The silence between them on the way home was rather uncomfortable. But there was nothing that Black could think of to say. Staring straight head and focusing on the fast possible way to get home from the leader’s house, he let out a long and painfully slow sigh. It seemed as if the cat was out of the bag and with the Supreme leader threatening him.. He’d had to go another route when it came to how he’d deal with Lyric. Gripping the wheel to his car, he suddenly veered a hard right and headed towards a different route than home.. By now, the sky above had started to darken and one could only assume that rain was about to fall downward upon them but that didn’t matter much.
Where he was going was unexpected and wasn’t on the todo list, but with the conversation the lead commander had with him, he felt like such a thing was necessary. Pressing a few buttons on the steering wheel, he hummed to himself as he the car slowly began to shake a little bit before the the loud whine of the engine could be heard. [i “Buckle up..”] Black spoke to Lyric, as he stepped on the gas and suddenly the car jerked forward. Blasting ahead at rapid speed, the male skillfully began weaving in and out of traffic, and making a series of turns before they were on a clear path and all he had to worry about was heading straight but the speed was still as intense as before.
t kept on like this for minutes at end, before he pressed another button and the car slowed to its normal cruising speed. In the distance, a giant wall could be seen towering over everything else in the building. Without taking his eyes off of it, Black spoke carefully.. [b “Barret Wallace..”] It was name which he doubt she’d be familiar with. Not to many people these days but that didn’t matter much.. Heading towards a parking garage that was nearby, Black pulled in before he walked alongside the other side of the car and open the door. Waiting for the Lyric to comply Black headed towards the booth that had a hologram figure standing there. Reaching into his pocket, he spoke to the hologram softly. [b “I like to visit the lower sector.”]
[i “Pfft. Sir, only those with military clearance are allowed to.. Oh, oh My! Mister Black! Forgive my rudeness we’ll ready the teleporter right away..”]
Stepping onto the streets of the, Black breathed in the smell of the slums before he exhaled softly. The air down here smelt different than up there.. It smelt of raw emotion instead of carefully planned mannerism and motives hidden in the darkest of shadows. And still, the wall which they seemed from afar seemed to stretch up endlessly now that than before. Reaching into his back pocket, the male pulled out his standard issued handgun and holster and moved it so that it was directly by his side. It felt needless to tell Lyric to stay closer to him, so he didn’t. He simply just gave her a look and nudged his head in the direction which they were suppose to walk and headed towards that way which seemingly brought them closer to that wall. By now, it could clearly be seen as something made out of metallic black. Not only that, but it seemed to curved outwards to the left and right but none of that was his concern. His concern was the house which was two miles away and was nestle inbetween the wall and a military headquarters post. Walking rather uncomfortably close to Lyric, he could sometimes feel his hand touch hers and but he ignored it as he began talking about where it was there were heading to.
[b “One of the perks of being a top-brass military officer is having a warp drive built into your own car.. We’re currently four hours away from the supreme commanders hour and three from mine.. We’re at the northern gate that leads out of the city.. Here, Barrett Wallace's makes his home.. He’s a researcher and ex-military. I think you’ll find his place interesting.. Since warp drive takes alot out of my car.. We’ll probably be here till midnight before walking back and warping back home.. Or to my place..”] It was an overly simplification for an extraordinary man.
As they near the house, it seemed to be an ordinary wall which blended seamlessly into the structures around the slums. But as Black pressed a hand to it, a suddenly blue light flicker across the wall before it a crack was illuminate and the blacken-walls split apart. Illuminated blue stairs lead downwards into the dark abyss and Black simply extended a hand downwards. [b “After you.”]
While Lyric received an answer, it was one she nary believed. Had anyone else come out and said that Cade was in love with her, she would have laughed at them. But Lillie didn’t seem to be in a joking sort of mood at the moment. Therefore she was forced to accept it as the truth; still she had a difficult time processing it. He was her superior officer, the one who she modeled her own dedication and spirit after. The green haired woman had never thought about him out of a light of respect and admiration, and now that she knew what he had done he wouldn’t even be granted that. Regardless of his intentions to save her from a life of torment in a lab, he’d still betrayed their cause.
Black was excused, or rather forced, from the room. Being alone with the commander of the human race was nerve wracking. As much as she had though she hated being around Black, in this case he had been a source of solace for her. Although that very well could have been nothing more than her projecting her fear of being left alone with Lillie. Perhaps she was confusing a simple lack of anxiety with something actually positive.
Eyes narrowing at the ancient woman when she asked if she ever loved anyone, Lyric didn’t see the relevance until she pressed on further. She never would have guessed that this hollow shell of a human being’s sole motive was something as plain as love. How could she hold one person so high in regard that she would watch the world burn around most everyone else? The younger woman didn’t understand it, and she didn’t think she was expected to. As Lillie had prodded, she’d never been in love, not truly. The fleeting moments of passion she had experienced were a far cry from honest to goodness love.
Defiance kicking back into full swing, the onyx-eyed woman finally spoke again. [b “You’ll be damned either way.”] For her crimes against the people she was supposed to be leading, Lyric knew when this woman finally met her end there was going to be a special place in hell for her.
Told to offer up her arm, she wasn’t having it. [b “I don’t fucking thi-“] But before she could complete the verbal thought, her arm was pinned to the table. Struggle as she might, she wasn’t getting away from Lillie’s metal grip. That didn’t mean she wasn’t going to try though. Pulling with all her might, she even went as far as to try and pry her grip away from his wrist. It amounted to nothing more than her wriggling.
[b “No!”] It wasn’t okay if she took her blood. She liked it right where it was. Plus, nothing about this looked sterile. Lyric was going to end up with some weird disease cause this crazy bitch tried to take an involuntary blood donation in her fucking dining room.
Continuing to wiggle about, now more to be a nuisance than anything else, she watched as the raven-haired woman continued to ready her needle despite the protest. There was no way she was going to do anything other than stab her arm as things were. Hitting an actual vein wouldn’t be possible with her moving frantically moving around. It wasn’t until she was drawing near to her arm that Lyric shouted out again. [b “Are you fucking psycho?”] When she continued even after that, the thin woman yielded, holding her arm perfectly still. Being punctured multiple times did not sound like a good time. God forbid she fail too many times and have to go at the other arm.
