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King Wolfe

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It was odd that he was taken to a run-out-of-the-mill police station, even more so of how he was brought in. A brilliant blue sky blazed overhead complemented by the summer sun as scorching heat wrecked havoc to New York. The power grids were getting affected as the heat bent the necessary couplers maintaining the grids. The back-up generators were working just fine but at the expense of constant maintenance, the new technology surrounding the generators was fairly unstable and unreliable at times; but for the sake of funding they were kept online.

Older parts of the city, that were unaffected by the sudden technological revolution, were left in the dark. Literally. Rolling black-outs and overall structural power failure were common amongst these unprotected regions. The adherent necessity of staying with the older aesthetics of the 20th century metropolis didn’t assist as they were incompatible to the dazzling new technologies of the future.

Undaunted, however, these older communities survived with their wits, rather than to succumbed to the “easier lifestyle that leaves one unaccomplished” as they claimed. In this crummy little tri-state area, literally five blocks away from the dazzling Times Square, sat a lowly police station in the corner of nowhere and filth.

The air-conditioning had gone out but in order to accustom oneself to the insane heat the police officers had opted to bring their personal fans and other devices to keep the place cool. The more spiritual officers had brought in CDs and arcane stereos to blast their whale songs for the purpose of “Cooling our spirits, man.”

SWAT had brought him in. They were one of the oldest civil defense forces here that wasn’t completely overrun by the covert Section III. They took pride in their work, even when compared to the supersoldier Revs, Abnormals, or CEADs that Section III deployed daily to police the city.

“Looks like something outta a horror movie huh?” One of the officers claimed with a shit-eating grin, they looked at the apprehended man. His face was obscured by the nightmare black mask and the straightjacket gave him a shapeless form. His head was bowed as the men dragged him in the station. It was highly unorthodox of the SWAT unit being called in to take down one man but orders were orders.

Rumors circulated about persons of former descent to Section III running amok all over the U.S., news had never surfaced about these people so rumors were rumors. The man’s hands were handcuffed but his gait was relaxed, as if he were sleeping. The seven-man group stopped in front of the main desk in the station to approach a balding man in his forties drenched with sweat. The scowl on his face would have looked intimidating if his handlebar mustache didn’t look ridiculous caked with leftover chocolate cake.

“Just him? He doesn’t look that bad,” he mused as his eyes played over the man’s body, he certainly didn’t look intimidating in fact he looked like a teenager.

“Yeah, and here’s the thing, he was just sitting in that room alone doing nothing.” One of the officers replied, and then with a scoff he continued, “Then again, not much someone could do wrapped up like this.”

“Wait, he was like that when you got there?”

“Yep, like some wacko magician or something.” The other men laughed in agreement.

“Well we should probably take him ba-“ He stopped and looked over another man that had stepped forward. He was dressed neatly with a business ensemble but dark shades to obscure his eyes. The veteran police officer scoffed, unimpressed. He stopped the group of SWAT and flashed a quick badge.

“Excuse me, I would like to have a word with this man,” his inflection was smooth and confident, as if he were used to giving out absolute orders.

“Sorry man but,” the officer holding the captive took a closer look at the badge and noticed an odd emblem, it was of a pyramid with an eye in the center, it wasn’t something easily identifiable but they understood immediately, “Er, sorry sir, but we have explicit orders t-“

“And I am overriding those orders, now please move along and let me have a little talk with him.”

They didn’t protest any further. Stepping away from the quasi-Houdini they allowed him to stand on his own before the stranger took him by the shoulder and led him to the back of the building.

They took an interrogation room and stepped inside quickly. The neat and trim man had pushed the arrestee into the chair and reached over to the upper-right hand corner of the room to disable the camera. Sitting opposite of him on a dusty old table he took off his glasses and stared at him.

“Rumor has it that All Fiction can be sealed if they restrict movements in your hands,” the enigmatic man spoke first, “I personally don’t buy that, but it seems to have rendered you harmless, Minoru.”

Minoru said nothing and kept his head bowed. His interrogator took off his glasses and glared at him with his pale blue eyes.

“But then again, a coward like you should be used to playing dead hm?” His tone was flat and his expression was indifference as if he hadn’t cared for an answer or not. He stood up suddenly and walked over to Minoru. His hair was a listless blond and seemed to glow dangerously in the stark contrast to Minoru’s dark ensemble. He removed a syringe from his coat pocket and dangled it in front of Minoru’s face.

“They have been developing a serum to supposedly cure abnormalities or Negatives or whatever you’re calling it nowadays. The tests were good so far, there is a forty three percent success rate with the drug, but recent tests have been… less than successful,” his tonelessly and subtle indifference gave him an air of cruel stoicism, “About half of our pool were killed as a result of this, doesn’t make much of a difference with you though.”

He leaned in and started to press the needle against Minoru’s jacket.

“[Only forty three percent? You guys are slipping.]” His voice didn’t come from him but seemed to resonate in the room, vibrating off the walls, “[And you’re right though, I am harmless.]” A heavy air filled the room and the needle from the syringe bent under the weight. The agent quickly backed up to brandish his firearm until a wall of force collided with him and pinned him to the wall. He fought against his invisible bonds to no avail, he tried to choke out warnings to the other men in this building but his voice failed him. Minoru stood up slowly and deliberately and turned towards the captured man.

“[See? Harmless, you can blame me for this because it isn’t my fault.]” The words were like nails to a chalkboard. Suddenly the bonds that had restrained Minoru disappeared suddenly, erased from existence. He stood before the agent with a bright smile on his face and his messy mop of black hair ungracefully falling over his eyes.

“[Playing dead you say? I’m not good at pretending to be something I’m not Mr. Section III, so I avoid doing all of those messy acts; it’s easier sticking to what you know! Like this!]”

Minoru grabbed a handful of the man’s blond hair and with a quick tub he tore off the hair from its roots, and the man’s face along with it. Blood sprayed over the walls and Minoru’s smiling face and the intense wall of force pressed in until his internal organs were crushed under the pressure and his body collapsed in on itself.

The door opened and the balding man stepped inside to see Wayne Johnson, a lower level Section III agent tasked with the duty of subtle reconnaissance of all domestic activities in lower New York, sitting against the wall running his hand through his pale blond hair muttering incoherently to himself. Otherwise, the room was empty.

***

Minoru stepped in to look at the building. It was an abandoned warehouse in the outskirts of Manhattan. Literally centered in the middle of nowhere the building is in-between the shore of the Hudson River and an industrial park. It was a pathetic building that was smashed up from the inside, it looked like it could store about twenty thousand persons in it and was more of an auditorium than a storage place. Rusted chairs were scattered throughout the area and the walls were falling apart. It wasn’t an ideal place for a headquarters, or for anything for that manner, but it would do.

Besides it wasn’t like he was going to shell out a lot of money for a nice little building.

“Hm, I wonder when they’ll be here.” Minoru muttered to himself, his lack of altered speech indicated his calm disposition. The night before his untimely capture he had sent out a message to all of the Negatives he had come in contact with to come here, it wasn’t that hard since with All Fiction he had produced a slight telepathic ability to be able to communicate to everyone instantaneously. His Facebook got too much attention from Section III at one million friends he had to delete it lest he tempt capture.

To his knowledge he was the first arrival since the gates were locked.

***

“Nyahahaha!” Shiori’s wicked laugh echoed in pool. It was such a ridiculous investment to install a private indoor pool that was as big as an Olympic pool for a fourteen year old, but even without the help of Calipher she had managed to pull a few strings to get it done efficiently. She was sitting in the middle of the pool as she played around on some sort of electronic device that looked strikingly similar to the ancient iPod. She was cross-legged levitating a few feet off the surface of the water and was eating an obscenely large piece of bread while with her spare hand was making absurd hand motions to the far left. A machine sat to where she was gesturing to and had motion sensor probes levitating in the perimeter of the device and blinked red and green to Shiori’s movements.

It was a machine that had played five games simultaneously; Shiori felt like sitting somewhere and didn’t want to sit on the floor so she opted for the pool to play with the machine. The probes took and analyzed her exaggerated motions and translated them to movements in the game, she was playing chess, majong, Sudoku, Chinese Checkers and Kakuro at the same time.

“Man, it’s about time Section III started to actually response to that guy’s actions!” She had managed to come across news of the Section III agent that was rendered mentally unstable and was diagnosed with post-traumatic vocal disarticulation quickly by the Section III meds.

“But deploying every known supersoldier to take him and his little rag-tag team down is a bit overkill,” she took another huge bite of her bread, “Or rather, this is the perfect response! I should tell Calipher this but,” she scoffed, annoyed, “That little princess is with him, how annoying.”

