Chapter 1: Genesis
Kade's eyes slowly peeled open as the gas disturbed his "vampiric" slumber. His entire body was overcome with a slight aching pain, either from sleeping on what couldn't even be considered a bed, or from the encounter that landed him in this broom closet of a cell. Slowly he lifted himself up and placed his feet on the floor while remaining seated on the bed. He listened to the voice on the screen while inspecting his arms for any sign of cuts that could harm the artwork inked onto them."A Militech facility, eh? Heh. Not the worst place I've woken up. But definitely in the top 5."
Kade mumbled to himself as stood up and began stretching his arms. "Probably should have realized working for them would have landed me here eventually. No matter. Seems someone else is interested in my services. Better not disappoint them."
Ready to take down the guard and every other sorry gonk that got in his way, Kade strode out of his cell confidently, only to stop a few steps outside. To his shock, the other cells around him were opened as well."Oh…Hello there."
Kade greeted his fellow inmates, careful not to let his surprise slip past his professional mask. "The name's Kade. I see my anonymous benefactor was not mine alone. Pity. Thought I was special for a moment there. No matter. I suppose having help to cure…Whatever this is and escape wouldn't be such a terrible thing. That is, if you are all up for the challenge?"
JV rose, steadily. Where had his curse taken him this time? Cold, hard concrete surrounded him, the walls seemingly closing in on the man. Hmm. Claustrophobic.
Despite his colourful past, he had never seen the inside of a prison.
Sitting up on the slab, JV listened to the disjointed figure haphazardly. The man would not be guided by a figure shroud in darkness, even as the veil of his cell rose, only the Loa had that honour. Without leaving the room, JV got down on both knees, removing his bone idol necklace.
Squeezing the totem tight, the man closed his eyes and spread his arms wide. "Bondye, guide me."
Chanting in Haitian, JV remained on his knees as the rest of the group stirred.
Up two cells on the southside wall, Russell panicked. "What the fuck do you mean mate? What farkin' virus?" He shouted at the figure in vain, expecting an answer even as the door disappeared into the ceiling.
Everyone and their Aunt had warned against backpacking across the US but the tourist from down-under wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, claiming "She'll be right, mate." Listening was never one of his strong suits.
Dashing out of the cell, Russell's heart leapt into his mouth as he reached the railing. The seemingly never ending hole in the middle of the room gave even the strongest willed man vertigo. In Russell's case, he almost fainted.
Rodrigo lay in an almost fetal position, rear end held high, face turned to the side, arm draped haphazardly over his eyes as a dribble of saliva pooled beneath his cheek. At the demand he awaken, he instinctively murmured, "Ay, mama, five more minutes."
The voice continued in English, in an even and moderated tone that was the opposite of everything he would have expected from his mother's response to his plea. It wasn't until half way through the speech that he'd realized it would have made no sense for him to even be at his mom's house instead of the clinic where he'd last been. What had happened? Where was he, and why were his memories of the previous night so fuzzy? Certainly, the party at Rene's couldn't have gotten that
out of hand to have gotten him arrested. No, he vaguely recalled reaching the clinic...
A shaky look around the tight quarters chilled him, and all he took from the garbled message from the obscured person on the screen in the enclosed space was 'Militech', 'virus', 'cyberpsychosis', and 'cure'. This was more serious than he could have ever imagined.
As he stepped out from the room, glancing to his left and right, he was met with a few others doing the same. One in particular however seemed more confident than Rodrigo understood any of them had reason for. He looked to the man in fancy attire, a corpo certainly, with furrowed brows and confusion in his eyes. "Rico,"
he stammered. "Uh, name's Rodrigo."
He couldn't fathom the strange humor the man beheld them all with. Was this all just a game, a prank?
Along the opposite wall, a woman with dark hair stepped out of the newly opened door with distrust in her eyes. She looked from left to right and back again, hands twitching as she surveyed the others. Lauren was certain she'd gotten mixed up with her brother's captors. It was the only thing that made sense, but everything else- the strange voice, the release... What was it all for?
All she knew was that she trusted no one. It'd been weeks since she'd been on Trey's trail. She'd asked the right questions to the wrong people, and it had landed her here. Of this, she was certain.
With narrowed eyes she took another tentative step forward and gazed down the gaping hole in the center of the walkway, but pulled back quickly as vertigo threatened to overtake her.
"We don't have time for this," Lauren said aloud, irritated. "Let's get out of here," She needed to find Trey, he had to be within these walls.