The wide gaged needle stung as it pressed through her skin and into her vein. The process wasn’t exactly quick either. Unable to take her eyes from the vial that was slowly filling with deep red fluid, Lyric wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of here. She jittered around fretfully, hoping the ordeal would be done with soon.
The end neared when the needle was removed, but there was still the process of wrapping the small wound. The bandage was uncomfortably tight, holding a wad of cotton in place. No sooner than she was released, Lyric took a few steps back to put distance between them. Her heart was pounding and she wanted to run. But there was nowhere to go. Just like the complex Black called home, security littered the grounds here as well. She wouldn’t make it far if she tried, so instead she maintained the space.
Looking rather pleased with her prize, she secured it. Not long after that Black was called back to the dining hall. Their meal was pretty much through, so with a swift exchange between the officials they had permission to leave. Lyric had no qualms with that. The pair of them returned to Marcus’ car in silence. In the grand scheme of things their visit was short, but much had transpired. The dark eyed woman had a lot to think about.
Meanwhile in another part of the city, Mrs. Maris Kyle pondered what was to be done in this situation. Clearly the supreme leader had caught wind of the rebel’s plan, but from where? Not knowing who she could trust and if she was being monitored, Maria narrowed down the list of those she was absolutely certain were not spies. It didn’t extend much further than her and her husband, and she was sure they were on some sort of watch list now. There was no way she would be able to reach out to the lower circle rebel forces to warn them, but she would be able to contact those closer to home. Their objective was still on the table, even if strike as a whole inevitably failed. Getting to work on that, she knew it would be a long night. At least she would have the comfort of her sweet Alex through it.
[#18812a [i “How did I get here?”] ]
[i “Move, move, Move!”]
[i “I wanna rebuild this world.. One day, somehow..”]
[#18812a [i “Don’t be foolish! You’re death will mean-”] ]
[i “If we limit our dreams to what we can only achieve in life; than they’ll never come true.”]
[#18812a [i “You’re children will be as mine, till my last breath is taken. In this, way, I do bind my soul to thee. Julius Thorn..”] ]
[i “Forgive me, I knew.. Only you could live to see my dream..”]
[b “Supreme commander! He is just a child! Have you lost-”]
[#18812a [i “Marcus, do you also think I’m wrong for-”] ]
[#18812a “Marcus Aurelius Thorn, leave us… Or rather, you stay here..”]
Of all the things which the child could have spoken to her she had to ask that question. How did such a deep betrayal happen which would’ve torn an honorable rebel to betray his own cause? How could such an evil and malicious woman be capable of such a thing? Setting the glass of wine down upon the table, the woman walked over towards Lyric without so much as hesitation and looked at her with such a look, before she moved away from the table.
Humming to herself, she headed back to where they had come from. There was a reason why the entrance to the house was a library with many different halls and shelves which seemed to extend endlessly towards the ceiling. The silver shelves were lined with heavy books and while somewhere rather light others were heavy and seemed to be as ancient as she apparently was. Fingertips ran across the books before she paused and came to one which was titled surveillance. Whether or not people knew it, drones always flew about the city; taking pictures of random people. It just so happen that last year Lyric just so happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Those features and locks of bright green hair were unmistakable the sign of Doctor Yeager's experiment gone horribly right. Pulling the book from the shelves the woman turned upon her heels and headed back towards the dining room table.
Whether it was the wine which made her stumble, or the voices of the pass echoing in her head she was unsure. Yet her walk was a bit off and her cheeks were a bit red. It seemed as if time was moving backwards and she could see clearly the pass opening up before her. The tightness of the capsule which would be her casket as she was frozen in time. Waking up to the glow of underground lights as she was found by a small pocket of humanity which had seemingly survived underground. Part of her clearly remember the face of the young boy who found her. How he grew up to be a handsome young devil with charming black eyes and hair as wildly as his nature to go out and grab life by the reigns.. Things seemed to slip from the pass into the future and back into it..
[#18812a “He loves you, Lyric.”]
Having somewhat regain her composer by the time she made it back to the table, the woman had return with the book. Taking the page, she tore it out before she set it down before the woman and sure enough.. There was the green-hair lass in the midst of her rebellion. It had been a freak accident. Something which no one had planned out. No one was looking for her to begin with.
Leaning closer to the female, she could see the fire which had been ignited in her eyes and she smiled a smile of contempt. Or was it something along the lines of jealousy? Sitting herself down on the table right before her, she gripped the edge of it and began rattling on.
[#18812a “Do you think you’re just here randomly? This picture was taken almost a year ago; it was on accident. We weren’t looking for you. But, ever since I saw this picture I couldn’t help but become intrigued.. So, I had people look into it.. Infiltrate the rebellion, report back to me… and than I decided that I wanted you.. The plan was to kidnap you and keep you locked up in the laboratory, experiment with you. Play with you..”] At this point she licked her lips before she leaned forward. Cupping a hand to her ear she whispered in her ear. [#18812a “But little ol’ loverboy persuaded us do go a different route.. So we followed his plan to the T..”]
Turning towards Marcus, she waved a hand in a shooing motion and he stood up blinking. Confused, he gave her a salute before he walked away from the table. Turning her head towards the male, she smiled briefly before her demeanor turned icy. Leaning forward she spoke low and softly. [#18812a “Have you ever loved someone? Truly, loved someone? I build this whole city as a testament to someone I loved..”]
Standing up she spoke softly.
[#18812a “It would’ve been almost five hundred years ago.. When the bombs fell. Humanity on the brink of destruction… My father froze me in a deep sleep and when I came true all I’d love has been stripped away. I was found by a boy almost three centuries later.. Back than all of humanity was buried underneath ground.. We wanted to escape our prison so we fought.. Fought to get above ground, fought against others that thought it was the will of the Gods to be trapt below. Fought with each other over resources. I’ve killed.. Many for the man I love.. Only to have him stripped away. Back than humanity was divided.. Horribly so.. His last wish was to have us back together.. As one.. It took a two hundred and twenty five years but we did it.”]
[#18812a “So I’ll be damned if I let a ragtag group of rebels tear apart my promise to him.”] Her voice was still soft but the tone took a darker note to it. Almost sinister. There was no rage at all but a promise of retribution. [#18812a “Lyric, let me see your hand..”]
