±Once we break out, which may or may not be difficult depending on how things go down, and are free and clear, I can take all of you to any of the Resistance bases in the area,± Spoon answered Garrus as their gunship lifted off. ±You mentioned you were supers? What powers do you possess? I saw one of your number wearing a full outfit of plant life... and you are clearly a shapeshifter,± he added upon looking over to Rowan, who was mimicking the psychic's form perfectly.
±As you are most likely well aware by now, I am in possession of powerful psychic capabilities. Teleportation with or without a group, thought-speaking and minor will enforcement are among my repertoire,± he explained. ±If I wished, and with the time necessary to do so, I could hijack this gunship and turn it on its fellows, or cause our guards to jump out and fall to their deaths. But that would give me away, and we would be blown out of the air soon after I began... if they did not detect my intrusion into their minds, and just shoot me. I cannot stop a bullet once it has left its gun.±
Rowan blinked, shocked, when Spoon pointed out his primary ability in a heartbeat. He hadn't even realised he had shifted, but apparently he was in a different form. ±Yes... yes, you are right. I'm a shapeshifter,± he answered before Spoon continued 'speaking', careful not to look at either the guards or his team-mates. If the soldiers knew they were talking through their minds - a fact that he still found bizarre and slightly uncomfortable - they would all probably receive a bullet in the foot. Sure, he could regenerate from the injury by shifting into a different guise, but the thought of actually feeling a shot pierce his skin, and maybe bone, scared him like little else could. People like Tyson or Richard would probably scoff at that, but deep down Rowan still had civilian roots. And civilian fears.
Slumped in her seat, head lolling forward, Katie groaned and tried to sit up properly. The restraints, her armour, and the rise and fall of the moving gunship didn't help her efforts. When she eventually managed it, she found two guards covering her with their rifles, and two more aiming at the person strapped in next to her. She looked over and found that it was Jason... maybe they had the Key in this strange dimension.
She suddenly realised she felt a little sick, and her head was hurting. It wasn't often that the Society was under arrest, or heavily armed guard... it was disturbing, and Katie didn't like it. Leland might have known what to do to get them out of their predicament... she missed him. Would he be able to reach her, wherever they were? Would the Society even be able to get back to their home? Katie didn't know.
Briefly she contemplated attacking the guards from her position... but her splitting headache told her that was a bad idea.
±'Well I can create shock waves and such. It can be pretty useful most of the time. As for my brother...he's a cyborg, so whatever comes with that,'± Garrus responded to Spoon, hearing a loud beep of annoyance from Ethan before a quick hit from the butt of a gun stopped him from making anymore noise.
±'Sorry that that happened,'± he told Ethan, turning his attention back to Spoon, ±'We'll certainly break out given enough time. I don't think they really know what they're dealing with yet. We just need to wait for the right time, or at least be able to plan an escape from this prison we're heading too. I think we all appreciate what you've told us, it takes a lot to get caught and taken to prison for people you don't know.'±
I hope those fools don't tell that man anything. However some of them are probably dumb enough to tell a person we shouldn't even come close to trusting at this point our powers. I hope they aren't stupid enough to tell him mine because if he's a spy, I'll have to kill both him and whoever told him. Tyson broke from his thought when he saw Levi's look, it wasn't a good sign. He'd have to reassure him, since nonfunctional team members were not something Tyson needed when he started their break out. Before he had a chance to think of a way to communicate to Levi, in order to calm him down, one of the soldiers came over to him.
"Remove your armour." The soldier ordered Tyson. Not pleased but wanting to keep up the compliant farce, Tyson had to no choice but to give up his armour. "I'll need the tools from my bag. Make sure to get one of the empty plastic bags too." Tyson replied before getting a pissed off lock from the soldier for having to make him do extra work.
As soon as the guard turned his back Tyson noted that the other soldiers weren't paying attention to them and with Lector at his back he knew how he could communicate with Levi. "Don't worry about him. We already killed him once, doing it again isn't even a challenge. Remember that he isn't part of you, and it's only you inside of yourself now." Tyson mouthed to Levi before the soldier turned around after finding the tools and a small plastic bag.
When the soldier approached Tyson, he threw the tools at him. Tyson pulled his hands from behind his back with an open pair of zip tie handcuffs. "I figure I won't be needing these." Tyson said with a smug smile, before getting the butt end of a rifle to the same spot in his face that he was hit before. The blow hurt and Tyson spit out some blood onto the floor. Looking up Tyson gave the soldier a bloody smile.
Quickly removing and detaching the minimum amount of parts required to get the armour off, Tyson stacked them on the seat next to himself. A pair of metal handcuffs were placed on Tyson with his hands out front, so that it would be visible if he removed them. The soldier then picked up the tools and armour before putting them back into Tyson's bag.
"As long as you keep everyone from doing something stupid when we get to the prison and you anwser his questions in short, simple, vague answers, things will be alright. As soon as I'm alone with him, I'll introduce him to the monster within me and then use my training to break everyone out. Just keep it together till then and trust me. I won't let anyone down." Tyson mouthed to Levi again when the soldiers back was turned.
A feeling of nakedness was starting to come over Tyson without his armour, as he was now left in his black long sleeved shirt and pants. He turned back from Levi and looked over at Lector with a less than pleased look before giving him a shit eating bloody grin followed. Opening his mouth and licking the blood off his teeth with his tongue was just an added insult that followed. It seemed that Lector didn't appreciate the gesture and tightened Tyson's handcuffs so that they cut into his wrists causing them to bleed. He then pulled Tyson's arms up and slammed his hands into his face using the handcuffs. Tyson swallowed his pride and returned to looking straight across from his seat.
Jason continued to struggle and resist arrest as two of the soldiers forcefully dragged him onto the nearest gunship, muttering angry words as they shoved him down and tightly strapped him down in one of the seats. With his wrists and ankles still in shackles, Jason continued to wriggle in the seat, in hopes to loosen something. One of the soldiers that placed him on the ship found himself fed up with Jason's constant defiance.
"Stop squirming before I make you stop!" He demanded, swatting at the Keyholder with the butt of his rifle, the strike leaving a crack across Jason's armored cheek. The blow left the boy unfazed, looking back at the soldier with an unseen grimace.
"You're gonna have to hit me harder than that if you plan to intimidate me." Jason replied with an smug scoff. The soldier replied by releasing his gun, taking off one of the gloves that accompanied the military grade armor. The uncovered hand was fitted with Key armor, yet it was declawed, and no show of wear-n-tear like Jason's. The soldier swung at the weakened spot he left with his gun, the crack expanding exponentially, causing some of the armor to chip and fail, and exposing some of Jason's skin. Realizing that the soldier could inflict real damage on him, Jason calmed down and slumped into his seat, trying his best to reposition his arms (still cuffed behind his back) in hopes to prevent a loss of circulation. As he looked up, he realized that the guards that had their guns positioned on the weakened Katie now had their sights affixed on him. Jason breathed a short sigh of relief.
"Even in times of complete dispair and imprisonment,you still find a way to protect your friends. I don't know if that's an act of bravery...or stupidity." Erebus pointed out in true deadpan fashion.
"It's a bit of both...maybe with some ignorance mixed in for good measure...i'm not entirely sure." Jason replied simply as he looked in Katie's direction.
"Hey, how're you holding up Kate?" He asked, attempting to nudge at her before realizing that his hands were still stuck behind his back.
"Better question, where do you think they're taking us?" Erebus asked.
"Hopefully somewhere that doesn't end with me seeing my father, or some other sort of Key Elder...but seeing that some of these soldiers are Keyholders...we might just be in for an unwanted family reunion." Jason replied nervously.
±I would not wish anyone to suffer at the hands of these men... least of all Lector,± Spoon replied. ±Needless to say, he and I do not get along well. I would have killed him in a heartbeat if it did not mean that his minions would open fire on you, thinking you to be the source of his death. Your unexpected appearance may help me to my own goals... if we survive their methods of 'interrogation'.± When he mentioned Lector, the psychic thought-spoke with a considerable amount of hatred in his voice.
±My apologies. I should not dwell on such things for too long,± he added. ±But back on topic. You are probably correct in thinking that these guards do not know what they are getting into with these arrests. Hopefully your powers will prove useful in our escape...± He trailed off momentarily, thinking. A plan had come to his mind.
±I can obtain a layout of the prison from a guard's mind easily enough, and from there it will be a simple matter of collecting everyone from their cells before we break out of the last one. We will likely be isolated and contained in some way, so the best way to get away from the prison would be a quick teleport. Unless the Resistance chooses this day to initiate an attack, and save us a bit of the trouble. What do you think?±
Katie focused her gaze on Jason, though her headache made it difficult to look at him properly. "Jase... I don' feel so good," she murmured quietly, her speech slurred a little. "Want to go home... need rest."
"Shut it," one of the soldiers ordered, rounding on her and aiming his gun for her chest. Instinctively she tightened the vines and branches crossing her torso, hoping to minimize the impact. As she did so, she felt a tingling damp sensation in her left hand, and caught a faint scent of something slightly flowery. Within a few seconds she felt a little better, and her vision sharpened a little. The glove containing her Bimini plant must have triggered when she reinforced her armour.
A little more focused and feeling better, she gave Jason another, slightly more reassuring look. "Little better now," she added before receiving a light whack with the butt of the soldier's rifle.
"I said shut it, flower shop."
Brian knew there was something he really disliked about this world, and these soldier men were confirming it with every move. Not only that, he recognized the leader, the man who caused so many problems in that weird olden-time world, that British bastard that was intertwined with Levi. He wanted to make a move, to slash a wider smile into that smug stupid face but the soldiers with guns had other ideas.
They swooped on the group, a couple of them moved in to rip the scythe out of Brian's hand. He resisted a bit, but that only earned him a butt-end smack from one of the soldier's guns. "Ah, dude! Not cool, eh?" he complained.
"Hey, looks like we got one of them Canadian resisters," the soldier commented. "I thought they were all wiped out when the States took them over. Wonder how this one survived?"
"Who cares?" the other one asked rhetorically. He jabbed his gun into Brian's back a second time. "Move it!"
The soldier kept shepherding members towards the gunships, and with a final shove, Brian was knocked into one of the last ones. He landed on the cold metal ground with a thud. Before he could make a move to try and get out, the doors were slammed shut.
Levi stared blankly at Tyson. The monster inside? Could he mean...the thing that replaced him during the battle in his mind? That grotesque human/bat hybrid? His precise recollection of the creature was spotty at best, but the ear-splitting shriek it made stood out in his memory. Could Tyson control the monster if he called upon it? The thought of an out of control bat-Tyson was not a pleasant one.
"I hope you know what you're doing," he mouthed discretely.
Bishop and the lookalike were talking to each other through lip-reading. How adorable.