Just as the others had begun to, so too did Bea Adler stir from the depths of her drugged slumber. The familiarity of her dressing room at the Cat Scratch now miles away.
As her consciousness returned, Bea's bleary eyes fixated on an incongruous sight: one of her vintage silver pumps, unceremoniously discarded in the corner, the six-inch heel and bejewelled adornment gleaming dully. Its counterpart remained faithfully on her foot, albeit slightly scuffed. Adding to the sharp realisation of her situation, she noticed a strand of fringe had snapped from her outfit, scattering a constellation of diamante beading across the unforgiving and unfamiliar concrete floor. She extended her limp arm to retrieve them.
Deprived of any kind of cushioning beneath her, she voiced her protest with a low, sultry groan. Where am I?
Then, a voice wormed its way to her with a commanding set of instructions. Cyberpsychosis? "Couldn't be me,"
she murmured melodically to herself.
A peculiar audition had transpired just a week prior—Could this be some sinister aftermath?
Bea brushed the notion aside, unwilling to accept such a banal explanation. A stalker, perhaps? A cruel prank or an intricate puzzle designed to amuse some unseen spectators?
With a great effort, she hoisted herself upright and hopped over to the abandoned shoe and slipped her foot back into it. She then tugged at the bra cup of her dress and let the loose beading fall into there for safekeeping, readjusting herself accordingly.
Bea inhaled deeply, she'd already heard others stirring, an impatient woman, a well spoken man introducing himself as Kade, and someone named Rodrigo. She wasn't quite interested in speaking to any of them just yet. No, she wanted to address the stranger who seemed to be running the show.
As she stepped out, she felt a further chill against her bare skin - to which there was a lot on show. The beaded fringing of her dress did very little to cover her, and with each step it swished from side to side. "Listen Mysterio,"
she began - looking up and around to find the best place to speak to the disembodied voice. "I don't know what this 'virus' has to do with me, but cut it out and let me go already."
Dejah Kan stumbled forth, feet clapping against the hard floor as she struggled to keep herself upright. Like the others she had heard the voice after coming to and the provided instructions, or at least most of them. Dejah fiercely squeezed at the sides of her cranium, fingers pressing into the tender flesh beneath her ebony hair. Her head was pounding like a drum and the clamoring of the other presumed prisoners was just making it worse. What even happened? Why the fuck am I here? How long have I been here? Who is the reason for me being here?
Dejah twisted her head, the muscles in her neck popping fiercely. She rolled her shoulders, blinked her eyes, trying in every little way to shake off this lingering disorientation. Did they say… fucking cyberpsychosis?!
As Dejah’s head cleared and she began to process more of what she had heard the assassin found her chest starting to swell with panic. Her heart pounded and her entire body tingled with cold waves of anxiety and fear. They said a cure… I just need to follow directions?
Dejah looked around at the other “inmates”, sizing them up as best she could. A diverse bunch they seemed to be shaken up as she was, some more than others. A blonde woman in particular seemed less perturbed and more outraged, and quite frankly her finger-wagging caterwauling was making Dejah’s head hurt more. Dejah suppressed the urge to yell “shut the fuck up” and instead tried to garner more focusI need to get out of here. Maybe these saps can be of help.
The sound of the disembodied voice came from all around the group as it used the facility's PA system. With no change in its tone, it answered the woman's challenge. "What I've told you is true. You are being held in a Militech facility, you have been infected by a virus and you will die if you do not follow my instructions. Whether you choose to accept your new reality or not is on you."
A distant pounding from the eastern door interrupted the voice as a series of muffled yells could be heard.
"Each of you have only minutes to decide how to deal with the guard on the other side of the door. He is armed and will shoot on sight. Kill him and acquire his radio, we do not want to telegraph our next moves over the PA as we move through the facility."
Kade gave a friendly smile followed by a slight bow to Rico. “Good to see one of you still has manners. Pleasure to meet you, Rico.”
Kade maintained his elegant tone and almost welcoming demeanor in contrast to where they were and the situation they were in.
While he did have a slight semblance of fear and a bit of panic in his heart, none of those would do him or these inmates any good. Besides, waking up to dangerous situations with a disembodied voice telling him what to do wasn’t completely unlike his old job. He could roll with it.
Speaking of, the voice returned to assure everyone that the virus was real and that they could cure it, but there was a much more urgent matter that needed to be attended to regarding an armed and trigger happy guard trying to break in. Time was of the essence and Kade wasn’t going to wait around for them to show him the same common decency. “Fine. I’ll get your names later.”