It was a command. Bringing forth her arm, she tapped the metal device to reveal a needle and syringe. Before she had time to protest, she was holding down her wrist and Lillie spoke softly.
[center [#18812a “Since you’re here.. We might as well get a blood sample.. Is it okay if take your blood?”] ]
Lillie’s touch and eyes were cold on Lyric’s skin when she grabbed her face. The aura she exuded was completely different here compared to when she’d met her at the gala. It was like there was no filter forcing her to keep up appearances. A scary thought.
The chaste kiss was a greeting the bright-hared woman was not accustomed to, and she was glad when humanity’s leader moved on from her to Black. Once she was done there as well, she mentioned food. That damn chicken again. However there was no getting out of giving the youthful looking woman her way this time. She had no choice in the matter; even Lyric wasn’t going to flat out deny Lillie to her face. A hologram was one thing, but here in her presence that would be suicide.
Flinching when she called Black’s full name, it was what Lyric imagined an angry mother would sound like. Although perhaps with less affection in her tone. She barked at him to remove his shirt. An odd request, but he followed her order like the faithful dog he was. Lyric, who had on more than one occasion previously noted the man’s physique, was basically being slapped in the face with it now. That being said she was a tad too focused on the scene playing out before her to be distracted by his bare chest. He was made to recite part of his assignment. Impressively enough, he had it memorized. Although the actual caveat he spoke she found interesting. All this time, he had been threatening her and he couldn’t back it up. At least, he wasn’t supposed to. And even though the burn was nothing in comparison to what he’d done to her, Lyric still flinched. This lady was psychotic.
Lyric continued to keep her mouth shut as they moved to another room. This one decorated more elaborately and readied in advance for guests. Half naked Black did not fit in at all, which in turn only made him more distracting. Although Lillie had him beat as soon as she sat down and played her hand. And try as she might to keep a straight face, Lyric’s poker face faltered at the mention of the Kyles. As quickly as she could she returned the straight expression to her features. Clattering hit her ears from her right. Black must have dropped something, but she couldn’t look away from the lady at the other end of the table. Lillie continued and the situation only seemed to grow worse.
As she expected, there was indeed a double agent in their midst. Someone she knew well, but in that moment Lyric didn’t know who the arduous woman meant. And for some reason she was meant to be grateful that she wasn’t going to be executed just yet. Lillie mentioned that she was important, but clearly that wasn’t enough to stop the looming threat of death for her crimes. As when she first came to this place, the rebel wasn’t too terribly worried about it all ending, but she did worry for the frivolous couple she’d met. Alex and Maria deserved better. Hands balled into the tablecloth, their shaking betrayed how angry she was with it all. Her ire was laced with fear.
Finally, the turquoise haired woman let her eyes drop to the steaming food in front of her. She needed to focus on something else, lest she say something she’d regret. The topic quickly changed to the excursion that was to take place by the end of the year. And while Lyric shook her head to indicate that she had not thought about it, the truth was that she had. As things stood right now, she didn’t want to go. She wanted the freedom that was offered to her, even if it was foolish to dream that that was even an option anymore.
Black rattled something off beside her, but the dark woman wasn’t having any of it. Snapping back quickly, there was another line of threats this time aimed at the man. Lyric wasn’t used to seeing Black in a subordinate position. It was strangely foreign to her. One would think she would find it entertaining, but here it gave her a sense of vertigo. As though the world that had been built up around here these past few month had been turned on its head. She’d lost her appetite.
[b “Now, Lyric, how’s the roasted chicken?”]
Pausing, but not looking up, Lyric cut a small slice from the breast of the bird and brought it to her mouth. It was indeed delicious. [b “It’s good.”] Her voice was quiet, barely carrying across the long table.
The answer was simple, but when Lyric’s onyx eyes flickered up, Lillie seemed pleased with it. She picked at her food from there. Taking small bites, she moved the well-cooked food about on her plate to make it look as though she’d eaten more than she actually had. The scraping of silverware let her know that the others were eating as well. They probably weren’t paying too much attention to her, which was nice. There was a sense of reprieve to it. For the most part her concentration stayed at her plate without problem, but every once in a while she would take notice of Black in her peripheral vision. Why hadn’t he put his shirt back on yet? Normally something like that wouldn’t bother her, but he was always so cut and dry that it was intensely uncomfortable. Fidgeting a bit, she tired to think of something else… like who could their worthless traitor be?
Someone she knew well in the rebellion was the only clue she had to go off of. Lyric knew many rebels, most of which on an acquaintance like basis. She only considered herself close with a few. All of which were a part of her squad. In the rebellion things worked differently than a regular military, so a squadron was more like a small ragtag group that trained together under a captain. Too many people would attract the attention of the guards. Most the people in her particular group were young. There wasn’t a lot of experience between them, besides herself and their captain. None of the faces that flashed through her brain fit. They would have to be nearly as capable as Black for Lillie to consider them her left hand, as he was her right. It only left one option, and it wasn’t one she liked… Cade. Her stomach sank. It couldn’t be him. Someone who had looked at her with such genuine sorrow when they switched places in the exchange couldn’t be capable of this. Lightly trembling, Lyric ran her hand through her long hair, pushing it back from her face that carried but a hint of the disbelief she was feeling.
Looking straight at the supreme commander for the first time in some time, she was quite certain in the conclusion she’d found. But there was still a question she needed answered. Not the type to be roundabout if she didn’t have to, Lyric found her voice again. [b “How did you get your talons in him?”] There were embers glowing behind her eyes, ones that were reigniting.
It was about dinner time when finally the Marcus appeared before her.. Of course she hadn’t been expecting him to bring along his little captor. Sitting down in a rather comfy chair, the lass looked to be more like a young teenager as opposed to a supreme leader. And indeed, the library was a nice little place for the pair to hoist their meeting but seeing as dinner would be in half an hour or less.. She’d rather move the talk to another part of the house as opposed to here. Pushing all of those thoughts aside, the woman stood up and smiled gently at the pair as she brushed back a lock of hair.
