That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-04-2006, 09:38 AM
It was just another clean up quest in the mines. It seemed these were the only quests available lately. Volt Opt's machines had finally been pushed back to level two but there they remained. Jamie Dawson, code name Ridgerunner, was a fairly new HUmar but he had enough experience now to make short work of these little toys. He held his twin sabre tight waiting for the next wave of robots. He quickly glanced at his team mates. Too his right was Bombshell, a bulky green RAcast. Beside him was Stardust the FOnewearl. He was pretty sure her real name was Christy or Christine. On Ridgerunners left stood Axel the quiet HUcast. He had known these people for over a week now and was beginning bond a friendship with each of them.
"What do you think he's waiting for?" Bombshell asked.
"He's just trying to break our focus!" Stardust replied, "As soon as we relax he'll send in the bots!"
Axel entered the room first. The door at the far end remained locked but no machines showed up. Axel tapped his sword against his shoulder then turned to the group.
"He plays this game well!" He mumbled.
The others slowly entered the room with Ridgerunner bringing up the rear. Still no machines appeared.
"This is too odd!" Bombshell said scratching his head.
Ridge runner went over to the locked door and pounded it with his fist. The dull clang echoed through out the room. He heard a clang, clang come from directly behind him. He slowly turned to see a Sinow Red standing behind him. He let out a yelp and ducked just as the Sinow swung a dagger at him. The others turned to see what the problem was.
"Finally!" Bombshell grinned, "Action, Hang on little buddy!"
The Sinow Red took several swings which Ridgerunner easily blocked with his twin sabre. Stardust blasted it with Zonde as the others moved in and made quick work of the machine. Bombshell stared as the pile of parts for a moment.
"How about giving us a real challenge!" He yelled.
As if to answer him the lights went out. Ridgerunner couldn't see a thing.
"Whatís going on?" He asked.
"Don't know!" Axel replied, "This is most unusual!"
They heard a short yelp.
"Stardust, are you all right?" Ridgerunner asked.
She didn't reply. The lights suddenly came back on and Stardust was gone. The door was now unlocked as well. The group stood in shock for a moment before proceeding through the door. The next room was also empty and unlocked.
"They must have taken Stardust this way." Bombshell said.
"Seeing as this is the only way they could have gone." Axel began.
"Guys, that's not going to help us find Stardust!" Ridgerunner interrupted.
"True!" Axel nodded.
The next room they entered was locked and contained a Garanz. It launched a volley of missiles at them. Bombshell gripped his rifle and charged.
"Bombshell wait!" Ridgerunner called.
"No good son!" Axel said, "He's in kill mode."
Ridge runner sighed and ran after the android. Three missiles locked on to him. He jumped sideways just as the missiles impacted the ground. Bombshell fired as quickly as he could, ignoring the damage from the missiles. Axel attacked from the rear while Ridge runner was forced to run from the missiles.
"Why do they always come after me?" He grumbled.
The Garanz quickly fell and with it so did the lights. They came back on after only a minute. Axel was gone.
"Bombshell, what's going on here?" Ridgerunner asked.
"We are being hunted by something!" Bombshell replied, "I don't like being hunted."
"Neither do I!" Ridgerunner replied.
Bombshell headed through the next door with Ridgerunner in tow. Ridgerunner had heard rumours about hunters disappearing in the mines but he never thought he'd actually see it happen. They past through several more rooms with no resistance. The next room was dark. Ridgerunner was reluctant to enter. Bombshell strolled right in.
"Bombshell wait!" Ridgerunner called after him.
The door closed behind Bombshell and locked.
"Bombshell!" Ridgerunner yelled pounding on the door.
After a minute the door opened. Ridgerunner slowly entered the now bright room. Bombshell was gone. Ridge runner slowly crossed the room to the next door. It opened as he approached. The next room was dark too.
"No way!" He shook his head, "Youíre not getting me!"
He raised his hand and cast Ryuker. A telepipe formed around him. The light also went out. When they came back on Ridgerunner was gone leaving his telepipe unused.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2006-09-10 18:32 ]</font>
That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-04-2006, 10:49 AM
Deepfreeze stared down into his tea cup. It was nearly empty. There was just enough for the tea leaves to float around as he jiggled the cup. Deepfreeze was a thirty year old RAmar who wore a white and blue ranger uniform. Ranger outfits generally had tight pants with a bulky upper body armor suit. His shoulders were blue as were his gloves and his fore arm pads that contained his computer interface and BEE system. His waist was blue but the thighs were white. The shins on his boots were black but the feet were blue. He had reddish brown hair and deep blue eyes. His Pinkal symbol was placed on his right breast. His Mag was a little blue cat named Sato. He was one of the hunters that had faced Dark Faltz. He and the young hunter Ash were the only ones that believed Rico was still alive. Ash had been standing right beside Deepfreeze when Dark Faltz finally died. The others began celebrating or tending to the injured but both Ash and Deepfreeze watched Faltz fall into the Abyss. They saw what looked like Rico's body thrown from Faltz. They never saw where she landed but they both were convinced she was alive somewhere. Deepfreeze was also the hunter the lab had contacted to investigate Gal Da Val island. He had seen Heathcliff Flowen's spirit fly up and disappear. He knew Flowen was dead. He sighed and drained the last of his tea. The little cafe was located on the top level of Pioneer Two near the bow of the ship. This was the commercial district and the top deck was the only place with an open view of Ragol and space. Deepfreeze stared down at the tea leaves stuck to the bottom of his cup. His thoughts were back on the planet. He could only think of the hunters that were consumed by the dark force and he had been powerless to stop it. Principal Tyrell had asked to see him in about an hour. Deepfreeze could only guess at what the Principal wanted. He heard a loud clank clank approach his table. He looked up to see Cerberus sit down in the chair across from him. He was a large RAcast with a red head. His optical sensors were designed like a dark visor. His face was white and usually sported a big smile. His chest, shoulders, forearms, and shins were red. His upper arms, stomach, waist and thighs were black. He had white trim on his shoulders, wrists, and knees. RAcasts where always large and bulky and Cereberus was no exception. His Mag was named Nidra, a red scorpion with a blue back and blue stinger on his tail. Cerberus had been his best friend for as long as he could remember and had been constructed a year after Deepfreeze had been born. His father had been good friends with Cerberus' creator so they had grown up together. Cerberus had been given a learning program so he had to be taught rather than preprogrammed like most androids. Deepfreeze figured it had made him a more rounded and friendly android. He stared at Deepfreeze for a moment.
"I figured I'd find you here." Cerberus said.
"Ya, this is one place I can go and get away from all the fans." Deepfreeze sighed.
"You're still bothered by the events on Ragol?" Cerberus asked.
"Who wouldn't be?" Deepfreeze shrugged, "I hear it really messed up young Ash."
"I heard that too!" Cerberus nodded, "I haven't seen him since the battle against Faltz."
"You're lucky you're an android!" Deepfreeze said, "These things don't bother you!"
"True!" Cerberus replied, "That is one thing I don't envy you for."
"What do you envy me for?" Deepfreeze frowned.
"Little things." Cerberus said, "Like your ability to enjoy food, your sense of humour, falling in love."
"That last one is nothing to miss." Deepfreeze grumbled, "And you have a great sense of humour!"
"Just because you've had a few bad experiences doesn't mean it's all bad." Cerberus shrugged.
"A few?" Deepfreeze frowned, "Try everyone. Every time they ended up betraying me. That's the worst. They didn't just leave for another guy. No, they had to be working for the enemy."
"Maybe it's just you?" Cerberus smirked.
Deepfreeze frowned at him.
"I'm pretty sure not all women are like that." Cerberus said, "I may have some emotions and do understand the need for friendship but romance is not something android A.I.s can comprehend. I have watched humans and newmans and they seem to enjoy it!"
"l'll leave that to them." Deepfreeze mumbled.
"Cheer up man." Cerberus said pounding the table, "I bet sooner or later you'll meet a great girl that will show you the truth."
"Who's side are you on?" Deepfreeze asked tapping the table.
"I'm not taking sides." Cerberus said, "Not on this issue."
"Can we change the issue?" Deepfreeze frowned.
"I hear you have an appointment with the Principal." Cerberus said, "Any idea what he wants?
"No idea." Deepfreeze shrugged, "But his distrust of the military has him turning to us hunters more and more."
"Why not." Cerberus shrugged, "The military knew of this dark force and kept it a secret. Then they tried to control and use it. Not to mention all the lives they sacrificed doing it."
"They could be up to anything." Deepfreeze frowned, "I wonder if WORKS has anything to do with this meeting."
"If it's military then you know they're involved!" Cerberus replied, "The hunters guild is into pretty much everything these days. It would be hard for WORKS to start anything without us knowing."
"Not all hunters are loyal to the government!" Deepfreeze pointed, "For most you just have to throw some meseta at them and they'll keep quiet."
"Greed is a powerful tool." Cerberus sighed, "You and me are a dying breed."
"That's because they don't screen anyone anymore." Deepfreeze said, "Any one who wants to sign up gets in. It made sense when hunters were dropping like flies against Dark Faltz but that's over now."
The waiter stepped up to the table. He was a young newman about seventeen. If he became a hunter he'd only have one choice. He had been designed or born as a force. In fact all male newmans seemed to be FOnewn. Only females came as forces or hunters. They're futures were all determined in the lab were they are bread or by their mothers type.
"What can I get you Sir?" The waiter asked.
"Another Chinese tea please." Deepfreeze said.
The waiter nodded and left.
"They still serve Earth food?" Cerberus asked.
"These little cafes do and the odd specialty restaurants but it's becoming less and less popular." Deepfreeze said, "Although most of the Earth dishes are common place in our menus they're just been integrated into our culture and the origin is being forgotten."
"It was thousands of years ago when the Earth men visited our home worlds." Cerberus said, "So how did you know about this?"
"It was a favorite of my mothers." Deepfreeze said solemnly.
Cerberus nodded but said nothing more. He knew Deepfreeze still missed her and didn't like talking about it. Cerberus had been there the last time Deepfreeze had seen her. She had been like a mother to Cerberus and he even missed her a little. He knew he had to change the subject.
"So do you want me to tag along to the meeting?"
"You read my mind!" Deepfreeze smiled.
The waiter returned with another cup. Deepfreeze paid him for the two cups and took a sip.
"I have been to every restaurant and cafe on this ship but no one makes tea like this place."
"Another simple pleasure experienced by humans and envied by androids!" Cerberus said then shrugged, "Well, most."
Deepfreeze smiled, "Your a funny guy."
"Thankyou." Cerberus nodded.
Deepfreeze smiled and shook his head. He took another sip as Cerberus looked around at the patrons and people passing by.
"I haven't seen a single hunter pass by here since I arrived!" Cerberus said.
"I know, that's why I come here!" Deepfreeze said, "No hunters."
He tipped his cup then downed the rest of the tea.
"You can't really hate us that much!" Cerberus said.
"No, but I can only take so much of the hero worship." Deepfreeze said, "Normal people are less vocal and in your face. Even the ones that want autographs are polite. Hunters are always in your face either trying to be tough or bugging you to train them. A guy can only take so much."
"Glad no one knows about Olga Flow then." Cerberus pointed.
"Let's keep it that way, shall we?" Deepfreeze said.
"We promised the lab we'd keep it secret and I'm not about to let them down and we wouldn't want to get Elly in trouble either!"
"Do you really like her?" Cerberus asked.
"Na, she's a sweet newman but she's pretty weird!" Deepfreeze smirked, "She's got this thing for computers. Strange girl."
"True enough!" Cerberus nodded.
"Let's go, Tyrell's waiting!" Deepfreeze said as he stood up.
The warp was located at the end of the walkway. It was multidirectional. The user just selected a location. Deepfreeze selected the promenade then stepped in. The promenade contained the hunters guild, hospital, check room for storing personal items, weapons, materials, and armor shops, the transporter to Ragol, and the warp to the Principals office. The two hunters stepped into the warp and was instantly transported to the hunters guild. They stepped out of the warp and headed for the door. The guild girl smiled at them as they left. They crossed the street to the warp and entered the principals office. It had a long isle ending in a circular platform. The isle platform was suspended in the air and the roof was solid glass. It was always cold here which explained the Principals heavy coat and turtleneck. His secretary Irene greeted them.
"Hi Deepfreeze, Hi Cerberus!"
"Greetings!" Cerberus said.
"Hello Irene!" Deepfreeze smiled.
"Principal Tyrell is ready for you!" She said.
"What's this all about?" Cerberus asked.
"I'll let Principal Tyrell explain things." Irene said.
She lead them down the walk way to Tyrell's desk. Irene went to her desk on Tyrell's left. Deepfreeze noticed the two scientists that occupied the desk on his right were missing. Tyrell stared down at them.
"Deepfreeze!" Tyrell said, "Cerberus. I'm glad you came. Your aid against the dark force shall not be forgotten."
Deepfreeze leaned over to Cerberus and mumbled, "He has no idea!"
Tyrell frowned but let it go.
"Your performance on Gal Da Val island was outstanding and is why I have chosen you!"
"Guess he does have an idea." Cerberus mumbled.
"Wait, you know about Gal Da Val island?" Deepfreeze asked.
"I'm Commander of this ship!" Tyrell said, "There's not much here that I don't know about. Besides there is no unauthorized transportation to the planet. As soon as the lab connected their transporter to the island I was instantly informed!"