He stated with a shrug. Assuming any of you are worth remembering. “Rico, be a gent and get back to your cell.”
Kade calmly instructed and began walking down the hall. “That goes for all of you. Stay hidden or get shot. If you happened to smuggle a weapon in, however, then follow my lead.”
Whether the inmates followed his instructions or not, hastily repositioned himself next to the eastern door. He placed his back against the wall to the left and flattened himself as best he could. His fingers on his left hand slipped into the base of his glove on the right, and unfurled the monowire concealed in his wrist. Kade’s eyes flickered with light as he hacked into the door, prepared to open it at a moment's notice. All he needed now was for the guard to take a single step inside the room, and they would have a wire around their neck or sliced across their face.
Bea still wasn't sure what any of this had to do with her, but the situation did appear to be escalating, with Kade taking to the door that the voice had warned about. The woman didn't like this, any of it.
With her hands still on her hips, she released the tension in her brow and sighed quietly. She wasn't about to argue with him. He was halfway through his task. Instead, she looked across at the other gentleman. 'Rocko' was it? That didn't sound right, but she moved into his cell, and not her own. "Hope you don't mind, Sugar,"
she said cooly, betraying the anxiety she felt inside. "Two's going to have to be company. Shit might hit the fan you know?"
Truthfully, she just really didn't trust the situation, she didn't know if that hack would backfire and lock them back up again, or worse.
Rodrigo blinked rapidly when the suit told him to get back in his cell, but after patting himself down and realizing he had no weapon of his own, he figured it was likely his best bet. He nodded at the man, who seemed to know what he was about, or at least, the most prepared to take action.
Kade's confidence was having an effect on the others too, they were all retreating back to their own cells. Well, all but one. She'd caught his eye earlier. Aside from being breathtakingly beautiful, Rodrigo had been almost sure he recognized her as... but no. It couldn't be. The stress from this whole situation had to be making him see things that were impossible.
When she approached him, he felt his breath catch, but quickly swallowed down the accompanying anxiety. There were worse things than potentially being locked in a room with her. He held out his arm for her in response, and they stepped inside. "Mi casa es su casa,"
he said before he could help himself. Immediately wishing the ground would swallow him whole, he turned away from her to watch as the suit positioned himself against the wall. "Those are some high grade wires,"
he murmured, not realizing he was speaking aloud. "I should get his supplier's contact."
– "I wouldn't go calling this your casa."
Bea answered quietly as she leaned back against the wall. "This place is a dump,"
she refused to fidget and pinned back any flickers of anxiety with a laissez-faire expression.
JV felt nothing. He had clutched his totem tighter, chanted louder, squeezed his eyes shut with all of his might and still, nothing.
Of late, it had taken more and more of a concoction of chemicals to hear the words of the Gods. During these bouts of inebriation, he'd heard them loud and clear, speaking to him, guiding his actions and giving the man some small semblance of comfort. But here, under all this concrete, there was nothing but the gurgitation of sewage that passed outside the walls of his cell. JV had hoped that whatever Militech had pumped into his system lingered, helping him reach out to Bondye but this was not so.
The man grunted, releasing his iron-like grip of his talisman and returning it to around his neck. He might not have liked it but at least the voice had given them a chance to escape, honest or not. Stepping out of his cell, JV adjusted his trench coat, pulling it forward before rolling up its sleeves. Moving past the others, he took the opposite side of the door. Eyeing off with the man on the other side, the former Voodoo boy balled his fists, the mechanical gears of his gorilla arms hydraulically whirring in anticipation.The skinny, twig-man can distract the guard with his piece of string, I'll land the killing blow.
Inside the cell, Rodrigo pulled back from the door to give the woman a wry smile. "Oh, I've been in worse,"
he said. "But you're right. Mamá would hate it if she heard me call this place home."
With a shrug, his attention returned to the door behind which the guard was still banging. Another one of their numbers had joined the suit. Gorilla arms. Interesting. He'd installed one recently but never had the chance to see it in action before. Yancy was determined to stand toe to toe with the worst of the Animals, and Rodrigo hadn't seen him since, so that meant he was making a name for himself, either on the streets or in the obituaries.
He glanced back at the woman, suddenly aware that she might have joined him in his cell out of fear. "We'll get you home soon."