Here, there were no prying eyes to look in on them. So, she could act however way she wanted which was bubbly at times and stoic at others. Walking forward, her hair was held high and she hardly blink as she reached into her pocket and pulled forth a pack of cigarettes. Slipping one in between her lips, she stopped short of the pair and firmly gave Lyric a look. She could sense it, that something about her had change. Leaning forward, she carefully lifted Lyric’s chin upward, before he leaned forward and gave he right cheek a kiss before turning towards Black and repeating the same manner. Stepping back she swept her arm across the grand library and spoke in a soft voice. [#18812a [i “Welcome Lyric… I wasn’t expecting you here. But since Black brought you, I guess I can finally make you try the roasted chicken.”] ] It wasn’t a joke. The tone of her voice implied that she was serious, and thinking aloud she spoke. [#18812a [i “And no that wasn’t a joke.. I had two roasted chickens prepared along with various side dishes.. You’re staying for dinner.. Whether you want to or not. And Marcus Crassus Thorn!”] ] She spoke sternly giving the man a harden look. [#18812a [i “Remove your shirt..” ] ]
Shifting uncomfortably he looked at her. He wasn’t entirely sure whether or not she was joking but that look upon her face gave him a clear indication that she wasn’t. Turning his head, he slowly began to undress before the rebel and the tyrant showing off his tightly tone body. Turning around, the woman lit her cigarette before she took a long drag on it and exhale softly. [#18812a [i “Repeat sentence number 7 of the assigment I gave you when it came to keeping Lyric in your charge.”] ]
Shifting even more, the male spoke without faltering. [b “Absolutely no harm will be inflicted on her under any circumstances without your permission.”]
Nodding her head, she turned towards the male and walked towards him. Taking the butt of the cigarette, she pressed it firmly against his chest. Instantly a sharp hiss came from the Marcus as the pain shot throughout his body. Other than that, he barely flinched as the cigarette was put out on him and burn mark was left. Brushing her locks of hair out of her face, she turned towards Lyric and she spoke cooly. [#18812a [i “As I told you when we first met, you’re very important to us.. Now; dinner’s almost ready so let’s go!”] ] Grabbing both of their hands firmly, she turned around and half pulled, half lead them to the dinner table. It matter not to her if Marcus had a shirt on her not; she also didn’t care of Lyric was uncomfortable staring at a half-naked Thorn. If anything it would help them out in the end of she notice how attractive he was. Just as it would help her out if Marcus felt a little more concern and protective of Lyric.
A long oaken table sat in the dining room with golden candles providing light. Despite the fact that a diamond chandelier swung from above them. Black leather seats acted as chairs which were pulled up around the table which was big enough to seat probably ten to twelve people. As she had said; two roasted chickens appear on the the table steaming along with two bottles and wine and various sides. All of the dishes were healthy and contain vegetables and rice.
The plates were silver with golden rims and the wine glasses had a golden steam which curved upwards into a silver bowl. Before Lillie even bother to take her seat, she went about fixing both Marcus and Lyric a plate. Reaching for a rather carelessly expensive bottle of wine, she poured both of them glasses before she took the other one for herself and popped it off. Settling down, she took a rather long sip from the glass of wine before she leaned forward and sighed.
[#18812a [i “So.. Here we are. Two girls from humbling begins and a man whose had to struggle to get to where he’s been despite having a silver spoon place in his mouth.. I think it’s time I laid my cards out on the table. Lyric, I know that Alex Kyle is a spy. I also know that his wife is probably working with the rebellion along with him”] ]
Dropping his fork, Marcus turned towards her and blink. But she wasn’t done yet. [#18812a [i “Someone you know very well in the rebellion and reports directly to me. Marcus doesn’t know who he is. The Kyles don’t know he is. The only people who know are you and me. And since every girl has her secrets, I’m doing absolutely nothing unto I have to, so be a good girl and say thank you for not having you, your friends, and the kyles executed for treason.”] ]
It came out so sarcastic and petty that it was almost hard to believe that it was coming from her. But as she went about sipping wine she simply smiled. [#18812a [i “Now, let’s talk about the future. Lyric, Marcus, have you guys thought about joining the expedition outside the city? Turns out that it’s looking to be a rather long one.. Barret is saying that if he continues to make advances, than a group of maybe eight to ten can stay outside the city walls for oh. Six months? Maybe..”] ]
Turning his head towards Lillie, Marcus spoke before coughing.. [b “Lillie, excuse me for questioning you but-”]
[#18812a [i “You’re not excuse. What I do with my left hand is my own business. What I allow or don’t allow is my business. Act again without my permission just because you can’t control you’re temple.. And I’ll have you imprison for insubordination… Now, Lyric. How’s the roasted chicken?”] ]
After asking her question, Black’s temperament jumped back and forth between stoic and lighthearted. It was a little unnerving, but she listened to what he had to say. An old friend? She’d noticed he and Lilly were close, just in the time she had been around, but she wasn’t sure she would call their interactions friendly. This was all assumption on her part though. It very well might be that he wasn’t talking about that woman at all.
The flip-flopping stopped after that, and he went into further detail about his life. She nearly laughed at his mentioning people thought there was something between him and his boss. Lyric had seen how he acted when people brought up sex around him. She didn’t think he had it in him to, as he put it; fuck his way to the top. Nor did she think he had to, for all the terrible things she could say about him, Black was a very capable man. Her interest did pique when he mentioned he was forced into his current position. What she didn’t expect was for him to escalate the way he did from there.
Seldom did Lyric find this man truly threatening, but this was one of the moments. Seemingly hell-bent on revenge, there was a rage in his eyes she knew well. The kind that only comes from seeing great injustice. You’d never catch her saying that the rebels always did the right thing, but no one was ever wholly blameless when it came to war. It was a necessary evil in order to make the world better for more people in the future. At least, that’s what she’d always believed. But there would always be those who couldn’t overlook such things, just like she couldn’t overlook the things that had happened to her and those around her.
Still, after hearing the man’s story and seeing his fury, she was angered as well. But not for his sake, for the duplicity in his words. She might have understood him a little better now, why he worked the way he did. Why he had the drive that he did, but it didn’t mean she would or could agree with him. [b “Tsk,”] She let out almost a hiss like sound with her tongue. [b “Hypocrite.”] There was silence after that, the kind that clung to the air, making it thick and hard to breath. And all she could think about was one single thing. How in the hell did the Kyles think they were going to be able to convince this man to their side?
When the car finally came to a halt, Lyric wasn’t sure where they were. It wasn’t the commander’s estate, although she kind of doubted that Lilly let to many people into her home on a regular basis. Surely Black was one of the few, but she was glad today was not one of those occasions.