She took a final bite, swallowing it whole and jumped on her feet, levitating to the pool deck. “Oh well, time to mess up their lovey-dovey moment!” She decided before running out of the room as the machine beeped and belched out in a mechanical voice: “WINNER, WINNER.”

***

Ichigo emerged from the water and took a delicious gasp of air filling her lungs. It wasn’t part of the test and in fact she had avoided any more testing for today by sneaking off and sticking to Calipher. Ichigo hated that routine of test, test, test, when all she wanted to do was remodel some more people. But more importantly she wanted to dissect that agent that had come in only twenty minutes ago. Apparently, he had a nasty run-in with someone but no one was squealing on who it was. But everyone knew that it had to be patient 005-MI-Z.

After being quiet for months it was a bit surprising to read of his sudden activity up in northern Brooklyn but it was just like him. His movements were sporadic and random, as if he were just trailing along aimlessly. Ichigo slicked back her dark hair and pulled herself out of the pool. Her standard issued swimsuit was dark blue but popped against Ichigo’s complexion, she hated the swimsuit because it was so tight. Section III doesn’t like to revise uniforms so she was forced to stick with it. Then again, a personal swimsuit would work better…

She looked over at Calipher and shook her head dismissing that thought. She tugged at her swimsuit and walked over to him; he seemed to be absorbed in his work but would take notice of Ichigo’s lone footsteps in this large and empty room. It felt ridiculous investing in a large private pool in Calipher’s quarters considering he didn’t express interest in any aquatic activities, Ichigo was the only one who used it really.

“A little birdy told me that the higher echelon was deploying every available man, woman and child to chase after… Hmm, what was his name again… Ah, Minoru.” Ichigo said in a deliberate manner to Calipher. Ichigo never cared for whatever the Negatives were doing but something about them seemed a bit… appealing.

They were considered dark beings drenched in misery, that idea was so deliciously attractive that Ichigo couldn’t help but wonder what she would be like if she joined up with the-

“A bit overkill huh?” That idea was stupid; she shouldn’t have to think of something so naïve.
 

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Since its first commercial flight in 1948, the John F. Kennedy Airport, located in Queens borough, NYC, handles most of America's international traffic. In 2109 alone, 82,514,154 passengers walked through its halls, with a cumulative area of 1,232 acres, securing its place at tenth for the world’s busiest airports. It underwent a total of forty-eight renovations and expansions to accommodate the twofold growth in traffic in the past century, and even its original architects would not recognize it today.

First-time tourist Kalden Norbu was held in awe as he followed the stream of passengers exiting the Boeing-812 and emerged from the narrow corridor into a cavernous hall lit by panels of intelligent Flexi-OLED panels that soared overhead. They displayed a marquee of an endless sky, blue with light traceries of cirrus clouds drifting into the digital wind. The vibrations of a hundred conversations percolated the air but yet did not mar the steady jazz swing that seemed to come from everywhere at once, giving, at least to Kalden’s mind, New York City its full flavor. Ahead was a mezzanine with a frosted glass walkway. Above and below stood rows of shops in which the nineteen-year-old had little interest; what he needed would come later, and at a higher price—one immeasurable by the dollar. He walked briskly past them.

As always, the lines at the immigrations checkpoint were daunting, even to the most versed of travellers. Kalden, who had rarely before seen such dense aggregations of people, found his pace slowing but his heart accelerating to make up for it. The lines reached their end sooner than he had expected, and a beady-eyed officer prompted him to come forward, with a stone-cold stare.

Still clutching his passport, Kalden lowered his hood as he approached the immigrations officer. Acquiring the forged papers required to get through the Tibetan border had been easy enough, but the doctor warned him that the real challenge waited at the American checkpoint. Please, for once let him be wrong, Kalden urged, rubbing his temples.

‘Air sickness?’ The officer’s arm shot out, waiting expectantly for Kalden’s passport. Hesitant, Kalden smiled and lowered the passport into the open hand, whereupon it was whisked into a hurricane of page turns and date stamps. The officer returned the passport with a flick of his hand. ‘Brilliant, Cain. Now I’m going to need to you place your right index finger on the glass pad, please.’

This time Kalden did not falter. Just like Doctor Xi said, time the fracture right and… The glass was cold against his finger; but before the capacitive screen could determine the exact coordinates of his fingerprints, a web of cracks splintered across the surface. Kalden’s left hand hung, clenched, beside him.

‘That’s odd.’ With seemingly great effort, the officer pulled the full weight of his girth to the counter. ‘Looks like its broken. That's one press you've got there, Mr Norbert.’ He eyed his watch, then Kalden. His shift was over in two minutes, and calling maintenance would undoubtedly eat into his off time; he wasn’t paid nearly enough to let that happen. The officer jerked his head to the right. ‘Go on. Keep yourself out of trouble. I don’t want any of your business coming back to me, you hear?’

And for my own sake, I hope so, too, Kalden thought as he retrieved his documents and crossed, for the first time, into America—land of dreams, or in his case, land of medical treatment. A fine tremor stirred in his right hand, as if possessed by a demon that sensed its nearing exorcism. Soon, he reminded. Soon, this will be gone and you will return to Orma, to your home, to your family.

His fingers were still convulsing, albeit imperceptible to any outside observer, when he flagged down a taxi. Five thousand pounds of steel, perfectly smooth, like a yellow teardrop, hovered above the road on wheels without spokes. Instead, magnetic joints articulated the rim with the car’s body, allowing for frictionless movement when the electromagnetic brakes were powered down. But although this technology was more advanced than anything Orma offered, it was rudimentary by the standards of the modern metropolis. Kalden admired the intricacies—or rather lack of thereof—of the wheel a moment longer, before the automated doors swung up and opened into the black interior of the taxi, like the mouth of a cave.

He crawled in.

’82 Canal Street,’ Kalden said, clambering into the backseat. For a while he stared at the strange retractable bands beside each seat and wondered for what was their purpose. ‘And where is the nearest money changer?’

The driver pressed a button which closed the door, and pulled the taxi on the road. ‘Bang in the center of Chinatown, and you’re chasin’ decent rates? If there’s one thing the Chinese are good at, it’s fleecing your dollar. Nah, man, take it elsewhere.’

‘I’ll bear th…’ Kalden’s voice trailed off as the taxi emerged from roofed pick-up point and the New York City’s majestic skyline slid into view. Towering monoliths of glass and steel, each over a hundred stories tall, spired into the heavens. They came in an assortment of shapes and sizes, but all symbols of America’s economic eminence: cylinders, sleek rectangles, buildings that looked like boat sails, towers without end; all reflected in the slow-moving surface of the Hudson River in a smeared replica that plunged into unknown depths. The sun flared from behind, basking the cityscape in a golden halo that set the river alight.

In the driver’s seat Miguel Fernando smirked. In the passing seconds that they absorbed the colors and textures of the landscape, tourists were all the same. The city’s architecture had a beauty that transcended all barriers of language, caste and belief. Easing his back into the chair, he turned up the volume of the radio, and the voice of a female reporter filled the vehicle.

And so it seems that after two years, the Catalyst saga has opened once again, with the transfer of bioengineering corporation, Luculent Science’s, original prodigy—the mysterious individual known to America only as Patient 005-MI-Z—to an undisclosed location away from the New York Federal Court. The exact reasons of the transfer are not clear, though eyewitnesses report SWAT involvement. One thing remains clear, however: it must have been one hell of a catch.

As of 12:54 PM, two hours ago, the twenty-four hour restriction on movement within New York City was lifted, and citizens may now travel freely between boroughs without concern of roadblocks and spontaneous ID checks. The NYPD apologizes to all individuals detained, who lacked appropriate identification at the time, but claims the benefits of national security justify the drastic measures taken.

I, for one, will be glad for the extra thirty minutes in bed tomorrow morning. Over to you, Tom, for sports updates.

Kalden bolted in the backseat, spine erect, eyes wide, hands frantically groping his pockets. Luculent Science! he thought. Doctor Xi made mention to it last week. Feeling with his fingers, he pulled a scrap of crinkled paper from the denim and snapped it open. On one side was a scrawl of messy handwriting, a list of names and places. Somewhere in the middle of the list, blotted unrecognizably by a water stain, was the address for the office of Luculent Science: Creating The Perfect Human. Okay, you know the plan: check in with the doctor’s associate in Chinatown, then head to LS, get the cure, and get out.

A final tremor quivered his right index finger against his thumb in a light pinching motion, and then there was stillness. Kalden savored every second of these respites, but they were few and too far in between; and it seemed that as he inched closer to the cure, they grew further apart.

He threw his back on the seat cushion and allowed the taxi to sweep him onto the first step of recovery.
 