Dejah rubbed furiously at her skull, the dizziness but not receding any. She felt like she had been pummeled over the head with an iron bar. The other prisoners were stirring themselves about, aside from the idle prattling Dejah heard the one man speak of dealing with the guard.
Dejah had nothing on her and decided it best to leave it to the man - Kade was it she had heard? - to handle this, gung-ho as he seemed to be. Another few minutes and Dejah might be oriented enough to handle herself, for now though she was following lead.
As most went back to their cells, three remained, approaching the door. Kade took the left, JV the right, both ready and gritting their teeth as their mysterious benefactor began the hack.
"Guys, this is fucked, surely we can explain that they've just got the wrong people." Some would call him an optimist, others an idiot, either way Russell approached the door front on, surprising everyone.Woosh.
The door opened and the guard stepped forward, just far enough for his pointed rifle and arms to come into view for both Kade and JV. "INMATE! BACK TO YOUR CELL!" He yelled, flicking the gun into full auto.
"Mate, I'm sorry but you've got the wrong guy." Russell stepped forward, his arms next to his head in surrender.
"I said, back to your CELL," the guard repeated, lifting his rifle to train it directly on the prisoner. How had he gotten out? It was unclear whether this was related to the emergency, but in all his years with Militech there had never been a prisoner escape.
"Whoa, whoa, I haven't done anythin-" That was as far as Russell got when the first shot rang out. His face distorted in agony, mouth making a small O shape as if in surprise. A second shot followed in rapid succession and Russell cried out before he fell to the ground, gripping his wound.
The guard took a cautious step forward, not noticing the danger awaiting him on either side of the door. He wasn't about to take any chances with this filth, particularly with a tier 1 alert taking place just beyond the corridor. He needed to lock things down and show he meant business. "That's the problem," he said as he stepped through the door, "you should've done what I said."
The former corpo spy couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the man’s attempt to reason with the guard. Even if they were the “wrong people” why give yourself up like that? This was a chance at escape and no one was going to stand in Kade’s way. Besides, didn’t their mysterious benefactor warn them the guards would shoot on sight? What part of that made it sound like they would be open to talk? Though Kade took no pleasure watching what unfolded next, he also wasn’t devastated seeing the foreigner take two to the torso before he dropped to the ground. Well. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Still, Kade wasn’t going to just let the poor man be executed, assuming his injuries weren’t already fatal. So instead of holding his position for the guard to walk past, Kade only let him take one more step forward before he sprung the trap. In one fluid motion, his grip tightened around the base of his monowire as he pivoted towards the guard and whipped the wire at his arms. He didn’t have the angle for a lethal strike, but if he could at least disarm the guard, then the large Voodoo boy flanking him could finish the job.
The guard hadn't expected the surprise attack, but years of training suddenly surged through him. The sight of the prisoner's movement at the edge of his vision allowed him to shift his body just so at the last second, which resulted in the monowire wrapping itself only around the rifle. This was all well and good, because had the wire touched any part of the guard's skin, it would be more than just pieces of metal that clattered to the floor. The pull of the wire was enough to break his balance, and the man stumbled forward, but as he did, he deftly pulled a sidearm from his waist. Huffing from the movement, the guard steadied himself and trained both his eyes and weapon on the man before him. There was no warning this time, he was going to pull the trigger.
On the floor, a pool of blood slowly began expanding around Russell, who had ceased his low moans in pain. Rodrigo watched cautiously from the doorway, brows furrowed. He wouldn't risk leaving the cell while the guard was still armed, a medic was of no use to anyone injured... or killed.
One of the shots struck a bit high and seemed to have hit the Aussie's shoulder, but the second had hit much closer to home in his chest. It was nothing he wasn't familiar with patching up given his experience both with the Valentinos and the Trauma Team, but Russell needed medical intervention immediately if he was going to pull through from this. Rodrigo patted his pockets for a second time to ensure there were no stray tools he could rely on to assist the man. Unfortunately, whoever had captured him had done a thorough job of removing everything. As the guard lifted his weapon toward the Suit, Rodrigo's breath caught. Not another one..
He wouldn't be able to save two lives tonight, not at that range, not with no tools, not when the pool of blood around the Aussie indicated every second that ticked by decreased his chances of survival tenfold.
The Corpo was slow off the mark, unable to fling his string at the guard before he fired. JV watched as Russell's body slumped backward, going down in only two bullets. Pathetic.