"I'll try to remember that." Deepfreeze said.
"Very good!" Tyrell nodded once, "I've called you here for a top secret mission. We've detected a small facility in the northern hemisphere. Preliminary scans have confirmed it as Pioneer technology although it has yet to be identified as Pioneer One or Pioneer Two!"
"Judging by the time frame and available materials, I'd say it would have to be Pioneer One!" Cerberus said.
"That's what we think!" Tyrell nodded.
"Another one!" Deepfreeze sighed, "How many of these things are there?"
"I'm beginning to wonder myself!" Tyrell shook his head, "Scans indicate this facility is still in use."
"Survivors?" Deepfreeze asked.
"That's what you're going to find out!" Tyrell said, "I want you to go in and scout the facility and it's defenses. Do not engage. This is just surveillance. Once we access the facilities defenses and activities then we'll be able to take the appropriate steps. Keep your team small and tell no one!"
"Understood!" Deepfreeze said.
"Good!" Tyrell said, "Irene will give you, your access code."
Deepfreeze nodded and turned to Irene's desk.
"Here you go boys!" Irene said, "This will allow you to transport to a location a short distance from the facility. This mission will not be recorded in the transport logs so without these codes you won't get to the site. Here's a list of hunters we know are loyal to the government. You don't have to use them but we highly recommend it!"
"Thanks Irene, this helps a lot." Deepfreeze smiled.
Irene smiled and turned her attention to her computer. Deepfreeze looked over the pad quickly then handed it to Cerberus. He headed back to the warp. Cerberus followed close behind. They didn't speak until they returned to the cafe. It was deserted except for the waiter and a figure in the corner. The figure was wearing a hooded trench
coat, and seemed to ignore the two hunters. Deepfreeze couldn't tell if it was male or female. He sat down at one of the tables close to the road. Cerberus took his usual seat across from Deepfreeze. Cerberus set the pad down on the table then clapped his hands together. It looked odd coming from an android.
"This is just a scouting mission so there shouldn't be any close range combat right?" Deepfreeze said.
"There's not supposed to be any combat!" Cerberus shrugged.
"True!" Deepfreeze nodded.
"Your thinking an all ranger team then." Cerberus said.
"No force?" Cerberus asked, "They say a team isn't worth booma droppings without a force."
"I know but we're not supposed to see any combat so we shouldn't need any support or anyone specialized in close range combat."
"I don't think I've ever heard of a single class team before!" Cerberus said.
"These are unusual circumstances!" Deepfreeze sighed.
"I hope you're right." Cerberus leaned back, "I've looked over this list of hunters. There's not many rangers here. A lot of hunters. Most seem to be forces. Strange. Most of the forces are newmans. Humans seem to be a minority."
Deepfreeze picked up the list and read through it again.
"Cerberus, there aren't any androids on this list."
"I know. This is most disturbing." Cerberus sighed, "This means there's no androids loyal to the government left!"
"Except for you!" Deepfreeze pointed.
"This list is pretty young." Deepfreeze said, "Mostly newbies. In fact, I don't see any hunters with our kind of experience."
"The oldest ones here are Quickshot, Maximus, HitmanJ, Kilopal, and Icepick." Cerberus said.
"Kilopal is too reckless. I met him once." Deepfreeze said, "He has a problem with authority. Too unstable for this type of mission. Besides, he's not too bright, as his choice in nicknames indicates."
"Quickshot lacks stealth ability!" Cerberus shook his head, "Quickshot with his quick mouth would easily give away our position."
"I don't trust Maximus!" Deepfreeze said, "He's too shifty. I always expect him to betray his team if the opportunity would benefit him."
"That leaves Icepick and HitmanJ!" Cerberus shrugged.
"We'll check them out." Deepfreeze nodded, "I would like to have a computer expert too. Just in case we run into a security terminal. There may be security gates before we get close to the building."
"That would be this RTJ!" Cerberus said looking at the list, "He's the youngest on the list at only eighteen years. It says he was in basic military training and a year of military technical training before he dropped out and joined the hunters guild."
"Sounds interesting!" Deepfreeze said scratching his chin, "Let's check him out."
"I'll check the guild to see if any of these three are conducting quests." Cerberus nodded.
"Good, I'll check the training rooms and see if they are there!" Deepfreeze finished.
Cerberus climbed out of his seat and headed for the warp. Deepfreeze followed close behind. He waited for Cerberus to pass through the warp then selected a new destination and stepped inside. The hunters training facility was located on the lower deck of the ship. It consisted of the main lobby with a reception desk. Past that was the locker rooms and break room. There were three training rooms. The first was a shooting range. Second was a gym and padded ring and last was three V.R. simulator rooms. Deepfreeze stepped out of the warp and crossed the street. The door slid open as he approached. The receptionist was a young human Asian girl. She had black hair tied in a bun on the top of her head. A poney tail hung from the bun that was tied in five spots. Her hair was tied up with an oriental ribbon. She was wearing a yellow tee shirt and a white skirt. She smiled as he entered.
"Hello Deepfreeze." She giggled, "I haven't seen you here in a long time."
"I've had to steer clear of hunters for a while." He replied.
"You're quite the celebrity now!" She smiled resting her head in her hands.
She was trying to look cute and it was working. Deepfreeze might have been impressed except that he got it from everyone. This was why he tried to avoid hunters. He sighed and stepped up to the desk. She stared up at him with a big grin.
"I'm looking for some hunters!"He said, "I need to know if they are here."
"I can help you there!" She grinned and turned to her screen.
"I need HitmanJ, RTJ, and Icepick!" Deepfreeze said.
"Let's see here, HitmanJ isn't logged in but RTJ and Icepick are both here." She said, "Looks like Icepick is in the range and RTJ should be in the gym."
"Thanks Crystal!" Deepfreeze said.
"Anytime!" She smiled, "Can I buy you coffee some time?"
Deepfreeze stopped and looked back at her. He paused for a second assessing her sincerity. He was getting annoyed at the celebrity treatment but this was the first time someone tried asking him out.
"Ah sure, that would be great." He replied slowly.
She smiled with a little giggle. He turned and headed for the back.
"That's a new one." He thought, "Seems like she's more than just hero worship. That or she dates all her heros. Well she won't get anywhere with this hero. I won't be fooled again."
He stopped at the range door. It slid open and he stepped inside. The range was unusually quiet with the sound of only a single handgun firing from the back of the range. Deepfreeze looked out across the range. Blue photon bullets flew out impacting the targets. Photon weapons were fairly quiet so ear protection wasn't necessary. Deepfreeze found a short ranger dressed in a blue uniform and white on his upper back and black shin pads. Deepfreeze stepped up beside him. The ranger set his weapon down and turned to him.
"Yes?" The ranger asked, "Wait, I know you. You're Deepfreeze right. You're one of the guys that killed Dark Faltz right?"
"That's right." Deepfreeze nodded.
"You're the nut that thinks Red Ring Rico is still alive!" He said.
"Where did you hear that?" Deepfreeze frowned.
"Ash!" He replied, "So what do you want with old Icepick?"
"I'm here to see if you might be interested in some work." Deepfreeze offered.
"Uh hu and you want Icepick for your team." Icepick smirked.
"Possibly." Deepfreeze said.
"Possibly?" Icepick frowned.
"I'm here to see if your interested in the job and to see if I want you on my team!" Deepfreeze smirked.
"Really, well I'm used to leading my team not taking orders from some celebrity nut." Icepick said, "I don't care what the job is there's no way I'm working with a nut job like you or your stupid sidekick android."
"That decides that!" Deepfreeze shrugged, "You don't want to be on my team and I wouldn't have you either."
Icepick scoffed and returned to his gun. Deepfreeze turned and left the range. This was the other treatment he was getting tired of. He entered the gym and looked around. It was very busy with rangers and hunters all exercising or practicing melee combat on the padded ring. There were no forces here which didn't surprise him. Forces usually stuck to the simulator so they could perfect their techniques. Hunters closest to the door stopped and stared. It spread through the room like a wave. By the end every one was staring and whispering. Deepfreeze sighed and looked around then slowly walked across the gym. He checked each ranger carefully. Most of them were very young and he could feel their fear and intimidation. Deepfreeze found himself enjoying it. He spotted a ranger near the back. He was dressed in black and wearing a helmet and face mask. He was wearing the crest of a purplenum. Deepfreeze suspected he was RTJ but he couldn't be sure.
"I'm looking for a ranger by the name of RTJ!" Deepfreeze announced.
At first no one moved. There was a lot of whispering but no one stepped forward. Slowly the ranger in black raised his hand. Deepfreeze looked at him. He was only slightly shorter than Deepfreeze and Deepfreeze was as tall as rangers came. Rangers tended to be the tallest of the hunters except for the HUcast and RAcast and RAmars were the tallest of the humans.
"I'm RTJ." The ranger said shyly.
"Good, let's talk!" Deepfreeze waved and turned for the door.
RTJ looked back at the group of hunters that he had been standing with. They all looked around then shrugged. RTJ nodded and followed Deepfreeze out. He lead RTJ into the lobby.
"I see you found one." Crystal smiled, "I get off in three hours. I could buy you that coffee then."
"Uh, OK, I guess I'll see you then." Deepfreeze replied.
RTJ pulled off his helmet and wiped his brow. He definatly looked eighteen. Deepfreeze knew he was young but RTJ was just a kid. He wondered if this kid would really be up to the task Deepfreeze was about to offer. The problem was he needed the skills RTJ possessed. Then there was Crystal.
"Great, now I actually have to have coffee with her!" Deepfreeze grumbled.
"Excuse me Sir." RTJ said, "How is that a bad thing. She's pretty cute."
"I know but that's nothing more than hero worship!" Deepfreeze said, "I hope."
"Are you sure?" RTJ asked, "She seems interested."
"Never showed any interest until after I became famous." Deepfreeze said.
"Excuse me Sir, but famous for what?" RTJ asked.
"You don't know?" Deepfreeze frowned.
RTJ shook his head.
"Good, let's leave it that way!" Deepfreeze quipped, "Our team will run smoother then."
"Team?" RTJ asked, "What team?"
"Are you hungry?" Deepfreeze asked staring ahead.
"Pretty hungry actually!" RTJ replied, "I haven't eaten since breakfast."
"It's not good to skip lunch." Deepfreeze stated.
"Normally I don't." RTJ said, "I just got really busy!"
"Fortunately it's supper time!" Deepfreeze said, "I just need to contact a friend."
Deepfreeze typed up a quick message and sent it over the BEE. He waited a minute for the reply.
"Ah good, he's going to meet us!" Deepfreeze said.
"Who." RTJ asked.
"You'll see." Deepfreeze said, "He should be bringing the other team candidate with him."
"Am I against him for the position?" RTJ asked.
"If it all works out you'll be working with him." Deepfreeze said.
"Ah, good, may be I'll get to learn some good stuff!" RTJ said.
"With me, you will." Deepfreeze said as he selected the commercial area of the ship.
They both stepped inside and disappeared.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2007-10-24 14:45 ]</font>
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2007-10-24 18:02 ]</font>
That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-04-2006, 12:34 PM
Cerberus materialized in the hunters guild. He crossed the room to the desk. The guild girl looked up and smiled.
"Hello Cerberus, what can I do for you?"
"I need to know if a ranger by the name of HitmanJ, RTJ, or Icepick have accepted any quests?" Cerberus asked.
"Quests are in short supply right now but let me check!" She smiled.
She typed in a few commands into the computer and waited.
"Here it is!" She said, "HitmanJ is the only one logged in. He and a FOmar are currently engaged in a quest in the west tower on Gal Da Val island. They are actually over due!"
"This is not good!" Cerberus said.
"No, but no one has posted a rescue quest for them yet!" The guild girl said.
"I'm going down to look for them." Cerberus tapped the desk.
"I'll log you into the system so we can track you!" She replied.
"Good." Cerberus nodded, "Transfer the coordinates from the lab to the main transporter!"
"Done!" She smiled, "Hurry back!"
"I will!" Cerberus replied.
He ran out the door and made a quick right to the main transporter. He stepped inside and materialized at the main door to the west tower. The door slid up into the jam. Cerberus cautiously stepped inside holding his Wals-MK2 rifle ready. The floor was splattered in purple blood. Dark mutated creatures still inhabited these towers despite the best efforts of the hunters. The dark creatures kept tripping the security system causing the robot Sinow Berrill to attack Pioneer Two personnel. Cerberus scanned the room then proceeded to the ramp. The ramp spiraled up the inside of the outer wall with security doors at the halfway point of each spiral. Cerberus stepped through the first door. The floor was covered in more purple blood and the destroyed bodies of two Sinow Berrills. Cerberus stepped by them carefully and headed for the next door that would take him to level two. He was about to step through the gate when he heard a metal clunk. Cerberus turned around and saw one of the Sinow Berrills get up. It was heavily damaged and missing it's left arm. It stared at him with two glowing optical sensors.
"Great!" Cerberus mumbled and aimed his rifle.
He fired off a couple of rounds hitting the Sinow in the chest. The photon balls blasted holes in the Sinows armor but it still charged forward. Cerberus aimed again and pulled the trigger as fast as he could. The energy bullets pounded the Sinow blowing away it's chest exposing it's inner circuitry, still it closed in. The Wals MK2 stopped firing and began to beep.