AxelYoYo

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Christina Folkson stood in front of JFK Airport, her eyes wide and full of wonderment . Chris watched it evaportate into nothing, feeling like nothing herself. Inside her coat pocket was the Swiss Army Knife, rusted from lack of age and water, that she had used to kill somebody the day before. She dared now use her powers, since she had no use for it just yet.

Nervousness swept through the fourteen-year old like a Winter wind: bitterly cold and never stopping. She barely felt this way in situations like this, as she stared at the airport, wide eyed and hands buried deep in her skinny jean pockets. Do I have everything? The familiar feel of a the leather bound passport reminded her that she did. The black Veria backpack was strapped tightly to her back, made customly with the last bit of money she had left. Taking a deep breath, Christina took a step forward, slowly, then gradually increasing her speed along the crowd.

People pushed, proded, shoved, and said nothing as the girl went through, keeping her head low. She needed to get to her plane, and quick. She despised taking a long time to get somewhere, rolling her eyes at the long line at the Ticket Counter. While waiting, she took in her surroundings, marveling at such a huge place. She had never been to JFK Airport nor had she ever flew on a plane. The anitcipation to fly on one grew in her gut, making her reach for her ribs. \

Above her, through transparent glass panels, she saw the sky. A beautiful creation, she had said once, The sky's perfect. Too bad it wasn't real. That reality hit her heart painfully like an arrow, but chose to take pleasure in the shooting pain in her heart, smiling softly as if she was thinking of other things like boys or new clothes to the world outside her thoughts. The place buzzed with different people of different places. Voices rang through the air like a bird's voice, low and high. Music played somewhere in distant speakers, bringing light entertainment to those waiting. Chris smelled food, early breakfeast food, and she clutched her stomach.

She should not had spent her money on the damn pack. "Excuse me, miss? You're up you know," a man behind her remarked. She nodded in reply, avoiding the man's eyes, and stepped up to the Ticket Counter. She tyed in a couple numbers and yeses and nos, checked her seat, and printed out the ticket. Good. She had a seat in the very back. She walked through the crowd silently, keeping away from employees and older adults, otherwise, they'd think she was a stray looking for her mommy and daddy.

A small tingling appeared somewhere above her pelvis area. Time for the bathroom. Chris scanned the airport for the nearest one, saw it, then walked calmly towards it. Unfortunately, there was a long line, much to her annoyance and the idea of severing the ladies in the line came to mind. Yet Chris didn't want that much blood shed....

Not now anyways. As she tapped her foot, rolling her eyes whenever a woman took too long to dry her hands or fixed her make-up. Things like that could've been done on the plane or better yet, outside where there other mirrors as well. When Chris's turn came up, a hefty large old woman with curly white hair and a lacy black dress, shoved past her to the nearest stall. Chris's stall. Anger boiled up in her gut as her eyes narrowed at the wobbling fat woman.

Christina grabbed her wrist, pulling back sharply before the woman opened the door to the blue stall. She met eyes with the ones of Christina and recoiled. "Yes, dear?"

"You...stole my place," she said with an incredibly icy tone, gripping hard to prove it as well. The hefty woman barely winced. "Hmm? I did not, child! You were behind me, I know that." she remarked, hoping her lie would cover up.

But Chris knew better, being a liar herself -- and much more of a professional then this old hag, who was trying to outsmart someone like herself. "No. No." At this point, the Negative hated her lack of speech to mere humans, once not as powerful as she.

"Honey, I was though. Ask any woman in line," she said sweetly, turning away from the still latched Christina. "Let go, please."

"No."

"Honey--"

"I said no." Chris tightened her grip so hard, her hand crushed through the wrinkly skin of the old woman, splurting blood in this streaks. She shrieked, shoving the Negative away, running for the sink. The ladies in line noticed this, widening their eyes in surprise at the girl. Christina watched the old hag writhe in pain as she cleansed the wound, fat tears streaming down her dropping cheeks.That should teach her, she thought.

Ignoring the glances and whispers, Christina put her head up, nose sniffing the air and pushed the stall door open. She unbuttoned her jeans, sitting on the cool seat. The Old hag began to bang on the stall door, shaking it with each punch of her meaty hand. Christina's eyes popped open as she looked up at it. "Let me in you little brat!" sighing loudly, Chris pulled her jeans up, flushed, and merely stood there in the small stall. She would let the woman bang. She would let the woman except the fact that would come to her.

Imagine her body....imagine her fist...imagine it..... Chris closed her eyes, shutting herself away from the world for just a fraction of a second. She could see where the woman was banging on the door, sicne it made invisible marks that only Chris could see. Letting the anger pour out in severing, she heard the familiar silence. The shocked silence of having something cut of you in a second. Glancing down, the Negative saw a drop of blood appear on the tip of her little nose. Wiping the bead off, she tasted it. Gross, she decided.

"Oh....my...hand. My hand!" the woman began to cry like a wailing banshee, screaming and throwing blood all over from the would, bleeding profusely from where Chris watched, from behind the crack of the stall. That'd teach her. Hag. She grinned widely, seeming widely sinister in the small light pouring on her otherwise angelic face.

SHe opened the door, slowly, then made a turn to her right to the other side of the bathroom where she could leave the other way. No one noticed her, as they were trying to calm the banshee shrieking woman down.
 
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He wasn't far from the rendevous point. He had received the same telepathic message that Master had sent to all Negatives affiliated with him- Meet him at Manhattan Warehouse 7, timing didn't matter as long as they all got there.

"Hmph." Zero-Nine thought to himself as he walked the pathway winding through Central Park. "I could just protect him myself, but no, invite all of us for one massive gangway. Watch us all get captured...."

He wasn't looking forward to meeting with any of the others. He'd rather hang the lot of them by their intestines than let them take too much of an interest in the young Master. But then again, good help was hard to find these days. Plus, he didn't want to piss the young Master off by killing his servants; He was too loyal to make such a mistake...And meet such an unnecessary demise. Taking another swig of the Cola bottle he had bought from a vending machine, he turns left on the path.

The morning was relatively quiet; The last of the crickets from the previous night were making their last calls. The slight breeze felt good on his bare skin. (He was shirtless. He didn't need his special sweater for something like this. Besides, why hide his body? He was hot....and he knew it.) Seemed a rather uneventful walk.

The path starts to slope down underneath a bridge as Zero-Nine spies three men walking from the other side. Two of them had their hands up in the air. From there, it was two plus two equals four.

Most likely some stoners caught smoking or vandals that had resisted arrest. (Manhattan wasn't paradise.) But they were insignificant. It was the third man, whose blue-colored shirt was becoming more clearly visible with each step Zero-Nine took.

He may not be as well-known in this area, but Zero-Nine was already wanted by the authorities. If it hadn't been for the apartment that the young Master had bought for him through 'underground connections,' Zero-Nine would be in a jail cell; or worse.....Back in the Program.

This one was occupied with the stoners that he was now ushering against the under-bridge's brick wall.....Some good ol'fashioned silence should give this one the slip. Best not to draw attention to himself.

Zero-Nine puts his hands in the pocket of his jeans and walks right on by the spectacle.

"It's not mine, I tell ya!"

"Likely story, Rodry. This is the third time I've caught you with the same stuff-"

"I wanna lawyer!"

"Quiet, you!"

So far, so good......

"Hey, you there!" The cop's voice could be heard. "Freeze!"

He was almost back onto the path when the cop had shouted. Just as he was making his getaway. Zero-Nine was sure he knew where all of this was headed.

With an irritable sigh, Zero-Nine stops short.

"Hands where I can see 'em!" The cop shouts, the man pointing his gun at Zero-Nine.

Zero-Nine obeys, putting his hands above his head.

"Where are you going?" The cop asks. "I was headed home." Zero-Nine lies. "Until you randomly pulled the gun on me."

"So if I search your pockets, I won't find any illegal substances?" The cop asks defensively, edging closer to Zero-Nine slowly, his gun still brandished. His tone was nervous, angry. This was either the man's first day on the job or an area of the neighborhood he hasn't had enough experience in. It showed. Zero-Nine could cut him to pieces so easily....But, why make a scene?

"By all means." Zero-Nine says. "Just hurry up so I can go home."

When the cop gets close enough, he starts to rummage through Zero-Nine's pockets. All he had was five dollars and some cards.

"Ok, your'e clear." The cop says. "Look at me."

This was pointless. His master was expecting him soon......He couldn't waste time.

Zero-Nine obeys the command, looking directly into the policeman's eyes.

The officer was nervous. His eyes were struggling just to keep Zero-Nine in his sights. The gun shook in his hand, a small bead of sweat fell from his forehead. He was nervous alright.

"Wait a minute......" The authority figure says, his eyes narrowing in suspicion. "You look familiar...."