Finally, as the monowire wrapped itself around the rifle, the former Voodoo boy leapt into action, literally. Jumping as if he were going for a slam dunk, JV twisted his torso, bringing his fist back. Distracted by Kade, the guard didn't see the 106kg man bearing down on him.
Thrusting with all his might, JV ploughed his fist through the back of the guard's skull. Exploding like a watermelon, chunks of brain matter painted the walls along with the Corpo before another shot could ring out.
Gunshots. A squash. Splattering. The ground becoming wet. A scent in the air that was unfamiliar.
Bea's face still held resolve that she wasn't afraid; she moved out of the cell again - curious, unable to stop herself from being drawn to the macabre. Unwilling to wait for her cellmate. She held out her manicured hand in front of her, the other against the cold bare skin beneath her collarbones.
Her heels in step kept in time with her heart as it quickened in this changing face of impending uncertainty after the sounds that she heard.
Red everywhere. Just red, like ragu. Like rose petals. Merlot. A pomegranate.
She'd never seen such violence before. Heard of it? Yes. But... Been this close to a scene so gruesome, so close to it? While a body was still warm - painting the grey walls... Urgh...
Parts of him existing too on someone else's hands. "Just corn syrup Ms. Adler..."
she muttered quietly as her gaze continued to trace the tapestry of viscera. A feeble attempt to reason with it.
The ground beneath her changed, and instinctively she looked down to see that she had stepped in it. Her shoe had quickly taken in a fearful asymmetrical ink blot of blood - seeping through the satin, turning it ruby red - the jewels gleaming back up at her like tiny eyes.
She thought, in fact, that were her shoes to become so drenched, she could tap her heels and "there's no place like home"
her way out of here. Or was that just the... Air is getting thin...
She swayed, side to side, in a swirl of slow motion - her eyes blurred -the image of the guard's burst head burned behind them. The colour dropped from her face, and so too did she - falling forwards.
As Gorilla Arms prevented the guard from taking out the Suit, Rodrigo sighed in relief. Only the Aussie would require his attention, and he would need it quick. As Rodrigo moved to step out into the passage way to see what he could offer the fallen prisoner, he noticed the woman who had followed him was already standing outside the cell, transfixed. When had that happened? His Kiroshi optics picking up her increased temperature and heart rate, the perspiration accumulating on her skin. Not an untypical reaction to the scene before them, but there was nothing outright wrong with her. His attention began to shift toward the Aussie once more, but he noticed the woman swayed where she stood and as she began to fall, Rodrigo rushed forward to prevent an injury, catching her just before she gave way, his arm supporting her back. Guess it was more than one after all,
he thought to himself. He lowered her quickly but carefully with a hand carefully cupping the back of her head as he lay her down. In his rush however, he was unable to prevent some of the splattered blood and brain matter from staining the short dress she wore.
Some of the other prisoners began leaving their cells too, now that the worst of the threat had passed. A woman with dark hair made eye contact with Rodrigo and he motioned to her. "Keep an eye on her while I check on him,"
he said, quickly kneeling before the Aussie. Russell?
An initial scan of the body indicated severe blood loss and low blood pressure. Rodrigo attempted to slow the bleeding to the two wounds, but that would leave him without any hands. His eyes shot up to the Suit. "Please,"
his voice sounded higher than normal. "Put all your weight on these bullet wounds, quickly. We need to stop the bleeding."
As if he was unfazed by the gory death in front of him or the bits of flesh and blood that now covered his suit, Kade calmly retracted his monowire and gave a quick smile and nod to JV. With the immediate threat dealt with, he walked elegantly over to the injured Aussie, ignoring the woman who had fainted on the ground, and followed Rico's instructions. He knelt down and placed his hands firmly on the wounds and applied pressure."We really do not have time for surgery. Patch him up quick and lets go."
Kade said to Rico before looking down at Russell. "Maybe next time you'll follow instructions?"
The man was in no condition to offer a reply, he was no longer conscious.
With his hands free, Rodrigo checked the Aussie's pulse to confirm what he already knew, Russell was fading. Fast. There were no tools to pull out the bullets, and even with all of the weight Kade was adding, the blood still seeped around the Suit's hands. There were no options here. There was nothing Rodrigo could do to prevent the inevitable. Too much blood had already been lost, and without any equipment– he was helpless.
A deep gnawing darkness crept up from the base of his gut, consuming him. A voice unlike anything he'd ever heard before whispered in his ear, making the hairs on the back of his neck stand. A raspy, guttural, feral sound. "How many more will you be unable to save, Cas?"