"It is best that you keep to yourselves," Lector warned them, this time tightening both sets of handcuffs with the most minute of mental efforts. "There will be plenty of time to talk". He sneered. "Just you wait".
Within a half hour, the four gunships arrived at Prison Block Theta. The installation was massive, surrounded by a large wall that formed a hexagon. Four bridges radiated out from a center tower and reached out to the prison walls. The space inside was populated by dense, tightly packed prison blocks and barracks. Additional smaller towers equipped with spotlights and sentries were distributed throughout to keep watch on groups of prisoners standing outside.
The ships approached a series of landing pads located on the far end of the complex. A contingent of soldiers waited in formation around them as they made their landing approach. Soon after, they touched down and opened their doors. The members of Ares Squad exited the ships first, their prisoners following behind them.
Waiting to receive them was a man in full military uniform, standing straight with his hands clasped behind his back. When Lector disembarked from his gunship, he approached the man, who gave him a crisp salute.
"General, a pleasure to have you," he greeted.
"No time for formalities, Warden," Lector replied. "These prisoners are to be processed immediately and placed under maximum security". He gestured to Bishop and the doppelganger. "The men, however, are to be transferred to our personal chamber. See to it that this gets done".
"Yes, sir!" the Warden replied. He turned his attention to the Ares Squad commandos. "You heard the General. Get to it!"
The helmeted soldiers nodded and herded the prisoners into two groups. Levi and Tyson were separated and led off with Lector, while the others were escorted by the remaining soldiers into the maximum security block. The prison block had two stories, each under constant guard by a patrolling soldier. As the group walked by, the inmates began shouting and jeering them, throwing out all sorts of insults and threats.
They were led through another door, this one leading into a far more quiet section of the block. Security here was noticeably more intense than in the general population, the ordinary soldiers replaced with helmeted and fully armored commandos not unlike the ones escorting them. Going even further into the prison, they eventually stopped in a block full of cells that were far different the ones in previous sections. Their doors were heavily reinforced, looking more the entrance to a safe than a jail cell.
The soldiers forced the team into these cells, in groups of two and three per room. After they had been secured, the doors were shut tight. The cells were sparse, only containing a few beds, a single toilet, and no window. A glance in any direction was rewarded only with a dull white.
Levi and Tyson were escorted by Lector and two members of Ares Squad to his private chambers in the central tower. This room was somewhat spacious and lightly decorated with paintings along the walls. A large computer screen hung on a wall above a terminal in the back. There was also a set of doors, which Lector led them through. They led into a larger room that hosted a pair of interrogation chambers. The soldiers took Levi and Tyson and put one in each of these cells.
With the two prisoners secured, Lector decided to interrogate Bishop first. As a prominent member of the Resistance, the information he had would be absolutely vital. That is, if he could get it out of him. Of course, he did have his methods. Lector entered Bishop's interrogation cell with a sort of grin.
"Hello, Mr. Bishop. We've been waiting for a chance to speak with you".
Levi was rather roughly tossed into the cell. Still handcuffed, he couldn't properly balance himself and hit the ground hard. He managed to sit up and scoot backwards against the wall. The cell was completely empty, the only object in the room being the light fixture that saturated the room with an irritatingly yellow light. His gaze dropped to the floor as he waited for the inevitable visit from Victor.
"Keep your hands off me, you assholes," Katie snarled as one of the soldiers shoved her into a cell after two others. "Or I swear to God you will not enjoy what I'll do to you..." She thought she heard a short, sharp laugh as the cell door slammed closed. It had been an empty threat and she knew it. At the sight of the maximum security cells, she had forgone all sense of coming quietly, struggling against her handcuffs and generally making a fuss. Nature was not to be contained in such small a space.
Two guards had had to restrain her as they walked, one pressing the barrel of a pistol to the side of her head to shut her up. Katie was by no means stupid enough to try to use her plants to escape, especially since some of the Society members were not as protected as she was. And even then, she doubted the chances of the armoured Society members against so many armed guards.
She looked over to the others in her cell: Jason and Taryn. The three of them had been on the same gunship together, though Katie had been too out of it to initially register the technopath's presence. After the Bimini's healing salve had kicked in, she had taken a while to properly recover from the blow to the head, and only noticed Taryn late into the aerial trip. Disregarding the bland walls and spartan furnishings, Katie approached her team-mates. "Are you guys alright? Did they hurt you at all?" she said quietly, not sure if there were many listening devices or security cameras in the cell. It looked like there was just one in a corner: maybe Taryn could disable it.
Rowan stumbled as he was pushed into a cell, tripping over his own feet. By the time he got up, the door was already shut and locked. Already the room looked small and claustrophobic... "No... no, no, no, we gotta get out. There's gotta be a way to bust out of here, surely," he stammered to himself, ignoring the others in the room. Where was Spoon? His duplicate self could get them out... Spoon wasn't with him. They had been put into different cells; Rowan had watched as the psychic had casually walked into one of them. Strangely enough, one of the guards had whipped round to glare at him behind his opaque helmet.
"Shit... shit, this is not good," he muttered, taking a seat on one of the beds. At least he could get out of the constraining handcuffs. To do so, he shifted into the guise of a ten-year-old boy and the shackles just fell straight off, clattering to the floor; they had been intended to be secured over much thicker adult wrists. Rowan immediately transformed back into his usual self, rubbing and flexing his wrists even though the shapeshifting process had a painkiller built into it. Security cameras be damned, he wanted his hands free.
With no idea what to do, or how they were going to get out - despite what Spoon had said - Rowan looked down at the floor, a hand over his eyes as he tried to hold back tears.
As Spoon walked with the guards and the supers, he was focusing on drawing a map of the place. He was focused more on the maximum-security wing than anything else: he needed to know the layout of the facility.
Two of the others had been led off somewhere... they were the one who had tried to insult him, and the man who suggested he run before he was brought in with them. That was a flaw in his plan: he didn't know where they were going, and he would have to interrogate someone to find them after getting the others out. Lector had taken them... that bastard.
Spoon reached out to a guard's mind as he walked into a cell, and wrenched a copy of the plans of the building from the man's brain. He was by no means subtle about it, since he needed the information: the guard flinched almost invisibly, clapping a hand to the side of his head as he spun and faced into the cell before the door closed. Presumably he had his gaze locked onto Spoon: the psychic couldn't tell behind that opaque helmet. There was a fair chance he had been caught out as attacking the guards: if that was the case they might even do something to retaliate... he could turn that into an advantage, maybe even the escape plan that he was improvising.
It had by no means been a pretty procedure, but he had what he wanted: the thickness of the walls between the cells, as a part of the map. He had never tried to teleport if he couldn't see his destination before... that was going to be difficult.
Once the door to the cell was closed, Spoon immediately turned his attention to the keyholes in each of the cuffs on his wrists. Just like he had done many times before, he pushed a little at the keyholes, shaping his telekinetic power to the inner workings of the lock. The restraints popped open simultaneously after a couple of seconds, and Spoon cast them aside without a second thought. With that problem out of the way, Spoon turned to the others in his cell and began to thought-speak to them. ±Okay... I think I know how to get us all out of here. I have a map of the building. The one flaw in the plan, though, is those two who were led away from us. Who were they, and why did Lector take an interest in the one that wasn't Lieutenant Bishop?
±They are obviously part of your team, and I trust you will want them freed as well as yourselves... perhaps we should try to break out sooner rather than later. Who knows what that fucker Lector will do to them... please excuse the language.±
Once the supers were split into different groups, the soldiers brought them towards the specialized cells, Jason being one of the first ones in line to enter. The two soldiers that carried him through the prison were the same ones to casually toss him into the cold, drab confinement, abruptly coming in contact with the concrete ground. As he struggled to get to his feet, he realized that others were lead into the cell as well, a equally frustrated Katie, and Taryn. Once the door was shut and locked, Jason managed to roll towards the wall facing opposite of the heavy, metal door. Propping his back against the wall, he began to slowly push his feet down, sliding up the wall until he was able to stand upright. After doing so, he began to hop and waddle towards the metal door, banging his armored head against it.
"You smug bastards! The least you could've done was take the ankle cuffs off! Come back here so I can literally kick all y'all's asses with my hands tied behind my back!" He yelled in between headbutts. Eventually, Erebus stepped in to offer some encouraging words.
"Bro, calm down. There's no need for this outburst. At the moment, i'm sure things could've been way worse." The disembodied voice suggested coolly. Jason let out a frustrated sigh before turning to face his cellmates.
"Could've been worse?! Yeah...they could've...but that doesn't change the fact that we're in jail, and we don't know how this universe works, or if we're gonna be sentenced to anything, or if i'm gonna be executed for treason, or-"
"JASON! Take a deep breath, son." Erebus replied sharply. Jason did, taking in a long exhale before letting it out slowly. Once he gained his composure, Erebus continued.
"Okay. Those problems? We'll worry about them later. We'll live in the now for the moment. There's no need for you to be all worked up right now. Believe me, being all hot n' bothered in a small confined space will only tire you out. So it'll be best to just keep still, and reserve your energy. Who knows what else we'll encounter while we here?" He explained in a soft, yet stern manner. Jason agreed quietly before sitting where he stood. As Katie requested a status report, Jason looked up at the two, armor unraveling from his face.
"I'm fine Kate...just a little aggravated is all. What about you? Taryn, what about you too? You haven't said a word since we got on the ship." He answered quietly, looking beyond the two.
Richard was thrown into a cell with a few others. He had elected to remain quiet for the ride, considering all they had to do was take off his helmet and shoot him at this point. He also wasn't so willing to bet that they wouldn't take out insubordination on his friends.
Once he had arrived they had taken off his helmet while he was restrained and remotely shut down his suit.
Well this went pretty horribly all things considered. He thought to himself as he took a seat on the floor leaning against a wall.
"So, what's our next step?" He asked the room. For once at a loss for an idea. He knew nothing of this world and so had no idea what to expect should they try and resist or escape.
After Lector's comment Tyson didn't feel like responding to Levi and instead thought to himself. I hope I do. I really hope that I do.
When a report that he himself had been captured in Patriot City, and the location of where they were taking the captives was the same as echo company's, Prison Block Theta. His interest in this situation was well beyond peaked and with the people who mysteriously appeared landing in the same prison as echo company, there wasn't a way that he wasn't going to pull off another prison break. Still this left the same problem that he was undermanned and under supplied, which only lead to one conclusion.
Walking over to a small private room to help drown out the sounds of everyone else working, Tyson entered it and walked over to a desk before removing a cellphone from a locked drawer. He quickly dialed a number and when the person answered he waited for the encryption sounds to end before talking.