As badly as she had wanted to get out of the car the last time, it was the exact opposite at this stop. However, as her life went, she was made to get out of the vehicle. Sighing, she hoped that whatever they needed to discuss was quick. Lyric didn’t like being around this lady. She kind of gave her the heebie-jeebies. It didn’t help that she spoke so casually to her. With any luck, the bright haired woman would be able to stay out of the conversation.
The building they entered was unique. Its architecture stood out from the general feel that this area had. While most everything on this block was stark, with clean edges, this one seemed softer, but for the life of her, Lyric couldn’t tell what it actually was. An office building, perhaps? The other thing that stood out was the line of heavily armed men outside. They didn’t fit the décor, and were a dead giveaway that there was someone of importance within.
Inside, the walls were lined with books. It wasn’t big enough to be a public library, but it gave off that sort of atmosphere even with the maze like set up of shelves. Someone could easily get lost in here. Keeping that in mind, she stuck close to the coarse man in front of her. After a couple of twists and turns, they came to a clearing in the madness. In it were scattered an assortment of desks and chairs. Clearly this place wasn’t set up to be a place of formal greeting. Amongst the furniture was Lilly, looking the same as Lyric had always remembered her. Probably the most unsettling thing about the woman.
He'd had expected the drive to the last destination to be a silent one. Once the task at hand had past he normally just focused on the next one coming up. So when she attempted to break the silence with a question like that, he simply let out a small little laugh.. Something which was a little out of his character; he was allowed to break it though since today was his off day. So he just bit his tongue for the time being and sat there in silence. Truthfully, he wasn't sure if he should give away his past but since the drive to where they had to go was quite far away, he figured he'd do so. [b "I wouldn't call it working, so as doing a favor for an old friend."] Suddenly his demeanor changed back to the serious one he always wore.
Lowering his voice he spoke to her again. [b "Most people assume that Me and Lilly are secret lovers. There's a rumor going around that I've fucked my way into this position but I was forced into becoming what I am today."] Some of those words came out through gritted teeth as he remember parts of his pass that he'd rather not care for.
One such day was where all was suppose to be silent and still. It was an aver
age day before the sky erupted in debris and chaos exploded across the city. He'd remember that carnage well because that had been the day when he'd put his life on the line for the first and last time. He'd been in the office when he first heard a far off explosion than his phone started ringing and communications start blowing
Hundreds of thousands of police men were looking to him for direction and order.
So out into the flames of destruction he rode out. His first priority was rescuing the civilians that were caught up in the cross fire which the rebel had created. There was always a method to the madness or so he'd been told. People always had a logical reason when it came to attacking but, on that day there would be no mercy. As the was a struggle to help shepherd the people to safety, volley of bullets rang out and the rebels rush to assassinate the man who was directly responsible for raging war in the lower sectors of the city. It came unexpected. No one had thought that the rebels would use the very people they claim to want to protect as a means to limit and the mobility of the military police. unable to attack without causing innocents to loose lives he did what he'd been train to do and use his own body as a shield to cover those that needed safety.
[b "If I had my way... all of you rebel scum would fiercely haunted down and executed.. just as there was no mercy shown that day, I would return the same favor.. But instead of fucking being the one to lead the population police in ridding our world of scum, I'm on a goddamn leash. Unable to leave the side of the supreme commander!"] Unknowingly to Marcus, his voice had risen to a shout and his fist were gripping the steering wheel so tight that it looked like might veer a hard right and do something reckless.
A look of pure hatred and disgust was on his face that it seemed to starkly contrast with his usually composed demeanor. [b "Before I was force into this position the rebels devised an elaborate plot to assassinate me. They even went as far as to used innocent civilians as human shields.... It was the closest I ever came to death. A year later I came through. They told me I'd been shot in the brain, liver, Lung, stomach, and Heart. It took them a year to devolpe the technology required to revive me and ever since then I've been living with-cybernetic organs instead of real ones."]
With that he was done talking and drove on in silence.
Lyric listened carefully to the woman’s complaints. Hmmm. It appeared as though this was throwing a wrench in the original plan. When she left she definitely seemed to be on a mission of sorts. Since she didn’t tell her anything directly, the colorful haired woman assumed her part in all of this would remain unchanged.
Still having plenty of time to think in the car, the rebel woman wondered if perhaps there had been an information breach. If Lilly really did usually show her face to the public for this display then there had to be a reason for the change, and Lyric couldn’t think of a more obvious one than the strike. Sure it might have been that she changed the format on a whim, those in the upper circles were known to do such things, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to it than that. There was a weak link in the chain that was trying to strangle this Reich.
After thinking on it for another ten minutes or so, Lyric concluded that there was no way for her to know for sure what was happening and happily went back to dozing off. Almost half an hour later, Black returned. Things must have gone well. That or he wasn’t showing any frustration that came along with troubleshooting electronics.
There was only one more task for the day, and then she was free. She wouldn’t admit it; but the woman was a little disappointed to have the end in sight. Today had been the most engaging day she’d had in a long time. Albeit a lot of it sucked, it was better than doing absolutely nothing. And it turned out that Black wasn’t always as insufferable as she was first lead to believe, so the company wasn’t too bad. Although, she could hardly stand admitting that to herself. This all ran through her head as they drove to the next location.
Not entirely pleased with where her line of thought was at, Lyric decided to try and distract herself. Talking might help with that. [b “So, isn’t today supposed to be your day off? You’re basically still working right now, what’s up with that?”] She looked over to the dark man, but his eyes were plastered to the road ahead. It didn’t upset her; in fact she kind of preferred it that way. This was the closest thing they’d ever had to a casual conversation and she didn’t want him stare at her and try and glean some secret meaning out of it. She was just tired of thinking about everything. That was all.
The voice of the woman came out slowly as she looked at the female lifting an eyebrow. Of course, it wasn’t known by her that normally such events were done live in person. Every single address the woman had ever given was done in the same spot; the security was always tight. Arm guards gather around and I.D.s were scanned thoroughly so that anyone who had suspicious backgrounds were immediately arrested and taken into custody temporarily so that the situation could be diffused.