"I don't know you. I've never met you, I've never even heard of you." Zero-Nine says angrily, putting his hands to his sides in apparent disgust. "Can I go now? I'd like to be home BEFORE next Christmas."

"I know who you are; your'e that guy that slaughtered ten police officers back in Colorado two years ago!" The man shouts, putting his gun by the trigger. Great, Zero-Nine's cover was blown. "I'm gonna make you pay for killing my brother, you psychotic freak!"

The gun goes off, but it doesn't hit it's intended target. The officer was so close to Zero-Nine that disarming him was a snap. The gun throttles to the floor while the two stoners the man had been searching take the chance to flee.

"AAAHHHH!" The man screams in agony as Zero-Nine pins his enemy's now-dislocated arm behind his back, immobilizing his enemy with the pain of it all. For a policemen, this man had a low constitution. And what's worse? Zero-Nine was wearing his gloves......Pity. He was in the mood to make the man suffer.

"Hhmhmhm...." The Negative chuckles evilly, tuning out the man's painful whimpers. "If you'd have shot firstinstead of making some grand speech on behalf of your brother, you may have gotten your so-called 'revenge.'"

"I'll kill-AAAHHHH!" The man screams again, as Zero-Nine applies force to the man's arm. He knows what he's doing. A bit more pressure and the arm will come flying off.

"Hmph....policemen make good prey. Shame I'm in a hurry."

While Zero-Nine keeps the man's arm pinned with his left hand, the Negative proceeds to rub his right glove onto the edge of his jeans. No, he wasn't cleaning it or doing anything weird. With every rub, the glove begins to come off little by little, until it casually slips to the ground, revealing Zero-Nine's bare hand. The Negative wiggles his now-free fingers as the blood begins to flow in.

Zero-Nine's face widens into a sadistic grin while the officer's face contorts into fear. The Negative knew what was coming, he didn't.

"What's your last name?" Zero-Nine asks casually.

"......"

"Tell me or the arm comes off." Zero-Nine says, putting force on the pinned arm.

"B-Barofsky." The man states.

"Ok, thanks." Zero-Nine says.

The Negative finally places his bare hand onto the man's neck. The whole thing was sweaty. He could feel the man's pulse.

"N-No, please!" The man whimpers. He probably thought Zero was going to rape him or something.

Zero-Nine grunts in irritation. That same feeling in his head......Like he was being shocked or something. A thousand little pinches on his brains. It was like needles.

After about a minute and a half, his captive's body started slowing down. Enough was enough.

With a rough push, Zero-Nine flings the man onto the ground; while his head begins returning to normal.

The officer begins grunting and shaking violently, as Zero-Nine decides to take the man's walkie-talkie from his belt....just in case.

Zero-Nine had directly touched the man's neck, which was pretty close to the brain. It would be a matter of minutes before his entire nervous system would shut down.

He needed to move. The officer's partner would no doubt come looking for him soon.

"Good-bye, Mr. Barofsky." Zero says as he turns his back on his victim, proceeding to walk back onto the path leading up to the other side of the bridge they were under.

"And don't worry. It may hurt now, but soon.....well, you won't feel a thing." Zero-Nine finishes, a sick grin on his face.

------------

Zero-Nine finally arrives at Warehouse Seven a few minutes after the incident underneath Central Park. The park was a shortcut that cut through the city, seperating the suburbs from the docks. It was either that, or take two buses to get here. After the cop thing, maybe it was would be wise to take the buses next time.....With a hooded shirt!

He jiggles the gate with slight force, but it refuses to budge.

The gate was locked down. Was it the Master's doing? No matter. Zero-Nine grabs one of the gate's bars, places his foot between two more, and proceeds to climb up and over the gate, finally jumping down to end up on the other side.

A closed door. Must be the entrance.

With a push, the door squeaks open.

There was MI-Z, in the ceneter of the room.

"Ah, my lord. I apologize for the delay."
 
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Mistearea

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Arios listens as the metal door slides to a close behind him and cuts off the annoyed ramblings of one of his many superiors. He quickly recalls how this rant was caused by Arios walking into the building wearing civilian clothes for the third time this week, a personal record. The whole concept of uniforms for those that work the streets never really did make much sense to Arios because at times there are times when a person needs to be inconspicuous. And the only way that a person can blend in while wearing a black suit just happens to be in the areas where all of the biggest businesses are or where the courts are. He knows that there are a few other places and even places that most people don't even know about, but he decides to put that aside and let his mind focus on something a little more important.

His mind chooses the topic of that one Section III member that was just brought in looking like he deserved something worse than a padded room. Arios shakes the image out of his mind quickly enough and begins to focus more on the thought of what might have caused it to happen. His mind automatically leaves out 005-MI-Z because of how silent the person has been lately, but there are not many people that can send a perfectly healthy Section III member into a world that not even God could come up with. He sighs at the thoughts of what that one person could do only remember that he himself is just a normal human, except for the cybernetic enhancements. Regardless of what he's capable of, Arios decides to put off his thoughts for the time being and instead focus on something that will actually make him healthy. He needs to change his clothes anyways, or so says the Chief.

Arios walks into the locker room for the combat personnel and quickly locates his locker. He presses his left thumb against the small keypad and waits half a second before opening the metal box. He takes out the clothes and puts them over his body after stripping down to his own unders and closes the small compartment. At that moment he begins to wonder if the other two like himself will end up joining him in the exercise room. He eventually shrugs at the thought and walks into the main room where several machines are resting for the moment with only a few others being used by normal humans. Arios quickly finds his favorite bench to do bench presses on and looks at the touch pad at the base. He thinks about how much weight to add on today before finally deciding to get a decent warm-up with 500 pounds.

With the weight now in he lies back on the bench and grips the metal bar tightly. He easily lifts the bar off the two prongs holding it in place and begins to lower it slowly. He briefly touches his chest with it and pushes back up once more. He makes a mental note to do fifty reps and three sets but something else catches his ear. One of the men running on a treadmill gets the attention of his friend and says, "Hey, did you hear about Johnson? He's supposed to be blowing bubbles in a padded room. What do you think caused it?" To this the second man smiles at the comment and says, "It was most likely stress. I mean, Chief gets on to everybody about everything! If you have a button one millimeter off-center, he jumps your ass about it." Arios can't dissagree with that one. The crazy guy just sits behind his desk and barks out orders that piss off everyone simply because his wife recently left him for some guy working at the hotel they stayed at on vaction last summer.
 

Hazen Gregory

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How awkward was it that Corbinek was sitting munching on a gigantic cheeseburger from a food joint that should have went out of business long ago??

It was simply too bad that the burger was more delicious than anything that Corbinek had ever tasted in his life, but maybe it was just that he was just tired and wasn't are of the terrible and literally body rending effects of such a massive amount of beef and bi-products.

"Oh man I can't believe how good this is!!! Like the beef is sooo succulent, I dunno how I'm gonna deal with it right now." It was that time of day where Corbinek knew that nothing was going to stop him from being himself, so instead of being prudent and eating his burger daintily and registering the emotions of those near him with a smile...he pigged out and tore into the burger with such fervor that the short lady next to him stared in disbelief and wonder. "Yes darling I love my meat, but that's not to say which kind or how I want it..."

There after seemed like a fast forward as outside nobody walked the streets, only a stray dog ran forward to sniff at the dumpster beside the burger joint that Corbinek had exited. It wqs within evil acting tendencies to seriously kill both the dog and everybody else that was still inside Sonic, but as a good person Corbinek felt that there was no reason to do such a thing, so he didn't and instead walked over and leaned down...petting the dog instead...
 

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Small light clicks of a keyboard were quietly ringing in the private pool. The air was comfortable and the water would only be disturbed by one woman out of two that would be allowed in it. At his lay back positioned chair with a black color and still having that newly bought furniture smell, the leader of Section III's militaristic forces was looking at his laptop monitor with a dull expression on his face. Viewing the prospects without much interest in them, his left hand would fly across the board, going down the list and crossing out those who would not stand any chance in returning someone like The Original back to Section III. Even now, he was trying to think of some strategies that don't rely on brute strength. To be frank, most of the choices he had were useless, or ...yeah, useless.

A lot of names were crossed out on this list of choices. Every man, woman, and child for this one man meant that he was a high-priority target, yet with such a dangerous person, no one really stood a chance against that kind of power. The Original had more than likely found many allies to join him in the destruction of this organization, but there were hardly any worth mentioning at this time. He didn't care for the targets allies, not at all. The only real threat to Section III's stability and existence, was the target in question. Calipher, the man behind the screen, was beginning to narrow down the people available for deployment and wasn't impressed. The only reason he hasn't thrown this laptop in the pool already was because his lover had gave it to him as a gift, with a very large hard drive to store all the information he had acquired and needed at any given time. Speaking of which, Ichigo was climbing out of the pool and had begun to address him.