"As much as I hate to say it, I need a favour Catherine." There was hesitation in Tyson's voice as he spoke. Asking for favours wasn't something that most high level resistance members liked to do but it was often required. "I'll trade you a personal favour and a box full of my pride if you and your fighters help me and my fighter out with an assault on Prison Block Theta. I have troops that were recently captured there. I'm also sure that you get the same intelligence reports that I have and know those strange people who appeared in Patriot city are there as well. I have a feeling that it might be better if we get to them and find out what happened before United America does." Tyson finished the rest of his statement in a serious but normal tone without the previous hesitation.
Tyson participated quietly through the rest of the transfer and processing up until he reached his cell. He had been making mental notes to have Taryn remove everyone's information from the system before they left along with the path back to the processing location. Once he reached the cell itself he walked over to the opposite end taking note of the concrete that made up most of the room besides the security camera, the single light in the ceiling, the large metal door, and the soldier that had brought him in there.
Tyson was happy to see it when Lector walked into his cell first. He was much better suited towards receiving whatever methods Lector used to get information than Levi was in his current state. It also meant that he would only have to wait as long as he personally felt was needed before breaking out of this place. Waiting till after Lector finished speaking Tyson grew a small smile and responded, "And hello to you Lector. I've been waiting for a chance to see you. Although you're a little more alive than I had hoped you'd be when I got the chance to."
There was no resistance from Garrus as he was led off of the gunship; getting a brief glimpse of the grounds before being moved into the prison itself. The profanities and threats coming from the other prisoners in the general population were easily ignored, though his thoughts lingered on the idea that he was technically a prisoner. 'Never thought that would ever happen,' he thought to himself, looking around and wondering how reinforced everything was. The loud shouts became silence as they continued into the prison, finally reaching the cells they would be put into.
Garrus found himself placed with his brother inside one of the cells, the two of them not causing any trouble as they went inside. Ethan made a few small beeping sounds as the reinforced door was closed and locked behind them; turning his attention to the camera in the corner.
"I'd say don't mess with it Ethan. They'd probably just move us to a new one after beating us up for that," Garrus told him, taking a seat on one of the beds as he took a look at the handcuffs. While they were quite tough they were easily broken with a small shock wave, the cuffs being thrown to the side of the cell once they were off.
And yet you just break your handcuffs like it was nothing and toss them aside. The message went across Ethan's visor after he beeped to get Garrus' attention.
"You're taking yours off too!" Garrus replied, watching as Ethan took his off with only a few movements of his hands. Ethan simply beeped and shrugged, discarding the cuffs into the corner with the others.
Now that the cuffs were off Garrus turned his attention to the cell walls, tapping on them a few times before sending a shock wave through them. 'Pretty thick. Nothing that can't be broken with enough hits...though the guards will be able to tell something is up,' he reasoned, sitting back down on the bed as he tried to come up with a solid plan.
After landing, two men lead Tommy into the prison. They first had him stop in front of a scanner, where they confiscated his most obvious weapons like his brass knuckles and chain belt. They then made him step into the scanner, and after a second, two lights lit up, one red and one yellow. One of the guards alerted the others, "We've got a magic user, bring the suppression kit."
A guard took out a kit that consisted of what seemed to be a hand-held metal detector, and a metal plate with chains. While Tommy took a step back, but stopped when the the guards leveled their guns at him. So they know about magic, alright I was not ready for that one. First a guard stepped forward and used the metal detector, however instead of metal it began sensing disturbances in the magical field (which are caused by things that manipulate magic). On a small screen they could see the readings.
"Jesus Christ, guys look at this." A few of the other guards leaned to check the readings.
"He's off the charts, what is he?" One of them asked.
"Well, let's just see if the suppression plate will work." Said the first, more worried about disarming the prisoner than identifying him, with that two of them brought the metal plate over and chained it onto his chest. Then with a small paint gun one traced the pre-stenciled lines on the plate. The gun spray smelled acid, and left a line of a dark-red rubbery paint. When he wad done the paint formed a glyph, as soon as it was completed Tommy felt his strength diminish. The one with the magic detector stepped forward. The reading was much weaker, and he was able to pinpoint the source of it to Tommy's pocket. Inside where his enchanted MMA gloves. The guards took them and put them with the rest of the things they took.
"Alright the plate seems to have done it, this guy is clean." With that Tommy was taken and put in a holding cell.
"Didn't feel like getting shot." Taryn replied to Jason. She kept her voice low while inspecting the wrist restraints. The travel time had dimmed Taryn's anger somewhat into something sharper, more focused. She was going to find Levi. But first they had to get out of the cell. Not having been bound at the ankle like the Keyholder, Taryn had more room to maneuver. She nodded to Katie who had asked her question before Jason. "I'm alright. No injures, just a little bruised." The guard had 'accidentally' shoved her a few times during the transfer from ship to cell. Bullies apparently still operated in true caveman fashion. Even here.
"You know, I'm not a fan of Big Brother over there." Taryn said slowly. Keeping her gaze on the restraints, she pretended to brush something off the chain. She pointed her index finger at the camera which she could just barely see. Taryn reached out to it carefully. The annoying static sensation immediately returned and became stronger as she pushed for access. But now that she knew what to expect it was manageable. Like an obnoxious child in a movie theater. It had to be part of some security measure. Taryn's breathing slowed to an even rhythm as she worked. Disabling the camera entirely wasn't an option, someone would surely notice...
The static ratcheted up another notch. Taryn closed her fist on a few sparks that escaped her control. Suddenly the noise-wall vanished and Taryn was 'thrown' into a more recognizable area of the machine. A few carefully placed commands forced the camera to operate from its own internal memory chip and loop the last five minutes of idle time. As long as no one looked closely it would appear that the cell occupants were still conversing. Taryn withdrew, shaking her head lightly to clear her focus. She gave a tiny grin of victory.
"What can we do about these?" She asked, holding up her bound wrists with her fingers clasped together. "They're not 'smart' enough for me to command open."
Alert! Alert! Alert! Alert! Alert!
Inside a dimly lit room filled with overturned chairs and stacks of machines, a small computer monitor placed on a desk was beeping. Roused from sleep, a figure clothed in a mixture of white and grey shuffled toward the sound. Several small robotic figures and computer parts were kicked aside on the journey to the desk.
"What a'ya want now, you scriptkit? You know I'm busy..." An irritated scowl was half hidden by a white sleeve as the speaker swept papers and metal bits aside to poke a small keyboard. "Next!"
Alert! Alert! Alert! Alert! Alert!
WARNING: Signature Detected
ACTION: Activating counter-measures
ACTION: Virus Tank 36-QRD : OPEN
TASK: Remove traces from Network
STATUS: Scrubbers transmitting in 5...4...
"3. 2. 1. Good dog. Go clean that mess. I have things to do. plans to plan." The screen turned white, then red, then the computer beeped. Again.
WARNING: Scrubbers blocked. Message: Illegal Access. Level 5 Clearance Required.
ACTION: Retrieving security codes
TASK: Resubmitting scrubbers
"Level 5? Haven't been there in a while. Have I?" A low metallic groan sounded as a chair was spun sharply around. More papers were tossed aside to reveal the mouse for the keyboard. Rapid clicks displayed more information.
"Camera B4. Across from B5. B6. B7. Adjacent to A4. A5. Stationed in Cell D98? Cell D98? 99. 100. Located in the Washington Penitentiary, Maximum Security?!"
"I wasn't aware I was in jail. Am I in jail? Why didn't anyone TELL ME I'm in jail?" The hoarse yell echoed in the small room. Several nearby machines crackled, electricity running up their frames chased by smoke and the acrid stench of burnt plastic. A shaking hand swept through short, spiked hair. Tattered white sleeves were shoved up to reveal arms with branching burns in various stages of healing.
"You know what? Belay that order, little bug, I've got a better idea." Knuckles were cracked before both hands rapidly began typing. "Let's see who's been using my key. Better not be a CopyCat. I'll have to set up my 404 snare traps again. BadCat. No kibble for you."
Camera B4 was reporting three occupants in a cube. On a loop. "How cute. Delete!" The feed resumed to real-time.
"I am in jail. But what's up with that hair? F. F. 2. 3. 0. 0. And that jacket? Well actually the jacket's not so bad." With a small script and mental nudge the camera was rotated to reveal more of the other occupants. "Plants. Plants. That's new. Cacti on sale two for one, three for a dollar good until next Monday. And the guy from the 'Black Ooze Lagoon'. Isn't that interesting. I know nothing about these people. Why do I know NOTHING about these people? Someone get me some info, stat!"
A tiny flashing window appeared on the screen.
WARNING: Signature Detected
NOTICE: Requesting release of viral scrubbers
WARNING: Signature Detected
NOTICE: Requesting release of viral scrubbers
"What do you want, you damn bug? Oh...sure, sure, scrub away. Just don't mess with me right now. Shoo." The battered and half-broken keyboard was struck with a closed fist. The computer beeped a different tone before continuing to its next screen.
STATUS: Now removing traces from the Network.
STATUS: Please standby...
STATUS: Trace removal complete.
WARNING: Alteration detected. Ghost loop detected.
QUERY: Restore alteration?
"I didn't! Oh fine, put it back. I'll use one of the other cameras. There's only a couple hundred to choose from. How about...this one." None of the machines replied as a new window appeared on screen.
Inside one cell Tommy sat with Richard and the newcomer. " Well, we can't stay here, I don't like where this whole going to jail business is going. Magics not an option because A) They know about it and I don't know about their counter measures, and B) I don't have anything to work with. So that just leaves a good ol'fashion prison-break, and that's gonna be tricky." Tommy paused, " So I guess we should just try and find out as much as we can right? See what's our best plan of attack? Uh, new-person, you're psychic right."
"Yeah... I don't know if I can break out of my own cuffs," Katie answered Taryn. She could do it easily if her wrists were cuffed in front of her, since she could get a proper look at them to break them open. Not having eyes in the back of her head, getting them loose was nigh-impossible to her. Taryn's and Jason's cuffs, though, she thought she could remove. Hopefully.
"I can try to pick the locks on yours, though," she said as she knelt down to look at the cuffs on Jason's ankles. They seemed generic enough: nothing that looked like it needed a unique key to unlock. "Try being the operative word," she added with a grimace behind her 'helmet'. She had no idea if she could pick a lock with plant matter... something small and inflexible would probably be best to get in and poke at the inner workings. Cactus spines, considerably modified for additional length and thickness, could do it, if she was lucky.
With a thought, Katie sprouted two vines, one from each of her shoulders, and produced an inch or so of the spikes she needed from the tip of each one. She needed to be very precise with them, and focused her gaze on the lock attached to Jason's ankle as the vines moved in. She experimentally poked one of the spines into the keyhole: it appeared to be ineffective. A frown crossed Katie's face when the second spine slid in right beside it, and nothing happened.