Maria, being the strong willed woman she was, held on to her poker face and let out a sigh. Brushing back a stray lock of hair she softly turned towards the entrance of the garden. Indeed it was a beautiful piece of work, and if Marcus was going to check all of the projects personally, than she’d figured that he’d be at least forty minutes. Thorn always walked briest and with a certain air around him as if he were a figure of importance.. Well, he was rather important and a crucial role in keeping the regime alive and thriving. The fact that she, herself, would not be present made her worry just a little bit more.
The explosions weren’t just ordinary ones. Some of these ‘bombs’ also sent out emp waves which would help diffuse the military when they tried to call for help. It was a well known fact in the upper world that all military personnel had cybernetic implants in them. Now imagine how easy a target they’d be if the impulses went of and help freeze or disarmed them completely. It was a thought which would’ve brought a smile to any rebel’s mind. With all that in mind, she let out a sigh before placing her hand on the palm of her hand.
[i “Ah, what a shame! Normally Lilly does her presentation in public… but i suppose there’s a reason for everything.”] It came out slowly and deliberately. Tapping a hand upon the car, the middle-age woman gave a rather frustrated sigh. Oh! How she wished she was able to get lyic out of the car so that they could walk the garden together. It had such a wonderful design down by her father and it was an unbelievable shame that she should would miss seeing it before tomorrow when it’s slightly destroyed by the rebels.
[i “Give my regards to Black!”] Miss Kyle spoke as she blew a kiss at Lyric and turned upon her heel.. If the supreme leader was changing plans the so can the Rebels..
Leaning over, the male gently flipped the switch on the huge projector and watched as it shown light towards the bridge. Grumbling slightly to himself he couldn’t help but ask why? Why exactly did he have to go back doing stupid shit like this? Scratching the back of his neck, he turned around and start to jog towards the other projector. He had just finish two in about 25 minutes top. Now he only had two more to go before he could completely say that he was finished
Sitting with her feet up against the dash, Lyric was in a foul mood. She wasn’t the type to enjoy losing. And while she understood the difference in skill and experience between the two of them, it still stung. A feeling that was only made worse by the echo of actual physical pain she experienced when she’d been shot in the chest. Although it was in fact a simulation, and she was in no real danger, it hurt like no other. Being shot was up on her list of most painful things to endure. In fact it ranked second, and was not an experience she enjoyed having to relive. Once had been enough for her.
[b “It wasn’t that bad of a plan…”]
She rolled her eyes at him, letting them linger on his face. He did not so much as glance at her in return, so she took this as an opportunity to glare at him. When that grew dull she brought her gaze back to the road ahead. She’d never been to the gardens before so as much as she hated to admit it, this was a bit of a treat. From the car she could see the splotches of color that littered the attraction. It called to her all the more knowing that the man she had found to be her biological father designed it. But as with most things these days, her hopes of seeing it any closer were dashed. Rather firmly, Black let her know she was to stay put in the car. Lyric opened her mouth to protest, but quickly shut it again. There was no point; it wasn’t like he was going to change his mind because she whined at him. That and if he knew she was actually interested in the gardens he might not bring her along tomorrow, just to be a jerk. She crossed her arms, sighing heavily. It was too bad, because this might have been her last chance to see them. Who knew how bad the damage of tomorrow’s attack would be.
The car was quiet with just her, and with comfortable seats she thought it might be a nice place to take a nap. She had been rudely awoken that morning, after all. Closing her eyes, she fell into a half conscious state, not quite sleeping, but not quite awake either. It was peaceful. That was until she heard tapping at the glass just a short way from her head. Nearly jumping out of her skin, Lyric looked out the darkened window to see Maria. Her expression was somewhat grim.
Pressing a button on the armrest, the woman rolled the window down so that she could hear properly. She barely caught the middle-aged woman’s question.
[b “Yeah, he’s dragging me around today cause I messed up his study.”] Lyric took some pleasure in sharing his pettiness, even if she was the one who started it. She looked around, not spotting the woman’s husband. The rebel was kind of curious what Maria was up to. Although, she had inkling it might have to do with the next day’s events. [b “I’m pretty sure Black went to check out some projectors or something… what’s up?”] Worst-case scenario, the plan had changed in the few weeks that she had been holed up in that apartment. Perhaps this was fate, even though that wasn’t really the sort of thing she believed in.
"It wasn’t that bad of a plan..”
The voice of Marcus black trailed off as he drove silently with Lyric in his passenger seat. Looking straight ahead, he continued to focus more on driving than giving her a solid compliment something which becoming much more frequent to the rather stiff and cold man. Their next destination was to head towards the place where the supreme commander would be giving her speech. The Illesian gardens was somewhat of an architectural marvel which was design by none other than her father. Despite it still being far away from it being spring, one could still see hints of how beautiful it was once the spring appear and the flowers started to bloom in their full glory. ‘
Stopping the car at the entrance to the gate, Black slowly reached into his car and looked at the guard that stood watching over him. [b “You’ve come to check out the security?”] The voice of the male spoke. Answering back, Black slowly pushed open the door and started to get out. Turning around he looked at the mischievous troublemaker that he’d decided to drag along with him regardless of whether or not she enjoyed it. Reaching for a pair of shades within his car, he spoke to her in a rough voice. Something between barking out an order and yet remaining a somewhat pleasant tone of civility. [i “Wait here, I gotta see if the projection’s working..”]
It was a last minute change which came from the supreme leader at 2 A.M. this morning. A random message with had been titled with [u “Change of plans.”]
When it came to it, the entire garden was designed to be in a square, once massive square which had multiple different styles of gardens from different past cultures lost after the midst of the war from long ago. Several miles separated by different gates which seemingly teleported you into another realm of nature and her beauty. In the middle of of the garden was a bridge which overlooked a river. Here was where the water lilies would bloom. It was a beautiful tribute design to honor the Supreme leader and many people enjoyed walking the bridge seeing the flowers and bloom. Needless to say, that was the very place where her hologram would be broadcast by the projectors which were place around the gardens.
Scratching the back of his head, Black murmured something before he started the trek to each four corners of the garden.
[center [i Consider it good timing or bad..] ]
Knocking on the window a familiar face of a woman stared through the glass looking at Lyric before he face turned into a frown. [i “Lyric?]
Of course it was just the voice of Maria Kyle. Stepping back he looked at the car trying to figure out whose it was that it belong to.. [i “Is.. that Black’s car?”]
