’ll let me out of here?” He’s a massive idiot if he does.

The reploid, she refused to give him the respect of even thinking of him by name, quirked an eyebrow.

“Depends on how sincere you are.” Her expression fell and he saw it. “I wasn’t born yesterday girl. Besides, you haven’t got the right emotion chip for lying.”

The reploid shrugged. “I’ll give you a couple days to think it over.” He left and the door slid closed behind him leaving her to her scant few thoughts and all too brief memories of her active life.

***Sugi Corporation, Delta City***

Zenith whirled around instinctively forming blades around her fists as her door crashed open. Yashira dashed through and slammed against her wrapping the assassin in a bear hug and sobbing into her chest.

Extinguishing her blades Zenith let her arms drop and stared helplessly down at the small woman’s shivering form. Ever so slowly she wrapped her arms around her in a grip so fragile it was almost intangible, ready at any second to break away.

Eventually Yashira slumped against her exhausted and her crying turned to pained snuffling through which Zenith could make out words.

“James took him… Tomoe…”

The only surprise there was that James had let Yashira keep the wolf for as long as he had.

“What happened?” She asked, assuming that was a proper thing to say. The story came in bursts with slow pauses as Yashira gathered her thoughts. As it became clearer Zenith felt the strangest thing.

Guilt.

James had discovered Yashira’s hacking and come raging into her quarters to confront her. When he raised his hand against her the wolf had leapt to his master’s defense. As soon as James was out of the room a force of security drones stormed in and shot the wolf to pieces then collected the pieces and took them away.

Instinctively Zenith knew Lord Combs would never have found out if Yashira had not been searching for clues about her strange dream fragments. So she tried to soothe the girl as best she could and struggled under the unwanted burden Yashira placed on her conscience.

Just when she thought things were simmering down the thunderbolt struck.

“I’m pregnant and I want an abortion.”

Zenith went stiff with shock and ripped Yashira from her. She looked up into Zenith’s eerie yellow eyes defiantly.

“He took from me. I will take from him.”

Zenith stepped back from the Yashira, seeing her for the first time. James Combs had taken a subservient young woman and turned her into something cold and hard. The determination in her dark eyes seemed hot enough to burn flesh.

“Take me into the city.”

“I can’t.”

Yashira shrugged. “Then I will go alone.”

Zenith reacted as if stung. “You can’t!”

Yashira held up a slender finger. “Watch me.”

Zenith did. She didn’t know what to do. She knew her duties. She should report immediately to Lord Combs and reveal Yashira’s plan. But Yashira depended on her. Had called her friend. In the whirling chaos that was her mind Zenith did not know much about herself but she was certain very few beings had called her friend.

Heaving a sigh the assassin made her decision, grabbed a long coat, and followed after Yashira.

***Raven’s Nest, Delta City***

Aiden shifted his weight subtly in his chair and looked around the warehouse with his one good eye. “I thought you guys traveled around in some kind of airship.”

Antigo smirked. “Sometimes we do.”

“Whatever.” The sniper tamped down his urge to roll his eye. “I’m down with whatever your plan is. Anything’s better than sitting in that damn room.”

Antigo nodded. “Thought you might see it that way eventually.”

“Uh-huh. So how about fixing my eye?”

“Why would I do that?”

Aiden bit back a sharp retort. “I’d take it as a personal favor.”

“Well, whatever you’d take it as it just isn’t going to happen. Your friend Vere knew what he was doing. The actual eye and synthetic nerve are utterly shot. And being a custom job it’s impossible to find a factory eye that would suit you and getting something made is just too damn expensive.”

The news came as a revelation to Aiden. Always before he’d had the support and resources of the Sugi Corporation at his back. Stripped of that he felt the coldness of being utterly alone in the world for the first time. For a split second he wondered if Zenith had felt the same when she escaped. As soon as the thought occurred he ruthlessly quashed it. The bitch deserved everything she got.

“But there is a positive.” Antigo held up his hand to reveal a dangling eye patch. “Chicks dig eye patches.”

After Aiden had grudgingly settled the eye patch in place Antigo led him back down to the cells.

“There’s someone I want to reintroduce you to,” he explained, “Someone who needs you as much as you need her.”

“You kept her alive!?” Aiden muttered disbelievingly when the door whisked aside to reveal the female reploid that should have been Samantha.

“Why would I kill her?”

“Because she’ll kill you.”

“By that logic I should gun you down right now.” Antigo pressed his index finger against his head and mimed the recoil of a pistol.

Aiden ignored him and stepped into the cell. So much about her reminded him of Samantha it hurt to even look at her. Crouching in front of her Aiden put his hand forward to touch her hair. It was arrested in a vice-like grip so fast he had not even seen her move.

“Don’t touch me.”

“It’s okay.” Aiden soothed. “I’m your brother.”

“Brother?” The girl looked up at him with brilliant emerald eyes. So different from Samantha’s.

“Yeah. Vere made me as well.”

The female hesitated then slowly let her grip fall lax. “You came to kill Vere. I stopped you. This I remember.”

“Your point?”

“Why would you comfort me after what I did?”

Because I can’t be alone…

“We’re family. Family forgives.”

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