She had begun to step over to him, and he could hear the water dripping off her body from his own location in the corner of the room. He had no reason to look up, since he'd get the view of her soon enough. Her towel was laid across his lap, exactly where she had set it before diving in. If he didn't know any better, Calipher would think she'd want to rest at that exact spot, but Ichigo didn't seem the type of girl to show that much affection. One day maybe, and unless he was lucky, it wasn't now. Sighing silently, he lifted his right fist that propped his head up as it rested lazily to the right.

"Shadows hear much more than birds, and sooner." He had known of this information since it was uttered and before anyone had thought of telling him. Snapping his now free fingers, his shadow pulled itself from Calipher's left wrist, taking the towel with a dark and clawed hand, and quickly extended itself to Ichigo, handing it to her. In the meantime his computer had pulled up three files, and there were still a handful more to glance through.

"Overkill might be necessary to even come an inch to matching him ..and even that doesn't seem enough. Strength may not count here, I'll need to strike him elsewhere .." Sitting up from his resting chair, he gripped the laptop by the sides and lifted it up. Taking the time to roll his stiff neck around, he would beckon Ichigo over with only his words. "Come take a look at what I have to work with."

Sliding his left hand under the precious hardware, his fingers would once again dance across the keyboard, and a close up of the profiles was initiated, starting with Oriana.

"Telepathy and some other abilities but utterly useless by herself. Minor hand-to-hand training which won't do any good against the target. Verdict: Death ..I'd hate to underestimate a pawn but I can't afford to ignore that Minoru's strength. She'd be dead in under a minute, and I sincerely doubt her powers can work on him. It may require sanity ..something The Original might have lost already.."

A single tap on the downward arrow key would move to another; Arios Jigen.

"A CEAD and very useless at that, with minimal offensive capabilities and no real deployment value, he's as expendable as the average armed gunman. Verdict: Death."
if it came to Minoru, no one was capable enough. "He'd be dead before he even processed it .."

And finally, he'd move down to the last one; Sasha Barington.

"And Section III's own personal slut herself. Guns, useless. Everything about her is superhuman ..yet still it's going to take more than even what this useless whore has in her own arsenal. I've narrowed down a handful of people capable, and I'm thinking of marking her off as well. Death ..."


Shutting his laptop, he set it on the table to his left and had chosen to slowly rest back against the chair, enjoying its reclining comfort. Pushing his glasses up, Calipher was all but discouraged. There was no target he couldn't arrange for a quick death ..but this demon, this Minoru, there was something else he'd need to play. Even that ancient Superman with all his strength had a weakness, and Minoru must've had Kryptonite himself. A woman ..but that was unlikely, and he didn't want to imagine the fourteen year old brat working him over, whatever her name was.

"So a telepath without the ability to handle high-value targets on her own, a useless CEAD I wouldn't allow to go after a cat stuck in a tree, and a superhuman slut who would likely rather give him fellatio than capture him. This just spells disaster ..I'd be better off sending them after any allies he's acquired to keep them busy." Looking up towards the pale white ceiling, he was growing irritated by the moment, but didn't show it. Everyone and their mother could get into this program these days.

"..I'm not one to quit, but these pawns aren't powerful enough for Minoru. I'll check on the list of Negatives in a moment, but for now .." His eyes looked to her, but his body didn't move at all. "Would you like a seat while I mull things over..?"
 

King Sora X

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Sasha Barington
Location: New York City - Outside Section III HQ

“Buuuuut daaaaadddy!!” Sasha said in a complaining tone. Her emphasis clear as the blue sky above.

“No buts Sasha” Sasha’s father said sternly as his stature matched his tone. His brown hair nearly brushed backwards with hairspray or some kind of hair product of the sort held it in a professional form. His skin was pale, and he had a bulky build. “The boss has ordered you to stay put on account that you might be needed for an upcoming battle.”

Sasha said nothing in response. Instead, she just stomped her feet on the ground in an obvious manner. Her face all puffed up, and she stomped away as her feet led her back inside the Headquarters. What she didn’t really get was what was the point of having Super-soldiers or Abnormals around if their use is going to be used only every once in a while.

As Sasha made her way back into the HQ, something came to her mind. what if some of those lackies of the original one decide to attack the HQ in broad daylight. That wouldn’t be good. Along with other things, that one thought of the chance of the HQ being attacked lingered in Sasha’s mind for several more minutes until she overheard something that she shouldn’t heard. There was word of some kind of mess going on over at the Police Station by Times Square. No matter how much Sasha wanted to go to the scene, and check it out, if she were to disobey direct orders from the boss, then she’d be in a world of hurting. And let’s be honest, Sasha didn’t handle well with the boss, especially since she tried to hit on him a few times. The only reason she’s still around is cause she’s tough as nails.

After walking for a few minutes up the stairs, and all through the HQ, Sasha came a stop to her area of the building where her desk was. There wasn’t much to do for Sasha until her orders were given, so I guess she can just sit back, and do the paperwork that’s been stacking up the past week. Giving a quick sigh, Sasha sat down and just did the boring shit that she had pushed off.
 
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Walking the halls of section III Acesto had his near full attention in a hard back book. It was titled 'Holes' and was about a kid who was wrongly convicted of a crime and sent to a camp located on a dry lake bed. He must have read it at least ten times, but it never got too boring and was nice to read until he got something new to engross himself in. He was headed towards Calipher's work space, he had something to discuss with him. Stopping his stride as he reached his office he knocked on the wooden door, his face still in the book. After about ten seconds without an answer he knocked again, yet there was no answer. Obviously he was out, in which case there was one other place he could find him. "Great..." He closed the book, letting out a tired sigh. If he wasn't here then he was most likely in his 'private pool' which meant that he would have to wait to see him.

"Looking for the boss?" A monotone voice sounded from behind him. Turning around Ace was greeted by Pepper's bored looking face. "Why hello Pepper, how are you?"
"I am clearly fine, please answer my question."
"Honestly, you need to loosen up sometime. You're way too serious, in fac-"
"Acesto... You've wasted fifteen seconds so far, answer my question or I will leave."
"Fine fine, yes I'm looking for the boss, but I think he's in his private pool so I'm just going to have to wait. By the way, why are you here? Do you have something to ask him as well? Wait let me guess, it's about subject 005-MI-Z right?" That's was why he was here, the news of Minoru's little 'show' at the police department spread fast.
"Yes, that is why I am here, I would like to discuss what actions we will take regarding 005-MI-Z. He continues to be an odd subject, letting himself be captured only to break free and traumatize someone."
"Yeah, he's odd for sure..." Ace mumbled, reflecting upon all he's heard of Minoru. His random nature only made it even more difficult to predict what he'd do next. Shrugging his shoulders he walked past Pepper. "Well anyway, I'll see you later. I'm going to wait for the boss."



Watching Acesto walk off Pepper headed in the opposite direction. She had wanted to speak to Calipher, but simply waiting for him to give orders was another option. In the mean time there was something else she wanted to do. Opening the door to the exercise room she walked inside. She didn't come here to try and become stronger, since her arms and legs were completely synthetic and could only be made stronger with mechanical alterations. She was here to see if it was even possible for her to push past her built in limits. She noticed Arios was already here working out. As she was now she was most likely a bit stronger than him, however with his body he could surpass her by training. "Hello Arios..." She said, positioning herself right above his head.
 

King Wolfe

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Ichigo took the towel gratefully and began to carefully dry herself off. It was rather odd, this situation of theirs. They were, in essence, trying to stop a major civil war that could be started by one man for reasons unknown yet nearly half of the United States didn't even know about this man. Rumors and speculation ran rampant but Section III poured all of their power into covering up his existence, somehow, though, it still got around. While Minoru didn't seem like a man who didn't like attention it wasn't out of the question that he would spread those rumors of himself to goad Section III into fessing up. But that didn't seem like his style either.

Or something like that. Ichigo listened to Calipher as he spoke and she couldn't help but feel a little... relieved that he was concerned about this situation. Calipher was always a serious person and took his duty without jest but Ichigo always figured that due to his inhuman nature that he didn't care about the human world much less someone like Minoru or Section III. To him, she thought, it was all a useless little argument between two neighborhood bullies. But the fact that he was taking it seriously meant a few things. 1. He was becoming human due to his prolonged exposure to humans, 2. He liked his paycheck where it was. Maybe she should consider option number two a bit more seriously.