The conglomerate of red soldiers and other figures stared down the somewhat suspicious man as he came to their side from the blue. The man in command stared at him skeptically as he answered his question. This was an odd place for a scavenger to be hanging out. So instead of trusting him outright, he ordered for the man to be searched. An action that did little more than reveal the contents of his bag and person lined up with his story. They didn’t check his ears, missing the communicator altogether.
[b “Alright,”] His words and eyes continued to hold cynicism. [b “You check out, but it’s dangerous around here. Move along or stay out of our way.”]
As he finished up with his demand one of his men came trotting over to relay some information. [b “Aye, looks like a scout from the next encampment just arrived. She’s got some news from the higher ups.”]
[b “What are you waiting for? Bring him over here?”] Sighing, he wondered if everyone here was incompetent or if he was just grumpy from lack of rest.
It didn’t take long for the woman to make her way to the heart of the throng that the captain was at. He seemed a stern sort of man. The red woman couldn’t wait to relay what she needed to and get back to her own people. [b “Hello sir,”] She saluted him for extra measure. [b “Orders from the top, we are to keep an eye out for the enemy leader.”] She went into details, but he didn’t seem all the pleased with what she had to say. Although what she didn’t say was where their leader would be located. Apparently that was to be kept confidential.
The man was now fairly confident that there was no one capable left on their side. Of course they were to be looking out for blue team leader. Why would they not be doing that? This stupid hand gesture thing was a waste of time in his opinion. Sighing, he had no choice but to comply. Well, that or dissent, which he wasn’t too keen on either. Sighing heavily he looked over his fellow soldiers, picking out another less vital member he send him on the way to carry the message further.
In the mass of red, the scavenger seemed to blend in, but the captain eventually noticed he was still here. [b “And you, didn’t I tell you to get out of here?!”] The man really wasn’t in the mood to deal with all this.
Lyric had a rhythm going to her movements after a while. She made sure to check all sides of the building, just in case there was any change in status below. Now that she had at least some inkling of a plan and knew that the holograms below would be doing something she relaxed some, but not much. At the very least she was focusing less on shooting and more on keeping her position on the down low.
Up above, the timer seemed to move incredulously slow. The woman wasn’t sure if it was actually slower than regular time outside of this room, or if it just felt that way. Either way she didn’t care for it.
He wondered to himself how long it would take for her to realize the little “trick” that the holograms had up their sleeves. In truth, it was of little to no concern to him. All endings had beginnings and this was the start of their little game of cat and mouse. Perched against the seat of the tank, he sat with his hand gun ready by his side. The fullness of the war had brought about many buildings being destroyed and burnt out buildings collapsing upon the ground. Straggling blue holograms limped around and each time, Black would stop and order them to be help back to base. Things such as morale, understanding, and compassion would help turn the tide of battle, not only that but he’d set a trap up for the little mouse to see how well she’d be able to turn deal with the sudden twist of things.
Stepping over the fallen, red eyes blinked once and than twice as he made his way across the other line. A small hearing device was place in his left ear and as his hands tapped against the sack which was strung over his shoulders, he carefully approach the rest of those who’d looked like him. The assignment given to him was very clear and at the same time not clear at all. [i Infiltrate their lines, blend in with them, observe what you see them doing and then report it back to me. But above all, don’t worry about coming back to our side, become them. For in the end, being one of them will lead to the destruction of all of them.] It was cryptic order. However, the male simply thought that it would be best to follow his orders.
Pressing the device softly, he spoke softly barely above a whisper to deliver two crisps words. “I’m In.” Walking amidst the red holograms, he whistle softly, before he heard the cocking of a gun and felt several eyes upon him. Just a few minutes ago he’d been fully blue, and in truth he’d slowly been turning red. Hopefully he was Red enough to not be shot down just before he was able to complete his mission, however he doubt that luck would allow him such a thing. So he inhaled sharply and waited to see what exactly would be his fate and how it would be delivered to him.
[b “Who are you?”] Came the voice of a man who stepped out. An eye patch covered his eyes and he waited for a suitable reply.
Reaching for the sack slowly he spoke in a calm and slow voice. [i “I…. I’m a scavenger.. I snuck into the blue’s territory to steal supplies… Was hoping I’d make a quick buck.”]
Giving them an aloof smile the male hoped that they wouldn’t see pass his facade. Moving forward the one kept his gun trained on him spoke [b Search him and the bag..]
Looking above head, he watched as the clock ticked down slowly. It seemed as if the minutes within this simulation moved slowly, compared to the time in the outside world. Right now they hadn’t strayed far from the base, instead they’d been gathering up the wounded and taken them back to headquarters. If anything, he’d probably take out a small group of troops to scout for Lyric himself. That seemed to be the best option and amidst the various warring fraction of Reds and Blues. Grabbing a pair of binoculars from one of the storage closets, he held onto them and let out a low sigh. There was a high probability that she’d be moving round and would taken the higher ground. After All, didn’t she said she was skilled with a rifle? He’d wondered about that himself.
Staying still to watch the formations of figures march about, there was more than one commotion in the distance. There was no way to tell if Marcus was the cause for certain. She had assumed they would be the only ones shot at, but that clearly wasn’t the case. The holograms were in the middle of a proper war, firearms included. Sighing, she knew it could work to her advantage, but she’d rather have a general idea of where Black was.
The tide of the battle in front of her seemed to ebb and flow between the red and blue sides. Despite the red humanoids being on her team, she didn’t much care either way. Lyric had no investment in this scenario. It was senseless violence, although that was the most common kind.
Putting time and distance between each shot she took, the woman didn’t know how long this sort of strategy would work. She was essentially just waiting for the enemy to come into view. It was in no way efficient, however it was her best option with the set of skills she had.
Training her eyes on her next target she noticed something after firing. Although most of the blue figures would scatter to find cover there were a few who would look her direction once their heads were down. They seemed to be trying to pinpoint her location, and they weren’t the only ones. The red would do the same in response. Both sides were making attempts to locate the shooter, even going as far as sending out scouts.
Rapping her fingers against the solidly projected concrete, she thought about it a little harder. Why did they need to be so smart, or at least invested in this simulation? Lyric couldn’t think of a reason, not unless they were meant to be used as full on pawns… Groaning she realized that made perfect sense. Black was a tactician. This would be useless to him if he couldn’t exercise his purpose.