"Oh great, it needs to recharge!" Cerberus mumbled.
The Sinow was getting too close for guns so Cerberus pulled out his saber. He hit the button on the hilt activating the photon blade. The Sinow leapt at Cerberus swinging it's arm. Cerberus blocked the Sinows fist with his saber. The Sinow released its lock on his saber and swung again. Cerberus used the energy shield on his left arm to block the attack then swung his saber down severing the Sinows arm. Before the Sinow could move, Cerberus plunged the blade into the Sinows head. He pulled the blade out and the Sinow fell to the floor. Cerberus deactivated the blade and put the hilt away. He checked his gun. It had fully recharged. Cerberus nodded and stepped through the gate. Level two was also splattered in purple blood and littered with Sinow parts. Cerberus ran to the gate taking him to the third level. It too was littered with machine parts and purple blood. The fourth was the same. He raced through to the fifth level. Again the room was splattered with blood and Sinow parts. There was a Del lily at the center of the room. It was a dark creature seven feet tall with a flower head five feet across and pincer jaws at the center of the flower. Cerberus didn't like these things. They were capable of spitting Megid across long distances and could paralyze at close range. Cerberus aimed his Wals and fired off four rounds. Two rounds burned holes through one of the pedals while the others blasted chunks from the stem. The Del lily screeched then drew it's head back. It whipped it's head forward spitting a purple ball of Megid at Cerberus. Cerberus dove out of the way landing face down. He rolled to his side and fired two more shots. The first shot missed but the second shot hit the Del lily in the jaws. It screamed and collapsed in a cloud of purple poison gas. Cerberus let out a sigh and climbed to his feet. He approached the lilies body. It melted into a puddle of purple blood. The fact that there were dark creatures still alive on these lower levels so soon after a clearing sweep was a very bad sign. It usually took a couple of days before the dark creatures reappeared. Cerberus hurried through the gate to the next room. It was full of creatures. At least two Del lilies, two Delbiters that looked much like a bull with a rhinos head and three Sinow Berrills. Shots were flying out from behind a half wall. The dark creatures were attacking the wall trying to get at who ever was hiding behind the wall. Cerberus stayed hidden in the doorway and conducted a BEE scan. His BEE system made contact with HitmanJ and Rogue Comet. Knowing voice communication would give his position away to the monsters, he sent a quick typed message to both.
HitmanJ continued to fire rounds from his handgun. His pair of mechguns were lying on the floor, recharging. His BEE interface on his left arm beeped. Rogue Comets BEE beeped too. HitmanJ was a green RAmar with a black stomach and shins. His shoulder pads were red with white striping and a gray plate fastened to the top. He wore a black face mask that had a green frame around the outside of his face and a red shield across his forehead. His forearms bared the gray cuffs that contained his BEE panel and the mount for his shield.
"Who would be trying to call me at this time." HitmanJ grumbled.
Rogue Comment was lying on the floor. He was badly injured. Far beyond the abilities of Resta. Especially HitmanJ's Resta.
"I'll get it." Rogue Comment horsed and painfully tapped the button on his left arm, "It's from a RAcast named Cerberus. He's here and wants to know our status!"
Rogue Comment exhaled and passed out. HitmanJ ducked down and checked on him. He was still alive but fading fast. HitmanJ quickly tapped a response.
RACAST CERBERUS. THIS IS HITMANJ. WE ARE PINNED DOWN AND ROGUE COMET IS BADLY INJURED ANY ASSISTANCE YOU CAN OFFER WILL BE APPRECIATED.
Cerberus nodded and stepped out from the doorway. Two Sinow Berrills spotted him and made a charge. They charged with their giant fists ready to strike. Cerberus leapt from their path landing on his side. He scrambled to his feet as the Sinows marched forward. Cerberus aimed his rifle and quickly fired. The photon bullets pelted the lead Sinows armor blasting away chunks. The Sinow leapt back and crossed its arms. It vanished leaving it's companion to attack. Cerberus fired off two more shots then ran forward dodging the Sinows charge. Cerberus ran straight into something solid.
"Crap, the Sinow didn't move!" Cerberus cursed.
The Sinow grabbed Cerberus by the chest plate and lifted him off the ground. Cerberus looked down and watched a dent and crack form in his chest as the Sinow pounded him. He pulled out his saber and activated the blade. With a one handed swing, Cerberus sliced the Sinows head off. The cloak deactivated and the Sinow collapsed on the floor. Cerberus ran a quick diagnostic. No internal damage. He turned just as the other Sinow leapt down on him, smashing his shoulder with a massive fist. He sliced at it with his saber cutting a slit in it's chest.
"Eye for an eye!" Cerberus said.
"I'm going to take much more than that!" The Sinow replied.
Cerberus gasped. Sinows weren't supposed to be able to talk. Cerberus jumped back and fired his rifle. The Sinow marched forward ignoring the photon bullets blasting holes in it's armor. Cerberus fired as quickly as the rifle could. The Sinow slowed with each hole but it continued to march forward. It made one last leap swinging both fists down. It connected with the energy shield on Cerberus' left arm. The shield deflected the blow and Cerberus shoved the barrel of his rifle into the Sinow's chest. He smiled as he pulled the trigger blasting a hole in the armor and melting much of the internal circuitry. The Sinow Berrill collapsed with a loud clang. The third Sinow was still trying to get to the other hunters. Cerberus quietly approached the Sinow. This was quite difficult for a clunky ranger android. He set a proximity confuse trap then retreated to the door way. He gave the Sinow a shot and remained visible. The Sinow began marching toward him setting off the trap. Cerberus ducked back into the door way. Losing sight of the android the Sinow Berrill turned to the closest target. It began smashing chunks out of one of the Del lilies. Cerberus took this opportunity to fire at the Sinow who ignored his attack until the effects of the trap wore off. It stopped it's attack on the lily and turned to Cerberus. He continued to fire until the Sinow collapsed from all the damage. He quickly finished off the damaged lily then turned his attention to the one HitmanJ was shooting at. They quickly finished it off then turned to the delbiters. They weren't very smart and charged the wall as Cerberus shot them from a distance. The delbiters finally fell followed by a loud clang as the doors unlocked. HitmanJ let out a sigh of relief. He turned his attention to Rogue Comet. He was still breathing.
"We need to get him to a hospital." HitmanJ called.
"I'll drop a telepipe." Cerberus said pulling one from his supply pack.
HitmanJ picked up Rogue Comet and carried him into the telepipe. They were instantly transported back to the ship. Cerberus quickly followed. The telepipes formed on a clearing beside the bank. They had to carry Rogue Comet down the roadway and to the hospital beside the main transporter. The two newman nurses working the front counter greeted them.
"He's been badly injured and requires immediate medical attention!" HitmanJ said quickly.
"Don't worry, he's in good hands!" One nurse smiled.
The other nurse pulled out a stretcher and he carefully placed Rogue Comet on it. The nurse wheeled him off. The other nurse turned back to the hunters.
"Anything else?" She asked.
"I could use a touch up!" Cerberus said.
"Thanks for the help but I have to be getting back!" HitmanJ said.
"Not so fast." Cerberus said, "I want a word with you. Besides there is no way you can handle that on your own."
"Very well!" HitmanJ sighed.
The medical staff quickly changed Cerberus' damaged armor and ran a quick diagnostic on all his systems. He met HitmanJ in the lobby.
"What is it that you wanted?" HitmanJ asked.
"I represent my team leader and offer you the chance to join our team." Cerberus said, "We've been hired by the government for a scouting mission!"
"Scouting what?" HitmanJ asked.
"I can not devulge any details at this time!" Cerberus shook his head.
"I'd love to help you but I do have a quest to finish!" HitmanJ shrugged.
"You'll never survive on your own!" Cerberus said.
"I have to try!" HitmanJ said, "I must finish the quest!"
"If I help you then will you consider my offer?"
"I must admit youíve peaked my curiosity!" HitmanJ said, "It's a deal!"
"So what is it your trying to do?" Cerberus asked following HitmanJ out.
"The lab has detected some one trying to access A.I. Olga on Gal Da Val island." HitmanJ explained as they walked back to the telepipe, "The lab wants a wire tap on the main terminal link. Who ever is trying to tap into Olga seems interested in the research that Dr. Osto conducted on Heathcliff Flowen. OOPS, I wasn't supposed to say that!"
"It's all right!" Cerberus said, "I know all about that."
"What, how?" HitmanJ exclaimed, "What a minute, I know you. Your one of the hunters that fought Dark Faltz."
"That's right." Cerberus nodded.
"I would have joined too but I was involved with a quest in the mines!" HitmanJ said, "WORKS was causing trouble that the government didn't approve of."
"Them again!" Cerberus said, "Did you stop them?"
"Oh ya!" HitmanJ nodded, "I just wish we could get rid of them."
"Agreed!" Cerberus said.
They stepped into the telepipe and reappeared on the same level they left. Cerberus scanned the area for danger but the area was clear. HitmanJ was about to step through the door to the top level but Cerberus grabbed his shoulder.
"Careful, Epsilon may be guarding the top floor!" He said.
"What's Epsilon?" HitmanJ asked.
"Let me guess!" Cerberus said, "This is your first time to the island."
"Epsilon is a machine similar to Volt Opt only smaller and has four metal shields surrounding it. You can't damage Epsilon until it extends it's shields out for an attack. Be careful he uses a different technique for each attack. Barta, Zonde, Foi, and an instant kill." Cerberus explained.
"You mean Megid right?" HitmanJ asked.
"No, unlike Megid it won't matter how high your dark resistance is this attack will kill you in one shot." Cerberus explained.
"Let's do this!" HitmanJ said.
Cerberus checked his rifle and HitmanJ pulled out his mechguns. Cerberus stepped through the door first. Sure enough Epsilon was hovering in the center of the room. It turned to face the two hunters.
"Ah crap!" Cerberus mumbled.
"That's Epsilon?" HitmanJ gasped, "Doesn't look that tough."
"You go left." Cerberus said, "I'll draw it's attention."
"Right!" HitmanJ nodded and scurried around the wall.
Cerberus fired a couple of shots then ran to the right. Epsilon turned with Cerberus tracking him with a laser and blasted him with Rafoie. The explosion knocked Cerberus on his back. He climbed to his feet. Smoke radiated from his armor casing. HitmanJ reached the main terminal. He pried the control panel open. This attracted Epsilon's attention. HitmanJ heard a slight buzzing and turned to see a laser beam pointed at his head.
"Oh crap." He said as Rafoie exploded around him.
His uniform caught fire as he was knocked to his side. Kaitabha his Mag began to spin and cast a low level Barta around him. It extinguished the fire but left HitmanJ a little frosty.
"Thanks!" He said, "That's a new trick for you."
Kaitabha was just a single Mag like all Mags hunters received but looked like a couple of beetle bodies with green wing cases that floated over his shoulders. Mags didn't cast attack techniques. Cerberus stared at it for a moment then felt an explosion surround him. He was knocked on his back.
"Stupid, stay focused." He mumbled.
His diagnostic system warned him that his external temperature was becoming critical. He had to be careful that his internal lubricants didn't begin to boil. Epsilon extended his shields which began to orbit it. Cerberus sat up and began firing between the shields. HitmanJ began firing with his mechguns but the yellow shield got too close blasting him with a charge of Zonde. He was glad he was wearing a face mask or his face could have been badly burned. He slowly sat up trying to regain control of his muscles. Epsilon was taking heavy damage from Cerberus' rifle. It retracted it's shields and began tracking Cerberus with the laser. Cerberus climbed to his feet and tried to lose the lock. Rafoie surrounded him again. He managed to stay on his feet but his internal systems were screaming at him.
"Hurry up with that tap!" He cried.
"I'm trying!" HitmanJ replied and struggled to his feet.
Epsilon targeted him again until Cerberus fired at it again.
"You owe me one." He muttered.
He tried to jump away from the Rafoie explosion but he was too slow. His casing was so hot he could hardly stand it. Every system was screaming at him. It was the android version of pain. HitmanJ reached the panel and unplugged the main feed line. He quickly installed the tap then plugged the line into the tap. Epsilon spun and locked on to him. He slammed the panel shut and leapt to the side. Rafoie surrounded the panel. Epsilons shields extended and began orbiting it.
"Look out they're purple!" Cerberus cried.
HitmanJ jumped back narrowly avoiding it. He got lucky that time. Cerberus fired as quickly as he could. HitmanJ's mechguns sprayed Epsilon in a shower of photon bullets. Epsilon finally succumb to the damage falling to the floor lifeless. HitmanJ ran over to the wrecked machine and gave it a careful once over before walking over to Cerberus.
"Thanks, I couldn't have done it alone." HitmanJ said reaching for his hand.
"Donít touch me." Cerberus barked stepping back, "My casing hasn't cooled off yet!"
HitmanJ nodded then lifted his hand up and cast Ryuker. A telepipe formed around him. He disappeared then Cerberus stepped in. He materialized on Pioneer Two and the telepipe platform where HitmanJ was waiting for him.
"I just have to collect my money from the guild!" He said.
"I better let them know I'm back as well." Cerberus said, "One thing I'd like to know."
"What's that?" HitmanJ asked as he started walking toward the guild.
"How does someone tap into Olga with Epsilon guarding the top floors?" Cerberus asked.
"Floors?" HitmanJ asked.