Katie spent a good minute or so working the spines back and forth in the lock, but got nowhere. She didn't know enough about the internal mechanisms to be able to crack them open. Disappointed in herself for being unable to help, she retracted the two vines and clumsily got to her feet again, unraveling the plants over her face to show her failure.
"Sorry, guys, I can't pick them. Don't have the skill," she apologised. "Um... Jason, do you think you can do something?"
"Ms Southe? I have a call coming in from Second Lieutenant Bishop," a woman's voice called out.
"Patch it through," the authoritative voice answered, as its owner drew a cellphone from an inside pocket of her black suit jacket and flipped it open. She tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear before placing the earpiece to it. "Second Lieutenant Bishop, what can I do for you?"
"As much as I hate to say it, I need a favour, Catherine." The man seemed hesitant to speak at first, but that quickly faded. Ms Southe was not surprised by Bishop's hesitancy, since he usually preferred to cover missions alone rather than request help.
"I'll trade you a personal favour and a box full of my pride if you and your fighters help me and my fighters out with an assault on Prison Block Theta. I have troops that were recently captured there. I'm also sure that you get the same intelligence reports that I have and know those strange people who appeared in Patriot City are there as well. I have a feeling that it might be better if we get to them and find out what happened before United America does."
Ms Southe thought this over for a short time. She had indeed received reports that strangers had recently arrived in the city: she recalled there being a note about numbers beyond the odd wanderer or vagrant that was usually picked up walking the streets and being where they weren't supposed to be. It was doubtful that these strangers held any allegiances to anyone: they could be valuable assets to the Resistance, given the right information and a swift release from the prison.
"Done. I will lead a strike force myself. Give us ten minutes or so to gear up and meet you at your camp, and we can co-ordinate an attack from there," Ms Southe stated, a smile crossing her face at the imminent action. While she never liked taking lives, she knew it was a necessary evil. Ending the call soon after her agreement, the woman stood from her chair and replaced the phone in her suit pocket.
She then stood still for a minute or so, head bowed and eyes closed. The familiar, simultaneous feelings of a gut-churning wrench, the chill of a cold wind and mild claustrophobia rushed through her mind and body. When it was over, Ms Southe opened her eyes and looked up to find twenty-nine identical replicas of herself standing before her. Living, breathing copies, each with their own independent minds and copies of Ms Southe's knowledge and memories. From the waist-length hair to the formal clothing, each and every one was the exact same.
Ms Southe briefly felt a sensory overload as the new copies of herself established their synaptic links to her consciousness: as the original, every clone was linked into her brain. She felt feedback from their minds on a minor level, and with the sudden increase in numbers the feedback was increased substantially.
"Catherine, gear up. We have a prison break in the near future," Ms Southe addressed her clones. "I will direct this personally," she added as she stepped down from her slightly raised position to join their ranks. Moving as one, each of the thirty women turned and made their way out of the room to collect weapons and armour from other buildings in the small encampment.
There would be bloodshed ahead of Catherine Southe, but she welcomed it rather than trying to avoid it. Prison Block Theta wouldn't know what hit it by the time she was through.
Spoon turned to the unarmoured man when he was addressed. ±Yes, I am a psychic. My name, as I said earlier, is Spoon,± he answered. ±Please forgive my preferred manner of speech: my vocal cords have weakened due to lack of use, and even a short time using it is enough to strain it. And I do not trust this place, to boot: there could be any number of listening devices built into the walls.
±In regards to getting out, I can do that easily enough. I stole a map of the prison block from the mind of a guard as I passed him. While I have never teleported through solid wall, I am willing to try to break us all out of here... The plan is simple: we jump from cell to cell, collecting your friends as we go, and then, provided we are not interrupted, I can take you to a Resistance camp,± he explained, casually leaning up against one of the walls as he spoke. His manner belied his nervousness, though, at both attempting such a feat and being the driving force in a prison break.
±There is a flaw, though, in my plan. The two that were led away by Lector. They will likely be under heavy guard when not facing the bastard himself in an interrogation. If I may ask, who are they?±
"I'm not sure they would quite appreciate us telling you if we are being watched. As for getting out. I'm not sure, if we were to try and simply break out our friends could end up dead before we even got out. Right now compliance is our best option." Richard hoped the new guy was reading his mind as he thought his next words and hopefully could communicate them to Tommy.
They disabled the systems on my suit. Until we get out of this place and I can actually sit down and remove any attachments made I'll only have the barest of abilities. I'm glad I never removed the blades like I was thinking. So if one of us actually has the strength to get us out I can take the damage and give some of it back out as we move.
Tommy decided to join the psychic conference call. Telepathic talking is cool, my best friends a telepath. My name's Tommy by the way. As for me they strapped this suppression plate on me, it's cutting off my super-natural powers, if I can figure out how to break this glyph I can have my powers back. I think I might still be able to bust out of my cuffs though, I am still pretty strong without my powers. As for those two, let's just call them Levi and Sound Check, Levi is the posh one, Sound Check was wearing the body armor. What did you call the guy who led them away? You didn't call him Victor, you called him Lector, who is he exactly?
Jason looked on as Katie attempted to release him from his ankle shackles, but to no avail. As she asked him for assistance, Jason managed to let off a short shrug as the handcuffs behind his back began to jingle at the sound of work.
"I think so...I've been taught many things through my training in the Key Corps...several forms of martial arts, weapons training, wilderness survival, last minute cooking recipes...I think somewhere down the line I might've learned how to pick a lock...with a lockpick...hopefully I can work something out using my claws..." Jason replied, mumbling lowly as he played around with the handcuffs. He managed to calm slightly, to gain the sense of composure needed to help him pick the lock. He sat still momentarily, closing his eyes as the claw on his pointer finger thinned and elongated. With it, he began poking around the inners of the handcuff's lock. He kept the finger pressed down along the groove on the inside of the lock, while managing to push further into the lock. His facial expression altered every few seconds as he worked, alternating between looks of confusion, strain, and realization. Eventually, the tense moment was resolved with a low clicking noise, and a smile over Jason's face. Once he felt the cuff loosen from his wrist, he brought his hands forward excitedly.
"Fuck yeah!" He exclaimed in a happy whisper as he began working on the other restraint with the opposite hand. As he worked out of it, the metal cuffs fell into his lap with a clatter. He then set his sights on the ones that kept his ankles restrained.
"I'm surprised these were able to keep me down...I can kick a person down a block and leap from building to building with ease, but I couldn't get out of these...funny how that works..." He said to no one in particular, leaning forward with a grunt as he began working towards his ankles.
"Well, considering the fact that these guys knew about Keyholders, have some of them midst their ranks, and said 'holders are authorized to actively use their powers without any sort of consequences kinda tells me that somebody somewhere (in this military) might know a thing or two about The Key and how it works." Erebus stated flatly.
"Well yeah, that is an established fact by this point, thanks for reminding me. What does it have to do with these specific pairs of cuffs and my lack of getting out of them?" Jason replied as he worked on his ankle-cuffs.
"Remember the Key's origin story? Remember what Tonauac used to strip the Key from Yaotl's very soul, sealing his spiritual form and powers in Mictlan for hundreds upon hundreds of years?" Erebus reminded him of the history lesson.
"The Seal of Mictlantecuhtli? That's deep history stuff. Think they know about it?" He asked. As soon as he mentioned it, the armored claw he was using a lockpick snapped clean off as the armor at the tips of his fingers withered and slid away from the ankle-cuffs, as well as the armor around his ankles and shins.
"Oh yeah. They definitely know about it." Erebus said matter-of-factly as Jason let off a frustrated grunt. He looked up at his two cellmates.
"Ok, so I can't get out of the ankle locks on my own due to a seal that negates the power of The Key (I'll be happy to elaborate further on the subject once I get out of these, but lets not at the moment). Luckily enough though, the handcuffs that I had behind my back were just standard issue, so I got out of those with varying levels of ease. I should be able to get you two out of your handcuffs with no problem. Who wants to have a taste of sweet freedom first?" He asked, the armor already beginning to reform around his fingertips.
Disregard the Doppelgänger.
±I see... If I can find good enough places to hide between teleports, we may not actually have to do any fighting,± Spoon answered the suited man before turning to Tommy and listening to what the other guy had to say.
±Before I answer, I'll just say a couple of quick things. First off, I can't extend my telepathic speech to either of you, so if you want to say something to each other through thoughts, it'll have to go through me. On that note, perhaps you should know, Tommy, that some of the systems on the armoured suit have been disabled.
±In answer to your question, Lector is an abomination even among supers such as myself and some of the higher-up Resistance members. He is a General in the army, as well as holding the ranks of Chief of the Secret Police and Head of Information and Security. To top it off, he is capable of insanely powerful feats of magnetism, and he's a sadistic bastard. I've heard rumours of Lector executing civilians for the smallest things... and taking pride in it.
±There was one time when I could have interfered in his actions, and stopped him from putting a bullet through a woman's heart...± Spoon trailed off momentarily, his train of thought broken as he recalled being mere moments too late to prevent the death. Then his expression hardened as he imagined giving Lector the same treatment. ±But now is not the time to dwell on such things. We have work to do. Tommy, get yourself out of those cuffs if possible. If not I'll do it. You, on the other hand...± Spoon addressed the wearer of the armoured suit as he briefly examined its restraints: nothing that he couldn't break open. He proceeded to do so with telekinetic bursts similar to that which he had used to pop open his handcuffs.
Once the armour had been completely freed, which didn't take long, the psychic strode over to one of the white walls of the prison, pressing his hands against it. From there he began to mentally reach out through it to 'see' if there was anyone on the other side. He couldn't sense anyone there. With that in mind, Spoon repeated the process for the other three walls, including the door: three were on one side of their cell, while three were on the opposite side. The door, of course, was under guard. Spoon recognised the mind he had stolen the building's map from.
±Okay, I think I can get us through the walls into the other cells,± he said as he returned to the other two. ±Once I start my escape plan, though, there's no stopping it. The cameras will pick us up instantly, unless someone has done something to disable them in every cell, and I believe that to be unlikely.±
In response to Jason's question, Katie looked to Taryn to see if her cuffs were causing her stress or pain. It didn't look like either one was apparent. Katie, however, was already uncomfortable in hers - they were quite tight on her wrists - and the white walls of the room were already beginning to make her feel claustrophobic. There wasn't even a window; but then, glass, even if reinforced, would be a weak point in a maximum-security cell.
For the second time since being dropped into this bizarre universe, Katie wished Leland were there. She wanted him to hold her, to tell her everything would be fine, and take the Society away from their confining cells in the blink of an eye. He could help everyone out... even if he had problems with certain people.
"Um... I don't mean to sound selfish, far from it, but could you please get me out, Jason?" she asked as she turned her back to the Keyholder to show him her restrained wrists. "They locked mine pretty damn tight."