Suddenly, Rodrigo was no longer in the prison complex. Before him was an examination table where a young girl lay, dead. Her chest cavity open, blood drained from her arms down to her finger tips. Drip. Drip. His hands trembled as he looked down on her lifeless body. "Wasn't it you who boasted your skills? Told them they could bring her to you? Told them you would handle it?"
The voice continued, each sentence striking him like a bullet. "Had they taken her to the hospital, she would have been saved. But you insisted, didn't you?"
Rodrigo fell to his knees, shaking his head. "That's not how it happened,"
he said, voice low at first. "That's not how it happened!"
He repeated, louder, raising his head to yell at the incorporeal voice around him. But as he did so, he realized he was back in the prison complex, kneeling next to Russell and the Suit. Rodrigo refused to bring his glistening eyes to meet Kade's. Slowly, he shook his head. In a low voice he said, "There's nothing we can do."
Dejah found her arms half raised as of preparing to take a defensive stance, her entire body tense from the scene that had just played out. The one man laid out by the guard who then was eviscerated by the larger man, blood and red chunks everywhere across the floor around the corpse. The blonde had fainted it seemed, truly a sorry thing, and the rest were debating between fixing up the downed Russel or just leaving him. Dejah, truly, did not care which - all she was worried about in the moment was herself. As long as the rest of whoever these fucks were drew the fire of these pigs for her she was fine if they all went down, so long as she got out of here and to whomever this person was that claimed to be able to cure this affliction.“Leave him.”
Dejah finally spoke for the first time, echoing what Rodrigo said. “Let us go, shall we? Before this gets any messier.”
Blood and matter steadily slid down JV's arm as it fell to his side. His head turned up, facing towards the ceiling with his eyes shut. Breathing heavily through his nose, the man's jaw was clenched tight, almost as if it were wired shut. Softly he hummed, a deep thrum of a noise that came from his belly and sat in his throat.
Falling into a deep, meditative trance, the wails of the Doctor slipped away. The saturating smell of gunpowder and iron evaporated just as the taste of blood dissipated.
Was this enough? Would this violent sacrifice appease the Gods?
JV's ears strained. His heart thumped, calling out, begging for anything. A word, a noise, whatever to help guide him.
"I warned you."
The voice cut through his trance like butter. A garbled, static-y voice that came from the hip of the headless guard. Flicking the blood from his arm, the Haitian bent down and grabbed the shortwave radio attached to the guards belt.
"Down the hallway there is a left turn, follow that passage to the barracks. Inside there is an automated turret and another guard. Dispatch them and collect the weapons that were taken from you. You're going to need them."
The voice paused as JV looked over the group. One of them was already a mere moment away from death, another had passed out with a third distraught.
"Get the Ripperdoc under control and see if he can rouse the woman. Leave the man to his fate."
Tucking the radio into the inside pocket of his trench coat, JV approached the medic and placed a hand on his shoulder. "Bring the woman around, I could carry her but there are more to kill."
Rodrigo felt the touch on his shoulder and was surprised by how gentle Gorilla Arms could be. He nodded and stood, Russell's blood still staining his hands. There was no time to grieve now, they needed to get out of here.
As he moved closer to the woman who'd fainted, the other woman he'd asked to watch over her shrugged her shoulders. "I tried shaking her awake, but she's out of it."
He dipped his head toward her and wordlessly bent down to collected the woman in his arms. He had nothing on him to rouse her and would have been able to achieve only what the other woman had already attempted and failed. The shock from the scene would eventually wear off and she would awaken, but they didn't have the luxury of waiting around for it to happen. If the disembodied Voice was right, and there was no reason to doubt them at this point, there would be more battles ahead and Gorilla Arms would be better suited to protect the group. Kade and his wires as well. Without any of his tools or weapons, Rodrigo's own useless arms would at least serve some purpose in carrying the unconscious woman until she stirred.
Turning back to the grisly scene, he gave the Aussie one last look, straining to remember the man as he had been before he fell. It was the most he could offer since they would leave his remains behind. "Que dios lo bendiga,"
he muttered softly.
The Suit and Gorilla Arms both stood at the door and Rodrigo nodded once more to indicate his readiness. It was then he caught a glimpse of the old radio from which the Voice had spoken to offer further direction. It was old world tech. Something he had only ever seen virtually in ancient films. Scraps might still be found in the municipal landfills but no one bothered with them anymore, even antique collectors. Glad to have a distraction to occupy his thoughts, Rodrigo considered the benefit of using such dated technology. It was hard to detect, particularly underground, ensuring this secret facility remained just that.