"Epsilon guards the top floor of the east tower as well." Cerberus explained, "And there he will be as long as the dark entity exists in Olga."
"Great!" HitmanJ mumbled, "The lab believes who ever is doing this is using a remote terminal. The west tower is the main link terminal. Everything goes through it before it goes to Olga."
"I see!" Cerberus nodded.
"I've heard rumors that this might be linked with the disappearance of the hunters lately." HitmanJ said, "Same as the missing hunters that Black Paper snatched."
"We never did find those hunters!" Cerberus said, "It's possible but until we know more, it's just speculation."
The two rangers quickly checked in with the guild girl then went to the transporter. Cerberus dialed up the commercial district of Pioneer Two. They stepped in and found themselves in the middle of a crowd.
"Must be supper time!" HitmanJ said.
"Indeed!" Cerberus replied.
"Mommy, mommy look!" Cried a young newman girl, "A big red robot."
"Cool, you're Cerberus right?" Her brother asked.
He and his mother were both human. The girl had obviously been adopted. Her ears were still small but it was clear that if she became a hunter she could only be a HUnewearl.
"That's right." Cerberus nodded.
"Can I have your autograph?" He asked holding out a card, "Your my favorite."
"Certainly." Cerberus said taking the card.
HitmanJ glanced at it quickly.
"Hero's of Dark Faltz series!" He read, "They have collector cards of hunters now?"
"Apparently!" Cerberus said signing the card.
"Did you know about this?" HitmanJ asked.
"Nope!" Cerberus replied handing the card back.
"Thank you Mister Cerberus!" The boy grinned and ran back to show his mother.
The girl looked up with a big smile and gave his bulky leg a hug then ran back to her mother.
"Well, as long as this doesn't go to your head!" HitmanJ smiled even though his mask hid it.
"Let's go, we're late!" Cerberus said.
"Late for what?" HitmanJ asked.
"Your team interview." Cerberus replied looking around, "There it is."
He headed for one of the fancier restaurants. HitmanJ followed close behind. Cerberus entered the restaurant and stopped at the podium. A newman male dressed in a black suit walked up to them.
"Is there something I can do for you gentlemen." He asked.
"We're part of Deepfreeze's party." Cerberus answered.
"Ah yes, follow me." The newman said dryly.
He lead them to a back room that was used for hosting private parties. Deepfreeze and RTJ were already seated at the table. Cerberus and HitmanJ took their seats.
"Your late." Deepfreeze said.
"I know, but we had to finish something!" Cerberus said.
"Your Hitman Jay I presume." Deepfreeze said.
"That's right!" HitmanJ nodded and unclipped his mask and set it under his chair.
He had brown eyes and sported a short beard.
"Good, the food should be here shortly so let's get started." Deepfreeze said, "RTJ, Hitman Jay, you both have been invited here because we need two rangers for our team. I've reviewed your credentials and they are most impressive. Hitman Jay I see you've had numerous dealings with WORKS and we know how troublesome they can be. RTJ has military training and an expert in computer systems and programming. That could be useful for any security systems we run into."
"There's no system I can't hack into." RTJ said softly.
"What is it we're doing anyway." HitmanJ asked.
The waiters walked in carrying three steak dinners and a serving of monomate. They gave the hunters their plates and left a pitcher of ice tea with three glasses. Deepfreeze nodded to them and turned his attention back to his team. RTJ dove into his steak.
"Surveillance of the northern continent has revealed a facility of considerable size. Scans indicate it is of Pioneer construction. It has yet to be determined as Pioneer One or Two." Deepfreeze explained.
"My guess would be Pioneer One!" HitmanJ said.
"Our thoughts exactly, but here's the kicker!" Deepfreeze said, "The facility is still operational."
"You're kidding me?" HitmanJ exclaimed.
RTJ munched away on his steak listening intently to the conversation. The military kept all this secret from the recruits so this was all news to him.
"I'm afraid not." Deepfreeze shook his head.
"Um what's so important about an operational facility?" RTJ asked.
"So far every Pioneer One facility we've found has been abandoned and over run by mutated and dark creatures." Deepfreeze said, "This facility indicates one of two things. Survivors from Pioneer One or someone from Pioneer Two has discovered it first. We're supposed to scout this facility and determine who is using it and what kind of security is in place, then report back to the Principal."
"I expect after that, we'll be sent back to it to determine what is going on there." HitmanJ said.
"I hope so but that's up to the principal!" Cerberus said then his BEE signaled.
"What's up?" Deepfreeze asked.
"It's the hunters guild." Cerberus replied, "Another hunter has been reported missing. An android."
"You get missing persons reports from the guild?" HitmanJ asked, "How'd you manage that?"
Cerberus just shrugged.
"OK so, missing android equal missing humans and newmans right?" RTJ asked.
"Sounds a little fishy to me." RTJ said, "Why is some one trying so hard to get as many androids as humans?"
"I don't know, but I hope to find out." Deepfreeze said, "The fact we still have hunters going missing indicates that Black Paper are still operational."
"And that's assuming they have anything to do with this." Cerberus said.
"They don't really have anything to do with our mission right?" RTJ said.
"Right." Deepfreeze said, "So to put it simply our job is to assess the stations defences and a possible way in!"
"But we won't actually be going in." Cerberus added.
"Are we getting paid for this?" HitmanJ asked.
"This time yes!" Deepfreeze said.
"Good, I'm in." HitmanJ said.
RTJ quickly swallowed the piece of steak he was chewing on and nodded.
"Good, I'll see everyone at seven hundred tomorrow." Deepfreeze said.
They finished their dinners then returned to their apartments. Deepfreeze was just settling down for the evening when his door chime range. He opened the door to find Cerberus standing there with a pile of papers in his hand.
"Hey come on in." Deepfreeze said.
"Thanks." Cerberus said stepping through the door, "Jeans and a Tee-shirt huh. You're lucky you can take off your uniform. We androids can't take off ours. I picked up some of the preliminary scans of the compound."
"Good, let's see them." Deepfreeze said sitting down at the kitchen table.
Cerberus spread the papers out on the table. Most of it was of poor quality taken from space. The facility was built in front of an escarpment that lay behind a forest frozen in perpetual winter. Open fields had become a barren wasteland and the forest had been stripped of everything but the tree trunks and branches. The compound had a large wall surrounding the building and molding into the escarpment. The photos showed small dots that could be people. The biggest evidence of this is the dots changed location from photo to photo.
"Certainly looks operational!" Deepfreeze said, "The building looks like it's built into the escarpment. There's no telling how large this thing really is. The top of the building even looks like rock. No wonder no one saw this before."
"I agree!" Cerberus said, "This could make our job more complicated!"
"I don't see any security here." Deepfreeze said, "That worries me."
"We'll just have to be very careful!" Cerberus said picking up the papers.
"See you in the morning!" Deepfreeze said.
Cerberus nodded and headed out the door. Deepfreeze looked at the clock and decided to retire for the evening. He took a quick shower and slipped into bed.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2007-10-24 14:51 ]</font>
That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-06-2006, 09:10 PM
The team gathered in front of the main transporter. Deepfreeze checked everyone for proper equipment. It was difficult to find parkas that would fit over their ranger uniforms. The broad shoulder pads and high neck guards made it difficult but they did find it. Everyone seemed ready and their Mags seemed excited. Even though Mags couldn't communicate, every one could feel the excitement. Deepfreeze swiped his pass card through the transporter computer. This programmed the transporter for one trip only and there was no return gate. The team would have to use telepipes to return. Cerberus had the other card so if they did return to the ship they could only use the main transporter once more and there was no guarantee that a telepipe would return either. With no two way connection to the ship from the planet, transport can be very unpredictable. Deepfreeze didn't like the thought of putting his team in danger after the mission was complete but they had little choice. He sighed and lead his team into the transporter and was instantly transported to a frozen snow covered field. The wind was bitter and stung Deepfreeze's exposed face. RTJ and HitmanJ both wore face masks with visors so they didn't have this problem. Worse yet the wind was blowing tiny ice chunks.
"This is definitely a good place to hide a base!" HitmanJ said, "No one in their right mind would want to come here!"
"Cerberus, scan the area!" Deepfreeze said.
Cerberus nodded and looked around in all directions.
"All clear!" He said.
"Let's go!" Deepfreeze waved, "The facility should be on the other side of that forest."
The team slowly trudged through the deep snow. They reached the edge of the forest when Cerberus stopped them.
"What is it?" Deepfreeze asked.
"Not sure but I detect movement in there." Cerberus replied, "I see two maybe three!"
"Stay sharp and stay close!" Deepfreeze said.
He cautiously lead his team into the forest. They heard a growl from deep inside. Deepfreeze held his team up as he looked for the source.
"They're getting closer!" Cerberus said pointing ahead.
"There!" RTJ cried.
Two large polar bear like creatures appeared from the shadows. They had six inch claws on their front feet and their coats had a light blue tint to it. A third stepped out from behind the first two. This one had a pinky colour tint. They began to circle the group.
"They don't look like savage wolves but they sure act like it." HitmanJ said.
"Keep your eyes on your backs!" Deepfreeze said holding up his shotgun, the Final Impact.
The red bear stopped circling and stood up. It let out a roar and stared down at the rangers.
"Freeze, these creatures are exhibiting the same strange photons as the animals at the central dome!" Cerberus said.
"What!" Deepfreeze exclaimed, "That means!"
"Exactly!" Cerberus nodded.
"What!" RTJ asked frowning, "Means what?"
"It means IT is here!" HitmanJ said.
"What is IT?" RTJ asked quietly.
"Didn't the military teach you anything?" HitmanJ asked.
RTJ quickly shook his head.
"IDOLA, the dark entity!" Cerberus said.
"And it's here?" RTJ asked keeping his handgun pointed.
"Maybe, but this points to Dr. Osto's research!" Deepfreeze said.
Before he could continue, the red bear charged. The others followed suit forcing the group to split. HitmanJ dove side ways firing off his mechguns. He hit the bear with a couple of shots blasting chunks of fur away. RTJ jumped to the other side firing off a couple of shots missing completely. Cerberus and Deepfreeze hopped aside then turned and fired. Cerberus blasted the red bear while Deepfreeze hit all three with his five shot Final Impact. Two bears moved in on RTJ. HitmanJ quickly climbed to his feet and began to fire at one of the blue bears. RTJ fired at the other one until they got too close. He tried to run but one of the bears claws caught him in the shoulder pad. He wasn't injured but the impact knocked him down.
"Oh crap!" HitmanJ muttered.
He threw out his hand casting Rabarta. It had no effect. He cursed himself and threw out his hand again. Explosive fire enveloped the bears as he cast Rafoie. The bears cried out as their fur caught fire. Shots from Deepfreeze continued to hit them. They turned and started marching for HitmanJ. RTJ climbed to his feet and started shooting the same one as HitmanJ. The bear finally collapsed from it's injuries. It fell to the ground and melted into a pool of red blood. HitmanJ and RTJ turned their attention to the other blue bear. The red bear finally died from the power of Cerberus' rifle. It too melted into a pool of blood. He turned his attention to the last bear finishing it off quickly. Deepfreeze lowered his large shot and relaxed.
"Did you get a full bioscan of them?" He asked.
"Good, we'll have to take it to the lab once we get back to the ship!" Deepfreeze said, "I find it hard to imagine Dr. Osto was here too but I'll bet who ever is operating this facility also got their hands on his research."
"It wouldn't be hard with all those Beta creatures living in the drainage tubes in the caves!" HitmanJ shrugged.
"And we know he worked on Gal Da Val island!" Cerberus said, "Perhaps that's what the hackers were after."
"That would fit the profile of the files that were stolen!" HitmanJ nodded.
"What exactly was stolen?" Deepfreeze asked.
"Dr. Ostos notes and reports on his study of Heathcliff Flowen's infection." HitmanJ said, "Strange thing is those reports had nothing to do with the Beta project or its mutant properties."
"No, it's worse." Deepfreeze muttered.
They moved through the wooded area without further trouble until they reached the edge. Sitting just past the tree line were five four foot penguin birds with feathery antenna sticking up out of their heads. Deepfreeze stopped his team. Cerberus stopped
"Rappies!" He said, "And they show the same unusual photons as those bears!"
"Stand back, I'll see if I can get them to run off!" Deepfreeze said raising his shot.
He fired off a round. Four of the photon bullets hit the rappies who jumped to their feet and ran off as quickly as they could. Even the rappie that was missed ran off with the others.
"That was easy!" RTJ chuckled.
"That's what bothers me!" Deepfreeze said, "This is way too easy."
"I'm not detecting any life readings in the immediate area." Cerberus reported.
"That's what I'm talking about." Deepfreeze said, "The forest and Gal Da Val island showed the same unusual photon levels and were crawling with hostile animals but this place is virtually deserted."
"Something must be keeping the animals away from the facility!" HitmanJ said.
"Exactly!" Deepfreeze nodded.
"Look, there's a trail in the snow!" RTJ pointed.
"It runs around the forest and back the way we came!" Cerberus said, "There must be a second transporter location."
"Probably a fixed transporter terminal!" Deepfreeze said.
"The question is, where does it lead too?" HitmanJ said.
"Later." Deepfreeze said and followed the trail.
They walked for several minutes before coming upon an energy fence and gate. The gate switch used a card reader for control. Deepfreeze looked over it for a moment then waved RTJ forward.