Alex and Eric where dragged to an empty cell. Alex was fitted with handcuffs that would shock her the moment she used any kind of water. Even moving too much shocked her sending her to her knees. "Get up O'Harrus, we can't have you allowed to move too much, we know of your powers so get in the damn cell. You're father should be here soon." A guard said throwing Alex in forcing her to slam into the wall. Out of reaction started to form water but was met with a shock. She yelled falling into a pile.
Eric was pushed in so after Alex. "We'll talk to you last alchemist, we have questions for you about your boss and her mother." another guard grunted.
"I don't work for anyone. What the fuck are you talking about?" Eric said angrily then looked over to Alex seeing her shaking. His hands were kept from touching each other to prevent him from using alchemy. "Alex are you ok?" he asked sitting next to her.
Alex was still feeling the shock in her body and cried out yet again unable to sit up and threw up from the pain. "Oh my god make it stop." she said crying never have felt this much voltage in her body before.
Marcus had picked up that phone as it rang loudly in his office. "There had better be a good reason to interrupted me." he said coldly running more tests on the other Alex. He had be informed of Alex being arrested and held in jail. "What, no Alex is here with me. That can't be my daughter. I'm running tests on her right now.... I don't care if she has Alex's powers it's not Alex. Learn to do your job and nest time you call me with shit like this make sure Lector calls and not your idiotic ass. I will be there to take a look at this 'Alex' when I can." Marcus growled slamming the phone down then looked at Alex.
"Father, what was that about?" Alex asked confused. "It's none of your business, at least not yet." Marcus said standing up. "There the test are done, now I need you to walk these documents over to Richard and while your at it try yet again to get him to "donate" sperm for our tests." Marcus said handing Alex a sealed folder full with papers. Alex just nodded and walked out of the office and down the hall a few doors down and knocked on Richard's door. "Ms. Masterson, It's Alex O'Harrus." she said sweetly.
The Richard of the alternate universe walked to the door before opening it and taking the folders.
"Thank you, unless there is something else important you need to tell me you can go." He said before getting a call.
"What do you mean technology you've never seen before? No I don't particularly care there is a man who looks just like me in your prison. I'm more interested in the suit you mentioned, in fact I'm only interested in the suit. I don't care because if Lector can't do his job then I'm not going to step in for him. Fine I'll come down and see it myself, but this had better be good." He said before hanging up.
"Well it seems like those folders will have to wait. I trust you can find your own way out."
Thank you. Now when this starts I will be at my best. The real Richard said as he looked over the glyph while making it seem as if he were still restrained.
Mind asking my friend here if he knows how to take the glyph off. I can do it if I can get information on how.
Alex stopped Richard. "I could come with you in case, you know something happens. It is my job to protect you and the others. Besides maybe we can talk more about my father's proposition." Alex said holding on to him wrapping her arms around him. "You know both of our companies together would be an unstoppable pairing." Alex said flirting a hand running through his hair.
Alex felt another jolt and screamed loudly making it hard for anyone in the other cells to not hear her. "God please make it stop." Alex said as Eric watched her helplessly almost crying seeing Alex in pain. "What is this world?" He said watching Alex. Eric sat next to her and sighed no longer able to look at her in pain. "stop god dammit." he yelled becoming more angry.
"Just gimme a sec." Tommy then took a deep breath, and began pulling his arms apart, stretching the chain on his cuff's taught. As he slowly exhaled Tommy pulled at the chain, stretching and deforming the links while the cuffs dug into his arms. With one final pull the weakest chai-link snapped.
"Alright, let's see about this glyph." Tommy looked down at the suppression plate, " Ok, that's an Aztec style glyph, don't see those outside of New Eldorado much." Tommy touched the glyph to examine what they had used for ink, " Yup, that's blood alright, mixed into a spray-paint solution, pretty standard. No let's see here..." Tommy leaned back and closed his eyes to think. In his mind's eye he visualized his body and how magic flowed from the world around him, into his body through a point on his chest. He then imagined the glyph, which worked like a stopper in a bathtub. The glyph made it so that the plate it was on was less permeable to magic than normal, which restricted amount he could absorb, keeping him weak. It was kept in place by the pressure of the all the magic pushing to get through it.
"So I just need to make a dead-zone," Tommy said, so the pressure will stop and the plate can be ripped right off. "I'm going to need either more space, or a lot of energy to take these off."
As Katie presented herself towards Jason, he slowly managed to reposition himself, using his newly freed hands to prop himself on his knees. With his legs under him, he managed to scoot closer to Katie and her handcuffs. Shooting a quick glance at his hands, he noticed that the armor had fully recovered around them. Then, in the same matter as he did with his own handcuffs, he used the same method with the flora manipulator, the claw along his right pointer growing to a much thinner point.
"Alright Ms. Southe, let's get you out of your cuffs." He replied simply. Quickly, he worked on freeing Katie, pushing the finger into the crevice of the restraining mechanisms, carefully fiddling around with the restraints until he heard a clicking sound similar to the one that was associated with the unlocking mechanism. After working on the opposite cuff, Jason caught them mid fall as they slid off Katie's wrists.
"There we go! You're all free Kate. Now Ms. Foundre, if you please..." He looked in Taryn's direction, motioning for her to move in his direction due to his unusual predicament. She did so, showing her back to him, and the handcuffs that binded her hands behind her. He worked hers off in a equally speedy fashion, and the loosened cuffs fell in his lap along with the others.
"And that's all she wrote ladies. Granted, it's much easier to work on them when you can actually see them. Now Katie, I can't break out of the ankle cuffs on my own, but luckily, you're armed with cactuses, ones that i'm sure you can manipulate." He began, bringing her into attention.
"Now, I got two plans hatching right now. Plan A: you use one of your cactus's bristles to get me out of these things (i'll guide through the process...since you had trouble during the earlier attempts), and/or Plan B: you could just break off a bristle and I could do it myself. But if breaking them off would cause you any harm, then we'll just disregard that second plan. Also, you might have to make the bristles slightly longer, and slightly more durable so they won't bend. Think you're up to the task?" He asked, stretching out his legs to their original position.
Another military grade helicopter landed at site of the event anomaly, this one housing the the same number of soldiers that would usually pack into one of these vehicles. Some brandished high caliber rifles, while others were equipped with technology that were used for reading the results of the certain phenomenon the previously occurred in the area. One man stepped out of the helicopter last, his uniform fairly similar to the one Lector wore, his lack of stripes, medals, and badges confirmed that the dictator was a definite higher-upper.
"Alright men, I want a clean sweep of this area. If there's any readings of radioactivity, or any other sort of residue in the area, I'd like to know about it. Let's wrap this up fast so we can head back to the base, and so I can fill out a report for Ashman. Is that clear?" The man announced to his men. They replied with a simultaneous salute before scattering into the area. The man looked on at the work of his soldiers, pausing suddenly. He sniffed at the air, something unsettling catching his attention.
"Hmmm...now there's an unusual stench...the smell of a fairly powerful Keyholder, much more powerful than I allow. Lector didn't establish that." The man established through somewhat low mumbles. One of the gun toting soldiers approached him, slightly confused.
"Lieutenant Colonel, do you think it was your brother?" The soldier asked.
"Doubful. If it were Takashi, I would've known. He knows how distinct his scent is. I would've spotted him blocks away. I'm fairly surprised he's been dodging us this long, actually. No...this scent is much more sharp, somewhat...similar to my own. Looks like the Ten of Spades finally aquired some real power, and i'm just eager to see who this being is. But then again, he always has been the persuasive type." He replied, quickly presenting himself to his men.
"Change of plans boys. After we finish here, we're heading towards Prison Block Theta. I'm sure our General won't mind me having a few words with one of his prisoners." He said with a devious smirk.
"Although you're a little more alive than I had hoped you'd be when I got the chance to."
Lector smirked. Bishop's brazen and arrogant demeanor was still quite amusing. Clasping his hands behind his back, he began to pace back and forth as he momentarily contemplated his approach. As a man that has likely been hardened through years of combat, Bishop would be a challenge to crack. Today would have to be the first of many dedicated to breaking the Second Lieutenant's will. The effort would be worth it, if Lector could obtain the information he was seeking.
"We're sure you're well aware how much work it took to find you." He stopped pacing and stood in front of Bishop. "United America doesn't take very kindly to insurgency. But of course, you're very much aware of this. And now that we have you, you're going to have to answer some questions for us."
A sly smirk crossed Tyson's face. "I think you misunderstand something. You can ask all the questions you want, but I don't have to answer any of them."
"And that, Bishop, is where you're mistaken. You will have plenty of time to consider our position. And we think you'll find it rather convincing." Lector paused. "Perhaps we should start small. Care to speak about any of the weapons caches the Resistance has on U.A. soil? We've found precious few of them and we have leads as to where others may be, but perhaps you can clear up some confusion."
"Sure I'll speak about them. We hid a few under the White House, a few in every military base and prison that you control, and I personally stored a knife and a hand grenade up your ass while you were asleep last night. If you want I can pull that last one out of you right now." Sarcasm dripped from Tyson before he solidified his tone again. "Do you seriously think that restating something I told you wouldn't happen would get me to talk? You'll have to try harder than that."
An electrified fist slammed into Bishop's gut, unleashing a sudden discharge of energy into his body. His hair stood on end; electricity jumped between the hairs in the immediate area of the punch. He took a step back and lightly coughed as he attempted to keep himself from falling down, due to the unexpected force of the punch.
"Perhaps there was a miscommunication on our part. We are no longer playing around, Bishop."
Lector tugged on Tyson's metal cuffs with enough force to cause him to spin to the left, exposing his back. Gathering electric energy into his elbow, he drove it into the approximate location of his kidney. Tyson dropped to one knee. The jolt raced along the length of his back and he looked to the soldier watching the current events. He had to take the beating at this point no matter how much he wanted to turn around and hit back.
Still determined to not let Lector take an inch, Tyson tried to climb back to his feet but stumbled and failed. He tried again and succeeded with the support of the wall behind him before turning to address Lector again, with a voice that held arrogance in place of lost composure. "Are you sure you aren't playing around? Little girls hit harder than that."
Lector's patience for Bishop's sense of humor was beginning to wear thin. "This is only the beginning, maggot. We will beat the arrogance out of you," he growled, delivering another punch to the stomach. Acting on its own, Tyson's body quickly grabbed his stomach as the current passed through him. He keeled forward onto his knees, coughing up blood onto Lector on his way down. Tyson was getting to have had enough of this when his body felt like it was starting to pull itself apart. Pain erupted all over himself but it wasn't from Lector's punches. Whatever was causing it was preventing him from bringing up the strength to strike Lector back. With his body locked up in pain, the only way to fight back was with his tongue.