As the Doctor left, JV lingered over Russell. The blood leaking from him had slowed to an ooze. Taking a knee beside the Aussie, the Haitian noticed his mouth had been left agape with his eyes wide open. Terror had filled the man’s final moments.
JV placed a hand over his face. There was no water to wash the body with nor was there anything to wrap it with. What would Militech do with it once they found it? Where would it be in nine days when Russell’s soul escapes?
Shutting the dead man’s eyes and mouth, JV could do nothing but offer up a prayer. “Mwen priye nanm ou chape kote sa a.”
Kade simply stated in regards to a man dying in his hands. He released his hands from the wounds and attempted to wipe the blood from them off on the deceased Aussie’s clothing. It was already going to be hell washing the stains out of his suit. He didn’t want his gloves to be drenched in blood as well. Besides, Russell certainly wouldn’t object to his clothes getting a little dirtier.
Once he was satisfied with the amount of blood he managed to remove, he stood up and left the corpse to JV and glanced back at Rico, curious to see how the ripper doc was fairing after his little outburst. The corpo looked at the fainted woman he held in his arms, then back at Rico and raised an eyebrow. Kade said nothing on the matter, but it was clear he was silently questioning the doc’s choice in carrying someone out of here. Time was not a luxury they had, and this distressed damsel would only slow them down.“I could not agree more.”
Kade replied to Dejah’s comment. Gracefully he strode back to the headless guard. His eyes darted back and forth as he scanned the body for anything else of use. The rifle would have been a great asset, but Kade has sliced it to bits in an effort to save Russell. Ugh. What a waste. He should have just stuck with his original plan even if the guard got more shots in. But it wasn’t a total loss. The guard did have a pistol, and JV had killed him before he could even fire it. The mag should be full along with any spares he had. With a sly grin he bent down and retrieved the weapon.“Anyone here besides me good with handguns?”
He asked, holding the weapon aloft and giving it a slight shake. “The more people we have armed the better.”
Dejah was starting to become more oriented, albeit slowly. She saw Kade lift the dead guards’ weapon and without any hesitation took an assertive step forward, right arm extended. “I will take that.”
As a professional assassin suffice to say that Dejah had no shortage in firearm use, namely pistols and smaller automatic weapons. She imagined the guards all carried the same weapons or close to it, anymore guards killed could be stripped of ammo along with anything else they had on them.
Kade said. His fingers wrapped around the front of the gun as he stood back up and placed the grip of the weapon in Dejah's palm."Now then. You and hammer hands over there will be on guard duty. If either of you see someone in a uniform, kill them. As long as you can do that, I should be able to take care of the turrets or any other automated defenses they have."
Kade turned his attention to the rest of the inmates as he continued speaking. "The rest of you, just stick close and do as I say. I will try to keep you alive, but from here on out if you get shot you get left. Understood? Great. Now let's not waste anymore time."
With his final words, Kade turned on his heel towards the exit and began walking down the hall as the voice had instructed.
The blonde did rather quickly stir once she was picked up, and from the noise. Rather than being embarrassed about the whole thing, the first thing that struck Bea was a feeling of annoyance that she was still here - and that she hadn't been out for longer. For the second time, her eyes opened to a sea of grey. She lifted her head to peer over Rico's shoulder, back at the scene. That poor man, she thought to herself as she looked at Russell.
She wriggled free of Rico's grasp and stood back on her feet - she felt less stable, but, should bullets start flying again, she wanted to be able to run. Still, she found time for a remark. "If you moved your hands any further north you'd owe me dinner, Sugar."
She ran her hands over the fabric of her costume dress once more. "But thanks,"
she added with a quiet sincerity. "Name's Bea, by the way. If not dinner, at least first name terms."
Rodrigo felt the woman in his arms stirring, but waited until she'd fully come around to place her on the ground, which ended up not being necessary as she slipped free from his grasp much like a cat he'd held on to for too long. Hm, the cats missed their dinner last night,
he suddenly remembered. Probably wondering where I am.
At the woman's comment, Rodrigo blushed, unsure of how to respond. He'd had no ulterior motives in holding her as he'd been, but she'd have no way of knowing that about him, especially considering how many creeps there were in Night City. Then again, he'd be lying if he said he didn't appreciate what he saw, or how soft her skin felt in his hands. He was grateful she introduced herself through his blustering. Mentally slapping himself, he thought, I should've done that ages ago."Rodrigo,"
he answered, holding out a hand only to realize it was coated in dried blood before pulling it back sheepishly. "Sorry about the stains. I guess I do owe you dinner once we manage to get out of here."