"I believe this is your area!"
RTJ nodded and opened his tool kit. He popped the cover off the reader and studied the circuit panel for a moment.
"No problem, this is definitely Pioneer One." He said, "They're using the syncro serial bypass algorythm in the readers processor. Pioneer Two uses the more complicated parallel algorythm."
"Lucky us." HitmanJ shrugged.
RTJ pulled out a small scanner that he used to tap into the fences security protocol.
"Whoa, they must not thought anyone would ever find this place!" He said.
"Why's that?" Deepfreeze asked.
"I've got access to the entire security grid from here!" RTJ replied.
"Nice." HitmanJ smiled.
"What are we up against?" Deepfreeze asked leaning closer.
"The perimeter is fairly lax with the exception of the Sinow Reds patrolling the area." RTJ explained.
"Sinows, great." HitmanJ mumbled.
"What else?" Deepfreeze nodded.
"Looks like the facility is just the front." RTJ said, "Standard security, store houses, loader equipment, and crew quarters. There is definitely a lab or labs here. I can't tell if it's back in the escarpment or deep underground. Security is pretty high in there. Cameras, Foie and Barta turrets, Sinow Reds, and card locks on every door."
"You getting all this?" Deepfreeze asked Cerberus.
Cerberus just nodded.
"Good, I want to have a look at this place!" Deepfreeze said.
RTJ deactivated the fence and Deepfreeze lead them forward. The path lead to a ridge that over looked the facility. Everyone ducked down to stay out of view as much as possible. Deepfreeze pulled out a pair of binoculars. He saw several people moving equipment and empty capsules. The capsules were large enough to hold a ranger android.
"I wonder what those are for?" HitmanJ asked.
"There's a lot of activity down there!" Cerberus said.
"Indeed!" Deepfreeze murmured, "Getting in is going to be quite difficult."
"I donít think the front door is an option!" Cerberus said.
"No it's... ah there's a couple of sinows." Deepfreeze said, "Now where is everyone going in such a hurry."
All the people in the front yard dropped what they were doing and scurried inside. The Sinows appeared to be pulling something from around the far wall of the facility. A twenty foot three headed dog appeared. It was snarling and drooling pulling back on the chain. RTJ let out a small gasp.
"They have a bigger Cerberus." Deepfreeze sighed.
"Where did they get that monster!" HitmanJ gasped.
Deepfreeze turned to Cerberus who shook his head.
"My sensors don't reach that far!" He replied.
"Doesn't matter." Deepfreeze said, "Let's circle around and see if we can find another way in."
They went right and followed the ridge around to a cliff that dropped fifty feet to a frozen lake. The facility backed on to the lake. There was a large drainage pipe that emptied into a hole in the ice.
"That could be a possibility!" HitmanJ said.
"I hope that's not our only option!" RTJ said.
"Don't worry, we're not going in yet!" Deepfreeze said, "I don't see any other doors. Let's try the other side."
"That's where the big dog came from!" RTJ exclaimed.
"Right, and he had to have come from somewhere." HitmanJ smiled although no one could see it.
The ridge sloped off on that side until it was level with the facility. The doors were closed.
"I wonder what else they keep in there?" HitmanJ pondered.
"I don't like this!" Deepfreeze said, "We're too exposed. Let's report back to the ship!"
Cerberus grabbed Deepfreeze's shoulder.
"We have company!" He said.
"What?" Deepfreeze asked jumping to his feet.
"Sinow Reds!" Cerberus said, "Lot's of them."
"Can't we just telepipe out?" RTJ asked.
"The facility would detect one this close!" Deepfreeze said, "Besides I don't want to risk it if we don't have to. I'd rather use it back at the transporter location. We know there's a link with the ship there. Cerberus lead us out."
Cerberus nodded and headed for the transporter. They reached the top of the ridge when two Sinow Red's stepped in front of them. More appeared surrounding them.
"This is bad!" HitmanJ muttered.
"Intruders prepare to be exterminated." One sinow said.
"These guys talk too!" Cerberus exclaimed.
"Too?" Deepfreeze asked but Cerberus didn't answer.
A Sinow leapt at HitmanJ drawing it's dagger blades HitmanJ dove aside then fired his mechguns at it. This brought the other sinows down at them. Deepfreeze fired his Final Impact as quickly as he could. Cerberus fired several rounds before he had to move to avoid a Sinows charge. RTJ shot a Sinow in the head blasting off some of it's armor. This drew the attention of a second one that took a swipe at him. He dove through the legs of the first. It caught the swipe from the second one in the chest. RTJ rolled onto his back and fired at the first. He managed to cut a hole in it's back before it could turn around. It fell to the ground, spasmed once then lay still. The second Sinow immediately leapt at him. RTJ didn't have time to move. The Sinow drove it's dagger into RTJ's belly. He cried out as the photon blade began to cook his insides. A blast from the Final Impact drove the Sinow off RTJ. It landed on it's back. Deepfreeze leapt onto it's chest and jammed the butt of his shot into the Sinows head. He fired and the head was obliterated. He rushed over to RTJ's side. He laid his shot down and checked RTJ's wound. Deepfreeze held out his hand and cast Resta. Nothing happened.
"This is very bad." He muttered.
HitmanJ jumped to the side as a Sinow charged then used a side kick to knock it on it's face. He jumped on its back and blasted the Sinow until it stopped moving. His mechguns beeped indicating a low charge.
"I've really got to get better guns!" He muttered.
Cerberus finished off a Sinow but missed the second charging from his side. It drove it's dagger into Cerberus' left arm. He punched it in the face with his right arm dropping his gun. His diagnostic system indicated his left servo had been punctured. His arm was useless. He quickly pulled out his saber and swung it at the Sinow. HitmanJ tried to help but was jumped by three Sinows.
"We have to leave now." Deepfreeze muttered.
He fired, blasting the Sinows off HitmanJ. He quickly threw his free arm up casting Ryuker. A telepipe formed around him. A Sinow leaped at him knocking him down. The swipe from the Sinow hit Deepfreeze's Mag. She let out a sharp yelp followed by a chime.
"That was fast." He said.
Cerberus took anouther hit falling to the ground. Nidra began to bounce and let out a chime too.
"Deepfreeze, photon chain." He yelled jumping to his feet.
"Go!" Deepfreeze barked.
They both through up their arms. The circle triangle symbol appeared beneath their feet. Philla, the light angel appeared above Deepfreeze. It spread out it's triangle wings blasting a circular light attack. Estilla the dolphin appeared flying out striking the Sinows. The blast blew the Sinows to pieces. Cerberus rushed over to RTJ and picked him up with his good arm.
"Hurry, more are coming!" He said stepping into the telepipe.
"I can't believe the photon blast worked on the Reds!" HitmanJ gasped.
"We'll worry about it later!" Deepfreeze waved for him to hurry.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2007-10-24 14:55 ]</font>
That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-07-2006, 04:53 AM
They stepped into the telepipe and returned to the ship. There was no telepipe on the ship. Cerberus hurried down the street to the hospital. The other rangers followed close behind. People had to jump out of the way to avoid being run over. Cerberus burst through the hospital door startling the two newman nurses.
"Injured ranger." Cerberus cried.
HitmanJ and Deepfreeze rushed through the doors. One nurse quickly grabbed a stretcher while the other one paged a doctor. Cerberus set RTJ down on the stretcher. A human doctor rushed out and quickly scanned RTJ.
"It doesn't look good!" He said, "We'll do everything we can."
He left the three rangers standing in the lobby. The nurse took Cerberus to anouther room to repair his damages. They waited for two hours before the doctor reappeared.
"We've tried repairing the damaged tissue but I'm afraid there's just too much damage." The Doctor said, "He's fading fast. You can go in and see him."
The rangers followed the doctor to RTJ's room. He was lying still on the bed covered in a blue blanket. Deepfreeze walked up to the bed first. RTJ looked up and smiled.
"Hey." He horsed, "Guess I screwed up huh."
"No." Deepfreeze said, "You did good. We were just out numbered. It could have happened to any one."
"It's true, you'd make a great ranger." Cerberus smiled.
"Thanks." RTJ coughed.
HitmanJ set his mask on the table and walked over to the bed side. Bhirava was sitting on the end table. HitmanJ gave it a pat. When the mags weren't equipped the two halves joined together.
"Is there anything I can do for you?" He asked.
"Find Bhirava a good home!" RTJ whispered, "He gets lonely easily."
HitmanJ nodded and picked Bhirava up. RTJ gave a squeak then stopped breathing. The monitors all went dead. Every one stood silent. Bhirava began to spin. HitmanJ had to let him go. He floated in the air and tried casting reverser but RTJ lay still. Bhirava settled down in HitmanJ's arms. Deepfreeze spoke first.
"Next week was his nineteenth birthday!" He said quietly, "He doesn't have any family here."
"I'll have the guild contact his family on Coral." Cerberus said.
"Thanks buddy." Deepfreeze sighed, "The first one is truly the hardest."
He walked out leaving HitmanJ and Cerberus alone.
"What did he mean by that?" HitmanJ asked.
"Deepfreeze has never lost a teammate in battle before." Cerberus replied, "Neither have I."
"You guys are lucky!" HitmanJ said, "I've lost a few. It doesn't get any easier."
"Donít get me wrong." Cerberus said, "We've seen fellow hunters fall but never under our command."
"Most against Dark Faltz I'll bet." HitmanJ said.
Cerberus nodded then walked out. HitmanJ followed him out but went his own way. He had to find Bhirava a new home after all.
Cerberus found Deepfreeze at his usual cafe. It didn't look like tea this time. Cerberus' sensors told him it was coffee and it was strong.
"I thought you didn't like coffee!" Cerberus said taking a seat.
"I don't." Deepfreeze said, "But it tastes better than I feel."
Cerberus nodded, "I delivered the report to Tyrell."
"Thanks." Deepfreeze said.
"I've been thinking about this and I believe we need a close range combat specialist with us." Cerberus said.
"You mean a hunter." Deepfreeze said, "I agree. I never should have insisted on an all ranger team. RTJ should never have been there."
"You were right." Cerberus said, "We needed his technical knowledge. Besides, we weren't supposed to encounter anyone. We got jumped."
"I should have anticipated that." Deepfreeze spat, "I failed. A good leader is supposed to see and plan for something that simple."
"While your beating up on yourself maybe you should have had a force too." Cerberus said.
"That would mean dumping Hitman." Deepfreeze frowned, "That wouldn't be very fair."
"Yep." Cerberus nodded.
"You know what we need is a HUnewearl." Deepfreeze said, "They have the close range combat we need and the higher mental capacity of a newman."
"You could be right." Cerberus shrugged, "I've got to head home. I'll catch you later."
"Sure man." Deepfreeze waved, "Thanks!"
He watched Cerberus disappear into the crowd. Deepfreeze's BEE terminal beeped. He tapped the button on his left arm. It was a message from Crystal. He tapped the button and read the message.
DEEPFREEZE, I NEED TO TALK TO YOU. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT. I KNOW I OFFERED TO BUY YOU COFFEE BUT I'M GOING TO HAVE TO ASK YOU FOR HELP. I DIDN'T KNOW WHO TO TRUST BUT YOUR NAME POPPED INTO MY HEAD. MEET ME AT THE NEW PARIS RESTAURANT AT 958 BEATS. (1700 HR) PLEASE HELP.
Deepfreeze glanced at his watch. It was all ready 948 Beats.(4:45PM) He got up and hurried to the transporter. New Paris had a strict dress code and would never allow him to wear his ranger uniform. If he hurried he should be able to change and be just a little late. He dialed in the hunter residence and stepped into the warp. He hurried down to the Pinkal section and jumped onto the elevator. It stopped on the seventh level where he hopped off and ran to his apartment. He stripped off the uniform and pulled on his tuxedo as quickly as he could. To save time, he stuffed the tie into his pocket then rushed out the door. He arrived at the restaurant twenty minutes late. The seating host stopped him at the door.
"Sorry no tie, no entry!"
Deepfreeze grumbled and pulled his tie out of his pocket and held it to his neck. The host smiled.
"Very funny." He said, "How can I help you?"
"I'm here to meet someone!" Deepfreeze replied.
"Ah yes, you're late." The host said, "Follow me!"
He lead Deepfreeze to a booth at the rear of the restaurant. Crystal jumped up when she saw him.
"Thank goodness your here!" She cried, "I was beginning to think you weren't coming!"
"You didn't give me much of a heads up." Deepfreeze replied, "I had to change."
"Doesn't matter, your here!" She said sitting back down.
"My brother has disappeared." She replied, "No one can locate him anywhere."
"Is he a hunter?" Deepfreeze asked.
Crystal nodded, "His favorite weapons are his twin katanas, the Musashi. He's quite good with them."
"Anouther hunter is missing!" Deepfreeze pondered, "This is becoming all to frequent."
"I think someone is after me too!" She almost cried, "I'm pretty sure I was followed."
"Your safe with me." Deepfreeze said, "Now, where was your brother last seen?"
"He was on a clean up quest in the mines." Crystal said.
"So why would they be after you?" Deepfreeze asked, "Your not a hunter."
"Actually I'm a force." Crystal said looking down, "Pretty proficient with Barta too."
"Ah Crystal, why didn't you tell me!" Deepfreeze sighed, "You better come with me. As long as you stick with me I should be able to protect you."