"That seems funny. I figure the only way to become a maggot is to die and be eaten by one. As far as I can tell, I'm still alive. Don't worry, I'll make sure you get that full opportunity for that title soon enough."
Roughly picking up Bishop by the neck, Lector tossed him across the cell. The Second Lieutenant slammed into the floor a couple feet away and rolled up against the wall. A small amount of blood began to pool next to his inert form. A quick inspection revealed that Bishop was still conscious, but Lector decided to let him lay there for the time being. Let him realize what he was truly up against before continuing. Straightening out his slightly ruffled uniform, he grinned with a hint of maniacal satisfaction.
"Keep an eye on him," he commanded the soldier before exiting the cell.
Katie breathed a silent sigh of relief, visibly relaxing as she felt the pressure on her wrists vanish. Had the situation not been so dire, she would have given Jason a brief hug as a thank-you. She turned to watch as he removed Taryn's cuffs, re-weaving the gaps in her armour closed while the Keyholder worked.
She listened carefully as Jason outlined his plan to get out of his ankle cuffs. Breaking off a plant from her armour did hurt a tiny bit, but it was nothing compared to her being in proximity to fire or caught in a colder climate. Cactus spines could work, despite her failed attempt to break Jason out... he knew how to pick locks better than she did. With that in mind, Katie grew five spines from her hand, one from each finger, and closely examined them.
Standard spines were short, only about an inch or so, and they were thin and frail. They were definitely unusuable in their present state. Katie began to visualise the ideas Jason had requested, and the spines in her hand expanded upwards, easily reaching ten inches or so. A second or so later they thickened and formed slightly more visible spikes: they resembled oversized needles or pins.
Katie carefully took the base of one spine between the thumb and index finger of her other hand, and tugged it out of her glove with a quick jerk. She delicately handed the spike to Jason, saying, "Alright... this should do it, I think. I don't know if it'll break when you try it, though." She hoped it wouldn't: it wasn't related to the Key in any way, but there was always a chance. Katie kept the other spines on hand in case Jason needed them.
"Ms Southe? We're here," a Catherine called out. The speaker was driving their vehicle, while the original was planning her assault on the prison block as she waited with her clones. She would, of course, need to speak with 2nd Lt Bishop in case he had already drawn up something involving her soldiers.
Each of the thirty women had armed themselves with an assault rifle and donned appropriate armour; Ms Southe had divided up her copies into three squads of ten, including herself. Each squad had a coloured patch sewn into the shoulder of their clothing, to discern one from another. Squad Beta wore red, while Squad Gamma wore blue. The original Catherine wore a gold patch to distinguish herself from her silver-patched followers, Squad Alpha.
"Alright, Catherine, let's see what Second Lieutenant Bishop has to say," Ms Southe answered as their vehicle shuddered to a halt, and she jumped out of the back. Her squad of nine copies mimicked her action with near-perfect precision. Each of them checked their weapons as they got out of the carriers, a routine action repeated countless times by both the original and her clones. Two identical vehicles were also disgorging the Catherines of Beta and Gamma squads.
±Alright. So neither of you are at optimal fighting strength, but can still fight if necessary,± Spoon answered both Richard and Tommy simultaneously. ±I do not know if I can assist with removing that plate, Tommy... your friends will know more than I. But anyway... are you both ready to break out of here? I do not know the defensive capabilities of your other friends, though, and there is Levi and Sound Check to consider. Their isolation will be an issue.
±To sum up, we will have to be extremely careful about all of this. There may even be a chance of injury or death, if I am not precise enough in my teleportation. I worry about that.±
" Don't worry, worse case scenario? We get shot and die! No big deal." Tommy said in a genuinely nonchalant voice. He then cracked his knuckles and began stretching his limbs. " Richard when we get your guns online and are in a big enough space, could you blast a shape into the ground, I need it for the spell to get this thing off. Spoon, can you project a mental image from my head to his?" Tommy begin building a mental image of a five point star circumscribed by a circle, all inside of a square. "Keep in mind it should be 5-6 meter's across." He remarked.
Second Lieutenant Bishop exited the building and saluted the Catherine with the gold patch as it was the only unique badge colour among the emerging Catherines. "It's good to see you Ms. Southe." Tyson stated honestly before finishing his salute. Although it wasn't required it was more a symbol of respect amongst towards those of higher ranks or who had special abilities. More over considering her help was a gesture of her own free will and that she was a walking army it was best to keep her happy. "I was just finishing up a briefing order when you arrived. If you follow me I'll show you my current plan for the operation." Tyson said before Catherine inside to a table with a large overview of the prison and the surrounding area.
"Currently the plan is for two snipers teams to take up position on these two buildings." Tyson briefly paused as he pointed to two buildings on opposite sides of the prison compound. "They'll have clear view of the sides of the buildings and will be able to pick off anyone who tries to make it over to the side the we will be assaulting." Tyson stopped speaking for a second and swallowed the dryness in his mouth.
"Our assault will start when we have two recently acquired single man helicopters fly in below the air radar zone. They will be armed with thirty caliber machine guns and each one is equipped with two anti-tank missiles. The helicopters will move in from the side we are assaulting on and each launch their missiles into these walls here." Tyson again stopped as he pointed to two walls of the prison. On of the walls was just outside of the general population area and the other on the far side of the maximum security area. "After they fire the missiles they are going to fire upon the guard towers as the pass over the first time and on the return before retreating. If they stay too long we'll have to deal with patriot aircraft and we'll likely loose our newest asset." Tyson stopped and took a second to make sure Catherine was following for he continued with the plan.
"Our ground teams will follow one of these two paths based on the building that they are going to be entering." Tyson indicate the paths with his finger before continuing. "Mainly this should give us enough cover from their view and we should be arriving in under thirty seconds from the helicopter's retreat. Once we arrive I'm having a group of six men stand guard and preventing anyone from blocking off or attacking us from behind our new entrance using mounted machine guns of the back of our vehicles. I'll personally be leading a team of six men into the maximum security section of the prison where we'll free the people who were captured earlier today. My other seven men will fight into the general population area and free our men along with anyone once currently locked up their. It may seem cruel but we can only bring back those who are planning on going their for. Everyone else will be on their own if they choose to escape." Tyson stopped talking for a second and took a small breath.
He didn't like the idea of leaving others behind who could be helpful but it wasn't just political prisoners and resistance soldiers who were locked up their. You never know who could be an internal spy sent to get information from the general population or a rapist, or a murderer. After his composure was recomposed he felt he could speak again.
"If you are wondering where you come in? Well, I'm leaving that for you to decide. Currently we are low on fighters which is why I requested your assistance. Because you are volunteering for this, it should be your right to decide how you want to use your fighters in regard to this mission. I'll adjust my fighter's roles accordingly in order to keep the sections as equal in terms of personal per job as possible. Once you have decided on your troop positions we will move out. You are also free to take any of our vehicles as well if you feel that they would work better than the trucks you arrived in." Tyson finally stated before taking a deep breath. Trying to be overly nice and not try to force a choice on someone else was hard in this situation. Keeping good terms was becoming even more of a necessary pain in the ass recently.
Catherine studied the map 2nd Lt Bishop had laid out. She had not formulated much of a plan herself, since she had not known the layout of the area surrounding the prison block until Bishop had shown it to her. While she had easy access to soldiers, he was bringing more to the table in terms of vehicles and firepower. She began determining the best applications of her clones as Bishop described his plan.
"I see... I and my squad will accompany you in the assault on the maximum-security wing, while another ten of my girls will bolster the numbers in the attack on the general population center," she began, her tone returning to its usual crisp, clear and consise manner. "The last ten will help to guard and contain the area. We have radios distributed among each of the three squads, so communication will not be a problem." Catherine was warming to the plan; she respected his intention to distribute his forces as best he could. With her own troops equally allocated to the three objectives, that seemed like a capable task force for each. They had fifty soldiers at their disposal... though Catherine could think of one more. Brian MacKenzie.
Brian and Catherine had fought alongside one another in the past: the man was a powerful asset to the resistance effort. The two had forged a strong bond in the fires of combat... and both had wished to see more than that. Eventually, Brian had nearly killed Catherine by accident, and they had agreed to part ways on good terms with one another. She knew that it had hurt him to do so, especially after she had almost died.
"As to transport, we will gladly borrow some of your vehicles, especially if they are equipped with mounted guns. The trucks stand out due to their size, especially as we get closer to Washington's prison blocks," Catherine continued. "All up, Bishop, I think this will work, and we will be happy to assist you. I care little for casualties among my girls, as you would expect. They know their duty, and should they die then they won't go quietly." Despite their individuality and free will, Ms Southe's clones were creations of the original and destined to be either dismissed or killed in action. They were well aware of this, accepting it as part of their sometimes short lives.
Catherine pulled her cell-phone out of a pocket of her armour, and flipped it open. "I shall bring one more person into our plan: excuse me a moment. This shouldn't take too long." She speed-dialed the number, and as she raised the phone to her ear, she felt something she hadn't felt in a long time.
Nostalgia. Catherine found herself remembering events that took place over a year ago, in perfect detail, and a smile slowly twitched at her lips as she recalled them. Then the familiar voice reached her ear. "Allo?"
Brian hadn't changed much, vocally... though there was a slight hint of an accent to his voice. Catherine answered. "Brian? It's me... Catherine. It's been a while since we last spoke."
"I am aware of zis. If I recall, it 'as been over a year at the least." Catherine remembered the conversation, and watching Brian walk away... it had all seemed like it was in slow-motion, like in the old movies.
"Yes... a long while. Perhaps too long. But we can talk about that later. I need your help. Second Lieutenant Bishop and I are planning an attack on one of Patriot's prison blocks: they're holding some of Bishop's men, possibly in their maximum security cells. We have transports and air support, plus a good number of soldiers at our disposal... but we need all the help we can get. That's why I called," she explained, walking a short distance away from Bishop as she spoke.
"An' you believe my services would be required for zis sort of ting? You know I have returned to Quebec for a reason, non? To lead ze glorious Quebecois revolution? Why would I waste my time on your little jail break when it offers no benefit to my cause?" Brian wasn't going to just up and leave his own cause, Catherine knew. But if he would come down to help her, she would repay the favour in kind. There was, however, one more card that had not been brought to the table. So much for discussing it later, Catherine thought.
"Brian... please. I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important. To both the mission... and to me. I never really gave up, you know that. We tried almost everything. I think..."
She paused briefly, making sure she was set on her decision. She was. She had never really given up on him, even after the accident. Her next words were spoken in a whisper. "I think I could love you, given the chance. You remember, don't you? The good times we shared?"