That snake hadn’t planned on telling her; it was infuriating. This added another layer to the game. One she wasn’t equipped or ready to handle. Taking the lead was not Lyric’s thing. At least not in this way. She stood back and followed orders. That was where she was most useful; a clock needed enough cogs to keep time after all. Too many people trying to run an operation made a mess. Taking a moment, she stepped back from the ledge. The bright haired woman needed a second to figure out how to proceed from here. Was it better stick to her experience and lie in wait, or form a network with those who had been put in place to do so?
The option of trying to strive for both came to mind. If she could formulate some sort of plot then sneak down to the others then they could pass her instructions along to the others. But those were both fairly large ifs. There were eyes all over the outside of this building, but she knew that was her best chance.
Watching her surroundings, Lyric did her best to wait till most of the blue pawns were out of eyesight. From there it was only a matter of praying that no one saw her sneak back into the top floor window. She wasn’t looking forward to traversing those stairs again, but she took them fairly quickly. Going down was a lot more pleasant than up. She was careful to avoid windows that connected the stairwell to each floor. There was no telling if those scouts had already gotten into the building or not. She sincerely hoped they hadn’t. But just in case she carried her pistol in hand. At the bottom floor, she glanced through the small pane of glass. There was no one in immediate sight so she sneaked out silently. Without the thick metal door in the way she could hear footsteps. They tread lightly, but they were there. Crouching down low she peaked around the corner and she was rather glad she did. As luck would have it, the one she heard was part of her own battalion. Bringing her fingers to her mouth, she whistled to grab the figures attention. As soon as his eyes fell on her, an excited look crossed his face. It looked as though he was about to shout, but she quickly hushed him before motioning him to come closer. She then ushered him into the slightly more confidential stairwell with her.
There he clicked his heels together and saluted her. Jeeze…These things really were set up to take commands. [b “Hey, do you think you can get a plan back to the others?”] It was clearly more of a question than a demand, but he replied swiftly.
[b “Yes, ma’am.”]
Not used to being talked to in such a formal way, Lyric made a face but went on. [b “Great. I am going to be perched atop this building. I want you and the others to keep a lookout for the blue team’s commander… If you see him I want you to stick your arm up in the air like this intermittently.”] She held a fist in the air. [b “You know, if it doesn’t endanger you too much. Then if you see someone with their arm up, you do it too for about as long as they do. The plan is to create a chain reaction, got it.”] If this worked it would create a wake around Black and give her a clue of his general direction. In theory it would reduce her stress levels, but we will see.
[b “Kay, now go spread it like wildfire.”] She was about to see him off before she remembered one final thing. [b “Oh, and don’t stop the signal at this building. Keep it going so he won’t know I’m here.”] Optimally, he would notice something was up and follow the trail. But she didn’t want the end of it to be obvious. Not that that was her only worry. This would only work if the rest of the playing field was as densely packed with soldiers as it was here.
As soon as he was out of sight, she returned to her place on the roof. Lyric didn’t think she had been spotted, but she was sure it would become apparent if they started to storm the building full force. When that didn’t happen she knew she was safe. Now it was time to wait.
Whether to take the high ground or low ground was no concern for the man known as Marcus Black. Tuck away neatly on the top floor of a building, he slowed his breathing as he watch the holograms of strangers beginning to form. There were certain rules that he didn’t have time to explain to the female but he figured that as the time went on she would get the jist of all which was happening. Cocking the hand gun which he’d picked out he watched as the city began to fill up once more. It was something created from memories from the time when he was once younger. So, of course, it’d look like the lowest and poorest level of the city. Back then he’d been closer to the people whom he’d been spending time fighting against. Back than it was a much more personal affair, his body clashing against rebels, their blood on his hands whilst he’s was shed by those who wanted to see him dead. The thrill of it all brought him back; he was severely out of practice when it came to fighting.
Still, he only hoped his aim was well. Looking at his watch, he nodded his head as he saw the last second tick away and that was when it was time to prepare for this mock war. Aiming his hand out the window he pulled the trigger and let out a warning shot that the games had begun. Above head Three sets of giant numbers appeared. One was in green and that was the time which had begun ticking down from thirty minutes. Below were two sets of number. One in Blue and one in Red. Breathing in and out slowly Marcus stood against the wall of the building waiting for the silence to be interrupted by some big explosion or something out of the ordinary. All ready below, he could hear voices clamouring and gunshots being fired by the holograms.
[i “It’s just like I remember..”] He muttered to himself as he saw a face of a youthful lad leading the charge of red holograms against blue ones.. All around them the city was full of red and blue persona’s walking about each one out for blood and each one ready to take out whatever opposition opposed them. Taking a step towards the window, he looked out across the floor and he wondered on what section or side of the city had she taken.. In truth, she’d had the advantage since the city just so happen to materialized into a section which had been unfamiliar with.
Marcus was not like his grandfather, who’d memorized every street, every corner, and every building that had been built in his lifetime. That sorta intelligence didn’t run in his veins. Rising up from the spot which he’d found himself hidden away at, he’d slowly made his way outwards towards the opening of the building and began walking into the fray of the bodies moving against each other. Cocking his gun, he lifted it upwards and began shooting at the red holograms watching at they disburse one after another.
Another twist in this game was this holograms where just random figurines. They were intelligent, they had a certain level of awareness. Another thing which would help turn the tide towards who’d win during the final moments as they were clicked away by the clock above head. Walking towards those in blue, he watched as they eyed him up and down before one step forth, nodded his head and they began to run away from the surging crowd of red.
When he’d first fired that shot they’re been a paused, a momentary shock at the outside force which had intervene and now that that calm had pass, gunshots could be heard along with a clamouring of voices screaming out to go and get them.
[i “We found our leader!] A male voice shouted as Marcus kept pace and ran with them to where their base was. It was a building that stood proud and tall. Heading into it where the holograms where, the male brushed his hair back as he stepped forward.
[b “ATTENTION!”] He bellowed out and instantly several men snapped to formation. [b “Men, out there is a war-zone. One which will not stop unto we neutralize our target.”] He spoke and with that he wasted no time explaining the situation and once that was done, there was only one thing left to do.
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