"Thank you!" She said as she stood up, "I knew you were the right person to turn to."
The waiter stepped up to the table.
"Sorry, we can't stay!" Deepfreeze said leading Crystal out.
The street was unusually busy and nobody seemed to be going anywhere. The hairs on his neck stood up. His senses were tingling.
"Something is very wrong here." Deepfreeze said.
"What?" Crystal asked.
"Everyone's moving but not going anywhere!" Deepfreeze said, "It's like they're trying to make it difficult for us to leave."
"Why?" Crystal frowned.
"Don't know so stay alert." Deepfreeze nodded.
He grabbed Crystals hand and began pushing his way through the crowd. His hand passed right through a woman standing in front of him. She didn't even turn to look at him. Deepfreeze jumped back with surprise then stuck his hand out. It passed through the woman again. She just walked away then reappeared on his right and followed the same pattern. He turned to Crystal.
"Not all of these people are real!"
"What are they?" Crystal asked, "Deepfreeze, what's going on."
"I don't know but it's not safe here!" He replied.
He started ahead again. Crystal gripped his hand ever tighter. Two figures dressed in black came up behind her and tore her from his grasp. Deepfreeze spun around and grabbed one by the coat crest while the other dragged Crystal away. The figure jumped back tearing a chunk out of his coat. He turned and ran, disappearing in the crowd. Deepfreeze tried to follow but there was way too many people. Half the
crowd flickered and disappeared. Deepfreeze was left standing with a crest in his hand. He called out Crystal's name with no results. Some people stood staring at him while everyone else was wondering where the rest of the people had gone. Deepfreeze opened his hand and stared at the crest in his hand. It was dark and difficult to make out the patterns. One looked like the Pioneer Two crest with a snarling shark embroidered over top. Strange symbols ran around the out side. Deepfreeze had never seen this crest before. He closed his hand and sighed. He had fail Crystal too. Self doubt started to fill his mind. He shook his head and stood up straight. He would find her and her brother. He hurried to the nearest warp and went straight to Cerberus' apartment. Cerberus was just finishing his novel when his door chimed. He sat the book down and opened the door. Deepfreeze looked very upset.
"They got Crystal!" He said stepping in side.
"The receptionist at the training center." Cerberus asked, "Who did it?"
"I don't know!" Deepfreeze replied, "Looked like two men. They were dressed in black. I tore this off one of their jackets."
Cerberus took the crest and studied it for a moment.
"I've never seen this before." He replied shaking his head.
"I'm going to talk to Nol Rinal!" Deepfreeze said, "She may not be a journalist anymore but I'm sure she still has contacts in the media. Maybe they've seen something."
"It's worth a shot!" Cerberus said handing the crest back, "So what happened?"
"Crystal asked me to meet her at New Paris. She seemed to be pretty scared." Deepfreeze explained, "Seems her brother disappeared in the mines. She was pretty sure someone was following her. I decided to get her out of there. We exited the restaurant and ran into a crowd doubled with holograms. That's when two men ran up from behind
and grabbed her. Oh and get this she is actually a force with a high level Barta!"
"That would explain their interest in her!" Cerberus said, "I wouldn't be surprised to find Black Paper is behind this."
"If so, then they are far more organized then we all realize!" Deepfreeze sighed, "I'll stop by in the morning. After we visit Nol we can run down to the training center and check out some of the hunters!"
"I'll be waiting!" Cerberus waved.
Deepfreeze stepped out the door and made his way home.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2007-10-24 14:57 ]</font>
That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-13-2006, 02:56 PM
Amanda stared down at her new yellowboz choker. She had just signed up as HUnewearl. She was twenty one, petite with bright blue eyes and long platinum blonde hair that hung down to the nape of her back. She was wearing a moss green long sleeve shirt that ended just above her belly button. The shirt was white just above her breasts. Two white strips ran down the center of her shirt to the bottom and ran around the shirt. She wore a green bracelet on her right wrist and a green glove on her left hand. She wore a pair of green short shorts that revealed more than she would have liked. Finally the outfit finished with a pair of high heeled knee high boots that she hadn't put on yet. The boots had a white stripe around the top and then ran down the front splitting into a V at the top of the foot ending at the boots sole. She didn't like high heels and didn't like the idea of trying to fight with them. There was a shoe tailor on the lower deck that should be able to change them to flat soles. Instinctively she reached back and tried to pull her shorts down. She sighed and clipped the choker around her neck. One more thing she had to get used to. She was trying to decide where to head to next when she heared shouting coming from down the street. There was a large red and black ranger android carrying a human ranger dressed in black. They rushed passed her and into the hospital. A tall ranger wearing blue and white and a shorter ranger wearing green and a mask followed them in. She was fixed on the tall ranger. She watched him until he disappeared behind the doors. She stared a moment longer then frowned. He seemed very familiar. She was sure she had seen him some where before but couldn't remember exactly where. Some one was calling her name.
Aphrodite waved as she ran down the street and stopped in front of the hunters guild where her best friend waited. Aphrodite was a young FOnewearl but hadn't signed up as a hunter yet. She had blue eyes and light green hair tied back into pigtails. She had been taking technique training for a while now and had started wearing face paint that newman forces so often liked to do. She had a wavy line across her forehead and a spike that ran up from her neck ending at her cheeks. She also had a line that ran from the top of her ears curving out to the back of her cheeks and back to the bottom of her ears. Amanda greeted her with a smile. She had met Aphrodite on Pioneer Two shortly after it had left Coral. They had connected right away and Amanda had come to think of her as a sister. She was only a year younger then Amanda but had a habit of acting more like a teenager sometimes. Aphrodite had served a human master on Coral but he passed away shortly before Pioneer Two's departure. She jumped on the ship as quickly as possible. She used to talk to Amanda about it. She had a rough childhood attending a school of all human students. They had teased her relentlessly and her adopted family did little to comfort her. When she was old enough she was transferred to the human who had purchased her. She had trouble adapting to freedom on Pioneer Two at first but seemed to be it handling better now.
"Hi Amanda, I've been looking all over for you!" She giggled, "Is that your new uniform? You look so beautiful."
"You really think so?" Amanda asked looking herself over.
"Oh ya, you'll have the guys chasing you for sure!" Aphrodite smiled.
"Na, it's no different then any other HUnewearl's outfit." Amanda shrugged.
"Not it, you." Aphrodite shrugged.
"Stop it your embarrassing me." Amanda smiled.
"All right, listen I was going to go shopping and I thought you might like to come." Aphrodite smiled shaking her hair.
"Well, I do have to get my boots altered." Amanda shrugged.
"Why, they look so great." Aphrodite frowned.
"You know I can't wear high heals." Amanda replied, "There's no way I'd try to fight in these."
"Well, it may be a crime against fashion but what ever makes you happy." Aphrodite shrugged, "Come on let's go."
She giggled and dragged Amanda to the transporter. Amanda never took her eyes off the hospital hoping the blue ranger would come out. She wanted to show Aphrodite but there was no such luck. They dropped Amanda's boots off first then spent the rest of the day browsing through the shops. Aphrodite gleefully bounced from window to window looking for anything that caught her fancy. Amanda was lost in thought. She kept trying to remember where she had seen the blue and white ranger before. She hadn't paid much attention to the exploits of the hunters guild and didn't really like them much but was forced to join as her funds were getting pretty low. She hadn't been able to find employment on Pioneer Two and with the suspension of the colonization, jobs where in short supply. The day finally wore on and it was time to head home. Amanda sighed. Tonight was the last night in her old apartment. Tomorrow the movers were coming to transfer her stuff to a new apartment in the Yellowboz section. One of the perks of being a hunter, you get a nicer place to live.
"I really need to be heading home now." Aphrodite sighed, "What are you doing tomorrow?"
"The movers are coming first thing in the morning and then melee training at two." Amanda replied.
"Cool, I've got technique training at two!" Aphrodite grinned, "Say, why don't you whip over to the V.R. chamber after and we can practice together."
"I'll be there!" Amanda waved as she ran off.
Amanda was up early the next day. She grabbed a quick bite from the food dispenser and finished boxing a few remaining items. She didn't have many personal items so packing didn't take very long. The door chime rang and she greeted the movers. They looked down at the small pile of boxes sitting on the floor.
"This is certainly going to be the easiest move we've had in a while." One mover said.
"I thought newmans loved collecting stuff!" The other mover chuckled, "Especially you women."
"Guess I'm the exception!" Amanda grinned.
"Well, we thank you!" The first said as he picked up a couple of boxes.
"I'll let you gentlemen go about your business!" Amanda curtsied and backed out the door.
She hurried down to the shopping district to pick up her boots. The clerk smiled as she entered.
"Welcome back pretty lady!" He smiled, "I just finished your boots."
He was an elderly human with boney wrinkled fingers and a hard face but managed to keep a soft smile. She smiled back and brushed a lock of hair back behind her pointed ear.
"Thankyou, I begin training today!" She said walking up to the counter.
"Well don't let anything happen to that pretty little face of yours." He smiled.
"I won't!" She grinned as she handed him the correct amount of Meseta.
She picked up her boots and walked out. She stopped outside the shop and looked them over. They were still green with a white pattern but now they sported a new matching flat rubber sole. She popped off her running shoes and pulled the boots on. They were tight around her leg but surprisingly comfortable.
"At least my legs aren't quite so exposed now." She sighed as she looked at her reflection in the shop window.
She wondered how other newmans could stand to be so exposed in combat then realized she only felt exposed. Other than her thighs and stomach, everything else was covered. She turned and weaved her way through the crowd to the warp. First she went to the restaurant district to grab a light lunch. She finished quickly then left for the training center. There was a FOmar sitting behind the desk. He looked very unhappy.
"Excuse me!" She said quietly, "I'm here for melee training."
"Name and section ID" He snapped.
Amanda stepped back then replied, "Amanda Casidy, Yellowboz."
"Class starts at two but you can go in and wait if you like!" He grumbled.
"Thankyou!" She smiled slightly.
The FOmar didn't even look up. She shrugged and found her way to the gym. There were five other hunters waiting. Two were human males. One was a female newman and the last two were female androids. One was black with gray accents and the other was blue. Amanda took a seat beside the newman. She was roughly Amanda's age, maybe a little younger with bright red hair tied back into fluffy pigtails. She wore a red outfit with black laced pantyhose and black boots. She looked at Amanda with dark brown eyes then smiled.
"Hi!" She chirped.
"Hi!" Amanda returned the smile.
"I'm Lacy." The girl said.
"A pleasure to meet you." Lacy grinned, "I was hoping I wasnít going to be the only real girl here. It's not that I don't like androids, it's just sometimes they just don't get us!"
"That's because most of them were programmed by men." Amanda said, "And what do men know about the inner workings of women!"
"Right on sister." Lacy giggled hugging Amanda's arm, "You and me should stick together."
Amanda nodded and smiled. There was something she liked about Lacy. Amanda was convinced that Lacy was younger and she felt a sudden need to look out for her. Sherry, Lacy reminded Amanda of her younger sister Sherry. Sherry and her father had remained on Coral, unable to obtain a boarding pass for them all.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2007-10-24 18:03 ]</font>
That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-13-2006, 03:34 PM
Amanda hoped they would be able to get aboard Pioneer Three. She missed her family. Amanda smiled at Lacy again.
"Lacy, you stick with me. I've got this friend I think you'll like. The three of us should be able to handle anything this planet throws at us."
"We can be like sisters." Lacy giggled, "I always wanted a sister but I didn't get a family. I was a lab girl grown to be a servant. The family I used to serve had a little girl who was like a sister but there is still differences between humans and newmans!"
"Yes, there are!" Amanda nodded.
"Were there any children in the family you served?" Lacy asked.
Amanda didn't like were this was going. She needed to change the subject but couldn't think of anything.
"No, I had a family. Listen I don't really like talking about my past." Amanda said at last.
"That's OK!" Lacy nodded, "I love your hair. That's a very rare colour. Is it natural?"
"Yes it is!" Amanda smiled, "There is one other HUnewearl with this colour. Problem is she stole my hair style too."
"Figures!" Lacy said, "It almost adds a white glow to your eyes! It looks great!"
The gym door opened and a menacing yellow HUcast entered. He looked at the small class and placed his hands on his hips.
"Greetings." He announced, "I am Kuindo and I'll be your melee trainer today. If I like what I see I may try to stay your instructor. I find one instructor makes for faster training but I won't waste my time with a group of jokers. Keeping the same instructor looks better on your record as well. Let"s start with role call. He pointed at the blue android first.
"Frostbite!" She quipped.
"Nightshade!" The black one said.
"Ben." The human in white called.
"Osiris!" The human in purple said.
"Lacy!" Lacy cried.
"Amanda!" She said.
"Two androids this time." Kuindo said, "This is a good sign. Our numbers have been dwindling as of late."
"That's the most intimidating android I've ever seen." Lacy whispered.
Amanda smiled and nodded. Kuindo walked over to a large assortment of basic weapons. There were ten saber hilts and twenty dagger hilts. Two large swords that were taller then Amanda and four bladed staffs referred to as partisans.
"First you must choose which weapons feel most comfortable!" Kuindo said' "We'll start with the little newman in green."
Amanda sighed and stood up. She slowly walked over to the cabinet eyed each weapon.
"What happened to your boots?" Kuindo asked pointing at her feet, "Those are not standard issue."