There was a long pause at the other end. "Yes. Yes I do remember. 'Ow could I forget? But really, do you 'onestly tink it would work given...my condition? It failed before, you know zis. If I do zis for you, and it would be for you, not zat batard Bishop, do you tink we actually stand a chance at anyting normal?"
"We... we can try, Brian. We can always try. There has to be something that we can do, something we haven't thought of yet."
Again, Brian took a pause before he spoke. "Heh, who knows? Maybe zose greedy government fools 'ave finally done someting useful and found a cure pour moi." He fell silent, making up his mind. "Maybe, I go in zere and 'ave a look. Maybe I 'elp break ton amis out of ze prison while there, oui?"
A smile briefly crossed Catherine's face again at the notion that the government of United America would actually do something to help its citizens. "Brian... thank you. I know the revolution means a lot to you, so I'll do what I can to help you there... I might even come back with you if you want. How soon can you get here? Do you have a quick mode of transport?"
Catherine heard Brian's voice in swift French, talking with someone nearby. "I can be in transit within ze 'our. I will be in Washinton by dinner time. Will you... send someone... pour moi?"
The cloner let out a quiet sigh of relief that she didn't realise that she had been holding. Brian had agreed to join her and Bishop. "Yes. I'll send a clone to pick you up. When she brings you back, I'm the one with the gold patch on her left arm."
"Tres bonne. If I leave right now and get a little lucky with ze airport security at Dorval, I should be in Landover in two hours. I trust I will still be able to recognize zat beautiful face of yours?"
"Of course. I'll see you then. Take care of yourself." A small smile on her face, Catherine hung up, closed the phone and slipped it back into her pocket. Her usual formality restored, she returned to the table, and to Bishop. "I called in a favour. In just over two hours that favour will be here. Brian MacKenzie is just one super, but he is good. Very good," she explained.
Brian was huddled in the corner of the maximum security cell he had been shoved in. He was alone, in a strange universe with no promises that he would ever be leaving to even see the sky again. This sucks. Why the hell did I even agree to walk into that crazy bastards house again? Nothing good ever comes out of there. I don't know why I even joined in the first place. Life was so much simpler before...
The man clasped the cell phone shut, signalling the end of his call and took another long drag on the cigarette that he held between the leather-clad hands before flicking it to the cold warehouse ground. He rubbed the stubbled beard that spread across his face like gravy on french fries. "Appelez Jean-Phillipe," he commanded. "Dites-lui que je veux son avion prêt à partir dans les vingt minutes." Brian moved to a cabinet along a nearby wall. Opening it, he started packing munitions into a duffel bag.
The woman beside him stepped forward, worry present on her angular face. "Brian, qui va être trop méfiant! Vous ne le fera pas décoller avant que les patrouilles vous séduire! Je répète ma requête plus tôt! N'y allez pas!"
Brian turned around and swept his arm forward in a gesture of defiance. "Monique, je vais! C'est la fin de la discussion! Avez l'avion prêt à aller avec assez de carburant pour se rendre à Washington et au dos. Vous allez me passer la sécurité avec votre autorisation et puis je vais prendre l'avion. Comprendre? C'est un ordre!"
Monique turned away, defeated. "Oui, Brian." She headed over to a phone and called the pilot as Brian finished stuffing as many weapons as he could safely carry into the duffel. Satisfied he had enough, he put on his camo jacket and slid his red toque onto his head. I do not know if zis is even going to be worth ze trouble, but damn it, I am going to try.
He zipped up the bag as he looked over at Monique. She nodded at him sombrely. Everything was set. "Aprez-vous," he politely said to his second in command as the two headed for the ExFed van that should be able to get Brian onto the tarmac. They strapped in, Monique up front, Brian in the back in the large parcel box that was one of many they used to camouflage their true deliveries. Monique breathed a heavy sign as she started up the van and they rumbled off towards Dorval Airport.
"Thanks Katie. This'll do just fine." Jason replied sincerely, giving the mutated thorn a quick examination. He bent and prodded at the long spike to test its durability before starting his venture on the locked shackles, bringing his ankles closer to his chest. The position left his view of the cuffs slightly obscured, but he still managed to work on them. Poking for the keyhole, he entered using the hardened bristle and began working, using the same method he used on the previous handcuffs that held him and his teammates.
"C'mon baby...big money, big money, no whammy, no whammy...stop!" He encouraged himself, strain in his voice. The ankle cuffs clicked open on the last word, causing Jason to exhalt happiness through another excited expletive. He flexed and bent the free ankle as he worked on the other one, sounds of bones cracking accompanying the brief exercise due to the amount of stress and strain put on the ankles.
"Ahhh...sweet release." He let out through a low groan as the second shackle was relinquished, holding the cuffs in front of him as if he got a hold of the catch of the day. He then began to thoroughly examine the cuffs, checking to see if the seal was anywhere in plain sight. To no avail, he began to poke at the cracks and crevices of the device, using Katie's thorn to pry open the cuffs.
"Hmm...They must've really thought ahead if the seal is etched somewhere on the inside...Makes me wonder how long ago they integrated the Keyholders into this military." He mumbled as he worked, his attempts to dismantle the cuffs becoming more and more eager.
"They might've used these types of cuffs on those unruly types that initally didn't agree with the sudden transition." Erebus replied with a probable answer. Upon the realization, Jason slowly looked up from the slowly deteriorating shackles to look at his friends.
"When...did this world go to shit? How did all this happen? A result of a corrupt, power hungry super perhaps?" He let out solemnly. He didn't expect Katie or Taryn to know a solid answer, but a damaged psyche could always use some closure, false or not.
The Lieutenant Colonel stood at the sight of the anomaly, growing impatient as his soldiers swept the area. Eventually, he pulled a military grade walkie-talkie from his holster.
"Front and center Epsilon squad." He patched in with a simple demand. Within the minute, the small group stood erect in his sight. He focused on the soldier that stood at center of the other troops.
"Staus report Sergeant." He let off another stern quip. The soldier equipped with scanning equipment stood forward to address his superior.
"Not much sir. There's a slight trace of radioactive and electric residue in the air, but it'll mostly dissipate within the day. Nothing worth examining further."
"Good. Think we'll encounter an event horizon like this again?"
"Unconfirmed sir. Not much could be concluded due to the fact that the event didn't initiate in our world. There's no device of any sort that this occurance could be traced to."
"Hm. That's disappointing. But, this unique event did drop off some very precious cargo. Board up troops." He commanded the soldiers, following in after them as they walked into the gunship. The Lieutenant approached and sat in the seat adjacent from the pilot, strapping himself in.
"Take us to Prison Block Theta." He said simply to the pilot, the gunship steadily taking off and heading towards the newly appointed destination.
Lector approached the door to his doppelganger's cell. There were many questions he had to ask this man who shared his face. Being an accomplice of Second Lieutenant Bishop, he had to be in leagues with the Resistance, but the Department of Information and Security had a very thorough dossier on all known super powered individuals in United America territory and throughout the world. If someone with as distinctive an energy signature as his existed, Lector would know about it. But there was no record in the DIS files of anyone like this man in the Resistance, in the UA military, or in Asia and the EU. It was almost identical to his own, which meant his power had to be based in electromagnetism. There were also no known magnetics other than himself.
In addition, there was the fact that this man looked exactly like him. Resemblances between people could happen by sheer chance, but this was no coincidence. The only way there could be someone with such a striking resemblance was if somebody had cloned him, but cloning technology was in its infancy at most. Exact duplication of powers was even farther behind, only being suggested as a theory. Intelligence reports suggested that the EU and Asia had made no significant advances in either fields as well. That made cloning an entirely impossible explanation. The more Lector thought into it, the more questions were left unanswered. And the only person who could give him answers was on the other side of the door. With a series of magnetic tugs, he entered the security code to the door and it gave way.
Lector stepped inside.
Victor stepped inside.
His uniform was stained with fresh blood. Levi realized with a dawning horror that the blood was almost definitely Tyson's. The lifeless black eyes carefully regarded him, like a predator sizing up its prey. Victor had something planned, but regardless of what it was, it could not be good. And there was nothing Levi could do about it. He was trapped in a room with the physical embodiment of his nightmares, with no hope for escape. This particular Victor didn't know it, but he had succeeded where his counterpart had failed. This time, he and everyone else was truly at his mercy.
I will crush you, and I will crush everyone you know and love.
She would eventually get the same treatment as Tyson and himself, Levi was sure of it. And Victor would enjoy it, too. Even in a parallel universe, he was still the same violent psychopath. Taking pleasure in the suffering of others. The only thing that mattered was satisfying his bloodlust. Levi's body tensed with sudden anger. Was he about to give Victor what he wanted? Was he going to give him any sort of satisfaction out of torturing him?
He stood up, defiantly meeting Victor's inquisitive stare. The situation felt hopeless, but he wasn't about to give up now. Not when there was even the slightest chance of keeping the madman's attention focused on him. He knew the nature of the beast more so than anyone else, so he knew how to get his interest. If it meant taking the brunt of Victor's wrath to protect Taryn and the others, then so be it. It was his demon to confront, and nobody else's.
"Hello, Victor," Levi said.
He suddenly found himself smashed against the wall, suspended in midair by a hand gripped around his neck. After shaking off the initial shock, he looked downwards. Victor was glaring straight at him, his expression radiating anger and malice.
"How do you know that name?" barked the discordant voice. "ANSWER US!"
Despite how his body ached from the impact, Levi couldn't help but grin. Victor was just as temperamental as the one he knew. This one just happened to be in a position of power. His greeting had surprised Victor; he obviously didn't enjoy or expect being addressed by his real name. Now that he had the drop on him, Levi could press this sudden advantage. He spoke, his voice somewhat strained from the constriction on his throat. "I know who you are. You were once Victor Marcellus. You now inhabit the body of Bartholomew Harland because of-"
"ENOUGH!" Victor's angry howl reverberated in the small cell. He hurled Levi to the floor with enough force to knock the wind out of his lungs and leave him reeling. "How do you know all this?" Victor inquired, moving towards the downed Levi. "It is knowledge that only we possess," he growled. "There is not another living soul that knows what we do. Yet you do as well. Tell us now, WHO ARE YOU?"
Using the wall as support, Levi slowly rose to his feet. "I was hoping that it would be obvious to you by now, Victor. I know what happened because that's exactly what I went through. I'm Bartholomew Harland, just like the man whose body you inhabit."
An electrified right hook slammed into Levi's face. The energy harmlessly dissipated into his body, but the force of the blow still caused him to recoil to the left. A second strike came in the form of a left hook that sent his world spinning. The sudden disorientation and the force of the blows sent Levi stumbling backwards into the corner. A final punch to the gut caused him to double over and cough. Blood tricked down from his face onto the cold floor as he struggled for air.
Victor stood over the wounded Levi, sneering. "That cannot be. Bartholomew Harland does not exist! Not anymore. There is only us, and we are Lector."