Ichigo dried her hair and when she was asked to take a look at what Calipher had so far she took the initiative. She leaned forward and pressed her body against Calipher's neck and causally draped her arms over his shoulders. He went through three soldiers from Section III and explained their capabilities and how they would stack up against a Negative like Minoru. Ichigo didn't want to tell him that she had already personally overlooked everyone in Section III, not once but four times, because she had a huge responsibility to improve her augmentation process to make persons of her caliber in a more efficient and quicker manner. Besides, she liked this moment right now. In any other situation, bad luck seems to be in love with Ichigo since whenever she actually had a chance to do something like this, something would interfere. Nine times out of ten it would be Shiori, otherwise it would be people Shiori sent to mess things up.

Ichigo didn't like Shiori, not only because she didn't approve of Ichigo but because she had this little... quirk about her that made her seem like a Negative. That and the way she eats was kind of weird. Ichigo placed her head on Calipher's right shoulder and looked straight into his eyes when he looked at her.

"Sure, a seat sounds rather lovely right about now." Ichigo managed a faint, listless smile and took a seat opposite of Calipher. She leaned back naturally and propped her feet up to make herself comfortable. "Minoru doesn't seem like the type to give two shits about anyone he acquires. Look at his track record, he's screwed over so many people it is amazing he managed to find anyone to help him. Because think about it, he's lived his whole life trapped in a place he deemed the seventh ring of hell so he naturally became wary with who he trusts, that and take in the fact that he seem literally incapable of telling the truth you got an insane man running around recruiting other insane persons telling them anything he wants to get them on his side. So there is no room for trust, it's probably a huge lie."

***

"Yo! Paprika!" Shiori calmly materialized in right of Pepper with a bowl of ramen in her hands. She had no other eating utensil in her hands but seemed adamant in eating. "I've been meaning to tell you," a mischievous glint shined in her eyes, "The Recalibration machine over there," she pointed her finger to a lone green machine sitting in the corner of the room, "Was checking you out the other day. I think he likes you, but that guy is a playboy. I heard that he was with the pinball machine and the Physical Trainer at the same time! You know that the Physical Trainer gets around, I heard she had to.. you know," she made suggestive clicks and whistles to get her point across, "Do that with some of the higher ups to keep her job."

Shiori shrugged and took a swig of her ramen - yes she drank it - then continued, "I know, I know, the Physical Trainer gets around but that doesn't mean you aren't as good enough as her. I'm sure someday you'll find someone - or something - that loves you for who you are. Ah! Maybe a refrigerator!" She took another huge gulp of her ramen finishing the entire thing in one go. Then she looked at Arios and gave him a crooked smile.

"I love working out! In fact I'm on a severe diet to bulk up, I'm drinking two liters of ramen everyday and so far the results show!" She proved her point by kicking the bowl of ramen in a random direction hitting a nearby person knocking him out. "See? It makes the bowls harder for some reason!"

***

Minoru stopped himself from giving Aur- er, Zero-Nine a weird look. Don't get me wrong. It isn't like he didn't like the determination he showed to Minoru often, but he just found it a bit weird that he took it a bit far sometimes. Instead Minoru gave him a weak smile and waved his hand dismissively.

"No problem, it's just a little weird that you're first. Well not really, but man you would think that the Negatives would have a sense of urgency. Can't believe that they aren't here yet. Some people these days you know?" It was a rhetorical question because Minoru could guess his response so it wouldn't be necessary.

Scratching his head Minoru looked across the room to see it was a bit of a mess. He could always tidy it up with All Fiction or he could have his little minion do the job for him. Granted the former was easier, and quicker, but still, why have minions if they aren't going to do anything?

"Ah, while you're here I need you to tidy up a bit. Dust a few chairs off and set them up, oh and there is a projector in the back room, I need you to set it up along with the screen." It was rudimentary technology from a simpler time but it would do. He pointed up to the ceiling, where the projector should be set up. It was about forty feet high, I wonder if there is a ladder that goes up that high.
 

Klom89

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Zero-Nine saw the weird look in his Master's eye as he greeted the Negative; but chose not to address it lest he spark an argument. This wasn't the only time that MI-Z acted slightly uncomfortable around him. It always gave Zero-Nine the impression that his Master didn't like him....But that was irrelevant. He'd address it at a later time.....Hopefully when MI-Z was less worried.

"No problem, it's just a little weird that you're first. Well not really, but man you would think that the Negatives would have a sense of urgency. Can't believe that they aren't here yet. Some people these days you know?"

"Well, I DO live in the area, Master....." Zero-Nine says. "Still, a lax loyalty isn't surprising among our kind. They ARE still getting to know you, after all. Unless they get any funny ideas....in which case I'll have to pay them a visit."

Now HE was the one that felt awkward. This banter was useless. Even towards one he practically called a father figure, he still couldn't properly converse. He was better in battle than in peace....

He sees MI-Z look around the room as he does the same. It was a pigsty. chairs thrown around and everything.

"Ah, while you're here I need you to tidy up a bit. Dust a few chairs off and set them up, oh and there is a projector in the back room, I need you to set it up along with the screen."

"By all means." Zero-Nine says as he starts performing the appointed tasks. "Oh, wait where's the-Oh, there it is.'


Before doing anything else, Zero-Nine goes into the back room and brings the projector out, standing it in the center of the room.

He then picks up a duster from a nerby shelf that was conveiniently placed there, and starts dusting a chair off.

Dusting off the chairs were easy enough, but it was that projector that he had brought out that would prove cumbersome.

"Now let's see, how to work these again?" Zero-Nine says as he experiments with a button. That opens the camera-eye edge of the contraption. He spent the majority of his life on the run, and in Colorado, the least tech-savvy area of the continent. He was still getting used to all of the gadgets and gizmos of this region. Speaking of gadgets and gizmos, where was his claw weapon? Oh, that's right.....He gave it to one of the others for maintenance. What was his name again? That one that always made up those weird words....

After hitting a few more buttons, (he manages to get the device to emit a bright light that extends across the room. Now there was just the matter of the screen and setting up.

As he walks across the room to set up the screen, he starts to think.

"No, not again! Not the needle!"

"Humans! Pathetic Humans!

"Brenia, you bitch! I'll tear your head out of your-AAAAAHHHHH!"

A shout from MI-Z wakes Zero-Nine out of his stupor. Zero-Nine found himself clutching his head; while his breathing was more erratic than it should have been. He felt the right side of his face. A tear was dripping from his right eye. It must have happened again. Random memories from his days as a guinea pig were just flashing themselves in his mind....Like a slideshow without an end.....

He thought he had gotten over that time......His hatred of Humans was the last remnant of that time that he cared to remember.

With an irritateed shrug, Zero-Nine retorts "I'll finish setting up now."
 

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Chris glanced behind her, checking for any followers from the bathroom. Not that she really cared. If anyone dared follow her, they'd get what was coming to them. But the coast was clear, save for the many other people of the airport. She brushed one of her long pig tails back, looking for an empty seat that was both secluded and away from other people.

She saw one, several paces to her left. An open bench like seat with the finest leather cushions. Above it, screans blared the icoming and outgoing flights. Chris scanned them all, eyes blurring form the veer blinking lights and numbers, switching from there to here. She set her pack down, unzipping it.

Suddenly, she felt the hair on her neck stiffen. Chris looked around, wide-eyed and fearful. She felt like someone was watching her. The woman from the bathroom? A quick glance reasurred her of none. Yet that feeling of being watched never let her side as Chris fumbled through her pack for some loose papers.
 
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"Yo! Paprika!"

Pepper blinked a few times as Shiori simply appeared in front of her. She had a habit of doing things like that, Pepper just wrote it off as a harmless quirk she had. She had called her Paprika, clearly not her name. The girl was a genius, surely she hadn't forgotten her name... Another quirk to write off, perhaps it was simply pleasurable to her to butcher others names? At any rate she wouldn't correct her, as there was no need to give her information she already knew. Shiori stated that there was something she wanted to tell her, the look in her eyes made Pepper question whither or not what she was going to say next was of any REAL importance. Within five seconds of when she started telling her what she wanted to say it was quite apparent that it was NOT in fact important information.

She was babbling on about the hardware in the room, and the young fitness trainer that worked in the building. She couldn't understand what she was getting at, after all it would be impossible to procreate with a machine. Perhaps this was another quirk to wri-... wait... Pepper folded her arms as her eyebrows slouched downward, indicating that she was thinking rather hard. Unfolding her arms she looked at Shiori with a slightly confused gaze. "Was that a... 'joke?'" She asked, pondering what she said as the girl gulped down an entire bowl of ramen noodles like a human trash compactor.
 