Wait a second. Had she said Bea?
As in. The Bea Adler?
It couldn't be...
– Respectfully, after we get out of here I hope to never see any of you again,
was what Bea was thinking. Her smile, however, responded to Rodrigo's offer as was to be expected. Her life depended on connections down here, it seemed.
JV stood, leaving the dead mans side to follow the corpo down the hallway. Dank and dark, the passage way was what you expected from an underground facility. A series of pipes and wires ran along the ceiling, darting off here and there to panels and gadgets that littered the wall. Solid and ugly concrete covered the floors, without so much as a colour or a pattern to brighten it.
What little lighting there was flickered on and off dimly, as if the facility was being drained of power. Halfway down was a right turn, a T-junction, the ends of which each led to doors that looked exactly the same as the one they entered through. The only difference was the noise.
Down at the far end, beyond the right turn, muffled noises echoed, drifting their way up to the group. Shearing metal, screams of terror, maniacal shouting, wails of pain, all were followed by the occasional sporadic gunshot. Something was tearing the facility apart on the other side of the door.
"Turn right." Commanded the voice. "We cannot go that way, not yet."
JV rounded the corner, his mind focused on the task at hand.
"As stated," the radio continued, "there is a guard and a turret on the other side of this door. The guard is preoccupied trying to hack the lift I disabled while the turret is in 'sweep' mode. Make your plans and signal when you are ready."
The halls of the Militech prison were far more dark and dreary than the corpo cared for. Sure it might have been cost efficient to make a place like this so bare bones, but a little class never killed anyone. Not to mention decent lighting would at least make it easier to navigate. Though in the absence of light, the blood curdling shrieks and screams accompanied by gunfire was a decent way to guide them. Specifically in telling them where not to go. Once they had reached the door and the voice indicated they were in the right place, Kade placed his arms behind his back and sat up straight and proper as he turned to address the ragtag crew following him.“We’ll make this quick. Pistol. Arms.”
Kade looked to Dejah and JV, still attempting to work with the fact no one gave him even a codename to go with. “I’ll hack the turret and short it out. Once it’s out of the way, you two take care of the guard. I suggest Arms here tries to sneak up and give him the same treatment he gave the other one. Hopefully we can save our bullets, but if the guard catches us before Arms gets close, I’ll need you to start shooting, Pistol.”“The rest of you.”
Kade’s gaze slowly passed over every other inmate before he cracked a devious smile. “Stay put and watch our backs. I’d rather you all look away, anyway. We really can’t have someone fainting every time things get… Messy.”
Lauren nodded, she had no problems standing back until she had a weapon of her own to contribute. Once she had that, nothing would stop her from finding her brother. Mysterious voices be damned.
Rodrigo ran a hand through his hair. "Look,"
he said to Kade in a low tone so their voices didn't carry to the room inside. "I appreciate you stepping up, hermano. But we should learn a little more about each other before orders start flying around."
He looked to Gorilla Arms and the woman holding the gun. "I can glitch the guard's weapon so he'll be harmless for a few moments which should give you enough of an opening. If there are no other suggestions, this seems like a solid plan,"
he finalized, giving Kade a nod.
There was something deeply unsettling and frightening down that hallway, and Bea didn't exactly want to find herself next in line for it, whatever it was. Ignorance could be bliss - at least, that could be true if the sounds weren't so... detailed.
She pushed the thought away.
Learn about each other? Was it not obvious for her at least? Although she supposed the remark was not made her way to begin with, she had no weapons or propensity for violence. She had diamante studded tits and a catalogue of show tunes. Big whoop here!
Still, she wanted to speak for herself. "Well you know,"
Bea began, her sharp eyes glancing around the space and the individuals occupying it. "Unless there's an escape hatch controlled by a guitar, I'm best staying put in the back."
Her brows quirked, and her fingers fidgeted, a hand placed on her hip - the other free. She wanted a cigarette. Hands were too idle like this. "Nothing to offer this game of escape but the promise of martinis and a show on the other side if we make it out in one piece..."
Her voice was once again melodic, a sing-song purr against the awful torturous sounds from the hallway. Slacks was right. "We should keep moving. Quickly."