"Whether you acknowledge it or not, Victor, you're looking in the mirror," Levi defiantly replied in between breaths. "We have the same exact body. The only difference...is who is in control."
Victor was poised to strike Levi again, but seemed to think otherwise. It was as if something had just occurred to him. Almost reluctantly, he unclenched his fists. "We will return. Answers will be given in due time, trust us. This is the first day of many for you." With that, he turned on his heel and exited the room. The door shut behind him, leaving only Levi and the soldier keeping guard.
Just as suddenly as it had began, Victor's interrogation had ended. In the eerie calm that followed, Levi sank quietly to the floor. It was then that he became aware that his heart had been racing the entire time. His body was also trembling, a side effect of the adrenaline running through his veins. It was the adrenaline alone that kept him running after the severe beating he had received.
It might be the first day of many, but Levi wouldn't allow Victor to break him. Tyson was correct. He was defeated before, and he could be defeated again. All that was needed was the proper moment. A moment where he could turn the tables on Victor. The survival of Taryn and everyone else likely depended on it. He couldn't let her down, not after all they've been through up until now.
I'll get you out. Somehow.
Lector stormed out of the cell. The man he had interrogated claimed to be Bartholomew Harland, but he wouldn't have any of that. Officially, Bartholomew never existed. Neither did Victor Marcellus. After he had assumed his position as head of the DIS, he had all references to both persons purged entirely from the record. Anyone who had a connection with Bartholomew were met with 'accidents'. Patriot himself personally oversaw these tasks; he wanted to maintain the atmosphere of mystery surrounding his new enforcer.
He may look disturbingly like him, have similar signatures, and possessed disturbing amounts of knowledge, but Lector was convinced there had to be an explanation somewhere, somehow. A secret program from Asia or the EU, perhaps. In the past there have been supers who have been able to mimic and disrupt energy fields. Tests would have to be performed on his imposter. DNA analysis, energy scans...
Energy. Of course.
How Lector could have let that slip his mind was astonishing. The man claiming to be Bartholomew was found with Lieutenant Bishop, not far from the source of the unknown energy in Patriot City. Whoever this person was, he had to be tied to that anomaly. Perhaps Bishop would be able to provide some additional insight. Until the DIS research team could gather more information, he was their only real lead.
Lector entered Bishop's cell. The captive soldier had somehow gotten himself back onto his feet after the beating he received not very long ago. Admirable determination, but it wouldn't last him forever. He had personally broken many haughty and arrogant prisoners; it was only a matter of time before Bishop would end up the same way they did.
"There's been some interesting developments regarding your accomplice, Bishop," Lector said. "Perhaps you'd like to elaborate on how you came across him in Patriot City? We're assuming the anomalous energy burst we detected has something to do with it?"
The sound of a thunderous blast rocked the cell before Bishop had an opportunity to speak. It was followed by several more that resonated in Lector's bones. A klaxon sounded in the main room. Immediately, a message came in over his personal comm. The transmission came in with severe static and sound of gunfire and frantic yelling that made the soldier's voice difficult to understand.
"This is Ares Seven! Code Broken Spear! Hostile forces coming in by land and air! Outside wall has been breached, falling ba-"
Lector growled. "Your band of friends have come to rescue you, no doubt. We'll see to it that they're put down like the vermin they are."
Outside in Prison Block Theta, a battle was raging. With air support from two helicopters, Resistance ground troops had began their assault. They exchanged fire with members of Ares Squad and prison security as they began their advance towards the prison blocks. With the element of surprise on their side, the Resistance was gaining ground quickly, but that advantage wouldn't last for long. Inside their soundproofed jail cells, the incarcerated heroes were unable to hear very much of what was happening, but the rumbling caused by the explosions was noticeable.
"I called in a favour. In just over two hours that favour will be here. Brian MacKenzie is just one super, but he is good."
Catherine's actions were selfish and disrespectful. Tyson had to swallow his pride to even ask for help; calling someone else to come in without asking him was insulting. Even worse was that it would take hours for this person to arrive. It was clearly an easy thing for her to do considering that she had nothing on the line. Pissed off but keeping his composure, Tyson stepped closer so that their faces were about a foot apart. With eyes that pierced like daggers, Tyson he looked straight into Catherine's eyes and began to speak.
"Because I'm asking for your help it's a formality to allow you control of your own fighters and to allow you to have your own input on the plan. However going out of your way to invite someone else into my mission without asking me, and then having some expectation that I'm going to wait around for two hours, while my troops inside could be killed or tortured is out of line and disrespectful. Let me make it clear that formalities can only be stretched so far before you break the bridge on your end. Your favour can still come but we are leaving here now. There will be no discussion on this matter."
Tyson turned around before sticking two fingers in his mouth, before producing a loud whistle. "We're moving out! Everyone get locked, and loaded! Teams head to your assigned vehicles! We're going to break our friends out!" Tyson ordered and watched as all of his troops quickly collected their equipment and armor before loading into the vehicles. Taking the gunner seat on the lead converted pickup truck, Tyson signaled for all of the vehicles to move out.
As Tyson laid on the floor, his body felt like it was ripping itself apart and stitching itself back together. Breathing was starting to hurt and every breath was getting shorter than the last. The worst part by far was his head. It felt like someone was driving hot chisels throughout his skull. It was almost unbearable to think, but a self-important thought came rushing back into his head.
He was supposed to be the one who took the worst of everything; it was to be his pain and his drive that took everything to protect everyone else. Yet he was lying on the floor while Lector was off likely torturing Levi. This was unacceptable. This was not who he was. This was not how it was going to be. He was going to break out of here, then break everyone else out. That was his job, that was his goal, and that was his burden. Slowly Tyson began to stand again. He was fighting back all of the pain with his very pride.
The vehicle convoys made their last turns and both were now into straightaways approaching the prison. The loud sound of the helicopters deafened everyone in the vehicles due to their extremely low altitude in order to stay off the air force's radar. The sound started to fade away as the helicopters raced ahead of the convoys. Four loud explosions could be heard as the helicopters had launched their antitank missiles. "Objective complete. Walls no longer stand," crackled over Tyson's headset as he pulled back the bolt on his mounted machine. One convoy took a sharp left, as the other convoy a sharp right, and both were now heading down the last two blocks with the prison in sight.
The helicopters were retreating overhead, leaving a trail of shell casing all over the prison perimeter. Several bodies could already been seen, having fallen off of the guard towers when they were mowed down by the .30 caliber rounds. Gun fire erupted on the vehicles as they became visible down the street and both lead vehicles started to return fire. The vehicles swerved to either side and rammed through the electric fence that marked the perimeter. Rockets were fired from two buildings off to their sides. The targeted vehicles didn't have enough time to swerve, and erupted into balls of flames when the rockets made contact. Instantly several gunners had changed their aim and made the walls of those buildings appear like Swiss cheese.
In less than a minute the remaining vehicles had made it into the new prison entrances, produced by the antitank missiles. The entrance teams quickly parked their vehicles closest and exited leading into the assault on the interior, while the defense team parked their vehicles around them and started to look for, and fire upon any Patriot forces hidden in the surrounding buildings.
Lector returned to Tyson's cell. This wasn't good. He had no idea what kind of shape Levi was in now. I hope he's alright. And I will kill this man now! The explosion that followed his entrance was a questionable sign before Lector opened his mouth.
"Your band of friends have come to rescue you, no doubt. We'll see to it that they're put down like the vermin they are."
Tyson cracked a smile. It looks like someone else wanted get someone, or some people outside of this prison. Tagging along for a ride out of here seemed like a good way to do things. "Not my friends," Tyson stated simply. Not giving Lector anytime to react to the statement, Tyson let out a menacing wail. Lector and the soldier positioned inside of the room were not expecting it, and the soldier collapsed to the ground; grasping at his ears as they started to bleed. Lector was still on his feet but it was far from something he was prepared for, and was struggling to stand.
Raising his hands in front of his face the handcuffs dropped to the floor as the pins inside of it vibrated apart, destroying the locking mechanisms. Tyson was now free and launched himself running across the room, grabbing Lector's head, and slamming it into the wall opposite his starting position. A faint cracking sound was made, but it wasn't audible due to Tyson's powers.
Nowhere near done, Tyson raised Lector into the air by his neck and choke slammed him into the ground. Bloody wall fragments fell from the point where Lector's head previously was. Tyson was growing a blood lust as his eyes started to change from their normal green colour to an expanding black. Tyson jumped on top of Lector's chest and started to relentlessly punch him in the face. Lector was unable to react from the debilitating sound and the constant flurry of fists making contact with his face.
Soon Lector went limp and Tyson stopped, his hands were cut up and covered in blood. Lector's face matched Tyson's fists and it looked like a stack of torn up meat. The soldier had passed out from the sound beforehand, and Tyson slowly walked over to him and removed his pistol. Placing it against the soldier's temple, Tyson pulled the trigger. A portrait of red mist and grey brain matter was made on the wall behind him. Removing the soldier's bullet proof vest and his magazine belt, Tyson put them on before standing up and walking over to Lector. He steadied the gun on the man's chest, directly at Lector's heart. Right before he pulled the trigger, Tyson's eyes turned pure black and his aim faltered. A round was fired.
Not bothering to check the body, and instead focusing on getting to the rest of the team, Tyson turned back around and aimed his powers at the cells door. It may have been thick and made of something steel or harder, but when connected to a concrete wall it didn't matter. A massive blast of sound was sent at the door and the frequency of Tyson's power instantly started to change as he was looking for the door's resonance point. It didn't take long to find it and the door started to shake. Out of nowhere Tyson's decibel level shot up out of his normal control range.
Surprise washed over Tyson as he realized he was still in control after this happened. Not willing to press his luck to long Tyson stopped producing the sound as soon as the door vibrated free from the concrete wall it was held in. Taking a running start Tyson jumped and slammed into the top of the door causing it to collapse into Lector's office. A fast scan reviled no other soldier were in the room and Tyson quickly made his way over to Levi's cell. Luckily this door was easily open from the outside, and Tyson swung it open. Not waiting a second Tyson used the jump on the guard and made his eyes the bread in a hot lead sandwich.
As soon as the soldier's body collapsed, Tyson ripped off his bulletproof vest and walked over to Levi. "I killed Lector, we have some people who are likely friendly attacking this prison, and we need to go save Garrus, Taryn, and everyone else. So put this on and follow me. I'll make sure everyone makes it out alive," Tyson said with a natural confidence, as he handed Levi the soldier's bulletproof vest. Tyson knew Levi's shape was a bit rough but it could have easily been worse. The blackness that consumed Tyson's eyes was retreating at this point, and Tyson turned around and walked out of the cell, now on full alert with the pistol raised to kill anyone who appeared before him.