Amanda thought for a split second and replied, "These make me a more effective killing machine."
Kuindo let out a loud roaring laugh.
"We shall see." He said, "We shall see."
Amanda picked up a saber handle and activated the blade. She swung it around a few times and shook her head. It just didn't feel right. The swords looked too heavy and she didn't like staffs. She picked up a pair of daggers and balanced them in her hands. The hilts were small and are held vertically. The photon blades formed from the top of the hilt and curved out and down around the hand ending just below the baby finger. She smiled and sat down at her seat.
"Ah daggers!" Kuindo laughed, "A HUnewearls favourite!"
He pointed at Lacy. She too took a pair of daggers. The two male hunters each took a saber. Nightshade took a large sword and Frostbite picked out a partisan. Kuindo nodded with approval.
"Ah a good variety!" He nodded, "Makes for a well rounded fighting force. Remember, you hunters are the backbone of any team. Forces only add support and rangers stand back and hit from a distance then when battle gets to hot, they run. Hunters do not run. We stand our ground and push the enemy back."
The two humans and Frostbite cheered. Nightshade and the two newmans remained quiet.
"That kind of strategy could get you killed." Amanda whispered.
"I agree!" Lacy whispered back.
Kuindo glanced over at them with red glowing eyes. The two girls sat very still. His eyes turned green again and his attention went back to the class. Lacy couldnít help but giggle. Amanda gave her a little shot in the arm with her elbow and grinned. Kuindo ignored them. He ran through a few of the safety procedures and proper care of the weapons before moving on to basic training. The two newmans and the two humans sparred against each other. While the androids used training dummies. Amanda was impressed at how quickly Lacy picked this up. Amanda defended for a while then tried attacking as Lacy defended. Amanda got through once catching Lacyís cheek. Fortunately these were training weapons so no damage was done. Kuindo watched them for a moment then let out a bellowing laugh.
"Why Amanda, I believe your a natural!" Kuindo said, "Lacy, your attacks are perfect but your defence needs a little work. Your both what I would expect from newmans bred for weapons."
Lacy let out a cheerful giggle. Amanda just smiled.
"No, no, that's all wrong!" Kuindo yelled turning to the humans.
The two androids approached the girls.
"We were wondering if you would spar with us?" Frostbite asked.
Amanda and Lacy glanced at each other then nodded.
"Sure, what could it hurt right?" Lacy smiled.
"Good, we were getting tired of working with dummies!" Nightshade said, "You can't defend against a dummy."
"That's true!" Lacy nodded.
"I want you!" Frostbite growled at Amanda.
Amanda gasped a little and then glared. She grit her teeth and charged. Frostbite stood firm until Amanda reached her then stepped aside jamming the butt end of the partisan between Amanda's legs. She fell face first to the ground. Frostbite laughed.
"Sorry, I just couldn't refuse."
Amanda climbed to her feet and turned to face Frostbite.
"Try to defend against this!" She grinned wickedly.
She charged at Frostbite again. She suddenly dropped sliding feet first between Frostbite's legs. Her daggers caught Frostbite's shins pulling her feet out from under her. Amanda leaped to her feet and turned. Frostbite climbed to her feet with a grin.
"Wow, where'd you learn that!" Lacy exclaimed.
"Impressive!" Frostbite said and charged.
She swung the partisan swiftly at Amanda. It was all she could do to block each strike with her daggers. Everyone's attention was drawn to the girls, even Kuindo. Frostbite drove Amanda around the room and over some of the training platforms and gymnastics horses. Amanda could feel her strength draining quickly. This was bad because androids don't get tired. Kuindo saw this and stopped the fight.
"That's enough for now!" He said, "Amanda take a rest."
Amanda nodded as she took in big gulps of air.
"Why'd you stop us!" Frostbite protested, "I could of beaten her!"
"Yes!" Kuindo agreed, "But by fatigue and not by skill."
Frostbite sat down grumbling something to Nightshade. Lacy and the two humans went over to see Amanda.
"That was amazing!" Lacy said.
"Can you teach us that?" Ben asked.
"I think I should leave that to our instructor." Amanda exhaled, "She was swinging that thing so hard I was afraid she might hurt me."
"She looks like a fairly new model!" Osiris said, "Probably hasn't learned her own strength yet."
"You know about these things?" Lacy asked.
"My father works in the robotics division!" Osiris replied, "They occasionally build androids on the side!"
"Kind of a hobby then." Ben said.
"Ya." Osiris nodded.
"All right class, back to work!" Kuindo said.
Amanda and Lacy spent the rest of the class working with the boys. Three O clock finally arrived ending class. Amanda wiped the sweat from her brow and placed the daggers back in the cabinet. She turned to the door and saw that blue and white ranger with his red android friend watching them. Lacy put her daggers away and turned to see them standing there.
"I didn't know we had an audience!" She said.
"Neither did I!" Amanda replied.
The ranger said something to the android then they both left. Amanda continued to stare. She just couldn't place his face.
"It's not often you get visited by a couple of hero's!" Lacy said.
"Huh?" Amanda muttered turning back to Lacy.
That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-13-2006, 03:37 PM
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2006-08-25 08:47 ]</font>
That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-13-2006, 04:18 PM
"Those two were involved in the fight against Dark Faltz!" Lacy nodded.
"So that's were I've seen him!" Amanda burst snapping her fingers.
"I wonder why they were checking out a bunch of newbies like us?" Lacy frowned.
Amanda shrugged, "I'll bet you could learn a lot from them!"
"I'd sure like to have that ranger for an instructor!" Lacy giggled, "He was cute!"
"The human or the android?" Amanda smiled.
"Amanda!" Lacy laughed giving her a tap in the arm.
"Sorry, couldn't refuse!" Amanda laughed, "Come on, I want you to meet a friend of mine."
Amanda lead Lacy next door to the V.R. rooms. Aphrodite was waiting in front of the second V.R. door.
"Hey Amanda, I've got the program all set up." Aphrodite cheered.
"Aphrodite, this is Lacy!" Amanda introduced, "She's taking Melee training with me!"
"Hi, I love your hair!" Lacy grinned.
"Thanks!" Aphrodite grinned back, "It's naturally darker but I think the lighter colour compliments my eyes!"
"It does!" Lacy nodded.
"Are we going to practice or what?" Amanda frowned placing her hands on her hips.
"Don't mind her!" Aphrodite smiled, "She's barely a girl."
"Hey!" Amanda shot back, "Your just jealous your hairs not as nice as mine!"
With a whip of her head she turned and entered the V.R. Lacy and Aphrodite both giggled and followed her in. The forest area around the central dome greeted them. Lacy tapped Amanda on the shoulder.
"Hey Amanda, we don't have any weapons."
"The V.R. should provide some!" Amanda said.
She walked over to a box sitting near the door and popped the lid off. There was a staff inside. Amanda frowned and moved to the next box. Inside she found a cane. There were two more boxes sitting against the far wall. Amanda headed for them but two boomas popped up blocking her path. They roared waving their massive claws above their head. Amanda jumped back taking a defensive posture. Lacy ran up beside
her. The boomas slowly marched at them.
"Foie, they hate Foie!" Aphrodite called.
"We haven't done technique training yet!" Amanda replied.
"Oh, ya oops!" Aphrodite blushed then ran in front of them and through her hand out.
A fire ball leapt from her hand hitting one of the boomas. It yelped then continued forward. Aphrodite gave it anouther shot. It fell to the ground melting into a puddle of red blood. The second one gave her a swipe with it's claw knocking her to the floor. Amanda rushed in ducking a swipe and drove her fist into the boomas belly. Lacy rushed around to the boomas left side and drove her heal into it's ribs. It cried out and flung it's arm back knocking Lacy away. Aphrodite climbed to her feet and rushed forward swinging her cane down on the boomas head. Amanda gave the booma a side kick to it's right ribs. She could hear them break. She would have felt sorry for it except it wasn't real. It swung a claw down knocking her on her back. It certainly felt real. Aphrodite gave it a blast of Barta freezing it in place. Amanda scurried over to the boxes and popped the lids open. More canes. She sighed in frustration then grabbed one of the canes.
"Aphrodite, did you program any blades or guns?" She asked.
"Why would I do that?" Aphrodite asked.
Amanda frowned holding up the cane.
"Oh ya, sorry!" Aphrodite smiled innocently.
"So what do we do with Mr. Freezy pop?" Lacy asked.
The ice began to crack and the booma burst free.
"Never mind!" Lacy yelped.
Amanda rushed forward using the cane like a Bo. She repeatedly smashed the booma with each end of the cane. Aphrodite stood with her mouth open. Lacy jumped in punching the booma then leapt back to avoid a claw.
"Hey Aphrodite, how about a little help!" Lacy called jumping back from a swiping claw.
"Right!" Aphrodite replied throwing out a Foie attack.
The Boomas hair went up in flame. Using a baseball swing, Amanda clubbed the Booma in the back of the head. It fell to the ground and disappeared.
"Hum, we didn't kill that one!" Amanda shrugged.
"Can you teach us to throw fire?" Lacy asked.
"Sure!" Aphrodite nodded, "I'm all ready past the level required for instructing! Computer, three stationary targets!"
Three Boomas appeared in front of them. Amanda and Lacy stepped up in front of them.
"First, close your eyes and empty your minds!" Aphrodite said, "For Foie you must picture fire. See it burning in your mind. Focus on the flame. You should see the black background turn to wavy colours."
"I see it!" Lacy cried.
"Good, now stretch your arm out with your hand up." Aphrodite said, "Picture the fire gathering together into a ball."
"Got it!" Lacy nodded.
"Now imagine it flying out from your hand!" Aphrodite instructed.
Lacy squeezed her eyes tight and imagine the fire blasting away from her. A fire ball shot out from her hand impacting on the middle Booma.
"I did it, I did it." Lacy cheered.
"That was great!" Aphrodite squealed with glee, "How are you doing Amanda?"
She didn't answer. She was having difficulty keeping the fire in a ball. The more she concentrated the hotter and brighter the fire became but it would not stay as a ball. Finally she got it all most under control and decided to fire it. She tried imagining it flying out as Aphrodite had instructed. Instead the fire vanished. A giant explosion enveloped the three Boomas. Aphrodite and Lacy stepped back.
"Wow!" Lacy whispered.
Amanda fell to her hands and knees in exhaustion. Aphrodite knelt down beside her.
"Are you all right?" She asked.
Amanda nodded, "Just tired."
"No kidding, you just cast Rafoie!" Aphrodite said, "Way before your mind was ready. It must have drained all your mind energy."
She pulled a small green bottle from her pack
"Here, drink some monofluid!" She said, "It will help get your energy back."
Amanda took the bottle and quickly drank it. She began to fell better right away.
"Maybe we better leave the training to the professionals!" Aphrodite said, "I do have some technique disks you guys can read."
"That would be great!" Lacy smiled.
"I hope you have one on that Rafoie!" Amanda smiled downing the last of the monofluid.
"I do!" Aphrodite nodded, "Wait until my instructor hears about you. As far as I know, no one has ever cast a heavy attack as their very first technique."
"Trust me, they don't want to." Amanda smiled, "Say, let's get something to eat. I'm starving."
"Girls night out!" Lacy cheered.
"I love that idea!" Aphrodite exclaimed, "Let's go!"
"Great, now I have to baby sit two of them!" Amanda smiled.
The girls agreed to meet each other at Pioneer Two's Italian Bistro Restaurant. It was one of the few restaurants that still served exclusively Earth food and still called it Earth food. Amanda rushed home to change out of her hunters clothes. She quickly showered and dried her hair as best she could. She dug some jeans out of a box and found a white T-shirt to wear. She pulled on her running shoes as she hopped out the door. She shook the remaining water out of her hair as the elevator descended to the first floor. She pulled a small comb from her pocket and quickly combed it so it didn't look so messy. One of the advantages of having straight hair is it's easy to comb. The door opened up and in her haste she nearly ran into a HUmar. He was dressed in white and had long white hair that hung down around his eyes. He glared at her for a moment.
"Watch it!" He said at last.
"Sorry!" She quipped.
"Nice hair!" He said with a slight smile than walked away.
Amanda shook her head and continued on her way.
Aphrodite had been waiting at the restaurant for half an hour and her friends hadn't shown up yet. She was getting worried. She finished her glass of water and set it down by the tables edge. The waiter came by and picked it up.
"Would the lady like anouther glass?" The waiter asked.
She nodded with a smile. He tipped his head with a smile and walked away. Finally she couldn't stand waiting anymore and pulled out her pad computer. She
quickly typed in a message and sent it over the BEE. Amanda quickly replied. She explained that all the warp pads had been deactivated. It was impossible for her to get to the restaurant. Aphrodite quickly typed in a response.
WE WILL HAVE TO USE THE SHIPS SERVICE TUNNELS. MEET ME IN SECTION 32C IN FIFTEEN MINUTES.
The reply quickly followed.
I WILL BE THERE. I AM GOING TO CONTACT LACY BEFORE I LEAVE. HOPEFULLY SHE WILL BE ABLE TO JOIN US.
Aphrodite stuffed her pad into her pack. She climbed out of her seat and tossed a few Meseta on the table. The waiter stopped for a moment.
"Leaving so soon?" He asked.
"An emergency came up!" She replied.
"Best of luck!" He said and continued on his way.