Mistearea

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Arios casually and easily puts the metal bar back onto the two prongs and raises himself to his feet only to have a third person appear out of nowhere. At first he can't tell who it is, but the instant the girl opens her mouth Arios figures out who it is almost immediately. At first he contemplates shoving the large bowl of ramen down the throat of the girl just to get some quiet, but that would be impossible. Plus, he doesn't want to get hurt. The final part of the interaction is when the girl gives him a strange smile in her brief moment of talking only to continue before finally kicking the now empty bowl into the head of a random guy. Arios has to admit, the girl has good aim. He finally decides to try and find any opening, but is stopped by Pepper trying to think really hard. He can't take it any more.

He picks the talkative girl up by the collar, turns her to face him and says, "You. CEADs may have mechanical parts, but we're still humans. We're not just random objects. And you," he quickly looks to Pepper shortly after she asks the smaller one if what the girl was saying was a joke and says, "don't bother listening to the random ramblings of this girl. She knows how you tend to go more for logic. I doubt this girl can understand the basics of logic."

He finally sets the smaller girl down and walks over to the man that Shiori knocked out. He shoves the guy's friend out of the way and puts him on his shoulder before taking him into the locker room. There he lets the guy rest on one of the benches. Arios takes the opportunity to put on his normal clothes and walks back into the room with all of the machines. He moves back towards his own machine and falls to a knee next to the control panel. He presses a few buttons and watches as the additional weight on the bar is set to zero.
 

King Wolfe

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Shiori noted that the CEADs were awfully temperamental. Curiously though, only Arios was offended. How odd. Yet, how predictable. His history may shed some light to this little... episode. But it does make sense. A human being forcefully changed into a CEAD but not only this, Arios had little choice in the manner due to the fact of his near-death experience. One would imagine such attitudes would ensue after that event, hostility and even contempt towards those deemed normal. How strangely odd. CEADs were more like the Negatives when one thought about it. Shiori brandished a comically shaped chicken wing and began to chew it on considering a ray of artificial light that would have made her look timeless, yet in this angle only made her look like a wolf in sheep clothing. The arcane expression stands as Shiori glided past Pepper, completely ignoring her, and approached Arios.

"Volgen, you're rather testy aren't you? Blowing up a little joke like that out of proportion, I don't have to remind you that Paprika and I go wayy back. You see, when she was near death I had the grand opportunity to tend to her wounds. You CEADs certainly are an.. interesting specimen to dissect. I can't wait to get to you." She munched on her piece of food carefully, as if analyzing Arios' next move.

"But then again, you weren't even a CEAD to begin with. Just a little boy with an unfortunate accident with a fortune result. Your father was a respected man back then, it would be a shame to dirty his name with the bratty little CEAD running around losing his cool to a child's words." Shiori grinned knowingly and stared up at the ceiling, "I wonder if a reassignment to the People's State of Egypt would get him to stop being reckless with his children, even if it wasn't his fault you ended up like this."

Suddenly Shiori remembered something important, she looked at Pepper and shouted as loud as she could, "Paprika! Is it possible for a CEAD to become pregnant or have the capability of impregnating someone else? I heard during the surgeries and augmentation those little organs are taken out!"
 

AxelYoYo

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Found it.

Chris took out a small bundle of messily folded papers given to her by a Negative whose name she wasn't familiar with. As she read over previously read papers, she came across a new paper.

The papers noted what she was looking for. Or more like "who" she was looking for, which she new already, paper or not. All Fiction was his name. Or many of his other ones. Yet she knew his new one, since she had heard once before. Yet she didn't feel right saying it.

As she read over the new folded paper in her bundle, her eyes widened.

The paper contained new information on her mission to find All Fiction. Part of her misson was to get on the plane and that part of the plan had been cancelled!

Cancelled.

The word filled her with an electric-hot shock of rage. She had come here for nothing?! Five damn days of traveling in the city and trying to get to the airport only to find out that it was cancelled?This...this was not acceptable. Chris was shaking as if she was cold, her knuckles white from grabbing the paper so hard.

She crumpled it and through it on the floor with a loud almost animal-like shriek. Several people glanced at her with curiousty, then looked away when they met gazes with the enraged teen. Chris didn't even see the uniformed man walking up to her in his security oufit, baton swinging.

"Ms... Are you alright?" Apparently the man had saw her outraged throw and heard her outraged cry. No, she was not all right. Far from it. Hot pain ran up and down her arms as she made fists, closing it and opening them. You better stay away from me...

"Hello? Are you alright?" the man was standing in front of her now, peering at her with sharp green eyes that held knowledge...knowledge of what she was and what she had done to the lady in the bathroom. He was being both worried and suspicious of her. Something Chris did not want.

"Go away." she whispered, her long untamed bangs obscuring the rest of her vision. But the man stayed put.

"Maybe you should come with me, Ms. We need to talk." now all she heard was pure ice. He was going to to turn her in.

That wasn't to be allowed.

Suddenly, a sweaty hand grabbed on to Christina's wrist, tugging her up.

The electric-hot surged through her body at high speed and in a second, blood was splattered across her body as the man fell back, eyes wide with shock.

Christina loomed over him, eyes wide with a maniac light. Gasps filled with horror made her head turn. Their eyes were fixed on the halfed body in the center of the circle that had appeared. Livers....his heart...his lungs. They were spread across him like a butterfly's wing.

"That girl-"

"What--"

"Did she just--"

The voices of shocked and horrified onlookers gave her the energy to run.

To run out of her first, and last, airport.
 
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Pepper's eyes shifted between Shiori and Arios as they exchanged what she guessed were 'heated words.' There was a strange pressure in the air, maybe this was the infamous 'tension' she heard about? So Arios was upset by the way Shiori was talking to her, and Shiori made a point by saying that she was close to her because she had helped her get back on her feet after nearly dieing. She saw Arios' point, he was a CEAD and could never live his life as a 'normal' human again. He must have some deep feelings about that, so it's only natural for an emotional person to get upset at their humanity being made fun of. And then there was Shiori's point, she seemed to be making fun of her for amusements sake. She also appeared to think it was okay due to her history with her. Pepper wondered if she really should be upset by what Shiori said, any other 'human' would be right? at least a little...

She was looking in Shiori's direction, but was lost in these thought's until the girl spoke to her directly. ...She was asking if it were possible for her to become pregnant, or if a CEAD could impregnate someone else. Pepper opened her mouth to give a straight answer, but stopped as she noticed the looks on the faces of the other people in the room. They all heard her, she could yell pretty loud after all. Was that an... Awkward question? There was the chance that Shiori was teasing again, after all she was a smart girl. Then again maybe she didn't know all the ins and outs of how her body worked.

"To put it simple terms... In my case the answer is yes. I believe it depends on the CEAD, I became a CEAD because my body was damaged severely and I would have died otherwise. Quite a few of my organs were destroyed, along with my arms and legs. They were replaced as needed, everything else is as it was before." Stopping she suddenly glared at Shiori, her face not showing any anger but indicating that she wanted a straight answer. "Does that answer your question, or did you already know this? You have examined my body before after all..." She said tonelessly referring to the time Shiori helped tend to her wounds.
 

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Ichigo moving to the seat opposite of him, he retrieved his laptop again and opened it up, raising a knee and letting it rest atop it while he changed the list from operatives, to fugitives on the run from Section III. While he already had a couple units in mind in his head, it was moreso a question of hearing back from the ghosts outside this building who were in the middle of tracking. Once he received the call from them, he could mobilize, but it was taking unusually long for them now. Going down a list of Negatives, he would land on three of the original targets in his database just as Ichigo would point out the extreme possibility that the leader of the negative was merely using his pawns. He had already been considering that.

"I wouldn't put it past The Original to tell a few lies to get a following, but he's unpredictable ..and as unlikely as it sounds, he may have the potential to form 'bonds' with his comrades. Still, when it comes to his own skin, he'd likely rather save himself than them." He couldn't count Minoru out. He could appear as stupid as he wanted, but there was still cunning in ignorance and stupidity, even if you didn't see it. By feigning stupidity, he would cause an enemy to underestimate his true strength, and that was something no one could afford. The last director of the militaristic forces was removed from service for being too soft for the job, and nothing was wrong with that. However, when someone with the power to eradicate the world in an instant was on the loose, you couldn't coddle you targets, you needed to trap them, or at worst, come to agreeable terms. Power like that running loose didn't bode well for anyone. Minoru was free, and by being free, had no chains for his powers anymore.

"I've got three Negatives, but I only need one alive, so the younger one will naturally be spared. They're usually easier to break." A vibration in his right pocket alerted him. Steadying his laptop, he dug into his pocket and flipped his small communication device open. "Go ahead ..." as the conversation went on, Calipher would gradually nod his head and in the end, smile. That usually meant either something good happened, or someone may be about to die. The latter would depend on poor little Chris."Keep me updated, and see about the others on the move." Folding the device and placing it into his pocket again, he'd look to Ichigo and used his head to beckon her towards the exit.