She rushed out into the street. It was a lot busier than she remembered. Something wasn't right about this crowd. She had a very bad feeling brewing in the pit of her stomach. She bolted out into the street and ran for the service hatch. Some people got out of her way. She passed right through the others.
"Holograms!" She cursed, "I knew it!"
She quickened her pace pushing anything and everything out of her way. Two men dressed all in black grabbed her from behind. She let out a sharp scream.
"Nighty night, sweet pea!" One of them said.
"I don't think so!" She replied.
A freezing blast radiated out from her encasing her attackers in a block of ice. She pulled herself free and tapped on one of the blocks.
"Bye, bye!" She smiled and bolted off.
She reached the access hatch and pulled on the handle. It creaked open just enough for her to squeeze through. She glanced back and saw the two men in black racing toward her. She quickly squeezed through the door and pulled it shut. Without taking a second look, she took off at full speed ducking the support beams as she went. Her heart was pounding now. Partly from fear and partly from the running. She reached a ladder and began to climb up. Section 32 was four decks up and almost to the other side of the ship. Voices echoed up from below. The men had come through the door and were following her. She climbed as fast as she could. Finally, her arms couldn't pull her any longer. She was one deck away but needed to hide. Aphrodite spotted a small hatch that lead into a junction room. She pryed the cover off and managed to crawl inside. Carefully she replaced the cover and sat very still. Not long after she heard foot steps run by. Then everything was quiet. She wanted to rest for just a moment but she ended up dozing off.
She awoke to the beeping of her pad. It was a message from Amanda.
APHRODITE, ARE YOU ALL RIGHT? I HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO
CONTACT LACY AND AM VERY WORRIED ABOUT HER. PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU CAN.
Aphrodite quickly typed her response.
AMANDA, I AM SO GLAD TO HEAR FROM YOU. TWO MEN DRESSED IN BLACK TRIED TO GRAB ME. I AM HIDING FROM THEM NOW AND WILL TRY TO GET TO YOU. AS FOR LACY I HOPE SHE'S ALL RIGHT.
She put her pad away and carefully removed the cover. She poked her head out and checked the tunnel. It was empty. She climbed out and went back to the ladder. The rest of her journey was free and clear. She found Amanda waiting in one of the reactor rooms. She ran over and gave Amanda a hug.
"I'm so glad your all right!" She nearly cried.
"Me too!" Amanda replied, "What happened?"
"You've heard the rumors about the hunters disappearing right?" Aphrodite choked back a tear.
"Ya!" Amanda nodded.
"I think I was next!" Aphrodite exclaimed.
"But your not a hunter!" Amanda frowned.
"Not yet, but I am registered for technique training with the guild!" Aphrodite sighed.
"We better stick together from now on!" Amanda said, "Come on we have to find Lacy!"
"What if they took her too!" Aphrodite frowned.
"Then we don't rest until we find her!" Amanda said with a nod.
"OK!" Aphrodite nodded.
The two girls cautiously left the reactor room and found their way to the hunters residence. They checked Lacy's apartment but she was gone. The only thing missing was her hunters uniform. She must have been wearing it to the restaurant. They began asking around but no one had seen her. Amanda sighed in frustration.
"Guess we're just going to have to find her through the guild." She said.
"I'm signing up tomorrow!" Aphrodite nodded.
She spent the night at Amanda's new apartment. Since Amanda hadn't unpacked yet they both camped out on the living room floor. Neither of them were willing to be alone anymore.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2006-08-31 00:22 ]</font>
That's Mister to you.
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The Great White North
08-21-2006, 11:28 AM
Deepfreeze awoke to his door chime. Grumbling he climbed out of bed and stumbled through the dark room to the front door. He tapped the button and had to squint under the bright hall lights. Cerberus stared down at him.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" Deepfreeze frowned.
"Seven O clock, first thing in the morning!" Cerberus nodded.
"You realize Nol won't be at the Lab yet!" Deepfreeze grumbled, "Ah well, could
be worse. Your idea of first thing in the morning could have been five O clock."
"Then we'd have to get Nol out of bed!" Cerberus smiled tilting his head slightly.
"We may have to yet!" Deepfreeze said, "Come on in!"
Deepfreeze hit the light switch then went back to the bedroom to change. Cerberus spotted the patch that Deepfreeze had torn off Crystal's kidnapper, sitting on his coffee table. He picked it up and studied it for a moment. He had spent the night studying Pioneer Two's data base trying to find a match with little success. Deepfreeze stepped out and headed for the door. Cerberus followed him out. They hopped on the elevator and rode it to the bottom floor, Then took the warp to the lab. Deepfreeze looked around and spotted Elly sitting at her desk.
"Come on!" Deepfreeze said.
Elly's face lit up when she saw the two rangers walking up the ramp.
"Deepfreeze, Cerberus, how are you!" She cried.
"Hi Elly, it's been a while!" Deepfreeze smiled.
"Too long, what have you been up too?" She grinned.
"Not too much!" Cerberus replied.
"Elly, we need to talk to Nol, is she in?" Deepfreeze asked.
"She just came in!" Elly nodded, "She's in laboratory four today!"
"Thanks Elly!" Deepfreeze smiled.
"Anything for a friend." She smiled, "Besides, I like you guys. I actually think of you as my closest friends, next to Cal."
"Elly, you are a very strange girl." Deepfreeze smiled and walked away.
Elly shot him a pout.
"I almost feel bad about calling her strange." Deepfreeze smiled.
"Almost?" Cerberus smirked.
Laboratory Four was the second door on the right. Nol was working at a terminal on the far wall. She was a petite blonde Newman who used to work as a journalist. She had disguised herself as a HUnewearl so she could investigate the central dome. Access had been restricted to hunters only. Cerberus had been hired by Nol as her escort and protection. The encounter with the native animals had frightened her so much she quit journalism and went into programming. She specialized in V.R. programs now.
"Nol!" Deepfreeze said.
"Yes!" She replied as she turned around.
A big smile crossed her face as she gazed on the two rangers standing before her.
"Cerberus, Deepfreeze, It's so good to see you!" She cried.
"It's been a while that's for sure!" Deepfreeze grinned.
"So, what brings you two to my little playground?" Nol asked still smiling.
"We need information on this!" Cerberus said handing her the crest.
"Oooh, this is the crest of the elite guard of Black Paper." Nol said fingering the crest, "They are specially trained in covert operations and so far have completely eluded security. A friend of mine uncovered this while investigating the recent disappearance of the hunters."
"So Black Paper is responsible!" Deepfreeze growled.
"Yes, but not exclusively!" Nol said.
"Huh?" Deepfreeze frowned.
"Black Paper is doing the dirty work but it looks like someone else is calling the shots!" Nol shrugged.
"Someone not part of Black Paper?" Deepfreeze frowned, "That sounds very strange. They run the black market. It's not like them to work for someone else."
"Stranger yet, they've completely abandoned their weapons ring and seem to be putting all their energy into this kidnapping business." Nol added.
"Now that, is odd!" Cerberus said crossing his arms.
"Black market weapons is the most lucrative part of their ring!" Deepfreeze frowned.
"Exactly!" Nol nodded, "So whatever they are into now must be huge!"
"But why hunters?" Cerberus puzzled, "And why do androids equal humans and newmans?"
"I'll keep asking around but they're keeping a tight lid on the media now!" Nol frowned.
"Thanks Nol!" Deepfreeze said shaking her hand, "We appreciate this!"
"Most of Black Papers activity seems to be centered around the mines!" Nol added, "You might want to start there."
"Most available hunters are involved with the clean up operation there." Cerberus said, "That would be the easiest place to catch hunters!"
"The remaining hunters are too scared to go down there now!" Nol sighed, "Volt Opt's machines are pretty much running rampage down there again."
"We'll have to take Hitman down with us!" Deepfreeze said.
"Thank you Nol, we'll see you around!" Deepfreeze waved.
"Bye guys!" Nol waved back.
The rangers exited the lab and went to the promenade to get some lunch before heading down to the training center where they were greeted by a very disgruntled force. Fortunately Deepfreeze had no real business with him so they logged in and then ignored his rantings. First they went to the monitor room to watch some of the hunters practicing in the V.R. rooms. After an hour of watching some very impressive young hunters they decided to look in on the class in the gym. They entered just as the class began sparring.
"There's two newman hunters to chose from here!" Cerberus said quietly.
"These are just rookies but that doesn't mean they don't have what we're looking for!" Deepfreeze replied.
"Indeed!" Cerberus nodded.
They watched as the two girls sparred back and forth. Finally the white haired newman got a shot through catching the other on the cheek. The yellow android laughed then gave them some instruction.
"That Kuindo always did laugh too much." Deepfreeze frowned.
"The one with the white hair shows great restraint and control." Cerberus said.
"Huh, oh ya I know." Deepfreeze replied, "She's got a natural instinct for this, I think."
They continued to watch as the newman began sparring with one of the female androids. The android tripped her on her first charge. Deepfreeze frowned. The newman returned with a trick of her own. She slid through the androids legs and tripped her with the daggers. Deepfreeze smiled.
"Impressive." Cerberus mumbled.
Then they began battling around the room. The newman was trapped on defense, blocking every blow with all her strength until the instructor stopped the skirmish. The rangers stayed until end of class. As the two newmans were putting their weapons away the white haired one pointed at them.
"I think we've been recognized!" Deepfreeze said, "Let's go!"
"What about our fourth member?" Cerberus asked, "Would she not suffice."
"Yes!" Deepfreeze nodded as he exited through the door, "I want to see how she fares with the techniques. In the mean time I'd like to view some more V.R. programs."
They returned to the monitor room and watched a few more technique classes. After a few minutes Cerberus glanced up at one of the top monitors and tilted his head slightly. He tapped Deepfreeze on the shoulder.
"Look who we have here!" He said pointing at the monitor.
The two female newmans from the gym had entered one of the V.R. rooms lead by anouther young female newman. This one was obviously a force. They watched as the newmans began practicing against the Booma's. The hunter newmans had to fight with bare hands as it appeared they couldn't find any weapons. The force newman blasted the Booma's with techniques. They finally stopped fighting and began with what looked like technique training.
"Interesting!" Deepfreeze mumbled with great interest.
The newman with red hair cast a perfect Foie.
"Nice!" Cerberus said.
Deepfreeze nodded. The newman with white hair appeared to be having difficulty. There was a bright flash as Rafoie enveloped the target Boomas. Deepfreeze had to shield his eyes from the flash.
"Woah!" He gasped. "That's not right!"
The newman collapsed to her knees. Deepfreeze and Cerberus both jumped up a little.
"Never before have I seen a rookie cast such power!" Cerberus said slowly shaking his head.
"If she can learn to control it!" Deepfreeze began.
"We must watch her progress carefully!" Cerberus finished.
"Agreed!" Deepfreeze said climbing from his chair, "Come on, we need to speak with Hitman!"
"Visiting the mines tomorrow?" Cerberus asked.
"First thing!" Deepfreeze nodded.
They found HitmanJ relaxing in the Hunters guild lobby. He was socializing with a FOnewmn and a HUmar. The HUmar had long blue hair tied back in a tail and he wore a dark gray uniform. He had a large scar running down from his forehead and through his right eye ending at his cheek. The force had slightly green hair with bright blue eyes and a red pattern painted on his face. He wore a yellow force uniform and the typical newman platform boots. The newman smiled as the rangers approached. The hunter did not.
"Deepfreeze, Cerberus, It's good to see you guys." HitmanJ smiled then pointed to the force, "This is Maverick and the hunter over there is Striker."
"It's an honour!" Deepfreeze said bowing slightly then turned back to HitmanJ, "We need to talk business."
"What about?" HitmanJ frowned.
"We're going after Black Paper in the mines!" Deepfreeze stated.
"You are!" Striker exclaimed.
"Just the three of you?" Maverick asked pointing at the rangers, "Your crazy. Whole teams of hunters have gone down and not succeeded. In fact some never return."
"Can I go?" Striker asked.
"Heck, they've sent military squads down who've failed." Maverick continued.
"Can I go?" Striker asked again.
"What makes you think you guys can stop them?" Maverick pointed.
"I have no intention of stopping them!" Deepfreeze said, "But there are a lot of questions and I want answers!"
"Can I go?" Striker asked yet again.
"Well I'd never do a suicide mission like that. Just because you defeated the great and evil Dark Faltz you guys all think your invincible. That's not for me!" Maverick said and climbed from his chair.
"So are you in?" Deepfreeze asked HitmanJ.
"Is it related to our last job?" He asked.
"That's what we're trying to find out!" Cerberus answered.
"OK count me in!" HitmanJ shrugged.
"Just one thing!" Deepfreeze said, "This isn't a quest. No one is paying us for this!"
"If I go does it mean I'm a permanent member of your team?" HitmanJ asked.
"Yes!" Deepfreeze said slowly.
"Then I'm in!" HitmanJ said tapping the table.
"Hey, what about me?" Striker said waving a hand. "Can I go?"
"What do you think?" Deepfreeze asked Cerberus.
"We could use a fourth member to fill in until we approach that HUnewearl!" Cerberus said.
"What HUnewearl?" Striker asked.
"Well Hitman, is he any good?" Deepfreeze asked pulling HitmanJ aside.
"A little reckless sometimes but he does good work!" HitmanJ replied.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Freeze on 2006-08-31 00:56 ]</font>
The gift of the words
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Valentines gift for j00.
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