"We've located one, you remember "Sever" right ..a confused little girl who hardly talked to anyone. The ghosts found her, she's been picking on those weaker than her." Why wasn't he surprised? This is why they contained people like Minoru, to prevent people from getting hurt, and to not only study their growth, but to ensure they weren't a danger to anyone, not even themselves. The automatic door sliding open, he would allow Ichigo to step through with a gentle ushering of his hand, and would follow her through as they traveled down a plain white corridor, lights in a line above them, dimmed but bright enough to see without strain.

"I'm considering this an opportunity to allow a CEAD pair to apprehend a fourteen year old girl. I didn't study her enough to be certain, but I'm hoping they'd be a little less human enough to not allow her ability to make them turn on each other. Arios and Pepper are the current options for this task. I have Sasha on standby but I'm awaiting an update ..and perhaps Acesto to handle the very last if he can. I'll consider partners for them but for now, let's go see our little mechanical friends. Where do they spend time the most?" Calipher had people come to him, not the other way around, but it was rare he got the chance to walk with his Ichigo like this. No one would think anything but professionalism from them, as the two being together would spell doom for any soul. They didn't appear the 'It' couple ...and that suited him just fine.

-

"Mikomi ..get inside.."

"..why daddy, what's wrong?"

"Do as daddy says Mikomi, and no matter what you see, don't come out until its over ..promise me.."

"But-"

"Promise me."

"..Okay.Promise!"

"That's a good girl, now go, over there!"

 

King Wolfe

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Ichigo followed and listened intently. While she had the grand opportunity to overlook Section III medical and scientific operations as the youngest med. director yet, she didn't have the chance to study everything. The Negatives, for example, escaped her grasp as potential test subjects on the basis of her youthfulness and late arrival to Section III. When she first got here all word of Minoru dissipated into air, as if he never existed. Extensive snooping and sleuthing would eventually uncover the dark secret that is the Original but even then, paper and numbers couldn't accurately describe whatever twisted soul Minoru had locked up in him.

Same thing with the other Negatives. "Sever" was an interesting subject, or rather one of the more abnormal abnormals, and Ichigo took the opportunity to learn every nook and crevice the girl was hiding. Ironically enough the lack of information detailing Minoru's own escape was brought to life by his future followers. And despite the fact that "Sever" was one of the more younger ones she was clean and efficient in her work, yet at the same time, she was incredibly sloppy. No one left Section III unscathed. The smarter ones took the opportunity to erase their existences from the databases as to temper the ghosts that would eventually pursue, and otherwise detain, them. The only one who didn't really need to do that was Minoru. In fact, he let himself shine in the spotlight. As if he wanted to show the entire world Section III's folly. Ichigo wouldn't go as far as to call this overconfidence, he was damned careful in allowing his activities to appear in the public eye, but still it was a bit insulting. As if he had Section III in the palm of his hand.

Ichigo methodically dried her hair as they continued to walk down the hallways. Would the CEADs prove worthy of their track record and complete their assignment fluidly? It wasn't a question of their ability as it was a question of intervention. While they had a good number of how many "Negatives" existed out there and how many actually escaped and are running free Ichigo had no clue if they were all allied together or if the group was just a bunch of individualists.

"If my hunch is correct, and it usually is, I'd say they are down at the Recreational Center." Ichigo answered as mechanically as their friends would, her mind was clouded with "what ifs" and paranoid thoughts. Recreational Center was misleading. There was hardly anything entertaining in that part of the building. It was just another opportunity for Section III to further monitor their subordinates. It was one of the more lax sections while single-handedly the most secure ones as well. Cameras were hidden everywhere and there were so many monitoring centers in that one room it may as well have been a zoo. However it was the room with the least restrictions. It allowed Section III to see their agents in a "free environment where structural, sociological, and military boundaries were ignored". Basically a "no-rules" type of room. Anything could happen and no one would be accounted for or held responsible.

Shiori tended to hang out there because she liked to mess around with everyone she met and most of all, she loved being in the middle of carnage and chaos. Understandable yet a little disturbing from a fourteen year old.

Ichigo turned towards a seemingly random section of wall and looked at Calipher, "Hold on for a bit," she told him and tend palmed the wall in which the impression of her hand collapsed inward and expand to form a door. It opened up and she stepped inside. The door shut behind her in a seamless transition. In four minutes it opened up again and she stepped out with a change of clothes. She wore her usual attire, a large white lab coat over a black dress shirt with a wool skirt and black leggings. She would have looked professional had her expression was any less dark and bleak.

"Right then, let's go." She, personally, didn't mind going down there wearing that swimsuit but Shiori would never let her live it down.

***

"Hm.. He's acting weird again.." Minoru muttered to himself as he causally looked over his subordinate. He wanted to call out but it would probably embarrass the man. Meh, why not? He called out his name and that apparently snapped him out of his daydream.

"Actually.. I can handle the rest. I'll need you to go out to the rendezvous point to see if anyone else arrived." He explained. It wasn't like he didn't want him in the same building but his little episodes were a bit weird even for Minoru. Minoru was the master of oddities and strange things, so much in fact it is understandable to think of anything "normal" as an extension of "weird". But still, they were a bit tiring and Minoru has had enough of tiring days.

Plus it was an important mission. Minoru had set-up over a hundred twenty-seven rendezvous points on Manhattan alone. It was a fallback system in case the building was compromised. He wasn't asking him to check all of the points but merely the first twenty the encircled Greater New York. Most people had problem with directions, Minoru just wanted to make sure his people didn't. He had no use for people who couldn't read maps.
 

Klom89

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"They're probably packed up by Horoscope Plaza like sardines wondering why the gate was locked.....I'll check there first, and then circle the city if I can't find them." Zero-Nine says. "Though I feel uncomfortable about leaving you alone here. As able to defend yourself as you are, you never know what tricks they'll have up their sleeves. Perhaps I should..."

He sees the look on MI-Z's face. That was a direct order. Nothing he could say would assuage his master. Plus, his little spasm a few seconds ago most likely didn't help matters.

"....do what you just told me to do." Zero-Nine says nervously as he runs his fingers through his hair, putting the duster he was using earlier back on the shelf he had found it on. "I'm going."

Zero-Nine walks towards the door to the building, stopping just as his right hand grasped the lock.

"Also....I apologize for....earlier." Zero-Nine says uncomfortably. He was always nervous when he brought this up. Especially with his lord. ".....The memories I had told you about. They've been coming back. It's like I said....Until I kill her....Nothing will change. E-Excuse me."

He couldn't bear to say anymore.

So with that, he leaves the bulding as the door slams behind him.

------------
Zero-Nine pushes past the disgusting Humans that overcrowd the sidewalks...as his mind yet again drifts to his days as a pet for the Program.

Brenia Haddrox was the scientist that oversaw Zero-Nine's exprimentation during his days as a guinea pig. She had been kind to him in his first few years, acting almost like a mother to him. She gave him extra food, read him stories....and on very rare occasions, even told him about things that were going on in the facility that were usually kept top-secret. (He wondered if MI-Z had known her.....)
She was one of the only reasons that Zero-Nine had survived as long as he had. But once Zero-Nine had reached the age of 14, she started to change.

She became cruel, stopped bonding with him, and even hurt him once in a rage. It was like she was a totally diffrent person. At first he had assumed that something had been done to her. An experiment, a brain-surgery, SOMETHING that could justify her behavior. But after a year, Zero-Nine had realized what had happened. She had turned against him.....just like everyone else. Even on the day of his escape, he had confronted her, had tried to see any sort of good in her. He has demanded, pladed, almost begged her to explain. But the only word she had said to him that day was..."Freak." He would've killed her directly had he not been in a hurry that day.

He had thought she was different....But she was just another greedy Human pig that escaped his Master's wrath. That's ALLshe was.....

------

Zero makes his way to Fountain Plaza, the location closest to the Warehouse. It was somewhat of a mall-slash-marketplace. Vendors had their stalls situated around the Fountain, as they shouted for potential customers to try their useless crap. Zero didn't give a damn. All Zero could hear was the SPLASH-HISS of the water pouring from the Fountain in the center of the Plaza.

The Fountain was a legend for the city....seen as one of the few World Wonders that had NOT been dismantled for the sake of "modernization," A.K.A., replaced with some sort of current technology. This public place made the perfect rendevous point for the Negatives, as to the untrained eye, they'd just be a group of friends hanging around the area.

Speaking of Negatives, Zero-Nine could sense one of them....They were near the Fountain. As he walked closer, their frame slowly etched into view.
 
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